On Command now includes Canine Good Citizen training to every dog that goes through our group training program!
We also offer the class to dogs that have attended schools elsewhere for a fee of $25.
Should my dog take the class?
The Canine Good Citizen class is the first step in getting your dog out into hospitals and schools to benefit people in the community. If your dog has a knack for listening to children read or making people smile, consider enrolling your dog in our next Canine Good Citizen course.
How long is the class?
The class is about an hour long. Not all dogs pass!
Q. My dog likes to tease my cat by lurching and barking at him, almost like he wants to play. How can I get my dog to play nice?
A. Consider that your dog may not be playing; he may be tapping into instincts to attack or "prey drive." It is your job as the alpha to show your dog how to respect the cat. To achieve this, the dog needs to learn basic obedience
. This is the cornerstone of all dog training. Basic obedience training
shows the dog that you are the alpha, and that the dog needs to follow your directions.
When or before the cat enters the room, put the dog in a down-stay. Keep the dog on a leash so that you can keep him controlled. Practice keeping the dog in a down-stay even when the cat is in the room.
Cats and dogs both have natural instincts. Cats have an instinct to freeze when a predator is close by. They freeze because dogs can't see as well as they can smell; the sudden movement of a cat will be picked up by a dog's nose. Dogs have an instinct to chase the sudden movement of another animal, as the scent of the animal hits the dog's nose.
Through basic obedience you can overcome your pets' instincts to chase and be chased.
Depending on your dog's temperament this may take some time. Choose a regular time each day to practice with your dog on leash. Eventually your dog and cat will learn to respect and trust each other, with your consistent leadership!
Dogs, Moving and Yikes! Carpet!Question:
"I have a girl dachshund. She was potty trained or acted potty trained for the first couple months. She has been peeing and pooping in the house when we are gone. It feels like she is doing it because she is upset that we left. But I could be wrong. Do you have any classes that can help with this? We will be moving into a place with carpet and she will destroy it if we dont get her trained."Answer:
A longtime potty-trained dog can suddenly start peeing and pooping in the house if it is struggling with a transition. Just like children, dogs take time to adjust to a new house. Step into your dog's paws for a second, and imagine 5 guys come into your house, move all of your stuff in a couple hours, drive off, and then you're crated and taken to a place you've never smelled before.
Moving is a major transition for a dog. Your home is your dog's domain and territory--it's all he knows! It is very comforting for a dog to be in its own home. When he is uprooted suddenly, he's going to express his confusion and anxiety by peeing and pooping (and for some reason, it feels extra good to do this on carpet!).
To reduce the stress of moving, gradually introduce your dog to the new surroundings. Just like you would show your children the new house, take your dog to the new place. Let your dog sniff, smell, and acclimate to the new place. On move day, it is imperative that your dog sees you moving furniture from one place to the other. Take him on at least two move runs, and let him see what's happening!
If you're one of the lucky ones and have a crate-trained dog, put the dog in the crate when you can't supervise the dog. Remember to keep some chew toys in the crate! An hour or so later (after you've figured out where the furniture is going to go), take the dog outside where you want the dog to relieve himself. If the dog does not relieve himself, without being mad at the dog, take the dog back to the crate.
An hour or so later (after you've unpacked your dishes), take the dog back to the yard and allow him to relieve himself. If you succeed, praise the dog! Otherwise, repeat the process until the dog relieves himself outside. This method can be used even if your dog has not previously been crate-trained.
If your dog marks an area it needs to be cleaned with Nature Miracle. Regular cleaners do not have the enzymes that kill the dog scent! When a dog smells that scent, it's like when a human hears a fountain and suddenly needs to pee! You MUST get rid of the dog scent to keep the dog from peeing in that same marked territory! Barry O'Dea of On Command Dog Training is Northern Nevada's leading dog trainer.
What can I do about barking dogs?!
Now that the weather is nice, your windows are cracked open, and the neighbor's dogs are spending more time outside. As a result, you may be hearing a lot of barking, and no matter how loud you turn up your music, the barking is still there! Frustrating! What is the proper way to address your neighbors or the dog itself?
Yelling out the window or banging on the fence will only perpetuate the behavior. These things may temporarily distract the dog from barking, but these are inappropriate ways to treat the dog.
First, you need to have a civil conversation with your neighbor. They are probably at work all day, and aren't aware that their dog is barking. This conversation should happen when you are not angry or fed up with the barking; you need to be level-headed. Keep in mind that you and your neighbor have something in common: you both have dogs, and you both want to take excellent care of your dogs. It is important to work together to find creative solutions! Creative Solutions to Try with your Neighbor:
What if it's MY dog?
