New York college student invents the ‘Gotta Go’ button for dogs

At first we thought this was a joke, but a New York college student named Chad Bingo who actually invented a button for dogs that you place by the door so your dog can let you know (after a bit of training) when they need to go outside. It’s called the Gotta Go Button.

They are even currently up to be potentially carried by Walmart.

Here is a video of it in action:

Ask a Trainer: “Do bark collars work?”

Here’s another question from our Ask a Dog Trainer section. Do bark collars work?

  • “If used correctly, bark collars might work for some dogs, but I do not recommend them. There are other, more humane ways to teach a dog to be quiet and calm that will not cause the dog pain or accidentally condition a fear response. (Lauren Wojcik – owner/trainer, Laurens Leash, www.laurensleash.comlaurensleash@gmail.com, 917-261-1128)
  • I do not use aversive training methods” (Elisabeth Weiss, DogRelations, http://www.dogrelationsnyc.com)
  • Yes, they do have a reasonably high success rate depending on the type of collar you are asking about.  Bark Busters does NOT use them and would never recommend any collar that hurts the dog. You have to understand that where a collar works on sound (dog barking) that another similar sound might also set the collar off when the dog is lying quite. I would definitely try other options first. Education through training can work wonders.” (Robert Machi and Sylvia Wilson, www.barkbusters.com,  877-500-BARK (2275))
  • They do something for some dogs, for some amount of time. The “something” they do is (at best) “correct” the bark – they temporarily stop it. Some dogs however won’t care, and most dogs will get used to them or learn to bark “around” the collar or “through” it. But even if they work perfectly for your dog, you still need to combine them with a regimen of training, counterconditioning and desensitization: the collar might temporarily stop the barking, but what will keep your dog calm, peaceful, and obedient long-term is his relationship of respect and understanding with his leaders – which means you.” (Anthony Newman, Calm Energy Dog Training, www.calmenergydogtraining.com, www.calmenergy.blogspot.com, (646) 942-1979)
  • Yes and no. The right bark collar for your dog can be very effective. If you want to give a bark collar a try, consult a professional to find the right collar for your dog. They do, however, have two major drawbacks. One, the dog only learns not to bark when wearing his bark collar. No problem you say? Just keep the collar on all the time?  That’s great, unless you have an intruder picking the lock on your door. Then you want your dog to bark. Our approach is to teach your dog when to bark and when to be quiet.” (Dr. Mary Travers-Smith,  Superpaws Dog Training,  mary@superpawsk9.com,  www.superpawsk9.com, 212-781-7197)
  • “Yes, they can, but not always.  Many times a bark collar does not work because the volume or stimulation is set too high causing the dog to go into a panic mode, inhibiting them to think and make the connection between the stim and the bark.  Many times it is set too low, where the connection is made, but the bark is still greater than the reward.  Lastly, the collar is not fitted in the right manner and renders the device almost inoperable or worse…. inconsistent.” (James Colella Dedicated Dog Training (888) 370-7477 www.DedicatedDogTraining.com)

(NOTE: We do not endorse any particular trainer or their training ideas – this is here to give you perspectives from different trainers for training issues. Please do your research before hiring a trainer and avoid any that use methods that seem abusive. Here are some additional resources to read on why and how to train: ASPCA Guide to Training, APDT How to Select a Trainer, LiveScience on Training)

Ask a Trainer: What kind dog lead/leash do you recommend to stop a dog from pulling on walks?

Here’s another question from our Ask a Dog Trainer section.

What kind dog lead/leash do you recommend to stop a dog from pulling on walks?”

  • dog pulling on leash“I always recommend a front attaching harness, such as the sense-ation harness or easy-walk harness. Dogs have an opposition reflex. This means when they feel pressure on their neck or chest their reflex is to pull forward. By clipping the leash to the front of their chest, you are eliminating this reflex. These harnesses do not work magic, but they are great tools to use when teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash” (Lauren Wojcik – owner/trainer, Laurens Leash, www.laurensleash.com, laurensleash@gmail.com, 917-261-1128)
  • I only use “normal’ 6 foot leashes. i do use some humane harnesses for clients to use such as the freedom harness and head collars for reactive dogs. i teach the dog not to pull.” (Elisabeth Weiss, DogRelations, http://www.dogrelationsnyc.com)
  • Front-clip harnesses (e.g. the “E-Z Walk”) are designed explicitly to stop dogs from pulling: when the dogs pull, they’re tugged sideways and stop or slow down. However these harnesses work for only some dogs (and some not at all), while extremely anxious, wiggly, or excitable dogs can slip out of them dangerously. For most dogs I prefer using a collar that can’t slip off, e.g. a “Martingale” collar, while communicating to the dog with occasional well-timed leash-tugs, leg blocks, and verbal commands. Whenever your dog is behind you, following on a loose leash, reward him with verbal praise, treats, faster walking, running, or playing.” (Anthony Newman, Calm Energy Dog Training, www.calmenergydogtraining.com, www.calmenergy.blogspot.com, (646) 942-1979)
  • I recommend teaching dogs a “heel” command to alleviate pulling. There are some equipment based fixes but finding the right halter, collar, head collar that may or may not work for your dog can be frustrating and expensive. Teaching the dog not to pull in the first place works for every dog. It takes more time, but its worth it to be able to enjoy your walks together.” (Dr. Mary Travers-Smith, Superpaws Dog Training, mary@superpawsk9.com, www.superpawsk9.com, 212-781-7197)
  • Dogs are natural pullers and getting your dog to walk properly sometimes needs an expert. Bark Busters always uses a 6 foot soft webbing leash. The retractor type leads might be okay for exercising your dog but they don’t teach your dog not to pull. Education is the only way to stop a dog pulling. So begin your exercise in the home and work at teaching your dog where you want it to walk before venturing into the street. The worst way to walk a dog is in a straight line. Better to make quick and often turns, so your dog starts watching you rather than just pulling ahead.” (Robert Machi and Sylvia Wilson, www.barkbusters.com, 877-500-BARK (2275))

Some of the products mentioned above:

 

(NOTE: We do not endorse any particular trainer or their training ideas – this is here to give you perspectives from different trainers for training issues. Please do your research before hiring a trainer and avoid any that use methods that seem abusive. Here are some additional resources to read on why and how to train: ASPCA Guide to Training, APDT How to Select a Trainer, LiveScience on Training)

Ask a Trainer: Are pee pads a good way to house train a puppy?

Here’s another question from our Ask a Dog Trainer section.

“We are going to get a new puppy. Do you think we should use the pee pads ( aka Wee Wee Pads) or just train him/her to go outside?”

  • “Deciding whether or not to use pads is a personal preference. If you are able and willing to take your 8 week old puppy outside every 3 hours, skip the pads. If not, they can be a useful tool but it will take longer to house break your pup.” (Lauren Wojcik – owner/trainer, Laurens Leash, www.laurensleash.comlaurensleash@gmail.com, 917-261-1128)
  • go outside right away” (Elisabeth Weiss, DogRelations, http://www.dogrelationsnyc.com)
  • The pee pad can contain indoor “messes” to one spot of your choosing. But most every dog can learn to go only outdoors, and to do this you have to eventually ween off the pee pad. If you’re willing to put up with some messes in unexpected locations during the training period, it will make the process quicker to never use the pee pads in the first place. Get your pup outside whenever you think they need to pee; get them to eat, sleep, and live everywhere in your house possible; and reward them with praise and treats when they do pee outside.” (Anthony Newman, Calm Energy Dog Training, www.calmenergydogtraining.com, www.calmenergy.blogspot.com, (646) 942-1979)
  • “Dedicated Dog Training firmly believes in training for the real world, if your ultimate intention is do have the dog eliminate outside that is what you should be training for.”  (James Colella Dedicated Dog Training (888) 370-7477 www.DedicatedDogTraining.com)
  • We have had some great success with starting with the pee pad and then transitioning puppies to toilet outside over time. You could start by bringing some picked grass inside to sprinkle on the pee pad, to accustom your puppy to pee where it smells the scent of grass.” (Robert Machi and Sylvia Wilson, www.barkbusters.com,  877-500-BARK (2275))

 

 (NOTE: We do not endorse any particular trainer or their training ideas – this is here to give you perspectives from different trainers for training issues. Please do your research before hiring a trainer and avoid any that use methods that seem abusive. Here are some additional resources to read on why and how to train: ASPCA Guide to Training, APDT How to Select a Trainer, LiveScience on Training)

Ask a Trainer: Managing high energy dogs

Here’s another question from our Ask a Dog Trainer section.

