Showing posts from April, 2013

Can I Give Wolfie Too Much Affection?

I am always petting Wolfie, picking him up, giving him hugs & kisses, talking to him in a high, baby voice...  Is that ok?

As dog trainers, we are asked this question a lot.  Sometimes we aren't asked this question and have to instruct our clients on the errors of their ways.  Simply put, it is possible to give your dog too much love and affection.  The problem comes down to the differences between humans and their canine companions.

As people, we love affection.  We love it when people say good things about us, we are always in need of a hug.  We comfort our small children when we are leaving with a high pitched "Oh, don't worry, daddy will be right back".  In some countries, it is custom to give kisses on the the cheeks when greeting.  Since Wolfie is so cute and cuddly, we naturally pour the hugs and kisses on him.

This is absolutely the wrong thing to do.  When we give Wolfie too much hugs and kisses, we are sending him a signal that we may not be the strong lea…

Is It OK For Wolfie To Be In Bed With Me?

I hear all these different things about having Wolfie on the bed with me or it is bad having him on the bed with me.  I would really like him to sleep with me, but would that be sending some sort of bad message?

As dog trainers, we hear this kind of question all the time with all sorts of home grown explanations regarding pro's and con's to your dog being on the bed.  The bottom line is it is up to you.  If you don't want him on the bed, you will have a standing rule that Wolfie is not allowed on the bed.  Every time he attempts to get on the bed, you will correct him and guide him off.  
If you would like to have Wolfie on the bed with you, you should take the following items into consideration: If Wolfie is currently showing signs of aggression or heightened dominance, you should not allow him on the bed until he has been properly trained to minimize or eliminate these traits.If Wolfie is still undergoing potty training, he should not be allowed on the bed.  Even if he has …

What Happens When Wolfie Won't Come to Me in The Back Yard?

It always happens that when ever I need to get Wolfie in from the back yard, he never comes.  I really think it is a game to see how long he can stay away from me and he finally goes in the house when he is fully amused...

See Wolfie way back there?  There is no way that I am getting him in the house any time soon...

The best solution to this is to teach Wolfie to "come".  The only problem is that is going to take you about five weeks to get him to come to you every time you tell him.  We need something now to get him in while he is in "come school".  

Let's first understand what is really happening with you and Wolfie and then find a temporary solution.  You walk outside and yell "come" to Wolfie.  He doesn't understand what that means, but you have gained his attention.  You yell "come" again and become more animated.  He still stares at you, finding you an amusing distraction.  You now become agitated and approach him quickly.  Now Wolfi…

How Do I Get Wolfie to Stop Nipping My Pants?

It is always so annoying to be walking down a hallway and all of s sudden have Wolfie pulling on your pants or nipping your shoes.  Just shaking him off only seems to make him want to do it more!  I don't want to kick him.  What can I do?

We need to understand why Wolfie is doing this and what we must do to let him know that it is wrong.  

Wolfie is always trying to understand what we want from him and what the rules for the group are.  The main way that he accomplishes this is through body language.  Wolfie does not have words and sentences, so his main form of communication are the nuances of stance and movement from body language.  With this in mind, let's see what we are telling Wolfie when we pass him and walk down the hall.

As we approach Wolfie, we are facing him.  Facing another animal is a natural act of dominance.  We are telling Wolfie "I am the boss.  I am in charge.  Obey me."  This is all fine and dandy until we pass him.  

Now we are walking away and Wolfi…