My rescue dog gives scratches, not kisses

I recently adopted two Chihuahuas. Diva is approximately eight and the other, Suzi, is about one-and-a-half. I was told that she probably spent the better part of her life on the streets never knowing a real family. She has decided to bond with me and has no use for anyone but me, she stares at me constantly watching my every move and when I leave the room even for a minute. When I return she jumps around like I’ve been gone for hours!

I try turning my back on her when she does this, but it doesn’t help. The main issue we are having with her is she does not give kisses, but instead will scratch you – usually your face – which obviously hurts and I am afraid she will seriously injure someone. I dont know how to stop this. Can you possibly offer any suggestions? ~ Debra

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Q&A: How can I get my dogs to calm down the roughhousing?

I have a two year-old Staff cross of a Bull Mastiff; she is a very large dog, and also have a 5 month-old Staff cross Bulldog. My puppy had recently been on cage rest since he was 10 weeks old due to a serious break on his leg, preventing them from crucial bonding with one another.

Recently my puppy has been out of the crate and you would think that they both aren’t trained: they’re constantly playing and breaking every household item. I love the idea of them being friendly, but it is too rough the way they interact with one another.

How do I go about teaching them to be calm and play at appropriate times?

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Q&A: My adopted dog was abused and is afraid of men; how can I help him?

I just adopted a two year-old male dog who was clearly abused by a man. He is scared to death of my husband, but he is a totally different dog with me.

Do you have any advice on how to get him to understand that my husband would never hurt him?

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Q&A: My dog doesn’t like treats or other dogs; help!

My new pal, a nine-pound, six year-old Poodle mix named Dog Marley, was rescued with the help of Pets for Patriots. Dog Marley is not a big fan of treats. I have tried six different types. Sometimes he’ll take one then hide it under my bed. I’ve left then, not wanting to take his stash. So for training, treats are no big incentive.

On an unrelated issue, what is your opinion of crate training? I had to leave Dog Marley alone for about two hours and he apparently barked almost the whole time. Any thoughts?

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Q&A: Should retired military dogs be used as service animals?

Many military working dogs (MWDs) are reunited with their handlers when they retire, and they are then called pets. Since the dog goes through intense training, when it is returned to the handler should the handler be using the dog as a PTSD service animal according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?


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Q&A: What is the best way to deal with food guarding?

We just adopted a small mixed breed dog named Luna, and have three mini Schnauzers as well. Luna is guarding her food, and last night I gave all four dogs raw hides. After an hour or so, she started stealing the other dogs’ raw hides.

She is nipping at the other dogs even if they walk past where a raw hide is laying on the floor. What can we do to start Luna on the right path?

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Q&A: How can I train my dogs not to bark at everything?

I have to adopted dog, one is 12 and the other is one-and-a-half. I’ve always had issues with the older one barking at everyone who walks down the street – doesn’t matter inside or out, and especially if they’re walking a dog. Now he has taught our newest family member to do this.

How can I train my dogs not to bark at everything, and only bark if someone comes to the door, and to stop once I let them know it’s okay?

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Q&A: Help! My newly adopted dog is dog-aggressive

Rocky has really been a great dog. The only issue we have run into is he tends to be pretty dog aggressive, so we have had to slow our trips to the dog park. He seems to be just wanting to protect his family when another dog comes near. What can we do?

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Q&A: How do I help my newly adopted dog know when my resident dog wants to be left alone?

I recently adopted a dog who mostly gets along with my resident dog, but when the two pets get together and play, the other pet will send a signal that he doesn’t want to play any longer and my new dog isn’t getting the message. He continues trying to play and my other dog will snap at him. I don’t want to surrender my new dog, but how can I get him to know when enough is enough?

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Q&A: My dog always pulls on the leash during walks; what can I do?

We have a handsome Bassett mix that knows the basic commands and is always happy to please us-however, we have been unable to teach him to walk on leash without pulling. At 60 pounds and with his low center of gravity and strong scent drive he is a double handful on leash. How do we help him to be a better citizen while leash walking?

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