Great advice, for anyone who is thinking of or who has adopted a dog lately and is a must read. I originally posted this article back in 2015 but I thought it is time for a repost because lately I have had a few people contact me regarding the dog they have just adopted.
Again, high expectations (good intentions) on the part of the dog’s new owners, can set them all up, to fail. Lets face it, your newly adopted dog doesn’t know you, your family, environment or routine. It may be stressed, scared or frightened as well as some dogs have a history, you know nothing about. So expecting them to act and behave and do what you tell them, can be a bit hard for them to grasp. Whether it be a puppy or older dog, they need time to adjust and feel secure.
I often try to remember back to when I adopted my first shelter dog. I was so uninformed and inexperienced back then. I had never adopted a dog before. I had absolutely no idea what to expect with an adult dog, especially not one who had a whole history behind her that I didn’t even know about. I probably made a lot of mistakes and bad decisions in those early days (I am sure of it).
What I didn’t know then, but know now is that for a rescue or shelter dog, the first few days and weeks in their new home are risky ones. They are at the mercy of their new human to make the right decisions for them. One mistake, and the dog could end up back at the shelter, or worse, euthanized for a serious mistake that could have been prevented if the human had made a…
Click on the image to enlarge and read “A poem from an untrained puppy”
Puppy training classes, are they enough? To be honest, no they are not.
Puppy training classes can be a great start to socializing and training your dog, if run correctly but that is all they are, just a start.
They do not prepare the owner for the problem behaviours that often occur in the “teenage period” which usually starts around the 6-7 month mark and can continue until the dog is 15-20 months old, this time frame can vary depending on the dog.
Usually classes are run for four weeks and only take dogs up to 4 months of age. They cover the basics in behaviour and training but very few, cover anything in-depth. Most do not teach, you the owner, good leadership skills, in other words, what you need to know and do, to utimately have a well rounded obedient dog, who is a joy to have around. After all there is more to learn than just “sit and stay”.
Young dogs are quite pliable and can be easy to teach, owners often say to me “he is such a good boy/girl, does everything I tell him/her” but four weeks of puppy training is not enough to instill basic training in a dogs mind.
I often chat to frustrated owners who are having problems with their dog. They tell me, they took their dog along to puppy training class but for whatever reason, chose not to continue on with any form training.
Which is not good for them or their dog because more often than not owners become angry and frustrated, which can and does make matters worse.
That is why its is important to continue on with obedience training classes.
A good training class should cover obedience & behaviour problems along with many other issues, in more depth. They should teach you how to handle your dog in the real world. In other words, Good leadership and communication skills are the key. After all, like I said before, there is more to be taught than just “Sit and Stay” Classes should give you a good grounding and help set you up for life.
Below is a very good article on why you should continue you and your dogs education by taking your dog to classes.
Dogs, chicken & boxes = Fun scent work for you and your dog. Scent work is a great workout for dogs, it can be both mentally and physically challenging. It can be done indoors or outdoors, so if the weather isn’t that great and your dog is chomping at the bit and maybe driving you crazy, hiding a few treats around the house can give your dog a bit of a work out.
Today we decided to hide chicken in the boxes, they didn’t need a lot of motivation to go and hunt it out. We placed the chicken under and in the boxes, on trees and around a car. below is a few photos I took today of the dogs having a great time, in fact we all had a good time.
Very good article, and again a must read. Will help to reduce the number of reported dog bites and the many more that are not reported. Dogs do talk to us but we have to watch and listen. 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or friends dog. If you can’t be watching your dog a 100% of the time, when around children or adults for that matter, remove the dog or people from the situation. As dog owners its our job to watch out for our dogs and teach kids and adults how to act and behave when in the company of our dogs or anyone else’s for that matter.
Heads Up!…I’ve moved this blog to my new website: DogsandBabiesLearning.com. You can find this post and comments through mid-November here. If you are subscribing, commenting, linking or sharing, please do so from the new website.
I prepared this slide for my Dogs and Babies – Play It Safe! class as a way to illustrate one reason why dog bites to children might seem to happen “out of the blue.”
Before thinking more closely about it, we tend to think that “Good Dogs” live on the left side of the continuum and “Bad Dogs” live to the right. That’s because good dogs don’t bite children, do they? Once you determine that you have a “Good Dog,” you tend to leave it at that and just go about your life with dog and baby.
What we forget to consider is that just like us, dogs have good days and…
Dog Training Classes with an expert dog trainer and behaviourist The course is very comprehensive and unlike others, covers more than just dog obedience & dog behaviour.
Start: Ashhurst Domain, Palmerston North Sunday 17th January 2016 @ 2pm
Woodville Sunday 17th January 2016 @ 10am
Suitable for dogs of all ages. Classes are kept, as age appropriate as possible. I will teach you how to handle your dog in real life situations. Small classes max no 5, Min 3, so I can spend more time with you and your dog, unlike some of the larger classes. To secure your place, book now!
The course teaches you: How to Effectively communicate With Your Dog & How Dogs Communicate With Each Other.
Commands: Sit, Stay, Recall, Down, Social Walking (loose lead/heal) Stand, Leave It (visit Turid Rugaas link on this blog to gain a better insight on how dogs communicate, with each other).
