Archive for the ‘Behaviour’ Category

How To Trick Your Dog Into Being Quiet (Alternative Methods)

Gemma | July 18th, 2006
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When beginning your anti-bark campaign, it must be remembered that dogs learn by associating their actions with either pleasing or displeasing results. It takes approximately one week for the average dog to learn an average thing.

The solution to the problem when creating the trick your dog into thinking you are home plan with so much realism that your pet actually believes you have left the area.

Dogs are like children. For example, a classroom full of a 8-old kids would most likely be on their absolute best behavior if they knew for a fact that their teacher was just outside the door in the hallway. Think back, don’t you remember breaking loose and goofing off with the rest of the children in your classroom when you knew the teacher went into another classroom down the hall? Yes, your dog has the same type of mentality.

Other Methods Of Being There While Not Actually Being There

I have known some dog owners that recorded their voice into a tape recorder. Periodically, the recording on the tape would say loudly STOP or KNOCK IT OFF. Of course the timing of these shouting commands could be way off and this is certainly not a recommended procedure, with the reasons being quite obvious.

Your dog may not be doing anything wrong when he hears these commands on tape. He may be asleep or actually just hanging around, being a good dog. Although this may work if your dog is known for constant bad behavior, he could eventually learn to ignore these commands altogether and when you are at home, he will still consider your commands to be meaningless, like a game, just like the tape recording game you dog has gotten used to.

Thinking Outside The Box

One dog owner was never really successful in being able to sneak back into the house without being seen or heard from his dog. So finally, one sunny morning, the owner had called a friend who lived about a half mile away. On the telephone he said, I’m coming over but please do not hang up the phone, I’ll explain in just a minute. The owner did not hang up his phone either, instead he placed the receiver on top of the window sill.

He went to the back yard, gave his dog a loving pat on the head, and said I’ll be back later buddy. He then got in his car and drove over to his friends house. He then picked up his friend’s phone and sat listening for almost 30 minutes before the dog was finally convinced that he was gone.

Soon after, guess what happened he started barking excessively! The owner then rushed in his car and drove home in less than a minute. He stormed into the backyard and immediately surprised his dog with loud shouting commands and a squirt gun. After about four of these surprise visits, his dog finally got the message and the barking had stopped.

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How To Trick Your Dog Into Being Quiet (Setting Up The Plan)

Gemma | July 15th, 2006
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It has been said that a trained dog has the intellect of a child in the age group of between three and seven years old. At first glance this may seem commendable, but when one stops to think about it, that intellect is not really advantageous under all circumstances.

An intelligent dog knows whether his owner is on the premises or not. Therefore, he knows whether his adverse behavior can be corrected or whether it will go unnoticed. No matter how well trained a dog is, he has a mind that is capable of experiencing loneliness, jealousy, elation, worry, fear, boredom, and many other emotions that we fail to realize.

Your dog may be the epitome of good behavior as long as he knows that you are around to respond when he does bad things. But to the intelligent dog who takes your absence as freedom to misbehave, you must make a new revelation, and that is that from now on you will be home, even if you are not there!

How, you might be asking, ‘Can I always be home, when I’m not?

The solution is really quite simple but putting it into practice can be a little complicated. The secret lies in making your dog believe that you are gone from the house. This is best accomplished by setting up the situation. Take a drive in your car, out of sight from your house, then park at the curb nearby, get out, and quietly walk back to your home.

In staging the scene, care must be given to never underestimate the intelligence of your dog. If you do, he just might turn the tables on you and perceive the entire thing is a new game that you are playing, all for his enjoyment.

Also, when you typically leave the house by way of your vehicle, don’t try to fool your dog by setting up this situation by just closing the front door and pretending to be gone. He is much too smart for that. Your dog will have to hear the usual start of your car’s engine and the sound of the vehicle fading away as it drives out of distance. By doing this, your dog will absolutely believe that you are gone.

When you sneak back to your house, be sure not to inadvertently alarm your dog by rattling your keys or making heavy footstep sounds. A dog’s ability to hear is far superior to mankind’s and he will know that the gig is up, and that you are actually home.

