Reducing Your Dog’s Impact on the Value of Your Home While Selling

There are many things to consider when buying a home. Mortgage rates are impacted by a number of things, including the value of the home. This is especially true, if you’re buying it as an investment for your future and will rely upon the market value.

One concern is in how having pets will affect the property’s value. While you may be an animal lover and look forward to giving a pet a home, you should be aware that they can impact how potential buyers view your home.

This article is by no means meant to deter you from having a furry best friend– but rather to ensure you’re aware of what you should do if you decide to sell your home.

While we absolutely adore our furry best friends, those in the ‘real estate business’ may look at them as a home depreciation method.

Hide Your Pets for an Appraisal

Pets leave plenty of telltale signs that they live in your home and even cleaning the carpets and flooring may not be enough.

Pet hair can get into the vents, deep in the fibers of your furniture, and even into the corners of every room. However, boarding your dog or cat at the time of an appraisal can lessen the impact your pet has on the appraiser, especially if the individual is allergic or especially sensitive.

Have your pet go on a play-date… or find a professional pet sitter to help out while your house is getting appraised.

Getting Rid of the Carpets isn’t Always the Answer

Both dogs and cats have accidents, especially when they’re left home alone for hours at a time. And… especially if you had your dog or cat when they were babies. 

While a good carpet cleaner can pull out most of the stain and odor, the damage to the carpet may be permanent.

One way to avoid this is to replace carpeting with hardwood or tile flooring, though this presents another type of problem.

Untrimmed animal claws will dig into the flooring, leaving scuffs, scratches, and holes.

This type of damage isn’t really avoidable, so be prepared to take a hit on the home’s market value as a result.

Or… another option (which may be a bit more expensive) is purchasing stain-resistant carpeting to place throughout your house when you make your purchase. Then, someday when you decide to sell, you’re able to do a quick shampoo job and have carpet that looks as good as new.

It’s Time to Call a Landscaper

When you do decide to sell your home, you’ll want to call a landscaper to attend to the exterior.

You may do this anyway to help the home’s curb appeal, but ask the landscaper to pay particular attention to the damage caused by the family dog.

In addition to marking their territory, dogs like to dig holes, break fencing, and tear apart smaller shrubs and plants. Left untreated, these factors will bring down the value of your home.

You can ask your landscaper to fix these problems before your house is shown to potential buyers. It’s not usually a huge deal… just some finishing touches to ensure the potential home-buyer is ‘awed’ by the sight of your home upon arrival.

A thorough cleaning is required before showing any home, but this is especially true for homes with pets.

Additionally, many real estate professionals recommend removing the pets, during showings. Whether prospective buyers adore animals or are afraid of them, you cats and dogs will be an unwelcome distraction.

You may also want to ask your agent if they can detect any odors and what they recommend to eliminate the offensive scents so that the home will feel more welcoming to potential home-buyers.

Training Your Dog Will Reduce the Impact on Your Home

If you would like to train your dog to behave while in the house in order to reduce the damage they may be prone to do, check out this website for some professional assistance!

 

A Guide to Pest Control Services and Pet Safety

Pest control and prevention can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing endeavor for any homeowner, but this is especially true if you have pets. The need for pest control can mean many things; fleas, bed bugs, cockroaches, etc. But while you get rid of whatever infestation you are plagued with, you must also consider the well-being of your animals. Follow these tips for pet-safe pest control.

Prevention is Key

Your first line of defense is prevention. Keep your home tidy and deep clean as often as you can. Invest in sealant and clear off any cracks, nooks, and crannies between your home and the outdoors. Avoid placing your pet’s food bowls near doors and windows, as these can attract bugs from the outside. If there is a way for bugs to get in, they will find it, so be diligent and pest-proof your house as best as you can.

