bad behaviour

Anxiety in Dogs

iStock-August 09, 2008Dogs have different personalities. It really depends on the breed or the dog’s family history. From being a puppy to an adult dog, they are accompanied by their human masters. The dog’s everyday routine is usually dependent on their master’s lifestyle.    However, some dogs experience anxiety that almost comes instantly when they are left alone.  If they are left alone, these dogs can become destructive, which is their means of expressing frustration or loneliness.  This is called separation anxiety in dogs.  Dogs can become restless and bored, and if they see that their master is not around, they may go out to chew on anything that they can get their paws on – from slippers, to furniture, to other objects found in the house.

Chewing on certain objects that has the master’s smell (socks, shoe, the sofa, or even the door) is one of the many symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs. Other symptoms to watch out for are continuous barking, uncontrolled “pooping”, and various ways to get master’s attention.    Probable causes for such behavior often include dogs that were not properly socialized or dogs that have been living in different homes. With this in mind, owners should take a second look at their dogs and see if they exhibit such behavior. This will give them an idea if their dog might be suffering from separation anxiety.

Dealing with separation anxiety in dogs can be serious if not threatening for your carpet or sofa. Begin with a no “goodbye” technique.  Owners should not give their dogs any hugs before they leave the home.   This will only make the dog long for more attention from the owner. Another tip would be to leave some toys or goodies that will help your dog consume its time and take its attention away from its anxiety.

Great Tips For Getting Your Dog Toilet Trained

123RF-17245805_sOne of the toughest jobs that a family faces when a new puppy comes home is getting the dog housebroken. Here are some tips that will help:

When to House Train

A dog can be toilet trained at any age, but the best age to begin is between eight and twelve weeks old. If you set up a housebreaking routine as soon as you bring your puppy home, before long he will get the idea of where to do his business. A crate is a great tool for toilet training a puppy. It keeps him confined when there is no supervision and most dogs learn quickly that if they make it in their crate they will have to sit in it. Most dogs are fairly hygienic and won’t enjoy having to sit in dog doody or urine.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Keeping a close eye on your puppy is a key factor in getting him properly housetrained. Whenever you see that he is sniffing, circling or beginning to squat, immediately take him outside to the place where you want him to go and see if he eliminates. If he does, praise him lavishly. A good idea is to have a cue, such as “hurry up” so that your puppy knows what you want him to do. When he is going to the bathroom repeat the cue and then give your dog lots of praise for a job well done. It is better to take the dog out and nothing happens then to take a chance of an accident happening.

Have a Schedule

Feeding, watering and walking your dog on a regular schedule will make housebreaking that much easier. Puppies are like children and they thrive on a routine. Try and take the dog out around the same time every day so they will be able to adjust their bodily functions. The first thing you should do in the morning is take the puppy from the crate and don’t let his feet touch the ground. Bring him to the place where you want him to go, give the cue, and praise upon a successful completion. Take your puppy out at least every two hours, after eating or drinking and especially after play. Before you know it, your puppy will be letting you know it is time to go out and do his business.

Don’t Let the Puppy Roam

Letting your puppy roam around the house is a sure fire way to have accidents. If you have decided you don’t want to use a crate, and even if you do use one, confining the dog to certain areas of the house can make housetraining easier for everyone. It is difficult to keep track of a puppy when he has the run of the house, but if you gate him in the kitchen, he will still be able to be part of the action and can be better supervised in case of an accident.

Don’t Get Discouraged

There will be times when you first begin housetraining that you feel your pup is just not getting it. He may occasionally have accidents in the house. There is no need to be discouraged. If you stick to your routine, keep a good eye on the dog and make frequent outings to his outdoor bathroom, in no time your puppy will be housebroken. Another good idea is to use the same door all the time when you are taking him out so that when he has to go, he will scratch on the door to be let out. Once this happens, you can say “Hurray!” and know that your puppy is beginning to understand that going to the bathroom in the house is a no-no.

Dog Toys for the Brain, Teeth and Feet

Nov-2013-iStock_000014546418XSmallThinking of the best toys that suit your dog? Below are some suggestions:

1. Kong Jump’n Jack:  Kong Jump’n Jack is a dog toy and a teeth cleaner and gum exerciser at the same time. It has a very unpredictable bounce that makes it a lot more fun for the dog to play with. It has surfaces that clean your dog’s teeth. Kong Jump’n Jack also has slits that are useful for the gums to be exercised.

