is the best way to teach puppy to not bite?
He is 12 weeks old and even when he is playing he is getting nippy.
I don't want to make things worse by using the wrong discipline.
You need to
tell them "ouch" in a strong, high pitched voice, and
stop play immediately. This is what litter mates and other dogs
do, so it is "speaking his language". Then you need to
redirect them to a proper toy to bite. This usually works by itself
but, if not, applying more negative reinforcement, such as spraying
your hands with bitter apple, is fine as an added step. -Pooch Coach
I just brought home a new puppy last night and it broke my heart
this morning to hear her crying when I left for work. She stays
in the crate at night and does OK, she will cry when she needs to
go potty. I'm curious to know if anyone has any ideas on how to
make the transition for me leaving for work so where she won't cry.
would help to ease her into you leaving. Try going for only 5 minutes,
wait until she stops whining, and come back. Do not make a big deal
about coming back, just say "hello". Then go for 10 minutes,
15 mins, 1/2 hour, etc. She will then get used to being alone, know
you will come back, and learn that whining does not get you to come
back. Also, make sure she has plenty of safe chew toys to keep her
busy. It also might help to give her an old item of clothing that
smells like you to comfort her. Lastly, you should play with her
and exercise her in the morning before you leave, so she gets rid
of some of her excess energy. She should also have someone exercise
her every few hours(i.e. she shouldn't be home alone for 8 straight
hours with no company). If you can't be home, consider a dog walker.
Hope this helps. Good luck! -Pooch Coach
1. We recently purchased a nine week old puppy
and he is terrified to ride in any of our vehicles. Do you know
why this would be and what we could do to help him?
I rescued a 3-yr old Westie about 2 months ago from a family of
5 who didn't want him any more. He's a sweet dog, but definitely
has some problems. I've talked quite a bit with the previous family.
They told me he barks when he's in the car. He does. Not knowing
what to do, I have taken a spray bottle of water along and squirt
him when he barks and say "no bark." It does help, somewhat,
but I wonder if there's an alternative. Any suggestions would be
exercising him first (to tire him out a bit), and then just sitting
the car without it moving and get him used to sitting quietly. Keep
doing this until he can sit and relax in the car for at least 15
mins with the car not moving. (Of course, he needs to be trained
to sit and stay very well in the house before he can be expected
to listen and control himself in an excitable environment.) Then,
once he can sit and stay and relax in the car without it moving,
drive around the block. Keep building it up until he can stay for
any length of time and relax. You can also drive around empty parking
lots where it's safer for both of you. Feel free to dole out plenty
of treats when he is sitting quietly & relaxing to reinforce
that behavior. -Pooch Coach
Hello! We have two grown dogs, pretty well trained. Except they
love eating up our blankets! We're tired of buying new ones. We
point it out to them and tell them it's wrong, but they just give
us dumb looks so we feel stupid. What can we do? HELP!?!?!
using "bitter apple" or other spray deterrent that tastes
bad to them. And still tell them "no", so they learn to
listen to "no", because things taste bad when they don't.
(From Petsmart website: "Bitter Apple Spray leaves an unpleasant
yet harmless taste on your dog's fur to discourage licking, chewing
and biting. Keeps dogs from licking wounds and hot-spots, so they
have a chance to heal properly.") -Pooch Coach
Still sleeping in crate at night
I'm trying to decide if my dog is ready to sleep on a dog bed at
night. (There really isn't space for her large crate in my bedroom.)
She willingly goes into the crate at night, but she doesn't "love"
her crate like other dogs. I would prefer that she sleep on a dog
bed. However, I have given her mixed messages about getting on my
bed. Any thoughts?
know that some training books recommend not letting your dog sleep
on your bed, but, other than non-house-trained puppies, I have never
seen any problems come from it. It's usually best to designate a
spot on the bed for the dog so they don't crawl all over you, and
so they still know they "have their place". Some people
put the dog's bed on the foot of their bed. -Pooch Coach
Help with 6 yr old
Male lab with Dependency issue
Hi! I need help! I have a 6 yr old male lab. He's a purebred, ex-stud
dog I adopted 1.5 yrs ago. I take him to work with me and we recently
moved. He is WAY too attached to me! He has begun to act up on the
rare occasions he is not with me. Usually involves spraying somewhere
in the house. Any tips on how to keep him liking me...but not freaking
when he's not with me? Up till this recent move, there were never
any issues when I would leave him alone in the house. He's very
sweet but this is beginning to bother me! Any help/guidance is appreciated!
sounds like the move might have affected him as well. It's probably
why he's marking in the house - to mark his new territory. Some
of this is just time to adjust, but he does need to be trained to
not go in the house ASAP. You also can slowly get him used to your
being away by breaking him in gently. Do it it increments that he
can take. Maybe only 5 mins at first, then 15, then a 1/2 hour,
etc. Show him that you will return - but only when he's not barking
or misbehaving at all. Lastly, you can intro him to other people
- have your friends hang with him, feed him, give him treats, etc.
