Choosing the right toys for your dog

 

Choosing The Right Toy For Your Dog

Dogs are individuals as much as people are. That means that dogs have their preferences about the toys they like just as kids do. Fortunately there are countless dog toys available. So, how do you go about choosing the right toy for your dog? There are ropes and bones and Kongs and puzzles and balls and...the list is endless! Here are some tips on choosing the right dog toy for your dog.

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First of all, consider your dog’s age. Puppies and adult dogs have very different needs when it comes to toys. If you have a puppy then it’s likely that your puppy may go through stages where he will be teething. You’ll want to find a variety of toys that come in different textures that are good for teething. Get some hard toys, some soft, mush toys, and some toys in between. Teething puppies chew a lot and the more good things they have for chewing, the safer your own belongings will be.

 

On the other hand, adult dogs also enjoy a good chew but they aren’t usually as compulsive about it as puppies. Get them some long-lasting chews that they can enjoy all day.

 

Both puppies and adult dogs will need some other toys besides chewies. All dogs enjoy a good ball to play with and many dogs like stuffies. Don’t be surprised if your puppy or dog rips a stuffie apart very quickly. Lots of dogs have the killer instinct where stuffies are concerned. You can save some money on stuffies by going to second hand stores and buying used stuffed animals. Remove any glass eyes and wires and they’ll be safe for your puppy or dog to play with and it will cost you much less than buying new toys from pet stores again and again.

 

Lots of dogs like rubber toys and squeaky toys, too. Here again, they may not last very long, depending on your dog. You may want to save some of these toys for when you can be close by to supervise.

 

Bones of all sorts are usually a big favorite with dogs. They come in the rawhide variety, natural bones, nylabones, pressed bones, and so on. There’s no reason why your dog shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy a good bone but do choose a bone of an appropriate size for your dog. The bone should always be much too large for your dog to be able to swallow. Bigger is better where bones are concerned. Make sure that you get bones which won’t splinter. Always check bones periodically to be sure that your dog hasn’t pulled pieces off that he could swallow and choke on.

 

Interactive toys are becoming more popular. They include toys such as the Buster Cube that your dog has to roll around in order to make treats come out. Some interactive games are very sophisticated and your dog has to be quite ingenious to make them work. Other interactive games require you to play with your dog in order for your dog to find hidden treats. These games can be a lot of fun for your dog.

 

Depending on your dog’s breed he will probably like some toys more than others. If you have a retriever then he will probably love a ball and a game of fetch. Or, he will probably love anything that would allow him to play in the water, even if it’s just a kiddie pool in the backyard. Other dogs will ignore a ball or stick. You may need to bring home some toys and let your dog try them out to find out what he particularly like and doesn’t like. You’ll probably have fun playing with your dog and discovering what he enjoys.

The most important thing to remember is that dogs really need a variety of toys. Toys help your dog to pass the time when you can't be with him. They can keep your dog from being bored and lonely. Provide your dog with plenty of good toys and safe things to chew on and he'll be a happy dog.

Have You Thought About Doggy Day Care For Your Dog?

 

If you have a heavy work schedule and you just hate leaving your dog at home alone, then a doggy day care facility may just be the perfect solution for you and your canine friend. Most dogs need activity and attention, and most of all supervision. Plus, if you are not at home, where are they going to go to relieve themselves?

 

They are easily bored and get lonely, so they are in a prime position to get into trouble. Sometimes a work schedule is just not a good schedule for your dog, so it would pay to take a look at an alternative plan, in that case.

 

If you look around in your community, there may be a facility that rises above the usual kennel situation. Daycare for dogs is not for every dog, but if your dog enjoys the company of other dogs it just could work out well.

