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Leticia asks... | Featured question
How do I stop her jumping on kids when they aren't consistent with telling her to get down, or how to stop her jumping up on anyone at all? I'm trying to use positive reinforcement rather than hitting or pushing her off as I'm not sure how that will affect her.
This Question is about
Jumping up, Puppy management
Bark Busters responded: Hi Letica,  If you have the necessary control and respect of your dog then you are the one who should be addressing any jumping or unacceptable behaviour on the kids, yourself and visitors. . Dogs thinks kids are  puppies, they run, they laugh in high pitch tones, like a puppy does in your dogs mind. Sometimes the kids need to enjoy outside time , without you having to be there with them the whole time. We never recommend children and dogs be left alone, as a dog will reprimand a child if the accidentally pull its tail or ears, or hurt them, all done unintentionally , however the only way a dog can address that instinctively is to use their teeth.  Using your knees or pushing a dog down is physical to a dog, also it never works. as you have realised.  Use a water spray and spray her jumping on you initially, then set the scene up and work with one child at a time. They do need to stand still and not squeal or move away, yo then spray the dog and say Nooooo in a deep guttural tone. Never use her name to address any behaviour issues.  You now best when she jumps so be ready and address this before it actually occurs.  Dogs jumping is not 'hi I'm glad you are home or visiting" it is "Hi I'm just reminding you who the top dog in this home is". Dogs need leadership, it is there pack survival instinct so if  the humans are not showing her consistent leadership rules i.e. going in and out of doors first is one good example, but allowing the dog to go first, we are telling the dog they  are the leader. In the dog world the pack leader 'always goes first'. This is something you can practice easily on a daily bases. You and the children go inside and outside first.  She must never be allowed to answer the door ahead of you if she is an indoor dog.  Train her to wait a small distance away from the door thus allowing you as the new pack leader to greet your visitors. All home doors are applicable to this rule. Use your voice to let her know you are not accepting what she is doing, but please remember, its really important that you must also praise her when she gets down. There are lots of useful free training tips on our website also. www.barkbusters.com.au  
Teagan asks...
My dog is being attacked by my brothers dog zuko a male mixed breed but his a larger sized dog, zuko will just snap and grab jc and just shake him we have been their for the 3 fights luckily and broken them up but it takes two people to pull them apart I’m scared that zuko will kill jc! And I want to stop it we currently have 3 dogs, jc 3 zuko 10 months and Fergie 4months Fergie is German Shepard and the only girl but I’m afraid if zuko teaches her this aggression and attack she will begin to do it aswell zuko is only a temporary visitor he will only stay with us for a week every now and then when my brother is away for work, i feel like the fighting starts when all three are together and it’s over food, beds or someone gets a bit close and personal and somebody else snaps. Fergie doesn’t get involved she usually runs away shreaking at the top of her voice or will stand at a distance and just bark a lot please help me I don’t want my brothers dog to kill my dog!
This Question is about
Aggression, Sibling rivalry
Bark Busters responded: Hi Teagan, Zuko's coming and going from your home has changed the pack structure and is causing the fighting.  There will always be a trigger that starts the fighting, you have mentioned a few situations. It could also be jealousy. as you know it happens in a split second.  Sibling Rivalry can be the toughest of behaviors we deal with and to rectify. It takes commitment and all three dogs need to know that you are the top dog.  Strong human leadership is the answer. Their focus must be on you and not each other. The three dogs need to be trained separately by you in your yard, to not walk in  ahead of you anywhere, nor go in and out of any door or gate ahead of you. they need to be feed separately, all three dogs need to be treated the same and see you as being a strong consistent leader in their eyes. I will email you some further information today.
Alyssa asks...
I'm at a complete loss with my one year old sprocker. He has developed an obsession with lights and shadows and now does it every second he is awake. He never settles and ignores us when we try to snap him out of it. He wags his tail so clearly enjoys his light chasing but we feel like we've lost him.
