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Ace Dog Academy Answers 06-05-2024

Q1: How do I manage my three-year-old dog's aggressive and reactive behavior despite trying positive reinforcement training and medication?

Answer: Managing a reactive and aggressive dog can be challenging, but here are some steps you can take:

  1. Find a Balanced Trainer: Seek a trainer who specializes in aggression and uses a balanced approach, combining positive reinforcement with appropriate corrections.

  2. Review Medication: If medication increased aggression, consult your vet about alternative treatments or dosages. Medication can be helpful, but it should be part of a comprehensive training plan.

  3. Controlled Exposure: Gradually expose your dog to triggers (people, other dogs) in a controlled manner. Start during quieter times and slowly increase the difficulty as your dog improves.

  4. Use of E-Collar: An e-collar can provide clear communication and corrections. Ensure you are trained on how to use it properly to avoid misuse.

  5. Consistent Training: Work with your dog daily, reinforcing calm behavior and correcting undesirable actions. Ensure all family members follow the same training protocols.

  6. Behavior Adjustment: Incorporate commands like “place” and “down” to encourage calmness. Use these commands to manage your dog’s behavior throughout the day, not just during reactive episodes.

Q2: How can we stop our recently adopted chocolate lab mix from constant nipping and biting?

Answer: To address your dog's nipping and biting, follow these strategies:

  1. Immediate Correction: Use a firm "No" followed by a gentle but firm tap on an e-collar to interrupt the behavior.

  2. Provide Alternatives: Redirect to appropriate chew toys, but ensure that the redirection is consistent and persistent.

  3. Structured Environment: Keep the dog in a calm state by using commands like “place” or “down” regularly. Avoid high-energy play indoors.

  4. Controlled Freedom: Limit the dog’s freedom by using a leash indoors and preventing access to the couch until behavior improves.

  5. Positive Reinforcement: Reward calm behavior consistently. Use treats and praise when the dog is calm and not nipping.

  6. Training Classes: Consider enrolling in a training program that addresses behavioral issues specifically, not just basic obedience.

Q3: My five-year-old dog has severe separation anxiety. How can I manage this behavior?

Answer: Separation anxiety can be difficult to manage, but these steps can help:

  1. Crate Training: Use the crate as a safe space. Gradually increase the time your dog spends in the crate while you are home and then while you leave.

  2. E-Collar Training: An e-collar can help correct anxious behaviors remotely. Use it to reinforce calm behavior when you leave.

  3. Gradual Departure Training: Start with very short departures and gradually increase the time you are away. Ensure that you are calm and not overly emotional when leaving or returning.

  4. Desensitize Exit Cues: Practice normal departure activities (like picking up keys or putting on shoes) without leaving to reduce your dog’s anxiety associated with these actions.

  5. Professional Help: Consult a behaviorist if the anxiety persists or worsens despite these efforts.

Q4: My one-year-old labradoodle has started pooping in his crate at night. How can I stop this?

Answer: To prevent your dog from pooping in the crate, try these steps:

  1. Adjust Feeding Schedule: Feed your dog earlier in the evening to ensure they have ample time to digest and eliminate before bedtime.

  2. Frequent Potty Breaks: Increase the number of potty breaks, especially after meals and just before bedtime.

  3. Crate Size: Ensure the crate is appropriately sized. It should be large enough for your dog to stand and turn around but not so large that they have space to eliminate and sleep separately.

  4. Stress Management: Since you’re moving, reduce stress by maintaining a routine and providing a calm environment.

  5. Regular Schedule: Keep a consistent daily routine for feeding, potty breaks, and exercise.

How to Submit Questions

You can submit your dog training questions at 24/7 by submitting the form found there. I will respond during the next week’s live show or via email or social media post.

Join our next live show: Every Wednesday at 8:30 AM.

Thank you for reading this week's Ace Dog Academy Answers!

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Ace Dog Academy Answers: June 12th 2024

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