Whistle Training For Your Dog

There are many different kinds of training methods you can use to teach your dog the basic commands such as sit, stay and come.  Most dog training commands use either voice commands or hand signal commands to communicate to your dog what it is you want them to do.  But what do your do if you loose sight of them or they of you?  Whistle training is a important skill every dog owner should learn and use.

If you take your dog on a hike in a field or wooded area off leash there often moments when they will run off out of sight.  It may be just to explore the surroundings but it may also be because they found something to chase.  In these cases you can use whistle training that has the main advantage of being able to give the come command to your dog over long distances.

The best way to teach you dog whistle training is by using food or treats.  Over time your dog will learn that they get their favorite snack every time you blow the whistle.  It should be a fun game for them that is positive and end in lots of praise and food.

Start by blowing the whistle and then treat right away.  Do this a number of times.  You can then walk a few steps away from your dog and blow the whistle again.  If they do not come encourage them and treat them as soon as they come to you.  Again do this several times.  Take your time and don’t rush things.  It may take a couple of days for your dog to understand what is expected of them.

Once they get the basic idea the next step is to play hide and seek.  Put your dog in a sit or down stay and hide somewhere in the back yard or house.  Call your dog’s name and blow the the whistle.  Keep blowing until your dog finds you.  Once they do give them a treat.  Again do this a few times.

Now the next time you or on a hike and your dog runs into the bushes you can blow your whistle and they should be able to return to you.  Just remember to bring their favorite treat and a little snack for yourself.


Dog Aggression

Types Of Dog Aggression

Aggression is the main reason dogs get euthanized. Go to any rescue centre, and at least a third of the dogs there are there because they exhibited some type of aggression. A dog’s aggression may have a medical cause so you should visit your vet to rule it out. There are actually about 50 possible medical reasons why your dog is showing aggressive tendencies. Here are the different types of non-medical dog aggression.

Nervous or fearful aggression (Inter-dog)

This type of dog aggression often has its roots with the pup’s mother. Puppies that are breed from a timid bitch will most likely inherit the mother’s timidity and fearfulness. Puppies born to a strong bitch but then placed with a fearful one will pick up the unstable habits of the fearful dog. Another reason for this type of dog aggression is when a puppy or older dog gets attached by another dog. This can be particularly damaging if the dog is on leash and is unable to quickly show submission. When the human comforts the injured or frightened dog following the attack, it only confirms that the fear is real.

Lack of proper socialization between the weeks 7 and 16 can also affect this type of behavior as the puppies do not learn how to meet and greet other dogs. If a puppy doesn’t understand the greeting rituals, then he will be viewed with suspicion by another dog.

Nervous or fearful aggression (Inter-human)

This type of dog aggression is often cause by a lack of handling at an early age. Puppies that are born to puppy farms or large breeders may not get gentle and repetitive handling by humans. Handling puppies at an early age causes stress and teaches them how to cope with various situations later on in life.

Fearful or nervous aggression is always defensive in nature. This can sometimes be directed to only a particular sex, male or female. Puppies that were bred by a male breeder and few females visited and handled the puppies may show timidity towards women.

Frustrated or redirected aggression

Dogs that are not allowed to interact regularly or normally with other dogs and humans are more likely to develop aggressive tendencies. A dog that is restricted from interacting with dogs, people and the outside world will develop a strong desire to access these things.

This frustrated desire can escalate into more serious issues such as escape attempts, agitation and unprovoked attacks. Dogs that are left alone in a garden, tied down or near a window cannot get to the things they see and want to interact with and this may lead to unprovoked aggression based on frustration.

Misdirected aggression

Trying to separate a dog fight can be a dangerous ordeal. Trying to learn how to avoid situation that could result in a dog fight is safer than trying to break a fight. It is common enough to have one or both dogs misdirect their aggression toward the human who is trying to break up the fight. Accidental bites can easily happen in these situations. In the heat of the battle, dogs often do not recognize their owner and may bite by mistake.


