Pet Behavior & Training Tips Archives -

What You Need to Know about Pet Food Allergies

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Just like humans, Pets can have sensitivities to certain types of food. Because these precious companions can’t talk, symptoms of allergies manifest in different ways. Food allergies in dogs and cats can develop in Pets as young as five months or those as old as 12 years. Moreover, Pets might be allergic to more than one type of food. By knowing the signs of food allergies in cats and dogs, you can take steps to help your Pet heal and regain its health.

Common Signs of Pet Food Allergies and Intolerances

Food allergies in cats and dogs […]

How to Train Your Pet to Travel Well

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Traveling with Pets is a great way to spend time with your companions. For some, new places to smell and moving landscapes are a thrill. For others, the experience is stressful. Whether you’re going to the vet’s or on a road trip, Pet travel training will make the experience safer and more enjoyable for all. The trick is to have your Pet think of traveling as a common everyday experience.

Pet Safety Considerations

When riding in cars, Pets should always sit in the back seat with a restraint because:

Front airbags can seriously injure Pets when […]

How to Stop Your Puppy from Biting

This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and we at Hannah are committed to providing members with Pets that are healthy and well-behaved. Our Pet behaviorist Dr. Rolan Tripp knows how to “nip” biting in the bud, and he shares some easy how-to tips in this video.

There’s no doubt about it. We love our dogs. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there were 70 million dogs in the United States (2011) or one dog for every 4.5 people. More than 35% of all homes have at least one dog.

While some breeds get […]

7 New Ways to Exercise Your Dog

Exercise. It’s important for your dog’s health and wellbeing. Daily walks are great for bonding and they are also a good time to work on training and socialization. Plus, they’re fun: There is no simpler joy than watching your dog’s body move to its own rhythm.

If you’re finding your daily walk is getting a bit ho-hum, it’s time to mix it up a bit.

Here are 7 ideas to try.

Walk more, sit less. Frequent, shorter walks are best for your dog. It’s not good for anyone—person or […]

Boundless Love: Why Bunnies Make Great Pets

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Easter might be over, but the boundless love a bunny brings goes on and on. Did you know that the Pet rabbit is one of the newest members of the domestic family?

For example, cats have been living with humans for more than 10,000 years. Dogs have been with us even longer! While rabbits were bred by humans as far back as the 16th century, they were mainly raised as farm animals. Inviting rabbits into the home and keeping them as Pets has only been in practice since the 19th century. Still, in a relatively short period of time […]

Fat Tuesday

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Fat Tuesday
 Joyeux Mardi Gras, Hannah family!  Yesterday, cities around the country and the world, celebrated Fat Tuesday, which marks not only the kick-off of Mardi Gras, but also, for many, the last day of eating fatty, gluttonous foods before the Lenten season, which begins with Ash Wednesday.

We’re all aware of the importance of eating healthy and avoiding, junk, fast and processed foods.  But how many of us have fallen into a bad habit of feeding equally unhealthy foods to our Pets?  It’s an easy trap to fall into!  Low grade, fatty Pet foods […]

Buckle Up Your Dog

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Nothing says summer more than driving around town with the window down, the wind in your face and your faithful pooch in the passenger seat next to you with his head out the window and his tongue flapping in the wind. Or perhaps he’s in the backseat enjoying the breeze. Or maybe he’s in the far back of the car checking out what’s behind him.

Such is the life of a dog. But where it becomes problematic is when your dog is in the front seat, and then in the back seat, back in the front seat […]

Fireworks Can Induce Anxiety in Some Pets

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BOOM!

The sights and sounds of July 4th fireworks delight the human senses, however for our faithful companions, it can be more like a war zone. The explosions we enjoy, because we know what they are, can turn the most mild mannered pooch into a nervous whimpering wreck, or even aggressive and destructible.

According to an article on Paw-Rescue.org, the Fourth of July is typically the time when humane societies and shelters take in the most stray Pets. Fireworks create concussive booming noises that hurt Pets’ sensitive ears. Frightened dogs vary in their reactions but a common one […]

Dog Door Dashing

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Do you quietly open the front door to get the mail because you-know-who might hear and then make a mad dash to the outside leaving you in his wake? If so, then this lesson is for you! The goal for correcting your dog’s mad-dash-out-the-door behavior is to teach him that attempting to charge out the door always fails. The command is WAIT, which means, “Wait until I give permission to go.”

