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Friday, April 30, 2010

How to Avoid Dog Bites (Part 2 of 2)

Here is Part Two of our training tips to avoid being bitten.

In this blog, I want to talk about what to do (and not to do) for parents. All of this stuff might seem obvious, but you can't believe how many times we have been called out because the family dog has bitten because of one of these tips not being observed. Let's get you on the right track:

Safety Tips for Parents


  • Never leave a young child or baby alone with any dog.
  • Never allow your young child to discipline a dog.
  • Never allow your child to feed or walk a dog unsupervised.
  • Never allow your child to pull on a dog’s collar, ears or tail.
  • Never allow your child to play aggressive games (like wrestling) with any dog.
  • Never allow your child to pet a dog that is in someone else’s car or truck.
Our whole focus is on safety, both for you and your dog.

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

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How to Avoid Dog Bites (Part 1 of 2)

I bet everyone has either been bitten or put in a situation where you might be bitten at least once in your life. It doesn't have to be that way...

Here is Part One of our training tips to avoid being bitten. In this blog, I want to talk about what to do (and not to do) when a dog approaches. Believe it or not, many times WE cause the bite to take place. Let's get you on the right track:

  • Don’t turn and run—dogs naturally love to chase and catch things.
  • Stand still, with your hands at your sides. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat.
  • Don’t put your hand out—just allow the dog to approach you to sniff you.
  • Don't scream. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly.
  • Face the dog at all times, but don’t stare. Avoid eye contact.
  • Back away slowly, watching the dog from the corner of your eye, until the dog is out of sight.
Some of these tips might appear difficult to accomplish (like not moving), but they work. I have used them many times and still have my fingers and toes.

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

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some Tips for the Vet's Office (Part 2 of 2)

Last time, we talked about being safe in getting to the Vet's Office and being in the Waiting Room. Now we are ready to get to the Examination Room...

The Examination Room offers new challenges for us because it is normally a very confined area. This heightens the speed at which "Fight or Flight" might occur. Here are a few tips to make sure that ensure a safe and happy experience for all:

  • If at all possible, you should put your dog on the examination table. You are the best to know if there are any "ouches" that your dog doesn't like touched and you are already a familiar figure who should have no problem in approaching and raising them to the table.
  • Never show agitation or fear. Whether you are the "Alpha" or not, this will heighten the adrenalin and reactive tendencies within our pooch. If the Vet Tech needs to give your dog a shot or draw blood, do not show emotion (i.e. sorrow that it might hurt them). If you think that you might, ask to leave the room for that moment.
  • Always obey the instructions of the Vet Tech. They "do this all the time" and all they are trying to accomplish is to finish the procedure while providing a safe and happy experience for your doggie (i.e. not being bitten).
  • Always stand tall and face your dog while in the examination room. This shows dominance and will give them a sense of security and safety.
  • If anything happens in the examination room that you are unsure of, ask your Vet to explain what is happening so that you can maintain your confidence that you are providing your doggie with a safe and happy experience.
I hope that you can start to see a trend here. If we can associate the Vet's Office with "everything is OK", that will minimize any possibility of heightened fear that could lead to aggressive actions. As the "Leaders of the Pack", that is our job.

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

Friday, April 9, 2010

Some Tips for the Vet's Office (Part 1 of 2)

Sometimes going to the Vet's Office can be a real pain. It doesn't have to be that way...

Today I want to give you some tips on entering the office and being in the waiting room. Here are some tips:
  • If your dog's feeding schedule falls before you go to the office, try and feed him at least an hour before your visit. Since this can be a very nervous time for your dog, you want to minimize "mistakes" in the waiting room or (even worse) the examination room.
  • Make sure you have a good collar and strong leash. You don't want your dog to get away from you.
  • On the drive to the Vet's office, be sure that you have your dog secure with a seat belt devise so that he won't become airborne if you have to quickly apply your breaks.
  • As you approach the waiting room, open the door and look in to see the dogs and owners currently waiting. If the waiting room is crowded, you might tell the receptionist that you are there and that you will wait outside until the number of dogs and owners in the waiting room declines.
  • Once you are inside, always keep your dog next to you. Don't let him "wander" on a loose leash to sniff or bark at the other dogs. This could lead to nipping or a dog fight.
  • Try to take a seat where you can see the door to evaluate new dogs and owners entering the office. Don't sit in a corner where you might be "trapped" if an aggressive dog approaches.
  • Keep your dog's focus on you. You are the leader and you will be the one keeping him safe.
  • If you see an owner who is "out of control" with their dog, ask one of the Vet Techs to assist them. There is probably an Office Policy that already outlines this.
  • When it is your turn to go to the examination room, walk your dog next to you in a deliberate manner.
  • Last thing... If your dog is fearful or shows signs of aggression while at the Vet's Office, you might ask that when you come to the office, you enter by a side door so that you won't interact with the other dogs/owners and so the Vet Tech can give you and your dog more complete and immediate focus.
For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Toys and Training (Part 2 of 2)

My dog is acting somewhat aggressive. What is going on?

Our dogs sometimes act aggressive, just out of the blue, and we have no idea why. Well, there can be many answers. Let me give you just one of them.

Don't you love it whey your doggie takes the squeakie toy, growls at it, shakes it in his mouth, barks at it, and then tries to rip it apart? That is so much fun to watch and many times it is just really funny. Do you have any idea what is going through your dog's mind when that is going on?

Let me give you a little hint. The squeak that the toy is making emulates the sound of a wounded or dying animal. You have thrown this "animal" to your pup and given him the "thumbs-up" to maim or kill it. Does that sound aggressive to you? (I hope so...)

In continuing this, you are promoting aggressive behavior and providing a repetition that is part of the dog's natural learning process. You must limit or eliminate all squeakie toys and replace them with toys that otherwise stimulate your pup's mind and directs his focus in a manner that is acceptable to you.

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