Monthly Archives: August 2013

Greyhound Adoption Pre-Homecheck Questionnaire

Lancashire Greyhound Trust
PRE- HOMECHECK QUESTIONNAIRE
Name-
Address and Postcode-
Phone Number (include your area code and mobile number if applicable)- When is it best to call you?-
Email Address
Do you have your own transport to enable you to visit the kennels?-
Tell us about the other people who live in your house full time. Please include any children under 16yrs that regularly visit you and their ages.-
Are there any children in the immediate family under the age of 5yrs? We are extremely careful about rehoming greyhounds around under 7yrs and not all greyhounds will be suitable to live with such small children. You will be guided through this during the homing process
How long will the dog be left for unattended during the day?-
Where will the dog be left when you go out?-
Do you have any pets that live either indoors or outdoors? Please briefly tell us about them.
Type of home – Please delete as appropriate – House, Flat, Maisonette, Other (please state)-
Is your home owned or rented? We have to ask this in case a landlord agreement is required to have a dog in your property –
Do you have a garden? If yes, Is it secure and how high is the fencing/ gates?-
Where will your dog be walked and how often?-
Have you ever owned a dog before? If so, please tell us about them-
What age of dog are you thinking of re-homing and would you prefer a male or female. If you have no preference just say ‘no preference’
Have you ever had to return a dog to the rescue centre or breeder? What were the circumstances surrounding the return? This will not exclude you from having a dog from us but will help us find the right dog for your cicumstances. Please be honest.-
If the dog started to display problematic behaviour would you be prepared to take it to training classes or consult advice from a behaviourist? (Again, be honest, as this will not stop you from re-homing one of our dogs)-
When were you thinking of actually adopting the greyhound? If longer than in 2 mths time let us know as we will do you homecheck nearer to the time of adoption.
Any other information you feel we should know which will help us to find you the right greyhound?
Thank you for taking the time to fill in this form!!
It will help us find the right dog for your circumstances

Please click the submit button.
Your form will be emailed to the Lancashire Greyhound Trust and we will be in touch very soon.
If you have had any problems please contact us on 07391 178 161 or 07934 579 400.
Thank you.

© Copyright Lancashire Greyhound Trust 2017

Lancashire Greyhound Trust
PRE- HOMECHECK QUESTIONNAIRE
Home

Care of the Greyhound (part 1)

http://www.lancashiregreyhoundtrust.org.uk/

Homing Greyhounds

Greyhounds are very adaptable and our rehoming policies are very flexible. Even if you work, have children, cats or are unable to go for long walks, it is still worth calling us.
We may have the perfect greyhound for you in our kennels.

Please Donate to Lancashire Greyhound Trust

The following information has been written to help you and your new pet to get to know each other and to build a relationship that will last for many happy years ahead. Your greyhound will come with a collar, lead and muzzle and will have been vaccinated, microchipped, wormed flea treated and neutered. The insurance company, Petplan, provides the first 4 weeks insurance cover free of charge.

It would be helpful if you have two bowls ready, one for water and one for food. An old duvet folded in half will make an ideal bed. A waterproof coat and grooming mitt are essential and a soft collar to wear around the house carrying an ID tag will complete the picture. Your dog must be walked wearing a greyhound collar and leather lead or harness.

A waterproof coat & fleece is recommended and can be bought from us and the RGT or other places.

Two very important points.
1. It is a legal requirement that an ID tag is worn by the dog at all times. Try Identitags engraving. You can buy them on-line and they send you them by post. Easy!

2. Never use an extendable lead. A greyhound can accelerate from a standing start to nearly 40 mph in no time at all and with an extendable lead, the potential for disaster is all too obvious.

The positioning of the dog’s collar is very important. It should go up behind the ears, which is the thinnest part of the neck and should be tight enough to get two fingers between the collar and the neck. But don’t worry about this as we will show you how to get it right.

When you first have your dog, We recommend that your dog wears a muzzle when taken out for a walk. After a while, you will know the social behaviour of your dog and you need to use your own judgement as to when it is appropriate to muzzle/ not muzzle your dog but if in doubt use the muzzle.

