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Dog Behaviour

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Why is your dog not always your best friend?

Having a good relationship with your dog is a crucial component to many happy years spent together and having lots of fun adventures.  It is always a pleasure to see well connected, seemingly effortless  dog/human interactions.  What appears to be an easy task for one person can seem unachievable for others, but it was often brought about through hours of dedicated training and managing behaviours through appropriate responses.

Here are a few superbly common, but subtle training mistakes, preventing  people and hounds from understanding each other and fully enjoying each other's company in harmony.

 

Giving commands without focus

If your pet's focus is elsewhere, there is no point in asking him to do anything. The chances are he will not even notice you are asking something of him. So teach your pet to pay attention when you say his/her name first.

Timing

My golden rule is: if I  know that my dog is not likely going to obey a command (maybe because he is distracted) I will not ask it!  However, if I do make a command, I will ensure it is performed correctly and I will voice the command (ideally) only once. It is important, therefore, for me to create the right conditions for my hound to succeed first time.

Correcting not praising

I have seen often that dogs receive lots of verbal attention when they are not doing things correctly, but are ignored when are doing things well. I always recommend to praise and acknowledge desirable behaviour throughout your training or walk so that your hound clearly understands when he is behaving well.

Inconsistency

Dogs are very black and white in how they think and operate and need to understand clearly, what are your rules and what our words mean. WAIT  needs to mean WAIT – always and not just sometimes, in order for dogs to make the connection between the word and the action.  If you are inconsistent, the dog will be confused (and inconsistent also). If you want your dog to sit down patiently in front of the door before you go out for walk, then ask him to sit before your door every time and not just sometimes. With consistency your hound will soon understand what the rules are and will abide by them automatically, without you even needing to ask.

Not being the boss

By this, I don't mean behaving in a way that has been referred to in past as the Dominant Alpha pack leader but more in the sense of a leader who will make sure your dog is safe. Dogs needs to feel secure, it is important for their survival, so if you fail in that role, your dog will feel the need to take over as a way of staying safe. Your pet needs to be taught boundaries and good manners, not because it makes your life easier but because it will keep him feeling safe and happy. 

 

PLANNING TO LEAVE THE CITY OVER THE EASTER BREAK? 

THE HAIRY HOUNDS IN HACKNEY TEAM CAN LOOK AFTER YOUR HAIRY HOUND WHILE YOU ARE AWAY. TAKE A LOOK AT OUR SERVICES AND GET IN TOUCH IF WE'RE THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOUR DOG

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A puppy is for Christmas – a dog for the rest of your life

Around this time of year, lots of people like to expand to their family with the addition of a pet – puppies are popular.

If you are thinking of adding a furry member to the family, and you are considering getting a puppy from a breeder rather than a rescue hound, here are a few questions worth asking and few things to check to make sure you choose the right dog for you, your family, lifestyle and where you live.

You really want to avoid getting a young pup from a puppy farm or from an irresponsible breeder. Puppies taken away too young or those that come from parents with bad temperament will often develop behaviour issues if the new owner is not aware of what they are dealing with.

TIPS: 

  • Make sure you meet the mum and get info on the dad (the parents of the dog). You are looking for a well-cared for, socialised and healthy family pet, not a breeding machine. Look out for healthy interaction with the owners, mother and other pups. Well socialised pups are naturally curious and should not be afraid to come forward to check you out.
  • If you are choosing  a pure-bred dog, research for any health problems specific to the breed and ask the breeder for health report on those or ask for tests. 
  • Check if puppies have been wormed and vaccinated and ask for a list of any treatments still required.
  • Do not be persuaded to take a puppy that is under 7 weeks-old back home with you. The ideal age is 8 to 10 weeks and when they are fully weaned. Puppies need time amongst their litter and mum to get proper nourishment and to learn necessary social skills.
  • A good breeder will also ask lots of questions about you, your experience and will offer you tips and a starter pack .
  • The starter pack gives the new owner important stuff to settle your puppy into their new home. It will reduce the stress of the transfer and make sure your home is equipped for the first few days and with all the advice and information you need.

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HOW TO TEACH YOUR DOG TO CONTROL ITS BARKING

Dogs bark - that is normal. It is usually a sign, when they want to alert you of something they don’t think is safe or when they are worried.

Most dogs will, however, bark excessively if you don’t intervene and this can result in sleepless nights, unhappy neighbors or for you not being able to hold a conversation without interruption. 

