Sunday, July 18, 2010

Say Woof to Barking!

We have lovely new neighbors--with two cute dogs. One can NOT be left home without literally hours of barking. I'm hoping his guardian will accept some free advice.

But it's not FAIR! The pup barks because he's having separation issues. Whose fault is that? Even if a pup is barking for another reason--like boredom--whose fault is that? You can't always take your dog with you everywhere then once in a blue moon leave him alone for eight hours! No fair!

If you have a dog, you have to fix the problems YOU create. Simple, free tips to start making the pup feel better before actual training to fix the anxiety:

1. Don't give the dog the whole apartment. Especially a dog in a NEW place.
2. Try leaving on a radio or TV for distraction noise.
3. Give the dog a LONG walk and some mental training work before you leave.
4. Give the dog something different to do while you're gone: a frozen Kong full of treats!
5. Give the dog a cookie before you leave.
6. Don't make a fuss when you leave or after you return.

Now you can call a trainer to guide you in helping the pup adjust to being on his own.

Here's to a more peaceful life for humans and dogs--and neighbors!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pass by Puppies

Most of my clients wouldn't start with a puppy if they could do it over again. Let's face it: most people really aren't cut out for puppyhood. Of course the lil ones are too cute to resist--but resist we must. It has to be the right time and the right match. Truly, most people don't want to raise a puppy.

How long can it take for a pup to "grow out" of nuisance behavior? Depending on the breed, the circumstances, and the individual puppy: up to two or three years. The average guardian is not ready for that.

Some folks have an idea that they'll know better what they'll get in an adult dog if they start with a puppy. Guess what? Most people miss the crucial socialization period with their puppy anyhow. Unless you get your dog before she is 12 or even 14 weeks of age, you've missed it. That four-month-old at the shelter has likely missed all of what she should have experienced already. And if a pup is adopted before 12 weeks of age, what are the chances her human parents will be qualified to socialize her and expose her properly to good experiences?

Guess how old the majority of dogs are in shelters and rescues. One to two years old! Why? They were cute puppies that their people couldn't handle or got tired of. Poor dogs. Please take a second look at that adult dog instead....