Educate me on having a dog - long intro

gibby2015April 13, 2013

We have had only cats during our 35 years of marriage though both DH and I also had dogs when we were kids. With busy work and travel schedules cats have always been a better choice for us. DH's work situation is changing and he will no longer be traveling and his business will be just a few miles from home. He has always wanted a dog but realistically knew it wasn't feasible and previously there was no way I would have a dog. I'm starting to consider it though and want to make sure I completely understand what I'd be getting into. Our pets are like kids to us so this will be a long term commitment.

I'm so used to completely indoor cats - no ticks, fleas, dirt or debris. Hence I have no qualms about cats sleeping on our bed or anywhere else though they aren't allowed on counters or tables where we eat. Dogs obviously have to go outside so how do people deal with all the stuff dragged in from the great outdoors?

We would get an adult dog from a shelter as we have done with our cats. I like that you can tell what their personality is like and in the case of dogs possibly get one that is already trained. I have also thought about maybe being a dog foster home to get a feeling for this. I love some people's dogs but find the barking, jumping, crotch sniffing ones really annoying. I guess that is the owner who is the problem for not providing proper training.

I've been looking at some beagle/hound mixed breeds online. I'd like a medium sized dog and DH wants a dog that can go for a run with him so needs some legs that aren't too short. This would be mainly a house dog who gets taken out for walks and runs on a leash. Some of the dogs I've read about sound perfect - almost too good to be true.

What do I need to consider to decide if I'd be a good dog owner and what kind of dog would be best for us? We have three cats but unfortunately it will soon be only two. I think one of them would love a dog pal. The other probably would like a dog about as much as she likes the other cat. She grudgingly tolerates him but doesn't play or sleep with him much as he tries to get her to.

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I got my first dog 3 years ago, a gently used one who had lost her first mom to cancer. She is the first dog I have ever owned, although I had long wanted one. After the first two weeks, I realized I knew NOTHING about dogs. While my new girl obviously had had some basic training, it was also obvious that her previous mom had let her get away with some behaviors that I found totally unacceptable, but I had no idea what to do about them. So we enrolled in a comprehensive (and expensive) training class. Best money I ever spent!

Besides sharpening up her obedience skills, the training provided us with superb bonding opportunities, making both of us much more confident when out in public. It was continually reinforced to the human participants that what dogs need most from us are (in this order) 1) Exercise - at least an hour per day on leash, and more if your dog is particularly energetic, 2) Consistent rules of what is acceptable behavior, and 3) Love. Note that dogs don't really share the same notions that many of us humans do for love, nor do they respond to it as human children do. If you mess up on 1) and 2), you can't make up for it with 3) and not expect to have a spoiled bratty dog that frustrates you every tine you cross paths.

Anyway, when I think about it, I still cannot believe it that I'm out on the pathways every morning, rain or shine, blizzard, sunshine or pitch black, or -30C, both of us getting some dearly needed exercise, and both of us ENJOYING it.

BTW, our cat still hasn't forgiven us for bringing a dog into the family. Her main consolations are that she gets to sleep on any piece of furniture that attracts her, while the dog is relegated solely to the floor.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 11:39PM
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If barking is a problem, do not get a beagle or hound . Those dogs are bred to bay/bark. The mixes of those breeds often get the bark/bay gene.

You might consider a whippet or whippet mix. That breed is a sight hunter, bred to run and not necessarily make noise. Boxers and collies are also breeds that can run well.

Getting a dog from a shelter is a great idea. Most of the many dogs I have had were rescued from some less desirable situation---shelter/bad home/abandonment/etc.

Short haired dogs are less maintenance. I have always had short hair or medium length hair---like a German Shepherd type. My current dogs do not have a flea problem as they seldom get to be closely associated with other dogs. I use Front Line(or equivalent) about once every three months just to be sure.

Be aware how a dog acts in the shelter does not mean that is how they act outside of the shelter or in a different setting. Generally, a friendly/scared/aggressive/etc. dog will be the same, but there can be other traits not so evident. Like guarding food/toys, dislike of cats, separation anxiety, or a whole host of less than desirable personality problems.

Most are fixable, however, and should not be a deterrent to adoption.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 10:40AM
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There are many medium sized, mixed breeds to choose from but I don't think a hound/beagle mix is a good choice for you.
Beside the barking/baying they can often be difficult when it comes to basic commands and house training.

