fearful dog

Bringing Home A Fearful Dog

fearful dog

What you need to know about caring for your fearful dog?

  • Fearful dogs are a huge escape risk and if they escape they can be really hard to catch. Make sure you have current tags and microchip information on your dog at all times.
  • You will also want to make sure your fence is free of holes and possibly add a baby gate to the front door if you don’t have a backup fence.
  • Your fearful dog will need to have a calm environment to decompress from shelter life. For some dogs this could be a few days for others; especially dogs coming from puppy mills or hoarding situations, this could be months.
  • You should set up safe places around the house where your dog can escape from kids in the home or guests. These should be treated as no entry areas for children. Examples of these could be mudrooms, bathrooms, a dog bed in the corner or under a table.
  • Make notes as you discover things that trigger your dog’s fear. Keep a written list.

If you know your dog struggles with fear it is important to understand that you should have a physical and behavioral evaluation done on your dog. You may want to ask your vet about prescription anti-anxiety meds to help your dog cope with daily life.

Rules for living with an extremely fearful dog:

  • Your dog should have a routine; small changes can cause your new dog stress.
  • Long walks same time every day, guided away from stress producing stimuli. Avoid places like playgrounds, groups of people and busy streets. You may choose odd hours to walk if you live in a busy city. If your dog is too scared to go on walks relaxation time in a fenced yard is another option.
  • Continue to make notes about your dog’s progress and setbacks.
  • Plan on doing a behavior assessment with a trainer about every 6 months to make sure you are on the right track.
  • One handler, sorry I would love to say this isn’t true and encourage everyone to be on board, but that isn’t what is best for your dog. Fearful dogs NEED to bond with a person, and being the center of attention may set this back. Bonding helps combat the stress hormones.
  • Time is key, it is better to take too much time than not enough. The biggest mistake you can make is to push to fast or force your dog.
  • Provide your dog with escape routes such as dog doors to a secure yard or garage for times of stress. Since successful fear aggression will become a self-reinforcing behavior. Dogs with escape routes typically try escaping first.
  • Always remember that no dog can learn while his brain is flooded with stress hormones. Stress hormones cause “brain freeze”.

Helping your fearful dog heal

Fear can be managed and healed, but not trained away. There are skills that you can use to help your dog when scared, but fear will continue to lurk deep inside your dog’s amygdala. Your job is to help your dog recover from fearful events quicker and experience fearful events less frequently.

Work to build your dog’s self-confidence through positive training and gentle encouragement. When it is time to start trying to teach obedience start with come, touch and eye contact these can all be useful skills for a fearful dog to learn.

Be your fearful dog’s advocate. If you feel your trainer, vet, friend or spouse is being to forceful have the courage to care and be your dog’s advocate.

Another dog

Fearful dogs often bond quicker to another dog and adding another dog to the home may help your dog with the process. Be picky if you choose to go this route. You want to make sure that the dog you choose is gentle, non-reactive, confident and friendly. It should also be a balance of good with your dog and respectful of your dogs space. Set up several meet and greets before firmly deciding on a dog.

Puppy Biting Solutions

If shortly after bringing your new puppy home it feels like there’s no safe place to hide your hands and feet from sharp puppy teeth you are not alone.

Yes, puppies are attracted to feet because they are at their level and feet move so they have to be caught. 🙂

I hope this will help you teach your puppy how to be gentle with his teeth and stop the biting.

Here are some stuff you’ll need to pick up from the store to make the process go a little smoother:

  • At least two puppy kongs
  • Peanut butter or if there are allergies try honey
  • A toy on a string such as a rope toy, or squeaky toy tied to a long rope. (This is a special training toy so don’t leave it out) only use it when it is time to train.

Examples of toys on strings

Before we can teach our puppies not to bite we need to teach them that human skin is very fragile. This works towards teaching bite inhibition.

Why shouldn’t we just skip to training our puppy not to bite?

Well, as tempting as that is bite inhibition is very important for puppies to learn.

At some point in your dog’s life time he may feel uncomfortable or painful.  Bite inhibition has to be taught so that in cases such as a vet examination when a dog may feel the need to bite they understand how hard they can bite without actually hurting somebody. This could be the difference between a vet tech receiving stitches or just a wet arm.

Training Step 1

Teaching your puppy to be gentle.

1.Grab your supplies for this you’re going to need to have either peanut butter or honey.

2.Put a little bit of honey or peanut butter on the back of your hand.

3. Then sit on your puppies level which could be on the ground or if you allow your puppy on the couch on the couch.

4. Show your puppy the tasty treat on the back of your hand. As your puppy starts to lick the back of your hand repeat gentle over and over as your puppy licks.

If at any point in time you feel your puppy’s teeth.

Say “YIKE” as high pitched as you can.

“Yike” is not a cue word, because it doesn’t tell your puppy what to do. “Yike” is also not a replacement for the word no.

We are using “Yike” simply to distract your puppy for a millisecond. Once your puppy moves away from your hand with his mouth stand up and wash your hands.

This ends the session.

Doing this will teach your puppy that if he’s rough he misses out on a reward.

Do this 1-2 times a day.

When puppies are together with their littermates they learn the same way. When puppies are playing and one gets too rough the puppy getting bitten will yelp. Then no longer want to play with the rough sibling…. at least for a few minutes.

Training Step 2

Stopping biting in the act when biting feet or kids.

If you drop a treat can you have your puppy “leave it” on request?

Teaching leave it is really easy and will go a long way in curbing puppy biting.

If you still need to teach a good “Leave it” then click here and teach your puppy “leave it” first.

The next time your puppy gets nippy when your walking try this:

1. Freeze and stop walking.   Movement excites puppies and can be very rewarding so if you continue walking while your puppy attacks your feet you ARE rewarding the behavior.

2. Stay frozen and say “Leave it” and the second your puppy complies reward your puppy by allowing him to chase his toy on a string… a much more appropriate outlet for chase. Then ask for a sit and continue this play session for at least five minutes.

3. Then after a fun session of chase the actual toy provide your puppy with a stuffed and frozen kong. This will help bring your puppy back down to a calmer state of mind.

Training Step 3

Stopping biting during down time.

The next time you’re relaxing trying to watching television and your puppy tries to chew on you try this exercise:

1. Freeze with your arms crossed and no excessive movement. The more you move the more you are rewarding the puppy for nipping.

2. Say “leave it” in a calm clear tone. The second your puppy complies reward your puppy with a fun chase session with his toy on a string. After a good 1-2 minute chase session encourage your puppy to chew on stuffed and frozen kong toy.

When you know you plan on relaxing try to be proactive and exercise your puppy before sitting down to relax. Provide your puppy with a Kong stuffed with peanut butter and frozen or a puppy safe chew toy.

Training Step 3

Teach your puppy that biting loose friends.

Set up a training station somewhere like the living room floor.

Use a a tether attached to the leg of a coffee table. Put a dog bed and a kong within reach of your puppy and sit close. You can watch TV or play on your phone while you do this.

When your puppy starts nipping say “Yike” as high as you can and go sit on the couch. 5-10 minutes later comeback and repeat.

Still having trouble? You might have a management problem.

Here are some rules to follow that will make training your puppy not to bite go even more smoothly:

1. Don’t allow anyone in the home to use their hands as a toy for the puppy to chase or bite. Consistency is very important so your puppy has a clear understanding of what’s allowed.

2. Exercise your dog before you plan on sitting down to relax.

3. Keep a leash on the puppy if the puppy is nipping small kids so you can easily cut in if needed. Teach the kids to freeze or be a tree if the puppy jumps or nips. You can also play red light green light.

If your still having trouble try consulting with a professional trainer in your area.

Hyper Dogs

Let’s think about the dogs that we share our homes with.

Huskies are bred to pull a heavy load over rough terrain day in and day out. Boarder collies were bred to be physically and mentally active working along side their handlers day in and day out. The Cane Corso (KAH-neh-KOR-soh) was adapted as wild boar hunting, farming, livestock droving, and most famously guarding farmsteads. Beagles were bred to be enthusiastic and vocal rabbit hunters… so how do we meet the basic needs of our beloved canine counter parts?

It’s your job to provide your dog with his own little job, even if it is just doing tricks.

We must begin by recognizing that a yard… even a big one is not enough for even our lazier breeds such as pugs and bassets.

