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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.

Copyright 2004 - 2009 by Daniel Stevens and Libros Media Ltd. All rights reserved.
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


Table of Contents
Introduction DOG 101: A. B. C. D. E. F. Its a Dogs 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. C. D. E. F. G.

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. B. C. D. E. F.

Types of Training Secrets to Training Your Dog Crate Training Obedience Training and Age Selecting a Dog Trainer Review of DOG 103


DOG 201: A. B. C. D. E. F. G.

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. Dog-On-Dog Aggression

Case Study: Dogs Fighting D. Fear Biting

Case Study: Fear Biting E. Play-Biting

Case Study: Nipping and Hand Biting F. Chewing and Other Destructive Behavior

Case Study: Chewing and Destructive Behavior G. Jumping on Furniture

Case Study: Jumping on Furniture H. Jumping on People

Case Study: Jumping Up on People I. Digging Problems ii

Case Study: Digging J. 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

Case Study: Disobedience K. Fear of the Leash

Case Study: Fear of the Leash L: Off-Leash Problems

Case Study: Off-Leash Problems M. Leash-Pulling Problems

Case Study: Leash-Pulling Problems N. Barking Problems

Case Study: Barking Problems O. Whining

Case Study: Whining P. Thieving

Case Study: Thievery Q. Travel Problems

Case Study: Travel Problems R. Review of DOG 202 Commands to Start

DOG 203: A. B. C. D. E. F. G.

Come (Recall) Sit Stage I Okay and No Hold and Drop It Sit Stage II Sit and Stay Down (Drop) Stage I

H. I. J. K. L. M. N. O. P.

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. B. C. D. E. F. G.

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.

Separation Anxiety

Case Study: Separation Anxiety B. Two Dogs in the House

Case Study: Introducing a New Dog C. D. E. F. Allergies to Dogs Euthanasia Bad Dog Breath Cat / Dog Coexistence

Case Study: Cat Chasing G. 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. I. J. K. L. M. Flatulence Fleas Hot Weather and Heatstroke Jealousy Worms Review of DOG 302 Advanced Commands & Tricks

DOG 303: A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. L. M.

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


Secrets to Dog Training is a complete A-Z handbook for dog owners. Covering all aspects of dog ownership, from choosing a puppy to understanding your dog to problem-solving to complete obedience work, we've aimed to cover every facet of dog ownership in a simple, step-bystep format. When you take on the ownership of a dog, you're accepting complete responsibility for that dog's physical and emotional wellbeing. Your dog depends on you for absolutely everything he needs to survive. We at Secrets to Dog Training recognize that this can be a daunting task, and that becoming an experienced, knowledgeable owner has its potential pitfalls and problem areas. By outlining the responsibilities at hand, as well as the information you'll require in order to raise a happy, healthy dog, we hope to take all the difficulty out of adopting a dog and let you get on with all of the fun. Secrets to Dog Training is laid out in a series of nine chapters. These chapters are further divided into three basic sections, or 'courses,' all of which deal with specific aspects of dog ownership. For example, the first course (chapters one through three) deals with the introductory aspects of dog ownership - such as what to consider before adopting a dog, how to 'match-make' yourself with your perfect dog, the practical demands of dog ownership, and so on. The second course (chapters four through six) is concerned more with improving the owner-dog connection. You'll learn about canine communication and how to interpret body language and vocalization, as well as how to recognize and solve a variety of specific problem behaviors. We finish up this section with a chapter on basic obedience. 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, as well as an extended look at additional problem behaviors and advanced obedience work. 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.' Don't let the amount of information put you off - you can read this book cover to cover, or simply pick and choose from the sections that interest you. Above all, Secrets to Dog Training is designed to improve your relationship with 1

DOG 101: Its A Dogs 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

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

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




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


DOG 101:

Its a Dogs Life

In this section we deal with the initial considerations of dog ownership, starting with what you need to think about before getting a dog. From there, well move on to choosing a puppy: how to match yourself up with your ideal puppy, where to find one, and how to deal with (and find) a good breeder. Well also consider some of the typical traits of popular dog breeds to give you an idea of what to expect. Lastly, well take a look at what it means to be a responsible owner.


Dog Ownership and You

Your dog is going to be a part of your life from between eight to twenty years, barring accident or illness - so its worth taking some time now to avoid a potential mismatch. In order to eliminate as much of the guesswork as possible when it comes to choosing your canine companion, you need to honestly evaluate yourself, your lifestyle, what you want out of a dog, 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, energetic type? What are your basic personality traits? Are you an outspoken type who's accustomed to getting their own way, 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, all of these traits can affect the sort of dog that will best suit you and your lifestyle.


Time One of the most basic needs of any dog is time - specifically, your time. Dogs are time-consuming creatures: in terms of effort and time expenditure, some owners liken the adoption of a dog to the arrival of a new child. Dogs need training (puppies even more so), exercise, play time, and affection - as well as checkups, feeding, grooming, and the time thats spent simply keeping each other company. Not only is it inconsiderate and even cruel to leave your dog without frequent companionship and exercise, but it can be dangerous. A poorly-trained, inadequately socialized dog is a menace to himself, his family, and anyone else he encounters. If your dog attacks somebody, you can be held responsible (people have been sued and have even gone to jail because they havent controlled their dogs properly). A busy work schedule is a fact of life for most of us, but this need not deter you from welcoming a dog into your home. You will need to plan around this obstacle, though - consider arranging for a dog-walker, a dog-sitter, doggie daycare, or even just having a trusted neighbor drop by for half an hour a day to exercise and play with your dog. If youre getting a puppy, dont forget to factor in additional time for training, housebreaking, socializing, and playtime. When you first bring the puppy home, its best if you can take a few days off work to minimize the stress of adjustment. Despite their many charms, puppies are even more needy when it comes to demands on your time than adult dogs. The breed of dog that you choose will also contribute to how much time is required for exercise and training. Some breeds are more difficult to housebreak than others; some breeds require literally hours of exercise each day! Finances The cost involved in keeping a dog is a very real issue. Aside from the initial cost to buy a dog, there are many other costs which can vary hugely depending on whether you adopt from a shelter, buy from a pet store, or get your dog from a breeder (and this will also depend on whether he or she is mixed-breed, a pet-quality purebred, or a show-quality purebred). Here are some of the costs to consider: Food. Depending on the size of your dog, from $15 to $45 a week.


General equipment: toys, collars, leads, chews, grooming implements, crates, bedding, kennels. Boarding costs: youll likely need to go away at some point, whether its on holiday, to a wedding, a funeral, or a work function. Medical costs. Checkups and inoculations at the vet are vital. Also, you should plan on the likelihood of your dog getting sick at some point. This costs money. You may consider pet insurance as well, which will protect you in the case of unexpected surgery and chronic or long term conditions. Registration and license. Puppy school, obedience work, and professional training if required. Emergency costs: there are always unexpected costs when it comes to dog ownership. If you dont have insurance, for example, or have skimped on a cheap plan, unexpected costs can floor you when you least expect it. If you consider your own budget and how flexible you can afford to be when it comes to your pet, this will help you to make a responsible choice and ensure that the dog you choose gets the care he deserves. Listed below is a comprehensive checklist of the potential financial factors involved with owning a dog. Try speaking to your vet, local boarding kennels, pet store, and any friends that have dogs - this will help you to get estimates for each of these items, so that any unexpected bills do not catch you out. YOUR DOG BUDGET Purchase price Vaccinations Dog food and treats Collars and leads Registration and/or license fees Toys Kennel, crate, or enclosure Grooming Health insurance, vet bills, spaying / neutering Boarding kennels Total $$ $/WEEK


Exercise and Activity All dogs need exercise. Like humans, the minimum that the average adult dog requires to maintain basic overall fitness is 30 to 45 minutes of vigorous exercise, at least three or four times a week. Many dogs need a lot more than this - a Border Collie, for example, can run over 100 miles in the course of a normal working day! To make sure that youre exercising your dog adequately, youll need to research the basic exercise requirements of the breed of dog that youve chosen (or, if a mixed breed, adhere to at least the minimum requirements, and exceed them if it seems necessary). The size of a dog doesnt necessarily correspond with his or her energy level. Its popularly believed that the bigger the dog, the more exercise it needs, but appearances can be deceiving. Many smaller dogs have incredible stamina and a great need for intense cardiovascular exercise, whereas a lot of the larger dogs (think Great Danes, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands) are real couch potatoes and are happy to lie about the house all day. For busy people, fitting in an extra hour or so per day to exercise the dog can be a real chore. But spending active time with your dog doesnt need to be drudgery - there are lots of fun activities you can do to work in the necessary mileage. Many of these are interactive and mentally challenging as well: just consider agility training, tracking, Frisbee, or even plain old fetch. 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. Of course, its pretty hard to typify human personalities - like dogs, were all individuals - but if you can honestly evaluate yourself in terms of your desire for physical affection (some dogs love to cuddle!), your ability to be patient, how prepared you are to deal with stubbornness, and how comfortable you are with discipline and asserting yourself, its possible to take a lot of the guesswork out of selecting a four-legged friend. Youll 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. Its not really possible to predict what kind of personality your dog is going to have, but certain breeds have been designed in a way that encourages particular traits and character aspects. We will look at this in greater depth in the section titled Dog Groups.



Selecting Your Puppy or Dog

Choosing the right puppy is a matter of careful thought and research. Too many people are suckered into making impulse choices they later regret - its so easy to be seduced by the very first puppy that you see, but resist this temptation! Both you and your final choice of dog will be glad that you did. Breed Selection A purebred is a lot more than just an ordinary dog wearing a fancy suit. Dog breeds have developed over thousands of years through selective breeding, which deliberately emphasizes certain traits and weeds out others. All breeds of dog were originally bred to do a certain job, whether its herding livestock (Border Collies), hunting lions in the jungle (Rhodesian Ridgebacks), pulling supplies for hundreds of miles across arctic tundra (Siberian Huskies) or simply looking pretty and keeping us humans company (the toy breeds). Of course, these jobs have very little impact on modern-day life for the vast majority of people - most of us just want a dog for simple companionship. But you still need to carefully consider the jobs that your preferred breed(s) of dog were intended to do, because this has a big impact on how well hell be suited to your household and lifestyle. A Husky will do perfectly well without the opportunity to pull sledges across the snow, for example, but he still has an inherent need to explore and run endlessly - which is something that a city-dweller would need to think about before adopting one. A lot of us are attracted to particular breeds of dog because of the way that they look, which is nothing to be ashamed of - its only natural to pursue the things that catch our eye, after all. Whats 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 breeds hardwired attributes (guarding, chasing, herding, tracking, and so on) can be easily incorporated into your life - because if not, you both may be unhappy. The best thing you can do is talk to some breeders of the particular breed thats caught your fancy. Ask them about the types of people who do best with the breed, what the breeds requirements are, how much exercise they need, what the more troublesome aspects of the breed are. Basically, make sure you know what youre getting before you get it.


For a start, you might take a look at the Kingdom of Pets breed library: You can also browse online, ask your dog-owning friends, or a vet. And theres always the good old local library. There is more than enough dog-breed information out there. More information on finding and selecting breeders is given in Section C: Selecting a Breeder. Where to Find Your Dog or Puppy When it comes to finding your perfect puppy or dog, 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, "real" breeders are in the business for the love of dogs, not the profit (dog-breeding is rarely a profitable business when performed ethically). A good breeder will: Raise the puppies inside the house, or in a place where they can become accustomed to humans from a young age. Restrict themselves to one or two breeds only. Question you extensively about your lifestyle, experience, and the proposed environment for the puppy before allowing you to take one of the pups. Screen the dogs for genetic disease, and provide certification of this upon request. Breed no more than a couple of litters per year. Each individual female will be bred only once per year. Buying a puppy from a proper breeder ensures as much as possible that your purebred pup is healthy, well-socialized, and doesn't have any preexisting mental or physical problems. 8

RESCUE SHELTERS Rescue shelters, or adoption shelters, are an excellent option for finding a pet. The dogs in these establishments are more often than not there through no fault of their own - they've been discarded by their original owners for any one of a huge number of reasons (financial problems, relationship breakup, a new baby, the owners have moved house, etc). It's true that a lot of rescue-shelter dogs are jumpy and nervous the second time around; they've suffered a huge trauma - having effectively been 'orphaned' and will naturally need some time to adjust. 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, depression, looking around for familiar people and sights). Often the dogs in adoption shelters are an ideal choice for first-time owners, because they're already housetrained and have also usually been trained to some degree in obedience commands. This is an incredible weight off a novice owner (as anyone who's ever had to housetrain a puppy will agree!). Another benefit of choosing to get your dog from a rescue shelter is that the dogs you'll find there - even the purebred ones - are much less expensive than those purchased from a breeder (think $50 instead of $500). Good shelters have some form of veterinary care on hand as well. Some will neuter / spay the dogs they take in, and most all will do this as a service included in the modest adoption fee. The animals come to their new owners injury- and disease-free, which is a fantastic bonus (especially when considering the huge number of heart-breaking genetic diseases that most purebreds are prone to). At the very least, you'll be notified of any existing conditions before purchase, and will be given an idea of the care and expense required for treatment. In addition to all these benefits, the emotional reward that comes from taking in an abandoned animal is often the best part of all. A lot of dogs adopted from shelters are so grateful to be given a second chance (yes, dogs do feel gratitude) that they quickly form intense bonds of love and loyalty with their new owners - 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:


Puppy mills Pet stores Backyard breeders PUPPY MILLS Puppy mills are essentially puppy factories. The production of 'popular-breed' dogs is a profit-making business for some people, which means that there is no quality of life for the dogs and puppies involved, little to no attention paid to hygiene or nutrition, and the puppies raised aren't socialized or shown any affection. These puppies are also prone to disease if not unwell already. These same puppies are then taken from their mothers well before they should be (usually around five weeks of age) and shipped - sometimes for hundreds of miles - across country, where they end up in a little glass box in a pet store. These puppies are not good choices for pets. They almost always come with serious behavioral problems and neuroses, and are usually suffering from malnutrition and a variety of other close-quarters diseases. The team at Kingdom of Pets strongly discourages purchasing a puppy from a puppy mill - no matter how sorry you feel for the poor puppies, to do so only supports this growing business and encourages others to join in. PET STORES Pet stores are the only establishments supplied by puppy mills - in effect, they're the reason that puppy mills exist. Puppies in pet stores are confined to small glass cages, either by themselves or with one or two other puppies. They receive little to no exercise, little handling, and little socialization. The average puppy arrives at a pet store at five weeks old, and stays there until he is twelve weeks old - by the time he's adopted, that's more than half his life spent in virtual solitary confinement. Pups from pet stores have the same problems that puppy-mill puppies have emotional problems, behavioral upsets, and diseases. They're usually problematic dogs to raise, 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, 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, without a thought for preparation, information, the puppy's history, or how to successfully rear a dog. Instant gratification is hard to resist, but a dog is not a commodity that can be purchased without forethought. 10

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, desirable traits, or the wellbeing of the dogs and puppies involved. Common mistakes made by a typical backyard breeder might include: Rearing the litters away from the house, where the pups have no chance to become accustomed to people and daily living. Feeding puppies on the nutritional equivalent of sawdust and water, to minimize costs and maximize profits. Breeding females too often, which produces underweight and unhealthy pups, and shortens the mother's lifespan. Backyard breeders sometimes prey on inexperienced buyers by making claims without backing them up: for example, claiming that litters have been screened against genetic disease, but failing to provide certification. Remember that plenty of genetic diseases don't show up until the dog is one or two years old, so it's not possible to screen for everything in each individual pup (which is why parents and grandparents are required to be screened). A good breeder won't have a problem informing you about any genetic disease the breed is prone to, and will offer advice on the best course of action should the need arise. At What Age Should You Get Your Dog? Its generally agreed that puppies need to stay with their mothers and littermates until theyre at least eight weeks of age. This isnt just an arbitrary number - the reasons for doing so are convincing. Taking a puppy away from its litter before eight weeks is actually damaging to the pup. All puppies must have the chance to learn those vital pack-interaction skills from their brothers and sisters, but the main problem with such an early adoption is the lack of learned bite-inhibition. When puppies play with their littermates, they play rough - biting and wrestling. Any puppy bitten too hard will squeal sharply, and refuse to continue playing with the biter. This is how puppies learn to control the force with which they bite - its a valuable lesson, and one most effectively taught by other dogs at a young age. Without the opportunity to learn bite control, dogs grow up without understanding the damage that can be inflicted by a careless bite, which can be a major problem in an adult dog. 11

You can also adopt a puppy thats older than the standard eight to ten weeks. The basic advantages of adoption for both age groups are outlined below. BENEFITS OF CHOOSING A YOUNG PUPPY (8 TO 16 WEEKS) OVER AN OLDER ONE: The pup has no behaviors set, good or bad. You control the influences he or she gets and which behaviors are encouraged Puppies adapt readily to your life and your home. Youre a part of the pups life from his first day away from his mother and siblings - this encourages a strong bond. Your dog will never again be as physically appealing and downright adorable as he is during early puppyhood. 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, which makes housetraining a lot easier. They may have had some training already in obedience work. 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. Choosing Your Puppy From a Litter Before choosing a puppy, its good to have a basic idea of canine interaction and communication if at all possible. Without understanding the underlying causes behind a lot of puppy behavior, its easy to make mistakes when confronted with a squirming, playful crowd of cute pups - mistakes that, more often than not, turn out to be both exhausting and heartbreaking to deal with. A lot of people make the mistake of choosing a puppy because they feel sorry for it. When theres a pup sitting all by himself in the corner, not playing with the other puppies, its natural to want to adopt that puppy and try to fix him. This is a commendable impulse, but its important to understand the consequences of such an action before doing something you might regret.


A healthy, normal puppy is moderately self-confident, energetic, and playful. He should be involved to at least some extent with other puppies. If theres a pup thats isolated from or ignored by the others, there is a very good reason for it and one that you probably dont want to involve yourself with. He might be sick, he might be malnourished, or he might have serious behavioral problems. By all means, adopt the trouble puppy of the litter, but dont do it out of a misguided sense of pity and charity - know what youre getting into, because all too often these are the pups that grow up to be abandoned or sent to the shelter because the owners cant cope. The dominant puppy of the litter can be just as much of a handful, but for different reasons. The pup that comes romping right up to you without a care in the world isnt just friendly - hes dominant by nature, a natural alpha-dog, and is showing this by leading the other pups over to you. This is usually the one that grows up to be stubborn, bossy, feisty, scrappy - all qualities that are endearing to the right owner, 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 - this will help you to get a feel for the ones you connect with best. If possible, visit several times and at different times of the day to see how they behave when theyre playing, feeding, wide awake, and tired out. Once youve got an idea of the one you want, take him a short distance away from the other pups (to prevent him becoming distracted) and play with him. Is he curious or scared? Does he investigate or back away? Is he happy to be handled and stroked, or does he struggle, whimper, 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. Take this opportunity to quickly check him over for possible illness, as well. Look him over from nose to tail: his skin should be smooth and free of lumps or bumps, fur should be shiny and thick with no thinning or bald spots (aside from the tummy and inside of legs), eyes should be clear of discharge, ears should smell sweet and look clean, and his teeth should be white and sharp.



Where to Adopt From

So, as discussed in the previous section, there are essentially two good places to get your dog from: a breeder and an adoption shelter. But how to choose the right one? Choosing The Right Adoption Shelter This is a lot simpler than going to a breeder - you dont have to worry about pedigree certification or following any of the other paper trails in place for purebred dogs. It really boils down to whether or not you feel comfortable with the environment of the shelter. Are the staff friendly and caring? Are they happy to answer all your questions, or do they make you feel as though youre getting in the way? What about the kennels or runs for the dogs - are they clean and hygienic? Unfortunately, a lot of shelters are understaffed, which means that sometimes the dogs arent able to get all the exercise and human contact that they need. This isnt necessarily the fault of the shelter. Usually, theyre run on government money and donations, which makes for a pretty slim existence. Regardless of how prosperous the shelter appears, 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. It doesnt 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, have a look around the shelter. Even a brief conversation with some of the staff will enable you to make sure that they care about the dogs, and that theyre genuinely committed to their work. A shelter with competent, caring staff is more likely to provide you with a healthy, well-balanced dog. Most shelters have a screening process for applicants, and retain the right to refuse applications at their discretion. Adoption shelters have their own standards when it comes to selecting appropriate homes for abandoned animals, and will only choose owners that they consider to be in the best interests of the animal. This is nothing personal; its a safety-net thats in place to ensure that the dogs placed out have as high a chance as possible of being matched with a suitable new owner. This lessens the chances of that dog being returned to the shelter again, which is often devastating for that dog. Expect a question-answer session.


Choosing A Breeder Finding a good dog breeder isnt necessarily a difficult thing to do. To track down the breed you like, there are several resources at hand: Dog shows. If there are dog shows near you, go along and have a look. You can see the dogs first-hand, 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). Breed clubs. These cater for specific breeds, and handle showing, breeding, and often special training and activity groups. Contact them and they will be able to tell you about the closest breeders to you. Talk to dog owners. If you see a dog you like, ask the owner for a recommendation - where did they get their dog? Would they recommend that breeder? Other breeders. If you get hold of one breeder who doesn't have the right puppy for you, they should be able to point you in the right direction of other breeders who can help. Once you've tracked a breeder down, go along and have a look. Some breeders - especially those specializing in rare breeds - are happy to send their dogs long-distance without you being required to turn up for an interview first. This might be handy, but you also run the risk of purchasing a sub-quality dog from a sub-quality breeder. Where at all possible, you should pay a visit and inspect the premises thoroughly, including kennels. Pay attention to any dogs you see - 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, whether you have a crate for the puppy, why you chose this particular breed, how long the dog will be left alone for during the day, and other matters which indicate how competent and caring an owner you're likely to be. In return, 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?


How much exercise do the dogs need? Are there any special care requirements for these particular dogs, or the breed in general? At what stage are the pup's vaccinations up to (the first batch of shots, the second batch, 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 - but it never hurts to ask.) Have the parents and grandparents of the pup been screened against these diseases? If so, can you see the certification? (For things like hip and eye problems, both grandparents on both sides should be certified as well, since testing has been in place for both these ailments for the longest time.) Can you meet the parents? Meet the Parents Meeting both of the parents of the litter youre looking at isnt always possible - frequently the sire (the father) has been hired out from his owners, so wont be on the premises. But if you can meet both parents, then so much the better: youll get an idea of the temperament, health, and general condition of your pups parents, which is a reliable forerunner of how your own puppy is likely to turn out a few years down the track. At the least, try to meet the mom - pups are raised by their mothers, and learn a lot of their disposition traits and habits from her. Ask, and see for yourself, whether shes friendly to dogs and people - both familiar and unfamiliar - and what basic temperament she has. If shes nervous, jumpy, or aggressive, you may want to think again before taking one of her puppies, as traits such as these are sometimes passed on from the mother. Authentication and Registration A pedigree puppy should already be registered by the breeder, and before you make a firm commitment you should ask to see the authentication papers and documentation. Even if you dont care about pedigree in itself, you may well be paying pedigree prices so its worth making sure youre getting value for money.


If and when you do purchase the puppy, the breeder must also provide you with registration papers to prove that the puppy has been officially re-registered in your name. Vaccinations and General Health All puppies need three sets of inoculations, which are spaced out over several weeks. This is to prevent them from falling prey to fatal diseases like rabies, adenovirus, and parvovirus. Nursing puppies receive antibodies to these diseases via the mothers milk - but when weaned, the protection fades off over several weeks. Because over-inoculation (inoculating when antibodies are already present) is harmful to dogs and puppies, its necessary to wait until all the mothers antibodies have worn off, but to time it so that there isnt too long of an unprotected period: its generally accepted that eight weeks is the ideal age for the first set of shots. Because you shouldnt adopt a puppy that is younger than eight weeks, the pup should already have had the first shots by the time you adopt him. At the least, there will have been an appointment made for vaccinations by the breeder. Make sure you receive evidence of inoculations and checkups in the form of a vaccination card from the vet, or the vet records. This should also specify whether the pup has been wormed (which he should certainly have been, since all puppies are born with worms), when he is due for his next round of shots and any other treatments, and certify his condition at the time the vet saw him (including the absence or presence of any indicators of possible genetic disease). Dietary Needs Puppies have delicate stomachs that are easily upset by a change in routine. Ask the breeder or adoption shelter that you got your pup from what brand of food hes accustomed to, and what his feeding schedule is. Beware of anyone who tells you that the puppy has been freefed. This is where a bowl of food is placed out for the dogs, allowing them to eat at will during the day. Its bad practice among younger dogs, as it encourages food aggression in the litter, and is a real hindrance when it comes to 17

enforcing a housebreaking schedule. Without a regimented feeding schedule, a young puppy has no chance to accustom his internal clock to any sort of routine. So his hunger pangs and toilet needs will remain extremely unpredictable. If you wish to change your pups food, do so gradually: mix a little bit of the new food in with the old, and gradually increase this over a period of one to two weeks until his old food has been completely replaced. Most adoption shelters and breeders will supply you with a diet sheet and one or two days worth of food to get you started. The diet sheet will detail amounts and times that the puppy is fed, but as a general rule of thumb: Pups under seven months get three meals a day, and should eat until satisfied at each meal. Puppies and dogs over seven months should get two meals per day. You technically can feed adult dogs on just one meal per day, but its best to break this up into two meals to prevent digestive upset, low blood sugar, and bloat. Keep an eye on your dog or puppy and monitor how well hes doing on his current brand of food. Is his coat shiny and free of flakes, dull spots, 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, you can change him over as long as you do so gradually (as you would for a puppy). To be on the safe side, you may wish to consult your vet beforehand. Following Up Most, if not all, adoption shelters and breeders will want to hear from you if problems should arise with the puppy. If your pup turns out to be incompatible with your lifestyle, most breeders and adoption shelters will prefer that you to return the puppy to them. Many are also available for advice on health and training for some time after adoption. Before taking the puppy home, make sure you ask whether you can contact the breeder or shelter if problems do occur. (Of course, if you have any urgent questions - for example, you think your puppy or dog might be sick or injured then call the vet, not the breeder or shelter.)



Breed Groups

Its a good idea to choose a breed of dog based on its suitability for your personality and lifestyle. There are many breeds within each group, each having their own distinct characteristics, abilities, and requirements. Some information on these may assist you in narrowing down the candidates for your eventual choice of pet. Working Dogs Includes: Rottweiler, Doberman, Boxer, Saint Bernard, Newfoundland These dogs are bred to perform serious jobs like guard work, protection, search and rescue, and police work. They tend to be highly intelligent and physically very powerful, requiring plenty of mental and physical exercise to keep them happy and relaxed. Dogs in this category usually have strong guarding and territorial instincts, which makes early and extensive socialization with humans and animals an absolute necessity. Working breeds do best with owners who have some previous experience with dogs. They can be demanding pets. In the right hands, they make excellent and affectionate family dogs, as theyve been bred to work very closely with humans. Sporting Dogs Includes: Pointer, Retriever, Weimaraner, Spaniel, Labrador Sporting dogs are bred to work in close contact with humans, which makes them excellent candidates for obedience training - theyre usually eager to please and quick on the uptake. These qualities make them excellent family dogs, and good choices for a first-time owner. Some sporting dogs were bred to work fairly independently from their owners and hunters, and so have a strong instinct to explore and roam. Thorough training in recall is important with the sporting breeds before theyre allowed off-leash, 19

since they have little natural instinct to return to their owner once they are off! As a general rule, sporting dogs need plenty of exercise. That means several walks per day, and as many opportunities to run as possible. Herding Dogs Includes: German Shepherd, Border Collie, Queensland Heeler, Briard, Old English Sheepdog. Herding dogs are bred to control large groups of unruly and sometimes dangerous livestock, and in some cases to protect them from predators and thieves. This is a demanding job, both physically and mentally herding dogs must be capable of making independent decisions as well as following extensive, complicated instruction from their handlers. As a result, herding breeds are usually very intelligent, highly athletic, and require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy.

Sheba the German Shepherd

These dogs usually make fantastic companion animals. But their hardwired herding instincts are not uncommon (such as chasing and rounding up family members or other animals, and nipping at your heels). These can be difficult to deal with, though not impossible to untrain. Hounds There are two different groups in the hound category: scent hounds and sight hounds. SIGHT HOUNDS Includes: Afghan, Basenji, Greyhound, Whippet, Saluki Sight hounds are bred to hunt in packs, so theyre generally pretty sociable with other dogs. As a rule, theyre leggy, slim, and extremely fast. Sight hounds 20

should not be allowed to run off-lead without reliable recall training, as once they take off you have little chance of catching them again. These dogs require a fair amount of exercise on a daily basis to keep them happy and healthy, and need as much opportunity to run - preferably off-lead as you can provide. Sight hounds tend to be sensitive in nature, and respond well to mild, gentle, and consistent training. They also have a fairly independent streak, and can be aloof with strangers. Thorough socialization is necessary from a young age to combat timidity and shyness. SCENT HOUNDS Includes: Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Foxhound, Coonhound Scent hounds were bred to track by scent, rather than sight, and so are predisposed to be distracted by the smells around them. For this reason, they shouldnt be taken off-lead unless theyre thoroughly trained in the recall command. A hound thats scented something tempting will go haring off without a backwards glance.

Hounds need exercise Scent hounds can be very difficult to housetrain, partly because they were bred to live outside in kennels with other dogs - an environment with little requirement for instinctive cleanliness.

Scent hounds also tend to be loud, with distinctive baying and howling sounds that carry for miles. Despite this, they seem to have little instinct to put this vocalization to use as watchdogs - strangers can usually come and go with little to no disturbance from a scent hound. Scent hounds dont require huge amounts of exercise, with a vigorous daily walk sufficing for the most part. With characteristically gentle, affectionate natures, they make excellent family pets. Terriers Includes: Jack Russell, Border Terrier, Cairn, Airedale, Miniature Schnauzer, Skye, Bull, and other breeds with the word terrier in the name. Terriers are an extremely high-energy group. Their typical independence and bossiness can make them a challenge to train, but they make up for this sometimes-frustrating tendency by being reliably cheerful, funny, and affectionate companions. 21

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 theyre 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 arent generally recommended for households with young children, as they dont take kindly to rough treatment or teasing. In addition, theyre very fragile and can be seriously injured or even killed from being dropped, sat on, or trodden on.


Responsible Ownership

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 dogs behavior both in private and public. Its 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 doesnt just matter to you. It matters to every person and animal that your dog encounters throughout his life. Its 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 dogs life. General Rules for Responsible Ownership: Register, license, and microchip your dog. Ensure that he wears his collar and tags whenever hes 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 theyre 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 youre happy with the level of hygiene and comfort enjoyed by the animals. Try to meet the puppys parents - at least meet the mother, if possible. Confirm registration of pedigree where applicable. Ask for proof that the puppys 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

DOG 102:

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, youre both thrown headlong into a life together - usually without much of an idea of each others personalities! Where a new dog is concerned, you should always expect the unexpected. Particularly if youve 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: its not every day that you take on total responsibility for anothers health and happiness. The adjustment period isnt 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 dogs homecoming and making the event unduly stressful for either of you, weve detailed some tips below on the things you may wish to plan for - both before and during your dogs first days in your household. In this section, were going to give you some practical advice about the preparations youll need to make before bringing your new puppy or dog home. A little bit of forethought will go a long way - it doesnt take long for the new family member to get into a lot of trouble if you havent done your homework! Following the advice detailed below will help you to prevent some of the common problems associated with a dogs 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 pets 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 dogs mindset and emotional balance while she adjusts over the next couple of weeks and months. Dont 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 puppys 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 dogs 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.


Preparing the Garden The yard poses a whole new array of possible threats for a curious new dog or puppy. 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. Plenty of the problems that a dog is likely to encounter outside are both serious and rapid-onset, so prevention is definitely better than a cure! Firstly, check that there are no holes or gaps in your garden fence. Remember, the gap does not need to be very big for a small pup - he could escape in an instant from a hole that you did not even realize was there. Secondly, make sure that all garden tools and chemicals are safely locked away in the garden shed, out of your pets reach. Also, 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. 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. Daffodils Hyacinth Elephant ears Poinsettia Onion Tomato plant Most lilies Oleander Rhododendron This list isnt complete: there are a lot of plants that are poisonous to dogs. In addition, some dogs have sensitivities or allergies to plants that pose no problem at all to most other dogs. For a complete list, speak to your vet. 27

Puppy Shopping When it comes to puppies, a lot of the time you wont 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 wont be admitted into the waiting room) or cleaning a mess off the floor without the correct cleaning agent (its virtually impossible!) If youve never had a dog before, it is unlikely that you will have all of the necessary items required to cater for your new pet. There are some things that you will need immediately, such as dishes, food, litter and tray. Therefore, 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. 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. Make sure you stick to the food recommended, as changing your pets diet before he has even settled in could give him an upset stomach). Dishes for water and food. Safe dog or puppy toys (these will help him settle and take his mind off the move). You can get a variety of toys, some which will be suitable for unsupervised chewing (large rawhide bones, rubber Kong toys, rope toys, anything durable that cant have pieces chewed off and swallowed) and some which he can only play with while youre present (soft toys, rubber bones, smaller rawhide bones, tennis balls, etc). Carrier/crate (you will need this in order to bring your puppy or dog home safely. You will also need it to transport your pet to the vet for check-ups and treatment when required). Bedding: youll need at least three or four towels for him to lie down on in the crate, more if possible. Collar and leash Identity barrel or tag: ideally, this should have your dogs name, your address and phone numbers (home and cellphone, if youve got one), and the phone number of your vet. Items for grooming (make sure any shampoos or grooming sprays are suitable for puppies unless you are getting an older dog). 28

Cleaning agents suitable for use with animals: regular cleaning sprays and detergents arent suitable for use on any accidents your dog or puppy might make inside. Most of these contain ammonia, which actually makes the problem worse - and doesnt remove the smell enough to prevent your dog from reserving the area for future toileting. Not all of these items will be required on the actual day that your dog arrives, but there are some that will be. There is certainly no harm in getting everything in one go, as this will ensure that you have everything you need if and when you need it. Handling and Grooming Dogs that arent accustomed to being handled, groomed, brushed, and clipped from a young age are usually suspicious of any attempts later in life to keep them looking neat and tidy, and forcing the issue will always result in a frightened, agitated dog - and a stressed-out you! To avoid this, you need to get your dog used to physical interaction with humans. Get him used to contact all over his body, so that he does not feel alarmed when he has to be handled for grooming or veterinary treatment. Pick up his paws and hold them in your palms; accustom him to his face and jaws being touched; practice opening his mouth (for very short periods of time!); and rub his tummy. Remember to treat and praise him whenever he allows you to do this. It will keep him relaxed and let him know what you want of him. A simple weekly grooming session will help to keep your dog or puppy clean and fresh, and will enable you to pick up on any potential problems, such as infestations, infections, or injuries. Use grooming time to check your pets ears, nose, mouth, and eyes for any signs of discharge, as well as checking his coat and skin for redness and signs of fleas or other parasites. For the best grooming methods see the bonus book Grooming Made Easy. If you have children, you must teach them how to properly handle your new pet. If you have a small pup, incorrect handling could pose the risk of injury. When he is picked up, you should make sure that his whole body is properly supported. Children can have a habit if trying to dangle small pets when they try and pick them up and this should be avoided. Start Training Early: Deal With Chewing and Biting Puppies like to chew - on anything readily available! To preserve your possessions and sanity (not to mention safeguard your dogs health), you need to take steps to prevent this problem as soon as your puppy sets foot in your house. 29

Chewing is fine if he is using a proper dog chew or toy, but you may find him trying to bite and chew slippers, shoes, furniture and anything else that crosses his path. This is something you should deal with right away otherwise it could become a serious problem. Getting your puppy or dog accustomed to house rules will provide an effective basis for his training. It will teach him to respect you and your home, and will let him know who is boss. Bear in mind that if you have anything that you really would not like to see chewed - such as that new pair of shoes that cost you a weeks wages - it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that it is out of harms way. Your puppy will not know an expensive shoe from a $2 dog toy from the local pet shop, so the onus is on you. If you do catch your pet trying to chew or bite on something totally inappropriate, remove the item from him and firmly say No! Then redirect him immediately towards an appropriate chew or toy (hand him a tasty alternative). Praise him thoroughly as soon as his jaws close around the new toy. You must never shout at or smack your pet for chewing on something inappropriate, as you will simply frighten him and make him distrustful. Removing the source of his chewing and being firm but calm will suffice. Eating Habits and Diet Changing your dogs meal times or food type can result in an upset stomach (either vomiting or diarrhea or both.) Theres also an emotional component to the feeding schedule of your dog: all dogs are happiest when their lives are routine. They like to know when to expect their meals, how much theyre going to be fed, and what kind of food theyre going to get. This regularity helps them to organize their day and to feel more secure about life in general. If you combine a shift to a new home and owner with a change in feeding routine (whether its the type of food or how often meals occur), its just putting too much pressure on your dog. To avoid increasing your dogs insecurity and nervousness, as well as an unpleasant bout with diarrhea and/or vomiting, you need to maintain the eating schedule and food brand that he had before coming to you, If and when you do change your pets diet it should be done gradually to allow him time to get used to the new tastes and textures, otherwise he may suffer an adverse reaction or even stop eating altogether.


Because your puppys 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 pets 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 pets 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 arent 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 puppys agenda and will provide both you and your dog with regular, healthy activity. 31

Your pets 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 thats been inadequately housetrained is likely to have recurrent issues with soiling in the house. Housetraining isnt 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, its not hard to housetrain your dog. Youll need to be prepared for a month or two of concerted effort - but really, it all boils down to paying attention to your dogs feeding and exercise schedule, and watching his body language when hes 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 hes 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 hes never had the chance to learn that theres 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 doesnt pose a real risk to anyone, hell 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: theyre 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 hasnt 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, theres 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 isnt something that a dog can realistically thrive on for a long period of time (imagine how healthy youd 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 dogs 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 vets 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

feed your dog as much because of the higher nutrient level. This means that, in the long run, they are probably just as economical as cheaper, low protein foods, with less chance of your dog suffering ill effects. Things to Watch For Many dog food manufacturers have taken a very responsible approach to providing healthy and safe dog food. However, you should check the ingredients listed on the packaging of your dog food. One ingredient you should check for is dye, and if it is present then do not feed the food to your dog as some food dyes have been shown to cause cancer. If you can you should also avoid dog food that has preservatives listed as an ingredient. As long as your dogs 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. In some cases, 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, this is not a problem for your dog, as in the wild, they were quite used to eating only once or twice a week and developed relatively large stomachs in which to store food. In addition, your dog will eventually eat, as the wild dog instincts for food are never that far below the surface. Dogs do occasionally eat grass, weeds, and plants. This is quite normal and can add to the amount of dietary fiber your dog consumes. More fiber means better food flow through your dogs digestive system, which in turn will reduce the chances of bowel cancer occurring. Puppies Puppies should be fed three or four times a day until they reach eight weeks old, at which time one or two feedings a day will be enough. Early on though, you may have to persuade him to start eating. For puppies it is a good idea to use mealtimes as an extension of the training ground. 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. Make him sit before he can start eating. Every now and again, take his food away from him before he starts eating. Praise him while doing so and then give it back. This will lessen his possessiveness of his food and other things generally.


