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Teaching Your New Puppy Good Sleeping Habits

Bringing your little puppy home for the very first time is a special day. It might be really exciting for you, but the weeks to follow could be challenging. They might be cute and cuddly but the late night potty trips or play time might give you some trouble. I will give you a couple tips on making those midnight trips a little less stressful.

When training a puppy to have a steady sleeping pattern there’s a couple ways you can do it. The best way is to have the puppy sleep in your room, so you can keep an eye on him. Another option is to have your own dedicated area for him. If you choose to leave Fido in another room leaving a fan, music, or even a white noise machine on will soothe him to sleep. You will start to see results in a short period of time.

Some of the preparations are before you put Fido to sleep. Puppy’s tend to sleep a lot and they don’t seem to care when it is. For the pup to sleep during the evening will make him want to get up and play in the middle of the night when he is rejuvenated. Try to avoid the evening sleep. Another thing is try to stay away from food or water before bed. Giving the pup any food or water before bedtime is a guaranteed rough night for you when there belly or bladder is full. Roughly 3 hours before bed is best.

Now comes that dreadful moment, the late night potty trip. This is where the puppy usually finds out he can wake you up by whining or making noises. When this time comes to let your little pup out to go potty remember its strictly business time. Avoid talking or playing. If you tend to play around and talking to the dog at night he will think he can get more attention by making noise at night. Just keep it to a “good boy” and back to bed. Be sure to not let him sit there and bark when the pup needs to go, take him out.

If you stick to these tips and keep the puppy on schedule you will see an improvement in no time. Your pup will be sleeping through the night in no time.

Dog Agility Training & Competition

Getting Ready for Training:

If you have been seriously considering signing your dog up for agility training, then you should take the proper steps to prepare your k9 companion for what lies in store for them. Now what is dog agility you might ask? It’s a great sport that involves you and your dog, using teamwork towards a common goal. Not only is it quite entertaining to watch, it can be very addictive for the owner and dog alike, once both of you get the hang of it.

Now lets go through how it all works. The Handler directs their dog through an obstacle course of a-frames, weave poles, dog walks, tunnels, jumps, teeter totters, and chutes, in a race for accuracy and over all time.

You can’t however touch your dog or any of the obstacles that’s against the rules. There is also no use of a leash. You can only use visual and audible cues to direct your dog through the course.

Next you should factor in some tips about how to prepare your dog. This will be physical, Show your dog what it will be engaging in throughout any of the serious training. Also, what it will experience later on if you wanted to go into competitions. Ultimately if your paying for training, your instructor will always know when your dog is ready for competition. So, don’t rush towards that too quickly. Ensure your dog is fully trained and is in peak condition.

Getting Ready for Competition:

Obviously your dog needs to be fit, considerably attentive and don’t forget excited to give this their all. It’s also important that they’re jumping confidently to there full height. Unless of course you aren’t aiming for a specific size class for your dog to eventually compete in. Which means over sized obstacles, so the dogs can fit through and between them without knocking them down. Unless you are sure the competitions won’t included weaves. Then just be sure the dog is focused on your commands and excited to be there.

Your dog will also be required to complete full sequences of obstacles pretty fluently. So, remember to be fair to your dog these competitions are a measure of there competence in the sport. Don’t force them to compete prematurely, make sure they’re well prepared for what’s expected of them.

In Closing, it’s important to remember to have fun while doing this. If your not having fun, your dog will sense your tension. This can cause your dog to start acting up, and not following your directions correctly. Always remain calm, content, and over all remember to have fun.

Recognizing Dominant Alpha Dog Behaviors:

Besides the obvious guarding, growling and biting many dogs display a variety of dominant behaviors that commonly go unrecognized by their owners. Very rarely will a dog display his highest level of dominance overnight. There are usually signs leading up to it over course of a few years. Dominant alpha dogs won’t always growl and bite. If you the owner are giving the dog what he wants, there sometimes is no reason for the dog to growl or bite unless they feel challenged.

Dogs generally understand that they exist in a human world. After all, who feeds them and opens the door for them to go outside to potty? When humans perform these tasks on demand from the dog though, why wouldn’t the dog think they’re the leader? It is easy for dogs to get the impression they are alpha in their pack. There are many alpha dog behaviors that are not acceptable in human society, such as biting, which is a communication tactic that a dog may use. It is very important for humans to remain the leaders over their dogs.

