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Reducing stress and fear ...

Posted on: Oct 20, 2015 By: Heather
Question: We have a 7 year old rescue lab/boxer (who we have had for 4 years) who is scared of our 8 month old, and it seems to be getting worse. She mostly avoids my son, but she does greet him happily in the morning or when we get home. She loves giving him kisses. But lately he has started trying to chase her and play with her. It stresses her so much that she peed on our bed a few days ago. We also just moved, so I think she’s stressed from that still. –Mary B. Answer: Okay, it sounds like between the move, your son becoming ... Read More

Alert barking ...

Posted on: Jul 11, 2015 By: Heather
Question: You may have noticed that when Tess saw someone walking by a window she got ramped up and barked.  We have that problem at home and in our back yard when she senses someone walking out side the fence.  If I use the squirt bottle to distract her, where does the reward come in for doing the right thing?  If I get her to look at me for a second when she’s ramped up do I give a treat then?  Sometimes I think she barks at people because she knows when she stops and looks at me she gets a treat?  –Jeff M. Answer: I ... Read More

Help! My dog eats socks! ...

Posted on: Jun 20, 2014 By: Heather
Question:  I was in Hawaii having a great time until my kids called to tell me Romer had swallowed a sock.  He eventually passed it but now he’s done it again!  I am wondering if you have any quick tips to stop this bad behavior.  For his own sake as well as mine.  I tried redirecting him with a treat but that’s when he quickly swallowed the sock.  –Joan K Answer:  Unfortunately, he has learned to gulp and swallow to protect items he has, which means your job is a bit harder. You need to teach him to willingly give ... Read More

Gross! How do I make him stop ...

Posted on: Aug 12, 2012 By: Heather
Question:  Rocky eats his poop. So gross. We have been using the command “leave it” and a spray bottle for lungining, treat for leaving it….he still lunges, any ideas? Are we doing the right thing? –Cindy B. Answer:  The first, and best, strategy is to take him out to potty on leash, clean up after him, and then let him have free time. This allows you to be sure of when he has gone, clean up the poop so he has no access to it, and prevent the behavior from happening. I know that having to take your dog out on leash several times ... Read More

Train Your Small Dog Like A La ...

Posted on: Oct 18, 2011 By: Heather
One of the common behaviors I see in small dog owners is the tendency to pick up their dog in response to misbehavior.  This is a behavior that is generally isolated to small dogs.  We don’t try to pick up a Labrador to stop him from chewing on the remote control!  Because small dogs are so easy to scoop up, it is tempting to pick them up for each offense.  Dog chews on your shoes?  Pick him up and he can’t reach them.  Dog won’t release a bone or ball?  Pick him up and take it away.  Dog jumps, barks, whines?  Pick him up to ... Read More

Pulling Because of Greeting Ot ...

Posted on: Oct 14, 2011 By: Heather
Question:  My daily dogwalker allows Daphne (Standard Poodle), on leash, to run up to other dogs and meet & greet enthusiastically. This may well be part of the reason that she pulls so hard, which has lead to inury.  I need to convey clear instructions and would appreciate guidance on how to verbally instruct the walker on how to proceed going forward. Thank you very much. –Kath Aleen R.   Answer:  I’m very glad you emailed me about this. I believe that you are right, and this is a big contributor to your pulling ... Read More

Trouble With “Down” ...

Posted on: Oct 14, 2011 By: Heather
Question: Hobbes (terrier mix) is having trouble understanding the “down” command; and is very resistant to even going into a “down to the floor” position; what would you recommend?  –Todd S. Answer: It’s not unusual for small dogs to have a hard time with the down command. When everything already towers over you, getting even lower to the ground can be intimidating.  Patience and a calm, relaxed attitude is the first step. The more positive and engaged you are in the process, the more engaged your dog will be, and the less ... Read More

The Power of the Simple “ ...

Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 By: Heather
Sit is one of those commands we expect every dog to know.  It’s usually the first thing we teach puppies, and it’s something we’ll ask even of dogs we don’t know.  After we’ve taught the basics of the command, however, we’re usually pretty quick to move on to more exciting things; down, stay, come, shake, all of these come quickly on the heels of “sit,” often leaving “sit” underpracticed and underused. You’ve seen it at the park, in your neighborhood, even in your training class.  Handlers ask their dog to sit.  Then ... Read More

Leash Aggression ...

Posted on: Aug 31, 2011 By: Heather
Question: Do you have any links to training tips on leash aggression? My 2 year old Aussie has developed leash aggression when he didn’t have it before. I’m sure I’ve done something wrong along the way to cause it but don’t want to repeat my mistake with Farley and really would like to train it out of Cosmo.  Thank you in advance,  –Lisa G. Answer: Leash reactivity is usually best handled with counter-conditioning. A dog on leash realizes that it’s options are limited, as far as escape goes, and so will often go on the ... Read More

Leave It ...

Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 By: Heather
Question:  Our puppy is a goat and eats everything! It makes it difficult to take her outside, even on a leash. She picks up (eats ?!) rocks, bark, sand, dirt, grass, you name it! I worry mostly about the rocks, I figure the rest will pass through her if she doesn’t throw it up. Thanks for any suggestions!  –Becky S. Answer:  The first step is teaching a good “leave it” command. Teach her to turn away from things on the ground and look to you instead. This will serve you well as she grows to adulthood even after ... Read More