The Trap

If your dog is a backyard dog, and you have managed to sneak quietly into your house unnoticed, sit back, relax and wait. The instant he starts to bark, you should emerge from your house with a water gun, your tin cans, or even water-filled balloons to toss nearby. This entire scene is be repeated as many times as necessary to get the point across that, although he hears and believes you are gone, you’re really just one bark away.

If your dog is a house dog, all of the members of the family should join in the staging of the schooling. In other words, everyone should leave the house together and walk toward the car. One member of the family should remain on the front porch (out of site), while the rest of you drive away. At the first bark from your dog, a family member who stayed behind on the front porch should be the one to burst through the door like a wild bull, give off a loud shout command, and accompany this with your weapon of choice: a squirt gun or a set of tin cans.

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How To Use Tin Cups To Quiet Your Dog

Gemma | July 11th, 2006
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The fastest and most efficient way to train your dog to stop barking excessively is by using two methods. One method is by using a squirt gun, of which we discussed a simple 3-step training plan previously, and the second is called the Tin Can Method.

When it comes to the Water Gun Method, it may not work because some dogs thoroughly enjoy being squirted with water. The enjoyment or humiliation of that treatment isn’t determined by the particular breed as one might at first suppose. Rather, it is determined by the individuality of the dog; that particular dog’s personality. Thus, a Water Spaniel may enjoy the water gun game, while another Water Spaniel next door would consider it humiliating.

Training With Loud Noises Instead Of Water

For the dog who enjoys the antics with the water gun, an alternative method must be selected, while continuing to keep in mind that dogs learn by associating their actions with pleasing or displeasing results.

One such alternate method which has proved successful is that of using tin cans tied together on a string. All you need is about four or five tin cans, a touch of sneakiness, and an accurate throwing arm. And for extra measure, throw a few pebbles inside the cans to add some additional shock to your dog’s ears.

Most dogs absolutely hate loud noises. The procedure for using the cans is the same as the water gun. When you hear your dog barking for no reason at all, the cans should be thrown as near to him as possible without actually striking the animal. Remember, it is the noise that will do the job, not hitting or physically harming your dog.

As soon as the cans land near your dog, you should immediately give a loud shouting command such as STOP or NO. Within a few days, your dog will then respond to your shouting command by immediately stopping his barking as opposed to needing the experience of loud noise from the tin cans.

Using this method, your dog will discover right at the beginning that there is no reason to go through the catch me if you can routine. He will discover that the noise from the tin cans will locate him wherever he may go.

Prepare Ahead Of Time

Since it won’t take long for the intelligent dog to discover that once you have launched your ammunition, you are powerless to repeat the operation without walking to where your cans landed in order to reload for your next mission. So it would be to your advantage to have several sets of cans ready for immediate use.

Think Outside The Box

A kennel operator who wasn’t too happy about the prospect of going downstairs and out into the yard to scare his barking dogs, purchased a package of balloons. He carefully filled each with water impact his ammunition next to the upstairs window. By the second night he had the quietest kennel in town! His aim was so precise and the barking dogs never knew from where the water filled balloons came. What they did know is that one bark and the sky was raining water filled balloons.

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How To Use A Water Gun To Quiet Your Dog

Gemma | July 8th, 2006
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If your dog is an excessive barker and literally keeping you and the neighbors up at night, you have the responsibility to take a little time and properly communicate to your dog that it is not okay to bark for no apparent reason. The key to such communication and effective dog training lies within a few simple techniques, one of which we will touch up on below.

The Water Gun Method

The water gun method is the most effective trick for training a large percentage of dogs. It is the easiest, and the most humane way of getting your point across. For an investment of just the few dollars, combined with a little imagination and some water, there can be quiet for you, peace or your neighbors, and a calm demeanor for your dog.

Remembering that dogs learn by associating their actions with pleasing or displeasing results, resolve to give your dog at least six to seven days of proper training for his excessive barking. In cases of these types of barking problems, it really does take about a week for your dog to get the point.

When your dog is guilty of excessive barking, calmly take your water gun and with a big smile on your face go to him and give him a shot right between the eyes, while at the same time giving loud verbal command such as NO or OUT.

