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 Truman loves yogurt, is it safe to keep feeding it to him? A: Just like with humans, some research has shown that the “good bacteria” yogurt may act as a probiotic and could possibly help your dog’s digestive system. That being said, just like with humans, anything with artificial sweeteners or a lot of added sugar is bad. I would always check with your veterinarian for what “people food” is safe to feed your dog. Q: I’ve heard of Canine Life and Social Skills class, can you tell me more about it? A: This is a great way to strengthen the bond with your dog and to do so by implementing positive reinforcement training. Essentially, you are working to improve your dog’s life and social skills and you will do so through continued training. These training exercises are teaching your dog the day to day behavior that will make both of your lives easier as your dog learns and/or strengthens basic obedience skills. This is also an amazing program for shelter pets, as it is a great way to ease the stress a shelter pet may be experiencing and increase their chances of being adopted. Your dog will need to be registered in order to go through the C.L.A.S.S. evaluation. All the information you need is on their website, you can visit it at mydoghasclass.com. Q: My dog Sandy is so well-behaved, but recently she started reacting to other dogs by barking a lot every time she sees a dog. We did just move recently. Why would this happen? A: There are a lot of reasons why this can happen. But if you’ve recently had a move, that change in environment can be a big trigger for your dog. Just work to slowly reintroduce your dog to other dogs. What I mean by that is every dog has a threshold. For your dog, it may be across the street is the closest she can get right now, and as time goes on, you will be able to get your dog closer and closer to that “trigger.” Dogs get stressed out just like we do, so the new environment is going to affect Sandy in different ways, like with the barking at dogs, until she gets used to her new surroundings. When she starts to bark, I would change direction or cross the street until she stops barking/reacting to the other dog. This will help you to learn how close you can get and you can slowly work on getting her closer and closer to the other dogs. Be sure to praise her when she stops barking, so she will start to learn what behavior you are looking for. This will take time, so be patient and keep working on it!
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.