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Showing posts with label Dogs question. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dogs question. Show all posts


My puppy is scared to walk out the door. What should we do?

Question: My puppy is scared to walk out the door. What should we do?
A few days ago we got a Boxer pup. He is now 11 weeks old and is a nice and humble fellow. One thing that worries us a bit: when we take him on walks, he seems to be terrified of the outdoors. He sits at the open door and just stares outside. We literally have to pick him up and carry him outdoors. Once outdoors, he acts like nothing happened, exploring and walking around just fine. How should we handle this?

Your little fella just needs time. He is unsure and you cannot rush insecurity. Try coaxing him out using treats (positive reinforcement). Picking him up and taking him out the door will not get him over his fear; he needs to take the steps on his own. 

Be careful not to give any affection when he is scared or unsure, as it will increase his worry. He is looking to you to be strong for him, something to feed from, a strong leader. You need to be that leader for him and he needs to sense things are OK, that you have the strength to keep him safe. To communicate that to him you need to be confident and strong. He will feel it

What is the key to getting my dog to stop fighting with other dogs?

Question: What is the key to getting my dog to stop fighting with other dogs?
The key to getting a dog to stop fighting with other dogs is proper communication. The dogs need to see the humans as 100% pack leader and the communication needs to be that the humans do not approve of them fighting with other dogs. I have a Boxer that used to attack other dogs. She did this for years. When she was about 6 years old I started watching the Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan and from there started studying more natural dog behavior. I learned how to communicate with her in a way that she could understand. 

I told her that I was her leader and I did not wish for her to fight. It took a while for me to learn her body language, but when I did I was able to read her and correct her at the right moments. It's been years and she no longer goes after other dogs. Once in a while I see the look in her eyes and I simply have to give a verbal command at the right moment and she responds. The key is to learn how to read the dog, how to correct at the right moments and how to communicate with them in dog language that you are pack leader over them 100%. Tell them that fighting is against the rules. When they are convinced and so long as they are getting enough mental and physical stimulation to keep them from having bottled-up frustration, they will change and no longer pick fights. The humans need to be confident and strong-minded in order to convince the dog.

Is there hope for my dominant rescue dog to get along with my other dogs?

Question: Is there hope for my dominant rescue dog to get along with my other dogs? 

We have a rescued Akita who believes she is the alpha female. Her problem is with other dogs. She can't be near one without knocking it down and standing over and not letting them up. No blood yet, from either, just lots of noise. She is great around little people, adults and even cats. Just other dogs. Any chance of trying to socialize her now? Would really like to see her with our other dogs.


How should I approach a dog I do not know

Question: How should I approach a dog I do not know? For example: you go for a visit and meet a dog that seems to be alpha in the house?

It is best not to approach the dog at all, but rather ignore him and allow him to approach you. Don't touch him, don't bend down with your hand extended, don't talk to him, and don't make eye contact. If the dog walks over and smells you it does not mean the dog wishes to be petted.

 Dogs get a lot of information about someone by smelling them, and just because a dog smells you does not mean he wants you in his space touching him. Remain confident and strong-minded.

 If you are nervous, anxious or scared, etc., the dog will read your emotions as weakness and will be more likely to react in a dominant manner. If the dog jumps on you, the dog needs to be corrected by you. A jumping dog is a dog that is stepping into your private space, which is disrespect in the dog world

My dog is restless when he sleeps. He whimpers, sometimes yelps and/or moves around

Question: My dog is restless when he sleeps. He whimpers, sometimes yelps and/or moves around. What could be causing him to do this?

You should have your dog checked by the vet. If there is nothing medically wrong with him then it may just be him having a bad dream. Dogs can have bad dreams when they have bottled-up mental and physical energy and frustration. Since dogs cannot speak to us and say, "I feel anxious inside" we humans often do not realize the way our dogs are feeling. Some questions to ask yourself:

Does your dog get a daily pack walk to satisfy the migration instinct that all dogs have? The proper way to walk a dog.

