April 30, 2013 posted by Sara B. Hansen
By Karen A. Soukiasian
It is amazing the number of people using retractable leashes. It is also amusing to watch how frustrated they get, because they have so little control over their dogs.
Your leash is like a telephone line to your dog. You are constantly sending messages to them…make sure your messages are simple, clear and without any apprehension. Be aware, your puppy will be watching you for cues. If you are relaxed, your pup will be relaxed.
Actually, it is rather comical to watch even the smallest Chihuahuas and Yorkies drag their owners around. Then you have the ones with the Labs, Shepherds and other larger breeds, running behind their dogs, tripping over their flip-flops, arm stretched out, hollering for them to “STOP!”
Most fascinating though is the tangled mess the dogs manage to get themselves into! The owners look like fishermen untangling their lines. “Oh no! Look at the mess! I’ll pass my dog through there; you pull yours under the loop.”
Here is something to gnaw on – In 2007 there were over 16,000 hospital treated injuries related to leashes in the U.S. They included burns, broken bones, bites (trying to untangle dogs), cuts, eye injuries and amputations. You read correctly, amputations. That was just the human count. Every day, veterinarians treat dogs injured by leashes, most commonly retractable! They include the same types of injuries as human.
No doubt we’ll be hearing from die-hard retractable leash aficionados, blustering about their military-style precision retractable leash techniques. Well, good for them!
However, if you are serious about obedience training your dog, if you are serious about having control of your dog; toss that silly thing out! Knowledgeable, experienced dog trainers do not allow retractable leashes when training a dog.
The retractable leash encourages your dog to pull. Your dog will learn quickly; by pulling you will let out more line. Therefore, your dog associates a tight collar/leash is the way they are suppose to walk…rather than loose leash walking.
Do yourself a huge favor; invest in a quality 6-foot leather leash. It is much easier to control your dog, when they are six feet away from you, than when they are in another county!
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Train your dog not to jump
April 14, 2013 posted by Sara B. Hansen
By Karen A. Soukiasian
There are a number of reasons why dogs jump.
One, they are happy when greeting people.
But the main reason dogs jump is because when they were puppies, people thought it was cute and encouraged it. They should have rewarded calm behavior by bending down, and playing with the pup.
As the dog gets older, and larger, the owner cannot understand why it is so hard to break them of the habit. YOU sent the wrong message to your dog. People, most unknowingly, rewarded inappropriate behavior, and then, want it to stop! That only confuses your dog.
Here is where positive reinforcement, punishment-free obedience training pays off. If your dog has been trained to “SIT-STAY” until a release command is given, all you will have to do is give the ‘SIT-STAY’ cue.
To please you, they will follow your command. A dog cannot sit, and jump on someone at the same time! Once you have your dog under control with the “SIT-STAY” command, you should not have any problems either in the house, or while walking your dog.
Now, to see why this is so confusing to them, let’s take a look at this “problem”, from your dog’s point of view.
First of all, you need to understand how dogs greet each other. They start off greeting face-to-face. To them, it is perfectly natural to want to jump up to greet you or your guest, to greet face-to-face. However, it is up to you to teach your dog, it is unacceptable behavior, to greet a human face-to-face.
Remember, that dog in your living room is genetically only a gene or two away from a wolf. Let’s take a look at how your dog sees this particular situation. You, the leader of your pack, have returned to the den (home)…to a dog’s way of thinking, you have safely returned from “the hunt.”
Since they have no real concept of time, you may have only gone to the mailbox, but to them, you have returned to the den safely. First, they want to acknowledge your return, second they want you to acknowledge them, and third, they want to know what tasty morsels you have brought back from the hunt. This excited behavior is perfectly normal to your dog.
You must maintain your leadership position in the pack. Leaders only acknowledge pack members when they choose. You must teach your dog they will be acknowledged, but only when they are calm. If they jump up to greet you, ignore them, turn your back to them, and walk away.
Cue your dog to “SIT” in their “special spot.” Designate a special area for this action. A sitting dog cannot sit and jump at the same time. IMMEDIATELY, when their tail hits the floor, calmly acknowledge them. Do not make the mistake of getting them excited. Bend down, and let them know they are good dogs! Show them they and their good behavior have been recognized and you are glad to see them. That is their reward.
The doorbell rings. Your dog gets excited and starts barking. They know someone is on the other side of the door. Is it a friend, or an intruder? You, calmly open the door, meanwhile, your dog is reading your body language and tone of voice. Your dog notes, you, “The Boss” look and sound relaxed…this must be a friend.”
In walks your friend. The dog recognizes this person as a friend. You greet your friend. To your dog’s way of thinking, they too must be a good host and welcome “our” friend to the pack, face-to-face. Since they are much shorter, your dog is thinking; “Oops! Looks like they didn’t see me. I’ll have to jump up, so they can see me.”
Unknowingly, your friend encourages and rewards the unacceptable behavior by acknowledging the jumping dog. Big mistake! They are rewarding unacceptable behavior. Dogs should never be acknowledged until they are calm, and all four paws are on the floor.
