Are dogs afraid of heights?
Dogs are afraid of heights, especially if they have poor human-to-canine communication skills. Dogs are excellent climbers, they are one of their best tools to escape from a dangerous situation. They also learn at an early age to use their paws to gain elevation. When it comes to elevating themselves above another creature, a dog usually has no problem, especially if he has been taught how to ascend and descend safely. In nature, he will naturally climb to higher spots to avoid predators, such as the eagle above.
When left in charge of a dog, keep in mind that he can easily go out of control if he is on a high building, bridge or other structure. Even if he has been trained to stay on a leash, don't be too confident he will be good at obeying you. Dogs are not only attracted to people and people's food, but they are also extremely territorial. So unless the dog is very obedient and under control, you run the risk of him barking at you or pulling you down when you come near him.
A dog will naturally feel more comfortable in a situation where he can escape. It is not unusual for some dogs to like to escape from elevators, where their cage is moving down and they feel more secure. These dogs are actually smarter than we think.
So don't let your own lack of confidence or judgment influence your choice of pet. If your choice is a dog, choose a breed that you know will be trustworthy, even if it is a small dog, since dogs like the Maltese and Chihuahua can be too small for their size. Remember that all dogs can grow to larger sizes and the bigger the dog, the bigger the problem. If you can't afford the large breed, make sure you get a pup that's not too large when you take him home and that's on a training regimen. Also, never leave your pup unattended, or give him freedom to roam a property without a close watch. If he has had a bad experience with a cat or is afraid of cats, he might be even more aggressive toward them.
The Truth about Puppies
## What's Up with the Puppies?
The following questions were asked at my seminars, or I've had them asked me by people and clients.
## _"My son has just received a puppy—my first! What should I look for when I choose my new puppy's home? I don't want to get in over my head and then discover I am in the middle of a difficult process with the puppy that I did not expect."_
The puppy's "home" is the house where you plan to keep him. Some people think of home in terms of the house the puppy comes from, but it is more a place where you live. Your home is where you work and play, eat, sleep, and train the puppy. Your home also is a place where the puppy will become part of your family, so be sure you have the time and energy to dedicate to a puppy and to the relationship with him that you will share.
## _"How do you train a puppy to be a good dog? What is a typical 'training regimen'?"_
Puppies are generally easy to train and you can start as soon as they are born. The key is to start training on a regular basis, not just when the puppy starts chewing. Once you have trained him well and he is fully potty trained, you can ease him into obedience classes. If he is very young, you can start him in a class with another puppy. I would recommend taking an infant class, as you can't really train a young pup properly. Make sure that you use a combination of verbal communication, treats, and play for this first part of his training.
The following are a few other items you should keep in mind when training a puppy:
* **Be consistent.** Use a command or signal, such as a "come" command, every time you want your puppy to perform an action.
* **Use only positive reinforcement.** Positive reinforcement is an effective way to get your puppy to do what you want her to do. When you reward your puppy for good behavior, you are also giving her a reason to continue the behavior that you like.
* **Establish a reward-and-punishment cycle.** By using food, water, or playtime as rewards, you create an association between behavior you want to encourage and the reward that follows. Punishment is a form of negative reinforcement. When you make a mistake or do something that is forbidden, you take away something that the puppy values. It is also effective if you place the puppy in a "time-out" or temporary place so that he doesn't repeat the forbidden behavior when he is allowed back.
* **Use praise to help establish good behavior.** The praise you give to your puppy must be positive. Saying "Good dog!" produces better behavior than saying "Good dog—you're getting a biscuit."
**SIT AT A SIDE:** A sit means the dog should lie down, sitting up is a sign of submission. "STAY" is another word for "don't move." "OUT" is an order to sit and may be repeated.
* **Puppies need patience to help them develop their skills.** Remember that the youngest puppies have the least control over their actions. It may take several days before a puppy sits still when you have placed him in his place and will take direction. It will be up to you to ignore many of his body language signals, and reward only for the signals that you do want to encourage.
In general, puppies require encouragement to learn new behaviors. You cannot force puppies to learn something. As a matter of fact, you may be teaching your puppy to ignore you. In other words, it is important that you pay attention to your puppy's body language, and you are making positive associations with your dog's body language as well as with your behavior.
For instance, if you have allowed your puppy to jump up on you and place his paws on your shoulders, when you pick up a toy and say "Yum, puppy! Mmm, puppy!" that is more praise than he deserves. However, when you give him an appropriate toy and say "Good puppy! Mmm, good puppy!" and hold the toy as you pet him, that is a more appropriate reward. This method is a way of saying that you are giving a reward for a correct behavior.
Some people believe that, to "teach" a puppy to obey commands, you have to give an initial negative consequence—a "time out." However, this is not true. It is much more effective to use praise and treats to establish a pattern of acceptable behavior. Think about it. If a puppy thinks that every time he is going to be given a toy, you are going to have him take a "time out" (i.e., a nap or a bathroom break), then he will wait to be given a toy. If, on the other hand, he thinks that he is going to get a toy only when he behaves well, he will learn that the behavior is a positive one and that you will reward it.
There are two ways to achieve success with a puppy. One is to teach him what you want him to do and reward him for doing it. The other method is to allow him to do things his own way, on the basis that you will promote him to "good puppy" status when he does what you want him to do. This method will help him become accustomed to good manners.