Friday, April 25, 2008

Here's What To Do

Here's What To Do If Your Dog Displays Submissive Urination
Bhabani wrote to me with her question about her dog and submissive urination:

She wrote: "I have a mixed-breed puppy (German shepherd/border collie mix) which is 4 months old. It's very friendly with people but when it approaches people, it urinates all-over. The same happens when I come home in the evening. It becomes very excited and urinates on the carpet. Is that a submissive behavior? How can I solve this problem?

Dear Bhabani,
Just for peace of mind, have him checked by your veterinarian to make sure the problem is strictly behavioral and isn't medically related. Once you have the results from the tests, you can start from there.

If your dog is otherwise house-trained, it is more likely a submissive behavior. You can help reduce this behavior by increasing your dog's confidence level.

Take the dog out more and socialize, socialize, socialize with other humans.

Agility training is also a great start.
Don't create as much excitement around the dog when he's known to exhibit the behavior. When you come home, ignore him until he's calm enough to greet. Is he kept in a crate while you're gone? This can help you by allowing you to come home and immediately take the dog outside to potty. By staying in the crate, he will be more at loathe to potty in it because dogs have an inhibition to using the same area as a toilet and a den.

The same goes with guests. If a guest comes over, they should ignore the dog and not fuss until he calms down. Do not correct him for urinating. Correcting submissive urination will only make the behavior worse.

About the Author: Adam G. Katz is the author of the book, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer: An Insider's Guide To The Most Jealously Guarded Dog Training Secrets In History." Get a free copy of his report "Games To Play With Your Dog" when you sign up for his free weekly dog training tips e-zine at:


Orthopedic Dog Beds

Orthopedic Dog Beds

Many people consider their dog to be part of their family, and want to ensure his happiness and comfort. As dogs get older, they experience the same problems in their canine bodies as humans do.

Arthritis in older dogs, especially males, is quite common, though sometimes hard to detect since your dog can’t complain about the aches and pains he’s experiencing. He’ll slow down when walking and running, he won’t leap for that dog treat as quickly as he used to, he’ll shorten those evening walks and he simply won’t sleep as well on the same bed he’s been using for years.

There are, however, many ways you can help him. The first step is to consult with your veterinarian, who will probably make adjustments to his diet and perhaps even prescribe some medication to be mixed into his food. Your vet may then suggest that you invest a few dollars and buy him one of many orthopedic dog beds to help him sleep better. The more comfort you can give to your dog with this problem, the more he’ll enjoy his declining years.

Orthopedic dog beds are quite common these days, and even if your veterinarian does not know where you can find one in the town or city where you live, he will likely be able to direct you to a number of mail order companies or websites that specialize in them and be able to help you make the best choice.

In general, older dogs, those recuperating from surgery or accidents, or handicapped dogs will get the most comfort from some kind of foam bed, since they are firmer and easier to get into and out of. If your dog likes to “nest”, (kneading the fabric of his bed before he lies down), a MiracleLoft-filled bed will be the best for him.

Baffle beds, that is, beds designed with polyfil-filled tubes of fabric sewn together, are also an excellent choice, as they tend to be firmer and to provide more support where the dog needs it most. They are designed to create a non-shifting liner, so the shape of the bed does not change over time and the dog can get into a similar position comfortably and easily each and every night. Quilted foam orthopedic dog beds are probably best for dogs with severe arthritis, as the foam is of a medical grade, created for humans with similar problems, and provides the most support for painful, arthritic joints. Take your dog with you if you’re lucky enough to have an orthopedic dog bed supplier in your area and let him decide. After all, it’s his bed now, isn’t it?

Dog Beds provides detailed information about small and large dog beds, as well as designer, orthopedic, and discount dog beds. For more information go to and/or visit its sister site at for related information.

Top Ten Dog Training Mistakes

Top Ten Dog Training Mistakes

If you are in the process of training your dog or considering it, then you might like to check the following list to ensure that you are not making one of the common mistakes.

1) Giving different words for the same command.

If you want your dog to obey your commands, you must be consistent with the words that you use. For example you may issue the command “Sit” most of the time. It is no good expecting your dog to also sit down when you say “Get down off my favourite chair”

2) Rubbing nose in urine

This has no affect on training a dog. All you are doing is burning is nose. Which is probably something that you don’t want to do.

3) Smacking, hitting and punishing the dog.

Experts dog trainers have shown that this type of human behaviour has no positive effect on a dog,

4) Shouting

This will just confuse the dog. Remember, that the whole point of verbal commands is that you have taught the dog to learn from the sound of your voice to link it to an action that he needs to take.

