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Great dog training tips when you baby sit a friend’s dog.

I was buying some dog food at the local Pet Supplies Plus Dog Store in Weston this morning when I was stopped in line by one of my clients.  We chatted about his pet containment fence and everything was going very well.  I tell all my clients that I always encourage them to ask me any dog training or canine behavior issue they may have and he had one for me this morning.  It seemed that his neighbor was going away for the long weekend and had talked him into babysitting his dog.  His main concern was to make sure that his dog and the neighbor’s dog would get along together.

Electric Dog Fence Training and dog socialization in Weston Florida

I told him that my opinion of his dog is that he is already relatively well socialized because we had some of our dogs over during the dog fence training process.  During the several day process of installing and testing the dog fence, I observed that his dog was a somewhat passive, middle of the pack dog.  This is also a good thing.

The one thing that we had to watch out for with the two dogs is the initial meeting and short term introduction.  You can’t simply throw them together in a room and hope for the best.  You must socialize the dogs and establish the appropriate boundaries so both understand the others’ role in this temporary pack.  Here are some tips on what you should do:

  • Have your dog and the guest dog meet several times in a neutral place so that they can get used to the sight and smell of the other dog.  Make sure that both dogs are on leashes when you do this.  This allows you to separate the dogs if something inappropriate begins to happen.
  • Go with both of them for a few walks and even play catch with them.  This will help them understand their natural pecking order and will minimize miscommunication later.  This is very important when you actually bring both into your home.
  • The first time your neighbor brings over his dog, have both of them meet outside on the front lawn.  Let them sniff each other and have a little play time.  Have both of them on long leashes just in case you need to separate them.  After about fifteen minutes, take your dog in the front door and have him wait in a room in a spot that is easily visible when people are at the front door.
  • Have your neighbor bring in his dog slowly.  Do not directly approach your dog or force the guest dog to approach your dog.  Slowly have the guest dog enter the room with your dog, not directly approaching him.  Put both dogs in a sit about fifteen feet between each other.  If you see no outward aggressive posturing, drop the leashes and let them “wander or hang out”.
  • After about thirty minutes without issues, the two dogs should be ready to “hang together”.  Your neighbor can now leave on his trip.  Don’t have him make a big deal of leaving.  He should simply get up, walk to the door, and leave.  If his dog becomes nervous, have him face and correct his dog.
  • During the stay, remember these simple rules:
    • Don’t leave the dogs unattended in the same area for the first few days.
    • Don’t feed the dogs in the same location.
    • Never leave the dogs together if someone is not going to be home.
    • Make sure that you get both of them out for supervised play time several times each day.
    • Do not let the guest dog in your dog’s crate, your bedroom, or any other place your dog might feel is his.
    • All dogs can have potty accidents.  If the guest dog potties in the house, be sure to clean it up with vinegar and baking soda to remove any of the smell.  You might also light a lavender scented candle to help with the issue.
    • Pay attention to both dogs.  Even though the guest dog may be “something new and fun”, make sure both are given equal treatment.

If you remember these simple rules, your neighbor dog’s stay will be happy and uneventful.  It will be a learning experience for you, your dog, and your guest dog.  The most important thing to remember is that you have to let your neighbor know that he now “owes your big time”.  If you have any further dog training questions or want more information about out of sight dog fences, please contact The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers in Weston Florida.