My Dog Hates The Vacuum! 

Big, loud, scary, moving- you can’t seem to blame Fido for having it out for the dirt devil. We know there is nothing to be afraid of but Fido needs to learn it’s harmless. We want to start to slowly desensitize Fido to the vacuum. This process will progress at different rates for different dogs. As with any training we need to be patient and move at a rate that’s comfortable for your pup. We do not want to progress to the next step until we see that our pup is 100% comfortable.

Step 1: A couple times a day, bring out the vacuum and simply leave it out. Place some treats from a distance all the way up to the vacuum and finally some on the actual vacuum itself. Be sure to praise Fido for calm behavior and for simply tolerating the vacuum with ease.Depending on your pup, do this a couple times a day for a few days until you are sure he is ready to move on.

Step 2: Just like step one, bring the vacuum out but this time you are going to add movement to the vacuum. With the vacuum off, slowly act as if you are vacuuming. Be in tune to your dog’s body language and praise him anytime you see him notice the vacuum and ignore it. Always end on a high note, so if you see him completely ignoring the movement of the vacuum after noticing it-praise and end session. 

As with any of these steps, if you see reactive behavior occurring during training, take it back a couple steps.

Step 3: With the vacuum out and upright, turn the power on momentarily then off. Quickly praise your pup with treats and lots of loving. Gradually increase the amount of time the vacuum is on and continue to praise. 

Step 4: Once your pup has become comfortable with the noise we are once again going to add movement. You may literally have to work in ½ inch increments depending on the reactiveness of your pup. As mentioned before, be in tune to your pup and always stop while you’re ahead. Any progress is good progress!

These “sessions” can range from 10 seconds to a few minutes. Short and sweet. Once you pass step one you can leave the vacuum out during the day so your pup gets used to it more and it becomes less foreign to them. 

You’ll be amazed by your pups transformation if you are willing to give this a try. One day you will be thinking back to the time when your doggie was sworn enemies with the dirt devil. Hope this helps, happy cleaning!

-Bianca Zinger  


How to fix undesired dog behaviors!

I love my clients because they inspire me everyday to write informational posts and blogs. Today we are focusing on energy and observation!

Dogs can have predictable behavior meaning in some cases you can actually anticipate poor or undesired behavior with your dog. If you notice that during the day your dog is an angel he sleeps, nice and calm but when the family comes home in the afternoon your dog goes “wild”. Sound familiar. The interesting thing is people think ” ahh my dog is out if control. He jumps on sofa, he chases the children he has started biting the carpet or rug.” But they are not out of control they are channeling their energy poorly and inefficiently.
If this sounds like your family situation . There is a simple solution.

Before you get frustrated with your puppy or dog, ask why does this happen. Your dog has to much energy!!! A bored dog, a well rested dog, or a dog awaiting and anticipating your arrival will be destructive. However if you can realize this you can solve this problem.

Reinforce your dog during the day for being calm then before the family comes home take your dog for a run or to the dog park. Burn off that energy. Remember a TIRED DOG is a GOOD DOG!!!!!!! Then come home and be behavioral . Your dog will now have far less energy, and now you can really work on training. As people come through the door ask your dog to sit reinforce them for not rushing the door or for not jumping . Really show your dog what you want by reinforcing the calm behavior.

Another alternative to channel that energy positively is my applying training techniques. If you can do a training session with your dog everyday this will help your dog burn energy, think for themselves and occupy their time. It doesn’t have to be complex , start with sits and downs stays and comes. Start playing fetch where your dog receives objects ,comes back to control , and releases objects! They get exercise and they are learning critical training techniques.

This system works!! Just like children, dogs need attention, playtime outside to run around and schooling. Could you imagine if you didn’t do this with your children !! Your house could look worse then how your dog leaves it now!

So appreciate your pup and know to observe your dog and efficiently get rid of the excess energy.


