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I am lucky enough to work in veterinary medicine.

I LOOOOOVE dog training, but interesting enough I also love veterinary medicine.

We joke at work that it is an addiction.

I make low pay.

I don’t have 401(K)

I don’t have medical benefits

The job is hard on my body and requires I lift large dogs and get muzzles on aggressive dogs in .02 seconds so no one is bitten.

I clean up poop

I get covered in blood

I also get covered in anal glands and other nasty bodily fluids

Maggots are even a staple

Sounds like fun, right?

Trust me, appreciate your vet techs!!!!!

Anyway, I see a lot of stiff and limping dogs.

It is a staple in any clinic.

And, it is heart breaking.

Limping equals pain.

And, dogs are stoic and don’t usually complain unless the pain is severe; which makes it more heartbreaking.

So what can you do to help your friend not suffer from these pains?

At our clinic we sell the only glucosamine and chondroitin that is tested to be pure and in correct dosages.  Like other supplements the efficacy of the supplement is dependent on how much supplement actually makes it into the pill or chew.

Swimming

Swimming is one of the best exercises for arthritis!

Swimming is non-weight baring which means the dog can exercise without putting stress on his joints.

The floating in the water helps alleviate pain.

And, interestingly enough chasing a ball and swimming in the water can be exhausting for your dog (which is s good thing).

I am a judge for the sport “Dock Diving” where your dog runs down a 40 foot dock and jumps into the water.

30 minutes of practice and swimming will wipe out even my athletic dogs.

My only piece of advice is to find a “dock diving pool” (they are cropping up everywhere)  that is clean or a body of water that is clean.

I was born and raised in WY and all the water there is pretty clean.

I currently live in MD and the water is disgusting.  A friend of mine, in the Navy, accidentally fell in the water and had to have a cocktail of injections because the water is so dirty.

Each week we deal with skin infections on dogs that swim in dirty water.

So if you opt to take your dog swimming… just make sure the water is not going to create it’s own problem.

Need help getting your dog to swim, try this.

To actually find out more about competitive dock diving I recommend an Ultimate Air Dogs event.   They will also help teach your dog to swim at an event!

Walking

I know that it sounds counter intuitive to take your dog for a walk if he has some arthritis.

However unless your dog is non-weightbearing or has an acute injury; walking actually helps to strengthen the muscles around the affected area.

When I was 18 I had a Rottweiler with horrifying hip dysplasia.

I didn’t have the money to have surgery for him.

I put him on supplements.

I provided him with pain medication when he needed it.

And I walked him.

We walked slowly and we didn’t walk for terribly long distances.

But we walked.

The walking built his muscles in and around his hips.

The muscles, therefore, kept his hip joint closer to the socket without causing it to slip and rub.

Muscle wasting makes arthritis even worse.

So even if you don’t take your dog far, give him a little therapeutic walk.

Soft Beds

Interestingly, my dogs often prefer laying on the cold floor!l

But, dogs with arthritis can truly benefit from laying on a comfortable bed that keeps the pressure off of their painful joints.

Back in the day, when I was 18 with the dysplastic Rottweiler, we invested in a child’s bed so that he could be comfortable.

He loved that bed.

It alleviated his pain.

The nice thing now, is that they literally make tempurpedic beds for dogs.

Memory foam will help them to find some relief.

Yes they can be expensive but they are worth it.

I have several soft beds scattered all over my house for my dogs to sleep on.

They even make chew proof beds that are guaranteed.  Again, they can be a bit expensive but they are well made beds!  I have had to go this route for my Malinois!

Weight Loss

Weight loss is the #1 way to help your dog not suffer.

Again, working in the veterinary world probably 90 % of the dogs we see are overweight.

Imagine carrying around an extra 50 or 100 pounds.

It would hurt your back.

It would hurt your knees.

It would hurt your elbows.

It would hurt your feet.

It would hurt your shoulders

And, it would hurt everything else that was constantly bearing that weight.

You would be miserable.

I watch some of the gastric bypass shows on TV and I feel terrible for those people, everything hurts.

Your dog is the same.

He may not carry 50 pounds.

But 2 pounds extra on a chihuahua is a big deal.

15 pounds on a Lab is a big deal.

Ideally you should be able to feel your dogs ribs, without pushing too hard.

Heck, I can see my Malinois ribs and he is in perfect shape.

When you have an arthritic dog, being underweight is sooooo much better than being overweight.

Do your dog a favor and cut his food back so that he is not uncomfortable.

If you have other home remedies for your dog’s stiff joints, let us know in the comments!!

The post 4 Home Remedies for Your Dog’s Stiff Joints appeared first on TheDogTrainingSecret.com.

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Dogs are wonderful people !  Part of the reason we love them is because they have a vibrancy and excitement for life.

If I could wake up and thrive everyday like my dogs wake up, I certainly wouldn’t need coffee!

However, sometimes that excitement turns into a hyper dog and that gets a little overwhelming and can create stress, aggressive behavior and other negative behavioral problems.

Let’s take a look at some simple steps you can take to calm an overly excited dog.

Assess Your Lifestyle

First off, I would like you to honestly assess your current lifestyle.

How often are you home?

How long are your work days?

How do you spend your days off?

Are you constantly pulled away by kids sports and other goings on?

How often do you watch TV?

How much time do you spend on your cell phone or social media?

Be honest with yourself and be honest with your dog.  What activities can be shortened so you have more time to meet your dog needs?

Dogs require time.  The number one cause of hyper and overly excited dogs is lack of appropriately meeting their needs.  The more hyper your dog is on a daily basis; the more exercise and mental stimulation needs you must meet in order to make them happy!  And, often we have to reorder our own lives in order to ensure that we are giving them the time and life that they deserve.

Even as a professional dog trainer I struggle some days to give my dogs all the time and attention they need!

Interestingly, if  you are looking for a couch potato, Greyhounds make wonderful dogs!

Exercise

One of the major things that all hyper or active dogs need is physical exercise!

And, physical exercise makes for a tired dog!

I have a very high drive dog with a very strong prey drive, he is a Belgian Malinois and they are known for having extreme excess energy and a desire to work almost constantly.  This constant desire to work is what makes them excellent police, military and protection dogs.

I was explaining to one of my work friends the other day that he literally doesn’t ever walk (unless I take him on a walk on leash and he is doing obedience), he literally is either running or bouncing.  He actually bounces like a kangaroo when I bring him inside from being outside.  And, although it is adorable (in my humble opinion, since he doesn’t actually jump on me) it is just one example that manifests how much exercise he requires in order to have his needs met.

I bought a lateral recumbent trike just so that I could give him the exercise he demands in order for him to be normal and happy.  I allow him to pull me, in a pulling harness, around the neighborhood until his tongue hangs down and he is tired.  Being a dog trainer and having access to fun exercise toys like bikes can be invaluable to meeting my dogs’ needs and helping them lead calmer lives when we are at home.

And, don’t think this is terrible abuse!  When he sees his harness he can barely contain his excitement and he runs over to the trike so we can get started.  After all, I don’t physically have what it takes to wear this dog out with my own physicality.  A stroll around the neighborhood or even a run at my pace is not fast enough or long enough for him to meet his needs!

Don’t worry, I always have my dogs’ x-rayed at the veterinarian prior to any pulling or strenuous exercise.  I want to ensure that physically I am not causing damage when he is pounding the pavement.

Your dog is an athlete, he needs hard, structured exercise, unless he is a puppy and still growing.  Your puppy should not be pounding the pavement like I allow my adult dog to do, but that doesn’t mean your puppy can’t be exercised.

Puppies can go on hikes, play retrieve games, go swimming and run hard on grass or soft ground.

Hiking, retrieve games, swimming, pulling a cart or even pulling heavy items like tires or weights can also be great activities for your adult dog.

Need help finding a lateral recumbent trike?  Click here.

Swimming

Swimming is one of my favorite doggy exercises.  As a judge for Ultimate Air Dogs (a dock diving organization) I have taught hundreds of dogs to swim safely.  And, spending time allowing my dogs to swim and retrieve their toys is great for their whole body.  Some dogs even like swimming with other dogs which can help motivate them to swim farther and faster.

I swear 20 minutes of hard swimming can lead to a very satisfied and tired dog.

Dog Parks

I am still not a huge lover of dog parks anymore.  I wrote an article on this not long ago, and I will stand by the fact that most people are too distracted and just simply don’t keep an eye on their dog and how they are interacting with the other dogs at the park.

However, I have a few good friends who still enjoy taking their dogs to the dog park to play.

At one point in time in my training career I had a dog that did LOVE the dog park and it is a quick and easy way to calm an excited dog. 30 minutes or more of hard play can be just what your dog needs some day!

Just please don’t fall into the pitfall of using this as an excuse not to train.  I find that dogs who get all of their exercise and stimulation from the dog park have little to no impulse control.  After all, if you are constantly running around playing “tickle and poke” and tackling other dogs you just aren’t learning to control yourself.

So even though this will help you take home a calm dog, this certainly is no quick fix.

Bad Behavior

Bad behavior is a result of your dog not knowing what to do with himself.  Teach him a command or a cue.

When he is tired, as described above, he cares less about getting into bad behavior.

Dog barking either indoors, outdoors, or when he wants something is the perfect example of how your dog doesn’t understand how to deal with his boredom and excitement.

Remember, your dog can’t watch television, he can’t play video games, he can’t read a book and he can’t play on social media.  All the things we do to entertain ourselves are usually not options for your dog.

