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How To Teach Your Puppy His Name

There is a good chance you have already named your puppy. If not, now is a great time because your puppy’s
name is very important in many ways. Your puppy’s name could even save his life one day. In this article i will
give you some tips to getting your puppy to learn his name.

What if your dog was chasing a ball out into the street? What if a car was coming towards him? Calling his name and him responding even in the middle of playing will keep him safe from any harm. It will be easier if you use it’s name every time you talk to him and with ever command (except NO and STAY). Don’t ever associate the dog’s name with something negative or they wont want to come again. Changing the puppy’s name could be bad. Even giving it a nickname could confuse him and that’s the last thing you want.

A couple tricks i used were pretty easy like always calling them nicely (even if I didn’t want to).I only scolded them when I caught them in the act. Its hard to get used to, but in the end it will pay off.

A great game you can play with your dog to teach his name is The Name Game. It is fun, easy, and great for kids to play with the puppy to. It is pretty basic with easy commands and is fun for the puppy. The rules are

· Take your dog to the park or anywhere convenient for you maybe your back yard and keep him on leash (it works a lot better if you have a longer leash maybe about 10 feet).
· Give him 4 to 7 feet to wonder away.
· When he’s not looking call his name with an excited voice and make sure he comes to you (if he doesn’t come pull him in with his leash).
· When he gets to you give him tons of love and affection
· Repeat this over and over again until your puppy is consistently coming to you when you call his name.

***Whenever you’re trying to get your puppy’s attention you have to be the most exciting thing in the world…more exciting then the birds, smells, other dogs, joggers…you get the picture…

I hope you enjoyed these great tips on how to teach your puppy his name. The little one should be coming to your side in no time.

Dog Agility Training & Competition

Getting Ready for Training:

If you have been seriously considering signing your dog up for agility training, then you should take the proper steps to prepare your k9 companion for what lies in store for them. Now what is dog agility you might ask? It’s a great sport that involves you and your dog, using teamwork towards a common goal. Not only is it quite entertaining to watch, it can be very addictive for the owner and dog alike, once both of you get the hang of it.

Now lets go through how it all works. The Handler directs their dog through an obstacle course of a-frames, weave poles, dog walks, tunnels, jumps, teeter totters, and chutes, in a race for accuracy and over all time.

You can’t however touch your dog or any of the obstacles that’s against the rules. There is also no use of a leash. You can only use visual and audible cues to direct your dog through the course.

Next you should factor in some tips about how to prepare your dog. This will be physical, Show your dog what it will be engaging in throughout any of the serious training. Also, what it will experience later on if you wanted to go into competitions. Ultimately if your paying for training, your instructor will always know when your dog is ready for competition. So, don’t rush towards that too quickly. Ensure your dog is fully trained and is in peak condition.

Getting Ready for Competition:

Obviously your dog needs to be fit, considerably attentive and don’t forget excited to give this their all. It’s also important that they’re jumping confidently to there full height. Unless of course you aren’t aiming for a specific size class for your dog to eventually compete in. Which means over sized obstacles, so the dogs can fit through and between them without knocking them down. Unless you are sure the competitions won’t included weaves. Then just be sure the dog is focused on your commands and excited to be there.

Your dog will also be required to complete full sequences of obstacles pretty fluently. So, remember to be fair to your dog these competitions are a measure of there competence in the sport. Don’t force them to compete prematurely, make sure they’re well prepared for what’s expected of them.

In Closing, it’s important to remember to have fun while doing this. If your not having fun, your dog will sense your tension. This can cause your dog to start acting up, and not following your directions correctly. Always remain calm, content, and over all remember to have fun.

Helpful Drills for Dog Agility Training:

Learning to handle your dog properly is a major role in dog agility training. This means communicating what you want your dog to do. Once your dog has the basics down, most errors that occur are due to the handler’s abilities. As a handler, you need to learn how to communicate what you want your dog to do or perform. One way to do that is to practice exercises that teach you how to better handle your dog.

Every dog has his own way of running the course. Some dogs need little guidance while others need the handler by their side at all times. By watching your dog and how much he relies on you to complete the course, you’ll be able to determine how much handling your dog needs.

To properly access the situation, try setting up two basic hurdles side by side and direct your dog to the right hurdle. Study your dog’s reaction as you send him to the hurdle. Does your dog leave your side or does your dog expect you to run or walk with him the entire way?

Then try making the course into an “S” shape where you’ll be starting on the inside line and crossing over in the middle so that you will stay on the inside line. Try first with a fast obstacle such as a hurdle, tunnel or series of hurdles in the center of the course. Send your dog over the hurdles and cross behind your dog so that you switch effortlessly.

Next, put a slow obstacle in the center of the course such as weave poles, a table or contact obstacle. Then continue with your dog until he gets to the downward edge of the contact obstacle. This will most likely be the second to last pole of the weaves. Cross in front of the dog and then continue him over to the next obstacle of the course.