My dog has a LOT of energy. What do you suggest to clients to work out this energy productively (and not on our shoes and furniture?)“?

  • Collie dog runningIf your dog is dog-friendly, taking him to play with other dogs is a great way to burn off the extra energy. For dogs who are not dog park or daycare candidates, mental stimulation is another way to deal with the overflow of enthusiasm. Teaching your dog basic commands like sit, down, leave it, and drop it can give you some things to run through with him every evening for ten or fifteen minutes. For dogs who already know the basics and are a little bored with them (or for owners who are bored with the basics), you can always teach tricks or take a nose work class. Nose work is one of my favorite activities for wearing out the adolescents!” (Renee Payne, CPDT-KA, Walk This Way Canine Behavior Therapy, 718-260-8030, www.doggiecouch.com)
  • “I would set up an exercise and training schedule for their dog. First, make sure that the pup is getting sufficient exercise for their breed/age. Play dates with neighborhood dogs of matching energy levels and/or one-two days at daycare each week. Feed high energy dogs in work to eat toys such as Kong Wobblers, Busy Buddy or Nina Ottosson toys. Provide a number of appropriate chew toys, rotated often (hooves, antlers, bully sticks, stuffed and frozen Kongs).” (Lauren Wojcik – owner/trainer, Laurens Leash, www.laurensleash.comlaurensleash@gmail.com, 917-261-1128)
  • make sure dog has enough exercise , play fetch with the dog before leaving the house, provide chew toys” (Elisabeth Weiss, DogRelations, http://www.dogrelationsnyc.com)
  • I always say there are three kinds of energy that need expending: physical of course, that can be drained somewhat on long walks but even more-so offleash a the dog park/run, but also mental energy and “social” energy. Mental energy can be drained with daily obedience work: sit, lie down, go to your bed, come, fetch. Social energy needs to be drained with daily offleash playing around other dogs at the park/dogrun. The fact that you did these with your dog last week isn’t enough – I like to say that when your dog wakes up from a nap, it’s a new day for him! So last week is a lifetime ago; take walks, do obedience work, and hit the dog park every day, multiple times a day if possible.” (Anthony Newman, Calm Energy Dog Training, www.calmenergydogtraining.com, www.calmenergy.blogspot.com, (646) 942-1979)
  • If someone has a high energy dog, we find that they can calm the dog down much faster if by utilizing their dog’s brain as opposed to just walking or exercising them. We do this with ‘obedience training’.  We also recommend to owners that they should look to reduce the amount of ‘high energy food’, so lower carb levels in the diet.  Remember, “energy in, equals energy out”. (Robert Machi and Sylvia Wilson, www.barkbusters.com,  877-500-BARK (2275))
  • Aside from the standard activities, fetch, running at the dog park or organized activities like agility and flyball, nothing tires out a hyper dog like making them THINK. Obedience training is tiring!  If your dog can run circles around everyone at the dog run and come home wanting more, he likely needs an intellectual outlet for his energies as well. And your furniture and shoes will remain intact.” (Dr. Mary Travers-Smith,  Superpaws Dog Training,  mary@superpawsk9.com,  www.superpawsk9.com, 212-781-7197)
  • All dogs, especially high energy ones should get plenty of walks, this is different than leaving them in an enclosed backyard, walks stimulate the body and often exhaust the mind.” (James Colella Dedicated Dog Training (888) 370-7477 www.DedicatedDogTraining.com)

(NOTE: We do not endorse any particular trainer or their training ideas – this is here to give you perspectives from different trainers for training issues. Please do your research before hiring a trainer and avoid any that use methods that seem abusive. Here are some additional resources to read on why and how to train: ASPCA Guide to Training, APDT How to Select a Trainer, LiveScience on Training)

Ask a Trainer: Puppy biting

Here’s a question from our Ask a Dog Trainer section.

