The Importance of Winter Grooming for Dogs

Your dog seems irritated, and you’re confused. He’s been fed, walked, played with, and was even offered a sleeping spot on the bed (even though you both know he shouldn’t be up there). It’s freezing outside, but even when he’s indoors with the heat blasting, you can still tell he’s unhappy. So what exactly is wrong? Well, the immediate weather indoors or outdoors probably isn’t the main upset to your canine – it’s what’s happening to his body. There are a number of longstanding myths surrounding pup treatment in the winter, the worst being the immediate protection provided by their fur, or how unaffected they are by indoor heating systems. Let’s debunk these. How Your Dog’s Coat is Affected by Winter Weather Whether your dog has a thick or thin, long or short coat of hair, they are affected by the weather outside. With rain, sleet, snow, or any sort of dampness, the moisture has the tendency to come into direct contact with your dog’s actual skin, as the fur mainly provides warmth – it isn’t exactly a water-shield. This dampness coupled with the intense heat that your dog feels when you return inside from the wet cold is a breeding ground for bacteria, providing the perfect conditions for it to grow and spread if regular grooming doesn’t occur. This has the potential to make your dog itchy and irritable, which could explain his behavior. As if the dampness wasn’t already bad enough, it also creates danger when moist fur sticks together in clumps, which makes it difficult to spot out any lumps, spots, or rashes that are irregular...

Tips for Handling Your Dog During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year where you can catch up with family and friends and show off your baking skills. For your dog however, Thanksgiving can be a bit overwhelming — especially if it’s their first one. At Canine College, our dog training professionals have often been asked what the best approach would be to making sure dogs are safe and happy during the holiday. We’ve included a few crucial tips for you and your family members that won’t detract from meal prep and socializing. How To Handle Your Dog During Thanksgiving Review Commands. If you’ve been training your dog with us at Canine College, then now is the time to practice some of those commands you and your pup have learned. Review sit, stay, heel and other basic commands that will prevent your dog from charging at guests as they enter the door or from bolting out of your home as soon as they get the opportunity. Establish a Safe Zone. Most dogs have a place in the house they go to if they are feeling threatened or scared. Be sure that they have access to this space once your guests start arriving. Dogs who aren’t familiar with a particular person may feel threatened, even if your dog is friendly and lovable. Also don’t forget to discuss with your guests about whether or not they will also be bringing their furry friends with them — as this could end up being an issue. Even the nicest dogs may get territorial. Always have a place where you can separate your dog from other guests’ pets. Reduce Begging. This may be...

5 Signs Your Dog Needs Obedience Training

As pet owners, we often believe our pets are perfect just the way they are. Sometimes we may even believe that we can train our dogs ourselves; we’ve made the commitment to create a wonderful house pet on our own. However, not all situations end up as planned when it comes to owning a new puppy. Luckily at Canine College, we’ve got a quick list for you to review that can help you determine whether or not Elementary dog training at our Holbrook facility is right for your dog. Aggression. If your dog is showing aggression to other dogs, pets or humans, then it’s time to reassess your training methods and seek help from a professional trainer. Aggressive behavior includes snarling, biting, charging and barking. The chances are your dog is nervous, confused or scared and showing aggression as a coping mechanism. Jumping. “Down!” just sometimes won’t cut it. If your dog is a hyperactive breed that gets excited whenever a leaf falls or the doorbell rings, then more in-depth training is needed. At Canine College, we use positive reinforcement in order to instill better behavior. Barking. Whether your dog is barking in an aggressive manner, a friendly manner or a territorial manner, excessive barking should not be tolerated. When living in the greater Boston area, it can be quite easy to create unhappy neighbors with a dog that barks constantly. Leash Pulling. It’s important to bring your dog out for daily walks in order for them to release some energy (among other things) and get familiar with their surrounding environment. At our Holbrook dog training facility we specialize in both on and...

How Early Can My Puppy Learn Commands?

From the moment they open their eyes and start to walk, puppies are constantly learning from both humans and other dogs. If you purchased your new puppy from a breeder, then chances are that breeder has already begun to socialize the puppy and maybe even taught it basic commands. If you’ve adopted a puppy from a shelter, then you may want to assume that it has no prior training (a test of issuing simple commands will determine if this is true). Start with Simple Commands For those looking to start training their puppy early, our dog training professionals recommend starting as early as 7 to 8 weeks old. Be sure to start off with basic commands such as “sit” “stay” and “down” so as not to confuse or overwhelm your puppy. It’s important to keep in mind that they have short attention spans because they are continuing to process and learn about their new environment — so have some patience! Preferred Training Methods When it comes to reinforcement, Canine College believes in positive reinforcement. This type of psychological training involves rewarding your dog for good behavior and withholding rewards for poor or wrong behavior. Some examples of positive reinforcement include verbal praise (“Good dog!”), physical praise (belly rubs), or dishing out a treat or two in instances of exceptionally good behavior (keep the treats to a minimum!). If you’re in need of some professional pointers or simply need some help training your puppy, contact Canine College and enroll in our Puppy Kindergarten or Elementary I training...

Losing Daylight: How To Keep Your Dog Seen

It’s officially fall now and that means we can expect to see the days grow significantly shorter. For us dog-owners, the two most convenient times of the day (before work in the morning and after work or dinner in the evening) are affected by the loss of daylight. It’s also during this time of year that more pedestrian accidents happen. In order to avoid an accident and to keep you and your dog visible while on your walks, here are a few tips and tricks to abide by. High-Vis Clothing. Wearing neon colors isn’t just something people used to do in the 80’s. Head over to your nearest outdoor recreation store and purchase some high visibility clothing. Anything that’s reflective will help you and your dog get noticed by drivers. Look for bright yellows, oranges, greens and pinks. There are even high-vis clothing options for your dog! Light It Up. If high-visibility clothing isn’t your thing, then definitely consider purchasing a headlamp or clip-on light. Something as simple as a blinking red light can quickly tell drivers that they need to share the road. There are also dog leashes and collars that light up. Don’t rule out the traditional flashlight either. Go In A Group. The more the merrier and in this case bringing a friend or two (and their dogs) is a better idea once the sun is setting. There’s bound to be someone in the group wearing high-visibility clothing or with a light so that you can all be seen. If you’re interested in walking your dog with a group but are concerned that your dog won’t get along with...

Canine College Warns Of Lingering Presence of Ticks

Fall season is upon us, which means we dog owners don’t have to worry about ticks anymore… right? Wrong. How Ticks Became a Problem in Massachusetts Contrary to popular belief, ticks are hardy creatures that won’t go away just because it’s getting a little bit colder during the night in Massachusetts. Ticks have become more widespread throughout the New England area due to reforestation. As state and local governments make moves to return land to a “forever wild” state, those new patches of green will first enter a weed, low grass and shrub stage — and these low-lying plants happen to be ideal grazing for deer. With the deer come the ticks (their main source of food). Why Ticks Are a Problem for Dogs To ticks, a meal is a meal whether it be from a deer or a dog, or even a human. As these green spaces continue to pop up around the state there suddenly becomes a large demand for hiking and nature trails; and these trails are oftentimes pet friendly. The Fall season is one of the most beautiful times in New England, but it’s important to be mindful that ticks are still active during September and October. In fact, many species of ticks will survive as long as the weather doesn’t dip below 45 degrees. One also can’t guarantee that the first frost of the season will kill adult ticks. How To Prepare Lyme disease is a real threat to both you and your dog. If caught early, there shouldn’t be any lasting side-effects. However, it’s better to be prepared. Be sure that you are...
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