Faux Paws: Never Do These To Your Dog

There is a wide spectrum of dog owner types out there ranging from good to bad. If you aspire to be a good dog owner and truly value your furry companion, here are a few things you should never do.

Never Leave Your Dog In The Car Alone

In the warmer months a car essentially becomes a greenhouse. Even if you think you are going to be in the store for just a second, be careful because dogs can become overheated and sick, or worse. In the winter months, your car is still not a great place to leave your dog either because it is cold, and your dogs comfort and health are at just as much risk. When confined to small spaces for a duration, your dog can also become anxious.

If nothing else, consider the consequences for yourself, and your car. If you leave your dog in the car and someone else in the parking lot takes it upon themselves to do what you should have done, they wont be opening it with keys. You are risking legal action, as well as having to repair your window.

You wouldn’t leave your infant child in the car alone, and your dog should not be any different. They are powerless to open the door, turn the car on to adjust climate control, and you cannot always guarantee that you will not be in line longer than you thought etc.

Never Make Your Dog Live Outside Year Round

You may think that since dogs were once wild animals, and roamed the earth long before the first house was built that they were meant for the outside. Some dogs have the heavy coats to keep them warm outdoors even in the colder months, and that may be fine for wolves and wild dogs but many of the dogs bred today are not equipped for life on their own. Domestication has made dogs dependent on humans for companionship, food, water, and more. If your dog is always outside and receive no attention, they will likely resort to destructive behavior, and attempt escape.  A wild dog or wolf is accustomed to freely roaming, and a dog in a cage in your back yard, even with a lead is likely to become bored.

Never Strike Your Dog

Striking your dog with your hand, foot or another object will always do more harm than good. It will hurt your dog, as well as your relationship with your dog. Hitting your dog can cause a slew of mental problems as they do not always understand why it is happening. They can begin to fear you and other people, and even react aggressively in kind if they fell insecure. If you make the argument that hitting your dog to protect a family member from getting bitten is okay, then it would be best to take a step back and see why they were hurting a human being to begin with. If you have not given them adequate training, or the person was mistreating your dog then the dog is clearly not at fault. Making sure your dog is adequately trained and taken care of is your responsibility.

Never Berate Your Dog

If your dog digs up the yard, searches the trashcan for treats, or uses the living room floor for a bathroom, you may feel the rage boil up inside of you and decide to give your dog a speech. This complex string of words may seem simple enough to you, and may make you feel better, but it will only confuse your dog and cause stress. If your dog is behaving in a frustrating way, the best response is to seek out an experienced dog trainer in Pittsburgh to eliminate these behaviors, and show you the proper commands and responses to keep them at bay for good.

Never Reinforce Bad Habits (Even If They Are Funny)

If your dog is behaving poorly whether it is mistaking your friends for a mate, jumping on the couch, or growling at a statue, responding to these behaviors by petting them, or laughing at the behavior can show them that they get attention for behaving this way.  Talk to an experienced dog trainer like Spitze K9 to help your dog receive proper training to get rid of bad habits. Who knows, you may learn a thing or two yourself!

Never Self Diagnose and Treat Your Dog

You may read an article about why your dog is behaving a certain way, or why their bodily functions are different than normal and assume that you can save some money by doing what the article says. You may even find that some human medicine you already have can be used in doses fit for a dog, and choose to go that route. You may be right in a given scenario, but is it worth the risk? Unless you have been told directly by an experienced, qualified veterinarian to do something in a specific scenario, there can be multiple reasons why your dog is behaving a certain way, and treating based on a faulty home diagnosis is always a possibility, and why we encourage regular vet visits.

Never Give Your Dog Alcohol

If your dog has a small drop of wine the you accidently spilled, likely this will not be a reason to rush them to the ER. However some dog owners notice that their dogs like the sweet taste of alcohol and in a moment of alcohol fueled lack of inhibition of their own, they will permit them to drink, maybe even make a joke that in dog years they are 21, and then later on their dog has diarrhea, is vomiting, or worse.  Some drink mixers contain xylitol which is toxic to dogs in minuscule amounts.

