Archive for the ‘Dog Tips’ Category

Training Thoughts to Help You and Your Dog

If you or your dog trainer are having difficulty training your dog to do basic or advance commands, here are a few thoughts to consider.

Every dog, (like every person) is a unique creature created with a mindset that is their own. In a recent study (2006) 70 percent of the dog trainers surveyed stated that dogs do indeed have different learning-style characteristics, different levels of motivation and different preferences for either visual or auditory learning.

Some of the finds have shown that dogs in the sporting, herding and terrier groups were more highly motivated, persistent and trained easily using either visual or auditory methods.

The non-sporting and working groups were motivated and persistent but were more receptive to the auditory training rather than visual training (hand signals.)

The hounds and toy groups responded more to visual training and showed a good level of persistence for leasing.

However, just because a certain breed of dog shows certain characteristics for training does not mean "all" dogs of that breed are going to respond the same way.

Some dogs are avid learners like some children are. Some dogs are lazy and will learn a command or two and then lose interest in learning anything more.

The lazy (or non-interested) dogs need to be enticed to learn. Finding the right treat or toy that motivates this dog is the trick to getting him / her to learn and stay interested.
Think about people you have known in your lifetime. Some were very smart and interested in everything, while others just seemed to learn only enough to get along.

Dogs though they are not "furry people," can respond to learning in the same way.

If you are having problems training your dog to become what you want it to be. Take a moment or two and try to understand your dog.

Identify your dog's learning preferences there is a possibility that you are using hand signals to train your pet and he / she really wants to respond to voice signals. The dog can not tell you, but you have the ability to try both and see which works best.

There is also the possibility that your dog just needs a little more motivation, perhaps a better treat instead of that old biscuit. A piece of cheese or a piece of meat might bring about a whole new outlook.

Also consider the amount of time you are spending on the training process. Dogs as a rule do not have long attention spans.

Like children they get bored and want to do something different.
Vary the commands and if your dog makes a mistake, ignore it and go on to something else, do not keep repeating the same old command over and over again.

If you ever had to write, "I will not chew gum in school" a hundred times on the blackboard, you know how boring that can be.

No dog is dumb or stupid all dogs, can be trained to obey basic commands. Once in awhile it just might be the trainer and not the dog that is at fault.

Dog Sunglasses – For Looks and Protection

It may be hard for many people to understand, but a great number of individuals treat their pet dogs like a member of their family – like their child, even. It's no wonder then that they are pampered, feted, and treated like royalty. Celebrities like Paris Hilton and Venus Williams endow their dogs with lavish gifts, like designer clothing and gem-encrusted collars. Dog sunglasses are just one of the many things that many humans like to bestow upon these four-legged friends.

Dog sunglasses come in many shapes, sizes, and designs. The materials of which they are made run the gamut, too. The lenses are usually made of polycarbonate lenses, which are scratch- and shatter-resistant. The lenses on these dog sunglasses are also anti-fog – these would be helpful in making sure that the dog's vision is not compromised while wearing the glasses. The frames and straps can be made of plastic or nylon.

It may be perceived as a whim or a flight of fancy on the part of some dog owners to have their pets wear sunglasses for dogs, but in reality, these devices are very useful in protecting a dog's eyes. Just as humans are prone to eye diseases like photokeratitis, cataracts, and macular degeneration, so too are dogs. Various breeds can suffer from a condition called "pannus," which is also known as chronic superficial keratitis or inflammation of the corneas. This can be caused by prolonged and repeated exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays – which hit the eyes of both human and animal whether the sun is shining high in the sky or whether the day is cloudy.

And it is not just ultraviolet radiation that can damage our four-legged friends' vision; sunglasses for dogs can help protect them from airborne debris and wind. Many people are wont to take their dogs along with them on their road trips – how many of us have ever seen a dog riding a motor vehicle with his head hanging out the window? – or their vacations to the beach and other places where pets' eyes can get irritated by swirling dust, sand, and other substances. In such situations, sunglasses for dogs help ensure a more trouble-free playtime for Fido.

A number of companies are well-known for their dog sunglasses. One of these is Dog-Goes, which is based in Munich, Germany. This firm acknowledges that while a lot of customers buy their sunglasses for their high-end materials (such as chrome or gold frames) many others recognize the need for providing eye protection for their pets. Company co-owner Christian Blank avers that veterinarians are recommending such eye protection gear for their pets, especially if the dogs go outdoors most of the time.

