Ferraris are beautiful to look at and fun to drive, but just like a Pit bull, not everyone should own or drive a Ferrari. One of the most common requests I get from clients and guardians regarding their pit bull-type companion is to train them to be “friendly”. Lucky for them, training them to be friendly should be the least of their worries! Pit bull-type dogs were bred to be incredibly tolerant and to have a good nature. In fact, the American Temperament Test Society have conducted temperament tests for many years, and the results have continued to prove that pit bull-type breeds are among the top of the best-tempered breeds, with the latest score of 87.4% pass, they even surpassed (and surpass every year) 121 other common breeds, including the Golden Retriever(!) who scored at 85.2% pass. The biggest misconception I hear among people who are not familiar with bully-type breeds (including Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers) is that they are bred and genetically built to fight, which couldn’t be farthest from the truth. Dogs, like children, can adapt and learn based on the environment they are raised in and the guidelines they are taught. That is why when my clients ask me to train their dog to be “friendly”, I emphasize on the responsibility they hold as guardians to ensure they develop the right relationship with their companions: one based on respect, trust, and a lot of love. It is solely the responsibility of a guardian to have the confidence that they can keep their companions safe and under control at any given time, in any given environment, and with any given distraction; that they can guide them from right and wrong; that they can show the world the best version of their companions, just like a parent would with their child. Here at K9s Only, our team of trainers strives to help guardians gain that confidence and knowledge. Genetically, most “power breeds” are meant to be strong, agile, athletic, and clever. Therefore, they require a lot of exercise and training, not because they are difficult to train, but because they are often smarter than their two-legged counterpart. However, as you and I know, these companions also love to curl up and snuggle, they love to give kisses, and more often than not, prefer to be basking under the sun or sleeping on the couch (or as they want you to believe, keeping the couch warm for you, duh)! At the end of the day, I see Pit bull-type dogs and other “power” breeds as high-performance sports vehicles; they require special maintenance and extra TLC.
Question from Bill R: I rescued my dog from the shelter over the Summer. She’s great, but she’s constantly chewing on EVERYTHING! I’ve tried chew-deterrent spray, but that does not seem to work. Help!
Answer: Fear not, Bill! Many new dog owners struggle with chew. So, trust me when I say, you are not alone. But, you’re in luck, chewing is a fairly common problem with a fairly easy fix! However, when it comes to fixing any issue, you have to find the root of the problem first. The root or reason for your dog’s chewing problem can be as simple as age, boredom and incomplete house training.
If your dog is in the range of about eight weeks to five months, then the culprit for most of the chewing is nothing more than a little teething. Teething is the natural process of young pups attempting to massage their gums and get their teeth to break through the skin. Puppies will usually chew on textured material during this time to try and massage their gums.
If your dog is between the ages of 6 months to 18 months and clearly not teething anymore, then it is possible that they are chewing to strengthen their jaw muscles and their teeth. During this time in your pups life, it is not uncommon to catch them chewing on stronger, more durable surfaces such as wood, hard plastics (like the remote), leather, and sometimes even metal, anything strong enough to really sink their brand new teeth into.
If your dog is definitely not dealing with any age-related chewing then your dog could definitely just be dealing with a bit of boredom. During the developmental stages of your dog’s life, it’s important for them to learn what the appropriate things to chew on are. If they don’t, then they never learn to discriminate bones and chew toys from shoes and couches. So, when your dog gets bored, they’ll chew on whatever they can find. Lucky for you, if your dog has missed this developmental mark, there is a way around it or even a “fix”. Proper conditioning and chew scheduling can be effective for any dog no matter how old.
If your dog is no longer a puppy and is well educated on what you want them to chew on then your issue may just be that your dog has too much freedom and not enough house breaking. Contrary to popular belief, housebreaking includes much more than potty training. What housebreaking is, at its core, is teaching your pup what is and what is not acceptable to do in the house regardless of who’s looking. If your pup is not properly housebroken, they are much more inclined to do inside what they do outside. From chewing, digging, and stealing, to pooping and barking. All of these behaviors indoors are products of incomplete housebreaking or lack thereof.
