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Daniel would particularly like to thank Darren and Janelle Whitcombe for their guidance and advice. In addition, a big thanks to the Stevens family.
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No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, by photostat, microfilm, xerography, or any other means, or incorporated into any information retrieval system, electronic or mechanical, without the written permission of Libros Media Ltd; exceptions are made for brief excerpts used in published reviews. Published by Libros Media Ltd Level 2 – 107 Cashel Street, Christchurch, 8001, New Zealand ISBN 0-473-10716-3 Electronic Version ISBN 0-473-10715-5 Paperback Version Printed in New Zealand Printing number 21, 20, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. – From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and associations
D. G. F. Bringing Your Puppy or Dog Home Diet and Nutrition Canine Growth Stages Toys for Your Dog Safe and Fun Toys to Buy Choosing Your Vet Review of DOG 102 Training Methods Revealed DOG 103: A.kingdomofpets. C.Table of Contents Introduction DOG 101: A. It’s a Dog’s Life 1 3 3 7 14 19 22 24 25 25 35 37 40 40 41 42 44 44 51 56 59 60 61 Dog Ownership and You Selecting Your Puppy or Dog Where to Adopt From Breed Groups Responsible Ownership Review of DOG 101 Caring for Your Dog DOG 102: A. B. D. F. E. C. F.com . B. D. C. E. Types of Training Secrets to Training Your Dog Crate Training Obedience Training and Age Selecting a Dog Trainer Review of DOG 103 i www. B. E.
Dog-On-Dog Aggression Case Study: Dogs Fighting D. Jumping on People Case Study: Jumping Up on People I.DOG 201: A. D. Digging Problems ii www.kingdomofpets. Fear Biting Case Study: Fear Biting E. Secrets to Understanding Your Dog 63 63 65 67 67 69 71 73 75 75 80 87 89 91 93 94 97 99 101 102 106 108 111 112 114 115 Understanding Your Dog Dog Senses How Dogs Communicate Using Scent Guide to Body Language and Signals Guide to Facial Expressions and Vocals Wolf Instincts Review of DOG 201 Common Behavior Problems Solved DOG 202: A. B: An Introduction to Aggression Problems Aggression Continued: Treatment Program for Dominance Case Study: Aggression and Dominance Case Study: Food Bowl Aggression C. G.com . Chewing and Other Destructive Behavior Case Study: Chewing and Destructive Behavior G. Jumping on Furniture Case Study: Jumping on Furniture H. C. E. F. Play-Biting Case Study: Nipping and Hand Biting F. B.
B. Travel Problems Case Study: Travel Problems R. Fear of the Leash Case Study: Fear of the Leash L: Off-Leash Problems Case Study: Off-Leash Problems M.com Case Study: Disobedience K. Barking Problems Case Study: Barking Problems O. Whining Case Study: Whining P. Disobedience 117 119 120 121 124 125 127 129 137 138 143 144 146 148 150 152 155 156 158 158 161 162 162 165 167 169 iii www. G.kingdomofpets. Review of DOG 202 Commands to Start DOG 203: A. Thieving Case Study: Thievery Q. Leash-Pulling Problems Case Study: Leash-Pulling Problems N. E. C. F. D.Case Study: Digging J. Come (Recall) Sit Stage I “Okay” and “No” “Hold” and “Drop It” “Sit” – Stage II “Sit and Stay” “Down” (Drop) – Stage I .
kingdomofpets. M. “Down” (Drop) – Stage II “Heel” – Stage I “Heel” – Stage II “Heel” – Stage III “Stand” “Wait ” “Seek” (Find) Training Program Review of DOG 203 Dog Whispering Uncovered 170 171 173 175 177 178 179 179 180 181 181 182 186 189 191 194 195 197 197 200 202 206 208 211 214 217 iv DOG 301: A. C. O. J.H. Allergies to Dogs Euthanasia Bad Dog Breath Cat / Dog Coexistence www. D. B. D. F. E. Defining Dog Whispering Dog Whispering: About the Method Dog Whispering: Interventions Dog Whispering: Corrections Dog Whispering with Common Commands The Trouble with Dog Whispering Review of DOG 301 Health-Related Problems Solved DOG 302: A. G. N. E. P. L. K. F.com . Separation Anxiety Case Study: Separation Anxiety B. Two Dogs in the House Case Study: Introducing a New Dog C. I.
L. F.com . C. Advanced “Sit and Stay” Stage I Advanced “Sit and Stay” Stage II More “Sit and Stay” Advanced “Seek” (Find) “Beg” “Fetch” (Retrieve) “Catch” “Shake” “Climb” “Crawl” “Roll Over” Review of DOG 303 v www. I. M. J. H. B.kingdomofpets. G. L. E. Flatulence Fleas Hot Weather and Heatstroke Jealousy Worms Review of DOG 302 Advanced Commands & Tricks DOG 303: A.Case Study: Cat Chasing G. K. D. I. J. Coprophagia (Poop Eating) 219 220 221 222 224 226 230 235 237 238 238 239 239 240 241 242 243 244 244 245 246 247 Case Study: Coprophagia H. M.
Secrets to Dog Training is designed to improve your relationship with 1 www. and that becoming an experienced. The second course (chapters four through six) is concerned more with improving the owner-dog connection. the first course (chapters one through three) deals with the introductory aspects of dog ownership . Above all.kingdomofpets. The third course of Secrets to Dog Training (the final three chapters) is devoted to an introduction to and explanation of "dog whispering" techniques to further your training. the practical demands of dog ownership. Covering all aspects of dog ownership. as well as the information you'll require in order to raise a happy. Secrets to Dog Training is laid out in a series of nine chapters.Introduction Secrets to Dog Training is a complete A-Z handbook for dog owners.' all of which deal with specific aspects of dog ownership. When you take on the ownership of a dog. as well as how to recognize and solve a variety of specific problem behaviors. as well as an extended look at additional problem behaviors and advanced obedience work. For example. knowledgeable owner has its potential pitfalls and problem areas.you can read this book cover to cover.' Don't let the amount of information put you off .com . You'll learn about canine communication and how to interpret body language and vocalization. from choosing a puppy to understanding your dog to problem-solving to complete obedience work. We finish up this section with a chapter on basic obedience. Your dog depends on you for absolutely everything he needs to survive. These chapters are further divided into three basic sections.such as what to consider before adopting a dog. and so on. You can refer to the diagram on the next page for a visual map of the book and more details on each three-chapter 'course. we hope to take all the difficulty out of adopting a dog and let you get on with all of the fun. healthy dog. By outlining the responsibilities at hand. We at Secrets to Dog Training recognize that this can be a daunting task. or simply pick and choose from the sections that interest you. how to 'match-make' yourself with your perfect dog. or 'courses. we've aimed to cover every facet of dog ownership in a simple. step-bystep format. you're accepting complete responsibility for that dog's physical and emotional wellbeing.
kingdomofpets.UNDERSTANDING DOG 101: It’s A Dog’s Life Dog Ownership and You Selecting Your Puppy or Dog Where to Adopt From Breed Groups Responsible Ownership Review of DOG 101 DOG 201: Secrets to Understanding Your Dog Understanding Your Dog Dog Senses How Dogs Communicate Using Scent Guide to Body Language and Signals Guide to Facial Expressions and Vocals Wolf Instincts Review of DOG 201 WELLBEING DOG 102: Caring for Your Dog Bringing Your Puppy or Dog Home Diet and Nutrition Canine Growth Stages Toys for Your Dog Safe and Fun Toys to Buy Choosing Your Vet Review of DOG 102 DOG 202: Common Behavior Problems An Introduction to Aggression Problems Aggression Continued: Treatment Program for Dominance Dog-On-Dog Aggression Fear Biting Play-Biting Chewing and Other Destructive Behavior Jumping on Furniture Jumping on People Digging Problems Disobedience Fear of the Leash Off-Leash Problems Leash-Pulling Problems Barking Problems Whining Thieving Travel Problems Review of Dog 202 DOG 302: Health-Related Problems Solved Separation Anxiety Two Dogs in the House Allergies Bad Dog Breath Cat / Dog Coexistence Coprophagia (Poop Eating) Flatulence Fleas Hot Weather and Heatstroke Jealousy Worms Review of DOG 302 TRAINING DOG 103: Training Methods Revealed Types of Training Secrets to Training Your Dog Crate Training Obedience Training and Age Selecting a Dog Trainer Review of DOG 103 DOG 203: Commands to Start Come (Recall) Sit Stage I Okay and No Hold and Drop It” Sit – Stage II Sit and Stay Down (Drop) – Stage I Down (Drop) – Stage II Heel – Stage I Heel – Stage II Heel – Stage III Stand Wait Seek (Find) Training Program Review of DOG 203 • • • • • • • • LEVEL 1 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • LEVEL 2 • • • • • LEVEL 3 • • • • • DOG 301: Dog Whispering Uncovered Defining Dog Whispering Dog Whispering: About the Method Dog Whispering: Interventions Dog Whispering: Corrections Dog Whispering with Common Commands The Trouble with Dog Whispering Review of DOG 301 • • • • • • • • • • • • DOG 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks • Advanced “Sit and Stay” Stage I • Advanced “Sit and Stay” Stage II • More “Sit and Stay” • Advanced “Seek” (Find) • Beg • Fetch (Retrieve) • Catch • Shake • Climb • Crawl • Jump • Roll Over • Review of DOG 303 2 www.com .
your lifestyle. and what you can offer in return! Here are some valid points to consider: ● How much time do you realistically have to spend with your dog? Do you work long hours? Do you have a demanding social life? Do you like to travel often? ● Have you really considered the financial implications of dog ownership? What will happen if your dog gets sick or has an accident? Is there room in your budget for the unexpected? Is there room in your small car for a big dog? ● How much time do you like to spend in physical activity each day? Are you a couch potato or an outdoorsy. starting with what you need to think about before getting a dog.com . Lastly. we’ll move on to choosing a puppy: how to match yourself up with your ideal puppy. We’ll also consider some of the typical traits of popular dog breeds to give you an idea of what to expect. In order to eliminate as much of the guesswork as possible when it comes to choosing your canine companion. where to find one. energetic type? ● What are your basic personality traits? Are you an outspoken type who's accustomed to getting their own way.kingdomofpets. and how to deal with (and find) a good breeder. we’ll take a look at what it means to be a responsible owner.so it’s worth taking some time now to avoid a potential mismatch. barring accident or illness . Dog Ownership and You Your dog is going to be a part of your life from between eight to twenty years. A. 3 www. what you want out of a dog. or a timid person who avoids confrontation at all costs? Are you a patient teacher or do you have a hair-trigger temper? Believe it or not. From there. all of these traits can affect the sort of dog that will best suit you and your lifestyle. you need to honestly evaluate yourself.DOG 101: It’s a Dog’s Life In this section we deal with the initial considerations of dog ownership.
Aside from the initial cost to buy a dog. The breed of dog that you choose will also contribute to how much time is required for exercise and training. You will need to plan around this obstacle. socializing. and the time that’s spent simply keeping each other company. When you first bring the puppy home. inadequately socialized dog is a menace to himself. Dogs need training (puppies even more so). and playtime. or a show-quality purebred). but it can be dangerous. a dog-sitter. it’s best if you can take a few days off work to minimize the stress of adjustment. though . his family.Time One of the most basic needs of any dog is time . A poorly-trained. grooming. and anyone else he encounters. from $15 to $45 a week. or get your dog from a breeder (and this will also depend on whether he or she is mixed-breed. and affection .com . don’t forget to factor in additional time for training. feeding. 4 www. a pet-quality purebred.as well as checkups. housebreaking. you can be held responsible (people have been sued and have even gone to jail because they haven’t controlled their dogs properly). there are many other costs which can vary hugely depending on whether you adopt from a shelter.specifically. but this need not deter you from welcoming a dog into your home. puppies are even more needy when it comes to demands on your time than adult dogs. some owners liken the adoption of a dog to the arrival of a new child. play time. exercise.kingdomofpets. Not only is it inconsiderate and even cruel to leave your dog without frequent companionship and exercise. Here are some of the costs to consider: ● Food. A busy work schedule is a fact of life for most of us. buy from a pet store. Depending on the size of your dog. or even just having a trusted neighbor drop by for half an hour a day to exercise and play with your dog. doggie daycare. If your dog attacks somebody. Despite their many charms.consider arranging for a dog-walker. your time. some breeds require literally hours of exercise each day! Finances The cost involved in keeping a dog is a very real issue. Dogs are time-consuming creatures: in terms of effort and time expenditure. Some breeds are more difficult to housebreak than others. If you’re getting a puppy.
● Puppy school. obedience work. spaying / neutering Boarding kennels Total $$ $/WEEK 5 www. and any friends that have dogs . or enclosure Grooming Health insurance. chews. leads. to a wedding. or a work function. ● Registration and license. whether it’s on holiday. vet bills. which will protect you in the case of unexpected surgery and chronic or long term conditions. collars. This costs money. ● Emergency costs: there are always unexpected costs when it comes to dog ownership. Listed below is a comprehensive checklist of the potential financial factors involved with owning a dog. or have skimped on a cheap plan. you should plan on the likelihood of your dog getting sick at some point. ● Boarding costs: you’ll likely need to go away at some point. and professional training if required. bedding. You may consider pet insurance as well. crate. Also. YOUR DOG BUDGET Purchase price Vaccinations Dog food and treats Collars and leads Registration and/or license fees Toys Kennel. ● Medical costs. If you consider your own budget and how flexible you can afford to be when it comes to your pet. for example. pet store. a funeral. unexpected costs can floor you when you least expect it. Try speaking to your vet. If you don’t have insurance.● General equipment: toys.this will help you to get estimates for each of these items. local boarding kennels. grooming implements.com . Checkups and inoculations at the vet are vital.kingdomofpets. kennels. so that any unexpected bills do not catch you out. this will help you to make a responsible choice and ensure that the dog you choose gets the care he deserves. crates.
whereas a lot of the larger dogs (think Great Danes.com . Many smaller dogs have incredible stamina and a great need for intense cardiovascular exercise. it’s possible to take a lot of the guesswork out of selecting a four-legged friend. For busy people. you’ll need to research the basic exercise requirements of the breed of dog that you’ve chosen (or. Mastiffs. Newfoundlands) are real couch potatoes and are happy to lie about the house all day.kingdomofpets. or even plain old fetch. but appearances can be deceiving. Of course.like dogs. adhere to at least the minimum requirements. can run over 100 miles in the course of a normal working day! To make sure that you’re exercising your dog adequately. We will look at this in greater depth in the section titled “Dog Groups. But spending active time with your dog doesn’t need to be drudgery . Your Personality Your own personality ‘type’ has a great impact on whether or not you and your chosen dog are likely to enjoy any kind of emotional bond. the more exercise it needs. how prepared you are to deal with stubbornness. tracking. It’s not really possible to predict what kind of personality your dog is going to have. and how comfortable you are with discipline and asserting yourself.a Border Collie. it’s pretty hard to typify human personalities . Like humans. but certain breeds have been ‘designed’ in a way that encourages particular traits and character aspects.” 6 www.but if you can honestly evaluate yourself in terms of your desire for physical affection (some dogs love to cuddle!). at least three or four times a week. The size of a dog doesn’t necessarily correspond with his or her energy level. Frisbee. the minimum that the average adult dog requires to maintain basic overall fitness is 30 to 45 minutes of vigorous exercise. for example.Exercise and Activity All dogs need exercise. and exceed them if it seems necessary). we’re all individuals . fitting in an extra hour or so per day to exercise the dog can be a real chore. Many dogs need a lot more than this . your ability to be patient. It’s popularly believed that the bigger the dog.there are lots of fun activities you can do to work in the necessary mileage. You’ll need to use these insights about your own personality with a bit of information on your favored breeds to narrow down your field of choices. if a mixed breed. Many of these are interactive and mentally challenging as well: just consider agility training.
Selecting Your Puppy or Dog Choosing the right puppy is a matter of careful thought and research. 7 www. Dog breeds have developed over thousands of years through selective breeding. what the more troublesome aspects of the breed are. Ask them about the types of people who do best with the breed.kingdomofpets. What’s really important is that you follow up this initial attraction with a little research so you can get an idea of whether or not that particular breed’s hardwired attributes (guarding. chasing. after all.it’s so easy to be seduced by the very first puppy that you see. But you still need to carefully consider the jobs that your preferred breed(s) of dog were intended to do. Of course. A lot of us are attracted to particular breeds of dog because of the way that they look.most of us just want a dog for simple companionship. these jobs have very little impact on modern-day life for the vast majority of people .which is something that a city-dweller would need to think about before adopting one. and so on) can be easily incorporated into your life .because if not. for example. The best thing you can do is talk to some breeders of the particular breed that’s caught your fancy. A Husky will do perfectly well without the opportunity to pull sledges across the snow. but he still has an inherent need to explore and run endlessly . herding. Breed Selection A purebred is a lot more than just an ordinary dog wearing a fancy suit. how much exercise they need.B. you both may be unhappy. hunting lions in the jungle (Rhodesian Ridgebacks).com . tracking. Too many people are suckered into making impulse choices they later regret . which deliberately emphasizes certain traits and weeds out others. make sure you know what you’re getting before you get it. what the breed’s requirements are. Basically.it’s only natural to pursue the things that catch our eye. which is nothing to be ashamed of . because this has a big impact on how well he’ll be suited to your household and lifestyle. pulling supplies for hundreds of miles across arctic tundra (Siberian Huskies) or simply looking pretty and keeping us humans company (the toy breeds). but resist this temptation! Both you and your final choice of dog will be glad that you did. whether it’s herding livestock (Border Collies). All breeds of dog were originally bred to do a certain job.
Each individual female will be bred only once per year. and doesn't have any preexisting mental or physical problems. or in a place where they can become accustomed to humans from a young age. A good breeder will: ● Raise the puppies inside the house. "real" breeders are in the business for the love of dogs. and provide certification of this upon request. experience. Where to Find Your Dog or Puppy When it comes to finding your perfect puppy or dog.com/dogobediencetraining/dogbreeds/). ● Question you extensively about your lifestyle.For a start. you might take a look at the Kingdom of Pets breed library: www.kingdomofpets.com . ask your dog-owning friends. not the profit (dog-breeding is rarely a profitable business when performed ethically). And there’s always the good old local library. 8 www. There is more than enough dog-breed information out there. ● Restrict themselves to one or two breeds only. ● Breed no more than a couple of litters per year. there are several choices open to you (both good ones and bad ones): ● Reputable breeders ● Adoption or rescue shelters REPUTABLE BREEDERS Sometimes called private breeders or noncommercial breeders. and the proposed environment for the puppy before allowing you to take one of the pups.kingdomofpets. More information on finding and selecting breeders is given in Section C: Selecting a Breeder. or a vet. You can also browse online. ● Screen the dogs for genetic disease. well-socialized. Buying a puppy from a proper breeder ensures as much as possible that your purebred pup is healthy.
At the very least. the owners have moved house. you'll be notified of any existing conditions before purchase. the emotional reward that comes from taking in an abandoned animal is often the best part of all.RESCUE SHELTERS Rescue shelters. dogs do feel gratitude) that they quickly form intense bonds of love and loyalty with their new owners .com . which is a fantastic bonus (especially when considering the huge number of heart-breaking genetic diseases that most purebreds are prone to).even the purebred ones . are an excellent option for finding a pet.they've been discarded by their original owners for any one of a huge number of reasons (financial problems. etc). The dogs in these establishments are more often than not there through no fault of their own . Another benefit of choosing to get your dog from a rescue shelter is that the dogs you'll find there .kingdomofpets. The animals come to their new owners injury. This is an incredible weight off a novice owner (as anyone who's ever had to housetrain a puppy will agree!).bonds that can be even more intense than those experienced by an owner who's raised a 'brand-new' puppy. Where Not To Find Your Dog There are a lot of valid reasons to avoid choosing any of the below options as the place to find your dog: 9 www. or adoption shelters.having effectively been 'orphaned' and will naturally need some time to adjust. depression. It's true that a lot of rescue-shelter dogs are jumpy and nervous the second time around. and most all will do this as a service included in the modest adoption fee. In addition to all these benefits. A lot of dogs adopted from shelters are so grateful to be given a second chance (yes.are much less expensive than those purchased from a breeder (think $50 instead of $500).and disease-free. they've suffered a huge trauma . It's estimated that an abandoned dog takes between six weeks and four months before he or she shakes off the symptoms of trauma caused by abandonment (anxiety. and will be given an idea of the care and expense required for treatment. Often the dogs in adoption shelters are an ideal choice for first-time owners. looking around for familiar people and sights). relationship breakup. Good shelters have some form of veterinary care on hand as well. because they're already housetrained and have also usually been trained to some degree in obedience commands. Some will neuter / spay the dogs they take in. a new baby.
● Puppy mills ● Pet stores ● Backyard breeders PUPPY MILLS Puppy mills are essentially puppy factories.sometimes for hundreds of miles . The team at Kingdom of Pets strongly discourages purchasing a puppy from a puppy mill . that's more than half his life spent in virtual solitary confinement.in effect. The average puppy arrives at a pet store at five weeks old. and stays there until he is twelve weeks old . the puppy's history. behavioral upsets. people who buy from pet stores are often impulse-shoppers: they see a cute puppy in the store window and buy it on the spot.com . little handling. They're usually problematic dogs to raise. little to no attention paid to hygiene or nutrition.by the time he's adopted.no matter how sorry you feel for the poor puppies. or how to successfully rear a dog. and little socialization. These puppies are also prone to disease if not unwell already. and diseases. They receive little to no exercise. They almost always come with serious behavioral problems and neuroses. These puppies are not good choices for pets. and are usually suffering from malnutrition and a variety of other close-quarters diseases. to do so only supports this growing business and encourages others to join in. The production of 'popular-breed' dogs is a profit-making business for some people.kingdomofpets. and the puppies raised aren't socialized or shown any affection. These same puppies are then taken from their mothers well before they should be (usually around five weeks of age) and shipped . without a thought for preparation. PET STORES Pet stores are the only establishments supplied by puppy mills . which means that there is no quality of life for the dogs and puppies involved.across country. Instant gratification is hard to resist. Pups from pet stores have the same problems that puppy-mill puppies have emotional problems. but a dog is not a commodity that can be purchased without forethought. they're the reason that puppy mills exist. 10 www. either by themselves or with one or two other puppies. Puppies in pet stores are confined to small glass cages. where they end up in a little glass box in a pet store. as it takes a LOT of work to counteract the damage inflicted by the conditions at the mill and the pet store. To top it all off. information.
kingdomofpets. and shortens the mother's lifespan. Backyard breeders sometimes prey on inexperienced buyers by making claims without backing them up: for example.com . Remember that plenty of genetic diseases don't show up until the dog is one or two years old.it’s a valuable lesson. which can be a major problem in an adult dog. which produces underweight and unhealthy pups. and one most effectively taught by other dogs at a young age.the reasons for doing so are convincing. so it's not possible to screen for everything in each individual pup (which is why parents and grandparents are required to be screened). desirable traits. A good breeder won't have a problem informing you about any genetic disease the breed is prone to. and refuse to continue playing with the biter. Any puppy bitten too hard will squeal sharply. dogs grow up without understanding the damage that can be inflicted by a careless bite. Common mistakes made by a typical backyard breeder might include: ● Rearing the litters away from the house. but the main problem with such an early adoption is the lack of learned bite-inhibition. to minimize costs and maximize profits. This is how puppies learn to control the force with which they bite . but failing to provide certification. All puppies must have the chance to learn those vital pack-interaction skills from their brothers and sisters. or the wellbeing of the dogs and puppies involved. claiming that litters have been screened against genetic disease. 11 www.BACKYARD BREEDERS This is an all-encompassing term for people who breed dogs on a noncommercial level with little to no thought for genetic health. ● Feeding puppies on the nutritional equivalent of sawdust and water. and will offer advice on the best course of action should the need arise. they play rough . At What Age Should You Get Your Dog? It’s generally agreed that puppies need to stay with their mothers and littermates until they’re at least eight weeks of age. Taking a puppy away from its litter before eight weeks is actually damaging to the pup. where the pups have no chance to become accustomed to people and daily living.biting and wrestling. When puppies play with their littermates. This isn’t just an arbitrary number . ● Breeding females too often. Without the opportunity to learn bite control.
● Personality traits are starting to emerge: you can get a better idea of what kind of dog he or she is growing up to be. When there’s a pup sitting all by himself in the corner.kingdomofpets. it’s easy to make mistakes when confronted with a squirming. more often than not. 12 www. Never underestimate the cuteness of a young puppy! BENEFITS OF CHOOSING AN OLDER PUPPY (16 WEEKS AND UP) OVER A YOUNG ONE: ● Older pups have more control over their bowels and bladder. turn out to be both exhausting and heartbreaking to deal with. it’s good to have a basic idea of canine interaction and communication if at all possible. Choosing Your Puppy From a Litter Before choosing a puppy. good or bad. A lot of people make the mistake of choosing a puppy because they feel sorry for it. but it’s important to understand the consequences of such an action before doing something you might regret. The basic advantages of adoption for both age groups are outlined below. You control the influences he or she gets and which behaviors are encouraged ● Puppies adapt readily to your life and your home. BENEFITS OF CHOOSING A YOUNG PUPPY (8 TO 16 WEEKS) OVER AN OLDER ONE: ● The pup has no behaviors set. playful crowd of cute pups .this encourages a strong bond. ● They may have had some training already in obedience work. This is a commendable impulse. ● You’re a part of the pup’s life from his first day away from his mother and siblings .You can also adopt a puppy that’s older than the standard eight to ten weeks. Without understanding the underlying causes behind a lot of puppy behavior. which makes housetraining a lot easier. not playing with the other puppies.com .mistakes that. it’s natural to want to adopt that puppy and try to ‘fix’ him. ● Your dog will never again be as physically appealing and downright adorable as he is during early puppyhood.
kingdomofpets. bossy.know what you’re getting into. normal puppy is moderately self-confident. Is he curious or scared? Does he investigate or back away? Is he happy to be handled and stroked. because all too often these are the pups that grow up to be abandoned or sent to the shelter because the owners can’t cope. Once you’ve got an idea of the one you want. or he might have serious behavioral problems.this will help you to get a feel for the ones you connect with best. a natural alpha-dog. This is usually the one that grows up to be stubborn. visit several times and at different times of the day to see how they behave when they’re playing. eyes should be clear of discharge. and try to get away? Paying attention to details like these is how you can tell what ‘type’ of personality this pup is likely to have. If there’s a pup that’s isolated from or ignored by the others. feisty. but do you have enough experience with dogs to cope with these time-consuming and sometimes frustrating character traits? Spend some time with the pups .com . energetic. or does he struggle. adopt the ‘trouble puppy’ of the litter. ears should smell sweet and look clean. whimper. but don’t do it out of a misguided sense of pity and charity . He might be sick.he’s dominant by nature. The dominant puppy of the litter can be just as much of a handful. If possible. and is showing this by “leading” the other pups over to you. take him a short distance away from the other pups (to prevent him becoming distracted) and play with him. feeding. fur should be shiny and thick with no thinning or bald spots (aside from the tummy and inside of legs).all qualities that are endearing to the right owner. and playful. as well. wide awake. he might be malnourished. but for different reasons. scrappy . 13 www. By all means. He should be involved to at least some extent with other puppies. Look him over from nose to tail: his skin should be smooth and free of lumps or bumps. Take this opportunity to quickly check him over for possible illness.A healthy. there is a very good reason for it and one that you probably don’t want to involve yourself with. and his teeth should be white and sharp. The pup that comes romping right up to you without a care in the world isn’t just friendly . and tired out.
This is nothing personal.are they clean and hygienic? Unfortunately. Even a brief conversation with some of the staff will enable you to make sure that they care about the dogs. well-balanced dog. and retain the right to refuse applications at their discretion. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the shelter. Most shelters have a screening process for applicants. and that they’re genuinely committed to their work.C. or do they make you feel as though you’re getting in the way? What about the kennels or runs for the dogs . But how to choose the right one? Choosing The Right Adoption Shelter This is a lot simpler than going to a breeder . it’s a safety-net that’s in place to ensure that the dogs placed out have as high a chance as possible of being matched with a suitable new owner. and will only choose owners that they consider to be in the best interests of the animal. have a look around the shelter. a lot of shelters are understaffed. Adoption shelters have their own standards when it comes to selecting appropriate homes for abandoned animals. which means that sometimes the dogs aren’t able to get all the exercise and human contact that they need. which is often devastating for that dog. 14 www. caring staff is more likely to provide you with a healthy. This lessens the chances of that dog being returned to the shelter again. you should still get a sense that the staff have a true affinity with the animals there and that the wellbeing of those animals is of paramount importance. Expect a question-answer session.kingdomofpets. Where to Adopt From So.com . It doesn’t take much to get an idea of how well the animals are treated and cared for by staff: stop and talk to a few of them. Are the staff friendly and caring? Are they happy to answer all your questions.you don’t have to worry about pedigree certification or following any of the other paper trails in place for purebred dogs. there are essentially two good places to get your dog from: a breeder and an adoption shelter. Usually. they’re run on government money and donations. A shelter with competent. It really boils down to whether or not you feel comfortable with the environment of the shelter. Regardless of how prosperous the shelter appears. as discussed in the previous section. which makes for a pretty slim existence.
This might be handy. Once you've tracked a breeder down.com . why you chose this particular breed. To track down the breed you like. and often special training and activity groups. Pay attention to any dogs you see . go along and have a look. but you also run the risk of purchasing a sub-quality dog from a sub-quality breeder. there are several resources at hand: ● Dog shows. Where at all possible. Contact them and they will be able to tell you about the closest breeders to you. In return. You can see the dogs first-hand. These cater for specific breeds. how long the dog will be left alone for during the day.are happy to send their dogs long-distance without you being required to turn up for an interview first. whether you have a crate for the puppy. you should pay a visit and inspect the premises thoroughly. If you get hold of one breeder who doesn't have the right puppy for you.do they seem clean and well cared-for? Are they happy and sociable? Are the surroundings hygienic and clean? You can expect to be questioned by the breeder about your lifestyle and whether you've had dogs before. and other matters which indicate how competent and caring an owner you're likely to be. ● Breed clubs.kingdomofpets.especially those specializing in rare breeds . and handle showing. If there are dog shows near you. If you see a dog you like. go along and have a look. and have plenty of opportunity to talk to the breeders and handlers. Find out about dog shows nearby by contacting the American Kennel Club (AKC) or United Kennel Club (UKC). they should be able to point you in the right direction of other breeders who can help. breeding. Some breeders . there are several important questions that you'll want to ask before taking a puppy home: ● What kind of people tend to do best with this breed? 15 www.Choosing A Breeder Finding a good dog breeder isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do. including kennels. ask the owner for a recommendation .where did they get their dog? Would they recommend that breeder? ● Other breeders. ● Talk to dog owners.
) ● Can you meet the parents? Meet the Parents Meeting both of the parents of the litter you’re looking at isn’t always possible . and before you make a firm commitment you should ask to see the authentication papers and documentation.com .frequently the sire (the father) has been hired out from his owners. and learn a lot of their disposition traits and habits from her. then so much the better: you’ll get an idea of the temperament. you may want to think again before taking one of her puppies.pups are raised by their mothers. whether she’s friendly to dogs and people . and so on)? ● What genetic diseases is this breed prone to? (This is something you'll probably want to check out yourself before you go to see the breeder . since testing has been in place for both these ailments for the longest time. you may well be paying pedigree prices so it’s worth making sure you’re getting value for money. Authentication and Registration A pedigree puppy should already be registered by the breeder.● How much exercise do the dogs need? ● Are there any special care requirements for these particular dogs. which is a reliable forerunner of how your own puppy is likely to turn out a few years down the track. try to meet the mom . 16 www.) ● Have the parents and grandparents of the pup been screened against these diseases? If so. Ask.kingdomofpets.and what basic temperament she has. can you see the certification? (For things like hip and eye problems. Even if you don’t care about pedigree in itself. At the least. so won’t be on the premises. both grandparents on both sides should be certified as well. and see for yourself. and general condition of your pup’s parents.both familiar and unfamiliar . or aggressive. health.but it never hurts to ask. jumpy. If she’s nervous. But if you can meet both parents. the second batch. as traits such as these are sometimes passed on from the mother. or the breed in general? ● At what stage are the pup's vaccinations up to (the first batch of shots.
and certify his condition at the time the vet saw him (including the absence or presence of any indicators of possible genetic disease). as it encourages food aggression in the litter. or the vet records. and parvovirus.If and when you do purchase the puppy. Dietary Needs Puppies have delicate stomachs that are easily upset by a change in routine. This is to prevent them from falling prey to fatal diseases like rabies. At the least.com . since all puppies are born with worms).but when weaned.kingdomofpets. and what his feeding schedule is. it’s necessary to wait until all the mother’s antibodies have worn off. Vaccinations and General Health All puppies need three sets of inoculations. Ask the breeder or adoption shelter that you got your pup from what brand of food he’s accustomed to. This should also specify whether the pup has been wormed (which he should certainly have been. but to time it so that there isn’t too long of an unprotected period: it’s generally accepted that eight weeks is the ideal age for the first set of shots. Because over-inoculation (inoculating when antibodies are already present) is harmful to dogs and puppies. Make sure you receive evidence of inoculations and checkups in the form of a vaccination card from the vet. the breeder must also provide you with registration papers to prove that the puppy has been officially re-registered in your name. when he is due for his next round of shots and any other treatments. adenovirus. the pup should already have had the first shots by the time you adopt him. It’s bad practice among younger dogs. Beware of anyone who tells you that the puppy has been “freefed. which are spaced out over several weeks. Nursing puppies receive antibodies to these diseases via the mother’s milk . there will have been an appointment made for vaccinations by the breeder. and is a real hindrance when it comes to 17 www. Because you shouldn’t adopt a puppy that is younger than eight weeks. allowing them to eat at will during the day.” This is where a bowl of food is placed out for the dogs. the protection fades off over several weeks.
Before taking the puppy home. but it’s best to break this up into two meals to prevent digestive upset. do so gradually: mix a little bit of the new food in with the old.com . make sure you ask whether you can contact the breeder or shelter if problems do occur. ● You technically can feed adult dogs on just one meal per day. and bald patches? Are his eyes shiny and bright? Does he have lots of energy? If you feel your dog would do better on another brand or diet. Keep an eye on your dog or puppy and monitor how well he’s doing on his current brand of food. but as a general rule of thumb: ● Pups under seven months get three meals a day. you may wish to consult your vet beforehand. you think your puppy or dog might be sick or injured then call the vet. not the breeder or shelter.) 18 www. So his hunger pangs and toilet needs will remain extremely unpredictable. you can change him over as long as you do so gradually (as you would for a puppy). If you wish to change your pup’s food. Following Up Most. if not all. The diet sheet will detail amounts and times that the puppy is fed.for example. (Of course. Without a regimented feeding schedule. and bloat. low blood sugar. and should eat until satisfied at each meal. and gradually increase this over a period of one to two weeks until his old food has been completely replaced. To be on the safe side. ● Puppies and dogs over seven months should get two meals per day.enforcing a housebreaking schedule. Is his coat shiny and free of flakes.kingdomofpets. If your pup turns out to be incompatible with your lifestyle. if you have any urgent questions . dull spots. Most adoption shelters and breeders will supply you with a diet sheet and one or two days’ worth of food to get you started. adoption shelters and breeders will want to hear from you if problems should arise with the puppy. most breeders and adoption shelters will prefer that you to return the puppy to them. a young puppy has no chance to accustom his internal clock to any sort of routine. Many are also available for advice on health and training for some time after adoption.
Some information on these may assist you in narrowing down the candidates for your eventual choice of pet. requiring plenty of mental and physical exercise to keep them happy and relaxed. Working breeds do best with owners who have some previous experience with dogs. which makes them excellent candidates for obedience training . There are many breeds within each group. Spaniel. search and rescue. protection. Weimaraner. Dogs in this category usually have strong guarding and territorial instincts. and good choices for a first-time owner. They tend to be highly intelligent and physically very powerful. and requirements.they’re usually eager to please and quick on the uptake. Thorough training in recall is important with the sporting breeds before they’re allowed off-leash. Sporting Dogs Includes: Pointer. Newfoundland These dogs are bred to perform serious jobs like guard work. Labrador Sporting dogs are bred to work in close contact with humans. and so have a strong instinct to explore and roam. They can be demanding pets. Some sporting dogs were bred to work fairly independently from their owners and hunters. Doberman. and police work. each having their own distinct characteristics. Boxer. as they’ve been bred to work very closely with humans.D. Breed Groups It’s a good idea to choose a breed of dog based on its suitability for your personality and lifestyle. abilities. 19 www.com . Working Dogs Includes: Rottweiler.kingdomofpets. In the right hands. which makes early and extensive socialization with humans and animals an absolute necessity. These qualities make them excellent family dogs. Retriever. they make excellent and affectionate family dogs. Saint Bernard.
com . Herding Dogs Includes: German Shepherd. Whippet. and in some cases to protect them from predators and thieves. Briard. Sheba the German Shepherd These dogs usually make fantastic companion animals. Old English Sheepdog. sporting dogs need plenty of exercise. Sight hounds 20 www. Basenji.kingdomofpets. and extremely fast. This is a demanding job. and require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy. Border Collie. As a result. That means several walks per day. As a rule. highly athletic. Queensland Heeler. and as many opportunities to run as possible.since they have little natural instinct to return to their owner once they are off! As a general rule. they’re leggy. But their hardwired herding instincts are not uncommon (such as chasing and “rounding up” family members or other animals. and nipping at your heels). SIGHT HOUNDS Includes: Afghan. Saluki Sight hounds are bred to hunt in packs. so they’re generally pretty sociable with other dogs. herding breeds are usually very intelligent. These can be difficult to deal with. slim. Herding dogs are bred to control large groups of unruly and sometimes dangerous livestock. complicated instruction from their handlers.” Hounds There are two different groups in the hound category: scent hounds and sight hounds. though not impossible to “untrain. both physically and mentally herding dogs must be capable of making independent decisions as well as following extensive. Greyhound.
and need as much opportunity to run .preferably off-lead as you can provide. they shouldn’t be taken off-lead unless they’re thoroughly trained in the recall command. they seem to have little instinct to put this vocalization to use as watchdogs . Border Terrier. SCENT HOUNDS Includes: Basset Hound. Hounds need exercise Scent hounds can be very difficult to housetrain. Coonhound Scent hounds were bred to track by scent. These dogs require a fair amount of exercise on a daily basis to keep them happy and healthy. and affectionate companions. affectionate natures. Bull. and other breeds with the word “terrier” in the name.an environment with little requirement for instinctive cleanliness. Foxhound. Cairn. and consistent training. Miniature Schnauzer. A hound that’s scented something tempting will go haring off without a backwards glance. but they make up for this sometimes-frustrating tendency by being reliably cheerful. and so are predisposed to be distracted by the smells around them. partly because they were bred to live outside in kennels with other dogs . Bloodhound. Despite this. with distinctive baying and howling sounds that carry for miles. Thorough socialization is necessary from a young age to combat timidity and shyness.should not be allowed to run off-lead without reliable recall training. they make excellent family pets.strangers can usually come and go with little to no disturbance from a scent hound. Terriers Includes: Jack Russell. Terriers are an extremely high-energy group. Sight hounds tend to be sensitive in nature. and respond well to mild. Scent hounds don’t require huge amounts of exercise. as once they take off you have little chance of catching them again. with a vigorous daily walk sufficing for the most part. Airedale. They also have a fairly independent streak. rather than sight. With characteristically gentle. 21 www. For this reason. Scent hounds also tend to be loud. Their typical independence and bossiness can make them a challenge to train. and can be aloof with strangers.com .kingdomofpets. Skye. funny. gentle.
Dogs in this breed category were bred to hunt and kill quick-moving, ferocious vermin animals (badgers, foxes, ferrets, and so on). Because of this, they have a high prey drive and will chase most small creatures that venture into their yard. They can also be aggressive with other dogs. Terriers are generally a long-lived group, with few serious genetic defects. Toy Dogs Includes: Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Bichon Frise, Toy Poodle, Pug, Chihuahua, Pomeranian Toy dogs are sometimes referred to as “companion breeds,” as they were bred for the sole purpose of keeping humans company. Toy dogs are usually bright, comical and affectionate, with big personalities. Toy breeds are also infamous for their difficulty in accepting housetraining rules and regulations. The cause for this inconvenient trait is generally accepted to be a combination of stubbornness and the tiny size of the dogs’ internal organs they’re so small that it can actually be physically difficult for them to control their bladders or bowels for more than a few hours at a time.
A Pomeranian on show
These dogs aren’t generally recommended for households with young children, as they don’t take kindly to rough treatment or teasing. In addition, they’re very fragile and can be seriously injured or even killed from being dropped, sat on, or trodden on.
Owning a dog is a big responsibility. As well as the general care of your dog, which includes exercise, feeding, and frequent companionship, you must also consider your dog’s behavior both in private and public. It’s your responsibility as a dog owner to ensure that your pet behaves in an appropriate manner that complies with council bylaws and regulations.
Your dog is, effectively, an ambassador for other dogs of his breed, and for all dogs everywhere. Every time a dog behaves well in public, it helps to minimize the impact of negative publicity incurred by irresponsible dog owners and their ill-behaved, poorly trained, and inadequately socialized dogs. The basic message is this: the manner in which your dog is raised and trained doesn’t just matter to you. It matters to every person and animal that your dog encounters throughout his life. It’s your responsibility to ensure that he is trained, socialized, and taught to behave in a civilized and acceptable manner. Not only will this reflect well on you and other dog owners, but it will help to counteract the increasingly negative views and rules which are being enforced with regard to dogs. Finally, being capable of participating socially can only have a significant and positive effect on your dog’s life. General Rules for Responsible Ownership: Register, license, and microchip your dog. Ensure that he wears his collar and tags whenever he’s in public, and preferably at all times. ● Socialize him extensively with other dogs and humans from a young age. ● Ensure that he receives his shots for rabies, adenovirus, and parvovirus, and that these are kept up to date with regular checkups at the vet. ● Train him thoroughly in at least basic obedience - this is necessary if your dog is ever to venture beyond your yard. ● Make sure your property is fully fenced. ● Clean up after your dog when he relieves himself in a public place. ● If your dog begins to exhibit behavioral problems, especially those which may cause irritation or harm to others, take steps to remedy the problem. Chow Chow make great pets
Review of DOG 101
In this chapter, we looked at some of the issues that surround the initial phases of dog ownership. As a review, the main points that were covered have been outlined below. Considerations before buying a dog: ● How much time you can commit to spending with your dog. ● The financial implications of ownership. ● Your physical activity and energy level. ● Your own personality and what you would like from a companion. Selecting your puppy or dog: ● Research the breeds you like before choosing one. ● Adopt your puppy from a breeder or rescue shelter. ● Puppies miss out on valuable lessons if they’re taken from their mothers before eight weeks. ● Consider your choice of puppy carefully and make sure you understand the trouble that certain behaviors suggest. ● Visit the litter several times before making a final choice. Where to Adopt From: ● Visit the shelter or breeder and ensure that you’re happy with the level of hygiene and comfort enjoyed by the animals. ● Try to meet the puppy’s parents - at least meet the mother, if possible. ● Confirm registration of pedigree where applicable. ● Ask for proof that the puppy’s been cleared of any genetic or other diseases, and that the first set of shots has been administered. ● Confirm dietary requirements from the breeder or adoption shelter. ● Follow up with the breeder or shelter if there are problems after adoption. 24
Caring for Your Dog
The arrival of a new dog into the household is an exciting time for everyone concerned. The early days together are likely to be pretty demanding. Suddenly, you’re both thrown headlong into a life together - usually without much of an idea of each other’s personalities! Where a new dog is concerned, you should always expect the unexpected. Particularly if you’ve never had a dog before, the next few weeks are most likely going to hold some surprises for you. Getting a dog is a big decision and a big commitment: it’s not every day that you take on total responsibility for another’s health and happiness. The adjustment period isn’t always easy; the sudden change in lifestyle, as well as the inevitable stresses and messes of the first couple of weeks, can be draining. To prevent these ups and downs from negatively impacting your dog’s homecoming and making the event unduly stressful for either of you, we’ve detailed some tips below on the things you may wish to plan for - both before and during your dog’s first days in your household. In this section, we’re going to give you some practical advice about the preparations you’ll need to make before bringing your new puppy or dog home. A little bit of forethought will go a long way - it doesn’t take long for the new family member to get into a lot of trouble if you haven’t done your homework! Following the advice detailed below will help you to prevent some of the common problems associated with a dog’s early days in a new house. Preparing yourself, your family, and your house will make the transition as smooth as possible for humans and dogs alike, and will make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable and stress-free for everyone concerned
Bringing Your Puppy or Dog Home
The day has finally dawned - it is time for the new family member to move in and get to know everyone properly. However, before you go rushing off in excitement, you need to ensure that everything is just right. Your new pet’s transition to his new home should be as smooth as possible to minimize the trauma for him and frustration for you. 25
The course of events during the homecoming itself will set a precedent for your dog’s mindset and emotional balance while she adjusts over the next couple of weeks and months. Don’t set her up for failure: taking a little bit of time to prepare yourself and your home for her arrival will lessen the likelihood of you getting frustrated or stressed. Your dog takes her emotional cues from you: the happier and calmer you are, the happier and calmer your dog will be. Getting everything ready and organized for such a life-changing event takes time, so thinking ahead is an absolute must. Preparing the House It is important to remember that your new pet will be in an unfamiliar environment and may therefore get in to all sorts of places that may be unsuitable or even downright dangerous. This is a particular concern if you are getting a puppy, as they can fit into places where you would not even think to look! Making sure your house is adequately puppy-proofed will not only ensure the long-term existence of your more prized possessions, but could also make the difference between life and death for your dog. A lot of tempting chewables around the house - electrical cords, bottles containing cleaners and chemicals, even some houseplants - could seriously harm or even kill your dog. Taking a few minutes before she arrives to scope the house from a puppy’s point of view should help you safeguard both your home and her health. Remove or hide the more tempting and dangerous items from her reach. Basically, removing anything that could pose a risk should be made safe and secure. Wires should be tacked along the walls or hidden underneath carpet, all cupboard doors should be securely shut, medications and cleaners should be well out of reach, and - lastly - make sure that anything you particularly value is placed off-limits, behind a closed door or above head height! If you have kids, make sure that all toys - especially small items such as pieces from a board game - are out of the way, as your dog or puppy could swallow these. Even houseplants will need to be moved out of his reach, as they could make your pet sick if he chews them. You should pre-select an area that is going to be your new dog’s space somewhere he can seek sanctuary if things get a bit hectic. This is where you should put his toys and bedding. Make sure that you also put some newspaper down around this area in case your dog or puppy has an accident, which could well happen if he is feeling nervous about his new environment.
check that there are no holes or gaps in your garden fence. ● Daffodils ● Hyacinth ● Elephant ears ● Poinsettia ● Onion ● Tomato plant ● Most lilies ● Oleander ● Rhododendron This list isn’t complete: there are a lot of plants that are poisonous to dogs. so prevention is definitely better than a cure! Firstly.he could escape in an instant from a hole that you did not even realize was there.Preparing the Garden The yard poses a whole new array of possible threats for a curious new dog or puppy. In addition.com . Is it completely and securely fenced? Are any plants toxic? Do you fertilize your yard using dog-friendly chemicals? Have you recently sprayed weed killer? Do you ever set snail bait or use rat poison? Spending a little time now thinking about the hazards that your yard might present to a dog could save you both a lot of grief later on. some dogs have sensitivities or allergies to plants that pose no problem at all to most other dogs. make sure that you are using only pet friendly products in the garden in case your dog or puppy decides to chew on the grass when he does go out. Plenty of the problems that a dog is likely to encounter outside are both serious and rapid-onset. For a complete list. Secondly. speak to your vet. SOME COMMON PLANTS THAT ARE TOXIC TO DOGS: Here is a short list of some of the more common garden plants that are toxic to dogs. the gap does not need to be very big for a small pup . out of your pet’s reach. make sure that all garden tools and chemicals are safely locked away in the garden shed.kingdomofpets. 27 www. Also. Remember.
a lot of the time you won’t know you needed a particular item until you need it right then and there! Plenty of uncomfortable situations can be avoided simply by being prepared just try taking your puppy to the vet for an emergency visit without a lead (she won’t be admitted into the waiting room) or cleaning a mess off the floor without the correct cleaning agent (it’s virtually impossible!) If you’ve never had a dog before. some which will be suitable for unsupervised chewing (large rawhide bones. rubber bones.Puppy Shopping When it comes to puppies. if you’ve got one). tennis balls. this should have your dog’s name. etc). You can get a variety of toys. litter and tray. smaller rawhide bones. food. as changing your pet’s diet before he has even settled in could give him an upset stomach). ● Items for grooming (make sure any shampoos or grooming sprays are suitable for puppies unless you are getting an older dog). ● Collar and leash ● Identity barrel or tag: ideally. Make sure you stick to the food recommended. anything durable that can’t have pieces chewed off and swallowed) and some which he can only play with while you’re present (soft toys. it is a good idea to write a list a week or so before your new pet is due to move in to ensure that you have everything you need at hand. it is unlikely that you will have all of the necessary items required to cater for your new pet. ● Safe dog or puppy toys (these will help him settle and take his mind off the move). Some of the items on your list should include: ● Puppy or dog food (the type you buy should be based upon the diet instructions provided by the breeder or vet. rubber Kong® toys. and the phone number of your vet. You will also need it to transport your pet to the vet for check-ups and treatment when required). 28 www. ● Dishes for water and food.com .kingdomofpets. Therefore. rope toys. such as dishes. There are some things that you will need immediately. more if possible. ● Carrier/crate (you will need this in order to bring your puppy or dog home safely. your address and phone numbers (home and cellphone. ● Bedding: you’ll need at least three or four towels for him to lie down on in the crate.
such as infestations. as well as checking his coat and skin for redness and signs of fleas or other parasites. agitated dog . and clipped from a young age are usually suspicious of any attempts later in life to keep them looking neat and tidy.com . and will enable you to pick up on any potential problems. you must teach them how to properly handle your new pet. Start Training Early: Deal With Chewing and Biting Puppies like to chew . It will keep him relaxed and let him know what you want of him. There is certainly no harm in getting everything in one go. infections.and a stressed-out you! To avoid this. Not all of these items will be required on the actual day that your dog arrives. Children can have a habit if trying to dangle small pets when they try and pick them up and this should be avoided.” If you have children. which actually makes the problem worse . accustom him to his face and jaws being touched. incorrect handling could pose the risk of injury. as this will ensure that you have everything you need if and when you need it. Get him used to contact all over his body. Pick up his paws and hold them in your palms. mouth.● Cleaning agents suitable for use with animals: regular cleaning sprays and detergents aren’t suitable for use on any accidents your dog or puppy might make inside. Most of these contain ammonia. or injuries.kingdomofpets. 29 www. nose.and doesn’t remove the smell enough to prevent your dog from “reserving” the area for future toileting. groomed. Remember to treat and praise him whenever he allows you to do this. For the best grooming methods see the bonus book “Grooming Made Easy. When he is picked up. practice opening his mouth (for very short periods of time!). but there are some that will be. and eyes for any signs of discharge. brushed. and rub his tummy. so that he does not feel alarmed when he has to be handled for grooming or veterinary treatment. Use grooming time to check your pet’s ears. you need to take steps to prevent this problem as soon as your puppy sets foot in your house. A simple weekly grooming session will help to keep your dog or puppy clean and fresh. Handling and Grooming Dogs that aren’t accustomed to being handled. If you have a small pup. you need to get your dog used to physical interaction with humans.on anything readily available! To preserve your possessions and sanity (not to mention safeguard your dog’s health). and forcing the issue will always result in a frightened. you should make sure that his whole body is properly supported.
