This is a great read for all dog owners! I do something similar with my dog Valentino, but I labeled it LEAVE IT. So anytime he is looking/staring at someone/something, and I think he may start to bark etc, I say LEAVE IT, if I see something on the floor I don’t want him to touch, I say LEAVE IT. Its a great command, and the below, is also a great alternative to reward your dog for behaving!
“Reinforcing your dog for doing nothing is a technique I learned from my most amazing mentor, Kyle Rayon. The idea is, when you see your dog doing absolutely NOTHING, that is the moment you want to reinforce him with attention and treats. For example: Your dog is standing calmly at your side on a loose leash, and an excitable dog comes out of the blue from around a corner. As your dog sees the other dog, you pop a treat in your dog’s mouth while he is standing there DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! By doing this you will reinforce your dog for doing nothing in this situation, making it more likely he will do nothing when in a similar situation in the future. Don’t wait the 3 seconds for when your dog starts barking his head off at the other dog. Another example is: You are in the street standing and talking to a friend on a walk, while your dog is next to you doing nothing. Feed your dog a treat for doing nothing while you chat. Don’t wait until your dog starts whining, or pulling or jumping on you to give him attention. “Nothing Behaviors” are highly overlooked by many dog trainers. Many trainers focus on training dogs to “Sit”, “Down”, and “Stand”. But they forget to reinforce all the wonderful “Nothing Behaviors” that the dogs are already doing!
Tip: When reinforcing your dog for doing nothing, you need to get the treat to him before he thinks to look at you. This is because you want to “take a picture” of that calm behavior he is doing at that exact moment in time with the reinforcement, so that exact behavior will be repeated in the future. If your dog turns to look at you as you feed him a treat, you will be “taking a picture” only of a dog that is excited about the food that he is about to eat. Feeding him a treat while he is looking for his treat will not at all reinforce the calm nothing behavior you had hoped for, so wait until your dog is not thinking about the food again, before giving your dog the treat.
You can get the food to your dog while he is not looking at you, by having food already prepared in your hand, so that you don’t make a noise before you move to feed your dog. You can also toss a treat between your dog’s paws so it is less expected, or come from behind your dog with the treat to get it to his mouth. If you have a dog that is so over-aroused by food that he never looks away from the food, teach him to settle around food first.”
From website: http://dogmantics.com/train-your-dog-to-do-absolutely-nothing/
Your dog’s crate should be his or her’s safe haven- a place to relax, a place to sleep, a place of comfort and safety. Unfortunately, there have been stories about dogs accidentally strangling themselves in their crates while their owners are not home. It is such a tragedy, and one that can be avoided, so please please please adhere to these safety tips!
A dog’s collar could get caught on the latches or the bars of the crate. When my Valentino was a puppy, he figured out how to escape the crate (and not through the door!!) And a lot of dogs will try to do this. Well if he had a collar on, he could have gotten it stuck while trying to escape. If they do get stuck, they panic and try to get themselves free which usually only makes it worse, and they can end up injured or strangle themselves
TAGS AND HOOKS
Tags and hooks can also catch up on the bars or the doors of the crate- which is another reason why you should remove your dogs collar before he or she is put in the crate.
Some dogs out of boredom, will try to chew on their collar while in the crate. Not only is this expensive to buy a new collar, if your dog swallows part of the collar, this may require expensive surgery too! Also do not leave your dogs collar on top of the crate (esp. with wire crates), because the dog may be tempted to reach it, and pull it into the crate to chew on it.
Another thing that can happen is your dog can scratch at its collar, to try to get it off, and hurt himself in the process, by either scratching the skin raw, or getting its leg caught in the collar itself.
Treat your puppy as a toddler, and take all precautions!
(1) Try not to yell when he’s barking, he just thinks you are joining in the fun!
(2) Pick a word you will use every time, and stick with it, whether its HUSH, NO BARK, etc. Be consistent, and don’t yell your dogs name to make him stop barking.
(3) Manage the situation properly- for example, if he is barking out the window, shut the blinds.