 

A doggy daycare facility works in a similar way to daycare centers for children. In the morning on the way to work, your drop off Fido, and then during the day the dog gets to interact, play and socialize, and even take a nap if so inclined. Regular outdoor romps are available at planned intervals in case potty needs come into play.dogcare

 

It gives your dog an outlet for all those pent up emotions and the need to run off the energy that builds up if cooped up all day. Instead of being greeted by a bounding canine that is ready to go outside and romp when you arrive home, you will likely be meeting your dog when he or she is ready to go home and take another nap.

 

Most dog care centers offer half-days or full day options, with packages for the day or for a full week. Some facilities also double as kennels too, and some offer grooming, training, and even pickup and delivery. Some will even transport your dog to their vet appointments.

 

You dog will have to pass muster in order to be qualified for this fun time, and it goes without saying that all of the shots and vet care must be up-to-date. For example, the vaccination for kennel-cough is a must for obvious reasons, as it is spread by other dogs in close proximity.

 

Speak with your vet if you are undecided about a dog care routine for your dog, and you'll probably get some good, objective advice on the matter.

 

 

Kathy

 

Are You Confused About Dog Training

 

You brought home the cutest little puppy. You thought he would be easy to train. After all, how hard could it be? That was before you saw the Dog Whisperer on TV, talked to a trainer about clicker training, and read half a dozen web sites online about training your dog in one week. Then you picked up a few books about dog training and managed to confuse yourself even more. Now you’re afraid to touch your puppy. You have no idea what you’re doing.

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As you have already discovered, there are many ways of training a dog. There is no one “best” way. All of them have their advocates. Different methods and strategies work for different people and dogs. Some approaches work better for some dogs at different times.

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Many people achieve the best training results from picking and choosing among the various kinds of dog training ideas. You may love to teach your dog using clicker training but there could be times when teaching by simple repetition works best for you. You may try to always keep your training sessions fun for your dog but you like to assert yourself as the leader during training, too. You would never do anything to harm your dog but you do like to use a basic choke chain during your training. And so on. There can be many ways of combining elements from different kinds of dog training to work with your own dog.

 

Even for something as simple as teaching your dog to sit there are many different approaches. Some people like to use food -- they may hold a piece of food over the dog’s head and slowly move it until the dog is in a sitting position. Then give it to the dog as a reward. Other people may prefer to train the Sit using a clicker. When the dog sits they will click and reward. They will repeat this, using the “Sit” command, until the dog is sitting simply on the command. Other people prefer to put the dog in the sitting position by using their hands, and then reward the dog. They repeat this until the dog associates the act of sitting with the reward. There are a number of variations on these training methods. All of them work! It’s easy to teach your dog to sit. What matters is that you find a way of doing it that feels right to you and your dog.

 

The most important thing about training methods is understanding how and why they work so you can apply them properly. If you understand why the training method works and you and your dog are communicating, then the method is successful for you. That’s what matters.

 

Most good training methods have a few things in common. They stress good communication. They require that you remain calm and positive during training. You should offer praise and rewards of some kind to your dog, even if the reward is a play session or petting. If you feel yourself getting angry or upset you should end the session. And, you should try to end all of your training sessions on a positive note.

 

You can try several exercises using different training methods to see how you and your dog like them. Or, you can read about them and see how you feel about them. You can get an intuitive sense of whether or not a training method would work for you and your dog. Sometimes you may like a method or it may appeal to you on paper but it may not be a good fit for your dog. Every dog is different so what works for one dog may be totally wrong for another dog.

 

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Even experienced trainers who have been training dogs for years can learn new tricks. You don’t have to choose one training method and stay with it for the rest of your life. Dog training is something that you never stop learning. There are always new things to learn when it comes to dogs.

 

How To Choose A Puppy For The Family Pet

 

Choosing a new puppy to be the family pet can be somewhat of an overwhelming task. You need to take into consideration your lifestyle as well as environment and choose an animal that will fit well. The first consideration is whether the family wants a large active puppy or a small cute one.

