Its a Dog’s life Archives

SocializationYou hear trainers and dog people talking all the time about “socialization” and how it is important for the well-being of your dog. But what exactly is socialization, how does it work, and why is it so necessary for your puppy or older dog?

“Socialization” is the term used for the process of training your dog to be properly behaved around other people and animals, toward strange objects, and in different places other than your home or yard without fear or aggression. It is the fundamental learning process by which all puppies and older dogs learn the rules and regulations of the family and community in which they live.

Typically, a new puppy comes into your family between 8 to 12 weeks of age. At this point in his development, your puppy is going through what animal behaviorists call the “fear” imprinting stage. This means that any puppy is especially vulnerable at this time to finding certain stimuli particularly alarming, and will ingrain that fear into his personality unless you – as his pet parent – do something to alleviate the problem.
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Announcement: Summer Temperatures l Heat Stroke Prevention

 

Summer means vacation! Whether you’re really planning a trip, or it’s just a vacation of the mind, you’ll want to consider a couple things before all of the fun begins! If you have a pet or pets (which, we’ll assume that you do because you’re reading this) you’ll need to remember a couple things to make their summer an enjoyable time too.

§  Let’s go for a ride!

This phrase has a euphoric affect on my cat. Our cat loves to lay across the dashboard and peer at where we were going while enjoying the view, the sun, and the air conditioner! What wonder…all of her favorite things!

Take into account however, that when you take your pet on a road-trip. That cars can increase in heat very quickly. Make a rule never to leave you pet in a parked car. If you make a standard rule, you’ll be far likely to break it. And if you never break that rule, you’ll never have to live with the regret that you caused your own pet harm. On a cool day, the sun can raise the temperature of the interior of your car 120o in just a matter of minutes. Even with the winds rolled down, if there is no air ventilation it will still get too hot for them!

§  The 80o Rule.

Whether inside or outside, realize that this key number will save your pet a lot of grief! Keep this number in your head always, and when you realize that the temperature is getting a little warm, do something about it. If you’re outside, find your pet shade and something to drink. Be considerate of them, they deserve it!       

If you’re planning on leaving your house for more than a couple days, you might consider changing the thermostat setting before you leave. Consider, though, your cats needs before you change it. Cats do not have very efficient cooling mechanisms. In the wild, when a cat doesn’t like something or a temperature, they will move. If you cat is shut up in your house, they will not have the ability to change their environment. Remember that anything over 80o  will be uncomfortable for your cat.           

§  Keep ‘em Moving!

Also, remember to leave access to different parts of your house for their comfort. On a normal day, your cat will change position to find a sunny at a window, or sit on the tile in the bathroom to cool off. Give your cat access to your house. This will allow everyone concerned to truly enjoy the time off.

§  Protection!

As much as you consider protecting your own skin from overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays, consider that your pet may need protection as well. If your pet has short or light colored hair, their skin can be damaged by the sun much in the same way that you can be. They can suffer from sunburns, peeling and ultimately cancer.

§  Water, Water, Everywhere!

One of the few ways that we have to cool our bodies is through water. We drink it to cool ourselves and to properly hydrate ourselves, so that we can release water in ways to cool our bodies. Keep water available. If you’re going go away, have plenty of water sources available! Keep a little water in your sinks, extra water bowls around.

§  Be aware of heatstroke!

If for some reason, you realize that you might have missed a couple things, or maybe you had an emergency and had to leave quickly look for these symptoms when determining if your pet needs attention for heat stroke.

  • Body temperature of 104-110F
  • Sticky or dry tongue and gums
  • Dark or bright red tongue and gums
  • Staggering
  • Seizures
  • Bloody diarrhea or vomiting

 

Announcement: How Do I Keep My Dog From Begging

Many times when addressing issues with your dog, you need to learn to look at the situation as they do. Confront negative behavior with your pets as if you are confronting a toddler. We do not expect a toddler to act like an adult, and we can easily understand some behavior because it has been encouraged by the parent. The same is true with your dog. Your dog is smart and quick, your dog has learned many behaviors simply in response to things that you have done or enforced. The area of begging is one of those areas.

