ALSO READ...

A CRY FROM
A LONELY DOG


  All I had you see is love
I wish they would explain
  Why they said they wanted mine
and left it on a chain?

  They seemed glad to have me
When I came here as a pup
  There were many things we'd do
When I was growing up.

  The children never walk me.
They always say: "Not now".
  I wish that I could please them.
Won't someone tell me how?

  The master said he'd train me
As a companion and a friend
  The mistress said she'd never fear
To be alone again.

And brush me every day
  They'd play with me and walk me
If only I could stay.

  But now the master 'hasn't time'
The mistress says I shed
  She doesn't want me in the house
not even to be fed.

-- Author Unknown --
"House Training Your Dog
the PROPER Way
"

These are general timetables: Not everyone will be able to follow them precisely, since each dog has his own habits/ physiology.  For example, some dogs urinate and defecate right after they have been fed, whereas others wait 30 min. or longer after eating before needing to relieve themselves.

Following is a house training schedule for your dog, based upon the assumption that the dog owner is at home during the day.   Once you learn how long "Nature needs to take its course", adapt the schedule to fit your & your puppy's needs.  Just BE CONSISTENT.  As your dog matures and the training progresses, give him longer and longer periods of freedom until he only needs confinement when you need to leave your home.   The schedules apply ONLY during the training program of your puppy.  NOTE: We do NOT permit people to get one of our puppies if they work full-time jobs, away from their homes.  Puppies should NOT be left alone, unobserved, without human interaction for more than four (4) hours, day after day.  This is analogous to putting a human infant alone in a similar scenario: how do you expect THAT CHILD would turn out?


Schedules for NON-WORKING OWNER(s):
NOTE :  New Owners are provided with a copy of the improved/revised version of these Crate Training instructions when they come to pick up their puppy.

GEN. TIMETABLE FOR 8- to 12-WK. OLD PUPPIES
6:00 AM . . . Go out.
6:10 - 6:30 AM . . . Free period in one room.
6:30 AM . . . Food & water IN CRATE for 20 min., then REMOVE food & water from crate.
7:00 AM . . . Go out.
7:15 AM . . . Free period in one room.
7:45 AM . . . Back in crate.
10:30 AM . . . Go out.
12:30 PM . . . Go out, then give water.
12:45 PM . . . Free period in one room.
1:15 PM . . Back in crate.
3:00 PM . . . Go out.
5:00 PM . . . Food & water IN CRATE for 20 min., then REMOVE food & water from crate.
5:30 PM . . . Go out.
6:15 PM . . . Back in crate.
8:00 PM . . . Water (in crate).
8:15 PM . . . Go out; REMOVE water for the rest of night.
8:30 PM . . . Free period in one room.
9:00 PM . . . Back in crate.
11:00 PM . . . Go out; crate overnight.


GEN. TIMETABLE FOR 3- to 6-MO. OLD PUPPIES
7:00 AM . . . Go out.
7:10 - 7:30 AM . . . Free period in one room.
7:30 AM . . . Food & water IN CRATE for 20 min., then REMOVE food & water from crate.
8:00 AM . . . Go out.
8:15 AM . . . Free period in one room.
8:45 AM . . . Back in crate.
12:30 PM . . . Go out, then give water.
12:45 PM . . . Free period in one room.
1:15 PM . . . Back in crate.
5:00 PM . . . Food & water IN CRATE for 20 min., then REMOVE food & water from crate.
5:30 PM . . . Go out.
6:15 PM . . . Back in crate.
8:00 PM . . . Water (in crate).
8:15 PM . . . Go out.
8:30 PM . . . Free period in one room.
9:00 PM . . . Back in crate.
11:00 PM . . . Go out; crate overnight.


AMOUNT OF FOOD  to feed your puppy depends on the Size and Age of the individual puppy.  Typically, 8-wk. old pups will eat about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of puppy food, twice a day (e.g., at your breakfast & dinner meals).  Increase the amount of food per meal as your puppy grows.  Allow the puppy 15 to 20 min. to eat his meal, then REMOVE the food from his crate (until the next meal time).  If the puppy finishes his meal and looks for more, increase the amount of food at his next meal time.

