Archive for » September, 2010 «

How to Take Care of Your Dog’s Ears

Your dog looks sharp.  The coat is trim, nails short, fur shiny, but what about your dog’s ears?  You need to take care of your pet’s ears on a regular basis.  Here are some tips on what how to take care of this sensitive area.

Ask the Vet to Show You How to Properly Clean Your Dog’s Ears

The shape of a dog’s ears encourages parasites, yeast and bacteria to hide and grow within.  The ears become clogged and full of harmful substances leading to infections and ear damage.   Thus, you need to clean your dog’s ears properly.  One way to do this is with a cotton ball dipped in mineral oil, hydrogen peroxide or a product specifically designed to clean a dog’s ears.  The first time you handle this task, ask the veterinarian to guide you through the process.  The ear is very delicate and it is a bit tricky for first timers.  You do not want to cause any further damage to the ears.

What to Do with a Dog’s Ears During Water Sports and Baths

When you bathe your dog, put cotton in your dog’s ears to avoid any water from getting stuck inside.  The water causes infection and irritation.  It is worse than having swimmer’s ears as a human, so you need to take additional care.  If your dog is prone to ear infections due to swimming and water sport activities, then put a tiny drop of ear drying solution.  It helps significantly.

To find out more about how to take care of your dog’s ears properly, talk to a Florida dog obedience or a Florida dog training instructor today.

What to Do about Dogs that Stalk Prey

Some dogs have a natural instinct to chase certain wildlife, stock animals, and varmints.  However, a dog chasing wild animals could put your pet in serious danger.   You need to nip this behavior before it escalates into fatal injuries.  Your pet could encounter a porcupine causing internal damage or if your dog likes to lead a pack to stalk other animals, then the results could trigger negative issues and injuries for everyone involved.  The best way to prevent any negative outcome from occurring is to talk to a Florida dog obedience instructor or to enroll in a k9 obedience class immediately.  In the meantime, here are some dog training tricks to use.

One method of stopping the predatory behavior is to change the way your dog thinks about other animals.  First, you need a long leash.  Then, whenever livestock or a squirrel crosses your dog’s path get your pet’s attention with treats.  Have your dog immediately associate another animal with positive rewards.  Eventually, your dog will ignore other animals that run near.  Your dog will see other animals then immediately turn to you anticipating positive reinforcement shall be provided.

Another means is to instill the command “come” when needed.  Make sure your dog masters this command before allowing your dog to go anywhere off leash.  It will keep your dog close, and responsive preventing negative situations from unfolding.

To find out more talk to a Florida dog training coach today.

What to Do if Dogs Don’t Get Along – Part 2

In our prior post, we discussed two ways to workout out the tension between dogs living under the same roof.  We provided two essential tips in taking control in a positive manner ensuring the dogs start bickering causing stress for the entire household.  In this post, we shall provide you with a few more tips that will help decrease if not stop aggressive behavior between your loving pets.

Stop Toy Hostility

Dogs fight over toys, so you have to take more of an active role in handling this situation.  Do not leave toys lying around the house.  This only encourages negative behavior. Instead, start training the dogs separately.  Focus on the “drop it” command.  Use treats as a reward for dropping the toy.  This will make your dog drop the toy in exchange for a delicious treat.  Then, once the dogs have mastered this scenario solo, bring the two dogs together in the same room.  And practice the same technique with both dogs together.  This teaches the dogs to release a toy when you say, “Drop it,” preventing any aggression over toys from escalating further.

Prevent Fighting Behavior over Food

If you have aggressive dogs, then the toy may not be the only issue your dogs fight over.  Food could be a catalyst for many fights between dogs, and you need to stop this before it gets worse.  One way is to construct the dogs to “sit” before placing food on the ground.  With repetition, the dogs will calmly sit before receiving food.  Eventually, this will become an instant reaction to bringing the food before them.  Just remember in initial training phase, you will have to train the dogs separately.

To find out more about Florida dog training, talk to one of our experts today.  Enroll in a k9 obedience class and learn tips on how to generate positive behavior.  It will eliminate stress and tension felt by the entire household.

What to Do if Dogs Do Not Get Along-Part 1

When dogs live under the same roof and do not get along, it results in an unbalance of the entire household.  No harmony exists with constant snapping and fighting between dogs.  Everyone stresses from having to be on a continuous lookout of the dogs’ behaviors preventing any dogfights from occurring or escalating.  No one wants to live in such a manner.  Here are some tips in a two part series of how to relieve some stress from the family, dogs and create some peace in the house.

