short coated brown dog near trees

Preparing Your Home for a Puppy

Adopting a puppy will go smoothly if you anticipate and prepare for the coming of that small bundle of joy and energy into your house. However your puppy finds his way into your heart and home, there are a few helpful guidelines that can make the transition easier on all of you.

A puppy, like a human baby, requires more than his weight in equipment from the beginning.

Checklist

Let’s look at the New Puppy Checklist of things you will need to own as soon as you chose your puppy:

  • Travel Crate or Soft-Sided Carrier. This will help you bring your puppy home and take him to the vet or visits to friends safely. The crate goes in the back seat or cargo area, preferably seat-belted in. 
  • Leash and Collar Or Harness. Expect to replace these as he grows, but it’s best to get a new puppy used to wearing his tags and walking on a leash. Apply for the ID tags as soon as you know your dog’s name. 
  • Food and Water Bowls. These should be sturdy and easy to clean as well as size appropriate.
  • Food. It’s a good idea to begin with the food your puppy’s previous caregiver used and then modify your choice as advised by your vet. See Puppy Feeding Schedule and Guide.
  • Bed. Every doggy needs a soft, washable snuggly place to call his own. 
  • Crate. If you plan to crate train, the crate should precede the puppy into the house. 
  • Piddle Pads and Newspapers. New puppies leak and, whether you are planning to train to pads or not, you will need some absorbent products for the first few weeks.
  • Toys. A variety of safe toys to chew and snuggle with make a puppy feel at home. 

How To Prepare Your Home For A Puppy

Inviting a puppy into your life provides a great opportunity for housecleaning on a major scale. Since puppies will chew and swallow anything, make sure the floor is very clean of debris. Elevate and secure electrical cords. Time to give up candles, a glass menagerie and candy jars on the coffee table for a while. Cigarette butts, chocolate, grapes and ant traps are toxic and dangerous for puppies, so get any random objects out of your puppy’s reach.

You can puppy-proof rooms your puppy shouldn’t enter with baby gates. Do not use the old accordion-style gates; they are as dangerous for puppies as they are for toddlers. Gates that open easily, secure tightly, and can be seen through will protect your puppy from dangerous areas and will save your special rooms from puppy accidents.

Remember, puppies WILL get into things. So you will need to behave differently than you did before. Do not leave grocery bags, purses, briefcases, backpacks or any easy-to-open containers on the floor. Block off stairs until you know puppy can go up and down without taking a tumble. Basically, think human toddler times 4.

Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting and special day that you can never forget. It could be the day puppy left his littermates and mom, or the day his wandering from foster home to foster home comes to an end, the start of the best part of his life, but also a frightening day of new faces and smells. Make his drive home as peaceful and quiet as possible to help him relax. Before getting in the car, make sure he goes to the toilet. You might place him in his crib, but a tiny, quiet puppy can be held by a family member or friend in a blanket. Make sure you converse with him the whole way home.

For him, entering your home should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Enable him to play and sleep according to his own rhythms by limiting his greeters to immediate family. Make certain he eats and drinks, and take him out enough so he can relieve himself. It’s not a bad idea to have his crate in your room at night so he knows you’re there and isn’t afraid. Companions are provided by a few plush toys in his room.

There are several puppy dog breeds to choose from. Learn all you can about each one so you can determine which breed’s inherent characteristics are best for your family. Do not be influenced by dogs in movies or cartoons. (Dalmatians aren’t like that at all.) Make a judgment based on the information you’ve gathered. Of course, you could see a mixed breed puppy in a shelter cage looking up at you, hopeful. And you could just fall hard for those puppy dog eyes and take him home believing that this is the puppy for you, big or tiny, noisy or quiet, sporty or couchy.

pomeranian puppy

Pet Insurance Saves Money

What they don’t tell you about pet insurance: Written by the team at Money.com

Pets have always been part of the modern familial hierarchy in America, with 67% of households owning at least one. This reflects a significant increase since 1988 when only 56% of households did. Despite the economic hardships that pets can impose, pet ownership has increased steadily through the decades. Dogs, cats, aquarium fish, birds, reptiles, and other animals are now seen as valuable family members who serve as entertainers, companions, and even protectors of the homestead.

How much for my pet’s medical bill?!

With approximately 85 million households in the United States owning a pet, caring for these nonhuman family members has become a $99 billion a year industry, more than doubling since 2010. This statistic not only testifies to their popularity but also to the level of financial sacrifice some pet owners make to keep their pets healthy and happy.

The cost of veterinary care alone is expected to reach $30.2 billion this year. As veterinary care continues to incorporate many of the advanced diagnostic and surgical techniques that are commonplace in human healthcare, the cost of veterinary care will likely continue to rise. And with many pet owners facing economic strains due to the pandemic, a sudden pet health emergency, even if not grave, could have them facing the possibility of “economic euthanasia,” having to put their pets down because they lack the funds to cover sudden veterinary expenses.

What alternatives are there though?

An increasingly popular option to prevent this type of situation is a pet insurance policy. Unlike human health insurance which usually pays out directly to the medical provider, pet insurance works on a reimbursement basis. Here’s how:

  • You must first pay the veterinarian for the procedure needed and then request reimbursement from the pet insurance company. The reinstatement amount is never 100% of the cost, although some of the more complete plans cover up to 90% of vet costs. 
  • After this, the reimbursement process is usually simple, requiring only the vet’s invoice (and sometimes some treatment records) along with a completed claim form. You will then receive your money quickly. 

How Pet Insurance really works

Like other types of insurance, pet insurance is essentially a package of many different types of coverage. Some packages cover only the bare essentials, while others are more and include preventive care and rehabilitation. Dental coverage for pets is rare, but a few carriers are now offering it as an option in their pricier policies. However, nearly all pet insurance policies exclude preexisting conditions and specific conditions such as hip dysplasia. They also can include payout caps on particular procedures, on the yearly payout, or even on the total the policy will pay. Most pet insurers will reimburse you for care rendered by any licensed American vet, but some limit policyholders to certain veterinary clinics and networks. 

All pet insurance plans have a deductible of one type or another. Most insurers give their customers a choice of deductibles; policies with lower deductibles cost more. Being able to adjust the deductible allows customers to pick a policy with a monthly payment that fits their budget. So, here’s the big question, exactly what can you do to budget properly? Well, here are some steps:

Look for quality instead of quantity

When you are looking at an insurance plan, you might feel more attracted to a plan that offers more services. However, you should be careful to pick the one that offers quality over quantity. It’s tempting to cut costs, but this might compromise the quality of your pet’s life. In the long run, it might end up costing you more.  

However, if your pet receives quality care, it will be healthier, which means you would be spending a lot less on vet visits down the lane. 

Determine the age and size of your pet

One of the first things you should do before getting pet insurance is to evaluate the different costs at different stages. When your pet is younger, you might have to spend more money on insurance, considering you will need to get it neutered or spayed. Plus, if you have a dog, you would need to spend money on training and vaccinations. Some dogs have upper respiratory problems to deal with, while the older dogs can have joint problems. This, of course, depends on the type of pet you have. However, it is clear you will need some insurance to sustain them. 

Get Discounts

One thing you can do is to score a discount on your premium. Not many people know this, but with a pet insurance premium, you can easily offer a discount for 5% to families that own 2-3 pets. If you have 4 or more pets, the nationwide pet insurance policy is 10% discount. In this way, you can save more.