Does your dog feel he must take care of YOU rather than relaxing and letting YOU take care of him?

What breed of dog is known not to bark (or at least not much) when left alone


It has more to do with the owners than it does the breed of dog. If you fulfill the dog's instincts, the dog, no matter the breed, will be less likely to bark. I know there are some breeds that may have a tendency to bark more than others, but it really has more to do with the human behind the dog. A restless dog is more likely to bark more. A dog that is well-exercised, tired and secure is going to bark less.

How do I earn trust with my newly rescued

Question: How do I earn trust with my newly rescued, skittish Min Pin?
I adopted a 2 ½-yr-old female Min Pin a week ago. I am alone with her. She is still skittish. I will call her to come to me so I can take her out to go potty, and she hides under my throw pillows, or under the covers, and if I approach her she runs away from me. She continuously tries to throw herself out of my arms, or tries getting tangled up in her leash. I am afraid I am going to hurt her.

 To me she acts as if her previous owners just continued to beat her. What can I do to get her to trust me and cooperate? I am even afraid to scold her when she goes to the bathroom in my house on the carpet because of the way she acts so scared. Any suggestions on what I can do to enjoy her more? She does follow me all over the house and will lie next to me on my bed or couch. I know she loves me but I just can't win when it comes to redirecting her.


is it okay for the dog to comfort me

Question: Should I not get a dog if I cannot control my emotions, or is it okay for the dog to comfort me if 'I' call him to me?


It is OK for you to get a dog if you are getting the dog so YOU can care for THE DOG, and while you are caring for THE DOG, it will comfort you naturally, as taking care of something else gives one a sense of accomplishment and may make you stronger. 

However, it may not be OK if you get a dog for the sole purpose of THE DOG being there to comfort YOU when you have anxiety. The dog will instinctually see you as weak and will "claim" you as his own. When dogs are allowed to claim humans it is dominancy, and negative issues almost always arise. Read The Human Dog to find out more.

Can a dog be left alone in an apartment for 8 hours

Question: Can a dog be left alone in an apartment for 8 hours while we are at work without causing damage and barking too much?

If you are 100% the pack leader so your dog is secure when you leave him and you take him for a long walk that tires him out before you leave and another long walk when you get back, your chances are good that your dog will be fine. In nature dogs get up in the morning and walk to find food. 

So you if you simulate that by pack-walking your dog for a long time before you leave to tire him out and then feed him he will go into rest mode and should be OK until you return. It is important that you pack-walk him and not allow him to walk you. If you concentrate on exercise and leadership matching the needs of the dog, the dog should be fine. The higher energy the dog, the longer walk or even jog/run/bike ride the dog will need to go on. 

Placing a backpack on a higher energy dog helps to tire him out and give him a sense of a job to accomplish. A tired dog is a good dog. Dogs with pent up energy and that do not know their place in their pack generally are the dogs that act out. It is important that the dog heels on the lead so he sees you as his leader.

If your dog is restless when you leave and causes a commotion it means he has energy to burn and/or he is not secure with you being away from him. See Separation Anxiety in Dogs for more info.

Are there any dog breeds that can live in an apartment, yet make good jogging companions?

Almost any dog can live in an apartment, IF...and this is a big IF...they get enough exercise and the right kind of exercise. If you plan on jogging your dog, and as long as you can make the dog heel on the jog so the dog is not worrying about being your leader, but rather relaxing as he is following you, you have a very wide range of dogs to choose from. Most dogs in the shelters are there because their owners... ONE did not provide proper leadership and TWO did not exercise them properly. A big backyard is not going to cut it. So those people who live in an apartment who actually walk their dogs (assuming they make them heel on the lead) are often better off than those who are simply only let out into the fenced backyard for exercise. Dog park exercise is excited exercise and it is not recommended as the only source of exercise a dog receives. It keeps the dog in an excited state of mind.

why dog's ears go down around owner

I have a 4-month-old puppy whose ears stand up. Whenever she comes around me she puts her ears down but her tail is wagging. She likes me very much and gives me kisses. Can you tell me why her ears go down around me?

