Archive for Dog Training

Many people are under the impression that all dogs know how to swim, or dog paddle, but that’s not the case. While some breeds are natural swimmers, such as Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, and Portuguese Water Dogs, there are many other breeds and dogs that aren’t physically built for swimming. Many of the brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed) like Pugs and Bulldogs, can have difficulty keeping their head up out of the water or supporting their heavy bodies with their shorter legs. Some dogs need some help in learning to swim. And a life jacket/personal flotation device is a good idea for most dogs.

Fortunately, you can teach most dogs to swim. This is a good idea, especially if you have a pool or if your dog will be spending any time around the water. Knowing how to swim could save his life if he falls in the water. Plus, swimming is a lot of fun for many dogs and they like to be able to join you in the water.

Teaching your dog to swim

Here are some tips to help you teach your dog to swim.

  • Choose a small area. If you have a pool, use the shallow end for teaching your dog at first. If you are using a lake or pond, use an area that is not very deep. Your dog will feel more confident in a shallow area while he learns. You can move to a deeper part of the water as your dog gains confidence.
  • Use a life jacket or vest. Even if your dog is a natural swimmer, it’s usually a good idea to fit him with a colorful safety vest in the water. This is especially important when you are boating or in deeper waters, but it is also a good idea in a swimming pool or pond. Not only does a life jacket provide your dog with some buoyancy, but the colorful vest makes it easy to see your dog if you need to find him quickly in the water. Choose a vest that has a good handle on the back so you can grab your dog from above in case you are in a boat. Jackets come in all sizes and styles so choose one that fits your dog well.
  • Avoid a lot of noise. Work with your dog when it’s quiet and the two of you can focus. You can gently guide or coax your dog into the water. Use your arms to support his stomach and hold his head up in the water. His legs should begin to paddle. You can let him paddle around the shallow water while you guide him. You can gradually let him do more on his own. If he is wearing the life jacket it should help keep him afloat.
  • Be encouraging. Just as with any kind of training it’s important for you to be encouraging. Praise and reward your dog for his efforts. Take treats with you – preferably something that will be okay if it gets wet. Make your dog’s swimming lessons fun.
  • Don’t throw your dog in the water. Some dogs might be scared of the water. Never throw a dog into the water or force them in the water. If you scare your dog he won’t want to swim or get in the water. If your dog doesn’t want to get in the water then just play with him on the edge of the water and encourage him to get his paws wet. He may eventually want to get in the water. But don’t force him.

 

  • Keep supporting your dog. Continue to support your dog’s middle and his hind legs until he starts paddling. Once your dog gets the hang of swimming he should be okay, but stay nearby
  • Show your dog how to get out. This is very important, especially if you have a swimming pool. Teach your dog where the steps are and how to get out of the pool. Many dogs drown each year because they fall into pools and they don’t know how to get out. Swim with your dog to the steps again and again and make sure that he knows where to exit the pool.
  • Watch your dog. Don’t leave your dog unattended. Don’t allow your dog to swim without you. Even if you are together, keep checking on your dog. A dog (or anyone) can drown quickly, so keep your eye on your dog when he’s in the water.

If you follow these suggestions you should be able to teach your dog to swim and keep him safe. Most dogs love to swim even if they aren’t natural swimmers. So, head to the water with your dog and have a great time!

The summer months can be lots of fun for you and your dog but they also pose some special challenges. Specifically, the noise from holiday fireworks and thunderstorms can be upsetting to many dogs. Even dogs who have never been bothered by these loud noises before can suddenly develop fears about them as they get older.

If your dog has issues with fireworks or thunderstorms, we have some suggestions for you so you can help your dog.

Dealing with loud noises in general

Most puppies are unaffected by loud noises. They don’t yet have any fears or negative experiences associated with noise. You can encourage your puppy to take noise in stride by petting him, playing with him, and showing him that things are fun if someone in the neighborhood is shooting off fireworks or if there’s thunder. Your puppy will take his cues from you and your attitude. When there is noise you should:

 

  • Stay positive and upbeat
  • Play with your puppy with toys
  • Keep your puppy entertained
  • Act like the noise is no big deal

You should not do the following things:

  • Do not make soothing sounds
  • Do not coddle, cuddle your puppy or offer sympathy
  • Don’t act like the noise is scary

If you do any of these things, your puppy will think that the noise is something to fear. The more you cuddle and soothe him, the more convinced he will be that he should be afraid! It doesn’t take very long for a puppy to become a basket case when he hears any kind of loud noise.