Sexual aggression


This type of dog aggression almost always occurs in male dogs. In this case, the dog will mount humans and dogs alike. Mounting of human may reflect an over-attachment to people or a lack of interaction with other dogs. Mounting other dogs reflects a dominance complex.


Dominant aggression


Dogs usually approach each other quite cautiously and give out many status signals such as tail held high, moving from side to side, standing on tip toes, etc. One of the two dogs usually submits but if this is not the case, a fight may occur. In this case, the a dog with dominant aggression may also display aggression towards members of his own family.


Territorial aggression


In theory, territorial aggression should only be directed towards members of the species, but it can sometimes be directed towards humans. The main motivations behind territorial behavior are dominance and fear or anxiety. Some breeds do get frustrated faster than others, such as Collies, Springer Cockers and Retrievers. This type of dog aggression can be addressed through behavior modification and using positive reinforcement techniques. Do not reward your dog for stopping a bad behavior, rather praise for the inappropriate behavior not happening at all.


Predatory aggression


In this type of aggression, movement is the trigger. Dogs will chase cats, squirrels, bikes and even cars. This type of aggression can be seen in dogs of any sex and age. These dogs should be monitored closely to avoid any accidents with children, other dogs or passing cars.

Housebreaking A Dog

The most important lesson you teach your dog is not to pee in the house. It sounds simple but many dog owner experience lots of frustration with this one or do not know how the proper techniques involved in housebreaking a dog.

The first thing is to not start trying to housebreak your dog too early. This is because dogs that are around the four week mark in age may not have the muscle control needed. However if you start too late you could be creating some bad habits. So when is the right time? Around six to eight weeks is a good time.

When it comes to housebreaking a dog patients is going to be a virtue. Do not expect it to happen over night and even when you think you’ve got there will still be accidents inside. But in time the accidents will be less and less. It can take up to a month or more to housebreak your puppy but it can happen in as little as a week or two.

Housebreaking a dog requires the same principles as teach then to sit, stay or come in that it is a learned behavior. Use your body language and tone of voice to help instill the desired actions and praise your puppy when they do a good job.

The real trick is to know when they are about to eliminate so you can stop they and direct them to go outside. A few tell tale signs are circling or squatting. Once you see this you can quickly pick-up your puppy and bring them outside. It is a good idea to use a command like “outside” as you are doing this to help the dog associate the behavior.

Since puppies tend to eliminate every few hours you can preemptively take them outside. You may even want to hang a bell on the front door. As you leave the home say “outside” and ring the bell. Your dog will eventually associate the bell and “outside” with going to the bathroom. In time your dog will ring the bell on its own to let you know it wants to “go”. Stick with it and don’t get frustrated. If you are consist ant you will succeed in housebreaking your dog.

Puppy Potty Training

Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting event. But once you get over the novelty of this new little beast, you will need to establish a few ground rules in your house. The most important one will be to teach your puppy to go outside for his business.
Potty training is not a race. It takes time and commitment and there is no written rule as to how long it will take. Some dogs grasp the concept of potty training very quickly and will be house broken in a few days, others may take a few weeks. It is important not to punish your puppy if he goes in the house. If you didn’t catch him in action, don’t punish him. It is also very important to reward the right behavior. Puppy need to know when they do something right.

There are two popular method for potty training your puppy.

Crate Training?

This training method relies on the fact that dogs do not like to soil their bed and the crate symbolizes a dog’s den or bed. Using a crate works quite well and most puppies will control their bladder and bowels for quite some time. Young puppies may be able to hold it for 7-8 hours, while in a crate, however, we do not recommend leaving puppies unattended in crate for such long periods of time.

Using this method, place the puppy in the crate whenever he cannot be watched. This may be while you are in the house or away for a few hours. Before placing the puppy in the crate, take him outside to a favorite spot and again as soon as you take him out of the crate. Using this method, puppies should also sleep in their crate at night. Only use a blanket and maybe a chew toy in the crate.

