View this blog on your Mobile Device. Click here.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dog Training Tips to Eliminate Your Dog’s Boredom and Bad Behavior

Minimize your dog’s bad behavior because he is bored

I was at a training session in Plantation yesterday and they were telling me that their dog just can’t sit still and is always bugging them.  I asked my client what was going on before this bad behavior began and he said, “Nothing, I might be working on my computer for a while and my dog is over in the corner.  He seems fine, just staring at me or looking out the window.  All of a sudden, he gets up and starts nudging me and whining.”

Dog Training in PlantationFlorida

The reason that I am bringing this up in my blog today is because it is a situation that I have heard many times over my years of dog training.  Let’s not focus on the obvious issue of bad behavior, but why your dog started that bad behavior.  He was sitting by himself with nothing to do for a long time and finally said, “This is enough”.  Without anything else to engage, he comes to you to break his boredom.

If you are busy, you don’t have the time to work on that bond.  You must think of another way to eliminate that boredom that eventually causes the inappropriate situation requiring action that you cannot supply at the time.  You must set up a scenario where the boredom does not have a chance to become established.

Here are some suggestions for keeping your canine companion entertained and out of mischief.
  •  Empty 12 Oz. Water Bottle:  These are the greatest.  The next time you finish with some bottled water, don’t throw the bottle away.  Take off the cap, the ring around the cap, and the paper.  Give it your dog.  They love the tactile feel of crunching the bottle and the sound that it makes.  The sound isn’t that loud, so it won’t bother you and it isn’t heavy, so it won’t hurt the walls if your dog bounces it off a wall or window.  Most dogs will play with the water bottle for yours.  When it starts to get a little worn out, simply switch bottles.  Free, quick, and easy!
  • Scatter Feeding: Turn feeding into a treasure hunt. Scatter a variety of foods (such as whole carrots, peas, broccoli, beans, celery, and apples) around an area. This gives your dog something to forage for as well as some nutritious food to chew on (rather than your furniture. Please remember that you shouldn’t use raisins or grapes because these are very harmful to your dog.  Please check out our Dog Poisons for more information.
  • Buster Cube: This award-winning dog toy is a great distraction. Fill the toy with dry kibble or other goodies. As your dog rolls it around on the ground, the kibble falls out from multiple compartments. This motivates your dog work for his food, keeping a brain-active dog busy for hours.
  • Kong Toys: This durable rubber toy has a hollow center that can be stuffed with goodies such as kibble, dried liver, cheese, or peanut butter. I recommend that you use unsalted peanut butter.  Cover the Kong Toy hole without filling the entire toy.  Your dog won’t be able to get the food all the way in the back and may become frustrated.  Now, freeze the toy. Your dog now has a “Kongsicle”.  Get several Kongs so you can simply rotate them from your dog to the freezer.  One more note, Kong Toys are all made in the USA.  No part from any of their toys is made in China.

All you have done here is to proactively give your dog something to do to eliminate or extend the time before he becomes bored.  This allows you to get the things you need to accomplish in peace and quiet.  Please remember that this is not a replacement for play time with you.  To maintain your relationship, interactive play time is very important also.  If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us at The Best Dog Trainers in Plantation and South Florida.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dog Training Tips for the Type of Food You Can Give Your Dog

Is there a problem with giving my dog part of my Big Mac? 
I was at a dog training revisit session with some clients in Parkland the other day and they had a very interesting question regarding giving their dog “people food”.  I am asked this question all the time.  My first question is "what is people food"?

Dog Training Parkland Florida

I can make myself a chicken sandwich, have some soup with peas and carrots, eat some brown rice, and have some nachos with corn chips.  Is this "people food"?

I can look on the side panel of my dog’s food bag and see most of the same ingredients right there. 

So, it seems that dog food and people food are the same food!  Since all food is the same, we can’t discuss the dichotomy of people food versus dog food.  We must ponder a new question.  What we really should be asking ourselves regarding food is "How should we present our dog's food to him"?