Yes, some dogs of even active breeds manage to acclimate to living the mundane resistance of being a house/yard dog… but for how long were we able to accept dogs being fed “kibble and bits” or “Ol’ Roy” as being good enough?

So, how do we ensure we are meeting our dogs needs?

*New Places, New Things– Your dog should get exposed to at least three new place, training exercises, or things every week. Things like climbing wood piles to earn a toy, going to agility classes, or going to a new lake or brewery keeps your dog mentally stimulated. Teach them a new trick or ask for a new behavior like climbing into a box.

Puppy Note: puppies should be exposed to at least 6 new things a week.

This will keep your dog socializing too!

*Mental Stimulation– Dogs should be provided with a minimum of 1 hour minutes of mental stimulation each and every day. This could include obedience training, trick training, hiding toys for your dog to find in the yard or kong toys. This should be a little longer for breeds like chihuahuas, border collies or shepherds.

Puppy note: Keep your training sessions short with puppies and remember you can do more frequent shorter sessions.

*Physical Exercise: This one varies more while some breeds like Dogue De Bordeauxs should have a minimum of an hour of physical enrichment every day such as two long walks or a short jog, other breeds like Boston Terriers or Labradors may need closer to three hours of very active physical exercise like swimming, running or agility. Dont let the idea of this must exercise overwhelm you. I did compile a list of ways that you can cheat on this if you don’t feel like it’s practical.Here is a link for ways to cheat if your too busy or not active enough to meet your dog’s needs:busy life & a board dog.

*Challenge Your Dog: Challenge your dog at least once a day. You can challenge your dog to swim out a little farther to get the ball, hid a toy in a hard spot, stay a little longer or climb a big rock or leave his favorite toy. Challenging your dog in this way builds a stronger bond and creates trust. It also helps your dog become confident and stay confident.

When dogs don’t have their basic needs met they begin to develop behavior issues. Most of the time when these behaviors are brought to my attention the behaviors are not surprising. Beagles barking and digging, Huskies climbing the fence and escaping and Border Collies herding the children around the yard it’s to be expected when their basic needs aren’t being satisfied. All too frequently very common behavior issues can often be solved by meeting your dog’s need.

Keep in mind that your dog is an individual. Senior Dogs may have special needs as do puppies. More so you can never physically tire out a border collie. However you can Tire them out mentally. Create your dogs stimulation plan by keeping your dog’s breed in mind. If you have a mix breed just use your best guess.

Be creative and use the world around you!

Training and Animal Welfare

reward training shelter dogsAnimal welfare is finally getting to a place where animal shelters are recognizing the need to provide enrichment and training.  Educating owners and providing dogs with life skills is becoming an essential part of best practices for shelters and rescues.

Why do we choose reward based training for shelter dogs? 

Shelter dogs are under huge stress.   It goes against animal welfare to knowingly add additional stressors to their life.

There are two ways to change a behavior:

  1. Make the unwanted behavior less rewarding- adds stress
  2. Make an alternative behavior more rewarding- decreases stress

It really is that simple, but why do we choose reward based training?  Reward based training is more forgiving of handler mistakes. If an owner, volunteer or foster’s timing is off or if you miss use a tool with reward based training the dog simply gets an extra treats.

Since reward based training is more forgiving it makes it easier for volunteers who aren’t professional dog trainers to be effective.  Reward trained behaviors also transition easier to the new home.   An older person or younger child can withhold a reward, but they may not be capable of implementing effective body blocking techniques.   It works even if you are a smaller person handling a larger stronger dog.

It also builds confidence in the dog.  A large number of shelter dogs lack confidence. Confidence is needed for a adopter to have a smooth first trip to the vet and a confident dog will transition more easily to new environments.

Why is it important for shelters to offer training to their residents?

It provides mental stimulation known as enrichment, increases how quickly animals get adopted, prevents bad habits from developing and helps keep the dog in their new home.

When you think about why dogs come to the shelter in the first place the demographics of a surrendered dog are worth mentioning.  Most dogs surrendered to an animal shelter are adolescent dogs in their teenage years.  Why?  Well my guess is it’s because they have puppy brains and adult bodies.  They are coming into their teenage years and owners often mistake their lack of self control and focus as “Rebellion”.  Common puppy problems go from cute to annoying pretty quickly.

