Puppy chewing, though cute at first, can turn into a very expensive and destructive habit. Your dog trainer can help you curtail this issue; however, you must take steps of your own to ensure 100 compliance. One way to discourage dogs from chewing is to use Apple Bitter Spray, a bitter-tasting spray used to deter inappropriate chewing. It is effective due to its terrible taste that dogs hate! It typically comes in a non-aerosol bottle and should be applied daily to objects you wish the dog to avoid chewing. This product alone typically will not break the dog from chewing; it should be coupled with proper dog training from both the owner and trainer to redirect the behavior. You can find this and other great dog training products at your local pet supply store.
Jumping is a natural greeting and attention-grabber for dogs; however, especially with large dogs, it is not the most desirable behavior. You and your guests will often get knocked over. The best solution will involve specific dog training meant to teach your dog alternate ways to greet you and to get attention. Use knowledge that can be gained from an ABC Certified Dog Trainer; for example, exercise your dog’s “sit” behavior when greeting her. Reward the sit behavior by giving your dog attention, praise, and petting. Remember not to be too enthusiastic in your praise. This may encourage further jumping or other behaviors you want to avoid. The animal will respond best to focused feedback that is not overly energetic or enthusiastic.
In animal training, it is critical to be consistent, especially when teaching your dog not to jump. Avoid rough games as well as vigorous petting since all of these interactions may encourage jumping. Owners that teach their dogs that jumping is acceptable at some times but not at others will constantly have a difficult time eliminating the problem. Consult your dog trainer if you feel you are being consistent but the dog is not responding positively to your efforts.
To alleviate your dog’s jumping issues, when she jumps on you, immediately turn away from her. Most dogs will continue jumping for approximately 10 seconds before trying another approach. Typically, they will try to face you and jump again. If this happens, turn the other way and continue to ignore the behavior. Dog training, namely fixing a behavior like jumping that is considered enjoyable to a dog, takes patience. Some dogs may continue jumping excitedly for several minutes. After the dog stops jumping for at least two seconds and has all four feet on the floor, turn to her to praise and pet her. Your training motto for this behavior is “four on the floor.” Keep your hands low and slow. If she starts to jump again, turn away from her. When she stops jumping, turn around and pet her again. Continue this until the dog realizes you will pet her only when she is not jumping.
Housebreaking is one of the most common concerns of dog owners. Targeted dog training is necessary at a young age in order to prevent dogs and puppies from eliminating in undesirable areas. Although being a dog owner does not make you a dog trainer, there are steps you can take to housebreak your own dog.
First, it’s important to recognize that most dogs do not like to eliminate in the immediate area that they lie in. By confining your dog to a small area, you can make sure she will not eliminate until you take her outside to do so. Also, proper training for this behavior involves giving your puppy her meals at the same time every day. Remember to take her out to the same bathroom area using the same door each time at regular intervals. In the beginning, the animal trainer will advise you to take your puppy outside to go “potty” every 30 minutes. If you take her out and she doesn’t “go” within five minutes, bring her back in and confine her in her crate or another very restricted area. Keep taking her outside every 30 minutes until she eliminates. Every time she goes “potty” within five minutes of being outside, praise her and give her another five minutes to make sure she is completely empty. Going “potty” outside is rewarded by giving your puppy 10 to 20 minutes of monitored free time in the house. After seven days of no accidents, you can slowly start lengthening the free time in the house. If your dog is still eliminating in the house after completing these steps, seek professional training from a Certified Dog Trainer for further assistance.
Any time your puppy is in the house, you must watch her closely so you can interrupt her if you see her getting restless, sniffing about, or even just moving away from the group. Don’t yell or charge over to her; you want to interrupt, not frighten her. Scaring her will only make dog obedience training more difficult. Then, calmly take her outside to “go.”
If your puppy has an accident in the house, don’t punish or scold her! Calmly take your puppy out to her bathroom area and clean the accident with an odor neutralizer. Your animal trainer or a pet service professional at your local pet supply store can recommend an effective neutralizer. Most puppies have accidents in the house because they are allowed too much freedom in the house too quickly.
Your careful and persistent training will soon provide you with a well-behaved puppy who knows to go outside to eliminate, so keep up the good work!
During their ABC education, an ABC Certified Dog Trainer learns that dogs dig for multiple reasons –boredom, attempts to escape, searching for a hidden toy or bone, and many more. However, one overlooked reason that dogs dig is because they are too hot. If you aren’t an animal trainer or behaviorist, you may never guess that your dog is covered in dirt or mud because she’s trying to escape the heat. The weather can get very warm in many regions of the country, and many dogs will unavoidably have to spend some time outside in hot weather. So, before thinking that your pooch is digging to China, make sure and consider the temperature of the air outside. Ask your trainer to observe the dog to determine if she is in fact digging for cooling, and ask for training advice on how to stop it.
