Undoing the Damage: Untraining Bad Habits in Dogs

Small yellow dog standing on hind legs next to his owner and barking, which is a bad habit to untrain.

Dogs are smart. Their ability to recognize patterns and to anticipate cause and effect relationships is almost humbling to us humans at times. It is easy to harness these traits for good, but sometimes these qualities in our canid friends can backfire, too.

Most pet dogs have picked up some bad habits along the way. Your friends at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital want you to know that if you have inadvertently taught your pup some poorly received tricks, all hope is not lost. While it can take a lot of work, untraining bad habits in dogs is possible under most circumstances.

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Is There Such a Thing as Dogs Being Too Treat Motivated?

A black and white dog focuses on a treat in front of his nose.
“Come to papa.”

Most dogs live to eat. A healthy interest in food is not a bad thing, however,  and a dog who likes to eat makes it easier to select a good food since they are less likely to have strong preferences. 

The diets of many dogs include both treats and kibble. While being treat-motivated can often make training a breeze, too much of a good thing can certainly exist. So what is a pet owner to do when a pet is just too treat motivated? Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital has your answers. 

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Is It Time To Say Yes To Dog Diapers?

Even if diapers have already been a fact of your life, incontinence in dogs can be especially frustrating. Dealing with slippery puddles, unexpected spots on the carpet, not to mention the smelly messes in the corner and all the health problems associated with incontinence is not simple. 

Managing urinary incontinence takes patience and perseverance. We love our pets so much that we may often look for solutions from the many online products that are recommended for such situations. 

Luckily, your team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital has some advice for when it’s time to say yes to dog diapers. 

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Leaving Your Dog Home Alone: Steps to Follow

A dog is splayed out in the entry way of its home, looking out the glass door

As our best friends, it’s no wonder we want to take our dogs with us everywhere we go. And in this day and age, it’s nearly possible! Still, there are some times when we have to leave our dog home alone, sometimes for longer than we’d like.

So what’s a dog owner to do? 

Luckily, there are ways to leave your best friend at home responsibly, without returning to chewed up shoes and stains on the carpet. Come alone with Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital as we show you steps to follow for safely leaving your dog home alone. 

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Training an Older Dog: Is it Possible?

An elderly man praises an adult chocolate lab in a beautiful outdoor park setting.

There are many great reasons to adopt an older dog. Perhaps not surprisingly, the absence of housetraining ranks pretty high. Sure, there might be accidents in the very beginning of your new relationship, but once you train them to go at certain times (and only in designated areas!) a new-to-you adult or senior dog will find their way. 

But this brings up other questions about their behavior. What if you adopt an adult dog that is set in their ways; can you retrain or re-socialize them? Of course! Training an older dog is absolutely possible, and maybe even easier than with a much younger animal.

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Barking Dogs Can Lead to Angry Neighbors – Even When You Aren’t Home!

Barking dogs can be bad for the neighborhood.

It’s that time of day again…the coffee is in your travel mug, the lights are off, and your perfect, angelic dog is waiting for your inevitable departure. You assure them it’s going to be okay and that you’ll be home soon. As you leave, you imagine your dog quietly drifting off to sleep for a day-long nap…

While this paints a pretty picture, and it’s not unreasonable to think your dog is pretty quiet when you’re gone, it’s also not accurate to assume they don’t get into some kind of trouble as they wait for you to get home. In neighborhoods around the world, barking dogs have the potential to disturb the peace. The result? Angry (or even hostile) neighbors who can make life very difficult for you and your best friend – but not when you have a back-up plan!  

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Clicker Training Basics For Your Dog

Clicker training is good for dog training and cat training

If you’re just starting to train your pet, you probably have encountered the term “clicker training”. Positive dog training owes much of its success over the years to clicker training, but what is this popular method, and how does it work?

Clicker training is one of the fastest ways to develop a shared language with your dog. Not only is it a rapid way of training your dog, it’s one of the best training methods for fearful or hypersensitive dogs. Basic obedience is important to keep your dog safe, protect him from injuries, and prevent him from getting lost. It’s also a fun way to bond with your dog, give him some exercise, and keep his mind sharp which prevents boredom and unwanted behaviors.

Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital explores this popular training method so you can learn the basics.

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Multilingual Mutts: The Pros and Cons of Teaching Foreign Language Dog Commands

Teaching foreign language dog commands is a way to train your dog

All dog owners know their pups are smart and, for many, it seems like their dog really can understand what they’re saying. Although this idea isn’t accurate, animals can associate certain words with behaviors and/or consequences (e.g., “sit,” “walk,” and “no”).

Because of their unique understanding of certain aspects of human speech, body language, and even facial expressions, it’s possible to train your dog to “speak” in a different language. Using foreign language dog commands can be fun and may even be beneficial to your dog’s training and comprehension.

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When A Good Walk Goes Bad: The Dangers Of Retractable Leashes

Retractable leashes are popular but do have some safety issues that you should be aware of. If you’ve never seen a dog being walked on a retractable leash you might very well be living in a cave or under a rock. These wildly popular leashes aren’t really leashes at all, rather they consist of a cord which is wrapped around a spring loaded device and contained inside a plastic handle. A button on the handle allows the walker to control the amount of leash that extends out, allowing a dog to walk as far or as close as their human chooses.

While this may sound like great fun and freedom for both dog and walker, retractable leashes pose significant risk to the health and safety of both the dog and human who uses it.

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Dogs Like to Work! Your Dog Wants to Earn Their Treat

dog earns treatDo you enjoy giving your pup a treat now and then – or more often? Treating the ones we love makes us feel good, but did you know your dog may get more satisfaction from having to work a bit to earn that treat? It’s true!

Many of us have experienced the satisfaction and pleasure of figuring out a difficult problem and reaping the reward of our hard work. It turns out that dogs are no different. A dog that earns treats also receives satisfaction from learning and earning their rewards.

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