Training in the shelter starts with clear communication. If one volunteer is teach off means no jumping and another is using down and one is saying here while the other says “come” that can be confusing.

What about fosters?

Foster parents play a HUGE role in adoptability of their foster dogs.  They can also play a even bigger role in if an adoption sticks or not.

Foster parents of puppies are responsible for insuring that puppies grow up to become confident, stable dogs that developed bite inhibition during puppy hood.  Puppy fosters should be guided in finding safe ways to socialize their puppies and should be provided with resources to help guide them in puppy development.  Two of my favorite resources for puppy fosters are:

1.DR. DUNBAR raising puppies

2.Puppy Culture- from birth to adoption

Adult dogs also need their foster parents to help prepare them for their new life.  While shelter dogs aren’t broken many could benefit from learning skills like coming when called, not jumping up, and learning core skills like leave it.  Here is my favorite resource for adult dog fosters.

Free Dog Training- ONLINE

Hope this helps inspire you to bring training to your local shelter or rescue.”The shelter environment can be stressful for dogs, but shelter staff and volunteers can help ease that stress by providing enrichment opportunities and activities. Many of these enrichment activities also help dogs become more adoptable. Every dog needs our assistance to become more adoptable or to stay adoptable until he/she finds a wonderful home. You can make a big difference in shelter dogs’ quality of life by adding enrichment with your time, attention and love.”

 

shelter training and playgroup

Sparky and Charlie playing while at the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley

Free Dog Training

We are so excited to make our core content accessible to everyone.
That means shelter staff, foster parents, people with new puppies and new adopters can get six weeks of class content. One Curious Dog Videos will show you how teach your dog to stay focused and engage with you and teach you to teach your dog or puppy core skills like down, stay, focus and leave it.
Lesson 1:
Lesson 2:
Lesson 3:
Please share the first three classes and subscribe so you can keep up as we add new classes!

 

Recall Games

teaching your dog to come

Round Robin Recall This game is easy to play as long as you have more than one person.  It is great for teaching your dog to come to everyone in the home.

When you are playing this game you will need to make sure that everyone playing has lots of small sized treats that your dog is crazy for.

This is easy to play, just stand in a circle and call your dog to you.  When your dog get to you give him a treat for coming when called.  If your dog gets really good at it try it from farther and farther away.

Sometimes your dog will get really good at this game and guess who is going to call them, then have someone else call the dog to come.

Run and Hide- If you have aspirations of having a dog that walks with you on off-leash hikes this is an excellent exercises for your dog to learn to come.  It not only teaches your dog to come, but it also teaches your dog to pay attention to where you are.    For this you need a long-line leash and lots of yummy treats.  Long- line leashes should be long enough you can allow your dog to have freedom, but light enough your dog can’t feel that he is wearing one.

Next time your out and about with your dog wait for your dog to get a little to far ahead.  Once your dog gets a little far ahead of you sneak away and hide behind the nearest tree.  When your dog finds you get super excited and give lots of treats and praise.  Your dog will start to think “I really have to keep an eye on my person, because she’ll sneak away.

Catch me if you can- This one is really easy to.  It uses a little bit of frustration to build a fast recall and a strong desire for your dog to want to come when called. For this you will need a way to escape from your dog and yummy treats.

Wait until your dog isn’t looking at you and say “come” a second later run into another room as fast as you can and close the door behind you.  Once in the other room try squeaking a squeaky toy.  If your dog catches you before you make it into the other room he gets a treat, but your goal should be to get there before he does.

When you leave the room.  Ignore the dog and wait for him to get distracted again then repeat.

training come

Treat-toss- This exercise is fabulous for teaching straight, centered and correct recalls.  It also builds faster recalls.  For this you will need yummy treats.  Start the game by facing your dog with your feet wide.  Next say “come”. The second your dog looks your way move backward and when your dog get close enough toss the treat between your legs so your dog chases the treat.  This will teach your dog to target the center of your body.  The thrill of chasing the reward will also teach your dog to hustle when he hears come.

teaching your dog to come

For more ideas on teaching a nice recall read,  Rules For Recall.

