Dog Stealing Food

Dog stealing a cakeDogs are one of the most adaptable and evolutionarily successful creatures on earth. One of the reasons for this is that they are expert scavengers. Any food, unless it is actually in the mouth of another pack member, is up for grabs— if it’s available, it’s worth having!

On the whole, domestic dogs have not lost this drive to scavenge. If they find food or something that they regard as edible, and they get the chance, they are likely to eat it. This is not naughty behavior or stealing from the dog’s point of view—but a sensible use of resources. Unfortunately, humans have different values and we are not sympathetic if we discover that the dog has jumped up on the kitchen counter and eaten the Sunday roast, or put its head in the garbage can and licked it clean.

The desire to scavenge is usually governed to some extent by breed characteristics. Gundogs are notorious “stomachs-on-legs” and will usually eat anything and everything if given the chance. Scavenging also depends on the diet that the dog is currently eating, and the allure of the food it finds. Nearly all dogs find the dung of other animals almost impossible to resist.

Cat feces, horse manure, cattle dung, rabbit and fox droppings are all considered to be doggie delicacies, even if we don’t agree! Although repulsive to us, such morsels are unlikely to do your any harm as long as you regularly have your dog wormed.

By ignoring “begging” an owner can easily teach their dog that human food is not for sharing dog.

Prevention is always better than cure if you have a dog that would like to spend ten hours a day eating. Keeping the dog out of the kitchen while cooking, teaching it to lie in a bed or basket with a chew or toy during family mealtimes, and putting food out of reach are all sensible strategies. If the dog manages to obtain food only occasionally, the lure of trying to get it is even stronger.This makes a “no feeding from the table” rule even more important.

In most domestic households, dogs have access to many different kinds of objects, some of which they are allowed to touch and others they are forbidden to pick up. Childrens’ toys, remote control units, eyeglasses, hair bands, socks, even Christmas decorations are all removed from dogs’ stomachs by veterinarians every year, and many dogs are killed after ingesting poisons, such as human medication and household chemicals.

It is perfectly normal for a puppy to want to pick up objects and put them in its mouth. Much like human toddlers, puppies explore the world around them through taste and smell, as well as testing to see what the reaction from those around them will be. This is usually the prime reason dogs “steal” items from around the house.

Imagine the scenario: your dog is lying quietly on the floor, chewing on a dog toy that you have given it. What do you do or say? Very little! Now imagine the same dog lying on the floor quietly chewing your wallet. The reaction would be somewhat different. Dogs, like children, will work hard to get attention, even negative attention, such as being scolded. Most young or adolescent dogs love nothing better than watching their owners getting hot under the collar, and if they can turn possession of a forbidden item into a chase game around the house and into the yard—even better! In this way, dogs soon learn that chewing their own toy gets no rewards, attention, or excitement at all, while picking up and chewing a valuable object results in the equivalent of winning the lottery.

The best solution for this kind of behavior is to reverse the reaction you give to the dog. If it picks up one of its own toys, show excitement, play, and praise. On the other hand, if it picks up an object you don’t want it to have, but can sacrifice, such as a tissue or a newspaper, walk straight out of the room without a word. If the object is one that you really can’t ignore, creating a distraction, such as ringing the front doorbell, gives you a window of opportunity to retrieve it, without inadvertently giving the dog attention for unwanted behavior. Any aggression over possession of stolen articles should be dealt with in conjunction with a behavior specialist.



Getting Your Puppy Show Ready

From the time your puppy is six weeks old get them used to standing on a table whilst you groom them and stand them as if at a show to get your puppy show ready for when you need it . Your puppy will soon learn to he handled and by doing this almost daily they will stand quite still and you will get a perfect picture of your future show prospect.

dog show ready AiredaleWhen your puppy is about three months old they will be too big to lift on to a table so you must continue to practise on the ground. As they gets a little older buy a light weight cord lead and, after grooming, put it on him and encourage him to run up and down. Treat it as a game and he will soon get the idea of following you. In the same way as one teaches a child good deportment, so a dog can be taught to stand and move correctly.

By the time he is old enough to go to a show you will probably be able to hold his interest with a discreet titbit now and again or the promise of something exciting in your pocket. Each dog has to be treated differently as some are over-awed by the occasion and will take no interest at all in food at a show. Others react very well and really look their best when looking keen and interested in what you have concealed in your hand or pocket.

When your doggy friends call to see you, take the opportunity of asking them to go over the puppy as if judging them to get your puppy show ready for when you need it . This is excellent practice for you both and by the time he is old enough to go to a show you will enter the ring full of confidence in the knowledge that your puppy knows what is required of him.

