4. Dogs increase our social interactions with other people.
People who have a strong attachment to a pet feel more connected in their human relationships and their communities. Teenagers and young adults who grow up with a dog become more confident and empathetic.
Karolis Grigaliūnas, the trainer of the SmartDog training school, shares golden tips on the main problems of puppies at home:
dog destroys furniture
marking at home
climbing on furniture
The dog destroys the furniture and has separation anxiety
The most common damage caused by pets at home: torn socks, destroying furniture, shoes, books, wires, scratching walls and doors, urinating at home. Furniture usually suffers when a puppy changes teeth. The puppy is irritated, feels discomfort due to changing teeth: itches, hurts. Therefore, the puppy wants to engage in activities to divert attention and scratch his teeth and gums. Sometimes puppies are no longer interested in gnawing on rodents, and they resort to furniture and active activities.
Upholstered furniture is probably more enjoyable for dogs to destroy, because it is soft, make sounds, and it is fun to pull out stuff.
Why do they do this?
Well, mostly, according to coach Karolis, puppies behave like this when they are left unattended, or they are activated by separation anxiety. Anxiety and frustration must be spilled out somewhere: some puppies howl more often, others bark, defecate or gnaw. The dog gnaws and has to do something non-stop. That’s fun and it keeps them busy.
Just as humans may bite their nails when they are nervous, puppies choose to gnaw on furniture. Karolis remembers how he left his puppy Bobuk at home more often when he was three months old, because he did not have the opportunity to spend more time with his dog. It was a familiar phase of life when you have to go to work and leave your puppy at home. And the idea of a cage or other private space for the dog did not come to his mind yet, so Bobuk lived in his owner’s bedroom. The entire bedroom belonged only to Bobuk when the master left for work. The dog was clearly protesting against the master’s rhythm of life and was simply destroying the master’s bed. After starting the destruction process, the puppy felt much better, now he had an activity that took his mind off the stress.
If a dog is experiencing separation anxiety, it builds up adrenaline that needs to be released. So very often puppies calm themselves by gnawing. Chewing acts as a pacifier for a small dog.
First of all, you should take care of reducing anxiety while you are still at home. Occupy puppies with various gnawing things: toys with treats, horns, cheese… This way you will protect your puppy from getting hurt by gnawing on the furniture, teach him to be less stressed and feel calm even when he is alone. Activities, discipline, physical and mental exertion, compliance with rules – all these are activities for the puppy that will use the energy. The more energy is expended, the calmer the puppy feels and the happier it is.
Coach Karolis recommends taking care of the appropriate physical and mental load of more active and anxious puppies, teaching them to stay alone at home. In addition, the trainer recommends teaching your puppy to feel good when left in its cage or house. The puppy will be much safer in the cage. Because when he gets anxious, he won’t reach for gnawing on the furniture, he won’t choke on fluff, he won’t get injured while gnawing, he will feel safer and calmer. And the owner will be calm, because he will know that the dog is in a safe place. It is very important to take care of the safety of the puppy.
Sometimes there are cases when food does not calm puppies. In this case the stress level should be reduced, the causes of the dog’s anxiety should be found and eliminated.
Dogs marking at home
Dogs that begin to mark in their home environment may be responding to stress or anxiety. Hormonal influences and sexual arousal, especially in intact male dogs, may also lead to an increase in marking behavior.
SmartDog trainer Karolis notices that smaller breed puppies tend to do this more often. He suggests studying the reasons why this might happen. One of the reasons is that small puppies are too rarely taken outside or even encouraged to exercise at home. A trainer often hears the question of how to get an adult puppy to stop peeing on the peeing piles at home. In this case, Karolis’s first question to the owners is why was he trained to do potty at home at all? After all, puppies who have stayed at home for too long can also destroy the house in this way, not necessarily just by chewing.
If potting at home is about marking, then we have a different question.
Leaving a scent mark with urine is a normal dog communicative behavior. Marking is most likely to occur on or near new or novel odors, especially the urine left by other dogs. The volume of urine used for marking is usually small. The problem is much more common in intact males, but many neutered males and spayed females also mark their territory. If your dog marks where other dogs have urinated, when exposed to new odors, or when entering a strange environment, it may be a form of territorial marking. This may be more likely to occur if you visit or move into a new home or if you redecorate or get new furniture. Supervising introductions or accessibility until your dog gets used to the new smells may be all that is required in these cases.
Neutering will reduce male marking behavior in more than 80% of male dogs but will only eliminate it in about 40% of dogs. Neutering is also recommended for female dogs that mark during estrus. Remember that virtually any vertical object that your dog might sniff and investigate could be a target for marking. Therefore, while the urine and sexual odors of dogs and other animals might be the strongest stimuli for marking, your dog might be attracted to any new or novel odor that it detects along the way.
If your dog marks in your home, you will need to determine the cause of the marking to determine if it is a temporary or isolated event (such as the visit of another dog or bringing a new item into the home), or whether there might be underlying anxiety. If there is an underlying anxiety, you will need to find and resolve the cause. When bringing new upright objects (plants) or furniture into the home or when moving into a new home, supervise your dog, on leash if necessary, as it explores the new objects or new home. As the dog gets accustomed to the new surroundings, you can begin to allow it some freedom.
When you are available to supervise, you should be playing, training or exercising your dog, or ensuring that it is sufficiently occupied and relaxed that there is no attempt or desire to mark. Should your pet begin to wander away or head toward objects that have been previously marked, you can prevent problems by interrupting your dog with a verbal command or leash, and giving him an activity to keep him occupied. By keeping a leash (with or without a head halter) on your dog you will be able to prevent your dog from wandering off and marking and can inhibit your dog should pre-marking signs begin. When you cannot supervise, confine your dog to an area where marking is unlikely to occur (his bedroom, eating room or crate) or place him in an area such as an outdoor run where marking would be acceptable. If you know the specific stimuli for marking then you might be able to keep your dog away from the windows, doors, plants or furniture where he might mark by confinement or by using booby traps in the area. Booby traps can also be used to prevent access to specific areas. If there is urine residue from other dogs on your property, use an odor neutralizer to remove the smell. When taking your dog outdoors, you should give rewards to reinforce marking at sites where marking is permitted, and you should not permit marking anywhere else.
Can puppies be trained not to climb on furniture?
First of all, the trainer notices that it is ideal if, as soon as you bring a new pet home, you immediately teach it not to climb on the furniture. It is very important to follow the established rules at all times, without reservations, so that the puppy is clear about what is allowed and what is not. If you decide that the puppy is not allowed to climb on soft furniture, then do not allow it. No matter how cute the puppy looks, or whether you feel down or more sensitive after a romantic movie, remember the rules of the house and always follow them yourself first. Karolis the trainer wants to say that once the puppy has felt that goodness, being with you together on your sofa, he will always seek to repeat it. And you, if you change your mind, will have to constantly monitor the puppy to make sure he doesn’t get on the bed, control the puppy and get angry at the constant request not to get on or off the bed.
If the puppy is already used to climbing on your upholstered furniture, and you wish to teach him otherwise, first of all – do not give him the opportunity to climb on it. It is best when the dog sleeps in its bed, house or cage. Without the physical opportunity to climb on your upholstered furniture, the puppy will gradually get used to sleeping in his place and will gradually start to feel comfortable there. You just need to consistently follow the rules of your house and not give in to the beautiful holes with which our pets like to terrorize and manipulate us.
It is always better to learn good behavior right away than to correct them. For example, if the puppy is immediately taught not to climb on the furniture, he does not feel any discomfort, does not know the feeling of being on the furniture and does not feel that he has lost anything. If the puppy has already tried being on the furniture and he likes it there, conflicts may arise when the owners think of changing the house rules. There are cases when a dog begins to protect its territory, which is the furniture on which it comfortably sleeps. Even worse, there are dogs that dominate the owners’ furniture and no one can climb on them anymore, only them. Because the protection of resources is activated and the dog starts to defend its territory. There may be problems when children want to sit next to you or when guests visit. Such an innocent thing, permission to climb on the furniture, can lead to such conflicts with the pet.
If even training does not help the puppy or it is difficult for the puppy to learn discipline, we suggest you take a look at the Japanese Altavidapet supplements, which calm reactive pets (these supplements are also suitable for sad, passive pets, giving the opposite effect).
One way to ask dog to get off in this situation is to throw a treat on the floor and make physical obstacles to get back on. Use the “climb down” command and throw a treat towards the dog’s place or toys to divert attention from the bed or couch. If the dog is dominant, then telling him to get off the furniture without treats will create a conflict, because the dog will see it as encroaching on his territory, and will encourage him to protect resources. As a last resort, Karolis suggests warning the puppy if he doesn’t listen and doesn’t get off the furniture even with treats.
However, coach Karolis says that it is possible to allow climbing on the bed or sofa, but in moderation and following precise, consistent rules. Let’s say climbing on the bed is allowed with a certain command. If the dog is not used to being on your furniture, it may not even be very comfortable for him to be there when you invite him. The puppy is used to being in his bed or cage, where his environment and toys are, and he has never or rarely been on the furniture, he will feel less comfortable, he may start to stress, run or get off as soon as possible. You can only be glad that the puppy is not very comfortable being on your furniture. You are lucky.
We all love to play rough with our cute puppies right?
And more over we do it without any toy in our hands.