Your dog is begging, and you want him to stop. The first thing that you need to realize and admit is that the only reason that they are begging is because it has brought them success in the past. This dog has learned this habit and learned to use it to their benefit. If you have inherited this dog with this habit, then you’re off the hook, but everyone else… this is a habit that you helped to develop.

It is truly admirable and commendable that your dog is a big part of your life. It is understandable that you enjoy his company and distractions when you are eating. But you and your dog need to realize that this is not the time to feed your dog snacks. By allowing your dog to beg during mealtime, and by rewarding this behavior, you are encouraging a habit that you will soon realize is not something that you want them to do all of the time.

A good way to address the issue with your dog is not to loudly and brashly protest his begging, but rather, save your dogs feeding time for your mealtime. They have already learned to equate your mealtime with snack time or food time for them. Take this time, then to reschedule their mealtime with your mealtime. Save their food on the counter or a table nearby until you sit at the table. When they come to beg, you can place their food on the floor in the same place where you always place it. As you stop rewarding the begging behavior and give them their own food, they will soon learn not to beg. Decide on habits that are easy to maintain. To properly communicate to your dog that begging is not successful, you have to predetermine not to allow it to be successful – ever.

If this seems too much to ask, and you still have a problem, then determine not to eat in front of your dog. If the temptation to offer a little snack is too great, then decide to put the dog outside, or in another room while you are eating, then the begging is not allowed to happen.

The key to treating this type of behavior is consistency. Realizing how much your dog will benefit from learning to restrain himself, will make them a more well-adjusted and calmer dog.

Announcement: How to Keep Your Dog from Barking

 

You are just beginning to train you dog, or if you have a dog with already developed habits; it is never too early (or too late) to begin training your dog. As much as it is best to begin training a younger dog, the saying is not true, because you can teach an old dog new tricks!

In the case of addressing your dog and their barking habit, realize first that God created them to bark. Barking is their only way to orally communicate. Dogs are designed to identify their territory by barking, and to communicate with other dogs by barking. They warn of danger by barking, and show exuberance and excitement. Barking is just something that they naturally do, and as much as you may want control when they bark and what they bark at. Try first, however, to put yourself into your dog’s shoes and see why or what is making your dog bark.

There have been two techniques that I would recommend that have immediate and positive effects. There are products on the market that are designed to address the issue of your dog barking, that need to be considered when other methods are not an option.

One thing that I have found to be successful is to remind the dog of the annoyance that their barking causes. Dogs have not always lived inside, and are not designed to understand using their “inside voices” like a child might. A quick reminder to them, and on their level that their barking is loud, and uncalled for, can quickly teach them not to bark inside.

We already know and understand that dogs have excellent hearing. Using this premise, save out a soda can and put 3-5 pennies inside of it and then tape the top shut. Keep this can near you, and when the dog begins to bark, if you’ll just loudly shake the can, the sound will be uncomfortable to your dog. They will soon learn to correlate this uncomfortable sound with their barking. With consistent use, this technique is quite successful and has a satisfactory effect in the home.

There is another technique that I stumbled upon quite by accident. Our dog absolutely hates getting wet! We keep a water gun in the house, and when he barks, we quickly squirt him with the water. He doesn’t seem to be able to understand where this water comes from, but he already equates the water with his barking. Now, when he thinks he needs to bark at something, he’ll look at me instead. I’ll quickly reassure him that everything’s o.k. and then he’ll be fine! Sometimes I’ll think he needs to see for himself, so I’ll take him outside. Sometimes a dog barks out of boredom. Just like a child will sometimes cry for no apparent reason. Give your dog some distraction and something interesting to do, often they merely want interaction.

Both of these techniques I have personally seen work before. I would not recommend them otherwise. But please, try to remember, that barking is natural for your dog, and there are times that you will welcome their barking. So keep up consistently training your dog. You’ll be so happy in a very short time, and you’ll have a well-adjusted dog that will be a companion for years to come!

Announcement: Outdoor Invisible Pet Fence System

California Dog Fence Proudly Offers the Pet Stop® Brand

 

Many cities and counties in this country now have laws disallowing you from chaining or tethering your dog outside in your yard. So what do you do when your pet needs to spend time outdoors and you don’t have a fence on your property?

