Dog Behavior Tip of the Month.. Keeping your dog warm! Acclimating dogs to cold weather gear and turning a struggle into a bonding experience!
Dog communicate by body language and like people there are several ways we can move that causes dogs to feel uncomfortable, anxious and threatened. For example, one that crosses and applies to both species is being stared down (you looking at me?!). Putting on cold weather gear for our dogs is often performed in a way that utilizes – and sometimes requires – using body movements and postures that innately intimidate our dogs, making it a daily struggle. To eliminate: Always position yourself parallel to your dog as opposed to head on, working slowly and using plenty of praise. Best coats are those that Velcro at the neck and around the body, the coat can simply be placed on the dogs back and fastened as opposed to sweaters or any arm holes which usually results in forcing and lifting your dogs’ front legs in an unnatural, uncomfortable position and then pulling them through. If necessary to use keep your dog on the floor next to you. To train your dog to put his head through lure his head through the head opening by holding a treat just outside it, praising your dog as he moves his head closer and closer through and giving the treat once he voluntarily puts his head through and practice several times. Teach your dog “shake” so he can put his own paws through without force. To teach shake simply say “shake” while very gently and slowly lifting your dog’s paw, once paw is horizontal treat your dog and then let go. As your dog learns you will be able to pick up his paw less and less and he will start to raise it. You can then progress to tapping the back of his front paw to signal him to lift it to finally using a hand signal of placing your hand palm up in front of him while saying “shake” at which point he will place his paw in your hand.
The key to transforming all innately threatening, unpleasant handling of your dog into fun bonding that brings you closer to your dog is by not physically forcing your dog but training your dog.
For more dog behavior training tips, how to effectively solve behavior problems and reach the ultimate level of communication, love and harmony between you and your dog check out Christina’s ebook “Hopeless Dog to Happy Dog! An introduction to the Total Harmony Dog Transformation ® System” available at Amazon!
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