Eliminate unnecessary expenses

You can also opt for more budget-friendly pet insurance to cut down on other expenses. For instance, search online to get the best deals for pet food, litter, poop bags, or anything you think might give you a good deal. You can also see if you are getting cheaper grooming services. This would help to save money in the long run. The money could then be used to purchase a better pet insurance policy. 

Don’t settle for the first provider you find

Before you decide to take up an insurance policy, you should compare pet insurance providers to see what each provider is giving before coming to a final policy. This would help you understand which plan provides better premiums, deductibles, sample reimbursements, and other details. Choose the one that best suits your pet’s needs!

Employers insurance

Some companies also offer pet insurance to their employees. You should check to see if your company is one of those. If yes, you should opt for it instead of purchasing an insurance policy yourself. This way, you can keep a greater amount for emergency funds instead of paying it every month for insurance purposes. 

Final thoughts

Pets can lighten up your home, and they are good companions. More people are starting to realize that. However, it is equally important that their health is looked after, and they are given the best kind of medical care. Therefore, it is important that you invest in a health insurance policy that can give them the best care while not being too heavy on your pocket either. If you can apply the above budget tips, you are sure to provide them with good health coverage that can improve their quality of life.

These Are The ‘Smartest’ Dog Breeds, According to a Canine Psychologist

There’s no easy way to rate dog intelligence. It can be focused on more than one thing.

As canine psychologist Stanley Coren wrote back in the ’90s, there’s adaptive intelligence (i.e., figuring stuff out), working intelligence (i.e. following orders), and instinctive intelligence (i.e. innate talent) – not to mention spatial intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and more.

Indeed, as animal behaviourist Frans de Waal has argued, humans tend to judge animal intelligence in limited and unfair terms and often bungle the experiment.

While labs at Yale, Duke, and around the world are studying this question, for now, we do at least have data on one metric: working intelligence.

Coren, in his book, The Intelligence of Dogs, featured the results of a lengthy survey of 199 dog obedience judges.

The responses, he said, were remarkably consistent; however, he noted that many judges pointed out that there are exceptions in every breed and that a lot comes down to training.

Here’s what he found:

Top tier – the brightest working dogs, who tend to learn a new command in less than five exposures and obey at least 95 percent of the time.

SmartDogs1Dan Kitwood (Getty)

1. Border collie

2. Poodle

3. German shepherd

4. Golden retriever

5. Doberman pinscher

6. Shetland sheepdog

7. Labrador retriever

8. Papillon

9. Rottweiler

10. Australian cattle dog

Second tier – excellent working dogs, who tend to learn a new command in five to 15 exposures and obey at least 85 percent of the time.

SmartDogs2Pmuths1956 (WikiMedia Commons)

11. Pembroke Welsh corgi

12. Miniature schnauzer

13. English springer spaniel

14. Belgian Tervuren

15. Schipperke, Belgian sheepdog

16. Collie Keeshond

17. German short-haired pointer

18. Flat-coated retriever, English cocker spaniel, Standard schnauzer

19. Brittany spaniel

20. Cocker spaniel, Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever

21. Weimaraner

22. Belgian Malinois, Bernese mountain dog

23. Pomeranian

24. Irish water spaniel

25. Vizsla

26. Cardigan Welsh corgi

Third tier – above-average working dogs, who tend to learn a new trick in 15 to 25 repetitions and obey at least 70 percent of the time.

27. Chesapeake Bay retriever, Puli, Yorkshire terrier

28. Giant schnauzer, Portuguese water dog

29. Airedale, Bouv Flandres

30. Border terrier, Briard

31. Welsh springer spaniel

32. Manchester terrier

33. Samoyed

34. Field spaniel, Newfoundland, Australian terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Gordon setter, Bearded collie

35. American Eskimo dog, Cairn terrier, Kerry blue terrier, Irish setter

36. Norwegian elkhound

37. Affenpinscher, Silky terrier, Miniature pinscher, English setter, Pharaoh hound, Clumber spaniel

38. Norwich terrier

39. Dalmatian

Fourth tier – average working dogs, who tend to learn a new trick in 25 to 40 repetitions and obey at least 50 percent of the time.

SmartDogs3Vadim Petrakov (Shutter Stock)

40. Soft-coated wheaten terrier, Bedlington terrier, Smooth-haired fox terrier

41. Curly-coated retriever, Irish wolfhound

42. Kuvasz, Australian shepherd

43. Saluki, Finnish Spitz, Pointer

44. Cavalier King Charles spaniel, German wirehaired pointer, Black-and-tan coonhound, American water spaniel

45. Siberian husky, Bichon Frise, English toy spaniel

46. Tibetan spaniel, English foxhound, Otterhound, American foxhound, Greyhound, Harrier, Parson Russel terrier, Wirehaired pointing griffon

47. West Highland white terrier, Havanese, Scottish deerhound

48. Boxer, Great Dane

49. Dachshund, Staffordshire bull terrier, Shiba Inu

50. Malamute

51. Whippet, Chinese shar-pei, Wirehaired fox terrier

52. Rhodesian ridgeback

53. Ibizan hound, Welsh terrier, Irish terrier

54. Boston terrier, Akita

Fifth tier – fair working dogs, who tend to learn a new trick in 40 to 80 repetitions and respond about 40 percent of the time.

SmartDogs4Stephanie Keith (Getty)

55. Skye terrier

56. Norfolk terrier, Sealyham terrier

57. Pug

58. French bulldog

59. Brussels griffon, Maltese terrier

60. Italian greyhound

61. Chinese crested

62. Dandie Dinmont terrier, Vendeen, Tibetan terrier, Japanese chin, Lakeland terrier

63. Old English sheepdog

64. Great Pyrenees

65. Scottish terrier, Saint Bernard

66. Bull terrier, Petite Basset Griffon, Vendeen

67. Chihuahua

68. Lhasa apso

69. Bullmastiff

Sixth tier – the least effective working dogs, who may learn a new trick after more than 100 repetitions and obey around 30 percent of the time.

SmartDogs5Capture Light (Shutter Stock)

70. Shih Tzu

71. Basset hound

72. Mastiff, beagle

73. Pekingese

74. Bloodhound

75. Borzoi

76. Chow chow

77. Bulldog

78. Basenji

79. Afghan hound

There are, again, exceptions. Coren talks in his book about a trainer who managed to win obedience competitions with multiple Staffordshire bull terriers (#49).

There are also, again, other ways of measuring intelligence.

Coren tells us about a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (#20) he owned that was in some ways too smart for competitions.

“He was so bright and attentive that he read my every motion, head turn, and even the direction that I was looking with my eyes, as a command,” he writes by email.

“That made him very difficult to compete with in obedience trials, since, for instance, a glance with my eyes in the direction of the high jump might be interpreted by him as a command and that would send him off, taking the jump beautifully of course, but nonetheless disqualifying us from that round of competition.”

De Waal, in Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? spoke in defence of the Afghan hound (#79), noting that they may not be unintelligent but rather independent-mined, stubborn, and unwilling to follow orders.

“Afghans,” he wrote, “are perhaps more like cats, which are not beholden to anyone.”

