PetChat Q&A: Dr. Camille Ward talks dog training and behavior

Rameses: Hi, I’m Dr. Ward, and I’m so happy to be a part of the Pet Chat program. I’m here to answer questions about dog behavior and training. Understanding our dog’s behavior, preventing behavioral problems from developing whenever possible, and teaching our dogs appropriate behaviors using positive training methods are all essential to having a good relationship with our canine companion.

Crazymonkey: Q: How do I train my dog to poo in the right place? She’s always used pee pee pads and does well with peeing but not pooing.

Crazymonkey: Do those patio grass things work?

Rameses: They can work for some dogs. You will want to keep her on a leash and take her to her pad 30 min or so after eating.

JaneBroden: Q: how do I stop my dog from peeing every now and then? He goes from one place to another

Rameses: In the house? Do you have a male or female?

JaneBroden: A male bulldog. Yes, in the house

Rameses: If he is not neutered, I would have him neutered. If he is neutered, a belly band may work.

JaneBroden: She’s new with us and I don’t exactly know how to go about teaching him the right way to pee in the right place. Does neutering really help him with this? A friend told me so but how accurate is it?

Rameses: I would keep him on a leash when in the house. You can also use a crate. No free run of the house. Outside to pee, give him a treat when he does.

JaneBroden: Hi Dr Ward. I’ve been getting good answers from you so far. I’d love to take lessons from a pro :=) for free :=)

Rameses: Neutering does help reduce marking. But if he’s been practicing the behavior a long time, there is also a learned component as well.

JaneBroden: I see. Thanks!

Rameses: Good luck Jane!

angel623402: My dog keeps chewing on things. We try to make him stop, but he won’t? Any ideas?

Rameses: Provide plenty of exercise and appropriate chew toys (Nyla bones are great, Kong toys).

angel623402: Ok. Thanks!

angel623402: But do you know where I can get Kong toys?

Rameses: Any good pet store should carry Kong toys, also thinking toys such as “tug a jug” are also good.

angel623402: Ok. I’ll look for one

coop14: When I take my dog for walks he pulls on the leash a lot, is there a way to get him to stop?

Rameses: Yes! Pulling is a problem with many dogs. When he pulls, simply stop. When the leash goes slack, move forward. Pulling stops the walk.

coop14: I’ll have to try that – thanks!

Rameses: I have a very nice detailed description in my book “Relationship Training for a Well-Behaved Dog” on how to work with pulling. It’s available at

angel623402: I have a really large dog that jumps on people everytime a guest comes. How can I stop this?

Rameses: Great Question!! Ask people to simply turn their backs. Your dog should get no attention for jumping. Alternatively, you can teach your dog to sit when greeting.

angel623402: OK. That sounds simple. Thanks for the tip

Rameses: You’re very welcome. It is pretty simple.

coop14: So on the flip side of a dog pulling, what if the dog stops every 2 seconds to sniff so the walk isn’t really a walk?

Rameses: I always allow some sniffing when walking, but not constantly. Keep walking and talk to your dog. Periodically, ask for a sit. If he complies, say “go sniff” and let him sniff for a bit.

angel623402: One last question. My other large dog will go restroom in the house. We try to house train him, but it doesn’t seem to work? Any ideas?

Rameses: What have you tried? If nothing seems to be working, I would have a vet look at him to rule out medical causes.

angel623402: I have tried doing some discipline. In the past our big older dogs taught the little ones how use the restroom outside. He is getting the hang of it, but still uses the restroom.

Rameses: Don’t let him loose in the house without supervision. Discipline typically doesn’t working with house training. Take him outside after eating, playing, upon waking, and drinking and tell him “get busy” when he finishes give him a treat and praise him.

angel623402: Ok. Thanks!

Rameses: Good luck with the house training. Make sure that you are using an enzyme-based product to clean up any accidents in the house too. So the big thing is no free run of the house until they are house trained. You want to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.

Moderator: Could you clarify the reasoning for the enzyme-based product please

Rameses: An enzyme cleaner will break down the waste material rather than simply just covering up the odor (which is what a rug-based cleaner might do).

angel623402: My two older dogs will fight constantly. If u pet one, the other gets jealous and growls. Then the fight happens. We try to keep them away from each other, but they wont stop growling and barking at each other. Any ideas on how to stop the fighting?

Rameses: Fighting is a big issue. I would contact a good trainer or behaviorist in your area to help with this. Typically, they will take a behavioral history to understand why they might be fighting. It’s a very detailed process. Do they ever puncture or cut each other during these episodes?

angel623402: Yes. They cut and puncture each other.

