CHOOSING A DOG TRAINER


Although many dog owners successfully train their pets without outside assistance, some benefit greatly by using a professional . A quality dog trainer can help instruct the dog while also providing the owner with invaluable guidance and assistance. Very problematic dogs-those who seem inordinately aggressive or unruly, for instance-often pose training problems that outstrip the ability of even a relatively well-informed dog owner and a finding a great dog trainer becomes essential.

Dog trainers do not require specific licensing. Any person with a desire to do so can simply proclaim himself or herself a dog trainer, hang up a shingle, and begin soliciting customers. The bar for entry into the dog training profession is set so low that it is no surprise that there are many inadequate trainers trying to do business.

When choosing a dog trainer, how is a dog owner to decide who they should trust with their pet’s care and education? Choosing a dog trainer can be a very difficult proposition but separating the untalented and amateurish from the truly gifted is essential to your dog’s well being. Making a mistake in hiring a dog trainer will not only fail to help your dog, it could worsen his behavior and make it harder to correct later.

There is no magic formula for choosing the right trainer. There are any number of factors you may want to consider to find someone with whom you can successfully work and upon whom you can truly rely. However, there are at least two considerations that should guide most any selection of a dog trainer: Experience and reputation.

Experience

One should try to search out a trainer with significant experience. Experienced trainers are more likely to be able to successfully deal with the unique circumstances of your pet based on their track record with other animals.

Additionally, experience inherently communicates at least a reasonable likelihood of talent. One is not likely to have stayed in business as a dog trainer for any significant period of time if they lacked talent and failed to produce desired results. Experience, in essence, is also a proof of at least some ability.

What about new trainers? After all, even the most veteran and experienced trainer began as a rookie. Does this mean one should pass over every trainer who lacks a long track record?

You may be able to find a truly great trainer among the ranks of the less experienced. There is, however, the increased risk that the trainer will be unable to satisfactorily train your dog. If you are considering a novice trainer, grill them about their past experiences prior to entering the profession. Find out what kind of dogs they have dealt with, if they have a more experienced mentor, and how they feel they have qualified themselves to work with your dog. Picking a rookie trainer could work out perfectly, but it does increase the chances of dealing with someone who is woefully unprepared to handle the job responsibilities of training.

Reputation

Experience is an indicator of talent, but it is not a foolproof way of assessing a trainer’s talents. It is possible for a crafty marketer to stay in business a long time, after all, regardless of the quality of their work. As such, it is appropriate to inquire about the reputation of the dog trainers you are considering. Solicit opinions and references from a variety of sources in order to find the right trainer for you.

Great sources for information regarding wonderful trainers and those you should avoid might include veterinarians, breeders, pet storeowners and close acquaintances who have used a dog trainer. By asking around, you can find out which trainers are most highly regarded.

Ask the trainer himself or herself, too. See if they will provide some references you may contact, preferably past clients. Any trainer who is unwilling to do this should be eyed with some degree of suspicion. Most qualified and talented traders will be happy to give you references to contact. Be sure to follow through. Talk to the references and find out all you can about the trainer and the quality of training the former customers and their dogs experienced.

There are a variety of factors that one may want to consider when seeking out a trainer for their dog. The importance of a trainer to a dog’s life is significant and great care should be taken during the selection process. Two things that must be kept in mind when seeking a trainer are the trainer’s experience and reputation.
Article courtesy of ilovedogs.com

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Puppy’s-Early Socialization/Handling


We cannot stress enough how important early experiences and handling are vital to a puppy. The article below is a good example of how things breeders can do early on to help their puppy’s later in life.

FROM THE WHELPING BOX

Undermining Evolution/Socializing Puppies

By Nan Dittrick
Permission to use article

They’re eight weeks old. Look at those ‘spotty bodies” hopping around the yard. Totally, completely, irresistible. You find yourself discouraging the perspective new owner rather than trying to sell a puppy. Even at twelve weeks the puppy will continue to be the center of attention in his new home. It’s the call at six, seven, eight months that makes your heart tighten. “The Puppy is so strong, no one wants/is able to walk him.” “He dug up the yard.” “When he’s in the house he chews EVERYTHING.” “We have a crate, but ” “We took him to obedience school, but ” “He’s a beautiful dog, but ” By now, the ENVIRONMENT, the biggest and best trainer of all, has made certain that “Puppy” evolved into the perfect canine. As a pet dog trainer this is usually when I receive the calls. Often, my Puppy Love Behavior Camp is the puppy’s last chance. Recently I had a wonderful opportunity to raise a litter of puppies and decided to try out my theories. I discovered that you can combine training and maintenance in a well timed program that will interfere with the evolutionary process. Your puppies have a far better chance of staying in their new homes when you redirect the course of nature.
Puppies are programmed for survival. Fortunately (or unfortunately for the developing dog) the puppy needs very few of his ingrained characteristics to survive in domesticity. My plan was to shift or undermine any behavior that would help a puppy survive in the wild but be detrimental in his new home. So much of what “goes wrong” for our dog stems from him evolving as a canine. Two main themes should underline all puppy socializing: first, human hands are good and second, direct access does not work.
The new born puppy pushes and claws for his food. The faint hearted and weak do not live to reproduce more fainthearted, weak puppies. Lying on his belly, he learns that food is at ground level. Clawing and pushing for food with his nose to the ground will not win the hearts of this puppy’s new owners. In fact, as the puppy matures, it is this very basic ‘hard wired” behavior that develops into jumping-up, grabbing at hands and clothing, chewing and other obnoxious actions. Even though the puppies are still nursing, I will also hand feed at two weeks. My goal: puppies who will look up for food and take it carefully from my fingers. As a result, all puppies develop “soft mouths without any aversive being employed and are conditioned to an acceptable “begging” behavior.

We must be very confusing to dogs. We hover over them – an aggressive message, our hands pushing and patting – a dominate message. It’s a wonder to me why they don’t bite our arms off at the shoulder and be done with us. Desensitizing to human bands is an important beginning in socializing puppies. Dogs do not come into the world knowing that a “pat” is a loving gesture. In dog speak, all that petting and patting we lavish on them, is aggressive. I think at first they simply tolerate it then finally learn to associate it with everything being “O.K.”. However, some do not, becoming” band shy” or nippy.