A version of this story was first published in January 2017.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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Dog Names – The Top Dog Names In 2020

Looking to your dog’s routes or role can be another great way to pick their name.

Hunting dogs have high prey drive, and stacks of energy.

You will need to choose a name that works with your recall training.

This means one that is easy to say, simple for your dog to understand and isn’t going to get confused with any of his other commands.

So with all that in mind, let’s get stuck in to our top ideas of the best hunting dog names!

Male Hunting Dog Names

When it comes to naming a male hunting dog, you have a lot of options.

There are a lot of good hunting dog names out there, so you have a decent number to choose from.

The name can be as adorable, classic, or unique as you want it to be. It is really whatever suits your tastes!

  • Apache
  • Aslan
  • Avalanche
  • Bane
  • Bear
  • Blaze
  • Bones
  • Cerberus
  • Chevy
  • Chopper
  • Courage
  • Czar
  • Diesel
  • Echo
  • Fang
  • Ghost
  • Gunner
  • Khan
  • Killer
  • Leo
  • Lincoln
  • Midnight
  • Moose
  • Nero
  • Pepper
  • Pistol
  • Rambo
  • Rocky
  • Sarge
  • Tank

Female Hunting Dog Names

Just like with boys, there are a lot of great names for female hunting dogs out there.

However, there is a lot more variety of style it seems when it comes to female names.

You have everything from cute and delicate names, to prim and proper names, to tough and sporty names.

There is just so much variation out there.

  • Ace
  • Archer
  • Astro
  • Bandit
  • Blitz
  • Bolt
  • Boomer
  • Brigade
  • Boomer
  • Bullet
  • Bulls-Eye
  • Chaser
  • Chief
  • Crash
  • Danger
  • Duck
  • Falcon
  • Fetch
  • Harbor
  • Hawkeye
  • Hunter
  • Montana
  • Nyx
  • Porter
  • Radar
  • Ranger
  • Riptide
  • Rocket
  • Sailor
  • Schooner

As you can see, there are LOTS of different ways you can name your new hunting dog.

But what if your pup doesn’t fall into this category?

Finding a fun, unique and suitable name for your new pet can be a challenge regardless of their physical features or breeding background.

But great dog names from movies open up a whole new world when it comes to making your decision.

Not only are dog names from movie stars often recognizable, they can actually provide good practical suggestions too.

After all, they are someone’s name already!

And naming your dog after a character in a movie you love is a great way to celebrate both your dog and your favorite flick.

Dog Names From Movies

Let’s get started with some awesome movie character dog names.

Whether you are searching for the best female dog names from movies or male dog names from movies, there are some lovely ideas here.

And don’t forget, you are totally at liberty to mix it up a bit. There is no reason your little girl pup couldn’t be called Bolt too, after all!

  • Baxter (Anchorman)
  • Barney (Gremlins)
  • Beethoven (Beethoven)
  • Bolt (Bolt)
  • Boris (Lady and the Tramp)
  • Brinkley (You’ve Got Mail)
  • Bruiser (Legally Blonde)
  • Bruno (Cinderella)
  • Buckley (The Royal Tenenbaums)
  • Buddy (Air Bud)
  • Bull (Lady and the Tramp)
  • Chance (Homeward Bound)
  • Chloe (Beverly Hills Chihuahua)
  • Copernicus (Back to the Future 2)
  • Daisy (Snatch)
  • Daphne (Look Who’s Talking Now)
  • Digby (Diby The Biggest Dog in the World)
  • Dodger (Oliver and Company)
  • Doogal (The Magic Roundabout)
  • Dug (Up)
  • Einstein (Back to the Future)
  • Fly (Babe)
  • Frank (Men in Black – though he was really an alien, of course!)
  • Fred (Smokey and the Bandit)
  • Gromit (Wallace and Gromit)
  • Hooch (Turner and Hooch)
  • Elvis (Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead)
  • Fang (Harry Potter)
  • Freckles (The 101 Dalmatians)
  • Hank (The Truth About Cats and Dogs)
  • Jewel (The 101 Dalmatians)
  • Lady (Lady and the Tramp)
  • Lucky (The 101 Dalmatians)
  • Marley (Marley and Me)
  • Max (Terminator)
  • Milo (The Mask)
  • Odie (Garfield)
  • Patch (The 101 Dalmatians)
  • Pedro (Lady and the Tramp)
  • Peg (Lady and the Tramp)
  • Penny (The 101 Dalmatians)
  • Perdita (The 101 Dalmatians)
  • Puffy (There’s Something About Mary)
  • Quark (Honey, I Shrunk The Kids)
  • Reno (Top Dog)
  • Rex (Babe)
  • Rolly (The 101 Dalmatians)
  • Sam (Lethal Weapon)
  • Samantha (I Am Legend)
  • Sandy (Annie)
  • Shadow (Homeward Bound)
  • Shiloh (Shiloh)
  • Skip (My Dog Skip)
  • Slink (Toy Story)
  • Speck (Pee Wee’s Big Adventure)
  • Tito (Oliver and Company)
  • Toto (The Wizard of Oz)
  • Tramp (Lady and the Tramp)
  • Underdog (Underdog)
  • Zero (The Nightmare Before Christmas)

The best dog names from movies are of course the ones that appeal to you the most.

They show off your love for a brilliant film, fabulous actor or even a fantastic canine character.

But that’s enough from the world of the silver screen, let’s go back to those all important choices that you have already made!

Let’s look at the very best names chosen in 2018.

Popular Dog Names In 2018

In 2017 The International Dog Survey was launched on The Happy Puppy Site. And we’re delighted to report that it’s been a hit!

Thousands of results have been collected from happy puppy owners, who have been keen to share their dog’s awesome names.

These were the top 100 dog names for 2018

  • Bella
  • Coco
  • Charlie
  • Lucy
  • Becks
  • Max
  • Poppy
  • Bailey
  • Molly
  • Buddy
  • Cooper
  • Jack
  • Daisy
  • Luna
  • Ruby
  • Sadie
  • Toby
  • Henry
  • Bear
  • Holly
  • Willow
  • Harley
  • Scout
  • Lily
  • Maggie
  • Tucker
  • Millie
  • Lola
  • Marley
  • Monty
  • Leo
  • Finn
  • Dexter
  • Barney
  • Abby
  • Riley
  • Alfie
  • Angus
  • Milo
  • Oscar
  • Shadow
  • Sam
  • Gus
  • Annie
  • Murphy
  • Amber
  • Penny
  • Harry
  • Lilly
  • Hunter
  • Teddy
  • Jasper
  • Brodie
  • Rufus
  • Pepper
  • Jake
  • Winston
  • Loki
  • Ellie
  • Kona
  • Bruce
  • Tilly
  • Gracie
  • Stella
  • Dakota
  • Zeus
  • Ben
  • Ollie
  • Lexi
  • Bruno
  • George
  • Ziggy
  • Baxter
  • Koda
  • Archie
  • Ruger
  • Ozzy
  • Sophie
  • Casey
  • Rocky
  • Maisie
  • Harvey
  • Rosie
  • Skye
  • Layla
  • Pippa
  • Remington
  • Ruben
  • Diesel
  • Duke
  • Ginger
  • Moose
  • Honey
  • Oakley
  • Roxy
  • Nala
  • Hank
  • Beau
  • Piper
  • Ranger

But that’s not all!

