Posts Tagged ‘Dog Training’

The Canine Need for Attention

In Seeking attention, Shelley Widhalm on July 28, 2013 at 11:30 am

Zoey the Cute Dachshund needs and wants attention.

Zoey the Cute Dachshund needs and wants attention.

In addition to play, dogs need attention, but this attention should not spoil us – though as the cutest dachshund on the planet, I deserve a bit of spoiling, as well as the princess treatment.

Of course, dog training books recommend princess and not-so-princess-y dogs get a healthy dose of attention that includes daily walks, exercise and play time. Like humans, we need love and attention, as well as stimulation to keep our minds active and to be socialized.

If we don’t receive this attention, we can be harder to train, disobedient and destructive. When left alone, we may chew on shoes and furniture, get into trash and mark beds and floors (puppies chew as part of the teething process, but adult dogs should have learned acceptable behaviors and identified the difference between the chewable and not so chewable options).

Seeking immediate attention, we may resort to jumping up, barking, whining, pawing and dropping a toy or ball into the lap. These behaviors are cute in a puppy, but adult dogs need to know about positive ways of seeking attention, such as sitting nicely or playing with our toys on our own.

Dogs need to have some independence, so don’t reward us if we’re continuously demanding your notice. Help us develop our own interests, such as giving us something new to chew while you work on your laptop, writing blogs.

Don’t reward us for poor behavior, such as barking or pawing at you, because the attention only temporarily stops our undesirable behavior. We’ve learned we can get a response out of you, and we’ll do it again.

When we act in this undesirable way, ignore us, which I really, really dislike. Just like now, I barked for attention and had to go inside after I refused to listen to two repeats of “No bark.”

As soon as we resume our good behavior, reward us for that, like now when I stopped pawing at the patio door and got to go back outside. Even stubborn dogs like dachshunds will eventually catch on.

And as a note, we shouldn’t be left no more than eight hours a day. Then we’ll really have a reason to complain.

Books About Understanding Your Dog

In Center of attention, Shelley Widhalm, Uncategorized on December 23, 2012 at 11:30 am

Zoey's BFF, Shelley, obviously adores her because she is so, so cute!

When bonding with a puppy, as shown here when I was just six months old, it’s best to read books on how to train, love and bond with your new BFF.

If you are thinking about becoming best friends with a dog or puppy, I recommend you read a few books to get to know us better.

First, read some of the Dummies series, such as “Puppies for Dummies,” and “Dachshunds for Dummies” (if you own a breed like mine, which is the extraordinarily cute miniature long-haired dachshund).

After that, try out books that explain why we act the way we do and how we see, smell and hear our worlds.

Finally, give us lots of love, plus daily walks, playtime, attention and treats.

Here’s my list, and it’s not too long:

  • How Dogs Think, What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do, Stanley Coren – A must-read for any pet owner to become better informed about dog behavior and how best to love us. I suggest treats and lots of playtime.
  • Why Does My Dog Act That Way? A Complete Guide to Your Dog’s Personality, Stanley Coren – This guy’s really smart and you should read both of his books. As  for my personality, I am playful, energetic and scared, but act brave, around big dogs.
  • Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know, Alexandra Horowitz – We’re smarter than you think, plus we have a keen sense of smell and see the world in different colors than humans.

Kindergarten Puppy

In Big dogs, Learning commands, Puppy kindergarten, Training on August 28, 2011 at 7:00 am

I went through puppy kindergarten when I was six months old.

Shelley, my pet parent, didn’t cry, because she was with me the entire time.

I was the one who was anxious, not from separation anxiety but from not wanting to be in the training room at PetSmart. I wanted to go home. There were too many big dogs and little dogs. They were the unknown.

I turned my back and looked out the glass windows into the store, dreaming of being somewhere else, like the backyard, the park or anywhere where I could run and play.

When treats became involved, I would put on my game face and do whatever trick was required to get what I wanted: food! Of course, I had a learning curve to get over, but when I figured out what I was supposed to do, I would do it just for, well you know.

But then when the food wasn’t in the offering, I returned to window watching. And when we learned how to walk on a leash in the store, I headed for the door. Again, I wanted to go home. But no, the lesson wasn’t over.

I did eventually learn. And I got to wear a dog-sized graduation cap.

Yep, I’m a kindergarten graduate. And I passed intermediate training, so I have two certificates marking my achievements.

You can just call me Super Dog! Or say, You go girl!