Perhaps you find that your dog is chewing on more specific things like wall trim, table legs, or anything that you own. As random as some of these things may seem, they all have reasons for being appealing to your pup. Your dog is chewing on your wall trim and table legs simply because they’re made out of wood. Wood is enjoyable for dogs for a couple of reasons. It’s easy to chew and it has an earthy aroma. Dogs would rather have a bone but, if they cant, wood will have to do.
If your dog is stealing some of your personal items, whether it be your socks, your shoes, or anything you’ve touched, the reason is very simple. It’s yours. Dogs with this habit tend to live with the mantra ” If it’s good enough for my owner then it must be good enough for me”.
Now that we’ve hopefully figured out the root of your dog’s chewing problem, we can start talking about how to fix it.
We’ll start with chew deterrent spray. The reason it just doesn’t seem to be cutting it when it comes to solving your chewing problem is simple… How dog’s learn. What makes dogs stay away from certain things? Negative associations. The chew-deterrent isn’t working because your dog doesn’t have a negative association with the spray. Unfortunately, all it’s doing is changing the smell of your house.
Dogs, like humans, have taste receptors for sweet, salty, bitter, and sour and chew deterrent sprays are designed around this fact, to make sure that they taste awful to your dog. When you first start using a deterrent spray, it’s important to take the time to develop your dog’s connection to the smell of the deterrent to the awful taste of the deterrent. Developing this connection is simple. Simply apply the deterrent to a cotton ball and let your dog taste it. If your dog finds this taste unpleasant, he may shake his head, drool, or retch. He may sniff the cotton ball again but, it is very unlikely that he will pick it up again. After this connection has been made in your dog’s mind, the deterrent should be more effective.
The fix is probably more simple than you’d think. No spray or deterrent required. All you need is some bones, chew toys and a schedule/ Getting your pup addicted to a chew toy is pretty simple. All it takes is getting their food and favorite treats involved. The best way to kick-start your dog’s obsession with his chew toy is to start feeding him from it. This will teach your dog that any time they touch their chew toy, food falls out. This will begin his genuine interest in the chew toy. Once it is very clear that your dog is interested in it, we can start making the chew game a bit harder. We can start putting peanut butter, larger treats, or many other delicious treats that make the game a bit harder. All of this turns the chew toy into a fun game that your dog obsesses over.
Putting your pup on a schedule is even easier. You can model it around your schedule so that your dog is now running on your time. When making their schedule be sure to put in some “designated chew time” which is just a time frame dedicated to your dog, his den, and his chew toy. It is very important to keep your dog in his den at this time. When your dog is confined with just the chew toy, it give them no choice but to direct his attention to it. Once his interest is sparked the obsession can build.
Now you have all of the tools you need to help out your chewing problem. I wish you and your new rescue pup the best of luck in getting settled and building a beautiful relationship.
Briana Monsivais, Professional Dog Trainer at K9s Only
Dog Trainer, Brent LaBrada, discusses the number three chronic issue that all dog guardians face in dog training; Leash Reactivity. Brent dissects and analyzes why most dogs are reactive on leash, the reasons why and how to solve this issue.
K9s Only Positive Dog Training Philosophy
The primary goal of K9s Only is to produce a companion animal that bonds with and respects its guardian and has the ability and desire to please. It is important to K9s Only, that through working with your family, you will be able to better understand canine behavior and how to effectively communicate with your dog. This is achieved by recognizing that your dog is a living creature with a brain and has the ability to make his own choices. Our trainers influence the dog’s behavior in a natural way, allowing him to make right and wrong choices. It is only through making a wrong decision that your dog can learn and better understand what the expected behavior is.
Our first job is to educate your dog. Once your dog understands what a command means and makes a correct choice, he receives love and praise. When he makes a wrong choice, he is guided to do what is expected of him. Our trainers work with both verbal commands and hand signals so that your dog can make a decision without relying on the leash to guide him. The leash is your backup tool… gently reminding your dog when he fails to make the right decision. It is through positive experiences, given when your dog does as asked, that he learns about good behavior. Although we are not opposed to giving a treat for reward, we do not feel a dog should be bribed to listen to you. Like any relationship in your life, respect is important. Your dog must not only love you, but respect you as well. Remember, he is a pack animal and needs to learn to follow the rules of the leader (you), or he may try to become the leader of the household himself.
We do not believe in working aggressively with an animal. We believe in discipline, just as you would discipline your child in order to prepare that child to become a caring and respectful adult. You would not hit your child to make your point, nor should you strike your dog. However, you will expect your child to live by certain rules and the same goes for your dog. Remember, obedience is a tool that can be used to solve any problem, and often times it is something that could save your dog’s life.
If your dog looks like this on walks…
Are you introducing a new dog to your current dog? Our trainers at K9s Only have a few suggestions to assure your dogs start the relationship off on the right paw!
Here are some quick and easy steps to follow when introducing your pups to one another.
First and foremost, our trainers suggest putting your current dog in the crate while allowing the other dog walk around.This will ensure the safety of both your trusty companion and their new play partner. *Keep in mind that dogs tend to be more reactive on leash, so it’s best to allow them to meet with a barrier between them.*
After your new pup has had some time to scope out their new home and they’ve sniffed through that crate, it’s time for the both of them to meet. We recommend their first introduction while walking on leash and while doing so, allow the both of them to sniff each other. You can praise and reward both dogs with treats* if they approach each other appropriately (i.e. ears pulled to the side, no harsh stares, etc.). If there are no signs of aggression, allow them to play while they’re still on leash. (*If either dog has any signs of food aggression, just prise verbally)
Lastly, observe their behavior towards each other for a few minutes to make sure their behavior is relaxed. If the dogs continue to be relaxed, they are ready for off leash play. If you notice any stiffening, direct eye contact or raised hackles (hair on the back of the neck stand up), it’s best to distract the dogs and place in the crate. Try the introduction again later, or call our trainers for help.
It’s important that the introduction is done correctly, to ensure that the relationship starts off on the right paw and they can have a happy life long friendship!
Questions? Concerns? Call our trainers today, they’d be happy to help!
K9s Only Tarzana | 818-344-9663
K9s Only West LA | 310-479-5600
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K9s Only has been a premier Los Angeles Dog Training facility proudly serving the Tarzana, West LA, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Brentwood areas for over 20 years. Our expert knowledge on dog behavior has shaped our dog training methods to look at the whole dog, not just the species. Like people, dogs have different strengths and weaknesses, different ways of learning and their dog training should be tailored to meet their individual needs. There is not ONE way to train every dog. The primary goal of K9s Only is to produce a companion animal that bonds with and respects its guardian and has the ability and desire to please. It is important to K9s Only, that through working with your family, you will be able to better understand canine behavior and how to effectively communicate with your dog. This is achieved by recognizing that your dog is a living creature with a brain and has the ability to make his own choices. Our dog trainers influence the dog’s behavior in a natural way, allowing him to make right and wrong choices. A training evaluation allows our trainers to determine what method and type of training will be most suitable and successful for you, your dog and your family. For more information, visit our Los Angeles dog training page or request an evaluation.
Dog Hotel / Dog Boarding
Our Los Angeles Dog Boarding facilities each offer private rooms for your dog, providing comfortable beds and blankets in a temperature controlled environment, including Filtered air and water. Our staff maintains the highest cleaning standards and our primary concern is the health and safety of your beloved dog. Because K9s Only specialized in dog training, our dog trainers capable of caring for all breeds and all temperaments and welcomes dogs that may not get along with other dogs. While vacationing with us, your dog will have 4-5 outings a day in playgroups that match your dog’s activity level and temperament. Dogs that don’t play well with others are given the same amount of playtime in our private yards, one-on-one with our caring Animal Care Associates. For more information, visit our Los Angeles Dog Boarding page.
