Posts in Category: Woofs of Wisdom

HALLOWEEN Dog Bite Prevention Tips

Halloween Dog Bite Prevention Tips From PAWS-itively Obedient

– Changes in routine and the strange sights and sounds associated with Halloween can cause stress in a normally placid family dog. Keep dogs out of the fray by securing them away from the door and providing a long-lasting chew treat. Teach kids to Be a Tree and stand still if any dogs come near them on Halloween.

Halloween is lots of fun for kids, but many dogs will be confused or upset by kids in strange costumes and by lots of people coming to the door, but never being invited in.

Doggone Safe ( and PAWS-itively Obedient offer the following tips for dog owners, kids and parents:

Dog owners:

  1. Secure your dog behind a closed door or in a crate in a room away from the front door or the party if children are meeting at your house.
  2. Give him a juicy bone from the butcher, a sterilized bone or Kong stuffed with hotdog, Rollover or other soft dog treats or a pre-stuffed bone from the pet store.
  3. Play music or leave a TV or radio playing in the dog’s room to help mask the sounds of the activity at the front door.
  4. Close drapes so that the dog does not see people coming and going through the window.
  5. If you have a dog that barks at the sound of the doorbell, disconnect it or watch for trick-or-treaters so that they do not have to ring or knock.
  6. Puppies and dogs that like to chase can get overly excited by costumes with dangly bits or streaming material. Supervise very carefully if you have a dog that may try to play with your children’s costumes while they are wearing them. Teach kids to Be a Tree and stand still if the dog does start nipping at their costume since the more they move, the more exited the dog will get.
  7. Keep your dogs (and cats) indoors around Halloween time. Pets have been stolen, injured or poisoned as part of Halloween pranks or other rituals.

Kids and Parents:

  1. Avoid houses if you can hear a dog barking behind the door, you can see a dog behind a screen door or you see a dog tied up in the yard or barking behind a fence.
  2. Never approach any dog, even if you know him. He may not recognize you in your costume.
  3. If an owner opens the door and there is a dog there, just stay still and wait for the dog owner to put the dog away. You can tell them you do not want to come near the dog. Do not move toward the person and dog. Wait for them to come to you to give you your candy. Wait for them to close the door before you turn and leave.
  4. If a dog escapes just stand still and Be a Tree (hands folded in front, watching your feet). He will just sniff you and then move on. Wait for the owner to come and get the dog before you turn away.
  5. If you meet a loose dog, Be a Tree and wait until it goes away.
  6. It is best to ignore other people’s dogs on Halloween if you meet them out walking. The dog may be worried about all the strange creatures that are out and about. Even if you know the dog, he may not recognize you in your costume.

Doggone Safe and PAWS-itively Obedient wish everyone a safe and Happy Halloween!

KONG your best chew toy investment

I recommend to all my clients to purchase numerous KONG’s. These durable chew toys will help with solving numerous issues such as barking ,digging and chewing inappropriate items.They also are a great tool in prevention of under stimulation, boredom and separation anxiety.

Most dogs need to learn to use a Kong.
Follow these steps to ensure your dog knows how to enjoy all the benefits of this popular toy.

1. Size for safety

It’s important to use the right size KONG so that your dog can have the safest, most enjoyable experience.
Not sure where to start on sizing? Check out the KONG User Guide.

2. Engage to ensure success

Get your dog excited about their new KONG. Show it off and talk about it excitedly; maybe even play a little hard-to-get to pique their interest and show them what their new toy can do.

3. Stuff to entice and extend playtime

Many dogs are motivated by food and KONG toys are perfect for stuffing with treats or kibble to keep dogs busy. The key is to stuff loosely so that the food will come out of the toy easily. To entice your dog, try using a little bit of peanut butter or their favorite treat in the KONG. Supervise your dog’s use of KONG toys until you are confident they can be used safely without supervision. Nothing is indestructible so frequently check the toy for cracks or missing pieces .

