Can Dog Food Affect Dog Training? Paws For A Minute Quick TIps

Can the way feed your puppy or what you feed your dog really affect dog training and your dogs ability to learn? The answer is YES, 100% yes. Your pups ability is learned and largely scheduled by you. Rescuing a dog or adopting a new puppy what and how you feed your dog ties into dog training. Potty issues, food drive for treats and territorial behaviors are learned. Here is my people training tips for the day. How, where, when and what you feed your puppy or dog most certainly dog can and does affect training and effects good and bad can be long lasting.  Most behavioral issues begin in the home and issues such as housebreaking and food based aggression can be innocently be triggered by you. 

Paws For A Minute®  Dog food, dog training and daily life with Fido. 

People treats and Fido facts: 7 Tips for creating Muttri-mony. 

  • Time feed your dog. When, how and what you feed your dog is directly tied in to housebreaking issues. Teaching your puppy to go “outside” potty is directly associated with meal time. Put food down for 15 min. only. Do so when you are home so your dog learns to eat in one sitting. 

  • Use correct portions. Puppy needs change as they grow. Many people end up over feeding or guessing on portion size. Hence, often creating a finicky eater or over feeding an adult dog and creating long term potty issues. 

  •  Check-in with your vet as to the amount of food for your size and breed. The back of the dog food bag cannot determine your own dogs exercise level. Growing pups need several meals yet adult dogs do not. 

  • Leaving food out all day for your dog to nibble is not a great idea. Dogs love routine. Leaving food in dog bowls can lead to possible behavioral issues. It can also create a finicky eater. Sort of a self fulfilling prophecy, the people who feel they need to leave food out so that their dog will eat, is actually creating less drive to eat.  If a dog does not eat at the same time of day they will also not go to the bathroom at the same time. 

  • Check dog food ingredients. What makes a dog food good for your dog should not just be judged only by your dog liking it. Some dogs will hover anything down others will not touch steak before they sniff it first. Training your dog and vet bills are tied to long term nutritional of your dogs needs being met. Check the back of the bag. Sugar should not be one of the ingredients in your dog food. Often blueberries and other antioxidants sometimes are the culprit to loose ( you know what) causing vet bills only to finally (through non conclusive tests to rule out other things ) switch brands to a more palatable food. The main protein of the food should be the first ingredient ( such as ) Chicken, Salmon etc.

  • A balanced diet= a less hyper dog and makes potty training easier with other training tips.  Puppy food is generally feed to a puppy until they are 1 years old. Then adult food takes over for maintenance. Senior food begins at age 7. 

  • Changing dog food to different brands. Always do so slowly over a 3 to 4 day span. Slowly add in the new food in small amounts increasing the amounts over several days. This prevents stomach upset.

Must-know Checklist For Senior Dogs

Paws For A Minute® Quick Tip

Dog Owner Checklist for Senior Dogs

1. When your dog turns 6 years old have a complete medical examination with your vet.

2.  Examine your dog occasionally when cuddling for lumps and bumps.

3. Have your dogs teeth cleaned. This can prevent major problems in the future. This is very important, especially for toy breed dogs.

4. Speak to your vet about your dogs food. Nutritional needs change over time. Adding a few supplements or changing your dogs food to a senior diet could be needed.

5.  Aging dogs sleep longer and deeply. Dog parents with children need to remember to recheck their reality. What was and still is a nice dog may have physical changes happening that we aren’t aware of (such as sight changes and hearing loss) due to the aging process. Even the nicest dog can snap at a child how is approaching their dog to pat it while sleeping.  Note any changes in your dog and communicate this to your children or create a new schedule for your dog as to where he/she naps.  If you have young children, creating a baby gated space for your aging dog to sleep will protect both.

6. Do some training on a leash! Yup, bring back the puppy in your older dog. The leash will formalize this fun exercise and really create the focus and attention your older dog will love then go through some old tricks. Your older dog will love the attention and praise for this accomplishment. Training also enables you to see if your dog is hearing or seeing properly. Changes can happen subtly but go un noticed. As your dog ages it’s common to go into a bit of a  “dog owner denial” and think our dog is just being stubborn, when really other changes might be taking place. 

7. Become aware of your dogs water intake. This can be an indicator of changes on the way and vet’s welcome new information. Noting water intake changes, eating and sleeping habits help guide your vet too in helping to Always check with your vet.

Paws For A Minute® Mutt-rimony

Sure, you can try to teach me the first year, but I got you trained for the the next 16…

Tips To Solve Doggie Demolition/ Destruction Due To Mail Delivery

I read your website this morning with great interest. I have been rescuing dogs for about 20 years, and always managed to work out the issues. Luke, however, remains a challenge. He is about 9 years old, 20 pounds, and mutt that makes breed definition impossible. I have had him for about 2 1/2 years. In that time he has destroyed 3 couches and 3 chairs. The problem occurs when the mail carrier arrives. Luke grabs a cushion or chair arm and goes absolutely nuts. Within minutes the drama is over, as is the furniture.   My friends all say get rid of Luke, but that will not happen. He is an otherwise dear dog.  I’ve looked into Thunder jackets, but reviews aren’t great for this issue.  Any suggestions? Many thanks.
Jeanne

Sierra Madre, CA

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Hi Jeanne, 

Thanks for the question! When dogs respond to sounds, as yours has, such as mail being delivered, it’s usually indicative of a trigger (such as the sound of mail going through an opening) and territorial behavior. To solve the problem of destruction that appears to be outcome of that triggered response, a desensitization to the sound is in order. Barking or in your case, destruction can be the result of a high prey drive ( chase catch and shake) triggered by the sound. In your case, the prey is your couch! There are several ways to solve this problem. Increasing your dogs exercise and your “on-leash obedience training” is always a great idea. A group class is a fantastic way to recreate a new relationship.

 Paws For A Minute® Tips to solve doggie demolition/ destruction due to mail delivery

This is a two person exercise.

1. Put your dog on a leash. Doing so helps reinforce eye contact and the positive command and generally helps guide your dog during the correction.

2. Simulate the sound. You can create the sound of mail coming through the mail slot. The repetition of the sound will also help desensitize him to the sound and his destructive reaction.

3. The use of a penny can. A penny can or ( coffee can emptied with a handful a pennies) makes a sudden sharp sound. A sound that represents that of a police car pulling one over for blowing a red light. It has a similar effect. So get a penny can and make sure it is in the hand opposite side to your dog. Remember, it’s not about your dog seeing the can, just more about the sudden shake.

4. Prepare to correct and praise. As he goes to bite the chair or couch shake the can once, and say no! As a trainer, I prefer a sharp sound to that of water being sprayed in a dogs face. The sharp sound of the pennies in the can is scary and it says to your dog “absolutely not” to destroying your couch! Using a leash helps your dog not misunderstand the correction and take off into another room. If your dog is not on a leash he may misunderstand the sound. Remember, the can is on the other side of you so your dog doesn’t see the action or sound is coming.  The leash only helps redirect him into a positive command such as sit. You can add a treat too. The eye contact between you and your dog created from the praise for doing the “sit” command establishes you as the leader, in a good way. Dogs are usually instantly triggered by movements and sound. Good and bad. This time though, you are there to correct his misguided ways. The simulation of the sound of the mail helps you be in control (because you are creating the sound with the other person) and repeat it. Also it’s good to remember, most importantly, you’ll be able to redirect your dog in a positive way ( on a leash ) to sit and praise him for doing so! This process also says to him, your my dog and it’s my house!

Remember for extreme cases of aggression or destruction, always call your local dog training professional or ask your vet for a referral. You are the best judge of your dog, if you feel this correction is not right or your dog could become more aggressive then do not do it. Your instinct is telling you that you have a bigger problem on your hands and you need to address that with your vet.

Pets and Parenting: Mom Training Tips For Toddler’s And The Family Dog

Preparing your dog for your child’s toddlerhood is really important! Depending on your dogs age, previous exposure to children, food, toys and chew bones will help determine where you need to focus training and socialization. 