The survey didn’t just let us know which dogs names you love the most right now.

Those who joined in also shared a bit about their dogs and themselves.

Most of the responses so far have been from the UK and the USA, but there have also been answers from all over the world. Including Australia, Canada, India, Italy and South Africa, among others!

Of the dogs surveyed, just under 80% were purebred. Labradors were far and away the most numerous breed.

However the survey did see plenty of Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels, Huskies, Collies and many more besides too.

Of the mixed breed dogs by far the most popular was the Labradoodle, with the Borador, Boxador and Cockapoo following on behind.

Most dogs surveyed were two years old or less, but there was a full of ages going all the way up to 13 years and more.

In fact, a whole 3% of the those who responded had dogs in their teens!

One big surprise was perhaps the gender divide that we saw.

With 54% male and just 46% female, the boys have led the way with this one so far.

…AND THERE’S MORE!

Check out the Name Your Doggy e-book here for more suggestions! 

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What You Should Know Before Adopting a Pet During COVID-19

What You Should Know Before
Adopting a Pet During COVID-19

Pet adoptions have skyrocketed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving some shelters without any animals left to adopt. However, that doesn’t mean every pet is taken. There will always be more pets in need of good homes. If you’ve been planning on adding a pet to your family, here’s how to go about it during the pandemic. 

 

Consider Your Lifestyle 

While you might be at home all the time due to the pandemic, that might not always be the case. You’ll want to think about your life now and in the future. 

 

  • Dogs need attention throughout the day. Before getting a dog, make sure you can give him the attention he needs
  • Cats are known for their independence. While they can be left alone for longer periods of time, they still need time with their humans. 
  • Small pets like rabbits are often lumped in with other “low-maintenance” pets, but they actually require daily care such as cage cleaning and feeding. 

 

Adoption Options

Once you’ve done your research to find a pet who’s a good fit for you, it’s time to start the adoption process.

  • There are dozens of pet adoption websites; in many cases, rescue organizations use sites like these to list pets that need homes. 
  • You can also adopt directly from a shelter or rescue organization. 
  • Fostering a pet is another great option. With fostering, you let a pet live in your home temporarily until he’s able to be adopted into his forever home. 

 

Protecting Your New Pet

Welcoming a new pet into your home is such an exciting time! Before getting started, make sure you take these steps to protect your companion. 

 

  • Create a safe environment for your pet by removing household items that are toxic to pets. 
  • Your pet will also love having some safe toys to play with. 
  • Connect with a veterinarian prior to or immediately after bringing home your pet.

 

Be Prepared at Home

If this is your first pet, you’ll need to get the right gear and have a plan to address adjustment issues.

 

  • Gather food and water dishes, food, bedding, toys and a collar and leash. Petsmart coupons can help you save money on all your purchases. 
  • Find a designated spot in your home where your pet can feel comfortable and safe.  
  • Be patient and ready to deal with carpet or furniture issues for potential accidents.

 

If you’ve been wanting to do your part to help animals during the pandemic, it makes sense to bring one into your home. By making sure you’re mentally prepared for a pet, and that you have the right plan and gear in place, you set yourself and your new pet up for a smooth transition.

The History of Dogs

Dog, (Canis lupus familiaris), domestic mammal of the family Canidae (order Carnivora). It is a subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) and is related to foxes and jackals. The dog is one of the two most ubiquitous and most popular domestic animals in the world (the cat is the other). For more than 12,000 years it has lived with humans as a hunting companion, protector, object of scorn or adoration, and friend.

The dog evolved from the gray wolf into more than 400 distinct breeds. Human beings have played a major role in creating dogs that fulfill distinct societal needs. Through the most rudimentary form of genetic engineering, dogs were bred to accentuate instincts that were evident from their earliest encounters with humans. Although details about the evolution of dogs are uncertain, the first dogs were hunters with keen senses of sight and smell. Humans developed these instincts and created new breeds as need or desire arose.

Dogs are regarded differently in different parts of the world. Characteristics of loyalty, friendship, protectiveness, and affection have earned dogs an important position in Western society, and in the United States and Europe the care and feeding of dogs has become a multibillion-dollar business. Western civilization has given the relationship between human and dog great importance, but, in some of the developing nations and in many areas of Asia, dogs are not held in the same esteem. In some areas of the world, dogs are used as guards or beasts of burden or even for food, whereas in the United States and Europe dogs are protected and admired. In ancient Egypt during the days of the pharaohs, dogs were considered to be sacred.

Dogs have played an important role in the history of human civilization and were among the first domesticated animals. They were important in hunter-gatherer societies as hunting allies and bodyguards against predators. When livestock were domesticated about 7,000 to 9,000 years ago, dogs served as herders and guardians of sheep, goats, and cattle. Although many still serve in these capacities, dogs are increasingly used for social purposes and companionship. Today dogs are employed as guides for the blind and disabled or for police work. Dogs are even used in therapy in nursing homes and hospitals to encourage patients toward recovery. Humans have bred a wide range of different dogs adapted to serve a variety of functions. This has been enhanced by improvements in veterinary care and animal husbandry.

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Origin and history of dogs

Ancestry

Paleontologists and archaeologists have determined that about 60 million years ago a small mammal, rather like a weasel, lived in the environs of what are now parts of Asia. It is called Miacis, the genus that became the ancestor of the animals known today as canids: dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes. Miacis did not leave direct descendants, but doglike canids evolved from it. By about 30 to 40 million years ago Miacis had evolved into the first true dog—namely, Cynodictis. This was a medium-size animal, longer than it was tall, with a long tail and a fairly brushy coat. Over the millennia Cynodictis gave rise to two branches, one in Africa and the other in Eurasia. The Eurasian branch was called Tomarctus and is the progenitor of wolves, dogs, and foxes.

The timing and location of dog domestication is less clear and has been a matter of significant debate, but there is strong genetic evidence that the first domestication events occurred somewhere in Central Asia before 15,000 years ago. Some genetic studies have suggested that wolves were domesticated 16,300 years ago to serve as livestock in China. Other genetic studies, however, have suggested that dog domestication began as early as 18,800–32,100 years ago in Europe or that early dogs dating from about 12,000 to 14,000 years ago came from a small strain of gray wolf that inhabited what is now India. Thereafter this wolf—known as Canis lupus pallipes—was widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. However, one genetic study that compared the DNA of dogs and wolves inhabiting areas thought to have been centres of dog domestication suggests that dogs and modern wolves belong to separate lineages that share a common ancestor. It is also possible that some of the dogs of today descended not from the wolf but rather from the jackal. These dogs, found in Africa, might have given rise to some of the present native African breeds. A genetic study examining the migration of dogs to the Americas revealed evidence that dogs did not accompany the first humans to the New World more than 15,000 years ago; the study suggested that dogs came to the Americas only 10,000 years ago.

No matter what their origins, all canids have certain common characteristics. They are mammals that bear live young. The females have mammary glands, and they suckle their offspring. The early breeds had erect ears and pointed or wedge-shaped muzzles, similar to the northern breeds common today. Most of the carnivores have similar dental structures, which is one way paleontologists have been able to identify them. They develop two sets of teeth, deciduous (“baby”) teeth and permanent teeth.