Well there are few mistakes here that can lead to problems later, but as far as you are able to controls when to stop, its ok.
First off all its best to play with your puppy with a toy, not naked hand. At least while its a puppy. Just to tech your dog that its not ok to play with hand. Its is very good advice if you have kids at home. Just imagine how your kid can get scared if your dog will ask to play by biting kids hand, even if its playful and gentle.
Or like us, when we go for a walk, my girl used to steel gloves from passing by kids. Oh my..
Every time you play rough with your puppy, make boundaries. Make a pause every time puppy is too much excited and bites too hard. Pause is best trigger for dog to stop biting as dog wants to continue playing and when you stop it gives a signal to dog that something was done wrong.
You can use pause in many cases, by the way – be creative.
Next thing – slow down playing and tell stop, enough or any other command you both use every day. Give a gentle touch, pet your dog and give a clear sign the game is over. It should be your routine any time you play.
Any dog can act as you wish if you put some time and effort to teach your living style.
My Little girl Lilly, 3 years old, was soo afraid of vacuum cleaner that I had to think how to fix this issue.
Why are dogs even afraid of vacuum?
Dogs are often afraid of vacuums because they’re loud and have a strange, confusing odor. Remember that our dogs primary sense is their sense of smell.
Our dog’s sense of hearing is also much more sensitive than ours, making loud noises a whole lot less tolerable. Combine that with the anticipation of the ensuing turmoil, and we have created our own vacuum monster! Vacuum cleaners also look strange as alien. In a normal household, you likely only bring out the vacuum once, maybe twice per week. So, our dogs do not have the time to familiarize themselves with the device and become comfortable with it. And every time the vacuum comes out and startles or frightens your dog, anxiety builds. Eventually the emotional reactions become a learned behavior; just the sight of the vacuum can trigger barking and hyperarousal. This can lead to zuigerphobia — the fear of vacuum cleaners.
Signs That Your Dog Is Zuigerphobic (Afraid of Vacuum Cleaners)
Most of us can tell when our dogs are truly frightened, but there are some more subtle signs we may miss that can indicate our dogs are uncomfortable. Accordingly, it is important that we verse ourselves in our dog’s body language. By doing so, we can help train our dogs to be more comfortable with the vacuum. Some of the most common reactions to the vacuum are:
Barking at the vacuum. Nervous or anxious dogs will often bark at anything that scares them.
Running from the vacuum. Frightened dogs will try to distance themselves as much as they can from the scary object. When dogs are scared, they enter into fight or flight mode. Fight might be barking or lunging, as mentioned above. Flight, on the other hand, might be running away from it. You might even see some internal conflict where they do a bit of both.
Hiding in another room. If your dog is trying to flee from the vacuum because she is scared, she will likely try to get as far away as possible. She may find she feels safest in the closet, under the bed, or in another room where she at least doesn’t have to see the vacuum.
Accidents. Accidents are often a consequence of anxiety. You know that nervous feeling in your belly when something frightens you? Your dogs may feel that too. And prolonged exposure to the trigger (the vacuum in this case), could cause her to pee or poo in the house. This is a response of the nervous system; it’s not an example of “bad” behavior.
Hyperarousal. This one generally goes along with biting, lunging, or barking — but not necessarily. Your dog may start humping, pacing, panting, running around, whining, wanting to play or jumping up when the vacuum makes an appearance. These are all signs of hyperaousal, and they manifest from her nervous energy.
Freezing. Some dogs get so frightened they don’t really move. This is not to be confused with lying on the floor relaxed; I’m talking about a dog who is standing, averting her gaze, maybe even trembling. She might also move in slow motion, with a lowered body.
It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the subtle signs of stress your dog may display. There are several indicators that people often miss that may indicate that your dog is feeling uneasy, stressed, or worried. Common things to look for include:
Pinned back ears
Tightened mouth with pursed lips
Stiff body posture
Averted gaze (looking away from you)
Whale eye (showing the whites of her eyes)
Lowering her body
Lifting a front paw
These are context dependent, so look for what your dog’s whole body is doing. How to make your dog like the vacuum?
Desensitize Your Dog to the Trigger
This just means getting your four-footer used to the vacuum (or whatever your pooch is afraid of), very, very slowly. The goal is to proceed so slowly that she never reacts fearfully. The best way to desensitize to the vacuum is to break it down into manageable steps. For example: -Pull the vacuum out (it could even be in another part of the house) and then put it away. -Pull the vacuum out in the same room -Pull the vacuum out and move it around -Pull the vacuum out and turn it on from another room -Pull the vacuum out and turn it on in the same room -Repeat each step at your pupper’s pace until she is able to tolerate it at the current level and intensity.
This also goes for the sound alone.
