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?"

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

How to Break Up a Dog Fight Without Getting Hurt

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity How to Break Up a Dog Fight Without Getting Hurt Published by Alpha Dog Training Breaking up a dog fight can go bad in a heartbeat. This is serious business. So, know your limitations and don't get into the middle of something you can't physically deal with. This past week I had an incident at my kennel that reminds me how important it is for everyone who works with dogs or owns dogs to know how to break up a dogfight without getting hurt. I will start with a warning. Unless you have a lot of experience do not try and break up a dog fight by yourself. Never step in the middle of two loving pets and try and grab them by the collar to stop a dog fight. If you try this, the chances of you being badly bitten are extremely high. People don't understand that 2 animals in the middle of a fight are in survival drive. If they see you at all, they don't look at you as their loving owner. When you charge in and grab them, they either react out of a fight reflex and bite, or they see you as another aggressor. When they are in fight or flight mode, they will bite you. You can take that to the bank. The Safest Option Requires Two People The safest way to break up a dogfight requires two people. Each person grabs the back feet of one of the dogs. The dog's back feet are then picked up like a wheelbarrow. With the legs up, both dogs are then pulled apart. What To Do If You Are Alone The worst case scenario is that you are alone when a serious fight breaks out. There are a couple things that you must keep in mind: 1. Keep your cool you have a job to do. 2. Do not waste time screaming at the dogs. It hardly ever works. 3. Your goal is still the same; you must break up the fight without getting hurt. 4. Go get a leash (allow the fight to continue while you do this). 5. Dogs are almost always locked onto one another. Walk up and loop the leash around the back loin of the dog by either threading the leash through the handle or use the clip. I prefer the thread method. 6. Now slowly back away and drag the dog to a fence or to an object that you can tie the leash to. By doing this, you effectively create an anchor for one of the dogs. 7. Then walk around and grab the back legs of the second dog and drag it away from the dog that is tied up. 8. Remember to turn and circle as they release. 9. Drag the dog into a dog pen or another room before you release the back legs. 10. Go back and take the dog off the fence and put him or her into a dog kennel. 11. Sit down and have a stiff drink (or two). Living with Two or More Dogs If you have 2 or more dogs that you are trying to get to live together, it's best to make them wear muzzles all the time. They are not expensive but very effective for this work. With muzzles on, you can test your training and if the dogs become aggressive, you can safely step in and correct the dogs. It's important to make sure the muzzles are properly fit and on securely. It's also a good idea to have the dogs wear 18-inch draglines.
Some Things to Keep in Mind Remember that females usually fight with females and males usually fight with males. It's seldom that a male and female will fight. When a male fights with a female, it is usually a very dominant male who is displaying his dominance over the female and she wants nothing to do with it. This usually is going to happen with a dominant male who is very self-confident and thinks that he is the pack leader. The bottom line on dog fights is that unless you are trained, it is best to never step into the middle of them. In the worst case, let them fight. It may result in death or severe injury to one of the dogs, but it's not worth the damage it could cause to you if you make a mistake trying to end the fight.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Dealing With the Dominant Dog

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Dealing With the Dominant Dog Published by Alpha Dog Training One of the biggest mistakes dog owners make is failing to recognize signs, signals, or warnings that dogs offer before they bite. Pet owners don't understand how strong pack instinct is in their family dog. This lack of understanding is what gets them into trouble. Dogs, by nature, are social animals. Their instinct makes them want to be part of a social group. This is the same for horses, chickens, and many other species. Each social group is a hierarchy of members. There is a saying in the dog world that there are no equals within a group of dogs. Every social group will have its own pecking order. Lower-ranking members always defer to higher-ranking members. If the group doesn't have a clear leader, one member will always step forward to become the leader even if it's not genetically predisposed to leadership. What's interesting is that many times, a dog that finds itself at the top of the social group doesn't feel comfortable in that position. Rank is almost always communicated through subtle behaviors that each member of the pack understands and respects. Over time leaders will always establish their own set of rules that all members of the pack are expected to live by. There are well-understood consequences for breaking rules. Dog owners can and must learn to become leaders even if they are not predisposed to leadership. They need to think about establishing their own set of rules that their dog is expected to live by. These rules can be no biting the leader, no inappropriate aggression to visitors, no jumping up on people, stay away from small children, etc. Owners must also learn to be 100% consistent in enforcing those rules. When a dog believes that every single time it breaks a rule there will be some form of consequence, that dog is less likely to break a rule. Once that threshold is reached (where the dog accepts and lives within the framework of the leader's rules), that dog becomes an easy dog to live with.
For that to happen, dog owners and their dogs must come to an understanding that every single time the dog breaks a rule, there will be some form of consequence. This doesn't necessarily mean the dog gets a strong physical correction every time. Some dogs, with soft temperaments, may only need a verbal warning while other dogs need a leash correction for the same infraction. Learning to evaluate temperaments falls under the category of "the art of dog training". Just as important, owners must be consistent. They can't pick and choose when to apply a consequence. If they do this, they end up with a dog that will pick and choose when to obey a rule. Inconsistency always leads to some level of behavioral issues.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Dog Growls and Your Baby

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Dog Growls and Babies 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 a 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. 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. Your dog needs help understanding new coping behaviors and household management.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Dog Aggressive Dogs