Rameses: Definitely keep them separated from one another. You will need someone to assess the situation and help you come up with a treatment plan for dealing with this. In the meantime, avoid triggering the behavior.

angel623402: We try. But they just snarl at each other constantly and make a lot of noise

Rameses: You will want someone who is going to use positive methods and understandings learning theory. Don’t be discouraged. Just get good help and ask a lot of questions.

angel623402: But how can we avoid triggering the behavior?

Rameses: Keep them separated. For now, you’re going to have to manage the situation until you can get a professional to assess the situation. A couple of sources for professionals are and also the animal behavior society is a good source as well.

sanlynnj: I have a couple questions

sanlynnj: I have a border collie/american eskimo dog and need a little advice on walking on leash

rameses: What type of leash advice?

Sanlynnj: She goes to then end of her leash and doesn’t really pull, I would like her leash looser and closer to me. We have been working on it. Sometimes she is wonderful and other times she isn’t so good

Rameses: When walking on leash, provide treats when your dog is walking next to you without pulling. If she gets rewarded next to you, she will spend more time there.

Sanlynnj: Yes, I have done that. Then right after she gets the treat, she goes out in front again. I have also tried just stopping and she will then just come back on her own

Rameses: When you first start training, you may have to keep the treats coming every few seconds at first. There are also good training aids such as the Gentle Leader or Easy Walk Harness that can help with pulling during the training stages.

Sanlynnj: She is 16 months old so, we have been at this for awhile

Sanlynnj: She doesn’t pull me, she is just in front of me. I am afraid I have her confused or something

Sanlynnj: So, should I continue to reward her for being next to me?

Rameses: Have you tried either the Gentle Leader or Easy Walk Harness? Also, it’s not reasonable to ask your dog to heel for long stretches, as long as she’s not pulling, then that should be okay. Heel means that your dog is flush with your leg during a walk.

Sanlynnj: Yes, I don’t ask her to do that. Just for the leash to be loose

Rameses: Yes, if you provide treats regularly when she is next to you, she will realize that walking next to you is a great place to hang out. Be generous with the treats though.

Sanlynnj: So lots of treats won’t hurt, I was kinda worried about that. Sometimes I feel like I am nagging her too. I try not to do that.

Rameses: You can divide up part of your dog’s food ration for the day, and use part for training (say 25% to start). I have a rescue puppy, and this is what I do.

Sanlynnj: I am not really worried about her getting too many calories, she gets plenty of exercise.

Sanlynnj: Another thing, if she sees a person, another dog, she gets over excited on leash. We live in the country, so we do not come across others walking much or other dogs, but when we do, she does not behave

Rameses: That’s where I think the Gentle Leader head collar might really be useful. It will give you much more control during your walks.

Sanlynnj: Where do I find that?

Rameses: The Gentle Leader is typically sold in quality pet stores and you can find them online as well. Good luck.

Valentine: Q: I saw on a dog training show, a dog that was taught to bark to let us know when they want to be let out

Valentine: What is your best advice to approach this?

Rameses: I’m not sure about the barking to be let out, but you can always teach your dog to ring a bell to go out. Simply, let the bell hand by the door (or on the handle), ring the bell with your dog next to you and open the door. Whenever she touches the bell, open the door so that she gets the hang of it.

Valentine: Do I bring her to the door? And then do I walk her out? After ringing the bell?

Rameses: Exactly!

Valentine: Great! How long do you think this will take? And how many times should I do this?

Rameses: Until she makes the connection that when she hits the bell, the door opens. You can practice maybe in sets of 5-8 trials a couple of times a day. Whenever you take her out or open the door, ring the bell too.

Valentine: Thank you Camille, I can’t wait to try it out!

angel623402: Another question. My big dog will act aggressively towards some of my friends and family when they come to visit. How can I stop this?

Rameses: Aggression is such a serious issue. I think any type of aggression should be evaluated by a professional. It’s so hard to deal with aggression in just one or two lines.

angel623402: Ok. Thanks.

Rameses: Good luck Valentine!

Moderator: For more training tips from Camille Ward, please visit her website and look for her book “Relationship Training for a Well-Behaved Dog”.

Rameses: One correction. My website is My training book is available through This has been a pleasure. Thank you to everyone!

Moderator: Thank you so much for your time Camille!

Valentine: Thank you Camille, this was such a great Q&A

Moderator: Thank you for participating in our hosted event about becoming a therapy-dog volunteer and training with Camille Ward. If you’d like a copy of the chat dialog, please visit