Family-Disaster-Dog-Lessons

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Is Your Family Setup Right For A Dog?




Is your family setup right for a dog? 

Might it be worth asking yourself this question before you even begin? 

To do so can help you assess, clearly and competently, if you and your family are ready to bring home a pet of this kind. Of course, most family and home setups will be just fine, but if not, it can really have been worth asking this beforehand. 

Better to absolutely ensure your family home is able to support an animal of this size before you bring them home. It might be that this set of questions can help you assess just where you need to make improvements. 

We’d recommend the following:


Child Temperament

It might feel like you really want to bring yourself home a loving dog, but you might not consider your children to be suitable as of now. For example, children that are relatively hostile, loud or dealing with behavioral issues might come into conflict with a pet of this kind, maybe even spurring a sense of aggression from both parties. That isn’t a healthy place to bring a pet into. It might be that you have small children, and bringing home an excited greyhound could pose a real health risk for your children, even if the dog is of a lovely temperament and means nothing but love.

There are also triggers for certain animals. For example, it might be that bringing home a shelter dog with a negative previous owner could be set off aggressively if exposed to the loud noise a child makes. It could be that your disabled child accidentally and unknowingly hits a dog in the process of trying to stroke them, provoking an aggressive response you’d quite rightly love to avoid. 

Consider the temperament of your children. If you haven’t any, consider the regular visitors of your household. Could it be that a dog of a select breed would be unsuitable? Or might they be suitable? You’ll only know if you ask yourself and clearly analyze the social setup of the home.

Where Do You Live?

Simply owning or renting a home does not necessarily mean that you are functionally able to look after a pet. For example, you may be a bachelor with nothing but time, and enough money to look after a pet. However, if living in a small studio flat in the middle of the inner-city, it can feel relatively cramp and quite cruel to keep a pet there all day, especially because leaving the home with them might not be considered the wisest solution.

Health Conditions

It might be that someone in your family is suffering from health conditions. If your pet has fleas, or contracts some form of disease, could that cause those health conditions from escalating further? For example, a dog molting in the summer in an enclosed space can be absolutely awful for someone experiencing terrible sleep apnea or asthma. If someone in your family suffers from negative skin conditions, it could be that they summer more from having a little furry companion around.

Of course, some family members will suffer from allergies to your pet. It might not be someone in the home who does, but owning a pet might mean that you can no longer invite your in-laws around (which might be considered good in some circumstances!) Consider the health of your family, and if all looks good, then bringing that pet home might be warranted.

Responsibility

If the house cannot be kept clean throughout the week, if many people are at work leaving the home vacant all day, and you aren’t the closest of families, it might be that bringing a pet home is not the best solution. Conversely, if all the opposite is true, it could be that this is the perfect environment for a dog. 

It’s absolutely essential to assess your responsibility, from the top of your household to the bottom. Looking after a pet is not just a one and done scenario. You must view your added pet as another member of the family, because of course they are. That means you must not view the pet as a chore. It is a family member you look after and invest in, just like anyone else. 

Without the willingness to take care of this responsibility, your pet can easily become neglected, and that’s highly unethical to do. Of course, accidental neglect can be just as bad as willful neglect. It all means that same to your pet.

This article has been relatively cautionary, but it must be in order for you to foster a good relationship with pet ownership. If you can ensure that you do not fall into any of these traps, it’s likely your family setup is perfect for a new pet. Make it a celebratory event, and you’re sure to experience nothing but love with the new family member.

Friday, May 25, 2018

How-to Use a Long Lead and Tracking Leash

Using the Long Tracking Leash 





This is the first long leash lesson for using a long tracking or trailing leash for Family Search dogs is split into 3 lessons that are listed on the Lesson Link Page click to see all the free lessons.


The 1st lesson is Lesson 5 Leash Work 1


The 3rd is Lesson 7 Leash Work 3

The lessons cover much more than only the leash work.