GEN. TIMETABLE FOR 6- to 12-MO. OLD PUPPIES
7:00 AM . . . Go out.
7:15 - 8:00 AM . . . Free period in one room.
8:00 AM . . . Food & water.
8:30 AM . . . Go out.
8:45 AM . . . Free period in one room.
9:30 AM . . . Back in crate.
12:30 PM . . . Water.
12:45 PM . . . Go out.
1:00 PM . . . Free period in one room.
1:45 PM . . . Back in crate.
6:00 PM . . . Food & water.
6:30 PM . . . Go out.
6:45 PM . . . Free period in one room.
7:30 PM . . . Back in crate.
11:00 PM . . . Go out; crate overnight.


GEN. TIMETABLE FOR HOUSEBROKEN ADULT DOGS
7:00 AM . . . Go out.
8:00 AM . . . Food.  Unlimited daytime water supply.
12:30 PM . . . Go out.
6:00 PM . . . Go out.
11:00 PM . . . Go out.  Bedtime; remove water.


These are general timetables.  Not everyone will be able to follow them precisely because each dog has its own habits.  For instance, some dogs urinate and defecate right after they have been fed, whereas others wait half an hour or longer after eating before relieving themselves.  Choose the appropriate schedule for your pet.  Once you learn how long "Nature" needs to take its course, adapt the schedule accordingly.  Just BE CONSISTENT!
Every member of the family must adhere to the training schedule.
     As your puppy matures and the training progresses, give him longer and longer periods of freedom until he only needs confinement in the crate when you go out.  The schedules apply ONLY during the training program.

TAKE THE PUPPY OUT WHEN . . .

  • Immediately after he wakes up in the morning.
  • After every meal and drink of water.
  • After he wakes up from a nap.
  • Before any extra freedom period.
  • After extreme excitement and long play periods.
  • The last thing at night.

You may be going out with your puppy 8 to 10 times a day the first few days after you take him home, but once the puppy settles into his routine, he should not have to go out more than 4 to 6 times a day, largely depending on his age.


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TAKE THE PUPPY OUT...
. . . Immediately after he wakes up in the morning.
. . . After every meal and drink of water.
. . . After he wakes up from a nap.
. . . After extreme excitement (e.g., house guests) or long periods of play.
. . . The last thing at night before retiring to bed.

STAY ALERT between these times for signs that your puppy is "looking" to relieve himself (e.g., whining, acting restless, sniffing the floor, pacing around in circles).   When you see him doing any/all of these things, try to distract his attention, then pick him up GENTLY and rush him outside to his "toilet area."  You may be going out 8 to 10 times the first few days; however, once the puppy settles into a routine, he should not have to go out more than 4 to 6 times a day, depending upon his age.


STICK TO A STRICT SCHEDULE. The more conscientious you are NOW, the more successful the training will be and the less "troubles" you will likely face down the road.  It often takes some patience to make your puppy understand what you want him to do, but he WILL ADJUST to your schedule in time.  Of course, there will likely be accidents; however, that's part of raising puppies.  When your dog "makes a mistake" in the house, NEVER ABUSE HIM PHYSICALLY.  Correct him HUMANELY: The words "NO" and "BAAAD DOG" are the only corrections you need.  How you SAY these words can convey your displeasure VERY effectively.


ALWAYS GO OUTSIDE WITH YOUR PUPPY during the training period.  You want to see when and where he relieves himself, AND your ENTHUSIASTIC PRAISE will encourage him.  Once the puppy is completely housebroken, it should not be mandatory that you accompany him outdoors.  IF, however, you live in the city AND/OR don't have an enclosed yard, you MUST ALWAYS GO OUT WITH YOUR DOG: NEVER LET HIM ROAM FREE.


When the puppy does relieve himself after breakfast, he can have another supervised free period before being confined in his crate again until his next outing, when you will repeat these same steps.  The LENGTH of supervised free periods depends upon a puppies age.  Once yours can handle a 30- minute free period with no accidents, give him more freedom by increasing his free time to 45 minutes, and so on.  Your goal is to increase his free periods GRADUALLY until he needs to be confined ONLY while you are away from home.  If the puppy's training regresses, it's back to "square-1": Start the training program FROM THE BEGINNING once more.


