Monthly Archives: January 2017

Why Do Dogs Hump? Dog Training in Northern Virginia | Off Leash K9 Training

Dog Humping, Dog Training Northern Virginia

 

This is one of the many dog training issues we deal with in Northern Virginia.

You may notice your dog humping something or everything and wonder why your dog does it. Part of you wants to laugh and post the video but other times this can be an incredibly embarrassing situation. Whatever the reason is, knowing the reason that they do this can be very helpful to you to as a way to get the solutions for this problem. This will take a close look at the reasons behind this embarrassing problem so you can fully understand why dogs hump.

While you may think that humping is a solely sexual act, there are actually quite a few reasons for why this happens. One reason for this is because it is a sexual act. You may think that only unneutered males do this but the fact is that all dogs are capable of this act. Male or female, fixed or not, your dog may hump another dog. This is the most obvious reason for this type of behavior.

Another major reason for this is because they are playing. Play behavior can very closely resemble sexual behaviors. When they are playing, you will not notice things like erections or ejaculation as you would when they are humping for sexual reasons. What you do need to worry about is when a dog that is poorly socialized starts displaying this behavior. This means that the dog does not know how to play properly, so it gets aroused during playtime. If you notice this is happening to your dog, you should plan more playdates to learn how to better socialize.

There is also a social component to humping. A dog may mount or hump another dog as a way to show their power and control over the other dog. Dogs, as you likely know by now, are a species that absolutely relies on a hierarchy. The dogs rely on a hierarchy so other dogs know who the boss is. If a dog is humping another one, she could be sending the message that she is the top dog.

There could also be something emotionally wrong with your dog. A dog may hump because they are feeling over-emotional at the time. If they are feeling overly stressed or emotional, they may hump you, a toy, or some other object that is around the house. If the dog is allowed to continue to do this as a way to relieve this stress, this can turn into a compulsive act. A compulsion can interfere with the quality of life that your dog has so you really need to stop this behavior.

A final reason for this could be for medical reasons. Some of the medical problems can include skin allergies, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections, and priapism.

There are a few things you can do to help. Fixing your dog may not eliminate the problem but it will certainly reduce the risk of this happening. You can also distract the dog if you notice that they are about to start humping. Another thing you can try is to put your dog in a time out away from anything else for a few minutes. Finally, you can try use your dog’s training by yelling a command.

If you are having issues with your dog humping, we can give you full control over this!

Contact us at:

http://offleashk9training.com

888-413-0896

info@offleashk9training.com

 

Bad Dog? President Obama’s Dog Bites White House Visitor | Off Leash K9 Training

Dog Bites in Northern Virginia

 

At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we do dog reactivity training; however, it appears it’s needed in the White House!

TMZ has recently posted a photo of a nasty cut under a young woman’s eye, allegedly the result of being bitten by the Obama’s family dog, Sunny.

The 18-year-old visitor is a family friend of the Obama’s and was being given a tour of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when she encountered Sunny. The girl went to give the the 4-year-old Portuguese water dog a hug,  when, for some reason still unknown, Sunny bit her on the cheek, just under her eye. This is another good reminder of why you shouldn’t hug or try to kiss unknown dogs!

TMZ says that the President’s family doctor looked at the gash that had been made and stitched up the cut. It is nothing serious, but it will leave a scar once the stitches are removed. The girl later posted a picture of her injury on social media.

The White House did not comment on the matter. President Obama has less than a week left in office before the transition of power to President-Elect Donald Trump on January 20.

Sunny, along with Bo, aged 8, have been with the family throughout their time staying at the White House. They are both notable in their pictures for their curly, non-shedding black fur and long tongues, and have been credited for making the breed popular.

If you are having issues like this with your dog, contact an Off Leash K9 Trainer in your area!

http://offleashk9training.com/ or www.facebook.com/offleashk9

Pit Bull Makes Debut As New York Police Dog | Pit Bull Dog Training

 

Pit Bull Training

 

 

Anyone who has ever watched my Facebook Live videos know that I LOVE Pit bulls and I’m a huge advocate for them, so, I was very excited to see this!

If a survey was given to answer the question of whether or not a Pit bull might make a good police dog, many would surely find it of no surprise that the majority would answer “no.” It’s no secret that a preconceived judgement persists against Pit Bulls and their aggressive natures.

However, the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department, along with a large handful of trainers and rescuers, would beg to differ.

The sweet-hearted cinnamon-colored canine Kiah was taken in by Brad Croft, operations director of UniversalK9, an organization that prides itself on training young dogs and police force members to breed successful relationships and thus develop successful K-9 units. Brad Croft came across Kiah when she was a young, abandoned shelter dog. Though recovering from a skull injury brought on after being hit with a hammer, the sweet and timid nature of of Kiah caught Croft’s attention.

Croft was quoted at the moment of meeting this young pup, describing his incredulity and just how miraculous it was that she had survived the head injury. However, what impressed him even more than her physical resilience was her emotional one. Without fearing that she was holding any sort of grudge, Croft was willing to give it a shot and took in this young pit bull with the intention of training her as a police dog.

Though the start of Kiah’s training was difficult, it became clear rather quickly that that resilience Croft saw before was well-matched with potential. She began to quickly catch on to her training, and by the end of the eighth week, Croft termed her as a “gifted” dog, noticing her fervor and hard-working personality. It was during this time that the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department contacted Croft, asking for a furry addition to their team. Since then, Kiah has kept up the hard work with her team and her partner, Officer Justin Bruzgul, as a detection dog for the narcotics and missing persons department.

This 85-pound friend of the Poughkeepsie P.D. and of Croft has down well and her hard work has paid off. On Thursday, Kiah is scheduled to receive the ASPCA Public Service Award in New York City and will make history as the first ever pit bull police dog to do so.

The ASPCA Public Service Award, according to ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker, will recognize Kiah, as it has with dogs before her, for her heroism and service. In addition to this however, the award will also act as an honor for the individuals, organizations, and teams that have worked for and alongside Kiah and others like her. According to Bershadker, this is an award that highlights the connection that exists between these people and the beloved animals.

Since rescuing Kiah, operations-director Croft has partnered with the Animal Farm Foundation to continue to train and place pit bulls like Kiah into police departments all over the United States. The small step taken for Kiah will continue to make a difference.

-Nick

www.offleashk9training.com

facebook.com/offleashk9

Food Aggression Training | Resource Guarding | Northern Virginia | Off Leash K9 Training

Food aggression training northern virginia

 

We deal with food aggression training in Northern Virginia (our HQ) on a pretty regular basis.

There are many different behaviors that our dogs do that maybe you do not really know how to interpret. They are communicating in their own way and as a responsible dog owner, it is your responsibility to figure out what they are trying to tell us. Dogs have specific body language that tells us what we need to know. The problem is that people do not always understand these cues that they are giving us. One big cue is resource guarding, especially their food bowls. If your dog resource guards, this is going to be important to deal with.

The first question that you may have is whether or not this is a problem your dog has. There is a simple test that you can do to help find out. You need to prepare your dog’s food bowl and then take the bowl to the center of the room. You need to call your dog to you, so you can make sure that your dog is really excited about the food. If your dog is not excited about the food bowl, this will not work. You should be very careful when doing this test as food is very important to them. You need to watch your dog for any signs of aggression that may put you in harm’s way. To perform the test, you need to put your bowl on the floor without saying anything and walk at least 8 feet away from the bowl. While looking directly at your dog, you need to move towards him quickly. When you do this, make sure that you pay attention to your dog’s body language as you do this.

To be clear, the only appropriate response from your dog at this moment is to ignore you and continue eating without changing his speed of eating the food or his posture. This means that your dog does not have a problem with resource guarding. However if you notice any change especially the speed of eating,  or cutting his eyes so you can see the whites of his eyes, your dog may have a problem. It is obviously even more worrisome if your dog snarls, growls, or lunges at you.

There are things that you should and should not do when you come across this situation. You should watch your dog’s reaction and when you see them guarding, stop approaching him and move away until he looks comfortable again. You can try again to see how close you can get before he starts to guard. You can toss treats at your dog as you approach to positively reinforce your approach. You can also put your treats in your dog’s bowl to show that you are not a threat. After this works, you can begin doing things like petting him while he is eating and giving a treat to reward him. You want your pet to be okay with you near his food. You should never take your dog’s food bowl away, as this validates the dog’s fear and worsens the behavior. You should also never continue to approach despite these warning signs from your dog, as this can cause him to become aggressive with you.

If you are having resource guarding issues with your dog (food, toys, etc), contact an OLK9 trainer near you: http://www.offleashk9training.com/contact/

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OffLeashK9 or call 888-413-0896

 

Why Just Using Positive Reinforcement Does Not Work | Off Leash K9 Training

Dog Training in Northern Virginia

 

Positive reinforcement is something we get asked about in Northern Virginia, a lot! People are always told about the magic of positive reinforcement. While it is an effective tool, unfortunately there are many  occasions where it is not as effective as you would like. For instance, a lot of the self-rewarding habits that your dog has can be very difficult to break simply through the use of positive reinforcement. No matter how much you try to offer treats or praise, you find that these are habits that you just cannot break your dog of. But there is hope for you.

Self-rewarding habits are problems because the habit itself is more rewarding to the dog than any praise or treats that you could offer him. If positive reinforcement is going to work, it needs to be better than the reward they get from doing the act you are trying to stop. If there is nothing better to offer your dog, then you really need to consider some of those negative reinforcement training methods that you have been told are so bad for your dog. I have never seen an amazingly obedient dog with distractions that was trained solely through the use of positive reinforcement.

The concept of negative reinforcement is to offer your dog an undesirable stimulus that inspires the dog to stop by complying with your wishes. To put this into an example that you can understand, maybe you are trying to teach your dog the command “come”. If positive reinforcement was not working, you can consider putting your dog on a leash and lightly pulling on it when he does not come when called. Eventually, the dog will get annoyed enough that he will listen. From here, you offer a treat as positive reinforcement. After a while of this technique, your dog will listen to your “come” command. Combining negative and positive reinforcement will make a huge difference in training your dog.

Some people who are opposed to negative reinforcement view this as beating your dog until it becomes submissive. The reality is you are just annoying your dog into complying, not causing any actual pain to him. While there are some methods of training that do cause very small amounts of pain, for the most part the discomfort is kept as low as possible to ensure that learning is going to be accomplished.

There are some things to remember about this technique. It should never be used on puppies under the age of 4-5 month. You really need to know if your dog is ready for it. If you notice it is very bothersome to your dog, you need to stop. Remember to follow up with positive reinforcement to keep your dog happy. When your dog is trained properly, you both are going to have an amazing life together.

If you want a dog that is reliable in any and all situations, contact Off Leash K9 Training!

http://www.offleashk9training.com
info@offleashk9training.com
888-413-0896