Dog Training – Things You May Be Doing That Don’t Help Your Pup’s Behavior

Whether you’re actively trying to train your dog better or you’re just starting because you noticed some things were getting a little bit out of hand, you might notice that you’re struggling with getting the results you want. Dog training can be easy, but a lot of the time it’s not, which is why many pet parents actually neglect to teach their dogs much of anything. In fact, you may be surprised to find that small dogs are more likely to not be trained in even the simplest commands than larger dogs. Many professionals assume this is because they are expected (by their pet parents) to be carried in their arms or a bag all day, every day, so they assume they don’t need to be trained—however lack of training in a dog of any size can create problems for a lifetime.

 

dog_cat_playing1. Treating Your Dog Like They’re a Human or a Wolf

As difficult as it may be, when you approach dog training, it’s important to remember that your dog is not human. Not just during dog training, but throughout your interactions, you should remember that your dog doesn’t communicate the same way you or any other person does. When your dog is fearful, a soft cooing voice is often not what will help. Dogs communicate mainly through energy and emotion. When you are happy, your dog is more likely to be happy. When you are angry, your dog is more likely to be angry.

Not only do dogs communicate differently, but they don’t understand things the same way we do. When you’re teaching your dog the rules, it’s important to remember that they might not remember the first time around. They also won’t feel unimaginable guilt or shame if they break the rules. When you approach dog training, you have to do it on their level without the expectations that they will follow human codes of conduct or wolf codes of conduct when it comes to pack order.

 

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2.    Little Too Late

When a dog misbehaves, it’s often that pet parents think of stopping or disciplining the behavior in the near future, but not immediately. The problem with that is that dogs associate behaviors with the immediate consequences: good or bad. If you plan to reward your dog for doing something good, it has to be immediately or they will associate the gift you just gave them with the wrong action. By the same token, if you’re taking something away from your dog, you must remember any negative consequences from an action will be associated with the most immediate thing that they were involved in. If you wait, it’s not worth doing anything or else you risk sending the wrong message.

 

3.    Discipline Doesn’t Really Work

While you can send your child to the corner or their room to think about what they’ve done, that won’t really work for a dog. You can’t spank a dog and see the changes you want in dog training. You can’t put a dog in their crate for discipline. Dog professionals actually support positive reinforcement in almost every way. You don’t want to make your dog resent you through mistreating them. Studies have also proven that dogs are more likely to repeat behaviors that bring them rewards than to avoid behaviors that hurt them. Simply rewarding the good behavior opposite of the bad is a far better way to cease poor dog behaviors than any form of punishment.

Finding the Best Dog Grooming for Your Family

In order to give your dog the best life, dog grooming must be a part of it. Whether that means finding a professional groomer or spending your free time handling dog grooming personally is up to you. However, if you’re considering looking at professional dog grooming as an outlet in your area, here are some things to consider before you subscribe to any specific dog groomers.

 

What Breeds Has the Groomer Worked With?

Whether you’re visiting, emailing, or calling, you should ask the dog grooming location what breeds they’ve worked with and what kind of experience they have working with a variation of dog breeds and personalities. This can be very helpful to understanding how well they will work with your dog, especially if he is skittish or anxious.

 

dog_grooming_services Do the Payment Options Work for You?

All dog grooming professionals will charge a little something different for their services and you’ll want to make sure their charges match up with your budget. One of the best things about Splash and Dash for dogs is the monthly membership, flat-rate fee. You can always expect to pay the same amount every month and receive a full bath and brush and grooming sessions in between as needed every month. This makes fitting dog grooming into your monthly budget that much easier.

 

What Does the Dog Grooming Studio Look Like?

You should always investigate the dog grooming facilities before you leave your dog there in order to look out for rust, odd smells, mold, or other obvious dangers. While you can expect some level of wet dog smell in dog grooming facilities, it should never smell and you should never see buildup of mold, soap, or hair. Reputable dog grooming studios will keep their workspace clean. Ask if you can tour the facility, preferably before the first visit with your dog if you have the opportunity.

 

What Type of Training Does the Staff Have?

