Fall is on the way and the cold weather is coming. So, every time there’s sun and warmth, I take the opportunity to gather the last of the season and walk around my neighborhood.  Last week as I passed a car parked in a driveway, and a dog came running out from behind the car and lunged at me.  Luckily, he was tied up.  But it reminded me of the time my husband was walking our Sheltie, and a woman opened the front door of her house, and out jumped a big black dog who immediately dashed down the stairs to the sidewalk and attacked my dog.   The woman had intended to tie the dog but had lost her grip. She was apologetic and my dog left with just the lost of his fur, but we became alert after that.

And what did the owner of that dog who scared the daylights out of me have to say about his dog lunging out at me.  He yelled at him not to do that.  Mmm….I doubt the dog will listen.  I now walk on the other side of the street. That is the easiest way to avoid a dog with a bad attitude. However, here are some other possible solutions.

  • Loud horn such as those used at hockey and baseball games.  (Air Horn – available at Uline)
  • Citronella spray – available at Pet Stores like Pet Smart.
  • Pick up your dog – but if at all possible don’t keep the dog in your arms as you may be attacked also.  Toss your dog out of site or in a safe place like over in someone’s fenced yard or even in a dumpster.   (Please only do this if you have the time as the attacking dog will likely jump on you to get to your dog.)
  • Carry a walking stick and use it.
  • Better yet, carry dog food with you and toss it to the dog to distract it.
  • Yell at the attacking dog at the top of your lungs.  I did this once and half the neighborhood came out to see what the heck was going on…and the dog stopped in his track. My dog didn’t even look at me. You’d think he heard me yell like that every day!

I wouldn’t be afraid of walking by this sleepy head.

The above photo is courtesy of Lauren Kay at Unsplash.


My first dog would not poop anywhere in the house than on newspaper.  Wow, I thought this is great.  Put down some newspaper and problem solved.  Then I got my second dog.  Maybe she read the paper.  That would explain her reluctance to soil any part of it.  No sirree.  Anywhere in the house but on that newspaper.

The most success I’ve had with training puppies is in the summer.  This has nothing to do with the puppy’s intelligence, and everything to do with my preference for going out in the yard in the summer instead of the winter.  So, consider the time of year when you decide to get a puppy.

What I have learned is that, although the puppy might want to please you, he won’t be able to control his bladder until he is at least four months old.  So, expect accidents even once you think the puppy has finally GOT IT.

If you have recently gotten a puppy, here are some ideas I wish I had thought of with my second dog.

  1. When we first get our cute little puppy, we are highly tolerant. After all, we want him to feel welcomed into our home.  Big mistake.  Start training as soon as you get your puppy.  If you let the puppy pee in the house, he will get the idea that you are okay with that behavior.
  2. Choose a spot in your yard where you want the puppy to eliminate and bring him there each time. I’ll admit I’ve never thought of doing this but it would save the grass for sure.
  3. Bring him out on a leash. This will show him that this is not fun time—no playing—this is toilet time.
  4. You might want to put a bell on your door hanging from a rope. Ring it each time you take the puppy out – better yet get the dog to ring the bell when you are going out.  Give the dog a treat if he rings the bell then eliminates.  If he rings the bell and doesn’t eliminate…no praising, no treat.  You don’t want him ringing that bell whenever the dog wants to take you out.
  5. Have one word for “the business”. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated, unless you want to impress your neighbors.   “Do your ca-ca” is fine.
  6. Reward the puppy when he does his business.
  7. Bring him out first thing when he wakes up and 20 minutes after he eats.
  8. Play time should be done only after “the business”.
  9. Clean up after your dog right away. This will prevent him and other dogs from eating poop.  See my article on that distasteful (pardon the pun) topic.
  10. If your dog poops in the house, take the poop and place it in his designated ca-ca spot in the yard.  (That’s another task that is way easier in the summer.)

So, how will you know when your puppy gets the urge?  If you see him doing circles or semi circles, it’s time to take him outside.

Good luck.