Being a great pet owner is all about the way you raise your pet. There are so many things you need to make sure you get right when you are raising your dog. There are lots of dos and don’ts and plenty of issues you may encounter. These are some of the best things you can do to raise the perfect pawed pet.
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Establish Ground Rules
As soon as you get your dog back home, you need to establish some ground rules. Make it clear to your new pet where they are allowed to go and where they aren’t. It’s crucial that you do this as soon as you can before your dog gets comfortable. Establishing ground rules, as you do with children, is a big part of keeping your dog disciplined and showing that you are in charge. But it also shows the, that some things are unsafe and that you’re looking out for them.
Who’s the Boss?
The best way to deal with animals, and, in particular, pets, is to establish dominance early on. You need to make sure your dog understands who the boss is. You are the alpha, and they have to do what you instruct them. Of course, respect is important and is a two-way thing. But, you need to establish who is in charge as early as you can. One of the best ways to do this is to take them for a walk right away. Make sure the dog stays behind you at all times and put yourself in the driving seat. Dogs need order and regulation in their lives, and you are there to provide that. Raising the perfect dog starts here so make sure you get this part right.
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Find Out More About Your Dog
Any good dog owner will do what they can to find out more about their animal. This is really important for helping you understand your dog better, and being a better owner. You may have done a bit of research before you actually bought the dog. But it can’t hurt to do more now that you’re an owner. The internet is such a great resource these days for researching. You can find out anything about dog breeds from Labradors to cross-breeds like teddy bear puppies online. Taking the time to finds out more about your dog is really important because it will help you connect on a deeper level and raise your pet better.
Choose the Right Food
You’ve got to make sure you pick the right food for your dog. Now, many people debate about whether dogs should be given just wet food, just dry food, or a combination. As a general rule, you’ll find that a combination is usually the best approach to take with this sort of thing. You need to make sure your canine is eating plenty of food that has nutrients and minerals. Dried dog food is really good for giving the animal a healthy intake. Then wet food works well as sort of a treat. You drop need to be careful about feeding your dog things that aren’t meant for them. This is probably okay on occasion, but, if you do it too much, they won’t want their regular food.
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Discipline is Important
Just as it is with children, discipline is very important with your dog. It’s crucial that you go out of your way to show discipline and let your pooch know its place. Yes, it’s your pet and a member of the household. But every other member of the family is more important than the dog, and they need to know this. That’s why you have to keep them disciplined and punish them when they step out of line and disobey you. The earlier you do this, the more it will keep your dog in line. They will become used to what is and isn’t acceptable. Discipline leads to a well-behaved dog that is unlikely to intimidate people or step out of line. But it’s important not to punish your dog on a regular basis. It’s been proven that punishment reduces a dog’s desire to spend time with you, and might affect the dog’s decision-making.
A Healthy Canine is a Happy Canine
It’s also important to keep an eye on the health of your dog and make sure you are looking after him. The health of your dog is really important if you want your family pet to be around for a while. Dogs are very active, and they have very complex bodies. So you need to make sure you keep an eye on their behavior and actions. Your dog will generally be able to communicate with you if something is wrong. But, nevertheless, you should take your dog for a check-up with the vet on a regular basis. Also, make sure your canine is getting plenty of nutrition in its diet and that you’re feeding it well. A healthy canine is always going to be a happy canine.
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Grooming your pooch is essential for keeping them comfortable as well as healthy. That’s why you need to put a lot of time and effort into making sure they are well looked after. There are plenty of grooming tips online that you could use to tend to your dog. However, you might also decide that you’d like to take your dog to a professional groomer to give it the superstar makeover. Keeping your dog well-groomed means keeping it free of fleas and lice, cleaning its teeth and making sure it has a bath. This is a vital part of the process of bonding with your animal, and showing it that you care about it.
Many people in the world own dogs and they have quickly been established as the popular pet of choice. But, how can you be sure that you are raising the best dog possible? Well, in many ways you have to treat your dog’s like surrogate kids. Apply the same principals from a young age, and you will successfully raise an awesome pet.
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When dogs behave themselves, it’s great. They’re great companions who’ll stick by you no matter what. But when dogs behave badly, you sometimes don’t even want to leave the house. Understanding why your dog is developing behavioral problems is, therefore, crucial. Here’s what might be going wrong.
