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Thread: (Re) Training the dog...

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    (Re) Training the dog...

    Someone had mentioned that if you start using Borates, not to let your dog drink out of the pool - I know in very heavy doses, borates are used as a "green" insecticide for ants (sugar mixed w/borax), but at the low 50ppm doses people use in pools, is that really an issue for animals?

    Reason I'm asking is our dog thinks nothing of just walking up to the pool to get a drink. Some have said this is easy-enough to train them not to do...
    1) Is it really that important, and
    2) If so, what's the easy way to train the dog to not drink from the pool...

    I will be adding Borates in a week or so.

    TIA,

    - Jeff
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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    This is the exact reason why I don't add borates. My dog Casey loves her pool and I can tell you that she swallows about a gallon a week just from swimming, not drinking. She's a diving, cannon ball slinging, under water swimming kinda dog.

    I don't know what it does to them <poisoning wise> but the thought that it can harm my girl scares me enough to avoid adding borates to her pool.

    I'll be intrested in following this thread.
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    I recall reading somewhere in the forum to use a water bottle to squirt your dog when they go for a drink from the pool and to keep a bowl of fresh water nearby.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    If a dog or cat gets all of their daily water from a pool with 50 ppm of borate for several days they will be at the threshold for detectable symptoms. People can drink pool water with borates without any problems.

    There are a number of other chemicals in pool water that aren't ideal for pets, though they are further below their threshold for detectable symptoms than borates are.

    Dogs that swim in the pool pretty much always get water in their mouth, but they don't generally drink it. Dogs like to lap up water with their tongue when they are drinking.

    Hopefully someone will be along soon who can explain training pets not to drink pool water.
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    Here it is http://www.troublefreepool.com/sodiu...html?hilit=dog

    This is just a brief cut and paste from the thread

    Borates in high doses have caused testicular atrophy and low sperm count in male dogs and fetal reabsorption in pregnant *****es. The doses were far higher than what's in your pool but chronic exposure to small amounts will affect liver and kidneys eventually.

    It is not always easy to teach a dog not to drink from the pool or any other body of non-potable water. If you correct her while she's in the pool drinking, she may well associate the correction with the pool itself and become scared of it. We recommend you place two dishes of water several feet apart near the pool. Fill one with pool water, the other with her regular drinking water. Have some tiny treats handy. Microwaved quarters of sliced turkey dogs are good, esp. the low salt variety.

    Put her on lead, guide her to the fresh water, praise as soon as she makes a motion to sniff it or drink it (Good water! Good dog!), give a treat. Verbal praise should be done with a slightly high pitched voice. Guide her to the pool water dish and give a verbal and physical correction. The verbal correction might be a strong NO (using a low voice), or a PFUI. The physical correction would be a pop on the lead straight up.

    Then switch back to the fresh water dish, lots of praise, lots of treats. Do not let her in the pool that day. This training session is strictly for her to learn that fresh water is good, but the smell of pool water is bad. You can do water training sessions twice a day and keep them short because she's still young with a short attention span.

    When you do allow her in the pool and she begins to lap, use the same verbal correction you used for the bad water dish, same voice, same word. She'll catch your drift. As soon as she stops lapping, if only to look at you like 'What's up?' give verbal praise.

    Anna
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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    Ahhh, the good ol' search function...

