Does Your Dog Really Know What He’s Done Wrong?

Paws For A Minute® … and think about this…

Some people give lengthy verbal dissertations trying to explain to their dog their extreme displeasure they feel after they’ve discovered their best shoes chewed. Other’s righteously feel their dog totally gets what he’s done wrong. Absolutely, 100 %.. slinking out of the room with their ears back and tail tucked. For sure they know! Right?

 Some people try to punish their dog by using spray bottles, crating or putting your dog outside in the yard to “think about” what he’s done. This may give the person time to cool off after being mad, but really? Does it get the right point across?

Well, the truth is that dogs do respond to voice inflection and body language. So yeah, they get that your mad, but not at what? Dogs associate to things with sense of smell, patterns and triggers. It’s best to explain to them what they’ve done wrong with a sensible process that has a beginning, middle and end to it. Whether your pup has chewed something or gone to the bathroom in the house, get the leash, put it on and guide them over to what they’ve done wrong. Isolating the item or area by guiding your dog to it helps them associate the scent and your voice inflection to the word NO.

Reprimanding your dog this way you’re actually associating the smell of their saliva on the chewed item or urine on the carpet and that identifies to your dog what you’re saying NO for and to what?  After saying no, take your dog “outside” ( in the case of a bathroom mistake) or (in the case of chewing the wrong thing) give them the right chew bone. Then say “okay” in a happy voice indicating that the reprimand is over! Over time he’ll learn the pattern of where to go to the bathroom and what to chew. The days of needing to catch your dog in the act of doing something wrong are over.

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.

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.


A Straight Up Answer About Having An 8 Week-Old Puppy

Paws For A Minute® / ASK INGER-Q&A
I recently purchased, Montauk, see attached. She is a beautiful 8 week-old
“miniature” english Bulldog. 
I have set her up with a crate and a small pen area in my kitchen – about 8ftx3ft in total. I had read a lot about crate training so had been taking her outside frequently over the first few days to go potty. I think she was beginning to understand and respond.
I live in New York City and went to the vet for the first time yesterday. He basically explained to me that as she has not had any vaccinations yet that she must stay inside at all times until the shots are completed when she is about 17 weeks-old. Do you agree with this? I definitely don’t want to put her in danger but feel that keeping her confined in this space for the next 8-weeks is hardly a good life?
In addition, if I am to keep her in the crated / fenced area. What should her schedule look like? Do I only take her out when I play with her (maybe twice) per day? For the rest of the time she is in the fenced area? And I should go about my normal day.
Really appreciate your help. No one seems to give straight answers.
                                                                                                - Richard
Hey, thanks for the great questions. She’s gorgeous and congrats on the new puppy!
 Firstly, yes I do agree with your vet. The problem is that many pet professionals neglect to tell owner’s “why” they should so a certain protocol, hence the confusion. The reason (very young) pup’s should not go outdoors, until fully inoculated, is because they should receive a series of shots, which are complete at around 17-weeks. This is to prevent many viruses but an important one to note is called parvo, a very contagious illness that pup’s can pick up from there pads. The incubation of this type of virus is roughly 15 days and owners wouldn’t know it until their puppy gets sick. Vomiting and diarrhea are the symptoms and rapid dehydration can be the killer, literally. So that’s the main reason, however, remember your pup’s been on the planet only 8 weeks, what’s the hurry? Oh I know, housebreaking.
Yes, well, that’s the next topic of conversation, leaning to go poop outdoors!
Paws For A Minute® / new puppy 8 weeks-old
 Even if your puppy appears to be getting the concept of going to the bathroom outside, biologically she can’t hold it 8 hours (at 8-weeks of age) that happens in stages. So you could neurotically feel compelled to take our puppy outside 45 times a day, because pup’s that age poop a lot, but the truth is that she needs to grow in order to learn to hold the urge to go. Yes, training is apart of that, but your not accelerating the training process at this young age by thinking she understands. Your main mission right now is to teach your new puppy to self-soothe and begin to understand the process of where to go potty.Teaching when to go potty comes later
Learning to self-soothe means teaching your pup to chill by herself (within a safe space) such as a gated area. At 8-weeks a puppy’s day consists of  playing , eating, peeing, pooping, learn how to (go in and out) of the crate, chewing, and get to know you! Think infant. Sleeping in the gated area all night long is a big deal. Music or a sound machine will help. Keep papers or wee-wee pads in one end of the gated area. When you take her out of the gated space, take her out on a leash, and guide her to spot (on a patio or yard) for potty on a wee-wee pad. Dogs will learn by routine, so it’s up to you to set one. Don’t expect for them to just “get it,” cats do that, not dogs. Remember, even if a puppy stumbles out a patio door (that’s kept open) to go potty, doesn’t mean she’s even close to being housebroken. That happens from a combo of training and age! After she goes potty then it can be playtime with you, but for 20 minutes or so at a time! Remember, this can be many, many times a day! You can also hang inside the gated space with her.
You mentioned this type of routine is hardly the good life? Don’t think of it that way, she’s a baby. A ball rolling at that young age is a good time. Have fun and get to know each other. Just like a human baby, puppies at that stage; eat, play, pee, poop, sleep. Now, having said that, when your puppy becomes 12 or 14 weeks-old, the party begins. All papers in the gated space come up, the crate door shuts for periods of time, triggers of music get introduced, commands get implemented, teething starts and the housebreaking concept comes alive.  Stay tuned for stage two of the puppy process which is only a few weeks away. I hope this helped and helps others. Please keep us posted on your progress!

