Summer is here in Arizona and a lot of dog owners are lost at what to do with their dogs during the summer months. Angel Dogs does have 3 classes starting in doors at Pecos Park the class schedule is listed on the Group Class Schedule pages. These classes will give you something to do during the summer plus step up your dog training skills. Other options during the summer is to look into Dock Diving there is several locations in the valley. Walking your dog can be a go if you go early in the morning and make sure you bring water for your dog, protect their feet with booties and check out cool vest or wet your dog down before you walk. Don’t go too far 20 minutes may be all your dog can handle during the heat. Dogs do get heat stroke so be cautious. Enjoy the summer and be careful with your beloved dog.
Author Archives: Eileen Tonick
Do you have a dog who is constantly invading your space? They seem to be in your way, under your feet, blocking your path, nudging their nose under your hand while you are reading or typing, pressing up against you on your sofa or too close to you while you are on a walk. These dogs are often sweet attention-loving snugglers and it can be hard to discourage the behaviors because you may consider it cute or loving but at the same time it can become annoying.
Despite what you have heard, space invaders are not motivated by dominance. Your dog is not taking your space in a pre-emptive strike to take over your world. Usually dogs are simply seeking your attention, and have discovered the best ways to get it and that involves being in your space.
Although it can be annoying, at times it can be endearing and the dog gets reinforced for it. I am guilty as the next dog owner; I often pet Ziva when she nudges my hand or when Tank squeezes himself as closely to me on my sofa.
Since the behaviors sometimes get reinforced – behavior geeks call this an “intermittent schedule of reinforcement” – it’s really hard to stop them, because your dog knows that sooner or later the behaviors will, indeed, succeed in gaining your attention. When it’s hard to make a behavior go away, behavior geeks call this “resistant to extinction”. So the dog keeps trying until it finally works.
The great news is that you don’t have to make the behaviors go away. Instead, just teach your dog to respond to “incompatible behaviors” on cue – that is, behaviors she/he can’t do at the same time when she or he is hogging space. Your goal is to teach your dog several incompatible behaviors, and you will get along just fine: I can indulge in giving my dog attention when I feel like it, and ask her/him to do something else when I don’t.
I have listed several behaviors you can teach your dog when they are invading your space.
- Back Up: This cue is useful for space-hog dogs who like to park themselves directly in your path. You can “capture” the behavior with clicker training, the use of a lure or toy to entice the dog into backing up. To lure, hold a treat at your dog’s breastbone. As the dog leans or steps backward to follow it, click and treat. Let the dog back up on their own and add “Back” cue. Gradually, reduce the amount of luring, giving the dog time to figure out what you asked for with your cue, until the dog will back up on cue alone.
- Touch: Teaching your dog to target their nose to your hand is to position your dog without having to physically move them.
- Off: If the dog is on the furniture and you want them to get off this is a helpful exercise to get your dog to vacate your space.
- Go to Your rug or dog bed: By teaching your dog a cue that means to go lie down on your bed you can get your dog to move to a specific location.
- Wait, Stop or Stay: Are other training exercises to can help you with providing space between you and your dog.
When teaching your dog an exercise remember to set the exercise in a pattern, practice every day and be persistent in accomplishing your goals. Make the training fun and rewarding and in no time you will be well on your way to getting your dog to understand that space is good.
If you have a dog who is a space invader and you need help with training please don’t hesitate and contact me at Angel Dogs.
The 4th of July is just around the corner and it is a time where dog owners can even loose their beloved pet. Some dogs react severely to firework noise and some could care less. Below I have listed a few suggestions to help a dog owner keep their reactive dog safe during the 4th of July.
- Bring your dog indoors and make sure they cannot escape out of the house.
- Crate your dog in the quietest room and check up on them periodically during the evening.
- Darken the room and provide peaceful music.
- If needed medicate your dog with the advise of your veterinarian.
- During the day exercise your dog so they will be tired during the time when fireworks are used.
- If you do not own a crate leash your dog and keep them with you.
- Do not leave a dog unattended in a room by themselves they can get destructive and hurt themselves.
- If you are going to a 4th of July party make sure someone is watching your dog.
- Provide plenty of water for your dog he or she may pant a lot when stressed.
- Do not use loud fireworks at your home use ones that do not make noise.
Even the day after the 4th some people will continue to set off fireworks just be aware and continue to provide safety for your dog. Enjoy the 4th of July and Happy Independence Day.
Dog safety during the summer is very important for several reasons but mostly your pet can die if in the heat too long. What can you do to insure that your pet is safe during the hottest summer months:
- Never leave your dog in your car they can die within minutes.
- Do not walk your dog during the hottest part of the day.
- If you need to walk your dog keep the walk under 30 minutes and go during very early morning or late at night.
- Bring water for your dog during the walk.
- Test the ground if you cannot keep your hand on the sidewalk over 3 seconds than provide dog protective footwear such as dog booties.
- Wet your dog down before the walk or provide a cool vest.
- When outside provide plenty of cool fresh water and shade.
- Keep an eye out on your dog when they go outside you do not want them outside very long especially during the hottest part of the day.
- Provide a play pool with clean cool water if your dog needs to stay outside.
- Provide misters and fans on the patio.
- Some breeds like Pugs or French Bulldogs cannot tolerate heat so let them outside only to go potty.
- If your dog does get heat stroke place them in room temperature water and immediately call your vet for instructions.
- If your dog has high energy and needs to exercise consider a treadmill. If unsure how to train on a treadmill give me a call or contact a local trainer.
When teaching a dog basic obedience commands I always incorporate hand signals. Why would I do this type of training?:
- Dogs are very visual they learn quickly by watching body language.
- Words do not mean that much to them they learn by the tone of your voice and certain body motions.
- In my class, I have a session called silent training most owners are surprised how quickly a dog response to just hand signals.
- Hand signals keeps a dogs attention more on you than surroundings.
- If your dog is semi-deaf or deaf hand signals are a wonderful way to train.
- If the owner can’t talk it is the best option to train their dog.
- Training with hand signals is fun and a great way to impress your family and friends.
Trying to have your puppy or dog come to you can become frustrating at times and often dog owners become lost in how to accomplish this skill. The answer is making come a fun and exciting game full of praise and reward so that your dog will love to play the game “come”.
Tools you will need: a long lead, treats, toy, 2 chairs and a great attitude.
Place the chairs about 10 to 15 feet apart. (play this game at first in the home)
- Both participants have treats in a bag or can so when you shake it the noise will attract the dog. If you clicker trained your dog you can use a clicker.
- The first person calls the dog to come, “Fido Come” while shaking the can or using the clicker
- The minute the dog acknowledges you start saying, “Good Dog” in a happy and exciting voice.
- When the dog comes to you reward the dog with a treat or a toy if that is what the dog prefers.
- Than the second person calls the dog while the first person become quiet and still so the dog will leave them and go to the second person.
- Repeat several times than end the game do not make the game so long that the dog becomes bored and ends the game themselves.
- The next time you play the game move the chairs further apart the goal is to create a lot of distance between the chairs. You might need a long lead at this time.
- When the dog becomes really good at this game introduce distractions such as other people or other dogs.
- To add more challenges go to different rooms in the home for instance one person in the kitchen the other in a bedroom.
- The backyard offers even more distractions and challenges if needed put the dog on leash so she or he can’t wander off.
- Always make this game fun and rewarding never enter negative energy always positive and you will have the best results.