Dog Training Equipment: When The Buckle Collar Is Not Effective

You chose the basic dog training equipment to get started with your new dog. After a few weeks, you begin to think you made a wrong choice. Your dog is not responding as well as you would like. What do you do?

Well, the obvious is to first check your dog training methods, because it’s quite possible the problem is not with him, but with you. Make sure you are being consistent. Don’t let him get away with the bad behavior – not even once. Always correct him. Do not let him disobey one time and correct him the next. This will never work. Your dog will simply be confused.

Next, just make sure you aren’t confusing the dog with how you are correcting him.

Here’s a brief story.

The other day while I prepared to walk my dog, he would not stay in position long enough for me to attach his collar and leash. He would sit and raise his head, as dominant dogs do. Having him stand is far more effective, because he will then lower his head.

He understands the “stand” command, and did that without hesitation. But he would not hold perfectly still because he was so anxious to get going. I told him, “Wait!” without even thinking what it really meant to him. His previous owner taught him to “Wait” by sitting. So here we were in conflict. Me telling him to “Stand” and shortly after, “Wait”, and him standing and sitting as per my ever-changing commands.

It took me a few days to realize what I was doing wrong and I had to laugh at us.

So be careful of your words. We humans don’t always think what we’re saying and tend to blurt out what’s foremost in our minds. You can see the difficulty.

You have your dog training methods sorted. The next step is to consider a change in dog training equipment. Perhaps what you are using just does not apply sufficient pressure to let him know you are the boss.

When the plain buckle collar or choke collar does not work on your large dog, a prong collar can be quite effective.

Before you cringe at the thought, realize that this type of collar looks far more deadly than it actually is.

It is designed to fit snugly around the dog’s neck, high and behind the ears. The prongs can be used to resize the collar and for putting it on the dog. It should not slide. The part that attaches to the leash should be on the right side of the dog’s neck. Of course, this depends on your method – if you are right or left handed. If you walk with your dog on the right, then it should be on his left.

The part without the prongs should be under the dog’s throat where the neck is more vulnerable.

This type of collar is designed to pinch the skin evenly around the dog’s neck. This means that the correction is applied all around the neck, not in one place as with the choke collar. Less force is needed with the prong collar. It is especially effective on dogs that can ignore the effects of a choke collar or who have been allowed to pull on the leash for months.

Still struggling? Get these secrets to dog training.

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This Dog Training Advice Will Bring Positive Results

If you were told that it is a bad idea to give your dog treats as praise, would this be good dog training advice? What if someone suggested that a dog must learn to obey you simply because you are his master. Is that sufficient advice?

First off, whether or not to give your dog treats is your own personal preference. Neither is a good or a bad choice. It depends on your style and what works best for you.

Do you want your dog expecting treats every time he obeys you? Probably not. If you did, expect your dog to pack on a lot of pounds over the years. But giving your dog treats during training sessions can be good.

Personally, I’d rather the dog simply accept my praise and appreciate that I am happy with his response.

Believe it or not, some dog owners believe their pets should obey because they are the boss. There is some logic to this, but they have to realize that for this to happen, they must earn their dog’s respect. This means showering the dog with praise when he does the right thing.

Dogs that are treated this way tend to be more responsive to their owners. They more readily learn and obey new commands. If there is no reward, either as praise or a treat, it is not so obvious when they do the right thing.

You probably know that there are trainers who know what they are doing and many who do not. Some live by old traditions. They are not familiar with the spectacular results discovered through research and testing.

Good dog training advice really should incorporate those new ideas because in many cases, they make training much easier and more successful.

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Here’s What You Can Do When Dogs Bark At Night

Perhaps nothing is worse than having dogs bark at night. It can ruin your sleep and put you in a bad mood the next day. Some owners seem oblivious to this noise problem.

If you have a dog that insists on barking at night, there are a few things you can do.

1. Keep him indoors after a certain hour so as not to disturb the neighbors. If your dog is not allowed in the house, at least put him in a safe place, like his kennel.

