Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Training Dogs to Climb Stairs


Our pups, Chihuahuas and Chiweenies have climbed inside and short flights of stairs since they were babies, but we just moved to the 3rd floor in complex that has open staircases.  It has take several weeks to get them used to walking up at a normal clip. They are afraid when they look down as we go higher.

Many dogs learn to navigate stairs as young puppies so need no encouragement to bound up or down any staircase, but for other dogs, the stairs can present a frightening obstacle that they would rather avoid than learn to overcome.

Training a dog (any pet) to walk up and down stairs takes patience and encouragement from you. By using reward techniques to alleviate your pet’s anxiety, you can tackle and often the problem.

When your dog gets older he or she can have a very difficult time going up and down stairs. Stairs can be dangerous to an elderly dog, like elderly humans. You need to make sure that you’re there for your dog so that no injuries occur.

Also if you have a dog or cat with health issues or that suffers from anxieties, and many do, it might take additional time, they might need help or patience or you might just have to pick them up or train them to use piddle pads indoors so they have to make the climb less often.

AskMarion at JOMP

November 11, 2012 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Surfing Dogs Really Happy… or Horrified?

Video:  Are Surfing Dogs Really Happy… or Horrified?

Story at-a-glance

  • If you’ve ever wondered if those dogs you see surfing the waves off the California coast or elsewhere are actually enjoying themselves, you’re not alone.
  • According to surfing dog instructors and owners, only pets who like being in the water and show aptitude for the sport are trainable. Dogs who fear or dislike the water can’t be trained to surf.
  • Safety is of principal importance for canine surfers. Dogs should be healthy enough to participate in such a physically demanding activity — often in cold ocean temperatures — and they should always wear life vests while in the water.

By Dr. Becker

Most of us have seen videos or pictures of dogs surfing. Have you ever wondered if the dogs are really having fun, or just hanging on for dear life until they reach dry ground?

It’s hard to read every doggy expression, but it’s easy to imagine not every pup on a surfboard is enjoying himself.

However, according to the folks who train canines to surf, the dogs actually like the sport:

"You only attempt surfing with dogs that really love the beach and water," says Rob Kuty, animal trainer at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego. "Dogs who fear or dislike either are almost impossible to train to surf, so you won’t find those dogs at these types of competitions."

Kuty conducts surf clinics for dogs during the summer months in the waters off San Diego.

How Dogs Learn to Surf

The first step in teaching a dog to surf is desensitizing her to the board. This involves getting her accustomed to standing on the board while it’s on the sand. Liberal praise is given while a dog is on the board, which tends to reinforce the behavior. Dogs off their boards are ignored.

So the desensitization phase of the training is about not only getting the dogs comfortable on their surfboards, but also positively reinforcing the behavior.

Once a pup is at ease standing on a surfboard on the sand, the next step is to put him on it out in the water. The trainer holds the board with his four-legged student standing on it so the dog can begin to experience the feel of being on the water.

According to Kuty, this is the time when most dogs display their individual approach to surfing. Some like to face forward on the board, others face backwards, some position themselves sideways, and many bulldogs (a breed that isn’t known for its swimming prowess, by the way) prefer to lie down on the board.

In Kuty’s experience, “… the dogs that do a lot of surfing are water and beach loving beings who have developed a positive association with their boards and have found a comfortable way to hang ten."

If a dog shows an aptitude for being on a surfboard in the water and is healthy, she’s a good candidate to enjoy the sport, according to Kuty. This makes perfect sense, because let’s face it … no matter how much your dog may want to please you, it would not be an easy task to “force” an unwilling canine to surf. There are many things an unenthusiastic dog can be compelled to do, but riding the ocean waves on a surfboard isn’t one of them.

Believe it or not, there are surfing competitions for canines. The dogs are judged on the length of their ride, their confidence level, and fashion. “Fashion” apparently refers not only to the dogs’ surfing attire, but also to the way they move on their boards.

Safety Must Always Be the Priority

Dog surfers should always wear life vests while hanging ten.

And they should be checked out by a veterinarian ahead of time to insure they are healthy enough to participate in a physically demanding activity that often takes place in cold water.

Owners and trainers of surfing dogs should take care not to allow them to overexert themselves.


Goat Surfing

Sun Valley pet resort pampers pooches

Huntington Dog Beach

Doggie Beach – Dogs on-leash only until after Labor Day

Stress in Dogs (Pets)

Take the Stress Out of Car Trips with Your Dog

With Pets Travel Series: Have Dog, Will Travel: Tips For Taking Your Pet On The Road – Part II

August 16, 2012 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Events, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Car Sickness & Fear of Riding in Cars

‘Not every dog loves a face-in-the-wind car ride.’

