Dog Training

Introducing Your Cat to a Dog

Guest Post by Mary Nielsen

Dog-2606759_1920Suppose you have a cat and you want to introduce her to a new dog you are adding to your household. Or what if you already have a dog and you want to introduce him to a new cat? It's a challenge, but it is possible with the right approach.

After learning about jealousy in cats, you may want to prevent jealousy by gently introducing your cat to a new cat in the household. But what if it's a dog? "To fight like cats and dogs" is a tired cliché, but based on truth. It stems from a language barrier. What a cat thinks is a friendly greeting, a dog thinks is an unwarranted expression of dominance. What a dog thinks of as a friendly greeting, a cat thinks is a sign of aggression. The best way to overcome this language barrier is to introduce them as puppy and kitten, while they're so naïve that everything seems new and different. Of course, that's not always possible.

Before You Get Started

If at all possible, get a cat and dog with similar personalities. If the situation is due to a blended family or other cohabitation, this may not be an option. It's preferable to start with animals that have lived with other animals before. The dog should know the commands "sit", "no" and "stay" and be leash-trained. Aggressive animals (even if only in play) will not match well with nervous, shy animals. While it's best to introduce a puppy and a kitten to each other, two elderly animals might be able to quietly tolerate each other. In the case of puppies and kittens, supervise their playtime to make sure they don't hurt themselves.

If possible, let the cat and dog take turns roaming freely about the house while the other visits a friend or family member. This way, they'll know each other by scent when they first meet.

The Pavlovian Method

Your cat will need to be isolated for a while with food, water, litter box and bedding. You may come in to visit, but the dog should stay out. For at least a week, the cat and dog must eat on opposite sides of a solid door. If your dog barks, whines or paws at the door, give him a calm but firm "No!" and move his bowl away from the door. Gradually move the food bowls closer to the door over the week until they're practically eating side by side if not for the door. You can also rub one with a rag and put it near the other's bowl so they can smell it while eating. In time, they'll come to see each other's scent as pleasant.

Face to Face

For their first face to face meeting, there should be a handler for each animal. Pets can pick up on fear and nervousness, so try to keep calm. The dog should be leashed and the cat should have access to her safe space, be that a carrier, kitty condo or space under the bed. Calmly and gently let the cat and dog see and smell each other. Speak in a composed, reassuring voice. If things take a turn for the worse (one or both lunges at the other, for example) the dog can be pulled back on a leash and commanded "No! Sit!" The cat will most likely retreat to someplace safe. Repeat this several times, gradually lengthening the time of the visits.

Never punish a pet for a bad reaction to another. You don't want them to associate the other animal with punishment. Do reward them for good behavior. Some dog breeds that have a high prey instinct (hounds, spaniels and terriers) may never acclimate to a cat's presence. Of course, if the dog is of a toy group (such as a Yorkie or Chihuahua) you may have to tell your cat to play nice! Even if your cat and dog do learn to accept each other, keep food and litter boxes where the one who shouldn't use it can't get to it.

Mary Nielsen founded FelineLiving.net and is a passionate cat lover, blogger, and part-time music teacher. She founded her blog to share her ups and downs of being a pet parent to a bunch of adorable kittens and cats. When she is not playing with them or teaching, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen.

Image: Pixabay


"Meet Your Dog" Book Signing - Asheville, June 13

Kim Brophey, a local dog behaviorist/owner of The Dog Door in Asheville with a national reputation, will be appearing at Malaprops Bookstore, 55 Haywood Street in Asheville, on Wednesday, June 13 at 6 PM. She will be discussing her new book, Meet Your Dog, which has received rave reviews. A presentation will be followed by a book signing.

Using cutting-edge research, Brophey has developed a groundbreaking system called L.E.G.S. that allows owners to identify what their dog is struggling with, why, and how they can fix it. Brophey's approach is unlike anything that has been published before and will give dog owners a new understanding of what motivates and affects their dog's behavior. Brophey's innovative technique rethinks the way we categorize dogs, and distills information from over twenty scientific disciplines into four comprehensive elements: learning, environment, genetics, and self. With revolutionary tips for specific dog breeds, her book will change the life of every dog owner and lead to happier human-canine relationships. Asheville Humane Society is the first humane society in the country to be adopting the L.E.G.S. approach.

Her book is available at Malaprops, or through Amazon by clicking on the book cover above.

 


New Dog Book by Local Behaviorist Launches - Asheville, April 14

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On Saturday, April 14 from 3 to 5 PM, Kim Brophey will be reading from and signing copies of her new book, Meet Your Dog, at the Asheville Mall Barnes and Noble on South Tunnel Road in Asheville.

