Monday, April 30, 2012

4 Tips When Feeding Your Dog

By Alan Dugger

Rule 1: A dog should be fed by the same person at every feeding. This rule is not nearly as important where a couple of house pets are being fed by several members of the same family, as it is where large numbers of dogs are being fed by numerous different kennel personnel. It is particularly applicable where dogs are in strange environments such as boarding kennels, veterinary hospitals, or show arenas. Dogs that have become accustomed to one feeder may exhibit all sorts of erratic eating behavior if that person is changed.

Rule 2: Every dog should have its own food and water container. This precaution is not only sound behavioral psychology, it also is just plain good hygiene. It is especially wise to assign food bowls on an individual basis when your feeding containers are noticeably different from one another. Besides improved feeding technique, certain practical benefits are to be gained from following this rule. In racing stables, for example, where maintenance of body weight is so important, feeding instructions can be written on the bottom or the side of each dog's feeding container, right next to its name or number.

Rule 3: A dog should be fed in the same place every time it is fed. Whether it be the corner of the kitchen, beside the back-door steps, at the rear of a kennel run, or along the left-side wall of a cage, the site where the food container is placed should remain the same every day. In fact, everything that's done with the food container should be identical at each feeding. If you use a push cart or wagon to carry the tub of food to the dogs, always use the same cart and tub. If you pre-fill food bowls in the diet kitchen and carry them on the cart, don't decide one day to carry the tub of food on the cart and fill each bowl as you reach the dog. It may have become boring to you, but to your dog it has become the way of life. A change only serves to disrupt his way of life and to create cause for insecurity.

Rule 4: No dog should ever have its food changed without a good reason. Contrary to popular opinion, dogs do not need a change in food from time to time to keep them from growing tired of the same food all the time. Many dogs have lived normal, healthy lives by eating the same food throughout their entire lifetimes. In many instances where a dog owner thinks a dog has gotten sick and tired of a food, the dog has just gotten sick from the food. Not so sick, perhaps, that it really showed, but sick enough to stop eating. When a dog food is deficient, it is not uncommon for a dog eating that food to lose its appetite. Of course, nutritional deficiencies are not the only thing that will cause a dog to lose its appetite.

For more information about feeding your dog and his overall health and nutrition, please visit the web's #1 source for dog food at

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Preparing Your Dog For the Arrival of Your Child

By Mike Wombacher

Congratulations! You're pregnant and your "pack" will soon be growing. If you're like most people, you're caught between anticipation and trepidation. You're thrilled about the arrival of your new child and you're concerned about doing everything right. If you own a dog, certainly some of your concern revolves around him. You're probably asking yourself: "How will my dog handle this? Will he be jealous? Will he be careful?" And most importantly: "Is there any chance that he might bite my child?" If you're not concerned, you should be. Approximately 80% of dog bites happen to children under five.

If you're an expecting dog owner the very first thing that you should do is to identify the changes that need to be made in the life of your dog once the baby arrives and implement them NOW! You do not want your dog to associate any changes that need to be made in your relationship with the arrival of your child thus setting up a competitive or jealous dynamic. Not only that, but once your baby arrives you'll have precious little time or energy for dealing with any errant behavior on the part of your dog. All your attention will be on your baby where it should be. Failing to implement relevant changes in the life of your dog prior to baby's arrival is the single most common mistake expecting dog owners make. And keep in mind, things that you do not consider problematic now might become problematic with a child in your midst.

So take a careful look: is your dog sleeping in bed with you, pushy and demanding, barky, prone to steal things and get into mischief when you're not looking? If so, better deal with it now. Does he get tense when you try to take things away from him, touch him in certain ways, or get near his food? Does he pull on the leash, crash out the door or jump up on you to say hello? Again, you might tolerate such behaviors now but they will seriously compromise the quality of your life with a baby in tow. Such issues are relatively easy to deal with and in the book I have outlined simple steps to enable you to resolve them. More serious problems include over-protectiveness, separation anxiety (yes, your dog will need to learn to spend time alone and not as the center of your undivided attention once your baby arrives--no small feat for many dogs), and sensitivity to sudden and unpredictable movements.

These problems and many others that are addressed in the book are readily resolvable but the lynchpin of the successful resolution of any behavior problem is building the right relationship with your dog, a relationship in which your dog is in the deeply ingrained habit of taking direction from you. In other words, you're the boss, not the dog. Funny as it might sound, it's often the other way around and that's why the first third of my book, entitled "The Doggie Twelve-Step Program," is dedicated entirely to relationship building. From that foundation almost anything is possible. Simple things like always giving your dog a command before you have an interaction with him, not letting him run out the door ahead of you, and being a little aloof with him can do a world of good in causing your dog to cheerfully accept your leadership role.

In a minority of cases the question arises as to whether or not the dog you have right now would be appropriate to keep given the arrival of a child. In the chapter dedicated to this subject I offer four factors to consider if your dog has bitten or threatened to bite you under various circumstances. The first factor is threshold of reactivity. In other words, how much of a certain stimulus is required in order to make the dog reactive. The second is level of intensity. How ferocious is your dog in his response? Third is previous history. How long has your dog been doing this? The longer, the worse. And finally there are crossover considerations. For example, let's say your dog is mildly annoyed by your approach to his food dish while he is eating but he has injured other dogs in altercations at the park. I would view this as a red flag because of my concern that if your child wandered around his food dish he might be more likely to respond to him the way he responded to the dog at the park (dogs tend to view children as lower ranking pack members unless consistently taught otherwise) because he does not have the same respect for him as he does for you.

While the book does offer numerous solutions to aggressive behaviors, I suggest that if you are experiencing such issues that you hire a qualified behavior professional (not merely an obedience trainer) to help you resolve such issues and assess your dog. Keep in mind that some behaviors are not one hundred percent reversible and that the option of keeping your child and your dog separate at all times is a very bad idea, first because you can't assure no contact forever between them and that attempting to do so would cause the dog to view the child more as a stranger in his territory than a member of his pack. In some cases the best choice is to re-home the dog both for his sake and the sake of your child.

Supposing that your dog is not one of this rare minority, there are many things that you can do to help create not only safety but very positive associations for your dog with the presence of your child. First, by creating zones in your house that your dog is by and large forbidden in without your specific permission and accompaniment you build effective buffer zones into your dog's relationship with your child. Once these zones are established you can also use them to teach your dog how wonderful it is for him when you are interacting with your baby. Sound confusing?

Here's an example. Start by making the future baby's room off limits to your dog. Once that's handled, allow him to enter the room only with your permission and accompaniment. Once in the room always ask him for certain obedience exercises, especially down-stays. Soon he'll get the idea that when he enters this room he's to do a down-stay in the corner (you could even put a bed for him there). In addition, teach your dog to tolerate alone time every day to the tune of at least a few hours. Now, once your baby arrives, allow your dog to come into the baby's room when you go in to change diapers or play or whatever and assume his down-stay. If he has been left alone for a few hours prior to that he will welcome the contact with and your child even if it is low-level such as in this case. In other words, the presence of your child means a positive social engagement for him. This is quite different than what usually happens which is that when mommy goes to play with or care for baby, doggie gets thrown out, thus potentially setting up a competitive or jealous dynamic. This is only one of many examples of specific exercises that can teach your dog to accept your child as a beloved pack member and ultimately companion, the nuts and bolts of which are outlined in the book.

Other things that you can do to ensure a seamless transition to siblinghood for your dog include:

o Teaching him the difference between doggie toys and child's toys (start by getting doggie toys that are distinctly different from baby toys since often these two bear striking similarities).

o Get a baby doll and wrap it in a scented baby blanket (ask a friend to use a new blanket on her baby for a few days and then wrap it around your doll) and teach your dog appropriate manners around your "faux baby," thus setting up a template of behavior for future interactions.

o Hire a dog walker to take over exercise responsibilities during the period immediately after birth. This will take a lot of pressure off of you and produce a tired dog. The old adage that tired dogs are good dogs is definitely true.

While the above does not comprise a comprehensive list by any means, it should serve to provide a sense of direction and purpose. One thing to keep in mind in all of this is that there should never be any unsupervised interactions between your dog and your child ever, for any reason, period! Can I be more clear than that? Remember, there's too much at stake and it only takes two seconds for something to go terribly wrong.

All that having been said, keep in mind that your true challenge and the true test of the success of your efforts at integration will be seen once your child passes the eight-month threshold. What happens then? Your little one starts crawling and rapidly becoming highly mobile. This means that the frequency of unexpected and random encounters between your child and your dog will increase dramatically. That's where you'll find out if all your hard work paid off and indeed, if you've worked hard it will.

In closing, please understand that what I've outlined above represents the tip of the iceberg of strategies designed to make the integration of your dog and your child as seamless, warm and rewarding as possible. While learning and implementing such strategies implies varying amounts of work, it promises a wholesome and fulfilling relationship between your child and your dog. The payoff of this relationship will last for years and thus makes any work you have to put in on the front end more than worth it.

All that having been said, I wish you the best of luck with the exciting events that are unfolding in your life. Few things provide a living connection to the mystery of life like the opportunity to be the vehicle for a new life entering this world. The fact that we participate in this mystery is in itself extraordinary and should be the source of the deepest joy. Providing a wonderful home for a dog, that most loyal and devoted of animal companions, in this context should only enrich this experience. With this in mind I leave you with best wishes and heartfelt blessings.

Michael Wombacher has been involved with dogs for over twenty-five years in a variety of capacities. Mike has performed approximately 20,000 in-home behavioral consultations covering the entire spectrum of dog behavior from the mundane to the bizarre. He is also an author and lecturer. Mike teaches classes, runs a small boarding and training operation, and has occasionally trained other trainers.Mike's training approach focuses on channeling a dog's natural drives and instincts into behaviors acceptable in the human pack, primarily through the principles of positive reinforcement as well as through methods that appeal to the dog's canine sensibilities.

Mike has been certified as an expert on dog behavior by the California Superior Court and does occasional work evaluating dogs in legal matters. He has been featured on Fox 5 Television's "Good Day New York," San Francisco's Channel 7 News, Animal Planet as well as other television and radio programs nationwide. He has also been featured in major national magazines, including Fit Pregnancy (dogs & babies), Dog World, and Boston Whaler (dogs on boats) and is currently a regulator contributor to The American Dog Magazine, a national publication with a circulation of 800,000. He was recently interviewed by National Geographic Magazine. In February 2006, he spoke at the annual conference for California's animal care and control organizations.

Finally, Mike has trained dogs for high profile celebrities in the entertainment and financial worlds including Charles Schwab, Robin Williams, Barry Levinson, Joe Satriani, Bob Weir, Linda Ronstadt, Kirk Hammet (Metallica), Armistead Maupin, and Michael Tilson Thomas who commented that "Michael Wombacher is a maestro of dog trainers. His clarity of thinking, sense of humor and skills in communicating make dog training fun for both pet and pet lover."

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dog Clothes Make Cute Gift Ideas for Your Pet

Planning to shop this season for the people in your list? Of all things, never forget to give a little something to your cutie pet dogs. If clothes and garments are your gift surprises to your loved ones, have the same gift idea for your pets, too. Dogs will appreciate your present more than ever and flaunt it with pride and joy.

Shopping clothes for your dogs is almost the same as shopping for your baby's cute little garments. And when cuteness is what matters the most, it will be fairly easy to spot for those lovely, mini garments in pet shops.

Take your pick from a wide selection of winter sweaters to summer tees and basketball jerseys. You can dress him up on his comfy PJ's for sleeping or a doggie bath robe after freshening your dog up. Just as kids have party costumes, dogs have their party and holiday attires, too.

Do you want your pet to become a head turner and attention grabber when you walk him in the park? Accessorize him with a uniquely designed dog collar and pair it up with cool shades. Leg warmers are also back in the trend. But before you begin with your shopping spree for your pet's clothes, you might want to consider these few useful tips.

What do you need to know and remember when shopping for dog clothes? First, do not go for clothes with meticulous details and potential chokers if he is a fond of chewing. Check for small-sized buttons, tassels, and feathers - they attract your pet's attention and when swallowed, can damage his digestive system.

Your dog will like it better if his clothing fits him just right and does not create inconvenience when walking or running. Clothing comfort is another important rule you need to consider. To be pretty safe, take your dog's measurement from the collar down to the base of the tail to get the correct length. As to the girth of most dog garments, they come with adjustable Velcro tabs. The problem is if your dog is the barrel-chested type like the bulldog.

Well, if you have the knack for sewing, you can customize your cute gift for your pet. Take the measurements and let out your creativity but make sure you leave an extra inch just in case! You can even make more for your neighbour's or your best friend's pet.

Learn more about hookworms in dogs, symptoms of dog hookworms and treatment for dog hookworms.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Separation Anxiety in Dogs - Please Don't Leave Me!

By Rebecca Braglio

Separation anxiety, unfortunately, is a topic that is near and not-so-dear to my heart. My dog has suffered from severe separation anxiety for over two years now - actually, ever since I've had him. In fact, his separation anxiety was one of the inspirations behind I was frustrated by the lack of resources that I could easily find relating to the topic. Anyway, I have tried every - and I mean every - treatment out there when it comes to separation anxiety. I have talked and worked with dozens of trainers and tried dozens of methods. From Kongs to 45 minute runs to puppy playmates, I've amassed a huge amount of information on the topic.

Separation anxiety is a condition in dogs where the dog, for some reason, becomes overly attached to its owner. It is often seen in dogs who have either been rescued or have experienced some type of abandonment.

Do you have a dog who has separation anxiety? Do you find yourself scheduling your life around your dog because you can't leave him/her alone? Does your dog go into a panic when you leave? Does your dog bark/howl/whine when you leave the house? Cause massive destruction? Pant/shake/drool when you are getting ready to leave for the day? Is your pup overly dependent upon you? Are you overly dependent upon your dog? Are you now completely and utterly anxious about your dog's anxiety?

Dogs who have separation anxiety will often follow their owners everywhere - from room to room - and will NEVER let their owner out of their sight. The dog must always be near his/her owner and rarely seeks attention from anyone else. Author Patricia McConnell, whose book "I'll be Home Soon" I highly recommend refers to these types of dogs as "velcro" dogs.

McConnell maintains that these "velcro" dogs are absolutely traumatized when their owner leaves them. While some dogs are destructive when their owner leaves them alone during the day (because they are bored), the true separation anxiety dog goes through a type of "panic attack." Please watch a YouTube video for an example. This panic attack occurs within the first 20 minutes after the owner leaves. If you enter "separation anxiety" on the YouTube page, there are several examples of this. The panic attack sometimes begins to rear its ugly head as soon as the dog senses that the owner is getting ready to leave - for example, when the owner gets into the shower for work in the morning, when the owner puts on his/her coat or picks up the keys. The dog's tail may go between its legs, it may begin drooling, or the dog may begin to shake or shiver or may try to hide underneath furniture. My dog, for example, puts his tail between his legs the second he gets it in his head that I'm leaving - and he always senses it, even when I vary my routine. He then starts to shake and tries to crawl underneath the bed.

Some owners face the tough decision of whether to crate the dog who suffers from separation anxiety. Some of these dogs do a massive amount of destruction in the house to cope with their panic. Unfortunately, many of these dogs do not react well in crates - sometimes these dogs feel even more claustrophobic and crating the dog may make things even worse. My dog, for instance, seems very claustrophobic and no matter how wonderful I've tried to make the crate, it makes him worse. I fear he will break a tooth one day. Since he is not destructive, I chose not to crate him.

However, leaving the dog uncrated simply may not be any option because the dog could certainly hurt itself if left uncrated by the type of damage it causes in the home.

Or, the dog may still bark/howl which is a major problem if you live in an apartment.

So how do you know whether your dog has separation anxiety? The main difference between a dog who is simply bored/lonely and the separation anxiety dog is that the usual "tricks" won't work for the separation anxiety dog. For example, lots of exercise (while certainly important and helpful) won't stop the panic attacks. While you must always exercise your dog, it won't make the anxiety go away (I surmise if you stopped exercising your dog it would make it worse, though!). Giving the separation anxiety dog a Kong filled with peanut butter usually won't work. The dog is too focused on the owner and too stressed to be able to eat.

On the other hand, a dog who is bored or lonely will be very interested in the Kong or whatever toy you give them. Giving these dogs something to do while you are away helps these types of dogs. That is why these dogs are not suffering from separation anxiety.

These toys are very useful, however, in desensitizing the separating anxiety dog to your leaving. By pairing the separation anxiety dog's favorite treats (in a kong) with you picking up your keys and then putting your keys down can get your dog acclimated to keys being associated as being a "not-so-bad-thing." This process, however, can take a very, very, very long time. Months. In the meantime, the dog can't be left alone otherwise progress will be lost.

Is there hope for the separation anxiety dog? Perhaps. Some never get better, some are "maintained." These dogs often end up back in shelters, which only reinforces their separation anxiety problem if they end up adopted. There are medications available, such as Clomicalm, an antidepressant, that veterinarians use in these situations. While Clomicalm takes the "edge off," the dog STILL must receive training and learn how to be more confident and distance itself from its owner and learn how to be alone. These medications, on their own, will not solve the problem.

Many owners wonder whether getting another dog will solve the problem. The general answer, is "no". Separation anxiety is not about being alone. It is about being away from the OWNER. Therefore, another dog will not change that. A good example would be to compare the situation to a first time mother who has sent her infant to day care. Consider the type of anxiety and how worried she is while her infant is away from her. The dog would be the mother and the owner would be the infant. No number of mothers (or dogs) would offer comfort or change that situation. There would still be anxiety.

Some owners, however, have experienced tremendous success with getting another dog. I would advise against running out and getting another dog simply to solve this problem. Adding another dog is a huge responsibility, and you could end up with two dogs with separation anxiety. Instead, see if you could foster a dog or if a friend could "lend" you their dog for a little while to see if that changes the situation. If it does, then that may be one of the solutions for you.

What can you do? Most importantly, as the owner of a dog with separation anxiety, there are steps you must take in order to help your dog become more independent. You must put your dog on a "you" diet - only give your dog attention when you decide to - not every time your dog wants attention or demands it. You cannot have your dog sleeping in your bed. Your dog MUST learn how to be AWAY from you. Get your dog his/her own bed and put it down on the floor next to your bed. Let him/her learn that he/she can make it through the night without being right next to you. Do NOT let him/her follow you from room to room. Do not let your dog into the bathroom when you shower, etc. Do not let your dog when your go into your room when you change.

These may seem like minor things, but they do add up. Enter into an obedience class or an agility class to give your pup even more confidence. Eventually, this should teach your dog that it is okay to be on his/her own and that you aren't going anywhere and if you do, you will be back.

Rebecca Braglio celebrating dogs in the city of doggie love!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dog Insurance Explored

Getting covered under an insurance plan is very common these days. We always research market in search of better and flexible insurance plans. In case of our pet dogs we must need to find an insurance provider as in times and again an insured dog helps us avoiding costly recurring bills. It is always a wise idea to get insurance for your 'doggy'. First of all you have to find an insurance provider. Lets' take a look at some basic steps for finding out an insurance company-

1. Market research
Before you decide to buy dog insurance, search for dog insurance providers available in the market. You may take help of online resources too. There will be lenders available in the market ready to insure your dog under a decent insurance plan. Sort out couple of providers and tally their plans. Find out every possible loop holes and ask the company for clarification. After all, when you are satisfied purchase insurance for your favorite pet dog. You may also take help from neighbors, relatives, friends to find out a provider. Who tells you may find best insurance plan from them.

2. Dog insurance plans
Dog insurance plans differ depending on several factors. Commonly, companies cover illness related disorders and provide costs incurred during treatment. Pet dogs are like family members. When these creatures are ill we are bound to spend money for its treatment. Thus, it is always better to get the dog insured under a decent insurance plan.

Common Considerations for Dog Insurance
There are several factors play roles before we find out an insurance plan for our dog. Here are some common factors-

1. Breed
Dog breed plays a lot in times and again. Companies decide to provide insurance for some specific breeds. If your dog comes under this category no problem; you are moved to next section.

2. Age of the dog
Dog age is also important; aged dogs are prone to illness in comparison to young dogs. If your dog is aged but you find out an insurance provider; the insurance premium normally goes higher.

3. Health Condition of dog
Before your dog gets insured it needs to undergo some physical checkups. These reports are considered at the time of insurance. So make sure your dog is fit enough to pass fitness tests.

4. Record of previous illness
This is another factor that is very important. You have to submit reports of earlier illness. If your dog once suffered from a serious disease there is every possibility that you do not get approval from an insurance vendor.
Finally, insure for your loving dog. Release extra overhead of injury and illness related costs in future.

Dog Insurance is very popular these days and important too. Dog Insurance covers illness and injury related issues of your dog. Dog Insurance depending on several factors. Learn more about Pet insurance coverspre existing conditions.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dog Parks - Good Or Bad?

By Darcy Austin

Dog parks are a place where both dogs and their owners can go to socialize. But are they good or bad? Though there popularity has skyrocketed in the past few years, they have both supporters and people who don't feel comfortable bringing their dog there for a variety of reasons.

