Training tips at the bottom of page! 🐾🐾
PRIVATE & GROUP SESSIONS
It’s one thing to give your dog commands at home; it’s completely another thing to give your dog commands in new surroundings with strangers and other dogs.
Allie believes in the power of communication and working as a team in order to help your dog become a balanced, calm, and well-adjusted member of your family. Together you’ll work on behavior modification in order to socialize and integrate your dog in different social situations. Each session is tailored to your dog’s specific needs. Your private or group sessions will include coaching, goal setting, clear instructions, demonstrations, and homework exercises.
THE BENEFITS OF PRIVATE LESSONS
- Customize and create training plans to fit your needs.
- Teach you how to establish a leadership role.
- Assess environmental stresses that trigger bad behavior.
- Help your dog learn desired behaviors by positive reinforcement.
- Teach you how to communicate better with your dog.
- Help your dog stay calm in the face of distractions.
- Help build your dog’s confidence.
- Help set you and your dog up for long-term success.
- Private and group sessions are offered on the weekends.
Please call for a quote.
Ready for a free phone consultation?
MAKING THE COMMITTMENT
Allie’s Doggie Day Camp!
Where your dog is treated like family.
When you find your purpose, it is like your heart has been set alight with passion.
You know it absolutely, without any doubt.
This is my purpose. I am so lucky to find my passion. I love what I do!
Welcome to Allie’s Boot Camp and training Tips!
Please note, not all of these tips will apply to you and not all of these activities are taught to your dog while s/he is here. Each dog has its own program that I have tailored to specific needs of the owner. You will find many tips listed here will benefit you greatly so please read them at your leisure.
Remember your dog will only change if you stick to the rules. Training is an everyday activity! We will work as a team to help your dog get through their issues.
At the end of the boot camp, I will recommend if your dog needs more time here. I will advise you if s/he should continue training in daycare or boot camp for a few more days. This can’t be determined unless I have had time with your dog. We know that this is training and the issues will not be completely cured. It’s up to you to keep up the training and apply these tools to help your dogs get through any issues over time.
Hello & Woof Woof!
I have designed my home to be safe with a surveillance, fun and comfortable environment for our children and our furry friends. I keep my facility spotless! We have installed artificial grass for those with allergies. My training is in a home setting, and this is why my training works. Your dog will benefit from my work with them because they will constantly be around kids, people and my pack! I work with them throughout the day. First, I will evaluate your dog by allowing them to display the behavior that they normally would (at home). Once I find the unwanted behavior, I immediately take note of it, and begin correcting the behavior. At my home, we do not allow excessive barking (ex: aggressive barking, barking at a leaf all day), some barking is okay. We do not allow whining because it causes anxiety, growling, biting, chewing (unless it’s on toys and bones), or jumping on furniture, jumping on people or children. Again, if your dog displays any unwanted behavior, I immediately correct it. I will do everything possible to make your dog feels at home. I take dogs on field trips: stores, parks, & etc. I have personal assistants that work for me to get your dog familiar with different people and visitors, whether family, friends and kids. This allows your dog to know many different dogs, people, and kids and allows your dog to build confidence. This is a great place to be socialized.
I will also evaluate your dog’s play time with, and determine whether or not it is too rough. I will test your dog for all forms of aggression, whether it is with food, people, playtime, other dogs, and/or children. I will proactively teach your dogs good manners they need, especially show them how to be gentle with children. My dogs will supervise as well when I am not around. They control the dynamics of the pack. My Alpha dogs take charge of the pack. They will not allow any aggression or insecurity to impact the dogs in any unhealthy way. They will correct unwanted behavior. Dogs are smart, and can easily interchange behavior based on what environment they are in and the energy of their owner. We do not want them only behaving when they visit Allie’s Day Camp! So if you are willing to be my partner in making your dog a balanced dog, then let’s make that happen! Please follow my rules and your dog will be that best friend you have always dreamed about. Most importantly, I will help you learn to become the pack leader. You and I will work as a team!
Daily activities need to come from you, and practiced on a consistent basis. Each of these activities take no longer than a few minutes (except for the walk or a treadmill run should be at least 30 mins plus). As you practice these activities daily, and stay on schedule, you will see change. Please do not practice with treats all the time, (only here and there, please praise them). You don’t want them to only do things because you have a treat in your hand.
In the morning you are going to take your dog outside for potty and then take your dog for a long walk or place your dog on the treadmill. This is a daily activity before morning and evening feedings if not do it when you can. Be sure to incorporate some basic training after your walk or your dog’s time on the treadmill. For those of you that’s potty training this needs to be repeated every 2-4 hours! You have your dog’s full attention when he is hungry, right? Well this is the perfect time to get some training in! Start by taking care of yourself first. Get ready in the morning, eat breakfast, have your coffee, read your paper, answer emails etc…Remember this entire time your dog has not eaten. Your dog is simply watching you, smelling the food you are eating, while he/she is in her spot (hopefully you are practicing the stay command). Your dog should not be roaming. Let’s have your dog work for food! Do some basic training, like sit and down (meaning lay down). Now your dog is ready for breakfast! I want you to mix the food with your hands so the food has your scent on it. Make sure your dog is at least 4ft away from you while you are preparing his/her food. Tell your dog to sit and stay in a certain spot while you are getting his/her food ready. Keep your dog at a distance, as this is respect. Also, that way you can practice the come command as well. This will train your dog to respect you and have the loyalty towards you as the leader of the pack. Essentially, it shows your dog that you are the provider of his/ her food every day, and this is respect and loyalty s/he will learn very fast.
At feeding, have your dog in the sit position by using the “watch me” command. Do this by holding a treat up at your eyes and say “watch me”! Then give your dog the treat! Next hold the bowl under her nose to smell it. After your dog smells the bowl, tell your dog to sit and “watch me”. Let your dog give you eye contact, wait a minute, then say “ok take it” and give your dog the food. The eye contact that your dog gives you is very important, so practice this, then place the bowl on the floor and let her/him eat it. Take the bowl away after she/he walks away even if she/he hasn't finished. Also see if you can put your hands in the bowl and take the food from them. I do this to make sure no food aggression or to make sure the dog isn’t exhibiting any of this behavior. This will teach your dog to eat their entire meal or it will be taken away.
