Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Desensitization and distraction training are great ways to overcome fearful experiences such as heater vents. Desensitization can be done by simply running the vent and ignoring when your dog is fearful, or by placing another white noise (such as a soothing talk radio station) on to drown out the sound. You can also do other techniques such as tossing your dog a treat and praising him every time the heater comes on. Your dog will quickly begin to associate this sound with a POSITIVE thing, and may even look forward to it for the extra treats and praise! If your dog is very fearful, adding in a calming pheromone diffuser in the house or speaking to your vet or veterinary behaviorist about calming medications may help during training.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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

The most common reason your pet will be freaking out by the furnace is that it`s an unknown item, and animals have a healthy dose of fear for the unknown. There may be unusual noises or smells; even the sight of the furnace may be somewhat daunting to an animal.
Your dog might be licking the air to grapple with nausea, which can be a symptom of an underlying medical concern. If nausea or GI issues are the root of your pup`s licking problem, a change of diet or medications specific to your dog`s needs may be the solution.
For example, dogs who have firework phobias may also then develop a phobia to the similar noise of a crackling fire. Dogs may develop phobias as they age, or if they have underlying pain or a medical condition. These can cause all of the senses to be more reactive than usual.
Conclusion. Dogs love warmth and heat, and in the winter months, they are often much colder than we are. They will want to get as close to your supplemental heating as they can despite the dangers they are unwittingly courting.
Dogs diagnosed with storm phobia can react with anxiety or fear to wind, rain, thunder, lightning, and other associated stimuli, including barometric pressure changes, the “smell of rain,” static electricity, and even time of day.
A: Most likely your oven is making a sound audible to your dog. Dogs can hear at higher frequencies than humans can. Many dogs are fearful to the point of being phobic of sudden or loud sounds such as firecrackers, thunder, engines backfiring or fire alarms.
While some dogs lick things out of boredom, for other dogs, licking can be compulsive, providing a calming and soothing sensation.
Dogs may like to lick before they go to sleep because it stirs latent memories of when they were puppies. From the moment they`re born until they`re separated from their mother, puppies are subjected to vigorous maternal tongue washes.
Many dogs have sound phobias to loud noises like fireworks, thunderstorms, gunshots, and firecrackers. There is even research that suggests noise phobias can be inherited. According to Dr. Klein, herding breeds are particularly sensitive to noise phobias, perhaps because they are so attuned to their environment.
Talking to Your Dog Is Good For Human Health

Simply talking about it out loud to a nonjudgmental audience is helpful. It helps you look at a situation objectively, and talking it through allows you to reflect on the facts and work your way toward a solution.

The term heat stress describes when a dog gets too hot for a short period of time, but is able to cool off efficiently and does not have any severe consequences other than mild dehydration or lethargy. The term heat stroke doesn`t technically refer to a “stroke”, but to other more serious side effects of overheating.
By now, you may have guessed to that a “vent” refers to a dog`s “nether region.” The area inside the red outlined triangle (also known as a diamond) is called `the vent. ` It includes the dog`s anus, genitals, coat markings and/or color, and anything else that appears in this marked area.
The researchers hypothesize that when a dog suffering from pain gets startled or tenses up from a loud or sudden noise, it aggravates their pain. This causes a learned association between loud sounds and pain to develop, which can easily generalize to all kinds of situations where the dog has experienced noise.
Grigg said because dogs have a wider range of hearing, some noises could also be potentially painful to a dog`s ears, such as very loud or high-frequency sounds.
This can be due to space issues. Outdoors, dogs have more space, and they feel safer. Indoors, dogs may feel cornered and trapped, almost as if they have no escape routes. If your dog does well outdoors but is fearful indoors, space may be an issue.
We can assume hallway echoes, loud noises, loudly slamming doors and many other reasons are the cause, but fearfulness is the real cause. When dogs are fearful, they may overreact to many things. When fearful dogs are exposed to scary doorways or entrance ways several times, they may develop anxiety.
He`s Staring at You

If you notice he is making more eye contact with you or you catch a guy staring at you, he is probably attracted to you. He may be enthralled by your good looks and may be fantasizing about kissing you. Perhaps he stares at you and smiles; that could mean he likes you, too.

In addition to a way to say “I love you,” your dog might paw at you if it needs something like food or a potty break. Anxious dogs might also paw at you for comfort or to request some space. Other dogs may paw at you to signify they need some activity time.
A dog who licks you is showing you that they love you, so it`s no surprise many people call them “dog kisses”. It`s a natural action for dogs — a way for them to express how they feel about you. Charlotte adds: “It`s important that you don`t force a dog to give you `kisses or cuddles`.
Dogs may lick their owners as a way of grooming and cleaning them, similar to how they lick themselves and other dogs. In the wild, wolves and other canines will lick their pack members as a way of grooming and cleaning them.
Dogs` mouths and noses are very sensitive, and dogs use their sense of taste and smell to find out all kinds of useful information. Kissing on the mouth is a part of grooming and socializing, and it is pleasurable for dogs to lick or kiss as we perceive it.
Dogs lick their owners as a way to show affection

Dogs often lick their owner`s leg when they are lying down. It is a way for dogs to show affection towards the owner, but also as a sign of submission and fearlessness. The leg licking motion is often also a sign of gratitude.

