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Why You Should Persevere with Dog Crate Training

Are you struggling with dog crate training your dog?

Do you think that crating your dog in a dog crate is cruel? Or akin to putting your dog in a prison?

Well, rest assured that dogs don’t think like humans. They also see things much simpler than humans.

Your dog will not think that a dog crate is a prison unless you make it so. A dog crate is not a punishment tool and should never be used as a place to lock your dog away for any unwanted behaviors.

We give you the tools and a ‘heads up’ to deal with the most common issues facing dog owners during their dog crate training program. We show you how a dog crate can be a wonderful addition to your dog’s life when used correctly. It may even save your dog’s life when travelling or in an emergency.

We will give you the essential guide to selecting the right dog crate for you and your dog;  Read our article Here’s a Quick Way to Get the Best Crates for Dogs and use our Guide to steer you through all the finer details of dog crates.

Skip to How To Choose The Right Dog Crate Size Here.

How Does a Dog Crate Work?

dog crate can satisfy a dog’s natural instincts as a den animal to have their own enclosed personal space. A dog crate can be a sanctuary for your dog where he can retreat to for a bit of a rest, to sleep or just a place to escape to when he needs a break.

All of this is true, but it does come down to dog crate training for your dog to know it.

Persevering with dog crate training will reward you and your dog in many practical ways.

Dog Crate Uses

Familiarising and training your dog to use a dog crate will prepare your dog when things don’t go according to plan. Dog crate training is essential if only as a precaution to all the situations that may arise during your dog’s life. For example:

  • Your dog is alone at home
  • There are multiple dogs in one home
  • Dog health reasons including an illness, recovery and vet visits
  • Travelling in a car
  • Moving to a new (and unfamiliar) home
  • Keeping your dog safe during an emergency
  • Confinement for any other reason

Click here to read our complete article on Dog Crates and Dog Cages.

When you don’t provide your dog with a “den” of his own, he may make do with whatever is around like a comfy chair, under a bed, or tuck himself away in a cozy corner or cupboard.

Dog Crate Training Success

Dog crate training is similar to all the other training you will be undertaking with your dog. Repetition, consistency, patience, and your dog’s healthy respect for you as the pack leader will increase your success in dog crate training.

Our aim is to give you the ‘heads up’ on some of the more common problems you may encounter when implementing a dog crate training program with your dog.

It is important to avoid making dog crate training a traumatic or stressful experience, so always make sure your dog feels at ease throughout the entire process. Stay calm, speak gently and be patient.

Watch this short video from Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer as he gives you a little peek into the world of dog crate training.

Crate training your puppy - YouTube

The 7 Most Common Dramas in Dog Crate Training

These are the most common questions dog owners ask when beginning dog crate training.

How much is too much time in the crate?

Why is my dog whining?

Help. My dog is crying in the dog crate.

When I leave for the day my dog is barking while in his dog crate?

Why is my dog toileting in the dog crate?

I think my dog’s afraid to go in the crate or why won’t my dog go into the crate?

Why is my dog being destructive in the crate?

Too Much Time in the Crate?

Training your dog to be comfortable and familiar in a dog crate will prepare your dog for situations that may arise when confinement may be necessary.

A dog crate is meant to be a retreat for your dog. It is not intended as a long term home. A dog should not spend all day in a closed dog crate while you are at work and then again when you go to bed.

During the day, neither puppies nor adult dogs should be crated for more than four or five hours at a time. Follow these daytime duration guidelines (Source: ASPCA) to avoid compromising your dog’s well-being or causing behavior problems.

Age of Dog             Maximum time in crate

8-10 weeks              30-60 minutes

11-14 weeks            1-3 hours

15-16 weeks            3-4 hours

17+ weeks               4-5 hours

Crate Time for Puppies

Toilet Breaks. Puppies shouldn’t spend more than 2-3 hours in the crate without a toilet break as they cannot last that long without relieving themselves.

Exercise and play time. If you leave your puppy alone all day, you will need to arrange to give your puppy a break midway through the day until he is at least 8 months old. It’s still a long time that your puppy is confined so schedule 15 to 30 minutes of play and exercise time before you leave, during the day and again after you come home.

Crate Time for Dogs

An adult dog can be crated for as long as eight hours on occasion, but only as an exception and not as a daily ritual.

If your dog has been open crated overnight and will be open crated during the day whilst you are at work then you need to provide at least 60 to 90 minutes of outdoor exercise in the morning and another 60 to 90 minutes before being put back in the crate at night.

If your dog has not been in a closed crate overnight but will be crated during the day then 30 to 60 minutes of exercise before crating is still needed.

You should also not close your dog off from the rest of the household for hours at a time. That could lead to severe social and isolation problems for your dog and may manifest itself in unwanted behaviors.

When you are home, you should place the dog crate in the room where you and the family spend most of your time. Your dog will still be part of the family but can seek refuge from the sounds and activities of the humans.


If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to determine why.

When your dog begins whining in its crate, the best thing to do is ignore it unless you are house training your dog. If your dog uses whining to seek attention or rewards, you need to ignore it. The lesson for your dog is that remaining quiet is a better strategy than attention seeking whining. Your dog will interpret any sort of interaction, positive or negative, from eye contact to touching to talking as a ‘reward’ to the dog, so ignoring the whining is best.

Now that you have ignored the unwanted whining behavior, you need to follow up by rewarding your dog for being quiet. The lesson for your dog is that being quiet will be rewarded with your attention or treats (not just food as Dog Treats come in many forms that your dog will gladly accept). Stay calm and be patient.

Dog Treats – Yum Yum!

To keep your dog on the right track with ongoing training make sure you’ve always got some treats on hand!

Puppies. Whining and crying is a fundamental aspect of puppy-hood, especially in young puppies. Make sure never to reinforce the behavior by letting your puppy out of the crate while he is crying or whining. Wait for a short period of quiet.

