Archive for July, 2008

6 of 18 Dog Training Tips for Quality Relationships

Dog Training Help Tip #1
Your dog is sensitive to feelings and mood; don’t attempt a training session if you cannot be in a pleasant, good mood. To maximize the training session and keep the dog motivated, training periods should not be longer than 5-10 minutes.

Dog Training Help Tip #2
Use an alternate name for your dog when talking about it in its presence (versus when you issue a command). This helps the dog pay attention when it hears its name. It will take some practice as you’ll forget the alternate name at times, but this practice will assist in getting the dog’s attention during the training period.

Dog Training Help Tip #3
Your training session should have a positive beginning and, just as important, a positive ending. To help ensure a positive ending, end the session with a command you know will be obeyed. After the command is obeyed, give a reward so the dog has a feeling of accomplishment. Finish the sessions with a command such as “release” or “free”. Make a real effort to not use the word “okay”.

Dog Training Help Tip #4
Reward your dog within a few seconds after a correct response to a command to ensure that your dog makes the connection between behavior and reward. The timing of the reward is critical to getting the point across.

Dog Training Help Tip #5
You don’t want to lose the attention of the dog with a treat that takes a while to chew or produces crumbs that will distract the dog in gathering up all the morsels. If the reward is food, it should be small pieces, meaning approximately the size of the end of a small finger, and doesn’t crumble or require chewing.

Dog Training Help Tip #6
Select what the dog would consider a real favorite to exert the most motivational influence on the dog. For example, dogs highly motivated by food will work best for that type of reward. Favorite treats will help to achieve obedience to your commands. Cheese usually falls into the “favorite” category.

Coming Soon…..7-12 of 18 Dog Training Help Tips.

In the meantime, if you need training help – 3 terrific options:

**Chet Womach’s Hands-Off Dog Training Formula**

**Dove Cresswell’s Dog Training**

**Daniel Stevens’ Secrets to Dog Training**

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Bad Dog or Cat Breath – Treat the Cause

There are numerous potential causes of halitosis in dogs and cats. Some people endearingly call it “doggy breath”, but if it’s foul it needs to be taken seriously.

If you are not seeing your veterinarian twice a year for wellness exams…start for your pet’s sake.

A trip to your veterinarian is recommended in order to pinpoint the cause of your dog’s bad breath and to ensure it is in good health. The initial therapy should be aimed at treating any underlying cause or diseases that may be causing the foul odor.

Dental care along with proper diet and exercise are the most important for your pet’s health and well-being, not to mention a cure for bad dog breath which is the smallest of the benefits, although the most obvious!

Most often, bad breath is caused by dental or periodontal disease.

The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show some sign of gum disease by age 3.

Gingivitis is a dangerous gum disease for people and Yes, for your pet maybe more so. When pets are subjected to gingivitis they are at risk for tooth loss and, when left untreated, serious health problems.

Particularly vulnerable are small breeds especially Pekingese and Shih Tzu, because the teeth are crowded in small mouths, creating an ideal environment for plaque to grow and cause gingivitis. Some dogs do not adequately chew their food; thus they don’t clean their teeth naturally by the chewing process, and some of our canine and feline companions are just prone to dental plaque, tartar and disease and will require more frequent dental cleanings and treatments.

It takes less than 36 hours for plaque to become mineralized and harden into “tartar”.

When it comes to cats, dental problems are a little trickier to spot because the disease is often below the gum line, so you might not be aware of it until the teeth are seriously damaged.

Brushing your dog’s teeth daily or at least 2-3 times a week is a very good idea. Tooth brushes/finger brushes and special toothpastes are available.

Bad dog breath can be caused by digestive disorders. Probiotics can help and are very beneficial in any case.

For more related information, check out Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth and Probiotics For Dogs.

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Versatile Pet Travel Carrier Bag Is So Much More

It is important to provide our canine companions with a safe living environment inside, outside and in vehicle transportation and travel, in the form of a dog crate, cage or carrier.

For our fur companions up to 25lbs, the ultimate in flexibility is available with a I-GO2 Pet Carrier Travel Bag, and there are 4 models in the available series to choose from.

