Archive for the ‘General’ Category

6 Moving Tips To Keep Your Dog Happy – Part 2

Kate | July 27th, 2012
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Many dog owners fail to understand that moving to a new house and uprooting all of your belongings can be extremely stressful on their pets. It doesn’t matter if you’re just moving across town, or across the entire nation, it is important to make sure that your dog’s well-being and his safety are part of your moving plans. Below are a few tips to assist you in cushioning your canine companion’s anxiety during the move:

1. If your dog is the type that gets overly anxious and sick during car trips, check into holistic therapies. For example, there is a product called Bach’s Rescue Remedy that helps calm your pet down during times of stress. All you do is rub it on his ears and feet.

2. Just like it is wise to keep your dog in a quiet, closed off room in the old house on moving day, the same rule should apply in the new house when you and the rest of your family arrive. Pick one room and provide enough food and water so that your dog can sit quietly without noticing all of the confusion around the new house.

3. When you arrive at the new home, unpack your dog’s belongings as soon as you get there. Be sure to keep the boxes that contain his stuff close by. These items would include hi bedding, his food and water bowls, and dog toys. This will help your dog adjust as quickly as possible by having familiar items around him while adjusting to the strange house.

4. Moving creates many security issues for dogs and other pets alike. With unpacking all of the boxes and miscellaneous furniture items, there are dangers all around when the household items have not been set up yet. Electrical cords, small objects, pantyhose, plants, etc. all have a possibility of being left out when unpacked and into your dog’s mouth.

5. Check the new house for possible places that your dog may escape from. Loose screens, holes in fences, and half shut doors will enable your dog to roam free and risk getting injured or lost in the new territory.

6. Now that you have arrived in a new town, your first order of business as it pertains to your dog and other animals is to find a veterinarian. Finding a groomer is also a good idea. And should you have to leave your dog alone during trips or when at work, look into a pet sitter service that can help your dog adjust in the new home until he is ready to be alone.

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6 Moving Tips To Keep Your Dog Happy – Part 1

Kate | July 27th, 2012
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Moving your entire family into a new house can be a stressful change, not only for you and the rest of the family, but for your dog as well. Of all of the life changes that your pet can experience in his lifetime, moving can be the biggest.

Your dog’s temperament will have a big influence on how he reacts to all of the confusion, however, it is safe to say that regardless of what breed your dog is, there are some very useful tips that you can use to alleviate the stress. Below are a few:

1. If you have a small dog, be sure to have invested into a sturdy carrier that you can use to transport him to the new house on the day of the big move.

2. Because your dog feels a sense of security in his day-to-day routine, try your best to gradually make changes with your moving plans by packing boxes and storing household items weeks ahead of time. This is far better than waiting until the last minute and totally confusing your dog with the extreme upheaval of the entire household.

3. Dogs do escape so be sure to have an appropriate ID tag attached to his collar with the current address and phone information. He may become disoriented from the move and try to dart away.

4. If you have to travel a long distance to your new home and run the chance of making an overnight stay at motel, plan ahead of time for a pet-friendly establishment. This will save you a lot of stress trying to find a suitable hotel in the middle of the night.

5. Moving day means that your dog should not be around while everyone is making their last minute adjustments and packing finalities. During this time it is wise to tuck your dog into a room of his own with food and water and do not disturb him besides bathroom breaks of course. Keeping him in private and away from the confusion will prevent disorientation and stress.

6. If you happen to be flying to your new destination, it should go without saying that choosing a pet-friendly airline is of utmost importance. Plan ahead of time with a suitable airline and do not be shy about asking questions as it pertains to dog travel and whether or not he is small enough to be carried on board with you. If the airline makes you feel uncomfortable as you ask questions, choose another carrier.

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Is Your Dog Annoying?

Peter | December 11th, 2009
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A well trained dog brings joy to their owner as well as friends and neighbors of the owner. A dog which doesn’t get at least basic training can be a real pain to be around. Even though the owner may think it’s cute, it may at times be a danger to itself as well as to others.

A dog which won’t come to its owner on command can run into the path of an approaching car or motorbike and cause an accident. Not only could your pet be injured or killed but so could the occupants of any vehicle involved in an accident.

It Will Never Happen To My Dog…

Imagine for a moment that you’re leaving the house with your dog. Since you’re getting in the car you don’t bother putting the dog’s leash on. Your untrained dog sees a cat or another dog on the other side of the street. If you dog runs off and starts to cross the cross will the respond to your command to “come here”?

How about another scenario in which you’re across the street chatting with a neighbour. Your dog gets out of the yard and wants to run across to you. There is a car coming towards you. Will you dog “sit” on the other side of the road when you tell them to? Or will they run into the path of the car?

But My Dog Doesn’t Need Training Because Of It’s Breed…

The size of your dog and it’s breed have nothing to do with basic dog training. Small dogs can provide just as much a hazard as larger ones in many situations.

A large Saint Bernard may knock you flying when it’s just trying to greet you, but a Miniature Schnauzer might get under your feet and trip you up when you have an armful of packages. The point here is the size of the dog doesn’t matter. There is situations where a lack of training can be down right dangerous.

Not all situations are dangerous however, some are just plain annoying. Imagine when friends visit and your dog won’t stop barking, jumping up and making a nuisance of themselves. Wouldn’t it be great if your dog would “lie down” on command and calm down.

But I Don’t Really Have The Time To Train My Dog…

Training your dog can actually save you time. Imagine not having to chase after your dog and them actually coming to you when you ask.

Training a dog so that they follow simple commands isn’t time consuming at all. In fact if you train them the smart way you actually don’t have to spend lots of extra time because you modify their behaviour during time you would be spending with them anyway. Get a dog clicker and reward good behavior with a tasty treat and a click. Pretty soon your dog will associate the click of the clicker with a reward and you can simply click to reward good behaviour.

When it comes to your dog there really is no excuse for not giving them at least basic training. You are their role model and it’s up to you to teach them the difference between good and bad behaviour. Training your pet is your responsibility and with the right care and attention your dog will be a pleasure to be around. You may even have some fun while training them!

Problem Dogs Are Created

Gemma | November 25th, 2009
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Your dogs personality is largely created between the age of 2-4 months. During this time the environment in which your puppy lives is really important and needs to be closely monitored. An eight week old puppy arrives into their new home and has a completely blank chalkboard.

Whatever is written on that chalkboard will determine the personality and character of the puppy. Unfortunately, it is purely a lack of knowledge on the part of the dog owner that is responsible for what later turns out to be a “problem dog”.

Dogs are not born problem dogs. They are either allowed to become that way, or are made that way as a result of the puppy’s environment. The responsibility rests solely and squarely upon the shoulders of the person who owns the dog.

Most obedience classes will not accept a puppy for training unless it is six months or older. This is quite understandable since most trainers know that the average dog owner just doesn’t have the necessary patience to cope with puppy training.

It is unfortunate, however, that by the time a dog reaches six months of age, he has already become a “problem dog”.  Obedience training may or may not help. In too many cases, it does not – not by that age.

Just last month a local standard Schnauzer was put to sleep upon the request of the owners. Every member of the family had been the recipient of at least one serious bite from the dog. The dog was only eight months old – still a puppy as far as dog trainers’ are concerned.

The first bite occurred when the puppy was just 12 weeks of age, its final bite at eight months of age. In between, the bites became progressively worse, yet not one single member of the family could bring themselves to properly discipline the dog. They “loved” their dog too much and thought it would be too mean to discipline the animal.

Mistaken kindness can be a bitter and unneeded cruelty. One must remember that when a dog is placed in a dog catcher’s truck and taken to the pound to be murdered, the blood is on the soul of the dog owner, who thought so little of his pet that he failed to demand respect, and therefore keep his pet under control.

It’s Only Natural…

The natural instinct of the canine is to try to assume dominance within the pack. The pack in this case is you and your family. The fact that he will test you periodically and try to assume control does not mean that he doesn’t love you.

Neither does it mean that he doesn’t respect you. However, if you are permissive and weak, thus allowing him to achieve dominance, his love and respect for you will quickly wane. You then become inferior in his eyes and are destined to be “owned” by your dog.

Dogs & ESP – Part 3

Kate | August 8th, 2008
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Most of us have had experiences that can possibly be attributed to ESP. It seems more than coincidence to find a friends telephone line busy because he or she is in the process of dialing your number. And how about the friend you havent thought about or seen in years, and then all of a sudden hear from or meet them unexpectedly?

ESP studies show that successful telepathy is dependent on the temperament of both the sender and receiver and that it is sometimes present and sometimes absent. In other words, people and animals might make astoundingly high scores for a given period and then suddenly lose the capacity completely. Most important, ESP depends on a close emotional tie between the subjects.

A good example is the case of Casey, a Pennsylvania family dog. The three children in the family were Boy Scouts who loved to camp out on weekends. One night, the mother and father had driven the boys to set-up their favorite campsite about twenty miles from home. When the boys were settled, mom and dad drove back home and retired for the night.

They were asleep only for about two hours when Casey broke their slumber with a strange howling. It was so persistent and strange that they realized something might be wrong with the boys. They quickly dressed and started to drive to the campsite. About five miles where they had left the boys, there was a red glow in the sky. As they drove closer, they recognized it was a forest fire. They were driving to the campsite from the south while the fire was traveling from north to south. They got to the boys and evacuated them just in time.

In the story of a family dog in Virginia named Harry, he knew something was wrong with his family but had only his veterinarian to tell it to. The vet was taking care of the dog while the family was vacationing in Florida. Harrys howl was so weird and agonizing that the vet made a note of the date and time. When Harrys family returned and picked him up, the vet told them about the dogs strange behavior. The family was astounded. On the specified date, at the recorded time, they had been marooned in a flash flood.

Many of us have heard of a story about the actions of a dog at the death of his owner. One of the most famous has to do with Gary Coopers three dogs. As his death approached, the dogs were on guard with a group of reporters outside the bedroom. It was precisely recorded that at the exact time Gary Cooper passed away, all three dogs began to howl and were devastated for quite some time.

Another story tells of a woman who returned to her family home after being away for five years. During this time, her mother had died. The woman went to the cemetery to visit her mothers grave and brought along her small terrier, Tippy. At the cemetery, Tippy leaped out of the car and ran around in circles whining.

The woman went to get water for a vase of flowers. When she found the grave, Tippy was lying on top of it moaning in a strangest way. Tippy had never been to the graveyard and none of the other members of the family had been there in over a year.

Science has yet to discover exactly what makes ESP works, but there is no question of its existence. If you and your pet have it, you are blessed with the greatest compliment an animal can bestow.

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Dogs & ESP – Part 2

Kate | August 6th, 2008
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Do dogs have ESP? One famous case is that of Daisy, a stray mixed-breed. This case was also thoroughly checked out and authenticated.

Daisy charmed herself to a New York City family on vacation at a lake approximately thirty miles from the city. The family befriended her and gave her all of the food and love she demanded. After a short time, Daisy delivered four healthy puppies, which also received the love and care of the adopted family.

When the summer ended and the human family had to return to their home in New York, they gave Daisy and her puppies to a permanent resident neighbor. They felt that Daisy and her puppies would be happier in the freedom and space that the country offers, rather than their Manhattan apartment.

About three weeks after their return to the city, they heard a scratching at the apartment door. When they opened it, there was Daisy, carrying one of the puppies in her mouth. It was a happy reunion and nothing was too good for Daisy and her puppy.

The next day, Daisy was gone. The family scoured the neighborhood but with no success of finding Daisy. About five days later, Daisy came back with another puppy. This went on until she had her four puppies under the roof of her human family.

How in the world was she able to find her human family in an apartment she had never seen, in a city the size of New York? Nobody has a clue, and ESP would seem to be the only answer.

There are many, many more similar stories that are documented, including the one about the famous Shepherd named Prince. During World War I, Prince swam the English Channel to find his owner in one of the thousands of trenches in France. This story became very famous and received international acclaim.

There are also stories on record of dogs being able to sense their own danger. One such case involves an old hunting dog named Flash. Whenever Flashs owner picked up the shotgun, Flash was out of the door and into the field before the gun was loaded. But the sad day came when the dog, old and decrepit, was to be put out of his misery. This time when the gun was picked up the dog disappeared under the house and was found in the farthest corner trembling with fear and unresponsive to commands or coaxing.

Another case involves a German Shepherd and his owner. The man took off in his private plane from an airport in Georgia to fly to New England and left his dog at home with his parents. Flying over Pennsylvania, the plane crashed. The dogs owner was found by a farmer. He was alive but unconscious and taken to the hospital where he regained consciousness about twelve hours later.

