Archive for » February, 2010 «

How to Teach Your Dog to Play Tug-of-War

Benefits of Playing Tug-of-War

Playing tug-of-war with your dog is an immense exercise teaching your dog to play nicely, listen to you during times of excitement, and allow your dog to release canine instinct of pulling and tugging in a fun atmosphere.  The first thing you need to do is get a suitable toy.

Appropriate Tug-of-War Toy

Find a toy that is soft, comfortable and easy to hold.  Do not get anything that will snag in the dog’s teeth or snap out easily.  Some experts suggest using toys made from bungee material.  There are also toys with handles.  Choose one that is suitable for you and your pup.

How to Teach Your Dog to “Drop It”

This part matters significantly when playing the game tug-of-war.  It teaches your dog the “give” or “drop it” command.  It helps your pup understand these commands while having fun.  One way to get your pup to understand to release the toy is by using treats.

Treats are a necessary item to keep on-hand when teaching commands.  This is how it works with “drop it.”  While you two are playing tug-of-war, say the command, “Drop it,” and let go of the pull on the toy.  Keep holding the toy but do not place any tension on it.  Now, this is where the treats come in.  With your other hand, place a treat in front of your pup’s nose.  Do not give it to your dog.  Just place it in front of the nose.  The dog will drop the toy to focus on smelling the treat.  Once the dog drops the toy, reward your dog with the treat and lots of positive reinforcement.  Then, repeat the same action again until your dog understands “drop it” command.

This is only one tip on how to play tug-of-war with your dog.  To find out more about the benefits and teaching your dog these healthy, interactive, physical activities with positive reinforcement check out Florida dog obedience training or k9 training today.

How to Choose an Ideal Dog Park

What is a Dog Park?

Dog parks are a safe, happy, friendly place created for dogs to socialize, exercise, and roam freely off a leash.  A well-designed dog park is a positive environment to take your pup.  It encourages physical activity, bonding, and interacting with other dogs and people.  These are all factors you wish to incorporate into your dog’s life to make your pup live a healthy and joyful life.  However, you need to make sure the dog park has certain elements before selecting to take your dog into this new environment.

Check out the Space

Dog parks should have plenty of space for your pup to roam freely.  A dog park built with distance, wide openings, and many areas to run may be the perfect location for you and your dog.  If there is not enough room, then be cautious.  Overcrowding influences bad behavior with dogs.  For example, if it is overcrowded, tension arises within dogs resulting in possible fights.  Thus, make sure the dog park has lots of room for your dog to run around without worry.

Examine the Fencing

The fencing in a dog park should be secure.  A reputable dog park would not have holes where dogs are able to escape.  Furthermore, make sure there is an entry area where you are able to enter with your dog before stepping into the dog park.  Generally, this is a double-gated area preventing other dogs from sneaking out while you are walking in.

Dog parks also need to supply water, shade, and a designated section for small dogs only.  Dog parks are an excellent place to bond with your dog and allow your dog to bond with others.  You just need to be sure your dog is up-to-date on k9 training and Florida dog training. For both of these classes would be able to teach you how to handle unexpected situations.

Dog Poison Tip #1

Watch Out for Dog Poisons

Many ordinary, household items, if ingested by your dog, may cause your pet to turn fatally ill.  You need to be careful of what you leave laying around the house, and keep things out of your pup’s reach.  Here are a few items to keep stored away and inaccessible to your dog.

Human Food

When the whole family is sitting around the dining room table, and you have not taught your dog to exit the room during dinnertime, you leave your dog at risk.  For you leave your dog available to eat scraps off the dining room floor.  By doing so, your dog may be in danger.  For example, if someone at the table is eating chocolate brownies for dessert and your dog eats up the leftover chocolate left on the floor, then you may be putting your pup’s life in danger.  Chocolate is the number one killer of dogs.   It causes excessive diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal heart palpitations, and seizures.  You should teach your dog how to sit in his/her own spot during human mealtime preventing your dog from ingesting table scraps.

Human Drugs

Human medications may cause your dog to die.  You need to keep all medicines off countertops and away in high shelves unreachable to your pup.  If you do not take these precautions, your dog may ingest whatever liquid, pills, tablets left in plain sight without knowing the risk involved.  You are the responsible, loving pet owner.  Therefore, ensure your actions reflect this and provide your dog with a healthy and happy environment.

Pet owners across the world, would love to keep their pets around as long as possible.  Thus, be responsible and do the right thing.  Keep the human food and medications away from your dog ensuring your dog’s health remains intact, not faltering due to the presence of these harmful elements.

To find out more about what household items may harm your dog; check out Florida dog training classes and puppy preschool today.

How to Identify Positive Play between Dogs

When Dogs Play Nice

When your dog is socializing with other pups, it is important to understand what cheerful play between two pups is and when it is time to step in.

What is Upbeat Play?

Some inexperienced dog owners have difficult knowing when two dogs are having fun interacting. Here are a few traits allowing further comprehension regarding what is all in good fun.

Watch Body Language

When dogs are in a playful mood, their bodies are in a relaxed state.  They tend to jump around with each other taking turns playing various games, such as chasing one another around and wrestling.  It is harmless play, as long as you notice the dogs are taking natural breaks in-between games.  For example, if two dogs are chasing one another, stop to drink, resume with playtime, stop again for a breather, resume with wrestling, pattern repeated, then it is safe to notate it is solely amusement.  The breaks are a means for dogs to lower the heightened level of excitement preventing it from growing into aggressive behavior.  It is something a dog initiates on its own.  However, if the dogs do not stop and pause in-between sessions, then this could translate to a negative situation escalating quickly.  This is when you intervene immediately before something tragic happens.

It is difficult to control a negative situation between two dogs unless you have the proper training.  Florida dog training professionals are available to help you ensure your dog is not involved in such terrible situations.  Florida dog obedience training prevents the risk of this occurring to your precious pup.

Pet Care Tips #3: Air Travel with Your Dog

Air Travel with Your Dog Made Easy

Some dog owners become anxious with the idea of traveling with a pup.  It is natural to feel a bit nervous.  But if you take the proper steps to ensure your dog is safe and comfortable during travel, then there is no reason to fret.

Freeze the Water

One trick to successful air dog travel is the evening prior to departure, freeze a tray of water for your dog.  The frozen water translates to no spilling during loading.  As a result, by the time your dog has settled down, the water will melt away becoming available to quench your dog’s thirst when needed.

Compare Shipping Crates

Not all shipping crates are created equal.  You need to find a USDA-approved shipping crate before taking your pup on a flight.  Look for a crate that has plenty of room for your dog to sit, stand, and turn around comfortably.  Line the crate with towels to absorb any accidents that may occur.  Dogs do not discard of waste where they sleep, but you need to take precautionary measures for possible mishaps during long flights and delays.

Make Credentials Visible

Securely attach identification tags to your dog’s collar.  Place a photograph of your dog on top of the crate ensuring recognition is straightforward.  Also, alert all traveling personnel that your dog is in cargo.  Therefore, if a delay occurs, an airline representative will remember to check up on your dog instead of leaving your dog alone.

For more tips on air travel with your dog check out Florida dog training today.

How to Feed Your Dog a Pill

Dogs can be Picky Eaters

Some dogs will eat anything, while others are fussy eaters.  If a medication or a pill has an unappealing scent to a dog, then it will be difficult to get your dog to swallow or eat a pill.  However, here are some tricks to try out.

Mix it Up

First, ask the vet for a chewable pill.  This will help your dog eat it without forcing your pup to swallow it whole.  Then, once you have the pill and need to feed it to your dog, mix it up with a special treat.  Wrap it up in a cube of soft cheese.  If that does not work, try preparing five or six treats.  Put the pill in one of them.  Feed your dog a few of the treats right in a row.  Do not stop.  Then pop the one with the pill in the midst of it.  After the pill with the medication is given, offer another treat immediately.  Stay consistent.  Provide more treats in a row.  This technique does not present your dog enough time to realize you slipped a treat with medication.  It is too quick for the dog to realize what is occurring.  For the dog tastes the next treat rather than the pill.

If mixing it up does not work, try out other methods taught by K9 Obedience training classes.  There are positive, effective techniques to feeding your dog medications and Florida dog training is able to help you today.

Dog Introductions Take Time

Dog Socialization Takes Time

Dogs are social animals and enjoy companionship with their owners and other dogs.  But you need to take your time when introducing a new pup into the house.  When you are ready to adopt another dog, have patience.  Stay positive and remember these guidelines to help the two socialize on a happy level.

Do Not Force It

When bringing home a new pup, do not bring another pet along for introductions during the car ride.  The car is not neutral ground to bring two dogs together.  Do not try it. Instead, wait until you get home.  Take them out on a walk together offering introductions on neutral territory.  While on a walk, dogs expend energy.  Thus, the dogs will not be anxious walking next to each other.  The energy spent is on the physical aspect of walking.  As a result, there is a true chance for the two dogs to release nervous energy and just be comfortable with one another.  Walking together becomes a natural thing for dogs when given the chance to bond during a walk.