For a young puppy, whining may occur because it needs to relieve itself, so quietly take it out to the toilet on a lead, making sure not to play with it. Place it back into its crate once it has gone to the toilet. Once your puppy has settled and is quiet then you can reward him.

Try placing a dog crate cover over the crate if the whining persists as this can help settle the dog or puppy.

Dog Crate Covers

My Dog is Going to the Toilet in the Dog Crate

How Cute? Nothing to do with toileting in the dog crate – we didn’t want to go there!

The crate might be too big for the size of your dog. In general, dogs won’t go to the toilet in their dog crate or dog cages however you do need to right-size your dog crate to make sure there is not too much empty space. Your dog crate should fit your dog. For a puppy who will grow into the space over time you need to include a divider in the crate. You can move it as your puppy grows and fills the space.

The right-size dog crate will allow your dog to be able to comfortably stand up, turn around and lie down.

So if the crate is the right size but your dog is toileting in it then you may not be letting your dog outside often enough. He may physically be unable to hold it in. At night when dogs sleep, their body systems and elimination slow down. This is why dogs can go all night without toileting once they’re old enough to have sufficient bladder and bowel control. Puppies don’t come with bladder control so toilet visits will be required for some time.

If you’ve recently brought your new dog home check to see if he was kept for long periods of time in dog cages. If that is the case he may have been forced to toilet in his sleeping area and so this may make housetraining more difficult. You will just need to be more vigilant and keep the dog crate in an area where you can easily observe your dog’s needs. Stay calm and be patient if little accidents occur along the way.

Skip to How To Choose The Right Dog Crate Size Here.

My Puppy Cries in the Crate at Night

Try placing a dog crate cover over the crate if the crying persists as this can help settle the puppy.

Keep the crate near you if possible. A puppy that is isolated from the family will often cry out of loneliness.

Your dog may be telling you he has to go to the toilet, or he may be begging for attention. If you’re not sure, take him directly outside, but do not acknowledge him. When your dog does go the toilet, quietly and briefly acknowledge him to avoid teaching your dog that midnight toilet breaks are fun. Don’t make a fuss. If he doesn’t go to the toilet, put him back into the crate and go back to bed.

Make sure your dog has been adequately exercised before crating him for the night. Read our article here on How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need.

If you are certain your dog has been exercised and toileted and is healthy, he may just need to just cry it out. Remember not to respond to the crying by giving your dog any attention.

Separation Anxiety

If your dog seems to be panicking, digging, or destroying bedding, you may be dealing with separation anxiety. Seek assistance from your vet. Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won’t solve the problem.

Confining your dog in a dog crate may prevent your dog from being destructive in the house. However, if your dog is intent on escaping the crate, he may injure himself. Seek assistance from your vet if our dog is being destructive.

My Dog Makes Noises in the Crate

You want your dog’s time in a dog crate to be stress free. Your dog may be just seeking your attention and it is crucial to avoid releasing your dog from the crate when he’s making noise. You should ignore the noise as long as your dog has been exercised, fed, toileted and is not unwell. The key is to teach your dog that you will not respond to noise but you will give rewards or let him out if he is silent.

My Dog Is Afraid to Go Into the Crate

Dogs who seem very nervous about going into crates might need take small steps.

If your dog seems reluctant to step into a crate, make sure the door is fully open, take off any covers so that the dog can see you, and try putting a favorite toy or a treat into the crate. Place the object firstly just inside the crate so that your dog can poke his nose in. Next time place it further into the crate so that your dog needs to step into reach the object. Slowly and patiently does it.

You should only progress to the next step of dog crate training when your dog seems completely comfortable with going into the crate.

My Dog Panics in the Crate

If it appears that your dog is experiencing extreme anxiety when you try to confine her in the dog crate, don’t force it. Seek assistance from your vet.

My Dog Guards Things or Behaves Aggressively in the Dog Crate

Dogs who guard their belongings sometimes also guard the area around their crates. If your dog has guarded objects, food or places in the past, then you should always exercise caution when being near an open dog crate. Also be careful if you try to get your dog out of crate and avoid trying to reach in to pull your dog out. Either lift the crate up from the rear to ‘tip’ your dog out or use a reward to entice your dog out of the dog crate.

Don’t allow visitors or other dogs to approach your dog in its dog crate if your dog shows any aggression or discomfort.

Training Your Dog To Use A Dog Crate (And Love It)

Most dog owners that have dog crates seem to love them and so do their dogs. It may take some time for your dog to get used to a dog crate so be calm and exercise patience.

Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer has some basic rules for dog crate training.

Prior to commencing dog crate training you must make sure all your dog’s needs have been fulfilled. Check that your dog is;

  • Warm
  • Not hungry
  • Safe
  • Not thirsty
  • Doesn’t need to go to the toilet
  • Not bored
  • Exercised fully

You should aim to only let your dog out of the dog crate after he is silent for a period.

A Dog Crate. Useful And Practical – And Essential?

A dog crate will give your dog the freedom to be comfortable when home alone. When you’ve accomplished this, you can still keep the crate for your dog to sleep or hang out in. Just leave the door open.

So how do you choose the right dog crate or dog cage or dog carrier for you and your dog? The options are many. Read our article on the Best Crates for Dogs and use our Guide to steer you through all the finer details of dog crates.

How To Choose The Right Size Dog Crate

Dimensions for dog crates are typically represented by length (L), height (H) & width (W).

Length: Measure the length of your dog from nose to tail then add another 4 inches for comfort.

Height: Measure your dog from the top of the head to the ground and make sure you add ears into the measurement if your dog normally has erect ears.

Extra Small Crates

Dog weight: Between 1 lb. to 10lbs.

Breed Examples: Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Yorkie, Papillon, Havanese plus others.