Just because your dog is nice and gentle with you and other adult people doesn’t mean a child can’t become a target, by accident! Some parents unknowingly deem their dog good with kid’s or fine with the baby but with toddlers, I think special a wild card factor can happen. Toddlers can be kind of unpredictable and many parents get in the habit of chanting “be nice to the doggy!” Having foresight and be able to direct or protect your dog and child is the key.  Snaps can happen fast and after that, it matters less who’s fault it was becomes the damage is done.

Paws For A Minute® Quick tip: Preparing Your Dog For Your Child’s Toddlerhood!

1. Dog Tip:  Review all “on leash” commands. This is a great way to tune up your dog. Basic commands like heel, sit, stay and come. Never did that before? Then now is a great opportunity! Leash training is a great way to create eye contact between you and your dog and reinforce the commands with praise! What it does very effectively is creates a bond and an understanding that simply off leash repetition and cookie’s don’t accomplish in the same way, A few minutes a day will help communicate volumes to your dog and create trust between you, especially with a new creature that’s crawling and falling all over there territory now!

2. Dog Tip: Occasionally, hand feed you dog a few servings of his kibble. This helps determine any food bowl issues and get your dog used to being interrupted while eating.

3. Dog Tip: Vet check. Bring your dog to the vet for a check up. Dogs that are 5 years and up should be checked for lumps and bumps. As your Toddler begins to poke and pat you want to make sure all is well with your dog health wise. Some times older dogs don’t feel well and YOU would never know it.

4. Dog Tip: Use a baby gate occasionally for your dog when your child is crawling around. Boundary’s are a great thing. Get your dog used to being baby gated once in a while. This allows you not to go insane and gives your dog some chew bone time in peace, yet still allows him/her to hang out and be apart of things. 

Key: Guide your dog into the gated area on a leash, before your toddler has exploration time. The leash helps create a fun ritual, with the formality of a command. Say the word let’s go and then once in the gates area say “wait” then give a treat close the gate and take of the leash! Gate for a small increment of time in a central area.

5. Dog tip:  Brush your dog for 5 minutes every week. This is a great way to get him used to being touched, everywhere even the tail!

 

 

Apartment Dogs: Guidelines To Choosing A Good Dog Walker.

Raising a dog and working to make a living, can have it’s challenges. How do you master raising a puppy and being gone all day? Dog walking services can come in handy to help you on those busy weeks or challenging developmental stages. Getting a dog walker can help you manage developing a schedule with your dog. Here are a few simple things to consider before you hire one. Hiring a big dog walking service can have its pros and cons. For example, there are many individuals that provide a reliable unique experience that can meet your needs too! How do you know what you need? Here are a few thoughts to help you assess what’s best for your lifestyle.

Bigger dog walking companies hire many dog walkers or sometimes have vans servicing many people. Sounds great at first, but your dog may be sitting in a van half of the day, as the service drives around town picking up other clients. Once at the park, puppies usually will play hard with each other, while older dogs often just stand next to the walker waiting for the walk. It’s really up to you to assess your dogs needs and what’s best for your lifestyle, budget and work schedule. Is it to get exercise, go potty, or to be socialized? The main thing you need to note is your dogs age, housebreaking needs, energy level and your hours gone, which will tell you what type of service you really need. Many middle age dogs or senior dogs benefit most by individual one-on-one walks, as opposed to the larger companies that offer park pick-ups. Sometimes, a nice long walk, 10 minute game of fetch and a potty break will do the trick! The best place to find a great dog walker is at your local vet’s office, pet store, or a friends referral. Once you’ve found a great dog walker it is a good idea to interview them properly.

 1. Make sure they are insured or bonded. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to ask. If the person works independently and is not bonded, then always ask for referrals. Use your best judgement. Referrals can come from trainers, vets and other clients they walk. If the dog walking service is a big company, then ask to see their current certificate of insurance, as they often hire many dog walkers to service larger areas. Also, you may not get the same person walking your dog. Discuss your needs, concerns and safety rules with the company and make sure the people they have as walkers, fit your needs and have experience.

