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Monday, November 27, 2017

Can You Train Your Dog Yourself?

If you want to have a happy, healthy dog, one of the best things you can do is start training them as early on as possible. Some people think that this is impossible to do yourself, when in fact, all it takes is a little know how, and most importantly, consistency. Without consistency, your efforts will be wasted. This means you need to get the whole family on board!

Yes, you can train your dog yourself. Here’s how:

Start As Early As You Can
The key to training your dog properly is starting very early on. While it’s never too late to train your dog - Cesar Millan has proven this - you should still start early to get into the best habits and show them that you’re the boss.

Set Ground Rules For The Family
If this is a family dog, every single person in the family needs to be on the same page. If they have people walking them completely differently, e.g. one person letting them walk ahead on the walk while another has them walk to the side, then they are going to get confused. It won’t be their fault if they misbehave. As the saying goes, there are no such things as bad dogs - just bad owners. You can have ground rules such as:
  • No feeding off your plate (dogs will beg forever even if you do this once)
  • Always eat before the dog
  • Step in the house before the dog

You must do all of these things to ensure that your dog knows they are not the leader of the pack. If they get confused, as many do, they will become unhappy. It’s only fair on your dog that you are all consistent.

Know The Right And Wrong Things To Do
There's a right way and a wrong way to make your dog see that you are the dominant one in the relationship. There’s absolutely no need to shout, or hit them. For some reason, many dog owners still believe that this is acceptable. You simply need to have a dominant energy. Yes, you need to make it known that you’re the alpha, but you definitely don’t need to do anything to scare your dog. Why would you want them to be afraid of you?  

Master Basic Commands
Before doing anything else, master the basic commands. It can be a long road to getting your dog to learn everything you want them to learn, but it’s so worth it. Your only option if you don’t want to spend a while training a dog from scratch, is to look at ready trained protection dogs. These dogs have been specially trained by experts and are guaranteed to be a great guard dog for your home. However, it’s understandable if you want to train one yourself.

Figure Out What You Want From Your Dog
What do you want from your canine pal? Do you want to go into acting, like others have done? Do you simply want them to protect the house when you’re out? Knowing what you want will make everything easier!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Are Your Being The Best Puppy Parent You Can Be?

Animals are wonderful creatures. But it’s definitely easy to underestimate just how much work they can be to take on full time. There’s a reason why animals shelters exist! It’s sad, but true. So many people commit to taking on a pet, then realize that the commitment is so much bigger than they expected and then back away. And it’s the pet that’s then left to suffer. This is especially the case when it comes to puppies. Because puppies are so commonly bought as Christmas presents, and then forgotten about far too quickly. Dog ownership is a blessing; one that you need to know that you’re ready for.

But just because you own pets, it doesn’t mean you’re going to find it hard. Because when you get yourself into the right rhythm, it’s not hard at all. In fact, you can actually be an incredible puppy parent, if you just know what to do. If you’re thinking of getting a puppy, and you want to be sure of what you’re taking on, or you’ve had a dog for a while, and you want to check that you’re doing everything you can for their health and happiness, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at what you can do to make sure that you’re the best puppy parent you can be.

Show Them Love

The very first thing you should look to do as a dog owner is shower them with love. This doesn’t mean that you have to overly smother them and go as far as treating them like a baby, but you do need to show them some affection - just as you would a child. Be sure to pet and stroke them often. Dogs want to be loved, and a good old belly rub will never go amiss. So when you’re relaxing in the evening, be sure to have them with you and cuddle up. Affection is one of the best things you can give to your dog.

Interact With Them

From here, you’re then going to want to think about interacting with them a little too. Some people will think it's crazy to talk to your pet, but as a good puppy parent you know that assumption is nonsense. Because your dog understands you, and they respond when you talk to them. So be sure to talk to them daily, let them know what you’re doing, where you’re going, and what you need them to do, whether it’s sleep or fetch, and they’ll understand you.

