No one enjoys when a dog is sniffing inappropriately. It can be not only annoying but also embarrassing and sometimes messy if your dog greets you in business attire or nice clothing the same way he welcomes other dogs. This simple greeting from your dog can leave slobber on your clothes. Sniffing while walking can also become distracting and drag out walks, leaving you pulling your dog along rather than enjoying a nice casual walk or a walk which increases your heart rate for exercise. Teaching your dog to stop sniffing, whether it's inappropriate sniffing on people or distracted sniffing everything in his path, is something you're going to want to teach your dog early on so that you can enjoy your time with your dog and have guests over without him putting them in embarrassing situations!
Training your dog to stop sniffing will depend on the situation your dog sniffs most often. If your dog is sniffing anything and everything he comes across while you are walking, you are going to want to do this training on walks. If your dog is sniffing you or other people he greets inappropriately, you're going to need to set up some of these situations to train your dog during an occasion where he sniffs typically. You will also want to teach your dog some basic commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘leave it.’ The ‘leave it’ command can be used for any sniffing to get your dog's attention and tell him to leave whatever it is he has interest in alone.
Training your dog to stop sniffing will require a bit of patience. You can teach any dog to stop sniffing at any age. But you will need some patience and consistency. Be sure to have a leash if you're taking your dog on walks--and some tasty treats to provide your dog to celebrate a job well done. Train basic commands so you can use them during this training.
he is not good at recall and doesn't know his limit when playing with other dogs, he would steal their ball and won't let them alone
Hello Maz, To improve Zac's recall work on "The Reel In Method" from this article that I have linked bellow: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall "The Reel In Method" will reinforce the fact that Zac has to come when you call him, and not just when he feels like it. It will also allow you to practice "Come" in the presence of distractions while he is safely on the long leash and cannot run off. When he is doing well with the training, then you must take him places to practice it in order for him to improve. You can only expect him to come when he is distracted if you have worked on "Come" around other distractions beforehand. The outcome is worth it though! Also teach him an "Out" command, and use that command to interrupt his rude behavior with other dogs. He likely needs his interactions with other dogs to be more structured as well. Some dogs do not do well off-leash without structure or when toys or food is involved. Going on walks with other dogs, having play dates with very specific dogs that he will not be rude toward, where you can control the interaction better, and working on his obedience and attention in the presence of other dogs who are at a distance, are all better ways for him to interact with other dogs, and those types of interactions will encourage calm behavior more. Working on his obedience and having him learn a "Sit Stay" well enough for him to remain seated when you throw a ball may also help. When hunting dogs are taught to retrieve alongside other dogs, they are taught to "Honor" another dog's retrieve and remain seated in the presence of something extremely exciting, a falling bird! Such self-control would be beneficial for Zac too, but it will take a lot of practice on your end. To teach him an "Out" command, first call him over to you, then toss a treat several feet away from yourself while pointing to the area where you are tossing the treat with the finger of your treat tossing hand and saying "Out" at the same time. Repeat this until he will go over to the area where you point when you say "Out" before you have tossed a treat. When he will do that, then whenever you tell him "Out" and he does not go to where you are pointing, walk toward him and herd him out of the area with your body. Your attitude should be calm and patient but very firm and business like when you do this. When you get to where you were pointing to, then stop and wait until he either goes away or stops trying to go back to the area where you were standing before. When he is no longer trying to get past you, then slowly walk backwards to where you were before. If he follows you, then tell him "Out" again and quickly walk toward him until he is back to where he was a moment ago. Repeat this until he will stay several feet away from where you were when you told him "Out" originally. When you are ready for him to come back, then tell him "OK" in an up beat tone of voice. Practice this training until he will consistently leave the area when you tell him "Out". When he will consistently leave, then practice the training with other areas that you would like for him to leave, such as the kitchen when you are preparing food, a person's space when he is being pushy, an area with a plant that he is trying to dip up, or somewhere with something in your home that he should not be bothering. "Out" means simply means get out of the area. It is a spacial command. A dog does not have to stay or sit or lay down when he leaves the area, but he is not allow to return to that area until he is told "OK". When Zac is bothering another dog, then you can tell him "Out", to indicate that he should get out of that dog's space. You will need to be consistent though and enforce the command if he does not listen, so that he learns that "Out" is also not optional. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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The area we walk our dog is frequented by many many other dogs in the neighborhood. Our dog will sniff every single bush along the walk which makes the walk take a very long time. Furthermore when we are walking the dog to a destination She sniffs every tree and bush along the way and can be very stubborn when we are trying to get somewhere on time. What is the best way to train her to know when it is appropriate to sniff her surroundings and when she needs to focus on getting somewhere?
