Dog’s and Car Ride’s

Teaching your dog to ride in a car.

Some dogs are born to ride in cars. They are happy. They are excited. And, you have to worry more about how they behave in the car rather than getting them into the car. With others, they may exhibit signs of fear and anxiety and may even become nauseous during the ride.

This usually occurs due to socialization or the lack of socialization of your pet. You may never know exactly why your dog sees the car the way he does. Maybe, he associates that a car ride equates to an unpleasant trip to the vet’s office for shots. He may even associate it with getting sick during his first car ride. Or, he may have never been in the car and does not know what to expect. Whatever the reason, you need to take steps to help him so that he will associate a car ride as a positive experience … like a ride to the park.

How do you train your dog to ride in the car?

First, you take your dog to the car (on a leash) with the door open and walk around it slowly and praise him as you do. Stop occasionally at the door and praise as well. If he remains calm or positive, we can continue. If he freaks out, back away from the car until you find a spot that is comfortable for him. Encourage him, but do not baby or nurture him. This will only make the unwanted behavior stronger. Slowly work him closer and closer to the car and the open door until he is calm and relaxed.

Note: If the dog has had real dog obedience training this exercise should not be difficult.

When everyone is comfortable we are ready for the next step. Get your dog’s favorite treats (break it into very small pieces). It actually will help if he is hungry when you do this. Go back to the car door and have him sit. Here is where we may have to try different some methods:

Try to coax him into jumping into the car using the treats as sort of a breadcrumb trail … at the door jamb, the car floor and a small bounty on the seat. I always use a command of some sort in a very encouraging, positive manner. This could take a few attempts, but it is considered progress if you can get him to eat the treats at the door jamb and move closer.

If the above doesn’t work, try having someone on the other side of the car calling him through the car. This person needs to be very encouraging and have some treats or even a favorite toy to tempt him.

If neither of these steps work, try backing your dog away from the car and then running up to the door and encouraging his momentum to take him further in.

If any of these are successful, lay on the praise as if it is the best thing that has happened in your life. Once in, make sure that you keep the doors open at all times.   He can leave if the pressure becomes too much for him; but try to encourage him to stay.  Allow him to sniff around and inspect your car if he shows an inclination. Whatever you do, do not acknowledge his anxiety!

The next step to training your dog to ride is to close the doors with you and your dog inside. Make sure the windows are down for good air flow and again, do not start the car. Turn on some light music. Pet your dog and talk to him in a normal tone. Again, if your dog shows signs of nervousness, ignore it as it will only reinforce that behavior. If your dog sits easily, give him a treat and praise him. Keep this first enclosed experience to just a few minutes. Repeat the training process with your dog.

Once your dog is comfortable in the car, start the engine. Don’t go anywhere. Just let the engine idle with both you and your dog inside. If your dog seems amenable, go for a quick drive around the block. Reward your dog for good behavior while in the car. If he shows signs of fear, ignore it and return home. This may take a few days until your dog is relaxed enough with a trip around the block. Note: Never feed him prior to one of these trips or allow him to drink a lot of water.

After you dog is fully adjusted and doesn’t freak out at the short car ride, take him some place fun like the park or a nature trail where he can sniff and explore to his heart’s content. We want him to have a good time and you should be enjoying yourself too. By this time, your dog should start to associate the car (and the dog training) with pleasant feelings.

Before you know it, you and your dog will be going everywhere together!

If for some reason you can’t get your dog to get into a car with the above tips, consult with a dog trainer. It is amazing what you and a professional dog trainer can accomplish together.

Pet Fence Testimony

Here is a great review from a wonderful family that recently added a third dog to their pet fence.

“Our two Collies could jump, climb or go through our old wooden fence. The Contain-A-Pet fence is a godsend. It has completely removed our former concerns that a dog would escape and get lost or hit by a car.

The Contain-A-Pet fence requires a few days of training the dogs. That training is essential but not difficult in any way. After that short period of training, the dogs were comfortable with the fence. They relaxed, they appeared to be happy with the boundary and they did not challenge the fence.

Recently, we obtained a third dog, a Sheltie that had been in a puppy mill. Steve Kasten set up the training routine for the new dog with the existing fence. It was totally successful. We enthusiastically recommend Mr. Kasten and Contain-A-Pet fence.”

Charlie R.

Mishawaka, In

Housebreaking Tea Cup or Small Breeds

As professional dog trainer and behaviorist, I am always searching for innovative was to train. And I currently have the opportunity to train a Morkie. Morkie’s are purebred Yorkshire terrier mixed with a purebred Maltese. This little girl is only 5 pounds but thinks she’s 35 pounds. Even though she is a lap dog, most of the time, she is still a dog and dogs need leadership and basic manners. You need to be the Pack Leader.

One behavior problem has been housebreaking. She is an inside dog and has been learning to go “Potty” on pee pads on the floor. I am now transferring this to a little box. She has been inconsistent with urinating or defecating on the pads. So, I am using confinement, exercise, frequent trips to the potty zone and regular feeding schedule to get her housebroken. I found by cutting the pads into halves and placing one half in the litter box, saves on pad usage and it fits nicely in the litter box.

Mindy has been urinating regularly for a few days. But she hasn’t figured out when and how to defecate in the litter box. So, first thing in the AM, after she has eaten or any time I get her out of the kennel, I walk her around. In just a few seconds to minutes she has to go (movement creates “movement”). I rush her back to the litter box where she defecates. Then Mindy receives lots of praise (favorite toy, food, physical and verbal).

One other note when training small breeds or toy breeds, walk the dog on a table top (ping pong table, dinning, etc.) and teach them to sit/stay. This really saves on your back and can be less intimidating to the dog. You may want to place a table cloth or blanket over the surface for protection and better footing for the dog. Also keep a short leash and be very aware of the edges.

Let me know your thoughts!

Pet Fence-What to look for in pet fence

Pet Fences-What to look for in purchasing a dog fence.

There are three main categories when purchasing an underground pet fence. First is training your beloved pet. You must be sure they understand and are not being shocked unnecessarily. This is why I became a dog trainer who installs and services underground pet fences. This knowledge and understanding of dogs complement the installation and training required to keep pets safely contained in their yards.

The second is proper installation. You must set the field (area receiver is activated) based on the dog’s personality and temperament (there is a difference). Remember this is an investment for you and your pet. So the correct layout is essential. Having the wire too close to the house can cause the receiver to activate inside your home. But having the wire too far from the house can allow your pet freedom where you do not desire.

Finally, the quality of the product and its safety features. Safety features such as: low battery indicator for the receiver, or tone only, adjustable settings, or automatic shut off. Safety features for the transmitter: visual and audible alarms. Both should have a guarantee, the question is how good is the guarantee?

This is a lifetime investment for you and your pet. What are other factors to consider? Obviously cost, but you often get what you pay for. You are looking for the best value based on the above criteria. So, here are a few additional questions to ponder:

How much are batteries? How long do they last? Will you guarantee I get that much life out of my battery?                                                                                                          

What kind of Guarantee do you have?

Do I receive 100% of my money back if my pet cannot be contained? For how long?

How large of an area can the system cover?

What kind of wire do you use?

As a caring and loving pet owner these are serious questions to a serious matter – The Safety of your Pet!