Small Crates

Dog Weight: Between 11 lbs. and 25 lbs.

Breed Examples: Jack Russell Terrier, Maltese, Pug, Boston Terrier plus others

Medium Crates

Dog Weight: Between 26 lbs. and 40 lbs.

Breed Examples: French Bulldog, King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Miniature Schnauzer, Welshie plus others.

Large Crates

Dog Weight: Between 41 lbs. and 70 lbs.

Breeds: Bulldog, Labrador, Boxer, Australian Shepherd plus others.

Extra Large Crates

Dog Weight: Between 71 lbs. and 90 lbs.

Breed Examples: Rottweiler, Dalmation, Collie, Golden Retriever plus others.

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DIY Dog Projects by Brad Denise - 9M ago

Small dogs rule! Pound for pound, they pack in more personality and performance than their big cousins. If you own one or want one, check out this list of great things about small dogs.

Yes, we are talking about you! And your friends.

Why Small Dogs Rule

Let’s get straight into what makes small dogs so great. If you have other ideas we should mention, let us know in the comments.

1. They Live Longer

That’s right. The small dog breeds generally live for 12 – 14 years, while the monster breeds at the other end of the scale only last for about half that time. In the middle of the pack, large dogs will average 8 – 10 years.

Did you know that it’s not uncommon for Yorkies and Dachshunds to top the 20 year mark. How great is that?

2. Small Dogs Suffer Less From Arthritis

While we’re on the topic of age, those older small dogs are less likely to suffer the pain of arthritis. This seems to make sense from a wear-and-tear perspective – their little legs carrying less weight around.

So small dogs live longer and suffer less. Great!

3. Smaller Dogs Eat Less

Hey, ignore the bone. I still need to be fed.

Again, this makes sense. The smaller dog breeds need fewer calories, but more than you might think. For their size, they actually eat a bit more than large dogs on a weight for weight basis. It’s probably something to do with all that energy.

You also need to be aware that those small tummies fill quickly but they also empty quickly, so small dogs need to eat more often. And small breed puppies have smaller tummies again, so they need frequent filling to make sure puppy grows up healthy. Make sure you get feeding advice that is specific to your dog’s breed.

And we recommend that you get the Best Dog Food (click the link to see what that really means).

So… Less food = less cost = great!

Dog Food

Check the Nutritional Labels on these and other Dog Food’s available by ordering on-line.

4. Smaller Dogs Need Less Room

When you look at our list of The Best Apartment Dogs, there’s no surprise most of them come from the smaller breeds. Again, there’s no rocket science here, but we do need to break it down a little. Not every small dog breed is like the other.

Companion Dog or Hunter?

We need to look back to breeding for this one. Terriers, Rat Dogs, Squirrel Dogs, etc were specifically bred for traits like being energetic and fearless. They were used to hunt or control pest animals.

Other small dog breeds were instead selected for companionship. They bred in traits like pleasant (or interesting) appearance and similar other ‘cuddly’ factors.

The Papillon – bred for companionship. And pretty ears.

So, energetic small dogs will naturally appreciate more room to exercise than their more lazy, cuddly counterparts. It’s not just size that matters – breed plays a part.

And that brings us to our final item:

5. Small Dogs Have Big Personalities!

Whether you have a willful West Highland Terrier or a mellow Miniature Schnauzer , the small dog breeds have wonderful variety when it comes to personality. It’s a lot of character in a small package!

We may look a bit the same, but we’re totally different!

Part of this again hails back to the breed origins – hunter or companion. The companion breeds like Shih Tsu, Pug and Papillon will tend to be friendly, cuddly and placid. Hunters like the Jack Russell, Cairn Terrier (think Toto) and Scottish Terrier tend toward the more boisterous and territorial.

Just because a dog is small doesn’t mean they are easy to control! With any breed, and especially a hunting breed, you need to set the relationship correctly. Otherwise you can end up with an Aggressive Dog, and those little teeth can hurt.

So, set yourself up properly as the pack leader, and enjoy the great pleasure of small dog ownership.

If you have barking problems, check out our Barking Dog Solutions for home-alone barkers, and our related, broader Dog Barking article.

What do You Think is the Best Thing About Small Dogs?

That’s our list of best things complete (for now). Is your ‘best thing’ covered above, or did we miss it? Feel free to let us know via the comments box below so we can improve the list over time.

The post Small Dogs Rule! appeared first on DIY Dog Projects.

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Is your dog whining at the back door, wet and cold or hot and panting? If your dog has graduated from a dog crate and crate training, it could be time he had a proper kennel.

Dogs have a natural tendency to den, so your dog deserves a well-made and perfectly suited dog house.

First, a word about planning.

Success in any project is 9 times out of 10 directly due to the quality and the detail of the planning, so you need to PLAN first and ACT second. Racing out into the yard with a hammer and a piece of wood will not get a good job done.

You want a dog house that your dog loves and that you can be proud of, so let’s do it right.

Five Necessary Steps to Build a DIY Dog House Step 1. Plan the Location and Orientation of Your DIY Dog House

Your loyal dog sees themselves as a protector of your household, so it’s important for them to be able to see as much of the yard as possible from their kennel. They need to see the back door or any gates where people will come and go. Otherwise, your dog will be leaving his lovely new home constantly to find out what’s going on.

A dog needs to see what’s going on!

Dogs also spend more than half their time sleeping or lazing about, so the perfect situation is one where they can do it all from their dog kennel. Your dog can having a snooze and on hearing a noise just briefly blink their eyes open to see what’s going on and go happily back to sleep. All in the comfort of their own home.

So what does this mean for the orientation of the kennel?

First you need to think about your dog’s line of sight if he was lying just within the dog house and looking out. It will be a wedge shape like in the diagram below.

Next look at where in the yard you can place the dog house, and in what direction it should be pointing.

