Is your puppy or new dog barking in the middle of the night?

1.       If your dog is still housetraining, take her out on leash and no goofing around, let her pee/poop, and put her right back in the crate.

2.      Let your dog bark, even for days. Put him at the opposite side of house or garage if needed. It took one of my dogs 3 weeks to stop barking.

3.       Try different locations. Some dogs are better in a room where they can’t see you and some do better if they can see you.

4.       Use a bottle sprayer. Say “quiet!” then spray. Only spray twice, then say “quiet!” and just show the sprayer. You risk desensitizing the dog to the water if you spray too much. If it doesn’t work, move on. We’re not trying to bathe the dog here.

5.       Cover crate with a blanket but make sure that your dog does not pull blanket through and eat it.

6.       For adult dogs who get in the habit of waking up at the same time each night but could really hold it (much like us humans can end up doing), set your alarm clock for 10 min before their usual wake up time, take your dog out, put her  right back in. Repeat for 3 days then move clock up 15 min and repeat. Move clock up 15 min every 3 days and repeat. So you are taking your dog out before they demand it and slowly moving their body clock up until a reasonable time.

7.       Make sure your dog is well exercised before bed time.

Sylvie Pleasant
Certified Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant
K9 Solutions LLC

Tuesday Training Tips: 7 Steps to the Come command

  • Make coming to you the best thing in the world! Use lots of enthusiasm and praise with a happy voice tone.
  • Make sure you have his attention before you use the word Come.
  • Only use the word Come once then go get him right away and cheerfully lead him back to where you called him from. Give him LOTS of praise when he comes, even if you’ve had to go three blocks to get him!
  • Never call him to you to punish him or do something unpleasant such as clipping nails. He will only remember that he was punished when coming to you. If you use an angry tone, he will naturally hesitate or not come.
  • Only use your Come word when you are sure you can go get your dog if he chooses to ignore you.
  • If your dog does ever run away, he might come back if you kneel down, flop on the ground, or run the other way.

 Teaching the Come Command

  1. Make it a fun game to chase you for a few feet.
  2. Turn and say Come as he approaches.
  3. Praise profusely as you give 1 treat at a time for a total of 10 treats.
  4. Do this exercise four times each session 1-2 times per day for 2 weeks.
  5. Then maintain a reliable Come by reviewing 1-2 times per week.
  6. When he comes reliably, start weaning off the treats. Sometimes he gets a couple, sometimes none, and sometimes a jackpot so he never knows when it might appear! However, always maintain by practicing 1-2 times per week.
  7. If he ever ignores you, either show him what he missed out on and give it to another dog or throw it in the trash in front of him, or get him to chase you.

Sylvie Pleasant
Certified Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant
K9 Solutions LLC

1. Go to a neutral territory, at least away from your yard/driveway.
2. Go for a pack walk with human bodies between dogs.
3. Act casually and converse among yourselves, allowing the dogs to relax and pack up.
4. Once they have not been paying attention to each other for at least 15-30 minutes and and are just busy sniffing, walking, etc., turn around so human bodies are not between dogs.

5. Walk at a distance that does not bring out any aggression and close in as long as all is going well. Continue to act casually and keep walking!

6. If all is well, bring them into the backyard to connect.

7. Go back to any previous step if needed.

Sylvie Pleasant
Certified Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant
K9 Solutions LLC

1. Put your dog on the leash (supervised) so you have something to step on if your verbal correction fails.

2. Do early, early verbal corrections. As soon as the dog just looks at the cat, tell him firmly “No!” Don’t wait for the chase and then just participate yourself in the chase!

3. Practice 1-min Sits and/or Downs on a leash in the same room as the cat about 1-3 times per day at a distance that the dog can handle.

4. As the dog progresses, close in on the distance between dog and cat.

5. As the dog progresses, drop the leash.

6.  As the dog progresses, weane off the leash.

7. Practice Heels on a leash around the cat.

For most dogs, it’s just a question of allowing them to get used to the cat so the obedience training will help in making the cat not be such a “new” thing. You want the cat to become old hat and a part of the family pack.

And the rules in your house are “we just don’t chase the cat” so use your leadership skills.