Another company that specializes in eyewear for dogs is California-based Doggles. They are the creators of dog goggles, which are called, well, Doggles. Their products have been featured in mass media, notably in CNN and "People Magazine." Because they are goggles, they fit snugly on the area surrounding the eyes, preventing ultraviolet radiation, wind, and airborne irritants from entering the eye area from the top, bottom, and sides. The right fit is ensured by two adjustable straps: one goes under the dog's chin and the other behind his head. Initially, the dog may find that the sunglasses take getting used to, but after a while, it will feel as if he has nothing on and will continue to act normally. The owner just needs to do everything he can to help the dog adjust to the sunglasses.

Another nice thing about dog sunglasses is that many models have interchangeable lens. All the owner has to do is remove the lens and pop in new ones as the situation warrants. There are lenses that are available for virtually every lighting condition: there are smoked lenses, clear lenses, and colored lenses. Of course, the owner may just choose the change the color of the lenses to go with the dog's outfit (many owners clothe their dogs, too!)

The prices of dog sunglasses can range anywhere from under $ 20 for basic models to upwards of $ 100 for lavishly designed ones and those made from expensive materials. There may be people who will scoff at such accessories and think that they are a total waste of money. But for dog lovers who only want the best for their pets and take their dogs' risks of eye disease or injury seriously enough, dog goggles are not only a wise choice, they are a necessity.

Top 5 Tips for Crate Training

Are you worried about your new puppy wandering around the house while you're in bed? Are you concerned that he might destroy some of your furniture or maybe hurt himself while you're out of the house? Does your puppy make a lot of noise at night because he does not feel safe within such a big space?

If you answered YES to the questions posed above, then it may be the right time to crate train your puppy. Crate training can help you avoid sleepless nights and keep you from worrying about your pet while you're at work. A good crate will also make your dog feel a lot safer and more comfortable, especially at night. Here are the top five tips for crate training that will help you live harmoniously with your dog.

1. Choose a crate that is just large enough for your dog to turn around and lie down comfortably in. Your dog may not want to get in a crate that's too small, and he might defecate inside the crate if it's too big. If your dog belongs to a large breed, you can avoid having to buy a new crate every time he grows too big for the existing one by buying a large crate to begin with. You may then adjust the space inside the crate by using a thick cardboard as a divider.

2. Your dog needs to view the crate as his den; somewhere safe into which he can retreat. Make him comfortable inside the crate by placing a base bed or thick blanket in it. It is also good to attach a water bottle to the side of your dog's crate so that he can easily drink in case he gets thirsty at night.

3. Make the crate an interesting place for your dog. Leave a few of his favorite toys and trips inside, especially when you have to leave him there for an extended period.

4. Expect your puppy to whine and bark the first time you leave him inside the crate. You will have to put up with the noise at this time. Do not give in no matter how much your dog indicates that he wants to be released from the crate. Bear in mind that he just needs some time to get used to the crate. If you give in to his whining, you will only succeed in underlining your role as pack leader.

5. Never use the crate for punishment purposes. Remember that this is supposedly to be your dog's haven, so he has to be able to associate it only with positive experiences.

Many dog ??owners get frustrated with crate training simply because they do not fully understand how a crate should be used. You need to bear in mind that the crate is your dog's personal space, and it is not a tool for punishment. As long as you follow the crate training tips outlined above, you will soon enjoy a harmonious and loving relationship with your dog.

Basic Dog Care – What Kind of Idiot Does This? Do You?

All of my dogs over the years have been rescues. They've come to me on their way to the animal shelter, as abandoned strips, or rescued from abusive or negligful owners. Animal lovers know that a rescued dog often becomes the most devoted and loving pet you own.

What motivates a person to adopt an animal – and then fails to provide the most basic care for that pet? I've never understood how some can want to keep a pet without caring for the well being of that animal once it comes to their home.

Winters in my Southern location are unfailingly mild and the cold weather usually associated with a few days or at most two to three weeks. Because the seasonal change is usually mild, dogs do not develop winter coats here as they do in harsher Northern climates.

This year the cold has stayed around longer and the temperatures have not warmed through the day hours as they usually do. Unfortunately, too many dog ??owners in this area will put on their own winter coats to walk outside – but see no problem leaving their dog tied in their yard with no shelter or bedding for warmth.