Never Give Up On Dog Training

If you have taken your dog to training classes, and they haven’t worked, or the results don’t last, then you may need to try a different trainer, or do a better job yourself at consistency after the training session is over. Two years of bad behavior will not be undone in a two week training session if you are not willing to continue in the manner instructed by your trainer afterwards. If you were not given homework by your trainer, then you should find a new one. A good dog trainer will set the owner and the dog up for success and give them the tools to continue training at home.

Never Forget to Give Them Their Own Space

Your dog may be by your side 24/7 and that may work for both of you but since dogs are territorial in nature it is good for them to have a space set aside where they can go to be away from it all and not get messed with.

Don’t Skip Dog Training!

If your dog is new to the family, or bad behaviors do not pose a problem, you may be tempted to skip or postpone getting them trained. Even the most well behaved dogs expect leadership from their owners, and if they do not receive it they may decide to take charge on their own. Contact Spitze K9 to set your best friend up for success, and have a better relationship with your dog in the years to come! Call us today to find out about our training programs! We offer in home training, board and train programs and more!

What Makes A Good Dog Trainer?

Antonio; dog trainer at Spitze K9

Many dog trainers in Pittsburgh position themselves as the best dog trainers around. They may be top-tier, but with everyone claiming to be the best, how do you know what makes a dog trainer good? Here are some qualities we decided are important to look for when finding someone to train your furry friend.

A Good Dog Trainer Understands All Dogs Are Different

While different breeds of dogs show some consistency in areas of intelligence or other traits, they are all very different. Border collies are known for their intelligence and receptiveness to complex dog training, but there are always exceptions. A good trainer doesn’t judge a book by its cover and understands that no two dogs are exactly alike.  Even if the canine in question is intelligent, there is no guarantee that it learns the same way as another dog of a similar pedigree. Dog trainers who are patient and have the ability to troubleshoot a dog’s behavior can produce a training atmosphere that enables stupid, spazzy, intelligent, calm, young, and old dogs to learn new tricks.

A Good Dog Trainer Has Patience

Everyone has days when stress gets to them more than usual, but patience cannot be understated when training a dog. Not every training session is going to go smoothly at first. Dogs, like people, have different personalities and aptitudes. When a dog trainer trains dog after dog after dog, they get accustomed to various responses. If the trainer works with three dogs in a row that respond quickly to training, and the fourth doesn’t seem to get it, they need the patience to adapt, see it through, and create a learning environment that works for that dog specifically, rather than get frustrated and not give that dog the attention it deserves. Even dogs that are quicker to respond to training require a patient dog trainer who is willing to repeat the same commands and reinforcements until the dog sees the pattern.

A Good Dog Trainer Is Consistent

Dogs learn through repetition. This means consistent responses to their behavior, predictable commands to bring out that behavior, and reinforcement that does not deviate.  Not a machine-like consistency that is cold and unforgiving but a clear pattern that dogs can identify and act upon without becoming confused. The dog trainers’ expectations should be explicit and patient, and if something isn’t working at first, they need to know the right time to change their approach and not switch it up flippantly. They need to get to know your dog and learn to communicate with them in a way they can understand to make their training effective.

A Good Dog Trainer Communicates Effectively…

With The Dog

Dogs mostly communicate through body language. Though they can understand simple commands, unfortunately, dogs cannot use words to convey thoughts, needs, and intentions.  A good dog trainer can interpret your dog’s body language and train them accordingly. The positioning of your dog’s head, ears, tail, and even hair (among other cues) can be helpful to a discerning dog trainer. When your dog trainer communicates with your dog, it involves more than just verbal cues to elicit the desired response. Rewards are a form of communication that every dog understands in varying degrees and are a great motivator to do what is requested. Hand signals are another way trainers can communicate with your dog.