2. Realize that dogs bark when they are lonely and isolated from “society”. If this is your case, find a way to ensure that the dog gets sufficient attention during the day.

3. Teach your dog when enough is enough. You will notice that dogs bark in sets. They don’t bark incessantly. Those breaks are clues. They are natural, which means you can work with them to teach your dog at which break to stop.

4. If you leave him outdoors, make sure your dog has sufficient water to sustain him through the night.

5. Make sure he has a warm (or cool) place to stay during hot or cold nights. Dogs don’t always bark because of something they hear way off in the distance or in the neighbor’s back yard. Sometimes, they are just plain uncomfortable.

6. In really cold weather, it’s a good idea to put your dog somewhere warm, in your basement or garage, for instance. Just make sure that he cannot access any dangerous chemicals, such as anti-freeze. If it has spilled on the garage floor, your dog can lick up enough to become seriously ill.

If it’s an uncooperative neighbor’s dog, you might have to resort to wearing earplugs.

Dogs bark at night for many reasons. At best, you can minimize them and hope your dog training does the trick.

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Dog Behavior Issues: How To Wear Out Your Dog

Dog behavior issues are sure to arise if your dog is not getting the care that he needs.

Dogs need more than a walk once or twice a day. If their needs are not met, they will get into all sorts of trouble, from destroying things to incessant barking. Many owners do not realize just what a dog really needs to be truly happy.

They figure that if he gets toys, treats, and a whole bunch of attention, it’s enough. But it is not.

Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have to use your brains much at all, week after week, month after month. Wouldn’t you get bored? You would get antsy, for sure. Your brain, and your dog’s brain, need constant stimulation. And it’s not just to stay alert and mentally satisfied. It also will extend life. Happy dogs, like happy people, tend to live longer.

If you involve your dog  in a variety of activities that make him think and solve problems, he will be much happier. In fact, you might find out that he needs less other exercise, like walking, because he’ll be so tired out from all that thinking.

You need an intense workout for your dog that can include a number of things that he enjoys. Jumping, leaping and running are three favorites, regardless of the type of dog you own.

In Dog Talk Weekly, I’ve included an article on some agility exercises you can do that your dog will enjoy. It’s in this issue.

You can enjoy more tips every week if you join my FREE newsletter.

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Training An Aggressive Dog Through Reinforcement

Training an aggressive dog is just the beginning. You then need to reinforce what he has learned, otherwise he can slip back quickly.

Dogs have an inherent need to lead. Some want to while others could care less. So it depends on your particular dog whether aggression and dominance is going to be a problem.

You need to train him in each problem area at a time. It is impossible to stop aggressive behavior all in one go. It will happen in different areas and each one must be treated separately.

What do we mean by reinforcement?

Basically, it means that you can never let your dog show aggression towards you in certain situations. You will note that there are times when the aggressive behavior will be more dominant than in others. Start with the easy situations and work up to the more difficult ones.

This doesn’t mean that you can let the aggression slide on some things while you train him in the easy situations. Doing so will make training that much more difficult. Deter the bad behavior every time it arises, but focus on less problematic behavior first to make it easy on yourself and your dog.

As you accomplish your goals, move on to the next situation and put your attention on it until he gets the point.

Thereafter, always remind your dog that the aggressive behavior will not be tolerated. This means constant reinforcement of the rules. If your dog is not understanding a particular lesson, go back to the basics and tell him to “sit!”, which you will have taught him previously. This puts his mind back into obeying mode.

A lot is involved in stopping aggression, which is why it is easier to take it one step at a time. Seek help when necessary, and before the behavior becomes too embedded into your dog’s character.

Training an aggressive dog has been directly linked to poor obedience training. Going back to basics and getting them right will help as well.

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How Do You Stop Dogs From Barking

Fortunately, I’ve never had a problem with excessive dog barking. I always stop my dogs from barking at a very early age. Even older adopted dogs soon learn. My method is simple. I pay attention to what the dog is trying to tell me (I check it out) and then when I see that everything is fine, I tell my dogs in a quiet tone, “Shhhh. Enough. Quiet.”

