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.

4 Triggers That Create Bark-a-holism In Dogs. How To Get Your Dog To Zip It!

Definition:  Bark-a-holism- Creates insanity in humans, fights between spouses and neighborhood disputes. A dog’s barking behavior of non-stop machine gun-like barking, yapping at anything and everything. How do you know you need help? If your dog has tuned you out and refuses to listen to the words no, stop, shut up, or zip it. 

photo’s courtesy of Jim Dratfield

Paws For A Minute® Quick Dog Training Helpful Tips: Curbing the Bark-a-holic

Barking is a normal way for a dog to  communicate. Excessive barking is not, and the way to curb this issue quickly becomes a  owner lifestyle issue. Triggers that create bad barking habits are usually lack of boundaries ( no positive training rituals, boredom (listening to endless neighborhood noises all day long), and  territorial-ism (gazing out windows or fences) . The fourth trigger is you. How? A lack of routine, exercise creates the ability to tuning you out!  




  • Create a routine: Exercise ( a must) , leash training ( 10 minutes a day), freedom in the house and hang time with you ( whenever and often), play time ( 1/2 hour, several times a day) along with gating a few hours ( now and then)  will help create a schedule. Especially, if you have a multiple dog household, breaking up the pack helps create a routine and curbs excessive barking at noises. Age related dog chews help curb boredom. Use a baby gate to divide the space and create a bone chewing time for each dog in there own space. Kitchen, hallway or breakfast rooms or good central areas. Occasional gating  takes away the ability to bolt to a window and bark. Dogs LOVE den’s. You just have to create one in your house and reclaim your home to break this pattern.  Hence, the habit of racing to the window to bark slowly dissipates, over time of course. Eventually, no gating is needed. This new ritual helps to desensitize outside noise triggers that creates barking as a pack. It should always be initiated (at first) when your home on the weekend to make sure it’s safe and everyone gets into the groove of denning on your terms.
  • Add Music. Block out daily outdoor or apartment noises when your not home with music. This helps to to set a tone and mutes out car door noises and daily mail delivery.
  • Exercise. Plain and simple, a game of turbo fetch, walk run, or hike on a daily before you leave for the day will help curb barking.
  • Use a fence cover.  If your backyard fence, faces the street and is chain-link or wrought iron cover it with a tarp, tennis netting or bamboo.  Covering your fence will help reduce territorial boredom barking at people, dogs and cars. Use a tarp or fence covering to block the street view. Not seeing people walk by will help barking by 50%.

Does Your Dog Really Know What He’s Done Wrong?

Paws For A Minute® … and think about this…

Some people give lengthy verbal dissertations trying to explain to their dog their extreme displeasure they feel after they’ve discovered their best shoes chewed. Other’s righteously feel their dog totally gets what he’s done wrong. Absolutely, 100 %.. slinking out of the room with their ears back and tail tucked. For sure they know! Right?

 Some people try to punish their dog by using spray bottles, crating or putting your dog outside in the yard to “think about” what he’s done. This may give the person time to cool off after being mad, but really? Does it get the right point across?

Well, the truth is that dogs do respond to voice inflection and body language. So yeah, they get that your mad, but not at what? Dogs associate to things with sense of smell, patterns and triggers. It’s best to explain to them what they’ve done wrong with a sensible process that has a beginning, middle and end to it. Whether your pup has chewed something or gone to the bathroom in the house, get the leash, put it on and guide them over to what they’ve done wrong. Isolating the item or area by guiding your dog to it helps them associate the scent and your voice inflection to the word NO.

Reprimanding your dog this way you’re actually associating the smell of their saliva on the chewed item or urine on the carpet and that identifies to your dog what you’re saying NO for and to what?  After saying no, take your dog “outside” ( in the case of a bathroom mistake) or (in the case of chewing the wrong thing) give them the right chew bone. Then say “okay” in a happy voice indicating that the reprimand is over! Over time he’ll learn the pattern of where to go to the bathroom and what to chew. The days of needing to catch your dog in the act of doing something wrong are over.

Dog Safety Tips For 4th of July!

Paws For A Minute: 4th of July

Dog Safety Tips

Preparation is key.

- Tire your dog out before the fireworks. Walk, run, fetch or hike will do the trick.

- Access your dogs temperament. Dominant or submissive? Young or old? This will help you make a plan as to whether your dog should be with you to watch the fire works or not.

 

- If your dog is joining your BBQ and firework festivities then best to have your dog on a leash, always!

- Leaving your pup at home? Water, loud music, and in a gated space. Providing your dog with a space within your house will help reduce any anxiety. Music or leaving the t.v on will help mute out any loud sounds of fireworks. Dogs are den animals and they love small spaces. If your dog is used to a crate and feels safe being in one, then crate your dog with music.

 

#1 Cause For Separation Anxiety In Dogs

Separation anxiety is largely caused by a lack of routine. For most  brand “new” rescued dogs or even a young puppy being brought into a new environment can cause stress. Whatever your new pups age is, when you bring him/her home it’s just that, new! So a routine needs to be set be you. For a new dog or puppy being left alone in a house or room causes stress and shutting any door creates anxiety.  Training and socialization is a must and needs to be applied on the first day.

How does stress gets created for a new dog? Pushing a new dog back in order to shut a door creates stress. Many people leave their new dogs or pups in a room or outside when they leave, not knowing what to do? The process of leaving  and lack of routine can create whining, pacing, barking and plain old destruction.

Sure, everyone needs to leave and that certainly will be the goal. However, for a new dog or puppy in your family the concept of being able to be alone should be taught to them by their owners! If your home is introduced correctly to your new dog, bad habits never occur.

Paws For A Minute® 5 Tips For New Dog Ownership: Reducing Separation Anxiety in dogs

1. Never shut a door on a dog. Rather socialize him to be behind a baby gate while you are home. That way you can correct any bad behaviors.

2. Use a leash to guide your dog to the gated or outdoor area for potty. This way you can isolate the word you want to use indicating the action. Such as, wait or potty. The leash allows you to guide not coax and creates eye contact form your dog to you.

3. Even if you plan to crate train your new dog, the baby gated area should be a pre-step to crating. Every new dog is different, due to age. So please realize that crating sometimes needs to be slowly initiated and may take a few days to initiate properly.

4. Gating is to be implemented slowly 20 minutes at a time. Maybe up to 4 or 5 times the first day. This ensures you that your dog respects the gate. If not, then crating may be essential. The key is to do this while your home, to instill a positive pattern. Make sure all of your dogs needs are met. Exercise, potty breaks are key. For 8 week- old pups, the gated area should be considered it’s play pen area and crate should be within the gated space.  Other new dogs that are older, can be exercised and walked and have free time loose in your house for periods of time. It’s up to you to slowly increase the time between being loose in the house and gated.

5. Gating your dog is not intended to be a time out or punishment. It’s a great way to teach a new dog boundaries within your home.

 

Feng Shui With Fido™ Feeding Tip. Great Dog Bowls Add Color To Your Kitchen

Add a little color to your kitchen with these cute studio bowls by Wetnoz®.

These bowls are perfect for puppy owners, they’re plastic, inexpensive and look fantastic.

www.wetnoz.com

Paws For A Minute® Feeding Tip: Always feed your new dog a measured amount right for his size and age. Ask your vet about amounts rather than package servings. How, when and where you feed your puppy has everything to do with teaching your pup where to go potty. 

Feng Shui with Fido™ dog training method- Dog + Home = Peace.

Feeding Fido

Where: Kitchen is best, rather than outdoors.

When: Feed your dog when you are present. Many dogs love company or will get distracted if owners walk away and can become finicky eaters.

How: Best to time feed your dog. Put food down at the same time of day, same amount. Use a 15 minute increment for meal time. Pick up the food if not finished, until the next feeding time.

Why: If you leave food in a bowl out all day, it will effect your dogs housebreaking process.

