Archive for » January, 2011 «

Misleadings in Teacup Puppies

Many people love tiny dogs, and Teacup puppies has become very popular in dog adoption.  Not only are these adorable puppies seen as a best friend, but additionally  a fashion trend all over the world. But as we all know, to every good thing comes something bad, so this is written as a warning.  No matter how insanely adorable these puppies may be, there are a few dog adoption tips you may want to read about before getting them.

‘Teacup’ Title and Breeding

Dogs come in many breeds; hounds, mutts, toy’s, and more.  If you have ever watched a dog show, you would notice that there is no competition in the teacup category.  This is because the ‘teacup’ title does not qualify a different type of dog, but rather refers to the size of a dog.  These dogs generally weigh from four to seven pounds, and are extremely fragile due to their size.  Teacups are easily injured, if you even accidentally step on them, it could be fatal simply because of their size. It is never safe to breed a dog under five pounds, but these breeders are playing with genetics, and the faults in these puppies are proof of their wrongdoing.

Fragility and Diseases

These puppies (as mentioned before) are uncommonly fragile due to their small size and unconventional breeding.  ‘Teacup’ puppies often encounter respiratory problems, and often do not live past a few years.  many other diseases and issues that are often contracted in these small dogs include hypoglycemia, cardiac problems, collapsing trachea, luxating patellas, Leggs Calves Perthes disease, seizures, blindness and digestive problems.

The Undertaking

We are not trying to decrease the adoption of small puppies, but we are merely trying to warn you of the drawbacks that are commonly included in these small dogs, and what it could mean for your future.  These dogs become a huge responsibility despite their size, and may take a lot of time and money to keep.  With this in mind, remember that when it comes to dog care, a Teacup may not be the best idea if you want an easy dog.

Dog Medication

Often times we need to give our dogs pills for whatever reason it may be, and it is important to go about it the right way.  Making dogs swallow pills can be hard, but it is essential for the health of your dog, and is a big contributor to dog care.  Dogs are like little kids, and will most likely have issues swallowing pills without being tricked, so here are a few dog owner tips for getting your dog to take their medication!

Food

Putting your dogs pill in their kibble will often work, but with my friends dog who eats like a monster, the Labrador somehow manages to eat all of the food within a minute and still avoid the pill.  If you have a dog who somehow never eats the pill within their food, then you might have to be a little sneakier…

Roll it up!

Rolling up a piece of cheese or lunch meat around a pill is a good way to get your dog wanting to take the pill.  They take one look at your ‘human food’ and the attraction is usually strong enough to make them eat the food along with the pill without difficulty.  However, be cautious, because some peoples dogs see them putting the medication inside the mushy food and refuse to eat it.  If your dog is that smart, you might need to wrap up the pill in private.

Tips

If your dog still will not swallow, here are a few quick easy ways to get the medicine in their tummies! If you put the pill in their mouths and gently stroke their throat while holding their mouth shut, it stimulates the swallowing reflex forcing them to swallow. (What’s funny is this works on humans too)   There are also ‘pill pockets’ available at pet stores which you can stick pills in.  These pockets work on all dogs big and small, and are a great way to go for dogs who can’t swallow pills.  For additional help or information, consider calling a few dog trainers.

Love your pet!

Dog Bonding Time

Dogs are a common household pet today, and being so common, they are often neglected.  In some peoples lives, free time is a rarity, but spending some quality time with your pet can make all the difference in both of your lives. For many of you, your dogs get a kick out of going on a walk every day, or even just playing around the house, and if this works for you and your pet, great! If it doesn’t than you’re probably looking for some new things to try.  Quality time with your dog is positive reinforcement for them to act well, and it lets them know they’re loved, so for some of you who want new ways to spend time with your dog, here are a few good ideas.

Doggy Dates

Doggy dates are simply when you bring your dog over to a friends house to have a play date! Doggy dates are an especially good idea for people with only one dog. This is because without a friend in the house, they could easily be ignorant in the subject of dog socialization and not know how to act around other dogs.  Letting your dogs play with your friends dogs will let them have friends away from home, creating an outside life for them!

New Terrain

There are many places that your dog has probably never been to, so why not explore a little? Bringing your dog to farms, beaches, the woods, the desert, or anywhere they haven’t had the chance to go on an adventure will give them a chance to experience new things and new places.  You can take your dog hiking, swimming, boating, walking, and easily enhance your relationship by including them in your adventures.  Additionally, always consider bringing your dog on vacation with you, when you’re traveling.  Not only do they make great companions, but they’ll be thrilled at the chance to go somewhere :)

Going Out

I have a friend who takes her dog everywhere with her, if she’s going to drop her daughter off, her dog goes on a car ride with her, if she’s going on a walk, you know she brought her dog, and this is a great relationship.  Taking your dog wherever you go with you will give you some great bonding time without you having to make much time at all for them.  They’ll enjoy your company, and they’ll enjoy yours!

In all, just make time for your dog, weather it be a dog training class, or an off road excursion, they’ll love spending time with you! For more information on Dog obedience classes, take a look at our Florida Dog Training website.

Love your dog!

Babies and Dogs

Many people get worried about having a dog around the house when planning to have a child.  If it’s any consolation, most dogs are great when it comes to coping with children, but for those of you who are more skeptical about the choices you have, here are a few tips. Dog obedience is a big part of child safety, so when bringing a baby home, you should have already laid down some laws.  It is important to establish some basic rules based on what you are comfortable with.  Dogs are often very ‘in-tune’ with their owners.  Therefore, with an event such as pregnancy, they know something important is happening, just as you do.  A few things definitely need to be established before the baby shows up, and you have nine whole months to do it, so if you get on the ball and teach your dog while you have time to spare, things will be easy!

Dominance

Firstly, your dog should know who’s boss in the house.  You need to establish that you are their owner, because when you have an alpha in your house, it should be you and not your dog.  Failing to do this will lead your dog to think that everything in the house is theirs, including your baby.  The reason why we bring this up is because dogs need to be especially well-mannered around a baby, and if you proclaim your dominance through time, they will learn to mellow out and accept the change.

Claiming your baby

Many people go about this in different ways.  Most people have ‘look but don’t touch’ relationships established with their baby and their dog, and this is established by claiming your baby.  Before you introduce your baby  to your dog, bring your dog something that has the babies scent.  When you show your dog the item, they can sniff it, but don’t let them touch it.  This exercise will let your dog know that the smell belongs to you, so that when you bring the baby in, they will understand that the baby is yours.  This will keep it so that they wont get too close to the baby.

Another option is teaching your dog not to go inside the nursery.  Many people are comfortable with their dog visiting the baby regularly, but if your dog has repeatedly shown signs of aggression, you should be concerned.  Aggression can either grow, or dissolve when a new family member is introduced.  Many dogs fall in love with ‘their’ babies and watch over them like their own, but others grow frustrated and confused, leading to possible outbreaks of violence.  Remember, dog training is always the best route if you are concerned with the relationship between your dog and your baby.

Crate Training

Crates and Kennels have become a popular way to begin dog training for furry friends of all ages.  Crates are known as a great way for puppies get through stages of separation anxiety, as well as a good way to put positive reinforcement on dogs ‘alone time’.  However, many dogs of older ages have issues adjusting to crates, so here are a few dog owner tips on how to handle Kennel training.

Introducing Your Dog

When you first get your dog a crate, it may be a foreign concept to your pet. The new addition to your home will most likely take some time to ease your pet into, so here are a few ways to make the comfortable switch into using one.  Make sure to introduce your dog to the idea of the crate.  Leaving the crate in an area that is frequented by family members (such as the living room) will reassure your dog that it is safe, and soon will become a normal thing in your home.  Many dogs have an automatic curiosity as to what the crate is, and end up looking around it.  Many dogs even grow automatically accustomed to spending time in the crate and need no training, but if that is not your case, keep reading!

