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Question of the Week

This is the latest question of the week. Each week we answer one of the submitted questions and publish it here.

Celia asks...

This question is about: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger

Hi My dog is a mixture of German Shepherd and chow chow. She used to play very nicely with all the other dogs she met, but not anymore. Right at the moment she meets another dog she tries to sit on their head and hump them in the face. If the other dog doesn't wanna let her do that she starts to growl aggressively and gets very forceful. She never plays nicely with other dogs anymore. I'm also scared to pull her away when this happens because when I do that she gets even more agressive. She started to act strangely towards other dogs after our neighbor's dog attacked her about a year ago. What should I do?

Hi Celia, she now feels the need to get in first. After the neighbours dog attacked her this is the result we sadly see all to often.  Our advice is not to let her dominate other dogs by sitting on their faces and humping them. Growling is a warning to another dog, she is now being the dominant one - through fear -  and no dog should get away with any growling by it's owner.  Use the word your use when she is naughty (never her name though) NOOOOOOOOOO  in a deep loud guttural growl tone, this will let her know you are not at all happy with her behaving in that manner.  MOST importantly DO NOT allow her off lead, as should she jump on the wrong female dog  in this very dominate manner a fight may occur. If your dog is the instigater then you are liable for all vet bills etc. Use the NOOOOOO word around your home and you must get her focus on you,  then praise, do not allow her to get in and out of doors ahead of you - you must be seen as her pack leader and the leader always leads. To a dog pack leadership is safety- if you don't provide her with it she has to take on that role - it is a dogs survival instinct.  If you do not have the focus you need around your home environment then you wont be able to get it outside of her territory either. As her adrenaline will be sky high when she sees another dog now.  Spend 10 -15 minutes a day training her in the yard.  Get her using her brain and listening to you. Off lead and on lead obedience.  When she respects you as the pack leader it will be easier to get that focus from her when you are out and about. Hope this helps.  Val 

Stacey asks...

This question is about: Other

I rescued my dog about 2 weeks ago. He has always gone to the crate at night and when we leave. He even went in it on his own. All of a sudden he refuses to go in. I tried luring with food and friendly verbal rewards. I don’t want to force him because I know it needs to be a happy place. Any idea how this could have happened or how we can fix it? Thank you

Hi Stacey, something has happened in there to make worried.  to get it back to a happy 'safe den' for him we suggest you place his water bowl and feed him in there. Leave the door open and when you see him in there tell him hes a good boy in a lovely happy voice.  Another way is to put his lead on, thread it through the top of the crate, that way you are using tools and not hands to get him inside,  dont let him take a back step and you will need to 'pull' him (using lead) and using really happy encouraging tones.  Praise him 'good boy' once in, don't close the door . Once in, let him come out and repeat a few times.  Place fresh meat in there initially to encourage him in.  Also try covering the crate  at night to make it a dark den for him also.  Hope this helps. Val . 

Jj asks...

This question is about: Other

Hi!rnI have a quick-ish question in regards to trick training with my 2 year old pitbull cross. I hope you can help me.rnSo, Heidi is a quick learner. She knows many tricks and loves doing them. However, when we go outside, its very hard to get her to do the tricks she knows so well! She isn't focused on me, even when there aren't any distractions, and she is very lazy at doing them. How do you go about improving a dogs drive? So that when doing something like tricks, they are fully focused on the trainer and go about what they are asked with alot of energy?rnThanks.

Hi Jj, looks like you love spending time with Heidi, teaching dogs tricks is so much fun and we know the commitment and time this can take.  Not sure if you are or have used treats as a rewards, maybe she is over that form of reward.  We use voice praise in happy voice tones.  She needs to learn you require her focus on your both indoors and outside.  When you say outside I gather this is in your back yard. .  Put all chew toys etc away out there. Dogs can quickly get very distracted outside for many reasons. Make sure that all her obedience skills; like sit, stay, come when called, focus and  she stays in each command until you use a 'release' command.  On and off lead outside in your yard are in place and that her focus on you in both areas are exactly what they need to be i.e.on you. Using exciting vice tones may also help get her motivated, lots of praise and also if she has a favourite toy she likes to play with, then outside use this toy as her praise treat (instead of food if you use that) along with using your happy voice tones.  Never get frustrated, your voice tones will change and she will think she is in trouble. .  Show and guide her until she 'gets it'.  If she can do them inside then she will also be able to focus outdoors with patients. Not sure if laziness is the reason. How about trying to do them outdoors only for a time. Hope this helps and keep having fun with Heidi she soubds like a great dog !!

Roxanne asks...

This question is about: Separation Anxiety

YournHello! Sorry to bother you. I have a german shepard that is 6 months old and every time i leave the house he destroys the plastic pipe thats under the sink. I walk him before i leave and give him a kong with goodies and toys but he still destroys it. He has this destructive behavior only when he is left alone.

Hi Roxanne, he is more than likely bored and the plastic pipes are flexible, like a tennis ball, they loe that movement.  We have a GameChanger ,mental stimulation toy, that you put small good quality kibble into and they have to play with it and work out how to get the food/treats out. Vetalogica have a wonderful no grain option with some great flavours, no preservatives or additives, my dogs love the salmon and kangaroo variety., I place these into their GameChangers. They play with them for ages and then sleep as they are using their brain to work it out.  Kong's are good, but with mince & vegies. When you walk your dog make sue to do obedience and make him walk beside you - not pull out front. Do sit stays, door and gate control, a dog should never get through any doors or gate ahead of you, and get it using his brain from the time you place the collar and lead on. Doing some obedience with him on lead, also getting him to follow you in your yard off lead , whenever he gets ahead of you you must turn and change directions and place yourself in front i.e. the leader leads. So this must not be the dog.  Get his brain working before going to the gate on lead. If you go into our website you will see videos of the game changer.

Tamara asks...

This question is about: Puppy Management

Hello, I have a puppy that is 9 weeks old, we recieved him when he was 8 weeks. He is easy to train when it comes to: jump,sit, paw, and come here. The problem is that we cant get him to walk outside. When he sees the dog harness, he runs away to hus bed and pretends to sleep to avoid it. When we carry him all he does is whines and refuses to move and even pulling backwards as we just stan in the same spot. We have tried with dog treats and to encourage him with a ”come here” but he wont budge and the whines becomes louder. We live in sweden and we have alot of snow it is about -5 celcius. He wears a puppy sweater for him but he hates going outside.

Hi Tamara. it is all about educating your wee puppy and teaching him what you want in a way he understands. dog do get used to snow with time. Be patient. My suggestion is to place his collar and lead on him indoors initially, always under supervision and just let him walk around by himself, making sure that he does not get the lead tangled around a chair leg etc.  He will stand on the lead as he moves and he will get the tug feeling, this will become a natural feeling for him.  You could also sit down on the floor holding the handle of the lead ( we recommend using a 6'cotton lead not a short one)  tug 'gently' calling his name excitedly towards you.  Never try to reel him in like a fish on a line ) Lots of encouragement using happy tones is needed.  Praise him with each step he takes. Be patient, when he does accept the lead then take one step and stop one step and stop encouraging him to stay beside your legs, never in front.  Do the same with him outside - let the lead go and let him learn to accept it on his own.  Feed him outside with the lead on also.  Correct or ignore any whining or it will get worse. Don't let him inside if he is whining.  

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