How to Housebreak a Dog

How to Housebreak a Dog

When I get calls from owners struggling with their dog’s housebreaking, the majority of their dogs are puppies that still haven’t quite figured out potty training. Sometimes housebreaking is struggle for older dogs, dogs past puppyhood and still having accidents in the home, or are territorially marking inside. For dogs that aren’t housebroken, the formula for potty training is essentially the same thing as housebreaking a puppy. The main difference is with puppies, they might still be developing the physical ability to hold it and wait. Also, if a dog is just marking versus just having accidents, then there’s a slightly different approach.

housebreaking a puppyHousebreaking is a common issue for growing puppies, but even adult dogs might struggle with it. Housebreaking is about teaching a puppy or dog how to eliminate outside the home and/or in a certain designated area that you assign for them (ie: a certain part of your yard, on a patch of artificial grass, a pee pad, etc.). It’s about teaching your puppy to wait until you let them out (which you must obviously do multiple times a day), and to eliminate outside, rather than have an accident or mark inside the home.

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Training A Rescue Dog – Asheville Dog Training Blog

Training A Rescue Dog – Asheville Dog Training Blog

In-home, Asheville Dog Training

All dogs need leadership from their people, and that also includes rescue dogs. For rescue dogs, they may need guidance the most! Many rescue dogs come from checkered pasts with previous owners, or have grown up in the chaos of an animal shelter. The best thing you can do when you adopt a dog from a rescue is training them. 

All dogs can be trained with our in-home Asheville dog training programs.

Dog training is not meant to be, and should not be something that is harsh, punishing, and fear-instilling for the dog. Many dog owners have the misconception that professional dog behavior trainers are there to break a dog’s spirit and mold them into an obedient, but lifeless dog that behaves because of fear. A professional dog trainer is not there to tear down the bond between dog and owner, but instead, build the relationship between the two while also instilling confidence in both parties.

While at a seminar with a dog trainer in Buffalo, we talked about rescue dogs are often given total freedom, mainly because owners feel sorry for them and want to make sure they don’t cause more problems for the dog. Many rescue dogs come with timid personalities, skittish behavior, and other issues that are motivated by some anxiety. It is important to ease a rescue dog into the home at a steady pace, not pushing things too hard. However, training can help the process go more smoothly, plus training will show the dog immediately exactly how things work now that they are in their new home and with their new family. Continue reading

The Importance Of A Solid Recall – Dog Training Asheville Blog

The Importance Of A Solid Recall – Dog Training Asheville Blog

While at a seminar with a dog trainer in Philadelphia, we talked about the importance of a solid recall. Naturally, one of the things you probably want to teach your dog first is how to respond to their name and to come Training a proper recall can be done with Blue Ridge Dog Training Asheville immediately when called. For one, this demonstrates key attentiveness to the owner and respect for their owner’s needs, but recall can be life-saving. It is absolutely one of the most important things for your dog to get right every single time. If you need to break up an escalating situation at the dog park, or call your dog back when he’s off leash and distracted – what if he doesn’t listen? If your dog turns away from you and keeps running, what are you supposed to do? If you have more than one dog and you’ve found that one has started jumping, you may see the rest of your pack start to follow him due to watching a behavior that they think is okay. Continue reading

Why Dogs Need A Job! – Asheville Dog Training Blog

Why Dogs Need A Job! – Asheville Dog Training Blog 

While working with a dog trainer in Charlotte we talked about how most dogs need stimulation. They need an outlet for the energy they have, energy that often isn’t released due to many dogs spending a lot of time inside. There’s nothing wrong with an inside dog, but these dogs still need an outlet to expend their energy. When a dog isn’t able to use up its energy on a regular basis, it can develop behavioral issues like hyperactivity and act out through chewing, jumping on people, and even aggression toward people and other dogs.

Working dogs need a job! Give them one with the help of our Asheville dog training programs!With working dogs, the need for an outlet is even greater. A working dog that isn’t given a “job” or doesn’t have a game to play will almost always develop some kind of behavioral problem. Blue Ridge Dog Training has experience helping dogs and owners to find that outlet their dog craves. Once they do, the behavioral issues that may have developed are much easier to address and work past. We offer in-home dog training throughout the Asheville area that hones in on each dog and owner’s unique situation and results in a training program being developed that fits their unique needs. Continue reading

Working with Our Veterinary Community – Asheville Dog Training Blog

Working with Our Veterinary Community – Asheville Dog Training Blog

Blue Ridge Dog Training takes pride in our strong relationship with the veterinary community here in Asheville and surrounding areas. We believe that behavioral health (which we specialize in) is just as important as a dog’s general health, and that the dog’s vets should be aware of the behavioral progress we are making with our clients just ask our friend, a dog trainer in Kansas City she does this as well.