No Free Feeding
Please feed your dog on a schedule twice a day or if your dog is a puppy, see details on “dog food bags”. This will show you the amount that you should be feeding your dog. No free feeding your dog. You should be on a schedule for Breakfast and Dinner.
Do Not Allow Bad Manners
When people come to visit, have your dog in a sit or lay down position in his/ her spot and tell visitors to completely ignore your dog or tell your dog “out” and point away for the dog to go away. Once the dog is ignored for a while and calm they can call it over to greet your dog. I don’t want them to nurture that excitement state of mind. You are in charge now. Do not tolerate jumping on you, visitors, friends, family, your furniture, etc. Do not allow constant barking or growling. Immediately correct with the “NO” or “SSHHHHH” command. Once your dog is laying down relaxed then you can touch him/her wait until the dog is calm. Your dog should not be allowed to jump on any of your furniture or chew your items. Do not allow your dog to jump on your lap unless you have asked him/her to do this. Do not let your dog come to you and nudge on you to demand affection. This is not cute s/he is controlling you by telling you pet me now. Please don’t let your dog lean on you! This is claiming ownership of you. This will help you with your dog peeing all over your house marking territory, chewing on your shoes and furniture, and just destroying your house. You are a PACK LEADER, and they need to learn to respect you and your stuff and to do what you say. It’s important you allow your dog to be a dog; do not treat them like your child; they are not human. Your dog will be a great addition to your family, and as long as you teach him/her the rules your dog will have the perfect balance and respect for you. You can decide this, but I do not have toys in my house, toys are for outdoors. The inside of my house should remain calm environment where the dogs can relax and lay down and enjoy family time. Now if you allow the toys in the house that’s fine, but also put them in a bin so that you can be in charge of playtime too. If you want the dogs to relax you can put them away and stop all playtime. Your house is not a park. You do not want your dog to think that your entire house is a chew toy. A balanced dog receives a “forever home”…we want to create healthy relationships with our pets, so we can love them and keep them until they are old and gray. Let’s not give up and keep trying so your dog can be the dog that you both always wanted.
Practice These Commands Daily
-Ssshhhhhh / Stop barking
-Stay: If your dog moves, put her back in her spot, put your hand up and repeat.
-Leave it: hold a treat in your hand, close it as your dog gets close to you. Next say “leave it”, and then as your dog avoids the treat then say “TAKE IT”.
You can use 1 or all of the commands below, whichever is comfortable for you! My dogs know all. To keep it simple, you can use just one and make it for all of the situations that you do not want your dog getting into. Do not use his/her name as your correcting them.
What is an Emergency Recall?
It is a word that you’ve trained your dog to come to INSTANTLY upon hearing it.
It is a rock solid recall.
Your dog is running toward the street. A truck is coming. Will your dog continue onto the
street, or will your dog turn and run to you when you call? You don’t know when a true
emergency may occur, when you’ll need your dog to come INSTANTLY.
You can teach your dog a potentially life-saving recall by teaching the unique association
of coming when hearing a certain word and receiving a high value reward.
Planning the Association:
1. Pick a UNIQUE word—NOT something your dog hears in normal life.
2. Pick a HIGH value treat —NOT something your dog ever gets in normal life.
Ideas for word: Aki! Iko! Hut! Repeat over & over. (AkiAkiAkiAki…!)
Ideas for food: Steak, Sardines, Chicken, Caviar, Cheese (“test drive” a morsel to be
sure your dog likes it.)
No store-bought treats.
Your dog must now ALWAYS get the treat upon hearing the word and NEVER hear the
word unless getting the treat (unless of course, there is a real emergency).
How To Install:
1. Load up your hand with 20 to 30 small, but high value treats.
2. Yell out your word loudly, excitedly, repeatedly, frantically and make big arm
gestures to get your dog to come (but don’t say “come”).
3. When your dog arrives, immediately feed him one treat at a time, one right after
the other. Do it slowly, but fast enough so he doesn’t look away from you (15 to 20
Teaching the Association to Your Dog So It’s
•Week 1: Do 10 times a day (you may do 3 sets of 3 + 1 extra)
•Week 2: Do 3 times a day
•Week 3: Do 3 times a day
•Week 4: Do 3 times a day
•Gradually add distance & difficulty (out of sight, backyard, front yard, in from outside,
downstairs from upstairs, etc.).
•Then: after the initial installation, do it once a month to keep it fresh.
How to weaken the association so it’s no
longer rock solid:
•Use it to call your dog any old time and don’t deliver the unique food.
What If I Have To Use The Emergency Word and
I Have No Food?
No problem! You got your dog back. But first chance you get, go home and do a
“re-installation” by practicing it 3 times with food.
If your dog is biting you, bite them with your hand and say “NO”! So give her/him a toy to bite instead of your hand. This is the teething process if it’s a puppy. It just teaches dog just bad manners. Your dog will understand what s/he can’t bite. It’s not okay for your dog to use your hand as a chew toy.
Let’s practice hide and seek go hide and call your dog to COME when he/she finds you then praise them for it. We don’t want to practice all the time with treats. You can practice with treats if you like. I don’t practice with treats, only sometimes. If your dog is not coming to you it's because s/he is not respecting you, so let’s really repeat all these rules above! S/he will get it.
Potty Training: This should be very easy for you after s/he is here with me for potty training just take your dog outside every few hours follow chart. I am taking your dog outside right when I get up in the morning! Also after breakfast 30 minutes take your dog outside again. I am feeding your dog twice a day in the morning and in the evening. NO more water after 7pm. Your dog is on a system so I except you follow the same system as me so that your dog will be well trained for potty outside. Then one last potty before bedtime at 10pm. REPEAT daily. If you want to train your dog on potty pads a certain area or in a litter box be consistent take them to that area every time you tell your dog to go potty. For potty training or destructive behavior, I would recommend you keep your dog in your view every moment. If you are in the living area watching TV, so is your dog (of course in his/her spot). If you are in your room relaxing, so is your dog (in his/her spot). There should NOT be any roaming while a dog is in training. This is all necessary until your dog is on the right track. This also necessary until your dog becomes that dog that is well behaved and you trust him/her. Remember also, the house belongs to you and not the dog and this is important for your dog to understand this.
If your dog is very hyper and likes to get into things and you can’t watch him/her please put them in a kennel or a safe place in their spot so you can see them, while you are cooking or working so they don’t destroy things since you can’t correct them.
The reason we do this leash training is it shows your leadership and that you are the one that calls the shots. Do this type of training for an hour or so (or as many as you can).You don't have to do this training with the leash all the time, but it does help. Believe it or not, you are practicing and training without even thinking about it. When your dog is in her/his spot, in calm, relaxed energy this is good, and this is when you should give them affection! The leash training is important because with it, you can control all of your dog’s actions. This is why you will see your dogs leave my home calm—I practice this religiously here with my pack.
Follow these steps: 3 month pup every 3 hrs, 4 month every 4 hrs, 5 month every 5hrs, 6month every 6hrs, 7 month every 7 hrs, 8 month every 8 plus hours - they will hold pee or poo.
What Is Crating?
A crate is a portable "kennel" that is just large enough to contain the dog it is intended for, made of either metal or plastic. "Crating" is the practice of using this kennel for training purposes, usually in house raining and house proofing a dog.
Crating is a controversial topic. There are those who believe that crate training is indefensible and others who believe that it is a panacea. The reality is likely somewhere in between.
What does the dog think?
First, you must understand what the crate represents to the dog. Dogs are by nature den creatures -- and the crate, properly introduced, is its den. It is a safe haven where it does not need to worry about defending territory. It is its own private bedroom which it absolutely will not soil if it can help it. Judicious use of the crate can alleviate a number of problems, stop others from ever developing, and aid substantially in housetraining.
Where is the crate? It should be around other people. Ideally, set it up in the bedroom near you. Have the dog sleep in it at night. Dogs are social and like to be around their people. Don't force it into the crate. Feed your dog in the crate.
Can they be abused?
Certainly. Anything intended for a dog can be abused. That doesn't make it wrong; it does mean you need to know what you are doing. Things to remember:
The crate must be large enough for the dog to stand and turn around.
A puppy should not be left in for more than 3 or 4 hours at a time.
An adult dog should not spend more than about 8 hours a day in one.
No dog should be forced to remain in a soiled crate. You must rearrange time spent in the crate to avoid this happening in the first place.
Not all dogs require constant crating; most can be slowly weaned off once they get older and you can trust them more in the house,
Properly introduce dogs, especially older dogs, to the crate. Most dogs like their crates, but not all do so immediately.
Even when you are no longer using the crate regularly, leave it available for napping. A crate trained dog is always more easily handled: in the car, at the vets, when travelling, etc.
Proper use of a crate
Crating a puppy or dog often seems unappealing to humans, but it is not cruel to the dog. A dog's crate is similar to a child's playpen, except it has a roof (dogs can jump out of a playpen) and is chewproof. Also, a crate is not suitable for activity or exercise, but rather for rest. Dogs are carnivores and do not need to be constantly active during the daytime, like people (as gatherers) do.
If a crate is properly introduced to a dog (or puppy) the dog will grow to think of the crate as its den and safe haven. Most dogs that are crated will use the open crate as a resting place.
The major use of a crate is to prevent the dog from doing something wrong and not getting corrected for it. It is useless to correct a dog for something that it has already done; the dog must be "caught in the act". If the dog is out of its crate while unsupervised, it may do something wrong and not be corrected, or worse yet, corrected after the fact. If the dog is not corrected, the dog may develop the problem behavior as a habit (dogs are creatures of habit).
If the dog is corrected after the fact, it will not associate the correction with the behavior, and will begin to think that corrections are arbitrary, and that the owner is not to be trusted. This results in a poor relationship and a dog that does not associate corrections, which are believed arbitrary, with bad behaviors even when they are applied in time. This cannot be overemphasized: a dog's lack of trust in its owner's corrections is one of the major sources of problems between dogs and their owners.
A secondary advantage of a crate is that it minimizes damage done by a dog (especially a young one) to the house, furniture, footwear etc. This reduces costs and aggravation and makes it easier for the dog and master to get along. It also protects the dog from harm by its destruction: ingestion of splinters or toy parts, shock from chewing through wires, etc.
A young dog should be placed in its crate whenever it cannot be supervised.
If a dog is trained in puppyhood with a crate, it will not always require crating. Puppies or untrained dogs require extensive crating. After a year or so of crate training, many dogs will know what to do and what not to, and will have good habits. At this time crating might only be used when the dog needs to be out of the way, or when traveling.
Crating do's and don'ts
Do think of the crate as a good thing. In time, your dog will too.
Do let the dog out often enough so that it is never forced to soil the crate.
Do let the dog out if it whines because it needs to eliminate. If you know it doesn't have to eliminate, correct it for whining or barking.
Do clean out the crate regularly, especially if you've put in a floor and you have flea problems.
Don't punish the dog if it soils the crate. It is miserable enough and probably had to.
Don't use the crate as a punishment.
Don't leave the dog in the crate for a long time after letting it eat and drink a lot. (because the dog will be uncomfortable and may have to eliminate in the crate.)
Don't leave the dog in the crate too much. Dogs sleep and rest a lot, but not all the time. They need play time and exercise. When you are at home, they should not be in the crate (except at night when they are still very young puppies). If necessary, put a leash on your pup and tie it around your waist while you're at home.
Don't check to see if your dog is trustworthy in the house (unsupervised, outside of the crate) by letting the dog out of the crate for a long time. Start with very short periods and work your way up to longer periods.
Don't ever let the dog grow unaccustomed to the crate. An occasional stint even for the best behaved dog will make traveling and special situations that require crating easier.
Don't put pillows or blankets in the crate without a good reason. Most dogs like it cooler than their human companions and prefer to stretch out on a hard, cool surface. Besides providing a place to urinate on, some dogs will simply destroy them. A rubber mat or a piece of peg-board cut to the right size might be a good compromise (be sure to clean under any floor covering frequently).
Decreasing Crate Time
Remember, your ultimate goal in using the crate is to produce an easily housetrained dog and one that can be trusted in the house. Therefore, you should consider the use of a crate for a dog to be temporary. You are always working toward the time when you do not need to use a crate extensively.
