Thursday, August 25, 2011


Photo Courtesy of Rochelle, just rochelle
For most of us, coming home to our dogs or picking them up from daycare can be the highlight of our day! The tail wag, the goofy grin and joyous licks, the wiggling body, and for some of us…a little tinkle. While we can appreciate and share their happiness concerning our return, cleaning up their yellow puddle is not quite the salutation we hope for. Some dogs pee out of excitement. We are accustomed to puppies with this issue but some adult dogs seem to maintain this behavior. When they do, it is known as “adult excitement urination.” While this can be associated with greeting new people or saying hello to their owner, this reaction can also happen when bringing their leash and collar out, grabbing their favorite toy, or getting in the car to go to the park. Whatever the cause for their excitement urination, rest assured that there are some simple solutions to help your adult dog overcome this method of expressing their happiness and anticipation.

Play Detective
Determine the cause that makes Fido urinate every time. Is it when you reach for the leash, is it the high-pitched voice you use to greet your dog when you come home? Once you have concluded the reason that makes your pooch pee, work on addressing that issue.

Change it Up
Now that you have isolated the reason that makes your dog squat and tinkle, work on fixing your behavior, yes yours. If you enter the house squealing and saying your dog’s name over and over again, it will only excite your dog who will sense the rising happiness in your voice. Tone it down for your dog’s sake and though it may be difficult, ignore your dog for the first 10 minutes after you walk in the door. Tell guests to do the same by not petting, talking, or even making eye contact with your dog. When your dog is calm, reward that behavior by petting your dog and praise him or her calmly. If your dog pees whenever you bring out the leash, let your dog outside first, and then put their leash on. If your canine leaves a puddle in the car, take your dog for a short walk before taking him or her on the road.

Confidence Boost
Since adult excitement urination can sometimes be related to your dog’s insecurity, it is very important to work on building your dog’s self-confidence. Teach your dog new tricks and reward with treats and praise. Try agility at Morris K9 Campus, a wonderful physical and mental outlet that has a great track record for improving dogs’ confidence levels. Bring fulfillment to your canine’s life by exercising him or her. Take your dog on long walks, work your pooch out on the canine treadmill at Morris K9 Campus, and socialize Fido by engaging with other fuzzy friends. If your dog is up to date with vaccinations and has a good temperament with other people and dogs, try Doggie Daycare. If you are unsure how your dog will react with other wet-nosed pals, fear not! Morris K9 Campus offers a free half day evaluation to observe how well your dog plays with others, so try it out!

All dogs express their excitement in different ways. Some adult dogs continue this behavior. However, if you determine the root cause that leads to your dog’s yellow puddle, you can slowly work on eradicating this issue by adjusting your own behavior, desensitizing your dog, and by ensuring your pet is mentally and physically satisfied.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


We’ve all been there. You come home from a hard day at work, or back from a nice evening out on the town that included dinner and a movie and it hits you as you enter the house. The unmistakable odor of your dog’s elimination drifts into your nasal passages as you flip on the light. There it is, on the expensive living room rug like a silent yet noxious offering. In the moments before you raise your voice to yell at your pooch, you wonder why she couldn’t have chosen the easy-to-clean tile of the kitchen floor. As your dog races in excitedly to greet you, your angry voice meets her sensitive ears and she slinks back to where she came from. With her tail between her legs, her eyes droopy and forlorn, she plays the perfect part of the guilty party. Certain your dog’s behavior is an expression of her guilt, you think good, she knows that eliminating in the house is wrong. However, the canine world is much simpler than that and a dog's brain does not work the way our mind works.

Catch Them in the Act
We can learn many things from our dogs but perhaps the most zen-like of their qualities is the fact that they are experts at living in the present moment. In fact, they know no other way of living. So when you come home to a torn up shoe and scold your pet, it will be to no avail. Your dog will simply think that whatever he or she was doing when you came home was wrong. Fido cannot correlate the torn up shoe from hours ago with your reprimands, even if you wave the shoe in front of his or her face. Only if you catch your dog in the act of the particular crime can you punish Fido.

“The Look”
Where does that guilty look come from? When you scream or yell at your dog it scares them. That guilty look is your pup’s response to your behavior and can be credited to stress signals and appeasement behavior. When you stiffen your body stance, wag a reprimanding finger in their face and address them in an angry, stern tone, your dog reacts to your body language and knows it’s in trouble but does not understand why. To neutralize your perceived "aggressive" behavior your dog may exhibit signs of submission. This can include their tail between the legs, squinted or downcast eyes, rolling over, a thumping tail, or even showing teeth. For a perfect example of how a dog reacts to a scolding owner, watch the infamous video of Denver the Guilty Dog.

