Q&A: Advice for handling a very moody and sulky dog?

Question by GabbyL: Advice for handling a very moody and sulky dog?
My friend left me their dog to take care of for a few days, but it is very moody, sulks, refuses to eat her food let alone her medicine, does not interact with people or my other dogs… I’ve tried to coax it to eat by hand, and patted it a lot… but it just seems depressed and super cranky. (tried to snap my hand off a few times). it’s a 10 year old female Shih Tzu by the way… any ideas to help it feel better, happier, less cranky?? Also worried cause it won’t eat.

Best answer:

Answer by Garry D
Dog Training – With Love And Care!
Any pet owner is required to train his or her pet dog before it becomes a situation of embarrassment for you in public. Most people suffer from acute behavioral problems with regard to their dogs – the most common being, biting, scratching, chewing one’s shoes and unnecessary barking.

In the midst of such a crisis, all dog owners will surely want to teach their dogs and make them as civilized as they can. This, in turn, will strengthen your relationship with your best friend and help in pouring more love and affection between you and your pet dog.

Here are some simple, easy going tips of how you can train your dog –

It’s quite natural behavior for the dogs to bite and chew just like my 3 months old Chihuahua used to do but what a dog owner can do is to teach “obedience” training. It means that, first of all train your dog to “sit”, “stand”, or bring the newspaper from the doorstep. “Jack” the eldest of my pets has become a genius in bringing our everyday newspaper from the doorstep. This acts as a basic teaching and handling tool for your dog.
Effective dog training requires good timing. This is the most difficult thing for most dog owners to learn that is, a specific period of the day (mostly before dinner) should be kept exclusively for training and no fluctuation should occur with regard to that time period.
Learning how to communicate without words is the most important basic skill as dogs cannot understand human language. Certain words like: “sit down” or “stand up” should be stressed upon and pronounced exactly in the same manner so as to make them familiar with those words.
The dogs should be trained so as to greet the guests and stop unnecessary barking. Jack used to growl loudly whenever he would see some guests in our house but now he can well differentiate between a stranger and a guest.
They should be praised for their good work with some words like “well done” or patting their back which should be repeated so as to make them aware of those words or particular gestures.
Many dogs react strangely because they are not taken out for regular walks. So, a dog owner should have the habit of taking his/her doggy for a morning or an evening walk as this will help the dog to be more socialized with the environment and people. Even I am trying to take my Chihuahua for a regular evening walk as she is too shy to meet new people.
Just as we show patience while educating our kids we must have that same patience ready while training our pet dogs because most dogs are moody and by giving a cookie or favorite biscuit in his mouth for every training session, we can demand his/her obedience.
Another way of educating your dog is to arrange for a pet video show in you house. Make it a habit to watch pet videos with your dog just as I did while training Jack. It will help the dog to understand in a more better way. 164th Street Pet Salon is a pet shop situated in New York from where a video was sent to me by my friend. This video worked out a lot
Never blame a sick dog for misbehaving rather it’s our duty to take the dog immediately to a vet for a medical checkup.
Last but not the least; we should approach them in a more positive and humane way as they are our best of pals and a part of our family

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

Dog Training Advice

Dog Training Advice

Updated March 2013. 

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Dumbest dog training advice you’ve ever heard?

Question by Curtis M WINS! FLAWLESS VICTORY!: Dumbest dog training advice you’ve ever heard?
I came across a video…from an answer to a question…which has got to be the dumbest thing I have EVER in life heard about dog training (at least from someone who actually teaches people how to train their dogs for money).

In response to that guy: Well duh genius…that’s why you only teach behaviors with food and use corrections to stop them from eating cheeseburgers magically thrown out of windows and squirrels. You obviously have no concept teaching in a low distraction environment, and then proofing in a high distraction environment with corrections…why does that concept elude so many people, is it really that difficult?

Also! What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard somebody who accepts money for their training advice say?

