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Ace Dog Academy Answers: May 29, 2024

Welcome to another blog Ace Dog Academy Answers! Today, we'll be addressing some of your most common dog training questions.Let's dive right in.

Question 1: How can I help my newly adopted dog decompress in a home with free-roaming cats?

Q: I adopted a dog from a shelter about a week ago. I'm trying to help him decompress, but I'm not sure how to do this best. I have two free-roaming cats, so the dog stays in a closed room most of the time except for a few potty breaks and a long walk when I finish work. The dog has separation anxiety and whines and bangs on the door when left alone. Should I bring him into the living room and lock the cats away, or should he continue to decompress in the room by himself?

A: Helping your new dog decompress is crucial, especially with the presence of other pets. Here’s a step-by-step plan to manage this situation:

  1. Initial Period: Since you’ve only had the dog for a week, give yourself and the dog some grace. It’s a significant adjustment period for everyone.

  2. Introduce Gradually: You can bring your dog into the living room and temporarily lock the cats away. This allows the dog to explore the new environment safely.

  3. Use a Leash Indoors: Keep a leash on your dog when he's in the house and supervised. This gives you better control and helps with managing interactions with the cats.

  4. Crate Training: If your dog is comfortable in a crate, use it more often. A crate can provide a safe space and help manage anxiety better than being left alone in a room.

  5. Training and Structure: Increase the structure in your daily routine. Spend time training basic command, reinforce positive behaviors, and correct unwanted behaviors. This helps the dog feel more secure and can reduce anxiety.

  6. Correcting Behavior: If your dog shows interest in the cats, firmly say “no” and apply a correction. Using a collar, prong or e collar, to gently correct the behavior can be effective.

Question 2: How can I prevent my 6-month-old dog from jumping on the kitchen counter?

Q: This morning I caught my 6-month-old dog standing on my kitchen counter. She jumped off when she saw me and hurt her paws. How can I prevent this from happening again?

A: Preventing counter-surfing is important for your dog's safety and your peace of mind. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Immediate Supervision: Supervise your dog closely, especially in the kitchen. If you need to leave the room, take the dog with you or confine her to a safe space.

  2. Crate Training: Use a crate when you’re not able to supervise her. This ensures she stays out of trouble when you’re not around.

  3. Clean Counters: Keep your counters clear of food and tempting items. This reduces the likelihood of your dog being motivated to jump up.

  4. Behavior Correction: Use a correction method to discourage counter-surfing. An E-collar is the best tool for this behavior.

  5. Booby Traps: Set up deterrents like placing a spoon with peanut butter on the edge of the counter, which will fall and startle the dog without harming her. This helps create a negative association with jumping up.

Question 3: How can I help my first dog feel less distant after getting a new dog?

Q: We’ve had our 2.5-year-old dog his entire life. Four months ago, we added a second dog. Now, our first dog seems distant and uninterested in us. Did we ruin his life. How can we fix this?

A: It’s common for the dynamics to change when a new dog is introduced. Here’s how you can help your first dog adjust:

  1. One-on-One Time: Spend dedicated one-on-one time with your first dog to reinforce your bond. This can help reassure him that he’s still important.

  2. Normal Routine: Maintain a normal routine as much as possible. Dogs thrive on consistency, and sticking to the usual schedule can provide comfort.

  3. Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement to reward your first dog for engaging with you. Treats, praise, and play can encourage him to seek your attention more.

  4. Joint Activities: Involve both dogs in joint activities that promote positive interactions. Walks, play sessions, and training can help them bond and feel part of the same family.

  5. Avoid Overcompensating: Don’t overcompensate for your first dog’s changed behavior. Sometimes, giving too much attention can increase anxiety. Stay calm and consistent in your interactions.

Question 4: How can I manage my dog’s behavior around my crawling baby?

Q: Our 7-year-old dog has been great, but now that our baby is crawling and chasing him, he’s been growling, showing his teeth, and even snapping at her. How can we handle this situation?

A: Managing interactions between your dog and your baby is critical for safety. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Supervised Interaction: Always supervise interactions between your dog and your baby. Never leave them alone together.

  2. Safe Spaces: Create separate spaces for your dog and your baby. Use baby gates, playpens, or crates to keep them apart when necessary.

  3. Training: Teach your dog to go to a specific place (like a bed or crate) on command. Reward him for going there when he feels overwhelmed.

  4. Teach Boundaries: Teach your baby to respect the dog’s space. This can involve redirecting her away from the dog and using positive reinforcement for gentle behavior.

  5. Professional Help: Consider consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for personalized advice and strategies.

Thank you for joining us on Ace Dog Academy Answers. If you have any dog training questions or need further assistance, visit for a free consultation or submit your questions at See you next time!

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