Category Archives: Dog Behavior

 Nearly Half Still Believe This Painful but Persistent Dog Myth – Do You?

By: Dr. Becker

Recently, researchers in British Columbia conducted a study of people’s awareness and perceptions around the practice of tail docking and ear cropping of dogs.1 Past studies have primarily involved dog breeders and veterinarians; however, this study was designed for the general public.
The study peaked my interested because, as writer Karen Brulliard points out in her article for the Washington Post:
“Dogs are born with ears and tails. They should get to keep them.”2f
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve never performed these strictly cosmetic surgeries on any dog. I also refuse to do cat declaws or dog devocalization (“debarking”) — two other medically unnecessary, “for human convenience only” procedures that are cruel and unquestionably inhumane.
Study Featured 4 Breeds That Are Often Tail-Docked and Ear-Cropped
Experiment 1 in the B.C. study involved 810 U.S. residents, including 474 men and 336 women with a mean age of 44. Of the 810 participants, 318 were a primary caregiver of a dog.
For the study, the researchers used images of four dog breeds — the Doberman Pinscher, Miniature Schnauzer, Boxer and Brussels Griffon. Dogs belonging to each of these breeds are routinely subjected to tail docking and ear cropping.
The participants were shown two pictures of one of the four breeds, one natural (with the tail and ears the dog was born with), and one with docked tail and cropped ears.

           

Doberman Pinscher: natural                   

  

Doberman Pinscher: surgically altered                                                                                                        
They were told the dog pairs were siblings, and asked to explain why they thought the ears and tails looked different.
Many Study Participants Claimed to Believe Dogs Are Born With Docked Tails and Cropped Ears
The researchers reported that 58 percent of participants correctly answered that the dogs with cropped ears and docked tails had been surgically altered after they were born. However, astonishingly, the other 42 percent claimed not to know that dogs are not born with docked tails and cropped ears.
These people believed the appearance of the shorter ears and tails was simply a genetic variation. They believed dogs of the same breed vary in appearance up to and including tails and ears of different shapes and sizes.

     

Miniature Schnauzer: natural             

    

Miniature Schnauzer: surgically altered                                                                            

  
Not surprisingly, dog owners were more apt to answer correctly than non-owners.
Surgically Altered Dogs Are Perceived as More Aggressive, Dominant
Experiment 2 of the study involved 392 U.S. residents, including 241 men and 151 women with a mean age of 34. Of this second group, 149 were a primary caregiver of a dog.
In this experiment, the researchers wanted to learn if the physical appearance of the dogs caused the participants to make assumptions about their personality traits.

  

Boxer pup: natural.                     

 

Boxer: surgically altered                                                                                                       

Participants in experiment 2 perceived the surgically altered dogs as more aggressive towards both people and other dogs — and more dominant — than the natural dogs. They perceived the natural dogs as more playful and more attractive.
Study Also Revealed How Owners of ‘Modifie’ Dogs Are Perceived by Others
In a third experiment involving 420 U.S. residents, 235 men and 151 women with a mean age of 34 years, the researchers evaluated how owners of natural vs. surgically altered dogs are perceived.
Study participants viewed owners of surgically altered dogs as “more aggressive, more narcissistic, less playful, less talkative and less warm than owners of natural dogs.”3 Interestingly, gender also played a role in these perceptions.
If the owner of an altered dog was female, she was perceived by the participants as being more aggressive, dominant, narcissistic and competent than the female owner of a natural dog. Male owners of surgically altered dogs were viewed as more narcissistic, less warm and less competent than male owners of natural dogs

       

     Brussells Griffon: natural     

  

Brussell Griffon: altered.                                                                           



Study Co-Author Believes People ‘Just Don’t Want to Know About’ the Details of Tail Docking and Ear Cropping


Marina A. G. von Keyserlingk, Ph.D., an animal welfare professor at the University of British Columbia and co-author of the study, told the Washington Post the study results suggest it simply doesn’t occur to many people that the physical appearance of dogs may be the result of human decisions forced on them.


Co-author Katelyn Mills, a graduate student studying under von Keyserlingk, believes the lack of awareness could be deliberate. “People disconnect themselves from things if they find it uncomfortable,” Mills said. “They don’t want to know about it.”4


“They’re not particularly pleasant procedures to know about,” says the Post’s Bruilliard. “Tail-docking is performed by veterinarians or breeders when puppies are [3] to [5] days old, either by cutting the tail with scissors or a scalpel or putting an elastic band around it that restricts circulation and makes it fall off. Anesthetic is rarely used.


“Veterinarians usually, but not always, do ear-cropping on [7]- to 12-week-old puppies and use anesthetic. After cutting the ears into the owner’s chosen shape (Dobermans might get a ‘military crop’ or a ‘show crop’), the ears are held upright for months, at first in a styrofoam cup and then with tape, until they heal and stand on their own.”5


Attention Dog Breeders and Kennel Clubs: It’s Time to Denounce These Barbaric Procedures


Tail docking and ear cropping are banned in much of Europe and Australia. Unfortunately, the procedures continue to be routinely performed in the U.S. and Canada, despite the fact that the American and Canadian veterinary medical associations have taken a stand against them.