Every yard is different, so you’ll need to work it out for your own home. Here are a few simple examples to show the type of things you need to think about.

Good view of the yard and the back door, but can’t see the side gate.

The raised garden bed will obscure too much of the yard.

This would give a good line of sight for most of the yard.  Consider whether having the dog house on an angle will make it work best for your dog.

Try to come up with a few good alternatives for your yard.

Note: When your dog hears something but can’t see it, that’s often a trigger for barking, but there’s much more to it. Learn more with our Dog Barking article.

Step 2. Sun, Wind and Rain

Unfortunately, line of sight isn’t your only challenge. You also need to think about the elements.

  • What’s the prevailing direction of rainfall? You don’t want it raining straight into the dog house, which would defeat the purpose of having it in the first place.
  • If you’re in a hot climate, is there shade available somewhere in the yard for the heat of the afternoon.
  • Will the sun shine right into the opening of the doghouse?
  • What other weather might affect the comfort of your dog? You may need to consider whether the kennel needs some insulation or ventilation.
Now look at your DIY dog house location options considering both a line of sight and the weather. One option should be coming out as your favorite.

Step 3. The Lay of the Land

 image source

Your final check is the lay of the land. If heavy rain would create a little stream in your yard leading straight into the dog house door, you have a problem to overcome.

Is the spot where you want to build the dog house flat and level? If not, there may be another spot nearby that’s nearly as good as the ideal one but easier to build on.

Otherwise, you may need to do a little site preparation before you build. Step 4. Get Properly Detailed Plans for Your DIY Dog House

Click on the Image Above To Learn More About the Easy Build Dog House Plans!

OK, finally you get to the dog house itself, but you are still in the planning stage for this project. Again, the detail is the key and our researchers have found that many of the plans on the internet are simply not good enough. Maybe you’ve tried one of those free plans and that’s why you’re now here looking for something that will work properly.

You’ve heard the old carpenter’s saying of, “Measure twice, cut once.” That’s not of much value if the measurements in the plans aren’t accurate enough!

Remember: Success in any project is 9 times out of 10 directly due to the quality and the detail of the planning, so it’s essential that you get plans that are up to the job. You need all the details and measurements, and also the step by step instructions that will help you do it once and do it right.

Don’t cut corners here.

Make sure you get the size right. If it’s too big, and your dog won’t get the comfort of a den. Make it too small and the DIY Dog House can become humid which can lead to disease.

Click Here for the Easy Build Plans

Step 5. Follow The Plans to the Letter!

NOW you can pick up that hammer! The planning is finally over – it’s doing time!

image source

Please take your time, be sure to check and recheck the instructions regularly. To be safe while you work, we suitable hand and eye protection.

Finished Already?  Well Done!

Has your dog moved happily into their new DIY Dog Kennel? Make sure you put in a proper bed for your dog; read all about the importance of dog bedsPlease avoid using straw and wood chips on the floor. (If you do, you’ll create a dog house that’s a better home for the nasties than it is for your dog).

Is your dog calm and relaxed in their DIY dog kennel like they should be? Is that true even when you are away, or are the neighbors complaining? Some dogs can create a ruckus when they’re left alone, but that too can be fixed with our Barking Dog Solutions.

The post How to Build a DIY Dog House (Kennel) The Right Way appeared first on DIY Dog Projects.

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Any measure of the most aggressive dog breeds is misleading. Sure, there are differences between breeds (and we’ll discuss those), but other factors have far greater influence on dog aggression.

Do you know the old story of the blind men and the elephant? Each man touches only a part of the elephant and comes to a different conclusion about its nature. The one who touched the leg said the elephant was like a pillar. The one who touched the trunk said the elephant was like a branch. Touching the side of the elephant led to the conclusion it was like a wall, and so on for ear, tusk and tail. You get the idea.

Assessing aggression from only the point of view of dog breeds doesn’t give you the whole picture, and that leads to wrong conclusions.

Let’s face it; any dog can be aggressive, regardless of their breed.

Some dogs are more bark than bite. They don’t have an aggression issue, but they are problem barkers. If that’s your dog, go to our Dog Barking article for help.

Triggers versus Tolerance

The cause of dogs fighting, biting, snapping and growling is a complex subject, so let’s break it down a little. There are two key areas to consider, triggers and tolerance.

Triggers are the circumstances or events that start an incidence of violence. That could be an action like trying to take a bone away from your dog or invading their space uninvited.

Tolerance, on the other hand, is a gauge of how close to the surface the aggression lies. Is your dog on a hair trigger? Is your dog like a pot that’s always just about to boil? Or, is your dog steady, calm, and almost shock-proof?

Thinking about extreme cases gives us the key:

Condition your dog to be totally tolerant, and he or she will ignore all the triggers.

The opposite is also true:

Make your dog totally intolerant, and he or she will always snap at the triggers.

Too many people (including trainers) focus on just the triggers, but when you consider the above two statements, you can see the real answer lies in building up tolerance.

You need to make sure your dog is as calm, as tolerant, as you can make them.

Building Tolerance

Now we need to break things down further, because your dog’s tolerance has several ingredients. This is where we consider

  • the most aggressive dog breeds
  • the sex of the dog
  • whether they have been neutered
  • their personality
  • and more.

The most important factor might surprise you.

Sex is more important than breed when it comes to aggression. Male dogs show more aggression on average than female dogs. Neutering reduces the likelihood of aggression in both, so at the top of the aggression list you have un-neutered male dogs and at the bottom of the list you have neutered females.

Note that we’re talking about the likelihood of aggressive behavior. This is just a factor.

Another big factor for dog-on-dog aggression is the mix of the sexes. The biggest risk is with male-on-male, followed by female-on-female. Aggression between a male and a female dog is much less likely.

That’s because in ‘dog world’ there is room for an alpha-male and an alpha-female, so they don’t need to compete for a single top spot. We’ll delve more into this pack-leader psychology a little later.

