How To Train a Dog: Punishing a Dog?

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Several readers have asked how to punish their dog without feeling bad or how to punish a dog.  Let me say this: you NEVER PUNISH A DOG.  Unless your dog is some kind of embezzler or con artist involving large sums of  other people’s money you just don’t do that.

In Dog Training you are trying to get the dog to behave as a good family member, following some basic rules of obedience.  What you do when a dog does something that is not part of your dog behavior rules is correct that behavior.  So correcting a dog is your goal.  Teach the dog what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.

Correcting a dog should be done with compassion. You are teaching the dog the right way to behave so he can be a part of your family and be included in your family events.

Correcting a dog is about communicating with your dog in a productive way.  You can be firm and in his face if necessary, but never hurt the dog (which punishing implies).

Not all correction has to be positive to be productive.  Telling your dog “no”, or “leave-it” with a tug on the collar as he’s about to eat trash is negative reinforcement used in a productive manner.

You will want to add some positive reinforcement into your training routine and every day interaction with your dog.  Telling your dog “that’s right” in a fairly calm voice when he does something you want lets your dog know he’s doing well.

Communicating with your dog is somewhat like communicating with a friend.  If your friend does something you don’t like you say so.  “Jason, please walk over there, not on my feet.”  You wouldn’t haul off and hit him or punish him by not talking to him for a week.  You’d communicate.  Do the same with your dog.

If you are walking your dog you might want him a bit closer.  No punishment needed.  A dog wants to wander so he’s just doing what comes natural for a dog.  It is your job to communicate.  Keep it simple with a dog and say “Fido, Close.” Then give him a leash tug so he knows you want him closer.  Easy!

If you ever hear yourself saying the words punish and dog in the same sentence or paragraph, remember, your job is to correct the dog’s behavior; to communicate with your dog to get him to understand what you expect of him.

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Can You Receive a Ticket for Your Dog Barking?

My Bike Ticket
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ASK Anna Walker:

One reader recently asked “Can you receive a ticket for your dog barking?

YES!!! Cha-ching$. A barking dog is a nusiance to neighbors and maybe even you. Craig Mixon has written an entire website devoted to dog barking called There is a section (three)  on laws about dog barking and it is very technical in my opinion.  If you want to study this check it out.

If your neighbor accuses your dog of being a nuisance, then it is going to cost you time and trouble to take care of it.  Better to train your dog not to bark so much or bring him in the house and give him some attention.  He’s probably bored if he’s alone in his yard.

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How To Train A Dog To Stop Barking: Dog Obedience Training Plays A Big Part

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It is simple enough to fix a lonely dog barking problem by changing your dog’s circumstances.  Don’t leave your dog alone in the yard for such long periods of time.  Spend time with your dog and give him obedience training on a regular basis.  This gives your dog purpose, a job to do and makes him an involved member of your family with a purpose in life.

When your dog does a good job of being a watch dog then that’s a good thing. However if he keeps barking for too long then you have a problem.  Use this method to teach your dog to quiet down after alerting you to an intruder:

1. Teach your dog to COME which is another lesson but one of the foundations for obedience training.

2. Use the COME command when he is barking at something for too long.  Bribe him with food if necessary (but not every time) or jingle some keys to get his attention.  Reward him with praise when he comes.

3. Thank your dog for alerting you to the intruder then tell him DOWN.  Again DOWN is a basic obedience command he needs to know.

4. Go and take a look at what he was barking at while your dog remains down.  Tell him to STAY. Come back and tell him it is OK and release him from the DOWN position.

5. If your dog goes right back to barking, call him back again, but this time make him STAY DOWN longer, like ten minutes for a doggie “time out”.

This way you teach your dog that it is OK to alert you to something. But after he’s notified you, you are in charge and he’s no longer needed to bark.  It is your dog’s job to let you know when something is outside.  After that it is not his job anymore.

Things to watch out for:  Don’t join your dog in loud vocalizations – like yelling.  He’ll think you are joining in the barking game and this might exasperate the situation.   It’s possible that reprimanding him for a natural behavior (what your dog is good for and good at) will diminish your relationship and teach him he’s no good.  But your dog is a good dog!

By teaching your dog obedience like COME, DOWN and STAY you can shape your dog’s behaviors in situations such as excessive barking.  Working with your dog on a regular basis, even a just a few minutes per day can improve communication and your relationship with your dog and you’ll have a much better dog in the long run.  Both you and your dog will be happier too.