 

A purebred puppy or a mixed breed puppy will be the first decision you need to make. Each breed of dog has its own personalities and comes with some common predictable traits. Consider what your intended purpose for the pet will be. Companion dogs love a warm lap and are drawn to comfort. Dog breeds that are protection dogs tend to be serious, to not like a chaotic or unpredictable life. Retrieving and hunting dogs tend to be high energy and need to fulfill a sense of purpose.

 

Choosing a mixed breed puppy also has its advantages because they offer the same love, devotion, and loyalty as other puppies. Some may argue that this type of puppy is healthier because of their combined gene pool. Whatever breed you decide, it is important that they will be able to easily adapt to your lifestyle and environment to avoid serious issues down the road.

 

If you can, you want to observe the litter to see how the puppies interact with each other. This allows you to see the type of personality that they have. By observing the litter you can also see the type of energy level that the puppy has as well.

 

Make sure that the puppy has clear bright eyes that have no discharge, and that the nose is damp, cold and clean. A puppy that does not have this may have some health issues. See how the puppy reacts when you first walk in the room.

 

 

A puppy that will come up to you right away means they have a good personality for meeting new people. The puppy that ignores you and is more interested in its surroundings will tend to be a lot more independent. They should not show any signs of being fearful or very shy. That is the puppy you do not want for a family pet.

 

Taking into account all these considerations before making your purchase will allow you to choose the best puppy possible as your new family pet. Remember puppies have their own personality and energy levels. Choose the one that fits in your lifestyle and environment the best, and all of you will have a happy relationship for years to come.

4 Different ways to train a Dog

 

Dog training is not all the same; there are several different ways of training your dog. Of course some are better than others and some require more of your time to accomplish your goal of a well trained dog.

 

 

Do It Yourself - This is a method that is used quite often and unfortunately the results are not always what you would hope for. Just like any other thing that you do dog training requires some skill and knowledge that not everybody has. Having an experienced dog trainer to guide you through the steps is definitely a huge asset.

 

Group Obedience Classes - The basics like sit, stay, down, come and walking nicely on a leash can be taught in a group class however I feel that this is the worst way to train a dog for several reasons. Usually the dogs are so busy checking each other out that they are not paying any attention to the handlers. The handlers are so busy trying to keep their dogs away from the other dogs that they don’t seem to pay attention to the instructor. So needless to say very little training gets accomplished.

 

 

Private In-Home Lessons – This is my favorite way to work with an owner and their dog. The training is being done in the dog’s environment where there is no distraction. In the beginning having little or no distraction is very important for success. Since there is only you and your dog all the training is directed to your needs not a group of other people. Keep in mind that with any type of lessons it’s your job to work with your dog for at least one training session a day. Remember that repetition is the #1 principle of dog training.

 

 

Board and Train Programs – This is a program that is best suited for the person that has no desire to learn how to train their dog or no time to do it. The great part about a board and train program is that your dog is being trained by a professional, someone who knows what they are doing. If you pick the correct trainer you will receive a nicely trained dog that will perform some specific basic exercises, guaranteed. You should also receive a couple of lessons to teach you what your dog has already learned. This is the easiest way to train a dog but also the most costly.

 

 

Keep this one thing in mind if you opt for a board and train program. It takes 28 days to properly train a dog and have it retain the training. So don’t settle for anything less than a 4 – week program.

 

 

The basics in dog training are a must, and you'll probably want to go further than that. But continuing on to advanced can be very rewarding if you and your dog are up to it and enjoying the training.

6 Reasons You Should Neuter Your Dog

 

Neutered dogs make better pets and better members of the community because they are not wandering the streets contributing to any pet over-population problems. Keeping your dog contained and leashed will also prevent your dog from wandering.

 

Some of the reasons you should neuter your dog

 

Your dog is less likely to get testicular cancer. Some kinds of cancer are more likely to occur in dogs who have their testicles. Removing the testicles can help your dog avoid testicular cancer, for example.