With The Owner

While the ability of the trainer to communicate with your dog is of utmost importance, they must also communicate with you as the owner. Not only during the training process to show progress and further needs but after the training is complete, they need to teach you how to reinforce and maintain the behavior your dog has learned. If you return home, and you have not been taught how to keep your dog on its best behavior properly, and the importance of doing so has not been impressed upon you, then your dog is likely to regress, and you should seek another trainer. Spitze K9 provides ongoing communication in a private group, even after completing training, to help you and your dog.

A Good Dog Trainer Has A Relationship With Your Dog

In order to understand why your dog is behaving the way it is, and to increase the likelihood that it responds well to training, a good dog trainer forms a connection with your dog. When the trainer meets the trainee, they are strangers at first. Learning becomes easier when the walls come down, a bond is in place, and trust has been established. Teaching is more effective when it comes from someone you look up to and respect than it is from an unknown entity that’s hitting you in the face with a book and telling you there is a test tomorrow. Easing the dog’s anxieties or fears is only part of it. Your trainer needs to be able to empathize with your dog and show compassion but still know when to discipline them or discourage certain behaviors.

A Good Dog Trainer Has Training AND Experience

A good dog trainer has been trained themself! Everyone has to start somewhere whether it is simply the love of dogs or the accidental discovery of a natural gift. At some point to improve their effectiveness, understanding of fundamentals, or simply to fill in the gaps of their knowledge, a good trainer will have received an education from someone who knows more and has more experience.  Regardless of their own discoveries, it is important to get different perspectives and methods from another source. You don’t know what you don’t know.  On the other side of the collar, you shouldn’t take your dog to a trainer who doesn’t have experience because a training session doesnt always play out the way it does in a book. Much like a dog being trained, the trainer needs time and repetition to be effective.

A Good Dog Trainer Exhibits Professionalism

During the consultation, you should feel good about leaving your dog with the trainer or having them come back to your house for an in-home training session. They should present themselves with integrity and be courteous. A good dog trainer has high ethical standards for dealing with humans and dogs. Their training methods should be humane, and they should set and live up to realistic, tangible expectations.

A Good Dog Trainer Is Passionate About Training

Dog training requires dedication and passion. A trainer who trains dogs only for the paycheck and doesn’t have their heart in it may not be willing to put in the effort needed to turn challenging, undesired dog behaviors around and give you the tools to keep them going in the right direction. Everyone has bad days, but someone who thrives while teaching dogs can make a successful lifelong career and touch the lives of owners and dogs alike. Read the reviews they have received from other owners of dogs they have trained and see how they have performed in the past.

Dog Training With Spitze K9

At SpitzeK9 we bring passion, professionalism, experience, knowledge, consistency, and compassion to the table when we train your pet. Take a look at the training and accomplishments our organization has achieved over the years. If your dog is pulling on the leash, aggressive, not coming when called, jumping on people, or exhibiting any other undesirable behavior, bring them out to SpitzeK9! Call us today at 412-498-6635 or fill out a short form on our website!

 

 

Which Dogs are the Easiest to Train?

While dogs are beloved pets, not all dog breeds are easy to train, which can be a massive source of stress for dog owners. Without basic commands and obedience, dogs can develop unwanted behaviors, such as destroying your belongings, pulling on the leash, or poorly socializing with people or other pets. While any dog can be trained by a qualified dog trainer some are predisposed to good behavior while others are not.

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Why it is Important to Train Your Dog

If you’re a dog owner, it’s important to train your pet. Dog training can help keep your dog safe and make your life easier. There are many great places to go for dog training classes in Pittsburgh. At Spitze K9 in Pittsburgh, we offer obedience training, behavior modification, and much more! We believe that every dog should have the opportunity to learn how to be a well-behaved member of society. In a family, if you have children, you raise them and show them what is acceptable in your household and the world around you so that they are well-behaved and can handle life’s challenges. Your dog, as a member of your family, communicates and learns differently than the people in your family, so sometimes a dog trainer is needed to help them learn what they should or shouldn’t do.

