dog training

Great Tips For Getting Your Dog Toilet Trained

123RF-17245805_sOne of the toughest jobs that a family faces when a new puppy comes home is getting the dog housebroken. Here are some tips that will help:

When to House Train

A dog can be toilet trained at any age, but the best age to begin is between eight and twelve weeks old. If you set up a housebreaking routine as soon as you bring your puppy home, before long he will get the idea of where to do his business. A crate is a great tool for toilet training a puppy. It keeps him confined when there is no supervision and most dogs learn quickly that if they make it in their crate they will have to sit in it. Most dogs are fairly hygienic and won’t enjoy having to sit in dog doody or urine.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Keeping a close eye on your puppy is a key factor in getting him properly housetrained. Whenever you see that he is sniffing, circling or beginning to squat, immediately take him outside to the place where you want him to go and see if he eliminates. If he does, praise him lavishly. A good idea is to have a cue, such as “hurry up” so that your puppy knows what you want him to do. When he is going to the bathroom repeat the cue and then give your dog lots of praise for a job well done. It is better to take the dog out and nothing happens then to take a chance of an accident happening.

Have a Schedule

Feeding, watering and walking your dog on a regular schedule will make housebreaking that much easier. Puppies are like children and they thrive on a routine. Try and take the dog out around the same time every day so they will be able to adjust their bodily functions. The first thing you should do in the morning is take the puppy from the crate and don’t let his feet touch the ground. Bring him to the place where you want him to go, give the cue, and praise upon a successful completion. Take your puppy out at least every two hours, after eating or drinking and especially after play. Before you know it, your puppy will be letting you know it is time to go out and do his business.

Don’t Let the Puppy Roam

Letting your puppy roam around the house is a sure fire way to have accidents. If you have decided you don’t want to use a crate, and even if you do use one, confining the dog to certain areas of the house can make housetraining easier for everyone. It is difficult to keep track of a puppy when he has the run of the house, but if you gate him in the kitchen, he will still be able to be part of the action and can be better supervised in case of an accident.

Don’t Get Discouraged

There will be times when you first begin housetraining that you feel your pup is just not getting it. He may occasionally have accidents in the house. There is no need to be discouraged. If you stick to your routine, keep a good eye on the dog and make frequent outings to his outdoor bathroom, in no time your puppy will be housebroken. Another good idea is to use the same door all the time when you are taking him out so that when he has to go, he will scratch on the door to be let out. Once this happens, you can say “Hurray!” and know that your puppy is beginning to understand that going to the bathroom in the house is a no-no.

Dog Toys for the Brain, Teeth and Feet

Nov-2013-iStock_000014546418XSmallThinking of the best toys that suit your dog? Below are some suggestions:

1. Kong Jump’n Jack:  Kong Jump’n Jack is a dog toy and a teeth cleaner and gum exerciser at the same time. It has a very unpredictable bounce that makes it a lot more fun for the dog to play with. It has surfaces that clean your dog’s teeth. Kong Jump’n Jack also has slits that are useful for the gums to be exercised.

2. Squirrel Dude (Busy Buddy):  This is a unique and innovative rubber toy. It has four rubber prongs that slightly cover the hole, which challenges the dog to give more effort to taste the food treats inside. The Squirrel Dude is durable and very chewable.

3. Biscuit Block (Animal Planet):  This chew toy has four grabbing chambers distributed throughout the toy. Varieties of dog treats can be inserted inside to keep pets happy and busy. It has a crazy bounce brought about by its square shape with cut corners.

4. Ball Stomp’r (Launch and Throw Ball Toys): This dog toy enables both young and old to have a great time playing with their dogs. The Ball Stomp’r is the first ball launcher of its kind. The ball needs to be loaded, then stomped on and it will eject to a height reaching 100 feet with the regular ball.

5. Dinosaur Egg Baby (Plush Puppies) – Intelligence Building Toy.  The Dinosaur Egg Baby has three eggs inside that make a squeaking sound. It has a secret opening underneath to test your dog’s instinct in getting hidden rewards. It is 6 inches in height, 5 inches wide and 12 inches long.

