Showing posts from July, 2011

Wolfie and Your New Baby

Wow!  I thought I had made this clear to all my clients in the past, but I stand corrected!

A client recently told me that they have a newborn baby that they put down next to their two dogs and the baby pulls their ears and pokes them in their eyes.  "Nothing bad seems to happen", so that must be OK. 

No, it is not OK.  A newborn baby is small, low to the ground, makes quick, forward motions with their hands, and squeals in a high pitch.  These are all actions that aggravate the normal dog into a point of "don't bother me".  When this occurs, the dog will first give off a low growl indicating that they are done with the interaction.

Guess what?  The newborn baby doesn't "speak dog"!  They will continue to poke and squeal and approach.  Now comes the "bad part".  When your dog sees that their verbal communication has not been successfully received, they will ramp it up to a snap.  In your dog's mind, a snap is still a passive action des…

The Summer Heat and Wolfie

I know that we have talked about playing in the pool to beat the summer heat, but what if I don't have a pool?  Wolfie wants to get outside, but what guidelines should I use?

I have already talked about pools, proper hydration, and several other topics as Wolfie and I deal with the summer heat.  The problem is that Wolfie really needs some good exercise, but in the heat, what is safe?

Wolfie needs exercise and this summer seems to be one of the hottest in recent memory.  These are two inescapable facts.  The solution is to deal with these facts in a safe way.  What I have suggested to many of my clients is to manage the times you get your dog outside.

Down here in South Florida, it is already over 80 degrees by 10AM and can get way over 90 degrees by the afternoon.  Many times, it doesn't get down to the 80's again until 6PM and doesn't drop into the 70's until 10 in the evening.  I provide the following "Play Outside" schedule for my clients:
In the Morning …

The Wee-Wee Pad (Ramp it Up)

I am trying to train my puppy to go on the wee-wee pad, but he just doesn't pay attention to it!  What gives?

The wee-wee pad was originally designed around the notion that "if it smells like a toilet, it must be a toilet".  The wee-wee pad manufacturer would put a chemical on the paper so that the pad had a slight scent of urine.  We, of course, couldn't smell it, but Wolfie could.  Sometimes, when your pup is not paying attention to the pad it is because the scent given off by the pad is not strong enough to gain his attention.

This doesn't mean that you just put down more pads.  What you need to do is to enhance the smell or "super-size the odor".  Here are three suggestions:
Many pet stores sell "urine odor enhancer sprays".  Get a bottle and spray it generously in the exact middle of Wolfie's wee-wee pad.There is an old wife's tale that the smell of beer enhances Wolfie's potty drive.  Pour a little bit of beer (careful, don'…

Keeping the Start of Your Walk Nice and Quiet

Every time Wolfie and I go out for a walk, he pulls me through the front door and down the street.  This needs to stop!  What can I do?

Many times we answer our own questions without even knowing it.  Our dogs get all excited about the walkies because we have built up the moment with distracted anticipation.  Of course they are going to go nuts when we open the door and, of course, they are going to run out the door and pull us down the streets! 

What we must do is to manage the situation before it takes place.  We must do two things to regain control of the walkies:

Break the association of "leash means walkies".
Dogs learn by "A = B".  Whenever Wolfie sees the leash, it means "walkies".  Oh boy! Oh boy!  He gets all excited and runs all around the house in celebration.  We, of course, chase him, yelling and screaming, until we catch him and get the leash on.  Can you say "adrenaline rush for Wolfie"?

We must break the "A = B".  Start put…