First, we should single out a special case.

Fear Based Aggression

All puppies need to be socialized properly with humans between weeks 4 and 12 of age. How they are treated during this period has a huge impact on how they perceive people. It’s no surprise that fear results from bad treatment.

It’s a sad, sad fact that we often see this in rescue dogs.

Be very careful with a fearful dog. They will snap or bite to protect themselves from any perceived threat. Even trying to pat a fearful dog can set them off.

Fearful dogs have a very low tolerance, so almost any trigger can easily lead to biting. That’s nasty for the person bitten, and often the end of the road for the poor dog.

If you have a fearful dog we urge you to act immediately. It doesn’t matter if they are one of the most aggressive dog breeds or one of the gentlest. A fearful dog can be dangerous.

The banner below will take you straight to our go-to dog trainer and behaviorist, Doggy Dan. You need his expert help so you can rebuild your dog’s confidence.

The Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

Let’s get back to the subject of tolerance. A dog’s breed does play a part in how aggressive they might be. This makes sense when you think about it. Some were specifically bred to be companions and others were bred to hunt or guard or fight. It makes perfect sense that hunting, fighting dogs generally have more aggressive tendencies than dogs that were bred to sit on someone’s lap.

In our article on the Most Dangerous Dogs, we listed most of the hunting, fighting and guarding breeds, but here’s a quick guide.

Hunting dogs include the Hounds (e.g. Whippet, Greyhound, Irish Woolfhound, Basset Hound, Bloodhound), Fiests, Terriers, and Curs (also known as ‘treeing dogs’). Because they were bred to hunt, aggression is more likely.

Retrievers, Setters, Pointers, Spaniels and Water Dogs (includes Poodles) are excluded from this list as they were bred for their ability to support the hunting, rather than doing the actual hunting themselves.

Guard dogs include the Shepherds and Sheep Dogs (who can fight to protect their flock) plus Mastiffs, Dobermans, etc.

Fighting dogs were bred for the detestable ‘sport’ of dog fighting and this includes breeds like the American Pit Bull and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

There’s quite a long list for all these categories and more than a little crossover, so if you’re interested visit the Most Dangerous Dogs article.

Please remember that being one of the most aggressive dog breeds doesn’t make any particular dog aggressive. It’s just one of the factors and not the biggest one. We’ll cover the most important one soon.

Personality Counts Too

Watch any litter of puppies and you’ll see differences in their personalities. Some will be more outgoing, or inquisitive or energetic (or sleepy). They might all have the same mum and dad, but they are all individuals.

Personalities show at an early age

Personality is another contributor to dog’s demeanor, which you need to consider on top of whether they are one of the most aggressive dog breeds. An assertive dog from a hunting breed will be much nearer to aggression than a lazy lap dog.

The Prime Cause: A Pack Leader Problem

This pack leader problem causes dog behavior issues, like aggression, more than any other factor – far more than the breed of your dog. It’s the ‘elephant in the room’ but many dog owners can’t see it!

Fixing this issue is the single biggest step you can take toward building tolerance in your dog. By doing that you reduce aggression and the chance your dog will react to any trigger.

Before we work on the solution (gently becoming the pack leader yourself), it pays to understand why this causes so many problems.

How Pack Leadership Hurts

Look at the dog-on-dog aggression we discussed earlier. If the ‘top dog’ position is vacant, ambitious dogs will try for it. Sometimes that contest is sorted out with a few growls and snaps, but if any two dogs don’t back down it can escalate into a full-scale fight.

Moving past that simple example, let’s look at how it affects a dog when they are the pack leader. They become responsible for the pack in every respect:

  • They choose who should be in the pack and who should be excluded. Bring someone new into the house, and they might decide to deny entry into the pack and run them off. If you’re expecting a baby, you must be absolutely sure your dog does not think they are the pack leader. Be sure to read our article on Dogs and Babies for more information.
  • They defend the house. If your dog is barking and posturing to protect the pack from danger and you go to grab them, they might snap at you to say, “Stop bothering me – there are important things that I, your pack leader, need to do.”
  • They enforce discipline on the pack. If you do something wrong in their eyes, like try to take a bone or toy from them, they will educate you quite sharply and think nothing of it.

Labradors are not known for their aggression, but let them believe they are the pack leader and that will quickly change.

Do you see how these behaviors have nothing to do with the most aggressive dog breeds? For example, a barking, biting chihuahua wasn’t bred to hunt or fight. They’re not one of the most aggressive dog breeds – they are just dealing with being the boss!

Fix The Leadership Problem To Build Tolerance

In a household, pack leadership is an unfair burden for any dog. Not only can it lead to aggression as shown above, it can also give your dog great stress.

This one fundamental issue is at the core of many, many dog behavior problems.

Note: Just because you can get your dog to sit before you feed them doesn’t mean you are the pack leader. It’s not that simple.
  • Does your dog hang off your every word, or do they ignore you when it suits them?
  • Does your dog drag you down the road when on the leash?
  • Are you unable to control your dog’s barking?

Fortunately, the problem is easy to fix, and you don’t need to fight your dog to win top spot in their mind.

Once you have fixed the basics and established yourself as the undisputed pack leader in your household, you can start building more and more tolerance. Your dog will be much calmer and far more easily trained.

Ah… Burden free – now I can relax.

This is important for every dog, and even more so for the most aggressive dog breeds that have a greater tendency to be ambitious.

Start Today

All that you need has been put together perfectly in video format by Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer.

To solve the pack leadership problem, follow Doggy Dan’s 5 Golden Rules (they have a complete section of their own).

Your first goal should be to fix that fundamental issue and remove the burden from your dog. Once you have achieved that, take advantage of Doggy Dan’s other resources to build tolerance further.

Follow the link below to get started, and remove the aggression from your home.

