Caring for Your Dog
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Man's Best Friend?
You can keep a dog's
alive with just food.
To keep a dog's SPIRIT
alive, s/he needs love and attention!
Dogs are pack animals.
In the wild, dogs play, eat, and sleep with company.
Your dog wants to be with his pack: YOU!
Teaching your dog to be a well behaved
family member will take time, but will be worth it as your dog
becomes a loved friend.
Dogs who have been chained can make great
house dogs, but will need extra training. Your "outside" dog will be
excited when first coming in. Donít give up! It will take some time
for your dog to calm down and become an indoor family member.
about rehabilitating a chained dog.
For more info, search online for terms such as, dog barking,
stop pulling on leash,
Dog Training are good resources.
- Barking: Chained dogs bark out of frustration and
loneliness. Just getting your dog off the chain will reduce barking.
Dogs who are exercised and happy are less likely to bark and will sleep instead!
Try teaching the word "quiet." When your dog barks, after two or three
woofs, praise her for sounding the alarm. Then say "quiet" and give a
treat. Most dogs stop barking because they can't eat and bark. During
this quiet time praise her, "Good girl, quiet." Each time she is told
"quiet" and succeeds, give a treat.
detailed article on reducing barking.
- Baths: You will enjoy spending time with your dog more if
she's nice and clean! The easiest way to bathe a dog outside is to tie
her to a deck, fence, etc. so she can't escape. You can loop a leash
through or around the deck rail, etc. I love the
Rapid Bath system which fits to your hose so the soap and water come
out together. Whenever you bathe your dog, throw the collar in the wash
to keep it soft and clean.
- Begging: Decide at the beginning that no one will feed the dog from the table.
Don't allow guests to break this rule. Feed him before your meal. If he
never gets to eat from the table, he won't try!
- Chewing/Mouthing: Dogs need to get used to the feel of human
skin, but also need to learn how to be gentle. When the dog nips on you,
yank back and say, "Ouch". Not the way a person would say it, but the
way a puppy would say it...high-pitched and loud! She will think she's
hurting you. If this escalates the mouthing, try pulling your hand away
and turning totally away from the dog for 5 seconds. Do this every time
she chews. She will learn that she gets ignored for chewing on you.
Replace whatever she was chewing on with a
rawhide or toy and praise her for playing with the toy.
A quick spritz in the face with a eater spray bottle will also help deter
Read detailed article about chewing.
- Destroying Things: Never leave your new dog alone in the
house. You are asking for trouble if you let an untrained dog have
full run of the house! A crate is best. Privileges are earned and your
new dog must be trained before having total freedom.
Keep plenty of chew toys and rawhides handy. A spray bottle with water
is a great way to stop bad behavior. When he starts to chew on the
furniture or act inappropriately, spritz him in the face with water.
Dogs hate this! After a few times you should be able to just hold up the
bottle to stop the behavior!
- Digging: If your dog is digging from boredom, walks and
coming inside will redirect his energy. If digging to escape,
bury chicken wire along the base of the fence. Dedicated diggers may
need a "digging zone" with loose soil or sand. Bury treats there to
encourage digging in that area. Read
detailed article about stopping digging.
- Jumping: When your dog jumps on you, quickly bring your knee
turn away. Donít say anything or look her in the eye. Your dog wants your attention
and will take negative attention as well as positive attention. Only give your dog attention
when all four feet are on the floor, or preferably when she is
Leaving and returning should be low-key. If you come home and greet your
dog loudly, excited, and full of energy, your dog will be excited, too.
Stay calm and encourage calm behavior before giving out treats and
- Leash Training: Start with short
walks, and don't get discouraged if it takes awhile for walks to become easy! I think a prong collar with retractable leash works best for
large, strong dogs. Prong collars
look fierce, but they don't hurt the dog if used correctly. (Try it on your own arm or
neck to see how it feels!
article). Harnesses are another good option.
Have him sit while being leashed. Keep the leash short and go at a
pretty fast pace to
keep him moving. Take some small treats or a cut-up
hot dog and offer them close to your side to encourage him to stay near
you. When he pulls, stop walking and pull him close
to your leg. Holding onto the prong collar lead, slowly start walking
again. Stop and bring him close every time he pulls.
Let the leash out longer when he is
walking easily. He will learn he gets more freedom when walking correctly.