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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
A Lesson in Becoming Alpha

synthesis by Vicki DeGruy
~~  "mirrored" with permission from http://www.chowwelfare.com/  ~~



  • "My dog just tried to bite me!  All I did was tell him to move over so I could sit on the couch next to him."
  • "My dog got into the trash can and when I scolded her, she growled at me.  What's wrong with her?  I thought she loved me!"
  • "Our dog is very affectionate most of the time but when we try to make him do something he doesn't want to do, he snaps at us."

What do these three dogs have in common?  Are they nasty or downright vicious?  No - they're "alpha".  They've taken over the leadership of the families that love them.  Instead of taking orders from their people, these dogs are giving orders!  Your dog can love you very much and still try to dominate you or other members of your family.

Dogs are social creatures and believers in social order.  A dog's social system is a "pack" with a well-defined pecking order.  The leader of the pack is the alpha, supreme boss, Top Dog.  He (or she) gets the best of everything - the best food, the best place to sleep, the best toy, etc.  The leader also gets to be first in everything - he gets to eat first, to leave first and to get attention first.  All the other dogs in the pack respect the alpha dog's wishes.  Any dog that challenges the alpha's authority gets a swift physical reminder of just where his place in the pack really is.

Your family is your dog's "pack".  Many dogs fit easily into the lower levels of their human pack's pecking order and don't make waves.  They do what they're told and don't challenge authority.  Other dogs don't fit in quite as well.  Some of them are natural born leaders and are always challenging their human alpha's.  Other dogs are social climbers - they're always looking for ways to get a little closer to the top of the family ladder.  These natural leaders and the social climbers can become problems to an unsuspecting family that's not aware of the dog's natural pack instincts.

Some families encourage their dogs to take over the "pack" without realizing it.  They treat their dogs as equals, not as subordinates.  They give them special privileges like being allowed to sleep on the bed or couch.  They don't train their dogs and let them get away with disobeying commands.  In a real dog pack, no one but the alpha dog would get this kind of treatment.  Alpha doesn't have anything to do with size.  The tiniest Chihuahua can be a canine Hitler.  In fact, the smaller the dog, the more people tend to baby them and cater to them - making the dog feel even more dominant and in control of his humans.

Alpha dogs often seem to make good pets.  They're confident, smarter than average, and affectionate.  They can be wonderful with children and good with strangers.  Everything seems to be great with the relationship - until someone crosses him or makes him do something he doesn't want to do.  Then, suddenly, this wonderful dog growls or tries to bite someone and no one understands why.

In a real dog pack, the alpha dog doesn't have to answer to anyone.  No one gives him orders or tells him what to do.  The other dogs in the pack respect his position.  If another dog is foolish enough to challenge the alpha by trying to take his bone or his favorite sleeping place, the alpha dog will quickly put him in his place with a hard stare or a growl.  If this doesn't work, the alpha dog will enforce his leadership with his teeth.  This is all natural, instinctive behavior - in a dog's world.  In a human family, though, this behavior is unacceptable and dangerous.

Dogs need and want leaders.  They have an instinctive need to fit into a pack.  They want the security of knowing their place and what's expected of them.  Most of them don't want to be alpha - they want someone else to give the orders and make the decisions.  If his humans don't provide that leadership, the dog will take over the role himself.  If you've allowed your dog to become alpha, you're at his mercy and as a leader, he may be either a benevolent king or a tyrant!

If you think your dog is alpha in your household, he probably is.  If your dog respects only one or two members of the family but dominates the others, you still have a problem.  The dog's place should be at the -bottom- of your human family's pack order, not at the top or somewhere in between.

In order to reclaim your family's rightful place as leaders of the pack, your dog needs some lessons in how to be a subordinate, not an equal.  You're going to show him what it means to be a dog again.  Your dog's mother showed him very early in life that -she- was alpha and that he had to respect her.  As a puppy, he was given a secure place in his litter's pack and because of that security, he was free to concentrate on growing, learning, playing, loving and just being a dog.  Your dog doesn't really want the responsibility of being alpha, having to make the decisions and defend his position at the top.  He wants a leader to follow and worship so he can have the freedom of just being a dog again.

