Pool Safety Tips For Dogs.

Creating the aqua boy or diving diva your pup sometimes needs some preparation. In order for a dog to learn to enjoy the process of swimming it’s helpful to make the process safe and fun. Pool safety for pets is important in case of accidental dips.
Paws For A Minute® H2o – Swimming 101 
  • Get. A leash, have a collar on your pup and purchase a doggie lifejacket. 
  • Play. Use a hose and begin water play with that first. If your dog loves the water play your in good shape in creating the swimmer. 
Tools 
  • The Leash. It helps guide your pup to know where to get out and gives you control to guide vs coax. 
  • Life Jacket. I know many think that’s overkill but it helps your new swimmer with being buoyant and therefore learning to enjoy being the otter. Not using one, you run the risk of a bad experience. Best dog life jacket: Outward Hound.
  • How. Lift your pup into the pool and  gently let him go. Use the leash and your voice to guide and show him the stairs and where to get out of the pool. 
  • Safety: Even if your dog doesn’t end up to be Aqua Boy – always good to teach how to swim and where to get out in case of an accidental unintended dip.

Paws For A Minute® Puppy series: Teething Tips

The teething stage of puppyhood can be so annoying, keep you on your toes and constantly chanting a chorus of “No’s!” Most new puppy people have arms that resemble a heroin addict covered with needle marks. Puppy teeth hurt like crazy! 

There are several stages to this function of puppyhood and good for new puppy parents to know how to deal and what chew toys are good for each stage. Usually this topic is not discussed in detail as to what and how to deal with this sometimes painful playtime. Having a zillion toys on the ground often don’t get noticed, especially if you don’t have the right toys for the right stage!

8 week to 10 week old pups: Squeaker toys are awesome at this age. It helps pups focus and follow you. Oversized “dog” stuffed animal toys fantastic. At this age pup’s are just beginning to chew so biting into a stuffed toy instead of your arm helps the play process. Ice cubes are also a big hit during playtime. Toys that roll are essential to your sanity and keep your pup moving.

11 to 14 week old pups: During this stage they are beginning to really teethe! Tempting to repeat the word no constantly as they gnaw on everything. By the way, this stage will pass. Don’t think this will become a bad behavior or that you have a devil dog. In the meantime, think exercise and reverse psychology with trading in your arm for the right toy. Being smarter than your puppy when he’s being evil works. What satisfied your pups urge to chew a few weeks ago  may not be working anymore. Bring in different toys! 

Planet dog brand has great softer rubber toys pups this age love them. Pigs ears and bully sticks are your ticket to peace during these weeks. Hold the bully stick while your puppy chews. Holding it identifies the stick as the right chew bone. I know it seems obvious however, you’d be surprised at how fast they’ll learn what to chew. If it’s just laying on the ground they may not seem interested in it until you give it them to chew. 

 

A helpful tip is to define a chewing area that’s  a gated space, in a central part of your house. This helps to keep your puppy on a bit of a schedule, preventing your insanity and puppy’s constant freedom. It also helps them to focus on the art of chewing.  

 

Chewing is function of a puppy not a behavior, what they learn to chew on becomes the behavior over time. You get to teach your puppy what to chew on, so setting a puppy schedule helps.

Good news! Adult teeth appear when your puppy turns 6 months-old, like clock work — all breeds. Promise!

Ask Inger: How Do You Re-Train A Dog Who’s Developed Selective Hearing?

Hi Inger,

I rescued my dog, Milo, 4 1/2 years ago when he was about 8 months old.  We immediately signed up for puppy obedience school.  He passed with flying colors.  He is a mix of border collie/lab and I think pit, but our first vet said no.  Anyway, as he entered his “teen” years (1 year 6 mos to 2 1/2) he became a terror on leash.  VERY protective.  I hired a private trainer and we did a lot of one on one to help him stay relaxed. 

Fast forward and he’s now 5 1/2.  He knows all his commands–knows them even better when I have treats.  He knows the click and treat perfectly.  He’ll come on command in our yard. Click, treat.  He’ll sit, stay and come, click treat.  When I throw the ball with our Chuck It, he gets the ball and runs to the top of the deck and completely ignores any command I give him.  I can’t get him to just come back to me with the ball let alone drop it.

