Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish
Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish



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Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

Tag Archives: dog training

Socializing your new puppy: what you need to know

Now that you have gotten (somewhat) used to the newest addition to the family, it’s time to start thinking about socialization? The key to having a happy and nonfearful dog, is to start training during puppyhood. Here are some tips on how to get started.

At home…

Once your puppy has been home for a few days and is settled in, start introducing him to loud noises around the house. Get the vacuum cleaner out and let him sniff it. Turn it on and see how he reacts. This should go without saying but, don’t chase him with it and don’t force him to be near it. He may be afraid of it at first but after a few more times, it won’t make him so anxious. Also let him hear the garbage disposal, the hair dryer, the blender, etc. Whatever makes loud noises in your house (including the kids, although he’s likely heard them a lot by now).

When you are relaxing on the sofa, play with his feet and stick your fingers in his mouth periodically. Trim his nails so he gets used to this. There may not really be a lot to trim, but the act of having you hold his feet will help make it less stressful later. The same for getting him used to you opening his mouth in case you ever have to give him medicine. Now is a good time to get him used to you brushing his teeth as well.


Out in the world…

This part of socialization is definitely fun but you really have to wait until your pup is done will all of the puppy vaccines before venturing out into the world with your new BFF.  Ask your family vet and your dog-loving friends about “puppy kindergarten” classes in your area. These are also offered at some of our Best Friends facilities so be sure to ask J [JG1] In these classes, your pup will learn to interact with other dogs, new people, new environments, and lots of new smells. Puppy heaven! Having your puppy explore these things in a specific space and structured environment allows you to see how he/she does and help ensure that they don’t grow up being fearful or aggressive. Kindergarten classes will also start to lay the foundation for some behavior training as well.
Puppyhood is also the best time to start training your puppy to go for walks with a leash. Frequent walks are key since this is a skill that can take some time to master. If your pup sees things that scare him, such as a tree or a trash can, he may bark and back away. Don’t try to soothe him if he does this or he will think it is a good behavior. Instead, walk him past it gently, don’t pull or force him towards it though.

Overall, enjoy the process. Socialization is one of the most fun parts of having a puppy – its and excuse to show him off and play so, take advantage of it! And always remember we are here if you need us!!

Tags: Dog training, Pet advice, Pet behavior, Puppy, Tips

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.

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.

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

Ask the Vet- “Please don’t go!”: How to help your dog through separation anxiety

How many of us have come home to find that our beloved dog has destroyed the sofa cushions or worse, chewed up your favorite pair of shoes. This may be due to a problem called separation anxiety. Separation anxiety (SA) is actually one of the most common behavioral problems seen in dogs. Not only can SA manifest as destructive chewing behavior but dogs with SA may bark, howl, dig, or urinate and defecate in the house when left alone.


Tags: Ask the Vet, Dog safety, Dog training, Dogs, Pet advice, Pet behavior, Pet health, Pets, Vet
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