 

A Straight Up Answer About Having An 8 Week-Old Puppy

Paws For A Minute® / ASK INGER-Q&A
Question:
I recently purchased, Montauk, see attached. She is a beautiful 8 week-old
“miniature” english Bulldog. 
I have set her up with a crate and a small pen area in my kitchen – about 8ftx3ft in total. I had read a lot about crate training so had been taking her outside frequently over the first few days to go potty. I think she was beginning to understand and respond.
I live in New York City and went to the vet for the first time yesterday. He basically explained to me that as she has not had any vaccinations yet that she must stay inside at all times until the shots are completed when she is about 17 weeks-old. Do you agree with this? I definitely don’t want to put her in danger but feel that keeping her confined in this space for the next 8-weeks is hardly a good life?
In addition, if I am to keep her in the crated / fenced area. What should her schedule look like? Do I only take her out when I play with her (maybe twice) per day? For the rest of the time she is in the fenced area? And I should go about my normal day.
Really appreciate your help. No one seems to give straight answers.
                                                                                                - Richard
ANSWER:
Hey, thanks for the great questions. She’s gorgeous and congrats on the new puppy!
 Firstly, yes I do agree with your vet. The problem is that many pet professionals neglect to tell owner’s “why” they should so a certain protocol, hence the confusion. The reason (very young) pup’s should not go outdoors, until fully inoculated, is because they should receive a series of shots, which are complete at around 17-weeks. This is to prevent many viruses but an important one to note is called parvo, a very contagious illness that pup’s can pick up from there pads. The incubation of this type of virus is roughly 15 days and owners wouldn’t know it until their puppy gets sick. Vomiting and diarrhea are the symptoms and rapid dehydration can be the killer, literally. So that’s the main reason, however, remember your pup’s been on the planet only 8 weeks, what’s the hurry? Oh I know, housebreaking.
Yes, well, that’s the next topic of conversation, leaning to go poop outdoors!
Paws For A Minute® / new puppy 8 weeks-old
 Even if your puppy appears to be getting the concept of going to the bathroom outside, biologically she can’t hold it 8 hours (at 8-weeks of age) that happens in stages. So you could neurotically feel compelled to take our puppy outside 45 times a day, because pup’s that age poop a lot, but the truth is that she needs to grow in order to learn to hold the urge to go. Yes, training is apart of that, but your not accelerating the training process at this young age by thinking she understands. Your main mission right now is to teach your new puppy to self-soothe and begin to understand the process of where to go potty.Teaching when to go potty comes later
Learning to self-soothe means teaching your pup to chill by herself (within a safe space) such as a gated area. At 8-weeks a puppy’s day consists of  playing , eating, peeing, pooping, learn how to (go in and out) of the crate, chewing, and get to know you! Think infant. Sleeping in the gated area all night long is a big deal. Music or a sound machine will help. Keep papers or wee-wee pads in one end of the gated area. When you take her out of the gated space, take her out on a leash, and guide her to spot (on a patio or yard) for potty on a wee-wee pad. Dogs will learn by routine, so it’s up to you to set one. Don’t expect for them to just “get it,” cats do that, not dogs. Remember, even if a puppy stumbles out a patio door (that’s kept open) to go potty, doesn’t mean she’s even close to being housebroken. That happens from a combo of training and age! After she goes potty then it can be playtime with you, but for 20 minutes or so at a time! Remember, this can be many, many times a day! You can also hang inside the gated space with her.
You mentioned this type of routine is hardly the good life? Don’t think of it that way, she’s a baby. A ball rolling at that young age is a good time. Have fun and get to know each other. Just like a human baby, puppies at that stage; eat, play, pee, poop, sleep. Now, having said that, when your puppy becomes 12 or 14 weeks-old, the party begins. All papers in the gated space come up, the crate door shuts for periods of time, triggers of music get introduced, commands get implemented, teething starts and the housebreaking concept comes alive.  Stay tuned for stage two of the puppy process which is only a few weeks away. I hope this helped and helps others. Please keep us posted on your progress!

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! 

 

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.

 

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.