He’ll only drop a toy in his mouth if you have a treat.  He loves to play, but he likes to play keep away and then tug of war.
What do we do?!  I tried going back to simple commands again and he knows them, but the second that ball comes into play or another toy inside…all commands go out the window!
HELP!!
Thanks,
Rachel from Massachusetts
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Hi Rachel,
Great question, I have to say that Milo is a beautiful boy! Wonderful that you rescued him and good job on training him plus working through his kinks for the first 5 years! After reading your question I think for now, chuck the “chuck it.” A new pattern needs to be established.  I’ll give you a few tips to regain Milo’s selective hearing.Okay, first, I’ll explain the some issue’s that stuck out for me and then give you a few exercises to try.
Clicker training is great for certain breeds and for sure creates “the special effect” of a learned trick. What I mean by effect is that it’s reward based, reward meaning treat for the trick. Lifestyle type issues like stay at the front door with guests requires a different on leash approach in creating the trust and bond between a dog and owner. Once learned “off leash commands hold with distractions a bit better then with clicker training. But that’s another topic.
Eye contact and a personal bond gets formed by leash training and verbal rewards, than with treat exclusive methods. Remember, you can show love and “positive” reinforcement  in many different ways.. voice, touch, eye contact, and oh, yes food. I’m babbling on about this because one thing is missing in clicker training and that’s eye contact and voice inflection. The focus goes on the reward of the treat not the eye contact, gestures or the owners praise. The dog is looking at the treat not the person or any hand signal. I’m not saying clicker training is bad, only that sometimes it’s limited and in your case not working.
Change the focus
The leash and the game follow the leader around the house helps to create eye contact and enables your voice to become task and the praise, not just a treat.
The leash helps create eye contact between the two of you. Isolating this process in your house helps you both succeed. Try the simple exercise of walking around the house while on a leash and occasionally stop and gently lift up on the leash and say sit. You’ll see he will glance up at you. Dogs are pack animals and LOVE follow the leader. I know it may sound stupid and boring but try it for 5 minutes a few times a week.  Use a flat nylon 6 ft nylon or leather leash not the retractable kind.
No more tricks
Tug of war and chase are never good games. Even if you’re just trying to get the ball, toy or shoe from your dog, luring or begging just creates more of a keep-a-way game going.
Prey drive is what makes a dog fetch. That translates to chase and catch and you want that instinct to be ball exclusive. So create a drive to bring the ball back! Use only one ball. That ball is a special fetch ball. It ONLY comes out during fetch! When the game is over it goes into a special drawer.
Use a treat more effectively
Start over, re-teach the game of fetch. Use that “fetch only” ball and begin the re-teach with following a few new steps. Get a treat but put it into your back pocket. Create a structure with a beginning, middle and end theme. Begin slowly, the first day of re-doing this game do so indoors. Begin with bouncing the ball to get him interested and say sit. No treat or clicker, use the ball as the focus. Say the word o.k and toss the ball, as soon as you do, crouch down and clap your hands and praise! As Milo begins to come towards you reach into your back pocket get the treat in your right hand, suddenly stand up and gesture the letter “J” with your hand (holding the treat under your thunb) and say sit. Gesturing the letter “J” is the hand signal to sit. Then say “watch me” holding the treat near your eye for a second,  he’ll spit out the ball as you give him the treat. Remember hand him the treat with your right hand and pick up the ball with your left. This pattern will get a new flow going with the game of fetch.
Dogs are smart and stimulated by motion. So be a little smarter. Use the movement of suddenly standing up combined with  the motion of the hand signal for the command sit. This will capture his attention. Eventually the hand signal (alone) will take the place of the treat and you wont have to crouch down.
Now the key to success is to toss the ball once, the first day. Only once then put the ball away. The next day, toss it twice, third day and so on. This process will build drive and interest, once he’s in the groove of fetching you can take the game outdoors. Before long you’ll have a ball-o-holic that LOVES to bring back the ball.

Dog Nipping, Biting And Gnawing On Your Last Nerve

My boyfriend and I just got a Siberian Husky puppy named Frye. He’s almost 9 months old and we’ve had him for 2 months prior. Up until now, he has been well-behaved, but recently he has started biting when he gets excited. At first, the bites were far a part and soft, but lately they’ve become more frequent and have started to hurt. We have tried various ways to discourage this behavior, such as giving him more toys to focus his attention on or giving him chew toys whenever he starts to bite, to channel the behavior. So far, nothing seems to work. It’s getting to the point where we’re afraid that he might hurt others. Frye is very well socialized when it comes to other dogs, but we live in a residential area where there are a lot of children. Our main concern is that when others try to play with him, he might get over excited and bite them. We love our dog and we want to improve for his sake. What can we do to nip this behavior completely?

Danni and George.

