I’m about to reveal what you must know in order to intelligently choose a professional dog trainer.
Okay, let’s begin.
Realizing that your dog has gone missing can be an extremely stressful moment. It is likely that you consider them to be one of the family, so finding that they have gotten loose is much like realizing that a child has wandered off. This can be a moment filled with lots of emotion, which then can lead to irrational thinking. The key to finding your dog as soon as possible is keeping your mind straight and taking the right steps from the very beginning.
The first instinct that many people have is to go looking for their lost pet. While this may result in finding them quickly, it can also waste time if you are the only one doing the search. If possible, you should have one person out searching while another person takes action by making the appropriate phone calls. If this is not feasible, you should try to take on both tasks at the same time.
While going about a street search, you will want to start by looking in the areas that you frequent with your pet. Dogs, like humans, are creatures of habit. You should look along the paths that you typically go for walks, parks and any homes in which your pet is drawn to, such as that neighbor with the dog that barks when you pass. These areas are what your dog is used to and are the most likely to draw their attention.
You will also want to call some local authorities. You should begin by calling your local police department to report that they are missing and inquire as to whether or not there have been sightings of your pet. They will likely need a good description of your animal. Be as thorough as possible including describing their breed, coloring, sex and whether or not they had a collar, and if so what it looks like.
You should also contact your local animal shelters. Many people take in lost pets but do not wish to bring them to a shelter or have them picked up by authorities out of fear that they could be euthanized. They will usually call, however, to inquire as to whether or not the pet has been reported missing. By reporting to these agencies, you are giving them a heads up to take notice of any calls that they might receive about your lost pet.
After you have completed these tasks and still have not found your lost dog, you will want to expand your search. Try knocking on the doors of your neighbors within the vicinity that you usually take him or her for walks. There is a good chance that they have seen your dog or taken them in.
If you still do not have luck, you should post their picture along with where they were last seen online. There are websites dedicated to helping people find their lost pets as well as Facebook pages that are local to you. Pet owners have found this to be an extremely useful tool in locating their lost pets. Some have even been found weeks and months after they went missing thanks to this particular resource. A good place to start is here: http://www.smartpettoysreview.com/chance-of-finding-lost-dog-after-24-hours/, you can also connect on Facebook – Smart Pet Toys Review
Finding that your beloved dog has gone missing can be nothing short of devastating. It is essential that you take the right steps to increase your chances of having them come home. The more resources that you make use of, the higher the chances are that they will be found safe and sound. Be sure to use them; you will be glad you had when they are found.
Your vet is a pretty significant figure in your dog’s life – and thus, in yours. Hopefully, you’ll only ever need him or her for routine checkups and preventative procedures; but just in case, it’s worth taking the time to develop a good relationship with a suitable vet, before you need their services.
Where to look:
Sure, you could just pick a vet at random from the Yellow Pages or from an Internet search; but having the right vet is crucial to your dog’s health and happiness (and, presumably, this plays at least some part in your own happiness and peace of mind as an owner, right?)
Think about it this way: if you were trying to choose a doctor for yourself, would you be happy to just select one at random from an impersonal list?
Probably not. You’d want somebody who comes highly recommended – somebody you feel like you can trust.
Your vet isn’t just your dog’s doctor; he or she is also the dentist, manicurist, psychologist, and – hopefully! – a friend. When you roll all these things up into one, you can see why it’s necessary to spend some time confirming that you’ve made the right choice.
The best place to start looking for a vet is by word of mouth. If you have any friends or relatives who take good care of their dogs, then that’s a great place to start: ask them who they’d recommend, and why. This last one is particularly important, because everyone has different priorities: for example, perhaps they like their own vet because he/she is a specialist in their own particular breed; or they don’t charge very much; or the clinic is only five minutes’ drive … their priorities are not necessarily yours, so it’s a good idea to make sure that your values coincide with the person giving the recommendations.
