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Before you go jumping in, ask yourself, “Is a dog the right pet for me or in reality, would I be better off, owning a goldfish?

Before you go jumping in, ask yourself, “Is a dog the right pet for me or in reality, would I be better off, owning a goldfish?

Again, here is another post I wrote sometime ago, unfortunately it is still relevant today, with rescues, pounds & shelters seeing more dogs than ever, coming through their doors.

While you may love the idea of owning a dog, the reality maybe, you would be better off owning a goldfish. Why a goldfish you may ask, well goldfish don’t demand the same level of time and commitment from you, as a dog does.

Ask any rescue, shelter or pound and they will tell you, the continuous number of puppies & dogs, coming through their doors, isn’t slowing down.

In our consumer driven society, dogs seem to be another thing that get thrown on the heap, when the novelty has worn off. Many are in love with the idea of having a dog but the reality is, they are work, they are not “something” you leave in your backyard and ignore.

Dogs are fun and great to have around, they make wonderful companions but they will change your life as you know it, for many years to come. Whether you decide on a puppy, adult dog or a dog from rescue or shelter, you could be looking at a 10-15years + commitment, depending on the breed and age of the dog.

Are you ready for that?

So as a prospective dog owner, you have to think carefully about:

1. Your Lifestyle

Are you home a lot or do you spend a lot of time away?

Do you work long hours, are you always busy? If you are too busy, then owning a dog probably won’t be your top priority.

Do you own your own home or are you renting? (rental properties often don’t allow dogs)

Dogs are a 365 day a year commitment, to build up a good relationship and to enrich their lives, they need time spent with them everyday. Whether its training, going for a walk or playing games, Being tired or busy is no excuse for not spending time with your dog.  In fact, dogs can be great stress relievers, they are a good excuse as well, for turning off your phone, TV or computer for a while.

2. What breed of dog is right for you

All I can say on this is, do your research, don’t be swayed by, the latest TV or Movie star dog, they may look cool on-screen but don’t be fooled, these dogs are well-trained. Don’t get sucked in by that “cute” puppy look, all dogs look “cute” when they are puppies but they soon grow up and loose that “cute” look.

Some breeds may need to be groomed regularly, while others may need more exercise, so if you are not into grooming or running/walking a couple or so kilometres a day, be smart, don’t get a dog that requires grooming or a lot of exercise. Dogs don’t just need exercise & training they also need their minds enriched as well, so just walking your dog, isn’t really enough.

3. Costs 

Well dogs are not free, they come with costs, you have purchase costs, food bills (they need to eat) veterinary costs, that could be for anything, such as, vaccinations, operations, check ups, flea treatments, worming treatments etc

Then there is housing, where are you going to keep your dog, inside or outside or both. You may need to look at purchasing a kennel & run, or securing your property by altering or improving the fencing.

Then there’s bedding, collar, lead, toys, dog crate, registration, training, boarding/house sitter, if you want to go away. Grooming, dog walking, if you employ a dog walker, doggy day care, and the list goes on.

4. Damages

Ask any dog owner and they will tell you, dogs can chew, so be prepared for possible chewed furniture, clothes, shoes and the like, oh and I forgot TV remotes, just to name a few. If you get a puppy the chances are you will have accidents in the house, while house training, if your dog becomes ill, the same can happen, along with being sick, on your good carpet. All par for the course when you own a dog.

So if you are not phased by any of the above, dog ownership maybe right for you but if any of the above make you think twice, then owning a dog at this time, may not be, right for you.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in About

 

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Dog Enrichment Games, Canine Parkour also know as Urban Agility is a great way to keep your dog happy by providing physical & mental stimulation, while having fun, using natures obstacles and everyday objects you come across, while out on your daily walk.

Some basic obedience knowledge is required but there are no barriers, with a little adaptation and imagination, all breeds and ages can do this.

 
You will be surprised what you and your dog can achieve. Combined with obedience training, it will strengthen your communication and training skills. Both you and your dog will become more confident, in everyday situations. Even nervy and reactive dogs can benefit by participating in Canine Parkour/Urban Agility because your dog will be focused on you and what you are asking it to do but most of all, you and your dog will have lots of fun, and you will have, a happy dog.
Now the weather has cooled down, I am going to be holding an introductory Canine Parkour  class on a Sunday 3rd April, @ 11am in the Ashhurst Domain. Duration: 1 hour, Cost: $10.
If you and your dog would like to join my Canine Parkour class, 
please fill out my online form or leave me a message on Facebook
Thank you, Elayne
 
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Posted by on March 10, 2016 in About

 

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Just a reminder Dog Training Classes start on Sunday 13th March @ 2pm in the Ashhurst Domain, Palmerston North

Just a reminder Dog Training Classes start on Sunday 13th March @ 2pm in the Ashhurst Domain, Palmerston North

Small classes max no 5, Min 3, so you will learn more and I can spend more time with you and your dog. unlike some of the larger classes.The course is very comprehensive and unlike others, covers more than just dog obedience & dog behaviour.

To secure your place, Book Now!  Start: Sunday 13th March 2016 @ 2pm Ashhurst Domain, Palmerston North. Meet in the Wetlands Café Car Park.

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 https://zerobitesdogtraining.wordpress.com

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2016 in About

 

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At the Dog Park The Importance of Participating

This is a very good video showing why its so important to stay connected with your dog, when you are at the park, as I often say to clients you need to know where your dog is and what it is doing, as it only takes a second for behaviour and atmosphere to change and something bad to happen.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2015 in About

 

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The Most Dangerous Pet Chew Ever: Rawhide!