With housetraining, it is only a matter of time for the pup to outgrow the need for a crate. As your puppy gets older, it will naturally develop ways of telling you that it needs to go (but probably not before about 4-6 months, be patient), especially if you encourage this. As this starts to develop, you can decrease the crate usage. Always keep a close eye on your pup -- the trouble you take now will pay big dividends later. If you need to, put a leash on your pup and attach it to your waist. That keeps the pup from wandering off into trouble. By the time your puppy is about 6-8 months, he should be able to sleep through the night either in an open crate or a dog bed.
Many breeds, especially the larger and more active ones, will need to be crated during their adolescence until they can be trusted in the home, if you cannot leave them outside in the yard while you are gone. There are several things you need to keep in mind. The first is that this type of crating is never to be a permanent arrangement except for those rare cases where the dog proves completely unreliable. While this does happen, it's more common for the dog to be sufficiently mature by the time they are two or so to be left alone in the house.
To make the transition between keeping your dog in the crate and leaving him out when you are at work, start preparing your dog on weekends. Leave him in your house for an hour and then come back. Maybe it needs to be fifteen minutes. Whatever. Find the time that works, and make a habit of leaving him unsupervised in the house for that long. Be sure to praise him when you come back. (Leave the crate open -- available but open -- while you are gone.) When you know the dog is reliable for this period of time, gradually add 15-30 minute increments to the dog's "safe time." Don't be surprised if this takes months or even a year.
Now, there are some dogs that are never reliable when left inside. This might include dogs that were rescued, dogs that have separation anxiety, dogs that destroy things indiscriminately, or who mark or otherwise eliminate in the house.
Does everyone use a crate?
Of course not. There are many who think they are cruel and will not use them. People in Europe tend not to use them. People who have not heard of using them won't generally use them. If you have an outside yard with a fence or a secure kennel you many not need to use them.
They are extremely useful. But they are not the only means to achieve housetraining or safety in the house or car. They are, in the opinion of many, one of the best and easiest ways of doing so, with many side benefits.
Get your leash out and wait 10 minutes so you practice the waiting process. Then put the leash on your dog. Once your dog is calm, then take her/him for a walk. Your dog should be in a sitting position at the door. When you exit you will leave first your dog will follow behind you. Please not make the mistake of saying “ARE YOU READY FOR A WALK!!?” with excitement! THIS IS NOT GOOD! This will create something we don't want, which is an overly excited crazy behavior in your dog. This behavior will eventually annoy you, and once you create this monster behavior, it’s hard to fix. So, remember to remain calm, grab the leash, and put it on your dog. While you are getting yourself together (putting shoes on, grabbing phones, keys, etc…), your dog should be calm. If s/he isn’t, wait for the dog to calm, then proceed to exit the home (with a “sit” and “watch me”). You will exit the home first! Finally, you can begin the walk! You walk out first and your dog should be behind you. As you begin the walk, your dog should not in front of you. S/he should be beside you and will decide at the beginning of the walk if they should go pee or poo or at the end. However, there will be no stopping at every tree. Remember, you are walking the dog; the dog is not walking you! Again, you are the leader. This is training! The walk is so important, as it sets the tone and controls the entire behavior of the dog, of course along with all the other training you will do. Also once you have this down you can tell your dog to go potty.
NOTE: DO NOT WALK YOUR DOG when you are stressed, angry, frustrated, and sad etc. Your dog is very in tune with your feelings and your energy plays a big part, so be aware. An angry leader is very confusing to your dog and s/he will not listen to you. Your dog does not respect that energy, and therefore, walking your dog while you are angry will not do many good for your dog. If necessary, give yourself a walk first and if this helps, then walk your dog! Remember the last time you were angry and frustrated, and when you were calling for your dog to come, s/he didn’t listen right? Well, dogs do not listen to unstable leaders with unstable behavior. Again, they don’t respect that energy. PACK LEADERS are very assertive and confident and very calm. They aren't sad, stressed, irritated, angry or frustrated.
1. You exit first.
2. Your dog should sit before leaving the house
3. Use “WATCH ME” command (put treat in your face once s/he looks at your eyes say good boy/girl and give your dog the treat)
4. Do not allow your dog to exit the door before you, and no walking in front of you…only beside or behind you.
5. Sniffing and peeing before or after the walk, you decide, but definitely NOT every tree. The walk will seem like a 2 hour walk instead of a great 30 minute fast walk.
6. Never walk your dog if you are angry, frustrated or stressed because your dog feels your energy.
Keep your dog on the leash through your house or in his crate (or spot) because you can't watch your dog at every moment while he/she is roaming the home. This will not be effective, as you want to correct his/her mistakes (this is hard to do if you are not watching them).
Dog Parks, My Pack and Socialization:
I always evaluate first before I enter dog parks. This is why socializing your dog with a balanced pack is so important. Because my pack is stable and balanced it helps to teach your dog ranking order. I'm not a big fan of dog parks because some owners do not watch their dogs. Because there is usually no supervisor at the dog parks, it can cause your dog serious behavioral issues if your dog is attacked by another dog. My dogs are trained to help and work with dogs that are unbalanced and they will correct them if they are out of line and so will I.
Some dogs are not balanced and the level of play can get too rough for your dog. If another dog is playing too rough with your dog, do not be afraid to speak up and let the owner know. Don’t allow your dog’s play too high/rough with another dog either.
You are always welcome to bring your dog to me for daycare. I believe it’s important for dogs to be a part of a pack! My Alpha dog Thor controls the play levels here. This is why your dog’s leave my home balanced. It is your decision whether or not you will decide to use the dog park, but please just keep an eye on the dogs.
I do, however, love the beach for the dogs! Santa Cruz has a great one! It has more space for them to run and the play is not so confined. So I don’t have to take my dogs to a dog park they have a private mini Allie Row Park here at my home.
Socializing your Puppies and getting them to know this world.
From the very start, a puppy learns important lessons through his/her experience of the world around them. Even in the first few weeks as he snuggles with his family, wrestles with his littermates, and is handled by his breeder each day, the personality traits and social skills that he will have his whole life are beginning to form.
As the weeks go by, exposure to a variety of experiences is crucial to his or her becoming a well-rounded adult. Studies have shown that a puppy’s experiences in the first three months of life strongly influence what kind of companion s/he will grow to be and how s/he will react to the world. Will s/he shy away from children? Will s/he be afraid of people in hats? Will s/he be aggressive toward other dogs? Or will s/he be easygoing and adaptable in a variety of situations?
