Archive for the ‘Dog Health’ Category

Understanding Dog Aggression

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Aggression with dogs is understood as any type of behavior that aims at frightening or hurting another animal or human. Growling, snarling, showing teeth, and similar behaviors are all considered aggressive. Although they are normal, humans generally seem to have a problem with these types of behavior. From the dog’s perspective, there is always a reason to be aggressive.

Aggression towards strangers

dog aggressionPeople and dogs have different ways of communicating, which can often lead to misunderstandings between the two species. A person can be friendly towards a dog, but it can misinterpret this behavior as threatening or frightening. This doesn’t mean that dogs are necessarily schizophrenic, crazy, psychotic or sick when showing this behavior.

As it is extremely complex and result in serious consequences, aggressive behavior of your dog towards strangers should be consulted with a veterinarian or other dog professional.

Types of aggression

Dominant aggression

Dominant aggression is motivated by the struggle for social status of the dog or the control of social interaction. Dogs are animals that live in packs and consider their human family as pack members. Based on the outcomes of status struggle among pack members, hierarchy is established.

If the dog sees its social status as higher than your own, it is highly likely that it will challenge you in certain situations. Since people don’t always understand how dogs communicate, they can unintentionally challenge their dog to a fight for higher social position.

A dominantly aggressive dog can growl if disturbed while asleep, or if asked to leave its favorite spot like a couch or bed. Using force, even physically harmless attempts such as hugs can also result in aggression. Grabbing a dog by its collar or attempting to pet it on the head can also be seen as a social challenge.

Dominantly aggressive dogs can be friendly if not tempted. Dominant aggression is directed towards other animals and humans. The most frequents cause for aggression within a pack is instability in hierarchy.

Fear motivated aggression

Fear motivated aggression is a defense mechanism and it occurs when a dog believes it’s in danger. Keep in mind that this is seen from the dog’s perspective, it is not your fault if you cause such a reaction. For example, you can raise your arm to throw a ball and a dog can bite you thinking that you wanted to hit it. A dog can also react this way in the presence of other dogs or animals.

Protective, territorial, and possessive aggression

Protective, territorial, and possessive aggressions are closely connected and involve the defense of valuable sources. Territorial aggression is often connected to protecting property. The domain your dog believes belong to it can extend beyond your back yard. For example, if you constantly take your dog out for a walk to the park and let it mark a specific spot then the entire park becomes its territory.

Protective aggression is related to the aggression towards people and animals that the dog sees as a threat to the pack. The dog gets possessively aggressive when protecting its food, toys, or other valuable objects.

Redirected aggression

This type of aggression is relatively common. If a dog’s aggression is caused by danger of an attack, the dog can redirect that aggression onto someone else. In other words, when two dogs behind a fence see a dog outside the house, they can get excited, aggressive, and attack each other because they can’t get outside.

Author bio: Andrea Hudson is a professional photographer and a great dog lover. She is interested in dogs and pets related topics, and she is also the first person in the neighborhood who you call for help when you lose your dog, or any kind of pet. She is always there for her friends..

Dogs In England Must Be Microchipped from 2016

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

It has been announced today that every Dog owner in England must have their pet microchipped from 2016 onwards. In a plan meant to reduce the amount of strays on the streets, the microchips will be encoded with owners details, and those who do not comply with the new law may find themselves slammed with a £500 fine.

The device, which is the size of a grain of rice is implanted into the Dog between the shoulder blades using a syringe, but is no more painful than an average vaccination. The device is made from ‘bio-compatible’ glass which is the same material used to make human pace makers. The device also fuses itself where it’s implanted, meaning it won’t move around the animals body.

lost dog

UK government figures show that in excess of 100,000 dogs are dumped on the streets each year, costing the public and welfare charities more than £57 million. This new law is hoped to drastically reduce these figures. The new legislation will come into affect from the 6th of April 2016.