Exercise the Tension

Just like in humans, a great way to release tension between dogs is to take them for walks.  A lengthy daily walk amongst dogs can help take control of the situation, and reestablish who is in charge, you.  You are able to make sure they stay under control on walks and decrease any bickering between the two dogs.  This will translate to when the dogs are off the leash too.  Use the walks to emphasize the behavior training, and review commands.  Then when the dogs are at home if they even start acting up in a negative manner, initiate a command and it will be followed accordingly.

Take Preventive Measures

If the dogs are left home alone, then use a way to keep the two dogs separated until you return.  It is better to monitor them, but it is not realistic for someone to have to do this on a nonstop basis.

To find out more ways on how to get your dogs to get along, talk to a Florida dog training instructor or a k9 obedience teacher today.

How to Teach Your Dog Tricks

Teaching your dog tricks is a fun bonding experience for you and your dog.  It allows your dog to remain engaged, perform tricks, receive rewards and praise, and enjoy each other in a positive manner.  The key to successfully executing this is by using positive reinforcement.  Here is a basic outline of some of the most common tricks to teach your dog.

Shake Your Hand

Teaching your dog how to shake your hand is a simple one to learn.  It starts by having your dog sit.  Next, reach out and take a hold of your dog’s paw into your hand and say, “Paw.”  After practicing this repeatedly, your dog will understand.  Overtime, all you will do to implement this trick is put your hand out, say the command, and your dog will shake your hand with his paw.

Speak

Trying to get your dog to speak is not a difficult trick to teach with the right tools.  The first step is to engage your dog in an exciting activity or game where your dog likes to bark.  Then, when your dog barks say, “Speak.”  Reward your dog with a treat and repeat the activity.  Eventually, your dog will learn to bark on command.

There are numerous tricks to teach your dog.  It is just a matter of using positive reinforcement, staying upbeat, and providing a happy environment.

For more information talk to a Florida dog training or a k9 obedience instructor today.


The Advantages of Adopting an Adult Dog

There are many benefits to adopting an adult dog over a puppy.  Here we take a closer look at the difference.

Basic Lessons

Puppies need constant training.   They have no clue regarding what is desired behavior until training begins.  You must teach a puppy not to chew on furniture, do not jump on guests, and how to ask to go outside.  In addition, your brand new Nike running shoes could be transformed into a chew toy without your approval.  Puppies could leave your furniture ruined and put your clothing in danger during the crucial training stages.  However, if you adopt an adult dog, then many adult dogs are familiar with the “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it” commands.   This may not seem like a big deal initially, but it is!  It preserves your home and clothes from being ruined by your pet.  It also saves you time from having to train a dog from scratch.  It is a massive benefit to adopting an adult dog.

House-Training

Many adult dogs are house trained or are able to adapt to house training quickly.  Their bodies are built to “hold it” allowing the house training methods to work more effectively.  On the other hand, puppies do not have the physical capabilities to “hold it”  forcing you to get up in the middle of the night and to be available every hour, on the hour.  Puppies are like taking care of newborn babies.  They constantly play, sleep and go to the restroom.  But with an adult dog, the house training time is cut down significantly.  It provides further room to breathe and relax without the constant worry over puppy accidents.

If you are looking to rescue a dog, consider an adult dog.  To find out more information about the difference between adopting an adult dog or a puppy, talk to a Florida dog obedience training instructor or a k9 obedience teacher today.

Different Types of Fencing for Your Dog

Providing your dog the freedom of running outside in a backyard is part of being a responsible dog owner.  It gives your dog space to run around without restriction.  However, when allowing your dog to run around the backyard, it is important to find a way to keep unwanted visitors out.  You should provide your dog with fencing to keep other animals and strangers from approaching and causing potential harm to your pet.  Here are some various attributes of fencing to consider when looking for the right one for your home.

Wood Fencing

Wood fencing is a good option for sound barriers for the backyard.  It muffles backyard sounds, including a dog’s barking.  It also keeps any passerby noise to a minimum.  It is a deterrent to keeping criminals at bay, but it does come with a few negative aspects.  One is that the wood fencing is expensive.  Sometimes people do not have it in their budget to go with wood fencing.  It just depends on your dog’s needs, pricing, and what are your priorities are in terms of fencing.

Chain Links

Chain links are a great option for someone that wants the look of an open yard, yet still maintain control of who or what comes in and out of the area.  Chain links are also cost-effective.  On the other hand, if your dog is a digger, climber or jumper, then this type of fencing may cause issues.  For many chain link fences only stand about four feet high, and do not go down into the ground far enough to prevent digging.