What a pet carrier bag this is…

It’s a pet carrier bag that is so much more and that is no exaggeration. This new design offers the luxury of flexibility, which is always fashionable, in 5 different ways:

•You can use it as a Backpack
•As a Shoulder Carrier
•As a Tote
•As a Pull Behind with its telescoping handle and wheels
•As a Car Seat or Adjustable Booster

The flexibility of use of this dog or pet carrier is exceptional.

The I-GO2 Pet Carrier Travel Bag comes with a telescoping handle and wheels for easy travel as a rolling case that stow away when not in use.

The I-GO2 can be used as a backpack, tote, or car seat. It meets most airline travel regulations (see specific airlines for details). With extendable sides for additional space and storage pockets to carry treats, leash, etc., you will have plenty of room to carry everything your pet needs.

Features and benefits like a quality easy zip opening with bug proof mesh make this a pet transport system for pets up to 25 pounds that is well designed for comfort and simplicity.

This versatile pet transport can, of course, be tethered to secure your animal and is equipped with an easy-to-use seatbelt attachment for car seat or booster.

Pet carriers or other containment methods will provide the best protection for your pet. However, we must always reiterate the reminder warning to NEVER leave your pet in a hot car, even with windows cracked. In as little as 2-3 minutes, pets can suffer heatstroke and even die from high temperatures.

To prevent car sickness, try to feed your dog at least four hours prior to departure. If the trip is long, feed smaller amounts than normal at least two hours before you leave.

Be sure to remember to take along all medications and supplements to avoid missed doses, and to have a first aid kit to ensure readiness in the event of an injury or medical emergency.

A tired pet is typically much more amenable to easing into the travel experience, so exercise your pet prior to departure.

Above all, have fun and a safe trip.

More info on all 4 I-GO2 models

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Dog Humor

If you haven’t already seen this story through your friends, enjoy it now…

An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard; I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of. He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep. An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out. The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks.

Curious I pinned a note to his collar: “I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.” The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar:
“He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 – he’s trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?”

Our CalloftheDogShop has quality dog beds to make your fur companion comfortable.

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Dog Aggression Toward The Cat

A friend was lamenting about her Corgi’s sudden assertiveness and aggression towards the cats in the house. This is a very capable dog guardian, and this is what I told her…….

Susie, you are “one of those” that will solve the problem if doable. You are the top dog of your pack, and you do have some control over how they interact with each other, at least while in your presence.

Of course, as you correctly stated, medical issues for the behavior change have been ruled out.

Corgis are often very hardy, active, highly intelligent, obedient, protective and devoted dogs. The same characteristic that make them devoted and protective can make them assume pack authority if they sense a gap that needs to be filled.

Behavior toward the cats and aggressiveness towards you can be one of the same or different issues. You may have to reclaim some territorial and hierarchy authority so that your cues are respected, if E (the dog’s name) is sensing a need to exert his own authority.

Depending how much time you spend with the cats, there could be a jealousy component as well, or E is deciding to give in to the instinctual prey dive.

As a member of the Herding breeds, the instinct to chase and catch animals has been modified to chase and gather them together by nipping at their heels and barking. Corgis still maintain that habit when chasing each other. So you might have some of that at play.

It’s altogether best to prevent the pursuit, once the chase sequence starts. The dog will not only be likely to be deaf to instructions, but the driven mental state can make a dog bite or threaten.

There are different ways to train a dog with prey drive to coexist peacefully with cats and other small pets. I believe it is best to teach dogs that cats are off limits and are not to be disturbed. With the help of another person like a friend or family member you can have several short daily training sessions.

Have the dog wear a training collar and leash and direct him to assume a sit/stay next to you. Have the other person hold the cat on the other side of the room. For reasons of getting a training lesson across, hopefully your dog will be very curious and on the way to building excitement at seeing the cat, but insist that he remain in the sit/stay position. Praise your dog for sitting calmly. You must judge almost instantly if the dog is going to stay within a balanced state of mind or you have to apply correction. A sit/stay now needs to be turned into a “down on its side” to get composure.

Have your assistant bring the cat a few steps closer. If your dog’s composure is stable and can maintain quietly at your side, wonderful! Offer praise for the right behavior and a high quality snack reward (optional, but helpful) like meat, chicken or cheese. If he tries to lunge at the cat, administer a stern and fierce-sounding “NO! LEAVE IT!” along with a short, sharp jerk tug with the lead in an effort to put him back in a more balanced state and in the sit/stay position.