Our second theme, non-direct access, lies at the heart of what makes us Leader of the Pack. The environment, always available to train the puppy, teaches that survival means grab at what you want. If you don’t, one of your litter mates will. This survival “trait” is hardwired in the puppy and, even though his basic needs are being met, he still wants direct access. By putting ourselves between the puppy and what he wants, we become an essential in his life. A perfect venue for addressing these issues, “hands are good” and “non-direct access”, is meal time. Soften some puppy kibble in a small metal(the shininess catches their attention) food dish. Hold a piece of softened kibble against the front of the puppy’s mouth. When he begins to mouth it direct his head upward as he eats. Keep the food high enough so he will have to sit to reach. Remember, he is programmed to search for food at ground level. Now is the time to instill in him the notion that sitting and looking cute make food happen. Talk to him as you feed so he will associate the sound of the human voice with the good things in life. As he gets better at looking up when he sees your hand and hears your voice, let him see you take the food out of the shinny bowl. Now you are not only a good thing, your are interesting. Keep in mind, we are competing with the environment for the puppy’s attention, be fascinating and dramatic as you retrieve the food. I found that with just a few repetitions the puppies were looking up when I called. Things to remember: it matters not what words you use, it is the TONE of your voice that counts. If you CONSISTENTLY use the same tone when food is being presented they will learn quickly. My sister likes to say numbers for commands because she can be very consistent with tone, there is no emotional meaning to interfere. Make certain the food is the consequence of looking up at the sound of your voice and the sight of the dish. Separate the behavior, looking up, from the delivery of food. If the puppy looks away, restart the procedure until there is clearly a period of looking up. The length of time should be increased as the puppy improves at the “game” and will help instill the notion of non-direct access. As you feed the puppy, familiarize him with the human hand. Gently pull on his lips and tongue. Always direct the food toward the front of his mouth and encourage him to work the food out of your fingers with his front teeth. The puppy knows only sucking at this point so take advantage of the opportunity to teach him the best way to get food from your hand. If you start the puppy in this manner he will never grab treats or have a rough mouth. This will be a great help when you begin teaching staking. I did supplemental hand feeding of the puppies once a day for a week. By mid-week they were ALL sitting and taking food carefully. I continued to hand feed for the remainder of the week because I enjoyed it so much.

At three weeks the puppies are ready for more “hands on” contact. We can combine several socializing goals in one maintenance procedure. As the puppies are weaned and spend more of their meals IN their food, it is necessary to bath them. Bathing will offer an opportunity to address desensitizing to touch, showing the puppy an appropriate behavior in response to touch and a clear association of humans with the familiar comfort of being washed. Using a cloth dipped in warm water, take each puppy to a table or counter where they are high enough to comfortably work on them. Wipe them gently with the warm, damp cloth. Hoover over the puppy offering your neck for him to snuggle. Talk to him in the same tone as when feeding. The puppy again associates hands and your voice with feeling good. Hovering desensitizes him to the view he will have of people the rest of his life. Offering your neck shows him an acceptable place to kiss, lick, nibble a human. None of my puppies tried to bite at faces or fingers as they matured. Having learned from the beginning an acceptable greeting ritual, they were content to nibble an ear lobe or pinch my neck with their front teeth. It is instinctual for them to want to get to your face, rather than attempting to extinguish the behavior , just redirect. By the fourth washing, replace gentle handling with “casual” handling and no talking. It must not feel rough to the puppy, just matter of fact. Watch how Mum “handles” her babies for a lesson in being casual. If the puppy seems frightened return to gentle handling, offer your neck and talk in “food” tone. Most of my puppies were accepting of the “casual” handling, positioned like a lump of clay, grunting as I brusquely dried them. Two of them objected; one tried to slither away, the other growled and tried to bite! My immediate thought was to change my plan and address these two renegades. However, as I contemplated my next move I realized I would undermine my “hands are good” message if I attempted to discipline the puppies. I decided instead to “dominate” the puppies making certain the message was non-aggressive. Holding the puppy on her side using one hand, fingers extended to keep the head flat, I kept her at arms length so as not to appear “hovering”. The instant she stopped struggling (almost immediate for one, about 5 seconds for the other) I took my hand away quickly, and allowed her to sit. I then dominated again with very little struggle from either.

I dominated all the puppies at wash time. Initially they struggled, which they should, but soon learned yielding to pressure meant release. This was a valuable tool when teaching them appropriate nail trimming behavior. All puppies were accepting of being dominated, several could be counted on to put up some struggle every time. Mostly I would “make up”(stroking, inviting an ear nibble) to the puppy after dominating but made certain there were times I did not. After all, this is often what real life brings to a dog. As the puppies matured, I would dominate them whenever the spirit moved me and for no apparent reason to them. This is common pack behavior, the leader’s indiscriminate, non-aggressive dominance of the individuals. They were quite accepting and certainly well prepared for the injustice of the vet’s office, dog shows and first class at obedience school.
  

  

 

 

 

Puppy’s-Early Socialization/Handling


We cannot stress enough how important early experiences and handling are vital to a puppy. The article below is a good example of how things breeders can do early on to help their puppy’s later in life.