This is what you should do:

While holding the leash slack, open a door inside the house partway, and tell your dog […]

Feline Indoor Exercise – “Prey Play”

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Introducing Feline Prey-Play Games

All indoor cats need exercise for a healthy life. Exercise Frustration is a root cause of unwanted stress behaviors in most species. Cats don’t do well on treadmills, so play is the best option. Play with human bare hands should be avoided since that often leads to feline aggression toward humans later in life. Human-cat interactive play using inanimate objects is ideal and “the more the better.” This builds the bond with the person and increases the likelihood of play as an adult cat.

Feline Play can be divided into Social […]

Kitten Gentling

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The goal of kitten gentling is to develop your kitten’s friendly adult personality. Gentling can begin immediately after birth. Even though the eyes and ears are non-functional, the newborn kitten has a sense of smell and it is beneficial for the kitten to be accustomed to the smell of humans at an early age. Ideally, kittens one to three weeks old are held, gently touched and rolled in various positions. In short, cuddle with your kitten for about 60 seconds per day.

Kittens enter their primary socialization period at about three weeks of age and their brain […]

Destructive Clawing – Averting the Feline Wrecking Crew

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If cats are not provided multiple acceptable areas to claw and stretch, then anything in the home becomes fair game. After all, variety is the spice of life for our cats as well as for us. Clawing helps cats release excess energy, mark territory, and stretch. Similarly, people sometimes exercise, bite their nails, or twirl their hair.

Cats need multiple scratching posts of different sizes and materials around the house. These posts must be tall enough for the adult cat to really reach and stretch.Many posts are too short. If you provide both vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces you […]

Aggression to Guests in Your House

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Dogs have been bred for a long time to be defensive about territory. Some breeds take this job more seriously than others. If your dog ignores your request for quiet or movement, it is a sign for you to work on more verbal control using the “Learn to Earn” technique.

If your dog has threatened or actually touched teeth on a guest, the first step is to make a distinction regarding someone who is outside or inside the threshold of your front door.

If your dog has the history of darting past you to bite a delivery person or […]

Barking in the Hospital Lobby

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BARK, BARK, BARK, BARK!

We’re used to it but we certainly know how it feels to be the proud parent of a loud, barking dog especially while waiting in the veterinary clinic lobby. It is a common occurrence and if there are two barking dogs waiting to see the doctor then, whoa, it’s time for some ear plugs.

Since we’re used to it, we’ve also seen the wrong way of curbing the behavior. Barking at the vet hospital is a behavior issue and we have all the right tools for you. As with any unwanted […]

Learn to Earn

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Dog Parents tend to pamper their pooches. But many dogs misinterpret this loving generosity. In fact, some dogs learn to get what they want by controlling their humans.

Following the leader

Dogs are genetically evolved from wolves so their instinct is to participate in a family pack hierarchy. Research indicates that dogs view their human families as their packs and generally learn who is in charge of the valued resources. Therefore, when dogs learn – by accident – to take charge by pawing at people, barking, and other behaviors that get them what they want the dog is more […]

Dealing with the Kitten Crazies

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What is wrong with my cat!? He’s crazy! Not really, but he certainly may act like it. We’ve covered the Puppy Frenzies. Now let’s look at the Kitten Crazies. This crazy play behavior can be delightful entertainment but quite annoying if you’re trying to sleep. Although domestic cats are not truly nocturnal, it is normal for kittens to have some high activity in the late evening and early morning hours. In addition to disrupting human sleep, this behavior can result in the destruction of fragile household items.

The first step is to kitten-proof your […]

How to Handle the Puppy Frenzies

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If you have or have ever had a puppy then you know all about the “Puppy Frenzies.” You see, that’s what happens when your puppy races around the room and appears to have lost all sense of reality. This explosion of energy typically occurs in the evening after your pup has slept most of the day and you’ve worked all day. This is a boomerang effect for the dog that has been alone and not had any exercise.

The key for you when this happens is to wait it out. Don’t try to train your dog […]

Submissive Or Excitatory Urination

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If you’re the Parent of a dog and especially a puppy, then you’ve likely encountered what is known as submissive or excitatory urination.

What Is It?

Submissive and excitatory urination occurs when upon greeting your dog, he or she out of sheer anxiousness or excitement urinates a little. This can also happen when you discipline your dog. In either case, typically your dog rolls over and/or gets on his side and pees. It’s usually not a lot of urine but is not pleasant since you have to clean up, and sometimes the excited […]

Stopping Your Cat from Counter Surfing

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Counter surfing is often a fun activity for cats.Cats will jump on counters if they see something interesting, smell something they like or simply to be perched higher. Faucets are also a favorite target since cats like to sip or bat at dripping water.