One of the most important advantage of crate training is that it teaches your puppy to “hold it”. He learns that he doesn’t have to relieve himself right away as soon as the urge appears. Puppies that have gone through crate training usually make fewer potty mistakes later on.

Make sure that you buy a crate that is just large enough for your dog to comfortably lie in it. To avoid buying multiple crate, you may want to get one that will be large enough for when your dog is fully grown but you will need to use a divider to limit the space while he is still a puppy. If the crate is too big, the puppy may learn to urinate or defecate in a corner.

Inside Training?

This method consists of putting down newspapers or pretreated pads and encouraging your puppy to use them for bathroom needs. Whenever you see your puppy sniffing the floor and walking around looking for a place to go, gently pick him up and place him on the papers or pad. Don’t forget to praise once he goes to the bathroom.

Once the puppy starts using the papers or pads consistently, you then want to move them either closer to the door or to place another set outside. The idea is to transition the toilet habit of going in one spot inside to going in one spot outside. Eventually, you will be able to eliminate the pads. One downside of this method is that the puppy is encouraged to go inside the home. This may slow down the potty training process.

Regardless of the method you choose to use, verbal cues will be very important. It is a great idea to use a word when it’s time to go to the bathroom. You can use “outside?” or ?“washroom?” or any other word that you prefer. Just make sure that all the members of the family are using the same verbal cue. Once outside, you can encourage your puppy to go with words such as “do it” or “potty” or “hurry up”, etc. It is very important to praise them as soon as they eliminate and bring him back in right away. Be sure that you only use the “outside” or “washroom” command for the specific purpose to avoid confusion with outdoor play time or walks.

Accidents will happen. Remember that if you didn’t catch your puppy in the act, you should not punish him. Discipline will not help because the pup will not know what the scolding if for. Do not get mad. The accident was really your fault, not the puppy. If you had noticed the “pre-potty” behavior or sniffing and walking around, you could have brought your puppy outside or to his pads. You also want to avoid getting mad when you catch them in the act. Sternly say “No” and bring your pup outside or to his pads. Reward the puppy with a “good dog” once they are done in the correct location.

For the house training to go quickly, you will need to spend as much time as you can with your puppy. Remember to be patient and to stay calm.

Dog Behavior Problems

Cozying up next to the fire with your best friend lying at your feet, play fetch or having a companion that loves you unconditionally. These are the images most people think of when they decide to get a dog. But the reality can be much different. Chewing your most expensive shoes or furniture, barking incessantly, or even biting and aggressive behavior.

It is important to remember that dogs are animals with natural instincts and behaviors. However we tend to humanize them and this can lead to unwanted dog behavior problems. Some problems can be relatively minor such as chewing, peeing, barking or chasing but left alone these behaviors can turn into destructive and even dangerous activities.

Many dog behavior problems have their root causes in frustration. Dogs are social pack animals and their nature is to travel, explorer, hunt and scavenge with their pack. When they are not able to do this, such as when they are left at home alone, they get a build-up of pent-up energy. If they do not release this energy through structured exercise they can become frustrated and this frustration is released through these destructive behaviors.

Training and exercise is the key to solving most dog behavior problems and will have the added benefit of having a balanced, calm dog and creating a stronger bond between you and your pooch. For example, for dogs that are chewers you should provide them with lots of toys that you can direct their energy towards. If your dog pees on the rug when it gets excited you may want to make sure it is getting enough exercise so that you drain it of excess energy.

If your dog is showing aggression then you should seek the help of a professional trainer that has experience dealing with aggressive dogs. Aggression can escalate very quickly and a professional dog trainer will guide you through the steps necessary to unsure that you and your dog are safe. Nintey-nine percent of the time dog aggression can be fixed and many dogs are put down needlessly. You may need to work with a couple of different trainers before you find the best one for you and your dog.

Never give up and take the time to train, exercise and discipline them. You will be helping to create a balanced and happy animal as well as a long and fulfilling relationship with them.