2. Give them your cell phone number in case of emergency. If they work for a bigger dog walking service, make sure that you are getting the same person and they have your cell phone number available. 

3. Go on a walk with the walker, once. Observe how they handle your dog, making sure they use the same commands you use, keeping training consistent.

4. Give your dog walker a window of time to arrive. Remember, you aren’t their only client. Two hours is more than fair, they will appreciate the flexibility, and you will get consistent service.

5. If you provide the leashes, training collars etc., it is imperative that YOU regularly inspect them and keep them in working order. Keep them in the same place, and back-ups are always a good idea, especially for specialized gear. Make sure your dog has current tags and information on it’s collar.

6. Provide your walker with your vet’s info in case of emergency. Keep a credit card on file at the vet, along with a signed declaration stating that your walker is allowed to bring the dog in for treatment.

7. Don’t forget your budget. Hiring a dog walking service can add up! However, remember it does not have to be a forever thing. You can cut costs, too. Those of you who own pup’s can use a service for a few months, to get you over the hump of housebreaking issues. Other’s can begin a service with the end goal to-be, to use the service as needed! In other words, eventually, only use the service for your dog during those busy weeks at work. You have options.

Also, remember that your needs may change from needing one type of service to another, over the course of raising your dog!

 

 

Paws For A Minute® Puppy Guide 2012: How to Find The Best Puppy.

So you’re looking for a new puppy but don’t know where to begin? The Puppy Guide 2011/12 is here to get you started on the right track to perfect muttrimony! It’s so easy to say “I want a new puppy” but, yet much harder to determine where to look, what to look for and, ultimately, decide which pup is right for your home.

Paws for a Minute® Puppy Guide 2012: How To Find That Perfect New Pup To Fit Your Lifestyle

Know Thy Self: Picking a puppy is not easy. There are so many different breeds and many different personalities within a given breed that it’s tough to know where to begin the search. I suggest you start by thinking about your own lifestyle. Ask yourself some key questions and answer them honestly:

Are you active? Are you a couch potato? Do you travel a lot? Are you single or married? Do you have roommates? Do you have other pets? Are you a parent? How old are your children? What’s the energy level like in your home? Have you had dogs before? Are you allergic?

The answers to these questions will give you a much better idea of what type of dog and temperament will fit comfortably in your daily life. Think about the following questions and or concerns: size, exercise needs of the breed, your time and lifestyle, allergies, does you your financial budget include raising a dog, does the breed you like shed? Once you know roughly what your lifestyle and budget allows then it’s time to start researching breeds.

Do Your Homework: When picking a breed remember that there are always exceptions to the rule. Not every puppy is going to grow up to have the temperament described in the breed’s standard.  In general, go with three top favorites and investigate from there. Another great idea is to visit a local dog park. There you will find many owners with dogs you may be interested in, and be able to ask questions and seek out more information and match your expectations with their experience.

More Food For Thought: It’s not just personality and size that matter most. You should also consider any additional health risks or issues associated with a given breed. There are many breeds out there that have well-known chronic health issues. Issues prevail over time so you may not recognize such conditions during puppyhood. The problem may not prevail in all dogs of that breed but it could potentially mean LOTS of vet bills later so know your facts before hand and rule out anything you’re not prepared to handle.

Where To Buy Your Pup: First and foremost, be wary of online puppy stores and/or breeders. The internet is a great place to do your research but actually buying a puppy on the web usually ends bad. Whether it’s as severe as a rip-off scam or simply buying a puppy mill pup, you may get burned and it’s definitely going to cost you. In the long run you will save time, money and perhaps some emotional distress if you find a reliable breeder, rescue group or shelter. You can always find very reputable breeders on the America Kennel Club site. Or a great thing to do is visit any dog show in your local area. These shows are always hosted by breed or all breed events by a kennel club (such as AKC) there you can meet great people who breed professionally.  Also, keep in mind that nearly every breed has a rescue organization in nearly every major city. Always ask the right questions and make sure to visit them in person. That way you can meet greet and inspect their facilities and get a sense of how they treat their animals. Usually, your gut will guide you to make the right decision.

