What to Do With a Problem Pooch: Our Reporter Has One!

Members of the News4 Team go to a trainer

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Your dog is probably your best friend. But even friends have issues. Find out how to calm your canine without going crazy.

    As you know if you watched the video, we had to hire a trainer for our terrier mutt Oliver when his bad habit of attacking carts and rolling luggage started getting out of control.   

    Trainer JoAnn Basinger of the Andrea Arden School is teaching us how to help our dog get over his fear by building an association between the scary wheels and the yummy treays. JoAnn also has lots of great advice for how get the most out of the training process.

    1. Stop leaving the food bowl out all day long and instead, feed the dog meals.  Leave the food for 20 minutes and then take it away, even if he hasn't eaten. (You'll give him another chance later.) Your picky eater will learn to eat when served.  He/she will also be more responsive to your use of food as a reward if he doesn't have access to food all day long.

    2. Get your dog to focus on YOU when you go for a walk.  Your dog should view your walks as an activity he shares with you and not an opportunity to explore the environment or socialize with other dogs.

    3.  Use treats to help keep your dog's attention during walks together. Reward your dog for making eye contact with you or deferring to you on when it's okay to step off the elevator.    

    4. Be quick with the reward so your dog is sure why he's getting it.  Say a quick "good boy!" Followed by the food on the nose.  

    5. When training a dog like Oliver, who's freaking out or fearful of a particular situation, use extra special treats like cooked meat or chicken. Reserve these treats for training only.  

    6. Be patient. Your dog wants to be good but training takes time and plenty practice.