5) Letting the dog eat at the same time as you.

This indicates to the dog that he is your equal. What you need to do is let the dog eat after you. This will teach him that you are the master and in control.

6) Making training session to long.

15 minutes is just about right for a training session. This keeps it fun for young dogs that can have a short attention span.

7) Starting training too late in the dogs life

It’s far easier to train a young puppy. As a dog gets older you will have to put in a lot more obedience training and may have to take the dog to a training school.

8) Puppy crate to big

Puppies don’t like to be a in a big crate. It makes them feel uncomfortable. You can get crates that are adjustable. So that as the dog gets bigger you can adjust the size of the crate to accommodate him.

9) Training the dog when you are in a bad mood.

Don’t train the dog when you are in a bad mood. This means that the tone of your voice will be different and the dog will not be able to link your verbal commands to the action that he should take.

10) Not giving lots of praise.

To enforce your commands, when the dog has taken the right action give him lots of praise.

About The Author

Copyright Rachel Brett 2005

If you need more information about dog training techniques then please visit my dog training resource website for information and techniques on how to make improvements.

Top 5 Dog Health Problems

Top 5 Dog Health Problems

Dog Owner’s commonly ask me the same questions repeatedly. This article aims to help dog owners prevent and find information about the most common dog health problems. Understanding the basics of these problems will go a long ways to helping your canine friend live a long healthy life.

1. By far the most common question I get asked from dog owners is a desperate call about their dog’s vomiting. Vomiting can have many causes, but the most common cause is eating garbage, or wolfing down food. In most cases the easiest cure is to withhold food from your dog for 24 hours, but continue to give water. Then after 24 hours, start by giving small meals again. This rest period will allow the stomach to heal. If vomiting continues after this you should see your veterinarian.

2. The next most common question I get asked are reproduction questions. These questions range from breeding their dog, questions about whelping, and about raising puppies. While it is beyond this article to cover everything, here are some basics to keep in mind. Dogs come into heat every 6-7 months which is the time to breed them. The gestation length ranges from 59-63 days. Breeds that can have trouble with whelping are the pug, bulldog, Chihuahuas, Boston terriers, and the Pekingese. Whelping, the act of giving birth, can take from 2 to 24 hours. With several hours in-between the time puppies are passed.

3. Third, are questions about skin problems. These questions range from masses and bumps, to scratches and rashes. Whenever you find a mass on your dog it is important that you show it to your veterinarian. Most masses are benign lipomas, which are fatty tumors. Another common tumor of female dogs are tumors of the mammary gland. You can greatly decrease the risk of your female dog getting a mammary gland tumor by spaying your dog. One of the most common skin tumors owners are likely to see are Mast cell tumors. Mast cell tumors can appear anywhere on the body, and can range from benign to very aggressive.

4. Fourth are questions about the musculoskeletal system. Two possible causes of limping in dogs are arthritis and torn anterior cruciate ligaments. Arthritis is common in older dogs. To treat arthritis try some joint supplements like chondroitin. For dogs with torn anterior cruciate ligaments, surgery is needed. The anterior cruciate ligament is a ligament in the knees of dogs. Signs of this injury is when the dog is running and all of a sudden the dog whimpers in pain and starts to limp on its rear leg.

5. The fifth most common question is about allergies. Many dogs suffer from allergies. The most common clinical signs are the dog chewing its paws, reddened skin, and scratching. For a definitive diagnosis allergy testing can be done by your veterinarian. Allergies are often treated by antihistamines and in severe cases steroids.

With a little knowledge pet owners can be more proactive in the health care of their pets. With greater knowledge you can help your veterinarian come up with the best treatment plans for your pet, and are able to give a more complete history on your pet which can lead to a quicker and more accurate diagnosis.

For the complete top 10 list visit my website:

About The Author

Dr. Chris Suckow, DVM lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

To get answers for all your dog questions visit him at .

What You Should Know About...

What You Should Know About Your Puppy And Play Biting
The main ways a puppy will play with another dog or puppy are chasing, wrestling, and biting.

When your puppy eventually becomes separated from his littermates, he will most likely carry on his playful behavior with you and your family members. This is often the cause for most puppies trying to bite our hands, or clothing. This behavior usually happens when your puppy is excited and wants to play, rather than a sign of aggression.

You see, to your new puppy, play biting is a very exciting game. Usually when us humans are bitten by a puppy we squeal and pull away. But to your puppy, this makes the whole thing even more exciting, and makes him want to chase us.

This might not be a huge problem now, but if your puppy continues the same behavior until adulthood, his bites will become more painful, and could cause us bruising, even though he only means to be playful.

