Fat Dogs - How To Get Overweight Dogs to Diet and Slim Down Without WhiningWritten by LittleDog
Obesity in dogs is a growing problem, which can cause many problems including heart disease, joint problems, and diabetes. Almost half of dogs in America are fat, especially beagles, dachshunds, basset hounds, and Labrador retrievers. Before your dog reaches point where they need insulin shots, you can slim them down. It will take almost a year, but it’s worth it.
Even puppies shouldn’t be overweight – all dogs need to be slim, not fat, to be healthy. A dog is at right weight if you can feel ribs without excess fat covering. From side, dog’s belly should be tucked up, and from above, there should be a noticeable waist in front of hips. When you feel his ribs, they should be shallow indents which you can count, although you shouldn’t be able to count them just by looking.
A major cause of overweight dogs is feeding them table scraps. While it is fun to feed your dog leftover food, there are serious consequences. One is, of course, that dog will become unsure of who is alpha in family. The alpha is one who eats first, and if dog is being fed before or during meal, hierarchy of family becomes unclear. Also, table scraps may not provide right nutrition for a dog. For example, many dogs fed table scraps can get vitamin A toxicity, and excess protein and phosphorus. If a dog is fed exclusively table scraps, they usually won’t get enough calcium and can get over-activity of parathyroid glands.
To reduce weight of fat dogs, one option is to just keep to same feeding schedule, but feed dog less, starting by feeding dog only ¾ as much as you do now. This option, however, can produce a dog that whines a lot, so many owners can add bulky vegetables to food. You can also get special low-calorie foods, which are high in bulk so dog feels better fed. Dogs don’t usually like low-calorie foods, but they will eventually eat it and get used to it.
Another option, which can keep whining down, is to change feeding schedule to twice a day instead of once a day. Never leave food out all day long. Treats need to stop being given, but instead of a treat, overweight dogs can be fed one of two small meals. If you really want to give your dog a treat, use a carrot or an apple.
How To Stop Your Dog From Barking – Training Your Dog To Keep QuietWritten by LittleDog
Quieting a barking dog is a quick and easy process. Really. It also doesn’t cost any money. But it’s not an obvious process - witness many dogs barking all time in parks, backyards on street corners, with their owners tugging at their leash and yelling at them and dogs completely ignoring their commands. My dog was driving me crazy until I learned how to stop his barking.
My dog barked and whined all time, and it was a breed (husky), that was known for making a lot of noise. The situation was especially bad when doorbell rang or he saw strangers. It was almost impossible to stop him once he started, and if there was another dog involved, forget it – my dog would yap his head off until dogs were separated and out of sight.
One weekend, though, my friend came over to visit. She worked at Chicago Zoo and knew animals better than anyone I had ever seen. In an hour she had my dog completely quiet, and she taught me how to do it, too. One hour to solve a problem that was driving me crazy for last three years!
The secret is not intuitive. First you teach dog to bark(!) I thought my friend was insane when she told me this. Obviously my dog knew how to bark because he barked and whined all time. But she explained that while my dog barked a lot, he couldn’t bark on command. First she taught him to bark on command, and then she taught him to be quiet on command. The whole process took less than an hour. My dog is pretty smart, so it may take your dog longer, but still, it’s an incredibly effective technique, and now, two years later, my dog still doesn’t give me trouble. What a great afternoon!
There are two elements at work here: positive reinforcement and intermittent reinforcement. Positive reinforcement teaches behavior, and intermittent reinforcement keeps behavior permanent. Negative reinforcement is just not a strong inducer of behavior. Negative reinforcement like shock collars or saying “No” does work to a certain extent, but studies have shown it to be about 10 times less effective than positive reinforcement. Everything she did was very clear and precise, which was much of reason she got her results so quickly. Your results may vary, but clearer and more precise you can make everything, better. First, go on a long walk with your dog to get him a lot of exercise. Your dog can’t learn when he’s all riled up.
Teaching your dog to bark: Then get a box of treats. Then look at your dog. When he barks, immediately praise him and give him a treat. Don’t let any time elapse between bark and treat. Pretty soon he’ll be barking a lot. Right now, behavior is coming before cue. Shape behavior first, and then add your cue.