2. Squirrel Dude (Busy Buddy):  This is a unique and innovative rubber toy. It has four rubber prongs that slightly cover the hole, which challenges the dog to give more effort to taste the food treats inside. The Squirrel Dude is durable and very chewable.

3. Biscuit Block (Animal Planet):  This chew toy has four grabbing chambers distributed throughout the toy. Varieties of dog treats can be inserted inside to keep pets happy and busy. It has a crazy bounce brought about by its square shape with cut corners.

4. Ball Stomp’r (Launch and Throw Ball Toys): This dog toy enables both young and old to have a great time playing with their dogs. The Ball Stomp’r is the first ball launcher of its kind. The ball needs to be loaded, then stomped on and it will eject to a height reaching 100 feet with the regular ball.

5. Dinosaur Egg Baby (Plush Puppies) – Intelligence Building Toy.  The Dinosaur Egg Baby has three eggs inside that make a squeaking sound. It has a secret opening underneath to test your dog’s instinct in getting hidden rewards. It is 6 inches in height, 5 inches wide and 12 inches long.

These are all toys that exercise dogs, cleanse their teeth, rejuvenate their jumping ability and test their intelligence.

Five Steps to a Better-Behaved Pet

Nov-2013-iStock_000014546418XSmallWant to live a healthier lifestyle? Get a dog!  Studies show that pet ownership helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and fends off feelings of loneliness and depression.

While nothing can top the love and companionship of a dog, there are some unpleasant behaviors that just won’t do – from barking all night to having an accident on the floor to chewing on your shoes.

If your dog is exhibiting these behaviors, it may be acting out due to boredom, pent-up aggression or because of a lack of training. With proper lifestyle adjustments and diligent training, you’ll be on your way to having a happy, well-behaved pet. The following tips will help your furry friend become more obedient:

1) Spay or neuter. The Humane Society of the United States says that this common procedure can help your dog live longer, be healthier and have fewer behavior problems.

2) Help your pet relax. Just like people, dogs can get anxious, agitated and stressed.

3) Have a workout routine. Provide your dog companion with regularly scheduled walks each day. This will help your dog avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.

4) Go to school.  Enrolling your dog in an obedience class will teach you how to control your dog’s behavior both safely and humanely.

5) Be patient. Though teaching your furry friend to be more obedient may take determination on your part, it’s worth it. Your dog will appreciate bonding with you during the process.

 

 

Dog Obedience Tips

Nov-2013-iStock_000014546418XSmallTraining should be a positive and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. If you are not in the right mood for training, don’t even begin. Always reward your dog for obeying your commands promptly. A reward is anything that your dog wants and is willing to work for. Treats are an obvious reward but other rewards could be verbal praise and toys.

Several shorter sessions are usually better than one long one. Training should not involve any negative components or punishment. There should be no shouting, no hitting or smacking, no chain jerking on choke chains or collars, and absolutely no electric shocking.  Each training session should be enjoyable and positive with rewards for jobs well done.

How to Crate Train Your Dog

123RF-5908313_sDogs are naturally den animals so crating your dog can be good for your dog.  To determine if crating is right for your dog, try crating your dog and see how he takes to it.  However, remember that it can take some time for your dog to get used to and accept the crate.

The first step in getting your dog to understand the concept of the crate is getting him to understand that being inside of the crate is a good thing and an action that brings him rewards.

To get him into the crate, sit near the crate and hold your hand as far inside of the crate as you can (holding a treat) and wait for him to go into the crate. Once he reaches your hand, give him the treat and then pull your hand out. If he pops right out of the crate, do nothing. Don’t say anything, and whatever you do, do NOT give him a treat outside of the crate.

Once your dog starts to understand that he gets rewarded for being inside the crate, start adding a word to this action. You might want to use the word “crate” or “bed”.  Don’t introduce this command word to try and teach him to get into the crate. Until he is taught what the word means, it has no meaning for him.