Try handling your dog first using the inside line and then moving onto the outside line to get a proper feel for handling either side of the course. If you have a very fast paced dog, then you will have to slow him down while you take the outer line. Likewise, if you have a slower paced dog, then you may have to slow down on the inside line, then work on speeding your dogs performance.

You, your dog, and the endless possibilities:

Before you can truly have worry-free fun with your dog outside, you must enroll him in an obedience course, or have trained him yourself. Your dog needs to be trustworthy not only at home but wherever you go.

Here are some great ideas:

What better way is there for you and your canine companion to spend time together and get healthy at the same time, than to go for a walk? Dogs have a natural migration instinct and need to go on daily walks to mentally compensate for this.

Many of the hunting breeds and terriers love to play with a ball. Some dogs are more enthusiastic about this toy than others. While one dog may fetch the ball after you throw it, another may look at you like “you threw it, you get it.” Some dogs would rather have a ball that rattles, but I find that the majority like to indulge in the squeaky ones. Your best bet is to let your dog decide the right toy for him.

Take your dog to a nearby lake, or if your lucky, the beach. Many breeds, such as Labs, love to play in the water. You can incorporate fetching with the water. Throw one of your dog’s favorite toys a short distance in the water so he can rush in to retrieve it. Make sure your toy of choice can easily float.

Learn to groom your dog yourself. Not only will this save you time and money, it is a good bonding experience for the both of you. You will have also gained the satisfaction of knowing that it was you that made it happen. It’s really not that hard to pull off, as long as you have the right tools of course. Invest in a quality dog grooming set. A pair of clippers that cost less than $100 usually won’t cut well and won’t last very long.

One of the best things to do with your dog is to simply do nothing at all! They are at your side at almost every moment of the day, when your home. If you’re watching TV our using the computer, your k9 pal is most likely lying at your feet. If you’re in bed, your dog is usually on the floor beside you. Just each others presence can be enough for the both of you.

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 Sport of Dog Agility

Dog Agility is an international sport. Direct your dog through an obstacle course in a race against the clock to measure accuracy and completion. Neither the dog nor obstacles can be touched by the handler. Consequently the handler’s controls are limited to voice, movement, and various body signals, requiring exceptional training of the animal and coordination of the handler.

The History of the Sport:

The sport’s roots can be traced back to the late 1970’s to a demonstration that was held at Crufts Dog Show in the United Kingdom. Dogs were required to run around a course designed similar to horse jumping courses during intermission as a way to entertain the audience. It has since spread rapidly around the world.

What is an Agility Course?

Agility courses consist of several standard obstacles laid out by a judge. All obstacles are staged by the judge in a specifically sized area. The surface may consist of grass, dirt, or a rubber like material. Depending on the type of competition, the obstacles may have a different order in which they must be completed.

Expectations of the Dog Handler:

In the beginning, courses can be a rather complicated task for your dog. For the dog to correctly complete a course without the direction and training of a handler, just aint gunna happen. In competitions, the dog handler must first observe the course, decide on the best strategies, and direct their dog. Precision and speed are equally important.

What are the Basic Obstacles of a Course?

An A-frame is 2 broad ramps hinged together and raised so that the hinged connection is above the ground, roughly forming an A shape.

The Dog walk is 3 planks that connect at the ends. The center plank is raised to above the ground; so that the other 2 end planks form ramps that lead up and down.

A Teeter-totter is a single plank that pivots on a fulcrum, much like the traditional seesaw. It is constructed off-balance so that the same end is always on the ground.

The Crossover is a square platform, with ramps that descend from 3 or 4 of its sides. The dog must ascend and descend the correct ramp while changing direction.

A Tunnel is a long vinyl tube, through which the dog runs. The tunnel is constructed of flexible vinyl and wire so that it can be set in a straight line or curvy.

How to Teach Your Dog to Play Fetch?

Fetch is a game we take for granted. Yet fetch is the most perfect of all dog games. It’s easy to learn. It’s easy to do. Fetch is great exercise for your dog (even exercise for you, if you walk or jog to a park to play). Most important, fetch is all about give and take (quite literally); you and your pup are working in tandem.

You know the drill: You throw the ball, your dog brings it back. You throw the ball, your dog brings it back. You throw the ball… But what do you do when your dog seems completely unfamiliar with the game of fetch, when all those other dogs seem to know instinctively how to play?

Although some breeds do have a natural instinct to play fetch—especially retrievers bred through the ages to fetch things, and herding dogs who have a sharp eye for objects wandering away from the flock—not every dog comes pre-programmed with this behavior. Why, some dogs seem to be thinking, would you throw something across the yard just so I have to run all the way over there and get it? And if I do, will you promise not to do that again?

