The Do's and Don'ts Doggy basics
David and Hannah from David Cuffe & Associates are back, this time with some pawsome advice on what to do when your pooch barks, has an accident indoor, jumps up or begs for food. Whether you’re an owner, a borrower, or both, there’s absowoofly something for everybody :)
Dog won’t stop barking…
- Ensure your pooch has enough stimulation and exercise in their day - sometimes a bored dog is a noisy dog. Fun walks or training/play sessions through the day are always appreciated, and chew toys or raw bones are fantastic for keeping a doggy occupied and happy.
- Make sure they have access to their ‘safe place’ - their bed or den where they can be alone if they choose so and feel comfortable.
- Check if pooch needs to go to the bathroom.
- Feeding close to bedtime can help encourage a sleepier dog.
- If you're a borrower, have a night time rehearsal before committing to taking a new doggy friend for any extended period of time overnight. Also, talk to the owner about the dog’s routine and try to follow as closely as possible - it may be that 11pm is usually play time for some puppies!
- Talk to your vet - in some cases there may be a medication or over the counter product such as Adaptil (pheromone therapy) or Calmex (a plant based calming product) which can help to alleviate an acute problem. Obviously, only administer these products under professional advice and gain permission from doggy’s owner before giving anything.
- Scold a noisy dog. Excessive barking can be an anxiety driven behaviour and being ‘told off’ may only serve to increase anxiety levels and confusion.
- Try not to react right away - attention of any kind can act as positive reinforcement for a barking hound and you may accidently train them to ‘call’ you by barking! If barking persists, try some of the ‘Do’ tips.
Dog goes to the bathroom indoors…
- Call the dog to an appropriate toileting location and reward with a treat once they respond.
- Make sure your pooch is offered regular bathroom breaks in an appropriate location throughout the day/night and be sure to give treats and praise when they go in the right spot. Keep in mind that every dog is different, some may need to go more often than others - watch and learn.
- Be aware that most dogs (particularly puppies!) are more likely to need to go after they have eaten or finished an epic play session. Think ahead and schedule a toilet break before they have a chance to make a mistake. Again, reward every time the correct behaviour is displayed.
- If you notice anything unusual about a dog’s toileting, call the vet - sometimes a tummy upset or urinary tract infection can catch the most well trained of hounds out!
- Punish for going to the toilet in the wrong spot, as even a raised voice can be frightening or anxiety inducing for a dog so remember to keep calm. Instead of punishing the dog, show them the right thing to do, then reward them :)
Dog jumps on people…
- Turn your back to them and do not look at or speak to the dog until they are displaying a calm, balanced demeanour. Some dogs develop jumping up as a greeting behaviour, but this behaviour is surprisingly easy to retrain if it is not ‘rewarded’.
- Ask new human friends to do the same - turn away and do not greet until the pooch is calm.
- Inadvertently encourage jumping behaviour by excitedly greeting a jumping dog in return.
- Use physical force or strong vocal cues to discourage jumping - instead, remain calm and assertive.
Dog begs for food…
- Ask family and friends not to feed the dog while they are eating, as this actively encourages and rewards begging behaviour.
- Ask the doggy to retire to their bed or ‘den’ while you are eating.
- Stick to a routine for feeding times so your pooch knows when to expect breakfast and dinner.
- Feeding yourself and the family first and doggy second is a great habit to get into.
- Be consistent - one treat given from a plate can set back a whole training routine. Look at it from the dog’s point of view - ‘If I sit here looking adorable for long enough I get rewarded eventually, so never give up!’
- If you are trying to discourage begging, never feed a dog from your hand while you yourself are eating.
- Feed human food scraps.