If you locked me alone in a room with 4 white walls and a sofa, I would probably eat the sofa and learn to sing or make a lot of noise too in order to entertain myself.

I tell all my clients that if their dog or puppy or any pet really, is driving them crazy then they are probably trying to express to them that their needs aren’t being met appropriately.

One of my clients was visiting me at my veterinary technician job yesterday and explaining how her Berger Picard puppy who is 12 weeks old is spending a lot of time nipping.  When asked how much exercise he was getting she assured me that he was being walked and trained daily.  Thankfully my veterinarian friend chimed in and asked how much exercise and training.

He was being walked maybe twice around the yard and trained one to two times daily.  This puppy simply needs more physical exercise and mental stimulation.  When they meet his needs, he will be too tired to bite!

Leashes certainly add to control!  I like leashing my dogs around the house. And adding a cue as I teach behavior .

Stress

Stress also causes excitement in dogs.  Anxiety shows itself in many forms.

Although to us humans, stress causes us a general feeling of tiredness and irritability and usually doesn’t result in excitement (although I suppose sometimes it does) in dogs it causes a feeling of loss of control.

Loss of control of a situation or feeling can cause dogs to default into running around, and jumping and showing all kinds of “busy” behavior.  Teaching your dog attention can be a life saver!

This is why when we have company over to the house or take our dogs to places they have never been, excitement and bad manners can rear their ugly heads.  Anxiety leads to bad manners.

Try to give your dog some coping mechanisms and teach him how to deal with stress.

As you can imagine, being a police dog is stressful work, however when we are training these dogs we teach them coping mechanisms and how to deal with stress in a healthy way so that basically no situation bothers them but of course this kind of training takes time! Anxiety is no fun.

Solliquin is a great supplement that can help ease stress in your dog.

Training and Mental Stimulation

Obedience training and mental stimulation is really what you need to calm an excited dog.  Sure, as we discussed he needs exercise, but what he really needs is training.

Remember the police dog in the last paragraph and my mentioning that we teach them coping mechanisms?

These coping mechanisms come with consistent dog obedience training.

Eye contact is my favorite kind of training.  Teach your dog this kind of training and you won’t be disappointed in the results.

When left to his own devices, dogs burn off energy by doing “dog” things like play bowing and running and jumping and flying around furniture.  They jump on counters, they bark, they steal trash and they do things that naturally make them feel good.

If you aren’t  him in basic, intermediate and advanced obedience, you aren’t allowing him to make good decisions when he feels stress or when he gets excited.

He literally doesn’t know what to do in these situations.

Your dog needs training and “school” just like your kids need school in order to learn.  Can you imagine expecting your 3-5 year old to make correct decisions all of the time without any kind of education or time on your part?  Absolutely not!  We spend an incredible amount of time teaching and educating our children.  We take them on daily excursions, we let them play, we encourage their playing with others.  We even enjoy watching them play with others.

Not only do dogs need obedience training and mental stimulation in order to be good canine family members, they need obedience training and mental stimulation in order to be happy.  They also need teaching and training and the opportunity to play with others!  Just like your children, in order to become well behaved and have good manners, our dogs need to be exposed to all kinds of thing and people in our environment.  Check out the Clik-R for your positive reinforcement training.

Again, we all have different likes.  I like to draw, I also like to read but dogs can’t do either of these things.  We must find things that our dogs enjoy being a part of!  My dogs like to pull, they also like to run but I have also taught them that they can enjoy obedience when I teach them.

This is why I believe that working dogs like Guide Dogs, Service Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Police Dogs are some of the happiest dogs on earth.  They know what to do in any given situation and their training is extensive.  I have taught my dogs to help me with laundry.  Can I do my own laundry?  Yes!  Absolutely!  But my dogs feel special when I ask them to help me with house hold chores..  They can hand me laundry, they can pick up things that I drop and they can turn on and off lights.  This helps them feel like they have a job and they are needed in my life; which makes them happy.  Even though I don’t necessarily need them to do laundry, pick things up and get the lights or grab my shoes these skills make them happy.  And, happiness keeps them out of trouble and gives them an outlet for their energy!

After all, my job as a dog owner is to keep my dog happy and to give him something to do!

The more you train, the happier your dog can be!  Tell us what calms your dog in the comments below!

The post Step by Step Guide on How to Calm an Overly Excited Dog appeared first on TheDogTrainingSecret.com.

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Appropriately and successfully introducing your new puppy to your older dog is critical!  If this process is done wrong, you can end up with an injured puppy or a fractured relationship where they hate each other for a lifetime.  Neither of those are great options!

Most of the time, the acclimation process goes fairly smoothly.  The majority of people just bring the puppy home and hope for the best.

The problem is that sometimes “the best” doesn’t happen for the new puppy, existing well behaved dog and dog owner.

I have seen puppies seriously injured, broken, and even killed by older or existing adult dogs.

And, I think we can all agree that we want to avoid this at all cost.

The truth is, I think in most of the above mentioned, sad scenario the aggressive behaviors could have been avoided or at least controlled.

Yes, I will admit that some dogs simply aren’t going to accept sharing their space with another dog or new puppy.  If you have a dog that is dog aggressive or has aggressive or reactive behavior tendencies; I would recommend you seek the advice of a local doggy day care facility, boarding facility or even a boarded veterinary animal behaviorist to see if your dog can peacefully coexist with a very submissive, or neutral dog or well behaved puppy.

Trust me, the anguish of losing a puppy to your older dog isn’t worth the risk if you think it is a possibility.

Beyond that, most dogs can at least be somewhat acclimated to a new puppy if the situation and training is handled correctly.  Go into it knowing it is going to take some time.

From Your Dog’s Perspective

Imagine, if you will how your dog feels when you bring a new puppy home.

He is probably happy being an “only child” and enjoying all of your attention and now he has to share everything he has with someone else.  And, puppies require a lot of time and attention, making the change even more drastically felt by your dog.

I can imagine that this brings stress and a feeling of helplessness, perhaps even a little depression.  Yet dog owners don’t really consider or think about this when they want to bring a new puppy home.

Putting yourself in your dog’s “paws” may at least help you to be more cognizant of how he is feeling and giving him space away from the puppy while making sure you are also spending one on one time with him.

Puppies Are Overwhelming Beings

We love puppies!  They are full of life and full of energy!  It is amazing to watch them experience new things and develop.

However, puppies can be very overwhelming to adult dogs, especially older dogs.

Puppies don’t really come with a lot of respect of space and pain.

For instance, you wouldn’t let your three year old run and jump on or bite your ninety five year old great grandmother.   Yet we expect adult and older dogs to find puppy antics charming but not all dogs do!  It is always important to constantly and consistently assess all dog’s behaviors and interactions.

Doggy day care is also a great option for wearing out your puppy.  Your local vet may offer boarding or day care or You can check out Rover.com.

Introducing a Puppy

Introducing a puppy should be done carefully.

First, I like to exhaust my new puppy prior to any introductions.  Tired puppies are always more delightful than wild puppies.  The excitement of the puppy meeting a new dog will be difficult enough to contain, so I suggest a good long walk or play session prior to the meeting.

Pick neutral ground (not a park that you take your dog to all of the time) and put both dogs on leash.

You may want a family member to hold the new puppy while introductions are initially made on neutral ground.  First they should hold the young pup under their arm or at the waist so that both can get a look at one another.  Provided there is no growling or aggressive behaviors the puppy can slowly be lowered for each to get a little sniff of one another.   Harnesses can make this more helpful.

Watch for signs of fear or aggressive behavior from either party.  I remember introducing one of my young eight week old puppies to my existing dog; and the puppy was doing all of the growling.  Respect a growl and give the other part more time to acclimate.  Happy introductions are crucial.

If there are no signs of fear or aggression from either dog the puppy can be set on the ground.  Steps should be taken to ensure the puppy does not pounce, jump on or bite the adult dog.  Allow the adult dog to come into the puppy’s space if so desired.  If the adult dog does not want to investigate the puppy he should not be forced to do so!  Remember aim for a conflict free introduction, even if it takes time.

Let Them Work it Out

I am a big believer in teaching my puppies respectable manners and how to interact with adult dogs so that they won’t cause the adult dog to bite or correct them.

Some dog trainers and dog owners will tell you that the adult dog should just correct the puppy and teach him, himself. However, again, I have seen adult dog that can seriously hurt a puppy with a misplaced, misguided, or angry bite.

Size of the dog matters of course, a Yorkshire Terrier bite is much smaller than that of a Pitbull Terrier.

Taking Them Home

Once the initial meeting has occurred and hopefully everyone is getting along, you may take them home.

Allow your existing adult dog to be off leash and in whatever space he so chooses.  It is your goal to make life as normal as possible for him as you continue to integrate your new pup.

But, keep the puppy on a leash.  Leashes are essential in teaching manners and conditioning good behavior from the beginning!  It will be a bit exhausting keeping your puppy on leash in the house but it will prevent him from annoying your other dog, cat, pet or other family members.  It will also prevent him from developing other bad behaviors like stealing items he shouldn’t have or chewing on your things.

Let’s face it, you aren’t going to allow your puppy to eat the sofa, a sock, or your carpet if he is on a leash and tethered to you.  You are also going to notice when he needs to go outside and go potty, so this is also critical for quick puppy potty training.

If your adult dog wants to interact with the new puppy, he can come into his and your space and initiate interaction or play.

Leash training in the house will also help with puppy potty training, you will know when to take him outside.  You can also teach him to go inside in an indoor litter box or grass potty box if you have a small dog and you prefer this type of training.

