How to give your dog the boot

Your dog loves to go for rides, but he’s a holy terror when it comes to getting out of the car. Sound familiar? You stop the car, get ready to let the dog out and when you open the door, he’s off like a bullet into busy traffic with no need to listen or come back. What can you do to stop this?

Woman Driving with dogA car ride on top of a new place can make any dog excitable, so how do you control him? It really is pretty easy to keep Fido under control. There are a few things that you can do to make it easier to unload the dog.

The first thing you can do is to invest in a car seat or a car harness. These attach to your seat belt system and keep Fido secure while giving him the ability to move enough to lay down or look out the window. If you would like to confine your dog to the back area of your SUV, you can also invest in a vehicle barrier that will keep him from climbing in your lap while you are driving.

You also want to keep your dog’s leash on him while he is in the car. You don’t have to tie it to anything, but have it there so if he tries to make a quick get-away you can snatch the leash and take him under control.

Now, this time when you open the door, stand in front of it, blocking your dog. Do not let him out of the car until he focuses on you and is calm. When he has calmed down, step out of the way with leash in hand and say, “Let’s go.” This is his cue that he can exit the car. It is very important that you don’t let him out of the car until he calms down. He will learn that being calm gets him out into the world faster.

See, isn’t that easy!

Socializing an Older Dog

I would start with the basics. You want to desensitize him to touch first. This will allow you and others to easily groom him as well as brush his teeth and make it easy for you to check him for bumps, etc.

When you are doing this, you will want to have plenty of treats on hand as this will help him associate these things with something pleasant, food.

You’ll want to start by quietly touching him, like you’re going to brush him. When he behaves, praise him and reward him with a treat. Then you can add a brush, and do the same. When it comes to doing his teeth, you’ll want to first put a little doggy toothpaste on your finger then let him lick it off. Praise him and give him a treat. Repeat each day going a little farther until you can easily stick your fingers in his mouth and touch his teeth. Once you can do this for 30 seconds or so, add the toothbrush.

Once he’s ok being handled, you’ll want to get him used to other people. Start by inviting a couple of friends over. Keep the dog on a leash. Have your guests hand feed him his treats until he is relaxed around them. Repeat this process over and over, each time having different people come over. Eventually, he’ll look forward to people because it means treats!

Once he is used to people coming and going, it’s time to hit the streets. Take him for a walk on his leash, when you approach someone have him sit/stay. Allow the person to pass, then praise him and reward him for sitting quietly. Once he does this, try it with him walking by the person. If he barks, put him in a sit/stay. Once he has mastered walking with people around, it’s time to move on to other dogs.

You will want to start by allowing him to watch other dogs from a distance. When a dog comes into sight, give him a treat and keep giving him treats as long as the other dog is in view. (This goes back to the new visitors he learned before, new people = FOOD). If he barks or doesn’t want the treat, move farther away and try again. Keep repeating the process until you and your dog can approach another dog without barking.

Allow them to sniff. If someone gets aggressive, immediately turn with your dog and walk away. Repeat the approach process. This will be the most frustrating part, but it will eventually sink in that barking and fighting is a no-no.

If your dog is the opposite and tries to run away, stay positive and act like meeting the other dog is no big deal. Don’t pull him toward the other dog or talk soothing to him or even pet him. Doing this reinforces the fearful behavior. Only reward him when he starts to relax and explore what the other dog is all about. Let him approach things he’s scared of on his own terms.

With a lot of patience and love your dog will adapt.

Dog Trick Fun!

Johann the dog published this the other day. She has a really nice blog about dog agility, so don’t forget to check it out. I know all of you are always looking for new tricks to teach your dogs and I thought this would be a great way to build a list of common tricks for everyone to use. Don’t forget to pass it along so we can get a great list!

——-Copy and paste starting with this line and everything below———-

There are all kinds of fun tricks for us dogs, right? Well, let’s make a list! And share it with the dog world!

Here’s how it works:

1.) Copy and paste this post beginning with the “copy and paste” line at the top of the post to the “copy and paste” line at the end of the post, courtesy of Johann The Dog!

2.) Substitute the Host Tag (see below) and one of the vacant “Tricks” spots with the name of your dog trick and the URL of your blog, just like I did.

3.) When you find out that someone has added this link post to their blog and their trick isn’t listed on your post, practice good paw and add their link in one of your “Tricks” slots, by copying his/her ‘Host Tag’ and paste it over one of your “Tricks” slots below, and republish. This makes the list the same on everyone’s blog!

5.) Encourage and invite your readers to do the same and soon this can grow fast. And if your not a dog, but you blog about dogs, or own a dog, you are also welcome to participate!

Host Tag: Cover Your Eyes – Tummy Scratch!

1. Danger! (run and sit between your 2-leggers legs) – JohannTheDog
2. Rollover – Rescue Me
3. Beg – Raise a Green Dog
4. Bang! (play dead) – Fun Dog Tricks
5. Jump over 2-leggers’ Back – Pacco de Mongrel
6. Cover Your Eyes – Tummy Scratch!
7. Super chase dogs – Gus & Louie
8. Push the door closed – Jake’s Progress
9. Trick
10. Trick
11. Trick
12. Trick
13. Trick
14. Trick
15. Trick
16. Trick
17. Trick
18. Trick
19. Trick
20. Trick

There it is! It’s as easy as that! I hope to make lots new friends with this project and learn about all kinds of new tricks I can learn! Please leave a comment here if you have added this project to your blog, so that I can add you to the list!

—————Copy and paste this line and above——————

Crate Training a Puppy

I am writing about this today because before now, I didn’t realize how frustrating it can be to crate train a puppy. We got a new puppy Friday, a pug, who is very cute and we believe, very smart. Too smart for his own good!

Before he came to us, he spent most of his time in a kennel, which I am thinking is/will impede his progress with potty training because he is use to going in his own space. We will see how it goes.

If you are wanting to crate train your new puppy it is best to start the day you bring him home. You will need a crate that is the size of your dog. He should be able to turn around and lay down and that’s about it. Keeping his area small will discourage him from pottying in the open space and then lying in the other half. If you want, put a towel or small blanket in there for him, and be sure that it is washable in case he has an accident.

When you first bring the puppy home, place the crate in the same room with you and allow him to explore it. To encourage him to go in it, you can tempt him with a tasty treat. Allow him to smell the treat and then toss it in the crate while saying your command, ours is “Crate.” Allow him to go in, eat the treat and come out if he wishes. Once you have him regularly going in and out of the crate, you can try having him stay in the crate for a short period of time. Allow him to go in, close the door, wait a few seconds then open the door and give him a treat. You can do this, each time increasing the time between entering the crate and his treat. Here you can add a safe toy, one that doesn’t have small parts or come apart easily, such as a Kong. They are made of hard rubber and are pretty much indestructible, not to mention, you can fill it with peanut butter and keep him happy for hours!

Once he is comfortable with the crate, you can start feeding him in the crate. Place a small bowl of food just outside the door and allow him to eat. Each time move the bowl farther back in the cage until you reach the back. Once you reach the back, you can close the door. Keep the door closed while puppy is eating then let him out. Each time you can extend the amount of time you wait between when puppy is finished eating and when he gets out of the crate. You want to do this to build positive associations with the crate, do not use the crate as a form of punishment.

Once he is happily eating his meals in the crate, you can start getting him use to you leaving for a bit while he is in there. Put him in the crate and sit quietly by it for 5-10 minutes. Then get up and go into another room for a few minutes, then return and sit by the crate for 5-10 minutes. After doing so, let him out of the crate and praise him. Repeat this process a few times a day until you can successfully leave the room for 30 minutes. Once he is used to you leaving for that amount of time, you can start leaving for a longer period of time running errands, etc.

Now the most important thing is to keep puppy on a routine. Feed him at the same times during the day and this will greatly help your potty training. Most puppies will have to go out within 30 minutes of eating so be sure that you take him out after he has eaten. You will also want to take him out first thing in the morning and after naps and play time.

Puppies younger than 6 months will need to go out about every 3-4 hours because they have limited bladder control. So be sure to plan your day around letting puppy out to go potty. When you take puppy out of the crate, carry him to his potty spot and stand there until he goes. Once he does, praise him lavishly and give him a treat.

Crating Duration Guidelines

9-10 Weeks Approx. 30-60 minutes
11-14 Weeks Approx. 1-3 hours
15-16 Weeks Approx. 3-4 hours
17 + Weeks Approx. 4+ (6 hours maximum

While you are potty training it is a good idea to keep puppy on a leash so you can supervise him at all times. If he begins sniffing around like he is looking for a place to go potty, scoop him up and take him to his potty spot. If you wait for awhile and he doesn’t go, return to the house and try again in 10-15 minutes.

If your puppy does have an accident, punishing him after the fact will do nothing but confuse him. He won’t even know what he has done wrong. If you catch him in the act, scoop him up and take him to his potty spot.

Do you have any tips or tricks for puppy potty training? Let us know!

Teach Your Dog to Stay

Ok so you’ve mastered the sit command and the down command, great job! Now it’s time to teach your dog to sit or lie down for a short period of time. A perfect stay command is usually perceived as a sign of a well-mannered dog.

The stay command teaches your dog to maintain her position until you give her the ok to move. Got your tasty treats? Ok, let’s do it!

  1. Tell your dog to sit.
  2. Put your hand in front of your dog’s face and tell her “Stay.”
  3. Take a step back from your dog. Repeat, “Stay.”
  4. Wait a couple of seconds then return to your dog and say, “Ok.” Praise her, give her a treat and THEN let her move. If you give her the treat after she has moved, she will think that she is getting the treat FOR moving not for staying.
  5. Repeat this over the next few days. When your dog seems to have gotten the idea, you can increase the distance and the amount of time you have your dog stay. Start with the amount of time that she stays first, then you can increase the distance.

Stay will become old hat to her, boring, and easy as pie. Once you have mastered time and distance, then, put your hand in front of her face while saying stay and walk all the way around her. She may want to try to get up and go with you. If she attempts to get up, say “no, sit”, and push your hand in front of her again while saying stay. This will teach her that is it okay to be approached from all sides while she is in the stay position.