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Archive for the ‘Dog Training’ Category

by guest blogger Claire Jorge

Planning to get a puppy is something that truly puts a spark of excitement in dog lovers; and the first time that you see and hold your puppy is not only a thrilling moment, but a happy one as well. You spend the day playing and cuddling your puppy, and getting so much pleasure out of the experience; and then came the puppy’s first night away from its mother. You put your puppy in its place, preparing it for bed. You put water and maybe a few toys to keep it occupied during the night. You turn off the lights and go to bed. Then, the whining starts. When this happens, you do everything to make it stop. But are you doing it correctly? Also, why is the dog whining in the first place?

Apart from growling and barking, another way that dogs communicate with humans is by whining. There are different reasons why puppies or dogs whine. Before you employ means to discipline your dog or call Cesar Millan, it is best to understand why it’s whining in the first place. This way, you’ll know how to approach the problem the right way. Remember that various breeds are pretty impressionable and doing the wrong thing could actually exacerbate instead of improve the problem.

Like kids, puppies also cry when they miss their moms. This is demonstrated through whining, particularly on its first night in a new home. Dogs also whine, and there are various reasons for this as well. It may be due to pain, anxiety or they may be in need of something, such as food, water or attention. So, here are a few things that could help your puppy get more comfortable; and thus, reduce or alleviate whining. These tips are also useful for those with more mature dogs.

Create a Warm and Comfortable Environment

Make sure that your puppy has a warm and comfortable place to sleep in. Puppies often cuddle with their moms and siblings, and they are so used to being enveloped by something warm. Keeping puppies warm is also necessary since these animals are too young to have enough fat or fur that helps in protecting them from extreme cold.

Let It Know You’re Nearby

If possible, don’t leave a new puppy outside. Have it somewhere near where it can smell your presence. A puppy may whine because it feels unsafe or unsure. Hence, having the scent of its pack leader, which is you, nearby, will help in calming it down. Try putting the puppy’s crate in your room or have it snuggle in a shirt or any cloth that has your scent. If the whining doesn’t stop, ignore it. Don’t have the dog sleep in bed with you as it will learn that whining means that it will then be taken to your bed.

Bladder Control

Puppies are small and their bodily systems aren’t exactly mature yet. This is why their bladders only hold a small amount of urine. So, when your puppy whines, it could mean that it needs to go to the toilet. You may have to take your puppy outside to do its business every two hours. Though it may seem like a lot of work, it’s a great way to toilet train your puppy at a very early age.

Upset Dog

A dog can get upset if it senses that something is not right with its environment. Maybe someone it doesn’t recognize is close by or maybe he is worried about the presence of another animal. As a dog owner, it’s important to learn how to differentiate your dog’s whines so that it will become easier for you to know why it’s whining and address the problem appropriately.

Anxious Dog

Dogs also experience separation anxiety. When they do, they express this through whining. It’s a vocalization that they want to become reunited with their owners.

Dog in Pain

Dogs in pain also whine. When your dog suddenly whines for no apparent reason, have it checked by a vet. It may be in pain or maybe it’s not feeling well.

Claire Jorge is a skilled vet who regularly contributes helpful blogs to recognized animal websites. She provides guidance to pet owners, basing her advice on her experiences at Miami Animal Hospital. She currently lives with her beautiful Akitas, Betsy and Mae, which are well-trained protection dogs.

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Australian Shepherds are very intelligent and very strong-willed dogs. My Aussie, Kaycee, likes to be the one to call the shots. She is very animated and, at times, argumentative! Since she was little she has never been very fond of the bathtub. So when she dropped her monkey into the bathtub, she became very anxious about how to get it out. I decided this was an opportunity to help her conquer her fear of the bathtub, and let her decide how to retrieve her toy with just a little encouragement and praise from me.

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byguest blogger Dr. Susan Wright, DMV

Dog owners want their dog to be obedient, and listen and respond appropriately when they are commanded to. However, the result of an obedient dog requires a lot of time and attention in training your pup to follow your lead. The best-case scenario to obtain an obedient dog is to train your dog at the ideal time. There are certain periods of a dog’s life where it is easier to mold than others, and this is when the dog is still a young puppy. While any dog can be trained and habits can be broken, it is most ideal to have these lessened learned while the dog is still young.

Is anybody watching?

Start Young

So when is the best time to begin obedience training? Typically, the best period to start training your dog is between 7 and 16 weeks of age. This age is ideal because the puppy has had the adequate time to grow, develop and be nurtured by his mother and learn imperative dog socialization from his littermates. When you first adopt a puppy, your dog begins to interact and live with people. This is also when your dog will learn habits that may stick with him through adulthood.  Make sure you are clear on your stance about basic behavior patterns that you will accept and not tolerate, like biting, chewing aggressiveness etc.

