View this blog on your Mobile Device. Click here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Do We Train Guard Dogs...

We are often asked "Do you train guard dogs?"  The answer is "It depends".

And what do we mean by that?  Most people think of a guard dog as that big German Sheppard with the spike collar that is always barking and trying to bite you if you jump the fence onto someone else's property.  They stay outside all day and their only purpose in life is to go after anyone that enters that yard, store, lot, etc.  Well, we don't do that, we don't train dogs to be overly aggressive.

A better question would be "Would the dogs you train protect their family if a dangerous situation arises?"  We would then answer "yes".

When Fluffy and your family, are properly trained, everyone knows their appropriate position in the family.  They know their roles and responsibilities as well as everyone else's roles and responsibilities.  Fluffy understands that it is not his responsibility to be the protector of the family.  That is the responsibility of Mommy and Daddy.  On a normal basis, they will make the appropriate safety decisions that will impact him and the children.  When a guest comes in the house, the mailman comes to the door, etc., Mommy or Daddy will take charge and make the safety decision.  That is why Fluffy does not bark incessantly, growl, and jump in the guest or mailman.  It is not his role at that time.

But if someone jumps the back fense and Mommy or Daddy aren't there, someone breaks into the house and Fluffy feels tension or fear from the rest of the family, something different will happen.  It is not Fluffy's role to be the protector of the family, but it is his responsibility to engage when the family becomes threatened.  In the canine world, this is a natural pack behavior.  In this case, Fluffy will guard, confrount, and possibly attack.

So, to answer the question...

We do not train guard dogs, but the dogs we train will guard and protect.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How Do You Know You Are a Responsible Dog Owner?

I think I am a responsible dog owner... How can I tell?

First of all, let's remember that we aren't talking if you are the "leader of your pack" in this discussion.  We are discussing if you are a responsible dog owner.  Let's go over some simple ideas that I feel are important:
  • Get your dog spayed or neutered.  They live longer and have healthier lives.
  • Provide proper identification.  If Fluffy gets out, you have a far better chance in getting him back if he has a dog or electronic tag.
  • Get training for you and your dog.  This will help build the bond, trust, and respect between you and Fluffy.  Both of you will be better for it.
  • Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian.  Catching issues early will provide Fluffy with a far better life and will cost you far less in the long run.
  • Make time for Fluffy.  Schedule play dates and include him in your regular family activities.  Fluffy is a part of your family.  Make him feel as such.
  • Give Fluffy regular exercise.  Exercise is one of the four major functions that Fluffy needs to function.  Fetch, walkies, or any interactive exercise will keep Fluffy healthy and build your bond.
  • Provide Fluffy with shelter.  Fluffy should have his place where he can simply go and "hang out".  The best shelter is a dog crate.  This is the place where only Fluffy can go and where he will always feel safe.
  • Make sure you travel safely.  Always have Fluffy in a harness that is properly secure when driving.  Don't have him in your lap or the passenger seat!
It is your job to be a responsible owner for your dog.  Please follow the above guidelines to accomplish that.  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Adding a Little Zip to Rover's Meal

What if you only could eat corn flakes, toast (no butter), or crackers?  Pretty boring, right?  Well, how do you think Rover feels when you put that bowl of dry kibble in front of him?

The answer to "zip up Rover's meal" is really very simple.  First of all, we always suggest that you feed Rover a high quality dog food.  Now, take a spoonful or two of regular cottage cheese and mix that with the food.  Cottage cheese is natural, provides calcium, and dogs love it. 

Thoroughly mix the curds of cottage cheese with the kibble and then provide Rover with his new dinner.  Wow!  He will love it.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Dog is Marking in Our House!

What can you do when your Fluffy is constantly picking up his leg in your home?  Move?  No, I have a better idea!

What we first have to ask is why Fluffy is marking in your home.  The answer goes back to the idea that Fluffy thinks he is part of a pack of animals and your home is part of their territory.  What Fluffy is doing is making sure that the territory smells like him.  In essence, he is leaving his calling card.  The bad news is that this natural instinct can be very strong in some dogs and that this behavior will naturally occur and continue to occur.  The good news is that there is a very simple way for us to take control of the situation and "manage" the smell.

Remember that Fluffy wants the territory (your home) to smell like him.  All we have to do is to make sure that the smell is something pleasant to us and natural to him.  What we are going to do is to use a lavender smell in the home and to have Fluffy gain a very slight smell of lavender.  Now your home and Fluffy smell the same.  Fluffy is happy that his territory smells like him so there is no need for him to lift his leg.  You are happy because your home doesn't smell like a kennel.

So, how do you do this?
  • Get some lavender Glade plug-ins and place them around your house.
  • Get some of the bamboo-lavender oil holders and place them on some tables.
  • Start cleaning with Lavender Fabuloso.
  • Get some lavender carpet dust and use it when you are vacuuming.
Now, the house will have a very slight smell of lavender.  You might not even notice the smell, but Fluffy will definitely notice the new smell.

Next:
  • Go out to the Dollar Store and get a small vile of lavender oil.
  • Place a few drops of the lavender oil on a terrycloth hand towel.
  • Lightly pass the towel over Fluffy's fur.  You want to have the lavender come in contact with the top of his fur and never his skin.
Now, Fluffy has a very, very slight sent of lavender oil.  Fluffy and his territory smell the same.  No more marking!

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.