We don’t advise letting your dog off lead in a public place as they are sighthounds and will probably chase if given the opportunity. Like any breed of dog there are exceptions but we advise to be cautious. You will know your dog better than anyone. If you decide it is safe to do so he/she must be muzzled when ‘off lead’.

Arriving at home

When taking your new Greyhound home, please bear in mind your dog will never have been in a home environment before. Your dog will settle at its own pace and there needs to be no rush. At your side is where they want to be.
Remember, they will become a precious part of your family. Enjoy the experience of seeing them grow from a kennel dog to a family pet. They will bring you great joy!

Domestic appliances which are commonplace to us, such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines, TV etc. will be alien to them and may initially spook them. Upon arriving home, take the dog straight into the garden or designated toilet spot, wait until they relieve themselves and then praise them profusely.

Use their name, tell them good boy/girl and reward them with a small piece of cheese or biscuit (whichever you are using for training purposes). Repeat this process every hour or so for the first day and then get into a routine of letting them out – ie before meals and straight after meals.

Then take your dog around the house on the lead initially so they can see everything in a calm manner. After 10 minutes or so, take the lead off and sit down, letting them roam around on their own. By this stage the initial excitement will have worn off and they can snoop around calmly.

Set the house rules from day one, so they know what they can and cannot do, and ensure all family members are familiar with these guidelines or the dog will become very confused about its role.

Their first few days in this alien world can be quite daunting for them and they may become anxious. Keep in mind the size of the busy, noisy kennel you have taken the dog from and the quiet, new, small world you are introducing them to.

Signs of anxiety are pacing, panting, diarrhoea, not eating and drinking and whining at night when left alone. Anxiety can be shown through destructiveness. Please be patient while your dog adjusts. Night-lights and low volume radios left on can help the dog not feel completely alone in the dark.A DAP™ diffuser can also help calm your dog.

House training

We can’t guarantee a house-trained dog but most Greyhounds are clean in their kennels, and once they know where you want them to empty, they will be happy to stick with that routine.

House training should begin as soon as your dog arrives home. Take them straight into the garden, wait until they relieve themselves and then reward them with a small piece of cheese or a dog biscuit.

After this initial visit to the garden, keep repeating the routine at regular periods throughout the day. It is advantageous to take your new pet for a short 5 minute walk at regular periods throughout the day.

During this time it is unlikely that the Greyhound will have had a chance to have an accident and they will be thoroughly familiar with the idea that any ‘toilets’ are to be done outside.

Thereafter, if your dog has an accident indoors, bear in mind punishment does not work and can make the dog worse. Anticipate when your dog needs to go, take them outside and praise and reward them when they ‘go’.

Any ‘accident’ in the home should be washed thoroughly with a solution of biological washing liquid, as this will take away the smell, otherwise they will constantly re-mark over that spot.

Take them to the toilet immediately after food, when they get up and before they go to bed and, of course, in between.  Some signs to look for when your dog needs to go to the toilet are restlessness, pacing up and down, whining, scratching at the door or circling.

Of course, at first, there may be no signs as the dog will have been used to living in a kennel, but Greyhounds are generally clean animals and learn very quickly.

Remember, all pet owners have a responsibility to pick up any mess your dog does while walking anywhere on public ground. It’s not only illegal, with fines to be paid, but also very nasty to tread in and offensive in a modern society. Poop scoops can be bought from your local pet store or vet practice or you can use ‘Nappy sacks’ which are a cheaper alternative.

Feeding

Many new owners already know how and what they want to feed their dog, based on past experience. There is a huge range of food products to choose from. Speak to The Natural Pet Centre for advice on feeding. The company is run by a vet nurse with 16 years of experience in nutrition in dogs and will give you great advice. 0151 345 1757

Whatever food you choose to give your new dog just make sure you read the ingredients on the packet to make sure it has no added colourings, sugars, salts, synthetic preservatives and that the protein source ie chicken, fish, lamb etc is the first ingredient on the list not the last!

