Category Archives: Pet Training

How to Stop Your Dog from Digging

Dog digging in yard - how to stop

So how do you get your dog to stop digging? In this post, we’ll discuss the reasons that some dogs dig, the breeds most likely to dig, and the methods you can use to discourage the behavior.

Digging in the yard is common issue dog owners face because, for many of them, it’s instinctual behavior. Some breeds are especially prone to digging because they were originally bred for hunting.

Whether your dog is digging up your yard because of instincts or boredom, you’re probably not going to be happy about it once your yard is full of holes.

 

Why do dogs dig?

Dogs can dig in the yard for a variety of reasons, the most common being they’re bored or aren’t getting enough exercise and playtime.

  • Dogs favorite personBoredom
  • Exercise
  • Excess Energy
  • Comfort Seeking
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Hiding Possessions
  • Escape or Gain Access
  • Attention Seeking
  • Entertainment
  • Hunting Prey
  • Instinct

When your dog digs up the yard, it can definitely be frustrating.  If you can figure out the cause of the digging, then you can take steps to stop it. Often times, it comes down to your dog having too much energy, which can mean they need more walking, exercise, playtime or toys that will help them use up energy in other ways. 

Related: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

 

How to stop dogs from digging?

If you can determine the reason your dog is digging, you’ll have a much easier time changing the behavior. You may need to try a few different things to find what works.

  • Give them more exercise and playtime
  • Get them more toys and new chew toys
  • Grant them an area it’s okay to dig in
  • Don’t leave them outside alone
  • Don’t leave toys outside
  • Create deterrents to digging
  • Help your dog cool off
  • Get rid of rodents

Related: Benefits of Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

Exercise and playtime – These are the most common methods to get your dog to stop digging in the yard. Very often the cause of the digging is related to lack of exercise or play. Keeping your dog from getting bored and making sure they have an outlet for their energy can go a long way to stop them from digging.

Give them new toys – Your dog may need some new diversions to keep them entertained. Try offering a wide assortment of toys, such as balls, sticks, rope toys, treat-dispensing dog toys and dental chews. Rotating through an assortment of toys can help keep them from getting bored.

Don’t leave toys outside – Some dogs feel the need to bury their possessions. If you leave chew toys, bones, or playthings outside, they may dig in an effort to hide them.

Give them a place it’s okay to dig – Consider creating a space that’s intentionally designed for your dog to dig in. Let them have a spot in the yard where they know they’re allowed to dig.

Don’t leave them outside alone – Some dogs if left unsupervised in the yard will entertain themselves by digging holes. You may have to make sure they are only in the yard when they are supervised.

Create deterrents for digging – Sometimes you can come up with ways to frustrate the digging behavior of your dog, and make it so it’s not worth their effort. Things like citrus sprays, coffee grounds, vinegar and even cayenne can stop dogs from digging in problem areas.

Help your dog stay cool – Some dogs will dig because they are hot, and digging below the surface gives them cool ground to lie on. Provide other ways for them to stay cool on hot days.

 

What dog breeds dig the most?

These dogs are most likely to dig because at some point it was their job and the behavior was rewarded and red into them.

  • DachshundDachshund
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Beagle
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
  • Siberian Husky
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Border Collies

 

More Dog Training Information

How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing – The Pets’ Home
How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking – The Pets’ Home
How to Get Your Dog to Stop Digging – Humane Society
How to Stop Dogs from Digging – The Spruce
7 Tips to Stop Your Dog from Digging Up the Yard – Rover
10 Dogs Breeds That Love to Dig – Petcha

 

The Pets’ Home offers dog training services along with our popular dog walking and dog sitting services. You can get dog shuttle service available to and from training lessons. We also aim to teach pet parents how to break their own bad habits, as well, so your dog can have consistency. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking

Dog barking

A dog barking is a totally normal behavior. With few exceptions, almost every dog barks. To them, it’s a normal form of communication.

Too much barking though can be a problem. It can be bothersome to you and your family, and even more so for your neighbors.

Is there a way you get your dog to stop barking so much?

Yes, there is, and as your dog’s pack leader, it’s your job to teach them how to behave. 

Let’s review how you can teach your dog to not bark so much.

First, it’s important to review the main reasons that cause a dog to bark. If you review this list, it may help you determine what the root cause of your dog’s excessive barking is. 

Why do dogs bark?

  • Warning
  • Excitement
  • Playfulness
  • Anxiety
  • To get attention
  • Boredom
  • Responding to other dogs

If you understand the reason for your dog’s barking, then you can figure out how to control that behavior.

For example, a dog that is bored needs more walks, play or exercise. If your dog is anxious, you can address the root causes or find ways to treat separation anxiety. If your dog barks at other dogs, you can desensitize them to other animals.

Training is also important. Your dog needs to know that there are times to bark and there are times to be quiet. Teaching them the basic speak/quiet commands is important.

Related: How to train your dog

If your dog has excessive barking issues, start working on addressing these as soon as possible. It will be easier to train them before the behaviors become too ingrained.

Related: Positive enforcement rules for you and your dog

Tips to help break the barking habit

  • Teach your dog the Speak/Quiet commands
  • Don’t yell. To the dog, it is like you are barking back at them.
  • Stay positive when you are working with them.
  • Be consistent with your dog at all times. Make sure everyone in the household is reacting to the behavior in the same way.
  • Do not comfort, pet, hug or give your dog a treat when they are barking for attention or out of anxiety. Even if it gets them to stop, it is encouraging and rewarding the behavior.
  • Get your dogs attention with a clap or whistle.  When they have quieted, redirect their attention to a toy or other reward.
  • Use the basic commands of sit and down in order to shift focus.
  • Do not let your dog bark constantly outside. Bring them in when they bark so they know they can’t be outside if they bark.

How to teach your dog to stop barking

Training Resources:

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking – Humane Society
Cesar’s best tips to stop dog barking – Cesar’s Way
Train Your Dog to Speak or Be Quiet – The Spruce

Related: How much exercise does your dog need?


We offer dog training services in the Plainfield – Naperville area with dog shuttle service available to and from lessons. We also aim to teach pet parents how to break their own bad habits, as well, so your dog can have consistency. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


 

How To Train Your Dog

Life with a well-behaved dog has its rewards. You can trust him to respond reliably and quickly, plus you’ll have a dog who’s a joy to live with.

Why Training Is Important

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Training is not cruel and unusual punishment. It actually enhances the relationship with your dog and enriches the bond you establish with him throughout the years. Once he understands what you expect of him, you will get along much better. During the training process, you’ll learn to decipher his language and he’ll figure out what it is you’re trying to tell him.

Training takes practice, and the more time and effort you put into the process, the more you will get out of it. If this is your first dog—and even if it isn’t—you may want to consider hiring a private trainer or think about signing up for a training class. Puppies usually start out in puppy kindergarten. After that you can join an obedience class for older puppies. Ask how many dogs are already signed up before committing to attending. Class size for puppies should be limited to eight to ten dog-and-handler teams per instructor. This ratio enables the instructor to give each team enough attention and time to respond to questions or special training circumstances.

During class your puppy will learn some basics, such as sit, come, down, stay, and how to walk nicely on a leash. These elementary lessons with an instructor and other class participants will teach you the fundamentals of dog training while benefiting from others’ trials and tribulations.

Teaching your dog how to behave involves more than saying his name followed by giving him a command, followed by a little piece of food. Effective training involves interpreting canine body language, anticipating the dog’s responses, timing the rewards, and varying the rewards to keep him motivated to act appropriately.

The Importance of Positive Training

Your dog will respond to your direction if you make it fun. Animal behaviorists believe that the old ways of punishments and harsh corrections may work once or twice, but they are often inhumane, and in the long run, ineffective. Your dog will not understand why you are angry with him, and you can’t expect him to choose a different action the next time.           

A year-long study by the University of Pennsylvania, ending in 2009 and published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science (Elsevier), showed that aggressive dogs who were trained with aggressive, confrontational, or aversive training techniques, such as being stared at, growled at, rolled onto their backs, or hit, continued their aggressive ways. Non-aversive training methods, such as exercise or rewards, were very successful in reducing or eliminating aggressive responses.

Positive training lets your dog know that you are pleased with him, and he will repeat that behavior the next time. Rewards can consist of food, toys, or petting. Depending on what your dog does, you can use one, two, or all three types of rewards. You can also use playtime and games as positive reinforcement. The idea is to reward him every time he does it right. But once he knows it, reward him with food, toys,  or petting only some of the time (but always verbally praise him every time). This way he’ll work hard to please you, hoping that he’ll receive a reward.

How to Get Started

Begin teaching your dog good manners a few days after he’s had a chance to settle into the household.