(no wives tales or “My neighbor” stories, but a real “trainer”/”behaviorist”)

Best answer:

Answer by maxBirdy
i used to make a motor boat sound and tickle the bottom of my dogs ear, it made him sad and depressed and angry, and he almost bit me a few times, he hated it. so to fix the problem i would do it again, except give him a treat after, eventually he realized it was no big deal and stopped being sad.

im no trainer but i am very good with dogs, and i have to say using small treats or even ‘trainer’ treats, work best with any animal. (over patting them on the head lolwut)

Give your answer to this question below!

Question by AngelWithAnX: Rescued a Jack Rusell and need a little advice please?
About 3 months ago, my family rescued a Jack Russell/Westie mix. He’s estimated at just over a year old and had probably been in the kennel/rescue place for about 6-7 months (estimated). When I picked him up, while all the other dogs were let out of their cages on leashes with volunteers, this little guy, now named “Ares” was in a cage sitting next to a fence. They said it was because he was too “out of control and wild”. After talking to the head of the rescue group, she said Ares had to be secluded because he bit a high school student volunteer who riped his dew claw out when he was removing the dog from the cage.

Ever since I picked Ares up, he’s been really loyal and friendly to my family and my boyfriend’s family, but he hates the rest of the world. I don’t understand it. If we have company over at our house, he growls and gets super excited like he wants to say “hi” and greet the person entering the house but when they get close, he attacks. It’s worse when people come to the front door (but both of my dogs kind of realize that friends use the garage). Ares growls at people when we’re out on walks, and sometimes if another dog starts to approach me, he’ll get all defensive and start pulling on the leash and jumping. I use a Halti when walking him, which makes an improvement, but everytime I go down to our town park there are always people who leave their dogs off a leash (even though it says “ILLEGAL DOGS MUST BE LEASHED AT ALL TIMES”) and we usually get attacked by other bigger dogs. I mean I understand that Ares is trying to protect me, but is their any behavior training I can work with him on?

Another problem is that he gets so wound up and excited that he’s almost ridiculous to calm down. Even if secluded, he’ll just destroy whatever room he’s in, chewing up everything, running wild. I’ve talked to my groomer (who is also a breedre of Kerry Blue Terriers) and she said it’s ok to put Ares on tranquilizers or low dose ADHD drugs, cause her terriers are on them, but my vet says he won’t perscribe them. Actually Ares bit my vet because he got too close to me. I know he’s still a puppy, but he’s been labeled as “too agressive” to enter a group basic training class and I don’t know of anywhere that is relatively inexpensive to work with a “problem” dog.

I’m kind of at my wits end here since some of my family members (outside of the people who live with me and Ares on a daily basis) as well as neighbors say that Ares can’t be helped and we should just put him down or give him back (although the rescue group I got him from is no longer in existance) He’s not a bad dog, he’s just been in a kennel/rescue group for so long he hasn’t been properly socialized. I’m not ready to give up on him, but I need a training solution for when I have company over; he can’t be trusted outside of a cage.

Any suggestions for what I can do. I live in Buffalo, NY. I’m willing to do whatever it takes and money really isn’t an issue, but If you know of someone in my area who works with problem dogs that would be great. Thanks in advance.
Thanks for the comment “It is the behavior of a possessive/aggressive, territorial, poorly socialized dog. Period. End of story.”. I think I already said that when I rescued him we knew he was poorly socialized, being in a kennel for 6-7 months with minimal volutneers, I think I did the dog a favor.
Thanks for the advice. The dog is definitely getting enough exercise, we have a pool and a treadmill (although the treadmill thing doesn’t quite work, he’s afraid of it). I’ll post on the other site and see what help I can get there :)

Best answer:

Answer by Mutt for the Truth
Looks for a behaviorist – your vet should be able to point you to a few, or your local Kennel Club. Or try Google.

This is NOT “protective” behavior in the least, by the way. It is the behavior of a possessive/aggressive, territorial, poorly socialized dog. Period. End of story.

