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Friday, March 28, 2014

Dog Training to be a Great Dog Owner

I really want to be a great dog owner and am doing the best I can.  I know that I have to relate as a dog to my dog, but it is hard.  I am not a dog.  How do I know am doing the right things for my dog?

Dog Training South Florida

First of all, let's remember that this discussion isn't dealing with canine behavior, operant conditioning, and the like.  We are discussing if you are a responsible dog owner.  If this seems a little confusing to you, please let me give some ideas that will help you be the responsible dog owner:
  • Get your dog spayed or neutered.  They live longer and have healthier lives.
  • Provide proper identification.  If your gets out, you have a far better chance in getting him back if he has a dog or electronic tag.  There are also GPS products that fit on your dog’s collar.  These tools will send you a message when your dog leaves the area and will guide you right to him.  (He can run, but he can’t hide!)
  • Make sure you get the appropriate training for both you and your dog.  This will help build the trust, respect, and bond between you and your dog.  Both of you will be better for it.
  • Be sure to have regular appointments with your veterinarian.  Discovering problems early will provide your dog with a far better life and will cost you far less in the long run.
  • Make time for your dog.  Schedule play dates and include him in your regular family activities.  Make sure that your dog feels like a family member.
  • Exercise with your dog daily.  Exercise is one of the four major functions required for any dog.  Fetch, walkies, or any interactive exercise will keep him healthy and build a lasting bond between you and your dog.
  • Provide your dog with shelter.  He 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 he can go and where he will always feel safe.
  • Whenever you travel for any distance, make sure that he is always safe in the car.  Always have him 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.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dog Training Schedule With Your Dog

OK, I know all about the exercises and I do them with my dog every once in a while, but my dog just doesn't seem to get it!  What is going on here?

I am now going to show my age here, but remember Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy?  If you are familiar with TV cartoons in the 1960’s, you will remember the cartoons where Doggie Daddy was always trying to teach his son, Augie Doggie a lesson.  I know that many other dog trainers (and a lot of trainers in my own organization) will say it is crazy to try and associate actual canine behavior with children’s cartoons.  The answer is that Doggie Daddy was absolutely correct in his training methods of his son, Augie Doggie.

I am not saying that my methods methods are based on a 1960's cartoon show, it just so happens that the show mimics the proven methods we use to gain our great results.  So what happened between Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy?  It is real simple...
  • YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT.  Dogs learn by doing the same thing the exact same way.  In order for us "humans" to accomplish this, we can't spend a whole lot of time every day working with our dog.  If we do, we will get sloppy and we won't be consistent.  That is why I suggest that you do not spend more that fifteen to thirty minutes per day performing exercises with yiour dog.  If you spend more time, you are only trying to build a Guinness World's Record of sits.  This doesn't work.  Remember, keep it short.
  • YOU MUST BE REPETITIVE.  Remember how we learned our 'times tables'?  Seven times Seven is Forty Nine.  Over and over again.  That is the same way that your dog learns his lessons.  ...Over and over again.  This means that you need to practice your exercises every day.  You can't just do it once or twice a week and think that it is going to stick.  It won't.

So remember, repetition and consistency with your exercises.  That is what is going to make it work!  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How to introduce a new doggie into the family

I am about to get a new dog, but how do I make sure that Wolfie and he will get along?

The biggest problem that we have when we bring home a "new dog" is to understand how our current dog(s) will react.  Remember, Wolfie didn't have a clue that someone new was coming to live with him.  Here are a few, quick tips:
  • Before you actually bring the new dog home, take Wolfie to the Humane Society, breeder, or pet store to meet the new dog.  Keep both on leashes and allow them to sniff each other.  Watch their body language to make sure that you don't see any possible aggression or timid behavior.  If they both eventually just sit down and are not focused on the other dog, you are fine, so far.
  • When you bring the new dog home, have Wolfie meet the new dog in the front yard.  This is a neutral spot for both.  It is also not Wolfie's territory and you don't want to suddenly introduce a new "pack member" into Wolfie's territory.  Allow both dogs to meet (on leashes) and sniff.  Walk them around the yard together for a few minutes and then walk them in the front door.  Make sure that Wolfie goes first.
  • Now that you have them in your home, always supervise them when they are together.  You just want to make 100% sure that everything is going well.  When you can't supervise them, separate them in their crates. 
  • After a few days, let them in the back yard by themselves.  Watch them from the house.  If you see friendly play and respectful interaction, you can assume that they are fine with each other.
Congratulations on extending your family!

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

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dog Training Tips for Potty Training and Food Management

Don't you just love it when there is a free buffet? Guess what? Your little puppy loves it too...

One of the most common errors that our clients make when attempting to potty training their puppy is food management. They leave the puppy’s water and food bowls down and available to the puppy all day long.  With this said, they wonder why their puppy is going to the bathroom all over the place at different times.

Except for health reasons (consult your vet) or hydration reasons (it is really hot, your puppy is playing like a crazy dog), you don’t need to leave his water and food bowls down filled with food and water for him all day long. The one exception to that is in regards to the special needs of a young puppy and water.  We will get to that in a second.