Keep Training Brief & At Home

As your dog is still young and susceptible to some diseases it is best to keep the obedience training at home alone and begin with simple commands.  Work with your dog to understand how to sit, stay, lay down and come. Since your dog will be young and have a short attention span it is important to keep the training sessions brief and condensed, but repeat them often daily. Start out with five minute training sessions, repeated five to seven times a day. You may find it is best to work on one command at a time, and introduce others one at a time as your dog becomes proficient in leaning the skill.

Stay Positive & Creative

The best method to teach your dog is using positive learning, or positive reinforcement. Reward your dog for doing what you want him to do, verses scolding him when he does not. Dogs naturally want to delight their alpha dog, which is you, so when they receive love, attention and praise they will want to repeat the behavior to receive more of the good attention. When you are training your dog, incorporate lessons throughout the day with different activities to help teach your dog how they will use the skill and to make training fun. For example, ask your dog to sit and stay while you go grab his food to feed him. This will help your dog practice the commands and control – especially when he really wants to eat!

Reinforcing Behavior

Once your dog has some age, you might consider professional training to reinforce what you have already taught your dog. You of course may also continue training your dog at home and introduce your own distractions. It is also important to keep your dog involved in socializing with other animals, either through playtime with a neighbor dog or visits to a local dog park. Most importantly understand that obedience training is a life-long commitment to your dog.

Dr. Susan Wright DMV is a veterinarian with more than a decade of experience. Susan is a writer and serves as a dog bark collar expert. Dr. Wright and her staff share their love of dogs both professionally and personally by writing informational and entertaining pieces on the proper care of domestic animals.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

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by guest blogger Dr. Susan Wright, DMV

Puppy needs attention

We see it all so often that it almost seems natural, but no matter how often we see a dog chasing a car, we all still wonder what is going on in the dog’s brain to make him want to chase a car. While we know a dog’s mind is not as developed as a human brain — which is why it is so important to consistently train your dog with positive reinforcement — we ponder at what the panting dog, chasing after the car is doing or hoping to accomplish.

Fulfilling a Natural Desire

Well the act may seem natural because in fact it is natural. Dogs are connected in their long 

line of genealogy to wild dogs and even in some cases wolves. No matter how domesticated they are, these past connections give dogs inkling to have an enhanced prey drive. Simply put, dogs automatically are attracted to things that are moving away from them and they want to chase it. Be it a tennis ball, a rope toy, Frisbee, kids riding bikes, joggers or cars driving past, if the dog is free and able they will likely chase it/them.

Achieving an Adrenaline Rush

Today’s dogs are far enough removed that the chase is not about a kill in the end result, more of just a fun adrenaline rush for the dog to do his best to chase the object and even try to entice it/them in a game of chase. If you have been to a dog park or had a doggie play date lately, you know firsthand how excited dogs get when they are participating in an intense, friendly game of tag. They enjoy the chase, the catch and then want to play repeatedly. This act is all related back to their natural instinct of having a prey drive.

Training, Safety Precautions & Exercise

So the next time you see a dog chasing a car you can rest assured that, while the act is dangerous, it is natural for the dog. Responsible dog owners should do their best to work with dogs to change this behavior through training and the use of safety measures like installing an invisible fence around their property to help keep their dog safe and within the allowed roaming area. However, no amount of safety precautions should ever be enough to leave your dog roaming around outside without the owner monitoring their dog.
Unfortunately, there is always a chance that the first time a dog escapes it could be their last time, especially if the dog is a car chaser! Rather, owners should spend outdoor time with their dog together and even spark their natural need to chase by starting a game of chase with their four-legged best pal! Not only will the act help fulfill the dog’s natural tendency and need to chase, the time spent is great exercise for both the owner and the dog – a win-win as they spend quality time with one another, getting back to the basics of why they adopted a dog in the first place!

Dr. Susan Wright DMV is a seasoned veterinarian, a wireless dog fence expert. Dr. Wright and her staff provide informative information to dog owners on how to provide a safe dog environment.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

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by guest blogger Susan Wright

Dog barking through fence

How many times have you encountered a dog owner, explaining away their dog’s aggressive nature, by blaming it on the breed? The fact is, the owner is wrong; aggression is a learned behavior, not one that any breed is genetically predisposed to exhibit. There are some breeds that seem to appear in the news more often than others for attacking people. Most often, their aggressive attitude is due to the way they have been trained and punished by their owners.

The Advantage of Proper Training

When given the appropriate training and home atmosphere, even dogs known best for their aggressive personalities’ are teachable and can become people friendly and highly affectionate.

It is better a dog bark a warning for someone to keep away, than to have one that will bite first. Some of the warnings a dog might show, which tells you to stay clear of them are, growling, snarling, snapping and trying to attack while on a leash. There are precautions to take for your dog’s safety as well as for people while out for daily exercise. Typically, a muzzle or head harness assures the safety of everyone you may encounter.