    Here's a thread about borates and dogs, and gives some instruction on how to train them not to drink from the pool. Thanks go to AnnaK for this thread.sodium tetra borate and dogs drinking pool water .
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    My dogs can only enter the pool invited. Otherwise, I tell them 'too bad' - that means for them to keep away and don't even drink the water.
    I use "Too bad" cue with two dogs that I have already trained for them to leave anything alone.
    Some people might use No or Leave it. I just say Too Bad.
    "Too bad" is not yelled... (unemotional- as in "too bad for you") ...it means- "Don't mess with that- look at me- there is a chance you might get some awesome reward if you leave it and come to me."
    I first taught it with food- which came in handy when I dropped a chocolate covered raisin on the kitchen floor and didn't see where it went. I said Too Bad and she backed away from the raisin and looked at me. So then I even knew where it was.
    How I teach a dog to leave anything alone...it is a cease and desist cue.
    I held a piece of food on the palm of my open hand in front of my body- if the dog moved from her sit to try to get food, I retracted my hand with fist around food, bending my elbow up and away so she couldn't get at it.
    I waited til she sat again and stretched out my flat hand with treat in it.... retracted again if she moved. Usually the 5 or 6th time, a dog figures it out and does not move towards the treat in the hand.
    Then she gets the treat with a different cue- Take it! Good girl.
    If your dog approaches the pool and you say "too bad"- and she looks to you, give her a reward- make her come to you.
    You are rewarding her for choosing to come to you and leave the pool alone.
    In this case, if she did not respond to my cue "too bad" by turning away from the pool, she does get a penalty and is removed for timeout away from pool area. Again, not angry tone, just Too Bad for you...you are going to miss our company since you did not choose to leave it alone.
    Of course, there is lots more to the training my dogs have had based on rewards and operant conditioning...
    but the basic lesson is to reward them and praise them for what they do right and not wrong.
    They are also trained to sit and wait for food bowls on ground until I release the with "Free". So they already have practiced many times self control and that they get lots of rewards and praise when they do it right!
    Regards,
    Martha in Texas
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    Ours is a smart dog, but has a very independent streak (or is it a human 2-year-old streak?).

    Yesterday, I came home and he'd been into the garbage in the office (partially my fault, as I threw a chicken-soiled napkin in there, and I know he's a chicken freak). He'd probably done it a few hours earlier but knew the moment I walked into the office he knew he was in trouble. I didn't say anything, but he didn't follow me into the office (like he normally does) - but just stayed in the hallway. When I looked out into the hallway, he had that head-bowed, "I'm sorry, I know I'm in trouble" look.

    To make matters worse, my wife left some left-over BBQ ribs wayyyyy back on the back of the counter... went into the back bedroom, and heard a "clank". Came out, and the ribs were gone - the dog gave her the same "I know I'm in trouble" look, and then went and hid in his kennel.

    - Jeff
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    One think that I have used with both of my dogs is the shaker can...You take a soda can or beer can...fill it with about 15 pennies...Then duct tape the top shut...make several...When the dog is doing something bad that you don't want it to do, you simplly toss the can near the dog and the noise gives a dog a start and breaks them out of what they were doing. The key is to not let them see you do it, and don't scold them when you toss it. When they stop, you go to them and in this case you lead them to the fresh water and have them drink from that...Then tell them they are a good girl or boy and go back to doing what you were doing...If it happens again ...shaker can them and follow the same sequence. My first dog Charlie...when we got him as a pup only cried once the first night in his kennel...I quietly got up and tossed a shaker can in the dark toward the kennel...Then I went out to him and told him he was alright...gave him a pat, and went back to bed...the second time he cried all I had to do was shake the can and tell him it's ok and off to sleep he went...Our border Collie Golden Retriever Mix is a little smarter than Charlie...Wrigley took two nights to break of crying...but it was just as simple...she just was smart enough to know the can was coming from me and not out of the clear blue. She has been outsmarting me since.
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    Can you find something else to use besides borates? Otherwise, just doggy proof the pool so he can't get near it and never let him swim in it.
    Why take the chance? Just like some 2 year old children (and older!) will push the envelope, some dogs will too. I've known dogs and humans that were just too smart and would do what they wanted if they didn't think they would get caught. When he was 6 years old my lab decided to start eating food out of my refrigerator. I had to child proof it and my cabinets just like I had a baby in the house (and he ate the baby back ribs raw-package and all)! No matter how you try to train the dog, if you aren't there to enforce it and offer the potential treat, he'll do whatever he wants. Please don't take the chance.
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    I am a canine behaviorist, btw. Not a dog whisperer by any means.
    I teach methods based on science developed in last 10 yrs...
    Rather than yell, punish, scream, rattle, shake or roll... we teach the dog what to do instead of always correcting the undesired behavior...like the person first suggested.
    Teach the dog to drink only fresh water. Lesson to dog: Fresh=good; chlorine=bad.
    Dogs have 220 million olfactory nerves compared to our 5 million receptors...so they can tell the difference.
    If you teach a dog a desired behavior (ie. stay out of pool) instead of trying to correct the undesired behavior, you do not damage the relationship with your dog. A dog who is yelled at is fearful and has not learned what to do instead...
    No, a dog that cowers when you get home because there is trash on the floor, did not learn to not counter-cruise or get in trash. In the dog's mind, the 'monkey' behavior you exhibit (we are primates, dogs are canines) tells them you are out-of-your mind angry for some unexplained reason!
    They do NOT know the reason why. To correct a behavior and associate it with punishment or correction, it has to be within 2 secs of when dog did it for the canine brain to associate action and punishment.
    Otherwise, the dog sees you as something to fear and unpredictably aggressive. You may actually create an aggressive dog using fear-based punishment.

