In this month's Real Simple Online they discussed some very common pet problems and their possible solutions. I thought I would share a few with all you pet lovers.......
Problem: A stroll with your dog is more like a tug of war. He (she) is always pulling the leash and you right along with it.
Solution: To manage a pup who is a puller, try a front clip harness or a head halter. Better yet, train the dog to walk properly. I know this is easier said than done, especially in public areas with other dogs and people in the area. Try to keep your dog's interest in you. Talk to him a lot, make gentle changes in direction and get excited when your dog looks your way. Be more interesting than the environment around you.
Problem: Your dog barks madly whenever the doorbell rings. In all fairness, many breeds bark to signal someone approaching the family pack. Usually, the barking will banish intruders like delivery persons. The dog gets positive feedback by knowing his job was well done.
Solution:You have to desensitize Fido to the doorbell by training him with these steps by dog trainer Jeff Millman . First, have a friend or family member approach the door and scratch it softly enough that the sound does not elicit barking. Praise the dog and give him a treat. Work up to tapping on the door, then knocking, and finally ringing the doorbell. Soon, the dog will start sniffing for treats when the doorbell rings. Add verbal praise before the treat and eventually his reward will be just his praise from you.
For anyone who knows us personally, you realize that both of these problems hit close to home. Since these solutions are from actual professional dog trainers and behaviorists, they should work, in theory. I know for a fact there is no changing my dog's mind since he appears to bark at the wind blowing by the door and quite possibly the little voices in his head. For him, I see no solution, but he does keep solicitors at a safe distance.