Showing posts from 2009

Feeding Time Should Be Calm and Happy

Many times, when we feed our dogs, it turns into a "watch out for your fingers" event. This should not be the case!.

We have to make sure that your doggie understands that you are the leader of the pack and that your are allowing him to eat. Here are some simple suggestions to make this happen:
Have your dog sit and stay before you present him with food.ONLY present him with food from his food bowl.Place his food bowl on the ground while he is still staying and not moving towards the bowl.After you have placed the bowl down, stand tall and still. Then tell him it is OK to eat the food.This will tell your doggie that you have "given him the food" instead that he has "taken the food".

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Playing as Part of Training

You might not believe it, but playing is a critical part of your dog's training!

When you are playing with your dog, it all comes down to the rules you set and behavior your expect. Here are some tips:

Never engage in rough or overly exuberant play with a large or powerful dog. They will not understand that it is not OK to exhibit the same behavior. I don't think that you want your American Bulldog jumping on everyone coming into the house.
Don't play "Chase me! Chase me! / Tag You Are It!". This tells your dog that it is OK to always chase you and/or your guests and to "tag them". We tag someone by touching them on the shoulder. Dogs tag other dogs by jumping on them and nipping their fur. I am sure that you don't want this for your guests.
If you have a "hyper dog", don't play "Where is the birdie! Where is the birdie! Go get the Birdie!" with him. This encourages your dog being hyperactive both outside and inside.
Never play tu…

A Quick Idea for Potty Training

Rover doesn't require 24 hour room service!

This is just a quick note for anyone working through the issue of potty training with your new puppy. Unless your Vet has told you that there is a medical reason why your puppy needs food and water all the time, don't do it. If you feed your doggie once or twice a day, that is fine.

When you put the food down, leave it down for no more than forty-five minutes. After that time, pick the food and water up. The meal is now done. This will help you to manage their intake and eventual outtake. You will now have a far better understanding of when they need to go to the bathroom, based on their eating habits.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

When You Ride Your Bike

Have you ever ridden your bike and have been chased by dogs? Don't worry. Here are some training tips for YOU!

Out doggies love to play "tag, you are it". When we ride past dogs on our bikes, they chase us, and we speed up, we are encouraging the idea of "tag, you are it". Here is what you do:
If you are on your bike and you are approaching a dog or a group of dogs, slow down to a "crawl". Try to peddle as little as possible. Look straight ahead and proceed past them in a very slow, constrained manner. The dogs should read your "body language" as "I don't want to play" and ignore you completely.If the dog or dogs start to run after you, slow down and stop. You have taken away the "I want to play" language from your movements. The dog(s) should come up to you, possibly perform a slight sniff, and then return to where they were sitting.If the dog(s) approach you in an aggressive manner (barking, showing of teeth, jumping)…

Correcting your Doggie

"All dogs simply want to do the right thing and please us. Correcting them helps achieve that."

Some people perceive that correcting a dog is mean and harsh. Being respectful of their opinion, I have to strongly disagree. If you properly correct your dog when they are doing something wrong, you are guiding them in the right direction. This is really a productive action, not a punitive one.

When you correct your dog, you can only do it as they are doing something wrong. You can not correct them after the event has taken place. Dogs live in the "here and now". You must correct in the "here and now".Do not yell and scream when you are correcting. Be calm, firm, and dominant.For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Communicating with your Dog

Dogs don't speak English, Spanish, French, etc. So why should we think they would understand "Rover no! Get away from the food!"

Dogs have a much simpler communication process than humans. It is our challenge to understand how they talk and communicate to them in a way that they understand. Here is the secret: body language and voice tones. It is that simple.

Our body language helps us assert our leadership and dominance over our doggie. (Dominance doesn't mean that we want to scare our dog or be an evil dictator. It simply means that we want to assert that we are the teacher, the leader, the person keeping them safe.) Standing up helps us show our dominance.

Vocal tones help us direct our dog to understand the rules. Our biggest challenge here is to understand that words are really sounds. Animals use sounds to communicate and we have to be able to do the same thing to successfully communicate with our dogs.

The process is really very simple and quite fun. F…

Tips on Leashes

The type of leash we use with our dog can directly relate to his behavior and obedience.

We recommend that you use the standard, "old-fashioned" six foot leash. This allows you to walk your dog next to you so that both you and he can keep each others' attention and focus. It is also the appropriate tool when you are working on your standard sit, stay, and come commands.

Never, never, never use the extension leash to walk your dog. This allows your dog to walk you and puts your dog in a possibly dangerous environment.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Tips on Toys

Our doggies love toys and we love giving them toys! But, watch out! It is important that we give our pups the correct toys.

The first rule that you should remember is never give your dogs tug-of-war toys. Although these toys allow for a great deal of interaction between master and pup, they can quite possibly send the wrong signal to our dogs. Normally the tug-of-war play time ends with our pup walking off with the toy. As humans, we normally just say "I'm done" and we go on our way. Our dog ends up with the toy. Since Rover ended up with the toy, he thinks that he has won and is dominant over you. If you do have tug-of-war toys, use then for fetch.