Covers Minor Behaviour’s Such As: Jumping Up, Digging Holes, Pulling On The Lead etc
My aim is also to promote dog safety & awareness so this class also covers:
How to socialize your dog, the right way.
Basic dog behaviour & safety around dogs/Dog bite prevention
Responsible Dog Ownership/Dog Control Act
Introduction to Canine Parkour (Urban Agility)
Course cost: $110 (FAQ sheets included) runs for 4 weeks (4 x 1 hour sessions)
If you and your dog would like to join the class, please fill out the form below.
Any gatherings can be a cause for concern when dogs and kids are involved, it doesn’t just have to be around the holidays. 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog. Statements such as “my dog wouldn’t hurt anyone” or “my dog is good around kids” really need to be taken with a grain of salt.
All dogs have the potential to harm, given the right situation and humans are no different, if backed into a corner. We can become verbal or physical, if necessary. Dogs on the other hand, use body language to communicate their stress, distress, discomfort or they may even growl.
Unfortunately, how many listen to what the dog is trying to say, how many dogs get a one way trip to the vets every year because nobody was watching or listening. All too often people don’t see the potential dangers because they feel too secure and comfortable around dogs and are often oblivious to the potential dangers associated with inappropriate behaviour and not being aware.
Supervision is the key, you have to be watching 100% of the time. Unfortunately the word supervision for many these days, means casting a casual glance around, while doing something else such as:
Having a family gatherings or party, you can’t be watching both your dog and what is going on around you all the time, your dog needs a safe place to go where it won’t be bothered. Dogs can become very stressed and people can do stupid things.
Talking and Texting on the phone,
Chatting or having coffee, while your dog is left alone with kids or other adults, yes I said other adults, they also need to be know how to act and behave, when in the company of dogs.
Letting your dog off leashand not watching where its going or what its doing.
The list is endless, non of the above is 100% supervision.
Many dog bites/dog attacks can be avoided, if people were more aware. Below is a link to a great info graphic designed and published by Family Paws Parent Education on the 5 types of supervision. and below is another very good info graphic from Doggone Safe on dog bite prevention tips for the holidays. Of course these tips can be applied anytime of the year.
Training classes in many forms are run all over the country, should dog/puppy training classes cover more than just the basic commands & behaviours? I know some do, I personally think all should, we, not just here in New Zealand but worldwide are seeing an increase in dog bites/attacks as well as certain behaviours. When an incident of an attack is reported by the media, one thing that is always mentioned is, the call for more education.
Although there are plenty of dog safety education programs and information out there for the public and dog owners alike, how much of that information is actually sort out by the general public or dog owners.
Unfortunately, in today’s society many people are too complacent when it comes to dogs, in other words, they feel too secure and comfortable in the company of dogs and are unaware or oblivious to the potential dangers. After all, dogs are faster than humans, they have teeth that can do a lot of damage, and in many cases are stronger. So forget for a minute I am talking about dogs, If I were talking about tigers, would people be so complacent?
In order to effect a change in people’s thinking, yes education is the key, it’s no harder than it was, to educate people to wear seat belts while in a vehicle or teaching people, to look both ways before crossing the road.
As a dog trainer/behaviorist ( we are educators) how many include information in the way of FAQ sheets as well as talking/showing, dog owners, you teach, the do’s and don’ts of dog safety (in other words how to act and behave when in the company of dogs). As well as giving them the lowdown on the dog control act.
So your clients have the tools to protect their dog and educate others, how to act and behave when in the company of their dog or anyone’s for that matter. 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog.
We as dog trainers/behaviorist have the opportunity to make a difference and become part of the solution and turn the tide.
Many dogs have to wear muzzles. Some are required to by law (breed-specific legislation). Some are fearful. Some eat rocks, feces, or garbage on the street.
The Muzzle Up! Project strives to erase the social stigma that comes with owning a dog that wears a muzzle. After all, when dogs are trained using positive reinforcement, they come to enjoy their muzzle, because the muzzle predicts good things (food, walks, fun with their humans). Muzzles also keep fearful and aggressive dogs safe, preventing them from possibly hurting another human or dog, while allowing them to still enjoy being a dog. And, unfortunately, some dog owners have no choice, since breed-specific legislation requires their dogs to wear one.
This blog post is a celebration of the humans who are doing it right: Desensitizing and counterconditioning their dogs to muzzles, finding creative ways to have fun with their dogs, and giving their dogs…
With Christmas just a few months away, many people will be taking a holiday break and maybe going away. Now is the time to start thinking about your pets and who is going to look after them, if they can’t go with you. Dogs can and do get stressed, so if you are planning to leave your pets in a boarding facility, now is the time, to start looking around.
If your pets have never been boarded before, day stays and day/night stays are recommended and should really, be started now. Boarding kennel stress is real! Dogs become stressed the same as you and I and putting your dog into a boarding kennels, can be very stressful for them.
Imagine taking a young child to a strange place and leaving it with people it doesn’t know. The child will more often than not, become distressed and upset. The same thing, can and does happen to dogs.
This is a very good video showing why its so important to stay connected with your dog, when you are at the park, as I often say to clients you need to know where your dog is and what it is doing, as it only takes a second for behaviour and atmosphere to change and something bad to happen.