How to stop a cat from peeing on your rugs…

When a cat stops using the litter box, there’s always a reason. Your first impulse could be to shout at the cat, but remember that will just frighten and confuse your cat. Despite common belief, cats are not vengeful, and they  are not going outside his box to get revenge. We always want to end positively with our animals. So if mistakes happen and you can catch them or you see them on the carpet, put them on the litter and if they go, use praise.
In turn we need to analyzed and understand what may have triggered this change from your cat using to the litter to not using the litter, such as adding another cat, loosing a cat, declawing your  cat, or something terrorizing them may have inadvertently caused the problem.
Remember the longer the behavior persists, the more likely it is to become habit. If you have more than one cat, you may want to use a color stain to see what cat is going where.  Your vet can give you a special non-toxic stain given by mouth that will show up in the urine( if you want).
Since there is a type of surface upon which your cat eliminates soft rugs or tile you can modify your litter to match it. If she likes soft surfaces like carpeting, buy a softer, finer litter, and put a carpet remnant in her box. If your cat likes tile then put tile in the litter box with some litter over it.
Make sure your litter boxes  have a 360-degree view. This will give them confidence while they are in the box and make them less prone to ambush. Also, place the box so that he has more than one way out (i.e. don’t have the box surrounded on three sides). Finally, place multiple boxes in multiple locations to give your cat more options.
Cats may dislike the litter you use, especially if you’ve recently and suddenly changed brands. If you must switch brands, do so gradually, adding more of the new litter to the old with each cleaning. Most cats prefer their litter unscented, and an inch or two deep.
Finally, give as many boxes as there are cats in the house—plus one.This decreases competition and gives each cat a box of their own. This great for the cats and make sure that where their litter  stays it is in a calm, quiet and safe place.
If the dog scares your cat and they were in the litter, the litter can be seen as negative now and they wont use it. If your cat was declawed the feeling of harsh litter can also be a huge reason they are not using the litter. Finally the main reason besides sudden changes in the household is medical reasons.
If your cat has suddenly  stopped using their litter look to see if they are having trouble urinating or crying while urinating. This could be a UTI (urinary track infection). Common in male cats and something your vet needs to take care of. Also if your cat has a history of kidney or liver disease that can cause them to consume more water and thus pee more.
Finally spraying can be the last culprit. Even though unspayed cats are usually the one to spray 10% of neutered males and 5% of spayedfemales can spray. Spray is usually on vertical objects and can begin due to multiple cats in the home or feral cats outside.
Cats not using the litter is a hard and common battle but if you can pin point why your cat is uncomfortable then the solutions get easier.

How to Train Older Dogs and Puppies

Everyone knows puppies need training early in life. That’s why millions of people go to basic training classes and puppy perfection lessons. What people don’t realize is that when your dog becomes an older dog sometimes you need to treat them like puppies.
Is your older dog starting to pee in the house? Do they seem a little aggressive toward your family or other animals? Lets start treating them as puppies. Don’t get angry and frustrated!

If your older dog has started going in the house, set up a dog pen. They have less space to make accidents and now they are back to basics. Set up their pee pad in the pen to encourage urination in a certain spot.

Older dogs can start being belligerent and just remember that you cannot get mad . By understanding your dog you can learn to adapt to their new age. Set them up for success and revert back to puppy training. Supervision, attention, and comfortable living space that is conducive to their level of obedience.

The better you adapt to your dogs old age the happy you both will become. Now, who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks?


Dog doesn’t eat their food or begs at the table

Initially it seems bizarre to hear that a dog doesn’t eat their food, but this is an all to common problem especially in smaller breeds.

If you find your dog falls into this category, here are some behavioral and some non traditional ways of correcting the issue.

The best way to get your dog to eat is with a routine. Your dog should be eating at a particular time everyday. This routine will let your dog know that they eat at a specific time which encourages consumption. However smaller dogs that don’t wolf down their food on one go are a little trickier.

Finicky small dogs might need more encouragement. You can add soft food or dog gravy onto their dry food to help encourage eating. Also smaller meals twice a day can be helpful for smaller dogs.

If you have fed your dog people food you can be in a bit of a deeper hole. This is where my non traditional yet very effective method comes in.

So your dog hates their food and now begs at your dinner table . First step is to slowly get your dog to stop begging and start eating. So when you sit down for dinner or breakfast, before your dog begs, pretend to put your people food into their dog bowls and place it on the floor ( while inside the bowl is their dog food)Your dog will eat the food because you have “tricked” them to thinking its people food. Everyday put the food down earlier and earlier, pretending to put people food in it. Eventually your dog will associate you giving them the bowl of food with you feeding them from the table and start eating.

This hits two birds with one stone. Stops begging and fixes the problem with eating.

Dogs can be finicky at times but they are also trusting and trainable, so choose methods of training that suit your specific needs.

Also if you are trying to stop begging use a kong toy during meals to occupy your dog or ignore the undesired behavior if it is minimal. Begging and dogs not eating are two very different problems. I will address begging next week.