Getting your puppy or dog accustomed to ‘house rules’ will provide an effective basis for his training. it’s just putting too much pressure on your dog. Your puppy will not know an expensive shoe from a $2 dog toy from the local pet shop.it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that it is out of harm’s way. but you may find him trying to bite and chew slippers.com .Chewing is fine if he is using a proper dog chew or toy. Eating Habits and Diet Changing your dog’s meal times or food type can result in an upset stomach (either vomiting or diarrhea or both. Praise him thoroughly as soon as his jaws close around the new toy. shoes. Removing the source of his chewing and being firm but calm will suffice. furniture and anything else that crosses his path. how much they’re going to be fed. If you combine a shift to a new home and owner with a change in feeding routine (whether it’s the type of food or how often meals occur). otherwise he may suffer an adverse reaction or even stop eating altogether. as well as an unpleasant bout with diarrhea and/or vomiting. You must never shout at or smack your pet for chewing on something inappropriate. you need to maintain the eating schedule and food brand that he had before coming to you. If you do catch your pet trying to chew or bite on something totally inappropriate. To avoid increasing your dog’s insecurity and nervousness. This regularity helps them to organize their day and to feel more secure about life in general. so the onus is on you. 30 www. It will teach him to respect you and your home. remove the item from him and firmly say ‘No!’ Then redirect him immediately towards an appropriate chew or toy (hand him a tasty alternative).kingdomofpets.such as that new pair of shoes that cost you a week’s wages . This is something you should deal with right away otherwise it could become a serious problem. Bear in mind that if you have anything that you really would not like to see chewed . as you will simply frighten him and make him distrustful. They like to know when to expect their meals. and will let him know who is boss. and what kind of food they’re going to get.) There’s also an emotional component to the feeding schedule of your dog: all dogs are happiest when their lives are routine. If and when you do change your pet’s diet it should be done gradually to allow him time to get used to the new tastes and textures.
Because your puppy’s diet will be very dependent upon his breed, age and size, it is impossible to find a ‘one diet suits all’ solution, and you must therefore ensure that your pet’s diet is catered for in accordance with his own personal needs. If you have any doubts about what your dog or puppy should be eating, you should not hesitate to contact your vet and ask for advice. It is vital that your pet - especially as a puppy - receives a well-balanced and nutritious diet to promote healthy development. Your pet’s breeder should already have developed an appropriate diet for you to follow for your dog. However, if you have an older dog, or did not get your dog from a breeder, the vet will recommend an appropriate eating plan to ensure that your pet gets the vitamins and minerals that he needs. Exercise and Rest Under-exercised dogs are prone to a host of emotional and physical problems. Dogs that aren’t walked regularly are agitated, more prone to aggression, more likely to develop separation anxiety, almost guaranteed to destroy large parts of your home through destructive chewing and digging, and in general are unhappy creatures. On top of this, dogs are physically designed to be fit, active creatures. An underexercised dog will have slack, untoned muscles (making him more prone to joint dysplasia and soft-tissue strains), weak bones, and is much more likely to develop diabetes and obesity. To avoid these unpleasant problems, all you have to do is walk your dog. Exercise him regularly and as vigorously as his age and breed will permit. While some dog breeds require a lot of exercise others such as some of the larger breeds (for example, Great Danes, St. Bernards and Newfoundlands) can not be properly exercised until they are fully grown at about sixteen to eighteen months old. With these breeds, their bone growth can be adversely affected if they are exercised too much early on in their lives. Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, he is going to need a balanced combination of regular exercise and plenty of rest. Puppies, in particular, need to get their rest so you must make sure that you do all you can to make this possible. Exercise can involve all types of physical activity, not just going for walks. Interactive play (for example, fetch) is a particularly good form of exercise, as it allows your pet to bond more closely with you. Regular walks are, of course, part of every puppy’s agenda and will provide both you and your dog with regular, healthy activity. 31
Your pet’s rest area - the place where you have his toys and bedding - should be a place where he can go to get some sleep, have a lazy hour or two, and simply chill out. We all need a little down time alone now and again, and your dog or puppy is no different. You should respect this, and make sure that any children know not to go after the puppy and try to wake him up when he is trying to sleep. Listed below are several benefits of exercise and what to watch out for when exercising your dog. ● Exercise will slow the onset of aging problems such as arthritis, rheumatism, or digestive problems. Just as exercise is recommended for the human heart and lungs, it is also recommended to keep your dog's heart in shape and respiratory system working well. ● As generally dogs like to chase things, chew and dig to relieve boredom, making your dog run around the park chasing a tennis ball may discourage him from feeling that he has to chase inappropriate objects, such as cars. Similarly, it may make him less inclined to chew things or dig holes. ● Exercise is a great stimulant, especially if your dog has been cooped up all day. It will prevent him getting bored, depressed, and frustrated. ● Do not make him do too much exercise in hot weather as dogs can overheat much easier than humans can. ● Reduce the amount of exercise you give your dog if he is suffering from anemia, a blood disorder that deprives cells of oxygen supply. Long slow walks are required if he has kennel cough. ● If he has prostate problems, he may need to be outside to urinate more often. Be careful not to overdo it, as he could be tender. ● Exercise will tire him out, which can be a good thing if he is prone to barking a lot or has problems sleeping at night. ● If he is constipated, walking and exercise will help by freeing up his digestive system and getting the blood flowing. Exercise is a great help in reducing the amount of flatulence that he produces.
● Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition common in larger dogs where the hip joint does not fit as well as it should. Excessive wear and tear on the joint can lead to arthritis in the joint, which leaves your dog with sore hind legs and a painful back. It is important that larger dogs get enough exercise to keep the hip muscles strong, but be careful not to overdo it. It is a good idea to add specific joint supplements to your large dog's food. ● If you feel that your dog is suffering from anxiety, then exercise and games can help by taking his mind off the problem. House Training A dog that’s been inadequately housetrained is likely to have recurrent issues with soiling in the house. Housetraining isn’t just something that comes with age - unless you teach him otherwise, your dog is going to spend the rest of his life urinating and defecating at will throughout your home. Fortunately, it’s not hard to housetrain your dog. You’ll need to be prepared for a month or two of concerted effort - but really, it all boils down to paying attention to your dog’s feeding and exercise schedule, and watching his body language when he’s inside. You need to be patient and understanding when housetraining your dog - just as you would when potty-training a toddler. Screaming and shouting is not the answer; instead, your must exercise diplomacy and patience. If your dog looks as though he is ready to do his business, you should quickly take him to the bathroom area, whether this is the garden or a litter tray. The signs to look out for that may indicate when your dog needs to go to the bathroom are: ● Circling and sniffing the floor ● Restless pacing In addition to these signs, there are certain times of the day when it is best to take him to the designated area, whether or not he looks as though he needs to go. This will get him into the habit of heading for the appropriate place himself when he does need to relieve himself. These times include: ● As soon as he wakes up in the morning ● After any activity, play, or exercise ● Within ten minutes of eating or drinking 33
Offering your puppy or dog praise and a treat whenever he takes himself to the designated area will reinforce this training, as he will associate doing his business in the litter tray or garden with getting treats. Housetraining is covered in more detail in the bonus book “All the House Training Methods and Tricks.” Socializing It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of adequately socializing your dog. As soon as he’s had his inoculations, he needs to meet as many different humans and dogs, in as many different types of situations, as you can introduce him to. Without this all-important social interaction, your dog will never have the chance to form a balanced, realistic view of the outside world. He will grow up to be upset and frightened by new people, dogs, and situations, because he’s never had the chance to learn that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Unsocialized dogs typically demonstrate their fear in one of two ways: they are either excessively highly-strung and nervous whenever they encounter anyone or anything new; or they react with exaggerated and unpredictable aggression in around new people and animals. Both of these reactions are undesirable and unsafe - scared dogs are just as likely to bite as aggressive ones. Even if an unsocialized dog doesn’t pose a real risk to anyone, he’ll still lead a life of relative misery - imagine being scared stupid every time you encountered a new sight or sound! In addition to this, dogs are social animals: they’re happier and more relaxed with regular opportunities to interact with other dogs. The first thing you should do in your efforts to socialize your dog is to take him to puppy preschool. This is the ideal way to initiate your dog into the real world: he gets to learn basic obedience commands while meeting plenty of new dogs and people, but in a safe, controlled environment. Bear in mind that your dog should not be allowed to mix with unvaccinated dogs until he has been fully inoculated, so if he hasn’t yet had any vaccinations you must be very wary of where he goes and which other animals he mixes with as he will be extremely susceptible to disease.
Diet and Nutrition
Up until the quite recent past, dogs were viewed more as an object than a real pet - something that lived in the yard, and was expected to eat whatever was put out for it. Today, there’s more of a trend to view our dogs as true companions: they live in the house with us, sometimes sleeping on the bed, and more owners today care about the food their dogs are getting than ever before. What you feed your dog on has a massive impact on his future health and longevity. Unfortunately, a great deal of the pet food available on the market is of a substandard quality and isn’t something that a dog can realistically thrive on for a long period of time (imagine how healthy you’d be if you ate nothing but fast food all your life!). You can avert a huge number of diseases, ameliorate the effects of others, and slow down the aging process itself, simply by feeding your dog high-quality and nutritionally sound food. Your vet will recommend the brands most suitable for your dog’s age, breed, and any medical conditions or sensitivities he may have. Meal Times Our recommendation would be that you have regular meal times for your dog as opposed to leaving food for him to eat whenever he wants. Dogs prefer constancy and routine so regular feeding times will help your dog become more relaxed and settled. Feeding your dog after you and your family have eaten will help establish and maintain your position of dominance over him. Premium Dog Food Not enough emphasis can be put on the need to feed your dog premium dog food. These premium foods should come from a specialist dog food provider, such as your pet store or the vet, as normal supermarket dog food, while often still being called “premium,” is of a lesser quality. As mentioned previously, get your local vet’s recommendation for a premium food that will suit your dog. Premium brands have high levels of protein, as the number one ingredient in their dog food is meat. While these foods may initially cost more, you will not have to 35
For puppies it is a good idea to use mealtimes as an extension of the training ground. This means that. as in the wild. This will lessen his possessiveness of his food and other things generally. Things to Watch For Many dog food manufacturers have taken a very responsible approach to providing healthy and safe dog food. Praise him while doing so and then give it back. In some cases. As soon as he is used to taking food from his bowl you should: ● Make him wait for his meal until after you have eaten. Early on though.kingdomofpets. they are probably just as economical as cheaper. In addition. This is quite normal and can add to the amount of dietary fiber your dog consumes. you may have to persuade him to start eating. take his food away from him before he starts eating. If you can you should also avoid dog food that has preservatives listed as an ingredient. However. ● Make him sit before he can start eating. as the wild dog instincts for food are never that far below the surface. with less chance of your dog suffering ill effects.com . Dogs do occasionally eat grass. which in turn will reduce the chances of bowel cancer occurring. you should check the ingredients listed on the packaging of your dog food. Puppies Puppies should be fed three or four times a day until they reach eight weeks old. As long as your dog’s diet is balanced then there is no reason why you cannot feed your dog the same food for its entire life other than the fact that variety may make mealtime more interesting for him. weeds. More fiber means better food flow through your dog’s digestive system. and if it is present then do not feed the food to your dog as some food dyes have been shown to cause cancer. your dog will eventually eat. and plants. ● Every now and again. in the long run. this is not a problem for your dog.feed your dog as much because of the higher nutrient level. low protein foods. you may find that your dog is a very fussy eater (usually this happens with smaller dogs) and will go for days without eating. Generally. they were quite used to eating only once or twice a week and developed relatively large stomachs in which to store food. One ingredient you should check for is dye. at which time one or two feedings a day will be enough. 36 www.
you need to know the rate at which your dog will likely develop: asking too much of him at a young age would be like asking an eight year old human to attend college. A good basic knowledge of your dog’s development will help you to provide him with the care. such as a specific training routine that requires a food reward. dominance) that are associated with accelerated or delayed learning. knowing the rate at which your dog’s learning abilities and personality develop will assist you in preventing some of the common behavioral problems (disobedience. aggression. If you are in doubt about any part of your dog’s diet. at any stage of his life. and you should be able to easily feel the rest of them (i. Make sure that the amount of food that you give your dog is enough for him considering his size and activity level. C. food. his ribs should not be protruding out. then consult a vet. you should be feeding him twice a day.e.Older Dogs (6 months plus) By the time your dog reaches 6 months old. and rambunctious dog that doesn’t know his own place in the household. or obedience training) will result in a poorlybehaved. On the other hand.) It is important that you do not give your dog tidbits and morsels of food outside of his regular meal times unless you have a specific reason for doing so. As a general rule: you should be able to see his last two ribs. the ribs are reasonably close to the surface. In short. and exercise that’s appropriate to his age and condition. 37 www. affection. Canine Growth Stages Your dog’s needs will change and evolve with every stage of his life. housetraining. insecure. discipline. In addition to this. If you can feel fat over your dog’s ribs then you should either feed him less or exercise him more.kingdomofpets. without a thick padding of fat to obscure them. as this is a sign that he has not been eating enough. attention. while neglecting aspects of your dog’s development (like socialization.com .
and he will have become the dog that you will hopefully be spending many happy years with.com . and his mother will provide the first two. He should start to walk during this stage. You can also start to wean the puppy at this age by providing his first taste of puppy food. You will find that your puppy’s interest really peaks at this stage. where he can enjoy rest and sleep without disturbance. Five to Seven Weeks of Age During this stage of his life. The pup’s primary concerns during this stage will be warmth. and he will start to explore further and for longer. your puppy will develop even more of an active interest in his environment as well as in playing and socializing with his siblings and with humans. and this is where you will start to see his personality shine through. Below you will find the growth and developmental stages that he will go through to reach his full potential. The third is your responsibility. but you should bear in mind that he still very young and will still need plenty of peaceful rest.kingdomofpets. food. He should be walking now and you should therefore be vigilant. New Born to Two Weeks of Age This is a very delicate time of a puppy’s life. it is okay to handle the pup more and to expose him to everyday noise. whining. Three to Four Weeks of Age This is the stage at which your puppy will really start to notice the new world around him. as this will help you to meet your dog’s needs as and when they arise.It’s a good idea for you to arm yourself with a basic knowledge of the canine rate of development. as he will be able to get in to a variety of places that he was not able to access previously. you must let him get plenty of rest and let him stay close to his mother. and take an interest in what is happening. etc. albeit falteringly. and a time when you should avoid over-handling or picking up the pup. and sleep. Very soft strokes and speaking around him gently is fine. By this age. but other than this. and he will start to use his voice for yapping. The weaning process should be more intense during this period of his life. 38 www. and you can ensure he gets plenty of sleep by keeping noise to a minimum and leaving the puppy alone with his mother. Your puppy’s temperament and personality should be fully developed by the time he reaches around twelve weeks of age.
but as he grows older his need for rest will be replaced with a need for play. you should check that his dietary needs are catered for.com . The type of food and the frequency of his meals will need to be adjusted according to his age. exercise.nothing heavy. as you want him to feel comfortable around a variety of people. Young pups are more concerned about where they are and what is around them. you should bear in mind that he will not be as active as he once was. Again. A Senior Dog As your dog approaches his senior years. Eleven to Twelve Weeks of Age Your puppy should now be a fully-fledged little pet. As He Grows Older As your dog grows up. a happy disposition. and start to develop a real bond with him through exercise.Eight to Ten Weeks of Age Your puppy should be ready for some very simple and fun training at this stage . By the time your dog grows out of puppyhood. hopefully. your attention and strokes are just an added bonus. Also. you should remember that his needs are going to change in many ways. However. remember that your dog’s dietary needs will change. a senior dog needs to get plenty of rest. so do not push him into activity if he is trying to rest. You will notice that his socialization skills will develop more at this age. You must never underestimate the amount of attention a dog needs. condition and health. with good social skills and. training and play. he will need plenty of rest. as he grows older. and his nutritional requirements for optimum health will need to be monitored. so you should be watchful and make sure he does not get himself in to any trouble either inside or outside the house. and interaction with humans. and some people do start to pay less attention to their dogs once they have reached adolescence. He will start to really get around at this age. his main focus is on you as his owner rather than on his environment. and your vet will be able to provide you with information on the best food for him depending upon his age. older puppies and dogs actually need more attention from humans than younger ones. As a puppy. 39 www.kingdomofpets. which is something that you should encourage. Like a puppy. His personality will start to show more strongly than ever. giving you an idea of what you have let yourself in for over the next ten or fifteen years! You can now start looking into proper training for your puppy.
They enjoy hunting the toy down. as without them he will have nothing to keep his mind active when he is alone or in his own private area. 40 www. which will keep your dog busy all day long. It’s pleasurable for the dog.com . Providing your dog with an adequate supply of toys is essential to keep him happy and stimulated. and this can lead to issues such as frustration. Your favorite running shoes.e. especially if he is going to be playing with them unsupervised while you are at work. and then repeatedly biting it until they ‘kill’ it (i. if you are out all day and are therefore unable to supervise your dog’s play you should never buy a toy that can easily come apart as your dog could swallow parts of it and choke. For example. You should not deprive your pet of toys. And so on. the need to chew is still a basic aspect of almost any dog’s character. If your dog doesn’t have a selection of toys and chews to occupy his mouth and mind in your absence (and sometimes even in your presence!) he will direct his attentions towards other. less appropriate targets: the couch. Although this toy may get a little tiresome for you if your dog is playing with and constantly squeaking it in your presence.kingdomofpets. E. However. and disinterest. it helps to pass the time and burn off excess energy. You should base your choice on your own lifestyle as well as your dog’s personality. Toys for Your Dog One of the best things you can do for your dog (as well as your own house) is to invest in a fantastic selection of delectable chewables for your dog. boredom. Safe and Fun Toys to Buy Squeaky toys: This type of rubber toy is the source of immense delight for most dogs. Even if they’re well-exercised and enjoy nearconstant companionship. He can enjoy mental stimulation even when you are not around simply by having the right toys at his disposal. particularly if he is left alone a great deal of the time. There are many tasty and long-lasting doggy toys on the market these days. until it is all squeaked out!). Most dogs need to chew on things. it is important that you check that the toys you buy for your dog are safe and suitable for his size and age. Be extremely careful about your selection of toys. The television remote control. depression. Pillows.D. it is an excellent source of fun for him when you are away from home and he has to keep himself amused. and is also remarkably soothing for a dog that’s distressed or wound up.
source of entertainment for dogs. Dogs love chewing and biting. and this can improve his dental health as well as keep his mind stimulated. these are toys that dogs love to chew on and the wide array available will give your dog plenty to keep him busy and entertained. F. Try to take your dog along with you on these sizing up expeditions. and can even snuggle them when they are tired and feeling a little lonely.kingdomofpets. 41 www. as it is important to see your prospective vet’s manner with your dog.Rope: You can now get special ‘dog’ rope. enabling him to keep busy whenever he is alone or if he feels bored. improving their teeth and gums as well as keeping their minds active. Choosing Your Vet Your vet plays an important role in your dog’s health and wellbeing. and take a definite dislike to another. It’s worth holding out for one that sets both you and your dog at ease. all vets are definitely NOT created equal: you’ll find that your dog may get along with a particular vet. so however big your dog you can get the perfect size and shape plush to give him maximum enjoyment. This provides an affordable way to enhance his health and his mind. You can get all shapes and sizes of these toys. You can avoid vet-related problems simply by shopping around for one that feels right for you and your dog.and tasty . A routine checkup can turn from a humdrum chore into a complete nightmare if your dog becomes stressed or agitated while he’s there. Instead. When it comes to different breeds and even individual dogs. so you won’t have to spend a fortune replacing them even if he chews them on a regular basis. These are long-lasting and durable toys. as you may already know from your slippers and socks. you can spice things up for him by rotating his toys every couple of days to keep him stimulated and interested. There are so many great toys available these days that you will be delighted by the choice. You want to do everything within your power to ensure that your dog is as happy and relaxed as possible at the vet clinic. and your dog will be thrilled by the hours of fun that these toys will provide. Rubber chews/bones: Again. which your dog can spend hours chewing and biting. Plush toys: Dogs love to toss and fetch plush toys.com . These chews enable them to do this the healthy way. they are nevertheless an exciting . It is a good idea not to give your dog access to all of his toys every day. Don’t just choose the closest or cheapest vet. Rawhide chews: Although these are not strictly toys.
● See if the staff are knowledgeable and friendly. G. 42 www. ● Handle and groom your puppy often. ● Check out the place in general. and dogs as early as possible. ● Get and use the breeder’s diet recommendation. Review of DOG 102 Dog 102 focuses on how to avoid some of the common problems that new owners have to deal with.OTHER CONSIDERATIONS ARE ● Ask your prospective vet a few questions about your particular breed of dog.com . Bringing your puppy or dog home ● Prepare your house for the new arrival. but be careful with children handling him. with a focus on prevention through good basic care for your dog. Separate waiting areas specifically for dogs are an advantage especially if your dog does not mix well with other animals. ● Get the puppy products that will make both your lives easier.kingdomofpets. ● Start your training early by setting and sticking to the house rules. ● Give him plenty of exercise and plenty of rest. ● Check if they provide 24-hour emergency care and that they have the facilities for emergency operations. ● Make sure that he cannot escape from your backyard. His answers will give you an insight to his bedside manner and depth of knowledge. ● Get your puppy used to other people. pets.
● Use your puppy feeding regime to reinforce your puppy training. dog rope.com . ● Do they have an emergency care service? 43 www.kingdomofpets. ● Use premium dog food if you can. ● If in doubt.Diet and nutrition ● Have regular meal times. ● Check the ingredient list for any untoward ingredients. consult your vet about your dog's dietary requirements. Toys for your dog Toys are a great mental and physical stimulant for your dog. rawhide and rubber chews. and plush toys Choosing your vet ● Check out your vet’s bedside manner and how well he knows your breed of dog. and dietary requirements. Some examples are squeaky toys. health. Canine growth stages Consider how your puppy changes into an adult dog and the effect of this on his exercise.
In this chapter. and an overview of what these training methods entail: Dog Whispering This type of training is based around understanding the body language and behavior of your dog. Further on. we give you the secrets to transforming your dog’s behavior. Types of Training There are many different forms of training that can be used on your dog or puppy. At the end of this section. and make our own recommendation as to what method is best for you and your dog. Finally. and you must exercise patience and understanding throughout. we give you our choice as to the most effective training technique. if you decide that you need to employ a trainer. Then. and the ones that you use the most will often depend upon which ones your dog is most responsive to as well as which ones you feel most comfortable about using. A. we look at the proper way to use crate training and how your dog’s training regime should change with age. we look at the pluses and minuses of the different training methods that are used today. It is my belief that these techniques combined with understanding your dog’s psychology will complement the training method that you choose to use. This training is based upon positive association. One thing all dog owners should remember is that training does not happen overnight. and can help owners to really understand their dog’s problems. we give you our recommendations for choosing one. many different training techniques have been touted as the best ‘new’ thing and usually they just fade away or cycle in and out of vogue.com . as well as train them effectively. 44 www. Below you will find some of the forms of training used on puppies and dogs. Dog whispering is a relatively new form of training and is fast gaining popularity with those that want to understand their pets. There are pros and cons to all types of training. Dog whispering will enable you to ‘talk’ to him in a way that he understands.kingdomofpets. in one of the most important sections of Secrets to Dog Training. whereas others pick out the most effective one and concentrate on that. The dog whispering technique is detailed in DOG 301. Some people utilize a variety of these methods.DOG 103: Training Methods Revealed Over the years.
45 www.reward training and not punishment training. and this is supposed to discourage them from doing it again. This will make your dog think that treats will come his way whatever happens. Simply reward him when he does do it.Reward Training This is one of the most popular types of dog training at present. This is usually coupled with praise and fuss. One thing to remember about reward training is that it is just that . You should never smack or shout at your dog for not doing something you want him to do. humans are trained to associate something they should not do with something bad. more effective. and works through rewarding your dog with a tasty treat whenever he does something he is supposed to. but the other way around.com Check chain and leash . because it’s so easy to misuse one unintentionally . strong.kingdomofpets. With aversion therapy. It requires a high degree of skill to be able to use a choke collar correctly (and to know when to stop using one!). such as pulling on the leash. hence encouraging him to continue to do it. They were originally designed as training aids for use on large. Some people are not too keen on this method of training because the dog is clearly reacting to the prospect of a treat rather than out of respect for his owner. they are a training tool only. willful dogs. and were intended for use by professional dog-trainers.and there simply better. enabling your dog to associate that particular action with goodies and lots of love from his owner. and use of one should be phased out when the problem behavior. Choke collars were never intended to replace normal collars. Reward training will teach your dog to associate something he should do with something good. has been corrected. and more humane methods available. Choke or Check Collar Training The team at Kingdom of Pets doesn’t recommend the use of choke (or check) collars when training your dog. It works in the same way as aversion therapy. Some people can make this type of training ineffective by giving their pets treats at inappropriate times rather than just throughout training. rather than when he has done something good.
Dogs have died because of this. Choke collars are a training tool. Some people even leave the collar on their dogs day and night. just like a normal collar. When the dog tugs on the lead. which actions will result in a “reward” (loose collar) and which will result in a correction (tight collar. the dog will eventually learn not to pull on the leash any more WHY THE KINGDOM OF PETS DOESN’T RECOMMEND CHOKE COLLARS Choke collars are a risky business. and most people don’t know how to use them properly. It’s easy to jerk too hard and hurt your dog . and tracheal (windpipe) injuries can be inflicted through misuse of one of these collars. Unfortunately. not to pull on the leash) and not used again unless your dog’s leash tugging starts up again. A dog’s natural reaction to pressure on his neck is to exert more pressure in the opposite direction. restricted breathing). it will tighten. a lot of people who don’t realize this continue to use the choke collar as a long-term walking tool. the collar tightens against itself. If you do decide to use a choke collar. and has a choking effect on the dog’s neck. This is a very real hazard to the dog’s health: if that collar gets snagged on anything. 46 www. but with subtle tugs that are timed precisely to underscore your authority. So if you’re not there to help him. Serious neck. it should be put away as soon as your dog has learned the necessary lesson (presumably. or slip collar) is a collar that’s designed to slip over the dog’s head. The principle behind choke-collar training is a kind of correction/reward theory: the dog will learn. as a direct result of his own actions. Correct use of a check collar After some use of the choke collar.WHAT’S A CHOKE COLLAR? A choke collar (sometimes called a choke.or inflict long-term damage.or check-chain. he could panic and get into a real mess.not by jerking roughly.kingdomofpets. Choke collars are intended to reinforce training commands . not something to be used constantly on your dog.com . spinal.
Although the head collar resembles a muzzle at first glance.kingdomofpets. but this is achieved without restricting his breathing or pinching his neck.methods of training your dog available that it seems almost barbaric to choose a method that asserts your control by stopping his breathing. It enables you to control the direction of your dog’s forward momentum. Head Collar Training There are several types of head collar or head “harness” leads. If you are going to use a choke collar. drinking. every time we’ve seen good results from the use of one. including the Gentle Leader® and the Halti®. the head collar does its job by simply redirecting your dog’s direction of movement. The head collar is essentially a more humane version of the choke chain: the effect is the same (it teaches your dog not to pull). or the use of a head harness collar. barking.and humane . We at Kingdom of Pets urge you not to use a choke collar until you’ve been properly instructed. they are a useful training device when used correctly . or licking you. the differences are significant: primarily. again. There are so many other effective . which we’ll go into in more detail next). Ideally.we’ve seen some very positive results from the correct use of a choke collar. Get the assistant at the vet or the pet store where you bought it to demonstrate how to put it together . These leads have a strap that goes over the dog’s muzzle and a strap that goes around the back of his head. in its use. But. Yes. panting.com . they’re pretty risky. you’d only use one on your cherished dog while under the supervision of a professional dog trainer. and all other avenues have been exhausted first (such as positive reinforcement training. and assemble it in a manner which will be permanently choking your dog. If he heads off to one side 47 www. by somebody experienced and knowledgeable. without preventing him from eating. a professional trainer has been involved. it isn’t restrictive. We’re not saying that choke collars aren’t effective . Instead of exerting dominance aggressively.but because of their potential for easy misuse.OUR POLICY ON CHOKE COLLARS Kingdom of Pets views choke collars as a last resort only.it’s easy to do it wrong if you’re unfamiliar with choke chains. please make sure you know how to use it properly.
made of large rectangular links. Prong Collar Training Prong collars are a newer type of training collar. WHAT’S A PRONG COLLAR? A prong collar is a chain collar for your dog.com . ● Puppies and old dogs are not suitable candidates for the prong collar. On the corner of each link. breeders and dog owners refuse to use this type of training. there is a sharp prong of metal.Rottweilers in particular) or strong dominance issues can be so frustrated by the sensation of the prong collar that they’ll actually inflict puncture wounds around their necks from pulling on it. The Kingdom of Pets team strongly recommends that you try the Gentle Leader® or the Halti® before even considering a choke collar. the head collar swings him smoothly and effortlessly back into line again. These devices are actively painful for dogs and we at Kingdom of Pets do not support the use of prong collars.kingdomofpets. If you do decide to use this type of training device. there are very few dogs that are “suitable” candidates for prong-collar training. As you can see. ● Dogs with a high pain threshold (most working dogs . ● Sensitive and highly-strung dogs may never manage to rebuild their trust in you after you’ve inflicted such a collar on them. it is important to remember that prong collars are not suitable for all dogs: ● Very aggressive or excitable dogs should not be trained with this device as they may incur injury.or tries to pull ahead. branding it as dangerous and painful for dogs. but are shrouded in controversy with regard to whether they are humane and safe to use as training tools. designed to dig into your dog’s skin and hurt him if he tugs on the leash. and probably even fewer owners who are able to use one correctly! 48 www. Many trainers.
Your dog will soon learn to relate to the clicking. with seriously aggressive tendencies. To balance the argument. It is normally paired with something that your dog really desires such as treats. The intensity of the shock can be adjusted with some collars. and the use of one should always be supervised . Some people see clicker training and similar training methods as akin to bribery or brainwashing. You can perform a correction with the collar without having to put yourself in the firing line. Electric Collar Training This type of training is undoubtedly shrouded in as much if not more controversy than prong collar training.by a trained professional. However.Clicker Training This type of training is a gentle. which is known as the primary reinforcer. there are benefits to using electronic collars in some situations. 49 www. Although your dog will initially react to the treat. others have found clicker training to be a very useful and effective tool in dog training.if not administered outright . It is vital that anyone thinking of using this training method gets adequate training himself or herself before they go ahead and start administering electric shocks to the family dog. some people are not keen on this type of training because they want their dogs to do as they are told out of respect rather than out of desperation for a treat. The clicker is a plastic box with a clicking metal strip built in to it. if the giving of the treat is coupled with clicking of the box. the handler or trainer is able to administer a small electric shock to the dog in a corrective capacity. These collars can be very useful if you have a larger dog. With electric collar training. conditional training method that works through association.com . These collars can create real trauma for a dog. and one that does not use punishment or any harsh methods to train dogs. that is hard for you to physically control. Again. this will become a secondary or conditioned reinforcer. This method of training can be both ineffective and painful for the dog if it is not performed with the utmost care and attention. although the minimum is the setting suggested by most trainers that use this method.kingdomofpets. and when he hears the clicks after certain actions he will know he has done something good.
and you may need some training yourself before you get it right. You can also use the whistle for training and getting his attention from a distance. any longer than one to two between action and correction (ie. once you have the hang of it you may find that it is an effective addition to other dog training tools. The sound is not designed to harm a dog. will be the best bet for dog training. combined with the minimal use of treats. The most important techniques to get your dog to respond to you are actually in the next section. Anyone thinking of using this method should make sure that they think long and hard before making their decision.kingdomofpets. Whistle training is not always easy. However. We detail the dog whispering technique in DOG 301. These techniques should be used in conjunction with whatever method of training that you decide to use. there are far more gentle and suitable training methods for your dog.com . We use these methods throughout DOG 203 and DOG 303. it does require persistence and patience on the trainer’s part. The electronic collar allows you to reprimand him instantly no matter where he is. The Kingdom of Pets takes a strong stance against the use of electric collars .a device used by many professional and novice dog trainers. and strongly urge you to seek other. but simply to get his attention for training purposes. 50 www. With so many other training methods available. This has given rise to a training tool known as the ultrasonic whistle . Bear in mind that you could cause both physical and psychological problems for your dog through such harsh training methods.we believe them to be unnecessary and inhumane. For most dogs and their owners. more effective and humane. the use of a head collar. methods of training your dog.The timing of your reprimand is very important. Our Recommendation Dog whispering is a fantastic option for the owner who has a smart and responsive dog. the “Command” sections of Secrets to Dog Training. Ultrasonic Whistle Training A dog’s sense of hearing means that he can hear sounds at frequencies that are totally inaudible to humans. shock) and your dog will not be able to associate his action with your reprimand. While dog whispering is an extremely humane and fantastically effective option.
and reprimand your dog with should always be the same. whether that person is yourself or another family member. which just adds another layer of confusion for your dog. Remember that your dog only has the mental capacity of a toddler. Spending QUALITY TIME with your dog is the key. The reason for having a sole trainer is that while the commands may be the same the body language can be quite different between different people.B. he will be much more responsive and attentive when you are training him.kingdomofpets. It is important that all members of the family are aware of this and use the same commands themselves. I mean the commands that you decide to use to train. playing with him and taking him for long walks. the chances are your dog will not associate your words with his actions. Consistency Delivering consistent messages to your dog will help him view his world as black and white rather than various shades of grey. For your dog’s early training sessions it is worthwhile having one person train him. praise. Adhering to these techniques will aid the training process immensely and ensure that you get the most out of your relationship with your dog. Timing By timing I mean the amount of time that passes between your dog’s action (or inaction) and corresponding praise (or reprimand).com . Bonding Perhaps the most important aspect of building a successful relationship with your dog will be your rapport with him. 51 www. If you make your dog into a close friend by doing such things as talking to him. no matter what training method you follow. By consistent messages. as you would not want to undermine the hard work that you have put in to training the dog by having other people confusing him. This time should be no more than two to three seconds. If the time is any longer. Secrets to Training Your Dog Outlined below are the critical techniques that you MUST use when training your dog.
prevention is far better than having to correct the action at a later stage. For example if your dog is not responding well to the command to sit then reissue the command as you are pushing his hindquarters down (see the Sit command in DOG 203). by the time he gets to you he has long forgotten what he has done wrong and now thinks that you are telling him off for coming to you! Always praise your dog when he comes to you. note that you should always praise your dog when he has correctly done what you have asked of him. 52 www. it is important that any physical correction to your dog’s response to your training command occurs within the same time frame. even if it takes him longer to come than you would have liked. Dogs do not have an elephant’s memory and will require refresher sessions throughout their lives so that the conditioned response that you want is not lost.In the same vein. It will take several repetitive training sessions for your dog to get the response you require implanted into his brain and for the action to become automatic. As part of this. Do not fall into the trap of calling your dog to you to reprimand him. otherwise you could be in for a hard time trying to rectify those habits later on. An example would be that having your puppy on the couch is cute but when he becomes a fully-grown dog. As mentioned above. it probably will not be! Remember. Repetition Dogs are creatures of habit and learn by repetition.com .kingdomofpets. It makes sense not to introduce any bad habits right from the start.
Try not to over-praise your dog as excessive chatter will only serve to confuse him and may disrupt his concentration for the rest of the training session. Some types of dogs. will produce much better and quicker results. Generally speaking. Praise should also be delivered to your dog as soon as the desired act has been done (remember the section on timing).Session Length Keep sessions short and enjoyable so that your dog maintains concentration throughout. try not use food as a reward or bribe. you should always finish a training session on a positive note if you can.even more so if there is a close bond between dog and owner.com . However. Quality not quantity is the golden rule. Eye Contact Using eye contact can be more effective than using the spoken word . You should ensure that you have the dog’s full attention and that you are giving your best when performing a training session. DOG 203 and DOG 303 outline specific exercises that you can use to stimulate and keep your dog’s interest. Attitude Be reasonable in your expectation of what your dog can achieve. 53 www. as a reward. In addition. When delivering praise look directly into the dog’s eyes so that he understands the connection between your voice or touch and his action. It will take time to get results. If a dog wishes to communicate with you. do not often care for displays of affection in which case using food. like Beagles. You may wish to settle yourself or the dog down by taking a long walk before the session commences. It is well known that dogs that do not make good eye contact can be difficult to train. he will look directly into your eyes trying to read your intent. alternating treats with displays of affection can be a useful way of overcoming problems that your dog may have in learning some of the exercises.kingdomofpets. Praise Use praise whenever your dog has completed an exercise correctly. Deliver praise verbally or with the hand by either patting or stroking him.
Similarly if your dog is lying on the furniture and you say ‘Get Down’ the dog will probably not move as he has recognized only the ‘Down’ part of the command. It is important to know that your dog will not understand everything that you say and may misunderstand the meaning of what you say. 54 www. The understanding that any dog does have is more of an association between the sound you make and an action the dog has learnt to respond to the sound with. while other dogs do best with a strong understanding of just five or six basic commands. rather than a true understanding of the word’s actual meaning. This is why repetition is such an important part of training .com . For example if you have trained your dog to respond to the command ‘Down’ it may perform the same action if you said the word ‘Drown’ due to the vocal similarities between the words.kingdomofpets. Use one command for one action and pronounce that command with the same tone and inflection. you’re helping your dog to forge a solid association between the command and the action that goes with it. SIT!” will attract your dog’s attention to the command to follow. can be an effective way of training a dog to respond to different stimuli and is useful for getting your dog to respond at long distances. Some dogs are able to learn vast “vocabularies”. Voice Signals Dogs. “Fudge…. will only be able to understand a few words. Give hand signals in front of and above the dog’s head as that is their best field of vision.Hand Signals Using a specific hand motion. For example.through repetition and use of the same verbal commands. while at the same time giving a vocal command. You should gain your dog’s attention by saying his name before stating a command. while intelligent animals. Eventually you can wean your dog off the vocal command so that he responds to the hand signal alone.
C. A crate is a plastic or metal pen-type construction. Try to make your dog hold the stay for 5 minutes. ● Use something to alarm your dog. This method has three steps that you take when your dog does not respond as you wish. outdoors and into the backyard. ● Then redirect your dog with a command. otherwise he may start feeling restricted and anxious. and age. use the “Alarm-No!-Command” method. Sit and stay is a very good choice. yet more physical. In a pack situation if a dog steps out of line it is chastised and made aware of its transgression immediately by dogs that are superior to it in the pecking order. and comes in a variety of sizes.kingdomofpets. size. the alpha dog would growl and chase the offending dog away from the pack.com . You can do this by growling at your dog and sending him away from the family area. For general disobedience. say. In the wild. Crate Training Crate training is an effective method used by many dog owners to housetrain their pet as well as keep him safe from the potential dangers around the house. It is important that the voice correction is sincere and that the delivery is consistent so that the dog associates the harsh word or words with stopping the behavior. A head collar and leash offers an easier. The ostracized dog would not be allowed back until the alpha dog lets him. A third option is to exile your dog out of the pack. such as a squirt from a water pistol or shaking a pebble filled can.” Use a stern voice so that the dog recognizes the difference in tone from your normal voice. All good pet stores should be able to offer advice with regard to the best size and type of crate for your dog. depending on his breed. way to give a correction. Make sure that you do this while he is in the act of misbehaving. You should ensure that you have the right size crate for your dog.Punishment and Correction The importance of the trainer being seen as the pack leader in the dog’s eyes is imperative (see DOG 201 for more detail about pack behavior). 55 www. ● At the same time say a loud “No!” or “Bad” or utter a sharp growling sound like “Aaahhh. however general disobedience often occurs in non-training situations when your dog does not have a leash on.
● A plastic crate is easier to clean. especially as it is a requirement on aircraft. ● If your dog is easily frightened or of a nervous disposition then a wire crate gives your dog the best view of his surroundings. so patience and commitment are vital in order to successfully crate train your dog. However. ● Remember to remove your dog’s collar and leash before putting him into his crate or cage. There is a possibility that he could be caught by the collar.kingdomofpets. Choosing Your Crate We would recommend either a wire cage or a plastic crate with a wire door.somewhere that he can go to get some rest or some peace and quiet. Lining the crate or cage with newspaper or old sheets and blankets will make your dog’s home more comfortable and make cleaning easier. 56 www. the wire grille can frighten some dogs and in these cases.com . ● The plastic crate is a good option if you are traveling with your dog.Your dog should be encouraged to think of his crate as a safe area . putting in some toys and perhaps a comfort blanket to put him at ease. your dog is restricted to his own space and not allowed free reign of the house or a particular room. You should therefore make the crate as comfortable as possible for your dog. Remember your puppy will grow and it may be better for him to grow into a larger crate than out of a smaller one. Crate training is not always easy and can take time. You should ensure that there is enough room for a mature dog to maneuver around and a few inches of headspace. Similarly make sure that you do not leave soft toys or anything that he can chew on (even some forms of bedding) as they may become choking hazards. a plastic crate would be more appropriate. ● The crate or cage that you buy should have a secure catch so that. if you wish. Listed below are some factors that should be taken into account: ● The first consideration is the size of the crate or cage.
and he could put himself in danger. reward him with a treat. For example. although this should only be when your puppy is totally used to the crate and enjoys being in it. and then leave it closed for longer and longer periods. you will not know what your puppy’s reaction is to being confined for a period of time. 57 www. you could find that he starts to do this more and more and it may become a hard habit to break. As your dog gets more and more used to his crate. and generally chill out while you get on with what you have to do. You can also use the crate if you have to go out for short period of time. Once this has happened. as he may need to go to the bathroom and if he is not let out will be able to do little else but go in the crate.kingdomofpets. Without doing this. House Training Your Puppy A puppy is unlikely to soil his own rest and play area.get him to associate the crate with treats.Keeping Your Dog out of Mischief It is not always possible to keep an eye on your dog. It can take your dog a while to get used to it. It is a good idea to put his food near to the crate or just inside the crate. and you should be patient and understanding with him. This is a good time to put him in his crate. Things to Remember About Crate Training ● It can take time: Never try and rush crate training. You should close it just while he is busy eating at first. This will teach him control of his bodily functions and reinforce the fact that he should only do his business in the designated place. when he gets into the crate. toys or food. without getting anxious and frightened. as this will help him to associate the crate with good things. play with his toys. Getting Your Puppy Used to the Crate The best way to get your puppy used to his crate is to use positive association . you can push the food bowl further and further back until he is readily eating his meals right at the back of the crate. if you are cooking or on the phone.com . You should confine him to the crate for short period while you are actually in the house before trying it when you go out. Shutting the door of the crate should be done gradually. so that he is comfortably staying in the crate after his meal. Likewise. your puppy could get up to all sorts of mischief. so the crate is a good way to teach him to hold it in until you take him to the designated area to do his business. Be careful not to let your puppy go for too long in the crate. where he can have a rest. otherwise you will make things more difficult for you and your pet.
with toys. Having a dog is pointless if you are going to put him in a crate all day while you work. otherwise you may cause a choking hazard. It may take until the dog is 5 months old before it fully understands the training exercises that you are trying to teach him. and anything else that will make the dog feel more at home. not as a permanent measure to keep the dog from under your feet. ● If you’re using a second-hand crate. Remember you want his crate to seem like his safe haven. If you’re using a pre-loved crate. make sure it’s clean! If the crate that you’re using already smells like another dog’s home. Build up the length of training time over the next few months as your puppy 58 www.a place of his own.com . ● Be careful with young puppies: When you are using the crate for your puppy. remember that he will need to relieve himself quite often. Obedience Training and Age Training Puppies Puppies are most receptive to training from the age of six to eight weeks onwards and it is at this stage that basic obedience exercises should start taking place. aim to make it as comfortable as possible. your dog will take longer to get accustomed to it and will have difficulty feeling as though it’s his own special haven. ● Do not use the crate as punishment: Your dog should never be sent to his crate as a form of punishment. D. The crate should be used as and when you need it. remember your dog always needs access to fresh water so make sure that this is provided (most crates will have small bucket that attaches on the inside). blankets. ● No collars: Make sure that you take his collar off before you put him in the crate. Similarly. In addition. you should make sure that he cannot be harassed by anyone while he is in his crate. and all night while you sleep.kingdomofpets. and make sure all bedding is clean. Initially training sessions should last only a few minutes a day. all evening while you have dinner and get the house tidied. although you can have several sessions per day.● Monitor how long your dog is in the crate: The crate is not meant to be a place where your dog spends all of his time. Therefore. ● Make the crate comfortable: Your dog should see the crate as a safe area . You should let him out and take him to his designated area about once every hour to avoid accidents inside the crate. give it a good scrub first.
adjusts to the training patterns and gets better at concentrating on exercises. Introduce the early training exercises to your puppy that are covered in DOG 203: Commands to Start, particularly Sit, Stay, and Recall. Training at 6 Months Old When your dog reaches the age of 6 months, he will be ready for the more formal training. If you have adhered to the programs outlined in DOG 203: Commands to Start, then your dog should be well behaved and controllable in a variety of situations. Further training will help you relate to your dog better as well as providing much-needed mental stimulus for your dog. When teaching new exercises it is preferable that you find a park or other such open land where there are as few distractions as possible. Try to make the sessions as enjoyable as possible for yourself and your dog. That way he will want to work with you and you will get the most out of each session. If your dog decides that he does not like the training session that you are trying to make him perform then chances are that you will have great difficulty in getting him to learn anything. Training an Older Dog Older dogs have well and truly formed their habits, both good and bad, and if you have acquired a dog with bad habits, you could be in for months of remedial work. You will have to be prepared to spend a lot of time and have a lot of patience with your dog. All the common canine behavioral problems and techniques for resolving them are given in DOG 202: Common Behavior Problems. COMMON BAD HABITS INCLUDE: ● Over aggression ● Cat chasing ● General disobedience ● Excessive barking ● Biting, usually through fear ● Destructive behavior, generally manifested as chewing ● Disobedience problems) towards specific 59
The usual method that people come to own older dogs is through adoption from the local pound or perhaps when the previous owner moves on and is unable to take their dog with them. However you come across your older dog, he will take more time than a younger dog to adjust to his new home, especially if he came from an abusive environment. It is important that you make him feel safe and secure. A good start is to give him his own place to eat and sleep. Make sure your dog cannot get loose as if he does get loose he may not come when called, especially if it has been traumatized by a previous owner. Keep a collar and leash on your dog as often as possible unless he is shut in a room or in his kennel or crate. It is important to establish a routine for your dog so that they come to know when feeding time is, when you will be taking them for a walk. In general, make them comfortable and relaxed in their new environment. If the dog is particularly nervous or stressed then avoid putting him in a situation that will aggravate him such as with noisy children, loud televisions, stereos, or other dogs.