Older Dogs (6 months plus) By the time your dog reaches 6 months old, you should be feeding him twice a day. Make sure that the amount of food that you give your dog is enough for him considering his size and activity level. If you can feel fat over your dogs ribs then you should either feed him less or exercise him more. On the other hand, his ribs should not be protruding out, as this is a sign that he has not been eating enough. As a general rule: you should be able to see his last two ribs, and you should be able to easily feel the rest of them (i.e. the ribs are reasonably close to the surface, without a thick padding of fat to obscure them.) 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, such as a specific training routine that requires a food reward. If you are in doubt about any part of your dogs diet, at any stage of his life, then consult a vet.


Canine Growth Stages

Your dogs needs will change and evolve with every stage of his life. A good basic knowledge of your dogs development will help you to provide him with the care, attention, affection, discipline, food, and exercise thats appropriate to his age and condition.

In addition to this, knowing the rate at which your dogs learning abilities and personality develop will assist you in preventing some of the common behavioral problems (disobedience, aggression, dominance) that are associated with accelerated or delayed learning. In short, 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, while neglecting aspects of your dogs development (like socialization, housetraining, or obedience training) will result in a poorlybehaved, insecure, and rambunctious dog that doesnt know his own place in the household. 37

Its a good idea for you to arm yourself with a basic knowledge of the canine rate of development, as this will help you to meet your dogs needs as and when they arise. Your puppys temperament and personality should be fully developed by the time he reaches around twelve weeks of age, and he will have become the dog that you will hopefully be spending many happy years with. Below you will find the growth and developmental stages that he will go through to reach his full potential. New Born to Two Weeks of Age This is a very delicate time of a puppys life, and a time when you should avoid over-handling or picking up the pup. Very soft strokes and speaking around him gently is fine, but other than this, you must let him get plenty of rest and let him stay close to his mother. The pups primary concerns during this stage will be warmth, food, and sleep, and his mother will provide the first two. The third is your responsibility, and you can ensure he gets plenty of sleep by keeping noise to a minimum and leaving the puppy alone with his mother, where he can enjoy rest and sleep without disturbance. Three to Four Weeks of Age This is the stage at which your puppy will really start to notice the new world around him, and take an interest in what is happening. He should start to walk during this stage, albeit falteringly, and he will start to use his voice for yapping, whining, etc. By this age, it is okay to handle the pup more and to expose him to everyday noise, but you should bear in mind that he still very young and will still need plenty of peaceful rest. You can also start to wean the puppy at this age by providing his first taste of puppy food. Five to Seven Weeks of Age During this stage of his life, 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. You will find that your puppys interest really peaks at this stage, and he will start to explore further and for longer. He should be walking now and you should therefore be vigilant, as he will be able to get in to a variety of places that he was not able to access previously. The weaning process should be more intense during this period of his life, and this is where you will start to see his personality shine through.


Eight to Ten Weeks of Age Your puppy should be ready for some very simple and fun training at this stage - nothing heavy. You will notice that his socialization skills will develop more at this age, which is something that you should encourage, as you want him to feel comfortable around a variety of people. He will start to really get around at this age, so you should be watchful and make sure he does not get himself in to any trouble either inside or outside the house. Eleven to Twelve Weeks of Age Your puppy should now be a fully-fledged little pet, with good social skills and, hopefully, a happy disposition. 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, and start to develop a real bond with him through exercise, training and play. As He Grows Older As your dog grows up, you should remember that his needs are going to change in many ways. As a puppy, he will need plenty of rest, but as he grows older his need for rest will be replaced with a need for play, exercise, and interaction with humans. You must never underestimate the amount of attention a dog needs, and some people do start to pay less attention to their dogs once they have reached adolescence. However, older puppies and dogs actually need more attention from humans than younger ones. Young pups are more concerned about where they are and what is around them; your attention and strokes are just an added bonus. By the time your dog grows out of puppyhood, his main focus is on you as his owner rather than on his environment. Also, remember that your dogs dietary needs will change, as he grows older. The type of food and the frequency of his meals will need to be adjusted according to his age, and his nutritional requirements for optimum health will need to be monitored. A Senior Dog As your dog approaches his senior years, you should bear in mind that he will not be as active as he once was, so do not push him into activity if he is trying to rest. Like a puppy, a senior dog needs to get plenty of rest. Again, you should check that his dietary needs are catered for, and your vet will be able to provide you with information on the best food for him depending upon his age, condition and health. 39


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. Most dogs need to chew on things. Even if theyre well-exercised and enjoy nearconstant companionship, the need to chew is still a basic aspect of almost any dogs character. Its pleasurable for the dog, it helps to pass the time and burn off excess energy, and is also remarkably soothing for a dog thats distressed or wound up. If your dog doesnt 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. Your favorite running shoes. Pillows. The television remote control. And so on. Providing your dog with an adequate supply of toys is essential to keep him happy and stimulated, particularly if he is left alone a great deal of the time. However, it is important that you check that the toys you buy for your dog are safe and suitable for his size and age, especially if he is going to be playing with them unsupervised while you are at work. There are many tasty and long-lasting doggy toys on the market these days, which will keep your dog busy all day long. He can enjoy mental stimulation even when you are not around simply by having the right toys at his disposal. You should not deprive your pet of toys, as without them he will have nothing to keep his mind active when he is alone or in his own private area, and this can lead to issues such as frustration, boredom, depression, and disinterest. Be extremely careful about your selection of toys. You should base your choice on your own lifestyle as well as your dogs personality. For example, if you are out all day and are therefore unable to supervise your dogs play you should never buy a toy that can easily come apart as your dog could swallow parts of it and choke.


Safe and Fun Toys to Buy

Squeaky toys: This type of rubber toy is the source of immense delight for most dogs. They enjoy hunting the toy down, and then repeatedly biting it until they kill it (i.e. until it is all squeaked out!). Although this toy may get a little tiresome for you if your dog is playing with and constantly squeaking it in your presence, it is an excellent source of fun for him when you are away from home and he has to keep himself amused. 40

Rope: You can now get special dog rope, which your dog can spend hours chewing and biting, and this can improve his dental health as well as keep his mind stimulated. This provides an affordable way to enhance his health and his mind, enabling him to keep busy whenever he is alone or if he feels bored. Rawhide chews: Although these are not strictly toys, they are nevertheless an exciting - and tasty - source of entertainment for dogs. Dogs love chewing and biting, as you may already know from your slippers and socks. These chews enable them to do this the healthy way, improving their teeth and gums as well as keeping their minds active. Rubber chews/bones: Again, 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. These are long-lasting and durable toys, so you wont have to spend a fortune replacing them even if he chews them on a regular basis. Plush toys: Dogs love to toss and fetch plush toys, and can even snuggle them when they are tired and feeling a little lonely. You can get all shapes and sizes of these toys, so however big your dog you can get the perfect size and shape plush to give him maximum enjoyment. There are so many great toys available these days that you will be delighted by the choice, and your dog will be thrilled by the hours of fun that these toys will provide. It is a good idea not to give your dog access to all of his toys every day. Instead, you can spice things up for him by rotating his toys every couple of days to keep him stimulated and interested.


Choosing Your Vet

Your vet plays an important role in your dogs health and wellbeing. When it comes to different breeds and even individual dogs, all vets are definitely NOT created equal: youll find that your dog may get along with a particular vet, and take a definite dislike to another. You want to do everything within your power to ensure that your dog is as happy and relaxed as possible at the vet clinic. A routine checkup can turn from a humdrum chore into a complete nightmare if your dog becomes stressed or agitated while hes there. You can avoid vet-related problems simply by shopping around for one that feels right for you and your dog. Dont just choose the closest or cheapest vet. Its worth holding out for one that sets both you and your dog at ease. Try to take your dog along with you on these sizing up expeditions, as it is important to see your prospective vets manner with your dog. 41

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS ARE Ask your prospective vet a few questions about your particular breed of dog. His answers will give you an insight to his bedside manner and depth of knowledge. Check if they provide 24-hour emergency care and that they have the facilities for emergency operations. See if the staff are knowledgeable and friendly. Check out the place in general. Separate waiting areas specifically for dogs are an advantage especially if your dog does not mix well with other animals.


Review of DOG 102

Dog 102 focuses on how to avoid some of the common problems that new owners have to deal with, with a focus on prevention through good basic care for your dog. Bringing your puppy or dog home Prepare your house for the new arrival. Make sure that he cannot escape from your backyard. Get the puppy products that will make both your lives easier. Handle and groom your puppy often, but be careful with children handling him. Start your training early by setting and sticking to the house rules. Get and use the breeders diet recommendation. Give him plenty of exercise and plenty of rest. Get your puppy used to other people, pets, and dogs as early as possible.


Diet and nutrition Have regular meal times. Use premium dog food if you can. Check the ingredient list for any untoward ingredients. Use your puppy feeding regime to reinforce your puppy training. If in doubt, consult your vet about your dog's dietary requirements. Canine growth stages Consider how your puppy changes into an adult dog and the effect of this on his exercise, health, and dietary requirements. Toys for your dog Toys are a great mental and physical stimulant for your dog. Some examples are squeaky toys, dog rope, rawhide and rubber chews, and plush toys Choosing your vet Check out your vets bedside manner and how well he knows your breed of dog. Do they have an emergency care service?


DOG 103:

Training Methods Revealed

Over the years, 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. In this chapter, we look at the pluses and minuses of the different training methods that are used today, and make our own recommendation as to what method is best for you and your dog. Then, in one of the most important sections of Secrets to Dog Training, we give you the secrets to transforming your dogs behavior. It is my belief that these techniques combined with understanding your dogs psychology will complement the training method that you choose to use. Further on, we look at the proper way to use crate training and how your dogs training regime should change with age. Finally, if you decide that you need to employ a trainer, we give you our recommendations for choosing one.


Types of Training

There are many different forms of training that can be used on your dog or puppy. Some people utilize a variety of these methods, whereas others pick out the most effective one and concentrate on that. At the end of this section, we give you our choice as to the most effective training technique. There are pros and cons to all types of training, 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. One thing all dog owners should remember is that training does not happen overnight, and you must exercise patience and understanding throughout. Below you will find some of the forms of training used on puppies and dogs, 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. Dog whispering will enable you to talk to him in a way that he understands. This training is based upon positive association, and can help owners to really understand their dogs problems. Dog whispering is a relatively new form of training and is fast gaining popularity with those that want to understand their pets, as well as train them effectively. The dog whispering technique is detailed in DOG 301. 44

Reward Training This is one of the most popular types of dog training at present, and works through rewarding your dog with a tasty treat whenever he does something he is supposed to. This is usually coupled with praise and fuss, enabling your dog to associate that particular action with goodies and lots of love from his owner. It works in the same way as aversion therapy, but the other way around. With aversion therapy, humans are trained to associate something they should not do with something bad, and this is supposed to discourage them from doing it again. Reward training will teach your dog to associate something he should do with something good, hence encouraging him to continue to do it. Some people can make this type of training ineffective by giving their pets treats at inappropriate times rather than just throughout training. This will make your dog think that treats will come his way whatever happens, rather than when he has done something good. 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. One thing to remember about reward training is that it is just that - reward training and not punishment training. You should never smack or shout at your dog for not doing something you want him to do. Simply reward him when he does do it. Choke or Check Collar Training The team at Kingdom of Pets doesnt recommend the use of choke (or check) collars when training your dog, because its so easy to misuse one unintentionally - and there simply better, more effective, and more humane methods available. They were originally designed as training aids for use on large, strong, willful dogs, and were intended for use by professional dog-trainers. It requires a high degree of skill to be able to use a choke collar correctly (and to know when to stop using one!). Choke collars were never intended to replace normal collars; they are a training tool only, and use of one should be phased out when the problem behavior, such as pulling on the leash, has been corrected. 45

Check chain and leash

WHATS A CHOKE COLLAR? A choke collar (sometimes called a choke- or check-chain, or slip collar) is a collar thats designed to slip over the dogs head. When the dog tugs on the lead, the collar tightens against itself, and has a choking effect on the dogs neck. 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, which actions will result in a reward (loose collar) and which will result in a correction (tight collar, restricted breathing).

Correct use of a check collar

After some use of the choke collar, the dog will eventually learn not to pull on the leash any more WHY THE KINGDOM OF PETS DOESNT RECOMMEND CHOKE COLLARS Choke collars are a risky business. Serious neck, spinal, and tracheal (windpipe) injuries can be inflicted through misuse of one of these collars, and most people dont know how to use them properly. Choke collars are intended to reinforce training commands - not by jerking roughly, but with subtle tugs that are timed precisely to underscore your authority. Its easy to jerk too hard and hurt your dog - or inflict long-term damage. Choke collars are a training tool, not something to be used constantly on your dog. If you do decide to use a choke collar, it should be put away as soon as your dog has learned the necessary lesson (presumably, not to pull on the leash) and not used again unless your dogs leash tugging starts up again. Unfortunately, a lot of people who dont realize this continue to use the choke collar as a long-term walking tool. Some people even leave the collar on their dogs day and night, just like a normal collar. This is a very real hazard to the dogs health: if that collar gets snagged on anything, it will tighten. A dogs natural reaction to pressure on his neck is to exert more pressure in the opposite direction. So if youre not there to help him, he could panic and get into a real mess. Dogs have died because of this.


OUR POLICY ON CHOKE COLLARS Kingdom of Pets views choke collars as a last resort only. Yes, they are a useful training device when used correctly - but because of their potential for easy misuse, theyre pretty risky. There are so many other effective - and humane - methods of training your dog available that it seems almost barbaric to choose a method that asserts your control by stopping his breathing. Were not saying that choke collars arent effective - weve seen some very positive results from the correct use of a choke collar. But, again, every time weve seen good results from the use of one, a professional trainer has been involved, and all other avenues have been exhausted first (such as positive reinforcement training, or the use of a head harness collar, which well go into in more detail next). If you are going to use a choke collar, please make sure you know how to use it properly. Get the assistant at the vet or the pet store where you bought it to demonstrate how to put it together - its easy to do it wrong if youre unfamiliar with choke chains, and assemble it in a manner which will be permanently choking your dog. We at Kingdom of Pets urge you not to use a choke collar until youve been properly instructed, by somebody experienced and knowledgeable, in its use. Ideally, youd only use one on your cherished dog while under the supervision of a professional dog trainer. Head Collar Training There are several types of head collar or head harness leads, including the Gentle Leader and the Halti. These leads have a strap that goes over the dogs muzzle and a strap that goes around the back of his head. Although the head collar resembles a muzzle at first glance, the differences are significant: primarily, it isnt restrictive. It enables you to control the direction of your dogs forward momentum, without preventing him from eating, drinking, barking, panting, or licking you. 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), but this is achieved without restricting his breathing or pinching his neck. Instead of exerting dominance aggressively, the head collar does its job by simply redirecting your dogs direction of movement. If he heads off to one side 47

or tries to pull ahead, the head collar swings him smoothly and effortlessly back into line again. The Kingdom of Pets team strongly recommends that you try the Gentle Leader or the Halti before even considering a choke collar. Prong Collar Training Prong collars are a newer type of training collar, but are shrouded in controversy with regard to whether they are humane and safe to use as training tools. These devices are actively painful for dogs and we at Kingdom of Pets do not support the use of prong collars. WHATS A PRONG COLLAR? A prong collar is a chain collar for your dog, made of large rectangular links. On the corner of each link, there is a sharp prong of metal, designed to dig into your dogs skin and hurt him if he tugs on the leash. Many trainers, breeders and dog owners refuse to use this type of training, branding it as dangerous and painful for dogs. If you do decide to use this type of training device, 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. Sensitive and highly-strung dogs may never manage to rebuild their trust in you after youve inflicted such a collar on them. Puppies and old dogs are not suitable candidates for the prong collar. Dogs with a high pain threshold (most working dogs - Rottweilers in particular) or strong dominance issues can be so frustrated by the sensation of the prong collar that theyll actually inflict puncture wounds around their necks from pulling on it. As you can see, there are very few dogs that are suitable candidates for prong-collar training, and probably even fewer owners who are able to use one correctly! 48

Clicker Training This type of training is a gentle, conditional training method that works through association. The clicker is a plastic box with a clicking metal strip built in to it. It is normally paired with something that your dog really desires such as treats. Although your dog will initially react to the treat, which is known as the primary reinforcer, if the giving of the treat is coupled with clicking of the box, this will become a secondary or conditioned reinforcer. Your dog will soon learn to relate to the clicking, and when he hears the clicks after certain actions he will know he has done something good. Again, 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. Some people see clicker training and similar training methods as akin to bribery or brainwashing. However, others have found clicker training to be a very useful and effective tool in dog training, and one that does not use punishment or any harsh methods to train dogs. Electric Collar Training This type of training is undoubtedly shrouded in as much if not more controversy than prong collar training. With electric collar training, the handler or trainer is able to administer a small electric shock to the dog in a corrective capacity. The intensity of the shock can be adjusted with some collars, although the minimum is the setting suggested by most trainers that use this method. This method of training can be both ineffective and painful for the dog if it is not performed with the utmost care and attention. 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. These collars can create real trauma for a dog, and the use of one should always be supervised - if not administered outright - by a trained professional. To balance the argument, there are benefits to using electronic collars in some situations. These collars can be very useful if you have a larger dog, with seriously aggressive tendencies, that is hard for you to physically control. You can perform a correction with the collar without having to put yourself in the firing line. 49

The timing of your reprimand is very important, any longer than one to two between action and correction (ie, shock) and your dog will not be able to associate his action with your reprimand. The electronic collar allows you to reprimand him instantly no matter where he is. Anyone thinking of using this method should make sure that they think long and hard before making their decision. Bear in mind that you could cause both physical and psychological problems for your dog through such harsh training methods. With so many other training methods available, there are far more gentle and suitable training methods for your dog. The Kingdom of Pets takes a strong stance against the use of electric collars - we believe them to be unnecessary and inhumane, and strongly urge you to seek other, more effective and humane, methods of training your dog. Ultrasonic Whistle Training A dogs sense of hearing means that he can hear sounds at frequencies that are totally inaudible to humans. This has given rise to a training tool known as the ultrasonic whistle - a device used by many professional and novice dog trainers. The sound is not designed to harm a dog, but simply to get his attention for training purposes. You can also use the whistle for training and getting his attention from a distance. Whistle training is not always easy, and you may need some training yourself before you get it right. However, once you have the hang of it you may find that it is an effective addition to other dog training tools. Our Recommendation Dog whispering is a fantastic option for the owner who has a smart and responsive dog. We detail the dog whispering technique in DOG 301. While dog whispering is an extremely humane and fantastically effective option, it does require persistence and patience on the trainers part. For most dogs and their owners, the use of a head collar, combined with the minimal use of treats, will be the best bet for dog training. We use these methods throughout DOG 203 and DOG 303, the Command sections of Secrets to Dog Training. The most important techniques to get your dog to respond to you are actually in the next section. These techniques should be used in conjunction with whatever method of training that you decide to use.



Secrets to Training Your Dog

Outlined below are the critical techniques that you MUST use when training your dog, no matter what training method you follow. Adhering to these techniques will aid the training process immensely and ensure that you get the most out of your relationship with your dog. Bonding Perhaps the most important aspect of building a successful relationship with your dog will be your rapport with him. If you make your dog into a close friend by doing such things as talking to him, playing with him and taking him for long walks, he will be much more responsive and attentive when you are training him. Spending QUALITY TIME with your dog is the key. Consistency Delivering consistent messages to your dog will help him view his world as black and white rather than various shades of grey. By consistent messages, I mean the commands that you decide to use to train, praise, and reprimand your dog with should always be the same. It is important that all members of the family are aware of this and use the same commands themselves, 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. For your dogs early training sessions it is worthwhile having one person train him, whether that person is yourself or another family member. 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, which just adds another layer of confusion for your dog. Timing By timing I mean the amount of time that passes between your dogs action (or inaction) and corresponding praise (or reprimand). This time should be no more than two to three seconds. If the time is any longer, the chances are your dog will not associate your words with his actions. Remember that your dog only has the mental capacity of a toddler.


In the same vein, it is important that any physical correction to your dogs response to your training command occurs within the same time frame. 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). Do not fall into the trap of calling your dog to you to reprimand him. As mentioned above, 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, even if it takes him longer to come than you would have liked. Repetition Dogs are creatures of habit and learn by repetition. 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. Dogs do not have an elephants memory and will require refresher sessions throughout their lives so that the conditioned response that you want is not lost. As part of this, note that you should always praise your dog when he has correctly done what you have asked of him. It makes sense not to introduce any bad habits right from the start, 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, it probably will not be! Remember, prevention is far better than having to correct the action at a later stage.


Session Length Keep sessions short and enjoyable so that your dog maintains concentration throughout. Quality not quantity is the golden rule. In addition, you should always finish a training session on a positive note if you can. DOG 203 and DOG 303 outline specific exercises that you can use to stimulate and keep your dogs interest. Attitude Be reasonable in your expectation of what your dog can achieve. It will take time to get results. You should ensure that you have the dogs full attention and that you are giving your best when performing a training session. You may wish to settle yourself or the dog down by taking a long walk before the session commences. Praise Use praise whenever your dog has completed an exercise correctly. Praise should also be delivered to your dog as soon as the desired act has been done (remember the section on timing). When delivering praise look directly into the dogs eyes so that he understands the connection between your voice or touch and his action. Deliver praise verbally or with the hand by either patting or stroking him. 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. Generally speaking, try not use food as a reward or bribe. However, 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. Some types of dogs, like Beagles, do not often care for displays of affection in which case using food, as a reward, will produce much better and quicker results. Eye Contact Using eye contact can be more effective than using the spoken word - even more so if there is a close bond between dog and owner. If a dog wishes to communicate with you, he will look directly into your eyes trying to read your intent. It is well known that dogs that do not make good eye contact can be difficult to train. 53

Hand Signals Using a specific hand motion, while at the same time giving a vocal command, 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. Eventually you can wean your dog off the vocal command so that he responds to the hand signal alone. Give hand signals in front of and above the dogs head as that is their best field of vision. Voice Signals Dogs, while intelligent animals, will only be able to understand a few words. Some dogs are able to learn vast vocabularies, while other dogs do best with a strong understanding of just five or six basic commands. 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, rather than a true understanding of the words actual meaning. This is why repetition is such an important part of training - through repetition and use of the same verbal commands, youre helping your dog to forge a solid association between the command and the action that goes with it. Use one command for one action and pronounce that command with the same tone and inflection. You should gain your dogs attention by saying his name before stating a command. For example, Fudge. SIT! will attract your dogs attention to the command to follow. It is important to know that your dog will not understand everything that you say and may misunderstand the meaning of what you say. 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. 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.


Punishment and Correction The importance of the trainer being seen as the pack leader in the dogs eyes is imperative (see DOG 201 for more detail about pack behavior). 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. For general disobedience, use the Alarm-No!-Command method. This method has three steps that you take when your dog does not respond as you wish. Use something to alarm your dog, such as a squirt from a water pistol or shaking a pebble filled can. Make sure that you do this while he is in the act of misbehaving. At the same time say a loud No! or Bad or utter a sharp growling sound like Aaahhh. Use a stern voice so that the dog recognizes the difference in tone from your normal voice. 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. Then redirect your dog with a command. Sit and stay is a very good choice. Try to make your dog hold the stay for 5 minutes. A head collar and leash offers an easier, yet more physical, way to give a correction, however general disobedience often occurs in non-training situations when your dog does not have a leash on. A third option is to exile your dog out of the pack. In the wild, the alpha dog would growl and chase the offending dog away from the pack. The ostracized dog would not be allowed back until the alpha dog lets him. You can do this by growling at your dog and sending him away from the family area, say, outdoors and into the backyard.


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. A crate is a plastic or metal pen-type construction, and comes in a variety of sizes. You should ensure that you have the right size crate for your dog, otherwise he may start feeling restricted and anxious. 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, size, and age.


Your dog should be encouraged to think of his crate as a safe area - somewhere that he can go to get some rest or some peace and quiet. You should therefore make the crate as comfortable as possible for your dog, putting in some toys and perhaps a comfort blanket to put him at ease. Crate training is not always easy and can take time, so patience and commitment are vital in order to successfully crate train your dog. Choosing Your Crate We would recommend either a wire cage or a plastic crate with a wire door. Listed below are some factors that should be taken into account: The first consideration is the size of the crate or cage. Remember your puppy will grow and it may be better for him to grow into a larger crate than out of a smaller one. You should ensure that there is enough room for a mature dog to maneuver around and a few inches of headspace. A plastic crate is easier to clean. Lining the crate or cage with newspaper or old sheets and blankets will make your dogs home more comfortable and make cleaning easier. The crate or cage that you buy should have a secure catch so that, if you wish, your dog is restricted to his own space and not allowed free reign of the house or a particular room. If your dog is easily frightened or of a nervous disposition then a wire crate gives your dog the best view of his surroundings. However, the wire grille can frighten some dogs and in these cases, a plastic crate would be more appropriate. The plastic crate is a good option if you are traveling with your dog, especially as it is a requirement on aircraft. Remember to remove your dogs collar and leash before putting him into his crate or cage. There is a possibility that he could be caught by the collar. 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.


Keeping Your Dog out of Mischief It is not always possible to keep an eye on your dog. For example, if you are cooking or on the phone, your puppy could get up to all sorts of mischief, and he could put himself in danger. This is a good time to put him in his crate, where he can have a rest, play with his toys, 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, although this should only be when your puppy is totally used to the crate and enjoys being in it. You should confine him to the crate for short period while you are actually in the house before trying it when you go out. Without doing this, you will not know what your puppys reaction is to being confined for a period of time. House Training Your Puppy A puppy is unlikely to soil his own rest and play area, 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. This will teach him control of his bodily functions and reinforce the fact that he should only do his business in the designated place. Be careful not to let your puppy go for too long in the crate, 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. Once this has happened, you could find that he starts to do this more and more and it may become a hard habit to break. Getting Your Puppy Used to the Crate The best way to get your puppy used to his crate is to use positive association - get him to associate the crate with treats, toys or food. It is a good idea to put his food near to the crate or just inside the crate. As your dog gets more and more used to his crate, you can push the food bowl further and further back until he is readily eating his meals right at the back of the crate. Likewise, when he gets into the crate, reward him with a treat, as this will help him to associate the crate with good things. Shutting the door of the crate should be done gradually. You should close it just while he is busy eating at first, and then leave it closed for longer and longer periods, so that he is comfortably staying in the crate after his meal, without getting anxious and frightened. Things to Remember About Crate Training It can take time: Never try and rush crate training, otherwise you will make things more difficult for you and your pet. It can take your dog a while to get used to it, and you should be patient and understanding with him. 57

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. Having a dog is pointless if you are going to put him in a crate all day while you work, all evening while you have dinner and get the house tidied, and all night while you sleep. The crate should be used as and when you need it, not as a permanent measure to keep the dog from under your feet. Be careful with young puppies: When you are using the crate for your puppy, remember that he will need to relieve himself quite often. You should let him out and take him to his designated area about once every hour to avoid accidents inside the crate. No collars: Make sure that you take his collar off before you put him in the crate, otherwise you may cause a choking hazard. Make the crate comfortable: Your dog should see the crate as a safe area - a place of his own. Therefore, aim to make it as comfortable as possible, with toys, blankets, and anything else that will make the dog feel more at home. In addition, 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). Do not use the crate as punishment: Your dog should never be sent to his crate as a form of punishment. Similarly, you should make sure that he cannot be harassed by anyone while he is in his crate. Remember you want his crate to seem like his safe haven. If youre using a second-hand crate, make sure its clean! If the crate that youre using already smells like another dogs home, your dog will take longer to get accustomed to it and will have difficulty feeling as though its his own special haven. If youre using a pre-loved crate, give it a good scrub first, and make sure all bedding is clean.


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. It may take until the dog is 5 months old before it fully understands the training exercises that you are trying to teach him. Initially training sessions should last only a few minutes a day, although you can have several sessions per day. Build up the length of training time over the next few months as your puppy 58

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 dogs 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 dogs 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.


DOG 201:

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 dogs 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 dogs 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 members 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 dont 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

The Alpha Dog With every pack, there is a pack leader, usually a male, who is obeyed by everyone. Dog trainers and behaviorists refer to this dominant figure as the alpha dog - a term that youll encounter again and again as you read this book. In the wild, the alpha dog will get to eat first and eat the best portions of the food, thereby helping to maintain his physical condition as the best in the pack. The alpha dog will also get to sleep at the highest vantage point so that he can keep a lookout over the packs territory and the surrounding area. He makes the decisions for the pack. 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, so that a healthy relationship will prosper between your dog and your family. Your dog should see itself as being subservient to you and the rest of your family. If this pack order exists in the home then your dog will happily obey orders and be much more responsive to training. 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 - if your dog cant tell whos in charge, 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). Of course, you cannot just tell your dog that you are superior to him, so you must convey this by other means - specifically, your actions and attitude toward your dog. There are several ways to ensure this pack order. Being physically or mentally abusive toward your dog is NOT one of them. 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. 64


Dog Senses

Canine senses are much more sensitive and finely attuned than humans. And some of a dogs senses are more developed than others. For example, a dogs sense of smell is far more advanced than his vision. Like other mammals, a dog will use his senses as a means of communication with humans and other animals. Sense of Sight In comparison with the rest of their senses, dogs do not have particularly good eyesight. Though like most predators they tend to respond quickly to movement. With a large corneal surface (the tough outer membrane of the eyeball) dogs have good night vision. But the proportionate arrangement of rods and cones (the light receptors responsible for visual acuity and color recognition) in the retina means that theyre nearly colorblind, and do not see particularly well. Humans see much better during daylight hours than a dog. Sense of Smell Sense of smell is a dogs primary sense - akin to eyesight in a human. Its the sense he relies on most of all to interact with the world around him. A dogs sense of smell is at least one hundred times better than a humans. 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. When you greet your dog, he can tell things about your day simply by your smell: whether you hugged your child earlier in the day; what you had for breakfast, ten hours ago; whether youve been outside recently. This is why dogs are so commonly used in police and detection work, bomb squads, search and rescue, and in customs - theres no fooling a dogs sense of smell! Sense of Hearing Dogs can hear in frequencies that are way beyond human capacity, and they can also hear sounds for much further away than we can. A dogs 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, making it in to an effective tool for training purposes. 65

All dogs have a keen sense of hearing, but those with erect ears usually have enhanced hearing because the erect ears amplify the sounds that they come across. The acute sense of hearing of some dogs may make some noises painful for them to listen to, and this is something you should bear in mind around the house. If your dog seems uncomfortable when you are vacuuming or using other noisy appliances, you can put him in another room until you have completed your task. Sense of Touch Like humans, sensitivity to touch can vary from dog to dog. Some pets will love being stroked and tickled, whereas others will either not respond or will turn away. Contrary to popular belief, most dogs actually dont like being patted on the head. If you watch a dogs expression and body language when your hand is descending on his head, youll see that he often shies away or tries to avoid you. Most dogs much prefer to be scratched gently on the chest - right between the front legs - or have their back scratched right above the root of the tail. If you want to touch your dogs head, start off under the chin or on the shoulder where he can see your hand (and therefore wont feel as threatened by it), and work up to his head. Dogs often use their paws to communicate - for example, when he lifts his paw to shake hands with you or when he scratches at the door to go out. However, you may find that your dog pulls his paw away quite quickly when you touch it, and this is because their instincts tell them that they need their paws to hunt and dig - 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. This is in the same way as humans do - if we smell something burning, we do not find it appetizing. On the other hand, if we smell something really nice being cooked, well often want to dip in the spoon and try some of it. It is then over to the taste buds to verify whether this is something we like. In comparison to humans, canine taste buds actually arent that evolved - their scavenging history demands a sense of taste thats not too demanding! We have six times as many taste buds as a dog. While they can differentiate between sweet, acid, salt, and sour, thats about as defined as it gets. 66

Your dog may sniff at food and then take a bite, but he may then look totally unimpressed and abandon it. On the other hand, he may sniff it, and then wolf it down - in which case you can safely assume that he likes it. Either he may sniff the food and then turn away immediately, in which case he is not hungry or he has decided that he is not even prepared to try food with a funny smell!


How Dogs Communicate Using Scent

Dogs use scent to learn more about what is going on as well as to communicate with one another. Most people are aware that dogs will mark their territory by urinating on a certain place: a lamppost, a fence, or if you are really unlucky, a favorite chair. This is instinctive behavior, and is designed to let other dogs know that he is around and that this is his patch. Of course, another more dominant dog may then come along and deposit his scent on top of your dog, thus marking the territory as his own. The urine and fecal matter left behind by your dog will also convey information about each dogs sexual status, health, age, and so on. For example, the deposits left behind by a female dog can tell other dogs a lot about her heat cycle. The smell of each dogs 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, 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.


Guide to Body Language and Signals

Dogs have a very distinct and unique way of communicating, and there are many expressions and physical attitudes that they use. A dog may use everything from his ears and fur to his tail and rump to express what sort of mood he is in, what he wants and how he feels. 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. It can really be a big help to know when your dog is scared, excited, playful, low, or anxious - or when he simply needs to be let out to do his business! Below, you will find a selection of common postures and signals that your dog may use when trying to communicate with you.


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, so its time to get his favorite toy and spend some time giving your dog the play and exercise he needs. Tail right between the back legs: This indicates that your dog is scared of something or someone. If he is slinking around with his tail like this, you should try and work out what is affecting him. Wagging tail: A wagging tail can mean a number of things from playfulness and happiness to excitement or aggression. If the tail is wagging loosely, he is probably feeling friendly and happy. However, it his tail is high up and wagging rapidly, it could mean aggression. If the tail is relaxed and still, your dog feels contented. 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. 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. Sniffing: This can occur for one of a number of reasons. Your dog may sniff because he smells something unusual - something he is unfamiliar with - and he may be trying to work out what it is. He may sniff to identify a person or other animal, as dogs use their noses rather than their eyes to differentiate. He may sniff to find out more about a new person or dog. In addition, if he is sniffing the floor, fence, or lamppost outside he may have caught on to the scent of another dog that has marked the territory. If your dog is sniffing the floor in the house and is also pacing or circling, he may need to relieve himself so you should get him to his designated area. Tense posture: If your dogs body is tense and slightly lowered, this indicates anxiety. This may be coupled with a partially lowered tail. Crouching: A tense body coupled with a crouching position usually means that your dog is ready to charge and attack, and is what is known as a predatory position. He might react like this with anything from his favorite squeaky toy to a squirrel or an intruder. Prancing: If you notice that your dog is prancing back and forth, bouncing around with his tail wagging, he is usually feeling happy. He may be happy and playful or he may just be happy and excited because you have just come home from work. 68

These are just a selection of the body postures and actions your dog may display to convey the way that he is feeling. Making yourself familiar with these actions will help you to identify and bond with your dog more closely.


Guide to Facial Expressions and Vocals

Although your dog will use his body to convey his moods and feelings, his head, face and vocals also play a very important part in his communication methods. Your dogs ears alone can tell you a lot about the way he feels. It is well worth learning more about your dogs facial expressions and vocals, and how he uses his head for communication (ears, nose, eyes, etc). Coupled with the use of his body language, facial expressions are an effective tool for dogs to communicate with humans, other dogs and other animals. By familiarizing yourself with both body postures and facial expressions, you can learn to pick up the danger signs - when your dog is aggressive, scared, stressed, anxious, as well as when he is content, excited, or happy. Use of the Head and Face for Communication Ears. The ears can tell you a lot about how your dog is feeling. Here are some common ways in which your dog will convey his feelings using his ears: Ears close to the head, pointing back or forwards could indicate aggression. Perked up ears, with his head turning from side to side indicates that he is alert. Slightly flattened and partially back ears indicate that he feels anxious. Ears perked up and pointing forward means that he is curious or excited. However, this can also be coupled with a predatory position, in which case he may be just about to start the chase. Ears pointing straight up may display a degree of dominance. Ears flattened and laid back against head usually indicate fear. Eyes. The eyes are also a giveaway of how your dog is feeling, and coupled with his posture, 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. 69

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. Eyes narrowed with lots of white showing indicates that he is afraid or submissive. Wide open, sparkly eyes usually means that he is ready for a game and some playful fun. Wide open eyes that are intently focused on something are part of the predatory position. Mouth. Your dog will also use his mouth as part of his communication, and here is what to look out for: Lips drawn back to expose teeth, coupled with snarling, indicates aggression. This could also be coupled with snapping. Mouth closed or slightly open can indicate alertness or dominance, depending on his posture. A slightly open mouth that makes him look as though he is grinning can actually indicate anxiety. An open mouth coupled with panting can indicate excitement and curiosity. Mouth open to expose teeth with drawn back lips can indicate fear. A relaxed mouth that is slightly open is normally a friendly and relaxed gesture. A slightly open mouth with bared teeth may indicate that your dog is on guard. An open mouth coupled with excited panting can indicate playfulness and eagerness. Use of Vocals for Communication Your dog will also use his voice to convey his feelings, and this will be used in conjunction with his posture and expressions for you to get an overall picture of how he feels. Here are some of the common vocals your dog may use: 70

Snarling or growling usually indicates aggression. 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. Excited yapping and barking indicates eagerness and curiosity. Low growling and grunting usually indicates dominance. Yelping and whining coupled with growling can indicate fear or submission. Yapping and high-pitched barking are usually signs of friendliness. Loud barking, growling, and snarling can mean that he is on guard. Excited barking and soft growling indicate playfulness. You should bear in mind that your dogs 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. For example, a dog may growl under a variety of circumstances, but by observing his posture and other facial expressions you can ascertain whether he is feeling frightened, aggressive, or whether he is simply on guard.


