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The best !!!Chihuahua Potty-Training and Housebreaking.
Just want to tell you, my puppies start on this training from 3-4 weeks old!! That's way you should continue this training in your home.
Potty-training is an essential process that every owner must go through with their Chihuahua. Unless you plan on keeping your in a fenced in backyard (not recommended), you'll have to teach them to use the bathroom outside and not inside the house. Unfortunately, however, Chihuahuas have a notorious reputation for being a breed that's difficult and downright stubborn to housebreak. In fact, some owners throw in the flag and simply lay out pee pads for them instead. The truth is that practically any Chihuahua, no matter how old they are, can be potty-trained when it's done correctly and under the right circumstances.
Although Chihuahuas can be successfully potty-trained at any age, it's recommended that you start as soon you bring them into your home, preferably when they are still a puppy. During the first 6-12 months of a Chihuahua's life, their brains are developing at a rapid pace; therefore, they will naturally catch on to routines and consistency. You can use this to your advantage by instilling the basic potty-training commands in your Chihuahua's head. When they learn these principles at an early age, it will carry on with them well into their adult years, making the potty-training process easier for the both of you.
Chihuahua Potty-Training - Where Should I Start?
It's easy to feel lost and confused when you first bring your Chihuahua home. You're busy trying to set up their bed, make sure they have food, water, blankets, and you're probably busy playing with them as well. While all of this fine, you need to place potty-training at the top of your list of priorities for them. As stated above, it's crucial that you begin teaching them the basics of where using the bathroom is acceptable and where it's not.
Before you start attempting to potty-train your Chihuahua, you'll need to pick up a few basic items first. These items are necessary to encourage good behavior, as well as prevent bad behavior. Here are the things you'll need:
1-2 boxes of small milk bone treats for rewarding good behavior.
A crate that's just large enough for your Chihuahua to stand up and turn around in.
Small, comfortable bed with a couple soft blankets.
Soft, non-abrasive collar with a leash that's at least 10-feet long.
Note: This isn't an entire list of everything you need to own a Chihuahua, but rather a list of items that will come in handy when potty-training your Chihuahua.
One of the key factors to successfully potty-training your Chihuahua is letting them know when they do something bad. When you see them do their business on the floor inside your home, quickly walk over to them and immediately say "No!" or "Bad boy/girl!" You should never physically spank or hit your Chihuahua, as this may injure them and make it more difficult to train them. Instead, stick with a strong verbal statement letting them know that what they did is unacceptable. Chihuahuas are quite emotional, and verbally telling them no while pointing at them is all it takes to get the message across.
No matter how hard you try to prevent it, accidents will happen. It's an inevitable part of owning any indoor dog, regardless of the breed, so don't expect your Chihuahua to be any different. After you see them peeing or pooping inside the house, tell them "No!" and walk them outside. While you're walking them, say something along the lines of "go potty" or "go pee-pee," as this will help them associate the words with the pottying behavior. It may take some time, but remain patient and wait for them to do their business. When they are good and use the bathroom outside, give them a milk bone treat along with lots of petting and praise as a reward for their good behavior. Treats go a long ways when it comes to potty-training and obedience training, so use them to your advantage.
Another little trick I've learned that helps to potty-train a Chihuahua is to always take them to the same place outside to do their business. Chihuahuas have a keen sense of smell and will be able to tell where they've used the bathroom before. When they come across an area they've already used the bathroom at, they will instinctively belive it's an acceptable area. You can begin walking your Chihuahua to other parts of the yard once they are older and fully potty-trained, but stick to a designated area during their early puppy years.
Chihuahua Crate Training
Some owners are under the impression that forcing a small Chihuahua to stay cooped up inside a crate is cruel and inhumane. After all, how fun can be stuck inside a crate where you can barely move around? The fact is, however, that a crate gives your Chihuahua their own personal space where they can call home. There's a certain sense of security they begin to feel and associate with their crate, and chances are they grow to enjoy being inside it. As the owner of three Chihuahuas myself, I frequently find my Chis hiding in their crates even with they are allowed to roam the house free.
The reason why crates are such an effective potty-training tool is because you can confine them to it anytime you're unable to watch them. Instead of "hoping" your Chihuahua doesn't use the bathroom inside the house, you can rest assured knowing they are safely confined to their crate. Naturally, most Chihuahuas won't use the bathroom in the same crate where they sleep and rest. If they have to use the bathroom, they will try to hold it until you let them outside. This works in your favor, as it lets your Chihuahua develop the skills necessary to hold their pee until you take them outside. Just remember to never leave a Chihuahua in a crate for long periods of time.
Training & Treats
Positive training has been steadily growing in popularity since the 1980′s. While it’s a highly effective and fun way to train, it does rely on food rewards to a great degree. So how do you avoid unbalancing your dog’s diet or putting in more calories then are needed while Obedience training or practising basic good manners? There are a number of strategies you can use.
First, just how food driven is your dog? Some dogs will work hard for nothing more than bits of their usual kibble or what ever you choose to feed as your training treat. Simply measure or weigh out your dog’s ration in the morning, dip into it throughout the day when ever you want to do training and use what ever is left over for the evening meal.
Some dogs require more motivation than dry kibble. Before moving on to tastier offerings, try taking a handful of the kibble and putting it in a sealable plastic bag with a few pieces of some wonderfully smelly, tasty treat, for example liverwurst, ripe cheese, microwaved hot dog slices, what ever you can find. Let the treat pieces retain their seductive aroma. Then remove the food you added to the kibble and see if your dog finds the enhanced kibble more enticing and worth working for. You are still using the dog’s normal diet with only a little caloric/nutrient tweaking.
You may have heard that it’s okay to feed treats and even table scraps as long as they don’t amount to more then 10% of your dog’s daily intake. But what does that mean exactly? 10% by Volume? By weight? No, by food calories. Do you know how many calories are in one cup of your dogs kibble or in your dog treat? Probably not. But you can find out this by first checking the packaging. Some companies do provide this information. Be sure the calories are for the food, as fed, not some laboratory analysis. If the package doesn’t tell you calorie count, visit the company’s web site. Many manufactures now provide all sorts of additional information on their web sites to help you understand all the ingredients in the kibble or call the company toll free and ask.
How many calories should my dog have in it’s diet? It all depends on your dogs age, size and activity level. Most good brands of dog food should have a guide to help you with this. Also your Vet should know. Giving your dog fresh cut up veggies or fruit, is a better idea than giving them a reward of pet store treats, like Rollover, which tastes wonderful but is full of calories.
To help you avoid too many treats, with their potential calories and diet imbalances, consider using rewards other than treats. While most reward based training automatically recommend treats because they’re fast, easy to use and work with most dogs, others advise a wider variety of reward possibilities. Even if your dog is food motivated, mixing it up so that you sometimes reward with play is a good idea. Using play when you can doesn’t just cut out the calories, it helps bond you to your dog. So find a game that turns your dog on and use them in your training.
Finally, realize that a continuous schedule of reward should be used only while training a new skill. Once behaviour is put in place, the schedule of rewards should become random.
Tips to Help Dog Separation Anxiety
There are one of two methods you can try .. A good trick I've found with all the dogs I've had old and young is the walk before you leaveIf you know you're going to be gone for long periods of time then a longer walk or some sort of play time is going to be needed. A kennel also helps. It's never to late or early to teach a dog the kennel. It takes a lot of patience to kennel train your dog but the younger generally the better. Just don't lock them up... this will not creates a negative understanding of the kennel. A blanket over the kennel creates a calm feeling of night time for the dogs as well this will mentally tell them "hey it's time to sleep" and generally that's what they do. I've found with a few of my dogs that where abused before and found the need to be with me that when I needed to leave telling them to go to 'their space' such as bed, kennel etc( don't lock.).. helps then taking that time if they are calm to praise them. Telling them I'll be back soon. Be good, be a good dog, be a good girl. It does help. They understand once you've worked with them what's good and what's bad. Another method you could try right in your home is the boundaries rule. Make your pup give you space. Increase the space. Go into bedroom close the door and just wait. This will help create the same atmosphere as if you were physically gone. Hope these tips help you.Start out small by leaving your dog alone for just five minutes.-->> Leave your dog alone for five minutes, then extend the time to twenty minutes, then an hour. Continue to increase the time you spend away until you can leave for a full eight hours without any more dog problems!
Preventing Separation Anxiety from Developing
Dogs evolved as companions to people, and they are pack animals. However, owner/guardians need to help their dogs find a healthy balance between enjoying companionship and becoming sufficiently independent to tolerate being alone for periods of time.