Currently, charities in the UK such as Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home provide free microchipping, although having the procedure performed privately only costs around £25. It is still unclear whether the government will pay for the procedure, once the law comes into affect. The Dogs Trust has welcomed the scheme, saying it would make a “huge difference.”

Statistics also show that around 40% of Dogs picked up by charities on the street contain chips with inaccurate data, meaning the animals cannot be returned to their owners. In the European Union, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia, Germany, Austria and Belgium, already have compulsory microchipping laws.

 What do you think of this new law? Do you think it will help the situation? And if you’re from another country would you like something like this implemented? Get involved in the discussion in the comments below!

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Dog Collars for High-end Luxury and Comfort

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Pet owners take very good care of their companions and accessorise them to make them stylish and unique. They purchase exclusive pet accessories to make them comfortable and fashionable. Pet lovers not only buy pet jewellery, but also collars for better control and mobility. All such pet accessories make pets look more beautiful. Today, there are different types of pet accessories available in the market for dogs, cats, fish, birds or other pets. You can easily choose the one that suits your pet in a distinguished manner.

One essential aspect to consider is that pet accessory should not harm your pet in any way. It should be according to your pet’s size, health and physical features. The different pet accessories that are available in the market offer high-end comfort to the pets without harming their skin. Pet boutiques commonly offer collars, purses, necklaces, harnesses, clothing, beds, leashes, bracelets for vests and much more.

However, pet lovers should understand the very requirements of their pets and then purchase pet products. In addition, a pet product should be extremely soft and made up of pure material so that it cannot react with the skin or harm pets in any way.

Dog Collars

Dog Collars

One of the most commonly purchased products is dog collars. Dog collars are perfectly adjustable and available in different shapes and sizes according to the size of the dog. These are available in various designs, soft leather material and are usually hand crafted to reflect exclusivity. Most of the people prefer high-end luxurious pet collars that offer extra padding, durable buckles, many hand set crystals and chrome plated hardware. These exclusive looking dog collars give exceptional look to the dogs. Even people feel well from inside after giving such exclusive gifts to their dogs.

In order to exhibit high-end opulence people buy specially made collars that deliver zing like nothing else. Figuratively, it looks ideal for your small companions! You can see class excellence in design, materials as well as craftsmanship in sophisticated collars. These boast latest fashion trends and exhibits unparallel brilliance & perfection.

Designer Dog Collars

If you want more luxurious pet products and specially dog collars, then online super stores or online pet boutiques are the finest option to consider. They not only provide different types of dog collars, but offer discounts, and other free gifts to their customers.

About Author:-

James Smith is a ghost writer and has written various articles on pet accessories, wholesale pet products, online pet boutiques, pet toys, designer dog clothing, and etc. for many years.

 

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Dogs and their jobs

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

For most of us, a dog is a beloved family member, and a pampered pet.  We provide our canine companions with luxury dog beds, an abundance of squeaky toys, and the best pet food we can find.  However, not all dogs live pampered lives in return for performing the occasional trick to impress the next door neighbour.  Some dogs hold down full time jobs, using their strength, or their sense of smell, to earn their keep.

dogs and their jobs

Here’s a quick look at some of the jobs that a well-trained dog might do:

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs, or emotional support animals, are used to comfort people who are stressed, traumatized, or depressed.  They are used to help the elderly in nursing homes, calm young people testifying in courts, and offer support to survivors of natural disasters.  Some airlines allow emotional support animals to travel with their passengers, providing comfort for those who are scared of flying.

Military Dogs

Dogs have been used by the military for many, many years, and some of them have even been awarded medals for their bravery.  Today’s military dogs are highly trained, and are almost as well equipped as the humans they’re working with, being given bulletproof vests and high-tech cameras so that they can provide intelligence to their two-legged co-workers, whilst staying as safe as possible themselves.

Service Dogs

Most of us are familiar with guide dogs for the blind, but there are lots of other service animals.  People with epilepsy often have a service dog that will attempt to warn them of impending seizures, and fetch medication for their owner if a seizure occurs.  There are also hearing dogs for the deaf, and dogs that are trained to help patients in wheelchairs, and fetch items for them.

