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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Crate Training, A Den within a Den (Part 1)

This is going to be the first of three tips discussing Crate Training. Please stay tuned for more after this...

Your dog thinks of your home as his den. For many dogs, a house or apartment is too large and can be the source of unwanted stress and confusion.
A dog that is properly introduced to a crate will view it as his or her own sanctuary.

Some important points:

  • A crate should not be considered a substitute for training and supervised.
  • A dog should not be crated for longer than 4 – 8 hours depending on age and bladder size and strength.
  • A crate should be only large enough for a dog to stand up, lay down comfortably and turn around.
  • A crate should never be used as punishment.

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

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Introducing Dogs

Sometimes is is very stressful when a friend comes over with their dog and the entire afternoon is made up of "bark, bark, bark"!

The most important point to remember when you are introducing two or more dogs is that it must be done slowly and on their terms. If you are too fast or push them, it just might put them in a fearful or aggressive situation that could lead to an unfortunate incident.

When you are having a friend with their dog come over and visit you and your dog, here is what you do:
  • Have your friend stay outside in the front lawn with their dog on a leash.
  • You and your dog slowly approach.
  • If you see any aggression, barking, or jumping, correct them immediately.
  • Stop when you are about six feet away from the other dog.
  • At this point, (under a very watchful eye and good grip on the leash), let your dog approach calmly and slowly towards the other dog. Only allow calm movements and correct jumping/barking/growling immediately.
  • When they have accepted each other, have your friend and their dog go inside your house and stand in the middle of the room.
  • You now enter and repeat the above process.
  • Keep both dogs on a leash under your care for at least the next thirty minutes.
Keeping the introduction slow and deliberate will make for a happy afternoon for all!

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

Monday, January 18, 2010

Walking your Doggie --- What is YOUR Job?

When we take our dog for a walk, our job is much more than just holding the leash!

When we are out and about and walking Rover, it is very important that we let Rover know he is safe. Just when we were little kids and looked to our parents to keep us safe when we were at the mall, in a restaurant, or on the street, we must do the same thing with Rover. Because of this, our job is a lot bigger than we might think when we are out for a walk.

Here are some tips for your walk:
  • Keep Rover next to you when you walk. This will let him see that you are there and that he doesn't have to worry about things.
  • Always scan ahead of you. Look for squirrels, people, other dogs, kids on bikes, etc. You must be the radar to locate anything that might frighten or startle Rover.
  • If you locate a problem ahead, be prepared to let Rover know that you will protect him or redirect him so that the distraction is minimized.
  • If you miss a fearful distraction and Rover begins to bark/pull, turn around and walk in a direction away from the distraction until he calms down. Then walk to a quiet area until the fearful distraction passes.
  • Pick routes that naturally don't have as many fearful distractions for Rover. We want to make the walk pleasant and to help strengthen Rover's understanding that you are the leader and the person keeping him safe.
Remember, like the pilot of an airplane, you want to get your passengers to their location happy, safe, and sound. Following these few tips will go a long way to making "walkies" a fun and happy time for you and Rover.

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

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A New Idea for Potty Training

There is no one silver bullet to resolve "potty training failures". I simply want to provide you with multiple ideas to help you resolve the problem.

Today I want to talk about our dog's natural instinct not to go to the bathroom where they eat. (In our houses, we normally don't have the master bathroom next to the kitchen!)

When you find your doggie going to the bathroom in a particular place in your house, you need to discourage this behavior. You can easily do this by invoking the rule of "You don't potty where you eat". To accomplich this, you can do two things:
  • SCATTER FEED: Take raw vegitables or kibble that your doggie enjoys eating and throw that on the area where you doggide is going to the bathroom.
  • DIRECT FEED: Put your diggie's food bowl in the exact area where he is going to the bathroom.
Both of these actions will instill in your puppy that "This is the place where I get my goodiies. I don't want to poopie here! Where should I poopie?"

That is where our potty training will continue...

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

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Approaching a Dog

Here is a training tip especially for you!

You are walking down the street and you see the cutest dog and you really want to see him and pet him. You walk right up to him, bend over and pet him on the head. WRONG! Never, never do that! You may not know it, but the cute doggie that you want to pet might believe that you are being aggressive. You have put him in a "fight or flight" mode. Since he is on a leash, the "flight option" is off the table. You will probably be bitten!

With that said, let's tell you what you should do.

Let's rewind the tape...

You are walking down the street and you see the cutest dog and you really want to see him and pet him. You ask the owner if the dog is friendly and if it would be OK to pet him. You ask the owner to approach you with the dog. Stay calm and still and keep your hands by your side.

As the owner and their dog approaches, make note if the dog begins to pull back on the leash or begins to look agitated. If this occurs, you aren't petting that dog today.

Let the dog approach you on his terms. Let him sniff you and always face him. Once the dog seems at ease, slightly crouch, being careful not to place yourself over the dog. Slowly move your hand near the dog until you can pet him under his chin, on his neck.

When you are done petting him, stand up by moving away from him. You do not want to place yourself over the dog as you stand.

This will keep you and that cute doggie you want to pet happy, safe, and bite-free!

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

Sunday, January 3, 2010

When Your Doggie Eats their Doggie Bed

Sometimes the best training tips aren't training tips at all!

That is not the entire case here, but today's discussion also highlights how dog owners are human. When your doggie eats their doggie bed, the normal thing that you do is to run out and buy a new bed and hope he doesn't eat the next bed as well. Guess what, he normally does!

First of all, let's look at our doggie's habits for a second. He likes to lie in the grass and/or dirt in the back yard. He sleeps on the tile floor next to the window in the kitchen. He lies next to you on the carpet when you are watching TV. None of these are soft places and yet, he has no problem sleeping on them.

Why do we give our doggie a bed when we want him to sleep at night? Since we (humans) sleep in beds, we think that our doggie (canine) needs a bed too. The answer is that our dog does not need a doggie bed to get a good night's sleep.

So the answer to your dog chewing up his doggie bed? Take the doggie bed away. Don't worry, your dog will be fine and you won't keep finding all that white stuffing all over your floor.

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