Cruelty by ignorance is still cruelty. A dog, especially one with a short hair coat, feels the cold as people do. Today the temperature is in the low 40's but complicated by a 20+ mph wind from the north that is viciously cold. A few houses away from mine a young dog stands miserably next to the tree he's tied to. There is nothing to protect him from the wind, no shelter or bedding provided. He paces back and forth on his short chain trying to stay warm. Meanwhile, his "family" sits in the comfortable warm house 30 yards away with no concern for his suffering.

My offers to the dog's owner to build a dog house or provide bedding were rebuffed as the owner believes a dog's place is outside and "it has a fur coat". You may be surprised as I was to find my State does not require Shelter to be provided for a dog left outdoors and will only intercede if the dog is clearly starving.

Not all dogs live in the house with their people and many dogs love their outdoor areas. If you own a dog, tie it on a short chain, give it nothing to play with or chew on, no food and water through the day and do nothing to protect it from the elements, I have to ask you.

Why do you have a dog?

If this is how you keep your own pet, please provide some comfort for your animal or find it a better home.

Best Dogs For Boar Hunting

When asking a wild boar hunter the best breed of dog for the job, opinions different. Many characteristics must combine to make a good wild pig dog, but popular breeds are often the cur, feist, pit bull, or American bulldog. Regardless of the breed, the best dog for the job is one that has great stamina for tracking these pigs.

While boars were introduced to the country when settlers bought their domesticated pigs and allowed them to run loose. Because pigs are of high intelligence, they were able to adapt and thrive and breed. It was not long before their numbers had increased exponentially and a dog was needed to control the population. The wild boars were not only known for being aggressive towards people they encountered, but they also ruin local vegetation and can harm small species in the area.

There are some things to know before setting out on a wild boar hunt; primarily that the worst time to hunt these animals is in Decemeber when litters are born. The sow becomes fiercely protective over her young, so not only can a hunter's dogs get harmed, but even the hunter himself. The sow makes a small depression in the earth where she lines it with grass and branches and has her offspring. When being hunted, the boar takes cover in dense thickets.

The cur is one dog with a great wild boar hunting reputation. They are capable and loyal, and have the ability to run long distances for a great amount of time. Many hunters also use the American bulldog for the wild boar hunt, although there are different variations of this breed. Many hunters do not use the Johnson line, which was bred with an English bulldog and a mastiff. However, the Scott lines are used as they were bred to be used for big game such as the boar.

It's important to know local laws and regulations before heading out on your wild boar hunting trip. Only fifteen states offer wild boar hunting; Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. The laws vary in each of these areas, so doing your research will pay off, allowing the hunter a safe and legal wild boar hunt. Some hunters prefer to hire a guide, in which case they can suggest the proper equipment necessary for the hunt.

The Cone Collar For Dogs

A great deal of time is spent on people trying to find dog supplies online with varying success. It has been discussed previously as to things to look for when doing your dog supply search. Things like quality over price that sort of thing. This will again be discussed in the future for an array of topics but today we're going to focus on dog supplies that come into play when your dog returns from the vet.

Yes, I'm sure you've had to deal with it before. In most cases its when your dog has gone through that period where the vet recommends, as proceeds to accomplish, the removal of the sexual organs. It's an advisable and necessary part of a dogs life. But immediately proceeding this experience is the wait for the dog to get better.

This process usually takes 10 – 14 days. For the first two or three days you dog will be in an amount of pain that will take on various forms depending on the personality of your dog. Some may simply lay down on their bed and only move to eat or drink and go outside. Others will try to act normally but, upon noticing something is missing will spend their time dancing around the room and whining a bit. Do not worry because this is normal and it will go away. The only tough part for dog lovers is having to wait out the recovery time.

In most cases stitches will be used to close any incisions made during the surgery. When it comes to this it's important to watch your dog closely, especially if the dog is a "licker". Licking a wound is the dogs natural way of trying to clean it and sooth pain. But in this case licking can cause irritation to the wound and can help spread bacteria around it. Also, in most cases, licking is a precursor to biting and chewing. Left on their own, most dogs will have stitches removed. This is dangerous and in the event that is happens would require immediate attention and new stitches put in.

This is a bag thing for several reasons. When the dog requires to have stitches put back in the vet will have to readminister anesthetic. Limiting the dogs exposure to this is recommend which is why its used only when necessary. To avoid this from happening most vets recommend a special dog supply in order to stop the dog from chewing or biting their wound. It's a dog cone or e-collar. They're the cone shaped collars that attach to the dogs regular collar. With this the dog is unable to reach it's hind quarters and therefore is stopped from irritating the area.