I have not seen your dog around you, but going by what you say without observing I can tell you that it is not necessarily a bad thing. A dog that is submissive of another being will slink themselves smaller and put their ears back. A lot of people misread dogs when they see them puffed out proud with their ears erect thinking it means the dog is happy, when in reality it is the way a dog who believes he is alpha reacts. If your puppy puts her ears back and lowers her head that is a sign of respect. The fact that her tail is wagging and not tucked under leads me to believe this is the case. Your pup respects you and it is a good thing. Keep being the pack leader that you are. Lowering the head, ears back and curling into a circle are signs of submission. A dog wants to know who is boss so they can be secure. The pup is acting towards you the way she would act towards her canine mother. Make sure you stick with showing her the rules so she can keep looking at you as her leader. It makes for a happy dog.

dog gets jealous and wants to fight the other

I have a 3-year-old American Straffordshire Terrier and she is above and beyond the most loyal and loving dog I have ever owned. I take her everywhere I go and she is great with my 3 children. My problem is that I have gone to local shelters to find her a companion of the same breed but she gets jealous and wants to fight the other dog. Any suggestions?


I suggest you tune into the Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan on the National Geographic Channel (if you have not done so already). He shows over and over again how to get two dogs to get along. He deals with a lot of powerful breeds. What you do not want to do is just toss the dogs together face-to-face at the first meeting in a shelter environment where the dog you are adopting is most likely lacking in exercise and human discipline. Before you even consider a second dog you need to first master the walk with your first dog.

On the day of adoption take your first dog for a really long walk or jog so her energy is drained before she meets this second dog.

As for the second dog, that dog needs to be taken for a walk as well to drain her energy. Then you would have a second person with you at the time the dogs meet and pack walk the dogs at the same time. Do not just stick them face to face. Just walk and walk for a long time. Both dogs need to be heeling because if one dog is allowed to be in front that dog will instinctually feel he is the leader of the bunch and will try and dominate the pack. Correct any negative reactions the dogs may have towards one another. While walking you can allow the dogs to smell one another's rear ends if the dogs are acting civil. By the end of your walk the dogs will regard themselves as one pack and if the humans were successful in convincing the dogs the humans are the leaders, the dogs will not feel the need to dominate or be leader. You will need to find a shelter that is willing to work with you on that method. Unfortunately too many shelters do not understand this concept and a lot of dogs are put down because of it.

I highly recommend you watch a good number of the Dog Whisperer shows before proceeding so you fully understand the basis behind this method.

Is it ever ok for a dog to lie on a human?

It is not necessarily bad for a dog to be on top of a human if the HUMAN initiated it. For example, the human called the dog onto their lap. If it is the dog making the calls then it can be the dog being dominant. A dog that decides is a dog that is being the leader. Being on top is a dominant position in a dog's mind, but making the decisions is also a dominant position in a dog's mind. When humans are upset, dogs see this as a weakness. Keeping all of these facts in mind, you also need to know your dog and what frame of mind he is in, what frame of mind you are in and remain the leader at all times.

owner'd do if they are emotionally upset and their dog comes over and lies on top of them?

Question: What should an owner do if they are emotionally upset and their dog comes over and lies on top of them?

If you are having a bad day and are emotionally upset and your dog comes over and lies on top of you, be it your feet or lap, what does it mean? To the human it is very comforting. We feel that our dogs care and are trying to make us feel better. That's the human side of the equation.

What does it mean to the dog? Dogs do feel human emotion and since they are pack-oriented animals that need to know who the strongest being is so that being can run the pack, they see the weak as lower. It's instinct and there is nothing we can do to change that. A dog will pick up on a human's weakness and will claim that person as their subordinate by lying on top of them, be it their feet or their lap. Sometimes a dog will lick the person. In the dog world the leader is on top. The leader will often cover up the lower member by standing over them.

It is not realistic to say a human who owns a dog can never get upset. But it is a fact that when they do the dog will feel the human as weak. Different dogs will have different reactions. Some may become worried, stressed, anxious and/or upset because his leader is now weak and/or become empowered and try to "save the pack" by taking over. If you are emotionally upset and a dog comes over and lies on top of you, send the dog away back to his dog bed (or other area). Do not allow the dog to get on top of you. Try and take deep breaths and do your best to not be upset anymore. But to say you can never get upset is not going to happen, so you just deal with it when it happens and don’t allow the dog to be "in your face" or standing over you during that time.

Why does my dog hate it when I touch his food?

Your dog is not necessarily "hating it" when you touch his food. Nor is he being "mean." He is communicating with you. What he is saying is, "This is MY food. Leave me alone while I eat it." Is this a problem? You bet it is. It's a big problem. It means your dog is alpha over you. There are different levels of dominance and even if your dog has never bitten, always keep in mind that growling or the bearing of a dog’s teeth eventually does lead to biting. It is time you reassess your human to dog communication skills and take the alpha position away from your dog before it escalates into a larger problem.

What does it mean when a dog licks?

There are a few reasons why a dog licks.

A dog's saliva contains a healing agent and dogs often lick another's wounds in an attempt to heel them.

Dogs will also lick as a way to show submission. A submissive dog will hold himself very low, slinking himself down to try to appear smaller. He will approach a human with his head lowered and his ears slightly back as if to say “you're my boss.”

Some dogs will lick another in a dominant manner. For example, mother dogs lick and groom their puppies and for the pups it is the mother displaying leadership. Mom says stay here and be groomed because she is alpha over them and she says so. Submissive licking and dominant licking have different body languages. A dominant dog will carry himself high and proud. He approaches things with an air of confidence. He may also be very persistent as to what he wants.

Sometimes dogs lick out of obsession. Dogs that lick others in an obsessive or dominant manner need to be corrected and the dog must be told not to lick.

have dog on a leash?

Question I take my dog for off-leash walks and she does great. She was trained to heel on a lead and did really well in classes but since we only do off-lead walks she pulls like crazy at first when I do have to leash her up. Are our "free" walks doing harm; should I have her on a leash?


It's good to allow a dog to run free. However if that is all you do then the dog is not learning or practicing patience on a lead. I would not stop the free-roam walks, they are great, but for those times when you do need to leash your dog it is important that you teach good manners. I would start leashing the dog up at least a few times a week to practice lead walking, or even put the dog on a lead for only part of your walk in the woods just for practice. The dog needs to be trained that when you are free, you are free, but as soon as that lead snaps on you are to follow me heeling and not pull. I take my Bruno out to the woods and he runs and chases rabbits, etc...but as soon as I snap on the lead his entire demeanor changes and he knows it's time to follow.

You may want to bring the lead with you on your free walks. Put the lead on for a short time in the beginning and when the dog heels nicely for a bit make her sit and be calm, then take it off and allow her to go. Maybe even a few times until she gets the idea. I use my foot to backwards side-boot my dog in the butt below the tail if he starts to pull, but different things work for different dogs and owners.

Inside the house, practice making the dog sit calmly while you snap on the lead. At the gateway to the door practice going out the doorway first with the dog following. If you are on your way to an area where you can do a free-roam walk do not unsnap the dog's lead until she is heeling and walking nicely. Never unsnap her while she is pulling. You may have to take her out for some town walking for the socialization just so during those times she must be on a lead the dog is used to that type of environment. You need to convince her and condition her that when the lead is snapped on it means it's time to heel. It's going to take some time and a lot of work. But you can't give up or give in or the dog will learn to just keep pressing you in order to get her way.

remain alpha while dog is running free

Sometimes when I take my dog for walks, I let him run free. Can I remain alpha while he is running free?
I wanted to thank you for your site. I have a beautiful red-nosed Pit Bull. He's my baby. He's almost two years old, and he's been such a good boy. Lately he started growling at me and my girlfriend and I was getting worried I would have to get rid of him. After reading through your site it only took a few hours to get my alpha spot back. Even took him for a walk tonight and it was the 1st time that he's walked beside me. I thank you so much for the information.

