Monthly Archives: May 2016

Attention seeking behaviors

attentionDogs display attention seeking behaviors for many reasons but the most important reason is they want something from us.  We should be honored.  Out of all the other options, the dog is choosing me to play with, go on a walk with, cuddle with and to feed it.  Think of all those years you spent wanting to be popular and here it is.  You are the most popular person to your dog.

In addition, We should value and admire their clear communication.  Think of all those situations in which you just wish that person in your life would clearly communicate what they want.  Your dog does!

So Why don’t we appreciate attention seeking behaviors?

A lot of attention seeking behaviors involve the dog doing something we don’t want it to do like jump on people, bark, or act like a wild maniac. The solution to this problem is to teach it an alternative attention seeking behavior.  You can teach instead of jumping on me when you want petting or play, approach and sit or even approach and keep your feet on the ground.  But you do have to proactively teach it because that is not the natural way for dogs to seek attention.

In addition, many times the dog’s timing is off. The dog wants attention at times it is really difficult for us.  The solution is to set up routines in which the dog can expect all those delightful activities to take place.  We do have to meet their needs as a playful, social, and highly interactive being.  We also need to teach there are times in which I am not available (when I am sleeping, working in my office, on the phone).  Prevention strategies can be helpful in the beginning as your educate your dog on this concept.

What attention seeking behaviors does your dog engage in?

What behavior would you like to teach it instead?

What prevention strategy will you use when your dog may display unwanted attention seeking behaviors?

Click the Leave a Reply link to respond.  Of course I want to hear from you!

Doggie Body Language

body languageWhat does it mean when your dog looks like this? Find out during our upcoming Body Language seminar.

On Saturday May 21 @ 12:00pm, I will be holding a free Body Language seminar.  This seminar is for owners only.   Please do not bring your dog.  To sign up all you need to do is send me a quick e-mail.  

During this body language seminar you will learn:

  • How can you tell if your dog is likely to move towards something.
  • How to understand your dog’s stance and what each stance means.
  • How to know if it is safe for your dog to meet another dog
  • How to spot emotion based problems early before it is too late.
  • And so much more.

Hope to see you at the seminar.  Send me a quick e-mail to sign up.

2 classes prior to 12 weeks of age reduces aggression

2 classesDid you know 2 classes prior to 12 weeks of age can reduce aggression issues?

According to a study conducted by Rachel A Casey., Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 152, 52– 63, puppies that attend 2 puppy classes prior to 12 weeks of age have a reduced risk of social issues by about 1.6 times.  Wow, that is big!

There are a lot of reasons people wait before attending classes.  Here is a list.

1.  Many people still don’t know puppies should begin classes before they have completed their first set of vaccines.  The American Veterinary Behavior Association recommends puppies begin attending puppy classes by 8 weeks of age.  

2. Money 

3. They think they can do the training themselves.  Maybe they can, but it is very difficult to get in all the socialization necessary on your own.

4. Puppy charm – who can get mad at a  puppy.  At this stage, the symptoms of a problem don’t seem like an issue to the owner.

5. Time – It takes time to train a dog.  The thing is a well trained dog takes a lot less effort to live with than one that is not trained.

Owning a dog with social issues is not pleasant and does not full fill the dream most of us have for our dog.  Much of the time, the owners of dogs with this issue are stressed out and sometimes have to make dreadful, heart wrenching decisions.  In addition, many of these dogs end up with compromised quality of life, not because the owner does not want better for the dog but because the dog just is not able to cope.

We want a dog to be a companion in all aspects of our lives not just at home when we are the only ones around.  Encourage the people you know to start training classes with their puppies no later than 10 weeks of age so they can greatly reduce the probability of this issue.  If they take your advice, you will be giving them an extremely valuable gift.