Protein content should be around 20 to 24% but what is the most important aspect of protein content is it’s quality. The poor quality protein can be difficult to process however, buying a human grade quality food will put less strain on the body and the protein percentages not so critical. This is why those feeding a raw meat diet can feed loads of protein rich foods without a problem ie raw meat and bones.

Quality wet foods such as natures harvest and nature diet are great for those wanting to feed a softer diet but they are very high in protein and will put weight on the dog. Don’t be fooled by the packet saying 10% protein. The moisture content in wet foods can be around 75% so the protein content is based on the other 25% of the dry matter (the meat). This can mean the true protein content of the pack of food is probably around 30 to 40%!!

Some greyhounds do well on raw feeding. You need to make sure you receive good quality advice if you want to begin raw feeding to ensure your greyhound receives the right balance and ratio of bone, meat and offal.  If you want to find out more call Sarah or the Natural Pet Centre on 0151 345 1757

Water

Should be available at all times and changed regularly. Never leave your dog without fresh water.

Biscuits and chews:

These will aid the dog’s digestion and help to keep their teeth clean. They can also be used as training aids and of course as an extra treat!

Additional items

A teaspoon of sunflower/vegetable/fish oil added to the main meal will help maintain a glossy coat. Cooked eggs in any form can be enjoyed once a week or so. Oily fish, such as sardines or pilchards and other filleted fish are a healthy treat.

Human chocolate, raisins, salt and raw onions are poisonous to dogs. They simply cannot digest it. Only give doggy treats. Make sure all children and visitors are aware of the significant danger to your pet. Be aware of danger if your pet gets into household waste bins from open tins and glass etc. Keep the bin secure.

Never allow your Greyhound to scavenge or pick up bits of food outside the home. There may be poison or vermin bait present and the consequences can be a serious illness or even death.

Common sense will tell you not to feed the dog before a long journey, just carry water for the comfort stops. Never feed just before or just after exercise. Always wait about one hour. It is recommended that you feed your greyhound from a raised bowl on a stand whenever possible as greyhounds have such long necks and legs that it is awkward for them to eat from a bowl placed on the floor.

For them, an elevated dog bowl on a stand (as pictured below), available from pet supply stores or catalogues may be the answer. An upturned bucket may serve the same purpose. Contact any member of our team for help with feeding problems.

Greyhound Care Part 2

Is a Greyhound The Right Dog for Me?

40mph Couch Potatoes

Greyhounds, naturally, are wonderful to have as pets and most will happily snooze the day away. They are not called ’40mph couch potatoes’ for nothing! They do not require huge amounts of exercise and are quite content with a couple of half hour walks a day. Most are very good with other dogs as they are used to being around dogs in general.

They may seem a little puzzled at some breeds at first as some may have only been used to fellow greyhounds but this tends to be overcome when they settle into their new home. They aren’t generally aggressive dogs and are mostly great with children.
Like with any dog, however, do not leave them unattended with children.

But I like to chase da Wabbits

There are, however, a few important aspects to owning a greyhound that you will need to consider before adopting one. Like any individual, one greyhound will differ from one another but by the very nature of their backgrounds they have essentially been trained in chasing and therefore not suitable for racing and come to us to be re homed.

Others have a keen interest in small furry things i.e, cats and rabbits. Like any rescue dog we simply do not know how they will be with small furries, so it is best to be forewarned and prepared. It would be irresponsible of us to pretend there will not be an issue there as we cannot say either way.

Greyhound Muzzles

We ask that you muzzle your greyhound when it is out on a walk. You will eventually get a feel as to whether you will need the muzzle for the rest of its life or not. Only you will be able to judge if the continued use of a muzzle will be appropriate or not but we would advise to be cautious.

If you are in doubt as to whether he or she needs to wear a muzzle, then keep your greyhound muzzled. They are use to wearing one and most think nothing of it.

Greyhounds are Sighthounds

The last important aspect to owing a greyhound is that we recommend you do not let them off the lead. They can run much faster than a human and up to about 40 mph!! You will not catch one if it runs away! Most will not have been taught to come on command.