Choose Pet-Friendly Brands

If, heaven forbid, you need to take chemical action to fight your pest infestation, it is important to be choosy with brands. Seek out brands that are specifically pet safe and non-toxic to animals. Just because a brand is safe for humans doesn’t mean it is okay for Fluffy and Spot. Make sure to read labels carefully and abide by all directions. If a product has a 12 hour waiting period, it probably isn’t safe for you or your animal during those 12 hours. When possible, choose DIY treatments. For instance; fruit flies can be trapped with just a bottle and some vinegar. These DIY traps are pet-safe and don’t involve chemicals.

If that doesn’t work, professional pest control companies quickly and effectively treat a variety of pest infestations, including termites, mosquitoes, cockroaches, spiders, ants, and rodents. Find a company in your area that uses eco-friendly treatments; these are least lightly to be harmful to your pets.

When In Doubt, Wait It Out!

It is best to avoid your home for a while any time you involve chemical pest treatments. This is a great time to book a playdate for your dog or cat with one of your neighbors or family members, or perhaps check them into doggy daycare for an afternoon. Having your pet out of the house and out of the way will be safer for them in the long run and more convenient for you during treatment.

No matter what pest-control operations you choose, make sure that your pet is one of your top priorities. Keep them safe by doing your research, choosing animal-friendly products, and keeping them out of the house as long as possible. Follow these tips and your pest control is sure to be pet-friendly.

Do you have more questions about your dog and their behavior? Check out our blog for answers to your questions!

Should I Put My Dog In Training?

Image Source: Integrity K9 Services: Executive Protection Dogs

If you’ve adopted a puppy or an adult dog, you may be wondering if you should invest in dog training. Is it really necessary? Why does it matter? Whether you are struggling to tame your unruly canine companion or simply want to fine-tune your dog’s skills, training has numerous positive outcomes for both pet and owner. Check out the following benefits of dog training services that every owner should know.

Safe and Sound

Training your furry friend will ensure his or her safety. If your dog is obedient, he or she is far less likely to dart out in front of a car and more likely to come back when called in the face of precarious situations. A trained and properly socialized dog will often be less aggressive towards other animals and people. Not only is this a security measure for your dog’s safety, but for others and their pets as well. We recommend starting early, if you have a pup, so that they grow up with the expectation that it is not okay to be aggressive.

Busy Owners

If you are super busy, you may feel you have no time to allot for training your pet. In the short-term, a dog training service will take up more of your time. In the long-term, dog training may actually save time. Dog training can be useful for busy dog owners who don’t have hours to spend on picking up after their pets’ accidents or providing constant monitoring and support. It is easier to leave your dog with peace of mind knowing that you can spend more time on what you need to focus on (and with your dog) rather than fixing your untrained dog’s mistakes.

Create a Strong, Lasting Bond

If your primary goal is to strengthen the bond you have with your dog, dog training services are the way to go. Statistics illustrate that a trained dog has a better bond with its owner. Positive training will improve communication, emphasize teamwork, and foster mutual respect. Your dog will become fully integrated into your family, respect your rules, and enjoy life to the fullest.

Train to Protect, Retrieve, or Alert

After you lay down a basic framework of obedience rules and commands for your dog to follow, you may decide you want to teach him or her a special skill. As your dog moves further throughout formal basic training, he or she will be able to learn more advanced commands that involve protecting you, retrieving important objects you need when you are unable to, or even alerting you to danger.

References:

Benefits of Taking Your Dog To Obedience Training

Dogs: Positive Reinforcement Training

German Shepherds: The Ultimate Guide

German Shepherds continue to be one of the most popular dog breeds. They often rank internationally within the top 10 of all dog breeds. They are renown for their intelligence and trainability as well as their regal appearance. They are working dogs that were initially bred in Germany for their herding and guarding abilities. The American Kennel Club classifies them in the herding group.

Physical Attributes

German Shepherds are large dogs, weighing around 80 pounds. Their size is ideal for the work that they perform. While they do not need regular trips to a professional dog groomer, they do require regular brushing. German Shepherds have a double coat that sheds continuously. They top the list of all breeds for shedding. While most dogs are healthy, be aware that this breed is notorious for having hip dysplasia and other joint diseases.