I wouldn't rule out shelters but you need to visit your local shelters and see how they work with the animals. My local shelter/pound is great about finding homes for dogs and actually make several of them office pets while they wait for adoption or foster.
You could adopt directly from a shelter but since you've never owned dogs I'm not sure you'd be ready to deal with some of the problems these dogs can have.

So, I think your best option is to talk to a few rescue groups and find one that is informative, organized, and works well with their fosters. Then offer to be a foster and let them know you'll need their guidance during the process. They should be able to match you up with a dog that has a good chance of becoming a family member.
Be sure to list 'has to live with cats' one of the requirements. The advantage of working with a rescue group is if your adoption doesn't work out, they will take the dog back. Return, without question, should be part of their adoption policy and if it isn't look for another rescue group.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 12:41PM
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spedigrees z4VT

I would recommend getting a dog, aged 5 or 6, that is in a rescue group's foster home. A foster mom will have evaluated her foster dog's temperament and can help you to decide if a particular dog would be suitable to your home. If you adopt a dog from a shelter you do not really have an idea of how that dog will react to being in your home. For instance, a foster mom can tell you if the dog in her care is housebroken, if he gets along with cats or if he chases them, if he is fearful or outgoing, etc.

I would echo that a hound or beagle could present potential problems. They tend to follow their nose, thus not always easy to walk, would need to be on a leash, and are fabulous escape artists, although they are usually gentle dogs and good in the house. Collies, golden retrievers, labs are all dogs that love a good run, but are usually quiet in the house once they reach a mature age of 3 - 5.

Fleas and ticks should not be a problem if you use one of the monthly spot-on repellents. You should also treat your cats with a monthly spot-on flea repellent to avoid fleas from jumping from your dogs to your unprotected cats. Just be certain that whatever you buy for your cats is safe for felines. Any med containing permethrin is NOT safe for cats. Your dogs will also require a monthly heartworm preventative pill or spot-on medicine. Revolution is a spot -on that prevents heartworm disease as well as killing fleas, and is safe for both cats and dogs (in the correct dose). If you use spot-on external parasite control, you should never need to treat your home for fleas, or give flea baths or dips or any of the other distasteful measures that we dog owners used to have to take.

I echo the advice to find a good trainer and take your dog to a basic manners class. Forget about Cesar, the dog abuser, or any trainer that uses choke chains, prong collars or electric collars. Seek out a trainer who uses *positive reinforcement* techniques. If a trainer talks about treats and/or clickers, setting your dog up for success or helping him to succeed, then sign on to one of her classes. This will get you and your new dog off to a good start. Also she will know your dog from the classes, and you can contact her later if you have a problem or question.

Also I would strongly recommend that you securely fence in an area of your yard for your dog opening off of a door to your house. An area about 50 foot square is about right. That way you can go out and exercise your dog, play ball with him, and let him in and out easily to do his business. Electric 'invisible' fences are generally not secure. Better to go with chain link, wood privacy fence, or page wire. I have been a dog owner for the past 45 years, and I cannot imagine owning a dog without a fenced yard. Some do it, but it is difficult, and tying a dog to a run or chain is not a good option.

Also set up your home, using a baby gate so that your cats have a secure place they can go, with food & water, a comfy place to sleep, and kitty litter where your dog cannot get to them, until they have all had time to adapt to each other. A gate is better than a closed door because the dog and cats can see each other and get acquainted. Get the cats used to this setup before you introduce the dog.

Best of luck with your new dog, and let us know what kind of dog you pick and how it goes. It sounds like you are thinking this through very carefully, so I suspect you will be a successful dog family!

This post was edited by spedigrees on Sun, Apr 14, 13 at 14:18

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 2:05PM
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Thank you so much for all this great info - just what I need to know. I noticed when I was looking at the adoptable dogs on line that some were in foster homes so much more is known about the dog's behavior and personality. That does seem like a big advantage. My niece got a shelter dog and after a couple years it still has some significant issues even though they have worked hard on training the dog. A lot to consider - I definitely will not rush into anything.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 4:25PM
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Fostering is a good plan since you have no idea how your grown cats will take to a dog.

