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I have a 6-month old cavalier that we have had for 2 months. She has adapted well to our home life and is doing well in her obedience and trick classes. We are enjoying her so much that we would like to adopt her sister. I know that littermate syndrome is a problem. We would take both dogs to obedience training (each with their own person). Do you think the problems that are often seen with littermates might be less since they have lived apart for 2 months? ~Wendy

Hello Wendy,

I think I can help you there! Socialization questions are actually some of my favorite.

I’m guessing this is the breed you are talking about? Tell you the truth, breed is beside the point for your question; social development is much the same in every dog breed. So, let’s tackle your concerns!

Puppies do first begin to develop important social skills among litter-mates, vital to lifelong growth. Since you’ve been immersing your pup in a social environment with several other handlers and puppies (the classes you’ve spoke of), she has continued to strengthen these skills. In my opinion, the social contact your dog is getting in these classes is far more important to her lifelong development than the actual training you are paying for.

Remember those ‘priceless’ commercials on television? You might say ‘Obedience training can be bought, but social skills are priceless!’ That being said, keep it up! The socialization puppies get in these classes is fantastic; every owner should do this!

I don’t think you have to worry about Littermate Syndrome, especially since your puppy has already been building upon her social skills by meeting and interacting with so many other humans/pets.

Her sister might be a separate issue, but as long as you continue to focus on socialization training for both of them, introducing them to other animals/people and ensuring each experience is a positive one, they should be fine.

Dogs are more prone to developing ‘Littermate Syndrome’, or fear around other humans/dogs in general, if they either receive no social contact outside their siblings, negative social contract, or are very poorly socialized. As long as you keep doing what you are doing, both will grow to be happy and social dogs!

Note
I always like to point out- it is far easier to socialize a puppy. Trying to build social skills in a poorly trained adult can be much harder to near impossible.

The post Q&A: Should I adopt two littermates? appeared first on Dog Training Basics.

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Hello, we have a chihuahua puppy (4months) that we just got from the breeder. We put a collar on the dog and he is really reacting very negatively to the collar. We had the dog for about 2 weeks before we got the collar. Our mistake for sure. But during that 2 weeks the dog was very happy, playful, engaging, just a good dog. But we have to get a collar on him in order to train him and be able to keep him from running off as he is getting more and more adventurous. So now the dog is really acting like he is being tortured. He will not walk around now he just lays in his bed or under a chair. He is whining and acting like the collar is hurting him. We have checked and it is not too tight and there should be no reason why it would be hurting him. Its only been about 24 hours but this reaction seems extreme so I wanted to reach out. We are thinking to just leave it on him and he will eventually get over it but again since his reaction is so extreme we wanted to make sure we are doing the right thing. Thank you.~Gary

Hi Gary, I wouldn’t use a collar with a Chihuahua, or any other breed that size, due to their delicate body and potential for injury. My first bit of advice- consider investing in a harness for the wee one (pay close attention that it doesn’t apply pressure to the trachea). A good, effective harness for a dog that size shouldn’t run you much more than a standard collar would anyway, so cost really shouldn’t be a problem. He may not want to wear it at first regardless, so be prepared for at least a little bit of drama.

If your dog has gone this far without wearing a collar/harness, there is a good chance he simply won’t like the way it feels.

Now that that is out of the way, my next stop (if this unusually avoidant and skittish behavior continues) would be a basic veterinary check up, just to make sure there is no injury anywhere. In fact, I would highly advise you take him to see a veterinarian if you haven’t already, just to make sure he is in good medical condition. That should be one of the very first stops for any adoption.
Did you also get vaccination and registry paperwork from the breeder? Were you able to check on the medical history of his parents, or did the breeder not tell you? This is always important information to have, especially if you buy a dog you haven’t actually seen in person. Ignore this advice if you’ve already done all that!

On the training side, try looking into counterconditioning. Pair the collar (preferably harness) with praise, a cheerful attitude on your part, and treats every time you put it on him. Always present a confident and happy persona, avoiding any overly worried or anxious feelings (or at least don’t let him know you feel that way). Dogs often judge situations based on our reactions; you don’t want him to think you are insecure.

If this is your first dog, or/and you have little experience raising a puppy, don’t be afraid to read up on the breed, socialization training, and anything else you might have questions about. Chihuahuas are notorious for developing poor social skills, so be sure to get right out in front of that while he is still a puppy. Again, if you’ve already done this, go ahead and ignore that bit.