Intelligence and Personality

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and trainability, but a lot of people also tend to think that they are also rather aggressive. They’re not actually! German shepherds are a lot calmer than you think. This is why they are such a popular dog breed. They rank within the top 10 breeds for their ability to learn. This characteristic makes German Shepherds ideal as working dogs for military, law enforcement or placement as service dogs for people with disabilities. They are loyal, and they have a sincere desire to please their owners. Unfortunately, these guarding and herding instincts can also become problematic for people when dogs are not properly trained or socialized. Poorly bred dogs can inherit overly aggressive or shy traits that can challenge even the most experienced dog owner.

With proper training, German Shepherds thrive in either a working or family environment. They get along well with children and other pets in the home. Their loyalty is legendary. They are generally aloof around strangers and will protect their family. Early socializing with people is essential so that the dog learns to recognize regular human activity versus the unusual. If German Shepherds are not socialized with other people, they can become aggressive and overprotective of their family members. This social balance is one that every owner will need to understand.

Energy and Exercise

German Shepherds are energetic and need regular exercise, but German Shepherds are calmer than you think. These dogs have a strong work ethic and are always ready for an outing. They are not couch potatoes. They thrive in an active lifestyle – so you’ll want to invest in some high energy toys. Activities such as agility, Herdengebrauchshund trials and scenting will keep these dogs busy. They are also excellent companions for runners. If the dog has no job, he will find one. They can develop destructive tendencies if they are not given things to do, or they lack proper training. For the most part, German shepherds are quiet, and they are not known for their barking.

Breed Ban Lists

German Shepherds are on breed ban lists. Think carefully about adopting a German Shepherd before investigating local ordinances or homeowner association regulations. If you travel, your dog may not be welcome at hotels, RV parks and may be banned from some communities. Check your insurance. Some companies will have exclusions for some dog breeds. German Shepherds have a mixed reputation. They may be an insurance or legal liability.

Choosing Your Dog

Choosing a dog will be one of the most critical activities you will do. A dog will impact your life for the next 10-15 years. This is not a decision to take lightly or impulsively. If you are a new dog owner, you should seriously consider adopting an adult dog. They will have the training and socialization critical for this breed.

Before adopting a German Shepherd:

  • Get to know other people who own German Shepherds.
  • Visit kennels without committing to any purchases.
  • Interact with German Shepherds as well as other dog breeds.
  • Contact pet organizations; discuss your interest in German Shepherds.
  • Meet with professional trainers.

The best places to adopt your dog is from a breeder who has dogs with the temperament that you want. Contact an established breed rescue organization. This is the best place to look for an adult dog.

Take an expert or a knowledgeable person with you to help assess any dog that you adopt. A second opinion may save you years for frustration. Have the dog vet-checked before finalizing any purchase.

German Shepherds are amazing dogs. They want to please. They have intelligence and a strong work ethic. There are positive and negative traits in every dog breed. Analyze why you want a dog. If your vision of dog ownership matches that of a German Shepherd, you will have a long, enduring relationship with this noble breed.

 

dog-with-treat

Eliminate Food-Guarding Behavior in 7 Steps

Guarding possessions, whether it be food, a special toy, or any other item, is a normal behavior in dogs. When dogs ran wild, they were forced to guard their possessions to survive. Those who did guard their food, and/or their family were more likely to survive and thrive. Unfortunately, this could become an issue for us, as their family.

Guarding behavior can range from completely harmless to extremely aggressive. Some dogs guard their resources from everyone. And, others guard their possessions from only certain people (like ‘strangers’).

Some dogs guard their bone. Some dogs guard their toy. Some dogs guard their food.

Which of the above is your dog doing?

We’ll talk about how to resolve these issues. And, if your dog isn’t resource guarding, we’ll talk about how to prevent resource guarding as well.