Want to watch training “Come” step by step?

Rules For Recall

teaching dogs to come

When you recall your dog what do you get? A dog that comes the first time you ask? Many dogs struggle with different aspects of obtaining a reliable recall. Dogs often recall slowly to their owners, stopping to sniff along the way or only come half way. More often than not owners are actually training their dogs to have poor recalls. Here are some rules to follow when training the recall so that you don’t create behavior issues in your dog.

Rules for Recall
1. Define what “Come” means to you and your dog: In order for your dog to have a strong recall he needs to have clear expectations. Does come mean walk over and stand in your general area? Does it mean come and sit in front of you? I like to teach a dog to come so that they are right in front of me facing me. Like in the photo. That allows me to easily grab my dog’s collar if it is needed.training
2. Don’t say “Come” unless you can make it happen: Think of the world from your dog’s point of view. There are so many rewarding smells and actives. Dogs are opportunistic which means that they choose the option that holds the most benefits to them. If you call your dog and they have the choice not to come they will be rewarding themselves for making the wrong choice. Therefore they are actually practicing and getting better at not coming when called.
3. Only say it once: If it doesn’t happen change something that will make it happen, such as increasing reward, pulling them towards you or by making it less rewarding not to come. Repeating the cue, makes it more likely that your dog will choose to ignore you in the future.
4. Don’t use “come” to end the party: If your dog is at the dog park, having a great time barking at the back fence or chasing a squirrel and your dog recalls to you. Reward him and allow him to go back and play otherwise your dog will start to avoid recalling for fear that you will make the fun stop if they comply.
5. Move away from your dog: Stop being so darn boring. If you ask your dog to come jog backwards or run away from your dog. This will prevent your dog from practicing a slow recall. It will build a much faster recall.
6. Practice for perfection: Whatever you get during practice you are going to loose some of that precision when distractions are added. If you allow your dog to stop 1-2 feet away from you it will turn into 3-5 feet when you actually need it, so be picky about what you accept.
7. Keep the leash on: After you have gotten a strong recall on-leash don’t go right to off-leash. Instead go to a long line leash of 10-15 feet. Once you don’t need the backup of the long line progress to a longer line before going strait to off-leash. This goes back to rule 2.

For other ideas on teaching recalls read this, Recall Games

th

Rehoming

Coming from a background in animal shelters I understand all too well that sometimes rehoming is the only option. I’ve seen the shame in the tears that are associated with these decisions.

I understand that there are times where for whatever reason a family runs into a situation where they could no longer keep their family pet. There is always embarrassment and guilt associated with this.

It is not a trainers responsibility to judge, it is simply their responsibility to help.

Sometimes the trainer will agree it is for the best especially in cases with aggression and minors in the home.

If you are faced with the decision to rehome your dog no matter the reason here are some people you should contact before you consider the shelter.

The breeder

Most breeders want to be contacted if living situations change or problems arise with the dog. Many breeders even have it in the contract that they be contacted in case of rehoming. Good breeders consider themselves responsible for the lifetime of every puppy.

The rescue

Like breeders if you adopted through a reputable rescue it’s likely in the contract that you must contact them before rehoming. Good rescues consider them self responsible for the lifetime of the dog.

The trainer

A trainer has a good idea of what a great home for your dog is. They understand your dogs energy needs, Behavior struggles and can likely help you screen potential adopters to make sure they’re good fit. They may even be able to send potential adopters your way. They can also help to work to ensure that the new adopter doesn’t run into problems. Many will post the dog amongst other dog training friends.

Your vet

Your veterinarian is another good resource. He sees dog lovers all day and may have an ideal placement in mind for your dog. While they see new puppies daily they also see people who have lost their pet. They are often keeping an eye open for a client’s next dog.

Your groomer

If you’ve been using the same groomer it’s likely that they’ve been seeing him since puppyhood. Your groomer has a long list of clients who care deeply about their pets needs. Just like the veterinarian their clients are lifelong which means they see people who lose their pet and may be interested in finding another match for their home.

While animal people can rarely agree on much I think that there is one thing that they can agree on…. animal professionals have the best interest of the animal at heart.

