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Best Friends Doggy Bowl 2015

Are you ready for some football? Yeah you are, and so are we! We get so excited for the Super Bowl each year that we throw our very own Doggy Bowl parties in each of our Doggy Day Camps across the country. Our staff members turn into referees and coaches for the day and our Camp rooms transform into football stadiums; Camp parents turn into cheerleaders and our Doggy Day Campers become MVPs!

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Tags: Cute, Dog stories, Doggy daycamp, Dogs, Funny dogs, Pet Events, Pets

Train Your Dog Week- Do You Know The Basics?

Best Friends professional Trainers recommend that you begin training your dog as soon as he arrives in your home. This will avoid irksome problems and let your new pooch know what’s expected of him.

Successful dog training depends upon on establishing yourself immediately as the leader. A dog is a pack animal, and when he enters your home, he expects to follow rules and obey the leader. Once he understands you are the pack leader and he knows his role within the family “pack”, he will be more comfortable and easier to train. Set boundaries, be firm and offer rewards, especially love and kindness.

Learning the basics
Every dog should learn at least the basic obedience commands. Let’s focus on Come and Sit.

COME:
Choose a time when your dog is relaxed, but not sleepy, and a quiet area with few distractions. Early training sessions should be short; it’s better to spend a few minutes with your dog several times a day than to try to sustain his interest for a single long period.

Start with the “come” command, which is important for your pet’s safety. Best Friends Trainers recommend using the leash method. Begin by putting a collar on your puppy. Once he’s accustomed to wearing it, attach a leash and standing several feet away, say “come,” and gently pull him towards you. As he reaches you, praise him, using a happy tone of voice.

Gradually, your pet will begin to associate the word with the action and you won’t need to pull on the leash. Once that happens, practice the command without a leash. Remember to give him lots of praise when he responds by coming to you.

Don’t try to accomplish too much at once. End each session on a high note, just after your dog has successfully performed a command. This will make the training process enjoyable and something to which he will look forward.

SIT:
Learning to sit is an important and useful skill for your dog to have. It is also often the foundation upon which other training tricks are based. The sit command can be taught in a variety of ways. One of the easiest way to teach your dog the ‘sit’ command is to place him on a leash in front of you, hold a treat above his head, and give the command ‘Sit’. By having your dog look up at the treat, that forces him to slightly lower his rear end. You can then move the treat toward his tail which forces your dog to completely adopt the sit position. You should repeat this exercise several times until your dog gets the sit position right, rewarding you dog with the treat and praise when he responds correctly.

Once your dog has correctly grasped the sit command, you should practice it in regular situations around your home, while you prepare his dinner, before opening doors, when you have company around, and so on. If you have visitors at home, you can also ask your dog to sit and quietly observe everyone and everything that goes on. Use this command frequently and be very consistent.

As you see your dog make progress with these first two commands, you can move onto to “stay” and then “down”. Once he has mastered these commands, you can begin to teach him to walk properly on a leash.

Getting started
One of the best ways to get your dog’s training started is by joining a group class. With the help of a professional trainer, you will learn the proper ways to teach, reward and correct your dog.

Training classes also provide an opportunity to socialize your pet, which is important to his emotional well-being. Dogs that aren’t adequately socialized can become shy and fearful. In fact, many behavior problems in older dogs stem from lack of adequate socialization as a puppy. Check your local Best Friends Pet Care Center for Puppy Kindergarten and Basic Obedience classes.

However you decide to approach training your new pet, remember that three “p”s of successful dog training: patience, persistence and praise!

Tags: Dog training, Dogs, Pet advice, Pet behavior, Pet info, Pets, Professional trainers, Tips

Chatting with the cat: What would your cat ask you if they could?

January 22nd is National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day! In celebration of this feline holiday, the Dog Dish writers asked one of our staff kitties, Lulu Kitty, to sit down for an interview with us (between naps of course), and ask us some of the more pressing questions she has about life as the world’s most pampered house cat.

Dog Dish: Hi Lulu Kitty. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.

Lulu Kitty: (yawning) You’re welcome. I’m glad I have the chance to ask about a few things that have been bugging me.

First of all, why in the world do I get yelled at for getting on the kitchen counters or on the fridge? Don’t you know I like to be up high so I can survey my domain?

DD: We know you are curious, but we like to keep things tidy in the kitchen, and kitty paws and hair on the counters where we make our food are not a good combination. We also don’t want you to fall and hurt yourself.

LK: Well, If you don’t want me up there, maybe you should consider getting me a cat tree so that I have places to climb and be up high. Cat trees also have great napping spots ☺

LK: Let’s talk about food. Why don’t you feed me whenever I ask or, better yet, why don’t you just keep my food bowl full all the time? You would get to sleep without my paws on your face and I would get to eat whenever I wanted – it’s a win-win!

DD: My dear Lulu, if we fed you as often as you think you need to eat, you would get fat. Kitties who are overweight are more prone to diseases like diabetes or joint problems. We have to feed you only a set amount of food each day in order to keep you healthy. We aren’t doing it to be mean, we promise!

LK: Why do you get so upset when I poop somewhere other than my litter box? Like the closet or under your bed for example?

DD: We get upset because it’s yucky and these are not fun “surprises” to find, especially if we step in them! You have a litter box for a reason.

LK: Have you seen my litter box? It’s a mess! Plus, I have to share it AND it’s in the middle of a busy room. I like things tidy too and would love to have more privacy. Maybe then there would be fewer “surprises”.

LK: On the subject of “surprises”, why do you keep bringing strangers into my house?

DD: They aren’t strangers, they are our friends. They aren’t going to hurt you. When they see you, they just want to pet you and say hello. I don’t understand why you get so freaked out and hiss at them when they try to hold you.

LK: They aren’t MY friends! Can you please just tell them to let me come to them on my own time? When they try to touch me and hold me before I have had a chance to greet/ sniff them, it makes me very nervous and when I get nervous, I may hiss or scratch. I’m a cat, it’s what I do.

DD: Understood. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Lulu. I can tell from your yawning that you must be tired and ready for a nap.

LK: I’m exhausted from all of this talking Can I have some extra food before I go lie down?

DD: No. Nice try though.

LK: Thought it was worth a shot. See ya later.

Tags: Cats, Cute, Holidays, Pet advice, Pet behavior, Pet health, Pet info, Pets, Tips
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