As we discussed in previous lessons the Bloodhound and other trailing and tracking dogs often use a long lead or leash when they are working. This lesson will teach you how to handle and use a long trailing and tracking lead.

First a leash is often called a lead. Both are the same thing.

The long leash is anywhere from 20 ft to 50 ft depending on what the purpose of the leash is. A lounge line for a horse works well for large dogs and long leashes can be purchased in any weight or width to fit any size dog. Buy one to fit your size dog. Even the smallest dog can be used with a long leash and plenty of practice.

The nylon material the leash is made from will give you a bad rope burn on your hand if your dog is one to bolt off and the leash slides through your hand. 

Dogs that are not use to being given room or those who are use to being in the back yard may be so excited by the freedom or they may see something they want, like a cat or another dog that they take off without you expecting it. 

Be careful when you first put your dog on a long leash in an open area and gloves are always a good idea.

Do not put your dog on this leash for play, or exercise until the dog is well trained to trail or track. This lets the dog know that when you have this long leash they are going to be working. They will learn to expect and love the time spent on this long leash as if it is a tracking game. They know the different equipment and rules for each game they play and we will use this to our advantage.

You will also need a harness for your dog although a harness is not absolutely required and many dogs work with a collar as well but using a harness lets the dog know that they will be doing the tracking game otherwise they may think you are expecting them to play a different game, like obedience.

With multi-purpose dogs, those who do different jobs, the different equipment is their clue to what will be expected and then they can get in that mind set. A police dog knows when his handler is in uniform they are working.

Your family pet is very much a multi-purpose dog and you should use the harness during training to help the dog understand this is not obedience work or taking a walk down the street exercise. Read the lesson about harnesses before practicing this lesson often with your dog.

After a few lessons when you walk up to your dog with the long leash and harness then they will get excited knowing what’s to come. This is when you know they really understand.

Recommended Dog Training Equipment

Check out my books to teach your dogs to find you and your children in emergency!


Here is a great leash to use for training and tracking


Here is a harness with Tracking Patches so people know your dog is working!




Here is a harness for small and medium sized dogs

 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Air Scenting with a Dog's Nose-Train a Scent Dog



Air Scenting Detection Dog


2018 Update: Click for the new Family Disaster Dogs on Amazon only $3.49 from the author and you get all the lessons, dog bug-out bag list and CPR all on your device.


Air Scenting by A.Higgins


In this lesson we will discuss how your family dog can work as an air scenting detection search dog. The air scenting search dog is what we most often see on television working in disasters with FEMA rescuers.

These dogs are trained to pick up and follow human scent that is floating on the air or concentrated in one location.  When scent is released from a person the particles are dense and form a type of invisible cloud that slowly moves away from the person in a cone like pattern. The scent particles drift further apart the further away from the point of release or person therefore becoming a narrower cloud the further away.





As you can see by the illustration the scent dissipates and spreads out 
further from the person. 

The Air Scenting Detection dog is trained to find any human scent floating in the air and then follow the scent cone to the person.  As the dog works the scent cone closer to the person the area the dog works becomes smaller and smaller indicating that the person is near.

For instance, when a air scenting dog is ask to search a large meadow the dog will go back and forth crossing the area seeking scent particles. As the dog moves across the field the dog encounters the human scent on the wind and continues smelling the scent until they reach the edge of the scent cloud.






The dog then naturally turns at the edge of the cloud
to stay in the scent cloud and works the scent to the 
other side of the scent cloud where the dog turns again 
into the cloud. As the dog moves back and fourth working
 the scent cloud in this cross back pattern the dog moves
 towards the subject and into a smaller and smaller area 
that needs to be crossed until they reach the person. 

A dog when allowed to work the scent on their own will use the wind to their favor. You can learn how your dog reacts when working a scent cloud by watching how your dog finds the wide side of the cloud and works less and less land until they reach the person.


