There's a method to keeping your dogs off the furniture if you don't want them there. I personally love a dog on my lap or under my arm when I'm sitting on the sofa. Not only do I enjoy the cuddling, I also get cold easily and love the warmth of dog bodies next to me. In our home, we keep the furniture covered with blankets for easy removal when company comes (dog hair begone!) and both dogs are taught to get off and/or stay off when asked to do so.
If the symptoms your dog exhibits are straining to urinate, frequent, small accidents or repeated, small puddles when going outdoors, a likely cause is a lower urinary tract issue such as a bladder infection, bladder stones, or cystitis (bladder inflammation). Diagnostics will include a urine sample, urine culture, and possibly xrays of the bladder. Some breeds such as Schnauzers are more prone to certain lower urinary tract issues like bladder stones.
The "search me!" game uses lots of energy and can tire out your very active dog, and offers very practical applications as well. Start with treats, since most dogs will happily look for food. You can eventually ask him to look for hidden objects (favorite toys, your lost keys) and even hidden or missing humans!
Most of the time, when dogs do something we don't want them to do (such as stealing our socks or jumping on our elderly...
passing by humans and/or dogs without fussing or pulling. Don't expect this to happen without practicing and rewarding your dog for the behavior you want!üThanks to Ally Padgett and Rosi Garcia (above)
Being able to teach your dog to move away from something when asked is an invaluable tool, both for your dog's safety and for your sanity. Note: Be sure to repeat each step eight to 12 (or more) times, until your dog eagerly responds to the cue before progressing to the next step.
Those of us who love dogs tend to assume that everyone else in our circle of friends and family does, too. Sadly, that's not always the case. In fact, even those who do share our passion for canine companions don't always appreciate the over-enthusiastic attentions of a happy hound, especially when they are trying to enjoy the company of human friends in the comfort of a private home. Whether you are a visitor bringing your own beloved dog with you to someone else's house, or a host greeting friends at your own front door with your canine family members milling about your feet, here are some tips to help you make sure your dog/human visits go well.
give the cue
Preventing your dog from pottying in the wrong place is the first and most important housetraining task. Since most of us cannot keep our eyes on our dogs every minute, having a safe, comfortable confinement area is key to housetraining success. Most dogs naturally avoid going potty in their sleeping areas, so confining your dog in a small enough area that is more bed-like than room-like not only prevents unwanted accidents but also will help him develop bowel and bladder control.
Be sure to reinforce both/all dogs for calm, appropriate behavior in each other's presence. Your reinforcers should be calming: treats, massage, and verbal praise are good choices; tug and fetch are not. You can use tethers, if necessary, to create calm, and follow Norwegian dog trainer Turid Rugaas' suggestions to have dogs approach each other in a curving line rather than directly, allowing them to sniff the ground and do other displacement and appeasement behaviors such as looking away, as they choose.
There are many times in your dog's life when she needs to be able to control her impulse to engage in a behavior. Last month, we discussed Wait" and "Stay" but impulse control goes far beyond these "don't move" cues. "Leave it" is another impulse-control behavior that is very useful for your dog to know. The cue means
Shaping taking a desired behavior, breaking it into small steps, and reinforcing the steps until you build the final behavior has become a standard dog training tool, especially in the force-free world. Those who are familiar with shaping regard it as invaluable for teaching and refining behaviors. If you don't yet have experience with shaping, try this exercise with your dog. It will help you realize how subtly and precisely you can influence the movement of virtually any part of your dog's body.