Another great place to find a vet is through local training clubs (Schutzhund, agility, herding classes, police K-9 academies, etc.) These organizations are almost guaranteed to place a great deal of importance on high-quality veterinary care, because the health and well-being of their dogs is such a priority.
Once you’ve got a list of vets that you’re interested in pursuing further, all you have to do is call up the clinic and explain that you’re looking to find a regular vet for your dog(s): can you come in for a quick chat, introduce your dog, and have a look at the premises? Read More
When I first heard about it I thought it was a joke. Dog toys that can be controlled with smartphones from anywhere. Who would ever need such a thing? But after a few days, I had to go away from my house for a full day. Something I rarely do because it requires me to get a dogsitter. That’s when I remembered this article on the Smart Pet Toys website .
Dogs in general and mine in particularly are not good at being alone. So if you leave them locked up for many hours in a house they can get a little crazy. We have all seen or heard about the destruction an anxious dog can bring to a living room.
The reason is that we have bred dogs for hundreds of years to be as well adapted to humans as possible. We have emphasized the traits that we liked most such as: attention to humans, obedience and affectionate behavior.
The flip side of this is that dogs have become less self sufficient and confident when they are not with their owner. Its something that we have secretively reduced by breeding the most affectionate and obedient dogs. And this is still a good thing because it’s the number one reason for people to get a pet.
We don’t need a dog to watch our sheep or guard our garden. We want a dog to play with and pet on the couch. Or to dress up like a pop star:) But it does mean we need to care for them in a good way. And this means we don’t leave them alone for too long. That is where the new Pet Toys are coming to the rescue.
They allow you to check up on your pet from work or anywhere. Some have the ability to play with your pet, such as the Gobone or Petcube. Some allow you to shoot treats at them.
Let’s see where this development is going. But I am pretty sure it’s going to be a lot of fun.
There are of course many reasons for owners to want a calm, obedient and faithful dog. For one thing, obedient and trained dogs are happier dogs, less likely to get into tussles with people or with other dogs. Another reason is that many communities require that the dogs living in their neighborhoods be well trained. This is especially true for many breeds thought to have aggression and behavior problems – dog breeds like pit bulls and rottweilers for instance. Read More
In the past, when people spoke of training collars, they really generally were referring to the dreaded “choke chains.” A choke chain is a metal chain with a sliding ring that is attached to your dog’s nylon or leather leash.
There’s a reason it’s called a choke chain. Because there is no limit on how tight the training collar can pull against your dog’s neck, there exists a very real possibility it can choke him, as well as cause other injuries, such as:
Severely sprained necks
Tracheal and esophageal damage
Injured ocular vessels
Cases of fainting
Transient foreleg paralysis
Laryngeal nerve paralysis
Hind leg ataxia
And if you think I’m kidding about any of these injuries, I’m not. They are all well-documented cases taken from hundreds of veterinary practices who have treated the dogs injured by choke chains.
Bottom line? In the hands of an experienced trainer, a choke chain can be used appropriately. But for the most part, your average person has no idea what an appropriate use of a choke chain entails.
My own personal preference is for a flat buckle collar, either nylon or leather, which can be used for training and everyday use. It should fit snugly. But it should leave room enough for you to slide two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. Any looser than that, and it may slide off over your dog’s head. Any tighter and it may cause chafing and discomfort.
The choice of nylon or leather is simply a matter of personal preference. Nylon comes in a variety of bright colors, and is a good choice for dogs that spend a lot of time in the water (or mud!) Leather is durable and will absorb oils from your dog’s coat, making it more flexible over time.
The width of the collar should be appropriate to your dog’s size. For example, a wide, heavy or thick collar just won’t work on a Chihuahua, in fact, it would look ridiculous. By the same token, if you have a Rottweiler, a diamond- or rhine-stone-studded poodle collar is going to look pretty silly.
And don’t forget an identification tag – if your dog is lost or stolen, this is a quick way for authorities to notify you when your pet is located.