If you come to a place where you need to rehome your dog don’t forget to contact the animal professionals that have watched your pet grow up too!

If you must place the task of rehoming in someone else’s hands and a animal care professional you work closely with is unable to help then consider the following factors when deciding how to surrender your dog.

Choosing where to surrender. Not all shelters and rescues are created equal.

Some animal shelters and rescues have more resources for medical treatment than others. Yet there are some that specialize in behavior modification. Keep in mind what your pet’s specific needs are when you’re deciding.

Many animal shelters and rescues have a surrender fee. This can range from a small donation to $200. While it may seem like a no-brainer to pick a place that doesn’t have a surrender fee keep in mind that the surrender fee often correlates with the live release rate, not always but most of the time. Surrender fees pay for the care of your pet will receive while with the shelter, although it rarely pays for all of it.

There are also breed-specific rescues. If you have a breed that is considered difficult or is it unusual breed then you might consider a breed rescue. For example and Malinois rescue May interview people more in-depth to make sure that they understand a high drive dog.

Be one hundred percent honest when you surrender your dog and ask that they be honest with you as well. Sometimes owners won’t want to disclose information such as a dog not being fully house trained. It’s important that you disclose this information so that the shelter or rescue can share it with the adopters. Some families are perfectly willing to work on house training while for others it will be a deal-breaker. Provide that information so they can make their own choice. This will make it less likely that your dog is returned to the shelter or rescue. The more information that the shelter or rescue has the better understanding they will have of what kind of home your dog needs.

Why I wrote this

I decided to write this one day while volunteering at the animal shelter.

While dog walking one day I saw a man at the counter that I recognized, but I couldn’t quite place where I knew him from. I continued about my business until I was walking through the kennels and I saw a Cane Corso.

As soon as I saw this dog I knew where I knew the man from.

This dog had been a student of mine. His owner had signed him up for a six week training course almost 8 months earlier. He stopped attending classes after the third week and I never heard from him again.

I walked over and greeted the dog, he was so scared. I went into the kennel with him and ask him to do some of the obedience that I had remembered he had learned. He performed sit, down, focus and even a leave it without hesitation.

When I went and asked the kennel staff why the dog was there they explain that the owner was moving out of state. I couldn’t help but wonder to myself don’t my students know that I’m here to help them? Did he not know that I would have assisted him in finding placement for his dog? Why wouldn’t he reached out to the professionals in his life like his dog’s veterinarian or trainer?

Here are some photos of shelter dogs..

My dog Charlie helping a shelter pitbull

Counter Surfing

I so frequently try and look at the world from a dog’s perspective that when I think about counter surfing I can’t help, but smile and think “Ah, what a rewarding activity”.  This is the perfect example of a self rewarding activity.    

If you were going to train your dog how to steal food off the counter how would you do it?  Maybe, by leaving something yummy within reach?  This accidently happens in all to many households.  The good news is this is a fixable behavior through management and training. 

 How to manage counter surfing 

When training your dog it is also best to try and set your dog up to be successful.  One of the easiest ways to do that is DON’T LEAVE STUFF OUT on the counter your dog can eat.  

Here are some other helpful tips: 

Have no-go rooms:  These are rooms that your dog isn’t allowed in such as the kitchen, bathroom or dinning room.  While the layout of your house may not allow for all of these consider if this is an option for you.   

Catch it before:  If you notice your dog looking to see what’s up on the counters or sniffing the air on the counters discourage that immediately. 

Give your dog more enrichment:  If your dog enjoys seeking out rewards and finding treasures, like a loaf of bread from the counter then give him a appropriate way to do that.  Do a treat scavenger hunt around the house or in the yard.  You can also use a enrichment feeder like a KONG wobbler.   more enrichment ideas

Here are some more counter surfing ideas: 

Your dog is more likely to steal treasures from the counter if your not right there watching him, so when your not supervising your dog try using a kennel or baby gate to protect the goods.   

Try making counter surfing less rewarding.  If you have a more sensitive dog leaving tin foil or bubble wrap on the edge of your counter.  Know your dog though, this may only work dogs that are sensitive with touch.  Also, be sure your dog isn’t the type to eat these things. 