So often one sees good puppies unplaced at shows because the handler has not done any previous training and makes no effort himself to show the dog off to best advantage. A good and experienced handler will often be successful with a mediocre dog because he has been standing the dog well just at the right time and showing off his best qualities. It is impossible for a judge to place a dog no matter how good he is, if every time he goes near the animal it sits down or lunges all over the place when asked to move. This is why it is so important to start training now to get your puppy show ready.

Quite apart from showing your puppy you must make sure your puppy is obedient and domesticated, so that whether at home or outdoors you can rely on him behaving himself. The most useful of all commands are `sit’, ‘heel’, and ‘bed’, as the case may be.

Dog show readyGenerally speaking, a Golden in the house takes up less room than a small breed such as a terrier, spaniel or poodle who are constantly dashing about getting under your feet and jumping on all the furniture. A well behaved Golden, on the other hand, will go to its bed or lie down under a table or wherever it is told to go. Nothing is worse than to visit a house where one is immediately molested by dogs with large muddy paws, or those who dribble all over your lap whenever there is food about. A dog should know where his bed is so that he can be sent there, not only when he has done wrong but, for instance, when he has come in from a walk and has wet feet, or when he has a bone to chew. Never allow this on the carpet! Such habits can be taught from an early age. It is not wise to leave a young puppy on his own for too long as he will get bored and start chewing up the carpets, shoes, hooks and papers, or the leads and flexes of electrical equipment which should always be switched off when he is left to himself, even briefly. On the other hand he should not expect to go everywhere his owners go and must be left at home sometimes. I know of some people who make themselves slaves to their dog so that they cannot go anywhere without him, or even go on holiday because they cannot leave their dog. A spoilt dog is like a spoilt child. A puppy will cry if he cannot go with his master but if he has learnt from an early age to be left alone for a short period, and that you will come back, he will settle down quietly in his bed and sleep.

A well behaved dog will serve you and your family better in and outside the rign

Gun Dog Training Equipement

dogonlinetips-gundogFirst you will require a wistle of the rather shrill type which the dog can hear even if he is hunting in kale or roots. The noise of his tail beating about the wet leaves makes it very difficult for him to hear You when you are training your gun dog and in all probability he will not be able to see you either. The human whistle is not penetrating enough.

Teach your puppy to come immediately, when he hears a few short blasts on the whistle. If in the early days you are dog training your puppy to come to a whistle and he stops at some distance and looks at you, but does not come because he does not understand what vou require of him, crouch low to the ground and continue to blow short sharp notes on the whistle. It always seems to intrigue puppies to see humans looking like dogs and they come at once to investigate. Once he understands what the whistle means this of course will not be necessary.

Your Gun dog puppy should also learn the word ‘come’ used in conjunction with the whistle. Always insist that he does come when you call him and never call him back unless you really mean it. Do not let him get away with half measures.

When punishment is necessary through deliberate disobedience then it is better to take him by the scruff of the neck and shake him, scolding at the same time, rather than resort to a beating. And make sure this was a deliberate act. If you punish and your puppy didn’t understand that will leave a burden on your relationship and make your dog training efforts that much harder.

These can be made in various ways and need not be elaborate. To begin training a puppy a sock filled with nylon stockings is as good as anything as it is both light and soft. On no account should a heavy or hard dummy be used. A plastic detergent container is excellent for size so long as it is well padded and not filled with anything too heavy. I usually keep one dummy with a rabbit or hare skin wrapped round it or a pair of duck’s wings attached by means of an elastic band to make the dummy more realistic.

You will also need a dummy for use in water and the best type to have is a cork-filled one which is both light and buoyant. These can he bought ready made from some gunsmiths. Canvas dummies are frequently used but are inclined to be too heavy for a young puppy.

Equip yourself with at least three dummies for land and two for use in water.

One more thing which you must have is a slip lead. These can be obtained from most good pet stores but can be made quite easily and effectively from nylon rope. Cut the rope to the length you require and seal each end by burning it. Buy a small ring about an inch across. These are easily obtained at a hardware shop. Attach the ring to the cord. A shoe mender or saddler will make a very neat job of it for you. You can also have a loop made the other end if vou wish. Now thread the rope through the ring and adjust it to fit your dog by putting a knot either side of the ring.

I have found these leads most useful and they are light and easily put into one’s pocket as well as being cheap and easy to make.


Dog Behavior Problem: Separation Anxiety

dog separation anxiety

dog separation anxietySome of the most common behavior problems in dogs of all ages are the result of being left alone at home. Dogs with separation problems may howl or bark in an attempt to call the rest of their “pack” home again. They can  become destructive, tearing or clawing at carpets, objects, furniture, or walls and doors or they may lose bowel or bladder control. In extreme cases, some dogs have been known to become so distressed at being left alone that they self-mutilate biting at themselves until the affected area becomes sore and infected.

