Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dog Whisper and Dog Body Language -
How Important Are They?

I'm not sure when the title "Dog Whisperer" was first really used, although I have read about some "early users." But I do know that people with that gift have been around since the beginning of time. So the title belongs to no one.

I use the dog whispering technique simply because for 8 out of 10 dogs, it works easier and faster than other techniques. It is a lot easier for dogs if you show them through dog body language what you want.

Instead of saying "Leave it" and getting now response, CLAIM it and get: "Okay, no problem!"

Instead of being frustrated because you never catch Rover in the act of destroying your shoes, learn how you can correct his bad dog behavior without destroying his emotions.

The Dog Whisper method is often the last hope for extreme fearful, hyperactive, dominant, or aggressive dogs that are simply driving their owners off the wall. You are never going to take a hyperactive dog, screem at it, and change its dog behavior.

Same with all these other guys. You are going to have to set up an effective communication system - which is Dog Body Language.

For more, why not check out Dog Whisper With Rena - Dog Behavior Training and Dog Obedience to Shout About?

Rena Murray

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Treat Training - My Dog Won't Come Without It!

Several clients say to me: "My dog won't come to me when I call him, but when I get a hotdog for him, he's right there!"

What they don't realize is that they are teaching the dog two bad dog behaviors. Eventually, the dog will become bored with the hot dog. What do you do then?

You have to depend on your dog to come to you without a treat. That's why I have no use for "treat training." It can also turn some pets into aggressive dogs... They start nipping at their owners when they don't get the treat. Same with horses.

Have you been teaching a dog to come but with little or no success?

If you call your dog and he does not come, move toward him calmly and with authority. Take him by the scruff of the neck, and MAKE him come to you. Repeat your word-signal-sound as he moves, so that he puts two and two together. Whistle, "come," signal ... any of those that you use mean "come forward NOW, not when I feel like it!"

You should never grab your dog when you are angry. That can result in a dog bite, even from the most mild-mannered dog if he is startled.

That's why I press again. Your touch must be calm and with authority.

The reason it is so important to make the action happen right away is that dogs live in the moment. They remember what happened in that moment. Always keep that in mind.

Rena Murray

P.S. Have you visited my new Squidoo lens - Dog Whisper With Rena - Dog Behavior Training and Dog Obedience To Shout About?

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dog Body Language -
He's Showing Teeth!

A few of my clients have the belief that any showing teeth from a dog means that it is being aggresive. That is not true at all.

For example, if you are scratching your dog in his favorite spot, and his mouth is wide open ... That is one happy dog! That's what we refer to as the "doggie smile."

Showing teeth is also a warning. Sometimes dogs walk around displaying one canine tooth to each other. That's letting them know that if they cross the line, there will be a fight.

Also, some dogs smile in the same fashion when their owners return home. Both canines are showing, but look at the ears - They are back.

So learn your dog body language. And don't think that just because you see a dog's teeth, it is being an aggressive dog. It could be a smile!

If you are really concerned about it, let a professional have a look.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dog Rehabilitation -
What's The Hardest Part?

The hardest thing to learn in dog rehabilatation is that once the owner has returned, it is no longer in your hands.

That is hard to swallow. But I cannot become emotionally attached to every dog I work with to that point. Too often, you know the owners aren't really going to be consistent. That will cause the dog to go right back into his prior dog behavior problem habits, and be unhappy the rest of his life.

I would want to take the dog home ... but I would end up with way to many dogs!

If you're not providing 100% of what your dog needs, then you aren't giving him your best. If you rescued him, yes that's a nice beginning... but it's only a beginning. Are you going to confine him to a yard or house, so that all you've really done is take him from one kennel to a larger "kennel?" Then you wonder why he develops dog behavior problems?

Dogs are constant travellers. They are constantly walking or running, and it is an absolute necessity that they do it every day!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bucking Bronco Dog -
Recognize This Dog Behavior Problem?

No! No! NOOO!

That is the common reaction from people who are trying to walk a bucking bronco type dog. This dog behavior problem is not "Bad Dog behavior" as some would say, but a result of lack of exercise and discipline.

To handle it correctly, correct the dog each time he starts to buck. Then allow him to release himself (any stop or pause). Continue like that and he will calm down and you can move forward.