FROM THE WHELPING BOX

Undermining Evolution/Socializing Puppies

By Nan Dittrick
Permission to use article

They’re eight weeks old. Look at those ‘spotty bodies” hopping around the yard. Totally, completely, irresistible. You find yourself discouraging the perspective new owner rather than trying to sell a puppy. Even at twelve weeks the puppy will continue to be the center of attention in his new home. It’s the call at six, seven, eight months that makes your heart tighten. “The Puppy is so strong, no one wants/is able to walk him.” “He dug up the yard.” “When he’s in the house he chews EVERYTHING.” “We have a crate, but ” “We took him to obedience school, but ” “He’s a beautiful dog, but ” By now, the ENVIRONMENT, the biggest and best trainer of all, has made certain that “Puppy” evolved into the perfect canine. As a pet dog trainer this is usually when I receive the calls. Often, my Puppy Love Behavior Camp is the puppy’s last chance. Recently I had a wonderful opportunity to raise a litter of puppies and decided to try out my theories. I discovered that you can combine training and maintenance in a well timed program that will interfere with the evolutionary process. Your puppies have a far better chance of staying in their new homes when you redirect the course of nature.
Puppies are programmed for survival. Fortunately (or unfortunately for the developing dog) the puppy needs very few of his ingrained characteristics to survive in domesticity. My plan was to shift or undermine any behavior that would help a puppy survive in the wild but be detrimental in his new home. So much of what “goes wrong” for our dog stems from him evolving as a canine. Two main themes should underline all puppy socializing: first, human hands are good and second, direct access does not work.
The new born puppy pushes and claws for his food. The faint hearted and weak do not live to reproduce more fainthearted, weak puppies. Lying on his belly, he learns that food is at ground level. Clawing and pushing for food with his nose to the ground will not win the hearts of this puppy’s new owners. In fact, as the puppy matures, it is this very basic ‘hard wired” behavior that develops into jumping-up, grabbing at hands and clothing, chewing and other obnoxious actions. Even though the puppies are still nursing, I will also hand feed at two weeks. My goal: puppies who will look up for food and take it carefully from my fingers. As a result, all puppies develop “soft mouths without any aversive being employed and are conditioned to an acceptable “begging” behavior.

We must be very confusing to dogs. We hover over them – an aggressive message, our hands pushing and patting – a dominate message. It’s a wonder to me why they don’t bite our arms off at the shoulder and be done with us. Desensitizing to human bands is an important beginning in socializing puppies. Dogs do not come into the world knowing that a “pat” is a loving gesture. In dog speak, all that petting and patting we lavish on them, is aggressive. I think at first they simply tolerate it then finally learn to associate it with everything being “O.K.”. However, some do not, becoming” band shy” or nippy.

Our second theme, non-direct access, lies at the heart of what makes us Leader of the Pack. The environment, always available to train the puppy, teaches that survival means grab at what you want. If you don’t, one of your litter mates will. This survival “trait” is hardwired in the puppy and, even though his basic needs are being met, he still wants direct access. By putting ourselves between the puppy and what he wants, we become an essential in his life. A perfect venue for addressing these issues, “hands are good” and “non-direct access”, is meal time. Soften some puppy kibble in a small metal(the shininess catches their attention) food dish. Hold a piece of softened kibble against the front of the puppy’s mouth. When he begins to mouth it direct his head upward as he eats. Keep the food high enough so he will have to sit to reach. Remember, he is programmed to search for food at ground level. Now is the time to instill in him the notion that sitting and looking cute make food happen. Talk to him as you feed so he will associate the sound of the human voice with the good things in life. As he gets better at looking up when he sees your hand and hears your voice, let him see you take the food out of the shinny bowl. Now you are not only a good thing, your are interesting. Keep in mind, we are competing with the environment for the puppy’s attention, be fascinating and dramatic as you retrieve the food. I found that with just a few repetitions the puppies were looking up when I called. Things to remember: it matters not what words you use, it is the TONE of your voice that counts. If you CONSISTENTLY use the same tone when food is being presented they will learn quickly. My sister likes to say numbers for commands because she can be very consistent with tone, there is no emotional meaning to interfere. Make certain the food is the consequence of looking up at the sound of your voice and the sight of the dish. Separate the behavior, looking up, from the delivery of food. If the puppy looks away, restart the procedure until there is clearly a period of looking up. The length of time should be increased as the puppy improves at the “game” and will help instill the notion of non-direct access. As you feed the puppy, familiarize him with the human hand. Gently pull on his lips and tongue. Always direct the food toward the front of his mouth and encourage him to work the food out of your fingers with his front teeth. The puppy knows only sucking at this point so take advantage of the opportunity to teach him the best way to get food from your hand. If you start the puppy in this manner he will never grab treats or have a rough mouth. This will be a great help when you begin teaching staking. I did supplemental hand feeding of the puppies once a day for a week. By mid-week they were ALL sitting and taking food carefully. I continued to hand feed for the remainder of the week because I enjoyed it so much.

At three weeks the puppies are ready for more “hands on” contact. We can combine several socializing goals in one maintenance procedure. As the puppies are weaned and spend more of their meals IN their food, it is necessary to bath them. Bathing will offer an opportunity to address desensitizing to touch, showing the puppy an appropriate behavior in response to touch and a clear association of humans with the familiar comfort of being washed. Using a cloth dipped in warm water, take each puppy to a table or counter where they are high enough to comfortably work on them. Wipe them gently with the warm, damp cloth. Hoover over the puppy offering your neck for him to snuggle. Talk to him in the same tone as when feeding. The puppy again associates hands and your voice with feeling good. Hovering desensitizes him to the view he will have of people the rest of his life. Offering your neck shows him an acceptable place to kiss, lick, nibble a human. None of my puppies tried to bite at faces or fingers as they matured. Having learned from the beginning an acceptable greeting ritual, they were content to nibble an ear lobe or pinch my neck with their front teeth. It is instinctual for them to want to get to your face, rather than attempting to extinguish the behavior , just redirect. By the fourth washing, replace gentle handling with “casual” handling and no talking. It must not feel rough to the puppy, just matter of fact. Watch how Mum “handles” her babies for a lesson in being casual. If the puppy seems frightened return to gentle handling, offer your neck and talk in “food” tone. Most of my puppies were accepting of the “casual” handling, positioned like a lump of clay, grunting as I brusquely dried them. Two of them objected; one tried to slither away, the other growled and tried to bite! My immediate thought was to change my plan and address these two renegades. However, as I contemplated my next move I realized I would undermine my “hands are good” message if I attempted to discipline the puppies. I decided instead to “dominate” the puppies making certain the message was non-aggressive. Holding the puppy on her side using one hand, fingers extended to keep the head flat, I kept her at arms length so as not to appear “hovering”. The instant she stopped struggling (almost immediate for one, about 5 seconds for the other) I took my hand away quickly, and allowed her to sit. I then dominated again with very little struggle from either.

