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Question of the Week

This is the latest question of the week. Each week we answer one of the submitted questions and publish it here.

Francis asks...

This question is about: Other

Hi. My dog does not like eating dog food - whether it be pellets, canned meat, or dog treats. He only eats dog pellets when it is mixed with an egg or other leftover meat. So my question is, should I just let him starve until he eats the dog food? Or should I continue spoiling the dog with leftover food?

Hi Francis, Many dogs only eat when they are hungry -  often burying their bones in the yard for later - as they are not hungry.  We as humans often tend to over feed them. We ask all of our valued clients to please do a thorough research on the internet on diet for dogs and what they give them.   Depending on your dogs size and breed one thing we know is that what is in dog food is getting much better in quality, due to owners awareness, research and their growing concern for their dogs health.  Making the right choices on what to feed animals is very important.  Dogs love fish, so try mixing tuna or sardines along with the oil (good for their coats)  with his meals. Also try and give him smaller meal portions and see how he goes.  Eggs are fine - not too many a week though. The egg shell adds calcium, so is good for their bones. Left over veggies are always good. No onions though.   Hope this helps.  We see how diet plays a very important part in a dogs behaviour, so have fun doing your own research, It can be very eye opening.   

Michelle asks...

This question is about: Toileting

We got him in the winter and moved to a new house that was not built for new puppies, so we ended up potty training him to go on our wood deck. But now we need to know to get him to move to the yard to potty.rnHELP!!!

Hi Michelle, you may have made a tough job for yourselves. Wash the veranda area thoroughly with a bucket of diluted Bi Carb and warm water several times, this is to neutralise the urine smell.  Do not use disinfectants, that only attracts dogs back to the same place to toilet. You need to introduce the command 'toilet' with your dog and take him down onto the grass area repeating that 'toilet' word to him over and over, do not play with him during this toilet retraining, he is there for a purpose.  Place fresh droppings on the grass and discard old into bin.  Praise him every time you see him toileting on the grass. Whilst retraining him, and it will take time and patients, block off the veranda access when you are not home. Hope this helps. Be patient. 

Michelle asks...

This question is about: Separation Anxiety Toileting

Storm is my youngest, Delta is a 5 year old bulldog. They are both crate trained and sleep in them every night. Delta has NEVER had issues with peeing inside. Storm likes to pee on throws and blankets if they are on the couch. Typically when my Husband and I are out. They do have the freedom to roam the house and yard, even a doggy door! How do I stop this?

Hi Michelle -  Storm appears to be marking his territory, could be stress when he left alone also. When you are out the dogs need to be put into a confined area like a laundry or the likes. Never left to have the freedom of the whole house.  If the doggy door is in the laundry door, that's perfect, then put newspaper or doggy pads in there, that will stop him toileting on your personal rugs. If the doggy door is else where then it needs to be locked when you are out and the dogs are placed in the laundry area. No matter how many times you wash them he will still smell his scent on them.  Use Bi Carb diluted in water  when washing the blankets or for any accidents on carpets or floors. (Test an obscure spot first) Also suggest you use diluted lavender& water and spray some on your lounge, blankets, general living areas,  also spraying it on your hand and rub gently onto dogs, also their bedding inside their crates.  Dog learn by association so what you are trying to let the dogs know is that is living area not his toileting area. Make sure all water and food is placed outside not inside, this also helps and teaches the dogs that all their survival needs are outdoors not inside their 'den' (your home).  Also make sure they are put outside before putting them in confirmed spot, so they can toilet.    Like sit and stay commands 'go toile' is also a very useful command and dogs learn what it is by you repeating it when they go outdoors, and you praising them after you have seen them finish. Never during the act though. Hope these suggestions help.

Kendall asks...

This question is about: Toileting

My dog is fine to go toilet outside when the door is open but the moment the door closes she goes toilet inside and with winter coming up we can't afford to have the doors open, how to I get her to stop this and hold it in throughout the night.

Hi Kendall, not knowing how old your dog is I will give some helpful advice and hope it helps.  Please know it will take time and patients. 

