Pack Order

If your dogs are having dominance issues, you can end those squabbles by setting the dominance order in your pack. By disciplining the subordinate dog each time there is a confrontation you can set the pack structure and reduce petty squabbles. Setting the pack order is easy once we understand that dogs think differently from people, and they prefer a consistent power structure in order to feel secure.

With this in mind, you can set you pack structure quickly and easily, by following two simples rules.

1. As ultimate pack you leader you have the right and the authority to choose and enforce the pack structure. You decide who comes first and who is second (and third or fourth if you have that many dogs). Once you have decided the order of authority, you let the dogs know, what the order is by following this simple rule.

2. Regardless of which dog starts a squabble, or what the disagreement involves, the lower ranking dog, the one you choose to be the subordinate dog will be disciplined. Timeout is an excellent option of enforcing pack structure.

If you set and enforce the pack structure by disciplining the subordinate dog, the pack will settle into peacefulness once the dogs all understand who is supposed to yield in a confrontation.

Favorites?

If you have more than one dog, you probably have a favorite. There isn’t anything wrong with having a favorite, but it’s not a good idea to play favorites.

Playing favorites means giving one dog gets treats, toys or affection that is withheld from the other dog(s). Playing favorites among your dogs in some forms can cause competition and stress.

It’s OK to have pecking order, which is different than playing favorites. In a pecking order, everybody gets a treat, but the dominate dog goes first, which reduces stress because  all the dogs know their turn is coming and when.

But if you’re giving one dog things that the others are hoping to get, and unsure they have a chance at, you’re setting your dogs up for competition, stress, and potential fights.

You can pet one dog longer than another, or give one a bigger piece of meat to one than another, but every dog should receive some affection or food when the goodies are being handed out.

Click!

A clicker can be one of the strongest tools in dog training. The click anchors the behavior in the dog’s head as being correct and tells the dog that a reward is coming. It clearly shows the dog exactly what he did right, at the exact moment he did it.

Teaching your dog what the click means is super simple!  Get your dog, some treats, and your trusty clicker; start by clicking once and giving your dog a treat immediately after the click, and then repeat that process over and over again. The more you do this, the more the dog will understand that the sound of the clicker means treats are coming.

The main rule to remember with clicker training is to always click and treat!  Once your dog knows that a click means reward, you can change things up by playing tug, throwing a ball, or using different types of treats as the reward.  Just remember that there must always be a reward after the click.

Bathing Too Much?

Frequent bathing can strip protective oils from your dogs coat and skin. The lack of moisturizing oils can cause skin problems that stem from dryness like itching and flaky skin. Much like having dry hands when we wash our hands frequently, over bathing drys out both your dogs coat and skin.

To compensate, you could add extra oils to your dogs food, but the oils will add calories that might not be welcome. Cream rinses can help your dogs coat but are not optimal because they don’t replace the natural oils that are removed from your dogs skin. 

 

As a bathing alternative, consider rinsing your dog will clean water and buffing him dry with a clean towel. Frequent swims in clean water or clean water rinses will help keep dirt and excess oil from collecting in your dogs coat. By preventing the excess oil from building up you’ll find that bathing with soaps will be less necessary.

Clean water rinses are quick and easy to do. Completely wet your dogs coat with clean water and towel dry very quickly for a minimum of mess and stress.

Walk the Walk

When teaching your dog to walk at your side while on the leash, speed up your pace until you’re matching your dogs walking speed. It’s easier to teach the dog to walk nicely if you match his natural walking pace. Asking your dog to walk slowly and to learn good leash skills at the same time is difficult for your dog.
It’s difficult to keep up with a large dog, or one with a lot of pent up energy, so some vigorous play before leash walking may help. After your dog has spent some of his pent up energy he should be able to walk more comfortably at a slower pace.

Over time your dog will learn to enjoy being at your side, but until your dog is ready to match your pace, keeping up as best you can will make learning good leash skills as easy as possible.

You don’t need any special equipment to make you walk faster, but some things can help. Get some lively music for your ipod to keep your pace up. Or get a bell or a fancy new leash to remind you that walking quickly is good for both of you. You may enjoy this  leash and perhaps it’ll help you to think about being a winner in your dogs eyes