Prevent the Behavior

dog-with-treat

If you have a puppy, now is an excellent time to begin preventing resource guarding. Puppies are prone to developing food guarding behavior because they must compete with their litter mates.

As soon as you bring your dog home, you should begin hand-feeding. Sit down with your puppy and feed him one piece of kibble at a time. Speak softly to your puppy as you’re feeding.

Once your dog is comfortable with hand-feeding, you can move to the bowl. Set the bowl in your lap or directly next to you. Watch your dog’s behavior as she’s eating with you. Continue speaking to your dog in a soft, positive voice as she’s eating.

My Dog is Already Food Guarding

If your dog is currently guarding her food, there are ways to desensitize your dog. The process we will use is known as counterconditioning.

While completing these exercises, be sure to listen to vocalizations and watch your dog’s body language. This will help you understand how he or she is feeling during this time.

The First Step: Only Standing Nearby

You need to go about this step-by-step. Try standing a few feet away from your dog while she’s eating her kibble. During the first step, you should not try to move closer. Calmly talk to her in a reassuring manner while she’s eating. This should be repeated a minimum of ten times before moving to the next step.

The Second Step: Standing and One Step

In the second step, you should still begin by standing a few feet away from your dog. But, you can take one step closer to your dog at this time. When you take your step, throw a treat toward your dog’s food bowl. Then, step back to where you were in the first place. Each day, you can take an extra step (as long as your dog is calm/relaxed). Step 2 should also be repeated a minimum of ten times before moving to step 3.

Step 3: Standing and Walking Away

If your dog has successfully mastered steps 1 and 2, you can move on to step 3. If your dog is still uncomfortable, please stay with the first two steps.

In the third step, continue talking to your dog in a soft tone, while walking toward his food bowl. Stand next to your dog’s food bowl, place a treat in the bowl, and walk away slowly. This step should be repeated a minimum of ten times.

Step 4: The Treat Trick

Continue applying what you have learned in the first three steps. In this step, while your dog is eating, you can hold a treat in your hand. Slowly show your dog the treat as he’s eating his meal. This step should encourage your dog to stop eating what’s in the bowl and take the treat. Once your dog has taken the treat, walk away and stand a few feet away from your dog. Continue to do this at each mealtime until your dog has finished eating.

Step 5: Pick Up the Bowl

The next step… raising the bowl. Please only attempt this step if your dog is 100% comfortable with steps 1-4.

Stand next to your dog and pick up her bowl with one hand. Don’t pick it up all the way… only lift the bowl slightly from the floor. Then, return the bowl to your dog immediately.

Step 6: Now She’s Comfy

Once your dog is comfortable with step 5, you can take the bowl away, place a treat in the bowl, and return it. Your dog now associates you with goodies. At this point, your dog should no longer have any problem with you being near her food.

Step 7: The Final Step

The final stage is to help the other members of your family go through all six steps. Be sure everyone in the household completes the steps in the same manner you did. And, don’t skip a step! This will allow your dog to learn there’s no reason to guard his food… not only from you but from anyone.

DO NOT PUNISH

Do not punish your dog for guarding her food. Your dog is guarding her food because she thinks you’re going to take it away and she won’t get it back. Punishment often results in the behavior worsening as the trust between you and your dog is lost.

DISCLAIMER:

If your dog becomes aggressive with his or her food, you should not attempt to resolve this behavior on your own. Please contact a Canine Behaviorist to assist in the process.

 

6 Steps to Potty Training Your Puppy

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Young puppies have an extremely hard time holding their bladder and will need to relieve themselves frequently. Potty training isn’t an easy process, but with time and dedication, you’ll have a much easier time as your pup gets older.

Potty training should begin the moment you pick up your puppy. This will help her get on the right track, sooner. Although she may have accidents, she will begin to understand what is expected of her. And, this will mean less clean-up for you. In this article, we’ll go through the steps of potty training… the ‘do’s,’ and the ‘do not’s.’