Until, and even despite, they have built a bond up with you they actually have no reason to return back to you!! A small furry in the distance will be far more appealing than yourself and the majority will chase after any they see.

They will see the rabbit before you do and nothing will stop them!
It may be helpful to do some basic training at home such as a recall. They won’t be interested in learning many commands but the recall is incredibly useful. They probably won’t come back though if they are in the middle of chasing something!

Like owning any dog, be sensible if you feel your dog can be let off lead. Only choose a safe enclosed space and wait until there are no dogs near by to distract them. If in any doubt don’t let them off as you their owner will be liable for any incident that occurs.

Trust your instincts as you will probably be right! We ask that you think carefully before you do it.

Greyhounds Make Wonderful Pets

Don’t be put off by what we have told you as any breed you’re home will have it’s own special considerations.
Greyhounds have probably less problems than some breeds you may consider. They are steady loyal dogs who love nothing more than a chance to be a part of a family.

With love and patience you will have a wonderful companion and once you have had one greyhound – be prepared as you won’t be able to imagine not having a greyhound friend ever again!

House Training - The Modern Way

http://www.lancashiregreyhoundtrust.org.uk/
House Training – The Modern Way

All dogs are pre-programmed to soil outside their nest, so in this respect puppies already have an instinct to move away from the nest at around 3 weeks of age to go to the toilet. With time, puppies will learn by themselves to be toilet trained. All we are doing is speeding up the process and adding a few helpful things along the way.

House-training is one of the first things you will teach your puppy and it is the start of your relationship with them. It is important that the puppy’s first experience of his new family is a positive one.

I was told to punish my puppy when he soils inside

The old method of punishing the puppy in any way (including rubbing his nose in the mess!) is plainly cruel and will only delay the house training process, not to mention the mental damage you will be doing to your puppy. One of the effects of punishment is the loss of control of the sphincter and the bowels and thus the problem becomes aggravated.

But he always looks guilty when I get home

Some people incorrectly believe that their puppy knows it has done wrong, since the puppy seems too look guilty when they come in and see the mess. This is not true, as all the puppy is doing is responding to your body language and displaying submissive/appeasing language in the hope that he will not be punished.

The puppy does not know why he is being punished when his owners come home. Human concepts of guilt, regret, spite, etc, or even knowing that the carpet is a covering for the house floor does not exist in dogs. The puppy just did the very natural act of eliminating when he had to.

What are the ground rules for house training?

The key to success in house training is to be alert and well prepared.
Here are a few tips:

Keep your puppy confined to a small play area at first if you cannot keep an eye on him or when you are away from home.
This could be the kitchen, utility room, bathroom or a section of the room with a cordoned area using a puppy pen. This area should have a floor that can be easily cleaned.

Ensure they have a comfortable bed, a bowl of fresh water, plenty of hollow chew toys. Puppies can get particles of toys stuck in their throats and can die, so the best chew toys are kongs and sterilised hollow bones stuffed with dog food. You will be teaching him to target his chewing at chew toys and nothing else. It is also a great idea to feed your puppy’s dinner in Kongs.

Create a toilet area at the furthest point from his bed. Place polythene underneath to ensure that waste matter does not leak through. Alternatively, a cleaner and more efficient method is to use puppy training pads such as those by Simple Solution.

Make sure that he cannot get to other items in the room.

How often should they be let out to do their business?

Your young puppy should be allowed out once every hour to eliminate. Use a designated toilet area in your garden and let your puppy walk and sniff around the area. Keep it clean to ensure that he will not go somewhere else in the garden that is cleaner. By selecting a specific area, you are helping your puppy understand what you want from him when he is taken to that spot and it will be easier to keep clean.

Products such as Swiftie House Training Aid and Simple Solution Potty Training Aid for Puppies are useful to help train your puppy to eliminate in a specific area. The pheromone treated Pee Post from Simply
Solution can also help in attracting your puppy to a specific spot.

It is also a good idea to have a keyword for your puppy to let him know that you would like him to go to the toilet. It could be anything you want, for example ‘busy’. This will come in handy as he gets older and you need him to relieve himself at an appropriate time and place.