Canids walk on their toes, in contrast to an animal like the bear, which is flat-footed and walks on its heels. Dogs, like most mammals, have body hair and are homeothermic—that is to say, they have an internal thermostat that permits them to maintain their body temperature at a constant level despite the outside temperature.

Fossil remains suggest that five distinct types of dogs existed by the beginning of the Bronze Age (about 4500 bce). They were the mastiffs, wolf-type dogs, sight hounds (such as the Saluki or greyhound), pointing dogs, and herding dogs.

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Training Tips: 22 Great Ideas To Help You Train Your Dog in 2020

Training your dog should be fun! But it can also be quite challenging. Especially if your dog is young, bouncy and strong!

I’ve selected some helpful tips for you below.

I’d like to help as many people as I can and so I’ve also set up regular tips by email which will answer many of your questions.

Okay! Now for some tips you can start working on right away.

Sometimes the simplest tip can make the biggest difference to the pleasure you get from training your dog.

Here are some of my favorites, together with a few important rules that will help you have more fun with your Labrador.

#1 Build a dog training habit

Training a dog takes time and needs to be done regularly.

Like any other demand on your time, you are most likely to stick with it, if you make your dog training sessions a daily habit.

Habits are hard to make, but hard to break. So making good habits is always worthwhile.

Motivating yourself

Pick a time to start when your motivation is high!  A New Year, a new month, a birthday.. these are often powerful motivators for us.

Rewarding your dog is good, but you need to reward yourself after each training session too – spend five minutes doing something YOU really enjoy.

#2 Getting started

Link your dog training sessions to something else you do every day. Sessions don’t need to be long, especially in the beginning.

Getting the habit going should be your priority. And experts reckon it takes from 30 to 60 days of daily commitment to get a habit well established.

Five minutes training after the school run each day, or when you get home from work, will work wonders if you do it religiously every day.

Later, when the habit is well established you can skip a day if you need to, or train for longer if you want to. But in the beginning, aim for short sessions every day.

#3 Choose the right rewards

Choosing the right treat for the skill you are training today, is critical.  And your ability to make the right choice will improve with practice.

The most important factors which will influence your choice will be

• Preference
• Distractions
• Hunger

Each of these factors work together and against each other.  If your dog prefers roast chicken to sausage,  you may still find training with sausage is effective, until you increase the distractions around him.

Then you may need to switch to chicken for a while.

Unless of course he is very hungry indeed, in which case sausage may work just fine!

Special or unusual foods often make better training treats.  If your dog gets kibble for every meal, kibble is not going to cut the mustard.

Not unless he hasn’t eaten for 48 hours.

While it makes sense not to try and train a dog that has just ‘stuffed his face’ we don’t want to starve our dogs. So when distractions are increased, we may need to offer better treats for a while.

#4 Learn to use an event marker

An event marker is one of the most useful dog training tools you will ever possess.

This is because it is so easy to reward the dog at the wrong time and reinforce the wrong behavior, and an event marker avoids this problem completely.

Your event marker makes a distinctive sound that lets the dog know exactly what the reward is for. The most common event marker is a clicker, but you can also use a word.

Using an event marker is a skill.  It does not come naturally and you will need to improve your timing and co-ordination.

You can practice by watching a TV programme and ‘marking’ a specific type of behavior,  such as an arm lift or a smile.  Practice on your kids, or your cat!

Just don’t use it around your dog, until you have mastered the skill of clicking when you observe a change in behavior, with a reasonable level of competence.

It won’t take you long, and you will continue to improve after you have started training your dog.

#5 Start easy

It ought to go without saying that easy tasks need to be learned before hard ones.

The reason many people fail with this, is because they don’t realize what is easy for a dog and what is hard.

It’s common for people to think a dog is being naughty if he obeys the word sit in your back yard, but won’t obey the word sit at the dog park. The truth of course is that sit is much harder for your dog where there are distractions.

The right short term goal is one that stretches your dog just a little, but that is attainable within a training session or two.

#6 Pick the right goals for your dog

Modern dog training methods focus on training good behaviors IN rather than training bad behaviors OUT.

Thus we train dogs to SIT to be petted rather than trying to STOP them jumping up.

This makes sense because there are often many different ways for a dog to be bad, and usually just one way for him to be good.

Whatever you are trying to teach make it easy for yourself and figure out what that ONE way is.

Decide what you want the dog TO DO, not which of the many alternatives you don’t want him to do.

#7 Sandwich the hard stuff!

Sandwiches are very important in dog training, though maybe not the sort of sandwiches you had in mind.

Memory is a funny thing.  We tend to remember things best if they happened at the beginning or the end of a particular event or time period.

Sandwiches can help you to keep your Labrador’s confidence high, whilst ‘stretching’ him just a little bit more each time you train.   And no,  we are not talking about edible sandwiches here!

This is about sandwiching the hard tasks between two easy ones.

Each time you challenge your dog,  it is a really good idea to ‘sandwich’  the most challenging or stretching thing you ask him to do,  in between two simpler versions of the same task.

Yesterday your dog sat perfectly still for 10 seconds,  ten yards away from you. Today you want him to sit for 15 seconds at the same distance.  Here is what I would do.
• Sit 1: 6 seconds
• Sit 2: 15 seconds
• Sit 3: 3 seconds

The sandwich ensures that the dog begins and ends with success. It gives him confidence and helps him to remain stoic about the extra time you have added on in the middle.

I use sandwiches a lot in dog training. They are a great way to ‘set the dog up to win’.

#8 Avoid punishing your dog

Several studies have shown that punishment, even mild punishment, interferes with learning.

It causes some dogs to shut down so they cannot learn and appear increasingly stupid.

And it causes some dogs to become ‘hard’ so that increasingly harsh punishments are required to get the same results.

Using punishment also impedes your ability to become more skilled in positive reinforcement training – and thus increases the likelihood that you will resort to punishment in the future.

Most worryingly, punishments of any kind have been shown to increase the risk of a dog becoming aggressive.

A punishment is anything that diminishes behavior – you don’t need to frighten or hurt your dog to be punishing him. It really is an outdated dog training tool and best avoided.

#9 Teach your dog to work for food

There are lots of ways to reward a dog without food, from affection to games and access to activities that are intrinsically attractive to most dogs such as hunting scent.

Food however, is supremely useful, especially in early training.

If you dismiss the use of food you are doing the equivalent of trying to train a dog with one hand tied behind your back.

Some dogs that have not been used to food rewards, ignore them to begin with.

But you can teach any dog the useful skill of working for edible rewards. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity with your dog.

#10 Manage your dog outdoors

Some dogs can become a problem outdoors if they are not properly supervised.

There are dogs that can just be allowed to trot along on a walk, without any intervention from their owner, and that never become a problem.

dog-training-tips-outdoorsBut for many young dogs, a certain amount of management on a walk, can make the difference between a dog that is a pleasure, and a dog that is a nightmare on walks.

Running off, pestering other people and chasing wildlife are common activities in young labradors that are not well supervised outside.

Managing your dog means engaging him in games, and activities at intervals during the walk to keep him focused on you and responsive to you.

#11 Do the recall challenge test!

Recall is so important and recall outdoors can be very challenging.

One thing that can really help you, is teaching your dog how to recall away from really tasty or attractive things, at home where you can control the outcome.

Try this recall challenge test

Place some tasty treats in a bowl.  Little lumps of meat or cheese is fine,  or you can use pieces of your dog’s kibble.