- Peanut Butter: Fill a Kong full of peanut butter and freeze it. Your neighbor can either give the Kong to the dog before going to work, or with your neighbor's permission, you can toss the Kong over the fence when the dog starts to bark. This will not train the dog to bark for peanut butter; it is simply giving the dog a distraction and something fun to do, for several hours.
- Socialization: Get to know your neighbor and your neighbor's dog! Offer to take your neighbor's dog for an hour or two during peak barking times. If your dog and the neighbor's dog can spend time together, fence fighting will turn into fence playing. As a result, this will diminish the barking, AND give YOUR dog something fun to do!
- Daycare: Mention On Command Daycare as an option for your neighbor's dog. Taking the dog out of the neighborhood will certainly stop the barking problem! When a dog has hours of fun play with other dogs in a controlled atmosphere, the dog will come home too tired and too content to bark. Even just going to daycare two or three days a week, will make for a happy dog the rest of the week. Sign up for our newsletter to get Daycare discounts.
- Walking: Offer to take your neighbor's dog for a walk! A good 45-60 minute walk will help make the barking subside. Dogs have a lot of energy that needs to be used! A big backyard is not enough to keep a dog busy. Dogs need interaction and purpose, which can be accomplished in a daily walk around the neighborhood.
- Airhorn: An air-pressured horn (popular at sporting events) can be tried to distract a dog, but ONLY with your neighbor's agreement. This airhorn should be blown right as the dog is barking. This will catch the dog off guard, and make it think twice before barking again. You may need to do this a few times before the dog makes the connection between the barking and the loud noise. If you try this method, it is imperative that you first check with your OTHER neighbors to see if there are any dogs or PEOPLE who are sensitive to loud noises. This is a method that should be used ONLY as a last resort.
Please be sensitive to your neighbors if your dog is at home all day. Ask your neighbors if your dog barks during the day! If you learn that your dog is one of the barkers on the block, try some of the solutions above! Sign up for our newsletter to receive discounts for Training!
Then, pat yourself on the back for being a good neighbor and dog owner!
There are virtually millions of animal lovers around the planet and a significant number of them keep dogs as domestic pets. The point to note, however, is that few dog owners are aware that the health of their families is, in a way, inextricably linked to sound dog health. Here is some useful information on good dog health care, for those who may already own one, or, those who do not but intend to. If you count yourself among either, read on. Regular check-ups are the key: As any qualified veterinarian will tell you, this constitutes the very basis of good dog health care. Periodic check-ups can reveal whether your dog may have rabies, tumors, or any viral, bacterial, skin, fungal, heart, gastrointestinal diseases, etc. As the saying goes - 'prevention is better than cure' - this also holds true to avoid any dog health problem. Preventive treatment should include such imperatives, e.g., vaccination, dental care, parasite removal, etc. This will ensure that your dog enjoys good health at all times. Moreover, this is not just a commitment to your family's health but one that will also contribute to good public health. Good nutrition is a healthy choice: Another important factor to ensure all-round, dog health care is good, balanced nutrition. Keep in mind, feeding your dog with little scraps of leftover food at the table, is not good and must be avoided. Your dog's diet should include an adequate mix of nutrients, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Avoid overfeeding, as this can lead to obesity, a dog health problem that is common and growing in several western countries. Another critical factor to ensure good dog health is to avoid such food that may contain toxic ingredients. Do consult with any qualified veterinarian who can guide you on what dog foods are dangerous and those that are not. Sound reproductive health is wealth: This doesn't just apply to humans but also plays an important role in total dog health care. Spaying (a term applicable to female dogs) or Neutering (applicable to both, but particularly males), is primarily a sterilization process involving the removal of the female's ovaries and uterus or the male's testicles. This is usually recommended by all animal control agencies or such organizations as ASPCA, when dogs are no longer needed for, or capable of, breeding. Apart from ensuring good post-sterilization, dog health, this will also help to avoid unwanted puppies. All-round hygiene keeps dogs happy: Nothing will make your dog happier than to be free of parasites, e.g., ticks or fleas. Such parasites can also cause a dog health problem. Dogs free of ticks or fleas are also free of stress as well as more comfortable and relaxed. Therefore, make sure to bathe and shampoo your dog regularly, while also removing parasites. You can find good animal hygiene products at any medical store or supermarket near you. Lastly, in addition to the above, there's another critical aspect that can also contribute to good dog health care, and that is humane treatment. If you treat your dog well, he or she will show it in many, many ways. Look closely, you'll detect that smile, you'll see those ears fold back and a vigorously wagging tail. After all, it's not for nothing that dogs have proved to be "man's best friend".
When I talk about problem solving so many times I end up using the word escalation. The reason I use it so much is that in dealing with problem solving issues I have seen very small behavior problems become full blown behavior problems when not addressed. You can see that in Housebreaking, Getting in the Trash, and just about any problem that an owner will need to deal with. SEPARATION ANXIETY is one of the biggest examples of that. SEPARATION ANXIETY is a problem that can really vary from dog to dog, and some dogs have a little anxiety naturally. Others let this anxiety manifest into something that can become a serious issue that can cause major stress on the dog. Most of the time SEPARATION ANXIETY originates from the animal not wanting to be left alone. As I had mentioned, what you will find with SEPARTATION ANXIETY is that there are different degrees or levels of a specific problem, and SEPARATION ANXIETY could be exhibited in a number of different behavior problems. If the owner has caught a behavior problem early enough, the animal will have never had a chance to let the minor behavior problem become a major one. But if it is something that has gone unnoticed for a period of time, it could take a lot more time to deal with. From what I have seen, it seems like some of the dogs that will show more cases of SEPARATION ANXIETY are some of the smaller dogs that can be a little more temperamental such as Shi-tzus, Maltese, and Chihuahuas, and many of the Toy Group. But I have also seen some large dogs have the problem as well. As the name suggests, most of the time this behavior problem stems from a dog not wanting to be left alone. From what I have seen, there seems to be something that goes on in the animal's head which really can elevate the level of anxiety within the animal. I think that if you understand how this escalates, it may help you understand the behavior itself, and most importantly, help you eliminate it. If you take a look at a dog with SEPARATION ANXIETY and were to watch him when the owner were to leave the house, the same pattern of events would happen. If a dog is allowed to run loose, one of the first things that happen is that they seem to want to pace right off the bat. As a matter of fact, many times they will run and move in a certain pattern, and that pattern quite often remains the same. It may be along the perimeter of a fence, it may be back and forth in front of a screen door, and it may be running back and forth throughout the house. And as the dog begins to pace, it can be done at a slower speed or faster speed. This pacing is the animal's own unique way of dealing with stress of being away from the owner. Here's where things start to change within the animal. As the animal becomes a little more stressed out, and things begin to escalate, this pacing now is coupled with the animal whining and even barking. This whining and barking really will vary within the breed and individual personality of the dog. In extreme cases, you will hear nonstop barking or whining all day long. As the animal becomes a little more stressed out and things start to increase even more, he may begin to start digging at the door, gate, or the last place he/she saw you. It really doesn't matter if it's inside or outside either. If he is in the house, it may very well be the front door that the dog will scratch at. He may also choose the carpet, chairs and couches to dig at. If the dog is in the backyard and the last place the dog saw you was walk through the sliding screen door, he may very well dig at the screen door. In the backyard you may also begin to see the dog start to dig holes and dig up plants. As things continue to elevate even more, and the dog begins to not only dig at things, but the digging begins coupled with chewing and tearing. Once the dogs starts tearing at things such as screen doors, and those things are torn, quite often the dog will start chewing on them. If your dog is in the house, the chairs or couch he has once dug at, now become things he chews on to deal with the stress. And probably the most severe type of SEPARATION ANXIETY is when the animal is so stressed out that he begins to lick, and even chew on himself. As you can see, there are certainly different levels of this problem. The solution to dealing with SEPARATION ANXIETY, as well as many of the behavior problems, is to eliminate the opportunity for SEPARATION ANXIETY to escalate. The method that I have seen that has been very successful involves CRATE TRAINING. Our goal is not put the animal in a situation where he can have a chance to get stressed out. At the same time, we are going to try to find things that he likes that he can have when we want him to be alone. Many times, a dog likes the security of a CRATE because they are naturally "den animals". This means they like enclosed areas naturally.
Dogs getting into the trash, or getting into other places that you don't want, are behaviors that can really develop and manifest into major behavior problems. The main reason these unwanted behaviors occur is that the owner simply never corrected the dog for them. Sometimes you want to put yourself in your dog's place. Why does the dog go into the trash? They go there to eat. Because they have found that out over time, this has become a very reinforcing thing. They will continue to repeat it over and over. Remember that the completion of the bad behavior is what is reinforcing to an animal. This makes them feel good because they got what they wanted which was the trash. It doesn't matter whether it was to eat the trash or just tear it apart. Just getting to do it was rewarding enough to them. There are three things you want to remember in attacking this problem, and these things are common in dealing with many behavioral issues regarding an animal getting into an area you don't want them in.
- EXTINGUISHING THE BEHAVIOR - The first thing you want to think about is extinguishing the behavior, and that means get rid of it 100%. This is going to take consistency with everyone who has contact with the dog. You need to have a game plan that everyone is taking seriously, and it is really important that everyone living in the house is following that game plan.
- PHYSICAL CORRECTION - The second thing you need to do is send a message to the animal that the behavior is not acceptable. This correction can be a variety of different things. It might be nothing more than you saying the word "No". This means that ideally you want to set up a situation where the animal is able to go into the trash. Yes get into the trash!! In order for your animal to understand, there is an exact time that is essential the animal should be corrected, and it is just as he begins the behavior. If you think about it from their point of view, they need to be corrected for thinking about going into the trash. This sends a message to them that just as they are getting into the trash that this is not acceptable. Timing is very important here. The mistake that some owners and trainers make is correcting the animal either BEFORE or AFTER they get into the trash. By correcting the animal just before they get to the trash, in their mind they might have thought they were corrected for being near the trash can. If they were corrected after they were at the trash can eating the trash, in their mind they were corrected for eating the trash. What we want to do is send a clear message to the dog that the idea of getting into the trash is what is NOT acceptable. This is why the timing of the correction is so important.
- The third thing involves PREVENTATIVE TRAINING. You do not want to give the animal the opportunity to get into the trash when you are not home. This involves making sure the dog is never in the area to get into the trash when you are not there. In all situations where you are attacking a problem, you need to be consistent.
A dog relieving themself in the house is probably the most common of all the behavioral issues a new owner may have from their pet. When a dog is brought into a new home they will almost always want to relieve themselves, and then repeat the same behavior in the same area of the home. This is why the biggest mistake a new pet owner can make is to let their dog roam free in the house the second they bring them home. Think about this from your dog's perspective. If you let them loose to roam free in your house the minute you bring them home, why would they not relieve themself in the house? They haven't been taught any differently and honestly that big white porcelain bowl is something to drink out of, isn't it? One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to do something negative to your dog when they have urinated, or defalcated in the house. It's history.. And you have to move on and learn from it. You have learned that you cannot give your dog the opportunity to be loose in that area unsupervised. Anything you do negatively is an absolute waste of time, and will only jeopardize your relationship with your dog. Remember, like a child, your dog, and even more so if they are a puppy, needs your loving direction. This is why I highly recommend crate training. The whole idea behind crate training is simply to not give your dog the opportunity to develop the behavior of relieving themselves on your carpet or wood floor in the first place. Unlike people, most dogs are quite comfortable in dens or areas that are confined, like a crate. Although a dog might whine or bark initially, they will eventually become comfortable in there. Start putting something in the crate that your dog likes such as a small piece of their favorite treat. Condition your dog into staying in the crate for longer periods of time each day. Over the course of time, the animal will eventually be conditioned to stay in the crate long enough to feel comfortable sleeping in it overnight.
How to train a puppy- this has been a worry for most pet lovers. And they are right about this. That is because, in many ways, training a puppy is a much more difficult task than training an older dog. Little puppies are so cute that you and your family will fall all over yourselves playing with the new puppy and the discipline that is so critical to be brought into your puppy's life, will go out the window. In all probability, although you may have planned to impart puppy training from the time they arrived in your house, they get to sleep in someone's bed rather than in the crate you had planned for them, and poop all over during the night. Be careful. It is critical to break the little one into a set routine during the first couple of weeks of their arrival. Otherwise, the bad habits will set in. You and your family members must remember that the puppy has been taken away from their mother and the other puppies in their litter, so they are insecure and vulnerable. The best thing you can do for them is to set up a puppy training routine so that they fall into the pattern that you want to establish for them at your house. Give them a small room of their own where they will stay for the next couple of months. Paper over the entire floor and put their bed in one corner. The food and water bowls should also be placed in a specific area. In a few days, be gentle with them and don't make them do too much. When they seem sleepy, leave them to sleep. Little puppies need a lot of sleep. The most important aspect of Training a Puppy is to toilet train them. At the beginning, when the urge comes, they will go where they are. Therefore provide them access to a toilet area every 45 minutes or less, till they begin to understand where the toilet area is situated. Once they get a little older, they will be able to go across to this area on their own, but till that time, they should eliminate only within the papered area of their room if you are not around to take them to their toilet area. If by mistake, they wander out of their room and eliminate on the carpet or somewhere they are not supposed to, say "No" strongly. Praise and reward them with their favorite snack every time they eliminates in their toilet area. At this stage of their life, you will appreciate that the most important part of Puppy Training is to ensure that they don't soil the carpets and tiles of your home. Using a crate for them to sleep and rest in their room could be of help. It is a known fact that dogs do not like to soil their resting place so if they know where their toilet area is, they will control their urge to eliminate as they wouldn't like to make their own little area dirty and uncomfortable. Another important but lesser known aspect of puppy training is the necessity to get your puppy to socialize. A properly socialized puppy is well adjusted and makes a great friend and companion. So invite your friends to come and meet your puppy. It would be psychologically expedient to ask over older friends as well as younger ones and people of different ethnic backgrounds. Let your puppy learn to be free with all sorts of people (and other dogs too) and they will grow up to be a well adjusted dog. In our view, this is one of the most important but little practiced part of training a puppy.