Many times a puppy will drink or eat out of boredom.

"I have nothing to do. Look! There is a bowl of water! I think I will wonder over there and have some water..."

This leads to the puppy over eating and over drinking. They will go to the bathroom more frequently with less predictability.

So here is what you do:

Put the food and water down at meal time and then pick it up when the meal is done. I normally like to leave the bowls down for about 30 minutes. This will allow you to clearly manage the amount of intake and the time of intake. 

Now, let’s discuss the water and special hydration needs of a young puppy.  What I want you to do is to pour the water out of the water bowl and then to refill it with about ¾ inch of water (this is about the thickness of one of your fingers).  Put the water down for him and manage it.  Check the water every 90 minutes.  If he has consumed all the water, wait for 30 minutes and then give him another ¾ inch of water.

What we are accomplishing here is to manage when our puppy eats and drinks.  If we know when he eats and drinks, we can have a far better idea when he will need to go to the bathroom.

Please note: This is only part of the Potty Training process, contact Bruce and Robin Edwards for complete Puppy Potty Training Information at The Best DogTrainers in South Florida.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Five Great Dog Training Tips

We were at a home dog training session recently and our client was really passionate about being a great dog owner. “I really want to be a great dog owner but there are so many opinions and suggestions of what I should do!  Are there some general things that I really need to focus on?”

There are bookstores and on-line resources just packed full of dog books.  If we wanted to, we could spend years just reading about what we should do with our dogs.  I don’t know about you, but I have would rather spend that time enjoying my dog.  With that in mind, let me cut to the chase and give you the five "you really shoulds" for your dog:

  • First, good dog owners walk and exercise their dogs. Most dogs love to run and play. It is both a physical and mental release and helps keep them emotionally happy and physically strong. 
  • Feed a good quality food. Good nutrition is one way a dog owner can proactively make a difference in their dog's health. Over the past two decades, there has been a lot of research and scientific information used to properly formulate dog's foods to optimize health. Many of the foods that we recommend have these enhanced formulas that helps burn fat, develop muscle and promote healthy digestion. They were developed by nutritionists and veterinarians, so these complete, all-in-one diets have the right balance of proteins, fats and fibers to help protect your dog's health. Please do your own research and select a great food for your dog.  Please check out a food we highly recommend at Really Good Dog Food in SouthFlorida.
  • Good daily care. Daily monitoring of your dogs appetite and potty habits are a part of be a good responsible dog owner. Healthy dogs have a good appetite, standard potty habbits, and maintain an ideal weight. Any abnormalities should be noted and any persistent changes should be reported to your veterinarian. 
  • Yearly check-ups. Ensuring that your dog has yearly check-ups to help identify any medical problems before they become problems is a very good habit. During the yearly exam, your veterinarian will also determine if your dog requires any vaccines, flea control or heart worm preventative medications. These measures will help to keep your dog healthy and comfortable. Many veterinarians offer plans that provide check-ups at discounted rates.  Be sure to ask your veterinarian if they offer this service.
  • Daily grooming. Monitoring your dogs nails and trim them when needed, brush his teeth at least every other day and daily brush his hair are important ways to prevent unnecessary problems such as dental disease, torn nails, matting, and needless shedding around your home.

Do these things and your dog will thank you with better health and months, if not years added to their lives.  If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us at The Best Dog Trainers in SouthFlorida.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dog Training Tips to Keep Your Dog from Running Through The Door Ahead of You

My dog always runs through the door ahead of me!  I can just be walking from the kitchen to the living room and “boom” he has to shoot past me like we are in a drag race.  This is just crazy!  What is going on here?

This is a natural canine behavior for dogs who think they are the boss.  In your dog's world, the leader, the boss, must always be out front to check out that everything is safe for everyone else.  As you go from room to room, that is a new place and a new opportunity for your dog to do his job and make sure everything is safe for you.  As I mentioned earlier, this action demonstrates that your dog thinks he is the leader.  Here are some quick and easy steps you can perform to stop your dog’s “door drag race”:
  • Put a leash on your dog and slowly approach the door.
  • Stop when you are about two feet from the door and tell him to sit and wait.
  • Slowly open the door.  As you are doing this, keep an eye on your dog to make sure he is not getting ready to bolt through the door.  If you see that he is getting ready to move or if he has already moved out of his Sit/Wait position, correct him and have him return to the Sit/Wait position.
  • Continue to open the door.  Once it is completely open, slowly and calmly step through the doorway.
  • Make sure that your dog has not moved for several seconds.  Now invite him through the door to be with you.
  • Once your dog is in the room with you, have him sit next to you for several seconds.  Give him some praise “Good puppy!” for obeying you.
  • You are now done.  You and your dog can now do whatever you want.
You will be amazed on how this will turn a normally crazy time into a quiet and respectful moment!  If you have any questions or need additional dog training information, please contact us at The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.