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Dog Training Workshop for Sirius Dog Sanctuary at FICO Cafe Resto

We spent a lovely afternoon with Sirius Dog Sanctuary at Fico Café Resto. The workshop was an eye-opening experience for many and we managed to answer quite a few common questions about certain dog behaviors and the biggest mistakes people do when handling their dogs.
To us, it’s important that we are all aware of how canines think and how we best can get a behavior change in our dogs.

Together, we raised over 200€ to the dogs in need at the shelter!
Thank you all for coming, and a big shout out to Fico, the sweets were amazing! We look forward seeing you all again.

This cute little terrier mix Lexi gave Petspot a few poses between commands and basic obedience training.

Nuisance barking can be quite a problem and we are often asked what to do about it.
Barking is perfectly natural for dogs, be it for warning, protection or expressing excitement it is still one of their most important forms of communication. Usually it is not very long lasting and is hardly a problem for most dog owners, they are after all just talking to you, just letting you know what’s on their mind.
But excessive barking on the other hand could be an inconvenience and is mostly caused by plain boredom or lack of stimulation.

Undoubtedly, this is a strong indication that there is a problem that needs to be dealt with. Our initial reaction is to ask ourselves what problems the dog has but what we really need to focus on is us, the humans! Ask yourself these questions: Do you give your dog enough stimulation and exercise? Could you unintentionally be encouraging the barking? Or could the problem simply be that your dog suffers from anxiety?

It mostly comes down to how you treat your dog when they are excited. How many of you pat your dog when they bark, telling them “there, there, it’s ok…” or if the dog is smaller, pick them up when they get excited over something.
Think about that for a second.
You are actually rewarding a behavior that your are trying to get rid of. This is called unintended positive reinforcement and it can do more harm than good.
Touching and patting your dog is rewarding for them, if you give them that reward when they are displaying a behavior we do not want to encourage you are in fact doing the opposite of what you want to achieve.

When clients ask us this question, the first thing that comes to our mind is to teach the dog how to bark. This might seem a bit confusing, but let us break it down for you.
If your dog learns what barking is and knows how to bark on cue, they will also learn what not-barking (i.e being quiet) is and you can just as easily have a command for that too.

Secondly, we want to point out the importance of exercise and stimulation. A dog that gets to have an outlet for all that energy is often a dog that dosen’t feel the need to bark excessively.
Contact our trainer if you want to know more about how to deal with this.

 

 

Today we spent a few hours at Sirius Dog Sanctuary and helped out with a couple of troubled dog. There are many dogs there, so we focused on teaching our methods to the staff and volunteers and worked with the dogs that needed us most.

Helping and training a fearful, shy, scared and nervous dog can take time and it is nothing you do in just a few hours. It’s important to take your time and stay patient while you are gaining more trust and connecting with the dog. A dog can smell and sense your emotional state so the key to training a nervous dog is to stay relaxed, patient, happy and encouraging.

We spent some time with each dog bonding and getting to know them in a quiet room and eventually managed to take these dogs out for a walk individually without and major issues. A little pulling and a little protesting, but over all we believe we had some breakthroughs with them. Our main focus was having them follow our lead. Repeating a simple short walk back and forth again and again they slowly realized that there’s nothing wrong with walking outdoors.

 

You can visit Sirius Dog Sanctuary on Facebook or check out their website for more information on how to help them.
https://www.facebook.com/siriusdogsanctuary/
http://www.siriusdogsanctuary.com/en/home

Or contact us on our website or Facebook for more information on dog training and what we do at the shelters.
https://www.facebook.com/petspotpro

 

This beautiful mixed breed takes a break from training basic dog obedience in Limassol to sniff Petspot's camera.

Overexcited dogs most likely lack stimulation or are just plain bored, and there are different ways of correcting this. First off, ask yourself what role you play in your dog’s behaviour? Dogs will sense their owners energy and reflect back. If you are full of energy, stressed, worried, sad, nervous or anxious you will see a changed behaviour in your dog. If you come home and the first thing you do is get your dog excited over the fact that you are home by greeting and cuddling them, they will learn that overexcitement is acceptable because they are being rewarded for it. Ignore them for just a few minutes until they settle down, then give all the love and affection you want. A dog doesn’t understand hello and good bye the same way humans do. They understand attention and no attention. Attention while presenting bad behaviour=reinforcement of that very behaviour. Also make sure that when you intentionally get your dog excited – follow through! Don’t wind them up and then call it quits when you’ve had enough. Follow through with the “play-time” until it is out of your dog’s system. Hyperactivity in dogs can come from psychological needs as easily as it can from physical needs. Take them out for a walk or give them a task to preform. Giving your dog a mission can change their state of mind completely. You will notice a sense of pride when you put a little backpack with your water bottle for your dog to carry. The hyperactive behaviour will redirect from being unfocused or easily disrtacted into getting this job done! Remember that even though you take your dog out for a walk to get rid of built-up energy it’s not an excuse to pull or walk uncontrolled. They will still get tired by walking nicely next to you.