Racing Dogs

Dogs can be professional athletes too!  In Alaska, the Iditarod long-distance racing competition is a huge event, with entire villages turning out to watch the dogs (and the sled riders) pass through their village.  Teams have avid supporters, and the breeders consider training and caring for their dogs to be a full-time job.  Alaskan huskies are tough, strong, and have thick coats of fur, enabling them to survive in the difficult conditions of the Alaskan highlands.

Sniffer Dogs

Dogs have a far better sense of smell than humans do, and this makes them incredibly good at detecting illicit substances.  Police train dogs to sniff out a range of things, including drugs and explosives.  Dogs are also used in search and rescue missions, and customs officers use dogs to detect foreign produce that tourists might unwittingly (or dishonestly) try to bring into the country.

Medical Dogs

While this isn’t an official “job” yet, it could well be one in the future.  German researchers have ran some small scale trials to see if dogs could detect lung cancer by sniffing a patient’s breath.  The dogs had a 71% accuracy rate of detecting cancers, and a relatively low false positive rate too (just 7%).  More testing is needed, but it’s entirely possible that we may see dogs used in the diagnostic process in the future.
Guest post written and contributed by dog lover Amy Fowler, on behalf of House of Paws, specialists in luxury dog beds and other cat and dog accessories.

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Training Your Puppy without the Classes

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Choosing to get a puppy is a massive decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As well as all the costs and commitment, a puppy also requires a great deal of on-going training to ensure it grows up to be a healthy and happy dog.

Before you can train a puppy, you need to develop a mutual respect for one another. A dog won’t always do as you ask it to without a reward, whether this is a treat or plenty of attention and affection. Quite often, a puppy will seek a master in which it can follow and aim to please. This is usually the person who walks and feeds it, not necessarily smothers it with love and affection all the time. This relationship needs to be developed from an early stage to ensure your puppy looks to you for instruction.

Training Your Puppy without the Classes

House Training

So first things first, you will need to teach your puppy some basic house training rules to ensure it uses the toilet outside as oppose to inside on furniture and expensive flooring. Puppies, like babies do not know there is a right or wrong place to relieve themselves, so you need to teach them this. Under no conditions should you result to violence to correct your dog in any aspect of its training, as it can encourage vicious behaviour.

House training is usually achieved over a considerable amount of time, there is no short cut and there is bound to be slip ups from time to time as well. Encourage your dog to go outside at regular intervals, and when it does choose to urinate outside, reward it and give it affection. Take your puppy outside throughout the day, from the moment you wake up, before and after its meals and of course before bed time. This minimises the likelihood of accidents and also teaches your dog a positive routine.

Eliminating Biting

Puppies will usually bite and chew as it is a natural reaction to their teething process. Sometimes biting will be playful, other times out of boredom, and in some cases when your puppy is feeling a little tired and irritable. Again, avoiding using violence, encouraging good behaviour and discouraging bad behaviour will send the right message to your new four-legged friend that you and your belongings don’t appreciate being chewed or bitten, and that this will not earn it affection and rewards.

Another option is to encourage your pup to chew something else when you see it gnawing on your favourite piece of furniture. Supply it with a durable chew toy to keep it occupied, and in time your dog will learn that this is what should be chewed and played with, not the furniture.

Taking your puppy to training classes is of course not compulsory and by training your dog yourself; you will also save a great deal of money and build your very own bond with your dog. Training will be an on-going task throughout the dog’s life as its learning will never be complete and like humans, can occasionally make mistakes too.

Photo Credit: Adam E. Cole

This article was written by Sarah MacLeod on behalf of My Pet Stop, a UK based dog boarding company offing puppy training, dog grooming and much more.

 

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Why you should bake your own dog treats

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

We understand that you love your dog.  They don’t call dogs “Man’s best friend” for nothing!  They bring us joy, make us laugh, and comfort us when we’re feeling down.  They miss us when we’re gone, and get so excited when we’re back that you’d think we were gone for a year!  That’s why we are pet parents, not pet owners.  Our dogs are our children, and we love them as such.  So, why not feed them like we would feed our own children?  It’s easier than you might think, and a great way to get the kids involved!

