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Tips to Introducing Your Dog to a New Dog:

Bringing home a new dog is always an exciting time for everyone. It’s like adding a new family member or guest to your household. There is a lot of information out there about bringing your first dog into the home. However, there is very little about bringing a new dog into the home of another dog. These simple tips should help you make some good decisions that will help ease the transition.

Unfortunately, many pet owners will underestimate the kinds of problems that can occur if mistakes are made. This can be a difficult if not dangerous situation if not handled correctly.

Many people think they can just bring a new dog home and let the dogs work things out amongst themselves. For the lucky ones this might work, but almost always people will find themselves in the middle of a dog fight wondering what went wrong.

The average dog owners do not have a clue about how strong the genetic pack instinct is that always lurks inside the mind of their lovable family pet. The addition of a second or third dog into the home often triggers a genetic pack drive or rank drive. Many people are shocked and confused when they see the level of aggression that their friendly family pet is plenty capable of.

Often, there is usually more than one thing going on that result in these problems. A house dog is often territorial of his home. There can be rank or dominance problems between the new and excising dog. There can also be an inter-male or female issue that will result in this aggression.

The most important part of this process is the purchase and use of dog crates. Try to have a dog crate for every dog in our house. Just because your current dogs don’t use crates is not a good enough reason to not use them in this process. First, put the new dog in a crate in your home where your current dog can freely go up and smell the newcomer. If your current house dog begins to growl at the new dog, immediately step right in, take control of the situation and give a strong correction.

Your job as the pack leader is to show your dog that is not expectable for aggression towards the newest pack member and will not be tolerated.

Tips to Dog Misbehaviors When Visitors Come Over:

Many people seem to think that when their dog is jumping or barking at company, they feel the need to scream at the dog. A much more affective method would be to give your dog something more productive to do. A good start is to teach him to “lay down” or “stay”. Then once the dog understands these simple commands, then work towards having someone ring the doorbell or knock. Try keeping your dog on a leash and collar when practicing. When approaching the door, have the dog do their ‘lay down’ and if they are too excited, give them a small tug as a little bit of motivation to ‘lie down’ and ‘stay’. Then try opening the door. It’s often too much to ask expecting the dog to know what to do right away. You will need to guide your dog and show him what is more appropriate then just barking.

As for when to take the leash off, try to do this in stages. The first couple of times you will go through this, the dog is on leash. Once the dog gets used to the idea that this is what we do instead of jumping on friends or family, we drop the leash but he is still wearing it. If the dog decides not to obey these commands, you are still able to give him another small tug on the leash. Once you are convinced that your dog is starting to listen well, you may continue your practice without the use of the leash.

When giving the “lay down” or “stay” commands, try attaching something physical to the dog such as the leash and giving a small tug now and then. This way you are attaching something physical to the words you’re using and puts you in a position where you don’t have to yell, you don’t have to scream, you can simply get your dog to just simply lay down. Easier said then done, it does take constant repetition and does take a lot of work but doing it in those stages you can work your way to having your dog off the use of the leash. Now you have accomplished reversing the unacceptable response to when the doorbell rings, the dog lays down. That becomes the natural behavior instead of your dog going insane, barking, and jumping.

General Guidelines for Effective Dog Training:

No matter what type of dog training you prefer, it is important to know the general rules and policies for dog training. Knowing these rules does not just entail effective training but also make the process a whole lot easier. Below are some useful examples that every dog trainer should learn to follow for effective dog training.

-Make sure that every dog training session is short and fun. Animal behavior experts say that short periods of training is always better than long periods of time.

-Reward your dog. Give him treats or chew bones every time they follow your orders and commands.

-Try not to punish dogs by shouting or yelling at them if they don’t follow what you want them to do. Doing so will only make them aggressive.

-Be consistent. Remember that your dog will never learn the things that you teach them right away. Consistency is the key here. Do the same thing again and again until they’ve learned your orders and commands by heart.

-Teach him tricks and commands one at a time and make sure to start from the simplest one before moving on to more complicated ones. Teach them a new trick or command only if they’ve mastered the previous one.

