Nose Game – Great way to Enrich your Puppy’s Environment

Okay, so last Tuesday evening, I arrived home around 8:00.  Earlier that evening, I taught my group mini course at Collierville Pet Hospital. My Australian Terrier, Bentley was quite happy to see me finally get home. I had a few high value treats in my pocket, leftovers from group class. Rather than let Bentley earn the treats via a few commands, I decided to play a game to enrich his environment. I call this game the Nose Game.

AUstralianTerrier3I grabbed a fistful of  pieces of his normal dry dog food and tore the training treats into very small pieces. I scattered the handful  of dry food and treats on my patio and invited Bentley to come outside and sniff around. He was excited to smell the treats, but because the bits of goodies were scattered amongst the dry kibble, he had to use his nose to find the best pieces. It was fun to watch him by pass dry kibble while he sniffed diligently to find the few fragments of the training treats. Once all the treats were gone, he sniffed around and ate the dry food.

These sorts of food scattering games will enrich any dogs’ environment and give them a chance to use their noses to find food.

Environmental enrichment is a term used to describe an event or procedure which provides animals a better chance to use their natural gifts. One might enrich a giraffe’s environment by placing hay or grass feed on a platform several feet into the air, so that the animal must use his long neck, and stretch to get the food.

Any sort of food finding game is great for your puppy or older dog! Food toys like the tug-a-jug and plain ole scatter feeding are wonderful ways to make your pup’s day!

Here’s another great food foraging toy for your pup.

Six Facts You Need to Know to Raise a Perfect Puppy

BentPup

Fact #1: Forget about alpha and pack.

A nine year old child, or a 85 year old grandparent in a wheelchair, can teach and control any dog by following a few, simple, kind rules. There is an excellent, simple way to teach your puppy, and it has nothing to do with alpha or dominance. As neat as it sounds, your family is not in some sort of mythical pack with your dog. You do not compete with your puppy for food, territory or reproduction rights. You do not have to intimidate your puppy into submission. That little guy wants to be your friend!

Access this and other training articles quickly and easily on my new iphone / ipad / android FREE app

Fact #2: : Mother Nature will potty train your puppy.

97.3% of the millions of dogs who ask to go outside, were never taught to go to the door and ask.  Mother Nature did it! The dogs just naturally ask, without any training from humans. Puppies get house trained as a result of a natural, built -in process known as classical conditioning. It has little to do with consequences, scolding or tasty treats. Yes, your actions can enhance potty training, or your actions can unknowingly teach your puppy to pee and poop inside the house. But, the truth is, nature is responsible.  Follow two simple rules, and let nature take its course. Your puppy will “become” house trained.

Fact #3: You have 12 -16 weeks to create a friendly adult dog.

Events during the first few months of your puppy’s life will determine if your adult dog will be a social butterfly or a frightened, shy, neurotic, anxious dog.

***********Every certified applied animal behaviorist is familiar with the mid, 20th century, classic 20-year study of genetics and the social behavior of dogs at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor Maine.

John Paul Scott and John L. Fuller proved that events and exposures (or lack of events and exposures) during a critical period of socialization affect a dog for life. The critical period of socialization for domestic puppies begins when the ear canals open (about 21 days) and ends at 12 -16 weeks. ********

Here are four simple things you can do right now to introduce your young pup to the good life with a capital “L”.

 

  • Have your puppy meet 10 new people each day
  • Pop open an umbrella – – – just so he won’t be startled when he sees one spring open later
  • Tune into the Cartoon Channel and turn up the cartoons: What an excellent way to get your turbo puppy used to loud, unpredictable noises!
  • Race around your living room on crutches

The idea is to let your young puppy see, hear, feel, and experience everyday events, along with life’s surprises, at a very early age.

There are many easy things you can artfully do to raise an easy-going dog who will experience the ups and downs of life as a natural unfolding of events.

Take advantage of this 16 week

critical window of opportunity.

You will be glad you did!