People must condition their dogs to stay calm when left alone. To condition means to get the dog used to specific things, situations and events. That's why it's important to practice leaving and returning to the dog frequently, starting when you first bring the dog into your home and family.
* Teach your dog from the start that your leaving the house is an ordinary, regular event. Help your dog build tolerance for your departures and absences.
the dog's bed and bowl of water ready in a safe, well-lighted, comfortable confined area with "family smells", such as a gated-off kitchen, family room or crate placed in a family area. (Do not confine in basements, garages, storage rooms, or other non-family areas). This nice "den" will be the place in which she will stay when you are not home to supervise. Take her to that place, tell her lie down (guide her if she has not yet learned that command). Then give her one or two safe chew toys and praise her. You can couple a food treat with the verbal praise. In fact, it's helpful to keep a small bag of tiny tidbit treats on you at all times during the acclimation and training phases.
Next, close the door or gate to the room, and step back. See if she is staying calm. If so, resist the urge to talk to the dog, since that will distract her from this desired, calm, relaxed behavior.
If she stays reasonably calm when separated from you for a minute or two, let her stay there as long as she seems comfortable. As soon as you notice any signs of the dog growing anxious or uncomfortable, take her outside again for a walk or a short play session.
If the dog is good in her confined area, this is a very good sign. You can begin to add calm, quiet verbal praise and an occasional food treat to this acclimation routine as a reward for being good and calm in her confined area. When you release your dog from the room or crate, do so in a low-key manner; it's best to give no response at all when the dog comes out of the crate for the first minute or so. This is part of establishing the confined place as a secure den, vs. a jail from which she desires to escape.
By the way, another good idea is to rotate the safe chew toys that you give your dog each day. Also, include interactive toys in the mix, such as Kongs and Buster Cubes. (Details about using the hollow Kong toys appear later in this article.)
Next, leave the room for increasingly longer periods.
Realize that this important acclimation training will take some time and patience; you will need to repeat these activities for a few days in the effort to anxiety-proof your dog.
Next step: leave the house and come back in right away. Progressively lengthen these outings until you can know that your dog displays no anxiety about your departures - which means she realizes that when you leave her, you always eventually return.
Gradually lengthen your absences to 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and longer. Hopefully, she will not get anxious since you have been conditioning her to accept your absences as a normal part of life.
She will learn to be confident that you will return, and also, she will learn that it is you, as pack leader, who decides what happens and when.
It's good to stay in range the first few days of this acclimation exercise so that you can tell if and when your dog shows signs of anxiety.
If at any point your dog begins showing anxiety about your departure, go back to a shorter absence and continue working to build her confidence. And at any time, now or after the acclimation phase, you come home and find that your dog experienced anxious behavior (through evidence of scratching, digging, chewing, barking, pools of drool, etc.) halve the time you leave the dog alone for awhile and work to increase the time increments slowly. If your dog continues displaying anxiety symptoms, cut the time in half again.
This acclimation process is worth the time it takes, because starting out right will set the pace for your dog, accustom her to her "home-alone" environment, and help ward off potential adjustment problems. Because of the time that these acclimation exercises involve, it's usually best for working folks to arrange for some vacation time when getting a new dog, or to bring the dog home on a Friday just before your weekend begins.
Attention is good, but you also need to educate your dog so that she's ready for your real-world routine. The common failure to help dogs adjust leads to unrealistic expectations - and often, anxiety when you suddenly leave on that first workday after getting the dog.
In general, it is always best to set the ground rules upfront - and stick to them fairly and consistently. You can loosen up later if you wish, but tightening up is really hard after your dog is inadvertently conditioned to get out of control.
* About crating: Your goal is to condition the dog to be relaxed and comfortable in a specific room or crate where he will remain while you are away. However, crating regularly for over 6 or so hours can be counterproductive and ineffective Also, while you can use crates for time-outs, never banish dogs to crate as punishment. You want the crate to always have positive associations.
Moreover, a crate should not be used for separation-anxious dogs unless the dog is FIRST gradually and successfully accustomed to spending time in the crate and then gradually, successfully accustomed to being alone in the crate - relaxed, not nervous or frantic. Many separation-anxious dogs cannot be crated when alone because it fuels their anxiety even more - and results in a substantial setback in the effort to condition the dog to accept your absences.
If using a crate for your new pup or newly adopted dog, practice using the crate when you're home. Make the crate homey; place it in a pleasant family area with light and nice views.
Some dogs like to see outside and for other, such visibility leads to over-excitement, so find out what works for your dog.
To acclimate the dog to the crate from the start, show him that "all good things happen in the crate." Entice the dog into the crate and immediately provide a toy that contains something edible, such as a Kong stuffed with kibble adhered with some peanut butter, or a Buster Cube filled with kibble. One smart tip is to feed the dog a meal via the Kong or cube. Go sit down with a book or watch TV nearby. Let your dog out when he is calm and quiet. Resist the urge to let a dog out of a crate when barking or displaying other anxiety symptoms, because that rewards the unwanted behavior you're trying to avoid or eliminate.
When acclimating your dog to a crate, give lots of positives for entering and staying calming in the crate. You don't even have to close the door each time, although you will want to practice getting the dog accustomed to the crate door being closed and latched.
Give no response when the dog comes out of the crate for the first minute or so. Many people mistakenly give dogs a rousing, ebullient response when exiting the crate, but that tends to reinforce the idea that being out is infinitely better than being in. While the dog probably realizes this, you don't need to amplify the message. When crate training, you want the dog to think "this is my special place, and I like it here."
Note: if your dog already has serious separation anxiety, don't use a crate; follow the tips in other sections of this guide.
* Give your dog adequate exercise and playtime everyday. Dogs are social beings, so this activity is important not only to channel their physical energy, but also to engage their minds and meet their need for human companionship. Don't wait until your dog begs for attention. As leader, it is your job to initiate and lead the dog in play. As for walks, most dogs need two brisk leash-walks of at least 15 or 20 minutes each. Some dogs need more.
* Avoid lavishing too much attention on your dog. Same goes for the wrong type of attention, such as overindulging with constant touching ... always having her in your lap, draped over you or leaning next to you ... placing the dog in elevated positions where humans customarily are (in the front seat of car, at the table, on the couch, in the human's bed) ... coddling (and thus rewarding) when she displays fearful or aggressive behavior. Other missteps to avoid: overly excited greetings when you arrive home from work ... petting the dog every time she demands it, such as by rubbing up against you or pushing her head against your hand ... letting your dog initiate play instead of the other way around.
By creating a demand-lavish attention dynamic, you would inadvertently teach your dog to be far too dependent on you, increasing the chances the dog will suffer overwhelming anxiety when you're gone. There is a difference between unhealthy overdependence and healthy trust. You want to be the leader, you want the dog to trust, respect and listen to you, but you don't want the dog to become an emotional slave who can't bear to be alone.
* Teach your dog to earn attention and praise by obliging your requests to sit, lie down or come when you tell him to.
* Reward your dog for resting quietly in her place. Reward calm behavior with quiet attention and treats. This will help her associate her place, den or bed with serenity and security. Attention is often a highly motivational reward for good behavior.
* Keep to a routine, at least until the dog fully adjusts to your home. Canines thrive on a routine, which also helps them learn that you come and go, you always return, and that he can count on getting attention, food and exercise each day -- avoiding and alleviating his anxiety.
* Keep departures and returns low-key. Don't make a big show of leaving. Gather your items quietly, efficiently and matter-of-factly and quietly leave. Be aware that dogs are very sensitive to their owners' actions and activities. This includes an owner's "leaving routine": most dogs quickly pick up that when their person gets his shoes, coat, briefcase and keys and begins fiddling with lights, it means the person is departing for an extended period. And do not act anxious; anxiety is contagious.
You can desensitize your dog to your departures with this following exercise. Note: this differs somewhat from the acclimation process described above, and can be used in conjunction with that more elaborate routine. Get ready to leave. Go to the door, but don't exit. Quietly move about, go back to the door, leave. Come back in. Ignore the dog during this exercise. Exit and enter several times, increasing the length of your absences from one minute to one hour.
* Remember, it's unfair and unreasonable to expect a dog to hold his or her urine for much longer than 8 hours. Young dogs might be physically able "hold it" only 2 to 4 hours.
Managing Separation Anxiety: How to Help Your Dog
For most cases of separation anxiety, the following techniques will help. For severe problems, these techniques should be used along with a behavior modification program structured by a canine behaviorist (see links and resources near the end of this Tipsheet).
