Help! My Dog is Hyper!

Your dog is constantly active and keeps you on your toes.  He lunges during walks, jumps on anyone despite training, and feels like 10 P.M. is the perfect time to bring you all of his toys, begging for yet another game of fetch.  Congratulations, dog owner!  You have a hyper dog!  Don’t feel as if you’re the only one with a hyper pup, though.  Nearly all young dogs are classified as “hyper” and “rowdy.” As long as your dog is well exercised, this is just something you have to adjust to, not fix.  A hyper dog is simply a sign of a dog with much energy and life, which is what you want in a young canine.  There are some things you can do, however, to curb the hyperactivity:

  • Exercise, of course, and lots of it!  Missing an occasional day of exercising is okay as long as the majority of the time you get your pup to work out.  It might help to make a schedule on your phone or calendar about what activity you do each day to exercise your dog.
  • Mind games can help burn mental energy, which hyper dogs have much of.  You can buy a mind game or make one of your own with plastic cups.  Hide a treat under one of three upside down cups, mix them together, and let your dog sniff it out!  Another mind trick is to ask your dog stay, and then hide a treat somewhere – under a chair in the same room for beginners or totally hidden behind an object for experts.  Let your dog watch you hide the treats until he gets the idea of the game.
  • A busy brain equals a tired dog!  Train your dog fun tricks to keep his mind and body contently tired!
  • When your dog is being hyper, ignore him.  While some dogs are just so full of energy that they can barely control themselves, it is always best to not give him any attention during such episodes.  Is your dog jumping on you?  Turn your back until your dog stops.  Then, ask for a sit.  If he continues to jump, repeat until you get the behavior you want.  Some dogs can’t help being so full of energy, but you shouldn’t reward hyper activities…well, in most cases.  Read the tip below to learn about a hyper activity that you can reward!
  • A lot of the time, when you give a hyper dog an active job, he begins to calm down as he has an outlet for his excess energy.  Activities that are good for hyperactive dogs include dog agility, herding, obedience, lure coursing, disc dog, dock jumping, flyball, and tracking.

Is Your Dog Hyper or Under Exercised?

Many dog owners think their dog is hyper when he’s actually not getting enough exercise.  Imagine being inside most of the day, sleeping.  After too much of this, you would feel the need to get active.  You need to make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise in his day to feel content and stay healthy.  You can’t simply put your dog in the backyard and expect him to exercise himself; most likely he will just sleep without your motivation.  You need to get your dog active, which will fix the hyper issue in this case.  Consult your vet on how to to appropriately exercise your dog according to his age and breed.

Some Good and Bad News

Getting warm under blankets this weekend

On the weekend I felt sick, and my humans noticed that my gums and lips were swollen and bloody.  They also noted that I wasn’t eating.  Today, I got to go to the vet so he could check me out.  The bad news is, I have a gum and ear infection.  I got a shot for the gum infection and drops for the ear one.  The shot should stop the bleeding in a couple of days, and hopefully eating will be less painful then too.

Sissy eating wet dog food

The good news is that I get to eat wet dog food and soft, bacon-flavored treats until my gum infection heals.  I haven’t been enjoying the food as much as I should, though, because eating is very uncomfortable.  When my mouth is less sore I can really dig in!  Also, my weight has gone down to 11 pounds, and my humans want to get it back up to my normal 13.  Maybe all of this yummy food will help me gain some.  Hooray for wet dog food!

Rosie is jealous because I get wet dog food, and she still has to eat dry.  My humans reminded her, however, of the time when she ate wet dog food because of her stomach surgery.  I was very jealous then, and now it’s Rosie’s turn to be so.

Why Do My Dog’s Eyes Glow in the Dark?

You’re taking your dog outside in the dark, and, when your dog glances at you, his eyes have an odd, red glow.  What in the world is that?!

I’m going to go ahead and tell you the truth.  Your dog is a superhero, capable of shooting red-colored lasers from his eyes.  When you think he’s asleep at night, he’s actually out fighting crime.  This has been dogs’ well-kept secret, but I have finally let it out.  Now you know the truth.

Just kidding!

Seriously, though, why do your dog’s eyes glow in the dark?  The reason why they glow is somewhat like a “superpower.”  Your dog has an element of night-vision, like cats.  When you see your dog’s eyes get that odd coloring, it is actually just light reflecting off of the eye surface, enabling his eyes to make the most of the limited light.  Some of the colors a dog’s eyes may glow are red, blue, and green.

