May 2024
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postheadericon Teaching your puppy crate training is the first and best step in his life

Teaching your puppy crate training is the first and best step in his life. It makes all the other steps in his training go so much smoother, much like a solid foundation makes for a superior wall. Establishing you as the Alpha member of his “pack” is one very good reason for starting your puppy in a crate when he is very young.

Another reason for crate training is that dogs love predictability. To know what is going to happen in any given situation makes him happy, and more apt to be the best-behaved dog he can possibly be.

A strong crate is the very basis of good puppy training. A wire crate with a lock is the best kind. Make sure it is large enough for him to stand up and turn around. But not so large that he can roam and wander around. A too-large crate will inhibit house breaking.

A crate that is just the right size will be perceived as his “nest”, where puppies never “go potty”. They will learn to hold it if you don’t make a prison out of it. Never leave a puppy under 8 weeks longer than one hour in his crate. He will soil it, after struggling and suffering as long as he can.

Put a nice pad in there with a bone. Start with placing a tasty treat in there, he will go in and get it. Do this several times without closing the door, let him come in and out freely for an hour or so. Praise him highly each time he goes in, make it all very pleasant.

Then when his attention is on his treat, close the door. Praise him quietly, “What a good boy, it’s ok, such a good boy!” In 10 or 20 seconds, no longer, let him out without a word, no praise, just a pat. Do this for increasingly longer intervals, but do not give him achance to get upset. You can do this several times the first day.

Make sure every training session ends on a happy note, this is crucial.

Once he sees the crate is his own private territory, he will go in there on his own, expecting treats and your attention. When he does, say, “Wanna crate?” with a happy face while getting his treats. Start leaving the room while he is in there for 2 minutes and onward, gradually. When you return, don’t make a fuss, just walk over and open the crate. In 3 days he will be officially crate-trained, ready to be left alone for an hour, no longer at first. Leave him gradually longer, slowly and carefully.

Q. Why do I want a crate for my puppy?
A. Because they love it is the best reason. They feel very safe and secure in there. Here are some more:
When you leave a puppy alone, he always has some measure of separation anxiety. This leads him to any behavior that brings him comfort, which is chewing, digging, or when it is severe, voiding his bowels.
When placed in a crate, he feels safe because nothing can get to him, nothing can harm him. He will sleep and chew and wait for you to return.
When leaving him overnight at the vet, if your dog is not crate trained he will cry the entire time, feeling lost and abandoned. With crate training, he is sure you will return, you always do. Of course the vet’s office is strange and will cause him some anxiety, but nothing like the pure terror he will feel without experience in being locked in.

NOTE: About crate-training, do not make a prison of his crate. Do not use it as punishment. Do not leave him there for more than 2 hours, just time for a long puppy nap and some chew time. After that he will cry. Do not remove him while he is crying. This will make him think he has to cry to get out. No matter what, make sure he is being good when you open the door. He will learn he has to be quiet to get out. Do not make a fuss when you are letting him out, just quietly open the door and take him out to potty. When he potties, praise him to high heaven! Dogs naturally do not go where they nest, but sometimes it happens. Do not scold, just clean it out with a bland face. He will learn the lesson. If possible, try to clean it while he is outside so he returns to a clean crate.

In 25 years of training dogs, I have never seen any one thing more critical for a dog’s well-being than good crate training.

postheadericon Dogs and cats

Dogs and Cats. Eternal enemies, right? Through proper dog obedience training you can teach your animals to live together.

The first mistake that most pet owners make when introducing their pet dogs and cats is to allow them to make their own introductions. This is a mistake! As I stated above, these two species are eternal enemies. You can’t just set one down near the other and expect great results. (Ok, I know that can happen and does happen, but my job here is to teach you about dog training. My version of training calls for prevention with dogs and cats rather than creating a problem and then being forced to fix it. As Mom used to say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.) There is a good deal of prevention that should be used before allowing your dogs and cats to co-exist.

Whether you are introducing a new cat to a home with a dog or vice versa I want you to start out the same way. Start out by using your trusty dog crate. Put your dog in the crate and allow the cat to be in the same room. There are several possible outcomes to this action :
1. Your dog shows complete indifference. This is ideal. If your dog behaves like this you will have a quick transition.
2. Your dog shows fear. This is not ideal but it will make the transition easier than some other outcomes.
3. Your dog shows nervousness and anxiety. He whines, he paces in the crate, paws at the door of the crate, etc. This behavior tells you that he wants out. There is something about that cat that is exciting and he wants to know what it is.
4. Your dog shows overt aggression. He barks, claws at the door of the crate, and he knows exactly what he wants to do with that cat. This is going to be the toughest dog to train, but it can be done.

For the first few days don’t let your dogs and cats near each other. Keep the dog in the crate. This doesn’t mean you need to keep him in the crate 24/7. When you want him out of the crate just make sure that your cat is shut off in another bedroom to avoid contact. What you hope to accomplish with this action is to train your dog to be indifferent to the cat. You want your dog to view the cat as ‘background noise’. The cat is inconsequential, the cat doesn’t matter, there is nothing interesting or exciting about the cat. In other words, your dog is safely tucked away in the crate and casually observes the cat move around the house. For categories 1 and 2 this will be simple. It will take no more than a day or two for your dog to think of your cat as just another ‘thing’ in the house. Categories 3 and 4 will take more training and time.

