Dog houses come in all shapes and sizes, just like the dogs who inhabit them. At first flush you might think that dog houses are just so bla, bla, bla, right? But I'm here to tell you, they're not. Yeah, there are some really basic ones, but there are also luxury dog houses that most dogs only dream of living in. But lets slow down just a bit and start with some fundamentals before we get into all that. Did you ever take time to think about what role the dog house has in your own life? And no, I'm not talking about whether you have to sleep there or not. That's between you and your significant other to work out. I'm talking about your memories and associations with dog houses. Here, let me show you what I mean.
When I think about dog houses I can't help but feel a little nostalgic. It's a tug of sentiment for my own childhood I'm sure. I have positive associations with the dog houses I remember from when I was a kid. I can't help but think of things like: The Little Rascals, Norman Rockwell paintings, pulling my small red wagon with my pooch dutifully on board (attentive to all as we moved along as if nothing in the world could be more important than what we were doing right then), and, of course, Pluto and Snoopy. Now those two had great adventures around, in, and even on, their dog houses. Theirs weren't luxury dog houses by any means, and neither was my dog's. Theirs were just basic four wall dog houses with a cutout door in the front, a sloped gable roof and maybe a name painted above the entrance. But as I mentioned earlier, there's quite a difference between these and some of the luxury dog houses out there. Consider this.
Did you know that you can actually get a dog house that has running water, heat and central air? I know! And the exterior design options are endless. You know those home plans books with all the little drawings of home plans? That's basically what's available now in luxury dog houses; pretty much anything you want. There are even some with actual furniture like couches and beds in them. The list of amenities goes on and on: indoor and outdoor lighting, stone facades, dining tables (with cutouts for food and water bowls), windows, bath tubs, welcome mats, insulated walls, multiple rooms, and of course, all beautifully landscaped. The super luxury dog houses are huge; big enough for you to go visit your dog at their place! I'm not sure who is buying these things, but it's nice to know there are dogs out there living the life of luxury.
As for me and my dog, we like living together, most of the time. Don't get me wrong, I think luxury dog houses are great. They certainly put to shame the four-walled wonder I nailed together last summer. But, I figure what he don't know won't hurt him. And besides, I let him in the house quite a bit. I guess my dog sort of has it in the middle. He has lots of space and some indoor comforts, but he isn't allowed to sleep on the couch or bed, and he certainly doesn't join the family for dinner at the table!
All training starts with taking advantage of your dog's natural inclinations to reinforce the behavior you want. The only place your dog will not, by nature, mess, is its sleeping place. Crate training works with your dog's instinct - he never has the opportunity to be "bad."
Crate training is fairly intense for you. The rule is: if you are not actively paying attention to your dog, your dog is in the crate. Period. Even if you're in the same room. If you're not watching your puppy, it's in the crate. If you think "caging" your dog is cruel, get over it. It's worse for your dog not to know the rules of the house.
Crate training is not an excuse to ignore your dog for hours at a time. A puppy cannot go more than a couple of hours during the day without a "bathroom break. " If your dog learns to mess in its crate the behavior is very difficult to correct. It's one of the biggest challenges when adopting strays or rescues from shelters. It can be done, but requires patience and dedication.
Dogs should be taken out at regular intervals; after meals, after naps and after play sessions. And "business" walks are not playtime. Put the collar and leash on, take the dog to a specific spot you want it to use for its toilet area, give your dog a command "go potty. " If it does, reward it with praise and cookies, say "good go potty. " Forget about public embarrassment. If you're easily embarrassed, don't get a dog. Of course you can use any words you want - a friend of ours used "hit it" with her dogs. She just had to be careful not to use the phrase under other circumstances.
Your puppy should also sleep in the crate, ideally in your bedroom. Dogs are social animals, they need to know their "pack" or family, is close by. If the dog wakes you in the night, take it out on leash. Give it 10 minutes to "do its business," go back in, pop him in his crate, say goodnight and go back to bed. Don't let the dog out by itself, even in a fenced yard. Again, this isn't playtime.
As your dog learns what's expected of him, the next phase is to keep the dog on leash, out of the cage. Tie the leash around a belt loop so that you can go about your daily routine with both hands free. Keep one eye on the dog. When you see his "gotta go" signals, drop what you're doing and go. Some people are successful in hanging a bell on the doorknob. They ring the bell whenever they take the dog out. The dog learns, over time, to ring the bell when it has to go. Others teach their dogs to "speak" as a signal to go out.
Our dogs are always crated when we leave the house. At this point, they see us reaching for their crate toys (which we stuff with a little peanut butter or kibble) and run for their crates. We don't necessarily even lock the crates, but they are available to the dogs at all times. It's their "room," a safe place they can always go to.
Just a note of caution and safety: never leave a collar or harness on your dog in the crate. It can get caught and cause problems.
A well-train dog usually leads a happier and healthier life and its owner also can enjoy a trouble-free life long companion. Dog training - basic obedience, house and potty training are therefore essential and important to a dog's education.
The conventional method of dog training tips and guide would be to list a series of things that you should "Do" and you might even know the A-Z of dog training! But sometimes what should be done can be said best by telling what should not be done. Hope you agree with me!
This article seeks to list 18 "Don't" when you train your dog. The reasons for the don'ts will become evident as the lessons continue and each one is based upon the distinctive psychology of the dog's mind.
1. Don't punish your dog while you are angry or lack control of yourself.
2. Don't punish your dog with the lead or any instrument of training or anything he should associate with duty or pleasure.
3. Don't sneak up on your dog or grab him from the rear.
4. Don't chase your dog to catch him; he must come to you or run after you.
5. Don't coax your dog to you and then turn upon him with the whip. You will regret the deception.
6. Don't trick or fool or taunt your dog. It is cruel and inconsistent to tease your dog to come to you when he can not.
7. Don't punish a dog by stepping on his paws needlessly. They are exceedingly sensitive. Don't twist his ears playfully or otherwise. Never strike him on the backbone, in the face or on the ears.
8. Don't grab your dog or reach for him quickly. He should never fear his master, should not be made nervous by his master, and should feel that punishment given is deserved.
9. Don't nag your dog; don't be giving orders to him constantly; don't pester him with your shoutings.
10. Don't praise a dog for doing a certain act, then at a later time, scold him for doing the same act. If you permit him to bite your toes today and think it fun, do not strike him for doing it tomorrow, when you are not in good humor. Consistency is a chief virtue in dog training.
11. Don't train your dog immediately or soon after he has eaten.
12. Don't lose patience with a puppy younger than six months. Never throw or kick a puppy nor lift him by the head or leg or skin of the neck.
13. Don't train him in feats requiring much strength or endurance until he is at least six months old.
14. Don't work your dog without some short rest or play periods during training. A five-minute rest for every fifteen minutes of training is desirable.
15. Don't permit everyone to give commands to your dog. While you are training him, he must be a one-man dog, depending on you alone to feed him and care for him.
16. Don't consider tricks the chief end or the chief part of training. Usefulness is the object sought in all instruction of the dog. Acts that spring naturally from the dog's instincts are to be fostered.
17. Don't expect your dog to be a wonderful dog after a few weeks of training; four months to a year may be necessary in order to make the master proud of him, but the work is worth the effort. Training never ends.
18. Don't jump to the conclusion that your dog is dumb. He may differ with you believing that the trainer should know more than the dog.
To end, try to remember these 18 Don'ts rules, enjoy training your dog and most importantly have lots of fun along the way!