There are a number of reasons to bake your own dog treats.  To start with, you are in control of exactly what is in your treats.  For anybody who has ever had a finicky dog, you know that there are some things they just don’t like.  This is especially true in the case of most treats you buy at the store; your pooch would much rather eat the burger out of your hand than chew on cheap, overly-processed treats that have an ingredient list a mile long.  So, why not compromise?  You can easily bake dog treats with peanut butter, pumpkin, cinnamon, or anything else you can think of, and those treats will be much better for your dog.

Why you should bake your own dog treats

Baking your own treats is healthier because you aren’t loading them with preservatives and importing them from some “kitchen” that may or may not care just how good those treats are.  Think of it like fast food; sure, you can get a burger through the drive through, but if you did that every day, your body wouldn’t be feeling quite as good as it would if you baked something healthy at home (and, honestly, who doesn’t love a good home-cooked meal?).

You also don’t have to worry about your dog having an allergic reaction, or developing allergies if you’re making the treats yourself.  Dogs can be just as sensitive as humans, so we should pay attention to what we give our pooch so they can live a long, happy, and healthy life.  Frequent allergies include beef, dairy, pork, soy, fish, eggs, and more.  Many popular dog treats contain these ingredients, too, limiting your choices if your pooch is allergic to any of these.

Now, you may argue that you’re not a whiz in the kitchen.  That’s perfectly understandable. Many people have grown up with a microwave oven being their primary food preparation device, so turning on the oven and baking something can seem like a foreign idea.  However, baking your own dog treats isn’t hard.  We’ve actually taken out a lot of the hard work and created something simple to bake.  If you’ve ever made a box brownie mix, you can bake your own dog treats.  That’s where Pupolicious comes in!

Pupolicious is a dog treat and icing mix, much like those boxed baking mixes you see in the store, that is quick, simple, and most important of all – healthy.  It comes with everything you need to start baking your own dog treats, and has 3 simple steps; mix, bake, and decorate.  The only things you need to make Pupolicious is a mixing bowl, rolling pin, baking sheet, a spoon, oil, water, and of course, an oven.  You can also easily flavor your treats, and http://www.pupolicious.com has flavoring suggestions and simple instructions for just that purpose.  It doesn’t stop there, however; Pupolicious is a great way to get the kids involved with the quick & easy icing mix (after all, what kid DOESN’T like decorating treats), so it’s something the whole family can do for your furry friend!

With Pupolicious’ safe, simple ingredients, you can easily bake dog treats at home, making it easier to show your dogs just how much you love them.  That’s why we call Pupolicious “the dog treat you bake with love.”

 

Author’s Notes:

Pupolicious is a new dog treat and icing mix available and made in the U.S.A.  You can read more and purchase Pupolicious at www.pupolicious.com

 

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Dog fouling: a messy situation

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Britain is living through a messy situation. Dog fouling is topping local news headlines across the land and councils are still scratching their heads about how to make people more responsible for their pooch’s bowel movements.

While some are charging owners found guilty anywhere up to £1,000 for their transgressions, others continue to install bins in our parks, towns and cities, full of hope that they’ll actually be used.

However, statistics seem to indicate the situation is still a major headache for local authorities. A recent survey of over 10,000 sites by Keep Britain Tidy, for example, found that dog mess was present on seven per cent of sites. Local newspaper articles, community meetings and neighbourhood watch gatherings seem to be constantly teeming with residents unhappy with the mess in their areas – and for good reason. Ingestion of dog excrement can bring on serious health conditions.

Toxocariasis is the most major infection associated with dog muck. While rare, with around 50-100 cases recorded a year, according to the NHS, toxocariasis can bring on a range of unpleasant symptoms, even leading to blindness if left untreated.