Most Cat Parents likely do not appreciate this behavior because it is unsanitary. Remember, your cat uses a litter box and may have just come from there! In addition, there may be a hot stove and residue from cleaning solvents. You can learn how to encourage your cat to stop counter surfing habit by […]

The Dreamy Sleep of Pets

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You may have seen the videos and if not click here to see one, but Bizkit the sleepwalking dog has sure made a name for himself. His videos (we are assured he is not hurt) while amusing, actually bring up a good question. Do dogs and cats dream? By the looks of it, Bizkit sure does seem to be dreaming.

“Do Pets dream? Of course they do,” said Hannah’s Behaviorist Dr. Rolan Tripp. “Anyone who has lived with a dog or cat and watched the paws paddling during sleep imagines the Pet dreaming about chasing varmints.”

An article […]

Top 10 Mistakes Made by Cat Parents

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There is a Top 10 list for just about everything nowadays and when it comes to having a Pet, there is probably a Top 10 list of Top 10 lists.

But to be constructive, we have come up with the Top 10 Mistakes Made by Cat Parents. If you have a cat, you have no doubt made at least one of these mistakes. Tell us about your experiences by clicking on the “Comments” link below.

1) Impulse adoption instead of careful selection- Sometimes a stray turns out to be the best cat ever. Other times, you come to realize why […]

Hannah’s Dog Education Vocabulary

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Dog training classes are as much for the dog as they are for the Pet Parent. At Hannah, our members get access to training classes as one of many perks of being in the Hannah family. In these classes, Pet Parents learn a whole new set of vocabulary words designed to make training easier and more understandable for them and their dog.

Hannah Trainer Jennifer Miller says that the basic “sit” command is typically the first command most Pet Parents teach their dog and is something that is continually worked on in class. A dog with nice manners uses […]

Add Variety to your Dog’s Exercise Routine

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Exercise is an essential part of a healthy life for your dog. Daily walks also develop a strong bond with him. Exercise also prevents a number of behavior issues and when Hannah members call us about a behavioral problem, one of the first things we ask is how much exercise the dog is getting.

And while some of you may be taking your dog for daily exercise, it may not be enough. Think of it this way – how often do you get bored doing the same routine day in and day out? The same can be true of your […]

Dog Days of Summer

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Summer is here! And for those of us living in the Pacific Northwest we all say “Finally!”

And while summer means more exciting outdoor activities for you and your dog, your fur-coated pooch may not be as excited as you are especially if you don’t take proper precautions to keep him or her cool, safe and well-protected from exposure to the elements.

One thing about summer which is a drag to your dog and Pet parents alike is the proliferation of fleas. It’s cold enough here to keep these buggers at bay during the winter but […]

Don’t Turn Your Pooch Into a Hot Dog

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Every summer it never fails. A dog and her owner make the news. Not because of something spectacular the two were involved with, but something just downright dumb the owner did. He left his faithful companion inside a locked car with the windows up, in 100 degree heat, while he goes into a store.

The owner exits the store only to find a large crowd gathered around his car and the fire department on scene. And one of his car windows smashed.

This case recently happened in Sacramento when mall security responded to complaints of dogs being trapped inside the […]

Physical Punishment is Bad Form in Correcting Bad Behavior

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 A common misconception among people who have Pets is that a form of physical punishment will be effective in curbing the Pet’s negative behavior. For instance, a bite might elicit a whap on the head or a cat may have his nose rubbed into his “accident” on the carpet.

Hannah Chief Behaviorist Dr. Rolan Tripp has an extensive background in Pet related behavior and we can say that the types of methods indicated above are the last things you want to do. In fact, not only does it serve to confuse the Pet it can harm your relationship […]

Common Mistakes Made by Small Breed Dog Owners

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“He thinks he’s a big dog!”

You may have heard this before as you watched your friend or family member’s small Chihuahua take off down the street to confront a German Shepherd. Or maybe you’ve said it! Yes, your small dog is a dog. And a large aggressive dog will not be sympathetic to your dog’s smaller size.

Veterinarians see many small dogs rushed to their office for being on the wrong side of a fight. The small dog rarely, if ever, wins. There are a number of mistakes small dog owners make and we’d […]

Danger Lurking in Your Garage

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In the cold winter months most car owners will double-check they have enough antifreeze in their radiator. And, if the reservoir is low, the car owner will, as they should, top off their antifreeze. But even with a funnel and can be easy to miss the opening and spill a little bit.

