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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why does my dog go crazy when he see's other dogs on a walk?

What you are experiencing is territorial aggression, dog aggression or leash aggression. Not every dog displays this behavior. This can be caused by many circumstances to include, but not limited to fear, frustration, dominance and protectiveness. Many dogs have had negative experience in early stages of devolopment or lack of socialization that can bring this problem on. It can range from mild to severe, and in some cases can be owner induced. Whichever the cause, the dog in question needs to be evaluated by a professional to diagnose the problem and deal with it accordingly. Aggression should not be excused, it needs to be addressed.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Too much time in the crate.

Crate training your puppy is a wondeful thing when you are raising a pup into a dog. Many pups accept a crate right off the bat, and others have a little bit of a hard time in the beginning. Most pups and dogs will learn to love a crate and view it as their "Den". As with all dog training equipment, the crate is a tool in the overall training process and as with all equipment you do not want to abuse it. I am seeing an increase in dogs who are being over crated and owners who don't understand why their behavior is less than desirable.

If you work, and your puppy is crated all day, you are going to have to make up for the confinement with exercise and mental enrichment when you get home. Puppies have boundless energy and NEED to be drained when they go to their crates. The typical puppy sleeps 6-8 hours overnight in a crate, then gets an hour out in the morning followed by another 8 hours in the crate while you are at work. If you have someone who drops in on the dog ( dog walker, family member...) they typically stay for 30-60min, and back to the crate they go. If you look at the math, it is roughly 14-16 hours in the crate with an hour or two for running around. That is not enough for a puppy. Puppies need walks,playtime, training time and good old fashioned "just hanging out with you" time. You must not leave a puppy in a crate for longer than 3- 4 hours at a time with out proper elimination, nutrition, and stimulation.

If you leave the house at 8 am, do not come home until 6-7 pm and retire at 9 pm your puppy will suffer from over confinement. You need to find a way to create a little more time for your friend. He or she waits all day for your attention, you owe it to him or her for their patience.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I was told if I neuter my 6 month old puppy it will "Calm and Change" him and stop his humping?

Neutering a dog has effects on his behavior to an extent. Unfortunately, you wont see it, because he is coming into a boost of hormones here in the near future. If he is humping it can be two things, one being he is trying to figure out his pack status and two he is getting his hormones coming into his adolescence. Either way you need to correct the mounting and humping behavior so that he doesn't think it is okay.

You will not get back a calm puppy after the neuter. Meaning he wont loose his puppy-ness. He will be the same dog you dropped off. Neutering only takes away the testosterone drive that will fuel him as an adult. Contrary to popular belief, his personality wont "Change". He may be less apt to lift his leg, although lots of neutered male do. He will be less apt to mount unless you have a dominate dog that is allowed to dominate the family in other areas, he may fight less with others if he is aggressive, his need to find females in heat will decrease, and the need to roam.... just to name a few...

Regardless of the neuter, train him, be consistent, and you will have the same pup you see now. Any dog has the ability( neutered or not) to become a pushy,bossy, marking, territorial, hyper, unbalanced, aggressive,shy, or submissive dog if given the right environment to do so in.

The humping wont just stop out thin air, you need to correct him for it. His tendency to do it will decrease with your assistance, unless he is a social climbing puppy with a strong will personality.

Don't confuse personality with behavior. They are two different things. Behavior is how he acts, Personality is who he is.

You can have a dog with a shy personality who has dominate behaviors
or you can have an aggressive dog with dominate behavior.
You can always change the behavior, or modify it, or shape it. But the personality is another ball of wax. Meaning if he is aloof he will more than likely always be aloof to a certain degree, if he is shy and sensitive he will always be shy and sensitive to a degree, that's his personality. So if he needs to be corrected for the mounting BEHAVIOR, look at his PERSONALITY and tailor a correction that is appropriate. Hope that helps. And as always, that's just my 2 cents.


Rough Play.

Did you know?

If you rough house or slap box, play tug of war or keep away, you are teaching your puppy/dog that using his mouth, his strength/stamina, body and his teeth is how games are played.

Although he is small in size and a little clumsy now, in no time he will grow into a fully mature animal. A dog at full maturity is faster, stronger and more cunning than you may think. It does not matter if he is a Monster Mastiff or a tiny Chihuahua. Not only may you get hurt (accidentally) but a small child in your family, your wife or a stranger can as well. This type of play is fun for humans, but to the dog, it is a game of competition and battle of the wills. You are activating his prey drive, possessiveness, excited dominance and aggression. If someone gets bit, in most cases you will blame him. Remember, in most dogs, there has to be a winner and a loser.

Dogs who engage in this type of play tend to be more demanding, use their mouth to get your attention, jump up and grab you, are more nippy, more mouthy and more dominate in social initiation and interaction