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All Q&As
by
Mike malloy

Great tips and advice from the Animal League Experts.

Below are Q&As on all topics that relate to cats or dogs. Not what you're looking for? Use the form below to change your criteria, or submit your question to one of our experts.

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How can I calm my excited dog during car rides?
Q:

I have an 11-month-old, male, neutered Labrador retriever named Pete that I adopted from a shelter when he was 4 1/2 months old. Pete is fairly high strung. He is well-socialized and goes out every day for hikes or the dog park for at least 45 minutes to an hour twice a day. His only major issue is that he gets so excited for our “outings” that he whines and cries in the car. He is too wild to be loose in the car, so he rides in his crate in the back. How can I calm him down in the car? I've tried taking him on many “rides to nowhere”, given him toys in crate, etc. What can I do?

A:

Riding in the crate is a good decision and the safest and best method of transport for an excited dog. I would start over by reconditioning your dog to riding in the car. Get him used to the car without actually going anywhere. Get in the car with him when the car is parked in the driveway or on the street. Reward him with a treat and praise him for being quiet. You want to emphasize the term “good quiet” when rewarding him with the treat. Repeat this a few times without starting the car or driving anywhere. After doing this a few times, try a short car ride and try walking your dog home. You want to keep using the term “good quiet” and continue using the treats as rewards. Gradually increase the length of the rides and continue to use treats and praise along with “good quiet”. The key to success is consistency and patience. Pete is a young, energetic dog that requires a lot of exercise. You may have to increase his exercise before going for the car rides, and just remember that eventually he will calm down as he leaves puppyhood.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Mike Malloy
How can I train my puppy to eliminate outside?
Q:

My 5-month-old puppy won’t eliminate outside. She will only urinate. What should I do?

A:

Where is the puppy defecating? If it is going back to a specific spot in the home, that spot should be cleaned thoroughly with a product such as Natures Miracle or 50% vinegar/water solution to prevent the puppy from being drawn to that same spot. Vigilance and consistency are the keys to housebreaking. Maintain a consistent schedule for the housebreaking routine. This will help your dog anticipate the time he/she is going to need to eliminate and help you predict as well. Feed the dog at the same time every day. Leave the food down for a half hour only. Do not leave food down all the time, as it will cause the dog’s elimination habits to be erratic. Take the dog out on a leash within fifteen minutes of eating to the same spot where he/she has urinated. Give them ample time to go. If the dog does not go, they should be supervised when being brought back into the house to avoid an uncorrectable accident and then given another housebreak walk in fifteen minutes. Use a training crate as a housebreaking aid when you can not physically watch the dog.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Mike Malloy
Is Puppy Play Biting Normal?
Q:

Is puppy play biting normal?

A:

Play biting or mouthing is a normal attention-seeking behavior that puppies use to be noticed and play with littermates. If your dog is too rough, typically another puppy will either bite back harder or "shun" the dog by ignoring him and walking away. Since dogs are "pack animals," which means they are born in a litter and live by a social hierarchy, when a dog enters a new home he perceives his new family as his pack of littermates.

He will get the attention the same way he would with his real littermates, by using his mouth. When a puppy puts teeth on flesh or clothing, they should be corrected effectively, consistently and swiftly so they can think twice about the consequence the next time they have the urge to grab and play bite. A good correction is a "shaker can" (empty soda can filled with some coins) which you use by shaking, without the puppy seeing you, if he/she should go to mouth you.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Mike Malloy
How Do I Prepare for My New Adopted Dog?
Q:

When I bring my newly adopted dog home, what are some important things to remember?

A:

Dogs are pack animals that live by social hierarchy. When a dog enters a new home he is looking for that structure. It is important for obedience and stability that the dog sees all the people in the family as leaders.

To help establish yourselves as leader don't allow the dog on furniture since this puts the dog on the same level as you. Don't use baby talk. To you it might convey affection, but to the dog it's not perceived as leadership. As you move around your home, go through the doors first and allow your dog to follow you. Teach the dog to wait at the door and when he is responding say "let's go" to clearly signal that you'll both going somewhere together.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Mike Malloy

 

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