The happier you act when there is any kind of fireworks noise or thunder, the easier it will be for your puppy to think the noise is okay. Show him that the noise is good or no big deal.

Socialization

Puppies and dogs that are well-socialized are also better able to cope with loud noises. These dogs are typically calmer and they have more self-confidence. They are less likely to become fearful when they hear unexpected noises. It’s easiest to start socializing a dog when he’s a puppy but you can work on socialization with a dog at any age.

Fireworks

If your dog is scared of the noise associated with fireworks, there are some things you can do to help him.

  • Do not take him to fireworks displays
  • Do not put him outside when you know there will be fireworks, such as the 4th of July
  • Make sure your dog is safely indoors when you expect fireworks
  • Turn up the TV or stereo to drown out the noise
  • Consider staying home with your dog to keep him company when you expect fireworks nearby
  • Ask your veterinarian for a sedative for your dog if he still has problems relaxing when fireworks are expected

You can also work on desensitizing your dog to the noise associated with fireworks. This involves recording the sounds of fireworks and playing them for your dog. You start with the sound very low and gradually increase it until your dog becomes comfortable with the actual noise level.

Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms can be a little trickier than fireworks since some dogs are also sensitive to the static electricity in the air and the drop in air pressure, and not just the noise. They can sense a storm approaching several minutes before there is any thunder. If your dog gives you this kind of warning about an approaching storm there are several things you can do to help him. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use a thundershirt for your dog. A thundershirt wraps snugly around a dog’s body and gives him a feeling of comfort. It also keeps static away from his body. You can also use a snug-fitting T-shirt or tube top for the same purpose.
  • Give your dog a gentle herb to calm him such as valerian. Valerian is used to help people sleep and relax and it helps many dogs with anxiety about storms. You can also use rescue remedy made from flower essences.
  • Some dogs like to take cover in a place where static electricity won’t collect, such as a bathtub. If your dog heads for the bathtub or the tile floor in the bathroom, let him go there. These places make him feel more secure.
  • Finally, you can also work on desensitizing your dog to thunderstorms the same way you work on fireworks. Record the sounds of a storm and start by playing it for your dog very quietly. You can gradually increase the sound level until your dog is comfortable with the full sound.

Noise phobias are not easy to overcome but you can help your dog get through them.

Your dog may be your best friend, but he is also his own person, er, canine. He may snuggle with you in your bed, nuzzle you with his cold nose and give you plenty of love. But remember that he won’t do things just because you ask him to. There has to be something in it for him. Usually, it’s toys, food, dog treats, excitement in your voice etc.

This is particularly evident when you’re training your canine friend to move without you, during agility training. You may usually need a toy to motivate your dog during training. But some dogs don’t respond to toys, and respond to food instead. Other dogs are motivated by the sound of your voice. Figuring out what motivates him will make training much easier for you.

Motivation With Dog Treats

Many dogs respond to food, but not always their regular puppy food. Dog treats that your puppy chomps down and clears up in seconds will give you the best results. Treats can include sliced boiled eggs, turkey and chicken. These treats can be both a reward as well as a trigger for certain commands that you’re trying to teach your dog. For instance, if you are trying to teach him obey the command ‘leave it alone’, you can hold the treat in your hand so that he comes over and sniffs, in an attempt to find the treat. If you say ‘leave it alone’ and he draws back, then you can reward him with the treat. You will need a reward for all types of training, and dog treats work well.

How To Motivate Your Dog With Toys

Many dogs have their favorite toys – a rubber ball, a miniature rubber bone, a plush toy or even a chew toy. These toys can be both a trigger and a reward and get your dog to respond. Ignore the toys that your dog doesn’t feel particularly fond of. Focus instead on the toys that he gets excited about – not too excited though, or else he won’t be able to focus on the training.

 

If toys don’t get him excited at all but he loves food, then you could simmer a toy in chicken broth or with some liver. But be careful – don’t leave him alone with this delicious smelling object or he might actually eat it! You don’t want to have to surgically remove it from his gut.