Dog Crates

Dog Crates are essential to good dog training and ownership.

Crates keep puppies safe when you are not able to keep an eye on them.  Last week, in the veterinary hospital I work at, we had two puppies come in that needed emergency surgery to have items cut out of their stomachs.

Dog crate training will also help your existing adult dog feel normal and maintain his space while giving him a break from the pup.  During this time you can spend some special one on one time with your original dog.

Crates also aid in potty training. 90% of puppies don’t want to make a mess in their crate and sit in it.  I have a current client who called in a panic because the puppy they have had for less than a week, who was doing well with potty training, started having accidents one day.  The day in question was really cold and our first snow of the year.  Simply, the puppy didn’t want to be outside in the cold and find a place to potty, so he waited until he came inside and was put behind his baby gate to go potty.  It was natural for the pup to want to potty where it was warm.

The owners were in a panic, I got several text messages late one night.  I suggested crating him if he didn’t go potty outside, but they were worried about him making a mess in his crate.  Whereas, I understand and empathize; sometimes you have to make a mistake in order to understand that you don’t ever want to do that again.  Crates can be crucial in teaching this lesson very quickly.

Impact makes my favorite crate and no dog can get out.

Baby Gates and Play Pens

I don’t mind baby gates and play pen areas being utilized once your puppy is essentially potty trained.  But larger spaces that you aren’t consistently monitoring can encourage potty accidents.  It is much better to sneak off to the corner of a room or the corner of a play pen and have an accident, than it is to have an accident in your crate.

However, if there is animosity within the pack between your dog or dogs and the new addition a baby gated area or play pen can give everyone a little space and a good place to be.

Let’s face it, your existing dog is going to want to sit with you and spend time with you like he did prior to the arrival of the new furry package, and if he doesn’t like the new puppy; having the puppy with you constantly might cause some more animosity.  So utilizing a play pen for short periods of time can allow the puppy to chew on some appropriate items or take a nap while the dogs get used to spending time together without feeling forced.

After all, if they aren’t getting along well forced interaction is only going to make it worse.  Calm, quiet, controlled and well behaved interaction is what will help build a better and less stressful relationship.

If They Are Getting Along

Even if your adult dog and your new pup are getting along famously, be sure to give them both breaks.

Everyone needs a break and some alone time.  Even the happiest couples spend time by themselves and enjoy their own hobbies.  Remember your dogs need breaks too in order to have good mental health.

I feel sorry for dogs that can’t exist without the other pack member.  We see this a lot in the dog training and veterinary world.  At least in the dog training world we can work to get dogs separated and acclimated to being alone and solo for training and spending time with their owners.

In the veterinary world we see the entire miserable part of this equation when one dog dies and the other dog is left alone without any acclimation.  Dogs can and do suffer from severe depression when they have lost a loved one, especially when it was another dog from their pack.

Please do your dogs a favor and give them separate one on one time throughout their lives.  Give them independent training and bonding time with you.  It is best for everyone’s mental health to have some moments to be autonomous.

Positive Reinforcement

Remember your puppy needs positive reinforcement, conditioning and guidance in order to learn what you like and how your dog’s behavior relates in certain situations.

So often we are quick to tell our puppies when they are doing something wrong and so few people do the opposite and tell their puppies when they are doing something right.

Imagine starting a new job, in a new country where you don’t speak the language and only getting yelled at and corrected when you do something that they deem “wrong” even if it is something you think is “good”.  It would be super frustrating.

I want to know I am doing the right thing and doing a good job in order to excel in my work.

Treat your puppy the same.  Reward him with wonderful, yummy treats for not pouncing you other pet, cat or dog.  Reward him with treats for keeping four on the floor and not jumping on you.  Reward him with treats for sitting and laying down even if he is doing so on his own terms.  Reward him with treats for all good choices that you like and you will end up with a dog that has a clear and concise picture of what behaviors you like and what behaviors you don’t like.

Most dogs are people pleasers and want to do what you want, but there should be a good pay out and clear and consistent terms that they can understand.

If you are getting a puppy, I strongly suggest that you follow this guide.  Even if things go as planned and both pup and adult dog get along well it is critical to build a strong foundation where you are conditioning good behaviors and doing positive reinforcement.

After all, positive reinforcement and conditioning good behaviors will build a strong and loyal canine companion for a lifetime.

Get started clicker training!  The Clik-R is great because you can put it on your finger so it frees up your hands!

The post Introducing Your New Puppy To Your Older Dog appeared first on TheDogTrainingSecret.com.

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Ahhhhh free stuff!

We all love free stuff, right?

I mean who doesn’t love free?

Do you remember that favorite thing that you got for free?

Probably not.

Do you remember buying your first car or owning your first home?

Chances are those memories are vivid.

I remember buying my first car when I was 20.

I bought a brand new Saturn Wagon (back when Saturn was actually Saturn).  My husband and I bought a wagon because we had two big Rottweilers and needed a larger vehicle, but didn’t want to buy a van.

I remember them washing it, and pulling it into the “presentation area” where we got our picture taken with it.

I was terrified as I pulled off the lot and we headed off to our favorite Mexican Restaurant.

The memory is so vivid I can almost smell the smells of the new car and taste the chimichanga.

On the other hand, we don’t remember free stuff very well, because, in most cases it is pretty meaningless.

We take free stuff for granted.

Thanks to Metro.co.uk for the photo

Your Dog Feels the Exact Same Way

I mean he likes the free dog treats and the free food, but he doesn’t spend time thinking about it.

He expects it.

And, we as dog owners feel we must provide him with these “free” things because we love him.

I mean… it would be horrific to make him WORK for something.

So when you say that your dog isn’t treat motivated, or toy motivated or food motivated… I can’t help but wonder how much “free” stuff he gets?

I mean, it probably isn’t exciting because he gets all of his needs met all the time WITHOUT having to listen to you.

So why then, would he bother to listen to you for the same rewards?

Often times I suggest skipping a meal or two for the dog.

I know, again, that sounds horrific.  I’m not suggesting that you tie him to a tree and never feed him again.  I am simply suggesting that the food begins to have more meaning to him.

I’m not motivated by a piece of cake after I have been to the buffet but I am motivated by a piece of cake if I am hungry.  You just need to make him a little hungry, I promise it won’t hurt him too bad!

He Wants to Work

Also, it should be noted he wants to work.

Working stimulates his mind.

There are days I don’t want to work, but most dogs have a great work ethic!  They never want to retire!

Use the things your dog loves to your advantage, control them, control the dog!

I don’t believe in free stuff at my house!

The post Free Stuff, Why It’s Ruining Your Dog Training appeared first on TheDogTrainingSecret.com.

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Dog joint pain comes from many different issues. Without understanding and controlling the problem, your dog could become increasingly immobile, lethargic and unhealthy. Working closely with your veterinarian helps identify the underlying cause of joint pain. Getting a proper diagnosis allows you to build a program to reduce the impact of joint pain on a long and healthy life for your dog.

Common Causes of Joint Pain in Dogs

Here is a list of the most common dog health issues that cause joint pain:

Genetics Create Predisposition 

Dog breeds with a predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis are more likely to develop one of these health conditions resulting in joint pain. Large dog breeds such as German Shepherds may have a genetic predisposition to hip dysplasia that even skips a generation. Some small dogs and toy breeds are genetically inclined to get rheumatoid arthritis.

Working with your veterinarian to diagnose and mitigate pain or stiffness from genetic arthritic conditions is a top priority for dogs likely to develop these types of joint problems. Chronic pain is something that isn’t always completely eliminated but can be alleviated.

Overweight or Obese Dogs

Like humans, dog joint pain might not be arthritic. It is often directly related to being overweight. Obesity is one of the leading factors for joint problems as well as other health problems in dogs. Everything from hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are adversely affected by carrying extra pounds. While one or two pounds might not be significant in humans, a small dog that should only weight 10 pounds could be 10 percent overweight with one extra pound. All that weight is added stress to the joints.

Dog Joint Stress from Activities 

Exercise and activity are supposed to be good for our canine companions. The problem is some activities can lead to serious joint health issues. Accidents or extended strenuous activities could lead to stress fractures. Long-term wear and tear from vigorous training such as agility training, hunting, hiking rough terrain and other high-stress exercises can lead to degeneration of ligaments and joint tissues. This contributes to conditions such as a luxating patella leading to joint pain.

Scurvy in Dogs

Scurvy isn’t just for pirates; dogs can get scurvy from a Vitamin C deficiency. This is particularly a problem for dogs with or prone to rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin C helps to synthesize collagen in the joints. A lack of this vitamin means less naturally metabolized collagen that leads to arthritic pain. Vitamin C levels drop when dogs get sick or experience extreme stress like moving to a new home or the loss of a loved one.

Dog Septic Arthritis

Septic arthritis is actually caused by a bacterial infection in a dog’s body. With the infection comes inflammation of the joint; joint fluid increases. This is often the result of an injury or trauma that is left untreated allowing an infection to set in. Heat is felt when putting your hand on your dog’s joint if there is a bacterial infection or septic arthritis. Antibiotics should effectively treat health problems like this.

Cancer in Dogs

If your dog is suddenly not as mobile as he was and seems to be in pain, this could be an indication of cancer. Rheumatoid arthritis is believed to cause at least 8 different types of cancer in dogs. In particular, bone cancer or osteosarcoma can lead to increased pain in the bones and joints and higher incidents of inflammation. When in doubt, see your vet.