In the U.S., it is the American Kennel Club (AKC) and breeders that refuse to see the light. Many AKC breed standards call for docking and cropping, and any dog of those breeds that has been allowed to keep his ears and tail might as well not show up for AKC-affiliated events. He either won’t be allowed to compete, or he’ll have no chance of winning.
The arguments for ear cropping and tail docking don’t hold up under scrutiny, especially since most dogs in the U.S. today live in family homes and aren’t used for hunting or burrowing. These days, these painful procedures are done for one of three reasons: as a cosmetic “enhancement,” for the sake of “tradition” or to make a dog look intimidating.
Tragically, as much as people love their dogs and view them as members of the family and best friends, at the same time, many also see them as material belongings that can be bought, sold, traded, ignored, mistreated, “surgically enhanced” or abandoned. Until that perspective changes among the general public, and certainly among breeders and kennel clubs, humans will continue to breed and surgically alter dogs for appearance, rather than preserving and protecting their natural design.

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What’s With The Manly Protection Once A Dog Defacates

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Anyone who owns dogs has seen this stance and many other stances from our beloved pet after he has relieved himself.  He’s gets quite protective of his remains as if he’s ready for war with anyone goes near.  As a professional pet sitter, it is my least favorite task to do. You know, scooping the poop.  But we all have to do what we have to, to keep the finances flowing .

The Question Remains : What is the purpose of these  dogs scratching, protecting and burying  with their paws after they eliminate?

This has actually been a popular  discussion topic  lately on Facebook and other groups I’m involved with. We’re determined to understand the psychosis meaning of this dog behavior.

Dogs of both sexes commonly scratch or scrape the ground with their hind paws immediately after defecating. Some dogs also perform this action after urinating. This is a normal behavior — it’s your dog’s way of leaving a scent and visual message to other hounds that might pass by later. Wolves, the ancestors of domestic dogs, perform this behavior for the same reason.

Purpose
Dogs have scent glands under their paws and in between their toes. When the dog scrapes at the ground near his fresh poop pile, the scent from these glands is transferred to the ground. Before dogs became domesticated, it was useful to mark their territory using the scent from their glands. Wild dogs, and their wolf ancestors, use this method of marking to protect territories that were too large to patrol each day.
Message

When wolves and dogs roamed wild, they needed to warn other animals away from their territory. This was the dogs’ way of protecting their food sources, for example, the rabbits living in their territory, and also their breeding females. You might think that the dog’s feces is sufficiently pungent to warn off competing animals, but much of the scent is lost once the feces dries out. The scent from the dog’s feet glands is more enduring. Additionally, the long and deep scrape marks left by the dog’s paws and claws let other dogs know that your dog is strong and powerful.
Health Concerns
If your dog usually scrapes the ground after defecating, it can be a warning sign if she stops this behavior. When dogs develop arthritis or other health problems affecting their mobility, they may stop scraping. As arthritis progresses, dogs may have trouble reaching a squatting position for defecation. This can lead to problems with the dog soiling herself.
Practical Considerations
A dog’s scraping after defecation can make cleaning up his poop more awkward. It’s best just to let your dog finish his scraping before you bend down to pick up his poop, otherwise you risk getting dirt or worse kicked up into your face. Most dogs will not tread in their own poop as they scrape, as they spread their paws wide enough to avoid the feces. Unlike cats, dogs do not scrape and scratch to cover up their poop. The intention is to leave the feces visible to other dogs, with an extra marking scent surrounding the poop. Don’t try to train your dog out of scraping as it’s a natural and instinctive behavior that takes only a little time and doesn’t cause significant damage to the landscape.

 

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Dog Bite Prevention Week 2016

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Every year, millions of people — mostly children — are bit by dogs, and experts say most cases were preventable.

In honor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs May 15-21, here are five tips to prevent bites. However, it is important to note that these prevention methods are reserved for non-aggressive dogs; canines that have already bitten or even growled and barked should be seen by a veterinary behaviorist or behavior consultant.

Tip One

Problem to prevent: Your dog bites a person or dog while off-leash (at home or away).
Prevention: Early conditioning (or remedial counter conditioning) People = good news for dogs. Teaching dogs that humans are safe is key and the earlier the better. Proper puppy socialization classes are highly recommended. In addition, teaching simple tasks, like coming when called, and manners, like sit and down, are also good tools to guide our dogs away from people if the dog becomes frightened or overwhelmed.

Tip Two

Problem to prevent: Your dog bites humans who reach for him.
Prevention: Teach your dog to gently touch a human hand (hand targeting). This prevents bites by giving your dog a specific task to do when he sees a human hand reaching for him – touch it gently with his nose. Because we use reinforcement-based training, this also teaches your dog (or puppy) that human hands are safe. Touching the hand yields a treat.

Tip Three

Problem to prevent: Your dog bites a person or dog on a walk.
Prevention: Teach your dog to follow you on leash and change directions when cued. Not all dogs or people will want to meet your dog, even if he’s friendly. Teaching your dog to calmly follow your directions on walks will prevent frustration and possible aggression as a result. Teaching your friendly dog to properly approach and interact with people on walks will also prevent bites.

Tip Four

Problem to prevent: Your dog bites a human who bumps, startles or steps on him.
Prevention: Teach your dog to give humans personal space and not crowd them unless invited to do so. Dogs are very sensitive to personal space and can learn to move out of the way when humans approach them. It’s good manners and it helps teach them to be aware of human movement. Since we train this with praise and treats, there is no fear associated with the movement. Fear fuels aggression, so it’s best not to scare our dogs when training them.