Place your hand holding the treat inside the crate and say “CRATE”. When he enters the crate and all four feet are inside of the crate, reward him with a verbal “Good Boy” and the treat. When you pull your hand out of the crate, more than likely the dog will follow your hand out.  Ignore him, put another treat into your hand, and place your hand back into the crate and say “CRATE”. He will follow your hand into the crate.  Repeat the reward process. Once this action is clear to your dog, try to use only the verbal cue, “CRATE” and see if he enters the crate. Begin by doing this while you are standing near the crate door. Later you will be able to do this from a distance.

 

Socializing Your Dog

black-paw-printA dog with good socialization sees the world as a fun and safe place. People are his friends and other dogs pose no threat to him.  The most important time to teach socialization skills is when your dog is a puppy.

To accomplish this, play with your dog where there are other people, children and other dogs, as well as different sounds, sights, smells and textures. Use treats, toys and praise to make the world a happy place for your dog.  Teach your dog that you are the focus of his life, and that you will keep him safe.

Socialization should be done as a part of training.  Have a solid relationship with your dog.  You want your dog to know and understand that you are the safety factor in his life. YOU will protect him and he should always turn to you if he is confused or scared.

 

Tips About Toys for Your Dog

dog with toyMost dogs need toys to help fight boredom, and to prevent some bad behaviors.  It is important to choose the right toys for your dog.  Here are some tips to consider when buying toys for your dog:

  • Choose the right size toy for the size of your dog. For example, a ball that is too small can become stuck in your dog’s throat.
  • Look for dog toys that are well made, with no small parts that can be pulled or chewed off and swallowed.
  • Throw away any broken or torn toys.
  • Before giving your dog rawhide, check with your vet as to which ones are safe.
  • Supervise your dog’s play with squeaky toys.
  • Hard rubber toys, such as Kong-type products, are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.  These are fun for your dog to chew and carry around.
  • Rope toys are usually available in a “bone” shape with knotted ends.
  • Kong or “Busy-box” toys are large rubber toys with hiding places for treats. By moving the toy around with his nose, mouth, and paws your dog can get to the goodies.
  • Rotate your dog’s toys weekly by making only a few toys available at a time.
  • Keep a variety of toys easily accessible.
  • If your dog has a favorite toy you may want to leave it out all the time.
  • Most of your dog’s toys should be interactive so that you can play with your dog.

Enjoy playtime with your dog!

How to choose the right dog trainer:

header-objectTraining your dog is very important.  It will strengthen the bond between you and your dog and prevent many potential problems in the future.  Here are some tips to consider when choosing a trainer:

  • Make sure the class size allows for individual attention.
  • Choose the right class level, i.e. beginner, intermediate or advanced.
  • If your dog is a puppy, then the class should be for puppies only, with no adult dogs.  Adult dogs should be in another class.
  • The training equipment should be humane, and a variety of methods should be offered.
  • Remember most trainers will require proof of vaccination.
  • Praise should be given frequently, and commands given in upbeat tones. – Be sure to note any information given on grooming, problem solving, etc.

Training your dog should be an enjoyable experience for both of you.  So have fun and create a bond for life!

Chewing! It is a common problem….

iStock-August 09, 2008Don’t you just love walking into a room and finding your favorite shoes, socks, cushions, etc. in little bits.  And the culprit is sitting in the middle of the chaos wagging his tail!  The most common reason for this behavior is simply boredom.

Here are some things you can do:

  • First and foremost, take care of your things.  If you don’t want your favorite pair of shoes chewed to bits, put them away.  Keep your things out of sight and protected.
  • Make sure your dog has toys to play with while you are away.  If your dog has a lot of toys, put some away.  When you bring them back out a month or two later, they will be “new” to your dog.
  • Don’t offer your dog socks or old shoes to play with.  This will confuse him.
  • Make sure your dog gets lots of exercise.  A nice long walk just before you go out will encourage him to sleep while you are away.
  • If you catch your dog chewing on something he should not have, make a loud noise to interrupt the behavior and offer him one of his own toys or a treat in exchange for whatever he was chewing on.
  • Never get mad after the fact.  If you see he has chewed something, it is too late to discipline your dog after the fact.
  • If you catch him in the act, use a spray bottle filled with water, and spray your dog in the face.
  • Purchase a bitter spray to spray on your furniture.  Be sure to spray it on a test spot first to make sure the spray does not stain your furniture.

With a little patience you should be able to overcome the destructive chewing behavior.