March 21, 2012 Leave a comment
March 20, 2012 1 Comment
Is your dog jealous of other humans?
Deego gets extremely jealous when my girlfriend comes over. He will whine incessantly if the attention isn’t focused on him. If you ignore him he just keeps whining, sometimes he will go as far as to nudge you just to make sure that he’s not being ignored.
Deego doesn’t get as jealous when I’m paying attention to the other dogs, it’s mostly just with my girlfriend, if we’re sitting on the couch, watching TV etc.
I’m not sure how to remedy this annoying situation. Sometimes he’s fine if he’s distracted with toys or a bone to chew on, or peanut butter in a kong, but often times that’s not enough!
Does anyone have any other hints or tips or things I can try to curb this jealous behaviour?
March 20, 2012 3 Comments
It has forever been an issue that my dogs have jumped up on me when I come home or people who come to the door. I have always wondered how I could stop them from doing this but nothing really seemed to work. One thing that I have been trying lately is to simply ignore them.. and it has been working.
When I come home from work I don’t even look at the dogs. They’re going crazy, doing the best they can to get my attention but I just ignore them.. soon they get bored and leave me alone. 15 minutes later I let them outside and they’re as calm as can be. I don’t know if this will work with all dogs, but it definitely works with mine! Now I need to figure out what I can do to stop them from jumping up on other people. It is much harder to have someone else ignore your dogs.. they just don’t!Even the slightest acknowledgement will give your dogs control.
I’m going to try my best to get my friends and family ignore the dogs when they come over. This will be a challenge as people always shout DOWN or yell or make noise which just makes the dogs more excited and jump up more. Just as dogs need training, I suppose we as humans do as well!
I do see my dogs making progress, so I’m confident they will learn not to jump up on people. Just as anything else, it will require patience and persistence. Does anyone have any other tips to stop this behaviour?
March 19, 2012 5 Comments
Teaching your dog “The walk”
I have had issues hasn’t responded very well with one of my other dogs, a border collie mix. I believe the problem was that there was no established pack order, and that caused confusion and a competition for who would be the alpha dog.
First I learned that before a leader of the pack can be established, the dogs needed to see ME as their leader. Even though I thought I was their leader, from learning more about dog behaviour I soon discovered who was the boss, and to my surprise it wasn’t me!. I knew that I needed to take steps to fix this. By reading through many books and watching the dog whisperer and blogs and various other sources of useful information, I had a starting point.
First, we had to master the walk. The walk is a very difficult thing to master, especially with 3 dogs and having limited experience.
The problem I had with walking the dogs is of course pulling. My smallest dog weighs 55 lbs (a labrador retriever corgi cross)and even at that size he generates a lot of torque. Many other dog owners who are trying to teach their dog how to walk use prong or pinch collars, personally I find them to be cruel and I honestly think they’re unnecessary.
I soon discovered just how much patience it takes to train a dog how to walk properly. I don’t think many people even know the proper way that a dog should walk. I have observed a lot of people letting their dogs walk ahead and pull them along and yanking them by the neck to correct them. This can be very damaging and distressing to the dog.
You’re supposed to have the dog walk behind or beside you at your heel (hence the traditional “heel” command. This way they know that you’re the leader and they’ll follow you where you go, otherwise there’s a struggle for dominance and nothing gets accomplished. You can train your dog to follow you by luring them with a treat. The dog will follow you wherever you go as long as you have a treat to entice them. Over time, they will get used to this behaviour and not require the treat to follow you when you walk and not the other way around.
If you put the dog first, they will think they’re in control, which is why it is important to teach the dog how to walk properly at a very young age.
March 18, 2012 Leave a comment
Suber was doing very well. There hadn’t been any fights for a long time. I had his staples removed and his stitches were healing and almost dissolved. The weather was getting nice and it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon so my girlfriend and I decided to take the dogs to the dog park. Suber has had very limited time off his leash, and he was considered a flight risk, but through working with him we thought it was time that we could trust him, a little at a time.
The dog park is a very vast area, with a big field where the dogs can run. This park is allows dogs to run free off the leash. There were no other dogs in sight, so I decided that I could trust Suber and let him off the leash. As soon as he was off the leash, he ran around, getting some much needed exercise. He would go and come back and he was doing great. I was very pleased with the progress that he was making.
After running around for awhile, in the distance was a man and his dog. Suber greeted the man, and chased after the dog, it seemed like they were bonding in a positive fashion. The play turned into aggression and Suber lunged at the other dog, causing him to squeal. Suber chased the other dog and it appeared as though the intent was to cause injury to the other dog. Suber chased the other dog into a heavily wooded area. I felt a lump in my throat as I didn’t know what to expect.
I ran through puddles and into the woods, as fast as I could go. My feet were soaked as the puddles in some areas were nearly a foot full of water. Both Suber and the other dog were nowhere to be found. It was kind of a surreal feeling — I didn’t know what to think or if I would ever see Suber again. On top of that, the other dog owner was very aggressive and I was certain that he wanted to hurt me, I’m sure that if my girlfriend wasn’t with me, he probably would have assaulted me as he was being extremely hostile. He seemed more preoccupied with wanting to fight than finding his dog.
Adrenaline kicked in and the only thing I could focus on was finding Suber. He is not an easy dog to catch if he gets away. I wandered deeper and deeper into the forest of trees when suddenly Chance came out of nowhere followed by Suber. I was relieved to see him, but I didn’t see the other guy’s dog. I don’t know if he found him, or how Suber found me, or what happened. I hope the other dog wasn’t injured badly. I never saw the other guy after that.
I have learned that Suber still cannot be trusted. Future visits to the dog park will require him to be on a leash at all times.
March 18, 2012 Leave a comment
At the adoption drive (the same one where McGee/Chinook was adopted) I was asked if I would like another shot at fostering Suber. Apparently he was too much for the other foster to handle. When I was with Suber, despite attacking and injuring Chance, he took a liking to me. He respected me and we even made progress with basic obedience training (he was learning sit, stay and shake a paw). When he saw me at the adoption drive he was very happy to see me!
I thought I would give it another try and decided to take him in. He still had aggression issues and was still nervous with Chance. For some reason he was ok with Deego, possibly because it was clear that Deego was the alpha dog. There were dog fights, but nothing that was severe. It was hard to put a finger on what the triggers were that caused the aggression and the dog fights, as Suber and Chance were mostly coexisting without conflict.
One day, a friend came over and knocked on the door. This caused the dogs to bark and then a fight erupted. I was able to separate the dogs, but Chance had already done damage to Suber. I sent my friend home and promptly sought veterinary careenough to require 7 stitches near his eye and 11 staples on his side.
Although this was a setback, I’m determined not to give up on him. Unfortunately, since he requires a home that has no other animals, there’s nowhere else that he can go. The good news is that he has been making steady progress since that day. There have been 2 fights since that day but nothing major. I have been working more and more with Suber and he’s learning more dog manners and where he stands in terms of the pecking order of the dogs.