Teaching (Go To Your) “PLACE” And “PARK IT” Command

21 03 2009

dog-in-placeSo far, we have discussed many different basic training commands, SIT, COME when called, TAKE IT, LEAVE IT, DROP IT, Potty Training, HEEL, and STAY and WAIT.  This would be the final command necessary to complete a “basic training” class, laying a foundation for more advanced commands later on.

This will teach your dog a certain PLACE to go when you do not want him underfoot.  Sometimes, this may be referred to as a CONTROL CENTER.  To teach this, you first must choose the PLACE.  It can be a cushion, a rug, a towel, the dog’s bed or even his crate.  Read the rest of this entry »





Aggression Part 8: Predatory Aggression

16 03 2009

dog-chasing-carMany dogs have a natural instinct to chase something.  Those triggers are usually activated by some fast, unexpected movement, like a bicycle, a cat, or even a car.   All dogs, regardless of how sweet they can be, are capable of predatory aggression.  Training when he or she is young will help you to control this natural instinct.  Unfortunately, if they are successful at chasing down and killing their prey early in their lives, the habit can be extremely hard to break.  As evidenced by their wild canine cousins, wolves, dogs are predators.  Many generations of domestication, selective breeding, and training have dramatically reduced their predatory instincts. Read the rest of this entry »





Aggression Part 7: Food Aggression

14 03 2009

dog-at-tableFood aggression is something that I do not put up with in my pack.  When my brother, Tax, joined our family, he was food aggressive.  He would growl and snap when anyone approached either his food or water dish.  I gave him a few days to get used to our family and our place, but I could not have anyone in my pack aggressive about food, so it was time for me to rule with an iron paw! Read the rest of this entry »





Teach Your Dog To “HEEL”

8 03 2009

heelHEEL is probably one of my least favorite training commands, and I am sure that I am not alone.  Why do I dislike it?  It gives Mom, or any human, too much control!  I really like the freedom of walking with a loose leash, because it gives me a chance to check things out and look around a little bit.  But when we are practicing HEEL, I do not get that kind of freedom.  Mom says that HEEL is one of the more regimented of the walking commands.  When teaching your your dog this command, there are two different methods depending on the size of the dog.  Below, you will see instructions for both a BIG DOG HEEL and a LITTLE DOG HEEL. Read the rest of this entry »





Live Chat With Spike!

7 03 2009

UPDATE: Thanks to all who joined me in the chat tonight.  I look forward to doing it again.

This Thursday at 9 PM EST, I will be hosting a live chat for you to ask me your dog behavior questions.  I am using a neat service called TinyChat.  For those of you that have dog behavior questions, but you have not yet submitted them to me, now is your chance to do it without the delay necessary for me to write an entire article addressing your question.  Please note: I may use the situations from the chat to help other families struggling with similar issues.

To participate in the chat, check back HERE at 8:50 PM on Thursday, March 12 to get the link for the chat.  Click it and join in.  It really is that easy.  My friends that use Twitter will see a tweet in my stream at 8:50 PM as well, with a link to the chat.

If you have an in-depth or uncommon question for me, please send me a short e-mail ahead of time describing the issue, so I can fully develop my suggestions to you.  My paw pals, their families, and other interested parties are all welcome to join.  I intend for the chat to last until 10 PM, but I am happy to extend it if necessary.

dog-on-computer





Is Your Dog a “Beggar”?

27 02 2009

Buster BegsFirst, I want to remind everyone that some things that are so cute when you have a puppy, are not so cute when they are grown! Begging is one of those behaviors.

You know how cute it seems when a puppy begs for attention, food, or other goodies from their human?  Keep in mind how not cute that will be when they are no longer fuzzy little fur balls.  Like when they are 100 pound adults, begging for that Big Mac you barely have time to woof down before working from home for the next couple hours so that you still meet your deadline at work tomorrow when you just walk in the door after a grueling 12 or 14 hour day at the office.  (Not that yours truly would have ever done that :))

Read the rest of this entry »





Is Your Dog A “Digger”?

26 02 2009

No, not that groundhog with a camera that Fox Sports has at all of the NASCAR tracks…  Does your dog like to dig either inside or outside of your home?  I want to start off with a few reasons that we dig, and then I will delve a little further into each of them.

Several reasons that for digging:

  • Out of boredom or due to anxiety
  • To form a den in which to give birth
  • To create a cool place to lay
  • To seek out prey, like rats, rabbits, and bugs.
  • To “help” the pack leader-you.  Dogs see their people dig and plant in their gardens and yards.  Some dogs use that observation, coupled with a strong desire to offer assistance, to dig things for you. Read the rest of this entry »