Tips For Taking Care of Your Canine Companion

german shepard training

It is important that your dog is happy. If you have a happy dog you can be happy too. But to have a happy dog he needs to be taken care of well. Though taking care of him won’t be easy all of the time it is worth it in the end.

  • All dogs need to be brushed, bathed, taken for walks or have a ball thrown for them, fed, have water supplied for them, and the list goes on. So I have compiled a list of tips to help you and your dog have more fun while you do them.

    1. Try to get your dog into a routine. Feed him at a particular time, play or go for a walk at another time and so on.
    2. Never try to brush your dog around play or walk time. This will confuse your dog who will be expecting to go for a walk or play, and it will make it harder for your to try to control him. This can put stess on you and your dog. Try to make brushing times fun for your dog aswell. Speak in a happy tone to your dog whilst you brush him, and tell him he’s a ‘Good Boy’ if he cooperates with you. You could even give him a small treat when your finished.
    3. Give your dog a place to sleep where he feels comfortable. There is no use putting his bed somewhere he won’t sleep. Either a bed or a dog house, he will love it if he loves the spot it’s in. Most dogs just like having a place to go and rest, that they know is theirs.
    4. If you live in a cold region in winter, provide your dog with a coat so that he can be warm if he’s living outside. Or give him a blanket for his bed that he can sleep under at night. He will feel more comfortable and at home just by doing this for him.
    5. You need to make time everyday to give your dog exercise. Whether you take him for
      a walk or throw a ball for him, you must do it everyday. Or in summer if it’s hot enough you could take him to go swimming in a dam, or the beach, or a creek near your house. He can feel refreshed afterwards, and swimming gives dogs more exercise than running or walking.
    6. It is very important to teach your dog the Basic Training. If your dog doesn’t know how to sit or lay down, he may become a nuisance and bad behaved. Or if he doesn’t know how to wait or come, he may get injured by going where he shouldn’t when outdoors. If he knows the commands ‘Wait’ and ‘Come’ you will be able to keep him under your control by using these commands.
    7. Don’t wait too long between bathing your dog. Depending on the size of your dog and how dirty he gets depends on how long you wait to bath him. All dogs should be brushed at least once a month, even if they live oinside for most of their lives, then they will be clean when inside your home. Also if he lives inside he needs to be brushed very often (2-6 times a week) preferably outside so that he doesn’t lose hair all over the carpet.
    8. Remember to worm him regularly.
    9. Correct bad behaviour especially in puppies fast, by a simple ‘No’ in a stern voice and take the object away that he may be chewing, or take him away from the hole you don’t want him to be digging, and so on. Then you may need to distract him with a toy or play with him yourself so that he doesn’t go back to what he was doing. Never use physical punishment.
    10. Watch your dog’s weight and if you think he is getting over or under weight, either feed him more or less until he is in a good weight range.
    11. Your dog needs plenty toys to keep him occupied if he is on his own for long periods of time. If you have another dog for him to play with this is good, but he still needs toys for him and his companion to play with. When you are at home it is important to give him at least half an hour a day with you for attention. If you have more than one dog, they all need to be given equal attention, because otherwise one dog may get jealous and become nasty to another, or resort to bad behavoiour. Remember, your dog is ment to be your best friend, and you his. He will want to be with you more than anyone else, and you need to give him the attention he deserves.
    12. For more fun with your dog, consider training him some entertaining Party Tricks. These simple tricks can entertain guests, or just give your dog some extra things to stimulate his brain.

    This may seem like a lot, but your dog will love you for doing these things for and with him. These tips will help you and your dog have a happier and more stress free life together.

    All the best,

    Rachel and the Dogs

Keeping a Dog Training Journal

A record or history of your training sessions with your dog can be a tool in future training sessions. A good log/journal combination can help you discover where problems in training come from and even how to correct them. There are many factors that determine the effectiveness of any training session. During some training sessions, it seems that you can’t teach as fast as the dog can learn. During other training sessions it seems that no matter how many different ways you go about it, you just can’t get the idea across to the dog.

Sometimes, dog training success can be measured in leaps and bounds. But other times, the only way you can actually see any progress is by looking back at where you began. Log/training journals can provide encouragement for you when it seems that you are making no progress at all.

The most important thing that a log/journal can provide for you, though, is a history of training that you can use to plan future training sessions. You can log back at the entries in your log/journal and determine which training techniques worked, which training techniques did not work or which training techniques were the most effective. In short, keeping a good and detailed training log/journal can make you a better and more effective dog trainer.

Tips For Handling Barking Problems

a-fine-dog

Bark! Bark! Bark! It goes on for hours. How do dogs do that? It doesn’t sound like they ever take a breath, but they keep on going. Barking is natural for dogs. They don’t have to learn to bark, they come into this world knowing how to bark all night long.You and your barking dogs are at odds. He wants to bark, and you want him to stop. So, how do you go about convincing a dog that doing what comes naturally for him isn’t acceptable behavior for you?

Reasons Why Your Dog May Bark:

    • Warning You of Danger or Strangers – Most dogs will naturally bark if a stranger comes to the door or walks past your house. Anything that they sense to be a threat to them or you they will bark at because they are trying to warn you. Usually if your dog barks for this reason the tome of his bark will be alot stronger and serious.
    • Attention Seeking – Sometimes your dog will bark to get your attention, they are really trying to say ‘Hey! Look at me!’. They may also whine and make similar, nagging sounds.
    • Boredom – If your dog hasn’t received attention of any kind during the day he may bark as a way to entertain himself. This bark can be quite annoying but also sound kind of sad.
    • Playful – When you are playing with your dog, or if he is playing with other dogs he may bark because he gets carried away. When dogs are having fun some can be quite vocal as a way of expressing their excitement.
    • Fear or Anxiety – If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety if you where to leave him alone for long periods of time, or fear in a thunderstorm, he is likely to bark. This bark is usually high-pitched and whiny. He is once again expressing how he is feeling.
    • Answering To Other Dogs – If your dog hears another dog bark he is likely to respond to him by barking back. This may also start other dogs barking in the street. It’s kind of like a group of dogs having a conversation.

    If you listen carefully to the tone of your dogs bark you can learn to identify the reasons he barks. Then you can start working to solve this problem.

    Tips For Solving Barking Problems

    • Warning Bark – If you hear this kind of bark, it pays to go and see what your dog is barking at. Although if he barks at everybody who walks down the street, not only at strangers you can stop this behaviour by saying a strong ‘No,’ or ‘No Barking!’ when he barks at anyone you don’t want him to. You may need to distract him from barking by calling him, or giving him a command.
    • Attention Seeking Bark – Whenever your dog makes this kind of bark you must ignore him until he stops. If you pat or play with him he will soon learn that all he has to do is make some noise and you will give him what he wants. Instead, when he is not making any noise, give him your attention, pat him, take him for a walk, tell him what a ‘Good Boy,’ he is. If he is happy, then he will have no reason to call for your attention.
    • Boredom – This kind of bark can be stopped by saying a firm ‘No,’ or ‘No Barking!’ and them play or pat him when he is being quiet. He doesn’t understand how busy you may be; he just thinks that you don’t want to spend time with him. So it is very important to find time at least once everyday to give your dog your attention, even for just a moment.
    • Playful Bark – Sometimes your dog can’t help letting out a bark or two when playing. It is natural for him to make noise, so as long as he isn’t constantly barking, this bark is acceptable (you can’t expect him to be silent all day!) But if he is barking too much whilst playing, just use the simple ‘No,’ or ‘No Barking!’ and if he continues to bark, stand really still with your arms folded and don’t look at him until he is quiet, then continue playing with him.
    • Anxiety Bark – If he is scared in a thunderstorm or similar the worst thing you can do is pat him and tell it it’s ‘OK’. This is telling him that it is ok to behave like this, so he will always whine or bark when there is a storm because he thinks that is what you want him to do. Instead, make him feel secure either on his bed or in his kennel and then walk away. It may sound harsh, but it is actual better to do this than sit and comfort him. If you are going to be away from home for a whole day or longer you should give him plenty of toys to play with, a bone or Kong toy with food inside to entertain himself.
    • Answering Other Dogs – If you find he is answering other dogs calls, you can use the firm ‘No Barking!’ and distracting him everytime he does this.

    I hope these tips help you with any barking problems you may have, but just keep in mind the fact that it is okay for your dog to bark once in a while. It is only really a problem if he is barking uncontrollably, or in the middle of the night.

    The biggest tip I can give you to handle barking problems is to stimulate his brain by teaching him tricks. Dog training is benefitial in many of ways; not just as a way of controlling him.

Dog Obedience Training With Positive Reward Training

You’ve got your canine companion and you love it.  You take special care to feed your dog properly, get the recommended treatments and vaccinations, and try to provide a good home for your dog.  Truly responsible dog owners, however, should take the extra step and ensure that their dog receives obedience training!  A well-trained dog or puppy is a great companion, reducing stress for dog, owner and neighbors.  Not many people care to be around a dog that jumps up on them, barks incessantly, digs flowers, chews shoes and other items, or other negative dog behavior.  The unfortunate fact about dog adoptions is that the biggest percentage of dogs who are returned to breeders, shelters, and animal rescue are due to problems with the dog’s behavior.  This is a true shame when, with a little time and patience, these undesirable behaviors could be resolved.  Indeed, obedience training can save the dogs life!

The buzzword in dog obedience training methods today is “positive reward” or “positive motivation” training.  Positive dog obedience training is much more than a ‘buzzword”, however; it’s a philosophy and method of dog obedience training that ensures effective obedience training along with humane treatment of the dog.  Positive reward obedience training is just what the term suggests – a method of dog or puppy obedience training that employs the use of positive reinforcers to gain the dog’s trust and compliance.  Positive reward/motivational obedience training does not involve “yelling” at the dog, striking the dog (whipping, beating), rubbing the dog’s nose in “mistakes” (accidents) or other harsh methods of treatment.  The dog is rewarded with something positive when he obeys his trainer/master.

Why Positive Reward Methods?

The advantages of positive reward methods of dog obedience training include:

  • decreased fearfulness of the dog
  • increased trust
  • humane treatment of the puppy or dog.

Can I Train My Dog This Way?

Positive reward/motivation obedience training can be done by professional dog trainers.  However, you can do the training yourself.  There are several sources of information available on obedience training. One important bit of advice is to have fun training your dog!  Make it fun for you and the dog! You’ll reap the rewards for a long time to come.

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