Monday, September 12, 2022

Should I send My Dog to Boot Camp?

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Should I Send My Dog to Boot Camp? Published by Alpha Dog Training I can unequivocally tell you without a doubt in my mind that BOOT CAMPS don't work. Your dogs got the way they are because of the way you live with them and their problems are not going to be fixed by someone else. You have to fix the problem yourself if you don't want to see these problems persist. I don't say this with malice – it's a simple fact. You have not established pack structure and the dogs don't respect your leadership. You may think they do but dogs don't do what you describe and respect their handlers. Pack leaders decide when to fight and when to be aggressive – not lower-ranking members of the family pack. This only happens because: • People don't understand the dynamics of pack structure. • People are too small to physically deal with a large dog and don't know what they can do to equal the playing field. • People treat their dogs like little humans and not dogs. Oftentimes, as equals. In the dog world, there are no equals. You're either a leader or a lower-ranking pack member. • People are too lazy to train their dogs. Sending a dog to a BOOT CAMP will result in the dog learning to respect the people who run the camp. But these dogs will always revert to their old selves when they come home. This may not happen in a week or two, but it will always happen. Only when owners learn how to become respected leaders and introduce and enforce OWNERS RULES will their dogs ever change. If you want to solve your problems you can, but it needs to be done by you and your husband. You need to run these dogs through a pack structure program at home. This isn't difficult or time-consuming. It simply means you change the way you live with your dog. The information to solve all of these problems is here for learning. It must be done by you and your husband. Go and read the article on my philosophy of dog training. You will get a better idea of what I am talking about and probably see a little bit of yourself in that article.
My website has a large number of articles that I've written. Go to the main article page and start from there. The bottom line is that people need to educate themselves on correct training, handling, and environmental control of their dogs. When they do things correctly, they will have a safe, submissive dog that is under their control. In conclusion, it is the DOG HANDLER who needs the boot camp, not dogs.

Friday, September 2, 2022

How do I know if My Dog is Overweight?

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity How Do I Know if My Dog or Cat Is Overweight? Published by Alpha Dog Training 1) Feel for ribs “Run your fingers along the ribs, both sides, and see how easily you can palpate those ribs, feel them. In an ideal body-condition score, it should feel like running your fingers over pencils in a breast pocket,” says Purina veterinarian Dr. Zara Boland. Using your hands is important. Looking isn’t enough to determine if your dog or cat is overweight since her coat of may make a visual check difficult. 2) Check the waist “The next thing you want to feel is a nice waistline.” An overweight dog or overweight cat won’t have “an hourglass shape when you look down from above and you can feel that by running your hands along the ribs and they should tuck in as soon as you reach the end of the ribs and come to the waist. It’s ideal body-condition score for us, we want the same for our pets,” says Boland. 3) Take a side view “And the last thing you’re looking for is what we call a tummy-tuck. So,when you view your pet from the side, you want the tummy to tuck up backwards towards the hind legs. We don’t want a hanging belly-we’re looking a nice, neat, tummy-tuck,” says Boland. That said it’s also important to know if your cat or dog’s breed makes them appear overweight. Your veterinarian can provide insight on this. It’s Time to Make Changes If the body check indicates your cat is too large or your dog is overweight, it's time to change the routine and habits you’ve set. Just like you, weight loss for your cat or dog comes down to calories. To shed pounds, your cat will need to burn more calories than she consumes, and your dog will need to do the same. Look to make a change to both diet and exercise for successful results. Reduce calories: Empty calories—ones that do not have health benefit--add up quickly. Select a food that is complete and balanced and cut out all extra calories: • Eliminate table scraps • Limit treats (no more than 10% of daily calories) • Feed foods with balanced nutrition
Increase exercise indoors and outdoors: Cats and dogs both enjoy being active. Stimulate them inside or outside to build muscle strength, burn calories and promote fitness: • Take long walks or run and hike regularly • Create indoor challenges for climbing and jumping • Present stimulating/interactive toys that simulate hunting