Step 1: Praise Your Puppy Excessively

Being required to go potty in a designated area is new to any dog. A dog’s instincts don’t tell them they’re not permitted to use the bathroom inside the house. Their instincts tell them to find an area where they don’t sleep or eat, and use the bathroom there, whether inside or outside.

That’s why it’s so important to praise your dog excessively when he uses the potty outside. Your dog needs your feedback to be successful in potty training (and all other types of training). Be sure to praise your puppy immediately after they potty outside… or else they won’t know what you’re praising them for.

The praise can be in the form of an excited “yay, good job,” a yummy low-calorie treat or kibble, or both. Many dog lovers carry around a handful of kibble in their pockets out of their puppy’s daily portions.

Step 2: Utilize a Crate

There’s controversy in the dog world about using crates… some dog lovers want a crate and others feel it’s not necessary. But, the crate essentially becomes your dog’s ‘den’ or ‘safe space.’ The crate is also helpful because puppies don’t like to use the bathroom where they sleep.

The crate should have a soft layer of padding to it. A dog bed generally works just fine. The crate should be large enough for your puppy to stand up and move around, but not large enough for your pup to relieve himself and move to another spot to sleep.

You can also place toys in the crate with your puppy so they’re able to play if they get bored. Mental puzzle toys, and some type of chew toy, are usually best. The Kong toys work extremely well, they’re mentally stimulating, and puppies generally can’t rip them to shreds. One of the biggest mistakes puppy parents make is grabbing a toy that looks neat, but their puppy shreds the toy into small pieces and end up swallowing parts of the toy. This could lead to a blockage… and we don’t want that to happen.

For this step, it’s critical to note that puppies should not stay in their crates for long periods of time. The crate should only be utilized when you’re not able to pay attention to your puppy. Then, once their potty trained, you can leave the door to their crate open so they’re able to freely enter and exit.

Step 3: No Punishments

Punishing your puppy for urinating or defecating on the floor can do more harm than good. By the time you find out your puppy has had an accident, your pup likely doesn’t remember what they did. And, even if you catch them in the act, punishing your puppy could permanently damage the bond and trust they have with you.

Staying calm when they have an accident is essential. You shouldn’t yell, chase, or smack your puppy. You also shouldn’t ‘rub his nose in it.’ Not only will you lose their trust, but they will associate going potty with punishment and may resort to using the bathroom in areas you won’t find.

Some dog lovers will argue, ‘but rubbing her nose in it works.’ And, yes… sometimes it does. But, you risk the bond you will have with her for the rest of her life by using punishment as a learning method.

Step 4: Show Her Where to Go

If you catch your puppy in the act, instead of punishing, try to re-direct her attention. You can re-direct her attention by saying “let’s go potty outside” or something similar. Then, immediately bring her outside to show her where it’s okay to use the bathroom. Then, once she uses the bathroom in your designed area, that’s when you can excessively praise her. She will connect the dots, and learn you are happy when she uses the bathroom in that particular area.

Step 5: Don’t Overuse Puppy Pads

You can, and should, have puppy pads in the house while you’re training your pup. But, you shouldn’t set them up in multiple areas around the house. This is confusing to a puppy, and they won’t understand why it’s not okay to use the bathroom in the house. They also may not be able to distinguish between a puppy pad and an area rug, or why she’s allowed to use the bathroom in some areas of the home but not others.

Step 6: Establish a Routine

Establishing a routine with any puppy or adult dog is critical. Dogs have a great sense of time, and if you have a set routine it will make potty training much easier. For example, if you always take her potty after she eats, she will understand after she eats she goes potty outside. This may take time- so don’t get upset if she doesn’t immediately understand the routine. Don’t worry- she will.

The Bottom Line on Potty Training

The most important step you should be aware of in this process is to always be positive with your puppy. Dogs and puppies are eager to please you. They want to make you happy as often as possible. Also, understand every dog is different, and some puppies may take longer than others to learn what’s expected of them.

