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How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking

Any dog owner knows that although we love our furry friends, sometimes they just don’t know when to stop barking! If your pooch seems to bark at every little noise, or no noise at all, figuring out how to get them to stop is no easy task. We’ve put together a few methods you should try next time you’re in need of a way to make the barking stop. Remember, not every method will work on every dog, so be patient before you give up! 

Ignore the Behavior

Dogs are similar to little kids in a lot of ways. When a toddler is throwing a tantrum, parents are often instructed not to respond to the negative behavior. This same logic applies to your dog! If you are talking to, touching, or otherwise engaging with your dog when they bark, they’ll see it as a reward to their behavior and want to continue doing it. Once he quiets down, come in and quickly offer praise or a treat. Soon they will see which behavior gets them attention and which doesn’t. 

Eliminate the Barking Motivation

Every dog that barks has a motivation to do so. It could be people walking by on the sidewalk, other animals outside, or a number of other things. Remove the barking motivation to help your dog reduce the amount of time spent barking. If people on the sidewalk trigger the barking, keep the blinds closed. You must find a way to keep your dog apart from the cause of the barking before you expect the barking to stop. 

Expose Your Dog to Stimulus

Another way to help reduce barking is by getting your dog more comfortable with the stimulus that they’re barking at. Take them into public settings, have more people over, and introduce any situation that typically causes the dog to bark. It’s a good idea to begin this process in short doses and keep the dog far from the actual stimulus until they’re more comfortable.

Dog Training Classes in Boston

No matter how you choose to train your dog not to bark, do so in a calm way. If you raise your voice at the dog while they’re barking, they’ll just think you’re barking along with them! Be consistent and positive during the training process so that your dog is able to form new, positive, habits over time. Remember, affirmation of the good behavior is more important than disciplining of the bad behavior! If you need assistance in teaching your dog to not bark or any other commands, the experts at Argos Dog Training are here to help! Check out our list of dog training classes in Boston here. 

 

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5 Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs

In just a few short days Halloween will be here. While it’s hard to believe the year has gone by so quickly, you’re probably too busy focusing on your costume to think about that! Many pet owners want their pooch to get in on the Halloween festivities too. Sharing the fun is fine but doing so safely is vital. Follow these tips to keep your dog safe on Halloween. 

Keep Them Close

Halloween has a bad reputation for higher rates of animal abuse. It’s heartbreaking to think about, but it’s true. Don’t leave your dog outside alone around Halloween time because they are vulnerable to teasing, ridicule, and much worse from those who celebrate Halloween in a not so civil way. If you want your dog outside with you, keep them on a leash at all times. 

Don’t Share Halloween Treats

Any Halloween candy you or your children get needs to be kept away from the dog. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and even the treats that don’t contain chocolate aren’t designed with a dog’s digestive tract in mind. Instead of sharing candy with your dog, purchase them a special dog treat to mark the occasion! 

Choose Mindful Costumes

Dressing your dog up is fine, but you have to be mindful when choosing their costume. Look for a costume that fits them well without covering any part of their mouth, eyes, or ears. It should be loose enough to allow them full range of motion too. You should always let them try to costume out before Halloween to get them more acquainted with it. 

Update Their ID

This is a great time to update the information on your dog’s tags. Make sure your address, name, and phone number are all easily visible and correct with the current information. That way if your dog does get away from you, they’ll be able to make their way back home. 

Keep Pumpkins Out of Reach

Carved pumpkins are a must-have on Halloween, but not for dogs. Keep your jack-o-lanterns out of reach from your dog. It only takes a second for one to tip over and injure or catch your pet on fire. For added safety, use battery-operated candles rather than a real flame. 

Keeping your pet safe this Halloween is as easy as taking a few extra precautions before the big night. Make sure all members of your household are familiar with these tips and understand why they’re so important!

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Tips to Socializing Your Puppy

Adding a puppy to the family is often one of the most exciting times in anyone’s life. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the new puppy snuggles and fun of having a new friend, but it’s important to remember the responsibility you have as his owner! In addition to teaching him training commands such as come, stay, sit, and rollover, another important part of what he’ll need to learn is socialization skills. Teaching him to properly interact with other dogs and humans is crucial to ensure he’ll be a happy and well-adjusted puppy. It’ll prevent him from developing fears such as riding in a car, being scared of children, acting inappropriately around house guests, etc. Proper socializing skills will help develop him into a well-mannered companion! Check out our tips to learn how you can help him in learning this important skill. 

When to Socialize 

Between the period of 7 weeks to 4 months old, your puppy goes threw a socialization period that will shape his personality and how he reacts to the outside environment as an adult. Taking advantage of this highly impressionable time is key. Exposing him to as many new places, situations, and people as possible during this time will open up his mind and make a big difference in how he’ll react in the future. 

How to Socialize 

Introduce him to new things: As a puppy, everything is new! Allowing him to explore, and introducing him to as many new sights, sounds, and smells as possible is key. Bring him to all different places, such as the beach, the playground, the woods, and let him take in the scents and sights. Allow him to meet children, seniors, boys, girls, babies, and all different types of people. Let him play with other dogs, cats, and beyond. The more you introduce him to as a puppy, the better of he’ll be! 