Monday, August 22, 2022

Diffierent Dog Growls and Your Baby

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Different Dog Growls and Your Baby Published by Alpha Dog Training One of the scariest moments a new parent can experience is their beloved family dog growling at their baby. It can trigger feelings of anxiety, stress, and thoughts of having to rehome the dog. You may already be having these thoughts and feel guilty about it. First thing's first, your dog needs your help. Growling is a form of communication for dogs. Different types can tell you what your dog is feeling and how to help. The fact that your dog is trying to communicate its needs before taking action should be reassuring. 3 Different Types of Growls Let's talk about a few different types of growls and how to differentiate them. 1. Play Growl If you've ever watched your dog play with other dogs, you've probably already heard a play growl. This type of growl takes place in a playful state of mind, usually during the roughhousing and mock-fighting that makes up dogs' typical play behavior. However, even though this means your dog is not being aggressive toward your baby, we still don't want your dog to see them as a littermate or playmate. The type of play dogs engage in with each other can contain behaviors such as nipping, mouthing, and physical contact that isn't safe or appropriate for human play, particularly children. If your dog is play-growling while playing with your child, the best course of action is to monitor and rein in the play before it gets too rowdy. Keep interactions calm and positive, and choose interactive activities such as playing fetch instead of physical play. 2. Warning Growl This is where we get into more serious growls. Generally, the two states of mind associated with threatening growls are defensiveness and aggression. Importantly, a warning growl when a dog feels threatened can easily escalate into a nip if ignored, which is why we don't want to correct it and eliminate our warning sign. Personal space and resources are common boundaries that dogs can feel threatened over. Don't let your child harass or annoy your dog, even if it seems tolerant at first. Like people, dogs have thresholds, and an accumulation of stressors can cause them to resort to defensive behavior to enforce their boundaries. We don't want our dogs to feel they can correct our children; however, this means we have to step up and take that responsibility ourselves. 3. Controlling Growl The issue arises when we have a dog growling in a controlling manner. This is not a dog that feels defensive or helpless or has had thresholds pushed. It is a dog who genuinely wishes to control the child within the environment and is confident in its ability to win an ensuing battle if necessary. Make no mistake; this is a serious situation that requires immediate intervention. Creating a Safe Training Plan Separating your child and dog until a training plan is implemented is the first step toward success.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Socializing your Puppy to be a Good Neighbor

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Socializing your Puppy to Be a Good Neighbor
You understand that establishing good neighbor relations means being respectful of other peoples’ property and well-being. This goes for your canine loved one as well. Here are a few helpful tips to keep peace in the neighborhood… • When you walk your puppy, keep him off private property, unless you have permission from the owner first. • • Pick up after your puppy. Pick up your puppy’s waste promptly all the time, and everyone will be happier. If you have kids, this task could be an opportunity to learn about responsibility. • • Prevent fence running and barking. If your puppy does this, particularly if he is a large breed puppy, it could be something your neighbors won’t like. Supervise closely during social hour. • • Manage barking. If puppy is barking outside, bring him in. If he barks inside and you can’t control it, it’s time to get some professional training. After all, minimal barking makes for minimal headaches all around. • • Keep puppy on a leash. It may seem like common sense, but allowing your puppy to run loose outdoors can be dangerous for him, and possibly for others. Even if your puppy is impeccably behaved, it’s still a good idea to keep him on a leash for safety reasons. • • Keep puppy health. Feed him nutritionally complete and balanced puppy food. Take your puppy to the veterinarian regularly to keep his vaccinations current, and be certain he is free from internal and external parasites. • • Identification. Proper identification for your puppy is important. Puppies should wear collars with an identification tag. Be sure to follow your city’s rules and regulations regarding puppy registration. • • Have fun! Introduce your puppy to other neighborhood puppies early on. Go for group walks or take a trip to the puppy park with other owners in your area. It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors, and your puppy may enjoy the company of a new playmate or two.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