The whole point is to stay there until you get one hundred percent. If you ask for less than the best, you will never get it.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Dog Body Language -
Is That Really Aggressive Dog Behavior?

A few months ago, I was taking a bike ride when a couple with a Black Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever stopped and asked me for directions. One thing about me is that I never fib about such things; if I don't know where I'm going, I say so.

Naturally I asked the woman about her dogs. Both were sweet. The Golden Retriever was particularly mellow.

The Golden Retriever's first owner had a six year-old, she said. The dog has hip dysplasia and was sound asleep. The six year-old jumped off the couch and landed on the sleeping dog's hips. Of course, she bit him! Can you believe the owner was ready to put her to sleep for that?

Needless to say, it took me a few minutes to calm down from that one. I would never tolerate aggressive dog behavior, much less toward a child.

But think about it. When people are sleeping, if you startle them, most will wack you one! It's reflexive. It's defensive. It's automatic, before they are fully awake.

A lot of people panic over growls and showing of teeth. A lot of times, the dog is playing. Watch the body language. If that rear is in the air while the dog is growling at you, I promise you - He just wants to play! That is referred to as the "play bow."

Or if you have just come home, your dog's tail is wagging and his mouth is open so that all his teeth are exposed - He's smiling!

The display of one canine tooth is also a warning. Not really dog aggression.

Everybody needs to become more aware of dog body language... and stop panicking.

My old Beagle Hound used to growl when she was playing. My current dog doesn't. He asks permission to step past me, runs a figure eight outside and does a jump in the air to release his exuberance, then comes back to me.

Please, pay attention to your pet's dog body language.

If you have concerns about anything your dog is doing, ask a dog behavior professional to be sure you are not overreacting.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Aggressive Dog Threatens My Dog on the Dog Walk

So what are you supposed to do if you are on your daily walk with Butch, and all of a sudden someone comes walking down the street with two dogs that are lunging for all they're worth and look like they will stop at nothing to get your dog?

Uncomfortable situation, huh?

If the neighbor makes no attempt to turn around, either turn around yourself - or - study the dogs and see who is leading the lunging. Walk Butch on the side closest to the least aggressive dog - better known as the "follower."

I face this situation almost every single morning now, and each day we come away fine.

Oh yeah ... Don't panic... R E L A X ...

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Dog Dominance Behavior -
Dominant Dog in the House

There are some who say that it's wrong to allow one dog to be dominant over another in a household. The ones who say this need to consider something.

Yes, you the Owner need to be Pack Leader over your dogs.

However, one of your dogs will become dominant over the other(s) when you are gone - in order to keep structure in the dog pack.

There's nothing wrong with having a dog who calmly asserts himself and helps you, the Alpha Leader, keep the others in line... Especially handy when you have puppies!

You definitely want to exercise your dogs at least 45 minutes before leaving them alone throughout the day. Otherwise, they may choose to fight it out to see who's the dominant dog while you are gone.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Going to the Dogs! -
No More Dog Fights

So what are you supposed to do if your dogs don't get along?

Separating the dogs all the time only creates several different "dog packs" and keeps tension building.

You need to start bringing the dogs together and letting them smell each other. Any dog who growls or snaps (new dog or old dog) should be correctly promptly. It's not allowed.

Obviously, you have to use common sense and do it in stages ...

Sure, there will be some spats. That's normal, and to a reasonable extent, you let them work it out. They will decide who is going to be the dominant dog. But if your dogs get into severe dog fights, you need the help of a professional dog behavior trainer.

Face it. Living on a knife's edge to make sure you don't open the wrong door at the wrong time is no way to live. Not only is your house going to the dogs, but so are you!

Dog fights among two dogs of the same sex are very common. So the best thing to do is try to get a second dog that's the opposite sex.

If you insist on having more than one dog of the same sex, be sure that he or she is lower energy than your present dog. A higher level of energy can create a struggle for dog dominance.

Until next time, work with your dogs to become a "dog pack."


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Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Bad Dog Behavior -
Is Something Wrong?

If your dog does a bad dog behavior that he has never done before, you should check the situation carefully to be sure nothing is wrong. Sometimes a bad dog behavior is an intentional act designed to get your attention.