When you return home to those inevitable messes and chewed up signs that come with the territory of being a dog owner, take a deep breath and suppress your anger. Do not attempt to discipline your pooch unless you catch them in the act. Otherwise, you are simply wasting your breath and causing your dog undue stress.

Friday, August 12, 2011


By now, as a responsible pet parent, you know there are some basic foods you shouldn’t feed your canine because they are toxic to your dog’s digestive system like grapes, raisins, chocolate, and onions to name a few. But what about non-edible substances that Fido can’t seem to resist crunching on? You would think every item in your house had been doused in chicken scented perfume by your canine’s enthusiasm for objects ranging from socks to your child’s Barbie dolls. Though all dogs are capable of this behavior, Lab owners and puppy parents are far too familiar with this scenario. What can you do to prevent this curious and potentially hazardous habit?

Just as you baby-proof a house when you are expecting, it is crucial to dog-proof your house as well, especially if you have a puppy or a dog that is prone to nibbling foreign objects. If it’s easily accessible, your dog will find it. If you leave your nice leather shoes lying on the living room floor, chances are Fido will find it and view it as a chewy appetizer. Look over all the rooms you allow your dog in and view them as though you were wearing special K9 goggles. Notice objects lying around that are easy to get at and what could cause a potential hazard to your dog if eaten or swallowed. If you have kids, don’t allow them to leave their toys and playthings on the floor. Teach your children to pick up after themselves while simultaneously keeping your dog safe.

A bored dog can be a mischievous dog who will likely engage in unfavorable activities. These activities can include chewing household objects whether edible or not. Keep your dog happy and busy. Provide rubbery chew toys for your canine to nibble on that are large enough so that they can't be swallowed. Make sure to take time out of your day to play with your pup. Daily walks and exercise sessions are a perfect outlet for your dog. If your time is limited, simply drop your dog off at Morris K9 Campus for daycare and a day of fun and play. Register your dog for a treadmill session while at daycare for extra exercise and attention. Training will challenge your dog and provide him or her with mental stimulation. Morris K9 Campus offers training classes through a membership program that allows you to choose your schedule and move through the various levels at your own speed.
How Much Will It Cost?
If you’ve ever wondered what the cost of removing certain objects from your pet’s stomach would be based on the item, the American Kennel Club pet healthcare provider, Pet Partners Inc. has outlined the price of such expenditures. The following is a list of some of the objects dogs have eaten and the removal cost of each.                                                     

Toy $669                                                   

Sock $1,173

Snail Bait $146

Golf Balls $1,844

Dental Floss $3,590

Sources: Wyn and Mary Baruch, Ph.D Citizen Canine

What unusual objects has your dog eaten?

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Photo Courtesy of smoorenburg
Are you concerned about introducing a baby into your dog-friendly household? Has your pet become protective or clingy with an expectant mother? Read on for 5 simple tips to make this transition an easy one.

1. Allow your dog to investigate the nursery once it is all set up. Make it clear that this is not your pet’s room and it is off limits unless he or she is invited. Spend some time in the nursery alone to let your pet know that you will be spending time in the room without them.

Photo Courtesy of Lunchbox
2. If your dog has any behavior issues that could be a problem with a new baby, now is certainly the time to train your canine. No matter the age of your dog, bring him or her to Morris K9 Campus for all your basic training needs. Sign up for our Levels Training Membership to get started.  This is the time when you really want your dog consistently obeying your commands.

2. Begin playing a recording of baby noises around the house (particularly in the nursery), and reassure your pet that these sounds are safe and normal. When the sound of a baby crying happens in the recording, spend some time in the nursery. After a little while, turn down the volume so your pet understands the crying will eventually stop.

3. Bring home the baby’s cap or blanket from the hospital before the baby arrives. These items have both the baby’s scent as well as yours and are best preserved if kept in a sealed bag. Have your dog sit and smell the item and give your dog a treat every time your dog sits and sniffs the baby’s scent.  Your dog will recognize the scent as something positive.

4. When mother and baby return home from the hospital, put the dog outside or in another room. Since your pet has not seen Mom in a few days, he or she could be very excitable. Once the baby is safely in the nursery, mom should spend some time with the pet so they can reacquaint themselves.

Photo Courtesy of nateone
5. Introduce a new baby to your pet(s) about a day after he or she arrives home. This will give your pet a chance to hear the baby’s sounds. Let your pet sniff the baby’s blanket first, NOT the baby’s face. Pay attention to your pet…if the pet is unsure, try again another day. If things seem to be going well, you can allow your pet to continue to smell the baby’s hands and finally, face. It may take a little while, but your pet will get used to your new addition.

Obviously, the most important thing to remember about introducing a pet to a newborn is to always be aware of the pet’s body language and behavior. An adult must be present at all times, as a baby has no defense mechanisms or ways of communicating with your pet. With some patience and careful guidance, your new baby and your pet will become lifelong pals.