Minimize or eliminate those squeaky toys. The sound that these toys make is the same sound of a wounded or dying animal. Allowing your dog to play with these promotes aggressive or dominant tendencies. I know, I know, I know... You love to see your dog play with the squeaky toys. Just try to keep it at a minimum.


Tips on Being a Responsible Dog Owner

Bark Busters wants you to enjoy owning a dog and has collated the following information to help you understand the laws governing dog ownership. We advise, however, that you find out your responsibilities of dog ownership in your state as do they vary, even from one city or county to another.

In many states, dog owners are required by law to register their dogs at the age of six months and to keep them registered. Your dog must always wear a registration tag and an identification tag, so that someone who finds your dog can return him to you immediately. Also, if your dog strays and ends up in a pound, the pound will have the information to contact you -- especially important if your dog requires medical attention. We also suggest that your microchip your dog.

You must ensure that your dog is confined both day and night. If allowed to roam free, even the most docile dog may be a menace to wildlife.

Some dogs have little tolerance for children, who being shorter, automatically get less res…

Barking Prevention at the Puppy Stage

A young pup that barks at people or noises is a good indication that you have a budding nuisance barker. This is a nervous pup that worries about everything. A well-adjusted pup will not usually start barking until somewhere between 8 to 12 months of age.

If you have a pup that is starting to bark at everything that moves, discipline him by growling “BAD” at the precise moment he starts. Praise him as soon as he responds.
Clapping your hands or throwing an object onto the ground near the pup, such as a can of pebbles, (careful you don't hit the pup) and at the same time growling your correction word (BAD) should help stop any premature barking.
A puppy that persists even after your correction could need some socializing.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Traveling With Your Dog

This information is designed to be of assistance to dog owners who may have to travel with their dogs, whether it be across town or around the world.

If you need to transport your dog across town, there are several options. If your dog travels well, you may wish to transport him in your car. If your dog is difficult to transport due to his fear of travel, his barking or exuberance, you may wish to give him natural remedies such as Bach Flowers, ginger, or Travel Calm. Your veterinarian also has tablets available for dogs that suffer from travel sickness. If you give your dog such tablets, administer them one hour prior to departure.

If you wish to board your dog while you go away, many boarding kennels can arrange transport for your dog to their establishment. Some vet clinics offer a pick-up service if your dog is sick, and for injured animals, some offer an animal ambulance. All these services can be found in the Yellow Pages.

If traveling between states, air transport is the quickest …

Feeding Puppies

Do not make a big issue of feeding your puppy. Have him wait until you give him permission to eat.

However, some ravenous, greedy pups become upset by having to wait. In that case, hold the dish and lift it above his head saying "leave.” When your pup has calmed down, ask him to sit. Once he has complied, you may then give him his food.

If you have a ravenous pup, look closely at what he is being fed, as it may lack vital nutrients.

Scatter Feeding
Scatter feeding works well on puppies that tend to be aggressive with their food. Scatter the food around on the ground and stand in the middle, letting the pup know you are not interested in his food.

Never take the food away from the puppy as a form of punishment with no intention of giving it back immediately. This will only make the pup feel that his aggression is warranted and that you are trying to steal his food.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Boundary control

Boundary control is teaching your dog that he is not allowed in certain rooms or on the carpet without your invitation, he is not allowed in the house without your invitation (even if the back door is open) and he is not allowed out the exterior gates without your invitation.

This is important for control as well as the dog’s safety.

Boundary control gives you the opportunity to invite your dog inside more often because you know that he will stay in his designated dog-friendly areas.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Digging and Chewing

Dogs do not instinctively dig or chew.

These activities are usually symptoms of a more significant behavior problem; they are doing these things for a reason. We can help to find the cause and suggest a solution by talking with you and surveying the environment.

Digging: To help discourage digging, place your dog’s droppings in the hole and bury them just under the surface. You can also bury chili powder. Your dog may be digging because he is bored, so you might want to provide more entertainment (see Boredom Busters). Also consider if he is stressed due to separation anxiety.

Chewing: Do not give your dogs chew toys that resemble items that you do not want them to chew (like shoes). They often cannot tell the difference between good shoes and their "chew shoe." Some taste deterrents may work on wood and patio furniture. You probably also need to provide more entertainment (see Boredom Busters) or the chewing may be related to the stress of separation anxiety.

