Tip of the Month
Laugh and teach!!! A great motto for training dogs. If you aren’t having fun, neither is your dog.
OOPS! Where’d April go? Coulda fooled me.
Is your dog destructive? Pent up energy could be the culprit. If your dog is past 6 months of age and still destructive, he is not teething. He is bored and most likely not getting enough exercise and daily training. Help yourself out and your dog by making sure she gets some really good exercise and obedience training every single day. You’ll both be better off. Happy tails.
Valentines Day means chocolate. Please make sure that you don’t leave chocolate anywhere your pup is able to get to. Not in your purse, car or countertops. It can be deadly. If your dog does get into chocolate bring her to the vet immediately.
New Year, New Dog: It’s easy to get back on track with training your dog. Take 15 min a day and do the basics and you’re dog will be happier, safer and you’ll both enjoy each other more. Don’t wait… Start NOW>
It’s cold outside. Please bring your dogs inside on snowy and rainy days with a warm and snuggly place to keep warm. Beware of hiking after a snowfall if you are not familiar with the terrain. There may be a pond under that snow that isn’t frozen where you dog may fall in.
Holidays are upon us. Have you booked your boarding reservations yet? Is your dog used to large crowds in your home? What do you need to do to prepare for a safe and fun holiday season with your dog?
Keeps pets safe on Halloween. That means prepare before hand for costumes and keep them inside.
Don’t exercise your dog 30 minutes before or after a meal. Wait until their respiration goes down before you allow them to drink too much water. Let them have a few licks then stop them until they are breathing normally again. They may vomit up the water if allowed to drink to much too soon.
Don’t shop at pet stores that sell puppies. They are buying them from Puppy Mills where conditions are horrendous.
Cars are like ovens for your dog. Don’t leave your dog in the car this summer.
Did you know: Topical spot on flea and tick products are a class C carcinogen? Would you knowingly put a cancer agent on your pets? Ever wonder why so many dogs and cats today are getting cancer? Hello!
Prevent heat stroke this summer. Get tips in my blog to keep your dog happy and safe this summer.
If your dog gets carsick here’s a very easy way to solve it. Put your dog in the car and don’t go anywhere. Do this 3-4 times a day for about 5 minutes. After a couple of days doing this, put your dog in the car and start it up but don’t go anywhere. Do this 3-4 times a day for about 5 minutes. Then put the dog in the car, start it up and drive out of the driveway and back home again. Then go around the block and come home. Then go to his best friends house or the dog park or for a hike, beach… you get the idea. Leave the back windows halfway down even if it’s cold outside. They need fresh air while they are overcoming carsickness. Short rides to fun places and home again. Soon the car will be a fun place to go. Summer’s a comin, so start now and you’ll be ready when the time comes.
It is important to meet your dogs needs both mentally and physically. This means that he should be exercised at least twice a day. A leash walk isn’t sufficient to wipe her out. She needs a rough and tumble play date or at the dog park or hiking off leash. For mental stimulation you should train your dog several times a day for short spurts of 5-10 minutes at a time. Always play first then work then play again. Enjoy!
Start Socializing your puppy right away with friends and family’s dogs in each others back yards. Your vet will tell you not to take the puppy out for fear of disease yet he’s not saying don’t socialize and this is crucial to do his first 4 months of your pups life. Just keep it clean.
Choosing the right dog for your family is critical to a successful relationship with your dog. Whether you choose a specific breed or rescue a dog getting a temperament test is highly advisable. Seek out the help of a professional trainer to help you choose the type of dog suitable for your family’s needs and lifestyle. Making a mistake with a pet can be traumatic for everyone involved. Be prepared and educated before your bring a new dog into your heart and home. The shelters are full of mistakes.
Preparing by setting your dog up to win is the single most important thing you can do. For example, teaching your dog not to cross a dangerous threshold (a sidewalk, front door, car door) can cost his life if he runs into the street. Take the time to teach your dog not to cross this threshold and you will never have to worry.
Make sure your poop bags are biodegradable. Remember when you throw something away you must ask yourself, “Where is away?”
Before you enter a dog park make sure you access the safety. If the energy doesn’t look or feel good wait a few minutes and when it feels safe go in. If you see an aggressive dog don’t enter. My rule of thumb is if there is a Pit Bull, Akita, Chow Chow or Shar Pei take your dog and leave. These breeds are wonderful but when triggered can cause major harm or even death and it’s not worth waiting around to find out.