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Going back to the first question, to get into dog grooming, there are no required licenses of any kind and there are no required classes to be taken. However, there is a dog grooming school that individuals can attend. For the benefit of your peace of mind and dog safety, you should ask what type of training dog groomers have and if they have training in dog behaviors as this can help especially shy dogs or dogs with harder to handle personalities. You can also ask the dog groomer if they have a background on breed-specific grooming standards which is especially important if you intend to show your dog.

 

What Information Do the Groomers Need from You?

Good dog grooming facilities will always ask for information about you and your dog including personality-type, coat-type and health, and your contact information. Groomers may also ask for emergency contact information in case anything happens. You should have emergency contacts available in case they can’t reach you.

 

How Do You Optimize Dog Grooming Visits?

In order to make the most out of your monthly or bimonthly visits to dog grooming, you should ask for any dog grooming suggestions for how to best maintain your dog’s fur between visits. This may mean light brushing, this may mean doing nothing. Different dog breeds have different maintenance needs. Dog grooming professionals should be able to tell you what your dog will need in order to have a healthier coat.

Pet Parent Planning for Pooch’s New Year

If you are a planner then you know how important it is to have an idea of where you are headed. This is why many people take the beginning of the year to make a plan for what they want to do for that year. This goes hand in hand with New Year’s resolutions because if you want to be successful with the resolutions you have set for your dog, then you need to plan. However this can go much further than this. Here are a few things to think about for the year.

 

Your Travel Plans and What You Will Do With Your Dog

This is one of the most important decisions you can make because you are leaving your pet in the care of another person or facility. You want to make sure you choose something that is a good fit for your pet and know they will be well cared for in your absence.

In this same manner, you want to think about whether or not you plan to send your pooch to doggy daycare. Finding the right facility and preparing for it now, even if it is still a few months away can help you to find the right facility and get ready for this.

 

Consider Your Pet’s Activity Needs for the Year

While you may not take your pet on long runs every day it is still important to have plans for your dog for exercise. You can schedule long walks or jogs with your pet in your calendar just as you schedule your personal training sessions for yourself.

You may even want to schedule trips to the dog park. If you have multiple dog parks near you then mix it up and give each of them a shot. This will give you a change of scenery, allow your dog to run off leash, and you can make some new friends.  Scheduling these activities and making time for them now can help improve the chances of you actually doing it. which is good for your pet’s health as well as your own.

 

Get Your Dog’s Appointments Scheduled

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to start thinking about your dog’s next well appointment. Taking them to the vet on a regular basis not only allows you to get them vaccinated but also allows you to ensure your pet is healthy. You will also have the chance to talk with the vet and know the things you should be doing with your pet in the new year.

These are just a few of the ways that you can plan the new year with your dog in mind. While this takes a little bit of time to sit down and do, having everything laid out in the beginning of the year can save you time and hassle later on.

The Newest Internet Sensation- How Should Dogs Wear Pants?

Sure there are internet fads that come and go. Like the dress. Was it black and blue or white and gold? This started a huge internet frenzy that went around for months. The newest one out there is something pet related and definitely worth taking a look at and thinking about.

 

How do Dogs Wear Pants?

 

On the surface this seems like an innocuous question, even an absurd question. There is no real reason for dogs to need pants so why care about the answer? The picture above shows just how varied the results can be and it turns out some people just can’t wrap their minds around it, probably because they are used to thinking about pants in the way people traditionally wear them. In fact, it has started many internet debates and this picture has been circulating the internet like wildfire.

 

This may seem like the question should not be important to our everyday lives but for people who enjoy dressing their dog up, this is serious business. So people started dressing their dogs up with pants to try and prove their point. But it seems that the pants are stuck on the fence when it comes to the clear winner in

 

Is There Really an Answer to This Question?

 

Well some people argue that pants are only designed for two legs but could these not be modified for canine  needs? Another thing to think about is the feasibility of a dog walking around in four legged pants. It seems that this could cause the pants to fall down easily but without seeing this in practice it is hard to understand.