Play With Them

And, of course, you’re going to want to play with them too. Dogs love to play, especially puppies. But don’t just assume that they’ll be happy playing on their own. You should definitely look to get involved and play fun games with them too. Try out different versions of fetch and even teach them to use their sniffing skills to search for toys that you’ve hidden. It will be a lot of fun for you too, promise!

Keep Them Active

You also have to be sure that they’re as active as they need to be. You should speak to your vet about the activity levels they will need, as this varies by breed, but above all else, make sure you are walking them daily. They won’t be getting the exercise they need otherwise. Plus, it’s great for you to get out and walk with them too.

Book Regular Vet Visits

Next up, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re able to book in regular vet visits. Because you know your dog need them. As a puppy, they will need to go more frequently for checkups and shots, but when they’re over a year old, they should be going at least once a year. That way, you can actually check that they’re healthy and aim to detect any health issues early too.

Keep Them Protected At Home Too

But don’t just rely on the vets to keep them healthy, because you need to make sure that you do your bit too. From dental products to Pet-Lock flea and tick treatment, there’s a lot you can do to do your bit. Just be sure that you’re stocked up with the right protection products and administer them as needed.

Feed Them Well

A dog’s diet is important. So you need to be sure that you’re doing everything you can to ensure that they’re eating well. Of course, you can use specific dog food for this, but you need to be sure that it’s the healthiest option for their breed. And at the same time, if you do choose to feed them “human food”, keep it clean. Do not give them sugary snacks under any circumstances!

Include Them

And be sure to include them in whatever you’re doing. They’re not just a sideline in your life, they should be part of the inner circle. So if you’re going away, take your dog with you too. Whether it’s to visit family or on vacation, make sure that they’re included. It’s mean to leave them out!

Treat Them

Definitely also feel free to treat them too. Because everyone needs treats. Just like you might like a bar of chocolate or a beer as your treat, they need something too. But they need to have their treats safely to make sure that they stay healthy. So look into some healthy dog treat options, or even choose something that’s not food-centric, like a fun day out somewhere or a walk with their doggy friends.

Ensure They Are Part Of The Family

And remember, they are part of your family! You need to be treating them as you would your kids. So that means caring for them, cleaning them, loving them, and generally appreciating them. At the same time, if kids do come into the equation, don’t overlook them. They have to still remain a priority in your life. As long as you’re happy to treat them as you would any other integral part of your family, you’ll make an excellent puppy parent.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

5 Ways To Help Your Dog Adjust To Their New Home

Whether you are moving to a new accommodation with your four-legged friend, or you are introducing a new pet into your home, there are several things you need to do to help them adjust. Your dog will adapt quite easily to a new situation, but here’s how you can aid them in the transition.

Pet-proof your home

The dog is a member of your family, so you need to pet-proof every area of your home. This is similar to welcoming in a child, such as making each room safe and putting away anything that could be a choking or chemical hazard. You should also work on the outside. Dogs love to explore, so ensure the fence and gates are secure and close up any other gap that could lead to your dog escaping. In a new area, they can easily get lost if they do.

Remember toilet training

As part of your regular dog training, you need to focus on this one aspect. This isn’t an issue for older dogs, but if you are welcoming a puppy into your home, you need to expect the occasional accident. However, if you have recently acquired an adult dog, there may be issues with nerves and excitement, leading to toilet troubles within the home. On the inside we recommend training pads, and in an outside area, consider Pet Zen Garden Grass, to make those trips to the toilet safer and more acceptable to everybody.

Create familiarity

Familiarity ensures your dog feels safe in the home. For a new addition, everything will be new, but you may still be able to bring a few of the dog’s belongings from their previous owner. For your long-standing pet, the same is true. Arrange your dog’s toys and bedding in a way that closely matches their old setup in your previous house. You should stick to familiar schedules as well, so continue with feeding and walking at the regular times your dog is used to.