4. Freeze for greater challenge

Over time, your dog will learn how to get treats out of the KONG quickly. To increase the challenge, put together a mixture of wet and dry ingredients, stuff the KONG and freeze it. A frozen KONG heightens the experience by creating a long-lasting, mentally stimulating task. Wondering what to freeze in your dog’s KONG? Check the KONG webpage for recipe ideas

House Breaking Tips

  • Skip the “puppy pads”! Teaching your puppy to use pads is an extra step you don’t need. Instead, supervise your puppy at all times and limit freedom in the house. When you can’t supervise your puppy, keep him safe and prevent messes by confining him to a crate or a pen. Limit access to the house until you have several months of consistent success.
  • When in doubt, take them out! Puppies need to eliminate frequently, so take them out….
    • After a nap
    • After a meal/drink
    • After playtime and training
  • How long can they hold it? As a general guideline, for every month that your puppy ages, they should be able to “hold it” for another hour. For example, if your puppy is two months old, expect him to need to go out every two hours or so. A four month old puppy should be able to wait about four hours.
    • This is not a hard and fast rule! If there are any “strikes” (see above) during that time be sure to take him out!
    • Many puppies can go longer overnight because there is very little external stimulation (ie; lights are off and there is no activity in the house)
  • Use a leash/Stay with your puppy/Potty time is not playtime!
    • Go outside with your puppy. Pick a spot in the yard that you would like him to go and use that spot, every time! Stand still and let the puppy sniff around that immediate area. You can add a “cue “word such as “business” to be associated with going outside to urinate/defecate. When he goes, PRAISE LAVISHLY! When you are sure he is empty, offer a treat or a quick play session as a reward.
  • Two Puddles/Two Piles-Puppies get distracted easily, and may not completely empty themselves when they first go out. If you find that your puppy is coming back inside and having an accident soon after, give him an extra few minutes outside when you go out. He may need to make TWO puddles or TWO piles before he is really finished!
  • No Freedom Until He’s Empty! If you are still having trouble with accidents happening in the house, limit your puppy’s freedom until he does his” business” outside.
    • When you come inside after an unsuccessful “out”, put your puppy right into a crate for 10-15 min.
    • Take him out of the crate and directly outside for another chance-if he goes to the bathroom,         PRAISE LAVISHLY!
    • If he doesn’t do his” business”, back inside to the crate for another 10-15 min.
    • Repeat this process until your puppy is successful.
    • Slowly increase the amount of freedom that your puppy has in the house as long as there are no accidents!
“My puppy is housetrained, but he eats his poop! How can I stop it?
This is one of those unpleasant things that some dogs do that we can’t explain. There are a number of taste deterrents on the retail market that work sometimes, but our solution is simple: CLEAN IT UP!  If your puppy doesn’t have access to poop, he can’t eat it! An added bonus is that your yard will be clean and you will be reducing the risk of disease transmission to other animals and family members too. This is just one of the reasons why keeping your dog on a leash can be helpful during housetraining time!

Don’t Delay, Train Today

The answer is to train your dog (pup) in short but numerous (at least 50) training sessions throughout the day. Each session can be only one to three seconds long at first and then increase as you practice and the dog becomes reliable with the behavior.

You should integrate the sessions throughout your day.  This will become surprisingly easy and enjoyable. Start by placing a post-it with a quick training note, such as sit/stay, near your coffee pot. Then as you reach for that cup of coffee first thing in the morning you will see the note and instruct your dog with a hand signal/verbal cue for sit/stay while you pour a cup of coffee.  If you have several cups in the morning you will have done several 3 to 10 second sit/stays with your dog.

After each one release the dog with the cue such as “FREE” (toss a treat away from you so he gets the association with the cue FREE)

Here’s a quick list of some lifestyle training sessions to help you get the idea:
Sit/Down Stay

  • Reading newspaper or book for each paragraph (or sentence if just starting)
  • Loading or unloading the dishwasher
  • Commercial breaks while watching TV
  • Reading your emails
  • Making the dog’s or your own meal
  • Exiting /Entering doorways (of your house or car)

By implementing this technique you will easily achieve your 50 training sessions with your dog without modifying your normal lifestyle.

Pictures from the top…
Down stay in the kitchen…
Sit stay in your car
Down stay outside…