Dog Training Phoenix AZ

Dogs thrive on routine and, though they do not keep track of time like we do, their circadian rhythm, or internal clock, makes it possible for them to tell when it's close to the time for a routine task. Keep this in mind when training dogs for new tasks or behaviors. For more information, check below.

Basic Schedules for Dogs of Different Ages

Basic Schedules for Dogs of Different Ages

Many of us use some sort of scheduling tool, like a Daytimer, to plan our hectic days and nights. This plan helps us to establish a routine and to get all the important tasks done. Dogs don't need reminders about picking up the laundry or going to Little League but they benefit from a schedule which includes things like eating and play time. Dogs thrive on routine and, though they do not keep track of time like we do, their circadian rhythm, or internal clock, makes it possible for them to tell when it's close to the time for a routine task.

The following sample schedule is meant for a breed or mix who is of average activity and has no health problems.

Sample Schedule of an Average Day with an Adult Dog

Food: Most adult dogs should eat twice a day. This keeps their metabolism stable and aids in digestion. You'll find they quickly catch on to when feeding time is. A sample schedule would be:

  • 7:00 a.m. - Breakfast
  • 6:00 p.m. - Dinner

Water: In general, it is best to leave a fresh bowl of water out for your dog every morning and every evening. Dogs should always have clean water after any activity. If you're working on housetraining or have a dog who overdrinks, you can schedule the amount and times you provide it. But watch your dog carefully and, if he seems to be thirsty, increase the amount. A sample schedule for monitoring water would be:

  • 7:00 a.m. - Clean and fill bowl half-way.
  • Noon - Rinse out and refill half-way.
  • 6:00 p.m. - Rinse and fill half-way.
  • Bedtime - Clean and fill bowl about 1/4 of the way.

Sleep: An average dog sleeps about 14 hours a day. Unlike humans, they sleep for shorter times more frequently. A dog's REM cycle is more active than a human's and may explain the phenomenon of "chasing in their sleep." If your dog sleeps more than 16 hours a day, it is wise to check for any illness. By scheduling his activities throughout the day, you will naturally create a good sleeping routine.

Play: Play is imperative to keep a dog's skills honed, to provide stimulation and just to have fun. Play can mean a game of fetch with you, a board game where your dog has to do tricks to earn a turn, a doggie play date, or even interactive toys when you are away. Try to get two play sessions in a day. A sample schedule would be:

  • 8:00 a.m. - Spend at least 15 minutes playing with your dog
  • 4:00 p.m. or Right after work - Schedule a play date or try something creative like a game of hide and seek

Activity: Activity is imperative for a dog's mental and physical health. Ideally, a dog should be walked twice a day for 30 minutes. An extra walk does no harm and, in fact, will benefit you both. In our hectic society, however, this can be tough, so consider enlisting the help of a dog walker. Also keep in mind activities other than walking such as the dog park. A sample schedule would be:

  • 6:30 a.m. - Walk your dog before his breakfast
  • Noon - Walk your dog (this is where a dog walker could be helpful)...

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Eight Ways to Deal with a Finicky Eater

Eight Ways to Deal with a Finicky Eater

You've likely had your dog on the same food for a while now so it's no surprise if he's starting to turn up his nose at it. Many dogs are finicky eaters, some breeds more than others. The Basenji, Siberian Husky, and the Yorkie are just a few. In the wild, dogs will eat most anything but, in our homes, they learn that some foods are edible and some are fantastic. Even if you're diligent about not feeding your pet people food, they smell it and see it on the dining table. Never feed your pet from the table as this whets his appetite for steak and lowers your position as alpha.

There's a difference between a picky eater and a finicky eater. A picky eater will only occasionally refuse to eat and can be easily tempted with a slice of cheese added to his bowl. A finicky eater is what we deal with here, a dog who has decided he's giving up dog food for good. First, you want to rule any health issues out first when a dog makes any behavioral change but if your vet gives your pup the thumbs up, there are several ways to get him to eat without disrupting his stomach.

Ways to Persuade a Finicky Eater

1. Tone Down the Treats - A finicky eater is more likely to eat if he's not comparing his dog food to a liver treat.

2. Feed Often - Try feeding smaller amounts of his regular food three or four times a day.

3. Exercise - It's good for so many things and it increases a dog's hunger. Try always exercising your pup before a meal.

4. Spay or Neuter - If you haven't already, fix your pup. Besides the many health and behavioral benefits, it can help prevent a finicky eater.

5. Make it Positive - Always make feeding time a positive experience. If your pup associates it with irritability or punishment from you, he will be less likely to want to eat.

6. Keep It Quiet - Feed your dog in a quiet area without children or other dogs mulling around.

7. Try Different Times - Some dogs eat better in the afternoon, others eat better an hour after you're ...

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How to Train a Dog and Establish the Rules of the House

How to Train a Dog and Establish the Rules of the House

If you have no idea how to train a dog, fear not! Whether you seek effective puppy house training methods or basic dog obedience training, training your dog will probably be easier than you think.


Puppy training should always focus on socialization and the prevention of unwanted behaviors. The jumping that may be cute in your puppy will not be cute when he grows into a 175 lb. adult Saint Bernard. Rather than focusing on puppy training obedience, you should concentrate on puppy socialization and the prevention of problem behavior through rewarding desirable behaviors, and removing reinforcement for unwanted behaviors through extinction, management, or negative punishment (more on this later!)

How To Train A Dog Step 1: Reward Desirable Behavior

It is a human tendency to focus on what we don't like, often to a fault. The crux of effective dog training, whether you are house training your dog or teaching obedience behaviors, is to never miss an opportunity to reward your dog for doing the right thing. Dog owners generally like dogs to sit politely, lie down, go settle on a mat or in a crate, or be quiet - remember to click and treat your dog for these behaviors to increase the likelihood that your dog will offer the in the future.

Depending on the situation, the right thing may vary. For dogs that are excited and jump to greet visitors, the right thing may be "four on the floor." Click and treat your dog for all four paws on the floor when a new person approaches or enters the house. If your dog is usually barky when she sees another dog, click her for eye contact or for looking at another dog without barking.

Concentrate on what you want your dog to do instead of what you want your dog to stop doing. For problem behaviors like barking, nipping, jumping, or growling, think of what you would prefer the dog do instead and develop a training plan to get there. If you need help, find a qualified trainer in your area to assist you.

How To Train A Dog Step 2: Dealing With Unwanted Behavior

Extinction: Extinction involves the principal of "non-punishment, non-reinforcement," essentially, ignoring the behavior. A lot of dogs offer unwanted behaviors because they've "paid off" before - dogs pull on leash because it gets their owners to move forward/faster on walks, dogs bark for attention, jump to greet, etc. Often, ignoring the behavior is the best bet - wait the dog out and then reinforce when he offers an alternative behavior (sits instead of jumping, for example). Extinction requires some patience, especially if the behavior has "paid off" for quite some time.

Watch out for extinction bursts. If the dog is used to getting your attention through barking, and suddenly you ignore the barking, the barking may intensify before it goes away. A human example is a soda machine - if for 20 years your dollar got you a soda and suddenly, no soda comes out, you may put in a few dollars before you start kicking the soda machine ...

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