Show That You Are Having Fun

If you’re stony faced and seem bored out of your wits when training your puppy, he will catch on and won’t want to join. Be sure to show lots of excitement during the session with your adorable pup, no matter how exasperating he can sometimes get with not responding to simple commands. Be motivational, not punishing. When he does what you want, give him plenty of applause. You could even exaggerate your excitement a little, but only depending on your dog’s temperament. Remember, he’s like a child. The more fun he has doing something, the more he’d want to do it again.

Some sensitive and shy dogs can get frightened by loud noises and sudden movements. With such dogs, you should adopt a friendly and even voice, speaking and clapping softly and not moving unnecessarily. Be gentle and you’ll find your dog responding positively to the training.

On the other hand, there are some dogs that are too excitable, and a single whistle or excited calls can set off a manic crazy-eyed race around the grounds. Be gentle with such temperamental dogs too or you could end up getting nowhere.

Other Tips To Motivate Your Dog

You should know when to stop. After some time, even the most motivated dog will get tired of playing games. When he starts getting distracted easily and keeps stopping, you should recognize the signs. Stop just before this point and give him a little rest. You can always go back to training in an hour or so after he’s rested.

Motivating your pet is about getting him to do what you want, something that he has fun doing and would do again. Never use treats and praises to get him to do something that he hates (such as getting into the tub when he hates water). And always be sure to have fun training your new, loving, loyal, furry friend!

 

Author bio:

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a proud owner of her two dogs – german sheppard Billy and moody poodle Sam. She is interested in topics related to alternative medicine for pets. Useful information for this article has been kindly provided by Stefmar.

dog crates

If you have a dog, you need a dog crate. Here’s how to choose one.

A crate is a vital piece of dog furniture. Dogs are most comfortable when they have a personal den available, and crate-training is also a great way to house-train your pooch.

A look at what crates are made of

There are three common materials for dog crates:
• Wire, looking like a basic cage
• Plastic or fibreglass, typically sold as a “flight kennel” or “pet carrier”
• Fabric over a wire frame, like a pop-up tent

Flight kennels have the advantage of doubling as a safe and comfortable enclosure for transporting your dog to the vet, on vacation, and so on. These are very easy to clean, and they are less likely to scratch floor surfaces than other crates are.

Wire cages are inexpensive and safe. In our climate, the easy airflow through the walls is a big plus. Wire crates will scratch bare floors. There’s an easy way around this, however: Put a mat under the crate.

The tent-like fabric crates have a devoted fan-base, and they can be decorative, which is nice in the living room. They are the riskiest choice, though, unless the dog will always be under supervision when he’s in the crate. A dog can chew through most fabrics. The only real questions are how long it will take and whether you’ll notice the damage before there’s a significant hole. Fabrics with prints are more likely to hide damage. Also, these crates are the most difficult to clean and disinfect.

Some dogs like to have the cave effect that a covered crate provides. Covering the crate with a blanket will produce a nice, dark cave. Be careful about ventilation and temperature. The inside of a blanketed crate can heat up pretty quickly.

Check any crate for sharp edges and loose pieces when you buy it, and from time to time at home. There’s always a small possibility of damage to a crate in the warehouse or in transit.

Looking at Structures

The shape of the crate isn’t a big problem. Most of them are rectangles, or rounded versions of rectangles. Sometimes, just to be different, the occasional crate will be shaped like a pup-tent or a tube. Pup-tents waste height, because the ridge area is not very usable for the dog, and tubes are awkward to turn around in, so stick with basic rectangles.

Some crates are sold with an internal divider which can be removed. These are very convenient if you are crate-training a puppy. You can buy a crate that will be the right size for your dog as an adult, and use the divider to make a puppy-size den while the dog is still small.

Choosing the right size

You might be wondering, “Why can’t you just use an adult-size crate for a puppy? Isn’t bigger better?” When you’re crate-training a puppy, the crate should be small enough that the puppy doesn’t have the option of sleeping in one end and peeing in the other. It should be big enough for the pup to stand up comfortably, turn around easily, and stretch out when he lies down.

How to furnish your dog’s crate

A well-chosen crate is a comfy den for your pooch. A nice den needs some furnishings.

