Dog Training

How to Rename an Adopted Dog

Guest Post by John Woods

Adorable-3344414_1920There could be several reasons to want to change a rescue pup’s name, but the good thing is, changing a dog’s name is easy and dogs are really quick learners.

All you need to do is choose a new name, and be consistent with it. You’ll also need to make sure all your family members are using the name consistently, and usually your dog should have his new name mastered in under a week.

We’re going to look at reasons you might want to change a dog’s name, how to choose one, and how to re-train your dog to understand his new name.

Reasons to Change a Dog’s Name

Here are a few popular reasons you might want to change your dog’s name.

Perhaps you don’t like the name of the dog you’ve adopted. It might be a really strange or long name which takes too long to say or is confusing.

Or maybe you just want to give your dog a new name to match his new start in life.

Perhaps the dog suffered abuse at the hands of previous owners and he has a really negative association with the old name.

Whatever the reason, it’s really simple to rename your dog.

How to Rename an Adopted Dog

Choose a Name

Believe it or not, this is probably the trickiest part of renaming your dog (does that reassure you how easy it’ll be to give your dog a new name?)

Some people try to choose a name as similar as possible to the original name; for example if the old name was “Bruno,” a new similar name might be “Blue.” However, this really isn’t necessary: If you’re going to change the name, you don’t have to keep it similar, you can start from scratch and choose anything you like.

Spend some time getting to know your dog, understand his personality and look out for any unique little quirks in his appearance. This will help in selecting an appropriate name.

There are many places you can draw inspiration from when renaming your dog! You might even look to famous actors or movies to help inspire you.

Teach Your Dog His or Her New Name

  1. Make sure everyone knows his new name

The first step in renaming your dog is to make sure that everyone is on board with the new name so that you can be as consistent as possible. Everyone needs to be using the same name or else your dog will become confused if some people are still calling him by the old name and others are using a new name.

  1. Have a quiet area to use

When you first get your dog home, spend some time bonding with him, and when you first introduce his name make sure that you are in a quiet area with no distractions.

  1. Say his name positively

When you’ve found a quiet area to use, say his name in a happy manner. Continue to say his name over the next few minutes, praising him each time you say it. It’s really important that you always say his name using a positive voice, even more so when he is first learning his name.

Each time your dog hears his name it should be in a positive, happy tone rather than a cross, despairing or scolding manner. This is essential to create a positive association with the name.

  1. Use treats

When you teach your dog his new name, it’s very similar to when you teach him any other kind of command. You should use lots of positive reinforcement and give him plenty of attention whenever he responds to his new name.  At the beginning, each time you call his new name you should also give him a treat.

  1. Repeat

Each day, take your dog to a quiet area, call him happily by his name, then praise and reward him. It’s important to keep these sessions short so your dog doesn’t become bored. You might even want to do this a few brief times each day until your dog gets the hang of his new name.

  1. Try it out

Once you think your dog has grasped his new name, it’s time to put it to the test when he’s not directly looking at you. Call his name, and when he looks over to you or comes to you, respond with praise and a treat.

  1. Gradually phase out the treats

Once you’re sure your dog has his new name mastered, you can start to slowly phase out the treats which you give him as a reward to responding to his name.

John Woods is a dog fanatic and has a blog over at all things dogs. He’s a dog trainer who is on a mission to educate 40 million dog owners and lovers on how to care for dogs. 

Image: Pixabay.com


More Information about Invisible Dog Fences

Carolina Mountain Dog recently published a guest post about the pros and cons of invisible dog fences. We have received requests to publish more comprehensive information about such fences. Our intent is to provide information without endorsing training methods or specific products. If we accept a guest post for publication, the post represents the opinion of the writer, not necessarily this blog.

There are often strong opinions, both positive and negative, about invisible dog fences. In order to present additional details about invisible dog fences, we have provided a link to a recent comprehensive article written by a dog behaviorist that appeared in Whole Dog Journal:

https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/2_5/features/Electric-Underground-Fences_5207-1.html

We hope this information is helpful to anyone considering an invisible dog fence.


The Pros and Cons of an Invisible Dog Fence

Guest Post by Victoria Nelson

Dog-1210559_1920The usual wood, chain link, or plastic fences used to contain dogs are often difficult to put up and maintain and can be an eyesore. Is an invisible fence, or electronic dog fence, a reasonable alternative?

How the Invisible Dog Fence Works

Unlike a visible physical barrier, an invisible fence is a barrier that cannot be seen by humans but is learned by dogs. An invisible fence has the potential to keep your dog from wandering off or from bolting during a storm and getting lost.

The invisible fence is an electronic wireless “fence” that is installed underground and is controlled by and with a special collar preventing the dog from crossing the boundary of the fence. An invisible fence unit contains the basic unit, small flags for a visual boundary until your dog learns the boundaries of the fence, and the collar for your dog. The high-end systems also include a pet door so that your dog can get inside when it needs to. Only a dog wearing the collar can get in the pet door.

Most invisible fence systems include installation and training. Put the collar on your dog, plant the flags around your property where you want your dog to stay, and turn on the system. Your dog should need minimal training to learn the concept of the invisible fence. It is typically very easy. Most systems offer coverage of a little over a hundred feet in every direction up to three quarters of an acre.

It should be said that the invisible fence system should not be used with dogs that weigh less than five pounds. Make sure the company you buy from has customer service at the appropriate time. The special collar will give your dog a small buzz to distract him if he tries to cross the boundary, or you can just use an audible alert. Most systems have multiple levels of the jolt but even the highest is not harmful to your dog. It is designed not to hurt your dog but rather to just surprise him and train him not to pass the flags.

Pros and Cons of an Invisible Fence

Pros

  • Invisible fencing will withstand the rigors of climate and weather, as well as natural events such as floods.
  • Will protect your dog from getting lost for any reason, especially when other non-resident dog lovers are walking or hiking with their canines.
  • Invisible fencing is often less expensive in areas where traditional fencing is more difficult to install due to terrain.
  • Invisible fencing is more adaptable to wooded, hilly or continuously wet terrain. This adaptability extends to the configuration of the fenced area. It can be any shape you want with an electric dog fence.
  • Your dog cannot jump or climb over or dig under an invisible fence.

Cons

  • You and your dog will need to be trained.
  • Some dogs will occasionally break through the electronic barrier.
  • Unless you buy a system with a pet door that allows only your dog with collar to use it, other animals can enter the fenced area and your dog cannot get out. It’s worth any extra expense to protect your dog from attacks with a pet door.

Given the terrain, weather conditions, and presence of so many outside dogs, the invisible dog fence appears to be an excellent solution for keeping your dog safe while allowing him freedom on his own territory.

I'm Victoria Nelson, article author and owner of PetsHotSpot website. I have always been passionate about animals. I really enjoy writing about pets, especially when my articles can help people to understand animals better. I hope that you find a lot of useful information and it is been a pleasure for you to read it.


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