We taught Shadow how to Down on cue. It was going well until he ran out of gas, then he just wasn't motivated to do much of anything. We recommended he not be exercised so much before out next session.
TIP #1: A SPECIAL PURPOSE
Just like Navin R. Johnson, the best toys have a special purpose. They deliver food, present a challenge, squeak, or make themselves interesting in some other way. Some classics to consider: Rope toys, plush toys (with or without squeakers), Hide-A-Bee (Squirrel, Bird), tricky treat balls, soft rubber toys (vinyl), and hard rubber toys like Kongs and nyla bones.
TIP #2: MEALS vs. FREE-FEEDING
I cringe internally when a client tells me she free-feeds her dog - that is, keeps the bowl on the floor filled with kibble all the time. I'm a strong believer in feeding meals for a number of reasons, in addition to the medical fact that a dog's digestive system is designed more to gorge than to graze. There are numerous advantages to feeding your dog specific amounts of food at specific times:
• You can monitor intake. If you feed meals, you'll know the instant Buster goes off his feed - sometimes the first sign that he's not feeling well.
• You minimize your dog's opportunities to guard his food.
• You can utilize feeding time as training time.
• You can make housetraining easier. When your dog is on an eating schedule he is also on an elimination schedule.
• You know when he's full, and when he's empty. Your training sessions are more likely to be successful if you train when Buster's stomach is empty rather than full.
• You can use his meals as training treats.
• You can control your dog's weight.
• You may spark his appetite. People with fussy eaters often make the mistake of leaving food out constantly. The dog grazes all day, never gets hungry, thus never gets eager for food.
- excerpted from Positive Perspectives 2
It is true that dogs, especially puppies, chew. A lot! But there are a couple of things to remember when it comes to chewing. Number one: it's normal. Chewing is all about toning jaw muscles. And even though dogs no longer need to split bones and grind down marrow to survive, the urge is still hardwired into them. Number two: it's not a phase. Yes, puppies chew more. But chewing isn't like teething in babies; it won't peter out and eventually stop. All dogs chew some, and some chew a lot!
So chewing is not really a behavior problem, but a normal and healthy activity that should be promoted. However, that is not to say it's not a problem when Fido has acquired an affinity for chewing the leg of your dining room table. But what to do?
The Things To Chew On.
Give your dog plenty of things that he CAN chew on, such as
Edibles: Chew bones, pigs’ ears, bully sticks, greenies, etc.
Non-Edibles: Tennis balls, nyla bones, Kongs (without food), raw hides, etc.
Dissectible Things: Plush toys, rope toys, Hide-A-Bee (Squirrel, Bird) etc.
Puzzle Toys: Stuffed Kong, stuffed marrowbone, tricky treat balls, etc.
Experiment to find out what your dog prefers. Always have a mixed selection at hand and rotate different types of chewies to keep your dog interested.
Step 1. Prevent mistakes. When you can’t supervise, put your puppy or dog in an enclosed, dog-proofed area with a sanctioned chewie.
Step 2. Teach good chewing choices. Audition a range of chewies until you find the ones that most appeal to your dog. Dogs have texture preferences, so try to match what yours like. If he is attacking the couch pillows, try giving him plush toys. If he is eyeing the table leg, try a bone. Praise liberally when your dog chews something allowed.
Step 3. Interrupt mistakes. If your dog chews the wrong thing, interrupt and trade him for something he can chew on. Praise liberally when he does.
Step 4. Repeat if needed. If mistakes happen a lot then you are giving your dog too much freedom, too soon. Revisit step 1. Go back to using an enclosed, dog-proofed area until your dog is consistently making better chewing choices.
Remember, one of the basic tenets of behavior training is behavior that is reinforced gets stronger. The more you reinforce the behavior that you WANT (chewing appropriate things), instead of focusing on the behavior you don't want, the more that desirable behavior will increase until it becomes the chosen thing to do.
Training Tip: Do not keep all toys out all the time. Put at least half away and rotate different types of chewies to keep your dog interested.
Troubleshooting: Is your dog suddenly chewing a lot? Is this a new habit? Make sure he is getting enough physical and mental exercise. Bored dogs will find something to do, and it usually isn't something you like!
Tonight we taught Piper how to Come When Called by playing recall games with her. She did pretty well, even when we went outside. But like all young dogs that are distracted by birds and butterflies, it will take more practice to make her recall consistently good.
TIP #1: PLAN AHEAD
Living with multiple dogs brings a whole new set of challenges. Adding a second (or third, or fourth) dog means more fun, more love, more joy and more wonderful doggy companionship. But it also means much more from you: more time, more money, more energy, and more working through problems.
Here are a couple of things you can do to try to avoid problems:
1. Pay attention to the type of dog that your dog "likes" as well. While many puppies and young dogs play with just about anyone who will engage, mature dogs often have a few select "friends." Notice the personalities of your dog's friends. For example, pay attention if your dog generally does well playing with quiet females, but avoids rowdy adolescents.
2. If possible, have the dogs meet each in a neutral location before making a decision. Pay attention to how they respond to each other. If your instincts tell you it isn't a good match - no matter how much you adore the potential new dog - keep looking.
- excerpted from Adding A New Dog to a Multi-Dog Household.
TIP #2: CALL THE VET
If a house-trained dog suddenly has accidents, call your veterinarian. Your dog could have a bladder infection or another medical problem.
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT, FFCP, CTDI