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What Can Remote Trainers Teach Anyway?

 

     Using a remote trainer can be intimidating. Many people feel uncomfortable because they are unsure of exactly what to do, but with a little practice and guidance, anyone can learn to use a remote training collar correctly and efficiently. When I first started, it even took me a few days to get comfortable but now it is practically second nature! Some people believe remote trainers are used only to correct bad behaviors such as digging in the trash or chewing, but there are actually several good behaviors you can teach and encourage with a remote trainer. The systems can really enhance your relationship with your pet.

 

  1. “Sit”: This easy behavior can be taught very quickly, and you can add an implied “stay” so you do not have to teach a separate command. Simply, tell your dog to sit while pushing the button. Remember, the static level should be on a setting that gets your dog’s attention but does not scare them. With a treat in your other hand, move towards your dog and hold it just above his nose. As his nose rises, his tail drops. When his seat hits the ground, stop pushing the button. Repeat a few times with a treat, and then remove the reward so he only listens to the communication from the remote. See? Now your pet can sit.
  2. “Bed”:  This is a great thing to teach, because it gives your dog a specific place to go and stay. It comes in really handy when you have guests coming into your home or the pizza delivery guy is at the door. While pushing the button, with your dog on a leash, lead him to his bed and say “bed” or whatever command you would like (others include place, home, etc.). When he is on the designated spot, stop administering the stimulation. Back away from the spot and watch your pet’s reaction. If he steps away from the bed, move back towards him while again pushing the button, and repeat the command until he returns. Soon he will understand where you want him during that command.
  3. Voiceless “come”: Have you ever been in a dog park or open field with your four legged friend running around have a ball, but when it was time to call him back you find yourself yelling to no avail? Using the vibration or beep function on a remote trainer gives you the ability to teach your dog to come back to you without having to say a word. This is something that all of my clients love! You can easily teach this after you have taught the sit command. Simply ask your dog to sit and, while he is on a leash, back away from him. When you are a few feet away, call him to you while pushing the vibration or tone button. When he gets to you, stop the noise or stimulation and repeat. He will quickly understand that noise or sensation means to join you wherever you are.
  4. Off leash “heel”: One of the most common problems I encounter is a dog, who has no leash manners. Instead of being drug around or even pulled to the ground, your can use a remote collar to stop pulling altogether. While, you have a dog on a leash, push the static button and pull him to your side to walk where you want him. Instruct him to “heel,” and – as he does as you ask – remove the stimulation. If he begins to pull again, return to the stimulation to encourage him to behave. Your dog will quickly understand what you are asking of him.

 

With these commands you can have a well behaved dog, and all of them can be taught in a few weeks. Remember to be patient and relaxed during your training seasons. Treat your pet often and of course give them lots of love to keep it fun for them. In no time, you will see the improvement in your pet’s behavior and the relationship you share.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Dining with your dog

     Last week we touched on basic dog park etiquette, and as we continue to progress through Spring and into Summer, there are other areas of dog etiquette that should be addressed. This week we will touch on dog-friendly restaurant etiquette.. While dining with your pets remember these following etiquette tips to ensure a great experience for all involved.

  1. Keep your dog under control: No one wants to eat around a dog that is constantly barking, trying to steal food, or causing a scene. To prevent this try putting him in a down stay or sit stay and reward with a treat for prolonged obedience. If your dog is uncontrollable then perhaps go through some training with Fido and reevaluate his abilities afterward.
  2. Do not feed other dogs: As much as they may look at you and beg, you should not feed another dog your food. It is impossible to tell what allergies the dog may have, or worse yet, if they have food aggression, it could start fights between dogs. If you cannot resist the urge, the best thing to do is to ask the owner if their dog can have whatever you are offering and make sure other dogs are far enough away.
  3. Ensure accommodations for you dog: Remember that your dog can heat up quickly, and while the restaurant provides for you, they probably do not have dog bowls. Make sure you have something available to offer water to your dog. If you are going to be on the patio for a while, it is not a bad idea to look for the most shaded area to allow Fido an escape from direct sunlight.
  4. Do not use extendable leashes: Many people walk their dogs with retractable or extendable leashes. These leashes can malfunction and prevent you from being able to control where your dog goes. The release buttons on these leashes are also very easy to accidentally hit and before you know it Fido can be two or three tables over helping themselves to someone’s lunch.
  5. Take your dog on a bathroom walk: Nobody wants a meal to be entertained by a show involving dog’s bathroom habits. The best way to ensure that your dog will not disturb you or others is to make extra time for a bathroom walk. While accidents do happen, a pre-lunch walk will help reduce them. As always, if an accident does occur, it is your responsibility to clean it up immediately.

      Following these simple etiquette procedures ensures everyone can enjoy and share restaurant patios with our four-legged friends. Having lunch with your dog can be a great way to socialize them and allows them get practice being in public. As responsible dog parents, it is our responsibility to ensure that we only create good environments at dog-friendly restaurants to avoid having the privilege revoked. Lets all work together to show that not only can dogs and humans can dine together publicly, but that it can be a fun and rewarding experience as well. There are many restaurants that allow dogs to share in the dining experience on the patios, and you can find a list of these restaurants in Knoxvilleat http://petfriendliestcommunity.com/Content/BusinessDirectory/Default.aspx?ind=5&zip=0. The Most Pet Friendliest Community initiative has made great strides to allow this to happen so please show your appreciation by patronizing these establishments

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Don’t be “that guy” at the dog park!

