Before you start to train your dog it is a good idea to make sure your dog is healthy. Unforeseen medical conditions may affect the way your dog responds to certain stimuli.
One such ailment that could affect your dog’s behaviour is hip dysplasia and related arthritic conditions. In the early stages these medical conditions could go unnoticed. If you are trying to teach your dog to sit and you try and force the dog to sit by pushing on his back-end this may cause severe pain to your dog. The pain may make your dog react by biting you.
Another medical condition that may affect your dog can be various skin diseases. Your dog may be prone to ear infection and suffer from allergies. The itch caused from the skin and the ear will cause your dog to scratch a lot. When not properly attended to your dog may then develop very bad body odour.
Due to the scratching and the odour this once lovable member of the household will often end up as an outside dog not getting the attention he craves.
What happens to a dog looking for attention – they will most likely bark a lot which unfortunately gets them the wrong kind of attention. Many of these dogs instead of getting proper medical treatment, training and some TLC often end up in a shelter.
Some people just do not understand what it means to own a dog. Dogs, through no fault of their own can sometimes get fleas and also tapeworms. Some dog owners will banish a dog from their home because of this. The parasites are more than they can handle and the dog is the one who suffers.
A dog who at an early age has not had the proper nutrition may not fully develop both physically and mentally. A dog like this needs training that will help him get over his possessive behaviour. People that adopt a dog like this need to be experience dog owners. The need to be able to understand the dog’s body language. Dogs who are protective of their food could very well bite if they feel someone is trying to take their food. To an inexperienced owner they often do not see the warning signs so they believe the dog bit for no reason.
For some reason dog owners feel they will be taking something away from their male dog if they have him neutered. Intact males can be very dominant aggressive. If they have bitten and the owner has beaten them they can be treading on very thin ice with this dog. This type of dog will strike back at the person who has beaten him.
How do you train your dog if its previous owner neglected the dog. These dogs require a lot of TLC and exposure to many different situations. An owner can provide shelter, food and water but still neglect the dog. When you first get a puppy, the puppy needs to be socialized. This means take him around strangers, children, busy streets etc. The more you socialize a puppy the better balanced he will be as a dog. An dog who is not properly socialized may just bite out of fear. Once that happens especially if it has bitten a child the dog often ends up in a shelter.
How do you train your dog when no one is home all day? Well you don’t especially if you are trying to house-train your puppy. A new puppy needs to go often in order to house train them. So unless you can take some time off work while the puppy is young or hire someone to come over and take your puppy out maybe a puppy is not a good idea.
Since the owner is not taking the proper steps to house-train their new pup often the pup ends up outside on a chain. Again we will now have a dog that is not house-trained and is probably barking as he desperately looks for attention. This could just get him a ride to the shelter.
That is what happened to the dog we have now. She was adopted at a young age and 3 months later she was returned. The shelter was told she barked a lot and used the house as a toilet. She was 7 months old when we adopted her. She had two accidents the first week. The first one was my fault. I did not read her sign for going out and she peed on the floor. The second time she was playing with our other dog, running around like a nut and poop came flying out of her. We had a good laugh about that one. Since that she has not messed on the floor.
Another problem that owners have is with dogs that engage in destructive behaviour. Dogs that are left alone all day tend to get bored and to entertain themselves they will often chew things like your couch, chair anything really that they can sink their teeth in. Since the dog can no longer be trusted he is moved outside and we know what can happen now.
Once these people do surrender their dog to a shelter we do not have a happy ever after story to tell.
What often happens is when the dog is surrendered the whole truth is not told to the shelter. They may tell the shelter they are moving and cannot take the dog, they have a new child and it is allergic etc. You get the picture.
A new adopter not knowing the true background of the dog is not prepared for what usually happens.
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Remember “The single greatest cause of death in dogs under one year of age is not Parvo, it’s not Distemper, it is lack of obedience training and 93% of training and behaviour problems can be solved using a series of simple dog training techniques.”
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We have a dog who fulfills both these criteria. He was a rescue dog, extremely nervous and afraid of all sorts of things. Initially his fear made him non-compliant. He wouldn’t get in the car and once in, he wouldn’t get out etc, but once we managed to socialize him, which took a lot of love and time and patience, he was willing to please and learns easily. However, he also has a skin condition and after much veterinary investigation, it seems he is allergic to all sorts of things. We still love him but when he is itching constantly it makes it hard for him to listen to commands.
I am so glad Lou that you had the patience to help your pound puppy get over its many issues. Is there any type of medication that you can give him for the itchiness?
Larger breeds like German Shepherds are particular prone to hip dysplasia and a lot of it originates from folks getting poorly bred puppies from shady breeders. It costs significantly more to get dysplasia free dogs but many are unwilling or unable to get these types of dogs and it really shows a significant difference in the dog’s overall form and demeanour.
The biggest reason I see why dogs don’t listen to their owners or show signs of “untrainability” is the owners simply don’t have a clue in terms of setting rules and boundaries. They humanize their dogs and think it’s cute (and I admit in many cases it is) but in the dog’s eyes, it simply means they own their owners.
They rule the roost so they sleep wherever and whenever they want like on the bed or coach. Again, owners think it’s because they are overprotective or jealous when in reality, they are leading the pack in their own minds. Then they wonder why they don’t come when called!
Well I can tell you have been around dogs. The real way to train a dog is to train the owner. You make a very good point at how we think the things that puppies do is so cute like biting and growling at us. When the grow into a 90 pound German Shepherd and they are growling and biting it is not so cute. You also hit on another very important issue about dog breeders. I am not sure about hip dysplasia but other diseases such as Von Willebrands found in Dobermans can actually be bred out of the breed. Unfortunately they do not want to do this especially when they get a good dog to breed. They are willing to risk a female bleeding out while giving birth. You cannot tell me that they are breeding to improve the breed.
I absolutely love this post. As a dog owner, rescuer myself you have raised things that all should try and assess when they take on a new dog. Particularly related to previously neglected dogs. I find they take a lot more time and you need to get them back into the basics of ‘smell’ as a way to assess trust with people. Great ideas around health checks for pups!
Hi Layne thanks for the comment I especially like your point on getting your dog back to the basics of smell. They do check out a lot of things with their sense of smell.
thank you for sharing a very interesting article about the reasons that can affect the way you train your dog. I have to say, those are really informative informations. I never really consider the things that can affect the way how I train my dog. I really learned a lot,thank you for that.
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