Wolf Instincts

Dogs have very strong natural instincts, which are inherited from their wild ancestors. The wild dog was thought to be very like the wolf as we know it today, and as such, many dog instincts resemble those of the modern wolf. Of course, 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; nevertheless, it is easy to notice some of the domestic dogs wolf-like instincts. General Characteristics Some of the basic similarities between dogs and wolves include: Their strong sense of smell and hearing, developed for detecting and hunting prey. Their vocals, such as howling and whining, to communicate in certain situations. 71

The way they communicate through body language using their eyes, tails, ears, etc. Their need to pant in order to keep cool. Their basic instincts, such as hunting, territorial behavior, sexual instincts and pack instincts. Pack Instincts We have all heard the term a pack of wolves and this is because wolves do live and hunt in small packs, where one takes on the job as leader (alpha) and the others follow. Like wolves, dogs too are pack animals - although their pack consists of human and perhaps other family pets. Also, the pack of wolves will communicate with one another by means of body language and vocals, and you will notice that your dog also communicates with his pack using the same sort of methods. 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. Likewise, domestic dogs are also known to be highly protective of their territory and family, and whether it is a postal worker or a burglar thats intruding on their territory, most dogs will make a point of trying to see them off. However, if they met the same person on the street or in the park, most dogs would not look twice. It is simply the fact that the outsider is invading the dogs territory that puts the dog instinctively on guard. Hunting Instincts Wolves are predatory animals, and use their senses - namely their sense of smell - to sniff out prey before giving chase and pouncing. Thankfully, most domestic dogs have no need to hunt out and pounce on wildlife, 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. Dogs will often display their hunting instinct when playing with toys. For example, the rubber squeaky toy is a firm dog favorite, and one that many dogs like to pounce on and bite repeatedly until they have killed the squeak. Likewise, they like to chase moving objects such as people running, Frisbees, balls, and sometimes even cars and bikes. 72

Sexual Instincts Wolves have strong sexual instincts. The alpha male and the alpha female of the pack tend to mate, with the lower male members of the pack left to harass the lower female pack members whenever the females come in to heat. Likewise, male dogs will easily notice the scent of a female that has come into heat, and will allow their sense of smell to lead the way to find the female in question. Unfortunately, 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. Roaming Instincts Wolves roam to hunt food, to gather information about the resources in the area, and to mark their territory. Dogs also have strong instincts to roam a large patch of familiar territory (their territory). Some dogs have stronger territorial instincts than others, and will defend what they consider to be their territory whether its their yard, the sidewalk, or even the local park - against intruders. Other dogs have few territorial instincts, but an incredibly strong instinct to explore huge areas of the surrounding territory - particularly Spitz dogs, like Malamutes and Siberian Huskies. These dogs have been bred for hundreds of years to sprint cross-country for weeks at a time, but no guarding instincts whatsoever - theyll gladly run forever, but most wont even cock an eyebrow at the sight of strangers on or near your property.


Review of DOG 201

DOG 201 revealed how your dogs instincts developed from thousands of years ago when they were pack animals and how dogs communicate with humans and each other. Understanding your dog The importance of the alpha dog in your dogs mind should not be underestimated. You should take steps to ensure that you are always seen as the top dog in the relationship.


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.g. sniffer dogs) in more recent times. Using scent to communicate Dogs use scent to mark their territory and determine if other dogs have been in the vicinity. 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. Knowing more about these characteristics will let you understand your dog much better. Using facial expressions and vocals to communicate Understanding how your dog communicates using his ears, 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, including: Pack instincts Territorial instincts Hunting instincts Sexual instincts Roaming instincts


DOG 202: Common Behavior Problems Solved

This chapter deals with some of the more common behavior problems that your dog may have. A lot of the time, these problems stem from inadequate training or improper socialization, meaning that retraining your dog could potentially be a lot easier than you had thought.


An Introduction to Aggression Problems

Dogs are essentially domesticated predators that we have invited to share our lives and homes. It can be easy to forget that dogs are carnivorous hunters by nature - until you see your dog yawning, barking, or play-fighting, that is. That mouth full of sharp, shiny teeth is an effective reminder that an aggressive attitude was once a prerequisite to survival in the wild.

Food, territory, a place in the pack, a mate, a comfortable bed - before dogs lived with humans, all of these things had to be fought for and defended on a regular basis. Today, we provide these things for our dogs without requiring a competitive show of aggression first. Instinct is a powerful force though, and most dogs dont realize that the types of behavior which would once have ensured them a meal and a bed are no longer necessary, or desirable, in their modern-day role as pets. As owners, its up to us to teach our dogs that they no longer need to use those shiny white teeth to get what they want. We have a much better chance of coexisting happily with our dogs when they are trained to act civilized. SOME COMMON REASONS FOR MODERN-DAY AGGRESSION IN DOGS: Dominance: he believes that hes the alpha of the pack. Self defense: he needs to defend himself from other dogs. Territoriality: hes defending his territory from other dogs/humans. Guarding: hes making sure youre not going to take his toys or food.


Pain: he may be in pain from an injury or medical condition. Fear of new situations: hes keyed-up and on edge from unfamiliar sights and sounds. Early Warning Signs: Pre-Aggression In A Dog Aggressive behavior doesnt just happen overnight. There is a set path to aggression that, if you are alert and observant enough, you can notice and put a stop to. Some dogs arrive at the aggressive stage much more quickly than others, but all follow a designated path to aggression. An awareness of the early warning signs is very useful: the earlier you catch aggressive behavior developing, the easier it is to fix yourself. Listed below are some of the warning signs of pre-aggressive behavior. If you catch your dog doing any of these, 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). Food, toy, or furniture guarding: becomes snappy, tense, or growls when you come near. May actually prevent you coming close. Bossiness: demands attention from you with nudging, pawing, and whining. Bothers you when youre eating: might sit and stare at you, pace around your feet, or nudge you for morsels. Sudden disobedience: begins to ignore you and fails to obey commands that you know he understands. WHAT MAKES THESE SIGNS DANGEROUS? Of course, disobedience in itself isnt dangerous. Bothering you for affection or stealing tidbits of food from your plate wont actually hurt you. The reason that its so important for you to notice, and put a stop to, 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. Obedience is the surest sign that your dog accepts your authority over him. When he begins to question that authority, by testing you with alpha-like behaviors such as those listed above, its 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, and safely, together. 76

You need to nip this attitude in the bud NOW before it evolves into truly aggressive, threatening behavior. What To Do If Your Dog Displays Early Warning Signs First of all, you need to become clued up on the concept of alpha status. This is dealt with in the bonus book entitled Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog, but in a nutshell, alpha status relates to who is seen as being in charge. The lead dog of the pack is called the alpha. Alpha dogs have a host of behaviors specific only to them - lesser dogs are NEVER permitted to act like alpha dogs, and if they try to do so the alpha will defend his authority with a show of aggression. Dogs are pack animals, which means that they are at their most secure and relaxed when they feel like someone is in charge (and not necessarily them). If there is nobody in your house thats taking charge in ways that are recognizable to your dog, hell try to fill that role himself. We will look at ways for you to reassert your authority in ways that your dog understands. The important thing to remember here is to not impose any human values or motives on this canine dominance-related behavior: wolf- and dog-packs have alpha leaders simply because it enables the pack to survive. If your dog is trying to be the alpha in the house, its not because he wants to - its because instinct tells him that the pack MUST have a leader to survive, and if nobody else is going to do it then hell have to. Aggression comes into play when you do something which challenges your dogs authority as the alpha. Maybe you tried to push him off a comfortable piece of furniture. Maybe you try and take his food off him (or he thinks youre going to). Maybe youre just trying to get him to do something he doesnt want to - submit to a nail clipping, a visit to the vet, or a wash. Remember, its not whether YOU think hes the alpha that counts here. Its his own perception of himself as the top dog in relation to you as subordinate to him thats dictating how he acts. If he has been permitted to become established in his perceived role as the alpha dog, its only natural for him to use aggression to back himself up. The fact is that if your dog is permitted to see himself as the alpha, then the time will come that somebody challenges his authority whether they mean to do so or not. No alpha dog takes kindly to his status being challenged, and this is when dominant-aggressive behavior begins. 77

The concept of alpha behavior, including how to understand it, achieve it, and maintain it, is relatively complex. There are many different ways that you can prove to your dog that YOU are the alpha, not him - just as there are plenty of ways that thousands of dogs around the world exert alpha dominance over their owners, without those owners even realizing (Oh look, Huggy Bears bugging me for cuddles again. He sure must love it when I pat him!). You need to clearly convey to your dog that YOU are in charge, and that you will take no nonsense from him. Later Stages Of Pre - Aggression Sometimes, dogs are able to progress right through the early stages of preaggressive behavior (discussed above) without anybody noticing or correcting them. You can tell when things have progressed to the late stages because your dog will cease tolerating your corrections of his disobedience or dominance, and will react with some pretty forceful warning signals of his own. Note the difference between the THREAT of aggression, and actual aggression. The threat of aggression is your dogs way of warning you to back off before he escalates things. HERE ARE SOME CLASSIC WARNING SIGNALS OF LATE-STAGE PREAGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR: Deep growling, snarling Defiant barking while standing tall and large, leaning toward you with tense posture, ears erect and pointing forwards or back, 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. 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.


Although this chapter deals exclusively with aggression in dogs, its a highly complex and potentially dangerous problem and, despite our efforts to include all relevant information on dog aggression for your use, its difficult to predict how any individual dog will react to certain techniques or methods. At any point, if you feel threatened or scared by your dogs behavior, you may wish to consider enlisting the services of a professional trainer who has experience with aggressive dogs. 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, toys, furniture, 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 unwittingly react to your dogs behaviors in the wrong way, it could backfire and possibly result in a bite. Inexperienced help could be bad for the dogs development. If you make a mistake, or are too scared by the dogs threatening behavior to follow through on something, you could end up reinforcing the very behavior that youre trying to eradicate. Were not saying that you should give up all hope and dial your nearest dogtrainer straight away. On the contrary, most dogs respond extremely well to the training techniques laid out in this chapter and in our alpha-dog section. All were saying is that, if you begin to feel like youre in over your head, theres nothing to be ashamed of in asking for further help. A Quick Recap Step One: Observe your dog closely for signs of pre-aggressive behavior. 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. Read it twice if you have to, because its important that you absorb the information it contains. 79

Step Three: Consider whether you are comfortable and confident in proceeding. Dont be overconfident here - particularly if you have a strong, big-breed dog. Theres nothing wrong in asking for help! At the same time, dont be needlessly scared - chances are great that, with our help, your relationship with your dog will have improved tenfold in no time.


Aggression Continued: Treatment Program for Dominance

So youre ready to proceed with treatment for your dominant and aggressive dog. Youre aware of the importance of making sure your dog knows that every single person in the family ranks higher than he does. Before starting any specific training program, take a quick look over a general list of dos and donts. Dog Aggression Dos and Donts DO: Take precautions. If you think your dog might act aggressively towards people or other animals, supervise him closely and restrict his activities with a leash or muzzle as necessary. 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. Neuter or spay your dog. Neutering is an effective way to significantly reduce spontaneous aggression in dogs of either sex. Use "time out." An overexcited dog acts in ways that he normally would not. If your dog is getting revved up, isolate him from the action - either outside the house or in his crate/kennel. Leave him there until he's cooled down, for at least five or ten minutes. Socialize thoroughly, and from a young age. All dogs require extensive socialization, which teaches them how to communicate with dogs and humans, as well as how to tell friend from foe (and thus, when aggression is warranted and when it's not). Meeting lots of new dogs and humans is especially important between the ages of ten and sixteen weeks, but if you've missed this age in your dog then don't despair - just start socializing now, instead. Remember to use a leash (and muzzle, if necessary) in public.


DON'T: Play-fight. If your dog has shown signs of aggression in the past, play-fighting will only increase this tendency. Play-fighting is fine in moderation, as long as your dog knows the limits of such play, but play-fighting with an aggressive dog is a recipe for disaster. Bribe your dog with food. Food treats definitely have their uses, but not when dealing with aggression. When it comes to anti-aggression training, the respect that your dog has for you plays a large part. Food bribes for good behavior do not engender respect (note the difference between a bribe and a reward!) Punish, abuse, or humiliate your dog. A "tit for tat" approach to training an aggressive dog is counter-productive in the extreme, 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). Dominance-Aggression Training Program After you've applied any and all of these tips that are applicable to your dog and your situation, give it a bit of time. It takes awhile for new habits to form - don't expect a miracle cure overnight! However, if after a couple of weeks your dog is still acting up, it's time to take further action. 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, your dog is feeling pretty full of himself. He thinks hes the alpha dog of the pack, that what he says goes, and that the rest of the family are basically his underlings. What you need to do is to take him down a notch. Let him know that, actually, he DOES need his human family, and that you are the source of everything he needs to survive - which makes you the alpha dog, not him. 81

The quickest and most effective way to do this is to socially isolate your dog. The cold shoulder is an extremely powerful tool, and one thats only ever used by the top dog to demonstrate displeasure with lesser-ranked dogs. Heres what you have to do: everyone in the household has to COMPLETELY IGNORE your dog for the next 48 hours. This means no eye contact, no affection of any sort, no yelling, no telling off, absolutely nothing (apart from feeding and toilet breaks, obviously). Pretend hes not there: nobody can see him or hear him. The aim here is to put him into a state of emotional deprivation, which will make him a lot more receptive to the forthcoming training techniques that were going to subject him to. Now clearly this is going to be a struggle, at least for the softer-hearted members of the household. We love our dogs, and find it difficult to think of them as anything less than a fully-fledged member of the family. Unfortunately, human communication techniques dont work with dogs. You cant explain to a dog what the problem is - you have to SHOW him, through consistent and repetitive actions, whats acceptable and whats not. Aggression training is pure tough love. You have to do whats best for your dog, not what comes easiest. In your current situation, this means ignoring your dog totally for the next two whole days. Clearly hes not going to like this. Be prepared for his behavior to worsen before it gets better. There is a reason for this, and it doesnt mean the techniques not working: just the opposite, in fact. In the past, the behavior that were trying to eradicate has probably gotten him what he wanted (a comfortable place on the couch, unquestioned possession of his favorite toys, to be left alone while eating, etc), and so before he gives up that useful behavior for a lost cause, hell very likely exaggerate it - just to make absolutely SURE that its not going to have an effect. For example, if barking loudly and angrily has worked before, then it should work again, right? So even though hes been barking for the last five minutes, with no reaction from you, maybe you didnt notice that he was barking - clearly, LOUDER barking is whats needed. He might walk closer to you, bark louder, and get right in your face. This may happen several times before he finally gives up.


Its very important that you DO NOT back down when things get worse. If youve just shown him that his tactics work, imagine how much worse hell be the next time he wants something! Basically, be prepared for things to get worse before they get better. Day Three At this point, your dog should be desperate for some attention and affection. Hell be feeling lonely, shaky, a bit confused, and pretty anxious. None of these are nice ways to feel, but theyre absolutely necessary for your dog to realize that, after all, hes NOT at the top of the chain of command - you are. When you are ready to show your dog some attention, you must make sure that you do so only on your terms. Before the dog gets anything, you get something from him first. For example, make him sit and stay before letting him outside. Make him sit or lie down before he gets to eat (well go into this in more detail in the next section). Only show affection when YOU wish to do so - dont let him initiate shows of affection by butting you, nudging you, whining, or otherwise bothering you. This is classic dominant behavior, and giving in to it will undo all the work youve put in over the last two days. If he does try to force you to show him attention, ignore him completely. Before your dog gets any sort of affection, from anyone, he has to be behaving in a way thats worthy of reward. Try petting him only when hes lying down and being quiet - this is a very effective way of demonstrating which behaviors are acceptable and will result in a reward for him. These are all great ways to constantly reinforce your authority over your dog and make him realize that hes not the boss after all, and that he has to answer to you before he gets ANYTHING that he wants: a toilet break, a meal, playtime, a toy, a chew, affection, absolutely everything. The Next Five Weeks In addition to maintaining the level of control discussed in the previous section, youre also going to start working on some basic obedience commands with your dog. 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, while simultaneously emphasizing your dominant position. 83

Were going to work on the assumption that your dog isnt particularly welltrained in basic obedience work (because if he was, its unlikely that youd have much of a problem with dominance-aggression). Start with the easy commands first, and work your way up from there. For week one, for example, you can start off with sit - theres no need to confuse either yourself or your dog with more than one command for now. Get him to sit before you feed him, before you let him outside, and so on. Over the next several weeks, gradually build up your level of command over your dog. Once sit has been mastered, begin to include sit-stay, slowly increasing the length of time hes in sit before you release him. From here, work up to down and down-stay, remembering to exercise these commands before granting your dog privileges like play-times, walks, and meals. NOTE: if your dog hasnt been trained in any obedience work at all, then use the techniques in Secrets to Dog Training to teach him these basic commands. Its not difficult - you just need to be patient. It helps to have some tasty treats on hand, too! Remember, youre not using food as a bribe, youre using it to reward especially good behavior. A useful tip to bear in mind: in obedience training, there is no such thing as over-praising your dog. If your dog obeys a command, then praise the heck out of him - shower him in affection, verbal and physical praise, and a couple of (small) treats. Put a big smile on your face (dogs read facial expressions) and use a warm, encouraging, and happy tone of voice. This works to balance out the cold-shoulder technique that youre using for bad behavior, and really highlights the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. In terms of the obedience training itself, it may help to have a concrete, achievable goal in mind. Yes, you want your dog to become more obedient - but you might find that its easier to be consistent if you have a solid goal to work towards. 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. Basic Aggression-Training Rules Things to remember: You're the boss - so act like it! Don't give your dog ANYTHING until he gives you something first. Only reward positive behavior. Any and all attention - even if it seems negative to you - is a reward for your dog. If he's acting badly, don't yell. Give him the cold shoulder immediately, and see that everyone else follows suit. 84

Talk to, pet, and praise your dog whenever you see him behaving well, which lets him know that he can "earn" your affection and attention. As time goes on, he'll begin to correlate his actions with your reactions, which gives him something positive to do instead of merely refraining from unwanted behavior. No aggressive games, or games that can get out of control. This means tug of war, tag, or rough-housing. Only allow him one toy or chew per day - any more than this encourages your dog to think of them as "his." 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. If your dog has problems with guarding toys, don't let him have any at all until the obedience work has started to take effect (normally one to three weeks). Don't shout at or hit your dog, no matter what. It won't help. Use common sense. Don't let him off-lead in public, and keep the lead short: two feet of slack is plenty. Use a muzzle if you think it's necessary. Exercise your dog as much as you possibly can - try and take him for at least one long, vigorous walk daily. Under-exercised dogs are jumpy, tense, and much more prone towards aggression. Again, don't allow him off the leash, even in confined spaces - this is a privilege which must be earned. After 5 Weeks After five weeks is up, you should be noticing marked changes in your dogs behavior. Because youve clearly assumed the alpha role in the house, he should be a lot more relaxed (because he knows he doesnt have to try and be the boss.) Obedience should be markedly improved: theres no need for fancy tricks (unless you feel ready for them!), but your dog should be pretty dependable with the basics like sit, down, and stay. You may wish to introduce other training commands at this time which have use beyond the scope of the immediate household. Leave it (drop it) and the recall command (come) are particularly recommended. Strong reliability with recall is absolutely imperative if youre ever going to walk your dog off-lead, 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. 85

Physical Correction: Necessary or Not? Generally speaking, a dogs aggression will worsen if you take a harsh or rough approach to it. Aggression isnt about who can bark (or yell) the loudest, or who can physically bully whom - its about DOMINANCE. And the only way to prove your dominance is through your everyday interactions with your dog - thinking and acting like an alpha, demanding consistent obedience, getting your dog to do things for you before you do things for him, rewarding only good behavior, and cold-shouldering bad behavior. Yes, its true that dogs use aggression to get what they want from each other. In the wild, an alpha dog would react to a challenge (deliberate or not) with his own, superior show of aggression - if he didnt, hed be finished as the alpha. But there are two critical differences between your situation and that alpha dogs situation: The alpha dog in a pack is widely acknowledged by all other pack members to be the alpha. He ALWAYS acts like the alpha dog, no exceptions - other dogs can see hes the boss and accept that he is. They respect him for a reason. Because of this, actual challenges are extremely rare: no dog wants to tangle with a true alpha. You are not a dog! Alpha dogs can respond to aggression with full confidence, knowing that they have the muscular strength, agility, and teeth required to back up any displays of aggressive intent. You, on the other hand, do not. If you accept your dogs challenge by responding to his aggression with yelling and rough handling, youre likely to get bitten. Remember, your dog wouldnt have challenged you with aggression in the first place if he accepted your position as the alpha, so theres a real chance that he will escalate matters with a bite.

Case Study: Aggression and Dominance

Pete the Doberman I have a two and a half year old Doberman called Pete. I have only had him since April, and he has so far spent 6 weeks being trained. We continue to attend classes and he is one of the best in his class. His house manners are perfect and he is great with my cats, strangers, and children. His problem is that he is aggressive towards strange dogs. He goes crazy when he sees another dog. At the dog park, he is OK with other dogs, and ignores the dogs that ignore him. If other dogs are aggressive or try to get him to back 86

down, he growls and strikes an aggressive pose, but has so far never attacked or bitten another dog. The real problem is when he is walking on a leash. When he sees another dog, he barks and jumps like a maniac. When I attempt to tell him off, he gets even more excited. It only subsides when the other dog is out of sight. He does have other dog friends that he is not aggressive with. However, any new dog is a challenge. Some days are better than others are, but his attitude is much the same. He does not react to the dogs in class this way, just the dogs he meets on the street. Do you have any suggestions? Before I bought him, he lived on a farm with a pack of other dogs, and he was the alpha dog. It seems like he is trying to establish dominance with every dog he meets. In my home, he is not the alpha. I am in charge, and the pecking order is me, the male cat, female cat and last the dog. 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. Neutering dogs almost always has a huge impact on aggressive behavior - Petes aggression towards other dogs will likely drop significantly. As an additional bonus, youll 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.) When dogs are walked on a leash, theyre often much more aggressive than they would be when off-leash. This is because their natural scope of reactions towards a possible threat (fight, freeze, or flight) has been reduced: they cant flee or freeze, because youre controlling their movements. All they can do is fight. So, youve already got an aggressively charged situation on your hands. The kind of behavior exhibited by Pete sounds like classic dominance. Its 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. The part that concerns us is that it sounds like Pete is assuming dominance over YOU when youre out on walks together. Pete is trying to protect you from these strange dogs - and protection is the alpha dogs responsibility. When youre out on a walk with Pete and he starts squaring up to another dog, remember that YOU are the boss! Take control of the situation, like the alpha dog would. You dont think its a good idea for Pete to be tangling with these other dogs, so take charge and redirect his (and your) path to avoid a potential fight. Take a detour or cross the street if necessary. 87

Do your best to minimize the possibility of uncontrolled contact with strange dogs. Obviously this wont always be possible, but anything you can do that prevents this situation unfolding is worthwhile. Stay away from areas that are likely to be populated by strange dogs, where possible. Because Petes already well into his adulthood and sounds pretty well socialized, it seems as though additional socialization isnt going to have much of an effect. When you do take him to a dog park, walk him around on the leash first and have him meet everyone there before allowing him free rein. If everything seems OK and there are no squabbles with the other dogs, then let him off the leash. This way you are proactively taking steps to avoid regrettable situations, rather then just abandoning Pete to the mercy of his instincts. One piece of equipment worth investing in is a head collar - most common is the Gentle Leader or Halti. This a head collar for a dog, almost like a bridle for a horse - theres a strap that goes around the nose, and one that goes around the neck (which is what the leash attaches to). The collar is especially useful for breaking that critical build-up of tension in the moments preceding a dogfight, because its incredibly easy to redirect a dog thats wearing it. With no heaving or tugging necessary, you can easily walk your dog away from the potential problem (and this will be particularly handy with a big dog like Pete!). We recommend the head collar over choke/check or prong collars, as they are more humane than a lead that teaches by reminding the dog that you can stop his breathing. In the interim period, until you get matters sorted out satisfactorily, you might also want to get Pete fitted with a muzzle. Even though he hasnt bitten yet, its best to remove that temptation altogether - particularly since Pete is generally the aggressor, rather than the target of other dogs aggression. Most dogs dislike the sensation of a muzzle at first, so give him some time to adjust to it before taking him out - allow at least a couple of days where you put the muzzle on Pete for a few minutes at a time, gradually working up to about twenty or thirty minutes. Make sure the experience is as pleasant as possible for him: give him a treat whenever the muzzles put on, play some games with him, and praise him a lot. We also thoroughly recommend that you read Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog and apply these techniques at home with your daily living, if you dont already do so.


Case Study: Food Bowl Aggression

Food-guarding aggression is not uncommon among dogs. There are varying degrees of food-guarding, which ranges from a subtle tensing of body posture to a fully-fledged attack. Food guarding issues begin in puppyhood, and will worsen throughout a dogs life unless steps are taken to correct it. Its a classic demonstration of canine dominance. Your goal, when dealing with food aggression, is to reassure your dog that youre not there to take the food away, and to make it clear that you are actually the dispenser of food (something which will go far towards according you automatic alpha status). Lets take the case of Nakita as an example. Nakita was a highly-strung female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She was very submissive by nature, but an affectionate, loving character with her family. In fact, the family order was well established, with every other member the alpha over Nakita. Nakitas food aggression was sparked at age seven months, when she was given her first bone. When her owners tried to take the bone away, Nakita growled and snapped. Until that point, she had been demonstrating mild symptoms of food guarding (tense posture, an increase in eating speed when somebody approached her food bowl) but nothing actually aggressive. The incident with the bone seemed to awaken dormant food-aggression traits in Nakita: after that, whenever her owners came near when she was eating, she would guard the food bowl by stopping eating, glaring at whoever was approaching, and growling until they went away again. The Kingdom of Pets Response This is a classic case of food-guarding. Fortunately, 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 - and thus are the dominant character - and that having people near the food bowl is a good thing. Firstly, a strict mealtime schedule should be enforced. We dont recommend free-feeding - meals should be prepared at regular times, the dog should be asked to sit before eating, and the food bowl should be removed after twenty minutes whether the foods been finished or not. You need to emphasize your control over the dogs food.


Secondly, we recommend that you practice adding food to the bowl while the dog eats. Our technique is to stand nearby with a fist full of kibble or chopped meat, and as the dog eats, drop bits of kibble slowly into her bowl. If the dog growls, remove the food bowl straight away (if you feel that your dog may demonstrate signs of aggression when you do this, it might be more practical to use a long stick or your feet instead). Withhold the bowl for five minutes. When its reintroduced, start the kibble-dropping procedure again. Repeat this procedure until your dog is completely relaxed about you being near the bowl. If there are other members of the household, have them do the same thing. When your dog is relaxed around all members of the family, you can stop this technique, but reintroduce it periodically (say, once every week or two) just to make sure theres no slipping back into bad habits. For dogs that are particularly bothered by a human presence while eating - for example, a dog that actually snaps at you if you approach during mealtime - do away with the bowl altogether and feed the dog from your hands at every meal. Yes, this is time-consuming and a bit irritating, but youll see an effect very quickly, sometimes within a few days. After the symptoms of aggression start to diminish, you can start the bowl-feeding technique (as above). 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 - it will make the food disappear instead! This is the technique used by Nakitas owners. Shes now a relaxed and wellmannered dog thats happy to have anyone around while she eats.


Dog-On-Dog Aggression

Aggression between dogs is a direct result of inadequate socialization. If a dog doesnt get to meet and mingle with enough other dogs while shes still young, she wont understand the difference between harmless canine interaction and actual menacing behavior. The result of this is usually either 1) a dog that's afraid of any new dogs she meets (since, without adequate socialization, 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, and thus gives or takes offense unnecessarily). Early and thorough socialization is necessary for all dogs to prevent dog-ondog aggression later in life. The critical age for socialization is ten to sixteen 90

weeks. 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. What To Do In A Dog Fight If your dog gets into a fight with another dog, you have to remember to stay calm and, above all, not get in the middle of it. This is common sense - human flesh stands little chance against two or more sets of aggressive canine teeth - but it's easy to forget this when confronted with the immediate trauma of a dogfight. Some owners make the mistake of reaching into the whirling midst of a fight in an attempt to physically separate the dogs. This is never a good idea - in a dogfight, adrenaline's running high and your dog is not capable of thinking clearly or making good decisions. You run a serious risk of being bitten by one or both of the dogs (that's right - even your own one). Sometimes fights sort themselves out in short order, with one dog quickly conceding defeat. At other times though, particularly if the dogs are wellmatched in size and/or strength, a quick skirmish can escalate into a drawn-out fight. This is when it becomes necessary to act. SOME METHODS FOR BREAKING UP DOGFIGHTS: Shout loudly and angrily (Cut it out!!!). In the best case scenario, you will scare both of them into submission. The next best result might be getting one of the dogs to back off enough to allow you to physically separate them. 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. In addition, when one dog backs off, youll often find that the other dog - no longer faced with a direct threat, will immediately follow suit. Failing the first response, 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. You will be dragging them at an angle away from the fight, 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. Ideally you will be moving them away from the fight zone as you gently swing them in an arc. If you do not feel confident or strong enough to pull off this method, then there are still some options that remain.


Throw a heavy blanket (or equivalent) over the dogs. Both dogs will be so blinded and confused by the sudden sensory cut-off that they stop fighting. One blanket per dog is even better. A bucket of cold water or a blast from the hose can be most effective in breaking up a fight - the more water the better. Dogs with their blood up for a fight will sometimes regroup and go at it again if the flows stopped too soon, so if theres limited water to hand, be prepared to grab your dog by the collar as soon as the soakings stopped. There are sprays available which are specifically designed to break up dogfights. These sprays arent physically harmful, but they contain citronella, which is intensely offensive to dogs. You can also make effective sprays yourself - lemon juice diluted with water is ideal. As soon as youve got the dogs separated, take them away from each other as quickly as you can. (If you own both of the dogs in question, then the section on Two Dogs in the House in DOG 302 is just what you need to read). Preventing Fights In the lead-up to a dogfight, your actions are critical in deciding whether the matter will culminate aggressively or peacefully. Here are some tips for coping with an animal-aggressive dog: Whenever you take your dog out, keep her under close control. 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 - no dragging, heaving, or choking your dog to get her away from potential threats. When around other dogs, or in areas that you know to be dogpopulated, keep your dog on a short leash. If she's trained to "heel," get her to heel closely enough for you to keep the leash short but slack, as a tight lead conveys tension to your dog. When another dog approaches, watch your own posture and body language: any tension youre feeling will be conveyed to your own dog, both visually and through the leash. Pretend to be calm if you have to, because this is a key point - your dog takes her cues from you. If youre tense and jumpy, shell be on the lookout for danger and may over-interpret a situation.


If your dog sees another dog and starts to act up, break her attention quickly. It isnt enough to simply say Quiet! You need to provide her with an alternate channel for her energy. A five-second session in obedience training is ideal: get her to sit or lie down and stay until the other dog is gone. When you release her, give her a treat and some praise for exercising such self-restraint.

Case Study: Dogs Fighting

Adele is a fine looking German shorthaired pointer, who can be very aggressive toward other dogs. Her owner, Bill, did not particularly mind this tendency because he was a strong, well-built fellow and did not have any other pets or children. Despite her aggression towards other animals, Adele was an all-round obedient and loyal friend to Bill, and he handled Adeles aggression simply by avoiding other dogs whenever they went for a run or walk. However, one day he came home to find that Adele had escaped from the yard. Bill quickly checked the local neighborhood for her and, having no luck, headed to the local park - a favorite haunt of Adeles. When Bill arrived, he was confronted with the sight of Adele locked in snarling, frenzied battle with another dog. Afraid for Adeles life, Bill leaped straight in and tried to pull the two dogs apart. In the confusion, Adele locked onto Bills forearm and bit down hard, shaking her head savagely back and forth. Shouting, Bill hit her hard on the muzzle, and Adele let go - only to resume fighting with the other dog straight away. After hed recovered from the shock of such a bite, Bill managed to stop the fight safely by borrowing a tarp from a nearby work crew and throwing it over the dogs. They immediately calmed and where separated. Bill wound up being the only one with a real injury in the end. The Kingdom of Pets Response When people try to intervene in a dog fight, the dogs dont have time to stop and think about whether your intent is aggressive or not - theyre in an adrenalized state. In a fight, dogs are primed to bite anything that comes within reach, which includes interfering hands. This is why you should never get in the middle of a fight. Instead, stay calm, and watch for your opportunity to safely and effectively intervene.



Fear Biting

A bite thats provoked by fear occurs in a moment of sheer panic, and is almost always caused by a well-meaning person who doesnt understand just how terrified the dog in question really is. Fear-biting is NOT the same as aggressive biting - it happens because the dog is panicked and is trying to get you to back off, not because shes a dangerous dog (although a bite thats caused by fear is still a bite, and by definition, dangerous!). A perfect example is the dog that bites during a thunderstorm. The dog is cowering under the bed, hiding in the safest place she knows, and her owner not understanding just how scared she is - laughingly tries to coax her out from underneath the bed: Come on, Sheila, theres nothing to be afraid of! When she wont come out, the owner reaches in and tries to pull her out - and is shocked when he receives a bite on the hand for his troubles. Dogs that are afraid cannot be forced to overcome their fears. A dog that is backed into a corner by something that shes afraid of will become MORE panicky, not less, and fear-biting is a not-uncommon reaction to this. Fear-biting happens because the dog is so panic-stricken that shell do anything to keep the object of her fear from coming closer. Why It Happens All dogs have a fear-imprint period at about eight weeks of age, and again around twelve to fourteen weeks. If something happens to scare that dog during these periods, the result is often a phobia about the cause of the scare which can last for the rest of her life. Some dogs are genetically more prone to being spooky than other dogs. Shyness and timidity tend to be passed down through the parents. Its pretty rare for confident and outgoing parents to produce fearful pups (another reason why its good to meet the parents of your pup or dog if possible!). Some breeds are also prone to being highly strung and excessively sensitive to fright: a few of these are Weimaraners, Dalmatians, Great Danes, collies (particularly Border Collies), and Shelties. Theres no single cause for this sensitivity: its come about in some cases through over-breeding, and as an unwelcome side-effect of high intelligence and dependency on human companionship in other cases.


How To Handle Fear-Biting You cannot train a scared dog not to bite. In the state of panic, instinct will take over no matter how much anti-aggression training you do. Remember, fear-biting is NOT aggression, its a manifestation of being terrified. Just like humans, a dog thats really, REALLY scared will act in ways that she otherwise would not. Heres one way of putting things into perspective for you: a dog in the grip of a severe phobia or fear can actually feel like shes about to die hence the extreme fear. You cannot train a panicky dog to act in any way other than how her instincts compel her to. Because of this, the best thing you can do is to avoid that state of panic that leads to fear-biting. Below are some things that you should and should not do when your dog is scared. DO: Desensitize your dog to whatever it is thats scaring her. This means getting her used to the fact that, even though its unsettling, nothing bad is actually going to happen. Remember to take it slowly, and work on getting her used to the things that scare her in a controlled, positive way. For example, if your dog is afraid of garbage trucks, sit out on the curb with her at garbage-collection time as the truck approaches. Get her to say hello to the garbage-men. Ask them to give her a treat and let her sniff the truck. Counter-condition the scared reflex by getting her to associate whatever it is thats scaring her with good things. Become a treatmachine whenever shes brave enough to approach the object of her fear (or, if shes REALLY spooked, reward her just for remaining calm enough not to wet herself/hyperventilate/run away). If you have access to whatever it is thats scaring her, integrate it into her daily life. If shes afraid of the vacuum cleaner then leave it out where she can see it, sniff it, and get used to it. Feed her next to it. Turn it on and play a game with her while its running. Remember that your dog takes her emotional and psychological cues from you, so maintain a jolly, cheerful demeanor. Talk to her about nonsensical things if this helps. Laugh if you can manage it, as this has a relaxing effect on most dogs.


Socialize her as much as possible. Take her to obedience training, or to fun and structured activities like agility work. 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, people, and objects that the world holds. The more she knows, the easier it is to see that theres nothing to be afraid of. Take baby steps! In situations where your dog is really scared, do not force her to get on with it. You need to listen to your common sense in this situation and pay attention to her body language when deciding what to do. It will be quite clear whether shes capable of proceeding, or whether you need to back off a bit. As a general rule of thumb, some tension and whining are to be expected, but cowering, submissive urination, and prolonged hyperventilation (rapid shallow breathing) are warning signs of extreme fear. If your dog is afraid of actual objects (buses, palm trees, umbrellas, fire hydrants, men with beards, etc) get her to approach them where possible, rather than having the scary thing approach her. Coax her towards it and try to get her to sniff it, and then reward her with a treat and praise for being so brave. Redirect your dogs attention by distracting her from the scary thing. 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. Then give her a big hug, lots of praise, and a tasty treat. DONT: Crowd a scared dog, or force her to confront something shes really, really scared of. A dog thats too far out of her comfort-zone is going to panic, and thats when fear-biting happens. Be aware of her body language. Try to force her to do anything if shes hiding from something, or if shes absolutely braced to resist all force. The best thing you can do is to leave her alone until shes calmed down a bit - she needs space, more than anything. Coddle her. When shes scared, do NOT shower her with attention, affection, and pats. Dont adopt a there-there tone of voice. Special attention reinforces the idea that somethings wrong, and that shes right to be scared. You need to adopt a brisk, matter-of-fact manner and remember to lead by example. When she sees you acting like everythings fine, shell start to believe it. 96

Expect a rapid improvement in your dogs behavior. Even if theres no apparent reason for spooked behavior, a fear-reaction is a very difficult thing to overcome. In some cases, you might never be able to remove the ghosts from your dogs mind. Remember to be patient and undemanding.