Tip Five

Problem to prevent: Your dog bites people when he becomes frightened or stressed.
Prevention: Teach your dog to calm himself by making better behavior choices on his own. For example, teach them how to settle themselves on a mat. It’s a unique process called “shaping,” which basically engages the dog’s brain and helps him figure out how to go to the mat and relax on his own.

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Hello Cat Meet Dog ; Dog Meet Cat…PEACEFULLY

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Prince Nino

I have had my new Shih Tzu puppy , Prince Nino for almost three weeks now. I will tell you, it has not been easy introducing Nino to his new siblings of dogs and cats. The older pets simply don’t like him. And I’ve been working on different strategies to help them get along. I get that Nino is a puppy. Puppies can be annoying. My older pets have no issue with letting him. And when Nino cries, I get very upset and feel bad. I know what it’s like to be rejected too.

Well I have developed some strategies and want to pass along the tips to anyone going through the same thing.

It’s exciting to add a cuddly new pet to your life, except maybe when you have to introduce it to another pet that has already staked claim to your home. That’s especially true if one’s a dog and the other’s a cat. But whether you’re introducing a new dog to your cats — or a new cat to your dogs — it doesn’t have to be hard. Here is some expert advice to help keep peace during the transition.

Watch the Dog

If there’s going to be a problem during cat and dog introductions, it’s usually caused by the dog. SURPRISE!

Most dogs will chase a rapidly moving object. So if a cat gets frightened and runs, a dog often feels honor-bound to chase it.. It’s important to nip that in the bud. If you don’t, the result can be injury, and even death, for the cat.

Basic Rules

Make sure your cat can run and hide if it wants to. Whether your cat is the newbie or the senior pet in the house, the cat needs to be able to move freely when the introduction is made. There should be perches or cubbies for hiding, someplace where the cat can get off the floor and settle in. You basically want an elevated resting place [for the cat].

Make sure your puppy or dog is well restrained. Your dog shouldn’t be able to chase, even if the cat darts away. This is a bigger issue with herding breed dogs, who have a prey instinct. But it’s really a hardwired response in all dogs to chase small fluffy things that run away quickly.

Consider baby gates. Gates can help you gradually introduce dogs and cats, and the barrier minimizes danger to the cat. A baby gate is often better than a cat carrier because it gives the cat much-needed freedom.

Age Can Make a Difference
When introducing a new pet to the household, youth can be a virtue. That’s because puppies are much less dangerous to adult cats, and kittens can be quite fearless with adult dogs.
The same safety rules still apply, though. When adding a kitten or puppy, you may want to enforce separation longer or extend your period of supervision. That’s because kittens tend to scurry (an enticing behavior for dogs) and puppies are just goofy and will want to pester the cat.

4 Don’ts

Here are four common mistakes you don’t want to make when introducing cats and dogs:
Forcing physical proximity: Picking up your cat and holding it in your dog’s face by way of introduction will tempt your cat to scratch the dog and encourage the dog to not like the cat. Always let kitty decide when or if it will approach the dog.
Not knowing the background of the dog you adopt. Adopting a dog from a shelter is often a wonderful idea, especially if you don’t have other pets. But people rarely know a shelter dog’s past. If a 2-year-old dog is looking for a home, there’s usually a good reason. In some cases, the dog may be aggressive, destructive, or have other problems. If you want to bring a canine into a feline household, I do recommend getting a puppy.
Not preparing your pet for change: Make changes like moving your cat’s litter box, putting up a baby gate, or closing certain doors before you bring your new pet home. That way, your long-time pet has a chance to get used to the changes before the new pet shows up.
Not thinking about your pet’s reaction. Try to think about the changes you’re making in your home from your pet’s perspective. For example, be aware that if you move the litter box and the cat has to walk past the dog’s kennel to get to it and the dog is barking that’s going to be stressful for the cat.
When to Get Help

If you’re lucky, it can take just a few minutes for a new pet to settle in, although it’s more likely to take days or even weeks.

But if you’ve come home to find your kitty cowering in fear, if one pet is always hiding, if your dog is displaying resource guarding behavior (such as snarling around its food) or being aggressive toward your cat, get help.

Don’t wait until a pet gets hurt. Talk with a veterinary behaviorist (a veterinarian specializing in animal behavior). These professionals can help you troubleshoot so that your old and new pets get along.

Training Your New Puppy

I am so excited, overwhelmed, overworked yet very happy!  This is the new edition to our family, an all black Shih Tzu named Prince Nino.  My Nino is smart, affectionate , very energetic and a quick learner and he is only 8 weeks old.   It hasn’t been hard to train him because of several reasons. He listens well and is growing up with three other Shih Tzus in the house . He knows when to eat, and how to ask to go outside to potty.  He even knows to pee on the pee pad. We have had only one accident and that happened on the first day.

Yes, we are lucky but you can be lucky , knowledgable and an expert too with training your new pup. I just want to give some of my tips as well as a professional dog trainers advice.  There are some things that professional trainers believe you should do that I don’t do such as crate training. I am including it because every dog breed is different. So where I don’t believe in it for my shih tzus, it doesn’t mean it is not appropriate for let’s say a German Shepard.

 

EASY PUPPY POTTY TRAINING

It’s normal for a young puppy to be a little ‘input-output’ machine. Since they are growing and developing rapidly at this stage, they eat more food, burn up more energy and seem to need to eliminate constantly! Puppies have not yet developed bowel and bladder control, so they can’t ‘hold it’ as long as adult dogs.

