Showing posts from October, 2012

How to Safely Deter Wolfie from Chewing, Nipping, Mouthing, etc.

Wolfie just had some surgery and the Vet told me that he isn't allowed to lick or chew at his stitches.  I tried that funny "cone collar thing", but it just drives him nuts.  What else can I do that I can keep on him, protect the stitches, and not drive him nuts? 

We recommend the Italian Basket Muzzle.  "Muzzle!  Muzzle! Are you nuts?!  I would never muzzle my dog!"  I can hear some of you saying that right now.  That is because most people are only familiar with the standard nylon dog muzzle.  This muzzle covers the dog's nose like a straight jacket.  The dog can barely pant, bark, drink water, etc.  If left on too long in a warm environment, it can cause the dog to overheat, dehydrate, and possibly die.

The only thing in common between the nylon dog muzzle and Italian Basket Muzzle is that they both have the word "muzzle" in their names.  The Italian Basket Muzzle does not constrain the dog's nose in any way.  He can still pant, bark, drink w…

Quick Tips on Doggie Allergies

Wolfie was scratching and chewing himself and I knew it wasn't fleas.  A friend of ours  mentioned that he might have some skin allergies and suggested to feed him grain-free food.  I gave it a shot and he is still scratching.  What next?

I first want to make it quite clear that I am not as qualified as my Veterinarian to diagnose solutions for skin allergies and the like.  I simply want to pass on some information that my Vet told me to "try first".  

The "quick and dirty" and inexpensive solution for canine skin allergies is to switch to a grain-free food.  Many times this will solve the problem and won't incur large medical expenses.  The one thing we forget when we switch to a grain-free food is the "hidden grain" that might still remain.  A local natural dog food supplier recently provided us with an epiphany that makes perfect sense.  

When you switch to a grain-free dog food, make sure that chicken is not the meat in the food.  For most chicke…

Wolfie is Eating His Doggie Bed

I think that my dog, Wolfie, has probably eaten his weight in doggie beds!  He never does it in front of me, but he just chomps on it at night or when I am away.  I don't want to take his bed away from him.  What would he sleep on?

In my early days of dog training, I wrestled with this question time and time again.  I came up with some interesting answers and scenarios I asked my clients to try.  The results were hit and miss...

Several years ago, I had one of those "Oh my gosh" moments about dogs eating their dog beds when we weren't around to let them know it was wrong.  The first thing to remember is that dogs don't need a nice fluffy bed to lie on to fall asleep.  Look outside.  Wolfie is sleeping on the cement patio or on the rocks under the tree.  They love to sleep on the cool tile during the hot days of summer.  So, our first "truism"  is that we don't need to give Wolfie a bed.

Next, we have to understand that dogs build behaviors through repe…

The "Mad Dash" at the Start of the Walkies

I know that I am probably doing something wrong, but when I take Wolfie out for a walk, he is already crazy because all my other dogs are barking and jumping.  It takes all I can to hold him to get the front door open.  Then he bolts out and the rest of the walk is nuts!

I was out at a client a few weeks ago that I hadn't seen for over a year.  She told me that the reason she hadn't called me for so long was that everything with the training had been great, but that her dog recently started to go nuts anytime he would go for a walk.  This started to happen when they added a new dog to the pack (they now have 5 dogs!).  The new dog had a tendency to get the other dogs crazy and it always happened when a "walkies" was involved.

The problem was really quite simple.  Her dog was at full adrenaline as soon as the door was open and she couldn't regain focus of her dog to maintain the control needed for the walk.  We had to set up a new "exit strategy" that allo…

I Want Wolfie to Stop Jumping on My Friends

I just don't get it.  Wolfie seems to be such a good dog, but I can't keep him from jumping on my guests every time they come in the front door.  It was cute when he was a puppy, but now he is over 100 lbs.  What gives?

This is a classic "annoying problem" that, unfortunately, we bring on ourselves.  It is so great when you get your little puppy.  They are so full of life and just wanting affection all day long.  We have them jump on us and we give them hugs, chase them around the room, play with them when they bring us toys, pet them when they nudge our hands, and a whole lot of other "puppy things".

The problem is that we are now socializing them to particular behaviors.  We are teaching them how to jump, chase, and demand attention.  The problem is that Wolfie learns in a very black and white method.  If we teach him to jump, it is OK to jump on everybody all the time.  If we teach him to demand attention, he can demand attention from everybody all the tim…