Fear Periods Or Adolescence
Like humans, dogs go through various phases of development. One of those phases is called the “fear period.” Normally happy puppies suddenly become frightened of people and withdraw from family life. The good news is that this is a normal part of dog’s development. Most dogs go through two fear periods. The first occurs around 8 to 12 weeks of age. The second occurs between five and six months. The exact timing of the fear period will depend on the age and condition of the dog.
If you suddenly notice your dog is shy and retiring, don’t panic. Usually, it will pass. If you’re worried, you can go to a dog training session or visit the vet and get your pup back to normal. Remember, during the fear period, dogs are especially sensitive. If they are scared by something, it’ll imprint firmly, and they may be affected for life.
Changes In Routine
Dogs love routine. It helps them manage the world and gives them a sense of security. Changes in routine can lead to anxiety. And anxiety, in turn, can result in challenging behavior. If you’ve just taken a new job with a different timetable, don’t be surprised if your dog doesn’t like it. A new work schedule, partner or child can be stressful for our four-legged friends.
The best solution here is to be patient. Dogs, like people, adapt to changing circumstances. And so consistent love and attention will quickly resolve any temporary issues.
Not Enough Stimulation
Believe it or not, dogs are thinking beings. And, as thinking beings, they need mental stimulation to keep them on the straight and narrow. All too often, this aspect of caring for dogs is forgotten, and their behavior suffers as a result. Some experts recommend that dog owners get their dogs to work up a mental sweat while to earn their meals. They suggest hiding bits of food around the yard or hiding it somewhere in the house. Dogs love to forage for their food – and it engages their mental faculties.
Health problems are enough to make anybody feel a little cranky. And the same goes for dogs. Dogs can suffer from a whole range of diseases, including sore teeth, thyroid problems, and arthritis. These issues are uncomfortable and may make a dog more prone to lash out. If you suspect these problems in your dog, take them down to the vet for a checkup.
Finally, some behavioral problems are caused by genetic issues. If a dog’s parent was particularly aggressive or hyperactive, it’s likely that the same applies to the dog itself. Overriding bad genetics with great socialization is possible. But this takes significant time and effort, and won’t always work. If you’re buying a puppy, try to find out as much as you can about the temperament of the parents.
There can be nothing more fulfilling than introducing a new four-legged friend into your new home. The excitement is unrivaled. The euphoria of heading to the breeder or shelter to pick up your chosen pup is unlike anything else you can imagine. You have all these plans for your future with your new pet pal, and now your dreams are becoming a reality.
You probably fell in love with your new pet from the moment you clapped eyes on him. There he sat, quietly and patiently, waiting to be scooped up into a loving new home. You knew at that second that he or she was the right dog for you. It was almost an unspeakable bond from day one. It’s a whirlwind of emotions. It all happened so fast! But what do you do if you get home, and things don’t pan out exactly how you expected them to?
The truth is that not all dogs are going to settle into their new homes quickly. Look at it from their perspective. They’ve been uprooted from everything they’ve ever known. They’re bound to feel a little bit insecure, and perhaps start to act out in fear. This isn’t a slight on your new pup by any means. It’s incredibly common. But many new pet owners run heading for the hills back to the shelter, begging them to take it back. That is a big mistake, and not just for the financial repercussions.
Just because your new dog is being disruptive doesn’t make him a bad dog by design. It could well be that he or she will settle down in time. You’ll never know unless you give it a chance. So, how do you make those growing pains seem more bearable? It’s going to take some patience, hard work, and discipline. Much like raising a child, you’re going to need to set some ground rules and stick to them. Failure to do so will see any dog ruling the roost over you.
Understand Your Dog’s Peril
Despite the fact that moving to a new home should be a joyful occasion, your dog can’t see things quite as simply as you. For all he knows, he’s in unfamiliar territory and doesn’t know where to turn. It’s stressful. Imagine if you found yourself moved to a strange house with strange people. Would you act rationally? Probably not. This is especially true if your dog is rescued.
He’s already been taken from one family. No matter if it was mistreated or not, dogs are still loyal to their owners. It’s probably confused. From there, it has lived a life of uncertainty until now. And more change is here already. It’s no wonder it doesn’t know how to react. It’s important that you don’t overwhelm your new pet. Let it explore its new surroundings at its own pace.
Although the temptation may be overwhelming, try not to have all the family around to celebrate your new arrival. A bunch of new faces – even smiling, friendly faces – may put your dog under considerable duress. Try to keep things quiet and relaxed. You can expect your new dog to have a few accidents during its first few days while it gets to grips with the new house rules. You should take a few days off work in the immediate aftermath of your adoption. Leaving your dog alone in its new territory will cause it unnecessary panic.
What Behavior to Expect (and How to Deal with It)
As I mentioned earlier, your new dog may be prone to behaving badly in the first few months at home. This is simply a consequence of the upheaval it has experienced in its short life. It’s a coping mechanism that is ingrained in all dogs. It doesn’t mean you’ve drawn the short straw, and you definitely shouldn’t give up on him anytime soon. There are some common behavioral habits you should expect to see.
Destructive behavior is common in new dogs, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. Stressed out dogs take to ripping up furniture and toys as a way of relief. They don’t know any better. Try to supplement him with some quality indestructible dog toys and hope your sofa remains untouched.
Separation anxiety is extremely common in new pets. As touched on above, this is because they’re in a strange place without any of the security they knew before. It could be that you’re the only friend they recognize now. If you’re not there, who do they turn to? The result can be blind panic, accompanied by long bouts of barking. That’ll land you a noise complaint pretty sharpish.
You can counteract this by gradually getting your new pet used to being alone. Before you begin this exercise, it’ll need to be aware of toilet habits, so that’s a good start. Make sure that it does its business before you attempt to leave. Then, try a trial run. Take yourself off upstairs for a few minutes and leave your dog behind to see how it copes in your absence. If all goes well, you can start to think bigger.
Take yourself outdoors and out of sight of your dog, leaving him behind closed doors. This may be when he starts to panic, but it’s crucial that you don’t go running when he calls for you. This will teach him that barking results in your return. Instead, let him sweat it out for ten minutes or so and then make your way back inside. He’ll soon learn that you always come back no matter what. Then, you can start to take trips to the grocery store without worrying.
Positive, reaffirming, reward-based training should be implemented from a very early stage. It’ll teach your dog what is expected of him and also strengthen the new bond between the two of you. While you should be sympathetic to his plight, don’t try to give him a pick me up. That’ll teach him that bad behavior leads to treats, and then you’ve enforced an irreversible habit.
Crate training your dog should always be a positive experience, whether you are considering a new puppy or perhaps you have adopted a dog who needs to learn how to become house broken. These are excellent examples of when you should introduce crate training. It can instill a routine for your dog and assist with control over their bladder. Establishing particular times for potty breaks helps your pet immensely.
A crate can become an area where your dog can feel safe and secure. A place to go when they feel anxious or tired or just wish to get away from perhaps loud noises such as a party, fireworks on the Fourth or if they are just not feeling well. As you begin crate training it is very important to ensure you don’t associate any negative experiences to the crate or the process. If you do, then your dog won’t wish to spend time there as they will view it as a punishment.
Please understand that dogs are social animals. They want to be near their “people”. Do not simply purchase a crate and stick your dog in it for the day. This is not the purpose nor is it remotely close to training. If you do not have the time and desire to spend with a social animal such as your dog then perhaps you should not be adding one to your family. Your puppy should not be spending much time in the crate. They require socialization and time with you. Don’t underestimate just how important human touch and interaction is for your dog. Some suggested guidelines on time inside a crate are: a two month old pup should not be crated longer than two hours a day. If you are going to work and still training your pet, keep in mind they will need a potty break at least mid day. Its a good idea to contact your local pet sitting service for further details on how they can help with caring for your pup if you are unable to get home during working hours.
Please make sure you are getting a crate large enough for your pet to be comfortable in. They need to be able to stand up and stretch, turn around and lie down. You will need a cushion and some chew toys to keep your pets mind active. Its even a good idea to cover the crate partially with a blanket to make it nice and dark for them. Associate praise and positive vibes to the time spent in the crate. Once they have accomplished some time in the crate and show they can hold their bladder, praise them! When they get the hang of it use it less and less as it will boost their confidence. Many pet parents begin by giving their dog a treat each time they are crated. You will be surprised how quickly your dog will go to his crate on command.
Remember, do not use a crate to “store” your pet. Use it minimally and once they have been trained, loose the crate. Make it a resting place for them, but leave it up to them. Don’t lock them away. Once they have established their routine and are house broken the crate has done its job!
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Welcome back to another installment of training tips. How much more can we learn you might ask? Sitting and paw giving may be all you need, you might think, but why stop there! As I alluded to in the techniques blog you can teach a dog many tricks. Ok so now I have your curiosity on what else you can teach a dog, todays trick is getting your dog to lie down. I know that’s a big step but don’t worry you and your dog are ready for it.
Step 1: Exercise Your Dog
Ok all of you who have read the previous blogs will know by now that the first step is to exercise your dog so let’s go ahead and assume you all have taken your dog for a walk and they are calmly waiting for your commands.
Step 2: Treats in Hand
Another thing known to my blog readers is treats so get that treat in your hand ready to go for this trick.
Step 3: Dog Should be Sitting or Standing
Now you can either start from standing or sitting, which ever you prefer.
Step 4: Give Command “Down” and Use Hand Gesture
When your dog is in the starting position of your choosing give the command “DOWN” and at the same point at the ground and your dog should lie down, if they do give them the treat and praise them. However we are working with animals and they are unpredictable so if they don’t lie down get them back into the starting position and say “DOWN” again but this time bring your treat hand to the ground so that your dog follows the treat and they should lie down this time.
Step 5: Repeat
Keep doing this for as long as it takes to get the results you want from your dog because like all training it takes time and patience. For the more adventurous of you, you might try getting your dog to roll over but I will go into that in the next blog.
For the next installment on training tips, this one is about getting your dog to give you their paw. This is a cute little trick you can teach your dog and will help build your relationship with your dog.
Step 1: Calm State of Mind
So let’s get right to it, once again you will need to take your dog for a walk to get them into a calm state before you begin.
Step 2: Have Dog Sitting
The best way to get your dog to give you their paw is when they are in a sited position. If you have not yet taught your dog to sit, please go to my other blog about teaching your dog to sit and do that before you attempt this trick.
Step 3: Have Treats Ready
Now that we have a dog that is calm and has been taught to sit, how are we going to get them to give you their paw? Well treats are the best way and will be a running trend in these training tips because as we have learned from the blog about training techniques positive reinforcement is the best way to get the results you want.
Step 4: Say “Paw”
Ok so first get your treats ready and have one in your hand when you start training. Now you should get your dog to sit and when you have a sitting dog who is waiting patiently for your next command you should now put out your non-treat hand palm up and say “PAW” in a commanding voice.
In a Perfect World…
your dog will put their paw on top of your held out hand and when that happens you should give the treat and praise your dog for doing a good job.
In a Non-Perfect World…
If however you live in a non-perfect world like the rest of us, this may not happen straight away. Don’t give up hope, you will just have to persevere to get results you want. If during this process your dog stands up before giving you their paw you should start again by getting them to sit again before giving you their paw.
Step 5: Repeat
To get this trick to stick, so to speak, you will need to repeat the process for as long as it takes for your dog to do it every time you ask for their paw. Whilst doing this you should slowly decrease the amount of times you give the treat but always keep the verbal praise so they know they are doing what you want.
An Added Extra
Once you have the paw giving down you can ask for the other paw before you treat or praise if you want. The process is the same so it is not confusing for all parties involved.
Thank you for reading this blog and the other blogs.
Hi I am Matt, an Animal Behaviorist with Trusty Tails and I would like to give you some training tips and ways to get your beloved dogs to do as you ask. I am going to start by saying that training your dog takes time and effort and you will get out of it what you put in.
How do I get my dog to sit?
With that being said lets start with getting your dog to sit, now some of you may think that its very simple to get your dog to sit and it is as long as you do it correctly. There are many ways to get your dog to sit, some of them work better than others, and I will give you the one that worked the best for me.
