Showing posts from December, 2013

When Your Holiday Guests Leave

All of our out of town Holiday guests left several days ago and our home is now returning back to normal.  The one thing that has not turned back to normal is Wolfie, our dog.  Although he has been perfectly house broken for several years, he is not going into the guest bedroom and going to the bathroom.  What gives?

Remember when we were little and our parents would drop us off at Uncle Bob’s and Aunt Lizzie’s for the weekend?  Uncle Bob would take us to the movies, the local amusement park, and the ice cream parlor.  Aunt Lizzie would make us our favorite goodies and we could stay up late watching all the TV our parents never let us watch. 
The funny thing is that when we got home, everything we had smelled like Aunt Lizzie’s rose peddle perfume.  Mom had to wash our clothes several times until we finally got that smell out.  Until then, we refused to wear those clothes.  They smelled “icky”.
The same thing happens when our house guests leave our home after the Holidays.  They leave …

Last Minute Tips Keeping My Dog Safe for Christmas

By now I have been given multiple tips to keep everything great for my doggie and guests during the Holidays.  I have had a few people over up to now.  The main event is about to occur.  Is there anything else I should think about now that we are finishing the tree and taking all the presents out of our closets and putting them around the tree?  EVERYONE is coming over on Christmas day, so it will be very busy and crazy.  What are my last tips?

The Holiday Season has been going on for the last few weeks, but for many of us, it is now “show time”.  Without trying to overwhelm you with an entire list of every possible thing you might experience, we would like to focus on just a few items.  These are the items that you and your dog are about to experience within the next two days.  So let’s get going: Your Christmas Tree:Decorations…Now is the time that you are finishing decorating your tree with balls and tinsel.If your dog is “ball crazy”, you could be encouraging him to “go after” your …

Stop Your Dog Nipping at Your Heals

Every time I walk past my dog, he lets me pass and then nips my heals or pant legs after I have walked by.  This is annoying and putting holes in my pants legs.  I don’t think it is right to kick him.  What should I do?

When a dog is overly playful or demanding of attention, he will try to do whatever he can to have you pay attention.  Nipping at your heals gets your attention.  You now stop doing what you were doing (walking down the hall) and turn to address his “request”.  You have now responded to your dog’s demand for attention and have submitted to his authority.
You cannot yell, hit, or scream in response to your dog’s nip.  These actions will often escalate the situation to where your dog will start to jump, bark, or even bite.  You must deescalate the situation and address the issue before it actually occurs.  You must show leadership to your dog in a consistent and repetitive manner.  Here is what you must do to correct the situation: As you approach your dog in preparation of …

Dog Safety at Home with Workmen

I am pretty sure that my dogs will be fine when friends come over, but sometimes I am not too sure that they are “happy” when we have a plumber or electrician come to fix something.  Should I keep them out so that they can “get used” to the contractor or should I put them away? You must remember the one thing that our dogs want more than anything else in the world.They want to feel safe.As their leader; their teacher; their boss; it is my top priority to make sure that they always feel safe in any situation.
Let’s first look at the situation when we have some family friends or neighbors over. These are people that I know and I have a pretty good idea how they are going to react with my dogs.  If they have been over in the past, I also have a pretty good idea how my dogs will react to them.  Are they good friends or “Oh, it’s you again”?  When I am answering the door, I am greeting them with a relaxed, safe body language.  My dogs can read this interaction and understand that I am in cha…

Make Time for Doggie!

With the Holidays upon us and all the extra things taking up my time, I just don’t have as much time to spend with Wolfie.  Is this going to cause a problem or can I just make it up by getting him a bunch of great gifts?

First thing, you can’t bribe dogs like you can bribe your kids.  Just getting Wolfie a bunch of great gifts is not going to make up for the time you are neglecting him.  Dogs are social animals and need companionship to maintain the bond between you and him that is so critical in your relationship.
When you don’t give him the time needed to maintain your relationship, your dog will start to test you to see “what he can get away with”.  Let’s say that you have taught him that it is not OK to jump on people.  He will challenge you by taking a few “test jumps” to see what will happen.  If you are distracted with guests or out of town family members, you probably won’t react to his “breaking of your rules”.  You have now shown your dog that he can start to do whatever he wa…