Our Asheville dog training programs are vet recommended!We also know that physical health can be linked to mental/behavior health. For instance, if a dog is grossly overweight and gets no exercise, this could cause behavioral problems such as anxiety and habits linked to boredom, such as destructive chewing, excessive barking for attention, digging, etc. Another example: if a dog has a chronic illness and is in pain all the time, that could lead to anxiety, nervousness, and even aggression.

It can also be a reverse situation: some behavior problems cause physical problems! Maybe a dog isn’t obese, but they could become overweight because they are not getting the exercise; and maybe that exercise is not occurring because their owners refuse to walk them, due to the dog’s constant barking or lunging on the leash. Or maybe a dog is so anxious and bored out of his mind that to relieve that boredom, they are chewing their tail or paws until they’re red and raw.

People that need training for their dog might ask their vet who is a reliable source to go to. We want to make sure that our dog community gets the help they deserve. However, there are plenty of dog trainers to choose from and some owners might have difficulty deciding on who to go with. Veterinarians might wonder who they should refer to for training, as that could put their professional reputation on the line. This is why we want our vets to actually know us and our training methodology. Everyone has their own opinion on training, and maybe some vets are referring certain trainers because they are friends with them. We’re happy to be friends with everyone, but first and foremost, we want to be a solid source of help for dogs, for their owners, and even for our vets! Continue reading

Why In-Home Dog Training is the Best – Dog Training Asheville Blog

Why In-Home Dog Training is the Best – Dog Training Asheville Blog

One of my most frequently asked questions is why I provide in-home training instead of doing a board and train program or offering the standard group obedience class. The answer is that I truly believe in-home training is the best and most effective way to create lasting behavioral change in a dog. The problem with board and train is that, while it does provide time for a trainer to work closely with a dog for a short period of time, it takes the dog out of its home environment, out of its daily routines, and removes the owner from the training process. Your dog might behave well at the board and train facility and learn how to obey the trainer’s commands, but without teaching the owner how to apply and consistently reinforce what the dog has learned, most dogs’ behavioral problems will quickly resurface.

Our Asheville dog training programs work because they are designed for both the dog and the owner!In-home training allows me to work one-on-one with both the dog and owner in their natural environment. Every dog and owner learn and work differently. Some dogs are slow learners and demand a tremendous amount of patience. Others are fast learners who rapidly reach their training goals. Unlike board and train or group training classes, in-home training provides a fully customized experience. Additionally, it allows me to train the dog in its normal environment, one that’s usually full of distractions and the most important environment for a dog to learn to behave in! Most importantly, in-home training keeps the owner involved in every step of the process. By participating in their dog’s training, owners learn how to communicate with their dog, how to create a consistent routine, and how to provide leadership to their dog. Not only does this set them up for success long after training is complete, it also helps them build a stronger relationship with their dog. It’s such a crucial part of the training process that I often joke with my clients that I’m really more of a people trainer than a dog trainer! Continue reading

Dog Training is for the Owners Too! – Asheville Dog Training Blog

Dog Training is for the Owners Too! – Asheville Dog Training Blog

Training dogs isn’t just about simple manners or fancy tricks. It’s not just about getting your dog to stop jumping when you get home or getting them to stop having accidents in the house (although these are both great!). It’s fundamentally about creating boundaries, showing your dog how life is better with good behavior, and communicating clearly and consistently. It’s about going beyond simply correcting bad behavior to get to the bottom of your dog’s behavioral issues.

We train dogs and their people, our Asheville dog training programs get RESULTS!Often, behavioral problems stem from a lack of leadership. That’s why all of my dog training programs focus on training both dogs and their owners. As a certified dog trainer, I know that I can get your dog to obey me. But that doesn’t really matter because what matters most is that your dog obeys you! This means that you, as your dog’s leader, need to be involved in your dog’s training, understand how dog training works, and learn how to communicate clearly with your dog. In-home training is such an effective form of dog training precisely because it allows me to work one-on-one with you and your dog to ensure you’re both being set up for success and long-term results.

Unlike board-and-train programs, with in-home dog training owners are a key part of their dog’s accomplishments and learn alongside their dog. The dog and owner learn and work together to achieve their training goals. The result is a well-mannered dog that responds well to its owner, a deeper bond between dog and owner, and dog training skills the owner will use throughout their life. Continue reading

Don’t Let Mild Problems Become Severe – Dog Trainer Asheville Blog

Don’t Let Mild Problems Become Severe – Dog Trainer Asheville Blog

Getting your dog trained is one of the best things you can do for them. It’s even right up there with taking them to the vet! This is because while the veterinarian primarily covers physical health, training covers mental and behavioral health. Even if your dog knows their basic commands, training can be a good way to mentally exercise your dog whenever they are bored, or are lacking stimulation in general.

