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Fat Dog and Friends Main Page

 

 

 

Fat Dog and Friends Main Page

 

Does your dog have behaviour problems? Ok as I have previously said I am not a qualified dog trainer but here are some hints and tips I’ve picked up along the way.

· Chewing: In the older dog chewing can usually be put down to a number of reasons, the most common one being boredom. Your dog needs exercise and intellectual stimulation.  A quick and easy way to stop this is to limit the area your dog has access to, leave him/her some hard toys to chew on, manufacturers have come up with all sorts of gadgets that can be stuffed with food and biscuits to keep them occupied.  Ensure your dog gets routine and regular exercise; it is no good spending the whole of one day with him/her and then going out for 8 hours the next day.

You can also discourage your dog by spraying the items that are being chewed with anti-chew treatments.  It is always good to catch your dog chewing and stop him/her with a firm “no”

· Biting: This normally comes in three forms, all are an undesirable quality in any dog. The first in generally associated with excitement and will often be in addition to jumping up. The dog just wants to say hello and is trying to initiate play, watch how dogs play with each other they use their mouths. It is very easy to deal with this, just a simple “no” command when your pup is nipping is a good start. Ignoring him/her and not responding will also deter the dog. It may be necessary to make your dog sit and calm them down. In extreme cases you can use sprays such as pet corrector, also many dog trainers will use a container filled with stones to shake. Never distract your dog by giving treat’s, this will only lead the dog to believe he/she is being rewarded for the behaviour.

The second kind is more complicated and needs to be stopped immediately. This type of biting is due to nervousness. Often a nervous dog will nip and try to bite, especially when you touch them around the head and neck area. Often this is due to past experiences and mostly common in rescue dogs.  Finding out what makes your dog tick and where the aggression comes from is key to stopping the problem. I look after a number of dogs who have had past  issues and will bite in certain circumstances, by controlling the environment around them and the situations they are put into it is relatively easy to prevent them from biting. With time their confidence will grow. If you know exactly what the issue is (hats, men, sticks) then you can gently introduce your dog t these items in a bid to desensitise them. Time and persistence will prevail.

The third kind is aggression. Firstly you must ask yourself a few questions and be honest. If you have a large breed, aggressive dog and you have children, then is it the best environment for the dog? We so often see children that have been mauled by large breed dogs. In the right hands large breeds are friendly and placid animals but in the wrong hands these animals can be deadly. Nobody knows your dog better than you so be really honest with yourself.  But let’s take it that you want to tackle this behaviour and start from the beginning. You need to review your dogs lifestyle, is he/she the boss of the house, does the dog go on furniture, can they see out from the upstairs windows, to they perceive their surroundings as their territory. Your dog needs to know their place and you will possibly have to tackle this first. Once the dog knows its place in the house (pack) you can start to tackle the aggression. My honest opinion is to seek specialist help with this type of problem, and most importantly you must LISTEN and ACT on the advise you are given. Try a company with a proven track record (such as Barkbusters)

· Persistent Barking This can be irritating to both you as the owner and your neighbours. To start with they should be brought inside until you can stop the barking. There is usually a catalyst to the barking and this could be, boredom or external distraction. My puppy used to bark his head off at 11:00 am everyday and eventually I had a concerned neighbour asking me if he was ok. I sat in one day to see what caused this and found that it was directly related to the time the postman came round. I simply shut the kitchen door so that he could not see the shadow of the postman and left a radio on so he could not hear the letterbox, job done! So firstly see if there is something that causes this.

Teaching your dog from an early age the command “quiet” is also very useful as you can simply tell them to be quite when they play up.

Older dogs may bark because they cannot see properly, I have often come across dogs that will stop barking once you touch them and give them reassurance.

· Eating poop (Coprophagia) A disgusting habit for us to witness and certainly not a habit that should be encouraged but most rewarding for your dog.  There are a few theories for why your dog does this, from lack of vitamin B in the diet to a  digestive  problem. You can rule out lack of food or quality feed by changing your dogs diet and using dietary supplements.  It may be that your dog is bored with its food or if the dog had been a stray it may be the “norm” for it. Whilst dogs have a strong and robust digestive tract and very good immunities to this type of diet they can be infected with round worm and so it is best to deter this habit as soon as possible.

Again there are many theories as to how to deal with this problem, you could try any of the following

1. Have your dog checked by the vet for clinical problems

2. Look at the quality of the food you are buying. Ask a Nutritionist if you are unsure. Food manufacturers may be able to point you in the right direction.

3. Vary your dog’s diet and routine.

4. Muzzle your dog on walks to prevent the habit (not long term solution)

5. Mix Pineapple or courgette with their food the end product is apparently unpleasant for the dog....as if the poop wasn’t??

6. Clean up after your dog, often this habit is linked to dirty gardens.

7. Actively discourage your dog from doing this when you find them face first in a pile of poop, however do not fall into the trap of letting your dog feel that it is a competition between you and him as he will be more inclined to gulp it down.

There are many more problems that are associated with dogs and behaviour, so if you are having problems then don’t feel you are on your own. Many people will have been there and suffered these before you and there are lots of behaviourists willing to help (for a small fee of course) check out the list below to see if you are on your own:

1. Humping (teddy, cushions, visitor’s legs!)

2. Peeing in excitement when you have company

3. Aggression (protecting you when visitors are around)

4. Aggression (over food or toys)

5. Digging (carpets, flower beds, doors)

6. Chewing up beds

7. Dog Aggression

8. Running away off the lead (60% of the dogs I walk do not do recall)

9. Whining, barking or howling

10. Rubbing their bum along the carpet

11. Anxiety, separation disorders

12. Chasing cars, people, bikes, squirrels, cats, other dogs etc etc etc

13. Afraid of stairs?

14. Possessiveness

And this is just touching the tip of the iceberg. Always ask for help!

 

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