5 Steps for Successful Leash Walking

Dogs aren’t natural leash walkers. And, it takes patience to train a dog to walk on a leash… so don’t feel discouraged if your dog isn’t quite comfortable yet. It can be frustrating to feel a constant tug at the leash… but remember if they’ve never walked on a leash before- it’s a completely new experience.

Before you begin, make sure you have the right equipment to walk your dog. Yes, the right collar/harness and leash make a huge difference. Don’t choose a leash that’s too long, or too short. Harnesses* are generally recommended for beginners, too. A harness is less likely to harm your dog when they tug than a collar (especially for small dogs- if you tug on a small dog or puppy’s collar, you put the dog at risk for a collapsed trachea).

…featured on Moving Babies! Featured on MovingBabies

Dogs are also generally more at ease with a harness* than with a collar- which helps during training.

Training Steps for Leash Walking

Step 1: Help Your Dog Acclimate

Your dog should be given some time to get used to the collar or harness before you strap a leash to her. Try putting the collar or harness on, then give praise in the form of a low-calorie, healthy treat or a “Great job!” Give your dog a few days to get used to having the collar or harness on his or her body.

After a few days pass, you can clip the leash on your dog. Try just walking inside the house at first- where he or she feels comfortable. There are fewer distractions inside- and if your dog slips off the collar/harness or you lose the leash- you’ll be certain she’s safe.

You can even let him drag the leash around the house- giving him plenty of praise along the way. So, he associates the leash with happiness and rewards.

 Step 2: Teach Off-Leash Commands

Ensuring your dog has the basic obedience skills mastered will help you with leash training. Your dog should understand, “sit” and “come,” at minimum so you can make sure she’s safe outside. Teacher her these commands also strengthens the bond you share with your dog- which results in more trust.

When a dog trusts you, you are more likely to have success on the leash. She will understand you aren’t doing anything to put her in harm’s way.

Step 3: Give Her Commands While on the Leash

Now that your dog is comfortable wearing the collar/harness, and you have mastered some basic obedience commands, you can start working on her general obedience while on the leash (again, indoors).

Step 4: Walking Outside

When you first walk outside, remember- to a dog- there are so many things to see, smell, hear. You might notice your puppy or dog is easily distracted. That’s okay. Try to keep the walks short. And, keep a handful of low-calorie snacks in your pocket to re-direct her attention if she gets distracted.

Step 5: Prevent Pulling

You’re ready to go outside, and she’s no longer afraid of the leash, but she’s still tugging on the leash… now what? When she begins to tug, turn the opposite direction of the way you’re walking. For example, if you’re walking west through your yard, immediately turn east (being careful not to tug). You might see her look at you like “what are you doing?” But soon, she will understand you are the leader.

I Need More Help!

If you need more help regarding leash walking, feel free to join the Dog Behavior Group on Facebook where readers of the Dog Behavior Blog share ideas and ask questions.

How to Talk to a Nervous Dog

How to Talk to a Nervous Dog

Even the most confident dogs will feel nervous sometimes. Fear and anxiety are deeply rooted, automatic responses to real or perceived dangers. These triggers will vary from dog to dog (remember, every dog is different), but triggers might include:

  • Loud noises
  • Strangers
  • Other dogs
  • Small children
  • Confinement

You know your dog best and being alert to their potential triggers will help decrease or prevent their anxiety. So, what should you do when your dog is displaying signs of anxiety?

Showing Love to a Nervous Dog

Dog lovers are sometimes unsure as to what they should do when their dog is nervous, or anxious, because they’re worried they may reinforce the behavior. But, when it comes to fear, anxiety, and stress, there’s a difference.

Let’s think about it from our perspective. Let’s say we’re afraid of small spaces. And, we’re riding in an elevator. If your significant other soothes you while you’re in the elevator, will you stop fearing small spaces? Probably not. But, your significant other soothing you might help, right?

No one likes to be anxious, or scared, and it’s not a reaction that can be easily controlled. Or, really controlled at all. Your dog isn’t acting scared to get your attention. But, how you respond to their fear or anxiety could reduce the intensity of the situation.