As soon as control is established again, issue praise, and maybe give another treat. Continue bringing the cat closer by a few feet, and repeat the corrections as needed and make sure to praise when corrections are not needed.

Patience will be needed depending on the dog’s level of intensity with the issue. You might only be able to gain a few feet each session. Or you can gain control in very short order. It all depends on variables that you are more familiar with.

When the dog is able to calmly accept the cat next to or near him, you proceed with the next step. With the collar and leash remaining on so if necessary you can easily take control in an instant to give the necessary correction should any sign of wanting to chase the cat develops.

In order to be effective, you must be able to correct the dog almost instantly each and every time he even thinks about going after the cat. Release the dog from the sit/stay and let him have free roam of the room with the cat present. Your supervision is critical – If an attempted chase goes uncorrected even once, you’ll have to start your training over from the beginning.

When you are in the beginning stages of coexistence cooperation, when the cats come into the room, issue another high end treat. Eventually, the dog may welcome the cats’ entrance as being associated with a welcome reward.

Susie, that is the picture as I can see it, hope some of the info fits your problem and is able to bring the order back. You will solve this.

…..I later learned that Susie’s cats were arguing among themselves and that seemed to start E, the Corgi, into an aggressive mode. So, Ahhh, the plot thickens. I told Susie that E might be objecting to the pack having an unbalanced environment and it is his instinct to help achieve order.

And, this was her response to me…………
Hi, Jay.
I wrote a response a few minutes ago, and it must have gone off into oblivion. So, I’ll post again. Darn those cranky servers!
Eli is everything you have said of Corgis, except obedient. Well, he’s obedient most of the time, and tests his limits the rest of the time. He has gotten better over time, and is not nearly as testy as he used to be. And, I have gotten better at asserting myself.
That said, the cats have been fighting amongst themselves. Eli has been attempting to police these incidents as much as possible. Other times he’ll trap a cat in a corner, and not let them by. I know this is part of herding behavior, but, trying to eat the “herdee” is not, and this is where the trouble starts. If I happen to walk into the situation, then his mind is set, just as you said. Breaking the mindset is what’s hard. I have been using his training collar with a 4 foot lead to give corrections. He gets corrected for even looking like he wants to look at a cat. Last night he was extremely difficult, and I had to get a bit rough and put him in a submission position. This is always difficult. I don’t know if it’s due to his body dynamics or my lack of strength. Either way, he is contrite this evening.
I haven’t been using treats for when the cats enter the room, so will give that a try, along with all the techniques you have outlined.
Thanks for all of your advice and confidence.
Have a great night.

I think she has it handled.

If you need training help – 3 terrific options:

**Chet Womach’s Hands-Off Dog Training Formula**

**Dove Cresswell’s Dog Training**

**Daniel Stevens’ Secrets to Dog Training**

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Remove Dog Ticks Correctly

If you have to remove ticks from your pet, take a little care and patience and do it the right way.

Don’t use your fingers to remove the tick; you don’t want to be in contact with a potentially disease-carrying tick that can transmit disease.

Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers or a fine-tipped hemostat. Do not apply the removal tool to the body of the tick. By squeezing the body of the tick, you will crush the tick and force harmful bacteria to leave the tick and enter your dog’s bloodstream.

You want to grab with the removal tool as close as possible to the tick’s head at the point of entry on your pet’s body. Once you have contact between the tick and the removal tool, apply a slow and steady outward pressure without jerking or twisting.

DO NOT use petroleum jelly to suffocate the tick.
DO NOT use alcohol to irritate the tick into removal.
DO NOT use a hot match or heated instrument.

These practices will result in the tick depositing more disease-carrying saliva in the wound.

Place removed ticks in a jar with alcohol or in a paper towel then fold over a few times and liberally wet with alcohol.

Dab the bite location with alcohol or skin-suitable disinfectant, and you may wish to apply a small amount of a triple antibiotic ointment.

If a skin welt occurs, due to a reaction to tick saliva, hydrocortisone spray or first aid ointment can be applied to alleviate any irritation.

Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and do not touch any other parts of your body until you do.