The biggest piece of “furniture” is bedding. There are low-padded dog beds that can be fit into dog crates. Some dog crates come with bedding, and some dog bedding retailers, such as Hot Dog Collars, make beds especially for crate-use or have a wide range of alternatives. Or use a sturdy blanket with a dog cushion. Just be sure the dog can’t tangle himself in the blanket.

The kinds of sturdy drip-bottle such as are sold for hamsters, rabbits, or rats will be handy. Choose the size according to your dog’s breed and age. You can fill these with cold water, or even ice-water, and attach them to the side of the crate to keep your dog well-watered on warm days, on road-trips, and whenever he needs to be left alone in the crate for any amount of time.

Finally, a good sturdy toy or non-messy treat will be appreciated by your pooch.

The next step

The next step is to figure out how big or small a crate you need. Measure your dog’s height and add a few centimetres to determine the minimum height for the crate. Sneak a measurement in when your dog is sprawled on the floor. There’s your length. For most dogs, if the crate has those two measurements as minimums, the width will take care of itself. If your dog has mobility challenges or is a member of a particularly un-agile breed, err on the side of too wide.

Now, take a look at the pet-store and online on pet-supply sites like Love That Pet, and see what your options are, comfortably within your budget.

Bio:
With 7 years of small animal practice and after surviving 5 years of veterinarian school, it’s no surprise that Dr. Eloise Bright has a passion for dogs and all animals. With Pomeranian, Duster, in tote she has practiced in Sydney, Australia with Love That Pet and has taken the opportunity to volunteer at local charity clinics while completely her Masters in Small Animal Practice. Chat with her on Google+.

eloisebright

How to House Train a New Dog or Puppy

howtotrain1
New puppy, new buddy, new rules
If you get a new puppy, you should have nerves of steel. Patience is something you will need lots of when housebreaking your new bundle of joy. Puppies need to visit the little dog’s room approximately six times a day. As soon as you feed them, you should take them out so they could relieve themselves, because a full stomach means pressure on their tiny bladders and digestive system.
Your housebreaking routine should be effective as soon as possible so that the new puppy can learn quickly and so that you do not have a lot of messes to clean up. The faster you establish a good routine the more time you have to cuddle with your new puppy.
When your puppy needs to go
Watch out for signs that means your puppy needs to do number 1 or number 2, signs such as turning in circles, being restless or even squeaking loudly. Form a good bathroom routine that you and your puppy can follow, setting up a small box that is easy to clean and your puppy can easily access in a part of the house can help establish this routine. If it is possible, train your puppy to relieve itself outside.
Whatever routine you develop, stick to it. Puppies need to learn the rules, and you need to be consistent. You need to show them how they have to behave, especially in the early weeks when puppies still cannot control their bladders. An early well established routine will ensure that your puppy becomes housebroken and happy.
howtotrain2
What is your dog thinking?
You have to be aware that dogs do not think the same way as we do. Positive reinforcement, praise and punishment can teach your dog right from wrong. When housebreaking your dog, try to praise or punish its actions immediately, so that the little fellow can relate what it did wrong. Especially when you are housebreaking them, do not let them relieve themselves where it is inappropriate and you punish them later. You should either praise or punish them when they do something.
When you get a new dog you have to make sure to housebreak them as well, similarly to puppies they need to be taught what is expected from them. Do not let them control you and try to make sure you set yourself up as an authoritative figure. Because they have already been taught.
A new dog, a new buddy
Having a new dog in your house means that you will have to change a lot of things to accommodate your new buddy. Housebreaking your new dog also implies that you will have to be careful what its previous diet was and how you will form the new diet. With new eating habits also comes bathroom habits. Just when teaching a new puppy, you have to have patience and the will to train your new dog to obey the house rules.
Whenever housebreaking your new dog, always pick the same spot for them to relieve themselves, to form a routine. Pay attention to signs, pacing in place, soft moaning sounds, looking at the door and similar signs can mean that your dog is ready to go.

– Catherine Daniels, huge animal lover, loves writing about them in spare time, enjoys hiking with her dog Cookie and cuddling with her cat Zoe.