 

How to become leader of your pack

Your dog watches you constantly and reads your body language.  He knows if you're insecure, uncomfortable in a leadership role or won't enforce a command.  This behavior confuses him, makes -him- insecure and if he's a natural leader or has a social-climbing personality, it'll encourage him to assume the alpha position and tell -you- what to do.

"Alpha" is an attitude.  It involves quiet confidence, dignity, intelligence, an air of authority.  A dog can sense this attitude almost immediately - it's how his mother acted towards him.  Watch a professional trainer or a good obedience instructor.  They stand tall and use their voices and eyes to project the idea that they're capable of getting what they want.  They're gentle but firm, loving but tough, all at the same time.  Most dogs are immediately submissive towards this type of personality because they recognize and respect alpha when they see it.

Practice being alpha.  Stand up straight with your shoulders back.  Walk tall.  Practice using a new tone of voice, one that's deep and firm.  Don't ask your dog to do something - tell him.  There's a difference.  He knows the difference, too!  Remember that, as alpha, you're entitled to make the rules and give the orders.  Your dog understands that instinctively.

With most dogs, just this change in your attitude and an obedience training course will be enough to turn things around.  With a dog that's already taken over the household and has enforced his position by growling or biting and has been allowed to get away with it, you'll need to do more than just decide to be alpha.  The dog is
going to need an attitude adjustment as well.


Natural leaders and social climbers aren't going to want to give up their alpha position.  Your sudden change in behavior is going to shock and threaten them.   Your dog might act even more aggressively than before.  An alpha dog will instinctively respond to challenges to his authority.  It's his nature to want to put down revolutionary uprisings by the peasants!  Don't worry, there's a way around it.

An alpha dog already knows that he can beat you in a physical fight so returning his aggression with violence of your own won't work.  Until you've successfully established your position as alpha, corrections like hitting, shaking, or using the "roll over" techniques described in some books will not work and can be downright dangerous to you.  An alpha dog will respond to these methods with violence and you could be seriously hurt.

What you need to do is use your -brain- !  You're smarter than he is and you can outthink him.  You'll also need to be more stubborn than he is.  What I'm about to describe here is an effective, non-violent method of removing your dog from alpha status and putting him back at the bottom of the family totem pole where he belongs and where he needs to be.  In order for this method to work, your whole family has to be involved.  It requires an attitude adjustment from everyone and a new way of working with your dog.

This is serious business.  A dog that bites or threatens people is a -dangerous- dog, no matter how much you love him.  If treating your dog like a dog and not an equal seems harsh to you, keep in mind that our society no longer tolerates dangerous dogs.  Lawsuits from dog bites are now settling for millions of dollars - you could lose your home and everything else you own if your dog injures someone.  You or your children could be permanently disfigured.  And your dog could lose his life.  That's the bottom line.

 

Canine Boot Camp for Alpha Attitude Adjustment

From this day forward, you're going to teach your dog that he is a -dog-, not a miniature human being in a furry suit.  His mother taught him how to be a dog once and how to take orders.  Along the way, through lack of training or misunderstood intentions, he's forgotten.  With your help, he's going to remember what he is and how he fits into the world.  Before long, he's even going to like it!

Dogs were bred to look to humans for food, companionship and guidance.  An alpha dog doesn't ask for what he wants, he demands it.  He lets you know in no uncertain terms that he wants his dinner, that he wants to go out, that he wants to play and be petted and that he wants these things -right now-.  You're going to teach him that from now on, he has to -earn- what he gets.  No more free rides.  This is going to be a shock to his system at first but you'll be surprised how quickly he'll catch on and that he'll actually become eager to please you.

If your dog doesn't already know the simple command SIT, teach it to him.   Reward him with praise and a tidbit.  Don't go overboard with the praise.  A simple "Good boy!" in a happy voice is enough.  Now, every time your dog wants something - his dinner, a trip outside, a walk, some attention, anything - tell him (remember don't ask him, -tell- him) to SIT first.  When he does, praise him with a "Good Boy!", then tell him OKAY and give him whatever it is he wants as a reward.  If he refuses to SIT, walk away and ignore him.  No SIT, no reward.  If you don't think he understands the command, work on his training some more.  If he just doesn't want to obey, ignore him - DON'T give him what he wants or reward him in any fashion.