We are not fans of the mass market flea and tick remedy solutions because, in our view, they are applied poisons, or in the case of flea and tick collars, necklaces of poison. If you would not put these products on yourself or your children you should not be putting them on your beloved canine and feline companions.

Many popularly used products contain ingredients such as carbaryl (Sevin), a nerve-paralyzing chemical that can cause a host of side effects, DDVP (dimethyl dichlorovinyl phosphate), methylcarbamate, rotenone, pyrethrins, and piperonyl butoxide. Piperonyl butoxide is used as a booster in most of the new pyrethrum products. It is associated with liver disorders and an increased risk of cancer.

DDVP is the chemical found in the majority of plastic flea collars.

DDVP numbs an insect’s nervous system and, although your dog cannot speak, the chemical can have the same effect on your pet. Flea products containing d-Limonene or citrus oils are considerably safer than those listed above, but still have significant toxicity potential.

We can recommend with good conscience a more natural and homeopathic approach that will give positive results at the links below.

TF-Defense: homeopathic remedy for tick-borne ailments

Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick Squeeze-On and Spray

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Traveling with your dog or pet

Traveling with your dog or pet can be rewarding and a lot of fun, but only if you’re prepared.

Besides the travel basics to keep your furry companion safe, such as safely restraining, allowing adequate time for “potty breaks”, and bringing along comforting items from home, make sure your pet’s identification tags are up-to-date and readable.

Be sure not to forget to bring a lead or harness to allow exercise during “pit stops” and it is a good idea to have an extra leash/lead.

Puppies especially should not be allowed to jump in and out of cars. They should be lifted down from these places or, better, be taught to use dog ramps or steps.

Restricting jumping activities is very important in preventing immediate and future cartilage and spinal disc damage.

When a dog jumps down instead of using portable steps or a dog ramp, the impact pressure is absorbed into the front legs. The line of force is directed down the length of the spinal column, causing compression of the individual discs.

This increases the risk that a disc may rupture or become herniated, causing a portion of the disc to protrude and pressure the spinal cord, which in turn typically inhibits nerve transmission. This can lead to pain, weakness and major paralysis in the hind legs, and can affect abdominal organs from the resulting spinal cord damage.

A dog ramp will not only make life more comfortable for your dog, but can help your loved pet remain more active and involved in your life, especially in its later years.

On your trip, cover your car seats to keep them clean and free of shedding hair. A Dog Hog Travel Blanket is ideal with features like thick cushioned fleece bed, strong and durable oxford nylon backing, as well as outer pockets to store treats, toys, grooming items and water bottle. Warm in winter and cool in summer and can be used indoors or out and about and is machine washable.

If applicable, it is a good practice to include your destination address and/or phone number on your pet’s tags and cage/crate.

If your pet will be traveling in a cage, crate or carrier be sure toenails are properly trimmed to prevent injury due to snags.

NEVER leave your pet in a hot car, even with the windows cracked. In as little as 2 to 3 minutes, pets can suffer heat stroke and even die from high temperatures.

Be sure to have water with you and available to prevent dehydration. A portable inexpensive water dispenser is a perfect product for travel and outdoor activity with your dog. Now, when you travel, go on walks or hikes, you can keep your pet hydrated with a Speed-E-Drink water carrier.

This particular water carrier attaches with a simple belt clip to your waist for portability when you are out and about while leaving your hands free. It attaches to most .5L bottles, so you never have to worry about breaking or cleaning a bottle.

Bring along a collapsible Port-A-Bowl. We found the Dog Tucker Traveler is “the civilized solution for food and water to go”. Features a bag that holds up to 15 pounds for storing and transporting food; double wall water proof with ripstop liner. Very easily cleaned and quick drying. Includes 1 food bowl and 1 water bowl and has elastic retaining straps to secure the bowls or carry a water bottle. Very convenient.

Be sure to remember to take along all medications and supplements to avoid missed doses, and to have a first aid kit to ensure readiness in the event of an injury or medical emergency.

A tired pet is typically much more amenable to easing into the travel experience, so exercise your pet prior to departure.

Try a soothing non-prescription product like Homeopet Anxiety or Pet Calm if you know your pet usually becomes anxious about travel.

To prevent car sickness, try to feed your dog at least four hours prior to departure. If the trip is long, feed smaller amounts than normal at least two hours before you leave.

Above all, have fun and a safe trip.

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