 

This is why a Canadian company, Muddy Mutts, released four legged dog pants. The only downside to the pictured debate is that these pants have overalls to hold them up. However, there are other pants for dogs in the more traditional thought that also have overalls, so which is right? At the end of the day, just remember that a dog could wear pants however they enjoy most, considering both types of pants exist and are available to your pet.

 

Sure this may be a question that has no real bearing on your life, but it is still something fun to think about. You may not stay awake wondering about it but the next time you are buying an outfit for your pup, chances are you will think about this.

Creating New Year’s Resolutions for Your Dog

Sure you create your set of resolutions for New Years but have you thought about resolutions for your dog? There are things you want for your dog so why not help them achieve these dreams in the new year. Resolutions are just the way to help them do this. If you are not sure where to start with this here are some things to know about creating resolutions for your dog. .

 

How Many Resolutions to Choose

This really depends on how committed you are and what your dog’s capabilities are. If you have a stubborn dog, such as a shiba inu, that will resist the things you throw at them then you may want to go easy on the resolutions. The number of resolutions is not as important as how good they are and how committed you are to getting to them.

 

Ideas for Resolutions

There are several options you can choose for your New Year’s resolutions. Here are some examples. Feel free to use these, modify them for your dog’s needs, or even just come up with your own to make this fit your dog’s needs.

 

  • Get More Exercise- In today’s world who couldn’t use that?
  • See New Places- Be it a walk or a road trip this will be fun for both of you
  • Make New Friends- The dog park and meetups are a great way to do this
  • Lose Weight- Sure this goes with exercise but it’s still important
  • Have Better Oral Hygiene- This is just as important as any other part of your dog’s health
  • Learn New Tricks- This keeps your dog mentally engaged and improves your bond.

 

How to Go About it

As with anything else in life, it is easier when you have a plan for how you will handle your New Year’s resolutions for both you and your dog. Some pet parents like to make joint resolutions to help make the resolution more attainable. Sit down and come up with a plan. Think about what you want to do and how you will accomplish these things for your dog.

 

While you may not have the resolutions ready for your pup on New Year’s day it does not mean that you cannot do this at all. Try to get your plan in place by the end of January so that you can devote the other 11 months of the year to helping your dog accomplish their goals.

 

6 Tips to a Healthier Weight for You and Your Pet

If you are like the majority of people your New Year’s resolutions have something to do with weight loss. But what about your dog’s resolutions? Does your dog need to shed a few pounds? Carrying around excess weight can cause serious health issues for your pet just as it can for you.

 

To nail your weight loss goals for the new year is no small feat, even if you only need to drop a few pounds.  The good news though is that it is totally doable. Here are 7 tips that can help you and your dog lose weight this year.

 

Make a Plan

You know the old saying, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” This is just as true for weight loss as it is for any other part of your life. You need to make sure you have a plan in place to help you achieve your goals. With that being said, make sure it is an achievable plan. No person or dog is going to go from being a couch potato to running full marathons overnight.

 

Set Small Goals

This goes hand in hand with your plan. Sure you have your ultimate goal and this is something you don’t want to lose sight of but having a goal that is too far away can make it hard to keep motivated. Set small goals along the way to help keep you going.

 

***Bonus Tip***: Your goals do not have to be about the number on the scale. It could be going exercise goals, measurement goals, nutrition goals, and so much more.

 

Think About Nutrition

When you think about losing weight and food the first thing you probably think of (aside from the stuffed crust pizza that somehow isn’t on any diet plan) is fruits, vegetables, and whole foods. Not only because these are lower in calories but because they offer nutrients the body needs. This helps the body perform better and as a result weight loss comes with it.

 

This is no different for your dog. You want to make sure they are getting the best possible nutrition to help them hit their weight loss goals. Keep in mind that no one dog food, even if it the ultimate brand on the market, offers complete nutrition. This is why more and more vets are recommending a rotational diet for your dog. Take your pet to the vet to find out their dietary needs so you can make optimal nutrition a reality for them.

 

Take Longer, Funner Walks

Taking longer walks seems like a no-brainer when it comes to weight loss with your dog. However, if your walk is the same boring walk that it always is then you and your dog will not be as motivated and you will find your resolve dwindle. This is why you need to keep walks fun. A few ways to do this are:

  • Find new paths you haven’t taken before
  • Have a good playlist- you can even get speakers that go on your dog!
  • Make a game out of it

 

HIIT Workouts with Your Dog

HIIT workouts seem to be all the rage these days because of the way the body continues to burn fat and calories for extended times after the workout is done. Most people think since their gym isn’t dog friendly that they can’t do this with them. The truth is that this can be done on your walks. The idea is to alternate your pace. Keep alternating every few minutes between low intensity walks and higher intensity. You can even run if you and your dog are able.

 

Don’t Forget the Selfies!

In today’s society, selfies are the norm. For the purposes of weight loss this is really not as vain as it sounds but rather motivating. Take before pictures of you and your dog. Then you can take more over time and watch your progress. You can do follow up pictures daily, weekly, monthly, or at any interval you choose.

7 Questions to Ask the Vet

Vets recommend you take your dog to the vet twice a year. This is important to your pet’s health and is the perfect time to get them immunized. However, paying for a vet bill when it seems there is nothing wrong feels like a bummer. This is why you need to make sure you talk to the vet and get a better handle on your pet’s health and what you can do. Here are some questions you should ask the vet at your next appointment.

 

What Should My Pet be Eating?

Understanding your pet’s nutritional requirements is important to having a healthy pet. You want to know how many calories your pet should be consuming as well as what types of food. You should consider asking them about the rotational diet and whether your pet could benefit from this.

 

How Much Exercise Should My Pet Get?

There is no definite answer to the amount of exercise your pet should get. The truth is that this can vary depending on the breed, age, medical history, and so much more.  This is why it is best to discuss this with your vet.

 

Is My Pet at a Healthy Weight?

Weight control is especially important for pets. There is an obesity epidemic for pets just as there is for people. Knowing your pet’s ideal weight and what you can do to help with this will allow you to keep your pet healthy.

 

Is This Behavior Normal?

It is normal for pets to have their own quirks. Your pet may have something they do on a regular basis or even after a series of events has occurred. It is a good idea to talk about this with your vet to find out whether this is normal or indicative of something else.

 

What Dental Procedures do You Recommend?

As a puppy your dog generally does not need to worry about dental care. However, as your pet ages you will need to provide them with dental care. This can be as simple as a cleaning, though there may be other work that needs to be done. Your vet can tell you what to expect with this and may even provide this for you.

 

Are These Skin Changes Normal?

As your dog ages, their skin and coat will change as well. You may notice that their fur takes on a different texture than it once had and they may get lumps under the skin. These can be perfectly normal but there is a chance that it could be a sign of a greater problem. Talk with your vet to understand this.

 

What Other Tests are Needed?

Sure you want to get out of the vet without emptying your bank account, but it is important that you give your pet the best care possible. You may find that your pet could benefit from a blood test to look for something or even just a rectal exam. Your vet can tell you what is recommended and why.

Athletic Dog Breeds for Athletic Lifestyles

Talk to anyone in the pet industry and they will tell you that not all dogs are created equally. When people think of dogs, they might think that all dogs are equals when it comes to the exercise they need and want, but that is not true at all. There are many more athletic breeds that if you live an outgoing, lively lifestyle and are at the pet store looking for a new pup, these breeds might be of a little more interest to you because they will run with you as long as you’re running.

 

Australian Shepherds

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These are one of the best athletic dog breeds you can as for as they have been bred and used to herd cattle and other livestock for centuries. With their long history of working, it’s only natural that these dogs are ready to run with you on your hiking, hunting, and other outdoor adventures. They particularly enjoy steep trails, rough terrain, and mountain climbing. These dogs are agile and ready for action almost all the time. For more information, pick up a book on the pet industry at your local pet store.