Soothing a Nervous Dog

When your talking to your dog, and he is nervous, you should talk softly, and relatively high-pitched. This gets their attention, and may reassure him you’re there and he’s safe.

You should never yell at your dog when she’s nervous or anxious. This will add to their fear or anxiety. And, will likely result in the problem worsening.

Oh, The Treats!

If you’re going somewhere you know your dog will be anxious, or afraid of, bring some treats with you. Treats* will help to re-direct her attention to something more positive… you!

Watch Your Body Language

You’ll hear me talk about body language a lot when referring to canine behavior. That’s because body language is extremely important- for both us and our dog.

If your dog is nervous at home, instead of hovering over him and talking, get down to his level. You may add to his fear by ‘hovering.’ Getting to his level may make him feel more comfortable.

You shouldn’t handle your dog too much, or pet your dog too much, in a fearful situation… unless your dog is looking for you to. Some dogs want you to be right next to them, petting them, comforting them. But, other dogs need a little space when they’re not feeling comfortable. You know your dog the best- so you make this call.

Empathy in Fearful Situations

You should never force your dog into a situation when they’re nervous- whether this be meeting another dog, another person, or being in an unfamiliar space. A nervous dog could become

Dog Talk: The Full Edition

Dog Talk: The Full Edition is now available on Amazon. Discover the world from your dog’s perspective. Learn why your dog is behaving the way she is. And, solutions to nearly every dog behavior problem.  Learn what makes your dog ‘tick,’ how to improve your bond, and methods of training.

The Chapter Outline of Dog Talk: The Full Edition

The chapter outline is as follows:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to the Dog
  • Chapter 2: Canine Intelligence
  • Chapter 3: The Bond We Share
  • Chapter 4: Before You Adopt
  • Chapter 5: Bringing Your Dog Home
  • Chapter 6: Basic Training
  • Chapter 7: Training Methods
  • Chapter 8: Aggression in Dogs
  • Chapter 9: Separation Anxiety
  • Chapter 10: Barking Excessively
  • Chapter 11: Inappropriate Chewing
  • Chapter 12: Preventing Destructive Digging
  • Chapter 13: General Behavioral Problems
  • Chapter 14: Punishment is NOT the Answer
  • Chapter 15: Your Dog’s Health
  • Chapter 16: Canine Nutrition
  • Chapter 17: Dinner and Treat Recipes
  • Chapter 18: Basic Grooming

Amber L. Drake’s Testimonials

  • “Amber is amazing! I was dog sitting when I discovered Mama Husky was pregnant. We knew it couldn’t be a big litter because she was barely showing but none the less… I have never been around a dog giving birth and I had NO IDEA what to do. Luckily I went to school with Amber and we remained friends. I messaged her immediately! She talked me through everything from how the mom was acting to how to handle her after the birth. Mom and baby did wonderfully and made it just fine. If she had not have been there, I don’t know what I would’ve done.” – Noelle W., Lexington, SC
  • “Where to begin? My dog had so many problems. She went to the bathroom indoors, chewed the walls, pillows and anything else she could find. She stole our clothes out of the hamper and hid them all over the house. Attacked our lab and attacked the cats. Tipped the garbage to eat the garbage. Barked anytime she sees anything outside. Jumps on people. Jumped on my kids. With Amber’s help we were able to see some progress. She worked with us every step of the way and was always there when we needed help.” – Paula B., Sherman, NY
  • “Amber’s help with modifying my dog’s behavior has been invaluable. My lab had too many behavior problems to list and Amber helped me every step of the way.” -Sherry S., San Antonio, TX
  • “Amber is amazing at what she does. She spends so much time learning more information to tell us and her heart is really in it.” -Pat B.
  • “Amber did a great job with our dog, Lily. She has never been left in the care of anyone else before so we were nervous to say the least. Lily’s experience with Amber was great. She came home happy. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Amber’s services again!” -Shannon H.
  • “Amber is everything you look for in a canine behaviorist. She’s reliable, compassionate, calm, willing and able to provide expert help, flexible, friendly, and above all reassuring that anything that’s going on with your pup can be worked on.” -Ana P., Jamestown, NY
  • “We brought our dog to Amber’s home after some reactive episodes in bigger daycare programs; his adjustment to Amber and her family was stress-free and very quick. I would recommend Amber to anyone.” -Ana P., Jamestown, NY “Amber did a great job with my dog while we were home for the holidays. Would definitely recommend her services!” -Daniel S. “Amber is professional and super attentive to the needs of our pet. We will be using Amber again.” -Debra W. “We are so thankful for Amber.” -Darlene B., Jamestown, NY “Amber was wonderful to work with. She was super flexible, answered all my questions, and took great care of Luna. I would recommend Amber to anyone!” -Marissa M., Bemus Point, NY
  • “Amber was great with my pup. I will definitely be using her services again.” -Jane C.