Halloween Safety Tips for Your Dog

halloween-all-dressed-upWhile Halloween is a fun time for children, it can be very dangerous for dogs.  People dressed up as zombies and ghosts can terrify some dogs, and ringing doorbells are enough to drive most dogs into a barking frenzy!  It’s very important for you to take safety precautions for this day in order to keep your dog safe and happy.

Keep Your Dog Secure

halloween-dog-under-fence

Before Halloween, inspect your fence and make sure that there is absolutely no way your dog could escape.  The sight or even noise of trick-or-treaters and ringing doorbells could easily frighten a dog, causing him to panic and look for an escape.  Also, make sure your dog has a form of identification on him like your address embroidered on his collar or an ID tag.  Microchips are a good idea too, but most people don’t think of having stray dogs scanned and assume that if there is no ID tag, there is no owner.

When it starts to get dark, children dressed as princesses, zombies, and superheroes will run from door to door, getting candy.  All of this activity can confuse and upset many dogs.  With this in mind, when the children start trick-or-treating, bring your dog inside and put him in his cage or a room with a closed door.

Can I Dress Up My Dog?

halloween-hot-dogSome dogs love to dress up, but most don’t.  Please don’t force your dog to wear a costume!  If your dog likes dressing up for Halloween, make sure nothing in his costume is too tight or can be chewed off, and never leave your dog unsupervised.

A treat can do wonders when trying to convince your dog that costumes are fun!  As you dress your dog, feed him his favorite treat.  Then, once your pup has his costume on, ask for a sit before giving him another treat.  Most dogs will not tolerate having clothes on for an extended period, so be ready to take any pictures you might want of your dog in his get up!

Going Trick-or-Treating?  Please Leave Your Dog at Home!halloween-dog-in-window

It’s never a good idea to take your dog trick-or-treating with you.  When dark it’s easy to lose your dog, and the children in spooky costumes could easily frighten him into yanking the leash right out of your hands.  Please leave your dog at home in a secure room or his cage (leaving him alone in the yard is not a good idea as he could dig under or jump over the fence, trying to escape the stress).

If you will be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, please don’t let your dog greet the children!  Even if your dog is friendly, a kid dressed like a zombie could scare him, making him feel like he should protect you from this odd new thing.  Another concern is your dog bolting out of the open door.  Also, some children are afraid of dogs, so please be considerate and leave your dog in a secure room or his cage with a toy or two for company.

No Candy!halloween-candy

Candy easily upsets doggy stomachs, so please don’t share any with your dog (especially chocolate; it’s poison for us!).  Throw away all candy wrappers and make sure your kids keep their candy out of reach.

Have a safe and fun Halloween with your dog!

Get to Know Me Interviews

Sissy

What is your name, age, and breed?

My name is Sissy Dog, and I am a fourteen year old Toy Poodle.

What are your hobbies?

Begging for table scraps!  My humans refuse to give them to me, but I always have hope.  They need to learn to share.

What is your favorite color?

Hot pink.

What is your favorite food?

I have lots of favorites: cheese, hot dogs, bacon, carrots…I could go on and on.

What is your favorite toy?

I’m far too mature for toys!

What is your pet peeve?

Having my ears brushed.  I hate it!

Would you rather be inside or out?

I want to be wherever my humans are.  If they go outside, I go outside.  If they’re inside, so am I.

What is your favorite movie?

Lassie Come Home.

What is your favorite book?

Lad: A Dog and Old Yeller

Wet dog food or dry?

Wet, but my humans only give it to me on special occasions.

What’s your best trick?

Taking a bow.  I’m very good at it, and I love to make charming faces while I do it.

If you could meet a famous dog (real or imaginary), who would it be?

Lassie.  She’s so cool!

How would you describe your personality?

I’m docile, determined, and posh.  I love people and know how to get what I want.  I also have a wonderful sense of style and love to dress up!

Do you have any goals for the future?

I’d like to be able to jump onto the table without the aid of a chair.  Then I could help myself to people food anytime!

Rosie

What is your name, age, and breed?

My full name is Rosie Posie of Greenbrier Valley, but I love you so you can just call me Rosie.  I’m a one year old Golden Retriever.

What are your hobbies?

Playing!  I love to play tug-of-war, fetch, and tease-the-cat.

What is your favorite color?

Red.

What is your favorite food?

Milk Bones.

What is your favorite toy?

My KONG.  I love it!

What is your pet peeve?

Being alone.

Would you rather be inside or out?

Outside as long as one of my humans is with me.