Keep Training Sessions Short

Keep your training lessons short—about 10 to 15 minutes at each session. You can repeat the session later on in the same day, but each one should be brief. Plan to engage in several training sessions a day because no puppy learns to do something perfectly in only one take.

Use Small Food Treats

It’s a good idea to feed some small food treats as rewards for training. You can use soft commercial food treats sized for puppies, pieces of string cheese, or small pieces of cut-up hot dog that he can swallow right away. Avoid hard, crunchy treats because they take a while to chew. Give treats to your puppy immediately—within half a second of him completing the desired behavior. The faster you confirm the behavior you want, the easier it is for your puppy to understand what you’re trying to teach him. When you give the reward, follow it up by saying “Good boy!”

Avoid the trap of handing out treats during a training session just because your puppy looks cute. He will work harder to please you if he knows that he’s getting a reward than if he hasn’t earned it. If he doesn’t do something you like, don’t yell or punish. Simply withhold the reward.

Say a Cue Word Only Once

Say a cue word, like “sit” or “down,” only once. Dogs are smart, so they hear your command and can follow it the first time. Repeating the cue word multiple times doesn’t help your pup sharpen his listening skills, and like a teenager, he’ll tune you out.

Schedule Training Before Meals

Schedule your training session before your dog’s regular meal. This way he may pay closer attention to the instructions so that he can earn a tasty bite.

Choose a Training Time With no Distractions

Choose a time for training when no one will interrupt you and you don’t feel rushed. Turn your cell phone off and forget about answering the doorbell if it rings. This will give you quality time to devote to the training process.

For the first few sessions, pick a room in the house that’s large enough to move around. When your dog figures out what you want him to do, take your training lessons outside, preferably to a fenced-in area, or keep him on a leash when you are in an unfenced area. Distractions will vie for your puppy’s attention, so you’ll need to become more interesting than the street noise, a fast-moving squirrel, or the scent of newly mowed grass.          

Don’t Train When Puppy’s not in the Mood

Don’t train your puppy when he’s hot, tired, or in the middle of vigorous playtime. You want him energetic and eager for a training session.    

Don’t Get Angry With Your Puppy

If you ever become frustrated with your puppy, don’t get angry with him. Just quietly end the session and try again later in the day. Some dogs have soft temperaments, and they become nervous and will stop paying attention to their trainers if they are yelled at. They can become scared of any training and decide that following directions is not for them. Stay calm and relaxed so that your puppy will learn in a positive environment.

Call the Pets Home @ (630) 854-8841 for quality, professional sitting services.

The Pet’s Home is pleased to offer dog training services including disobedient dog training, doggy day camp training, and our most used service: puppy training. Our goal is to help your pet learn new skills that you’ll be able to implement at home. We aim to teach pet parents break their own bad habits, as well. This allows your pet to have consistency and eliminate confusion between training.

We are available to train your beloved pet at your home or ours for one-on-one sessions. Your dog may be dropped off prior to services or we offer shuttle services to pick up your pet. The Pet’s Home is available to travel to our entire service area for one-on-one training.

POST & IMAGE SOURCE: NYLABONE

Rules of Thumb in Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement training is a way of teaching your pet to behave properly by rewarding good behavior instead of punishing bad behavior. Studies have shown that punishment correlates negatively with obedience. Additionally, your dog will not be as stressed or fearful if you reward good behavior instead of punishing bad behavior.

1. Immediately reward/praise desired behavior – Dogs react immediately and need your praise as soon as they behave as expected or they may not know what behavior you’re rewarding.

2. Keep it short & uncomplicated – Use single word phrases for commands like “sit,” or “stay,” as opposed to “sit down now.” Dogs can understand commands if they aren’t muddled in the rest of your language.

3. Be consistent – If you reward your dog for sitting still when company arrives, but occasionally let them jump on guests, the dog will not understand what behavior is acceptable. Keep consistent, even when you’re tired or not feeling up to it. Your dog depends on the consistency to behave best for you. Also make sure that all caretakers understand what behavior are allowed as to keep consistency among people in your dog’s life.

4. Reinforce doggy training at home – Along the lines of being consistent, if your pooch is being professionally trained, make sure you ask for pointers or continue to follow the advice prescribed by the trainer. One of the worst things you can do is erase the training you paid for by forgetting to enforce training at home and sending your dog mixed messages.

5. It’s okay to say no – Just because you want to keep your dog training positive, doesn’t mean you should stop saying no. If your dog is acting inappropriately you should absolutely correct the behavior and say “no,” when needed.