Is Walking Your Dog Becoming A Drag? Tips For A Happy Walk.

Going for a walk with your dog can bring up a variety of feelings. Some people just silently acquiesce to an upper body work out. Others dread being dragged down the street, dreaming “daily” of the the fantasy of a peaceful, leisurely walk.

Is it your dog that’s pulling you or is this some kind of weird metaphor on life? Being dragged down the street can actually have more to do with you, than your dog. I know it sounds like a transfer of blame, but follow me on this one…

You have much more control of a happy outcome, than you think! If your dog is pulling you, it could have something to do with what kind of leash you own and your frame of mind. I know many of you are thinking, what the hell? Now, I need a PHD on what type of leash to get my dog, REALLY? Well, maybe not a PHD, but yes, the type of leash you walk your dog with and your frame of mind matters!

Here we go…

Paws For A Minute® Dog Owner Tip

1. Check to see what kind of car your driving. In other words, is your dog young, old, hyper, big or small. Then look at the type of leash you own.

2. Puppy’s and young energetic dogs are best walked with a flat nylon or leather (regular) 6 foot leash. You are simply water skiing and cursing as your dog pulls you down the street, if you own a retractable leash. and trying to train a young energetic dog all at the same time.

3. My Feng Shui with Fido™ philosophy on this topic is that the tighter you hold the leash, the more your dog is going to pull. Why? The tension on the leash creates a drive. Dogs love to play follow the leader. You need to lead, not pull back on the leash while chanting the word “No” or “stop pulling,” it doesn’t work. Try pivoting suddenly in a different direction while walking. Using a happy voice and your dog will follow. This change in direction helps your dog create a fun game with you as the driver.  It’s a great idea to practice this concept in your house, first, then hit the streets. Using this option along with occasionally asking your dog to sit, during your walk will break up the pattern of your walk. Viola, no pulling.

4. Retractable leashes are great for mellow pups and/or older dogs who have been around the block, once or twice. Get my drift? Trying to train your dog to walk next to you and at the same pace, is not going to happen with this type of leash. It’s great for allowing your dog to sniff, get busy and enjoy the scenery.

Ask Inger: Dogs And Getting into the Trash

Hi Inger,

What’s the best way to combat stubbornness? Roxy, our seven year old pitt bull mix is a great girl, but very stubborn. She does what she wants when she wants. She has even been known to be spiteful, i.e. If we leave the house and she doesn’t like it, she will go through the trash and leave it all over the house.

She’s done this many many times. We now have a gate keeping that area closed off, but we would like to find out how to prevent these kind of actions as well as other stubborn moments.

An additional question I have is about socialization. I regret to say that Roxy wasn’t socialized very much as a puppy (with other dogs that is, with humans she was constantly socialized).

We want to make it possible for her to play with other dogs, how do we go about it? Roxy in general has been good playing with male dogs and puppies, but not really with other female dogs. What should we do if we’d like to socialize her more?

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Paws For A Minute® Lifestyle: Dog Boredom Buster Tips!

 

Is your dog bored with his stuff or just chewing things he’s not supposed to? Here are a few things to spice up his/her life. Here are a few tips that will save you money and others your sanity.

The re-make of the old tennis ball. How? They used an orbe tuff material and put a whole through the bottom. Why? It makes a soft whistling noise that captures a dogs attention, making him want to chase it! Hmmm.. smart stuff.

www.planetdog.com

 

Yes, it’s a carrot. Not just for rabbit’s or a salad. Try this natural treat along with a few commands. Sit, stay and come! Great for his teeth and low-cal and best on the budget.

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Madness. Yes, it can be used as a great treat. A runner up to the carrot. Microwave or bake potato as you would for yourself. Dice or cut into small pieces. Cool, take off the skin and put into container and keep in the fridge. Dogs go crazy for this treat! Remember, a little goes a long way.

 

Forget the new toys. All dogs love to chew. For this boredom buster the best thing you could do is to buy a bully stick. It provides hours of crazy chewing fun and peace for you!

Quick Dog Training Tip

Many owners often complain that their dog has tuned them out. Puppy’s and teenage dogs have their own issues, as we know. The mature dog, however, grows to know you and your household like any old soul but even with perfection every know and then some kinks can creep in to your relationship. Sometimes, like with most fabulous friendships familiarity can breed… well you know, contentment. Another word that could be used is flat out laziness! So how do you spice things up again, other than to use bribery of the T.R.E.A.T?

