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Confining Hooch

Author: Nicole Stewart | Date: May 30, 2012

Have you ever seen the movie “Turner and Hooch”?

If you have, you’ll remember the “ginormous” dog named Hooch who basically steals every scene from Tom Hanks.  He is oozing with slobber, has a deadpan face and is large enough to do damage quickly.  The story is simple:  dog meets man, man hates dog but has a conscience, dog creates total havoc in man’s life, comedy vignettes to show passing of a disastrous but hilarious time together, dog saves man’s life and, in the end, man and dog love each other.

My hope is that my clients don’t have to go through all of the destruction and mayhem that Tom Hank’s character did in this movie to get to a loving relationship with their dog.

With a little prevention and management and training, a dog can be set up for success so that bad behaviors never develop.

However, containing a dog of the size of a boulder can be daunting… especially if you have a persistent, anxious or resourceful dog. That said, it’s doubly important to have a place that you know your large dog can be safe and successful when you’re out of the house or unable to supervise them.

Here are a few things to think about:

    1. If you have them when they are puppies, the first thing you do should be to slowly acclimate them to their crate so they think it’s the best place to be.  That way they get used to relaxing when you are gone.
    2. If you have rescued your loveable lug, take the time to help them see that crate as their safe place in your home. It may take more time if your new roommate has never become crate savvy.
    3. If your dog seems to have some “baggage” around the crate, be creative and find a place where they can be contained safely (a bathroom, mudroom, kitchen, etc.) and acclimate them to that area as you would a crate.
    4. If your dog is a gate jumper, think about using two pressure gates, one on top of another in the doorway, at least for when you are gone.
    5. Sometimes, a dog left to the whole house is a disaster, but if left in the room that they sleep in, they may just see that room as a place to relax and sleep while you’re gone.

Every dog is different, so managing your “Hooch” may take some creativity to find the best spot for them, but once they get in the habit of hanging out and relaxing when you’re gone, the more everyone can take a deep relaxing breath.




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