Puppies need time to developed a “den” instinct to cause them to want to ‘hold it’ and not soil the den, i.e., your entire house. In their litter, puppies just go whenever and wherever they happen to be! Successful house training depends upon your diligent supervision so you can be there to show your pup where to eliminate.

Just so you know, a puppy is never completely housetrained until they are 6 months old. For some breeds, even later. This means that though you may be making tremendous progress housetraining, there will be “mistakes”. Sometimes for reasons you can’t figure out! Don’t fret about it. Stay focused on the progress you are making. Your confidence in the techniques you are using to house train your puppy will ensure your success.

Your Five Rules for House Training

• Give your puppy frequent access to his toilet area – prevent soiling in the house.
• Reward the pup for peeing or pooping in the right place – use a special treat.
• Never punish the pup for housetraining “mistakes” – scolding has dire consequences.
• Put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule – in/out clockwork.

• Know when your puppy last eliminated – keep a diary.

How often do puppies have to potty?

Most puppies have to eliminate about every 30-45 minutes except, of course, when sleeping. Their elimination schedule will depend upon when they last ate or drank water; rambunctious physical activity; and the big unknown – personal preference! That’s right – every pup has their own inherent elimination schedule. The good news is, puppies sleep alot!

The section below on “HouseTraining Taxi Service” will tell you WHEN to give your pup immediate access to her toilet area. For now – keep reading.

If your puppy is not sleeping in her crate or pen, and is out in the house, you must follow her around to know what she is doing: chewing a bone, running circles, getting a drink of water, etc. In fact, don’t take your eye off of her! If you cannot watch her continuously, you must put her back into her pen or crate to prevent potty training “mistakes”.

Regular feedings will house train a puppy faster

It’s very important to put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule; What goes in on a regular schedule will come out on a regular schedule. Every pup is different; some poop immediately after eating; with others it may be 30 minutes to an hour after eating. Unless advised by your vet for some medical reason, do not free-feed. That is, do not leave food out all the time. For two reasons: First, your pup’s elimination schedule will be random at best. And second, she will not necessarily associate you as the provider of her food (see our article on being a pack leader and winning a puppy’s respect and trust).

Always leave water out for your puppy. Check the water bowl frequently to note how much she is drinking and to make sure the water bowl is full.

The best way to potty train a puppy

Confinement to a small area such as a bathroom or an enclosed exercise pen in combination with confinement to a crate works best.

This method is the most effective and flexible. Your pup needs to develop his natural “den instinct” and learn where to eliminate – and where not to. To potty train our puppy we must condition a desire in the pup to avoid soiling the “den” – your house. Confinement and your due diligence in providing access outside the “den” to potty and poop will develop this instinct and eventual desire. When and how to use confinement is described in detail below.

Choose a designated toilet area for House Training

So, where do you want to train your puppy to always potty and poop? The puppy toilet area needs to be accessible very quickly. 

• If you live in a high rise apartment, or a street level apartment or home with DIFFICULT outdoor access, use a bathroom or pen in the home for housetraining. 

• If, however, you live in a street level apartment or home with EASY outdoor access, use a specific, very close outdoor location and use “Housetraining Taxi Service.” You will still use an indoor pen for housetraining purposes, but outdoors will be your puppy’s primary toilet area.

Get the items you need for housetraining and set up the household:

• A few bottles of Nature’s Miracle or similar product to remove urine and fecal stains and odor. Place these in a central or multiple locations in your house with paper towels.
• A crate that will fit next to your bed but only large enough to accomodate your puppy when full grown. I prefer the wire type for a full view of the puppy. Get one that also collapses for easy transporting.
• An exercise pen that your puppy cannot jump out of. Put the exercise pen in a central location where you spend most of your time at home. You may want to put a tarp down first then set the pen on top of it.
• Special housetraining treats (rewards) – something small and special, reserved and used only for a housetraining reward. These treats should be kept close to the designated toilet area.

• An uplifting, cheery, excited tone of voice to carry with you at all times ( do they have that at the pet store? ).

“HouseTraining Taxi Service”

What ? To house train my puppy I have to call a cab? Well, not exactly, here’s the scoop. Puppies will decide to potty or poop instantly, giving you no warning. So many times when housetraining, a puppy is led to the door and on the way they just stop and do their business. This usually happens because the puppy has not developed enough bladder or bowel control yet to “hold it” until they get to the toilet area or they simply don’t know where the toilet area is yet. Not only has the pup made “a mistake,” but you have lost a chance to reward for going in the right place.

The key to house training is preventing “mistakes” and rewarding the puppy for going in your chosen spot.

“HouseTraining Taxi Service” is simply picking the puppy up into your arms, taking them to the designated toilet area, setting them down and praising them for going where you want. If you are going outside, put a collar and leash on the pup immediately after picking them up, unless the toilet area is safely enclosed and escape proof.

When should you provide “HouseTraining Taxi Service”
• Immediately upon your puppy waking up (morning, noon or night).
• Immediately after they finish eating, get a big drink of water, and after excited play
• When you think they might have to go – about every 45 minutes.
Better too often than too late! 
• When your puppy whines in the crate in the middle of the night or whines in their pen during the day. Take them out to potty, reward for going and put them right back. If they continue to whine, see our article on whining and crying.
• When your puppy is standing at the door to the outside. Why not just let them out, you say? Well, he may not make it all the way to the toilet area, potty or poop in the “wrong” place and you have missed a housetraining opportunity!