For example, my Border Collie NEVER mounts anyone... but he walked over to one of my clients and did that to his leg!

I was livid. But somehow I managed to ask the client, "Let me see your leg." Sure enough, it was infected and needed attention ASAP.

Gatsby has never before nor since repeated this bad dog behavior. He was telling me about the health problem in a way that he knew I would listen!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

How Do Wild Wolves Get Flea Free Without Frontline?

Most dog owners wonder what wild wolves and wild dogs do for Frontline.

I happened to ask a friend of mine who owns a wolf-hybrid, because she said she never had to use Frontline or Advantage on him, yet he never had a problem.

"He was infested with fleas once," she said. "I was about to put the stuff on him, but he disappeared. He returned an hour later flea-free!"

"I could not figure out for the life of me what he had done," she continued, "so the next time the fleas built up, I followed him."

"He stepped right into a nearby pond with a stick in his mouth. He let it go right in front of him. Knowing they would drown by staying on the host, the parasites walked right onto the stick. Goodbye fleas!"

Needless to say, I had a hard time believing her ... until I actually saw a wild wolf do that (recorded on a nature documentary). So I guess the conclusion is, no wolf needs Frontline in the wild!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dog Instinctive Behavior -
Don't Sniff My Crotch!

Okay, let's be honest. Nobody likes a dog that's smelling a crotch! Most people don't want anything to do with "that thing" after it's done "that."

There's a common misconception that a dog is being perverse by smelling that area in a human. Our crotch is like a dog's anal glands to them - like calling cards. It's like reading our personal history in seconds.

That's why dogs smell each other's anal glands - To learn as much about each other as they can. It's dog instinctive behavior, but unacceptable bad dog behavior to us. Again, most humans don't find that kind of behavior pleasant or desirable.

So here's what you do.

Take the dog by the scruff of the neck and sit him down in one place. Do not allow him to return to contact with people for at least 5 minutes, possibly 10. What works even better is to make the dog sit down right where he made the mistake, and then he is surrendering the situation.

If you don't calm his brain down first, all you are doing is creating a dog that will go right back to the situation and do it again - because he is still just as fixated as when you started the exercise.

You also should not shut the dog away, because that just escalates the frustration. Anywhere.

No more sniffing crotches!


P.S. By the way, guys. I agree with you. I hate that!

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Why Does My Dog Drink Out of the Toilet?
What to do about it?
Solutions to Dog Behavior Problems

As promised, here's another dog behavior solution.

Eeeew! Gross!

That's the reaction of most people when Al has promptly helped himself to water in the toilet bowl.

"He has a clean dish," says the frustrated human who caught him in the act. "Why does he want to drink THAT?"

Considering what we do in there, it's a little hard for us to believe that this is true. The toilet bowl water is the freshest in the house, and it's always cool… not to mention very similar to the temperature the dog would generally drink water in the wild.

A dog drinking THAT happens to be one of my pet peeves. So I was determined to locate a product that could somehow help with this problem. And I did. It is a water bowl that filters itself consistently - like a fountain – so it's constantly fresh.

It also helps with some dogs who don't like to drink from still bowls. Like my friend's Springer Spaniel. The dog simply wouldn't drink enough water. They had to turn on a faucet whenever he was thirsty!

For any of you who has this problem, check this out. There are two outstanding Pet FOUNTAINS (bowls) featured on my website at Paw Persuasion's Dog Supplies and Dog Bowls -

-- Petmate Fresh Flow Purifying Pet Fountain
-- Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain

No more dog behavior problem with the toilet!

Rena Murray

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Don't Let the Fireworks Put You Out!

I hope everyone had a good 4th of July. I did, and like most people, I enjoy the fireworks.

But like most dogs, my dog does not!

Knowing that the fireworks would be coming later that evening, I proceeded with his usual 6 p.m. run. This allowed him to have a bowel movement so he wouldn't be uncomfortable during that time. I also had to take him out several times later that evening until he was relaxed enough to urinate.

Some would disagree with me and suggest that I should just leave the dog in the house overnight. That sure wouldn't feel very good to his bowels and bladders, poor thing!

Just remember - Fireworks or not, it's important to keep your pet on his or her routine as much as possible.

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