-Learn what motivates your dogs to behave and be obedient. It can be in the form of dog food, treats, or toys.

-Never hit dogs every time they do something wrong or unwanted. Ignoring them is the best way to let them know they will never get anything if they keep on doing whatever it is that they’re doing.

-Test their obedience in various situations. This is the best way to ensure they still follow your commands and orders even when they are outside and around people.

Whatever dog training method that you may go with, it is critical that you make them feel you are the leader in your dog-owner pack. It is also important that you make them understand what are good and acceptable behaviors and what are not. Training your dog to become a good and well-behaved citizen may not be easy, but all your time, efforts and patience will certainly pay off. Remember that there’s nothing better than a dog that knows not just how to protect their owners but also follows orders and commands and knows how to behave in different surroundings and situations.

Dog Pregnancy Care Tips:

A pregnant dogs body is going through many changes as the puppies are growing inside her therefore her needs are going to increase. They need special care to ensure they are in tip top shape before the big day. A dog’s pregnancy generally last from 60 to 63 days.

The symptoms and signs of a pregnant dog:

Three weeks after mating, the female dog may have an upset stomach and not want to eat for about a week to 10 days. One way to tell if your dog is pregnant is to check her vulva. The swelling would not have gone down after her heat and looks enlarged. Thirty days after being bred a blood test can be done by a veterinarian to confirm pregnancy. At 21 days an ultrasound can be done to confirm pregnancy and at 45 days radiographs can be taken for an accurate count of puppies inside.

During the first 30 days of pregnancy she can eat her normal diet, only as long as it is a high quality dog food. This food has plenty of nutrients. During the last month of pregnancy start switching her over to a high quality puppy food, make the diet change over a week’s time. Also, be aware that there are some vitamin supplements that can cause birth defects so check with your veterinarian before choosing the wrong one. Do not give her any vitamin supplements.

Try to take her on several daily walks for a good source of exercise. It is important that she does not become overweight during this time and the walks will keep her in shape for delivery. Letting the dog run in the backyard is not equal to a walk, a walk is mental and physical exercise. During the last 3 weeks of gestation do not take her out and do not expose her to other dogs as added protection against disease.

Never give a pregnant dog any kind of vaccination. Some vaccines can cause still births. Vaccinations should be given prior to breeding so that the protection can be passed to the puppies by the mother’s milk.

One week prior to birth, start taking the mothers body temperature. A normal bodily temperature for a dog is about 100.5 – 102.5. About 24 hours before giving birth, her temperature will drop a few degrees. This will give you time for necessary preparations.

The Clicker Training Method:

Operant conditioning is a scientific description of the way animals learn from the consequences of certain behaviors. In dog training, positive reinforcement is a type of operant conditioning that is commonly used. A system based on sound equals rewards, allows your dog to learn difficult skills, without the use of force or punishment. Your dog will learn to quickly identify what behaviors are desired and which are deemed unacceptable.

The clicker is typically a small plastic box with a metal strip inside that makes a distinct clicking sound when you press it. To teach a dog the meaning of the click, a treat is given immediately after clicking, resulting in the dog learning the positive effects of the sound. The click is more distinct than verbally praised commands and is much more effective than only giving your dog treats.

Where did this method originate from?

At sometime in the recent past, behavioral researchers including Norm Guttman, Marian Kruse and Keller Breland, in a laboratory, were among the first to understand the clicker method. They had realized that rats always stop what they are doing whenever they heard their food dispenser make a sound, which indicates its time to eat. Under the instruction of B.F. Skinner, they decided to try using a sound to correct behavior outside the lab, such as in dogs.

How to conquer the clicker:

To get things started, begin teaching your dog basic commands in a quiet area. Make sure to have ready a sufficient amount of your dog’s favorite treats. The treat should be small enough to be consumed instantly. Press the clicker and immediately give your dog a treat. Repeat 5-10 times. You can test your success by clicking when your dog is not paying attention to you. If your dog instantly responds to the click by looking in your direction, then expecting a treat, you’re starting to get somewhere.

