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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.

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.

Tips for Avoiding Common Dog Training Mistakes: (Part 2)

Allowing your dog to beg is a common training mistake. A dog that has never received food from you when you are eating at the table will no longer continue to beg. He might try it once or twice early on in your relationship. With consistent “no’s” and “go lay down” commands will quickly discourage him from further attempts. However, if you give in, even just once and give him a piece of you are eating, he’ll know that begging worked. Therefore, with common sense, your dog will gain the idea that what works once, will eventually work again.

Inconsistency may seem like such a small thing, but it may leave you destined to fail. Constantly measured attention is absolutely essential when training your dog. Deviate away from any routine you may have built up will almost always undo all that hard work you have done previous.

Calling your dog for punishment will not get you anywhere. Let us focus on why it’s not good to call your dog to your side in order to get mad at him. Nobody wants to go over to someone when they know they are going to get in trouble. This is even true with adults, children, and especially a dog. People know you’re not likely to forget your anger, but a dog is hopeful, and will try everything to avoid you if he knows you’re angry. In your dogs mind, every time you call him to you in order to do something unpleasant, you are punishing him for returning to you. So, if your dog is in trouble, or you have to do something he won’t like, go and get him, instead of calling him.

Rewarding the wrong behavior will happen to all of us at some point or another. This is one of the most common mistakes made when dog training. You may not even think of it as necessarily rewarding your dog. You may see it as a method of comforting him when he’s frightened, or perhaps letting him in when he barks, or even giving him a stern talking to when ever he misbehaves. Attention of any kind when a dog misbehaves is a signal to the dog. The dog may interpret this attention as this works, it’s not quite what I was looking for, but it’s still some kind of attention.” Even negative attention may seem better than none at all.

Teach your dog to Stand, Rollover, Crawl, Lay Down and Focus:

Teach your dog to Stand:
Starting from the sitting position, hold a treat right in front of the nose of your dog, then say stand. Then move the treat above him so that he will have to stand in order to reach it. As soon as he stands say good boy! Then wait for him to sit back down to give him the treat. While he is standing you can move just a few steps while holding the treat. Praise him a lot if he follows you.

Teach your dog to Rollover:
Starting from the laying position, say roll over and then proceed to roll your dog over gently. Do this by grabbing his legs and then pull him, or simply push him from one side so that he makes a complete roll. After he has completed the roll, make him sit, praise him and give him the treat.

Teach your dog to Crawl:
Starting from the laying position, say crawl while holding a treat in front of your dog’s nose and move it a few inches away from him. If he begins to stand up, just say no crawl, start from the beginning and have him lay back down again. Praise him a lot and give him the treat as soon as he crawls, even if it’s only a few inches.

Teach your dog to Lay Down:
There are various ways to do this. Begin with having your dog sit then say, lay. Then present the treat in front of his mouth, going all the way down to the ground with your hand. The dog will naturally follow your hand and will end up lying down. Give him the treat only when he stretches his forearms in front of him and then praise.

Teach your dog to Focus:
Begin by sitting or kneeling, in front of your dog. Hide your hands so he won’t be distracted looking at them and then say your dog’s name followed by saying focus. As soon as he looks at you in the eyes start praising him. Always keep eye contact and after a few seconds give him a treat. If he looks elsewhere, just call him again and begin to start over. Try to extend the time while he’s focused on you.

Tips to Introducing Your Dog to a New Dog:

Bringing home a new dog is always an exciting time for everyone. It’s like adding a new family member or guest to your household. There is a lot of information out there about bringing your first dog into the home. However, there is very little about bringing a new dog into the home of another dog. These simple tips should help you make some good decisions that will help ease the transition.

Unfortunately, many pet owners will underestimate the kinds of problems that can occur if mistakes are made. This can be a difficult if not dangerous situation if not handled correctly.

Many people think they can just bring a new dog home and let the dogs work things out amongst themselves. For the lucky ones this might work, but almost always people will find themselves in the middle of a dog fight wondering what went wrong.

The average dog owners do not have a clue about how strong the genetic pack instinct is that always lurks inside the mind of their lovable family pet. The addition of a second or third dog into the home often triggers a genetic pack drive or rank drive. Many people are shocked and confused when they see the level of aggression that their friendly family pet is plenty capable of.

Often, there is usually more than one thing going on that result in these problems. A house dog is often territorial of his home. There can be rank or dominance problems between the new and excising dog. There can also be an inter-male or female issue that will result in this aggression.

The most important part of this process is the purchase and use of dog crates. Try to have a dog crate for every dog in our house. Just because your current dogs don’t use crates is not a good enough reason to not use them in this process. First, put the new dog in a crate in your home where your current dog can freely go up and smell the newcomer. If your current house dog begins to growl at the new dog, immediately step right in, take control of the situation and give a strong correction.

Your job as the pack leader is to show your dog that is not expectable for aggression towards the newest pack member and will not be tolerated.

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.

Dog Toys

Almost every dog loves toys! It’s a staple in dogs that they love to play, bound, and leap around with their toys, but with so many out there, which ones are good and bad for dogs? Through the years of dog play, a few toys have stuck around that are famous for being so loved by our furry friends everywhere, so here are a few winners and losers out there!