Selecting a Dog Trainer
While the information in this book will enable you to train your dog without the need of classes, there may be occasions when you will require the services of a professional dog trainer. For example, if you are specifically looking at entering your dog in competitions or would like one-on-one assistance with an obedience problem outlined in this book a professional dog trainer is an option. You should consider a few things before you hire a dog trainer for your dog. ● Get recommendations from other people. Your local pet store or vet should also be able to give you good information. ● If you can afford it, take private lessons you will get much better value for money as your trainer will be focusing solely on your dog and not having to battle with ten or twelve other dogs and their owners at the same time. ● Make sure that you are personally involved in the training. It does not make sense to send your dog away for training, to be given back to you “fully” trained. Some dog trainers do offer this service but it should not be taken. At the end of the day the relationship that you are trying to form is between yourself and your dog. ● Check what methods your dog trainer is intending to use. Make sure that you are happy and comfortable using these methods. 60
Review of DOG 103
In DOG 103, we revealed the different types of training methods available and the pros and cons of each method. We looked at the secrets to making sure that your dog behaves and responds to you in the best possible way. We looked at the benefits of using a crate and how your dog’s training regime should change with age. Types of training Our recommendation for the owner who really wants to bond with and understand their dog is the dog whispering technique. However, as this method does require persistence, the combination of using a head collar with food as a reward may be easier for the inexperienced dog owner to train their dog. Secrets to training your dog ● Bond with your dog by spending quality time with him. ● Be consistent when dealing with your dog. Make his world black and white rather than shades of grey. ● Be aware that you must praise or reprimand your dog within a few seconds for him to associate it with his actions. ● Dogs learn by repetition. It will take time to for him to get a hang of what you want him to do. ● Quality not quantity is the best way for you to approach training sessions. ● Have a reasonable expectation of what your dog can do. ● Use praise whenever your dog does something right. ● Use eye contact as much as you can. ● Hand and voice signals are good ways to communicate with your dog. ● Use the Alarm-No!-Command method to reprimand a disobedient dog.
Crate training Crate training is a useful method of helping your dog’s transition into your household. You can use it to aid training and house breaking. Remember not to leave him in his crate for too long. He should never be sent to his crate as a form of punishment. Selecting a dog trainer If you feel that you need a trainer, then make sure that you know what methods they are intending to use. Get a recommendation for a trainer from other owners or your local dog club.
Secrets to Understanding Your Dog
For the dog owner, this section is one of THE most important sections in this entire book. Understanding how your dog’s mind works and accommodating his natural instincts will make your relationship with him much more fulfilling for the both of you. In this chapter, we look at how the domestic dog’s development from a pack animal influences his behavior and actions toward your family. Then we look at how dogs communicate using scent, body language, facial expressions, and vocals and also how their senses work. Finally, we show you how ancient wolf instincts still play a large part in the nature of the modern-day domestic dog.
Understanding Your Dog
Pack Animals Dogs are direct descendants of the wolf, a species well known for their pack animal nature. A pack animal operates within a group of animals to form a single unit. Even though they have been domesticated for many hundreds of thousands of years, dogs have retained many of the pack animal instincts passed down by wolves. In a pack, there is a well-defined social structure where each member knows their role and position within the pack hierarchy. The personality and actions of each pack member is influenced and determined by the other pack members. This means that in a pack situation each dog knows who he takes orders from and who he is superior to. The individual pack member’s position in this hierarchy will determine where it sleeps, when it eats, and if it gets the best food. The effect of these pack animal instincts influences dogs as much today as it did thousands of years ago. For instance, when two dogs meet for the first time they need to identify which one is superior to the other. The subordinate dog will usually adopt a submissive posture, perhaps crawling up to the superior dog and rolling over on his back to expose his underbelly. If two dogs consider themselves equal, there can often be a short tussle to determine which dog is the superior one. They do this because a pack animal society cannot operate with equals, there must be a chain of command. Once formed, this chain of command will usually stay that way when the dogs next meet. If you own more than one dog then make sure that you read the section on “Two Dogs in the House,” as the techniques in this section will ensure that you don’t meddle in the formation of the hierarchy. It is quite common for fights between dogs to occur if the owner and family do not reinforce the natural hierarchy. 63
64 www. He makes the decisions for the pack. the alpha dog will get to eat first and eat the best portions of the food. If this pack order exists in the home then your dog will happily obey orders and be much more responsive to training. there is a pack leader. There are several ways to ensure this pack order. your actions and attitude toward your dog. Being physically or mentally abusive toward your dog is NOT one of them. so you must convey this by other means . he will be compelled by genetics and by instinct to attempt to fill that role himself (because no pack can function without a recognized leader). Your Dog and Your Family How do these pack animal instincts relate to your dog and your family? It is important that you are seen as the pack leader. It is very important to establish and maintain the proper hierarchy early on in the ownerdog relationship. If this relationship is not established or maintained correctly then dominance problems may well arise . Please review the bonus book titled “Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog” for the best methods of setting and maintaining the pack order in your household.specifically. Of course. so that a healthy relationship will prosper between your dog and your family.a term that you’ll encounter again and again as you read this book. Dog trainers and behaviorists refer to this dominant figure as the “alpha dog” .if your dog can’t tell who’s in charge. thereby helping to maintain his physical condition as the best in the pack.kingdomofpets. In the wild. Your dog should see itself as being subservient to you and the rest of your family. The alpha dog will also get to sleep at the highest vantage point so that he can keep a lookout over the pack’s territory and the surrounding area. who is obeyed by everyone. usually a male.com . you cannot just tell your dog that you are superior to him.The Alpha Dog With every pack.
akin to eyesight in a human. With a large corneal surface (the tough outer membrane of the eyeball) dogs have good night vision. Humans see much better during daylight hours than a dog. Some scientists say it might be as high as one hundred million times better! The average dog has over 200 million scent receptors (whereas humans have just 5 million) and more of his brain is devoted to processing smell. a dog will use his senses as a means of communication with humans and other animals.com . Sense of Sight In comparison with the rest of their senses.there’s no fooling a dog’s sense of smell! Sense of Hearing Dogs can hear in frequencies that are way beyond human capacity. Like other mammals. When you greet your dog. But the proportionate arrangement of rods and cones (the light receptors responsible for visual acuity and color recognition) in the retina means that they’re nearly colorblind. whether you’ve been outside recently. what you had for breakfast.kingdomofpets. A dog’s sense of smell is at least one hundred times better than a human’s. and they can also hear sounds for much further away than we can. bomb squads. And some of a dog’s senses are more developed than others. dogs do not have particularly good eyesight. Though like most predators they tend to respond quickly to movement. It’s the sense he relies on most of all to interact with the world around him. A dog’s hearing is so acute that he can literally hear a leaf falling off a tree! Whistle training utilizes this capacity for hearing high-pitched noises. a dog’s sense of smell is far more advanced than his vision. 65 www. making it in to an effective tool for training purposes.B. For example. ten hours ago. and do not see particularly well. search and rescue. and in customs . he can tell things about your day simply by your smell: whether you hugged your child earlier in the day. Sense of Smell Sense of smell is a dog’s primary sense . This is why dogs are so commonly used in police and detection work. Dog Senses Canine senses are much more sensitive and finely attuned than humans.
for example.kingdomofpets. The acute sense of hearing of some dogs may make some noises painful for them to listen to. you’ll see that he often shies away or tries to avoid you. Sense of Touch Like humans. that’s about as defined as it gets. most dogs actually don’t like being patted on the head. However. whereas others will either not respond or will turn away. salt. canine taste buds actually aren’t that evolved . While they can differentiate between sweet. and this is something you should bear in mind around the house. Contrary to popular belief. we’ll often want to dip in the spoon and try some of it. Most dogs much prefer to be scratched gently on the chest . If you watch a dog’s expression and body language when your hand is descending on his head.or have their back scratched right above the root of the tail. and this is because their instincts tell them that they need their paws to hunt and dig . This is in the same way as humans do . In comparison to humans. we do not find it appetizing. you may find that your dog pulls his paw away quite quickly when you touch it. and sour. when he lifts his paw to ‘shake hands’ with you or when he scratches at the door to go out. Dogs often use their paws to communicate .com . acid. you can put him in another room until you have completed your task. if we smell something really nice being cooked. but those with erect ears usually have enhanced hearing because the erect ears amplify the sounds that they come across. If your dog seems uncomfortable when you are vacuuming or using other noisy appliances.All dogs have a keen sense of hearing. sensitivity to touch can vary from dog to dog.an instinct that comes from their wild ancestors who did have to use their paws in order to survive on the wild. Sense of Taste Dogs will often use their sense of smell in combination with their sense of taste in order to determine whether they like a food or not. and work up to his head. It is then over to the taste buds to verify whether this is something we like.right between the front legs . If you want to touch your dog’s head. 66 www. start off under the chin or on the shoulder where he can see your hand (and therefore won’t feel as threatened by it). On the other hand. Some pets will love being stroked and tickled.their scavenging history demands a sense of taste that’s not too demanding! We have six times as many taste buds as a dog.if we smell something burning.
Either he may sniff the food and then turn away immediately.in which case you can safely assume that he likes it. a favorite chair. and there are many expressions and physical attitudes that they use. but he may then look totally unimpressed and abandon it. A dog may use everything from his ears and fur to his tail and rump to express what sort of mood he is in. It can really be a big help to know when your dog is scared.kingdomofpets.com . what he wants and how he feels. a fence. 67 www. The smell of each dog’s urine and feces is as distinct to other dogs as a human face is to us! All dogs also use scent to find out more about one another as well. playful. In order to bond better with your dog it is a good idea to learn what some of the more common body language postures and signals mean.Your dog may sniff at food and then take a bite. another more dominant dog may then come along and deposit his scent on top of your dog. On the other hand. he may sniff it. excited. in which case he is not hungry or he has decided that he is not even prepared to try food with a funny smell! C. Of course. or anxious . D. low. Guide to Body Language and Signals Dogs have a very distinct and unique way of communicating. the deposits left behind by a female dog can tell other dogs a lot about her heat cycle. thus marking the territory as his own. and then wolf it down . For example. and you will notice that whenever your dog meets other dogs they will sniff around one another as a means of finding out information and communicating. and is designed to let other dogs know that he is around and that this is his patch. The urine and fecal matter left behind by your dog will also convey information about each dog’s sexual status. How Dogs Communicate Using Scent Dogs use scent to learn more about what is going on as well as to communicate with one another. age. This is instinctive behavior.or when he simply needs to be let out to do his business! Below. or if you are really unlucky. and so on. health. you will find a selection of common postures and signals that your dog may use when trying to communicate with you. Most people are aware that dogs will ‘mark’ their territory by urinating on a certain place: a lamppost.
if he is sniffing the floor. bouncing around with his tail wagging. However. Crouching: A tense body coupled with a crouching position usually means that your dog is ready to charge and attack. If the tail is wagging loosely. Prancing: If you notice that your dog is prancing back and forth. In addition. he is usually feeling happy. or lamppost outside he may have caught on to the scent of another dog that has marked the territory. Wagging tail: A wagging tail can mean a number of things from playfulness and happiness to excitement or aggression. as dogs use their noses rather than their eyes to differentiate. you should try and work out what is affecting him.something he is unfamiliar with . Raised hackles: This means that your dog is either frightened of something or that he is ready to go into battle with whatever or whoever has caused his hackles to be raised.com . so it’s time to get his favorite toy and spend some time giving your dog the play and exercise he needs. it his tail is high up and wagging rapidly.and he may be trying to work out what it is. If the tail is relaxed and still. this indicates anxiety. and is what is known as a predatory position. Sniffing: This can occur for one of a number of reasons. your dog feels contented. If he is slinking around with his tail like this. 68 www. it could mean aggression. fence. He might react like this with anything from his favorite squeaky toy to a squirrel or an intruder. He may sniff to find out more about a new person or dog. He may be happy and playful or he may just be happy and excited because you have just come home from work.Use of his Body to Communicate Backside in the air and tail wagging: This means that your dog is keen to play and have some fun. If your dog is sniffing the floor in the house and is also pacing or circling. Tense posture: If your dog’s body is tense and slightly lowered.kingdomofpets. Your dog may sniff because he smells something unusual . Rolling over: This is normally a sign of submission and may occur in the presence of humans or in the company of other dogs or animals. he is probably feeling friendly and happy. He may sniff to identify a person or other animal. This may be coupled with a partially lowered tail. Tail right between the back legs: This indicates that your dog is scared of something or someone. he may need to relieve himself so you should get him to his designated area.
69 www.com . ● Slightly flattened and partially back ears indicate that he feels anxious. etc). The eyes are also a giveaway of how your dog is feeling. or happy. It is well worth learning more about your dog’s facial expressions and vocals. you can learn to pick up the danger signs . nose. However. Making yourself familiar with these actions will help you to identify and bond with your dog more closely. as well as when he is content. can enable you to work out what your dog is thinking and what he is trying to say: ● Narrowed eyes can indicate aggression and challenging behavior. Eyes. face and vocals also play a very important part in his communication methods. ● Ears perked up and pointing forward means that he is curious or excited.when your dog is aggressive. eyes. Here are some common ways in which your dog will convey his feelings using his ears: ● Ears close to the head. his head. Guide to Facial Expressions and Vocals Although your dog will use his body to convey his moods and feelings. this can also be coupled with a predatory position. facial expressions are an effective tool for dogs to communicate with humans. ● Perked up ears. other dogs and other animals. and coupled with his posture.kingdomofpets. Your dog’s ears alone can tell you a lot about the way he feels. E. and how he uses his head for communication (ears. scared. with his head turning from side to side indicates that he is alert. The ears can tell you a lot about how your dog is feeling. By familiarizing yourself with both body postures and facial expressions. ● Ears flattened and laid back against head usually indicate fear. Coupled with the use of his body language. anxious. pointing back or forwards could indicate aggression. excited. ● Ears pointing straight up may display a degree of dominance.These are just a selection of the body postures and actions your dog may display to convey the way that he is feeling. in which case he may be just about to start the chase. stressed. Use of the Head and Face for Communication Ears.
● An open mouth coupled with excited panting can indicate playfulness and eagerness. ● Wide open. ● Mouth closed or slightly open can indicate alertness or dominance. ● An open mouth coupled with panting can indicate excitement and curiosity. indicates aggression. coupled with snarling.● Slightly narrowed eyes coupled with partially back ears can indicate anxiety. ● Wide open and staring eyes are often coupled with a dominant posture and ears up straight to convey his dominance. ● A slightly open mouth with bared teeth may indicate that your dog is on guard. and this will be used in conjunction with his posture and expressions for you to get an overall picture of how he feels. ● Wide open eyes that are intently focused on something are part of the predatory position. ● A slightly open mouth that makes him look as though he is grinning can actually indicate anxiety. Use of Vocals for Communication Your dog will also use his voice to convey his feelings. Your dog will also use his mouth as part of his communication. ● Eyes narrowed with lots of white showing indicates that he is afraid or submissive. ● A relaxed mouth that is slightly open is normally a friendly and relaxed gesture.com . Here are some of the common vocals your dog may use: 70 www. and here is what to look out for: ● Lips drawn back to expose teeth. sparkly eyes usually means that he is ready for a game and some playful fun. depending on his posture. Mouth. This could also be coupled with snapping.kingdomofpets. ● Mouth open to expose teeth with drawn back lips can indicate fear.
many dog instincts resemble those of the modern wolf. or whether he is simply on guard. ● Their vocals. General Characteristics Some of the basic similarities between dogs and wolves include: ● Their strong sense of smell and hearing. ● A low whine or gruff bark means that he is on alert. ● A low whine coupled with a moan usually means that he is anxious. For example. such as howling and whining. ● Low growling and grunting usually indicates dominance. nevertheless. and snarling can mean that he is on guard. which are inherited from their wild ancestors. The wild dog was thought to be very like the wolf as we know it today.● Snarling or growling usually indicates aggression. but by observing his posture and other facial expressions you can ascertain whether he is feeling frightened.kingdomofpets. aggressive.com . developed for detecting and hunting prey. to communicate in certain situations. it is easy to notice some of the domestic dog’s wolf-like instincts. growling. ● Loud barking. You should bear in mind that your dog’s vocals and facial expressions should be linked in with his posture in order to get a true picture of what he is trying to say and how he is feeling. Of course. ● Excited yapping and barking indicates eagerness and curiosity. F. Wolf Instincts Dogs have very strong natural instincts. a dog may growl under a variety of circumstances. ● Yapping and high-pitched barking are usually signs of friendliness. ● Yelping and whining coupled with growling can indicate fear or submission. and as such. ● Excited barking and soft growling indicate playfulness. 71 www. hundreds of years of evolution coupled with selective breeding means that your pet dog is going to act in a far more domesticated way than you would expect a wolf to act.
● The way they communicate through body language using their eyes. most dogs will make a point of trying to see them off. and you will notice that your dog also communicates with his ‘pack’ using the same sort of methods.kingdomofpets.com . balls. tails. Hunting Instincts Wolves are predatory animals. Like wolves. ● Their need to pant in order to keep cool. ears. Thankfully.to sniff out prey before giving chase and pouncing. and whether it is a postal worker or a burglar that’s intruding on their territory. Also. Pack Instincts We have all heard the term ‘a pack of wolves’ and this is because wolves do live and hunt in small packs. most dogs would not look twice. domestic dogs are also known to be highly protective of their territory and family. sexual instincts and pack instincts. For example. and sometimes even cars and bikes. etc. dogs too are pack animals . 72 www. ● Their basic instincts.although their pack consists of human and perhaps other family pets.namely their sense of smell . where one takes on the job as leader (alpha) and the others follow. they like to chase moving objects such as people running. and use their senses . territorial behavior. if they met the same person on the street or in the park. the pack of wolves will communicate with one another by means of body language and vocals. and one that many dogs like to pounce on and bite repeatedly until they have ‘killed’ the squeak. Likewise. It is simply the fact that the outsider is invading the dog’s territory that puts the dog instinctively on guard. but you will probably see signs of the hunting instinct when they see a squirrel or rabbit in the field and go wild in their eagerness to be let off the leash and give chase. Territorial Instincts Wolves are well known for their territorial instincts and will go to any lengths to protect what they see as their territory and pack from outside dangers. such as hunting. However. most domestic dogs have no need to hunt out and pounce on wildlife. Frisbees. the rubber squeaky toy is a firm dog favorite. Dogs will often display their hunting instinct when playing with toys. Likewise.
male dogs will easily notice the scent of a female that has come into heat. Unfortunately. Other dogs have few territorial instincts. to gather information about the resources in the area. 73 www. and to mark their territory. like Malamutes and Siberian Huskies.com .against intruders. if you have a female dog in heat you will probably find many prospective canine suitors hanging around your property for the duration of her cycle. G. and will allow their sense of smell to lead the way to find the female in question. but most won’t even cock an eyebrow at the sight of strangers on or near your property. or even the local park . but an incredibly strong instinct to explore huge areas of the surrounding territory .Sexual Instincts Wolves have strong sexual instincts. with the lower male members of the pack left to harass the lower female pack members whenever the females come in to heat.they’ll gladly run forever. the sidewalk. Dogs also have strong instincts to roam a large patch of familiar territory (“their” territory). You should take steps to ensure that you are always seen as the top dog in the relationship. and will defend what they consider to be their territory whether it’s their yard. The alpha male and the alpha female of the pack tend to mate. Roaming Instincts Wolves roam to hunt food.particularly Spitz dogs. Likewise. but no guarding instincts whatsoever .kingdomofpets. These dogs have been bred for hundreds of years to sprint cross-country for weeks at a time. Understanding your dog The importance of the alpha dog in your dog’s mind should not be underestimated. Review of DOG 201 DOG 201 revealed how your dog’s instincts developed from thousands of years ago when they were pack animals and how dogs communicate with humans and each other. Some dogs have stronger territorial instincts than others.
Knowing more about these characteristics will let you understand your dog much better. eyes. and mouth will also give you an insight into his feelings and attitude. Wolf instincts and your dog Your dog has several strong instincts that are derived from its wolf ancestors.Dog senses Dogs tend to have keen senses that have developed from their days in the wild and through selective breeding to bring out certain senses (e.com .g. Using scent to communicate Dogs use scent to mark their territory and determine if other dogs have been in the vicinity.kingdomofpets. Using body language and signals to communicate Dogs have numerous postures and signs that they use to communicate their feelings and emotions to humans and other dogs. including: ● Pack instincts ● Territorial instincts ● Hunting instincts ● Sexual instincts ● Roaming instincts 74 www. Using facial expressions and vocals to communicate Understanding how your dog communicates using his ears. sniffer dogs) in more recent times.
in their modern-day role as pets. We have a much better chance of coexisting happily with our dogs when they are trained to “act civilized.until you see your dog yawning. it’s up to us to teach our dogs that they no longer need to use those shiny white teeth to get what they want. a place in the pack. An Introduction to Aggression Problems Dogs are essentially domesticated predators that we have invited to share our lives and homes. all of these things had to be fought for and defended on a regular basis. It can be easy to forget that dogs are carnivorous hunters by nature . that is. Food. or play-fighting. we provide these things for our dogs without requiring a competitive show of aggression first. Instinct is a powerful force though.com . these problems stem from inadequate training or improper socialization. or desirable. territory. A. ● Self defense: he needs to defend himself from other dogs. a comfortable bed . That mouth full of sharp. meaning that “retraining” your dog could potentially be a lot easier than you had thought.before dogs lived with humans. As owners. Today. barking. ● Territoriality: he’s defending “his” territory from other dogs/humans. 75 www. A lot of the time. shiny teeth is an effective reminder that an aggressive attitude was once a prerequisite to survival in the wild. a mate.kingdomofpets. ● Guarding: he’s making sure you’re not going to take his toys or food.” SOME COMMON REASONS FOR MODERN-DAY AGGRESSION IN DOGS: ● Dominance: he believes that he’s the alpha of the pack.DOG 202: Common Behavior Problems Solved This chapter deals with some of the more common behavior problems that your dog may have. and most dogs don’t realize that the types of behavior which would once have ensured them a meal and a bed are no longer necessary.
and safely. 76 www. or growls when you come near. pawing.com . the easier it is to fix yourself. ● Fear of new situations: he’s keyed-up and on edge from unfamiliar sights and sounds. WHAT MAKES THESE SIGNS DANGEROUS? Of course. If you catch your dog doing any of these. When he begins to question that authority. Obedience is the surest sign that your dog accepts your authority over him. May actually prevent you coming close. ● Food. Early Warning Signs: Pre-Aggression In A Dog Aggressive behavior doesn’t just happen overnight. There is a set path to aggression that. or furniture guarding: becomes snappy. ● Bothers you when you’re eating: might sit and stare at you. by “testing” you with alpha-like behaviors such as those listed above. or nudge you for morsels. An awareness of the early warning signs is very useful: the earlier you catch aggressive behavior developing. Listed below are some of the warning signs of pre-aggressive behavior. you can notice and put a stop to. disobedience in itself isn’t dangerous. if you are alert and observant enough. pace around your feet. ● Sudden disobedience: begins to ignore you and fails to obey commands that you know he understands. but all follow a designated path to aggression.kingdomofpets. The reason that it’s so important for you to notice. it’s a definite warning sign that you are not as respected as you need to be in order for you and your dog to live happily. these behaviors is because they signal that your dog is starting to think of himself as higher than you in the pack hierarchy of your house. and whining. Some dogs arrive at the aggressive stage much more quickly than others.● Pain: he may be in pain from an injury or medical condition. together. ● Bossiness: demands attention from you with nudging. you need to take a firm stance and reassert yourself as the leader of the pack (we will deal with ways to do this shortly). tense. and put a stop to. Bothering you for affection or stealing tidbits of food from your plate won’t actually hurt you. toy.
alpha status relates to who is seen as being in charge.” but in a nutshell. Dogs are pack animals.and dog-packs have alpha leaders simply because it enables the pack to survive. If he has been permitted to become established in his perceived role as the alpha dog. What To Do If Your Dog Displays Early Warning Signs First of all. The lead dog of the pack is called the alpha.it’s because instinct tells him that the pack MUST have a leader to survive. This is dealt with in the bonus book entitled “Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog. or a wash. and if nobody else is going to do it then he’ll have to. which means that they are at their most secure and relaxed when they feel like someone is in charge (and not necessarily them). We will look at ways for you to reassert your authority in ways that your dog understands. you need to become clued up on the concept of alpha status. No alpha dog takes kindly to his status being challenged. 77 www. Remember. he’ll try to fill that role himself.submit to a nail clipping. Maybe you try and take his food off him (or he thinks you’re going to). a visit to the vet. Maybe you tried to push him off a comfortable piece of furniture. If there is nobody in your house that’s taking charge in ways that are recognizable to your dog. If your dog is trying to be the alpha in the house. It’s his own perception of himself as the top dog in relation to you as subordinate to him that’s dictating how he acts. and this is when dominant-aggressive behavior begins. it’s not because he “wants to” . it’s only natural for him to use aggression to back himself up. Alpha dogs have a host of behaviors specific only to them . The important thing to remember here is to not impose any human values or motives on this canine dominance-related behavior: wolf. The fact is that if your dog is permitted to see himself as the alpha.kingdomofpets.You need to nip this attitude in the bud NOW before it evolves into truly aggressive. then the time will come that somebody challenges his authority whether they mean to do so or not.com . and if they try to do so the alpha will defend his authority with a show of aggression. Maybe you’re just trying to get him to do something he doesn’t want to . threatening behavior.lesser dogs are NEVER permitted to act like alpha dogs. it’s not whether YOU think he’s the alpha that counts here. Aggression comes into play when you do something which challenges your dog’s authority as the alpha.
and maintain it. You can tell when things have progressed to the late stages because your dog will cease tolerating your corrections of his disobedience or dominance. He sure must love it when I pat him!”).com . achieve it. dogs are able to progress right through the early stages of preaggressive behavior (discussed above) without anybody noticing or correcting them. not him . The threat of aggression is your dog’s way of warning you to back off before he escalates things.Aggression Sometimes. tail switching slowly back and forth ● Growling or barking with front teeth bared ● A bite (not a play-bite) that leaves the skin unbroken What To Do If Your Dog Displays Any Of These Signs: Late stage pre-aggressive behavior is basically the final behaviors that a dog will display before he attacks someone.The concept of alpha behavior. Huggy Bear’s bugging me for cuddles again. and actual aggression. ears erect and pointing forwards or back. Note the difference between the THREAT of aggression. without those owners even realizing (“Oh look. leaning toward you with tense posture. including how to understand it. HERE ARE SOME CLASSIC WARNING SIGNALS OF LATE-STAGE PREAGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR: ● Deep growling. A dog behaving like this toward his owners has some serious dominance problems which need to be dealt with by somebody who is experienced and confident. There are many different ways that you can prove to your dog that YOU are the alpha. You need to clearly convey to your dog that YOU are in charge. 78 www. Later Stages Of Pre . is relatively complex. and will react with some pretty forceful warning signals of his own.just as there are plenty of ways that thousands of dogs around the world exert alpha dominance over their owners. snarling ● Defiant barking while standing tall and large.kingdomofpets. and that you will take no nonsense from him.
it’s a highly complex and potentially dangerous problem and. or other objects ferociously enough to stop you from coming near Why Hire Professional Help? There are two main reasons for this: ● Attempting to handle such a difficult issue on your own without immediate hands-on help could put you at risk. if you begin to feel like you’re in over your head. most dogs respond extremely well to the training techniques laid out in this chapter and in our alpha-dog section.com . despite our efforts to include all relevant information on dog aggression for your use. If you unwittingly react to your dog’s behaviors in the wrong way.Although this chapter deals exclusively with aggression in dogs. All we’re saying is that. you may wish to consider enlisting the services of a professional trainer who has experience with aggressive dogs. if you feel threatened or scared by your dog’s behavior. furniture.” Read it twice if you have to. A Quick Recap Step One: Observe your dog closely for signs of pre-aggressive behavior. you could end up reinforcing the very behavior that you’re trying to eradicate. because it’s important that you absorb the information it contains. ● Inexperienced help could be bad for the dog’s development. it could backfire and possibly result in a bite. there’s nothing to be ashamed of in asking for further help. Is he obedient at all times to commands he understands? Might he be exhibiting dominant behavior? Step Two: Read our bonus book “Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog. or are too scared by the dog’s threatening behavior to follow through on something. toys. 79 www. At any point. If you make a mistake. it’s difficult to predict how any individual dog will react to certain techniques or methods.kingdomofpets. Never be afraid to ask for help! When To Hire Professional Help: ● Your dog bites you hard enough to break the skin ● You're scared ● Your dog guards food. On the contrary. We’re not saying that you should give up all hope and dial your nearest dogtrainer straight away.
80 www. for at least five or ten minutes. instead. if necessary) in public. Leave him there until he's cooled down. as well as how to tell friend from foe (and thus. ● Use "time out. your relationship with your dog will have improved tenfold in no time. If your dog is getting revved up.just start socializing now.chances are great that. You’re aware of the importance of making sure your dog knows that every single person in the family ranks higher than he does.com . All dogs require extensive socialization. ● Take your dog for regular checkups at the vet to make sure he's happy and healthy. Pain is a sure-fire way to turn a mellow dog into an aggressive one. take a quick look over a general list of do’s and don’ts. big-breed dog. supervise him closely and restrict his activities with a leash or muzzle as necessary.either outside the house or in his crate/kennel.kingdomofpets. which teaches them how to communicate with dogs and humans. Dog Aggression Do’s and Don’ts DO: ● Take precautions. isolate him from the action . and from a young age.particularly if you have a strong. If you think your dog might act aggressively towards people or other animals. don’t be needlessly scared . Don’t be overconfident here . but if you've missed this age in your dog then don't despair ." An overexcited dog acts in ways that he normally would not. Before starting any specific training program.Step Three: Consider whether you are comfortable and confident in proceeding. ● Neuter or spay your dog. Neutering is an effective way to significantly reduce spontaneous aggression in dogs of either sex. Remember to use a leash (and muzzle. ● Socialize thoroughly. Meeting lots of new dogs and humans is especially important between the ages of ten and sixteen weeks. There’s nothing wrong in asking for help! At the same time. when aggression is warranted and when it's not). with our help. B: Aggression Continued: Treatment Program for Dominance So you’re ready to proceed with treatment for your dominant and aggressive dog.
the respect that your dog has for you plays a large part. He thinks he’s the alpha dog of the pack. he DOES need his human family. and that you are the source of everything he needs to survive . and that the rest of the family are basically his underlings. and will merely ensure the rapid deterioration of any remaining trust and loyalty that your dog has for you (making it more difficult for any future training to take effect). Food bribes for good behavior do not engender respect (note the difference between a bribe and a reward!) ● Punish. A "tit for tat" approach to training an aggressive dog is counter-productive in the extreme. 81 www. as long as your dog knows the limits of such play. What you need to do is to take him down a notch.kingdomofpets. if after a couple of weeks your dog is still acting up. actually. ● The primary aspects of a training program for dominance aggression are: ● Correcting any aggressive displays without triggering further aggression ● Actively rewarding submissive behavior ● Improving obedience overall The First Two Days At the moment. but play-fighting with an aggressive dog is a recipe for disaster. your dog is feeling pretty full of himself. If your dog has shown signs of aggression in the past. play-fighting will only increase this tendency. ● Bribe your dog with food. that what he says goes.which makes you the alpha dog. Dominance-Aggression Training Program After you've applied any and all of these tips that are applicable to your dog and your situation. not him. but not when dealing with aggression. abuse.com . give it a bit of time. When it comes to anti-aggression training. Food treats definitely have their uses. or humiliate your dog. Let him know that. it's time to take further action. It takes awhile for new habits to form .DON'T: ● Play-fight. Play-fighting is fine in moderation.don't expect a miracle cure overnight! ● However.
no affection of any sort. etc). right? So even though he’s been barking for the last five minutes. You have to do what’s best for your dog. We love our dogs. bark louder. at least for the softer-hearted members of the household. this means ignoring your dog totally for the next two whole days. The aim here is to put him into a state of emotional deprivation. and find it difficult to think of them as anything less than a fully-fledged member of the family. to be left alone while eating. Unfortunately. if barking loudly and angrily has worked before. and one that’s only ever used by the top dog to demonstrate displeasure with lesser-ranked dogs. what’s acceptable and what’s not. and it doesn’t mean the technique’s not working: just the opposite. no telling off. Aggression training is pure tough love. Pretend he’s not there: nobody can see him or hear him. the behavior that we’re trying to eradicate has probably gotten him what he wanted (a comfortable place on the couch. he’ll very likely exaggerate it . unquestioned possession of his favorite toys. Clearly he’s not going to like this. Here’s what you have to do: everyone in the household has to COMPLETELY IGNORE your dog for the next 48 hours. In your current situation. then it should work again. and get right in your face. LOUDER barking is what’s needed. through consistent and repetitive actions. human communication techniques don’t work with dogs. in fact. with no reaction from you. absolutely nothing (apart from feeding and toilet breaks.just to make absolutely SURE that it’s not going to have an effect.kingdomofpets.you have to SHOW him.The quickest and most effective way to do this is to socially isolate your dog. For example. 82 www. There is a reason for this. and so before he gives up that useful behavior for a lost cause. This means no eye contact. The cold shoulder is an extremely powerful tool. no yelling. You can’t explain to a dog what the problem is .com . which will make him a lot more receptive to the forthcoming training techniques that we’re going to subject him to.clearly. In the past. Now clearly this is going to be a struggle. not what comes easiest. maybe you didn’t notice that he was barking . Be prepared for his behavior to worsen before it gets better. This may happen several times before he finally gives up. He might walk closer to you. obviously).
from anyone. a chew. For example. be prepared for things to get worse before they get better. None of these are nice ways to feel. make him sit and stay before letting him outside. Day Three At this point. imagine how much worse he’ll be the next time he wants something! Basically. 83 www. absolutely everything. If you’ve just shown him that his tactics work.this is a very effective way of demonstrating which behaviors are acceptable and will result in a reward for him. while simultaneously emphasizing your dominant position. ignore him completely.you are. playtime. you get something from him first. or otherwise bothering you. Before the dog gets anything. your dog should be desperate for some attention and affection. you must make sure that you do so only on your terms. a bit confused. When you are ready to show your dog some attention.don’t let him initiate shows of affection by butting you. Obedience work is one of the most effective ways for you to demonstrate authority. It gives your dog an idea of what kinds of actions and behaviors will earn him a reward. Make him sit or lie down before he gets to eat (we’ll go into this in more detail in the next section). nudging you. He’ll be feeling lonely. and pretty anxious. The Next Five Weeks In addition to maintaining the level of control discussed in the previous section. you’re also going to start working on some basic obedience commands with your dog. and that he has to answer to you before he gets ANYTHING that he wants: a toilet break. If he does try to force you to show him attention. This is classic dominant behavior. shaky.It’s very important that you DO NOT back down when things get worse. and giving in to it will undo all the work you’ve put in over the last two days. affection. he has to be behaving in a way that’s worthy of reward. These are all great ways to constantly reinforce your authority over your dog and make him realize that he’s not the boss after all. Only show affection when YOU wish to do so . a toy. Before your dog gets any sort of affection.com . a meal. Try petting him only when he’s lying down and being quiet . but they’re absolutely necessary for your dog to realize that. he’s NOT at the top of the chain of command . after all. whining.kingdomofpets.
don't yell. It’s not difficult . From here. If your dog obeys a command. ● Only reward positive behavior. Give him the cold shoulder immediately. you want your dog to become more obedient . For week one.even if it seems negative to you . achievable goal in mind. Start with the easy commands first.We’re going to work on the assumption that your dog isn’t particularly welltrained in basic obedience work (because if he was. This works to balance out the cold-shoulder technique that you’re using for bad behavior.so act like it! Don't give your dog ANYTHING until he gives you something first. you’re not using food as a “bribe.” you’re using it to reward especially good behavior. Get him to “sit” before you feed him. there is no such thing as over-praising your dog. and happy tone of voice. then praise the heck out of him . NOTE: if your dog hasn’t been trained in any obedience work at all. It helps to have some tasty treats on hand. Over the next several weeks. and work your way up from there. encouraging. verbal and physical praise. begin to include “sit-stay. it may help to have a concrete. Yes.kingdomofpets. 84 www. before you let him outside. and a couple of (small) treats. Basic Aggression-Training Rules Things to remember: ● You're the boss .” remembering to exercise these commands before granting your dog privileges like play-times. Any and all attention . for example. and really highlights the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.but you might find that it’s easier to be consistent if you have a solid goal to work towards. work up to “down” and “down-stay. then use the techniques in Secrets to Dog Training to teach him these basic commands. Something challenging but achievable over the next five weeks might be to get your dog to “sit-stay” for ten minutes until you release him.there’s no need to confuse either yourself or your dog with more than one command for now. and see that everyone else follows suit.you just need to be patient. it’s unlikely that you’d have much of a problem with dominance-aggression).shower him in affection. you can start off with “sit” . and meals. A useful tip to bear in mind: in obedience training. walks.com . If he's acting badly.” slowly increasing the length of time he’s in “sit” before you release him. Once “sit” has been mastered. and so on. too! Remember. Put a big smile on your face (dogs read facial expressions) and use a warm. In terms of the obedience training itself. gradually build up your level of command over your dog.is a reward for your dog.
● Use common sense. don't let him have any at all until the obedience work has started to take effect (normally one to three weeks). tense. ● Only allow him one toy or chew per day . and “leave it” will enable you to play tug of war and other rough games with your dog while retaining your authority. Secrets to Dog Training has instructions for teaching both of these commands. but your dog should be pretty dependable with the basics like “sit. After 5 Weeks After five weeks is up. tag. Don't let him off-lead in public. vigorous walk daily. ● Exercise your dog as much as you possibly can . and much more prone towards aggression.com . don't allow him off the leash.” “down. or rough-housing. Again. As time goes on." And don't leave them lying around: make a big deal out of handing your dog the toy in the morning (after he's done something for you first) and put it away at the end of the day. or games that can get out of control. If your dog has problems with guarding toys. Because you’ve clearly assumed the alpha role in the house. you should be noticing marked changes in your dog’s behavior. “Leave it” (drop it) and the recall command (“come”) are particularly recommended. no matter what. and praise your dog whenever you see him behaving well.” and “stay. ● Don't shout at or hit your dog. This means tug of war. which gives him something positive to do instead of merely refraining from unwanted behavior.) Obedience should be markedly improved: there’s no need for fancy tricks (unless you feel ready for them!). Strong reliability with recall is absolutely imperative if you’re ever going to walk your dog off-lead. which lets him know that he can "earn" your affection and attention.” You may wish to introduce other training commands at this time which have use beyond the scope of the immediate household. ● No aggressive games. he'll begin to correlate his actions with your reactions. Use a muzzle if you think it's necessary.any more than this encourages your dog to think of them as "his.try and take him for at least one long.kingdomofpets. 85 www. It won't help. and keep the lead short: two feet of slack is plenty. Under-exercised dogs are jumpy.this is a privilege which must be earned. he should be a lot more relaxed (because he knows he doesn’t have to try and be the boss. even in confined spaces .● Talk to. pet.
They respect him for a reason. getting your dog to do things for you before you do things for him. And the only way to prove your dominance is through your everyday interactions with your dog . so there’s a real chance that he will escalate matters with a bite. no exceptions .if he didn’t. At the dog park. His house manners are perfect and he is great with my cats.kingdomofpets.it’s about DOMINANCE. knowing that they have the muscular strength. he’d be finished as the alpha.thinking and acting like an alpha. I have only had him since April. a dog’s aggression will worsen if you take a harsh or rough approach to it. demanding consistent obedience. If other dogs are aggressive or try to get him to back 86 www. strangers.other dogs can see he’s the boss and accept that he is. and children. superior show of aggression . Because of this.Physical Correction: Necessary or Not? Generally speaking. you’re likely to get bitten. You. Remember. or who can physically bully whom . Yes. and he has so far spent 6 weeks being trained. an alpha dog would react to a challenge (deliberate or not) with his own. your dog wouldn’t have challenged you with aggression in the first place if he accepted your position as the alpha. and cold-shouldering bad behavior. it’s true that dogs use aggression to get what they want from each other. But there are two critical differences between your situation and that alpha dog’s situation: ● The alpha dog in a pack is widely acknowledged by all other pack members to be the alpha. he is OK with other dogs.com . actual challenges are extremely rare: no dog wants to tangle with a true alpha. Case Study: Aggression and Dominance Pete the Doberman I have a two and a half year old Doberman called Pete. We continue to attend classes and he is one of the best in his class. He goes crazy when he sees another dog. on the other hand. and teeth required to back up any displays of aggressive intent. His problem is that he is aggressive towards strange dogs. In the wild. If you accept your dog’s challenge by responding to his aggression with yelling and rough handling. He ALWAYS acts like the alpha dog. Aggression isn’t about who can bark (or yell) the loudest. and ignores the dogs that ignore him. do not. ● You are not a dog! Alpha dogs can respond to aggression with full confidence. rewarding only good behavior. agility.
In my home. freeze. he gets even more excited.) When dogs are walked on a leash. All they can do is fight. When you’re out on a walk with Pete and he starts squaring up to another dog. but has so far never attacked or bitten another dog. so take charge and redirect his (and your) path to avoid a potential fight. he barks and jumps like a maniac.com . Some days are better than others are. he lived on a farm with a pack of other dogs. but his attitude is much the same.Pete’s aggression towards other dogs will likely drop significantly. they’re often much more aggressive than they would be when off-leash. Neutering dogs almost always has a huge impact on aggressive behavior .down. he is not the alpha. As an additional bonus. He does not react to the dogs in class this way. female cat and last the dog. and he was the alpha dog. because you’re controlling their movements. remember that YOU are the boss! Take control of the situation. any new dog is a challenge. So. Would it help if I got another dog for him to dominate? The Kingdom of Pets Response My first suggestion would be for you to neuter Pete. When he sees another dog.and protection is the alpha dog’s responsibility. Take a detour or cross the street if necessary. You don’t think it’s a good idea for Pete to be tangling with these other dogs. he growls and strikes an aggressive pose.kingdomofpets. you’ll probably also find that other dogs will take a more relaxed attitude towards Pete because he will no longer smell like a male dog (and thus a threat. It seems like he is trying to establish dominance with every dog he meets. you’ve already got an aggressively charged situation on your hands. It’s clear from his history and his reluctance to back down to other dogs that Pete is clearly accustomed to being the dominant dog of the pack. However. Do you have any suggestions? Before I bought him. The real problem is when he is walking on a leash. 87 www. and the pecking order is me. It only subsides when the other dog is out of sight. I am in charge. just the dogs he meets on the street. like the alpha dog would. Pete is trying to protect you from these strange dogs . or flight) has been reduced: they can’t flee or freeze. the male cat. When I attempt to tell him off. He does have other dog “friends” that he is not aggressive with. The part that concerns us is that it sounds like Pete is assuming dominance over YOU when you’re out on walks together. The kind of behavior exhibited by Pete sounds like classic dominance. This is because their natural scope of reactions towards a possible threat (fight.
almost like a bridle for a horse .kingdomofpets.there’s a strap that goes around the nose. gradually working up to about twenty or thirty minutes. if you don’t already do so. rather then just abandoning Pete to the mercy of his instincts. until you get matters sorted out satisfactorily. Because Pete’s already well into his adulthood and sounds pretty well socialized. If everything seems OK and there are no squabbles with the other dogs. then let him off the leash. 88 www. Even though he hasn’t bitten yet. walk him around on the leash first and have him meet everyone there before allowing him free rein.particularly since Pete is generally the aggressor.Do your best to minimize the possibility of uncontrolled contact with strange dogs. and one that goes around the neck (which is what the leash attaches to). Make sure the experience is as pleasant as possible for him: give him a treat whenever the muzzle’s put on. as they are more humane than a lead that “teaches” by reminding the dog that you can stop his breathing.com . play some games with him. where possible. In the interim period. so give him some time to adjust to it before taking him out . This way you are proactively taking steps to avoid regrettable situations. When you do take him to a dog park. because it’s incredibly easy to redirect a dog that’s wearing it. you might also want to get Pete fitted with a muzzle. it’s best to remove that temptation altogether . We recommend the head collar over choke/check or prong collars. Stay away from areas that are likely to be populated by strange dogs. With no heaving or tugging necessary. We also thoroughly recommend that you read “Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog” and apply these techniques at home with your daily living.most common is the Gentle Leader or Halti. Most dogs dislike the sensation of a muzzle at first. This a head collar for a dog. One piece of equipment worth investing in is a head collar . Obviously this won’t always be possible. you can easily walk your dog away from the potential problem (and this will be particularly handy with a big dog like Pete!). and praise him a lot.allow at least a couple of days where you put the muzzle on Pete for a few minutes at a time. rather than the target of other dogs’ aggression. The collar is especially useful for breaking that critical build-up of tension in the moments preceding a dogfight. it seems as though additional socialization isn’t going to have much of an effect. but anything you can do that prevents this situation unfolding is worthwhile.
kingdomofpets. The Kingdom of Pets Response This is a classic case of food-guarding. is to reassure your dog that you’re not there to take the food away. an increase in eating speed when somebody approached her food bowl) but nothing actually aggressive. Firstly. and will worsen throughout a dog’s life unless steps are taken to correct it. she had been demonstrating mild symptoms of food guarding (tense posture. a strict mealtime schedule should be enforced. Your goal. You need to emphasize your control over the dog’s food. and the food bowl should be removed after twenty minutes whether the food’s been finished or not. when she was given her first bone. We don’t recommend free-feeding . Let’s take the case of Nakita as an example.and that having people near the food bowl is a good thing.meals should be prepared at regular times. Nakita was a highly-strung female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. In fact.Case Study: Food Bowl Aggression Food-guarding aggression is not uncommon among dogs. and growling until they went away again. whenever her owners came near when she was eating. she would guard the food bowl by stopping eating. with every other member the alpha over Nakita. Fortunately.and thus are the dominant character . which ranges from a subtle tensing of body posture to a fully-fledged attack. the solution is simple and highly effective: any dog exhibiting food-guarding behavior needs to be reminded through consistent and repetitive actions that you are the provider of food . the family order was well established. Nakita’s food aggression was sparked at age seven months. Nakita growled and snapped.com . and to make it clear that you are actually the dispenser of food (something which will go far towards according you automatic alpha status). glaring at whoever was approaching. When her owners tried to take the bone away. She was very submissive by nature. when dealing with food aggression. but an affectionate. Food guarding issues begin in puppyhood. It’s a classic demonstration of canine dominance. the dog should be asked to sit before eating. Until that point. 89 www. The incident with the bone seemed to awaken dormant food-aggression traits in Nakita: after that. There are varying degrees of food-guarding. loving character with her family.
have them do the same thing. it might be more practical to use a long stick or your feet instead). drop bits of kibble slowly into her bowl. she won’t understand the difference between harmless canine interaction and actual menacing behavior. Dog-On-Dog Aggression Aggression between dogs is a direct result of inadequate socialization.Secondly. Early and thorough socialization is necessary for all dogs to prevent dog-ondog aggression later in life. and thus gives or takes offense unnecessarily). a dog that actually snaps at you if you approach during mealtime . For dogs that are particularly bothered by a human presence while eating . sometimes within a few days. Our technique is to stand nearby with a fist full of kibble or chopped meat. without adequate socialization. remove the food bowl straight away (if you feel that your dog may demonstrate signs of aggression when you do this. The critical age for socialization is ten to sixteen 90 www. but you’ll see an effect very quickly. C.kingdomofpets.com . When your dog is relaxed around all members of the family. start the kibble-dropping procedure again. When it’s reintroduced. If a dog doesn’t get to meet and mingle with enough other dogs while she’s still young. If the dog growls. Withhold the bowl for five minutes. The result of this is usually either 1) a dog that's afraid of any new dogs she meets (since. we recommend that you practice adding food to the bowl while the dog eats. you can start the bowl-feeding technique (as above). Yes. all new meetings are scary experiences for her) or 2) a dog that reacts with undiscriminating aggression toward most strange dogs (since she was never given a chance to learn how to communicate with other dogs properly. The trick with food-guarding aggression is to make it clear to your dog that such behavior will not give her peace and privacy in which to eat . once every week or two) just to make sure there’s no slipping back into bad habits. After the symptoms of aggression start to diminish. If there are other members of the household. you can stop this technique. Repeat this procedure until your dog is completely relaxed about you being near the bowl.do away with the bowl altogether and feed the dog from your hands at every meal.for example. and as the dog eats. She’s now a relaxed and wellmannered dog that’s happy to have anyone around while she eats.it will make the food disappear instead! This is the technique used by Nakita’s owners. this is time-consuming and a bit irritating. but reintroduce it periodically (say.
a quick skirmish can escalate into a drawn-out fight. SOME METHODS FOR BREAKING UP DOGFIGHTS: ● Shout loudly and angrily (“Cut it out!!!”). particularly if the dogs are wellmatched in size and/or strength. In addition. Often if your dog is obedient (and quite possibly not the one who initiated the aggression) then he will listen to your command to back off the encounter. you will scare both of them into submission. you have to remember to stay calm and. will immediately follow suit.no longer faced with a direct threat. The next best result might be getting one of the dogs to back off enough to allow you to physically separate them.weeks. 91 www.in a dogfight. when one dog backs off. Sometimes fights sort themselves out in short order. adrenaline's running high and your dog is not capable of thinking clearly or making good decisions. Dogs that have missed out on socialization during this stage are often either aggressive or excessively fearful toward other dogs for the remainder of their lives.human flesh stands little chance against two or more sets of aggressive canine teeth . Some owners make the mistake of reaching into the whirling midst of a fight in an attempt to physically separate the dogs. not get in the middle of it. If you do not feel confident or strong enough to pull off this method. you’ll often find that the other dog .even your own one). Ideally you will be moving them away from the fight zone as you gently swing them in an arc. In the best case scenario. you can physically intervene in the following way: grab one of the dogs by the back legs and start to drag them back and away in a circular arc. This is when it becomes necessary to act.com . ● Failing the first response. This is common sense . What To Do In A Dog Fight If your dog gets into a fight with another dog.but it's easy to forget this when confronted with the immediate trauma of a dogfight. above all. then there are still some options that remain. and because they will be moving in an arc it will be very difficult for them to turn around and reach you with their jaws.kingdomofpets. You run a serious risk of being bitten by one or both of the dogs (that's right . You will be dragging them at an angle away from the fight. with one dog quickly conceding defeat. At other times though. This is never a good idea .