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Hi Danni and George,

Thanks for the great question! Okay, I totally understand. Many people with teenage pup’s often feel the urge to pass out body gear with helmets to all guests wanting to say hello to their now BIG puppy. The behavior you’re describing is obnoxious for sure and yet solvable! Redirecting such behavior means creating a little structure within your daily routine, reassessing chew toys, re-organizing how your dog gets exercise, and where,when and how you play with him.

The solution to this issue lies more with you understanding how to redirect this behavior, where to apply structure and when to initiate play and how to still make things fun.

Here are some my Paws For A Minute® Dog Training Tips

1. Apply structured exercise times and separate them from walks.

Lots of people walk their dogs and play with them without intent. They can often mix up concepts of play while walking for exercise that in turn accelerate hyper behaviors. Where, how and when you play with your dog create reactions and sets triggers.

Example: Try isolating extreme exercise prior to socialization with people and guests. In other words,  play turbo fetch first, then go on a walk.  Teaching your dog to play fetch is an awesome way to keep hyper activity targeted on the movement of a ball. The key to keeping a dogs interest is only use on special ball that comes out ONLY for fetch. Build slowly to the amount of throws daily.

2. Do a re-check of his chew toys.

Example: 90% of the time puppy parents have zillions of toys for their dogs but have a distinction between play toys and actually chew bones. If a toy is lying on the ground or in the yard, overtime it becomes boring. Dogs of a certain age need to chew, not just play. Mouthy behaviors can come from frustration and ill-timed activities. Play is often induced by movement and voice inflection and a chew toy may be tossed, but the activity of your dog actually chewing on it gets lost. Many people end up playing with their dogs with chew toys and boredom of the toy sets in quickly. The act of chewing on something needs to be isolated for your puppy by creating a “chew your chew bone” time! Perhaps in a baby gated area, while you are home. This creates an activity for a young teenage dog. Chewing a bully stick, for example, will also help tire him out and give him something to focus on that’s not a toy.

3. Redirect a positive obedience command to greet new people. 

Example: Redirection can mean introducing your dog to new people while on a leash, only as an exercise for a few weeks. The leash helps you guide your dog into a sit and then a stay while being introduced to new people. If he breaks the stay command to jump up the leash can act as a boundary and allow you to say No then quickly reinforce a sit and the positive in what you want out of his behavior. Or practice with people approaching him to do so with a treat. Have them direct your dog to sit and then give him the cookie!

Change will happen overtime. Try all three tips for a few weeks and keep us posted!

Dog Training Tip: Walking Your Dog or Heel Thy Self?

Being dragged down the street by your dog on a daily basis, multiple times day, can become annoying to say the least!  Especially, when you’ve envisioned a brisk, refreshing morning strut with Starbucks-in-hand kind of walk with your new dog. I know, once the dopamine of love has worn off and puppy teenage-hood has set in your now energetic larger puppy, has learned to jump on people, chase squirrels and bark at on coming dogs! Now, your morning ritual has become walking and cursing while holding on to the leash and a poop bag in-hand!

So what’s “dog pulling” and being dragged down the street all about? Well, generally speaking the leash is not just to hang on to, it’s actually a tool in training.

If your dog pulls on walks, a great technique is to teach your dog to create eye contact with you, hence a bond will develop. You can achieve this by using treats or an additional technique is to create focus by using movement, voice inflection and a command. Let’s focus on the latter technique. Treats can work, but not always with all dogs especially while on walk! Besides, it’s best to vary all techniques when dog training. To change the rules of the walk, in a fun way, think of it as you’re driving the car on this walk, not your dog!

On your next daily stroll practice turning or pivoting in the opposite direction every once in a while. You see, dogs are pack animals and LOVE to play follow the leader. If you remember to think of it as a game and not discipline it will help you use a “happy voice” while changing directions. Remember, you can show love in many ways, not just treats! Keep your voice sweet as you say heel or let’s go, as you indicate the command with your movements, both will capture your pups attention.

 Changing directions suddenly helps alert your dog to a follow the leader game. The trigger of fun for your dog happens when you use your voice think of it as you would a gas pedal or steering wheel of the car. If you make it a fun game your pup will be looking up at you, rather than pulling. Occasionally stop, ask your pup to sit then praise and even give a treat. Your pup will become far more interested in your moves than she will about pulling.

Many people walk their dogs more for the intention a bathroom break than mere exercise. Sure, exercise is included but a distinction between the two activities is often not defined on the walk by the dog owner. Therefore the intention of a nice walk becomes a natural conflict. Best to initiate potty time by indicating the act with a word, like go potty, then go on your walk.