I dominated all the puppies at wash time. Initially they struggled, which they should, but soon learned yielding to pressure meant release. This was a valuable tool when teaching them appropriate nail trimming behavior. All puppies were accepting of being dominated, several could be counted on to put up some struggle every time. Mostly I would “make up”(stroking, inviting an ear nibble) to the puppy after dominating but made certain there were times I did not. After all, this is often what real life brings to a dog. As the puppies matured, I would dominate them whenever the spirit moved me and for no apparent reason to them. This is common pack behavior, the leader’s indiscriminate, non-aggressive dominance of the individuals. They were quite accepting and certainly well prepared for the injustice of the vet’s office, dog shows and first class at obedience school.
  

  

 

 

 

Introducing Your New Dog to Your Other Pets

 

Introducing Your New Dog to Your Other Pets

Copyright Denver Dumb Friends League and Humane Society of the United States. All rights reserved.

It’s important to have realistic expectations when introducing a new pet to a resident pet. Some pets are more social than others. For example, an eight-year-old dog that has never been around other animals may never learn to share his/her territory (or his/her people) with other pets in the household. However, an eight-week-old puppy separated from his/her mom and littermates for the first time, might prefer to have a cat or dog companion. If you are introducing your new dog to a resident cat, it is important to know that cats are territorial and need to be introduced to other animals very slowly in order to give them time to get used to each other before there is a faceto- face confrontation. Slow introductions help prevent fearful and aggressive problems from developing. PLEASE NOTE: When you introduce pets to each other, one of them may send “play” signals which can be misinterpreted by the other pet. If those signals are interpreted as aggression by one animal, then you should handle the situation as “aggressive.”

Confinement

If you are introducing your new dog to a resident cat, confine your cat to one medium-sized room with her litter box, food, water and a bed. Feed your resident pets and the newcomer on each side of the door to this room. This will help all of them to associate something enjoyable (eating!) with each other’s smells. Don’t put the food so close to the door that the animals are too upset by each other’s presence to eat. Gradually move the dishes closer to the door until your pets can eat calmly, directly on either side of the door. Next, use two doorstops to prop open the door just enough to allow the animals to see each other, and repeat the whole process.

Swap Scents

Switch sleeping blankets or beds between your new dog and your resident animals so they have a chance to become accustomed to each other’s scent. Rub a towel on one animal and put it underneath the food dish of another animal. You should do this with each animal in the house.

Switch Living Areas

Give your new dog free time in the cat’s room(s) while confining your other animals. This switch provides another way for the animals to experience each other’s scents without a face-to-face meeting. It also allows the newcomer to become familiar with his/her new surroundings without being frightened by the other animals.

Avoid Fearful And Aggressive Meetings

Avoid any interactions between your pets that result in either fearful or aggressive behavior. If these responses are allowed to become a habit, they can be difficult to change. It’s better to introduce your pets to each other so gradually that neither animal becomes afraid or aggressive. You can expect mild forms of these behaviors, but don’t give them the opportunity to intensify. If either animal becomes fearful or aggressive, separate them, and start over with the introduction process in a series of very small, gradual steps, as outlined above.

Precautions

If one of your pets has a medical problem or is injured, this could stall the introduction process. Check with your veterinarian to be sure that all of your pets are healthy. You’ll also want to have at least one litter box per cat, and you’ll probably need to clean all of the litter boxes more frequently. Make sure that none of the cats are being “ambushed” by another while trying to use the litter box. Try to keep your resident pets’ schedule as close as possible to what it was before the newcomer’s appearance. Cats can make lots of noise, pull each other’s hair, and roll around quite dramatically without either cat being injured. If small spats do occur between your cats, you shouldn’t attempt to intervene directly to separate the cats. Instead, make a loud noise, throw a pillow, or use a squirt bottle with water and vinegar to separate the cats. Give them a chance to calm down before re-introducing them to each other. Be sure each cat has a safe hiding place.

Dog to Cat Introductions

Dogs can kill a cat very easily, even if they’re only playing. All it takes is one shake and the cat’s neck can break. Some dogs have such a high prey drive they should never be left alone with a cat. Dogs usually want to chase and play with cats, and cats usually become afraid and defensive. Use the techniques aforementioned to begin introducing your new cat to your resident dog. In addition:

Practice Obedience

If your dog doesn’t already know the commands “sit,” “down,” “come” and “stay,” you should begin working on them. Small pieces of food will increase your dog’s motivation to perform, which will be necessary in the presence of such a strong distraction as a new cat. Even if your dog already knows these commands, work with obeying commands in return for a tidbit.

Controlled Meeting

After your new dog and resident cat have become comfortable eating on opposite sides of the door, and have been exposed to each other’s scents as described above, you can attempt a face-to-face introduction in a controlled manner. Put your dog’s leash on, and using treats, have him either sit or lie down and stay. Have another family member or friend enter the room and quietly sit down next to your cat, but don’t have them physically restrain her. Have this person offer your cat some special pieces of food or catnip. At first, the cat and the dog should be on opposite sides of the room. Lots of short visits are better than a few long visits. Don’t drag out the visit so long that the dog becomes uncontrollable. Repeat this step several times until both the cat and dog are tolerating each other’s presence without fear, aggression or other undesirable behavior.

Let Your Cat Go

Next, allow your cat freedom to explore your dog at her own pace, with the dog still on-leash and in a “down-stay.” Meanwhile, keep giving your dog treats and praise for his calm behavior. If your dog gets up from his “stay” position, he should be repositioned with a treat lure, and praised and rewarded for obeying the “stay” command. If your cat runs away or becomes aggressive, you’re progressing too fast. Go back to the previous introduction steps. If you cannot get a handle on your dog’s behavior, a good quality training class can put you back in control of your dog so that your cat can enjoy her home too! Do not allow your dog to chase ANY small animals. That will only undermine training your dog to leave your cat alone.

Positive Reinforcement

Although your dog must be taught that chasing or being rough with your cat is unacceptable behavior, he must also be taught how to behave appropriately, and be rewarded for doing so, such as sitting, coming when called, or lying down in return for a treat. If your dog is always punished when your cat is around, and never has “good things” happen in the cat’s presence, your dog may redirect aggression toward the cat. Allow your cat to approach your dog. By all means, allow your cat to walk up and investigate your dog but watch carefully so that your dog does not attempt to chase your cat. By allowing this to happen, your cat will gain trust in you and your dog that nothing bad is going to happen to her. Your cat will begin to realize that sharing a house with a dog (who is not allowed to approach her) isn’t so bad at all!  Give your dog an outlet for his chase behavior. Teach him to chase a ball, Frisbee, tether ball or squeaky toy rather than your cat. Regular exercise can help your dog remain calm around your cat.