It’s fine to use treats for training but you MUST stop using them when your dog knows the command and he should do it in any distraction without needing a treat. If you have become dependent on treats then you are not the leader. Call me and I can teach your how to be your dogs best friend and leader.
Although annual booster vaccinations are unnecessary going in for an annual check-up with your vet is still advisable. Please be informed about the detrimental effects of booster vaccinations, called vaccinoses. There is a plethora of information about this on the web. Do your homework and save your adults dogs life.
Older dogs have a more difficult time in the heat so please take extra water and do activities in the cooler part of the day
Is your dog pool safe? All dogs can swim but most dogs cannot get out of a pool if they fall in the deep end. They can easily die of exhaustion from clinging to the side of the pool, trying to get out. Make sure your dog knows where the stairs are.
It’s springtime and having a green lawn could come at a huge cost to your pets if you are thinking of using pesticides on your lawn. These pesticides are very likely the cause of canine malignant lymphoma, a rising cancer in dogs. You can have a beautiful lawn using organics, better yet, go green and replace your lawn with xeriscape landscaping and use less water… good for the planet and good for your pocketbook.
Did you know? Timid or fearful dogs could grow up to be aggressive dogs. Timidity is the first sign of aggression. Socialize your puppy from the minute you bring her home with other people, children, other dogs, cats, pet bunnies, etc. Invite friendly dogs and people into your home for the first 2 yreas of a puppy’s life and if you see any signs of timidity call a behaviorist for help right away. Fearful or timid pups do NOT grow out of this, they grow into it in the form of protection or aggression.
Kids and Dogs: Bite Prevention
Educate yourself: Learn the body language of dogs and their stress signals
Don’t let your children hug dogs around their neck.
Don’t let your children disturb dogs while they are eating, playing or chewing a toy, or sleeping.
Train your dog an supervise play; no tug or chase games.
If you see any stressful signals from your dog, call in a professional behaviorist right away.
Everyone loves a social butterfly! If you want your dog to be a social butterfly it is imperative to highly socialize your puppy in all situations from the time you bring him home. That means, invite guests over, invite healthy dog friends over, bring him everywhere you go, being careful not to go to dog parks or areas with heavy dog traffic, yet socializing your pup early on will make him a more well rounded dog as an adult. This socialization needs to be done until the puppy is 2 years old as this is when they hit their maturity and all the socializing you did as a puppy will pay off. Please don’t wait until your puppy is fully vaccinated to socialize him because he will be 4 months old by this time and you’ve lost critical socializing time. You can invite guests over and friendly healthy dogs over and you can take your dog to another dogs yard right away. Think about it, if you had other dogs at home your routine would still be the same. You would take that adult dog for walks still, right? Yes, so it’s not that you can’t take them out it’s that you must be careful where you take them. Of course, check with your veterinarian to see if there are any outbreaks of disease and then proceed. Enjoy!
Happy New Year! You only need 20 minutes. That’s right, if you spend 20 min a day training your dog in distractions you will enjoy a much happier relationship with your dog. She needs your one on one attention for only 20 minutes a day of creative and fun obedience time. Spend this quality time with your pup and you won’t be spending more time given negative attention.
Greetings in this holiday season. Beware! Not all toys are created equal. Some are dangerous, some are toxic and some are eco-friendly. Read the article in the Resources section on this site about toys that are safe for you dog.
Holidays are approaching fast and your dog may not be ready. Before you have a huge party or big family event try to set your dog up to win. By this, I mean, invite friends and family over before the big event and get the dog used to bigger gatherings little by little. Set the coffee table up with hors-d’oeuvres and teach your dog not to eat them. You can also use this time to teach your dog not to jump on people, not to take shoes, etc. You still have time and you will be very happy you took the time. Happy Holidays in advance.
Your dog loves to chew on things that smell most like you, for example, your shoes, socks, underwear, the remote control, etc. These things have your very strong scent on them. When you buy a new toy for your dog handle it a lot. You can even put in under your shirt, sleep with it, in other words do whatever you can to make your scent strong on the new toy and your dog will love it and this can help w/ redirecting him from the things your dog is chewing on that are not his toys. Help set him up to win and you’ll all be happier.
Did you know that you don’t need to give your dog booster vaccinations? Vaccinosis is the term used for over-vaccinating and may be the cause of some very common medical problems in dogs that include skin allergies, autoimmune disease, tumors etc. Please read all about this with facts from the American Veterinary Medical Association and the FDA on this site in the Resources section under Health and Well Being.