Another terrific solution is a harness – a device that goes around the neck and ribcage, thus eliminating the possibility of choking. Harnesses are an excellent resolution to the problem of having a large dog that hasn’t been well-trained and pulls or lunges when out for a walk. It’s a great way to restrain the pulling without getting in that choking “tug of war” that you sometimes see.
Harnesses are also good for small dogs, which can have serious problems with collars pressing on their small and fragile airways.
Now for the proper leash.
As with collars, you have a choice of flat nylon or leather (or braided leather is also available), and as with collars, it’s largely a matter of personal preference.
I use a 6 foot nylon leash for training my dog. I find it’s the perfect length for walking, heeling and virtually all of my training sessions.
Many dog owners prefer a retractable leash. These are nylon leashes that are encased in a plastic casing, and vary in length up to about 25 feet or so. The best models of this type have a one-button “braking” system that stops your dog from going beyond a set distance, as well as a spring mechanism that allows you to adjust just how far you want to extend the lead.
Retractable leashes are a good idea if you walk your dog in a variety of settings. You can “reel” him in if you’re on city sidewalks or in situations where there are a lot of people or other dogs around, then you can expand the distance between you when you get to the park or an open space…
When you get your puppy, you must start training early. BUT DO IT GENTLY.
Your puppy has to have confidence in you before he can begin learning. Remember that puppies are like children – they have growing bodies, short attention spans, and will only learn things when the conditions are right and when they understand what it is you’re trying to teach them.
That said, the earlier you start training dogs, the better. More specifically, it’s best if you start “socialization” from 8 weeks — simple commands like “come” and “sit” from 12 weeks — and more intensive training at 5 to 6 months.
While some early training can be started as soon as you bring your puppy home, the optimum time to begin obedience training is somewhere around 9 to 12 weeks of age.
Keep in mind that training can cover a broad range of topics. I’m not suggesting that you begin training your puppy at 8 weeks of age for agility competitions! Your training should start off with the basics – teaching him “No!” and beginning house-training.
Socialization skills are next. Experts tell us the best window for your puppy to learn socialization skills is between 3 and 16 weeks. That’s the best time to insure that your puppy grows into a well-adjusted adult.
And remember, socialization isn’t about teaching him the right fork to use at the dinner table. It’s about giving your dog the self-assurance to deal correctly with any social environment he finds himself in is one of the most valuable and lasting lessons you can teach him.
A well-socialized dog will interact well with all types of people and situations, even those he has never been in before. With appropriate social skills, your dog will show little or no fear of most objects, people or other animals. And even if startled, will recover quickly and won’t panic.
Bottom line, a well-adjusted dog is one that is comfortable in a variety of situations and surroundings. He may be excited in a new setting, but not fearful. The key here is to create positive experiences as you expose your dog to more and more new situations.
Even training your puppy for 5 – 10 minutes per day as soon as you bring him home will make a big difference in the social skills and adaptability of your puppy.
Keep in mind that puppies have very short attention spans, so keep your lessons short and fun. How short an attention span? That depends on the age of the puppy, his breed and how mature your individual puppy is. But a good rule of thumb is to keep the training sessions within that 5 -10 minute range.
Depending on your puppy’s age and maturity level, sometime between 3 and 6 months of age you should be moving the training into the area of the basic commands such as Sit, Heel, Down, etc.
It’s important you have realistic expectations about your dog’s capabilities at this point.
I don’t expect a puppy to be responding to the basic commands with any degree of regularity until they’ve reached 6 months of age.
Do you have problems at your house with who’s in charge? By that I mean, does your dog think he’s the boss? In your effort to form a stronger bond with your dog you may have inadvertently told him he’s the Leader of the Pack.
Here are 5 simple and effective ways to correct that.
You Must Be The Alpha Dog
First, let’s take a look at what a “pack mentality” means. Dogs are born into packs. In the wild, packs are the essential social order. Unlike humans, who use a variety of political processes to determine leadership and rank, dogs sort out their social order by dominance and power. In a wolf pack, there is a Top Dog – a clear leader who is the dominant, Alpha male. He’s the Big Dog, with pride of place at the dinner table (well, if wolves had a dinner table!), first in mating, first in decision making for the pack.