Foster self-assurance and a degree of independence:
Instill confidence and independence. Dogs need to find a balance between respecting their pack leader, enjoying companionship and handling solitude. "Don't let the dog follow you around the house," advises Los Angeles trainer Cinimon Clark. "He needs to learn to survive by himself." Teach and then frequently use the Down-Stay command. For instance, when you're washing dishes and the dog hovers next to you, instruct him to "down" on his blanket and "stay" there the entire time. Then release him and have some play time together.
Insecure dogs tend to follow their people around the house, look anxious as the people prepare to leave, and become distraught when they are alone. They bark after their people leave, sometimes destroy things, and may even urinate or defecate out of anxiety.
Often, it's tempting to give an anxious, insecure dog too much attention, but over-empathizing usually aggravates behavior problems. Insecure dogs need to be retrained to be independent, writes Dr. Nicholas Dodman in "The Dog Who Loved Too Much." It takes firm yet supportive leadership and clear direction to help your dog overcome this behavioral problem.
Build tolerance to staying alone:
* Retrain your dog to accept absences as an ordinary event, using the acclimation exercises in the "Preventing Separation Anxiety" section. For a dog who already displays separation anxiety, be prepared for using absences of shorter duration and working up to longer periods more slowly. Progressing too fast will lead to setbacks. The idea is to advance slowly enough to avoid the dog lapsing into anxious freak-outs.
* After a few days of the leaving/return practice sessions, increase the duration of absences randomly so the dog can't guess when you will return.
* Practice "fire drills": go out, return, sit, play a game, go out. Vary the time you are gone.
* Reduce the contrast technique: canine behaviorist/author Larry Lachman explains that most separation-anxious dogs cannot tolerate the either-or conditions of attention when the owner is home vs. no attention when the owner leaves. So reduce the contrast: pick two days out of week when you are home. Ignore the dog for 6 to 8 hours on those days, to match the time you are away at work. Limit attention to only feeding or letting the dog out to potty during these sessions. Your dog will learn: "it's no big deal when my owner is gone; even when he's home, he still sometimes ignores me."
Take all excitement, fuss and drama out of departures and returns:
* Keep arrivals and departures low-key. No emotive goodbyes or effusive hello-I-missed-you's. In fact, it can be best to say nothing and avoid eye contact, totally ignoring your dog for 15 or 20 minutes before you leave the house and after you arrive home. After that, provided the dog is reasonably calm, then you can let her out of her safety room and calmly, quietly pet and praise her. For a dog who still displays significant anxiety, it's usually recommended to continue ignoring the dog until she totally settles down and begins to relax.
Uncoupling cues - easy technique to desensitize departures:
Dogs are extremely adept at reading body language. So chances are, your dog can easily tell the difference between your going outside to bring in the mail and your departure for work. Your dog will notice cues such as you pre-departure preparations -- getting your coat and bag, taking out keys, turning off lights. Separation-anxious dogs will respond by exhibiting anxiety signals such as whining, pacing, drooling, yelping and/or yipping.
One way to reduce your dog's anxiety about being separated from you is to "uncouple the cues" -- engage in your pre-departure routines without always leaving the house. Put on your coat and rattle your keys at times other than when you are actually going out. Keep grabbing your coat and keys and putting them back down again until your dog doesn't bother getting excited anymore. Now you can start rewarding the dog for NOT responding to the stimulus; this is a form of shaping behavior.
If there is something else that triggers your dog's anxiety over your leaving, such as putting on shoes by a door or switching lights on or off, throw these into the mix as well. This exercise will help desensitize your dog to the anxiety-starters that signal your imminent departure.
Establish a "safety cue":
A safety cue is a word, gesture, action or even a special toy that you teach the dog to associate with the idea that when you leave, you will always come back. Use the safety cue each time you leave the house, starting by cueing it to brief absences (such as taking out the trash or checking the mail box). Your safety cue might be gently saying "Take care of the house" ... a playing radio or tape ... or a distinctive chewtoy.
Start out using the safety cue during practice sessions. However, to establish the cue as an effective tool, do not use it when you're leaving for longer durations than your dog has learned to tolerate.
As previously mentioned, some of our own behaviors as dog guardians can contribute to a dog's intolerance of being alone or ignored - such as constantly petting or fussing over the dog when we are home. If this sounds like your situation, try changing your behavior: always have your dog sit before giving attention and then only give 10 seconds of petting at a time. If he wants more, wait until he is not actively seeking it, have him sit again, and give him another 10 seconds of petting.
Keep these additional tips in mind:
* Ignore attention-seeking behaviors. Do not respond when the dog demands attention. This helps teach your dog that he can't manipulate you to get attention.
* Yes, you can give your dog attention, but for the needy or separation-anxious dog, it's best if you initiate the attention, and as much as possible, tie attention to desired behaviors.
* Instead of the dog initiating contact with you, strive daily to change the dynamic: you initiate the contact, be it playing, petting, deciding when to eat and take walks. The owner, as pack leader, should control the activities. If the owner controls activities in a manner that protects and meets the needs of the dog, the dog's trust in his person will increase and his insecurities will fade.
"If he comes up to you for a pet, ignore him for about 3 minutes, or until he stops asking you, then ask him to come over and sit," suggests Cin Clark. "Now you can pet him. I use the command ‘Enough' for stopping the petting. If he still tries to get your attention, walk away."
* Ration attention out in small bits to ease your dog's dependence on you and other family members. Limit attention to times when the dog is engaged in a desirable behavior, such as resting calmly in her own spot (vs. draped over your lap), and when the dog responds to a verbal command or hand signal. Have him earn attention by telling him to "Sit" and "Down-Stay." When you give a separation-anxious dog attention, dole it out in very brief increments. One second can be enough.
* Avoid letting the separation-anxious dog sit in your lap, drape herself over you, or rest in elevated, "human" places like the sofa. And don't let the dog sleep on the bed with you. He can be in the same room, just on his own bed. If she insists upon sneaking back into your bed, you can tie a long leash to a dresser. The idea is to foster some independence, so take these steps at least until your dog has overcome her separation anxiety problems.
Use training to build the dog's self-confidence:
* Teach Sit, Down and Stay. This can aid the effort to teach your dog how to relax in one spot when you leave. Reward your dog with positive reinforcement - praise, or praise plus treats - for staying calmly in a position for increasingly longer periods of time. Don't punish your dog for "not obeying." Just ignore incorrect responses, regain the dog's attention and continue.
Gradually increase the distance you move away from your dog so that you can eventually move briefly out of your dog's sight while he remains in the "stay" position. The idea is to teach him that he can remain calmly, in a non-anxious state, in one place while you go to another. Take easy opportunities to practice. For instance, when you're watching TV with your dog nearby and you get up for a snack, tell your dog "stay." When you return, give him a tidbit and very gently praise him for obeying.
When practicing these leaving/returning sessions, increase the duration of your absence randomly to prevent your dog from learning to guess when you will return.
You are working to retrain your dog to listen to you and to be less clingy, aiding your effort to accustom your dog to being alone without getting frantic. Depending on your individual dog and the consistency of your training efforts, you should be able to move briefly out of your dog's sight after a few days.
Create a safe haven:
* For the dog's home-alone place, choose a safe, puppy-proofed room with light and family smells -- ideally, it should be a place in which the pack regularly convenes, such as a kitchen or family room. If there's no door, block the entrance with a sturdy baby-gate or fencing. See the "Preventing Separation Anxiety" for other details.
Provide physical and mental stimulation:
* Give your dog a fun job to occupy your pet when you leave for work. Hiding small treats around the house to create a food scavenger hunt. First, teach your dog a "find the treat" command. Once he learns the meaning of the command, hide treats in clear view for the first few sessions. Then place the treats in less visible places to challenge and occupy your dog. You can set up a scavenger hunt each morning before you leave for work to provide an engaging distraction for your dog - and help him learn to accept (and even possibly ignore) your departures.
* Make sure dog has safe, stimulating activities when you leave him alone. These include access to safe chew toys, including hollow Kong-type toys that can be stuffed with food for long-lasting enjoyment. You can stuff Kongs with peanut butter, low-fat yogurt or cream cheese, pieces of rice cake, mashed potato or sweet potato, rice, steamed chopped veggies such as carrots, and of course, moist dog food, kibble or a combination thereof. You can even feed the dog's meal via the Kong or Buster Cube. In any case, this will keep the dog occupied for a long time.
You can reserve such interactive toys for use only during your workday absences to help the dog make positive associations with departures. Another clever, long-lasting treat: "chicken-cicles". Pour chicken broth into a plastic food container and freeze, then put the frozen treat in the dog's den 15 minutes before you leave for work.
Enrich the dog's environment:
* Interactive toys are great choices.