 

Some cancers and other health problems are more likely to occur in neutered dogs, however, so this is a subject that you should discuss with your veterinarian.

 

Your dog won’t be as likely to roam or wander if he is neutered. Male dogs can be inclined to roam and wander in search of a mate if they are not neutered. Neutering removes this incentive to roam. Good fencing and containment measures are recommended whether your dog is neutered or not.

 

Your dog will be better behaved and easier to train. Some trainers say that neutering a dog makes him better behaved and easier to train. This is certainly true when male dogs are around girls in season.

 

Your dog will not mark in the house. Intact male dogs are more likely to mark in the house than neutered male dogs. If your dog is spraying in the house, then neutering should take care of the problem, even if you have tried other things.

 

 

Your dog will be less aggressive. Neutering your male dog will most likely make him less aggressive because it will reduce the testosterone in his body.

 

Your dog will be less likely to have an unwanted litter. Neutering your male dog means he will be unable to sire any unwanted litters. However, again, good containment for male dogs, and for all dogs, makes unwanted litters less likely.

 

Conclusion

 

Not convinced? Talk to your veterinarian about other good reasons to neuter your dog. There is a great deal of veterinary evidence, pro and con, about spaying and neutering your dog. Your vet can advise you about the health ramifications that matter in your dog’s case. There are many things to consider before neutering your dog: age, overall health, your dog’s breed, predisposition to other health problems, and so on. Neutering your male dog is often a good idea but you should talk to your vet about all of these issues before making a final decision.

5 Reasons Why Dogs End Up In Shelters

5 Reasons Why Dogs End Up In Shelters

 

In America today, more dogs are finding themselves in shelters. People are increasingly getting rid of their best friends. There are hundreds or even thousands of dogs going to shelters every year because of their guardians either being unwilling or unable to care for them anymore. Statistics show that approximately a quarter of the dogs in shelters have behavioral problems while another quarter are simply unwanted. The remainder are given out for domestic or other reasons.

 

Here are the 5 main reasons why dogs end up in shelters.

 

Moving

 

This is the number one reason for dogs ending up in shelters. When the dog’s owner plans on moving, they will often find it hard to move with their pets. Sometimes you will find owners moving over great distances or to foreign countries where moving the dog may prove difficult. When they have exhausted the search for good homes or people willing to accept the dog, then they feel that all they can do is take the dog to the shelter.

 

New Locations not accepting pets

 

This is closely related to moving. Sometimes, the dog owner has the ability to move with their pets. However, the new location where they are moving to doesn’t allow pets. Some landlords are quite choosy when it comes to accepting tenants with pets. In case of such a landlord the dog owner has no option but to give up their dog to a shelter.

 

Too many pets in the household

 

Sometimes you will find dog lovers who have bitten off more than they can chew in terms of dog adoptions. These people will start struggling with the feeding and general upkeep of these pets. Eventually they will have to take their additional dogs to the shelter. Sometimes, the city council rules. or HOA rules may forbid keeping too many pets on a property of a specified size. When this happens the dog owner will have to part with some of the dogs to remain compliant.

 

Cost of Maintenance

 

Some people seriously underestimate the cost of maintaining a dog properly. They never seem to realize that cost is not just in terms of money but time as well. In terms of monetary cost there is the cost of food as well as the healthcare cost for the dog. When this seems too much, many people will opt for taking to the dog to the shelter to avoid these costs.

 

Personal problems of the guardian

 

People have all kinds of personal problems such as: job loss, divorce, and getting a new baby. Whenever any of these happens to a dog owner, it is the dog that ultimately suffers. When the dog’s guardian is going through a divorce, they might find it hard to care for the dogs. The same case applies to losing the job or having a baby.

 

In conclusion, these are the five main reasons why dogs end up in shelters. It is very disappointing and frustrating to see dogs in shelters. People should learn to take better care for their dogs so that they do not end up in this situation.