Archives for Puppy or dog

What “fine” looks like

As a trainer, often when I ask owners how their dogs respond during potentially scary events such as vet or grooming appointments, thunderstorms, travel, etc., I receive the answer “They are fine.” When we say our pets are “fine,” we need to explain what “fine” looks like.  Animals can have different fear responses, which include the well-known “fight or flight” behaviors, but also “fret” and “freeze.”  Nervous dogs may become over-active and fidgety, or they may suppress behavior and shut down.  To someone who is not well-versed in dog body language, both of these things could be interpreted as being
Read More

Why all the barking?

“How do I stop my dog from barking?”  is a common question trainers get. To answer that, the first things we need to know are 1) in what type of situations is your dog barking, and 2) what need are they trying to meet? Dogs bark for a lot of reasons: boredom, fear, attention, excitement, etc.  In any of these cases, the focus shouldn’t be on stopping the behavior, but instead, thinking about meeting the dog’s need before the barking starts.  For good tips on addressing different types of barking, check out this blog post: https://positively.com/dog-behavior/nuisance-behaviors/barking/ Avoid devices or methods
Read More

Should you rub that doggie belly?

It is a story that trainers often hear: “My dog rolled over asking for a belly rub from the neighbor, and then out of the blue bit her when she touched him.”  While dogs do often roll on their backs to solicit petting, this can mean something completely opposite as well, so it is important to know the difference.
Read More

How to keep kids’ toys from becoming dog chews

In homes with children and dogs, it sometimes can be challenging to keep kid’s toys from becoming dog chew things, especially during the holidays or birthdays when toys are all over the place.  Here are a few tips for keeping your kids’ (or your own) things safe from your dog’s jaws!
Read More

Should you let a new dog sniff your hand?

  How many of us were taught to extend our hand when meeting a new dog to allow them to smell it? The “sniff test” is common advice that we have probably all done, but is no longer the advisable way to introduce yourself to a new dog.  Extending your hand towards a dog you don’t know could be seen as a potential threat, and trigger a defensive bite.  Instead, turn sideways, avoid direct eye contact, and possibly toss (don’t hand) the dog some treats. Dogs have amazing senses of smell – they can gather information just fine from where
Read More

Dogs have a 3-second rule, too!

  Most dogs enjoy petting, but even the cuddliest dog has times when simply not in the mood!  Prolonged touching can be overstimulating to some dogs, and can make others uncomfortable or stressed.  When dogs don’t feel able to move away – which they may not when in physical contact with us – they may resort to telling us to back off in less desirable ways. Give dogs a way of “opting in” to social contact by using the “3-second rule” of petting.  Pet for no more than three seconds, then stop.  Does the dog nudge you or move into
Read More

How to get your dog to trim his own nails (Part 1)

  Do you and your dog both dread toe-nail trims?  Then why not give your dog the opportunity to give themselves a pedicure on their own by making it into a simple trick? By taping some sandpaper to a plywood board or something similar, you can create a canine nail file! It is easy to train a dog to swipe their paw on the sandpaper, and as they do so, they will end up filing their own nails. Doing a few swipes a day a couple times a week can keep nails from getting unmanageable, and reduce how frequently you
Read More

How to get your dog to file his own nails (part 2)

(Did you miss Part 1?) We show you how to train your dog to file their own nails by swiping at a sandpaper board… and while it is often relatively easy to teach the dog to file their front paws, teaching them to swipe with their rear feet can be a little more challenging. So we like to introduce a little environmental help! Sit on a chair, couch, footstool, etc. and prop your nail file board up at an angle in front of you. Have your dog in front of you and the board. Use a food lure to have
Read More

Why we use the training method we do

  HSHV has long been an advocate for positive reinforcement-based training methods, and new research continues to support that this is the most effective approach.  A new study has found that dogs trained from a variety of cues – including coming when called when off-leash – responded more reliably and faster when trained using positive reinforcement than when dogs were trained the same behaviors using aversive devices, such as shock collars.  Read more about the study here.
Read More