Sylvie Pleasant
Certified Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant
K9 Solutions LLC

Micheal and Max

I adopted Max, a Golden Retriever, many years ago. Max was a sweet, beautiful Golden Retriever who turned out to be severely thunderphobic.

The first time I walked into the house after a thunderstorm, I found my dog still in his crate but with blood everywhere, in and out of the crate, and several wires bent. I worked a full time corporate job and I admit seriously considering returning this boy to the rescue. I just didn’t know what I was possibly going to do for him with my hours. After a couple of days of pondering, I committed to his rehabbing.

The next 3 years was honestly the most difficult 3 years of my life as anyone dealing with canine thunderphobia knows. The sleepless nights holding a Golden to keep him from hurting himself, the sick feeling in the stomach as you hear him coming up the stairs after that first thunder strike knowing your sleep is over, checking the TV every morning deciding whether to board your dog, drug him, supplement him, crate him in the dark bathroom with the vent on, have your neighbor run over at lunch time with supplements, etc. We even considered soundproofing one of the closets!

I early on decided against medication after seeing his reaction to them. So I embarked on the usual desentization to sound, association with yummy treats, herbals, and yes even animal communications.

What I discovered in the process was a whole new world of alternatives. Today, I am a healthier person physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually thanks to this Golden boy. I often wonder where I would be today if I had given up on him, and I know that I would have given up a precious part of myself.

P.S. If you are dealing with thunderphobia, see Tuesday’s Training Tips on thunderphobia tips.

Sylvie Pleasant
Building Lasting, Empowering Relationships
K9 Solutions LLC


Bitsy with sister Amy Beth

Hi, my name is Bitsy Dog Walker but everybody just calls me Bitsy. I was born on Thanksgiving Day in 2007 and came to live with my human family when I was 7 weeks old. My Great Grandma was a Cocker Spaniel and my Great Grandpa was a Poodle and that makes me a Cockapoo.

The first time Dad took me to the doctor she said that I was so smart and confident that I needed a job. That was a polite way of saying I had waaaay too much energy. So Dad called Sylvie at K9 Solutions and started taking me to school and I loved it! When I graduated I heard people say I was the youngest dog that they ever known to graduate from dog school.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up, but Dad knew I liked people so after a while he took me to back to school with Sylvie where I learned to be something they called a therapy dog. After I got out of that school we started going to places where people sit around and wait for me to come visit them. Boy, that’s cool! People talk real sweet to me and hold me and rub my fur and I show my appreciation by doing tricks for them.

A little later we got into a program called “See Spot Read” where children read to a dog named Spot. Spot must be real busy because he never has shown up so the children read to me! That’s like heaven because children are my favorite people! And that’s how I came to have my job!

My favorite pastimes when I’m not working are spending quite time with Mom while she reads, taking long walks with Mom & Dad, playing games and doing dog agility training with Dad.

As dog trainers, we run into many problems with inappropriate fencing so here are suggestions in case you are about to put up fencing or need to fix your current fencing.

1. Don’t allow your dog access to the entire yard where he can practice barking, lunging, etc. at passerbys. This behavior can eventually turn into territorial aggression. Fix your fencing so your dog is unable to practice the behavior, or only place fencing in the back where he can’t see passerbys, or cut off the sides of your house so you control both the front and the back of your property.

2. Use shrubbery to block off vision and prevent constant barking/lunging.

3. Allow your guests to be able to drive up and walk up to the front door without being greeted by an overexhuberant or problematic pooch. Some humans are terrified of any dog, even calm or small ones.

4. Don’t leave your dog unsupervised with underground fences. Anyone can walk up and steal your dog or tease your dog. And other dogs can access your yard.

5. If you have a fence jumper, you can place an underground fence a few feet before your actual fence,  install coyote rollers at the top http://www.coyoteroller.com/see_how_it_works, and/or get a professional trainer to help you prevent the behavior.

6. Place chicken wire fencing stapled into the fence and dug into the ground for dogs who dig out of fences.

7. Install springs on the gates so they close automatically to prevent lost dogs.

Sylvie Pleasant
Certified Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant
K9 Solutions LLC


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