Step One: Use Positive Reinforcement with Tasty Treats
The best technique for this particular behavior I have come across, by a long way, is the positive reinforcement technique. For those of you who may not know what that means, it’s adding something to strengthen a behavior. So lets get right to it, how to get your dog to sit?
First you should find out what treats your dog likes best and then get a whole load of them. Why treats you may ask, well dogs get stimulated by food, they will be much more receptive when food is being offered to them in exchange for a behavior.
Now that you have your treats you are ready to get started with the training.
Step Two: Command Voice
Using a command voice is very important in showing your dog you are in charge. If you want to practice your command voice in mirror feel free.
Step Three: Dog Should be Calm
To teach your dog to sit you need for your dog to be calm so if he/she is bouncing off the walls you won’t get very far, take your dog for a walk to let them get out their energy so that when you get home they are much calmer and more receptive to you.
Step Four: Give Command “SIT”
At last we have a calm dog standing in front of you and you wish to get your dog to sit, make sure you have a treat in your hand and then give the command “SIT” (you know, the one you practiced in the mirror). At the same time as giving the command raise your hand (with the treat in it) above the dogs head.
The dog will probably be looking at your hand as they can smell the treat and because of this your dog will sit (9 times out of 10) to keep you hand in their line of sight.
However if it is that 10th time and instead of sitting they back up, you should start again but adjust you arm movement so that your hand moves directly above your dogs head.
Step Five: Give Treat
Once your dog has sat after you gave the command and raised your hand over their head, you should give them the treat and praise their behavior.
Step Six: Repeat
You should repeat this technique for as long as it takes for you dog to learn it. Once your dog has learned to sit you should continue but slowly remove the treat from the process but still reinforce the behavior with verbal praise. As you remove the food remove the hand movement until all you have to do is say “SIT” and your dog sits. Remember that you need to keep reinforcing this behavior every so often so that they continue to obey your command.
Hi I am Matt, an Animal Behaviorist with Trusty Tails and I thought I’d to give you some techniques for those for you who wish to train your dog. Whether it be a puppy or a full grown adult, here are the techniques used to train animals. Do not be fooled by the age old saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, you can teach any age of dog new tricks. It is just a matter of time.
Does Breed Matter When It Comes to Dog Training?
Now the dog breed does come in to play with how quickly a dog will pick up what you want it to do. The more intelligent breeds such as Border Collie, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever etc will learn faster but that’s not to say that you can’t teach any breed, you can teach every breed.
Four Training Techniques
How do you go about teaching a dog you might ask well there are four techniques used to train dogs:
- Positive Reinforcement
- Negative Reinforcement
- Positive Punishment
- Negative Punishment
Most of you may balk at the thought of punishing your dog and trust me I would hate to punish any animal, but let me break down the terms so you can get a better understanding for what they entail.
Let me start with reinforcement, the dictionary tells us it is the action or process of reinforcing or strengthening. How does that apply to training? Well if there is a behavior your dog exhibits and wish for that behavior to continue you will try to reinforce or strengthen that behavior. There are two ways of reinforcing and they are positive and negative.
Positive reinforcement is when you reinforce a behavior by adding something, let me give you an example. You wish to teach your dog to sit on command, to achieve this you wish to use the positive reinforcement technique, you should have treats in your hand and when say to your dog in a clear authoritative voice “SIT” at the same time raise your hand above the dogs head so the dog sits as their focus is on the food in your hand and when the dog sits you will reinforce the sitting behavior with a by giving the treat. Continue this over time until the behavior is learned, however you must remove the reward of food slowly over time and replace with a “well done” or which ever verbal praise you wish to give and maybe a cuddle and a scratch.
Negative reinforcement is when you reinforce a behavior by removing something, for example, you command your dog to “SIT” and then you apply downward pressure to their hindquarters until the dog sat, at which point you remove the pressure from their hindquarters that is why it is called negative because you at taking away the pressure. The reason why this kind is not punishment is because you are increasing the behavior rather than decreasing the behavior which is what punishment does.
Now we come to not nice word punishment and yes punishment isn’t nice but as I explain you will hopefully see that punishment used correctly can be a non harmful tool to train your dog. What is punishment? Punishment is a process where a consequence immediately follows a behavior which will decrease the future occurrence of the behavior. Similar to reinforcement it can be positive or negative.