Make sure you stay with your puppy when you take him outside (on the lead, if needed), as this will prevent him from getting distracted or upset with the separation and thus forgetting about relieving himself. You only need to take him out for a few minutes.

If he doesn’t relieve himself in that time, then you can put him back in his play area or supervise him until next time. Don’t forget he will be going back with a full bladder, so keep a good eye and try again in half an hour’s time.

You should always try to take your puppy out at the following times:

  • Immediately after the puppy wakes up
  • First thing in the morning
  • Last thing at night
  • A few minutes after eating
  • After playing
  • After any excitement (e.g. after visitors greet your puppy)

Reward your puppy with calm, happy praise and with your chosen keyword as he is relieving himself (e.g. ‘good boy, busy’) and give him a couple of extra special treats after he has done his business (e.g. a small piece of dried liver or cheese).

Do something very special after he has successfully used his designated toilet; like a game, lots of cuddles and maybe if he has had his vaccinations, take him out for a walk (the ultimate in dog rewards!).

The benefit of taking him for a walk after his toileting means that your puppy will learn to be a fast eliminator and you will save yourself from having to clean after your puppy outside your home.

By making toileting a happy experience, your puppy will soon get the message, have positive
associations and learn quicker.

What signs should I look for?

If you see your puppy sniffing around the ground, crouching down about to go to the toilet or actually going to the toilet inside the house, quickly get his attention by clapping, calling him excitedly and running to the door so that he will follow you out.

If he is actually going to the toilet you may need to shout something extravagant to get his attention and stop him in his tracks (e.g. something silly like ‘sausages!!!’ will help as it is not personal or aggressive). Make sure the shout does not scare him as this will make him nervous and more prone to toileting in the wrong place.

The purpose of the shout is to alert him. By doing so, he will shut his bowels and hold it whilst you walk him outside. It is best that he makes his own way out the door rather than carrying him out, as this will help him learn that he actually needs to make his own way to the door when he needs to go to the toilet.

What if my puppy makes mistakes?

You will need to clean the area thoroughly to get rid of smells. Note that household cleaners do not get rid of all the proteins that we cannot smell. Do not use any cleaner with ammonia or bleach, as it will smell similar to the ammonia in urine and the puppy will identify it as a toilet area.

Specialist cleaners such as Formula H Disinfectant is a safe ammonia-free solution specifically designed to help with house training.

Odour removers (such as SimpleSolution – Odour Remover) are also good at removing all proteins traces that household cleaners do not remove.

How long should it take to house-train my puppy?

Like all young animals, puppies do not have full control of their bodies. Depending on the individual puppy, the breed and how much effort you put in the training, it may take up to 8 months to have a completely house-trained dog.

Accidents will probably happen at night since the puppy may not be able to hold it in for many hours at a time initially. However do not despair; as long as the puppy is consistently going outside during the day he will soon learn that toileting means going outside when he has better control of his body.

You can also have your puppy in his crate in your room initially so that you can listen for the signs. If your puppy cries during the night pay attention to him and take him outside immediately. Do not fuss him or play with him, just go outside with him for a few minutes until he eliminates, praise him and then calmly and quietly take him back to sleep in his crate.
This way the puppy doesn’t think that three o’clock in the morning is a good time to play.

AND FINALLY…

Remember prevention is the key to successful house-training. Take things slowly, have consistency and keep a routine. Be fair and kind to the young life endowed into your care. You will soon be enjoying happy, mess-free days with your best friend.

But my grown up dog is not yet house trained

If you have an adult dog that is still soiling in the house, then you will need to ensure that your veterinarian has not identified a medical condition. If the dog has not got a medical condition, then you will need to start house-training from the beginning using an indoor crate.
See our article Dog Crates and Crate Training for good advice about using crates.

It is worth putting the effort in and ensuring you are constantly supervising your dog. If you do, then it should only take you a couple of weeks to re-train him. Follow the guidelines as with puppy house-training. However adult dogs have more control of their bodies so they do not need to be taken out as often as puppies.

Once the dog has gone outside, he can have the supervised run of the house; until you feel it’s time to take him out again.