Dogs with their “blood up” for a fight will sometimes regroup and go at it again if the flow’s stopped too soon. If you’re tense and jumpy. Preventing Fights In the lead-up to a dogfight. You can also make effective sprays yourself . One blanket per dog is even better. so if there’s limited water to hand. which is intensely offensive to dogs. Pretend to be calm if you have to. The head collar and lead is ideal in this case as it allows you to redirect your dog's momentum with a minimum of fuss or effort .● Throw a heavy blanket (or equivalent) over the dogs. or in areas that you know to be dogpopulated.lemon juice diluted with water is ideal.no dragging. or choking your dog to get her away from potential threats. If she's trained to "heel." get her to heel closely enough for you to keep the leash short but slack. watch your own posture and body language: any tension you’re feeling will be conveyed to your own dog. she’ll be on the lookout for danger and may over-interpret a situation.kingdomofpets. your actions are critical in deciding whether the matter will culminate aggressively or peacefully.your dog takes her cues from you. (If you own both of the dogs in question. ● When around other dogs. ● A bucket of cold water or a blast from the hose can be most effective in breaking up a fight . As soon as you’ve got the dogs separated. 92 www.com . heaving. ● There are sprays available which are specifically designed to break up dogfights. Both dogs will be so blinded and confused by the sudden sensory cut-off that they stop fighting. keep your dog on a short leash. because this is a key point . as a tight lead conveys tension to your dog. but they contain citronella.the more water the better. Here are some tips for coping with an animal-aggressive dog: ● Whenever you take your dog out. be prepared to grab your dog by the collar as soon as the soaking’s stopped. ● When another dog approaches. then the section on “Two Dogs in the House” in DOG 302 is just what you need to read). keep her under close control. both visually and through the leash. take them away from each other as quickly as you can. These sprays aren’t physically harmful.
stay calm. the dogs don’t have time to stop and think about whether your intent is aggressive or not . After he’d recovered from the shock of such a bite.com . Bill quickly checked the local neighborhood for her and. 93 www. Case Study: Dogs Fighting Adele is a fine looking German shorthaired pointer. In the confusion. and he handled Adele’s aggression simply by avoiding other dogs whenever they went for a run or walk. did not particularly mind this tendency because he was a strong. one day he came home to find that Adele had escaped from the yard. and watch for your opportunity to safely and effectively intervene.● If your dog sees another dog and starts to act up. Adele was an all-round obedient and loyal friend to Bill. Bill leaped straight in and tried to pull the two dogs apart. Bill managed to stop the fight safely by borrowing a tarp from a nearby work crew and throwing it over the dogs. which includes interfering hands.kingdomofpets. A five-second session in obedience training is ideal: get her to sit or lie down and stay until the other dog is gone. shaking her head savagely back and forth. and Adele let go . Bill wound up being the only one with a real injury in the end. Instead. The Kingdom of Pets Response When people try to intervene in a dog fight. This is why you should never get in the middle of a fight. When you release her. It isn’t enough to simply say “Quiet!” You need to provide her with an alternate channel for her energy. he was confronted with the sight of Adele locked in snarling. dogs are primed to bite anything that comes within reach.only to resume fighting with the other dog straight away. who can be very aggressive toward other dogs. break her attention quickly.a favorite haunt of Adele’s.they’re in an adrenalized state. Adele locked onto Bill’s forearm and bit down hard. However. Despite her aggression towards other animals. Her owner. well-built fellow and did not have any other pets or children. In a fight. give her a treat and some praise for exercising such self-restraint. Shouting. Afraid for Adele’s life. When Bill arrived. Bill. frenzied battle with another dog. They immediately calmed and where separated. having no luck. headed to the local park . Bill hit her hard on the muzzle.
Dalmatians. there’s nothing to be afraid of!” When she won’t come out. Some breeds are also prone to being highly strung and excessively sensitive to fright: a few of these are Weimaraners. It’s pretty rare for confident and outgoing parents to produce fearful pups (another reason why it’s good to meet the parents of your pup or dog if possible!). collies (particularly Border Collies). the owner reaches in and tries to pull her out . Fear-biting happens because the dog is so panic-stricken that she’ll do anything to keep the object of her fear from coming closer. There’s no single cause for this sensitivity: it’s come about in some cases through over-breeding. not less. 94 www. Sheila.com .laughingly tries to coax her out from underneath the bed: “Come on. hiding in the safest place she knows. Great Danes.D. and Shelties. and by definition. Shyness and timidity tend to be passed down through the parents. Fear-biting is NOT the same as aggressive biting . dangerous!). The dog is cowering under the bed.it happens because the dog is panicked and is trying to get you to back off. A perfect example is the dog that bites during a thunderstorm. and her owner not understanding just how scared she is . the result is often a phobia about the cause of the scare which can last for the rest of her life. A dog that is backed into a corner by something that she’s afraid of will become MORE panicky.kingdomofpets. and fear-biting is a not-uncommon reaction to this. and again around twelve to fourteen weeks. Fear Biting A bite that’s provoked by fear occurs in a moment of sheer panic. and is almost always caused by a well-meaning person who doesn’t understand just how terrified the dog in question really is. and as an unwelcome side-effect of high intelligence and dependency on human companionship in other cases. If something happens to scare that dog during these periods.and is shocked when he receives a bite on the hand for his troubles. Why It Happens All dogs have a “fear-imprint” period at about eight weeks of age. not because she’s a “dangerous dog” (although a bite that’s caused by fear is still a bite. Dogs that are afraid cannot be forced to overcome their fears. Some dogs are genetically more prone to being “spooky” than other dogs.
Because of this. Remember to take it slowly. Below are some things that you should and should not do when your dog is scared. Ask them to give her a treat and let her sniff the truck. Talk to her about nonsensical things if this helps. a dog that’s really. This means getting her used to the fact that. ● Remember that your dog takes her emotional and psychological cues from you. and get used to it. cheerful demeanor. Become a treatmachine whenever she’s brave enough to approach the object of her fear (or. In the state of panic. sniff it. If she’s afraid of the vacuum cleaner then leave it out where she can see it. If you have access to whatever it is that’s scaring her. ● Counter-condition the “scared” reflex by getting her to associate whatever it is that’s scaring her with good things. For example. Get her to say hello to the garbage-men. 95 www. nothing bad is actually going to happen. the best thing you can do is to avoid that state of panic that leads to fear-biting. Laugh if you can manage it. instinct will take over no matter how much anti-aggression training you do. REALLY scared will act in ways that she otherwise would not. You cannot train a panicky dog to act in any way other than how her instincts compel her to. Feed her next to it. if your dog is afraid of garbage trucks. sit out on the curb with her at garbage-collection time as the truck approaches. integrate it into her daily life. it’s a manifestation of being terrified. reward her just for remaining calm enough not to wet herself/hyperventilate/run away).com . even though it’s unsettling. fear-biting is NOT aggression. positive way. as this has a relaxing effect on most dogs. so maintain a jolly. Remember. Just like humans. DO: ● Desensitize your dog to whatever it is that’s scaring her.kingdomofpets. if she’s REALLY spooked. Turn it on and play a game with her while it’s running. Here’s one way of putting things into perspective for you: a dog in the grip of a severe phobia or fear can actually feel like she’s about to die – hence the extreme fear.How To Handle Fear-Biting You cannot train a scared dog not to bite. and work on getting her used to the things that scare her in a controlled.
The more she knows. submissive urination. ● If your dog is afraid of actual objects (buses. men with beards. and then reward her with a treat and praise for being so brave. etc) get her to approach them where possible. umbrellas. or if she’s absolutely braced to resist all force. Coax her towards it and try to get her to sniff it. affection. Take her to obedience training. and pats. As a general rule of thumb. really scared of. and that she’s right to be scared.com . 96 www. do NOT shower her with attention. and prolonged hyperventilation (rapid shallow breathing) are warning signs of extreme fear. You need to adopt a brisk. fire hydrants. A good way to do this is with a simple obedience command: get her to “sit-stay” until the object of terror has passed by. and objects that the world holds. ● Try to force her to do anything if she’s hiding from something. Be aware of her body language. and that’s when fear-biting happens. people. some tension and whining are to be expected. or to fun and structured activities like agility work. or whether you need to back off a bit. lots of praise. ● Redirect your dog’s attention by distracting her from the scary thing. When she sees you acting like everything’s fine. or force her to confront something she’s really. do not force her to “get on with it. but cowering. ● Take baby steps! In situations where your dog is really scared. the easier it is to see that there’s nothing to be afraid of. palm trees. When she’s scared. Don’t adopt a “there-there” tone of voice. A dog that’s too far out of her comfort-zone is going to panic. The best thing you can do is to leave her alone until she’s calmed down a bit . and a tasty treat. It will be quite clear whether she’s capable of proceeding.she needs space. Special attention reinforces the idea that something’s wrong. DON’T: ● Crowd a scared dog. Take her with you in day to day life as much as possible so that she can get a good idea of all the different situations.” You need to listen to your common sense in this situation and pay attention to her body language when deciding what to do. Then give her a big hug. she’ll start to believe it.● Socialize her as much as possible. more than anything. matter-of-fact manner and remember to lead by example.kingdomofpets. rather than having the “scary thing” approach her. ● Coddle her.
we don’t need to know the cause of his fear of the broom to fix the problem! 97 www. Whenever I bring it out to sweep the floor. The people at the shelter don’t know what kind of a history he had.● Expect a rapid improvement in your dog’s behavior. What should I do? The Kingdom of Pets Response This is a classic case of fear-aggression. so he tied Beanie to his kennel and started sweeping around him. you might never be able to remove the “ghosts” from your dog’s mind.kingdomofpets. a fear-reaction is a very difficult thing to overcome. I’d also like to address the root cause of his fear because clearly he’s pretty disturbed about something. I’ve now stopped sweeping when Beanie’s around because of the distress it causes him. My sixteen year old son thought he’d better accustom Beanie to the broom. it seems more likely that he may have been threatened or beaten with one in his previous home. but it was a near thing.it’s possible that he’s just formed a neurotic. but because they found him wandering the streets I’d say he’s been through some kind of traumatic experience. Even if there’s no apparent reason for spooked behavior. He ended up touching Beanie a few times with the broom to prove to him that nothing bad was going to happen to him. Although Beanie is very affectionate and is normally quite calm and welladjusted. In some cases. but judging from the strength of his response and the fact that you say he seems quite well-adjusted apart from this problem. Clearly Beanie has some issues when it comes to the broom .com . but I’m a little nervous that he might try and bite me next time I have to take it out. he runs away so hard that he actually skids on the wooden floor. He cowers down and wets himself too. groundless fear of it. Remember to be patient and undemanding. Fortunately Mike didn’t get bitten because Beanie was tied up. Fortunately. he’s absolutely petrified of the broom. but Beanie just snapped and started snarling and lunging at Mike (my son). Case Study: Fear Biting I have a three year old German Shepherd called Beanie that I adopted from a rescue shelter.
Of course. and take things a lot more slowly.which clearly made Beanie more uncomfortable. Bear in mind that this will probably take a relatively long time: it’s a big leap from being comfortable with the broom lying on the floor to seeing it actually in your hand. but you are actually accomplishes a lot more by going through this training process. Give it about two or three days for Beanie to accustom himself to being in such close proximity to the broom. you can play fetch by throwing the ball over the broom. Then you can start holding it in one hand while you coax Beanie near you.try and get him to touch the broom as it lies on the ground. Leave it there until Beanie’s had no reaction to it for at least two or three days. Start off by leaving the broom just lying around. which sounds as though it just reinforced the associations of powerlessness and anxiety that Beanie already has with the broom). Then. This will start to counteract some of the damage done by previous owners (and by his more recent experience with Mike.perhaps take the broom outside and make sweeping motions at one end of the yard while he’s at the other end. Give him a treat for getting this far. so that he has to run or jump over it to get the ball. Be prepared for this to take quite some time. just go about sweeping. When he does eventually come within touching distance. Don’t put it away in its cabinet any more . you can start putting the broom to use inside the house. not less. Remember to take it slowly and give lots of treats and praise for brave behavior. but he went about it far too harshly and in a negative way . Pay no special attention to him. He should be OK with that by this stage . get him to sit and stay. start slowly . For example. Remember that the real problem is probably when he sees it in someone’s hands. You are building trust and greatly 98 www. Again.com . and when he feels restricted (as though he can’t escape).if he is. and then put the broom down and play a game . We suggest that you approach the matter gently. the quick fix to the problem is removing Beanie from the area whenever you need to use the broom. Repeat these last steps three or four more times over the course of several days. but eventually Beanie should be just fine around the broom. and then you should be able to start incorporating actual sweeping into your day when Beanie’s within sight.Mike was right in his intention to try and desensitize Beanie to the broom.leave it lying on the floor or propped against the wall.kingdomofpets. place it beside his food bowl for a few days so he begins to associate positive experiences with the broom. It might help to have the doors open so he can leave if he wants to.
Like fear-biting. Mouthing and nipping are natural behaviors for all dogs. but he no longer hides or wets himself. and apparently Beanie’s making excellent progress. nipping isn’t real aggression . and we expect that Beanie will eventually be completely okay around the broom. rough-housing. They are difficult to play with. not a desire to inflict harm or scare people away. He still gets tense when the broom’s taken out. Play-Biting Play-biting is sometimes referred to as ‘nipping. Once you bring your pup home.com . playing. although in a lot of cases the behavior will resurface in moments of duress . All puppies are nippy when they’re growing up. where they play with their siblings by biting and mouthing each other. How To Deal With Nipping Your first priority is to teach bite inhibition. but can occur in older dogs that haven’t yet been taught how not to use their mouths when playing and demonstrating affection. so we have to take active steps in order to prevent this behavior from getting out of hand. It’s important for you to teach your puppy or dog not to use her mouth when greeting. by the time you bring her home she’ll already have learned the basics of bite inhibition from her mother and siblings . since we get hurt a lot easier than dogs do! 99 www. it’s up to you to teach her not to do this any more.’ It usually happens when a dog is still very young.] E. [NOTE: We heard back from Janet six months later.reducing the risk of a potentially dangerous reaction to other similar items in the future. when playing an exciting and fast-moving game like tag. They have no concept of bite pressure or appropriateness.kingdomofpets.it’s based on instinct and communication. This is because they’re fresh from the litter. Dogs that aren’t trained not to nip grow up to be both annoying and painful to have around. Because (as you know) you shouldn’t adopt a pup before eight to ten weeks of age. Janet’s going to keep on taking it slowly. and so are an irritation to adults and a danger to young children. Older dogs can also be trained not to nip.for example. and showing affection.but she still needs to adjust the threshold of bite pressure to suit humans.
and don't make eye contact: make it perfectly clear that you're not going to play if she acts like that. "Ah-ah-ah!" or "NO!" Give her a chew and praise her effusively as soon as her jaws close around it. This is how puppies react when their siblings bite too hard. Because dogs and especially puppies have an innate need to use their mouths when playing. or slap your puppy for nipping. ● Stop encouraging your puppy to focus on your hands. this kind of behavior comes across as rough-housing (i. 100 www. correct her quickly by saying. The close proximity between the correction for nipping and the praise for using her mouth appropriately speaks volumes to a dog: it teaches her in a clear and understandable way that chews are OK. and she'll learn her lesson that much more quickly.it's up to you whether you do this or not. you want to play rough. while hands are most definitely not. This is ultimately just going to confuse the dog. It's really important that everyone who plays with your dog or puppy understands that you're training her not to nip. In all cases. the message will come across loud and clear. Wait until your dog has calmed down . she starts snapping at your hands. ● Never hit. (Some people squeal whenever their dog's mouth closes on any part of their anatomy. it usually helps to supply a chew (rawhide bones and pigs' ears are great) when you're petting her or playing with her. in which case more nipping will result). and make sure everyone else in the room follows suit. turn your body completely away. no matter how gently . it can come across as a challenge.about two or three minutes . and spark a power-struggle. while playing.) After you've squealed.kingdomofpets. shake.e. ● If. If everyone gives her the cold shoulder whenever she nips them. so your dog will understand the message perfectly. This gives her an outlet while keeping your hands safe. it's unnecessary and cruel: it's much more effective to socially isolate your dog when she gets too revved-up.before resuming contact. In older dogs.com .TRAINING YOUR DOG NOT TO NIP ● Squeal shrilly and LOUDLY when your puppy or dog nips you too hard.to a lot of dogs. and won't get the message across . isolate her immediately by ceasing all contact. ● Be consistent. Stand up.
If Jacob nips you too hard. as they’re hardwired to use their mouths in almost all situations from birth.kingdomofpets. He is very nippy. This means no eye contact. you need to react like a little puppy would if it was bitten . I also try to stroke him while playing with his toys. I have tried to divert his attention from my hands by feeding him while petting him. Quickly hand him a chew or appropriate toy.squeal loudly in pain (this shouldn’t be too hard . and remember to stick with it. Don’t even attempt to tell him off for nipping you.com . or if he latches on to you as you walk past. What can I do to get him to stop biting our hands? The Kingdom of Pets Response First of all. he may occasionally relapse into nipping behavior again. As he grows up. “Ah-ah-ah!” or “NO!” loudly and firmly. no talking. 101 www. If this is the case. When he begins to mouth and nip you. and praise him lavishly when he takes it in his mouth. absolutely nothing. with every chance he can get.milk teeth are like needles!) Then. you need to actively correct Jacob when he starts to get nippy. simply repeat the response outlined above. You can give him a treat if you like. You need to make sure that everyone in the house adheres to this corrective behavior for Jacob. no petting. say. It takes some time to teach puppies not to nip. ignore Jacob completely for the next few minutes. he will latch onto hands. to really drive the message home. He should let go in surprise when you do this.Case Study: Nipping and Hand Biting Jacob the Rottweiler Puppy My name is Isaiah and my partner and I have a 10 week old male Rottweiler puppy named Jacob. feet and pants.
F.000 and 100. When you think about it.000 years ago. and a lack of physical and mental activity.like company or exercise .kingdomofpets. Genetic. and a weekly walk is the most some get from their owners.com . it’s quite obvious that dogs are not designed to be left by themselves or cooped up for long periods of time. fossil and DNA evidence leads us to believe that humans began to domesticate wolves between 15. To explain. We can also refer to it as “problem chewing. a bowl of food. A lot of dogs lead sad. when we say “destructive chewing. but still spend upwards of eight hours a day on their own.the occasional pat on the head. Leaving such an animal by itself. Other dogs are slightly better off. or boxed up in a crate or kennel. shut in a yard. The resulting combination of loneliness and mental and physical frustration frequently results in the onset of destructive chewing in a dog. it’s still not the same as being able to explore new territory. lonely lives . Her instincts are calling out for company. either inside a house. Dogs are geared toward human companionship. Chewing and Other Destructive Behavior Why Does It Happen? The majority of destructive and neurotic behaviors in dogs originates from loneliness. for social interaction and the ability to sniff around and roam . boredom. They’re social pack animals.as opposed to the chewing that takes place simply because your dog likes to chew.” 102 www. many with strong working instincts and the need for plenty of exercise each day.” this refers to the chewing that originates because your dog needs something that she’s not getting .even when dogs have a large backyard at their disposal. is positively unnatural for the dog.
clearly both have their time and a place. come home on your lunch break and check up on your dog. ● If you live within walking or driving distance of work. Active time together. or just play a quick game of Frisbee. Old or injured dogs.” so make sure you tire your dog out as much as possible! Clearly. and some of the more sedentary breeds.unfortunately. or playing fetch. As a general rule of thumb.kingdomofpets. jogging. most of us have to work . most dogs need a minimum of half an hour to an hour’s vigorous exercise every day. A dog that’s well-exercised is much less likely to need to occupy her time with destructive behaviors such as chewing. Exercise and Companionship are Paramount The best prevention available for destructive behaviors such as chewing is to combine exercise with companionship. All dogs have different exercise requirements depending on their breed. Figure out your dog’s exercise needs and make sure you’re fulfilling them.com/dogobediencetraining/dogbreeds/). are the exceptions.com .browse online. but you should be able to get a fair idea from a bit of quick research. the need to follow the leader (you). As the saying goes. and level of physical health. ● When you come home from work. or ask your vet. age. kingdomofpets. grab a quick snack and head out to the park with your dog. 103 www. Take her out for a 15 minute walk. but time spent exercising together fulfils three of your dog’s instinctive needs at the same time: the need for companionship.Below are some tips for preventing destructive behavior in the first place. spent walking. and the need to roam. Take a look at the Kingdom of Pets breed library (http://www. AND get in some mileage at the same time. This is literally the best thing you can do for your dog before leaving in the morning: she gets to spend time with you. You can eat your lunch at your desk afterwards. “a tired dog is a good dog. we don’t all have the luxury of prioritizing our dog’s happiness over earning a living! However. Dinner can wait until you get home. there are ways for you to help your dog adjust to a less social lifestyle: ● Get up earlier and take your dog for a walk. is much better than time spent just hanging out together at home .
the shrubbery. she WILL turn to whatever else is available: your sofa cushions. and textures is a good way to safeguard your own personal possessions. However. in particular. ● Rotate these toys every couple of days: put the old ones away. and lessens the likelihood of your possessions being targeted out of boredom. and chewing is a soothing activity that helps the time go by for a lot of dogs. A dog that’s pining for your company is also more likely to target items that she associates with you . and marrow bones. shapes. and jaws with.they need something to occupy their time. Chewing Do’s and Don’ts DO: ● Buy a lot of chews and toys: ropes. You want to be sure that she's not going to target any of your possessions before leaving her alone with them. mind. If she ever does choose something of yours over one of her own toys. if you don’t provide your dog with a fantastic variety of chews and toys to occupy her time." or shake a soda can with a couple of dimes inside (the loud rattle is scary for most dogs). Kongs®. soft latex toys. it’s an instinct to chew (a soothing activity in itself) on something that reminds her of you. This is simply not true: chewing is a pleasurable activity in itself for most dogs.things that smell like you.Redirect Your Dog’s Chewing Some people make the mistake of thinking of chewing as something that a dog will only do if she’s bored or lonely. and to minimize the desire to target your own stuff before it becomes an issue. your favorite sneakers. or favorite jacket shredded: it’s not the dog “seeking revenge” on you for leaving her behind. the faster she'll learn the lesson.kingdomofpets. bedding. hard rubber toys. In most cases. The quicker you react. it is fair to say that dogs chew MORE when they’re lonely or bored . ● Spend time observing your dog around the house. Straight away. correct her immediately: loudly say "Ah-ah-ah!" or "NO!. and bring out one or two new ones. an assortment of rawhide chews. 104 www.com . substitute a chew for the item and praise her as soon as she takes it in her mouth. This keeps things interesting for your dog. Investing in about ten to twelve chews of varying sizes. This is why so many owners come home from work to find their pillows. squeakies.
which in turn can lead to rapid and widespread destruction in the home. In some cases. A great way to do this is to use Bitter Apple. it really is your responsibility to provide your dog with chewing alternatives that are more attractive than your possessions.) ● Expect to be able to train your dog not to chew. and can be purchased from pet stores and some supermarkets. but in reality it’s actually pretty cruel: she won’t understand you. Dogs have no accurate concept of time. but used in tandem with one or more of the other solutions listed above it's quite effective. If you come home and something’s been destroyed. The best you can aim for is to channel your dog’s chewing towards appropriate objects. dogs are a bit confused about what they’re “allowed” to chew and what they’re not. it will do no good at all to tell off or punish your dog unless you come home while the destruction is taking place. Yelling at a dog that’s shredded something out of boredom and loneliness at some point earlier in the day might seem like a necessary vent at the time. (And. ● For a dog that chews from anxiety.com . It comes in a cream or spray. Serial Destroyers If your dog has been trained consistently and from a young age that certain objects are appropriate for chewing and others are not. after all.● For items that your dog's already displayed a marked preference for. leaving the radio on or the TV tuned to a talk-show will give the illusion of company. this won't work as a sole preventative. however. Chewing is as natural to dogs as breathing. which is a non-toxic chew deterrent designed especially for use with dogs. and/or boredom. then you should have little trouble with destructive chewing.kingdomofpets. loneliness. you may need to take steps to make these items unappealing. not to stop it altogether. Of course. and you really do need to catch her redhanded .or at least within 30 seconds of the action taking place for the reprimand to have any effect. The actions of owners can sometimes contribute to this confusion. 105 www. DON’T: ● EVER tell your dog off for destroying property unless you’re able to actually catch her in the act.
the colder the water the better. no cast-off clothes or pillows . If she starts mouthing something that’s off limits. This means no old towels. cast-off slippers and the shoes that you still wear every day: to her. you’ll need to leap in with a “NO!” and then substitute with an appropriate chew or toy straight away. Put the can out of reach on a table or shelf. Dogs can’t tell the difference between your old.OPTIONS FOR SERIAL DESTROYERS ● Restrict your dog’s chewing activities to designated dog-toys ONLY. while you’re away during the day.she is no longer allowed to chew ANYTHING but dog-toys. Make sure that there’s enough room to run about a bit.kingdomofpets. ● Build a dog run in your yard which is big enough for your dog to stay in for a couple of hours. and that there’s a kennel included which is both waterproof and safe from the elements so she’ll be snug and cozy in cool or wet weather. This means spending a fair amount of time in the beginning just hanging out at home with your dog and actively supervising her. rather than a correction that comes from you. When the pup starts to chew. ● For example: some dogs LOVE to chew telephone wire. ● You can booby-trap certain objects around the house. A water pistol is another good alternative to this . 106 www. they smell and look the same. You can also rely on your own vigilance using the can: follow her around the house and give it a good shake when you see her mouthing something inappropriate. and tie the loose end of the cord to a can that’s got a few dimes inside it. ● You’ll probably need to invest some time in teaching your dog the difference between “chewable” and “non-chewable” items in the household. Praise her as soon as she closes her mouth on the chew. Corrective behavior that involves scare-tactics is more effective when the correction seems to be a direct result of her own behavior. the can will fall down and scare the living daylights out of her. A good way to put a stop to this behavior is to disconnect the jack from the wall.com . Be consistent and simplify things as much as possible when teaching her what she can and can’t chew.
Because of this. Henry had chewed through one of the boards. worked full time.and all the driving to and fro wasn’t convenient for Dave. and would frequently entertain himself by gnawing at shrubbery and outdoor furniture in the garden. Dave found a two year old Poodle called Jazz that was accustomed to living with other dogs. he never really had any company because his owner. After having a look in a few shelters. he decided to get another dog as a friend for Henry. All this added up to a much improved quality of life for Henry.Case Study: Chewing and Destructive Behavior Henry is a 10 month old Golden Labrador who just loved company. Sometimes during the day. He also built a dog run in his yard. Dave. taking Lucy with him.com . clearly such destructive behavior was not acceptable. and an exercise ball to keep Henry busy for at least some of the day. and allowed them to play for awhile and sort out who was the more dominant dog before Dave finalized Jazz’s adoption. Dave introduced the two dogs in the local park (a neutral setting). Although Dave loved Henry. Henry quickly fell back into his old destructive habits. He began to get up earlier in the morning to take Henry out for a forty-five minute walk. This arrangement suited everyone perfectly until the day that the neighbor moved house. which permitted Henry a good range of the garden. and felt remorseful at having to subject him to such loneliness and boredom. he purchased some quality dog-toys and chews. On top of this. Dave arranged to have Lucy around during the day to visit.kingdomofpets. leaving a hole big enough for him to tunnel underneath to the neighbor’s back yard. As a solution. Dave had to figure out some ways of improving Henry’s quality of life. and became withdrawn and depressed. Henry spent a lot of time by himself at home during the day. 107 www. Unfortunately for Henry. without Dave having to worry that he would break free. Lucy. but it still wasn’t ideal . Even though a fence separated the two dogs. Dave would come home at lunch to play with Henry. whom Henry got on extremely well with. The only thing that stopped Henry from going completely round the bend with boredom and loneliness was the next-door neighbor’s dog. After apologizing to the neighbor.
the need to interact socially has not. it’s going to be difficult for you (and confusing for your dog) if you change your mind in future! In general. This removes the need to be destructive in the first place. it’s only fair that something is arranged to keep him busy and content. In Dave’s case. you’re going to have to stick with it.is a privilege for a dog. a dog without a pack didn’t have long to survive . but this isn’t to say that getting another dog is the only or best solution available to you.com . Dave was surprised and pleased to find that having two happy dogs was a lot easier then owning one bored and lonely dog! Dogs are intensely social animals that are driven by instinct to seek out company. Consistency is really important when it comes to issues like this: once you decide to allow him access to the couch or bed. and we hope it helps!] G.kingdomofpets. requiring careful consideration of all the possible consequences. the addition of Jazz to his household worked just fine. Jumping on Furniture Whether your dog is to be allowed up on the furniture or not is a pretty big decision to make. as was the case with Henry.Henry and Jazz are now the best of friends. [NOTE: We are NOT advocating the addition of a second dog as a “cure” for your first dog’s boredom and subsequent destructive behavior! Getting another dog is a huge decision to make. This is because being allowed up on the furniture .your territory . Whatever your decision. Before humans began to domesticate dogs. and a lonely dog is an unhappy dog. We included this case study because it does cover a range of response to this particular problem. it’s considered good dog-training etiquette not to allow young puppies up on furniture until they’re at least five or six months old. and it doesn’t 108 www.even though a lot of the wilder instincts have been bred out of dogs. In the case of a dog that’s left by himself for long periods of time.
com . when you’re enjoying an afternoon nap. If you want your dog on the couch. and whatever decision you do make.you’re essentially removing your right to tell him off if he ever chooses an inopportune moment to do so (for example. and he also has to get off when you ask him to. Sleeping/reclining space is a big thing when it comes to sorting out pack hierarchy .kingdomofpets. but it also removes an ongoing opportunity for your dog to view himself as higher than you in the household hierarchy. you also impose limits. or when he’s wet and muddy). clothes.do any harm for him to understand that it’s not his given right to sprawl on the couch. Make no mistake about it: he knows that the furniture . but nobody ever invades his bed or crate and messes it all up. You are permitting him to join you there.is your territory. The best thing for you to do is to emphasize the fact that he must wait for your invitation before getting up on the couch/bed/armchair. He has to wait for you to invite him up there . and furniture scratched and rumpled when you’re caught unprepared. when you’ve got a glass of red wine balanced on the arm. This is a fundamental rule for a harmonious household: partly because there are always going to be times when it’s inconvenient to have a dog sprawling on the couch (particularly if you have a large dog/small children/are wearing your Sunday best) and partly because it boils down to the issue of dominance.. you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences of your decision.. that’s likely a sign of his dominance over you: he can trample all over your personal turf. the numberone rule is that you MUST be consistent. Not only does this prevent minor inconveniences like having books.some say it’s even more indicative of alpha ranking than who eats first. then great. If he’s going to be allowed up as and when he chooses. This is why the team at Kingdom of Pets suggests that if you allow access to furniture. 109 www.particularly the bed .meaning that he doesn’t have to wait for an invitation before jumping up . but he has to understand that he can’t just leap up there any old time. If he’s allowed up there whenever he chooses. if you decide to allow him free access to your furniture at all times . This means that. The decision is entirely yours.
like “on the floor.kingdomofpets. say “Up you get!” or “Come on!” or whatever phrase it is that you’ve chosen. Get a good dog bed and place it near the couch (you can buy one specifically designed for this purpose.it’s enforcing the “get down” that can sometimes be an issue! The first thing for you to do is to supply him with a comfortable alternative: you want to make it an easy decision to obey you and relinquish his spot on the couch. you won’t be able to use “down” if you’ve taught him to lie down when you say it .Inviting Him To Join You It won’t take much for him to understand what you want .you’ll need to come up with something new. using “off” to ask your dog to both get off the couch and to stop jumping up on people.reward him immediately and generously. a length of corrugated foam wrapped in towels. NOTE: Plenty of owners make the mistake of thinking that dog-training commands are interchangeable.even if he doesn’t do so straight away . One “off” is enough . When you want your dog to get off the couch. or whatever) and. If he does obey you . and a small food reward or two. Don’t repeat yourself.com . Some dogs are slow to obey commands at first. and use “off” for more than one situation (for example.basically anything comfortable!). “You have to be kidding me. and will leap right up there.” 110 www. or a folded quilt and some pillows .simply pat the couch (or bed. before slowly getting up and reluctantly acceding to your request. There’s no need to sound like a drill sergeant: keep your tone low but pleasant. you’ll need to physically encourage your dog to obey you. or chair. right?” expression on his face. and will look at you with a. Likewise. wait for 30 seconds (which may seem like an eternity). and maintain eye contact with the dog. If he hasn’t obeyed you after 30 seconds. Requesting To Disembark Getting up on the couch is rarely a problem . say “Off” and point to the dog bed. with plentiful praise. with an encouraging.) Using the same command in different situations will only confuse your dog: you need to keep commands for separate circumstances clearly distinguishable from each other. He should understand almost immediately what you want. petting.but keep your arm pointing at the dog bed. or you can create one from a beanbag. Before using physical encouragement. high-pitched voice.
even worse. the instinctive reaction for dealing with a disobedient dog is to grab him by the collar and literally drag him into the desired location. warm spot on the couch for a dog-bed or. the floor?) not to mention a real sign of respect when he obeys you. make a loud “Ah-ah-aaaahh!” sound. If you see him doing this. but you’re making him uncomfortable enough that he’ll choose to move of his own volition. you need to correct him straight away: if you actually catch him as he’s leaping up. under his rear end so you’ve created a slight wedge effect between his rear and the couch. If you don’t catch him in the act but notice him on the furniture (when you haven’t invited him up there!) say. Most dogs seem to instinctively understand that this means. Give him about 30 seconds before initiating physical encouragement.not only is the collar-pulling technique not guaranteed to work with big dogs. “Hold it right there!” Some will get off voluntarily when they hear this. but it’s also a lot more effective if you can make your dog do something under his own steam rather than just hauling him about. “Off!” in a low. your dog will probably keep jumping up on the furniture every so often without an invitation (some dogs that have been permitted free access for a prolonged period of time take months or even years to fully stop this habit).com . but that’s no assurance of long-term obedience! Slide your hand. 111 www. you may be demonstrating physical power. Punctuate this with a snap of your fingers or a clap of your hands if you like. as well as making the seat uncomfortable enough so that he’ll want to bail out! Correcting Jump-Ups Until he gets the message that an invitation must always precede furniture access. but keep pointing and maintain eye contact. Gradually push your arm forwards so the angle increases and the pressure mounts on his back end .Physically Encouraging The “Off” For a lot of owners. and then point to the dog-bed.kingdomofpets. This isn’t particularly constructive .you’re not forcing him to get off. since from your dog’s point of view it’s a pretty big thing to ask (who wants to leave a comfortable. but even if yours doesn’t the split-second timing will still underline the fact that he’s not to jump up without an invitation. This is where you repeat the “off” command once more: the physical encouragement reinforces your request. palm-down. Remember: don’t repeat yourself. It’s important to always praise generously for obedience with this issue. authoritative tone. When you drag him by the collar.
including dog hair. to become “dogified” (a term that describes all the things that make you know a dog’s been there. and too expensive. there are plenty of confusing things that dogs must adapt to that we can’t control or simply don’t realize. it was truly deluxe. and as for the dog bed itself. and that the wife shouldn’t feel bad about her decision. Then the wife bought a set of satin sheets. In addition. Oh. dog drool. either on her own or when asked. the dog was allowed to sleep on the bed. The introduction of the dog bed was accompanied by a training regime in which Bella was asked “Off” the bed each time she was found there. So what could they do? They were told that this would confuse the dog. However. so that she didn’t feel like she’s been banished from the only social spot of the room. I told them that taking away the dog’s privilege was not the problem. but doing so without in some way offsetting it with something else was. I also told them to spend some time hanging out right around the dog bed with Bella. She decided they were too nice. to the delight of the wife. Bella figured it all out in a couple weeks and. For over a year. And this is certainly true. mud and dirt. they needed to provide Bella with a great new deluxe dog bed.they even lined it in satin! 112 www. and that distinctive dog smell). Through some patience and repetition. which she had been saving up for. even if the bed is placed near their existing bed. before the switching the sheets. After all. all before they upgraded their bedding.com . In fact .Case Study: Jumping on Furniture There was a couple who adopted Bella. But in my email to them I also explained that their pet’s confusion is no reason to avoid the satin sheets they dearly wanted. too delicate. they had to do some training to make Bella believe that it was just that! This involved praise and reward when she went to it. She was wellmannered and well-loved.kingdomofpets. a Black Labrador.and I kid you not . and interrupted with a sharp “Uh uh” when she looked like she was approaching it. The added benefit of this arrangement is that the dog develops a better sense of her own personal space. In other words.
If the leapt-upon dog submits to this behavior.kingdomofpets. of course your dog is extremely happy and excited to see you come home. there is very little. Your dog doesn’t think of you as a “human” . and bouncing around the house and yard. these are: ● Dominance ● Attention-seeking A lot of owners make the mistake of applying human behavioral characteristics to their dogs: they think that. and get angry with him on other days. You cannot permit him to leap up on you on some days. it’s still pretty bad form to allow this behavior: do you really want to “agree” with your dog that he’s in charge by submissively permitting him to continue his dominant behavior? Dealing With Jumping Consistency is absolutely essential when dealing with jumping. not a demonstration of emotion. or whether you’re feeling rushed or playful. “You’re not the boss here. this isn’t entirely true. emotional component to jumping up on a person: it’s a means of communication between dogs. but he’ll demonstrate this by wagging his tail. and I expect you to submit to that. when they return home from work and their dog jumps all over them. I am. the dog that leaps up on the other dog is asserting dominance.com . not by jumping up on you. Between canines. Unfortunately. Even if you have a small dog that can’t inflict harm or scare people when he rears up.” Jumping is not a behavior that you should encourage in your dog. Your dog can’t tell the difference between your work clothes and your gardening outfit. panting. In fact.he doesn’t realize that canine communication methods aren’t applicable! So the meaning of the action is the same.H. Jumping on People There are two basic reasons as to why a dog will jump up on people. If you’re going to 113 www. if any. In no particular order. it’s because the dog is excited and happy to see them. he’s acceding dominance to the leaper. whether he’s jumping up on you or on a dog: he’s saying. Yes.
TEACHING YOUR DOG NOT TO JUMP UP IS REALLY VERY SIMPLE. that way there is no reward for their actions. so make sure you don’t react at all. Remember. He’ll get the message very quickly. whether good or bad) from you. Take a look at our chapter on dominance-aggression (in Dog 202) or read the bonus book. It is innate behavior for a puppy to first jump up at their mother. you need to be prepared to react the same way every time he does it . Unfortunately. 114 www.com .teach him not to jump up on you. It’s likely that at first. a bitch would enter the den and all the puppies would jump up at her and lick around her mouth because she would regurgitate food for them. praise the heck out of him: give him treats. HERE’S WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO: ● When he starts jumping. too. Note: If your dog is demonstrating jumping behaviors in conjunction with other signs of dominance (for example. Give him the real cold shoulder: turn your body completely away. You want to make it crystal clear that four paws on the ground is what you want. completely ignore him. many visitors unknowingly would encourage this behavior by smiling. and break eye contact. “talking back” to you when you verbally correct him). deliberate disobedience. it is important that it be reprimanded immediately. your dog will actually increase his jumping .he’s looking for validation. This goes for visitors. leaping and jumping will result in a complete snubbing. (This also explains why puppies will lick your face if you let them). food. which he would normally get in the form of eye contact (and possibly attention. avert your face. In the wild. pat him lavishly. If such a behavior occurs with a young puppy. “Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog. and petting her. even negative attention is still attention. ● He will probably sit down in puzzlement after about 30 seconds of fruitless leaping. As soon as all four paws are on the ground.or furniture-guarding. you’ll need to learn more about how to combat dominant behavior in your dog. It’s important that you do not give him this validation. shower him with praise.kingdomofpets.” Case Study: Jumping Up on People Madison was a three year old Australian Shepherd who loved people but would jump up at anyone who walked through the gate.and so does everyone else in the household.
and/or if he’s still full of beans by the time you return home at the end of a walk).kingdomofpets. they would just not look her in the eye and carry on as if she was not there. they had to reprimand her if she did jump up at them.However.com . The second thing was that they had to completely ignore her when they themselves would walk through the gate. there was more training involved. This section will deal with how to control excess digging that takes place for either reason. 115 www. If you don’t really walk your dog enough (if you’re not walking him for at least half an hour a day. they would throw the water at her! This trick was very effective. The first thing the family had to do of course was restrain Madison before any visitors could even walk through the gate. then he’s probably in the former category. but it was the combination of training and perseverance that transformed Madison into a dog that would wait patiently until people were ready to greet her! I. If Madison came near them before they were ready to greet her. and if the amount of digging he does isn’t really affected by how much exercise he gets. For example. and especially if he doesn’t dig much or at all when you’re around. Digging Problems ● They just like to do it ● They’re lonely and bored and on the lookout for more excitement There are two main reasons why dogs dig: It should be reasonably easy to figure out which one of the two categories your own dog falls under: if he digs throughout the day whether you’re there or not. even if she looked as if she wanted to jump up at them. Madison being an older dog and having been allowed to get away with the problem for so long. and is trying to provide it for himself. they would sometimes walk through the gate with a bucket of water which they had put by the letter box when they had left the yard. or if he spends a fair bit of time by himself. then he’s most likely digging because he needs more stimulation in his life. Thirdly.
so any dog with a bit of terrier in him will usually enjoy getting his paws dirty. ● Make the dirt unappealing. Your dog’s breed (or breeds.use visual boundaries to mark it off from the rest of the 116 www. ● Allocate your dog a section of your property where digging is actively encouraged . A dog that has no unsupervised access to your yard or certain areas of it has no opportunity to wreak destruction. though . while others go nuts for just about any available piece of dirt.Digging For Fun Some dogs just seem to be hardwired to dig. Sprinkling cayenne pepper over areas prone to being dug up is an effective way to stop that part of the yard being targeted: if you use enough. Terriers. if he’s a mixture) plays a lot in this. for example.kingdomofpets. WHAT TO DO WITH A DOG THAT DIGS FOR FUN Of course. Except in the case of dogs who like to eat poop (a condition known as “coprophagia. are actually bred to tunnel into the earth and drag vermin out of their burrows. Some don’t particularly care for it. there’s no harm in permitting your dog to indulge himself every once in awhile.” which we will deal with later on. most dogs will be put right off digging by the presence of dog poop.and if this is the case. Breed isn’t the only deciding factor when it comes to digging preferences. in the section “Health-Related Behavior Problems Solved”). SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR CURBING EXCESSIVE DIGGING: ● Take preventative measures. ● Use natural deterrent.it also seems to be largely up to the individual dog.com . it puffs up and irritates the dog’s eyes and nose. All you have to do is scoop up a bit of solid waste and place it in a current hole. you’ll probably want to take steps to get it under control. Use a liberal hand at first. and from then just a sprinkling should be enough to alert your dog to its presence. But some dogs are capable of turning your garden into a moonscape of cratered pits in just a couple of hours .
with a five or ten minute obedience-training session augmented by praise and treats for good behavior. Take him for as long a walk as you can both manage . if necessary. earth. If this isn’t possible. immediately correct him and redirect him to the “digging allowed” area. and grass for him to dig in. What To Do With A Dog That Digs From Boredom/Loneliness Digging is a moderately stimulating exercise for a bored dog: it lets him work off some excess energy. One idea is to buy (or build) a deep sandbox. Although this is a highly effective method. Try to tire his mind out as well. so you may wish to restrict this to parts of the garden that you really prize. and can be self-reinforcing behavior.com . Genuine marrowbones bought from the butcher and chopped up into sections a few inches long will provide your dog with hours of tasty. If you can make it home during the day to pay a quick visit. in areas that their dog particularly likes to dig in. and fill it with a mixture of sand. ● Some people have had a lot of success placing chicken wire a few inches underneath the ground. and occasionally yields tasty treats like bones. like bricks or even a rope.yard. and various flavored items of varying textures and degrees of chewiness. ● Invest in some toys that will keep your dog active and occupied during your absence. nutritious entertainment . There are also hard plastic balls which dispense a treat if rolled over a certain number of times. Burying a bone or two in the designated area also works well. When he starts to dig there.kingdomofpets.just make sure you bake or boil them first. you might consider investing in a dogwalker or dog-sitter. Some people have actually adopted a second 117 www. When you catch him digging in an off-limits part of the garden. gives him a “job” to do.an hour or more is ideal. IDEAS FOR REDUCING DIGGING THAT’S PROVOKED BY BOREDOM AND/ OR LONELINESS: ● Wear your dog out before you leave him alone.you can encourage him to get going by having a bit of a scratch around yourself. praise him effusively and give him a treat . that’s a big step in the right direction. ● Companionship is on a par with plentiful exercise for its effectiveness in keeping your dog happy and free from boredom. it’s clearly going to be a fair amount of work for you. There are some really fun toys on the market that dogs genuinely enjoy playing with: Kong® make some good hard-rubber toys that are designed to bounce crazily around at the touch of a paw (and are very durable). That’s because it’s fun.
com . it merely made Alfie go and dig in other places. Debbie tried aversion therapy: she filled some balloons up with air until they were almost at bursting point. Dan rolled his sleeves up and got to work digging up the turf of the lawn and laying out chicken-wire underneath. his life seemed pretty ideal for a dog .she worked from home. At first. Well. She had two dogs.clearly. and this is effective in many cases . he just started digging somewhere else instead! Next. while Debbie went out and 118 www.dog for reasons of companionship.kingdomofpets. they tried deterring Alfie from digging in his favorite places by putting dog poop in the holes. Debbie knew that Alfie wasn’t a bored or lonely dog . when Alfie dug one up. so Alfie never longed for canine companionship. Because Debbie and Dan knew that Alfie was getting plenty of vigorous exercise and lots of companionship and affection.but Alfie was a confident dog who didn’t spook easily. Just like the dog poop solution. what with owning two boisterous dogs. they still weren’t prepared to put up with a garden that was constantly full of holes and dirt piles.instead of being put off. they were beginning to become a bit stumped as to how to sort him out! After some consideration. The idea was that. and buried them around the garden in places that Alfie liked to dig. it would explode and give him a fright. he just started right back digging again. Cayenne pepper didn’t work either.but obviously you’ll need to think this through VERY carefully before taking the plunge (and not least because there’s no telling whether the two will actually get on in the long term!) Case Study: Digging Alfie was a smart Golden Retriever who liked to spend his time digging holes in Debbie and Dan’s lawn and flowerbeds. Alfie did dig a couple up. so after a few second’s consideration. not just as a means to an end! Although Dan and Debbie knew it was unlikely that their lawns would ever be truly pristine. waited until Alfie was otherwise occupied. and they did explode in his face . and he got plenty of exercise and affection. Alfie loved to dig as a fulfilling pastime in itself. Debbie and Dan decided to use a two-pronged approach. so he had constant human companionship. In fact. so they decided to try and sort out Alfie’s digging habit. but Alfie wasn’t to be that easily deterred .
he just needs a bit more training. that’s just incomprehension. he gave up and just sat there panting. it does not bode well for your future with your dog. and a couple of juicy bones to encourage Alfie to get to work.bought a large sand-box which she filled with earth. for whatever reason. you’ll already know that if your dog doesn’t respect you enough to obey you. started to dig up the earth and sand inside. Alfie quickly caught on. and after about a few minutes of digging. Debbie and Dan led him over to the sandbox and. we’re not referring to a situation where your dog doesn’t obey you because he doesn’t fully understand the command. and within a few moments was hard at work. using their hands. well-known command from you that he’s obeyed successfully at least a few times before. Disobedience is when your dog out-and-out ignores a familiar. This is not something that can be left to “fix itself. your dog is showing you that he doesn’t have enough respect for your authority to heed your requests and commands. That’s not disobedience. sand. After a few tries in various parts of the garden. it’s really just a minor to moderate inconvenience. then 119 www.kingdomofpets. that’s all. Alfie had dug up a succulent marrowbone. Debbie and Dan made sure to praise him lavishly while he did this.com . and he’d found a place to dig that not only earned him a bone. but also plentiful praise from Debbie and Dan. Disobedience is actually a form of passive aggression: essentially. Next time Alfie was let loose on the garden. he started digging straight away but was quickly foiled by the unpleasant sensation of the wire on his foot pads and claws. You both know full well that he understands you perfectly . Since we’ve already discussed the importance of you being the unquestioned authority figure over your dog (see the chapter on dominance-aggression and the bonus book “Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog” for details on this). Straight away. This combination of strategies was what finally worked for Debbie and Dan Alfie no longer enjoyed digging up their lawn. Disobedience When we talk about disobedience. Problem solved! J.he’s just choosing to ignore you. and it’s not something you can blame your dog for .” Even though at this stage.
as well as related behaviors 120 www. and that he knows you are. readily obedient to Lisa’s requests. HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR DEALING WITH DISOBEDIENCE IN YOUR DOG: ● First of all. and progressed from there to an increasing reluctance to sit or stay on command. You don’t HAVE to do this though . this isn’t necessary if you’d rather do the training on your own: we are providing all of the fundamental resources you need. Enforce a feeding schedule. And it’s not possible to have a healthy relationship with your dog if he doesn’t consider himself below you in the chain of command. pronto! If you haven’t already done so. and remove any uneaten food after fifteen or twenty minutes. Make your dog sit and stay before you allow him to eat. A training class is just another way of keeping things new and interesting for you and your dog in a structured way. owned by Lisa.as was the case with Diva. read “Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog” and put the tips contained within it to use straight away. Diva had always been a pliable puppy. until she turned six months old .just five minutes a day spent in rehashing familiar commands with your dog is an extremely effective way of reinforcing your authority and dominance. a seven month old Shih Tzu. you need to re-establish your dominance. ● Make sure you’re controlling your dog’s food. Again though. Remember to reward him for good behavior and obedience.kingdomofpets. Spend some time reinforcing his understanding of the basics (see section 203 “Commands to Start”) and dedicate ten to twenty minutes a day doing this. ● Begin a progressive obedience-training program at home. It started with a lack of response to the recall command. you can move on to more advanced commands and “tricks” if you feel like it. ● You can also consider a formal obedience-training class.com . ● Once you’ve built a solid base of communication and basic obedience with the beginner commands. Case Study: Disobedience Sometimes dogs become disobedient for no apparent reason .he’s beginning to think of himself as equal or even superior to you in the pack hierarchy which defines your relationship.and then disobedience started to creep in.