* Play music. A CD player gives you more control over what your dog hears than a radio. But you do want something that can play continuously. Choose classical music or easy listening, since the idea is to help calm your dog. News radio can sometimes work, but not if the station broadcasts talk shows with debates or loud, anxious, excited hosts and guests.
Note: Playing music, radio or tapes work only if the dog has learned to consistently associate the sounds with being alone in a non-anxious state. So practice playing the sounds when you are home.
* Tape-record normal household sounds and let the tape play for comfort. Put on a continuous-play tape recording of your voice calmly reading a magazine. Occasionally play the tape when you are home so dog does not associate tape only with your departure.
* These audio tools can also serve to buffer other sounds, which can be helpful for dogs living in apartments, condos and other attached housing.
* A playing TV can provide auditory and visual stimulation. Again, take care to choose a channel with content that will not rile or upset your dog.
* If your answering machine broadcasts incoming messages, phone home during the day and talk awhile to your dog. Note: while this works with some dogs, it can backfire with others.
* Leave a T-shirt you slept in or other soft clothing item bears your smell. However, don't use old shoes, since you don't want to encourage dogs to chew other shoes that are often accessible.
* Some dogs respond well to pheromone-based products such as Comfort Zone DAP, a plug-in item which releases a nontoxic synthetic version of calming pheromones produced by lactating female dogs.
Keep to a routine:
* Especially when training your dog and when trying to help reduce separation anxiety symptoms, stick to a routine. That way, your dog can eventually learn, and come to trust, that you will always come home ... and that he can count on you (or another trusted person) to feed, walk and play with him regularly so he doesn't have to worry about being starved for these necessities.
Also, it is best to not leave a clinically separation-anxious dog for more than a couple of hours at a time until you start seeing results from a structured behavior modification program. Yes, this is not easy. But the idea is to try to reduce and eliminate freak out periods; that way, the deeply ingrained symptoms will start to fade sooner. Arrange to have trusted people around for the first two or three weeks of your dog's separation anxiety-reduction program, and practice gradually increasing the time the dog is left alone.
* Some folks use a timer connected with a light or radio as a signal that they are coming home soon. Set the timer to go off about 30 minutes before you get home.
Don't let your dog train you:
* Remember that dogs tend to do what works ... or what seemed to work in their past. If your dog howls, scratches and throws herself at the door when you depart, and then you turn around, reenter your house and console the dog, you will have reinforced the idea to your dog the idea that howling, scratching and throwing herself against the door works. These anxious behaviors already are self-rewarding to your dog in that they provide an outlet (albeit it a temporary and ineffective one) for the dog's intense anxiety. You don't want to add any more "reward" to these dysfunctional behaviors.
Before You Leave Your Dog Alone Each Day - Steps to Take
* Feed and then vigorously exercise your dog before leaving for work. A tired dog is more likely to remain calm. Have the dog heel by your side and sit every minute or so; this helps channel pent-up tension. Vary your dog-walking route to provide extra mental stimulation for the dog -- and you - at no cost to your schedule.
Remember, most dogs need two brisk walks of at least 15 or 20 minutes. Some dogs need more. Make sure you make time in your schedule EVERY day.
* Fifteen minutes before you leave, confine the dog in her special home-alone place.
* Just before leaving, give your dog a good, safe long-lasting and preferably interactive toy, such as a Kong (details elsewhere in this article) filled with kibble and peanut butter, cottage cheese or yogurt. This will help counter-condition the dog to see departures as good. A food-stuffed or food-smeared toy can occupy him for up to a couple of hours, and even distract him enough that he won't notice you're leaving.
* Provide the dog with super-good, long-lasting treats such as sterilized bones or treat-filled Kongs. Put on a continuous-play tape recording of your voice or music.
* Try setting up the food scavenger hunt mentioned earlier to occupy your dog.
* Remember: keep all departures and returns low-key. No emotional goodbyes and greetings.
Extra Tips for Anxiety Barkers
* Do not give your dog any attention, not even eye contact, for any type of vocalization.
* Block visual access to things that trigger your dog's barking.
* Catch him in the act of barking. Say OFF! and use a startle technique (such as a loud clap or other unpleasant, interruptive noise). After the dog has stopped barking, quietly say "Good quiet," then allow for another minute of silence before rewarding the dog with a combination of verbal praise and food tidbit, light petting or other incentive. Stay calm, low key and quiet yourself.
* Randomly reward your dog when he is not vocalizing in any way. This "catching him in the act of being good" requires attentiveness on your part. Pass near him, toss a treat and say "Good quiet." The dog learns that he gets rewarded for quiet behavior and gets startled for noisy behavior. These discipline techniques are not meant to be used frequently, or as the only technique to quiet a barking or anxious dog, but they are helpful in combination with other recommended steps.
* Set up a tape recorder or video recorder to track the times your dog tends to bark. Or if you have a helpful, reliable neighbor, ask that person to listen and let you know when your dog tends to have barking spells. There is usually a pattern.
* A diet switch can help, such as from a high-protein, high-energy food to a low-protein all-natural diet without any artificial preservatives.
* Feed twice per day to keep the dog from getting hungry and to avoid any mood swings that can result from low blood sugar.
* Trying feeding the biggest meal before the separation-anxious dog is about to spend a lengthy period of time alone. After eating, dogs often get sleepy. However, it is essential that you give a good, long, brisk walk before you leave him alone so that he can eliminate after the meal.
Alternative Health Aids
* Holistic options include valerian root and kava-kava, as well as a number of fear flower essences by Bach.
* Rescue Remedy and other gentle, natural ingredient-based remedies are available at most health food stores and over the internet. Many people find that these safe, affordable choices help calm their dogs.
* Some veterinarians have successfully used the homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla. It doesn't cure the problem, but seems to reduce the symptoms of frantic barking and destructiveness.
* For more serious cases, some have had success using Melatonin.
Other Helpful Measures
* Find an at home neighbor or petwalker to visit your dog
* Come home for lunch
* Take your dog to work
* Doggie day care
* Day boarding for dogs who don't play well with others
* Neutering: it won't solve the problem, but can reduce anxiety overall since the dog will no longer be subject to raging hormones
* Note: getting another pet usually does not help the separation-anxious dog, since the anxiety stems from fear of separation from his person and pack leader, not merely from being alone.
Keeping up with your new puppies litter training
• All of our puppies will be started on litter training, here are some helpful ways to keep it going.
• • When you first get your puppy home, its bladder is probably the size of a peanut, and it will try to pee every time your back is turned. So the trick here is to watch your puppy constantly. It's a pain, but the more you actually catch your puppy in the act of trying to go, the faster the whole process of housebreaking will be. It's best to only let your dog roam around in a small area at first until they have the basics down. In this respect, crate training will be your best friend.
• Every time you see your puppy start to sniff and circle, grab her and run to her litter box. Very young puppies especially almost always have to go after they've had a nap, so if you're having trouble catching your puppy fast enough, try putting her in her box preemptively every time she wakes up.
• If your are at work all day, or will be unable to let your puppy out of her crate every hour or so to let her use her litter box, an alternative method is to find either a small room or section off a small area in the house using a baby gate. Place your puppy's crate, food, water, and litter box in a way so that there is as little floor space as possible. Your puppy will not want to go in its crate where she sleeps and plays, will not want to go where she eats and drinks, and so will hopefully come to the conclusion that she should use her litter box.
• Positive reinforcement is the fastest method of training your puppy. Every time she successfully uses her box, act as if your puppy has just discovered the secret to world peace, preferably with lots of petting and talking in that ridiculously happy baby voice that all dog owners have. Treats are even more effective. Plain Cheerios make excellent treats as they are small enough for most little dogs to chew, they are cheap, and they probably won't ruin your dog's appetite.
• As your dog gets older and has fewer accidents, you can increase the size of the area your dog is allowed to run around in. Each time you do this you will have to spend a couple days watching your dog vigilantly, catching her every time she makes a mistake and tries to go behind the potted plant, but if you do it slowly enough, with time your dog can roam the whole house or apartment and still know to go to her litter box when she has to.
• Here are a couple of good ways to set up your puppies area. Start with the more confined area and then give them more space as they get better at getting to the litter box.
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Q. Perdie is my short coat Chihuahua. After he turned one year old, he began marking (peeing to mark his territory) in the house. We DID NOT neuter at six months old... It started again after I had a friend bring over her two dogs. Perdie is fully housed-trained and still does all his business outside as usual. How do I get him to stop?
A. Surprisingly, it is not only males that mark, some females try to mark too. Once a dog is neutered and or spayed the behaviour usually does not show up at all. Dogs that are not neutered or not spayed will definitely mark. Males will mark to attract a female and to tell the world that the area belongs to him. It is hard to train a male not to mark when all the hormones are involved.