Perhaps surprisingly, failure to properly expose a young puppy to certain situations or types of people during this brief early period can result in his or her being forever fearful or aggressive towards other dogs or fearful of kids as an adult. Early socialization—or the lack of it—is a vital determinant of a dog’s lifelong behaviors. Without proper socialization, it is unlikely that a pup will become the adult dog s/he could have been, whether as a competitor in canine events or as a happy, well-adjusted pet.
Windows of Opportunity
But what exactly is “proper socialization”? Socialization is the process of exposing a puppy from early on to a wide variety of environments, situations, animals, and types of people as can be done safely and without causing trauma to the pup.
Canine-behavior researchers have found that there are several crucial “socialization windows” in the first year—limited periods during which the pup is receptive to the lifelong benefits of exposure to new things. Of these periods, the earliest—the first 12 weeks of life—is the most critical. According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), sociability outweighs fear during this period, making it “the primary window of opportunity for puppies to adapt to new people, animals, and experiences.” This period is when the pup first learns to accept and enjoy the company of people, to behave appropriately around other dogs, and to experience the differing aspects of the world around him without fear.
Soon after 12 weeks, most pups will enter a fear-prone period in their development. After this point, if the pup has not been well socialized it may be at best permanently difficult for him to adapt to certain unfamiliar experiences.
“Basically, an adult dog’s temperament and behavior habits, both good and bad, are shaped during puppyhood—very early puppyhood,” says veterinarian and leading animal behaviorist Dr. Ian Dunbar, author of Before & After Getting Your Puppy. Further, Dunbar notes that behavior issues are the number-one cause of relinquishment to shelters.
As puppies mobilize themselves and begin exploring, it’s important that they experience a wide variety of textures, stimuli, and challenges. Experienced breeders recommend providing a variety of surfaces for the pups to walk on, such as carpeting, slippery floors, and bumpy terrain.
Have the pups learn about stairs. Set up “obstacle courses” for them to figure out and climb up and down or through, and include unstable elements that (safely) tip or wobble underfoot. Provide toys in a range of sizes, shapes, and materials.
Take the pups on frequent short trips in the car. Bring them into large buildings if possible, and, once they are vaccinated, to a variety of parks and outdoor situations where they can safely meet other dogs and encounter other animals.
“100 People by 12 Weeks”
Most important of all is to expose the pups to as wide a variety of people as possible—people of differing ages, sizes, skin color, and dress. Many dogs can be particularly apprehensive of men and very small children if they were not exposed to them during the early socialization period.
By taking steps to see that the pups you breed are properly socialized during those critical first 12 weeks, you are helping to ensure that they will grow to be happy, well-rounded companions for life.
These are the three ingredients for creating a happy, balanced dog: Exercise, discipline, and affection. If I am working with you because your dog has aggression or anxiety with people or dog; keep in mind that your dog has to go through the following: flight, fight, avoidance and finally submission. This may take time or the breakthrough may come very fast. Just remember that not all dogs are the same. Your dog may be at a level 10 and another dog may be at a level 5, and therefore it is important that you do not compare. However, if you stick to my program and instructions, your dog will become balanced. I will first evaluate and monitor your dog’s behavior, and then we can discuss his/her level.
You can thank Thor, Max and Leo, my pack for helping me train your dogs! They help me rehabilitate dogs to a balanced state of mind. My boy Thor, who we affectionately call my Hachi & Daddy, really helps me with all new members to our pack by staying near them and correcting their behavior. He is one of my right hand dogs! Max is always on the side lines encouraging them with pure energy as well. They all help me recreate your dog during the training/boot camp. Without my pack, I couldn't do what I do without them! Allie
Alpha Dog Pack Behavior Problems
Your dog will view you and each member of the family as a member of his pack. It's important that you hold the "alpha dog behavior" position and that each family member is viewed as holding a higher position than your dog.
You as the owner have some natural advantages since you are bigger and control activities your dog desires such as feeding times, treats, play and when he or she can go outside.
Here are some ways to make sure you hold that spot:
* Never tolerate growling from your dog. That is a sign of alpha dog behavior. Firmly tell your dog "No!"
* Don't let your dog sleep in your bed. The bed is a dominant spot. Your dog should sleep in a doggie bed on the floor beside your bed.
* Don't let your dog walk through the door in front of you. You should go first and then give him permission to come in.
* If your dog is always leaning on you, putting his paw on you, etc., he is not being affectionate. That is a display of alpha dog behavior. You need to be the one to initiate touch.
* If your dog behaves aggressively toward you or other family members, talk to your vet or an animal behaviorist. Don't allow the behavior to continue. The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to correct.
* Teaching your dog basic commands (sit, stay, come here, and lie down) reinforces the fact that you are in charge. If you have difficulty training your dog, consider taking him to an obedience class. One approach is to require some type of behavior prior to feeding or providing a treat such as sitting or staying.
Dog Social Pack Behavior
In dog social pack behavior dogs need to form a social hierarchy with each one knowing its place in the pack. This becomes particularly clear when you already have a dog and you bring home a new puppy. The temptation is to over support the puppy which causes confusion in terms of how the "pack" (your family and your dogs) view each other.
The best thing to do is to support the dog that is most dominant in the household which is a dog that is not too old or young and in great health. You can reinforce the dominance of the alpha or top dog by feeding this dog first, putting on this dog's leash first, providing treats first etc. If dogs are of equal age, then favor the one that is most dominant, not the weakest. Favoring the weakness because this pet is the "underdog" is the worst thing you can do since it is exactly counter to the natural behavior of your dog.
If you eventfully allow your dog in your bed, that’s fine, but make sure you he/she is invited. You are free do whatever you please with your dog, just make sure your dog knows understands rank and that you are in charge. Remember, stay calm and assertive when you are speaking to your dog mean what you say.
Fearful, Insecurity, Separation Anxiety in your Dog
Most people do not realize that fear is a common problem with dogs, especially a new dog, as he does not know what to expect from you. Fear in a dog is most often associated with anxiety and it can be hard for the pet owner to help his four-legged friend. Dogs can suffer from all types of fears including fear of noise, fear of being alone, separation anxiety and fear of certain objects such as a vacuum cleaner.
