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Three Surefire Ways to Discourage Your Dog From Chewing

Dog with E-collar

 

Dogs believe that their teeth are designed for chewing everything, while their owners wish they would stick to bones and the occasional stick. To a dog, teeth are a tool that can be used indiscriminately on furniture and fur alike. In the fight to prevent chewing, there are several excellent weapons in a human’s arsenal.

1.  Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the best method to stop chewers, but it is also the one that takes the most time, patience and vigilance. It also requires a bevy of strategically placed toys and bones. The goal of this technique is a simple one: direct the attention away from the object being chewed on and towards a desirable object. If Fido is chowing down on an expensive pair of sneakers, replacing the sneakers with a juicy bone will be much more effective than yelling at him, or even worse, hitting him. Over time, dogs learn that the items they find around the house are not as tasty or fun as the yummy bones and squeaky toys you provide for them. Constantly supervising your dog ensures that whenever they get the urge to chew, you will be right there to give them something appropriate instead. A little common sense also goes a long way. Don’t leave that laptop charger or those headphones in easy reach. If your dog enjoys long, snaky treats, drape cords on lamps and blinds up and away. A dog is similar in some ways to a baby, so dog-proof your house. If your dog persists in destroying furniture and footgear, try lengthening its exercise schedule.

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Learn From the Puppy Potty Training Mistakes of Other Pet Parents

Puppy Potty Training If you love the idea of raising a puppy, you may need to develop a sense of humor about puddles indoors for a while. Housebreaking a puppy is never easy. Nevertheless, many pet parents make it harder on themselves and their pets than they need to. If you find the going rough getting your puppy to see how important clean habits are, here are a few tips on where you might be going wrong.

Moving the “toilet”

Pet parents often try to get their puppies started on their potty training with pee pads. They set a pee pad down on a designated spot in the house and get their puppy trained to use it. This method, though, overlooks one important puppy trait – puppies never forget a habit they’ve learned well.

Once your puppy learns to use a specific spot in the house, it can be difficult to get him to unlearn the habit. If you forget to take your dog outside even once, you can be sure that he will head to his pee pad spot (whether it has a pad then or not).

Teach with rewards – not with punishment

Many exasperated pet parents can try to push their puppies to take their toilet training seriously by yelling at them when they make a mistake or forcing their faces into their leavings to show them how unpleasant they are.

Not only are such practices cruel, they are ineffective, as well. Puppies and dogs simply don’t have the inborn need to be clean about their “business”. Since they don’t understand what you are saying, they can’t actually grasp what you are angry about. Patience, positive encouragement and consistency are the only things that work.

If you don’t want a mess, learn to look for the signs

Whether you are potty training a puppy or a child, your training progresses smoothly only as long as you remain in close touch. For a long time at first, expecting your puppy or your child to come and actually tug at your dress is a recipe for disaster. You need to learn to read the signs.

With a puppy, the signs are usually sniffing, whining and a general state of anxiety. Since puppies have small bladders, they can only hold it in for about two hours at a time. Past an hour and a half you need to begin watching out for signs.

Right after you notice the signs, you should take your puppy out to his regular spot – something that offers a bit of privacy, works best.

Don’t hold every dog to the same standards

Puppy parents often put their pets under pressure to train faster because someone with a puppy down the street just managed to get their puppy trained in under two months. This doesn’t make sense.

While every dog may just be a dog to you, they are all actually different species with very different dispositions, personalities and maturity rates.

A Shiba Inu, a beautiful, average size Japanese breed, is known for its confidence and its loyalty. The breed is also for its affinity for cleanliness. They train quickly and need to be taken out each day to do their business.

The Siberian Husky is known for its friendly nature and its intelligence. It isn’t known for its affinity for cleanliness, though. Training a Husky can be difficult because these dogs just don’t get why their waste is objectionable material.

With time and patience, any dog can be house trained. Just understand that each dog has different personalities and that some will require a bit of extra time and love.

Bailey

bailey Bailey was surrendered at nine weeks old. She was purchased from a breeder along with her brother. Our rescue received a call from our local PetSmart where the owner had called the trainer and asked if she had any contacts for rescues as the breeder would not take the puppy back. This is a perfect example of an owner taking on two puppies from the same litter which is never recommended AND the breeder not caring about what happens to their dogs. Bailey is now very well cared for despite the poor choices made by her breeder.

Do you understand?

7 Things to Try Before Surrendering Your Dog

The dreaded “It’s not working out” phone call. It happens in rescue more than most people would believe. A good rescue, as well as a good breeder, will always take their dog back – but the ability to return a misbehaving dog, may just be the impetus of the problem.

Faced with the option of a high-kill rate shelter or “the rescue will just find her another home” many adopters opt for option 2 and dump the dog they’ve committed to for 15 plus years back on the rescue as someone else’s problem. The reality is, many of the behavior problems encountered are the fault of the owner and not the dog itself.

Take Sara, a very high-strung, busy, young German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) being returned a third time to our rescue. A pure-bred GSP is typically bred for as a versatile hunter and all-purpose gun dog per the American Kennel Club. This type of dog, based solely on the intent of her breeding, will innately require a different living environment than perhaps a Great Dane who are known couch potatoes. As a sporting dog, Sara’s owners needed to realize that most require regular, invigorating exercise – without that regular exercise, a dog must find other outlets for their energy.

In Sara’s case, without the regular exercise, her outlet became digging up the backyard. For her owners, who were renting their home, they felt this was an unresolvable behavior that required her to be returned.

But what can you do when your dog is being destructive, or aggressive, or exhibiting other inappropriate behaviors that make you consider surrendering her to shelter? We’ve identified 7 solutions to help you identify and resolve those behavior problems before your consider the shelter option.

  1. Research your dog’s breed(s): Starting with a history of your dog’s breed purpose may just help you identify why your dog is misbehaving and how you can solve the problem. Sara is hunting dog and requires activity similar to her hunting background. Herding dogs’ pure instinct prompts many of these dogs to gently herd their owners, especially children. Dogs in the working group are bred for guarding property, pulling sleds and performing water rescues and while you may not need to stage a rescue effort – these dogs enjoying working. This information is invaluable in helping you understand why your dog is behaving the way it is and may help you identify means of channeling their behavior into a activity that is more instinctual and satisfying to your dog than the misbehavior they are currently exhibiting.

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