Get Off! Teach Your Dog to Never Jump on Guests

Teach Your Dog to Never Jump at the Door… just in time for the Holidays!

“Anytime, anyone is struggling with a dog behavior problem, I ask them one simple question. “Well, what do you want your dog to do instead?” I get a lot of surprised looks! Most of us haven’t actually thought about it that way!”

Andrea Kutzko, CPDT-KA

 

In fact, most of us have never gone out of our way to teach our dog what to do and how to act in specific situations like when guests come over.

Tank loves to be in his “place”.

So, let’s simply ask, “What should my dog be doing when guests arrive?” Simply put, sitting is just a fantasic answer. Your dog can not simulataneously jump and sit at the same time. If you teach him to sit, he will sit instead! (Honestly, though, the coolest dogs hear a door bell ring and run straight to their “place”, relaxing, until given permission to greet guests!)

Think “incompatible behavior”. Your puppy can’t sit and jump at the same time. He can’t be on his place 10 feet away and charge through the door at the same time. Thank goodness!

Let’s say your dinner guests have just arrived. They’ve rang twice and knocked. It’s freezing out. You’re busy cooking, and you can’t make it to the door without burning the gravy! You yell “Just come in!” and your guests take one foot inside the door… and there’s your best furry buddy taking over as host! He pushes through the open door, greets each guest with enthusiasm, jumping, bouncing, each movement a little closer to licking your guests’ faces.

If you’d rather skip that, I have a much better plan. You could teach your dog to sit next to the door as soon as he hears the door bell ring. He could even go lay on a mat out of the way so your guests can come in and remove shoes and coats undisturbed! Until you ask, your darling dog can lay down politely waiting to meet your guests . Bonus points for teaching him to sit politely for petting.

Tip: Without any distractions, ring your door bell and ask your dog to sit at the same time. Immediately, say “yes!” and reward him for it!! Remember, repetition is key. After a few days of practice, test it out! Ring your door bell while your dog isn’t paying attention, pause, and exclaim “Did he just sit?!?” (If not, you just need more practice! Keep it up!)

I have tons of different and creative tools in my toolbox to prevent and solve jumping! I may suggest using a leash at the beginning and even practicing at the door without a guest. For serious situations, we can even talk about elimating the door bell – Just like I did. (I sort of just pulled it out of the wall and well, happily, it no longer works.)

I have so many more creative tricks up my sleeve to help even the worst jumpers! Have me come to your home to help you work through jumping exactly where it’s happening! We’ll start working on polite door behavior as soon as I ring the bell!

Can’t wait to help! Let’s try to get together before the holidays so you’re ready!

Andrea Kutzko, CPDT-KA

Certified Professional Dog Trainer (Knowledge Assessed)

My cell (219) 973-7538. Call, text, or e-mail to kutzko@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Dollar Tree for Dogs – The Good, The Meh, and The Never

Let’s get right down to business. You can find tons of great deals at the Dollar Tree – the one where everthing costs $1. You can get swindled, too.

The Good

Check this out ya’ll.

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Practically disposable rope & toys – $1 Image result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny star

These things get trashed fast, even under the best of supervision. At $1, I give them away, and you can stock up for life.

Metal food bowl – $1 Image result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny star

You actually can’t clean all the boogies out of a ceramic or platic bowl. Their surfaces are rough under a microscope and hold gross stuff. Metal is smooth under a microscope and cleans easily.

 

Treat Container – $1 Image result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny star Lid that screws closed. I’ve thrown it in the dishwasher.

“Cat” toy – $1 Image result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny star Secretly created for dogs, these are a must have to keep your dog busy, exercised, and trained.  Teach your dog to sit, wait, chase toy, get toy, and drop toy. Then you can play again!!!

Tug toys – $1 Image result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny star

dogtoys

 

 

Again, totally priced to be abused.

You can go through one of these every week and still not break the bank.

 

 

Loose Leash Walking Training Tool – $1 Image result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny star

spoobn

 

 

 

I’m not giving out all the goodies on this one. But trust me, its neat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dawn

Flea Bath (blue Dawn dish soap) – $1

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This is the fastest way to get fleas OFF your pets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antibacterial Wipes – $1 Image result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny star 

These things come in handy for grimy, training treat hands.

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“Place” mat – $1 Image result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny starImage result for tiny star

smallmat

 

Teach your small dog or puppy to go to “place” to stay out of mischief. (One of the most important things you can teach your dog!)

 

 

 

 


Ok, this is where things start to fall apart.

The MEH.

Best photo frame ever – $1 Image result for tiny starImage result for tiny star

dogphoto

So, this one is a mixed bag. I initially intended to glue magnets to the back of this. Except, it’s actually not flat, and you can’t hang against a flatwall. But its cute.

 

 

 

 

Nail Clippers – $1 Image result for tiny star

nailclippers

These are only good for small dogs. They are pretty cheap and can’t withstand tons of pressure. The black piece that holds the cutters open also broke off, immediatly. Never to be closed again. It worked fine with my cat, Bobbi.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Never… Run. Hide. Scream. No stars.

The Wall of Nightmares  (Food?) – $1

These consumables from the Dollar Tree are terrifying. They’re out of date, from China, made with unnamed meats and digest, and other things known to the state of California…

foodwall

Poop bags – $1

poopbags

 

Skip it. You try to open the roll and the bags just start shredding. Plastic is incredibly, incredibly thin. Just pay the money for these!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scary, smoked, and out of date “bones” – $1

Do not buy these. From anywhere. These “smoked bones” split and crack and can be accidentally ingested resulting in very expensive, dangerous surgery. They’re also made in China.

ribbone

 

So now you know, get some cheapie toys and metal bowls and your life is set. Just buy or make your own foods or treats from highly reputable pet stores.

What I Wish I Knew Before Bringing Home a Dog

I don’t want you to have to learn the hardway. That’s why I’m giving away some of the best advice a trainer can give… for free.

(Let’s get this out of the way.)

1. Hire only a Certified Professional.

Don’t give a trainer a penny until you read this.

  • If a trainer does not does not have enough experience and education to earn this certification, it may mean that they that use outdated methods.
  • Check reviews online, ask for references, discuss professional memberships (and required ethics agreements), and validate credentials.
  • Grill the trainer on their training philosophy. If they use forceful methods such as prong collars, you need to know right away. If they’re vague, move on.
  • Expect the trainer to be insured, a formal contract, and the ability to pay with out cash. If someone asks you to pay cash only, it is a red flag that they do not own a legitimate business.

2. Find the dog that fits your family. 

  • Is the dog social or aloof with people or dogs? Is the dog easily excitable or relatively relaxed?
  • What job was the dog born to do? Dogs that were bred to herd… will herd.
  • Learn about the grooming, training, and veterinary care your dog will need ahead of time!

Don’t pick a breed due to its popularity.

doodle

This doodle is incredibly high energy and social. Plan to dedicate yourself to training if you bring home one of these cuties!

3. Be prepared to socialize. For life.

  • Begin as soon as your dog receives his first set of vaccines. Don’t wait one second!
  • Socialization is not just exposing your dog to new things. It’s teaching the rules of life, and making new experiences positive.

4. Use a Crate

  • Teach your dog to love the crate.
  • Use it to prevent unwanted behaviors when you’re not able to supervise.

5. Supervise, constantly!pencildog.jpg

Treat your dog like he’s got a crayon and a freshly cleaned wall.

  • Listen, your adult dog is as intellectually developed as a toddler. Treat them like it.
  • Use the crate (or a tethered leash) when you can’t fully supervise.

6. Exercise

  • Dogs need 30-60 minutes a day varying by age, general activity level, size, and breed.
  • Your dog will not exercise by himself in the backyard. If you think this counts, you’re in trouble.

7. Learn to read dog body language.

  • Be prepared to rescue your dog from a situation if your dog displays excessive fear or inappropriate behavior.
  • If you are seeing stress, anxiety, or fear, reach out for help as soon as possible

other-products-body-language

8. Don’t expect your kids to do all of the work.

  • Dogs require extensive supervision, socialization, exercise, and training which is difficult for children and teens.
  • Dog training is a family affair. Expect for everyone in the family to be involved! If you aren’t involved too, it will not end well.

9. Create rules for your house and consistently follow them. Here’s a handful of mine.

tankcouch

Tank still hogs the couch.

  • Rule #1 Privileges must be earned.
  • Rule #2 Say Please when you want attention, toys, play, food, anything really.
  • Rule #3 If you don’t ask politely, too bad. Out of luck, kid.

