Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trick or Treat and Train Your Dog!

Answering the door for Halloween trick or treaters can be a doorbell-ringing/dog-barking headache or an excellent training opportunity! Check out this great training tip for handling your dog at the front door:

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Prepping Your Pooch for Howl-a-ween!

It's costume time again! Mummies and witches and goblins, oh my! If you want to include your dog in your costume caper, be sure and take the time to teach him to enjoy wearing a costume. With a few simple steps, your dog will learn to love his Hairy Pawter costume!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dogs and Kids

Growing up with a dog in the family can make for lots of special memories. Both dogs AND kids need to be taught how to properly interact with each other, and a caring, responsible adult should always be on-hand to oversee interactions and keep everyone happy and safe.

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For more on the subject of dogs and kids and the need to provide supervision, etc., check out this blog post by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. McConnell is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and has made a lifelong commitment to improving the relationship between people and animals. I really enjoy her writing. Tales of Two Species and The Other End of the Leash are two of my favorite McConnell books. For a comprehensive list of her written work, click here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Teaching Sit Stay

Asking for a few seconds of self control with a sit stay before meals is a simple way to begin the concept of "stay." Dogs learn quickly that butt-on-floor = presentation of the food. When teaching stay, remember to use a "release word" that officially gives your dog the freedom to get up and move around. Over time, he learns that stay means "don't budge" while waiting for the "release."

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Teaching Leave It

"Leave it" is a handy behavior for dogs and owners, and once learned, it can help keep a wide variety of inappropriate things out of your dog's mouth! Best of all, it's pretty easy to teach using positive reinforcement.

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One additional tip: Leave It and Drop It should be different. One (usually leave it) should mean, "Don't put that in your mouth," and the other (usually drop it) means, "Now that it's already in your mouth, please give it back." It's important to remember the difference so as not to confuse the dog.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Splash Doggin' with a Furry Friend

It's exciting and sometimes a bit scary to try something new, but the challenge is as good for our dogs as it is for us. Having your two- and four-legged friends in tow can make all the difference. Enjoying fun adventures together is one of the biggest benefits of owning a well-trained dog.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Playing Hide and Seek with Your Dog!

Hide and Seek is a great way to practice coming when called! Your dog is "it" and runs to find you around the house or on a trail, as you call him from your hiding place. Keep excitedly calling your dog until he finds you and when he does, have a huge party full of praise, petting and tiny little treats. It's a training game the whole family can enjoy, and your dog will have so much fun, he won't even know he's being trained!

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Pics of the Kids!

Sweet Zoie! Looking good at nine-years-young!
Quiz, nearly six, brings in the bird at a recent Splash Dogs event.