Archive for » November, 2010 «

Prep Your Dog for Your New Baby’s Arrival

Becoming new parents is a joyous time for the entire family.  Loved ones gather, celebrate and shower your home with love and happiness.  But how does the dynamic differ when there is a dog involved?  It can be a tricky situation.  You want to make sure your dog does not become aggressive or jealous over your precious newborn.  Here are two Florida dog training tips on how to create a smooth transition from bringing the baby home, and having your dog react in a positive manner.

Bring Home a Baby Blanket

Dogs use their sense of smell to acclimate themselves with the area, and the people around.  Use this to your advantage.  Wrap your baby up in a baby blanket.  Then bring home the blanket to your dog.  Allow your dog to sniff the blanket and familiarize with the baby scent.  This way when your baby comes home, your dog is already accustomed to the baby smell.  It alleviates anxiety a dog may feel by having a new being present.   It makes the dog feel like the baby already belongs, since the scent has existed in the home for a few days prior.

Place a Baby Gate

If your dog is properly trained, then placing a baby gate at the nursery door would instinctively deter your dog from entering the room.  It does not matter if your dog and baby get along fine.  It prevents unsupervised interaction from occurring.

For more tips on how to introduce your dog to your new baby, enroll in a k9 obedience class today!

What to Know Before You Start Housetraining

Housetraining any dog takes patience.  Stay calm, cool, and loving throughout the process.  Never yell or be harsh with the dog.  It does not work.  Remember to research the dog breed too before starting.  House training varies slightly depending on the type of dog you own.  If you have questions along the way, talk to a Florida dog training professional.  He/she will be happy to help you through this process.

Routine is Key

I have talked about routine in prior posts.  I mentioned how routine is necessary for playtime, feeding, and sleeping.  A dog becomes accustom to routine and needs it to live a happy and healthy life, but it does not stop there.  Routine is also key when it comes to house training.

Choose a specific time every day to take your puppy outside.  With young smaller breeds this could be as often as every four hours.  With large and older pups, it may be every six hours.  Do your homework to make sure the time chosen is suitable for your dog.

Once outside, show your dog the area designated for house training.  Wait a few minutes.  Allow your dog to explore the area.  After your dog expels of any waste in the targeted area, take your dog away from it to play.  When it is time to go again, take your dog back to the same spot.  Eventually, your dog will correlate the selected location with going to the bathroom.  Over time, your dog will automatically go to that area whenever he/she needs to go.

To learn more housetraining tips, enroll in our puppy preschool classes today!

3 Novice Dog Owner Tips

Deciding to get a dog to add to the family is a big step.  It means responsibility, care, and lots of love.  But what are the biggest tips for first time dog owners?  What should you know about before bringing home a new dog into the home?  Here are the top three tips for novice dog owners.

Adopt from Shelter or Breeder

Adopting from a shelter is the way to go.  Check out your local animal shelter and see what breed dogs are up for adoption.  There are many dogs in need of homes living in shelters and rescue organizations.  If you are unfamiliar with shelters in your area, talk to a Florida dog training professional.  He/she will be able to guide you in the right direction.

What Type of Dog Breed

Examine your lifestyle.  Are you an outdoorsy person or a couch potato?  Do you want a companion to run with on a daily basis or a lap dog?  What is the size of your living space?  Would it be more suitable for a large or small canine?  You need to answer these questions prior to adopting a dog.

When to Start Dog Training

Your new pet needs to start training immediately.  It is healthy for your dog to learn socialization skills.  If your dog is a puppy, then enroll in puppy preschool classes.  You need to find the right training class depending on the age of your canine.  Using positive reinforcement is also a way to build a loving, strong bond with your dog.

To find out more tips about what to do if you are a first time dog owner, talk to a k9 obedience instructor today.

How to Find a Holiday Pet Sitter

The best gift you can give your pet for the holidays is to spend time with him.  But this is not always feasible.  Sometimes you have to travel and keep your pet at home.  Alternatively, there are many holiday parties to attend, and it would be inappropriate to bring your dog along.  Our Florida dog training professionals understand this issue.  Thus, we have come up with suggestions on what to look for when hiring someone to watch your pet.

Why You Need to Hire a Pet Sitter

A pet sitter is someone who is in the business because they love animals.  If you leave your pet with a friend or neighbor, the attentive care a professional provides might be missing.