Add – You’re going to need a BEHAVIORIST, not a TRAINER. Big difference in that trainers deal with teaching a dog to respond to a command and a behaviorist works with a dogs behavior to solve an issue. One does not mean another, and sounds like this dog is not going to be the kind that NEEDS (or responds to) lovey-dovey treat kind of training.


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DS: Any advice for clicker training?

Question by Clumsical ~ABCA Borders not AKC Barbies~: DS: Any advice for clicker training?
Even though I vowed long ago to never support the politically correct “training” that is things like clicker training, I’ve got to do it anyway. I’m having MAJOR problems with my foster dog’s focus (he herds and that’s about the only thing he ever does) and it’s difficult to get anywhere with training because he is going every where at once, moving too quickly for corrections or praise. So, apparently (according to the rescue coordinator) this is like one of the only times EVER that clicker training is the best method.

I am not exactly sure how to do any sort of clicker training, especially in this case, and I will read my little book that I got with the clicker later, but for now I’m just looking for any helpful “hints”.
Julie, apparently the clicker is used to praise for a behavior that you didn’t have to teach. First you have to condition the dog to know that *click* = treat, so when they hear the click they know that they did something good, and want to do it again to get a treat.
There isn’t anything wrong with clicker training, I think that there are certain instances where it is a good training method (like this one). However, I do not agree with the people that think it is the ONLY method to train dogs, and people that think it is wrong to correct a dog. Those people seem to be the majority of people that support clicker training.

Best answer:

Answer by Julie D.
Is this dog food motivated at all? If so, keep the treat/food in your mouth/lips so he watches you. I know nothing about clicker training other than food/treats are involved with the clicker. I thought that you *clicked* after the dog obeyed the command, so if he is not focusing, I don’t see how the clicker would work. jmo

Add: I see the point, but why would a click be any different than using your voice or petting the dog and THEN giving the treat be any different? Hey, I’m not trying to put this method down or anything, but I just don’t understand it. Is the click suppose to be magic or something? I would think that a *good girl/boy* voice would be the same association along with the treat as a clicker would be. Once again, JMO.

What do you think? Answer below!

Q&A: need advice on next training steps?

Question by stratm663: need advice on next training steps?
just adopted the very nicest puppy. long story short, the owner couldn’t take him to the new home.
he’s about 5 months old…
he’s a boston terrier , i’ve had him about a week now. he seems healthy and pretty active , very attentive.

after day 3 we had “sit”
by the end of day 5 we had “lay down”
and now we are working on “stay”
( i can count as far as 10…before he starts getting antsy)
i have him OK w/ the leash ( he still leads a bit…but he’s doing ok )

as for being off the leash…

in our backyard:

i’ve gotten hm to walk the perimeter (along the fences) unleashed and by my side
he will take the opportunity to “mark”
he will come when i call him (w/out a treat now…)

and in the front yard..ive had him walk the perimeter of our lawn and drive (both leashed and unleashed) and he seems to be getting it…

we are working on “leave it” (we have rabbits in our yard, and he wants to chase them…LOL)

so ….ANY advice!?

tricks are cool, but i’m more concerned in making sure this puppy will stay out of harms way, out of traffic, and not bothering people and their dogs walking by when we’re working in the yard or whatever we happen to be doing…

oh, and should i get him “fixed” i’ve gotten a few opinions from friends, am certainly willing to hear a few more before i decide whether or not to have my new best buddies “nads” chopped off…(as a man…i just can’t imagine….but some say it solves some problems. )

oh, also…ANY advice on raw foods to “supplement” a dry food diet.

ive gotten some good advice from other dog owners here, and would like to hear from any and all…

ty in advance…

Best answer:

Answer by Jaime: LUA comes home in 8 weeks!
It sounds like you’re doing fine with the training, just keep at it. Make sure he has a good recall and you won’t have to worry about him going into traffic.

Should you get him fixed? YES, absolutely. Why? Because four MILLION dogs are euthanized in shelters every year. It also (usually, not always) calms the dog down. He won’t be as hyper. You also won’t have to worry about the health risks associated with an intact dog.

Give your answer to this question below!

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