Trick Tuesday: Frisbee Vault

Welcome back to Trick Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

This week, we’ll be teaching our dog’s a Frisbee back vault!  This one is a bit more complicated.  Make sure you have a solid understanding of Frisbee basics.  If you missed last week’s Trick Tuesday where we introduced the “take” command, you can view the video here:

Method: Retrieving
Skill Level: Advanced
What you’ll need: Food, dog, frisbee

Happy training!!!

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4 Easy Steps to House Training Success

cute-wallpapers-wallpaper-animals-wallpapers-puppy-sleeping-cute-puppies-wallpaper-41287Housetraining can be a daunting task if you don’t go about it right.  With proper supervision and timely responses, any owner can have a fully housetrained puppy in no time.

1 – SUPERVISE – this really is the key.  The most crucial step in the process.  If you aren’t watching and the dog has an accident in the house, it’s a lost training opportunity.  Don’t think that disciplining after the fact will help.  It never will.  It’s crucial that you actively supervise your puppy so that any accidents can be caught as they occur and proper feedback can be given.  This may include a soft scold followed by bringing the puppy outside.  No harsh corrections are needed or warranted.  If you cannot supervise, use an appropriate crate.

2 – SCHEDULE – initially, this is very important.  Learn about your puppy and their bathroom habits.  Keeping a journal can be very helpful.  Most puppies will need to pee after sleeping, eating and playing.  Make sure you take them outside after these activities.  Use your leash to direct them where you want them to eliminate and praise them when they go.

3 – FEEDBACK – be sure that you are able to praise your puppy when they go outside and scold them when they go inside.  Any missed accidents are wasted opportunities and possible rehearsals of the wrong behaviour.  This will work against you.

4 – RESPONSIBILITY – once your puppy understands that they should eliminate outside, it’s time to put the onus of responsibility on them to ask to go there.  Decide how you’d like to have your dog notify you that they need to go out and set it up.  For example, you may want your pup to come to you, sit and stare.  When you need to take your puppy out, start with them at that door, ask them to sit and look at you and as their reward, open the door to allow them out.  As the scenario progresses, move further from the door.  Initially, just a step or two, then progress to another room.  Ask the puppy to sit and look at you, when they do, reward them by moving to the door and allowing them out.

With some diligence and information, any puppy can be well housetrained in no time!

Happy training!!!

Trick Tuesday: More Frisbee Skills – Teaching “Take”

Welcome back to Trick Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

This week, we will continue on with our dog’s Frisbee skills!  Starting with a basic “take” trick, we’ll progress to teaching them to jump over our leg to catch the Frisbee.  If you missed last week’s Trick Tuesday where we introduced the Frisbee, you can view the video here:

Method: Retrieving
Skill Level: Advanced
What you’ll need: Food, dog, frisbee

Happy training!!!

Boarding Dogs: 6 Steps to Limit Stress

melbourne-pet-kennelsBoarding can be a stressful experience for dogs and humans.  Being prepared and aware of some of the options and concerns can really help make it a reasonable experience for both yourself and your dog.

So what can you do to ensure a pleasant stay?

1 – Have a list of your concerns to ask the business.  These should include things like:

  • Veterinary information and what steps the facility will take in the event of an emergency
  • Insurance information for the boarding facility
  • Where will the dog be kept through the day/night?
  • What exercise the dog will get?
  • How many and what kind of dogs (if any) will be interacting with yours?
  • What kind of supervision will the interactions will get?
  • What inoculations are required?
  • What do they feed?  Some kennels will insist on feeding their own food while others want you to maintain your dog’s current diet.
  • How big will your dog’s area be?
  • Will they have an individual area?

2 – Bring some things that will help your dog feel at home.  These may include their favourite toys, beds and chews.  If you have a puppy or a dog who is likely to stress, the things you include should not be potential dangers if chewed.

3 – Pick the right type of boarding facility for your dog.  There are a few main styles which include:

– in home where you send your dog to someone’s home
– in home where someone else moves into your home
– kennel environment which can include a daycare

What dogs should go where?