Without saying another word, go back into the house and be ready to repeat this lesson. From now on your goal is to be consistent and have the attitude that whenever your dog barks, he is really asking you to come out and give him a squirt of water! These three simple steps is all you need to remember whenever your dog is barking for no reason:

1. Give one sudden squirt.
2. Shout a verbal command.
3. Repeat whenever you hear barking.

Do Not Underestimate Your Dog’s Intelligence

If you do not think that this simple method works, give it a few days. I guarantee that you will hear less and less excessive barking coming from your dog. Before you know it, he will come to the conclusion that you just don’t understand dog talk at all, and he will not want to continue being squirted in the face. Your dog is an intelligent creature that responds to repetition. In under a week, he will decide that he doesn’t like your little game and the barking will stop.

Your dog will understand that the best way to avoid being squirted from your silly water gun is to keep his mouth quiet. After five to six days of proper training in this regard, if your dog happens to forget his barking lesson, all it should take to put him back in place is to give the same shout command which accompanied the water gun sprays. However, no squirting will be necessary, as he will relate the shouting command to the feel of being squirted with water, and the barking will stop.

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How To Stop Inappropriate Barking In Less Than 7 Days

Gemma | July 5th, 2006
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Every day, all over the world, dog owners are making the mistake of supporting their dogs behavior problems, such as excessive barking, and then punishing the animal for its actions.

Excessive barkers are created, not born. And as you know, loneliness and the need for attention are the most common causes of such behavior problems. The secondary cause of excessive barking his simple misunderstanding. In other words, a dog is practicing a particular action because he thinks that what he is doing is what is expected.

Regardless of the cause, or the motivator, a barking dog must be quieted. You may have heard on the news recently about a woman who threw boiling water on her neighbor’s dog that would not stop barking at night. Other dogs have been reported to have been shot with BB guns, yelled at by angry neighbors, turned in to the police, kidnapped, and worse yet, even beaten up and killed.

Everyone Is To Blame

The previous examples of what angry people will do to a neighborhood dog that barks constantly could definitely be described as inhumane, to say the least, but if you think about it, whose actions are inhumane? Is it the dog’s action because of its incessant barking? The angry neighbor, by way of his tortures? How about the dog’s owner, who does nothing and seems oblivious to the problem at hand?

Most responsible dog owners have the desire to quiet down there excessive barking dogs. While they do not want to squash that natural protective instinct that a dog has (who wants a silent dog when the house is getting robbed?), at the same time you do want your family dog to understand when to bark and went to be quiet.

Your Dog Can Learn

Did you know that it takes less than a week (on average) for a dog to learn a basic principle? In this small time frame anyone with the desire and patience can teach their dog that excessive barking is definitely an inappropriate behavior. You can make your dog understand that there are some occasions when barking is permissible, but that it must be turned off when given the proper command.

The secret weapon to getting this point across to an excessive barking dog is by communication. Communication simply means finding a way that your dog can understand exactly what your desires are. When we communicate to another person, we just say the words we mean and it is automatically understood, but with a dog you must resort to methods which are backed by action.

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Are You Supporting Your Dog’s Barking Without Even Knowing?

Gemma | July 3rd, 2006
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Dogs that have a problem with excessive barking and constant whining are not displaying bad behavior as most dog owners unjustly assume. Instead, these dogs are just reaching out for some attention. Excessive barking is simply an issue that has to do with loneliness. In fact, loneliness is typically the number one reason why a dog will resort to behavior problems.

If the motivator is loneliness, then you have to understand that the only form of expression a dog has is to bark. And when he barks, it is attention in which the animal is seeking. It does not matter what kind of attention he gets. Dogs were never very adept to understanding the human language anyhow!

Discipline Gone Wrong

Now if you resort to paddling your dog’s backside in the attempt to fix the barking issue, the only real accomplishment that the dog would learn is to stay out of reach the next time around. And of course, there will be a next time, as soon as the lights are turned off, or when your bedroom door is shut, if the dog is left in the backyard alone, etc.

Another mistake dog owners make is by supporting the very barking behavior in which they are trying to stop in the first place. For example, what if your dog is in the backyard and barking wildly at night, what do you do? Most dog owners, reaching their boiling point with frustration, would pull the dog into the house so that the neighbors do not complain and can get some sleep. However, although such action may be deemed commendable by your thankful neighbors, taking the dog inside will only perpetuate the problem.