Fact #4: Your puppy already knows how to come, sit, and lie down

Your puppy already knows how to do every basic obedience command. You just haven’t found the best way to ask your puppy, and you’re not quite sure how to kindly motivate your puppy to want to perform for you. . . (keep reading and you will know). . .  Anyone can learn how to kindly tell their dog WHEN, WHERE, HOW LONG, and WHY to perform basic commands.  It’s easy and it’s not a secret. You will succeed when you start off right with your puppy.  Nurture a relationship based on trust, consistency, clear communication, and rewards for cooperation.

Fact #5: Puppies and dogs do not hang their heads in shame

When your puppy hangs her head and lowers her body, she is not saying, I’m sorry. She is saying, “Please do not attack me, I mean you no harm”. Some of you may be thinking, “but she lowers her head before I even talk to her.” Puppies are observant and smart. They quickly learn to read situations and human body language. Dogs know more about human body language than most humans. But this does not mean they feel guilty or know right from wrong? If you do not believe me, walk up to your puppy when she has done nothing wrong. Use the same body language and tone as you do when there is a mess on the floor. She will lower her head. Does that mean she knows she’s done something wrong?

Fact #6: There are no dog training secrets in this world; you too can be an expert.

Dog training gurus want you to think only they have the secret. Hogwash. There are hundreds of books about dog training. Unfortunately, many of the books are written by people who gained their information from reading other books. Outdated, 20th century information is being sold as new and improved! One reason I studied companion animal behavior and learning, (and canine abnormal behavior modification), was to be able to sort trendy, well marketed information, from realistic everyday solutions with accurate information that applies to all dogs and all owners.

Your search is over. I can help.

The problem you new owners are facing is you don’t have time to sift through volumes of information. It’s tough to find dog-friendly, 21st century information from an expert . . . especially one who has the experience to back up his words.  I work with all kinds of animals: happy, exuberant, fearful, shy, aggressive, and compulsive.

As of December 10, 2009, I have helped 1621 pet owners. 25% of my clients have naughty dogs with aggressive, anxious and fearful behaviors. Veterinarians refer the new puppy and the crazy dog behavior cases to me, because I get good results. I get these results using kind, consistent, easily taught techniques. That number continues to rise, because this is my full time job.

I will give you the benefit of all my experience and education. When it comes to enjoyable, healthy relationships with our animal friends, there should be no secrets.

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Alan J Turner

How’s Bentley’s Gateway to Free Articles and Serives

Memphis TN


Challenges of Raising Puppy Litter Mates

Labrador Litter MatesAnyone of the millions of dog owners knows . . .it’s easy to fall in love with puppies! How many of you went to “look” at a litter of puppies, only to arrive home with a new canine addition? These guys pull at our hearts!

An even stronger heart tug is when only two puppies are left. Many people make split second decisions to adopt both puppies. People are thinking,”heck, it’s not much more trouble to raise two puppies instead of one puppy. And I don’t want to break up the family. They can entertain each other, right??”

Yes, adopting litter mates is easy; raising and training litter mates is not so easy!

You see, litter mates often become “one unit”.

They sleep together, eat together, play together and are never alone, even when their humans are off to work. The puppies become best friends and all seems well.

Challenges with this oneness arise as they get older.

You’ll notice that when apart, the dogs are not quite the same. This may not sound like a problem, until you live it.

At some point, you’ll need to separate the dogs for training, walking, emergency vet visits, et cetera. Depending on how the puppies were raised, these brief split ups can be very traumatic or non eventful.

Now, they are 7 months older and much stronger. You haven’t really taught them to walk nicely on a leash, and they pull like crazy. When someone comes to the house, you have to grab their collars and prevent them from mugging the visitors. You can get one dog to sit politely for a moment, but the other one jumps and barks. By the time you get dog # 2 settled, dog #1 is through being polite and starts to jump and bark. It’s a circus!

This scenario is even more frustrating when one dog is naughty. It’s impossible to fix behavior problems such as fear, anxiety, aggression without separating the dogs.