Back home in Georgia, at the time of the crash, the dog disappeared under the house. With the flashlight he could be seen lying motionless and dazed and was unresponsive to commands or water or food. He remained in this state the whole time his owner was unconscious. When his owner regained consciousness, the dog came out from under the house, ate, and appeared perfectly normal.

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Dogs & ESP – Part 1

Kate | August 3rd, 2008
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When you get the strange sense that your dog is reading your mind or your cat focusing his eyes on a nonexistent, yet fascinating something located just above your head, relax and accept this strange occurrence graciously and gratefully.

It could very well be ESP (extrasensory perception) and it most certainly a grand devotion because, in order for this phenomenon to work, ESP requires a strong bond of love between humans and their pets.

Since ESP is completely extrasensory, which means it cannot be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or felt, how can we presume to attribute such non-physical powers to our seemingly purely physical pets?

We can, thanks to the painstaking research of Dr. Rhine and his team at the Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory in North Carolina. After well establishing the ESP ability in humans, the doctor and his team set out to determine if the same phenomenon existed in animals. Similar research was also carried out in Russia by two eminent scientists, Bkhterev and Durov.

Since the introductory research with animals, Dr. Rhines laboratory has been flooded with letters reporting ESP in pets, first and mainly with dogs, and then with cats. But almost every domesticated species had a spot in Dr. Rhines collection. Each case is meticulously investigated to determine its authenticity. Homing studies (referred to as psi-training by Dr. Rhine) are the most common, but stories involving other forms of ESP are also documented in evidence.

One of the most popular cases involves a Collie named Bob. His homing feat gained him headlines from all over the world, lots of fan mail, and even a motion picture. Bobs adventure started out as a vacation motor trip from Oregon to the East Coast. On the way back to Oregon, Bobs family realized that their beloved pet was missing.

After an unsuccessful search for Bob, the heartbroken family drove back to Oregon approximately 2,500 miles. Bobs most charming trick was holding up his right front paw when he was hungry. Four months later, he presented himself at the door of his home in Oregon paw outstretched.

Another inspiring case is that of a mixed-breed dog named Henry. Henry was left with friends in Illinois when his family moved to Michigan. Six weeks later, Henry excitedly greeted his family on a street corner of their new town in Michigan.

The dog made it perfectly clear that he was looking at his family, and the stunned family was convinced that the dog was their beloved dog Henry. But was the dog really Henry? The collar was familiar. The Illinois family, with whom Henry had been left, drove to Michigan to satisfy their doubts. Dr. Rhine and his staff from Duke University flew to Michigan to verify the story. Everyone agreed that the dog was indeed Henry.

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How To Walk Two Dogs At The Same Time

Gemma | August 12th, 2006
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Considering that leash training one dog is quite a challenge, is there any way you can ever walk two dogs at the same time? Especially two large breeds? Even those feisty toy breeds can be a monumental challenge to control together!

The answer is… possibly, as long as the dogs get along well

First though, you must leash train each dog individually. Two dogs and two leashes can quickly become a tangled mess, not to mention a trip hazard for the owner trying to walk down the sidewalk. When each dog is singly walking reliably on a loose leash, they can then be trained to walk together.

Walking two dogs can be accomplished in more than one way. You can continue using separate leashes, which allows the dogs more freedom to sniff and move about. Or, you can train them on a coupler, which is two short leads that snap to each collar, with a ring in the middle that attaches the two leads to one leash.

Using a coupler is generally easier for the owner, but some dogs dislike couplers because being connected restricts each dog’s movement. Owners must also ensure that the smallest of the pair doesn’t just get dragged along if the larger dog decides to investigate something along the way.

Introduce a coupler slowly, with initial walks going no more than a few feet. As the dogs become used to the feel of being connected, gradually lengthen your walks.

The same is true when using two leashes (instead of a coupler). Start by walking your dogs for a short distance to make sure they remember their leash manners and understand that the rules still apply to them as a pair. Assuming you have taught some basic commands, such as sit and wait, work on these with the dogs together before stepping out on a walk.

You may find some interesting developments upon walking two dogs at the same time. The you must be talking to that other dog syndrome is common. Even the most obedient dog commonly suffers from this malady.

Then there is the competitive nature that surfaces, causing normally mannered dogs to suddenly start pulling as both dogs strive to reach that interesting smell first. The correct training response is the same as it is for one dog, to stop dead in your tracks as soon as the leash goes taught.