At the exact moment your dog performs the desired action, press the clicker. Follow with a treat and praise. One of the best things about the clicker is the accuracy. The dog associates his action with the click and, subsequently, the reward. Not only does your dog better understand what he is doing, this also makes him more likely to repeat the action when asked in the future. This allows the training process to be totally hands-off, aside from treat giving.

Teach Your Dog How to Skateboard!

Here’s a fun one!

Generally, when imagining a skateboarding dog, you might be thinking of a movie or commercial. So, what would it take to make this a reality for you and your dog, you ask yourself? To teach your dog a head turning trick like this will require patience, a handful of treats, determination, and a dog who listens well. So get your dog, grab a skateboard and get outside. Don’t be surprised to get some attention from this, who knows, you may even draw a crowd.

For Starters:

Try to get your dog to show some interest in the skateboard. Let him investigate by sniffing it and climbing on it. Try encouraging him to sit and stand on the board by giving him a treat. Try not to force your dog on to the skateboard. Work at it and he will begin to associate this with fun. Shaping your dog to do this can be complicated because the skill of riding a skateboard won’t just come naturally.

First, decide exactly what you want your dog to do. Do you want him to mount the board and just ride along or do you want him to use his foot to move? Give your dog an idea of what he’s up against by letting him watch as you ride around. Keep an eye out, he might be chasing after you.

How to Get Things Rolling:

Aim to avoid doing this in the streets. Use sidewalks if possible, just as a safety precaution. Set the skateboard in front of your dog. Place one paw on the board. Offer him a treat if he cooperates. Place second paw on the board until the dog is completely on. If he stays, then reward him with another treat.

Although, getting your dog to stay on the skateboard is a feat of its own, getting him to feel comfortable while moving, may become quite the task. On your first few attempts, try to keep a slow and steady pace. Then push the dog as far as he we will allow.

Try not to do more than 4 attempts a day. More than that can result in you and your dog getting burnt out. This can be a positive and fun experience for you and your dog. The both of you may get frustrated at times along the way. When this happens, just take a deep breath and come back to try again later on.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

The Different Competition Classes in Agility

Competition Classes in Agility:

Courses are designed by their own judges. They can also select from previously designed courses by using the rules of whom ever the funding organization. The course is laid out within a large area, with necessary distances between obstacles. Each class decides which dogs are worthy adversaries of achieving titles and how each task must be performed, but they all posses multiple similarities.

What are some common classes?

Junior courses are designed for the 18 and under crowd. These younger  dog handlers may compete with their k9’s at beginner, elementary, intermediate, and senior levels. Each section has more obstacles and generally gets harder the more you progress.

Standard and Regular courses are both numbered. They consist of at least one of three primary obstacles include jumps, tunnels, and several weave poles. A more advanced dog course might consist of as many as 22 obstacles. A more minimal course might offer only about 15. The dog must properly navigate the obstacles. This must be achieved in the correct order within the standard course time.

Jumpers or Jumping course is numbered. This consists primarily of various types of challenging jumps, weave poles, and tunnels. The dog must navigate the obstacles in the correct order within the standard time of the course. Most dogs will achieve their fastest speeds on this course because there are no contact obstacles in the way to slow them down.

Gambles, Joker, and Jackpot courses are all unnumbered. In the opening period, the dog has only so much time in which to conquer appropriate tasks. The points awarded are based on the obstacles that have been completed. A whistle is blown when time runs out for the opening period. That’s when the gamble begins. There’s approximately 15 seconds to complete the tasks and obstacles.

Power courses are not timed. This game features the contact equipment, weaves, table, a-frame, spread jump, and the long jump. If this section is navigated without receiving a penalty, the dog and handler are then allowed to advance to the Speed course, which consists of a timed jumping section.

In the end, of any competition course, the dogs and their handlers that have competed have earned either a rosette or a bronze, silver, or gold medal. With many available sets of obstacles and plenty of room for error, there are many classes of competitions that can be played on the fields of agility.

Could Your Puppy Become A Service Dog?

Service Dog In TrainingWho can benefit from a service dog?

The ADA defines a service animal as any signal dog, guide dog, or any other animal trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. Remember, a Service dog is not a pet. If you are not disabled, then your pet cannot become a service dog unless you donate it for training as a service dog for someone who is disabled.