Case Study: Fear Biting

I have a three year old German Shepherd called Beanie that I adopted from a rescue shelter. The people at the shelter dont know what kind of a history he had, but because they found him wandering the streets Id say hes been through some kind of traumatic experience. Although Beanie is very affectionate and is normally quite calm and welladjusted, hes absolutely petrified of the broom. Whenever I bring it out to sweep the floor, he runs away so hard that he actually skids on the wooden floor. He cowers down and wets himself too. My sixteen year old son thought hed better accustom Beanie to the broom, so he tied Beanie to his kennel and started sweeping around him. He ended up touching Beanie a few times with the broom to prove to him that nothing bad was going to happen to him, but Beanie just snapped and started snarling and lunging at Mike (my son). Fortunately Mike didnt get bitten because Beanie was tied up, but it was a near thing. Ive now stopped sweeping when Beanies around because of the distress it causes him, but Im a little nervous that he might try and bite me next time I have to take it out. Id also like to address the root cause of his fear because clearly hes pretty disturbed about something. What should I do? The Kingdom of Pets Response This is a classic case of fear-aggression. Clearly Beanie has some issues when it comes to the broom - its possible that hes just formed a neurotic, groundless fear of it, but judging from the strength of his response and the fact that you say he seems quite well-adjusted apart from this problem, it seems more likely that he may have been threatened or beaten with one in his previous home. Fortunately, we dont need to know the cause of his fear of the broom to fix the problem!


Mike was right in his intention to try and desensitize Beanie to the broom, but he went about it far too harshly and in a negative way - which clearly made Beanie more uncomfortable, not less. We suggest that you approach the matter gently, and take things a lot more slowly. Start off by leaving the broom just lying around. Dont put it away in its cabinet any more - leave it lying on the floor or propped against the wall. Leave it there until Beanies had no reaction to it for at least two or three days. Then, place it beside his food bowl for a few days so he begins to associate positive experiences with the broom. This will start to counteract some of the damage done by previous owners (and by his more recent experience with Mike, which sounds as though it just reinforced the associations of powerlessness and anxiety that Beanie already has with the broom). Give it about two or three days for Beanie to accustom himself to being in such close proximity to the broom. Then you can start holding it in one hand while you coax Beanie near you. Bear in mind that this will probably take a relatively long time: its a big leap from being comfortable with the broom lying on the floor to seeing it actually in your hand. When he does eventually come within touching distance, get him to sit and stay. Give him a treat for getting this far, and then put the broom down and play a game - try and get him to touch the broom as it lies on the ground. For example, you can play fetch by throwing the ball over the broom, so that he has to run or jump over it to get the ball. Repeat these last steps three or four more times over the course of several days, and then you should be able to start incorporating actual sweeping into your day when Beanies within sight. Again, start slowly - perhaps take the broom outside and make sweeping motions at one end of the yard while hes at the other end. Pay no special attention to him, just go about sweeping. He should be OK with that by this stage - if he is, you can start putting the broom to use inside the house. Remember that the real problem is probably when he sees it in someones hands, and when he feels restricted (as though he cant escape). It might help to have the doors open so he can leave if he wants to. Remember to take it slowly and give lots of treats and praise for brave behavior. Be prepared for this to take quite some time, but eventually Beanie should be just fine around the broom. Of course, the quick fix to the problem is removing Beanie from the area whenever you need to use the broom, but you are actually accomplishes a lot more by going through this training process. You are building trust and greatly 98

reducing the risk of a potentially dangerous reaction to other similar items in the future. [NOTE: We heard back from Janet six months later, and apparently Beanies making excellent progress. He still gets tense when the brooms taken out, but he no longer hides or wets himself. Janets going to keep on taking it slowly, and we expect that Beanie will eventually be completely okay around the broom.]



Play-biting is sometimes referred to as nipping. It usually happens when a dog is still very young, but can occur in older dogs that havent yet been taught how not to use their mouths when playing and demonstrating affection. Its important for you to teach your puppy or dog not to use her mouth when greeting, playing, rough-housing, and showing affection. Mouthing and nipping are natural behaviors for all dogs, so we have to take active steps in order to prevent this behavior from getting out of hand. Dogs that arent trained not to nip grow up to be both annoying and painful to have around. They are difficult to play with. They have no concept of bite pressure or appropriateness, and so are an irritation to adults and a danger to young children. Like fear-biting, nipping isnt real aggression - its based on instinct and communication, not a desire to inflict harm or scare people away. All puppies are nippy when theyre growing up. This is because theyre fresh from the litter, where they play with their siblings by biting and mouthing each other. Once you bring your pup home, its up to you to teach her not to do this any more. Older dogs can also be trained not to nip, although in a lot of cases the behavior will resurface in moments of duress - for example, when playing an exciting and fast-moving game like tag. How To Deal With Nipping Your first priority is to teach bite inhibition. Because (as you know) you shouldnt adopt a pup before eight to ten weeks of age, by the time you bring her home shell already have learned the basics of bite inhibition from her mother and siblings - but she still needs to adjust the threshold of bite pressure to suit humans, since we get hurt a lot easier than dogs do! 99

TRAINING YOUR DOG NOT TO NIP Squeal shrilly and LOUDLY when your puppy or dog nips you too hard. (Some people squeal whenever their dog's mouth closes on any part of their anatomy, no matter how gently - it's up to you whether you do this or not.) After you've squealed, isolate her immediately by ceasing all contact. Stand up, turn your body completely away, and don't make eye contact: make it perfectly clear that you're not going to play if she acts like that. Wait until your dog has calmed down - about two or three minutes - before resuming contact, and make sure everyone else in the room follows suit. This is how puppies react when their siblings bite too hard, so your dog will understand the message perfectly. Stop encouraging your puppy to focus on your hands. Because dogs and especially puppies have an innate need to use their mouths when playing, it usually helps to supply a chew (rawhide bones and pigs' ears are great) when you're petting her or playing with her. This gives her an outlet while keeping your hands safe. If, while playing, she starts snapping at your hands, correct her quickly by saying, "Ah-ah-ah!" or "NO!" Give her a chew and praise her effusively as soon as her jaws close around it. 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, while hands are most definitely not. Be consistent. It's really important that everyone who plays with your dog or puppy understands that you're training her not to nip. If everyone gives her the cold shoulder whenever she nips them, the message will come across loud and clear, and she'll learn her lesson that much more quickly. Never hit, shake, or slap your puppy for nipping. This is ultimately just going to confuse the dog, and won't get the message across - to a lot of dogs, this kind of behavior comes across as rough-housing (i.e. you want to play rough, in which case more nipping will result). In older dogs, it can come across as a challenge, and spark a power-struggle. In all cases, it's unnecessary and cruel: it's much more effective to socially isolate your dog when she gets too revved-up.


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. He is very nippy; he will latch onto hands, feet and pants, with every chance he can get. I have tried to divert his attention from my hands by feeding him while petting him; I also try to stroke him while playing with his toys. What can I do to get him to stop biting our hands? The Kingdom of Pets Response First of all, you need to actively correct Jacob when he starts to get nippy. When he begins to mouth and nip you, or if he latches on to you as you walk past, say, Ah-ah-ah! or NO! loudly and firmly. He should let go in surprise when you do this. Quickly hand him a chew or appropriate toy, and praise him lavishly when he takes it in his mouth. You can give him a treat if you like, to really drive the message home. If Jacob nips you too hard, you need to react like a little puppy would if it was bitten - squeal loudly in pain (this shouldnt be too hard - milk teeth are like needles!) Then, ignore Jacob completely for the next few minutes. This means no eye contact, no talking, no petting, absolutely nothing. Dont even attempt to tell him off for nipping you. You need to make sure that everyone in the house adheres to this corrective behavior for Jacob, and remember to stick with it. It takes some time to teach puppies not to nip, as theyre hardwired to use their mouths in almost all situations from birth. As he grows up, he may occasionally relapse into nipping behavior again. If this is the case, simply repeat the response outlined above.



Chewing and Other Destructive Behavior

Why Does It Happen? The majority of destructive and neurotic behaviors in dogs originates from loneliness, boredom, and a lack of physical and mental activity. Dogs are geared toward human companionship. Genetic, fossil and DNA evidence leads us to believe that humans began to domesticate wolves between 15,000 and 100,000 years ago. A lot of dogs lead sad, lonely lives - the occasional pat on the head, a bowl of food, and a weekly walk is the most some get from their owners. Other dogs are slightly better off, but still spend upwards of eight hours a day on their own. When you think about it, its quite obvious that dogs are not designed to be left by themselves or cooped up for long periods of time. Theyre social pack animals, many with strong working instincts and the need for plenty of exercise each day. Leaving such an animal by itself, either inside a house, shut in a yard, or boxed up in a crate or kennel, is positively unnatural for the dog. Her instincts are calling out for company, for social interaction and the ability to sniff around and roam - even when dogs have a large backyard at their disposal, its still not the same as being able to explore new territory. The resulting combination of loneliness and mental and physical frustration frequently results in the onset of destructive chewing in a dog. To explain, when we say destructive chewing, this refers to the chewing that originates because your dog needs something that shes not getting - like company or exercise - as opposed to the chewing that takes place simply because your dog likes to chew. We can also refer to it as problem chewing.


Below are some tips for preventing destructive behavior in the first place. Exercise and Companionship are Paramount The best prevention available for destructive behaviors such as chewing is to combine exercise with companionship. Active time together, spent walking, jogging, or playing fetch, is much better than time spent just hanging out together at home - clearly both have their time and a place, but time spent exercising together fulfils three of your dogs instinctive needs at the same time: the need for companionship, the need to follow the leader (you), and the need to roam. Figure out your dogs exercise needs and make sure youre fulfilling them. All dogs have different exercise requirements depending on their breed, age, and level of physical health, but you should be able to get a fair idea from a bit of quick research. Take a look at the Kingdom of Pets breed library (http://www.,browse online, or ask your vet. As a general rule of thumb, most dogs need a minimum of half an hour to an hours vigorous exercise every day. Old or injured dogs, and some of the more sedentary breeds, are the exceptions. A dog thats well-exercised is much less likely to need to occupy her time with destructive behaviors such as chewing. As the saying goes, a tired dog is a good dog, so make sure you tire your dog out as much as possible! Clearly, most of us have to work - unfortunately, we dont all have the luxury of prioritizing our dogs happiness over earning a living! However, 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. This is literally the best thing you can do for your dog before leaving in the morning: she gets to spend time with you, AND get in some mileage at the same time. If you live within walking or driving distance of work, come home on your lunch break and check up on your dog. Take her out for a 15 minute walk, or just play a quick game of Frisbee. You can eat your lunch at your desk afterwards. When you come home from work, grab a quick snack and head out to the park with your dog. Dinner can wait until you get home. 103

Redirect Your Dogs Chewing Some people make the mistake of thinking of chewing as something that a dog will only do if shes bored or lonely. This is simply not true: chewing is a pleasurable activity in itself for most dogs. However, it is fair to say that dogs chew MORE when theyre lonely or bored - they need something to occupy their time, and chewing is a soothing activity that helps the time go by for a lot of dogs. A dog thats pining for your company is also more likely to target items that she associates with you - things that smell like you, in particular. This is why so many owners come home from work to find their pillows, bedding, or favorite jacket shredded: its not the dog seeking revenge on you for leaving her behind, its an instinct to chew (a soothing activity in itself) on something that reminds her of you. In most cases, if you dont provide your dog with a fantastic variety of chews and toys to occupy her time, mind, and jaws with, she WILL turn to whatever else is available: your sofa cushions, the shrubbery, your favorite sneakers. Investing in about ten to twelve chews of varying sizes, shapes, and textures is a good way to safeguard your own personal possessions, and to minimize the desire to target your own stuff before it becomes an issue. Chewing Dos and Donts DO: Buy a lot of chews and toys: ropes, an assortment of rawhide chews, Kongs, hard rubber toys, soft latex toys, squeakies, and marrow bones. Rotate these toys every couple of days: put the old ones away, and bring out one or two new ones. This keeps things interesting for your dog, and lessens the likelihood of your possessions being targeted out of boredom. Spend time observing your dog around the house. You want to be sure that she's not going to target any of your possessions before leaving her alone with them. If she ever does choose something of yours over one of her own toys, correct her immediately: loudly say "Ah-ah-ah!" or "NO!," or shake a soda can with a couple of dimes inside (the loud rattle is scary for most dogs). The quicker you react, the faster she'll learn the lesson. Straight away, substitute a chew for the item and praise her as soon as she takes it in her mouth. 104

For items that your dog's already displayed a marked preference for, you may need to take steps to make these items unappealing. A great way to do this is to use Bitter Apple, which is a non-toxic chew deterrent designed especially for use with dogs. It comes in a cream or spray, and can be purchased from pet stores and some supermarkets. For a dog that chews from anxiety, loneliness, and/or boredom, leaving the radio on or the TV tuned to a talk-show will give the illusion of company. Of course, this won't work as a sole preventative, but used in tandem with one or more of the other solutions listed above it's quite effective. DONT: EVER tell your dog off for destroying property unless youre able to actually catch her in the act. If you come home and somethings been destroyed, it will do no good at all to tell off or punish your dog unless you come home while the destruction is taking place. Dogs have no accurate concept of time, 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. Yelling at a dog thats shredded something out of boredom and loneliness at some point earlier in the day might seem like a necessary vent at the time, but in reality its actually pretty cruel: she wont understand you. (And, after all, 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. Chewing is as natural to dogs as breathing. The best you can aim for is to channel your dogs chewing towards appropriate objects, not to stop it altogether. 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, then you should have little trouble with destructive chewing. In some cases, however, dogs are a bit confused about what theyre allowed to chew and what theyre not. The actions of owners can sometimes contribute to this confusion, which in turn can lead to rapid and widespread destruction in the home.


OPTIONS FOR SERIAL DESTROYERS Restrict your dogs chewing activities to designated dog-toys ONLY. Dogs cant tell the difference between your old, cast-off slippers and the shoes that you still wear every day: to her, they smell and look the same. Be consistent and simplify things as much as possible when teaching her what she can and cant chew. This means no old towels, no cast-off clothes or pillows - she is no longer allowed to chew ANYTHING but dog-toys. Build a dog run in your yard which is big enough for your dog to stay in for a couple of hours, while youre away during the day. Make sure that theres enough room to run about a bit, and that theres a kennel included which is both waterproof and safe from the elements so shell be snug and cozy in cool or wet weather. Youll probably need to invest some time in teaching your dog the difference between chewable and non-chewable items in the household. This means spending a fair amount of time in the beginning just hanging out at home with your dog and actively supervising her. If she starts mouthing something thats off limits, youll need to leap in with a NO! and then substitute with an appropriate chew or toy straight away. Praise her as soon as she closes her mouth on the chew. You can booby-trap certain objects around the house. Corrective behavior that involves scare-tactics is more effective when the correction seems to be a direct result of her own behavior, rather than a correction that comes from you. For example: some dogs LOVE to chew telephone wire. A good way to put a stop to this behavior is to disconnect the jack from the wall, and tie the loose end of the cord to a can thats got a few dimes inside it. Put the can out of reach on a table or shelf. When the pup starts to chew, the can will fall down and scare the living daylights out of her. 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. A water pistol is another good alternative to this - the colder the water the better.


Case Study: Chewing and Destructive Behavior

Henry is a 10 month old Golden Labrador who just loved company. Unfortunately for Henry, he never really had any company because his owner, Dave, worked full time. Because of this, Henry spent a lot of time by himself at home during the day, and would frequently entertain himself by gnawing at shrubbery and outdoor furniture in the garden. The only thing that stopped Henry from going completely round the bend with boredom and loneliness was the next-door neighbors dog, Lucy, whom Henry got on extremely well with. Even though a fence separated the two dogs, Henry had chewed through one of the boards, leaving a hole big enough for him to tunnel underneath to the neighbors back yard. Although Dave loved Henry, and felt remorseful at having to subject him to such loneliness and boredom, clearly such destructive behavior was not acceptable. After apologizing to the neighbor, Dave arranged to have Lucy around during the day to visit. This arrangement suited everyone perfectly until the day that the neighbor moved house, taking Lucy with him. Henry quickly fell back into his old destructive habits, and became withdrawn and depressed. Dave had to figure out some ways of improving Henrys quality of life. He began to get up earlier in the morning to take Henry out for a forty-five minute walk. He also built a dog run in his yard, which permitted Henry a good range of the garden, without Dave having to worry that he would break free. On top of this, he purchased some quality dog-toys and chews, and an exercise ball to keep Henry busy for at least some of the day. Sometimes during the day, Dave would come home at lunch to play with Henry. All this added up to a much improved quality of life for Henry, but it still wasnt ideal - and all the driving to and fro wasnt convenient for Dave. As a solution, he decided to get another dog as a friend for Henry. After having a look in a few shelters, Dave found a two year old Poodle called Jazz that was accustomed to living with other dogs. Dave introduced the two dogs in the local park (a neutral setting), and allowed them to play for awhile and sort out who was the more dominant dog before Dave finalized Jazzs adoption.


Henry and Jazz are now the best of friends. 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. Before humans began to domesticate dogs, a dog without a pack didnt have long to survive - even though a lot of the wilder instincts have been bred out of dogs, the need to interact socially has not, and a lonely dog is an unhappy dog. In the case of a dog thats left by himself for long periods of time, as was the case with Henry, its only fair that something is arranged to keep him busy and content. This removes the need to be destructive in the first place. [NOTE: We are NOT advocating the addition of a second dog as a cure for your first dogs boredom and subsequent destructive behavior! Getting another dog is a huge decision to make, requiring careful consideration of all the possible consequences. In Daves case, the addition of Jazz to his household worked just fine, but this isnt to say that getting another dog is the only or best solution available to you. We included this case study because it does cover a range of response to this particular problem, and we hope it helps!]


Jumping on Furniture

Whether your dog is to be allowed up on the furniture or not is a pretty big decision to make. Whatever your decision, youre going to have to stick with it. Consistency is really important when it comes to issues like this: once you decide to allow him access to the couch or bed, its going to be difficult for you (and confusing for your dog) if you change your mind in future!

In general, its considered good dog-training etiquette not to allow young puppies up on furniture until theyre at least five or six months old. This is because being allowed up on the furniture - your territory - is a privilege for a dog, and it doesnt 108

do any harm for him to understand that its not his given right to sprawl on the couch. You are permitting him to join you there. The decision is entirely yours, and whatever decision you do make, the numberone rule is that you MUST be consistent. This means that, if you decide to allow him free access to your furniture at all times - meaning that he doesnt have to wait for an invitation before jumping up - youre essentially removing your right to tell him off if he ever chooses an inopportune moment to do so (for example, when youre enjoying an afternoon nap, when youve got a glass of red wine balanced on the arm, or when hes wet and muddy). If hes going to be allowed up as and when he chooses, you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences of your decision. This is why the team at Kingdom of Pets suggests that if you allow access to furniture, you also impose limits. If you want your dog on the couch, then great, but he has to understand that he cant just leap up there any old time. He has to wait for you to invite him up there ... and he also has to get off when you ask him to. This is a fundamental rule for a harmonious household: partly because there are always going to be times when its 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. Sleeping/reclining space is a big thing when it comes to sorting out pack hierarchy - some say its even more indicative of alpha ranking than who eats first. Make no mistake about it: he knows that the furniture - particularly the bed - is your territory. If hes allowed up there whenever he chooses, thats likely a sign of his dominance over you: he can trample all over your personal turf, but nobody ever invades his bed or crate and messes it all up. 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. Not only does this prevent minor inconveniences like having books, clothes, and furniture scratched and rumpled when youre caught unprepared, but it also removes an ongoing opportunity for your dog to view himself as higher than you in the household hierarchy.


Inviting Him To Join You It wont take much for him to understand what you want - simply pat the couch (or bed, or chair, or whatever) and, with an encouraging, high-pitched voice, say Up you get! or Come on! or whatever phrase it is that youve chosen. He should understand almost immediately what you want, and will leap right up there. Requesting To Disembark Getting up on the couch is rarely a problem - its 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. Get a good dog bed and place it near the couch (you can buy one specifically designed for this purpose, or you can create one from a beanbag, a length of corrugated foam wrapped in towels, or a folded quilt and some pillows - basically anything comfortable!). When you want your dog to get off the couch, say Off and point to the dog bed. Theres no need to sound like a drill sergeant: keep your tone low but pleasant. Dont repeat yourself. One off is enough - but keep your arm pointing at the dog bed, and maintain eye contact with the dog. Before using physical encouragement, wait for 30 seconds (which may seem like an eternity). Some dogs are slow to obey commands at first, and will look at you with a, You have to be kidding me, right? expression on his face, before slowly getting up and reluctantly acceding to your request. If he does obey you - even if he doesnt do so straight away - reward him immediately and generously, with plentiful praise, petting, and a small food reward or two. If he hasnt obeyed you after 30 seconds, youll need to physically encourage your dog to obey you. NOTE: Plenty of owners make the mistake of thinking that dog-training commands are interchangeable, and use off for more than one situation (for example, using off to ask your dog to both get off the couch and to stop jumping up on people.) 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. Likewise, you wont be able to use down if youve taught him to lie down when you say it - youll need to come up with something new, like on the floor. 110

Physically Encouraging The Off For a lot of owners, the instinctive reaction for dealing with a disobedient dog is to grab him by the collar and literally drag him into the desired location. This isnt particularly constructive - not only is the collar-pulling technique not guaranteed to work with big dogs, but its also a lot more effective if you can make your dog do something under his own steam rather than just hauling him about. When you drag him by the collar, you may be demonstrating physical power, but thats no assurance of long-term obedience! Slide your hand, palm-down, under his rear end so youve created a slight wedge effect between his rear and the couch. Gradually push your arm forwards so the angle increases and the pressure mounts on his back end - youre not forcing him to get off, but youre making him uncomfortable enough that hell choose to move of his own volition. This is where you repeat the off command once more: the physical encouragement reinforces your request, as well as making the seat uncomfortable enough so that hell want to bail out! Correcting Jump-Ups Until he gets the message that an invitation must always precede furniture access, 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). If you see him doing this, you need to correct him straight away: if you actually catch him as hes leaping up, make a loud Ah-ah-aaaahh! sound. Most dogs seem to instinctively understand that this means, Hold it right there! Some will get off voluntarily when they hear this, but even if yours doesnt the split-second timing will still underline the fact that hes not to jump up without an invitation. If you dont catch him in the act but notice him on the furniture (when you havent invited him up there!) say, Off! in a low, authoritative tone. Punctuate this with a snap of your fingers or a clap of your hands if you like, and then point to the dog-bed. Remember: dont repeat yourself, but keep pointing and maintain eye contact. Give him about 30 seconds before initiating physical encouragement. Its important to always praise generously for obedience with this issue, since from your dogs point of view its a pretty big thing to ask (who wants to leave a comfortable, warm spot on the couch for a dog-bed or, even worse, the floor?) not to mention a real sign of respect when he obeys you.


Case Study: Jumping on Furniture

There was a couple who adopted Bella, a Black Labrador. She was wellmannered and well-loved. For over a year, the dog was allowed to sleep on the bed. Then the wife bought a set of satin sheets, which she had been saving up for. She decided they were too nice, too delicate, and too expensive, to become dogified (a term that describes all the things that make you know a dogs been there, including dog hair, dog drool, mud and dirt, and that distinctive dog smell). So what could they do? They were told that this would confuse the dog. And this is certainly true. But in my email to them I also explained that their pets confusion is no reason to avoid the satin sheets they dearly wanted, and that the wife shouldnt feel bad about her decision. After all, there are plenty of confusing things that dogs must adapt to that we cant control or simply dont realize. However, I told them that taking away the dogs privilege was not the problem, but doing so without in some way offsetting it with something else was. In other words, before the switching the sheets, they needed to provide Bella with a great new deluxe dog bed. In addition, 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, either on her own or when asked. I also told them to spend some time hanging out right around the dog bed with Bella, even if the bed is placed near their existing bed, so that she didnt feel like shes been banished from the only social spot of the room. 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, and interrupted with a sharp Uh uh when she looked like she was approaching it. Through some patience and repetition, Bella figured it all out in a couple weeks and, to the delight of the wife, all before they upgraded their bedding. The added benefit of this arrangement is that the dog develops a better sense of her own personal space. Oh, and as for the dog bed itself, it was truly deluxe. In fact - and I kid you not - they even lined it in satin!


H. Jumping on People
There are two basic reasons as to why a dog will jump up on people. In no particular order, these are: Dominance Attention-seeking A lot of owners make the mistake of applying human behavioral characteristics to their dogs: they think that, when they return home from work and their dog jumps all over them, its because the dog is excited and happy to see them. Unfortunately, this isnt entirely true. Yes, of course your dog is extremely happy and excited to see you come home; but hell demonstrate this by wagging his tail, panting, and bouncing around the house and yard, not by jumping up on you. In fact, there is very little, if any, emotional component to jumping up on a person: its a means of communication between dogs, not a demonstration of emotion. Between canines, the dog that leaps up on the other dog is asserting dominance. If the leapt-upon dog submits to this behavior, hes acceding dominance to the leaper. Your dog doesnt think of you as a human - he doesnt realize that canine communication methods arent applicable! So the meaning of the action is the same, whether hes jumping up on you or on a dog: hes saying, Youre not the boss here. I am, and I expect you to submit to that. Jumping is not a behavior that you should encourage in your dog. Even if you have a small dog that cant inflict harm or scare people when he rears up, its still pretty bad form to allow this behavior: do you really want to agree with your dog that hes in charge by submissively permitting him to continue his dominant behavior? Dealing With Jumping Consistency is absolutely essential when dealing with jumping. You cannot permit him to leap up on you on some days, and get angry with him on other days. Your dog cant tell the difference between your work clothes and your gardening outfit, or whether youre feeling rushed or playful. If youre going to 113

teach him not to jump up on you, you need to be prepared to react the same way every time he does it - and so does everyone else in the household. This goes for visitors, too. TEACHING YOUR DOG NOT TO JUMP UP IS REALLY VERY SIMPLE. HERES WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO: When he starts jumping, completely ignore him. Give him the real cold shoulder: turn your body completely away, avert your face, and break eye contact. Its likely that at first, your dog will actually increase his jumping - hes looking for validation, which he would normally get in the form of eye contact (and possibly attention, whether good or bad) from you. Its important that you do not give him this validation. Remember, even negative attention is still attention, so make sure you dont react at all. He will probably sit down in puzzlement after about 30 seconds of fruitless leaping. As soon as all four paws are on the ground, praise the heck out of him: give him treats, pat him lavishly, shower him with praise. You want to make it crystal clear that four paws on the ground is what you want; leaping and jumping will result in a complete snubbing. Hell get the message very quickly. Note: If your dog is demonstrating jumping behaviors in conjunction with other signs of dominance (for example, food- or furniture-guarding, deliberate disobedience, talking back to you when you verbally correct him), youll need to learn more about how to combat dominant behavior in your dog. Take a look at our chapter on dominance-aggression (in Dog 202) or read the bonus book, Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog.

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. Unfortunately, many visitors unknowingly would encourage this behavior by smiling, and petting her. It is innate behavior for a puppy to first jump up at their mother. In the wild, 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. (This also explains why puppies will lick your face if you let them). If such a behavior occurs with a young puppy, it is important that it be reprimanded immediately, that way there is no reward for their actions.


However, Madison being an older dog and having been allowed to get away with the problem for so long, there was more training involved. The first thing the family had to do of course was restrain Madison before any visitors could even walk through the gate. The second thing was that they had to completely ignore her when they themselves would walk through the gate, even if she looked as if she wanted to jump up at them, they would just not look her in the eye and carry on as if she was not there. Thirdly, they had to reprimand her if she did jump up at them. For example, 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. If Madison came near them before they were ready to greet her, they would throw the water at her! This trick was very effective, 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!


Digging Problems
They just like to do it Theyre 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 youre there or not, and if the amount of digging he does isnt really affected by how much exercise he gets, then hes probably in the former category. If you dont really walk your dog enough (if youre not walking him for at least half an hour a day, and/or if hes still full of beans by the time you return home at the end of a walk), or if he spends a fair bit of time by himself, and especially if he doesnt dig much or at all when youre around, then hes most likely digging because he needs more stimulation in his life, and is trying to provide it for himself. This section will deal with how to control excess digging that takes place for either reason.


Digging For Fun Some dogs just seem to be hardwired to dig. Your dogs breed (or breeds, if hes a mixture) plays a lot in this. Terriers, for example, are actually bred to tunnel into the earth and drag vermin out of their burrows, so any dog with a bit of terrier in him will usually enjoy getting his paws dirty. Breed isnt the only deciding factor when it comes to digging preferences, though - it also seems to be largely up to the individual dog. Some dont particularly care for it, while others go nuts for just about any available piece of dirt. WHAT TO DO WITH A DOG THAT DIGS FOR FUN Of course, theres no harm in permitting your dog to indulge himself every once in awhile. But some dogs are capable of turning your garden into a moonscape of cratered pits in just a couple of hours - and if this is the case, youll probably want to take steps to get it under control. SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR CURBING EXCESSIVE DIGGING: Take preventative measures. A dog that has no unsupervised access to your yard or certain areas of it has no opportunity to wreak destruction. Use natural deterrent. Except in the case of dogs who like to eat poop (a condition known as coprophagia, which we will deal with later on, in the section Health-Related Behavior Problems Solved), most dogs will be put right off digging by the presence of dog poop. All you have to do is scoop up a bit of solid waste and place it in a current hole. Make the dirt unappealing. 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, it puffs up and irritates the dogs eyes and nose. Use a liberal hand at first, and from then just a sprinkling should be enough to alert your dog to its presence. Allocate your dog a section of your property where digging is actively encouraged - use visual boundaries to mark it off from the rest of the 116

yard, like bricks or even a rope. One idea is to buy (or build) a deep sandbox, and fill it with a mixture of sand, earth, and grass for him to dig in. When you catch him digging in an off-limits part of the garden, immediately correct him and redirect him to the digging allowed area. When he starts to dig there, praise him effusively and give him a treat - you can encourage him to get going by having a bit of a scratch around yourself, if necessary. Burying a bone or two in the designated area also works well. Some people have had a lot of success placing chicken wire a few inches underneath the ground, in areas that their dog particularly likes to dig in. Although this is a highly effective method, its clearly going to be a fair amount of work for you, so you may wish to restrict this to parts of the garden that you really prize. 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, gives him a job to do, and can be self-reinforcing behavior. Thats because its fun, and occasionally yields tasty treats like bones. IDEAS FOR REDUCING DIGGING THATS PROVOKED BY BOREDOM AND/ OR LONELINESS: Wear your dog out before you leave him alone. Take him for as long a walk as you can both manage - an hour or more is ideal. Try to tire his mind out as well, with a five or ten minute obedience-training session augmented by praise and treats for good behavior. Invest in some toys that will keep your dog active and occupied during your absence. 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). There are also hard plastic balls which dispense a treat if rolled over a certain number of times, and various flavored items of varying textures and degrees of chewiness. Genuine marrowbones bought from the butcher and chopped up into sections a few inches long will provide your dog with hours of tasty, nutritious entertainment - just make sure you bake or boil them first. Companionship is on a par with plentiful exercise for its effectiveness in keeping your dog happy and free from boredom. If you can make it home during the day to pay a quick visit, thats a big step in the right direction. If this isnt possible, you might consider investing in a dogwalker or dog-sitter. Some people have actually adopted a second 117

dog for reasons of companionship, and this is effective in many cases - but obviously youll need to think this through VERY carefully before taking the plunge (and not least because theres 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 Dans lawn and flowerbeds. Debbie knew that Alfie wasnt a bored or lonely dog - she worked from home, so he had constant human companionship. She had two dogs, so Alfie never longed for canine companionship, and he got plenty of exercise and affection. In fact, his life seemed pretty ideal for a dog - clearly, Alfie loved to dig as a fulfilling pastime in itself, not just as a means to an end! Although Dan and Debbie knew it was unlikely that their lawns would ever be truly pristine, what with owning two boisterous dogs, they still werent prepared to put up with a garden that was constantly full of holes and dirt piles, so they decided to try and sort out Alfies digging habit. At first, they tried deterring Alfie from digging in his favorite places by putting dog poop in the holes, but Alfie wasnt to be that easily deterred - instead of being put off, he just started digging somewhere else instead! Next, Debbie tried aversion therapy: she filled some balloons up with air until they were almost at bursting point, waited until Alfie was otherwise occupied, and buried them around the garden in places that Alfie liked to dig. The idea was that, when Alfie dug one up, it would explode and give him a fright. Well, Alfie did dig a couple up, and they did explode in his face - but Alfie was a confident dog who didnt spook easily, so after a few seconds consideration, he just started right back digging again. Cayenne pepper didnt work either. Just like the dog poop solution, it merely made Alfie go and dig in other places. Because Debbie and Dan knew that Alfie was getting plenty of vigorous exercise and lots of companionship and affection, they were beginning to become a bit stumped as to how to sort him out! After some consideration, Debbie and Dan decided to use a two-pronged approach. Dan rolled his sleeves up and got to work digging up the turf of the lawn and laying out chicken-wire underneath, while Debbie went out and 118

bought a large sand-box which she filled with earth, sand, and a couple of juicy bones to encourage Alfie to get to work. 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. After a few tries in various parts of the garden, he gave up and just sat there panting. Straight away, Debbie and Dan led him over to the sandbox and, using their hands, started to dig up the earth and sand inside. Alfie quickly caught on, and within a few moments was hard at work. Debbie and Dan made sure to praise him lavishly while he did this, and after about a few minutes of digging, Alfie had dug up a succulent marrowbone. This combination of strategies was what finally worked for Debbie and Dan Alfie no longer enjoyed digging up their lawn, and hed found a place to dig that not only earned him a bone, but also plentiful praise from Debbie and Dan. Problem solved!



When we talk about disobedience, were not referring to a situation where your dog doesnt obey you because he doesnt fully understand the command. Thats not disobedience, thats just incomprehension, and its not something you can blame your dog for - he just needs a bit more training, thats all. Disobedience is when your dog out-and-out ignores a familiar, well-known command from you that hes obeyed successfully at least a few times before. You both know full well that he understands you perfectly - hes just choosing to ignore you, for whatever reason. This is not something that can be left to fix itself. Even though at this stage, its really just a minor to moderate inconvenience, it does not bode well for your future with your dog. Disobedience is actually a form of passive aggression: essentially, your dog is showing you that he doesnt have enough respect for your authority to heed your requests and commands. Since weve 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), youll already know that if your dog doesnt respect you enough to obey you, then 119

hes beginning to think of himself as equal or even superior to you in the pack hierarchy which defines your relationship. And its not possible to have a healthy relationship with your dog if he doesnt consider himself below you in the chain of command. HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR DEALING WITH DISOBEDIENCE IN YOUR DOG: First of all, you need to re-establish your dominance, pronto! If you havent already done so, read Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog and put the tips contained within it to use straight away. Make sure youre controlling your dogs food, and that he knows you are. Enforce a feeding schedule, and remove any uneaten food after fifteen or twenty minutes. Make your dog sit and stay before you allow him to eat. Begin a progressive obedience-training program at home. 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. Remember to reward him for good behavior and obedience. Once youve built a solid base of communication and basic obedience with the beginner commands, you can move on to more advanced commands and tricks if you feel like it. You dont HAVE to do this though - just five minutes a day spent in rehashing familiar commands with your dog is an extremely effective way of reinforcing your authority and dominance. You can also consider a formal obedience-training class. Again though, this isnt necessary if youd rather do the training on your own: we are providing all of the fundamental resources you need. A training class is just another way of keeping things new and interesting for you and your dog in a structured way.

Case Study: Disobedience

Sometimes dogs become disobedient for no apparent reason - as was the case with Diva, a seven month old Shih Tzu, owned by Lisa. Diva had always been a pliable puppy, readily obedient to Lisas requests, until she turned six months old - and then disobedience started to creep in. It started with a lack of response to the recall command, and progressed from there to an increasing reluctance to sit or stay on command, as well as related behaviors 120

like talking back (barking defiantly at Lisa when she reprimanded Diva). Its always best to nip these problems in the bud, so it was with relief that we read Lisas email and learned that Diva had only been acting up for a month or so. After some detailed information from Lisa, we discovered several contributing factors: Lisa was not keeping up with Diva's obedience training program. After Lisa felt that Diva had got the basics sorted (at approximately three to four months of age), 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, such as leaping up on beds and couches uninvited, was tentatively dominant behavior We advised her to take several steps with regard to Diva's behavior: 1. Obedience training must start immediately. We advised Lisa of the importance of keeping up Diva's training on a daily basis - not just in the interests of having a well-behaved dog, but also as a valuable means for Lisa of asserting her authority, and of keeping this dominance fresh in Diva's mind. 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. 2. When a dog is exhibiting signs of disobedience and/or dominance, freefeeding is not conducive towards a respectful owner-dog relationship. Food is an important tool when it comes to asserting dominance, since anyone who provides food is accorded alpha status pretty much automatically. This was something that we felt Lisa could be making more use of in her relationship with Diva. We advised her to begin a feeding schedule with Diva, and to stick to it rigidly: two medium-sized meals a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, at set hours. Any uneaten food was to be removed after twenty minutes, and Diva was to sit and stay until released before being allowed to eat. We also reminded Lisa to never feed Diva scraps from the table, and to refrain from giving her treats unless Diva had earned them through obeying a command, or through exemplary good behavior. 3. Finally, 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, disobedience is really just an early sign of dominance). There's 121

no problem with inviting your dog to share your personal spaces, as long as you really are INVITING her to do so - if the dog leaps up whenever she feels like it and without waiting for your invitation, this often goes far toward confirming her cockiness and exaggerated sense of social stature. We advised Lisa to either forbid Diva access to these areas until her behavior shaped up, or to allow her access - but on the proviso that Diva did something for Lisa first, like performing a "sit-stay" until released. Making dogs earn privileges such as couch and bed access is another highly effective way for any owner to confirm their authority.