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Dog Aggressive Dogs Published by Alpha Dog Training One of the most common problems that dog owners email us about is unwanted dog aggression. There are many reasons for dogs being aggressive to other dogs, cats, or other animals. To begin to understand the solution to dog aggression one must first understand what triggers the aggression. There are 20 to 30 categories of dog aggression. One of the more common reasons a dog becomes dog aggressive is because that dog has been attacked by another dog. Pet owners need to understand that once their dog has been attacked or even scared by another dog that pet dog will be dog aggressive its entire life. This only needs to happen one time to become a lifelong problem. I compare this to anyone who has ever been robbed or mugged. This has a lifelong effect on how that person perceives the world. Pet owners always need to be aware of their dog's personal safety. They should never allow their puppies to be around strange dogs. To do so is the same as playing Russian roulette with their dog's mental stability. If their puppy is attacked, they will then own a dog aggressive dog. The same goes for pet owners who take their dogs to dog parks. There is no way of knowing if one of the dogs in that park has dominance or aggression issues. If there is a dog aggressive dog at the park and it attacks your dog - you now have a dog aggressive dog because one dog attack is all it takes to change a happy-go-lucky dog to a dog aggressive dog.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Being a Pack Leader to Your New Puppy

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Being a Pack Leader to Your New Puppy Published by Alpha Dog Training When people bring an 8-week old puppy home their first concerns are "what should I feed my puppy?" and "how do I stop it from peeing on the floor?" These are important and credible concerns, but equally important and often ignored, is the concept of how to establish yourself as your new pup's pack leader. Pack Structure Dogs are pack animals, just like wolves are pack animals. They are predators. Horses and cows on the other hand, are herd animals. Being herd animals also makes them prey (food) for predators. The Beginning of Pack Structure When a puppy is raised with litter-mates they begin to establish their family pack at about 4 ½ weeks of age. They start by playing with one another. They bite and push each other around. Those pups that bite the hardest and push the most become the higher ranking pack members of the litter. What is a pack leader? When people get puppies they need to establish themselves as the new pack leader. To do this correctly they should first understand exactly what a pack leader is. Pack leaders are aloof, they are calm, and they are self confident. A pack leader is fair in how he lives with pack members. While the pack leader is a dictator, he is a fair dictator who enforces a well defined set of rules that members know, understand and are expected to live by. Where does it start? When a puppy comes to your home its only experience in life has been with its mother and littermates. It sees that things have changed, but it has no reason to believe that how it interacts with a family pack has changed. It has played with littermates by biting and chasing, so that's how it thinks it should continue to interact within a family pack. Establishing the Tether When we bring a pup home we always use a dog crate. Those who don't use a crate are making a mistake. Those who won't use a crate should just quit reading because they are wasting their time to read further. Our first goal is to reduce the possibility of house training mistakes and to teach the pup that being wild in the house is not going to happen. Controlling the Wild Puppy When people get puppies with a lot of prey drive they are often at a loss as to what to do to control the little alligator they now live with. The simple answer is to redirect the puppy into a toy. As I explained earlier, puppies play by using their mouth. They see littermates as prey objects. When they come into your home and start chewing on you, they see you as a prey item. Your job is to teach them that toys are now prey items and not your hands, arms and legs. Doors and Gates Going through doors, going through gates, and coming down stairs first are a huge things in terms of rank for a dog. All dogs, puppies or adults, get excited when it's time to be let out or time to come back in the house. Without training they will all bolt out the door. This is not only annoying, it can be dangerous. Toys There is no question that people quickly fall in love with their puppies. Many buy their pets toys. I recently saw a reality TV show in which a women spent over $100 a week buying her dog new toys. Boy, do I wish I could send her a catalog... With this said, we don't leave toys lying around our home. We take the approach that the dog does not own any toys. The toys are our toys and we allow the pup to play with "OUR TOYS." But we always take the toys away when the play time is finished. T aking the Toy Away from the Puppy After play, when it comes time to take the toy away, we say "OUT" (any word will do as long as we are consistent and stick with the same word) and offer to trade the pup a really good treat for the toy. We simply let them smell the treat and when they spit out the toy they get the food. If we want the game to end, we do a slight of hand to get the toy out of the picture and make it disappear. We don't tease them with the toy once we take it away. That's poor leadership and is counter productive to a good bond. Other Dogs and Puppies I have written extensively about the fact that we never allow our puppies to be around other dogs or puppies. If we are raising two pups at the same time we never allow them to play together. We want our pups to look at us as their source of fun and excitement and not another dog. I get emails all the time from people who have serious behavioral problems because they mistakenly bought two pups which are now 12 to 24 months old. These dogs are now anti-social and are more difficult to train. Many have aggression problems. If we are out for a walk and are approached by another person walking their dog, we NEVER allow the other dog to come up and smell or greet our puppy. I cannot stress this enough.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Is it OK for Your Dog to Be in Your Bed?

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Is it OK for Your Dog to Be in Your Bed? Published by Alpha Dog Training Is it OK for Your Dog to Be in Your Bed? Having your dog on your bed is not in and of itself a mistake. The whole "it makes them equal to us in their eyes" is old thinking and not part of our current understanding of dog training. Anyone who is still passing you information like this has not updated their thinking in a while! We no longer need to worry about ranking or "alpha" or "omega" when living with and training our dogs. All we need to do is train for the behaviors we want. Not only can't we control what is in the dogs mind, we can never know it. How do you even know what alpha is, anyway? Does getting off say, "I defer to you and I am omega here, giving you the bed," or does it say "I am alpha here and choose to let you have the bed to yourself, for I am magnanimous." You never, I repeat, never know what is in a dog's mind and we shouldn't include our suppositions about it in our training program. Train for the behaviors you want, help your dog overcome her fears, bond with her and help her understand you are benevolent and will give her structure, and stop worrying about status, rank, dominance, submission (in fact, I will go so far as to say you can banish them from your vocabulary) and read as much of the *current* and *positive* literature on dog training as you can!