With an experienced pet sitter, the person will facilitate maintaining your dog’s feeding, exercise, and bathroom schedule.   Make sure the person is aware of what to do in emergencies.

Also, be certain the person has a contract to protect your dog and home as well.  If the selected pet sitter does not have a contract, then be leery about hiring him/her.  It could be a problem.  It shows the sitter does not want to be liable for any damages, personal belongings or your pet.

What to Look for in a Pet Sitter

Does the pet sitter know first aid?  Has the sitter earned certification through Red Cross?  What type of training has he/she gone through?  These are important questions to ask when looking for a loving, kind and effective pet sitter.

To find a pet sitter in your area, talk to one of our k9 obedience instructors today.

How to Teach a Puppy Not to Jump

Puppies are a ball full of energy jumping on furniture and people everywhere they go.  Unfortunately, this causes a nuisance to visitors and destroys furniture.  Here are some tips to teach your puppy how not to jump on furniture…or people.

What to Do When Someone Enters

Does your puppy jump on visitors upon arrival?  It is a common trait amongst puppies, but this habit can be changed.

First, keep treats by the door.  Put these somewhere out of your puppy’s reach.  Then, whenever the doorbell rings or someone knocks implement the “sit” and “stay” commands.  Use the treats to reward your pup for sitting still and listening.  If your pup starts to stir, just give your pup a look.  Your dog will understand what it means.  Remember to never yell at your puppy.   Yelling doesn’t work on dogs.  It just confuses your pet.

What to Do When YOU Enter

How do you enter the house after a long day at work?  Do you call for your puppy in an excited voice?  Your actions have a direct impact on your puppy’s behavior.

For instance, if your pup is jumping when you open the door, and you are petting your pup at the same time, then this translates to your pet that the jumping action is rewarded.  The pup jumps, your puppy gets attention.  Instead, teach your puppy to be calm when you come home.  This will stop the jumping habit from escalating out of control.

For more advice about how to use positive reinforcement methods with puppies, talk to a puppy kindergarten instructor or enroll in puppy preschool today.

What to Know about Adopting a Teacup

Many dog owners wonder if adopting a smaller breed is the right choice for them.  Small breed dogs are great but there are essential things to be aware of when buying these adorable teacup pets.

Size Does Matter

Adopting a teacup dog does make life simple in terms of space.  You do not need lots of space for these animals.  You just need a little bit of room for the dog to run around in.  However, you do need to take safety precautions.

Remove any electrical wires that are reachable by a teacup.  Larger breeds cannot get behind televisions, couches and other tiny areas, but a teacup can.  Remove any hazardous material found in cubbyholes.

Healing Time is Fatal

The main downfall of adopting a teacup is the health risk involved.  When an injury occurs to a large breed dog, the dog is able to heal properly without many issues.  The large body is able to handle the trauma.  When a teacup is injured, the results could be fatal.  A little teacup canine body can only take so much.   A teacup’s bones, body and organs are delicate and need additional attention and care.  If you are aware of this going into adoption then you will be able to provide a loving, safe, happy home for your new teacup pet.

To learn more about the pros and cons of adopting a teacup breed, talk to a Florida dog training professional of a k9 obedience instructor today!

Holiday Dog Safe Decorating Ideas

My most recent posts have covered a wide array of holiday topics related to your dog.  I discussed safe foods your dog can eat from the Thanksgiving feast.  I talked about the best dog toys for the holidays.  I even shared winter safety tips for your canine.  Today, let us expand on the seasonal advice and talk about keeping your dog safe while preparing the house with holiday decorations.

Holiday Ornaments

Some people love the look of glass ornaments hanging from the tree.  There is no denying that these delicate ornaments are beautiful, but if you have a dog then leave out the glass.

Glass ornaments break easily.  Once broken on the ground, your dog may accidentally step on one cutting his own feet.  Alternatively, if your dog picks one up with his mouth, it could cause fatal injury.  Choose something safe to use on the tree.  But keep in mind, do not use edible decorations.  This may be too tempting for the dog and cause a different kind of havoc to unfold.

Holiday Lights

The greatest advice I have for holiday lights is to keep the lights high enough where the dog cannot reach.  This even applies for the yard lights.

A light could become extremely hot and burn your dog.  Preserve the higher branch areas outside, and elevated places in the home for lights.   This will keep everyone in the family happy and safe this holiday season.

