Recipe For Success: Teach Your Dog To Come

Teaching your dog to come, while at a park or outside in your yard, and with distractions can be challenging. Here is one of my quick dog training tips that you can practice at home to ensure your dog learns to come when you call.

Paws For A Minute® Quick dog training tip. Play the game of hide- and-seek in with your dog in your house! This game teaches dogs to seek you out as a game. It’s important to practice initially indoors, using the boundary of the four walls in your house. After you and your pup master the game indoors you can try the game at a park.

Recipe for success /Ingredients: You need 2 people. One dog. A treat. Practice once daily for 2 weeks.

-One person holds the dog by his collar.

-The second person hides in another room with a treat. 

- The person hiding begins to call the dog repeatedly and happily, using a really exited voice. 

- The person holding the dog lets him go on the fourth call of his name. 

- As your dog seeks you out, hold the treat in your right hand, and gesture the letter ( j ) as you say sit. This is the hand signal for sit. The hand signal  stops you from needing body gear, as your dog runs toward you and signals your dog to sit and wait for the release command and treat. This is a great way to capture his attention with a hand signal which allows you to redirect him to sit. Then end the command by giving him the treat as you say the word O.K.

Voila, you’ve taught your dog to seek YOU out. The secret here is by holding your dog back, a few calls of his name, creates a high prey drive to seek you out based on his name! Your dogs name becomes a trigger to bolt to you.

Try it, you’ll like it.

Our mission: To keep dogs safe and owners sane. If you dig, help support us, please pass along. Thank you! 

 

Event: SlobberFest Set For May 26th In Toronto Canada

Paws For A Minute® / Travel: Slobberfest 2012 Toronto, Ontario Cananda

Crowning of the King and Queen of Slobber, a maze of vendors, sun and fun! This Saturday May 26th kicks off the annual event that brings out crazy amounts of wet kisses and tail wags. Canine contests are held near the Beach boardwalk just east of downtown Toronto. The Leuty Lifeguard Station over looks the shoreline, which makes this event worth sniffing out. 

For more info contact: Evonne@centre55.com

Is Your Dog Toddler- Proof? Dog Training Tips For Parents

Toddlerhood can be a hair raising experience for many parents. If you think about it, even your family dog may have to make some quick moves in order to get out of the way of a toddler going through the terrible two’s. Well, there is a way to prepare. Did you know that 70% of all dog bites come from the family dog?

Yup, even the sweet dogs can snap at the unpredictable movements of a toddler. Albeit called an accident, you can prevent this type of mistake from happening. Remember It’s up to you “the parent” not to rely on the sweetness of your dog. Awareness is the key ingredient to a successful integration and bond between you and your family dog.

Paws For A Minute® Quick tip

Toddler proofing your pet / Child and dog safety series. 

 1. Pick up all chew bones when your dog and baby are loose together. Remember, toddlers take naps leaving an ideal time for your dog to have freedom in your home. Always dog proof your home from loose bones, dog food and other possible possessive toys that may create a territorial response when both (your toddler and dog) are together loose in the house.

2. Be aware of whether your dog is seeking cover underneath furniture. Hiding under chairs and tables is a sign that your dog does not want to be messed with by the baby. As the parent, it’s best to see this as a sign and not police your toddler or your dog.

3. Monitor your dogs responses to your child. Redirect your baby or your dog to a new item of fascination. It might be best to create a temporary baby gated space for your dog to be in the house,  while your toddler explores. Give your dog free time during less active moments.

 

Do You Trust Your Dog? 5 Steps To Success

Do you trust your dog? Achieving trust with your pup is a process and must be developed by you! Do you have a dog that’s not a puppy anymore, but still not housebroken or trustworthy in the house? Are you waiting for your dog to get it? Guess again, it’s you that needs to guide your dog to get it! It’s not about your dog being smart or stupid.