(4) Provide a stimulating environment for a bored dog- most dogs bark when bored.
(5) Make sure you are NOT rewarding the barking and confusing your pup. For example, your dog barks like crazy right before you feed him, then do not feed him until he stops barking, or else you are rewarding the barking. It may take forever the first time, but be patient
(6) If you think he’s barking because he’s nervous, maybe contact a professional positive trainer to help you.
AND JUST REMEMBER, EVERYTHING TAKES TIME, AND BE CONSISTENT. IT’S VERY EASY TO CONFUSE OUR PUPS SINCE WE TALK A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE
Some clients have recently asked us about house training, so we thought we would share some tips!
(1) Keep your pup on a regular feeding/watering and walking schedule.
(2) Your pup’s walking schedule depends on his age and how far along he is in house training. Young puppies always need to go out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and shortly after naps, playtime and eating. Other than that, a typical walking schedule is every hour for how old your pup is in months. So if you have a 3 month old pup, he should be able to hold it 2/3 hours (of course this varies).
(3) Your puppy always needs to be monitored in your home, so as to not let him have accidents. Watch for signs such as whining, barking, and sniffing. Be aware of your pup’s signals that he has to go!
(4) When you are not around, or not able to watch your pup, he should be in a crate. Crate training is an excellent technique for helping with house training, and keeping your pup safe while he is still young, and curious! The crate should not be too big. Gradually, as he gets older and grows you can increase the size of the crate, and eventually give him more and more space while still keeping his environment safe.
(5) When you do take him out to go to the bathroom, praise and treat him afterwards. I would give him the same treat for going outside, and only give him that treat for doing just that. Also, take him to the same spot each time to go to the bathroom.
(6) If you find your pup in the act of eliminating indoors, startle him, so he might stop mid-stream, and take him directly outside to finish. Then reward and praise. If you find that he elimiated but did not catch him in the act, you cannot scold him, because he will not relate that to the wrong act.
When should you bathe your dog? Whenever he starts to SMELL like a dog! Or about once a month for the average dog I would say. You don’t want to bathe too much because then his skin will dry out.
Here are some tips!
1) Start bathing your dog regularly at a young age to get him use to the process. Puppies should be at least 4 weeks old before their first bath. I have been bathing Valentino since I got him a 10 weeks, once a month, and he is very use to it now- still hates it- but he will stand in the shower and let me wash him. I even taught him not to shake until I’m out of the shower!
2) If bathing inside, make sure your house is warm, also do your prep work before hand- like getting shampoo and towels ready to go. Also is you are bathing in the tub (or a slippery shower), make sure there you have a non-stick matt, or else your dog will slide all over and get scared, and possibly hurt himself
3) Start by combing out any matts if your dog has long hair. Otherwise the water turns the matts into hard masses. If your dog’s hair is matted with a sticky material, trim with clippers or soak the area with mineral oil for 24 hours. (Or consult a professional groomer for difficult matting).
4) Prep your dog. You can put cotton in their ears to prevent water from dripping in. I do not do this, because im afraid of the cotton slipping down the ear canal, but if the cotton is large enough it wont slip.
5) Bathe your dog as quickly as possible to make the process less annoying for both of you. Be thorough and do a good cleaning. Make sure you get out ALL the soap or else his coat with itch, and you’ll have to do the whole process again. Dry your dog immediately. Use a good pet chamois, lots of big soft towels, or a hair dryer set to a low setting, not too hot. Or use all 3 like I do!
(1) Do NOT give your dog bones, like chicken or turkey bones. They can break easily and their sharp edges can make your dog sick. Just because your dog begs for something with that cute face, doesn’t mean you should give in!
(2) Do NOT feed your dog table scraps, they could be poisonous. Also, it is just a really good rule to have, because then your dog will have manners when you have company over, and won’t be a beggar!
(3) Only feed your dog, dog-specific treats.
(4) Check recalls on dog foods, treats and products.
(5) Pick treats that fit your dog’s size. Treats that are too big or too small can get caught in your dog’s mouth or esophagus.
Here are some good tips about Puppy Proofing your home & life!