Fear of the Leash

With a lot of dogs, the sight of the leash being brought out is something to be celebrated - its usually associated with an imminent walk, and is therefore to be welcomed. But for some dogs, the leash is something to be feared. This may be because the leash has been misused in the past - for example, it may have been used as a tool to drag the dog around with - or it may just be due to a simple dislike of being restrained and confined. Fortunately, its not hard to train your dog to accept the leash. Below is detailed a simple program that will work on developing your dogs trust, and which will slowly build her up toward accepting the leash. This technique works on the principle that less is definitely more! The slower you go, the more effective it will be. Right now your dog is spooked by the leash, and even the sight of it is going to make her tense. You need to respect this, and take things very slowly. Only move on to the next step when your dog is exhibiting absolutely no signs of tension with the current progress. Training For Leash-Fear All you need for this training session is a couple of tasty treats chopped up into small bits, some patience, a collar, and a leash. If possible, invest in a long line. This is a long, nylon line thats designed to just whip along behind the dog as he runs about - even through undergrowth - without catching on anything, and is useful for accustoming him to the presence of something hanging off his neck. Begin by accustoming him to the sight and smell of the leash. 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, like preferred play areas, next to his bed, and near his food bowl. Don't pick it up or wag it around - just leave it lying there. If he wants to sniff it, he'll do it all by himself. 122

When he's able to happily eat, play, and relax with the leash near him on the ground - preferably, when he's stopped noticing it at all you can begin to introduce the leash in a more active role. Next time you've got him in a relaxed state, like when you're petting him, bring out the leash and hold it while you pet him. Let him sniff it and get used to it. You can try wrapping part of it around the hand that's petting him, if you like. Repeat this three or four more times over the next several days. If he's accepted the previous step with no wriggling, whining, or tension, then great. He's ready for the third step: attaching the leash to his collar. If you've got a long line, use that instead. Get him to sit and stay, and clip it on. Keep your manner brisk, cheerful, and nononsense: make sure you don't coddle him or inadvertently reinforce his nervousness. Remember, he takes his cues from you, so be calm and just get on with it. Once the leash is on, don't attempt to touch it: give him a pat and a treat for being so brave, and then it's time for a play session with the leash on. Let it just trail behind him - but if you're using a normal leash instead of a long line, keep things out in the open away from bushes and trees, and keep the play quite gentle (no Frisbee!). 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. Repeat this leash-and-play step a couple of times to really desensitize him. Remember, we're moving slowly on purpose - the less your dog even notices the leash, the better! We're trying to create positive associations here, and this takes time. After several days to a week of leash-and-play, it's time to introduce some basic obedience commands while he's wearing the leash. This will reinforce your authority over him while he's wearing the leash. Get him to sit-stay, and practice the recall command as well (while he's in a sit-stay, walk several paces away and ask him to "come"). When your dog seems quite calm and confident, and is readily obeying your requests while wearing the leash, take him for a short walk. Five minutes is fine, but you can go for longer than that if he seems keen. If he's jumpy, redirect his attention by placing him in a sit-stay for a minute or two, and reward his obedience with praise and a small treat.


If he's OK with the previous step, then congratulations! You've managed to overcome his fear of the leash. If you think he's still a bit too tense, then go back a step or two and work your way back up. Take as much time as you need. Things To Avoid Dont force him to rush his progress. The whole point of this training is to ACCUSTOM him to the leash in his own time. You cant force him to relax. Any pressure you put on him will be counterproductive. Dont indulge his nervousness by babying him if he plays up. Your own attitude has a huge impact on your dog, especially when hes nervous. He will follow your lead, so reassure him that nothings wrong by acting bouncy and upbeat. Act as if you havent even noticed that hes nervous. Dont let yourself get annoyed by a prolonged lack of acceptance of the leash, and CERTAINLY dont tell him off or punish him for being skittish or timid.

Case Study: Fear of the Leash

Monty was a Dachshund with a timid temperament. He was friendly and affectionate, but was easily spooked by new sights and sounds. He lived in a house with Jonny, a five year old boy, and his parents, Molly and Peter. Monty developed his fear of the leash when Jonny tried to take him for a walk by dragging him around on the leash. After that, every time he was approached with the leash, Monty would take off, or shake and urinate on the floor out of fear. Clearly, something had to be done to combat this fear. Molly, Montys trainer, decided it was necessary to spend some time training him to get over his fear of the leash. Before doing anything else, she made it a priority to have a talk with Jonny about how to treat animals - she made it clear to him that Monty was not to be toyed with, and that Jonny must never tug or pull on the leash ever again. She also resolved never to let them play together without her or Peters supervision. She started off by just leaving the leash in the middle of the floor where Monty could see it. At first, he cringed and avoided the area, choosing instead to circle 124

widely around it - but Molly just left it lying there, and over the course of the next several days Montys confidence grew enough that he was able to walk right over it without reacting. Mollys next step was to try and teach Monty to associate the leash with good things. She kept it in her hands while she was preparing Montys food, and would leave it next to his bowl while he ate. It took a few false starts but soon Monty was able to eat his meals without tensing up or gobbling his food down nervously. After two or three more days of this, Molly tried having the leash in her lap while she petted and played with Monty. By this stage, Montys 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, Molly felt he would be able to proceed to the next stage of her training process. Moving very slowly, and talking calmly to Monty as though nothing was happening, she clipped the leash onto Montys neck. Monty followed Mollys cues and, apart from a slight tensing, didnt even react to this. The next stage of the process was for Monty to have the leash clipped on as he walked about the house, while he ate, and while he was petted and played with (but only when Peter or Molly was able to supervise, to make sure he didnt get snagged on anything and either hurt himself or reverse the training that had taken place so far!). Because Molly was patient enough to let Monty take his own time with the leash, it all worked out very well in the end. These days, Monty accepts the leash with no worries at all - and Jonny now knows how to play with Monty in a way that isnt going to injure or scare him!


Off-Leash Problems

Some dogs are perfectly well-behaved while on the leash, but as soon as theyre released they lose all manners and go haring off after any intoxicating sights and scents, seemingly oblivious to your desperate calls for their return. If youve got a fast-moving dog, this is no joke (just wait until youve spent upwards of an hour chasing a frisky, playful dog up and down the beach - youre a complete wreck, and shes just getting warmed up!). The recall command (come) is arguably one of the most important commands that you and your dog will ever master. Being able to call your dog and knowing that no matter what shes doing shell drop what shes doing and come to you, is both incredibly useful and increasingly necessary in todays fast-moving world. 125

There are two basic reasons for your dogs forgetfulness when shes offleash: She hasnt been trained adequately in recall. Youve inadvertently taught her NOT to obey the recall command. Brushing Up On The Recall If your dog needs further training in the recall command, then fortunately thats quite simple to remedy. You just have to put in a little bit of effort and time - after all, this is an extremely important command that you really MUST master if you ever want to let your dog run off-leash. WHAT YOU NEED TO DO: Have a look at the advanced come - recall part of section 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks. Carry out this training in as many different locations and situations as possible. Only train off-leash in situations that are truly safe, with no distractions and plenty of safety margins (for example, in the middle of a deserted playing-field). The rest of the time, train on-leash. Correcting Previous Training Mistakes Its pretty easy to give your dog the wrong idea when it comes to the recall command. If youre asking your dog to come and she wont, a lot of people make the mistake of being frustrated enough to tell her off when she finally DOES come - after all, she took such a long time to come to you, she was disobedient, right? Not exactly. The cardinal rule of recall training is that, when youre training her in come and she does come to you, YOU MUST MAKE A HUGE FUSS OVER HER. Every single time. You dont need to do this every time when your dog reliably trained in this command, but it never hurts to praise her sporadically for being such a good girl. Even if it takes several commands (or even several minutes) for her to heed your request, you have to praise her every time she obeys you - because if you get angry with her, she doesnt know its because she took such a long time coming. Shell think youre angry with her for coming to you - and will form a lasting impression that come means an angry you. Not good! So...


Step one: stop acting annoyed or angry with her for taking too long to come, or for otherwise not behaving exactly as you asked during recall. Period. Step two: Treat her with exaggerated praise, petting, and sporadic treats when she does come. Praising and petting every time, but treating only every so often actually results in better obedience, as it keeps her interested and on her toes, rather than been there, done that bored. Step three: Brush up on basic recall training, just to really hammer the message home. Take a look at Section 203: A. Come (recall) for a training program. Carry out this training in a variety of different locations to keep her recall obedience razor-sharp - and make sure you only train off-lead in safe, distraction-free situations. The Long Leash Method An advanced method for Recall Training. 1. Put her on a long leash that is 20 to 30 feet long. 2. Let her walk away from you. 3. Wait until shes near the end of the leash and not paying attention to you. 4. Cheerily and encouragingly, call her to you. Dont pull on the leash - its only there in case she darts away and you need to grab her. 5. As you call her, squat down on your haunches, or drop onto your knees. Open your arms out, as if to give her a big hug. Most dogs respond to this body posture, and it helps her to understand what you want during the training process. 6. When she takes a step or two toward you, give her lots of praise. When she actually comes to you, give her a treat and make a HUGE fuss over her. 7. Aim for at least 10 repetitions of this exercise per day. NOTE: The long line is useful for encouraging your dog to approach. Most dogs respond very well to inviting body language on your behalf, but the odd dog will choose to chase squirrels or roll in the grass instead of heeding your request. If this is the case, you can use the line to gently, slowly pull her towards you. Make sure you praise her vociferously as soon as she starts to come your way. After shes taken a few steps, try letting go and see if she continues. If not, give her another slow, gentle pull on the line, and keep this up until she gets the message.


Case Study: Off-Leash Problems

Not that long ago, the Kingdom of Pets team received an email about Ella, a dog with off-leash problems. Ella was a Beagle, and the beloved friend of Kristine. Kristine liked to take Ella out walking in the hills around her house, an activity that they both enjoyed. The only problem with these walks was Ellas single-mindedness when off the leash. As soon as Kristine unclipped it, all Ellas good manners seemed to evaporate - she wouldnt respond reliably to the recall command, and Kristine worried that shed injure herself or get into trouble. It was pretty clear to us that Ella respected Kristine as a friend, but not as a leader. She seemed to feel equal to Kristine, not subordinate to her - hence her lack of response to Kristines commands. After Kristines email, we found out about a couple of mistakes she was making. The first mistake was that when Ella didnt respond to recall, Kristine wouldnt change her behavior, shed just keep repeating the command - and Ella would just keep ignoring her. The reason that repetition of a command when your dog is ignoring it isnt recommended is because it teaches your dog that such a command is inherently meaningless. When youre training a dog, you generally speak the commandword AS the dog is performing the desired action (for example, say sit as your dogs behind touches the ground). When Kristine kept repeating the word come as Ella ignored her, it effectively reinforced Ellas habit of ignoring this command. The second major problem with Kristines technique was that, if Ella didnt come straight away after being called, Kristine wouldnt reward or praise her for coming - shed be annoyed because Ella hadnt obeyed her straight away. We advised Kristine to combat these problem techniques by, firstly, brushing up on basic recall obedience (advanced come - recall part of section 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks); and secondly, by making sure that she ALWAYS praised Ella for obeying the recall command. We explained to Kristine that the recall command is both the most important command that your dog will ever know, and also the one that comes hardest to 128

most dogs. Returning to you when you ask, as opposed to continuing to sniff around/play/explore, demonstrates real loyalty and trust on behalf of your dog, and it should be rewarded every time. We asked Kristine to make sure she always had a small pouch of tasty treats on hand during the recall training process, and to make sure that she invariably rewarded Ellas obedience with praise, pats, and the occasional treat.


Leash-Pulling Problems

Leash-pulling is an issue that most owners experience with their dogs - its a very common problem, and can turn an everyday walk with your dog into a nuisance rather than a pleasure. 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, or actually stop walking them altogether. In the case of a leash-pulling dog, infrequent walks actually reinforce that dogs tendency to pull on the lead. The average dog needs an hour to an hour and a half of physical activity every day, so is it any wonder that an infrequently walked dog is agitated and full of nervous, pent-up energy? To a tense and bottled-up dog, when the leash finally does come out hes so excited (by the prospect of a walk) and agitated (because hes got all this nervous energy from not being walked enough) that hes almost incapable of NOT pulling on the leash! And the more often any dog gets the chance to pull, the more firmly ingrained this habit becomes. On top of all this, restricting your dogs 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, or to exaggerate any existing behavioral problems. In short, the quick fix of not walking your dog isnt a fix at all. Its far better for both of you to address the problem at its root, which means training your dog not to pull in the first place. In this section, were going to discuss how you can do this. There are several options available to you, but before we look at those its time to examine your own behavior leading up to a walk. You might be encouraging your dog to misbehave while on the leash without even realizing it.


The key here is for you to set a precedent for your dogs on-leash behavior by making sure he behaves himself WHENEVER that leash is in your hand whether hes wearing it or not. This means that before you even get out the door, you need to ensure that your dog is calm and that his mindset is receptive to your leadership. For a lot of dogs, the mere sight of the leash being brought out is a cue for instant overexcitement: whining, barking, and bouncing around in hyperactive bursts. This behavior is counterproductive to the training techniques that were going to discuss below - and every time hes able to act in this way without being corrected, it reinforces his habit of misbehaving in leash-related situations. Make sure youre giving your dog a consistent message here: overexcitement is not to be tolerated. Yes, its great that your dog is HAPPY to be going out for a walk - but remember, to a dog, happiness and excitement are two very different things which manifest themselves in very different ways. A happy dog is relaxed and content in demeanor, with friendly, soft eyes and a distinct lack of tension in his posture. His tail might be wagging, and he might be prancing energetically about a bit, but hes calm, relaxed, and is receptive to your authority - if you were to give him a command, for example, hed obey you without delay. At the other end of the spectrum, an excited dog is visibly tense and bursting with nervous energy. An excited dog will leap around, breathing shallowly and quickly, with a racing heart and high-pitched whining/yelping. A dog in this state finds it harder to give you obedience when you demand it: hes just too woundup. Humans often make the mistake of anthropomorphizing our dogs; that is, we assign human meaning to canine behavior. So an excited dog might seem cute or endearing to us. After all, to most humans, happiness and excitement go hand in hand. We need to remember that, to our dogs, excitement and happiness are two different things. For a dog, the excited behavior detailed above isnt entirely a healthy state of being - its uncomfortable for him, and unproductive for the both of you.


Why Your Dogs 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. It's unproductive for you because every time your dog misbehaves in a situation which involves a leash, the association between that type of behavior in leash-related circumstances becomes more concrete. It's unproductive for your dog because, in nature, when his body is surging with adrenaline (as it is when he's excited), it means it's time to "fight or flee," which is physically and psychologically unpleasant for him: his mind is heading in a million different directions at once, and he's uncomfortably over-stimulated. Make no mistake about it - by setting a solid precedent for calm good behavior as soon as the leash comes out, 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. As owners, our dogs' happiness is a major priority, and is one of the most rewarding aspects of ownership. 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, when your dog's ricocheting off the walls and working himself into a frenzy of panting hyperactivity, it doesn't mean he's HAPPY - it means he's over-stimulated, which is not a good thing. Anticipation is fine. Over-reacting and working himself up into a lather of destructive energy is not. So step number one: no walking until he's relatively calm. This makes perfect sense when you think about it: before you can expect your dog to walk calmly beside you on the leash, you need to train him to be calm whenever the leash comes out. It's pretty easy to do this: all you need to do is reward the behavior that you want to see repeated, and halt all progress toward the door whenever he starts to get agitated.


Dealing With Leash-Pulling During A Walk Get him to sit-stay while you attach the leash. If he can't contain himself and starts wriggling around, don't force the issue - stand up straight away, turn around, and ignore him. You're training him to learn that overexcitement equals the walk being stopped in its tracks before it even gets started, so don't resume your efforts until he's calm and sitting down. Repeat this procedure as many times as you need to, until you can attach the leash with no problems. Before you start walking, remember to keep your dog on a short leash. Now is not the time for retractable leashes or twelve-foot lines: a sixfoot standard leash is perfect. You want to give your dog maybe six inches of slack, and keep the excess wrapped around your wrist or hand - while training for good behavior on the leash, you don't want to give him the opportunity to rush off in a different direction. A good way to hold the leash is with both hands at once. If you like to walk with your dog on your left side, then your left hand should be holding the leash six inches from where it joins the collar. The rest of the leash stretches across your body, and is in your right hand, either wrapped around your wrist or doubled up in your palm (whichever is easiest). This makes it easier for you to control your dog's leeway while on the lead, and allows you more control over his movements (particularly if you have a strong or big-breed dog.) A lot of dogs have learned to restrain themselves (barely) while the leash is being attached, but will explode with energy as soon as you start walking. Your dog might be able to sit down and submit to the leash being attached, but he's not calm. He's emitting little yelps and whines, he's tense and trembling, it's a real effort for him to sit still long enough for you to attach that leash. Please be aware of this behavior and remember that, although he's managing to control himself, he's still very agitated: more often than not, a dog behaving like this will take off like a shot as soon as you've released him from the "sit-stay," and will slide into dominant leashpulling behavior as soon as you start walking. If you think your dog is "faking it," 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 - and because you've got him on a short leash, he has to stop walking as soon as you do, which makes the lesson a lot clearer for him. Next time he gets keyed up as you put the lead on, stop what you're doing as soon as he makes a visible or audible tension signal (yipping, panting, whining, etc), and don't try again until he's calmed down. 132

What Does Leash-Pulling Mean? The causes for leash-pulling behavior are really very simple - like so much of our dogs' misbehavior, it all boils down to dominance and who thinks who is in charge. Yes, your dog is straining at the leash because he wants to sniff/eat/chase something, but there's more to it than simple physical desires to run and explore. These are actually only secondary reasons - 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. Yes, he'd still WANT to do that, but he'd know better - because subordinate dogs follow the alpha unquestioningly. This is something that all dogs know. So when your dog lunges on the leash and attempts to redirect you somewhere that HE wants to go, the primary reason for this is dominance: he's exhibiting dominant behavior over you. This doesn't necessarily mean he's a "problem dog." Leash-walking is completely separate from the rest of his life, 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. What's Dominance Got To Do With Taking A Walk? As detailed in the bonus book on "Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog," and in our section on dominance-aggression (which is in Dog 202: Dog Problems Solved), we know that dogs are descended from wolves, that wolves are pack animals, 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. This includes decisions about where the pack goes, and in what order the pack members travel in. A dog that pulls on the leash, that tries to get you to go where he wants, and that generally "leads" you HIS way, not YOUR way, is exhibiting classic alphadominant behavior. In a wolf-pack, the alpha wolf decides where everybody goes. He or she chooses the trail for that day, and takes off in the lead position - and everybody else fans out behind, from quite close on his/her heels (the higher-ranking wolves), to trailing behind a fair distance (the lower-ranking wolves). 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, everybody knows this, and everybody sticks to it unless they're asking for trouble. If your dog is rushing out ahead of you, straining against the leash, and trying to force you to go the way HE wants to go, it means he thinks he's leading 133

you. Just because you've got a leash around his neck doesn't mean you're controlling where he's going - if he's tugging on the leash, he doesn't think you're the alpha. He thinks HE is. You need to prove to him, through consistent leadership and ongoing control, that you're in charge and you're the one who decides where the two of you are going to go. 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). Now it's time to look at some active, anti-pulling training techniques. This is where youll need to use a specific strategy to overcome this problem. Susan Morton (Petiquette Animal Behavioral Consultancy) - who features in the Kingdom of Pets Dog Training DVD Series - refers to this technique as random walking. It's a charmingly simple concept, 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, instead of trying to assume leadership over you. It's a great way of reasserting your dominance. HERE'S WHAT YOU DO: Take your dog to an open space, with as few distractions as possible. Random walking is done in all sorts of places with great success - a quiet cul-de-sac, a front yard, a playing field, the local park. The main requirement is that the space is open - you're going to be leading your dog in all sorts of directions, so you don't want to be constricted by a narrow walkway or anything like that. Make sure he's on the leash (and that you've set a good precedent for calmness when attaching it). The leash should be short: you want him to be right by your side, with no slack to go rushing off in a different direction. Keeping the leash short, start walking. Take a few steps (maybe five or ten) and then change direction without warning. Make a complete about-face, or just head off to one side - it doesn't matter. Take a few more steps in this direction, and then change direction at random again. Take another couple of steps before making another random direction 134

change. Essentially, you're pacing back and forth, always in a different direction, and varying the number of steps you're taking. You want to keep your dog guessing. Because your dog's on a short leash, there's nowhere else for him to go but where YOU want him to. You're really making him think now, because he has to look to you for directions, rather than assuming he knows where to go. Feel free to jazz it up a bit: you might want to weave in and out of trees at random, or alternate between walking and jogging, or stop and start a few times. Keep this up for a good 10 or 15 minutes. 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), most can't go for much longer than this on their first random walk. As your dog gradually learns to accept your leadership (after you've taken him random walking at least a couple of times, for slowly-increasing allotments of time), you'll find that you can walk for longer and longer periods of time in one direction. Don't fall into the trap of doing this too often or too early, though - the whole idea is that your dog doesn't know where you're heading next, and has to look to you for leadership. If you allow him to see where you're planning on going - for example, if you're following a path, or walking around the perimeter of a park - you're negating the basic rules of random walking. For the technique to work, he needs to follow your lead, not try and assume he knows where to go - if you follow a discernible path, he'll probably try and take over again, which is just one more opportunity for him to see himself as the leader. Be patient, and keep the direction changes really frequent at first: generally speaking, ten steps in any one direction is plenty. Variety is the key - mix up the direction, stride length, speed, anything else you can think of. Change the location as often as you like, too - you don't want him to associate "good behavior" on-leash with a particular part of town, you want it to become second nature in all situations. In the majority of cases, once you've wrapped up a random walking session, the dog will get home and fall asleep almost straight away: it's very mentally tiring work for a dog, 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, because your dog's exercise needs are still very much present!) 135

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 - YOU are. By forcing your dog to follow you, you're conferring "number two" status on your dog, and in a way that he can't fail to understand. You need to commit to this technique to achieve long-lasting results. Fortunately, it's not something that requires vast time expenditure to have an effect: it's more your consistency with the program that counts. 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), then you'll start to see results pretty quickly - usually within a week. Please remember that this is a demanding exercise for your dog, and is best done when the two of you are feeling chipper and mentally alert. If either you or your dog start to show signs of stress and/or tiredness (for example, if youre starting to get frustrated, or if your dog starts lagging behind) then thats a signal to stop and take a break. 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. These are available at most pet stores, with the Gentle Leader and the Halti being the two best-known types. The head collar is basically two nylon straps, one of which goes around your dogs muzzle, and one of which goes around the back of the neck. NOTE: a head collar is emphatically NOT a muzzle (although it may sound like one, from the description!). A dog wearing a head collar can do all the things that a dog wearing a muzzle cannot: he can bark, pant, eat, drink, and lick. The use of a head collar will not restrict your dogs freedom at all, except in his ability to pull on the leash. The leash itself attaches to a small metal ring, which is located just under your dogs chin. If your dog tries to walk off in a different direction, his head swings back to where youre holding the leash. Its just like the bridle that you put on a horse, and the principle holds the same for your dog: hell walk in the direction that hes facing. Basically, a head collar makes it almost literally impossible for your dog to go wandering while on the leash. Most dogs learn not to tug in a very short time. In many cases, owners can stop using the head collar after only a few weeks/ months if they wish, and revert back to a normal neck collar. 136

Whether you do this or not is entirely up to you. Youll need to give your dog a short while to get used to the unusual sensation of a head collar. 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. But he wont even notice its on once hes got accustomed to it. So whether you use a head collar or neck collar in the long-term is entirely up to you, rather than being a decision which is influenced by your dogs comfort levels or needs. TIP: Give your dog a chance to get properly used to his head collar. Youll make the initial experience, and resulting associations, a lot more pleasant for him if you take things slowly: the first time you put it on, give him just five minutes before takings it off. Give him a treat or two when hes got it on, so he learns that the head collar is a good thing for him. Above all, enjoy - your walks with your dog will be a lot more pleasurable for both of you from now on. You dont need to worry about a tugging, heaving dog. And because youre enjoying walking him more he gets more and longer walks. Its win-win!

Case Study: Leash-Pulling Problems

Harley is a very large, very powerful German Shepherd dog - as a working dog, hes a fine healthy example of his breed, but he was proving a bit too much for his owners (Jeff and Susan) to handle. Although Harley was a lovely dog in most other ways, he was very difficult to control while on the leash, and hed actually pulled Susan over a couple of times in the past. 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), 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. Because Harley was such a large, powerful dog, Susan practiced this technique on him using a check chain. Even though this isnt something that Kingdom of Pets actively promotes as a first option, in this case we were all in agreement over her use of this training device, simply because it was the only way that Susan had any control over Harley while he was on the leash. Before starting the random walking exercise, we ensured that Susan had the check-chain on correctly, and explained that there should be no jerking or hard pulling. When Susan was comfortable with how to use the chain, we spent a few minutes random walking with Harley (to show her how it was done), and then handed the reins over to Susan. 137

At first, Harley was quite difficult to manage, and would likely have bowled Susan over again if the check chain hadnt been in use. He would start to lunge off in different directions before being checked by the chain. But as the minutes wore on, it was possible to see the alterations in his mindset beginning to take effect: he wasnt trying to anticipate Susans next direction change any more, and was staying close to her heels, looking up at her frequently to see where she might be heading next. After ten minutes of this, Harley was showing signs of tiredness, so we advised Susan to give it a break until the next day. But progress had been made, even in such a short period of time. Harley had lost his dominance on the leash inside of ten minutes, and was learning to concede leadership to Susan. This was a huge step forward (and one common with random walking - generally speaking, results are quick to show themselves!), although we warned Susan not to expect the same results on a normal lead in normal walking circumstances too early. We advised Susan to stick with her random walking technique, and to gradually reintroduce a normal collar (we also suggested a head collar, in Harleys case). We also advised her not to try walking Harley along the straight, or in places that he could guess at the direction too early on in the training program, since allowing him to take the lead again would only undo the progress made so far through random walking. Note: since Harleys exercise requirements were considerable, we suggested that Jeff - who was physically strong enough to control Harleys lunging - take him for runs or walks in normal circumstances while Susan practiced random walking every day. In the case of somebody physically incapable of controlling their dog, we would recommend restricting exercise to random walking, 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 then to use a head collar for a prolonged period of time until that person felt entirely confident walking their dog.


Barking Problems

Barking is viewed by a lot of people as a nuisance behavior - something to be silenced at all costs. This isnt the most productive viewpoint to take. We recommend that you think of your dogs barking as an attempt to communicate something to you: your dog is trying to tell you something. This doesnt have to be a bad thing!


Of course, humans and dogs communicate in very different ways, so its up to you - with our help of course - to figure out what it is your dog is trying to say, and either deal with whatever it is thats causing him to vocalize, or correct him if necessary. Why Do Dogs Bark? Below is a short list of the most common reasons that dogs bark, 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 - after all, if you couldn't handle any barking whatsoever, presumably you wouldn't have chosen a dog for a pet! On the other hand, problem barking - barking that's repetitive, continuous, and without any apparent cause - isn't something that you just have to put up with. Listed below are some steps you can take to minimize your dog's barking habit. Never reward barking. A great deal of the reason why a dog continues to bark is because he's getting something out of it: attention, a meal, for the strange dog/person outside the gate to go away. You need to rewire this section of your dog's brain and teach him that this is no longer an effective means of communication. When he's barking, pay him NO ATTENTION WHATSOEVER - no reprimands, no eye contact, no touch or speech of any sort. Teach him the "enough" or "quiet" command. When he starts barking, you need to redirect his attention so he forgets to bark. A great way to do this is to call him to you, and break his attention by getting him to sit. When he sits, he'll stop barking - and when he's quiet, IMMEDIATELY say "quiet" (or "enough" or whatever command suits you) and then praise him, and give him a treat. 139

Don't overuse the "quiet" command - moderation is the key. Your dog still needs the opportunity to vent! Allow him to get a couple of good loud barks out before asking him to stop. Don't just ask him to be quiet - give him something to channel his energy into. Ask him to be quiet, and then get him to sit or lie down. Reward with praise, petting, and/or a treat. Reward quiet. If your dog is being quiet, make a big fuss over him. The more consistent you are with this, the better - you don't need to keep it up forever, just until he gets the idea. Some people find that their dog "talks back" to them when they ask him to be quiet by barking defiantly. If this is the case, your dog is getting a bit too big for his boots - you're best off reading the "Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog" bonus book and making sure your dog knows who's the boss. The Exception To The Rule There is one scenario in which asking your dog to "be quiet" isn't really going to be effective, and that's when your dog's barking out of loneliness or boredom. To a bored dog that's left by himself, barking gives him something to do. It's a way to occupy his time and make the hours go past until something more interesting comes along. If your dog's pretty well behaved when you're around, but your neighbors are complaining of repetitive barking when you're out, you can bet that he's barking because he's sick and tired of being left by himself. If this is the case, you need to address the root cause of the problem (your dog is bored and lonely) rather than the symptoms (barking). HOW TO DEAL WITH BOREDOM/LONELINESS, AND THUS CURB EXCESSIVE BARKING: Make sure your dog is as tired as possible before leaving him alone. Take him out for a good long walk - preferably forty-five minutes to an hour, if not more than this - before going out for more than three or four hours. Visit him during the day. If this not possible, consider investing in a dogsitter, doggie day-care, or just get a trusted neighbor to drop round at some point to play fetch and spend some time together. 140

Make sure your dog has plenty to do. Tempt him with a delicious array of chews and toys, and keep changing them around to prevent boredom. When you do get home, make sure you spend a good amount time with your dog: playing, training, and just hanging out together. Hopefully this is self- evident enough that we don't need to tell you, but obviously you wouldn't have adopted a dog if you didn't want to spend time with him, right? Your dog is at his most content as your companion - don't deprive him of that basic happiness. Make his environment as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Put on some quiet music before going out (something soothing, no heavy metal!), make sure he's got a "safe place" to go to where he can retreat from the world if necessary (a kennel or crate), that he's warm and dry, has enough food and water, and that there are some toys around. Alternatives For Problem Barkers Although barking is obviously an essential aspect of any dog's personality and ability to express themselves, sometimes enough is enough - especially when a polite request for quiet makes no difference to the noise levels in your household. If your dog is really stuck in his overly-vocal ways, here are a couple of alternate ways to get him to cease and desist: 1. Use the shake-can. This is a really valuable piece of equipment in dogtraining: just pop a couple of pennies into a can (the heavier the can, the louder and more startling the noise - soup cans are great) and seal the end with duct tape. When your dog starts barking, give it a quick shake: the loud rattle is enough to shock most dogs into stopping. As soon as he stops barking, praise him and give him a treat (you're praising him for stopping barking - trust us, although it may seem to you like you're actually rewarding his barking, your dog WILL understand this.) 2. Spray him with water. You can leave water pistols around the house in strategic places; if he's outside, consider the hose. You don't need to SOAK him. The idea is just to break his attention. As with the shake-can, you must praise him as soon as he stops barking. Timing is really important with both these techniques: you must be sure to only use them WHILE he's barking, as scaring him when he's quiet is just going to undermine your goal of achieving silence.


One Last Option For dogs that really, truly, will NOT stop barking no matter what you do, a citronella collar can be effective. 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 - and because teaching him that barking is bad no matter what the circumstances is pretty hard on him. It can also be dangerous - barking is a necessary means of communication/ warning for dogs. Finally, lets not forget the fact that, when your dog barks, hes trying to alert you to the fact that somethings not quite right: citronella collars may get rid of the barking, but they do little to address the cause of the barking. Having said this though, if your dogs barking is driving you absolutely up the wall and he wont stop no matter what you do, you could try one of these collars. They work by emitting a powerful whiff of citronella, which is an essential oil that has a scent dogs find offensive in the extreme. You might recognize it from natural insect-repellent candles and sprays. The spray hits the dog right in the face and neck whenever he barks. A citronella collar may be the answer to your prayers, as a last resort. Debarking, a major operation involving cutting the vocal cords, is inhumane and should not be considered as an option, even as a last resort. Please Bark! Sometimes (although quite rarely), barking problems stem from a dogs lack of desire to bark. If you want your dog to alert you to the presence of strangers, but hes not a natural watch-dog, theres not really any way to ingrain guarding instincts if theyre not already present naturally. Some dogs just dont seem to have any instinct to vocalize in the presence of strangers - scent-hounds like Beagles and Bloodhounds in particular. However, by all means give it a shot: its pretty easy to teach a dog to bark on command, and then you can practice getting him to bark whenever someone comes to the gate or door.


TEACHING SPEAK To teach your dog to bark, you need to first create a situation in which hell vocalize naturally, and then, while hes barking, encourage him to do so with a command-word like speak. 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. Choose wisely, because it's easier to teach than un-teach! Start barking yourself. It'll help if you leap around a bit too - jump about and wave your arms animatedly in the air while barking, if you can. You're trying to get your dog excited here! If and when your dog responds to this behavior with a bark or two, say "Speak! Good boy, speak!" WHILE he's doing it. Praise him heartily afterwards and give him a treat. Expect to repeat this exercise at least a few times before he barks on command.

Case Study: Barking Problems

Braden is a Boxer who was driving his owners and their neighbors stone mad with his obsessive and repetitive barking. The problem was centered around Bradens dislike of being left alone. Whenever his owners (Kelly and Brian) went out to work, or shut him outside at night, Braden would bark up a storm - which could last for hours! We knew the problem wasnt a lack of exercise or attention, because Braden got plenty of both. He simply didnt like being left alone. Brian decided to set up a video camera in the garden one day before he and Kelly left for work, and record Bradens activity for a few hours. The resulting footage showed what appeared to be a very anxious Braden: hed pace around in circles, barking repetitively, and scratching at the door of the house. In addition to this, hed also act up whenever the neighbors came too close to the fence line - this would result in a frenzy of barking, as well.


We advised Kelly and Brian that treatment for separation anxiety, as well as some basic de-territorialization, would most likely solve Bradens problem. The first step was to create a safe place for Braden - somewhere he could retreat to, which was his own private space, safe from the distractions of passers-by and other dogs. Brian accordingly built him a kennel in the corner of the yard, bordering on the house, where he could withdraw to when he needed some time out. Next, we asked Brian and Kelly to involve the neighbors in Bradens rehabilitation. They needed to get to know Braden, so that hed recognize them and not feel compelled to defend his property from these strange people walking back and forth on the perimeter. The neighbors were also given a small supply of dog-treats, which they were asked to pass through the fence to Braden every so often over the next few weeks, just to really make sure that Braden wouldnt feel threatened by them any more. Involving the neighbors was pretty easy - Kelly and Brian just asked them to drop round for a few minutes, meet the dog, and give him a treat or two. They also told all neighbors what Bradens name was, so if he DID start barking, they could address him by name (thus proving to Braden that theyre not strangers after all!). Finally, we got Brian and Kelly to desensitize Braden to their leaving. A little bit at a time, they practiced leaving him alone in the house and yard - starting at five minutes, they worked up to half an hour. By this time, Braden was starting to settle down during the day, but night barking was still a problem for everybody within earshot! We asked Brian and Kelly to use tough love on Braden - essentially, they had to absolutely ignore him whenever he started barking. After warning the neighbors that they were probably in for a noisy time (and apologizing in advance!), Brian and Kelly shut Braden outside for the night. When he started barking, they told him to go to bed, saw him into his kennel, and then ignored all barking for the rest of the night. On the second night, the barking had diminished significantly. By the end of the third night, Braden had finally quieted down - it had finally become clear to him that barking wasnt going to get him what he wanted.


Brian and Kellys efforts had paid off - despite a few rough nights, Braden was a more well-adjusted dog, the neighbors were happier, and Kelly and Brian were relieved!



Whining is a form of communication between dogs which is most common among juveniles. Its not something that dogs naturally do to communicate with humans - if whining goes unrewarded, 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 theyve learned that whining has its own reward: it gets them what they want, whether its food, attention, or affection. This section will deal with the causes of whining, and how to un-teach your dog to whine. Why Do Dogs Whine? A lot of the time, a dog isnt even aware that shes doing it - its like a nervous tic in a human. Usually its an unconscious reaction to stress of some kind. Below is a short list of some of the more common reasons that a puppy, or a mature dog thats learned to use whining as an effective communication tool, will whine: Nervous or worried Insecure, lack of confidence Frustrated, annoyed Stressed It's quite clear to most humans that whining signals distress of some kind. For those of us with a compassionate nature, it's only natural to respond to such a troubling sound with sympathy and affection - after all, we'd usually try and comfort an unhappy human with soothing words and gestures, so the same reaction should work just as well with dogs, right? In reality, reacting this way is actually the worst thing you can do for dog that's whining. It sounds downright cruel, but the truth is that the more sympathy and compassion you show to a distressed, whining dog, the worse that dog will feel. 145

This is because - yes, we're going to repeat ourselves again - 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, your dog won't feel better. She'll worry even more, because if YOU'RE so obviously concerned, then there really must be something to worry about - right? What Not To Do For A Whining Dog React with alarm, sympathy, or compassion to your dog's whining. Don't give any verbal reaction at all - no soothing murmurs or cooing. Resist the temptation! Cuddle, stroke, or otherwise physically reinforce your dog's worry. Tell your dog off. This will only make things worse. Your dog will become MORE anxious, not less. The Best Thing You Can Do Completely, utterly ignore your dog's whining. Pretend you can't hear it. You're not going to ignore your dog - after all, shes trying to tell you something - but you are going to ignore the whining. What you need to do is to redirect your dogs attention, and make her forget whatever it was that shes crying about. You can do this easily: simply ask her to do something for you. Get her to sit-stay, and, when she obeys, THEN you can reward her with attention and affection (its appropriate now, because shes earned it). If she knows more obedience commands, run through those too. A fantastic alternative is to involve her in a favorite game - the more active, the better. Just like with humans, physical exercise releases endorphins (the feelgood chemicals) in dogs, which elevate mood. Combine this with the attention from you and the sheer exuberant fun of a game, and shell 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, the whining Weimaraner. From when he was a juvenile of five months (which is when he was adopted from the Weimaraner Rescue shelter), hed always been pretty highly strung, and would react anxiously to new sights and sounds. His owner, Maisie wasnt really fazed by this, because she knew that Weimaraners are typically pretty sensitive dogs. She figured that, 146

given ongoing stability of home life, lots of exercise, and a calm and authoritative owner, hed gradually calm down and begin to explore life in a more confident manner. As it turned out, she was half right: Billy didnt get any worse, but neither did he get any better. By the time he was a year and a half old, he was still a very keyed-up dog. Maisies main problem with Billy was his ongoing habit of excessive whining. According to Maisie, Billy would whine if he wasnt given enough attention, if he was hungry, if he was tired, if he wanted to go out, if he wanted to come in, if another dog approached, if a human approached, and if he saw anything new. This was beginning to get pretty wearing - after all, hearing a dog in distress is upsetting! Because Maisie was a competent owner, we made sure our questions covered all aspects of Billy and Maisies life together. We asked Maisie a few questions about her home life, work habits, and the people that Billy socialized with on a regular basis. As it turned out, Billy spent working hours (9-6, Monday to Friday) with Maisies elderly father. This sounded like a pretty suitable arrangement for everyone Billy got constant companionship, Maisies dad loved spending time with Billy, and Maisie could go to work with a clear conscience and no worries about Billys state of mind during the day - until we spoke to Maisies Dad, Ed, about how he dealt with Billys crying and incessant whining. Ed said he couldnt bear to see or hear Billy so upset. Whenever Billy began to get agitated, Ed would feed him biscuits to cheer him up, or sit down with him and give him a big cuddle. He was perplexed because Billys crying was such an ongoing problem, but felt that he was probably doing the right thing - although Billys whining had never diminished in any way, he would always seem to calm down in the short term when he got a cuddle or a cookie. This was clearly the root of the problems. It was explained to Ed that this was actually damaging to Billy, and that dogs need you to lead by example, and not to comfort them as if they were a child. Ed had a hard time accepting this at first - he protested to Maisie that it seemed cruel to just let the poor creature sob. But Maisie asked Ed to try it our way for a week or so. We heard back from Ed and Maisie after two weeks. He said that it was pretty heart wrenching to just ignore Billys crying, but that he felt that distraction techniques (game playing, obedience work, a walk) were both a kinder and 147

more constructive option for both of them. Billys mind was taken off his problems straight away, and Ed got to feel like he was still doing something constructive to help Billy. We suggested that Ed try to ignore Billys whining fifty percent of the time, and distract him with games or walks the other half of the time. This was so that Billy wouldnt feel as though he could get something from whining - he still needed to learn not to whine, period, rather than expect a game or walk every time he got upset. Billy is still a very highly-strung dog, but hes learned that whining isnt necessarily going to improve his life at all.