If you live in an apartment and you’re unable to have the vacuum on and have the volume still be low enough that it’s tolerable for your dog, check out YouTube. Type in a quick “vacuum cleaner sounds” search, and you’ll find just what you need. Play it at a very low level, and slowly increase the volume over time.
We usually find “Dog relax music” on youtube. My dogs really love that kind music and they feel more relaxed.
Try to desensitize your dog like this in short increments, a few times every day. Only doing this once a week is likely not enough exposure to get to the next step in this lifetime. If your dog has been terrified of the sound of the vacuum for 10 years, it may take some time and patients!
Counter-Condition Your Dog
This is what I did with my Lilly. And it worked, as you see in pictures.
This can be done while you work on desensitizing your dog to the sight and the sound of the vacuum. What the heck is counter-conditioning? It roughly means, pairing the scary vacuum with a favorite treat or toy. Make sure that the item is high value (peanut butter, bacon grease, fish skin, etc.) or the toy is a-mazing! This will help your dog to associate the vacuum with all the best things in life. If your dog will not take the toy or food, you are either too close or the volume is too loud. (Source https://www.k9ofmine.com/dog-is-scared-of-vacuum/)
My story with Lilly
I started with Lilly and vacuum very slowly. She was quite afraid of that monster, was barking, hiding and running away as soon monster was taken out of closet. For her worst, my vacuum is industrial, as I sew and have lots of to vacuum every day. But often vacuuming did not help my girl to get used. What I did, I read all those advises above, and started step by step.
First I took vacuum out of closet and sat besides it. I took dog food (my dogs get only their food, no treats or any snacks, nothing, for their best) and asked my Lilly to come to me. She was afraid but wanted to get “her treat” even more. So she finally came closer. Of course she run away immediately after eating her food. But everyday she could stand this “connection” longer and longer. Later she even came herself for “treats” as soon I took out vacuum. Good girl.
After she started feeling better besides quite big monster, I tried to turn it on. But sat not so close to it and invited my girl again. Of course it worked, as she already new scenario. Step by step, she was ok to come close to get her snack.
Next step was to start moving with vacuum. Especially the hose, oh my that was hardest pat. But look at the pictures, it all worked as we did it step by step slowly.
The last step was to put treats on suction head so she could come and take it herself. As always we started with sound of, after getting used to it, I turned on the sound, and finally started moving it around. Yes, now she is always coming for treats as soon I vacuum. I cant sy she is excited to see that monster, but she is making friends with this alien slowly step by step. At least she is not running away anymore scared to death. Now she knows that monster can give her treats. It motivates her to feel better about it.
Until my girls became friends a year passed or even more. So dont be upset if you new couple is not ok ith each other or other dogs right away. Give some time. I wanted to ensure that my elder dog is feeling fine and that puppy is learning correct things. So I read a lot about socialization at home. But socialisation outside the house is not less important. We love to go for dinner together, it is good exercise for patience and dog tolerance. Probably Dina was five or six years old when she started to behave like a dream dog. My Lilly is only three. So I am sure I need more time. Now when we sit at caffe no dog can pass by. Crazy. But I teach myself patience to go it all through. It will only get better with time. I am sure its important to visit as much new places as possible, so that puppy gets used to being in new places.
Socializing your dog is when you start preparing your pup to enjoy and have positive experiences with different environments and other animals, people and activities. Socialization is such an important part of your pups relaxed life. Socialized dogs are typically happier, more approachable and able to handle stress better. Dogs that are not as socialized can become shy, anxious, and sometimes even aggressive out of fear because they don’t have the social skills to deal with new situations or people.
Adult dogs that haven’t been exposed to other dogs from a young age can get anxious in dog park settings.
Walking your dog daily allows them to see and meet other furry friends. You’re more likely to see people and other dogs while you’re on a walk than you are sitting at home with your pup. Always remain calm and assertive when your dog is meeting other people or animals. If you see behavior that needs correcting; don’t be afraid to distract and correct them with a quick tug on the leash. Also, praise your canine when they have a favorable interaction. Stay positive with every encounter! Your dog feeds off of your energy.
You’ll want to continue to expose your pooch to different social settings and experiences their whole life. Socializing them as a puppy and through to adulthood is one of the best ways to ensure that they become a confident, stress free adult. Remember, don’t force your dog into any situation they don’t want to be in, stay positive and always have treats on you! It’s never too late to polish their social skills!
A study in Japan found dogs and humans were engaging in cross-species gaze-mediated bonding using oxytocin system. When humans and dogs stare into each other’s eyes, they each register a spike of the so-called “love drug”, oxytocin. Neuroscientist Gregory Berns scanef dog brains, it showed the canine brain lights up differently when a dog sniffs its owner. Even if it isn’t love, it seems there’s an emotional connection between the two species.
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