Before involving other people to help you, teach your dog to go to a “special spot”, and to “SIT-STAY”, as you open the door. If they move, return them to the spot, give the command once again. Repeat this as often as necessary. Your dog should retreat to their spot, sit and stay, as you open the door.
6 Steps of Preparing “Guests”:
1. Inform your friends; you are training your dog not to jump up on people.
2. Tell them you need their cooperation as “guests” during this training period.
3. Inform them, your dog must learn not to jump when greeting people, and ask them to refrain from acknowledging the dog when it is jumping.
4. Ask your friend to turn their back to the dog when they enter the house, if the dog is happily greeting, yet, all four paws are on the floor, calmly acknowledge the dog.
5. If the dog is jumping up, they are to turn their back, ignore the dog, and calmly walk back out the door.
6. You will need to step in, get your dog under control, return them to their special spot, and give the ‘SIT-STAY” command, until you believe they are ready to calmly greet your guest.
6 Steps Of Training:
1. Having your friend ring the bell or knock on the door.
2. Now, it is your job, to get your dog under control. Give your dog the ‘SIT-STAY” cue, and have them retreat to their “special spot.” Remember, they cannot jump if they are sitting!
3. Open the door and greet your guest. Your dog should remain in the ‘SIT-STAY’ position.
4. If they don’t, if they jump on your guest, give the “OFF!” command, have your guest ignore the dog, turn their back to the dog, and leave. You must return your dog to their special spot, and place them in the ‘SIT-STAY” position and repeat the exercise.
5. Instruct your friend to calmly acknowledge the dog only if and when the dog is calm, and all four paws are on the ground.
6. Repeat the exercise, until your dog makes the association…”When I am calm, I am acknowledged!”
This is a hard behavior to change, but it can be done. It may take a minute, it may take five minutes, it may take an hour, but the reward of acknowledgment is only to be given when the dog is calm, with all four paws on the floor.
Out and About:
Socialization is key to desensitizing your dog to new experiences, people, and other dogs. It is through socialization your dog learns how to appropriately greet people and other dogs.
Get out more…take your dog to places where there are new people to meet. Enroll in a positive reinforcement, punishment free Puppy Kindergarten or obedience class. Encourage your dog to calmly greet people. If they appear too excited, turn around, walk back a few steps, turn and make the approach again. Repeat as necessary. Praise and reward him, when he calmly greets the stranger or other dog. Explain if necessary, you are training your dog. Many people are more than willing to help you, if invited.
Bottom line: During training, being fair, firm and consistent is important. Do not encourage jumping games, or tap your shoulder for your dog to jump up on you, until your dog is completely obedience trained and under control at all times. Your dog should have an “on” and “off” button if you insist on letting them jump up on you.
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HOW TO BRUSH YOUR DOG’S TEETH
Dr. William Rosenblad, Dentistry & Oral Medicine
Dental disease (especially periodontal disease) is the most common disease in our canine companions. It is also one of the most preventable and treatable diseases. Fortunately, we can reduce or even prevent dental disease by feeding a crunchy diet, appropriate chew treats and toys and daily tooth brushing. The following are steps to guide you on how to brush your dog’s teeth:
- The first step is to start with a clean, healthy mouth. Good dental hygiene should start with a young pet with healthy new teeth and gums, or after your pet has had a professional dental cleaning.
- You will need a soft-bristled tooth brush and veterinary toothpaste. Human toothpastes and baking soda may cause problems. Furthermore, veterinary toothpastes have flavors that are appealing to dogs. Anything other than a bristled tooth brush will not get below the gum line, which is the most important area to brush.
- There are several important facts about our pets’ mouths that tell us when, where and how to brush. Periodontal disease usually affects the upper, back teeth first and worst. Plaque builds up on the tooth surface daily, especially just under the gum line. It takes less than 36 hours for this plaque to become mineralized and harden into “tartar” (calculus) that cannot be removed with a brush. Because of this progression, brushing should be done daily, with a brush to remove the plaque from under the gum line.
- Pick a time of day that will become a convenient part of your pet’s daily routine. Just before a walk or before a daily treat can help your pet actually look forward to brushing time. Take a few days to let both of you get use to the process. Follow with praise and a walk or treat each time.
- Start by offering your dog a taste of the veterinary toothpaste. The next time, let him taste the toothpaste, then run your finger along the gums of the upper teeth. Repeat the process with the tooth brush. Get the bristles of the brush along the gum line of the upper back teeth and angle slightly up, so the bristles get under the gum line. Work from back to front, making small circles along the gum lines. It should take you less than 30 seconds to brush your pet’s teeth. Do not try to brush the entire mouth at first. If all that your pet lets you brush is the outside of the upper teeth, you are still addressing the most important area of periodontal disease – prevention. If your pet eventually allows you to brush most of his teeth, so much the better.
