er down?

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It may be worth to try pain killers first as it is not uncommon that dogs will start walking again if we take pain away. I would suggest you to take her to your vets for examination and to decide what will be the best next step in her case.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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

Even if your dog is considered senior, you`ll still want to give them at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. Because of their age, exercise might need to become shorter but it`s still necessary to make sure they`re getting the required stimulation. Choose low-impact activities. Go on walks, not runs.
Physical and Mental Development

A 13- to 15-year-old dog, depending on her size and health, is roughly equivalent to a 70- to 115-year-old person. In her elder years, it is harder for your dog to learn new things. In fact, she likely will be resistant to changes in her surroundings and routine.

Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that`s ideal for dogs with hip dysplasia. It`s a great way to get your dog moving without putting too much strain on their hip joints. Just be sure to start slowly and gradually increase the distance as your pup builds up their endurance.
Age is just a number, but distance isn`t.

Your older dog may begin to struggle with longer walks. The key is to make your walks shorter, but more frequent. That way, your four-legged friend is still getting regular exercise, but you aren`t tiring them out all in one go.

The aging profile of dogs varies according to their adult size (often determined by their breed): smaller dogs often live over 15–16 years (sometimes longer than 20 years), medium and large size dogs typically 10 to 20 years, and some giant dog breeds such as mastiffs, often only 7 to 8 years.
Just like senior citizens need more sleep, an older dog sleeps a lot when compared to their younger counterparts. On the higher end of the scale, a senior dog can sleep up to 18-20 hours a day, says Dr. Rossman. She estimates that the lower end is probably around 14-15 hours per day.
Which dogs should not climb stairs? Dogs with medical conditions such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, or poor eyesight may have trouble climbing stairs and should avoid them. Dogs with mobility issues, such as limited mobility or fear of stairs, should also avoid stairs.
Tips for walking an older dog that doesn`t want to walk

If they suddenly stop wanting to go for walks, you should have them checked for medical issues, such as arthritis, dementia or fatigue that comes with old age.

Most dogs enter their senior years at around 7 years old, a little sooner for larger dog breeds. They begin to slow down, they may gain weight more easily, their senses start to dull. An older dog`s behavior will give you plenty of hints as to what he needs, but sometimes it helps to put it in words.
Take a new approach to exercise

“In fact,” she says, “I would encourage shorter, but more frequent, exercises over a long exercise duration for most senior dogs—for example, a 10-15-minute walk in the morning, a 10-minute walk in the afternoon, and a 20-30-minute walk in the evening.

Small dogs are considered senior citizens of the canine community when they reach 11-12 years of age. Their medium-sized friends become seniors at 10 years of age. Their larger-sized colleagues are seniors at 8 years of age. And, finally, their giant-breed counterparts are seniors at 7 years old.
The smaller breeds of dogs tend to live the longest. Yorkshire terriers, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Toy Poodles and Lhasa Apsos are the breeds who typically live the longest with these averaging a lifespan of up to 20 years. This is much higher than the average lifespan of a dog which is between 10 and 13 years.
Loss of hearing, cognitive dysfunction, central nervous system disorders and medical conditions can all contribute to your dog`s excessive vocalization. He might whine or howl if he feels the urge to eliminate more, if he`s overeating and wants you to give him more food, or if he`s in pain.
Whichever way you go about it, when your dog is home alone they`re personality and adjustment to being home alone determines everything. Your pet very well may sleep the whole day away. Another might just stare out the front window watching the world go by.
Sleep disturbances and pacing at night are also common symptoms of canine dementia. Another brain ailment – Brain tumors and other illnesses can cause changes in the brain that affect your senior dog`s behavior. Pain – Osteoarthritis and other joint problems common in older dogs can cause discomfort and pain.
Slowed respiration. Inability to get comfortable. A desire to be closer to you or a desire to be alone (this can depend upon the dog, but will present as being an unusual need or behavior) Loss of consciousness.
According to Dr. Brian Hare, a canine cognition specialist, our dogs do know we love them. Dogs and humans have the ability to form a special neural connection. This connection is the same human oxytocin bonding pathway used by parents and babies.
Why Do Older Dogs Follow You Everywhere? Older dogs may follow their owners purely out of familiarity and habit. However, if this is a new behavior, it may also indicate that things are changing for your dog, making them less confident. Perhaps your dog is starting to lose their hearing or vision.
Hip dysplasia can occur in any breed, although it is more common in larger dogs. Dog breeds prone to hip dysplasia include bulldogs, golden retrievers, Great Danes, Labradors, mastiffs, pugs, rottweilers, and St. Bernards. Because canine hip dysplasia is hereditary, there is no cure.
Dogs who have hip dysplasia may sway back and forth when they walk. They may also have a bunny-hopping gait or may stand flat on their back feet. All of these potential gait issues are related to the pain they feel when they suffer from hip dysplasia.
Dog Stairs