Make him sit before giving him his dinner, make him sit at the door before going outside, make him sit in front of you to be petted, make him sit before giving him his toy.  If you normally leave food out for him all the time, stop.  Go to a twice daily feeding and -you- decide what time of day he'll be fed.  Make him sit for his dinner.  If he won't obey the command - no dinner.  Walk away and ignore him.  Bring the food out later and tell him again to SIT.  If he understands the command, don't tell him more than once.  He heard you the first time.  Give commands from a standing position and use a deep, firm tone of voice.

If the dog respects certain members of the family but not others, let the others be the ones to feed him and bring the good things to his life for now.  Show them how to make him obey the SIT command and how to walk away and ignore him if he won't do as he's told.  It's important that your whole family follows this program.  Dogs are like kids - if they can't have their way with Mom, they'll go ask Dad.  In your dog's case, if he finds a member of the family that he can dominate, he'll continue to do so.  You want your dog to learn that he has to respect and obey everyone.  Remember - his place is at the bottom of the totem pole.  Bouncing him from the top spot helps but if he thinks he's anywhere in the middle, you're still going to have problems.

Think - you know your dog and know what he's likely to do under most circumstances.  Stay a step ahead of him and anticipate his behavior so you can avoid or correct it.  If he gets into the trash and growls when scolded, make the trash can inaccessible.  If he likes to bolt out the door ahead of you, put a leash on him.  Make him sit and wait while you open the door and give him permission - OKAY! - to go out.  If your alpha dog doesn't like to come when he's called (and he probably doesn't!), don't let him outside off leash.  Without a leash, you have no control over him and he knows it.

Petting and attention:  Alpha dogs are used to being fussed over.  In a real dog pack, subordinate dogs are forever touching, licking and grooming the alpha dog.  It's a show of respect and submission.  For now, until his attitude has shown improvement, cut down on the amount of cuddling your dog gets.  When he wants attention, make him SIT first, give him a few kind words and pats, then stop.  Go back to whatever it was you were doing and ignore him.  If he pesters you, tell him NO! in a firm voice and ignore him some more.   Pet him when -you- want to, not because -he- wants you to.  For the time being, don't get down on the floor or on your knees to pet your dog.  That, too, is a show of submission.  Give praise, petting and rewards from a position that's higher than the dog.

Games :  If you or anyone in your family wrestles, rough-houses or plays tug of war with your dog, stop!  These games encourage dogs to dominate people physically and to use their teeth.  In a dog pack or in a litter, these games are more than just playing - they help to establish pack order based on physical strength.  Your dog is already probably stronger and quicker than you are.  Rough, physical games prove that to him.  He doesn't need to be reminded of it!

Find new games for him to play.  Hide & seek, fetch or frisbee catching are more appropriate.  Make sure you're the one who starts and ends the game, not the dog.  Stop playing before the dog gets bored and is inclined to try to keep the ball or frisbee.

Where does your dog sleep?  Not in your bedroom and especially not on your bed!  Your bedroom is a special place - it's your "den".  An alpha dog thinks he has a right to sleep in your den because he considers himself your equal.  In fact, he may have already taken over your bed, refusing to get off when told or growling and snapping when anyone asks him to make room for the humans.  Until your dog's alpha problems are fully under control, the bedroom should be off-limits!  The same goes for sleeping on furniture.  If you can't keep him off the couch without a fight, deny him access to the room until his behavior and training has improved.

Crate-training :  Dog crates have 1,000 uses, and working with an alpha dog is one of them.  It's a great place for your dog to sleep at night, to eat in and just to stay in when he needs to chill out and be reminded that he's a dog.  The crate is your dog's "den".  Start crate training by feeding him his dinner in his crate.   Close the door and let him stay there for an hour afterwards.  If he throws a tantrum, ignore him.  Don't let your dog out of his crate until he's quiet and settled.  At bedtime, show him an irresistible goodie, tell him to SIT and when he does, throw the goodie into the crate.  When he dives in for the treat, tell him what a good boy he is and close the door.

 

Graduating from Boot Camp: What's next?

Just like in the army, boot camp is really just an introduction to a new career and new way of doing things.  A tour through boot camp isn't going to solve your alpha dog's problems forever.  It's a way to get basic respect from a dog who's been bullying you without having to resort to physical force.