Setting your dog up is crucial in training. Why wait until your dog eats your sandwich out of your hand? Take the time to teach your puppy not to grab food from your hand or off of your plate. Teach the LEAVE IT command when you are prepared as this will save a lot of time spend in negative attention and missed lunches.
Don’t feed your dogs food to deer or any other wildlife as it can make them very sick and it attracts them to your campground and this in turn will attract other pesty wildlife like raccoons, mice, rats to your own campground.
When traveling with your dog make sure that you have updated vaccination information as some hotels, state borders and campgrounds require proof of vaccination.
Don’t over exercise your dog in temperatures over 90 degrees. A short walk or hike is fine but skip intense exercise as dogs can overheat to the point of heat exhaustion and potential death. Dogs don’t know when to stop chasing balls, sticks and each other. It’s our responsibility to make sure that they don’t over exert themselves.
Don’t leave your dog in a car on hot days—even if the windows are cracked. Hot is anything over 80 degrees. You may have parked in the shade when you left but in time the sun shifts, leaving your dog in a car that could heat up to deadly temperatures. Unattended dogs are very vulnerable to heat stroke and potential death.
Puppy proofing your home can save a life as well as sentimental things. Electrical cords should be out of the way, floors free from debris, trashcans out of reach and anything treasured or sentimental put away. Just like babies, puppies find the smallest things to put in their mouths and aren’t very discerning. Check under furniture for potentially dangerous items lost long ago.
Put your animals in your will so they are taken care of if something happens to you.
Your family emergency plan should include your dog and other pets. Make sure dogs have proper identification tags on their collar and a microchip if available. If you move, update the microchip and ID tags.
Don’t keep a choke chain on your dog as her regular permanent collar. It can get it caught on something and accidentally strangle your dog. It can be used as a training tool not as an identification collar. It’s also a good idea take off choke chains while your dog is playing with other dogs so that they aren’t in danger of getting caught up in each others collar.
Don’t put plastic baggies in a trashcan without puncturing holes in it. If you have a dog that likes to get into trashcans, he could accidentally get the baggie stuck over his muzzle and suffocate.
Many over-the-counter flea and tick products are unsafe and even toxic to your pets. Do your research before applying to your pet. The FDA has announced a crackdown on toxic flea products that are killing our pets. Please read article on the Resources page.
Crate training can be very useful as it simulates a den environment instinctive to dogs. Be careful though not to misuse the crate. It is a training tool not to be used for punishment. Even adult dogs should not be left in the crate for more than four hours at a time unless it is bedtime. Using a crate to keep a dog out of the way is misusing the crate. A dog can’t learn good house manners if you lock him in a crate.
Find the time to train your dog, every day. Make it fun and be creative. Spending good quality time training your puppy will ensure him to grow up as a well adjusted and well mannered dog. If you are spending 15 minutes in your whole day disciplining your dog for negative behavior then you can spend that 15 minutes in training time which is positive training and you’ll both be happier.
Have fun with training. If you are bored with it, don’t like it, or have turned it into military school, your dog certainly won’t enjoy it either—and you’ll both fail. Training is a time of bonding, shaping and learning. It should be a party! Make up little games for distractions, get outside in the fresh air, meet other dogs and people and watch your puppy flourish.
Don’t jog or run a puppy under two years of age. They are growing leaps and bounds their first two years and their bones and muscles are not ready for the steady pace of jogging or running. Quite a bit of damage can be caused by this at too young an age. and the ramifications—premature arthritis is not worth it. Hiking off leash where the puppy can run, walk, lie down or rest is much easier on his body. This kind of exercise is much safer and more gentle on their growing body. Happy hiking!
You dog should have two wipe-out sessions every day, once in the morning and once in the early evening. She needs this physical release to have more balance in her life. Let’s face it, a tired dog is a happy dog. A wipe-out session can be 20-30 minutes spent at a dog park. on an off-leash hike, a play date with a doggie friend or a game of plain old fetch in the backyard. You’ll both be happier for it.
Train your dog every day for the first 2 years, which is when she hits her age of maturity. Yes, that’s right! Pups are pups until they hit their age of maturity which is between 1 .5 to 3 years of age. Training in distractions for at least half an hour a day will challenge your dog enough to form the basis of respect.
Start socializing your puppy right away with other friendly and healthy dogs of all sizes and ages. Choose wisely an appropriate playmate with regard to size and age.
A must read for all pet owners: Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life. This bestselling book by NANCY KAY, DVM is enjoyable and enormously helpful.