Shopping For The Perfect Puppy Can Be Love At First Sight. Or Are You Being Scammed?

Looking for LOVE and how we find our best friend has been revolutionized over the last decade. The method of how we find “our dog” has morphed with technology. Finding a specific breed or that perfect “disney-like pup” has orbited into cyber space along with dating. Even in the unconditional love world of wet noses and wags, the internet has served as a double edge sword for many prospective dog owners. Unsuspecting and uneducated would-be dog parents can stumble upon puppy brokers guised within large internet companies that marked their territory by catering to fast demands of love-at-first site, no pun intended.

If you want a Jack Russell with one cute black eye, you can find it, buy it and have it shipped to you. The fast food-style of finding love in our new pup culture has it’s heartbreak. Sometimes years into the relationship of mutt-rimony issue’s can be revealed with health, temperament or impulse buys that become a mismatch of lifestyle. How do I know? As a long time dog trainer and pet expert, I have seen first-hand the issues and help resolve them empathetically.

The good new is that with people like Betsy Saul the co-founder of the web can also change the face of animal welfare. Over 5 million people visit that site each month. The website is designed to find your designer dog (in a way) just like the other sites. The only difference is that you can really taylor it to you needs and rescue a puppy or older dog of your choice. Choose any color, size, age and even in your own state and viola you can find your match. They facilitate over 2 million adoptions a year. Since the website (and others) have been created, the number of adoptable pets being euthanized has dropped form over 16 million to an estimated 4 million. Congratulations and thank you!

Now that’s love!

Apartment Dogs: Guidelines To Choosing A Good Dog Walker.

Raising a dog and working to make a living, can have it’s challenges. How do you master raising a puppy and being gone all day? Dog walking services can come in handy to help you on those busy weeks or challenging developmental stages. Getting a dog walker can help you manage developing a schedule with your dog. Here are a few simple things to consider before you hire one. Hiring a big dog walking service can have its pros and cons. For example, there are many individuals that provide a reliable unique experience that can meet your needs too! How do you know what you need? Here are a few thoughts to help you assess what’s best for your lifestyle.

Bigger dog walking companies hire many dog walkers or sometimes have vans servicing many people. Sounds great at first, but your dog may be sitting in a van half of the day, as the service drives around town picking up other clients. Once at the park, puppies usually will play hard with each other, while older dogs often just stand next to the walker waiting for the walk. It’s really up to you to assess your dogs needs and what’s best for your lifestyle, budget and work schedule. Is it to get exercise, go potty, or to be socialized? The main thing you need to note is your dogs age, housebreaking needs, energy level and your hours gone, which will tell you what type of service you really need. Many middle age dogs or senior dogs benefit most by individual one-on-one walks, as opposed to the larger companies that offer park pick-ups. Sometimes, a nice long walk, 10 minute game of fetch and a potty break will do the trick! The best place to find a great dog walker is at your local vet’s office, pet store, or a friends referral. Once you’ve found a great dog walker it is a good idea to interview them properly.

 1. Make sure they are insured or bonded. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to ask. If the person works independently and is not bonded, then always ask for referrals. Use your best judgement. Referrals can come from trainers, vets and other clients they walk. If the dog walking service is a big company, then ask to see their current certificate of insurance, as they often hire many dog walkers to service larger areas. Also, you may not get the same person walking your dog. Discuss your needs, concerns and safety rules with the company and make sure the people they have as walkers, fit your needs and have experience.

2. Give them your cell phone number in case of emergency. If they work for a bigger dog walking service, make sure that you are getting the same person and they have your cell phone number available. 

3. Go on a walk with the walker, once. Observe how they handle your dog, making sure they use the same commands you use, keeping training consistent.

4. Give your dog walker a window of time to arrive. Remember, you aren’t their only client. Two hours is more than fair, they will appreciate the flexibility, and you will get consistent service.

5. If you provide the leashes, training collars etc., it is imperative that YOU regularly inspect them and keep them in working order. Keep them in the same place, and back-ups are always a good idea, especially for specialized gear. Make sure your dog has current tags and information on it’s collar.

6. Provide your walker with your vet’s info in case of emergency. Keep a credit card on file at the vet, along with a signed declaration stating that your walker is allowed to bring the dog in for treatment.

7. Don’t forget your budget. Hiring a dog walking service can add up! However, remember it does not have to be a forever thing. You can cut costs, too. Those of you who own pup’s can use a service for a few months, to get you over the hump of housebreaking issues. Other’s can begin a service with the end goal to-be, to use the service as needed! In other words, eventually, only use the service for your dog during those busy weeks at work. You have options.

