Dog Obedience Training at Home or Doggy School: Which is best?

Training a dog is one of the most important things you are going to do. In order for your dog to enjoy life with you, and vice versa, dog owners have to have control. If a dangerous situation arises, you want your dog to listen to you immediately so that no one gets hurt. The big question many dog owners have is “Should I take my dog to group classes or have private lessons?” There are advantages to each, but overall private lessons are probably the most effective in the long run. Here are some reasons why: Few to no distractions:  When you and your dog take private obedience training at home, you are able to control the environment to ensure your dog can focus. Unlike a group class where there will be 8-10 other dogs and their handlers, private home lessons are not too much of a variance from...
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Deer Antlers and Dogs: Why You Should Give Your Dog Deer or Elk Antlers to Chew

Most dogs like to chew. Some dogs are hard-core chewers and never recover from the puppy stage chewing. Chew toys come in many sizes, textures and shapes. But most of these, including rawhide chews offer no nutritional value. They may be entertaining, but there are better options you can give your dog for the same price. Of course, these are general statements and one should consult their vet if they are concerned about any conflicts with medications or conditions. Long lasting: Provided you purchase deer or elk antlers which have not been split, but are whole, deer antlers last much longer than traditional rawhide chews or bully sticks. But this does not mean you can let your dog run wild with an antler chew. No dog should be allowed to chew more than a half-inch or so per day. Antlers are a rich protein and too much all at once...
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Potty Training Your Puppy

Whether you are living on a vast farm, with plenty of outdoor space for your dog to roam, or in a small apartment with limited outdoor access, potty training is one of the first and most vital milestones for your puppy. It is impossible to know, when you first bring your puppy home, how easy or difficult the process is going to be. Luckily, we have a full set of instructions and tips to ease the process for both you and Fido. The most important step is to not get frustrated and give up! Remember that your pup just wants to please you, and until you make it clear how exactly he can do that, he too will be frustrated and confused. Step One: Establish the potty-zone This might be the entirety of your yard, or one small corner of the yard. Either way, establish early on the appropriate area...
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The Doggy Chill Pill: How to settle your pup when you have guests

When dogs encounter a stressful situation, such as having company over, they get wild. From a dog’s point of view, these are either “intruders” or friends that cam to play. Eventually, by following your body language, dogs will calm down when new people come over. But for that 30 minutes or so, it can be embarrassing, irritating and sometimes dangerous. Another reason these type of “chill pills” are used is for separation anxiety if your dog chews on everything when you leave the house. What can be done? The first thing to emphasize is that no kind of human prescription drug should be given to a dog without a vet’s assurance that it is safe. Further, no vet worth her degree will prescribe a tranquilizer for day-to-day events like having company. They are too strong and risky. The good news is there are several products on the market than can...
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Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Treats for Your Dog

There are two things which are concerning about dog treats. One is the list of ingredients. Of the entire list, about 3 to 4 are “real”; the rest are additives. Blick. The second is the fact that so many pet treats seem to be recalled for serious and fatal reasons. The last thing any of us need is to worry whether or not the treats we give our dogs will turn out to be a treatment! So, the solution is to make treats at home. Not only are they super easy, but they are healthy and inexpensive. Plus, your dog is likely the easiest person to cook for! Peanut butter is a favorite flavor and it is good for dogs. Peanut butter is filled with good fats, vitamin E and the B vitamins. Each of these lead to a healthy shiny coat, healthy joints and the list goes on and...
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Puppies and Worms: A Not So Uncommon Occurrence

If you have adopted your puppy from a shelter, or purchased one through a breeder, you will notice that one of the “selling points” is that he or she has been “dewormed”. Now, if you have a puppy that did not go through any medical care before you, then you may be shocked to learn that your puppy has worms. Even if you cannot see them or if your puppy seems healthy, he or she has worms. All puppies do because they are born with them. There are at least 2 common worms that are congenital and passed from mother to pup. Other types of worms come from fleas, soil, water and plants. Facts about worms: •    Your puppy having worms does not mean he or she is a “lemon”. •    All worms are very hard to detect, and usually need to be seen microscopically before they can be diagnosed....
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My Top Picks for a Dog Proof Trash Can

My large dog like most others love garbage and it would drive me crazy to have trash all over the ground every time I walked in the kitchen. It seemed like our puppy would hit the garbage every time I would turn my back. We ended up putting our trash can in the garage for almost a year before I broke down and figured there had to be a better solution. I was amazed when doing research on dog proof trash cans that there were not as many options as I though there would be. So to save you time, I wanted to list the dog proof trash can that we selected and a list of other top cans out there. Your Choices Simplehuman The simplehuman 50 liter/13 gallon trash can is the one we picked for our house. To be honest, the reason we picked this one over the...
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Dog Crate Training

Every dog is a descendant from wolves. They have an inherent need not only to be part of a pack, but also to have safe place as their den. This is where crates come in. While some owners find crate training to be essential, others may not. It’s important to remember that crate training, though helpful for the dog in many respects, is not a catch all solution for things like separation anxiety or house training. Reasons to Crate Train Crates give dogs a place of their own, to sleep, to take refuge during an upsetting incident (like a thunderstorm or when a stranger enters the home), and to give them a safe, confined space to inhabit if they have to stay home alone for any stretch of time. And while crates cannot immediately solve issues with anxiety, bad chewing behaviors, or house training, they are a good jumping off...
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Overly Excited Dogs and How to Settle them Down

People love their dogs no matter what they may do or how they may behave. The issue usually arises when other people are involved. Either you do not want to scare your friends and guests, or you do not want a lawsuit to ensue because your dog jumped on and knocked over that little old lady. So, what can you do? There is a solution. One caveat; this solution takes consistency, something that can be very difficult to generate in our modern lives. The advice to you here is, even if you fall off the horse, get back up. Even if you “forget” to train for several weeks, get back up. Dogs are amazing and they learn almost in spite of us. Here are some facts to help you win the battle of excited behavior with your dog. Establish a Routine:  If you have kids, then you already know the...
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How to Stop a Dog From Digging

Dogs are great, and we love them. But one difficult behavior to control is digging; especially if your dogs has separation anxiety and is left home alone during the day while you are at work or school. They key to controlling digging is to understand digging from your dog’s point of view. Why are they digging? It may be for entertainment (dogs get bored when left alone) or it may be because they are after a critter of some kind. Burrowing animals are irresistible for a dog. Stop them, and the digging will stop. Here are some ideas: Gopher Proof Your Yard:  Burrowing animals, like gophers are very hard to kill. They are elusive and smart, making them even more irresistible for dogs. One way to stop digging is to make your yard inaccessible to these critters. The first thing is to scare the gophers away for a few days...
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