Each location offers large indoor and outdoor play yards with ramps and obstacles for your dog to play and socialize while in our care. Large dogs and small dogs are separated and most importantly, our daycare yards NEVER have over 25 dogs playing at one time. Our dog trainers evaluate your dog through a safe and gentle process to ensure success in our yard. There is always an animal care attendant watching over the playgroup to maintain our non-bullying policy. At the end of the day, your dog is returned to you tired and happy, ready for some down time with you after your busy day and his busy day. Playing is hard work!. For more information, visit our Los Angeles Dog Daycare page.
Spa / Dog Grooming
K9s Only approach to grooming is one that is built on patience, a gentle hand and with your dog’s comfort and special needs in mind. The dog grooming experience should always be relaxing and our groomers will cater to your dogs every need. Breaks and naps are provided for senior dogs and puppies. Expert scissoring with knowledge of all breed cuts, the highest quality shampoos and conditioners, scalp massage, and hand drying sets K9s Only grooming apart from the rest. For more information, visit our Los Angeles Dog Grooming page.
Let sleeping dogs lie … in the bedroom. That’s according to a new Mayo Clinic study that’s sure to set many tails wagging.
It’s no secret that Americans love their dogs. According to the American Veterinary Association, more than 40 million American households have dogs. Of these households, 63 percent consider their canine companions to be family. Still, many draw the line at having their furry family members sleep with them for fear of sacrificing sleep quality.
“Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,” says Lois Krahn, M.D., a sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine on Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus and an author of the study. “We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”
The study, “The Effect of Dogs on Human Sleep in the Home Sleep Environment,” evaluated the sleep of 40 healthy adults without sleep disorders and their dogs over five months. Participant and their dogs wore activity trackers to track their sleeping habits for seven nights.
According to the study, sleeping with dogs helps some people sleep better ─ no matter if they’re snoozing with a small schnauzer or dozing with a Great Dane. There is one caveat, however. Don’t let your canines crawl under the covers with you. The sleep benefit extends only to having dogs in your bedroom ─ not in your bed. According to the study, adults who snuggled up to their pups in bed sacrificed quality sleep.
“The relationship between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people in fact do sleep with their pets in the bedroom,” says Dr. Krahn. “Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.”
So, go ahead. Turn your sheepdog into a sleep dog. Just make sure they are relegated to their own bark-o-lounger, rather than your bed.
The study was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Mayo Clinic. (2017, September 7). Are you barking up the wrong tree by sleeping with your dog?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170907144553.htm
Party lines may be sharply divided regarding issues, but not when it comes to animals and their welfare. California Assembly Bill 485, the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, passed the California State Senate by a vote of 38 to 0.
With Assemblymember Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside) signing on as a co-author and more Republicans voting in favor in both houses, the bill passed with bipartisan support. The bill’s supporters are hoping that Gov. Jerry Brown will sign the historic animal-welfare law into being when it lands on his desk.
AB 485 was authored by Assembly Members Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) and Matt Dababneh (D-Encino) and sponsored by animal advocacy group Social Compassion in Legislation. The bill is written to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits sourced from high-volume, commercial breeding facilities, known as mills, in all pet shops throughout the state. Stores that offer pets for sale will be required to source them from local shelters and rescues.
“I thank my Senate colleagues for their support on this critical measure and for defending the voiceless,” said Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach). “AB 485 gives so many shelter animals the chance to find their forever homes, while simultaneously cutting off the outlet for puppy mill animals into our state.”
“Most Californians agree that we need to put the brakes on the mass breeding of animals who end up in local shelters, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to care for and eventually euthanize,” said Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton). “AB 485 will take the puppy mills out of pet stores and give shelter animals a better chance of being adopted.”
