Part of the fun of getting a new pet is picking a name. Your name choice is important… It says as much about you as it does your pet! You want to pick a name that not only suits your pooch, but sounds good as well. Your new dog is going to become a unique and important member of your family and you will say his name well over 30,000 times in his life, so you want to make sure you choose wisely!
Your choice of name can depend on many things. You could base the name on something obvious like a physical characteristic. You could give him a name related to his breed, such as a French name for a poodle or a German name for a Dachshund. You could use a fictional character or a famous person. The possibilities are endless. Some important things to consider are:
• Dog names should be no more than one or two syllables, with two syllables being the better choice. Most dog commands are one syllable. “Sit”, “Down”, “Stay”, etc. If the name is two syllables, the dog can easily differentiate between his name and the command.
• Dogs recognize hard/stop consonants more easily. The main stop consonants are b, p, t, d, k, and g. You can get your dog’s attention much faster using a name that starts with a stop consonant. Dogs also respond well to names ending in “y” or “ie”.
• Try to pick a name that is unique and doesn’t sound like other pet’s names as well as family members, close relatives and friends. Also pick a name that doesn’t sound like a command you use. This will help avoid confusion for your dog. If he frequently hears a similar sounding name or word and confuses it for his own name but is ignored after hearing it, he will eventually stop responding to his name.
• It’s best to only use your dog’s name in a positive context so that he associates his name with rewards and positive experiences. If you use your dog’s name while scolding him, he may start to think that his name is bad and therefore want to run away or refuse to come to you when he hears his name.
• If you are rescuing a dog, it can be a good idea to change their name. They may have negative experiences associated with their old name, especially if they were abused or neglected. They may associate their old names with punishment and fear. Giving them a new name can be very beneficial. You also do not know if the name a dog has at a shelter is their “real” name. It could merely be the name the shelter provided them with upon arriving there! Dogs do not see their names as defining their identities, as we humans do. It is fairly easy to teach your dog their new name with a little training and effort on your part. And as long as you are saying your pup’s name with positivity, he will be happy with the change!
Bringing home a new puppy is incredibly exciting… You have so many hopes and dreams for your fuzzy bundle of joy! With just a little preparing and planning, you can make sure those dreams come true. The first few days can be a bit of a shock for your puppy – He’ll be in a strange new environment and away from his mother and litter mates for the first time, with new people who have different expectations. In order to make the transition smoother, it helps to get your house and family prepared ahead of time.
Put together a feeding and bathroom schedule and delegate responsibilities. Make a list of supplies you’ll need – food, bowls, toys, grooming supplies, bedding, a dog collar and leash, and a crate are just a few of the necessities. You’ll need to puppy proof your home by removing anything within your puppy’s reach that could harm him including plants, rugs, and breakables. Tape electrical cords down or cover them so that they are safe from chewing. Store chemicals on higher shelves and remove any loose articles such as shoes or knick knacks your puppy might want to chew on. Decide what room will be your puppy’s – A nice quiet space with a comfy dog bed for him to relax. Puppies need ample amounts of rest and breaks from playtime. Set up his crate in this space, and put up baby gates to partition this area off. You won’t want to give your new puppy free run of the house right away. This would confuse him and maybe frighten him and could also hinder his house breaking. Schedule a vet appointment within the first 24 hours of bringing him home. This is important because you want to make sure there he has no underlying heath issues and set up a vaccination schedule.
When you pick up your puppy, you’ll want to ask about his feeding schedule and replicate it once you come home. Changes to food and feeding schedule should be made gradually or you could end up upsetting your puppy’s sensitive stomach. On the ride home, the puppy should ride in the back seat either in someone’s arms or in a crate or carrier. When you arrive home, take the puppy immediately to the area you want him to potty in. This will begin to enforce house breaking right away. From this point, you’ll carry out your pre-made schedule for potty breaks, feeding, playing, and napping. Your new pup will need lots of love and attention, but he will also need periods of solitude and quiet so that he may rest. A dog crate is great for this purpose, though your puppy might not think so at first. It’s very likely he will protest by whining and crying, but don’t give in! By comforting him when he displays bad behavior, you are reinforcing that this behavior is okay and will get him what he wants! Rewarding your dog and giving him attention for good behaviors will let him know that those are the things you want him to do. By doing things correctly from the start, you will have a well behaved and happy puppy!
If your dog loves to dig, you are not alone. Many owners face dog digging issues that must be corrected. In order to fix your hounds habit you must first determine the motive behind the digging; there are many reasons a dog may be digging a hole. Some dogs simply just love to dig, but there are other purposes behind a digging dog, including attention seekers, dirt lovers, boredom, shelter, hunting, or food storage reasons (to name a few). No matter what your dog’s reason is for digging, it requires patience and consistency to break the routine. If your pooch is digging holes to burn energy off, incorporate more mental and physical stimulation into your pup’s daily schedule. Bone burying dogs should have their bones replaced with dog chew toys and rawhides. If you notice that your pooch is burying the dog toys and rawhides, make it very clear to your furry friend that the behavior is unacceptable. Don’t ever leave your canine to roam about the yard without supervision; digging is just one disaster that could come about from an unwatched dog. Give Rover praise for good behavior and always provide proper exercise and living conditions. If you have a digging doggie, invest in some balloons and begin corrective training by blowing up the balloons and burying them in your buddy’s favorite digging areas; when your pooch goes to their designated digging spots they will be startled when they reach the balloon and are greeted by a “POP!”. Dogs are not fond of startling noises and will learn to keep out of the ground. If your canine is digging underneath fence area it is suggested to fill all the holes in/under the fence. For digging loving dogs perhaps it is beneficial to encourage your pup to dig in a designated spot; fill an area with soft sand and bury delicious dog treats underneath, your pooch will learn to keep their digging in the allowed space.
Typically an excessively shy dog stems from a lack of positive exposure as a puppy. The socialization period is an important time for young pups when their confidence is infused. While some dog breeds are naturally coyer than others, an overly shy pooch can develop into serious behavior issues with any under socialized dog. One common fear a timid dog may suffer from is that of people. Thankfully this dilemma may be corrected with patience and understanding. If your furry friend is apprehensive around people, help your hound conquer their fear by taking baby steps in the right direction; start by inviting over a friend (preferably another dog lover). Inform your guest prior to their visitation about your canine’s fear, if your friend acts in a passive manner it will show your pooch there is no threat. Keeping your bashful buddy in their own environment will assist in easing their discomfort a bit. If your pooch insists on retreating to a trusted hiding spot during your guest’s visitation then allow them time to regroup and keep your conversation cheerful to demonstrate a safe environment to your hiding hound. Depending on the level of fear your canine contains they may need further attempts; most timid dogs are interested and are just too uneasy to approach. Try to entice your furry friend to come out using a dog treat – distract their attention from your guest to the treats, tossing a treat their way and then ignoring them as they make their way out to indulge in the bait. Keep with this process, tossing dog treats closer to you and your guest each time, until your pooch is out of their safety zone. It is also suggested that you have your guest pet your pup. Although if your friend does go in for a pet be sure that they reach under to stroke your dog’s chest rather than over the dog’s head so not to scare them more. If your canine still displays trepidation then back off a bit, forcing the situation may only worsen the fear, and ask your guest to try again another day. Continue this routine fairly regularly with different people until your canine feels more comfortable. In time your dog should be able to overcome their people fears and live a healthier, more sociable life.
Make these colder months productive by teaching your dog a new trick for great mental stimulation and entertainment. Take advantage of the indoor time spent with your pooch by expanding their knowledge while bonding together. Try these three fun indoor tricks out with your canine:
1. Hide Your Eyes – The dog can sit or lay for this trick, which will train your pooch to cover their eyes with one paw on command. Keep a treat in your hand while you tell your pup to “cover their eyes”. Physically lift their paw over their muzzle and then use the treat as reward. Most dogs will swipe at their face when you gently blow on their nose, if your pooch does this then reward them and continue the command and movement until the dog understands what is required to acquire the treat.
2. Circle Me – This trick is beneficial considering that circles improve turns and help keep canines focused on their handler; it also assists in direction changing. Begin by heeling with a tasty dog treat in hand that you will use as bait as you say “circle me” and draw your pooch around your body in a circle. After they complete a circle, give the treat for praise and repeat.
3. Light Off – Hold a dog treat in one hand above a light switch in the house (if your dog isn’t able to reach the switch on hind legs then place them on a sturdy table under the switch), and give the command “light off”. When your furry friend jumps up to retrieve their treat, be sure their paws flick the switch and then reward with “Good light off” and then continue the trick over. Eventually start standing away but have your pooch stay under the switch and then toss the treat when the trick is completed.
The beginning of the year is full of resolutions and personal goals, but don’t forget to include your furry friend in the mix. January has been officially dubbed National Train Your Dog Month, and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) is aiming to help squash pet disobedience with patient owners. It is sad but true; hundreds of thousands of canines are brought to shelters because owners feel like they have lost control of behavioral problems their pet may be exhibiting. Luckily this problem has been acknowledged and National Train Your Dog month has been proclaimed as an educational experience to assist in nixing behavior problems, as well as help owners and pets alike meet in the middle. During January the APDT will provide free webinars and live chat sessions with professionals that pet owners are welcome to utilize for advice and knowledge on handling certain behavioral concerns. Topics to be covered consist of leash etiquette and an educational session on pet adoption, as well as many other available events throughout the month. Join in the discussions and view the insightful webinars to gain added knowledge on training your pooch and promise to make 2012 the best year yet for you and your playful pal.
It’s a fact, sometimes dogs get messy. Bodily functions are just a natural part of life that all breathing animals and humans experience. For owners that have female dogs they are breeding, Aunt Flo is an issue to be tackled. Thankfully there are dog panties for that time of the month. Dog panties can also be utilized for untrained puppies and dogs that urinate when they become overexcited. For those extremely cold days, or for puppies in training, an indoor dog potty mat is a great idea. Having to pick up after Fido on walks may be unpleasant, but dog scoopers, dog waste bags, and dog waste bag holders help the process run smoother. With a dog scooper there is no more cleaning with your hands. It’s the most practical idea for picking up messes sanitarily. Carrying a grocery bag on your walks can become irritating, but with dog waste bags and dog waste bag holders it is discreet and out of the way. These great products help keep messes in line. Accidents and mushy messes will never be a concern of yours again!
Dog crates should be a comfortable place for your pup to relax and feel at home. What better way to make it comfortable than with a plush, soft place to snuggle up? Our Plush Cratewear Sets not only provide comfort, but also can help reduce barking and stress. Do you generally find your dog sleeping under a favorite table or next to a couch? It’s generally because dogs are pack animals and prefer a den to live in. With the crate cover securely fitted over the crate, your dog will feel safer and protected much like the feeling of a home. This in turn reduces stress and provides relaxation for your pet.
These covers not only provide comfort, but also reduce light, heat and drafts from coming through the crate, allowing your pup to rest longer and stay safe. The safety bumpers protect your pup the same way bumpers protect a baby in a crib. Available in four fashionable colors, you are sure to find the perfect fit for your home! So spoil your pooch rotten with this luxurious Plush Cratewear Set!
Taking your dog for a hike around the neighborhood is one of the many pros of being a animal owner. It is a great experience for you to bond and spend time with your dog. Unfortunately for many dog owners, taking their dog for a stroll around the park can prove to be a conundrum. Training your furry friend to walk on a dog leash can prove to be very helpful to both of you. The simplest way to introduce a dog leash to your dog and encourage acceptable walking behavior is to start when he is a puppy. Get a small leash and attach it to the puppy’s collar. Drop the dog leash on the floor and let your pup drag it around in the house to make him feel comfortable. Leave the leash on for a few minutes at a time for several times a day to help him get used to wearing the leash. If your dog is used to wearing a dog leash, you can move forward with your training.
The most important thing you must remember when walking your dog is to never let them walk in front of you. They must always walk beside you or behind you. If your dog walks in front of you, the message he is receiving is that he is the pack leader because in a dog pack, the leader always goes first. If you have a dog that pulls, train them to walk beside you. This can be done by keeping your dog on a shorter dog leash at first, but still allowing some slack in the leash. One easy way to make your dog walk next to you is by holding snacks in your hand and casually giving them to your dog as you walk. This will reward your dog for walking beside you, and in turn make walks more pleasant!