Familiarity and Food

One of the easiest ways to get your dog into the crate, is to start feeding them inside it on a regular basis.  If you consistently present your pets meals inside the crate, they will grow to see it as a common place and become more comfortable spending time in it.  Another way to help familiarize your dog with the crate is to put some of their favorite objects inside.  Weather it be a loved toy or a comfy bed, placing these objects inside will make the kennel or crate more homey for your pet. Once they become less anxious inside of the crate, try leaving them inside for small amounts of time while you are home, and gradually increase the time until they are comfortable with going inside of it on a regular basis.  Additionally, try leaving them inside while you are gone until the action becomes routine.

Potential problems with crates and Kennels include dog separation anxiety and whining.  Try to always let your dog outside to go to the bathroom before you put them into the crate to assure that it is not because they need to pee.  If problems persist, consider Florida dog training for your pet.

Basic Things all Puppies Should Learn

Dog training is a necessity, and it especially helps if you do it when they are young.  it is very important to teach puppy commands in their first year; it will form good habits that will come in handy with basic dog care, and keep the both of you out of trouble!  Here are a few basic things every puppy should learn.

Potty Training

It seems that all people should know to teach their dogs to go to the bathroom outside, but it is equally important for you to teach them to alert you when they have to go.  Unless you have a doggy door, you need to know when they have to go or you’ll end up with a soggy carpet, and that doesn’t smell so good.

Stop and Stay

Training your dog to stop and stay is very important when considering dangerous situations and manners around others.  If your dog runs off when you open the door or if they get off their leash, you need to have the control of making them stop and stay.  This also comes in handy when you have guests over and your puppy is pestering them.

NO jumping

Jumping may be adorable when they are puppies, but you don’t want your full grown dog jumping on children or elderly friends, so break the habit!

Puppy Socialization

Let your puppy be friendly and be around other animals, but know when to limit them.  It is fine to let your dog play with other kitties or dogs, but don’t let them start chasing, biting, or harassing the other animal. Don’t eliminate dog play, just watch over how your puppy acts around other dogs.  Basically, teach them their limits of puppy socialization in order to be polite around others.

Dominance

Many dogs mistakenly believe they are the alpha of the house and take over the space as their territory.  This is a horrible thing to let your dogs do.  Letting them think that they are in charge will make them lash out and become violent in situations that are not appropriate.  If your dog starts growling at you as a puppy, it is a good idea to take them to a dog obedience class.  One of my puppies used to growl, and a good way to show them that you are in charge is to simply flip them onto their back.  We repeatedly flipped him on his back whenever he acted out, and now he is now the nicest family dog you could ask for!  Doing this a few times will send the message that you’re the boss.

If you have any questions about puppy training, ask, message, or call our Florida dog training center.

Dog Toys

Almost every dog loves toys! It’s a staple in dogs that they love to play, bound, and leap around with their toys, but with so many out there, which ones are good and bad for dogs? Through the years of dog play, a few toys have stuck around that are famous for being so loved by our furry friends everywhere, so here are a few winners and losers out there!

The Kong

The Kong ball has to be the best known dog toy out there.  It’s a red bumpy ball that you can stuff with yummy treats for your dog, or toss around the yard for fun! Dogs also love to chew on Kong toys, and being practically indestructible, they last a lifetime.  Kong toys are also dishwasher safe as an added bonus!

