You would be surprised at how much ‘dog stuff’ there is out there. We could make a HUGE list of everything we have found working at Canine Companions, but we are going to limit the list to ten today. Take a look below and find ten of the coolest dog gadgets today!
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
Your dog may be perfectly content and calm without any behavior problems around women and children, but when a man approaches (even if it’s just one man he or she knows) she can become a completely different dog.
Some dogs may try to hide from you (the man), cower or show submissive behavior, shake, or even urinate due to anxiety.
Others may show signs of aggression (growling/showing of teeth). If you (the man) get too close she may even snap at you.
A Fear of Men is Common
A fear of men is actually a relatively common phobia in dogs, and some very well-behaved and well-rounded dogs share this fear.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your dog overcome its fear and learn to accept the men or man she encounters.
why do dogs fear men?
When people find out a dog is afraid of men, they often immediately connect the fear to a bad experience. But, there are a variety of reasons why your dog may fear men in general or even one particular man including:
- If your dog has been abused by a man prior to being brought into your family, this may cause a lifelong fear of all men. Think about how long you have had your dog. Was your dog a puppy? Adult? In most cases, this is not the most likely culprit, though.
- In many cases, being afraid of men is a result of a lack of socialization with men when the dog was a puppy. If you are the man your dog is afraid of, how much time did you spend with your dog when she was a puppy? Sometimes, the lack of socialization with men is due to the man being out of the house due to long work hours.
- Another factor could be intimidation. Men can be more intimidating in a dog’s eyes. They are often taller and bigger than women and children, have deeper voices, and may have different types of features, like facial hair. From a dog’s perspective, these differences might be scary.
easing your dog’s fear of the man
The level of difficulty of correcting this behavior depends on the severity of your dog’s fear.
Some dogs are only somewhat fearful, whereas others may be completely terrified. Remember to be patient with your dog; it can take a lot of time for any dog to overcome any phobia.
In the meantime, keep things as positive as possible. We’ll recommend a few things to try to help ease your dog’s anxiety below.
your dog’s comfort zone
It’s important to understand you cannot force your dog to go beyond her comfort zone and expect her to change her behavior.
If you attempt to push your dog too far by pushing her into uncomfortable situations, your attempts can backfire and actually strengthen the fear.
Worst-case scenario…. your efforts could lead the dog to bite and increase her fear of you.
Let Your Dog Approach you on her own terms
Allow your dog to approach you (the man) on his or her own. This may be difficult, but attempt to ignore the dog who is fearful of you. Of course you want to be near your dog to increase the bond, but this just isn’t the right time. By ignoring your dog, you’re essentially providing her with the opportunity to come to you. It’s on her own terms.
Offering treats to encourage her to come
When you’re trying to break your dog of her fear of you, be sure to keep treats handy (even if your dog is no where near you- just in case she comes closer).
Whenever the fearful dog gets even a little closer than usual, very gently toss a couple of treats in the dog’s direction.
It may take a while for the dog to accept treats from a man, but eventually, he or she will connect you with something good- treats! A positive association with form.
For some dogs, this can take a week or two. For others, a month or even longer. Patience is key.
Desensitize Your Dog
Desensitization is the process we’re talking about here. We are using treats and praise to slowly, over time, help your dog understand that it’s safe to approach you (the man).
Over time, you may be able to slowly close the distance between the dog and the man without your dog feeling fearful.
In some cases, your dog may never feel completely comfortable around men (dependent upon the reason why she or he is afraid). But, you may notice her becoming significantly more comfortable over time.
obedience training: it helps
If your dog is obedience trained, there’s a higher chance of her or him being able to focus in stressful situations.
Hello, everyone! I’m so happy you’re here. As you can see, the Dog Behavior Blog has been completely revamped. As I was sitting down to write an article for you, there are so many ideas popping through my head. But, before I write another article, I want to hear from you.
What do you need help with? What questions do you have? This is your opportunity to ask your questions, and allow me to address them in an article, or perhaps a series of articles, so you (and your fellow dog lovers) can learn more about their dogs.
As a professional in the industry, you sometimes skip over the most common questions. What’s familiar to you may not be familiar to someone ‘outside the box….’ if you know what I mean.
And, on top of your questions, is there anything you hope Canine Companions will offer in the future? Are you looking for a specific e-course, e-book, instruction sheet, recipes, etc?
Please feel free to submit a comment, or use the Contact Us page, to submit your questions, comments, and/or concerns.
I can’t wait to hear from you.
Amber L Drake
Every dog parent strives to raise a behaviorally balanced dog, but most of them end up asking what’s wrong with my dog? We, accidentally, promote some unwanted behaviors in our dogs.