When a dog is exhibiting signs of disobedience and/or dominance. we discovered several contributing factors: ● Lisa was not keeping up with Diva's obedience training program. and of keeping this dominance fresh in Diva's mind.kingdomofpets. We advised her to begin a feeding schedule with Diva. 2. or through exemplary good behavior. It’s always best to nip these problems in the bud. and to refrain from giving her treats unless Diva had earned them through obeying a command. and to stick to it rigidly: two medium-sized meals a day. Any uneaten food was to be removed after twenty minutes. Food is an important tool when it comes to asserting dominance.not just in the interests of having a well-behaved dog. We advised Lisa of the importance of keeping up Diva's training on a daily basis .com . After some detailed information from Lisa. since anyone who provides food is accorded alpha status pretty much automatically. such as leaping up on beds and couches uninvited. so it was with relief that we read Lisa’s email and learned that Diva had only been acting up for a month or so. at set hours. This was something that we felt Lisa could be making more use of in her relationship with Diva. disobedience is really just an early sign of dominance). 3.like “talking back” (barking defiantly at Lisa when she reprimanded Diva). We also reminded Lisa to never feed Diva scraps from the table. Obedience training must start immediately. she didn't bother with daily or even weekly training sessions ● Lisa free-fed Diva throughout the day ● Lisa was not aware that some of Diva's behavior. was tentatively dominant behavior We advised her to take several steps with regard to Diva's behavior: 1. and Diva was to sit and stay until released before being allowed to eat. Finally. There's 121 www. one in the morning and one in the evening. but also as a valuable means for Lisa of asserting her authority. behaviors such as leaping up on the bed and couches are not to be encouraged when a dog is demonstrating dominant or disobedient behavior (and after all. After Lisa felt that Diva had got the basics sorted (at approximately three to four months of age). We advised Lisa to study up on the basic obedience commands in chapter 203 of Secrets to Dog Training ("Commands to Start") and spend five to ten minutes a day on this. freefeeding is not conducive towards a respectful owner-dog relationship.
some patience. You need to respect this. this often goes far toward confirming her cockiness and exaggerated sense of social stature. as long as you really are INVITING her to do so .it’s usually associated with an imminent walk. like performing a "sit-stay" until released.for example. 122 www. Only move on to the next step when your dog is exhibiting absolutely no signs of tension with the current progress. Fortunately.or it may just be due to a simple dislike of being restrained and confined. and take things very slowly. If possible. We advised Lisa to either forbid Diva access to these areas until her behavior shaped up.kingdomofpets. and is therefore to be welcomed. and is useful for accustoming him to the presence of something hanging off his neck.just leave it lying there. and which will slowly build her up toward accepting the leash.com . or to allow her access . nylon line that’s designed to just whip along behind the dog as he runs about . Fear of the Leash With a lot of dogs. invest in a long line. K.no problem with inviting your dog to share your personal spaces. he'll do it all by himself. This is a long. the more effective it will be.but on the proviso that Diva did something for Lisa first.even through undergrowth . like preferred play areas. next to his bed. it may have been used as a tool to drag the dog around with . the sight of the leash being brought out is something to be celebrated . ● Begin by accustoming him to the sight and smell of the leash.if the dog leaps up whenever she feels like it and without waiting for your invitation. Don't pick it up or wag it around . If he wants to sniff it. and a leash.without catching on anything. and near his food bowl. it’s not hard to train your dog to accept the leash. This may be because the leash has been misused in the past . Training For Leash-Fear All you need for this training session is a couple of tasty treats chopped up into small bits. a collar. This technique works on the principle that less is definitely more! The slower you go. Right now your dog is spooked by the leash. But for some dogs. This is really easy: all you have to do is leave the leash out in places that your dog tends to enjoy hanging out in. the leash is something to be feared. Below is detailed a simple program that will work on developing your dog’s trust. Making dogs earn privileges such as couch and bed access is another highly effective way for any owner to confirm their authority. and even the sight of it is going to make her tense.
● When your dog seems quite calm and confident. ● Take the leash off after about ten to fifteen minutes and give him a big petting session and praise for being such a good dog. and nononsense: make sure you don't coddle him or inadvertently reinforce his nervousness.the less your dog even notices the leash. he takes his cues from you. when he's stopped noticing it at all you can begin to introduce the leash in a more active role. Let him sniff it and get used to it.● When he's able to happily eat. If you've got a long line. ● After several days to a week of leash-and-play. He's ready for the third step: attaching the leash to his collar. walk several paces away and ask him to "come"). Next time you've got him in a relaxed state.com . or tension. Get him to sit-stay. ● Once the leash is on. and keep the play quite gentle (no Frisbee!). and this takes time. Keep your manner brisk. You can try wrapping part of it around the hand that's petting him. use that instead. we're moving slowly on purpose . it's time to introduce some basic obedience commands while he's wearing the leash.kingdomofpets. Remember. bring out the leash and hold it while you pet him. This will reinforce your authority over him while he's wearing the leash. ● Repeat this leash-and-play step a couple of times to really desensitize him. and practice the recall command as well (while he's in a sit-stay. and is readily obeying your requests while wearing the leash. then great. if you like. If he's jumpy. Remember. Repeat this three or four more times over the next several days. 123 www. and then it's time for a play session with the leash on. Get him to sit and stay. keep things out in the open away from bushes and trees. but you can go for longer than that if he seems keen. the better! We're trying to create positive associations here. and clip it on. redirect his attention by placing him in a sit-stay for a minute or two. ● If he's accepted the previous step with no wriggling. Let it just trail behind him . take him for a short walk. and reward his obedience with praise and a small treat. cheerful. so be calm and just get on with it. Five minutes is fine. whining. and relax with the leash near him on the ground .but if you're using a normal leash instead of a long line. don't attempt to touch it: give him a pat and a treat for being so brave. play. like when you're petting him.preferably.
Your own attitude has a huge impact on your dog. She also resolved never to let them play together without her or Peter’s supervision. Molly. decided it was necessary to spend some time training him to get over his fear of the leash. and that Jonny must never tug or pull on the leash ever again. then congratulations! You've managed to overcome his fear of the leash. and his parents. After that. He will follow your lead. Any pressure you put on him will be counterproductive.she made it clear to him that Monty was not to be toyed with. Act as if you haven’t even noticed that he’s nervous. At first. especially when he’s nervous. a five year old boy.kingdomofpets. Molly and Peter. He was friendly and affectionate. Before doing anything else. Monty developed his fear of the leash when Jonny tried to take him for a walk by dragging him around on the leash.● If he's OK with the previous step. The whole point of this training is to ACCUSTOM him to the leash in his own time. If you think he's still a bit too tense. something had to be done to combat this fear. or shake and urinate on the floor out of fear. Clearly. choosing instead to circle 124 www. he cringed and avoided the area. Monty would take off. Take as much time as you need. Monty’s trainer. ● Don’t let yourself get annoyed by a prolonged lack of acceptance of the leash. He lived in a house with Jonny. so reassure him that nothing’s wrong by acting bouncy and upbeat. ● Don’t indulge his nervousness by babying him if he plays up. You can’t force him to relax. she made it a priority to have a talk with Jonny about how to treat animals .com . Case Study: Fear of the Leash Monty was a Dachshund with a timid temperament. She started off by just leaving the leash in the middle of the floor where Monty could see it. but was easily spooked by new sights and sounds. every time he was approached with the leash. Things To Avoid ● Don’t force him to rush his progress. then go back a step or two and work your way back up. and CERTAINLY don’t tell him off or punish him for being skittish or timid.
After two or three more days of this.you’re a complete wreck. She kept it in her hands while she was preparing Monty’s food. Molly felt he would be able to proceed to the next stage of her training process. and while he was petted and played with (but only when Peter or Molly was able to supervise. The recall command (“come”) is arguably one of the most important commands that you and your dog will ever master. These days. Moving very slowly. and she’s just getting warmed up!).but Molly just left it lying there. Monty’s confidence had been built up to a stage where he no longer minded sharing her lap with the leash. Because Monty was so clearly relaxed. and talking calmly to Monty as though nothing was happening. playful dog up and down the beach . seemingly oblivious to your desperate calls for their return. By this stage. Molly’s next step was to try and teach Monty to associate the leash with good things. it all worked out very well in the end. Being able to call your dog and knowing that no matter what she’s doing she’ll drop what she’s doing and come to you. It took a few false starts but soon Monty was able to eat his meals without tensing up or gobbling his food down nervously. she clipped the leash onto Monty’s neck. Because Molly was patient enough to let Monty take his own time with the leash. and would leave it next to his bowl while he ate. is both incredibly useful and increasingly necessary in today’s fast-moving world. If you’ve got a fast-moving dog. Molly tried having the leash in her lap while she petted and played with Monty. to make sure he didn’t get snagged on anything and either hurt himself or reverse the training that had taken place so far!). Monty accepts the leash with no worries at all . The next stage of the process was for Monty to have the leash clipped on as he walked about the house. didn’t even react to this.and Jonny now knows how to play with Monty in a way that isn’t going to injure or scare him! L: Off-Leash Problems Some dogs are perfectly well-behaved while on the leash. but as soon as they’re released they lose all manners and go haring off after any intoxicating sights and scents. apart from a slight tensing.widely around it . 125 www. Monty followed Molly’s cues and.com . and over the course of the next several days Monty’s confidence grew enough that he was able to walk right over it without reacting. this is no joke (just wait until you’ve spent upwards of an hour chasing a frisky. while he ate.kingdomofpets.
when you’re training her in “come” and she does come to you. The cardinal rule of recall training is that.and will form a lasting impression that “come” means an angry you. The rest of the time. Correcting Previous Training Mistakes It’s pretty easy to give your dog the wrong idea when it comes to the recall command. you have to praise her every time she obeys you . she took such a long time to come to you. WHAT YOU NEED TO DO: ● Have a look at the “advanced come . Brushing Up On The Recall If your dog needs further training in the recall command. Every single time. she doesn’t know it’s because she took such a long time coming. Even if it takes several commands (or even several minutes) for her to heed your request. You don’t need to do this every time when your dog reliably trained in this command. Not good! So.after all.com .after all.because if you get angry with her.kingdomofpets.recall” part of section 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks. but it never hurts to praise her sporadically for being such a good girl. train on-leash. If you’re asking your dog to “come” and she won’t. this is an extremely important command that you really MUST master if you ever want to let your dog run off-leash. You just have to put in a little bit of effort and time . she was disobedient.. ● Only train off-leash in situations that are truly safe. then fortunately that’s quite simple to remedy. ● Carry out this training in as many different locations and situations as possible. a lot of people make the mistake of being frustrated enough to tell her off when she finally DOES come . with no distractions and plenty of safety margins (for example.There are two basic reasons for your dog’s “forgetfulness” when she’s offleash: ● She hasn’t been trained adequately in recall.. ● You’ve inadvertently taught her NOT to obey the recall command. 126 www. in the middle of a deserted playing-field). right? Not exactly. YOU MUST MAKE A HUGE FUSS OVER HER. She’ll think you’re angry with her for coming to you .
When she actually comes to you. 3. NOTE: The long line is useful for encouraging your dog to approach. Come’ (recall)” for a training program. or drop onto your knees. If not. call her to you. Put her on a long leash that is 20 to 30 feet long.kingdomofpets. give her a treat and make a HUGE fuss over her.Step one: stop acting annoyed or angry with her for taking too long to come. you can use the line to gently. as it keeps her interested and on her toes. give her lots of praise.” Period. just to really hammer the message home. rather than “been there. Carry out this training in a variety of different locations to keep her recall obedience razor-sharp . Most dogs respond to this body posture. 4. Most dogs respond very well to inviting body language on your behalf. 7.com . and sporadic treats when she does come. 127 www. try letting go and see if she continues. but treating only every so often actually results in better obedience. and keep this up until she gets the message. Let her walk away from you. After she’s taken a few steps. squat down on your haunches. distraction-free situations.it’s only there in case she darts away and you need to grab her. petting. slowly pull her towards you. Don’t pull on the leash . If this is the case. Praising and petting every time. give her another slow. Take a look at Section 203: “A. Open your arms out. 5. Step three: Brush up on basic recall training. As you call her. 6. or for otherwise not behaving exactly as you asked during “recall. Wait until she’s near the end of the leash and not paying attention to you. and it helps her to understand what you want during the training process. When she takes a step or two toward you. Step two: Treat her with exaggerated praise. Cheerily and encouragingly. Aim for at least 10 repetitions of this exercise per day. Make sure you praise her vociferously as soon as she starts to come your way. but the odd dog will choose to chase squirrels or roll in the grass instead of heeding your request. done that” bored. as if to give her a big hug. 2. 1.and make sure you only train off-lead in safe. The Long Leash Method An advanced method for Recall Training. gentle pull on the line.
Kristine wouldn’t reward or praise her for coming . It was pretty clear to us that Ella respected Kristine as a friend. As soon as Kristine unclipped it.recall” part of section 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks”). The reason that repetition of a command when your dog is ignoring it isn’t recommended is because it teaches your dog that such a command is inherently meaningless. Kristine wouldn’t change her behavior. When you’re training a dog.com .she’d be annoyed because Ella hadn’t obeyed her straight away. The only problem with these walks was Ella’s single-mindedness when off the leash. you generally speak the commandword AS the dog is performing the desired action (for example. Ella was a Beagle. say “sit” as your dog’s behind touches the ground). We explained to Kristine that the “recall” command is both the most important command that your dog will ever know. and Kristine worried that she’d injure herself or get into trouble. we found out about a couple of mistakes she was making.she wouldn’t respond reliably to the recall command. if Ella didn’t come straight away after being called. brushing up on basic recall obedience (“advanced come . She seemed to feel equal to Kristine. a dog with off-leash problems. an activity that they both enjoyed. all Ella’s good manners seemed to evaporate . it effectively reinforced Ella’s habit of ignoring this command. The first mistake was that when Ella didn’t respond to recall.hence her lack of response to Kristine’s commands. and also the one that comes hardest to 128 www. and the beloved friend of Kristine.Case Study: Off-Leash Problems Not that long ago. she’d just keep repeating the command .and Ella would just keep ignoring her. but not as a leader.kingdomofpets. by making sure that she ALWAYS praised Ella for obeying the recall command. firstly. When Kristine kept repeating the word “come” as Ella ignored her. The second major problem with Kristine’s technique was that. We advised Kristine to combat these problem techniques by. and secondly. the Kingdom of Pets team received an email about Ella. After Kristine’s email. Kristine liked to take Ella out walking in the hills around her house. not subordinate to her .
and the occasional treat. In short. We asked Kristine to make sure she always had a small pouch of tasty treats on hand during the recall training process. the more firmly ingrained this habit becomes. or to exaggerate any existing behavioral problems. demonstrates real loyalty and trust on behalf of your dog. restricting your dog’s social contact and exercise through reducing either the number or duration of his walks is a reliable way to bring previously-dormant problems to the surface. One of the main problems with a leash-pulling dog is that the behavior is often so frustrating for the owner that it results in fewer and fewer walks: because walking a pulling dog is both irritating and hard to do. a lot of owners end up either walking their dogs less often. we’re going to discuss how you can do this. infrequent walks actually reinforce that dog’s tendency to pull on the lead. The average dog needs an hour to an hour and a half of physical activity every day. On top of all this. Returning to you when you ask. In this section. and can turn an everyday walk with your dog into a nuisance rather than a pleasure.kingdomofpets. or actually stop walking them altogether. pent-up energy? To a tense and bottled-up dog.com . You might be encouraging your dog to misbehave while on the leash without even realizing it.it’s a very common problem. but before we look at those it’s time to examine your own behavior leading up to a walk. and to make sure that she invariably rewarded Ella’s obedience with praise. the “quick fix” of not walking your dog isn’t a fix at all. which means training your dog not to pull in the first place. and it should be rewarded every time. In the case of a leash-pulling dog. 129 www. Leash-Pulling Problems Leash-pulling is an issue that most owners experience with their dogs . M. as opposed to continuing to sniff around/play/explore.most dogs. so is it any wonder that an infrequently walked dog is agitated and full of nervous. pats. It’s far better for both of you to address the problem at its root. when the leash finally does come out he’s so excited (by the prospect of a walk) and agitated (because he’s got all this nervous energy from not being walked enough) that he’s almost incapable of NOT pulling on the leash! And the more often any dog gets the chance to pull. There are several options available to you.
This means that before you even get out the door. and is receptive to your authority . An excited dog will leap around.it’s uncomfortable for him. 130 www. and unproductive for the both of you. For a lot of dogs.but remember. “soft” eyes and a distinct lack of tension in his posture. he’d obey you without delay. but he’s calm. it reinforces his habit of misbehaving in leash-related situations.The key here is for you to set a precedent for your dog’s on-leash behavior by making sure he behaves himself WHENEVER that leash is in your hand whether he’s wearing it or not. A happy dog is relaxed and content in demeanor. Yes.com . barking. that is. At the other end of the spectrum. with a racing heart and high-pitched whining/yelping. to most humans. Humans often make the mistake of anthropomorphizing our dogs. an excited dog is visibly tense and bursting with nervous energy. This behavior is counterproductive to the training techniques that we’re going to discuss below .and every time he’s able to act in this way without being corrected. excitement and happiness are two different things. So an excited dog might seem cute or endearing to us. relaxed. happiness and excitement go hand in hand. the excited behavior detailed above isn’t entirely a healthy state of being . to our dogs. A dog in this state finds it harder to give you obedience when you demand it: he’s just too woundup. happiness and excitement are two very different things which manifest themselves in very different ways.if you were to give him a command. and bouncing around in hyperactive bursts. His tail might be wagging. for example.kingdomofpets. you need to ensure that your dog is calm and that his mindset is receptive to your leadership. After all. We need to remember that. and he might be prancing energetically about a bit. breathing shallowly and quickly. to a dog. we assign human meaning to canine behavior. it’s great that your dog is HAPPY to be going out for a walk . with friendly. For a dog. the mere sight of the leash being brought out is a cue for instant overexcitement: whining. Make sure you’re giving your dog a consistent message here: overexcitement is not to be tolerated.
and is one of the most rewarding aspects of ownership. and he's uncomfortably over-stimulated.by setting a solid precedent for calm good behavior as soon as the leash comes out.Why Your Dog’s Excitement Is Unproductive ● It's unproductive for you because your dog isn't receptive to your authority and is more likely to be disobedient and troublesome. in nature. Make no mistake about it . and halt all progress toward the door whenever he starts to get agitated. It's pretty easy to do this: all you need to do is reward the behavior that you want to see repeated. This makes perfect sense when you think about it: before you can expect your dog to walk calmly beside you on the leash. our dogs' happiness is a major priority." which is physically and psychologically unpleasant for him: his mind is heading in a million different directions at once. Anticipation is fine. you're doing yourself AND your dog a big favor! Allow us to clarify the point here: we're not trying to get you to train your dog out of demonstrating happiness. you need to train him to be calm whenever the leash comes out.it means he's over-stimulated. As owners. 131 www. which is not a good thing. the association between that type of behavior in leash-related circumstances becomes more concrete. Some minor bouncing around and energetic tail-waggling is to be expected and enjoyed! What we ARE trying to do is to point out that. So step number one: no walking until he's relatively calm. Over-reacting and working himself up into a lather of destructive energy is not. it means it's time to "fight or flee. ● It's unproductive for your dog because. ● It's unproductive for you because every time your dog misbehaves in a situation which involves a leash.kingdomofpets. when your dog's ricocheting off the walls and working himself into a frenzy of panting hyperactivity.com . when his body is surging with adrenaline (as it is when he's excited). it doesn't mean he's HAPPY .
and because you've got him on a short leash. he has to stop walking as soon as you do.Dealing With Leash-Pulling During A Walk ● Get him to sit-stay while you attach the leash. Now is not the time for retractable leashes or twelve-foot lines: a sixfoot standard leash is perfect." then keep an eye on him and be prepared to STOP WALKING as soon as he bolts off: reinforce the concept that him pulling the lead means a stop to the walk . 132 www. You want to give your dog maybe six inches of slack. Repeat this procedure as many times as you need to. whining. so don't resume your efforts until he's calm and sitting down. but he's not calm. don't force the issue . it's a real effort for him to sit still long enough for you to attach that leash. but will explode with energy as soon as you start walking. which makes the lesson a lot clearer for him. Your dog might be able to sit down and submit to the leash being attached. until you can attach the leash with no problems. turn around. If you think your dog is "faking it.kingdomofpets. remember to keep your dog on a short leash. a dog behaving like this will take off like a shot as soon as you've released him from the "sit-stay. although he's managing to control himself. etc). You're training him to learn that overexcitement equals the walk being stopped in its tracks before it even gets started. either wrapped around your wrist or doubled up in your palm (whichever is easiest). and ignore him. and allows you more control over his movements (particularly if you have a strong or big-breed dog.com .) ● A lot of dogs have learned to restrain themselves (barely) while the leash is being attached. and is in your right hand. then your left hand should be holding the leash six inches from where it joins the collar. he's tense and trembling. and keep the excess wrapped around your wrist or hand . If you like to walk with your dog on your left side. ● Please be aware of this behavior and remember that. If he can't contain himself and starts wriggling around. This makes it easier for you to control your dog's leeway while on the lead. Next time he gets keyed up as you put the lead on. The rest of the leash stretches across your body. He's emitting little yelps and whines." and will slide into dominant leashpulling behavior as soon as you start walking. and don't try again until he's calmed down. stop what you're doing as soon as he makes a visible or audible tension signal (yipping.stand up straight away. you don't want to give him the opportunity to rush off in a different direction.while training for good behavior on the leash. ● Before you start walking. he's still very agitated: more often than not. panting. ● A good way to hold the leash is with both hands at once.
and that generally "leads" you HIS way. to trailing behind a fair distance (the lower-ranking wolves). In a wolf-pack.com . A dog that pulls on the leash. and that the social structure of a wolf-pack requires a leader (the alpha) who dominates all other pack members when it comes to making decisions. but there's more to it than simple physical desires to run and explore. The cardinal rule of travel in a wolf-pack is that nobody ever tries to get in front of the alpha dog he/she leads the way. Yes. and in what order the pack members travel in. is exhibiting classic alphadominant behavior." and in our section on dominance-aggression (which is in Dog 202: Dog Problems Solved).kingdomofpets. that tries to get you to go where he wants. This is something that all dogs know. the primary reason for this is dominance: he's exhibiting dominant behavior over you. So when your dog lunges on the leash and attempts to redirect you somewhere that HE wants to go. This includes decisions about where the pack goes.What Does Leash-Pulling Mean? The causes for leash-pulling behavior are really very simple .because subordinate dogs follow the alpha unquestioningly. it means he thinks he's leading 133 www. so it's entirely possible that he's an absolute model of deportment in all other areas while still being difficult while on the lead. your dog is straining at the leash because he wants to sniff/eat/chase something. it all boils down to dominance and who thinks who is in charge. Yes. This doesn't necessarily mean he's a "problem dog. that wolves are pack animals. everybody knows this.a dog that knows you're in charge isn't going to try and challenge your authority by dragging you off to one side so he can indulge his own desires. What's Dominance Got To Do With Taking A Walk? As detailed in the bonus book on "Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog. but he'd know better . and takes off in the lead position .like so much of our dogs' misbehavior. from quite close on his/her heels (the higher-ranking wolves). and everybody sticks to it unless they're asking for trouble. he'd still WANT to do that. and trying to force you to go the way HE wants to go." Leash-walking is completely separate from the rest of his life.and everybody else fans out behind. If your dog is rushing out ahead of you. we know that dogs are descended from wolves. the alpha wolf decides where everybody goes. These are actually only secondary reasons . not YOUR way. He or she chooses the trail for that day. straining against the leash.
The leash should be short: you want him to be right by your side. a playing field. This is where you’ll need to use a specific strategy to overcome this problem. with as few distractions as possible.who features in the Kingdom of Pets Dog Training DVD Series . Just because you've got a leash around his neck doesn't mean you're controlling where he's going . he doesn't think you're the alpha. Random walking is done in all sorts of places with great success . and then change direction at random again.com . Take a few steps (maybe five or ten) and then change direction without warning. start walking.if he's tugging on the leash. with no slack to go rushing off in a different direction.” It's a charmingly simple concept.a quiet cul-de-sac. Now it's time to look at some active.it doesn't matter. The main requirement is that the space is open . a front yard. Susan Morton (Petiquette Animal Behavioral Consultancy) . ● Take another couple of steps before making another random direction 134 www. It's a great way of reasserting your dominance. and the best part is that it's both highly effective AND a real mental workout for your dog: random walking forces your dog to think and to anticipate your moves. Make a complete about-face. through consistent leadership and ongoing control. You need to prove to him. He thinks HE is. anti-pulling training techniques. ● Make sure he's on the leash (and that you've set a good precedent for calmness when attaching it).you. the local park.you're going to be leading your dog in all sorts of directions. that you're in charge and you're the one who decides where the two of you are going to go.kingdomofpets. Training Techniques For A Leash-Pulling Dog So you've learned to set your expectations for the rest of the walk by rewarding only good behavior (by allowing the walk to continue) and ignoring your dog for bad behavior (which means the walk comes to a halt until he's calmed down). so you don't want to be constricted by a narrow walkway or anything like that. ● Keeping the leash short. HERE'S WHAT YOU DO: ● Take your dog to an open space. or just head off to one side . instead of trying to assume leadership over you. ● Take a few more steps in this direction.refers to this technique as “random walking.
● Because your dog's on a short leash. In the majority of cases. not try and assume he knows where to go . anything else you can think of. which is just one more opportunity for him to see himself as the leader. always in a different direction. ● Feel free to jazz it up a bit: you might want to weave in and out of trees at random. Be patient. Because this is pretty mentally taxing stuff for a dog (especially one that's not accustomed to having you dictate the direction or length of time spent in that direction). because your dog's exercise needs are still very much present!) 135 www. if you're following a path. much more exhausting than going for an hour-long walk even! (A word of warning: please don't try to substitute random walking for a good-quality full-length walk. You want to keep your dog guessing. Essentially. ● Keep this up for a good 10 or 15 minutes. you're pacing back and forth. for slowly-increasing allotments of time).kingdomofpets. As your dog gradually learns to accept your leadership (after you've taken him random walking at least a couple of times. because he has to look to you for directions. You're really making him think now. you'll find that you can walk for longer and longer periods of time in one direction.for example.change.if you follow a discernible path. or stop and start a few times. there's nowhere else for him to go but where YOU want him to. Change the location as often as you like.you don't want him to associate "good behavior" on-leash with a particular part of town. the dog will get home and fall asleep almost straight away: it's very mentally tiring work for a dog. he'll probably try and take over again. stride length. For the technique to work. too . If you allow him to see where you're planning on going . rather than assuming he knows where to go. and has to look to you for leadership. you want it to become second nature in all situations. he needs to follow your lead.com . ten steps in any one direction is plenty.you're negating the basic rules of random walking. or alternate between walking and jogging. once you've wrapped up a random walking session.mix up the direction. Variety is the key . and keep the direction changes really frequent at first: generally speaking. Don't fall into the trap of doing this too often or too early. or walking around the perimeter of a park . though . and varying the number of steps you're taking. speed. most can't go for much longer than this on their first random walk.the whole idea is that your dog doesn't know where you're heading next.
Basically. In many cases. If you can maintain your efforts with a ten or fifteen minute random walk every day or second day (although you can do it more often if you have the time and inclination). except in his ability to pull on the leash.usually within a week. These are available at most pet stores. owners can stop using the head collar after only a few weeks/ months if they wish.YOU are.com . If your dog tries to walk off in a different direction. drink. ● Please remember that this is a demanding exercise for your dog. The use of a head collar will not restrict your dog’s freedom at all. and one of which goes around the back of the neck. The leash itself attaches to a small metal ring. The head collar is basically two nylon straps. if you’re starting to get frustrated. his head swings back to where you’re holding the leash. with the Gentle Leader® and the Halti® being the two best-known types. or if your dog starts lagging behind) then that’s a signal to stop and take a break.kingdomofpets. Fortunately. If either you or your dog start to show signs of stress and/or tiredness (for example. and the principle holds the same for your dog: he’ll walk in the direction that he’s facing. ● You need to commit to this technique to achieve long-lasting results. A dog wearing a head collar can do all the things that a dog wearing a muzzle cannot: he can bark. By forcing your dog to follow you.Further Tips For Random Walking ● The aim of this leash-training method is to change your dog's leadership-oriented thought processes by reinforcing the idea that HE'S not leading the way . Most dogs learn not to tug in a very short time. then you'll start to see results pretty quickly . you're conferring "number two" status on your dog. 136 www. pant. one of which goes around your dog’s muzzle. from the description!). It’s just like the bridle that you put on a horse. it's not something that requires vast time expenditure to have an effect: it's more your consistency with the program that counts. and lick. and revert back to a normal neck collar. The Head Collar The head collar or head “harness” type lead can be effective as both a long-term corrective tool and a training device. which is located just under your dog’s chin. NOTE: a head collar is emphatically NOT a muzzle (although it may sound like one. and is best done when the two of you are feeling chipper and mentally alert. a head collar makes it almost literally impossible for your dog to go wandering while on the leash. eat. and in a way that he can't fail to understand.
and he’d actually pulled Susan over a couple of times in the past.your walks with your dog will be a lot more pleasurable for both of you from now on. rather than being a decision which is influenced by your dog’s comfort levels or needs. in this case we were all in agreement over her use of this training device. so he learns that the head collar is a good thing for him. Although Harley was a lovely dog in most other ways.as a working dog. we spent a few minutes random walking with Harley (to show her how it was done). Before starting the random walking exercise. a lot more pleasant for him if you take things slowly: the first time you put it on. But he won’t even notice it’s on once he’s got accustomed to it.Whether you do this or not is entirely up to you. So whether you use a head collar or neck collar in the long-term is entirely up to you. TIP: Give your dog a chance to get properly used to his head collar. simply because it was the only way that Susan had any control over Harley while he was on the leash. Because Harley was such a large. heaving dog.com . give him just five minutes before takings it off. You don’t need to worry about a tugging. he was very difficult to control while on the leash. very powerful German Shepherd dog . we ensured that Susan had the check-chain on correctly. Susan practiced this technique on him using a check chain. Most dogs will leap around and paw at their faces the first few times they wear it. just like puppies do when getting used to a neck collar. You’ll make the initial experience. When Susan was comfortable with how to use the chain. they thought it best if they got a handle on his leash-tugging behavior while they still retained some control over him! We prescribed the “random walking” technique straight away. Above all. Give him a treat or two when he’s got it on. This was actually what forced Susan and Jeff to ask for help: since Harley still had a lot of growing to do (he was nine months when our team stepped in to help). enjoy . And because you’re enjoying walking him more he gets more and longer walks. You’ll need to give your dog a short while to get used to the unusual sensation of a head collar. powerful dog. Even though this isn’t something that Kingdom of Pets actively promotes as a first option. It’s win-win! Case Study: Leash-Pulling Problems Harley is a very large. and then handed the reins over to Susan.kingdomofpets. and explained that there should be no jerking or hard pulling. he’s a fine healthy example of his breed. but he was proving a bit too much for his owners (Jeff and Susan) to handle. 137 www. and resulting associations.
and would likely have bowled Susan over again if the check chain hadn’t been in use. But progress had been made. and then to use a head collar for a prolonged period of time until that person felt entirely confident walking their dog. Note: since Harley’s exercise requirements were considerable.take him for runs or walks in normal circumstances while Susan practiced random walking every day. He would start to lunge off in different directions before being checked by the chain. We advised Susan to stick with her random walking technique. But as the minutes wore on. although we warned Susan not to expect the same results on a normal lead in normal walking circumstances too early. This isn’t the most productive viewpoint to take.com . We also advised her not to try walking Harley along the straight.who was physically strong enough to control Harley’s lunging . since allowing him to take the lead again would only undo the progress made so far through random walking. Harley was quite difficult to manage. looking up at her frequently to see where she might be heading next. it was possible to see the alterations in his mindset beginning to take effect: he wasn’t trying to anticipate Susan’s next direction change any more.At first. and was staying close to her heels. Harley was showing signs of tiredness. results are quick to show themselves!). We recommend that you think of your dog’s barking as an attempt to communicate something to you: your dog is trying to tell you something. and to gradually reintroduce a normal collar (we also suggested a head collar. N.generally speaking. or in places that he could guess at the direction too early on in the training program. Barking Problems Barking is viewed by a lot of people as a “nuisance behavior” . This was a huge step forward (and one common with random walking . This doesn’t have to be a bad thing! 138 www. in Harley’s case). Harley had lost his dominance on the leash inside of ten minutes.kingdomofpets. and to non-directional exercise like games of fetch or Frisbee until the positive effects of random walking were more habitual for the dog in question. and was learning to concede leadership to Susan.something to be silenced at all costs. we suggested that Jeff . In the case of somebody physically incapable of controlling their dog. even in such a short period of time. we would recommend restricting exercise to random walking. After ten minutes of this. so we advised Susan to give it a break until the next day.
When he sits.isn't something that you just have to put up with. You need to rewire this section of your dog's brain and teach him that this is no longer an effective means of communication. humans and dogs communicate in very different ways. in no particular order: ● Seeing another dog ● Someone is approaching or is near the house ● Needing to go outside ● Wanting food ● Wanting to play ● Is bored and/or lonely What To Do About It Some barking is to be expected . ● Never reward barking. he'll stop barking .to figure out what it is your dog is trying to say. 139 www. When he's barking.com . problem barking . Why Do Dogs Bark? Below is a short list of the most common reasons that dogs bark. you need to redirect his attention so he forgets to bark. no touch or speech of any sort. IMMEDIATELY say "quiet" (or "enough" or whatever command suits you) and then praise him. Listed below are some steps you can take to minimize your dog's barking habit.no reprimands. for the strange dog/person outside the gate to go away. and break his attention by getting him to sit. ● Teach him the "enough" or "quiet" command. if you couldn't handle any barking whatsoever. A great deal of the reason why a dog continues to bark is because he's getting something out of it: attention. pay him NO ATTENTION WHATSOEVER .Of course.kingdomofpets.barking that's repetitive.after all. A great way to do this is to call him to you. a meal. continuous. and give him a treat.and when he's quiet. and without any apparent cause . or correct him if necessary. presumably you wouldn't have chosen a dog for a pet! On the other hand. When he starts barking. no eye contact. so it’s up to you . and either deal with whatever it is that’s causing him to vocalize.with our help of course .
Ask him to be quiet. It's a way to occupy his time and make the hours go past until something more interesting comes along. and/or a treat. petting.before going out for more than three or four hours. or just get a trusted neighbor to drop round at some point to play fetch and spend some time together. your dog is getting a bit too big for his boots . if not more than this . the better .preferably forty-five minutes to an hour.you don't need to keep it up forever.● Don't overuse the "quiet" command . ● Reward quiet.com . If your dog is being quiet. To a bored dog that's left by himself. doggie day-care.moderation is the key. HOW TO DEAL WITH BOREDOM/LONELINESS. and that's when your dog's barking out of loneliness or boredom. AND THUS CURB EXCESSIVE BARKING: ● Make sure your dog is as tired as possible before leaving him alone. ● Visit him during the day. make a big fuss over him. Take him out for a good long walk . just until he gets the idea. If this is the case. but your neighbors are complaining of repetitive barking when you're out.give him something to channel his energy into. and then get him to sit or lie down. Your dog still needs the opportunity to vent! Allow him to get a couple of good loud barks out before asking him to stop. 140 www.kingdomofpets. The Exception To The Rule There is one scenario in which asking your dog to "be quiet" isn't really going to be effective. barking gives him something to do. Reward with praise. If this not possible.you're best off reading the "Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog" bonus book and making sure your dog knows who's the boss. you need to address the root cause of the problem (your dog is bored and lonely) rather than the symptoms (barking). The more consistent you are with this. ● Some people find that their dog "talks back" to them when they ask him to be quiet by barking defiantly. consider investing in a dogsitter. ● Don't just ask him to be quiet . If this is the case. If your dog's pretty well behaved when you're around. you can bet that he's barking because he's sick and tired of being left by himself.
praise him and give him a treat (you're praising him for stopping barking . has enough food and water. This is a really valuable piece of equipment in dogtraining: just pop a couple of pennies into a can (the heavier the can.com . make sure you spend a good amount time with your dog: playing. if he's outside.trust us. sometimes enough is enough .soup cans are great) and seal the end with duct tape. ● Make his environment as comfortable and relaxing as possible. that he's warm and dry.● Make sure your dog has plenty to do. The idea is just to break his attention. consider the hose. Timing is really important with both these techniques: you must be sure to only use them WHILE he's barking. your dog WILL understand this. here are a couple of alternate ways to get him to cease and desist: 1. You can leave water pistols around the house in strategic places. although it may seem to you like you're actually rewarding his barking. As soon as he stops barking. You don't need to SOAK him.especially when a polite request for quiet makes no difference to the noise levels in your household. as scaring him when he's quiet is just going to undermine your goal of achieving silence. 141 www. training. If your dog is really stuck in his overly-vocal ways. make sure he's got a "safe place" to go to where he can retreat from the world if necessary (a kennel or crate).evident enough that we don't need to tell you. Use the shake-can.don't deprive him of that basic happiness. As with the shake-can.kingdomofpets. Tempt him with a delicious array of chews and toys. but obviously you wouldn't have adopted a dog if you didn't want to spend time with him. When your dog starts barking. right? Your dog is at his most content as your companion . Put on some quiet music before going out (something soothing. give it a quick shake: the loud rattle is enough to shock most dogs into stopping. and that there are some toys around. and just hanging out together. Hopefully this is self. no heavy metal!). the louder and more startling the noise .) 2. and keep changing them around to prevent boredom. you must praise him as soon as he stops barking. Alternatives For Problem Barkers Although barking is obviously an essential aspect of any dog's personality and ability to express themselves. ● When you do get home. Spray him with water.
” a major operation involving cutting the vocal cords. truly. “Debarking. as a last resort. The spray hits the dog right in the face and neck whenever he barks. even as a last resort. there’s not really any way to ingrain guarding instincts if they’re not already present naturally. which is an essential oil that has a scent dogs find offensive in the extreme. It can also be dangerous . you could try one of these collars. let’s not forget the fact that.scent-hounds like Beagles and Bloodhounds in particular. 142 www. and then you can practice getting him to bark whenever someone comes to the gate or door. They work by emitting a powerful whiff of citronella. The reason that we don't advise using these collars unless you're really at your wits’ end is simply because it's so incredibly unpleasant for the dog . Finally. Please Bark! Sometimes (although quite rarely). he’s trying to alert you to the fact that something’s not quite right: citronella collars may get rid of the barking. but they do little to address the cause of the barking. but he’s not a natural watch-dog. A citronella collar may be the answer to your prayers. barking problems stem from a dog’s lack of desire to bark. a citronella collar can be effective. Having said this though. by all means give it a shot: it’s pretty easy to teach a dog to bark on command.barking is a necessary means of communication/ warning for dogs. If you want your dog to alert you to the presence of strangers. However. when your dog barks.and because teaching him that barking is bad no matter what the circumstances is pretty hard on him. will NOT stop barking no matter what you do.kingdomofpets. Some dogs just don’t seem to have any instinct to vocalize in the presence of strangers .One Last Option For dogs that really. You might recognize it from natural insect-repellent candles and sprays. if your dog’s barking is driving you absolutely up the wall and he won’t stop no matter what you do.com . is inhumane and should not be considered as an option.
say "Speak! Good boy.TEACHING “SPEAK” To teach your dog to bark.kingdomofpets.this would result in a frenzy of barking. Choose wisely. and then. encourage him to do so with a command-word like “speak. Case Study: Barking Problems Braden is a Boxer who was driving his owners and their neighbors stone mad with his obsessive and repetitive barking. Braden would bark up a storm . or shut him outside at night. You're trying to get your dog excited here! ● If and when your dog responds to this behavior with a bark or two.which could last for hours! We knew the problem wasn’t a lack of exercise or attention.jump about and wave your arms animatedly in the air while barking. The problem was centered around Braden’s dislike of being left alone. It'll help if you leap around a bit too . while he’s barking. you need to first create a situation in which he’ll vocalize naturally. The resulting footage showed what appeared to be a very anxious Braden: he’d pace around in circles. as well. because it's easier to teach than un-teach! ● Start barking yourself. In addition to this. because Braden got plenty of both. 143 www. ● Expect to repeat this exercise at least a few times before he barks on command. if you can. and scratching at the door of the house.” ● Arrange for a friend to come round and knock loudly at the door/ring the doorbell: whatever situation you choose to spark your dog's barking is the stimulus that you're training him to respond to in future with a bark. Brian decided to set up a video camera in the garden one day before he and Kelly left for work. Whenever his owners (Kelly and Brian) went out to work. speak!" WHILE he's doing it. barking repetitively.com . and record Braden’s activity for a few hours. Praise him heartily afterwards and give him a treat. He simply didn’t like being left alone. he’d also act up whenever the neighbors came too close to the fence line .