Of course it’s the social effects that tend to offend non-pet owners, and dog-owners alike. Just how can people have the audacity, the inconsideration, the lack of respect for themselves and their animal to leave mess on our beautiful public countryside?

Well, for those who haven’t yet learnt how best to clear up after themselves, here’s a few tips that could help turn around Britain’s messy nation.

Make sure you know when they need to go

You should really know your dog well enough to see the signs when they need to go. Although this isn’t always possible, you can even take an estimated guess based on your dog’s eating habits.

Keeping a regular routine is probably one of the best ways of letting your dog know whether it’s time to go for a walk or not. With enough repetition, and adequate dog training, they’ll come to understand the signs and will hopefully do their business before you leave the house.

Find an adequate place to walk them

Needless to say, you should try where possible to take your dog to locations where dog walking is expected, permitted, and where dog bins are nearby.

Even if you live in the city, you’re sure to find routes to the park that have more verges than others, offering your dog a chance to have a toilet break on a spot where less people are likely to walk.

Be equipped for the job

Vitally, you should always be prepared for the job at hand. Always leave the house with plenty of dog bags and treats. The latter of which you can of course reward your dog for good behaviour, such as going on the grass as opposed to the pavement.

Not only will you need bags to pick up mess, but also a decent collar or even harness, so you can keep them under control at all times. Red Dingo is just one supplier that sells a variety of well constructed products that might help keep your dog on the right side of you when going to the loo. Other Red Dingo products include bowls, mattresses and tags.

 

Even when using a lead, you should be careful that your dog doesn’t roll around in the fouling of other animals (fox and horse poo are favourites for most dogs) as you could end up bringing germs into the house.

With any luck these tips will help make sure you don’t add to the already very messy issue of dog muck in the UK.

 

 

 

 

Author Bio: Joseph Smith has a degree in Zoology, as well as having owned and taken care of many animals and pets in his career. Through this article he provides you information on how to select the right facility for your dog as well as high-quality products for dogs. For more information go to http://www.muddypaws.co.uk/red-dingo-m-20.html

 

 

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The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

 

Why does my dog do that? An insight into behavioural techniques and dog training.

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Why does my dog act this way? Why is my dog impossible to train? Why does my dog not respond to training like other dogs?…..Do these kind of questions sound familiar? Each person asking these questions sincerely believes their situation is so unique, that it requires if not the Nobel Prize and a mention in London Times, then at least a consultation with the top behaviourist or an individual session with a known trainer who will hopefully be able to understand where the problem is coming from and how to put it right. Self / Home study as an option is rarely taken considered I am not sure why, but, I guess, people just do not bother to move a finger unless they have a massive issue on their hands and the need to have it resolved on the spot is of a paramount importance.

We always wish that our trainees coming to the class looking for help would start telling their story beginning with: ‘I’ve done so much with my dog, but a few things do not seem to click into place…’ Usually the difficulty of prospective resolution takes us to the very beginning and having to build it up from that point to and well above the required level of response… Yes, I wish… but the reality tells us different.

Why do you think Hector attacks dogs when out and about with me or my husband? And then the assessment starts. How responsive is he to the owner’s voice? Not at all. How well motivated by food? Oh, he does not eat when out… OK, what is his level of obedience? Very good but struggles with Sit or Stay? Wow, let’s call it non-existent rather than great… Plays on a walk? Yes, very playful, you say? Let’s see. Toy – no reaction… And the said dog disappears in the distance to play his game of chase and growl with other dogs… OK, so this doesn’t work either… Well, you get the picture.

I would like to create a different story here just for the sake of the argument, and I am also hoping that this will help us to understand where things get wrong and what buttons we are going to press while re-building the “dog under good control” image.

Dog training and behavioural techniques

Dogs as well as all other living creatures are born and built to survive. They all are programmed by a set of INSTINCTS offering them pre-recorded responses to this and that and what to do if… There are many of those : Maternity and paternity instincts, pack, sexual, and protective, hunting and chasing, Self-preservation, orientational and play ones, instincts responsible for searching and containment of food, getting it and protecting it, providing drinking water and telling them when to escape and how far, how to – eat, drink, breath, digest etc., building a den…. There are many others, but this story is not about them.