Good Questions To Ask Breeders

Who are the dog’s parents? Can I meet the parents? Do you have info on the dog’s bloodline? Where are the dogs kept? Can I see your housing facilities? Are there any health issues or risks in this bloodline? Do you have any certifications? Do the dogs have any medical certifications? Do you like the person you are speaking to?

Good Questions To Ask Shelters How old is the dog? Do you have any history on this dog? How long has the dog been in the shelter? Has it ever been adopted and returned? Where are the dogs kept and does it have any outstanding behaviors associated with being approached or while being fed? Can I see the housing facilities? Is the dog spayed or neutered? Does the dog have it’s shots with proper documentation?

Also, steer clear of “puppy stores.” Any shop with puppies playing in the window usually gets their dogs from large-scale puppy mills. Any puppy paper or pedigree that says USDA on it is not a fancy title or kennel. It means the kennel the puppy came from is a commercial one. It stands for United States Department of Agriculture and is one that’s zoned for breeding very large amounts of dogs. There are brokers who farm out these pup’s from other sources to the web and pet stores. The store itself may not even realize it! Not only should you not support this practice for the simple fact that they increase dog populations and we’re already in an overpopulation crisis in most cities but for the dogs themselves. Many puppy mill puppies are bred from dogs with genetic disorders, health issues or other problems that will likely cost you in vet bills later.

If you want the Pet Shop experience but would like to rescue a dog, look into facilities like Found Animals’ Adopt & Shop. This is a great option because you get to walk around and shop as though you were in the puppy store but at the end of the day you are really rescuing a dog from the shelter. What’s also great is that many shelter have older puppies, say 5 months and up.  If you are in LA, Adopt & Shop is a fantastic choice. If not, look online for a similar initiative near you. It’s worth it!

 

Tips For Bringing Home A Shelter Dog. Get It Right From Day One.

Are you looking for a present for under the tree that will keep on giving? Check out your local shelter. Puppy’s aren’t for every lifestyle and there are some unbelievably cute dogs at your local shelter. Once you have found your match bringing home a new dog is exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time. Shelter dogs are awesome and in many ways can be the perfect option to raising a really young, teething, pooping and extremely playful puppy. An adult dog can sometimes be a perfect present because you bypass puppy teething and housebreaking.  Remember though, there is still always an adjustment period with training to be done. So therefore, I recommend not winging it.

Paws for A Minute®- Mutt-rimony

 The best thing to do is plan out the first few days. Make sure you have all bowls, food, collar, leash, toys, name tags, a baby gate, and even a crate ready to go before you go to pick up your dog. Seems like basic advice, but like dating, what you see is not what you’re going to get. Relationships take time to develop and so do behaviors. Think of the first six weeks as an adjustment. Once your ready and the “pick up day” is arranged it’s best to be prepared. 

1. Ask the shelter what food they feed, so you can get a few days of the same food your new dogs been eating. Otherwise, you may have stomach issue’s the first night especially if you switch food suddenly. That would be a drag for everyone, including your new dog.

2. Don’t assume your new dog is housebroken. Many shelters, rescue’s or foster helpers may indicate that a particular dog is housebroken or trained, but your new dog is not housebroken to YOUR house. So you need to have foresight and take your dog outside often, on leash, formally and initiate the outside command.  Use one word like “outside” or “go potty” to trigger the process. Seems like common sense, but  you’d be surprised even the smartest people forget on the first day. Or they want to test the dog to see if the dog will “get it” or understand the not peeing in the house rule. Don’t expect your new dog to morph into Lassie overnight, it’s up to you to show him.

Also, most importantly we often forget that many shelter dogs have to urinate where they are kept or have been abandoned situations and need to re-learn the rules.

3. A fantastic thing to do the very first minute you pull up to your house with your new dog is to plan to go on a long walk. Exercise is your friend and a tired dog is a great dog, especially the first night in a new home.

There are many more tips to come on this topic… the above are just a few to get you started. If you dig…please share.