Braden had finally quieted down .” saw him into his kennel. They needed to get to know Braden. the barking had diminished significantly. bordering on the house. but night barking was still a problem for everybody within earshot! We asked Brian and Kelly to use “tough love” on Braden .kingdomofpets. and give him a treat or two. they had to absolutely ignore him whenever he started barking. By the end of the third night. just to really make sure that Braden wouldn’t feel threatened by them any more. Brian accordingly built him a kennel in the corner of the yard.starting at five minutes. Brian and Kelly shut Braden outside for the night. safe from the distractions of passers-by and other dogs. On the second night. so if he DID start barking. After warning the neighbors that they were probably in for a noisy time (and apologizing in advance!). Involving the neighbors was pretty easy . they told him to “go to bed.it had finally become clear to him that barking wasn’t going to get him what he wanted. where he could withdraw to when he needed some time out.essentially.Kelly and Brian just asked them to drop round for a few minutes. and then ignored all barking for the rest of the night.com . 144 www. Next. By this time. Finally. they practiced leaving him alone in the house and yard . A little bit at a time.We advised Kelly and Brian that treatment for separation anxiety. as well as some basic “de-territorialization. which they were asked to pass through the fence to Braden every so often over the next few weeks. we got Brian and Kelly to desensitize Braden to their leaving. Braden was starting to settle down during the day. They also told all neighbors what Braden’s name was. The neighbors were also given a small supply of dog-treats.” would most likely solve Braden’s problem. meet the dog. which was his own private space. they worked up to half an hour.somewhere he could retreat to. When he started barking. The first step was to create a “safe place” for Braden . we asked Brian and Kelly to involve the neighbors in Braden’s rehabilitation. so that he’d recognize them and not feel compelled to defend “his” property from these strange people walking back and forth on the perimeter. they could address him by name (thus proving to Braden that they’re not strangers after all!).
reacting this way is actually the worst thing you can do for dog that's whining. so the same reaction should work just as well with dogs. attention. For those of us with a compassionate nature.com . dogs usually “grow out of” whining by the time they reach six to eight months of age The reason that mature dogs whine when communicating with humans is because they’ve learned that whining has its own reward: it gets them what they want.if whining goes unrewarded. right? In reality. or a mature dog that’s learned to use whining as an effective communication tool.after all. Why Do Dogs Whine? A lot of the time. whether it’s food. annoyed ● Stressed It's quite clear to most humans that whining signals distress of some kind.despite a few rough nights. and Kelly and Brian were relieved! O. and how to “un-teach” your dog to whine. 145 www. whining dog. lack of confidence ● Frustrated. or affection. It sounds downright cruel. Below is a short list of some of the more common reasons that a puppy. the worse that dog will feel. Braden was a more well-adjusted dog. This section will deal with the causes of whining.kingdomofpets. will whine: ● Nervous or worried ● Insecure. it's only natural to respond to such a troubling sound with sympathy and affection .it’s like a nervous tic in a human. we'd usually try and comfort an unhappy human with soothing words and gestures. Whining Whining is a form of communication between dogs which is most common among juveniles. the neighbors were happier. Usually it’s an unconscious reaction to stress of some kind. but the truth is that the more sympathy and compassion you show to a distressed. It’s not something that dogs naturally do to communicate with humans .Brian and Kelly’s efforts had paid off . a dog isn’t even aware that she’s doing it .
the more active. she’s trying to tell you something . ● Tell your dog off.our dogs look to us for emotional and psychological cues. If your dog is whining and you try to comfort her verbally and/or physically. This will only make things worse. your dog won't feel better. not less. he’d always been pretty highly strung. You can do this easily: simply ask her to do something for you. The Best Thing You Can Do Completely. Pretend you can't hear it.This is because . THEN you can reward her with attention and affection (it’s appropriate now.no soothing murmurs or cooing. and would react anxiously to new sights and sounds. Maisie wasn’t really fazed by this. or otherwise physically reinforce your dog's worry. run through those too. She'll worry even more. the whining Weimaraner. Don't give any verbal reaction at all .but you are going to ignore the whining. Your dog will become MORE anxious. and she’ll be feeling better in no time .and with her improved mood comes an end to the whining! Case Study: Whining This is the case of Billy. 146 www.yes. From when he was a juvenile of five months (which is when he was adopted from the Weimaraner Rescue shelter). because she’s earned it). Resist the temptation! ● Cuddle. sympathy. A fantastic alternative is to involve her in a favorite game . stroke. physical exercise releases endorphins (the “feelgood” chemicals) in dogs.” and.after all. Get her to “sit-stay. If she knows more obedience commands. when she obeys. Combine this with the attention from you and the sheer exuberant fun of a game. we're going to repeat ourselves again . which elevate mood. She figured that. and make her forget whatever it was that she’s crying about.right? What Not To Do For A Whining Dog ● React with alarm. utterly ignore your dog's whining. then there really must be something to worry about . You're not going to ignore your dog .com . His owner. the better. because she knew that Weimaraners are typically pretty sensitive dogs. or compassion to your dog's whining.kingdomofpets. What you need to do is to redirect your dog’s attention. Just like with humans. because if YOU'RE so obviously concerned.
hearing a dog in distress is upsetting! Because Maisie was a competent owner.kingdomofpets. Ed.given ongoing stability of home life. Ed had a hard time accepting this at first . if a human approached. he’d gradually calm down and begin to explore life in a more confident manner. This sounded like a pretty suitable arrangement for everyone Billy got constant companionship. As it turned out. Maisie’s dad loved spending time with Billy. about how he dealt with Billy’s crying and incessant whining. and if he saw anything new. he would always seem to calm down in the short term when he got a cuddle or a cookie. Billy would whine if he wasn’t given enough attention. and a calm and authoritative owner. work habits. This was beginning to get pretty wearing .” But Maisie asked Ed to try it our way for a week or so. and that dogs need you to lead by example. she was half right: Billy didn’t get any worse. if he wanted to come in. but that he felt that distraction techniques (game playing. obedience work. It was explained to Ed that this was actually damaging to Billy. We asked Maisie a few questions about her home life. we made sure our questions covered all aspects of Billy and Maisie’s life together. but neither did he get any better. lots of exercise. According to Maisie. Ed would feed him biscuits to cheer him up. if he wanted to go out. Maisie’s main problem with Billy was his ongoing habit of excessive whining.although Billy’s whining had never diminished in any way.until we spoke to Maisie’s Dad. if another dog approached. Ed said he couldn’t bear to see or hear Billy so upset. Whenever Billy began to get agitated. This was clearly the root of the problems. He said that it was pretty heart wrenching to just ignore Billy’s crying. Billy spent working hours (9-6. if he was tired.com . but felt that he was probably doing the right thing . if he was hungry. We heard back from Ed and Maisie after two weeks. and not to comfort them as if they were a child. As it turned out. or sit down with him and give him a big cuddle. By the time he was a year and a half old. and the people that Billy socialized with on a regular basis. he was still a very keyed-up dog. Monday to Friday) with Maisie’s elderly father.after all. and Maisie could go to work with a clear conscience and no worries about Billy’s state of mind during the day . a walk) were both a kinder and 147 www.he protested to Maisie that it seemed cruel to “just let the poor creature sob. He was perplexed because Billy’s crying was such an ongoing problem.
rather than expect a game or walk every time he got upset. Thieving When we refer to “thieving” in dogs. it’s still not “thieving” in the true sense of the word.com . this technically isn’t an accurate representation of your dog’s behavior. which is something that you’re responsible for. because no dog has the mental capacity to apply morals to her day to day behavior. and distract him with games or walks the other half of the time. Because dogs don’t have a sense of “right” and “wrong” like humans do. This was so that Billy wouldn’t feel as though he could “get something” from whining . we’re using a phrase that’s been coined for a dog that eats something that we humans count among our own possessions. Billy is still a very highly-strung dog. she hasn’t done anything wrong. so you need to make 148 www. but he’s learned that whining isn’t necessarily going to improve his life at all. This is because. pure and simple. We suggested that Ed try to ignore Billy’s whining fifty percent of the time. P. we can’t expect them to adhere to a code of moral conduct. although your dog might be taking food that’s not rightfully hers. this isn’t due to a welldeveloped sense of ethics on the dog’s behalf. So. It’s true that an extremely well-trained dog is able to resist temptation. and Ed got to feel like he was still doing something constructive to help Billy.he still needed to learn not to whine. No dog is a thief. On the contrary.” When we talk about thieving.more constructive option for both of them. or to refrain from “stealing” any tempting food that’s been left out by us. and can refrain from eating that roast chicken that has been left out so temptingly (and foolishly) on an accessible countertop . you can’t actually punish her for it unless you catch her IN THE ACT.but again. good behavior in the face of temptation is all down to training.kingdomofpets. because she doesn’t know she’s doing anything “wrong. not your dog! The purpose of explaining all this is to make it clear to you that if and when your dog manages to gulp something down that’s not rightfully hers. Billy’s mind was taken off his problems straight away. to her. period.
cupboards.” That’s not fair to her. much as new parents childproof their houses. and ask that other people refrain from doing so too. and don’t ever rely on her “better instincts. fridge doors. more effective.food in between her set mealtimes. and certainly kinder to prevent your dog from gobbling your food than it is to spend time and effort in planning ways to booby-trap it.the only thing your dog can learn from your negative reaction is to be more careful in future.com . If you come across the aftermath of a bout of thievery. Don’t ever feed her food scraps. Consider her physical agility. or really to react in any way. Think of it this way: if you had a toddler in the house. so that she can enjoy the food without the consequences! The best way to deal with thievery in your dog is to prevent it.or even hope for . it will do absolutely no good to yell. If your dog learns that food is available throughout the day. It’s much easier. and 149 www. Your dog’s thievery should be dealt with in the exact same way. she’ll start actively hunting for it. delicate.kingdomofpets. and think about her natural drive to steal food .you’d just make sure there was no opportunity for her to cause trouble in the first place. and will almost certainly result in a spoiled meal and an angry you. This is the only way that you can let her know that what she’s doing isn’t allowed. looking at things from your dog’s point of view. ● Spend a little time in your kitchen. so there’s no helpful lesson to be learned . Probably the most productive thing you can do when dealing with your dog’s natural propensity for purloining food is to “dog proof” your house. you wouldn’t leave anything valuable. The damage has already been done.the connection between her eating that chicken and you being angry absolutely crystal clear (which you can do by reprimanding her as she’s actually eating the food). or dangerous within reach of those destructive little hands.how resourceful has she been in the past? Look at the small modifications you can make to your own kitchen habits which will prevent the opportunity for mischief from even arising: add childproof latches and snaps to drawers. and generally to set her up for failure. HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR PREVENTING THE FORMATION OF FOODSTEALING HABITS IN YOUR DOG: ● Your dog must not ever learn to expect . Assume that she will view anything tasty you leave within her reach as fair game. reprimand. would you? You wouldn’t rely on that toddler’s ability to remember your requests that she please leave your things alone .
don’t put it in full view. This teaches her that retribution for thievery is caused directly by her own actions. especially with dogs that like to leap up on counters or tables to steal a quick tidbit. she will cause the can to fall over . When it comes to food-thievery.com . When your dog grabs the food. this is up to you. she won’t start to think about ways to get some. ● If you need to leave food out of the fridge or freezer. Our Thoughts On Booby-Traps These can be effective. we believe that prevention is both a lot more effective AND a lot kinder to your dog than scaring the life out of her with a booby-trap! Of course. poking around in the trash can is a definite no-no . and encourages scavenging for scraps.it seems like a lot of work and effort on your behalf. If you do choose to set booby-traps for your dog. or one that has a secure. just to set your dog up for what is essentially a scary failure.it teaches your dog how yummy human food is. whether you’re there to notice or not! 150 www. One comparatively harmless idea is to tie one end of a string to a solid. Use a trash can which either has a foot-pedal to operate the lid (as 99 out of 100 dogs will never figure this out). You want to startle and deter your dog. Leave it somewhere out of reach (a high cupboard. For example. If she never learns how delicious human food is.kingdomofpets.emitting a loud. rather than relying on your dog’s training to overcome instinct. please make sure that they inflict fright. ● It’s always better to remove temptation. Invest in a couple of large. the cold stove. Our opinion is divided on the use of booby traps though . startling rattle at the same time. which has the added advantage of teaching her never to take food. tempting morsel of food that’s not likely to fall apart quickly (say a hotdog) and the other end to a can with a handful of pebbles inside it. never hurt her. NOT pain. and for chronic thieves a booby-trap can make a difference. For really smelly garbage. keep it in an outside bin that’s secure: a kitchen that smells of food scraps is too tempting for your dog and will encourage bad behavior. a pantry with a catch on the door). secure bread bins (or other user-friendly containers) for you to put food in if you need to leave the kitchen when preparing a meal. latched lid.your pantry.
able to nimbly snap morsels from high ledges and counters. whenever Marsha 151 www. Rubber latches and snaps went onto all cupboards and drawers containing food items. Obviously this wasn’t high enough to prevent Benny from jumping over it if he really wanted to . He was allowed outside the kitchen doorway as long as he remained in a “down-stay. solid bread bins from the secondhand store. Clearly. Whenever either of them was in the kitchen. and made sure that if they had to turn their back for a few moments while cooking or preparing food. the two owners had a rethink of their basic kitchen layout and habits. In addition to this.kingdomofpets. They bought a couple of large. Marsha and Oliver started by introducing “down-stay” as an anti-thievery command. We advised Marsha and Oliver to make sure they didn’t inadvertently create opportunities for Benny. There wasn’t a great deal of room to “hide” larger food items from Benny’s ever-watchful eyes. His owners. Benny wasn’t allowed in. but weren’t sure how to cope with it. and also prevented him from getting close enough to pinch food scraps. a Border Collie with a real drive to take and eat food that wasn’t his. cooked meats. as well as the fridge and pantry door. desserts. etc) went into the bread bins until they returned. he had no problems gulping food that didn’t belong to him .the trick was to make sure he was never unsupervised in the kitchen when anything edible was left out. The fact that he could stay nearby as long as he behaved himself prevented him from feeling left out. Oliver installed a childproof gate across the kitchen doorway. had noticed his propensity for thieving food that didn’t belong to him. Marsha also cleared out a couple of large drawers and a cupboard. all edible items (chopping boards with meat or vegetables. Benny was a very agile dog. sandwiches. and was quick-moving enough to execute these maneuvers in a split second. Marsha and Oliver lived in a high-rise apartment with a small kitchen and limited counter and cupboard space. As one final precaution.com . leaving them empty in case she or Oliver ever needed somewhere to store food in a pinch while their attention was elsewhere.” but as soon as he got up or tried to come inside. Marsha and Oliver. In addition to this. he’d be banished to his crate.the point of the gate was to create a visual boundary for Benny. to remind him on an ongoing basis that.Case Study: Thievery One of the emails that the Kingdom of Pets has received about food stealing concerned Benny.
and the owners report that he hasn’t stolen anything since! Q. the dog in question becomes more trustworthy and eventually begins to earn his privileges back (such as the right to enter the kitchen during cookingtime). so keep the journey calm and as short as possible. 152 www. Start with a slow. Travel Problems This section is deals with two aspects of traveling with dogs: car sickness. the more quickly he’ll become accustomed to the sensation . Benny’s place was outside the doorway.or Oliver were in the kitchen. but almost all dogs grow out of it as they mature. Don't brake suddenly. accelerating and decelerating can exaggerate the queasiness of a sensitive stomach). In a lot of cases. that the concepts of thievery and immediate reward were too stuck in his head for him to ever be truly trustworthy around food. Marsha and Oliver had to remain vigilant.but you’ll need to use your common sense and break him in slowly! HERE ARE SOME BASIC TIPS FOR ACCUSTOMING YOUR DOG OR PUPPY TO RIDES IN THE CAR: ● Baby steps! Take frequent. your dog doesn't have a steeringwheel to hold onto. Benny has taken to the “no entry” rule with regard to the kitchen with no problems. He's not feeling well. the small changes that Marsha and Oliver made had a real positive impact on the household. and general car safety tips. ● Make things easy on your dog. uneventful journey around the block. over such a long period of time. and will likely have to do so for the duration of Benny’s life. However. This is because Benny had had so many opportunities to cement the habit of stealing food. and turn corners smoothly and slowly. Remember. Motion Sickness Most puppies are car-sick at first. The more experience your dog has with car journeys. and proceed from there. Avoid traffic jams (the constant stopping.com . starting. especially if the owners take steps to reverse thieving behavior early on. short trips. Keep transitions between gearshifts smooth and slow.kingdomofpets.
and some trips for regular errands. his motion sickness remains unabated . Effective travel-sickness medications for dogs include Dramamine (which is a prescription-only medicine) and Benadryl (which you can purchase over the counter). ● For dogs with chronic motion sickness . panting breath ● Excessive drooling.kingdomofpets. Five minutes will suffice before you resume your trip. you'll strike a happy medium: some trips to "good" things like the beach or the park. OTHER TELL-TALE SIGNS THAT YOU NEED TO TAKE A SHORT BREAK: ● Rapid. including wetness and/or frothiness around the lips ● Groaning ● Burping and/or hiccupping noises ● Rolling eyes. and there are several other potential complicating factors (such as the possible presence of a condition predisposing him towards an adverse reaction). age. not all dogs vomit when they're feeling car sick (although this is definitely the easiest way to tell that your dog's not feeling so hot). Dosages vary according to breed.it may help for you to talk to your vet about medication. the more enthusiastic he'll be about car rides in the future! 153 www. ALWAYS speak to your vet before medicating your dog (and this goes for all situations. Regardless of how accessible any medications are. your best bet is to pull slowly over to the side of the road and let him get out for a quick walk. Symptoms Of Motion Sickness Contrary to popular belief. size. possibly with whites showing If your dog displays one or more of these signals.meaning that.● As his motion sickness dwindles. and gender. You don't want your dog to form rigid positive OR negative associations with car journeys. Ideally. some trips to less-than-thrilling places like the vet. after a variety of trips and a prolonged exposure to car journeys over several months. as he'll either become agitated or over-excited depending on his expectations. start taking your dog on a variety of trips.com . both interesting and mundane. not just car sickness!). but the longer you wait before getting back in the car. weight.
He could distract you from the road and cause an accident.com . if you have to stop suddenly. And since a dog's only means of cooling down is by panting (dogs can't sweat . Even contact with a wayward a bug at 35 mph can do serious harm to a dog's eye or nose. but while in the car they clip onto safety belts and will prevent your dog from being thrown if you need to brake suddenly.Car Safety Tips Dogs are at risk from travel-related dangers. anything other than lying quietly in the back). barking. 1. but fortunately. there are things that you can do to minimize or even negate the possibility of him hurting himself. this poses a danger to you and other passengers in the car: your dog could see "prey" out the window (a cat. These harnesses can also be used everyday. an unrestrained dog can be thrown across the car . if your dog is active while in the car (scrambling around. roll the window up high enough so that a head can't be stuck out. TAKE PRECAUTIONS WHILE "WINDOW-SURFING" Opinion is largely divided on whether or not you should allow your dog to stick his head out the window while the car is in motion. These look like the harnesses that working dogs wear: a simple arrangement of straps. Two. as an alternative to a conventional collar.and maybe through the windshield or out the window. HEAT KILLS A car is like a greenhouse: it heats up very. We feel that you don't need to deny your dog the pleasure of poking his head out the window while you're driving. He could jog your arm or leg while you're driving. which go around the chest and shoulders. or while driving at high speeds. You can buy safety harnesses for dogs that are designed specifically for use while driving. they can get into real trouble in a matter of minutes on a 154 www. There are plenty of ways your dog can hurt himself while in the car. a cyclist) and make a sudden lunge. while advocates of safety plead that the potential for sudden injury is huge.kingdomofpets. This is for two reasons: One. or are involved in a car accident (no matter how mild). but low enough to allow air to circulate freely. 2. Proponents of this activity argue that it's one of the greatest pleasures a dog will ever have. but exercise due caution. very quickly.they can only diffuse heat through panting). just as we are. SAFETY-BELTS All dogs will be a lot better off if they're restrained in some way while the car is in motion. On unfamiliar roads. stretches of road that kick up dust and debris. 3.
You should NEVER leave your dog unsupervised in the car for extensive periods of time. and not displaying any of the signs of hyperthermia (overheating) such as excessive panting. Invest in a reflective windshield-sheet. Park in the shade. and howling. Case Study: Travel Problems This is the case of the three year old Jack Russell terrier. Just one or two of these steps aren't enough by themselves . but the danger is there for all dogs. and wet himself in the car. hyperventilation. he threw up and urinated on the back seat. vomit. or for a prolonged period of time don't let him drink too much water at once. Miriam chalked this up to a combination of stress about the new experiences after so long a confinement.kingdomofpets. He was already an adult dog when Miriam (his owner) adopted him from the pound.you need to take ALL precautions when leaving your dog in the car to avoid a potential tragedy. William didn’t get any better at all: he continued to howl. or trembling. Check on your dog every half hour or so to make sure he's OK.hot or even warm day. 155 www. but a normal plastic water bowl will do just as well. chasing his tail. William. Keep a big bottle of clean water in your car (out of the sun and in a cool place. 4. You can buy inflatable plastic bowls designed specially for traveling. Heat can kill a dog. and demonstrated signs of extreme anxiety: panting. If he's been in the car on a warm day. or even warm-but-overcast day. as well as excitement at being released from the pound. On the way home from the pound. KEEP WATER AVAILABLE. who had serious problems traveling in the car. It was clearly the motion that was so upsetting .even just for ten minutes . at which point the nervous reaction would set in. which reflects the sun's rays off the windshield. She expected it to diminish after a couple of weeks. If you're leaving him in a parked car on a hot. sunny. drowsiness. but as it turned out.he has access to water. and mistrusted the car right from the start of their relationship together.com .he was OK in the car until the engine started and the wheels started turning. and try to make sure that the sun won't move around to hit the car in your absence. if possible) so that if you DO need to leave your dog in the car . Long-haired or pug-nosed dogs are at especially high risk. Roll all the windows down a few inches. as this can cause vomiting. your actions before locking up can save your dog's life.
Miriam practiced the “arm clamp” on him: she’d drape one arm over his shoulders. he stopped wanting to do this. and then turned it off again. And all this inside of two months! R. as he was panting and howling.com . let it run for two or three minutes. He still likes a short break every twenty minutes or so.began to sit or lie down in the back. and see if there’s anything you’re not quite familiar 156 www. Review of DOG 202 Now is your opportunity to take a moment and consider all the aspects of dog ownership and behavioral problems we’ve covered in this section. Miriam turned the engine on. Before doing anything else. William and Miriam worked up to several trips around the block every day. At first. The first couple of times she did this. she practiced backing down the drive and up again . Miriam decided to desensitize William to the car and the sensation of motion. Although she hasn’t taken him on any long-distance car journeys yet. she kept one arm draped firmly over William to stop him scrambling about and getting more agitated. but significantly less so than he was when Miriam brought him home for the first time! Over the next several weeks. When William was able to tolerate three times round the block in one sitting. After a couple of days of this. William began to calm down a little bit. Miriam reports that William is now a tolerably calm companion on car trips.kingdomofpets. at a snail’s pace. When Miriam could turn the car engine on without any adverse reaction from William. just for security’s sake). without the “coddling” effect of repeated stroking or verbal murmurings. Quite soon though. Miriam took the newspaper and towels out of the back seat (but left him one. and .although he still panted a bit and drooled some . After a few minutes of this.After an email consultation with the team at Kingdom of Pets.driving slowly. they’d just sit in the car together with the engine off. and give him a firm but gentle squeeze which she’d maintain for a few minutes. she put down a thick layer of newspapers and towels throughout the car. Clearly he was still tense. Read over the following list. but has completely stopped all of his previous nervous behaviors. Because William was so stressed out by the engine running. This served to remind William that everything was OK. to make any cleaning up easier! The first step was to start hanging out with William in the car for ten or fifteen minutes a day.
how to train your dog not to nip. training your dog to accept car journeys. ● Fear-biting: Why it happens. a treatment program for dominance/aggression.com .with.kingdomofpets. tips for combating disobedience in your dog. IN THIS CHAPTER. what NOT to do about it. how to handle it. teaching your dog to “speak” on command. a word about booby-traps. 157 www. options for serial destroyers. car safety tips. or if there’s anything you’d like to have another look at. ● Thieving: how to prevent it. ● Disobedience: why you need to nip it in the bud. how to control excess digging. ● Dog-on-dog aggression: causes of. WE DEALT WITH THE FOLLOWING CANINE BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS: ● Aggression problems: causes. ● Whining: why your dog is whining. ● Barking problems: why dogs bark. ● Digging problems: why dogs dig. what to do about it. and a look at some of the more common tools for achieving this goal. ● Leash-pulling problems: a step-by-step breakdown of our recommended techniques for teaching your dog good on-leash behavior. what to do with a dogfight. how to prevent it. prevention. ● Chewing and other destructive behavior: why it happens. ● Play-biting: causes. ● Fear of the leash: how to desensitize your dog to leash-fear. prevention. early and advanced warning signs. ● Travel problems: symptoms of carsickness. what it means. do’s and don’ts. how to train your dog to accept the leash. what to do about it. what to do about it. alternatives for chronic barkers. do’s and don’ts. ● Off-leash problems: practical steps for ensuring good behavior in your dog while off-lead.
to ensure that he learns to respond to “come” in every situation.practicing and training. A. As mentioned in DOG 103: Training Methods Revealed. you’re asking him to leave something enjoyable and interesting to return to you. That’s a pretty big ask and one of the most common complaints that we at the Kingdom of Pets hear about is centered around people’s dogs not coming when called. It’s also one of the most demanding. You will have to use these exercises and commands more regularly.kingdomofpets. and with more patience.com . whenever you ask him to “come”. is one of the most important commands you can teach your dog. Come (Recall) The recall command.DOG 203: Commands to Start This section outlines the basic commands that you can use to train your puppy using either a normal collar/lead. as far as your dog’s concerned: to help put things in perspective for you. Start with the most basic commands first and do not be tempted to move on too quickly. If you own an older untrained dog then start him off with the exercises and commands in this chapter. or “come”. Also. Ideally the training outlined in this chapter will take place between the time that you acquire your puppy (at eight to ten weeks old) until he reaches six months of age and is ready for more advanced training (see DOG 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks). than with a puppy because older dogs are beyond the prime-learning phase of their lives. and sometimes sparingly using food as a reward. in a variety of situations and with varying levels of distraction. If you are interested in a more innovative training technique. at this stage of your puppy’s training the emphasis is on fun.a lot of time . remember to refresh your puppy’s memory about old exercises every now and again. or a gentle leader. then check out DOG 301: Dog Whispering. however remember that you do have to be consistent in your commands to your puppy. The only way to ensure that your dog will “come” every time you ask him to is to spend time . 158 www.
● Crouch down to the dog’s level and open your arms wide. praise him in a low.THE FOLLOWING POINTERS WILL HELP YOU TO ACHIEVE A QUICK RESPONSE EVERY TIME YOU CALL YOUR DOG: ● Prepare a small baggie of tasty treats (bits of chopped up hot-dog or cheese are great. Some dogs.either by allowing him to wander around. and you expect your commands to be obeyed. depending on their personality. but commercial dog-treats also work well) ● Attach a long line to your dog’s collar. upwards inflection: “(dog’s name). and in every type of situation . as if for a hug. give the line a ‘flick’: a short. and won’t respond so eagerly to it. More Advanced Training Once your dog’s reacting reliably to “come” on the long line. will prefer a short game with a cherished toy as an alternative to food treats: you’ll figure out which of these your dog responds best to as training progresses. This is the most welcoming posture for dogs: greeting them “at their level” is a great way to ensure a rapid response. but overly-enthusiastic praise tends to distract the dog from what he’s doing. start to vary the environments in which the training takes place. come!” ● If the dog doesn’t respond.kingdomofpets. what a goooood boy!” You want to praise him as he’s heading your way. encouraging tone of voice: “Goooood boy. Put a smile on your face for added effect. ● As soon as your dog starts walking towards you.com . NOTE: The aim of the flick is not to use the leash drag him towards you. put some distance between yourself and your dog . sharp tug. which is why it’s best to keep your voice steady and low-pitched. Introducing distractions is the best way of teaching your dog that he’s expected to respond to “come” every time you call. or alternatively. It’s kind of like a poke in the chest with a forefinger: a quick physical reminder that you’re in charge. so he associates the praise with walking in your direction. Most dogs find an erect standing posture intimidating. Keeping the end of it in your hand. ● Call him to you with a cheery.not just one where he’s sitting down and is totally focused on you! 159 www. by putting him in a “sit-stay” and backing away yourself. ● As soon as he reaches you. get that treat in his mouth as fast as you can.
and run in the opposite direction. there’s nothing you can do to enforce the command. For example. calling your dog to “come” while he’s playing with another dog. Look enticingly over your shoulder as you go. ● Keep your posture welcoming: when he’s still learning. 160 www. ● Never give a command if you cannot immediately enforce it until your dog has demonstrated complete.kingdomofpets.● Use distractions. or is far away from you is courting failure: if he doesn’t respond. If he doesn’t respond.com . and it’s a great way to teach a rapid response to “come”. never give a command that you cannot reinforce immediately if your dog doesn’t give the desired response. When you ask your dog to “come”.remember to praise and treat for good behavior. set up situations where he’s playing with another dog while wearing the long line. practice phasing out the use of his name: responding to commands without the signalmarker of his name as a prefix teaches him to stay alert and actively listen for your command. and if he doesn’t respond. Call him to you. For example. ● Use a cheery tone of voice to make yourself an attractive prospect to your dog. Here are some pointers to help you avoid the common mistakes of teaching “come”: ● Wait until your dog is 100% reliable in a variety of situations and leash lengths before asking him to “come” off-lead. say the word once. Most dogs respond instinctively to this. Common Mistakes When Teaching “Come” When training. chasing squirrels. so you’re effectively teaching him to ignore the command. if you like most dogs love this. ● Make “come” into a game: call your dog to you. ● As your dog becomes more reliable with “come”. it will help to forge the association in his mind between the command and the desired action if you squat down and open your arms out wide. Repeat the command and the flick until he responds . give the line a flick. reliable obedience on a long line for a lengthy period of time and in a variety of distracting situations. ● Do not repeat commands. reinforce it with a leash flick.
and won’t be so quick to respond. An informal method of implanting the association between the word “Sit” and the action of sitting is to say. give the Sit command. As he is doing this. he should be on a long line . 1 1. Sit Stage I The Sit command is very useful in the early education of your puppy.com . you don’t need to chase him. If your dog isn’t responding to “come”.● Don’t overuse his name: eventually. Hold treat over head 161 www. Move the treat up and over his head so that as he follows the treat he automatically sits. B. he’ll remember that the last time he obeyed you he was punished. ● Never chase your dog if he doesn’t come . Give him the treat once he has sat down correctly. YOU CAN ALSO TRY THIS BASIC METHOD: Hold a treat in your fingers where your puppy can see it in front of his face.kingdomofpets. Hold treat in fingers 2 2. “Sit” every time that your puppy sits on his own accord.you’re teaching him to run away from you.that way.next time you ask him to “come”. he’ll become immune to the sound of it. It should not take long for you to be able to just say the word “Sit” and give him praise other than the food reward. ● Never punish your dog when he comes to you .
see DOG 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks. If possible. For example. This extension of playing will be invaluable as your dog matures and becomes ready for training that is more formal with the Retrieve command. After a period of time. 162 www. Say ‘Sit” and give treat 4 4. By this. At this stage. “Okay” and “No” “Okay” is the command that you should use to inform your puppy that he is released from training. Remember that once your dog stops the poor behavior that you are correcting you should praise him so that he can make the link between the proper behavior and your pleased response.kingdomofpets. in particular as a precursor to teaching your puppy how to retrieve (fetch). “Hold” and “Drop It” The Hold and Drop It commands come in useful in a variety of situations. the command itself should suffice. Well done! C.com .3 3. You can help your dog become predisposed towards fetching by encouraging him to pick things up as a puppy. you should use this command along with a short sharp jerk on the leash to enforce the connection between the command and his offence. “No” should be the only command that you use to express your displeasure at your puppy’s wrongdoings. I mean that he no longer has to perform the last command that you gave him. if you have told your dog to sit then when you say the command “Okay” he knows that he can move. it is an informal command that you can get your puppy familiar with just by using it. D.
take your dog somewhere where there are few distractions. A certain amount of coaxing may be required such as moving your dog’s head forward with your hand. obviously. Hold” and then praise him. Gradually increase the distance between yourself and your dog. Well done! Your ultimate goal. hold the object a few inches away from his mouth so that he has to move to get it when you command him to do so. You can start this training at any stage of a dog’s life . the earlier the better. If he does not want to take the object then open his mouth by putting your hand over his muzzle and gently pressing his jowls near his back teeth forcing his mouth open. and a small baggie of tasty treats (small pieces of chopped-up meat or cheese are good). what are you going to do when she picks up something valuable or dangerous for a good chew? Nice "Drop it". STEP ONE: ● Armed with a few tempting dog chews (rawhide bones. plush toys.if you can’t get her to release whatever’s in her mouth on command. and placing it in his mouth while repeating the command “Fudge…. When his mouth opens place the object in it.kingdomofpets. whatever your dog likes to gnaw on). The Hold command When your dog has reached the stage where he will take the object and hold it for you. Praise him while he holds it in his mouth. Hold”.Hold The Hold command is taught by taking a soft object. Teaching your dog to “drop it” is a very important command to master . is for your dog to open her jaws and release whatever she’s holding in her mouth. 163 www. for example a tennis ball.com .although. say the command “Fudge…. Drop It It is likely that you will have a harder time trying to get him to let go of the object than hold it in his mouth. in teaching “drop it”.
feed her the treat immediately while giving an enthusiastic. you’ll need to spend more time on step one. ● Return the chew to her and repeat the exercise. “Good girl!”. ● Aim for 10 repetitions of this per day until she’s reliably obedient. keep your hand on the item before asking her to drop it. Last of all.● Holding a treat in one hand. Don’t do it all at once. ● Hold your empty fingers. give her a chew. praise her vociferously. and immediately give her a couple of small treats from the baggie. Pick up the chew with the other hand.kingdomofpets. but this time. you can begin to phase out the treats. The wider the variety of objects that she is accustomed to dropping. hold a small piece of treat-food near her nose and say “Drop it”. and so on. but don’t hold one in your hands. Give her the chew. near her nose and ask her to “drop it”. you’ll still need to treat sporadically. THE FINAL STEPS The next step is for you to take a more active role in the “drop it” command. If she’s no longer interested in the chew (since she knows you’ve got treats!). and treating none of the time. Allow her a few moments to really get absorbed in it. footwear. The point of this is to get her used to having human hands on and around what she considers to be “her” possessions (the ultimate sign of possession for a dog is to carry something in her mouth). ● Aim for 10 repetitions per day. pinched together as if holding a treat. 164 www. but studies have shown that intermittent treating is much more effective than both treating every time without fail. THE NEXT STEP When she’s reliably obedient at “drop it”. build up to real-life objects: household items like remote controls. ● When she opens her mouth. the higher her quality of obedience is likely to be. If not. go and do something else until you see her pick up something else in her mouth before repeating the exercise. ● When she drops it. If she’s practiced enough with the first step of “drop it” (see above) she should obey. pencils.com . Perform the commands as listed above. Here’s how to start phasing out the treats: ● Keep the baggie of treats nearby.
com . “Sit” – Stage II You can teach the Sit command more formally by using the following method. 1 2 3 165 www. Stand next to and to the right of your puppy so that you are both facing in the same direction and the puppy is on your left. If you are having difficulty.E. Sit”. push the puppy’s hindquarters (just above his tail) down while keeping the leash upright and taut.kingdomofpets. Place a collar and leash on your puppy. you may need to hold on to his collar to maintain your puppy’s concentration and to prevent him from running away. At the same time as giving the command. “Fudge….
kingdomofpets. Repeat the command “Sit” over and over while he is sitting to reinforce the command. It is important that you maintain eye contact with your puppy. he will understand what is required of him very quickly.Ideally.com . Make sure that he sits correctly before you give him his food. you would like your puppy to remain in the sit position for around ten seconds. Verbally release him by using the command “Okay” and be generous in your praise. If everyone in the family follows these guidelines. 4 5 166 www. It is a good idea to make your puppy sit whenever you want to put his lead on and when it is time for his dinner.
“Sit and Stay” Get your leashed puppy to sit in front of you while you are holding the leash.com . 1 2 3 167 www. If he starts to follow you then ask him to Sit again and start over. Look your puppy in the eye and take three steps backwards. “Stay”.F. Raise your index finger and say.kingdomofpets.
Gradually extend the distance that you walk away from him. This command is revealed in DOG 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks. he will be ready for the next phase of the Sit and Stay command. You can also start taking your eyes off him and try turning around completely.com . If at any stage your puppy does not perform the Stay correctly then go back a level in the progression. 4 5 6 168 www. as he will assume that you mean for him to come to you.kingdomofpets.If he has not followed you for the three steps then pause briefly before returning to him and praising him. as it will take time for him to differentiate between the Sit command and the Stay command. You will have to be very patient with this command. When your puppy reaches 6 months old. Be sure not to use your puppy’s name.
you would like him to hold the position for at least ten seconds. Place pressure on his back with your left hand and use your right hand hold his front paws so as to place him in the down position. 3. Maintain eye contact with your puppy.G. Repeat this exercise ten times in a training session. repeat “Drop” or “Down” over and over while your dog is in the correct position. Down you go. which can be extremely useful when you need to control your dog’s excitement or if there is a threat of danger.com . 2. If you do use the command “Down” for this exercise then make sure that you use a command like “Off” for these other situations. At the end of this time release your puppy with the “Okay” command and be generous in your praise. Down” or “Fudge…. There are different ways of teaching your dog this command with the gentlest method being: Stand next to and to the right of your leashed puppy so that you are both facing in the same direction and the puppy is on your left. in a prone position upon the ground. 4. It is a difficult command for dogs to learn. 169 www.kingdomofpets. 1.. The command is often used as part of the DownStay command. As per the “Sit” command. “Down” (Drop) – Stage I The Down command is used to make your dog lie down. Drop” as soon as you are putting him in the correct position. Say the command “Fudge…. Some trainers prefer to use the word “Drop” as the command word so that the dog will not get confused if you inadvertently tell it to get down from your furniture for example. Ideally. as it requires them to assume the most submissive canine position and is therefore going right against their very nature..
At the end of this time release your puppy with the “Okay” command and be generous in your praise. pull down on the check chain with your left hand to force him down while clicking the fingers of your right hand. 1. you can get easier results by standing on the chain. At the same time. 4. You may even have to straddle the dog when it is in the sit position and force its front legs out so that it assumes the correct position with you on top of it. Being forced down by the collar 170 www.com . Again. For larger dogs instead of pulling his check chain downwards. 2. 3. you would like him to hold the position for at least ten seconds. “Down” (Drop) – Stage II If after a week of using the previous method you are still having difficulty then you may wish to use a more forceful method. Repeat this exercise ten times in a training session.kingdomofpets.H. Repeat “Drop” or “Down” over and over while your dog is in the correct position. Kneel down so that your head is close to the dogs head and give the command “Fudge… Drop” or “Fudge…. 5. Again maintaining eye contact with your puppy is important. Place your leashed puppy in the Sit position on your left side. Down” in a soft voice.
is the best place to teach this command. is to make your puppy walk beside you without him straining on the leash. You will need to have the collar and leash on your puppy. Stand next to and to the right of your puppy so that you are both facing in the same direction and the puppy is sitting on your left. The first stage of teaching your puppy to heel is to prevent him from pulling on the leash at all.kingdomofpets.I. be aware that puppies are generally not allowed to go into public areas until ten days after their final vaccinations. such as a park. However. at this stage. as you will probably need a large amount of room. “Heel” – Stage I The aim of the Heel command.com . 1 2 171 www. A wide-open area. which is usually at about thirteen weeks of age.
As soon as your puppy takes off and starts pulling on the leash. Do not drag the puppy back towards you. No command needs to be given at this stage as you are just trying to teach him good manners so that he can more easily understand the Heel command when the time comes to teach him fully.com . 3 4 5 172 www. stand still and pull the leash back towards you. leading with your left leg.Start walking forward slowly in a straight line. praise him and then continue walking. If you apply this method for ten minutes at a time and for three or four times per day then within four or five days you should be ready to move on to the next phase.kingdomofpets. All you need to do is halt his progress. Wait until the puppy stops.
Praise your puppy when he walks beside you without pulling on the leash.kingdomofpets. Remember to always lead with your left leg as this gives a visual signal to your puppy that you want him to come with you. Walk slowly in a straight line. if your puppy starts pulling on the leash then stop and snap the leash. “Heel” – Stage II The next phase of teaching the Heel command gets your puppy used to you changing direction without him pulling at you with the lead.J. Turn around and walk in the opposite direction.com . 1 2 3 173 www. Start with the leashed puppy in the Sit position as before.
Praise Puppy The idea behind this method is that you want to teach your puppy to respond to your movements and that there is no “forward” position that your puppy can lead you to.kingdomofpets. 4 5 174 www.com . It is important that you do not yank on the leash too hard as you want your puppy to respond to your movements and not when you tug on the leash.This teaching process should continue for four days with three sessions per day lasting fifteen minutes each. The puppy will soon realize that you are changing direction and will watch you for your movement before he starts his.
“Heel” – Stage III The third and final phase of teaching the Heel command is to introduce the actual command “Heel” to your puppy. This way he will form the association between “Heel” and walking by your left side. Start with the leashed puppy in the sit position as before. Heel”.com . When you start walking lead with your left leg and say the command “Fudge….kingdomofpets. 1 2 3 175 www.K. Say the command “Heel” whenever the puppy requires a positive correction.
“Stand” The Stand command is a useful command to use with the Stay command and in fact. When the puppy reaches your left side. In addition. praise him and continue walking.kingdomofpets. Remember that whenever your puppy pulls the lead taut correct him by changing direction and calling him to Heel. ● Zigzag between obstacles such as a tree line or buildings. ● Walk in a straight line for 20 yards and then turn to your right and walk for another 20 yards. The Heel position L.There are several movement patterns that you can use to help teach this command and keep it interesting for your puppy. the standing position is more natural for your dog than the sitting position. ● As above but turn to your left instead of your right. your dog will have to be well advanced with the Heel command to get the most benefit out of this exercise. 176 www.com . These sessions should last for fifteen minutes with four sessions per day over a period of two weeks. Keep doing this so that you end up walking around a 20-yard square.
Stand”.com . If he decides to sit then take a pace forward forcing him to get up and follow. To start with. 1 2 3 177 www. Repeat this exercise ten times in a training session.kingdomofpets. At the end of this time release your puppy with the “Okay” command and praise him. Stop walking and say the command “Fudge…. At this point.Walk with your leashed dog in the heel position. Make sure that you hold the lead close to your dog’s collar with your left hand. ten seconds of standing is enough. Ensure that you use the command while you are doing this action. You may wish to place the palm of your right hand in front of his nose so that he has a visual clue to associate the command with. you want to hold the leash close to his collar with your right hand and use your left hand to hold his stomach up and prevent him from sitting.
which creates a visual barrier and encourages him to stay where he is. 3. say. 1.kingdomofpets. The following method deals with controlling your dog in an open door situation. Now that you have formed the word association for your dog. His scenting ability can be developed further at 178 www.com . Encourage your puppies scenting ability by doing this exercise with his favorite toy. When you get to the stage that you can open the door and walk through it without your dog following. If he tries to go through after you then return him to the Sit position. The leash length should allow him to go through the doorway. “Seek” (Find) Finding items by scent comes naturally to dogs. If you are in a park let him get a good smell of his toy and then throw it into some long grass so that he has to forage around to find it. especially when you need your dog to think twice before. 4. “Wait ” The Wait command is a useful controlling command in many situations. You will have to repeat this exercise a few times to get the correct result. Go back inside and repeat the exercise several times. As you do so.M. Open the door and back your way through it. A natural Stand position 5. but again the emphasis should be on fun. 2. Place a long leash (about ten feet long) on your dog. heading out an open door. you can modify it for other situations. Attach the free end to a non-movable object by a doorway leading to outside. N. Say clearly “Fudge…. You can use the Seek or Find command to get your puppy familiar with it. such as the doorknob. you can use the Wait command in situations that are more general. turn to him and say. The next extension of this training exercise is to teach your puppy to wait inside your car while you open the door. hold up your palm (like a traffic warden) towards him. Use a similar method as above to get him to wait until you call him. Put him into the Sit position on the inside of the closed door. as their sense of smell is far superior to ours. Wait”. “Fudge… Come” and let him come to you or use the lead to encourage him through the door.
Initially each session should last for only five minutes until your puppy builds up his concentration levels. As previously mentioned. ● Have at least twenty minutes rest between each daily session.com .kingdomofpets. ● Perform the sessions in an open area that is free from distractions. ● Have no more than three sessions per day with each session lasting no more than five minutes for the first two to three weeks until your puppy’s tolerance for learning builds up. but it should be used as a guide only.a later age. Stick to them. Some important points to remember are: ● Take time to get your puppy familiar with the lead and whatever collar you decide to use. By the time he reaches six months of age. ● Set the ground rules and commands for dealing with your puppy and family. 179 www. Make sure he can do the exercise that you are teaching him correctly before moving on to the next one. Try to teach your puppy the same command for three to five days in a row. as you will have to modify it to your puppy’s individual learning capabilities. ● You can train your dog for up to five days per week. see DOG 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks. preferably three to four sessions per day. as long as you always have at least two rest days. he should be able to handle fifteen-minute training sessions. at this early stage of your puppy’s life any training should be informal and enjoyable. ● Keep the sessions relatively informal and use a mix of the exercises listed in this section. Try to stick with the program but do not advance the training beyond your puppy’s capabilities. Training Program A training program is given in this section. O.
45 minutes per day. preferably 4 sessions of 10 minutes each. Hold. Down preferably 3 sessions of 15 (Drop) minutes each. Sit . 60 minutes per day. Sit and Stay 20 minutes per day.Stage I 5 Down (Drop) . preferably 3 sessions of 5 Leave minutes each. preferably 3 sessions of 15 minutes each. 20 minutes per day. Heel. 40 minutes per day. preferably 2 sessions of 10 minutes each. preferably 2 sessions of 10 minutes each.Stage II Sit and Stay 6 Wait. No Come. 30 minutes per day. preferably 3 sessions of 10 minutes each. Okay. Sit . Hold. Okay. preferably 3 sessions of 10 minutes each. 15 minutes per day. Come. Wait 10 Heel – Stage III 11 Seek (Find). 180 www. No Sit and Stay 2 3 4 Down (Drop) . No minutes each.kingdomofpets. preferably 4 sessions of 15 All minutes each.WEEK 1 EXERCISE SESSION LENGTH REFRESHER 15 minutes per day. 30 minutes per day.Stage I. preferably 3 sessions of 10 minutes each.com 12 General refresher . Stand 45 minutes per day. 30 minutes per day.Stage II. Come. preferably 4 sessions of 10 minutes each. 40 minutes per day. Leave Down (Drop) 7 Heel – Stage I Wait 8 Heel – Stage II Heel 9 Heel – Stage III Sit and Stay Sit and Stay. preferably 3 sessions of 5 Okay.
we used the check chain and gentle leader training methods to teach the following commands. 181 www.kingdomofpets. Review of DOG 203 In this section.com . ● Come (Recall) ● Sit ● Okay ● No ● Hold ● Leave ● Sit and Stay ● Down (Drop) ● Heel ● Stand ● Wait ● Seek ● We also supplied a 12 week training program that you can use with your puppy or older dog to get their obedience responses razor sharp.P.
you communicate your intentions to your dog through your body language and actions. who took the knowledge overseas to the Americas. The phrase “dog whisperer” is a borrowing from “horse whisperer. like horse whispering. Powell. Sullivan gained notoriety all over England with his uncanny ability to train and rehabilitate problem horses. The idea of “whispering” as a form of training and rehabilitating problem horses eventually was applied in a wider sense. Originally from Mexico. and responding to them with calm and firm guidance. who attracted media attention with his television series The Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel. their social nature. the calm yet firm way the whisperer operates gives the impression that he or she has a bond with the animal that seems very natural. He kept his techniques mostly secret and passed them down to his prodigy Willis J. it’s actually not that mysterious at all. In the early 1800s. But when you really think about how dogs communicate. In turn.com . not only to cattle and livestock. From an outside perspective. Irishman Daniel Sullivan. Dog whispering has gained huge popularity in recent years. and humane way.DOG 301: A. Millan’s techniques emphasize the importance of establishing yourself as a confident and dependable leader. discipline and affection. in large part due to Cesar Millan. or even mystical. he set out to help as many dog owners as he could to do the same. Realizing he had a natural ability to communicate with dogs in a healthy. the approach is commonly associated with “rehabilitating” problem dogs (Millan even refers to himself as a “dog rehabilitator”). 182 www. It involves understanding your dog by reading and interpreting its body language. and his philosophy revolves around the principles of “exercise. places a heavy investment in understanding dogs by studying their behavior. Millan came to the United States in the 1990s. and their pack instincts.kingdomofpets. productive. There it was passed down again and again in the same way until this secretive method was ultimately revealed more openly. Dog Whispering Uncovered Defining Dog Whispering Dog whispering is probably more a general philosophy than a specific training method. The novel centers on a real life horse trainer. especially dogs. Dog whispering.” which became popular after Nicholas Evans’ 1995 novel of the same name was made into a Hollywood movie starring Robert Redford in 1998.” Because Millan places heavy focus on treating troubled dogs. but also to domesticated pets.
This will involve making the dog feel secure in many different social situations and interactions (which cannot happen unless you have established your dominance). it will always take the law into its own jaws. B. from overly-aggressive dogs to obsessive or neurotic ones. In my personal experience. techniques.Dog whispering as a method can address a wide array of behavioral problems. this is not its defining or most important aspect.” There is still plenty of debate about whether or not dog whispering should involve establishing hierarchy and dominance.com . the methods. The information on dog whispering that I’m providing is general information on my understanding of the philosophy and approach of dog whispering. 2. 183 www. I have found that confident owners who establish their role as leader and are able to physically instruct their dog tend to have the most success with this approach. IN GENERAL. so to speak. Of course. It does NOT reflect the system of any one specific “Dog Whisperer. and overriding philosophy of dog whispering has been around as long as dogs and humans have had relationships.kingdomofpets. No dog training method is about shouting at your dog. I have seen many owners enjoy the benefits of dog whispering. dog whispering is not a cure for everything. the result being a pet that is both obedient and happy to be that way. So while it is true that an attractive quality of dog whispering is a soft-spoken and gentle demeanor. The key is to be calm yet firm. This is more a reflection of the owner’s own lack of self-control. Even though the term is new. I’d like to share with you a collection of what I have found are the most important points to learn about the dog whispering method. IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND TWO THINGS: 1. But to begin. and there are a few things to consider in terms of its downside. An Alpha dog runs the risk of acting out with dominance aggression – without proper guidance. Never shout. A submissive or anxious dog runs the risk of acting out with defensive aggression. Dog Whispering: About the Method Establishing your role as pack leader is one of the most vital parts of making this method work for you.
and especially the movement of ears and tail. and positive reinforcement. These signals can be observed frequently between dogs and from dogs to humans. “freezing” on the spot. I always say that one half of dog whispering is about reading your dog’s body language.” Dogs communicate using a variety of body postures and positions through scent. but also when they are trying to send a message to another dog in your presence. especially during early conditioning. This way. sniffing the ground. such as barking. walking slowly. through facial expression. You have reason to be fearful. Dogs can use a variety of gestures and signals to defuse situations of stress and send a message of “no threat. licking their lips and nose.” Dogs also try to signal to us. This is why your calm yet firm actions speak volumes to them. when they are distressed. You should reserve shouting for these moments.kingdomofpets. dog whispering requires patient. and even nervous yawning. much of the communication is done non-verbally – sometimes with hand signals. nonviolent means. sometimes without. There are moments when your dog may be in imminent danger. we can miss the point. Understanding and reading your dog’s body language is important not only for when they are trying to tell you something. but if we don’t recognize them.In fact. It is also possible for a dog to lose this body language to an extent if it is never reinforced. An ability to prevent dog fights is almost guaranteed when you can read how dogs react during or just before greeting. 184 www. The other half is about your body language being read by your dog. Signals. it’s as good as saying to your dog: “You have reason to be nervous. Their communication is primarily non-verbal (while that of humans is primarily verbal). It makes timing your intervention or deciding to avoid the situation entirely second nature to you. Like other training methods. you can expect a response when you most need one. Some dogs use some signs and not others. or even fearful. The failure of humans to recognize these signs often makes dogs resort to more extreme forms of expression. Some of the most common of these signals include: turning their head away from yours (no the dog’s not being rude). If your energy is nervous.com . lots of repetition.