Help Your Kids Train Your Dog

Dogs and kids just seem to kind of go together. As one sage dog lover noted, every dog deserves a kid. It’s true. A dog’s life can be immeasurably enriched by living with children. And the same goes when children are raised with a dog. But it all depends on having a responsible adult teaching a child how to interact with dogs. Lots of kids are bitten each year because they don’t know how to behave around dogs.

 

There are a few basic Dos and Don’ts when it comes to what you should teach your kids about dogs:

 

  • Don’t let a child put his face near a dog’s mouth, especially a strange dog. When kids are bitten, it’s often on the face.

 

  • Teach children not to run from dogs – dogs will chase them. Even if they are playing, things can escalate and children can get injured.

 

  • Tell your children not to scream around dogs. If your dog has been raised with your kids, s/he probably won’t mind, but the sound of children screaming can be very upsetting for some dogs.

 

  • Teach kids not to bother dogs when they are eating. Some dogs guard their food and they can become irritable at dinner time.

 

  • Teach kids not to take toys or other treasured objects from dogs. Some dogs guard favorite toys and can become gruff if a child tries to take the toy.

 

  • Don’t let children tug on tails, pull ears, or otherwise do things to aggravate dogs. Some dogs will put up with this kind of play but others won’t. Teach your child to play with dogs appropriately.

 

  • Never, ever leave a baby alone with a dog. Although we love dogs and often consider them as family members, it’s important to remember that they are still animals. It’s not safe to leave a baby alone with a dog.

 

It’s recommended that all children under the age of 5-6 years old be supervised when they play with dogs, just to be safe. It’s very easy for running and rough play to get out of hand and someone – even the dog – to get hurt.

 

Along with these safety basics, you can teach your kids how to pet the dog gently. Show your children how to brush and bathe the dog. Your kids probably see you feed the dog every day but take time to explain something about the dog’s meals. As your children get older, you can tell them about your dog’s veterinary care and the other things that dogs need for good health. In this way, you’ll be teaching  your children how to properly care for a dog as a pet and setting a good example. These may be small things over the course of your dog’s life, but they’re important for children to learn. You would probably be surprised by how many kids grow up without knowing anything about dogs.

 

Another great way to teach your kids responsibility is by getting them involved in training your dog. Dogs need to be trained and it’s a wonderful way for a child to bond with a dog. Here are a few basic things that your child can train your dog to do:

 

  • Teach “down”: Show your child how to hold a treat in front of the dog’s nose, and then drop his or her hand to the ground. The dog will follow the food and drop into the down position. As soon as the dog is lying down, make sure your child gives the dog the treat and lots of praise.

 

  • Teach “sit”: Have your son or daughter hold the treat just about your dog’s nose and slowly move it back over the dog’s head. As your child does this, your dog will rock back into a sit. As soon as the dog sits, have your child praise your pup and give him the treat.

 

  • Teach how to walk on a leash: Your child can help train your dog to walk on a leash. To do this, have your child hold a treat or your dog’s favorite toy waist high. Have him or her tell the dog “Let’s go” and start walking. Your dog will watch the toy or treat and start walking along nicely.

 

That’s all there is to it! With a little assistance from you, most kids can train their dog to learn these obedience basics

Dog Training Tips

Lots of people get a puppy or dog and they have good intentions about training their dog. They buy books or DVDs. They watch dog training shows on TV. They might even start a dog training class. But for one reason or another, they don’t finish teaching their dog the basics of obedience training. This happens with lots of people, so if you stalled with training your dog, don’t feel bad. Here are some tips that might get you started again.

Keep training times short. Dogs learn best if you train them for a couple of 10 minute periods twice a day. Like people, dogs tend to lose interest during marathon training sessions. You can accomplish more with a couple of short, focused sessions each day.

Keep training fun. For most dogs, the more you make training like play, the better they will learn. Use an upbeat, cheerful tone of voice. Be energetic and positive. Act like you’re having fun and your dog is more likely to have fun.

Dogs respond well to praise and rewards. There are several different approaches to training but most dogs respond well to praise and reward. You don’t have to be the bad guy when you train your dog. Instead, praise your dog for getting things right. Reward him with petting and/or a treat or by playing with his favorite toy. This approach also encourages a positive attitude toward learning.