These are all toys that exercise dogs, cleanse their teeth, rejuvenate their jumping ability and test their intelligence.

“Can I Have A Puppy?”

123RF-17245805_sSooner or later, every parent is likely to hear: “Please, can I have a puppy?”

Rather than dodge the question, parents should consider whether their family is ready for a pet, says Sharon Bergen, senior vice president of education and training for Knowledge Learning Corporation, the nation’s leading provider of early childhood care and education.

Bergen suggests that parents weigh the pros and cons of adding a pet to the household before agreeing to a child’s request. “A pet can teach children responsibility and become a wonderful addition to a family – or it can be a burden,” she says. Bergen recommends families consider the following before making a decision.

Who will care for the pet? Families should agree beforehand who will be responsible for feeding, walking, bathing and cleaning up after the pet.

Do you have space for a pet? Families living in apartments or townhouses may prefer a cat, a bird or fish, rather than a Labrador Retriever. Check the library or Internet to learn more about different types and breeds of pets to determine the one most suitable for your family.

Owning a pet is time-consuming and may be expensive. Family members should realize that they may have to give up other activities to properly care for a pet. If the prospect seems too daunting, parents should consider waiting until the child is old enough to help care for an animal.

Bergen recommends the whole family meet the animal before deciding to take it home. Owning a pet is a life-long commitment, so think carefully before adding a pet to your family.

 

Five Steps to a Better-Behaved Pet

Nov-2013-iStock_000014546418XSmallWant to live a healthier lifestyle? Get a dog!  Studies show that pet ownership helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and fends off feelings of loneliness and depression.

While nothing can top the love and companionship of a dog, there are some unpleasant behaviors that just won’t do – from barking all night to having an accident on the floor to chewing on your shoes.

If your dog is exhibiting these behaviors, it may be acting out due to boredom, pent-up aggression or because of a lack of training. With proper lifestyle adjustments and diligent training, you’ll be on your way to having a happy, well-behaved pet. The following tips will help your furry friend become more obedient:

1) Spay or neuter. The Humane Society of the United States says that this common procedure can help your dog live longer, be healthier and have fewer behavior problems.

2) Help your pet relax. Just like people, dogs can get anxious, agitated and stressed.

3) Have a workout routine. Provide your dog companion with regularly scheduled walks each day. This will help your dog avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.

4) Go to school.  Enrolling your dog in an obedience class will teach you how to control your dog’s behavior both safely and humanely.

5) Be patient. Though teaching your furry friend to be more obedient may take determination on your part, it’s worth it. Your dog will appreciate bonding with you during the process.

 

 

Do Pet Stain Removers Work or are You Being Taken to the Cleaners?

iStock-August 08, 2010Pet stains on carpet and other types of flooring can be difficult to remove.  Pet stain removal products sometimes work and sometimes they don’t.  It depends on the surface that you’re cleaning and how extensive the damage is.

There are two different types of pet stain removers, volatile chemicals (chemicals that react with certain compounds) and enzyme products.  Chemical products work by changing the chemical make-up of urine.  However, if you’re using a chemical on your flooring or carpet chances are you’re not going to get all the chemical out.  These chemicals can remain in the dye pores and fibers of your carpets for many years.  Enzymes work by acting as a catalyst to remove urine.  Enzymes are natural, unlike man-made chemicals.

For infrequent pet stains or pet accidents, pet stain removers can work extremely well.  These products neutralize and eliminate pet stains on carpet surfaces or already sealed flooring.

How to Know if Your Dog is Sick

-k9-kear-up-guaranteeMost dog owners will notice any sudden or odd changes in their dog’s normal behaviour but it is helpful to know which specific symptoms to look for. If your dog shows symptoms of excessive drinking, sudden loss of appetite, continual vomiting or diarrhoea, or unusual lethargy you should be concerned.  Discharge from the eyes or inflamed eyes, a shallow or rapid breathing pattern or persistent coughing can all be signs of something serious.

Typically when a dog is sick they will show a raised temperature, indicated by a hot, dry nose. If your dog has a high temperature or a very low temperature you should seek professional advice from your veterinarian.