But it stops short of suggesting that you should try and wag your tail to get your point across. Avoid direct eye contact when meeting new dogs. In either case. It is said that some dogs talk more with their bark. The same owners tend to be the ones who get extra angry when their dog doesn’t listen or misbehaves. Simply put. you don’t become a dog whisperer by acting like a dog. Be a pack leader. Eye contact is one of the best ways to communicate with your dog. They need your guidance. and even funny. In general.com . Whenever you see anyone who has “a way” with dogs.kingdomofpets.Eye contact. Sometimes you need to physically intervene or make a correction with your dog. and other talk more with their eyes. low fear. But remember that holding a direct stare without any other verbal or physical cues is likely to be read as confrontational. Dog whispering is simply about putting that into practice in the best possible manner. demanding way. Many dog owners pamper their dogs as if they were surrogate children. Being Human. not a control freak. Dogs are not children and should not be treated as such. This is harmless. Dogs are intelligent enough to know that you are not a dog. and they can learn your distinctly human body language. and steady confidence. but only to a point! Dogs need more than your treats and your cuddles. If you continually bark commands at them. Sadly I’ve seen that many dog owners become “control freaks” and act in a bossy. the first step in reading each other’s facial expressions is regularly establishing eye contact. don’t be surprised when they bark back. This is another commonly misguided idea of the relationship between humans and dogs. With dog whispering: Dogs are not servants or slaves and should not be treated as such. Dog whispering does not involve hypnosis or magic. dog whispering requires that you in some way become a student of dog behavior and dog psychology. 185 www. it often comes down to a mix of high affection.
kingdomofpets. a show dog. Now let’s look at some specific techniques. Dogs are social. they will find another way to release it. or a party dog. Finally: Even though this is the cornerstone of all dog training systems (or at least should be).” Dog whispering works as well as it does because it can take a different approach for different dogs. If you treat dogs with the respect and dignity they deserve. And chances are it won’t be a good thing. If your dog does not have a way to channel all the energy that it has for work and play. Simple as that. Whether they are a running or walking partner. I need to mention it again as absolutely essential as part of any dog whispering approach. a herding dog.” I tell them no. Give them the security that comes from a sense of purpose. they will enjoy behaving for you. when people ask me if my dog knows how to “shake hands” or “roll over. assertive. non-violent. For the same reason. but it is essential in maintaining a healthy and secure relationship. but add that he does know a great trick that I call “don’t run in front of the bus. an agility dog. This is because a dominant dog will require a much different training approach than a submissive one. Give them a social role. an anxious or obsessive one. a watch dog.The use of calm. as will an aggressive dog vs. dogs are happier when they have a role and they feel like they are fulfilling it. 186 www.com . Those are some of the general ideas that motivate the philosophy of dog whispering. For example. a dog whispering philosophy puts more value in “life knowledge” for dogs than it does teaching them neat tricks. It is always a “custom fit” method. and non-aggressive physical force is not only ok with your dog.
Praise responsiveness. Basically. but make sure your face and tone of voice is encouraging (something like. Then physically guide his head by the chin into an upward position.” spoken in a calm and inviting tone is the idea). Another reward might be a greeting from the person you have stopped to speak with. YOU SEE SOMEONE YOU KNOW AND BEGIN TALKING. in a positive way. “Come say hello Rover. and your social exchange is not all that inviting. and pulling farther and farther away from you on the lead. and this is the most common response. This means that they don’t always have a good idea of when they are doing something right. But this response also commonly comes with an annoyed reaction to the dog.kingdomofpets. A correction is a strong response to a “bad” behavior.com . First try verbally encouraging him back into the social circle. and does not have to be reprimanded or punished. There is a big difference between intervention (interrupting or changing behavior) and correction (negatively reinforcing behavior because it is wrong). The great thing about an intervention is that it gives you an opportunity to establish your control. even a frustrated verbal command (ex: “Get over here and SIT already!”). look who it is. Make eye contact.C. You could repeatedly tug the lead. YOU WANT YOUR DOG TO STAND OR SIT PATIENTLY WHILE YOU SOCIALIZE. and dominance. ● Give a sit or stand command after guiding him back toward the position he’s supposed to be in. So make a proper invitation! TRY THIS INSTEAD: ● Get your dog’s attention in a calm way. Dog Whispering: Interventions All too often the idea of “training” dogs involves correcting them when they do something inappropriate. The problem is your dog is simply more interested in whatever it is sniffing. an intervention means that the dog hasn’t done anything wrong. Shorten your lead. which is appropriate now that your dog has joined the social interaction! 187 www. But your dog is busy sniffing a pole or something. Here are two examples of effective dog whispering interventions: SUPPOSE YOU ARE OUT WALKING YOUR DOG.
Dogs love to play. and it won’t be long before they will comment on what a great relationship you have with your pet. It also gives you a great opportunity to exercise your role as a strong pack leader with a calm. DOGS PLAYING WITH OTHER DOGS. ● Physically separate the dogs by taking them both by the collar. TRY THIS: ● After a good play session.com . yet entirely positive intervention. 188 www. without making any connection with him and without giving him any indication why he might want to join the circle. and sometimes things get too rowdy. But there’s a time and a place for everything. The act of socially engaging with your dog so he behaves socially in turn is important. It’s much different than pulling your dog back to where you want him. putting enough distance between them so that they are beyond each other’s reach. if his head starts to go down and attention goes away from the circle. and most dogs. BUT IT ALLOWS THEM A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO SOCIALIZE. be sure you explain the training exercise to the other owner first). sharp tug on the lead should be enough to maintain his position.kingdomofpets. (If one of the dogs is not yours. or they both just need a break. Making desired behavior seem positive and fun in the first place is much better than forcing it then rewarding it after the fact.● From this point. say “OK. Only apply as much pressure as necessary to get them to settle. People you see in public will appreciate it too. just can’t seem to get enough. using a bit of downward pressure if needed (and it likely will be with puppies or overexcited dogs). IT NOT ONLY LETS THEM GET SOME INTENSE EXERCISE. a short. especially young ones. Give the “Down” command. Time Out” or whatever command you want them to associate with the break. firm. an older dog tires in the presence of a younger one. If you are able to intervene in a play session at any time. it will be much easier for you to intervene when you absolutely need to.
This is good in that it shows them that they can interact in a more composed way. reassuring tone. More importantly.kingdomofpets. you will get to the point when you can issue the “Time Out” command and separate them using voice or hand commands. and you can allow this and encourage it. but that it is time to socialize and interact in a different way. They will likely start playing with each other in a much more relaxed way that may involve playful pawing or nipping from their settled position. because they will know that you can (and will) separate them one way or another. it reinforces your position as dominant. but this technique will sure make it much easier when you do. Remember to be calm and self-assured. 189 www. ● Once they have both settled. They are simply being asked to interact in a different way. and be sure there’s plenty of water on hand. It is important that they know they have not done anything wrong. you can gradually release your hold.com . acting in anger or frustration will defeat the whole exercise. repeat the “Settle” command in a soft.● While they are in a down position. You may not need to stop the play session. and praise them for being still. Ideally. The momentum will soon build again and you can decide whether or not to let them go wild with another full-blown play session! NOTE: remember to let your puppy out more after intense play sessions. This intervention tells them that they have not done anything wrong. and could worsen behavior problems. Keep talking to them in a positive way. and bring them closer to one another again.
Tell her in a stern voice “That’s a very bad dog” (or whatever works for you).com . Make eye contact. Just hold it firmly enough so she can’t squirm away. which is likely a response to your tense and possibly angry body language. and you leave your amazing sandwich on the kitchen counter.D. Although you need to send a clear message at this point. Apply only as much pressure as necessary for her to be still. Never shake your dog by the snout. and eat your lunch. DON’T squeeze it.kingdomofpets. 190 www. But there’s also a very firm. you also need to remain in control. HERE’S WHAT TO DO: ● Give a “Sit” command. You come back and catch your dog in the act. a loud “AHH” or a clap or both. Your adolescent puppy takes the opportunity to stroll into the kitchen. stand up on her hind legs. Your first response should be a verbal command that interrupts the behavior. Suppose you have just made yourself the best roast beef sandwich you have ever made in your sandwich-making career. Making your dog fear you and avoid you because you are angry does not accomplish this goal. You may try holding on to the collar with your other hand. ● Put your hand around her snout. ● Take a moment to calm down. Dog Whispering: Corrections Sometimes it is necessary to 1) correct an inappropriate behavior and 2) send a clear message that it is inappropriate with the hope of discouraging it in the future. Your dog’s body language may already be suggesting fear or retreat. effective and totally humane technique you should have at your disposal. The phone rings.
Through repetition. but before you take hold of the dog’s snout. dogs are very vulnerable when they are on their back. roll her over on to her back. 191 www. and this is their way of testing the boundaries all over again. I reserve it for the worst behaviors. and forcing the dog on to her side.● Send your dog away to another room and ignore her for at least 15 minutes.kingdomofpets. NOTE: this is not exclusively a way to discipline your dog. You don’t have to do this quickly or with great force. Then roll her on to her back. When they go through adolescence. Dogs use their mouths not only to express themselves but also to protect themselves. ● There is an escalated version of this mode of discipline. Again remember to be calm and self-assured. and put on the hard word. such as when a dog shows aggression inappropriately to humans or dogs. In addition. or moves to start a fight with another dog: ● Follow the same steps as above. they are vulnerable. you are not only saying “You have done something wrong. It is important to understand the logic behind this form of discipline. a puppy will get to the point where they will “freeze” as soon as your hand goes around their mouth. If you couple this behavior with a message of negative reinforcement. and you are forcing them to submit to you. You are giving them a reason to listen to you. grab hold of the snout. It is also a way to establish trust by doing it in a more playful context repeatedly during the puppy stage. but their genitals are exposed. they may resist again in a more overt way. acting in anger or frustration will defeat the whole exercise. Calmly and deliberately is the idea.com . and could worsen behavior problems. This can be achieved by taking hold of the rear leg farthest from you and the collar. and their instincts make them extremely uncomfortable in this position. Not only is their mobility removed.” you are also reinforcing your message from the position of dominance. When you take control of their mouth.
This command is the cornerstone of all canine training. as you do not want to always associate food with the command. we can prevent many potential problems including running away.E. The most important part of your own body language is positioning yourself in an encouraging way and greeting your dog positively when it comes. becoming aggressive. and in a way that allows both dog and owner to be more responsive to each other. By teaching a dog to come on command. Often. this one is the most important and should be strongly reinforced. Other good times to practice the command would be going outside and going to the crate. It’s not hard to understand why a dog does not want to come to an angry owner. praise him for “listening” to the command. This training should begin immediately upon the dog entering the household. feeding time is a great time to practice this command. First of all. 192 www. It is important to understand how to get the dog to come and to associate the action with the word. and you need to recall your dog when he’s off lead. simply calling “Come” to the dog and then getting angry when he does not understand is futile. say: “Come. or a squirrel. When you’re out in public. regardless of age. that item is often the one moving the quickest. we need to figure out what naturally causes the dog to approach us. Continue this practice in every instance you can think of for when he would approach you naturally. another person. Another practice to keep in mind is that dogs tend to go to the “highest value” item. or even said in a loud voice. Here I outline some of the basic training commands from the perspective of dog whispering. another technique involves actually walking or running excitedly a short distance in the opposite direction to get him to follow you and find out where all the fun is. be it another dog.” This does not have to be shouted. Dog Whispering with Common Commands Dog whispering can be used with all of the most common training commands. and even attacking another animal. regardless of whether or not it is feeding time. However. you can try to be that item. A pleasant firm voice is all that is necessary.com . becoming distracted. When the dog comes up to you for his dinner. Recall Command (Come) Out of all of the commands we can teach a dog. In the right situations. As the dog is approaching you.kingdomofpets. For high energy dogs.
learning the “Down” command first makes the process go much more smoothly.Down and Sit These two commands can be taught to your dog using the same technique.com . in actuality. reward him with praise. establish eye contact and say the command “Down. So why not show your dog that you want him to relax by indicating that it is relaxation time for everyone? Go sit in your favorite recliner. There’s nothing more unnerving than someone standing over you and trying to get you to do something. Repeat this process as many times as it takes for your dog to associate the word with the action. Each time you see your dog begin to lay down. Or slide down right on the carpet. Never begin to teach a dog to lie down when he is excited. In these instances your dog will already be lying down or is willing to be on his own volition. While the normal use of praise through affection and treats is encouraged to help your dog learn these two vital commands. Eventually. (It should be understood the reason the command “Down” is used. This command will assist you with making sure that your dog exhibits good manners and also helps you ensure your dog’s safety at all times. repeat the “Down” command. Stay It is of the utmost importance to teach your dog the “Stay” command. when 193 www. for example. start giving the “Down” command when your dog is standing or sitting. If he responds appropriately. Similar to teaching a dog the “Sit” and “Down” commands. He will not understand your wants and you will be more likely to become frustrated. the incorporation of body language on your part will also help greatly in teaching your dog to both sit and to lie down.kingdomofpets. While it is thought teaching the dog to sit first is preferable.” is because dogs respond better to one syllable commands).” Give him praise. the “Stay” command begins when your dog is in a relaxed situation but still alert. When your dog is in a relaxed position of lying down but still alert and not asleep. you might try relaxing yourself. and pat the spot where you want your dog to join you. instead of “Lie Down. If he does not respond. The reason for this is because initially you will wish to work with your dog when he is completely relaxed and not exhibiting excitable or unruly behavior.
Walk a couple of feet away and turn around to see how your dog is doing. Do not expect your dog to learn to stay at 25 feet away the first lesson. Barking Barking is an inherent part of a dog’s nature. you will find yourself being able to move further and further away.” walk quickly in a direct line toward him with your hands extended as a barrier the same way. Say “Uh uh” and repeat the “Down” command. In a normal and calm voice. If he is getting excited.” The use of an outstretched open palm with fingers not splayed shown to the dog in front of his face can be quite helpful. Initially. as this gives the impression of a barrier and is an effective use of body language. call him to you and give him praise. This can work for some). as this can increase the difficulty in future lessons. but all dogs will bark for a variety of reasons.com . The intention is to teach the dog to not move from his spot and respect the barrier you have just set through the use of your hand. The end result of this command is for you to be able to call out to your dog from a far off location. (Note: for unruly dogs. 194 www. you can consider the exercise a success and the dog should be rewarded. you can repeat the “Sit. as long as the dog stays where you tell him after you move away two feet. making an attempt to leave the “barrier. If necessary. If you feel you are getting impatient. or even after the next 15 lessons. manually return him to the spot. Eventually. tell him to stay and have him respond positively. You will wish to initially approach the dog and stand about two feet away. Make sure that you leave the lesson on a good note and wait until the next day to repeat it. This will aid in your dog’s processing of the command you are teaching. most owners want to gain some control over this behavior. However.” “Down” and “Stay” sequence from the new spot you’ve just called your dog to. When you’re having continual success.the dog is sitting or lying down totally awake. Make sure that you do not use food treats as a reward. stop the lesson until you can calm down enough to continue. state: “Stay. There are breeds that are more prone toward this behavior than others are. This particular command can take some time so be patient.” or has actually left the “barrier. there is a pressure point between the shoulder blades that will force them down easily and harmlessly. If he is still there.kingdomofpets.
as she is directly responding to our “barking. Some trainers suggest training a dog to “speak” at the same time she is being trained to “hush.” This can be accomplished by simply waiting for the barking and then associating it positively with a “Speak” command (eventually followed by “Hush” of course). But because so much depends on sending signals through body language. When the dog does as you have asked. so she needs to be shown that you do listen and appreciate her efforts. Turn away from the direction she is barking at. So only “hush” your dog after you explore her alert. 3.Some devices such as anti-bark collars are often used to stop the noise. 195 www. The section in DOG 202 on nuisance barking offers proven techniques to put a stop to excessive barking behavior. F. The Trouble with Dog Whispering The method and principles of dog whispering are humane but also firm. there’s a bit more to it… Not only do you have to act physically dominant.” This is a result of the nature of the dog. and you are nervous and unsure. when you hear your dog bark. Instead. Dog whispering can also be used to prevent nuisance barking. Tell her to “Hush” in a strong yet calm and quiet voice. Assume a relaxed posture. 5.kingdomofpets. A note to remember is to always look for what your dog is barking at before stating a command. If danger is not apparent. go to the dog and actively look to see what she is barking at.com . immediately give her praise. 2. This is your dog’s way of telling you something is not quite right. but do little to stop the behavior that prompts barking. but also have to believe you are physically dominant. and indeed physical. 1. Often we tend to yell at our dogs when they are barking. and one that unnecessarily frustrates many owners. you may not be able to effectively communicate direction and guidance to your dog. This means that even if you are trying to be a confident pack leader. 4. using the “Hush” command as detailed below. This only further incites the dog to bark louder. Pat your dog on the head.
In addition. and ● EXERCISE 196 www. and this method is not suited for them. This is also a matter of the size of the dog you decide to raise. Dog whispering. it involves understanding your dog by reading and interpreting its body language. there is really no way around the time demands of this method. Dog whispering takes more time than traditional training methods. More a general philosophy than a specific training method. involves interacting with a dog you are physically capable of controlling.com . and this method is not suited for them. Review of DOG 301 In this chapter.Some owners are simply uncomfortable with physical interventions or corrections. we took the mystery out of dog whispering and explained it in plain and simple terms. in my view. By paying closer attention to your own body language. We covered the basic principles of the dog whispering method and philosophy: ● Being the Leader ● Controlling your Voice ● Reading (and Using) Body Language ● Establishing your Dog’s Purpose ● Affording Respect and Dignity ● Customizing your Approach. some owners are physically unable to carry out physical interventions or corrections effectively. you can effectively communicate with your dog. Even though busy owners can still benefit from the ideas behind dog whispering. rather than the use of repeated commands.kingdomofpets. G. simply because spending time with your dog is the only way for you to learn each other’s body language.
We learned to incorporate dog whispering methods with these common commands: ● Come (Recall) ● Down and Sit ● Stay ● Hush (Shhh) 197 www.kingdomofpets. and a correction. which is simply interrupting a behavior so you can actively communicate with your dog as a guide and leader. which is negatively reinforcing an inappropriate behavior.com . Several scenarios were presented along with proven techniques for making effective and humane interventions and corrections with your dog.We discussed the important difference between an intervention.
and depression. nudging for attention. destruction. digging. It’s normal for dogs to form intense emotional bonds with their pack.they’re social by nature. leaping around. You may find separation anxiety easier to understand and deal with if you bear in mind the fact that dogs are pack animals . If your dog’s displaying any of these behaviors. excessive barking and whining. No dog does well when left on her own. and how to cope with them. Separation Anxiety What Is It? Separation anxiety is an intense fear or dislike of separation (usually from a family member). The problem behaviors commonly associated with the condition include inappropriate urination or defecation (regardless of whether she’s been housetrained or not). performing extended acrobatics). it doesn’t DEFINITELY mean that they’re caused by separation anxiety. why they happen. hyperactive behaviors like tail-chasing.kingdomofpets. etc). and detail what they are. but some dogs REALLY don’t do well . signified by withdrawal and lethargy. compulsive behaviors like repetitive licking or self-mutilation (for example. Separation anxiety and the resulting behaviors occur when the dog is either isolated. then separation anxiety is probably the cause. if they occur shortly after your departure (separation anxiety generally peaks within half an hour). or is separated from a person to which she is intensely attached. barking. However. A. gnawing at nails and skin). which often manifests itself as destructive behavior during the period of separation (chewing. such as Weimaraners or Cocker Spaniels.DOG 302: Health-Related Problems Solved In this section.and these are the ones that develop separation anxiety. This can be because of genetics: some breeds are simply hardwired for constant companionship. and if the dog greets you exaggeratedly and for a long period of time upon your return (whining. we’re going to look at some common health-related problems that dogs are prone to. Which Dogs Are More Likely To Develop Separation Anxiety? Some dogs seem to be predisposed toward the state of emotional dependency which preempts separation anxiety.com . pulling out fur. 198 www.
resulting in a significantly decreased amount of contact with the dog. to reduce this tendency. by a few seconds at a time. while you’re away. she’s been suffering. So. a divorce or death in the family. walk out the front door and shut it. Of course. and for slowly increasing lengths of time. 199 www. keep your departure times VERY short. You’re going to move very. ● As she learns that these short departures aren’t anything to worry about. you can gradually start increasing the length of time you’re absent for. you need to desensitize your dog to your absence and teach her that it’s no big deal at all when you leave. The trick is to return before your dog gets stressed. we all love it when our dogs are happy to see us. It doesn’t just mean that your dog is happy to see you.kingdomofpets. ● A stay in a pet store or animal shelter (which usually results in a deprivation of affection and attention for the duration of the stay). But don’t stay out too long: return after only a few seconds.Other contributing factors include: ● Early separation from mother and littermates. ● A sudden change in the owner’s circumstances. ● A sudden and dramatic change of circumstance. You’re going to practice leaving your dog alone. ● At first. The way to do this is to use baby steps. like a shift to a new house. Remember to increase the absences SLOWLY. repeatedly. Dealing With Separation Anxiety In Your Dog What you need to do is train your dog to be more independent of you. it also means that. WHAT TO DO: ● Without making a big deal about it. ● The addition of a new family member or pet. very slowly: it’s not possible to make any progress here unless your dog is completely relaxed at each level along the way. Leave frequently. but return soon. separation anxiety is a manifestation of psychological trauma.com . But remember.
● There are to be no dramatic goodbyes or greetings from now on! A simple “see you later” or a “good girl. ● Leave the TV or radio tuned to a talk-show or to calming music. Before moving on again. ● Mental stimulation is another fantastic way to put your dog into a tired. Most dogs respond very well to the cosy sensation of being snug in a confined space. ● Supply her with a tasty chew or favorite toy before you go out. energetic dogs. you will need to speak to your vet. which maintains its intensity no matter what you do. Take her through a quick 10 minutes of obedience work before you leave: anything that requires her to use her mind will tire her out. and make it easier for her to lie down and snooze when you’ve gone. you’re encouraging her to view your departures as a really. relaxed state. 200 www. You don’t need to fasten her in.tired dogs are more content and mellow than agitated. and can help a lonely dog feel like she’s got company. just the ability to retreat to her own little den is soothing in itself. and she’ll be a lot happier for it.● If at any point your dog starts to demonstrate stress or anxiety. Really wear her out . ● Leave an item of clothing that you’ve recently worn in her bed. really big deal. but anything quiet and relaxing will do!) This will occupy the “white space” of an empty household.com . (Studies have shown that stressed dogs react particularly well to baroque classical music. ● Get her a crate. Keep things brief and casual. Your smell may soothe her. hello” is enough. remain at that level of progress until an absence of that length of time gets no reaction at all. OTHER CALMING TECHNIQUES A few different ways to reduce the frequency and intensity of separation anxiety bouts: ● Super-exercise your dog before you leave.kingdomofpets. If you habitually make a big fuss over your dog when you leave or upon your return. NOTE: For dogs with extreme and prolonged separation anxiety. Make sure it’s a suitable one for unsupervised chewing or play: no golf balls or small rawhide chews that may get stuck in her throat! Try to alternate toys on a daily basis so that she doesn’t begin to associate specific toys with being alone or anxious. simply revert to the level of progress that she was last content with.
Teddy’s whole world had been tilted upside down. a seven year old German Shepherd. as well as jumping up onto the outdoor table so that he could bark at Sarah and Blair through the windows! Eventually. Teddy was required to spend significant stretches of time outside and by himself. the racket became so bad that they had to let him back inside or risk the anger of the neighbors. Within a few weeks.your vet will need to examine your dog. The issue behind all this destructiveness was quite simple: at the relatively mature age of seven years old. and pacing.and. He had to earn the privilege 201 www.especially an older one. From that day on. So for the first time in his life. warmth. Teddy felt like he was being punished. which is a gentle herbal sedative used to encourage feelings of security and relaxation in cats and dogs. whining. Sarah and Blair. He had to learn that being outside alone wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The vet recommended the use of Rescue Remedy.kingdomofpets. He’d started scratching at the doors. highly-strung one. been banned from the coziness and social warmth of the “den. he’d been shifted from the environment that he’d known his entire life . They started leaving him inside again. to make sure the increased stress levels weren’t affecting his health. the vet recommended that Blair and Sarah modify their behavior where Teddy was concerned.Medication may be required .com . and to see if he had any suggestions for dealing with Teddy’s behavior. he would destroy the outdoor furniture. At the same time. and familiar smells. Sarah and Blair took Teddy to the vet. they would leave him outside during the day. Sarah and Blair were not to reward Teddy with attention until he was sitting quietly outside without making a fuss. so he wouldn’t destroy anything. (Don’t ever medicate your dog without the advice of your vet!) Case Study: Separation Anxiety Teddy. discuss the details of her symptoms with you. at the same time. and scratch at the walls around the door. being left outside can be quite traumatic for a dog .” After a lifetime of company. and prescribe the necessary remedy. Teddy’s demeanor had changed from that of a well-behaved and well-adjusted dog to that of an anxious. the doormat. and didn’t understand why. had been an inside dog all his life until his owners. For no reason that he could comprehend. If they left the house with Teddy outside. moved to a house with a large section. Essentially.
While they were practicing desensitizing Teddy. He would still have preferred to be inside with his owners all the time. Whenever Teddy began to behave badly and try to force his way back inside. they started leaving him for one minute. they started to desensitize Teddy to the departure routine. for 30 seconds at a time. and destructive behavior. Every time Teddy started to get stressed by the length of time.of being allowed back inside . He understood that if he behaved well. The clear line between reward for good behavior and isolation for bad behavior soon had its effect on Teddy’s behavior: he began to learn that good behavior would earn him the attention and affection that he craved.at which point they’d reward him lavishly. the vet also suggested that they leave him with some familiar. comforting objects from inside. 202 www. In addition to this.not bully his way into the house through bad behavior and excessive noise. they gradually reached 30 minutes. Sarah and Blair decided to leave his crate and bedding outside with him. Sarah and Blair started leaving the house. they’d reduce it by a minute or two and stay at that level until he was completely comfortable before moving on.com . Working up in 30 second increments. barking. Sarah and Blair would ignore him until he’d calmed down . Over time. When they’d done this five or six times. eventually he’d be let back inside. as well as a small selection of toys. with Teddy outside. so he wouldn’t feel utterly isolated. Teddy’s behavior began to change for the better. but had learned that he no longer needed to assert himself through whining.kingdomofpets.
you’re really just delaying the inevitable: they’re still going to have to sort things out at some point. ears will be raised.B. 2. his head will be carried lower than the other dog’s. This will be signaled through his body posture. if you separate them before matters are resolved to their satisfaction . eye contact will be direct and maintained. the only remaining way for them to sort out who’s the boss is through a direct physical challenge.it all depends on the individual personality and leadership drive of each dog. Two Dogs in the House A New Dog Introducing a new dog into any household is actually a lot more complex than most people imagine it to be. The truth of the matter is that. it shows that the social order has already been sorted out.for example.) 203 www.kingdomofpets. In short. If this is the case. Many owners make the mistake of viewing the situation through human eyes: “Oh. he will turn his snout to one side.often within seconds of the initial meeting. assertive body language. and this will probably happen very quickly . You can relax. Who's first? What To Expect When A New Dog Enters The Household The dogs will evaluate each other. when a new dog is introduced to the household. This may be done more forcefully than you had imagined . This tussle is entirely natural: the dogs MUST sort out who outranks whom. Both of their heads will be carried high. One dog will signal his submissiveness to the other. because without a defined social ranking system they will squabble and bicker endlessly.com . a certain challenges arise as the dogs sort out their social hierarchy. (If they don’t get to sort things out now . There are two possible outcomes to this situation: 1.” etc etc. a new friend for Pita! She’ll be so happy. If neither dog backs down. He will not maintain eye contact. Both dogs will match each other in terms of confident. because the dogs now know how to act around each other and how to avoid unnecessary fights. the dogs are going to “scrap” or fight.
If you’ve brought a new dog home without allowing your existing pets to check him out first. perhaps the new dog came from a distant breeder and had to be shipped across country. Take them all for as long a walk as you can (upwards of an hour.Ensuring A Mellow Meeting If we lived in an ideal world. This can happen for a variety of reasons: perhaps they weren’t aware that the dogs might not get on. introduce the new arrival to each one separately BEFORE allowing them free rein together. do it in a neutral setting.both existing and potential . and if they’re in the habit of revving each other up on walks. greet. perhaps the new adoption was a spur-of-the-moment decision (although we devoutly hope not!). ● If you have more than one dog in your house already. there are a couple of things that you can do which will go far toward ensuring a smooth transition for everyone concerned: ● Extensively exercise all dogs involved prior to the meeting. nobody would finalize the adoption of a second (or third. If you bring the new dog straight into the house without allowing them to meet each other first. and calls all sorts of unwanted instincts into play (like the need to defend personal territory). Of course. it goes without saying that we don’t live in an ideal world: in plenty of cases. or fourth . this places unnecessary duress on your existing dog(s).com ... and try to introduce some “brain-tiring” work too: obedience commands. and accept each other. This will allow them to work off any excess energy and agitation.) dog until all canine members of the household . ● When you do introduce them. 204 www. territorial aggression won’t play a part in determining their reactions to each other. if that’s possible).had had an opportunity to meet.kingdomofpets. you might take them out separately. random walking (see our chapter on “leash problems” in Dog 202 for more on this). ● If you already have more than one dog in your house. An unfamiliar park with few distractions would be ideal: this way. and generally to misbehave. anything that involves mental activity for your dog. snappy. This will prevent a “pack mentality” from evolving: the presence of other dogs seems to encourage even well-mannered canines to get edgy. owners don’t have the option of introducing potential new dogs to existing pets before bringing them home.
com . and ALL dogs are much happier and more relaxed when they know where they stand in relation to the other pack members.” Something that a lot of people struggle with is the fact that neither of these positions holds any REAL value for dogs. if we look at it from our own human perspective. a highly defined and specific social structure comes into play: there’s a recognized leader (alpha). and one as the “underdog. The important thing for any dog is that he knows where his social standing is in relation to all other dogs present in the household (the pack). but it doesn’t apply when it comes to dogs. And that’s not something that anyone likes to witness. the treatment of the underdog by higher-ranked dogs can resemble bullying to us. ALL dogs are hardwired to “rank” those around them in relation to themselves.and which results in (you guessed it!) more fights.to allow them to sort out their own hierarchy. Until they do.kingdomofpets. it’s actually a very effective way of preventing fights.not to mention the best interests of your dogs . one is going to emerge as the alpha. A dog doesn’t “want” to be either the dominant OR the submissive dog . This is an admirable impulse when we’re talking about human social interactions.Life In A Multi-Dog Household As owners. it’s imperative that we remember that our dogs are pack animals: their ingrained social actions and reactions are based around this fact. Every time a situation involves more than one dog. their social structure is essentially in a state of chaos. 205 www.it doesn’t matter to him where he’s placed in the overall structure of the pack. let alone allow to continue without stepping in. and removes the possibility of accidentally giving offense to a higher-ranked member of the pack. it’s difficult to curb our natural impulse to support and help the underdog . and then each dog is ranked. Even if there are only two dogs involved. When all dogs are clear on their own ranking. So really. As humans. which subjects all dogs to feelings of stress and insecurity . Social ranking tells a dog how to act in any given social situation. it’s in your best interests . That’s because the only cause for fighting in a dog-pack is when a lower-ranked dog attempts to muscle in on the privileges reserved for higher-ranked dogs.again.
which is why we recommend hiring a hands-on trainer in this situation). all cases of new-dog syndrome differ wildly: it’s pretty much impossible for us to give any general advice on how to get them accustomed to each other. He doesn’t prefer to be the dominant or the submissive dog.if you continually intervene and attempt to impose your own social order. If you’re not sure who the alpha dog is.kingdomofpets. the less likely it is that any dog will try to upset the social order and aim for a higher rank (which will result in fighting). ● If your dogs are doing each other serious harm or the fights are protracted in length (several minutes). “dominant” and “submissive” are essentially valueless positions for a dog: he HAS to be one or the other. feed him first. you won’t feel compelled to “rescue” the underdog. and both carry the same meaning for him. Frequently.com . let him get into the car first. let him go through doors before the other dog(s). etc)? The dog that takes the lead in the most situations is the alpha. your intervention will actually make things worse. lifting a lip. then you’ll probably want to enlist the services of a trained canine behaviorist who can assist you in getting the dogs used to each other. The more secure each dog is in his own position. If you can bear this in mind. as well as undo the damage that your meddling has already caused to his social status. When you first introduce the two (or more) dogs to each other. since the dog jockeying hardest for alpha position is going to have to prove his dominance at a later date. and actively reinforce his social standing. 206 www. allow him the better space on the couch. and will be doing yourself and your dogs a huge favor.Ownership Rules For A Multi-Dog Household ● You MUST allow them to establish their hierarchy on their own terms. (Because all dogs have such distinct and individual personalities. watch their interactions closely: who’s carrying their head highest? Who gets to eat first? Who walks through doorways first? Who shifts over to make room for whom? Who seems to boss whom around (nudging. it’s only going to postpone the inevitable. It’s very important that you allow the dogs to work it out between themselves . there will probably be a certain amount of squabbling. ● Pay attention to who the alpha-dog is. Remember. This means putting him first: pet him first. he simply is either one or the other. staring out. nipping. ● Don’t attempt to subject a canine social structure to human values: you need to try and stay as neutral as possible. and so on.
Linda figured that neither of the dogs would have a problem forming a friendship with each other: they were both very mellow. went through doorways first. or dogs that have lived together for a while and are used to each other.she didn’t want to take Chico back to the shelter. once Chico arrived in his new home.several times fur flew.kingdomofpets. This was necessary just to make sure that should she ever need to involve herself in a dispute between the two dogs. trouble started brewing.a lively 2 year old Labrador cross. they quickly began squabbling and snapping .com . Sometimes there is also jealousy and aggression among littermates. eye contact (a dog that forces or maintains eye contact is dominant). The second step was for Linda to read our chapter on the concept of alpha status (“Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog”). However. Most importantly of all. Linda had to pay close attention to the body language and interactions between the two dogs. Although the dogs had seemed to accept each other on their first meeting (in the local park). from the local animal shelter. 207 www. with no apparent aggression problems. and chose a place to lie down first. and work out for herself which one was the more dominant. they would both accept her authority over them. and to things like which of the two ate first. as before Chico arrived on the scene. a one year old Boxer dog. Sam was accustomed to sleeping on Linda’s bed . in the form of Chico .Case Study: Introducing a New Dog Many people attempt to introduce a new dog to their home as company for their existing pets and have found that the dogs are aggressive towards each other. we advised her to get new and comfortable beds for both dogs. A typical example of problems caused by a multi-dog household would be the case of Sam. We asked her to pay attention to things like head position (a dog that carries his head low is submissive). Having spent a few hours with Chico before making the decision to bring him home. Linda was distraught . and both seemed to be OK around other dogs in normal day-to-day circumstances. We made some recommendations for Linda to help reconcile the situation. First of all. Sam’s owner Linda decided to adopt a friend for him. as this would be traumatic for him. and once Sam even had to be taken to the vet for a couple of stitches in his ear. but neither did she want the peace of her household to be continually disrupted in so violent and upsetting a manner.and he wasn’t happy sharing this space with a new arrival.
kingdomofpets. to consciously reinforce that dog’s dominance over the other one. We asked Linda to remember that the introduction of a new. the dogs no longer felt the need to compete. we would generally recommend that a canine behaviorist be called in). just as we did to Linda.” Frequently. and so on. If Linda helped to establish which dog was perceived as the dominant one. This issue was then inadvertently made worse by Linda’s actions. that if the situation ever became violent enough to warrant true and urgent concern then the dogs would have to be separated.we explained that she had to let them sort it out for themselves. By allowing them to sort out their own social order. For Linda’s own peace of mind. the problem was quickly resolved . to sort out a hierarchical order. We asked Linda to support the dominant dog’s social status through her own actions: she needed to start applying the alpha concept to that dog by doing things like feeding him first.to animals genetically driven to create a social ranking . we also recommended that Linda not intervene in the dogs’ way of sorting out who was the boss .made no sense to them.” or “unsafe around other dogs. Chico)’s dominant status.not a previously-dormant sense of aggression or troublemaking on Sam or Chico’s behalf! In a nutshell. then the likelihood of a fight breaking out over who outranked whom would be minimal. This would minimize the dominant dog’s need to underline his authority by being unnecessarily aggressive or edgy. She had been treating the two dogs as equals. When life and limb are at risk between two dogs that share a house. Once a social order was well established. We also advised Linda that. once she had seen which of the two dogs was the more dominant. (Note: we’d like to point out.it doesn’t mean that the dogs involved are “aggressive. we reassured her that this sort of behavior among dogs that share a household is pretty common . as pack-animals. the problem between Sam and Chico was caused by their genetic compulsion. strange dog into Sam’s own home was a big change for him.Furthermore. and that the instinctive need for all dogs to sort out a pack hierarchy was responsible for the mayhem in her household . so this new behavior is often a big surprise to owners (as was the case with Sam and Chico). allowing him up on the couch first. showing him affection first. which .com . dogs in this situation have displayed impeccable behavior around other dogs for their entire lives. 208 www.and future competition for the alpha role was minimized through Linda’s careful reinforcement of the dominant dog (in this case.
com . if you're repeatedly exposed to the irritant. There are three common ways that your dog can cause you to have an allergic reaction.C. However.generally to something that you’re exposed to regularly. As time goes on. so getting a "non-shedding dog" isn't necessarily a magical cure-all for dog-lovers with allergies. they take time. which remain in your system.kingdomofpets. for those people who are allergic to fur over dander and saliva. as it usually takes multiple exposures for an allergy to build up. When there's enough of a build-up of antibodies in your body. Your body has to recognize an irritant (like dander) and begin to form antibodies to it. allergies to a dog are most often caused by: ● Dander (small particles of skin. Unfortunately. This isn't necessarily true: although a reduction in hair-shedding does help some people. rather than shedding when it reaches a certain length) cause less allergies than standard-coated dogs. more allergies are caused by dander and saliva than by fur and hair. it's definitely worth investigating non-shedding dogs. In descending order. produced by all breeds of dog) ● Saliva ● Hair/fur It's commonly believed that 'non-shedding' dogs (whose hair keeps growing until it's clipped. more antibodies accumulate. allergies caused by the presence of a pet in the home are all too common. that's when allergic symptoms like a runny nose and itchy eyes start to manifest themselves. Some examples of non-shedding dogs: ● Poodle ● Bichon Frise ● Schnauzers (standard and miniature) Establishing Whether You Might Be Allergic Allergies don't form instantly. Allergies to Dogs An allergy is a hypersensitivity of your body’s immune system to a particular substance . 209 www.
expose yourself to as many different types of dogs as you can . as well as overall dryness and flakiness (which may be caused by a thyroidal imbalance). Visit local breeders. and spend time with any friends or relatives who have dogs). 210 www.the more exposure you allow yourself. the chances are higher that he'll develop a health condition which will then increase the likelihood of your developing allergies. If you think you might be allergic to dogs. Clearly.visit the pound. explain that you're interested in possibly adopting one of the dogs. it's not that difficult to establish whether or not you've got an allergy. This is a doctor who's trained specifically in the detection and treatment of allergens. which will keep his skin and fur in good condition and prevent unnecessary shedding of either. Do this as often as you can .There's no hard-and-fast rule for when an allergy will show itself: sometimes it takes minutes. Preventing And Dealing With Allergies If your dog isn't as healthy or as well looked after as he could be. and spend some time with them. Things you can do to minimize the risk: ● Take good care of your dog's skin. and increased shedding of dander. visit an immunotherapist. the better the chances of an allergy rearing its head before it's too late. developing an allergy to a dog that's shared your life for this period of time would be absolutely heartbreaking. Fortunately. Ask your allergist to test specifically for allergies to pet dander. sometimes it takes months or even years. If you test positive for any of these. Make sure he's getting enough oils and fats. ● Feed your dog a good. A less expensive way to find out whether your body has problems with dogs: think about which breeds of dog you're particularly interested in. saliva. immunotherapy can improve your reaction to the allergens: over a period of weeks or months. Check him regularly for skin conditions like eczema and mange. HOW TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER YOU’RE ALLERGIC 1. you'll receive a series of shots to gradually desensitize your system to your pet's allergens. 2.com .kingdomofpets. All of these conditions result in excessive dryness. and that you'd like to hang out with them for awhile to see if you develop any allergic reactions. BEFORE you take the plunge and bring the dog home. balanced diet. and fur. itchiness. (If there's no one particular breed you're interested in. the rescue shelter.
as well as distributing natural skin oils evenly throughout the fur.do NOT use human shampoo or soap on your dog! The pH of human skin and hair products is completely wrong for dogs. if not entirely negated. Generally speaking. which results in . be careful not to overuse it. especially if you have a carpet: carpets are magnets for allergens.most pet stores sell them. or discount department store. A weekly wash reduces the presence of allergens in your dog's coat and skin by nearly 50 percent. and will create skin problems for him even if none existed before. Use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner . Depending on his breed and coat length. We've heard of people with relatively severe allergies who've been able to live comfortably with their dogs after purchasing one of these purifiers. use a microfilter bag in the vacuum cleaner to effectively catch all the allergens. Check the instructions on the packaging.even short-coated dogs benefit from regular grooming. ● There are probiotic sprays available for dogs that contain dander-eating microbes. ● Groom him regularly. ● If you're using a medicated shampoo. but we have heard a lot of convincing anecdotal evidence about people whose allergies have been significantly reduced. This sounds a bit off-putting.excess production of dander and shed fur. because the active medication can actually dry your dog's skin out and make it itch and flake. Any less than this and he'll be accumulating irritants in his coat. Keep an eye out for probiotic sprays . When vacuuming. but you can also browse online. ● Consider investing in an air purifier. simply by using these products.these are available at just about any home and garden store. Any more than this actually dries his skin and coat out. 211 www. medicated shampoos should only be used every second or third wash. ● Use a shampoo created specifically for dogs .● The optimum number of times to bathe your dog is once a week. ● Clean your house regularly.you guessed it .com .kingdomofpets. since it removes excess skin and dander. which will then shed on a more or less constant basis as he moves around your house. this could be anywhere from once a day to once or twice a week . granted.
) 212 www. Your dog’s bed is the number-one catcher of hair. and all vets are trained in how to do it. her eyes may roll back in her head and/or open slightly. but even if not she'll slip away very quickly. and dander. and blinds. or the vet may shave a small patch on your dog's foreleg and insert a catheter (which will prevent your dog feeling the sting of the second injection.” because essentially that’s what happens: ● First of all. fur.● Create allergy-free zones in the house. ● Keep your dog’s bedding clean by washing it frequently in hot water. which will then become airborne every time it’s disturbed. her tongue may protrude.even if he’s not allowed on the bed. deep sigh as they fall completely asleep. It’s also something that many dog owners will have to go through at some point. whether because of an untreatable injury or illness. Your dog may already be asleep by the time this is done. she's still aware of what's happening and will be comforted by your presence. ● Next. saliva. This may be done through a simple injection. sheets. D. the vet will administer a sedative. her heart will stop inside of a minute. it’s important that you do NOT allow your pet into your room if you’re allergic . and stick to your self-imposed boundary rules. After the second injection.com . she may continue breathing for some time after her heart has stopped (because the part of the brain controlling breathing is the last to succumb to the injections. The Procedure Itself Euthanasia is a common procedure.) This sedative will relax your dog and make her very groggy and drowsy. At this point. Possible Reactions That A Dog May Have A dog may have one of several reactions to the anesthetic: she may twitch or spasm a little. Wash bedding at least several times a week. A lot of dogs emit a deep. Euthanasia The decision to say a final goodbye to your dog is a painful and deeply personal one. In particular. cloth curtains. an anesthetic overdose is administered either through the vein or via the catheter. It’s often called putting a dog “to sleep. airborne allergens will still settle on dander-catching items like mattresses. or the simple unkindness of advancing age.kingdomofpets. pillows.
not on your own: it would be cruel to decide against euthanizing a suffering dog. so you should check with your city council beforehand. eating? Is she alert and responsive to your presence still? Is she mobile? Does she still have control over her bowels and bladder (for almost all dogs.$300 dollars). Whatever happens.there’s a charge of approximately $200 . it’s best to make a plan of action beforehand.you don’t necessarily need them to attend the euthanasia itself.kingdomofpets. How To Decide When It's Necessary Deciding whether to put your dog to sleep is difficult. ● When arranging for the euthanasia appointment.If your dog does react in any of these ways. This will prevent you being overloaded directly after the event takes place. trips to the park or beach. cremation can be arranged (your vet can also take care of this for you . and she can't tell it's happening. the better for you and the less upsetting for your dog. burial isn’t permitted. The less fuss and bother. playing. car rides with her head out the window.she's unconscious and not controlling her muscles at this point.com . request a quiet time of the day or the week. involuntary defecation is intensely distressing: they can tell it’s “wrong. ● What would you like to do with your pet’s remains? There are several options available to you: the vet can dispose of the body for you. and take care of all the practicalities. A lot of people find it helpful to consider the matter from their dog's point of view: is she having more bad days than good? Is she often in pain? Can she still take part in activities that she loves .” but can’t stop it from happening). simply because you can't bear to let her go. but it might be helpful to have someone waiting for you in the car or waiting room: often. it's completely involuntary. The main thing is to base your decision on your dog's welfare. or you can take the body home with you for home burial if this is permitted in your area. people are too emotional to drive themselves home afterwards. Things To Consider Beforehand Once you’ve made the decision to go ahead with the procedure.walking. ● Will you require someone with you for moral support? This is often a good idea . 213 www. In many residential areas. you have to remember that she can't feel a thing . and very personal. particularly if she already dislikes going to the clinic.
eating disturbance.● If your dog has a real problem with the vet. they will be able to recommend a mobile vet service. You can arrange for a home euthanasia. it’s understandable that you’d want to make her last moments as relaxing as possible. So no matter whether you break down utterly.com . eventually you’ll be able to remember your dog with nothing but fondness . their dogs are their best friends. Afterwards Losing your dog is a significant and very real loss. A lot of people are deeply upset after losing their dog. the feelings will diminish. Your vet is trained in euthanasia.if they aren’t sensitive enough to sympathize with your loss. They worry that they may shock the vet. or demonstrate any variation in between. Whether it takes weeks. their dogs are members of the family.and gladness that you did the right thing by her. don’t worry yourself about whether the vet is judging you on your reaction. in many cases. Your vet may well have a list of contact details for these professionals at the clinic. show no emotion at all. If your usual vet does not make house calls (although most will for this procedure). a dog has been your constant companion for a long time. If you’re finding it hard to cope. and all reactions to a traumatic event like this are perfectly natural.” This is definitely NOT something you should be concerning yourself with: everyone reacts differently. you can get in touch with a grief counselor. and will have performed the procedure many times before: he is accustomed to all sorts of reactions. 214 www. or even longer. For some people. failing that. This is perfectly natural. Don’t worry about these people . months. Some people also worry about how they’ll react while at the vet. or be seen to “overreact. depression) is completely normal. Some people might not comprehend why you’d be so upset about the death of your dog . He’s not. where your dog will be able to relax in her own environment. In time.kingdomofpets. Experiencing the usual symptoms of grief (crying. there’s no point adding to your load trying to convince them of your right to be upset.they might fail to realize that. look in your Yellow Pages directory or speak to your doctor. and to be expected: to many people. sleeping too much or too little.
Unfortunately. it’s up to us as owners to check our dogs’ teeth weekly to make sure everything’s as it should be. decreased enjoyment in life. or there’s decaying food caught in his teeth (which will eventually cause the enamel to start rotting). Older dogs are particularly at risk of this. increased vet bills for you). weight loss. The bacterial infections that result from tartar build-up can enter your dog’s bloodstream. Why Is Dental Disease So Dangerous? Aside from the obvious reasons (pain for your dog. but any dental problems in your dog .kingdomofpets.a healthy dog with clean teeth has neutral and inoffensive breath.resulting in an estimated 80 percent of dogs older than three winding up with diseased gums or teeth. Because there’s no way for us to predict whether our dogs will fall into the former or latter category.E. Lift your dog’s lip and have a look at his teeth. There are several causes for bad breath in your dog: ● His teeth are decaying. The sooner you start doing this the better. and form secondary infections in his heart valves and other vital organs. decreased appetite. loss of teeth. Some dogs are prone to tartar buildup. ● He has a digestive upset: either an infection. or he’s eaten something he wasn’t meant to. Some older dogs can get funny about their mouths being opened if they’re not used to it. inflamed gums and tooth decay can actually threaten your dog’s life.should be checked out by your vet to make sure there’s no risk of this happening. it’s only in recent times that awareness on the necessity of dental care for our dogs has become widespread . Bad Dog Breath Dogs are not “meant” to have bad breath . Preventing Dental Disease In Your Dog Just like us. ● He has gum disease. all dogs’ teeth are different.no matter what his age . Dental problems are far more likely to be the cause for “dog breath” than anything else. whereas others will retain an enviable dentition well into old age despite an allround lack of dental care. 215 www.com .
