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Dog Training Camp Programs

Camping means different things to different people, but to dogs, camping means fun! Like most things with the word camp" in them

Dogs Living with Humans 101

There are certain basic behaviors that all dogs need to know if they are going to survive in human society. Generally, the only ones who are likely to live happily ever after in their original homes are those dogs who are regarded as “good” by their owners. While some (or all!) of the Top 10 Things we describe in this article might seem overly elementary to an experienced and responsible dog owner, many dogs I meet in training classes – and animal shelters – lack several or many of the following skills.

Dog-Safe House Cleaning Products

Take a look at those household cleaners under your sink and in your laundry room. Many of them list a plethora of toxic ingredients including petroleum distillates, mineral spirits, formaldehyde, and others that have been proven carcinogenic and mutagenetic. As concerned consumers we can try to purchase safe and healthy products for our pets, but it is not always easy. Many products on the market today are considered proprietary and closely guard their formulas as trade secrets, making it impossible for us to judge their contents. Homemade cleaning products can keep your house perfectly clean for less money – and at a lower cost to the health of your canine and human family.

Indoor and Patio Litterboxes for Home-Alone Dogs

To most people, the word “house-trained” refers to a dog who has been trained not to urinate or defecate indoors. For my parent’s generation, this bit of training was usually accomplished by Mom, who stayed home while the rest of the family went to work or to school. As double-income families became the norm, the home-alone dog was faced with a serious problem. By the time you add a lunch hour and commute time onto an eight-hour work day, a house dog may have to “hold it” for as long as 10 hours before someone finally comes home to let her out. Her legs are probably tightly crossed for at least the last two.

The Use of ‘Bait Bags’ in Dog Training

The arguments against bait bags are not so obvious. The most compelling is that the presence of a bait bag is like a flashing neon sign - an obvious cue to your dog that it's training time and treats are handy. I stand firmly in the middle of the bait bag debate. I shop for lots of lightweight, loose-fitting jackets with large pockets so I can stash my bags of treats comfortably on my person without turning on the neon sign. Of course, my dogs know that I have treats in my pockets, but I always have treats in my pockets, so the presence of treats is not the cue that training is happening.

Improving the Dog/Human Relationship

I often find myself mentally doing the same crystal ball exercise when a new client enters my training center with a seemingly mismatched canine companion. Sometimes I see right away that we are really going to have our work cut out for us. However, I really don’t ever despair; relationship miracles can, and do, happen. Seemingly misfit human/canine matches can grow into solid partnerships . . . as long as the partners have a few things going for them – the major components of a good relationship, the kind that’s built to last.

Hiking With Your Dog

Do your homework before you go and you'll enjoy nothing but happy trails with your dog. If you spend your time in the company of dogs, you're probably used to walking – long walks, short walks, walks for potty stops, walks for exercise, walks to relieve boredom, and walks for walking's sake. So, what's the difference between walking and hiking? In practical application, not much. But in attitude, everything!

What’s The Best Source for Purebred Dogs?

The fact is, purebred dogs are everywhere. You can find them at shelters, in rescue groups, free in the newspaper, running loose in the streets, for sale by breeders, and, unfortunately, in pet stores. There are pros and cons to acquiring your next family member from any of these sources; you can find good dogs from any one of them, but each venue can also supply you with dogs with minor to severe health and behavior problems. Much of the dog breeding industry seems to subscribe to the caveat emptor" philosophy. The average dog owner is very much on her own when it comes to acquiring a new canine companion

Foam Filled Dog Beds

Not all foam beds can be thrown in a washing machine (we love the ones that can). But at least they can be taken outside and hosed off, which is a good thing to do occasionally, since immersion is an amazing anti-flea technique (see the article "Integrated Pest Management for Flea Control"). It’s a little difficult to wring them out – letting them drain by propping them up on one edge helps – but they air-dry surprisingly quickly. In contrast, many beds that are stuffed with cedar chips, fiberfill, or a combination of the two are almost impossible to wash.

The Tools That Make Dog Training a Breeze

Blushing brides used to come to their new marriages with a hope chest and a trousseau – a collection of the basic necessities for setting up a new household. It occurred to us that dogs should come to their new homes with a trousseau, too – containing everything dog and owner need to lay the foundation for a successful lifetime relationship. We put our minds to the task, and came up with the following collection of items that should be in every dog owner’s hope chest.

Finding Your Dog a Warm Winter Coat

Putting a coat on your dog shouldn't be about making a fashion statement. Rather, it should be about keeping a chilly dog warm, thereby preventing hypothermia, a dangerous condition characterized by a reduced internal body temperature. (The normal canine body temperature is 100.5 to 102 degrees. A dog whose temperature drops below 95 degrees can die.) A dog's natural protection against cold varies from breed to breed. Labradors and certain Northern dogs (Huskies and Malamutes, for example) have developed with special physiological responses for coping with cold.

Courses in Alternative Medicines

Most trainers would agree that it helps immeasurably to be very clear about what you are asking for when you work with a dog – even to the point of visualizing in your mind the behavior or movement you are seeking from your dog. Unquestionably, your focus will help you communicate your wishes to your dog, making it easier for him to interpret and understand your cues. Life is demanding and stressful for many people these days. We rarely have enough time to be as reflective as we’d like. But as you work with and care for others, including your dogs, take a moment to focus purposeful thought on your tasks.

Latest Blog

Aggression at Dog Parks

We’ve all got stories about terrible things that we’ve seen or heard about that happened at a dog park. I would argue that there are just as many potentially aggressive humans at these parks as there are dogs who exhibit aggressive behavior.