The post Q&A: Help! My puppy doesn’t like his collar? appeared first on Dog Training Basics.

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Hi! We adopted a Beagle mix puppy when she was 5 weeks old. She is almost 6 months old now. We are really struggling with her going to the bathroom in the house. We did not crate her during the day when she was little because we live 30+ minutes from our offices and we did not think she could hold it several hours and certainly not all day. I kept her confined to our bathroom (which is big) with puppy pads, toys, water, etc. When she was big enough to stay outside with our older dog, she started doing that. Now the two of them stay out all day until we get home from work. She is only crated at night while we sleep. My question is, is it too late to house train her at this point if she’s still going in the house? It’s causing quite a bit of consternation. We try to keep rooms closed off but if they’re open at all during home time, she finds a way to pee or poop on our bedroom carpets.

If crate training is the recommendation, how long should she be left in it at the time? And how long will we have to do this? I feel so badly for dogs that are in crates all day and all night! Hopefully it won’t take too long, but I’ve got to get her trained even if it means my husband and I alternating coming home for lunch every day indefinitely.

We also have a big biting problem, which worries me for my small children, but I’m going to try obedience training for that. We do have chew toys, bones, and all the recommended things. Hoping its a phase she grows out of … ~Aubrey

Hello Aubrey!

I think I can help you with your beagle! It seems like you have two separate problems, so let me address both.

First, I want to touch on this biting issue, because that can potentially become a much bigger problem. This seems like much more of a behavioral concern, one that simple obedience training (by definition is meant to teach a dog to obey commands, such as sit, stay, recall, etc.) probably won’t actually help you with. Not all dog trainers have much actual behavioral experience, and even fewer yet are college accredited behaviorists (which is who I would suggest reaching out to).

Depending on the severity of this ‘biting problem’, I urge you to contact an accredited animal behaviorist and not rely on simple obedience training- both for the safety of your Beagle, and others who live with you, especially small children who may not understand boundaries. Remember, dogs aren’t people, and shouldn’t be expected to act like people.

If you would like to offer more details surrounding the issue, I would be glad to offer what help I can!

Potty Training
No, you don’t need to crate train your dog, although it is helpful and recommended. It is certainly not too late to potty train!

I like to recommend reward based positive reinforcement methods.

Create a regular potty schedule, and stick to it.
Accompany your Beagle outside when it is potty time, and reward with enthusiastic praise + a possible treat reward EVERY TIME she potties outside. Don’t miss one, or she may confuse the idea and your training will take longer. You are trying to get her to form the association ‘Potty outside makes mother/father happy, and that is good for me.’ In her little Beagle mind. (:

Punishment isn’t necessary, even discouraged; you want your girl to enjoy the training process and not fear it.

Don’t reward mistakes indoors, or acknowledge with an apologetic tone. Eventually she will learn ‘I get nothing if I go indoors, but rewarded if I go outside’.

It is helpful if she is leashed by someone’s side at all times when she isn’t created (which is one reason crate training is useful). If she is leashed by your side, you’ll be able to catch every single mistake, correct it by running her outside to the desired spot, and speed up her training.

Dogs will prefer not to eliminate in confined spaces (a bathroom is too much space), or where they sleep, which is one reason crate training is recommended for potty training. I’m going to skip the actual training process because it is an ordeal in itself, but will leave links to specific training articles if you need. The majority of potty training articles, or trainers, will recommend crate training initially.

At six months, most dogs can hold their bladders around 4-6 hours, which is the standard recommended time frame here. Thankfully, she has grown and won’t need to go every two hours!

A standard eight hour work day is probably too much to ask. For proper crate training to work smoothly, and to avoid any complications like separation anxiety, you’ll have to gradually work up to an extended time period anyway (as you’ll see if you read the article below). I understand this isn’t always possible, so consider starting training on a Friday and continuing throughout the weekend.

HSUS Article on crate training

I hope I was able to help! If you still have questions regarding potty training, the AKC has a fantastic article on the subject.

AKC Potty Training

The post Q&A: Help! Crate potty training issues. appeared first on Dog Training Basics.

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We love to pamper our pooches and show them how much we appreciate their existence, and dog owners do this in many different ways. They make tribute posts on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Pooch parents also treat their fur babies to a fancy meal (like steak) and puppicino or take them out to the doggy park or the beach. Those who have the time and resources will take their pets for a fun trip to make the day extra special.

Whether you’re chilling at home with your pet or going hiking, the most important thing is to keep your pet safe and happy. To do that, follow these safety precautions.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated

If you’re going to the bark, beach, anywhere out (even your backyard), it’s important to keep your dog hydrated all the time, especially in the middle of the day. Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans do (101–102°F in dogs versus 97.6–99.6°F in humans). So look out for warning signs of dehydration in your dog, like panting, loss of energy and appetite, and dry nose and gums.

Dogs don’t sweat in the same way people do because dogs have insulating coats. Their sweat glands are on their pads and ear canal, but perspiring only plays a minor role in regulating their temperature.

Their coat keeps them warm in the cold and cool under the heat. However, dogs are usually very active creatures, so they can easily get overheated, especially when playing outside under the sun.

Bring potable water for your pet wherever you go, whether you’re going out or staying in on National Dog Day. In fact, you should make drinking water available for your dog all the time.

Check the Ground Temperature before Going Out

Your pooch isn’t as hard-wearing as you think they are (no matter how often you’ve seen them fall and get up like nothing happened). They can get bruised, wounded, and sprained too. Most of all, they can get burned when you take them out for a walk on hot concrete.

They may look thick and sturdy, but a dog’s paw pads can get easily injured when walking on sharp, rough surfaces and heated ground. Yes, your dog probably loves their walks, but that shouldn’t be a good-enough reason to risk their health.

If you have plans of going out with your canine friend, check the weather and temperature for the day. Go out when it gets cooler, like early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or during the evening. Check the ground temperature with the back of your hand. If it’s too hot for you to lay your hand on for five minutes, then it’s too hot for your dog to walk on.

Unlike people, they don’t have any protective wear on their paws. And even if you make them wear shoes, it still isn’t advisable to go out on hot days for fear of hyperthermia (a.k.a. overheating) and dehydration.

Dogs can get injuries and infection from their surroundings because of their active and dirt-filled lifestyle. Always check your dog’s paws after going out or if you notice them constantly licking or gnawing on the body part. Get it checked by the vet immediately if you notice an injury or something unusual on their paw.

Let Your Dog Wear a LED Collar

This year’s National Dog Day falls on a weekend, which makes it perfect for camping, hiking, or adventuring with your pooch. You can take your dog by a lake and enjoy barbecuing with the rest of the family.

Fido can go for a swim, help you catch fish, and explore the wilderness with you. They’re guaranteed to have a blast sniffing interesting smells and chasing tiny animals. The wilderness can offer many fun and exciting activities for you and your dog.

But accidents can happen in an uncontrollable environment. With how curious and playful dogs are, your buddy can wander off and get lost. If you’re planning an outdoor trip with Fido, you need to ensure their safety and prepare for unexpecting events. Let your dog wear a bright LED dog collar if you’re staying out or camping overnight. This way, you won’t lose sight of them even in the dark.

Sometimes, dogs exhibit their stubborn streaks at the most opportune moment. That’s why you should always keep your eyes on them or have them on a long leash when you’re outdoors. If your pet isn’t microchipped yet, you should get them chipped now. In case your dog gets lost, people can scan your dog’s microchip to find you.

Stay Away from Fireworks

Most, if not all, dogs absolutely hate fireworks. Dog hearing is much better than that of humans, so fireworks are much louder and more jarring to their ears. The deafening explosion can make them scared and anxious. This can cause them great stress, which isn’t good for their health.

Responsible dog owners know not to risk their dog’s safety no matter how beautiful or grand fireworks are. However, you can help your dog stay calm by creating a distraction for them. Some owner let their dogs listen to calming music with a earphone. Others use pressure wraps of vests.

On holiday when fireworks abound (like the Fourth of July), make sure to take your dog inside the house and give them a comfortable place to hide. Seal all exits to stop Fido from escaping outside out of panic, and give them a distraction so they don’t concentrate on the noise. Most of all, keep them company so they can feel safe and protected.