Just looking at a dog and the way he presents himself can be a sign for what frame of mind the dog is in. A more dominant dog will walk high and proud, puffing themselves out as much as they can. He carries himself with what looks like dignity to the untrained eye.

Submissive dogs on the other hand carry themselves in very much the opposite way. They hold their heads low with shoulders and tail down, in a sense making them smaller. Generally, it will appear that a submissive dog is a sad dog. Not so, the posture of these submissive dogs is telling all around them that they do not wish to challenge any other dog or that they come in peace. Dogs are animals that will fight amongst each other naturally. This means their natural defense is to fight when they feel threatened. That is why they make it as obvious as possible when they do not wish to have an altercation of any kind.

Since dominant dogs look so proud and submissive dogs look sad since they hold their heads low, it’s no wonder so many people have dominant dogs. When their dog acts submissive they mistake that for a sad dog. When their dog acts dominant they mistake it for a happy proud dog.

Diagnosis for Separation Anxiety in Dogs:

First, understand that your dog is not trying to get even with you for leaving him home alone. The destructive behaviors, going potty on the floor and neurotic behavior that accompany dog separation anxiety are linked to a panic response. Luckily, for you the owner, the panic response is a behavior that is successfully modified with corrective, positive reinforcement to help calm nerves and promote your dog’s confidence and wellbeing.

No one fully understands why there’s some dog that suffer anxieties more than others when some dogs don’t at all. However, it is known that dog separation anxiety sometimes occurs when a significant change in routine, structure or surroundings such as the absence of an important companion. This may also occur when moving into a new home, a new pet or person in the family, or perhaps a change in the normal feeding schedule.

Before we get into the process of what to do about dog separation anxiety, let’s spend a moment going over what NOT to do. First and foremost, don’t punish your dog. Punishment of any form is NOT an effective way to treat dog separation anxiety as well as any unwanted behaviors. A response such as this, on the part of the owner (you) only serves to reinforce the behavior you’re trying to do away with.

Providing another pet as a potential companion for your dog won’t exactly help either. Dog separation anxiety stems from your dog being separated from you and not so much from being alone. Being unable to play with another animal isn’t the same as just being plain old bored. There is a major difference between boredom and loneliness.

Incarcerating a dog with separation anxiety in a crate is also not the answer, nor a solution. A dog’s nature is to be free. A nervous dog locked in a crate is now left with a heightened panic response but now with a build up of paranoia and desperation on top of it. The added risk of your dog injuring himself in an attempt to escape from the crate is also heightened.

Obedience training alone will not address this psychological problem. Although, there is no question that obedience training is a satisfying and worthwhile experience for the both of you to enjoy. Dog separation anxiety is an uncorrected panic response and is unrelated to obedience as well as disobedience.

Dog Training with Positive Reinforcement:

Positive reinforcement dog training is a friendly method of teaching your dog to perform behaviors using dog food, treats and other positive actions in the form of a reward. Rewarding appropriate dog behavior makes that behavior more likely to become a future re-occurrence. This is one of the most powerful tools you can use to reshape or change your dog’s actions. Using positive reinforcement dog training teaches your dog what behaviors you do and don’t desire in a humane manner. This training method will also help to create healthier and much stronger bond between you and your dog.

Training based on physical punishment involves some level of discomfort or even pain and is most definitely not recommended. This also may cause your dog to bite in order to defend himself. Punishment may also be associated with other stimuli, including people, present at the time and occurrence of the punishment. For example, a dog that is punished for getting too close to a small child may become fearful or even defensive around that child.

When getting started, timing is key with positive reinforcement dog training. Your dog must be rewarded immediately for responding appropriately to your command. Every member of your family should use the same command system and of course, never reinforce the wrong behavior. For example, if you command your dog to sit, he should be given a treat the moment his bottom touches the floor. If you wait to long before giving him the treat after he stands up again, the moment will be lost. He will then think he is getting rewarded for standing, not sitting.

