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What do you think, are puppy training classes enough?

What do you think, are puppy training classes enough?

Click on the image ” A poem from an untrained puppy” to enlarge and read

What do you think, are puppy training classes enough?

Puppy training classes can be a great start to socializing and training your dog if run correctly but that is all they are, just a start.

Usually classes are run for four weeks and only take dogs up to 4 months of age. They cover the basics in behaviour and training but very few, cover anything in-depth.

They do not prepare the owner for the problem behaviours that often occur in the “teenage period” which usually starts around the 6-7 month mark and can continue until the dog is 15-20 months old, this time frame can vary depending on the dog.

Young dogs are quite pliable and can be easy to teach, owners often say to me “he is such a good boy/girl, does everything I tell him/her” but four weeks of puppy training is not enough to in-still basic training in a dogs mind.

Many not all, puppy schools, do not teach/tell you the owner, about the benefits of having good leadership skills, in other words, what you need to know and do, to ultimately have a well rounded  dog, who is a joy to have around.

Dog owners expectations can often be set too high, they expect too much too soon and this can result in them becoming, frustrated, angry, tired, and unhappy with themselves and their dog. Sometimes they forget the reason, why they even got a dog, in the first place.

Dog training, takes commitment, consistency, repetition, time, patience (its not all smooth sailing) and a great sense of humour. There are no quick fixes, when it comes to training your dog. Its not a chore but a labour of love but that is sometimes, forgotten.

I often chat to owners who are having problems with their dog and they say “We took him/her to puppy training”. Which is great but its not enough.

Good leadership skills are the key. After all, there is more to training than just “Sit and Stay”. It can be really hard without any guidance, and while Google and helpful friends may give you some advice, that advice may or may not, be helpful.

Not all dogs are the same, and what tricks and tips, work for one dog, may not work on another.

Classes should give you a good grounding and help set you up for life. That is why its is important to continue on, with some form of obedience and enrichment.

Canine enrichment, is important because today most dogs have lost their jobs, they were born and bred to do. As well as exercise, they need to have their brains stimulated and used, which in turn can tire them out. Exercise and enrichment can help elevate boredom, reduce behaviour problems or eliminate them altogether, depending on the problem.

Other articles you may find helpful if you want a happy well rounded dog. 

Dog safety for all (not just kids)  Signs of stress in dogs: is your dog stressed?

Boarding Kennel Stress: Things owner need know!   Socialising your dog the right way

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2018 in About

 

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Travelling with Dogs: Pet First Aid

Travelling with Dogs: Pet First Aid

I personally carry a first aid/medical kit in my vehicle at all times. I also carry mini first aid kits, in all my bags. I know, it may sound like overkill but I spend a lot of time in the outdoors. I just don’t have myself to think about, I have to look out for my dog Holly as well.  Besides, carrying a first aid/medical kit also enables me, to help others, if the need arises. Better to have it and not need it, than not have it and need it.

Always, carry phone numbers of your vet or local vets in the area, in which you are travelling. (include addresses as well) Don’t just have them on your phone, write them down in a note book. Makes life a whole lot easier. That goes for doctors and medical centres as well.

Many items in a human first aid kit can be utilised for your dog. I make my own kits up, I find it a lot cheaper. You can also buy the commercially available kits and add to them. They of course come in various sizes and are priced accordingly. You can make the kits up, to suit your needs. Its not as daunting as it sounds, if you already have a first aid kit, you are more than half way there.

You can also sign up for a Pet first aid course (NZ) this is one of the few listed on Google, plus there are, many books available on the subject.

I keep, First Aid for Dogs: What to do When Emergencies Happen by Bruce Fogle  D.V.M in my glove box.

Here is a list of just a few things, I have added to my first aid/medical kit.

Muzzle: It doesn’t matter how much your dog loves you or you love your dog, if its is in a lot of pain and you need work on your dog, there is a good chance it may bite you. Its nothing personal.

Nail Clippers: If you don’t know how to use or trim your dogs nails, its a good idea to learn. As your dog may break, crack or damage a nail.

Rescue Remedy: for stress and anxiety, may not work on all dogs. (also good for humans) but isn’t a long term solution.

Blood stopping agent: such as Celox or stypic powder for minor cuts, there are also other products available, on the market. (good for humans as well)

Antihistamine: Bee stings and the like for many dogs are just painful and annoying but for others who have an allergic reaction, it can kill them. Dogs often get stung in the mouth, throat, face or on their feet. If you know your dog is allergic, it should be something you carry with you, at all times. If you don’t know if your dog is allergic, Benadryl is a antihistamine but you have to be careful, over dosing is easy to do, so please check with your vet.

Flea & Worm Treatment: Depending on where you are going or how long you are going to be away, they maybe something, you need to take with you.

Sun block: you may need to have this for your pet also.

Torch: Always comes in handy, you never know when you will need it.

From Bark Post: Here’s What You Need To Do If Your Dog Is Stung By A Bee

Lastly, make sure you have your dog registration, any medication or other medical information with you, but most of all, have fun and enjoy the journey, with your dog.