Squeaky Toys

Squeaky toys are generally a dog favorite.  This is because with normal toys they are just playing with a stuffed animal, but with a squeaker inside they get a reaction out of their toy, which some dogs are very fond of.  However, the drawback to a squeaky toy is that they get very annoying for us; as a result, many people tend not to buy them.  Some dogs feel the same way as most humans and hate the squeakiness, alternatively some dogs love the noise and relentlessly play with them.  One thing that you have to be careful concerning squeaky toys is that your dog does not tear apart the toy.  We’ve all seen cartoons where a dog swallows the squeaker and ends up squeaking, but little do people know that this actually happens.  When a dog is chewing a squeaky toy, the squeaking nozzle often comes off and can get lodged in their throat causing a need for emergency surgery (no matter how funny it sounds). So if you are going to buy squeaky toys, just make sure you are there for supervision while the dog plays with the toy.

Floating toys

Floating rings make wonderful toys for retrievers to go fetch.  These toys (like tennis balls) create a way for you to interact and play with your pet while giving them a good time! Fetch toys will also help you with dog exercise habits!

Toys to be Cautious With

Large breed dogs often love to play fetch with tennis balls, but if they are large enough (Such as Great Danes or Saint Bernards) they can literally swallow it.  When playing with tennis balls, just make sure you keep an eye on your dog to make sure they don’t hold it too far back in their throat.  A study in Germany has also shown that the glue used in tennis balls also damages tooth enamel for dogs, so be cautious.  Another toy to be careful of are Tug toys.  Tug-of-war as seen by a dog can be a fight for dominance, while for you it is just a game.  Just make sure with tug toys that your dog is keeping it friendly.  As a last warning, keep big toys for big dogs.  Bigger dogs tend to choke on small toys, so make sure your toys are size appropriate.

Overall make sure your toys use positive reinforcement on your dogs attitude, and are safe for your pet.  Questions about toy safety? Contact a Florida dog obedience trainer today!

Pet-Friendly Home Decisions

Sooner or later everyone needs to do home renovations, so why not make them good for your pet too?  Making pet friendly home decisions won’t only be good for house care, but also good for dog care.  Here are a few ways in which you can redo your home that will benefit you and your dog!

Carpet

When getting new carpet, it is important to consider if you will be able to tell if your pet has an accident.  Not being able to see where your dog has urinated will make the room smell horrible, and you won’t be able to tell where it’s coming from.  Also keep in mind that white carpet is generally a bad idea.  Many people adore white carpet for looking so clean, but that’s because it is clean.  Keeping a white carpet in it’s natural state is back-breaking, and with a pet, it is best to go for a different color.

Furniture

Dogs and cats love to lie on the couch and relax, but shedding can be an extreme issue.  Your dog’s behavior should depend on what you find acceptable, but if you have issues with pets lying on your furniture, you might want to look into Florida dog training.   I think I’m right in saying that everyone has been to a  house in which the owner lets their dogs hair stay all over their couch, and let me tell you…  it’s gross.  Not only do you get dog hair all over your clothes but it can be very smelly, itchy, and uncomfortable.  With this in mind, try to pick a couch that has a color similar to your dogs hair, and that is easy to clean.  Leather and materials of that kind are easy to clean, but if you have a leather couch, remember to trim your dogs nails regularly; dog’s nails are infamous for effortlessly scratching up pricey leather couches.

Decorations

Many people (including myself) have playful dogs.  This being said, anything within their reach is fair game for play, including household decorations.  Try to keep things away from where they can reach, so if you buy a nice vase, when placing it in your house, remember that your dog could easily run into the table it’s sitting on.  This is especially true with hanging curtains.  Dogs (and especially cat’s) can easily tear up curtains and ruin them.

Making pet-friendly home decisions will make life easier for you and your dog!

Dog Barking

Dogs bark for many reasons. They can be warning you of strangers, or greeting you home excitedly, but either way there should be a limit to how much you allow them to bark.  Many people have issues with excessive barking, and if this is something you need to teach your pet, it is best to start at an early age due to the fact that it will become habitual and sometimes even irreversible.   With some easy dog training tips, it will be simple to teach them to bark and be silent on command.