Directly Supervise All Interactions Between Your Dog And Cat

You may want to keep your dog on-leash and with you whenever your cat is free in the house during the introduction process. Be sure that your cat has an escape route and a place to hide. Keep your dog and cat separated when you aren’t home until you’re certain your cat will be safe.

Precautions

Dogs like to eat cat food. Eating cat food can cause kidney and liver problems in dogs because the protein and fat content in cat food is too high for dogs to digest appropriately. You should keep the cat food out of your dog’s reach (in a closet or on a high shelf). Eating cat feces is also a relatively common behavior in dogs. Although there are no health hazards to your dog, it’s probably distasteful to you. It’s also upsetting to your cat to have such an important object “invaded.” Unfortunately, attempts to keep your dog out of the litter box by “booby trapping” it will also keep your cat away as well. Punishment after the fact will not change your dog’s behavior. The best solution is to place the litter box where your dog can’t access it, for example: behind a baby gate; in a closet with the door anchored open from both sides and just wide enough for your cat; or inside a tall, topless cardboard box with easy access for your cat.

A Word About Kittens And Puppies

Because they’re so much smaller, kittens are in more danger of being injured, of being killed by a young energetic dog, or by a predatory dog. A kitten will need to be kept separate from an especially energetic dog until she is fullygrown, and even then she should never be left alone with the dog. Usually, a well-socialized cat will be able to keep a puppy in its place, but some cats don’t have enough confidence to do this. If you have an especially shy cat, you might need to keep her separated from your puppy until he matures enough to have more self-control.

When To Get Help

If introductions don’t go smoothly, seek professional help immediately (see our handout: “When the Helpline Can’t Help”). Animals can be severely injured in fights, and the longer the problem continues, the harder it can be to resolve. Conflicts between pets in the same family can often be resolved with professional help. Punishment won’t work, though, and could make things worse.

 

 

Canine Behavior and Misbehavior

 If Rover’s chewing through your shoe collection or regularly raiding the trash, it may seem like a personal put-down. But unless he learns the proper etiquette, your ill-mannered mutt is just doing what comes naturally.

The habits that may in the human world qualify as misbehavior on the part of your canine companion are usually entirely normal dog behaviors that have run afoul of human rules. Rather than punish your dog for doing something he didn’t understand was wrong, you need to restrict his access to the garbage area when you are not home and alleviate the hunger, boredom or separation anxiety that may have led to garbage picking in the first place. Think like a dog; start by understanding what motivates him to do the things he does.

Below you’ll find an overview of some of the most common canine misbehaviors. In correcting these misbehaviors, spend time on basic obedience training. Training involves both you and your dog. The better trained a pet owner you are, the better trained your dog will be. If you continue to have problems with certain behaviors, consult a professional behaviorist.

Digging
Digging is a natural tendency for dogs, and they may do it for several reasons: to reach or get to a prey, to protest against being left outside too long, to relieve boredom, or to make a cooling/heating pit. You can discourage your dog from digging in areas where he should not. Here’s how:

  • Fill the holes with debris such as dead leaves, sticks or rocks and cover it with dirt. Dogs usually get discouraged with the debris, and give up.
  • Put “surprises” in the hole like a water balloon that will pop when the dog digs or cans filled with pennies that will make a lot of noise.
  • Designate a place where the dog has permission to dig. This may be a sandbox or an out-of-the-way section of yard. Teach your dog to dig there by burying a toy or treat, then encourage and praise your dog for digging only in that area.

Scratching Doors
Dogs are highly social animals and want to be where the action is. They may scratch doors in their effort to convince their owners to let them in or out. First, figure out why he’s scratching and see if you can resolve his problem. If he has to go out to relieve himself, take him for a walk. If he is lonely outside and wants your attention, take a short play break with him. Check to see if his food and water dishes are full. If he continues scratching, tell him “No!” firmly, when you catch him in the act.

A good substitute for scratching that will alert you to your dog’s need (and that won’t ruin the door) is to hang a small bell by the doorknob or near the door. Let him use his nose or paw to ring the bell every time you take him in or out, and soon he will learn that this is the way to get your attention.

Jumping on Furniture and People
The best way to keep a dog from jumping on furniture and people is to train him to sit on command. Give the command when you anticipate the dog is about to jump up, then reward him with praise or food when he complies.

Bolting out of Doors
For their own safety, dogs must never be allowed to dash out as soon as you open the door. Again, good training is your answer to a bad habit. Basic obedience commands such as “sit” and “stay” will stop your dog from finding himself in a potentially dangerous situation.

Barking and Howling
When your dog barks or howls, find out why before you tell him to stop. If he’s alerting you to a stranger in the yard or at the door, praise him and then tell him “Quiet.” If he barks constantly at sights and sounds outside your home, put him in a quieter less stimulating part of the house. If he howls all day when you’re gone – something you may discover from your neighbors – he may be suffering from separation anxiety and in need of professional intervention.

One basic obedience command that can discourage incessant barking and howling is the “speak” command. When your dog barks, give the command “Speak!” and praise him so he knows he’s pleased you. Then train him further by saying “Speak!” and waiting for him to comply. When he does, give him a treat and plenty of praise. In no time, he will learn to understand that the combination of “No! Speak!” means he shouldn’t make a sound.

Chewing Shoes and Other Objects
Expect your dog to chew. It’s a normal, healthy activity that can be a dog’s favorite pastime. The problem arises when your dog is chewing on all the wrong things. To keep your dog from chewing on shoes, socks, and other objects, don’t ever use the items as toys. For example, if you give your dog an old sock or shoe to play with, he may think that all socks and shoes are his to chew on. When at all possible, keep the objects out of reach of your dog. Provide him with a “puppy proof” area, full of chew toys such as Kongs and Nyla-bones.

Since puppies chew because they’re teething, always have a supply of chew toys on hand. Whenever you see your dog about to chew on something else, say “No!” gently take it from him, and replace it with one of his chew toys.

Some spray products on the market may help deter unwanted chewing. Products like Bitter Apple or hot sauce will make the chewable items taste bad.