Dogs & The Law

Dogs & The Law

Although many owners are aware that laws exist relating to dog ownership, few are aware of the details and the responsibilities they place on them. This article takes a brief look at the recent acts of Parliament, which cover dogs and their owners.

The Control of Dogs Order 1992

Every dog while in a highway or in a place of public resort must wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it. Exceptions being hunting hound packs or whilst dogs are being used for sporting purposes, capture of vermin, herding or rescue work. Also, dogs for the registered blind or used by the armed forces, customs and excise or the police are exempt.

Dogs not meeting this criteria can be seized and treated as a stray by your local authority under the Environment Protection Act (see below). Note that the police have no powers under this act.

The full details of the act can be found here.

The Environment Protection (Stray Dogs) Regulations 1992

All local authorities must appoint an officer to deal with stray dogs found in the local authorities area. The regulation places certain responsibilities on this officer in terms of recording key information (breed, where it was found etc) and ensuring procedures are followed relating to contact of owners.

Should the owner reclaim the dog, a fine of £25 (plus any expenses) will be charged.

The full details of the act can be found here.

The Dangerous Dog Act 1991

This act is relatively detailed and can be found in its entirety by clicking here. The highlights are as follows:
The Dangerous Dog Act applies to ALL dogs.

If a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place, the owner or person in charge of the dog is guilty of an offence. A dog shall be regarded as dangerously out of control on any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person, whether or not it actually does so.

This offence can result in a fine or a prison sentence not exceeding 6 months. The dog may also be destroyed and the owner disqualified from owning a dog for a specific period of time.

A Police constable or an officer of the local authority may seize a dog if they consider it dangerously out of control.

Specific regulations apply to fighting dogs. These are deemed as Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosa or any dog considered by the Secretary of State to have been breed for fighting. The act looks likely to prohibit these dogs entirely in the future, but currently in such cases it is an offence if you:

  1. Breed, sell or exchange such a dog
  2. Have the dog in a public place without a muzzle and kept on a lead.
  3. Allow the dog to stray.

Why Does My Dog Urinate When Excited or Scared?

Why does my dog urinate when excited or scared?

Some dogs may be prone to leaking urine when they are excited, stressed or when meeting people or other dogs. This is often known as ‘submissive urination’. This is a dog’s way of showing appeasement behaviour to a higher ranking individual and is usually displayed in dogs that lack confidence.

The best remedy for this is to ignore the dog and carry on with your business for a few minutes. You can then ask your dog to sit and calmly go and greet your dog. You can also ask friends and family to greet your dog calmly by kneeling down to the dog’s level, avoiding eye contact and letting the dog come to them, rather than approaching the dog.

A good idea is to teach your dog to sit before people go to greet him. This is handy not just for submissive urination, but also to teach the dog not to jump up at people and to ensure that visitors that are not comfortable around dogs are not scared.

Until this behaviour subsides, have the door entrance area covered with polythene or a large washable mat and a towel so that you can manoeuvre your puppy to that area when he is being greeted.

Never tell your dog off for submissive urination as it will only worsen the situation and the dog will urinate more in an attempt to try to further appease you. With time, the submissive urination will very likely disappear off its own accord, as puppies eventually grow up to be happy, confident dogs if raised in a positive and happy environment.

Why is My Dog Urine Marking in The House?

Why is my dog urine marking in the house?
Why do they urine mark?

Urine marking is a territorial, social and sexual behaviour in dogs. They use urine as a powerful communication tool. From it, it is believed that dogs can determine important information such as species, gender, if a female dog is in season and much more.

Territorial marking is the main reason for urine marking in male dogs. We only have to look at our dog’s wild ancestors to understand this behaviour. As pack members, wild dogs and wolves lived within a well-delineated territory. This territory provided all the resources required to sustain a pack, including food and mating opportunities. Nowadays urine marking is the means by which dogs mark the boundary of their territory. This makes it clear to strangers that they have crossed a territorial boundary and, to avoid conflict, it would be a good idea to turn back.