According to research dogs as companion animals have been improving humans’ lives for well over the past 20,000 years. Most of the physiological mechanisms locked within these comfort protectors / hunters and nurturers are about that old, and some much older – dogs inherited many behavioural threats from their predecessors and those – from the ones before and so on. So knowing how to snap at the foreign body that threatens your lunch is an ancient skill; the desire to run off and pursue prey is centuries and thousands of years old; marking the house is too. Also barking when losing your pack (say, due to them going off to work) has existed in our hounds for generations. This is why dogs do these things. They have to abide by this pre-recorded and sharpened by lengthy evolutional survival behavioural program, and it is there not to be argued with. Do it or die. You ignore the noise of falling tree – say good-bye to the world and be squashed… Yes, dogs are jumpy (reactive) initially for good reasons – this is good for the evolutionary selection.

Hector the Irish Terrier, on the other hand, does not have a particular reason to do any of the above. He does not exist as a pet dog, but as a healthy and logical representative of his species. His personality is a reflection of what was (or rather not) put there by his nurturers, the owners. Nothing else. He sees the ball and he’s off. A car door open and he’s out. The predictable dog behaviour of A DOG, not Hector the Irish Terrier. So why does he do all these? Because he’s a dog. Wild, un-influenced, free-to-roll dog whose man-made boundaries and socially acceptable (as per urban dog in 2012) acts of behaviour are just not there. Happy dog though – the pre-recorded guidance has worked wonders for the 16 months of his life! Perfect for him, and if I was coming back as a dog I would want to come back as Hector. See for yourself – No effort required and maximum benefit – do whatever you want and all the boxes in your life are still ticked – he’s well and unconditionally loved! watered, fed, played with, accommodated, sheltered, maintained, entertained… Lucky little thing. I on the other hand, have to work for my living!

Living your daily life means learning. Consciously, or sub-consciously, the learning process continues whatever we do. The same applies for our dogs. They experience “Trial and Error” all the time – this either gets the dog something he/she wants or avoids him/her from doing something he/she doesn’t want to do. (Please compare this to the households where “anything goes” – whatever that pooch comes up with is tolerated and the outcome does not change as a result of it). There are exceptions, for instance, the state of an animal’s health (a medical condition or illness might well be responsible for the behavioural symptoms). But these are usually easy thing to rule out.

Have you heard about the “Nature v Nurture” argument? Luckily for us (and for the dogs, but they do tend to deny it) there is a mechanism able to override instincts and adapt the animal to the environment without endangering its’ existence. These are called reflexes. They are not there when the dogs are born but they are formed the moment we let our guard off and let the natural responses “slide” – these are Learnt Behaviours. No dog knows how to chase joggers at birth. But dogs chase fast-moving objects or any moving objects, if no other motion is observed. Do it once, do it twice – and there you are – You have a sprinter-dog taking down park strollers just for the sake of it. The dogs doing it look happy – and even this is pre-deposited there… They are satisfying the instincts feeding on that satisfaction. So when we say that some reflexes are not helpful, this only goes for us, not the dogs.

But the helpful ones may mean the difference between a good dog / pleasant society member and the mayhem of a mutt ruining everyone’s pleasure.

So let’s talk about this for a moment. Have you ever tried to throw a ball when out on your morning stroll through the park, but tell your dog to NOT chase it? Just to check it – can we compete with the in-bred tendencies? You haven’t, or you can’t? Either way, you have to, and you have to do it well and polish it up to the point when you can put the dog on a “pause-mode” at any time you want, any environment and everywhere. You don’t have to be doing it all the time, but you need to be able to stop it when you wish and at that very second. How do we do it? Oh, that’s the whole another subject. Easy, usually, if you brainstorm it before you start practicing. Approach it from a few different directions and practice. Proof it afterwards and enjoy your loyal companion that you can trust off lead. Wouldn’t that be nice!

