Creating a successful relationship with your dog

Oahu Resources

Are there any tips to house training a dog? 
Take your dog out every couple of hours and each time that he goes outside to do his business, he gets rewarded with a treat. If you catch him in the act of eliminating somewhere inappropriate, make a noise to startle and stop him. Then immediately show your dog where you want him to go by running him outside, waiting until he goes, and then offer him praise and a treat. 

Puppies gain full bladder control between three and five months. It’s not uncommon for pups to make mistakes until about eight months. Dogs don’t want to soil areas they live in so limiting access and earning the privilege of more access to the house is essential. 

How do I pick a dog trainer? 
Start by asking a lot of questions and observe classes. Look for positive reinforcement, which is offering something pleasant immediately following good behavior.

What causes behavior problems in dogs?

Boredom and excess energy are two common reasons for behavior problems. Dogs are meant to lead active lives. Watch this video on how to exercise with your dog. Exposing him to a wide variety of experiences and people are also as essential to good health and a good relationship between pet and owner.

If in doubt, take him out. Destructive chewing and incessant barking may be signs of boredom. Even yard-bound dogs can suffer from lack of variety in their lives. If he’s getting plenty of exercise and has opportunities to interact with other people and pets, he’s less likely to suffer from boredom, loneliness and anxiety.

What do I do if my dog is an escape artist?
Find the reason for escape. For climbing or jumping dogs, add an extension to your fence that tilts inward at about a 45-degree angle. For digging dogs, bury chicken wire at the base of your fence and place large rocks at the base. Exercising your dog on a daily basis is always a good way to prevent your dog from becoming bored and looking for adventure.

How can I get my dog more comfortable around others?
Dogs that have not been well socialized can find other people and animals overwhelming. So start by visiting a friend or family member’s dog that’s shy to start. As they build their confidence together, visit a nearby dog park. Once your pet is more socialized to different dogs, sights and sounds, she’ll be ready to enjoy the company of others. Day care for dogs provides a great antidote for bored, lonely or high-energy dogs with busy families who work away from home all day and don’t want to leave their dogs alone. 

What’s a good way to start socializing my puppy? 

If he’s too young to be out and about, start at home. Host a puppy petting party where you invites friends and family to meet your newest family member. Limit exposure to outside diseases by asking guests to leave their shoes at the front door and washing their hands before interaction.

How can I prevent nipping & rough play?

When puppies play with each other, they use their mouths. Puppies usually want to bite or “mouth” hands during play or when petted. Give your puppy an alternative by redirecting his desire to a chew toy. Ice cubes can help a teething puppy. Stop play immediately when she puts her teeth on skin so that she learns that it’s unacceptable; never engage in rough play.

Why do veterinarians recommend that our puppy be kept away from other animals until his last vaccination?

Your veterinarian’s concern is protecting your pet from disease-carrying playmates. But just as humans in infanthood are already on the fast track to defining their social and emotional profiles, so are puppies. Animal behaviorist believe that a dog’s social flexibility is largely defined by four months of age. The Hawaiian Humane Society recommends that you begin socializing your puppy as soon as possible after his first vaccination as long the experiences are low risk, pleasant and non-threatening.

How can I prevent my puppy from gnawing on furniture?

Chewing can relieve pain caused by teething. For older dogs, it’s nature’s way of keeping jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing combats boredom and can relieve mild anxiety or frustration. You can offer your puppy ice cubes, special dog toys that can be frozen or frozen wet washcloths to chew, which might help numb teething pain. 

My dog hates water. How can I make bathing less traumatic for her? 
Most dogs don’t mind getting and staying dirty. If your dog is really water averse, bathe him quickly and dry thoroughly. Warm water and a soothing tone can help. Plus, if he learns that bath time always ends with special treats, brand-new chew toys, the start of a favorite game, a walk in the park or dinnertime—he’ll soon learn to feel better about it.