Dog Trainer Asheville Blog....don't let problems go unaddressed. I get a lot of clients that are surprised in being in the position where they’re at…asking for professional help from a dog trainer because their dog’s behavior is leaving them frustrated and without a clue on a possible solution. These people are puzzled because they didn’t know where their dog’s behavior came from. I’ve even heard the phrase, “it’s like it just came out of thin air!”

In most of these cases, the dog’s poor behavior was always there, but it was more subtle. Before calling me, the dog’s poor behavior was in a mild state, where it was just waiting to explode and become uncontrollable or more serious. Just the other week, I took on a client whose dog, named Kilo, had severe leash reactivity issues, with lunging, barking, and jumping. Speaking with Kilo’s owner at our in-home consultation, I found out that Kilo has always had some type of leash reactivity since first being adopted. However, it didn’t start out with the lunging and barking, rather it was just some leash pulling and anxious whining whenever he saw another dog or person. Now because the mild behavior problem was never corrected, Kilo has worsened with his lunging, pulling and constant barking at any outside stimuli. Continue reading

Need Effective Dog Training? Consider In-Home Training! – Dog Training Asheville Blog

Need Effective Dog Training? Consider In-Home Training! – Dog Training Asheville Blog 

My Asheville dog training company, Blue Ridge Dog Training, offers group classes in local animal hospitals and facilities. However, my most consistent and most sought after training regimens are the private, in-home training programs. I, and many of clients soon discover upon meeting me for an initial consultation, the in-home training is one of the most effective forms of dog training out there.

Blue Ridge Dog Training Asheville In-home training, when done appropriately, is training that takes place in the home so that the dog and owner can be set up for success without tons of distractions breaking their concentration. Rather then behaviorally starting over in an unfamiliar atmosphere (i.e.: a kennel or in a daycare run), the dog can start where they feel the most comfortable in: the home. Along with the familiarity factor, there’s the benefit of being able to control our settings and the number of distractions we want to introduce or eliminate in the early stages of training.

I love offering in-home training because it follows the same reward-based philosophy that I instill in my handling methods and techniques. I also love being able to have the owner present for the dog’s training. This is one of the biggest perks of in-home training — it keeps the dog’s family part of the training equation. While it may sound easier to just send your dog off to some obedience school or training ranch, why not actually learn to communicate with your dog and be involved in your dog’s success? Learning how to handle your own dog, maintain the training consistency, and being responsible for your dog’s outstanding behaviors…I can’t think of a better reward for a loving dog owner! Continue reading

Lucky and Tilly: Sibling Aggression – Dog Training Asheville

Lucky and Tilly: Sibling Aggression – Dog Training Asheville

Introducing a new dog into the pack is something that must be approached carefully, with heavy supervision and positive encouragement. Some dogs happily welcome a new canine member into the pack, but some might need a little more convincing. This does not mean any dog that displays the latter attitude is unsocial or bad, it’s just part of their individual personality. Here at Blue Ridge Dog Training Asheville we often work with multi dog households and address sibling aggression.

Good ways to get your new dog acclimated into the family and pack is to monitor and encourage good behavior and activities. Walks are a great way for dogs to bond together without having to be up close all the time, and it is both a mental and physical exercise they can enjoy together. Playing together is a great way for dogs to become friends, but make sure you are around so that neither dog takes it to an aggressive or inappropriately dominant level. Most importantly, if there are any aggression problems between siblings (old or new), then this behavior must be corrected and calmer behavior must be promoted.

Blue Ridge Dog Training AshevilleThe last sibling aggression case I got was between two dogs named Lucky and Tilly. Lucky was the newest addition to the family, and while Tilly seemed okay with this new brother, her behavior started changing about a month later from his arrival. When Lucky first showed up, him and Tilly would play all the time. Soon after though, Tilly started getting a little too aggressive with her play, where it bordered on dominance. It seemed natural to just let the dogs figure it out for themselves, but one day when the owners weren’t paying attention, Tilly and Lucky were suddenly in a fight. There’s no one who can tell us who initiated it or what might of caused it, but after that incident, the aggression and violence started becoming more regular, with Tilly being the main instigator. The last straw was when Lucky ended up in the emergency vet, as Tilly had bitten him badly on the neck. Continue reading