Positive punishment is when you add a negative consequence after an undesired behavior is preformed which will make the behavior less likely to happen in the future. An example of positive punishment, you are walking your dog and it starts to pull on the lead you then pull on the lead to stop your dog pulling, you are positively (pulling on the lead) punishing the pulling behavior.
Negative punishment is when you take away a desired stimulus after a undesired behavior is performed making the behavior less likely to happen in the future. For example you are walking your dog and they start to pull, You stop walking and wait till your dog stops pulling. You are negatively punishing the behavior of pulling by taking away the stimulus of walking, so it is less likely that your dog will pull in the future.
Which Training Technique is Best?
To conclude these techniques are used to produce desired behaviors but a positive consequence is more powerful and will increase the likelihood of learning the behavior.
So when training your dogs positive reinforcement combined with negative punishment is the best combination to use as it wields the fastest results without causing harm to you pet.
One thing to note is that you must continue to reinforce behaviors from time to time, after your dog has learned the behaviors, otherwise they can become extinct and you will have to start training all over again.
Do you have a shy or fearful dog who wants to run and hide from a new visitor?
Here are a few steps on how to introduce him or her to someone new:
1. If possible, take your dog on a long walk before your friend is to arrive. Having your dog tired and with less pent up energy is best.
2. Have your friend enter your home without ringing the buzzer, door bell, or knocking on the door and have your dog in another room.
3. When your friend enters your home, have her sit down and get comfortable. The breakfast bar or kitchen table is always a good spot.
4. Have your dog’s favorite bag of treats readily available on the table.
5. When ready, bring your dog into the room wearing her leash making sure to keep her by your side until she is completely calm and at ease.
6. Don’t force an introduction. Let your dog decide when the moment is right to ‘sniff out’ and inspect your new visitor.
7. If your dog can’t seem to remain calm and be at ease, remove her from the room and take her to a space where she feels more secure and content.
What should your friend do who is being introduced to your shy and fearful dog?
1. They should IGNORE your dog.
2. They should not make eye contact with your dog.
3. They should not speak to your dog.
4. They should not pet your dog, lean over him, or reach a hand toward him.
5. They should understand your dog will approach them on his own terms.
6. They can toss treats toward your shy or fearful dog if he seems interested.
7. If things are going well and your dog is accepting of the treats (a great sign!), your friend can offer your dog a treat directly from their hand.
8. If things aren’t going well, remove your dog from the situation and take him to a part of the home wear he can relax.
If you don’t think the meeting with your friend and your shy and fearful dog will go well, you can leave them in a different room with the door shut along with a tasty chew toy or Kong to keep him happy and occupied while you friend is there.
Our dogs can occasionally do things that will leave us scratching our heads. From spinning in circles to kicking up grass, canines have habits that don’t always make sense to people. There are reasonable explanations for most of these behaviors, so here are some of the most popular ones to help clear the air.
Getting a Leg Up
Urine marks territory. By lifting his leg up, your dog is making himself look bigger. The higher up the marking, the taller and more dominant he seems.
Kicking Up Grass
Your dog could be practicing good hygiene by covering up their mess, but they could be throwing out pheromones and scents to mark their territory and stake their claim.
When your dog is taking a snooze and flips on their back, they are just trying to find that perfect spot. Dogs will only roll onto their backs if they are totally comfortable in their environment, so take it as a sign of love.
Sniffing the Rear
Dogs communicate through chemicals, and most of those chemicals are released in the hind end. This strange ritual is a way for dogs to relay important information to one another. This could include fear, anxiety, playfulness, or attraction.
Chasing The Tail
However cute it may seem, tail chasing is actually a potential sign of a disorder called CCD. Canine Compulsive Disorder is the dog equivalent of OCD, so if this is a recurring behavior, speak with your vet about the severity and treatment options..
Eating Their Leafy Greens
This could be one of two possibilities. One is that your dog just likes the grass and wants to eat it. The other, more popular possibility is that your dog’s stomach may be upset, and they are trying to clean out their intestinal tract. Eating grass for dogs is much like people eating high fiber foods or salads.
If you ever feel that a recurring behavior could be dangerous or cause potential harm to your pet, speak with your vet or trainer right away.