The Kong

The Kong ball has to be the best known dog toy out there.  It’s a red bumpy ball that you can stuff with yummy treats for your dog, or toss around the yard for fun! Dogs also love to chew on Kong toys, and being practically indestructible, they last a lifetime.  Kong toys are also dishwasher safe as an added bonus!

Squeaky Toys

Squeaky toys are generally a dog favorite.  This is because with normal toys they are just playing with a stuffed animal, but with a squeaker inside they get a reaction out of their toy, which some dogs are very fond of.  However, the drawback to a squeaky toy is that they get very annoying for us; as a result, many people tend not to buy them.  Some dogs feel the same way as most humans and hate the squeakiness, alternatively some dogs love the noise and relentlessly play with them.  One thing that you have to be careful concerning squeaky toys is that your dog does not tear apart the toy.  We’ve all seen cartoons where a dog swallows the squeaker and ends up squeaking, but little do people know that this actually happens.  When a dog is chewing a squeaky toy, the squeaking nozzle often comes off and can get lodged in their throat causing a need for emergency surgery (no matter how funny it sounds). So if you are going to buy squeaky toys, just make sure you are there for supervision while the dog plays with the toy.

Floating toys

Floating rings make wonderful toys for retrievers to go fetch.  These toys (like tennis balls) create a way for you to interact and play with your pet while giving them a good time! Fetch toys will also help you with dog exercise habits!

Toys to be Cautious With

Large breed dogs often love to play fetch with tennis balls, but if they are large enough (Such as Great Danes or Saint Bernards) they can literally swallow it.  When playing with tennis balls, just make sure you keep an eye on your dog to make sure they don’t hold it too far back in their throat.  A study in Germany has also shown that the glue used in tennis balls also damages tooth enamel for dogs, so be cautious.  Another toy to be careful of are Tug toys.  Tug-of-war as seen by a dog can be a fight for dominance, while for you it is just a game.  Just make sure with tug toys that your dog is keeping it friendly.  As a last warning, keep big toys for big dogs.  Bigger dogs tend to choke on small toys, so make sure your toys are size appropriate.

Overall make sure your toys use positive reinforcement on your dogs attitude, and are safe for your pet.  Questions about toy safety? Contact a Florida dog obedience trainer today!

New Year’s Eve Safety Tips for Pets

Just like the 4th of July, New Year’s Eve is a fun holiday for people but a difficult one for our pets. Fireworks, which are common on New Year’s Eve, can cause even a dog who has been through k9 obedience training to run away from the scary, loud sounds and sparks. The fun and frivolity of a party can also be dangerous for your pet.

A few common sense tips can help keep your dog safe on New Year’s while still allowing you to have your fun:

1. Keep your dog inside on New Year’s Eve. Period. Even if your city doesn’t have scheduled fireworks, many individuals in your neighborhood may be setting them off, and some people even have the frightening and dangerous tradition of shooting firearms into the air at midnight. Keep your pets inside to help ensure their safety.
2. Don’t take your pet with you on New Year’s Eve, even if you usually allow them to tag along. This will help ensure that a random frightening event won’t make them bolt away from you.
3. Make sure your dog wears an identification tag. Even with your best efforts, if your dog gets out when friends are letting themselves in and out during a party, he may bolt. If your dog doesn’t have an id tag, write your phone number with a permanent marker on his collar.
4. If you’re hosting a party, make sure that your guests keep alcohol and other dangerous foods away from your dog. Chocolate, raisins, and many varieties of nuts can be toxic to dogs, so keep your dog safely away from the temptation by crating them or locking them into a room where guests won’t be allowed.

To help keep your dog safe on New Year’s Eve – and every day of the year, you should also strongly consider Florida dog obedience training.  There’s no substitute for a well-trained pet in a potentially dangerous situation.

How to Travel with Your Dog for Thanksgiving

It is simple to fly with your dog during the Thanksgiving holidays, if you are fully aware of the dos and don’ts making travel effortless.  To find solid advice on how to travel with your dog, talk to a Florida dog obedience instructor.  In the meantime, I have composted for you the top tips you should be aware of before traveling with your dog over the holidays.

Before You Travel with Your Dog

Before you step on any plane, you need to make sure your dog’s medical shots are updated.  Meet with your vet 30 days before traveling to ensure everything is ready to go.

Next, check all airline and destination regulations.  If you are flying out of the country, there may be exact laws regulating certain breeds from entering.   Some places also have restrictions on what age a dog is able to travel.  Be well educated before jumping on any plane with your pet.

Day of Travel

Provide your pet with plenty of exercise before arriving to the airport.  You want your dog exhausted of any nervous energy.  It will help relax your dog during the flight.

Provide your canine with plenty of water and food in the pet carrier ensuring your dog does not run out.  Remember to fill up on the water once you pass airport security.  Liquids are one of the items prohibited to purchase or bring until after clearing this area.  Once you are through purchase the water and fill up your dog’s water bowl.

To find out more about traveling with your dog, talk to a Florida dog training teacher.  He/she will guide you through the process, provide safety regulations, and talk about the room needed in a pet carrier for your pet to be comfortable during the trip.

Do not wait.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Start preparing today!