How long should boot camp last?  That depends on the dog.  Some will show an improvement right away, others may take much longer.  For really tough cookies, natural leaders that need constant reminders of their place in the pack, Alpha Dog Boot Camp will become a way of life.  Social climbers may need periodic trips through boot camp if you get lax and accidentally let them climb back up a notch or two in the family pack order.

How do you know if you're making a difference?  If boot camp has been successful, your dog should start looking to you for directions and permission.  He'll show an eagerness to please.  Watch how your dog approaches and greets you.  Does he come to you "standing tall", with his head and ears held high and erect?  It may look impressive and proud but it means he's still alpha and you still have problems!  A dog who accepts humans as superiors will approach you with his head slightly lowered and his ears back or off to the sides.  He'll "shrink" his whole body a little in a show of submission.  Watch how he greets all the members of the family.  If he displays this submissive posture to some of them, but not others, those are the ones who still need to work on their own alpha posture and methods.  They should take him back through another tour of boot camp with support from the rest of the family.

 

Obedience Training:

Once your dog has begun to accept this new way of life and his new position in the family, you should take him through an obedience course with a qualified trainer.  All dogs need to be trained and alpha dogs need training most of all!  You don't have to wait until he's through with boot camp to start this training but it's important that he respects at least one member of the family and is willing to take direction from them.

Obedience class teaches -you- to train your dog.  It teaches you how to be alpha, how to enforce commands and rules, how to get respect and to keep it.  All family members who are old enough to understand and control the dog should participate in the class.

Obedience training is a lifelong process.  One obedience course does not a trained dog make!  Obedience commands need to be practiced and incorporated into your daily life.  In a dog pack, the alpha animal uses occasional reminders to reinforce his authority.  Certain commands, like DOWN/STAY, are especially effective, nonviolent reminders of a dog's place in the family pack order and who's really in charge here.

A well-trained obedient dog is a happy dog and a joy to live with.  Dogs want to please and need a job to do.  Training gives them the opportunity to do both.  A well-trained dog has more freedom.  He can go more places and do more things with you because he knows how to behave.  A well-trained dog that's secure in his place within the family pack is comfortable and confident.  He knows what's expected of him.  He knows his limits and who his leaders are.  He's free from the responsibility of running the household and making decisions.  He's free to be our loving companion and not your boss.  He's free to be a dog - what he was born to be and what he always wanted to be in the first place!

 

When You Need Professional Help:

If your dog has already injured you or someone else or if you are afraid of your dog, you should consult with a qualified professional dog trainer or behaviorist before starting Canine Boot Camp.  Your dog should also have an exam by your veterinarian to make sure there are no physical causes for his behavior.

To find a qualified trainer or behaviorist near you, contact your veterinarian or the American Kennel Club for a list of obedience training clubs in your area.

The American Kennel Club
51 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 696-8200


Related Reading:

Books:

Mother Knows Best by Carol Lea Benjamin
Dog Problems by Carol Lea Benjamin
Dogs Love To Please by September B. Morn
Psychological Dog Training by Clarence Meisterfield
Good Dogs, Great Owners by Brian Kilcommons



Web Pages:

Obedience Classes For Your Dog
Teaching Good Manners For Grooming & At The Vet's Office
Help! My Dogs Are Fighting!
Socializing Your Chow Chow
Crate-Training Questions & Answers


Bookstore


This article was written by Vicki DeGruy, chairman of the Chow Chow Club Inc.'s Welfare Committee, with heavy reliance on the writings of Carol Lea Benjamin.  The concepts presented here are not new or original, simply organized in a program format meant to be easy and safe for dog owners to put into practice.  This article may not be reproduced for other than personal home use without the expressed permission of the author.  For permission to reprint, contact the Chow Chow Club, Inc.'s Welfare Committee.

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"The Outside Dog"
by  Brandy J. Oliver, MA


     Many people ask me, "How do I provide proper care for my outside dog?"

     When is it too cold for him to be outside?  How do I tell if he may have heat stroke in the dead of summer?  How can I stop him from digging up my entire yard?  He barks non-stop sometimes.... what will make him shut-up?  He is covered with fleas even though I bathe him often, what am I supposed to do?  His coat is always dirty and he actually stinks!  What can I do about this?