What to Do in a Dog Emergency

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity What to Do in a Dog Emergency Published by Alpha Dog Training What to Do in Dog Emergencies One of the first steps you should take in an emergency is to call your veterinarian. Be prepared to describe the situation. Your veterinarian can tell you how to administer first aid and how to transport your pet safely. Having a dog-specific first aid kit on hand is essential as well. Breathing If the dog is unable to breathe, you’ll need to perform artificial respiration. First, clear the dog’s mouth of any obstructions, including mucus or blood. Then close the mouth, place your lips over the dog’s nostrils, and give three-to-four big breaths, 10-to-12 times per minute. If you can’t detect a heartbeat, position the dog on their back or side. Support small dogs by placing one hand on each side of the chest near the elbow. Perform five chest compressions to one quick breath. Continue this pattern until the dog starts breathing on his own. Bleeding External bleeding requires immediate attention, so press down firmly on the area with your fingers or the palm of your hand and then apply a firm, but not tight, bandage. Don’t worry about cleaning out the wound until the bleeding has stopped. Take the dog to the veterinarian as quickly as possible. Antibiotics may be needed to stave off infection. Shock Shock sometimes occurs in situations that involve head injuries, significant loss of blood or fluids, and severe infection. The signs include a rapid heart rate, pale mucous membrane, very low blood pressure, very little urinary output, and a weak pulse. Keep the dog warm and quiet, treat any visible injuries, and take them to the veterinarian immediately. Broken Bones Fractures require immediate attention. Dogs will hold a fractured or dislocated limb in an unnatural position; signs of a fracture often include lameness, pain, and swelling. The dog should be transported to the veterinarian with as little movement as possible. Do not use antiseptics or ointments on open fractures. Heatstroke Heatstroke may occur when dogs are left in cars, overexercised on hot, or even warm days, or when kennel areas don’t have proper ventilation. Signs include panting and drooling, skin that is hot to the touch, vomiting, loss of coordination, and collapse. You should use cool water, ice packs, or wet towels to cool the dog, but do NOT immerse him in cold water. Vomiting and Diarrhea Vomiting and diarrhea are usually signs of problems with the digestive system and could be caused by any number of things, from ingestion of spicy foods or poisons to gastrointestinal system disease, kidney or liver failure, or nervous system disorders. If your dog is vomiting with diarrhea or vomiting and has a poor appetite, call your veterinarian and be prepared to tell them about anything that could have contributed, such as access to human medications, toxins, a change in diet, and other possible causes. Seizures Whole-body seizures, called Grand Mal seizures, cause your dog’s entire body to convulse, while some seizures may be localized, such as a facial tremor, or sudden onset of rhythmic movements or actions. Stay calm and note how long the seizure lasts. until he begins to regain consciousness. Call your veterinarian. Stings Bee and wasp stings can be painful and frightening for a dog. A single bee sting will produce pain, swelling, redness, and/or inflammation. If your dog is stung, carefully remove the stinger with tweezers. Apply a paste of baking soda and water and then an ice pack to relieve swelling and pain. Ask your vet about giving your dog a dose of oral antihistamine. Give him fresh water and watch him carefully. Allergic reactions usually occur within 20 minutes, but can be delayed for hours. Then take him to the closest veterinarian Choking A dog that coughs forcefully, drools, gags, holds his mouth open or paws at his mouth may be choking. Don’t stick your fingers in his mouth because you might be bitten or push the object further in. Try to dislodge the object by thumping the dog between the shoulder blades or by applying several quick, squeezing compressions on both sides of his rib cage. Dog First Aid Kit Keeping certain items on hand in case of emergency is essential. Remember, a first aid kit is not a substitute for veterinary care. Here is a list of things to include: • Bandaging materials: Think sterile pads, stretch bandages, and bandaging tape • Hydrogen peroxide • Cold pack • Antibiotic ointment • Hydrocortisone 1% • Magnifying glass • Small scissors • Tweezers (for bee stingers and splinters) • Disposable gloves • Cotton balls • Iodine swabs • Extra leash • Emergency numbers for your veterinarian and poison control • Collapsible water bowl • Aluminized thermal blanket • Tourniquet • Benadryl Ask your veterinarian to explain the proper use of these items, and in the case of any topical or oral medications, be sure to check with your vet before administering them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