Most dogs will gladly work for positive rewards such as a tasty dog treat, play time and toys. We suggest that you choose a treat that is relatively small, soft, and easily broken apart. Treats should be highly valued by your dog as well as easy consumption. It is difficult to train a dog when he spends valuable time chewing and swallowing his reward. You want your dog to quickly eat the treat and look to you for more. Try to experiment with several different types of treats and find out which ones will work best. There are some dogs out there that are not motivated by food. If this is the case, try training using praise or build motivation through the company of other dogs.

Tips for Avoiding Common Dog Training Mistakes: (Part 1)

One of the easiest mistakes that can be made when training your dog is not paying attention. If your attention is elsewhere for even a short while, suddenly you may find that your puppy is off doing unspeakable things to you’re your furniture in the living room. You can not properly correct him unless you catch him red handed. All puppies have an incredibly short attention span. So, even just five minutes ago no longer exists. They will not make the mental connection when you are yelling about something they did minutes ago. When you can not pay attention to your puppy, he should then be in a safe place, like his crate, or perhaps by your side at all times.

Your dog will not know he has done something right when you fail to reward him for his good behavior. It is also crucial to communicate your praise to him in a language he can understand. The rewards do not necessarily always have to be something such as a treat. No matter what reward you may go with, your dog will need to connect the reward to his action in order for him to get the correct message. Instant praise is the best reward you could ever give. It’s instant gratification for your dog, and gives you a few seconds to provide the tasty treat reward if you have one. Those few seconds will fill in the gap between “Yay, I did things right!” and “Wow, what did I ever do to deserve an outcome like this?” This is extremely important during the earlier stages of the training process. This is especially true for when you are trying to get your dog to correlate his actions to your commands.

Another common mistake is to put things off for much too long. You may look at your little puppy, and think “it’s not absolutely necessary for him to need to learn anything just yet”. But what about walking on a leash, stay, coming when you call? This is especially true when a puppy’s natural instinct is to generally be by your side anyway, without incentive. But if you let things go for too long, your pup will not want to cooperate any longer. Training while your pup is still relatively young is the most solid way to get the basics into your dog’s head for good.

7 Reasons Dog Training Goes Wrong For Owners:

Allowing your dog to think it’s the leader of the pack. Your dog is an animal and a far different species to us humans. They do not share the same thought processes and the ability to rationalize like we do. Dogs live in packs with a clear hierarchy. There is an alpha or “pack leader” in every pack. You must make clear that you are in fact the alpha dog. You control every aspect of your dog’s life from exercise, feeding, and making all the decisions. Be the dominant leader, not your dog. if you allow your dog to take control he will develop behavioral problems. This will become an issue that is going to be much more difficult to solve as your dog gets older. Start out right from the beginning.

Try not to have training sessions last too long. Do not have high expectations of your dog to understand the training right away. Some dogs will learn and understand faster than others. Keep training sessions short as dogs generally have a much shorter attention span than we do. Teach your dog in a way that is fun, so both of you can enjoy.

Lack of exercise is often to blame. Exercise is very important to your dog, both physically and mentally. All dogs need their exercise. Different breeds have different requirements in duration and type of exercise. Taking a walk with your dog allows time for the two of you to bond and interact. He can meet other dogs and people. This will also allow him to take in all the different smells and sounds of the outdoors, which promotes healthy mental stimulation. Not give your dog daily exercise can lead to boredom and frustration which can lead to depression.

Don’t try to teach too much, too soon. When your dog begins to learn, he very quickly associates getting reward for following a command. This will help him to better understand the meaning of the command. However, even his favorite treat may not always get his attention. He could have been distracted by a strange noise or see something which caught his eye. Do not be too quick to give him a correction as this will only hinder any progression in the training. He is young and needs time to get used to what all the commands mean. Treat him as you would like to be treated, give clear commands, and always be kind but firm.

Training Tips for Successfully Walking Your Dog:

When walking your dog, does it ever seem like your getting pulled down the street or practically getting your arm ripped off when your dog sees another dog? This can make walking your dog seem like a chore, but with a little work and a lot of love, your beloved companion can be a joy to walk with regardless of where you go. Here are some helpful training tips to help you master the skill of walking your dog.

Always walking side by side with your dog is very important. Never allow him to lead the way, as this is a sign of dominance to the dog. The leader is always in charge. So as long as you continue to give in, your dog will remain in charge and pull you down the street to assert their authority. Keep a treat in hand to keep all the attention focused on you and where you want your dog to be during the walk.

