Every other month our pet expert and Canine Coaches dog trainer Jill Bailey will answer your pet questions. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info on Canine Coaches visit caninecoaches.com. Q: My dog digs in the yard, what can I do to stop this? A: There are many different reasons why dogs dig. They might be bored, trying to escape or just hot! Be sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulation; this will help curb unwanted behavior. This may sound strange, but one way to help digging is by allowing it. Designate an area in the yard where you will allow your dog to dig. Set up a boundary around the area so it is obvious and bury treats and/or their toys in this area. Be sure to encourage the behavior and use positive reinforcement when they are digging in this designated area. The more you reinforce the behavior, the stronger the behavior will become. If your dog is still digging elsewhere, you can try to bury rocks in that area. They tend to not like that feeling on their paws and it will make it less likely that they will dig there. Be sure to discourage this behavior. Q: Is it okay for me to take my dog jogging? A: It’s great that you want to exercise with your dog. But you have to be sure that your dog is old enough to do so. Because puppies and young dogs have bones and joints that are still developing, jogging with them could possibly injure or damage the bones and joints. Remember that them playing on their own, versus exercising with you and having no “say so” in when the exercise stops are two different things! Large and small breed dogs mature at different rates. Larger dogs mature more slowly. Please check with your veterinarian to be sure on an age and appropriate distance to start your dog off on. Q: I really like to go all out when decorating for the holidays-is there anything I should worry about my dog getting into? A: Yes! Many things are toxic to dogs — chocolate, poinsettia, mistletoe, holly, potpourri — the list goes on. Also, be sure to keep wires and ornaments out of reach. Follow the general rule that anything that isn’t your dogs’ food or treats they should not have.
Jill Bailey is the Media Specialist at M3 Group by day, by night she is helping train dogs for Canine Coaches! Having a life-long love of dogs, Jill decided to get her training certification in 2012. Visit caninecoaches.com for more information.