DancingFlame writes to me: “Hello, I have a pug/chihuahua mix and I would like to thank you for the solutions you’ve already given me. My dog was whining in her crate and having a hard time learning the down command. We bought her a comfy bed and began feeding her inside the crate, and now she actually enjoys napping in it and will go inside at bedtime without being prompted. We’ve also got a good start on the “down” command.
I’ve looked over your games to play section in order and would like to teach her to locate hidden items. I started with smelly salmon treats, and she was unable to find them. Do you have any recommendations of tricks or techniques that can help us to develop her sense of smell? I would love to work up to her bringing me my keys (when I lose them).
My husband has a question for you. Our dog will often lick his hands, face, and arms while he’s petting her. He doesn’t like it and says he feels like a jerky treat, but hasn’t corrected her yet, as he doesn’t want to discourage her from feeling confident in our pack. Should we train her not to do this, or is it normal behavior for her place in the pack?
Thank you in advance!”
Adam Replies Hi DancingFlame:
Thanks for the feedback.
The trick with teaching her how to find hidden objects is to start by getting her excited about the treat, and then let her see you hide the treat — but pretend like you’re really hiding it. Tell her, “Go find it!”
Do that a few times, and then hide it in pretty much the same place, but don’t let her see you put it there. (She’ll go back to the same place! LOL).
After a few times, hide it maybe a 1/2 foot, and then a foot from that same location.
The rinse and repeat in two more locations.
Then mix it up, so that she goes to check the old locations, too. At the same time, you can help her out by saying, “Check here,” and snapping your fingers at the spot.
As for the licking: It could be from a vitamin deficiency. You might talk with your vet about changing food. If it is behavioral, usually the easiest way to fix it is to just say, “No!” and pinch the tongue when she licks you. (This licking behavior isn’t submission, because the submissive behavior does not continue for more than a couple of seconds, when it’s that!)
If pinching the tongue doesn’t work, you can use the collar and tab to give a LIGHT correction, and then offer her a toy to chew on.
Keep me posted.