Some dogs just cannot wait to jump in the water and off they go…
Others are apprehensive.
Best to take it easy and be prepared for a thrashing of paws. In this video I have Portia on a long leash so I can keep away from her paws if they lash out at me for help. It is natural for your puppy to be a bit panicky and to splash around for a short while. It is a new phenomena and most dogs need to be introduced gently.
Very quickly instinct kicks in and the feet stay below the surface frantically treading water. Hence the term “DOG PADDLE”, head held high and four feet paddling along, just like a duck only with four feet instead of two!
Once this happens your pup will relax and you can too.
I use a long leash so as I have some control and can lead my dog around from a distance. Firm but gentle encouragement may be needed initially to get your pup into the water. Keep the first session short and positive and repeat it several times in quick succession.
If your pup is of the small variety, it is a lot easier for you to simply carry her into the water and slowly let her go. You will find that she will head back towards the edge and you can guide her to the spot where she can best get out of the pool.
It is easy for puppies and dogs to play around the waters edge or surf but usually they need some positive encouragement to get right in. My next session with Portia will be when the tide is low at “The Doggie Beach” in ” The Woods” at Noosa. Once again I will gently guide her on the long leash across the water channel to the sand spit, where she can run and play to her puppy heart’s content.
Positive reinforcement and firm but gentle encouragement is the way to go to teach your pup to “DOG PADDLE”.
It’s almost summer, so get wet with your dog and enjoy the experience!
Suzanne and Portia.
Whew! There have been times when I didn’t think I would survive puppy hood. Portia has just turned 9 months, stands level with my waist and weighs in at 23 kilos. She is very much still a puppy: full of mischief, bounce and play, and enjoys every minute of her day…active, active, active! Keeping up with her is keeping me fit and hopefully forever young.
This month I have sensed a change taking place, she seems to be morphing into a young dog and although one part of me is welcoming the slower pace and sometimes more responsive behaviour, I am well aware it can be a challenging time for any puppy parent. AND I am not sure I am ready to let go of her puppy hood just yet.
I tell my puppy owners to focus on their puppy’s good behaviours rather than concentrate on annoying behaviours, and I have lots of good ones to brag about. She has been perfectly clean in the house and I boast only one wee-wee accident in 9 months…amazing. She has slept through the night from day one, and loves her crate. The scars on my hands and arms are gradually fading along with the memory of her full set of baby teeth which seriously had a life and mind of their own, always open and seeking a target. Her love of people and other dogs has been challenging and as her trainer I have had my work cut out for me trying to control her impulse to play without breaking her spirit…Testing!
The change I am feeling is the onset of “Adolescence”. Yes dogs go through it as well as children and it can be ”full on”. The percentage of dogs given up at this stage is by far the largest because many puppy parents do not have the skills or the patience to weather this sometimes very challenging time. Your puppy will no longer follow you around doting on your every move because she is now more interested in the environment around her, and brush turkeys. She is scanning the world for stimulus and distraction, and you will become less important and your directions will be ignored. You may think all the good work you have done throughout puppy hood has been forgotten and she is losing her closeness to you. Don’t despair, she is simply putting things aside while she concentrates on other things she has discovered.
THINGS TO DO
Try to stay calm and remember that it is just a stage. It is easy to get angry when you sense your puppy is totally ignoring you. When this happens it is best to stop a training session as she has lost interest, and her focus is elsewhere. Instead ask her to do something that is really easy, like a SIT, and then praise her and have some fun time by playing a game.
This is a time to tighten up on the rules of the house and try not to issue commands that cannot be enforced should your pup decide to ignor you. Don’t allow for pushy attention seeking behaviour, and don’t give up. Keep up the training but shorten the length and end each training session with a game. I like to play “Tug” she loves it, and it is a way to let her release some of that pent up energy.
I do not like the use of the word “pack leader”, but imagine myself as Portia’s “life coach”. I am her protector and carer and as such I make the decisions and give the directions. I try to be consistent and firm while at the same time allowing her to be herself by not stifling her character by over discipline or fear of punishment.
The impact she has had on the family dynamics has been total with the last nine months one big puppy blur. The whole family, which includes my patient husband and his ever patient cat, and two other dogs of a mature age, have come through puppy hood. The house is finally looking like a home again instead of a puppy playground and I am feeling fit and ready for the next stage. Bring it on….Adolescence.
Bye for now
Doggie Business: The Essential Guide to Puppy Parenting”
is now available in Sydney at all Berkelouw’s Books Stores and online at www.dogwise.com
The Australian Veterinary Association has come out and said it.
Labelling a dog as “dominant” is an inaccurate description.
“It’s time to catch up with the latest and learn that using the D word can be Drastically Detrimental” ( AVA).
At a recent seminar on Dangerous Dogs, the Australian Veterinary Association said that it is not accurate to describe a dog as having a dominant personality, and the term should only be used to describe a single interaction between two individuals competing for a resource. Different resources will motivate different dogs at different times.
In the past we have incorrectly compared certain behaviours of the domestic dog to supposed behaviours of his ancestor “the wolf”. We now know that the whole theory of the wolf pack, pecking order, alpha wolf, top dog etc, is flawed and that studies have revealed that wolves rarely show aggression in their family pack.
So, why do some dogs behave in a pushy manner?
