More Questions Dog Owner Ask

beagle-puppyAs a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist I receive a bunch of questions from dog owners from all over the world.  Here are a few more of the most common questions I have received.

1.  How can I get my dog to stop barking?  This is a problem that can be corrected easily with a water spray bottle.  Let me tell you how.  Fill the bottle and adjust the nozzle so that you have a straight stream like a water gun not a mist.  When the dog starts barking you give a firm “ENOUGH” command and then spray it in the face 2 times.  The dog learns that when you say enough it needs to stop or it will get sprayed.  It really works, so give it a try.

2.  How can I keep my young dog from running off when I take him outside?  This one is so easy.  When you take a young untrained dog outside it should be on a leash if it is not in a fence.  The reason we use the leash is so that it does not learn the bad habit of running off until we teach it the good habit of coming when called.  Yes we want the dog to learn the come command before it learns it doesn’t have to.

3.  My 2-year-old dog is very aggressive with other dogs and every time I take him to the dog park he attacks another dog.  I need to get him socialized, what can I do?  First, STOP taking him to the dog park.  Dog parks are not for aggressive unsocialized dogs.  That is a very dangerous situation that can get your dog or another dog seriously injured.  It can also get you into a lawsuit and that won’t be any fun.

Adult dogs that are not well socialized with other dogs need to be kept away from other dogs.  The period of socialization for a dog is from birth to 20 weeks of age.  If your dog did not get properly socialized during that period it may never be good with other dogs.  If you want to try to fix the situation you need to find a good dog behavior specialist with this type of experience that can help you with this issue.

I hope these ideas will give you some help in training your dog.  One of the best things you can do for your dog is to train it.  A trained dog will give you a pet you can enjoy for the rest of its life.

4 Reasons That Dogs Walk In Circles Before They Poop

This is one of those, I wonder why questions, that many of us have asked over the years.  Just as you may have imagined there just is not a simple answer to this age-old question.  However let me give you some possibilities that may help answer the question for you.

  1. The dog is tamping down the grass and chasing away any bugs or other creatures to give it a nice clean place to do its business. The circles allow the dog to get a good view of the surrounding area to make sure there are no threats or predators near by.
  2. The dog is looking for scents from other creatures to see who else has been in the area. Dogs just like humans want a nice clean and hygienic place to do their business.

  3. Some people say that the dog is going in circles to help stimulate the intestines to help bring on a bowel movement. Yes there is a theory that the dog with its circle dancing action is actually helping to stimulate the need to go to the bathroom.

  4. Now don’t laugh about this one but there is also a theory brought on by researchers at a university in Prague that says dogs do this and then line their bodies up with the earth’s magnetic axis. Sounds crazy you say.  Well like all kinds of other wacky research they actually spent 2 years and probably millions of dollars conducting this research.

Now keep in mind that not all dogs do the circle ritual and it appears that not all dogs do it every time they need to go.  If you have a dog that circles it is just part of the norm for dogs.

So why does your particular dog do the circle dance before doing its business is probably still up in the air.  However it is not a behavior that you should be worried about.  I think probably the biggest issue is for you to help your dog find the exact right location by simply keeping moving until that perfect spot is located.  The worst part is getting him or her to hurry so we can get in out of the rain or snow or cold or heat.  You get the idea!

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