If after these interventions, your dog is still chewing you out of house and home, particularly when he’s left alone, he may be suffering from separation anxiety and may need professional help.

Begging for Food
Dogs are scavengers. Most dogs can’t resist the smell of food wafting toward their nose. Once you offer them a bite from your plate, they will take it as an invitation to join you at every meal. You can teach your dog that this is unacceptable behavior by giving him the “sit” or “lie down” commands when you sit down to eat. It’s also highly effective to “stare down” your dog in order to get the message across. Make direct eye contact with him until he looks away. Wolf and dog alpha leaders use the stare down to elicit submissive behavior from their underlings.

At the end of the meal, give your dog a verbal signal that it’s okay to get up. A simple, “Okay!” and lots of praise should do the trick. If none of these techniques work, crate him or have him stay somewhere out of sight of the dining room table until you’ve finished eating. Also, try feeding your dog before you eat.

Stealing Food
The key to stopping your dog from stealing food from the counter top or table is to startle him (without harming him, of course). You can easily make a homemade device to accomplish this by putting several pebbles in an empty pop can and attaching it with string to a piece of food. When your dog steals the piece of food, the can will come crashing down and scare him out of his bad habit.

Pulling on the Leash
Dogs will tend to pull on their leash if they are excited about being out for a walk. Dogs naturally resist the pull of a leash by forging forward. The only way a dog will understand that pulling is not okay is to teach him on-leash manners. You can use basic obedience techniques to teach him to “heel” and walk comfortably on his leash, rather than drag you to where he wants to go.

Refusing Commands
A dog that refuses commands that he has already been trained to obey is challenging his owner’s authority as alpha leader. This is especially common in adolescent dogs. It’s important to always correct a challenge by insisting on the spot that the dog obey your command. Never allow your dog to get away with ignoring a command. Otherwise, it will become difficult to make him follow your commands in the future.

If your dog continues to challenge you, re-establish dominance by making focused eye contact, speaking in a stern but controlled voice and giving him a time out in his crate. Never assert your authority with physical punishment.

Eating Waste
Many dogs eat their own feces, but no one is really sure why. One theory is that dogs are imitating their mother’s behavior of cleaning up after them when they soil their whelping area as puppies. Another theory is that the dog has a trypsin (digestive enzyme) deficiency. The dog is not getting enough nutrients from his food, so he eats the stool to compensate. A veterinarian can easily test your dog for this syndrome. Eating feces is usually only harmful if the feces contains parasites. Nevertheless, it’s an unattractive habit and there are several ways to curb it:

  • Clean up your dog’s feces as soon as possible.
  • Add Accent (monosodium glutamate) or kelp tablets to your dog’s food, which will give the feces a bad taste for the dog.
  • Pour hot sauce or vinegar directly on the feces.

If your dog won’t give up the habit, have a veterinarian examine him to rule out any nutritional deficiencies or other health problems.

Article Obtained From:  http://www.petco.com/Content/Article.aspx?PC=article&Nav=153&PetTypeID=&TopicID=&id=367&webt=0&tab=&categoryID=2&pettype=1&articleID=367

 

Temperament Test For Puppy’s

 

 

Performed on the 49th Day of age
by Marjorie Hudson of The Chosen Dog, Escondido, CA
All new owners are encouraged to attend this valuable assessment

 

 

Puppy Personality Profile
PART I – PUPPY APTITUDE TEST  puppy____________ (sex) ___ litter _____________________________ date ____________

 

TEST PURPOSE SCORE 1
SOCIAL ATTRACTION:
Place puppy in test area. From a few
feet away the tester coaxes the pup
to her/him by clapping hands gently
and kneeling down. Tester must coax in a direction away from the point where it entered the testing area.
Degree of social
attraction, confidence
or dependence.
-Came readily, tail up, jumped, bit at hands.
-Came readily, tail up, pawed, licked at hands.
-Came readily, tail up.
-Came readily, tail down
-Came hesitantly, tail down.
-Didn’t come at all.
123
4
5
6
      
       

FOLLOWING:
Stand up and walk away from the
pup in a normal manner. Make sure
the pup sees you walk away.
Degree of following
attraction. Not
following indicates
independence.
-Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot,
bit at feet.
-Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot.
-Followed readily, tail up
-Followed readily, tail down.
-Followed hesitantly, tail down.
-No follow or went away.
123
4
5
6
RESTRAINT:
Crouch down and gently roll the pup
on his back and hold it with one
hand for a full 30 seconds.
Degree of dominant or
submissive tendency.
How it accepts stress
when socially/
physically dominated.
-Struggled fiercely, flailed, bit.
-Struggled fiercely, flailed.
-Settled, struggled, settled with some
eye contact.
-Struggled then settled.
-No struggle.
-No struggle, straining to avoid eye contact.
1
2
3
4
5
6
SOCIAL DOMINANCE:
Let pup standup and gently stroke
him from the head to back while
you crouch beside him.
Continue stroking until a
recognizable behavior is established.
Degree of acceptance
of social dominance.
Pup may try to
dominate by jumping
and nipping or is
independent and walks away.
-Jumped, pawed, bit, growled.
-Jumped, pawed.
-Cuddles up to tester and tries to lick
face.
-Squirmed, licked at hands.
-Rolled over, licked at hands.
-Went away and stayed away.
1
2
3
4
5
6
ELEVATION DOMINANCE:
Bend over and cradle the pup under
its belly, fingers interlaced, palms
up and elevate it just off the ground.
Hold it there for 30 seconds.
Degree of accepting
dominance while in
position of no control.
-Struggled fiercely, bit, growled.
-Struggled fiercely.
-No struggle, relaxed
-Struggled, settled, licked
-No struggle, licked at hands.
-No struggle, froze.
1
2
3
4
5
6

 

PART II – OBEDIENCE APTITUDE TEST

TEST PURPOSE SCORE 1
RETRIEVING:
Crouch beside pup and attract
his attention with crumpled up
paper ball. When the pup shows
interest and is watching, toss the
object 4-6 feet in front of pup.
Degree of willingness
to work with a human.
High correlation
between ability to
retrieve and successful
guide dogs, obedience
dogs, field trial dogs.
-Chases object, picks up object and
runs away.
-Chases object, stands over object,
does not return.
-Chases object and returns with object
to tester.
-Chases object and returns without
object to tester.
-Starts to chase object, loses interest.
-Does not chase object.
12345
6
TOUCH SENSITIVITY:
Take puppy’s webbing of one
front foot and press between *finger
and thumb lightly then more firmly
till you get a response, while you
count slowly to 10. Stop as soon as
puppy pulls away, or shows
discomfort.
*Do NOT use fingernail.
Degree of sensitivity to
touch.
8-10 counts before response.
6-7 counts before response.
5-6 counts before response.
2-4 counts before response.
1-2 counts before response.
 