No matter what fear your dog has trouble with, you can rest assured that you can comfort him and help him get over his fear. The key to helping your pooch is knowing what causes his fear. This way you can help him work to get past his fear. No matter how fearful your pet is, you can help by using patience, love and understanding.
One thing you do not want to do is give too much attention to the dog as he will start to think that his fears are justified. Most dog owners want to reassure their pet that all is ok but they are really giving in to the fear, which will not help him at all. There are other ways to calm your dog when he is showing fear or anxiety. For instance, if he is afraid of thunderstorms, it is important for you to remain calm during a storm, showing your dog that there is nothing to fear. Your dog will look to you to see if there is a problem, so it is good to show him you are not afraid.
Reward your pet for being calm in the presence of what scares him so he knows that he is doing the right thing and that being calm is good for him. You can use treats for praise when he is good so he associates being rewarded with the thunderstorm rather than being coddled for the anxiety. Learn to ignore his behavior when he gets scared. This will show him that you will only pay attention to his positive behavior. This is called positive reinforcement.
If your dog fears being left alone and shows behavior such as whining or chewing up things while you are gone, you will need to work on the separation anxiety with him. Spend less time with him right before you leave. Many pet owners give the pet extra love when they are getting ready to leave and this can make your pet anxious as he knows that you will be leaving. You can also leave the television or radio on so that your pet doesn't feel so alone. He will hear the human voices and this can be very comforting. You can try doing short timeouts with the dog such as leaving him in one room for a period of time and praise him when you return for doing well. Lengthen the times you are gone and keep doing the positive reinforcement so that soon enough, you will be able to leave him without any hassle.
If you have a dog that has a problem with fear, you can help him overcome it in no time at all with the right behavior on your part. Always be consistent with your training and your pet will be free of fear before you know it.
Exercise your dog. Exercise will provide your dog with the quality time he wants with you. This exercise with release of nervous energy that he would have otherwise used chewing or scratching at your door.
Practice leaving on very short trips away from home. Gradually build up to spending a longer time away. This will allow them to realize that you are coming back and that your leaving is not a big deal. At the same time, do not make a fuss out of your departure. Let it be the relaxed non-event that it is.
Change your daily routine for leaving. Your dog is very aware of your routine and the anxiety starts as soon as he sees the familiar signs of your departure. Change the order of your departure and keep it low key
Give your dog distractions. Leave chew toys to occupy his mind and mouth. This could stop his destructive chewing of furniture and provide him with hours of entertainment. Also, leave a radio or television on. This can give comfort to your dog
Crate train your dog. Crating your dog can be a useful transitional tool before you let him loose in your home during your departures. Begin by feeding your dog in the crate. Create a positive association with the crate for your dog. Because dogs are den animals, the crate becomes their own space where they feel safe. Be sure to use a crate that is large enough for your dog to stand, sleep and circle around in comfortably. Never use the crate as a form of punishment.
Never leave your dog alone for more than 8 hours. This is for your dogs health and safety. Most countries will actually have laws which limit the time a dog can benefit alone to between 4 and 6 hours, which is really the optimal time.
Take a long walk before you leave. A tired dog will be less prone to destructive behavior or howling.
Make leaving and arriving home routine and unexciting. Do not make a fuss when leaving and do not greet your dog when you come back home. This will be hard, but it can help your dog with separation anxiety.
Give your dog something to chew on to keep him busy while you're gone. A dog that is chewing on what it is allowed to chew on is not destroying furniture or other items and is also not barking incessantly.
Leave the radio or TV on. If you were home alone all day, wouldn't you want something to occupy your senses a little? They do too. Dog boredom can result in destructive behavior. The noise of a radio or TV will kill the silence and give your dog something to listen to. Other things like complicated games or similar will also be a good distraction.
Leave a blanket or towel that you have used in your dog's crate or where he sleeps. Your scent will help comfort the dog and will help calm him until you get home. An unwashed (but clean enough to use) blanket is best.
Use a pheromone spray or other similar, over-the-counter product with the same effect. There are loads of variations and brands available; sprays, plug-ins and pills. You might want to try different options before deciding.
Use a food/treat dispensing toy. Put the toy on the ground before you leave and don't let the dog touch it until right before you leave. As you walk out the door say the release word you use with your dog. The dog might eventually look forward to your leaving and, since it takes some time for the dog to get the treats out of the toy, it will be happy for a long while after you leave.
Why Dogs Bark
Barking is one type of vocal communication that dogs use, and it can mean different things depending on the situation. Here are some reasons why dogs bark:
Territorial/Protective: When a person or an animal comes into an area your dog considers his territory that often triggers excessive barking. As the threat gets closer, the barking often gets louder. Your dog will look alert and even aggressive during this type of barking.
Alarm/Fear: Some dogs bark at any noise or object that catches their attention or startles them. This can happen anywhere, not just in their home territory.
Boredom/Loneliness: Dogs are pack animals. Dogs left alone for long periods, whether in the house or in the yard, can become bored or sad and often will bark because they are unhappy.
Greeting/Play: Dogs often bark when greeting people or other animals. It’s usually a happy bark, accompanied with tail wags and sometimes jumping.
Attention Seeking: Dogs often bark when they want something, such as going outside, playing, or getting a treat.
Separation Anxiety/Compulsive Barking: Dogs with separation anxiety often bark excessively when left alone. They also usually exhibit other symptoms as well, such as pacing, destructiveness, depression, and inappropriate elimination. Compulsive barkers seem to bark just to hear the sound of their voices. They also often make repetitive movements as well, such as running in circles or along a fence.
How to Treat Excessive Barking
Getting your dog to bark less will take time, work, practice, and consistency. It won’t happen overnight, but with proper techniques and time, you can see progress.
Here are a few tips to remember as you start your efforts to control your dog’s barking.
Attention seeking: Never reward barking. If your dog barks when he wants water, and you fill the dish, you’ve taught him to bark to get what he wants. If he barks to go outside, it’s the same. So teach him to ring a bell you tied to the door handle to go out. Bang the water dish before filling it, and maybe he’ll start pushing it with his nose to make the same noise. Find ways for your dog to communicate without barking.