You now realize it’s impossible to train 2 dogs at once; you decide to take one dog outside for training. The instant you exit the house with one dog, the other dog is whining and crying in the doorway, not quite sure why he or she has been abandoned. The dog outside with you is hesitant to walk away from the house, puling at the lead, trying to get back to his or her playmate. Neither dog will eat a treat, or pay any attention to people, because they are very anxious about being apart.

Help your Litter Mates Become Independent

If you have litter mate puppies, teach them about being apart when they are young and not fused together. Take one for a walk, then take the other. Crate one puppy while you teach the other basic commands. Spend time with each puppy, when the other puppy is somewhere else. Do this from the start. Your puppies will be less likely to freak out when they are apart.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley Memphis Dog Trainer

Group and in-home, private dog training sessions

Meet Your Dog’s Physical Needs for Balance – Commercial, BARF, Frozen & Organic Diet, Food Choices

ReddogPhysical needs are related to the physical well-being of the dog. Routine vaccinations are one example of physical health requirements.

Grooming and bathing, quality food and clean water are other obvious needs. Shelter from environmental extremes and refuge from everyday household commotion are important for the physical health of your puppy.

The ability to move about, sufficient bathroom access, and daily exercise are components of physical needs.

Health Care

Routine Home, Health Inspections

Some health problems can be easily recognized by routine home, health inspections.

Ear infections are common, especially in dogs with floppy ears. If your dog is constantly shaking his or her head or scratching his or her ears, there’s likely to be an infection.

Ear infections are stinky. To determine if your pup’s ears are infected, place your nose directly into your pup’s ear and take a whiff. Do this a couple of times every week so you’ll notice any changes in the odor, before the infection develops into a serious problem. Contact your veterinarian if your dog’s ears are smelly!

Skin irritations are another common problem. Visually inspect your dog’s skin for signs of redness. In addition, you can sniff your dog’s skin. Any changes in the odor of your dog’s skin could be signs of a problem.

The consistency of your pup’s stools is another indicator of overall health. Generally speaking, you should be able to pick up your dog’s stools with a napkin. If your puppy has loose or runny stools, contact your vet.

Veterinarian Wellness Checkups

Wellness checkups are much more than disease protection and a quick once-over. Extensive blood work and a thorough examination are helpful for identifying potential health problems before they affect the life of your animal. Blood chemistry results are compared and contrasted from year to year.

Comprehensive wellness exams provide veterinary professionals with a baseline for measuring the pet’s medical health.

Disease Prevention

Check with your veterinarian if you have any questions related to the prevention of global or regional health threats to your dog. I live in Memphis, TN. In the southeast, we have a saying.

There are two types of dogs, dogs that are always on heart worm and parasite prevention and dogs that are on the path to contracting parasites and heart worm disease.

Grooming

To all social mammals, grooming is a form of social interaction, a sort of bonding exercise.

Routine grooming has benefits beyond a neat coat. Brushing stimulates healthy skin. Grooming teaches your dog to accept handling, a most helpful coping skill.

Some puppies accept grooming and others view handling as an opportunity to bite. Please read subsequent chapters about socialization and play biting for tips on how to teach your pup to accept routine grooming.

Bathing

Bathing requirements vary greatly from breed to breed, as do ear and dental examinations. Check with your veterinarian and groomer about a schedule best suited to your dog.

Dental Care

Dental problems can develop into dangerous, life threatening conditions. Dogs with squashed faces (brachycephalic breeds) are at a higher risk for developing dental problems than breeds with a wolf-like muzzle.  This is because the same number of teeth is condensed into a smaller area.

Dirty teeth can affect the health of the heart. Talk to your vet about starting a dental care program suitable for your breed.

There are many consumable products advertised to improve your dog’s dental health and breath. Chewing bones and other, hard, abrasive chew items can help to reduce tarter.

I’m not sure if eating a mint flavored chew item actually improves long-term breath or not. I have fed Bentley some of these and never noticed a long term change in the odor of his dog breath. Try some and see for yourself.