Many dog owners view dogs` licking as a sign of affection similar to kissing. Obsessive licking may be a sign of underlying issues, including anxiety, boredom, or fear. Trick training is an effective way to redirect problem licking in a positive way.
Point: Dogs carry certain intestinal parasites, fleas, and ticks that cause human illnesses. Sleeping with a dog increases human exposure to these parasites and vector-borne diseases. Very young, very old, and immune compromised people are particularly at risk of infection.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. I’m almost positive my dog is afraid of the dark! Every time I turn off the light she starts crying! Is there a way I can teach her not to be afraid
ANSWER : A. You may need to take things very slowly. First off, you should consider using a night light in the room you have your dog in. I have a night light in my room for my dog, even though I don’t feel the need to use one. You should have a handful of treats, and toss several of them to your dog. While your dog is eating the treats, shut off the light, and then turn it back on and toss several more treats to your dog. While your dog is eating the treats, turn off the light and count to three, then turn it back on. Toss several more treats to your dog, turn off the light and count to five. Turn the light back on, toss several more treats to your dog, shut off the light, count to four. Turn on the light, toss treats, turn off light, count to eight. Turn on light, toss treats, turn off light, count to five. The key is to randomly increase and decrease the amount of time the pup is in the dark. Work on it slowly, slowly build duration. Do not expect it to happen all in one session.

Q. Our dog has become terrified of the sound the vents make when the furnace turns on and the air comes through. I
ANSWER : A. Desensitization and distraction training are great ways to overcome fearful experiences such as heater vents. Desensitization can be done by simply running the vent and ignoring when your dog is fearful, or by placing another white noise (such as a soothing talk radio station) on to drown out the sound. You can also do other techniques such as tossing your dog a treat and praising him every time the heater comes on. Your dog will quickly begin to associate this sound with a POSITIVE thing, and may even look forward to it for the extra treats and praise! If your dog is very fearful, adding in a calming pheromone diffuser in the house or speaking to your vet or veterinary behaviorist about calming medications may help during training.

Read Full Q/A … : Why Does My 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 licks his feet and legs and they are turning brown. He is a white dog. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. Licking the feet and legs can be caused by a number of things in dogs including allergies, illness or even stress behaviors. Allergies are the most common in dogs, with yeast infections coming in second. Allergies can cause the area to become red and itching, making your dog want to lick and chew on them. Over time, the area may become stained from saliva, especially in lighter or white-coated dogs. Yeast infections are also common between the toes, and may cause a smelly “corn chip” smell to appear near your dog’s feet. Again, dogs will attempt to lick and chew to relieve the itch. Keeping the feet clean and dry can help relieve both allergies and infections and pet wipes or a baby wipe of all paws when your dog comes in from outdoors may also help. Keeping your dog from licking the space with either dog booties or an Elizabethan collar is also good as it will prevent secondary infection and staining of the paws and legs. If your dog is determined to keep licking and keeping the feet clean and dry do not help, then your vet can help by providing a medication to treat any infection or provide relief of allergies.

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. 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. We have a 4 yr old lab-pit mix we raise from 6 weeks.If my husband tries to take hin by the collar and make him go out to pottie he growls.Problem?
ANSWER : A. This is not good behavior. Rather than take him by the collar, call him to come with you. If he’s not good about coming when called, you can work on that. Keeps treats on hand to to entice him out and reward him when he does go potty and he’ll come to look forward to it. Clicker training is another great way to teach a dog all kinds of things, from obedience to tricks.

Have treats on hand that you know he loves, then simply click and treat. He will come to associate the sound with getting a treat. Start putting distance between you so he has to come to you. Call and click and when he comes to you for that treat, treat him and give him lots of praise. Move to hiding somewhere in the house, call and click. When he comes to you reliably inside when you call, click and treat. When this behavior is consistent, move outdoors with a very long leash. Call and click, if he doesn’t respond, give a light tug on the leash. If he takes even a single step toward you, click, treat and lots of praise. Keep doing this until he comes eagerly. Next, try him off-leash in a securely fenced area. Call and click. At this point he should be responding well and coming easily to the call and click. If he does not, go back to the last step he performed reliably and work on that again until he responds well. Eventually, you can start not treating him every time, but still praise him. Gradually lessen the frequency of the treats until he comes just to the click and praise.

Keep training sessions short, ten or fifteen minutes to start, no more than 30 minutes at a time and do it a few times a day. Try not to do it any time he is overly excited so that he can pay attention to you. Always end a training session on a good note, even if it is just getting him to do something he already does well on command. And never, NEVER punish a dog when they come to you, no matter how far they’ve made you chase them, no matter how frustrated and angry you might be. That teaches your dog that coming to you is a bad thing.

Read Full Q/A … : Causes of Limping in Dogs

Q. My 4 yr old male Catahoula Leopard Dog mix is a rescue. He’s become very possessive of me around larger dogs. How can I correct this behavior?
ANSWER : A. Sudden behavior changes can sometimes indicate an underlying health issue, so scheduling a checkup with your regular vet is always the first step. Once any health issues have been addressed, then you can address the behavioral ones. It is very common for dogs to become “possessive” of people or objects when around other dogs or people, and is called location guarding. Possession of objects or places can be a little easier to manage, however possession around other dogs can be treated as well. Working from a distance in a technique called BAT or Behavioral Adjustment Training may help. This technique involves your dog and another calm dog. Start off at a far distance and then move in until your dog becomes reactive or wary of the other dog. Move back a small amount and wait for your dog to become calm. If he shows calm behavior, reward with lots of praise, treats and love! If he becomes agitated or possessive, move back until he is calm, or stop the session completely and try again later. While this may take some time, it can help dogs learn that other dogs are not a threat to them or their people. Reading more information about BAT training or contacting a local trainer in your area can help with further advice and techniques!