The post The Most Aggressive Dog Breeds – Truth and Lies appeared first on DIY Dog Projects.

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Your dog’s coat will greatly benefit from the use of DIY Dog Shampoo.  It’s easy and safe to make and use, and it also saves you money. A happy dog is a healthy dog, and a healthy dog has strong, shiny hair.

It is essential that you adopt good grooming habits for your dog. To keep your dog’s coat clean, regular brushing is best. By doing this you also keep a check on your dog’s skin, hair and overall condition. Shampooing is only one part of Dog Grooming. To learn what else you will need to do and when, read our article on DIY Dog Grooming.

But… dogs do smell. However, dogs don’t care if they smell, but we sometimes do! And that’s why you need to understand when you should and when you shouldn’t shampoo your dog with DIY Dog shampoo.

What Does Your Dog Think About DIY Dog Shampoo?

Is your dog calm and does he stand still for every shampoo? Or Does Your Dog do some or all of these?

  • Try to escape
  • Shake and tremble
  • Wriggle and squirm
  • Try to bite and nip

If your dog exhibits any of the above behaviors you need to act to stop them and make bath time a pleasant experience for you and your dog. When you understand how your dog thinks you can help him to stay calm and co-operate. Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer can show you how to take this first step.

The Four Most Common Questions Dog Owners Ask About DIY Dog Shampoo
  • Why shampoo my dog?
  • Can I just use human shampoo or soap on my dog?
  • How often should I shampoo my dog?
  • What should I use to shampoo my dog?
We answer all these questions (and more) for you. DIY Dog Baths & Showers

1. Why Shampoo?

Your decision to shampoo is based on why your dog needs a shampoo and you should be taking into account all of the following factors;

BREED – short haired dogs seldom need a bath, but dogs that shed or have long hair may need to be bathed more often. Also harsh-textured coats repel dirt pretty well so they don’t get as dirty as a soft-coated dog.

SMELL – does your dog really smell bad or are you just sensitive to smells?

SKIN CONDITION – has your vet diagnosed your dog with allergies or dryness (seborrhoea) or hair loss (alopecia) and advised you to wash your dog?

LIFESTYLE – does your dog exercise in a park among other dogs or does your dog spend most of his time inside and sleeping on a dog bed? Your dog’s lifestyle will affect his cleanliness in different ways.

HEALTH REASON – bathing can soothe sensitive skin, which is common in dogs. However your vet should diagnose the condition before you shampoo your dog, or you may actually be exacerbating a problem and causing irritation to your dog, rather than helping.

2. Can I Just Use Human Shampoo or Soap?

A dog’s skin and hair is not like humans, so don’t use human shampoos and soaps on your dog as they are too harsh.

Basically, human shampoo is not good for dogs because their skin is more sensitive than ours. Human shampoos are designed to wash off the natural oils and wax on our hair. If used, these would leave your dog’s coat dull and brittle and could cause rashes. All dog shampoo should be in a neutral PH level (around 7) with no artificial colors or fragrances. Otherwise it could aggravate or cause skin and coat problems for your dog.

There is little or no regulation of pet grooming products, says veterinarian Dr Jean Hofve DVM, so companies can use perfumes, detergents and other potentially harmful chemicals. This is especially true of shampoos intended to kill fleas or solve skin problems like flaking or itching. Your dog’s skin can absorb many of these chemicals which can also get into the blood, and that can put a strain on the liver which has to break them down.

Natural pet grooming products that use mild ingredients — including safe herbs — are gentler on the skin and less likely to be absorbed and accumulated in the body.

A DIY Dog shampoo can be ideal for your dog if you follow the basic rules;

  1. Do not use detergents.
  2. Don’t add any potentially harmful chemicals.
  3. Exclude all artificial colors.
  4. Do not add artificial fragrances or perfumes.
Dog Shampoo

3. How Often Should I Shampoo?

Most dogs will benefit from a shampoo, however the frequency depends on your dog’s breed, smell, and health and lifestyle factors. Brief and frequent brushing of your dog’s coat is more essential for your dog’s overall health than shampooing your dog. To learn what else you will need to do and when, read our article on DIY Dog Grooming.

If you keep your dog fairly clean with regular brushing you might get away with fewer baths. That’s because brushing helps to reduce grease levels which can build up in a dog’s coat. Because it stimulates the skin, it also promotes good blood circulation. Now, the question of frequency varies among canine experts, so its best to ask your dog’s vet about what is right for your dog. In general, dogs need to be bathed about every 3 months, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®).

IMPORTANT: Do not use bathing as a home remedy to treat skin conditions. If your dog’s skin is red or itchy, has dry or wet patches or if he is losing hair, see a veterinarian for diagnosis.

Dog Brushes

4. What Should I Use To Shampoo?

A DIY Dog shampoo is an ideal solution for shampooing your dog as you will know precisely what is in it. There’s no reading and deciphering of labels needed. Some off-the-shelf products are often found chemically laden which can do more harm than good. Your DIY Dog Shampoo ingredients will be fresh and without any preservatives or artificial colors or fragrances added.

You make DIY Dog shampoo in a small batches and use it within a short period. Because there’s no waste, it is a very cost effective and natural shampoo solution for your dog.

DIY Dog shampoo – actually any dog shampoo – does not need to lather up to be effective.

Dog Shampoo

5. How To Prepare your DIY Dog Shampoo and DIY Dog Shampoo Rinse

The first step to washing your dog using a DIY Dog shampoo is to prepare both the Shampoo and the Shampoo Rinse.

Once these are both prepared you are ready for the fun part, and that’s washing your dog.

The 4 Key Ingredients of DIY Dog Shampoo.

1. Liquid Castile soap – is a natural soap which will clean your dog. Castile soap is traditionally formulated from the purest organic unrefined vegetable oils such as olive, coconut, flaxseed, and other organic oils.

