Sunday, April 13, 2014

Respect the Door!

Having a dog that escapes from the house can be very dangerous, and it's shocking to me how common this problem is.  So many dogs will bolt out the door, given half a chance, and their owners have developed some elaborate routines just to get themselves out the door in the morning, without letting the dogs escape. But you can teach a dog to "Respect the Door", if you take some time and do it correctly. Here's how to train your dog so he won't run out of your house the minute you open the door.

Respect the door.  Put him on leash and have him sit/stay. Holding onto the leash, open the door. If he runs out, say "oops" or "uh-oh", and bring him back inside and close the door. Repeat this as many times as necessary. It will probably have to be repeated many, many times at first. Don't let that discourage you.  When he does not bolt, walk outside, holding the leash, and tell him to come outside. When he's successful, shower him with praise, and treats.  But if he runs out before you give permission, go back inside, close the door, and try again. Make him wait for permission every time he goes outside, even if he's going out into a fenced yard.  That's really important, because if he thinks that bolting out ahead of you is OK sometimes, he's never going to learn to respect the door. Every time you do this "game" it will take fewer times before he waits for permission. Eventually he will come to respect the door and understand that he needs permission to go outside.  Remember that he's counting on you to keep him safe. You must be consistent with your training.  

About Bewaggle:

Bewaggle is a pet services company located in Central Florida. We offer pet sitting, dog walking, puppy training, basic obedience training, and more. We are bonded and insured, with background checks and references. Be wise... Bewaggle!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Training Tip


When your dog does something you don't like, chances are, it's something you have been reinforcing, maybe without even realizing it.  For example, think about a dog that begs at the table.  He sits beside you, whimpering, and maybe he puts a paw on your leg.  You tell him no, but he comes back a moment later and starts whimpering again.  And again with the paw.  Maybe he gives you that irresistible tip of the head, and another little whimper.  And then, he seals the deal by placing his chin on your knee.  He's so dang cute.  How could you resist?  So you break of a nibble from your dinner and give it to him, saying, "OK, fine, here's a bite. Now go lie down."   Your dog has just learned that if he persists, he will get you to do what he wants.  He's not about to go lie down, he's going to continue the whimpering and pawing, because that's what you've reinforced.  The solution is simple, but not always easy.  You have to ignore his begging completely, and ask him to do something for you (like “sit”). A you can NEVER give him a treat while you're sitting at the table, because doing so would only encourage him to beg.  If he's a good boy for you while you eat, reward him with praise and treats AFTER you've finished your meal. 

About Bewaggle:

Bewaggle is a pet services company located in DeLand, Florida. We offer pet sitting, dog walking, puppy training, basic obedience training, and more, in the convenience of the customer's home.  Every Bewaggle employee is bonded, insured, professionally trained and has undergone a background check.  Be wise... Bewaggle!