Now you are saying that you can do it after a week of homework? Great, keep it up! Have you taught your dog to not chase balls? Not just that. You battled a huge issue of delivering a message to that Dog Instincts Ministry on how to stop and control temptations on a cue from outside, your cue. Life is full of attractive targets – objects, smells, creatures. But we need to agree on one thing with our beloved pooch: you are not going to get everything you see! Plain and simple. So when your dog chases squirrels in the woods, throwing a ball and hoping to tire it out is not going to offer you a solution; maybe, if you are lucky, perhaps just a temporary relief. You will be strengthening and reinforcing that instinct and giving that dog more and more physical power to cope with the task. But drop a chunk of sausage and call your dog off it on a single command- and you win – you become the guiding voice in your dog’s head, not the voodoo spirits telling it “kill, kill, kill”.

Would you manage the walk through the tunnel of cheese bits with your dog to heel (loose lead of course, or no lead as a requirement)? Once again, you will not just be teaching your pet to Heel in different circumstances, but also to choose your guidance in other situations as dogs Generalise. Look it up. This is our saviour, as due to this mechanism, and this one only, you can have your dog learning to listen and do what they hear. There is no way in the world you can socialize your dog with absolutely every creature / object / situation in the book, but once you’ve done your first 5-10 experiences and come out the winner, your dog will assume, that the next one down the line of these experiments will have to end up with the same outcome. Try it. There are bright dogs that connect this after just two-three exposures, and some need tons of variable repetitive reinforcement. But it happens.

Need more ideas to try out? Here! -Dog is put in a stay, you place a slice of salami in front of it, walk away and call it passed the distraction. -Lay your dog down and feed another animal all around it from hand and floor without your trainee getting up (this helps also to influence the relationship with other dogs!). -You heel your dog while kicking a tennis ball in front of you as you go. -Try to “bowl” a dog treat towards the dog’s front paws in a Sit position without it eating it, the nearer the better. Plus make some stuff up – you can never over-train your pet. And don’t you ever forget to reward / praise your dog for being right. However small that progress is – it is a success, so be generous and just, and only then raise the bar.

And please finish with this one: You lay the dog down, and slowly moving that “don’t touch” kibble nearer and nearer to its’ nose end up, position two of them, one on each paw of the patiently waiting dog. This is the cutest (and easiest) skill to teach, and you will immediately be named the greatest trainer amongst all your friends watching this party trick.

Please accept that things do not remain the same. Nothing stays still, and behavioural balance, brain activity and sharpness of responses changes with time. So do not ignore the maintenance procedure that needs to be brought in from time to time.

Feeling like you’ve done the “proofing”? Go out into the busy park / club / dog competition and show off! Enjoy it and you two will make a great team not just keeping safe, but demonstrating to the world that DOGS HAVE BRAINS, and those little boxes are hugely effective, once you help your dogs to wake them up. Your dog’s thinking is a beautiful process, and watching it is the biggest pleasure of having a dog.


Happy walking! Like this article? Please Share and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

This post was written by www.goodboydogschool.co.uk a registered Dog Training School, promoting the idea of responsible dog ownership, providing behavioural help and advice to people and families with dogs, giving some dogs a good start in life, and trying to improve the lives of dogs with behavioural problems.

The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

How To Clean a Dog Leash: Home of the Germs & Flea Eggs

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Leash cleanliness (or lack thereof) is undoubtedly one of the most overlooked aspects of health and well-being for you and your pup.  Whether you live in the big bustling city of New York or a small fishing village in Japan, attention to proper leash care can lead to more sanitary living conditions for you and your dog.

How to Clean A Dog Leash

Consider this: How many of us wash our hands before a dog walk?  During any given dog walk , we clip the leash to the harness or collar, open the front door (and/or push an elevator button), pick up poop, perhaps switch no matter how temporarily, the hand that we are using to hold the leash, and also handle our house keys, which are all major sources of germ transfer.  That’s at least six different germ transfers per walk.  It’s not an understatement that it’s slightly gross and disgusting when you think about how many other unwashed, germ invested hands have also interacted with those high use items.