For categories 3 and 4 you need to attach a negative association to showing cat aggression. To do this, get a spray bottle. Fill the bottle with either plain water, water mixed with lemon juice, or for very stubborn dogs, water with vinegar. At this point, your dog is still tucked away safely in the crate. The next part of training will be conducted while you are sitting near the crate, ready for action. The instant your dog shows aggression (barks at the cat, claws at the door, whines in frustration, etc.) toward the cat spray him in the face with your spray bottle. Every time he shows aggression spray him with the bottle. When he isn’t showing aggression give him soft praise, “Good boy”.

Make sure that your dog never gets a chance to show aggression toward the cat without having a bad experience. This means that you must always be ready with the spray bottle or make sure the cat isn’t near the dog. If you aren’t vigilant and your dog has the chance to show aggression with no adverse consequence, you are training him to show cat aggression.

If you are consistent with this exercise you will soon notice that your dog will show less and less aggression while in the crate, it just isn’t worth the squirt in the face for him. You are on your way to getting your dogs and cats to co-exist.

When your feel comfortable that your dog is indifferent to the cat move on to the next step. As I said, for categories 1 and 2 this is probably one or two days after beginning the crate training. For categories 3 and 4 get your dog to the point where he is indifferent and maintains that attitude for several days if not a week.

The next step is to get your dog out of the crate and get those dogs and cats together at last! You are going to move slowly, though. Put your dog training collar and leash on your dog and make sure that he is always wearing it around the house. Keep your dog near you and allow your cat to be in the room. If your dog makes any move whatsoever to chase the cat, bark at the cat, or perform any of the stereotypical behaviors that dogs and cats do, give him a very strong correction with the leash. You want this leash correction to be a very memorable one so it must be very strong. You want to form a very negative association toward cat aggression.

Be consistent with this training. If you do this properly you will notice that your dog has less and less of a desire to chase after or bark at the cat. As you notice your dog changing his behavior give him more and more freedom by allowing him to be closer to the cat and further away from you. Eventually you will phase out the use of the dog training collar and leash.

Even if your dog isn’t showing aggressive tendencies, never let him chase after the cat in the house, even playfully.

Even some of the hardest to train dogs will respond to the above method. There exist, however, certain dogs that have such strong prey drive that only drastic measures will cure them of their desire to chase and kill cats. For these dogs I employ an electric dog training collar.

Read the instruction manual on proper fitting for your electric dog training collar. With a stubborn dog that needs an electric collar the method is simple. With the collar on his neck and turned on to a high level of stimulus you are going to correct your dog every time he even looks at the cat. As your dog even sneaks a glance at your cat press the button to deliver the correction. Don’t say ‘no’, don’t react in any way, just correct him for looking at the cat. Do this as many times as it takes. Let’s examine this from your dog’s point of view. He wants to get to the cat, wants to chase, wants to kill. But the very act of looking at the cat causes him pain. You don’t tell him anything so he doesn’t associate the correction with you. He soon will learn to believe that the cat is ‘evil’ and he had better not even look at it because it the act of looking causes pain.

As with all training, you must be very consistent. Your dog must never have a successful chance to even chase or want to chase the cat. Be consistent, though, and soon your dogs and cats will be able to co-exist.

postheadericon Cats are greatly popular, and among the top favorites to have as pets

Cats are greatly popular, and among the top favorites to have as pets. They are cute, fun, and greatly independent, making them easy to have around. However, if you don’t know how to train them, your cute kitty, can turn into a great pain.

People assume because cats are independent and have a stubborn streak that they are hard to train, but if you know the proper way to train them it’s rather easy. It will take a little time, because like we mentioned before they are stubborn, however you can use that stubborn streak to your advantage.

These are a few cat training tips to ensure a successful training program:

1. Don’t give up

Two seconds into starting to train your cat, you might realize that’s not a piece of cake, but it’s not rocket science either. If you have trained another animal before, you have probably noticed that it’s not easy, but it’s not difficult once you look back on it. With training a cat, you have to stay focused and willing. Though it might take a little more effort, you can train your cat.

2. Know your cat

In order to train your cat, you have to know what his/her personality is like. No two cats are the same, so if you know how your cat acts, it will make training much easier for you. You need to learn what your cat likes and doesn’t like and go from there.

3. Know when to train your cat

You need to know when it’s OK to train your cat. First, don’t wake them from a catnap to train them. They’re just like a sleeping baby. If you wake them up when they aren’t ready to be woken up and are still tired, you’re going to have a cranky kitty on your hands.

You’re going to get frustrated because your cat is frustrated. It won’t want to listen to you, when all they want to do is nap. Plus, you need to keep training sessions short. You don’t want your cat to get overwhelmed or worse bored. This will be counter productive, and leave you again frustrated.