Dog parks provide an outlet for many dogs to burn off pent up energy that might otherwise result in frustration that leads to destructive behavior at home. People are often advised to give their dog plenty of exercise, and one of the most convenient and popular places people look to for their dog's exercise outlet is at a dog park.

There their dogs can run and play with other dogs. They can have interaction with other dogs that they wouldn't otherwise have on a solo dog walk in the neighborhood. This is an excellent way for a dog to build up his socialization skills as long as the owners of the dogs remain vigilant in monitoring their dog's interactions. There are rules in most dog parks. Dogs are usually separated to some extent by size, with the large dogs having their own area in which to run and play and the small dogs are then free to run in their own area behind fencing without fear of being mauled and attacked. Some parks may only allow spayed and neutered dogs to play which reduces any problems with fighting for reproductive reasons. Another positive aspect of dog parks is that they allow dog owners to meet each other and discuss concerns about their dogs and other things. Quite often people know each other only by their "dog's" name , not their own! Dog parks have many positive benefits to both dogs and owners providing there are rules and everyone abides by them and respects other dog owners and their dogs.

On the negative side of things ,despite efforts to ensure only dogs with good manners come to parks, there can still be fights that break out amongst dogs in dog parks. Under the right (or wrong) conditions, any dog can play rough or get into a fight. Dogs have been known to be injured at dog parks. Some of the rules that were spoken about prior can require owners to show some proof of vaccination before allowing their dogs to enter.

This can be a hassle and dogs can still pass on illnesses to each other. Some dogs such as pitbulls, rotweillers, and other more aggressive breeds are excluded from some parks. This can seem discriminatory to owners of these dogs when their dogs have been known to shown no signs of aggression. Other people feel that it's unfair to deny park privileges to intact dogs, especially when female dogs are not in season.

As with many situations, much of the negative behavior that happens with dogs at dog parks is due to the lack of involvement of their owners. Even though it is a free environment and the dogs are enjoying themselves, owners still need to watch and understand their dog and his body language so that they can head off any altercations that may be brewing. With increased supervision on the part of dog owners, the likelihood of dogs getting hurt, either through rough play or by becoming involved in fights, can definatively be lowered. Some owners do not watch their dogs very carefully or they allow small dogs to pick fights with large dogs, or large dogs to run over small dogs. This then creates tension and bad feelings amongst the owners, which unbeknownst to many, can transfer to the dogs.

It's important to consider all of these different points when you are thinking of taking your own dog to a dog park. Ask yourself some honest questions. Is your dog friendly with other dogs? Is your dog up-to-date on his vaccinations? Does he have any kind of lingering virus that he might pass on to other dogs? Is he very small or very large or likely to be injured during play? Will he come to you when you call if there is any kind of trouble in the dog park? Will you be able to watch your dog carefully if you take him to the dog park?

Whether or not dog parks are good or bad for your dog requires that you give these questions careful consideration before deciding if you want to take your dog to the park. Dog parks can be lots of fun for dogs but it's up to you to look out for your dog and keep him safe wherever you take him.

Darcy Austin is the chief editor of Dog Obedience University, an information-rich site that provides articles and resources on modifying your dog's behavior.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why Your Dog Jumps on People and How to Stop It

By William Mac

Well, that's how I feel when dogs jump on me..

When I got my Border Collie mix Sam from the local Humane Society, he had very few problems, which is a godsend for a rescued dog. In fact, when I inquired about Sam through a phone call, the people at the Humane Society said he was basically the perfect dog. They informed me that the only problem he had was jumping up on people. I thought, "that will be easy to solve".

When I brought Sam home he really was well behaved. He didn't chew on things, he didn't pee in the house and he didn't bark very much. However, every chance he got he would jump up on me. When I invited guests over, he would jump up on them.

Since Sam is a fairly big dog weighing in at around 80 pounds, it scared my friends when he jumped on them. Even though I thought it would be an easy problem to fix, I was wrong. The reason why I was wrong is because I had no idea why my dog was jumping up on people in the first place, and that's the primary problem. In order to stop unwanted behavior in your dog, you first have to find out WHY your dog is exhibiting such behavior.