11. Begin teaching loose leash walking immediately.

  • Look into alternative exercise while teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash.
  • Always use a regular leash (not a retractable) with buckle collar with tags (or harness) unless in a safely contained area. No exceptions.

12. Do Happy Visits at the Vet and Groomer

  • Go to the veterinarian and groomer to happily socialize your dog.
  • Desensitize your dog to handling including frequent nail trims and nail grinders.
  • Seek out  a FEAR FREE certified veterinarians and staff such as St. John Animal Clinic

13. ASK FOR HELP.

  • If you haven’t trained a puppy before, or its been a few years, it may be time to learn current training methods.
  • Do not rely on Google searches or unprofessional YouTube videos.
  • Ask a professional trainer or veterinarian. We are all here to help.

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I’ve learned from my mistakes. Doing so has given me the opportunity to expand my relationship with my dog, Tank. May you seize the opportunity to grow with your dog.

Surviving Rain & Fireworks

It’s that time of year. Rain. Pouring rain. Oh then a little sunshine—boom!— the fireworks have started. Now is not to late to start preparing your dog for noisy holidays and seasonal storms. If you’ve found your dog hiding in the bath tub, these are not polite suggestions but rather requirements for a healthier dog. Call me for help. Hiding dog

Many practical suggestions for thunderstorm fears also apply to other noise phobias. Today we’ll discuss management, easy ways to prevent stress, and what may help in the moment. This blog is practical advice. Please seek professional consultation if your dog hurts himself or damages property.

Let’s begin by offering the best piece of advice anyone can give – for FREE – right now: exercise your dog more. You heard it here first folks! Exercise before scary events helps dogs relax in advance and can even increase feel good brain chemicals that last beyond the time of exercise. Exercising regularly increases these benefits.

But after you’ve exercised your dog’s body, it’s time to enrich his mind. Mentally stimulating games and toys give you the opportunity to wear out your dog’s brain. What activities make your dog think? Try using puzzle enrichment toys to keep him busy during stress and further tire him out. And of course, teach him new things! Nothing helps dogs relax more than a tired body and mind. Training itself can be a huge boon to dealing with stress but learning new ways to communicate reduces our dogs anxiety while building confidence. All of these are management techniques.

If you have added exercise, mental and physical, and it wasn’t enough, take a step back and make sure you really gave your dog enough exercise. Seriously. Most dogs, like their humans, don’t get enough exercise.

Next, we can evaluate a few over the counter products that can work to relieve anxiety including sound phobia. A personal favorite is the Thundershirt wrap which acts like a hug for your dog. It’s a fabric shirt that has Velcro for easy fitting. It can make such a difference! It’s also worth trying a tight t-shirt in its stead. Note: Be careful to have your dog wear the Thundershirt during calm times as well as stressful.

July Third by Herbsmith

I am am a tremendous fan of July Third which is an over the counter calming chew made by Herbsmith. It’s aptly named – start using the product regularly for chronic anxiety or the day before for specific phobias.

I have used July Third with my own dog on a number of occasions such as extended absences, trips to the vet, storms and fireworks, and when our routine is out of whack. I was sold on this product when we used it during a 6 week long remodel at my house. I’ve been recommending to clients since. Do note that results vary and it’s always a good idea to ask your vet before adding this to your dog’s diet. This one is easy to find on Amazon.

Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAP)

There are a number with pheromones that mimic those given off by mother dogs. I have mixed reviews personally but I have had a number of clients benefit. For best results, use a plug in pheromone as well as a spray product on a collar or Thundershirt type product. Pheromone collars are also available but as this is a chemical product the collar can irritate the skin of some dogs.

Through a Dog’s Ear

This is an easy one. Consider leaving calming music on during stressful times to reduce stress. Be careful not to only play music during stressful times or the music may begin to predict stress. Many people simply leave the radio on and that’s a great choice. Kick it up a notch and play calming music for dogs. Try playing Through A Dog’s Ear any time you want your dog to relax. Available on Amazon. We play this CD during every class at Laurie Tuttle Dog Training.

Veterinary Intervention

Ultimately, I am a huge fan of veterinary intervention. Veterinarians can rule out under-lying causes for behavior such as pain and can identify if medication should be used for fearful behaviors. A veterinarian may suggest prescribing something for your dog. If your vet is not familiar with behavior treatment, he can schedule a phone consult with a veterinary behaviorist. You can refer him to the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists at dacvb.org to consult on your case. Sometimes these consults are free. Remember that a treatment plan including medications may require additional follow up and will absolutely require a Behavioral Consultant or a Certified Professional Dog Trainer as well as a commitment to to following through.

