Posted by Bruce Edwards
on January 15, 2017 / Posted in Really Good Pet Food
So many people just fall in love with the experience of having their first dog. It is truly an amazing experience of unconditional love. They often think that if one dog is wonderful, a second dog could be “doubly wonderful”. They also reason that their first dog would love to have a companion to play with when they are not around.
These are all nice thoughts and I am sure that their intentions are in the right place. The problem is that a second dog is not always the best idea. If one id great, it is possible that two might not be that great. There are many items to consider before you get a second dog.
It is often (aka sometimes) great to have Holiday guests and out of state family down for the holidays. It gives us excuses to go to the really cheesy venues down here in South Florida that we normally don’t visit. We hear a lot of “Wow, it is really warm down here in winter” and “Where are all the mountains?”
After a week or so of having all our guest rooms filled up and every sofa covered with comforters, they disappear as quickly as they arrive. The problem is that they leave one thing that can be a problem for our dogs. They leave their scent. Although we may not smell this, our dogs do. This can cause for some special issues that we need to address.
In today’s world, Robin and I are seeing more and more dog owners with home offices or their company is allowing them to work several days a week from home. This is a wonderful thing for many people because they can be more efficient and spend more time with their families. The problem can pop up if their dog is always demand attention or always barking at the people walking down the street or passing by the back yard fence. Those are all major detractors if you are trying to portray a positive, professional image to clients or co-workers on conference calls.
We are often asked by our clients if they should get a second dog. First of all, we are the wrong people to ask because we have six dogs and probably would have more if we could. But since we are dog trainers, we need to provide our clients with some professional direction. We always begin the discussion by stating that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to getting a second dog. They shouldn’t get a second dog out of guilt because they feel that their current dog is lonely. This normally is not the case.
They should also not consider getting a second dog because they want to mate their dog. There are far easier methods to mate their dog than bringing in a new dog.
We like to provide thought starters and guidelines that help our clients guide themselves to the appropriate answer. Several of the topics we like to include are (1) Temperament, (2) Gender, (3) Proper Introduction, and (4) The Ability to Maintain Order.
The Holidays are quickly approaching and that can be a wonderful time. We look forward to having great meals, getting together with old friends and out of town family members, and watching all those great old Holiday movies on television. This is a special time of the year that is different from the rest of the year.
This is a good thing for us, but our dogs really don’t like change. They like the way it has been the rest of the year. They have become accustomed to how things have been run, when we go to work, when we eat our meals, when we take them for a walk, who normally comes over, etc. Everything is about to instantly change and they may not know what is happening and how to deal with it.
The Holidays are right around the corner and your home will probably fill up with “Show Bird” family members from the northeast as well as all sorts of neighbors wanting to watch the big game on your extra large, high definition TV. With all this going on, you will be having a lot of meals with a lot of people.
When there are just the few of you, you probably don’t mind your dog when they beg at the table every once in a while. Now that you will have a lot more food and people in play, their begging is going to increase exponentially. Besides that, if they don’t get what they want by begging, they will step up their game to simply stealing the food from the table.
You need to tell your dog that it is not OK to beg or steal from the table. This will not only make your Holiday festivities far more enjoyable, it could also eliminate a safety risk of them getting into something that might be poisonous do dogs.
We love our dogs and we love to have them outside with us in the back yard. We can play ball with them, have them sit next to us while we read the paper, or even be in the pool with us.
The one thing that is universally annoying is when our dog is a “fence runner”. Gets outside and just barks and runs back and forth right at the fence as fast as he possibly can. The more we try and stop him, the more we think he is doing everything to ignore us, avoid us, and just make us really mad. We are afraid that the neighbors will complain because all of the noise and are worried that all our beautiful and costly plants next to the fence will be destroyed…
We all have places where we like to go to unwind and just blow off a little steam. The world can get just a little too crazy and we just want to take a “time out” for a little while. This could be the gym, a movie, or the Lazy Boy and a good book.
Our dogs also have a critical need for their own safety zones. This fills their natural need for a cave or den where they could retreat and unconditionally become safe and secure. It is a place that they can also unwind and rethink the world around them. It is important that we nurture this need with our dogs and actively provide them with the opportunity to have one or more of these places available to them. These places can be either single locations or even mobile.
We always try to do our best and try to train our dogs (and family) as best we can, but sometimes our dog just gets out the front door. It is amazing how our “well trained doggie” turns into a misbehaved mutt when he has the freedom and excitement of the entire neighborhood. Whatever we do, it seems that our trying to catch him just makes it worse.
As dog trainers, we have to admit that this happens with us and our dogs from time to time. We have found that our normal, human reaction to trying to catch our dog just adrenalizes and encourages our dog to run more and faster. We need to understand that we must calm down and take the process slow and methodical if we ever want to get our dog home on our time and on our terms.
Crates are really great for our dogs. They are a place of safety and also a sign of security. We can use them as a simple place to feed our dogs as well as a place to have them when the repair man is over to fix the disposal. The problem that many of us often face is getting our dog to easily go into the crate. This problem probably started with some sort of inappropriate use of the create or lack of passive socialization in the introduction of the crate.
We need to focus on making the crate a great place and to make our dog “want to go” into the crate. This really isn’t a big deal if we introduce some simple exercises focused proper crate introduction and passive, supportive socialization.