Some breeds of puppy are more likely to play bite than others. Terriers are often more likely to play bite, as they like to play rough with their littermates when they are young.

Some breeds of puppy (particularly bull breeds) tend to bite harder when they play bite due to them having stronger jaws. Some puppies also learn to bite harder from playing rough when they were littermates.

These breeds of dog play rougher due to them being slightly more insensitive to pain, so it doesn’t hurt much when they play rough with each other.

Children are often more likely to be play bitten by puppies, as they have higher pitched voices which excite and encourage your puppy. Children tend to be more actively and lively to your puppy as well, which makes them a more interesting target for chasing.

Seeing as your puppy play bites when he wants to play, it’s a good idea to have a toy nearby when he wants to play. This will give him something else to focus his playful attention on, instead of rough and tumble games he would have played with his littermates. Remember to keep yourself still, and the toy moving, this will mean he will play with the toy, instead of your moving arms, hands, or legs.

If your puppy still tries to bite you hard, attract him with the toy more. If he still persists, yelp loudly to give him a shock. This will show him that he is playing to rough, and shouldn’t be biting you hard.

If he still continues this behavior you should stop the game and walk away each time he bites you.

It’s important to remember that you dog needs to be having fun playing with the toy – that is, more fun than he gets from biting you! If it’s more rewarding to play with the toy than to bite, he is more likely to stick to playing with the toy.

About the Author: Amy Howells is an expert dog trainer and author. Visit her site at to get an astonishing free e-course that reveals the short-cut secrets to training any dog!


Your New Puppy: Must Haves For Your Dog

Your New Puppy: Must Haves For Your Dog

Now that you’ve decided to get a puppy or dog, the next few weeks will be busy and at times, more than a little bit crazy. That’s why it’s important to plan in advance for the arrival of your new pet. If possible, get as many necessities ready before your puppy comes home.

The Basics

Travel crate: Even if you don't plan on crate training your dog, consider the benefits of owning a crate for other reasons, like transporting an ill or injured puppy to the veterinarian.

Food and water bowls: If you have a puppy, keep the bowls low and shallow. Tip-proof works well, too. As they grow, you’ll likely need to upgrade to larger dishes to accommodate your pet’s size.

Food: Choose an age-appropriate food. Ask your vet or local pet store for recommendations if you’re not sure what kind to purchase. Remember that high quality dog food keeps your puppy healthier and happier.

Collar: Pick a collar that fits properly now. You can always upgrade later if necessary.

Leash: A six-foot lead works well. Choose the right thickness and strength for your dog. A Chihuahua's needs are very different from the needs of a Rottweiler.

ID tag: As one of the first things people search for when finding a stray dog, an ID tag can help make sure your puppy makes it home safely. At a minimum, have your phone number engraved on the tag.

Grooming supplies: Different breeds require different levels of grooming. However, every pup can benefit from a good weekly brushing. It’s also a great way to have quiet, bonding time with your new dog.

Housebreaking supplies: Even adult dogs have accidents, so be prepared with good cleaning supplies.

Veterinarian: If you don't have a favorite vet already, ask family, friends and neighbors for a recommendation. Have an appointment scheduled within the first few days of bringing your puppy home, so your vet can check for worms, other health conditions, and start her vaccination regimen.

The Extras

Obedience classes: Every dog can benefit from learning some basic obedience skills.

Puppy treats: Yummy treats are the perfect reward when you’re working on obedience. Or for when they’re just being adorable.

Toys: Chew toys help satisfy your new puppy’s teething needs. If you’d like to teach your dog to retrieve, look at purchasing a few balls, but make sure they’re not so small that your dog chokes. A lot of people swear by Kong, an awesome rubber toy you stuff with treats to keep your new pal busy.

Sour apple spray: Use this product to spray on spots your puppy loves to chew on. It's a terrific deterrent for naughty puppies.

Baby gates: Want to keep your dog in one area of your house? Use baby gates to corral him. Let’s face it; for a lot of us, dogs are our babies anyway!

Dog house: If your pup will spend any time outdoors, he’ll love having his own little house. Fill it with great chew toys and a cozy blanket, and it will be the perfect home away from home.

Doggie door: Training your dog to use a doggie door when she needs to go outdoors makes life easier for you and your pal.

Clothing: Depending on where you live, sweaters or snow boots may be required outdoor gear for your dog.

Now that you have the basics on hand, don't forget the most essential items for your new puppy: lots of hugs, kisses, and sweet talk. Best of all, they're free!

About the Author: The author, Jennifer McVey, wants to make life easier for you and your new dog. At you'll find a collection of thousands of common and not-so-common puppy names, great tips on naming your new dog, and other helpful advice.


