Clean up after your dog!
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could train our dogs to do this? Ha! Wouldn’t it be nice, if everyone who walked their dog picked up after them? Well, unfortunately, because people do not pick up after their dogs, it’s the number one reason dogs are not permitted in so many places.
Please clean up after your dog. Please, please, please - if you see that someone else did not clean up after their dog - clean that up too. Just as with litter, if we all do our part (and take it one step further) our dogs may be permitted access to more places and our immediate environment will remain cleaner.
Did you know that RATS can live off of our dogs output? In many towns there are those “no man” areas. A long side lot, a green triangle, an empty lot or a sump. These are the places many lazy folks think it’s just okay to allow their dogs to eliminate without the necessity of cleaning it up. In my neighborhood, there is a man who walks his little dog on a flexi lead, and allows that dog to run up and do his business on everyone’s lawn. There are also folks who walk their dogs after dark, so they are not seen leaving their dog’s mess behind. Wrong. Not only is it just gross, it poses a health hazard, parasites, bacteria and invites RATS.
The next time you set out on your walk, please carry 3 bags. One for when your dogs goes, a 2nd just in case they go again - and a third as your good deed if you see evidence that someone did not teach their dog to scoop their own poop!
Don’t make eye contact!
The pictures says it all! Dogs use body language in many different ways, and we can follow their example. Dogs being pack animals, are, for the most part, peace keepers. To calm: averting eye contact, scratching, sniffing the ground, yawning. To engage in play: soft woofing, play bow, pawing, hopping back and forth, running back and forth to get another dog to follow. To warn: quick fierce barking, growl, freezing, hard eye, lip curl, bearing teeth, growl, lowering their head. Usually, with warning, they are also attempting to calm by not making direct eye contact. Confrontation with the intention to bite usually happens very quickly. Many dogs will run through their known warning, and if ignored or further provoked, will act out. Other dogs will escalate immediately into a hard eye, bared teeth, lunging and biting.
What’s the safest way to pet a dog you don’t know? DON’T PET A DOG YOU DON’T KNOW! This is ESPECIALLY true where children are concerned.
You’re not alone
Bringing a new dog into your home is daunting and overwhelming;
Juggling child rearing and puppy training together can just make you want to pack your bags!
Through your best efforts, you’ve researched, chosen the best breed for your family, but that particular puppy turns out not to be the right one for you;
You’ve had a dog for a while, and your family situation has changed either through work, divorce or death of a loved one, and the dog is the one getting the short end of everything;
Little by little over time, your dog’s behaviors, that you thought would resolve themselves, have now become entrenched and/or dangerous;
You and your dog had a bad experience with a loose dog and you’ve lost your confidence to walk your dog;
You have rescued a dog, only to find that it is a dog who is not safe for your family;
Your beloved dog is facing the end of their life and you need help and the moral support of someone who knows you and loves your dog;
You’ve said your goodbyes and just need to share and remember all those great times you had with your dog.
Many people think it’s either necessary or okay for their dogs to “mark” when on a walk.
When a dog marks every tree, or other area where dogs have gone, your dog is telling every other dog in town that he owns the town! To avoid this,
have your dog urinate either in your back yard or in a designated spot very close to you condo or apartment. Now that you know your dog is empty, there is no need to question his ‘need’ to go. Simply step out and tell Fluffy to “heel”. When your dog is in heel position, he is walking next to you, head up and it’s his job to keep pace with you.
If you have given your dog ample leash and free reign in the past to mark everything along what has become a halting, stop and go procession, you can retrain your dog to walk in heel position and stop eliminating on everything. Keep in mind there are some females that have this trait, and will even hike their leg to mark over where some other dog left their scent. The same eliminating and heeling approach should be used for both male and female markers.
After your nice long walk, take your dog to it’s designated elimination area once more before heading back into the house.
It’s me or the dog!
When choosing to add a pet to your family, all adult family members needs to be on board. This is a living, breathing soul with daily needs that must be met. A dog or puppy cannot be ignored until your spouse gets home. The responsibility it too large for a child. When choosing a breed of dog, make sure you pick wisely, and choose a dog whose energy and exercise requirements mirror your own.
I once received a call from a man who wanted to hire me to work with his daughter and her new puppy. He told me that he and his wife only agreed to get a dog after their daughter signed a contract that she would be 100% responsible for caring for this new 8 week old puppy. During our phone conversation, I ‘assumed’ the daughter he was talking about was post college, living at home and needed the strict guidelines of a contract to understand what she was getting herself in for. I told the man that “Surely, you and your wife will feed and let the dog out in the event your daughter is not home, yes?” A resounding “Absolutely not” was his response. Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to ask how old his daughter was… 13. I told him to tear up the non-legally binding contract and return the puppy post haste.
Another family, wife and kids wanted a dog. Husband did not. Husband hated hair, dog smell, dirt, didn’t want his sod ruined and didn’t want the responsibility put on him. He agreed to allowing a dog, provided he wouldn’t have to be counted upon for it’s daily care. Kids and wife found a lovely golden retriever. Then they called me to help train it. Hmm. That’s a HAIRY dog for sure. Wife and kids did a great job training the dog to go on a newly installed cement area, created just for the purpose of having the dog eliminate. It was tricky in the beginning, as the puppy really preferred the perfect sod to eliminate on, but she got the hang of it. As time went on, sadly the dog was relegated to the crate and the kitchen because the shedding hairs could be seen on the shiny wood floors… and to avoid discourse in the marriage, the dog’s freedom and socialization with the family was sacrificed.
There was a family that lived on our street long ago. The husband, without talking to the wife, brought home an Akita puppy that was being given away in the parking lot. She was fit to be tied. She was not a dog lover, didn’t want to be tied down, nor did she want the responsibility of caring for this dog while raising a two year old child. Her solution was to put the dog out in the yard the instant the husband left for work, or in the garage when the weather was bad. They moved. The husband moved with the dog to one town, and the wife and child moved to another.
Allison's Dog Training
From Montauk to Manhattan