Your Dog Will Be Well Behaved And Safe After Training

Training your dog is important for many reasons. A well-trained dog is safer and easier to live with. They may be less likely to run away or get into fights with other dogs. Training can also help improve your relationship with your pet. Your dog will know how to behave around people and other animals with proper training. This can make life much easier for both you and your dog. If you’re looking for a great place to go for Dog Training in Pittsburgh, Spitze K9 is a perfect choice! We offer a variety of classes that can meet the needs of any dog and owner.

Training Will Help Your Dog Feel Appreciated

dog on chewed up chair that needs to be trained
Many people believe that training a dog is unnecessary or that it’s something that only owners who want their dogs to be “perfect” pay for. However, this could not be further from the truth. Dog training is important for all dog owners, regardless of how well-behaved their pets may be.

Training your dog can help keep them safe and make both of your lives easier. A well-trained dog will know how to obey basic commands, such as sit, stay, and come. They will also be less likely to run away or get into fights with other animals. In addition, training can help improve your relationship with your pet. With proper training, your dog will know how to behave around people and other animals. This can make life much easier for both you and your dog. Your dog may not have a solid grasp of what it is not allowed to do or not understand the importance of not doing it. If you yell at your dog without it clearly understanding what it did wrong, your dog can become stressed.

Dog Training Will Give You Peace of Mind

Training your dog can provide you with peace of mind. A well-trained dog is more likely to obey basic commands, such as sit, stay, and come. This means that they are less likely to get into trouble or run away. Training can also help prevent unwanted behaviors, such as chewing on furniture or barking excessively.  You likely attempt to discipline your dog for doing bad things, or wonder why your dog is ignoring your commands.  If you have observed these bad behaviors over a period of time, you may always be on the lookout for them to do it again. This can cause YOU stress. With the proper training in place, your dog’s behavior will be easier to maintain, and you will be able to relax.

When Should I Begin Training My Puppy?

The best time to start training your puppy is during their formative months, which is typically around the age of 3 to 12 weeks. During this time, puppies are more receptive to learning and will be easier to train. It’s important to begin training with your puppy early on so that they can develop good habits that will last throughout their life. Do it right the first time. Hire a professional such as Spitze K9, nip those bad behaviors in the bud, and reinforce good behavior.

Dog Training Services in Pittsburgh

If you’re looking for a great place to go for Dog Training in Pittsburgh, Spitze K9 is a perfect choice! We offer a variety of classes that can meet the needs of any dog owner. Contact us today for more information!

Why Is My Dog Ignoring My Commands?

If you have been struggling with getting your dog to listen to you and exhibit basic obedience, you may be wondering why your dog ignores your commands but will listen to a skilled dog trainer almost immediately.

Your dog may be ignoring your commands if they are older, not fully trained, or distracted by fear, pain, or other external Stimuli. The most common reason your dog will ignore your commands is the improper use of repetition on your part.

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Will Board and Train Affect My Bond with My Dog?

When clients inquire about our Board and Train program, a question we sometimes get is whether their dog being trained by someone else will have an effect on their special bond with their dog. We understand how important the bond is between a dog and its owner, so this concern is normal. So will our board and train program affect your bond with your dog? The short answer is; no. Here are the insights from the SpitzeK9 team on the matter.

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Dog Board and Train Programs: Helpful or Harmful?

Whether you are planning a vacation or have a special work conference to attend out of town, dog boarding can help make planning your trip less stressful. Using a dog boarding service, you can rest assured that your dog will have somewhere safe, where they will receive care and attention throughout your trip.

In addition to peace of mind, there are various benefits to using a boarding facility for your dog while you are traveling.

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