The bill’s staunchest opponent is the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), an organization that monitors legislation affecting pets and the pet industry. Its president, Mike Bober, said that pet owners will actually lose out with regard to rights and protections, among them requirements that allow owners to be reimbursed for ill or deceased pets, that veterinarians regularly examine dogs that enter California pet stores, and provide materials and on the benefits of spaying and neutering. Pets that are sold by retail are generally intact.
“Most of these protections have existed since 1996,” said Bober, whose group represents California pet stores.
However, the supporters are celebrating a victory for cats, dogs and rabbits.
“We are thrilled by the Senate’s vote today,” Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation and the bill’s sponsor. “AB 485 is a historic bill that will reduce the demand for high volume, cruelly bred dogs, cats and rabbits [and] will allow over half a million pets normally euthanized in our shelters annually a greater chance for adoption, and again show that California is a leader in animal welfare legislation.”
Dababneh called the bill an important step in ending the inhumane and deplorable breeding practices of puppy mills, and fostering increased adoption opportunities for pets at local shelters. “However, our work is not done yet,” he said.
The bill will now go to back briefly to the Assembly Floor for a concurrence vote on the amendments adopted in the Senate and then to Governor Brown’s desk for signature. Supporters are encouraged to email, write or fax Gov. Brown and ask for his signature on the bill. Contact information is as follows:
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 558-3160
Original Story: Kate Karp: Long Beach Post
K9s Only recently posted a blog about dog boredom leading to anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorders. Here’s another article along the same lines. Scroll to the bottom for some solutions!
Stimulation for animals, like humans, is not a luxury but a necessity,’ says animal welfare expert Charlotte Burn, who has raised concerns over shrinking brains.
By: Greg Wilford The Independent
Pet owners may envy their pampered pooches lying around the house snoring and yawning with abandon, but now scientists have warned that bestial boredom could cause animals’ brains to shrink.
Research has indicated that dogs become distressed by chronic boredom and can suffer adverse effects from a lack of stimulation. Cattle and animals in zoos can also suffer if they are kept in dull surroundings with little to interest them, it is claimed.
Animal welfare lecturer Charlotte Burn, from the The Royal Veterinary College, used cameras to observe dogs left alone in houses before publishing an essay called “Bestial boredom: a biological perspective on animal boredom and suggestions for its scientific investigation.”
She told The Times: “They often yawn, bark, howl and whine. Some sleep a lot – a sign of apathy. Some of this is anxiety but often they are just really bored.
“Boredom has long been thought of as a solely human emotion but animals suffer from it too. Research shows that being kept in barren environments without stimulation damages the brain.
“Neurones die off if not stimulated, so the brains of such animals tend to be smaller with fewer synapses.”
Ms Burn said “wild and domesticated animals are at particular risk in captivity, which is often spatially and temporally monotonous” in her paper, which was published in the journal Animal Behaviour.
“Human prisoners describe boredom as a torment and a monster that takes them over,” she told The Times.
- Doggy Daycare at K9s Only. Socializing with other dogs is THE best solution for your bored pup!
- Enroll in a Obedience Group Class or Dog Training. Small amounts of work every day keeps your dogs mind engaged and active. A basic Obedience group class starts 9/9/17!
- Get outside! A quick walk around the block will make your pup SUPER happy and he’ll discover millions of scents to keep him busy.
- Go for a drive. Now that the weather is cooling (A bit) let you pup ride with you to pick up the kids from school or fill up on gas.
- Marrow (white bone) filled with peanut butter and frozen will keep your dogs engaged and interested in something other than sleeping.
- Dog puzzles or treat balls are great for food motivated dogs. Keeps them busy for hours.
Kate R. asks “I’m thinking about adopting another dog so my current one year old Terrier has company. Any suggestions on breed? Should I get the same type of dog and same sex? How about age?”
K9s Only Trainer Brent guides you through the process of determining which breed, age, sex and temperament would make the best companion for your existing fur baby. If you are thinking of adding another dog to your home, watch this video for great tips on choosing the right dog!