Business owner and dog behavior expert Brophey just released this revolutionary new book that will change the way people view dog behavior. Kim is a nationally-recognized, certified animal behaviorist with her own dog behavior business, The Dog Door in Asheville.

In her book Meet Your Dog: The Game-Changing Guide to Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior she reveals her comprehensive framework known as L.E.G.S (Learning, Environment, Genetics, Self) which explains the four aspects of a dog’s behavior. The knowledge in this book can dramatically change how we view and relate to dogs, with the aim of keeping misunderstood dogs out of shelters and in happy homes. Asheville Humane Society will be instituting the L.E.G.S. system this Spring -- the first humane society in the nation to do so.

No dogs allowed at this event, please!

 


Dog Training Presentation - Asheville, Jan. 25

ID-100422868On Thursday, January 25 at 6 PM, Dr. Kathryn Gubista will do a free presentation on science-based dog training.  The presentation will take place in the Lord Auditorium of Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood Street, in downtown Asheville. Humans only, please!

Gubista is an evolutionary biologist, college biology instructor, former zookeeper, author and certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with Lucky Dog Training Asheville and has over 30 years of dog training and human educating experience. Her training philosophy is based on "The Dog's Perspective."  According to Lucky Dog Training: "Our training philosophy and techniques are based on understanding the biology of dogs coupled with learning theory, and is most similar in approach to dog training as Positive Discipline is to child parenting. By understanding the dog’s perspective, humans learn to communicate with dogs on their level instead of making dogs communicate on the human’s level. This makes dog training practical, easy and rewarding for everyone, especially dogs."

Image: jm1366, freedigitalphotos.net


Free Beer City Behavior Dog Training - Asheville, Sept. 2

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Asheville Humane Society will hold a free "Beer City Behavior" training talk on Saturday, Sept. 2 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM at Habitat Tavern and Commons 174 Broadway, Asheville. You and your pup are invited to join Asheville Humane Society and learn how to train and entertain your furry friends at the same time!

A two mile walk doesn't tire your dog? Too fearful to play? Elliot Weiner, PhD, CPDT-KA and Asheville Humane Society volunteer will teach and discuss some techniques and games that will make your dog think while also training and entertaining him/her. Mental exercise keeps our dogs from going too far up the arousal scale and making bad decisions. Elliot will teach you and your dog how to think and have fun. Grab a beer, and spend the first hour with him thinking and playing, and stick around for additional questions/play time!

All dogs who are comfortable in this type of social setting are welcome to join. Please note, if your dog does not like to be around large groups of people and dogs, please leave them at home where they will be more comfortable. The trainer will be happy to give you some tips and tricks of things you can do in your home to help with any behavior problems. Please have a leash on hand for entering and leaving this event as well, as we like to keep our patrons and pups happy and safe at all times!


Beer City Behavior at Ultimate Ice Cream, Asheville, July 29

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Asheville Humane Society will be holding a free "Beer City Behavior" talk on Saturday, July 29 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at Ultimate Ice Cream, 1070 Tunnel Road, Asheville.

The topic is Dog Body Language. This talk with focus on some common canine behaviors that are either misunderstood, or often missed completely. You will gain a whole new appreciation for how much your dog is trying to tell you and you will be able to grow your relationship and enhance your training exercises!

**Please note, if your dog does not like to be around large groups of people and dogs, please leave them at home where they will be more comfortable. The trainer will be happy to give you some tips and tricks of things you can do in your home to help with any behavior problems.**


Beer City Behavior at New Belgium, Asheville, July 27

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Asheville Humane Society will be holding a free "Beer City Behavior" talk on Thursday, July 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at New Belgium Brewing, 21 Craven Street, Asheville.

The topic is Dog Body Language. This talk with focus on some common canine behaviors that are either misunderstood, or often missed completely. You will gain a whole new appreciation for how much your dog is trying to tell you and you will be able to grow your relationship and enhance your training exercises!

**Please note, if your dog does not like to be around large groups of people and dogs, please leave them at home where they will be more comfortable. The trainer will be happy to give you some tips and tricks of things you can do in your home to help with any behavior problems.**


Beer City Behavior for Dogs, Fletcher, June 20

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Asheville Humane Society will be holding a free "Beer City Behavior" talk on Tuesday, June 20 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM at Blue Ghost Brewing Company, 125 Underwood Road, Fletcher, NC.

The topic is Dog Body Language. This talk with focus on some common canine behaviors that are either misunderstood, or often missed completely. You will gain a whole new appreciation for how much your dog is trying to tell you and you will be able to grow your relationship and enhance your training exercises!