For how long should you provide “HouseTraining Taxi Service” ? 
Taxi your pup for about one month (until the pup is about 3 months old as this should give the pup enough time to develop some bladder and bowel control). By doing so, you will prevent many mistakes. At the same time you will train a stong preference in your pup to eliminate in your chosen spot. The pup will also learn that being picked up gets – kisses ! 

If you have a large breed puppy and can’t pick them up, slip on a leash quickly and “rush” them to the potty area, do not stop until you are there !

House Training Warnings – “I’m gonna go!”

Guess what, you get no warning before a young puppy is about to potty! They just squat and do it… in an instant. So, if they potty in the wrong place, you didn’t take them to their potty area soon enough – plain and simple.

However, with a poop you might get some warning – sometimes sniffing; usually circling by the puppy. By paying close attention to your puppy when they are out and about in the house, you may get a heads-up.

What to do if you catch your puppy in the act of a potty training “mistake”…

If pup is peeing in the wrong place… you may be able to stop him. Move quickly towards him when he begins to pee and pick him up. Urgency is key here – you want to startle the pup just a little as you move towards them to pick them up, but you DO NOT want to scare the pup. You are redirecting your puppy to the right spot – not disciplining him. Immediately after picking him up, take him to the potty area and patiently wait. Most pups will finish there. Reward your pup with exuberance!

If the pup is pooping… let them finish. Puppies are not able to shut off a poop like they can shut off a pee. More likely than not, you’ll just create a huge mess by trying to interupt a poop.

As always, never make a big deal about cleaning up after your puppy when an accident occurs.

Housetraining at your bedtime and when you wake up

Just before you go to bed and turn out the lights, go get your puppy, no matter where she may be, asleep or not, and taxi her to the potty area. Reward and praise as always for eliminating. Put her in the crate next to your bed and retire for the night. 

First thing in the morning, take her out of the crate and taxi her to the potty area. Return her to the crate or pen unless you are able to supervise her without distraction. Feeding is usually next up. Feed your pup breakfast around the same time each morning and in the same location.

House Training When you are NOT Home

Confine your puppy to his, ‘puppy-proofed’ bathroom or an exercise pen and paper (or wee-wee pad) the entire floor. Put his bed, toys and food/water bowls there. At first there will be no rhyme or reason to where your pup eliminates. He will go every where and any where. He will also probably play with the papers, chew on them, and drag them around his little den. Most puppies do this and you just have to live with it. Don’t get upset; just accept it as life with a young puppy. The important thing is that when you get home, clean up the mess and lay down fresh papers.

While your puppy is confined to the bathroom or his pen, he is developing a habit of eliminating on paper because no matter where he goes, it will be on paper. As time goes on, he will start to show a preferred place to do his business. When this place is well established and the rest of the papers remain clean all day, then gradually reduce the area that is papered. Start removing the paper that is furthest away from his chosen location. Eventually you will only need to leave a few sheets down in that place only. If he ever misses the paper, then you’ve reduced the area too soon. Go back to papering a larger area.

Once your puppy is reliably going only on the papers you’ve left, then you can slowly and gradually move his papers to a location of your choice. Move the papers a little bit each day. If puppy misses the paper, then you’re moving too fast. Go back a few steps and start over. Don’t be discouraged if your puppy seems to be making remarkable progress and then suddenly you have to return to papering the entire area. This is normal. There will always be minor set-backs. If you stick with this procedure, your puppy will be paper trained.

House Training When You ARE Home

When you are home but can’t attend to your puppy, follow the same procedures described above. However, the more time you spend with your puppy, the quicker he will be house trained. Your objective is to take your puppy to his toilet area every time he needs to eliminate. This should be about once every 30-45 minutes; just upon waking; just after eating or drinking; and just after a play session. Provide house training taxi service to avoid unnecessary “mistakes”.

When your pup does eliminate in his toilet area, praise and reward him profusely and enthusiastically! Don’t use any type of reprimand or punishment for mistakes or accidents. Your puppy is too young to understand and it can set the house training process back drastically.

Don’t allow your puppy freedom outside of his room or pen unless you know absolutely for sure that his bladder and bowels are completely empty. When you do let him out, don’t let him out of your sight. It is a good idea to have him on leash when he is exploring your home. He can’t get into trouble if you are attached to the other end of the leash. Never, ever tie the puppy’s leash to something and leave the puppy unattended.

As your puppy becomes more reliable about using his toilet area and his bowel and bladder control develops, he can begin to spend more time outside his room or pen with you in the rest of your home. Begin by giving him access to one room at a time. Let him eat, sleep and play in this room but only when he can be supervised. When you cannot supervise him, put him back in his room or pen.

Active House Training

The most important thing you can do to make house training happen as quickly as possible is to reward and praise your puppy every time he goes in the right place. The more times he is rewarded, the quicker he will learn. Therefore it’s important that you spend as much time as possible with your puppy and give him regular and frequent access to his toilet area.

The Key To Successful House Training

Consistency and Patience. Never scold or punish your puppy for mistakes and accidents. The older your pup gets, the more he will be able to control his bladder and bowels. Eventually your pup will have enough control that he will be able to “hold it” for longer and longer periods of time. Let your puppy do this on his own time. When training is rushed, problems usually develop. Don’t forget, most puppies are not completely house trained until they are 6 months old.

Last But Not Least

Recommend this blog for Pet Tips and Happy Walk Happy Dog For Pet Sitting & Other Pet Care Services

Choosing A Pet Sitter

 

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Choosing a Pet Sitter

Pet sitters do much more than provide your pet with food and water while you’re away

Pet sitters do much more than provide a pet with food and water while their guardian is away from home.

A good pet sitter also spends quality time with the animal, gives him exercise and knows how to tell if he needs veterinary attention. What’s more, pet sitters typically offer additional services, such as taking in mail and newspapers and watering plants.
But just because someone calls herself a pet sitter doesn’t mean she’s qualified to do the job.

Why hire a pet sitter?

A pet sitter—a professional, qualified individual paid to care for your pet—offers both you and your pet many benefits.

Your pet gets:

The environment he knows best.
His regular diet and routine.
Relief from traveling to and staying in an unfamiliar place with other animals (such as a boarding kennel).
Attention while you’re away.

You get:

Happier friends and neighbors, who aren’t burdened with caring for your pet.
The peace of mind that comes from knowing that your pet is being cared for by a professional.
Someone to bring in your newspaper and mail so potential burglars don’t know you’re away.
Someone who will come to your home so you don’t have to drive your pet to a boarding kennel.
Other services provided by most pet sitters, such as plant watering and pet grooming.

Where do I find a pet sitter?

Start with a recommendation from a friend, neighbor, veterinarian, humane society or dog trainer. Check online or in the Yellow Pages under “Pet Sitting Services.” You can also contact the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (856-439-0324) or Pet Sitters International (336-983-9222).

What should I look for?

It’s important to learn all you can about a prospective pet sitters’ qualifications and services. Before selecting a pet sitter, interview the candidates over the phone or at your home. Find out the following:
Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or her employees)?
What training has the pet sitter completed?
Will the pet sitter record notes about your pet—such as his likes, dislikes, fears, habits, medical conditions, medications, and routines?
Is the pet sitter associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services?
What will happen if the pet sitter experiences car trouble or becomes ill? Does she have a backup?
Will the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog walking, dog training and play time?
Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees?
If the pet sitter provides live-in services, what are the specific times she agrees to be with your pet? Is this detailed in the contract?
How does your pet sitter make sure that you have returned home?
Will the pet sitter provide you with the phone numbers of other clients who have agreed to serve as references?
Even if you like what you hear from the pet sitter and from her references, it’s important to have the prospective pet sitter come to your home to meet your pet before actually hiring her for a pet-sitting job. Watch how she interacts with your pet—does your pet seem comfortable with the person? If this visit goes well, start by hiring the pet sitter to care for your pet during a short trip, such as a weekend excursion. That way, you can work out any problems before leaving your beloved pet in the pet sitter’s care for longer periods.

Helping the pet sitter and your pet

Of course, even the most trustworthy, experienced pet sitter will have trouble if you haven’t also kept your end of the bargain. Here are your responsibilities:
Make reservations with your pet sitter early, especially during holidays.
Ensure your pet is well socialized and allows strangers to handle him.
Affix current identification tags to your pet’s collar.
Maintain current vaccinations for your pet.
Leave clear instructions detailing specific pet-care responsibilities and emergency contact information, including how to reach you and your veterinarian.
Leave pet food and supplies in one place.
Buy extra pet supplies in case you’re away longer than planned.
Leave a key with a trustworthy neighbor as a backup, and give him and your pet sitter each other’s phone numbers. Be sure those extra keys work before giving them out.
Show the pet sitter your home’s important safety features such as the circuit breaker and security system.

Finally, have a safe and fun trip. And remember to bring your pet sitter’s phone number in case your plans change—or you just want to find out how Fluffy and Fido are doing.

Does Your Dog Have A Dirty Little Secret?

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Over a year ago, I wrote a blog called, “Why Do Dogs Eat Poop”?!.
It’s a mystical phenomenon that many of us do not understand . This year is a follow up . I will give you solutions to help deter this gross habit that the fur baby we are in love with has. I decided to post this because I’ve had many clients, as of late as well as professional pet sitters asking me for solutions. I will share some of my homemade solutions as well as solutions from professionals in the pet care industry .

HOMEMADE DETERRENTS

The more common sense approach to deterring your dog from eating poop is to make it taste bad. Lets see what’s in our house that will help us with this solution .

1) Where as lemon juice and hot sauce are great health benefits to us( master cleanse diet) coating these ingredients in stool is a very bad taste.

2). How many of us love pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake or just fresh pumpkin? Mm Mmm delicious . Yet coating two tablespoons into feces, yuck yuck yuck to the palate.

3) For all you meat lovers , share that meat tenderizer in your dog’s food. By the time it comes out as excrement , it leaves a very bad taste to make your dog think twice.

FROM A VETERINARIAN‘S POINT OF VIEW

1) When a dog begins to eat poop, that’s a big red flag that they are are not getting the nutrients needed from their diet. Switch to a healthier diet for your pet’s sake. You can cook or buy quality food that is formulated for the dog’s age, breed and any medical issues. Check out our food by Flint River Ranch.

2) Coprophagia is also a sign he’s not eating enough. Increase the amount of nutritious food your dog is eating . Flint River Ranch had good quality that you can feed with out the worry of weight gain.

3) Take your fur baby to your veterinarian for an examination for underlying medical and health problems, parasites and other problems that may be compelling him to eat feces.

4) Stop the access to poop. There are many reasons we encourage pet owners to havedoggy bags or a pooper scooper while walking. It not only keeps our neighborhoods clean but it stops the access of feces.

5) Walk your dog more and give him better exercise regimen . During the walks you can train him and control his proximity to other feces on the ground. Don’t have the time for those walking routines and know it’s necessary? Call us, Happy Walk Happy Dog for daily mid-day walks and daily twice a day walks/run.

6) As soon as your dog starts approaching excrement, tell her ‘nah-ah-ahhh’ or ‘leave it!’, and distract her with praise supported with a treat, clicker click, playtime or other action or activity that is appealing to the dog. This will convey the idea that it is more rewarding to attend to you than to attend to poop. As soon as she turns her attention to her, praise her (‘Good dog!’) and reward her. A wise practice is to always carry appealing tidbit treats, a favorite toy, clicker – something you can always use to effectively gain your dog’s attention and reinforce desired behaviors. Once you get her attention, give her something positive to do. For example, tell her to ‘Sit’, reward her for listening, then proceed to an enjoyable activity such as playing or walking together. Distract her from undesired things like feces, and substitute a good, desired behavior such as sitting and attending to you. A dog who is interacting with her owner can’t be investigating poop at the same time.

7) If your baby is pooping in the house, it’s another reason to call Happy Walk Happy Dogto get them on a regular schedule and decrease the loneliness.

I hope these tips help all of you to deal with the issue of Coprophagia and resolve it.

Til Next Time….

Winter Boredom? Fun Exercises To Keep Your Dog Active & Fit During The Cold Season

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I posted the picture above to represent the winter season. In reality, I live in the South but this picture symbolizes how we deal with the cold season. There are many pet parents like myself that feel guilty when our active life with our pets decreases. Our pets get lazy, a little overweight and bored. Well, I want to help all of us out of our runt. No matter what’s going on in any of our lives, let’s make sure one of our priorities is keeping our pets happy through vested activities.
The winter season puts our dogs at risk for many illnesses. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates over half of all dogs in the United States are overweight or obese and have an increased risk of injury, disease and shortened life expectancy. Yes FiFi looks cute and cozy in their pet beds or your bed but believe me having some exercise with their favorite person will make them come alive. It will also prolong their health and lives. So what are these activities you say. I have 6 great activities you and your fur baby will enjoy.

Six Exercises Your Dog Will Love

1. Treadmills

Dog or human treadmills work well to exercise your dog. Start slowly with your dog on a leash and use high-value treats as motivation. After your dog is comfortable walking slowly, gradually increase the speed to a trot. Always stay with your dog to watch him closely. Never tether your dog to a treadmill or force him to stay on it. If your dog doesn’t seem to enjoy the treadmill, find another form of exercise.

2. Stair Climbing

If your dog is young, healthy and not prone to hip problems, throw a ball or toy up to the top of carpeted stairs for an aerobic game of fetch. Just be careful not to overdo exercising on the stairs. Stair climbing is also a quick way to develop your leg muscles quickly.

3. Train with Tricks

Try some new training techniques or reinforce any existing commands or training that need more work. Teach your dog some tricks. If your dog already knows the basic tricks, try teaching him something to help out around the house, such as picking up his toys and putting them in a basket. Most dogs like to learn something new and it’s a great way to bond with your dog.

4.Doggie Gyms

These gyms are popping up all over the country and if there’s one close to you, they offer various ways to exercise your dog. Some even have swimming pools and indoor dog parks.

5. Dog Walkers

If you really hate walking outside in the winter or don’t have enough time to exercise your dog, hire a recommended and reliable dog walker. Make sure they are from a formal company. And also make sure they are insured and bonded. Check out the services we offer : HWHD Services & Fees. This will give you an idea of what activities you would want no matter what part of the country reside.

6. Play Dates

Get together with friends who have dogs that want to exercise, play and socialize. Better yet, host a play date in your home and make some homemade dog treats for your dog to share with his friends.

Bonus:  More Winter Season Activities

Anyone live up north, the Midwest or Canada. Here are some other Great Ideas!

1. Snow Hikes

Head out for a hike in a wooded area after a fresh snowfall. It’s beautiful and serene since most people don’t take advantage of hiking trails in the winter. It’s also the perfect time to use off-leash areas where your dog can have more freedom without running into too many other dogs or people.

2. Sledding and Snowball Fights

Have your dog join you for some childhood fun in the snow.

3. Dog Parks
If your dog gets overwhelmed by crowded dog parks, try visiting in the winter when there are fewer people and dogs at the park. Hint: Pro Petsitters love an afternoon in dog parks.

4. Snowshoeing or Cross-Country Skiing

Enjoy these sports if you have a snow-loving dog.

5. Skijoring

Have you ever heard of Skijoring? Skijoring is having your dog pull you through the snow while you’re wearing skis. It sounds like a lot of fun if you have a snow-loving dog that can safely pull you.

Winter Advice To Keep Your Dog Safe During The Cold

Short-haired, small or elderly dogs may need a water-repellent coat to help keep them warm.

Trim the hair between your dog’s toes to reduce snow and ice buildup.

Dog booties can keep paws dry and free from ice, salt or de-icing chemicals

If your dog hates booties, apply Musher’s Secret wax to his paws before going outside to prevent painful ice balls from forming between his toes. Musher’s Secret also protects paws from hot pavement or beach sand in the summer.

If you don’t use booties, clean your pup’s paws with a warm wet cloth when you return home to remove any salt, de-icing chemicals or ice balls. Also wipe down their legs and belly.

Use reflective wear or clip-on LED collar lights if you walk outside after dark.

Consult with your vet if you have any concerns about exercising your dog outside when it’s cold.

Guess What’s Happening For The Smart Pet Owner?

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Hello HWHD Clients & Followers!

There is really exciting news for pet parents that are determined their furry babies have a happy and long life!

There is a new innovative conference for ALL pet parents to get all of their questions answered from the best of the best. More importantly , it’s free!!

I know many out there , that are like myself that constantly worry about their furry babies the minute one tiny thing happens. We can’t help it, they are our children. We want to make sure we are doing the best we can so they may have a fulfilling , happy healthy life.

For those that have come to me and have asked questions from grooming to training to dental health and serious health issues, look no further!

On January 17th, the best of the best in veterinary care are coming together to answer EVERY concern, you as a pet parent have. You can participate out the comforts of your own home and the best part, it’s FREE!!

So if you have concerns about training, ASK!
If you’re worried about immune illness such as heart issues, ASK!
Maybe you’re concerned about peculiar behaviors with a pet , ASK!
Ever wondered why your cat constantly love bumping you with their head? ASK!
What is the deal with so many Pet Food Recalls? Ask!
If you have any questions as a concerned parent then this is the Event For You!!

It’s a Pet Conference offered in the form of a webinar…To Register: Click Here Now

To learn about the Veterinarians that are participating , CLICK HERE.

Don’t let this Fabulous opportunity pass You !

Register NOW For Free

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Pet [ Oh, and For You Too :- ) ]

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Goals Aren’t Just for People

The start of a new year can signal a fresh start for pets needing a change in their routine. For example, with over 50 percent of pets in the U.S. classified as overweight, there’s no better time for owners to commit to a new diet and exercise regimen for their pets. Need more ideas? Here are ten resolutions to make this year your pet’s healthiest year yet!

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#10 Measure Your Pet’s Food – Every Time!

Many owners “eyeball” their pet’s daily intake and pour that into a bowl, usually resulting in overfeeding and weight gain. It’s important to use an 8-ounce measuring cup to ensure your pet isn’t taking in more calories than they need. The recommended feeding guidelines on the bag are good place to start to figure out how much food Fido (or Kitty) really needs. Older pets and those who have been neutered usually have lower energy needs than young, intact animals.

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#9 Choose an Age-Appropriate Diet

Growing pets have very specific nutrient requirements to ensure their bodies grow healthy and strong. For example, some senior pets may have lower energy requirements, but have other medical issues like degenerative joint disease that may be helped with the appropriate diet. Choosing a diet specifically tailored to your pet’s life stage is a great way to keep them in optimal health.

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#8 Try a New Activity with Your Pet

From doga to hiking, skijoring to kayaking, it’s easier than ever for people to incorporate their pet into a new exercise routine. It’s a great way to bond, it’ll get you both out of the house, and both owner and pet will reap the rewards of a healthy physical activity. Meet-up groups are a great way to find like-minded pet owners to join you in your exercise, too!

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#7 Incorporate (More) Playtime into Your Routine

Cats love the thrill of chasing a laser toy; just don’t tell them it’s exercise! Toys that trigger a cat’s predatory instinct are a great way to get them off the couch and engaged in a little aerobic activity. Experiment to see what really gets your cat going — in addition to lasers, catnip toys, crinkly balls, and climbable cat trees are perennial feline favorites. Even a cardboard box can become a cat cave that satisfies a cat’s desire for a hiding place.

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#6 Make a Date with Your Vet

Yearly examinations by the veterinarian are a key component of good preventive care. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or obesity are common in aging pets and much easier to manage when detected in the early stages of the disease process. Veterinary visits are also the perfect time to ask for advice, update your pet’s food, or get an expert opinion on any behavioral issues that may be affecting your bonding with your pet.

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#5 Groom Your Pet Daily

Brushing your pet serves many purposes. It removes excess fur from the coat, reducing the amount you find on your clothes and furniture. It helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat shiny and healthy. Lastly, daily grooming is a bonding activity that demonstrates to your pet how much you love them by taking care of them in a very soothing manner.

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#4 Practice Good Oral Hygiene Habits with Your Pet

Daily toothbrushing is the best way to keep tartar and plaque at bay — just be sure to use a toothpaste meant for dogs and cats. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tartar can also be a helpful tool in keeping teeth clean. And even with all of these tricks, regular cleanings by a licensed veterinarian are the best way to keep those pearly whites in tip top shape long into your pet’s senior years.

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#3 Teach an Old Dog a New Trick

Studies show that mental stimulation can help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. In other words, keeping your senior pet’s brain active can actually make it healthier! Teaching your pet new tricks and practicing those they already know are a great way to keep those neurons firing. Puzzle feeders, which force a pet to think through a task in order to be rewarded with a treat, are also an excellent way to keep a pet’s mind engaged.

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#2 Update Pet ID Info

Over the course of a year, a lot can change — people move, get new phone numbers, and forget to update their pet’s tags. Often they only remember once the pet is lost. If any of your contact information has changed in 2012, don’t wait — update their tags and microchip information today! It’s the best way to ensure a lost pet makes their way safely home.

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#1 Consider Fostering

You think you want a new pet, but you’re not 100 percent sure it’s right for you? Try fostering. Many animal shelters and rescues need loving homes to provide safe and temporary living arrangements for pets. It’s the perfect way to test the waters of pet ownership without the lifelong commitment, since you are simply hosting a pet while they wait for their forever home. Who knows? That home just might end up being yours.