Most likely Perdie’s urination is motivated by the visiting dogs. The uncanny onset of the behaviour post dog visit at his age and after one year of perfection is the tipoff. But, although the motivation for urine-marking is not identical to that in straight house-training, for example: emptying of bladder versus some olfactory or social trigger, the behaviour is the same: the dog is depositing urine in undesired locations. The dog in question has the requisite spinal cord and so can be conditioned to deposit urine only in desired locations-outside.
For two or three weeks, treat him as you would an untrained puppy. In fact, you must put him in a safety zone area when you aren’t spending time with him. Many puppies, once they have performed both functions outside, can be trusted for a certain amount of time inside, say half and hour. In Perdie’s case there is no safe zone. This is the one deviation from a standard house-training procedure. Also, clean all the places where he has urinated with an enzymatic, urine-neutralizing cleaner. Or if you can do so safely, use some bleach with soap and water to clean the area.
He should be supervised in the home just like he was when he was a pup. This is not the “I’m watching TV or on the Computer Supervising the dog” kind, but the “eyes on dog all the time” kind. It really helps the house-training to have a two or three week period where the dog is prevented, through diligent management and frequent enough outings, from making even one mistake. When he urinates outside where you want him to, reinforce him with praise and preferably a small food treat. It must be completely unambiguous that he has done a glorious thing. In order to do this in a timely manner, you have to accompany him outside for a while. If he pees, then comes in and then is rewarded, it is too late. The food must hit his mouth within a second or two of his completing his pee.
When this regime has been in place for a few weeks, start loosening up the management when indoors. Stretch him for longer periods with eyes on him. If you see him wind up to mark, interrupt him quickly and hustle him outside. Praise as usual. Sometimes the first two parts of the regime-the management and habit forming work like a charm and so no interrupts are necessary. But often well timed interruptions are vital, so it’s really important to be vigilant in this phase. If he succeeds in sneaking one or more in, it is a sign you need to be more vigilant.
Most dogs, after a few interruptions, stop trying. Once you’ve had some weeks of vigilance but no attempts, you can start to slack off.
This procedure can drag on if there are compliance holes. If you kinda sorta do it, it often won’t work at all. Sloppy confinement, no reinforcement for correct behaviour(the old “he knows, he doesn’t need to be rewarded blah blah ” trap) or missing the first attempts in the interrupt phase can each derail the outcome. All bad habits can be broken but you must be firm and consistent.
Dogs & Biting
It can be a young puppy on his or her first trip to the vet lashing out as they are lifted onto the table; the family pet that has decided that the living room carpet is his toilet; the retriever that has grown up with a gaggle of kids and suddenly snaps at a neighbourhood child; even the elderly spaniel that has always tolerated everyone but is suddenly grumpy when awakened. These situations are not uncommon to many dog owners, but their impact on the families they affect can be devastating.
Dog people see their dogs as companions, confidantes and friends. When shown a different side, they feel betrayed and that can undermine the once-perfect relationship. But, while the behaviour seems to arrive out of the blue, that is rarely how it happens. Some of the problems might be avoidable if you have taught your dog the rules and boundaries. It is not only what your dog does, it’s what you do as a reaction to his or her actions.
Every so often, our dogs show a side of themselves that can either be taken into account or ignored. For instance, a few years ago, a vet acquaintance called a friend to tell them that their dogs had bitten her family member on the cheek. The bite had come out of the blue. She had seen her dog stiffen when children were around, but had thought nothing of it. The dog had growled, and they had the children stroke him anyway so the dog would get used to them. Though the dog continued to look uncomfortable around children, they thought they knew their dog, that although he was uncomfortable he would never bite anyone.
Nothing happens until it happens. Some problems surface years into living with your dog. My dogs were playing with a sheepdog one day at our local park. A young beagle arrived and seemed to be playing nicely. Suddenly the beagle started to chase the sheepdog in a different manner. He began to nip at the heels of his playmate, and she clearly didn’t like it. The beagle’s owner called him over, but was ignored. The sheepdog was called by their owner and as she started on her way, the beagle chased her down and bit hard enough to break the skin on her leg. Poor dog!
Past behaviour will predict future behaviour unless it is dealt with. If you see that your dog is acting in a way you don’t like, seek out some help and address the issue immediately. By letting his dog continue to play with the others in the park in the following weeks, the beagle has a higher chance of repeating the outburst. In fact, if left unattended, this dog will continue to practise his bad behaviour.
If you feel your dog’s behaviour is out of the blue, think again. The housetrained dog that starts urinating in the house needs attending to. First, seek out the advice of your vet – perhaps your dog has a bladder infection. If all is clean, it’s time for you to do some supervising to get your dog back on track.
Dogs that start growling or showing signs of aggression should also be checked by the vet for any underlying pain, especially if they are approaching their senior years. Unexpected behaviour could be a sign of aging or illnesses. If your dog is still showing signs of aggression look into obedience classes to help your dog learn the do’s and don’ts of their behaviour. Whatever the underlying cause for the aggression, care must be taken to protect both the victim pet and the perpetrator from engaging in dangerous behaviour.
Spoiling Your Dog Rotten
Does the word “spoiled” make you think about spoiled food or spoiled children? ”Spoiled” has negative connotations, yet dog owners seem to say the word with pride. To them, it’s a term of endearment said with a shrug and a smile. It’s a interesting phenomenon when dog owners start thinking that spoiling their dog is the same as loving their dog.
Across the street, a different scene is playing out. This dog grabs the toast from a family member and devours it quickly while jumping up on the children. This escalates until the dog is grabbing at pant legs, pulling pajamas and mouthing at arms. As the family gets ready to go out, they put “Spot” into a dog stroller, then merrily go on their way to the children’s school. When asked by passerby about the stroller, they shrug and smile and say their dog is spoiled.
It’s not the stroller that spoils the dog, just as it’s not the Gucci dog coat or fancy toys. It’s our attitude that dogs need to do nothing more then look cute or shower us with affection that spoils them.
Having worked with dogs for as many years as I have, it’s clear to me that the shift toward spoiling dog has increased dramatically over the past several years. There could be many reasons for this, we seem to be leading more stressful lives, with more technology and more to over stimulate us. Many people feel their dogs are their children and many people aren’t having children or even getting married.
Along comes the family dog to save the day. We want to love him and we want him to love us back. All dogs want to be loved and to please their owner. The dame feeling is sometimes experienced by parents sharing custody of their children. Many parents will admit to overindulging their children to make up for lost time. Are we doing that with our dogs we could ask ourselves. It’s an interesting question that has to be answered by each individual.
Dogs can become overindulged. The line should be drawn if spoiling your dog is affecting the quality of your own life or your dog’s. While it’s easy to think that spoiling our dog will make life better, look into the future. Many behavioural issues that end in loss of the dog’s life could have been avoided by doing what was right for your dog, not what felt good at the time.
Dogs that are not disciplined (shown what to do and not to do) when undesirable behaviour shows up in the dogs day to day behaviour. The behaviour will get not better but worse. Just like with children, a dog will do what it wants until you say NO. You must reward the good behaviour with attention and love.
Putting dogs in time out works great and should be used when undesirable behaviour shows up. Time out in a kennel or safety zone area away from everyone works great. For example a dog that barks and shows aggression towards company coming into the home. The dog should be put in a kennel until it stops barking and when it stops for more then fifteen minutes let him out. If he should start his barking or snapping, put him back. Or if a dog starts to pee or poo where they know they shouldn’t, they should be treated like a pup again and put in their safety zone area when your aren’t spending time with them.
If your dog growls at you from the couch, make sure he doesn’t again access to it. Rather than letting him sit on the couch, wouldn’t it be better to show your dog appropriate behaviour? Most dogs that show aggression ti their owners or to any one person, must be put in their place and told”NO”. If you let your dog get away with this bad behaviour you will have not company coming to visit you. Obedience classes is a must for you and your dog at this point.
How do we give a dog the love he needs? We want t show without overindulging him. If we’re treating dogs like children, let’s look at the bigger picture.
The first step to understanding in education, for both you and your dog. In the form of training classes to learn how to communicate with each other. This is a basic need and all dogs should attend a least a beginner’s class. If you want to treat your dogs like children and transport them around in strollers and backpacks, then you must consider the children going to school.
It’s important to learn and understand your dog’s inherent skills. What is his breed meant to do? Dogs like to work; children love to work. For either, work can come in the form of play, but the bottom line is that a job will make a child or dog feel more fulfilled. Not showing your dog how to use his brain and simply letting him exist because he’s cute, is doing him a grave injustice.