Also, remember that your needs may change from needing one type of service to another, over the course of raising your dog!



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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Paws For A Minute® Lifestyle: Dog Boredom Buster Tips!


Is your dog bored with his stuff or just chewing things he’s not supposed to? Here are a few things to spice up his/her life. Here are a few tips that will save you money and others your sanity.

The re-make of the old tennis ball. How? They used an orbe tuff material and put a whole through the bottom. Why? It makes a soft whistling noise that captures a dogs attention, making him want to chase it! Hmmm.. smart stuff.


Yes, it’s a carrot. Not just for rabbit’s or a salad. Try this natural treat along with a few commands. Sit, stay and come! Great for his teeth and low-cal and best on the budget.




Sweet Potato Madness. Yes, it can be used as a great treat. A runner up to the carrot. Microwave or bake potato as you would for yourself. Dice or cut into small pieces. Cool, take off the skin and put into container and keep in the fridge. Dogs go crazy for this treat! Remember, a little goes a long way.


Forget the new toys. All dogs love to chew. For this boredom buster the best thing you could do is to buy a bully stick. It provides hours of crazy chewing fun and peace for you!

Renting An Apartment And Owning Dogs. 8 Must-have Tips

Even if your dream apartment does not allow pets, there may be a way to get around it. Begin by creating a resume for your dog. Sound stupid? It worked for me! I once lived in a one-bedroom apartment, in a building where pets were not allowed, with not one but two German Shepherds!

Moving itself is a pain finding an apartment that allows pets can be impossible. Many landlords can and will make an exception, if you make it easy to say yes. Here are some helpful tips.

Paws For A Minute® Quick Tips for pet owners and renting:

  1.  Go see if you like the place first. Then scope out if you like the neighbors and enquire about pets. Also, check to make sure it is close to a park and the neighborhood is suitable for dog walking.
  2. A great idea is to be professional and it can help to go over the top in effort. Compose your dog’s resume. Be sure to include:
  3. Your dog’s name, age and breed.
  4. A letter from a former landlord or neighbor attesting to your dog’s good behavior. Ask the writer to include a phone number, too.
  5. A letter from your vet might be over kill but helpful nonetheless, it might help. Describing your dog’s health and the flea control products that are used can ensure that you are a responsible person.
  6. A dog training certificate from a group obedience class or letter from a trainer, stating that your dog has completed basic obedience and has no housebreaking problems or separation anxiety or barking issues.
  7. A picture of your pup.
  8. Meet the prospective landlord without your dog. If you like the landlord and feel you can approach the issue, give him or her the resume and ask if the rules can be bent.

Having this all prepared when you fill out the rental form may just give you leading edge. Moving can be an all together new issue so stay tuned for more info…

Oxytocin And Dog Training: Owner Rehab

Paws For A Minute® Inspiration 

It’s the cuddle chemical and it’s findings have forged studies for decades. You know, oxytocin it’s the human brain and stimulant that emotes empathy, trust and of course, the hug. Dog’s provide this in massive quantities for owners and all dog owners definitely understand this high.

The wet nose, the unconditional hello, the crazy tail wag and total excitement to see you creates a feeling in us that is fantastic for our well being.  It’s the cuddle chemical in our brain that is evident with pets and it mirrors the same bond that baby have with their mothers. That powerful punch that creates the warm fuzzy feeling of euphoria. The love drug.

So can training your dog actually make you feel better after a bad day? Actually, yes.

As a matter of fact, oxytocin levels probably remain higher and longer with the tail wagging family members then with some others. As a dogs life span averages over a decade, dog ownership can this carry this particular confection of brian chemistry into addiction. Puppy love can outlast some marriages, and trump the endorphins required to endure long days at the office. So if you want to feel better after a long day, get the leash, your dog and practice a few sits, a stay, or even the come command. End the commands with eye contact and the word “okay” and watch the love and happiness pour out of both of you!

The prime ingredient: a leash, a great walk, a few commands and an occasional cookie. What more could you ask for?

* Not to be confused with oxycontin which might be needed if your dog doesn’t get trained to ease the pain of the destruction and doggie demolition that could occur.

Paws For A Minute® Lifestyle: Dog Tip Of The Day

Getting your dog presentable for that holiday party may mean giving a bath. What professional groomers know that you may not, is that putting shampoo directly onto your dogs coat could create an opposite effect. Applying shampoo directly onto your dogs coat can make rinsing impossible.  Often shampoo residue never gets fully rinsed which leaves your dog’s coat flaky, itchy and even smelly. Therefore, giving you the impression that your dog is dirty and needs baths more often, when actually your dog is reacting to shampoo residue which is creating the flakes. A vicious circle.

A key strategy to getting a really clean dog and a sweet smelling pup is to rinse your dog really well! A helpful tip is to diluting the shampoo with 2 parts water, this  is key. Soapy water baths get your dog cleaner and is easier to rinse.