An Important Note: Sometimes vets prescribe acepromazine (or “Ace”) for noise phobia. Acepromazine is like a “chemical straight jacket” as it paralyzes your dog so he doesn’t act out inappropriate behavior. Your dog is still conscious during this process. It increases fear levels because our dogs are consciously afraid but unable to retreat to safety. This drug has a sedative effect where many other medication choices do not.

The key is to find out what works for you and your dog. Adding exercise and mental stimulation is great for every dog. Adding over the counter products may help, too. Ultimately if you don’t see improvement quickly, it is the time to find a qualified vet who knows behavior and will work directly with the Certified Professional Dog Trainer (like me) or Certified Canine Behavioral Consultant. Please message me for vet suggestions.

There’s help! Just remember it takes time and effort!

The Pet Parlor

Hi guys! As some of you know, I started pet sitting for Pat Thompson at the Pet Parlor. It’s an amazing job! I drive to houses to care for furry kids big and small. We always potty, always play, always snuggle, and always photograph. It’s a great alternative to leaving your pet alone all day! Plus, you’ll rest safe knowing your pets are in our experienced hands while you go on vacation or just a night out.

A4D9542D-049E-4EAD-BD6A-43F15A0EFE83Contact Pat at The Pet Parlor at 219-588-3628 or visit online at www.petparlorpro.com!

Puppy Class & Socialization – When to start?

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The Late Dr. Sophia Yin

The truth is that puppies need to start vaccines as early as possible  so they can begin a group class as early as possible. Training at home should start even earlier – the moment you bring your new bundle of joy home.

Socialization goes hand in hand with dog training. Do note that socialization does not simply include meeting dogs or a visit to the PetStore. It means very carefully evaluating if you puppy is afraid of something and addressing it with a Certified Trainer. This key socialization period is about 8 to 14 weeks. You can see why its important to get that first set of shots as early as possible! Please view this link to Dr. Sophia Yin’s excellent socialization checklist!  It’s an oppurtunity to explore the things that you not realize you needed to socialize. Remember that phobias and fears frequently escalate. Don’t hesitate to call me to address the issue.

But what happens when your vet says that your puppy needs all 3 rounds of shots and rabies before leaving the house? Just in case, print out the linked articles for your vet. Ultimately make being an advocate for your dog is the most important part! If you live and are seeking a vet, in Lake County, IN, I highly recommend St. John Animal Clinic in St. John. Their contact information follows.

The real problem is your veterinarian may not be aware of the guidelines from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB). The AVSAB “encourages veterinarians to recommend puppies be socialized before the vaccine series is complete.”

Shockingly they go onto say “While veterinarians are appropriately concerned about infectious disease in young puppies, the fact is that behavioral issues—not infectious diseases—are the number one cause of death for dogs under 3 years of age, according to the AVSAB. Veterinarians contribute to these behavioral issues when recommending pets be kept away from possible germs until their vaccine series is complete, the AVSAB stated.” Here’s a link to this article Early Training and Socialization from the AVSAB. Here is yet another link from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Remember socialization and training are for life!

St. John Animal Clinic

CONTACT INFORMATION

8661 Wicker Ave.
St. John, IN 46373

Phone: (219) 365-8531
Fax: (219) 365-1032

HOURS OF OPERATION

Monday: 7:30am – 8:30pm
Tuesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday: 7:30am – 8:30pm
Thursday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Friday: 7:30am – 6:00pm

Saturday: 7:30am – 12:00pm
Sunday: Closed

Closed New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Riding in the Car

I’ve been thinking about one of our dog’s favorite past times quite a bit lately. The warmer weather is here and our dog’s heads are hanging out the car window, no doubt capturing each and every scent. The problem is there’s nothing safe about this scenario. You would never let your child run free in the back seat (or gasp! the front seat).

Your dog poses an amazing distraction to you as a driver. I hear time after time how Poochie has to sit up front. Don’t forget how dangerous the air bags are! If you are in a wreck and the air bags deploy with such force, you are risking your dog’s life!