HOw to Use Dog Parks

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity How to Use Dog Parks Published by Alpha Dog Training The Purpose of a Dog Park It would seem obvious that a dog park is a place for people who don't have a lot of personal space to take their dog for exercise. The perfect example would be apartment dwellers or people who live in big cities. The second and possibly more common reason (which I disagree with) is that a dog park is a place for a dog to socialize with other dogs. Dog parks can be dangerous but they can serve a purpose. We use dog parks as distractions in order to proof our obedience exercises. The dog never goes inside the dog park. Instead, he stays outside the fence and uses the other dogs to proof his obedience through distractions. The Dangers of Dog Parks Every couple of days I get an email from someone asking about problems with their dogs being attacked when they are on walks or running loose at one of the local parks that many cities set up. People also question me on how to deal with overly aggressive dogs that belong to other pet owners. They also question me about their own dogs not trying to defend themselves when approached by a seemingly aggressive dog. Some people want to know if they should just let the dogs work these problems out themselves. When a new dog comes into a park that other dogs visit every day, the new visitor is often seen as an intruder into "the personal territory" of the regular visitor. More often than not, they are not seen as a friend. This often leads to either territorial aggression, dominance aggression, or fear aggression. Dog Packs in the Dog Park When a group of dogs (3 or more) are allowed to run together in an area where there are no strong pack leaders (human pack leaders), they instinctively try to establish a rank order (or pecking order). If there are several dogs that want to assume a certain rank within this new pack, there are often problems. Too often this results in dog fights to determine what rank a dog will assume. It is a mistake to assume that every dog in the park is a well-mannered, well-trained pet. Just because it plays with other dogs does not mean that it will play with your dog. The issue of rank has already been settled with these other dogs and the game may be going according to their rules. Your dog will not know the rules and can easily get into trouble. Too often when a fight breaks out between your dog and the leader of this pack, the other dogs in the pack will also jump in and go after your dog. I get emails from people who are disappointed in their puppy or young dog because it shies away from other dogs and shows avoidance to these strange dogs they meet on walks or in parks. These people completely misunderstand pack structure, many don't even know that it exists. The vast majority of dogs don't want to be pack leaders. They are perfectly happy with their owners assuming the position of leader. As such, these dogs expect their pack leader (their owner) to protect them. That's why these dogs will run to their owner when they feel threatened by another dog. When a handler does not protect his dog, the dog is in conflict and loses confidence. When the owner ignores the perceived threat, their dogs often move into fight or flight. When new owners assume the position of pack leader and they do everything right when their pup is young, the dog will grow up to be a confident adult dog. When owners drop the pack structure ball, their dogs grow up to be basket cases (either overly aggressive or fearful). This is the reason I never guarantee temperament in the pups I used to sell. Too many people lack the common sense or experience to properly raise a dog. How to Handle Your Dog in the Dog Park When your dog is approached by a dog that looks like it may be aggressive, YOU (not your dog) needs to take the aggressor's role. Dogs that have the potential to be aggressive are going to have a stiff body. Their legs will be stiff and often their tail will be straight up in the air or straight back (never tucked under the stomach - that's a submissive posture). When another dog does this, it's to make itself look bigger and stronger. Dominant dogs will T-OFF on your dog. That means standing at your dog's shoulder and put their muzzle over the shoulders of your dog. This is a dominant display. When you see this: 1. Tell the dog's owner that he or she needs to get control of their dog. 2. If this does not work, then it's time to leave the park. If there was any aggression, you may want to file a complaint or police report. Make sure you indicate that you were concerned for your personal safety and your dogs. 3. If the situation has moved beyond the point where you can't leave, then you need to take things into your own hands. Verbally tell the dog in a deep voice to get out of there. Usually, (not always) this is enough to make the dog back off. When that happens, you need to determine if you have solved the problem or if you need to leave. Always err on the side of safety. 4. I would not go to a dog park without a walking stick or a can of pepper gas. If you are not familiar with how to safely break up a dog fight without getting hurt, you need to familiarize yourself with what to do. (Read the article or listen to the podcast I have done on this). 5. What I do may not be possible for many people with less experience. But if a stray dog were to get aggressive with my dog and I could not verbally threaten the dog to make it move on, I would attack the dog with the stick. I can hear several people rolling their eyes as they read this, but the fact is, by this point, retreat is not an option and I would not allow my dog to be hurt. Often, one good hard hit right between the ears will deter most dogs. If you don't have the confidence to do this, call the authorities because this dog does not belong in the park. 6. If another dog attacks your dog, I would have pepper spray on hand to use on any dog who even looks cross-eyed at my puppy. I would not hesitate to physically go after a dog that approaches my pup. The only ones that would be allowed to come close would be dogs I know for a fact are well-mannered, friendly souls that will be tolerant and play with my puppy. 