Below is a very interesting article on the dangers of rawhide chews.  I used to give my dogs rawhide chews years ago but stopped because, when the chews became soft and pliable, bits of the chew broke off and were either swallowed whole or got caught in the back of their throat and caused them to choke. Its no fun trying to pull a large piece of rawhide out of a Bullmastiff’s mouth.

How can one of the most popular chew sticks on the planet be so dangerous for your pets, you ask? I mean, most dogs chew on rawhide for hours on end, and not only does it keep them busy, but they seem to last forever. Well if you understood what it took to make this… Continue Reading

Source: The Most Dangerous Pet Chew Ever: Rawhide!

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in About

 

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Socialising your dog, Its all about your dog, its not about you and what you think, your dog needs or should be able to handle.

Socialising your dog, Its all about your dog, its not about you and what you think, your dog needs or should be able to handle.

New dog owners and not so new dog owners are all too often not well-informed, when it comes to dog socialization. socializing your dog isn’t just about socializing your dog with other dogs, it’s about getting your dog out and about, visiting new places, meeting new people, experiencing new sights and sounds because the world isn’t a quiet place. Even if you live rural, it’s a good idea to take your dog out and about.

You often hear by (not all) well-meaning experts, “You must socialize your dog” “if you want a well socialized dog, your dog should meet as many dogs as possible. or you may have problems later on”.

Unfortunately, all too often they neglect to say the dogs you introduce your dog to, should be friendly, non aggressive/non dominant dogs. Reality is, your dog should only socialize with dogs you personally know, who are friendly, non aggressive and non dominant.

Even puppy and obedience classes can contribute to behaviour problems in dogs, if not run correctly.

A bad experience especially at a young age with an unfamiliar dog, situation or person may cause behaviour problems, such as aggression or timidness.

For example: a dog rushes up to your dog and stares at it in the face, barks or jumps at it, or on it,  your dog may feel intimated or frightened. If your dog is attacked by another dog, your dog , may become dog aggressive. The same can happen with children, if they have had a bad experience early on in life, it can stay with them and influence their behaviour, later on in life.

The same can be said when you introduce your dog to unfamiliar people, places or situations, Don’t force your dog into any situation that clearly makes him uncomfortable or stressed. Take things slowly, so your dog has good associations. It’s all about your dog, it’s not about you and what you think your dog needs or should be able to handle.

If you encounter a situation where your dog becomes apprehensive or a bit scared/aggressive DO NOT pat your dog and say “Its OK” by doing that you have just praised your dog for being scared/aggressive. Instead, gently tell him “No”, get your dog to focus on you, so you can help him  behave more naturally, do some obedience, canine parkour, or whatever else your dog enjoys and sometimes if that means removing your dog from the situation, to a place where your dog feels more comfortable, that’s ok.

Click on the links below to read more about socializing your dog.

Socializing your dog the right way.    Dog Owners, its ok to say NO!   Dogs off Leash but not under control

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2015 in About

 

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Dog Safety and the need to be aware, there is no room for multi-tasking here!

Dog Safety and the need to be aware, there is no room for multi-tasking here!

Lately, I have noticed a lot more dog bite prevention information finding its way on to Facebook and the like, and it got me thinking, I wonder how many people, actually stop and read any of this information, or have many, become immune and don’t even give it a second glance.

Whenever a reported dog attack/bite incident hits the news, it creates a feeding frenzy, unfortunately in many cases, we the public don’t get to hear the full story and yet for many it fuels a lively debate, on what should be done, what isn’t being done but one thing that always seems to come up, somewhere along the way, is the need for more education.

There are many good education programs and resources out there already both online and offline. So what is going on here, I know funding can be an issue for some, even here in New Zealand but are we doing enough?

Is complacency to blame, do we see dogs too much as part of the family and forget that they are dogs.  All too often they are put in situations, (whether it be at home or away), we would not put ourselves in, if the roles were reversed, and yet we expect them to behave and be good dogs.

As a dog trainer, I personally talk to and hand out information sheets to all my clients on dog safety and dog bite prevention. I also tell them they have to become teachers/educators and teach and show anyone who comes into contact with their dog, how to act and behave. Which I know can be hard because many worry they may offend someone, by telling them what to do.

I wonder how many dog trainers, behaviorist, dog training clubs, Veterinary practices (who frequently run puppy classes) pet shops, rescues, dog breeders etc do the same.

I think Molly Summer (Kindred Companions LLC) hit the nail on the head  in a recent article she wrote.

Titled: “You’ll think twice about taking your dog’s photo after reading this…”  (to read the full article click on the link)

“Dog trainers and behavioral consultants see it and we warn the public. We tell owners that “dogs don’t like hugs and kisses”. We explain dog body language and try to open a channel of communication. And finally we try to set healthy boundaries for families and pets. But for some reason all of this education and warning fall on deaf ears. This phenomenon is a relatively new thing. Sure dogs have been family pets for hundreds of years. But the requirement that a dog be tolerant of anything done to it, especially from a child “that doesn’t know better” is new. Most parents wouldn’t leave their toddler alone with a horse, a parrot, or even a cat, but for some reason, a dog is no longer an animal. Instead it is everything but an animal.

Perhaps Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms are partially to blame. Dogs are no longer the family pet. They are the decoration in family photos. The dog is supposed to be the child’s “best friends” but did anyone ask the dog? And even if they are, the meaning of “best friend” is to care about that friend’s needs and concerns. Forcing them to interact while expressing discomfort is not treating them like “best friends.” And before an owner says that they “didn’t see the signs”, ignorance is no excuse. If your best friend spoke a different language you’d do your best to try to understand it. Yet for some reason, dog language rarely becomes part of the conversation. ….”

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in About

 

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