What to Expect at Puppy Training Classes

Congratulations! You’ve purchased a new puppy, or perhaps you’re thinking about purchasing a new puppy. Either way, you’re probably considering puppy kindergarten for training. But did you know puppy training classes offer more than just that? Here are a few things you can expect your new pooch to learn from these classes. Housebreaking. One of the biggest concerns for new dog owners, housebreaking can be a difficult process for your puppy to master. Ask the trainer for tips and pointers on how to housetrain your dog. Many trainers will support a type of positive reinforcement approach and urge owners to reward puppies who do a good job. Socialization. Another major concern for you might be whether or not your puppy will get along well with other dogs or other types of pets. One of the benefits of taking a group dog training class is that your puppy will be exposed to other dogs, people, places, and situations. The more they are exposed to new stimuli, the more calm and accepting they will be when experiencing those stimuli again. Good Behavior. Puppy training classes will cover many of the basic behavior problems most dog owners go through. Expect to learn how to handle your puppy when they bite, jump, whine, or scratch. Again, positive reinforcement is a common best practice in these situations. A trainer will urge you to stay firm and consistent with your training methods. Obedience. Behavior training is different from obedience training. Obedience training will be covered during puppy kindergarten in order to instill commands early in the dog’s life. Every dog should know a few basic commands, such as to...

How To Teach Your Dog to Like Other Dogs

Just like humans, dogs will often pick and choose who they like and who they don’t, and often there isn’t much one can do about it. However, there are ways to help your dog at least cooperate with and tolerate other dogs of various ages and breeds. Socialization in the dog world is a complex process that is often misinterpreted as bad or unusual behavior when your dog doesn’t like someone else’s. Understand that older dogs will normally be less willing to get along with others due to the fact that they are past their “sensitive period” — a stage in life between 3 and 20 weeks where puppies respond well to social interaction. Adult dogs who have trouble socializing with other dogs will usually express the following behaviors when in the presence of other canines: Stiff body Averted eyes or head Licking their lips Yawning Growling or barking Staying close to their human family Ears flattened Neck hair raised If your canine companion expresses any of these signs, here are a few ways to remedy the anti-social situation. Find a friendly dog. Perhaps you have a few friends or neighbors you know of who has a genuinely calm and friendly dog. Slowly introduce your dog to this potential friend. One way would be to introduce a blanket or toy the other dog has used to your dog — that way they will become accustomed to their scent. Keep a neutral meeting ground. When you decide it’s time for your dog to meet that other friendly dog, be sure they are introduced in a neutral setting, such as on a walk...

Prevent Your Dog From Gaining Weight

Think that weight issues are just a human problem here in America? Think again. There’s always the age-old saying that “you are what you eat,” but it turns out your pet can also be affected by what you eat. Research shows that an estimated 54% of dogs and cats are overweight or obese in the United States, a statistic that is similar to adult humans. Keeping your dog healthy and fit can extend their life expectancy by an average of two years. Here’s how to start the slim-down journey. Step 1: See a Vet Many pet owners get caught up thinking that they can create a diet plan for their dog by themselves. However, it is best to see a veterinarian; these professionals will be able to determine the best diet for your pet’s age and breed. They will also be able to tell you by how many pounds your dog is overweight. Be prepared for the vet to ask you what the dog’s current diet is, how much exercise they get a week and other possible causes for the weight gain based on environmental factors. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition weighed in on possible environmental causes of weight gain, stating that “the main reason for the development of obesity is having a positive mismatch between energy intake and energy expenditure.” Step 2: Establish a Meal Plan As soon as the vet determines how many pounds overweight your dog is, they will be able to provide you with a diet regimen. Normally this will include both a change in type of food and change in amount of food given...

Dog Daycare Benefits

We all know the wonderful benefits of sending kids to daycare, but daycare doesn’t have to be just for your own child. According to the ASPCA, approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and each year more dog owners have decided that instead of leaving their four-legged friend at home, it would be best to drop them off at a place where they can roam outside the house. Daycare for dogs allows professional handlers to help keep your dog’s energy level in check. Too many times owners will come home to find that their favorite pair of shoes have been destroyed, or the trashcan has once again been upturned (some training may be in order here!). Dropping your pet off at daycare ensures that your dog will be adequately exercised by the time you pick them up at the end of the day. Pet owners can benefit from less stress and worry about what their home will look like upon returning home. Exposing your dog to other dogs will also help them become accustomed to seeing other breeds. So when you take them for a walk around your own neighborhood, your pet will be more familiar with seeing their own kind. The one who really benefits from doggy daycare however is the dog itself! Daycare is a great way to treat behavior problems that stem from too much energy. Other benefits include boredom and loneliness relief. There is no shortage of treats, toys, and friends at a dog daycare. Many dogs who are attached to their owners will experience separation anxiety from being alone all day....

It’s Never too Late to Train a Dog

It is never too late to train a dog, no matter how old. However, a dog owner must understand that in order to teach an old dog new tricks, the owner or professional trainer must have the skills, knowledge, and patience required to handle the job. Getting Started One of the most important takeaways in training an older dog is that they will most likely learn a behavior quicker through the reward, or positive reinforcement, method. This method involves telling or showing your dog the behavior you want them to perform. Once the dog performs the trick correctly, the owner will give them a treat. Be sure to attach a verbal command or gesture that will help prompt the dog at a later date to do the behavior. Be Patient & Optomistic Just like humans, the older a dog gets, the less capable they will be of performing physical behaviors that require a lot of energy. Anything over teaching the standard game of fetch could be too exhausted for your older canine. Be sure to set realistic expectations and goals for your dog so you both don’t become frustrated. Seeking the knowledge and wisdom from your local veterinarian can be of use before you start training. They will be able to determine whether or not your dog is capable of learning certain types of commands or tricks. They will also scan your dog for canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (canine dementia). Benefits The benefits of training an older dog that may have developed some bad habits in his previous years are boundless. As any dog owner can attest to, training your dog...

How to Identify the 5 Most Common Canine Illnesses

Dog is man’s best friend. Our furry friends are always by our side to cheer us up when we’re down — and especially when we’re feeling a bit under the weather. Be sure to return the favor of being there for your special canine when they get sick. Of course, they won’t outwardly tell you what’s ailing them, so be sure to find out below what the five most common canine illnesses are, how to identify them, and what to do for treatment. Ear Infections This is probably the most common illness across all breeds. Many of the causes include allergies, ear mites, bacterial buildup, or even excessive hair growth within the ear canal.Symptoms include: -Constant scratching -Visible redness in the ear canal -Swelling -Head shaking -Discharge that may be brown, yellow, or bloody If you suspect an ear infection, take your dog to the vet. They will usually prescribe routine ear cleaning and topical medication. Worms These are common parasites that reside within your dog’s gut — usually the small or large intestine — and should not be taken lightly. Tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms all fall under this category.Symptoms: -Rugged or rough overall appearance -Change in appetite -Weight loss -Dragging their bottom on the ground Unfortunately the only way to truly determine if your dog has a worm or not, they must be taken to a vet. Depending on the type of worm will depend on the type of treatment, but it will usually include oral medication. Fleas Although a very common ailment for dogs, a flea problem is thankfully easy to treat — just be sure to...
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