The answer is simple.  We can give our dog any type of food that we want to give him, as long as it is in a bowl we present to him at a location away from the place that we normally eat.  This assures that he sees us as presenting him with his food.  It is his food because we have made it his food. 

Wow!  That was simple.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in Parkland Florida and all of South Florida

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dog Training Tips to Have Your Dog Listen in the Back Yard

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

We were at a dog training session in Coral Springs yesterday and our client had a great question that we wanted to share with everyone.  “It always happens that whenever I need to get my dog in from the back yard, he never comes.  I really think he sees it as a game and finds it fun to run and have me chase him…”


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

The best solution is really simple.  What you must do is to teach (or re-teach) your dog to “come”.  This, like any learned action, will take about five weeks of continual work.  This is great, but you need something to get him back in the house between now and then.

Let's first understand what is really happening with you and your dog and then find a temporary solution.  

Right now, I bet here is what you are doing.  You walk outside and yell "come".  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.  By now you are really mad.  You start yelling at him and walk towards him (thinking he will stay still for you to get him). Your dog sees that we are in a game of "follow the leader".  He starts running, you chase him, and he runs faster.

As you can see, this is a losing battle that you just can't win.  So what do you need to do to get him in the house if he doesn't understand "come"?  You must find a way where you will remain calm, disengaging, and not directly approaching nim.  If you do this, you will not be "telling" Wolfie that you want to play.

Here is what you do:  (I really love this little trick!)
  • Put a long leash or rope on your dog when he is outside.  Let him run around with it so that he becomes used to it.  You want him to think it is normal and not pay attention to it.
  • When you want to get him in the house, be very calm and slowly approach the end of the leash or rope.  The point here is that you are moving towards a point that is not near him. 
  • You are not directly approaching him so you are not sending the "play" signal to him.
  • If he begins to run, do not get crazy and chase him.  Continue to calmly follow the end of the leash or rope..
  • If you need to, stand still for a moment.  Since your dog is in a “play more”, he might approach you to encourage you to join in the chase.  When he does this, he will bring the leash to you.
  • Once you are at the end of the leash or rope, simply put your foot on it.  Now you have him.
  • Pick it up (keeping your foot on it until you have it firmly in your hand).
  • Give your dog the "come" command and give the leash a little tug until he is at your side.
  • Give him the "walkies" command and calmly walk him back to the house.

Give it a try and I am sure you will love it.  For more information, please contact us at The Best Dog Trainers in Coral Springs Florida and South Florida.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dog Training Tips on Canine Communication

I am doing everything I can to get my dog to sit.  I say "Sit!  Sit,sit you crazy dog, sit! Just humor me this one time and put your rear on the ground!  This isn’t funny anymore, now I am getting mad, SIT SIT SIT!"  It’s just not happening....


So how was that for you?  You have run head long into a big difference in the way humans communicate and the way dogs communicate.  We have words, languages, punctuation, antonyms, synonyms, slang, accents, and other ways we verbally communicate.  Multiple people can look at the same thing and describe it using different words and we all can understand exactly what that thing might look like.

Our dog does not have the multiple communication choices that we have.  He does not have a dictionary where the same word might have multiple meanings and a list of other words that mean the same thing.  All he has are the sounds and tones that come out of his mouth.  We might call it whining, growling, or barking.  Those are all the tools that he has when he wants to verbally communicate to other animals.

In order to verbally communicate with our dog, we first have to understand that words are simply sounds to him.  If we want him to understand those sounds, they must be unique, with only one meaning.  For us, this could be equivalent an emergency vehicle's siren.  We hear that siren and we know that there is an emergency vehicle nearby.  We look for the vehicle, pull over, and let it by.  The unique sound of the siren invokes a unique response from us.

That is how our dog verbally communicates.  If we want to have our dog sit, we must have a unique sound that whenever he hears it, he always sits.  Most people use "Sit".  And, by the way, "Sit, sit, sit, sit" is a different sound than “sit”.  

So remember, you must use unique sounds with your dog to have him understand you.  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.