In fact, you can guarantee a repeat performance tomorrow night, and every night thereafter, so long as the dog barks, an you come outside and provide attention by bringing him inside the house. And the one thing you can guarantee is that your dog will learn that, by barking, you will show up and give him attention!

Dog’s Learn By Associating Their Actions With A Pleasing Or A Displeasing Result

Many dog owners unwittingly create and instigate certain bad habits that their pets have developed, such as excessive barking problems. For example, one extreme case in point is a man who would put a bowl of food in front of his dog every time it barked. Her reasoning for this action was My dog can’t bark and be a problem if something is in his mouth. As you can guess, this repeated action only confirmed in her dog’s mind that barking is a good thing and that tasty treats are the result.

Another example is the family that decided to finally get a dog that the kids have been wanting for years. Instead of buying a young puppy, they decided to adopt an adult dog from the local Humane Society. As soon as the new dog was on the front lawn, a stranger walked by the house and the dog began to bark incessantly.

Of course Dad was elated at how his new dog was such a wonderful guard dog so he showered the animal with kisses and affection. Needless to say, their new family protector was instantly taught that barking was good and that he should bark excessively at anything that moves within visual distance. In time, these dogs’ acts of courage turn into acts of nuisance to everyone in the neighborhood.

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Why Do Dogs Become Excessive Barkers?

Gemma | June 29th, 2006
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Dogs are not born as problem dogs. Instead, they become problem dogs as a result of human dog owner inadequacies. The shortcomings of dog owners are to blame as the real culprit for bad behaving dogs. And although most serious canine problems tend to develop during the most critical period of a dog’s life, which is during the first 8 weeks of puppyhood, many issues can develop at any time as the dog grows into an adult.

One of the most common dog behavior problems that many of you can relate to is excessive barking. This is the dog that makes all of your neighbors regret having you live nearby! This annoying barking habit will keep people awake at night, severely get on people’s nerves that are within hearing distance, and floods police lines with neighborhood complaints of noise.

The scary part about having a dog that barks excessively, especially if he is kept outside during the daytime, is that they can be the target of abuse or poisoning by sick-minded individuals living in your neighborhood. I’m not trying to scare you or anything but the truth is that every day dogs are reported to have been poisoned from an unknown substance which usually results from a disgruntled neighbor.

Is Your Dog Lonely?

Most dogs that are guilty of excessive barking have developed this behavioral issue for no better reason than that of loneliness. Of course there are other reasons, and to be certain we will discuss them later, but canine loneliness has been proven to be the number one culprit for excessive barking behavior.

Dogs are just like children when it comes to the need for companionship. And when these animals have nobody around for long periods of time, sheer loneliness will cause them to invent games and make toys out of whatever is available. From the start of these invented games comes habits that progress and create a problematic dog.

Inside Your Dog’s Mind

What goes on inside your dog’s mind as he is barking excessively? What does he do when he is lonely? What is it about being alone that gets dogs all excited and noisy?

Your dog’s world consists of everything within his reach. For those of you that keep your pet at home during the day while you’re at work, the entire house is his domain. If you keep your dog out on a rope that is securely tied to your backyard, everything within the circumference of his paws are fair game. And when he reaches the end of that rope, loneliness can set in, and quick!

Your dog may spot a bird or a cat outside the window or on top of the backyard fence. All of a sudden he is in a frenzy as he sees a potential playmate. He starts to cry, then scratch at the door, window, or the fence. Then the barking sets in, becoming louder and louder as he wants to play with any moving object he sees outside, but cannot seem to get to it.

Woof! Woof! Woof! – as he attempts over and over to see what is going on and to find somebody or something to play with him. Woof! Woof! Woof! – louder and louder the barking becomes, matched with frustration and eventually barking at anything he sees. A plane flying over, a bird swooping too close, the bushes that are moving in the wind all of which your dog begins to bark excessively at, trying to get its attention. Nothing seems to help and your dog only knows one thing: BARK! BARK! BARK!