Gout in Dogs

If your dog is suffering from joint pain, there are many remedies to consider. Before you jump into expensive pain medication, supplements or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), think about dietary changes to help improve your dog’s health. Simple adjustments in your pet’s diet can reduce symptoms and improve overall joint health.

Avoid Inflammation-Causing Dog Foods

Many dog owners are familiar with many of the food remedies that help alleviate dog joint pain. These include turmeric, vitamin C, yucca and omega-3 fatty acids. Beta-carotene and antioxidants fight inflammation and help improve joint health and overall dog health. Less known are the foods dog owner’s should avoid limiting the effects of dog joint pain.

Foods that you should immediately eliminate from your dog’s diet are:

Avoid Dog Food with Corn

Corn is one of the most common filler ingredients found in commercial dog food. Corn is nothing more than a quick energy source because of its high carbohydrate levels. Thus, it is an empty calorie that can increase appetite for more vitamin-rich foods leading to weight gain. It also increases inflammation in dogs. Inflammation is the primary contributor to joint pain flare-ups.

Avoid Omega-6 Fatty Acids 

While omega-3 fatty acids are considered good foods for dogs to eat that promote heart health and reduce inflammation, omega-6 fatty acids contribute to dog joint pain and health issues. Foods such as canola, soy and corn oil as well as poultry are in this category. Many omega-6 fatty acids are found in commonly consumed dog foods thus pet owners must be diligent to provide dog food without them.

Avoid All Those Grains

By reducing the amount of grains in your dog’s diet, you can control inflammation. Most dog food bought on the market use grain as a filler ingredient. Many of these grains actually increase inflammation. Read the ingredient list and avoid dog food with wheat, rice, soy or spelt. This not just reduces inflammation but helps with pain directly associated with arthritis.

Avoid High Protein, High Purine Diets

If your dog is suffering joint pain because of gout, he needs a high fat and low protein diet. Eggs, cheese, butter and fruit are the recommended foods instead of buffalo and duck ingredients. Purine is a crystalline substance found in high protein foods and leads to uric acid buildup. The buildup results in lumps and lesions along with frequent urination. As the uric acid buildup is released, symptoms of joint pain lessen.

Avoid Potatoes and Eggplants

Not all types of fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs to consume. Even among the safe ones, avoid those that increase inflammation. These include nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants. Potatoes, in particular, are found in many commercial dog food brands. Avoiding nightshade vegetables keeps inflammation in check. You can find many alternatives such as sweet potatoes.

Supplements to Help Dog Joint Pain

There are many things you can do to help alleviate inflammation and joint pain. But in older dogs or canines with kidney or liver issues, you must be careful with some supplements. Make sure you don’t try to diagnose the joint problems yourself. Because there are so many causes and potential health issues, it is best to understand what exactly is going on to then develop the treatment plan that makes sense.

There are many supplements on the market such as hyaluronic acid that is said to help rebuild collagen and connective tissue. You can find supplements in food, dog treats or pill form. While most supplements are derived from natural sources and safe for dogs, make sure you trust the supplement source. In general, supplements are not a regulated industry and even less for our canine companions. Read labels and do everything in moderation.

If you sense something isn’t right with your dog after taking supplements, go to your veterinarian immediately.

A Warning About Glucosamine for Dog Joint Pain

Glucosamine is a common supplement used for dog joint problems because it reduces inflammation, helps replace the natural diminishing glucosamine levels in joints and leads to less joint pain. All this helps dogs feel better and seemingly more energetic to get out and do more.

Glucosamine is considered benign at face value because it is something naturally occurring in the body and joints. Older dogs lose natural glucosamine levels which increases the symptoms surrounding joint pain. But glucosamine isn’t without problems.

Pet owners should first understand that glucosamine supplements are often made with fish products. Any pet with fish allergies could have an allergic reaction to taking glucosamine supplements. Many treats are made with glucosamine to make it easier to give dogs their joint supplements. However, too many treats not only increase the caloric intake thus the potential weight issues contributing to joint pain, but too much glucosamine can lead to toxicity.

In fact, glucosamine overdose is listed as one of the top ten most frequently encountered dog toxins as published by the Pet Poison Helpline. Another thing to consider is dogs with kidney or liver issues, or a propensity to have problems with these organs could burden their system. Metabolizing glucosamine puts added strain on these systems and could result in failure.

Understanding Dog Joint Pain Symptoms

Signs of joint pain are simple. Your dog will limp or stop wanting to do activities he normally would have. He won’t jump on the bed or go for long runs. It might take him longer to get up and down stairs. Whimpering might even occur even when he is simply laying around.

Check with your vet for the right treatment combination. Changing his diet and reducing weight often make the most significant differences to alleviating stiffness and arthritis pain. Don’t rule out massage and acupuncture as arthritic treatment options for small and large breed dogs.

By understanding why your dog is experiencing pain and finding the right solutions, your best friend will have an improved quality of life and return to enjoying many of the activities he loves.

Let us know if you discover other foods that will help reduce dog joint pain!

The post Dog Joint Pain: Avoid These Foods! appeared first on TheDogTrainingSecret.com.

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Puppy biting is one of the major concerns of new puppy owners!  I hear complaints about puppy nipping and puppy biting both online and in my puppy classes.  These dog owners are usually begging for help on how to stop a puppy from biting.

Most puppies go through a puppy mouthing and play biting stage.   It is natural and it is almost to be expected!

Why Do Puppies Nip and Bite?

The first step of how to stop a puppy from biting, is to understand WHY puppies bite.

Puppies are like toddlers, they have tons of energy in spurts (in between naps).  And, like toddlers, they need stimulation; mental stimulation and learning and physical exercise during these energy spurts.

But, puppies don’t have hands nor do they speak our language or understand our rules of life and sociability (i.e. biting is bad).

When one puppy wants to play with another puppy, typically it playfully runs over play biting it on the face or neck and then runs away in the hopes of being chased.  You can see this in puppy classes around our nation!  Unfortunately, when your puppy wants to play with you he will try coming over and biting you, as well, so that you will engage him in play.

Puppies play with their teeth and they explore their environment with their teeth!  I will again mention that they don’t have hands.  Therefore, when they are young, their teeth go on seemingly everything to explore and to play.

Puppies also typically go through teething early on in their puppyhood.  If you have ever had children or spent time around babies you know that teething can be painful, and uncomfortable.  Like babies, puppies tend to mouth and chew on things and people in an attempt to find something to alleviate the discomfort.

As humans, we don’t typically like this behavior.  Being nipped with sharp puppy mouths, hurts!  I totally understand, I also hate being nipped and bitten by excited or teething puppies who are seeking attention.

But, before I get angry, I remind myself that my puppy is showing a natural behavior and he doesn’t understand my social rules.  I must teach him that nipping, mouthing, and biting is unacceptable.  I must also teach him acceptable alternative behaviors while providing him with mental stimulation and physical exercise.

Some people hate that I compare puppies to children, but I think it helps us to better understand what your puppy needs.  For example, you wouldn’t expect a hyper toddler to sit still for hours on end with nothing to do.  Most parents would make time to play with that toddler, give them something mentally simulating to do or take that toddler to the park to run off some energy.

Your puppy needs play sessions and mental stimulation as well.  Your puppy is even less able to appropriately stimulate himself.  He can’t watch videos on your IPhone, he can’t watch TV or listen to music, instead if he is not being entertained or played with by you; he is probably exploring his environment with his mouth.  The last thing you want is a full grown dog that shows lack of impulse control and bad behavior.

With a little time and knowledge you will end up with a well trained, happy dog.

How to Stop a Puppy from Biting Impulse Control

Neither dogs nor humans are born with impulse control.  We expect to teach our children that they can’t steal and that they can’t do whatever they want, whenever they want.  A good child is in control of his impulses and knows that if he can maintain this control he will be rewarded and appreciated by his parents.

We must also teach our puppies impulse control!  He should not be allowed to steal food, toys, clothes or things that are not his.

He must be taught not to jump on us and other people.

And, he must be taught that biting, nipping and mouthing is a behavior we don’t want.

Thankfully, if you play the game right, teaching your dog to control one impulse can help him to learn to control the rest of his impulses.  It teaches him to listen and that he doesn’t have to reward himself with bad behavior; on the contrary, listening to you brings higher rewards (after all, you should be in charge of his food and toys).

Blue Buffalo makes some great dog training treats that are small, check them out here 

The Food Game

Almost as soon as I bring my puppy home, I begin teaching my puppy “The Food Game”.  I want my puppy to use his mind to get the things he wants.  From here, I can easily teach him, by rewarding good behavior, what behaviors I want him to show.

Make him use his mind and behavior in order to be fed!  Make it fun and he will love this game!

Put food in his bowl, show him the food and raise it above his head, and wait for him to sit. It is natural, as a puppy looks up and wants something for him to eventually sit.

If he barks, if he whines, if he jumps; ignore these behaviors and wait for him to sit.

When he sits, begin lowering the bowl to the floor.

Chances are he will get excited and pop back up and again begin jumping or running around.  When he gets up, immediately raise the bowl.

Continue this process until he learns that his own action of sitting is what brings the bowl closer to the ground.

He will also learn that you like it when he sits and he will begin showing you the behavior more often.  Win, win!

Obedience

Obedience can begin pretty much the moment you bring your puppy across the threshold of your home.

In the olden days of coercion and correction, it was recommended that you wait until your puppy was about 6 months old before you began obedience.  This was because strong corrections and pain can cause fear and shut down young puppies.  However, this allows for many bad behaviors to begin and conditions your dog to these negative behaviors (making them much more difficult to change).