Recently one of our readers, sent in a plea to address this issue. Her dog has the bad habit of busting through the back door, every time they leave the house, and eats all the food off the counters. Also known as, counter surfing! Puppy proofing and not keeping food on counter tops is one issue, the other is the urge to bust down a door is a more complicated behavior and it has to do with the owner, as well as the dog.

I’m talking about separation anxiety, which often results in doggie demolition.  Blocking doors with tables or chairs, or sometimes just  shutting a door on a dog (that doesn’t want to be alone) whether in a room or yard  can create distress. Separation anxiety in dogs can actually be created (albeit unintentionally) by you! Coaxing, pushing you already anxious dog back and shutting a door can induce crazy behavior. Many owners leave their dogs in the yard or locked in a room while they’re gone because they don’t trust their dog loose in the house. The act of pushing a dog back and shutting a door can sometimes create the separation anxiety, especially in a young untrained dog. all behaviors owner and dog can become a vicious circle.

The solution to solving separation anxiety in dogs and creating trust within your lifestyle has many parts.

I know everyone means well, and life does get busy! But sometimes bad dog behaviors and habits such as; barking, destroying things or eating food off the counters can develop from boredom, lack of routine or bad triggers. Bad triggers can develop from owners as they rush out the door to go to work, not knowing how to train their dog to be trustworthy. If trust was not created during puppy training, then as a dog matures bigger problems can occur. If your dog’s destroying things, not housebroken or barking up a storm at every noise then that’s your sign to jump into action and begin asking yourself some questions!

The first question to ask yourself is, are your dogs needs met? Many people think so, but if your dog is barking, digging, and destroying furniture then those signs may indicate your dogs needs are not met. Dogs need to exercise, to be apart of the family, be trained in basic commands on a leash, by you! Also they also need praise, to be guided and fed, to have a chew on a delicious, safe “chew” type bone, and oh, did I say exercise? I did.

One bit of advice I have is to begin creating a new routine. Get your running shoes on and take your dog for a long walk, or to the dog park and tire your pup out! You would be surprised how many owners don’t. Get into a routine of exercising your dog everyday. A tired dog is always a better dog. The main ingredient is to have a new routine. Exercising your dog  will become  a huge part of the solution and the road to recovery. Be aware of when you exercise your dog. Timing is everything. Dog’s are very routine oriented and sometimes varying the time of your outings can be helpful in getting rid of bad habits.

 

The weekend may be the best time to implement this training!

Paws For A Minute® Quick tips: Trust 

Method: How to Feng Shui with Fido.™ Dog+ Home= peace 

1.  Initiate a new routine on the weekend when you’re home. If your dog lives outside all day long, then your yard becomes his den. This con promote digging, barking and possible separation anxiety. Ideally, you want to reverse this concept, and create trust indoors. Look at your individual lifestyle and age, temperament of dog to be sure this concept is right for you. You want the yard to be a place to run and jump, not on you.

2. Exercise your dog at the proper time. Sometimes people exercise their dogs at the wrong times. For example, I recently had a client who had a similar issue. Her dog was walked and exercised early in the morning and then basically spent the rest of the day barking and sleeping in the yard! Pay attention to the time your exercise your dog and if your not then do so! Sometimes a quick game of turbo fetch and potty is a better use of time, leaving the longer walk for later.

3.  Get the right chew bones for your dog to enjoy! Make sure you have “chew time” coincide with a new added routine! Young dogs LOVE to chew and it’s a function not a behavior, they must. Chewing also tires a young dog out and gives them a hobby. Ask your vet what would be right for your dog. Use this chewing hobby to your advantage by introducing the concept indoors as apart of the new training.  A special, new “chew bone” could be given in a gated area creating a “new space.” * Note: Always ask your local vet what type of dog chew is best for your dog!

Choose a gating area for a (20 minute period of time) while YOU are home. This teaches your dog to be gated in an area and learn to be mellow in the house. The gates allows him to see what’s going on yet still be apart of things. This is a temporary training exercise only meant to be applied for an hour here and an hour there, while your home! This will psychologically create a new “den space” for your dog and develop a trust. Absolutely, allow your dog free time loose in the house with you after a walk, this will reinforce mellow behavior.