     Going back to the original question, "How do I provide care for my outside dog?"  My very sincere answer is:  Make him an inside dog, or better yet, an inside/outside dog.  Dogs are "pack" animals.  They are social by nature.  I have never met an "outside dog" that was living up to the best of his potential.  Many are unhappy, neglected, poorly behaved, and downright dirty.  Not that "being dirty" isn't a very "doggie thing to do."  Being dirty is quite fun!  But ongoing filth is not healthy for dogs.  If dogs have a creek or lake, many will gladly take daily or weekly baths for their own pleasure, enjoyment, and health.  Do you tether or chain your dog outside?  If you do, please read "The Proper Way to Tether or Chain your Dog."  Then come back and read the rest.

     Dogs are social animals.  If the rest of the "pack" is outside, they will probably accompany you.  If you are inside, they most likely will prefer to be with you inside as well.  However, some breeds and individual dogs are more independent than others.  They can enjoy many hours by themselves, inside or outside.  However, I have found this to be the exception rather than what is normal behavior for most dogs.

     This brings us to the next topic:  How to make your dog an inside (or inside/outside) dog.  It also leads us into the first problem associated with making an outside dog an inside dog:  "My dog is too dirty to bring inside!"  Your dog is too dirty because he spends his life in the dirt.  A quick bath may not wash away months (and sometimes years) of filth, not to mention fleas.  When you decide to begin allowing your dog inside, have him bathed by a professional groomer.  If your dog has a clean place to spend his time (inside), he will stay clean.  Some dogs have a stronger "doggie odor" than others.  In most cases outside dogs that have strong odors will improve dramatically when they become inside, or inside/outside dogs.  However, if your dog seems to carry a particularly strong scent, you might want to try a product called "Dog Herbal Shampoo & Dip"TM by Natural Animal®.  I have had success using this product on my GSD/Rottie mix, Waya.  This keeps him smelling good for the longest amount of time.

     Once your dog is clean and clean-smelling, a weekly, monthly, quarterly or bi-yearly bath is recommended.  There is such a wide range of recommendations because dogs have very different bathing and grooming needs.  However, it is a common mistake to bathe your dog too often.  This produces dry skin, sometimes itchy and flaky.  A good rule of thumb for dogs that do not require frequent professional grooming is to bathe your dog when he has such a strong doggie odor that you notice it when you hug him or sit next to him; if your hands need to be washed due to dirt or smell after you pet him; and of course, if he's gotten into something that made him dirty.  I probably bathe my dogs about 3-7 times a year.

     "I don't want fleas in my house."  Your dog doesn't want fleas either.  Get rid of the fleas on your dog and in your yard, and this will no longer be a problem.  Not to mention that you'll have a happier and healthier dog!  Installing ceramic tile floors makes it much easier to control the flea population.  If your dog has any fleas at all, please read "Those Dog-Gone Fleas" (author unknown) so you can wipe them out for good!

     "I want my dog to guard the house and yard at night."  If you want your dog to guard you at night, what better place to have him than in your bedroom!  If you want your dog to have access to your yard, install a doggie door.  I highly recommend doggie doors.  Once you've lived with a doggie door, you will never want to do without one.  And neither will your dog.  Pet Doors U.S.A.® has the best selection of doggie doors, including Inexpensive Pet Doors, Pet Doors for Patio Doors, and even an Electronic Dog Door.

     "My dog will chew and eat everything in my house!"  The best way to introduce an outside dog to an inside environment is definitely under supervision!  It is best to introduce your dog to your house gradually.  First, only let him in at night time.  This is one of the most important steps you can take to make your dog feel like one of the "pack."  If at all possible, allow him to sleep in your bedroom.  To your dog, this is your "den."  Dogs and wolves in the wild all sleep together in the den.  It bonds them together and lets every one of them know that they belong to the family.  If you can't trust your dog not to be disruptive, then have him sleep in a dog crate, or block off an area so that he can see you but still be confined to a safe area.  I have found that many obsessive behaviors disappear by themselves when dogs are allowed to sleep in the bedroom and feel like part of the family.  For a complete description on how to acclimate your dog to the household, read "The Crate Alternative" (author unknown).