“We just adopted a 5 month old lab mix and it still bites us a lot. We know she’s just playing but is their anything we can do do help inhibit this behavior”?

  • Boxerwelpen 126“Absolutely! When you engage in play with your puppy, use toys rather than your hands. If you do get a nip, make an “ow!” noise and end the play for 5-10 seconds by standing up and walking away. When play ends every time your pups teeth come in contact with your skin, (s)he learns that the consequence for teeth on skin is that play ends. At the same time, remember that puppies need to chew! Make sure that your pup has a good variety of appropriate chew items like bully sticks and stuffed Kong toys.” (Lauren Wojcik – owner/trainer, Laurens Leash, www.laurensleash.comlaurensleash@gmail.com, 917-261-1128)
  • walk away when pup chews on human, game is over give puppy lots of safe chew toys and feed meals out of kongs exercise!!!!” (Elisabeth Weiss, DogRelations, http://www.dogrelationsnyc.com)
  • Puppy “mouthing” is very common, and a great opportunity to start teaching rules and boundaries. Some simple strategies to stop the behavior are 1) let your hand/arm go limp (instead of pulling away, which makes it more like a game), 2) stop all the fun, leave and ignore, and 3) squeal as if in pain (for certain temperaments this works). Yet “correcting” the behavior is only the first step, and won’t end the behavior long-term. To do that, after correcting “redirect” to an approved mouthing/biting target – e.g. a rubber Kong toy, a bully stick, a rawhide, a deer antler, etc. This way she’ll learn not only what ISN’T allowed, but also what IS – and she’ll be able to get her chewing needs fulfilled.” (Anthony Newman, Calm Energy Dog Training, www.calmenergydogtraining.com, www.calmenergy.blogspot.com, (646) 942-1979)
  • Yes, whenever you play with the puppy, make sure you have a toy. Every time he bites you, redirect him to bite on the toy instead. You can also try putting a “chew stop” type products on your hands and cloths. When you taste bad, your puppy is less likely to use you as a chew you toy. Also remember that puppies are like toddlers and when they are over tired or over stimulated, they often act hyper and out of control. If your puppy is going a little batty he may just need some nap time.” (Dr. Mary Travers-Smith,  Superpaws Dog Training,  mary@superpawsk9.com,  www.superpawsk9.com, 212-781-7197)
  • “Yes, although you believe it to be play, and it probably is just nipping, it can and should be corrected.  Many trainers rely on a training method that they refer to as “redirecting,” it has its place, however, if the puppy is a family pet and is at or near five months old, we would like to correct the nipping and reward a closed mouth; our method is a two fold one, that mostly yields results in a lesson or two.” (James Colella Dedicated Dog Training (888) 370-7477 www.DedicatedDogTraining.com)

(NOTE: We do not endorse any particular trainer or their training ideas – this is here to give you perspectives from different trainers for training issues. Please do your research before hiring a trainer and avoid any that use methods that seem abusive. Here are some additional resources to read on why and how to train: ASPCA Guide to Training, APDT How to Select a Trainer, LiveScience on Training)

Ask a Trainer: New baby and a dog

Here’s a question from our Ask a Dog Trainer section.

We are about to have our first baby. Our dog gets so much attention from us right now. What would you recommend doing now or later to help our dog adapt to our baby?”

