Hey all, nowadays Peewee the Terrorist (5 yo Chihuahua) hangs out with me. I'm a truck driver, so he is my co-pilot. He is quite good at this having been used to it long ago. He isn't very well house trained, and he did have one accident peeing in the truck (I could have thrown him to the coyotes!), but has generally been pretty good. I do have a few questions for you guys that maybe you can help me out with.
For those who don't know, or don't remember Peewee is my SO's dog, but has been primarily raised by SO's mother who has a tendency to believe small dogs don't need training. Lucky for me (har har), I get to look after Peewee these days. Peewee was a spoiled little pain in the butt 8 months ago, and he has made a lot of progress since he has been living with me, but he is still a Terrorist. His biggest trouble is that he is very high strung, and has been allowed to be that way for his whole life. Since I have been working with him he is much calmer, and relaxes much more. He is a lot happier, and so am I.
We live in a camp setting where there are 3 of us sharing the same common area. We all get up, and go to work at different times. If I am awake, and Peewee is out in the common area with me, and someone comes in the door (from their shift or whatever) Peewee will bark many many times, and take a bit of time before he will calm down and stop barking. He will alarm bark like this for anyone (including me). Peewee is like this at home too, and even though his "usual daily barking' has really lessened he always alarm barks when someone comes to the door. This can't happen because people are usually sleeping. I have just been leaving Peewee in my room in his kennel until I am ready to go, and he will stay quiet most of the time. Sometimes he will hear something and start barking. How can I stop him from barking so he can hang out in the common area while people sleep? On weekends when we are all in the common area or maybe I am just here with him alone he will spend most of the day alert and quietly "woofing" like he is on guard. I have tried distracting him away by making him do something else like come and sit. I have tried quickly, calmly, quietly muzzling him right away until he stops barking, then tell him he is good. I have also tried a bark collar he has that emits some sound humans can't hear, and P could care less about that. None of these tactics are working for him. I have been trying for 3 weeks now, and I have made zero progress. Is there any way to teach a dog not to alarm bark when they have done so for 5 years of their life? Especially one that is high strung and particularly yappy???
Where we work it is very, very dusty, and Peewee gets dusty and dried out from hanging out on/in the dust too. I know it is not good to bath dogs very often, and I don't even like to shampoo my hair too often either or it will dry out, but I have to get this dust out or my hair will get even drier. Rinsing doesn't seem to do the trick. I'm thinking it would feel nice for Peewee to get bathed once a week or so to get the dust out. Is this possible? I have Earth Bath Mango Tango shampoo for Peewee, would that be gentle enough? Or I was thinking of trying Johnson & Johnson Baby (human) Shampoo? Peewee does get Salmon Oil everyday, and eats Orijen and Tripett so his skin and coat are in good condition now, but I notice he is licking his front legs a lot lately. The girl at the dog health food store said she wouldn't recommend bathing him that often, but I could try, and just keep an eye on his skin to make sure I am helping instead of hindering. What do you all think?
One last thing (not related to Peewee), I have been told that female dog urine burns the grass, where male dog urine doesn't. Is that a load of BS? I have seen daily dietary "supplements" that use methionine which claim to stop lawn burning. Do they work? Are they healthy and safe to use?
Sorry for the book! I figured I would get it all out. LOL! Thanks for any help!