But playing fetch can be fun for you and training your dog. It’s also a great way for dogs to get their important daily dose of exercise.

Assess your dog’s Fetch I.Q.

Find a toy he really likes. Wave it in front of his face to get his interest. Toss it a few feet away and say, “Fetch!”  What does he do?

If he runs to the toy, picks it up, and brings it back, congratulations. Your dog knows how to fetch. Go play!

If your dog doesn’t seem to have any fetch instinct, the first step is to teach him that he’ll be rewarded for paying attention to the object you want him to fetch. (For this guide, we’ll say you’re teaching him with a ball. It may be another toy or a retrieving dummy.) Stock up on your dog’s favorite treats. Hold the ball out to your dog. If he sniffs it, praise him and give him a treat. Repeat this several times. Then, put the ball on the floor and say “Fetch.”  If your dog sniffs it or picks it up, praise him and give him a treat. Keep practicing until he understands that he has to sniff or pick up the ball to get the treat.

Now it’s time to teach your dog to pick up the ball. Wave the ball around in the air to make it more enticing. As soon as he takes it in his mouth, praise him. If he won’t take the ball, try smearing it with a little peanut butter or meat paste. When he reliably takes the ball in his mouth.

Now, you need to motivate your dog to give back the ball. Get your dog to take the ball. Praise him, then offer a treat. He’ll have to drop the ball to get the treat, so be sure you are there to take it. Praise him. Practice this a few times. When he reliably takes the toy then drops it for the treat.
If your dog isn’t very interested in treats, you can also use two balls and entice him to drop one ball for the other.

Now you are ready to try a small-scale fetch. Show your dog the ball. Toss the ball a few feet away from you and say “Fetch!” If he doesn’t go to the ball, try throwing it closer, or handing it to him again. When he does go to the ball, call him back to you, treat in hand, and trade treat for toy. Repeat, throwing the ball a little bit farther each time. Before you know it, you and your dog are playing fetch…just like all those other dogs!

Every dog is different, motivated by different things and tempted by different variations of the game, but for many dogs, there will be a point during this dog training exercise when they suddenly understand what playing fetch is all about. At this point, the game is its own reward and you can save the treats for teaching your dog the rules for the next fun game.

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!

Want to be Healthier in 2011? Adopt a Dog!

The health benefits of owning a pet are well known – even watching a fish tank or stroking a cat can help lower blood pressure and create a sense of calm.  However, when it comes to the health benefits of having a pet, nothing is better than owning a dog!

According to the well-respected resource WebMD, the health benefits of owning a dog include:

1. Lower blood pressure
2. Reduce stress
3. Lower your risk for heart attacks
4. Lower your risk for strokes
5. Prevent and cure depression
6. Help keep you physically fit
7. Develop fewer allergies
8. Strengthen your immunity to allergies
9. Improve mental health
10. Build stronger bones

An overlooked way that owning a dog can help keep your wallet healthier is the savings in prescriptions and health care costs associated with illness.  Additionally, if you walk your dog twice daily, you’ll receive your daily recommended dose of cardiovascular activity.  To ramp up  that activity level, consider engaging in Florida dog obedience training, or even Florida Dog Agility Classes.  Both you and your pet will benefits from the physical activity involved in these training courses, and have fun while doing it!  Like any form of exercise, the key to keeping it up in having fun while doing it, and engaging in these types of activities with your pet are definitely enjoyable!

Whether you are a senior citizen living alone, a stay-at-home-parent, or a young single person, your health and happiness can increase considerably by bringing a canine companion into your household.  Don’t delay…  it’s just what the doctor ordered!

A New Years Resolution for You and Your Dog

Like most people, you may be considering making a New Year’s Resolution about losing weight or becoming more active.  Take a good look at your beloved canine companion…  does he or she need to lose weight or become more active as well?  Doing it together could be just the ticket for both you and your dog, and it can be extremely fun as well!

Enrolling in dog agility classes is a great way for both you and your dog to spend more time in physical activity.  Come learn how much fun your dog can have crawling through tunnels, tipping a seesaw, scrambling over an A-frame and jumping over hurdles and through a tire.  Both you and your dog will spend the entire class period running, jumping, and having a FUN, exciting, active time together.  Moreover, you will be helping create a more responsive, well-trained dog while you’re having such a good time bonding together.

If you’re a Florida resident, make sure to check out Florida dog agility training.  By the end of the course, you will learn to teach your dog to pay attention when asked, greet strangers and known visitors alike politely, come when called, walk on a loose leash, lie down, wait and stay. If you’ve ever encountered problems at the dog park or while out on a walk, you’ll be happy to know that agility classes also stress management skills, socialization, “MANNERS” and problem solving.

Best of all, the human companion also benefits from the physical activity of dog agility training!  Make 2011 the year for a fit, healthy You and a fit, healthy, happy pet as well!