What's The Best Dog Toy For Your Adult Dog?

What's The Best Dog Toy For Your Adult Dog?

As a professional dog trainer, people often ask me what dog toys I recommend they should buy and which ones I use for my own dogs.

Here's the answer: Your dog doesn't need more than two toys. Rotate them, so he doesn't get bored. But remember: We're talking about an animal that eats the same food, day in/day out. And while your dog needs mental stimulation in the form of play and obedience training, they will be perfectly happy with chewing on the same toys, for years.

(Much the same way young children can watch the same Barney movie 100 times without getting bored!)

So… what are the two best dog toys in my opinion?

- The Kong. Either in red or black. (Sometimes you need to play with your dog and this toy a bit, before your dog gets interested in it… but once they do… LOOK OUT. The benefit of this toy is that they can chew on it for months and months, in most cases. You can also stuff it with doggie treats, cream cheese, peanut butter or whatever.

- The rope toy. This is usually sold in either white or multi-strand colors. It is a thick piece of soft rope, tied in a knot on each end. Another great toy because--compared to the rawhide bone--this toy will last weeks or months.

There are other popular dog toys on the market, too. Everything from the brain stimulating "Buster Cube" to the tried and true pig ears and rawhide bones. Consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any new toy, and supervise accordingly.
About the Author

Adam G. Katz is the author of the book, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer: An Insider's Guide To The Most Jealously Guarded Dog Training Secrets In History." Get a free copy of his report "Games To Play With Your Dog" when you sign up for his free weekly dog training tips e-zine at:

Dogs Beg - The Question: Is There Training Available For Our Human Friends?

Dogs Beg - The Question: Is There Training Available For Our Human Friends?

The focus of many pet owners seems to be directed towards their animals, which makes a great deal of sense in most cases. However, when trying to correct unwanted behavior in your dog you might want to point that finger inward sometimes and have a little glimpse in the mirror. It is easy to become annoyed with your pet when you feel as though you have tried everything and nothing seems to work.

Maybe your Boston Terrier continues to chew on your shoes or other objects while you are not at home. Perhaps the Maltese in your life still has accidents in the house rather than letting you know she needs to go outside. On the other hand, possibly you have a Yorkshire Terrier that snips at strangers, even guests in your home when they try to pet him. All of these and many other undesirable behaviors that dogs may posses can leave a pet owner feeling frustrated and at their wits end with their furry little friend.

Have you ever considered though when faced with one of these situations that the dog is trying to communicate something to you? Is it possible that Sparky just feels neglected during those long days alone at home while you are at work? Sometimes we can have a big impact on our dogs if we look at our own behavior and consider what the pooch may be trying to tell us through their difficult behavior. Obviously dogs can not talk or speak with us as a human can when they need to communicate their feelings. That is not to say that canines are not vocal because as many of us know they can express quite a lot at times through their barking, growling or whining. However, to really pinpoint what the issue is for your pet you may find that you are the one that actually holds the answers.

Dogs have a very keen awareness for their surroundings and the people in their environment. As most dog owners come to realize, the bond between your dog and you can be extremely strong. There are people who report that during a challenging illness or devastating time in their life that their dog responded as though they knew what was going on and they helped their owner through the rough time. Sometimes by just sitting near their owner or laying at their feet, other times dogs may whine and pace back and forth, especially when other people are around because they are trying to indicate that their owner needs help.

Experts have even confirmed that dogs do have an ability to detect several human emotions and many of them will respond in unique ways. For example; when there is a lot of anger or arguing occurring within a household your dog may respond by acting up in a number of ways, which is not a problem with the dog but rather your pet is responding to the hostility and unpleasantness it senses in the house. Everyone goes through difficult periods in their life and it is obviously impossible to avoid exposing your dog to any anger or hostile situations throughout their life. The important thing to remember is that your situation and how you handle it is not your dog�s choice or within their area of responsibility.

Dogs deserve and hopefully get, the majority of times anyway, a good, loving and stable home. They respond well to a structured environment, complete with rules and routines. If you typically get up each morning and walk your dog before you go to work and then you suddenly stop doing it all together, your dog will respond in some way, possibly a negative one. It is not the dog�s fault that you changed your behavior and they have no other way of communicating other than to chew up stuff or have an accident in the house as their way of saying, �hey what is going on.� In some cases dogs can even become depressed, this happens most frequently in situations where the dog was once loved and well cared for and then suddenly became ignored and forgotten about. It is really sad to see a dog that is in this form of doggy-depression because again, they did not ask to come to live with you, you chose them.