My dd's friend's family added a hyper dog to the house with two grown cats -- after years of having the run of the house, the cats lived in the basement because they could not stand the dog. They ended up getting rid of one of the cats because it never did accept the dog (horrible in my opinion!).

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 9:06AM
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spedigrees z4VT

Sorry for this mistake. Something went wrong with my intended edit. Pls see post below.

This post was edited by spedigrees on Mon, Apr 15, 13 at 13:10

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 1:01PM
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spedigrees z4VT

On the subject of fostering, many rescues want experienced dog owners as foster parents. This is because someone familiar with dogs will know how to help a new dog to fit in and teach some basic social skills while the dog is in their care. Additionally an experienced dog owner can better evaluate a foster dog's needs and strengths and pass this info along to the rescue group.

However if a rescue is willing to give you the chance to try it, one advantage is that if your foster dog works out well in your home, you can apply to adopt him.

I think though, that fostering a dog is not the best route to take. Fostering is not designed to be a trial period for a potential adopter; its purpose is to help a dog to learn the basics of living in a household through introducing him to various situations and to evaluate his strengths and weaknesses. As a first time owner, you would want to begin life with your new pet under the direction and help of an experienced reward-based trainer, rather than trying to assume this role yourself.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 1:07PM
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I'm a lifelong cat owner who's also had a couple of dogs. My feeling on dogs is that you get out of them what you put into them. Put the time and effort into training and behavior, and you will have a great dog. So many people I've known over the years have some idealized vision in their head of what life will be like with a specific dog/breed- and then they are so wrong when they don't have the time of effort to give the dog what it needs.

Long time ago, my mother adopted a dog from the pound- she thought it was a lab mix on sight. It was part lab, but predominantly border collie. Those dogs need exercise and lots of it. Fortunately mother was the person for that job and was able to take the dog out into areas where it could run off energy, several times a day. This dog was also cat aggressive, which was a problem that had to managed. She turned out to be a great dog, but without the commitment to give her what her breeding required, she probably would have been bored, depressed, and destructive. Mother took a gamble with a shelter dog, but she knew she would work with what she got and make the best of it. BUT, that is where a rescue group can really come in handy. They've hopefully assessed the dog for behaviors and can help you find an appropriate match for your household and lifestyle. (Although the major rescue in my area does not check their dogs for cat aggression- which surprised me, I thought that would be a given. It's one of the reasons I have not looked into getting another dog after all these years).

But as others have suggested, take an obedience course with your new pup. It's a great way to bond and learn about your new friend.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 2:39PM
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Rescue is a wonderful thing to do. If you go forward and are unable to find "the right dog for you" consider a retired show dog from a good/reputable breeder. Many good breeders are happy to find loving homes for the last 1/2 - 2/3 life of their dogs life. These dogs have been raised well, house broken, leash trained & up to date on vet care. Breeder can fill you in on the dogs likes/dislikes. The dogs adjust very well & love becoming the pampered pet.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 7:30PM
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Such great info - thank you all. I have mentioned to DH that he would need to take his dog to training and got kind of a luke warm response which didn't entirely surprise me but it is a big red flag. He is such a softie about even controlling how much the cats eat that I have a hard time envisioning him doing dog discipline. My brother in law has a retired breeder dog. It's a nice dog but I've always been partial to strays vs purebreds. It seems like a dog that has been a foster dog is maybe the way to go so more is known about how the dog behaves and how it is with cats. So we shall see - no rush in getting a dog.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 9:44PM
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If you do decide to get a puppy, do NOT get one from a pet store or multi-breeder! If I were going to get an adult dog I would go through a dog rescue or friend who knows about the dog. If I were going to get one from an unknown source, I would go to a reputable dog breeder with references and pay extra because you get what you pay for. We have raised several breeds of dogs and the cocker we have now is wonderful, although again, we made sure we went to a reputable breeder to get her. If you don't mind the size, Golden Retrievers are probably the most lovable, obedient, and easy dogs to have except for the fact that they shed. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 7:27AM
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Further on what ermachef says about pet shop pups.... I am appalled at what these establishments charge for their cute but mongrel dogs! They are on par with what real breeders charge for purebreds. If you just want a cutie with indeterminate background, get a rescue and save yourself $$$.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 4:24PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Gibby, the "discipline" involved in reward based training isn't what you think. It's not about correction or control; it's about shaping your dog's behavior with treats. I think your husband would not have a problem with positive reinforcement methods. They are far more effective than dominance-based methods, and fun for you and your dog. I would recommend that you and your hubby both attend training classes with your new dog, so that all of you will be on the same page with his training.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 6:41PM
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Ya know, you don't need to give treats to reinforce positive behavior. Doggy brains are a bit more sophisticated than that. While it may work for many dogs, it can be downright annoying, and occasionally very dangerous, for dogs who are intensely food motivated.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 7:01PM
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Also, some short haired breeds shed horribly.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 12:27AM
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spedigrees z4VT