The question remains- how can you break the cycle of all of these germs getting onto the dog leash?  For some of you it may be months of germ and dirt buildup. For others of you years.  Germs, dirt and bacteria left to fester can lead to the slow erosion of the leash, be breeding grounds for flea eggs to hatch, and also to can also be an accessory to the spreading of colds and the flu. Multiply this by the number of people that use the leash (the dog walker, your children, spouse) and the number of people they interact with on a weekly basis.

If you follow a few precautionary steps, you will see how simple it is. First off, start by sanitizing your cloth leash in the dish washer (or for New Yorkers, in a tub of hot water and dish soap) at least once per week at a temperature of 150 degrees which can kill many bacteria and germs and flea eggs.

If you have a flexi-leash, you can wipe it down with Clorox and water.  To make life easier,  my personal recommendation would be to have three leashes in rotation, so you can get into the flow of regularly washing the harnesses and/or sanitizing the collars at least once per week and also regularly  wash your hands before and after each walk.  When you are at home, take off your dogs harness and collar to reduce the amount of dirt and germ transfer between the harness/collar and the dog.  As for your keys, the door handles and your front door handle- bleach and water.  For a green alternative, you can always use Dr. Bronners diluted with water.

Remember a clean, sanitary leash and getting into the routine of washing your hands before and after a dog walk is a small step towards creating a healthier, happier living conditions for you and your pets.

How often do you clean your leash? And do you have any advice? Let us know in the comments! Like this article? Please Share! 

Cynthia Okimoto is the owner of New York Dog Nanny www.newyorkdognanny.com and has been professionally caring for dogs since 2010.

The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

How to Tell When Your Dog Needs a Walk

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Humans take words for granted. If any of us need to take a break at the office or at home we can simply say “I need to stretch my legs for a few minutes.” Unfortunately, dogs don’t have the same luxury. Here are a few tips to help you know when your dog needs to be walked:

 

  • Is it time for them to be walked? Dogs form habits very easily, so your dog will get excited around their usual walk time. Try not to walk your dog early if they’re acting up around walk time: your dog may start exaggerating their behavior regularly because you’ve rewarded them for being dramatic. If your dog seems uncomfortable or hyper after you’ve tried to phase out a walk time, you should bring the walk back. Dogs can become anxious if their schedules are altered.
  • If your dog makes a beeline straight to you when you get home, it means they’re feeling very emphatic about telling you something. It probably means your dog needs to go for a walk. Dogs are tense when the walk in direct, straight lines and relaxed when taking curving paths towards their goal.
  • If your dog has recently put on weight, extending the length of their walk or adding a walk to their schedule is a great way to help your dog lose weight.
dog needs a walk?
  • Has your dog been having accidents? Your dog may have Cushings disease, or another issue with their elimination system.
  • If your dog is displaying anxious posture and looking at you with whale eye (large, circular shaped eyes with their whites exposed) this means your dog is very tense. If your dog is standing near the door, or alternating their gaze between you and the door, your dog is most likely telling you they feel tense because they desperately want to go outside.
  • Conversely, your dog may try to show you they need to go out by getting very excited. If your dog trembles, keeps going into “play bow” posture, or becomes extremely rowdy, your dog is probably trying to tell you they need to get out of the house and burn off some energy.
  • Puppies often touch their noses, or touch their paws to their mothers when they need something. If your dog keeps putting his paw on your knee or keeps touching you with his nose, your dog is trying to tell you they need something. That thing they need? It may be a walk.

Those are some simple ways to tell if your dog needs your attention. Remember that your dog will be less anxious and behave well if they’re walked and getting enough exercise. However, never let your dog order you to take them on a walk with frantic or disruptive behavior. It’s equally important that your dog know that you’re the boss at all times.

Like this article? Please Share!  And let us know your thoughts in the comments….

The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.