The liquid castile soap should not contain any preservatives or synthetic detergents that will aggravate your dog’s skin.

2. Olive oil – contains three major antioxidants including vitamin E which is a natural skin moisturizer.

It is beneficial to use Olive oil as it penetrates deeply into the skin while also cleaning. It won’t clog pores or exacerbate skin conditions but it will rehydrate your dog’s hair.

3. Essential Oil – lavender is best as it is known to be a natural insect repellent. That helps to keep fleas and ticks away and it can also provide relief to dry, itchy skin. But only ever use it sparingly.

It is important to make sure you use Essential Oil and not a cheaper substitute which may be synthetic (not natural).

4. Water – to liquefy and bring all the other components together.

The best choice is filtered water, where harsh chemicals have been removed. However, if it isn’t an option, you can always boil the water first, but let it stand and cool before use.


In a clean container that can be capped to allow shaking of the ingredients, combine;

1 Cup of Water with

2 Tbs (tablespoons) Olive Oil adding

2 Tbs (tablespoons) Liquid Castille Soap and finally add

2 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil

Now, give it a good shake. Wet your dog and use the entire contents in one wash.

**** DIY Dog Shampoo does not need to lather to perform its cleaning function.

**** This DIY Dog Shampoo is to be used fresh, so ideally you should use it within 24 hours of mixing.


Wash off the DIY Dog shampoo with a thorough rinsing with water to remove any residual shampoo from your dog’s skin. This is important, so some veterinarians recommend rinsing for twice as long as you think is necessary.

Now that you have washed off the shampoo with water, follow up with a DIY Dog Shampoo Rinse.

DIY Dog Shampoo Ingredients

Here are all the ingredients you will need to make your own Dog Shampoo.

P.S. You probably already have the water but if your dog has any skin irritations or conditions, distilled water won’t at least aggravate them further.

The 2 Key Ingredients of DIY Dog Shampoo Rinse

1. Vinegar is most effective when used as a rinse after you’ve already shampooed and rinsed your dog.

Vinegar can be used to alleviate a skin problem or simply to enhance your dog’s coat. Due to its acidity and live enzymes, vinegar is said to kill the bacteria that cause flaking skin conditions.

2. Water – to dilute the vinegar (1 part vinegar to 5 parts water) and enable it to be poured over your dog (avoiding his eyes). Follow up the vinegar rinse with lots of clear water.


Combine the vinegar in a 1-part-to-5-parts mixture with warm water in a clean container that can be capped or closed to allow shaking.  Pour the vinegar rinse over your dog, taking care to avoid getting it in his eyes, and rub it in to distribute it through his coat. Finally, rinse your dog a couple times with clear water. While you are rinsing, scrub with your fingers all over to eliminate all residues.

Remember, in addition to the benefits to his skin and coat, the vinegar rinse will eliminate residue that your DIY Dog shampoo might leave behind. It can also help to soothe your dog’s itches, heal his skin and leave his coat soft and shiny.

DIY Dog Shampoo Ingredients

Here are all the ingredients you will need to make your own Dog Shampoo.

P.S. You probably already have the water but if your dog has any skin irritations or conditions, distilled water won’t at least aggravate them further.

DIY Dog Baths & Showers

6. Learn DIY Dog Grooming

Anyone can learn dog grooming – if you learn it the right way! Click on the image below and find out how you can learn dog grooming from a professional who has perfected the techniques most suitable for a dog owner who wants to get involved in some DIY Dog Grooming and SAVE MONEY doing it!

Click on the Image Above to Learn DIY Dog Grooming

To learn more about Dog Grooming, read our article on DIY Dog Grooming.Save


The post See How Easily You Can Make A Safe DIY Dog Shampoo appeared first on DIY Dog Projects.

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The right DIY Dog Bed could influence your dog to stay in his dog bed through the night.

image source

Your dog’s sleeping patterns can be interrupted for a variety of reasons so you will need to find out why and fix the cause so that your dog gets adequate rest.

If your dog’s sleeping problems have developed recently then it could be either a medical or behavior problem that is causing the disturbance. A visit to the vet can eliminate any concerns that there is a medical issue affecting your dog’s behavior and sleeping patterns.

Your dog’s disruptive behaviour during the night needn’t be tolerated and there are a few things you can do to help your dog sleep through.

DIY Dog Bed

Firstly, you can increase your dog’s comfort by making sure your dog is matched to his dog bed. Once you know his comfort has been taken care of, you can move on to training your dog to respond to a regular routine which will help him to sleep through the night.


Did you know your dog will spend anywhere between 10 and 18 hours a day sleeping and laying around? That works in our favour so you shouldn’t have any difficulty in training your dog to sleep in his bed through the night. Read our review of Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer . You really don’t have to put up with it any longer when Doggy Dan has the tried and tested solution available for you.

The 3 Basics Needed For A Dog Bed

You can increase your dog’s comfort by matching a DIY Dog Bed to your dog and to his sleeping patterns. The ideal dog bed should take into account all three of the following.

  1. Comfortable and fully support the size of your dog.
  2. The right style so your dog can get in and out of the bed easily whilst also supporting your dog’s sleeping habits.
  3. A Washable dog bed that will maintain your dog’s overall health.
Dog Beds

Most of these come in a range of sizes and colors. Click into the Amazon links below for full details and specifications.

Avoid The 3 Biggest DIY Dog Bed Mistakes Mistake #1 – Choosing the Wrong Size

image source

The wrong size of DIY Dog bed contributes to your dog’s discomfort and may be causing  disturbing night time behavior.