Digging for cooling involves a dog creating cooling holes to lie in. A dog in the middle of this task typically will not stop digging unless something else is done to cool her off. There are certain breeds of dogs, long-haired breeds especially, that will suffer from the heat the most. All dogs need a place to be cool during the heat of the day. There are several solutions to attempt; ask your dog obedience trainer for suggestions. One recommended solution is installing an overhang or putting up a sturdy umbrella under which the dog can find shade. You might also consider clipping her coat short or purchasing a small wading pool for her to lie in so she can stay cool. With minimal dog training, you can likely get her to step into, wade in, and even lie down in a kiddie pool. Many dogs are content to lie in one or two inches of water in the pool and, although they would be muddy at the end of the day, they would be far less motivated to dig. Misting hoses available at hardware stores are not only good for cooling, but can also keep flies away. These are definitely items worth obtaining to help your dog stay comfortable in this hot weather.
If you provide your dog with several ways to cool off and she still digs, you may need to contact your trainer for some focused dog training sessions. She may be digging for a different reason or for more than one reason. Also, when it’s hot outside, allow her to come indoors several times a day to cool down if possible. Hyperthermia is a danger that can be severely harmful. Again, consult your dog trainer for assistance.
Here is some professional advice from the ABC Certified Dog Trainer program for preventing your dog from continuing to dig. Note that these tips are based on the dog already having dug holes around the yard.
Without the dog seeing you, fill the already-created holes up with pieces of the dog's stool and lava rocks. Then, cover the poop and rocks with about one inch of dirt. Dogs will often dig in the same general area, so when the dog goes to dig there again, he will find it unpleasant and will either stop immediately or move to a new spot. If he moves to a new spot, just continue to fill the new holes. The dog should stop within a period of no more than two weeks.
Dog training against this behavior involves never letting the dog see you planting or working in the garden. In addition, do not let him see you filling in holes he has already dug. If the dog sees you digging, it is only natural for him to assume it is acceptable behavior and mimic you.
When you see the dog out in the back yard engaging in proper behavior (e.g. chewing on his toys, sunning himself, etc.), praise that behavior. Remember that to effectively train dogs, the more you positively reinforce a behavior, the stronger that behavior is going to be and the greater the likelihood that the dog will engage in it, both when you are there and when you are not. Work on obedience with your dog on a daily basis. The more you master as a team, the better his behavior will be. You are not only his animal trainer, but his best friend, too.
If your dog is begging for food at the dinner table or in the kitchen while you’re cooking, you are probably already seeking a solution. You may or may not have already contacted your dog trainer, but either way, there are several steps that must be taken immediately to curb the behavior. Any and all feeding of your dog at the table must stop. The entire family must consistently ignore all of your dog’s begging behavior and every person in the house must adhere to the dog training plan. If your dog does not receive a reward for begging, the behavior will stop.
The trainer will likely advise you to give your dog a Nylabone (or another type of sturdy rubber chew toy, like an empty Kong) just before you sit down to eat. She must not be given the chance to begin begging. It’s a general rule of animal training that when your dog fixates on something else, such as chewing her bone, she is much less likely to bother you at the dinner table. However, if she ignores the toy or gets bored with it and persists in attempting to beg for food, further training tactics will be necessary.
Until your dog attains a decent level of obedience, you most likely won’t be able to trust her roaming freely through the house while you enjoy a meal. She may need to be put outside or in another room, or you can try putting her on a leash. Loop the handle of the leash under the leg of the couch or coffee table or wedge it in a doorway while you eat. Dog training properly calls for her to be tethered so that she is in sight but not able to reach the table. Verbally and physically praise your dog when she is lying or sitting quietly, but do not reward her with food until long after you’re done eating.
Remember to follow the advice of your animal trainer and never feed your dog while you are eating. While it may keep her busy for a few minutes while the family eats, she will most likely finish first and then come to beg. Also, it teaches her that dinner time for the family is dinner time for her, too. Her mealtime and yours should be considered separate occasions.
By nature, dogs are very playful creatures, which is what we, as humans, love about them. Yet sometimes, our pals develop annoying, and sometimes destructive habits that drive us absolutely crazy. No matter how much you adore your pooch, chances are you wouldn’t be happy to come home from work to find your dog happily gnawing on your favorite pair of shoes. Nor would you want him tearing up your furniture, and snacking on the cables behind the television while you were away.
Sadly, destructive chewing, and unwanted chewing in general is a trait that many dogs develop, no matter how much dog obedience training they have had. But fear not – there are plenty of ways to eradicate this unwanted behavior in a positive way that will both allow your pal to have his fun, and stop your shoe collection from being destroyed.
