1. Always use a leash or you may discover Rover following the glorious world of smell from one interesting place to another and by the time he raises his head to check his bearings, he is clueless.
2. Use ID tags with your current phone number on your dog’s collar or a high-tech chip ID that is implanted under the skin. That’s the quickest way to get your buddy back if he gets off the leash and makes a run for it.
3. Try to remember that dogs are like kids. If they get off the lease and run for it and you chase them, they’ll think it’s a game. So don’t chase and he will probably return on his own. If he doesn’t, try this: Tie a 15 foot nylon line to your dog’s collar. Securely fasten the other end to yourself or something nearby that will not give. Just before your pup reaches the end of the line, say “Whoa” or “Stop.” When the line brings him to an abrupt stop tell him to sit and praise him for being such a good dog. I’ve been told this technique is useful on toddlers too.
4. Your dog understands whistles, voice patterns, intonations and body language much better than specific words. If you want to train your dog to respond reliably, be consistent and firm in how you command him, and don’t be abusive.
5. Carry “poop bags.” Cleaning up after your dog will ensure you don’t step in it on your next trip around the block and your neighbors will appreciate your common courtesy.
6. Know that your dog is territorial and every tree, bush and post needs a sprinkle.
- When I go out, I just have to see
- If another dog has been at my tree
- I sniff it up and I sniff it down
- Gotta get a read on the dogs around
7. Allergies needn’t stop you from walking your dog. Brush or bath your dog before coming back into the house to get the pollen out of his coat. Besides you may need the walk as much or more than him.
8. When your pup begins to bark at a passerby, allow two or three barks, and then say “Quiet.” Immediately interrupt his barking by surprising him. You can shake a can of pennies or use a squirt bottle with water or Listerine and squirt it at his mouth. Then while he’s quiet, say “good quiet” and pop a tasty treat into his mouth.
Your dog is not human, but he does want to please you. Your job is to figure out what his actions mean, understand that some of it is just typical of dogs, and offer gentle but firm guidance toward good behavior.
If you would like more humorous recommendations, from Dr. Ailes and Ms. Underhill read “Happy Tails – Hilarious Helpful Hints for Dog Owners”. Happy Tails, a delightful, funny “how to book” written from a dog’s perspective. Hank, the dog, illustrates his life with his owners, Ron and Terri. From his point of view, all dog owners can learn a few new tricks. Going down Hank’s memory lane provides the reader with plenty of useful tips on how to handle a variety of training and behavioral problems for the family pet. The illustrations are comical while conveying a useful message. This is not your usual “guide” yet it provides the basics for the more than 40 million US households that own a dog. It has a quick reading format with plenty of hilarious cartoons.
Article submitted by: © Dr. Gary L. Ailes DVM (Biography & Additional Information)