This Question is about
Other
Bark Busters responded: Hi Alyssa, have you spoken with your vet ? Your poor dog will be under a lot of stress behaving like this continually. Something has caused this obsessive shadow chasing behaviour - narrowing down the cause is part of the over all solution. A wagging tail means many different things, anticipation of whats about to happen next is a dog wagging it's tail. We see dogs wag their tails before an attack, knowing they are going for a walk, when you get home etc etc. So reading it as a dog being happy is certainly not always the case. There is a calming cap available on the internet which may help. It is made of sheer fabric and  limits the visual stimulus. thus reducing the stress in given situations. Compulsive obsessive disorders are something we see from time to time and it must be dealt with like all other behaviour issues. Strong consistent leadership from the owners. With strong leadership and communicating with your dog successfully with both on and off lead communication is a start,  you need  to get his' total'  focus on you  when doing the basic obedience first, before dealing with any chasing of shadows etc. Use the 'one word' you use when he is doing something unacceptable -  in a deep guttural growling tone - when he stops and focus's on you , praise him using a really happy light voice. Never use his name to address unacceptable behaviour.Perhaps crating him and completely covering the crate may also give him some much needed rest. Introducing a dog to a crate must be done slowly initially, addressing any barking or whining. Hope this helps.
Kai asks...
Hi, my dog seems to be overly excited. He wakes us up at exactly 6:30am by scratching at our door. He barks, bites our feet, hands, climbs up to our dinner table, cjews are furniture when we're away. He has some boundary issues.
This Question is about
Barking, Chewing, Hyperactivity, Jumping up, Toileting
Bark Busters responded: Hi Kai. All dogs need educating like children, it is fun to teach a loved pet to undersrand what you want from it.  It does not speak English nor understand our words.  Our system teaches owners to #speak dog'. Sounds like he has no rules in place, thus doing whatever and whenever he likes. He is controlling your home by the sounds of what you have described. .  Do not give him any attention when he is demanding it.  If he is scratching at the door, do not open the door and let him in, if you do that he wins and the scratching will continue or get worse until you open the door.  If he is barking at you, growl the correction word (never his name) you use when he does this,  or anything you are not happy with for that matter. then when he is behaving praise him in a happy voice.. You need to practice separation  from him when you are home. Then address any unwanted behaviour as suggested above.  Dogs should follow their owners,never race ahead - nor getting in our out of doors first. In the dog word the leader leads, so you need to step up and become his leader and start by showing him daily consistency with training, do this by training him on and off lead. We have a great book available on our website which you might enjoy to help you understand the process there is also some great advice free to download on all sorts of topics on our website. . Even your local obedience club may help you. Put him outside at meal times, no dog should be given free reign to jump on tables, lounges or people. Give him chew toys, our Gamechanger is a great mental stimulation toy which will help keep him busy and keep him thinking resulting in less destruction. Thinking dogs are great pets, but they need to know their owners have put rules in place for them.  Never be physical with any dog,  don;t push him off tables or furniture, you do not want it to become hand shy, so use his lead to get him down of lounges or tables.   Remember praise is just as important as a correction when he listens to you.    Remember children need guidance and rules, gues what so do dogs.  He will love you more if he understands what you want, but you have to teach him.   
Stacey asks...
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
This Question is about
Other
Bark Busters responded: 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 . 
Celia asks...
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?
This Question is about
Aggression
Bark Busters responded: 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 
Jj asks...
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.
This Question is about
Other
Bark Busters responded: 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...
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.
This Question is about
Separation anxiety
Bark Busters responded: 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...
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.
This Question is about
Puppy management
Bark Busters responded: 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.  
Jordan asks...
Hi, I have issues with my dog being too hyper-active, I know it’s an easy fix with exercise, but I am physically unable to walk him without my partner, due to pulling. I have been doing textbook training with him since he was a puppy, but he just doesn’t seem to stop pulling. I’ve tried to play with him in the backyard with some toys but he just gets too over excited and jumps on me. He is generally well behaved it’s just when we go for a walk or play nothing and no one matters. I have a baby on the way and I need to calm him down and exercise him, but I can’t seem to do it. What should I do?
This Question is about
Hyperactivity
Bark Busters responded: Hi JordanWe see on a daily basis hypo-activity in so many dogs.  We know a huge part of this can be diet related.  A natural raw diet is one way to ascertain if this is indeed part of the cause. Depending on the size of your dog - large breed chicken carcasses are great and for smaller dogs chicken wings and necks.  Never any cooked meat or bones.  Also scatter feed some frozen mixed vegies around the yard, give it something to forage for during the day.If kibble is used then you need a good quality one - LOW in carbs (rice pasta etc) no preservatives additives or food colourings.  there are some great ones available from PetStock PetBarn or the likes.  Just ask attendant.   Bark Busters has a WaggWalker harness that will assist you with the pulling on walks. check it out on home page video www.barkbusters.com.au   Yyou can order one directly from Head Office if you want one.  Also it is important to never allow your dog out of any doors/gates/stairs ahead of you.  It should be trained to wait until you invite it in or out. .