If he barks and you see his dish is empty, wait a few minutes, go do something else, then fill it, so he won’t know his barking was effective.
Remember not to scold your pet. For a dog, that’s still considered attention. The key is to ignore your dog and what he wants, until he stops barking.
Separation Anxiety/Compulsive Barking: Separation anxiety and compulsive barking are both difficult to treat and should be handled with the help of a veterinary behaviorist or a certified applied animal behaviorist. Dogs with these problems often need drug therapy to help them cope while learning new, more acceptable behaviors.
Bark Collars. Should you use one?
There are a number of products on the market that promise to stop barking quickly. Collars that go on your dog can deliver audible or ultrasonic corrections to your dog, but they aren’t effective on all dogs. Citronella-spraying collars often work, but some dogs learn they can run them out of spray, and then bark at will.
Shock collars, which deliver a painful jolt to your pet, can cause pets harm and may make dogs aggressive, especially if they associate the person or animal they are barking at with the pain.
Other off-collar devices can work well if your dog barks in a set area. Bark-activated water sprayers or noisemakers switch on when they pick up barking, shooting water at your pet or emitting an irritating sound. These can sometimes break a dog of barking in a given area, but they work best if you are home to reward your pet when he stops barking. That helps reinforce what you want your dog to do.
What not to do:
*Debarking is very controversial and is considered inhumane by many. It does not address the underlying cause of the barking. It is a surgical procedure in which the folds of tissue on either side of a dog’s larynx, or voice box, are removed, leaving dogs with a raspy bark instead of a full bark. Complications are common and can be life threatening, including breathing difficulties, higher incidents of choking, and ongoing pain. Dogs also have been known to regain their voices after the surgery. The procedure does not stop the barking,it only makes it sound different.
How can you tell if your dog is the pack leader? It's simple: if your dog jumps on you when you arrive home, she is the pack leader. If your dog jumps on your guests, she is making sure that these new arrivals also know she is in charge. What can you do to stop this hyper dog problem behavior?
Establish yourself as pack leader.
When a dog doesn't have a clear pack leader, she tries to fill the vacant role, usually to disastrous results (for the owner and for the dog!) The pack leader leads by projecting a calm-assertive energy.
Don't shower your dog with affection when you walk through the door.
This kind of attention is wonderful for a human child, but not for a dog. Remember dogs are animals, and the kindest thing you can do is to treat your dog like a dog and communicate in a way he'll understand. Wait until your dog is calm then give him/her affection. It’s best to give them affection when they are calm reward that behavior not excitement. This is so hard for me to teach owners and their pets.
Correct dog jumping problem behavior.
The dog’s mom, the ultimate pack leader, would never tolerate inappropriate activity. If she sees something she doesn’t like, she stops it by moving the puppy out of the way in a calm-assertive manner. The puppy learns an important boundary from the lesson, and her firm and unambiguous leadership balances the puppy’s submissive role in the pack.
When your guests arrive, ask your dog to sit patiently.
Your dog will follow your commands when he respects you as his pack leader. Remember, the animal pack leader doesn’t negotiate to get what he or she wants.
You can't be a leader only some of the time.
Leadership is forever; inconsistency triggers confusion and anxiety in a dog and hyper dog behavior. Animal pack leaders never waver from their leadership role, and neither should you!
Many dog owners mistakenly assume that their adopted or rescued dog was abused because they are shy or aggressive around new people or dogs. These dogs tend to cower and shake or act aggressive. The reality is often that the dog has not been socialized to people, dogs, and new experiences, and she reacts aggressively or shyly out of fear and lack of confidence.
Aggression and Fear in Unsocialized Dogs
Lack of early socialization is usually the reason for fear and aggression issues later in life. If a dog does not experience the world while s/he is young and associate his her experiences with good things, there will be problems later in life. Sometimes, these will be too complicated to fix completely. It's hard to manage a dog that doesn't like children, is aggressive to other dogs, and is afraid of the car. All of these problems are preventable if a puppy gets enough exposure to life.
If you are raising a puppy, make sure s/he meets and plays with at least 100 other dogs and puppies, 100 people — especially men and children — and visits at least 100 different places before s/he turns five months old. This is the most predictive way to prevent aggression and fears and the way to raise the most stable dog possible.
If yours is a shelter or rescued dog, you can't turn back the clock, but you can do a lot to make sure that each new experience is a good one and build from there. If your rescued dog is a damaged one, learning the skills you need to help him or her work through his or her fears and aggression and learn to become a polite member of society is your commitment to him or her.
Helping Unsocialized Dogs
The best way to help a dog that behaves in this manner is to train him or her and build his or her confidence around new people, dogs, and experiences. Making excuses for shy or aggressive dogs or trying to cuddle and comfort them will not fix the problem, and it could make it worse. Remedial socialization (socializing a dog after the optimum age of eight to eighteen weeks) is time consuming and fraught with regression and frustration, but ultimately it is well worth the effort. Some socialization tips for shy or aggressive dogs include:
Be patient and expect setbacks with your unsocialized dog. With time, your dog will become more confident.
Establishing and Keeping Alpha Position
Below is a list of rules every dog owner should follow to ensure your dog knows his or her place in your human pack. If your dog guards his or her food or growls at humans in the family, and especially if you own a wolf hybrid, these rules should be strictly followed. Dogs need to have a clear place in their pack. A dog lacking in this clear order is an unhappy dog.
Sometimes a dog might not be showing signs of aggression, however the dog is suddenly showing signs of separation anxiety, such as destructive behaviors when you leave the house. A dog that steals food from human hands has no respect for the human, and therefore does not see the human as pack leader. A dog that questions his or her place in the household pack can sometimes cause him or her to suddenly display destructive behaviors, as the dog is confused and taking his or her anxiety out on your house.
A dog that knows his or her place in his or her human pack is a happy dog. A dog that does not is a confused dog and can exhibit many unwanted behaviors because of it.
1. The number one way to communicate to a dog that you are his or her pack leader is to take him for a walk. Not the type of walk most humans take their dogs on, but a pack walk, where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the human who is holding the lead. This is most important for all dogs, as in a dog's mind, the leader always leads the way. A dog must not be allowed to sniff or eliminate anywhere s/he wishes, but where you allow him or her. One marking against a tree is enough for male dogs. The dog should be concentrating on following the human, not worrying about leading the way. This pack-type walk should be done daily. Not only will this release built-up energy, but it will satisfy the dog's instinct to migrate which all dogs possess. Dogs that have excess energy bottled up inside them and that do not have their migration instinct met will develop various instability issues that most people mistake for being breed traits.