The following are a few reasons why dogs jump on people and the solutions to those problems:

1) DOMINANCE: When a dog wants to be dominant it will attempt to claim things, this means people, furniture, toys, areas of the house and so on. Jumping on people sometimes means your dog wants to "claim" that person as its own, it wants to raise its status in life and wants everyone around to know that it's the pack leader. But, you can never let your dog be the leader - you're the dominant one, not your dog - you are the pack leader.


A dog that wants to be dominant is much harder to train not to jump up on people and can sometimes become aggressive towards you as the owner when you try to correct that training. In order to stop dog jumping when it comes to a dominant dog is, not so much correct the behavior, but let your dog know that YOU are the alpha dog and to make your dog submissive to you and your commands. Here are a few ways to start exercising your dominance:

- Never allow your dog to walk through a door or narrow passage way before you do

- Never allow your dog to walk in front of you on a leash, only beside you or behind you.

- Teach your dog simple commands like sit and stay by using "positive reinforcement", which means you reward your dog with a treat, affection or praise when it does what you want

- Practice a domination ritual three times a week for four weeks. For example, Jack and Wendy Volhard, authors of several award-winning dog-training books, instruct owners to do the following.

o Sit on the floor beside your dog without saying anything

o Place your dog in the "down" position

o If your dog gets up, put him back without saying anything

o Keep your hands off when your dog is down, and only put your hands on your dog when it tries to get back up again

o Stay still

o Practice for 30 minutes three times a week for four weeks until you can make your dog go in the "down" position from across the room.

This "domination ritual" will solidify you as your dog's pack leader and let your dog know that you're the boss. That way, instead of jumping up on you or other people, your dog will know "No" when it hears the word.

2) GREETING: Dogs will greet each other by smelling scent glands around the face, when it comes to people, the only way for your dog to get to know them is by jumping up! However, this is still unwanted behavior.


The way I solved this problem with my large dog Sam is by placing a spray bottle filled with water by the front door. Not all dogs have a problem with being sprayed with water, but most of them find it unpleasant like my dog Sam does. So, I instructed guests to immediately pick up the spray bottle when they walked in the house. As soon as my dog began to jump up on them I told them to spray him with water. After a few times Sam stopped jumping up on my guests or me.

If your dog does not respond to being sprayed with water (like Golden Retrievers or other water-loving breeds) then you may try using a shock collar. Just fit your dog with the shock collar and, with the remote in hand, have some friends or neighbors come over and knock on the door and come in. As soon as you see your dog beginning to think about jumping, press the button and shock your dog. This is a quick way for your dog to learn that it's not allowed to jump on people.

3) THE BEHAVIOR IS REWARDED: When you come home from work and your dog jumps up to greet you, you greet your dog back with hugs, kisses and vocal praise. When your dog jumps up on the couch next to you, you cuddle with it. However, when people come over to your house to visit, you wonder why your dog jumps on them.


Stop rewarding unwanted behavior - it's that simple. If you don't want your dog to jump up on you all the time or on other people or even on your furniture, then you need to be consistent.

Your dog does what benefits him/her. If your dog finds out that jumping up on people gets it attention and praise, then your dog thinks it's OK to jump all of the time.

The only way to correct this behavior is to make your dog do something in order to deserve praise or the privilege to jump on you. For example:

- When you get home from work and your dog jumps up to greet you, turn around and ignore it. Or, do as I did, and spray your dog with water or use a shock.

- Once your dog has calmed down, then you can give your dog affection and invite your dog to jump up on you. However, when you're finished, go back to ignoring your dog. This shows your dog that, only when you give him attention is your dog allowed to pay attention to you. Also, you need to inform neighbors, family members and friends that come over to never give the dog attention when it jumps on them. Tell guests to completely ignore the dog or spray it with water when walking in. Only when the dog has understood its place can you or your guests give affection.

- When you sit on the couch, don't allow your dog to just jump right up. Instead, make your dog sit and stay for a few moments before jumping up on the couch. Only when you say it's OK for the dog to join you can the dog actually jump on the couch.

Again, the only way to solve unwanted behavior in your dog is consistency and discipline. Don't reward unwanted behavior. Establish your dominance. Only when the dog is in a calm, reserved state of mind are you allowed to give it affection.

Your dog is obsessed with self-interest. It only does what it gets rewarded for and what it gets fed for. A dog will understand cause and effect. So, when you discipline your dog for unwanted behavior, you're basically saying that the behavior warrants an unwanted affect and stopping that behavior equals a reward.

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