Diet Choices

Pet food is a multi-billion dollar industry. Choosing a food can be very frustrating because you will hear different advice from everyone.

If your dog is healthy and happy on his or her current diet, then my advice is to stick with that diet.

If your dog has chronic medical or behavioral health issues, then perhaps a diet change is warranted.

One of the first questions I hear from clients is, “What do you feed Bentley?”.

I feed Bentley a prescription diet purchased from my veterinarian because of his heath condition, chronic pancreatitis. A portion of his meal is canned food placed in a bowl. The remaining portion of his meals is dry food, delivered as treats when training.

Even though the ingredients are not what I consider to be of the highest quality, the balance of nutrition, fat, and protein is well suited for his medical condition.

Dry versus Wet Food

From a nutritional point of view, it stands to reason that wet or canned foods may contain more nutrients than their dry counterparts. Quality of ingredients, storage, and processing affect the nutritional value of all foods.

Many people claim that dry dog foods are better for dogs because dry foods help maintain clean teeth.

I’ll accept that dogs who actually chew dry food may receive some teeth-cleaning benefits from dry foods. But, I’ve met many dogs who only ate dry food and their teeth were very dirty. Maybe this is because they didn’t really chew the food or maybe it’s an individual trait of that dog.

For whatever reasons, some dogs need annual teeth cleaning by a veterinarian and other do not. Ask your vet for a teeth cleaning schedule that’s best for your dog.

Diet and Behavior

I am not a nutritional expert. I have absorbed information from those who I consider to be well educated in the field. I do know there is a link between diet and behavior.

Diet affects physical health. Physical health affects behavioral health.

Studies with children indicate that children who eat a balanced diet have a learning advantage over those who consume a less balanced diet.

Any parent will tell you that their child’s behavior is influenced by the amount of junk food the child consumes.

I always address diet when discussing problem behaviors.

There have been small studies about diet content and abnormal behaviors in animals. These studies claim that protein and carbohydrate levels can affect behavioral health.

My success with diet changes and behavioral improvements is unclear. Since I always present a multi-point behavior modification program which includes diet change, it’s difficult to measure the effects of the diet change.

In 1% of my behavior cases, changing the diet did cause dramatic improvements. I know this because the clients admittedly did nothing but change the dogs’ diets.

More apparent is the relationship between defecation and diet. Dogs who eat foods with more “junk” produce more, larger stools. Sometimes this can be a factor to consider while house training.

Commercial Foods

There are commercial foods marketed for toy dogs, working dogs, large breeds, puppies, adults, seniors, et cetera.

Some foods are advertised to be breed- specific, such as food especially for Yorkshire terriers.

I’m not sold on the necessity of selecting breed-specific foods, but I’m no expert. I avoid food marketed as suitable for all life stages.

Life-stage and weight control foods make sense to me.

Puppies require different levels of nutrients than seniors. Seniors need different levels of fiber, fat, protein, etc., than younger dogs. Overweight dogs should consume fewer calories.

Contact your veterinarian with any questions regarding the best food for your individual dog at his or her current life stage.

Rendered Foods

Dog foods contain ingredients that originate from the same sources as our people food. Lamb, rice, chicken and vegetables are common ingredients. The quality is usually of a lower grade than served to people.

Most commercial dry dog foods are rendered so that we can easily store and serve the product. Rendering is a type of heated reduction or extraction process in which fat soluble and water soluble products are separated from solid products.

Homemade Diets

There are some who profess that a B.A.R.F. diet is the best for our canine companions. Bones And Raw Food make up the B.A.R.F. diet. I haven’t been exposed to studies about the effectiveness of the diet, but I believe  the B.A.R.F. diet has merits.

Many people prefer to make their dogs’ food. There’s no question that fresh foods are more nutritious than processed foods.   I have no doubt that some people research and learn how to meet the nutritional requirements of their pets. Their dogs may indeed live longer, healthier lives than dogs on commercial diets of lesser quality.

