Friday, December 12, 2008

What do you want?

Dog Training - "To do or not to do," that is the question.

What do you really want?

A well behaved dog, or an out of control dog?

Face it. No one wants their dog to pee in the house. We want that done outside.

No one wants to have their house torn up or their flowers rooted out of the ground. We want the dog to tear up his own toys and dig in a digging box.

No one wants a dog who will not come when called, or one that has to be on a leash all the time. Imagine having to drive around the neighborhood all the time to get your dog. Or having to put the lead on when it is cold, instead of just being able to let the dog out.

And Nobody wants and aggressive dog. That is a time bomb.

After looking at this, wouldn't you say it is worth it to put the training time into your dog?

Rena Murray

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sarge the Police Dog

If your dog isn't working out for you, maybe this might work.

Beazel is a German Shepard. Originally, he was named Sarge. Purchased by a single woman with two teenage sons to guard their home when they were gone.

Sarge became an increasingly aggressive dog from day one. By the end of two weeks, the whole family was afraid of him. He had not bitten anyone, but his behavior was scary. Instead of throwing her hands in the air, the owner searched for someone who could train police dogs.

Sarge went with the dog trainer. Three months later some K9 handlers came to see if he might be a likely candidate for their unit.

These men were so impressed by Sarge's natural ability for the work, that they took him to police dog training camp that day.

Sarge's handler was so impressed by his uniqueness, that he renamed him Beazel. "No other police dog has that name," He said.

Most of the time the K9 handlers require that the dogs be in training for at least six months before taking them. So the fact that Sarge was taken so quickly says a lot!

If your dog is showing tendencies you can't control, it means that you need to have some professional evaluations done. If his calling is like Sarge's, you don't want to keep him away from it.

By the way, dogs like that never make it in families! They do great with the handler's family after work, but they can become very hostile if they have no proper outlet. Love doesn't satisfy a desire to work.

Rena Murray

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Aggressive Dog, Fearful Dog -
Get Muzzle On?

Have an aggressive dog or fearful dog? Need to know how to get a muzzle a dog?

I rarely agree with the use of a muzzle on a dog. Simply because it is not often necessary.

However, for the times that it is needed, here is the best way.

Try the muzzle for the first time when the dog is relaxed and comfortable. Slip it on matter of factly. Do not be sneaky about it - Or the dog will quickly avoid the muzzle at all costs.

If your dog panics at being handled, hold the loose skin on both sides of his neck. When the panic attack ends, put the muzzle on. Panic is likely to happen many times before you get it on. The important thing is to stay there until you finish.

If your dog becomes aggressive when being handled, hold the scruff of his neck until the tantrum stops. Once he has drained himself, put the muzzle on. Do not take it off when the animal is nervous or angry. You can and often will be bitten!

Remove the muzzle only when he is relaxed. Take your time. Never be sneaky, and never stop until you finish your goal.

Rena Murray

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

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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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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