Anyone Can Train Their Dog

By Art Hess

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In a recent class a member was bemoaning the fact that her seven- month- old pup had discovered the joys of digging and her yard was beginning to resemble a mine field. I immediately remembered an idea that came out of a class a few years back and I can attest to the fact that it always works. When picking up after your dog in the morning simply put a couple of shovels of stool in the newly dug hole. At least the dog will not go back to dig in that hole and if you are persistent it will break the habit.

I was reading about a product in America for correcting that aggravating habit of your dog’s constant barking at other vehicles and dogs when he is riding in the car. It is simply a can of compressed air that emits a loud hiss. It’s not unlike an aerosol can of Raid or WD40 but it’s nothing but air. You don’t point it at the dog you simply press the button to emit the hissing sound which seems to get their attention and stop them from barking and acting silly.

A friend said, “Why not try the compressed air can that you use to clean your computer?” Last week he reported that he tried it on his four dogs and three stopped immediately and the fourth after a couple of goes. Certainly worth a try, particularly if you buy the three or four can pack at Costco. I’m told it also works on the dog that runs and barks at the door when the bell rings. In that instance I would be inclined to reward the dog if he stopped barking and came when called.

After the column on Head Halters we had a lot of favorable comments but buying them in our area is difficult. The Vet Clinic beside the Animal Shelter had the “Gentle Leader” model. I have seen several styles in the $10 range on Amazon. I’m currently using a cheaper model that is quite simple and we’ve had great success with a couple of year olds that were a big handful using any of the conventional schooling collars and they both settled down in less than ten minutes with the head halter and the owners are enjoying pleasant and safe walks without the jerking and pulling.

We’ve had several schooling sessions in the new play park in San Antonio on Ramon Corona. If you haven’t tried it you’re missing a fun opportunity to try your dog over some elements of an Agility Course or to simply let Fido run free and play with his buddies. We had five in a class that were all young adults with some anxiety challenges and after giving them some other things to focus on they were soon working off leash and having a ball.

With the warm wetter weather I’ve encountered several cases of “hot spots” lately. If your dog has longish hair and gets an angry itchy spot near the middle to rear of his back and near his tail and it really aggravates your dog it often is caused by an acquired bite or scratch that becomes infected and because it is under the hair and stays warm and wet it tends to get infected and spread. If you catch it soon enough and trot Shep off to the Vet he will treat it and it will go away quite quickly. If you ignore it your poor dog will truly have a “pain in the butt.”

Remember to be a good dog leader, train a little on a regular basis, and above all have fun with your dog.

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