Let the dog see what is in the bowl, but don’t give it to him.

Now place the bowl on a raised work surface where the dog can see but not reach it.

Whilst the bowl has his full attention,  walk to the other side of the room and give a single recall command.

What does your dog do?

Does he rush to you and then back to the bowl again? If so, perfect.

Go with him to the bowl, give his a piece of the food from the bowl and congratulate yourself.

Your dog has already learned to look to you for the good things in life.  This is a great basis for training and teamwork.


Time to teach?

Many dogs however, will simply be unable to tear themselves away from the bowl, and will gaze lovingly at it whilst trying to ‘wish’ the contents into their tummies.

Some will bounce up and down in the hopes of defeating gravity.

These dogs have not yet grasped the idea that they can get you to help them.

It’s time to teach your dog that you are the provider of all good things.
You can ‘capture’ or ‘shape’  this new skill.

Capturing

After giving your single recall command, you can wait the dog out. Stay where you are and wait for him to give up his futile quest for the food.

You can encourage him to you with squeaky noises if you wish, but don’t repeat your recall.

When he eventually comes to you, tell him ‘GOOD’ and immediately go with him to the bowl and give him a piece of the food.

Repeat the process until he is rushing to you each time you call.  Give him a piece of food each time.

Shaping

If you wish, you can ‘shape’ the recall away from the food.  Instead of waiting for the dog to come right to you, you can reward him for just glancing in your direction.

When he is repeatedly looking at you to earn his reward, you can ask him to turn towards you, then eventually to take a step towards you, and so on.

Finish up with asking for a full recall before he gets his reward.

Expanding the concept

Recalling away from a ‘nice thing’ is so important that it is worth spending some time on this useful concept.

You can teach your dog to recall away from people, and even other dogs, all in the comfort of your home.

It is a good idea to do this before taking these exercises outdoors.

You can find many examples of these, and other recall exercises in my book  Total Recall

#12 Train for distractions

Don’t assume your dog will generalize what he learns at home, to the very different situations he encounters in new locations. He won’t.

Retrain all the skills your dog has learned at home, in each new environment he encounters.

Proof his recall, his loose leash walking, and other basis skills, against the presence of other dogs and people.

The time spent on this stage of training is worth its weight in gold.

#13 Use a training lead

We couldn’t make a collection of modern dog training tips without including the all important training lead or line.

When you first train your dog in the presence of distractions you need to prevent him helping himself to rewards – such as playing with other dogs – if he doesn’t obey you.

The training lead is your friend, because it helps you prevent the dog grabbing these ‘rewards’ after being naughty. It puts you where you should be, in charge of all rewards.

The best way to do this, is to have your dog drag a training line until you are confident he has understood your commands apply when there are ‘other dogs around’ or when he is ‘on the beach’ or ‘at the dog park’.

The new biothane training lines are light, tangle resistant, and easy to clean.

Always attach your dogs training lead to a well made harness.

#14 Fake it till you make it

How do you teach your dog not to jump at old ladies, steal ice creams from children, or not to run off every time he sees another dog in the distance?

It is not as if these things happen every single day. So how to you train for them?

The answer is you need to fake it!

Setting up fake training scenarios at home and in public places is a vital part of successful dog training. And it requires two things:

  • A friend
  • A training lead

You will need a friend, or friends to help you set up your fake scenarios. You cannot do this on your own.

If your dog behaves badly when other people are around, you can use a friend to set up the kinds of situations where he goes wrong, in easy stages, so that he can learn how to cope. I will give you an example in a moment.

If your dog behaves badly around other dogs, you will need a friend with a dog, so that you can practice how to behave near other dogs.

Using a training lead is a great way to prevent your dog helping himself to rewards after he has been ‘bad’.

The kinds of rewards that dogs commonly take for themselves are ‘games with other dogs’, ‘running up’ to strangers and ‘jumping’ on them, joining in children’s games uninvited, chasing leaves, and so on.

Anything that your dog enjoys doing can be used by him, as a reward.

An example of a fake it till you make it!

Here is an example of a fake scenario to help a dog that will not walk nicely on a lead past other dogs.

You cannot attempt this until your dog will walk nicely on the lead at home and where there are no other dogs around.

You will need a friend with a dog that will sit and stay calm whilst on a lead.

If your friend is training her dog too, you can take turns to be ‘the distraction dog’.

If you have a large garden you can do this at home, otherwise you will need to go to an open space early in the morning or when the weather is bad, in order to avoid other people distracting your dog.

Seated distraction dog

Ask your friend to sit her dog next to her, and 20 to 30 feet away from you. This is the seated distraction dog.

Now you need to behave as though the other dog is not there. And to practice lead walking up and down, well away from your friend and her dog. Do not approach them. If you are training with treats use some very tasty and special ones here.

Walk in a neat circle or square, walk up and down an imaginary line, stop and start, ask your dog to sit every now and then. Keep him focused and concentrating on you.

When he is successful and only then, you can move 10 feet nearer to your friend and repeat. Gradually work your way nearer until your dog can heel in a square around and close to your friend.

Now move right back to thirty feet away.

Moving distraction dog

This time, have your friend walk her own dog around in a small area 30 feet away, whilst you do the same with your dog. Each dog must focus on his own handler, and not on the other dog.

Gradually, as the dogs succeed, bring them closer together until eventually you can have one dog making a small circle inside the circle made by the larger dog. Have the two dogs moving in opposite directions so they have to walk past facing each other.

Vary the drills and keep practicing. Try walking up and down an imaginary line with you and your dog on one side, and your friend and her dog on the other.

Reduce the space between the dogs until they almost brush past one another without breaking focus on their handlers.

Taking your time

Getting to this point takes time. Depending on the dogs it will take several sessions.

These kinds of exercises can also be practiced in a good training class. Check out the APDT website for training sessions in your area.

Diluting distractions

You can see that the principle here is to ‘dilute’ the power of the distraction to begin with. Often diluting a distraction means moving it further away, or moving your dog further away from it.

Remember, no dog is going to cope with huge distractions without this kind of preparation. You have to fake it, to make it!

#15 Film yourself

It is often impossible to spot flaws in your own performance or to figure out what you are doing wrong, without some kind of feedback or perspective.

The advent of smartphone have transformed this aspect of dog training, because a great way to get this feedback and perspective is to film yourself.

You can easily do this with a smart phone and a gadget for steadying it. I use a GorillaPod, which can act as a miniature tripod or be wrapped around a branch or rail.

#16 Plan for problems

This is about anticipating trouble. Because trouble WILL happen.

Don’t assume you have a field or the beach to yourself just because it is early in the morning.

Do assume another dog will come bowling up at any minute to interrupt you and PLAN what you are going to do when he does.

Don’t go out without your ‘training lead’ or any of the rewards you need to have ready when your dog is successful.

Be prepared for every eventuality!

#17 Drop your standards

“What’s that?” you say. “DROP your standards!” “Have you gone mad?”.

Nope, I haven’t gone mad. Dropping standards, or lowering the demands you make on the dog during training is very important at certain times.

You do it whenever you add or increase a second factor of difficulty. Here’s an example:

You want your dog to sit and stay when you walk ten yards away from him.