1
2
3
4
5
 
SOUND SENSITIVITY:
Place pup in the center of area,
tester or assistant makes a sharp
noise a few feet from the puppy.
A large metal spoon struck
sharply on a metal pan twice
works well.
Degree of sensitivity to
sound. (Also can be a
rudimentary test for
deafness.)
-Listens, locates sound, walks toward
it barking.
-Listens, locates sound, barks.
-Listens, locates sound, shows
curiosity and walks toward sound.
-Listens, locates the sound.
-Cringes, backs off, hides.
-Ignores sound, shows no curiosity.
12
3
4
5
6
SIGHT SENSITIVITY:
Place pup in center of room. Tie
a string around a large towel and
jerk it across the floor a few feet
away from puppy.
Degree of intelligent
response to strange
object.
-Looks, attacks and bites.
-Looks, barks and tail up.
-Looks curiously, attempts to
investigate.
-Looks, barks, tail-tuck.
-Runs away, hides.
1
2
3
4
5
Comments:
 
 
 
 
 
   

Interpreting the Scores

  • Mostly 1’s A puppy that consistently scores a 1 in the temperament section of the test is an extremely dominant, aggressive puppy who can easily be provoked to bite. His dominant nature will attempt to resist human leadership, thus requiring only the most experienced of handlers. This puppy is a poor choice for most individuals and will do best in a working situation as a guard or police dog.
  • Mostly 2’s This pup is dominant and self-assured. He can be provoked to bite; however he readily accepts human leadership that is firm, consistent and knowledgeable. This is not a dog for a tentative, indecisive individual. In the right hands, he has the potential to become a fine working or show dog and could fit into an adult household, provided the owners know what they are doing.
  • Mostly 3’s This pup is outgoing and friendly and will adjust well in situations in which he receives regular training and exercise. He has a flexible temperament that adapts well to different types of environment, provided he is handled correctly. May be too much dog for a family with small children or an elderly couple who are sedentary.
  • Mostly 4’s A pup that scores a majority of 4’s is an easily controlled, adaptable puppy whose submissive nature will make him continually look to his master for leadership. This pup is easy to train, reliable with kids, and, though he lacks self-confidence, makes a high-quality family pet. He is usually less outgoing than a pup scoring in the 3’s, but his demeanor is gentle and affectionate.
  • Mostly 5’s This is a pup who is extremely submissive and lacking in self-confidence. He bonds very closely with his owner and requires regular companionship and encouragement to bring him out of himself. If handled incorrectly, this pup will grow up very shy and fearful. For this reason, he will do best in a predictable, structured lifestyle with owners who are patient and not overly demanding, such as an elderly couple.
  • Mostly 6’s A puppy that scores 6 consistently is independent and uninterested in people. He will mature into a dog who is not demonstrably affectionate and who has a low need for human companionship. In general, it is rare to see properly socialized pups test this way; however there are several breeds that have been bred for specific tasks (such as basenjis, hounds, and some northern breeds) which can exhibit this level of independence. To perform as intended, these dogs require a singularity of purpose that is not compromised by strong attachments to their owner.

The remainder of the puppy test is an evaluation of obedience aptitude and working ability and provides a general picture of a pup’s intelligence, spirit, and willingness to work with a human being. For most owners, a good companion dog will score in the 3 to 4 range in this section of the test. Puppies scoring a combination of 1’s and 2’s require experienced handlers who will be able to draw the best aspects of their potential from them.Important note from Wendy Volhard…regarding the Touch Sensitivity test – Do not use your fingernail when performing this test. Press between the finger and thumb lightly then more firmly until you get a response.

Developed by Joachim and Wendy Volhard and reprinted here with permission of Wendy Volhard. © 1996 Wendy Volhard.quipment  
Recommended Diet  |  FAQs About Feeding Raw Recommended Vacc. Schedule  |  Vaccination sions
Breeder Ethics Questionnaire  |  Photo Gallery
Recent Litters  |  A Breeder’s Life  |  The Dapper Dog by TIARA 

Temperament Test For Puppy’s

 

 

Performed on the 49th Day of age
by Marjorie Hudson of The Chosen Dog, Escondido, CA
All new owners are encouraged to attend this valuable assessment

 

 

Puppy Personality Profile
PART I – PUPPY APTITUDE TEST  puppy____________ (sex) ___ litter _____________________________ date ____________

 

TEST PURPOSE SCORE 1
SOCIAL ATTRACTION:
Place puppy in test area. From a few
feet away the tester coaxes the pup
to her/him by clapping hands gently
and kneeling down. Tester must coax in a direction away from the point where it entered the testing area.
Degree of social
attraction, confidence
or dependence.
-Came readily, tail up, jumped, bit at hands.
-Came readily, tail up, pawed, licked at hands.
-Came readily, tail up.
-Came readily, tail down
-Came hesitantly, tail down.
-Didn’t come at all.
123
4
5
6
      
       