The third step in education is to have an understanding of how dogs think. Read books, watch videos and speak to your trainer about upcoming seminars on the subject. Talk t your breeder and they should also be able to help you. While dogs and children have similarities, they are not the same. Dogs need to be understood and appreciated for being dogs.
With education, you’ll see that some overindulgence is possible and can be fun. Spoiling your dog won’t be at the expense of your dog. A fabulous coat or matching leach and collar, will not spoil our dog. He can be the best dressed dog in town as long as he’s polite to those around him.
Give him special dog bagel, have a birthday party for him and revel in the happiness you both feel. The next time someone comments that your dog is spoiled, shrug our acknowledgement but understand that with education, you’ve raised a good canine companion and your relationship will remain intact.
It is very annoying when you go to someones home and their dog (large or small) jumps up on to you. We know they are happy to see you, but you don’t need to be pawed. Let’s look at this from a dog’s point of view. They wait by the door for it to open and when it does, all heck breaks loose. They jump up , we push them down, they jump again, our annoyance increases and we push them down with more force, all the time repeating “Off, Down, Stop.” For most dogs, hands pushing them off is a playful action and they want to play with you. Even when we use our most annoyed tone, it’s still fun for them. Instead of telling our dogs what not to do, why not tell them what we prefer, then reward them for it?
When you come through the door, ignore your dog if he’s jumping up. I know this is a hard thing to do, but keep in mind that having a dog with good manners will be worth the effort. In stead of calling our “Off”, tell your dog to sit. If he does, reward him with a tiny tasty treat, pat on the head, his favourite toy, it will increase the good behaviour and you’ll soon notice that they regularly offering a sit to you for more praise and not be jumping up on to you. Always acknowledge their efforts, don’t take them for granted. Of course, it’s not hard to do this when you look into their eyes and melt.
When company arrives have your dog on a house leash before they come into the home. If you have unexpected guests, ask them to wait for a moment while you put the leash on the dog. This will enable you to assist your dog with his lessons and your dog to gain a reward when he behaves correctly.
When your company enters, ask them to bear with you while you get your dog organized. The criterion for your dog to get a reward is four feet on the floor. Have some treats handy (just a taste is all they need, not a meal). If using food elicits too much excitement, choose a reward that he likes but that doesn’t send them over the top with excitement. Their favour toy might do the trick or kibble rather than a piece of steak.
Your dog must also behave during the course of the visit. You can tether him to the area if necessary during training (always tether to his collar, never to the head halter). Over time you can teach him that “place” means they go to his mat while you have guests.
Now it is time to test your training out on street and in the park. Again, this takes a game plan. The game plan is to teach a fabulous recall.
Just think “In most cases, dogs jumping up on people are running loose. Even if you are at a dog park, surrounded by dog lovers, your dog should be respectful to other. Keep your dog on a long line and every time he bolts toward someone, call him to ”Come” and reward him for doing so. The long line will help if your dog continues running forward. By stepping on the line, you can redirect him toward you. You should practise this over and over again.
The last area of concern is your dog jumping and lunging a people when you are out for a walk on lead. Work on your Sit- Stay command to help your dog understand that lunging is not acceptable. If he/she lunges, stop walking and redirect him in to a Sit command. You can reward for this, even though he needed assistance from you, to increase the likelihood of a Sit the next time.
Once they are able to sit and stay with people passing by start the “meet and greet” work with friends and family. Ask them to walk past him and when here’s no lunging or jumping, offer your reward. Slowly increase the difficulty of the exercise by asking your helper to come closer, then over time to come and pat our dog. As always, he must remain seated to get a reward. Remember, the more he gets a reward, the more likely he is to repeat his “Sit and Stay”.
Until your dog is able to handle people passing by and friends patting him while he’s on a Sit- Stay, I suggest you help your dog be successful by not allowing strangers to pat him when he’s out for walks. Keep in mind that you’re aiming for your dog to be the best dog they can be, so putting him in a situation that’s difficult for them is not in their best interest. Raising a dog with manners is always worth the work.
My dogs are very quiet! Some of my dogs dont even know how to bark!(Brandy,Elsie,Panda and Lulu)
Barking.Why do dogs bark?
Barking dogs can get on a person’s nerves, but we must remember that they do it for a reason. In fact their voices have distinctive sounds, which can be a way of communicating their likes and needs. To find out why they are barking we must observe when and how they are barking.
One reason dogs bark is to express fear or to demand attention. In most cases, the more they bark the more attention we give them. However, some dogs suffering from anxiety-related disorders often bark because they are lonely and nervous and will continue to bark while their owners are not home. This barking problem is not easily corrected and may get worse if the dog is treated in a negative fashion. Severe separation anxiety in dogs can be remedied by working with a professional trainer.
Dogs also alarm-bark to draw attention to something they feel warrants our attention. This can be something as simple as the neighbour’s cat sitting in the window to an intruder rummaging around in the backyard. Many dog owners feel that alarm-barking is acceptable. It makes the family feel protected in their home.
It is important to teach your dog to distinguish regular guests from things that are out of the ordinary. It is in everyone’s best interest to train your dog not to bark at the plumber or the Avon Lady. By indicating who is okay with praise and treats, you will help your dog recognize when something out of the ordinary occurs. Rest assured your dog will alert you if someone tries to climb through your window at night.
Another reason a dog barks is out of sheer boredom if for instance it is left unattended in the backyard for hours on end. While the owner’s intention may have been to treat the dog with some sunshine and fresh air, the dog might feel ignored. Even your dog-loving neighbour’s patience will wear thin by a dog barking incessantly. To avoid boredom, your dog must have daily physical and mental stimulation. A happy dog is much more relaxed and able to soak up a few rays on the occasions he is put outside.
If boredom barking is a problem for your dog, then increase its exercise. Take him on a least one different outing per week to the park or a friend’s home. Make sure you keep his brain active by teaching him something new once in a while. Obedience classes are important for all dogs and can make your dog a better pet and family member. And don’t forget to let him visit with a neighbour’s dog now and then as socialization is important.
To discover what your dog’s bark means, pay close attention to his behaviour. A dog’s body language is an important clue to what he is dealing with. A dog that barks because he is nervous or overwhelmed may tremble or cower and have his ears back. This type of dog deserves a bit of time and patience to overcome the problem. Slowly show the dog that unusual circumstances don’t have to be frightening. Comfort the dog with a calm voice and perhaps hold or pet them or even give them a food treat. Create a bit of distance between your dog and what he’s nervous about. But be cautious if the dog is too nervous even for you. Keep your distance and wait for the dog to calm on their own if they growl at you when you get close.
Once you feel you know why your dog barks, you may need to curb the unwanted barking. One way to do so is to ignore the barking (disengage). Another way is to direct their attention elsewhere (distract). Sometimes simply turning your back to a barking dog will stop the barking.
If you are looking for a gadget to help you, there are a few on the market. The citronella spray collar is a great choice. These collars act as a barking interrupter by spraying a light lemony (or scentless) spray up from the collar each time the dog barks. The timing is fabulous and this stops most dogs in their tracks.
Shock collars are not recommended, because they may cause more harm to your dog, especially if used on a sensitive dog. Most dogs will stop barking if told to stop on consistent basis. To teach your dog to control his barking, call the dog by name and then say “no, quiet”. If your dog continues to bark, go to him and hold him, holding his muzzle shut. Repeat his name and say firmly “no, quiet”. When he has stopped barking praise him and tell him “good boy”.
If you’re still having difficulty, you can teach your dog an alternate behaviour during times he is tempted to bark. For instance, instruct your dog to go and lie down on his bed whenever he hears the doorbell. Ring the bell and guide your dog to his bed or mat close by. Reward your dog each and every time with food and praise. Eventually, you will have a dog that runs quickly to his bed in anticipation of a biscuit or praise when the doorbell rings
All dogs benefit from socialization and training at a young age but an older dog can learn new tricks if you have the patience to teach them right from wrong. Remember to treat your dog as you would treat a three to five year old child, with consequences suitable for each action. Your dog will soon realize he is barking up the wrong tree.
What Every Vet (And Pet Owner) Should Know About Vaccines
by Dogs Naturally Magazine in Vaccine Articles and News
vet vaccines dangers Are you and your vet at odds about how often your dog should be vaccinated for the core vaccines? We’re here to help. First, it is important to understand that the core vaccines are not required by law – only rabies can be. Nobody can force you to vaccinate your dog with any other vaccine. This is a decision best left up to you and your vet. Before that decision is made however, make certain that you are both aware of the duration of immunity of those vaccines and the potentially lethal consequences of giving just one vaccine too many.
