Monthly Archives: April 2016

Preparing Your Dog For a Move

dreamstime_xl_69538601I have a couple of clients who are moving to new homes in the next few weeks.  So, I thought I’d share some tips on how to help your dog settle into your new home. Even a well-trained dog can develop some problems when his environment changes. Remember, dogs love routine so this is a huge change for him as well.

Preparing your dog for a move

  • Update pet identification. Be sure to pick a new veterinarian and get new tags if you’re moving to a new city. Even if your dog is a homebody, he may be confused by his new surroundings and run away. Also, update your address with your dog’s microchip registry. You don’t want to lose your dog in the chaos!
  • Clean the carpets. You may want to clean the carpets with an enzymatic cleaner before you move into your new home, if the previous owner had pets. If you are removing the carpet, you may want to clean the subfloor with vinegar and water and Kilz before installing the new carpet.  These steps may help reduce the likelihood of your dog soiling or marking in the house where a previous dog lived. .
  • Reinforce your rules and training so that she can better focus on you rather than her new surroundings.
  • Pet proof. Pet proof the house by tucking away electrical cords, making sure that doors and windows close securely, and checking the fence for escape opportunities.
  • Reduce stress. You may want to purchase a pheromone collar to stave off any anxiety.
  • Take your dog on a leashed tour of the house and yard.
  • Place a “Pets Inside” decal in your window for emergency personnel.

Moving day

  • Consider boarding your dog at a kennel or a friend’s house. I had a client whose dog ran away because the movers weren’t careful and left the doors open. You don’t want more stress on this hectic day.
  • Maintain your rules and routines.
  • Watch for signs of anxiety like pacing, panting and loss of appetite.
  • Soiling in a new home happens frequently. Be patient while she adjusts; and clean any accidents with an enzymatic cleaner.
  • She might feel more settled if you bring her bed from your former home rather than getting her a new one.
  • Reintroduce your dog to the house and yard on a leash. Let her have access to one part of the house at a time; she shouldn’t get full run of the house until she’s accident-free for at least 10 days.  Keep doors closed to rooms she hasn’t been approved to be in.

I hope these tips help your pack adjust to the new den!

What Kind of Dog Is The Riskiest?

Greg Knows Dogs Stops Dog BarkingAs a dog trainer, I am often asked about breeds that can be potentially threatening. You may think the answer is a pit bull or Rottweiler. However, the right answer to the questions is an untrained dog.

The value of dog training can never be undervalued. We, as pet owners, spend thousands of dollars on our dogs over their lifetime in food, vet bills, toys and grooming. Yet when it comes to dog training, many people think they can do it themselves.

Some people can. Some people will continue to put up with annoying dog behaviors (like incessant barking, leash pulling, or jumping on guests) writing it off as that is just their dog. Imagine a child with no training. It’s no different with a dog!

An Untrained Dog Will:

  • Develop and retain bad habits. Does your dog charge the door when a visitor comes? Jump all over your guests? Growl at other dogs? A good dog trainer will help you overcome unwanted behaviors.
  • Be confused. Dogs can’t speak English and you can’t interpret their language, so a dog does not know what is expected of them. Dogs thrive on routine and will respond to your commands if you consistently use your vocal cues and body language properly.
  • Be untrusting. By nature, many dogs can be anxious. Trust is a two way street. Too often we give inconsistent signals while telling them not to dig (while we are planting flowers) or telling them to not beg for food (while someone is slipping them table scraps).
  • Be insecure. Dogs get their sense of security from their owners. Remember, dogs want to please their leaders. Unless you teach them, they don’t know how to meet your expectations.
  • Be inconsistent. Many times I have heard clients say: “I never thought my dog would bite another dog or a child. He has never done that before.” Dogs need to be socialized and put in unfamiliar settings so they know how to behave. What may be seen as harmless nipping as a puppy may develop into full blown aggression in adulthood.

Each year more than 9 million dogs are euthanized in the U.S.  and many more sent to shelters because of unresolved behavior problems that could be addressed with training.

We all dislike going to a home where a dog jumps all over us, begs for food, or displays other annoying behaviors. Don’t let your dog be THAT dog. Don’t banish him to a crate whenever guests come over or he misbehaves. Good dog training ensures you’ll have a loyal companion, one that fits in well with your family for a lifetime.

The most threatening dog is not a certain breed – it is an untrained dog.