Be consistent. If you tell your dog to stay off the sofa six days a week, you will only confuse him if you allow him to get up on the sofa on the seventh day. It’s also confusing to your dog when you tell him to stay off the sofa and your spouse tells him it’s okay to get up. Dogs are perfectly willing to obey but they need to have consistent rules in the home. If your dog is not obeying, make sure you’re not sending mixed signals.

Train regularly. Your dog will learn and remember best if you train every day. Even though you only spend a few minutes training each day, it is important that you work with your dog every day. Keep working at it.

Don’t train when you’re angry or upset. Your dog can always sense your mood. If you’re angry or upset, your dog will know it and training won’t go well. This is especially true if you are upset with your dog. Leave the training until you are in a better mood. Never take your anger out on your dog.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just about any dog can be trained. You can start training a puppy when he’s about 8 weeks old. Start with easy things like teaching him to Sit and Come, as well as house training. But if you have an adolescent dog or an older dog, there’s no reason why you can’t train these dogs, too. Age is no barrier to learning. You can teach an old dog new tricks. On the other hand, if you have a dog with a specific behavior problem, you might need to contact a dog trainer or an animal behavior consultant. They have the training needed to work with dogs with behavior problems.

Training your dog is an ongoing process. Dogs learn obedience, rules in the home, and socialization. Like people, they continue to learn throughout their lives. It’s never too late for them to learn. So, if you need a jump start with training your dog, try these tips and maybe they will get you started again. Good luck!

Dock Diving Dogs Take Off!

If you’re a fan of dogs and water sports, then take a look at these dogs having a blast doing something called dock diving or dock jumping:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDMAmMy_OqU

How fun is that! In fact, you’ve probably seen dogs doing dock diving on TV before. It’s a popular activity on late night TV and even on sports networks.

You can find lots more videos online showing dogs taking off and making similar splashdowns. And the dogs love it. Dogs compete to see how far, or how high they can jump in the water, while their handlers give them all the encouragement they need before the jumps.

Dock diving is popular in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia, and other countries. It started in 1997 as part of the Incredible Dog Challenged presented by Purina dog food company. These days, along with the Incredible Dog Challenge, there are a number of other popular organizations offering competitions in the new sport for dogs. DockDogs, Splash Dogs, Ultimate Air Dogs, and the United Kennel Club all offer competitions. UKC offers titles in the sport.

The dock for the jumps is generally between 35 and 40 feet long by 8 feet wide; and it’s about 2 feet above the surface of the water. However, distances may differ depending on the organization and the competition. Any body of water can be used that is at least 4 feet deep. The dock is covered by artificial turf or a rubber mat to provide better traction and safety. Handlers can use as much of the space on the dock as they require and can start their dogs from anywhere on the dock.

The jumps are measured either electronically or manually. Electronic measurement uses digital freeze frame technology. Most organizations measure the distance of the jumps from the lateral midpoint of the end of the dock to the point at which the base of the dog’s tail breaks the water’s surface. (In other words, approximately from take off point to landing point at the tail.) However, Purina’s Incredible Dog Challenge diving dog event measures the distance to the point where the dog’s nose is when his body enters the water.

Dogs typically participate in teams, with each dog making two jumps. The longer jump is the one that is counted for the dog’s score.

There are many divisions offered by each organization including Novice, Junior, Senior, Master, and and categories for the super jumpers, depending on how far the dogs can jump. There are even divisions for small dogs and for veteran dogs. As long as a dog is having fun, there’s no reason why he can’t participate.

The current unofficial record for a jump is 30 feet 11 inches.

Any kind of dog can participate in dock jumping. Mixed breeds as well as purebreds can excel. Many Labrador Retrievers and other sporting dogs do very well in these events, but any dog that enjoys the water can have a great time making a splash and going dock jumping.

Signs Of Poor Quality Dog Training

Having your dog professionally trained is usually a good thing to do if you want a well-balanced, healthy dog.  However, like with anything else, not all dog trainers are created equal and not all of them will be a good fit for your dog.  It’s a good idea to learn how to recognize the signs of poor quality dog training so you can look elsewhere and get the job done right.