Tips:

  • When your dog barks at something teach them word SPEAK and reward them. One good reason to teach your dog to bark on command, is that by teaching him to bark, you may actually cure a future barking problem as our pup will learn to bark on command only.
  • At the same time, when your dog stops barking say QUIET and reward handsomely…this will teach them to stop!
  • Teach your dog that it is OK to bark at the door but only once or twice, then reward when, and only when, they stop. Saying QUIET to them.
  • Always check why your pup is barking and reassure them that all is well and the area is safe. I use the phrase -ALL GOOD, and again reward as soon as the dog stops barking with the QUIET command.

PLANNING TO LEAVE THE CITY OVER THE FESTIVE SEASON? THE HAIRY HOUNDS IN HACKNEY TEAM CAN LOOK AFTER YOUR 'HAIRY HOUND' WHILE YOU ARE AWAY. TAKE A LOOK AT OUR SERVICESAND GET IN TOUCH IF WE'RE THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOUR DOG.

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HOW TO TEACH YOUR DOG TO PLAY ON COMMAND

TEACHING YOUR DOG OR NEW PUPPY THE MOST BASIC SKILLS ISN'T VERY DIFFERENT TO RAISING A CHILD.

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You would not let your child run up to a stranger or another child in the park, before first finding out whether the other person wants to be approached, or played with.
It is equally important to monitor to whom your dog or puppy runs to. Some dogs don’t want to be played with. Some are old and some are not so friendly,  even if they look it.

TEACH YOUR HAIRY HOUND EARLY ON TO RELY ON YOU TO TELL HIM OR HER WHEN IT IS OK AND SAFE TO PLAY. 

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Here are a few tips:

  • Approach other owners before you release your dog.
  • Ensure your dog is calm.
  • Release him or her from the lead using 'GO PLAY' command. -This way your dog will still get to play, but you've decided with whom, and when.
  • Ensure you remain close-by, to intervene when you want the 'play' to stop.
  • Releasing your pup from a distance and letting it run to any dog it wants to, especially when you haven't mastered recall yet, is only going to undermine your ability to retrieve your dog and keep him or her out of trouble.

Planning to leave the city over the Festive season? The Hairy Hounds in Hackney team can look after your 'Hairy Hound' while you are away. Take a look at our services and get in touch if we're the right fit for your dog.

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How To Teach Your Dog How To Wait

Teaching your dog/new puppy the most basic (but fundamental) skills are not dissimilar to raising a child in many ways.

You would not let your toddler run out of door as soon as you open it. The same applies for your dog.

Make sure you cover the following points early on, to avoid bigger problems from developing in future.

  • Teach your dog the 'wait' command as soon as you can. 
  • Reward your pet’s patience with a treat. 
  • Make sure that your pet sits, whilst you get ready to take him/her for a walk. ( Also, make sure you step outside first. )
  • Teach your dog to wait for his/her food (alternate the duration - 10 seconds to 1 minute )
  • Always wait before crossing the road. Get your dog to sit on the curb at every crossing, that way you have time to spot any oncoming cars.
  • When receiving visitors at your home, get your dog to sit and wait before greeting your guests, rather than having your dog pounce on them.

Planning to leave the city over the Festive season?

The Hairy Hounds in Hackney team can look after your 'Hairy Hound' while you are away. Take a look at our services and get in touch if we're the right fit for your dog.

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How To Teach Your Dog To Be Calm

A calm dog is a content and more controllable one.  

Always ignore over-excited behavior and always appraise or reward your pet when he/she is calm. By reward I mean your attention, cuddles, treats or play. 

Some breeds are more excitable than others, but with your consistency and repetition all dogs will very quickly understand that by being calm they get what they want much quicker.

Your dog can’t learn anything when he or she is excited, let alone focus on what it is that you are asking them to do, or not do. 

Tips for keeping your dog calm:

  • Don’t give your dog any attention when he/ she is jumping on you. If you do, you'll be reinforcing negative behaviour.
  • Don’t overexcite them when you come home. Be calm at first, make your self a cup of tea, then give your dog a good cuddle. This saves you from being jumped on and your dog getting histerical, every time you come home.

Planning to leave the city over the Festive season?

The Hairy Hounds in Hackney team can look after your Hairy Hound while you are away. Take a look at our services and get in touch if we're the right fit for your dog.


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