 

Border Collies

This is another one of the dog breeds who was bred for herding over the years. This means that they are full of energy and they love the challenge that comes with interacting with the outdoors. Border collies are loyal and great listeners. They are light on their feet and it’s due to their energy, athleticism, and speed that they make not only great dogs for your sports, but they are excellent in agility training for dogs. Their sibling breeds, rough and smooth Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs are also great active pet parent companions. For more information, pick up a book on the pet industry at your local pet store.

 

Labrador Retriever

This is one of the dog breeds that doubles as a family dog and an athletic breed. The lab is considered the hunter’s ultimate companion due to its loyalty, energy, and willingness to please. Most are easygoing and love the water. Most will also love to go on hunting, camping, and hiking trips with not only you, but your entire family. For more information, pick up a book on the pet industry at your local pet store.

 

Portuguese Water Dogs

With a sport activity in the name, it’s hard to imagine that this would not be considered one of the athletic dog breeds. Portuguese Water Dogs would love to accompany their pet parents on their boats, to beaches and lakes, and on fishing trips. They love water, regardless of the size, and are no happier than when they are with their pet parent near water. For more information, pick up a book on the pet industry at your local pet store.

 

Siberian Huskies

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As expected, this is one of the dog breeds from the Spitz family and they love to run, hike, camp, and play in the snow. They have been used as running dogs for ages and to this day, are still part of sled-dog races such as the Iditarod in Alaska. They are 100% domesticated and loyal to their families. If you’re one to do more hiking in cold temperatures, this dog is prepared. They also don’t mind helping carry things for the group. For more information, pick up a book on the pet industry at your local pet store.

 

Standard Poodle

It’s easy to forget because of their fluffy coat and how dainty they can look, but this is one of the dog breeds used for hunting back in the day. These dogs have excellent noses and they excel in intelligence, obedience, and swimming. They are often used as truffle hunting dogs in Europe because of how good their noses are. Don’t let the image of the spoiled poodles that belong to upper east side women in New York spoil the real image of a hunting dog for you as a standard poodle will make a great athletic companion. For more information, pick up a book on the pet industry at your local pet store.

 

Creating a Bucket List for Your Senior Dogs

Most shelters have senior dogs and it’s for a good reason: many people have a hard time dealing with their pets dying. For many people it is easier to give away your pet before they get too old rather than have to deal with their end of life. However, if you want to make the end of your pet’s life easier on you and them, then coming up with a bucket list can be the perfect way to do this. Here are some tips on how to organize a bucket list for your dog and a few suggestions to put on it.

 

Think About the Things You Have Always Wanted to Do With Your Senior Dogs

If you have always had the dream of going kayaking or camping with your dog and this is something you think they would enjoy, then you can put this on their bucket list. The only thing to keep in mind here is that you do not want to put an activity that will be too strenuous on your pet’s body or anything that will cause them a lot of anxiety. It can be a good idea to talk to a vet that specializes in senior dogs to understand if this will be the ideal activity for them. They may just be able to tell you some ways you can modify the activity so it will be better for them.

 

Go Somewhere New

You don’t have to take your pet on a road trip, though this can be a lot of fun. Just going to a new dog park in a neighboring city can be enough for them. Dogs love to sniff and explore new areas. When you take them somewhere new you will find that even senior dogs will wag their tails and sniff at every new thing they can find.

 

Try Some New Food

Another way you can add to the bucket list of senior dogs is to try new foods. Now obviously you want to make sure the foods you are feeding them are safe for them to eat. It could be something as simple as giving them ice cream or going to a new dog friendly restaurant in the area.

 

Get in the Photo Ops

dog groomer peachtree cityNow is the time to remember that your dog will not be around forever. Even though senior dogs may not look as beautiful as they did in their prime, they are still gorgeous and you will want to have plenty of pictures to remember them by when they are gone. Whether you want to do professional pictures or simply get pictures of them on their adventures (or both!), then find a way to plan for it in the bucket list.

 

Spend More Time with Your Pet

You may think that you spend plenty of time with your pet now, but the biggest regret of most people who have had pets cross the rainbow bridge is that they did not spend enough time with them while they had the chance. You can go for walks together, play when your pet is in the mood, or even just sit and talk to them while petting them. This is time you definitely won’t regret with your senior dogs.