I believe in rewarding good behavior, and therefore avoiding these bad behaviors.  I believe in conditioning (making a habit of) good behaviors.  This gently teaches my dog which behaviors I like so that he may choose them more often.

Most dogs want to please us.  And, often times we yell when our puppies are naughty but we rarely tell them when they have done something that we like.

For instance, how many people praise and treat their puppies when they sit or lie down on their own?  All puppies sit and lie down, on their own, when they are tired.  By marking and rewarding these behaviors both through praise and food rewards (or play) we are communicating to our puppies that we like these behaviors.  Once the puppy learns that we like these good behaviors, and that the behavior he shows on his own can brings rewards he will choose these behaviors more often!

If every time you come to my house and sit down, quietly, I gave you $100; chances are you would come over often and sit quietly.  You would learn what I like pretty quickly and you would be willing to continue showing the behavior.

This is called “capturing” and it is actually the strongest way to train or to get your point across to your dog, because the dog learns to be in control of his behaviors and actions without needing you to lure him or correct him.  Once he learns to show certain behaviors you can add the cue or command to the behavior.  

The CLik-R is a great resource for more hands off clicker training. 

The Down

Many dog owners struggle with teaching their dog to lie down, however as mentioned above, every dog lies down when he is tired.  If you mark and capture the behavior you are teaching the dog that the behavior of lying down is rewarding and it will be much simpler to get the behavior on command without any conflict!

Teaching obedience through marking and rewarding good behavior, teaches your dog to think, and believe it or not a dog that thinks and knows impulse control will nip and bite less.  And, if he does begin biting and using his mouth, you can command him to show a more appropriate behavior so that he may be rewarded and engage your attention through obedience.

Exercise

Exercise is crucial to raising a happy, healthy, non-biting puppy.

Remember my analogy about the toddler, earlier in this article.  Imagine having a wound up, hyper toddler, but denying them exercise?  You would probably end up with an angry, cranky toddler after a short period of time.                   

Why, then, would you expect a puppy to be any different?

First, if he is biting you, he is probably trying to engage you in play.  Just like he would bite his littermates or other puppies, he puts his mouth on you to start the game.  He doesn’t know that humans don’t want sharp puppy teeth on their skin.

Some of my favorite toys are balls on strings, I can throw them farther and make them more interesting than other balls.  I even keep them on top of my fridge so when I get them out it means it is time for training!  Check them out here.

Listen to Him

He is giving you information.  He needs exercise and mental stimulation!  Have you given it to him?

I always tell my clients to ask themselves, honestly, when their puppy misbehaves “Have you given him all the exercise and mental stimulation that he needs in order to be happy and tired?”  `Chances are the answer is NO.

I asked a client this question just last week, because they are suffering from some bruised and cut skin from the rough nipping, and their answer was they were walking him three times a day.  However what they mean by “walking” is taking him outside to go potty.

Dogs and puppies by nature are athletes!  1 mile, 2 miles is really nothing for your puppy!  And, slow paces can be boring.  Going for a brisk 3 mile walk might be just what the two of you need, a couple times a day.

Don’t have time to walk 6 or 9 miles a day?  Add mental stimulation, obedience and training to his exercise regimen.

My dogs love to retrieve.  I taught them from an early age that retrieving is fun, and it is great exercise.  But, I require them to do certain obedience tasks before I throw the ball.  Throwing the ball is the “jackpot” or reward, if you will.

My dogs must sit, down, give focus, heel, stand… you get the idea, and then they happily chase after their reward as quick as possible.  A 20 minute session of retrieve and obedience can be exhausting for them, whereas I would have to walk upwards of 10 miles in order to wear them out!

Remember, a tired puppy is a good puppy.  Find a way to exhaust him.  And although I don’t want you to reward his nipping, I do want you to honestly assess if you have given him what he needs.

Rough Play

Rough play is another way to inadvertently encourage biting!

While over at a client’s house the other day, as I was talking to them I noticed their puppy go over to sit in the father’s lap.  Upon admittance, the dad began to shake his muzzle and pat him in a frantic style.  Of course, the puppy began to “play back” and was nipping and growling with excitement.

Rough play simulates what the puppy would do with his littermates.

Overstimulation

Overstimulated puppies often bite.

Think about being over stimulated, the noises of the room swirling around you, you are excited; you are set up to have a hard time focusing.

Puppies who have trouble focusing often resort to biting, not in an aggressive way but more in a playful and run kind of way.

This is why exercise is so important. 

It is more difficult to be overstimulated if you are tired.

It is also easier to control yourself if you are tired (but not over tired).

Obedience can also better control overstimulation.  If your puppy begins to go wild running around with the zoomies; it is a lot easier if you can give them commands that they can follow so that they can refocus.

Focus and eye contact is also critical, because again to helps to slow the dog down and gives him something that he can be successful at achieving!

But when you need to give him exercise, check out Outward Hound’s Tail Teaser here

Consistency

Remember to be consistent!

Puppies learn through consistency. 

If you play rough with him and get him overstimulated one day, he will be more likely to show these behaviors the next.

Puppyhood is all about control and learning.

Once he has learned his obedience and his impulse control, you can begin to change his expectations or his criteria (perhaps you want your puppy to only sit on one chair but not the other furniture) but not until he has learned control!

This is why it is critical that all members of your family are consistent and work consistently with the rules and training.

If you do this, you will end up with a happy and well adjusted adult dog!

The post How To Stop a Puppy From Biting appeared first on TheDogTrainingSecret.com.

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Do you have a dog who doesn’t seem to be learning how to behave as quickly as you’d like, and you’re concerned that if you don’t figure out how get through to him his behavior is going to keep getting worse?

If so, don’t feel bad! Getting stubborn dogs to learn how to be calm, obedient, relaxed dogs is really hard to do if you don’t understand how to read dog body language.

Not learning how to read dog body language is like trying to communicate with someone who ignores things like your facial expressions, eye rolling, or arm crossing when you don’t want to talk. Ignoring the subtle, nonverbal parts of communication ends up creating situations like this:

It’s a funny cartoon, but it’s not that funny when you watch YouTube videos like this, where the dog is OBVIOUSLY giving off signs that he doesn’t want the toddler to be crawling on him, and it ends badly. Remember, a dog’s mouth is a very dangerous weapon if pushed too far, as this poor family found out the hard way:

Dog bites a baby dangerous video - YouTube

Obviously, this is an example of a dog showing body language that leads to aggressive behavior. But, dogs show many other types of body language signs too…  like fear, happiness & stress. By learning how to read this canine body language and reading your dog’s entire body, life with your dog stops being a one-way conversation and creates a shared communication between pets and their owners.

Knowing that this Secret Dog Body Language Exists, What Should You do About It?

Well… have you ever been in a situation where you had to try and communicate with someone who didn’t speak the same language as you?

Like maybe you tried to learn where the bathroom was in a foreign country and the person you asked didn’t speak English?

What did you end up doing to try to communicate?

Maybe you did some pointing? Maybe you crossed your legs to act out that you ‘had to go’ to get the point across?

In most cases, whenever we humans know we’re not being understood, we try to find some sort of a common language. We know there’s a language barrier, so we turn to other types of communication.

So this begs the question…

What “language” do canines understand?

While it is true that dogs can learn to understand verbal cues and vocalizations…

(because after all they need to know that growling from another pack member means, ‘back the ‘F’ off’)

… vocalizations are NOT the primary way dogs communicate and learn from each other.

The primary way that dogs communicate with each other is actually more through NON-verbal communication.

What we tell our clients here at TheDogTrainingSecret.com is that if you have a dog who is ignoring you, it’s usually because dogs don’t listen with their ears very well… they actually “listen” more with their eyes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that dogs can’t learn to listen (I’ll actually show you how to get them to listen later on)… I’m just saying that it’s not the DEFAULT way dogs communicate.

To show you what I mean here’s a simple ‘Turning Head’ test you can perform on your dog to see if your dog has this same type of listening problem. By turning your head away from your dog so he can’t see your mouth or your facial expressions, you can find out if your dog was actually listening to the words you were saying, or just reading facial expressions.

Try This Quick ‘Dog Listening Test’

Dog Listening Test - YouTube

Pretty crazy huh? My dog wasn’t listening at all! He was reading my facial cues! So the second I hid them from him, he was essentially DEAF to my commands. And many, many dogs are like this.

This happens because dogs are experts at nonverbal communication. They are constantly using their eyes, mouth, tails and body posture to try to tell us how they’re feeling. If we want our dogs to learn behaviors as quickly as possible, we first need to get better at understanding the nonverbal communication signals they’re sending us ALL day long.

So let’s first start with…

How to Read Your Canine’s Mind Through Their Eyes

When learning to read your dog’s eyes, you need to be able to identify the three different types of eye cues dogs give you, which are Neutral, Aroused/Anxious, or “Whale Eyes”. Here’s a great video on reading dog eye cues. See if you can look at the image below and match the pictures of dog eyes to the appropriate eye cue type.

Step #1: Match the Dog Eye Images to the Three Types of Dog Eye Cues

Body Language & Behavior - Dogs - YouTube

Also… watch for dogs who look at you from the corner of their eyes, or avert eye contact. This is a common look for dogs who are feeling fearful. It’s also common for these types of dogs to keep their mouths closed tightly, and hold their breath. If you see a dog doing these things, he’s telling you he’s scared!

Watch For ‘Averting’ Eye-Contact

Remember, if you see a dog exhibiting signs of fear or stress, they will typically respond in one of three ways: fight, flee, or cower.

