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.
Providing exercise for your dog can help eliminate undesired behaviors.
People do not realize the immediate benefits of having a tired dog .
Does your dog bite objects, scratch your sofa, bark endlessly, jump up on guests, or chase your cat? Do you know that a likely cause is exercise!!
When your dog is really tired the urge to bite, nibble, bark, chase is significantly decreased. Boredom and excessive energy are two common reasons for undesired behaviors to occur, and too many people do not realize how a 30 minute run with your dog can help your dog succeed in your home.
This is how you can do it. Get a bike or if you are a good runner , run. Get your dog and really work your dog. Dog parks are great as well but if your community doesn’t have an off leash park or you don’t have the time or money to drive far, running or biking will promote a healthy lifestyle and provide you with a manageable dog.
Remember that setting your dog up for success is the key to a happy home, and the best way to start is by physical exercise. Mental stimulation is also an intricate part of behavioral modification but the physical exercise is a great way for you to take an immediate step to fixing behavioral problems.
Enjoy your dog everyday and remember that dogs are a privilege and like all good aspects of our life, they need to be maintained and taking care of.
Now go for that run!!
When dogs are biting leashes, don’t let them think of it as a game. Meaning don’t play tug of war with your dog over the leash or drag the dog if they refuse to move. Remember with rescues to not automatically use adversives, there is a much more humane and successful method. If you and your dog our snuggled on your sofa put the leash on your dog but don’t move. Reinforce your dog for wearing the leash with out biting it. If your dog is afraid of leashes this is a great solution. Let your dog wear the leash in the house so they almost forget they our wearing it. Reinforce your dog with love or food through out the process . In time the dog will be desensitized to the leash and you can go on walk comfortably.
If your dog bites the leash in an aggressive away instead a fearful way we need to use a different technique. Ask your dog to sit , place the leash on the dog, and with treat in hand when the dog starts getting excited ask him to sit again . If he sits reinforce him. If he is hyper active and not responding to commands, take leash off and no walk. Come back a few minutes later and do it again. Only go on that walk when they are calm. It is remarkable how quickly dogs improve with this technique. Always reward small improvements. If your dog is more calm after the second approximation take that!!
Dogs are all different and there problems are different. Don’t treat one dogs problem with another dogs solution. Understand your problem and diagnose it properly and use positive reinforcement training .
Today, we will discuss the behavioral aspects of pulling and straining on a leash.
We will be using positive reinforcement training so bring some treats with you on your walk. When you begin the walk don’t get your dog overly excited especially when you know you are battling with leash pulling.
Be calm and head outside. Now your dog probably is already pulling. Be patient!!! If your dog knows basic obedience training use it if they don’t start your dog on a program of sit, down, stay and come. Now that you are outside do not move your feet if your dog is pulling. It is so important to never give in to the pull . Best thing to do is not move until they stop or change your direction in walking . If your dog responds to any of these changes reinforce that behavior . The purpose of this is to keep your dog on his toes. You’re the leader and your dog should follow you. Once again reward small improvements, don’t expect to see miracles in a day but if you expect and anticipate small changes to occur you will be excited with the results. The more confidence you begin to have it will translate to your dog . Also remember if you have a large breed dog make sure to also give them a lot of exercise!! If they go for runs or to a dog park and release energy you will notice your dog walks will start becoming more behavioral and your dog will be less hyper active . I love when I start walking dogs and in the middle of the walk ask them to come closer and do a little sit and down behavior. I reward all these behaviors and it builds a great bond with my clients and myself.
There is never just one way of fixing leash pulling problems but collectively if you get the best leash , train your dog in basic obedience, give them exercise, and be the leader walks will become such a positive fun part of your day with your dog .
Even though all breeds can pull on the leash, those owners with large breed dogs have the most complaints. This is for obvious reasons: dogs are larger , harder to handle, and can physically over power you.
When it comes to pulling on the leash there are actually multiple ways for fixing the problem. So even though it is great to have options, you must realize that might mean trail and error. Be patient. Since this is a lengthy topic, I will concentrate primarily on leashes today and on pulling tomorrow.
First get the proper leash. Many dog owners have choker collars which I do not recommend. Don’t use aversive conditioning!!! Positive reinforcement over punishment always. There are fabulous leashes on the market for all dog types. So find the one that best suits your dog.
Here our 3 choices in leashes that will be great for your dog !
Front clip harness: A leash I recommend often, this leash clips in the front on your dogs chest. The point of this and why it is so effective is when dog suddenly pulls it is pulled right around to face you. This is very annoying for the dog and you will see a change in the behavior quickly.
Sporn Harness: I see many owners with these. The way this leash works is when the dog is pulling on the harness it will tighten slightly in the front around the legs. The dog will feel like their feet are being lifted off the ground. So larger dogs or aggressive ( bully) breeds that can knock you off-balance, this leash could be good for you. This leash puts you in control.
Head collar: This leash is becoming very popular for dog owners. The leash fits around the snout or mouth of your dog. Even though many owners swear by this leash it is not intended for dogs that lunge or pull abruptly or dogs that have eye or neck issues. Injuries to eye and neck are more common.
Now pulling while walking is not just about changing your dogs leash. Be behavioral ! Tomorrows blog will explain more behavioral aspects of this common dog problem.
But remember always set your dog up for success and a great comfortable leash for both you can your dog is a great start.