Pepper was a five-month old puppy who had been house-trained but suddenly started to potty in the house. Her family was baffled because she would do this immediately after coming in from the backyard. I discovered that while the family was rewarding her for going outside, as they should, it was the timing of the reward that caused the problem. Instead of rewarding Pepper while she was still outside, she received her cookie in the house. Naturally she was in a hurry to get back in for that cookie. Once I pointed this out to the family they were able to go outside with Pepper and deliver her reward as soon as she pottied.Check out Dr. Sophia Yin’s potty training advice at www.drsophiayin.com
Prince’s family loves him very much but sometimes encounters with other people or dogs made him nervous. The family felt frustrated because they never knew when he would react. Most dogs give some sort of sign when they are getting anxious but it can be very subtle. One of our first steps with Prince was to identify the signals he offered when he felt uncomfortable. Prince turned out to be a good communicator. Once the family learned to recognize Prince’s “I’m worried” cue they would change direction before Prince went over threshold. This helped him stay calm on his walks.
Tyrus had lived in a kennel until his current family adopted him at the age of five. After a short time he began showing signs of separation anxiety when his family left home. This included urinating on the floor. The family began confining him to the bathroom when they went out. But in the bathroom Tyrus became even more destructive and anxious. When they called me for help, I showed the family how to desensitize Tyrus to a dog crate so he would view it as his “safe place”. This was successful and now Tyrus has learned to remain calm in his crate while the family is gone.
Daisy is a young terrier mix adopted from a local shelter. Although affectionate and playful with her new family, Daisy was very reactive when meeting other dogs. The family asked if I could help Daisy learn to accept other dogs. Assisted by a neutral dog, we practiced parallel walking and approaches. Daisy learned to be more confident around other dogs and after several weeks the neutral dog, and eventually other dogs, could enter the home without stressing Daisy.