Dog Training, Tips, Tricks, and Plenty of Good Advice

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Cabin Fever

Not all dogs get out and enjoy winter weather like this guy! So, we thought it might be good to post the following article about cabin fever:

Going inside – and staying there – provides physical protection from the elements, but also opens the door to a mental hazard: boredom. A bored dog can wreak considerable havoc on his household in the form of excessive barking, hyperactivity, and destructiveness. Worse still, if the dog’s efforts to relieve his boredom prompt him to partake of poisonous plants or other toxic substances, he’ll need immediate veterinary attention, and you are likely to face a significant bill.

To prevent such occurrences, be sure to dog-proof your home; in other words, put any toxic, hazardous, or other forbidden items beyond your dog’s reach. Then, find ways to provide your dog with plenty of indoor physical and mental exercise. Here are some activities that you and your dog can do together indoors to help the two of you stay sane:

  • Fetch:

A rousing game of fetch – particularly if it requires your dog to go up and down some stairs a few times – can give him a good physical work out.

  • Tug-of-war:

As long as you are not having aggression problems with your dog, a good tug session can siphon off considerable excess canine energy. Rules of the game: The person needs to start the game, the person needs to end the game, and most of the time the person needs to win the game.

  • Hide the toy:

To give your dog a mental workout, try hiding a toy or treat and then directing him to find it. Hold the item for him to see, then place him in another room so he can’t see where you hide the object. Once you’ve hidden the toy, allow him to come out and look for it. When teaching this game, put the toy or treat in plain sight, gradually increase the difficulty until your dog understands how to look for it.

Source: The Family Dog

Superstitions About Dogs

We’ve all heard that a black cat crossing your path brings bad luck, but have you ever heard the following?

  • A dog eating grass means rain is coming.
  • Meeting a dog is good luck (especially if it’s a Dalmatian).
  • A greyhound with a white spot on its forehead brngs good fortune.
  • Being followed by a strange dog is bad luck (especially if the dog is black).
  • The spectral black dog (barguest) is a harbinger of death.
  • A dog howling for no reason means unseen spirits are lurking about.
  • A dog howling three times? A death has occurred.
  • At one time a dog that had bitten someone was immediately destroyed to protect the person from rabies (even if the dog was healthy).

Photo by Jane W

Four Good Reasons To Train Your Dog

Maybe your dog doesn’t need training. Maybe you just think he doesn’t. Here’s a questionnaire that will help you decide. For the purpose of the questionnaire, we’ll pretend your dog is a boy, and his name is Buddy.

Scenario #1.

You have taken your dog with you on a camping trip. Your dog sees a skunk  and thinks he has a new friend. You holler “No! Buddy come!” What happens?

  1. Several baths and one grooming appointment later, you can finally pet Buddy without holding your nose.
  2. You spend the rest of the weekend playing “chase me while I run away”. (Thank goodness the skunk had the same idea.)
  3. Luckily, Buddy was on a long leash, unfortunately he saw the skunk and has been barking uncontrollably ever since.
  4. For one long moment you hold your breath, and then all those obedience classes pay off as Buddy comes trotting back for praise and pets.

Scenario #2.

It has been sleeting for hours, the wind is blowing and it is a truly dreadful afternoon. You know that Buddy needs to do his business. You bundle up and head outside with him. What happens?

  1. One whiff of all that freezing drizzle and Buddy is down in the family room taking care of business really quickly before anyone can make him go outside.
  2. One whiff of all that wonderful ice and snow, and Buddy is zooming down the street having lots of big fun. You decide not to play the “catch the runaway dog game” and go back inside to wait for him to come to his senses.
  3. Luckily, you have had the foresight to put a leash on him, unluckily, Buddy is very very excited. He decides that he is now an Alaskan sled dog. He does not wait for the command “Mush!” and you spend the Holiday Season in a body cast.
  4. You cross your fingers, get a good grip on the railing and say, “Heel”. Buddy walks quietly at your side and then takes care of business. When you get back inside, you sit down with a cup of hot cocoa, while Buddy chews contentedly on the bone you got him for Christmas.

Scenario #3.

Your Great Aunt Thelma pays you a surprise visit, and you haven’t seen her in years. Of course you love her very much. You are also hoping she will leave you a little something in her will. You tell Buddy to “Sit and Stay” while you open the door. What happens?

  1.  Buddy charges the door and knocks her down. You spend the next three weeks visiting Great Aunt Thelma in the hospital.
  2. Taking advantage of the excitement, Buddy makes a quick get-away out the door. You spend the remainder of her visit running all over the neighborhood looking for Buddy, and making repeated calls to the dog pound in hopes that if you can get there soon enough, the fines for a run-away dog won’t be too high.
  3. Luckily your Great Aunt loves dogs and doesn’t mind dog hair, dog kisses, or even a dog in her lap. Unfortunately Buddy decides he doesn’t like your Aunt Thelma and spends the rest of her visit barking and growling at her every time she moves.
  4. Both you and your Great Aunt are pleased to see how well Buddy responds to your commands, and you have an enjoyable visit. Four years later she dies and leaves you ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

Scenario #4.

You and your family sit down to Thanksgiving dinner. There is a nice turkey and it smells really good. Just then an alien spaceship lands in the neighbor’s yard. You all run outside to see it. Buddy runs out ahead of everyone. You holler “Stay!” What happens?

  1. Buddy runs up to the spaceship, and before you can move, a long green arm has scooped him up. You never see Buddy again.
  2. Sensing that this is no ordinary thing, Buddy backs up onto the porch and begins to bark uncontrollably. No one can hear anything the aliens are saying. Soon the spaceship zooms away and you spend the rest of your life wondering what they were saying.
  3. Luckily, Buddy hears from your tone of voice that you mean business. Unfortunately, he then goes inside and jumps onto the table and eats your Thanksgiving dinner.
  4. When he hears the command Buddy stops and waits to see what you will do. You communicate with the aliens and save the world from oblivion. A statue is erected in your honor. You insist that it be in the likeness of your dog Buddy.

Obedience is strongly recommended if:

  1. Your dog is out of control and making you crazy.
  2. You really do have a Great Aunt Thelma.
  3. You love your dog very much and hope one day to have a statue erected in his honor.

Written by: Shirley Janner

Note:

You are welcome to share this questionnaire but ONLY IF you give credit and a link back to Teach Your Dog To Behave or shirleytwofeathers.com.

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