7. While some breeds are predisposed to fight more than others, every breed has its own bullies. There are too many people out there that don't come close to the label of being a “responsible pet owner.” With the number of fighting breeds growing, the risks of taking your pet to one of these parks is growing every day. Pet owners should know that once a puppy or adult dog has been attacked by another dog, it will become a dog aggressive animal itself. This only has to happen one time for a permanent temperament change to occur in some animals. You will quickly find that dog aggression is a real pain in the rear. Finally, if your dog is a bully and is aggressive to other dogs, you need to explain to him that this is unacceptable behavior. Softer dogs can get the message with a simple verbal reprimand while other dogs need to have serious corrections. These corrections can come from prong collars, dominant dog collars, or in some cases, a remote collar. (One should only use a remote collar after they have had the proper training).The correction for serious dog aggression needs to be so hard enough that the dog remembers it the next time it thinks about being aggressive. The bottom line for professionals is that the correction needs to be so severe that the idea of fighting or showing aggression is not as strong as the respect (or fear) of what happens when he does not mind. For these dogs, the presence of another dog is a big distraction, but they need to understand that if they allow this distraction to take control, then the punishment will be swift and severe. Once they understand this simple concept, they will become much better dogs. Giving a dog this kind of correction is often not a pretty sight. Many people do not have the temperament or skill to do it correctly. They simply cannot bring themselves to correct at an effective level. Dog fights are serious business and these people should either seek professional help or find a new home for their dog aggressive dog. In my opinion, one of the most effective tools for trainers who want to learn how to administer corrections at a level beyond their normal strength level (i.e., a small woman with a large dog) is to learn to train with a remote collar. I have produced a training DVD titled Remote Collar Training for the Pet Owner which covers the foundation of collar training. If you have a dog that needs a little help with distraction training, I would direct you to my training video on Basic Dog Obedience. This video will guide you through normal distraction problems. It will explain the principles of correction and how to read a dog's temperament to determine what level of correction to use. People with dominance problems in their dog should never bring their dog to dog parks until they have the dominance issues under control. I tell people "If you can't control your dog at home or on a walk, how will you ever control this dog when it's in a dog park with 20 other dogs?" Recommendations to make dog parks safer places: While I am lucky to live in a small community and have acreage to exercise and train, I know that others that live in large cities don't have an option to where they can go with their dogs. The following information is designed to help people make dog parks a safer place. Dogs should pass a test before being allowed in a dog park. In my opinion, communities should establish and set up tests that pet owners must pass before dogs are allowed off-leash into these dog parks. The tests should demonstrate the off-leash control owners have over their dogs while the dogs are faced with extreme distraction. In other words, the owners need to be able to call their dogs back away from a group of several dogs that are playing. Dogs that can't pass these tests should not be allowed off-leash in the parks. These tests should include a knowledge of how to deal with dog fights. There should be parks for small dogs and parks for large dogs. Allowing very small dogs to run with large dogs can be a very dangerous situation for the small dog. The average pet owner has no idea how to break up a dog fight. They also can't comprehend how quickly a large dog can kill or seriously injure a small dog. Be a responsible handler. There are some basic common sense rules that good owners should follow when they use a park. 1. When at the park and a dangerous or out-of-control dog shows up, leave the park. While you may feel you have the right to be there, you gain nothing by pushing your limit and risking a dog fight. 2. Go to the park during off-peak hours. You will learn when the quiet times are. Those are the times to be there with your dog. If you dress for the wind and rain, there is nothing wrong with having the entire park to yourself. 3. When a dog pile or dog fight occurs, immediately call your dog away from the pack. There is nothing wrong with using a remote collar and practice calling your dog away from chasing a group of dogs. 4. There is nothing wrong with teaching your dog that you are more fun than other dogs at the dog park. When you go, play the games your dog loves away from the dog pack. 5. When your dog is off-leash at the park, 100% of your focus should be on your dog. 6. If you wish to socialize with other dog owners, that's fine. Just do it when you have your dog on a leash. 7. Don't make the dog park the only out-of-the-home experience for your dog. Take it for walks, take it swimming (when possible), play or train in different locations. People who only take their dog to a dog park set themselves up for a dog that will get out of control. Dogs with a lot of energy who only go to the dog park will take the attitude of “USE IT OR LOSE IT” which means they can get wild. 8. In my opinion, people should learn how to use a remote collar. Remote collars are invisible leashes. They should study my low-level stimulation training and understand when they can and cannot use a collar in a dog park. (Don't use a collar in the middle of a dog fight, the dog will think that his opponent is causing the stimulation and fight harder).