A dog’s temperature will be raised after strenuous activity or excitement, and not be a reliable indication to its health at that time.

If you know or suspect your dog is ill, make sure you keep them calm and display a reassuring manner until you get them to the veterinarian. Dogs can be very sensitive to your tone of voice and will pick up any worry or anxiety in your demeanour.

Understanding your dog’s needs and keeping an eye out for symptoms of sickness and ill health ensures that you can take swift action and have your dog is cared for immediately.

Animal Lovers are Never Lonely

123RF-22885766_sHaving a dog or cat around the house brings animal lovers a lot of smiles. Cuddling, big round eyes sending messages of love, cute fluffy ears or a tail moving in signs of joy makes any heart melt. Animal lovers know that and they appreciate every smile a pet brings to their faces.

Animal lovers are never lonely, are always loved by their pets, and often receive the comfort that a human could not give them. Having an animal for a friend is having a true friend for life!

Another reason that animal lovers are never lonely is they are often communicative, generous, not selfish, always around to help their friends in need, loving and attentive. Animal lovers are very appreciated and loved by everyone.

If you are looking for company, animal and human, don’t forget animal lovers and their pets!

Dog Obedience Tips

Nov-2013-iStock_000014546418XSmallTraining should be a positive and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. If you are not in the right mood for training, don’t even begin. Always reward your dog for obeying your commands promptly. A reward is anything that your dog wants and is willing to work for. Treats are an obvious reward but other rewards could be verbal praise and toys.

Several shorter sessions are usually better than one long one. Training should not involve any negative components or punishment. There should be no shouting, no hitting or smacking, no chain jerking on choke chains or collars, and absolutely no electric shocking.  Each training session should be enjoyable and positive with rewards for jobs well done.

Six Easy Ways to Find a Good Dog Trainer

123RF-16565688_sWith so many people advertising in the field of professional dog training today, trying to determine who’s truly qualified to look after your dog can be overwhelming.  What to look for when choosing a professional to help you with dog training:

  1. A good reputation, ask around and get recommendations from your vet, other dog owners, or local kennel clubs.
  2. Experience. Inquire about their background, i.e. number of years of experience.
  3. A genuine love of and devotion to dogs.
  4. Extensive and up to date knowledge. Dedicated trainers keep themselves updated by attending dog training and animal behaviour courses, conferences, seminars and workshops.
  5. Their training methodology and handling skills. A good dog trainer’s first concern should be the dog’s wellbeing.
  6. Memberships with reputable associations, organizations and training clubs.

 

How to Crate Train Your Dog

123RF-5908313_sDogs are naturally den animals so crating your dog can be good for your dog.  To determine if crating is right for your dog, try crating your dog and see how he takes to it.  However, remember that it can take some time for your dog to get used to and accept the crate.

The first step in getting your dog to understand the concept of the crate is getting him to understand that being inside of the crate is a good thing and an action that brings him rewards.

To get him into the crate, sit near the crate and hold your hand as far inside of the crate as you can (holding a treat) and wait for him to go into the crate. Once he reaches your hand, give him the treat and then pull your hand out. If he pops right out of the crate, do nothing. Don’t say anything, and whatever you do, do NOT give him a treat outside of the crate.

Once your dog starts to understand that he gets rewarded for being inside the crate, start adding a word to this action. You might want to use the word “crate” or “bed”.  Don’t introduce this command word to try and teach him to get into the crate. Until he is taught what the word means, it has no meaning for him.

Place your hand holding the treat inside the crate and say “CRATE”. When he enters the crate and all four feet are inside of the crate, reward him with a verbal “Good Boy” and the treat. When you pull your hand out of the crate, more than likely the dog will follow your hand out.  Ignore him, put another treat into your hand, and place your hand back into the crate and say “CRATE”. He will follow your hand into the crate.  Repeat the reward process. Once this action is clear to your dog, try to use only the verbal cue, “CRATE” and see if he enters the crate. Begin by doing this while you are standing near the crate door. Later you will be able to do this from a distance.