Obedience training might help a'stubborn' Golden Retriever get going, according to My Pet World
Dear Cathy: My daughter has a 20-month-old Golden Retriever that adores playing ball and will play for hours. She has, nevertheless, developed a stubborn streak. She frequently refuses to come inside or leave a park when asked. She would just sit at first, and even with treats, you couldn't get her to move. She's been laying down on her side and "playing dead" a lot lately, sometimes smiling at you as she refuses to move. Lifting a 70-pound dog who refuses to go into a car is obviously difficult. Do you have any suggestions about how to stop this increasingly inconvenient behavior? — Howard, Malverne, New York
Dear Howard: Your daughter's best option is obedience training. But before I go into that, I'd like to offer a quick dog park approach. Your granddaughter should only take your grand-dog to the dog park when she is hungry (i.e., before breakfast or supper) so that she would respond to goodies better. Regular biscuits will not suffice. The goodies should have a high monetary value, which implies they should be exceptionally tasty and fragrant. Hot dog pieces might work.
This is how she employs them.
When your daughter is getting ready to leave the dog park, she should attach a long retractable lead to the dog. Tell her to let the dog smell the treats before walking away enthusiastically with them, whether the dog is standing or lying down. The dog will still be on a leash, allowing her to maintain control, but it should serve as a warning to the dog that her owner is departing. Hopefully, either that motivation or the chance of a high-value treat motivates the dog to get up. She should not take the dog to the dog park until after obedience training if she does not get up and follow her.
Your daughter should begin with the fundamentals (sit, stay, and down), but she must also teach the dog to respond to "let's go." The quickest approach to accomplish this is for her to have high-value treats in her pocket and to praise the dog anytime the dog follows her. When the dog is moving, she simply needs to say "let's go" in an overly exuberant voice, acknowledge the desired action using the dog's marker/reward word (i.e., Bingo), and then give the dog a high-value treat. If she keeps doing this for a few weeks, the dog should be much more ready to get up and follow her home.
Dear Cathy: The bulk of your columns about cats and their behavior problems appear to start with the advice of using cat pheromone collars and diffusers to assist alleviate behavior difficulties. If cat pheromone products worked as well as they claimed, you'd observe a significant drop in the number of people asking for cat behavior advice.
I've tried all of the cat pheromone products to no avail, and readers should be aware that they can be expensive, require a daily or monthly commitment, and may give pet owners excessive expectations of their ability to modify an animal's behavior. During my study into these goods, I discovered that pheromone products can really have the opposite impact on cats, making matters worse.
Instead of recommending these goods in the beginning of your articles, I believe you should save them for the conclusion, with the disclaimer "pet owners should perform their own product research after consulting with their veterinarian." ― Amy, Appleton, Wisconsin
Dear Amy: Pheromones should always be used in conjunction with any training, desensitization, or behavior modification recommendations given; they should never be used alone. Pheromones do not fix behavior problems, but they can help animals adjust to change and respond to training more rapidly by inducing a sense of well-being and safety.
While no product works the same for every animal, I've seen positive results with it and know many doctors (including my own) who advocate and even use it in their practices, which is why I recommend it. I assume this information is useful to some pet owners because I've received messages from them stating that they followed the guidelines and that their pets have benefited.
A pheromone collar will set you back around $30. The prices of the other pheromone-related goods are comparable. This isn't supposed to be a long-term investment. When retraining an animal (30 to 90 days) or when there are changes in the home, I recommend utilizing pheromones.