Female dogs are also prone to urine marking, but to a lesser degree than males and usually for a different reason. As well as small amounts of testosterone, female dogs also excrete their own urinary (and vaginal) pheromone, parahydroxybenzoic acid. This chemical signals to other dogs how receptive they are to mating and it is at its strongest during a heat cycle.

Why do they urine mark in the house?

Urine marking is usually a result of stress and anxiety to some factor- or factors- within their household.
Here are some of the most typical ones:

  • Introduction of a new baby or unwelcome guest.
  • The introduction of another dog or a dog staying with you.
  • Your dog accesses areas of your house it does not usually have access to.
  • Objects entering your house that have the scent of other dogs (e.g. clothing).
How can I stop urine marking in the house?

Treatment for urine marking can depend on the source of the problem causing this behaviour. Since this can be wide and varied, it is wise to seek professional advice so that the right corrective program can be established for your dog.

Some dogs have been seen to stop or reduce urine marking if they are castrated, particularly if this is done early on in their life. Depending on your views on castration, you might want to consider chemical castration as a means of advance testing if actual castration would be successful. This is something you should talk to your vet about.

Alternatively, here are a few hints and tips to help tackle urine marking in the house:

Ensure any areas that your dog has urine marked are fully cleaned with an ammonia free cleaner (such as PetSafe Super Safe Disinfectant and sprayed with an odour eliminator. Attempting to mask urine smell with scents and air fresheners will not be effective.

Praise your dog when they urinate in the correct places (i.e. outside).

Where possible, keep strange dogs away from your house.

Dogs will often ‘urine mark’ over the marks of other dogs. Gwen Bohnenkamp (well known author) suggests one way to encourage marking outside, rather than inside, is to soak a few cotton buds with the urine from other dogs. Pin these buds to a post in your garden and praise your dog when he marks over them. And how do you get the soaked cotton buds? Well, I’ll leave that one for you to resolve, but it really comes down to how serious the problem is and how keen you are to stop it !

Unlike house training mistakes or submissive urination, your dog should distract them out of urine marking. DO NOT DISCIPLINE THEM OR  SHOUT AT THEM. . Just as they are about to urine mark, startle them with a loud noise or clap your hands.
Continue watching them and the minute they mark outside praise them warmly.

Why Does My Dog Keep Jumping Up at People?

Why does my dog keep jumping up at people?

We invest so much time in socialising our dogs to accept meeting and playing with humans as exiting pleasurable experience. As a consequence, our dogs can’t wait to greet us or our visitors when they arrive. When this excitement manifests itself in “jumping up”, it is sort of ironic that we then tell them off for being over exited to meet us.

Ideally, the answer is to set the ground rules from the very beginning – no jumping up, without exception. The best way to achieve this is to teach your dog that it will not receive any attention until it sits. The theory being that a dog cannot sit and jump up at the same time.

Whenever you arrive home, request your dog to sit. Completely ignore them until they do so. If they jump up, turn your back and ignore them.

Don’t speak or give them any attention, just keep requesting your dog to sit. The minute they do sit, heap warm praise on them. If they start jumping up again, go back through the routine of ignoring them and requesting them to sit. Practice this with yourself and your family, ensuring everyone applies the exact same routine, with out exception. Your dog will quickly realise, it will only get attention when it sits.

When you get visitors, ask them to do the same and give them a treat that they can give your dog the second it sits. This will raise eyebrows from some visitors, but it is important that your dog has good greeting manners with all people, not just you and your family.

Dealing With the Firework Season

Dealing With the Firework Season

With the advent of cheaper fireworks, the 5th November is no longer the only day that brings with it the unpredictable loud bangs and flashes of fireworks. Great fun for us, but our poor dogs simply don’t understand what’s going on and for many it can be a traumatising experience.

What symptoms should I look for?

Frightened dogs can have different reactions: some tremble at their owners’ feet, others retreat to a hiding place, some try to run off, and others display other unpredictable even aggressive behaviours.

Can I desensitise my dog to the sounds?

