Training Tips

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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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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How to Prepare for Your New Puppies Arrival

Getting a new puppy is so exciting for you and your family that it’s almost easy to forget there’s a lot to be done before your new best friend arrives. Welcoming a new fur member to your family is a big adjustment, but preparing beforehand can make this transition infinitely easier! We’ve put together a list of essentials you’ll want to have before your new pup comes home for the first time.

Dog Crate

Contrary to popular belief, dog crates are meant to serve as your puppies safe space and his own home, not his punishment. It’s essential to choose a dog crate your puppy will be comfortable and happy in that is just his. You’ll be using this for crate training, which is especially useful for rescued dogs or anxious puppies. This is a place where they can go for comfort and security when they’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the new sensations they’re experiencing. If your puppy is comfortable in his crate, you can put him in there while you’re out of the house knowing he’s safe and not tearing up the rest of the house! Make sure not to leave him in there for too long and that you’re not using his safe space as a form of punishment. 

Toys

Spoil your new companion with lots and lots of toys! This one may be obvious, but you want to have plenty of toys of different varieties, like hard Kongs or crinkly stuffed animals. You may want to get a plush toy to bring with you when you pick up your new puppy! This will carry the scent of his mother and littermates and help him feel at ease in his new forever home. 

Chews

Puppies chew just about everything! From table legs to their own tails, puppies will chew on anything and everything; they go through teething phases just like babies and toddlers do. Having good dog chews will help you avoid having your puppy chew your favorite furniture, clothes, shoes, and more! Redirect bad chewing behavior to good chewing behavior if you have the right chew toys for your dog. Chews are necessary to have not only for your benefit but for your pups! Until he loses his puppy teeth, he needs to be strengthening his jaw and teeth by chewing on the proper materials. 

Puppy Food

Puppy food is vastly different than regular adult dog food. Your puppy is growing, and therefore needs food that’ll support his growth with the right vitamins and ingredients. Depending on the breed of dog you have, the best type of food may vary. We suggest talking to your vet to best determine what food your puppy should be eating. A few of the top-rated puppy food brands include Wellness Core, Whole Earth Farms, Hill’s Science, Taste of the Wild, and more.

Leash, Collar, and Name Tags

Two of the most important things to have from day one with your puppy is a leash and a collar! You’ll be training your dog how to walk outside with you properly, and puppies need lots of exercise. He’ll have tons of energy so get ready for lots of walks and playtime! We recommend getting two kinds of leashes: a lightweight nylon and a leather training leash. If you’ve decided your puppies name beforehand, it’ll be helpful to order name tags for him! Should your dog ever wander, it’s important to have a name tag with his name, your address, and phone number so whoever finds him can return him safely. 

Puppy Training Classes in Boston

Lastly, if you plan on going to dog training classes, make sure to sign up right away! The faster you get to training, the better your relationship with your FURever friend will be! If you need assistance with training, contact us at Argos Dog Training! We have a variety of puppy training classes, both private and in groups, as well as puppy kindergarten! Call us today or fill out a contact sheet!

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