Talk to us about purchasing our Pet Stop® Outdoor Pet Containment System, an invisible pet fence that keeps your dog or cat safe, while still allowing him to exercise in the sunlight and fresh air in his own environment.

Invisible fencing contains your pet in the designated area, keeping him from getting into any toxic plants or chemical poisons and saving him from running into the street where he can be hit by a car. Fido won’t be able to shed hair in your pool or hot tub unless you allow him to swim or play in these areas. Additionally, unlike traditional fencing, he can’t dig his way out of your yard or jump over the fence to escape.

Because all of our technology is hidden from view, you can preserve the beauty of your expensive landscaping. And for those pet parents who live in the country or have a lot of acreage, our invisible fencing is less expensive than traditional fencing that can cost as much as $25 per linear foot.

So, not only do we protect your furry companion from harm, we save you money!

For a free in-home estimate of our Pet Stop® Outdoor Pet Containment System, call us at 714-878-2696, or send us your questions and contact information on our Contact Us  page and we will answer your questions in a timely manner.

The Pet Stop® Difference

Announcement: Prostate and Testicular Cancer in Dogs

Why Your Male Dog Should Be Neutered

Unless you have a purebred dog with impeccable bloodlines that you are planning to breed, having your dog neutered at a young age can protect him from the two most common cancers of intact, older male dogs – prostatic and testicular cancer.

Both types of cancer are caused by the overabundance of testosterone common in male dogs that results in a proliferation of abnormal cellular growth – what the general public calls tumors. In both prostate and testicular cancer, these tumors grow and occupy space outside of the particular organs involved, typically metastasizing to the abdomen, lungs, and bones. In addition, some testicular tumors produce estrogen, resulting in your male dog becoming more feminine.

If not caught very early, both kinds of cancers can prove fatal.

Symptoms of prostate cancer include incontinence, blood in the urine, or an inability to urinate without straining. You may notice your pet has a watery, bloody discharge from his penis and may be straining to defecate, or may even be constipated. As the disease progresses, dogs with prostatic cancers may show signs of rear end lameness, increasing signs of pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, and lethargy. Some animals will hold the tail in an unusual position due to discomfort.

Clinical signs of testicular tumors include swelling in your dog’s groin or scrotum, an abdominal mass, or the “feminization” that occurs when affected organs begin producing estrogen instead of testosterone. You may see enlarged mammary glands and nipples, a smaller-than-normal penis, and a sagging prepuce – the covering over the penis.

The treatment for both types of cancer typically starts with veterinary castration – removal of the testicles. With prostatic cancer, the prostate is also removed. Chemotherapy and radiation may be recommended if the cancer has spread, and the prognosis typically depends on the location, size, and type of the tumor involved.

Surgical castration of young dogs automatically removes the cellular tissue and hormones that cause both diseases, and is considered a valuable preventive of both types of cancer in later life. Most veterinarians will also recommend that you get your stud dog neutered after his breeding days have passed in order to avert any problems later in life. 

Announcement: Benefits of a Room Wizard® Indoor Pet Containment System

 

Room Wizard® Indoor Pet Containment System

Pet Stop’s Room Wizard® Indoor Pet Containment System was developed to keep your pets safe and problem-free while they’re in your home. Knowing that your much-loved furry companion can’t eat something he shouldn’t, or climb on something that can topple over on her, saves you hours of worry when you can’t be home to supervise.

With our Gentlesteps™ Training method, we can confine your pets, both canine and feline, to certain areas of your house when you’re not at home.

We’ll keep the cats off your counter tops and tables, and ensure that the dogs don’t get into the trash, grab food off the table, or sit in your favorite chair. We’ll stop your dogs from rummaging in the cat litter box, and make sure kitty stays out of the baby’s nursery.

When its time to potty train your dog, we can make sure he stays in one room of your house until he is conditioned to go outside to do his “business.” And if you have a cat with inappropriate elimination issues, keeping her in the same room with her litter box is a breeze with our indoor containment system.

Our technicians are trained to install either a wired or wireless containment system in your home. If you need the wired system, we can hide the wires under your carpet and/or along your baseboards so that the necessary technology doesn’t mar the beauty of your home.

For a free in-home estimate of our Room Wizard® Indoor Containment System, call us at 714-878-2696, or send us your questions on our Contact Us  page.    

 

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