Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Show Your Love Of Animals By Wearing These!

WOULD YOU WEAR PAWS IN PUBLIC TO SHOW YOUR LOVE OF ANIMALS?  I DID!


 I WORE THESE CUTE DECALS TO A DOG DAYS OF SUMMER EVENT.  I FOUND THEM AT THE CRAFT STORE FOR ABOUT 2 DOLLARS FOR A PACKAGE OF 12. 


THEY STAY ON REALLY WELL AND LASTED THE WHOLE WEEK!
 
THIS IS A BLOGPAWS WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

How To Get Your Dog To Finally STOP Pulling On Leash

As the mother of a Siberian Husky, a breed that was meant to PULL, I know a thing or two about dogs pulling on leash!  Dogs practically dragging their owners down the block during walks is one of the most challenging behaviors. 

If there's tight tension on the leash and your dog is way out in front of you, you're not walking your dog, your dog is walking you!
Sadly, many owners stop walking their dogs altogether because they don't want to deal with being dragged down the block on walks.  I can relate, I went through a very challenging time getting Isis to finally stop pulling me halfway across the county during our walks!  Now I can honestly say that walking Isis is the joyful experience I always hoped it would be!  It took time and a lot of persistence, but it really paid off.  Here's how I got her to finally stop pulling on leash.

Your dog should be close to your side with a loose leash, not way out in front pulling you along with tension on the leash
First off,  begin training your dog to walk nicely on leash separately from potty walks.  If you try to train while also getting your dog to do his business, it usually doesn't work very well.  Set aside the extra training and walking time to focus solely on teaching your dog not to pull on leash.

PSYCHE YOUR DOG OUT
Curtailing leash pulling starts before you even reach for the leash or say the words "Wanna go for a walk"?  If your dog is in an excited state jumping up & down, spinning, or lunging toward the door as soon as he knows a walk is forthcoming, you'll have a tough time getting him to calm down once you're out the door.  His excitement will escalate and result in him walking you!

Quietly reach for your dog's leash & harness.  When your dog starts getting excited simply stand still without talking to or touching him. If he jumps up on you, turn your back on him. Wait a few minutes. Your dog should eventually sit down, which is a dog's default behavior when they don't know what else to do. Don't put the leash or harness on until your dog is calm.  If he hasn't sat down, put him in a sit and put the leash & harness on.  If he starts jumping around all excited again, firmly say "Ah, Ah!" and put the leash & harness away.  You may need to repeat the exercise several times before he learns that excited behavior means no walk, but a calm sit gets you to put the leash on.  If needed, put his leash on and let him walk around the house with it on in order to reduce excitement associated with the leash.  Don't give treats during this time, save the treats to reward later for walking without pulling.  Calm behavior is a very important first step.

Once the leash & harness are on, make your dog sit and wait at the door before you open it.  Make sure you go out the door first, then invite your dog to go through behind you.  If he's crowding you at the door, step in front of him and give the Sit/Wait command so he knows you own the entryway, the door, and ultimately the walk.  Don't get into a tugging match if he's resisting you at the door, simply close the door and wait until he acquiesces.  Walk away and try again later if needed.

USE THE RIGHT TOOLS
Like anything else worth doing, you need the right tools to get it done.  There are several effective tools that will help with your training.

A Head Halter is a type of collar that wraps around the dog's muzzle.  It gives you more control over his head; if you control the dog's head and nose you can better control where he goes.

You can find head halters at PetSmart and other pet supply stores.  Martha Stewart, Great Choice and other companies make head halters.
We used a head halter when Isis was a puppy, and later switched to a No Pull Harness. This is not the same as all the harnesses you see hanging on the racks at the pet store.  You specifically need a no pull harness.  It typically has a ring in the front at the dog's chest, not on the top at the dog's back.  This type of harness has straps just behind the front legs that create pressure if the dog pulls, discouraging pulling.  Bring your dog to a pet supply store and ask them to help you find a no pull harness.  They should be able to help you select the right size and adjust the harness on your dog for you.  A regular harness can actually encourage pulling!