Dogs have evolved to become our friends and part of our family. They understand us and read our body language. It is up to us to communicate with them in a way that gives them the best possible way of understanding us. In so many cases dogs which are described as pushy because they show signs of aggression when confronted, bare their teeth at passers by, growl if you come too close to their bed or food bowl, are not trying to dominate you, but are instead showing signs of anxiety and insecurity or they may be sick and irritable and simply behaving defensively.
In the past we have been told to show our dogs who is boss.
Right from the day you got your pup the advice was, and in some cases still is, ‘to make your dog submit”. Physically forcing the pup onto it’s side or back and holding it in what is commonly called “the Alfa Roll”, or holding eye contact while growling are two of the ways you would have been encouraged to show dog who is boss.
These techniques are very confrontational and risky and will usually result in an escalation of aggression. Punishment will not calm an agitated dog, it will however increase fear and anxiety which will again lead to aggression. Punishment will not teach your dog how you want it to behave and will only teach your dog to be cautious and suspisious of you.
What should you be doing?
Firstly, be proactive and not reactive. Always reward the behaviour that you want and redirect the behaviour you don’t want onto something that is fun for your pup. That way your puppy will be more likely to listen to you when you give a direction.
Secondly, if your dog is showing aggression it is wise to consult a qualified person who can best advise you on the correct stratagies that will help you manage your dog. There is help out there. Start with the Australian Veterinary Behaviour Interest group (AVBIG)
at email@example.com for advice.
Choosing a canine friend is a very difficult task for some people, but not for Jack.
He took one look at Maxie and said to his Grandma:
“That’s what I want: a Follow Me dog”.
Children need to feel safe and secure around their pets. Listen to what they have to say about the type of dog they would like in their life. Sometimes we miss the simple things they say. A “follow me” dog, is such a simple description and yet says it all.
Yes, Maxie is a perfect “follow me dog” but you cannot have him Jack. He’s mine.
I know I keep bragging about this place.
I just cannot help it.
It is poetry to be able to go out first thing in the morning, dogs in tow, and simply take in the atmosphere.
I just wish the rest of the world could share in this beauty.
We have all seen it, that rambunctious canine that careens around the dog park or beach, throwing itself onto every other dog within a hundred meters. Age, size or demeanor is of no consequence whatsoever. Mastiffs and Maltese alike are on the receiving end of these full frontal assaults, ambitious mountings and body slams.
Eventually the culprit will come up against another dog that will set about teaching him or her some manners. Usually with teeth flashing!!!
I often get asked “Why are other dogs so mean to Fido? All he wants to do is play”.
The answer is simple, your dog has no manners.
Most pet owners are not aware that the canine world has an established body language and etiquette just like the human world, and just as some people are bad mannered so are some dogs.
They don’t know how to interact appropriately or introduce themselves correctly to their own species. Like children in a playground they can play politely; be shy and timid, or behave like the typical schoolyard bully.
Don’t confuse well trained with well mannered. Its one thing to have a well trained dog that sits on cue and keeps off the furniture, but it is also important for your dog to be well mannered around other dogs, and play well with them. This is not always the case.
Usually a dog is impolite due to the lack of exposure to well socialized dogs during its own sensitive socialization period.
Some may be anxious and excitable around others, while some are hell bent on being top dog and they have an “I’ll get you before you get me” attitude to all they meet.
Whatever the cause it is important to recognize rude play when you see it, and either protect your dog before he reacts to it, or if it’s your dog being rambunctious, teach him how to play politely.
Polite play begins with a polite greeting. Well mannered dogs approach each other at a relaxed pace from the side, or a sniff of the rear end, rather than head on. Young pups usually charge full-bore but if you take the time and the care to introduce your pup to the right dogs, it will soon learn what is acceptable and what is not. A quiet growl here, a little nip there, and most pups learn by the time they are six months to approach others with a certain degree of manners and respect.
However some dogs just don’t get it. They are oblivious to the warning of others and so it’s up to you to help your pup or older dog learn how to met and greet. This is a hard task because it involves changing behavior between two dogs.
You need to be patient and consistently use a variety of positive distraction techniques. For example, reinforce your dog every time it looks at you by giving it a treat.
Watch your dog’s body language and interrupt its full flight approach to another dog by intervening with the throw of a ball in the opposite direction. Also sharpen up your dog’s response to the SIT command and remember to reinforce enthusiastically when his bottom hit s the ground.
If you are concerned about your dog’s interaction, keep him on leash and control the introduction correctly. Ask the owner of the other dog if you can approach and introduce the dogs. First allow them to take turns at sniffing each other’s rear end. Hold your dog in position to allow for the sniff and then reverse the procedure. After a good rear end sniff, allow them to meet face to face. It takes time but your dog will get the idea and you will be able to manage your dog’s behavior and simply enjoy the experience of your dog at play with others.
Do you have several hours a day to share with your puppy?
If you don’t your dog may turn into a canine delinquent; bored and mischievous. Dogs are social creatures and without you their existence is lonely.
Do you have an area where your pup can run without fear of getting hurt or lost?
They need to stretch just like you. They need a securely fenced yard or access to a safe area. The alternative is to get a small dog that can be easily exercised inside or by simply following you around. Continue reading
Puppies will happily run up to play with any dog that comes along.