Humans are pretty bad at actually noticing these signs in dogs. So bad, in fact, that a recent study of dog experts who analyzed dog body language signs in social media pictures where dog owners were hugging their dogs, noted that 80+ percent of dogs were showing signs of stress while being hugged. And the owners had no idea! Learning how to spot these signs is going to make your pooch’s life so much less stressful!

Step #2: Learn How to Read a Dog’s Mind Through Their Tail

The way your dog wags his tail is a fascinating study.

Tail wagging to a dog is like facial expressions to us humans. So just like how we know a smiling person is approachable, and an angry person should be avoided… dogs get that same information from a tail wag.

Here’s a few tips on how to read this nonverbal communication:

Reading Tail Height

How high a dog’s tail is can be a pretty good way to gauge the intensity of your dog’s emotions.

If your dog’s tail is middle height he’s in a pretty relaxed state. If the tail goes straight up, the dog is getting too excited or upset; and the lower it gets the dog is getting more upset or anxious.

But height isn’t the only thing to pay attention to.

The direction your dog’s tail wags, and the speed at which he wags his tail mean different things too.

For example. a tail wagging to the left, like in the images below, is a negative tail wag. A dog wagging his tail in this way is in a negative state of mind. A tail wagging to the right says the dog is in a positive state of mind, and a tail tucked between his legs means he’s feeling submissive.

I recommend taking this chart and starting to pay attention to other dogs while out on walks. See if you can gain some more insights into their emotions. The first time I did this, it was like those videos of people who have their ears cured and hear for the first time; because you realize there is this whole level of communication that your dog has been trying to tell you that you never new about. It’s really pretty cool.

Step #3: Reading Your Dog’s Posture

There are a few reasons you want to make sure you learn how to interpret a dog’s posture.

The first is if you are interested in socializing your dog to other dogs. Socialization is a two-way street with dogs. You need to be able to look at your own dog and read his comfort level around other dogs so you don’t push him too fast and CREATE an anxiety issue. But, even more important, you need to be able to read BAD dog behavior from afar, so you can avoid them.

You don’t want to blindly let your dog walk up to a dominant dog only to end up having to break up a dog fight.

The Pass/No Pass Philosophy

Here at TheDogTrainingSecret.com we teach a pass/no-pass philosophy to people who are training their dogs how to properly interact with others out in the world. What pass/no-pass means is that we want to stay VERY far away from dogs with certain types of posture, as we can tell that they are likely to lunge, bark or attack our dog if we get too close. When people make this mistake and allow their dog to have run-ins with dogs like these, it builds their dog’s anxiety “Head Trash” when they see other dogs (this is especially important when working with a new puppy). So, instead of praying that a dog-to-dog interaction will go well, just walk far around these types of dogs, or step off the side of the path and stay far enough away to prevent an accident.

Here’s an example of dogs you should steer clear of and ones that are ok to walk by:

Also… if you notice YOUR dog doing any of the behaviors in the RED zone on the above graphic, please do other dog owners a favor and steer clear of other dogs, as your dog is not yet ready to interact appropriately. You won’t be doing either dog a favor if you try to approach a submissive dog who’s hiding behind his owners legs, or who seems overly excited to play.

Usually, if you follow those large posture cues you’ll be doing pretty well. But there are some other, more subtle, body language cues that you’ll want to learn how to spot.

Identifying the More Subtle Nonverbal Signs in Dogs

A dog’s posture is the next thing you need to pay attention to, specifically, if you are trying to read a dog who has fear, anxiety or aggression. As with all cues, some can be subtle, and some are more obvious.

Here’s a quick list:
  • Excessive Yawning
  • Lip Licking
  • Raised Hackles (these differ based on dog breeds)
  • Heavy Panting
  • Avoiding Eye Contact and Lowering his Head
  • Rapid Pacing Back & Forth Like He’s Nervous

And to help you know what each of these looks like, here’s a video that shows you examples of each.

How To Spot Fearful Body Posture In Dogs

Fearful Behavior in Dogs - YouTube

Are you starting to see why learning to read your dog’s body language is so key in helping him learn how to behave? Who would have thought that whether or not your dog licks his lips too much was a warning sign, right?

Once we better understand how to tell what your dog is thinking through body posture, types of eye contact, and tail position and movement, the question should be…

What Should You Do When You See Signs of Stress in Your Dog’s Body Language?

When your dog’s body language suggests he’s stressed, we believe in using a handful of different strategies for helping them overcome their fears and anxieties, by working ‘Below their Emotional Threshold’ with low level stimulus. We even built a whole course around this called Impulse Control that you can check out here.

For example…

Let’s say you have a dog who is fearful or anxious around other dogs. In that situation, take your dog to an area where you know dogs will be, like a park or trail. Experiment with how close you can get to other dogs before your dog starts to show body language cues that he’s feeling stressed. Let’s say in this example that is 30 feet away, and you notice your dog start to lick his lips all of a sudden when he’s that close to another dog.

If 30 feet is the distance where your dog starts to feel stressed, then that’s the place we need to start!

If we try to push it and force our dog to work through his fears while he’s 10 feet from the other dog, that’s too much emotional intensity for your dog to make progress.

Be Wary of Forcing Your Dog to Push Through His Fears

There is a very popular dog trainer on TV that has made a name for himself by using video editing to make it look like he can fix fearful dogs by dominating them and forcing them to submit to his ALPHA will.

I cannot even begin to express how dangerous, and harmful, these approaches are to your dog’s ability to have emotional resilience.

When you take the approach of forcing your dog to confront his fears full on, and at their full intensity, you get one of three responses. Your dog will try to flee, fight or cower. Just like you wouldn’t take someone with a fear of spiders and lock them in box full of Tarantulas (in the hopes that’d they’d just ‘get over it’), we don’t want to flood our dog’s emotional system with overwhelming fear and anxiety. Doing so actually makes it MORE likely that your dog will become MORE fearful, anxious and submissive.

Like these poor dogs who’ve been trained to cower submissively by a dog trainer who uses electric shock as a consequence the second their dogs get out of line. Is this what you want your dog to look like?

Augusto Deoliveira off leash pack walk - YouTube

Don’t Take That Approach, Do This Instead…

Instead of using methods like the trainer above, we want to use training methods that teach our dogs to be calm and relaxed when in the presence of things that get them overly emotional.

We want dog’s that look like this while out on a walk: happy, calm and well adjusted, and NOT like the video above.

Proof The Look-A-Way Game Works - YouTube

By taking the time to learn how to read the different types of anxious, excited, fearful and aggressive body language that dog’s are displaying, we take a HUGE leap forward in our ability to be better communicators with our dogs. Better communication leads to a deeper bond, and more obedient behavior.

 

The post How To Read Dog Body Language appeared first on TheDogTrainingSecret.com.

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Good gut health is imperative to your four-legged friend’s overall health.

After all, a dog’s immune system, or “gut” (stomach, colon and intestines), is responsible for preventing toxins and bad bacteria from entering the bloodstream, as well as making sure that valuable nutrients from the food they eat is properly absorbed.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are nutrients that help to balance out the live bacteria in your dog’s intestines and keep their gut healthy. All people and animals have bacteria living in their digestive tract; and while some of it is good bacteria, and some of it not so good, probiotics work to ensure there is enough good bacteria in there to keep a healthy balance.

Are probiotics necessary to keep your pooch fighting fit?

Here we look at the benefits of giving your dog probiotics regularly:

Improved skin and hair

This is more of an ancillary benefit rather than a direct one, but taking probiotics can give your dog a healthier and shinier looking coat.

By improving the bacterial balance in the gut, your dog’s entire body will benefit.

Your dog will be less prone to disease and skin problems, and that will translate to a nicer looking coat and healthier skin. Many skin and hair problems that dogs face are a direct result of digestive and nutritional issues, and much of that is prevented using probiotics.

Reduces mood disorders

If you have noticed your dog being moody and not feeling like itself recently, then you may want to consider using probiotics as a treatment.

Many times, changes in mood and odd behaviors are a result of poor nutrition and digestive issues. If your dog isn’t feeling well because of stomach problems, then it likely won’t act like itself. Your dog will be more irritable or less likely to want to play and be active when its stomach is churning and tied up in knots. Probiotics can take care of a lot of that and provide a simple solution to this complex problem.

Boosts the immune system

A gut imbalance means that your dog’s immune system is busy fighting all sorts of digestive bacteria all the time. In other words, it is too busy to fend off smaller attacks like those from microorganisms that cause infection. So with an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, your pup will be sick more often.

It is important to remember that regular deworming of your pet (monthly flea treatment preventives such as Bravecto chews also contain a dewormer) can cause disruption of the normal bacterial environment.

If you choose to give your dog probiotics for this reason, bacteria levels will even out and normalize. Your pooch will be healthier because its immune system will be stronger, able to fight off colds, sinus infections, allergy symptoms and most minor problems. Your dog will also be healthier and less prone to infection and disease, living a longer, fuller life.

Prevents and decreases most gastrointestinal issues

Dogs with a poor gut balance tend to suffer from all sorts of digestive problems. Their colon, stomach and other digestive components can be infested with bad bacteria and prone to infection. This can cause bloating, gas, constipation, indigestion, nausea and other problems related to digestion. Once treated however, the gut balance will restore the digestive system and your dog will feel a whole lot better.

Taking probiotics not only prevents a lot of these kinds of issues, but it also decreases their potency. In other words, if your dog is already suffering from gastrointestinal problems, then it will start to have less severe symptoms after taking probiotics.