A lot of dog parents encourage unwanted behaviors because they find it cute. If the behavior has been rewarded for a long time, it becomes difficult to change it.
As it takes double to effort to ‘untrain’ a dog, so it’s best to avoid encouraging these six behaviors in dogs:
The nipping or biting habit is encouraged at puppy stage when the pooch is teething. As a dog parent, you should take appropriate measures to avoid prolonging of nipping behavior past the teething stage. If we let this behavior continue, the adult dog will find it acceptable to communicate through teeth and skin. A puppy’s nip doesn’t hurt. It can be ignored due to the cuteness of the puppy. But, when the adult dog plays rough by biting the skin, it becomes unbearable and difficult to stop.
It is best to curb the behavior at a young age by making loud, painful sounds whenever the puppy nips and bites your hand. You can distract him with chew toys. You can ignore the pup for a while after he bites you so that he learns his lesson and suppress the bitey behavior.
- Bark For Your Rights:
Dogs that get what they want when they bark for toys or food learn ‘demand barking’ behavior. The dog owners support the bossy behavior by paying heed to him when he barks. Most of the dog owners listen to barking dogs only to stop the noise. But, it trains them negatively to behave harshly rather than politely to get something.
To curb such demanding behavior, train him to sit down whenever he wants something. Make him calm down and sit before you serve food, give a chew toy, toss the ball, etc. If he barks at you due to impatience, walk away and do not concede to his demands.
- Jumping Up In Excitement:
Dogs usually jump up in excitement as you enter the house. We nurture the dog jumping behavior with equal excitement, laughter, and pats of encouragement. But, when a large breed dog grows up, his jumping behavior can cause injury. In case of small dogs, the behavior can be hurtful when a new baby arrives. The jumping up of dog can be irritating if you are leaving for a meeting and the dog messes up your shirt.
To avoid jumping up of dogs, simply ignore his leaps when you return home. When the dog calms down, pat and hug him for his nice behavior. It will train him to avoid the overexcited behavior.
- Anti-Social Behavior:
Anti-social behavior develops when your puppy or dog returns shivering after having an interaction with other dogs, and you hug him instantly to provide protection. This encouraging hug will stimulate him to behave fearfully every time he comes in contact with other people or dogs. There can be other reasons for a shivering dog, so understand the cause before you respond.
To avoid anti-social behavior, encourage your dog for interacting with other dogs. Give him treats or a pat on the back every time he interacts and plays with other pets in the park. This will boost his confidence to make new friends everywhere he goes.
- Pulling at the Leash:
If your dog continuously pulls on the leash as you go for a walk, then it’s a behavior that should be discouraged. Otherwise, the dog will consider the leash around its neck to be a trigger for pulling on it and moving forward. It can be irritating when you want him to sit and wait for you.
You should teach your dog that leash pulling will never work, and he can go forward only when the leash is loose. Don’t walk ahead when the dog pulls on the leash. When he lets the leash loose, reward him for behaving right. Give him treats for walking close to you to encourage the good behavior.
It is hard for a puppy owner to resist the begging pooch when he asks for food. However, it becomes a trouble when your dog is an adult, and you have to manage his diet requirements. If he gets obese, putting him on diet food will not be easy as he will continue to beg and you may persist to give in.
It’s best not to share your food with the dog, but give him his specific dog meal to eat. Ignore his begging face and do not feed him a single scrap of food to avoid development of such unwanted behaviors.
If you succeed in discouraging these six behaviors in your puppy, you will not have to worry about the wrong things in your dog.
Tomorrow is Canine Veteran’s Day. And, here at Canine Companions & Dog Behavior Blog, would like to share some information about our canine veterans here. Please take a seat, and read/listen to the article.
You might even find your soulmate dog after reading this.
You’re going to want to grab your tissues before reading and watching.
What Do Dogs Do at War?
In war, our dogs are the first line. They are first to go into a dangerous territory. And, they let their handler know if it’s okay to continue walking, or to stop in their tracks.
Watch this documentary to follow dogs and their handlers through the tears, blood, and sweat during war in Afghanistan:
Robby’s Law: Saving Lives, Encouraging Adoptions
Before Robby’s Law was enacted in 2000, dogs who came back from war were euthanized. Now, handlers have the option of adopting their dog once they come back to the states. And, if their handler isn’t able to care for them… they are able to be placed for adoption.
Over 90% of canine veterans are adopted by their handlers at the end of their service. And, it’s not hard to understand why. Watch the videos below to see the strength of their love for one another.