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"The Proper Way to Tether or Chain Your Dog"
by  Brandy J. Oliver, MA


     Many people use chains, tethers, or tie-outs to have their dogs outside, yet restricted.  I see all of these devices advertised in popular dog magazines, I see them hanging in pet supply stores, and I see many dogs on the end of one of them.  Unfortunately, I have never seen any one of these devices come with instructions or recommendations on how, why, and when it is appropriate to chain, tether, or tie-out your dog.  Also, I have rarely seen any written information regarding chained or tethered dogs.  I live in a rural neighborhood where some dogs live on chains twenty-four hours a day.  I have seen playful pups turn into aggressive dogs, I have heard (and helped) chained dogs barking because they couldn't reach their shade or water.  I've helped dogs that I've heard crying because they've become "hung" on a fence with their chain.  On one particular day, my neighbor's dog came over for a visit, but was not his happy usual self when he arrived.  He had a worried look on his face; he paced and whined.  I walked him home to make sure everything was all right.  Upon reaching his house and his owner, his owner and I began a casual conversation.  His owner casually mentioned that he just buried their new puppy in the backyard.  The puppy had gotten tangled in her nylon tie-out and had strangled to death sometime that morning.  Their other new puppy had witnessed the whole thing and, in fact was tangled but not strangled in the ordeal.  Ironically, a week later they brought another puppy home and chained her as well.

     I've talked with many people who state that their dog is "fine and well-adjusted on his chain."  But, just what is their dog well-adjusted to... life on a chain?  Dogs that become complacent on chains may be demonstrating what is known as "learned helplessness."  Dogs that have realized that they are restricted to the length and entanglement of a chain usually become sedentary and listless while on their chain with intermittent bouts of barking out of frustration and boredom.  Thus, these dogs pose little "problem" to their owners because they are "out of the way."  Many times these dogs bark when their owners are not even home, so they are not even aware of a barking problem.  However, in spite of the owner's claim that their dogs are well-adjusted, usually these same dogs are reported to be uncontrollable in normal family situations.  Many of these dogs are too "hyper" to be brought indoors.  Those that are brought inside may demonstrate aggression to other animals and even people that they are not familiar with.  Others may be unruly and destructive, running circles around the house like the Tasmanian Devil!  They may be viewed as "stupid" or "smart but stubborn" by their owners.  Dogs that live on chains have a greater chance of becoming aggressive and unruly.

     Chained dogs learn nothing except that they hate isolation and hate being restricted while the rest of the world (including other dogs, cats, and all animals and people) may come and go (on their territory) as they please.

      Dogs are social animals.  They choose to live in "packs" and rarely spend time alone.  When dogs are chained, tethered, or tied-out they are essentially isolated from their "pack" (your family).  I often wonder why a person chooses to have a dog when the dog lives his life isolated on the end of a chain.  I've been told by some people that they want a "watchdog" so they chain their dog outside.  What can a dog do to a would-be intruder while restricted to a chain?  If you would like a family watchdog, please read "How to Train Your Family Watchdog" (author unknown).  A competent watchdog needs to be in the house (with you) or in a fenced yard.  Ideally, a dog will have access to both the home and yard via a doggie door.

     The ideal time for a dog to be chained or tethered is when you are at the other end.  However, there are times when dogs may be tethered while you are busy but near by.  Such situations include a picnic lunch.  If your dog is not reliable at the "Down Stay" command, it is necessary to tether his leash to the picnic table so that you can enjoy your lunch without having to constantly stare at your dog and re-command him to "Down."  Also, if you like to take your dog with you while you're doing yard work in your unfenced yard, tethering him in the shade nearby where you are working will allow your dog to be outside with you and keep you company at the same time.  These tie-outs are short-lived and always under supervision.  They can be advantageous to you and your dog because it allows you to take him more places, and it allows your dog the opportunity to accompany you and participate in your activities.  This is the proper way to tether or chain your dog.

     Do you know of someone who chains their dog outside?  Why not give them a copy of this article!  Many well-meaning dog owners are not aware of the detrimental effect that chains, tethers, and tie-outs have on dogs.

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