Paws for a Minute® Quick Dog Training TIp Put your dog on a leash for just a few minutes, every so often, and walk around your house. This is a great way to achieve eye contact and practice heeling without any distractions! Occasionally, stop and say “sit” while gently lifting up on the leash. Then have a love fest. I know your dog may look at you like you are loco but there is a method to this madness.

The leash helps connect your voice to movement and helps reemphasize the eye contact for your dog. A simple 5 minute exercise you can do in your home that will have a huge impact within a few weeks! It is also a short exercise that can help re establish the connection to action. Your dog will go from lazy too Lassie in a matter of a few weeks. I know it sounds a little crazy, but it really works. Simple. No treats. Just focus and love.

Ask Inger: The Barking Dog Syndrome. How Do I Get It To Stop?

I have a dog named Romeo about 2 years ago. He’s been great and I love him very much, however my roommate does not. Unfortunately, Romeo has a barking problem, whenever anyone gets close to our apartment door, or enters / exits our apartment Romeo barks uncontrollably and it is very loud and piercing. Admittedly I find it annoying as well, but I can deal with it, my roommate can not and it is causing a riff.

So I was thinking about getting Romeo a bark collar, but they are kind of expensive and I want to know what is what before I purchase anything. I’m thinking preferably to get one that emits a sound humans can’t hear but dogs can, does something like that exist? I really don’t want one that shocks him, unless you think it’s not a big deal and I can use one like that.

The other kind I see all over are the citronella ones, but they seem so bulky and he’s a tiny dog so I don’t see that working out.

Anyway, what are you thoughts? What should I do / buy to start correcting this problem?

                                                        Paul

 

Hi Paul, Thanks for your question! It’s a common one.  Remember behaviors take time to develop and they also take a little time to go away. There are various issues that contribute to barking and why dogs bark. Some barking is due to boredom, triggers, lack of training, separation anxiety, lack of exercise and so on… Owners can play a huge part too. Yelling “NO” constantly at your dog puts you both into the looney camp. Bark collars are not the answer. Look into your daily life and make a list of the times your dog barks. It will help isolate where you need to focus. Here are a few tips to get you started on the road to recovery.

 

Paws For A Minute® Lifestyle Dog Training

Tips To Help Barking At The Front Door

 

Everyone should note:  If your dog is barking his head off all day long, that is what’s called boredom barking and it’s up to you, as owners, to make sure all exercise needs are met!

 

So before you do any corrections get on your running shoes  and warm up your throwing arm. Ultimately, a tired dog is a good dog! Hello, get off the couch! Therefore, if you have exercised your dog daily and barking is still an annoying sound effect, the below may help. 

 

 

1. One option is to create a bone chewing time by using a baby gate. This can help in creating a new pattern. Gate one or two of the dogs in a kitchen or hallway for bone chewing time. For multiple dogs breaking up the pack can stop the trigger of one dog instigating the barking. Doing so will help train your dog over time out of the pattern of scouting for the person, noise or action to bark at. Music is key, to soothe the beast during this peaceful time. Remember, this is NOT meant to be a punishment place! AND implementing this 20 minute space a few times a day should be done when you are home. It helps break up the barking pattern.

 

2. Another option is to know when the barking happens is to put music on in advance. Sounds crazy, but this will really break up the pattern of being alert to outside noises. It also sets a tone and a completely different atmosphere to your house. Much less trigger oriented. Not meant to be a cure, but it will help.

 

3. A third option is to correct this barking with a shake of a penny can from out of sight! Your dog should not see you shake the can.

 

This next tip is not for every dog or owner. So really assess your circumstance carefully. Use your common sense! Not all dogs can handle a loud noise and others can and will respond no problem.

 

The trick  is to not let your dog see you shake the can. It’s just really about the sudden, quick sound. This correction is not meant to scare, just make as clear communication that no barking allowed. You should think of this correction more like a police siren pulling a car over for speeding. Know that not all dog temperaments are right for this type of correction. Note: Very timid dogs will respond well to a firm no, that should ban the barking and do the trick. If your dog has a really strong, confident personality the penny can “shake” can be tolerated and send the right signal to zip it.

 

Take a coffee can, empty it,  then put a handful of pennies in it and the lid back on. As your dogs begin to bark, shake the can once and say “No!” This loud abrupt noise will represent the same boundary as the siren of a police care pulling you over for running a red light. Then back up this quick correction by redirecting your dogs in a positive way!  Ask them to “come” to you in a really happy, nice voice. Finish the command by having your dog sit. Then praise, love and maybe even a treat!

 

If you haven’t guessed already I’m really training you to be a little smarter than your dog, have a little foresight to your circumstance then the bad dog behavior will go away. Dogs love to please, they just don’t know how unless you guide them.then put a handful of pennies in it and the lid back on. As your dogs begin to bark, shake the can once and say “No!” This loud abrupt noise will represent the same boundary as the siren of a police care pulling you over for running a red light. Then back up this “quick” correction by redirecting your dogs in a positive way!  Ask them to “come” to you in a really happy, nice voice. Finish the command by having your dog sit.

 

Add praise, love and maybe even a treat! If you haven’t guessed already I’m really training you to be a little smarter than your dog, have foresight to your circumstance and the bad dog behavior will go away. By the way, a tired dog is always a better dog. So exercise is always a great routine to help barking problems. Dogs love to please, they just don’t know how unless you guide them!

Why Does Your Dog Chew? How To Teach Him Not To Touch The Manolo’s


Demolition. Some homes don’t need a contractor, the construction or rather destruction has already begun. Whether it’s furniture, rugs, shoes or cabinets some people are convinced there dog has it out for their most expensive things. Why?!!!

Chewing is a function, not a behavior. Dogs must chew on something. Now, it’s true some dogs “need” to chew more than others. However, the ‘FYI” for most owners is that what their dog chews in can become a behavior. Let me explain, all dogs loose their baby teeth between the ages of 4 to 6 months of age. Yup, all breeds.

Many people don’t realize that if they don’t provide their dog the proper teething chews then shoes, carpets and cabinets are fair game. Ah, so it’s your fault? Well, kind of…

Many owners have a hundred toys and not the right chew bones. The chewing needs of a dog largely depends on the age, but it’s up to you to provide the time and place and teach your dog to chew, relax and leave your things alone. Once you have that down, then you can show your dog properly his wayward ways. Yelling the word NO! doesn’t always penetrate. The best thing to do is to get a leash, guide your dog to the chewed item and show it to him. He smells his saliva on the shoe. Now, you can say the word NO.

The leash helps guide, isolate the experience, gives the reprimand a structure to prevent misunderstandings. After showing your dog the “chewed” item you can then give him the delicious something to chew. That’s when you can really end the reprimand on a happy POSITIVE note. Lots of love, praise and take off the leash.

Oh, by the way, always ask your vet what chew is best for your dog, every dog is different.

 

 

Save Money And Have Your Pet Live Longer.

Is there a new wave of dog dog owners who have overweight pets? With everything going retro, what happened the good old fashion brisk walk?  Maybe the outbreak of overweight dogs is simpler that we think. A past article in the WSJ suggests that maybe this phenomenon coincides with the dream of owners “managing to find time.”

I believe there is a simpler answer. Could it be as simple as flipping less chips to our dogs?  Less human food leftovers, more dog owner self control, and just organizing your daily or weekly routine to include a 20 minute walk or 10 minute game of fetch.

So, is it merely a matter of finding the time or is it really just making the time?

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

  • More than half of US dogs and cats are overweight or obese
  • Obese = 30% above normal weight
  • 20% of dogs and cats are obese
  • Research suggests that pets fed less over their lifetime can live significantly longer

New efforts are afoot to stem what many vets believe is the single most preventable health crisis facing the country’s 171 million plus dogs and pet cats. They include software for doctors to track a pet’s “Body Condition Score”, a blood test that could quickly determine animals’ body-fat percentage, Weight Watchers-type pet diet plans and doggie treadmills. Utah-based Pet Zen Products LLC makes “Dog Tread” treadmills ranging from  $599-$999.

 

How to tell if your pet is pudgy: 

 

  • Can you feel the pet’s ribs easily? If you have to dig around, the animal is likely too heavy
  • Look at the animal from the side –You should see a tucked abdomen.  A hanging belly indicates excess fat.
  • Look at the animal from above.  You want to see a moderate tapered “waistline,” not a broad, flat back.

 

What to do:

  • Calculate calories — See petobesityprevention.com
  • Measure meals –Don’t just fill the bowl.  Talk to your vet, take charge and look for a low calorie food. Look out for over treating and substitute vegetables and fruits, such as sliced carrots and apples, dogs love them.
  • Exercise daily  –For dogs, 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking. You’ll both look fabulous before New Years! Go figure, self control, save money and exercise, exercise, exercise. Now you have a partner in crime.