There are a few different kinds of no pull harnesses.  We use the one pictured here, by Easy Walk.  It made a huge difference on our walks.
Another helpful tool is to have your dog wear a doggie Backpack on walks.  Bring your dog to a pet supply store and ask them to help you choose one, and find the right size for him.  They can also help you determine how much weight your dog can safely carry in the backpack; usually no more than 10% of the dog's body weight.  We've used hand weights in the pack, but some people use canned food such as tuna or pet food as weights.

LET'S GO FOR A WALK!
Now that your dog is calm and you've got the right tools, you're ready to go for a walk!

It might be helpful to start the training in the yard where there are fewer distractions.  Once you've got it down in the yard, then hit the streets.  Remember to start with your dog in a calm state, make sure you go out first and that he waits at the door for you to escort him out.  Once you cross the doorway, stay in front of him.  When he tries to lunge ahead of you, STOP.  Stand still until he stops pulling or sits down.  Call him back to your side.  You'll do this many times, be patient and don't give up!  Know that the first day you may not even make it out of the driveway.  That's ok, it's the training and behavior, not the walk itself that's important.

When your dog walks properly next to you, praise and treat him.  Don't treat if he's lunging ahead.  The goal is to get him to stay by your side and focus on you.   Treat every few steps at first to get & keep his focus on you.  When he lunges ahead, say "Ah, Ah!" firmly and STOP. Your goal is to teach him that he goes nowhere if he's pulling.  The more he walks nicely by your side the further he gets to walk and the more treats & fun he has.

Another way to gain his focus, in addition to stopping, is to change direction quickly and often.  As you're walking down the street, as soon as you see tension start on the leash immediately turn and walk in the opposite direction.  Your dog will need to focus on you in order to keep up with your changes in direction!

Everyone in the household who walks the dog should follow this process.  If everyone isn't consistent it will be much harder to change the behavior.


Walking together is a pleasure when your dog isn't dragging you halfway across the county!
 Leave us a comment and tell us how your dog walks on leash.  Have you had to overcome any leash walking challenges?

*** THIS IS THE MONDAY MISCHIEF BLOG HOP!! HOSTED BY ALFIE'S BLOG, SNOOPY'S DOG BLOG, AND MY BROWN NEWFIES ***

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Rub A Dub Dub, Some Dogs really HATE the Tub!!

As far as little Phoebe is concerned, Bath Time just plain stinks!!

Uh Oh.  Mommy put me in the tub in the kitchen.  I know what that means....

UGH!!  I knew it!  I'm getting another stinking BATH! 
 

OH NO!  Mommy made me look like an Alien freak again, didn't she??

NOooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!


Is it finally over?  Please tell me it's over!  Do I at least look cute?!?
Oh, Phoebe you are SUCH a drama queen!!

THIS IS A BLOGPAWS WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

PetSmart's Gift To Pooches & Their People; A Dog Park In A Box!

PetSmart created a unique concept to help dogs and communities.  The PetSmart Pop Up Park (PUP) is basically a dog park in a box!  The PUP is a metal shipping container that includes everything needed to set up a temporary, portable dog park.   You’ve gotta love this dog park in a box idea! 

The PUP transforms a vacant space into a 6,500 – 10,000 square foot dog park.  The PUP container includes fencing, access ramps, cleanup stations, solar powered lighting, a storage closet, doggie play features, and benches for the humans to sit on!   The containers themselves function as the entry and exit point to the park.  The park is portable and could be moved to another location if needed.  It could also potentially be used as a temporary forum to host a variety of pet related events, such as large adoption events.   Each PUP costs approximately $50,000, which is a bargain considering the construction of a permanent dog park costs several hundred thousand dollars.  Once the PUP is installed, it is independently maintained by the community.  Here's a video of the first PUP, installed in Phoenix, from AZ Central:
 

So far, PetSmart has installed PUPs in vacant city spaces in 3 cities; Phoenix, Sacramento, and Detroit.  The PUPs create a usable dog park space for dogs and their owners,  help clean up and beautify unused city spaces, and put unsightly vacant lots to good use.  

PetSmart’s PUP started as an initiative with the city of Phoenix to help beautify and utilize vacant lots across the city for the good of the community.  As I’ve said before, Arizona is one of the most dog friendly cities I’ve ever been in!  It’s one of the things we love most about living in Phoenix.

