Dog Training and Behavior

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.

Jumping up to greet us is a natural behavior for dogs. What we humans do is reinforce the jumping by giving the dog attention for it by either petting or praising, or by getting upset or excited when the dog jumps. Either way, the dog is learning that jumping gets him attention, and attention is just what your dog wants!

Like “stay,” “leave it” is a cue that may prevent your dog from being injured and may even save his life. “Leave it” should be taught to all dogs and practiced frequently. Hazards that you want your dog to leave alone include antifreeze in a puddle; sharp bones, broken glass or any other dangerous trash on the ground; and even a dog squabble at the dog park. Your dog responding to the cue “leave it” can be the difference between you giving quick praise or heading to an emergency vet clinic. 

Dogs bark for a variety of reasons:

Please use caution at all times when working on managing object guarding and food aggression. If you are at all uncomfortable with doing the techniques described below, ask a reward-based trainer for help in teaching your dog not to guard food or objects.

Dogs bark for a number of reasons: people walking by, other dogs, boredom, frustration, and loneliness, for example. Some types of barking can be redirected and controlled with the quiet command. Other types require behavior modification through a customized training program.

What You Need: 

This one is a must and a behavior any dog can learn. A staple of all good dog manners, sitting when asked can help with polite greetings and as a first step to learning many other behaviors. For many dogs, sitting becomes their way of saying “please” when they would like you to throw a ball or open a door.

What You Need:  

“Stay” is a lifesaving cue to teach all dogs. When can “stay” save your dog’s life? Whenever giving the cue would prevent your dog from making a mad dash out the front door, the car, or the backyard gate. Stay is a cue that many people forget to practice – and without practice, your dog may not have this skill when it truly matters.

Most dogs want to go out for walks and get very excited when the leash is brought out. But, do you have one of those dogs who is so enthusiastic that he literally pulls you out the door?   Walking should be fun for both you and your dog – and there are some things you can do to make it so. Start by checking your dog’s collar. It should be snug enough so she cannot pull out of it, but not so tight that you can’t put a finger or two between the collar and her neck.

Dogs love to munch away on grass, and some even make it part of their daily routine. Fortunately, most experts believe it isn't something you should worry about. So why exactly do they gobble up that green stuff in your yard?

Scavengers 'R Us
Dogs, unlike their catty counterparts, are not carnivores. But they're not like your garden-variety omnivores, either. For tens of thousands of years, these opportunistic scavengers have devoured anything and everything, as long as it fulfilled their basic dietary requirements.

What is mouthing?
If you watch dogs play together, they often mouth each other in a sort of mock bite. Many dogs play with people in the same way — by mouthing our hands or other body parts. Though mouthing is not biting, it can become too aggressive to be acceptable.

Is your dog escaping from the yard? Here are two reasons why this could be happening and some possible solutions to the problem:

Chasing is a natural instinct for a dog, but it is not appropriate behavior in your home when directed toward your cat. The following guidelines can help you deal with this behavior through management (preventing the problem) and training (motivating the dog to change his behavior).