Whether you realize it or not, your dog views your household as his own personal wolf pack.
The pack mentality is so engrained in your dog’s psyche that he will either view you as a leader – or a follower – depending on your actions. If you are to have a well-trained dog, you must establish that you are the leader, and he is the follower.
Your dog has to know in his heart that you are the Alpha Dog, the Head Honcho, the Big Dog, the Top Dog – call it whatever you want, but your dog needs to know you’re in charge.
Dogs are a little like children in one respect – they’re looking for someone else to be the leader. They want rules and regulations because that makes their role in the pack more clear-cut and understandable. It’s scary being the leader. If you’re not up to it, your dog may assume the role – because someone has to be in charge!
If that’s what’s happened at your house, you need to re-establish your position as the Top Dog, or “Leader of the Pack.” But here’s an important note: being the leader of the pack has absolutely nothing to do with harsh punishment. It has everything to do with consistency and setting limits.
A simple rule to remember (and one people have great difficulty keeping in mind) is that you are the leader, not your dog.
1. You Go Through The Door First
Even something as straightforward as who walks through the door first can reinforce your position as “dominant dog.” Leaders lead. Followers follow. If you allow your dog to charge through the door ahead of you, he perceives that as asserting his dominance over you. Put your dog on the leash, and make sure you’re the first one through the door.
2. You Eat Before Your Dog
Who gets fed first in your house – you or your dog? In a wolf pack, the leader eats first, and when he is done, the rest of the pack can dine. Do you feed your dog first because he pesters you when you’re cooking your dinner, and it’s simply more convenient to have him quiet and out of the way when you’re eating?
Food is a powerful motivator that can be used to clearly demonstrate who is the ruler of the roost at your house. In no way, shape or form am I suggesting that you withhold food from your dog. That’s cruel and unusual punishment any way you look at it. What I am suggesting is that you control the timing of the food. You should eat first. Your dog second, after you’re done with your meal.
3. Don’t Walk Around Your Dog
Does your dog lie on the floor and expect you to walk around him?
In the wild, dominant dogs lie wherever they want, and dogs lower in the social order go around so they don’t disturb the Big Dog. If you walk around your dog, he will assume this to be an act of submission on your part; therefore he must be the leader, not you.
If your dog is lying in the middle of the hallway, or right in front of your easy chair, make him move. If he’s on the couch and you want to lie down, make him move. Don’t step over him. Just gently nudge him and make him get out of your way.
You’re the Big Dog, remember?
4. You Determine When Your Dog Gets Attention
Even asking for attention or affection can be seen as an act of dominance from your dog’s point of view. Dogs that demand attention are asserting dominance, so if your dog gets pushy, ignore him. When you’re ready to give him attention or affection or pet or play with him, ask him to sit first.
Don’t run after him just so you can pet him. Make him come to you when you’re ready to give him attention, or play with him. And when you play with a toy, make sure that you end up with possession of the toy, and then put the toy away when you’re done. (Note: I’m not talking about his favorite toys that you leave in his crate. I’m talking about play toys that the two of you use for games.)
5. Don’t Let Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed
This is a tough one for a lot of people, but when you let your dog share your bed, at best you’re making him an equal to you. He should have his own bed, either a dog pad or his crate that he feels comfortable in. You can even put the dog pad next to your bed if that makes both of you happier. But don’t let him take over the sleeping arrangements.
Before you know it, he’ll be trying to make you sleep on the floor!
Again, reinforcing or retraining your dog to recognize you as the Head Honcho has absolutely nothing to do with harsh discipline. These are changes you can make that will change the way your dog thinks about you. And making even small changes like these can have an enormous impact on the way your dog views the social hierarchy in your home – all without a harsh word being spoken!
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