Assuming you have already taught your dog to sit and stay AT YOUR SIDE for two minutes (some people unwittingly skip this bit) the next task is adding distance.

Moving away from your dog makes the sit stay harder for him.

So you need to make the duration of the task much easier to begin with – forget two minutes – make it ten seconds. Or less.

Build up duration back up at ten yards. When you increase distance again, drop the duration again.

If you add a third factor of difficulty – other dogs for example – drop the duration AND the distance.

#18 Find a positive trainer

It is entirely possible to train a dog yourself without ever visiting a professional dog trainer or attending a puppy class.

find-the-right-trainerIn fact, if you can’t find the right class or the right trainer you are probably better off figuring things out for yourself. Or taking one of our online training courses.

An old fashioned, punitive trainer can do untold harm to a puppy.

Having said that, help from a good positive reinforcement trainer is invaluable and will make training your dog much easier.

#19 Find the right information

This tip is not quite so important, because you are here, after all! There is a mountain of information on this website to help you.

Of course, we are not the only source of great dog training tips and information around. So it can be useful to know when the information you have found is going to help you and your dog.

There are a few clues that you have landed on the wrong kind of page.

If you are reading about the need to ‘dominate’ your dog or be the ‘pack leader’ you have probably landed on a website with outdated dog training information on it.

‘Correcting’ a dog is simply a euphemism for mild punishment, and ‘respect’ is often a euphemism for fear. Anyone states that you need to show your dog who is the boss, is probably not very knowledgeable, or has not kept up with their professional development as a dog trainer.

This kind of information is becoming less common, but you are bound to come across it from time to time.

#20 Join a support network

There are some excellent support networks online.

The Labrador Site has a forum where many Labrador owners give up their time to help others with dog training and behavior issues.

The Dogsnet Training Center also has a private forum for training course students where you can get help from me and my team.

A listening ear and advice from others who have been where you are now can go a long way.

#21 Practice, practice, and don’t give up

Dogs only learn through the consequences of their actions and typically need to repeat those actions and experience those consequences several (sometimes many) times in order to learn from them.

Sometimes we forget that we need to practice to get good at something.

If you want your dog to be good at recalling from other dogs, he needs to practice recalling away from other dogs.

There’s no way around this.

obedience-among-other-dogsPracticing desirable behaviors using fake set-ups like the one described above, is an essential part of any dog training program.

Fake training scenarios help you to practice recall,  heel and other basic commands in at home and in public, in a way that you can control.

This enables you to ‘proof’ your dog’s commands against the distractions which will inevitably arise in the real world.

Don’t give up because it is sometimes difficult to find people to help you do this. Be persistent. This is what separates well-behaved dogs from naughty ones.

Find ways to practice and pester people to help you.

It’s important. Especially when it comes to recall. Your dog’s life could depend on it.

#22 Enjoy your dog training

My final tip is to take deliberate steps to ensure you are having fun.

If you are not enjoying training your dog you MUST take action!

This is because your dog will know and because you simply won’t stick at it if it isn’t fun.

If you are not enjoying it, try something different

  • Check you are using the right methods
  • Try a different skill
  • Teach a silly trick
  • Watch a youtube training video
  • Just take your dog for a walk and start training again tomorrow
  • Make your lessons easier for the dog
  • Train at a different time of day
  • Join an online course
  • Read a good training book
  • Start over with puppy stuff
  • Join a forum or find a trainer

Just don’t try to battle on alone.

This also applies to classes – don’t keep going if it isn’t fun. Modern dog training is a pleasurable experience. There will be ups and downs, but generally speaking you and your dog should be enjoying yourselves.

If you are not, then get some help – joining the forum would be a good first step.

How about you?

Do you have any dog training tips to share with other readers? Drop your comments into the box below.

About Pippa

Dog Training Tips was brought to you by Pippa Mattinson.


Pippa is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and creator of the Dogsnet Online Training Program.

You can get regular training tips from Pippa by email, using the box below

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Tips for Housetraining Your Puppy

House training your puppy is about consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. The goal is to instill good habits and build a loving bond with your pet.

It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year. Size can be a predictor. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside. Your puppy’s previous living conditions are another predictor. You may find that you need to help your puppy break old habits in order to establish more desirable ones.

And while you’re training, don’t worry if there are setbacks. As long as you continue a management program that includes taking puppy out at the first sign he needs to go and offering him rewards, he’ll learn.

When to Begin House Training Puppy

Experts recommend that you begin house training your puppy when he is between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, he has enough control of his bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it.

If your puppy is older than 12 weeks when you bring him home and he’s been eliminating in a cage (and possibly eating his waste), house training may take longer. You will have to reshape the dog’s behavior — with encouragement and reward.

Steps for Housetraining Your Puppy

Experts recommend confining the puppy to a defined space, whether that means in a crate, in a room, or on a leash. As your puppy learns that he needs to go outside to do his business, you can gradually give him more freedom to roam about the house.

When you start to house train, follow these steps:

  • Keep the puppy on a regular feeding schedule and take away his food between meals.
  • Take puppy out to eliminate first thing in the morning and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. Also, always take him outside after meals or when he wakes from a nap. Make sure he goes out last thing at night and before he’s left alone.
  • Take puppy to the same spot each time to do his business. His scent will prompt him to go.
  • Stay with him outside, at least until he’s house trained.
  • When your puppy eliminates outside, praise him or give him a treat. A walk around the neighborhood is a nice reward.

Using a Crate to House Train Puppy

A crate can be a good idea for house training your puppy, at least in the short term. It will allow you to keep an eye on him for signs he needs to go and teach him to hold it until you open the crate and let him outside.

Here are a few guidelines for using a crate:

  • Make sure it is large enough for the puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down, but not big enough for him to use a corner as a bathroom.
  • If you are using the crate for more than two hours at a time, make sure puppy has fresh water, preferably in a dispenser you can attach to the crate.
  • If you can’t be home during the house training period, make sure somebody else gives him a break in the middle of the day for the first 8 months.
  • Don’t use a crate if puppy is eliminating in it. Eliminating in the crate could have several meanings: he may have brought bad habits from the shelter or pet store where he lived before; he may not be getting outside enough; the crate may be too big; or he may be too young to hold it in.

Signs That Your Puppy Needs to Eliminate

Whining, circling, sniffing, barking, or, if your puppy is unconfined, barking or scratching at the door, are all signs he needs to go. Take him out right away.

House Training Setbacks

Accidents are common in puppies up to a year old. The reasons for accidents range from incomplete house training to a change in the puppy’s environment.

When your puppy does have an accident, keep on training. Then if it still doesn’t seem to be working, consult a veterinarian to rule out a medical issue.

Do’s and Don’ts in Potty Training Your Puppy

Keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind while housetraining your puppy:

  • Punishing your puppy for having an accident is a definite no-no. It teaches your puppy to fear you.
  • If you catch your puppy in the act, clap loudly so he knows he’s done something unacceptable. Then take him outside by calling him or taking him gently by the collar. When he’s finished, praise him or give him a small treat.
  • If you found the evidence but didn’t see the act, don’t react angrily by yelling or rubbing his nose in it. Puppies aren’t intellectually capable of connecting your anger with their accident.
  • Staying outside longer with puppy may help to curb accidents. He may need the extra time to explore.
  • Clean up accidents with an enzymatic cleanser rather than an ammonia-based cleaner to minimize odors that might attract the puppy back to the same spot.
dog-with-treat

Puppy School – Puppy Training Classes

** COVID-19 update: All Puppy School classes are temporarily postponed until further notice due to current restrictions to essential services. Thank you for your patience and understanding. **

What will I learn at Puppy School?