Read detailed article.
- Introducing Two Dogs: Leave your current dog at home when
getting the new dog. Introduce them on neutral territory, such as
outside on the sidewalk, then take them on a walk to get used to each
other. Next, let them in the yard together on leashes, then let them run
around the yard. Next, go to a large room in the house where they can
keep some distance. Feed them separately for a few days and don't leave
treats or toys out they can fight over. Don't leave them in the same
room alone until you are confident they are getting along.
have to work out between them which is alpha or "the boss", so some
growling and posturing is natural. Keep that water spray bottle handy
and spritz in their faces if they get overly aggressive, then praise
when they act nicely!
Read detailed article.
- Sitting: Simply hold a treat in front of her nose, then above
her head until she sits back to follow the treat in your hand. Repeat
the word sit several times, then immediately give praise and the treat.
Most dogs quickly learn the combination of the word "sit" and a hand
motion above their head.
Read detailed article.
The Golden Rule of Housetraining is...
Never let an un-housetrained dog out of your sight while inside! Every time a dog relieves himself inside, it teaches him itís
OK. An un-housetrained dog should be either:
(1) Inside, with you watching him
(3) In a crate
If you follow these rules, your dog should be trained
in a week or two. Adult dogs can be housetrained, too!
- The best method is the crate training method. Buy a pet carrier
or cage big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie
down in. This will be the dog's ďdenĒ and sleeping place.
Dogs are clean animals and want to keep their home and sleeping area
clean. Even young puppies will try their best not to go inside their
- On the dogís first day home, let him wander in and out of the
crate. Put a towel and some treats in it. Put the crate close to
where the family hangs out, so your dog will feel like part of the
- Young puppies must go out many times a day, 30 minutes after eating or drinking. Older dogs need to go out
four or more times daily.
- Take the dog to the SAME spot outdoors. The smell will remind
him why he's there.
- When puppy relieves himself outside, PRAISE him, "Good Dog!!Ē
and give him a treat. Praise is the key to housetraining! Your dog
will learn that going outside means treats and will be eager to go
- If you're inside and notice your dog starting to sniff and
circle, grab him and take him out. If you catch him in ďmid-streamĒ,
startle pup with a noise and take him out.
- What if you notice a mess on the floor but didnít see your dog
do it? Clean up the mess without fussing at your dog. Dogs live in
the moment and wonít understand that you are punishing him for
something he did in the past. Rubbing your dogsí nose in the mess or
hitting him with a newspaper wonít work at this point.
- Use a cleaner that will kill smells and bacteria, such as Simple
Green (grocery stores), Natureís Miracle (pet stores), or vinegar
and water. If you donít clean the spot very well, the smell might
make him go there again.
- At bedtime, take your dog outside and then lock him in his crate
for the night. He'll make an effort not to foul his bed. Then take
him outside first thing in the morning. Some young puppies may not
have the muscle control to hold it all night and will have to go out
during the night.
- Donít feed your dog after about 6:00 p.m. This will help your
dog make it through the night.
- Dogs can be left in a crate 4-6 hours. Dogs should not be left
in a crate more than 8 hours. If you canít come home during the day,
consider leaving the dog outside.
- Tips: Hang a jingle bell on the door and jingle it when you take
your dog out. He will learn to ring the bell when he needs to go
Install a dog door. Dog doors are a wonderful invention! Dogs
quickly learn to come and go on their own. You can buy dog doors at
pet stores and discount stores.
Read a schedule of a typical day of crate training.
More articles and
advice on housetraining, including hard-to-manage cases.
- Anti-freeze (dogs love it but it is deadly)
- Blind cords (wrap or tuck them up high)
- Cleaning products
- Electrical cords and cables (Chewing them can be deadly. Tape them to the floor or cover with plastic tubes made for this
- Human medicine
- Insecticides - ant killer, roach bait, rat poison
- Plants -
Some can be poisonous, including tulip/daffodil bulbs, amaryllis,
poinsettia, lilies, sago palm
- Pins and needles
- String and ribbon
- Twist ties
Ensure no small pets are in your dryer before turning it on!
- Bowls for food and water - Stainless is easier to keep clean than
- Chew toys
- Food - Get a medium-priced brand if possible. The really cheap stuff
can be unhealthy.
- ID tag - I love
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