"...it takes a strong minded human to appreciate a strong- minded dog!" (Mary Webber)
"If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer." (Alfred North Whitehead)
Most dog owners have experienced (or seen) yards where there are numerous "hidden gifts" from the resident dog. You could be heading out for a bit of gardening, about to mow the lawn, or ready to bask outside -- only to see (and hopefully not step in!) one of these reminders of dog ownership.
The good news is that you can train your dog to use only a specific area of the yard to do his business. And you can pick an area that's not going to be out in plain view!
The key is consistency. When it's time for your dog to take a bathroom break, physically take him out to the area where you want him to go. Encourage him with a verbal command, and use this command every time you take him out. Praise him when he does his business. Now repeat the whole process again when it's time for his next bathroom break.
If your dog is reluctant to use the designated area, try to make it more appealing by adding a shrub, a pole, or other item that your dog may like.
Eventually you should be able to direct your dog to his "bathroom area" without physically taking him there. Your goal is to get him to go there automatically - keeping most of your yard "mess-free", and making clean-up much easier!
"This is a piture of our Alapaha Blue Blood Bull Dog. His name is Arlo. He is a very rare breed, it took a year before we got him. He is a Brown Merle with blue eyes, which makes him even rarer. We just love him so much and would like to post his pic so we can show him off."
- Sherry & Rich Winkup
"I can't help but show off my darling Bernese Mountain Dog, Musti, to all the readers of The PET FRIENDLY Canada Newsletter. Here she is having her afternoon rest on her favorite place on our king size bed. Only size good enough for her!"
- Greetings from Montreal, Hanna
Sometimes it can't be helped: people have to travel long distances, whether it's across the country or overseas, and they can't do it by car. In fact, many people, relocating to new cities, have written pleading for help on how to transport their beloved pets.
The Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) offers information on "professional pet shippers", who will transport pets locally, nationally, or worldwide. Their website provides tips on what you need to know prior to talking to a pet shipper, as well as a (free) searchable list of pet shippers worldwide. You can find their website at www.ipata.com.