If he barks long enough, he figures that something will happen, somebody will play with him, or one of those neighborhood animals will join in a game of chase. As you can imagine, this is the type of experience that no house dog should have to go through, and then be punished because of its barking problems.

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Is Your Dog Angry, Or Just Trying To Tell You Something?

Gemma | March 29th, 2006
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When a dog growls, it is an indication that he is uncomfortable in a specific situation, whatever reasons that may be. As a dog owner, you can observe this behavior and discover what types of things tend to bother your dog or puppy. This makes a great opportunity for you to condition him to better relax during these situations.

Many times it is the advancement of another animal or human being that will make your dog growl. And if this growl is heeded and the person does move away from it, the dog will drop the desire to continue its dramatic behavior because he appeared to have gotten his point across. It really is just another form of communication that canines use.

But this communication must be understood by people, especially children. If a child is approaching this same dog and the barking is ignored, the dog may then escalate its behavior and snap, or even bite the child.

What Would You Do?

Suppose for a minute that your child approaches your dog while it is laying down and it turns his head slowly away while growling at a low tone. Do you know this means? What should you do?

Of course not all growling is considered bad, and in such a situation it would appear that your dog is simply trying to communicate that it is uncomfortable with you approaching and would like to be left alone.

Don’t Take It Personally

Many dog owners take this behavior personally. They tend to punish their dog or puppy whenever it growls at them. This is a big mistake and could lead to potentially greater behavior problems down the road.

All you are doing in this situation is blocking the dog’s most important way of communication. If you continue this practice then sometime in the near future, the dog may not be courteous enough to give such a warning growl and may result in immediate snapping or biting.

Children should always be taught this form of communication. They must know that whenever these warning growls are given, it is always best to respect your dog and to move away from it.

Teach your kids to stop doing whatever it is they are doing when a dog growls at them. Running away is not advised. They should calmly retreat to a distance that is safe, but do it SLOWLY. And advise your kids to let you know exactly what happened so that you can use this information to continue training your dog the obedience skills it needs.

Dogs Are Like Children, They Need Leadership & Guidance

Gemma | March 22nd, 2006
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Dogs having a natural instinct towards being “pack” animals. Just like their ancestors in which they came from, the wolf, dogs think in terms of partnerships and teamwork when it comes to certain activities. Similar to the way a sports team will work together in order to accomplish the combined goal of winning, your dog looks towards you and the rest of the family as his “team” and counts on you all to help him survive, learn the rules of the house, and condition his behavior.

And like a winning team, there are certain characteristics that must be adhered to and provided by all members of the family, including your dog. Such examples of winning characteristics are disciplined structure, operation among everyone in your dog, and most important, respect between your dog’s “pack”. Without these items, there would be chaos and very little way in which your dog can recognize who is in charge and leading his team.

Dogs and puppies need this understanding of leadership and who is to play that role in order to be happy and feel a sense of belonging. Regardless of who is considered the leader in your family, it doesn’t matter to your dog, so long as there is one then your pet will be happy and feel a sense of security.

For those family households that have more than one member living inside the home, your dog will recognize a specific hierarchy that develops in time. For example, in my home I have my wife and my daughter that all coexist with the family pet. My dog recognizes his role as the bottom of the leadership chain, and he is quite happy with that. He understands that all of us play a more dominant role in the “pack” than he does. Because there is structure and he is trained to know who is in charge, even though there are multiple members of the family, his sense of security and well-being is guaranteed.

Most dog behavior problems stem from lack of rules and discipline in the house

At this point you have learned that all dogs need to have rules and boundaries firmly set in the household in order for them to be happy. It is the same way with children. Without mommy or daddy to set the rules and enforce those rules, kids typically end up with with an enormous amount of personal behavior problems.

If your dog does not recognize the family as a team and has no sense of who is in charge, his behavior problems can be a nightmare. It is your job to start creating a social order in your house immediately. You must learn to communicate with your dog by reading his body language and picking up on his sense of who’s in charge.

And the job will be a lot easier if you can get all members of your family on the same playing field. They must all agree with how your dog should be treated. This will help tremendously so that your time is not wasted as you work hard to create a pack within the family, which will help your dog become a happy, well-trained family pet.