Dogs And Food. 3 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know.

What does dog food have to do with dog training? The answer is… Everything! I know, it’s a billion dollar industry with an enormously expanding menu of options. It gets very confusing for dog owners to decide which food to buy, and why, when and how to feed it.

 What does that mean in regards to training your dog? How, when, where and what your dog eats can have direct impacts on peeing and pooping in your house. How your dog gets along with other animals in your house is often food oriented, at least may become so over time. And an array of other behavioral issues, health concerns, as well as, potential allergies (leading to medical bills) may become food related over the course of your dogs life. Even how your dog interacts with your children! It all begins with you– No pressure.

O.k. so let’s get to the meat of it: dog training, dog food, how it correlates and why? It can get really confusing to many owners. Many behavioral issues can develop in dogs and stem from how owners feed them. Here is a little Q and A to wet your appetite on the subject matter.

 

When do you stop puppy food and when to start feeding adult food? Generally speaking when your dog is a year old, make the switch to adult food. This can vary according to size and breed. But make the switch slowly over a few days gradually adding in the new food.

Why should I time feed my dog? This is really helpful for finicky eating dogs. Time feeding your dog helps housebreaking issues.

What if my dog is a pig? Dog’s that eat their food as if they were vacuum cleaners also have issues. There is something called bloat to look out for as an owner. This is cause for concern and it has to do with feeding your dog. What is bloat? Please ask your vet for more information on this topic. According to my research and first-hand experience, it is the second leading killer of dogs, after cancer. The technical name is “Gastric Dilatation Volvulus” or (GDV). This is where the dog can swallow too much air while eating rapidly. Drinking water or stress can be a significant factor in swallowing air. As the stomach swells, it can twist and obstruct the veins leading to shock, damaging the internal organs and quickly killing your dog. The breeds of dogs this can affect may surprise you.

Dogs that are at risk for bloat are usually deep rib caged breeds, big and small. German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retrievers, Labs, Dachshunds, Pekingese, and even Miniature Poodles can be at risk! The point is, even if a dog does have a healthy appetite could benefit from training tips. It could save its life.

 

Training your dog to eat slower is a healthier option.  Finicky eaters need to learn to eat in one sitting which will in turn help with housebreaking issues, potty accidents, child safety around dog food bowls, and will ward off potential dog fights in multiple dog households. Just dome food for thought, and a treat from your trainer!

 

Owning Dogs And Holiday Entertaining. 3 Easy Tips To Teaching Dogs Not to Jump on Guests.

Holiday entertaining and dog ownership can mean many things to different people. Dog hair on sofa’s, the wet nose of goosing a guest. For some toy breed owners it may mean passing out ear plugs to mute the sound of the barking, as guests attempt to enter your house. Other young dog masters feel body gear (to block the massive jumping up on guests) to be in order. Party favors of such a nature are not what most people envision when they finally get the dog of their dreams. Matching reality to expectation can sometimes be a long road. So how do you achieve calmly being able to open the front door, greet guests, and not chant NO at your dog? Wait until he’s 15 years old?

All can be elegantly achieved within a few weeks. It just requires a little organization. Front door dog training and a few dog owner tips. A little effort and isolating the area of your lifestyle that’s the trigger to the behavior.  All of these tips can help slowly ease the tension between your dog and you in that particular area in your house.

Paws for a Minute®: Lifestyle

1. Tip: Keep a leash by the front door.

Doing so helps maintain the mayhem. Too easy? Remember, I’m on your side. The leash help you guide your dog into a sit. Gently lifting up on the leash as you say sit, gains eye contact from your dog to you. It changes the whole scope. Yes, eventually you will not need to use the leash, but for now it adds the structure needed. You can practice with no one at the door, a few minutes a day, 2 minutes here and 2 minutes there. Dogs are very routine animals and they LOVE to please you so you can make it a fun game. Why not treats, instead? Well, for this exercise, I like to use your voice and praise for sitting as the treat.

2. Tip: Place a jar of treats outside the front door.

Here is where the treats can be be added. A jar can be just out side the front door and have a family member or friend  ring the door as a guest would. Practicing the bell can help simulate the sound and train your dog to focus on you at the same time. Dogs don’t bark when the phone rings, right? So by simulating the sound desensitizes your dog. As the guest ( friend ) walks in have them gesture the letter “J” with the hand holding the treat. THis is the hand signal for sit, as they walk in. This conditions your dog to greet your guest, get a command, sit as a greeting and get a treat. If he jumps up, you get to redirect him to sit because he is on a leash.

