Teaching Take It, Leave It & Drop It

7 02 2009

open-palm-treatTAKE IT:

This is probably the easiest command to teach a dog, and it is certainly the easiest of these three commands.  On a very basic level, whatever you have to give him is given to him with the words “TAKE IT.”  Pretty easy, huh?

  1. Take your dog’s favorite treat and close your hand around it.
  2. Let the dog smell the treat as he or she sniffs around your hand for a few seconds. Read the rest of this entry »
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Rocky’s “Fear Aggression”

6 02 2009

There are times when you have conversations with “dog” people that know little or nothing about dogs or their behavior.  They are often looked to for suggestions and advice because they hold a position of influence.  Oftentimes, they will dispense advice throwing words around that they may have overheard in a conversation.  Some of those words or phrases can be dangerous in the hands of untrained, uneducated individuals.  Phrases like fear aggression are among those that are dangerous.  They think that because they were thinking fast enough to throw out that phrase, it will impress people, increasing their influence among those they encounter.  Some of these people do not have a clue as to what fear aggression actually is, let alone what can be done to modify or manage it. Read the rest of this entry »





My Dog Will Not Go Outside My Home. HELP!?!?

3 02 2009

Last week, I received an e-mail from a reader that had just adopted a pit bull puppy, but she and her son were having the problems described here:

We have a pit bull puppy who refuses to go outside. We have to drag him on a walk. Then, if we stop, he turns and runs back to our apartment. He knows the way from wherever we go. He was potty trained when we got him, but that is fading fast, because he won’t go outside.

pit-bull-puppyThe first thing I have to say is “Congratulations” on the expansion of your family, and I wish to extend a special thank you for choosing to have a dog of that breed.  I have always said that pit bulls are not born bad, they are just raised that way.

Unfortunately, there was no age specification about this puppy, so I will have to do some guessing.  Keep in mind that young puppies do not know what a leash is.  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 To Teach Your Dog To Come When Called

13 01 2009

come-hand-signalMom was right.  I should have discussed this right after potty training.  This is one of the most important things to teach your dog, as it can save their life should they be in impending danger.  It is also something that can greatly reduce your stress as a parent.  This article has been spurred by a request from a reader whose German Shepherd will not come when called in the backyard, while his siblings seem to understand it well.

It was stated that the dog will come inside with a leash on, but that does not necessarily mean that he has a true understanding of the COME command.  Read the rest of this entry »





Spike Says: Do Not Feed Grapes to Dogs

26 10 2008

Since many people give their canine buddies treats, make sure not to give them grapes.  Grapes contain a toxin that negatively affects dogs’ kidneys.  The same is true for raisins.  Stick to the dog treats you buy from a pet store.