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AT&T Has Partnered with Apisphere

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AT&T has partnered with Apisphere, a location-tracking specialist to create a dog collar that has an embedded SIM card so that you will no longer lose your beloved pet ever again. Pet owners simply have to put on the collar to their dogs and set up a fence that will enable alert whenever your dog goes far. You can easily track your dog by using a software.

Since this is utilizing a SIM technology, there is a list of contacts that can be notified whenever your dog has gone away.

“There are few things as important to my daughter as knowing the whereabouts of our dog. The peace of mind that a wirelessly connected collar will bring my family and pet owners across the country is long overdue,” said president of AT&T’s Emerging Devices division, Glenn Lurie.

This smart dog collar will be available on the later part of the year.

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How to Train a Dog to Stop Barking: First Determine the Cause

Persistent and uncontrolled barking is totally annoying to you and your neighbors.  If you want to take control of a dog barking situation you’ll need to first understand what is causing your dog to bark excessively.  It shouldn’t be too hard.

Here is a short list of why dogs bark.  Perhaps one of them fits your situation:

1. He’s being a good watch dog and alerting you that there is a stranger near your property.

2. He’s barking because he see another dog nearby and is either being territorial or wants to play with it.

3. He’s been tied up in the yard and is totally bored and wants some attention so his barking is calling out to anyone that will hear “Here I am. Come and pet me, or better yet take me for a walk or something!”

4. He’s in the house and wants your attention for play or a treat or to go outside.

Acceptable Behavior or Not?

It is a natural behavior for your dog to bark because he’s being a good watch dog.  Seeing a stranger near your house, your dog is sending out a warning to you about an intruder nearby.  Most people are OK with this behavior up to a point.  Once your dog signals to you by barking that an intruder is near, it would be nice if you could tell him to be quiet and that it is OK for now.  If he doesn’t stop barking when you want him to this is a problem.

Some dogs bark for your attention.  Since getting your attention is their reward for barking, this problem can spiral out of control.  You can’t keep ignoring the barking but when you go see what the trouble is you’ve rewarded your dog for barking.

Probably one of the most common reasons for dogs to bark a lot is that they a really bored out of their minds and very frustrated that no one is paying any attention to them.  Barking can be a stress reliever for them and it expends energy.

If your dog is lonely and starts barking, you run outside to get him to stop and for just an instance your dog is happy to see you, has some company and is not alone, so you’ve effectively rewarded him for barking.  Even if you scold him he’d rather have you around (and not be lonely) nagging him, then all alone, bored and frustrated.  If you leave your dog alone too much, even nagging and reprimands can seem like a positive experience compared to the frustration and loneliness of isolation.

Next Steps:  Use Obedience Commands To Stop Barking In A Snap

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Dog Takes Himself to San Juan Regional Medical Center

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At the emergency room of San Juan Regional Medical Center, a German Shepherd mix with blood on his nose and paw walked in. The dog also had a small puncture wound on one of his rear legs.

The source of blood cannot be determined but the dog did not seem to have been hit by a car. Animal control was called around 9PM Saturday. Animal control officer Robin Loev said, “The irony of the situation is the dog wasn’t doing well. He was drooling and appeared to be sick. The patients were giving him a cup of water when I showed up.”

The dog was taken to the Farmington Animal Shelter where he was vaccinated. Peter Jake, who works at the center said that the dog was doing fine and the injury was minor. He appears to have been bitten my another dog.

Loev said, “He seems very intelligent, very smart and calm and looking like he needed help. I guess he went to the right place.”

The owner saw the picture of Scottie and they are now reunited.

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Dog Friendly Travel Destinations

Getting a dog a few years ago opened my eyes to just how unfriendly the Midwest (USA) is to people with dogs.  Somehow I thought that I’d be able to walk my dog, off leash, just about everywhere, especially in places like forests and beaches.

Big surprise!  Dogs must be on a 6 foot leash every where I go.  Or worse: No Dogs Allowed.

Well I’m going to post every good looking dog friendly place I run across on this website and the facebook page.  Please feel free to leave a comment about dog friendly places you’ve discovered and want to share with dog lovers around the world.

Here is one I just discovered in North Carolina.  And I’ve copied a few testimonials for you from dog owners who visited the place.