Separation problems tend to fall into 3 Categories:

  1. Separation anxiety or separation distress

Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety simply cannot cope when they are left alone at home, and chew or howl in order to make themselves feel better .A little like people who bite their fingernails when under stress. Such dogs are nearly always overattached to their owners when they are at home following them from room to room like shadows, and this is the basis of the problem. Such overattachment can be regarded as an addiction the dog is constantly getting a “fix” through contact with its owner, and goes into “withdrawal” and true distress when it cannot reach them.

Over time, the dog with separation anxiety needs to learn that there are times when it cannot have contact with the owner, even when they are in the house together. Clear signals of reward (you may have contact) and non-reward (no contact allowed for a short period) need to be instigated, and the period of time that the dog is without the owner gradually extended from only a few seconds, to minutes, then an hour.The solution to separation anxiety in dogs always needs to be gradual and carefully structured, preferably with the help of a behavior specialist.

  1. Separation frustration

    dog separtation frustration

Some dogs do not believe their owners have the right to go out and leave them! These dogs then become frustrated, and relieve this frustration through becoming destructive, noisy, or messing in the house.

They tend to be demanding in other ways too often taking control of time, attention, or resources when the owner is home. Reestablishing the rules and boundaries of the relationship can help greatly, but this is best done with the advice of a behavior counselor.

        3 Boredom and lack of Stimulation

In the wild, dogs would be required to solve problems all day long. Finding and hunting for food, maintaining social interactions, ru nning and walking great distances, keeping territory safe, finding places to rest, and watching out for predators or intruders would all be part of an average day’s work.

In a domestic situation, the dog’s food is provided and placed in a dish for him to eat. Its exercise and play times are limited by the owner, who decides the length of time and type of interaction, and few intruders are anticipated. It’s little wonder that so many dogs show signs of boredom, particularly when left alone at home. Given sufficient time and opportunity, bored dogs problem-solve to their heart’s content but usually to the consternation of their owners on return. Many dogs learn how to open doors, turn knobs, open the fridge door to raid the contents, find forbidden items to chew or eat, and generally use the house as an amusement arcade!

If you suspect that your dog is bored when left alone, you need to provide more stimulation for it both when you are at home and for when you go out. Increased exercise is usually recommended, as a tired dog is less likely to get into trouble. However, leaving your dog with some exciting toys to play with and some novelty items to explore may also help. “Interactive” toys, which dispense food while the dog is playing with them, are ideal, as are chews. Even a large cardboard box can be a fun object to play with especially since it won’t matter if your dog destroys it. It just leaves a real mess when you get home to clear up.



Dogs Chasing Cats, Birds and Children

chasing dog border collie


I get asked a lot: How do I stop my dog from chasing my cat or birds .

chasing dog border collieChasing is a basic part of most dogs’ normal behavior. Without being ready and able to chase, a dog in the wild would starve to death, because although dogs can eat berries and vegetation, the main bulk of their protein is gained from the meat of animals they hunt and kill. While most domestic dogs have been bred not to try to kill their “prey,” many still retain a high “prey drive” and cannot resist chasing things even if these are not other animals but joggers, cyclists, or cars.

The main culprits for chasing problems usually come from the herding group and the sighthounds. Collies and Shepherds are the most likely to chase, simply because they have been bred for many centuries for their ability to follow a very specialized sequence of behavior: “cycle, stalk, and chase.” This means that the dog “locks on” to an object or animal, stalks it with body low to the ground to avoid being seen, then rushes at the “prey” in an attempt to catch it. Collies, in particular, tend to want to chase people then do one of two things if they manage to catch them: either circle them to keep them still, or keep worrying” them to move them on.

chasing GreyhoundSighthounds, such as Greyhounds and Afghan Hounds, are nearly always aroused by the sight of a fast-moving animal or person, and can be persistent cat and squirrel chasers. Terriers are also prone to chasing. As vermin hunters their drive to chase after and catch small prey is strong and ankles or children are sometimes chased as a substitute.

Chasing is such a basic, instinctive behavior that it is usually impossible to cure the dog of the habit. Management of the problem is nearly always centred around redirection of the behavior to a more acceptable outlet. For those who don’t have a flock of sheep at their disposal to give the dog a natural outlet, teaching the dog to chase toys and increasing training for control can be effective.


This needs to be done in a very structured way. The dog needs to learn that it can chase toys when you allow it, but must also stop chasing on command. An instant “down,” and a reliable recall are also vital. These exercises are best practiced with an experienced and accredited dog trainer, who will be able to structure a training program for you.

