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Puppies

The ideal age to pick your puppy up is 6 to 8 weeks of age. It is a good idea to have several things ready at home:

Þ Crate, which is a safe place for a puppy to sleep and to start house breaking lessons. A crate properly used can teach a puppy bladder control.

Þ Toys for play. A “Kong” with a small amount of peanut butter is a great distraction. Balls made of hard rubber are better than tennis balls, the fuzz can create a mess and a possible hazard to your pup’s health. Be careful when selecting toys. Some popular toys look and feel like shoes and slippers. Your puppy will not know the difference and may go after your shoes and slippers.

Þ Water and food bowls. Either ceramic or stainless steel. You may want to consider a bowl that is weighted to discourage a playful puppy from tipping it over and causing a mess.

Þ A small collar with identification and a leash. Remember to take off the collar when you place a puppy in a crate. Check often and adjust the size as your puppy will grow quickly in the first 6 months.

Þ Grooming Tools. Brushes and nail clippers. The sooner you start grooming your puppy the sooner he’ll become used to this type of treatment.

Þ Puppy food. Research you dog food carefully. Make sure it does not have corn as an ingredient. Many puppies are allergic to corn. Try and stay away from discount foods as these may not meet the special nutritional needs of a growing puppy.

Þ Veterinary service and puppy shot records. Arizona is notorious for Parvo. Make sure your puppy has the right amount of Parvo shots to protect him/her. Discuss a puppy shot record with your vet . Even though it is thought that the southwest is not typical heartworm country, it is safe to include this medication to your puppy’s monthly regimen.

Dog Sit Command

• Place your dog on your left side

• Give the command “(dog’s name) – sit” and use the hand signal as you give the command. The correct hand signal is to raise your left hand, bending at the elbow, palm facing you.

• Than ask your dog to “(dog’s name) – stay” the hand signal palm facing dog swing gently back and forth.

• If your dog sits, then praise him by saying “good sit”

• If your dog does not sit, gently hold the collar and give a gentle push on the rear end as you say the command “sit”.

• Another method to having your dog sit is the treat reward, grasp the treat firmly than put your hand near the dogs nose slowly move your treat hand between your dogs eyes when he sits give him the reward.

• Practice at least five sits with each training session

• As the week progresses, your dog should begin to sit automatically

• Practice the sit/stay command whenever possible. When feeding your dog this would be an ideal practice time. Have him sit/stay before he gets his dish. Be sure to use the release command, “OK” before he is allowed to come out of a sit.

• If your dog spins to look at you when you ask for the sit practice in a hallway having your dog against the wall and blocking the other side of his body with yours.

week 1 – Teaching Your Dog to Heel

 

The first week of group we learned how to hold our leash, how to give a command with hand signal, what is calming signals, and the heel command.

How to hold the leash: Place the loop of the leash handle over your right thumb than measure the leash to your belly button and loop over your first finger than anchor to your stomach area. Do not hold the leash with your left hand.

What is the command: Say your dogs name first to get their attention than say heel at the same time slap your left thigh and walk off with your left leg (Tank, Heel).

Assignment for the week: Please practice by yourself no distractions. You can work on your drive way and practice 5- left turns, 5- right turns, 5 – stop, large circles and 5-180 degree turns. For best results practice twice a day for 10 minute.

In the home: Have your dog on leash, have some treats and make sure it is in a quiet area. Whenever your dog pulls on the leash make a noise to gain their attention, have your dog come to you than give them a treat. Goal whenever the dog reaches the end of their leash and there is a pulling action they will automatically come back to you where the leash is slack. Please practice this game 2 to 5 minutes a day.

Have a great week,

Eileen

 

How a Dog Learns

 

When training a dog it is important to be positive, encouraging and consistent. Dogs learn through repetition or what is called patterning. Example: Teaching a puppy to heel: For 25 to 30 days, train the pup every day on the concept of heel. Somewhere around the 25th to 30th day, the puppy takes the heeling lesson and moves it from the conscious to the unconscious brain. The transfer from conscious to unconscious can take from 2 to 7 days depending the puppy’s ability and willingness to learn. During this time a puppy may be more distracted, not heeling as well as they should. After the 2 to 7 days your puppy should be heeling like a pro. Each puppy learns differently with some learning more quickly than others. The key ingredient is to be patient, loving, consistent and encouraging. Try to imagine an athlete learning to ski for the first time. At first, they are clumsy but through practice, repetition, encouragement and mentoring they become quite a champion. The same is true when training your puppy.