Many dogs can benefit from a process we call desensitisation. This involves slowly acclimatising your dog to the sounds of fireworks. CDs are now available, which simulate the random and unpredictable noises of fireworks. Over a period (the sooner the better) before fireworks day, these are played a number of times a day gradually building up the volume and length of time it is played.

Your pet will then gradually become used to the noises and begin to ignore them. Whilst playing the CD, you should also take the opportunity to distract your pet. Either play with him, or give him some training lessons, or give him his favourite toy or chew. This will increase the effect of the desensitisation program by making your pet think on something else whilst the background noise is going on.

What other things can I do to help?

Create a safe, comfortable and quiet den area for him. Ideally, this should be in a place which is furthest from the fireworks, and where he is used to resting. The room should be able to be darkened to hide the firework flashes. Make sure however, that he is free to come and go to this area, taking care not to lock him in the room alone.

Feed him an hour before the event and stock up on treats like pigs ears.
Play music or turn on the TV to help drown out the sound of fireworks. Close the curtains to hide bright flashes.

If your dog does not want to settle in his den or crate, then try playing some games or have a training session with his favourite treats as rewards.

There are a number of proven natural remedies to help calm dogs during stressful periods. These usually contain Camomile and Valerian which are tried and tested aids which can help to reduce fear, stress and anxiety naturally to help keep pets calm during what can be a very frightening time without sedating them.

Are there things I should NOT be doing?

Do NOT try to pat and stroke him in an attempt to sooth him if he is showing signs of stress. This simply rewards how he is behaving and teaches him that he’s right to be scared. Don’t let him know that you’re concerned.

I have heard of DAPs, can these help?

If you already know that your dog is scared and that he needs some further help then using a DAP along with the CD will be very useful. DAP stands for Dog Appeasing Pheromone. These come in a number of forms; a plug in device, similar to an air freshener; a collar or a spray. They all release calming pheromones into the air, similar to those produced by a mother whilst rising pups.

Why Does My Dog Bark When Left Alone?

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Why does my dog bark when left alone?

Dogs are social animals hence explaining why their ancestors, wolves, lived in communities we refer to as packs. Even after you have trained and conditioned your dog to feel confident when left alone, this should not be a period greater than 4-5 hours during the day.

The primary cause of barking when a dog is left alone is boredom, loneliness or nervousness. Excessive barking can also be accompanied by chewing objects (not necessarily those things you want them to!) and house soiling. This is often referred to as separation anxiety.

Since we cannot be with our dogs 24 hours a day it is important we both condition them to be confident when left alone and be content to occupy themselves during these periods. Here are some tips :

Gradually accustom your dog to your leaving. Start by leaving your dog confined in another room (or its long term confinement area) for short periods i.e. a few minutes. Do this at irregular intervals throughout the day.

Over a number of weeks, start building up the periods you can leave them in the house alone. Your dog will soon realise that they are not being abandoned forever and that you will return.

Give them stuffed chew toys (such as Kong toys) to keep them occupied. Be imaginative with these, there are many different ways and different treats these can be filled with.
See our article How to use a Kong Toy.

Don’t be overly attentive with them at all times while you are at home. This just makes being left alone feel even more extreme.

Feed your dog a small meal before you leave, this will make them more sleepy, but remember that many dogs need to relieve themselves shortly after a meal.

Don’t make a fuss before leaving the house. Quietly settle your dog and leave. Avoid getting them excited and avoid long goodbyes. Get into a familiar routine and over time you will find your dog knows what is coming and will settle itself.

Leave the TV or radio on. Dogs often find the sound of music or people talking to be reassuring. They will also be less disrupted by sounds outside.

Tie a scarf that you have been wearing (i.e. it has your scent on it) to the outside door handle of the door you exit through. When your dog sniffs under the door to find out if you are still close, they may be re-assured by your scent.

Don’t allow your dog the run of your house while you are away. Have a ‘long-term confinement area and condition them to feel comfortable in these areas.
Alternatively, consider the benefits of crate training your dog.

Dogs can feel very insecure when left outside on their own and this should be avoided if separation problems exist. They should be left in a secure area, safe from hazards such as electrical cables and breakable items.

Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise, thus allowing them to sleep while you are away.