Dogs that attempt to round up people, children, or other animals in the house can also be taught to “herd” in a more appropriate way and often require more mental stimulation generally. Many active, working dogs become “self-employed” if they are not given enough to do!

For some dogs, such as ex-racing Greyhounds and some herding dogs, the temptation to chase livestock, other dogs, small animals, or people is just too great to modify. In these instances, it is sensible to maintain control of the dog, by keeping it on the leash. Although this may seem frustrating, many dogs can lead perfectly happy and contented lives on-leash, if a little thought and imagination goes into their daily outings. Walking is as much about mental stimulation as it is physical exercise. Tracking, finding “lost” articles, and retrieving games can all be played on the leash, as can playing with toys and basic “agility” jumping over and walking along natural obstacles.

If your dog cannot be let off the leash for whatever reason, you need to put extra effort into your relationship with your dog and provide extra interaction when you are out for walks. You will both reap the benefits.

Basic Dog Training

Puppy Training Basic

Thankfully, dog training has come a long way in the last ten years or so. The days of”I say, you do” are gone, now that most people understand the way that dogs learn.

Puppy Training Basic

The first few weeks of your puppy’s life in his new home are extremely formative in terms of training. Sitting, lying down, coming when called, and even much more complicated exercises, such as retrieving and doing tricks, can be easily taught between 8 to 16 weeks of age, as long as the dog’s motivation is sufficient. This is the fase in a puppies life that they will learn the most. Every experience they have over that time will set them up for life

Training a dog to do what we want, when we want it to, is really about teaching a foreign language. Dogs already know how to sit, lie down, and run around. All we are doing is teaching them that our words for such things can prompt these actions and that rewards will follow.

Just as most humans need the motivation of a salary to go to work every day, so dogs need some kind of reward for learning new behavior. Not many people would work for a pat on the head from the boss and few dogs work for praise alone, particularly in the early stages of training. For many dogs, particularly puppies, food is the equivalent of a month’s salaryit can act as the ultimate reward, and is also useful as a lure in the initial stages of training, too.

However, you don’t want to rely on food forever, so the use of a “conditioned reinforcer” is essential. This means that you give the dog a signal that it has done the right thing and that a reward is coming. To build this signal you can use a small tool called a clicker, or a single sound, such as “Yes” that you pair with a food reward.

Make the sound, then give the pup a food treat. Repeat this several times until the sound makes your pup look around instantly for its reward. You are now ready to begin training.

this signal you can use a small tool called a clicker, or a single sound, such as “Yes” that you pair with a food reward. Make the sound, then give the pup a food treat. Repeat this several times until the sound makes your pup look around instantly for its reward. You are now ready to begin training.

Coming When Called


  • Stand in front of your dog and call in a friendly voice. “Sam, come!”
  • Wiggle a piece of food in your outstretched hand. Start moving backward. Clap your hands or make a noise if your dog ignores you.
  • If the dog moves just one step toward you, make the sound that tells the dog it is right: “Yes,” or click, then give the food.

left: The smaller and tastier the food treat used in training, the better.

Coming When Called

  • Stand in front of your dog and call in a friendly voice. “Sam, come!”
  • Wiggle a piece of food in your outstretched hand. Start moving backward. Clap your hands or make a noise if your dog ignores you.
  •  If the dog moves just one step toward you, make the sound that tells the dog it is right: “Yes,” or click, then give the food.
  • Gradually increase the distance it has to come to get the food. Practice by calling your dog to you at unusual moments in and around the house.


  • Hold a food treat close to your dog’s nose. Now lift your hand up and back, so the dog has to look straight up. The movement of looking upward means its rump has to go down.
  •  As soon as your dog’s rear hits the ground, give the signal and then the treat.
  •  Add the word “Sit” just before the dog’s bottom hits the floor. Ask your dog to sit before it gets anything in life it likesgoing out for a walk, being petted, or groomed, or having dinnerit’s the dog’s way of saying “please” and “thank you.”


• Place the food lure on your dog’s nose. Lower your hand straight down to the floor, directly between the dog’s front paws. Hang on to the treat by turning your palm down, with the food hidden inside your hand.

  •  Be patient! As your dog tries to get the food, its head and body must lower to the floor. As soon as it flops down, give the signal that it has done the right thing, then treat. For dogs that don’t catch on too quickly, pass the food or toy under a low-level chair or table, so the dog has to follow the lure underneath it by dropping down.
  • Add your word command when the dog is lying down reliably for the food.

Gradually ask your pup to do more for each signal of reward and treat. This means extending how long it will sit or lie down when you ask, how far and how quickly it will run when called, and working among distractions. When all these exercises are reliable, reward the dog only for fastest responses, sometimes with food, and sometimes with praise or a toy. Keep the dog guessing about what reward will follow and it will try even harder.