Showing posts from March, 2013

Again, Wolfie isn't Listening, What Now?

It is so strange, sometimes Wolfie seems to be listening and sometimes it is like we just aren't there!  I wish that it wasn't quite so difficult to get him to be a good dog that listens and obeys.  What could we be doing wrong? 

As dog trainers, we hear this a lot.  Many times it isn't the problem that Wolfie isn't listening, he could be intently listening, but not understanding.  From a canine behavioral standpoint, there could be many reasons for this and I would like to discuss of those in this blog article.
Dogs learn and respond through simple consistency.  This is established by setting up an environment of simple, repetitive rules and actions.  If we expect Wolfie to be off the furniture, we must never allow him on the furniture for any reason.  To take it one step further, nobody can allow him to be on the furniture.
This process extends far beyond being on my favorite sofa, it is a process that we must universally apply when telling Wolfie what he can and can no…

Separation Anxiety, How Can I Help?

Wolfie just goes nuts when I leave the house.  He barks and attempts to destroy everything.  The neighbors tell me that they think there is a "possessed being" in my house.  Is this "separation anxiety" and what can I do about it?

Separation anxiety is one of the most difficult issues to resolve in a dog's behavior.  It is brought about because of prior experiences as shelter or abused dog or lack of leadership in the current environment.  Over the coming months I will be discussing this in more detail, but, for now, let's get going on one thing we can do.

Wolfie and other dogs are very attuned to the sounds around them.  If their territory (home) sounds like everything is fine, they will feel that it is fine.  The way that they come to this conclusion is based on the "white noise" they are processing.  If they hear you doing the laundry or opening the refrigerator, everything is fine, Mommy or Daddy are home, no big deal.  If they don't hear th…

More Quick Tips When Walking Your Puppy

There are so many things I have to remember when walking my puppy.  What is a quick safety tip that I could be overlooking?

Down here in South Florida it is hot and humid most of the year.  Because of this, we have a lot of standing water and mold.  Little puppies love to sniff and lick just about anything.  The one thing you don't want them to do is to ingest mold and run the risk of stomach infections, loose stools, or even worse.  Here are a few, simple suggestions you might employ while walking your little puppy, Wolfie: Always be aware of your environment and avoid standing water or really dirty sidewalks.Walk at a brisk pace and stop only when you think it is safe for Wolfie to sniff and just be a puppy.Don't just blindly look off into the distance when you are walking.  Always keep your eye on Wolfie to make sure he is keeping his nose and mouth off the ground.Walk Wolfie on a short leash.  This takes away a great deal of the opportunity for him to get into trouble.  It a…

A Tip For Your Dog's Separation Anxiety

Every time I leave the house, Wolfie cries and barks until I come home.  What can I do so that he won't be like that?

Wolfie is experiencing separation anxiety.  When you leave he becomes anxious and will cry and bark for long periods of time.  He will pace back and forth, sometimes jumping up on the window ledges to see if you are coming home yet.  Sometimes this behavior turns destructive.  He might start chewing on the baseboards near the door or on pillows and other pieces of furniture.  In one extreme case, we saw two dalmatians actually eat their way through a wall.

There are many things you can do about this.  For now, I would like to offer one of the suggestions I provide my clients having this problem.

Separation anxiety many times starts with anticipation.  When Wolfie has the ability to anticipate our departure and his solidarity, it builds up the adrenaline and can make the matter even worse.  What we must do is to eliminate Wolfie's anticipation of our departure.

We a…

Your New Puppy & Pool Safety

I just got a new puppy and I want to make sure he is safe in the back yard.  What sort of things should I do to make sure he is OK around the pool?

The first thing that I always tell my clients is that their dog doesn't have to love the pool, he just needs to know how to get out of the pool if he ever falls in.

We have to remember that dogs still have that innate canine mentality and perspective.  To them, the pool is the same thing as a lake or stream.  The bank is sloped and they have the ability to walk out anywhere along it.  Unfortunately, a "pool's bank" is a straight wall.  You can not easily get out where ever you want.  There is usually only one or two places where you can easily exit a pool.  Since Wolfie doesn't understand this, he will be splashing and clawing at the pool's side, never being able to get out.  He will eventually tire and possibly drown.

What we must do is to train Wolfie how to locate the exits to the pool and what he must do to get o…