Because the dog is looking for any human scent in the area they will find any human beings in the area regardless if the person is lost or not. This accounts for air accenting dogs not finding a lost person in a heavily populated or contaminated area. The area should be cleared of all human beings before training your dog to air scent on command. Otherwise you will spend all day going from one person to another until the dog has found every person in the park for you.

To train your dog to do air scenting all you really have to do is watch the dog while they work a scent then you will know what to look for. Dogs are working scents even in their sleep, they know what each scent means and it is up to us to learn how the dog is working the scent so we can follow them to the person.

When working with your dog on Air Scenting the location is important in order for your dog not to become confused. School yards and parks that are empty along with wooded areas where people seldom travel are best for beginning dogs and owners.

Depending on your dog you can do this lesson off leash or on a long tracking lead.

You will not have to have the person make a trail or course like in the tracking or trailing lessons. Instead, have the person talk with your dog while you hold your dog. Then have the person run away from the dog and hide in the large outdoor area. As soon as they are hidden turn your dog loose and say “Find them” or “Seek”. 

As your dog moves off to look for the person watch how the dog works the air with its nose. The head will go up when they find a scent and the nose will go to work. Follow your dog to the person and pay attention to how the dog works the scent cone so you will know next time.

If your dog does not go right away to look for the person then encourage your dog to go find them by going yourself.  Talk to your dog and ask them to go find the person with you. When you find the person have them pet and praise your dog. It’s okay for the person to offer the dog a little treat so next time your dog really wants to look for that treat.

Repeat this 3 or 4 times each time you go out to work with your dog a couple of days a week. This is a good lesson to end a training session with because the end result is the dog finding a person on their own to receive praise and attention. A happy moment to be remember by the dog which encourages your dog to do this again for you when you ask.

Use different people and as your dog gets faster at finding them then have the person hide for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and 15 minutes making the time longer each week until your dog can find somebody who has been hiding for 1 hour on a few acres of land.

Use different areas and surfaces but do use care with traffic and public places where you or your dog can get hurt. You can do these lessons inside a large building such as a multi unit parking garage or warehouse. The larger the area the better but at first do not have the person go to far away from you and your dog.

These lessons are not made to fool the dog or to make finding a person any harder for a dog to do. After all, a dog already knows how to use its nose. It’s you who is learning how to find people not your dog. You are learning to trust your dog.


You can read about the different types of Search Dogs here

Get my children's book that shows your young child what to do if lost and how the family dog can find mom! It's a fun activity book with games the whole family can play with dogs to learn how to find lost or missing family members! Art from UK Dog Cartoonist "Scotty"





  Kill Ticks that spread Lyme disease, fleas and mosquito all summer with one collar. 
This really works! 






All purchases help support the Family Disaster Dogs Free Dog Training Site

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Keep Your Canine Best Friend Comfortable As They Age!

Dogs are not just our pets; they are our unconditional best friends, more part of the family that some humans! Sadly, their lifespan is significantly shorter than ours, and that means we will have to deal with them during their senior years as well as when they are young puppies.

However, there are some tactics you can use to keep your mutt in tip-top condition, comfortable, and around for as long as possible as they age. 

Read on to find out what they are.

Look after their teeth.

Teeth can be a critical issue in a dog's’ health. In fact, the teeth are an area that is particularly at risk as dog get older. Specifically, plaque, tooth decay, and gum disease can affect your dog, can be painful, cause problems with their eating, and if not treated in time can mean the offending teeth need to be removed, something that necessitates the use of general anesthetic and the risks that go with it.

Of course, concerning teeth, prevention is always better than cure, and that means providing you dog with teeth cleaning treats and toys regularly throughout their lives as suggested at dogvills.com. You can also brush their the teeth manually, something you can learn how to do in the video below.







Maintain a healthy weight.
Next, an essential part of keeping your dog comfortable as he ages is to keep their weight under control as cesarsway.com suggests. Now, this can be something of a tall order especially if your pooch likes the odd treat or tidbit off of your plate. However, it is essential to their well being because obesity in dogs is linked to all sort of medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and increased strain on arthritic joints.