Prevent Rivalries

Provide each dog with his/her own water and food bowls.  Do the same with chew toys and other favorite items the prior pup may own.  You may wish to keep each dog’s toys in confined areas, so it does not instigate any fighting between one another.

To truly develop a cohesive home join a Florida dog obedience training class today.  Sarasota dog training classes are available to teach you and your dogs not to clash, but to bond with one another enriching the lives of all whom reside there, regardless if human or animal.

Why Dogs Need Exercise

Dogs have a built-in need to exercise.  It is a way for dogs to release energy.  If this need is unmet on a regular basis, then dogs find alternative ways to expend vigor that is not in a constructive manner.

Lack of Exercise Equals Destruction

Do you ever wonder why your dog chews up the house or why your pup scratches and digs all day long?  Does your dog engage in excessive barking?  Does your dog frequently raid the garbage?  You need to examine how often you play with your dog or provide your pup with exercise.  If your dog is lacking in participation of activities, then the dog will substitute the physical actions with negative behaviors.  These are bad habits for your dog to adapt.  To prevent this from happening enroll your pup in agility classes or dog obedience training classes.  These classes allow your pup the opportunity to socialize with other dogs, bond with you, and provide a positive atmosphere to let loose.  Thus, when you come home your dog is relaxed, happy and peaceful.

Ample Exercise Exemplifies Happy Home

When you ensure that your dog is engaging in exercise on a daily basis, you are improving the quality of life for your dog, and you.  You decrease your dog’s need to chew, bite and bark.  It eliminates a significant number of bad behaviors from continuing to develop.  The dog also will be able to sleep and rest quietly at night.  It also prolongs your dog’s life by keeping your dog in shape.

For more information on why dogs need exercise talk to a Florida dog obedience training class today.

Prevent Your Dog from Chasing Runners

It is hard to think about spring when the weather is still frigid outside, but it will happen before you know it.   And with warm weather, additional joggers and runners are noticeably active outside.  So how do you prevent your dog from running after these people when they go by?  There are different techniques you may utilize and here are just a few tips to help you and your dog.

Bring Special Treats

When you take your dog out for a walk, bring a stash of dog treats, small pieces of chicken, cheese or a hot dog with you.  You shall use this only when you see a runner pass by.  Let me explain.  When a runner goes by, you need something to distract your dog.  A regular dog treat may not be sufficient.  However, a tiny piece of chicken would be enough to keep your dog’s attention on you.  Furthermore, this will have the dog associate a runner going by as a positive thing.  For the dog sees runner, and thinks treat.  Thus, your dog will adapt to sitting or staying near you whenever someone jogs alongside.

Encourage Safety

The reason why it is vital to teach your dog not to run after people is for several reasons, but mainly for the runner and your dog’s safety.   If your dog chases after a person, then it may lead the dog into traffic and cause permanent injury to your dog and to the runner.  In addition, not everyone is comfortable with dogs.  Therefore, if a runner sees a dog chasing after him/her, then the runner may not respond in a friendly manner causing further aggression from both parties.

Teach your dog not to chase after joggers.  Make sure you expend your dog’s energy by engaging your dog in daily exercise and agility classesFlorida dog obedience training and dog agility classes will prevent your dog from chasing a person out of excitement or the need to release nervous energy.   By the time a runner passes by, and agility classes are over, your dog will be too tired to care if someone is coming the pup’s way or not.

What to Do When a Puppy Bites

When dogs are just little puppies, they show signs of personality traits.  If the pup is forming aggressive or frightened behavior then the pup may bite.  Thus, you need to modify this behavior from the beginning ensuring your dog lives a joyous life.

Enroll in Puppy Kindergarten

The first key is to enroll your dog into a puppy kindergarten class or k9 obedience training classes.  This class will teach your pup not to bite using a positive reinforcement technique.  Just make sure your pup is current with vaccinations.  Furthermore, the classes are an opportunity for you and your pup to learn how to effectively communicate with one another making the years to come easy on the two of you.

Let the Puppy Mingle

The more your puppy socializes with other puppies, dogs, people, and kids the less frightened the pup will be when he/she grows up.  As a result, the less scared the dog is the decreased odds are that biting shall ensue.  Fearful dogs instinctively turn towards biting.  It is what they know.  It is how they fight with others.  Thus, do not isolate the pup.  When socialization happens appropriately, the pup develops into a well-mannered, friendly, comfortable dog.

If you still have problems with your dog biting, then do not wait to take action.  Find a Sarasota dog training facility that implements positive reinforcement.  Make sure the staff is experienced and knowledgeable in what they do.  Enjoy the time you share with your pup during the close.  It will bring you and your pup closer together.