Friday, January 7, 2011

      Dogs have domesticated and bred for many different uses from the wolf. Breeders have been tweaking the breeds to make the perfect dog for a specific job. Since they have wild wolves in their blood line they still have bits of the original instincts that the wolf had for survival.
      Dogs have a pack mentality, which means they have a leader and all dogs have a place in the ranks.  So in the domestic dog it is looking for one of two things, a pack leader, or a place in the pack. So that is why I have been stressing that you must be the pack leader and stay in that position at all times with your dog. This will assist in training and it makes it much easier because your dog will know what its place is and that it has to be obedient to the pack leader.
      The wild dog pack has a leader which is called the Alpha Male. This dog has gained his position through being the assertive dog and quite possible he had to fight for the spot. And he also has to continually defend his position.
      I would like to apologize for this short post but I have had a family emergency come up that I have been working with. But I will end this post with a book review of my favorite dog training book. This book is so detailed and insightful it will pretty much be the only book that you will need.
The Dog's Mind: Understanding Your Dog's Behavior (Howell reference books)

The Dog's Mind: Understanding Your Dog's Behavior (Howell reference books)

Here is a link to Amazon for this book.

Editorial Reviews
Product Description
"Quite simply this is an excellent book. It is well-written, with snatches of dry humour. It should be mandatory reading for anybody who keeps a dog or has intentions of so doing." —R. W. F. Poole, Daily Telegraph
How do dogs perceive the world about them? How do they see, hear, learn, relate to their owners? How large are their brains, what is their emotional makeup? Why do they suffer from stress and how can it be coped with? Over the last few years a substantial body of knowledge has been built up about the psychology of dog behavior. Combining more than twenty years of practical experience as a veterinary clinician with a personal knowledge and understanding of the latest international research, Dr. Bruce Fogle has written the most inclusive and relevant book on how the canine mind works.
About the Author
Bruce Fogle, D.V.M., M.R.C.V.S, is a practicing veterinarian and lectures internationally at veterinary colleges on animal behavior. He has written several books on the behavioral problems of pets, including The Cat's Mind.

Product Details
  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Howell Book House; 1 edition (October 14, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876055137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876055137

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Excissive Barking

      Do you want a quieter dog, one that does not bark and put his two cents in all the time? Well it’s not as hard as you thing to train your dog to be quieter. Like all dog training its repetition and letting your dog know what you want from it.

      There are a few things you can do to help your dog stop barking and one is to follow the outline I laid out in my last blog (Jumping Dogs Just Want Love.) It comes down to just ignoring the behavior you are looking to get and ignoring what you don’t want. This is a good place to start.

      While you are working on your dog and it is barking never yell back or use a sharp “no!” When a dog is barking and you try to overpower it by yelling it is just telling the dog it’s ok because you are doing it too. Because we all know what kind of a cascading affect a neighborhood dog that is barking has. Soon all the dogs in the neighborhood are having a good ol’ time making noise.

      If you are still having difficulty with your dog speaking its mind all the time it may be time for some new tricks. A good idea would be to teach your dog to speak; this will give your dog a reason to bark. This is accomplished by rewarding your dog when it barks after you say speaks (or you can use any word you choose.) After time your dog will learn that it will get a reward but only on cue. Another command you can teach is quiet. It’s just like training for speak but rewarding when your quiets down after barking. But remember when giving these commands say it calmly and with a normal tone of voice so you do not get into a shouting match with Fido.
      Tomorrow I was planning on getting to more of your questions. But I have decided to lay some ground work and discuss dog behavior. I feel that this will help once I cover some issues like aggression and others. This will help you discern what your dog is thinking and why he is doing what he is to other dogs or people.

      Thank you for all your questions and I promise I will get to them. I really enjoy reading your comments!

Thanks Again!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jumping Dogs Just Want Love!

      Does your dog jump up on you and the guests? Have you seen the ads on television showing a device that is supposed to break a dogs jumping habit? Well that device is a waste of money in my eyes. Training a dog not to jump it is not as easy as pushing a button on a device and pointing the high pitched noise at your dog. It takes time and repetition in stopping this annoying habit.

     To stop your dog to stop jumping is more of a punishment tactic, not spanking or anything like that. Ordinarily a dog will jump out of excitement caused by wanting to be petted. That’s why it most often happens after you come or when a guest stops by. So the best way to deal with this behavior is with conditioning the dog to realize that it is not getting what it wants when it jumps.

      Next time your dog starts to jump give it a sharp verbal discouragement like, “No!” or “Aahh!” The reason this works is when wild dogs or wolves are in a pack the alpha male will give it a sharp bark or growl when he is not pleased with the actions of his subordinates. This is one reason it is important for you to remain the pack leader at all times. Along with the sharp verbal discouragement, turn your back on the dog and keep your back towards the dog. This is not what the dog wants; it is looking for attention so over time this will discourage the jumping.

