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Homestead Dogs Amy Durfrey sitting with her two dogs

Frequently Asked Questions

If your dog doesn’t know the answer, you may find your frequently asked boarding and training questions on this page. Or give us a call for more information.

Homestead Dogs will personalize training to your needs. Do you want hands-on experience? We can provide private training directly with you. Are you someone who just wants your dog trained and then show you how to reinforce the training? We can provide board and training where we keep your dog at our facility while we train; then we meet with you to show you how to reinforce the training. Do you prefer group training? We will have group lessons scheduled throughout the year.

YES!! Small dogs like large dogs, should be held to the same standards. Usually, the only difference is the owner’s tendency to tolerate more extreme behaviors from their small dogs such as aggression, excessive barking and marking problems. We personalize training for dogs of all sizes and temperaments.

Dogs that are sensitive or fearful have unique circumstances that need to be addressed through clear dog obedience training. The primary goal in training dogs of this temperament is to build confidence in the dog through obedience exercises and other learned behavior. The first step is gaining trust from the dog through communication using obedience as a foundation. In cases of fear-aggression, confidence is key to teaching the dog how to become trustworthy. In cases of submissive or sensitive dogs, clarity and confidence is key.

Obedience is the foundation for solving all behavioral issues. Without this foundation, these issues may cost more in the long run as well as put your dog and/or family in danger. Obedience training is like sending your dog to elementary school. What they learn will last a lifetime and help mold them into the well behaved, loving pet you want as a family member.

We will teach you how to incorporate training into your daily routine. Usually, it is at least 15 minutes a day although it is important that you enforce commands and new boundaries thoughout the day. Consistency is the key.

Our training is designed to help you and your dog progress as quickly as possible to have a happy life together. Because of this, I use a variety of methods and personalize training for your dog’s individual personality and to meet your specific goals.

While some trainers guarantee a dog’s behavior into the future, be sure to read the fine print. The fact of the matter is this – all living creatures are a product of their genetic makeup and environmental influences. If a dog’s health, home or environment change, so might the dog’s performance or behavior. While training your dog decreases the likelihood of problem behaviors, no reasonable person can predict what tomorrow holds.

An “e-collar” or remote collar is basically a dog collar with a stimulation mechanism (similar to an electric fence collar). The collar is controlled by a remote that the handler holds. The remote allows you to maintain full control of your dog for up to 400 yards! It gives your dog a lot of freedom and saves you from worrying about your dog running off. It is simply used as a training device for communicating with your dog. It produces a subtle electrical current between two contact points located on the collar. The e-collar is used to get the dog’s attention and keep it focused on listening to the handler. It is the equivalent of someone tapping your shoulder to get your attention, or setting your phone on vibrate so it will get your attention when someone is calling you. We teach the dog to listen to those “taps” and that the “taps” mean, “I am trying to get your attention.” As with any tool, you can’t just buy the best tool and expect to build the best house. You need an expert to train and guide you to build the house you want. That is what we will do for you at Homestead Dogs.

Jumping starts at an early age. Before working their way to the other end, dogs generally greet each other face-to-face. A little height challenged, puppies have to jump to reach their Mom’s face. And while puppies use it as a greeting, too, it can also indicate to Mom that they are hungry. This is one of the puppy’s first lessons, there is a reward for jumping up on Mom.

After Mom teaches them to be a dog, many, of course, are transitioned to a new family where sniffing butts and licking faces are difficult to reach and, strangely, aren’t the social norms. One of the few other skills the pup has is jumping and what warm-blooded human can turn down a jumping puppy. This re-inforces the behavior.

Six months later, sure, it’s still cute, but it can become hazardous with larger dogs. Children, older adults and other vulnerable folks can be knocked off balance by even mid-sized dogs that could lead to serious injury. At this point, though, its become ingrained in the dog’s behavior as a communication tool. Some dogs are able to adapt but others may need help not only stopping the behavior, but finding another way to communicate.

Essentially this comes down to conflicting goals. At one end of the leash, the bladder might be full which will quicken anybody’s pace. Once outside, the dog’s natural instinct is to track, hunt, explore, squirrel, chase and socialize…all on 4-wheel-drive.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the leash, knowing dinner is in the fridge, the driver simply wants a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood and at a pedestrian 3-4 miles per hour. Some dogs may learn to relax on walks over time but dogs with stronger hunting and tracking instincts may find the leash restriction difficult.

Instinctually they know if they push harder with their legs, they will arrive at their destination quicker. Most dogs can’t make the connection between the restrictive leash and the ability to get where they want to go. To some dogs, the pain and discomfort of control halters and spiked collars are not enough to overcome the instinct to run and will fight harder. Other dogs may even become disinterested in walks altogether.

Dogs love to be part of a team, they just need to know where the out-of-bounds are.

How Do I Introduce My Dog to My Baby?
With a baby on the way, what preventative measures can parents-to-be take to encourage your dog to accept the new addition to the family? The answer requires preparation and training. If a dog has never been around babies before they may not look at a baby as a human. To ensure their baby’s safety, owners need to step back and look at their dog’s temperament. They must ask some questions:
Has the dog ever been aggressive to strangers?
Has the dog ever been aggressive to strange children?
Has the dog ever been aggressive to smaller animals?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then one needs to be very careful with this dog around a new baby. If the answer to one of these questions is “yes,” this does not mean that this dog cannot learn to accept a baby. It simply means that the parents need to be very careful and not make any mistakes. Dog training is not rocket science. Training a dog revolves around common sense and being a responsible pet owner. Download our PDF to read more about How Do I Introduce My Dog to My Baby?

Why does our dog bark when we leave home?
Most dogs bark because they are bored or want attention. Accustomed to a lot of attention, they don’t know how to behave when alone. We want our dogs to be happy, so we spoil them.