PETstock Puppy School’s program is based on using a reward-based training method which teaches pet parents:

  • How to communicate with your puppy or dog
  • How to develop solid foundation obedience in all environments
  • The importance of socialisation, mental and physical stimulation
  • Ways to help curb any behavioral problems
  • How to find the correct equipment for your dog
  • The appropriate rewards for best results

PETstock provides a safe environment that will see you and your dog or puppy thrive together under the skilled guidance of our friendly, professional training team.

Skills/Topics:

  • Week 1
    • Bridge/marker and release word
    • Focus, sit and recall exercises
    • Building the bond wth your puppy
    • Toilet training, socialisation, nutrition information

    Week 2

    • Mat exercise
    • Down exercise
    • Social interaction
    • Sit for a pat
    • Health, jumping, digging information

    Week 3

    • Loose lead walking
    • Social interaction
    • Sit & Down stay
    • Complex skill
    • Training equipment information

    Week 4

    • Stand exercise
    • Social interaction
    • Sit & wait for food
    • Basic first aid
    • Grooming information

    Week 5

    • Graduation
    • Where to from here
    • Responsible pet ownership

Skills/Topics:

  • Week 1
    • Calming/massage techniques
    • Engagement exercises
    • Training techniques
    • Social interaction (all weeks)
    • Motivation information

    Week 2

    • Bridge/marker words/release words
    • Target training (Teaching phase)
    • Recall with wait
    • Mat exercises
    • Behavioural issues information

    Week 3

    • Stand exercise (stand stay for preschool grads)
    • How to check your dog
    • Loose lead walking with exercises
    • Targeting
    • Health requirements

    Week 4

    • Leave it/ food refusal
    • Stay exercise on and off mat
    • Party tricks – having fun
    • Give, take, fetch

    Week 5

    • Graduation
    • Q & A

Is my puppy or dog suitable for PETstock Puppy School classes?

To ensure we’re providing all Puppy School students a safe and healthy environment, your puppy or dog will need to be:

  • In good overall health
  • For level 1 and 2: Minimum C5 Vaccination.
  • For Puppy Preschool: Minimum C3 vaccination 10 days prior to class.
  • Currently flea and worm treated
  • Friendly towards people
  • Friendly towards other dogs

If you are unsure if your puppy or dog meets these requirements, please contact the Puppy School Trainer at your local PETstock store.

Need to get your puppy or dog’s vaccinations, flea and worming up to date? Visit PETstock VET.

What to expect from your dog at PETstock Puppy School

Just like humans, dogs learn at different rates and each dog will often behave differently to the others during class. You may find that you dog is active, a barker, shy, boisterous or even timid.

These behaviours are all normal and it’s likely your buddy’s behaviour will change as the program continues. It is important to concentrate on your dog’s development and not compare them to others in the class. Your trainer will ensure that each dog receives individual attention throughout the course.

What to bring to PETstock Puppy School

  • Your puppy or dog!
  • Your dog’s current vaccination certificate
  • Flat collar and lead
  • Mat or towel
  • Treat pouch and high value treats (in pieces which are no larger than your small fingernail)
  • Your dog’s favorite toy

Tip: To help grab your pooch’s continued attention, don’t feed your puppy or dog prior to class.

Keep in mind:

  • Arrive 10 minutes before class
  • Wear suitable attire and closed footwear
  • Family involvement in your dog or puppy’s training is highly encouraged! However please keep in mind that the minimum age for owner-trainers is 10 years old, and then only under full adult supervision
  • Keep your puppy or dog on their leash at all times, unless instructed otherwise by your trainer

The value of homework

Each week, our Puppy School trainers provide participants with recommended activities to complete with your dog before the next week’s class. The work you do at home with you dog is vital part of achieving success in PETstock Puppy School!

Attendance

We understand that occasionally, events beyond control mean you may need to miss a class. If this is the case, simply let your PETstock Puppy School trainer know and they can advise you on how to work on your skills at home with your dog and resume normal classes the following week. If you should miss more than three sessions, we ask that you re-enrol to complete the program at another time. No refunds will be given for non-attendance.

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Five Ways You Can Make Moving to a New Home Smoother for Your Dog

Our dogs are part of the family and, as such, need special consideration when we plan for a move. Just as we anticipate the number of bedrooms for each family member, we must think of our dog’s needs, too. Here are some ways you can make moving to a new home a breeze for everyone.

Read the Fine Print

When moving somewhere new with a dog, you have extra considerations. For example, there could be laws against certain breeds or strict city restrictions on the number of pets you can have. So, before you pack your bags, do a little digging to determine whether the city you’re considering is a good fit. Once you have this decided, you can start researching neighborhoods

HOAs may also have regulations, so talk to your real estate agent about the best locations, and scope out the neighborhood yourself. Are other people walking dogs? Are there dog parks? Do they have waste bags and plenty of trash cans? These are indications you’re in a pet-friendly space, making it easier for you and your pup to assimilate. 

Lastly, when looking for the right place, it may be difficult to tick off all the boxes on your checklist, and you may need to compromise to find the perfect home for your budget

Knowing the average cost of a home in the area where you’re looking can guide your financial choices. 

Local Moving Tips

Even if you’re just moving across town, your dog may have a hard time. In particular, their home will be all packed up, movers will have invaded their space, and they won’t know what’s going on. The best you can do is to make the car ride as pleasant as possible. To start, get them used to driving around with you by turning it into a routine rather than something to be scared of. For their safety and comfort, buy them a good harness (which you can find on Walmart starting at $9.99). Lastly, give them anything that you know can keep them calm. That might mean their favorite toy, a T-shirt with your smell, or some medicinal or herbal help in the form of pheromones and mild sedatives.

Long-Distance Moving Tips

A longer car ride means preparing for all of the above and more. Pack water and snacks for your pup to ensure they stay comfortable on the trip. Best of all, healthy foods like blueberries, kale, beef, turkey, and fish can all have a comforting effect, so consider having those items on hand. Additionally, by planning out your rest stops, you’ll be able to gauge where the best places for breaks are. Some are friendlier to dogs than others, so researching ahead of time is essential.

Be Ready for Moving Day

If you’re concerned about your dog escaping out the open front door, it’s likely you’ll spend more time worried about your pup than the actual move. It’s quite possible your pup may have a traumatic time on moving day if kept at home. After all, strangers will be coming and going and all the noise and movement will be unsettling. Ideally, it’s best if a friend can watch them, or you can try boarding your pet for the day. 

Help Your Dog Adjust

A new environment will be hard for your dog, so do everything you can to keep their routine on track. In fact, going on regular walks will help them become familiar with the neighborhood and reduce their anxiety. Try to also stick to regular feeding times and play times, just so your pup can count on continuity. 

It may not be easy, but the right preparation can make the moving experience smoother. Know what your dog needs, plan well for the packing and moving, and help your dog adjust to their new surroundings. Remember, while you may be excited, they’ll likely feel uncomfortable with these changes, so take extra care with their anxiety levels.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com