      Ok now for the reward for a good dog. With training your dog not to jump the best reward for doing the behavior you are looking for is attention and love. So once the dog is calm and is not jumping anymore give it some love. And there is nothing like a “good girl/boy” to your dog they live to please you. Just to remember to always reward the behavior that you want from your dog. Never pet it while jumping that will just encourage the jumping.
      Ok now what I feel is the hardest part of this all; getting all family members and guests to be on the same page with this training. Because people have a bad habit of petting a jumping dog because they want to be nice to it. So be sure to inform everyone that the dog comes in contact with that you are working with the dog and his jumping.

     One last note I know a lot of people say “down” when the dog is jumping. But “down” is used for a command to have the dog lay down. Here is the basic list of commands that I like to use to teach a dog: sit, down, stay, here, heel, and leave it.

     Remember to enjoy your dog today!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Some Dog Facts

-Female dog bites are twice as numerous as male bites.
-The name of the dog on the Cracker Jack box is Bingo.
-The Beatles song Martha My Dear was written by Paul McCartney about his sheepdog Martha."
-The canine nose works one million times more efficiently than the human nose.
-The average dog has 42 permanent teeth.

  • Rin Tin Tin was the first American dog movie star and signed his own contracts for 22 movies with a pawprint.
  • Toto’s role in The Wizard of Oz was played by a female Cairn Terrier named Terry.
  • In the late 1800’s, Lassie type Collies were known as Scottish Sheepdogs.
  • Former US President Teddy Roosevelt’s pit bull Pete, once ripped off a French Ambassador’s trousers at a White House event.
  • Zorba, an English Mastiff is the heaviest dog on record, weighing 155kgs at the age of 8 in 1989.
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the smallest dog on record was a Yorkshire Terrier in Great Britain, who weighed just 4 ounces.
  • The longest lived dog, according to the Guinnes Book of World Records, was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey, who lived to be 29.
  • The first living being to travel in space was a small mixed breed dog named Laika. She was sent into space in an artificial earth satellite in 1957 by the Russian government.
  • John F Kennedy’s terrier, Charlie sired 4 puppies with Liaka’s daughter Pushinka.
  • Dalmatian puppies are pure white at birth.
  • Dogs do not have an appendix.
  • An adult dog has 42 teeth.
  • The only sweat glands a dog has are between the paw pads. The only way they can discharge heat is by panting.
  • If a dog isn’t spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate and their offspring can product 67,000 dogs in 6 years.
  • The most successful mountain rescue dog ever was a St Bernard named Barry, who lived during the early 1800’s and saved 40 lives.
  • Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, most of them made with the ears. Unfortunately the likes of bulldogs only have 10 due to their breeding.
  • One of the world’s oldest breeds of dog is the Saluki. It is thought to have been developed in Ancient Mesopotamia around 3000 B.C.
  • A dog’s sense of smell is one of the keenest in nature. If a pot of stew was cooking on a cooker a human would smell the stew, while the dog could smell the beef, carrots and all the other ingredients in the stew.
  • It was recently discovered that dogs do see in colour, just not as vivid as the colour that humans see.
  • Two dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic. They escaped on early lifeboats carrying so few people that no one objected. Miss Margaret Hays of New York brought her Pomeranian with her in lifeboat no. 7, while Henry Sleeper Harper of the publishing family boarded lifeboat no. 3 with his Pekinese, Sun Yat Sen.
  • Giving dogs chocolate could be fatal for them because theobromine, an ingredient of chocolate stimulates the central nervous system and cardiac muscle.
  • In the original 101 Dalmations movie, Pongo has 72 spots and Perdita has 68 while the puppies had 32 each.
  • The largest dogs among all breeds, at least in terms of height, is the Irish Wolfhound.
  • Nearly all but two breeds of dogs have pink tongues. The two exceptions? The Chow Chow and the Shar-pei, both with black tongues.
  • The Poodle haircut was originally meant to improve the dog's swimming abilities as a retriever, with the pom-poms left in place to warm their joints.
  • Cats can see a lot better than dogs. In fact, dogs first distinguish objects by movement, then brightness, and finally by shape.
  • Among dogs officially registered with kennel clubs in the U.S., Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed followed by Rottweilers and German Shepherds.
  • All dogs, regardless of breed, are direct descendants of wolves and technically of the same species.
  • A dog's whiskers -- found on the muzzle, above the eyes and below the jaws -- are technically known as vibrissae. They are touch-sensitive hairs than actually sense minute changes in airflow.
  • Dogs are capable of locating the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second by using their swiveling ears like radar dishes.
  • Dogs have a sense of smell that is one of the keenest in nature. Humans might smell a pot of stew cooking on the stove, but a dog can distinguish the smells of each individual ingredient, from the beef itself to the potatoes.
  • The ancient Chinese royalty loved the Pekingese, carrying them tucked into the sleeves of their royal robes.
  • Dachshunds were bred to fight badgers in their dens.
  • The oldest breed of dog native to North America is the Chihuahua.
  • Survivors of the Titanic included two dogs: a Pekingese belonging to Henry Sleeper Harper and a Pomeranian belonging to Miss Margaret Hays.
  • Every minute, dogs take ten to thirty breaths.
  • The only mammals with prostates are humans and dogs.
  • There are 42 teeth in a dog's mouth.
  • Whippets can reach a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour.
  • Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not color blind but can, in fact, see color. However, their color scheme is not as vivid as ours and can be likened to our vision at twilight.
  • There are more than five million puppies born in the United States each year.
  • Have you ever seen a dog curled up with his tail covering his nose? They do that to keep the nose warm in cold weather.
  • Many dogs' eyes reflect the color green in the dark, but some also reflect orange or red.
  • The top five favorite breeds of dogs in the US are: Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Beagle, and Dachshund.
  • The Doberman breed was created in the 1860's by Louis Doberman, a German tax-collector who created the dog to protect him while he worked.
  • The name Pug is believed to have derived from this dog's resemblance to the pug monkey.
  • The Basenji is the only barkless dog in the world.
  • Greyhounds can reach a speed of up to 45 miles per hour.
  • When a puppy is born, he is blind, deaf, and toothless.
  • Dogs don't actually sweat by salivating. They sweat through the pads on their feet.
  • Smiling at a dog causes him to think you are baring your teeth to show aggression.
  • There are about 68 million dogs with owners in the United States.
  • The Taco Bell dog is actually a female Chihuahua named Gidget.
  • One of the very first animals domesticated by humans was the dog.
  • The "spring" in Springer Spaniel referred to this dog's ability to spring or startle game.
  • Dogs have been domesticated for 10,000 years.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Part 2 Potty Training - Outdoors

