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asked:
Dear Warren,

We have a 5 year old Terrier mix that is so friendly, she won't bark. We never know when someone is at our door. We live in a retirement community so I am glad that she never distrubs anyone, but people can walk right in and she just acts like she is glad to see them. How can we get her to bark when someone is at the door? She does not have a hearing problem.

Nancy C., Silver Springs, FL

Hi Nancy,

This may sound eccentric, and heaven forbid I should sound eccentric, but follow my procedure and your dog will be barking at the door soon. Start by having someone go to the front door; when the bell rings or the door knocks, you should be on your hands and knees barking with the dog by your side. She may look at you like you're crazy but that's okay; if she makes any sounds at all or just looks excited, give her tremendous praise. As you continue practicing daily, she will ultimately associate the door with barking - and you should be well on your way. I'll probably hear from you in a few months asking me how to keep the dog quiet...

Hugs & Kisses,

Warren

asked:
Dear Warren,

We have a male cat that has been with our family for six years. I've noticed that lately, within the last four months, he has been urinating on our belongings and other places throughout our home. We are ritualistic about changing his cat box, but that does not seem to matter. If you have any ideas to help we would be grateful.

Thanks,

Kara N,, Milwaukee, WI

Hi Kara,

There could be many reasons for this behavior. Here are some recommendations: 1) try a second litter box; 2) use AKC Gold Stain & Odor Remover to clean up accidents; 3) take some of your cat's favorite treats or toys and start putting them where he is urinating. Once cats see their treats in the "messed" area, they usually stop; 4) I'm assuming he is neutered; if not, have it done.

Hugs & Kisses,

Warren

asked:
Hi Warren,

We have a 7-month old puppy. We had her fixed about 1.5 months ago and it seems like whenever we get company-she gets excited and wets on the carpet. Is this something she might grow out of? Any suggestions of something we might do in the meantime?

Thanks,

Susan F Coshocton, OH

Hi Susan,

Sometimes it takes a while for a dog to regain control of its urinating when he gets nervous or excited. The most important thing to remember is not to correct the dog at this point, as he is already nervous and yelling will just make it worse. Try having people ignore the dog for the first five minutes; this will help him get through the initial excitement. Exercise him before people come over and find one special toy that he only gets when you have company. It may take some time, but as long as there is no physical problem, 96% of dogs with these problems can be helped. Another important point to note is; make sure you have thoroughly cleaned up any accident sites with a cleaner that removes the odor from the dog's point of view. I recommend American Kennel Club Gold Stain & Odor Remover.

Hugs & Kisses,

Warren

asked:
Hi Warren,

I have a new puppy that is doing really well on the potty training paper in the kitchen, but I'm having a really hard time getting her to go outside. How can I make her use the yard and not come inside to go?

Thanks,

Janice in Elmira

Hi Janice,

There are some pads on the market that actually have grass scent in them. Or you can take a little grass and rub it on the pad so she's getting the smell of grass there. Then I want you to gradually, inch by inch, move that pad towards the door that you're going to be taking her out of. But before you take her outside you need to check with your vet and keep her in until he gives you the go ahead to take her outside. There're all kinds of parasites out there that you don't want her to come into contact with until she's fully immunized.

Hugs & Kisses,

Warren

asked:
Hi Warren,

I've had a stray cat in my yard for about 6 months and he looked like he was just ready to die. So of course I started feeding him and now he's a healthy little fella. My problem is I can't get him to be friendly. I've got him up on the porch to eat and I've even got him in the back door of the house, but he won't let me close the door or even look like I'm going to come near him. He won't let me give him any warmth of any kind like a bed or anything. What can I do for him?

Thanks,

Jean in Baldwin Park

Hi Jean,

Well we need to get him inside because we need to get him neutered and get him checked by a veterinarian as well as get his vaccinations. From there you can decide to keep him, but I recommend keeping him inside. Start keeping your back door open and putting the food just inside of the door. Once he gets used to eating just inside the door, start gradually moving the food further and further into the house until you get it far enough that you can control the situation. Or, you can contact a feral cat organization that will help you trap him and neuter him and then you can keep him inside as your pet. But we've got to get him inside and we've got to get him neutered-that's really the resolution here. The other thing I'm going to recommend you do is take one of your unwashed t-shirts and place it under his food dish so your smell is strongly associated with his food. Good luck with him and I really appreciate what you're doing taking him in.

Hugs & Kisses,

Warren

asked:
Hi Warren,

My dog Jack is a Bull Mastiff, we rescued him at 1 yr old and he's never been socialized. He was in a caged run. We got him as a companion for our other dog who was depressed about losing his father. We brought Jack home and he socialized really easy. He was a lot of fun; we could take him to the dog park and do a lot of things with him in his second year. But I guess he's moved into his teenage years because he's gotten a little more aggressive with other dogs. If he sees them across the street when we walk he wants to tear my arm off. We've had dog training and its better, but if he gets focused that's all he thinks about. Now he's starting to lunge at our front gate whenever people walk by. And yesterday he actually bit a friend of ours that he's met many times. Luckily he only got her coat and she's a dog lover so she was very understanding. We've done everything we can think of and have met with someone about sending him away for 6 weeks of in-kennel training. Do you have any suggestions for us?