3. Tip. Every time you come home, greet your dog silently.

Yes, no voice. Zip it.  No, of course it’s not mean. Pup’s respond like crazy to voice inflection and it encourages them to jump! You can show love in MANY different ways. When you come in the door, crouch down and silently give your dog a massage as a hello. This will teach him to see you and expect a slow massage instead of a hyper hello. 

All of these tips together will help condition your dog in a few weeks to be less hyper at the front door, just in time for the holidays.

 

 

5 Must-Have Training Tips To Prepare Your Dog For Holidays And Children. Wild Ones.

Congrats, you made it, you have it all and your living the dream. The house, the kids and now you have the dog! Or even if you don’t and all you have are a slew of fur kids and the human kind only come to visit, I thought I’d give you some basic tips that can help around the holidays. Approximately,  5 Million children get bitten by a dog a year in the U.S. and the main culprit? The family dog. 

Unpredictable children, shy dogs and add a little food dropped on the flor and that’s a recipe for a potential disaster!  Not good or merry, if that happens.

Your dog is counting on you to create some boundaries. Dogs often see children as submissive beings. In other words, dogs see children as they would another dog. Which means they want to play, nip, chase and growl even warn or snap.You need to be aware. Not every dog is used to being around kids. Sometimes it’s a size issue others it’s an age issue and fluffy cute dogs are the biggest target.  Think about it, your relatives dog is not always socialized trained or used to being around kids.

The main thing to be careful of is furniture, dogs and small children. Dogs go underneath chairs and tables. They may growl and a young child does NOT heed to the growl.  Growl is a warning that I’m going to bite. Not if, when. 

Paws For A Minute: Holidays- Child and Dog Safety 

1. Time feed your dog.

In other words do not leave the food out at all times. Create a feeding time for your dog. Put the food down for 20 minutes and if your dog does not finish “sorry Charlie” until the next feeding. I know your thinking not a problem…my dog wolfs his food. However, some dogs may be finicky eaters and this is not a great thing around kids. You don’t want your dog to be or become food possessive, even if he never has been before!   This can be especially true with older dogs and young children. Baby gating your dog in a space so he can eat in peace helps too.

 

2. Exercise, before the feast.

A tired dog is a great dog. Especially before people come over. So best to schedule the time. If you are going to let your dog and your children play together try to tire your dog out first. I know who has the time. But really if you can play fetch or let your dog rip around the back yard for a few minutes before the kids especially toddlers go outside this will help. Large breed puppies can over power kids unless they get their ya-ya’s out first.

 

3. Walk your dog around the house for a few minutes on the leash.

Sounds crazy I know… but this is especially helpful with young exuberant dogs and toddlers or small children.  Walk around your living room and when you stop pull gently up on the leash and ask your dog to sit. This will create eye contact from your dog. Then you can praise him.

This technique sets a positive tone for your dog and calms him/her down, instead of busting into a room and mowing down a child. Children get to see the dog and perhaps give a treat in a controlled manner. If your dog goes koo-koo on the leash, then quickly pivot and say lets go. Walk a few steps to change the focus while using a upbeat voice, This will redirect the initial barking.  Lastly and obviously, if your dog simply isn’t good with children then don’t risk it.

4. No rough play

I know sorry Dad’s.  It sends a mixed signal to the dog. Avoid games like tug of war. Not good, it promotes growling.  Remember your little kids are like playmates to your dog. Therefore rough play can transfer to your dog wanting to tackle your kid.

5. Teach your dog to fetch

Create a ball-o-holic out of your dog. This is a great activity for the kids to play with the dog. Parents need to implement it first. This is a great way to bond and interact. It takes the intensity off the child and dog and onto a ball. The child gets to watch and participate. Here’s how… The key is to use one special fetch ball. Keep it in a special place and only use it during the game of fetch. When teaching your dog to fetch use anticipation as the incentive.

Ask our dog to sit. Then throw the ball as you say o.k. As your dog gets the ball, crouch down and clap your hands, praising your dog. As he runs towards you take a treat out of your pocket suddenly stand up and say sit. Your dog will spit out the ball for the treat. Then begin again. The key is to only throw the ball twice then put the ball away. The next day throw it three times, the next day four, etc.

Before your know it you will have a bona fide ball-o-hollic. Then your kids can take over and have a fun safe game to play with your dog