     This time of the year is welcomed with open arms, and Spring also signals the kickoff ofDogParkseason! Dog parks are great ways to get out and let our furry friends socialize, play, and really stretch their legs. It is good for us too, as we get to spend some quality relaxation time outside in the sun before it gets sweltering hot and all we want to do is find a lake or the closest A/C. Take advantage of this perfect weather and the great dog parks that are around, and do so often! To ensure you and your dog have the best experience possible it is important that some basic dog park etiquette is followed. Today, I am going to share some basic etiquette that will benefit all involved.

  1. DRESS APPROPRIATELY: Dogs go to the park to play and burn off some of that wild energy. Because of this it should be common knowledge that you will probably get jumped on by at least one or two dogs who may be wet or muddy. A good general rule of thumb is – if you wouldn’t do yard work in the clothes you’re wearing, you shouldn’t wear them in a dog park.

2.  Prevent obsessive jumping: It is expected that a dog may jump up on someone once or twice, and while in a perfect world this would not happen, it still does. Proper dog park etiquette would be giving a simple apology followed by ensuring your dog does not jump up again. If you have an obsessive jumper, some simple training should take care of the problem.

3.   It’s a dog park, not a picnic park:  bringing outside food of any kind into a dog park is only asking for trouble. If you plan on eating while at the dog park make sure you do so outside. Food not only draws a lot of unwanted attention, it can also start massive fights among the dogs.

4.   Prevent rushing that entrance gate: This is a major problem at dog parks and creates very tense situations that often end in fights. Many parks have more than one entrance, and park goers should choose an entrance that is least populated. This is not always possible though, so it is the responsibility of the dog owners in the park to prevent their dog from rushing the gate.

5.   Don’t be a bully: Playing with other dogs should be fun and exciting, but all too often dogs start to bully others. This can lead to large fights with many dogs due to a pack mentality, not to mention altercations between parents. If you notice your dog starting to get too aggressive and bullying other dogs, simply get control over him and make him sit in time out with you for a few moments until he calms down again. Bullying is easy to spot because it consists of one dog aggressively playing and the other desperately trying to get away. Do not let your dog be a bully, and everyone will have a good time.

 

     These simple guidelines will ensure a good time is had by all and promote a fun bonding experience between dogs and parents alike. I also want to remind you that dogs under 16 weeks of age should never be in a dog park. While socialization is important, large playing dogs could easily accidentally hurt a young puppy and do more harm than good during socialization, not to mention the health risks of not being fully vaccinated. The dog park is a great resource that is just begging to be used. Now go have fun and keep everyone safe.

     On a separate note, I will be hosting training demos at various Knoxvilledog parks in April. The first of which will be held at PetSafeVillageDogParkon April 14th at 2:30. I will be happy to answer questions and give advice. If you have any stories, suggestions, comments, or questions, please leave comments.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Dog Days Of Summer

     Boy oh boy, it sure is getting nice outside. Winter is gone and Spring is in full swing. Judging by what we have seen already, we may be in for a long, hot summer. As we are all getting used to the heat again it’s imperative that we remember that our dogs are too! This means the winter coats are falling out and many dogs are walking hair dispensaries, my German Shepherd Jiri sure is! This also means that everyone must take extra precautions to make sure their furry friends stay as cool as possible to beat the heat. There are three easy steps to keeping your dog cool, remember to always have fresh cool water available for them, provide cool retreats, and know your dog.

     Fresh clean water is vital to helping prevent heat exhaustion. Everyone knows that dogs cannot sweat to cool themselves, they do so by panting. Fresh water keeps their mouths and nose moist to help the cooling process. Don’t be afraid to take Fido for a walk or hike, just make sure you have water available for them. I love to hike with Jiri and it is safe to say he enjoys it more than I do. A simple solution I have found is an awesome product from Drinkwell called the Hydro-Go. It’s basically a canteen for dogs and any time Jiri needs some water and there isn’t a nice stream or lake around, he uses the Hydro-Go.

     Providing fresh water is only the first step to protecting our four legged children, we must also provide a cool retreat for them as well. If they are going to be outside, make sure they have plenty of shaded areas where they can escape from the sunlight. There are some things you can do to enrich these areas and create a little oasis for your pets. One cool idea is to have a small kiddy pool that they can splash or lay in. Here atPetSafeVillageour daycampers have pool parties frequently, and Jiri has his own pool in our back yard. Another great idea is to get a Kool Dogz toy from Premier Pet Products. This product works by putting treats and toys into a mold and freezing them in water. Your dog will have a big ice-lick to keep them cool and they get treats and toys as a bonus. Creating an oasis helps a great deal but you must also consider your dog’s characteristics to prevent heat exhaustion.

     Dogs come in a variety of characteristics. Make sure you know how your dog’s attributes affect their ability to regulate body temperature. Dogs with short snouts cannot cool themselves very efficiently and extra precaution should be taken with them. Dark colored fur absorbs heat from the sun, and long-haired dogs have a lot more insulation to keep the heat in. Be mindful of how your pet’s physical traits affect their body temps and set them up for success..

     As the weather gets hotter and hotter it is our responsibility to prevent our pets from suffering from heat exhaustion or worse. The warmer months are fun for everyone, including Fido. Keep your pets safe and happy by giving them fresh water, providing cool retreats, and taking special precautions for their physical characteristics. Go out and enjoy the great weather with you best friend, keep them cool, and they will surely thank you for it!

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized