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Category Archives for "Dog Tips"

Looking your dog in the eye!


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

I’ve had this issue several times before. Looking your dog in the eye always means that it’s a slightly tense time between the two of you. Staring each other down is a means of determining domination. We all know this at some level. We see children trying this game out on each other regularly (I’m sure we’ve done it ourselves with other humans). We instinctively know that whoever looks away first lost somehow lost in some way.

Dog

 If your dog looks at you in the eye and doesn’t back down, it can often mean that your dog doesn’t view you as the alpha person in the house. This isn’t okay, since it can mean that your dog might not obey you and might act in violation of your wishes.

Ideally, a dog can look at you for a while and then drop his or her eyes after a while. Remember however, that you’re not doing this to prove to yourself how powerful you are. You’re just trying to reinforce the message to your dog that you retain the dominant post in your household pack.

If your dog stares at you, you must stare back. Chances are they will take the hint and back off or come and lick you.

Remember though to judge the mood. If you have something in your hand and your dog is just sitting happily, wagging her tail and looking at you, it doesn’t mean that it’s a game of dominance!

Catgegory: Dog Tips

Dealing with Separation Anxiety


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

One phenomenon that you will be confronted with when you have a dog, is something called separation anxiety. This means that when you leave your dog alone and go out, they engage in unhealthy behavior like biting on furniture, or pushing over garbage cans.

Dogs over the fence
Image Credit: Bill in Ash Vegas

This is caused by the dog’s not being mentally prepared to be left alone. One theory is that if the dog views itself as the alpha dog, then there is anxiety when the others leave because it is either worried for them, or because it’s not acceptable for the followers to leave the leader. So the image that the dog has for itself is challenged.

Another view is that people make too much of a fuss when leaving the house like saying excessive good byes. The dog picks up on this negative emotion and feels that leaving the house is bad. The way to overcome this is to make leaving as normal an activity as possible so that the dog doesn’t see anything great in it.

Another option that is suggested by dog trainers is to keep them busy while they’re gone. Sprinkle some food in such a way that they will have to work to find it! Or get some toy that has a reward mechanism.

Catgegory: Dog Tips

How to Deal with Puppy Biting


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

If you’ve just bought or adopted a puppy, know that one day, the “Biting Phase” will start. They’re gonna grow sharp little teeth that make you yelp when they chomp down. Don’t worry! They never bite hard, and are just testing their teeth.

Puppy Biting

However, it is very important to know how to react when puppies bite you. Always yelp or cry out if pains and put your puppy down for a few minutes. It’s important that the little fellow realizes that it’s not really acceptable to bite family members hard, and not acceptable to bite non family members at all.

Never whack your puppy if they bite you since I really feel they won’t understand why you’re doing that. If you find that your dog is biting or damaging the furniture, you can get certain non toxic substances from your local pet store that creates a bitter taste that makes furniture unattractive to the puppy.

Puppies will grow out of the biting phase in time. When their teeth are growing, it relieves them to chomp down on something. Till then, try and even enjoy this phase! When your dog is old, you’ll remember the time he used to tug on your jeans with this his wagging.

Catgegory: Dog Tips

Small dogs vs Large Dogs


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

So how come we find that small dogs are more pushy than large ones? People invariably find that the smaller the dog, the more yappy, and arrogant it is. Of course, small dogs are lovable as much as large ones, but people more or less agree that this difference in behavior is not imaginary.

There are two explanations for this. Mine, and those of some others :)

My personal explanation is that small dogs are more insecure. They feel that unless they assert themselves, they will get left out and will fall behind. I have noticed that this assertion often doesn’t translate into actual aggression. It’s mostly show.

However, there are people who say that small dogs are more yappy because they are allowed to get away with it. The logic goes that big dogs are instantly reprimanded if they show dominant behavior like jumping on top of you, whereas these activities are tolerated and even encouraged. This encourages them to develop behaviors that are aggressive and irritating.

I must say that there is a lot of sense in this line of reasoning.

What do our readers have to say about this?

Catgegory: Dog Tips

Walking your dogs is important to keep them mentally stable


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

Walking your dog goes way beyond simple exercise. True, that is a factor as well, but more importantly, it gives your dog a chance to unleash it’s instincts to explore and move around. Even if you have a large piece of land to yourself, it isn’t enough. Imagine the plight of dogs who are kept in an apartment!

Walking your dogs

A dog loves to sniff around, walk around, and explore their area. Left to themselves, they would explore all the streets, alleys and roads in your neighborhood :) . However, since this is an impossibility, it is your duty to do as much as you can for them in the way of giving them a bit of adventure.

It’s important to be firm when walking them so that they don’t run off with you. Apart from the inconvenience, it also shows that your dog doesn’t respect you which can lead to behavioral problems later on. On a personal note, my mother takes our dog for a walk late at night without a leash so that no one sees the dog unleashed. I’m not recommending this to anyone though!

Catgegory: Dog Tips

Paper Training your Dog


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

We learned last week about some basic house training for your puppy, and this week, we’re going to explore a very popular technique called paper training.

It basically involves designating a certain area in your house by marking it with waster paper. That area will be used by your puppy for potty training.

When you notice that your puppy is going to poop (yes you have to keep a close watch, or else it’s a no go) you must pick her up place her on the sheets so that she does her business on the paper.