Make it Positive: The most important thing to remember when doing these new things with your puppy is making it a positive experience! It’s natural that he may be a little scared and apprehensive with new things, but encouraging him that it’s safe and acting excited will help him. Dogs have a great sense for reading our emotions, and if his owner is excited about it, he will be too! 

Involve Other Family Members: Since you’re trying to introduce your puppy to as many new things as possible and build his confidence, it’ll also help to have other people take part in this socialization process. If he realizes that you’ll always be there when experiencing something new, he may start to rely on you as his “safe space.” Teaching him that he may experience these things no matter who he’s with will be helpful. 

Puppy Training Classes 

As a new puppy owner, it can be overwhelming to teach your dog all these new skills on your own! Leaning on the help of a professional can be highly beneficial for you both. At Argos Dog Training, we offer group and private training sessions to help your dog learn socialization skills, among many other commands. Check out our training programs, and contact us today to get started! 

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Teaching Your Dog to Ride in the Car

We all love our dogs and want them to be with us wherever we go, even if it means taking them on a car ride. Although some dogs love to ride in the car, others tend to feel anxious, vomit, whine, or drool. There are several reasons, such as a past traumatic experience, motion sickness, or anxiety. Also, dogs can feel uneasy if they know they are going to the vet. Wouldn’t it be great if your dog can go from anxious to calm in the car? It would benefit everyone, allowing your dog to be your trusty co-pilot. We will discuss ways to teach your dog to ride in the car so everyone can have a pleasant experience.

Your Dog Can Learn to Love the Car

With desensitization and counter-conditioning, you can teach your dog to love the car. For instance, gradually introduce your dog to the car. Also, condition the dog to have a positive reaction and not negative by associating the car with fun things happening inside or near the car.  If your dog has severe reactions, sit with your dog in the driveway. You can have your dog in the backseat if it cannot handle being in the passenger seat. The primary purpose of this is to find your dog’s comfort zone. 

Enticing your dog with treats and toys can make the car ride more fun for the dog as you associate its favorite activities to the car. However, you’re moving too fast if the dog stops playing or eating. Restart the process if this occurs. Whatever you do, move at a comfortable pace for your dog and have patience. Don’t forget to safely secure your dog once the vehicle is on the move, so incorporate a crate, harness, or seat belt into your routine. Before you know it, your dog will learn to love the car! 

Your Dog and the Joy of Riding in the Car

After your dog is comfortable and learns to love the car, now it’s time to start moving. At first, start with small distances and where your dog is familiar with, like in front of the driveway. During the drive, encourage and praise your dog, letting them know they are doing a good job. Give them treats and reward them. 

Then, start going to places like the park or anywhere your dog can have some fun. They will soon associate the car with awesome activities that they enjoy and love. Of course, trips to the vet can still be stressful but add some balance, and your dog will enjoy riding in the car. If there are any issues, there’s nothing like a tasty treat to make your dog happy!

Motion Sickness Prevention

Despite puppies experiencing motion sickness more than adult dogs, some dogs don’t grow out of it. Luckily, there are ways to prevent motion sickness for dogs which include:

  • Decreasing stress in your dog by having them active 20 minutes before the car ride.
  • Keep your car cool.
  • Make sure there’s fresh air; lower the windows.
  • A few hours before a trip, limit water and food consumption.
  • Use dog pheromones in the car, available as a spray, collar, or diffuser; suitable for younger dogs and adult dogs. 
  • Ask a vet about medication for motion sickness or anxiety and see if it’s appropriate for your dog. 

Get Help From a Trainer

With enough time and effort, your dog will love to ride in the car! If you are having any problems, contact a professional who can train your dog to ride in the car. Our trainers at Argos Dog Training will be glad to assist and provide you some tips! 

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Tips to Stop Your Dog From Biting

When training your puppy, there are many commands, behaviors, and tricks he’ll need to learn. It can be overwhelming for both you and him, especially if this is your first fur friend. However, it’s important to stay consistent and teach him the necessary skills before bad habits form. For example, if you have a biter, you’ll want to nip this behavior in the bud as early as possible. We have some tips to help you to get your puppy to stop biting.

Say NO 

Although some dog trainers will tell you that using the word “no” is never the way to go. While we don’t want to scare our dogs, it is necessary to make it clear what behaviors are unacceptable. Firmly saying “no” when your dog is biting can be an effective way to get the message across. It’s important to make sure it doesn’t come off as giving him the attention that he desires.

Turn Your Back or Walk Away 

Often times if your puppy is biting you, he’s seeking attention. Therefore, if you want him to stop, it can be effective to either turn your back or walk away. Essentially, you’re giving him the cold shoulder. Once he realizes that this behavior is not giving him the attention he wants, he’ll likely stop and try a new method. 

Say Ouch

When your puppy bites you, sometimes it can be effective if you yelp or yell “ouch” in a high-pitched voice. Letting your dog know that he’s being too rough is key. He doesn’t want to hurt you, so he’ll feel bad if he thinks he did. After yelling ouch, turn away and ignore him for a short amount of time to see how he reacts. For some puppies, this can get them more riled up, so you’ll want to test this method out and see how it works. 

Contact Argos Dog Training

These are just a few of the ways you can try to get your puppy to stop biting. If you’re still having trouble with this behavior, our trainers are here to help! We offer private dog training to give your pup the one on one attention he may need. Check out the other dog training options we offer here, and get in contact with us today! 

 

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