To Show You How Special the Bond Handlers & Their Dogs Share
Army dog races into the arms of his handler three years later:
Veteran reunited with bomb-sniffing dog:
Military hero dog reunited with handler:
Adopting a Military Working Dog
Most of the MWD’s available for adoption are puppies, or relatively young dogs, who didn’t make it through the training (only about half graduate training).
There are occasionally older dogs who have been at war, though. They may have medically retired due to an injury, or retired due to their age.
It’s important to note that those dogs who have been to war often have PTSD- similar to our human soldiers.
Only recently have we learned that dogs can suffer from this condition following war times. These dogs have been exposed to everything we were- and potentially more- including gunshots, explosions, and other loud and/or violent experiences.
Symptoms of PTSD in dogs include:
- Fear of noise
- Fear of new situations
- Avoidance or fear of buildings
Organizations to Contact About Adopting a Military Working Dog
You can contact the following organizations if you’re interested in adopting a military working dog:
Take Other Action to Help This Canine Veteran’s Day
- The petition changes the wording from “adoption” to “foster” in case a dog is placed into a police force after retirement.
- The military handler becomes attached to the dog throughout his or her entire life; their name is on all paperwork, so they’re able to be with their dog forever if they would like to be.
- And, if they aren’t with their dog, they are able to find out how they’re doing and where they are any time.
- The petition also requests handlers be permitted to retire their dog if they don’t believe their dog is able to handle ‘the job’ any longer.
- And finally, only the handler is able to agree and sign off on an adoption.
Dogs aren’t natural leash walkers. And, it takes patience to train a dog to walk on a leash… so don’t feel discouraged if your dog isn’t quite comfortable yet. It can be frustrating to feel a constant tug at the leash… but remember if they’ve never walked on a leash before- it’s a completely new experience.
Before you begin, make sure you have the right equipment to walk your dog. Yes, the right collar/harness and leash make a huge difference. Don’t choose a leash that’s too long, or too short. Harnesses* are generally recommended for beginners, too. A harness is less likely to harm your dog when they tug than a collar (especially for small dogs- if you tug on a small dog or puppy’s collar, you put the dog at risk for a collapsed trachea).
…featured on Moving Babies! Featured on MovingBabies
Dogs are also generally more at ease with a harness* than with a collar- which helps during training.
Training Steps for Leash Walking
Step 1: Help Your Dog Acclimate
Your dog should be given some time to get used to the collar or harness before you strap a leash to her. Try putting the collar or harness on, then give praise in the form of a low-calorie, healthy treat or a “Great job!” Give your dog a few days to get used to having the collar or harness on his or her body.
After a few days pass, you can clip the leash on your dog. Try just walking inside the house at first- where he or she feels comfortable. There are fewer distractions inside- and if your dog slips off the collar/harness or you lose the leash- you’ll be certain she’s safe.
You can even let him drag the leash around the house- giving him plenty of praise along the way. So, he associates the leash with happiness and rewards.
Step 2: Teach Off-Leash Commands
Ensuring your dog has the basic obedience skills mastered will help you with leash training. Your dog should understand, “sit” and “come,” at minimum so you can make sure she’s safe outside. Teacher her these commands also strengthens the bond you share with your dog- which results in more trust.
When a dog trusts you, you are more likely to have success on the leash. She will understand you aren’t doing anything to put her in harm’s way.
Step 3: Give Her Commands While on the Leash
Now that your dog is comfortable wearing the collar/harness, and you have mastered some basic obedience commands, you can start working on her general obedience while on the leash (again, indoors).
Step 4: Walking Outside
When you first walk outside, remember- to a dog- there are so many things to see, smell, hear. You might notice your puppy or dog is easily distracted. That’s okay. Try to keep the walks short. And, keep a handful of low-calorie snacks in your pocket to re-direct her attention if she gets distracted.
Step 5: Prevent Pulling
You’re ready to go outside, and she’s no longer afraid of the leash, but she’s still tugging on the leash… now what? When she begins to tug, turn the opposite direction of the way you’re walking. For example, if you’re walking west through your yard, immediately turn east (being careful not to tug). You might see her look at you like “what are you doing?” But soon, she will understand you are the leader.
I Need More Help!
If you need more help regarding leash walking, feel free to join the Dog Behavior Group on Facebook where readers of the Dog Behavior Blog share ideas and ask questions.
October 28 is Pit Bull Awareness Day* • Pit Bull Love is Every Day! 😉 This is not the first year I post about pitties [read an older post about the breed here]. It is however the first year I’m doing a post about them being a proud owner of one. Most of you already […]