How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?
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By now, you`ve likely realized that your dog is slowing down. He may still enjoy a long walk, but he is not quite as zippy as he used to be. You might even notice that he sleeps more or takes a bit longer to rouse or respond to commands.
If your dog collapses of faints, this is almost always a sign of a serious problem that should receive immediate care, even if he recovers quickly from the collapse. Sudden fainting may be a sign of major problems with the heart, lungs, bones, joints, brain or spinal cord.
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It could also be that they spend too much time together. Imagine spending 100% of your time with somebody, day in and out, doing everything together… including going to the bathroom.. that might bother anybody. I think you should give them more time apart from each other. Take them all on separate walks, separate them to play with them individually, separate them when you take them to potty, separate feeding times in separate rooms, etc. This can help alleviate the stress your older dog is feeling due to living closely with other dogs. You should always be giving individual activities in a houseful of dogs anyway.. when you expect them to get along 100% of the time, that’s when you find trouble.
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.
In the mean-time, while you’re working on building up that attention indoors, you should be using a front hooking harness outdoors on your walks. This will eliminate your girls pulling power. The Sensible http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ible-harness and the Sensation http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ation-harness harness are the best front hooking harnesses on the market because they do not have the martingale loop on the front of the harness (which can cause the dog to yo-yo during walks).
Lastly, I’d just like to add that dogs sniff the ground during walks for added mental stimulation. If your dog isn’t allowed to sniff the ground, the walk isn’t nearly as fun or tiring. When you are practicing attention on your walks, make sure it’s in short, small bursts. Attention for a few steps, back to sniffing for several steps, attention for a few steps, sniffing for a few minutes.. etc.
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 â€˜quietâ€™ 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.
You need to treat your home. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas youâ€™ve vacuumed up.
Treat your yard, since fleas will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.
If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.
Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.