Cesar’s Dog Training Advice: New Dog, Dog Obesity, Eating Feces
Recently, Cesar answered your questions live on Facebook, and the response was overwhelming. He received thousands of questions but only had an hour to answer them, and you can find his original responses here. He decided to go back and find a few more questions, and he answers them below.
Bringing a New Dog into the Pack
Dog Whimpers All the Time
Do Dogs Feel Pain?
Dog Barks When Phone Rings
Dog Destroys Things When Left Alone
Dog and I are Too Attached to Each Other
Dog Eats Her Own Poop
Nina Pyykkö: We are getting a new puppy next summer. So we´re a bit worried, if our dog is not going to like this new fellow… how our dog should meet this new puppy?
Stephanie Salus: We are thinking about getting another dog. We currently have an 8 year old female lab mix (adopted rescue) and she has been our only dog. We are not sure how she will react to a new dog.
Cesar Millan: Two important things to keep in mind when bringing a new member into the pack. The first is that the new dog should have a lower energy level than the other dogs in the pack. This is not always possible with a puppy, but I discuss this in more detail here. The second important thing is that your new dog and your pack meet on neutral ground, outside the home, so there will not be territorial issues — ideally, on a long walk together. I discuss this in more detail in my book A Member of the Family.Back to Top
Edgardo G. Saracho: Is there such an "obesity" condition pertaining to dog?
Cesar Millan: Yes. Not only can dogs have obesity problems just like humans, in the United States, veterinarians are starting to see more overweight dogs. Obesity in dogs can lead to many of the same problems they do in humans, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis, cardiopulmonary disease, hypertension and various types of neoplasia such as mammary cancer. Veterinarian Dr. Kristy Conn discusses avoiding canine obesity and helping your dog maintain a healthy weight here.Back to Top
Anne Madhuizen: Our 5 yr old Shih-Tzu-Poodle has recently decided to sit at the top of the stairs and whimper for my husband to pick him up and bring him downstairs. He has no joint issues and will come down the stairs any other time. He wags his tail when my husband goes up to check on him and yes, carry him down after trying to coax him to walk. I think Oliver is in love with the reunion of seeing my husband come for him. What do you think?
Cesar Millan: Well, Anne, I think that Oliver has your husband very well trained! Dogs are very good at figuring out how to get what they want, and when a certain behavior — in this case whimpering at the top of the stairs — leads to the desired outcome of your husband carrying the dog down, then the dog will repeat that behavior because it works. The key to eliminating the undesired behavior is to stop rewarding it. When Oliver learns that whimpering at the top of the stairs will not lead to your husband carrying him down, he will eventually give it up. It will just take patience and consistency on your part to re-train your husband.Back to Top
Julia Mudge: Do dogs feel pain? My dog was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, why didn't she ever show pain? Breaks my heart just thinking of it...
Cesar Millan: Dogs do feel pain, of course, but they are also very good at hiding it. This is because, in the wild, the pack will often abandon or kill a sick or injured member for the protection of the pack. For this reason, it is very important to take your dog for regular veterinary visits, and also to watch for any unusual behavior — for example, if your dog is suddenly flinching when you touch it in a certain area, her regular eating habits have changed, and so on. Back to Top
Rosana Cheung: One of my dogs won’t stop barking when the phone rings. The worst thing is it triggered other dogs in my house to bark. How can I stop that?
Cesar Millan: Imagine yourself on the telephone from your dog’s point of view. You may be all alone in the house, but suddenly you’re talking out loud, and not to the dog, which can be very confusing to him. Also, the sound of the phone ringing may have become associated with something else in your dog’s mind — does the ring frequently mean guests coming over or you leaving soon after? You need to create a good state of mind in your dog, then introduce the sound while he is in that state. In order to create the right state, the dog must be engaged in a job that keeps his mind occupied. If the ring is from a cell phone, then take your dog on a walk and, when he is focused on the walk and starting to be drained of energy, make the phone ring. This helps create a relationship between that sound and the positive activity. If your phone is still attached to your house, you can’t take it on a walk, but you can use a treadmill to get the same result.Back to Top
Juyi Lee: I have a male seven year-old Weimaraner. He never sits in the car. He walks back and forth, he turns round in the car while driving. He is always nervous, always fidgety in a car. Please help my dog. Thanks Cesar.
Dawn Vasquez-Giles: My snorkie, disco get car sick....hate that I can’t take him with me places. Any suggestion?
Lehni Garza: My dog gets terribly car sick! I have tried everything. He even pukes if his stomach is empty, in less than 5 minutes in the car. Any advice?
Cesar Millan: A lot of the problems dogs experience when traveling by car — such as motion sickness or pacing — are caused by anxiety. Get Rover used to the car with lots of short trips. And make them to fun places like off-leash parks so his association with cars is more than trips to the vet or the groomer. It can also help to make the car a fun place. Try sitting in the parked car with your dog, letting him play with a favorite toy or giving him treats. Do this a few times over several days for ten or fifteen minutes without driving anywhere, then go for a short drive and see how he reacts. If these methods don’t work for motion sickness, then there may be an underlying medical cause, which your veterinarian can diagnose and treat.Back to Top
Courtenay Weitzel: We just got a year old boxer rescued from a very abusive/neglectful home. He has healed completely from his wounds and has gained weight and muscle quickly. He is a good boy but if we leave him alone for any amount of time, he destroys plants, pillows, digs holes, and rips up anything he can find. He eats things he has destroyed and then gets terrible bowel issues.
Cesar Millan: When dogs become destructive while alone, it’s not because they’re angry or resentful. This is a classic sign of boredom, which you can deal with by finding interesting toys that challenge your dog’s mind when you’re not around — these are the kind of toys you can put treats inside of, and your dog has to figure out how to get to it. Also, crate training your dog can help eliminate destructive behavior, because he’ll have a place to go when he’s feeling anxious.Back to Top
Deanne MacIntosh: My dog is so attached to me and I am so attached to him. I am sure I have caused all if his issues of barking like crazy, he tries to push the door closed on people when they leave the house, he acts like a maniac when we pass other people or dogs on the trails. When I am not at home he waits for me by the window and is afraid or is too shy to be with anyone else. He barks like crazy when my fiancé comes home from work and doesn’t let us talk. My family says he is an angel when I am not around. How can loving your dog too much cause all these issues?
Cesar Millan: In order to be fulfilled, dogs need exercise, discipline and affection, in that order—that is my fulfillment formula. Too much of any of those will leave a dog unbalanced and, particularly in North America, we love to give our dogs affection, affection, affection while forgetting the other two. Without exercise to keep him in a calm energy state and without discipline to give him rules, boundaries and limitations, as soon as you — and all of that affection — are gone, he becomes obsessed with your return. Rehabilitating your dog begins with you taking on the role of a calm, assertive pack leader. When you fulfill your dog on a primal level as nature intended, you will feel in tune with and connect with your dog in a deeper way. Take responsibility for your dog's state of mind. Only then will you experience all the love your dog has to give!Back to Top
Rowana Tipton: Why would an almost grown female eat her own poop if I don’t get to it before she does. I have tried it all.
Carizza Mari, Carriedo Tinanac: We have a new dog which is a dachshund, she is 6 months old when she was given to us last Christmas, the problem that bothers us a lot is that she eats her own poop. How are we going to deal with this? What should we do?