Climbing stairs is the perfect way to build up your leg muscles. Place your dog on a leash and walk up and down your stairs. Be sure to mix it up and throw in some high steps and side steps to work various muscle groups.

Stair climbing is great for toning and sculpting your lower body. In addition to your legs, it also targets all of those trouble spots; your bum, tums, thighs and hips.
What are the typical signs of pain in dogs? General behaviour: Shaking, flattened ears, low posture, aggression, grumpy temperament, panting or crying, excessive licking or scratching a specific area, reluctant to play, interact or exercise, lameness (limping), stiffness after rest, loss of appetite.
There are two main approaches to correcting a dog`s dislocated hip: closed reduction (nonsurgical) and open reduction (surgical).

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

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. 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. My dog is 15 yr old, we took a longer then needed walk. When we got home she rested. When she woke, she can’t walk. Hips? Do I need to put her down?
ANSWER : A. It may be worth to try pain killers first as it is not uncommon that dogs will start walking again if we take pain away. I would suggest you to take her to your vets for examination and to decide what will be the best next step in her case.

Read Full Q/A … : R

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. 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. 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. My Beagle listens to me, but cries & whines when I’m gone & doesn’t listen to my parents. I adopted him just a couple days ago. Any tips for my folks?
ANSWER : A. I really highly doubt that your Beagle listens to you and has formed a connection with you in just a couple of days. It takes months to build up any kind of serious connection with your dog. You need to work on communication with your dog through training them to understand different cues. For instance the Leave-It cue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

You have to work on bonding with your dog through mental stimulation. Training is very important. Luring each new behavior from scratch, and training using treats is how you form a strong bond with your new dog. No scolding is ever necessary… work on being calm, and positive, all the time.

If your dog is crying/whining when you leave, this may be separation anxiety. You’re going to have to separation train this dog from scratch. This dog needs to learn that separation can be a good thing! Tell your “folks” to NOT scold the dog when he is crying/whining after you leave, because that will make your dog MORE anxious when you leave next time. Your dog will be dwelling on the negative if your parents fuel your dogs negative feelings towards you leaving. FUN things should happen when you leave. Your parents should pull out the treats and start doing some basic obedience training with your dog. Your parents should stuff a Kong filled with awesome treats (peanut butter) and give it to him so he feels happy when you leave.

I have some excellent separation anxiety exercises you can work on. If you’d like, you can purchase a consultation with me, and I will go over how to separation train from scratch. It will make your dog comfortable being alone, guaranteed.

Read Full Q/A … : I Don't Like My Mother

Q. We have a 3 yr old Weiner dog, she is having pus in her eyes, I took her to the vet he gave me derma vet ointment, used it as the doctor prescribed
ANSWER : A. If the pus really isn’t all that bad, and it’s just some discharge, your pup may benefit from a diet change. It could be that the food you’re feeding just isn’t right for your dog, and that’s okay! Dogs grow and change over time, and now that your dog is fully matured, a diet change may be in order. Try something like Taste of the Wild, maybe a grain free dog food, Orijen, or Ziwipeak. These are all really great food options.

If the pus is really bad, and continues to get worse, see your vet again and let them know what’s going on. Maybe you could try a diet change, and then see if there are any improvements.

Remember, you should always gradually change a dogs diet. By gradually, I mean you put a tiny bit of new kibble in with a bowl of the old kibble. Reduce the old kibble by just a few bits of kibble. Throughout the course of at least two weeks (or as long as you want depending on whether or not you want to finish off the old food) you slowly add more of the new kibble while removing some of the old kibble. This makes the process gradual, and won’t cause any tummy-upset in your dog.