In home:
– puppies – puppies can get put off easily by big, noisy environments.  Young puppies especially can have life altering experiences if they are put into overwhelming kennel situations.  The noise of the other dogs, unfamiliar environment and people can be really hard for a puppy to deal with.
– senior dogs – old dogs who are used to quiet environments may also find a kennel environment hard to deal with.  Physically, they may find the cold, hard floor to be too much, especially if they suffer form arthritis.

Kennel:
– Dogs who require a lot of exercise can benefit from an environment that provides stimulation through daycare or board & train programs.  Extra exercise and fun through the day will help them relax through the evening.

4 – Be sure to include a list of instructions such as medications, dietary or social restrictions, as well as anything else the staff should know about your dog.

5 – Try overnight first.  Set your dog up with a single day/night stay prior to your 2-week vacation to  help them acclimate to the new environment.  Let the staff know that you would like feedback on how the dog made out.

6 – Book early!  Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your dog’s stay.  This will lead to a rushed decision that may be the wrong one.  Doing your research and planning their boarding well in advance will ensure you feel confident about the decision you’ve made for their stay.

Enjoy your vacation!

Trick Tuesday: Introduce Your Dog to Frisbee Tricks

Welcome back to Trick Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

This week, we are going to start to teach our dogs some Frisbee skills!  In order to have a successful Frisbee dog, your dog must enjoy retrieving.  Teach them to first love bringing objects back to you before considering the game of Frisbee.

Method: Retrieving
Skill Level: Advanced
What you’ll need: Food, dog, frisbee

Happy training!!!

Christmas with Canines: Eliminate the Dangers!

11480754_sChristmas should be a magical time for all.  Don’t ruin your holiday with a trip to the Emergency Vet – be aware of a few Christmas dangers and keep everyone in your family safe this holiday season.

Things to be aware of:

  • Tinsel: Tinsel can be a tempting treat for dogs.  It’s shiny and fun to shred.  Swallowing pieces of tinsel can result in a bowel obstruction.  Even a well trained, older dog may take interest in something novel like tinsel, so try to block access to the tree when you can’t supervise.
  • Glass or plastic ornaments:  Some dogs, who like to crunch and destroy, may be temped by ornaments.  Keeping dogs away from temptations such as these when you can’t intervene is a good way to keep them safe.
  • Wrapped presents: If you’ve ever given your dog a wrapped gift to open, you’ll know that they are very good at quickly getting into them!  Remembering that their sense of smell is far greater than ours, there is a good chance that they can identify items high in scent and perfume even through shrink wrapping and containers.  Wrapped gifts of chocolate, soap, alcohol and other foods can be deadly if dogs sniff them out and get into them.
  • Christmas Trees, Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettia:  All of these can be mildly to severely toxic depending on how much is ingested.
  • Food:  Dogs love to eat!  If there are nuts, trays of cheese, fruit baskets, cakes, etc. left on the table and your dog is unsure of the rules, they may help themselves.  There are plenty of foods around on the holidays that may cause digestive upset or worse dangers for your dog.  Be aware of the household garbage as well.  Be sure your dog isn’t getting into turkey or chicken bones.  They can splinter and be lethal.

To ensure an enjoyable holiday for you and your canine, take care to supervise closely!  Even a reliably trained dog can fall to temptation when the right ones are presented.  Include them in the festivities so they can be part of the action, but have a place to tuck them away safely, like a crate or room, when the festivities become too busy to properly attend to the dog.

Trick Tuesday: Teach your dog to run backwards through your legs

Welcome back to Trick Tuesday!  Every Tuesday, another trick tutorial.

This week, we are going to teach your dogs to run backwards between our legs. We’ll do this by combining our “spin” trick with our “back up” trick.  If you missed the backup trick tutorial, you can view it here: http://youtu.be/tCJNt2maTto?list=UU5QwYlOxcT1higtcJVGzCCg

If you missed the spin trick tutorial, you can view it here:  http://youtu.be/hJza51DsXIM?list=PL7BBgLulhermwjuti9qot0-amu-AvJ72y

Method: Luring
Skill Level: Advanced
What you’ll need: Food, dog, conditioned reinforcer, previously taught tricks (back up & spin)

Happy training!!!