Dam that cooking oil, You will always need it!

Good morning readers. Ahh the sun is shining.. the birds are singing, you climb out of bed smiling at the alarm that has not yet gone off. You look over to your empty dog bed not registering that your dog is not there. Rubbing your eyes,  you slump down the stairs and flick the kettle on. “Whats that racket” you say! Stood by the door you see your dog barking at what looks to be like the door frame. You open the door and head back to your whistling kettle to continue that peaceful cup of morning tea. If thats not the way your morning plans out.. your not alone.

The door was not what the dog was barking at and in fact now he is fixated on birds, cars, people, oh and yep… there goes the next door neighbours dog too.

So here we are today with one of the most common problems a dog owner can encounter, and I do not blame you when you don’t know what to do next. There are plenty of options but what shall I do?. Walk right into a pet shop and I bet you the first thing they pass you is a pet corrector. “just blast this loud noise when they bark and they will stop” they say with confidence which fills you with relief. What reasons do you have not to try this?
A pet corrector is a training device, but there is one big fall out for devices. No, I’m not going to tell you that this device is harming your dog as that would be a lie, but the major fall out is… you will always need to use it.
 Say I told you that when your cooking bacon, there is a particular oil you can use that would stop it from spitting at you. This oil will only work if you line the pan with it before you cook. This would mean that you would always need it. What if I was to then tell you; that you could change the way you cook, which would then stop the oil from spitting at you anyway. Once you had got the hang of the new way of cooking, you will never get burnt again. This is the best way to describe a training device. If you haven’t already clicked.. you will always need it and you can never train without it.
A loud noise from a pet corrector will startle the dog for a second, and maybe make the dog think twice about doing what he was about to do, but then what happens next time.. out comes the pet corrector again. If you are needing to continue to use it… then its not really working is it? If you were to work with your dog to find out A) what they were barking at and B) if they want to get at that specific thing or just want your attention, you can then work to change the dogs behaviour and way of thinking.
A dog can create a habit out of behaviours even if there is no point to them anymore. So to break that cycle we must work closely with them to understand the reason.  There are no quick fixes, and a quick fix is not necessarily a good thing, unless you want to go back over and try to fix it again in a few months time!
So put that pet corrector down, grab a few cut up bits of chicken or hot dog, and start to reintroduce the world to your dog but without the barking. Start slowly by taking him away from the situation and then reintroducing the moment your dog has become calm. If you find that they bark again straight away, you do not need to say a word, just walk them out of the room, wait until they are calm and then reintroduce them again. Praise the moment they are calm when facing with the thing that set them off when you started. Praise is the key! Well that, and patience….
I could go on and on about many methods to help the barking, but that will have to be a separate post.
I hope you have enjoyed my rants about training devices… and maybe i brought light to the topic.
Enjoy and Happy Training fluffy owners!

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks!.

So, for a while I have been offering my Canine Behaviour advice for free online and to people in Plymouth.
A woman contacted me about her dog who has anxiety but was unsure of being able to do anything as he is old.Whilst talking to a few people we came across that for years we have used the term “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I am aware of this being used when talking about humans, so I’m not sure if it was ever meant to be true for dogs. So, anyway after discussing this metaphor, I realised that it didn’t make sense in my head.Here is the reasons why.
I suppose the best way to explain it is that if you were trying to teach a kid that can already say a few words, to then create a sentence, it is easier than having to teach the kid how to say these words first, then say the sentence.If I go into a home and the dog has been living in this environment for 9 years, then this dog is going to be very aware of the rules and will already know the basics. I would then be able to then go in and fix the anxiety. I can use the commands the dog knows already, in order to change his association of why he doesn’t like the owners leaving. This will include lots of going in and out of the room and slowly increasing the time you leave. Of course there is a lot more to this.If I was to go into a new house where the dog was young, he/she may not know the commands needed in order to fix the behaviour. So before you even start you would need to teach this first. There are other ways around this but you can catch my drift.

Of course the real problem is actually changing the routine that the dog has known all these years. This is what could have caused the behaviour all along. So when training I make sure that I work slowly ensuring the dog gets used to the new routine. With an older dog you can not expect too much. If your training sessions are sticking to 10 minuets then you must remember that the dog may not generalise in everyday life.

If you are asking your dog not to follow you every time you go out the room, you can’t expect it to not follow you when the whole household get up and leave, as you have not done this part of the training yet.

Let’s face it, even us humans don’t like it when everyone leaves the room and is socialising without us.

I will update everyone on my journey and process as I go along and I hope you enjoy reading my blog.
Thank you