When we refer to thieving in dogs, this technically isnt an accurate representation of your dogs behavior. No dog is a thief, because no dog has the mental capacity to apply morals to her day to day behavior. So, although your dog might be taking food thats not rightfully hers, its still not thieving in the true sense of the word, because she doesnt know shes doing anything wrong.

When we talk about thieving, were using a phrase thats been coined for a dog that eats something that we humans count among our own possessions. Because dogs dont have a sense of right and wrong like humans do, we cant expect them to adhere to a code of moral conduct, or to refrain from stealing any tempting food thats been left out by us. Its true that an extremely well-trained dog is able to resist temptation, and can refrain from eating that roast chicken that has been left out so temptingly (and foolishly) on an accessible countertop - but again, this isnt due to a welldeveloped sense of ethics on the dogs behalf. On the contrary, good behavior in the face of temptation is all down to training, pure and simple, which is something that youre responsible for, 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 thats not rightfully hers, you cant actually punish her for it unless you catch her IN THE ACT. This is because, to her, she hasnt done anything wrong, so you need to make 148

the connection between her eating that chicken and you being angry absolutely crystal clear (which you can do by reprimanding her as shes actually eating the food). This is the only way that you can let her know that what shes doing isnt allowed. If you come across the aftermath of a bout of thievery, it will do absolutely no good to yell, reprimand, or really to react in any way. The damage has already been done, so theres no helpful lesson to be learned - the only thing your dog can learn from your negative reaction is to be more careful in future, so that she can enjoy the food without the consequences! The best way to deal with thievery in your dog is to prevent it. Assume that she will view anything tasty you leave within her reach as fair game, and dont ever rely on her better instincts. Thats not fair to her, and will almost certainly result in a spoiled meal and an angry you. Probably the most productive thing you can do when dealing with your dogs natural propensity for purloining food is to dog proof your house, much as new parents childproof their houses. Think of it this way: if you had a toddler in the house, you wouldnt leave anything valuable, delicate, or dangerous within reach of those destructive little hands, would you? You wouldnt rely on that toddlers ability to remember your requests that she please leave your things alone - youd just make sure there was no opportunity for her to cause trouble in the first place. Your dogs thievery should be dealt with in the exact same way. Its much easier, more effective, 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, 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 - or even hope for - food in between her set mealtimes. Dont ever feed her food scraps, and ask that other people refrain from doing so too. If your dog learns that food is available throughout the day, shell start actively hunting for it. Spend a little time in your kitchen, looking at things from your dogs point of view. Consider her physical agility, and think about her natural drive to steal food - 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, cupboards, fridge doors, and 149

your pantry. Invest in a couple of large, 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. If you need to leave food out of the fridge or freezer, dont put it in full view. Leave it somewhere out of reach (a high cupboard, the cold stove, a pantry with a catch on the door). Its always better to remove temptation, rather than relying on your dogs training to overcome instinct. If she never learns how delicious human food is, she wont start to think about ways to get some. For example, poking around in the trash can is a definite no-no - it teaches your dog how yummy human food is, and encourages scavenging for scraps. 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), or one that has a secure, latched lid. For really smelly garbage, keep it in an outside bin thats secure: a kitchen that smells of food scraps is too tempting for your dog and will encourage bad behavior. Our Thoughts On Booby-Traps These can be effective, especially with dogs that like to leap up on counters or tables to steal a quick tidbit. Our opinion is divided on the use of booby traps though - it seems like a lot of work and effort on your behalf, just to set your dog up for what is essentially a scary failure. When it comes to food-thievery, 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, this is up to you, and for chronic thieves a booby-trap can make a difference. If you do choose to set booby-traps for your dog, please make sure that they inflict fright, NOT pain. You want to startle and deter your dog, never hurt her. One comparatively harmless idea is to tie one end of a string to a solid, tempting morsel of food thats not likely to fall apart quickly (say a hotdog) and the other end to a can with a handful of pebbles inside it. When your dog grabs the food, she will cause the can to fall over - emitting a loud, startling rattle at the same time. This teaches her that retribution for thievery is caused directly by her own actions, which has the added advantage of teaching her never to take food, whether youre there to notice or not!


Case Study: Thievery

One of the emails that the Kingdom of Pets has received about food stealing concerned Benny, a Border Collie with a real drive to take and eat food that wasnt his. His owners, Marsha and Oliver, had noticed his propensity for thieving food that didnt belong to him, but werent sure how to cope with it. Benny was a very agile dog, able to nimbly snap morsels from high ledges and counters, and was quick-moving enough to execute these maneuvers in a split second. In addition to this, Marsha and Oliver lived in a high-rise apartment with a small kitchen and limited counter and cupboard space. There wasnt a great deal of room to hide larger food items from Bennys ever-watchful eyes. We advised Marsha and Oliver to make sure they didnt inadvertently create opportunities for Benny. Clearly, he had no problems gulping food that didnt belong to him - the trick was to make sure he was never unsupervised in the kitchen when anything edible was left out. Marsha and Oliver started by introducing down-stay as an anti-thievery command. Whenever either of them was in the kitchen, Benny wasnt allowed in. He was allowed outside the kitchen doorway as long as he remained in a down-stay, but as soon as he got up or tried to come inside, hed be banished to his crate. The fact that he could stay nearby as long as he behaved himself prevented him from feeling left out, and also prevented him from getting close enough to pinch food scraps. In addition to this, the two owners had a rethink of their basic kitchen layout and habits. They bought a couple of large, solid bread bins from the secondhand store, and made sure that if they had to turn their back for a few moments while cooking or preparing food, all edible items (chopping boards with meat or vegetables, sandwiches, cooked meats, desserts, etc) went into the bread bins until they returned. Rubber latches and snaps went onto all cupboards and drawers containing food items, as well as the fridge and pantry door. Marsha also cleared out a couple of large drawers and a cupboard, leaving them empty in case she or Oliver ever needed somewhere to store food in a pinch while their attention was elsewhere. As one final precaution, Oliver installed a childproof gate across the kitchen doorway. Obviously this wasnt high enough to prevent Benny from jumping over it if he really wanted to - the point of the gate was to create a visual boundary for Benny, to remind him on an ongoing basis that, whenever Marsha 151

or Oliver were in the kitchen, Bennys place was outside the doorway. In a lot of cases, especially if the owners take steps to reverse thieving behavior early on, 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). Marsha and Oliver had to remain vigilant, and will likely have to do so for the duration of Bennys life. This is because Benny had had so many opportunities to cement the habit of stealing food, over such a long period of time, that the concepts of thievery and immediate reward were too stuck in his head for him to ever be truly trustworthy around food. However, the small changes that Marsha and Oliver made had a real positive impact on the household. Benny has taken to the no entry rule with regard to the kitchen with no problems, and the owners report that he hasnt stolen anything since!


Travel Problems

This section is deals with two aspects of traveling with dogs: car sickness, and general car safety tips. Motion Sickness Most puppies are car-sick at first, but almost all dogs grow out of it as they mature. The more experience your dog has with car journeys, the more quickly hell become accustomed to the sensation - but youll 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, short trips. Start with a slow, uneventful journey around the block, and proceed from there. Make things easy on your dog. He's not feeling well, so keep the journey calm and as short as possible. Avoid traffic jams (the constant stopping, starting, accelerating and decelerating can exaggerate the queasiness of a sensitive stomach). Keep transitions between gearshifts smooth and slow. Don't brake suddenly, and turn corners smoothly and slowly. Remember, your dog doesn't have a steeringwheel to hold onto. 152

As his motion sickness dwindles, start taking your dog on a variety of trips, both interesting and mundane. You don't want your dog to form rigid positive OR negative associations with car journeys, as he'll either become agitated or over-excited depending on his expectations. Ideally, you'll strike a happy medium: some trips to "good" things like the beach or the park, some trips to less-than-thrilling places like the vet, and some trips for regular errands. For dogs with chronic motion sickness - meaning that, after a variety of trips and a prolonged exposure to car journeys over several months, his motion sickness remains unabated - it may help for you to talk to your vet about medication. Effective travel-sickness medications for dogs include Dramamine (which is a prescription-only medicine) and Benadryl (which you can purchase over the counter). Regardless of how accessible any medications are, ALWAYS speak to your vet before medicating your dog (and this goes for all situations, not just car sickness!). Dosages vary according to breed, size, weight, age, and gender, and there are several other potential complicating factors (such as the possible presence of a condition predisposing him towards an adverse reaction). Symptoms Of Motion Sickness Contrary to popular belief, 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). OTHER TELL-TALE SIGNS THAT YOU NEED TO TAKE A SHORT BREAK: Rapid, panting breath Excessive drooling, including wetness and/or frothiness around the lips Groaning Burping and/or hiccupping noises Rolling eyes, possibly with whites showing If your dog displays one or more of these signals, your best bet is to pull slowly over to the side of the road and let him get out for a quick walk. Five minutes will suffice before you resume your trip, but the longer you wait before getting back in the car, the more enthusiastic he'll be about car rides in the future!


Car Safety Tips Dogs are at risk from travel-related dangers, just as we are. There are plenty of ways your dog can hurt himself while in the car, but fortunately, there are things that you can do to minimize or even negate the possibility of him hurting himself. 1. SAFETY-BELTS All dogs will be a lot better off if they're restrained in some way while the car is in motion. This is for two reasons: One, if you have to stop suddenly, or are involved in a car accident (no matter how mild), an unrestrained dog can be thrown across the car - and maybe through the windshield or out the window. Two, if your dog is active while in the car (scrambling around, barking, anything other than lying quietly in the back), this poses a danger to you and other passengers in the car: your dog could see "prey" out the window (a cat, a cyclist) and make a sudden lunge. He could jog your arm or leg while you're driving. He could distract you from the road and cause an accident. You can buy safety harnesses for dogs that are designed specifically for use while driving. These look like the harnesses that working dogs wear: a simple arrangement of straps, which go around the chest and shoulders. These harnesses can also be used everyday, as an alternative to a conventional collar, but while in the car they clip onto safety belts and will prevent your dog from being thrown if you need to brake suddenly. 2. 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. Proponents of this activity argue that it's one of the greatest pleasures a dog will ever have, while advocates of safety plead that the potential for sudden injury is huge. Even contact with a wayward a bug at 35 mph can do serious harm to a dog's eye or nose. We feel that you don't need to deny your dog the pleasure of poking his head out the window while you're driving, but exercise due caution. On unfamiliar roads, stretches of road that kick up dust and debris, or while driving at high speeds, roll the window up high enough so that a head can't be stuck out, but low enough to allow air to circulate freely. 3. HEAT KILLS A car is like a greenhouse: it heats up very, very quickly. And since a dog's only means of cooling down is by panting (dogs can't sweat - they can only diffuse heat through panting), they can get into real trouble in a matter of minutes on a 154

hot or even warm day. Heat can kill a dog. Long-haired or pug-nosed dogs are at especially high risk, but the danger is there for all dogs. If you're leaving him in a parked car on a hot, sunny, or even warm-but-overcast day, your actions before locking up can save your dog's life. Invest in a reflective windshield-sheet, which reflects the sun's rays off the windshield. Park in the shade, and try to make sure that the sun won't move around to hit the car in your absence. Roll all the windows down a few inches. Check on your dog every half hour or so to make sure he's OK, and not displaying any of the signs of hyperthermia (overheating) such as excessive panting, drowsiness, hyperventilation, or trembling. Just one or two of these steps aren't enough by themselves - you need to take ALL precautions when leaving your dog in the car to avoid a potential tragedy. 4. KEEP WATER AVAILABLE. You can buy inflatable plastic bowls designed specially for traveling, but a normal plastic water bowl will do just as well. Keep a big bottle of clean water in your car (out of the sun and in a cool place, if possible) so that if you DO need to leave your dog in the car - even just for ten minutes - he has access to water. If he's been in the car on a warm day, or for a prolonged period of time don't let him drink too much water at once, as this can cause vomiting. You should NEVER leave your dog unsupervised in the car for extensive periods of time.

Case Study: Travel Problems

This is the case of the three year old Jack Russell terrier, William, who had serious problems traveling in the car. He was already an adult dog when Miriam (his owner) adopted him from the pound, and mistrusted the car right from the start of their relationship together. On the way home from the pound, he threw up and urinated on the back seat, and demonstrated signs of extreme anxiety: panting, chasing his tail, and howling. Miriam chalked this up to a combination of stress about the new experiences after so long a confinement, as well as excitement at being released from the pound. She expected it to diminish after a couple of weeks, but as it turned out, William didnt get any better at all: he continued to howl, vomit, and wet himself in the car. It was clearly the motion that was so upsetting - he was OK in the car until the engine started and the wheels started turning, at which point the nervous reaction would set in.


After an email consultation with the team at Kingdom of Pets, Miriam decided to desensitize William to the car and the sensation of motion. Before doing anything else, she put down a thick layer of newspapers and towels throughout the car, 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. At first, theyd just sit in the car together with the engine off. After a few minutes of this, Miriam turned the engine on, let it run for two or three minutes, and then turned it off again. Because William was so stressed out by the engine running, Miriam practiced the arm clamp on him: shed drape one arm over his shoulders, as he was panting and howling, and give him a firm but gentle squeeze which shed maintain for a few minutes. This served to remind William that everything was OK, without the coddling effect of repeated stroking or verbal murmurings. After a couple of days of this, William began to calm down a little bit. When Miriam could turn the car engine on without any adverse reaction from William, she practiced backing down the drive and up again - driving slowly, at a snails pace. The first couple of times she did this, she kept one arm draped firmly over William to stop him scrambling about and getting more agitated. Quite soon though, he stopped wanting to do this, and - although he still panted a bit and drooled some - began to sit or lie down in the back. Clearly he was still tense, but significantly less so than he was when Miriam brought him home for the first time! Over the next several weeks, William and Miriam worked up to several trips around the block every day. When William was able to tolerate three times round the block in one sitting, Miriam took the newspaper and towels out of the back seat (but left him one, just for securitys sake). Although she hasnt taken him on any long-distance car journeys yet, Miriam reports that William is now a tolerably calm companion on car trips. He still likes a short break every twenty minutes or so, but has completely stopped all of his previous nervous behaviors. And all this inside of two months!


Review of DOG 202

Now is your opportunity to take a moment and consider all the aspects of dog ownership and behavioral problems weve covered in this section. Read over the following list, and see if theres anything youre not quite familiar 156

with, or if theres anything youd like to have another look at. IN THIS CHAPTER, WE DEALT WITH THE FOLLOWING CANINE BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS: Aggression problems: causes, what to do about it, early and advanced warning signs, a treatment program for dominance/aggression. Dog-on-dog aggression: causes of, prevention, what to do with a dogfight. Fear-biting: Why it happens, how to handle it, dos and donts. Play-biting: causes, how to prevent it, how to train your dog not to nip. Chewing and other destructive behavior: why it happens, prevention, dos and donts, options for serial destroyers. Digging problems: why dogs dig, how to control excess digging. Disobedience: why you need to nip it in the bud, tips for combating disobedience in your dog. Fear of the leash: how to desensitize your dog to leash-fear, how to train your dog to accept the leash. Off-leash problems: practical steps for ensuring good behavior in your dog while off-lead. Leash-pulling problems: a step-by-step breakdown of our recommended techniques for teaching your dog good on-leash behavior, and a look at some of the more common tools for achieving this goal. Barking problems: why dogs bark, what it means, what to do about it, alternatives for chronic barkers, teaching your dog to speak on command. Whining: why your dog is whining, what to do about it, what NOT to do about it. Thieving: how to prevent it, a word about booby-traps. Travel problems: symptoms of carsickness, training your dog to accept car journeys, car safety tips.


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, or a gentle leader, and sometimes sparingly using food as a reward. If you are interested in a more innovative training technique, then check out DOG 301: Dog Whispering. 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). If you own an older untrained dog then start him off with the exercises and commands in this chapter. You will have to use these exercises and commands more regularly, and with more patience, than with a puppy because older dogs are beyond the prime-learning phase of their lives. As mentioned in DOG 103: Training Methods Revealed, at this stage of your puppys training the emphasis is on fun; however remember that you do have to be consistent in your commands to your puppy. Start with the most basic commands first and do not be tempted to move on too quickly. Also, remember to refresh your puppys memory about old exercises every now and again.

A. Come (Recall)
The recall command, or come, is one of the most important commands you can teach your dog. Its also one of the most demanding, as far as your dogs concerned: to help put things in perspective for you, whenever you ask him to come, youre asking him to leave something enjoyable and interesting to return to you. Thats a pretty big ask and one of the most common complaints that we at the Kingdom of Pets hear about is centered around peoples dogs not coming when called. The only way to ensure that your dog will come every time you ask him to is to spend time - a lot of time - practicing and training, in a variety of situations and with varying levels of distraction, to ensure that he learns to respond to come in every situation.


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, but commercial dog-treats also work well) Attach a long line to your dogs collar. Keeping the end of it in your hand, put some distance between yourself and your dog - either by allowing him to wander around, or alternatively, by putting him in a sit-stay and backing away yourself. Crouch down to the dogs level and open your arms wide, as if for a hug. This is the most welcoming posture for dogs: greeting them at their level is a great way to ensure a rapid response. Most dogs find an erect standing posture intimidating, and wont respond so eagerly to it. Call him to you with a cheery, upwards inflection: (dogs name), come! If the dog doesnt respond, give the line a flick: a short, sharp tug. NOTE: The aim of the flick is not to use the leash drag him towards you. Its kind of like a poke in the chest with a forefinger: a quick physical reminder that youre in charge, and you expect your commands to be obeyed. As soon as your dog starts walking towards you, praise him in a low, encouraging tone of voice: Goooood boy, what a goooood boy! You want to praise him as hes heading your way, so he associates the praise with walking in your direction; but overly-enthusiastic praise tends to distract the dog from what hes doing, which is why its best to keep your voice steady and low-pitched. Put a smile on your face for added effect. As soon as he reaches you, get that treat in his mouth as fast as you can. Some dogs, depending on their personality, will prefer a short game with a cherished toy as an alternative to food treats: youll figure out which of these your dog responds best to as training progresses. More Advanced Training Once your dogs reacting reliably to come on the long line, start to vary the environments in which the training takes place. Introducing distractions is the best way of teaching your dog that hes expected to respond to come every time you call, and in every type of situation - not just one where hes sitting down and is totally focused on you! 159

Use distractions. For example, set up situations where hes playing with another dog while wearing the long line. Call him to you, and if he doesnt respond, give the line a flick. Repeat the command and the flick until he responds - remember to praise and treat for good behavior. Make come into a game: call your dog to you, and run in the opposite direction. Look enticingly over your shoulder as you go, if you like most dogs love this, and its a great way to teach a rapid response to come. As your dog becomes more reliable with come, 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. Common Mistakes When Teaching Come When training, never give a command that you cannot reinforce immediately if your dog doesnt give the desired response. For example, calling your dog to come while hes playing with another dog, chasing squirrels, or is far away from you is courting failure: if he doesnt respond, theres nothing you can do to enforce the command, so youre effectively teaching him to ignore the command. 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. Never give a command if you cannot immediately enforce it until your dog has demonstrated complete, reliable obedience on a long line for a lengthy period of time and in a variety of distracting situations. Use a cheery tone of voice to make yourself an attractive prospect to your dog. Keep your posture welcoming: when hes still learning, 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. Most dogs respond instinctively to this. Do not repeat commands. When you ask your dog to come, say the word once. If he doesnt respond, reinforce it with a leash flick.


Dont overuse his name: eventually, hell become immune to the sound of it. Never chase your dog if he doesnt come - youre teaching him to run away from you. If your dog isnt responding to come, he should be on a long line - that way, you dont need to chase him. Never punish your dog when he comes to you - next time you ask him to come, hell remember that the last time he obeyed you he was punished, and wont be so quick to respond.

B. Sit Stage I
The Sit command is very useful in the early education of your puppy. An informal method of implanting the association between the word Sit and the action of sitting is to say, Sit every time that your puppy sits on his own accord. YOU CAN ALSO TRY THIS BASIC METHOD: Hold a treat in your fingers where your puppy can see it in front of his face. Move the treat up and over his head so that as he follows the treat he automatically sits. As he is doing this, give the Sit command. Give him the treat once he has sat down correctly. 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.

1. Hold treat in fingers

2. Hold treat over head


3. Say Sit and give treat

4. Well done!


Okay and No

Okay is the command that you should use to inform your puppy that he is released from training. By this, I mean that he no longer has to perform the last command that you gave him. For example, if you have told your dog to sit then when you say the command Okay he knows that he can move. At this stage, it is an informal command that you can get your puppy familiar with just by using it. No should be the only command that you use to express your displeasure at your puppys wrongdoings. If possible, you should use this command along with a short sharp jerk on the leash to enforce the connection between the command and his offence. After a period of time, the command itself should suffice. 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.


Hold and Drop It

The Hold and Drop It commands come in useful in a variety of situations, in particular as a precursor to teaching your puppy how to retrieve (fetch), see DOG 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks. You can help your dog become predisposed towards fetching by encouraging him to pick things up as a puppy. This extension of playing will be invaluable as your dog matures and becomes ready for training that is more formal with the Retrieve command.


Hold The Hold command is taught by taking a soft object, for example a tennis ball, and placing it in his mouth while repeating the command Fudge. Hold. Praise him while he holds it in his mouth. 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. When his mouth opens place the object in it, say the command Fudge. Hold and then praise him.

The Hold command

When your dog has reached the stage where he will take the object and hold it for you, 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. A certain amount of coaxing may be required such as moving your dogs head forward with your hand. Gradually increase the distance between yourself and your dog. 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. Teaching your dog to drop it is a very important command to master - if you cant get her to release whatevers in her mouth on command, what are you going to do when she picks up something valuable or dangerous for a good chew?

Nice "Drop it". Well done!

Your ultimate goal, in teaching drop it, is for your dog to open her jaws and release whatever shes holding in her mouth. You can start this training at any stage of a dogs life - although, obviously, the earlier the better. STEP ONE: Armed with a few tempting dog chews (rawhide bones, plush toys, whatever your dog likes to gnaw on), and a small baggie of tasty treats (small pieces of chopped-up meat or cheese are good), take your dog somewhere where there are few distractions. 163

Holding a treat in one hand, give her a chew. Allow her a few moments to really get absorbed in it, hold a small piece of treat-food near her nose and say Drop it. When she opens her mouth, feed her the treat immediately while giving an enthusiastic, Good girl!. Pick up the chew with the other hand. Return the chew to her and repeat the exercise. If shes no longer interested in the chew (since she knows youve got treats!), go and do something else until you see her pick up something else in her mouth before repeating the exercise. Aim for 10 repetitions per day. THE NEXT STEP When shes reliably obedient at drop it, you can begin to phase out the treats. Dont do it all at once, youll still need to treat sporadically; but studies have shown that intermittent treating is much more effective than both treating every time without fail, and treating none of the time. Heres how to start phasing out the treats: Keep the baggie of treats nearby, but dont hold one in your hands. Give her the chew. Hold your empty fingers, pinched together as if holding a treat, near her nose and ask her to drop it. If shes practiced enough with the first step of drop it (see above) she should obey. If not, youll need to spend more time on step one. When she drops it, praise her vociferously, and immediately give her a couple of small treats from the baggie. Aim for 10 repetitions of this per day until shes reliably obedient. THE FINAL STEPS The next step is for you to take a more active role in the drop it command. Perform the commands as listed above, but this time, keep your hand on the item before asking her to drop it. 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). Last of all, build up to real-life objects: household items like remote controls, pencils, footwear, and so on. The wider the variety of objects that she is accustomed to dropping, the higher her quality of obedience is likely to be. 164


Sit Stage II

You can teach the Sit command more formally by using the following method.

Place a 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 on your left.

At the same time as giving the command, Fudge. Sit, push the puppys hindquarters (just above his tail) down while keeping the leash upright and taut. If you are having difficulty, you may need to hold on to his collar to maintain your puppys concentration and to prevent him from running away.

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Ideally, you would like your puppy to remain in the sit position for around ten seconds. 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.

Verbally release him by using the command Okay and be generous in your praise.

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. Make sure that he sits correctly before you give him his food. If everyone in the family follows these guidelines, he will understand what is required of him very quickly.

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Sit and Stay

Get your leashed puppy to sit in front of you while you are holding the leash.

Raise your index finger and say, Stay.

Look your puppy in the eye and take three steps backwards. If he starts to follow you then ask him to Sit again and start over.

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If he has not followed you for the three steps then pause briefly before returning to him and praising him.

Gradually extend the distance that you walk away from him. You can also start taking your eyes off him and try turning around completely.

If at any stage your puppy does not perform the Stay correctly then go back a level in the progression.

Be sure not to use your puppys name, as he will assume that you mean for him to come to you. You will have to be very patient with this command, as it will take time for him to differentiate between the Sit command and the Stay command. When your puppy reaches 6 months old, he will be ready for the next phase of the Sit and Stay command. This command is revealed in DOG 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks.

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Down (Drop) Stage I

The Down command is used to make your dog lie down, in a prone position upon the ground. It is a difficult command for dogs to learn, as it requires them to assume the most submissive canine position and is therefore going right against their very nature. The command is often used as part of the DownStay command, which can be extremely useful when you need to control your dogs excitement or if there is a threat of danger.

Down you go...

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. If you do use the command Down for this exercise then make sure that you use a command like Off for these other situations. 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. 1. 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. Say the command Fudge. Down or Fudge. Drop as soon as you are putting him in the correct position. Maintain eye contact with your puppy. 2. As per the Sit command, repeat Drop or Down over and over while your dog is in the correct position. Ideally, you would like him to hold the position for at least ten seconds. 3. At the end of this time release your puppy with the Okay command and be generous in your praise. 4. Repeat this exercise ten times in a training session.



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. 1. Place your leashed puppy in the Sit position on your left side. 2. Kneel down so that your head is close to the dogs head and give the command Fudge Drop or Fudge. Down in a soft voice. At the same time, pull down on the check chain with your left hand to force him down while clicking the fingers of your right hand. Again maintaining eye contact with your puppy is important. 3. Repeat Drop or Down over and over while your dog is in the correct position. Again, you would like him to hold the position for at least ten seconds. 4. At the end of this time release your puppy with the Okay command and be generous in your praise. 5. Repeat this exercise ten times in a training session. For larger dogs instead of pulling his check chain downwards, you can get easier results by standing on the chain. 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



Heel Stage I
The aim of the Heel command, at this stage, is to make your puppy walk beside you without him straining on the leash. A wide-open area, such as a park, is the best place to teach this command, as you will probably need a large amount of room. However, be aware that puppies are generally not allowed to go into public areas until ten days after their final vaccinations, which is usually at about thirteen weeks of age.

The first stage of teaching your puppy to heel is to prevent him from pulling on the leash at all.

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.

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Start walking forward slowly in a straight line, leading with your left leg. As soon as your puppy takes off and starts pulling on the leash, stand still and pull the leash back towards you. Do not drag the puppy back towards you. All you need to do is halt his progress.

Wait until the puppy stops, praise him and then continue walking. 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.

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.

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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. 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.

Start with the leashed puppy in the Sit position as before.

Walk slowly in a straight line, if your puppy starts pulling on the leash then stop and snap the leash. Turn around and walk in the opposite direction.

Praise your puppy when he walks beside you without pulling on the leash.

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This teaching process should continue for four days with three sessions per day lasting fifteen minutes each.

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. The puppy will soon realize that you are changing direction and will watch you for your movement before he starts his. 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.

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Heel Stage III

The third and final phase of teaching the Heel command is to introduce the actual command Heel to your puppy.

Start with the leashed puppy in the sit position as before.

When you start walking lead with your left leg and say the command Fudge. Heel.

Say the command Heel whenever the puppy requires a positive correction. This way he will form the association between Heel and walking by your left side.

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There are several movement patterns that you can use to help teach this command and keep it interesting for your puppy. Walk in a straight line for 20 yards and then turn to your right and walk for another 20 yards. Keep doing this so that you end up walking around a 20-yard square. As above but turn to your left instead of your right. Zigzag between obstacles such as a tree line or buildings. Remember that whenever your puppy pulls the lead taut correct him by changing direction and calling him to Heel. When the puppy reaches your left side, praise him and continue walking. These sessions should last for fifteen minutes with four sessions per day over a period of two weeks.

The Heel position



The Stand command is a useful command to use with the Stay command and in fact, the standing position is more natural for your dog than the sitting position. In addition, your dog will have to be well advanced with the Heel command to get the most benefit out of this exercise.


Walk with your leashed dog in the heel position. Make sure that you hold the lead close to your dogs collar with your left hand.

Stop walking and say the command Fudge. Stand. 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.

If he decides to sit then take a pace forward forcing him to get up and follow. At this point, 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. Ensure that you use the command while you are doing this action.

To start with, ten seconds of standing is enough. At the end of this time release your puppy with the Okay command and praise him. Repeat this exercise ten times in a training session.

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The Wait command is a useful controlling command in many situations, especially when you need your dog to think twice before, say, heading out an open door. The following method deals with controlling your dog in an open door situation, you can modify it for other situations. 1. Place a long leash (about ten feet long) on your dog. Attach the free end to a non-movable object by a doorway leading to outside, such as the doorknob. The leash length should allow him to go through the doorway. 2. Put him into the Sit position on the inside of the closed door. Say clearly Fudge. Wait. 3. Open the door and back your way through it. As you do so, hold up your palm (like a traffic warden) towards him, which creates a visual barrier and encourages him to stay where he is. If he tries to go through after you then return him to the Sit position. You will have to repeat this exercise a few times to get the correct result. 4. When you get to the stage that you can open the door and walk through it without your dog following, turn to him and say, Fudge Come and let him come to you or use the lead to encourage him through the door.

A natural Stand position

5. Go back inside and repeat the exercise several times. The next extension of this training exercise is to teach your puppy to wait inside your car while you open the door. Use a similar method as above to get him to wait until you call him. Now that you have formed the word association for your dog, you can use the Wait command in situations that are more general.


Seek (Find)

Finding items by scent comes naturally to dogs, as their sense of smell is far superior to ours. Encourage your puppies scenting ability by doing this exercise with his favorite toy. 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. You can use the Seek or Find command to get your puppy familiar with it, but again the emphasis should be on fun. His scenting ability can be developed further at 178

a later age, see DOG 303: Advanced Commands and Tricks.


Training Program

A training program is given in this section, but it should be used as a guide only, as you will have to modify it to your puppys individual learning capabilities. Try to teach your puppy the same command for three to five days in a row, preferably three to four sessions per day. Initially each session should last for only five minutes until your puppy builds up his concentration levels. By the time he reaches six months of age, he should be able to handle fifteen-minute training sessions. As previously mentioned, at this early stage of your puppys life any training should be informal and enjoyable. Try to stick with the program but do not advance the training beyond your puppys capabilities. Make sure he can do the exercise that you are teaching him correctly before moving on to the next one. Some important points to remember are: Take time to get your puppy familiar with the lead and whatever collar you decide to use. Keep the sessions relatively informal and use a mix of the exercises listed in this section. 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 puppys tolerance for learning builds up. Have at least twenty minutes rest between each daily session. You can train your dog for up to five days per week, as long as you always have at least two rest days. Perform the sessions in an open area that is free from distractions. Set the ground rules and commands for dealing with your puppy and family. Stick to them.






15 minutes per day, Sit - Stage I, Come, preferably 3 sessions of 5 Okay, No minutes each. 15 minutes per day, Sit - Stage II, Hold, preferably 3 sessions of 5 Leave minutes each. Sit and Stay 20 minutes per day, preferably 2 sessions of 10 minutes each. 20 minutes per day, preferably 2 sessions of 10 minutes each. 30 minutes per day, preferably 3 sessions of 10 minutes each. 30 minutes per day, preferably 3 sessions of 10 minutes each. 30 minutes per day, preferably 3 sessions of 10 minutes each. 40 minutes per day, preferably 4 sessions of 10 minutes each. 40 minutes per day, preferably 4 sessions of 10 minutes each. 45 minutes per day, preferably 3 sessions of 15 minutes each. Come, Okay, No Come, Okay, No Sit and Stay

Down (Drop) - Stage I

Down (Drop) - Stage II

Sit and Stay

Wait, Hold, Leave

Down (Drop)

Heel Stage I


Heel Stage II


Heel Stage III

Sit and Stay Sit and Stay, Wait


Heel Stage III


Seek (Find), Stand

45 minutes per day, Heel, Down preferably 3 sessions of 15 (Drop) minutes each. 60 minutes per day, preferably 4 sessions of 15 All minutes each. 180


General refresher


Review of DOG 203

In this section, we used the check chain and gentle leader training methods to teach the following commands. 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.


DOG 301:

Dog Whispering Uncovered

Defining Dog Whispering

Dog whispering is probably more a general philosophy than a specific training method. It involves understanding your dog by reading and interpreting its body language. In turn, you communicate your intentions to your dog through your body language and actions. From an outside perspective, 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, or even mystical. But when you really think about how dogs communicate, their social nature, and their pack instincts, its actually not that mysterious at all. Dog whispering has gained huge popularity in recent years, in large part due to Cesar Millan, who attracted media attention with his television series The Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel. Originally from Mexico, Millan came to the United States in the 1990s. Realizing he had a natural ability to communicate with dogs in a healthy, productive, and humane way, he set out to help as many dog owners as he could to do the same. Millans techniques emphasize the importance of establishing yourself as a confident and dependable leader, and his philosophy revolves around the principles of exercise, discipline and affection. Because Millan places heavy focus on treating troubled dogs, the approach is commonly associated with rehabilitating problem dogs (Millan even refers to himself as a dog rehabilitator). The phrase dog whisperer is a borrowing from horse whisperer, which became popular after Nicholas Evans 1995 novel of the same name was made into a Hollywood movie starring Robert Redford in 1998. The novel centers on a real life horse trainer, Irishman Daniel Sullivan. In the early 1800s, Sullivan gained notoriety all over England with his uncanny ability to train and rehabilitate problem horses. He kept his techniques mostly secret and passed them down to his prodigy Willis J. Powell, who took the knowledge overseas to the Americas. There it was passed down again and again in the same way until this secretive method was ultimately revealed more openly. The idea of whispering as a form of training and rehabilitating problem horses eventually was applied in a wider sense, not only to cattle and livestock, but also to domesticated pets, especially dogs. Dog whispering, like horse whispering, places a heavy investment in understanding dogs by studying their behavior, and responding to them with calm and firm guidance. 182

Dog whispering as a method can address a wide array of behavioral problems, from overly-aggressive dogs to obsessive or neurotic ones. IN GENERAL, IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND TWO THINGS: 1. Even though the term is new, the methods, techniques, and overriding philosophy of dog whispering has been around as long as dogs and humans have had relationships. 2. The information on dog whispering that Im providing is general information on my understanding of the philosophy and approach of dog whispering. It does NOT reflect the system of any one specific Dog Whisperer. There is still plenty of debate about whether or not dog whispering should involve establishing hierarchy and dominance. In my personal experience, 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. I have seen many owners enjoy the benefits of dog whispering, the result being a pet that is both obedient and happy to be that way. Of course, dog whispering is not a cure for everything, and there are a few things to consider in terms of its downside. But to begin, Id like to share with you a collection of what I have found are the most important points to learn about the dog whispering method.


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. This will involve making the dog feel secure in many different social situations and interactions (which cannot happen unless you have established your dominance). A submissive or anxious dog runs the risk of acting out with defensive aggression. An Alpha dog runs the risk of acting out with dominance aggression without proper guidance, it will always take the law into its own jaws, so to speak. The key is to be calm yet firm. Never shout. No dog training method is about shouting at your dog. This is more a reflection of the owners own lack of self-control. So while it is true that an attractive quality of dog whispering is a soft-spoken and gentle demeanor, this is not its defining or most important aspect. 183

In fact, much of the communication is done non-verbally sometimes with hand signals, sometimes without. Like other training methods, dog whispering requires patient, nonviolent means, lots of repetition, and positive reinforcement. There are moments when your dog may be in imminent danger. You should reserve shouting for these moments. This way, you can expect a response when you most need one. I always say that one half of dog whispering is about reading your dogs body language. The other half is about your body language being read by your dog. This is why your calm yet firm actions speak volumes to them. If your energy is nervous, or even fearful, its as good as saying to your dog: You have reason to be nervous. You have reason to be fearful. Dogs communicate using a variety of body postures and positions through scent, through facial expression, and especially the movement of ears and tail. Their communication is primarily non-verbal (while that of humans is primarily verbal). Signals. Dogs can use a variety of gestures and signals to defuse situations of stress and send a message of no threat. Dogs also try to signal to us, but if we dont recognize them, we can miss the point. Some of the most common of these signals include: turning their head away from yours (no the dogs not being rude), licking their lips and nose, walking slowly, freezing on the spot, sniffing the ground, and even nervous yawning. These signals can be observed frequently between dogs and from dogs to humans. The failure of humans to recognize these signs often makes dogs resort to more extreme forms of expression, such as barking, when they are distressed. Some dogs use some signs and not others. It is also possible for a dog to lose this body language to an extent if it is never reinforced, especially during early conditioning. Understanding and reading your dogs body language is important not only for when they are trying to tell you something, but also when they are trying to send a message to another dog in your presence. An ability to prevent dog fights is almost guaranteed when you can read how dogs react during or just before greeting. It makes timing your intervention or deciding to avoid the situation entirely second nature to you.