Hello Evan, I would recommend teaching Sandy a very focused, business-like "Heel" command. Have her walk right beside you in the heel position during walks with her head up. Be firm and do not let her pull you around or sniff things. Have her pee in your yard before you go on a walk so that she does not have to during the walk and you can feel confident that any peeing attempts are just her trying to mark and not a real need. When you get somewhere where you want to let her sniff, then tell her "Okay" or give her a "Go Sniff" command. Do this to indicate that she can sniff while you are standing there IF she does not pull you. When you are ready for her to stop sniffing, tell her to "Heel" again, and do not allow her to sniff anymore until you release her to sniff again. The general criteria for her for walks should be attentive, by your side, and in the heel position, an only being allowed to sniff when she has been specifically given permission and not at any other time. You will need to be more stubborn than she is on this and correct any attempts to sniff while heeling. You can also reward her for being in the heel position so that she is motivated to pay attention to you, in addition to correcting her for trying to sniff or pull. Your attitude should be, "Paying attention to me and following me is non-negotiable. I will reward you if you obey, but even you do not want the reward you still have to obey". A structured "Heel", where she works on focusing on you and following you, will also help with her rude pulling behavior and stubbornness by increasing her respect for you. Check out this article for teaching a "Heel" command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel From that article, I recommend using either the "Turns" method or combining methods. Turning directly in front of your dog when he starts to move past you tends to work best to adjust your dog's attitude as well as his position if your dog is rude. If you are still struggling you can also use a training tool such as a Prong Collar, Gentle Leader, or No- Pull Harness. Do not use a choke chain though because they can cause trachea damage. Although it looks fierce, the Prong Collar is actually much safer than the choke collar and several other devices, but it needs to be worn at the top of the dog's neck and it needs to be tight enough to stay in-place without pushing into the skin. Loose might seem gentler, but Prong Corrections when fitted and used correctly should actually require smaller tugs and should simply create uncomfortable pinches. They should not worn as large mental links that are loose around the neck, that when suddenly tightened bang against the neck. Banging can cause damage. If you use a tool, do not simply pull on the leash whenever the dog starts to pull. You need to teach "Heel" and to utilize turns to so that your dog learns to pay attention to your movement. She will be automatically corrected when the leash tightens because she is too far away if she does not stay with you. Be very careful with your dog's head and neck if you choose to use a Gentle Leader though. You do not want to whip her head around too fast during a turn. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I'm having a hard time getting the do to go outside to the bathroom and I take her out she goes but will come back in a piss or shit again...
Hello Allie, First of all, check out the article from the link I have included below, and follow one of those methods to prevent accidents outside, encourage peeing outside, and help Princess learn what she should be doing while outside. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Pay special attention to a couple of things. First, make sure you are taking her outside on a leash to where you want her to pee. You may already be doing this but if not, that is likely the problem. Since she is still in the process of being potty trained she needs someone to teach her what to do and help her stay focused. Don't expect her to do it on her own when you let her out in the backyard unleashed until she is over six months of age and completely accident free inside. Second, when you take her to go potty tell her to "Go Potty". At first she won't know what that means but after awhile she will learn what that means and will understand what you want her to do when you tell her to "Go Potty". Third, when she does go potty outside, give her three or four small treats, like pieces of her kibble, and praise her enthusiastically. That is to help her want to pee outside more than she wants to pee inside. Fourth, supervise her very closely while she is inside. I highly recommend crate training and if you do not see her finish using the bathroom when you take her outside on a leash, then put her into her crate for thirty more minutes when you come back in, and after she has been in the crate for thirty-minutes take her back outside to go potty. Repeat taking her out, placing her in her crate for thirty minutes, and taking her back outside to go potty until she goes potty. The goal is for her to only be free in the house while her bladder is empty so that she cannot have an accident while she is still learning to hold her pee and poop inside. Fifth, use a potty encouraging spray outside if you are still having issues getting her to use the bathroom outside. The scent will encourage her to go potty where you spray it. Walking her around on the leash in your yard will also help her to poop. Whenever you feed her, expect her to need to poop ten to thirty-minutes afterwards, even if she already went potty before eating. Eating gets her digestive system going and makes her have to go. Exercise, excitement, and first waking up from a long nap are also times when she will need to go potty, in addition to regular, frequent intervals of every 1-2 hours while out of the crate, and every 3-4 or sooner while in the crate. She physically cannot hold her bladder for longer than four hours during the day right now though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My sniffing problem is a little different. When we are in the dining room eating, Mac is in the bedroom to prevent begging at the table. He starts sniffing under the door so loudly, it drowns out the tv in the living room. We have tried everything to try to stop this. I do not yell at or strike my dogs. Is there a scent to deter this behavior? This is making us crazy. We live in Wyoming and it's extremely cold with snow so putting him outside or in the garage is not an option.