Once a behavior is established, you can phase out the treats, but positive reinforcement training that utilizes treats and clickers to teach a dog is by far the most effective method of training. I have trained dogs in the past using traditional methods of training with correction and vocal praise, and I have used reward based training in later years. There is no comparison. The reward-based training is hands and paws above carrot-and-stick type training.

You do need a trainer well versed in positive reinforcement training to teach the correct use of treats and clickers. Taught correctly it is absolutely NOT dangerous; it is the polar opposite of dangerous, and will result in a more reliable and happier dog. A dog trained using these methods is NEVER annoying, because he knows that to get a treat he must sit and wait patiently.

This post was edited by spedigrees on Sat, Apr 20, 13 at 12:54

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 12:25PM
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I'm a cat person too, but then I decided it was time for a dog I was incredibly lucky when I adopted my dog from the pound. He's a purebred boxer, and was already housebroken, with basic training down pat. It is obvious that whoever had this dog before me was really into him, at least for awhile. He was picked up as a stray, skinny with long nails. They said he was about two, which seemed about right. He was not fixed, which either explains how he became a stray or why someone wouldn't have been looking for him. Anyhow, he has turned out to be the best dog I could have hoped for. I'm so glad you're willing to adopt. You might consider adopting from a rescue so they can help you find the perfect dog for you. You'd still be saving a life because when rescues have room they have no trouble pulling other dogs from kill pounds to take the adopted dog's place. It might be easier to adopt from a rescue too because you aren't faced with knowing that the ones you don't adopt may be euthanized simply because their time was up. However, you can still get a decent dog from the shelter so if you don't find a rescue you feel comfortable working with then by all means please take a chance on a shelter dog. I did and I couldn't be happier with my choice.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:16PM
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I suggest a Labrador Retriever from a shelter that is 3 yrs. old or more (labs take almost 3 years to reach adulthood) and has been with cats. There are plenty out there and they tend to be very smart and very accepting of other pets. I always suggest short hair and the color of your carpet when choosing a color.

Labs have been the #1 choice in breeds worldwide for years for good reason.

We have always had labs (we are in our 70's) and have never had a bad one!!!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 5:25PM
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I second the suggestion of an obedience/ home manners course. I went to classes with my last 2 dogs, both rescues, and it was a great bonding experience and having the weekly classes kept me motivated to practice and be ready for the next week. I loved the training so much that I continued on and now train and show both dogs in the sport of dog agility. Having a well trained dog makes living with them a pleasure and it is so worth it. Hope you find the perfect dog for you!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:47PM
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Dogs actually are happier living in households where there is some discipline and rules. It's their nature to be in a social setting with a pecking order and if you don't provide the leadership and discipline, then they will fill in the void. I've raised enough nutty dogs to finally recognise this. Now, if I could just convince my hubby his little transgressions aren't cute.

I take it you both work and are out of the household at some part of the day? There may be some adjustments to be made. My current pooch is a shelter dog and was about a year old when we adopted him. He is a good fit, and I'd do it again without hesitation. However, I work at home and had I not, there would have been major issues. He had the worse case of seperation anxiety I've ever seen. I could literally not be out of his sight for even a minute. He would self mutilate and I'd find blood where he had chewed his tail. It took us about two months to finally get him where he could relax and not panic. He is also a sighthound mix and I was unaware that many consider kitties to be fair game for predation. I will never be able to trust him alone with my cat. He is a happy, gentle guy........and it's hard-wired into him from being a breed meant to hunt smaller prey. I don't hold it against him and it won't be 'trained' out of him. But, thankfully we live in a huge old farmhouse where the two seldom come nose to nose because we keep him in one part of the house and the cat in the other with the doors closed. This is an important issue that you not put your cats at risk and your new pet can be trusted with them. Most dogs can........but some can't.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:22AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