What are service dogs?

Service animals are highly skilled to perform some of the functions and tasks that an individual with a disability could not. But there are service animals that assist those with other disabilities in their everyday activities.

What makes a service dog special?

Obstacle Avoidance is when an obstacle is recognized, the dog is instructed to navigate around that obstacle. It must do so regardless of whether the best path lies to the left or right of the obstacle, and while not only sensing the dogs own path, but the path of his disabled partner as well.

Intelligent Disobedience is recognizing when there is an exception to a command and disobeying out of duty rather than disobeying because the dog is distracted. For example, if a guide dog is given a command to “forward” into a street, but it sees a car coming, the dog will intelligently disobey the command because it understands its dangerous to the handler to step into traffic.

What are the costs and requirements?

Demand for the service dog continues to rise, which means so does the expense of training them. The average cost in professionally training just one of these animals is roughly $15,000 -$20,000 between medical costs, training, boarding and fees for licensing.

It’s not as easy to train your own dog to become a Service dog as you might think. If you have never trained a dog before, please look into a dog trained in a program, assistance of a dog trainer to help you, or in a facility that has given you permission. If you are training a puppy, you must wait for it to finish growing before teaching it certain tasks.

A Public Access Test will evaluate your dog on performance of tasks and obedience commands, despite distractions commonly found in public accommodations. A dog becomes a full service dog when it meets the requirements of a full service dog. Since that would be is the last phase of training, passing all the tests is an indicator the dog is ready to work.

Good Luck!

Is Your Dog Ready for Stardom?

Have your friends ever commented regarding how your dog should be in his/her own commercial?  Do you compare your dog to the ones on screen and think my dog could do that?  Planning a show business career for your dog is great.  It pays well, your dog will be pampered, and the scenes are fun for your dog to make.  But you need to evaluate a few characteristics before jumping into the Hollywood scene.

Objectively Review Your Dog’s Temperament

Before your dog is able to enter the world of commercials and/or film, be certain your dog is able to work with other animals and people.  Your dog must be able to follow direction well, and not be scared of lights, camera, and ever changing locations.  Furthermore, your dog should love to be around different people.  For you never know whom your dog will be working alongside. Thus, the more comfortable your dog is with people, the better he/she will perform on-set.

Invite Friends Over to Give Your Dog Commands

Invite your friends over to interact with your dog permitting you to see if your dog follows their commands too.  It is a test to exhibit how well your dog takes direction from other people other than yourself.  This is essential in determining whether your dog is ready for show business or not.

Deciding if your dog is ready for a career in acting may be tricky.  The best thing to do is to ask a k9 obedience training professional for an outside opinion.  Find out what a Florida dog training expert thinks regarding your dog becoming the next “Lassie.”

How to Teach Your Dog to Sit

Teach a Dog to Sit and Life Becomes Peaceful

Teaching a dog to sit may be utilized for various scenarios.  For instance, when people come to the house your dog may greet other people while sitting.  It provides a calm state for your dog whenever company arrives.  Your pup no longer jumps on company but rather greets your guest in a mild manner.  This behavior enhances your loving home decreasing any stress that may arise from a pup’s behavior.

Teach Your Dog the “Sit” Command

The steps to teaching a dog to sit are not complicated.  It solely takes repetition and positive reinforcement ensuring your pup understands the verbal command.   The way you begin is to stand up, say, “Sit,” and place a treat within one inch of your dog’s nose.  The treat has to be placed near the nose or else your dog may jump to reach the treat.

Next, move the treat toward the top of the head, arching it up over the nose.  This allows the dog to back up and raise the snout.  Once the snout is raised up in the air, the behind sits down.  It is natural behavior in dogs to display such a reaction.  As a result, you now have a seated dog.

Once your dog sits say, “Yes,” in a delighted tone, give your pup the treat, and provide lots of loving praise.

Talk to a Florida dog training professional today to find out the further steps regarding how to teach your dog to sit in such an affirmative manner.  A professional dog trainer will be able to guide you through the process ensuring you are implementing the instruction properly and in a loving, accepting technique strengthening the bond between you and your pup.