Tag Archive: training

“My dog isn’t getting along with other dogs. What can I do?”

 By: Sara Hogle, DVM use sh

           Inter-dog aggression occurs when a dog is overly aggressive toward dogs in the same household and/or unfamiliar dogs. Inter-dog aggression occurs much more frequently between intact (not spayed or neutered) dogs and is generally more of a problem between dogs of the same gender. There are a number of reasons for aggression to occur between dogs including lack of or Boxing frenchielimited socialization especially when the dog was a puppy, a previous traumatic encounter with another dog, inappropriate training/interactions with the owner, wanting to protect territory/resources (food guarding) or social status (dominance), a painful condition (leading to guarding behavior), and very commonly, fear or lack of confidence. 
          Initially, inter-dog aggression may be addressed by avoiding situations that encourage aggressive behavior to occur. Behavior modification also plays a very important role in resolving inter-dog aggressive tendencies. For example, a dog may be trained to sit and relax during exposure to other unknown dogs or situations that historically elicited aggressive behavior and treats provided as a fearaggressionreward. It will also be beneficial to slowly condition the dog to not fear other unknown dogs, by gradually exposing the dog to other dogs in public and always keeping the safety of all dogs as a top priority. There are no medications that specifically address inter-dog aggression but given that fear and anxiety can play a major role in this behavioral problem, sometimes medications that help to address fear and anxiety can be helpful in managing the problem. 
            Finally, it is important to understand that behavioral modification techniques, limiting of risky behaviors and interactions, and medications if found helpful, need to be implemented for the life of the dog. Even if there is a prolonged period of time without an aggressive incident, the potential risk still remains.
        Check out our website for more information on trainers in our area that we recommend. http://baringvet.net/ 

Puppy Play


By:  John Crumley, DVMDr. Crumley

I want to socialize my puppy, but I was told not to take him around any other dogs what can I do?

Early socialization is a very important step in the early behavioral development of puppies. Current recommendations are to get puppies into a structured puppy class before 16 weeks of age, but the vaccine and deworming series is not completed until after 16 weeks of age. Since the vaccine series is paramount to prevent terrible diseases, such as parvovirus, this can seem like a “Catch 22” scenario. We want our puppy exposed to the proper social environment, but we don’t want them exposed to disease, right? Well, it can be done and safely.

In the past, veterinarians would always recommend keeping a puppy inside the home and away from other dogs or places dogs have been until the vaccine series was completed, but recent evidence does not support this recommendation. In fact, veterinary behaviorists believe we may be harming a puppy’s early social development by keeping them isolated from other dogs and new people. The current recommendations from veterinary behaviorists is to get puppies into socialization classes before 12 weeks of age.


Our biggest infectious disease concern in Reno is parvoviorus. The vaccines are very effective in preventing the disease, but they must be given in sequence starting around 7 weeks of age until a final puppy vaccine after 16 weeks of age. During the vaccine sequence the immunity builds with each successive vaccination so the risk of infection reduces, but it is complete until after the final puppy vaccine is given after 16 weeks of age.

So, is my puppy going to get parvovirus if I go to puppy classes before 16 weeks of age?

Very unlikely. In the spring of 2013, researchers looked into puppies that were enrolled in puppy classes before 16 weeks of age after receiving at least one vaccination for parvovirus from a veterinarian. More than 200 puppies in four cities were studied and not a single puppy developed parvovirus. So, it appears that puppy classes are safe if your puppy has received at least one vaccine by a veterinarian. We recommend enrolling in puppy classes around 12 weeks of age (after we have given at least one vaccine). We have never documented a puppy getting Puppies playing sick from parvovirus that could be traced to a puppy class here in Reno.

So I can take my puppy anywhere after you give a parvovirus vaccine?

No! There is still parvovirus in our town, so going to places where many dogs have been is a big risk for parvovirus until the vaccine series is complete. Your home, your yard, and puppy classes are safe, but avoid anywhere else many dogs have been to reduce your puppy’s risk.

But I should enrol my puppy in puppy classes?

Yes! At your first puppy vaccine visit, ask your veterinarian about when to get your little one started in classes. In the meantime, get your puppy used to a collar, leash, and harness. Also pug pack start teaching them to sit and stay and work on crate training. All these things will give your little puppy a “leg up” on the future classes!

By: Sara Hogle DVM

There are several important factors to consider when choosing a specific dog breed or mixed breed individual for your family. In general, you will want to consider your own lifestyle, personality, and specific desires for dog behavior, personality, and maintenance characteristics. Selecting your canine friend is an important long term decision for you and your family so it pays to spend some time researching to ensure you come to the right decision.

When you imagine the type of dog you picture yourself living with for the next 10-20 years the dog’s breed will play an important role in this decision, but many other factors are important to consider. A particular breed will ensure certain qualities in your dog (coat length and grooming requirements, size, often energy level, trainability, protectiveness, temperature/climate tolerance, and  predisposition to certain medical problems) but does not automatically ensure that you will end up with the “perfect dog” for you. Spending some time researching the history of your dog’s family line, training and socializing your dog, and investing in your dog’s preventative care and medical needs through your veterinarian will provide you both with the best opportunity for a long happy, fulfilling life together.


A list of important factors to consider when selecting a canine companion:

  1. Size
  2. Energy level (some dogs are non-stop sprinters vs. more of a couch potato)
  3. How much time will you be able to spend exercising your dog each day?
  4. How often will you be able to play with your dog?
  5. How affectionate (“clingy”) do you want your dog to be?
  6. Do you have any other pets in the household that your dog will need to get along with?
  7. How trainable do you want your new dog to be?
    1. Some easier to train dog breeds- Australian shepherds, Border collie, Lab, Golden retriever, Poodles, Papillion
  8. How protective do you want your new dog to be?
  9. How much maintenance/grooming can you provide and how much shedding can you tolerate?
  10. Does your dog need to be able to tolerate cold, hot, or variable temperatures/climates based on where you live?
  11. Is it important that your dog be good with children?
  12. Is affordability an issue for you? E.g. initial cost of purchase, food, grooming costs, potential for health care/medical issues in the future.
    1. For example some breed predilections for hip dysplasia include German shepherds, Rottweiler,Labradorretrievers, Golden retrievers
  13. Will your dog be kept inside, outside, or a bit of both? (certain breeds just don’t tolerate exposure outside well at all).
  14. What is your level of experience with dogs? (certain breeds are not recommended for 1st time dog owners).
  15. What was the breed originally bred for? (some of those instincts may remain; for example some breeds were bred for digging/rooting out rodents and will likely do so in your flower garden as well).
  16. Do you have any allergies to dogs?  Some “hypoallergenic breeds” include: poodles, Bichon Frise, etc.
  17. How vocal of a dog do you prefer? Some are more talkative including: Beagles, Huskies, German Shepherd dogs.