Ways of Barking

Dogs bark in many different ways for many different reasons, and it’s important that you can decipher what your dog means by the way that they bark in order to resolve the issue.  Dogs often bark because they feel that a threatening situation is in place.  Reasons for the ‘threatened’ bark can range from situations dangerous to simple, such as when a stranger is on what your dog considers his/her ‘property’ to seeing  you talk to an old friend they do not recognize.   This bark usually sounds loud and sharp.  The ‘threatened’ bark is very commonly used as a protection for your family, which can be good because it is used by many families as a warning.  Another reason for barking is playfulness.   The playful bark is used most often by puppies when they are playing, and should be easy to spot.  One other reason that dogs bark is just for attention.  Much like toddlers, dogs love attention and will be excessively loud to get it.  The last type of bark that we will mention is the anxiety bark.  Many dogs have separation anxiety, especially puppies, and bark out of self pity.  This type of high pitched barking is usually accompanied by whining.  All of these types of barking can get extremely annoying (especially the anxiety bark) So if you have a dog that constantly barks unnecessarily, there are many options you should consider.

Solutions

Once you have found the reason for your dogs barking, the solution becomes easier.  Putting your dog in a dog obedience class is always a good way to go, seeing as a trained professional will be able to better administer information and solutions to your problem, and teach you how to handle the situations.  A good idea is to get your dog plenty of exercise to release all that extra energy that may be causing them to bark.  If your dog has the ‘anxiety bark’ never give in, but also don’t leave them alone for long periods of time to teach a lesson; if they are barking, don’t pay attention, but feel free to once they stop.  You can also train your dog to react with a clap, a dog clicker, or a whistle, and give them treats when they don’t bark as a reward.  As a last resort, you may want to consider debarking your dog.  Debarking your dog will work by altering their vocal tract, in order to quiet a dog.  The coined phrase ‘debarking was created by animal rights activists as a way to put a negative connotation on on the surgical procedure, but it will not harm your dog.  Debarking your dog will not completely eliminate barking, but rather make it quieter.  Another common result of debarking is a raspy and quiet bark, sort of like a broken squeaky toy.  But remember that when dealing with barking, always look at surgery as a last resort.

Food to Keep Your Dog Away From

A healthy diet can be very important in dog care.  Everyone knows not to feed your dog certain foods, such as chocolate, because they act as dog poison.  However, there are many other things that you want to steer your dog clear of to keep him or her healthy.  For this purpose, here are some foods within certain food groups that they should stay away from.

Fruits and veggies

Onions and garlic are a big no-no in the veggie group.  These foods destroy dogs’ red blood cells and can leave their system unbalanced.  In addition to onions and garlic, it is a smart idea to stay away from all fruits with pits.  Peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to humans and dogs alike.  Eating fruit pits can also cause issues in the digestive system.

Meat

Fat trimmings and bones are something you want to keep your dog away from.  Both have been known for causing pancreatic problems, and bones often cause lacerations in the digestive system. All raw meat is also a keep-away.  Raw materials can cause food poisoning, and if it isn’t treated properly, the disease can be fatal in 2 weeks or less.

Beverages

As far as beverages go, it’s pretty clear to keep your dog away from caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.  This is because these two drinks have the same effect on dogs as they do on humans, but work faster and more aggressively on a dogs system.

Other foods to avoid

All foods or beverages containing dairy are something you should keep your dog away from.  Dairy causes dogs to have diarrhea, and an upset stomach (often resulting in vomiting).  Another result from dairy is often food allergies which can result in itchiness, so save them some pain and don’t feed it to them.  One other food to avoid is Macadamia nuts.  This food should be avoided at all costs! Six types of nuts can cause illness in dogs and result in muscle tremors, vomiting, high fever, rapid heart rate, and even death, so be careful with macadamia nuts.  Just as well, keep your dog away from dough.  Dough rises before it is baked, and will do the same in a dog’s stomach.

Take care of your dog by keeping him away from harmful foods!