  • dog babyRead “Introducing Your Pet and New Baby” by the Humane Society.
  • “Two of the most helpful tips I give clients who are welcoming a new baby is: get good solid training for your dog so he knows what you expect of him in all situations and try and set up your home in advance. Put the swing in the living room and turn it on. Set up the changing table. Teach your dog to stay out of the nursery (if that’s your wish) BEFORE the baby comes. Dogs get stressed out when everything changes all at once. For more read the full article at http://superpawsk9.com/imported-20110119201141/(Dr. Mary Travers-Smith,  Superpaws Dog Training,  mary@superpawsk9.com,  www.superpawsk9.com, 212-781-7197)
  • Train your dog to be able to be separate from you when you ask. Practice “in-home” separations, where you ask him to go to his bed; leave him with a “long reward” like a bully stick while you relax in the other room, take a shower, cook, etc. After the baby arrives it is just as important as ever to continue giving your dog at least three long walks a day, and daily offleash social play at the dog park. Exercise, socialization, and daily obedience work…and your dog should love contributing to your family unit.” (Anthony Newman, Calm Energy Dog Training, www.calmenergydogtraining.com, www.calmenergy.blogspot.com, (646) 942-1979)
  • “I would begin adjusting your schedule before the baby comes. If your dog is getting constant attention now it will be a big shock when the baby comes. Start by ignoring your dog for 15 minutes 2x/day. Then ignore your dog for 30 minutes 2x/day. I would also recommend purchasing your stroller ahead of time and teaching your dog to walk calmly on a loose leash next to the stroller. The last thing I would do is find baby sound effects on youtube and play them during your dogs mealtimes. (Lauren Wojcik – owner/trainer, Laurens Leash, www.laurensleash.comlaurensleash@gmail.com, 917-261-1128)
  • make attention active; dog is asked to ‘do’ something to earn attention, toys and food” (Elisabeth Weiss, DogRelations, http://www.dogrelationsnyc.com)
  • Are there incidents that can be attributed to having a baby after owning your puppy or dog?  Yes, there is, however, Dedicated Dog Training believes this gets too much attention.  Again, this is our opinion.  You should definitely attempt to spend as much time as you can with your dog; the ideal thing would be for you to spend the same amount of time with your dog as you did prior to the baby.” (James Colella Dedicated Dog Training (888) 370-7477 www.DedicatedDogTraining.com)

(NOTE: We do not endorse any particular trainer or their training ideas – this is here to give you perspectives from different trainers for training issues. Please do your research before hiring a trainer and avoid any that use methods that seem abusive. Here are some additional resources to read on why and how to train: ASPCA Guide to Training, APDT How to Select a Trainer, LiveScience on Training)

Ask a Trainer: Dog barking at doorbell

Here’s a question from our Ask a Dog Trainer section.

Our dog loses it (barking) whenever someone rings the doorbell. Are there any training tips or commands to calm her down in these moments?”

  • Doorbell“First, condition your dogs response so (s)he knows that the doorbell means that something good will happen! Ring the doorbell and give her a piece of chicken (even if she reacts). Repeat for 3 minutes. Break. Repeat again. The point is to make the association that doorbell = chicken. Once (s)he gets it ((s)he will begin to look at you for chicken instead of barking), ask for a “sit” or a “down” after you ring the doorbell and before you treat her. (Doorbell -> Sit -> Chicken!) Soon she will automatically sit when she hears the doorbell, instead of barking. When this is consistent, you don’t need to treat her every time she sits when the doorbell rings, just every so often. (Lauren Wojcik – owner/trainer, Laurens Leash, www.laurensleash.comlaurensleash@gmail.com, 917-261-1128)
  • depending on how often someone rings the bell you can desensitize the dog to bell or even make the bell a signal for the dog to run to a mat or crate and go into down….depending how much time one wants to invest.” (Elisabeth Weiss, DogRelations, http://www.dogrelationsnyc.com)
  • I love the “go to your bed” command for this. It acknowledges to the dog that you heard their “alert”, gives them an assignment (they’re barking in order to serve you, by alerting you), and puts them in a comfortable, safe, and relaxing space. “Go to your bed” must INCLUDE not only going but also lying down, relaxing, and staying until verbally released (“OK!”). After as long a pause as possible (longer and longer as you practice), release your dog from their bed, so that as a reward they get to jump up and go sniff the visitor and get pet (either up to the door to sniff the delivery guy, or after your friend comes in and sits on the couch).” (Anthony Newman, Calm Energy Dog Training, www.calmenergydogtraining.com, www.calmenergy.blogspot.com, (646) 942-1979)
  • Obsessive barking is a very difficult behavior to control because it is so self reinforcing. Lots of dogs like to hear themselves bark. The only way to control barking is to teach a “quiet” command and have an effective way to reinforce it. Avoid using food reinforcement with barking because even with perfect timing, it is easy to mistakenly reinforce the barking! Read more at: http://superpawsk9.com/imported-20110119201141/(Dr. Mary Travers-Smith,  Superpaws Dog Training,  mary@superpawsk9.com,  www.superpawsk9.com, 212-781-7197)
  • Yes, unfortunately most people think the training is directed at the actual “barking” although the reason for the training is to calm the barking, you do not correct or address the barking head on, as a matter of fact, we try to divert the dog to something else.   For instance, we change the meaning of the sound of a door bell rining, by doing that, we change the reactions of all persons around, thereby changing the dogs’ reaction as well.” (James Colella Dedicated Dog Training (888) 370-7477 www.DedicatedDogTraining.com)