What is your favorite movie?

Up.  Alpha scares me, but I love Dug.

What is your favorite book?

Clifford the Big Red Dog.  I love picture books, and Clifford is red, my favorite color.

Wet dog food or dry?

I’m not picky, so I enjoy my chow dry.  If my humans switched me to wet, though, that’d be great too.

What is your best trick?

Giving a paw on command.

If you could meet a famous dog (real or imaginary), who would it be?

Dug from the movie Up.  We both have the same attitude towards life and love everybody!

How would you describe your personality?

I’m affectionate, loyal, and energetic.  I’m also super friendly.  Everyone I meet is my best friend!

Do you have any goals for the future?

I want to become a certified therapy dog and make people happy.

How to Use the Correction “No”

Naturally, you must discipline your dog if you want a well mannered companion, and the correction “no” is used by all pet owners.  “No!  Bad dog!  Don’t eat my sock!”  “No, Fido, get away from my food!” “No, no, nooooo!”  However, being such a popular verbal punishment, this word is often overused or used improperly.  In what way and how often should you use the correction “no”?

Make Your Correction Word Sharp and Short

Say “no” in a low, sharp voice.  Too often people will say “no” in a normal tone of voice or combine it with silly baby talk such as, “No, no, you bad pupsie wupsie.  Oh, you naughty, naughty puppers!”  Such tones and words don’t tell your dog that he has done wrong; they do they complete opposite!  Verbal corrections must be sharp and to the point.

Don’t Overuse “No”

When a dog hears the word “no” all day every day, he begins to ignore it.  Since the word has become a part of everyday life, he pays as much attention to it as he does to the tree in the backyard.  Because of this, “no” should not be used all of the time.  Not only is it discouraging for your dog to hear so much correction, “no” will also lose its effectiveness.  When your dog does something small that displeases you, distract him or ask for a different behavior.  Is your dog jumping up on you?  Instead of saying “no”, ask your dog to sit, then reward him for a job well done.

Never Use Your Dog’s Name as a Correction

Anytime your dog hears his name, he should associate it with good things – your attention, a treat, a walk, etc.  Never use your dog’s name as or with a correction.  If you yell your dog’s name when he chews your furniture, will he come to you when you call his name outside?  Most likely, no.  Because you have turned his name into a correction, he thinks that you yelling it means that he is in trouble.  To avoid this problem, always use a correction such as, “No, bad dog!”

Reward for Wanted Behavior

Too often, people forget to reward their dog when he stops an unwanted behavior.  Here is an example:

You walk into your bathroom, and Spot is in the act of tearing up a roll of tissue paper.  You shout “no” continuously at him, and he stops what he’s doing to look at you.  Grabbing your dog’s collar, you put him in a timeout in the backyard while you clean up the mess.

While this seems like a very effective and clear punishment according to you, this can confuse your dog as to what you’re punishing him for.  Were you saying “no” because your dog was chewing the tissue or because he stopped chewing?  Your dog doesn’t know; the only thing he knows is that you’re mad.  Here is how this episode should have gone:

You walk into your bathroom, and Spot is in the act of tearing up a roll of tissue paper.  Sharply and in a low voice, you say “no”, and your dog stops to look at you.  “Good boy!” you say, rewarding him for stopping.  Spot steps towards you, and you ask for him to sit.  He obeys, so you pet him.  Then, you put him in the backyard so you can clean up his mess.

It was clear to Spot in the above paragraph what he was being punished and rewarded for.  Chewing tissue is bad, stopping the behavior and sitting is good.  Always remember to reward your dog for stopping the unwanted behavior and to ask for something good he can do, such as sitting.

Saturday Morning Fun

Hello!  I hope that you are all having a paw-some Saturday!  So far, Rosie and I have been having a grand time.  While my humans ate breakfast, I made sure to make them feel guilty about not sharing with me.  After I got my morning treat, I tried to mooch some oatmeal from Baby.  Rosie is too young to understand the art of begging, so she just goofed around with her toys before going outside to play fetch.

Just look how stoic and noble Rosie looks in the picture above.  It looks like she’s always that calm.  However, that picture is a lie.  She usually looks silly, like in the picture below.

Rosie loves to make funny faces while she’s playing.

My humans have been saying that I look like a stuffed animal.  Why not use this to my advantage?  I tried to blend in with stuffed animals so that my humans wouldn’t see me, enabling me to steal their food.  They saw me no matter how still I sat, though, and even took a picture of me, saying I was so cute.  Isn’t that silly?