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How to Turn Your Misbehaving Pup into Your Dream Dog

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Dog Training

Your dog is your furry best friend, though he isn’t always on his best behavior. Don’t let your dog develop bad habits that leave you in a state of frustration — instead, utilize techniques and tools to ensure good behavior. With these gadgets and tactics, and a lot of consistency on your part, your pup can learn how to behave.

Training

Dogs are smart and can easily pick up obedient habits, if they’re trained correctly. The earliest time to begin training is around four months — the older your dog is, the more difficult it will be to train them. You can teach your dog simple commands like “sit” and “lie down” if you model them yourself. First, say the one-word command, demonstrate the desired action and then give praise once the action is performed. The tone of your voice is something you should pay attention to; it is more important and effective than the specific words you use. When your dog has picked up the desired action and performs it well, make sure you reinforce their good behavior with a treat. Food is an excellent form of positive reinforcement when you begin the initial training, though eventually your dog should be weaned off the constant reward of treats.

Interactive Toys

If your dog tends to destroy items in your home or get into trouble when you’re away, there are simple measures you can take to stop this behavior. Interactive toys are a useful tool that will keep your pup entertained and reduce the likelihood of inappropriate behavior. Choose different kinds of toys that are engaging, like plush toys, squeaky toys, ropes, rubber bones and dog puzzles. Try out a variety of different toys, so you can find one works best for your dog.

Another interactive toy is a dog bone or stick that your dog can gnaw on for hours on end. Choose a chew or bone that is specifically meant for hours of gnawing, so your dog doesn’t end up with any bone shards cutting his mouth. Only Natural Pet has a variety of bones and bully sticks to help keep your dog out of trouble.

Remote Monitoring

Many dogs have separation anxiety when you are gone for extended periods, which results in bad behavior. You can keep an eye on Fido when you’re out of the house with a home camera security system. Install cameras around the exterior and interior of your house so you can check in on your dog and catch any inappropriate behavior. Lorex has top-quality HD security camera systems for reasonable prices to help you stay connected with your pup. Access live footage from your phone. Lorex also carries some products with two-way audio so you can give your dog commands from wherever you are.

Invisible Fence

If your dog has a proclivity to run away, he is at a greater risk of physical harm. Correct this unsafe misbehavior with an invisible fence to keep him in your yard. You can set boundaries around your yard with the invisible fence posts and have your dog wear a special collar with a receiver to keep him within the boundaries. When your dog’s collar receiver crosses into the signal field, he will be warned with an audible tone, then there will be a gentle static correction that reminds him he’s passed the limits of his boundaries. You can adjust the correction level so it is safe for your pet, depending on his size.

March 7, 2017 |

The Importance of Routine for Dogs

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Kandi

When we lost our almost 19-year old American Eskimo, Kandi, several things became apparent in our pack. Because of her declining health during the last 5 years of her life, attending to the daily needs of an aging dog began to create sets of ritualistic behavior for my entire family. Even though much of our actions centered around caring for Kandi, each of our other 3 dogs accepted these procedures as part of their daily routine. After her passing, much of the need to carry out our daily routines stopped. While we all mourned the loss of Kandi, our other 3 dogs – in some ways – were even more deeply affected.

For years, before bed and first thing in the morning, I had to carry Kandi down the steps so that she could go outside. She also got a "treat" every night for her daily medications and I would play with the other dogs while waiting for Kandi to do her business in the yard.

Three days after Kandi’s passing, when getting ready for bed we noticed our big girl, Sunshine, waiting by the back door. Even though all the dogs could easily get outside on their own through the dog door, she was waiting patiently. As I started to walk her outside, I noticed a huge smile on her face and the other dogs jumped up and started running down the steps too. After some before bedtime play, they got their treat like they used to get when Kandi was getting her medication. The next morning we started doing all the routines over again and the dogs have started slowly becoming their normal joyful selves.

We have always knew that routines were important for dogs, but we’ve learned that even if your daily rituals don’t happen to have them at the center of attention, daily repetition goes a long way in shaping your dog’s behavior and bringing much joy to their life.

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April 7, 2014 |

Basic Leash Training for Dogs (and You)

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dog leash training

dog leash training

Nothing can ruin a pleasant day like going for a walk with your dog dragging you behind him as he pulls you and tugs your arm out of socket. If this sounds all too familiar, it might just be time to try a few positive reward system training techniques to help both your dog and you have a nice time on walks.

1. Before training, get some energy out

Play fetch in the yard or have open free-play before you attempt to wrangle in all of your dog’s energy and teach him proper etiquette. This will help him to focus better and make the training more success-oriented, which is good for both of you.

2. Start with leash training in your own home or yard

Before you venture out into the great unknown of your neighborhood, start with baby steps. You will find that when you start in familiar territory, your dog is less distracted than if you were to start training right outside the neighbor’s house with the barking dog in the window and the kids playing in the yard.

3. Grab a handful of small treats or kibble for rewards

Small, healthy snacks, or kibble, are a great way to get and keep your dog’s attention. Start by making sure that your dog is aware of the snacks and have him start in a seated position next to your side. Then reward. See, it’s already fun! When you observe your dog paying attention to you, reward! Reward at random intervals and try to keep your dog’s attention at all times.

4. When you walk, make sure your dog walks alongside of you

And, when you stop, your dog stops too. The real reward of walking nicely on the leash is actually forward motion. If your dog starts to pull, stop walking, get your dog’s attention and start over. If your dog is walking nicely at your side, give frequent rewards while in motion, so it registers in his brain that he’s exhibiting good behavior. Your dog should be walking at your side, not 4 feet in front of you with you holding your arm outstretched to keep from falling over.

5. Stay the course

The stop, start, stop, start method of rewarding can be a frustrating process for humans. You may only get 3 feet successfully on your first training session, but it’s important to stay patient and keep practicing. Start with 10-20 minutes of leash training at a time to keep your nerves from unraveling. I promise, the feelings of frustration walking with a dog that pulls is much greater than the frustration that you might feel during the training process.

Learning good leash behavior is a skill that is mutually beneficial for you and your dog. It will allow you to bond and get exercise together, and will protect your rotator cuff in the process. If your dog just doesn’t seem to be picking up what you’re laying down, consider enrolling in a basic obedience class. There’s help around the corner!

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January 22, 2014 |
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