 

REVIEW:

  • Be positive, encouraging and consistent with training.
  • A puppy needs 25 to 30 days to absorb a lesson thoroughly.
  • As a trainer you will be able to help your puppy learn.
  • Your puppy will bond more closely with you.

Foods That are Toxic to Dogs

Toxic Table Scraps for Dogs

Sharing “just a bite” of food off your plate with your pet is harmless, right? Wrong. Below is a list of common human foods that can be toxic-even deadly-to dogs and cats.
• Alcohol
• Caffeine
• Chocolate
• Fatty foods such as chicken fat
• Macadamia nuts
• Non-sugar sweeteners (xylitol) some peanut butters now have this ingredient in the formula. Be careful when choosing a peanut butter for your dog.
• Onions and garlic
• Salt
• Yeast dough
• Grapes
• Raisins
In case if a poisoning emergency call Pet Poison Helpline 24/7 at (800) 213-6680.

Dog Body Language

Attentive:

  • Ears up
  • Eyes moving, not fixed
  • Lips relaxed
  • Head up, hair down
  • Weight equally distributed
  • Tail stiff and horizontal
  • Tail moving slowly as aroused
  • Non-verbal

Playful:

  • Ears up
  • Eyes relaxed
  • Hair down
  • Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
  • Front foot may wave a target
  • Tail wagging high, broad, fast
  • Animated, exaggerated, bouncing movements
  • May pant, bark or whine

 

Aggression:

  • Ears forward at first, out and down as escalates, back when attacking
  • Eyes fixed, staring at target
  • Lips raised, mouth slightly open
  • Nose wrinkled
  • Head high
  • Hair raised over rump and back of neck
  • Leaning forward, weight shifted to front
  • Body stiff, tense
  • Front leg may point a target
  • Tail stiff and high over back, tip may quiver
  • May growl, snarl and bark

 

Submissive:

  • Ears down
  • Eyes down
  • Lips down, retracted horizontally
  • Head down
  • Hair down
  • Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
  • Tail may wag horizontally, hang down or be tucked close to body
  • May whine

 

Passively Submissive:

  • Ears down
  • Eyes down
  • Lips down
  • Hair down
  • Head down
  • Lying on side or back
  • Tail tucked close to body
  • May urinate

 

Fearful: (displacement signals

  • Ears back and down
  • Eyes wide open and fixed (whale eye)
  • Mouth open slightly
  • Head down
  • Hair raised over neck
  • Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
  • Tail tucked tight under abdomen
  • May tremble and defecate or urinate
  • Makes fast moves if threatened
  • Looks for escape routes
  • Whines
  • Excessive sniffing the ground
  • Hair will start to fall out
  • Paws can start to sweat
  • May try to look small by hunching
  • Drooling

Teaching Your Dog to Come Off Leash

Come Game: In home practice with a treat can filled with the best dogs treats and make sure when you shake the can it will make a noise easily heard.

• Shake the can and say your dogs name followed with come example “Tank, Come”
• The minute your dog starts to acknowledge you and the command start saying, “Good Dog”
• When your dog comes to you give your dog the treat
• When your dog becomes proficient with this game have someone place your dog in another room and call them to you make sure you shake the can
• As the dog becomes familiar with the game start shaking the can with less intensity and on occasions reward him with a treat
• Goal is to eventually just call your dog to you without the shake can and treats

In the back yard: You will need the shake can and a long lead training leash do not use extension leashes.
• Attach the long lead and let your dog roam around the yard
• Plan when you are going to call him and follow the instructions mentioned above
• Practice with leash for 2 weeks than remove the lead and practice the game
• Keep the game fun and exciting

As your dog becomes proficient with the come game in all circumstances than go to a park and practice make sure to use the long training lead.