      Now it’s time to help your dog learn the proper place to do their business. It’s your job to take the time and effort to help your dog outside and reward it for a job well done. Most dog bathroom accidents that happen indoors are the fault of the owner. Now don’t get upset that I said that just give me a chance to explain how to train your dog to go outdoors. The success of your dog being potty trained is entirely in your hands.

     First step is to take the dog out often. Take the dog out right away in the morning when you let it out of its crate. Also take it out after right after every meal, any nap times, and anytime your dog plays for a while. These are all times that seem to be the most productive for the dog to go potty. Also take your dog out every time it goes to the door, this will start a pattern that when it goes to the door it means it has to go out. Also if it whines at night while in its crate take it out right away. This all will be work and it has to be done for success.

     Now when your dog does potty outdoors praise it and give it some love. Your dog loves nothing better than to make you happy. Doing this over time, will condition your dog this is the only approved place to go to the bathroom. Be patient as it will take time and repetition.

     Now if your dog does go potty indoors immediately take it out.  Do not talk to your dog during this time try your best to ignore it. Or if the dog is done going just quietly clean up the mess and ignore your dog. Ignoring your dog is a very powerful tool that can show them that you are not happy with what they are doing. And when you do clean up urine use a pet stain and odor remover (don’t use ammonia) as the dog will continue to go where there is the urine odor.

      While at home keep an eye on your dog.  Any activities you witness them doing before going to the bathroom (such as sniffing excessively, walking is circles) take it out quickly.

     This all comes down to you and you taking the time and energy taking the dog out at the proper times and also your attention. You will need to keep your eyes and ears on your dog and make sure that you do your part and it will make potty training easier on you and your dog.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Your Questions: Thank You!

       I want to thank you all for the wonderful comments and questions. I was surprised how well accepted and read my blog has become, Thank You!
      Since I have been getting so many questions my plans have changed. I will still write on the topics I have outlined here a couple times a week. With so many questions I feel that I can make a few entries a week just addressing your questions! Keep the questions rolling in I love reading them and responding to them.

Here are your questions:

llafnow337: Would love to hear some input on food aggression.

      Food aggression is rooted in the dog’s behavior from when they were all wolves. It all boils down to a pack mentality. While they are in a pack the alpha male eats his entire fill uninterrupted. Once he is done the rest of the pack eats the rest, sometimes fighting or acting aggressive to get what they want.
     The food aggressive behavior in your dog can be one of two things: First it could be that the dog is not sure of his place in these ranks. Second it could be a trust issue that your dog has developed with humans. I tell you this because I feel it is really important to recognize what your dog may be thinking because it makes it easier to conceive a battle plan for training.