None of my dogs bark more than about 5 times before they stop on their own. They will look at me for assurance and probably to see if I’m as concerned as they are, but then the become quite. Thereafter, I simply have to say, “Enough.”

You can do this too, but first, let’s look at some problem barking behaviors.

Some dogs are genetically designed to bark, usually those in the terrier family. In some cases, it’s simply because the dog is highly territorial and dominant. In other cases, it results from how the dog is treated, especially if it is left isolated or confined in improper living quarters. Tethering a dog outdoors is sure to produce a barking dog.

Make sure your dog is properly cared for, with sufficient nutrition, water and freedom, and is given sufficient social interactions. Dogs are pack oriented, so being alone can be quite “painful” for a dog.

Leaving your dog home alone while you work is one thing. Leaving him in a kennel 24 hours a day is another.

Dogs will bark and develop other troublesome behavior if they do not get sufficient attention and exercise. This means stimulating their brains as well as their bodies.

Keep your dog active. Have fun with him. Teach him new things regularly.

Bring your dog indoors, rather than leave him outside all day and night.

If the problem persists, it’s possible your dog needs help from a dog behavior specialist. Talk to your vet for ideas on how to stop dogs from barking excessively. Here are more dog training tools for you.

And Now, Here’s My Secret Technique To Stop Dogs From Barking

It will be a little tougher if your dog is older and already has an established barking process, but it’s not impossible.

1. Observe your dog.

When your dog barks, observe her to see how she acts. Is she barking out the window, at the door? Is she barking frantically or just calmly? How does she sound? Is it quick, high pitched, low pitched? Are there growls mixed in? Does she stop on her own?

What you’re looking for is a clue into how she acts each time. Sometimes, she’ll be barking at visitors, at other times just to get your attention for some other reason. A toy out of reach, anxious for dinner, threatening a household member (including other pets). What you observe will determine how you respond.

2. Pay attention to natural breaks in the barking.

Dogs generally bark in “paragraphs”. Some might do a series of 5-6 barks, take a break, and then do another series of 5-6 barks. Other dogs will bark for much longer. Those natural breaks provide you with the perfect clue when you will get the best results in stopping her.

What she’s doing is barking, listening, and then barking again. You can be certain that dogs are not just barking. They listen. If the problem still exists, they’ll continue to bark.

3. Check out the cause of your dog’s barking

One thing the dog wants is for you to do something. “Come and see what’s going on so we can scare away the threat together.” In other words, she’s looking for your support. Walk to her side, look where she’s barking. Note what might be causing the barking.

4. Interrupt the barking

Quietly instruct your dog to “Stop!” or “Quiet!”. If you yell, your dog will simply think you are barking as well, which signals that it’s okay for her to keep barking. The best time to coordinate your training is between those natural rest stops. Wait until she reaches one, and tell her to be quiet.

5. Shorten the allowed barking time

You probably don’t want your dog to never bark. Besides, that would be kind of cruel since dogs bark like we talk. What you really want to do is shorten the time your dog barks. The first thing you need to do is teach her to stop barking on your command, as explained above. Then, work on stopping her at a shorter time. If you only want your dog to bark for one or two series of 5 barks each, allow her those and then tell her to stop.

This process really does work. You have to let the dog know you heard the warning, show support by taking a look to see the possible cause, and then instructing her in a quiet, calm voice to stop.

To recap:

Why do dogs bark? To get attention and warn of impending threats or a need for help.

How do you stop dogs from barking? You establish your dog’s trust in you by checking out the warning and proceed to quietly assure her that it’s okay to stop.

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Is Giving Dog Bones To Your Best Friend A Good Idea?

This is a hot topic nowadays. Dog owners are becoming increasingly concerned about their pets’ health. In the past, they might have given bones to their dogs, but are now concerned about potential dangers.