In the event that you discover your best friend munching on your possessions, irritated as you might be, do not react with anger against your dog. At the time it may satisfy you to shout at him for engaging in the unwanted behavior, but human logic and dog logic are two very different things. In your mind, punishing him for tearing up your couch will teach him not to repeat the act. In his mind, he has never been taught not to chew on unwanted objects, and you are cornering him for no good reason. If you get angry at him enough times without positively correcting the behavior, he could develop anxiety, or even react with defensive aggression. If you use positive methods to train dogs, you will find that your teachings are far more successful.
More often than not, the reason why your dog is chewing up your things is due to boredom. If you are not home for most of the day, and simply leave him to his own devices, you should not be surprised to find that he has engaged in undesirable behavior. The best way to keep this from occurring is to take preventative measures ahead of time. Provide your dog with a variety of chew toys to play with if you are away for an extended period of time, and reward him when he gnaws on his toy instead of on your favorite chair.
Another way to prevent the destruction of your belongings is to keep them out of your pooch’s reach. If you don’t want it in his mouth, make it inaccessible. Keep your shoes, socks, trash, and anything else he might decide to chew on locked away to eradicate any temptation.
Excess energy is also a cause behind destructive chewing. When your hound has little play time, it is common for him to seek outlets such as chewing to let it out. Remember: your pal is not acting this way to retaliate, or punish you for not paying attention to him. He is simply unable to find another method by which to express his energy. By exercising him frequently, and setting aside a good amount of play time, your dog will be perfectly content with gnawing on his rawhide while you take care of your own business, and absolutely thrilled each time you take him for a walk, or play a game of fetch.
As any animal trainer will tell you, with dedication and patience, you will be able to successfully train your pooch to cease chewing up your personal items. This behavior is undesirable, but can be eliminated as long as you stick to a strict and solid regime. With a little hard work, you and your best friend will be on the path to a healthier and happier relationship.
Canine noise fear is a somewhat common occurrence among dogs. These fears can soon become phobias, which are defined as “persistent, excessive, and irrational fear responses”. Noise fear can manifest in canines and cause the dog to show outward signs of fearful behavior including anxiety, attempts to escape, skittishness, panting, whining, howling, etc. There are various reasons why a dog may develop noise fear; the two primary ones being breed and “learned fear”. Certain canine breeds, such as herding breeds like Shepherds and Collies, are more genetically predisposed to developing noise fear. Also, regardless of breed, a noise phobia may be traced to a particular bad experience that a dog had involving that certain clamor. In almost all instances, the fear of noises and storms will escalate, worsening with each exposure. Soon the pet may become fearful of similar sounds or events associated with the noise. If this fear grows, they may associate certain sounds with a call to action triggering anxiety. For example, a pet afraid of thunder may also become afraid of rain due to the event association.
In the case of thunderstorms, pets may also be fearful of storm-associated events such as a change in barometric pressure, lightning, and electrostatic disturbances. In some situations even smells associated with storms can cause a dog to have fearful anxiety. Noise phobias can include fear of thunderstorms, firecrackers, doorbells, blenders, and car alarms. Each dog is unique so each dog’s reaction to every day stimuli will be different.
Dogs are products of their environment and the owner's reactionary attitude to the noise can influence the severity of the dog’s fear. For instance, if owners themselves are nervous during storms, noise phobias in their pets may occur more often or become more severe episodes. Similarly, the petting or comforting of your canine when they are reacting fearfully to a noise is actually positive reinforcement of their undesirable fearful behavior. It would be best for the owner to show no reaction when the noise occurs which will translate the message to the pet that there is nothing to be scared of, thus deactivating the noise as an anxiety trigger.
There are several things that can be done to help keep exposure to many of the alarming sounds that can arise around the house to a minimum for your pet. There are products available to help aid in comforting your dogs when they are suffering from noise associated phobias. The Thundershirt has been known to sooth a dog noticeably with the first usage. The Thundershirt is a Velcro vest that your dog wears which provides a gentle constant pressure on the canine’s torso reportedly producing a calming effect due to the envelopment of their nervous system. It is most commonly used for dogs that are afraid of thunder storms but can also help with most noise fears and phobias. There are also multiple forms of all natural sprays that are said to help anxious or fearful dogs as well as collars such as the Calming Collar by Good Behavior. The Calming Collar is said to release all natural calming pheromones into the air that relaxes your pet regardless of nearby anxiety causing stimuli.
However, despite the many behavior curbing products out there, the most ideal treatment for noise fear would be desensitization to the noise itself. For example, if your dog is afraid of the noise of the vacuum cleaner it would be best to have the dog contained in a separate part of the house while using it. You can start to expose your dog to the noise little by little, creating a positive association to the noise and desensitizing them at the same time. Set up a scenario with someone using the vacuum in the other room while you work with the dog on obedience and rewarding with the canine with the dog’s favorite treat. As time moves forward and the positive association is being put in place you can start to expose the dog closer to the noisy vacuum. This is the best way to work with your pet as a dog trainer and help them permanently cure their fears instead of just temporarily treating it!