Deliberate Aggression

There are owners that deliberately train their dogs to be aggressive. For some reason, it makes the owner feel strong and protected. All dogs will show aggression at some point, especially when they are startled, by something or someone coming at them out of nowhere.

Dogs will show aggression when they are taking a stand marking their territory, feeling vulnerable to attack by humans or other dogs, sick, guarding their toys or food, responding to discipline or while breeding.

Cause of Aggression

If you know what is causing your dog to be aggressive, you can then teach them how to respond in a gentler way, when the situation arises in the future. Punishment will only cause more aggression, use a gentle but firm and consistent training method to teach your dog how to become a more gentle and loving companion.

All breeds need to be taught, humans are the leaders of the pack. If there are children in the home, they need to be taught to handle their dog gently when playing with them. Children should also be taught to, teach the pet who the pack leader is. Some breeds are not recommended for the elderly or families with small children. Dog seekers should research breeds before bringing a new dog into their home.

Susan Wright provides care for family pets as a veterinarian, is a writer and dog owner that prefers to keep her dogs safe with wireless dog fences.

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by guest blogger Susan Wright, DMV

In days gone by, dogs were generally used for herding, hunting or working on farms. In today’s world, dogs are used in numerous ways. We now have therapy and service dogs. These dogs are trained to aid people with disabilities such as physical, emotional and health impairments.  Due to this fact, service and assistant dogs are not considered pets, they are allowed in areas, which other dogs never have access to.

Attentive and alert dog

·    When therapist use dogs to assist them with patients, the dogs provide the patient with the opportunity to give affection as well as receive it. These dogs have been used successfully in children’s hospitals as well as nursing homes. Patients receive the healing undivided attention and affection from these dogs, which we all crave.
·    Some dogs are trained to alert their owners of the onset of an epileptic seizure, hours in advance; it is a mystery as to how these dogs predict a seizure with such accuracy. Researchers indicate this ability or instinct is natural within some dogs, these dogs using their sense of smell can detect a chemical and electrical change within their owner’s body.
·    Other dogs seem to have an incredible skill and ability to detect in advance, a sudden drop in a diabetic’s blood sugar.  These remarkable dogs have been acknowledged in the medical field for saving their owners lives. It is a shame that medical insurance companies will not cover the cost of these alert dogs, which could possibly save a number of lives every year.
·    People with limited range of motion, such as those who are practically paralyzed use service dogs, which are trained for the mobility impaired. These dogs are used for retrieving items, carrying items and may even help to pull their owners wheelchair. Service dogs are also used for patients with balance and stability issues.
·    Hearing impaired owners benefit from professionally trained companion dogs. The National Education for Assistant Dogs Services train and provide companion dogs for those who are hearing impaired  this includes veterans and people suffering from autism. Service dogs provide vital assistance, love and companionship for their owners.
·    One of the most well-known of all service dogs is the Seeing Eye Guide Dog. This service dog allows their visually impaired owner to move about safely in their homes as well out in the public. The dog also allows their owners to have a greater sense of independence. Seeing Eye dogs originally came into play after World War 1, to assist veterans which came home visually impaired.

Susan Wright DMV is a vet, a dog expert and freelance writer. Susan shares articles on health conditions as they relate to dogs to help dog owners learn how to properly care for their pets.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

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One of the things I love about my Australian Shepherd is her boundless energy. Even at 9 years old she is always up for an adventure. Though she never tires of the games and activities she already knows and love, I like to find new ways to stimulate her brain and muscles. In a recent search for activities you can do with your dog, I came across several interesting activities to enjoy with your dog. Here are just a few: Disc dog, commonly called Frisbee dog, is where dogs and their disc throwing owners compete in events such as distance and freestyle catching. It’s a fun sport for you and your dog. And, if your dog already knows how to play Frisbee, adding the element of competition could be very rewarding.

Colorado Disc dog schedule,  Disc dog clubs

Search and rescue is another activity that is not only fun for you and your dog, but also a wonderful way to give back to your

Dog in training

community. Search and rescue volunteers usually meet once a month or several times a year as a group for training and practice drills. As for your dog, he/she will need to be trained to track by scent. The dogchannel.com has a good article that can help you get started, or a local dog trainer can be a good resource as well. Check with your local sheriff’s office to find out more about the search and rescue organizations and information.

With summer approaching it’s the perfect time to enjoy the sport of Dock jumping also known as dock diving. This is a sport where dogs compete in jumping for distance or height from a dock into a body of water. This is great fun for the whole family! Splash Dogs is a nationally recognized company that promotes events across the United States. Visit splashdogs.com for more information on this wet and wild sport!

These are just a few of the many activities to help stimulate and exercise your dog while creating an even deeper bond with your best friend.

Please add a comment below the activity you and your dog enjoy together.

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