The overall consensus is that it’s not really a good idea. You have to be very selective of the types of bones you feed him, plus you really need to keep your eye on him. Should he somehow manage to break off and swallow a piece, you can be there to help him.

Broken pieces can lodge inside the mouth, which is not only uncomfortable, but poses the risk of him choking on it.

Let me tell you my story.

We always fed bones to our dogs, so I never considered it to be a problem. Not until one day, I gave my dog a lamb bone. It was one of the bigger bones and I was sure he’d be fine with it.

Much to my alarm, he did break it and without my knowing, had swallowed several shards.

All of a sudden, he started heaving. I rushed him outside where he threw up this sizeable shard of bone. It was shockingly sharp, pointed like an arrow tip, giving it not only one sharp point, but three. It was about 3″ long.

How he managed to throw it up without causing internal damage is beyond me, but I’m glad he was okay. From then on, I decided, “No more bones”.

I’ve since discovered that beef knuckle bones seem to be the least destructible. Dogs can gnaw on them forever and they’ll barely scratch the surface, so to speak.

I’ve since discovered other equally effective teeth cleaning aids for my dogs. My current dog loves the Kong toys and will chew on them incessantly all day long. His teeth are in incredible shape.

If you’re worried about your dog’s oral hygiene and are tentative about giving dog bones, there are many rubber toys that will do the trick.

Want more tips on how to keep your dog safe? Get a subscription to my dog newsletter, Dog Talk Weekly. It’s free.

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Dog training problems: Why Dogs Steal

Dog training problems. What a challenge. Does your dog take things that do not belong to him?

You’ve probably asked yourself a hundred times, “Why does my dog steal? He knows he’s not supposed to have those things.”

Dogs don’t use logic the way humans do. They take some action and watch to see how you respond. They soon discover which actions get your attention and which do not. The ones that do are those that your dog will persist in doing.

But you’re still left wondering, “Why does he do that?”

If your dog is stealing things, there’s a high probability that he is stressed, anxious or just plain bored.

Boredom is easy to correct. Give him more exercise. Get him outdoors. Chase him around the yard. Take him for a good long walk every day. Dogs were not designed to lie around the house all day and night. Their natural instincts are to keep moving, to hunt, to follow their noses as it were.

That’s exactly what the dog wants from you when he steals things. He knows you will chase him to retrieve it, especially if you have done so repeatedly in the past.

If your dog is anxious, this too can be the result of boredom. Yes, a dog needs mental stimulation, just like we do.

How do you fix that?

Simple. You train him to do different things that are not just obedience focused. Agility training is ideal for this. You don’t even need to join and pay for an agility training course. You can build your own runs with obstacles for your dog to scale or jump.

Unless you have a very big dog, you don’t really need that much space. The benefit is in exercising the muscles and the mind, more so than in traveling great distances.

Build a series of obstacles around your yard based on our dog’s size and abilities. For small dogs, use short objects. It’s best if they will topple easily if your dog accidentally hits them. A heavy object can cause injury if he hits it the wrong way.

Teach him to climb a ramp, jump over a bar, run through water, make his way through a long tunnel made from soft, flexible material that allows light in.

Your dog will enjoy it immensely, and in all likelihood, so will you. Agility is a great fun activity for the whole family.

Want more tips? My Dog Talk Weekly newsletter provides loads of ideas and interesting facts about dogs. It’s free to join. Go see!

Next time you’re faced with dog training problems, consider giving him exercise to release his energy and expand his mind.

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How To Take Care of a Dog That Is Fearful

Fear can come from many things, so knowing how to take care of a dog with this problem can be a challenge.

Is your dog afraid of one particular thing or situation? Is he just fearful of everything?

One problem you have to watch for in fearful dogs is that they can become fear aggressive. This usually means that they are more apt to bite people or other pets. If fear is allowed to go unaddressed, fear aggression is a high possibility.

What can you do?

One of the first things is to reassure your dog in that situation. Do not cuddle him, however, or this will signal to him that he has something to worry about. You want to make the situation less important. You do that by introducing him to it gradually.