How to Get Your Pup to be All Ears

Dogs are an intelligent species; they can assist the disabled and are great detectives. However, at times we do feel that our dogs aren’t smart as they don’t listen to our commands.  Of course, it is difficult to make your dog walk off leash or to get him to leave the chicken bone he found outside. You keep shouting “Bad Boy”, “Bad Boy” but he just won’t respond, and you end up feeling helpless & confused. Whether you are a new dog-parent or you have had your baby for years, you may experience this behavior. Well, keep your worries aside as this guide explains the basics of teaching your pup to listen to you.

Communication is Key

The first step is to build a connection with your dog. Dogs are animals, and we can’t expect them to speak our language. They begin to understand our commands when they are trained to do so. Begin with talking to your dog, use simple and short sentences. Make sure you use the same words each time as your pooch will learn with repetition. Use a tone that is soft and immediately catches attention. Don’t shout or whine as your pup may get scared or upset.

You can use gestures as well, teach your dog to sit, stand or stay using basic gestures. Combining gestures with verbal commands help the dog understand effectively.

Where to Begin?

Start with teaching your dog his name. Make sure you train your pup in a quiet place with no distractions involved. Say his name and if he looks at you, immediately say “Yes” in a praising tone. Repeat this couple of times, try doing it when you are in another room and see if he comes running to you. Afterward, you can teach the basic commands such as Stand up, sit, lie down and stay.

Positive Reinforcement

Your pooch needs a motivator to make him listen to your commands and what is better than his favorite treats. Every time your dog does what he is asked to, offer him something he loves. Along with the treats you need to use a signal as a cue, say “Yes” or “Good Boy” whenever he behaves well.

Keep Practicing

We have all heard of the phrase practice makes man perfect, well the same goes for dogs. You need to repeat the same commands multiple times, using the same words and tone each time. If you started teaching your dog in your living room without any distractions, practice the same techniques in different settings with distractions around. Eventually, your pooch will perfect the ability to respond to the cues.

Figure out Why Your Dog Isn’t Listening

If your dog doesn’t respond to the cue the first time, try to find out the cause. Is it because there are too many distractions that are overwhelming your pup? Maybe there are interesting things around that fascinate your pooch. Whatever the reason may be, find it and try to teach to your dog from the basics in the new environment.

Your puppy may also choose to ignore your commands if that is the case, reinforce the behavior by incorporating short training lessons into his daily routine. Once your little pup grows up and begins to have adventures on his own, the connection between the two of you may weaken. In that case, you are the one responsible for making things work, spend time with your dog, plan new activities and strengthen the bond.

One thing to always keep in mind is that it’s all about training. No breed or genes will influence your dog’s behavior as much as your teaching. Remember that it will require patience; there will be times when you’ll want to express anger, but that is never the solution. Combine the skills with the effective tools, and you’ll be able to train your dog in no time.

Talk to you again soon,

Jenny Perkins, Guest Blogger at DogBehaviorBlog & Blogger at HerePup.com