The cones come in different sizes for the different size dogs obviously. But they are generally the same and usually cost about $ 10 and your vet. You may be able to find them cheaper or more expensive depending on where you buy dog ??supplies and how much of a quality dog ??supply you wish you purchase. Either way they each have the same affect.

As you could expect the majority of dogs that are required to wear these collars are not happy about it. Like their reactions to recovering from surgery their reactions to having a plastic collar strapped to their heads will be just as varied. Anywhere from ensuing in a constant struggle to remove the cone by banging their head on anything near and pawing incessantly at it to simply standing in the middle of the room and refusing to lay down until they're so tired they pass out. Again, just another one of the issues a dog owner needs to go through their their dog is recovering from surgery.

When it comes to looking for the right cone for your dog there are some who would go about their process of trying to find dog supplies online and would prefer to purchase the dog supply right from their usually place. This is fine but remember it's an important part of some dogs recovery. Even if the dog is not normally a chewer they can be unpredictable in their conditions, especially when they are sleepy and you're unable to watch them.

So if your dog has recently gone through a surgery and have to wear a dog cone then make sure you keep them as comfortable as possible and continue to remind yourself that despite their dislike of it, it's for their benefit and in a few days when their stitches and healed and it is not bothering them so much it can be removed and the dog will be on their way to normal.

When trying to find go supplies online remember that it is not always dog toys or food that is important. These items used for the dog to become healthy again are just as important. So make sure you apply the same tips to these supplies that you would to others.

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs – Signs, Symptoms and Solutions

Unfortunately, hip dysplasia in dogs is a very common problem, especially among large breeds. But do not let that stop you from enjoying the companionship of a Golden Retriever or any other big buddy out of fear for what the future might hold. Here's what you need to know.

What is Hip Dysplasia?

The word "dysplasia" literally means abnormal development. It happens when looseness in a dog's hip joint keeps the ball at the top of the thighbone from fitting snugly into the socket in the hip. It may be in only one hip, or both of them.

The constant friction caused by this misfit historically damages the joint. This damage tends to get worse with time, and the dog often develops arthritis, as well. Old age just is not much fun for a dog suffering from this joint problem.

Signs and Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

How did this happen, anyway? If a dog is going to be afflicted with this problem, he's usually born with it – though it may not develop for several years. It can show up sooner if a large breed dog grows too quickly as a puppy, or if it does a lot of jumping and running on slick floors or concrete at an early age.

Here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Having difficulty standing up after sitting or lying down
  • Having difficulty walking, jumping, or going up and down stairs
  • Preferring to sit with both legs together on one side of his body
  • Letting you know it hurts when you touch his rear legs and hips
  • Doing the "bunny hop" when he runs, by keeping both rear legs together

An x-ray is the only sure way to diagnose canine hip dysplasia. The best age for a definite diagnosis is between 12 and 18 months. Some affected dogs do not show any symptoms at all for several years. (They're the "tough guys," I guess.)

Solutions for Canine Hip Dysplasia

So can anything be done for these poor pooches? Well, that depends on how bad the problem is. If your dog has a mild case, you can keep him reliably comfortable with weight control, moderate exercise, and pain relievers (from your vet) when he needs them.

In more severe cases, the best treatment for hip dysplasia is surgery to repair some of the damage and lessen the pain. In fact, the hips can even be replaced with Teflon hips, although that's a more expensive route to go, as you can imagine.

Here are a few ways to help your dysplastic dog be more comfortable:

  • Work with your vet to monitor your puppy's growth
  • Keep your adult dog at a healthy weight
  • Help your dog get a moderate amount of exercise, either from gentle walks or easy swimming sessions
  • Dish out the pain relievers when you can see your dog is hurting

Work with your vet to make sure your canine companion is as comfortable as possible, no matter how mild or severe his symptoms might be. Hip dysplasia in dogs does not need to destroy your pooch's quality of life.

Quick Tips To Stop Dog Barking

Many dog ??owners are faced with the issue of their dogs barking too much. It not only is a problem for the owner but also for neighbors. A guide to stop dog barking would be good if it aimed at reducing excess barking and not completely silencing the dog. A dog that barks every once in a while warning of guests is a good thing. Training a dog to bark only at certain times is not easy. It's also not impossible.

The first thing to do in stopping barking is to find out why your dog is barking. Yes there is more than one reason. That's like saying that when a baby wears it's only for one reason. Dogs bark for reasons which can include territory, wanting something, playing, danger, other animals, if they're alone, trapped, dominating, bored or looking for a response from their pack. Usually dogs do not just bark for nothing. They have very acute senses of hearing and may be barking at something you do not know is even there.