You need to know where your dog is whenever indoors, if its left to freely wander around the entire house it will begin to sniff around, that is the que its looking for somewhere to toilet.  Make sure you have a rug or bed in the living area so you can train it to stay on that when its inside. Take it outside frequently,  if a young pup, every 30 - 60 minutes, no interaction from humans, (its not play time)  other than saying a command, like' toilet'...'wee wee'... only praise your dog once its finished its business. Never during the toileting act. .  Do not use any cleaning product with ammonia in it to clean up accidents inside.  That will only attract the dog back to the same areas.     But do clean thoroughly, carpet, grout in tiles and cracks in floor boards hold the urine smell, dog have great smelling abilities. . So wipe excess up with a paper towel then saturate area clean.  Using lavender spray can also help. Lightly spray on dog, on its bed and indoor areas, he will associate the lavender smell as his den and not for toileting.   Never tell your dog off for any accidents after they've happened, that only makes the situation worse.  It is a natural act for a dog, it's up to owners to be vigilant and know where dogs are when they are indoors if toileting  indoors is an issue.  IF you ever catch your dog in the act inside, quickly pick it up and take outside and use toileting command once dog is placed on the ground.  Crating your dog when indoors also helps with toileting.   Remember know where your dog is indoors whenever it is inside.  Put all water outside and also feed it outside, then all his needs are outside his 'den'.  Be patient, educate your dog , and you will get the results you are after.   


Christina asks...

This question is about: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise

Hello!rn We just adopted Zuess last month, he's very sweet. A few issues we have atm is how he is with other dogs. He barks and lunges, his previous owners said he was good around other dogs. He was brought up with two bigger and older dogs. When my auntie brought her little dog, Zuess lunged at him giving a growling, it looked like he was gonna attack the poor thing. I had to pull him away. There was a moment were he sniffed the dog, but he went back at it again. Im really worried as before we had another dog who was really aggressive with other dogs and people, this lead to him biting one of my family. (He was put down) Zuess is totally fine with other people however, he's always excited to see new people. But when he sees a new dog he barks/lunges. What can I do to fix this? We live in the country so we cannot take him to any local dog parks.

Hi Christina, dog aggression comes from fear, Zuess has had a situation with another dog/s and he is now getting in first. I would say he would of unfortunately had this issue before you got him.  Those two bigger dogs he used to live with may have very well caused this issue. Taking him out of your yard is instant stress for Zuess.  So you need to take a big step back and only work with him in an unstressed area without any other dogs or distractions around.  Do not put him a situation intentionally with other dogs. A muzzle should be used if you meet with any other dogs until you can see he is focused on you and not  interested other dogs.   It all relates to you becoming his strong confident pack leader, and commencing immediately by putting training into place so that he feels safe, knowing you are in control.  Safety to a dog means strong leadership. Sometimes this behaviour issue is so ingrained its about managing it.  Safety first in all areas.  You need to stop him walking ahead of you,  so on a communication collar and a long 6' lead , as collar needs to be loose and lead never held tight. Practice walking him VERY slowly, one step, stop check collar, one step, stop check collar, so he is not pulling, Then when you see him focused on you change your walking pace, slow pace, then medium, then fast and mix those paces up,  changing it frequently so Zuess automatically adjusts his pace to yours without any need to check his communication collar by looking at your legs.

He should never be aloud to go  in  or out of any doors first,  (ahead of you or anyone else) you need train him to wait and then invite him through. Using the door, open it slightly and if he goes to push through it close it quickly to stop him racing through using the word you use to correct him.  Never use his name for any corrections, this is only used to happily call him and praise. He must always walk beside or behind you going up and down stairs.  Follow you around the yard like a little lamb, if he races ahead of you then you must turn and walk in a different direction until he gets the message to follow not lead. Keep in mind in the dog world, the leader leads, so he must see you as the leader. This last exercise can also be done on his collar and lead in your yard.  Bark Busters has a harness which also helps to make the walking easier for our clients.  Go onto the N.Z. Bark Busters home website page and you can see a video on how this works.  But remember to be patient and work diligently with Zuess, he needs to see a strong confident leader to make him feel safe.

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