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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Let's Stop Digging

Please, I really don't want my dog to be the gardener!  He just keeps digging everywhere and I don't know why?  Should I just pave over the entire back yard?

The answer is No.  One of the main causes of digging in the back yard of boredom.  Let's think about it for a moment, if you were left in the back yard for a long period of time without anything to do, you would get pretty bored.  All we have to do is to replace Wolfie's boredom (leading to digging up my petunias) with something to do.  Here are two ideas that I recently offered a client with two young Rottweilers:

  • Scatter Feed:  Get a bunch of Wolfie's kibble, raw veggies, or other small pieces of food, and toss that in the back yard.  You have now created an Easter Egg Hunt for Wolfie.  All dogs love to forage and you have just created a humongous forage area.  This will keep Wolfie busy for a very long time and will provide an alternate, fun activity for him.
  • Digging Pit:  "If you can't beat them, join them!" (Not really)  Wolfie is telling us that he likes to dig, why not encourage that in a way that meets our guidelines regarding the back yard?  Find an area in the yard that you can clear of all vegetation and top soil.  Next, line the area with a border of wood (redwood or cedar planks).  Fill the area with a good helping of white sand.  Now, hide some of Wolfie's toys in the sand, exposing their tops.  Also, bury some of his favorite (smelly) treats in the digging pit.  This offers Wolfie a target rich environment in which to dig.  Why dig anywhere else when he can dig in the soft sand and find a lot of great things?
Try these two tips and you will regain your back yard and loose Wolfie as an unwanted gardener.

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

Friday, January 21, 2011

Super Sizing!

You aren't sure what I mean by "super sizing"?  Never been to McDonalds?

We Americans have been "super sizing" things for so long, it is now almost impossible to recognize when we are and aren't doing it.  "Yes, I will take the large soda and fries with my 1/3 pounder with cheese!"  What we have to understand is that we take this notion and spin it off into other parts of our lives, and Wolfie's life as well.




When we feed Wolfie, we simply fill up his dog bowl with food.  We really have no, actual idea how much he really needs.  We just assume that if we fill up the bowl, that will be fine.  Since many dogs eat and drink out of boredom, we could be creating an unhealthy opportunity that Wolfie can't pass up.  We are unknowingly making Wolfie over weight and shortening his live expectancy by years.  We don't have to put Wolfie on a diet, we simply have to make sure that he is receiving the appropriate, healthy portions on a daily basis.




The solution to this problem is very simple.  You simply have to read.....  Read the information on the dog food bag that indicates the daily recommended proportion by weight (and sometimes age).  If you give Wolfie that amount, things will be fine. 

Go and get a measuring cup for Wolfie and measure his proportion of food on a daily basis.  If you feed him twice a day, give him 1/2 of the food in the morning and 1/2 of the food in the evening.  If you use his food as treats, take that food from the measuring cup.

See, I told you that the solution was simple.  Wolfie will be healthier and live a longer life because of it!

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

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Quick Training Tip -- Walking Multiple Dogs

I have two Lab puppies and they pull me down the street!!!  I can't get them to walk correctly!!!  One is always doing something!!!

I hear this all the time and the answer is really simple.  There are too many students in the classroom.  Teaching a dog to walk is not a group activity, but a one-on-one experience.  You must be able to give Wolfie complete focus so that you can determine if Wolfie is paying attention.  If he isn't, it you your job as his teacher to instantly enable him to pay attention and walk properly.  If you have "two Wolfies" misbehaving at the same time, you won't be able to do this.  So, what do you do?

As your puppies are learning to walk properly, you will walk them individually.  This will allow you to give complete focus on the training process with each puppy on an individual basis.  Your corrections will be better timed and more consistent.  This will allow Wolfie to gain a far faster understanding of what he needs to do.  After you walk one puppy, you will walk the next. 

Once both are walking properly on an individual basis, you can then try taking them out together.  For these walks, don't go as far as you would have walked individually and also try to time them when there are minimal distractions in the neighborhood.  Also, continue the individual walks for the next few weeks to help build a transition and to provide consistency and repetition within the training process.

Follow this process and you will look just like a professional dog walker in no time!

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

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Little Trick with Potty Training

I think I am doing everything right, but my puppy still pees in the house!

I hear this many times when I am out working with my clients and their puppy's pee accidents in the house. 

A new and interesting "Plan B" came to me when I was out with a client walking their puppy.  The puppy just loved to mark everywhere.  He loved to mark so much that he ran out of pee before the walk was over.  He would still stop and lift his leg.  The funny thing was that nothing was coming out.  He ran out!


Besides all the other potty hints I have given in this blog and on my lessons, this seems like a "no brainer".  If I have a puppy with a pee problem in the house that loves to mark on walks, well get him out for a walk!

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