The Importance of Dog Body Exams

When you acquire a dog it is very important that you immediately start doing weekly body exams. The purpose of these exams is to get familiar to what your dog’s body looks like. By performing these weekly exams it will make you more aware if something is happening to your dog.
• Start from the tip of the nose and work all the way down to the tail.
• Look inside your dog’s nose look for anything abnormal.
• Look into your dog’s eyes look for discoloring of the eye, overly water, and yellowish substance.
• Look into your dog’s ears for any kind of dirt, black looking substance, does it smell and is your dog itching or shaking their head.
• Exam your dog’s mouth look for chipped teeth, red swollen gums, any kind of growth, overly foul smelling breath.
• As you proceed look through the fur for skin bumps, lesions, cuts, sores, swellings, ticks, fleas, etc.
• Look between your dog’s paws for anything out of the ordinary.
• Look between the legs, around to the rear and all the way to the end of the tail.
If you see anything out of the ordinary make an appointment with your veterinarian always run on the side of being cautious it may save your dog’s life.

Dog Communication Signals

Attentive:
Eyes moving, not fixed
Lips relaxed
Head up
Hair down
Weight equally distributed
Non-Verbal

Playful:
Ears up
Eyes moving
Lips relaxed
Hair down
Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
Front foot may wave a target
Tail wagging high, broad, fast
Animated, exaggerated, bouncing movements
May pant, bark, or whine

Aggressive:
Ears forward at first, out & down as escalates, back when attacking
Eyes fixed, staring at target
Lips raised, mouth slightly open
Nose wrinkled
Head high
Hair raised over rump & back of neck
Leaning forward, weight shifted to front
Body stiff, tense
Front leg may point a target
Tail stiff & high over back, tip may quiver
May growl, snarl, & bark

Submissive:
Ears down
Eyes down
Lips down, retracted horizontally
Head down
Hair down
Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
Tail may wag horizontally, hang down, or be tucked close to body
May whine

Passively Submissive:
Ears down
Eyes down
Lips down
Hair down
Head down
Lying on side or back
Tail tucked close to body
May urine

Fearful:
Ears back & down
Eyes wide open & fixed
Mouth opens slightly
Head down
Hair rose over neck
Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
Tail tucked tight under abdomen
May tremble & defecate
Makes fast moves if threatened
Looks for escape route
Whines

Dogs and July 4th Fireworks

It’s that time of year when America celebrates the Declaration of Independence with a picnic which is followed by fireworks. Most of us love fireworks but for our pets it can be a difficult time especially when there is a loud bang. The minute my dog hears the first bang she alerts, tail tucks under her belly, she starts to pants, shakes and her heart rate increases. For the next few hours she paces the home, tries to find a hiding place and shakes. It breaks my heart seeing her react this way and I begin to worry about her health. Some dogs have died from cardiac arrest. My other 2 dogs just act like it is another day not even bothered by this event. Below I listed a few ideas on what to do before and during the 4th of July to help you with a game plan.
• I would highly suggest that you talk to your dog’s veterinarian about the dog’s reaction and if your dog would benefit from medication. Alprazolam is a drug often prescribed.
• Try a thunder vest have your dog wear it several days before the 4th of July so they will be familiar with the feel of it.
• Crate your dog, darken the room, place them in the most quiet of rooms, and cover the crate. With some dogs this works with my dog it does not she needs to walk off her stress.
• Keep your dog inside, outside a dog can become so fearful that they may try to escape the yard and run off.
• Exercise your dog throughout the day so they may be more restful at night and provide plenty of water.
• Play music or have the television on to drown out the noises.
• A few weeks before the 4th purchase a CD with the sounds of thunder play it every day starting at a low decibel and increase slowly throughout the weeks. The goal is to get the dog comfortable with loud noises.
• If you can, leave with your dog and go to a place that does not have fireworks.
• Do not become stressed yourself your dog may become more stressed by your behavior.
• The following day your dog may be exhausted so have a restful easy day.