Let him know other people can be his buddies, too. If this stuff
doesn't work, you can always try a trainer/behaviorist. Good Luck!
My dog hates
how do i crate-train him? his crate is the right size, he can turn
around and stand up in it. but he gets so scared every time. i tried
tossing treats inside but he just pokes his head and runs out.
treats are a good start. Keep using them, with a command "get
into your bed (or crate)". Reward for just going in at first,
and then for longer and longer stays. Also, tie a favorite toy or
delicious chewy in there so he has to stay in to chew it. Just keep
doing these things until he gets used to it and sees it as a rewarding,
good place --- and he goes in on command. -Pooch Coach
Dog urinating in house
Can you help? We have a 2-1/2 year old Wheaton Terrier. He has recently
started peeing in one spot in the house. He seems to be doing this
every couple of days. We have not caught him in the act. The dog
is crate trained and we have started putting him in there when we
go out and at night. He does not pee in his cage. He likes his cage
and we have no problems in getting him to go in. All we have to
do is say, it is time for a lie down and he will go directly in.
We think he is doing this when we just step out side for a few minutes
to do something and we don't let him out with us. He is able to
watch from the door. Do you have any ideas? We can't keep watching
him 100% of the time and my husband is getting fed-up with having
to clean up our stereo each time.
first thing you might want to try are the following steps:
1. Clean the area thoroughly with something like Nature's Miracle
(gets rid of odor).
2. Then, apply a housebreaking aid such as "No Go" (No-Go
Housebreaking Aid : Teach pets to stay away from certain areas by
spraying this safe, natural repellent directly on the off limits
spot. Spray on carpets to neutralize pet odor, eliminating your
pet's desire to resoil it.).
3. If those 2 steps do not work, then I would get a beeping device
or a shock pad and put in in front of the area to keep him off:
Scat Mats: The Scat Mat issues a harmless, static correction to
keep cats and dogs off of furniture, countertops and vehicles and
away from dangerous areas.
Tattle Tale Audible Repellent: Tattle Tale uses a super sensitive
vibration detection system to keep pets from restricted areas. Sets
off a three second alert that keeps pets off furniture, counter
tops or any other taboo area.
take a look at my Potty Training video
for many helpful hints.
all those fail, then you probably need a behaviorist to take a look
at the dog and the situation. Especially if he just finds another
spot to in which to relieve himself. I could help here with techniques
to train him to stop. But they will take longer than these devices.
And, we might need to use the devices as part of this training as
We are about to have a new baby. Should we have any worries with
our 3 year old dog? He is very possessive of me, and I'm worried
that it might be a problem
definitely have to be careful when it comes to babies and jealous
dogs. There are ways to get the dog to be OK with it. One major
thing is to pay attention to the dog when the baby is around, and
not pay (too much) attention to it when the baby isn't around. Then
the dog will equate the baby with good/attention (as opposed to
bad - I get ignored). For more info, see my paper
on children and dogs. -Pooch Coach
stopped being housetrained
One puppy has been sleeping in my bed for about a month and a half.
Potty trained. In recent past days... she has had 3 accidents on
the bed. We have also recently gotten a new puppy which is allowed
to pee on puppy pads in the rooms. Could the first puppy be possibly
copying the newborn puppy?
just need to work on potty training them both at once. Just figure
you're starting over with your first pup. It's fairly common for
dogs to digress in potty training when their routines change.
you are unfamiliar with the housetraining process, check out the
potty training video on my site: http://www.poochcoach.com/housebreaking.htm
Luck! -Pooch Coach
We are taking our puppy up to Tahoe for the first time this weekend
and want to make the trip up comfortable for her. We would like
to give her something to help her sleep, possibly Tylenol PM but
have no idea if this is OK to do for a pup. Any thoughts, suggestions?
Are we way out of line on this one? Thanks for your reply . . .
you driven with her before? Is she afraid or something? Most dogs
like car rides, so it shouldn't be a problem. However, if you know
you need to do something to calm her down, you can actually get
mild tranquilizers prescribed from your vet. That's the safest bet.
The only "people" pills that are safe are children's aspirin
(e.g. J&J's chewables) and antihistamine (e.g. Benadryl). But
your vet should even help with the dosage on that. Also, make sure
and exercise her as much as possible before you get her in the car.
Tiring her out is half the battle. Hope this helps! -Pooch Coach
We have many cats in the neighborhood and it seems like they all
poop in my yard. My dog loves to eat it, then gets sick, i.e. loose,
runny stools for days. How can I either keep the cats from pooping
here, or keep her from eating it?
had this problem myself with one of my dogs. There are a couple
things on the market that could help. There are safe products to
buy and put in your garden that smell bad to cats, but do not harm
them or your dog. So, they stay away. This stuff can be found in
gardening stores. You can also try those sonic sound things that
make a high pitched noise when something comes into your yard. I
have one, but I have no idea if it actually works. Putting the stuff
in the garden did seem to help. Now my landscaper is also putting
in foliage that cats and raccoons, etc. do not like. Lastly, you
can do some work with your dog to train her not to eat it, which
is a little more difficult. Good luck! -Pooch Coach
of other dogs
My mini dachsie is terrified of other dogs. We have another mini
dachsie whom she loves but when we take her to the park to meet
and play with other dogs she will run until she finds shelter or
claw your leg until you pick her up. It's beginning to worry me.