Travelling with Dogs: Hot Days, Cool Dogs 

Pet First Aid Kits: Do you have one?

How to make a Pet First Aid Kit

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2018 in About

 

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Dog Training Classes, Ashhurst Palmerston North start Sunday 25th November @ 1.30pm, min class size 4, max size 6, means more time spent with you and your dog. “Book Now” to secure your place.

Dog Training Classes, Ashhurst Palmerston North start Sunday 25th November @ 1.30pm, min class size 4, max size 6, means more time spent with you and your dog. “Book Now” to secure your place.

Dog Training Classes with an expert dog trainer and behaviorist The course is very comprehensive and unlike others, covers more than just dog obedience & dog behaviour.

Small classes max no 6, Min 4, so you will learn more and I can spend more time with you and your dog. unlike some of the larger classes.

To secure your place, Book Now! Start: Ashhurst Domain, Palmerston North, Sunday 25th November 2018@ 1.30pm. Suitable for dogs of all ages.

Classes are kept, as age appropriate as possible. I will teach you how to handle your dog in real life situations.

The course teaches you: How to Effectively communicate With Your Dog & How Dogs Communicate With Each Other. Commands: Sit, Stay, Recall, Down, Social Walking (loose lead/heel) Stand, Leave It (visit Turid Rugaas link on this blog to gain a better insight on how dogs communicate, with each other). Covers Minor Behaviour’s Such As: Jumping Up, Digging Holes, Pulling On The Lead etc

My aim is to also promote dog safety & awareness so this class also covers: How to socialize your dog, the right way. Basic dog behaviour & safety around dogs & people/Dog bite prevention, Responsible Dog Ownership/Dog Control Act, Introduction to Canine Parkour (Urban Agility).

All dogs must be fully vaccinated.

Making a dog safety difference in 2018, most dog bites are preventable. It would be great if we could all in a small way help, turn the tide and try to reduce, through education, the number dog bites/ dog attacks in NZ.

Hopefully along the way, prevent someone from getting bitten and save a few dogs, a one way trip to the vet.

Course cost: $110 (FAQ sheets included) runs for 4 weeks (4 x 1 hour sessions) For more information visit: http://www.zerobitesdogtraining.com/BLT.html  or fill out the form below. Payment to be made, prior to commencement of class.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2018 in About

 

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Kids, Dogs and the Holidays, Are you prepared?

Kids, Dogs and the Holidays, Are you prepared?

The Christmas holidays are nearly upon us, so are you prepared for Kids, Dogs and the Holidays?

Any gathering can be a cause for concern when dogs and kids are involved, it doesn’t just have to be around the holidays. 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog. Statements such as “my dog wouldn’t hurt anyone” or “my dog is good around kids” really need to be taken with a grain of salt.

All dogs have the potential to harm, given the right situation and humans are no different, if backed into a corner. We can become verbal or physical, if necessary.  Dogs on the other hand, use body language to communicate their stress, distress, discomfort or they may even growl, then bite.

All too often people don’t see the potential dangers because they feel too secure and comfortable around dogs and are often oblivious to the potential dangers associated with inappropriate behaviour and not being aware.

Having a family gatherings or party, you can’t be watching both your dog and what is going on around you all the time, your dog needs a safe place to go where it won’t be bothered. Dogs can become very stressed and people can do stupid things.

Below is a very good graphic with tips and advice from Doggone Safe, these tips can be applied anytime, not just during the holidays. Also, take a look at, Dog Safety for all (not just kids), most dog bites are preventable!

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2018 in About

 

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Smart Dogs, Committed Owners

Smart Dogs, Committed Owners

I often see on social media and the like, articles and videos portraying dogs, doing incredible things. Whether it be in some canine sport, obedience or tricks, the list is endless.

Many comments, of admiration and praise are left by people who are impressed by the dogs achievements and rightly so.

What is not often mentioned, is the dedicated time and commitment these dog owners have put in, many on a daily basis. The ups and down they have had along the way, its not all smooth sailing.

Patience, time, dedication, understanding, commitment, routine, failure, repetition plus great sense of humour, all have a part to play.

So next time you view a video or read an article, take moment to think and maybe praise the owner as well, after all, it takes two.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2018 in About

 

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Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Be a proactive dog owner, Things Dog Owners need to do, to help make their dogs stay, in a boarding kennels, a happy one

Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Be a proactive dog owner, Things Dog Owners need to do, to help make their dogs stay, in a boarding kennels, a happy one

I originally wrote this article back in January 2014, I monitored the number of views and for 2014  I received a total  10844 views on both of my articles “Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know!” & “Tips for boarding anxious/nervy dogs” there seems to be a lot of concerned owners out there. Dog Owners need to be proactive when it comes to boarding their dog, you may have a great time away but your dog may not.

Unfortunately, even now, it still never ceases to amaze me, how many dog owners ring me and ask if I have room to board their dog and their dog has never been in kennels before. (since writing this article, I no longer board dogs)

Dogs need to be introduced to a kennel environment early on, not at the last-minute a few days before you go on holiday. Separation Anxiety and related problems are on the increase. I am personally seeing more & more dogs with these issues and they unfortunately can be one of the hardest behaviour problems to fix.

All too often dogs are treated like babies and can become over reliant on their human family, that goes for big dogs as well as small dogs. Dogs like children, need to become independent and be able to happily function on their own. If you have a multiple dog household the same applies. Dogs should be equally happy to hangout with each other or be on their own. Again, same as people.

So be proactive and introduce your dog to a kennel environment early on. Below is a list of things, dog owners need to do, to help their dogs stay in kennels, be a happy one.

1. If your dog has never been in kennels before condition your dog to going into kennels, day stays at a boarding kennel are a good way of getting your dog used to it. If you have a kennel and run at home or some other form of containment, such as a garage, small bedroom or  a dog crate, use it.

2. If you are a multi dog household make sure your dogs are independent of each other and can cope on their own. Separate kenneling or confinement goes along way, in helping with that. Doesn’t mean that they can’t hangout together, just means they are ok with being alone. The same goes for dogs who are too attached to their owner, they too need to be made independent.

3. Visit facilities, talk to the kennel owner, are they knowledgeable and friendly do they understand dogs and dog behaviour. Just because they run a boarding kennel, doesn’t mean they understand dogs or dog behaviour.

If you have a nervy, anxious or dog aggressive dog or a dog who just needs space. Ask if the kennel owner is experienced in handling these types of dogs and can accommodate them. Introducing these dogs to kennels may take a bit more time on the part of you the owner and the boarding kennel owner. (Ask how they go about introducing these types dogs to a kennel environment) Some kennels may not take them because they are not set up to do so. Also certain breeds of dogs, may not be welcome.

4. To make your dogs stay less stressful and more comfortable, ask if you can bring a blanket or toy etc of theirs.

5. Ask how your dog will be exercised, some kennels walk the dogs, others let them out to run in large compounds with other dogs. If they are let out to run with other dogs, ask if they are supervised in other words is someone physically present, while the dogs are being exercised. Even friendly dogs can fall out and a dogfight may ensue, Also signs of stress or distress need to be watched out for, so it is important that dogs are supervised, at all times.(Refer AsureQuality Limited, Pet Boarding Establishments,Kennel Code of Practice). Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions.

Click on the link to read what can happen if dogs are left unsupervised: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/9127003/Couple-furious-after-pet-mauled
Be aware some kennels leave dogs to run unsupervised.

If your dog is Nervy, anxious, dog aggressive or a dog who just need some space, ask if your dog can be individually exercised.If your dog is anxious or nervy, please read tips for boarding anxious/nervy dogs

6. If your dog is on a special diet or needs medication ask if the kennel will feed the diet required or dispense medication.

7. Also ask what food the kennel feeds the dogs and ask if it would be possible for you to bring your own dogs food, so his/her diet remains the same.

8. Read Socialising your dog, the right way
Incorrect socialising even in a boarding kennel environment can and does lead to behaviour problems in dogs, such as aggression or timidness.
I hope the above information helps you the dog owner to make an informed decision.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2018 in About

 

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Puppy Training Classes, Are They Enough? To be honest, no they are not.

Puppy Training Classes, Are They Enough? To be honest, no they are not.

A poem from an untrained pup
Click on the image to enlarge and read “A poem from an untrained puppy”

Puppy training classes, are they enough? To be honest, no they are not.

Puppy training classes can be a great start to socializing and training your dog, if run correctly but that is all they are, just a start.

They do not prepare the owner for the problem behaviours that often occur in the “teenage period” which usually starts around the 6-7 month mark and can continue until the dog is 15-20 months old, this time frame can vary depending on the dog.

Usually classes are run for four weeks and only take dogs up to 4 months of age. They cover the basics in behaviour and training but very few, cover anything in-depth. Most do not teach, you the owner, good leadership skills, in other words, what you need to know and do, to utimately have a well rounded obedient dog, who is a joy to have around. After all there is more to learn than just “sit and stay”.

Young dogs are quite pliable and can be easy to teach, owners often say to me “he is such a good boy/girl, does everything I tell him/her” but four weeks of puppy training is not enough to instill basic training in a dogs mind.

I often chat to frustrated owners who are having problems with their dog. They tell me, they took their dog along to puppy training class but for whatever reason, chose not to continue on with any form training.

Which is not good for them or their dog because more often than not owners become angry and frustrated, which can and does make matters worse.

That is why its is important to continue on with obedience training classes.

A good training class should cover obedience & behaviour problems along with many other issues, in more depth. They should teach you how to handle your dog in the real world. In other words, Good leadership and communication skills are the key. After all, like I said before, there is more to be taught than just “Sit and Stay” Classes should give you a good grounding and help set you up for life.

Below is a very good article on why you should continue you and your dogs education by taking your dog to classes.

Why should I take my dog to training classes?

http://www.tarynblyth.co.za/articles/whytrainingclasses/

I run classes on a monthly basis, If you and your dog would to join one of my classes, please contact me or visit my website or see the class information on this blog for details.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2018 in About

 

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