Dog Behavior and Training

Separation Anxiety

Dogs are highly social animals.  Their genetic programming is to be in a pack with other individuals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  They can learn to handle being alone for moderate periods of time but, in most cases, it doesn’t come naturally.  It’s not surprising then that some dogs develop separation anxiety, a disorder which, in its severe form, can consist of panic attacks: urinating,defecating, frantically scratching and chewing at doorframes, barking and crying whenever the dog is left alone.
 

Recall Exercises

Coming when called is one of the most important commands your dog must learn from both a usefulness and safety standpoint. Dogs will not automatically come when called (!) so training is necessary. The following are exercises to strengthen your dog’s recall.
Indoor Exercises:   At the very beginning of training, it is important to practice in a low distraction environment. This way, the dog is more likely to succeed and be rewarded.

Escape Artists

Do you have a dog you can't seem to keep at home, who scales your fence or takes every opportunity to run off? If you have a canine escape artist, you have a problem you need to fix: there are risks to your dog, to other people, and to your pocketbook to consider. A dog running loose is likely to be injured or picked up by animal control, and you, as the owner, are liable for any damage your dog might do, to property or to people or other animals.

Why Does Your Dog Want to Escape? If you can figure this out, you'll have much better luck keeping your dog at home.

Kong-Stuffing Pointers

Dogs are animals that are genetically programmed to hunt for their food.  Part of the reason there is such a prevalence of behavior problems in pet dogs is that they have so little mental challenge or work to do: their food is given to them for free.  Zoos have had some success in decreasing behavior problems and improving the quality of life of many of their predator and primate species by giving them 

Socializing Your Puppy

Puppies and dogs need to be socialized to the big wide world so that they won’t be afraid of new situations, objects, sounds, people and other animals. Dogs should be socialized when they are puppies – it’s critical to their lifelong emotional wellbeing and their ability to be comfortable in the world. 

Stress and the Importance of Routine for Dogs

Sensitive by nature, pets, particularly dogs, can absorb the stress and tension around them. Stress in dogs is mainly the product of a change in the environment. Since your dog lives with you, and since your life will certainly not be free of change, she undoubtedly will experience stress sometime in her life.

Begging for Food

If your dog's impression of Oliver Twist is spoiling your supper, it's time to teach him some table manners.  

The behavior: Pestering people while they're eating. Typical postures include staring, drooling, pawing, whining, and barking.

Puppy Exercise

Just like you, your little four-legged friend can benefit from an exercise routine. Regular exercise improves muscle tone, joint flexibility, digestion and cardiovascular fitness. Exercise also helps prevent obesity down the road, which has been linked to numerous health problems in dogs.  Besides making your puppy healthier, exercise also makes him happier. He'll be more relaxed and less destructive with a proper exercise regimen. You will need to tailor your dog's exercise program to his age, size and breed. 

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Information provided in these articles is intended to provide some guidance for you and your pet. Not all animals behave (or respond) in the same manner. Should you have questions or concerns about anything you see here, please consult your veterinarian. While we work with vets on a regular basis, we are not veterinarians. We feel the articles here provide useful but general guidelines and suggestions for working with your pet. Please note, some articles may be disturbing to young children. Please preview articles to make sure they are appropriate for your child.