FOLLOWING:
Stand up and walk away from the
pup in a normal manner. Make sure
the pup sees you walk away.
Degree of following
attraction. Not
following indicates
independence.
-Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot,
bit at feet.
-Followed readily, tail up, got underfoot.
-Followed readily, tail up
-Followed readily, tail down.
-Followed hesitantly, tail down.
-No follow or went away.
123
4
5
6
RESTRAINT:
Crouch down and gently roll the pup
on his back and hold it with one
hand for a full 30 seconds.
Degree of dominant or
submissive tendency.
How it accepts stress
when socially/
physically dominated.
-Struggled fiercely, flailed, bit.
-Struggled fiercely, flailed.
-Settled, struggled, settled with some
eye contact.
-Struggled then settled.
-No struggle.
-No struggle, straining to avoid eye contact.
1
2
3
4
5
6
SOCIAL DOMINANCE:
Let pup standup and gently stroke
him from the head to back while
you crouch beside him.
Continue stroking until a
recognizable behavior is established.
Degree of acceptance
of social dominance.
Pup may try to
dominate by jumping
and nipping or is
independent and walks away.
-Jumped, pawed, bit, growled.
-Jumped, pawed.
-Cuddles up to tester and tries to lick
face.
-Squirmed, licked at hands.
-Rolled over, licked at hands.
-Went away and stayed away.
1
2
3
4
5
6
ELEVATION DOMINANCE:
Bend over and cradle the pup under
its belly, fingers interlaced, palms
up and elevate it just off the ground.
Hold it there for 30 seconds.
Degree of accepting
dominance while in
position of no control.
-Struggled fiercely, bit, growled.
-Struggled fiercely.
-No struggle, relaxed
-Struggled, settled, licked
-No struggle, licked at hands.
-No struggle, froze.
1
2
3
4
5
6

 

PART II – OBEDIENCE APTITUDE TEST

TEST PURPOSE SCORE 1
RETRIEVING:
Crouch beside pup and attract
his attention with crumpled up
paper ball. When the pup shows
interest and is watching, toss the
object 4-6 feet in front of pup.
Degree of willingness
to work with a human.
High correlation
between ability to
retrieve and successful
guide dogs, obedience
dogs, field trial dogs.
-Chases object, picks up object and
runs away.
-Chases object, stands over object,
does not return.
-Chases object and returns with object
to tester.
-Chases object and returns without
object to tester.
-Starts to chase object, loses interest.
-Does not chase object.
12345
6
TOUCH SENSITIVITY:
Take puppy’s webbing of one
front foot and press between *finger
and thumb lightly then more firmly
till you get a response, while you
count slowly to 10. Stop as soon as
puppy pulls away, or shows
discomfort.
*Do NOT use fingernail.
Degree of sensitivity to
touch.
8-10 counts before response.
6-7 counts before response.
5-6 counts before response.
2-4 counts before response.
1-2 counts before response.
 
1
2
3
4
5
 
SOUND SENSITIVITY:
Place pup in the center of area,
tester or assistant makes a sharp
noise a few feet from the puppy.
A large metal spoon struck
sharply on a metal pan twice
works well.
Degree of sensitivity to
sound. (Also can be a
rudimentary test for
deafness.)
-Listens, locates sound, walks toward
it barking.
-Listens, locates sound, barks.
-Listens, locates sound, shows
curiosity and walks toward sound.
-Listens, locates the sound.
-Cringes, backs off, hides.
-Ignores sound, shows no curiosity.
12
3
4
5
6
SIGHT SENSITIVITY:
Place pup in center of room. Tie
a string around a large towel and
jerk it across the floor a few feet
away from puppy.
Degree of intelligent
response to strange
object.
-Looks, attacks and bites.
-Looks, barks and tail up.
-Looks curiously, attempts to
investigate.
-Looks, barks, tail-tuck.
-Runs away, hides.
1
2
3
4
5
Comments:
 
 
 
 
 
   

Interpreting the Scores

  • Mostly 1’s A puppy that consistently scores a 1 in the temperament section of the test is an extremely dominant, aggressive puppy who can easily be provoked to bite. His dominant nature will attempt to resist human leadership, thus requiring only the most experienced of handlers. This puppy is a poor choice for most individuals and will do best in a working situation as a guard or police dog.
  • Mostly 2’s This pup is dominant and self-assured. He can be provoked to bite; however he readily accepts human leadership that is firm, consistent and knowledgeable. This is not a dog for a tentative, indecisive individual. In the right hands, he has the potential to become a fine working or show dog and could fit into an adult household, provided the owners know what they are doing.
  • Mostly 3’s This pup is outgoing and friendly and will adjust well in situations in which he receives regular training and exercise. He has a flexible temperament that adapts well to different types of environment, provided he is handled correctly. May be too much dog for a family with small children or an elderly couple who are sedentary.
  • Mostly 4’s A pup that scores a majority of 4’s is an easily controlled, adaptable puppy whose submissive nature will make him continually look to his master for leadership. This pup is easy to train, reliable with kids, and, though he lacks self-confidence, makes a high-quality family pet. He is usually less outgoing than a pup scoring in the 3’s, but his demeanor is gentle and affectionate.
  • Mostly 5’s This is a pup who is extremely submissive and lacking in self-confidence. He bonds very closely with his owner and requires regular companionship and encouragement to bring him out of himself. If handled incorrectly, this pup will grow up very shy and fearful. For this reason, he will do best in a predictable, structured lifestyle with owners who are patient and not overly demanding, such as an elderly couple.
  • Mostly 6’s A puppy that scores 6 consistently is independent and uninterested in people. He will mature into a dog who is not demonstrably affectionate and who has a low need for human companionship. In general, it is rare to see properly socialized pups test this way; however there are several breeds that have been bred for specific tasks (such as basenjis, hounds, and some northern breeds) which can exhibit this level of independence. To perform as intended, these dogs require a singularity of purpose that is not compromised by strong attachments to their owner.

The remainder of the puppy test is an evaluation of obedience aptitude and working ability and provides a general picture of a pup’s intelligence, spirit, and willingness to work with a human being. For most owners, a good companion dog will score in the 3 to 4 range in this section of the test. Puppies scoring a combination of 1’s and 2’s require experienced handlers who will be able to draw the best aspects of their potential from them.Important note from Wendy Volhard…regarding the Touch Sensitivity test – Do not use your fingernail when performing this test. Press between the finger and thumb lightly then more firmly until you get a response.

Developed by Joachim and Wendy Volhard and reprinted here with permission of Wendy Volhard. © 1996 Wendy Volhard.quipment  
Recommended Diet  |  FAQs About Feeding Raw Recommended Vacc. Schedule  |  Vaccination sions
Breeder Ethics Questionnaire  |  Photo Gallery
Recent Litters  |  A Breeder’s Life  |  The Dapper Dog by TIARA