Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Try cleaning with salty water or a chorlhexadine rinse (hibiscrub in the UK) temporarily but you will need to see your vet as antibiotics maybe needed too

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Clean the skin with a mild, water-based antiseptic spray or wipe (like Douxo Chlorhexidine 3% PS pads) or an antibacterial shampoo. Apply a veterinary-recommended hot spot treatment spray that is safe if ingested. One example is Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial Pet Hot Spot Spray.
Due to bacteria that builds up in the hot spots, they can quickly spread to other parts of the dog`s body. These affected areas will be painful and result in your dog itching and licking the area. Many of these symptoms overlap with other skin conditions so it`s important you contact your veterinarian right away.
Hot spots are not likely to go away on their own, but the good news is that they can be easily treated. The best thing to do when you notice hot spots is book an appointment with your vet and try to stop your dog scratching too much.
Once properly treated, the hot spot should scab up and heal in a week to ten days. There are some things you can do to help your pet avoid this painful condition: Brush your pet to get rid of the extra fur and prevent matting. Use a good flea medication on a monthly basis.
Treatment. Treatment for a hot spot is likely to include: A clip and clean – clipping the fur around your dog`s hot spot will allow air to reach it and speed up recovery. Cleaning at home – daily cleaning with salty water or a medicated shampoo (see wound cleaning instructions below).
The lesion should be disinfected with a chlorhexidine solution that kills bacteria. Topical antibiotics, desiccating sprays, and soothing reagents will be more effective when applied to a clipped, clean skin surface. Oral antibiotics and steroids/antihistamines may also be in order for serious hot spots.
Hot spots are itchy, painful, and messy, and can appear suddenly in both dogs and cats, but are seen more frequently in dogs. With appropriate treatment, they can be resolved quickly.
They can ooze, bleed, or contain pus. If your dog has hotspots, they will lick, bite and scratch at them incessantly. They will often become large quickly, and if they are left untreated, they can get offensively big. The more your dog scratches, the worse the hotspots get.
Your veterinarian will most likely shave the infected or inflamed area so that air can get to it and dry it out and to see how large the hot spot is. It will also need to be cleaned thoroughly. They will likely want to use antibiotics, either in a topical or systemic form.
Hot spots are usually caused by self-trauma when a dog scratches an itch so vigorously that it creates an open wound. Many things can cause the initial itch in dogs including: Allergies including food allergies or inhalant allergies that cause itching.
To heal properly, hot spots need to breathe so you don`t want to wrap or bandage the area. You do, however, need to protect the area from your dog. Yep, you got it…the cone of shame. You can purchase a recovery cone at your local pet store.
Stress is known to be a factor in hot spots. Poor grooming, dehydration, lack of exercise and environmental changes can all lead to stress for your dog. When a dog is stressed they have the tendency to lick and scratch excessively to calm themselves down which can lead to hot spots.
Oral antibiotics. The best way to deal with a deep skin infection is to deliver antibiotics to the site of the hot spot via the blood stream. If a hot spot is quite advanced, at least a 10-14 day course of a broad spectrum antibiotic is required to prevent immediate recurrence.
They often look wet and may have an off-putting smell. They can begin as a small patch of red and balloon to the size of a frisbee. How spots occur on the base of the tail, As a hot spot heals, it will shrink in size, change color, and eventually fully heal.
Steep a black tea bag in 8 ounces of water. Let it cool. Then you can use either the tea bag or a cotton ball to apply tea to the sore. Hold it to the hot spot for several minutes … or longer if your dog doesn`t seem to mind it.
Morgan recommends mixing equal parts vinegar with water and spraying the mixture on your dog`s hot spots. “You can massage it into the areas,” Morgan says. “If you have a raw hot spot, it could sting a little.
Coconut oil is safe but ineffective for hot spots — Although it is safe for dogs in small amounts, coconut oil may cause excess moisture and worsen the hot spot.
A common natural treatment for hot spots can be achieved by the use of Aloe Vera which can be applied to your dog`s skin to provide some much needed relief to the red itchy areas which are affected.
A frequently-used hypothesis suggests that hotspots form over exceptionally hot regions in the mantle, which is the hot, flowing layer of the Earth beneath the crust. Mantle rock in those extra-hot regions is more buoyant than the surrounding rocks, so it rises through the mantle and crust to erupt at the surface.
The solution of equal parts Listerine, baby oil and water for dogs` hot spots is the most fantastic remedy I`ve read about in a long time! The minute my dogs start “worrying” a spot, I get out my spray bottle, spray the area thoroughly, massage the solution into their skin, and the problem stops immediately.
Technically called moist dermatitis, hot spots are most common in dogs with long or thick coats, such as Newfoundlands, German Shepherd Dogs and Golden Retrievers. Dogs with drop ears or a hairy coat are most likely to develop this condition.
What Do Hot Spots Look Like on Dogs? Hot spots are raw, open wounds that are usually bright red and may sometimes ooze fluids. They may also bleed, especially if your dog has been aggravating them recently.
Dog hot spot treatment costs