 My favorite way to work on this is to use the “leave it” cue.  If your dog doesn’t yet know leave it try this link:  Teaching Leave It 

Once your dog knows leave it put him on a leash and set up a ton of fake training situations, by leaving “bait” on the edge of a counter or coffee table. 

Start close to your dog and using low value bait –in other words don’t try this with steak on your first session.  Wait for your dog to notice the bait then tell him to “leave it”.   

When you say leave it your dog has a choice.  Choice 1, choose to counter surf… choice 2, choose to leave it.  If your dog chooses to counter surf use your leash to prevent him from reaching the bait.  If he is able to snatch the bait he has rewarded himself for making the right choice.  Wait, you may have to wait a long, long time the first couple of try’s.  Then when your dog gives up trying to steal food off the counter say “Yes” and give your dog a extra yummy food reward.   

Be sure to practice this on coffee tables, counters, and dinning room tables. 

Practice this until you can no longer trick your dog into even trying to steal the bait, then take it a step father.   

Using a longer leash try moving father away and having your dog leave it.  You can even try hiding around the corner and just peeking while saying leave it.

 counter surfing

 Happy Training 

 

 

It’s all good in the neighborhood

mastiff

You love your dog, so it can be hard to think about anyone not seeing him for the crazy love bug that he is. However hard it may be to imagine, some people simply do not like dogs, and some of those people may just live in your neighborhood. Here are three common problems dog owners face and how to solve them if you want to be a conscientious neighbor.

Excessive Barking, Baying, or Howling

Barking, baying, or howling every now and again is normal. However, if your dog is making excess noise for extended periods of time, it is considered a form of noise pollution and a valid complaint on your neighbor’s part.

A common cause behind a dog’s excessive noise is separation anxiety. The best way to remedy anxiety is by making sure your dog is getting enough activity and providing him with things to do when you are away. Most people are not walking their dogs enough. If you are walking your pup less than 15 minutes twice a day, it’s time to hit the pavement more often for your dog’s well-being. If you don’t have time to walk your dog because of long hours at the office, hire a dog walker who can stop by throughout the day to provide your dog with fresh air and exercise. This should help reduce the noise as well as other destructive behaviors your dog may exhibit due to anxiety and boredom.

Your Dog Keeps Getting Into Neighbors’ Yards

If your dog keeps escaping into neighbors’ yards, you haven’t done enough to maintain your fence. If it is full of holes or has loose boards, it may be worth it to replace it entirely. The average price to install a wood fence runs from $1,434 to $3,362. If your fence is in good shape but your dog just keeps finding ways to escape, you can fortify it with some of these dog-proofing techniques:

  • Use landscaping as a way to create a buffer area between your dog and the fence.
  • Stick bamboo or reed rolls along the inside of the fence to prevent him from digging underneath.
  • Place a concrete footer around the perimeter.
  • Use coyote rollers along the top of the fence to keep a jumping dog from being able to make it over.

Your Dog’s Leaves Messes Behind

If you are not picking up after your dog when walking in the neighborhood or at the park, it’s not really your dog’s behavioral issue—that is you being a bad neighbor! In just about every city, village, and township, there is some sort of regulation that requires dog owners to pick up after their pooches. Leaving dog feces on the ground leaves other people, pets, and animals susceptible to the harmful viruses, bacteria, and pesticides it can contain. If it rains, all those harmful organisms get washed into your area’s water system. It’s just bad news all around.

Always keep bags on you when you are spending time with your dog, and pick up after him. If you are worried about the amount of plastic these bags contribute, you can find compostable and biodegradable versions in just about any specialty pet store.

As much as you love your dog, not everyone is going to love his behavior. If your pup spends his free time creating noise pollution, chances are he has too much energy to burn. Up the amount of walks you take and consider hiring help when you’re logging many hours at the office. If your dog is an escape artist, you may need a new fence or reinforcements to curb his wily ways. Finally, you need to pick up your dog’s poop. Dog feces is harmful to people, pets, animals, and your local water supply. Always carry biodegradable bags on you when taking your dog in public so you can clean up after him.

 

Jessica Brody created OurBestFriends.pet to offer a place for animal lovers to share their favorite pet photos and stories about their furry pals.