Human toothpaste will actually do damage to his teeth. for children five years and under (although you may have difficulty reaching the back teeth.kingdomofpets. and will bump and bruise his gums . then so much the better. and you won’t need to worry about getting rattled and accidentally scratching a gum or pulling his lip too hard (which will just increase his apprehension about the procedure!).If you can start accustoming your dog to oral examinations from a young age. This is going to be a lot easier for both of you . you’ll probably need to get his teeth checked out by the vet. Surprisingly.but in some cases it is well worth your while.your vet is used to dealing with touchy dogs. discolored. Human toothbrushes are the wrong shape and texture. if he’s a big dog!).com .the only possible exception to this is a soft-bristled child’s toothbrush. or missing teeth ● Pale or bleeding gums ● Foul breath ● Dropping food from the mouth when eating ● Eating only on one side of the mouth ● Pawing at the mouth and face ● Drooling ● Disinterest in chew toys (particularly if previously enjoyed) ● Decreased appetite ● Jerking head away or snarling when patted on the head How To Take Care Of Your Dog’s Teeth Canine tooth-brushing is a relatively new phenomenon. Signs Of Dental Disease In A Dog ● Broken. and make no attempt to instigate a tooth-brushing regime at check-up time . 216 www. There are special doggie tooth-brushes and toothpastes available from pet stores – don’t attempt to use a human toothbrush or paste on your dog’s teeth. many vets still don’t tell you to brush your dog’s teeth. since there’s too much fluoride in human toothpaste for dogs. but if your older dog simply won’t allow you to have a poke around in there.
they have less space between their teeth. you can introduce the brush. the way you would your own teeth. which fit over your finger like a thimble. too soon . remembering to treat him each time he lets you do so. They’re a characteristic green color (almost like spirulina supplements for humans) and most dogs love them. Don’t attempt to do too much. ● “Dental floss” rope toys are great. and will also keep his breath sweet.a few seconds at a time. They’re also less likely to chew on tooth-saving bones and dental toys as big dogs. Giving your dog just one of these per day goes a long way towards preventing plaque and tartar build-up in your dog. Other Tips About Teeth-Cleaning ● There are “smart treats” on the market that do wonders for your dog’s teeth. Letting your dog have a good gnaw on one of these gets his saliva working (which neutralizes bad bacteria in the mouth) and also stimulates the gumline. ● Small dogs are more prone to dental disease than big ones . Just put your finger in his mouth and have a rub around on his gums. and make a point of sniffing his breath every few days to make sure it’s ok. If you have a smaller dog. preventing the formation of plaque.The brushes available specifically for dogs are either short soft bristles on a long plastic stick (to enable you to reach the back molars) or are “finger glove” brushes.kingdomofpets. Tips For Toothbrushing ● First. Brush in small circles.com . make sure to be extra-vigilant about checking his teeth and gums. Toothpastes are usually liverflavored. meaning that food scraps get trapped more often. and then give him a treat and a “good boy!” Progress gradually to gripping his lower jaw (gently!) and opening his mouth a little bit. Lift his lip. ● If he’s OK with that. get your dog used to you prodding around in his mouth. ● There’s no need to start out directly with a toothbrush. Be firm but gentle. which goes down a treat with most dogs. 217 www.
In short. What’s A Prey Drive? Some breeds have a higher “prey drive” than other dogs. real problems can develop.kingdomofpets. a strongly prey-driven dog is a danger to any and all cats it encounters. Just because a breed isn’t mentioned here doesn’t mean your cat will necessarily be safe with that breed! 218 www. Before introducing a dog into a household that contains a feline. Prey drive goes above and beyond the normal canine instinct to chase: most dogs will give enthusiastic chase to a running cat. Even if they’re not. it’s worth preparing yourself mentally for the challenges of the next few weeks. a preydriven dog will really sprint all-out. and of course the converse is also true. but won’t go to extreme lengths. while others are comfortable with neighborhood cats making an occasional detour through the backyard. This means they’re strongly compelled to chase and kill small.com . fleeing creatures. so this isn’t usually cause for particular concern. Some members of these breeds will never show an interest in chasing your cat. and will maim or kill that cat if he can catch it. SOME BREEDS THAT ARE KNOWN TO POSE A DANGER TO CATS: ● Weimaraners ● Most terriers ● Most herding breeds (Australian Cattle Dogs and Border Collies in particular) ● Pit bulls ● Akitas Of course.F. the average cat can take care of itself pretty well. Cat / Dog Coexistence Some dogs are dedicated cat-chasers. But when you ask a cat and a dog to share the same living space. all dogs are individuals.
Your cat needs to be able to get out of the house if necessary. since it sets the tone for the duration of their relationship .install a cat-door. 219 www. and NEVER shut them in the same room. Even if you choose a typically mellow breed of dog. ● Always leave the cat an “out” when leaving them alone together.better yet .com . this does actually happen)? Is he tense. the first step has been taken towards ensuring a mellow cat/dog coexistence.however grudgingly . when it comes to introducing a dog into a house that contains a cat. Are his eyes narrowed? Is he licking his lips in anticipation (yes.has been reached. ● Keep your eye on him very closely.Essentially. so if you can keep him calm. You may need to be prepared for drastic measures (such as re-homing the cat) in order to save its life. A head collar is even better: you want to stop him from lunging at the cat before his front paws even leave the ground. there’s still no guaranteeing that the dog you choose is going to be OK with your kitty. with his ears pricked up and tail erect or switching stiffly from side to side? These are all typical postures of a prey-driven dog when confronted with potential prey. and watch his reactions to the cat.but even if it goes well. from parents who have cohabited peacefully with cats all their lives. so leave a window open or . Making The Introduction Here are some hard and fast rules for introducing a cat to a dog: ● The dog MUST be on a very short leash. and from a breeder who’s given the go-ahead in terms of prey drive. it’s likely that the dog’s efforts will be significantly more frenzied (and persistent) when you’re not around. ● Don’t leave them alone in the house together until you’re SURE that a cease-fire . all you can do is take pot luck. The introduction itself is the most important part. How you allow him to behave now will set the standard for future behavior. Even if you’re certain of the cat’s ability to escape.kingdomofpets. be aware that problems can still develop later on.
Case Study: Cat Chasing
Delray is a Poodle/Wheaton Terrier mix. At the time we received this email, Delray was two years old, and a very sweet-natured dog. Delray’s owner, Teri, also owned two Abyssinian cats that she loved very much. Unfortunately, Delray confirmed his terrier heritage by chasing them at every possible opportunity, much to the detriment of Teri: she’d made it clear to Delray that he wasn’t to chase them, but it seemed that instinct was stronger than her authority, Teri tried growling at Delray, yelling herself hoarse, and confining him to the laundry room whenever she caught him in the act of chasing them - but nothing seemed to make any difference. Even the prospect of losing an eye to a sharpclawed swipe did nothing to deter Delray. Clearly, Delray had a fairly strong prey drive. Teri confirmed that he’d always acted this way: he liked to chase cyclists, soccer balls, even cars: anything that moved was a fair target for him. Here are the recommendations that we gave Teri: ● Practice targeted obedience work with Delray over the next several months. The aim is to make him super-reliable on the commands “leave it,” “come,” and “sit” - whenever Teri caught him chasing the cats, she needed to be able to be SURE that he would obey her requests to leave them alone. ● Until the obedience work started to yield results, Delray should be kept on a head collar in the house with a line (smooth nylon line that doesn’t snag) trailing off it. If Teri caught him chasing the cats, she could redirect him simply by catching the line. ● When redirecting his attention, Teri should use the “Ah-ah-ahhh!” sound, rather than “No.” Dogs tend to respond better to this than no, and frequently will stop what they’re doing and look to the owner for direction. ● When correcting his chasing behavior, Teri shouldn’t just ask him to stop - she should give him an alternate channel for his energy. She needed to ask him to do something else, instead: for example, ask him to stop, then go to his bed and lie down. Or even the opposite: she could play a game with him on the spot. Compliance earns a big fuss and a treat. 220
With close supervision and obedience work, Delray eventually got to the point where he was capable of ignoring the cats. Although they never became friends, as some dogs and cats will, they were still able to live peacefully together with no threat to any of the cat’s lives.
Coprophagia (Poop Eating)
Coprophagia, or poop-eating, is fairly common among dogs - particularly young ones. Not a lot is known about why dogs do this, but there are several theories: ● The dog is suffering from nutritional deficiencies ● Boredom: he eats poop because there’s nothing else to do ● It just tastes good Generally speaking, the taste seems to be the deciding factor, since even some well-exercised, well-fed dogs that enjoy near-constant companionship will still eat poop with gusto on occasion. No matter what the reason, it’s a rare owner who’s happy to let their dog eat poop (whether his own, or that of another dog). Not only is it potentially dangerous, as the feces of other animals contain worms, harmful bacteria, or other parasites, but nobody wants their dog’s breath to smell like that! Tips For Stopping Poop-Eating: ● Sprinkling meat tenderizer on your dog’s food (or on the food of the animal whose feces he’s eating) makes the poop taste really unappetizing to most dogs. ● As a natural alternative to meat tenderizer, try adding small amounts of zucchini or pineapple to your dog’s diet, as most dogs find the taste of these (when digested) to be off-putting. ● Vets sell a product specifically designed for this problem, called ForBid (although there are mixed reports on its success rate). ● Probably the most effective thing you can do is to prevent him from getting the opportunity to eat it. When you take him outside for a toilet break, pick up the poop straight away. This way, you don’t have to deal with the flies and the smell – and, seeing as you’re going to have to do it anyway, why not do it straight away?
Poop-Eating When Out Walking For many dogs, the problem isn’t that they eat their own poop - they like to snack on the droppings of other dogs. This habit can turn a pleasant walk into an exercise in nausea-control! If your dog is in the habit of consuming the feces he finds along the way, there are two things you can do about it: ● Brush up on your obedience work. You want to be sure that, when you ask him to “leave it” or “come,” he’ll drop whatever he’s doing (or eating) straight away and without fail. ● When you’re walking in dog-populated areas, or along popular walking tracks, you’ll probably want to keep him on a short leash to prevent any forays into the undergrowth for edible treats.
Case Study: Coprophagia
Lady was an 18 month old Black Labrador Retriever, who had acquired a taste for other dogs’ poop. Although poop-eating is a relatively common occurrence among dogs, it’s still not a habit to be encouraged - in addition to it being a completely revolting habit. Dogs can also pick up diseases from the feces of other animals. Michelle, Lady’s owner, had tried just about everything to get Lady to stop: she’d tried aversion therapy (spraying Lady with water when she was caught approaching feces), had sprinkled cayenne pepper and Bitter Apple over the poop, and had rewarded Lady for not eating it; but nothing seemed to change her behavior for good. The poop-eating was at its worst when they were out for a walk or a run. Michelle liked to walk Lady off-lead most of the time, so she could have a really good sniff around; but for the purposes of breaking the poop-eating habit, it became necessary to walk her on-lead. We also recommended that Michelle take Lady in for a check-up at the vet, just to make sure her nutrition was up to scratch. The vet put Lady on a scientificallyformulated dry dog food, to make sure that she was getting the necessary dietary requirements. Lady ate the food with great enjoyment, but her poopeating habit remained unchanged. Finally, we suggested that Michelle practice her obedience work with Lady. Using the commands listed in section 203 “Commands to Start” of 222
Secrets to Dog Training, Michelle brushed up on the recall command (“come”) as well as “drop it.” After a couple of weeks, Lady’s behavior began to improve, both during training and while out on walks - especially when Michelle treated her sporadically, using tasty treats, for obedience! In addition to this, we suggested that Michelle alter her walking routine a little bit. Instead of walking Lady along popular dog-trails, she started taking her along less-populated areas; and, when they did walk through “doggie” parts of the park, Michelle kept Lady on-lead to prevent her darting off after any edible temptations. Although Michelle had to remain vigilant over Lady’s behavior, she was pleased with the progress that had been made: although the odd poop-eating situation was inevitable, the obedience work and use of the lead when necessary significantly decreased the frequency with which Lady was able to indulge her poop-eating habit.
All dogs will pass wind on occasion, but for some dogs the process seems never-ending (to the horror of their owners). If your dog is excessively flatulent, it could be due to any one of a number of reasons: ● She may be eating too fast and swallowing air with her food. Most of this will resurface as belches, but some air pockets will progress through the digestive tract and emerge at the other end. ● Some dogs are just prone to gassiness, no matter what they eat. ● Some breeds are prone to flatulence (including mastiffs, Boxers, and Rottweilers). ● Her food may be too rich - for example, too many table scraps - or she may be getting too much fat or insoluble fiber. ● Her diet may have changed too suddenly - if a dog’s food is switched too quickly, the result is can be vomiting, diarrhea, and flatulence. Coping With Excessive Gassiness You don’t have to live out your life with a clothes-peg over your nose - there are some things you can do to combat your dog’s gassiness. 223
● Change your dog’s food (gradually - start by mixing a handful of the new food in with the old, and slowly increase the ratio over a period of some days) to a high-quality food that’s lower in insoluble fiber. Look for one that’s lower in cellulose, for a start. Ask your vet to recommend a food: generally speaking, the brands that you can buy in supermarkets are the canine equivalent of fast food (nutritionally blank). The types of food that will actually supply your dog with the nutrition that she needs, as well as being balanced enough to negate problems like gassiness and indigestion, are only found in pet stores and at the vet. ● Reduce the amount of kibble she’s being fed, and replace it with moist food. Dry food is a major culprit when it comes to flatulence in dogs: try reducing it by half, and making up the equivalent number of calories in canned food. The volume of food will be smaller, since moist food is more dense in calories than dry kibble, so check the recommended amount on the can. Or better yet, ask your vet (dog food manufacturers can recommend that you feed your dog far more than she needs). ● Activated charcoal absorbs intestinal gas. You can buy this in tablet form (they look like little briquettes) from the pet store or from the vet. They don’t work on all dogs, but it’s worth giving them a shot. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, consult with your vet first, since they can be a bit harsh for an inflamed or sensitive stomach lining. ● Feed your dog less food, but more often: instead of one big meal, try three smaller ones a day (make sure you’re not inadvertently increasing the amount, as this will result in more gassiness as well as an eventual slide into obesity!). Simply divide the amount of her current food into three, and give her one meal at five hour intervals. ● If she’s guilty of “wolfing” down her food, you can place a number of large, smooth, rounded rocks (like the type you find at the beach) into her bowl. Pour the food over and around these stones - she has to slow down in order to avoid banging her muzzle on them. Please be sure to choose LARGE stones, as anything smaller can sometimes be mistaken for food, with detrimental results to your dog’s teeth! ● If you have more than one dog, feed them in separate rooms to ensure they’re not elbowing in on each other’s meal. Feeding dogs together encourages them to wolf down their food as quickly as possible, to ensure nobody else takes their share.
SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR: ● Gassiness accompanied by constipation (straining at stool but with nothing being produced). I. like bloat (which is a potentially life-threatening condition) or IBD (inflammatory bowel disorder.When There’s Cause For Concern Although the cause of flatulence is normally diet-related. ● The stomach swells up tight and hard like a drum.kingdomofpets. there are times when a medical condition may be the underlying cause. it’s a time-consuming process to get rid of them again. ● Diarrhea more than three times in 24 hours. it can indicate a more serious digestive problem. where your dog’s digestive tract becomes seriously inflamed). It’s a vicious cycle! If you have more than one pet. 225 www. Fleas Once your dog gets fleas. ● The dog seems withdrawn and lethargic. If your dog displays any of these symptoms. These symptoms are warning signs of a more serious condition. you’ll need to treat all of them for fleas: cat and dog fleas are interchangeable. There will be little black dots littering the skin that look like ground black pepper (you may need to check in several areas to make sure). you should take her to the vet straight away. These are flea droppings. which will soon hatch into thousands more egglaying fleas. part the hair on your dog’s body and look at the skin. If there is a sudden increase in the amount of gas being passed. Checking For Fleas To check for fleas. and the presence of even one flea in the household means that all animals will be affected. Fleas don’t just affect your dog: they invade the entire house (including the yard) and lay thousands of eggs. whether they’re scratching or not.com .
it’s HIGHLY toxic to the environment. The advantage of veterinary treatments is that they usually treat more than just fleas: the more popular ones. welted area which will often become infected). This is effective. Where To Get Flea Treatments The most effective ones are sold at the vet. What Makes It Itch? It’s not actually the bite of the flea that causes the irritation.it’s a bit more work. the dog’s bed. in other words. The team at Kingdom of Pets recommends this option above the other one .com . and ticks. not just your dog. and treat him monthly for fleas using a topical or internal anti-flea solution or pill. and will bite and lick at the affected areas repetitively until they’ve created a “hot-spot” (an inflamed. and even if it’s cold outside they’ll still be happily living out their pestilential lives inside. your bed. or to your dog.You may also see the fleas themselves leaping around. but it’s equally effective and you won’t be doing any damage to yourself. the environment. brown-yellow grains of sand . for example. furniture. ● You can vacuum the house daily (put a flea collar in the bag. curtains … everywhere.but they move fast. laying eggs in the carpet. They look like translucent. be sure to air the house out thoroughly afterwards. so if you do choose to go with this option. Some dogs are more susceptible to flea irritation than others. also kill and prevent heartworm. it’s the fleas’ saliva. but there are reasons against it . Because of this. and use a micro-filter to catch any eggs).not least. usually in packs containing four to six months’ worth of treatment. and clean all surfaces with a wet cloth. 226 www. scabies. which both kills adult fleas and prevents the eggs from maturing. and to your dog. when dealing with fleas. How To Deal With Fleas There are two options open to you: ● You can fog your entire house and yard with a chemical bomb. you will need to treat the entire house (and yard. wash your dog’s bedding frequently in hot water. so it’s more likely that you’ll just see the droppings. Many of the chemicals in these “bombs” are actually carcinogenic to humans and animals. if you’ve got one). to you. Fleas reproduce year-round in most parts of the world.kingdomofpets. ear mites.
It’s alarmingly easy for dogs to reach this condition: because humans disperse heat much more effectively than dogs.in some cases . allergic reactions.kingdomofpets. This is because fleas don’t just affect your dog: they’ve infested your entire house. veterinarians are becoming increasingly unsure as to the long-term effects of keeping an anti-flea toxin right against the skin over such a long period of time. Very active cells. Above this temperature. Unlike us. brewer’s yeast. ● Flea collars are a subject of some debate: they’ve been known to cause bad reactions on some dogs.2 and 102. Humans benefit from a complex system of capillaries and sweat glands.seizures. cells begin to break down and. what feels like a comfortable temperature for you may actually be dangerous for your dog. Hot Weather and Heatstroke The normal body temperature of a dog is between 100.Prevention is definitely better than a cure when it comes to fleas. What Not To Use ● Anti-flea shampoos are essentially a waste of time unless they’re used in tandem with other treatments and a stringent full-house cleaning regime. intestine. including hair loss. Anything below 99 degrees or above 104 degrees is dangerous. and also disperses heat from the blood in all the thousands of little capillaries just below the skin’s surface.8 degrees Fahrenheit. ● Adding “folk” remedies to your dog’s food such as B-Vitamins. are damaged more quickly and more severely than others. and garlic does not work against fleas as a solo remedy. This is a very effective way of keeping overall body temperature down. the heat-dispersal system of a dog is pretty inefficient. and . In addition to this. which all work to disperse heat quickly . cells will begin to die. and they’ll leap right back on as soon as your dog dries off. it cools our skin. You should start using anti-flea solutions on your dog from his first visit to the vet. like the ones in the brain. J. unless the overall body temperature is quickly reduced.when we sweat. and liver.com . Your dog’s body has a maximum temperature at which it can function efficiently. Heatstroke occurs in dogs when their bodies cannot dissipate excess heat quickly enough to maintain a healthy temperature range. 227 www. Ask your vet to recommend a good anti-flea treatment.
doesn’t it! We’re not trying to scare the life out of you . shallow panting ● Dry mouth and nose ● Rapid pulse: for a puppy. above 160 bpm.but it IS important that you understand just how risky heatstroke is. and they don’t have a blood-cooling capillary system either. conditions spiral rapidly downwards. “heatstroke” occurs when your dog’s body temperature reaches over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. HERE IS A LIST OF THE SYMPTOMS AND PROGRESSION OF HEATSTROKE: ● Rapid. difficulty maintaining balance ● Collapse ● Internal bleeding ● Organ damage ● Coma/seizures ● Death How To Avoid Heatstroke All this sounds pretty scary.com . If you want to find out what it feels like to be a dog on a warm day. an adult dog under 30 pounds. 60-100 bpm ● Purplish or grey gums and insides of cheeks ● Trouble standing and walking: shaky legs. 228 www. and unless the dog is treated immediately. The only way a dog can reduce the temperature of his body is by panting. his blood begins to thicken and clot. wooly hat.Dogs don’t sweat. From here. a dog may also begin to vomit. and how quickly (and seemingly without warning) a dog can progress from perfect health to near-death in a matter of minutes. And let’s not forget about the added insulating effect of a full-body coat of fur. At this temperature. 100-160 bpm. try wrapping yourself up in a full-length fur coat. either. and mittens! The Progression Of Heat Stroke Technically. death usually results.kingdomofpets. at which point uncontrollable internal bleeding starts. an adult dog over 30 pounds. which is when cellular death begins to occur.
Don’t leave your dog in the car in hot weather. you need to leave out more than one water bowl: not only do dogs drink more when it’s warm. (Most dogs love playing around in the pool just as much as humans do!) Make sure it’s not too deep for him. there’s not enough air circulation inside to maintain a healthy temperature for a dog.kingdomofpets. There’s no need to leave it gushing all day. even if you’re parked in the shade. ● For outside dogs. You might also want to try leaving the faucet dripping steadily into a water bowl that you’ve placed underneath . the windshield and windows actually concentrate the heating effects of sunlight and general environmental warmth . Make sure the area of shade is large enough. but a slow drip-drip-drip is enough to make the difference if anything happens to his primary water supply. and make sure he can get out easily. Unless your yard is heavily populated with shade trees. there are plenty of things you can do. and remember to take the movement of the sun into account! ● Invest in a small kiddie pool for him to splash around in (they’re cheap and durable. Try leaving several large buckets of cold water outside (placed strategically in the shade) and prop them up with bricks or dig them into the ground so they can’t be tipped over. 229 www. Water evaporating from his fur and skin has the same cooling effect as sweat does for humans. A car is like an oven: it heats up very quickly. You can buy water bowls specifically designed for travel. In addition to this. and the surrounding area. ● When out and about with your dog in the heat. make sure he’s got access to water at all times. making it a very efficient means of temperature control.Fortunately.meaning that. but the water will also evaporate more quickly than it would if it was inside. Prevention ● Cars are the number-one culprit when it comes to canine heatstroke. Even with the windows down. you’ll need to create an awning for him: dig a couple of poles into the ground around his kennel. and string a few layers of sheets from them so that their shade is cast over his kennel or crate. you can buy them from house-and-garden stores and even supermarkets). Some tips are listed below.a reliable supply of running water is a great backup. he needs easy access to shade. ● If you leave your dog outside during the day. both to avoid and treat heatstroke in your dog. your car is going to get very hot VERY quickly.com .
Even if he seems OK. some are more at risk than others: ● Long-coated or thick-coated dogs (Afghans. his condition is not so serious (although obviously this depends on the dog and the circumstance: if you’re not comfortable with his condition. ● Once his temperature is lower than 104 degrees. This is really important: he needs to be checked over by a professional to make sure no complications have occurred. or ice cubes to lick. Give him SMALL amounts of water to drink (any more and he may vomit).Dealing With Heatstroke If your dog is showing any of the symptoms of heatstroke. as this will exacerbate the effects of shock). Call the vet (so they’ll be expecting you) and take him in straight away. you can stop the cooling process. Lowering his temperature is your immediate priority here: hose him with cool water (NOT cold. Dobermans) ● Brachycephalic (pug-nosed) dogs (Pugs. ● For temperatures under 104 degrees Fahrenheit.kingdomofpets. ● Take his temperature with a glass rectal thermometer (you can put a little Vaseline on the tip to make this less unpleasant for your dog). Boxers. Old English Sheepdogs) ● Dogs with a dark or black coat (Rottweilers. here’s what to do: ● Get him out of the heat and into the shade immediately. ● If the temperature is at or above 104 degrees. or wrap him in cool wet towels. you should still take him in. Dogs Particularly At Risk Although all dogs can develop heatstroke.com . If his symptoms are mild. Pekingese) ● Puppies ● Older dogs ● Sick dogs 230 www. he’s at immediate risk of organ damage and even death. at this temperature you should be able to treat him simply by keeping him in a cool environment and allowing him frequent small amounts of water. don’t play around: take him to the vet straight away).
that dog is going to need some time to adjust to the increased demands on his temperature regulation abilities K. ● Lack of acclimatization.kingdomofpets.” that dogs can and do feel these things. with cool. All dogs need access to water. At Kingdom of Pets.com . Dogs keep themselves cool by panting. If you shift a dog that’s used to cool. Studies have been done which show “conclusively” that dogs are absolutely incapable of feeling sophisticated emotions. However. equally “conclusively. If your dog has become accustomed to having you all to herself. So it stands to reason that a dog with impaired heart/lung function is less likely to be able to maintain a healthy temperature. a car)Humidity ● Obesity. we try to base our judgments of dogs’ relative emotional maturity on the anecdotal evidence of our clients. Overweight dogs are even less effective at keeping themselves cool than their slim counterparts ● Cardiovascular disease. Whether or not dogs have the mental ability to experience complex emotions like jealousy is the subject of some debate. temperate conditions to somewhere that’s hot and muggy.and it’s natural for her to feel some resentment over it. His water bowl should be brimming at all times of the day. there are a number of other factors which can increase the danger for your dog: ● Water deprivation. We hear about plenty of cases where dogs act in a way that seems unmistakably jealous: they chaperone their owners when a new partner’s introduced. at all times. clean water ● Being in an enclosed space. Jealousy Introducing a new family member or partner to your dog can be difficult at times. other studies have been done which show. they push in between family members snuggled on the couch. This is the only way they have to cool down. with reduced air circulation (a small room.Factors That Increase The Chances Of Heatstroke The two main causes of heatstroke are exercise and environmental conditions. it’s a shock to her to be suddenly forced to compete with another for your attention . they stare disconcertingly when their owners 231 www.
the truth seems to be that some dogs will act in a manner that strongly resembles jealousy under the right (or wrong) circumstances. it’s up to you to create some! Tips For Reducing Existing Jealousy If your dog’s been feeling jealous and left out for some time now. and they bark and leap around distractingly when the owner is engaged in animated conversation with somebody else. At the moment. or “taught” to her . implies possessiveness and the concept of ownership .are sharing private time with that special someone. rather than actively jealous. 232 www. or be stand-offish.you need to show her through consistency in your day-to-day life that she still matters to you. the park. Supply the object of jealousy with a handful of treats. she’s more likely to be doing so because she’s feeling left out and wants to be involved. rides in the car. That person needs to win her over before harmony among the three of you can be attained.to the beach. It seems to be largely up to the individual dog. Giving a treat when they first arrive at your house is a great way to break the ice. This isn’t something that can be done sporadically. What To Do About A Jealous Dog The one distinction that we’d like to make here is that “jealousy” may not be the most accurate description of how your dog is feeling. You want her to start associating that new person in your life with good times. If you’re not going on dog-friendly outings. Essentially. Jealousy. on a walk. The most important thing you can do is to include her. you’ll most likely need to exercise some damage control. and get them to dole those treats out to your dog at sporadic intervals whenever they come around.kingdomofpets. One of the easiest ways to do this is to hand out treats with regularity. so take her along with you both on all the fun outings you’re going on . She may act antagonistically towards them. whereas others will never display any behaviors like that no matter what the provocation.which is a dominance issue more than anything else! All you need to do to calm your dog down is to reassure her that she’s still very much a part of your life. she’s probably feeling pretty resentful of whoever it is that’s taking up all your time. When your dog acts in that way. and so on. after all.com . and that you still want her to be involved in the things that you do.
but tug of war is probably best left out of the mix for now because it’s a dominance game. It’s not very productive to yell at her to shut up. “explaining” things to her.Now. If she’s barking when the two of you are talking. You don’t need to let her oust one or both of you from the couch or bed. and lean down to rub her ears or back every so often. 233 www. You’re recognizing and addressing her needs like a responsible owner should. she’s signaling that she feels left out and needs to be included. If she’s not allowed on the furniture.don’t worry that you’re encouraging bad behavior. or to push her out from between you. a rope toy. you’ll find that the incidences of her behaving in this way are reduced more and more until she no longer feels the need to do them at all.kingdomofpets. Grab a couple of tennis balls.com . or a Frisbee. Most dogs will calm down immediately as soon as they feel included . As time goes on. That will just cause her to resent that new person even more. recognize her behavior for what it really is: a request to be included.addressing her by name. Out and out bribery won’t earn respect from your dog (although she’ll eat the treats readily enough!). and get them to have a play session at least once or twice (just a couple minutes at a time is enough) whenever the three of you spend significant time together. You need to organize some playtimes for the two of them. but making space for her somewhere will reassure her that she’s still part of things too. Fetch is great. this isn’t the only thing you should be doing to create friendship between your dog and the new person. and giving her a pat every so often as you talk will calm her down. It’s even better if both of you do it. since they’re effectively depriving her of your attention and affection. or is leaping up on the couch and pushing in between you and someone else. The same goes for pushing in. You’re not encouraging her to misbehave. Instead. get her to lie down near your feet. involve her in the conversation too . Interrupting If your dog is interrupting conversations by bouncing around and barking crazily.
For safety’s sake. you need to make sure that. because babies are by no stretch of the imagination the same in appearance. As strange as it sounds. perhaps significantly. Even a dog that is accustomed to small children can be confused by an infant.kingdomofpets. or actions as small children.com . you’ll need to do this at least a couple of weeks before the baby comes along. your dog has the chance to accustom herself to the baby without feeling rushed. every day. Added precautions have to be taken where dogs and babies are present in the same house. when introducing your dog to a newborn. confused. first of all. It’s hard for a baby to win over a dog!To a dog. so your dog doesn’t associate the newcomer with her reduced domestic privileges.Baby Jealousy A new baby is a very different matter. So. feeble. because the small. You can’t get a baby to dispense treats. and secondly. A baby is going to change all that. the arrival of a new baby can be an intensely confusing and unnerving experience. The earlier you get your dog accustomed to all this. Food will probably be late on occasion. until she has consistently proved otherwise! The first thing you need to do is acclimatize your dog to the change in routine that a baby’s arrival brings. 234 www. quick movements and high-pitched wailing of a baby can be mistaken as prey. People will be up at different times of the day. Dogs are creatures of habit: they function best when things happen at a certain time. and they smell different. or resentful. The amount of attention given to the dog may be reduced. the better. they sound different. babies don’t resemble humans to dogs: they look different. that she understands that the baby is a member of the family. predictably. smell. they act different. ● If your dog is going to become an outside dog when the baby comes along. you should always assume your dog’s reaction to a new baby is going to be unfavorable. There will be a whole host of new smells and sounds in the house. You can’t get a baby to play games with your dog either.
strenuous walk . Every time she’s calm while the recording is playing.com . and babbling. ● Accustom her to babies in the flesh. all is not lost. get her used to the nursery and all its trappings. but practice keeping her in a supervised “down-stay” in the nursery for periods of time. ● Get her used to the sounds of a baby. and put her in a sit-stay or down-stay. as this is something that a lot of dogs have difficulty with. and so on. If you have any friends or relatives with babies. people moving about quickly. the baby crying. 235 www. make a big fuss over her: pet her and give her a small treat. she should already have had plenty of opportunity to get used to it. When the baby comes home for the first time. If it goes badly. But it’s a lot easier to prevent difficulty than it is to make up lost ground! Don’t fret too much though . Of course. Schedule the meeting for when the dog has been out for a long. rather than equal territory. ask them to come over and hang out with you and your dog for awhile (you can put your dog on a leash or use a muzzle if you’re not totally confident about your dog’s behavior).tired dogs are much less reactive and keyed-up than energetic ones. This will help establish the nursery as belonging to the baby. the dog should be out of the house. You want baby to be firmly established in his nursery before the dog comes on the scene.● If she’s going to remain inside. she’s not going to be allowed in there when baby arrives without supervision. ask her to be quiet and reward her as soon as she is. Otherwise it’s just an added stress factor). The Meeting Itself When your dog meets the new baby for the first time. She should be on a leash at this point (if you’re going to use a muzzle. The baby and the dog should be calm and relaxed when the meeting takes place.have someone hold him across the room.kingdomofpets. and with a relaxed demeanor. whimpering. Lead the dog into the nursery. Play a recording of a baby crying. it’s a habit-forming experience: how she reacts now will influence her behavior in the future. This will prevent her from becoming agitated by all the hustle and bustle. Keep the baby at a distance from the dog at first . but not staring fixedly or with marked tenseness in her posture. Keeping calm. assess your dog’s reaction to the baby: she should be interested and alert.you have a significant measure of control over the likely outcome of this meeting. If she gets upset.
etc) . repeat this procedure over a matter of some minutes until the dog is within sniffing distance of the baby . Again. gauge the reaction. Hopefully. It’s no cause for alarm if the breeder or shelter that you get your pup from tells you the litter is on worming medication. There’s nothing to be lost from taking your time with this. L. she should be removed from the nursery.early warning signs include hesitation and shying away. If all is well. you’ll have made a big effort to remain perceptive enough of her posture and behavior that you can remove her before she gets significantly upset (barking. and a puppy’s growth can be stunted by even a small infestation. regardless of age. 236 www. Worms can be harmful to all dogs. Worms There are a variety of intestinal parasites and worms that commonly affect dogs: ● Roundworms ● Hookworms ● Whipworms ● Tapeworms ● Single-celled parasites such as giardia and coccidia How Do Dogs Get Worms? Almost all puppies are born with intestinal worms (usually roundworms). all puppies should be wormed at birth. it means the pups are being well taken care of! Because of the fact that most puppies have worms. After all.If she remains calm.but don’t rush it. so keep an eye out for these. leaping around. remember that a socialized and well-adjusted dog will in all likelihood welcome the arrival of a new member of the family. but especially to puppies. and then again every two weeks afterwards until they’re four months old. Their immune systems are immature and ineffective. which they get from their mother either before birth or through her milk. On the contrary. the person holding the baby can take one or two slow. small steps towards the dog.kingdomofpets. Above all. you want these two to coexist peacefully for a number of years to come! If the dog becomes agitated or stressed at any point.com .
Keeping your dog’s worming medication up to date is in your best interests as well as hers: most of the worms and parasites that infect dogs are zoonotic (meaning that they’re transferable to you!).the more worms she has.Dogs pick up worms from almost anywhere. dull coat ● Dry. you can still ask your vet to check her stool for worms at least once every five months or during yearly check-ups. contact with rodents and dead animals. and loamy earth. These are then ingested by your dog when she grooms herself and licks off dirt from her fur. Others are passed on through fleas. and even mosquito bites. clean up her feces. Some worms live in the feces of other animals. You can catch worms and parasites from your dog when you pet her. sand. the more tired she’ll be). flaky skin ● Lethargy: she’ll be tired and have less energy than usual (this is because the worms are sucking her blood through the walls of her intestines. whether she’s showing any of the symptoms or not. she will quite possibly have an infestation of worms in her intestine.kingdomofpets. Signs That Your Dog Has Worms If you haven’t been worming your dog every three to five months. ● Appetite loss ● Weight loss ● Pot-bellied appearance ● Sporadic but persistent diarrhea and/or vomiting 237 www.even if you don’t think your dog has worms. Some lie in wait on the floor of your house (having been trodden in from outside) and hibernate there in larval form until they’re picked up through the paws of your dog. or in soil. Worms and parasites are everywhere . or eat without washing your hands after she’s licked your hands.com . which affects iron and energy levels . THE SYMPTOMS OF A WORM INFESTATION IN YOUR DOG INCLUDE: ● Dry.
Puppies should be wormed every two weeks until sixteen weeks of age. adult dogs need to be wormed every three to five months.Treatment For Worms Generally speaking. Worming medications need to be prescribed by a vet. it’s good practice to be in the habit of worming your dog or puppy from the day you get her: when you take her in for her first checkup at the vet (which should be done in the first two or three days of ownership). M. and can then give you an appropriate treatment. The vet will check this for intestinal parasites and worms. ● Separation anxiety ● Having two dogs in the house ● Allergies ● Bad dog breath ● Cat/dog coexistence ● Coprophagia (poop eating) ● Flatulence ● Fleas ● Hot weather and heatstroke ● Jealousy 238 www. Over-the-counter medications do exist. without a fecal exam. we gave tips and techniques to help solve the following dog problems.com . Review of DOG 302 In this chapter. there’s no guarantee that you’ve treated her for the type of infestation that she actually has. bring in a stool sample with you in a baggie. but they’re not recommended because. because they’re specific to the kind of worms that your dog has.kingdomofpets.
2. This final step ensures that he will learn to maintain his position and prevent him from attempting to greet you when you move towards him. Hold your position for four or five seconds before moving back to your dog’s side. he should be a welladjusted individual who is well aware of your position as pack leader and quite used to receiving instructions and participating in training sessions. Place your dog on the lead and place him in the Sit position with you standing by his right shoulder and facing in the same direction. then gently push him back into the Sit position.com . If your dog attempts to get up or follow you. However if he still fidgets about then you must correct his behavior before moving on to these exercises. such as cats and other dogs. If he stays by your side and does not move until you release him then he is ready for more demanding lessons. 239 www. 3.DOG 303: Advanced Commands & Tricks Once your dog has reached the age of 6 months and has completed training in the commands taught in DOG 203: Commands to Start. gradually increase the length of time that you require him to stay sitting. At this stage. A.kingdomofpets. After this time release him with the “Okay” command and praise him. Advanced “Sit and Stay” Stage I The Sit and Stay exercise outlined in DOG 203: Commands to Start. Once you have him sitting steadily. 1. When he will comfortably sit at your side and not attempt to move you can move on to the next progression. it is important that you do not let him get up or move from his Sit position for another few seconds. was a fairly informal introduction to the commands for your puppy. then he is ready for training that is more formal. The Sit and Stay command is very important. Stay next to your dog all the while and do not make him wait too long or else he will become fidgety of his own accord. as it will increase your dogs self discipline and prevent him from being sidetracked by distractions. Give the command “Stay” and step one pace away and to the right of your dog while still holding the lead. At this stage of his life. It may be useful to use an open hand as a signal to help enforce the command.
com . This can be a difficult progression for your dog to learn as he may assume that you want him to heel (where you lead with the left leg) because you are walking away from him. ● You can also gradually increase the length of time that you get him to stay with the end target being four or five minutes. then you can progress further by stepping forwards rather than to the side. ● Increase the distance that you step away from your dog until eventually you move far enough that you can leave the lead on the ground.B. ● Lead with the right leg.kingdomofpets. More “Sit and Stay” When he has mastered the previous progression you can further his learning by using these variations. then verbally chastise him immediately and move him back into the correct position. If your dog moves out of the intended position. C. ● If your dog is responding well to this extended Sit and Stay training then instead of using Sit. ● Give a clear instruction of “Stay” before you move forward. Sit and Stay with leash 240 www. ● Make sure that you are holding the lead. Advanced “Sit and Stay” Stage II Once he is used to and correctly completes Stage I. try making him stay in the Drop or Stand positions.
3. If your dog breaks and tries to come towards you then chastise him immediately and restart the exercise. Make sure that he can see you put the toy down. you will need to acquire three objects. While your helper holds your dog. place your dog’s favorite toy amongst the objects. At this stage command him to “Seek” or “Find” and walk him up to the objects. Eventually you should be able to remove the stake. Point out each object to him and take him close enough that he can smell them easily. 1. cup your hands over his nose so that he takes in the scent of the toy that has just been in your hands. Move away from the objects and take the toy from your dog. encourage him to smell it and pick it up. Advanced “Seek” (Find) As mentioned in DOG 203: Commands to Start. 241 www. 4.com . The best way to avoid scent contamination is probably to get a helper so that only their scent is on the objects. For this exercise. you are just trying to get your dog familiar with the routine involved. 5. Command your dog to sit by the stake with you by his side. that do not have your scent on them and that your dog cannot easily pick up or move. finding items by scent should come naturally to dogs as their sense of smell is much better than humans. Praise him when he does so. When he reaches his toy.kingdomofpets. 2. Get your helper to place the three objects close together on the ground. such as a brick or a large piece of wood.If at any time he does not respond properly to your Stay command then move back a stage in the progression until he masters it fully. Give the command to Stay and then walk away. If he is not responding well to extended Stays then you might wish to try placing a stake in the ground and putting the free end of the leash over it. With your dog on a leash. At this stage. D.
● Use a less familiar toy. ● Hide his toy amongst (or under) the objects. Always give the reward if he makes a significant effort to perform the Beg action properly. If he attempts to stand up to get the food then get him to sit again and lift his front legs up while still holding the food above him. 1.com . Start with your dog in the Sit position. Say the command “Beg”. Ensure that you are comfortable with your dog’s ability at each stage before you progress on to the next one. ● Do not let him see you place the toy. You will need to make sure that you have sufficient scent from the toy on your hands so that he will be able to pick up the scent. Hold your dog’s food incentive (perhaps a small piece of cheese or a dog biscuit) just higher than your dog can reach from its seated position. E. “Beg” With this command. 3. you are trying to get your dog to lift both front feet off the ground to beg for his food. which is why you should let him see you place the article to begin with. Once he understands the principle of what is happening you can make the exercise more difficult.kingdomofpets. It may take a while for your dog to form the association between the command and the action. so be patient and consistent. If your dog tries to lift one or both of his front feet off the ground to get the food.You want him to find a particular article amongst a selection of other articles. then give it to him and praise him. 242 www. 2.
“Fetch”.com . point to the object and say.F. “Fetch” (Retrieve) To correctly teach your dog the Fetch command he must already be well trained with the Sit and Stay command and the Leave command.kingdomofpets. He should be either sitting or brought to heel. Once he has become accustomed to this you can increase the difficulty by throwing the object a short distance while making him Wait (you may need to hold onto his collar). Then use Fetch to send him on his way. use his favorite toy as the object before moving on to other easily retrievable things. If he does not pick the object up straight away. 1 2 243 www. Place the object on the floor two or three yards in front of your leashed dog. Always use the Sit or Heel command before using the Leave command to get him to drop the object. From beside your dog. For a start. Initially you will need to take him to the object with the lead. give him the Hold command.
run backwards to your staring position. release his muzzle. Make sure that he does not drop it until he is in the right position and you give him the command. He may drop the food the first few times. 2. 244 www.When your dog has picked the object up. if he does then quickly pick it up and throw it to him repeating the command “Catch”. Start again from the sit position. 1. After a few seconds.kingdomofpets. As the dog attempts to catch the food say the command “Catch”. thereby forcing him to run towards you with the object in his mouth. from either the Sit or Beg position. 4. 5.com . 3. waits until you give it the command “Catch” before throwing a piece of dog food (either a small piece of cheese or a dog biscuit) balanced on his nose into the air and into his mouth. Once he forms the association between the command and the action you can try starting him from the beg position or making him wait until you give the command before he is allowed to take the food. Place the piece of food on his nose while gently holding his muzzle level in such a way that the food balances there. Instruct your dog to Sit or Heel then issue the command “Leave”. Start with your dog in the Sit position. Praise him every time he catches the food whether he catches it off his nose or from you throwing it to him. “Catch” 3 This is a trick where your dog. G.
kingdomofpets. ● The ladder should have solid backing on it: for example.H. Say the command “Climb” as he approaches the lower rungs. use a ladder with flat steps rather than round rungs on it. Hi there! I. If possible. Use the command “Shake” at the same time as grasping your dogs paw. You will probably have to persuade and gently pull him up with you for the first few rungs until he understands what is required of him. ● Make sure that the ladder is stable. 3. “Shake” Most dogs will learn this command easily. It should not take long for your dog to volunteer his paw to you. Release him with “Okay” and then praise him. ● Don’t start off with the ladder in a vertical position! It should be nearhorizontal. Place your dog in the Sit position 2. The rungs are there for traction only: unlike human feet. a ladder nailed to a board or plank (so your dog’s legs can’t slip through the spaces between the rungs and get hurt). as it will be much easier for your dog to climb. you should never encourage your dog to climb a ladder that’s more than 55 degrees from the ground. 1. Also. As your dog gets used to the ladder. a dog’s paws are not the right shape or size to hold his weight stably on ladder rungs. “Climb” Some dogs absolutely love climbing ladders and others are resolutely scared of going anywhere near one. ● With your dog attached to the leash and in the heel position climb up the ladder yourself. You may need to use a wooden ramp or have the top of the ladder go on to a flat roof space. but for safety reasons.com . The best way to find out which type of dog you have is to try it. 4. Repeat the command while shaking your dog’s paw. it can gradually be raised up. 245 www. make sure that once he gets to the top of the ladder that he can get down the other side easily.
2. Make sure you hold it close to the ground. With your left hand gently on your dogs back. “Jump” Chances are that your dog will love being taught and doing this trick. Put your dog in the Drop position. J.● Using food treats to tempt him up the rungs is a great way to make the exercise more appealing for him. 1. If your dog acts frightened and does not like the ladder then do not force him to go up it. Praise him if he manages even a little part of the movement (note: this is a difficult posture for dogs to maintain. For this trick. if not more.kingdomofpets. It will take patience but if you are consistent with your message to your dog and follow the method outlined above you will achieve good results. hold a small morsel of treat just out of his reach. “Crawl” Crawling is when your dog assumes the Drop (or Down) position and then crawls towards you when you call him. and “drag” it in front of him up the ladder. Simply hold one a few inches in front of his nose. Jumping is when you get your dog to jump through your arms when you have formed them into a circular shape. 1. Put a low barrier across a doorway or gateway so that your dog has to jump over it to reach the other side. so it will take awhile before he can maintain a crawl for more than a very short distance). about the dog’s enjoyment rather than your own. 4. K. so he doesn’t need to rise up on all fours to get to it. When he makes the correct movement say the command “Crawl”. After all. it is as much. your dog will need to know the Drop command well. 3.com . 246 www. Kneel down on the right side of your dog and slightly in front of him.
Remove the barrier and complete a few more jumps. 247 www.2. When he is about to take off over the barrier say the command “Jump”. Complete the entire procedure twice per day for five or six days. slowly close in your arms so that eventually they form a circle. say the command “Roll Over”. 4. Call him to you from the opposite side of the barrier. Your dog must have learnt the Drop (or Down) command before learning this command. “Roll Over” As the name of the command suggests Roll Over means that you want your dog to roll 360 degrees when he is on the ground. Push him onto his side 3. 1. Remember to say. Praise him when he successfully jumps the barrier. Stand over or kneel beside the barrier (whether you stand or kneel will depend on the dogs height and jumping ability) with your arms in a large arc. 3. The other family member calls him to entice the dog to jump over the barrier and your lower arm. Place your dog in the Drop position 2. FOR THE NEXT STAGE. With each jump. 1. move on to the next stage. 2. When he has successfully completed this maneuver ten to fifteen times. if you do then as soon as your dog starts responding to your Jump command start decreasing the food incentive and increasing the amount of verbal praise and hugs. 4. YOU WILL NEED ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. Make him Sit and Wait for you on one side of the barrier.kingdomofpets. 3. As he is rolling. L. “Jump” when the dog takes off.com . You may need to use food as an incentive for this exercise. Hold the two legs that are closest to the ground and gently roll him over on his back and to the other side.
make a huge fuss over him – it’ll help the lesson to stick! M. Praise him when he completes the roll. NOTE: This one often takes a lot of repetitions until a dog understands the meaning of the command.com . Be prepared to be patient. ● Advanced Sit and Stay ● Advanced Seek ● Beg ● Fetch (Retrieve) ● Catch ● Shake ● Climb ● Crawl ● Jump ● Roll over 248 www.kingdomofpets. 5.4. and stick with it. Review of DOG 303 In this section. we used the check chain and gentle leader training methods to teach the following more advanced commands. Repeat the process until he forms the association between the command and the action. The first time he does it without manual assistance.
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