Hey, have you guys heard about the PetSmart Pop Up Parks (PUPs)?  Paws are slappin' and tongues are waggin' about these portable dog parks!
After the first PUP rolled out successfully in Phoenix, AZ,  a PUP in Sacramento, CA (for small dogs)  and a PUP in Detroit, MI were installed.  A fourth PUP is expected to be created in one more community by end of 2014.  The PUP was Detroit’s first official dog park!

The PUPs align nicely with PetSmart’s belief in “enriching people’s lives through the power of pets”.  I know all of us share in the philosophy of enriching lives through the power of pets!

Have you been to one of PetSmart's PUPs?  If so, tell us about it by leaving a comment!  I think implementing PUPs to repurpose vacant lots into a place for dogs, their owners, and the community to enjoy is a brilliant idea!  Do you agree? 

THIS IS A THOUGHTLESS THURSDAY BLOG HOP!!! 


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: The Dog Days of Summer Have Come To An END

Us humans aren't the only one's sorry to see Summer come to an end, our dogs aren't too pleased either!
Hey Phoebe, did ya have a great time playing in the pool this Summer?  I hate to tell you, your pool days have come to a close. Summer's over and Fall is on the way!

HUH??  Whatdya mean?  Who says?


What?  The Lazy Girl's Club is closed too?? 
So you're saying I can't lounge around under a shady tree all morning?  You're not gonna make me go to school or anything,..... ARE YOU???

THIS IS A BLOGPAWS WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!!
 


Friday, August 29, 2014

It's Back To School! Ease the Transition For Your Dog As Well As The Kids

When kids go back to school in the Fall, it can be a big change for the dog as well as for the kids.  There's a flutter of activity in the days before school starts, then the kids are suddenly gone for long periods of time every day.  Dogs can experience some anxiety during this major change within the household. 

Your dog may be missing the kids when they head back to school!
  • The dog may miss the kids
  • He may worry that the kids won't come back
  • He may get bored without the kids at home to play with
  • A dog may even try to get out of the house or yard so he can "look for" the missing kids
  • He knows something's different but doesn't understand what it is.  This may make him anxious.

What can you do to ease the Back To School transition for your dog?

Although Back To School time can be busy and hectic, try to spend more time with your dog  as the kids head back to school. 

Give your dog a new toy or something else he loves, to keep him occupied as the kids leave the house in the morning.

A nice long hike or walk will take your dog's mind off the kids being gone!

If your schedule permits, take the dog for a nice long walk or hike sometime during the morning to exercise and relieve anxiety or boredom and to let him know he's still impawtant!

In the first week or two of school keep a close eye on your dog to see if he's exhibiting anxiety or boredom, or developing any negative habits following the transition.  If you're lucky enough to be a stay at home parent and you have the time, consider trying a fun new activity with your dog.  A long walk or hike on a new trail, an agility class, or even a Doga (doggie yoga) class together!

Don't let your Furkids get lost in the shuffle once the insanity of Back to School starts!

Hey!  Where'd everybody go??

Have you experienced your dog's behavior changing when Back To School starts?  Please leave a comment and tell us about it.  We LOVE hearing from you!

THIS IS A PET PARADE BLOG HOP WITH RASCAL & ROCCO!


 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Dogs In Carts!

RIDING IN CARTS WITH GIRLS.......




IS IT BETTER THAN RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS??  WHAT WOULD DREW BARYMORE SAY?

I submitted this photo when I entered the Dogs With Carts contest (#DogsWithCarts) sponsored by Fidoseofreality and Stylishcanine!  This Instagram contest has been burning up IG lines!  It's still open until August 31st, so hurry & enter if you haven't already. Any kind of cart you can think of  to put your dog in or next to is eligible for your entry photo!  You can win really cool prizes (see below).  Find out all the details on Fidoseofreality or Stylishcanine.

1st Prize: A $100 Amazon Gift Card 
2nd Prize: Make your dog into a super hero with this custom Super Dog Cape from Stylish Canine. You could win a shiny, red super hero cape that is handmade just for your dog. Will your dog fly? You’ll find out! 
3rd Prize: A Fidose of Reality Prize Pack featuring limited edition Dexter the Cocker memorabilia!

THIS IS A BLOGPAWS WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!