You might also keep in mind the longevity of the breed. Smallish dogs live much longer than many larger breeds/mixes and that is important to me.
I adore boxer and golden retriever temperaments but they rarely live longer than ten years at tops. My beagle mix and JR are both almost 14 and going strong.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 3:35AM
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Good for you for researching and asking questions first - a good start.
Next reasearch your breeds, I doubt you would be happy with a beagle - bred to bay, which they often do at the slightest noise. Great way to traumatize your cats and the quiet happy home you live in.
Your best bet is to start going down the the shelter and spending time with the dogs. You do not have to take them home because you touched them :-) let the staff know you need a cat friendly dog - this should be one of your biggest concerns.
As for croch sniffing and jumping, find yorself a positive reinforcement trainer, you can train dogs as early as 6 months old to do tricks like sit, stay, roll over, leave it, jump through a hula hoop or over a stick, pray, etc...Dogs are alot like 3 to 5 year old human children. They demand attention and the more you spend time with them training them, the better off everyone will be, the more the merrier. Since your DH wants a dog to run with, you need to take that into consideration, you dont want a Chihuahua to run with. You also probably are not looking for breeds which run alot - they can be a handful Huskies, Malamutes, Dalmations all bred to run. A greyhound would probably be your best bet. Most get along with cats and love to run, are also gentle and love to cuddle and can be very cat-like. I would not worry too much about bringing the outdoors inside, placing towels by the front door during rainy or snowy weather will take care of most of the yekky stuff. A bath once a month should keep the rest at bay. Contact a local greyhound rescue if there are none at the local shelter.
Good luck with your purchase let us know what you get and when you get it, I would love to hear all about it. GOOD LUCK

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:27PM
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I have a greyhound mix, Sighthounds are not reliably cat friendly, I have to physically keep my cat and my dog separated, and shall always have to. The cats were used to dogs and have been way-layed even when they were asleep and minding their own business. It is otherwise a precious and gentle dog but extremely prey driven. They demand extraordinary requirements as far as either fencing or leashing is concerned. If they take flight, you are not ever going to catch up with them and mine will be walking peacefully beside me on our grounds until it spies a bunny or squirrel I haven't noticed, and the leash goes taught as a spring, and he's pulled it out of my hand, or bowled me over more than once. He also has to wear halters, as his neck is so fine and slender, he had injuries when I got him from the shelter from someone who collared him for control. He didn't get a voice back for months. I can say nice enough things about him in other respects..........easily trained, intelligent, playful and quite content to be a couch potato between exercises. Clean and always smells fresh. But sheds his tiny stiff hairs like nobody's business.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:15PM
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After lots of reading and ongoing exposure to other people's dogs I think I may just stick with cats after all. Life with cats has been wonderful - might be best not to mess with a good thing. Maybe at some other stage of life I'll reconsider.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 1:24PM
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gibby -- I know how you feel. I often think I'd love for my DH to have a dog since the cat is really my pet.

But then I look at how well-adjusted my cat is and happy and I'd hate for his personality to change because I brought a dog into the house.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:31PM
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The things you don't like about other peoples dogs, you may not believe it now, but having your own, a lot of times those annoying things end up being the things you love about them the most. One of my dogs is a beagle/lab and beagles were near the top of my list of dog breeds i did not want, and she is everything I thought she'd be, but I love her personality. She does bark but it is fairy easy to teach the "quiet" command to a dog once you've taught them speak.

Dogs won't track in much, mine aren't on flea and tick preventative because i am uncomfortable with it and i know i don' have any fleas in my yard, and i just tick check them daily during normal affection, but as easy way to avoid that is just to use a flea/tick preventative from the start and you won't have a problem. Most will have fleas when you get them so the pill from the vet that kills fleas before it's in the house plus a bath with blue dawn dishsoap will get rid of any fleas and you won't have a problem. Mine sleep in bed and they are allowed on the couches and they don't track a whole lot of dirt in.