4. Use Positive Reinforcement

This is the most crucial part of your cat’s training program. When your cat does the desired behavior you reward them with praise or a treat. Don’t reward them out of the blue, because they will associate rewards with doing absolutely nothing. Also, remember not to punish them. If they do something wrong, don’t react at all! This is important, you don’t want them to associate what they did wrong with any attention what so ever.

5. Small steps

Though this might cause the training process to take a little longer, you have to take things slowly. You’re teaching a new cat, new tricks, so it will take time. If you want your cat to learn something, you can’t expect him/her to know how to do it that first day.

For example, if you want to train your cat to use the toilet (yes, people do it these days), then it is best for you to gradually move the cat’s litter box closer and closer to the bathroom that you want him/her to use. Don’t immediately push the cat into the bathroom and expect that it will learn to use the toilet. Small steps will get you and your cat where you want to be.

postheadericon Let’s face it, dogs and cats are so cute and adoring

Let’s face it, dogs and cats are so cute and adoring! It is just so difficult to not want to cuddle them. Funny how all of this changes when you get that first smell of urine, coming form somewhere, in your house, on your carpet…bang! All those cuddly feelings you had for your pet disintegrate the moment you realize you need to purchase a new rug.

Ok, so that feeling lasts for about a minute or two, and then, once you get that “what’s up with you” look from you dog, with those cute, innocent eyes, you can’t help melting into that “I just want to cuddle you” feeling all over again. Talk about pet charm!

Either way, the reality is what it is. Pets mess, and you have to make sure that you are able to take care of that mess in time. If not, you are in for a very expensive surprise.

In order to prevent the urine from your cat or dog costing you more than you bargained for, it is best to try to catch the stain as early as possible.

One way to do this is by constantly keeping and eye on your furry loved one. Would this be effective? Yes. Do I consider it practical? I think not.

Ok, so we need a more practical way that can both work out well for you and your pet. After all, you don’t want your pet to start feeling it has big brother keeping an eye on it all the time right?

Prevention is far better than the cure

We are not talking about diseases here. However, the principles work the same in this situation. Preventing your pet from urinating on your carpet is the best viable option.

A great approach to this method is by house training or potty training your little fluffy buddies. The most effective time to use this approach is when your pet is still young. This does not mean that it is too late to house train your older pets. They might just take a little longer.

Ok, so you have never trained a pet before. That is by no means a problem. You can find many books on this subject just by doing a search on your favorite search engine. The trick is to make sure that you are taking the advice from a well respected author on the subject. A good way to do this is my asking around in the many pet dedicated forums where you are sure to find sincere, independent reviews.

What ever the end result is, whether it is expensive or just plain annoying, your little furry loved ones don’t know better. Accept them for who they are. After all, they are part of the family.

postheadericon Do you feel guilty eating a snack in front of your dog

Do you feel guilty eating a snack in front of your dog? If so, you’re not alone. After all, we wouldn’t do that to one of our kids, and our beloved pet is just as much a part of the family. Nevertheless, there are some foods you need to make sure your dog does not eat.

When you think about the wide range of things your pets might nibble on – from dirty socks to kitty litter – it’s easy to believe there’s very little that will make them sick. However, your seemingly indestructible pet can be experiencing many internal issues that don’t show up on the outside for quite a while. Some issues only become noticeable when the problem has become extremely serious.

Here are some foods that will make them sick and can cause permanent harm, so avoid these at all cost.

This is one of the worst foods for your dog because their systems are unable to digest it. Those yummy brownies or a bit of your pick-me-up candy bar will make them sick and can cause major health issues.

If you absolutely can’t resist giving your dog a chocolate treat, white chocolate is the least harmful, while dark baking chocolate is the most dangerous.

Once while dieting, I convinced myself that grapes and raisins are candy, so I still eat a lot of them. As a human they’re very good for you, and although they may seem like something that would be harmless to your dog, they’re not.

Consuming grapes or raisins can cause your beloved pet several issues, including kidney failure. At the very least, this seemingly harmless food could result in an emergency trip to the vet to have your dog’s stomach pumped.

Third – ONIONS
In most cases dogs don’t really like onions, but if they get hold of one (even in another food) make sure you call your vet right away. This root vegetable will cause your dog to have major digestive issues.

Although these are the most dangerous things for your dog to eat, these are by no means the only items to avoid.

Here are a few other items that should be kept away from your pet:

*Avocado (including the fruit, skin, seed, leaves and stem)
*Macadamia nuts
*Leaves and stems of potatoes, tomatoes and rhubarb
These foods are toxic to your dog’s gastrointestinal system and will
cause severe digestive problems and potentially kidney failure.

These items can cause your pet to have labored breathing:

*Moldy foods (why do they eat those things??)
*Tobacco products

In general, be aware of what your dog is eating at all times. Just as you would for a child, the best way to keep them safe and healthy is to make sure they don’t have access to foods, garbage, chemicals or any objects that could be harmful to their digestion.

It’s ok to give your dog a treat once in a while as long as you know what ingredients are used. Look for all natural products to give your pet the best, and at the same time avoid any health issues.