Eye contact. Eye contact is one of the best ways to communicate with your dog. It is said that some dogs talk more with their bark, and other talk more with their eyes. In either case, the first step in reading each others facial expressions is regularly establishing eye contact. But remember that holding a direct stare without any other verbal or physical cues is likely to be read as confrontational. Avoid direct eye contact when meeting new dogs. Being Human. In general, dog whispering requires that you in some way become a student of dog behavior and dog psychology. But it stops short of suggesting that you should try and wag your tail to get your point across. Dogs are intelligent enough to know that you are not a dog, and they can learn your distinctly human body language. Simply put, you dont become a dog whisperer by acting like a dog. Dog whispering does not involve hypnosis or magic. Whenever you see anyone who has a way with dogs, it often comes down to a mix of high affection, low fear, and steady confidence. Dog whispering is simply about putting that into practice in the best possible manner. With dog whispering: Dogs are not servants or slaves and should not be treated as such. If you continually bark commands at them, dont be surprised when they bark back. Sadly Ive seen that many dog owners become control freaks and act in a bossy, demanding way. The same owners tend to be the ones who get extra angry when their dog doesnt listen or misbehaves. Be a pack leader, not a control freak. Dogs are not children and should not be treated as such. This is another commonly misguided idea of the relationship between humans and dogs. Many dog owners pamper their dogs as if they were surrogate children. This is harmless, and even funny, but only to a point! Dogs need more than your treats and your cuddles. They need your guidance. Sometimes you need to physically intervene or make a correction with your dog.


The use of calm, assertive, non-violent, and non-aggressive physical force is not only ok with your dog, but it is essential in maintaining a healthy and secure relationship. Dogs are social. Give them a social role. Whether they are a running or walking partner, a show dog, an agility dog, a herding dog, a watch dog, or a party dog, dogs are happier when they have a role and they feel like they are fulfilling it. Give them the security that comes from a sense of purpose. If you treat dogs with the respect and dignity they deserve, they will enjoy behaving for you. Simple as that. For the same reason, a dog whispering philosophy puts more value in life knowledge for dogs than it does teaching them neat tricks. For example, when people ask me if my dog knows how to shake hands or roll over, I tell them no, but add that he does know a great trick that I call dont run in front of the bus. Dog whispering works as well as it does because it can take a different approach for different dogs. It is always a custom fit method. This is because a dominant dog will require a much different training approach than a submissive one, as will an aggressive dog vs. an anxious or obsessive one. Finally: Even though this is the cornerstone of all dog training systems (or at least should be), I need to mention it again as absolutely essential as part of any dog whispering approach. If your dog does not have a way to channel all the energy that it has for work and play, they will find another way to release it. And chances are it wont be a good thing. Those are some of the general ideas that motivate the philosophy of dog whispering. Now lets look at some specific techniques.



Dog Whispering: Interventions

All too often the idea of training dogs involves correcting them when they do something inappropriate. This means that they dont always have a good idea of when they are doing something right. There is a big difference between intervention (interrupting or changing behavior) and correction (negatively reinforcing behavior because it is wrong). Basically, an intervention means that the dog hasnt done anything wrong, and does not have to be reprimanded or punished. A correction is a strong response to a bad behavior. The great thing about an intervention is that it gives you an opportunity to establish your control, and dominance, in a positive way. Here are two examples of effective dog whispering interventions: SUPPOSE YOU ARE OUT WALKING YOUR DOG. YOU SEE SOMEONE YOU KNOW AND BEGIN TALKING. YOU WANT YOUR DOG TO STAND OR SIT PATIENTLY WHILE YOU SOCIALIZE. But your dog is busy sniffing a pole or something, and pulling farther and farther away from you on the lead. You could repeatedly tug the lead, and this is the most common response. But this response also commonly comes with an annoyed reaction to the dog, even a frustrated verbal command (ex: Get over here and SIT already!). The problem is your dog is simply more interested in whatever it is sniffing, and your social exchange is not all that inviting. So make a proper invitation! TRY THIS INSTEAD: Get your dogs attention in a calm way. First try verbally encouraging him back into the social circle. Then physically guide his head by the chin into an upward position. Make eye contact, but make sure your face and tone of voice is encouraging (something like, Come say hello Rover, look who it is, spoken in a calm and inviting tone is the idea). Praise responsiveness. Give a sit or stand command after guiding him back toward the position hes supposed to be in. Shorten your lead. Another reward might be a greeting from the person you have stopped to speak with, which is appropriate now that your dog has joined the social interaction!


From this point, if his head starts to go down and attention goes away from the circle, a short, sharp tug on the lead should be enough to maintain his position. The act of socially engaging with your dog so he behaves socially in turn is important. Its much different than pulling your dog back to where you want him, without making any connection with him and without giving him any indication why he might want to join the circle. Making desired behavior seem positive and fun in the first place is much better than forcing it then rewarding it after the fact. People you see in public will appreciate it too, and it wont be long before they will comment on what a great relationship you have with your pet. DOGS PLAYING WITH OTHER DOGS. IT NOT ONLY LETS THEM GET SOME INTENSE EXERCISE, BUT IT ALLOWS THEM A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO SOCIALIZE. It also gives you a great opportunity to exercise your role as a strong pack leader with a calm, firm, yet entirely positive intervention. Dogs love to play, and most dogs, especially young ones, just cant seem to get enough. But theres a time and a place for everything, and sometimes things get too rowdy, an older dog tires in the presence of a younger one, or they both just need a break. 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. TRY THIS: After a good play session, say OK, Time Out or whatever command you want them to associate with the break. (If one of the dogs is not yours, be sure you explain the training exercise to the other owner first). Physically separate the dogs by taking them both by the collar, putting enough distance between them so that they are beyond each others reach. Give the Down command, using a bit of downward pressure if needed (and it likely will be with puppies or overexcited dogs). Only apply as much pressure as necessary to get them to settle.


While they are in a down position, repeat the Settle command in a soft, reassuring tone, and praise them for being still. It is important that they know they have not done anything wrong. They are simply being asked to interact in a different way. Keep talking to them in a positive way. Once they have both settled, you can gradually release your hold, and bring them closer to one another again. Ideally, you will get to the point when you can issue the Time Out command and separate them using voice or hand commands, because they will know that you can (and will) separate them one way or another. 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, and you can allow this and encourage it. This is good in that it shows them that they can interact in a more composed way. 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, and be sure theres plenty of water on hand. This intervention tells them that they have not done anything wrong, but that it is time to socialize and interact in a different way. More importantly, it reinforces your position as dominant. You may not need to stop the play session, but this technique will sure make it much easier when you do. Remember to be calm and self-assured, acting in anger or frustration will defeat the whole exercise, and could worsen behavior problems.



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. Suppose you have just made yourself the best roast beef sandwich you have ever made in your sandwich-making career. The phone rings, and you leave your amazing sandwich on the kitchen counter. Your adolescent puppy takes the opportunity to stroll into the kitchen, stand up on her hind legs, and eat your lunch. You come back and catch your dog in the act. Your first response should be a verbal command that interrupts the behavior, a loud AHH or a clap or both. But theres also a very firm, effective and totally humane technique you should have at your disposal. HERES WHAT TO DO: Give a Sit command. Take a moment to calm down. Your dogs body language may already be suggesting fear or retreat, which is likely a response to your tense and possibly angry body language. Although you need to send a clear message at this point, you also need to remain in control. Making your dog fear you and avoid you because you are angry does not accomplish this goal. Put your hand around her snout. DONT squeeze it. Just hold it firmly enough so she cant squirm away. Make eye contact. Tell her in a stern voice Thats a very bad dog (or whatever works for you). Apply only as much pressure as necessary for her to be still. You may try holding on to the collar with your other hand. Never shake your dog by the snout. 190

Send your dog away to another room and ignore her for at least 15 minutes. There is an escalated version of this mode of discipline. I reserve it for the worst behaviors, such as when a dog shows aggression inappropriately to humans or dogs, or moves to start a fight with another dog: Follow the same steps as above, but before you take hold of the dogs snout, roll her over on to her back. This can be achieved by taking hold of the rear leg farthest from you and the collar, and forcing the dog on to her side. Then roll her on to her back, grab hold of the snout, and put on the hard word. You dont have to do this quickly or with great force. Calmly and deliberately is the idea. It is important to understand the logic behind this form of discipline. Dogs use their mouths not only to express themselves but also to protect themselves. When you take control of their mouth, they are vulnerable, and you are forcing them to submit to you. In addition, dogs are very vulnerable when they are on their back. Not only is their mobility removed, but their genitals are exposed, and their instincts make them extremely uncomfortable in this position. If you couple this behavior with a message of negative reinforcement, you are not only saying You have done something wrong, you are also reinforcing your message from the position of dominance. You are giving them a reason to listen to you. NOTE: this is not exclusively a way to discipline your dog. It is also a way to establish trust by doing it in a more playful context repeatedly during the puppy stage. Through repetition, a puppy will get to the point where they will freeze as soon as your hand goes around their mouth. When they go through adolescence, they may resist again in a more overt way, and this is their way of testing the boundaries all over again. Again remember to be calm and self-assured; acting in anger or frustration will defeat the whole exercise, and could worsen behavior problems. 191


Dog Whispering with Common Commands

Dog whispering can be used with all of the most common training commands, and in a way that allows both dog and owner to be more responsive to each other. Here I outline some of the basic training commands from the perspective of dog whispering. Recall Command (Come) Out of all of the commands we can teach a dog, this one is the most important and should be strongly reinforced. By teaching a dog to come on command, we can prevent many potential problems including running away, becoming distracted, becoming aggressive, and even attacking another animal. This command is the cornerstone of all canine training. This training should begin immediately upon the dog entering the household, regardless of age. However, simply calling Come to the dog and then getting angry when he does not understand is futile. It is important to understand how to get the dog to come and to associate the action with the word. First of all, we need to figure out what naturally causes the dog to approach us. Often, feeding time is a great time to practice this command. As the dog is approaching you, say: Come. This does not have to be shouted, or even said in a loud voice. A pleasant firm voice is all that is necessary. When the dog comes up to you for his dinner, praise him for listening to the command. Continue this practice in every instance you can think of for when he would approach you naturally, regardless of whether or not it is feeding time, as you do not want to always associate food with the command. Other good times to practice the command would be going outside and going to the crate. The most important part of your own body language is positioning yourself in an encouraging way and greeting your dog positively when it comes. Its not hard to understand why a dog does not want to come to an angry owner. Another practice to keep in mind is that dogs tend to go to the highest value item, be it another dog, another person, or a squirrel. For high energy dogs, that item is often the one moving the quickest. In the right situations, you can try to be that item. When youre out in public, and you need to recall your dog when hes off lead, 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.


Down and Sit These two commands can be taught to your dog using the same technique. While the normal use of praise through affection and treats is encouraged to help your dog learn these two vital commands, the incorporation of body language on your part will also help greatly in teaching your dog to both sit and to lie down. (It should be understood the reason the command Down is used, instead of Lie Down, is because dogs respond better to one syllable commands). While it is thought teaching the dog to sit first is preferable, in actuality, learning the Down command first makes the process go much more smoothly. 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. In these instances your dog will already be lying down or is willing to be on his own volition. Never begin to teach a dog to lie down when he is excited. He will not understand your wants and you will be more likely to become frustrated. When your dog is in a relaxed position of lying down but still alert and not asleep, establish eye contact and say the command Down. Give him praise. Each time you see your dog begin to lay down, repeat the Down command. Repeat this process as many times as it takes for your dog to associate the word with the action. Eventually, start giving the Down command when your dog is standing or sitting. If he responds appropriately, reward him with praise. If he does not respond, you might try relaxing yourself. Theres nothing more unnerving than someone standing over you and trying to get you to do something. 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. Or slide down right on the carpet, and pat the spot where you want your dog to join you. Stay It is of the utmost importance to teach your dog the Stay command. This command will assist you with making sure that your dog exhibits good manners and also helps you ensure your dogs safety at all times. Similar to teaching a dog the Sit and Down commands, the Stay command begins when your dog is in a relaxed situation but still alert; for example, when 193

the dog is sitting or lying down totally awake. You will wish to initially approach the dog and stand about two feet away. In a normal and calm voice, state: Stay. The use of an outstretched open palm with fingers not splayed shown to the dog in front of his face can be quite helpful, as this gives the impression of a barrier and is an effective use of body language. 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. Walk a couple of feet away and turn around to see how your dog is doing. If he is still there, call him to you and give him praise. When youre having continual success, you can repeat the Sit, Down and Stay sequence from the new spot youve just called your dog to. If he is getting excited, making an attempt to leave the barrier, or has actually left the barrier, 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. If necessary, manually return him to the spot. (Note: for unruly dogs, there is a pressure point between the shoulder blades that will force them down easily and harmlessly. This can work for some). Initially, as long as the dog stays where you tell him after you move away two feet, you can consider the exercise a success and the dog should be rewarded. Make sure that you do not use food treats as a reward, as this can increase the difficulty in future lessons. 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 dogs processing of the command you are teaching. Do not expect your dog to learn to stay at 25 feet away the first lesson, or even after the next 15 lessons. This particular command can take some time so be patient. If you feel you are getting impatient, stop the lesson until you can calm down enough to continue. Eventually, you will find yourself being able to move further and further away. The end result of this command is for you to be able to call out to your dog from a far off location, tell him to stay and have him respond positively. Barking Barking is an inherent part of a dogs nature. However, most owners want to gain some control over this behavior. There are breeds that are more prone toward this behavior than others are, but all dogs will bark for a variety of reasons. 194

Some devices such as anti-bark collars are often used to stop the noise, but do little to stop the behavior that prompts barking. The section in DOG 202 on nuisance barking offers proven techniques to put a stop to excessive barking behavior. Dog whispering can also be used to prevent nuisance barking, using the Hush command as detailed below. Often we tend to yell at our dogs when they are barking. This only further incites the dog to bark louder, as she is directly responding to our barking. This is a result of the nature of the dog, and one that unnecessarily frustrates many owners. Instead, when you hear your dog bark, go to the dog and actively look to see what she is barking at. If danger is not apparent, 1. Pat your dog on the head, 2. Turn away from the direction she is barking at, 3. Assume a relaxed posture, 4. Tell her to Hush in a strong yet calm and quiet voice. 5. When the dog does as you have asked, immediately give her praise. A note to remember is to always look for what your dog is barking at before stating a command. This is your dogs way of telling you something is not quite right, so she needs to be shown that you do listen and appreciate her efforts. So only hush your dog after you explore her alert. 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).


The Trouble with Dog Whispering

The method and principles of dog whispering are humane but also firm, and indeed physical. But because so much depends on sending signals through body language, theres a bit more to it Not only do you have to act physically dominant, but also have to believe you are physically dominant. This means that even if you are trying to be a confident pack leader, and you are nervous and unsure, you may not be able to effectively communicate direction and guidance to your dog. 195

Some owners are simply uncomfortable with physical interventions or corrections, and this method is not suited for them. In addition, some owners are physically unable to carry out physical interventions or corrections effectively, 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, in my view, involves interacting with a dog you are physically capable of controlling. Dog whispering takes more time than traditional training methods, simply because spending time with your dog is the only way for you to learn each others body language. Even though busy owners can still benefit from the ideas behind dog whispering, there is really no way around the time demands of this method.


Review of DOG 301

In this chapter, we took the mystery out of dog whispering and explained it in plain and simple terms. More a general philosophy than a specific training method, it involves understanding your dog by reading and interpreting its body language. By paying closer attention to your own body language, rather than the use of repeated commands, you can effectively communicate with your dog. 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 Dogs Purpose Affording Respect and Dignity Customizing your Approach, and EXERCISE


We discussed the important difference between an intervention, which is simply interrupting a behavior so you can actively communicate with your dog as a guide and leader, and a correction, which is negatively reinforcing an inappropriate behavior. Several scenarios were presented along with proven techniques for making effective and humane interventions and corrections with your dog. We learned to incorporate dog whispering methods with these common commands: Come (Recall) Down and Sit Stay Hush (Shhh)


DOG 302:

Health-Related Problems Solved

In this section, were going to look at some common health-related problems that dogs are prone to, and detail what they are, why they happen, 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), which often manifests itself as destructive behavior during the period of separation (chewing, digging, barking, etc). Separation anxiety and the resulting behaviors occur when the dog is either isolated, or is separated from a person to which she is intensely attached. You may find separation anxiety easier to understand and deal with if you bear in mind the fact that dogs are pack animals - theyre social by nature. Its normal for dogs to form intense emotional bonds with their pack. No dog does well when left on her own, but some dogs REALLY dont do well - and these are the ones that develop separation anxiety. The problem behaviors commonly associated with the condition include inappropriate urination or defecation (regardless of whether shes been housetrained or not), destruction, excessive barking and whining, hyperactive behaviors like tail-chasing, compulsive behaviors like repetitive licking or self-mutilation (for example, pulling out fur, gnawing at nails and skin), and depression, signified by withdrawal and lethargy. If your dogs displaying any of these behaviors, it doesnt DEFINITELY mean that theyre caused by separation anxiety. However, if they occur shortly after your departure (separation anxiety generally peaks within half an hour), and if the dog greets you exaggeratedly and for a long period of time upon your return (whining, nudging for attention, leaping around, performing extended acrobatics), then separation anxiety is probably the cause. 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. This can be because of genetics: some breeds are simply hardwired for constant companionship, such as Weimaraners or Cocker Spaniels. 198

Other contributing factors include: Early separation from mother and littermates. 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). A sudden and dramatic change of circumstance, like a shift to a new house, a divorce or death in the family. A sudden change in the owners circumstances, resulting in a significantly decreased amount of contact with the dog. The addition of a new family member or pet. Dealing With Separation Anxiety In Your Dog What you need to do is train your dog to be more independent of you. Of course, we all love it when our dogs are happy to see us. But remember, separation anxiety is a manifestation of psychological trauma. It doesnt just mean that your dog is happy to see you, it also means that, while youre away, shes been suffering. So, to reduce this tendency, you need to desensitize your dog to your absence and teach her that its no big deal at all when you leave. The way to do this is to use baby steps. Youre going to move very, very slowly: its not possible to make any progress here unless your dog is completely relaxed at each level along the way. Youre going to practice leaving your dog alone, repeatedly, and for slowly increasing lengths of time. WHAT TO DO: Without making a big deal about it, walk out the front door and shut it. But dont stay out too long: return after only a few seconds. At first, keep your departure times VERY short. Leave frequently, but return soon. The trick is to return before your dog gets stressed. As she learns that these short departures arent anything to worry about, you can gradually start increasing the length of time youre absent for. Remember to increase the absences SLOWLY, by a few seconds at a time.


If at any point your dog starts to demonstrate stress or anxiety, simply revert to the level of progress that she was last content with. Before moving on again, remain at that level of progress until an absence of that length of time gets no reaction at all. There are to be no dramatic goodbyes or greetings from now on! A simple see you later or a good girl, hello is enough. If you habitually make a big fuss over your dog when you leave or upon your return, youre encouraging her to view your departures as a really, really big deal. Keep things brief and casual, and shell be a lot happier for it. OTHER CALMING TECHNIQUES A few different ways to reduce the frequency and intensity of separation anxiety bouts: Super-exercise your dog before you leave. Really wear her out - tired dogs are more content and mellow than agitated, energetic dogs. Mental stimulation is another fantastic way to put your dog into a tired, relaxed state. 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 youve gone. Leave an item of clothing that youve recently worn in her bed. Your smell may soothe her. Leave the TV or radio tuned to a talk-show or to calming music. (Studies have shown that stressed dogs react particularly well to baroque classical music, but anything quiet and relaxing will do!) This will occupy the white space of an empty household, and can help a lonely dog feel like shes got company. Supply her with a tasty chew or favorite toy before you go out. Make sure its 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 doesnt begin to associate specific toys with being alone or anxious. Get her a crate. Most dogs respond very well to the cosy sensation of being snug in a confined space. You dont need to fasten her in; just the ability to retreat to her own little den is soothing in itself. NOTE: For dogs with extreme and prolonged separation anxiety, which maintains its intensity no matter what you do, you will need to speak to your vet. 200

Medication may be required - your vet will need to examine your dog, discuss the details of her symptoms with you, and prescribe the necessary remedy. (Dont ever medicate your dog without the advice of your vet!)

Case Study: Separation Anxiety

Teddy, a seven year old German Shepherd, had been an inside dog all his life until his owners, Sarah and Blair, moved to a house with a large section. From that day on, they would leave him outside during the day. So for the first time in his life, Teddy was required to spend significant stretches of time outside and by himself. Within a few weeks, Teddys demeanor had changed from that of a well-behaved and well-adjusted dog to that of an anxious, highly-strung one. Hed started scratching at the doors, whining, and pacing, as well as jumping up onto the outdoor table so that he could bark at Sarah and Blair through the windows! Eventually, the racket became so bad that they had to let him back inside or risk the anger of the neighbors. If they left the house with Teddy outside, he would destroy the outdoor furniture, the doormat, and scratch at the walls around the door. They started leaving him inside again, so he wouldnt destroy anything. The issue behind all this destructiveness was quite simple: at the relatively mature age of seven years old, Teddys whole world had been tilted upside down. For no reason that he could comprehend, hed been shifted from the environment that hed known his entire life - and, at the same time, been banned from the coziness and social warmth of the den. After a lifetime of company, warmth, and familiar smells, being left outside can be quite traumatic for a dog - especially an older one. Teddy felt like he was being punished, and didnt understand why. Sarah and Blair took Teddy to the vet, to make sure the increased stress levels werent affecting his health, and to see if he had any suggestions for dealing with Teddys behavior. The vet recommended the use of Rescue Remedy, which is a gentle herbal sedative used to encourage feelings of security and relaxation in cats and dogs. At the same time, the vet recommended that Blair and Sarah modify their behavior where Teddy was concerned. He had to learn that being outside alone wasnt necessarily a bad thing. Essentially, Sarah and Blair were not to reward Teddy with attention until he was sitting quietly outside without making a fuss. He had to earn the privilege 201

of being allowed back inside - not bully his way into the house through bad behavior and excessive noise. In addition to this, they started to desensitize Teddy to the departure routine. Sarah and Blair started leaving the house, with Teddy outside, for 30 seconds at a time. When theyd done this five or six times, they started leaving him for one minute. Working up in 30 second increments, they gradually reached 30 minutes. Every time Teddy started to get stressed by the length of time, theyd reduce it by a minute or two and stay at that level until he was completely comfortable before moving on. While they were practicing desensitizing Teddy, the vet also suggested that they leave him with some familiar, comforting objects from inside, so he wouldnt feel utterly isolated. Sarah and Blair decided to leave his crate and bedding outside with him, as well as a small selection of toys. Whenever Teddy began to behave badly and try to force his way back inside, Sarah and Blair would ignore him until hed calmed down - at which point theyd reward him lavishly. The clear line between reward for good behavior and isolation for bad behavior soon had its effect on Teddys behavior: he began to learn that good behavior would earn him the attention and affection that he craved. Over time, Teddys behavior began to change for the better. He would still have preferred to be inside with his owners all the time, but had learned that he no longer needed to assert himself through whining, barking, and destructive behavior. He understood that if he behaved well, eventually hed be let back inside.



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. Many owners make the mistake of viewing the situation through human eyes: Oh, a new friend for Pita! Shell be so happy, etc etc. The truth of the matter is that, when a new dog is introduced to the household, a certain challenges arise as the dogs sort out their social hierarchy.

Who's first?

What To Expect When A New Dog Enters The Household The dogs will evaluate each other. This may be done more forcefully than you had imagined - it all depends on the individual personality and leadership drive of each dog. There are two possible outcomes to this situation: 1. One dog will signal his submissiveness to the other. This will be signaled through his body posture. He will not maintain eye contact, he will turn his snout to one side, his head will be carried lower than the other dogs. If this is the case, it shows that the social order has already been sorted out. You can relax, because the dogs now know how to act around each other and how to avoid unnecessary fights. 2. Both dogs will match each other in terms of confident, assertive body language. Both of their heads will be carried high, eye contact will be direct and maintained, ears will be raised. If neither dog backs down, the only remaining way for them to sort out whos the boss is through a direct physical challenge. In short, the dogs are going to scrap or fight, and this will probably happen very quickly - often within seconds of the initial meeting. This tussle is entirely natural: the dogs MUST sort out who outranks whom, because without a defined social ranking system they will squabble and bicker endlessly. (If they dont get to sort things out now - for example, if you separate them before matters are resolved to their satisfaction - youre really just delaying the inevitable: theyre still going to have to sort things out at some point.) 203

Ensuring A Mellow Meeting If we lived in an ideal world, nobody would finalize the adoption of a second (or third, or fourth ...) dog until all canine members of the household - both existing and potential - had had an opportunity to meet, greet, and accept each other. Of course, it goes without saying that we dont live in an ideal world: in plenty of cases, owners dont have the option of introducing potential new dogs to existing pets before bringing them home. This can happen for a variety of reasons: perhaps they werent aware that the dogs might not get on; perhaps the new dog came from a distant breeder and had to be shipped across country; perhaps the new adoption was a spur-of-the-moment decision (although we devoutly hope not!). If youve brought a new dog home without allowing your existing pets to check him out first, 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. This will allow them to work off any excess energy and agitation. Take them all for as long a walk as you can (upwards of an hour, if thats possible), and try to introduce some brain-tiring work too: obedience commands, random walking (see our chapter on leash problems in Dog 202 for more on this), anything that involves mental activity for your dog. If you have more than one dog in your house already, and if theyre in the habit of revving each other up on walks, you might take them out separately. When you do introduce them, do it in a neutral setting. If you bring the new dog straight into the house without allowing them to meet each other first, this places unnecessary duress on your existing dog(s), and calls all sorts of unwanted instincts into play (like the need to defend personal territory). An unfamiliar park with few distractions would be ideal: this way, territorial aggression wont play a part in determining their reactions to each other. If you already have more than one dog in your house, introduce the new arrival to each one separately BEFORE allowing them free rein together. This will prevent a pack mentality from evolving: the presence of other dogs seems to encourage even well-mannered canines to get edgy, snappy, and generally to misbehave.


Life In A Multi-Dog Household As owners, its 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, a highly defined and specific social structure comes into play: theres a recognized leader (alpha), and then each dog is ranked. Even if there are only two dogs involved, one is going to emerge as the alpha, and one as the underdog. Something that a lot of people struggle with is the fact that neither of these positions holds any REAL value for dogs. A dog doesnt want to be either the dominant OR the submissive dog - it doesnt matter to him where hes placed in the overall structure of the pack. 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). As humans, its difficult to curb our natural impulse to support and help the underdog - again, if we look at it from our own human perspective, the treatment of the underdog by higher-ranked dogs can resemble bullying to us. And thats not something that anyone likes to witness, let alone allow to continue without stepping in. This is an admirable impulse when were talking about human social interactions, but it doesnt apply when it comes to dogs. ALL dogs are hardwired to rank those around them in relation to themselves, and ALL dogs are much happier and more relaxed when they know where they stand in relation to the other pack members. Social ranking tells a dog how to act in any given social situation, and removes the possibility of accidentally giving offense to a higher-ranked member of the pack. When all dogs are clear on their own ranking, its actually a very effective way of preventing fights. Thats 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. So really, its in your best interests - not to mention the best interests of your dogs - to allow them to sort out their own hierarchy. Until they do, their social structure is essentially in a state of chaos, which subjects all dogs to feelings of stress and insecurity - and which results in (you guessed it!) more fights.


Ownership Rules For A Multi-Dog Household You MUST allow them to establish their hierarchy on their own terms. When you first introduce the two (or more) dogs to each other, there will probably be a certain amount of squabbling. Its very important that you allow the dogs to work it out between themselves - if you continually intervene and attempt to impose your own social order, its only going to postpone the inevitable. Frequently, your intervention will actually make things worse, since the dog jockeying hardest for alpha position is going to have to prove his dominance at a later date, as well as undo the damage that your meddling has already caused to his social status. If your dogs are doing each other serious harm or the fights are protracted in length (several minutes), then youll probably want to enlist the services of a trained canine behaviorist who can assist you in getting the dogs used to each other. (Because all dogs have such distinct and individual personalities, all cases of new-dog syndrome differ wildly: its pretty much impossible for us to give any general advice on how to get them accustomed to each other, which is why we recommend hiring a hands-on trainer in this situation). Dont attempt to subject a canine social structure to human values: you need to try and stay as neutral as possible. Remember, dominant and submissive are essentially valueless positions for a dog: he HAS to be one or the other, and both carry the same meaning for him. He doesnt prefer to be the dominant or the submissive dog, he simply is either one or the other. If you can bear this in mind, you wont feel compelled to rescue the underdog, and will be doing yourself and your dogs a huge favor. Pay attention to who the alpha-dog is, and actively reinforce his social standing. This means putting him first: pet him first, feed him first, allow him the better space on the couch, let him go through doors before the other dog(s), let him get into the car first, and so on. The more secure each dog is in his own position, 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 youre not sure who the alpha dog is, watch their interactions closely: whos 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, nipping, lifting a lip, staring out, etc)? The dog that takes the lead in the most situations is the alpha.


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. Sometimes there is also jealousy and aggression among littermates, or dogs that have lived together for a while and are used to each other. A typical example of problems caused by a multi-dog household would be the case of Sam, a one year old Boxer dog. Sams owner Linda decided to adopt a friend for him, in the form of Chico - a lively 2 year old Labrador cross, from the local animal shelter. Having spent a few hours with Chico before making the decision to bring him home, Linda figured that neither of the dogs would have a problem forming a friendship with each other: they were both very mellow, with no apparent aggression problems, and both seemed to be OK around other dogs in normal day-to-day circumstances. However, once Chico arrived in his new home, trouble started brewing. Although the dogs had seemed to accept each other on their first meeting (in the local park), they quickly began squabbling and snapping - several times fur flew, and once Sam even had to be taken to the vet for a couple of stitches in his ear. Linda was distraught - she didnt want to take Chico back to the shelter, as this would be traumatic for him, but neither did she want the peace of her household to be continually disrupted in so violent and upsetting a manner. We made some recommendations for Linda to help reconcile the situation. First of all, we advised her to get new and comfortable beds for both dogs, as before Chico arrived on the scene, Sam was accustomed to sleeping on Lindas bed - and he wasnt happy sharing this space with a new arrival. The second step was for Linda to read our chapter on the concept of alpha status (Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog). This was necessary just to make sure that should she ever need to involve herself in a dispute between the two dogs, they would both accept her authority over them. Most importantly of all, Linda had to pay close attention to the body language and interactions between the two dogs, and work out for herself which one was the more dominant. We asked her to pay attention to things like head position (a dog that carries his head low is submissive), eye contact (a dog that forces or maintains eye contact is dominant), and to things like which of the two ate first, went through doorways first, and chose a place to lie down first. 207

Furthermore, we also recommended that Linda not intervene in the dogs way of sorting out who was the boss - we explained that she had to let them sort it out for themselves. (Note: wed like to point out, just as we did to Linda, that if the situation ever became violent enough to warrant true and urgent concern then the dogs would have to be separated. When life and limb are at risk between two dogs that share a house, we would generally recommend that a canine behaviorist be called in). We also advised Linda that, once she had seen which of the two dogs was the more dominant, to consciously reinforce that dogs dominance over the other one. This would minimize the dominant dogs need to underline his authority by being unnecessarily aggressive or edgy. If Linda helped to establish which dog was perceived as the dominant one, then the likelihood of a fight breaking out over who outranked whom would be minimal. We asked Linda to support the dominant dogs social status through her own actions: she needed to start applying the alpha concept to that dog by doing things like feeding him first, showing him affection first, allowing him up on the couch first, and so on. For Lindas own peace of mind, we reassured her that this sort of behavior among dogs that share a household is pretty common - it doesnt mean that the dogs involved are aggressive, or unsafe around other dogs. Frequently, dogs in this situation have displayed impeccable behavior around other dogs for their entire lives, so this new behavior is often a big surprise to owners (as was the case with Sam and Chico). We asked Linda to remember that the introduction of a new, strange dog into Sams own home was a big change for him, and that the instinctive need for all dogs to sort out a pack hierarchy was responsible for the mayhem in her household - not a previously-dormant sense of aggression or troublemaking on Sam or Chicos behalf! In a nutshell, the problem between Sam and Chico was caused by their genetic compulsion, as pack-animals, to sort out a hierarchical order. This issue was then inadvertently made worse by Lindas actions. She had been treating the two dogs as equals, which - to animals genetically driven to create a social ranking - made no sense to them. By allowing them to sort out their own social order, the problem was quickly resolved - and future competition for the alpha role was minimized through Lindas careful reinforcement of the dominant dog (in this case, Chico)s dominant status. Once a social order was well established, the dogs no longer felt the need to compete. 208


Allergies to Dogs

An allergy is a hypersensitivity of your bodys immune system to a particular substance - generally to something that youre exposed to regularly, as it usually takes multiple exposures for an allergy to build up. Unfortunately, allergies caused by the presence of a pet in the home are all too common. There are three common ways that your dog can cause you to have an allergic reaction. In descending order, allergies to a dog are most often caused by: Dander (small particles of skin, 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, rather than shedding when it reaches a certain length) cause less allergies than standard-coated dogs. This isn't necessarily true: although a reduction in hair-shedding does help some people, more allergies are caused by dander and saliva than by fur and hair, so getting a "non-shedding dog" isn't necessarily a magical cure-all for dog-lovers with allergies. However, for those people who are allergic to fur over dander and saliva, it's definitely worth investigating non-shedding dogs. Some examples of non-shedding dogs: Poodle Bichon Frise Schnauzers (standard and miniature) Establishing Whether You Might Be Allergic Allergies don't form instantly; they take time. Your body has to recognize an irritant (like dander) and begin to form antibodies to it, which remain in your system. As time goes on, if you're repeatedly exposed to the irritant, more antibodies accumulate. When there's enough of a build-up of antibodies in your body, that's when allergic symptoms like a runny nose and itchy eyes start to manifest themselves.


There's no hard-and-fast rule for when an allergy will show itself: sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes it takes months or even years. Clearly, developing an allergy to a dog that's shared your life for this period of time would be absolutely heartbreaking. Fortunately, it's not that difficult to establish whether or not you've got an allergy, BEFORE you take the plunge and bring the dog home. HOW TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER YOURE ALLERGIC 1. If you think you might be allergic to dogs, visit an immunotherapist. This is a doctor who's trained specifically in the detection and treatment of allergens. Ask your allergist to test specifically for allergies to pet dander, saliva, and fur. If you test positive for any of these, immunotherapy can improve your reaction to the allergens: over a period of weeks or months, you'll receive a series of shots to gradually desensitize your system to your pet's allergens. 2. 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, and spend some time with them. Visit local breeders, explain that you're interested in possibly adopting one of the dogs, and that you'd like to hang out with them for awhile to see if you develop any allergic reactions. Do this as often as you can - the more exposure you allow yourself, the better the chances of an allergy rearing its head before it's too late. (If there's no one particular breed you're interested in, expose yourself to as many different types of dogs as you can - visit the pound, the rescue shelter, and spend time with any friends or relatives who have dogs). Preventing And Dealing With Allergies If your dog isn't as healthy or as well looked after as he could be, the chances are higher that he'll develop a health condition which will then increase the likelihood of your developing allergies. Things you can do to minimize the risk: Take good care of your dog's skin. Check him regularly for skin conditions like eczema and mange, as well as overall dryness and flakiness (which may be caused by a thyroidal imbalance). All of these conditions result in excessive dryness, itchiness, and increased shedding of dander. Feed your dog a good, balanced diet. Make sure he's getting enough oils and fats, which will keep his skin and fur in good condition and prevent unnecessary shedding of either. 210

The optimum number of times to bathe your dog is once a week. Any more than this actually dries his skin and coat out, which results in - you guessed it - excess production of dander and shed fur. Any less than this and he'll be accumulating irritants in his coat, which will then shed on a more or less constant basis as he moves around your house. A weekly wash reduces the presence of allergens in your dog's coat and skin by nearly 50 percent. Use a shampoo created specifically for dogs - do NOT use human shampoo or soap on your dog! The pH of human skin and hair products is completely wrong for dogs, and will create skin problems for him even if none existed before. If you're using a medicated shampoo, be careful not to overuse it. Check the instructions on the packaging. Generally speaking, medicated shampoos should only be used every second or third wash, because the active medication can actually dry your dog's skin out and make it itch and flake. Groom him regularly. Depending on his breed and coat length, this could be anywhere from once a day to once or twice a week - even short-coated dogs benefit from regular grooming, since it removes excess skin and dander, as well as distributing natural skin oils evenly throughout the fur. There are probiotic sprays available for dogs that contain dander-eating microbes. This sounds a bit off-putting, granted, but we have heard a lot of convincing anecdotal evidence about people whose allergies have been significantly reduced, if not entirely negated, simply by using these products. Keep an eye out for probiotic sprays - most pet stores sell them, but you can also browse online. Clean your house regularly, especially if you have a carpet: carpets are magnets for allergens. When vacuuming, use a microfilter bag in the vacuum cleaner to effectively catch all the allergens. Consider investing in an air purifier. Use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner - these are available at just about any home and garden store, or discount department store. 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.


Create allergy-free zones in the house, and stick to your self-imposed boundary rules. In particular, its important that you do NOT allow your pet into your room if youre allergic - even if hes not allowed on the bed, airborne allergens will still settle on dander-catching items like mattresses, pillows, sheets, cloth curtains, and blinds. Keep your dogs bedding clean by washing it frequently in hot water. Your dogs bed is the number-one catcher of hair, fur, saliva, and dander, which will then become airborne every time its disturbed. Wash bedding at least several times a week.