Explore with your dog

On arrival at the new home, keep your dog on the leash. Otherwise, your excitable pet may run rampant around the house as they explore the new surroundings. Understandably, chaos will abound. By having control over your pet, you can safely guide him around the areas of the home they are permitted to visit. As part of your pet-proofing, safety gates should have been fitted to block off unpermitted areas.

After exploring the interior of the property, you should take them on a walk of the neighborhood. You can do this on your regular walking schedule, but your dog needs to get used the area in stages. New sights and sounds can prove alarming to an animal, so introduce the area gradually, so they know what to expect on future travels.

Create a fun environment

For new or existing dogs, it is important to create an area that is fun and mentally stimulating. Particularly when in a new house, you want your pet to be distracted by anything that isn’t the legs of your furniture. There are plenty of toys on the market that will keep your dog entertained, but remember to change things up a little with something new once in a while. Our pets get bored with the same old stuff as much as we do!

Thanks for reading

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Hound Health: Do You Know How To Handle It?

When you first get a dog, you may think that you’re going to know how to take on their healthcare needs. After all, you’re a human - and we tend to have quite complex healthcare needs, so theirs are going to be a breeze - right? Or so you first thought. Because actually, dogs need just as much care, if not more, than any human. It’s not always enough to assume that your dog will be healthy, just because. You have to make a conscious effort to improve their health levels. If you’re not really sure what you should be doing, then you’ve come to the right place. As we’re about to walk you through the five things you need to take care of when it comes to hound health.

Exercise Regularity

You probably already know that your dog is going to need exercise, that much is for sure. But, do you know how much exercise they need? Because it’s often specific to each breed. So you’re going to want to get to know what your kind of dog needs in terms of their exercise. Some breeds that need the most exercise include retrievers and collies, boxers and Jack Russell's. Of course, if your have a smaller dog, then they may not need as much vigorous exercises as some of the larger dogs, but you still need to know that they actually need.

Total Nutrition

Then, you’ve also got nutrition to think about. Again, you’re going to know that you have to feed your dog, and feed it the right foods. But do you really know what they are? And, more importantly, do you know what you need to stay away from? Speak to your veterinarian about the best nutrition for your breed, but be sure to avoid feeding them any human food if you want them to stay healthy.

Canine Health

From here, you’re also going to want to cover off their dental health. It’s easy just to assume that a dog's teeth can take care of themselves. But they can’t. Some people will want to use dental treats to help clean off their dog's teeth in a really easy way. But you can actually brush their teeth too. In fact, it’s something you should be doing, if your dog will let you. Get a dog toothbrush and start when they’re a puppy - it’s the best way to take care of their teeth.

Total Protection

Then, you’re also going to want to keep them protected from parasites. Just like we have to get shots to keep ourselves safe, you should use something such as Nexgard Spectra to do the same for your dog. Then, you’ll know that they’re covered when it comes to catching fleas and ticks.

Coat Care

And finally, there’s also their coat to think about. Although their coat health can often be determined by what they eat, you also need to take outer care of it too. That means bathing and brushing. Again, you should speak to your vet to get a personal recommendation, but in general, bathing once a month will keep them clean, and ensure their coat stays healthy.

Author Amber Higgins

Author Amber Higgins
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Welcome UK and Worldwide Visitors

Welcome UK and worldwide visitors and friends to Family Disaster Dogs online! Although I'm an American author and dog professional the worldwide web has given me the opportunity to connect with some wonderful folks who have contributed pictures for my books. The "Start Mantrailing" book features RRI K9 North Scotland trained Search and Rescue Dog "Amber" on the cover and her teammates training in the book, plus American dogs using my training methods. A portion of sales of the Start Mantrailing book or copies were donated to RRI North Scotland. The children's picture book "My Puppy Can Find Me" has my daughter and bloodhound as illustrations by UK cartoonist Scotty King. You can find the books on Amazon UK or use the contact page to order from me. When you click the links will take you to your own county pages of this site.

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