Worried About Your Dog’s Sleeping Behavior?

26 01 2009

A concerned mother noticed a change in her dog’s behavior, especially when it comes to sleeping patterns and refusing to sleep in the bed.  She sent me a few questions, and I have included the answers below for you to read.  She was dog-sleeping-weirdconcerned about her dog possibly being a “loner” and her earlier life in a shelter.

First, let me say that I do not know a single dog that is a “loner”.  We crave attention, whether it is from our families, toys, or other dogs.  This dog is still a puppy, about five months old.  There is a lot going on at five months, as this is the early stages of dog puberty.  Puberty for dogs is a lot like the human kind.  Around the age of five or six months, sometimes a little later, changes start occurring.  This is when we start to develop our adult bodies, and that is especially evident in our feet and tummy areas.  Our feet become adult-sized almost overnight, and we become exceptionally clumsy.  We also lose the round belly in favor of a more lean physique.  Puberty in a dog may last until the dog is 14 months old. Read the rest of this entry »





New Puppy Problems

21 01 2009

golden-lab-puppyOver the holidays, many families across America became new and loving homes for puppies.  A friend of November 2008’s addition to my pack was one fo those lucky puppies.  As with all new relationships, there is a period of adjustment, and this post addresses some of the “new puppy issues.”  Specifically, we are going to discuss this Golden Labrador Retriever, but many of the puppy issues pop up regardless of breed.

All of the retriever breeds are born being comfortable with having or carrying something in their mouths.  I am no exception, as I often wander the house with my toy du jour.  We are also notorious chewers, especially as puppies.  Sometimes I spend a whole day just wanting to walk around with something in our mouth. Read the rest of this entry »





What Can I Do About My Dog’s Coprophagia (Poop Eating)?

19 01 2009

dog-poopAs I may have mentioned, I got a new dictionary for Christmas.  I have been spending a lot of time looking up words in it.  When I looked up “coprophagia,” it was not in my new Webster’s.  I am guessing that they did not include the word, because is refers to eating poop, and humans do not typically suffer from this malady. In fact, humans that do suffer from this are probably taken away very quickly, never to see poop again! Read the rest of this entry »





How Do I Stop My Dogs From Fighting?

18 01 2009

dogs-friendsA reader from Canada sent me an e-mail asking for help with his two Yorkshire Terriers, who have begun fighting recently.  Both dogs are intact males, and the reader figured out the first step to addressing the problem on his own.  Even with one intact male dog, there is a lot of testosterone in the room, but TWO?!

If you are not planning to have either dog “stud” to make more little Yorkies, then it is imperative that you have both of them neutered as soon as possible.  Read the rest of this entry »





I Think My Dog Is Fear Aggressive. How Do I Know?

12 01 2009

gang-chillingA longtime dog owner wrote me recently, inquiring about a possible fear aggression issue with her pet.  Fear aggression is a scary issue to deal with, because when it does present, the provocation is typically an everyday action.  Before pursuing any behavioral or training issue, the first thing necessary is to take your dog to his vet.  It is especially important that you go to YOUR vet, as the long-term relationship will help him diagnose any issue.  Your dog needs a clean bill of health from his Doc to see if there is anything physically wrong with him before you attempt to change his behavior.  We are unable to tell you when we are in pain, so getting the vet involved is imperative. Read the rest of this entry »





How Do I Teach My Dog To Sit?

6 01 2009

TEACHING THE SIT COMMAND

dog-sittingMom says that the “SIT” command is the #1 control command.  If a dog is acting out, all you have to say is SIT and the dog is back under control.  Mom said that she has noticed that the SIT command is also used in grocery stores for children.  Parents say SIT and the children SIT down in the cart!

In this post, we will only be covering teaching your dog how to SIT.  You are on your own with the kids. Read the rest of this entry »





What Can I Do To Keep My Dog Off The Table And Counter?

5 01 2009

counter-surfingSome folks that Mom knows sent me an e-mail about their Golden Lab, Marley (just like the movie).  Below is the text of the response I sent them.

Marley, Marley, Marley, a retriever after my own heart!  We can certainly be a crazy bunch.  Mom tells me that you are driving your Mom and Dad bonkers with your counter-surfing.  Marley, have you seen the movie “A Christmas Story”?  Did you happen to notice how unhappy everyone got when the neighbor’s dog came over and counter-surfed the turkey away?  Well, I do not want to see a fellow retriever turned into the Bumpus’ dog. Read the rest of this entry »