I have one question. Over the summer I take him out every weekend to a spot where we have lots of open land. I keep him on a leash until we get out away from the road. Then I let him off his leash to run through the fields and the woods. He never goes too far from us and he is always checking to see if we are coming. If we change direction we just call him and he goes the way go. Once when a deer jumped up not too far from him, it took a couple of calls, but he stopped and came back. Is this OK to let him run and play out in the woods and fields?

You are very welcome! I am very happy to hear you are now alpha. Your dog will love and respect you for it. Yes, that is OK to allow him to run free like that, so long as you are making the calls, not him. Make sure he is calm, and in a submissive mind-frame when you leash him up and when you take off the leash. If he is really excited when you are trying to take the leash off wait until he calms down. That is pretty important. You decide when he gets let off, you decide when he is to come back, and you decide what direction to go in. Change up on him often. So if he is ahead and he turns right, you turn left. If he runs back in your direction without you even calling him, that is even better; it shows he is following you. So long as he comes back when called and you are making all the decisions in the run, and you still take him for leashed pack walks to reinforce who is alpha in your pack, it is all good. I feel dogs need this type of, "off-lead, run your heart out" time.

When hunters go out hunting they must be the pack leader, but they are also in a situation while they are looking for the prey in which they are allowing the dog to use its nose to find it, which means the dog is walking where its nose leads, sometimes in front. It is a situation where the dog is working for the human and both dog and human know it, and they know the job at hand. When a lead is snapped onto a dog it is like you are connected. The dog at that point needs to heel. If you get to a gate that must be opened when walking off-lead you need to pass through before the dog. The dog has an understanding that you are allowing him to go in front so he can run and use his nose. This only applies if you are able to call him back and he listens, and when the leash is snapped on he goes into heel mode, because that means he understands your agreement.

How do I stop my dog from barking at things while on the walk?

As soon as you see your dog perk up as if he is going to bark the correction needs to be made. You need to try and catch him a second before he goes into a heightened state; timing is critical. You need to watch for signs of interest in whatever your dog is going to bark at and catch him right before he starts. Once a dog starts barking it is harder to make him stop because he is at a high level of excitement. The way you are feeling at the time has a lot to do with your success. If you are upset or anxious in any way your dog will feed from that emotion and it will intensify the dog's reaction to what he is about to bark at. You want to remain calm but very enthusiastic/serious. 

The correction can be a tug on the lead, a touch to the neck, a backwards bop with the side of your foot to the butt of the dog, a verbal correction such as "No," "Hey," "Aaatttt"—whatever works for that particular dog. You may also walk in front of your dog to block his view, lean forward and say, "No" and touch him in the neck if he continues to want to bark. Your intensity needs to match his without going too much over or you could intensify the dog’s reaction, but on the other hand if your intensity is less than his you will not be effective and the dog will not listen. Each and every time you hear your dog growl or bark you need to correct it. The intensity of the correction will vary from dog to dog, situation to situation. For example, a little Chihuahua may only need a two-finger touch to the neck, whereas a big Rottweiler may need a backwards boot to the butt with the side of your foot; where other dogs may only need a verbal command, others may need a combination. Keep your dog moving forward, keep walking

dog finding a place to pee and poop

When I am walking my dog on a lead, is it okay to let him walk in front of me when he is finding a place to pee and poop?


Yes, if your goal at the moment is to allow him to go to the bathroom, then you may give him lots of room and allow him to go where he wishes to do his thing. It's only during your actual 'walk' that the dog should heel. The person holding the lead should also go first through any entrance and exit-ways, be they gates or any doorways to your home or other building even if there is not an actual door in the threshold.

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