5 things that make having a dog in the city different than the suburbs

So what’s the big deal about having a dog in New York City? Here are 5 considerations:

  • central park dogs 2No yards: Most of us don’t have a backyard in New York City, so dogs only go outside when we take them outside. That means we have to make time to take them out to go to the bathroom, play or socialize. We need to know the good walks, the closest dog runs, and where we can and can’t take them. It makes house-training a bit more work when you can’t just open door and let a dog out when it needs to. When we are home, it also means we are in close contact with our dogs. Much closer than if they had a day in the yard only to come back for dinner. So we end up knowing more about them, and they about us. They are likely aware of all of your movements in the apartment, your schedule, your routine, and cues that its time to eat or go outside. We also notice more about our dogs by being in such close contact. You get a sense of their personalities, when they are happy, depressed, bored, or tired. When we are away, it means they are alone. Maybe they can hear people in the hallway or the adjacent unit, but otherwise they wait, and sleep. They are social creatures and likely are very excited when you are back.
  • No cars: Most of us in New York City also don’t have cars. This means that we need to find other ways of transporting our dogs, be it walking, taking a taxi, or even the subway. It also means we have to find better ways to get 30 pound bags of dog food home (thank you online pet stores!). Even getting a sick or injured dog to the vet can be tricky without a car.
  • No space: Let’s face it- we have a lot less space in New York City compared to other places. A lot of us our in studio or 1-2 bedroom apartments and it’s close quarters to add a dog into the mix. That well-placed dog bed and a few strategic dog toys can go along way to letting the dogs feel at home. They don’t ask for too much. But we do need to make time to get them outside. We also don’t likely have some sort of lesser room with furniture that is dog friendly. So we have to protect our stuff- our clothes, our shoes, our rugs, our furniture – from our dog’s accidental destruction.
  • crowded nyc streetCrowds: In New York City your dog is going to have a lot of exposure to other people and dogs. They don’t just go from the yard to the car to some destination and back by car with few contacts with others like they do in suburbs. So you have to have them well trained to deal with people and dogs walking past them. This includes a lot of things that set dogs off, like kids, skateboards, wheelchairs, people bundled in winter clothes and hats, people in uniforms, homeless or mentally ill that may smell or behave differently, and then of course other dogs, some of which may not may spay or neutered, and who may set off alarms with a look or smell. And then of course there are cars, and lots of them. Proper training and socialization can keep a dog by your side and not in a dangerous situation.
  • Expensive: Having a dog in new york City is expensive. If you are at work and need daycare (~$30/day) or a dog walk (~$15-20/walk) every day, it is going to add up. And somehow Veterinarian bills are oftentimes more expensive than your own doctor bills. Most pet insurance won’t cover routine visits. If you go away without your dog, overnight boarding can run $50-90. Plus training is typically $100/hour for private sessions, or a couple hundred dollars for multiple group sessions.

 

The Delighted Dog

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