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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bark Busters Offers Tips for Guests at the Door

Bark Bark Bark.... Jump Jump Jump.... Crazy Crazy Crazy!!!! After our guests ring the door bell, this is what we hear next. I don't think this is part of your door bell chime!
Most dogs are always excited when new people are coming into the house. We really don't want to eliminate this behavior because it can also act as a defensive/protective mechanism. What we do want to do (at least I do) is to not be embarrassed when anyone enters our house because they are constantly attacked by my doggies. The best way to accomplish this is to nip it at the bud. Here are some tips:
  • If you know that you will be having guests, put your dog(s) on a leash. As their arrival time approaches, make sure that they are fully engaged with toys or other distractions.
  • If you are in a community where you receive a phone call before your guest's arrival, grab your dog's leash a few moments after you have "beeped your guest in".
  • If you are in a community where your guests need no security check. Be sure that you are near your dog(s) around the time of your guests arrival. You can also keep them in the room with you until you hear the door bell. As soon as the door bell rings, take your dogs by the leash.
  • Now, your guest is at the front door. Calmly walk to the door with your dogs. Have them sit before you open the door.
  • Open the door and greet your guest. If your dogs start to jump or move, correct them and have them sit again.
  • If your dogs become too hyper, walk them ten or fifteen feet away and then return to your guest and have them sit.
  • Have a short conversation with your guest ("How was the traffic?, Did you have any problem finding the place?", etc.)
  • Now, walk with your dogs and your guest to where you will be spending your time. If the dogs seem to be calm (minimized adrenaline), drop the leashes.
  • If your dogs begin to jump, bark, or just go crazy, pick up the leashes and walk them around until they become calm. Then, simply drop the leashes.
What you are teaching your dogs is to be calm when you are meeting guests. The leash serves as a simple, non-physical training aid to for you to direct your dogs to make the right decision. It also allows you to be consistent in your direction of them.
As your dogs become "more polite" around arriving guests, still keep the leashes on them, but don't hold the leashes. This gives you a "backup option" if they start to get out of control. It also takes you to the next step of observing them to see if "they really got it".
What you have just done is to use body language and canine training techniques to easily direct your dogs in a way that they understand.

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Grooming Tip

Here is a little tip if you doggie always gets the "wiggles" when you are trying to groom him. I used it with a client with great results...

When you are getting ready to groom, I would suggest that you get your dog at a height that is comfortable for you. If you will have to be bending or stretching, that will divert your attention and give your dog the opportunity to move or leave. Also, make sure that you have all your items (brushes, scissors, etc.) within easy reach.

Now, bring your dog in and place him in the "grooming place". Have him on a leash. Now (here is the great little trick) have a smelly little goodie hidden in your left hand. Hold the leash a few inches away from your dog with the smelly little goodie hidden in your palm. Your dog is now secure and focused on the smelly little goodie and you can now "groom in peace".

After you have finished grooming, place the smelly little goodie on the ground in front of your dog and let him have it. Give this a try. As I said earlier, I used this with one of our clients and it worked like a charm!

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

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summertime and Outside Activities

It is only mid May and already into the mid 90's! Summer is going to be HOT this year!

Now that it is getting into South Florida's "hotter season", we have to be careful when we take him outside to play or for his normal walk. Dehydration and overexertion can easily set in far faster now than in the Winter months. Here are a few guidelines to follow for the Summer season:

  • If possible, only take your dog out in the early morning hours or in the evening. Even at these times, limit their outside time to about 45 minutes.
  • If you must take your dog out during the heat of the day, limit their outside time to no more than 15 minutes.
  • Always try to keep in the shade.
  • Allow your dog to walk on the grass and not the sidewalk or street. Think of how hot those surfaces have become. Don't believe me? Next time you are out in the heat of the day, take your shoes off and walk on the sidewalk and street. That is what your dog is experiencing!
  • Take plenty of water with you along with a collapsible dogie bowl. Stop often and offer him a drink.
  • If you see your dog start to slow down, it is time to come inside.
  • When you come inside, stay with your dog for 10 to 15 minutes just to make sure he had not become overheated.
Remember the old saying "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun". If you must, take precautions. If you go out in the cooler times of the day, remember that we are still in South Florida and our cool can be other peoples' hot.

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

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Potty Training and Food Management

Don't you just love it when there is a free buffet? Guess what? Your little puppy loves it too...

One of the most prevalent mistakes that our clients make when potty training their puppy is food management. They leave the puppy's food and water down all day long and then they wonder why the puppy is always going to the bathroom at indiscriminate times.

Except for health reasons (consult your vet) or hydration reasons (hot, exuberant play inside or out), your puppy does need to have their food and water down all day long. If you really think your puppy needs extra water, leave 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in their water bowl during the day.

Many times a puppy will drink or eat out of boredom.

"I have nothing to do. Look! There is a bowl of water! I think I will wonder over there and have some water..."

This leads to the puppy over eating and over drinking. They will go to the bathroom more frequently with less predictability.

Put the food and water down at meal time and then pick it up when the meal is done. I normally like to leave the bowls down for about 30 minutes. This will allow you to clearly manage the amount of intake and the time of intake.

If we now know when our puppy eats, we can determine when he has to go to the bathroom. Success!!

Please note: This is only part of the Potty Training process, contact your local Bark Buster for additional, complete information.

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