Ever avoid a long road trip because you or someone you know is worried about experiencing car sickness? Despite common belief, human are not the only ones that suffer from this condition. Dogs can actually suffer from carsickness as well. Dogs may get sick on car rides for many reasons including but not limited to fast motion, anxiety, too much visual stimulation, etc.
One of the best ways to curb these symptoms will be to help desensitize the dog to the car and ride. This must be done at the dog’s own pace while making a positive association for the pooch. To help build the positive association you must have something the dog will find rewarding and motivating. It will be up to the dog what will be the best reward. Some dogs would prefer their owner’s attention or their favorite toy as a reward more than food. Other dogs are motivated by small, chewy training treats so it is important to find a type that the dog is willing to work for and finds rewarding.
In the beginning stages make sure to introduce this dog training exercise with no distractions, making the environment as pleasant as you can. This will set the dog up to succeed by making the environment less overwhelming. Start without the car running. Open all of the doors and lure your dog to the doorway that will be used most frequently. Make sure to praise and reward any movement towards the vehicle. Continue these steps until the dog can easily be lured towards the door at least 9 out of 10 times. Once the dog is able to comply 90 percent of the time than you can start introducing new steps to the exercise.
Once your dog is at the door, attempt to lure the dog into the vehicle using their favorite reward. If the dog chooses not to follow through, you can gently lift them into position. Once in position, reward the dog heavily, making a positive association with the car for your dog. After the verbal praise and reward you can lure the dog back out of the car and attempt the loading / unloading process again until the dog finds getting into the car rewarding enough to perform the behavior at least nine out of ten times on their own.
Once the dog is successful at least 9 out of ten times during this exercise and has started to get comfortable with the car itself, you can start adding new variables such as closing one of the doors. Introduce the new variables one at a time making sure the dog is performing the required behaviors at least 90 of the time before moving on and adding another variable. For example, at first only close one door, than move on to two, and so on until each new variable becomes comfortable to your dog. As long as the dog is compliant a minimum of 9 out of 10 times and does not overreact, you can keep adding more. Once you are able to close all of the doors without the dog over reacting, you should attempt to start the car. Continue to add praise and rewards as long as the dog is able to stay calm for at least a minute at first. As time goes on you can start adding more time to the exercise.
Once the dog is able to remain in the running car without negative reactions, try taking a short drive. Drive the car just around the block at first, praising the dog as you go. When working on training any new behavior to your dog, it’s important to remember that part of training is teaching the dog a new behavior that he needs become comfortable with. Be patient. Once your dog becomes comfortable with this new action through praise and positive reinforcement, there would be no reason for your dog to become scared or anxious with it again. It may take some time to cure a dog's carsickness, but it will be worth it when you have a new drive time buddy!
Getting sufficient outdoor time with your dog can be difficult if you don’t have ready access to safe walking areas or dog parks. If you live in an area that has harsh winters and wet springs outdoor activities involving you and your dog can also be curtailed.
Dogs need exercise and mental stimulation
Being housebound for extended periods can result in restlessness for your dog and you. Dogs of all types require daily exercise and mental stimulation to take away stress and prevent destructive problem behaviors. When dogs have too much energy, and no positive way to release it, they will display what most owners consider to be bad or problem behaviors. To help alleviate this, you can create a variety of reward-based indoor games and activities for your dog.
Breed Specific Games
The best way to determine which activities will engage your dog, you should design games that stimulate drives that are specific to her breed. All dogs were bred for different purposes or have certain characteristics that call for different types of interaction. For example, Labradors were bred to retrieve small game and objects. Different variations of fetch or hide and seek are the most beneficial for this breed.
Games For Dogs In The Herding Group
Herding group dogs, such as the Australian Shepherd, were specifically bred to herd livestock. A fun exercise for a natural herder is following or herding a laser-pen beam. By moving the beam in various directions, you can give your dog the illusion that she is herding the beam to a specific location. Please note: If you elect to use a laser device never shine it in anyone’s eyes, including your pet’s.
Games For Dogs In The Hound Group
In the hound group, dogs often show marked interest in different scents and motions. A great game to stimulate hound dogs involves hiding various training treats throughout the home and allowing your dog to track the scent and earn the reward when she finds it.
What Motivates Your Dog?
All dogs are motivated and driven by certain things. As a dog owner, it’s important to determine your dog’s motivations and sensitivities. This will help determine the games or activities that best suite your dog. If you have trouble researching what best motivates your dog’s breed, you can contact your local certified dog trainer or veterinarian for more information on her breed’s characteristics.
All games and interactions should be rewarding to your dog. If it is not a rewarding activity, your dog will not form a positive association with the activity and she will most likely not repeat in the future.