Never lengthen or shorten the leash. The leash should remain the same length at all times. This will teach him that he is only allowed a certain distance from you. Until fully trained, retractable leashes should never be used during dog walks as they allow free range and authority over the walk. Plus, most large breed dogs can easily break retractable leashes.

Don’t give into pulling the leash for the entire walk. If your dog pulls you in a direction, give a snap back on the leash. Pay attention to the signs your dog is giving you and you will be able to predict any pulling. However, if your dog tries to take off, make sure to hold your ground. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, lean back and don’t move. Lowering your center of gravity will offset your dog and give him a good jolt.

Ignore other people and things that will interest your dog. If you give no attention to those things that may grab your dog’s attention, he will soon start to realize that it is not so important to be interested in it. If a dog is passing across the street, keep walking and ignore it. If he pulls towards that direction, keep walking straight and pull him along. After a while, he will see the other dog but it will no longer be of interest.

Tips to Dog Misbehaviors When Visitors Come Over:

Many people seem to think that when their dog is jumping or barking at company, they feel the need to scream at the dog. A much more affective method would be to give your dog something more productive to do. A good start is to teach him to “lay down” or “stay”. Then once the dog understands these simple commands, then work towards having someone ring the doorbell or knock. Try keeping your dog on a leash and collar when practicing. When approaching the door, have the dog do their ‘lay down’ and if they are too excited, give them a small tug as a little bit of motivation to ‘lie down’ and ‘stay’. Then try opening the door. It’s often too much to ask expecting the dog to know what to do right away. You will need to guide your dog and show him what is more appropriate then just barking.

As for when to take the leash off, try to do this in stages. The first couple of times you will go through this, the dog is on leash. Once the dog gets used to the idea that this is what we do instead of jumping on friends or family, we drop the leash but he is still wearing it. If the dog decides not to obey these commands, you are still able to give him another small tug on the leash. Once you are convinced that your dog is starting to listen well, you may continue your practice without the use of the leash.

When giving the “lay down” or “stay” commands, try attaching something physical to the dog such as the leash and giving a small tug now and then. This way you are attaching something physical to the words you’re using and puts you in a position where you don’t have to yell, you don’t have to scream, you can simply get your dog to just simply lay down. Easier said then done, it does take constant repetition and does take a lot of work but doing it in those stages you can work your way to having your dog off the use of the leash. Now you have accomplished reversing the unacceptable response to when the doorbell rings, the dog lays down. That becomes the natural behavior instead of your dog going insane, barking, and jumping.

Practical Tips for Stopping Food Aggression:

Determine when the best time is to feed your dog. You want to feed your dog at a time when there is relative quietness in the house and when the dog can relax afterward. This brings the stress levels down and allows the dog to relax more and be a less protective. Try to always feed your dog at the same time. In the ideal case that should be after you have eaten, as the alpha dogs eat first and the lower ranking pack members last.

Establish a place and a routine to feed your dog. Always feed your dog at the same place and follow a certain routine. You will imitate the alpha dog that comes back from a hunt and shares the food with the lower ranking members of the pack. Try faking that you are eating a bit first and then giving the bowl to the dog to emphasize this. Make sure that everyone in the household takes his/ her turn to establish the idea in the dog that all humans are higher ranking pack members that share food with the lowest ranking pack member. Soon your dog will understand when it is feeding time for him.

If you have several dogs in the household that are food aggressive amongst themselves, you must know who is the higher ranking member in the “dog only” part of the pack and feed them in this order. If your dogs go through a phase of re-establishing their ranks, feed them apart and out of sight of each other.

Don’t feed your dog at the dinner table while you are eating. The alpha dogs will share the leftovers after they had their fill, not before. Remember that a lot of human food is not suitable for dogs, salt can damage their kidneys. So your best method to follow is not to never feed your dog at the table.

Here are a few more simple training solutions that may help with this common situation. Make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise. A tired dog is less likely to get aggressive then one that has way too much built up energy. Make known to your dog the proper distinction between food time/ place and other things like time for play. Give the dog the opportunity to alternate between playing and being fed.

Good luck to you, your dog and which ever training methods you take!