Familiarity Breeds Familiarity


     When the Johnson's interviewed a new babysitter, Sparky was outdoors. Mistake. When the Johnson's went out and left the sitter with the baby, they instructed her to let Sparky in the house for his dinner. Sparky charged into the house and promptly let this "intruder" know who was in charge of the baby! The sitter, experienced with dogs, was immediately able to see what was going on and got Sparky to concede that they could share responsibility for the baby.


      Make sure that your dog knows your new sitter is friendly. Have your dog observe you as you welcome this new person into your home and establish the sitter's legitimacy as a welcome visitor.


Communicating With Your Dog


     You may have realized by now that dogs aren't simply the easily pleased, ball-chasing animals that

popular myth portrays. As with any species, they have feelings, needs and emotions that must be

handled appropriately. The only difference between humans and dogs is the ways that they communicate

this information.


     Just as in getting to know a new person, you're not going to know everything about your dog as soon as you meet him. It takes time and commitment to learn about his habits and general demeanor that, if you adopt him as a puppy, will ultimately depend on your interaction and time spent together.


     Another factor in the way that dogs behave lies in the genes of the breed and their bloodline. Were his parents family pets, or working dogs? What kind of influences has he already been exposed to? And so on. No matter what, behavioral traits are likely to be modified by the training and attention he receives

from you.


     The key to communication with your dog is to remember that he tries to understand you, just as much as you try to understand him. If you spend time and have patience with your dog and firmly establish your position as the boss (or in his mind alpha dog,) he is likely to be much more responsive to your communication. If you lose your temper and act aggressively towards him, more often that not he is only going to feel confusion.


     If for some reason your dog looks quizzically at you much of the time congratulations. This probably

means that what ever your saying has broken the human/canine language barrier and he's amazed that

you're not only talking to him, but also putting forward a strong argument for canine cyber-genetics. (That last bit

was a joke)


Fearful Fido


     If you have a timid dog, you may notice how Uncomfortable he gets in a stressful situation. Some dogs are so fearful that they tremble and recoil when nothing is particularly threatening, but the environment is unfamiliar. If this description fits your dog, try to reassure your dog by making changes to your own behavior.





Tips in How to House-Train a Puppy

     A puppy isn’t born knowing that your carpet is not an acceptable place to relieve himself. Here’s a relatively easy way to train him that doesn’t require punishment.



1. Watch your puppy’s behavior while relieving himself outdoors so you can detect the warning signs and intercept him when indoors.

2. Stay outside as often as possible during nice weather so your puppy can develop a preference for eliminating outdoors. Help him develop a liking for surfaces like dirt and gravel by taking him outdoors to eliminate after eating, playing and sleeping — or, ideally, every 15 minutes.

3. When it’s time, go straight to a pre-designated area and don’t leave until the puppy urinates.

4. Tuck your puppy into a cozy crate in your bedroom at night. Dogs are den animals and don’t like to soil the area where they sleep.

5. Carry the puppy outdoors when he becomes restless in the middle of the night, and wait until he’s finished relieving himself.

6. Supply a litter box (filled with sand or kitty litter) during the night, unless you plan on getting up every couple of hours to take him outside. If you do want to take him outside, set your alarm if you sleep too deeply to notice that your puppy has started fidgeting, and carry him outside at those times.

7. Carry the puppy outside first thing in the morning so he won’t soil the floors as he walks outside.

8. Be consistent with training. Consult a pet behaviorist if you have problems.

9. Reward your dog with puppy treats and praise every time he successfully eliminates outdoors.


Tips: Corrections and punishments for indoor accidents will only teach your puppy not to eliminate around you (even when outdoors), but won’t stop him from eliminating indoors when you’re not around. So be sure to catch the puppy in the act, say “No!” sharply and carry the puppy outside.


How to Stop Your Dog's Excessive Barking

Barking is a perfectly natural and normal behavior in dogs, but that's not a good enough explanation for most angry neighbors and napping relatives. It's both unfair and unrealistic to expect your dogs to become mute, but here are a few steps to turn down the volume.



1. Try to determine why your dog barks—eliminating the cause will increase your chances of success.

2. Have your dog’s favorite treat within reach.

3. Praise the dog for barking once he starts by saying “Good job” and then “What’s the matter?”

4. Tell the dog, “Be quiet.”

5. Wave the treat in front of your dog’s nose. Most dogs will instantly quiet down, because they will be concentrating on smelling and attempting to lick the treat, rather than barking.

6. Keep praising the dog. Tell the dog that he is a good dog for being quiet.

7. Let the dog have the treat after 3 seconds of quiet time.

8. Wave another treat in front of your dog if he starts to bark again. This time, try not to let your dog have the treat until 5 seconds of quiet time have elapsed. Your dog should learn that after each successful quiet-time interval, he will be rewarded.

9. Scold your dog every time he makes a mistake. If the dog barks, even for just an instant, as you’re waving the treat in front of his nose, say “Be quiet,” in a louder voice. Then reward the dog immediately after he stops barking.

10. Increase the quiet-time intervals by 3 seconds each time: from 3 seconds to 6 seconds to 9 seconds and so on. It is possible to continue to a couple of minutes of quiet time during the first session, which would mean significant progress in curbing your dog’s barking habit.