Avoid Unhealthy Food

Dogs are fond of eating scrumptious food (like meat, meat, or meat). They also love to eat not-so-scrumptious “food” that can’t be named here (lest it offends others’ sensibilities). But taste doesn’t always have anything to do with what’s good or bad for their furry bodies. Believe it or not, your dog is sensitive to a lot of food that humans eat (and don’t eat).

If you’re planning to treat your buddy to a delicious meal, make sure that it’s not something that they’ll throw up or will harm their body later. Don’t season that steak or give them a bone. Canine bodies are much more vulnerable to the unhealthy effects of sodium, sugar, and other seasonings.

Bones are also harmful to dogs. They can puncture the digestive system, cause intestinal problems, obstruct vital organs, and harm your dog’s mouth and teeth.

Other things you should never feed your dog are apple core, avocado, chocolate, garlic, grapes, onion, peach, persimmon, plum, raisins, and any food with alcohol, caffeine, and xylitol in it.

All dogs deserved to be loved and pampered by their owners. From bringing water (and food) to avoiding harmful food and treats, these tips will help you fill the special day with fun and excitement.

The post 5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe at Public Events appeared first on Dog Training Basics.

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Aggressive dog behavior can come up at any age. Apparently, uncontrollable chewing can develop ever since dogs get their permanent teeth and gums begin to feel uncomfortable. From then on, it’s a matter of training and promoting good behavior.

However, you should take not that aggressive dogs are the ones that spend a lot of time alone, don’t entirely consume their energy and end up barking and chewing excessively, as well as being violent towards other dogs. Owners of such temperamental furry friends are in a constant and sometimes unsuccessful search for durable chew toys.

Chew toys have a few advantages that you shouldn’t ignore. They keep a dog busy while consuming their energy. Also, they are mostly optimized to support dog gums and healthy teeth. You might know this, as well as the fact that some toys turn out to be less than durable or indestructible.

7 Durable Chew Toys for Your Aggressive Animal Friend

Below you can find seven of the chew toys that qualify as the most durable ones in the field. If you have more dogs or look for solutions that fill your house with options, you should dig into the ToyPetReviews chart of other favorite indestructible chew toys. Let’s see some durable chew toys that you can find almost anywhere and promise to even last ten times longer than the average ones!

West Paws Zogoflex Zisc Tough Flying Disc Dog Play Toy
A disc might not be the ideal house that you want around your home, as the dog can use it while you’re away and harm furniture items. However, this flying disc dog toy promises to calm your dog down while you’re in the park.

Cesar Millan says that a tired dog is a happy one. Medium to large-sized breeds enjoy fetching game, and this orange-colored disc takes it to the next level. The toy is lightweight, and it’s also suitable for the water-loving dog. The toy is BPA and phthalate free and dishwasher safe. It flies far as it’s made of hard plastic that softens in the dog’s mouth.

Kyjen Squirrel Squeaker Mat
I’m guessing you didn’t expect a plush toy in this chart. The Kyjen Squirrel Squeaker Mat is excellent for small to medium-sized dogs that have aggressive behavior. Squeaking toys are attractive. This one particularly comes with a long-lasting squeaking interior design that promises to last as much as the dog’s interest towards playing.

The toy comes with no stuffing that the dog can swallow after tearing the mat apart. However, in the meantime, he or she might get distracted by the multiple squeakers that the toy comes with.

Kong Extreme Dog Toy
If you have an aggressive chewer, then you might have heard of Kong’s collection of toys adjusted for all breeds. Its most indestructible (no toy is entirely indestructible, but these ones get pretty close) items come in five sizes.

The Kong Extreme toys are ultra-strong and durable and versatile enough to suit both indoors and outdoors. Also, they come with a hole that helps you stuff the toys with treats that keep dogs busy for longer. You can purchase such a toy for small, medium and large-sized dogs, including breeds with stronger teeth than others.

Elk Antler Healthy Chew
Many dogs – especially puppies – consider treats as toys. That’s why this chart includes the Elk Antler Healthy Chew that lasts longer than others and leaves less mess and odor, according to Amazon reviews. It’s a natural eco and dog-friendly premium treat that was handcrafted to look and taste attractive.

The bone contains calcium, glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamins, minerals, and phosphorus to keep your dog’s teeth healthy. The bone is even naturally colored in brown for an attractive effect. You can consider this bone as an item to integrate into the dog’s dental care.