Improves bone health

When your dog’s bacteria levels are off kilter, their immune system has to fight to preserve and draw out nutrients. In other words, a lot of the nutritional value from the food your dog eats will be lost because the dog’s body is working so hard to try to use those minerals simply to stay in decent shape. The body will also be unable to absorb and retain minerals very well while it’s struggling with an unhealthy gut balance.

Once your dog starts taking probiotics however, gut balance will improve and more minerals and nutrients can be absorbed from the food your dog eats. Your dog will get more out of its food, and its bones will be healthier as a result. By absorbing more minerals and nutrients, the bone density will increase, and your dog will enjoy stronger, healthier bones that last longer and provide it with more support. This prevents the onset of osteoporosis later in life and prevents a lot of different bone diseases.

Consult your veterinarian if you are considering probiotics

.These are just a few of the different benefits that come from giving your dog probiotics. But before you make any major nutritional change to your dog’s diet, especially if your dog is in poor health, you should consult your veterinarian.

Probiotics can have a powerfully beneficial effect, and you should notice a series of short-term and long-term positive effects from introducing probiotics into your dog;’ diet. Most dogs can handle these supplements quite well and should not experience much in the way of side effects, but it is always worth consulting your veterinarian first.

About the author

Ron Wolf is a content editor at pupjunkies.com – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous dogs who are fuelled by nature.

The post 5 Key Benefits of Probiotics For Dogs appeared first on TheDogTrainingSecret.com.

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Do you have a dog who doesn’t seem to be learning how to behave as quickly as you’d like, and you’re concerned that if you don’t figure out how get through to him his behavior is going to keep getting worse?

If so, don’t feel bad! Getting stubborn dogs to learn how to be calm, obedient, relaxed dogs is really hard to do if you don’t understand how to read dog body language.

Not learning how to read dog body language is like trying to communicate with someone who ignores things like your facial expressions, eye rolling, or arm crossing when you don’t want to talk. Ignoring the subtle, nonverbal parts of communication ends up creating situations like this:

It’s a funny cartoon, but it’s not that funny when you watch YouTube videos like this, where the dog is OBVIOUSLY giving off signs that he doesn’t want the toddler to be crawling on him, and it ends badly. Remember, a dog’s mouth is a very dangerous weapon if pushed too far, as this poor family found out the hard way:

Dog bites a baby dangerous video - YouTube

Obviously, this is an example of a dog showing body language that leads to aggressive behavior. But, dogs show many other types of body language signs too…  like fear, happiness & stress. By learning how to read this canine body language and reading your dog’s entire body, life with your dog stops being a one-way conversation and creates a shared communication between pets and their owners.

Knowing that this Secret Dog Body Language Exists, What Should You do About It?

Well… have you ever been in a situation where you had to try and communicate with someone who didn’t speak the same language as you?

Like maybe you tried to learn where the bathroom was in a foreign country and the person you asked didn’t speak English?

What did you end up doing to try to communicate?

Maybe you did some pointing? Maybe you crossed your legs to act out that you ‘had to go’ to get the point across?

In most cases, whenever we humans know we’re not being understood, we try to find some sort of a common language. We know there’s a language barrier, so we turn to other types of communication.

So this begs the question…

What “language” do canines understand?

While it is true that dogs can learn to understand verbal cues and vocalizations…

(because after all they need to know that growling from another pack member means, ‘back the ‘F’ off’)

… vocalizations are NOT the primary way dogs communicate and learn from each other.

The primary way that dogs communicate with each other is actually more through NON-verbal communication.

What we tell our clients here at TheDogTrainingSecret.com is that if you have a dog who is ignoring you, it’s usually because dogs don’t listen with their ears very well… they actually “listen” more with their eyes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that dogs can’t learn to listen (I’ll actually show you how to get them to listen later on)… I’m just saying that it’s not the DEFAULT way dogs communicate.

To show you what I mean here’s a simple ‘Turning Head’ test you can perform on your dog to see if your dog has this same type of listening problem. By turning your head away from your dog so he can’t see your mouth or your facial expressions, you can find out if your dog was actually listening to the words you were saying, or just reading facial expressions.

Try This Quick ‘Dog Listening Test’

Dog Listening Test - YouTube

Pretty crazy huh? My dog wasn’t listening at all! He was reading my facial cues! So the second I hid them from him, he was essentially DEAF to my commands. And many, many dogs are like this.

This happens because dogs are experts at nonverbal communication. They are constantly using their eyes, mouth, tails and body posture to try to tell us how they’re feeling. If we want our dogs to learn behaviors as quickly as possible, we first need to get better at understanding the nonverbal communication signals they’re sending us ALL day long.

So let’s first start with…

How to Read Your Canine’s Mind Through Their Eyes

When learning to read your dog’s eyes, you need to be able to identify the three different types of eye cues dogs give you, which are Neutral, Aroused/Anxious, or “Whale Eyes”. Here’s a great video on reading dog eye cues. See if you can look at the image below and match the pictures of dog eyes to the appropriate eye cue type.

Step #1: Match the Dog Eye Images to the Three Types of Dog Eye Cues

Body Language & Behavior - Dogs - YouTube

Also… watch for dogs who look at you from the corner of their eyes, or avert eye contact. This is a common look for dogs who are feeling fearful. It’s also common for these types of dogs to keep their mouths closed tightly, and hold their breath. If you see a dog doing these things, he’s telling you he’s scared!

Watch For ‘Averting’ Eye-Contact

Remember, if you see a dog exhibiting signs of fear or stress, they will typically respond in one of three ways: fight, flee, or cower.

Humans are pretty bad at actually noticing these signs in dogs. So bad, in fact, that a recent study of dog experts who analyzed dog body language signs in social media pictures where dog owners were hugging their dogs, noted that 80+ percent of dogs were showing signs of stress while being hugged. And the owners had no idea! Learning how to spot these signs is going to make your pooch’s life so much less stressful!

Step #2: Learn How to Read a Dog’s Mind Through Their Tail

The way your dog wags his tail is a fascinating study.

Tail wagging to a dog is like facial expressions to us humans. So just like how we know a smiling person is approachable, and an angry person should be avoided… dogs get that same information from a tail wag.

Here’s a few tips on how to read this nonverbal communication:

Reading Tail Height

How high a dog’s tail is can be a pretty good way to gauge the intensity of your dog’s emotions.

If your dog’s tail is middle height he’s in a pretty relaxed state. If the tail goes straight up, the dog is getting too excited or upset; and the lower it gets the dog is getting more upset or anxious.

But height isn’t the only thing to pay attention to.

The direction your dog’s tail wags, and the speed at which he wags his tail mean different things too.

For example. a tail wagging to the left, like in the images below, is a negative tail wag. A dog wagging his tail in this way is in a negative state of mind. A tail wagging to the right says the dog is in a positive state of mind, and a tail tucked between his legs means he’s feeling submissive.

I recommend taking this chart and starting to pay attention to other dogs while out on walks. See if you can gain some more insights into their emotions. The first time I did this, it was like those videos of people who have their ears cured and hear for the first time; because you realize there is this whole level of communication that your dog has been trying to tell you that you never new about. It’s really pretty cool.

Step #3: Reading Your Dog’s Posture

There are a few reasons you want to make sure you learn how to interpret a dog’s posture.

The first is if you are interested in socializing your dog to other dogs. Socialization is a two-way street with dogs. You need to be able to look at your own dog and read his comfort level around other dogs so you don’t push him too fast and CREATE an anxiety issue. But, even more important, you need to be able to read BAD dog behavior from afar, so you can avoid them.

You don’t want to blindly let your dog walk up to a dominant dog only to end up having to break up a dog fight.

The Pass/No Pass Philosophy

Here at TheDogTrainingSecret.com we teach a pass/no-pass philosophy to people who are training their dogs how to properly interact with others out in the world. What pass/no-pass means is that we want to stay VERY far away from dogs with certain types of posture, as we can tell that they are likely to lunge, bark or attack our dog if we get too close. When people make this mistake and allow their dog to have run-ins with dogs like these, it builds their dog’s anxiety “Head Trash” when they see other dogs (this is especially important when working with a new puppy). So, instead of praying that a dog-to-dog interaction will go well, just walk far around these types of dogs, or step off the side of the path and stay far enough away to prevent an accident.

Here’s an example of dogs you should steer clear of and ones that are ok to walk by:

Also… if you notice YOUR dog doing any of the behaviors in the RED zone on the above graphic, please do other dog owners a favor and steer clear of other dogs, as your dog is not yet ready to interact appropriately. You won’t be doing either dog a favor if you try to approach a submissive dog who’s hiding behind his owners legs, or who seems overly excited to play.

Usually, if you follow those large posture cues you’ll be doing pretty well. But there are some other, more subtle, body language cues that you’ll want to learn how to spot.

Identifying the More Subtle Nonverbal Signs in Dogs

A dog’s posture is the next thing you need to pay attention to, specifically, if you are trying to read a dog who has fear, anxiety or aggression. As with all cues, some can be subtle, and some are more obvious.

Here’s a quick list:
  • Excessive Yawning
  • Lip Licking
  • Raised Hackles (these differ based on dog breeds)
  • Heavy Panting
  • Avoiding Eye Contact and Lowering his Head
  • Rapid Pacing Back & Forth Like He’s Nervous

And to help you know what each of these looks like, here’s a video that shows you examples of each.

How To Spot Fearful Body Posture In Dogs

Fearful Behavior in Dogs - YouTube

Are you starting to see why learning to read your dog’s body language is so key in helping him learn how to behave? Who would have thought that whether or not your dog licks his lips too much was a warning sign, right?