I can't imagine not having a fenced in yard with my dogs though, my life would be miserable and so would theirs. They like to run around out back and hang out.

My beagle/lab came from a house with cats when she was a puppy and still 3 years later she loves cats. So gentle and submissive around them, and she is a very hyper playful dog you would not expect to be good with cats.

I was a cat person and I love having dogs. A big thing to consider is how much work they are. They are like kids you can't just leave them like you can cats. Especially one that hasn't been trained because they will wreck stuff. Crate training is great for this though, and they learn pretty quickly. You can train a dog out of almost anything, but there are some things that you are better off just adjusting your life to. Trash picking is one of those things, a trash picker is usually going to trash pick given the opportunity and chance alone, so we shut our bathroom doors instead of leaving temptation out there. A digger is gonna dig especially when it comes to hounds, and while you can train some out of it sometimes you just have to give them a designated digging spot.

Jumping up is very easily corrected I've worked with a lot of fosters and it's the easiest thing to stop. Crotch sniffing more difficult but I would say most don't have that problem. intact males mostly.

They CAN be very well trained and it doesn't take a ton of work to do so. They will learn a lot of things without you even teaching it to them, mine picked up room names and i can tell them which room to go to and they will go. If told to get off they won't come back up until invited. You can teach them to go to their crate very easily, and use that command when people knock on the door, and soon they will learn knocks on the door mean crate until invited out. The key is to get basic commands down and use them to teach the dog more complicated commands.

One big thing I can't stress enough, if you get a puppy do not adopt a puppy from someone who has the litter and is adopting them out at 6 weeks. 8-9 weeks is the responsible thing to do. I've fostered litters and they learn bite inhibition starting at week 7, any dog leaving before that will have the mouthing problem and it's very annoying to have a dog mouthing constantly and so much more work to train that when two more weeks with it's siblings and it would learn most of it on their own.

If you want to avoid a dog gutting things it's simple, never give them any toys with stuffing. There are plenty of stuffing free toys to keep a dog happy. Give them plush toys to tear into and they do not understand why it's ok to do that and not gut pillows etc. One plush toy removed and corrected the second the dog starts to gut it so they learn gutting is bad.

Clicker training is someting i can't recommend enough. It is one of the best training tools out there. People don't understand why their dog isn't learning things because they have people with different tones, a clicker is cheap and the dog will remember that click means good and the click can come immediately after the dog has correctly done what you wanted. So many people praise their dog too late and the dog has no idea what it's getting praised for, and so many people have monotone voices that a dog can't distinguish positive from negative. That is also the cause of so many dogs not listening to commands, a stern voice is needed, i could take any dog ive trained who knows the "off" command, or get off. or down. and will do it immediately. Now tell them to do it but say it in a cheerful voice and no they are not going to do it. They are taught commands in stern voices, they obey stern voices, not voices that mix in with normal conversation that they hear all the time. It's not mean it's communicating with your dog.

The biggest thing is to understand that your dog doesn't know what you want. If your dog isn't trained yet, you can't throw out commands and expect them to understand. You can't expect them not to do bad things, they aren't doing it to make you mad, they are following their instincts and you need to teach them what you want from them. you need to show them the behavior you like and what you don't like. Dogs like to please, training sessions are a great bonding experience and provide a lot of mental stimulation which a dog needs just as much as physical to tire them out. They are happy when you are happy, the moment you first teach a dog a trick and they do it and understand it you will understand by the look on their face that they are happy, and how awesome it is to have been able to communicate your wants to them and have them understand. Great bonding, training sessions, not necessarily from a trainer, just you and the dog are highly beneficial even for adult dogs as an ongoing thing it strengthens your relationship with the dog. It's really not work either,, it's just taking a few minutes to work with them.

Socialization is also key,and it doesn't stop with dog to dog interation and dog to human interaction. It involves experience and situations as well. You don't want a dog afraid of storms or who won't go out in the rain, so when it's raining, excited play time in the rain so the dog sees it as a good thing. Car rides. you leaving the house, come back with something for the dog and they will learn that you leaving can be rewarding.

Even with the worst barkers that i couldn't train 'quiet' effectively, i could train lay down and stay, and that is usually effective in stopping them from barking.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 2:51AM
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Today, like normal, my dog woke me when she needed...
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