Ask Lisa

How do I stop my dog from digging?
Digging is a great to expel energy. If you have a small section of your yard you can let your dog have fun in, do it. A small pool filled with sand is also a good option. Use a few dry dog treats to lure him to dig in your specific spot. They key to stopping this behavior is to do the set up everyday when your dog is not looking. Put him in the house and fill in all the holes. At the very top put poo and then just barley cover with the dirt. Next time your dog goes to dig he will get a paw full of poo.

Can I give my dog table scraps?
Yes and No
I am obsessed with rotisserie chicken and I can never finish a whole one. When I pick mine up I get it with no spices or sauce and then yes I give my extra to the dogs. What to avoid is onions, grapes, chocolate and anything heavily spiced or full of fat. A little fat is ok but not too much. Moderation is the key. I always ask my dogs to do something or give it in their dog bowl, never from the table or when they are begging. My dogs are in love with summer fruit, carrots, sweat potatoes, and green beans.

My dog is eating poo, what can I do?
The first and most important thing to consider is your food. Make sure your dog food has no corn, wheat or soy. The first ingredient should be meat. When we eat corn it come out the same way it goes in, your dog is no different and so the poo seems like food. If this is left unattended it will become a behavior. Once you are sure you have great food try adding finely grated fresh zucchini to your dogs food. I have had pretty good success with this. Pineapple juice and meat tenderizer are other options to try. A few companies have products you can sprinkle your the food. Solid Gold is a company that I trust.

How do I stop my dog from jumping?
This is one of those training exercises that require lots of practice and repetition. A lot of families have that one person who loves the dog to jump on them to say hello. The only problem with this is your dog does not know the difference between a nice suit, dress or even Grandma and casual clothes. My advice is to teach the “give me a hug command”. When it is appropriate and wanted pat your chest and tell your dog to “give me a hug” and encourage your dog to jump on you. It is only ok for them to jump on you when you give the command. Now to get your dog “off”. I have a dog rex, he and I are very special to each other. Even now when I come home he wants to jump in my face and tell me to never leave him again. It is very intense. I worry about him having separation anxiety when he gets old so I try very hard to not talk to him or even give him eye contact when I come home. I also do not make a big deal about leaving but that is another question. What to do is leave a leash outside your door or on your crate. As quickly as you can and with minimal touching get the leash on your dog and step on it. Pull your hands under your armpits and no eye contact. When your dog is calm tell him good dog and step off the leash very calmly walk away. Save the “who’s a good dog” rub down for later. This is hard. We are all so excited to see our dogs, believe me I understand. Now for jumping on other people. Practice s the key. Have a bunch of friends and family over who are into helping train your dog. Put some delicious treats out side for your people to bring in. Now it is important for you to be ready with your dog already on a leash. When your people come in you step on the leash and have them tell your dog to sit and give them the treat for sitting. Make sure you are patient and follow through. Repetition is the key. This is easy to do with everyone who lives in the house. When one person is on their way home give a shout out on the phone so the person at home can be ready.

My dog is chewing everything.
First of all do not fear the crate. The crate or “den of solitude” as we call it in our home, is your friend. If your dog can’t be watched and he is chewing put him in the crate. Don’t let him eat something he should not and get sick or worse. Don’t let your puppy eat your ipad. It is your responsibility to satisfy all your dogs needs, so make sure he is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. Remember you can’t correct him if you do not catch him in the act.

Should I get a new puppy?
I get this question all the time and I always want to say YES! I am one of those most enthusiastic dog owners and I always know a wonderful dog in need of a good home. If I am being rational the answer is maybe. I love having 4 dogs. It is a ton of work but worth every minuet. My husband and I discuss at length what we will do when our beloved Dixie passes. The goal is to not get another dog. I think 2 is the magic number. Try as we might we do not speak dog and dogs who like dogs do very well with a mate. Now if you have a much older dog who is really not interested in being bothered by another it might not be appropriate. Try fostering a few and this way you have no commitment. Lots of wonderful organizations are in need of foster families. Shoot me an email and I can put you in touch with a few. If you can’t help yourself and get a puppy and all hell breaks loose call me. I know that really does not answer the question but there is no stead fast answer. Bottom line call me.

What about barking?
Dogs who like to bark need to have time when it is ok for them to do so. Barking is a stress reliever for your dog. Take him to the beach or the park and encourage the barking. Teach your dog to speak. Now, how do we turn it off? The first step is a good old fashioned water bottle. You must follow threw every time with a squirt to the muzzle, don’t threaten. Give it a word, quite, hush or no bark. It does not matter the word so long as you are consistent. The next step is a leash and collar correction. Set your dog up and take the time to train. It is a little more work in the beginning but you will be grateful in the long run.