If you are looking for the greatest gold-mine of easy to use "change your dog's behavior" advice ever crammed into a newsletter series then read on!
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"I love Secrets to Dog Training. I rescued two German Shepherds and I did not know anything about dog obedience. One of my dogs was quite aggressive with other dogs, and crazy about chasing cats and squirrels. What I like about your book is that you give insights into what the dog is thinking, why they behave the way they do, and tips on what to do to correct the problem. I have learned so much from your instructions, and my dogs are now following my commands and I am able to control them. Thanks for the great book."
-- Carla J. Johnson (Long Beach, California, USA)
We have a Russell Terrier mix called Karen. She is 6 months old and has been spayed. We are having a few problems with her giving no clear signal that she needs to go out and relieve herself. We keep her on a regular schedule of eating and going out to pee and poop, but there have been a few times where we have been busy and she will relieve herself in the house-she will sometimes become very affectionate and I have taken that as her sign but I would like to teach her to let us know she has to go out with barking or some other clear signal.
Thank you for your help.
Hi there Leanne,
Thank you for your email regarding your young Russell Terrier mix, Karen and her inability to give you the signs that she needs to be let out to the toilet! This is a relatively common problem many of our customers find with young dogs. Luckily there are a few ideas and techniques that can really help.
First and foremost, the best bet to give you and Karen the most freedom would be to install a doggy door somewhere in your house so that she can get out whenever she wants/needs to! Training is relatively simple here too using plenty of vocal praise and treats to encourage her through the doggy door. Because Karen is a small breed dog, this would be the ideal plan if you have a fenced or fencable yard! Please consult with your local Pet store in order to purchase a doggy door and have it installed.
A second very popular technique for our clients and particularly those for whom a doggy door is not an option (for whatever reason), is one in which a dog is trained to ring a bell whenever she needs to be let outside to go to the toilet. This can be very helpful for many owners who have dogs that don't give any indication that they need to be let out, until it is too late and they eliminate inappropriately inside.
This training begins with choosing and purchasing a bell that is an appropriate size for Karen to be able to ring. Start by letting Karen out as per normal. Attach the bell to a string, and hold it up so that the dog bumps into it as you take the dog out or as you let the dog out, and make sure the bell rings. After several weeks of this your dog will begin to associate going out with the sound of the bell. After this time you should make the bell attractive by smearing a food treat such as jam or peanut butter on it, then as before, hold the bell by a piece of string so you can make sure it will ring. Block the door by holding the bell at your dog's nose level, so the only way the dog can get around you is to realize there is jam on the bell. As a result, your dog will lick the jam and likely ring the bell. When that happens, exaggerate the ring to ensure there is a distinct ringing sound and praise her enthusiastically at the same time. You should ring the bell as Karen leaves the house to further reinforce to her that this sound is associated with being let out.
Once you believe Karen is associating the ringing of the bell with the process of going out, hang the bell at the doorknob (it should hang at your dog's nose level). Continue using jam as an attractant to the bell, and whenever you know Karen needs to go out (such as after she wakes up in the morning), take her to the bell first and let her out once she made the bell ring. Once your dog initiates the bell ringing in order to get out, you can stop the training!!
I hope this helps you out with Karen's current inability to let you know she needs to toilet! Don't forget to clean up any messes she has indoors with a non-ammonia based cleaning product as well as plenty of pet odor neutralizer. Best of lucky with Karen's toileting problem and please let us know which technique you choose to use and how it goes!
Daniel Stevens and the Secrets to Dog Training Team
I've been a professional dog trainer for well over 20 years, and in that time I've helped thousands of dog owners just like you to get the friendly, well behaved, slipper fetching, best pal they always wanted.
But it didn't start out that way. I've always loved dogs, some things never change. But when I first started my professional dog training career I relied on the so-called 'best practices' when it came to dog behavior training. It was only when I heard people tell me over and over again that they just weren't seeing results that I started to question the old accepted wisdom. So I started a journey, a quest to search out the best, most effective, techniques, tips, and tricks that really work.
And that's how I came up with Secrets to Dog Training. Year after year I found new techniques that achieved the results I wanted. Eventually I had a whole book worth of great resources: Secrets to Dog training...
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