Anybody have any advice on how to handle this? She is 10 lbs so
I realize that most dogs must seem huge to her.
need to break her in gently. For instance, start with introducing
her to another friend's dog (who you know is gentle & friendly
with other dogs). Even do this in a "safe" environment,
such as your house or yard. Over time, by easing her into it, she
should get up her courage. It's very important that this gets taken
care of... i.e. you are right to be concerned. It's not just for
the sake of her having fun and being social, but also because if
other dogs sense fear, they are more apt to attack. You certainly
don't want her to be a "victim". - Pooch Coach
My dog hates
it when I go away
I adopted a wonderful wonderful 2 year old girl about two weeks
ago. She is generally happy and loves to play. I walk her in the
morning, evening and take her to one of the many dog parks in my
area almost everyday. The problem is that she gets SO upset when
I leave for work in the morning. I came home yesterday to find that
she scratched the wall by the window so much that her nails bled.
I have bought her all kinds of toys and attention grabbers, left
the TV on and radio. I don't know what to do. Please give me some
helpful advice. Thank you.
dog has severe separation anxiety. If she is hurting herself, then
it's very serious. She needs to be trained into being able to be
alone. You should contact a behaviorist in your area to help you.
In the meantime, some people use mild tranquilizers to help calm
their dogs down while they're upset so they don't injure themselves.
You can ask your vet for help with that. Also, you can utilize pet
walkers and sitters as needed. -Pooch Coach
I'm about to bring
a new puppy home to live with us and our 7 year old dog. How should
we introduce them to make it easiest on all of us?
always best to try to introduce 2 dogs away from home at first in
neutral surroundings. A park is usually a good place. Make sure
there are no toys, bones or food in the space, so there's nothing
to fight about. Then, introduce them on leash at first and let them
sniff away. Praise them for all good behavior. If one dog gets testy,
tell him "no", and pull him off for a little time out.
If it's safe to let them off leash to play, that is a good next
step. Once they are getting along in neutral territory, then introduce
outside the house first and then bring them both inside together.
Continue monitoring them closely - especially around bones and toys
- and look for any problems. If they get into skirmishes, separate
them immediately for a few minutes. If they seem to be having real
trouble, contact a professional for help. There is almost always
hope for getting two dogs to live together peacefully. One hint:
Its typically easier if the dogs are not the same sex. -Pooch Coach
Should I be giving my dog heartworm medicine? how often ? Do you
have to buy it from the vet ? How necessary is it ? I never recall
the vet going over this with me when I brought my new pup home.
some reason, many vets do not mention heartworm when puppies are
getting their vaccinations. However, it is good to get some meds.
You dog should be tested every year as well. You need to get the
meds from your vet. The dosage is by size of the dog. I recommend
the chewable ones - dogs seem to really like them, so it's better
than giving a pill. You only need to give the meds out monthly.
We have a dog trainer for our cocker spaniel. Our cocker is 16 months
old. We are told by our trainer in order to correct him we need
to get our dog Charlie up off his feet by swinging him around in
the air with his leash. Is this proper to do this? I feel that it
is cruel and leaves a mark on his neck.
is not proper and can cause neck and back injuries, let alone emotional
scarring for the dog. There is no need for such harsh corrections.
I'd suggest finding a different, more gentle Trainer. -Pooch Coach
hump hump hump. That's all it seems like my male dog wants to do
anymore. He's a healthy, neutered, well-socialized 6-year old, with
plenty of experience at dog parks, but lately what used to be a
five-minute activity is now his *only* focus at the park. His day-care
person says the same thing -- that he's stopped romping and fetching,
and now hunts down each and every dog in his group until he's made
his move. I know humping is normal behavior, but it really is getting
a bit extreme. He's becoming an instigator, and I've noticed other
dog owners in the park becoming uncomfortable about it -- my dog
won't leave a dog alone if he's decided to make him or her his bitch.
Any thoughts? I hate to discourage normal hierarchical behavior,
but I'm beginning to think people are giving us the stink-eye when
we arrive to play.
need to teach him that it's not OK. You can try both positive reinforcement
(e.g. giving him treats when he doesn't do it), or negative (e.g.
putting in him in a sit-stay by himself as soon as he starts). For
a dog with an ingrained bad habit, which this sounds like, you probably
will have to do both to get him to stop. But it is just a matter
of training. Good Luck! -Pooch Coach
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