What they might not realize is the little bit of spillage that is now dripping onto their garage floor is almost certain death to a dog or cat.

Anti-freeze is anti-life to our lovable friends.

Ingesting anti-freeze, which contains ethylene glycol, causes a […]

Dog Aggression Towards Cats

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Generally feline aggression toward dogs is justified due to inappropriate advances by the dog. If a cat becomes frightened and runs, the chase is great joy for the dog, satisfying an internal “chase instinct” at the same time. If the dog catches the cat, it typically loses interest in the game.

Some cats will carry out unprovoked attacks on the dog. This is most likely feline territorial aggression. “Unprovoked aggression” is always unwelcome. The recommended treatment for the cat in this case is “leadership petting” intended to lower the self-perceived status of the dominant personality […]

Just Say No

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How can I say “No” to those eyes, he just looks so innocent and loving.

Yes, it may seem cruel to ignore your dog’s pleading eyes for a bite of your sandwich. And, what’s a little table scrap every now and then going to hurt? Begging is a common method used by dogs to get what they want. And, because dog owners tend to be naturally tender hearted, those who give in encourage the begging. This really only confuses your dog in one of two ways.

First, the dog reacts to the food as if it is […]

Tips for Socializing Your Puppy

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It’s puppy season! Or at least for those who got puppies this Christmas season.

So, now you have some work to do to avoid future Pet behavior problems. Yes, there’s housebreaking. But just as important in your dog training schedule is socialization. The Pet/Parent bond can be strengthened or damaged based on how well your dog acts as an adult. The last thing you want is a dog afraid of everything or aggressive towards people and other dogs.

First things first, just like a child, your puppy may be afraid or hesitant of new people, new objects […]

Traveling With Your Pet

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A recent survey conducted by petrelocation.com showed the majority of Pet owners will travel with their Pets during the holidays. It came as no surprise to us that these Pets consisted primarily of dogs as we all know cats hate change!

Regardless of what Pet you plan to bring with you, traveling with your constant companion proves to have its own challenges. Safety is key for not only your dog but for you too. Dogs don’t know that you’re driving. They know you’re doing something but it won’t stop them from getting in your […]

Don’t Let Ribbon Bind Your Pet

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Ribbon is a great holiday decoration that is used to bind a present. Unfortunately, it can also bind up in your Pet’s intestinal track and make for some dire consequences. (If you suspect your Pet has ingested ribbon or a foreign body then you need to get to your veterinarian as soon as possible.)
Pets are naturally curious and even toys, especially for cats, are made attached to a string designed to dangle and entice your Pet’s hunting extinct. Your cat may see ribbon as a toy and start playing with it, even chewing it, which they may […]

You Are The Leader

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If you don’t assert yourself as leader, your dog will assume the role. And if your dog thinks s/he’s the leader of the house, then what s/he says goes. Bottom line is, you end up in a power struggle with your dog!
By taking leadership steps at the beginning of your Pet/Parent relationship, you will save a lot of time and energy and have a lot less stress on you and the dog.

One method to determine who currently is the leader is to walk through a door. Who goes first, you or your dog […]

How To Stop Chewing

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You’ve returned home from a long, grueling day at work and Nigel, your Beagle, has left you a nice surprise. No, we’re not talking a soiled carpet. The couch pillows are shredded and stuffing is everywhere. You also find the side of one of the couches is nearly destroyed from a day’s worth of chewing and biting.

As it turns out you may have not been the only one with a long, grueling day. When you leave, Nigel misses you! And he handles that stress and anxiety but doing what comes naturally-chewing.

Anxiety and stress are […]

Dog Biting

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If you’ve ever owned a dog who has bit you or someone else, it hurts on two levels. Obviously, there is physical pain. But there is also emotional pain. The wound will heal but you may never be able to trust your dog again. And if the bite happens again, then you are faced with the difficult decision of whether to keep your dog.

The key to stopping an aggressive bite is to correct the problem early. One of the most important steps is to determine the cause of the aggression. There are a number of reasons that might […]

AKC Good Citizen Training Included in Hannah Membership

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Training your Pet is an exciting time that bonds you to your Pet and your Pet to you. But it can also be tedious and frustrating. Gee, Max figured out how to stay yesterday but today I can’t even get him to pay attention.

You may have a closet full of toys, a variety of leashes and collars, and even DVDs filled with content that promises a completely trained dog. The reality is that dogs have a mind of their own and most Pet owners have little time after work to spend training. And twice on the weekends just […]