In that case, hot spot treatment will be less expensive, ranging from $40 to $200.

Untreated, hot spots can cause severe infection, and even ulceration and scarring in the worst cases, as the infection extends deep into the skin.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. How can I train my 4 month old puppy to sit?
ANSWER : A. Training basic commands such as sit is very easy using a positive reinforcement method and does not require any more materials than a place to sit and some very yummy treats! When beginning to teach your dog new tricks, starting off in a distraction free area (such as a quiet room in the house) is best. The training can then expand to more distracting places once your dog has the hang of things.

Start by showing your dog a tasty treat and placing it over his or her nose. When they begin to sniff at the treat, gently move the treat backward. Most dogs will follow the treat with their head, and the backward motion will cause their back ends to sit down! Once your dog sits, reward with the treat and some praise. If your dog tends to walk backwards instead of sit, doing this technique against a wall will prevent your dog from walking backward and encourage sitting.

Once your dog has done this a few times, begin to add the word “sit” every time you put the treat above your dog’s head. Only say the word once, and then continue with the luring motion. Your dog will begin to associate the word with the action after several tries! After this, you can begin to attempt to offer the word “sit” once, and if your dog does so, reward with a treat and praise! If your dog forgets, or appears bored, stop training and try again at a later time- most puppies only have an attention span of a few minutes at most!

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. What can I do to stop my dog from barking at people and front doors?
ANSWER : A. Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. This means don’t give him any attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to him, don’t touch him, and don’t even look at him. When he finally quiets down, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. If he barks for an hour and you finally get so frustrated that you yell at him to be quiet, the next time he’ll probably bark for an hour and a half. Dogs learns that if they bark long enough you’ll give them attention.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. It may sound nonsensical, but the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

When your dog starts barking, ask him to do something that’s incompatible with barking. Teach your dog to react to barking stimuli with something that inhibits him from barking, such as lying down in his bed.

Make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of fetch and playing with interactive toys.

Q. My Bulldog puppy growls, barks and even tries to bite me when I say “no” to him. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. First, avoid scolding him and acting aggressively towards him if you don’t want him to be acting aggressively towards you. There are other methods you can use to communicate to your dog that you don’t want him to continue doing what he is doing. I recommend you stop telling him “no”, scolding him, or raising your voice at him. Everything coming from you should be 100% positive and 100% calm.

Try to figure out ways to clearly communicate what you want to your dog. If you want your dog to leave something or someone alone, I strongly suggest teaching your dog commands like “leave it”. Here is a link to a video in which I explain how to do it:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

Another thing I suggest you use is a no-reward marker. This clearly communicates when your dog has done something wrong. No-reward markers have to be introduced during your training sessions. You should be doing at least three training sessions per day, that are something like 3-10 minutes long (working on different things each training session). If you are teaching your dog something BRAND NEW, do not use the no-reward marker, as you do not want to discourage your dog from performing behaviors for you. Use the no-reward marker for known behaviors only. Here is another helpful video about this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdU5a6fXKlg

Lure each new behavior (as shown in the video) using high value treats. Let’s say you’re working on “down” which is a behavior your dog knows fairly well. Present the treat to your dog. Ask your dog to “down” (only ask once). If he does not go “down” immediately, say, “uh-oh” or “eh-eh” in a gentle tone, and then place the treat behind your back. This communicates to your dog that they did something to make the treat go away.