2. All humans must eat before the dogs, as the leader always eats first. When you give your dog its food eat a small snack first while s/he is watching, lay the snack near the dog’s food so that s/he thinks you are eating out of his bowl (the leader always eats first).
3. No table scraps should be fed to the dogs during a meal.
5. Humans must not let the dog go through any doorways first. Or up or down any stairways first. Dogs must always go through the doorways and up and down stairs after the humans, as the leader of the pack always goes first. If the dog does not stay behind the humans, the dog must be told to "stay" and given the command to "come" after all humans have passed through. (Read Training to find out the necessary basic commands all dogs should know. These commands are vital in the communication between you and your dog and should always be taught.)
6. When you leave the house or the room, even for a minute, ignore the dog for a few minutes upon your return.
7. A simple obedience command such as “sit” should be given before any pleasurable interaction with the dog (i.e., play session, petting, feeding, a walk, etc.). The children should give the dog commands at least once a day and reward with a treat when the command is followed. A simple “sit” will do. No treat should be awarded if the dog does not follow the command. Show your dog s/he does not get anything for free. His or her food, water, treats, even praise/love have to be earned by doing something. Even something as little as sit, come, or making him or her wait for the treat while you hold it in front of him or her. Make sure the dog takes the treat from your hands gently. Do not tolerate a mouthy dog.
8. You should not lie on the floor to watch TV when the dog is around and no one should roll around the floor playing with the dog, as a human should never put himself or herself in an equal or lesser height position than the dog.
9. You are the one who greets newcomers first, the dog is the last to get attention (the pack leader is the one who greets newcomers and lets the rest know when it is safe to greet the newcomer).
10. If a dog is lying in your path, do not walk around the dog, either make the dog move or step over the dog.
11. During the time you are establishing your higher pack position, no hugs should be given to the dog by you, as a dominant dog may consider this a challenge of power.
12. To a dog in a dominant frame of mind eye contact is a challenge. Whoever averts his gaze first loses. If the human averts first this reinforces the dog’s higher power position. Do not have staring contests with a dog, as if you avert or blink first, it will only reinforce, in the dog’s mind, that s/he is Top Dog.
13. Ideally, dogs should not sleep in your bed. In the dog world the most comfortable place to sleep is reserved for the higher members of the pack. If a dog is allowed to sleep on the bed, the dog must be invited up and not be allowed to push the humans out of the way. Making them sleep at the foot of the bed rather than, for example, on your pillow is best.
14. Dogs must never be allowed to mouth or bite anyone at any time, including in play.
15. Any attention given to the dog, including petting, should be given when the human decides attention is to be given (absolutely no petting when the dog nudges or paws you or your hand. This would be letting the dog decide and reinforcing, in his or her mind, that s/he is higher on the scale than the human.)
16. Games of fetch or play with toys must be started and ended by the human.
17. Very dominant dogs that have a problem with growling should not be allowed to lie on your furniture, as the leader of the pack always gets the most comfortable spot. Dogs belong on the floor. If you do decide to allow your dog on the furniture, you must be the one who decides when s/he is allowed up and you must be the one who decides when s/he is to get off, by inviting him or her up, and telling him or her to get down.
18. No tug-of-war, as this is a game of power and you may lose the game, giving the dog reinforcement (in the dog's mind) of top dog.
19. Dogs need to be taught a “drop it” or release command. Any objects the dog has in his or her possession should be able to be taken away by all humans.
20. Dogs own no possessions, everything belongs to the humans. They are all on "loan" from the human family. You should be able to handle or remove any item at all times from the dog with no problems from the dog. Even if you are taking a chicken bone out of the dog's mouth.
21. Dogs should not be allowed to pull on the leash. When they do this they are leading the way and it is the humans that need to lead the way and show they're higher up in the pack order. (In the wild, the leader of the pack always leads the way; the leader leads the hunt.)
22. When you put his or her food dish down, s/he must wait until you give the "OK" to eat it. Place his or her food on the ground and tell him or her to wait. If s/he darts at the food, block him or her with your body. You can point at him/her and tell him/her, "No, wait," however do not speak much. Dogs are, for the most part, silent communicators. They feel one another's energy and your dog can feel yours. Yes, your dog can read your emotions. So stand tall and think "big" and stay confident. Do not be nervous, your dog will sense this and assume you are weak. It is this weakness that triggers a dog to try and take over (for the good of the pack; the pack needs a strong leader). Give the dog a command before giving the food. If a dog does not follow the command (i.e. to sit), s/he does not eat. Try again in about 20 minutes or longer. Repeat this until the dog listens to the command. When your dog calms down and waits patiently, (ears set back, head lowered even slightly, lying down is good if s/he is relaxed with his/her ears back, no signs of growling on his/her face) invite him/her to eat his food. The people in the family the dog growls at should feed the dog the majority of the time.
23. Small dogs or puppies that demand to be picked up or put down should not get what they want until they sit or do another acceptable quiet behavior. They should not be put down unless they are settled quietly in your arms.
24. Dogs should never be left unsupervised with children or anyone who cannot maintain leadership over the dog.
25. To reinforce your position even more, you can make your dog lie down and stay there for 20 to 30 minutes a day. Tell him/her to lie down, and then tell him/her to stay. If s/he tries to get up, correct him/her.
26. Last but certainly not least...when you are around your dog avoid emotions such as fear, anxiety, harshness or nervousness. Your dog can sense these emotions and will see you as weak. This will escalate your problem as your dog feels an even stronger need to be your leader. Think Big and Powerful and be calm, assertive, and consistent. Remember, there is no hiding our emotions from our dogs. They can, in a sense, read our minds in reading our emotions. This energy is the universal language of animals. Talk less, using more body language. Picture yourself, in your own mind, as big, powerful and very sure of yourself. Pull your shoulders back and stand up straight. Your dog will feel this. This is your number one resource when it comes to communicating with your dog. Your dog will be happy and secure knowing he has a strong pack leader to care for him.