Showing posts from November, 2012

The ONE THING You Don't Want To Do With Your Puppy

When I get a new puppy, what is the one thing I really should remember to never do?  There are so many things to remember and I know that I will probably get things wrong for a bit.  But, what is that "drop dead thing" I should remember from the very start?

Excuse me if today's training blog seems more like a sermon than training advise, but this is the one thing that Robin and I see from time to time that is almost impossible to fix.  The terrible thing about it is that it is not the dog's fault.

The picture at the top of this article shows a little boy pulling a puppy's tail.  The puppy normally gives a little "yip" and squirms a bit.  The little boy thinks that is funny and does it over and over, day after day.  That activity might turn into throwing things at the puppy, hitting him with a toy, hiding him in a dark closet while banging the door, or poking him with a stick.  

When the puppy is small, it isn't a big deal if he barks or lunges at you, …

What To Do When Doggie Sitting a Friend's Doggie

I know that I am a "push-over", but I just agreed to doggie sit my friend's dog while he is away over Thanksgiving.  How can I make sure that Wolfie isn't going to go "Cujo" on the dog?

The good news is if Wolfie doesn't have a history of being unsociable with other dogs, you have a fighting chance of making this work.  With that said, you can't just throw them in the same room and hope for the best.  What you must do is to initially socialize the dogs and then establish boundaries (Hey!  Don't use my toothbrush!).  Here is what you do:

Before your friend's dog comes over to stay, have his dog and Wolfie meet several times in a neutral territory.  Have them both on leashes and allow them to sniff and exchange doggie pleasantries.  Take them for walks and even play catch with them.  This builds up  a social understanding between the two dogs regarding their individual levels of assertion and respect.  This is important when you bring them into …

Wolfie Seems Afraid of Me... What Can I Do?

I am not sure what it is, but Wolfie seems afraid of me.  He'll always stay away from me and never comes!  What can I do that won't make the situation worse?

Unfortunately, we see this more times that we would like.  All doggie owners try to be good doggie owners, but sometimes we just blow our stacks.  We get mad, yell & scream, and sometimes whack our "best friend".  Bad experiences can leave very strong impressions with dogs and can last a long time.

So we messed up.  What can we do to make it right with Wolfie?  

One way is to practice an exercise called "V Feeding".  This is a process where we use small treats or kibble to entice Wolfie to come to us, feel safe, and then allow him to move away.  The entire point of this exercise is that we are allowing Wolfie to feel safe the entire time.  Here is what you do:

Get some small treats (Zukes Doggie Treats are perfect) or Wolfie's kibble.Have Wolfie about eight feet away from you.  Throw a goodie to th…

Why Fluffy Goes Nuts at People in the Car

My dog, Fluffy, is the greatest dog in the world until she gets in the car.  Bark, Bark, Bark,Bark,Bark!  She barks at everyone as I drive down the street.  What gives?

I have seen this time and time again.  Here is Fluffy in her car seat.  The owner is doing the right thing by constraining her so that she won't go flying around if they had to put on the breaks.  So far so good.  So Fluffy constantly barks and drives you crazy.  That is bad.  What is the problem and how can you fix it?

...The answer is simpler than you think and the explanation is just as simple.

Dogs are always very aware of dominance and their role in the pack.  Who is the dominant one?  Who is in charge?  Look at this picture of Fluffy.  She is in her car seat that is raised off the normal seating which puts her in a raised position.  In the canine world, height is dominance.  Guess what?  We are sitting lower in your driver's seat while Fluffy is sitting high and mighty in her "dominance seat".  On …