After you place the treat behind your back to show your pup “that was wrong” you need to communicate to your pup “let’s try again” by getting your pup to walk around for a second, and then start the behavior all over again. If your puppy is very young, chances are you haven’t taught him a solid “down” behavior yet. So, as I said, do not use this method until you have lured each new behavior as shown in the video.

This is the order in which you should teach behaviors: Lure using a high value treat as shown in the video. After a few successful food lures, lure with an empty hand. If the pup is successful with the empty hand lure, reward with lots of treats. If the pup is unsuccessful, then go back to food-luring a couple more times. After a few successful empty-hand lures, you can begin to add the cue. Say “sit”, then lure with an empty hand, and then reward. Once your pup understands the cue, begin to work on the no-reward marker.

Q. How do I teach my dog to sit still enough and not move his head while I clip on the gentle leader?
ANSWER : A. Most dogs HATE the gentle leader, and it’s not at all surprising. Would you want something foreign on your face? It’s an uncomfortable training tool, and no dog enjoys wearing it. If you are looking to have your dog behave better on-leash, you should consider tossing out that gentle leader, and using a front hooking harness like the Sensible http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ible-harness, or the Sensation http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ation-harness harness. These harnesses will eliminate the pulling power of your dog, and put you in control in a positive, and gentle way. Any time your dog pulls, he is redirected until he is facing you. You can practically walk your dog with your pinky.

I dislike the gentle leader because it can cause neck injuries in an avid puller/lunger. You also can’t ever hook a long-lead to the gentle leader and allow your dog to run around because it would break his neck. Another thing I dislike about it, is it discourages sniffing the ground during walks. When your dog attempts to sniff, and the leash is short, his nose is redirected upwards. When you trip on the leash, the head is jerked around and the nose is directed upwards. Sniffing during walks is extremely important. Sniffing = mental stimulation, which will tire your dog out more during your walks. The more your dog lags, or forges, the less he can sniff the ground, and the more frustrated he becomes.

If you’re dead set on using the head halti.. you should be using treats to hold his attention. Place the head halti on the floor, reward him for sniffing it, pick it up, treat him, put it near his face, treat him, lure his nose through the loop, lots of treats, take the head halti off, more treats, lure his nose through again, more treats. Take baby steps going forwards AND backwards so the “game” of getting the halti on isn’t always getting more difficult.

Q. What’s the best way to train a dog to use a lead again?
ANSWER : A. It depends on how serious your issue is. If you need to start from scratch: Bring out the leash, place it on the ground. Click and treat your dog. Say his name, work on attention, click and treat for attention. Work with the cheese sticks, or with some chicken.. something stinky, soft, and high value. Allow him to sniff the leash, praise him, click, treat, click, treat. Pick up the leash, click treat him. Hook the leash to his collar and allow the leash to drag, click treat him. Have him just follow you around, click and treat him to hold his attention.

Then, pick up the leash, click and treat him. Then drop the leash again, click and treat. Take baby steps. Then, hold the leash while you take a step, click and treat him for following. Open the front door, click and treat him. Then, take off the leash, click and treat him, and end training.

Pick training back up in an hour, and do the same exact thing from start to finish, only this time, “finish” will be you two going outside, you clicking and treating him a bunch, and then you bringing him back inside. Work your way up slowly. You can’t expect to just bring him outside and bring him on a walk right away.

When outdoors, use a front hooking harness like the Sensible/Sensation harnesses: http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ible-harness / http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ation-harness. These harnesses will eliminate the pulling power of your pup in a positive way. This will put you in control without the use of force. Carry high value treats with you everywhere, and offer them for good walking behavior – treats like white meat chicken, cooked fish, turkey pepperoni, turkey bacon, diced ham, mozzarella cheese sticks, hotdogs, all cut into tiny little pieces. The more you work on walking on-leash/attention indoors, the better it will be outdoors, remember that.