Blog Dog Training ~ Speaking Dog the Bark Busters Way!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Introducing a new puppy or dog

Introduce a new dog or puppyIf you have decided that the time is right to add a new dog to your family, you will probably be feeling really excited to introduce the new addition to the rest of the family. There will be reasons why you felt that this was the right dog for your family…right age, right size, right temperament, good with children, good with other dogs etc., so you are confident that this new dog will easily slot in to your family group.

Whether you have decided on a puppy, or an adult dog, you should take time to consider that your resident dogs may not be quite as excited as you are about the prospect of a new dog moving in. In fact, this change in the family group can prove quite stressful for your dog, so it’s worth taking care to manage the introduction and so minimise potential problems.

We’ve put together a few tips to help you:
If you are adopting from a dog rescue centre most rescues will ask you to bring your existing dog to the centre where you can all meet your potential adoptee. The staff, and you, will then be able to see how the dogs interact with each other before agreeing that you should take your new dog home. Even if you aren’t adopting through a rescue centre, it is still a good idea to allow the dogs to meet on neutral territory first, as your dog may react to a new, unknown, dog arriving on his territory. Also, if you already have more than one dog, it’s worth introducing them singularly to the new dog so that you don’t overwhelm the new dog with an already established group.

Once in your home, ensure that the new dog has its own sleeping area, and its own food bowl. Don’t expect your existing dog to be willing to share its bed or food bowl with the newcomer. Feed the dogs in separated areas, and remove food bowls after each meal time as dogs can be possessive over food bowls even when empty.

Use a crate or safety gate to ensure separation. Allow your existing dog to roam freely, but secure the new dog. This gives the existing dog time to get used to the new dog being there, and to accept that he has not lost his place in the family group.

Never leave new your new dog unattended with your existing dog until the dogs have got to know one another, as the situation can sometimes deteriorate quickly. At times when you do allow the dogs together in one room, make sure you are on hand to deal with any issues as the situation can change very quickly. Also ensure that any prized possessions and toys are removed so that these don’t cause any sort of potential rivalry. The dogs should have their own toys that are only brought out for them to play with when they are separated.

Always remember that your existing dog needs to be confident in his status and where he fits within your family group in order to accept the newcomer. Treat him the same way as you always have done, and be fair about sharing your attention. In fact, share everything equally, including your time and attention, as well as treats and toys. Never favour your new dog over your existing dog. Your new dog will learn a lot from your existing dog about how the household works, so doing your utmost to maintain routines will help both of them as they adapt to each other.

Introducing a puppy to an adult dog.
Not all dogs will welcome a new puppy into the home. Puppies are notorious in looking for attention and can easily overwhelm your existing dog. Supervision is needed when introducing so as not to get them off on the wrong foot.

Very young puppies may not understand and pick up on your existing dogs body language that says he's had enough. A well-balanced adult dog may growl to tell the puppy to back off and to say he's had enough. This can be a natural behaviour and establishes the ground rules and helps the puppy learn the boundaries. However, an adult dog with poor social skills may not growl and can snap out and harm the puppy. Try to observe the body language of your existing dog and if the situation looks to be uncomfortable remove the puppy for a period of time. Don't leave your dog and puppy unsupervised and unattended. Be mindful and respect your existing dog's need for a puppy free time and also spend some one-on-one time with your existing dog too.

Handle the puppy-to-dog introduction with care as you would when you introduce two adult dogs. Observe their body language, allow brief sniffs, ensure they don't overwhelm each other and place them on leads if you feel it's safer. Don't forget to praise them when they are calm and they are well behaved.

Bark Busters trainers have trained more than 1 Million dogs worldwide and are renowned authorities in addressing dog behaviour with all-natural, dog-friendly methods. Bark Busters training is the only service of its kind that offers International guaranteed lifetime support. With hundreds of trainers around the world, Bark Busters continues its mission to enhance the human/canine relationship and to reduce the possibility of maltreatment, abandonment and euthanasia. Contact your local Bark Busters dog trainer to see how they can help.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Dog Bite Prevention | Avoiding Dog Bites

Dog Bite Prevention Week 2016Dog bite prevention week takes place on the third week of May annually and aims to educate people in how to avoid being bitten by a dog. It's a sad fact that dog bites, in the UK, increase more and more each year. Over the past 10 years, dog bites have increased by over 40%. The latest NHS figures appear to show that there has been an increase of over 6% on 2014 compared to 2013*.

Thousands of people in the UK are bitten by dogs every year, and many of these bites result in the need for medical treatment and admission to hospital. Children between the age of 0 and 9 years are the most likely to be bitten, with the injuries being on the face and shoulders. Their bites often occur whilst the child is playing with a " familiar" dog too.

Bark Busters believe that the vast majority of dog bites or attacks can be avoided. To minimise the risk, dog owners should take care to train and socialise their dog and feed a good quality diet. They should also educate children in the appropriate way to behave around dogs. Below are some guidelines on child safety in the presence of dogs:

  • NEVER leave children alone with a dog.
  • Educate your child about dog safety just as you would about road safety. To get you started, you could ask your child to visit our Dog Safety for Children website to watch our "Dally Says" video with an important message.
  • Don’t allow your child to approach a strange dog. If the owner is present, you may ask the owner if it is ok for your child to approach the dog. Only then, and under the guidance of the owner , you may supervise your child in a gentle approach to the dog. Allow the dog time to sniff you first before any attempt to stroke the dog. You should only stroke the dog if the owner is confident that it's ok to do so. Unless you supervise this greeting, children often rush up to dogs whilst asking the owner if they can stroke the dog, but are often reaching out to the dog before the owner has registered the question.
  • Never allow a child to approach a dog whilst it is eating or sleeping, and don’t allow children to feed a dog as dogs can be protective of food. Furthermore, don’t allow a dog to take food out of a child’s hands.
  • Never allow a child to approach a dog with puppies. She will be very protective over the puppies, and may bite if she feels that her puppies are at risk.
  • Don’t allow children to approach a dog who is tied up. If a dog is frightened or scared it has two options, fight or flight. If they are tied up, they have lost the option to flight and may bite if they feel threatened and can’t escape.
  • Children should never be allowed to run around or scream around dogs. This can excite the dog and can lead to heavy play or may alarm a dog and can lead to a bite.
  • It goes without saying that children should never be allowed to pull a dog’s ears, mouth or tail etc. Dogs feel pain, children can be heavy-handed and although they don’t mean to, can cause pain which may result in a bite. Children should never sit or lie on a dog. Even hugging a dog should be discouraged.
  • Ensure that your dog has somewhere to go where he can escape the attention of a child. A crate can provide a place of safety or a quiet area under a table. Children should never approach the dog in his crate or area of safety, and should certainly never try to enter the crate.
  • Whenever you have children over to visit, make sure that your dog is under control on their arrival, giving you time to explain your rules about approaching your dog. Be vigilant and be ready to remove your dog from a situation where you are uncomfortable, or where your dog appears uncomfortable. This may mean that you need to learn to observe your dog’s body language . We have resources to help you with this on our website.
     

* NHS statistics

 

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