For some dogs, car rides produce a great deal of anxiety. A combination of fear and not understanding what is happening will cause drooling, shaking, or even vomiting in some dogs and cats. In humans, we refer to this as car sickness or motion sickness; however, true motion sickness is a result of an inner ear problem. Some dogs truly do have motion sickness, and for these animals products such as Dramamine can be used under the supervision of a veterinarian. For most dogs, however, the sickness is strictly an over-reaction to the fear and apprehension of the car noise, motion, etc. If your dog would rather be anywhere besides in the car, here is how you can help her overcome the fear of car rides.

car in a car restraint

  1. Get your dog used to the car environment. Get in the car together and have a treat. Talk. Be happy. Make it a fun time. Do not have the car running, just share a treat and make it a positive experience. Repeat this a number of times on different occasions. You may want to feed your dog in the car. If your dog is afraid of even getting into the car, try feeding or giving a treat close to the car.
  2. Get your dog used to the car while it is running.Repeat step one, only this time start the car. Give a treat before and after. If she looks or acts nervous, reassure her that everything is OK. Take your time and make sure she is relaxed before ending the session.
  3. Get your dog used to the motion of the moving car. Once she is used to the car running without any fearful reaction, back the car to the end of the driveway, then forward again to the garage. Give her a treat and praise her. Repetition is the key. The more you do this the more confident your dog becomes that cars are no problem. In fact, to her it becomes a great place for attention, praise, and even treats.
  4. Now it is time to take a short trip around the block. Treats and praise before and after, and calm, reassuring talk throughout the ride are a pre-requisite. Gradually increase the distance traveled until your dog is calm no matter how long she’s in the car.

Some animals still need something to calm them. There are non-prescription products such as Serene-um, Pet Calm, and Rescue Remedy. In severe cases, even stronger prescription anti-anxiety medications can be dispensed by your veterinarian. We suggest using natural remedies when at all possible.

Get puppies used to the car while they are still young and are more receptive to new adventures. Dogs make excellent traveling companions so it is well worth the training now for the years of enjoyment it will bring both of you once you get over this obstacle together.

Source:  Doctors Foster and Smith

And even though your pup loves a ‘face-in-the-wind car ride’…. a few tips to him safe!

Got a pup who loves hitting the road and feeling the wind on his whiskers? Just as you do with your people passengers, follow a few important precautions to keep him safe while riding in the car.

No riding shotgun. Having your pup up front is way too dangerous and distracting, so he should always ride in the backseat. This helps protect your furry friend from making contact with the windshield or being injured by the airbag in the event of an accident. And don’t let him ride in the back of a pickup truck. It’s as unsafe as it looks.

Buckle up for safety. Ideally, your dog should ride in a travel carrier or crate that’s secured to the seat so it doesn’t slide around or tip over. Another option is a travel harness that works like a seat belt — most pet stores carry them.

Go easy on breezy. Letting your dog catch a little breeze is fine; just be sure to leave your windows up at least halfway so that he can’t stick out his head too far. Lock any automatic windows so he doesn’t accidentally hit the “up” switch with his paw.

Don’t leave him alone. Always keep an eye on your pooch and the temperature inside the car; the mercury can quickly rise, even on days that don’t seem terribly warm. Hot temps can put your pup at risk of heat stroke and other health problems.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

Related Resources:

August 20, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, pet products, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Pets Left Home Alone – With Anxiety

If Bowser becomes a weapon of mass destruction when home alone, the cause could simply be boredom, anxiety, or fear. To counter the boredom factor, be sure he has plenty of toys to chew, pull, and toss. Help him relax by leaving the radio or TV on at low volume while you’re out. Soothing music and the sound of voices comforts a lonely pooch and may be enough to ease his anxiety. Finally, come and go calmly. If you don’t make a big fuss of your departure and return, he might not, either… DogAge Tip

Leaving your pup in a crate (or cage) for regularly or for extended periods of time is also not the answer.  There is a growing movement against cage or crate training for the purpose of housing your dog regularly or for extended periods of time. Initial crate training to get pups used to a crate or carrier for travel or visitation situations, for their safety, or to give them a comfortable place to retreat to, on their own, but with the door unlocked, should be the goal; not for regular housing.  Recent studies and common sense have shown that regular and extensive cage confinement can cause aggression, nervousness, and increase barking when your pet is finally out of their cage and can cause or exasserbate bladder and kidney problems in future years.

 If you have left your dog caged regularly or for extended periods of time, it will probably take them awhile to calm down and adjust to being out and home alone.  So there may be some incidents of chewing or extended barking; TV or music may help that.

If your dog is very destructive, professional training is suggested.  Other options are confining them to a kitchen or service porch area, with their cage accessable but left open, but where they can walk around and access their food, water and a piddle pad or doggie door if needed.  Soothing music, a small TV on the counter and toys, as well as hiring a dog walker, always help!

Be a responsible and sensitive pet parent.  Crate training and regular confinement has been promoted by pet store owners and crate manufacturers to entice people to purchase pets while requiring minimal effort or adustment and sacrifice on their part, upping pet sales as well as the sale of crates and other related products.  It is not in the best interest of the pet.  It is in the best interest of the owner.

Animals, like children, add love and companionship to our lives, but require a certain amount of adjustment and sacrifice.  Clean and perfect homes and houses become a thing of the past; a small price for best friend.  All relationships require compromise and adjustment if they are to be successful and mutually fulfilling… with pets as well as with humans.

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments