Shopping For The Perfect Puppy Can Be Love At First Sight. Or Are You Being Scammed?

Looking for LOVE and how we find our best friend has been revolutionized over the last decade. The method of how we find “our dog” has morphed with technology. Finding a specific breed or that perfect “disney-like pup” has orbited into cyber space along with dating. Even in the unconditional love world of wet noses and wags, the internet has served as a double edge sword for many prospective dog owners. Unsuspecting and uneducated would-be dog parents can stumble upon puppy brokers guised within large internet companies that marked their territory by catering to fast demands of love-at-first site, no pun intended.

If you want a Jack Russell with one cute black eye, you can find it, buy it and have it shipped to you. The fast food-style of finding love in our new pup culture has it’s heartbreak. Sometimes years into the relationship of mutt-rimony issue’s can be revealed with health, temperament or impulse buys that become a mismatch of lifestyle. How do I know? As a long time dog trainer and pet expert, I have seen first-hand the issues and help resolve them empathetically.

The good new is that with people like Betsy Saul the co-founder of Petfinder.com the web can also change the face of animal welfare. Over 5 million people visit that site each month. The website is designed to find your designer dog (in a way) just like the other sites. The only difference is that you can really taylor it to you needs and rescue a puppy or older dog of your choice. Choose any color, size, age and even in your own state and viola you can find your match. They facilitate over 2 million adoptions a year. Since the website (and others) have been created, the number of adoptable pets being euthanized has dropped form over 16 million to an estimated 4 million. Congratulations and thank you!

Now that’s love!

Recipe For Success: Teach Your Dog To Come

Teaching your dog to come, while at a park or outside in your yard, and with distractions can be challenging. Here is one of my quick dog training tips that you can practice at home to ensure your dog learns to come when you call.

Paws For A Minute® Quick dog training tip. Play the game of hide- and-seek in with your dog in your house! This game teaches dogs to seek you out as a game. It’s important to practice initially indoors, using the boundary of the four walls in your house. After you and your pup master the game indoors you can try the game at a park.

Recipe for success /Ingredients: You need 2 people. One dog. A treat. Practice once daily for 2 weeks.

-One person holds the dog by his collar.

-The second person hides in another room with a treat. 

- The person hiding begins to call the dog repeatedly and happily, using a really exited voice. 

- The person holding the dog lets him go on the fourth call of his name. 

- As your dog seeks you out, hold the treat in your right hand, and gesture the letter ( j ) as you say sit. This is the hand signal for sit. The hand signal  stops you from needing body gear, as your dog runs toward you and signals your dog to sit and wait for the release command and treat. This is a great way to capture his attention with a hand signal which allows you to redirect him to sit. Then end the command by giving him the treat as you say the word O.K.

Voila, you’ve taught your dog to seek YOU out. The secret here is by holding your dog back, a few calls of his name, creates a high prey drive to seek you out based on his name! Your dogs name becomes a trigger to bolt to you.

Try it, you’ll like it.

Our mission: To keep dogs safe and owners sane. If you dig, help support us, please pass along. Thank you! 

 

Event: SlobberFest Set For May 26th In Toronto Canada

Paws For A Minute® / Travel: Slobberfest 2012 Toronto, Ontario Cananda

Crowning of the King and Queen of Slobber, a maze of vendors, sun and fun! This Saturday May 26th kicks off the annual event that brings out crazy amounts of wet kisses and tail wags. Canine contests are held near the Beach boardwalk just east of downtown Toronto. The Leuty Lifeguard Station over looks the shoreline, which makes this event worth sniffing out. 

For more info contact: Evonne@centre55.com

Is Your Dog Toddler- Proof? Dog Training Tips For Parents

Toddlerhood can be a hair raising experience for many parents. If you think about it, even your family dog may have to make some quick moves in order to get out of the way of a toddler going through the terrible two’s. Well, there is a way to prepare. Did you know that 70% of all dog bites come from the family dog?

Yup, even the sweet dogs can snap at the unpredictable movements of a toddler. Albeit called an accident, you can prevent this type of mistake from happening. Remember It’s up to you “the parent” not to rely on the sweetness of your dog. Awareness is the key ingredient to a successful integration and bond between you and your family dog.

Paws For A Minute® Quick tip

Toddler proofing your pet / Child and dog safety series. 

 1. Pick up all chew bones when your dog and baby are loose together. Remember, toddlers take naps leaving an ideal time for your dog to have freedom in your home. Always dog proof your home from loose bones, dog food and other possible possessive toys that may create a territorial response when both (your toddler and dog) are together loose in the house.

2. Be aware of whether your dog is seeking cover underneath furniture. Hiding under chairs and tables is a sign that your dog does not want to be messed with by the baby. As the parent, it’s best to see this as a sign and not police your toddler or your dog.

3. Monitor your dogs responses to your child. Redirect your baby or your dog to a new item of fascination. It might be best to create a temporary baby gated space for your dog to be in the house,  while your toddler explores. Give your dog free time during less active moments.

 

Pet Travel Accessories Upgraded to Awesome. Check This Out!

Traveling with your pet is made eco-friendly this summer by Sleepypod. The carbon foot print is erased. You get exercise and your pet’s traveling case is perrfect.

This product and company is a Paws For A Minute® favorite. Check out more cool pet travel accessories at www.sleepypod.com

Do You Trust Your Dog? 5 Steps To Success

Do you trust your dog? Achieving trust with your pup is a process and must be developed by you! Do you have a dog that’s not a puppy anymore, but still not housebroken or trustworthy in the house? Are you waiting for your dog to get it? Guess again, it’s you that needs to guide your dog to get it! It’s not about your dog being smart or stupid.

Recently one of our readers, sent in a plea to address this issue. Her dog has the bad habit of busting through the back door, every time they leave the house, and eats all the food off the counters. Also known as, counter surfing! Puppy proofing and not keeping food on counter tops is one issue, the other is the urge to bust down a door is a more complicated behavior and it has to do with the owner, as well as the dog.

I’m talking about separation anxiety, which often results in doggie demolition.  Blocking doors with tables or chairs, or sometimes just  shutting a door on a dog (that doesn’t want to be alone) whether in a room or yard  can create distress. Separation anxiety in dogs can actually be created (albeit unintentionally) by you! Coaxing, pushing you already anxious dog back and shutting a door can induce crazy behavior. Many owners leave their dogs in the yard or locked in a room while they’re gone because they don’t trust their dog loose in the house. The act of pushing a dog back and shutting a door can sometimes create the separation anxiety, especially in a young untrained dog. all behaviors owner and dog can become a vicious circle.

The solution to solving separation anxiety in dogs and creating trust within your lifestyle has many parts.

I know everyone means well, and life does get busy! But sometimes bad dog behaviors and habits such as; barking, destroying things or eating food off the counters can develop from boredom, lack of routine or bad triggers. Bad triggers can develop from owners as they rush out the door to go to work, not knowing how to train their dog to be trustworthy. If trust was not created during puppy training, then as a dog matures bigger problems can occur. If your dog’s destroying things, not housebroken or barking up a storm at every noise then that’s your sign to jump into action and begin asking yourself some questions!

The first question to ask yourself is, are your dogs needs met? Many people think so, but if your dog is barking, digging, and destroying furniture then those signs may indicate your dogs needs are not met. Dogs need to exercise, to be apart of the family, be trained in basic commands on a leash, by you! Also they also need praise, to be guided and fed, to have a chew on a delicious, safe “chew” type bone, and oh, did I say exercise? I did.

One bit of advice I have is to begin creating a new routine. Get your running shoes on and take your dog for a long walk, or to the dog park and tire your pup out! You would be surprised how many owners don’t. Get into a routine of exercising your dog everyday. A tired dog is always a better dog. The main ingredient is to have a new routine. Exercising your dog  will become  a huge part of the solution and the road to recovery. Be aware of when you exercise your dog. Timing is everything. Dog’s are very routine oriented and sometimes varying the time of your outings can be helpful in getting rid of bad habits.

 

The weekend may be the best time to implement this training!

Paws For A Minute® Quick tips: Trust 

Method: How to Feng Shui with Fido.™ Dog+ Home= peace 

1.  Initiate a new routine on the weekend when you’re home. If your dog lives outside all day long, then your yard becomes his den. This con promote digging, barking and possible separation anxiety. Ideally, you want to reverse this concept, and create trust indoors. Look at your individual lifestyle and age, temperament of dog to be sure this concept is right for you. You want the yard to be a place to run and jump, not on you.

2. Exercise your dog at the proper time. Sometimes people exercise their dogs at the wrong times. For example, I recently had a client who had a similar issue. Her dog was walked and exercised early in the morning and then basically spent the rest of the day barking and sleeping in the yard! Pay attention to the time your exercise your dog and if your not then do so! Sometimes a quick game of turbo fetch and potty is a better use of time, leaving the longer walk for later.

3.  Get the right chew bones for your dog to enjoy! Make sure you have “chew time” coincide with a new added routine! Young dogs LOVE to chew and it’s a function not a behavior, they must. Chewing also tires a young dog out and gives them a hobby. Ask your vet what would be right for your dog. Use this chewing hobby to your advantage by introducing the concept indoors as apart of the new training.  A special, new “chew bone” could be given in a gated area creating a “new space.” * Note: Always ask your local vet what type of dog chew is best for your dog!

Choose a gating area for a (20 minute period of time) while YOU are home. This teaches your dog to be gated in an area and learn to be mellow in the house. The gates allows him to see what’s going on yet still be apart of things. This is a temporary training exercise only meant to be applied for an hour here and an hour there, while your home! This will psychologically create a new “den space” for your dog and develop a trust. Absolutely, allow your dog free time loose in the house with you after a walk, this will reinforce mellow behavior.

Occasionally, guide your dog into the space on a leash, say sit, WAIT and then put up the baby gate. Always take off the leash while your dog is gated for safety and give the proper chew type toy or bone that’s safe for your dog to chew. Dogs are den animals and LOVE small spaces, if introduce correctly. The baby gate allows them to see out and be apart of the household without being completely loose all of the time. They love being apart of the family. Begin training with a little patience and always while you are home. This will help you to be able to correct any anxiety. Remember, gate in a central part of the house for best results.

4. Put music on while your dog is gated. This triggers a comforting feeling and trigger a mellow behavior and help to mute out other sounds.  This may also help get your dog of the pattern of going to the door, window or back door waiting for the next sound. All of these tips together will work together over time to help curb the barking or anxiety. You must be in the room your dog is gated during this training process. At least for the first week. You need to build on a new routine.

5. Stop the madness. While your dogs gated, and you are in the room or near by, if your dog continues to bark, you can give a correction. If your dogs needs are met and you know that he’s been to the bathroom, exercised, loved, fed and has water then correcting him to waittTake a coffee can, empty it and then put a hand full of pennies in the can and make sure the lid on the can is on tight. Make sure your dog has gone to the bathroom and had plenty of exercise. If the barking gets excessive, shake the can once, from out of sight, only while your dog is gated. Being out of sight is key! The noise of the can acts just like a siren does of a police car pulling you over for blowing a red light. It’s a sanction, a growl or just plain NO! This can help break the barking pattern.

Remember, it’s important to keep this gating exercise to a short amount of time, slowly building up to an hour over a few days.  I do not suggest you leave your dog gated in the house alone when you have to go out! This new pattern may take months of application before  a new pattern is set. 

Yes, I know dogs can jump over gates and get through most barriers, if the process is initiated incorrectly. This new routine is only meant to be implemented for short periods of time, while your home, only! All of the steps must be in place in order for this concept to become effective. Slowly, you and your dog will learn to trust and eventually the old pattern of anxiety will dissipate.

It’s really important to do all of steps together! Increase exercise, apply short increments of time gated, only while you are home. Remember, gating your dog for “short” periods while your home, can be done several times a day! This creates a pleasant chew bone “chewing” experience and music triggers a new positive pattern of waiting! Often shutting a door on a untrained dog can sometimes create massive anxiety. You may have to leave your dog at home (the way you used to) until a new pattern is formed for a while. Add these new steps indoors, slowly over several weeks or even a month adding the new routine slowly, and before long a healthy trustworthy behavior will develop.

In extreme cases:  ALWAYS seek out a professional dog trainer in your local area. Always ask your local veterinarian what type of  ”dog chew” is best for your dog,