Once we better understand how to tell what your dog is thinking through body posture, types of eye contact, and tail position and movement, the question should be…

What Should You Do When You See Signs of Stress in Your Dog’s Body Language?

When your dog’s body language suggests he’s stressed, we believe in using a handful of different strategies for helping them overcome their fears and anxieties, by working ‘Below their Emotional Threshold’ with low level stimulus. We even built a whole course around this called Impulse Control that you can check out here.

For example…

Let’s say you have a dog who is fearful or anxious around other dogs. In that situation, take your dog to an area where you know dogs will be, like a park or trail. Experiment with how close you can get to other dogs before your dog starts to show body language cues that he’s feeling stressed. Let’s say in this example that is 30 feet away, and you notice your dog start to lick his lips all of a sudden when he’s that close to another dog.

If 30 feet is the distance where your dog starts to feel stressed, then that’s the place we need to start!

If we try to push it and force our dog to work through his fears while he’s 10 feet from the other dog, that’s too much emotional intensity for your dog to make progress.

Be Wary of Forcing Your Dog to Push Through His Fears

There is a very popular dog trainer on TV that has made a name for himself by using video editing to make it look like he can fix fearful dogs by dominating them and forcing them to submit to his ALPHA will.

I cannot even begin to express how dangerous, and harmful, these approaches are to your dog’s ability to have emotional resilience.

When you take the approach of forcing your dog to confront his fears full on, and at their full intensity, you get one of three responses. Your dog will try to flee, fight or cower. Just like you wouldn’t take someone with a fear of spiders and lock them in box full of Tarantulas (in the hopes that’d they’d just ‘get over it’), we don’t want to flood our dog’s emotional system with overwhelming fear and anxiety. Doing so actually makes it MORE likely that your dog will become MORE fearful, anxious and submissive.

Like these poor dogs who’ve been trained to cower submissively by a dog trainer who uses electric shock as a consequence the second their dogs get out of line. Is this what you want your dog to look like?

Augusto Deoliveira off leash pack walk - YouTube

Don’t Take That Approach, Do This Instead…

Instead of using methods like the trainer above, we want to use training methods that teach our dogs to be calm and relaxed when in the presence of things that get them overly emotional.

We want dog’s that look like this while out on a walk: happy, calm and well adjusted, and NOT like the video above.

Proof The Look-A-Way Game Works - YouTube

By taking the time to learn how to read the different types of anxious, excited, fearful and aggressive body language that dog’s are displaying, we take a HUGE leap forward in our ability to be better communicators with our dogs. Better communication leads to a deeper bond, and more obedient behavior.

 

The post How To Read Dog Body Language appeared first on TheDogTrainingSecret.com.

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Many dogs don’t do well home by themselves while mom and dad are out at work. On top of it, many dog owners feel guilty about leaving their pups at home all day every day. Doggy day care locations and enrollments have surged in recent years as pet owners look for ways to give dogs social outlets that get them tired while keeping them emotionally happy.

Before You Enroll in Doggy Day Care

Not every dog is suitable for doggy daycare. It might seem like the perfect place for mental stimulation, socialization and exercise for man’s best friend, but some dogs just don’t do well in a daycare facility. Other dogs just need a bit of time to get used to the daycare. And there are those who just jump on in and become part of the pack, if not the de-facto leaders of the pack.

Understanding Temperament Issues

Consider your dog’s temperament before considering doggy daycare at all. Not only will this determine if your dog should be enrolled, but it will also govern the type of facility you choose for your dog. As pack animals, dogs have natural tendencies that lean either as a dominant or submissive personality.

A dominant dog usually doesn’t fear going to the facility but you need to fully understand how he reacts with other dogs. Becoming the alpha isn’t a problem unless there are other alpha’s there and the facility doesn’t have the space or processes in place to accommodate multiple dominant dogs.

Submissive dogs might not like being part of such a big playgroup. If you’ve ever taken your dog to the dog park and he wanders off to sniff and do his own thing, a small facility with a lot of animals might be overwhelming for your dog. When a submissive dog becomes fearful and overwhelmed, he can nip and bite either workers or other animals.

This doesn’t bode well for you, your dog or anyone involved. Start to pay attention to how your dog acts when he meets other dogs on walks or at the dog park. You’ll start to understand his tendencies so you can choose the right facility for your dog.

Dog Health and Immunizations

You won’t be able to take your dog even for a meet and greet at a doggy daycare unless he is up-to-date on all shots and healthy. If a doggy daycare doesn’t ask you for your veterinarian’s health records for vaccinations that include a current kennel cough vaccine and Bordetella, you should find another. There should also be tick preventative measures in place.

Illness spreads quickly among dogs because they are, simply put, in each other’s stuff all the time. Your dog’s health and safety should be concern number one for both you and also the facility. Be prepared with the right documents and expect the daycare center to request them before your first visit.

Cost Guide for Doggy Day Care

Don’t enroll in daycare for dogs until you do your research. There is a lot of factors to consider when trusting anyone, including a large facility with your dog. While everyone is always concerned about the costs, think about some of the benefits you get with the higher fee locations.

Doggy Daycare Costs

Costs vary widely for doggy daycare facilities. Expect to pay anywhere from $12 to $50 per day depending on where you live, the hours the facility offers and the extra amenities it provides. The more services a doggy daycare offers, the more expensive it will be.  Many facilities offer monthly packages that allow owners to be flexible on daycare days but reduce the overall monthly costs to anywhere between $240 to $550 per month.

Licensing and Insurance

The doggy daycare facility should be properly licensed and insured as a local business and adhere to local and state business laws. Every state and county has different guidelines and rules for state licensing. Ask the doggy daycare for a copy of its license and whether or not it is insured and for what types of losses.

Confirm that the insurance covers you in the event that something happens to your dog while under the care of the facility. Negligent acts by owners, staff and other dogs (or their owners) need to be covered by the insurance. You need more than just a trip and fall insurance liability policy.

Certifications

Doggy daycares are not required to obtain a certification like a child daycare facility. This can make it hard for a dog owner to trust the establishment it works with. Pet Care Pros is one company that offers pet care certifications, but this isn’t required to open facilities. Ask the pet care facility if they have any certifications.

Also, ask what training the staff members have. Are they certified dog trainers or handlers? Some might have training in a veterinarian’s office. You should also ask whether all employees are current on Dog CPR and First Aid certifications. This certification is offered by the American Red Cross. You have to know that even in the worst-case scenario such as a dogfight or unforeseen health issue that your dog is in good hands.

Licensed Veterinarian

Ask who the veterinarian on-call is for the facility. Facilities should have someone they use for any emergency. Look up the veterinarian and see if there are someone you would choose for your pet. Even if the vet is next door, if this is a person that you chose not to make your dog’s primary care provider, you should consider whether the facility is for you.

It’s always good to call the veterinarian. If your dog might be under their care, you should know their treatment philosophy and perhaps even set up an intake appointment just so they are familiar with your animal and have their file on record. You don’t need to change vets, but making sure the on-call vet can act in emergency scenarios according to your wishes and your dog’s history is paramount.

Choosing A Doggy Day Care Center

The daycare fee associated with the facility will depend on the size, location and amenities offered. Expect to pay more for a facility that has more to offer. At the same time, densely populated urban areas where commercial real estate is quite expensive will also affect the per day cost of doggy daycare.

Boarding Options

Many doggy daycare facilities offer boarding options as well. This is good to determine at the start of your enrollment. Whether you travel a lot or just occasionally, a boarding facility where your dog already loves to go is nice to have. When your dog is familiar with the location and already associates it with play, there is less stress on him when you are away.

This makes it easier for the dog and for any dog parent when traveling. After all, if you are going on vacation for some well-deserved fun, shouldn’t your dog be having fun too?

Indoor / Outdoor

Find out whether the doggy daycare facility has both large indoor and outdoor play areas. This is imperative in geographic locations where the weather gets extreme. You don’t want your little Chihuahua suffering in the freezing cold nor do you want your Husky to suffer in the desert heat. While this isn’t absolute in all areas, it is nice to know if the location does mix it up so dogs get a lot of exercise regardless of the weather conditions.

Amenities

Some dog daycare facilities have added amenities to make it convenient for pet owners to get more done in less time. Grooming is a common additional service. While grooming fees are always separate, there may be higher costs for a facility that offers it. Some facilities have dog pools or many different play sections for different size or temperaments of dogs.

Small dog sections let the little ones play without fear from the big dogs. A section for elderly dogs allows them to get exercise without being overrun by highly energetic puppies. The facility may have an agility course as well where dogs can run up ramps and perform jumps. This is often part of training services in addition to daycare.

Day Care Routine

Every daycare facility runs the routine a bit differently from check-in and check-out times to feeding routines and play periods. Ask whether your pet will be in an open space all day or does the facility kennel them for any portion of the day like feeding times.

  • What happens if the pet shows anxiety or aggression?
  • Where is the time-out area so they can start to feel comfortable and secure?
  • How are fights broken up or dogs disciplined?

These are important questions to ask. Find out how many staff members there are compared to dogs. It is recommended to not have more than 15 dogs per supervising staff member but the ideal ratio is less than 10. That means there should be one person per 10 dogs per area.

Dog owners should never assume that a doggy daycare does things according to the recommended guidelines. Owners should feel comfortable that the dog is cared for, disciplined and treated in the same fashion he would be if he were home with family.

The post Doggy Day Care: Costs, Services and Selection appeared first on TheDogTrainingSecret.com.

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