Blue Ridge Cozy Cabin, near Hendersonville, NC.

I like that you allow pets, letting dog outside without leash. Liked the adequately equipped kitchen. I loved the flowers and especially their scent. It is a beautiful setting and exactly what I needed as a base for hiking with my dog. Thanks for everything. Maribeth; North Carolina; November, 2009.

We liked the peace & quiet. The location was central to surrounding areas. DuPont Forest does appear to be very neat – fishing, swimming, etc. The cabin was very nice and had everything we needed – thanks so much! Shorty, our dog, loved laying in his bed next to the warmth of the fireplace. Doug and Cindy; South Carolina; January, 2010.

Read more at their site.

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Dog Training: Add Corrections to Positive Reinforcement Training For Best Results

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Dog Training: Positive Reinforcement

In dog training you can use positive and negative reinforcement to get your dog to behave well.  Positive reinforcement for good behavior may be praise, a treat, pat on the head or a clicker.  The dog learns to associate his actions (good behavior) with the reward so he gets conditioned to do what you want.

Dog Training: Negative Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement in dog training can be called a correction.  Some dog training methods only recommend using positive reinforcement.  Using corrections can speed up the training process because your dog doesn’t need to guess what he did wrong; you just need to learn an effective way to communicate his mis-guided behavior to him.

Pitfalls Of All Positive Reinforcement

Constant reward for good behavior can backfire.  If every time your dog gets a reward for good behavior you are teaching him how to get a reward.  Stop doling out the rewards and the (good) behavior stops, sometimes.  That is why it is important not to give a reward, especially food, every time your dog does something good.

Corrections in Dog Training

Corrections let your dog know that some specific behavior in not desired by you and that the consequences might even be unpleasant if he continues to do them. It helps get the point across sooner than later and improves communication with your dog.

A Story

Here’s an analogy that you might relate to.  Let’s say you work for some boss that gives you a performance review each year.  You are a pretty good worker but you are interested in doing even a better job than you already do.  Heck, maybe you even want a promotion.

Now you are sitting in your PR and your boss says your doing great, just keep up the good work. Nice.  Ugh.  But you know that you are not perfect and you have absolutely no clue of what you could do to get your next promotion. No one has offered any corrections to your work so how can you improve?

Think about your dog.  Your dog is just being a dog with his own dog thoughts about what’s right.  So when he jumps on you because he’s excited to see you can immediately tell him no jump and knock him in the chest with your knees (or gently step on his toes if he’s little) to get the point across right away.  You’re correcting his behavior, not punishing him.  The unpleasant response to his jumping will get him off you quickly.

Dog Training Courses

Every dog training situation will have many possible correction opportunities that you can use to improve communication with your dog.  It all depends on your situation.  You can find a dog training course that shows you how to implement a correction correctly while dog training to speed up the training process.

The goal of dog training is to get your dog to be a disciplined and respectful member of your family and to learn how to and improve communication with your dog.  This dog training resource is recommended because it follows the method of using both positive response and corrections to communicate the desired behavior to the dog.

Recommendations  – Try This Out!

There are many decent dog training products available.  One that uses corrections and praise is what we recommend. 

You can download this ebook that will give you an overview of an extremely high quality dog training coure by clicking the image and saving to your computer.  No email required.

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Royal Girlfriend Had to Dig Through Poop

Royal girlfriend Kate Middleton had to dig through her dog’s poop after her cocker spaniel ate a pair of pricey pearl earring that Prince William gave her. Kate just loved the antique studs that the Prince gave her for her 28th birthday.

According to a friend of Middleton, “She knew William had spent a lot of money on the earrings and she was embarrassed that she had mislaid them.”

Middleton suspected that Otto was the one who chewed the earrings. She walked her dog a couple of times daily in the hope of getting back the studs. Eventually Otto let it out but the earrings were beyond repair. The prince offered to buy Kate a new pair.

“He said the main thing was that Otto was okay,” the source told the Mail. “He adores the dog, who’s very sweet.”

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Paris Dogs

Ambassadors for Dogs is visiting Paris.  We’re taking a few pictures of the dogs here to share with you.

This dog walks along the Siene without a leash having a great day.

In the garden behind Notre Dame your dog cannot be on a leash (I think).

Some dogs play in an open area near the Eiffel Tower.

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