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Question of the Week

This is the latest question of the week. Each week we answer one of the submitted questions and publish it here.

Kendall asks...

This question is about: Toileting

My dog is fine to go toilet outside when the door is open but the moment the door closes she goes toilet inside and with winter coming up we can't afford to have the doors open, how to I get her to stop this and hold it in throughout the night.

Hi Kendall, not knowing how old your dog is I will give some helpful advice and hope it helps.  Please know it will take time and patients. 

You need to know where your dog is whenever indoors, if its left to freely wander around the entire house it will begin to sniff around, that is the que its looking for somewhere to toilet.  Make sure you have a rug or bed in the living area so you can train it to stay on that when its inside. Take it outside frequently,  if a young pup, every 30 - 60 minutes, no interaction from humans, (its not play time)  other than saying a command, like' toilet'...'wee wee'... only praise your dog once its finished its business. Never during the toileting act. .  Do not use any cleaning product with ammonia in it to clean up accidents inside.  That will only attract the dog back to the same areas.     But do clean thoroughly, carpet, grout in tiles and cracks in floor boards hold the urine smell, dog have great smelling abilities. . So wipe excess up with a paper towel then saturate area clean.  Using lavender spray can also help. Lightly spray on dog, on its bed and indoor areas, he will associate the lavender smell as his den and not for toileting.   Never tell your dog off for any accidents after they've happened, that only makes the situation worse.  It is a natural act for a dog, it's up to owners to be vigilant and know where dogs are when they are indoors if toileting  indoors is an issue.  IF you ever catch your dog in the act inside, quickly pick it up and take outside and use toileting command once dog is placed on the ground.  Crating your dog when indoors also helps with toileting.   Remember know where your dog is indoors whenever it is inside.  Put all water outside and also feed it outside, then all his needs are outside his 'den'.  Be patient, educate your dog , and you will get the results you are after.   


Christina asks...

This question is about: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise

Hello!rn We just adopted Zuess last month, he's very sweet. A few issues we have atm is how he is with other dogs. He barks and lunges, his previous owners said he was good around other dogs. He was brought up with two bigger and older dogs. When my auntie brought her little dog, Zuess lunged at him giving a growling, it looked like he was gonna attack the poor thing. I had to pull him away. There was a moment were he sniffed the dog, but he went back at it again. Im really worried as before we had another dog who was really aggressive with other dogs and people, this lead to him biting one of my family. (He was put down) Zuess is totally fine with other people however, he's always excited to see new people. But when he sees a new dog he barks/lunges. What can I do to fix this? We live in the country so we cannot take him to any local dog parks.

Hi Christina, dog aggression comes from fear, Zuess has had a situation with another dog/s and he is now getting in first. I would say he would of unfortunately had this issue before you got him.  Those two bigger dogs he used to live with may have very well caused this issue. Taking him out of your yard is instant stress for Zuess.  So you need to take a big step back and only work with him in an unstressed area without any other dogs or distractions around.  Do not put him a situation intentionally with other dogs. A muzzle should be used if you meet with any other dogs until you can see he is focused on you and not  interested other dogs.   It all relates to you becoming his strong confident pack leader, and commencing immediately by putting training into place so that he feels safe, knowing you are in control.  Safety to a dog means strong leadership. Sometimes this behaviour issue is so ingrained its about managing it.  Safety first in all areas.  You need to stop him walking ahead of you,  so on a communication collar and a long 6' lead , as collar needs to be loose and lead never held tight. Practice walking him VERY slowly, one step, stop check collar, one step, stop check collar, so he is not pulling, Then when you see him focused on you change your walking pace, slow pace, then medium, then fast and mix those paces up,  changing it frequently so Zuess automatically adjusts his pace to yours without any need to check his communication collar by looking at your legs.

He should never be aloud to go  in  or out of any doors first,  (ahead of you or anyone else) you need train him to wait and then invite him through. Using the door, open it slightly and if he goes to push through it close it quickly to stop him racing through using the word you use to correct him.  Never use his name for any corrections, this is only used to happily call him and praise. He must always walk beside or behind you going up and down stairs.  Follow you around the yard like a little lamb, if he races ahead of you then you must turn and walk in a different direction until he gets the message to follow not lead. Keep in mind in the dog world, the leader leads, so he must see you as the leader. This last exercise can also be done on his collar and lead in your yard.  Bark Busters has a harness which also helps to make the walking easier for our clients.  Go onto the N.Z. Bark Busters home website page and you can see a video on how this works.  But remember to be patient and work diligently with Zuess, he needs to see a strong confident leader to make him feel safe.

Karen asks...

This question is about: Other

Hi my dog is scared of everything from a walking on the foot path. We have had her since puppy -She has never been hit etc so unsure y she like this.rnThankyournKaren

Hi Karen,some dogs can be very  nervous like yours. What you need is professional training from an experienced trainer that really understands this type of temperament.  It takes patience, however you can work through the issues you have mentioned.  Keiko is your very experienced Bark Busters trainer, give her a call to discuss this in person, as you need the correct advice with a dog like this. 0800 167 710.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Tammin asks...

This question is about: Digging Separation Anxiety Other

Ollie escapes from our yard, he jumped and then we fix that by extending our fence but now he has ripped into another fence and broke it. We fix it up everyday but he still manages to get it down. Then he digs in all the gardens. We exercise him in the morning and afternoon we also leave toys and boredom breakers. He also has another dog with him during the day but still tries to escape. We dont know what to do. We think he may have separation anxiety and if so how would i fix that. We would really hate to have to get rid of him. He even tries to escape when we are home and he is just eating outside.

Hi Tammin, dogs escape for lots of varied reasons. Hopefully Ollie is desexed, as this could be a reason if a bitch nearby is on heat. Separation? maybe,  although he is doing it when you are home. He could be. looking for a stronger pack is another, he knows where to find food now by the sounds of things, so that could be another reason.  If a dog has strong pack leadership from the adult humans in the home then that is what makes them feel safe. Make sure he does not get through any gates or doors first, up any stairs ahead of you ( you can practice this one on lead if you have any stairs, take one step at a time, stop and make Ollie walk beside you . Never letting him get one step ahead of you.)  In the dog world it is very simple,  the leader always leads, so when you allow him get ahead of you in the home, in the yard, when walking you are allowing him          (unwittingly) to be the leader of  your pack.  On lead walk around your yard just holding the lead handle, and whenever Ollie walks ahead of you, immediately turn and walk in a different direction, taping your leg to let him know where you want him to be, keep doing this until he stops trying to be the leader and understands you want him walking beside or behind you, never in front of your legs.  Daily basic obedience on lead is essential programming so he knows you are the pack leader.   Things like sit, stay, doors, stairs as described above. Also coming when called, use a lead so he cannot ignore you. When he comes home do not take him through the house back into the yard, put him back through the side gate.  You need to educate him that you are the leaders so he feels safe, to a dog safety is leadership. Hope this help. 

Nina asks...

This question is about: Recall or not coming when called

My dog is awesome and has been a breeze to train picking up things easily and responding to my authority from day 1. However, his one area of weakness, in that the training is not so effective is the off leash recall when there is a distraction. His main distractions are children running or playing nearby especially if they are on bikes or scooters, joggers and swimmers even his much loved ball or a stick isn't enough of a temptation to get him to ignore these distractions. He wants to join in the kids fun or accompany the jogger or rescue the swimmers. Any other time calling his name in an excited voice works fine.rnrnHiring a training is not an option financially at this stage but I wondered if you have any suggestions that might be worth trying with him to stop him in his tracks and get him to come back to me under these circumstances.

Hi Nina, dog recall (coming when called) is one of utmost importance. We sell 10 meter recall leads and Keiko your local trainer could sell you one of these.  Do not let your dog off lead until he not only comes back to you, but stays until you give him a command that he may walk away.  Most dogs are not focused enough on their owners and get very excited when out and about off lead.  So many distractions!  Most issues we see on a daily basis is that humans do not have everything we know you need, in place around the home environment before letting their dogs off leash to run free. The dogs quickly learn from an early age to come back when they want not when you request.  Also many owners with this behavioural issue tend to grab the dogs collar so the dogs learn to keep at arm distance so that physical restraint cannot take place. Playing ball in your back yard is a very good start, you need to teach him to stop and come back to you (& stay there beside you until you release command is given) 'before he reaches the ball'. Then you know he is listening to you with distractions.  If you cannot get that control in your yard it will never happen at a park or beach where so many distractions are happening. Start by throwing the ball a short distance from yourself, say a meter, do not throw it all the way down to the back of your yard, start using small distances first to get that control, then throw further when you see progress.  Hope this helps.  there is also a great Bark Busters book which may help you, Keiko also has those.  

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