After you clean up, cover the area again with fresh paper, and keep a slightly soiled piece in the area so that she will associate the smell of that area with her potty routine. Soon she will go there of her own accord when she needs to poop. As your puppy learns each time that she is to go to the designated area, keep reducing the area of the paper so that it reaches a consistent size.

Reinforce the fact that potty is only to be done in the marked area by immediately cleaning up accidental drops in the wrong place with diluted vinegar. This will remove the smell and will prevent the dog from associating that area with her potty again.

Paper Training

With a little bit of praise and encouragement, your dog is set!

Catgegory: Dog Tips

Ensuring that your dog respects you


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

Even though the dog has been domesticated, they are still animals with instincts that are brought down from their ancestors in the wild. Sometimes, their instincts override all the training that a human can possibly give. An example that I remember was when a pregnant dog lashed out at me for getting too close. She was well brought up, so she didn’t bite – her mouth was closed all the time – but it was a reminder to me that dogs are not humans.

Dog must respect You

It’s important that your dog learns to respect you and give you precedence. Not doing so can encourage bullying behavior like growling, or pushiness while coming to food. Such a dog can be a ticking time bomb and for it’s own sake, he/she must be taught that humans, and especially you, are superior to them.

You must always keep the idea in the back of your mind, that you are superior. This should manifest itself when your dog is on the leash, when you share food with your dog, and in all other circumstances where your dog’s interests might clash even slightly with your own. Your dog must realize that it’s interests are secondary to yours. In other words, you must be the alpha member of the pack.

This is neither cruel, nor disrespectful. It is a necessary part of a dog’s upbringing for their own sake. Society will not tolerate a dog that goes beyond it’s limits, and it is your responsibility to ensure that those limits are never crossed.

Catgegory: Dog Tips

Don't use negative reinforcement while training your dog


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

Training your dog requires patience and time. It is a very important step in keeping a dog, and not only makes your life together more enjoyable, it also establishes the hierarchy in the family.

Dog Training

It is important to remember that dogs read our faces and feelings much more accurately than an adult human. This means that if you’re getting frustrated or pissed off during training, your dog will sense it. When this happens, he or she will come to associate training time with unpleasant emotions and a stressful atmosphere, and this will make them difficult to train.

For this reasons, training your dog by providing an incentive to do well is much more effective than punishing them. If you find yourself trying too hard and getting frustrated, don’t try and hide it and continue. You can’t hide from a dog. Take a break and relax for a while. Then try again when you’re fresh.

Catgegory: Dog Tips

House training your Puppy


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

Techniques for House training your puppy can vary depending on your lifestyle. Some people have their own garden where they let their dogs poop, which becomes manure after a while, so you don’t need to be present to pick it up after them.

In this case, the only requirement is that you train you dog to poop outside. The key to doing this is to have a regular schedule. If your puppy knows that he/she is going to be let out of the house at a particular time, chances are that they will time their potty. If you have several dogs already, then the puppies pick up the pattern from them.

Cute Puppies
Image Credit: George G. Hoffman

Initially when your pups are young, try and have a separate place for them to poop. The place should be far away from the sleeping area and when you observe them getting ready to let go (Sniffing around, moving in circles), pick them up and place them there. Ideal is a piece of news paper also referred to as paper training.

I understand that this requires constant care and supervision, but hey, that’s what a puppy’s all about!

Catgegory: Dog Tips

How to Choose an English Bulldog


July 12, 2010
Sandor Fagyal

More so with this breed than others, there is a vast difference in quality, and unfortunately there are a lot of not so good looking Bulldogs out there. To help your important decision, we’ve complied this guide.

WHO IS SUITED TO THIS BREED?

The English bulldog, the pride and symbol of Brittan. Nowadays, a great companion with a gentle/docile demeanour, but a few centuries ago it was bred for Bull baiting and a very rugged and tough customer indeed. This aggressiveness has thankfully now been bred out, and the Bulldog has become more appealing on the eye, especially for the show ring. Unfortunately, this breeding has caused health problems, which makes it not an easy nor cheap breed to own and always some money is needed to be set aside for vet consultations (cherry eye, skin problems, dysplasia issues, patella luxations…). What I am saying here is that it is probably not suited to those on a tight budget. Bulldogs do not need a great deal of exercise especially as they get older (they can be very playful as pups), so suited to lazy indoor coach potato lifestyle such as in an apartment. Elderly people like them for this and may just take them for one leisurely stroll once a day around the block or let them play in a small yard for a bit. A little downside to this inside living is that they can be messy eaters and snore. With considerate kids Bulldogs are great, so make excellent family companions. Bulldogs are best suited to temperate climates and not very hot/humid weather where they can overheat fast, especially if expected to run or walk in it. If looking for a “lifetime companion” you should note that this breed on average lives til only 7-10 years. Bullies range from 600 – 6000 USD upwards. We do suggest you go for quality and not price as what you save in price at the beginning, you may make up for in vet visits later if you catch my drift (we do not suggest to go under 1500 USD for your Bully). This is one breed you must truly have a passion for to appreciate it and spend quality time with. It thrives on human attention.

MALE OR FEMALE

Catgegory: Dog Tips
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