Monday, January 13, 2014

Pet News 6: Dog Triggers

You know how you can tell which situations might get you upset or frustrated, maybe even hysterical? Well, your dog has situations like that too, except, it’s our job to make sure we don’t put them there in the first place.

Why do we want to avoid triggering these situations? For one, it stresses our pets out (even we get stressed). Two, they respond by running, barking, or biting the nearest thing available (watch out for the hands!). Third, many people think they’re at the end of their ropes and instead of working on the problem, decide not to have their pet (big no no).

So, what can we do when, let’s say, the person on a bike or skateboard passes right next to us dog walking people? For one, don’t panic yourself. It only works on transferring the emotion to your pet. Two, make sure your dog is secure with a leash, better yet, a harness, so as not to choke them if they pull. Third, move your dog to the opposite direction of the oncoming person (safely) or cross the street. Sometimes, giving your dog a command helps, such as “Stay,” “Sit,” or “Leave it.”

If you’re inside a fenced yard, again, don’t panic. Call your pet to you and if that doesn’t work, distract them with something else. Have your dog sit next to you while keeping a hand on his collar while the person passes. Maybe consider placing a fence taller than your pet to deter them from jumping after anyone.

Certified pet trainers at local pet stores or online can assist you if the problem is severe. Always look for options. There are many books, magazines, and online resources available that discuss this topic thoroughly.

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