To find out more about what type of fencing is right for your breed of dog, talk to a Florida dog obedience instructor today.  A k9 obedience expert will be able to go over this information and guide you in the right direction.

Two Ways to Keep Your Garden Pet-Safe

Make Your Garden Dog Safe

You and your dog love to relax outdoors.  It is good for both of you to receive fresh air, sit outside, and enjoy your beautiful garden.  But you need to be careful.  There are components of a garden that may be harmful to your dog.  Here are some tips on what your dog needs to steer clear when hanging out in the garden area.

Pay Attention to Different Types of Mulch

Many people use mulch in their gardens, but if you have a dog be careful regarding which mulch you use.  Shredded pine, hemlock bark or cedar mulch are the least toxic varieties available.  These would be more suitable to use while owning a dog.  One of the most lethal mulches is the cocoa mulch.

Cocoa mulch is a chocolate product used in landscaping.  And since chocolate is poisonous to dogs, then dogs need to avoid cocoa mulch as well.  If digested, cocoa mulch may cause digestive issues, muscle tremors, and seizures.

Compost is Great for the Environment, Not So Great with Pets

I do not discourage composting.  It is a good thing for the garden soil and environment overall.  But you need to pay attention of what you are putting in the compost bin.  A certain array of vegetables, fruit, moldy foods and coffee are toxic to dogs.  They will cause serious medical injuries.  Check with a Florida dog training expert first about what is safe and what isn’t before starting the compost process.

For more information about how to maintain a safe garden for your dog, talk to a Florida dog obedience instructor today.

Top Lessons to Teach Your Puppy

Adding a new puppy to the home is an exciting time for the entire family.  You have the puppy crate ready, the puppy bed, puppy food, leash, toys, but are you ready to teach your puppy the essentials to healthy living through necessary commands?  It can be a bit tricky if you are a first time dog owner.  But it is not difficult.  All you need is love, positive reinforcement, and guidance from a professional.

To get you started in the right direction, here are a few standard lessons that will enhance your puppy’s development into a healthy dog, and improve the bond shared between the two of you.  There are more lessons then what is covered, but at the least, this will give you a starting checkpoint.  To find out specifics, talk to a Florida puppy training instructor or a puppy kindergarten instructor today.

Teach Your Puppy Basic Training

Every puppy should learn to sit, down, stay and wait.  It will keep your puppy healthy and away from danger when need-be.  For instance, if you and your puppy are on a walk and traffic crosses your paths without warning, then tell your pup to stay via the stay command.  It will keep your pup from running out into the traffic causing fatal injuries.  It keeps your pup out of harm’s way.

Teach Your Pup Not to Nip or Mouth

Puppies tend to nip and mouth when starting.  You need to teach your puppy that it is not desirable behavior through applying positive reinforcement.  You do not want your puppy to grow into a dog that bites even during playtime, and that is occurs without this lesson taught from the beginning.

These are only two basics of puppy training.  There is much more to learn.  Talk to a Florida dog obedience instructor today.

Top Two Signs You Found a Positive Breeder

How to Find the Right Dog Breeder

When trying to find a dog to add to your loving home, the best option is to try rescue and animals shelters first.  But if you are set on finding a specific type of puppy, then a breeder is the way to go.  However, you need to be careful.  You need to find a loving, experienced and reputable breeder.  A Florida dog obedience instructor could probably help you.  In the meantime, check out these tips on how to find an honest, caring breeder.

Good Breeders Do Not Encourage Holiday Sales

It is commonsense to understand that puppies are in high demand during Christmas, but you need to be leery of breeders that sell during the high season.  For an understanding breeder comprehends the holidays are not the best time for a dog owner and the puppy to bond.  There is much chaos going on with decorations, family, houseguests, holiday desserts left out and more.  A puppy should be brought home to a calmer environment.  It helps the puppy make the transition of being away from the litter and allows you to pay attention to your puppy properly.

Loving Breeders Communicate

Watch out for breeders that sell a puppy after one exchange of communication.  Credible breeders wish to ensure the puppy is suitable for your home and lifestyle and will ask lots of questions.  In addition, the breeder will be happy to answer lots of questions too.  Find a breeder equipped with an abundance of information and advice making the transition a smooth one for you and the puppy.

To find out more about choosing the right breeder, talk to a Florida puppy training expert today.