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Posted by CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate on 10/4/2018

Pets are a part of the family. When we welcome a new dog into the home, we often expect them to meet our standards of behavior without much guidance. Dogs, like children, require consistent training from all members of the family. They need positive reinforcement and clear signals from you to teach them what behavior is acceptable.

In this article, we’re going to cover some important house training tips for you and your canine companion. We’ll look at some of the common mistakes that new pet owners make, and talk about ways to curb undesirable behavior like chewing shoes or furniture or barking at windows.


Traits vs. behaviors

One common mistake new pet owners make is to attempt to place character traits on their dog. Words like pushy, protective, mischievous, etc. are all adjectives that we often use to describe our dogs.

However, as dog owners and home owners, our energy is better spent on recognizing and correcting behaviors. If your dog tears at a carpet or chews the corner of your sofa, it isn’t very helpful sitting around thinking of adjectives to describe your dog (like restless or anxious). Rather, we should think about the behavior itself and how to replace it.

Let’s jump right into some household behaviors and ways to replace them with desirable alternatives.

Chewing

Chewing is an important part of a dog’s life. Chewing itself is not a negative behavior, but when your dog starts demolishing furniture or eating your homework, it’s time to take steps to curb this behavior.

First, make sure your dog is eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. Dogs who aren’t eating a fat and protein rich food or who are overeating are prone to having excessive energy. If they’re trapped indoors and have nothing to focus that energy on, they’ll turn to chewing things they aren’t supposed to.

To focus your dog’s energy on positive behaviors, take your dog for a walk, jog, or play with them. If you notice your dog attempting to chew things they shouldn’t be, draw their attention away and provide them with a better alternative.

Barking

Just like chewing, barking is not in itself a negative behavior. It’s when your dog barks excessively and inappropriately that it becomes problematic.

Dogs bark for several reasons: to get you to play, to show that they’re stressed or bored, and so on. If your dog spends a lot of time monitoring doors and windows and barking at passersby, there are a few things you can do to curb the behavior.

First, take away the trigger. In this case, that could be closing the curtains or restricting your dog’s access to the room. If your dog is worried about strangers passing by the house, they are likely already too tense to begin training an alternative behavior to barking. If it’s noises that alarm your dog, try playing soft music to mask the noises for a day or two.

Once you’re ready to start training, have someone walk past outside where your dog can see from the window or make a noticeable noise outside. Reward your dog with treats when they do not react until they become more comfortable with the outside distractions.




Tags: pets   dogs   dog training   pet behavior  
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Posted by CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate on 2/2/2017

Have you ever been away on vacation or traveling for work and had a difficult time getting to sleep at the hotel? Have you ever moved and it took a while for your new house to start to feel like home? Dogs experience these feelings as well, especially older dogs who have gotten used to their environment at their old home. However, there are some things you can do to help your dog become acclimated to her new home. Whether you and your family already have a dog and are planning a move or if you've recently adopted a new canine friend here are some tips that will help them feel at ease and welcomed in their new home.

Adopted dogs

Adopting an older dog is a wonderful thing. When you adopt, you are supporting animal shelters that provide an indispensable service to our communities. You're also giving a dog a second chance at a happy life, rather than being overlooked for a puppy. Adopted dogs require special care when moving to a new home. Not only is their environment new, but so is their company. Here are some tips for acclimating your adopted dog to her new home:
  • As soon as you get home, take the dog to where she will be doing her business to get her used to the area. Reward her when she urinates there
  • While your dog gets used to her new home she may have accidents indoors, but with time she'll learn where her bathroom is. Be patient.
  • When your dog first gets inside her new home, let her explore it freely so she feels safe
  • If you have small children, remind them to give the dog her space while she gets used to her new environment
  • Establish training rules with your family. You should all be on the same page about what behavior is acceptable. Similarly, you should all be using the same commands (i.e., everyone should say either "come" or "here, girl," not a combination of both)
  • If the dog had a crate that she liked to stay in or a favorite toy make sure you let her have these items in the space that will be her bed
  • Show your ne dog plently of love when she comes to you, but give her space when she needs it

Moving with Your Dog

If you and your pet are moving to a new home, many of the same techniques apply as adopting a dog. Your pet will be unfamiliar with their environment, but you'll have the advantage of them being familiar with you. Here are some tips for moving to a new home with your pet.
  • Bring all of their favorite items into the new home before the dog sees it. Food bowls, crate, toys, leashes, etc. Having these familiar sights and smells in their new home will help them acclimate
  • Bring your dog to their new neighborhood for a walk before the move if possible
  • Stick to your dog's old schedule as much as possible; breakfast and dinner times, walks, and when to go out to the bathroom should be the same as before the move
  • Have your dog around often during the moving process. Remain calm so that your dog understands that everything is okay







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