Occasionally, guide your dog into the space on a leash, say sit, WAIT and then put up the baby gate. Always take off the leash while your dog is gated for safety and give the proper chew type toy or bone that’s safe for your dog to chew. Dogs are den animals and LOVE small spaces, if introduce correctly. The baby gate allows them to see out and be apart of the household without being completely loose all of the time. They love being apart of the family. Begin training with a little patience and always while you are home. This will help you to be able to correct any anxiety. Remember, gate in a central part of the house for best results.

4. Put music on while your dog is gated. This triggers a comforting feeling and trigger a mellow behavior and help to mute out other sounds.  This may also help get your dog of the pattern of going to the door, window or back door waiting for the next sound. All of these tips together will work together over time to help curb the barking or anxiety. You must be in the room your dog is gated during this training process. At least for the first week. You need to build on a new routine.

5. Stop the madness. While your dogs gated, and you are in the room or near by, if your dog continues to bark, you can give a correction. If your dogs needs are met and you know that he’s been to the bathroom, exercised, loved, fed and has water then correcting him to waittTake a coffee can, empty it and then put a hand full of pennies in the can and make sure the lid on the can is on tight. Make sure your dog has gone to the bathroom and had plenty of exercise. If the barking gets excessive, shake the can once, from out of sight, only while your dog is gated. Being out of sight is key! The noise of the can acts just like a siren does of a police car pulling you over for blowing a red light. It’s a sanction, a growl or just plain NO! This can help break the barking pattern.

Remember, it’s important to keep this gating exercise to a short amount of time, slowly building up to an hour over a few days.  I do not suggest you leave your dog gated in the house alone when you have to go out! This new pattern may take months of application before  a new pattern is set. 

Yes, I know dogs can jump over gates and get through most barriers, if the process is initiated incorrectly. This new routine is only meant to be implemented for short periods of time, while your home, only! All of the steps must be in place in order for this concept to become effective. Slowly, you and your dog will learn to trust and eventually the old pattern of anxiety will dissipate.

It’s really important to do all of steps together! Increase exercise, apply short increments of time gated, only while you are home. Remember, gating your dog for “short” periods while your home, can be done several times a day! This creates a pleasant chew bone “chewing” experience and music triggers a new positive pattern of waiting! Often shutting a door on a untrained dog can sometimes create massive anxiety. You may have to leave your dog at home (the way you used to) until a new pattern is formed for a while. Add these new steps indoors, slowly over several weeks or even a month adding the new routine slowly, and before long a healthy trustworthy behavior will develop.

In extreme cases:  ALWAYS seek out a professional dog trainer in your local area. Always ask your local veterinarian what type of  ”dog chew” is best for your dog, 

Does Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed? Good Idea or Bad?

Is it a good idea for your dog to sleep in your bed?

Many owners LOVE the concept of cuddles while getting their zzz’s, despite the potential dog hair issue. Often though, new dog owners wonder about when to start this life long ritual? Other’s end up questioning their original decision to allow their dog on the bed, if other training issues come into play.

Here are some dog owner tips to consider. Timing is everything! Allowing a very young “new” puppy to sleep in your bed too soon, can create a huge mixed signal. Sure the end goal may be to get snuggles all night long, however, allowing this to happen during the first few months of puppyhood can create separation anxiety later, when you attempt to leave for work or dinner. Many dogs can become codependent on you because they learn to feel safe only in your presents rather than being able to be secure alone in the house or yard. Teaching your new puppy to self-soothe (in an independent space) first, is really important. This training process is age related and sometimes crucial for new rescue pup’s that are already adult, but new to you and your lifestyle.

Issue’s can develop from allowing this nesting (in your bed) to happen too soon. Territorial behavior (over your bed) can occur, never getting housebroken, separation anxiety while being left alone, are a few issues that can develop, overtime, from allowing new dogs to sleep in your bed too soon.