    It is old school to shake a can. John Fisher who started that learned before he died, it is much more effective to teach a desired behavior and praise the heck out of the dog with verbal praise, smiles and CHICKEN! I have trained many dogs that are terrors to begin with without screaming or scaring. It is about "thinking like a dog" and communicating clearly what you want.
    For instance, my cue to 'leave it alone' is combined with "go lie down" and I showed the dog where in the shade it is to stay while we are swimming. At first I treated the dog there, petted it. If it got up I would tether it. Of course if your dog hasn't been trained to sit quietly while tied, then that can be trained.
    So my answer to how to keep the dogs out of the pool is simply, train your dogs to listen to you with positive rewards (voice tone, petting and food when doing it right). Giving your dog positive feedback rather than negative feedback, helps the dog learn to do it right...not repeat doing it wrong.
    Here's something we know from science- Thorndyke's Law...Yelling at your dog, looking at your dog, touching your dog while it is doing something you don't want, actually INCREASES the chance it will repeat the undesired behavior. Any attention to dog (Yelling, shaking a can) will increase the dog's likelihood of doing the behavior again and again and again.
    So the idea, is give you dog attention when it is lying in the shade and out of the pool, swimming in it's own kiddie pool, etc.
    That method, combined with lots of play interaction and attention to your dog when you are not in the pool will lead to lots of fun with dogs and pools.
    BTW- the dog that loves the pool, does get to swim as a reward...when she has been quiet and waiting. This dog was no angel...she whined lots as a puppy (she is only 3 yrs old now)- has more energy than a kangaroo...but happily we have built a relationship where she gets what she wants when I get what I want.
    Cheers!
    Regards,
    Martha in Texas
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    My three Siberian Huskies love swimming in the pool, and always lap up lots of water from the pool when they are just hanging out with us. The two older ones are 12 and 13 years old and have never had any problems with drinking water from the pool. Dogs drink and eat lots of other worse things around the yard. A little bit of pool water is hardly going to hurt them.
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    Update - I've had borates and salt in the pool for a few months now and have noticed that while I have seen him (the dog) occasionally lick water from the pool, I can tell he'd much rather get water from his bowl or the pond (almost always the pond).
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    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    Quote Originally Posted by dravenone
    I recall reading somewhere in the forum to use a water bottle to squirt your dog when they go for a drink from the pool and to keep a bowl of fresh water nearby.
    Squirt gun works for cats. For dogs tell them no when they drink from the pool and give them a treat when they use the water bowl. My three dogs learned it very fast. My cat took about 3 times getting squirted with the squirt gun.

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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    We have trained our dog the “leave it” command. marthas_ear outlined how to teach this command. This is a useful command for all dogs to learn. If your dog starts to eat or drink anything you simply tell the dog to “leave it”. This can be used if you take the dog on a walk and the dog picks up a bone or dead animal. You just say “leave it” and the dog drops it. If you have fresh water available telling the dog to “leave it” when he attempts to drink from the pool he will learn not to drink pool water.

    Responsible dog ownership includes teaching your dog not to engage in behaviors that could harm the dog.
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    Re: (Re) Training the dog...

    "Leave it" has to be the most useful command we've ever taught uur dog BY FAR. It's probably the most used to, but it works for everything from food to the pool to other dogs/people.

    Adam
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