Some of my concerns with homemade diets are related to balance and life stages.

Unless the people follow a well researched recipe, the animal may not receive necessary nutrients in the ideal quantities. In addition, life stage nutritional requirements may be overlooked in home made diets.

Another concern when discussing home made diets, especially the B.A.R.F. diet, is a group of bacteria known as salmonella.

Improper handling of raw foods places humans and pets at risk for illness.

Common symptoms of salmonella infection are diarrhea, fever, or abdominal cramps.

Frozen & Organic Diets

There are alternatives for those who do not want to prepare home made foods nor feed a traditional dog food. Frozen and freeze dried raw diets as well as organic dog foods are other choices.

I question some claims posted by some niche-food manufacturers.

I wonder how a very small company can purchase organic ingredients, process, package, (sometimes freeze), and ship the finished product for a fraction of the cost I would incur by only purchasing the same ingredients.

Add in the cost of business and payroll taxes, insurance, various other business expenses plus a small profit and the math simply does not support their claims.

These and other non-traditional dog food selections might be good choices for those who want to purchase a higher quality diet, assuming the maker follows sanitary guidelines, has a nutritionist on staff,  and uses the stated ingredients in quantity.

Table Scraps

Some people feed their dogs table scraps. Others pride themselves on never feeding people food. Some randomly toss food to their dogs when eating at the table.

Feeding dogs from the table can create a begging, obnoxious dog or can create a wonderfully polite dog!  It depends on the timing of the delivery. If you toss a bite immediately after your dog whines or barks, then obnoxious behaviors will increase. If you toss a piece when your dog is waiting quietly, then polite behaviors will increase.

Feeding table scraps might temporarily upset your dog’s digestive system.

In some instances, ingesting large quantities of high fat table scraps can permanently affect a dog’s digestive system.

I never feed Bentley substantial quantities of table scraps, but he does get people food.

Feeding table scraps will aggravate Bentley’s chronic pancreatitis.

I often let Bentley lick my empty plate. If he waits quietly and patiently, I rinse the plate and place it on the floor. Bentley doesn’t really get any food or food juices from the rinsed plate.

People Food Treats

Some people food can be used as training treats.

I often use carefully selected people food for training treats.

Many of my clients use boiled chicken, turkey, other low-fat meats, organic cereals, and bits of fruits and vegetables. All these are great training treats. Unsalted, plain popcorn is another favorite.

I do not feed high fat, high salt treats like corn and potato chips as well as any candy, cakes, ice cream or sweets.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner

Canine Behavior Counselor – Memphis TN

Aggression, Fear, Puppy Manners, Obedience – Private and Group Animal Training and Behavior Services

The critical period of socialization for puppies begins when the ear canals open at about 21 days of age. The period ends anytime from 12 to 16 weeks of age.

West Highland TerrierYou have a very brief window of opportunity to socialize your puppy.

During the last century, experiments and studies concerning genetics and the social development of dogs were prevalent.

It is well documented that dogs that were deprived of social interactions with people and events during the sensitive or critical period of socialization were adversely affected.

The critical period of socialization begins when the ear canals open at about 21 days of age. The period ends anytime from 12 to 16 weeks of age.

Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog by John Paul Scott and John L. Fuller is a well-regarded book which documents experiments about the critical period of socialization.

Pups that are exposed to various events, multiple settings, other pups, other species, friendly dogs and a diverse mix of adults and children during early developmental periods are less likely to develop fearful or aggressive behaviors.

In addition, the normal physiological development of organs associated with the immune system can be enhanced or retarded because of increased or decreased early social interactions.

According to many studies, well-socialized puppies grow into dogs that navigate stressful situations well. Poorly socialized pups are more likely to become dogs that freeze, flee, or fight when presented with stressful changes in their environment.

Inside the circles of medical and behavioral health professionals, an ongoing controversy exists.

