Archive for December, 2011

Announcement: Teaching Your Dog to Stay

Basic Training, Part 3 – Teaching Your Dog to Stay

 

Now that your dog has learned how to sit and lie down when asked, teaching her to stay in one place without moving can provide you a measure of security that she won’t run off when she’s out in your yard, and she won’t be grabbing for her food dish when it’s time for dinner.

Attach a long lead, one that is approximately 15- to 20-feet in length, to your dog’s collar or halter.

Command her to sit, then lie down in front of you, and make sure all of her attention is focused on you.

Once she is lying down, put the flat of your hand in front of her face in a “stop” gesture, and say the word “Stay,” in a kind, yet firm tone.

Back slowly away from your pet, keeping your hand in the “stop” gesture until you are standing approximately 2 to 3 feet away from her. If she stays without moving, go quickly back and give her a treat. 

If she moves to come toward you, go back to your original position, ask her to “Sit” and go “Down,” and start over. Do not give her a treat if she moves.

Once your dog is staying at that distance consistently, begin to gradually move further away every time you command her to “Stay.” Remember to keep using the flat of your hand and the tone of your voice to ask her to pay attention to what you are wanting.

Train at each distance until she “stays” every time, then move away during the next training session. You may need to occasionally go back and repeat a training session at a previous distance as a refresher. 

As in the other training sessions, only spend 20-minutes increments teaching her this new command. Use her dinnertime to reinforce this training by not placing her food dish in front of her until she has successfully stayed in one place for 5 seconds. 

Announcement: Teaching Your Dog to Lie Down

Basic Training, Part 2 – Teaching Your Dog to Lie Down

Once your dog is sitting every time you ask, teaching her to lie down on command needs to be next on your agenda. A well-mannered dog that sits and lies down on command is a dog that will not jump on strangers or grab at food, treats, and toys.

While holding a treat in your hand, ask her to sit, making sure her eyes are on your face and you command her full attention.

Hold the treat directly in front of her nose and lower your hand to the floor. Say the word “Down” in a kind, but firm tone as you drop your hand. You may have to kneel or crouch close to the floor to make this move effective.

At this point, your pet should lower her head and drop her shoulders to follow the treat. If she doesn’t, repeat the gesture using your vocal command, and gently push down on her shoulders with the other to show what “Down” means.

When she lies down, give her the treat and pet and praise her. Make this a consistent part of your training – ask, reward, and praise.

Allow her to get up, then repeat the “Sit” and “Down” commands until she is responding on her own. At some point, you can slowly begin to withdraw the treats when she begins to react without them.

Practice this part of your training every time you want to give her a treat. As when you were teaching her to sit, only pursue this part of her learning in 20-minute increments. 

 

Announcement: Basic Training, Part 1 – Teaching Your Dog to Sit

Having a well-mannered pet is the dream of every dog lover. However, dogs don’t come with instructions and they aren’t born knowing how to behave in every setting. Teaching your puppy or adult dog the basics of sitting, staying, and laying down not only keeps her safe if she’s outside in your yard, it also makes her a better companion when she’s at home in your house.

Basic training for your dog starts with you, and your willingness to work with your pet regularly.

Basic Training, Part 1
Teaching Your Dog to Sit

Place a leash or halter on your dog or puppy and make her stand on the ground in front of you. Step on the lead so that your hands are free and she is not able to run off. Make sure all of your pet’s attention is focused on you by talking to her, calling her name, or holding one of her favorite toys in your hand.

When she is closely watching what you are doing, hold a doggy treat just out of reach of her nose so that she is tilting her head slightly back to look at the treat.

As your dog looks at the treat, say “Sit” in a firm, but kind, tone and move the treat toward her forehead so that she is forced to sit back on her haunches.

If she sits, immediately give your dog the treat and praise her, petting her for good behavior. If she chooses to grab for the treat, move the hand holding the treat behind your back and use your other hand to make her stand quietly in front of you again.

You may need to gently push down on her haunches to show her what to do several times before she understands. 

Repeat placing the treat in front of her nose and saying “Sit” until she accomplishes the task several times in a row. Reward your dog and praise her immediately every time she sits on command.