Let’s suppose your dog is afraid of people. This is common in dogs that have not been socialized at an early age. Your job, then, is to socialize him. Keeping him from people is the worst approach.

One technique that is very successful is to get down to his level first. Perhaps sit on the floor or a step. It’s best if this is someone outside the immediate family. Have the person sit with his back to the dog. It will help if your dog cannot escape far.

This will take some patience as you wait for your dog to get curious. He should eventually come up to the person and sniff him.

Here’s how this worked once for me.

I was attempting to adopt a fear aggressive dog. He just kept barking and barking. For two hours, he continued this behavior while hiding under the dining room table.

It was pointless trying to coax him out or even talk to him. As soon as I did, he began barking again and backing out into the kitchen.

The next day, I returned and tried again. The same thing happened, only he wasn’t barking quite as much. He refused to let me pet him or get any closer than about 10 feet.

In resignation, I decided there was no way I could adopt a dog that was so fearful. As I sat with my hand on the floor, talking to the owners, I was surprised to feel a wet nose on my hand. I turned my head slowly and there was the dog. He even gave my hand a small lick once or twice.

From there on, we were able to get him into his collar and out to my car. It was a long road to bring him out of his fear aggressive state, but the majority of his behavior subsided. In his case, it seemed it would never go away completely. No doubt because he had been abused two owners back.

If your dog is fear-aggressive, don’t give up.

  1. Be patient. You need to give your dog time to get comfortable enough to investigate. Once that happens, he’s on his way.
  2. Reassure him. Repeatedly use a calming voice and repeat, “Relax”. I can quickly get my dogs to relax whenever necessary after I teach them that word. But you must relax yourself while using it. Let calm take over you and your voice. Whisper. it works great!
  3. Introduce him to the fearful situation slowly and in his own time. Do not force him
  4. Never raise your voice or your hand to a fearful dog as it will make him worse.
  5. Praise him often with your voice, a stroke, and/or a treat. Do this whenever he demonstrates less fear in a situation that triggers it.
  6. Become his friend. Play with him. Let other people play with him.

That’s how to take care of a dog that is fearful.

If you want more dog care tips and advice, subscribe to Dog Talk Weekly, my free ezine. I provide useful information and my personal dog stories, as well as dog trivia and more. You can sign up here. As I said, it’s free.

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Signs of a Dominant Dog and What Causes It

Your dog puts is front feet on your lap and licks your face. You think he is being cute and affectionate, but that would be a mistake. Your dog is showing signs of a dominant dog.

You know how sly dogs can be, right? They sneak away after you’ve told them to stay. They make their way to your coffee table and steal a cookie off the plate when you aren’t paying attention. You tell them not to do something and after a short period of cooperation, they are back at it.

Yes, dogs are sly, especially when they want something, and especially if they are dominant dogs.

In many cases they are forcing you to pay attention to them.

  • Looking sad and hurt
  • Barking
  • Bringing you his toys persistently
  • Nudging your hand to be petted
  • Leaning against you with his body
  • Sitting on your foot

Other signs of a dominant dog include:

  • Getting up on the furniture
  • Sleeping in your bed
  • Doing whatever he wants, regardless of what you say
  • Pawing your knee
  • Getting on your lap
  • Raising his nose to get higher than you

What Causes Dog Dominance?

Dog dominance is born into them. They have a strong drive to be the leader. They not unlike humans in this respect. Some of us are leaders while others are quite content to follow.

The strength of this drive is totally dependent on the individual dog and the breed of dog. It’s also how they have learned, through improper behavior training at a young age. Throughout their lives, they have made it their ambition to do whatever it takes to get your attention and put you in your place.

If you can teach your dog to trust you and respect you as the pack leader, your dog will be much happier and content, less anxious.

In this week’s issue of Dog Talk Weekly, I discuss some ways to curb dog dominance behavior. If you haven’t signed up yet, go ahead. It’s FREE!

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