More is not better!When it comes to immunity and duration of immunity for vaccines, there is one clear expert. Dr Ronald D Schultz is one of perhaps three or four researchers doing challenge studies on veterinary vaccines – and he has been doing these studies for 40 years. It is Dr Schultz’s work that prompted the AAHA and AVMA to re-evaluate vaccine schedules. In 2003, The American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Taskforce warned vets in JAAHA (39 March/April 2003) that ‘Misunderstanding, misinformation and the conservative nature of our profession have largely slowed adoption of protocols advocating decreased frequency of vaccination’; ‘Immunological memory provides durations of immunity for core infectious diseases that far exceed the traditional recommendations for annual vaccination.’
‘This is supported by a growing body of veterinary information as well-developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long lasting and, in most cases, lifelong.’
“The recommendation for annual re-vaccination is a practice that was officially started in 1978.” says Dr Schultz. “This recommendation was made without any scientific validation of the need to booster immunity so frequently. In fact the presence of good humoral antibody levels blocks the anamnestic response to vaccine boosters just as maternal antibody blocks the response in some young animals.”
He adds: “The patient receives no benefit and may be placed at serious risk when an unnecessary vaccine is given. Few or no scientific studies have demonstrated a need for cats or dogs to be revaccinated. Annual vaccination for diseases caused by CDV, CPV2, FPLP and FeLV has not been shown to provide a level of immunity any different from the immunity in an animal vaccinated and immunized at an early age and challenged years later. We have found that annual revaccination with the vaccines that provide long-term immunity provides no demonstrable benefit.”
Below is the result of duration of immunity testing on over 1,000 dogs. Both challenge (exposure to the real virus) and serology (antibody titer results) are shown below:
Table 1: Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines
Vaccine.Minimum Duration of Immunity
Methods Used to Determine Immunity
Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)
Rockbom Strain 7 yrs / 15 yrs challenge / serology
Onderstepoort Strain 5 yrs / 9 yrs challenge / serology
Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV-2) 7 yrs / 9 yrs challenge-CAV-1 / serology
Canine Parvovirus-2 (CAV-2) 7 yrs challenge / serology
It is important to note that this is the MINIMUM duration of immunity. These ceilings reflect not the duration of immunity, rather the duration of the studies.
Dr Schultz explains “It is important to understand that these are minimum DOI’s and longer studies have not been done with certain of the above products. It is possible that some or all of these products will provide lifelong immunity.”
Dr Schultz has seen these results repeated over the years. In 2010, he published the following with newer generation, recombinant vaccines. It is important to note that not only did the vaccines provide protection for a minimum of 4 to 5 years, it did so in 100% of the dogs tested.
Vaccine Dangers Why is it important to understand Dr Schultz’s work? Because vaccines can create very real health problems in dogs. It is important that vaccines are only given when necessary because every vaccine has the potential to kill the patient or create debilitating chronic diseases including cancer and allergies.
Below is a list of potential adverse vaccine reactions, according to Dr Schultz:
Hair loss, hair color change at injection site
Refusal to eat
Weight loss (Cachexia)
Reduced milk production
Allergic uveitis (Blue Eye)
Severe Reactions triggered by Vaccines:
Vaccine injection site sarcomas
HOD hypertrophy osteodystrophy
Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia (IMTP)
Hemolytic disease of the newborn (Neonatal Isoerythrolysis)
Disease or enhanced disease which with the vaccine was designed to prevent
Post vaccinal encephalitis or polyneuritis
Abortion, congenital anomalies, embryonic/fetal death, failure to conceive
Dr Schultz summarizes his 40 years of research with the following:
“Only one dose of the modified-live canine ‘core’ vaccine (against CDV, CAV-2 and CPV-2) or modified-live feline ‘core’ vaccine (against FPV, FCV and FHV), when administered at 16 weeks or older, will provide long lasting (many years to a lifetime) immunity in a very high percentage of animals.”
We understand vets are frightened because they have seen animals die and suffer from preventable disease. Vaccine-induced diseases are also deadly and they are also preventable. Our companion animals rely on vets to make the right decisions when it comes to vaccines. We are begging vets to stand up and take notice – our pets’ lives depend on it.
Here is a printable download of this article you can share: More is not better
Vaccine damaged dogs--> PIXS you cabn see on website link:
many thanks to Patricia Jordan DVM
Puppy"$1000.00 - Both the sire and dam of this puppy came from top quality breeding stock which was developed over years and years of selective and knowledgeable breeding. Both meet the requirement of the written AKC and ACA standard for the breed in conformation as well as temperament. Each has a pedigree, which has been studied and thoroughly researched. These dogs have been selected to breed to each other because they can both contribute to the excellence of the breed as well as complement on another.
$200.00 - The dam of this litter was purchased from a local pet store and originally came from a puppy mill. She was sick off and on the first year of her life due to too many different types of intestinal parasites and malnutrition. The sire, an over-sized male, lives down the street and was purchased from an ad in the newspaper. Neither owner has ever heard of the AKC or ACA written standard. Neither owner has seen a written pedigree. The female is skittish and snappy. Her owners hope that having a litter will calm her down.
$800.00 - Before this breeding ever took place, both male and female had test including hip X-Rays, eye tests and heart tests to determine that there were no physical or genetic problems that might be passed on to offspring. The breeder is well aware of the genetic problems to which the breed is predisposed and uses no animal for breeding unless it is certified clear of defects by a qualified Veterinarian. The health of her pups is guaranteed.
$200.00 - The breeder is totally unaware of the genetic problems within the breed. Trips to the Veterinarian, except for dire emergencies or yearly shots, are considered too expensive. The breeders' hope is to make money off the sale of the puppies. If he keeps expenses down, he can by that new couch he's been wanting. Puppies are sold with no guarantee.
$800.00 - The breeder is a professional and he has a good reputation to maintain. His goal is to produce beautiful and sound specimens, which anyone would be proud to own. Profit, if any is made, goes toward future breedings, always aimed toward the betterment of the breed, or for show entries, handler's fees, new equipment and important veterinary tests. Both the mother and pups are fed the highest quality diet. Many trips to the vet assure him that mother and pups are thriving under the very best care. The pups are raised in a busy part of the house where they are socialized, groomed and exposed to different kinds of stimuli. They are touched and talked to, cuddled and even sung to. They are never sold before they are seven weeks old. Every buyer is interviewed at length and pups are placed only in homes where they will receive the finest treatment. The breeder spends time with each new owner, educating and answering questions. Follow-up calls are made to make sure the pups are adjusting well. Each new owner receives a bill of sale and health guarantees, vaccination record, minimum 3 generation pedigree, guarantee of registration with the AKC or ACA and thorough puppy care and nutrition information. If the puppy is not considered to be of such quality as it will better the breed the puppy is sold with a limited registration or non-breeding agreements. The new owners are encouraged to continue a relationship with the breeder, and to call and ask questions at any time during the dog's life.
$200.00 - These puppies are born in the garage and receive little care other than what the mother gives. To cut costs they are weaned on generic dog food and allowed to nurse on the mother as long as possible to keep food bills down. The bitch's health declines rapidly due to poor health and some pups are weak and runty. They are sold as quickly as possible because advertising and vaccines are expensive. They are sold without having had their dewclaws removed, without shots, parasite checks, vet examinations, guarantees or information of any kind. They are sold to anyone who has the cash. Although the puppy is of very poor quality. The new owner usually disappears with the pup, never to be seen again. If the market is not good, the breeder takes the leftover pups to the local pet shop.
The comparison you have just read is hypothetical, but very typical of what we see all too often. Although not every breeder who charges higher prices is reputable and ethical, pet buyers should keep looking until they find one that is. When I am asked why my prices are so much higher than those in some newspaper ads, I mail a copy of this article. Those buyers who respect the quality and excellence are wonderful customers and become "partners" in this hobby that I love so much. Those that are seeking pets deserve nothing less than a nice quality, healthy and trusting animal. As well as a breeder they can count on."
That is the Question!Trying to decide on a boy or girl puppy? Male or female puppy?Here are a few of the reasons why boys are my favorite.
* If fixed by 6mo old, they will not learn to lift their leg & mark. Males do not mark in the house and are very easily housetrained!!I know quite a few UNFIXED males that never lift their leg to mark (my friend’s dog is 7 and he’s never had an issue):P but, alpha females can and do mark in the house. One gender is not better than the other when it comes to cleanliness or ease of housetraining.
*When you ask a male puppy to do something, they do it, because they love you. Females are more likely to look at you and roll their eyes, she will do it because you told her to.
* Bitches are called that for a reason!
*Two girls tend to get “catty” with each other.
* Females also commonly lift their leg to mark.:o
*A neuter surgery costs much less than a spay surgery and is much less complicated.