- Even with the best tooth brushing, some dogs may still need an occasional professional cleaning, just like humans. By brushing your pet’s teeth daily and curtailing the amount of periodontal disease, you may reduce the frequency and involvement of dental cleanings and provide your pet with a healthier, sweeter smile.
Paislee’s Sweet Treats
We now have samples of some of the treats made by Nicole and Keith Irwin. We bought the sweet potato, banana and apple chips. It is funny that Paislee will only eat the sweet potato ones! For more information or to order some, contact information is: www.facebook.com/PaisleesSweetTreats.com or email them at PaisleesSweetTreats@gmail.com
The Irwins are part of the Fur-ever Friends Family and this is Paislee:
Interested in a New Harness/Collar combination? Check this out!
Doggini is a small company that makes dog harnesses: All in One (Harness and collar in one), harnesses Coats, rain coats with harness, leash and organized system.
Please visit their website for more information: www.doggini.com.
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The Flea Season is Still Going Strong!
ALL ABOUT FLEAS
Fleas are blood suckers like ticks, but more athletic. They easily jump from animal to human to clothing to bedding.
To protect your pets from fleas:
- Bathe your dog regularly using flea shampoo.
- Use a flea comb.
- Take your pet to the vet for a seasonal check up and a once-over.
- Topical treatments like Advantix and Frontline for dogs need to be applied monthly. You can get them from your vet or buy online. (NOTE: Fur-ever Friends recommends ADVANTIX ,FRONTLINE, REVOLUTION, or CAPSTAR (pills). You may have to change brands if you have used the same one for years and it no longer works. Do not waste your money on cheaper brands – they don’t work and you have to end up buying the better brand anyway. In the meantime, the fleas are multiplying.)
To protect yourself and your family from fleas:
- Check for bites on the ankles, in armpits, and at knee and elbow bends.
- Flea bites can trigger hives and rashes.
- Don’t scratch! Apply a hydrocortisone cream.
- See a doctor if the condition doesn’t improve.
- Wash infested clothing and bedding in hot water.
- Clean and vacuum the entire home thoroughly. Throw away the vacuum bag when you’re finished. (Note from Fur-ever Friends – putting a piece of flea collar in the vacuum bag will kill the fleas in the bag.)
http://family.lifegoesstrong.com/article/flea-and-tick-season-2012-has-arrived, Susan Breslow, March 20, 2012
We are proud to be exhibiting original paintings and prints of dogs by the local artist Jarred Fisher! Come in and see this wonderful work or commission a painting of your own! See Jarred’s work at:
Hunting, Hiking and Heartworm
Although heartworm prevention techniques, including mosquito avoidance and drugs that kill heartworm larvae, have been recommended for years, the number of dogs diagnosed with heartworm continues to increase. One factor that contributes to the persistence of this preventable disease is “prophylactic failure,” which means that animals develop the disease even though they received a prophylactic drug to prevent heartworm for at least 1 year or season.
Heartworm is caused by the parasite Dirofilaria immitis. When a mosquito feeds on a dog that is infected with female heartworms, the “baby” worms, microfilariae, are taken in with the blood meal and grow to become infective in the mosquito’s mouthparts. The next time that mosquito bites a dog, the infective heartworm larvae enter its bloodstream and grow into adult heartworms. The adult female heartworms produce additional microfilariae, which are spread to more dogs and sometimes cats.
A recent study published in the May/June 2011 edition of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (JAAHA) looked at the occurrence of prophylactic failure in hunting dogs.
“Of the 708 dog owners who participated in the study, 9% reported failure of prophylaxis. The dogs tested positive for heartworm even though a heartworm prophylaxis had been administered,” stated lead author Barton Rohrbach, VMD, MPH, Dipl. ACVPM (Epidemiology) from the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
According to Dr. Rohrbach, many of the dogs were not treated or tested for heartworm appropriately:
- Dogs were treated using an estimated rather than actual body weight (and therefore could have been administered too little of the drug).
- Owners did not record the date the drug was administered and relied on memory to treat their dog each month (resulting in missed doses).
- 13% of owners observed their pet spit the pills out (many owners may not notice this, resulting in more missed doses).
- Only 79% of owners tested their dog every year for heartworm (recommended by the American Heartworm Society). Testing was frequently performed at the incorrect time of the year; therefore, infections may have been missed.
- Newly acquired dogs were frequently not tested prior to or at the time of acquisition.
Study participants also reported a failure to practice mosquito avoidance techniques, such as remaining indoors at dusk and dawn.
“This study suggests that simple steps, such as weighing the dog to determine the correct dose of preventive, watching to ensure oral medications are retained, and recording the actual date the medication is administered each month, are not being followed by many dog owners. These may be important factors leading to prophylaxis failure,” added Dr. Rohrbach.
A single missed dose of a heartworm preventive puts dogs and cats at increased risk to acquire heartworm, particularly animals that spend a lot of time outdoors.
For more information on preventing heartworm, visit the American Heartworm Society (www.heartwormsociety.org) and the Companion Animal Parasite Council (www.capcvet.org/recommendations/heartworm.html).