Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why Has My Dog Started Humping Other Dogs?

Here is a question I received recently, does it sound familiar?

I first got my dog as a foster when he was already three years old. The previous owner has not had him neutered, and he is a full-breed black lab that weighs 120 pounds. So you can imagine when he jumps on other dogs, or people, to hump on them it's a pretty big deal and it's hard to get him off of them. Anyone who has had one, pretty much knows that labs are typically all "puppy" even when they are full-grown.

Once I had officially adopted him, I did get him neutered so I thought that would calm down his hormones and stop his urge to hump on other dogs. It did seem to deter him for a little while. Unfortunately, in the past few months, he's been really going after these other dogs at the dog park and finds one to focus on and then proceeds to hump on her, or him.

The gender of the dog doesn't matter, my dog just simply gets excited and decides he wants to dominate one particular dog. Now some dog owners don't make a big deal of it, because they are dogs. Other dog owners can become very upset when their dog gets dominated by another dog.

I had a conversation with a woman at the dog park last weekend and she had a large Golden-Doodle breed dog. He seemed to be the sweetest dog in the park, yet she claimed that her dog, although neutered, also does the same thing that my dog does. She shared with me that she has actually been asked to leave the dog park because of her dog's behavior. How embarrassing. I think that's the worst part, is that this kind of behavior is very embarrassing.

So why do they hump other dogs? I've searched for some answers online and talked to other dog owners and they all say the standard answer, it's just about domination. I'm not so sure. Even though my dog has been neutered, he doesn't seem aggressive enough to dominate other dogs, it seems like he just gets excited and that's his instinct, to hump on other dogs.

I've watched training videos on what to do, and for the most part they say I need to just use a very firm command to get him to stop. I would have to be very loud though because when he gets in that mode, he's so focused and he doesn't listen to me. So I typically have to grab his collar and remove him from the situation altogether.

I really love going to the dog park, but now I fear I have to go when no other dogs are there so I don't have to deal with the humping. I'm not sure if formal training is the answer for us in getting him used to being calm around other dogs or not. I would be willing to try almost anything just so that we can go to the park and have fun with other dogs without getting embarrassed about his behavior.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How to Potty Train a Chihuahua - Without Getting Angry

Are you sick of picking up steamy piles and soaking up smelly stains? Wouldn't it be great if you could learn how to potty train a Chihuahua in 3 simple steps? I'll show you just how to do it in this article.

Chihuahuas are the only dogs that were bred specifically to provide companionship to their owners. They are smart, playful and sometimes demanding, but are fiercely loyal and have an almost human way about them, making them some of the most unique and fun breeds to own.

While small in stature, Chihuahuas require training in order to become well-behaved members of your household. Regardless of whether you choose to paper train your Chihuahua or train him to use the potty outside, there are three simple steps you can take to make potty training easier and more enjoyable for both of you.

How to Potty Train a Chihuahua

Chihuahuas, as with all small breeds and toy breeds, have tiny bladders. This means that they can't hold their bowels for long - especially if they're puppies. So this breed needs special attention. You're going to have to take your dog out more often than the regular, larger breeds. If you've got a puppy, you can look forward to taking him out at least 7 times a day! As your pup gets older, they'll have learned how to hold their bladder resulting in less trips to the toilet.

Step One: Get and Use a Crate

Learning how to potty train a Chihuahua requires being open to certain methods. Some methods may seem cruel to you, like the crate. While you may think your dog finds his crate to be a prison, I assure you, he doesn't (unless you've traumatized him with it).

Here's the deal. There's no more useful tool than a crate. The crate should be just large enough for your Chihuahua to lay down in and turn around. Any larger, and your dog may use one end of the crate as a toilet and the other as a place to sleep. It might be difficult to find a crate small enough, so you might want to consider using a carrier designed for cats.

Your Chihuahua should be in his crate whenever you're unable to be with him. This will prevent him from using the bathroom anywhere in your home. The more times he uses the bathroom in the house, the harder it will be to break him of the habit. So, be diligent in your use of the crate when you can't watch your dog.

Step Two: Know When to Use Positive Reinforcement and Correction

When learning how to potty train a Chihuahua, anticipation is key. You need to know the warning signs that your dog needs to poop and pee. You also need to know when your dog most likely needs to go to the toilet. Take him to the appropriate potty spot after he wakes from a nap, after he eats or drinks and right after he begins to play.

Become really adept at spotting visual clues that your Chihuahua is about to use the potty. Sniffing around on the floor, circling and acting anxious can all be signs that your Chihuahua is about to use the bathroom. Take him to his potty place as soon as he begins exhibiting signs of needing to go and praise him profusely for the right behaviors.

If you catch your Chihuahua in the act of relieving himself in an inappropriate place, it's appropriate to scold him. By scolding, I don't mean hitting him. Make sure you say "NO" firmly and loudly as he begins to pee or poop in the wrong place.

This will help reinforce that there are only a few places where using the bathroom is appropriate. Only when you catch your Chihuahua in the act is it OK to scold him for an accident.

Step Three: Clean Up Accidents

As with all dogs, Chihuahuas will have accidents during potty training. How these accidents will affect your potty training efforts will depend on how you clean them up. Chihuahuas will potty in areas where they have used it before.

If an accident isn't cleaned up using an enzymatic cleaner to remove all traces of the smell, your Chihuahua will be encouraged to use that spot again, thwarting your best efforts to train him. Find a good quality enzyme cleaner and make sure that you immediately clean up any accidents to prevent recurrence.

Toilet training your dog takes time, patience and consistency. If you follow the 3 steps, you'll have a toilet trained dog in no time.

When it comes to potty training a Chihuahua, by following th