A guide to stop dog barking must train your dog to understand what is acceptable and what is not. If your dog has no idea of ??its boundaries then it'll do whatever it wants. Make sure you train with some knowledge as you may end up positively reinforcing its barking when trying to get rid of it.

The biggest mistake in trying to stop barking is yelling and hollering at the dog. This actually makes the dog feel like it is doing something right. Also, when dogs bark a lot while outside, some people let them in the house. This is not a good idea and they may start to bark simply to gain entrance into the house.

Some people get so desperate at training their dog not to bark that they are beginning to contemplate surgery to stop barking. Training is a much better idea. Psychological rewards and reinforcing of behavior is the first step.

What A Boxer Dog Needs

Despite this breed's popularity, some people are not very much interested in keeping a Boxer dog as a pet. One reason sometimes is that, this breed is a fraction of a disease that could eventually deteriorate the health. When your Boxer dog is sick, you need to take him to the vet of course, that is if you want him to be treated. Laboratory tests, medicines and surgeries are few of the many things needed to nurse back your dog to healthy life. These things will also cause your vet bills to rise especially in the absence of pet insurance. But, in fact, there is really no reason to hold back yourselves in taking a Boxer dog home. Be glad, for these dilemmas can be very much prevented provided you know what to get and what this breed needs.

If you are planning to take home a puppy, look for one from a responsible dog breeder. A responsible dog breeder screens the breeding stock before witnessing to make sure that these animals do not carry diseases or any problem in their genes. This will prevent the passing of faulty hits from generation to generation. You can also adopt a dog from Shelters. Not all abandoned dogs in shelters are problematic dogs. In fact, most of them are already housetrained and have completed their vaccinations. They were given up or abandoned by their previous owners maybe because they can not provide these animals with the things they needed to grow. In addition, you will be helping the community by freeing one space in the shelter to accommodate another pitiful abandoned dog.

But before deciding to finally take home a dog, you must take into consideration the things necessary to maintain good health and that they will grow up with human acceptable habits and behaviors. Since these square-jawed dogs are active and playful creatures, they need proper exercise not just for their health but also to prevent boredom-associated behaviors such as chewing and digging. This breed should not be left alone for too long with nothing to play or occupy his mind, else, he will end up feasting on your favorite shoes. Intelligence is another remarkable trait of a Boxer dog. However, because of their intelligence in addition to being a working breed, they earned a reputation of being headstrong and that requires positive reinforcement training techniques.

As for the nutrition, they should be given with a premium dog food diet and should be prohibited with spicy and rich table scraps. They should be fed about two times daily and should not be allowed to indulge in strenuous exercise right after meals. These techniques decrease the likelihood of bloat as well as other intestinal problems to occur. You must know also that because of the brachycephalic head, they are sensitive to extreme temperatures. They do not do well with high heat or humidity and have difficulties in maintaining their body temperature, so it is best to let your dog stay inside the house.

Boxer dogs are strong dogs. But despite the strength, the fact remains that a Boxer dog is still a dog that will do anything to make you happy and earn your attention. So do not deprive him of those.

How to Train Your Dog Not to Bite – 3 Tips to Get Your Dog Not to Bite

Dogs sometimes bite, and when they bite they could result in you losing your dog if someone is seriously hurt. No one wants their dog to bite a friend, so it is important to know how to train your dog not to bite. A biting dog is a dog no one wants to pet – for good reason!

First, you should start training your dog not to bite at an early age, usually at about six weeks of age.

Biting Hurts
Your puppy should know that biting you hurts and when they bite you should say "ouch!" in a sharp tone. You can even yelp like a dog. This teachers the dog that they are too rough and they will actually learn from that and be more gentle.

Follow These Training Tips
If your puppy is not quite learning from you saying "ouch", then you can use these tips instead for how to train your dog not to bite.

1. If your dog bites you, leave the room and let the dog remain alone. These teachers them that if they bite too hard, they lose their friend to play with.

2. Remember to be very persistent with your training and do not ever think that it is cute because it will not be when they are older.

3. If your puppy licks your hand, give them praise.

Biting At Food
Dogs like food … and they bite it, so what do you do if it is in your hand?

Hold your dog's food in your closed hand and say "off". When the puppy has not touched your hand, you can say "take it" and open your hand. This teachers the dog that "off" means they should not bite.

Treats and positive reinforcement are important in learning how to train your dog not to bite.