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Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to Get Wolfie to Eat His Kibble

I just have the hardest time to get my dog to eat his dry food.  Wet food is expensive and hard to break up with the dry food.  He just seems to pick out the wet food and still leaves the dry.  What gives?
We always had a hard time to get Wolfie to eat his dry food.  Our Vet has always told us to stay away from the wet foods because they will cause tooth decay if we didn't regularly brush Wolfie's teeth.  The one thing I didn't want to do is to spend my evenings being a dental hygienist for Wolfie.  After some thought, we came up with two, really simple answers to get Wolfie to "love" his dry food.
  • Low Sodium Chicken Broth.  You can normally get low sodium chicken broth in a box from the market.  After you put Wolfie's dry food in his bowl, pour some chicken broth on as a "light gravy".  The dry food will soak up the broth, making it moist and adding additional flavor.  Wolfie loves it!
  • Cottage Cheese.  Get some plain old cottage cheese and add a few table spoons into Wolfie's bowl with the dry food.  The cottage cheese curds and dry food easily mix together to form a constant blend of curds and kibble.  I am adding moisture and cheese and, again, Wolfie loves it.
So these are two simple and inexpensive ways to put some zip into Wolfie's meal.  Try it.  Wolfie will love you for it!  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's Raining in Wolfie's Bathroom!

Wolfie is potty trained, but he won't go outside when it is raining!  He is 75 lbs. and I am not going to try and use potty pads.  What gives?

If is was raining in your bathroom, would that be the most conducive place for you to go?  I think not.  I have had this problem with many clients and have provided them with an idea that just about always works.  Let's think about the issue facing us:
  • Wolfie has been trained to go to the bathroom outside.
  • Wolfie does not like to go to the bathroom in the rain.
The answer is simple.  When Wolfie goes outside to go to the bathroom, it never rains.  But we are in South Florida and this time of year it is always raining.  What do I do?  Here is the answer:
  • Go to Home Depot and get a few flats of grass.
  • Pick a place on your covered porch where you want Wolfie to go.
  • Put down a drop cloth that is just a little bigger than the flats of grass.
  • Put the flats of grass on the drop cloth.
  • Direct Wolfie to the flats of grass for his potty area when it is raining.
I have now removed the rain from Wolfie's bathroom.   For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wolfie in the Pantry

When I go out, Wolfie always likes to steal food from the pantry.  I close the door and tell him "No!", but he still does it.  What can I do?

The big problem is that you don't understand Wolfie's sense of "food ownership" and what the pantry represents.  In Wolfie's eyes, there is no direct ownership of food, even for the "pack leader".  If you are eating the food, it is yours.  As soon as you walk away and leave the food, it is anybody's, including Wolfie.  You go to the market, buy food, and store it in the pantry.  You then walk away, leaving the food in the pantry.  In Wolfie's eyes, you have abandoned the food and it is anybody's for the taking.

Also, you have left Wolfie with the ability to get the food.  It is unattended food in his territory.  Wolfie sees no problem to go into the pantry and pick out that nice bag of corn chips, take it to his bed, and have a party.  This is a natural instinct and is very difficult, if not impossible, to correct without a great deal of time and training.

Don't worry!  I have the answer.  As the "pack leader" of the territory, you have the ability and right to modify the territory into any form needed to maintain your pack rules.  All you have to do is to go down to the hardware store, buy a two dollar latch, and put that on your pantry's door.  Simply latch the door when you aren't actively using the pantry and Wolfie won't be able to enter that part of the territory.  Your problem is solved.  Over time, Wolfie will just stop attempting to go into the pantry.  This is because you have changed his behavior through a consistent and repetitive negative result of his attempts.

Remember, as the pack leader you can use corrections, redirections, and modifications to your territory to gain the results you require and maintain your pack rules.  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to Talk to Your Dog

I am trying to get Wolfie to sit.  I say "Sit!  Sit, Wolfie, sit!  Come on you crazy dog, put your bottom down on the ground!  OK Wolfie, now I am getting mad, SIT SIT SIT!"  He's not doing it....

Ya think so!  You have run head long into a big difference in the way we communicate and the way Wolfie communicates.  We have words, languages, punctuation, synonyms, antonyms, abbreviations, and a whole lot of other ways we verbally communicate.  We can describe the same item or action in multiple ways that we all understand and can agree upon.

Wolfie does not have "all those verbals" that we have.  Wolfie does not have the dictionary where the same word might have multiple meanings and a list of ten other words that mean the same thing.  All Wolfie has are the sounds and tones that come out of his mouth.  We might call it barking, yipping, or growling.  That is all Wolfie has when he wants to communicate verbally with other dogs, other animals, and us.

In order to verbally communicate with Wolfie, we first have to understand that words are simply sounds and for a sound to be understood, that sound can only have one, unique meaning.  For us, this could be equivalent an emergency vehicle's siren.  We hear that siren and we know that there is an emergency vehicle in our close proximity.  We look for the vehicle and make sure it can pass.  The unique sound of the siren invokes a unique response from us.

That is how Wolfie verbally communicates.  So if we want to have Wolfie sit, we must have a unique sound that will always elicit Wolfie putting his bottom on the ground.  Most people use "Sit".  This means that you will only say "Sit" once when you want him to sit.  Do not say "Sit, sit, sit, sit" because that is now a different sound. 

So remember, you must use unique sounds with Wolfie to have him understand you.   For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.