      The conditioning that I have found to be helpful to any food aggression is to do these simple things              
      1. Take the food dish away for a week. Have your dog eat from your hand a few kibbles at a time.
      2. Give the food dish back but only feed a few kibbles at a time. When placing the kibbles in the food dish reach your hand down into the dish to place the kibble there. If while doing this there is aggression give a sharp negative reinforcing “NO!” Then let it calm down before you give it more food. 
      3. Slowly give more and more food to the dog in its dish until it is up to a full serving. Also maybe feed a couple times a day rather than just one.
      4. Like I keep saying make sure your dog knows you’re the alpha dog. This may be accomplished by feeding the dog after you and the family eats. 

I have had a couple people ask about dogs eating kitty litter.
      Although not a good thing, the dog feels it needs to eat the kitty litter for health issues. I will relate this to dogs eating dirt or even worse their or other dog feces. Dogs feel that they need to eat these things to keep healthy. When a dog eats dirt it is because their body is telling them that they have a vitamin deficiency. And it’s the same with eating feces, there is some sort of malnutrition issues.
I will offer a couple solutions to this:
     First this may sound too simple but move the kitty litter box to a spot where the cat can get to it but the dog can’t. Maybe up on a table or something of that sort since cats have no trouble jumping up. And second is make sure your dog is getting a proper diet of a quality dog food. And if it continues you may have to go to a vet and get a supplement.
     This is a harder behavior to train out of a dog because they are hard wired to care for themselves in the wild.

     Look for more of your questions being answered later this week! 

Scaredy Dog….Scaredy Dog!!! How to deal with a fearful best friend.

Scaredy Dog….Scaredy Dog!!!

      A few of my readers have mentioned that they have adopted dogs which have come from abusive owners. This is a very tough situation for you and your dog to readjust to. As for you, you just want to show the dog as much love as you can and reassure it that it will never be beaten again. And your dog is unsure about the intentions of all people no matter how sincere you may be. It will be a learning process for both of you and it will take time. But a word of warning this insecurity may not be correctable.

       I have dealt with a few dogs that have been skittish and afraid of people and I have learned that it is actually harder on you than your dog. I say that because I know, like me, you will want to comfort your dog at the first sign of fright or skittishness. Well that is actually the complete opposite of what you want to do. This is where it gets hard on you, when your dog acts like it is scared or backing away just stop what you are doing and ignore the behavior but don’t ignore the dog. Because when you pet and sweet talk your dog while it is in a scared mode it will associate attention with acting like that. So make the attention and sweet talking on your terms and when the dog is not acting afraid.

      If your dog is scared to approach new people or people they are really not comfortable with there is a way to help them overcome this fear. I have had great success with having a few friends help me out with this one. Have your friend come over to your house (because this is where your dog will be most comfortable) and have then sit on the floor with their back to the dog. Sooner or later the dog will get curious and get the nerve to go over and smell when they do not feel threatened. When your dog does go over to sniff and look around have your friend keep still. But also have some good smelling and tasting treats with your friend to give the dog when it gets comfortable. This may take several minutes but your dog will come and sniff and hopefully smell the treats. Just have your friend feed your dog treats from their but no petting yet. Keep all movements slow and unthreatening as possible. (Also make sure cell phones will not go off and scare the dog.)

      Your dog will more likely approach someone from their back because that is the most unthreatening side to approach from. That is an instinct from when they were pack animals and the business end of the dog is its mouth. Also when you pet a scared dog try to stay away from the head and neck. That is the place most likely to be attacked by other dogs. Like I said before dogs have the pack mentality and their instincts are that we people are just a bigger dog than they are. They will instinctively think we will treat them like another dog and think we are attacking them as if we were a dog.

      Also take your dog for walks and let them explore their surroundings. Take them to the dog park to meet and greet with other dogs. But while around other dogs keep your dog on a leash and only meet one dog at a time and try to keep it a dog the size of yours or smaller. But do not over do it and look for signs your dog has had enough for the day. Take puppy steps in this and it will show progress little by little.

      Here is my warning… Never put your face in a dogs face that seems scared or never put your hands on 
both side of their faces while down at their level looking at them. Just imagine if you were scared of someone and they went to get in your face as we say. You would be scared to death and would fight for your life. So put yourself in the dogs collar (they don’t wear shoes) and see it from their perspective.

      Again I’m sorry for the slow posts this week it has been a rough week for me and my family but I hope to be on track again here real soon!

      Remember to love your dog today!