Thank you, Bertie Sirrine
Hello Bertie, I suggest making a solution of white vinegar and water. About 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water. When he starts to sniff, spray the vinegar on the other side of the door, in front of the opening at the bottom where he sniffs on the side of the door toward you and not his side. The smell of the vinegar should be strong enough to temporarily mask the smell of the food but it should also act as a slight deterrent so that he learns with practice that it's not very pleasant to sniff under the door. Once the vinegar dries, vinegar is odorless, so you do not have to worry about your home smelling like vinegar later still. Expect this to take several repetitions over several days and be consistent about doing it. You want to convince him that mealtimes always smells like vinegar now so that he will not be motivated to sniff right at the door anymore. If you only occasionally do it, he will think it was an isolated incident and go back to sniffing likely. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Jon is my husbands seeing eye dog, he walks him daily in our neighborhood. He is well trained of course. Only problem is his sniffing, not always but when he does it takes sometimes manny time outs etc. to correct him. Is there a way to eliminate or at least make it less of a problem?
Other situation is when hubby calls Jon to come ( take him outside to go busy before bed) Jon lays there and ignores him until hubby gets stern. When he finally does one he gets a treat. I get upset, but not to intervene.
Hello Judy, It sounds like pup understands what's being commanded, which is the first step in training, but is simply choosing to ignore commands when the reward is not viewed as better than what pup is doing right then (sniffing or lying down); in these situations there needs to be a gentle consequence. For the not coming when called, check out the Reel In method from the article linked below. Practice the Reel In method. When pup will reliably come again and understands what to do after practicing that method, then when pup chooses not to come occasionally, calmly go over to pup, clip on the long leash again, practice the reel in method in the same environment pup ignored you in, around the same type of distractions, until pup comes willingly five times in a row. Any of the times pup doesn't come while practicing, reel pup in with the long leash - making pup come. After making pup come a few times he should start coming without having to be reeled in. This method gently shows pup that you mean what you say and it's not optional - whether they want to or not - it gently builds respect in that area. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall For the sniffing, the first step is teaching something like Out or Leave It - which it sounds like pup knows. Tell pup Out or Leave It. If pup obeys, give the treat. If pup disobeys and keeps sniffing, say "Ah Ah" calmly and give a fair correction - such as a quick tug using a correctly fitted prong collar (look up how to fit - most are not fitted correctly), a quick vibration from a remote training collar, a small spray with unscented, pressurized air at his side from a Pet Convinver (avoid his face and don't use citronella). You don't want the correction to be scary - just a little surprising, and unpleasant. If pup comes willingly, give the treat. Do all of this very calmly - without a lot of anger or acting sorry for him, just matter-of-fact, saying "Ah Ah" at the same time as you correct and always telling pup to Leave It or Out first - so that the correction is clearly understood - He was told not to do something using words he understood, he disobeyed, he was told disobeying was wrong (Ah Ah) and there was immediately a consequence for disobeying...Pup can then control whether he gets the consequence the next time because he knows what he did to cause it before. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog is often walked off lead when in fields etc so that she can run around and burn off energy. When not focused on anything her recall is usually pretty good for a Beagle. However, if distracted by a smell, I cannot get her to come to me. I might as well be invisible. If I go and get her, she just runs away from me. As a Beagle she sniffs everything so this is becoming quite a problem! We are currently in the process of clicker training but again, when sniffing, she doesn't even care about the prospect of a treat. Have you got any tips?
Hello Ellie, First, start working on a reliable Come. Check out the Reel In method from the article linked below. The Reel In method is sufficient for most dogs but some dogs do need to be e-collar trained afterward as well to teach reliability around high distractions also, but either way the foundation of Come and practicing the Reel In method on a long leash is needed first. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall More in depth article on come and the reel in method: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ E-collar Come info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtJxSXu4rfs&t=331s Another activity you can practice is walking around places like your yard or a field and changing directions frequently without saying anything. Whenever he takes notice (at first because the leash finally tugs, but later just because you moved), then toss a treat at him for looking your way or coming over to you - without calling him; this encourages him to choose to pay attention to where you are and associate your presence with good things on his own, so he will want to be with you. This doesn't take the place of the Come training but can be a good addition to build attention and listening in that environment. You need to practice the above training in the field with the long leash until pup consistently comes on a 40-50 foot leash (You can start with a 20 foot leash or use a longer leash and coil part of it up when first training). Expect this to take a lot of sessions of practice. Be consistent and be sure to use the leash until pup is consistent also, so that pup doesn't learn that they can just ignore you when the leash is off and has to listen when its on - you want it to always be on at first so that pup is only learning that he always has to come, then when you are ready to stop using the leash, he is in the habit of coming by then. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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