  • Does your dog hang out of the bed?
  • Is your dog’s weight supported in the bed?
  • Does your dog wake up well rested?
  • Is your dog comfortable?
  • Has your dog grown out of his bed?
  • How old is that dog bed? Has it been his bed since he was a puppy many years ago?
  • Or is your dog so uncomfortable or smelly or allergenic during his rest time that it may be contributing to his disturbing behavior in some way? Is that a washable dog bed?
How To Choose The Right Size

1. Always consider the size of DIY Dog bed to the size and dimensions, age, fitness, and health of your dog.

2. Consider how your dog sleeps.

If your dog curls up, a small cozy bed could be just the thing as long as it matches the dog’s dimensions.

Does your dog sprawl out with his legs straight out?  The bed should be of a size to accommodate your dog’s torso with enough width to support the head and feet. If your dog also likes to hang his head over the side of the bed you may need to consider a bed with some support for that area.

Is your dog an active dog who is still active when he’s asleep? Does your dog make lots of movements or noises whilst he’s sleeping? Your dog may need a flat bed that won’t knot around him.  Measuring your dog when he’s fully laid out and then adding extra inches will allow you to select a style which gives him plenty of room to “run-free” all night.

Does your dog prefer to sleep on his back? You will need to be measure him for length from head to tail. That needs a firm but soft (not hard) mattress for good spinal support.  Regardless that your dog may turn on his side at some time it is important is to make sure the bed is long enough to support the spine.

As a general rule, your dog should be able to lie flat, completely stretched out on his side, without hanging off the bed.

Large dog beds are readily available and are most suited to large dogs. Remember that the dog bed should be comfortable for your dog’s size and allow for how your dog sleeps.

Giant dog beds are also readily available so there is no reason for your Great Dane (or similar) to be squashed into a large dog bed when it’s clear it’s not the right size.

Dog Beds

Most of these come in a range of sizes and colors. Click into the Amazon links below for full details and specifications.

Mistake #2 – Choosing the Wrong Style

Not the Right Style of DIY Dog Bed for this Dog!

The wrong style of DIY Dog bed can be the cause of your dog’s disturbing behavior. These can range from access difficulties through to being potentially dangerous.

  • Is your dog’s bed difficult for your dog to get in or out of?
  • Does the bed provide appropriate cushioning support for your dog’s joints, bones and muscles?
  • Is the bed lacking warmth from adequate insulation during those cold days and nights?
  • Does the bed have potentially dangerous fittings which could be chewed off and swallowed?
  • Is your dog bed appropriate to the age of your dog?
  • Take a fresh look at that dog bed.  Is it just plain unattractive?
  • How old is that dog bed your dog is sleeping on? Is it a washable dog bed?
How To Choose The Right Style

Always consider the style of bed to the size and dimensions, age, health and habits of your dog.

Dog beds with fussy fixtures and fittings such as buttons and zippers don’t have to be potentially dangerous if your dog is a chewer. Addressing the chewing behavioral issue is a quicker and better outcome than having to assess the suitability of a dog bed to an unwanted dog behavior.

You will need to take extra care checking if your dog’s bed is made from any hazardous materials as these can be dangerous if your dog likes to chew.  And absolutely do not even consider cooling or heated beds if your pet likes to chew – at least until you have addressed the behavioral issue of chewing.

Always make sure that the if the dog bed has a non-skid bottom or use non-slip matting if this is not a feature; the type commonly used under floor rugs.

On a lighter note, do think about matching the style and color of your dog’s bed with the décor and style of the room where you will place the bed. There are many options available to ensure your dog’s bed is not an eyesore!

Take action to ensure your dog is not in any danger in his bed and eliminate disturbing behavior. Dog Beds

Most of these come in a range of sizes and colors. Click into the Amazon links below for full details and specifications.

Mistake #3 – Consider Ease Of Cleaning as a Priority

From a dog owner’s point of view, washability is the priority when selecting a DIY Dog bed for your dog. It is absolutely essential that you have a washable dog bed.

To control odors and dirt and contribute to your dog’s overall health you must be able to maintain a clean, dry and fresh bed.  The scariest things in your dog’s bed are the ones that you cannot see. They include thousands of microorganisms including external parasites, ringworms, roundworms, hookworms, fleas, bacteria, viruses and fungi according to the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH).

  • Are all the components of your dog’s bed – mattress, rolls, cushions, covers, and blankets – machine washable?
  • Is the dog bed cover easily removable?
  • Are there extra covers available?
  • Is there a need for waterproofing the bed?
  • Does the filling have a protectant on it or a protective cover?
  • Can you easily machine wash the mattress?
  • Is the bed durable?
The 3 Things You Must Do to Maintain Cleanliness (and household health)
  1. Wash your dog’s bedding regularly.

Pay close attention to the washing instructions and look for ability and ease of washing all the components of the dog bed. A washable dog bed should fully washable including internals, fittings and the external cover.

Consider your dog’s activity level when determining how often to wash your dog’s bedding. Also how much they shed, the amount of time they spend outdoors and if they (or you) have allergies. If those factors are high, you may want to increase washing to twice a week according to Kathy Backus, DVM, Holistic Veterinary Services, in Kaysville, Utah. The longer you go between washes, the harder it will be for your washing machine to remove all the potential pathogens from the bedding.

All dog bedding—including any blankets or cushion covers a dog may come in contact with—should be laundered at the highest temperature that the fabric can stand.

2. Keep your dog clean and well groomed. Read our recent articles on DIY Dog Grooming and DIY Dog Shampoo and save.

3. Apply flea and tick medication regularly.

Dog Beds

Most of these come in a range of sizes and colors. Click into the Amazon links below for full details and specifications.

Training is Always the Answer

At DIY Dog Projects, we think that teaching your dog good behavior is the most important and most rewarding project you can do for and with your dog. We hope this article has helped to inform you about the washable dog bed. But that will only be the first step as you will need to train your dog to stay in his dog bed.

The post Don’t Make These Mistakes When Selecting a Dog Bed appeared first on DIY Dog Projects.

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