Your dog must learn that barking for your attention doesn’t work. If your dog is unhappy outdoors and barking eventually makes you bring him in, he learns that barking gets results. Even if barking makes you yell at him; well, that’s better than nothing. “I’m bored. Maybe I can get them to yell at me again.” Although yelling doesn’t work, some negative reinforcement can still be useful.

Barking While You Are Away
Make sure you have done the basic things: See that your dog has food and water, and a comfortable place to relax where he can’t see people or other pets. Often, the problem barker has never learned to be alone. He is accustomed to lavish attention without having to earn it. He thinks he is the center of the world and upon finding himself abandoned he is distraught, so he barks. Download our PDF to read more about Why does our dog bark when we leave home?

Dogs can get stressed for the same reason’s humans get stressed. Dogs get stressed in situations where they feel unable to cope. When stressed they get more hormones running around and the adrenaline starts pumping. These stress levels together with the activated defense mechanisms are necessary for your dog to survive. It helps them react fast enough and be strong enough to survive danger.

Dogs can show stress in many ways. When stressed, dogs start utilizing “calming signals” to ease the stress. Download our white paper on Do Dogs Get Stressed to learn more…

Many dogs suffer from car sickness, especially when they’re young. Some outgrow it; but in the meantime, you may want to make sure your dog has an empty stomach whenever it’s time to hit the road. Don’t give him any food 3 to 4 hours prior to travel. Do make sure he’s had water. Download our white paper to read more on Dog Car & Motion Sickness.

Because canines are natural predators, many pets love the thrill of the chase. Unfortunately, cars, minivans and bicycles aren’t exactly traditional prey items for canines. Your dog could easily get injured should he attempt to pursue a passing vehicle. Read more about Why a Dog Chases Cars

All dogs have an inherent need to chew that begins when they first grow teeth and continues through old age.   

Your dog will chew, when the need arises, whatever is handy. Your shoes, furniture, clothing and personal items are high on the “valued chewables” list. Your items smell like you, so they are naturally more fun to chew. Read more about Dog & Puppy Chewing…

Dogs are natural food scavengers. They will eat many items that we humans know are inappropriate. Almost every time a dog jumps at the counter, it is reinforced by what it finds up on the counter. It doesn’t matter if you yell at the dog, physically punish it, give it a time out or anything else—the dog still managed to get that Thanksgiving turkey and it was good while it lasted.
Management is the key to stopping counter surfing. If you don’t have anything on the counter for the dog to get, then there is no reason for him to jump. Keeping temptations out of reach is what is really required and successful. This type of management can be difficult for busy families, though. Download Why do Dogs Counter Surf & Steal to learn more.

Dogs dig for a variety of reasons …. instinctive traits, boredom, bury bones, etc., to make a cool pit to lie in or some will even dig to follow the sound of rushing water through pipes. Read more in our PDF article, Why Do Dogs Dig?

Distractions are an important part of training your dog. A distraction can be anything in the environment that causes your dog not to focus on you. It can be people, places, toys, food, odors, sounds, whatever your dog finds distracting. Read more on Dog & Puppy Training Distractions.

Firecrackers, thunder, and other loud, out-of-nowhere sounds often leave dogs frightened and wanting to flee to a safer place. These types of fears may develop even though your dog has had no traumatic experiences associated with the sound. The good news is that many fear-related problems can be successfully resolved. However, if left untreated, your dog’s fearful behavior will probably get worse. Read more on Why Dogs Hate Loud Noises?.

Dogs that jump are generally doing it for one of two reasons: to greet you or to express dominance. Dogs that are excited to see you jump up to get closer to your face so they can smell your breath, which is one way they use to identify you. If you push the dog away, these dogs become more frustrated, so they jump with even more determination. Download to read more…

Male dogs lift their leg and urinate to mark their territory. Management can be the key to change this behavior. Download our whitepaper, Why do Dogs Mark in the House? for more information.

Dogs and puppies have an abundance of energy with a never-ending desire to expand their minds and interact with their pack. Read more in Homestead Dogs’ What are Good Mental Exercises for Dogs?.

When left alone, most dogs find a familiar spot and go to sleep. However, a dog suffering from separation anxiety will become extremely anxious. Separation anxiety occurs when a dog becomes distressed over the absence of other pack members, human or canine. He does not understand
where you or your family has gone or if you will ever return. Read our article on How to Stop Dog Separation Anxiety.

…obedience training gives him an outlet for his energy and a function which makes him a contributing member of the household. Read more…

While most cases of stool eating or coprophagia appear to be purely behavioral, there are indeed numerous medical problems that can cause or contribute to coprophagia. These problems must first be ruled out before a purely behavioral diagnosis can be made. Read more from our Why do Dogs Eat Stools? pdf…

The many differences between canine and human social behavior and communication can lead to miscommunication, misunderstandings and what humans consider “behavior problems.” From a dog’s perspective, for example, submissive urination is perfectly normal; but owners have real concerns about this behavior. Read more in our Why Dogs Pee When Excited or Scared? article…

As we progress and our dogs are behaving well, we have the tendency to become slack with them. Dogs can read this from you and will manipulate you if given the chance. Don’t be afraid to go back to the basics to show your dog he still has to follow the rules. Read more in our Best Dog & Puppy Training Tips article

It’s annoying, but it’s also communication. There are 5 main reasons dogs whine. Read more in our Why Do Dogs & Puppies Whine? article…

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Serving the Central Ohio area, including:
Delaware • Dublin • Powell • Lewis Center • Westerville • Hilliard • Worthington • Columbus • Franklin County • Delaware County • Plain City • Marysville • Marion • Sunbury • New Albany