Jolly Pets Romp-n-Roll 8 Inch Ball with Rope
The Jolly Pets-made toy works for large breeds that enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors. The brand has a history of creating extreme toys since it began by developing products for horse entertainments and developed into focusing on solutions for hard chewing.

This ball is designed for throwing, carrying, launching, kicking and much more. So, it can successfully accomplish the laborious tasks of dog fun. The toy also floats on water and dries quickly, as it’s made for non-toxic Polyethylene plastic. Manufacturers recommend it especially to owners of Labs.

Benebone Bacon
This is one of the best and durable chew toys that keeps dogs from choking while playing. The toy was engineered using a Y-shaped design to fit the pet’s jaw. It’s also flavored with bacon that lasts through long chewing sessions.

The toy works for all medium to large breeds, and you can even grip it while the dog plays. The money you spend buying these durable chew toys goes to the company’s initiative to support animal welfare.

Thank dog – the chew we’ve all been wishing for has finally arrived! Pup owners know how quickly their precious pooches can choke. Why risk it with a biscuit? The Benebone is engineered for safe and extended lasting chewing. Benebone chews are made in the USA, and every sale supports animal welfare.

FurryFido Treat Dispensing Smart Interactive Dog Ball
This 4.5-inch ball helps your dog stay entertained and exercise while consuming his or her energy. You can use the ball for dogs which are kept outdoors or in the backyard. The toy comes in sturdy silicone that makes a squeaky noise when moved around.

The ball can be stuffed with dog goodies. So, if your dog behaves during the daytime, you can let him or her play with the ball, and stuff it with treats for a quality-time ritual when you get home.

Wrapping Up

These toys were specially engineered and designed to face the teeth of dogs with aggressive behavior, regardless of size and breed.

Pick your dog’s potential favorite and watch them play around and consume energy!

The post Durable Chew Toys for Aggressive Dog Behavior appeared first on Dog Training Basics.

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My dog is a Husky x English Mastiff and she listens to me sometimes but sometimes doesn’t. I know she doesn’t take me seriously when I try to use a big voice. If I take her out to the park she plays keep away with me. Like she won’t come to me no matter how much I call or coax her until she’s ready. How do I stop this and make her listen to me without hesitation? ~Morgen

Hello Morgen! What a fantastic mix you have there! I bet she is certainly a handful. I think I can help you. (: There are actually a few things you want to remember, and a couple different solutions.

Many dogs enjoy the ‘game’ of keep-away. The chase simulates their hunting instincts stretching back thousands of years (although many dogs don’t consciously relate the two). I’m willing to bet your pup finds enjoyment in the ‘chase’. The park also likely resembles an area she feels safe with playtime activities.

Huskies are a very energetic breed, actually bred as a working dog to help pull loads far distances. In fact, these guys are the prime choice for professional dog mushers, commonly seen in endurance races like the world renown 1000 mile cross Alaskan Iditarod.

In the early 1900’s, before Huskies became the breed of choice, mushers preferred breeds like the larger and more powerful Malamutes. While they are stronger and able to endure heavier loads, Alaskan Malamutes aren’t nearly able to match the outstanding endurance of the Siberian Husky!

Your Two Options
This first option uses a reward based training method, and is by far my preferred method. Think of a command word you want to use (I prefer to use ‘Here’). Every time you use the command, give your dog a tasty treat reward. Eventually, she will begin to relate the reward with the word you use, and return to you every time- as long as the reward you’re offering is more preferable to whatever is currently occupying her attention.

Since she will be playing in the park, she might prefer to continue playing over your reward. You want to try and become the most entertaining thing around, using plenty of enthusiastic praise and joyous body language.

Second Option
This option uses a punishment based enforcement method. Where as you might cringe, punishment based training has its place. If you are trying to train your girl to avoid dangerous areas, like busy roads, or dangerous animals like poisonous snakes (depending on the part of the world you live in), this is certainly something you want to consider. I much prefer a little discomfort to a potential fatal situation.

This is where things like the electric collar come in handy. If you do decide to purchase an e-collar, be sure not to overuse it and make sure the setting is appropriate for your girl’s size. Inappropriate use of these tools can lead to fear or even aggression.

I hope this helps you. If you have any further questions please let me know!

The post Q&A: How to get my dog to listen all the time? appeared first on Dog Training Basics.

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