Remember too that this can be a physical challenge – two dogs make up quite a force and not everyone can handle this situation without landing face down on the ground! If you don’t have the strength to thwart two dogs bent on a purpose, it might be safer to stick to one at a time.

Future Dog Trainers

Gemma | August 8th, 2006
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Different people have varying ways of enjoying their leisure time in life. There are growing numbers of people who have taken their spare time to help dog owners become more responsible with the care and training of their own animals.

These dedicated band of responsible dog enthusiasts are now working hard to instill that same sense of responsibility into other pet owners and to prove, by example, that a trained dog is not only a happy dog, but is unlikely to prove a menace to others.

There are thousands of dog training clubs located all over the world, especially throughout the United States and Great Britain, and new ones are continually being established. Owners attend one or two evenings each week and take part in elementary, intermediate, or senior grades. The classes usually begin at specific times, although dog owners often like to sit and watch their less experienced (or more advanced) colleagues go through their paces.

Beginners learn to teach their dog how to walk at heel, to sit, come, and to stay. Seniors aspire to more ambitious exercises such as scent discrimination and dumbbell carrying, then go on to competitive obedience trials on weekends and perhaps finally, the honor of competing in annual obedience championship contests.

People of all ages attend dog training classes, and for a variety of reasons; some consider their dog training evenings to be a pleasant night out for all the family, and of course, it can be a great way to meet someone special! But without exception, everyone joins because they are proud of their dog and want to do their best for their pet and get the maximum pleasure from pet ownership.

Who Instructs?

You may wonder who instructs at these types of training clubs and where the instructors obtain their qualifications in the first place. Obviously, there are clubs whose instructors have worked up through the ranks, developing their own training skill while gaining experience at the club. However, more and more clubs are becoming affiliated to non-profit organizations, such as the National Dog Owner’s Association which was founded back in 1953.

Among its activities are the holding of annual residential holiday courses for pet owners, and intensive obedience instructor’s courses, where candidates, with their dog, or dogs (often sponsored by their local dog training club), are given the chance to qualify in the various instructional grades.

The pet courses are helpful fun courses a holiday in which the family dog learns his manners and the owner learns a lot about the dog’s welfare. But to enroll for the instructor’s course is to let oneself in for a hard working week. You will learn how to train your dog in addition to learning to to train people to train their dogs.

Introducing The Flexi-Lead, My All Time Favorite Dog Leash

Gemma | April 15th, 2006
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As your puppy gets a little older, the most important training aid that you will need will be a variety of dog training leashes. Of course using certain collars and leashes may seem a bit structured and strict to use when training your puppy, but they are meant to be a temporary tool designed to help your dog understand the rules when it comes to certain activities and behaviors.

Not only are leashes and certain training leads a positive way to condition your dog, but they also can help him with safety issues. Take driving in your car for example. Every dog loves to hang outside the window to feel the cool air and to sniff all the aromas of the outside world, but accidents do happen and by having a short leash to hold onto him while you are going down the road, you will ensure that no terrible accidents will happen such as your dog falling out of the window. And using a dog leash is equally important whenever you are outside walking your dog in public places.

What Type Of Leash Is Best?

There are many different forms of dog leashes that you can purchase. For basic dog training needs and outdoor walks, my all time favorite leash to use is called a Flexi-Lead. This product not only does a great job by giving your puppy lots of room to walk and even run at large distances while still being attached under your control, but it is also tons of fun.

Flexi-Leads are mechanically designed to allow the leash to uncoil and travel any distance you allow your dog to run with. The great thing about this leash is that you can stop the distance at any time by simply pressing a lever. Think of the possibilities. You can sit at a park and allow your dog to roam 10 feet away, 15 feet, or even longer, and still have the security knowing that he will not escape.

Use Caution With The Flexi-Lead

When you use this type of leash it is also wise to be conscious of your surroundings and the dangers that may come along with your dog’s ability to roam longer distances than with a normal leash. Walking your dog with a Flexi-Lead becomes a lot more dangerous for your dog as he is able to wander off a little bit of a distance than normal, allowing him to explore.

For example, it is not advised to use a Flexi-Lead when walking through busy streets, sideways, and other areas where there is a lot of people coming and going. Unless you have become very handy at operating this leash, you are better suited to use a standard dog leash with your dog when walking the busy streets and other highly populated areas.