Medical health professionals are concerned about exposing non-vaccinated pups to life threatening diseases.

Veterinary personnel routinely instruct puppy owners to restrict their pup’s excursions into non-sterile outside environments until the pups are fully immunized at 16 weeks. Their advice is warranted. Dangerous health risks are present in public areas.

The deadly parvo virus can survive for months in the environment. Roundworms and other intestinal parasites can live for years in the soil.

Many dangers are passed via animals’ stools. If you are in a public area, don’t allow your puppy to sniff stools or other dogs’ rear ends!

Behavioral health experts contend that more dogs are relinquished or euthanized due to behavior problems than all medical conditions combined.

From a behavioral health point of view, pups should be exposed to diverse situations during the period from 8-16 weeks. With early exposures, fewer dogs would develop fearful and aggressive behaviors.  This controversy has a simple solution.

Expose your 8-16 week-old pup to stimulating situations that don’t threaten his or her developing immune system.

Take your young puppy on car rides, visits to friends and neighbors homes. Hold controlled play sessions with healthy, vaccinated pups and friendly dogs. Invite many people to your house so that your pup can meet all types of people.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner, CBC  – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

Certified Companion Animal Behavior Counselor – Canine Specialization


Switching Dog Foods May Cause Temporary Digestive Problems

German Shepherd DogSome nutritionists suggest that pet owners periodically switch between 2 or 3 different foods. This is recommended as a safeguard against unknown imbalances of nutrients that may occur when feeding the same product long term.


When changing diets, replace a small portion of the old food with the new food on day 1.  Increase the percentage of new food by 10-20% each day to facilitate the change over a 5-10 day period. This will help to prevent digestive problems.

Happy Training!
How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

Frozen Kong for Dogs and Puppies Provides Stimulation, Exercise, and can Aid in Crate Training

BentleyFanFrozen Kong®

Sometimes the weather or my schedule prohibit outside adventures. Sometimes I’m too lazy or tired to exercise. I’ve found ways to entertain Bentley without walking or playing fetch.

Here’s how you can exercise your dog when you are busy.

Get a Kong®. Amazon has excellent prices on these famous Kong toys. You an get a large kong for under $8. Order two or three and keep them loaded in your freezer. The frozen kong provides excellent foraging and entertainment value. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, order the ultimate black kong!

Place a bit of wide, silver duct tape over the small opening to seal it off. Place some dog food and a few treats inside. Pour some water and a bit of low sodium chicken broth inside the Kong®. Stand it upright in a cup or glass in the freezer and let it freeze.

Now you are prepared to exercise your dog without leaving your chair! Remove the frozen Kong® from the freezer, remove the duct tape and give it to your pup. He’ll spend 15-25 minutes stimulating his mind and his body while he is foraging.

You can use the frozen delight to teach your puppy to relax in the crate, laundry room, or in the back yard, alone.  To change your puppy’s perception of being isolated from people, give the frozen kong only when the puppy is alone. After several pairings. the  puppy will begin to enjoy the alone time!

Happy Training!


Chocolate & Other Harmful Foods for Dogs

img_19661Mary Jane and her brother, Mark Anthony are miniature dauschunds in Memphis Tn.

There are some people foods that can be very harmful to dogs. These include chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, tea, coffee, and sugar free candy.

The toxic ingredient in chocolate is theobromine, which is very similar to caffeine. Dogs that ingest as little as 50 milligrams of theobromine per pound of body weight may exhibit signs of toxicity.

Milk chocolate contains about 44 milligrams of theobromine per ounce (mg/oz). Semi-sweet chocolate contains about 150 mg/oz. The most toxic is baking chocolate which contains about 390 mg/oz.

  • 34 ounces of pure milk chocolate is a toxic dose for a 30 lb. dog.
  • 10 ounces of pure semi-sweet chocolate is a toxic dose for a 30 lb. dog.
  • 4 ounces of pure baking chocolate is a toxic dose for a 30 lb. dog.
  • Two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide is an appropriate dose to induce vomiting for a 35 lb. dog.