No Improvement

Perhaps the main sign that the dog training you had wasn’t up to par is no improvement in the issues you wanted fixed in the first place.  If the trainer made it clear that the behaviour issues would be corrected as part of the training and everything is the same after it is completed, the quality of the dog training wasn’t as high as you’d like.

Intimidation or Fear

If your dog finishes up with the dog training and seems intimidated or fearful of loud voices or noises or sudden movements, the dog training was of low quality.  Well balanced, happy dogs are relaxed and won’t seem afraid when you try to provide guidance.  Fear is a big inhibitor in the learning process, and if the trainer has used intimidation or fear as part of the dog training, the dog probably won’t have learned very much.

Bad Timing

If you have a chance to watch the trainer in action and his timing is all off, that is also a sign of poor quality training.  With dog training, it’s important to make a correction or guide the dog to a proper action immediately when the behaviour happens.  If there is any hesitation or premeditation in the correction, the dog isn’t going to be able to connect the dots.  Even with positive behaviours and rewards, if the timing isn’t right you are only rewarding the wrong behaviour.  It’s essential to act when the dog will understand the message, or the message is lost.

Treating It Like a Human

No self-respecting dog trainer would ever treat a dog like a human, but if you ever use one that does, it’s time to look elsewhere.  Dogs are not human, they are dogs and you have to relate to them like a dog if you ever hope to have them obey you and follow you as the pack leader.  Anyone that speaks to them like a human or treats them like a human in other ways is only asking for trouble and a poorly behaved dog.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: depositphotos.com/

Gina Mitchell knows the importance of hiring a reputable dog trainer. That is why she only relies on Bark Busters for all her dog training needs. For more information, visit their website now.

When it is time for your puppy to sleep at night, the crate is a great place to put him and know he will be safe. He might not settle very fast or sleep for a long time at first. But, most puppies can be trained to sleep in their crate until morning, long before they are 16 weeks old.

Here are three things you can do that will help your puppy to sleep through the night, and improve your night’s sleep too…

Where Your Puppy Sleeps is Important

Having your puppy in the same room as you will help to reassure him. He’ll then be more likely to sleep for longer.

However, many owners find having the crate in the same room as them impractical. If this describes you, then have your puppy sleep in the crate just outside your room, or in a room nearby.

Should your dog not settle easily when in a different room, a good tip is to leave a radio on. The noise of talking, or music can help to relax him.

Your Puppy Still Needs to Toilet

Just because it is at night and your puppy is asleep, doesn’t mean you don’t have to take him to the toilet. When his crate is in your  room, you can hear when he starts to wiggle and squirm. This is a shore sign that he needs to go to the toilet. Don’t ignore him when he wakes you up. Your dog must not be allowed to soil his crate, or bad habits might start to form.

When your dog sleeps in another room, knowing when he needs to toilet is much harder. You are not going to hear him when he needs to go. You’ll therefore need to wake up every couple of hours and take him out to toilet. Crate training your dog at night is a lot easier if you share this task with another family member.

Luckily, as your puppy grows his bladder will get larger. He will then be able to control it better. You can then gradually increase the time you leave him between toilet breaks. As a general rule, you should increase the time between toilet breaks by no more than 15 minutes at a time. But, only when your puppy can go three nights without an accident.

Preparation is Everything

A good evening routine is essential if you are to succeed in crate training your dog at night. It will also help you to get a good night sleep yourself.

Left to do what they want, puppies will spend large parts of their time snoozing. That’s fine during the day, but not in the evening. Evenings are fun times.

Get your dog exercising. Encourage him to run around the yard chasing after a tennis ball. Invite some friends to your home that will pay your dog attention. Take your puppy to visit other dogs. Do anything that will distract him and keep him from sleeping.

In addition, make sure your puppy gets his last meal of the day at least 3 hours before bedtime.  He should also get no water for at least 2 hours before bedtime. When it’s time for bed, take your puppy out for one last toilet trip, then settle him down in the crate.

When you have a new puppy, broken nights are inevitable. However, you don’t have to suffer for long. If you adopt the right training practices from the start, you will soon have your puppy sleeping right through the night.

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Adrian Key is the owner of Key Searches, publishers of the Dog Training That Works series of books written by Patricia James. For expert advice on how to crate train your dog at night, visit the official Patricia James website.