Thanks,

Phyllis in Atlanta

Hi Phyllis,

What you need to do is confront the problem where the problem takes place. First I would make sure his basic training is up to par. Then I would specifically work with the dog by the front gate, and in the areas where other dogs are. Do the obedience for 5-10 minutes then just sit down or on a bench where he can see the other dogs and give him one of his favorite items to play with. It's called distraction therapy; we want to distract him a little bit from his focus on those other dogs. Once he realizes that the other dogs pose no threat to him whatsoever, then the aggression that's starting to show itself will go away. I would have some strangers intentionally walking by the house so you know the dog is going to lunge at that gate - then the leash and collar comes out to resolve that problem. Then you want to associate that front gate with people that know him. Have friends approach the gate with a treat and greet him with his name. I'm concerned with the mouthing because that's not going to get better on its own, it's something you're going to have to confront. Often, the larger the breed of dog the slower the maturity rate, both physically and psychologically. So even though the leash is something he should be protective of along with his people, at the same time these other people are non-threatening. I would use a word when you come across people. Say "Oh look there's our friend Sam or there's our friend Joan." Or, have a special toy in your pocket so he associates meeting people on the leash with you in a positive way. Sending him away for in-kennel training is absolute insanity. Why would you send the dog away to be trained when the problem is you, not the dog? And the problem is at home, at your front gate. All the animals I've ever worked with in my life have been either at the home where they live, or in a group situation where they were with their owners. Sending a dog away for a problem like this may end up causing you more issues25 in the long run. I think you have to confront this problem. If you have a trainer you're working with, work with his advice but give him some thoughts too. Trainers are human, they don't know everything that happens, and you've got to give them some information because you really have an easy problem to resolve.

Hope that helps,

Warren

asked:
Hi Warren,

My cats like to sit in the front window where the sun is. But since it's just me and them, they freak out when the mailman or a stranger comes up the walkway and they take off running. One of them gets intermittent diarrhea but the vet said it was stress. I'm wondering if it would be mean to close up the one window where they like to soak up the sun?

Thanks,

Maureen in West Covina

Hi Maureen,

Rather than close up their window, because sun is so important for our pets, this is what I'm going to recommend you do. Now it's going to take some time and effort on your part, but if you have a pet that is fearful or stressed out over a specific scenario, you need to take that scenario and turn a negative into a positive. While you're home have the cats in the window with you. Plan to have someone ready to come up the walkway. So you're just sitting there with them, giving them a massage and lots of positive reinforcement by that front window when someone is walking up. Maybe give them a special treat or something and have them associate a positive thing happening when someone comes up the walkway instead of a negative thing. We call this counter conditioning and it's really going to make a big difference for you.

Hope that helps,

Warren

asked:
Hi Warren,

I've got a Jack Russell that I've had since he was a pup. When he's in the car he's got a constant little whine, and then when he sees animals he kind of loses it. But it's not an aggressive kind of losing it. He's well socialized but when he gets near another animal he loses it until he's allowed to go approach it.

Thanks,

Rick in Mission Viejo

Hi Rick,

Rick did you know that the Jack Russell was bred to keep the rodent populations under control in stables? When he's in a moving car he sees other animals that he thinks he should be chasing (because of the movement of the car). When they chase they bark and they howl - that's what they do. This explains why the whining is taking place while he's in the car, even if when he gets to the other animal he wants to be friends. Sometimes the hunting instinct takes over. I've worked with many of the best trained dogs who exhibit the same behavior when they are in a moving vehicle. If you want to stop it you're going to have to use distraction therapy. Keep a specific item in the car that you can stick in his mouth when he starts to get whiney and barky. Another thing you can do is put a drop of lemon juice in his mouth when he's whining excessively. You need to spend more time with him in the car in the driveway using the lemon juice. Otherwise, I would leave it alone.

Hope that helps,

Warren

asked:
Hi Warren,

My two cats don't get along and are fighting constantly. It's open claws and hissing and spitting kind of fighting that sometimes draws blood. I had the first cat for about a year and then got the second one so he'd have a companion. But I think he thought I was his companion and he's not too keen on the new guy. But on the other hand sometimes they get along just fine and will sleep together or just hang out on the couch with me together and their fine.

Thanks,

Joanne in Riverside Heights

Hi Joanne,

First off, I don't want them to think that you're correcting them. If you see they're starting to become aggressive with each other, I want you to use either the can with the pennies or the air horn behind your back. Then they think God corrected them and they'll get the idea. If there's no bloodshed, I would let them work it out a little bit on their own. You didn't mention you're coming home and finding things knocked over or clumps of fur and blood lying around, so my guess is they're battling for your attention.

Hugs & Kisses,

Warren

asked:
Hi Warren,

I have a 5 month old female Pomeranian that we've had for 3 months. If you try to take something away from her or try to pick her up when she doesn't want to be picked up she will growl, snarl, and bite at people. Normally she's very sweet.

Thanks,

Jen in Glendale

Hi Jen,

Well she's a little babe right now. What she's doing is challenging you a little bit. You need to let her know she's not going to get a reaction from you other than a leash and collar and a little basic training.

If you have a dog that is showing aggressive behavior, you don't want to confront that dog by being aggressive. You want to confront that aggressive behavior by establishing positive authority with the dog EVERY TIME the aggression starts. The minute she shows aggression the leash and collar goes on, followed by 10 minutes of basic training, then the leash and collar comes off. If the dog continues to show the aggressive behavior then the leash and collar goes back on, it's that simple.

She's got to realize that she's not getting you excited. What happens is, when a dog growls or snarls, very often the owner gets angry and starts yelling and screaming and jumping up and down which creates more angst on the dog's part. You'll notice this behavior stop once she realizes she's not getting any positive or negative attention from it. If you follow some of the advice that's out there like put the dog in a submissive position or things like that, what very well may happen is the dog might stop showing aggression towards you, but it may come out towards other people. You want her to come to the realization that it's ludicrous for her to snarl or snap because it's going to get her nothing more than 5 or 10 minutes of basic training. But I also want you to solidify her basic training now by following the directions in my book when she's NOT being aggressive. Once you've already established some positive authority with the training, once she sees the leash and collar come out, your problems should be over with.

Hugs & Kisses,

Warren

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