*Boys tend to be sweeter and easier to train than the girls who can be very bossy and independent. Our boys even tend to bark less than our girls (probably due to them being less "alpha" than the girls).
Both male and female Chihuahuas can make great pets, but we strongly disagree that females make better pets than the boys. Multiple long time breeders I have spoken to (breeders who have been specializing in Chihuahuas from 40-60 years) are actually convinced that the boys make better pets.
Instead of choosing a Chihuahua based on gender (or coat length or color, etc) we strongly suggest choosing a Chihuahua based on his/her individual qualities and compatibility with you and your family!
If I were only to have pet puppies, they’d all be boys!
I hope this helps you make the choice on boy vs girl puppy!:)
This is a problem commonly known in small breeds, but seen more often in Chihuahuas. It basically means that your puppy has low blood sugar and can happen easily if they do not eat. This can be brought on by stress or even after a hard play time. Being weaned, going to a new owner, changing food, being scared or lonely in their new surroundings can trigger this condition.
Prevention is best, but if caught early enough, it can be reversed.
If this condition is left untreated, it becomes life threatening.
All new owners need to be aware of the sign and take immediate action. Early signs are pale gums, listlessness, lethargy, refusal to eat, and staggering.
If not treated immediately, it can progress to a more critical stage that includes the following, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, unresponsiveness and even death.
For smaller pups, I will always have hard food and fresh water readily available at all times. Only during crate training do I start to schedule feed.
Usually a puppy will show signs of this condition soon after weaning and should have outgrown it prior to leaving the breeder.
I recommend that anyone obtaining a chihuahua puppy from me or anyone else, continue to feed the puppy the same food that it has been accustomed to eating. Changing the food can cause stress, which can lead to refusal to eat, that can lead to hypo-glycemia.
I also recommend that you also buy a tube of Nutri-cal and always have this handy, especially if you are a owner of Chihuahuas.
At the first sign that your puppy is not acting normal or hasn't eaten much, squeeze a bead, the size of a marble onto your finger and let the puppy lick it off or gently rub it off inside the roof of the puppy's mouth or inner cheek. Continue this ritual every 2 hours until your puppy starts to act normal again. Having Nutri-cal readily available should snap your puppy right out of it in minutes
I will also administer Nutri-cal to your puppy 24 hours before going to their new home. This is to prevent hypo-glycemia occurring on route to you.
This is also known as "carb loading". If you have Nutri-cal on hand when puppy arrives, please give the puppy a dose and then every 2 hours until you see them eating normally. You will need to keep a close eye on your new puppy for at least a couple of weeks until they are settled in and comfortable with their new surroundings.
Give them a small dose of Nutri-cal if you must leave them alone for a long time during the first few days before you leave and when you return. Remember that even tough you want to play with your new baby, they are just that- a baby!They need plenty of rest and eat very often. Playing too hard for too long can also bring on this condition.
Again, in most cases, hypo-glycemia doesn't occur, but you need to be prepared to recognize the symptoms and know what to do when you see them. Prevention is key and having Nutri-cal on hand to give any time you think your little baby isn't getting enough to eat can prevent the condition from happening. Those who want to travel with their chihuahua will find this very handy to take along with them until the puppy becomes used to going to new places with you. It doesn't need to be refrigerated and has a long shelf-life.
IF AT ANY TIME YOU NEED MORE INFO. ON THIS CONDITION, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK. YOU CAN CALL ME AT ANY TIME.I am here 24/7 for you- text, photos, videos, addons, whatever you want!
We also get many requests for one coat variety over the other. Sometimes this is simply a matter of aesthetics and that is fine if you just like the look of a long coat over a smooth coat or vice versa. But we do not suggest choosing a smooth coat over a long coat based on ease of care!
*The long coat Chihuahuas do not shed more than the smooth coat variety and actually, many Chihuahua owners claim they shed less than smooth coats.
*Those prickly little smooth coat hairs get embedded into fabric and can be difficult to remove with a lint roller.
*Long coat Chihuahuas do not matt and only need to be brushed once a week or so.
*Long coat Chihuahuas do not need trips to the groomers as their hair does not continue to grow as with a maltese, poodle, yorkie, bichon or other high maintenence long coat breed. A long coat Chihuahua's coat requires about the same maintenance as a Golden Retriever- but scaled down many times!
Again, instead of choosing a Chihuahua based on coat length (or gender or color, etc) we strongly suggest choosing a Chihuahua based on his/her individual qualities and compatibility with you and your family!
The AKC standard specifies that Chihuahuas should weigh no more than 6 lbs. We breed to the AKC standard. There is technically no such thing as a teacup- this is a marketing term made up by customers. AKC and the Chihuahua Club of America do NOT support the use of this terminology so if you see it, it should raise a big red flag about the breeder using it. The term is nevertheless popular in use with the general public and taken to mean a Chihuahua that will be very small at adult size. ALL Chihuahuas bred to the AKC standard are very small at adult size- a dog that weighs under 6 lbs is tiny!
Why ALL my puppies small?!! All my adults from small lines,my biggest female Casha is only 5 lbs( pre prego with first litter) Dexter down size my line! he is 3.5 lbs. THE GENETICS OF CANINE SIZE
I'm sure at least some of you have wondered at the amazing variation in size when looking at Chihuahuas. How is it that two normal sized or even quite large parents produce a tiny offspring?It's pure genetics.
The gene that controls chihuahua size has six parts, or alleles, and each parent passes on three of theirs to the offspring. Size alleles can be best described as having a value of either + (positive) or - (negative). The six "values" of the alleles are combined for a total, which determines size.
For example: +,+,+,-,-,-, = 6 alleles, or 3 positive and 3 negative. Think of + as "up 1", and - as "down 1." The first three positives cancel out the next three negatives (+1+1+1-1-1-1 = 0), so we end up with 0, or your proverbial "average".
Another example: +,-,+,-,-,-. Added together, we get 2 up and 4 down, with an end result of -2, "2 down", or below average size. (+1+1-1-1-1-1 = -2)
One more. +,+,+,+,-,-. 4 up and 2 down = +2, or "2 up".
(+1+1+1+1-1-1 = 2) In other words, a bigger than average pup.
Are you starting to get the idea? Ok, let's start passing things on to the kids.
Take two, average sized parents: Dad = +,+,+,-,-,- and Mom = +,+,+,-,-,-. Let's give them a litter of 3.
Pup #1: Take (at random) 2 minuses and 1 plus from Dad and 1 minus and 2 pluses from Mom. So, Pup #1 is -1,-1,+1,-1,+1,+1. The total is 0, or average size... an average size pup from 2 average sized parents. Not surprising.
Pup #2: Take (again, at random) 3 minuses from Dad and three minuses from Mom. What size pup do we get? Pup #2 is -1,-1,-1,-1,-1,-1. The total is -6, or one very tiny puppy.
Pup #3: Let's have all the pluses that both Mom and Dad can give (this combination can also happen randomly). That's +1,+1,+1,+1,+1,+1 = 6, and results in a chihuahua much larger than either parent.
When you see how size is inherited, it all starts to make sense doesn't it? But genetics is only part of the story with regard to size.
It has been well documented that the human race is getting bigger and taller with each generation. When you look through museum reproductions of early settler's cottages, the height of doorways and the length of beds stand out as being quite small by today's standards.
This gradual, but steady increase in the size of humans has been attributed by scientists to improvements in diet and health care over the years. Diet is just one factor in what is generally referred to as "environment", and environment plays a major role in the size of chihuahuas as well. Proper nutrition, maternal care, warmth and exercise all contribute to growth in a puppy.
The last variable in determining size is a congenital factor affecting growth. New research from the Canine Genome Project has shown a link between size and thyroid development. What is not clear yet is whether size is effecting the development of the thyroid or the development of the thyroid is effecting size. It is well documented, however, that the very tiny examples of our breed have more frequent and serious health problems than normal sized chihuahuas.
The AKC standard calls for "a well rounded apple dome skull". There is technically no such thing as a deer type Chihuahua, it is simply another marketing term made up by unethical breeders and basically means an untypical head with flat skull and long muzzle, usually found on a dog with extra long legs and a roached topline- basically the opposite of everything the standard calls for. We only breed for well rounded "apple" type heads and sound, compact bodies because we breed to the AKC standard for the purpose of creating future champions.
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any seperation from you is likely to be painful for me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me. Stoke me gently and several times a day.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could also hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me, please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face my last breath alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so, ALWAYS.
Please, take a moment to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without His critters. We do not have to wait for Heaven to be surrounded by hope, love, and joyfulness. It is here on earth and has four legs!