**Please note, if your dog does not like to be around large groups of people and dogs, please leave them at home where they will be more comfortable. The trainer will be happy to give you some tips and tricks of things you can do in your home to help with any behavior problems.**


Beer City Behavior for Dogs, Asheville, June 17

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Asheville Humane Society will be holding a free "Beer City Behavior" talk on Saturday, June 17 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM at Pour Taproom, 2 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville, NC.

The topic is Dog Body Language. This talk with focus on some common canine behaviors that are either misunderstood, or often missed completely. You will gain a whole new appreciation for how much your dog is trying to tell you and you will be able to grow your relationship and enhance your training exercises!

**Please note, if your dog does not like to be around large groups of people and dogs, please leave them at home where they will be more comfortable. The trainer will be happy to give you some tips and tricks of things you can do in your home to help with any behavior problems.**


Beer City Behavior for Dogs, Brevard, June 7

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Asheville Humane Society will present a free "Beer City Behavior" talk on Wednesday, June 7 from 
6:00 to 8:00 PM at Oskar Blues Brewery, 342 Mountain Industrial Dr, Brevard.

The topic is training puppies. This talk will focus on the stages puppies go through, how their brains and behavior are developing, and what can be done to help them become well socialized adult dogs. A certified dog behaviorist will go over some common socialization misconceptions and helpful training techniques to make the adolescent months more bearable. If there are several puppies of similar ages, we might even be able to have a puppy social!

Admission is free but donations to Asheville Humane Society are welcome.

*If you decide to bring your puppy, please be sure they are up to date on vaccines and de-wormings.*


Beer City Behavior for Dogs, Hendersonville, May 27

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Asheville Humane Society will present a free "Beer City Behavior" talk on Saturday, May 27 from 
1:00 to 2:30 PM at Sanctuary Brewing, 147 1st Ave. E., Hendersonville, NC.

The topic is "Training Multiple Dogs." One of the biggest challenges that many dog owners face is how to train multiple dogs in their home at the same time. It can be hard to juggle reinforcing one dog, while not reinforcing another and making sure everyone’s understanding what’s going on. This talk will cover how to implement training programs when you have multiple dogs, and discuss some common roadblocks to success. Bring your dogs and your questions and we’ll work through some of these challenges!

**Please note, if your dog does not like to be around large groups of people and dogs, please leave them at home where they will be more comfortable. The trainer will be happy to give you some tips and tricks of things you can do in your home to help with any behavior problems.**


Training an Older Dog

Dominik QN-unsplash.comMost people think dog training is only for puppies, but the fact is an older dog can be trained, too. However, training an older dog does take different techniques and probably more patience.

PetPlace.com shares some useful tips about training an older dog. First you need to understand your dog's background, personality, and ability to learn. Then you can begin training for specific behaviors. According to PetPlace, one of the best ways to train an older dog is to use treats. If you choose a high value treat that you know your dog really loves, it will motivate her to learn a behavior. Another technique that works for many older dogs is clicker training since the dog will associate the sound with what you want her to do.

PetPlace suggests using single word commands because they are easier for a dog to understand and remember. Use hand signals if your dog is hard of hearing or far away from you, but be sure the hand signals are obvious rather than subtle.

For more ideas for training an older dog, read the PetPlace article, "Tips and Techniques for Training an Older Dog."

Image: Dominik, QN, unsplash.com


"Beer City Behavior" Talk, Brevard, May 3

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Asheville Humane Society presents a series of dog behavior talks, free to the public, that take place at local breweries.

On Wednesday, May 3 from 6 to 8 PM, a dog behavior talk will be held at Oskar Blues Brewery, 342 Mountain Industrial Drive, Brevard, NC.

To understand what your dog is feeling, you need to learn how to recognize, read, interpret, and respond appropriately to your dog’s behaviors and communications. This talk with focus on some common behaviors that are either misunderstood, or often missed completely. You will gain a whole new appreciation for how much your dog is trying to tell you and you will be able to grow your relationship and enhance your training exercises!

**Please note, if your dog does not like to be around large groups of people and dogs, please leave them at home where they will be more comfortable. The trainer will be happy to give you some tips and tricks of things you can do in your home to help with any behavior problems.**


Dogs and Behavior Problems

ID-100436728We all love our dogs, but every once in a while, they exhibit a behavior that we find undesirable. Before you attempt to correct the behavior, it might be wise to understand its cause.