As you train her to sit, gradually start removing the treat during sessions, using just your hand and voice commands. Eventually, you won’t need the treat at all to make your dog obey.

Don’t make your teaching sessions longer than 20 minutes at a time. Canine behavior experts for the ASPCA state that to train dogs for longer than 20 minutes causes them to lose their attention span and they won’t retain as much information as they do during shorter time periods.

Remember that training your dog or puppy is just like training a human baby. Your pet is going to make mistakes and there are going to be setbacks. Practicing patience, consistency, and kindness while working with your furry companion gives you the best chance for success. 

Announcement: Is Your Dog Overweight?

Are you concerned about your dog's weight? If you suspect that he's getting a bit chubby, there's a good chance you may be right. But what can/should you do about it? Before we answer that, there's a more important question that needs answering…

Is your dog overweight?

Here are 3 easy ways to tell if your dog is chubbier than he ought to be:

  • Standing above your dog, look down and check for a "waist." Dogs at the proper weight will have a visible indentation behind their ribs.
  • Place both hands, palms down, lightly on your dog's ribs. You should be able to easily feel and count the ribs, but they shouldn't be sticking out. If you cannot feel the ribs, chances are your dog is overweight.
  • Overweight dogs also commonly have pouches of fat in the groin area between the hind legs.

Still not sure if he’s overweight? Ask your vet.

What to do if your dog is overweight?

Obesity is probably the most common nutritional disease among adult dogs in Western countries, and excess weight creates a high risk for other medical problems. If your dog has been diagnosed as overweight, implementing the following tips can support healthy, successful weight loss:

  • Cut out all treats and table scraps during the weight loss period.
  • Because the primary reason for obesity in dogs is overeating, you should divide the daily food allowance for dogs into two to four small meals a day. Do not use "free-choice" feeding.
  • Weigh your dog at the same time of day at least once a week. Keep a weight record.
  • Feed your dogs separately, one at a time. A dieting dog may move to the bowl of his housemate to get more food.
  • Feed dogs before you eat and keep them in another room during meals to discourage begging.
  • Restrict your dog's unsupervised outdoor activity so that he may not scavenge for food when outside. Make sure that indoor and outdoor garbage cans have secure covers.
  • Tell your neighbors about your dog's weight loss program, to avoid their feeding him.
  • Always provide plenty of clean, fresh water.
  • Dogs should be taken to see their veterinarian at least once a year. The vet may recommend testing for certain diseases—such as decreased thyroid gland function—that can encourage weight gain and that may make weight loss difficult.
  • Exercise your dog on a regular basis, starting slowly with short activity periods, and gradually increase the exercise time. Begin with walking and, when your pet shows signs of increased fitness, move to games that require running, such as "fetch."

Because weight and overall health are so tightly connected, it is always recommended that you consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog is overweight, and for expert guidance in weight management that’s personalized for your dog.

Sick, puking puppy… Dogsitting?

Question by : Sick, puking puppy… Dogsitting?
So we’re dog sitting my friends dog for the millionth time. She’s a very energetic, playful dog usually. She came over, slept on the couch next to me, and then got up and started gagging- then puked up EVERYTHING in her stomach which was only her dog food. Nothing else. She then came in from outside and puked again.
She’s maybe 2 or 3 and a dachshund. To my knowledge she’s been healthy otherwise.

What should we do? I already contacted her owners and they said it was unusual and to let them know if she keeps up. Something to make her feel better? Or should we just go to the vet? What’s a common “illness” or what have you that dogs can get that makes them ill to their stomach? Thank you!
She’s 2. I guess I shouldn’t have said puppy.
She’s not mine and I can’t take her to the vet until tomorrow.

Best answer:

Answer by Taylor W
when my puppy is sick i usually put a heating pad on her tummy and pet her and give her some water to get the taste out of her mouth. and maybe she ate something that didn’t agree with Her. You never know but if she keeps it up the next day or two than you can go ahead and take her to a vet or something. Puppys get sick all the time how small they are and if they eat soemthing the puppy will react to it.

What do you think? Answer below!

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