If you separate the concepts you’ll get a better result. You can also practice the concept of walking your dog in a “heel” command in the house, while on the leash, in order to accomplish the process without the distractions of the street. This exercise will help you succeed with getting the eye contact from you dog, hence you’ll get the bond you’re looking for on your walks.

Tips To Solve Doggie Demolition/ Destruction Due To Mail Delivery

I read your website this morning with great interest. I have been rescuing dogs for about 20 years, and always managed to work out the issues. Luke, however, remains a challenge. He is about 9 years old, 20 pounds, and mutt that makes breed definition impossible. I have had him for about 2 1/2 years. In that time he has destroyed 3 couches and 3 chairs. The problem occurs when the mail carrier arrives. Luke grabs a cushion or chair arm and goes absolutely nuts. Within minutes the drama is over, as is the furniture.   My friends all say get rid of Luke, but that will not happen. He is an otherwise dear dog.  I’ve looked into Thunder jackets, but reviews aren’t great for this issue.  Any suggestions? Many thanks.
Jeanne

Sierra Madre, CA

________________________________________________________________________

Hi Jeanne, 

Thanks for the question! When dogs respond to sounds, as yours has, such as mail being delivered, it’s usually indicative of a trigger (such as the sound of mail going through an opening) and territorial behavior. To solve the problem of destruction that appears to be outcome of that triggered response, a desensitization to the sound is in order. Barking or in your case, destruction can be the result of a high prey drive ( chase catch and shake) triggered by the sound. In your case, the prey is your couch! There are several ways to solve this problem. Increasing your dogs exercise and your “on-leash obedience training” is always a great idea. A group class is a fantastic way to recreate a new relationship.

 Paws For A Minute® Tips to solve doggie demolition/ destruction due to mail delivery

This is a two person exercise.

1. Put your dog on a leash. Doing so helps reinforce eye contact and the positive command and generally helps guide your dog during the correction.

2. Simulate the sound. You can create the sound of mail coming through the mail slot. The repetition of the sound will also help desensitize him to the sound and his destructive reaction.

3. The use of a penny can. A penny can or ( coffee can emptied with a handful a pennies) makes a sudden sharp sound. A sound that represents that of a police car pulling one over for blowing a red light. It has a similar effect. So get a penny can and make sure it is in the hand opposite side to your dog. Remember, it’s not about your dog seeing the can, just more about the sudden shake.

4. Prepare to correct and praise. As he goes to bite the chair or couch shake the can once, and say no! As a trainer, I prefer a sharp sound to that of water being sprayed in a dogs face. The sharp sound of the pennies in the can is scary and it says to your dog “absolutely not” to destroying your couch! Using a leash helps your dog not misunderstand the correction and take off into another room. If your dog is not on a leash he may misunderstand the sound. Remember, the can is on the other side of you so your dog doesn’t see the action or sound is coming.  The leash only helps redirect him into a positive command such as sit. You can add a treat too. The eye contact between you and your dog created from the praise for doing the “sit” command establishes you as the leader, in a good way. Dogs are usually instantly triggered by movements and sound. Good and bad. This time though, you are there to correct his misguided ways. The simulation of the sound of the mail helps you be in control (because you are creating the sound with the other person) and repeat it. Also it’s good to remember, most importantly, you’ll be able to redirect your dog in a positive way ( on a leash ) to sit and praise him for doing so! This process also says to him, your my dog and it’s my house!

Remember for extreme cases of aggression or destruction, always call your local dog training professional or ask your vet for a referral. You are the best judge of your dog, if you feel this correction is not right or your dog could become more aggressive then do not do it. Your instinct is telling you that you have a bigger problem on your hands and you need to address that with your vet.

Feng Shui With Fido™ Feeding Tip. Great Dog Bowls Add Color To Your Kitchen

Add a little color to your kitchen with these cute studio bowls by Wetnoz®.

These bowls are perfect for puppy owners, they’re plastic, inexpensive and look fantastic.

www.wetnoz.com

Paws For A Minute® Feeding Tip: Always feed your new dog a measured amount right for his size and age. Ask your vet about amounts rather than package servings. How, when and where you feed your puppy has everything to do with teaching your pup where to go potty. 

Feng Shui with Fido™ dog training method- Dog + Home = Peace.

Feeding Fido

Where: Kitchen is best, rather than outdoors.

When: Feed your dog when you are present. Many dogs love company or will get distracted if owners walk away and can become finicky eaters.

How: Best to time feed your dog. Put food down at the same time of day, same amount. Use a 15 minute increment for meal time. Pick up the food if not finished, until the next feeding time.

Why: If you leave food in a bowl out all day, it will effect your dogs housebreaking process.

 

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, 

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!

 

 

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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