PetPlace.com provides an excellent "Guide to Behavior Problems in Dogs" that lists many of the most common dog behavior problems, including inappropriate elimination, urine marking, digging, separation anxiety, aggression, chewing, and biting. The guide is set up so that it briefly describes each behavior. Then you can click on the behavior and get a lot more details about the problem.

All of the material is written by veterinarians or other dog behavior specialists. It is easy to read and features specific suggestions and guidance for how to address each behavior problem.

You'll find a link to the primary article here: 
http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/behavior-training/behavior-problems/guide-to-behavior-problems-in-dogs

Image: Patrisyu, Freedigitalphotos.net


Free Talk: "Puppy 101," Hendersonville, Feb. 25

ID-100226591On Saturday, February 25 from 1 to 2:30 PM, Sanctuary Brewing in Hendersonville will host "Puppy 101" from This free talk with an Asheville Humane Society dog behaviorist is going to focus on the stages that puppies go through, how their brains and behavior are developing, and what we can do to help them become a well-socialized adult dog!

The talk will also cover some common socialization misconceptions and helpful training techniques to make the adolescent months more bearable. Puppies are welcome, but if you decide to bring your puppy, please be sure they are up to date on vaccines and de-wormings. If several puppies of similar ages are present, a puppy social will be held! 

Sanctuary Brewing is located at 147 First Avenue East in Hendersonville, NC. For additional details, call 828-595-9956 or email info@sanctuarybrewco.com. 

Image: Vudhikrai, freedigitalphotos.net


Free Puppies W.I.N. Session - Asheville, Dec. 10

ID-100237348Puppies W.I.N. ("What Is Normal?") is a free special help session for people with puppies under 5 months of age. It will help you understand what is age-appropriate puppy behavior, learn how to establish good habits to prevent problems from developing, and discover how to take advantage of your puppy’s socialization window.

Puppies W.I.N. is open to anyone who is interested in understanding more about their puppy – or who might be preparing to bring a puppy into their home.

Puppies W.I.N., sponsored by Pet Behavior Aid, will be held on Saturday, December 10 from 9 to 10:30 AM at Asheville Humane Society's Adoptin & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the WNC Farmers Market).

Note: Humans only please!

Visit www.petbehavioraid.org for additional details.

Image: Khunaspix, Freedigitalphotos.net


3 Tips to Cope with a Weather-Sensitive Dog

Guest Post by Tilda Moore

Screen Shot 2016-10-10 at 4.40.04 PMIf you’re a first-time dog owner, you may not realize that some dogs have thunder phobia, and you may not know how to handle your pup when she cowers at the sound of thunder or goes running off during a hurricane. Preparing your dog for the fears she may face during extreme weather is important if you want to keep your dog safe. Some dogs are more sensitive than others, but being prepared is always best. Here are a few ways you can handle a weather-sensitive dog.

  1. Buy the Necessary Supplies

Being physically prepared for any extreme weather is a key aspect of being a pet owner. You should have enough pet food to last several days, a “safe space” for your dog, and first aid supplies. A kennel, favorite bed, or one of your worn clothing items (so that it has your scent, which is comforting to your dog) are some options for preparing your dog’s safe space.

Dogs that fear thunder may also benefit from anxiety aids such as calm drops or treats and Thunder Shirts. Dogs that have temperature sensitivities will need garments such as coats, vests, rain jackets, waterproof boots, and paw protectors. You might also consider putting up a pet gate to keep your dog secured in a safe room.

  1. Know Your Dog

Getting to know your dog is critical in anticipating how she will react to extreme weather. You should know your dog’s breed as well as personality in order to identify what fears and behaviors are likely. Certain breeds like Chihuahuas cannot handle extreme temperatures of any kind and do not tolerate water well, for instance.

You should always have weather-resistant and temperature-regulating clothing on hand for dogs sensitive to extreme temperatures, rain, or similar situations. Your dog, even if purebred, is unique and may react poorly to the sounds or sights of extreme weather. Be sure you know how your dog behaves when exposed to alarming stimuli.

Make sure others who may take care of your dog are aware of your dog’s sensitivities and behaviors as well. For example, if you hire a dog walker, advise them accordingly.

  1. Focus on Proper Training

A well-trained dog will not bolt even when she is afraid. Your dog should have proper obedience training from you or a professional. She should know basic commands and should be reliable in the face of dire circumstances.

For example, a well-trained dog may hear thunder during a severe storm but will continue to obey its owner, keeping it safe from the storm, while a poorly or untrained dog may dart into danger, possibly becoming lost or injured. The last thing you need during extreme weather is to be out looking for your terrified dog.

Your dog should also know any safety procedures. For example, if your family evacuates to a storm shelter during a tornado warning, your dog should learn a command to follow the family into the shelter and stay put. If your dog has been trained how to react to severe weather, she will be calmer for the duration of the event.

Keeping your new pup safe during extreme weather can seem like a daunting task. As a new owner, you might not know what your dog needs from you to feel safe during these frightening events. The most important things you can do are be physically prepared, observe your dog and her personality so that you may better predict her reaction to weather, and keep up with obedience training. With these precautions, your dog will be much safer and happier in the event of extreme weather.

Tilda Moore’s mission is aligned with that of Open Educators (http://openeducators.org/), providing engaging educational resources to teachers and parents. 

Image via Pixabay by Republica


Dog Talk: A Dog's Behavior and Pain - Asheville, Nov. 19

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 4.40.36 PMOn Saturday, November 19 at 7 PM, Julia Robertson will present "A Dog's Behavior and Pain: How the Two are Related." The talk will take place at Lenoir-Rhyne University, 36 Montford Avenue in Asheville.

Robertson's talk will cover how dogs shows signs of pain, how chronic pain impacts the way a dog feels and responds to the world, behavior signs that can indicate pain, and some simple ways to improve a dog's pain.

Robertson is an award-winning Galen Myotherapist, author, DVD producer, and Galen Canine Therapy Centre founder. She has treated over 7,000 pet, assistance, working and competition dogs since founding the Galen Therapy Centre in the UK in 2002. Her enthusiasm and passion has grown the center into a team of trained Galen Myotherapists based all over the UK and abroad. As a passionate advocate of Galen Canine Myotherapy, Robertson works closely with vets and other professionals. She also regularly holds talks and workshops internationally, helping to educate others and demonstrate how everyone can be part of enhancing their dog’s life through the appreciation of muscular health.

The talk is $20 at the door, or $15 advance registration. For more information or to register, contact: jrechtine@gmail.com, or call (585) 905-8281.


4 Tips for Involving Your Kids in Training Your New Dog

Guest Post by Paige Johnson

UntitledBringing home a new canine companion — whether it’s a puppy or an adult — requires some clear, consistent training from the entire family. This can be more easily said than done when it comes to children; though they mean well, they’re often too distracted with the excitement over a new pet to focus on teaching positive behaviors. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can get your kids involved in the process to make the transition to a new home smoother and quicker for your dog.

1. Start with the basics

Even if your new dog is grown, he still needs to learn the rules for his new home. Your family can start showing him the ropes by identifying good behavior he exhibits naturally, like sitting or lying down. Point out these behaviors to your kids, and show each the right way to praise and reward good behavior, including offering treats in the palm of the hand to avoid accidental finger bites. If everyone is consistently implementing the same rules every day, your dog will catch on quicker, and your kids will establish their authority early on.

2. Talk about health hazards

Your entire family needs to be well-versed in what’s good for your dog and what could hurt him. Walk your kids through your home and go over exactly which items can be toxic or otherwise dangerous to a dog. Show them where potent cleaners are kept and how to store them safely out of reach, and talk to older kids about which cleaners should be used in the event of pet accidents. Talk about productive ways to deter the dog from those areas — for example, maybe he shouldn’t be allowed in the laundry room if that’s where most cleaning items are kept. If he does start nosing around cabinets that could have dangerous chemicals, discuss the proper way to scold him so he learns to steer clear.

3. Keep training materials visible around the house

It’s not as easy for kids to let training slip their minds if there are constant reminders around. They can have a clicker to keep in their backpack or tucked in the house key dish by the door. It’ll also be easier to remember to reward good behavior as it occurs, even if it’s simply the absence of a bad behavior. For example, if your daughter does her homework at the kitchen table after school and your dog quietly naps at her feet, show her how to reward him for calm behavior.

4. Give your kids some independent training time

Though it’s important to make sure your kids are training the dog properly, it isn’t always productive to constantly stand over their shoulder watching. Give your kids mini dog-sitting opportunities — it can be as simple as watching the puppy for 10 minutes while you take a shower — and follow-up on how it goes. Were there problems? Was your child able to handle it? If not, what’s a better resolution for next time? Don’t hesitate to share your own training struggles and see what your kids think about solving the problem. Working together will reinforce the idea that training is a family effort, and it’ll help identify persistent problems much more quickly.

Make your pup’s training progress a daily routine with your family. Troubleshoot issues, vent about tough training sessions, and find ways to laugh together over the process. Before you know it, your new dog will be well-acclimated to his new home and trained to your family’s content!

Paige Johnson is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast, avid cyclist, and loves exploring hiking trails with her dogs. She enjoys writing about health and fitness for LearnFit.org.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay