Ask Gertie – Well-Washer

Dear Gertie,

I never really think to wash my dog’s food and water bowls, I probably do it once every six months or so, only when it occurs to me. Does it really matter how long his bowls go in between washes, both the dog and the bowls seem totally fine? Just curious!

Thanks,
Well-Washer

Dear Washer,

Yes, it matters! It’s actually very important to wash your dog’s food and water bowls every day if possible. This will prevent harmful bacteria from growing and spreading within the bowls. Some bowl materials are safer than others in terms of decreasing the chances for possible for bacteria growth. I found a great, informative article from the Toronto Dog Walking website that discusses all of the above. Check it out here: https://torontodogwalking.com/often-clean-dogs-food-water-bowl/

Paws,
Gertie
askgertie@bitcheswalkingdogs.com

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Ask Gertie – Leash Puller

Dear Gertie,

My dog pulls like crazy when we’re out for walks. We often get the typical unwanted comment, “who’s walking who?!” from a total stranger. While it may be funny to them, it’s actually concerning to me. Do you have any ideas to help improve my dog’s terrible leash pulling tendencies?

Thanks!
Puller

Dear Puller,

There are a couple things to keep in mind when training your dog to be a non- leash puller. We found this article about just that super helpful!

http://stories.barkpost.com/discover/pulling-dog-makes-pull/

Good luck emBARKing on this training challenge (see what I did there?) and don’t hesitate to write back if you have any feedback or questions!

Paws,
Gertie
askgertie@bitcheswalkingdogs.com

Ask Gertie – Reacting

Dear Gertie,

My dog likes most other dogs, but sometimes when we’re out walking we’ll encounter another dog that for whatever reason he will react to (aggressive leash pulling, growling, barking, etc.) I don’t know why he is selective and reactive with certain dogs, but I’d love some advice to try and correct his behaviour!

Dear Reactor,

This is actually quite common, we found a great article that talks about two different kinds of training methods to correct this behaviour. The first is called, Desensitization and Counterconditioning for reactive dogs, and the second is Constructional Aggression Treatment for reactive dogs, or CAT. Read more about these types of training here:  http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/pets/dog-behavior/how-to-get-your-dog-to-stop-barking-and-lunging-on-leash

Paws,
Gertie
askgertie@bitcheswalkingdogs.com

Ask Gertie – The Car

Dear Gertie,

My dog used to love going in the car, but now when we have to take a trip, he starts panting like crazy after ten minutes. I don’t understand what changed?! Why does he freak out now, after 5 years of enjoying the car??

From,
Not so easy rider

Dear Rider,

Many dogs become anxious in the car. Sometimes it’s excitement, sometimes it can be motion sickness, and unless they drool or vomit it can be difficult to be sure which it is. Just remember that if you start petting him, or telling him it will be “okay” you are reinforcing that behavior. Best advice is to crack a window when possible (safety first) and let him get some fresh air. That should help.

Paws,
Gertie
askgertie@bitcheswalkingdogs.com

Ask Gertie – Dreaming

Dear Gertie,

When my dog falls asleep she almost always starts twitching, moving her paws, and sometimes even growls or barks. Is she dreaming? What is she dreaming about?

Thanks,
Dog Dreamer

Dear Dreamer,

We do dream! Just like humans, we slip into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep cycles. It’s hard for me to say exactly what your pup is dreaming about, but I can tell you it’s totally normal for her to move her legs, howl, growl, bark, chew, or even bite. It’s likely something like “hound dog chases rabbit, catches rabbit, eats rabbit” or whatever her personal mantra may be.

Paws,
Gertie
askgertie@bitcheswalkingdogs.com

Ask Gertie – Kisses

Dear Gertie,

I regularly shower my dog with hugs and kisses, but often wonder if she even understands what they mean. Does my dog understand that a kiss from me is a representation of my love for her?

From,
Kissing Curiosity

Dear Kissing,

In all likelihood she knows that your hugs and kisses are a symbol of love. Us dogs love to be touched! It’s important to keep in mind that when you’re giving your pooch lots of love you’re in a submissive position. This can give some dogs the impression that you need to be told what to do. It’s always a good idea to end your love session with a command or task. Even something as simple as, “Sit”.  This reminds them that you’re the boss and don’t need to be managed. Don’t forget to praise her for it!

Paws,
Gertie
askgertie@bitcheswalkingdogs.com

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