Perfect Pooch

~ Paving a path to your Perfect Pooch! ~
58 Main Street, East Greenwich RI 02818
PHONE: (401) 884 - 7200, FAX: (401) 398-8916

~ Questions & Answers ~

You have the questions, and we have the answers!  Here are a few commonly asked questions, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions of your own!

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Q. What is the difference between punishment and negative reinforcement?

A. Punishment adds a negative stimulus to avoid an unwanted behavior. Negative reinforcement removes a negative stimulus to achieve a desired behavior.


Q. Is it necessary to dominate my dog?

A. Dogs take on one of two roles by nature. Dogs are either leaders or followers. In a human household, the human must be pack leader. Dogs need structure and limits just like children to feel secure. A dog in a human household does not want the job of pack leader since it is simply too stressful. Dogs try to take on the role only if they lack proper leadership.

Q. My dog was abused. Is it still possible to train him?

A. Yes, all dogs are trainable. Dogs, unlike humans, live in the moment. Dogs do not remember the particular incidents in which they were abused. However, any familiar sight, smell, sound, or touch from the past can trigger a fearful or aggressive reaction.


Q. Is it too late to train an older dog?

A. No, it is never to late to train a dog at any age. Training an older dog may be slightly more difficult than training a puppy since puppies are learning everything for the first time. On the other hand, an adult dog has a longer attention span and learns quickly. Overall, the dog's age doesn't have an immense impact on learning capabilities. A dog with significant behavior problems will need some work but can improve with proper leadership and consistency.


Q. I have never set boundaries. Will I be able to start setting rules now?

A. Yes, as long as you develop yourself as Alpha and follow through with your new set of rules.


Q. My dog is very small and growls at people but doesn't snap or bite. Does this behavior need to be corrected?

A. YES, this behavior needs to be corrected IMMEDIATELY! A growl today is tomorrow's bite. Small dogs are also capable of hurting people, especially children.


Q. My dog doesn't know basic obedience. Can I still train him in other areas?

A. No, a dog needs to understand the basics before working on behavior issues. Otherwise, it would be comparable to learning algebra before learning basic math. Trust and leadership are essential to your dog's progress. Your role as Alpha,  is reinforced through basic obedience.


Q. My dog barks constantly and I would like him to stop. I am afraid if if he is trained not to bark, he won't bark when if there is a real danger, such as an intruder. What should I do about this?

A.  Your dog can be trained not to bark excessively. Dogs have an instinct when something is not right. If your dog senses imminent danger, he or she will let you know.


Q. My dog is afraid of loud noises and hides under the table or chair. What can I do?

A. Your dog needs to become desensitized. This needs to be done correctly and very slowly. If done too quickly, he or she can revert and become more fearful. 


Q. I was thinking of adopting a dog. Are certain breeds more aggressive than others?

A. Some dogs are bred and trained to be aggressive (dog fights). Dog's are not inherently aggressive.


Q. I am having a baby and fear for the safety of my child. Should I bring my dog to the shelter or give him away?

A. No, there are proper ways to introduce a new baby to the household. Generally, accidents occur because a dog doesn't understand what a baby is, since babies do not act like humans. A dog can mistake a baby for a small animal in distress or become jealous of the new arrival. The dog can be trained to behave properly around a baby and welcome him or her into the family. Most importantly, NEVER leave your baby unsupervised around a dog.