For more advice on how to create the holiday spirit with dog safe décor, talk to a k9 obedience instructor or a Florida dog training professional today.

Winter Care Tips for Outdoor Dogs

Some dog owners prefer to keep their dogs outside for many reasons.  There is no room indoors.  The dog is able to roam outside freely without space limitations.  The kids’ allergies act up otherwise.  There are many advantages to having an outdoor dog.  But you need to ensure your dog remains safe and happy during chilling winter months.   Here are some basic tips on how to keep your outdoor dog safe this winter.

Add Comfort to the Doghouse

During the summer months, most dog owners provide dogs with shaded areas to hang out.  There is accessible clean, fresh water for the dog to drink at anytime.  The mindset is completely different when it comes to winter.  You need to switch gears to address these issues.

First, provide lots of blankets or straw bedding inside the doghouse.  Your dog needs to have a safe and comfortable place to outlast cold snow and harsh winds.  Examine the front opening of the doghouse.  Is it facing into the wind or away?  This makes a difference in keeping your dog healthy and warm during the winter months.  Also, remember to change the dog bedding regularly.  You cannot slack on this task solely because it is cold outside.

Pack More Calories into Meals

During cold months, dogs use up more energy.  It is how a dog maintains the right body temperature while the outdoor temperatures drop.  To fulfill this need, provide your dog with additional calories.  It will keep your dog healthy, warm, and happy.

For more outdoor winter dog tips, talk to a k9 obedience or a Florida dog training professional today!

The Ins and Outs of Dog Microchip ID

It is traveling season.  You are taking your dog along on holiday trips to the beach, woods and to see family.  Alternatively, you may keep your dog in a pet resort.  Either way, the identification records need to be up to par.  This is the time when some dog owners consider microchip identification.  However, many questions arise about these devices.  To ease your mind, here is a basic overview of the benefits, and functions of the device.

What is a Microchip ID?

A microchip ID is a tiny chip that is the size of a rice grain.  It has an identification number that correlates with a database that stores your dog’s name, home address, and contact information if lost.  The database is easily updated, as needed.  Therefore, if you move, the new address is entered ensuring all records are current.  It brings peace of mind to loving pet owners.

How is it Implanted?

A microchip ID is a safe mechanism implanted under the skin of the dog via an injection.  It lasts a dog’s lifetime never needing replacement or removal.  A handheld electronic scanner reads the device.  The injection and the scanning do not harm the dog.  Discomfort only occurs during the shot itself.  It is a great means to prevent your dog from being stolen, sold and never returned to you, the rightful owner.

To find out what other dog owners think about the microchip ID, talk to a k9 obedience instructor or a Florida dog training professional today.

3 Holiday Dog Gifts for Different Budgets

As you compile your holiday gift list, do not forget about your pets.  Dogs love to receive toys, and I searched online for the top five holiday dog gifts out this holiday season.  Some are expensive, while others are on the low end.  I tried to find something to suit everyone’s budget.

Kong Toys

Kong toys are not new, but these are a staple on everyone’s dog wish list.  What makes these toys so great is the fact it keeps your dog engaged for hours.  It is an entertaining means to use when leaving your dog home alone.

Kong toys are battery-operated that dispense four or five treats stuffed inside at different rates and times.  Your dog will realize what is occurring and wait for the treats to come out.  A tone occurs before each treat is released.  And you are able to set the times of release by an easy push of the button.  These toys run around $75.

Planet Dog Orbee Balls

Planet Dog Orbee Balls are an inexpensive gift to get your dog this holiday season.  These toys are soft, durable and designed to last through the most addictive chewers in the canine family.  The graphic printed on the ball is a world map, hence the name Planet Dog.  Additionally, the toys are mint scented.  These are 100% recyclable compound and the ingredients are non-toxic.  The price ranges from $7-$15, depending on the size selected.

Dog Trouble Puzzle

There is a new interactive dog toy on the market called Dog Trouble.  This toy is a puzzle board where a dog has to determine how to slide the treat-filled pegs through a bendy route in order to release the treats.  This is a captivating activity keeping your dog’s belly satisfied and mind connected resulting in a happy pup.  The average cost is $50.

To find out more about what toys to get your dog this holiday season, talk to a K9 obedience instructor or a Florida dog training coach today.