The decision to say a final goodbye to your dog is a painful and deeply personal one. Its also something that many dog owners will have to go through at some point, whether because of an untreatable injury or illness, or the simple unkindness of advancing age. The Procedure Itself Euthanasia is a common procedure, and all vets are trained in how to do it. Its often called putting a dog to sleep, because essentially thats what happens: First of all, the vet will administer a sedative. This may be done through a simple injection, 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.) This sedative will relax your dog and make her very groggy and drowsy. At this point, she's still aware of what's happening and will be comforted by your presence. Next, an anesthetic overdose is administered either through the vein or via the catheter. Your dog may already be asleep by the time this is done, but even if not she'll slip away very quickly. A lot of dogs emit a deep, deep sigh as they fall completely asleep. After the second injection, her heart will stop inside of a minute. 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; her eyes may roll back in her head and/or open slightly; her tongue may protrude; 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.)


If your dog does react in any of these ways, you have to remember that she can't feel a thing - she's unconscious and not controlling her muscles at this point. Whatever happens, it's completely involuntary, and she can't tell it's happening. How To Decide When It's Necessary Deciding whether to put your dog to sleep is difficult, and very personal. The main thing is to base your decision on your dog's welfare, not on your own: it would be cruel to decide against euthanizing a suffering dog, simply because you can't bear to let her go. 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 - walking, trips to the park or beach, car rides with her head out the window, playing, 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, involuntary defecation is intensely distressing: they can tell its wrong, but cant stop it from happening). Things To Consider Beforehand Once youve made the decision to go ahead with the procedure, its best to make a plan of action beforehand, and take care of all the practicalities. This will prevent you being overloaded directly after the event takes place. Will you require someone with you for moral support? This is often a good idea - you dont necessarily need them to attend the euthanasia itself, but it might be helpful to have someone waiting for you in the car or waiting room: often, people are too emotional to drive themselves home afterwards. What would you like to do with your pets remains? There are several options available to you: the vet can dispose of the body for you; cremation can be arranged (your vet can also take care of this for you - theres a charge of approximately $200 - $300 dollars); or you can take the body home with you for home burial if this is permitted in your area. In many residential areas, burial isnt permitted, so you should check with your city council beforehand. When arranging for the euthanasia appointment, request a quiet time of the day or the week. The less fuss and bother, the better for you and the less upsetting for your dog, particularly if she already dislikes going to the clinic.


If your dog has a real problem with the vet, its understandable that youd want to make her last moments as relaxing as possible. You can arrange for a home euthanasia, where your dog will be able to relax in her own environment. If your usual vet does not make house calls (although most will for this procedure), they will be able to recommend a mobile vet service. Afterwards Losing your dog is a significant and very real loss. A lot of people are deeply upset after losing their dog. This is perfectly natural, and to be expected: to many people, their dogs are members of the family. Some people might not comprehend why youd be so upset about the death of your dog - they might fail to realize that, in many cases, a dog has been your constant companion for a long time. For some people, their dogs are their best friends. Dont worry about these people - if they arent sensitive enough to sympathize with your loss, theres no point adding to your load trying to convince them of your right to be upset. Some people also worry about how theyll react while at the vet. They worry that they may shock the vet, or be seen to overreact. This is definitely NOT something you should be concerning yourself with: everyone reacts differently, and all reactions to a traumatic event like this are perfectly natural. Your vet is trained in euthanasia, and will have performed the procedure many times before: he is accustomed to all sorts of reactions. So no matter whether you break down utterly, show no emotion at all, or demonstrate any variation in between, dont worry yourself about whether the vet is judging you on your reaction. Hes not. Experiencing the usual symptoms of grief (crying, eating disturbance, sleeping too much or too little, depression) is completely normal. In time, the feelings will diminish. Whether it takes weeks, months, or even longer, eventually youll be able to remember your dog with nothing but fondness - and gladness that you did the right thing by her. If youre finding it hard to cope, you can get in touch with a grief counselor. Your vet may well have a list of contact details for these professionals at the clinic; failing that, look in your Yellow Pages directory or speak to your doctor.



Bad Dog Breath

Dogs are not meant to have bad breath - a healthy dog with clean teeth has neutral and inoffensive breath. There are several causes for bad breath in your dog: His teeth are decaying, or theres decaying food caught in his teeth (which will eventually cause the enamel to start rotting). He has gum disease. He has a digestive upset: either an infection, or hes eaten something he wasnt meant to. Dental problems are far more likely to be the cause for dog breath than anything else. Unfortunately, its only in recent times that awareness on the necessity of dental care for our dogs has become widespread - resulting in an estimated 80 percent of dogs older than three winding up with diseased gums or teeth. Why Is Dental Disease So Dangerous? Aside from the obvious reasons (pain for your dog, decreased enjoyment in life, decreased appetite, weight loss, loss of teeth, increased vet bills for you), inflamed gums and tooth decay can actually threaten your dogs life. The bacterial infections that result from tartar build-up can enter your dogs bloodstream, and form secondary infections in his heart valves and other vital organs. Older dogs are particularly at risk of this, but any dental problems in your dog - no matter what his age - should be checked out by your vet to make sure theres no risk of this happening. Preventing Dental Disease In Your Dog Just like us, all dogs teeth are different. Some dogs are prone to tartar buildup, whereas others will retain an enviable dentition well into old age despite an allround lack of dental care. Because theres no way for us to predict whether our dogs will fall into the former or latter category, its up to us as owners to check our dogs teeth weekly to make sure everythings as it should be. Lift your dogs lip and have a look at his teeth. The sooner you start doing this the better. Some older dogs can get funny about their mouths being opened if theyre not used to it.


If you can start accustoming your dog to oral examinations from a young age, then so much the better; but if your older dog simply wont allow you to have a poke around in there, youll probably need to get his teeth checked out by the vet. This is going to be a lot easier for both of you - your vet is used to dealing with touchy dogs, and you wont 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!). Signs Of Dental Disease In A Dog Broken, discolored, 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 Dogs Teeth Canine tooth-brushing is a relatively new phenomenon. Surprisingly, many vets still dont tell you to brush your dogs teeth, and make no attempt to instigate a tooth-brushing regime at check-up time - but in some cases it is well worth your while. There are special doggie tooth-brushes and toothpastes available from pet stores dont attempt to use a human toothbrush or paste on your dogs teeth. Human toothpaste will actually do damage to his teeth, since theres too much fluoride in human toothpaste for dogs. Human toothbrushes are the wrong shape and texture, and will bump and bruise his gums - the only possible exception to this is a soft-bristled childs toothbrush, for children five years and under (although you may have difficulty reaching the back teeth, if hes a big dog!). 216

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, which fit over your finger like a thimble. Toothpastes are usually liverflavored, which goes down a treat with most dogs. Tips For Toothbrushing First, get your dog used to you prodding around in his mouth. Lift his lip, 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. Dont attempt to do too much, too soon - a few seconds at a time, remembering to treat him each time he lets you do so. Theres no need to start out directly with a toothbrush. Just put your finger in his mouth and have a rub around on his gums. Be firm but gentle. If hes OK with that, you can introduce the brush. Brush in small circles, the way you would your own teeth. Other Tips About Teeth-Cleaning There are smart treats on the market that do wonders for your dogs teeth. Theyre a characteristic green color (almost like spirulina supplements for humans) and most dogs love them. Giving your dog just one of these per day goes a long way towards preventing plaque and tartar build-up in your dog, and will also keep his breath sweet. Dental floss rope toys are great. 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, preventing the formation of plaque. Small dogs are more prone to dental disease than big ones - they have less space between their teeth, meaning that food scraps get trapped more often. Theyre also less likely to chew on tooth-saving bones and dental toys as big dogs. If you have a smaller dog, make sure to be extra-vigilant about checking his teeth and gums, and make a point of sniffing his breath every few days to make sure its ok.



Cat / Dog Coexistence

Some dogs are dedicated cat-chasers, while others are comfortable with neighborhood cats making an occasional detour through the backyard. Even if theyre not, the average cat can take care of itself pretty well, so this isnt usually cause for particular concern. But when you ask a cat and a dog to share the same living space, real problems can develop. Before introducing a dog into a household that contains a feline, its worth preparing yourself mentally for the challenges of the next few weeks.

Whats A Prey Drive? Some breeds have a higher prey drive than other dogs. This means theyre strongly compelled to chase and kill small, fleeing creatures. Prey drive goes above and beyond the normal canine instinct to chase: most dogs will give enthusiastic chase to a running cat, but wont go to extreme lengths; a preydriven dog will really sprint all-out, and will maim or kill that cat if he can catch it. In short, a strongly prey-driven dog is a danger to any and all cats it encounters. 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, all dogs are individuals. Some members of these breeds will never show an interest in chasing your cat, and of course the converse is also true. Just because a breed isnt mentioned here doesnt mean your cat will necessarily be safe with that breed!


Essentially, when it comes to introducing a dog into a house that contains a cat, all you can do is take pot luck. Even if you choose a typically mellow breed of dog, from parents who have cohabited peacefully with cats all their lives, and from a breeder whos given the go-ahead in terms of prey drive, theres still no guaranteeing that the dog you choose is going to be OK with your kitty. The introduction itself is the most important part, since it sets the tone for the duration of their relationship - but even if it goes well, be aware that problems can still develop later on. You may need to be prepared for drastic measures (such as re-homing the cat) in order to save its life. 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. A head collar is even better: you want to stop him from lunging at the cat before his front paws even leave the ground. How you allow him to behave now will set the standard for future behavior, so if you can keep him calm, the first step has been taken towards ensuring a mellow cat/dog coexistence. Keep your eye on him very closely, and watch his reactions to the cat. Are his eyes narrowed? Is he licking his lips in anticipation (yes, this does actually happen)? Is he tense, 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. Dont leave them alone in the house together until youre SURE that a cease-fire - however grudgingly - has been reached. Even if youre certain of the cats ability to escape, its likely that the dogs efforts will be significantly more frenzied (and persistent) when youre not around. Always leave the cat an out when leaving them alone together, and NEVER shut them in the same room. Your cat needs to be able to get out of the house if necessary, so leave a window open or - better yet - install a cat-door.


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. Delrays 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: shed made it clear to Delray that he wasnt 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 hed 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 doesnt 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 theyre doing and look to the owner for direction. When correcting his chasing behavior, Teri shouldnt 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 cats 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 theres 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, its a rare owner whos 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 dogs breath to smell like that! Tips For Stopping Poop-Eating: Sprinkling meat tenderizer on your dogs food (or on the food of the animal whose feces hes 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 dogs 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 dont have to deal with the flies and the smell and, seeing as youre going to have to do it anyway, why not do it straight away?


Poop-Eating When Out Walking For many dogs, the problem isnt 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, hell drop whatever hes doing (or eating) straight away and without fail. When youre walking in dog-populated areas, or along popular walking tracks, youll 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, its 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, Ladys owner, had tried just about everything to get Lady to stop: shed 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, Ladys 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 Ladys 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 dogs food is switched too quickly, the result is can be vomiting, diarrhea, and flatulence. Coping With Excessive Gassiness You dont have to live out your life with a clothes-peg over your nose - there are some things you can do to combat your dogs gassiness. 223

Change your dogs 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 thats lower in insoluble fiber. Look for one thats 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 shes 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 dont work on all dogs, but its 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 youre 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 shes 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 dogs teeth! If you have more than one dog, feed them in separate rooms to ensure theyre not elbowing in on each others meal. Feeding dogs together encourages them to wolf down their food as quickly as possible, to ensure nobody else takes their share.


When Theres Cause For Concern Although the cause of flatulence is normally diet-related, there are times when a medical condition may be the underlying cause. If there is a sudden increase in the amount of gas being passed, it can indicate a more serious digestive problem. SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Gassiness accompanied by constipation (straining at stool but with nothing being produced). Diarrhea more than three times in 24 hours. The dog seems withdrawn and lethargic. The stomach swells up tight and hard like a drum. These symptoms are warning signs of a more serious condition, like bloat (which is a potentially life-threatening condition) or IBD (inflammatory bowel disorder, where your dogs digestive tract becomes seriously inflamed). If your dog displays any of these symptoms, you should take her to the vet straight away.


Once your dog gets fleas, its a time-consuming process to get rid of them again. Fleas dont just affect your dog: they invade the entire house (including the yard) and lay thousands of eggs, which will soon hatch into thousands more egglaying fleas. Its a vicious cycle! If you have more than one pet, youll need to treat all of them for fleas: cat and dog fleas are interchangeable, and the presence of even one flea in the household means that all animals will be affected, whether theyre scratching or not.

Checking For Fleas To check for fleas, part the hair on your dogs body and look at the skin. 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). These are flea droppings. 225

You may also see the fleas themselves leaping around. They look like translucent, brown-yellow grains of sand - but they move fast, so its more likely that youll just see the droppings. What Makes It Itch? Its not actually the bite of the flea that causes the irritation, its the fleas saliva. Some dogs are more susceptible to flea irritation than others, and will bite and lick at the affected areas repetitively until theyve created a hot-spot (an inflamed, welted area which will often become infected). Fleas reproduce year-round in most parts of the world, and even if its cold outside theyll still be happily living out their pestilential lives inside, laying eggs in the carpet, the dogs bed, your bed, furniture, curtains everywhere, in other words. Because of this, when dealing with fleas, you will need to treat the entire house (and yard, if youve got one), not just your dog. How To Deal With Fleas There are two options open to you: You can fog your entire house and yard with a chemical bomb, which both kills adult fleas and prevents the eggs from maturing. This is effective, but there are reasons against it - not least, its HIGHLY toxic to the environment, to you, and to your dog. Many of the chemicals in these bombs are actually carcinogenic to humans and animals, so if you do choose to go with this option, be sure to air the house out thoroughly afterwards, and clean all surfaces with a wet cloth. You can vacuum the house daily (put a flea collar in the bag, and use a micro-filter to catch any eggs), wash your dogs bedding frequently in hot water, and treat him monthly for fleas using a topical or internal anti-flea solution or pill. The team at Kingdom of Pets recommends this option above the other one - its a bit more work, but its equally effective and you wont be doing any damage to yourself, the environment, or to your dog. Where To Get Flea Treatments The most effective ones are sold at the vet, usually in packs containing four to six months worth of treatment. The advantage of veterinary treatments is that they usually treat more than just fleas: the more popular ones, for example, also kill and prevent heartworm, ear mites, scabies, and ticks. 226

Prevention is definitely better than a cure when it comes to fleas. You should start using anti-flea solutions on your dog from his first visit to the vet. Ask your vet to recommend a good anti-flea treatment. What Not To Use Anti-flea shampoos are essentially a waste of time unless theyre used in tandem with other treatments and a stringent full-house cleaning regime. This is because fleas dont just affect your dog: theyve infested your entire house, and theyll leap right back on as soon as your dog dries off. Flea collars are a subject of some debate: theyve been known to cause bad reactions on some dogs, including hair loss, allergic reactions, and - in some cases - seizures. In addition to this, 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. Adding folk remedies to your dogs food such as B-Vitamins, brewers yeast, and garlic does not work against fleas as a solo remedy.


Hot Weather and Heatstroke

The normal body temperature of a dog is between 100.2 and 102.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below 99 degrees or above 104 degrees is dangerous. Your dogs body has a maximum temperature at which it can function efficiently. Above this temperature, cells begin to break down and, unless the overall body temperature is quickly reduced, cells will begin to die. Very active cells, like the ones in the brain, intestine, and liver, are damaged more quickly and more severely than others. Heatstroke occurs in dogs when their bodies cannot dissipate excess heat quickly enough to maintain a healthy temperature range. Its alarmingly easy for dogs to reach this condition: because humans disperse heat much more effectively than dogs, what feels like a comfortable temperature for you may actually be dangerous for your dog. Unlike us, the heat-dispersal system of a dog is pretty inefficient. Humans benefit from a complex system of capillaries and sweat glands, which all work to disperse heat quickly - when we sweat, it cools our skin, and also disperses heat from the blood in all the thousands of little capillaries just below the skins surface. This is a very effective way of keeping overall body temperature down. 227

Dogs dont sweat, and they dont have a blood-cooling capillary system either. The only way a dog can reduce the temperature of his body is by panting. And lets not forget about the added insulating effect of a full-body coat of fur, either. If you want to find out what it feels like to be a dog on a warm day, try wrapping yourself up in a full-length fur coat, wooly hat, and mittens! The Progression Of Heat Stroke Technically, heatstroke occurs when your dogs body temperature reaches over 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which is when cellular death begins to occur. At this temperature, a dog may also begin to vomit; his blood begins to thicken and clot, at which point uncontrollable internal bleeding starts. From here, conditions spiral rapidly downwards, and unless the dog is treated immediately, death usually results. HERE IS A LIST OF THE SYMPTOMS AND PROGRESSION OF HEATSTROKE: Rapid, shallow panting Dry mouth and nose Rapid pulse: for a puppy, above 160 bpm; an adult dog under 30 pounds, 100-160 bpm; an adult dog over 30 pounds, 60-100 bpm Purplish or grey gums and insides of cheeks Trouble standing and walking: shaky legs, difficulty maintaining balance Collapse Internal bleeding Organ damage Coma/seizures Death How To Avoid Heatstroke All this sounds pretty scary, doesnt it! Were not trying to scare the life out of you - but it IS important that you understand just how risky heatstroke is, and how quickly (and seemingly without warning) a dog can progress from perfect health to near-death in a matter of minutes. 228

Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do, both to avoid and treat heatstroke in your dog. Some tips are listed below. Prevention Cars are the number-one culprit when it comes to canine heatstroke. A car is like an oven: it heats up very quickly. Even with the windows down, theres not enough air circulation inside to maintain a healthy temperature for a dog. In addition to this, the windshield and windows actually concentrate the heating effects of sunlight and general environmental warmth - meaning that, even if youre parked in the shade, your car is going to get very hot VERY quickly. Dont leave your dog in the car in hot weather. When out and about with your dog in the heat, make sure hes got access to water at all times. You can buy water bowls specifically designed for travel. If you leave your dog outside during the day, he needs easy access to shade. Unless your yard is heavily populated with shade trees, youll 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, and the surrounding area. Make sure the area of shade is large enough, and remember to take the movement of the sun into account! Invest in a small kiddie pool for him to splash around in (theyre cheap and durable, you can buy them from house-and-garden stores and even supermarkets). Water evaporating from his fur and skin has the same cooling effect as sweat does for humans, making it a very efficient means of temperature control. (Most dogs love playing around in the pool just as much as humans do!) Make sure its not too deep for him, and make sure he can get out easily. For outside dogs, you need to leave out more than one water bowl: not only do dogs drink more when its warm, but the water will also evaporate more quickly than it would if it was inside. 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 cant be tipped over. You might also want to try leaving the faucet dripping steadily into a water bowl that youve placed underneath - a reliable supply of running water is a great backup. Theres no need to leave it gushing all day, but a slow drip-drip-drip is enough to make the difference if anything happens to his primary water supply. 229

Dealing With Heatstroke If your dog is showing any of the symptoms of heatstroke, heres what to do: Get him out of the heat and into the shade immediately. Give him SMALL amounts of water to drink (any more and he may vomit), or ice cubes to lick. 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). For temperatures under 104 degrees Fahrenheit, his condition is not so serious (although obviously this depends on the dog and the circumstance: if youre not comfortable with his condition, dont play around: take him to the vet straight away). If his symptoms are mild, 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. If the temperature is at or above 104 degrees, hes at immediate risk of organ damage and even death. Lowering his temperature is your immediate priority here: hose him with cool water (NOT cold, as this will exacerbate the effects of shock), or wrap him in cool wet towels. Once his temperature is lower than 104 degrees, you can stop the cooling process. Call the vet (so theyll be expecting you) and take him in straight away. Even if he seems OK, you should still take him in. This is really important: he needs to be checked over by a professional to make sure no complications have occurred. Dogs Particularly At Risk Although all dogs can develop heatstroke, some are more at risk than others: Long-coated or thick-coated dogs (Afghans, Old English Sheepdogs) Dogs with a dark or black coat (Rottweilers, Dobermans) Brachycephalic (pug-nosed) dogs (Pugs, Boxers, Pekingese) Puppies Older dogs Sick dogs 230

Factors That Increase The Chances Of Heatstroke The two main causes of heatstroke are exercise and environmental conditions. However, there are a number of other factors which can increase the danger for your dog: Water deprivation. All dogs need access to water, at all times. His water bowl should be brimming at all times of the day, with cool, clean water Being in an enclosed space, with reduced air circulation (a small room, a car)Humidity Obesity. Overweight dogs are even less effective at keeping themselves cool than their slim counterparts Cardiovascular disease. Dogs keep themselves cool by panting. This is the only way they have to cool down. So it stands to reason that a dog with impaired heart/lung function is less likely to be able to maintain a healthy temperature. Lack of acclimatization. If you shift a dog thats used to cool, temperate conditions to somewhere thats hot and muggy, that dog is going to need some time to adjust to the increased demands on his temperature regulation abilities



Introducing a new family member or partner to your dog can be difficult at times. If your dog has become accustomed to having you all to herself, its a shock to her to be suddenly forced to compete with another for your attention - and its natural for her to feel some resentment over it. Whether or not dogs have the mental ability to experience complex emotions like jealousy is the subject of some debate. Studies have been done which show conclusively that dogs are absolutely incapable of feeling sophisticated emotions; other studies have been done which show, equally conclusively, that dogs can and do feel these things. At Kingdom of Pets, we try to base our judgments of dogs relative emotional maturity on the anecdotal evidence of our clients. We hear about plenty of cases where dogs act in a way that seems unmistakably jealous: they chaperone their owners when a new partners introduced; they push in between family members snuggled on the couch; they stare disconcertingly when their owners 231

are sharing private time with that special someone; and they bark and leap around distractingly when the owner is engaged in animated conversation with somebody else. Essentially, the truth seems to be that some dogs will act in a manner that strongly resembles jealousy under the right (or wrong) circumstances, whereas others will never display any behaviors like that no matter what the provocation. It seems to be largely up to the individual dog. What To Do About A Jealous Dog The one distinction that wed like to make here is that jealousy may not be the most accurate description of how your dog is feeling. When your dog acts in that way, shes more likely to be doing so because shes feeling left out and wants to be involved, rather than actively jealous. Jealousy, after all, implies possessiveness and the concept of ownership - which is a dominance issue more than anything else! All you need to do to calm your dog down is to reassure her that shes still very much a part of your life, and that you still want her to be involved in the things that you do. This isnt something that can be done sporadically, or taught to her - you need to show her through consistency in your day-to-day life that she still matters to you. The most important thing you can do is to include her. You want her to start associating that new person in your life with good times, so take her along with you both on all the fun outings youre going on - to the beach, the park, on a walk, rides in the car, and so on. If youre not going on dog-friendly outings, its up to you to create some! Tips For Reducing Existing Jealousy If your dogs been feeling jealous and left out for some time now, youll most likely need to exercise some damage control. At the moment, shes probably feeling pretty resentful of whoever it is thats taking up all your time. She may act antagonistically towards them, or be stand-offish. That person needs to win her over before harmony among the three of you can be attained. One of the easiest ways to do this is to hand out treats with regularity. Supply the object of jealousy with a handful of treats, and get them to dole those treats out to your dog at sporadic intervals whenever they come around. Giving a treat when they first arrive at your house is a great way to break the ice.


Now, this isnt the only thing you should be doing to create friendship between your dog and the new person. Out and out bribery wont earn respect from your dog (although shell eat the treats readily enough!). You need to organize some playtimes for the two of them. Fetch is great, but tug of war is probably best left out of the mix for now because its a dominance game. Grab a couple of tennis balls, a rope toy, or a Frisbee, 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. Interrupting If your dog is interrupting conversations by bouncing around and barking crazily, or is leaping up on the couch and pushing in between you and someone else, shes signaling that she feels left out and needs to be included. Its not very productive to yell at her to shut up, or to push her out from between you. That will just cause her to resent that new person even more, since theyre effectively depriving her of your attention and affection. Instead, recognize her behavior for what it really is: a request to be included. If shes barking when the two of you are talking, involve her in the conversation too - addressing her by name, explaining things to her, and giving her a pat every so often as you talk will calm her down. Its even better if both of you do it. The same goes for pushing in. You dont need to let her oust one or both of you from the couch or bed, but making space for her somewhere will reassure her that shes still part of things too. If shes not allowed on the furniture, get her to lie down near your feet, and lean down to rub her ears or back every so often. Most dogs will calm down immediately as soon as they feel included - dont worry that youre encouraging bad behavior. Youre not encouraging her to misbehave. Youre recognizing and addressing her needs like a responsible owner should. As time goes on, youll 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.


Baby Jealousy A new baby is a very different matter. You cant get a baby to dispense treats. You cant get a baby to play games with your dog either. Its hard for a baby to win over a dog!To a dog, the arrival of a new baby can be an intensely confusing and unnerving experience. As strange as it sounds, babies dont resemble humans to dogs: they look different, they act different, they sound different, and they smell different. Even a dog that is accustomed to small children can be confused by an infant, because babies are by no stretch of the imagination the same in appearance, smell, or actions as small children. Added precautions have to be taken where dogs and babies are present in the same house, because the small, feeble, quick movements and high-pitched wailing of a baby can be mistaken as prey. So, when introducing your dog to a newborn, you need to make sure that, first of all, your dog has the chance to accustom herself to the baby without feeling rushed, confused, or resentful; and secondly, that she understands that the baby is a member of the family. For safetys sake, you should always assume your dogs reaction to a new baby is going to be unfavorable, until she has consistently proved otherwise! The first thing you need to do is acclimatize your dog to the change in routine that a babys arrival brings. Dogs are creatures of habit: they function best when things happen at a certain time, predictably, every day. A baby is going to change all that. People will be up at different times of the day. Food will probably be late on occasion. There will be a whole host of new smells and sounds in the house. The amount of attention given to the dog may be reduced, perhaps significantly. The earlier you get your dog accustomed to all this, the better. If your dog is going to become an outside dog when the baby comes along, youll need to do this at least a couple of weeks before the baby comes along, so your dog doesnt associate the newcomer with her reduced domestic privileges.


If shes going to remain inside, get her used to the nursery and all its trappings. Of course, shes not going to be allowed in there when baby arrives without supervision; 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, as this is something that a lot of dogs have difficulty with. Play a recording of a baby crying, whimpering, and babbling. If she gets upset, ask her to be quiet and reward her as soon as she is. Every time shes calm while the recording is playing, make a big fuss over her: pet her and give her a small treat. Accustom her to babies in the flesh. If you have any friends or relatives with babies, 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 youre not totally confident about your dogs behavior). The Meeting Itself When your dog meets the new baby for the first time, its a habit-forming experience: how she reacts now will influence her behavior in the future. If it goes badly, all is not lost. But its a lot easier to prevent difficulty than it is to make up lost ground! Dont fret too much though - you have a significant measure of control over the likely outcome of this meeting. When the baby comes home for the first time, the dog should be out of the house. This will prevent her from becoming agitated by all the hustle and bustle, people moving about quickly, the baby crying, and so on. You want baby to be firmly established in his nursery before the dog comes on the scene. This will help establish the nursery as belonging to the baby, rather than equal territory. The baby and the dog should be calm and relaxed when the meeting takes place. Schedule the meeting for when the dog has been out for a long, strenuous walk - tired dogs are much less reactive and keyed-up than energetic ones. Lead the dog into the nursery, and put her in a sit-stay or down-stay. She should be on a leash at this point (if youre going to use a muzzle, she should already have had plenty of opportunity to get used to it. Otherwise its just an added stress factor). Keep the baby at a distance from the dog at first - have someone hold him across the room. Keeping calm, and with a relaxed demeanor, assess your dogs reaction to the baby: she should be interested and alert, but not staring fixedly or with marked tenseness in her posture. 235

If she remains calm, the person holding the baby can take one or two slow, small steps towards the dog. Again, gauge the reaction. If all is well, repeat this procedure over a matter of some minutes until the dog is within sniffing distance of the baby - but dont rush it. Theres nothing to be lost from taking your time with this. After 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, she should be removed from the nursery. Hopefully, youll 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, leaping around, etc) - early warning signs include hesitation and shying away, so keep an eye out for these. Above all, remember that a socialized and well-adjusted dog will in all likelihood welcome the arrival of a new member of the family.



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), which they get from their mother either before birth or through her milk. Its no cause for alarm if the breeder or shelter that you get your pup from tells you the litter is on worming medication. On the contrary, it means the pups are being well taken care of! Because of the fact that most puppies have worms, all puppies should be wormed at birth, and then again every two weeks afterwards until theyre four months old. Worms can be harmful to all dogs, regardless of age, but especially to puppies. Their immune systems are immature and ineffective, and a puppys growth can be stunted by even a small infestation.


Dogs pick up worms from almost anywhere. Some worms live in the feces of other animals, or in soil, sand, and loamy earth. These are then ingested by your dog when she grooms herself and licks off dirt from her fur. Some lie in wait on the floor of your house (having been trodden in from outside) and hibernate there in larval form until theyre picked up through the paws of your dog. Others are passed on through fleas, contact with rodents and dead animals, and even mosquito bites. Worms and parasites are everywhere - even if you dont think your dog has worms, you can still ask your vet to check her stool for worms at least once every five months or during yearly check-ups. Keeping your dogs 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 theyre transferable to you!). You can catch worms and parasites from your dog when you pet her, clean up her feces, or eat without washing your hands after shes licked your hands. Signs That Your Dog Has Worms If you havent been worming your dog every three to five months, she will quite possibly have an infestation of worms in her intestine, whether shes showing any of the symptoms or not. THE SYMPTOMS OF A WORM INFESTATION IN YOUR DOG INCLUDE: Dry, dull coat Dry, flaky skin Lethargy: shell be tired and have less energy than usual (this is because the worms are sucking her blood through the walls of her intestines, which affects iron and energy levels - the more worms she has, the more tired shell be). Appetite loss Weight loss Pot-bellied appearance Sporadic but persistent diarrhea and/or vomiting


Treatment For Worms Generally speaking, its 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), bring in a stool sample with you in a baggie. The vet will check this for intestinal parasites and worms, and can then give you an appropriate treatment. Puppies should be wormed every two weeks until sixteen weeks of age; adult dogs need to be wormed every three to five months. Worming medications need to be prescribed by a vet, because theyre specific to the kind of worms that your dog has. Over-the-counter medications do exist, but theyre not recommended because, without a fecal exam, theres no guarantee that youve treated her for the type of infestation that she actually has.


Review of DOG 302

In this chapter, we gave tips and techniques to help solve the following dog problems. 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


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, then he is ready for training that is more formal. At this stage of his life, 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.


Advanced Sit and Stay Stage I

The Sit and Stay exercise outlined in DOG 203: Commands to Start, was a fairly informal introduction to the commands for your puppy. If he stays by your side and does not move until you release him then he is ready for more demanding lessons. However if he still fidgets about then you must correct his behavior before moving on to these exercises. The Sit and Stay command is very important, as it will increase your dogs self discipline and prevent him from being sidetracked by distractions, such as cats and other dogs.

Once you have him sitting steadily, gradually increase the length of time that you require him to stay sitting. 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. When he will comfortably sit at your side and not attempt to move you can move on to the next progression. 1. 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. 2. Give the command Stay and step one pace away and to the right of your dog while still holding the lead. If your dog attempts to get up or follow you, then gently push him back into the Sit position. It may be useful to use an open hand as a signal to help enforce the command. 3. Hold your position for four or five seconds before moving back to your dogs side. At this stage, it is important that you do not let him get up or move from his Sit position for another few seconds. After this time release him with the Okay command and praise him. 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.



Advanced Sit and Stay Stage II

Once he is used to and correctly completes Stage I, then you can progress further by stepping forwards rather than to the side. Make sure that you are holding the lead. Give a clear instruction of Stay before you move forward. Lead with the right leg. 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.


More Sit and Stay

When he has mastered the previous progression you can further his learning by using these variations. 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. You can also gradually increase the length of time that you get him to stay with the end target being four or five minutes. If your dog is responding well to this extended Sit and Stay training then instead of using Sit, try making him stay in the Drop or Stand positions. If your dog moves out of the intended position, then verbally chastise him immediately and move him back into the correct position.

Sit and Stay with leash 240

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. 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. Command your dog to sit by the stake with you by his side. Give the command to Stay and then walk away. If your dog breaks and tries to come towards you then chastise him immediately and restart the exercise. Eventually you should be able to remove the stake.


Advanced Seek (Find)

As mentioned in DOG 203: Commands to Start, finding items by scent should come naturally to dogs as their sense of smell is much better than humans. For this exercise, you will need to acquire three objects, such as a brick or a large piece of wood, that do not have your scent on them and that your dog cannot easily pick up or move. The best way to avoid scent contamination is probably to get a helper so that only their scent is on the objects.

1. Get your helper to place the three objects close together on the ground. 2. While your helper holds your dog, place your dogs favorite toy amongst the objects. Make sure that he can see you put the toy down. 3. With your dog on a leash, cup your hands over his nose so that he takes in the scent of the toy that has just been in your hands. At this stage command him to Seek or Find and walk him up to the objects. 4. Point out each object to him and take him close enough that he can smell them easily. When he reaches his toy, encourage him to smell it and pick it up. Praise him when he does so. 5. Move away from the objects and take the toy from your dog.

At this stage, you are just trying to get your dog familiar with the routine involved. 241

You want him to find a particular article amongst a selection of other articles, 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. Hide his toy amongst (or under) the objects. Use a less familiar toy. 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. Ensure that you are comfortable with your dogs ability at each stage before you progress on to the next one.



With this command, you are trying to get your dog to lift both front feet off the ground to beg for his food. 1. Start with your dog in the Sit position. 2. Hold your dogs food incentive (perhaps a small piece of cheese or a dog biscuit) just higher than your dog can reach from its seated position. Say the command Beg. 3. If your dog tries to lift one or both of his front feet off the ground to get the food, then give it to him and praise him. 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. It may take a while for your dog to form the association between the command and the action, so be patient and consistent. Always give the reward if he makes a significant effort to perform the Beg action properly.



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. For a start, use his favorite toy as the object before moving on to other easily retrievable things. 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. Always use the Sit or Heel command before using the Leave command to get him to drop the object.

Place the object on the floor two or three yards in front of your leashed dog. He should be either sitting or brought to heel.

From beside your dog, point to the object and say, Fetch. Initially you will need to take him to the object with the lead. If he does not pick the object up straight away, give him the Hold command.

1 2


When your dog has picked the object up, run backwards to your staring position, thereby forcing him to run towards you with the object in his mouth. Instruct your dog to Sit or Heel then issue the command Leave. Make sure that he does not drop it until he is in the right position and you give him the command.



This is a trick where your dog, from either the Sit or Beg position, 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. 1. Start with your dog in the Sit position. 2. Place the piece of food on his nose while gently holding his muzzle level in such a way that the food balances there. 3. After a few seconds, release his muzzle. As the dog attempts to catch the food say the command Catch. He may drop the food the first few times, if he does then quickly pick it up and throw it to him repeating the command Catch. 4. Praise him every time he catches the food whether he catches it off his nose or from you throwing it to him. 5. Start again from the sit position. 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.




Most dogs will learn this command easily. 1. Place your dog in the Sit position 2. Use the command Shake at the same time as grasping your dogs paw. 3. Repeat the command while shaking your dogs paw. 4. Release him with Okay and then praise him. It should not take long for your dog to volunteer his paw to you. Hi there!



Some dogs absolutely love climbing ladders and others are resolutely scared of going anywhere near one. The best way to find out which type of dog you have is to try it. If possible, use a ladder with flat steps rather than round rungs on it, as it will be much easier for your dog to climb. Also, make sure that once he gets to the top of the ladder that he can get down the other side easily. You may need to use a wooden ramp or have the top of the ladder go on to a flat roof space. Dont start off with the ladder in a vertical position! It should be nearhorizontal. As your dog gets used to the ladder, it can gradually be raised up; but for safety reasons, you should never encourage your dog to climb a ladder thats more than 55 degrees from the ground. The ladder should have solid backing on it: for example, a ladder nailed to a board or plank (so your dogs legs cant slip through the spaces between the rungs and get hurt). The rungs are there for traction only: unlike human feet, a dogs paws are not the right shape or size to hold his weight stably on ladder rungs. Make sure that the ladder is stable. With your dog attached to the leash and in the heel position climb up the ladder yourself. 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. Say the command Climb as he approaches the lower rungs. 245

Using food treats to tempt him up the rungs is a great way to make the exercise more appealing for him. Simply hold one a few inches in front of his nose, and drag it in front of him up the ladder. If your dog acts frightened and does not like the ladder then do not force him to go up it. After all, it is as much, if not more, about the dogs enjoyment rather than your own.



Crawling is when your dog assumes the Drop (or Down) position and then crawls towards you when you call him. For this trick, your dog will need to know the Drop command well. 1. Put your dog in the Drop position. 2. Kneel down on the right side of your dog and slightly in front of him. 3. With your left hand gently on your dogs back, hold a small morsel of treat just out of his reach. Make sure you hold it close to the ground, so he doesnt need to rise up on all fours to get to it. When he makes the correct movement say the command Crawl. 4. Praise him if he manages even a little part of the movement (note: this is a difficult posture for dogs to maintain, so it will take awhile before he can maintain a crawl for more than a very short distance). 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.


Chances are that your dog will love being taught and doing this trick. 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.


2. Make him Sit and Wait for you on one side of the barrier. Call him to you from the opposite side of the barrier. When he is about to take off over the barrier say the command Jump. 3. Praise him when he successfully jumps the barrier. 4. When he has successfully completed this maneuver ten to fifteen times, move on to the next stage. FOR THE NEXT STAGE, YOU WILL NEED ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. 1. 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. 2. The other family member calls him to entice the dog to jump over the barrier and your lower arm. Remember to say, Jump when the dog takes off. 3. With each jump, slowly close in your arms so that eventually they form a circle. 4. Remove the barrier and complete a few more jumps. You may need to use food as an incentive for this exercise, 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. Complete the entire procedure twice per day for five or six days.


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. Your dog must have learnt the Drop (or Down) command before learning this command. 1. Place your dog in the Drop position 2. Push him onto his side 3. Hold the two legs that are closest to the ground and gently roll him over on his back and to the other side. As he is rolling, say the command Roll Over.


4. Praise him when he completes the roll. 5. Repeat the process until he forms the association between the command and the action. NOTE: This one often takes a lot of repetitions until a dog understands the meaning of the command. Be prepared to be patient, and stick with it. The first time he does it without manual assistance, make a huge fuss over him itll help the lesson to stick!


Review of DOG 303

In this section, we used the check chain and gentle leader training methods to teach the following more advanced commands. Advanced Sit and Stay Advanced Seek Beg Fetch (Retrieve) Catch Shake Climb Crawl Jump Roll over


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