For best results and an issue free experience, new puppy’s, like children, need to learn from you, a lifestyle pattern. Such as, where to go to the bathroom, how to hold the urge, what to chew on and how to be alone. After you have achieved all of that and a bit of obedience training, then you can both knock yourself out with some sweet dreams for the next 15 years.

 

Pets and Parenting: Mom Training Tips For Toddler’s And The Family Dog

Preparing your dog for your child’s toddlerhood is really important! Depending on your dogs age, previous exposure to children, food, toys and chew bones will help determine where you need to focus training and socialization. 

Just because your dog is nice and gentle with you and other adult people doesn’t mean a child can’t become a target, by accident! Some parents unknowingly deem their dog good with kid’s or fine with the baby but with toddlers, I think special a wild card factor can happen. Toddlers can be kind of unpredictable and many parents get in the habit of chanting “be nice to the doggy!” Having foresight and be able to direct or protect your dog and child is the key.  Snaps can happen fast and after that, it matters less who’s fault it was becomes the damage is done.

Paws For A Minute® Quick tip: Preparing Your Dog For Your Child’s Toddlerhood!

1. Dog Tip:  Review all “on leash” commands. This is a great way to tune up your dog. Basic commands like heel, sit, stay and come. Never did that before? Then now is a great opportunity! Leash training is a great way to create eye contact between you and your dog and reinforce the commands with praise! What it does very effectively is creates a bond and an understanding that simply off leash repetition and cookie’s don’t accomplish in the same way, A few minutes a day will help communicate volumes to your dog and create trust between you, especially with a new creature that’s crawling and falling all over there territory now!

2. Dog Tip: Occasionally, hand feed you dog a few servings of his kibble. This helps determine any food bowl issues and get your dog used to being interrupted while eating.

3. Dog Tip: Vet check. Bring your dog to the vet for a check up. Dogs that are 5 years and up should be checked for lumps and bumps. As your Toddler begins to poke and pat you want to make sure all is well with your dog health wise. Some times older dogs don’t feel well and YOU would never know it.

4. Dog Tip: Use a baby gate occasionally for your dog when your child is crawling around. Boundary’s are a great thing. Get your dog used to being baby gated once in a while. This allows you not to go insane and gives your dog some chew bone time in peace, yet still allows him/her to hang out and be apart of things. 

Key: Guide your dog into the gated area on a leash, before your toddler has exploration time. The leash helps create a fun ritual, with the formality of a command. Say the word let’s go and then once in the gates area say “wait” then give a treat close the gate and take of the leash! Gate for a small increment of time in a central area.

5. Dog tip:  Brush your dog for 5 minutes every week. This is a great way to get him used to being touched, everywhere even the tail!

 

 

A Dog Training Tip. Could This Be The New Cookie?

Coming home can mean sloppy kisses, hugs and sometimes the need for a helmet. Occasionally dog owners (especially those of large breed pups) require a defense running strategy through their own front door, after a long day at work.

So how do you get your dog to greet you with a more mellow approach? Sometimes the jumping up behavior is owner induced. The usual chant, walking in the door, is to go nuts with your voice while saying hello, followed by “NO JUMP” or no, get down.” Sound familiar? So how do you get your dog to chill with love other than waiving a cookie at your dog?

When people think of positive reinforcement, they think of treat or verbal good BOY. Don’t get me wrong, treat training has its benefits, but it can become a dog owner crutch. And sometimes it can actually have an opposite effect. Opposite? Yes, opposite. Treats can be an amazing tool communicating a job well done, however, in some circumstances a treat can induce a miscommunication.

Teaching your dog has many facets to it, and praise and reward are most definitely two components that lead to success. However, most when most people think of “praise” they associated it with a high-pitched sound or a food oriented “jack-pot” for their dog being good. 

I always remind my clients that you can show love in many different ways. “Affection training” is a word that I’ve coined to get dog owners to realize that praise can have a more Zen like quality to it.