For more informati…

Boredom Busters

Here are some suggestions for keeping your canine friends entertained and out of mischief.Buster Cube (available from Bark Busters): This award-winning dog toy is a great distraction. Fill the toy with dry kibble. As your dog rolls it around on the ground, the kibble falls out from multiple compartments. This motivates your dog work for his food, keeping a brain-active dog busy for hours.
Scatter Feeding: Turn feeding into a treasure hunt. Scatter a variety of foods (such as whole carrots, celery, peas, broccoli, beans, and apples) around the yard when you leave. This gives your dog something to forage for as well as some nutritious food to chew on (rather than your wooden lawn furniture). You can also scatter his dry food around the yard.
Kong Toys: This durable rubber toy has a hollow center that can be stuffed with delectables like cheese, peanut butter, kibble or dried liver. We suggest that you get some unsalted peanut butter and place a dollop over the hole. Don’t stuff the toy w…

A Neighbor's Barking Dog

Woof! Woof! Woof!

If you have a problem with a neighbor’s barking dog, first approach the neighbor to tell him there is a problem.

Owners sometimes do not realize their dog is causing problems because the dog may bark only when the owners are away from the house.

If your efforts do not achieve the desired results, then contact your Home Owners Association or local animal control office.

Do not try to correct the dog, give it attention or give it food to stop the barking as you will generally cause more problems.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Puppy Behavior Training

One way to prevent puppies from chewing furniture is to paint the furniture with Tabasco sauce. After letting the pup taste it, paint the Tabasco onto the base of doors, tables; whatever you don't want your puppy to chew. (Always test the product first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it will not stain or damage your furniture.)

Another effective product that should not harm your pup or your furniture is Bitter Apple spray or Bitter Yuch spray. Do the same with this as was suggested with the Tabasco sauce.

A pup that is kept in a special area of the house is easier to control as far as protecting your property is concerned. Also, do not give your pup full run of the yard. Instead, partition off a section or build a playpen. Be sure to provide shelter and protection from the weather and provide plenty of toys, food and water. Remember, most destruction occurs when the pup is bored.

If the pup cannot be corralled, then you will need to protect your yard. First, paint your wooden or…

Coming When Called

This is one of the more difficult things to teach your dog, particularly if other dogs are around. However, it is vitally important for you to be able to control your dog in the public. . . for your dog’s safety.
You must teach your dog to be more attentive and aware of you all the time. That way, your dog will be looking for your signal and will respond immediately if you want to call him out of harm's way, or simply to move to another location.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Puppy Training

Puppies can get into all kinds of mischief!

Remember that in this regard they are just like babies and toddlers, so be patient with them and puppy proof your house as much as you can. If possible, remove tempting objects from puppy's reach.

Common problems are play biting, jumping on you, digging, chewing, and stealing items. The best thing for you to do is to start the training early (8 weeks and older). This will help you set the rules and earn the dog’s respect.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.


Aggression... This is a very serious problem and must be handled as soon as possible by a professional behavioral therapist.

The worst case scenario for an uncontrollable, aggressive dog is that he injures a person or child and the dog is then ordered to be put to death (euthanized).

This does not need to be the case! Most aggression is caused by fear.

By addressing this problem, you can reduce your dog’s fear, which in turn will reduce his stress. You will be happier not having to worry that your dog might bite someone.

Early warning signs: Growling and barking at strangers is the earliest sign of aggression. Curing the problem at this early stage is best for all parties involved.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

How to Avoid Being Attacked by a Dog

Yes, dog attacks can be avoided.

Regrettably, most media stories of dog attacks on people -- especially children -- focus on the injuries caused rather than what could and should be done to avoid such incidents in the future.

Bark Busters has compiled this information to help you avoid being bitten or seriously injured by a dog.

Most people are bitten by dogs because they misread the dog's intentions or react the wrong way when the dog approaches. Dogs have poor eyesight and, therefore, have to come very close to assess something. A dog seeing something moving past his yard will most likely bark and growl, which is his way of instilling fear in his foe; then he will run at the person. The dog needs to get very close to scent what it is, and this is when people usually get bitten. Instead of stopping and allowing the dog to sniff them, most people think the dog is trying to get close to bite them, and they kick out at the dog or run. All this does, however, is make the dog retaliate a…

When Your Doggie Scratches and Whines

Scratching or whining is your dog’s way to get what he wants, which is to come into the house. If you let him in when he whines or scratches, he will do it over and over because he has discovered “how the door works.” He learns, “I scratch, the door opens.”

This habit can be irritating, particularly if you have guests. You need to teach your dog to sit quietly outside, even with the door open, during those times when he is not invited in. This all comes through patience and repetition.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Jumping up

Jumping up is all about dog psychology.

Dogs communicate with body language. To them, height is dominance, and dogs will naturally jump up on us to test their dominance. You have probably noticed that they do this to each other, too.

Correcting this behavior will not only keep your clothes and furniture clean, but it will improve your dog’s respect for you.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Pulling on the Leash

Does your dog take YOU for a walk, dragging you at the end of the leash? You are not alone, and the solution is easier than you might think.

Your dog should walk at your side on a loose leash. You don’t want to physically hold him in place because that is tiring for you and uncomfortable for your dog. Your dog must watch and follow your leg.

Keep him close to you and give a little tug on the leash when he is not giving you focus. Praise him when he gives you focus. When you stop, he stops. When you turn, he turns without being pulled around by the leash.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.