While it’s not the perfect way to transport your dog, a car approved harness that was scientifically tested by the Center for Pet Safety can be one option. It helps strap your pup in the backseat safely. No air bags, no roaming, no distraction. Studies have shown that these offer less than ideal safety but they are always improving. Seat belts work by attaching a car approved harness to the seatbelt. It is the best option for larger dogs who can’t be crated in the car.

Dog Safety & Summer Holidays

Summers here and its all about safety and holidays! Get the lawn chair and the kiddie pool for your pup. It’s easy to get caught up in the picnics and festivities, we sometimes miss signs the of stress and the general safety of our dogs.

First, let’s talk signs of distress that may occur during the holidays, storms or fireworks, in a situation with too many kids and adults and even other dogs. Be sure to read the BEET. BEET stands for body, eyes, ears, and tail. It over simplifies canine body language but B gives you a starting point. Look for stiffness in the body or cowering and look at E for eyes, partially white eyes. Then look at E for ears. If they are tucked, your pup may be under stress. Finally the T in tail. A tail waving to high may mean trouble. Just like a tail too low. We want tail about neutral height and preferably wiggly summer time tail! Learn more about canine body language thanks to Victoria Stilwell.

1. Do NOT EVER leave your pet in the car. No, leaving the windows open does not work. Keep them at home or with lots of water and shade WITH YOU!

2. Leash your dog with ID tag at all times. More dogs are lost during holidays than any other time of the year.salty dog kisses

3. Cooked bones are dangerous for dogs. They are usually thin enough to cause choking in and of itself but all cooked bones will splinter.

4. Avoid leftovers. Tons of harmful chemicals lurk in those hot dogs and other processed foods. Not to mention the condiments we slather our food with. Think about the sodium, sugar, and uber fat load. Just skip it.

5. Finally, train them for all summer events. Teach them to not jump on guests, not to beg for scraps at summer barbecues, and even to go to a kennel on cue in the event you or your pup needs break. If you are seeing any of these issues, call me at (219) 973-7538.

Happy Summer!

Why is my pup eating grass?

Its true. Our pups tend to eat that early summer grass. This could be caused by a number of medical conditions from upset stomach, low quality food, or intestional parasites so you should seek out a vet’s advice just in case. A student of mine just contacted me to ask how to get her dog to stop eating grass so let’s help everyone with this frustrating problem!

First off, the simplest answer is usually the best answer. So here goes – your dog probably just likes to eat grass. Which of course changes nothing so we then ask the same question as any problem. If you don’t like what your dog is doing, teach them something to do instead. So of course there are a ton of options but I have a couple of favorites!

Dog eating grass

One is to teach a solid “leave it”. “Leave it” means to “stop what you’re doing and look at me”. It’s a fabulous safety cue but it also allows you to give your dog another cue just in time to stay out of mischief (i.e. “leave it” followed by “sit”). The best way to learn this is in a class setting where a Certified Professional Dog Trainer can coach you through the process.

The other is to take your dog out on a leash and work on loose leash walking skills. You absolutely need a trainer to learn this one but if I had to summarize loose leash walking would be to teach your dog to be at your side offering lots of eye contact. Dogs who know how to walk on a leash will offer plenty of eye contact – so much so they’ll ignore that silly grass.

For more information, check ask about home lessons or our upcoming classes here!

Grass?!

It’s true. Our pups love grass. There can also be a variety of medical conditions going on so you should seek out a vet’s advice just in case its a poor diet or intestional worms. A student of mine just contacted me to ask how to get her dog to stop eating grass so lets’s help everyone with this frustrating problem!

The answer is the same as any problem. If you don’t like what your dog is doing, what would you rather have your do instead? So of course there are a ton of options but I have a couple of favorites!

One is to teach a solid “leave it”. “Leave it” means to “stop what you’re doing and look at me. It’s a fabulous safety cue but it also allows you to give your dog another cue just in time to stay out of mischief. The best way to learn this is in a class setting where a Certified Professional Dog Trainer can coach you through the process. I’ll give it a try. Drop a yummy treat on the floor and cover it with your shoe. Your pup should immediately start sniffing, maybe even licking your shoe. Wait until they look at you and then mark and reward. Much better to see in person!

The other is to take your dog out on a leash and work on loose leash walking skills. You absolutely need a class to learn this one but if I had to summarize loose leash walking would be to teach your dog to be at your side. Dogs who know how to walk on a leash will offer plenty of eye contact – so much so they’ll ignore that silly grass.

For more information, check in home lessons or our upcoming classes here!