People can often attribute hyper to happy. It’s not true. Affection training is a tip that teaches owners how to modify their own behavior and get the reaction they want. It’s really about reconditioning, yourself and your dog will follow!  Immediately redirect your dog to sit using a hand signal. Gesture the letter “J” with your right hand, then crouch down and say hello by slowly massaging him in a mellow way, silently. Yes, zip it! Say hello to your dog using no words. The key is to not use your voice at all for this behavior modification tip. I know it’s hard to stay silent when you see your puppy after being gone, but better to redirect the energy come at you than to chant the word NO.

This tip helps to calm down hyper dogs and learn a new way of greeting you.  Passive aggressive no more! Now that’s being smarter than your dog! Bye the way, the massage part it works on people too. That’s my treat to you, sugar free!

New Dog Owners And A Common Mistake

Educating the recycled dog /Paws For A Minute ® Tips For The Adopted Dog!

New dog owners, listen up!  Bringing home your new baby with the big ears and wet nose does not mean seeing how or what he will do. The number one mistake new dog owners do it they tend to “see” how smart their new dog is rather than guide their new dog-a-ish-is family member through a new process of introducing them to into a “new home.”  Sometimes that means bringing them back to puppyhood even if just for a few weeks! I have some awesome tips for people who have just rescued a dog from a shelter.

 

 People training: 1. Remember that puppies and even adult dogs that are going to a new home need a transitional space before having your entire house to hang out in. This area can be a gated space within your home, which will help a new dog acclimated to their new environment. This space can be introduced slowly for short increments of time.

 

 2. Why? Dogs need to get used to their owner’s daily patterns of leaving and returning home.

 

 3. Training your new dog to hang out in your home should actually be done when you are home, first! Using a boundary, such as a baby gate, while your home helps establish a boundary and allows you to correct any separation anxiety behaviors. Doing so, for the first few days and for short increments of time, helps teach your new dog to self-soothe and learn how to be at home alone.

 

 

Ask Inger: Dogs And Getting into the Trash

Hi Inger,

What’s the best way to combat stubbornness? Roxy, our seven year old pitt bull mix is a great girl, but very stubborn. She does what she wants when she wants. She has even been known to be spiteful, i.e. If we leave the house and she doesn’t like it, she will go through the trash and leave it all over the house.

She’s done this many many times. We now have a gate keeping that area closed off, but we would like to find out how to prevent these kind of actions as well as other stubborn moments.

An additional question I have is about socialization. I regret to say that Roxy wasn’t socialized very much as a puppy (with other dogs that is, with humans she was constantly socialized).

We want to make it possible for her to play with other dogs, how do we go about it? Roxy in general has been good playing with male dogs and puppies, but not really with other female dogs. What should we do if we’d like to socialize her more?

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Los Angeles: Free Pet Spay and Neuter Surgeries Today

Pet owners in Los Angeles check this out. The Spay and Neuter Project of Los Angeles is joining forces with the Humane Society of the United States to Celebrate World Spay Day 2012 and they have a gift for you!

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the HSUS, the Spay and Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNP LA) are together providing free spay and neuter surgeries and vaccinations for 100 pets at their Van Nuys location today!

Pet owners must have a household income of less than $40,000 per year and make an advance reservation to take advantage of this free offer.

For more information or to make an appointment call Spay and Neuter Project of Los Angeles at (310)574-5555.

SNP LA is hosting an open house at the Van Nuys location (14409 Vanowen St., Van Nuys CA 91405) from 4-7 pm today to celebrate performing it’s 50,000th surgery since launching in 2007. Over the past five years the 50,000 surgeries preformed have avoided the births of thousands of animals that would normally crowd the shelter system.

A system that already euthanizes over 100,000 pets countywide. By the way, that’s county not country.

The open house, which is open to the public, will offer an opportunity to meet  SNP LA’s staff and the state-of-the art clinic, as well as food, drink and door prizes.

Getting your pet fixed makes for a better all around pet, helps training immensely, and helps ward off other major health issues.

Thank you Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles and the Humane Society of the United States!