Do not feed your dog grapes or raisins. These have been linked to kidney failures.

Do not feed your dog sugar-free snacks that contain xylitol. According to the AVMA, even small amounts of this sweetener can cause a life threatening or fatal drop in blood sugar.

Do not feed your dog macadamia nuts, tea, or coffee. These can be harmful to your dog.

For more information about food choices, including the B.A.R.F. diet, organic foods, quality of dog food ingredients, and selecting a better food, please visit the Products Page and select Puppy Owner’s Manual, a complete guide to all you’ll need to know to start off right!

Alan J Turner

Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer, Canine Specialization

Private and Group Dog Training, Memphis TN

How’s Bentley

Member: APDT

Shy Puppy? Afraid of Leash or Collar? Tips and Suggestions

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Some puppies are uncomfortable when exposed to new environments or equipment. If your puppy becomes excited or frightened, just name the item or event, and act as if all is well.

If your puppy remains focused on the item or event, distract his or her attention from the scary thing.

Instead of saying “It’s OK”, divert your pup’s attention with a treat or a toy.

It’s normal for puppies to be leery of new things. Let your puppy adjust with minimal input from you. Both you and the pup should play the roles of observers.

Some people believe it’s a sign of confidence if a puppy never becomes frightened. A truer test is to measure the length of time it takes for a puppy to return to a normal state.

Afraid of Collar or Leash

Occasionally clients report their puppies “freeze up” or lie down when they attach a leash, collar or harness.

This poses a problem in regards to house training, walking and managing unwanted behaviors, such as jumping up.

I tell all my clients to attach a leash or short line, even when their puppies are inside the house. This is so they can prevent their dogs and puppies from practicing rude behaviors.

The leash is an excellent inside and outside management tool. All dogs should be able to relax when a leash is attached, regardless of the dog’s location.

Initial protests to equipment fittings are not difficult to resolve unless people ignore the protests and drag their puppies via attached equipment.

If your puppy is afraid of a collar or harness, do this. Let your puppy investigate and smell the item. Name it. Attach the collar or harness, praise your puppy; hand him a food treat and then remove it. Repeat several times.

Next, attach the equipment immediately before feeding. Praise your pup. After your puppy has eaten, remove the item. Do this for several meals but methodically increase the amount of time the collar or harness is attached after the meal. In a few days, your puppy will like his equipment!

Some puppies quickly learn to dislike the leash because their owners pull and jerk on the leash.

Always supervise any dog when a leash is attached.

If, while following these instructions, your puppy is still afraid of the leash, break your introduction process into more, smaller steps. Use a very short piece of a leash instead of a 4 or 6 foot leash. Once your dog is accustomed to the short piece, use a longer piece.

Introduce the concept of restriction and the leash in several small steps and your puppy will learn to like the leash!

First, let your pup smell and investigate the leash. Name it.

Next, attach the leash and praise your dog. Hand him a food treat. Remove the leash.

After several instances of attaching the leash and immediately removing it, attach a short, lightweight, leash and let your puppy drag it around for a while. Do not pick up the end of the leash. Do this several times throughout the day, or every evening for a few days.

The subsequent step is to pick up the end of the leash, hand your puppy a food treat, and then drop the leash.

Do this several times in one session. Hold a few sessions throughout the day or evening.

Next you’ll introduce the concept of leash and equipment pressure.

Tell your puppy, “This is pressure”, and apply a slight, steady, and brief tug on the equipment. Praise your puppy and hand him a food treat. Repeat a few times.

Add just a bit more pressure each time. Vary the area of the pup’s body that is affected by the pressure by tugging right, left, up, down.

Finally, you will pick up the leash and walk one step. Don’t pull your puppy! The leash should be loose and not tight. Coax your puppy. Praise your puppy for following you. Repeat several times, but add another step each time.

After few instances, your puppy will be accepting of the leash.

Alan J Turner – Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer, Canine Specialization
Member: APDT