Sunday, July 17, 2022

When to Say Goodbye

#AlphaDogTraining #Dogtrainingsaltlakecity How Do You Decide that Today is the Day to Put Your Best Friend to Sleep? Published by Alpha Dog Training www. The recent death of a friend's 13-year-old German Shepherd again reminded me of January 5th, 1998 (the worst day of my life to date). I was forced to make the hardest decision I have ever been faced with and that was to put my best friend (Nickie) to sleep. This was something I had put off for months. Going through the process to make this decision for an old or sick dog is a long and painful experience. Mine went something like this: • Boy he's not looking too good today. • The steroids really made him act like he did 3 or 4 months ago; this is great! • He is not able to hold his bladder (because of the steroids). This is hard for him. He knows he shouldn't be having accidents in the house. It embarrasses him. He is so proud. • The heck with the steroids. They are fixing one problem but causing him too many other problems. It's not worth it (for him.) • Now he can't walk up stairs again. • God he's getting worse again. I know I am going to have to make the decision. I can't even think about it! • I don't mind picking him up and carrying him down the steps to the front yard so he can relieve himself. I have to steady him. His old legs are a little wobbly. • "How do I know what day is going to be THE DAY"? Look at the way he looks at me. Do I wake up one morning and decide, "today is the day I am going to be a cold hearted S.O.B. and call the vet"? No. I don't mind carrying him outside. It's not so hard and I really don't mind cleaning up after him in the house, it's not like he meant to do it. • God, he fell down the steps again. That really hurt him. He still has the heart but the body is gone. • Am I keeping him alive for myself or for him? • Shit, he can't even get up this morning. He was forced to lie in a pool of urine all night because he couldn't move. Today is the day. Thank God my vet will come to the house. • The vet is here and I don't have the guts to watch this. I give him one last hug. I have to leave the house crying like a baby. Thank God for my ex-wife. She held him until the end. Every now and then when things slow down I find myself thinking of our times together. It almost always brings a lump to my throat and quite often a tear to my eye. We sure had some good times. I t's been 11 months and 6 days. As I wrote this, I started to cry again. I can't help it. Who cares? Not me! I still miss him and think about him every day when I look at his pictures in my bedroom.
The answer to the question of "When is the right day?" should always be when you ask "Am I keeping him alive for me and not for him?"