With that in mind, it is vital that you deal with your dog's diet and only feed them the calories they need. Something that can help with this is to provide them with treat puzzles and toys that require activity to release the food items.

Deal with any health conditions.

To keep your dog comfortable as they age it is vital to deal with any health conditions that arise. Although, sometimes no matter how much you focus on keeping them healthy while they are young, their genetic predisposition and even bad luck can mean that your pooch will still have an illness or disease in later life that needs treatment.

Luckily, vets are adept at picking up on these and treating them in a way that ensures our dog remains comfortable as possible during their older years. You can even help things along by providing treats such as the one available on honestpaws.com to help calm or offer pain relief to your pooch if he is suffering. Something that no owner wants to see!


Adapt their day to day life as they get older.

Lastly, do be sure to adapt your life and routine to match your dogs as they age. What this means is that you may need to provide them with a quiet space in the home or garden where they can rest uninterrupted. Alternatively, you may have to reduce the length and speed of their walks to account for their reduction in mobility as the years go by.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Heel or Stop Pulling on Leash


Obedience Tricks and Tips
Heel or Walk Nice
Stop Pulling on the Leash

Now that you and your dog have learned to find a missing person you can learn other rescue skills that might come in handy, such as, asking your dog to get the first aid kit so you can stay with an injured person. 

Asking your dog to go between you and a loved one or asking your dog to bring you food are easy tasks that can be taught indoors in the comfort of your home whenever you have time.


Unlike the tracking and trailing exercises where you follow your dog's lead these rescue skills require your dog to pay attention to you in order to get directions. It's a good idea to go over some obedience training beforehand. 

These handling tricks can help your dog learn to pay attention. These tips can help you control a hard to handle dog or teach a new puppy manners on a leash.

3 kids we use to Groom

The following tips and tricks can teach any dog how to behave on a leash in a few sessions.

Family Disaster Dog Obedience tricks and tips are for you to use to teach your family dog to be a well mannered member of your pack without having to attend an obedience training course.

The basic obedience commands and lessons are intended to help teach you how to control and handle your dog in order for you to train your pet to assist you during an emergency. 

If you have any problem handling your dog or getting your dog to pay attention when you are training search tactics then use these obedience lessons to teach your dog to pay attention to you and to follow your directions.




Remember


Dogs learn faster if the lessons are short and to the point. 

Training your dog twice a day for 15 minutes will bring better results then once a day for a longer time frame.

Dogs have short attention spans; many dogs get bored quickly if the task is not exciting. Dogs do not learn when they are bored.

Read the lesson about collars before you do these lessons. 

These lessons are done using either a flat collar or a regular choke chain collar and 6 ft leash unless otherwise stated. Off leash dogs can learn from these lessons too with praise and encouragement.

These dog training tricks and tips are not the ordinary class room techniques you find in dog training books or classes. These tips and tricks are proven methods for handling a dog.

In order to train a dog, the exercises have to be repeated and rewarded time and time again. 

No dog learns immediately, although I can get immediate results using these handling techniques, the dog has not learned the positioning I want. They have only been placed in the position I want through the use of the leash and my body movement. 







Heel or Walk Nice on a Leash 
without Pulling

I am going to share with you a trick for teaching a dog to walk nice on a leash that is not known to many dog trainers. 

This trick was taught to me over thirty years ago.

I start every dog I train for anything, other then a Bloodhound, with this lesson.

This lesson teaches a dog to pay attention to the handler and at the same time, how to respond to a leash. 

Consequently the dog ends up on our left side because that is where we put the dog by handling the leash in the correct manner.

Handling a dog is not the same as training a dog and many dog trainers have never been taught how to handle an animal, only how to train one.

Your dog can be heeling within 30 minutes by using this lesson correctly.

Any dog can be walked nicely after using this lesson correctly once. 

For the dog to remember to walk nice every time they are on a leash, the lesson must be repeated a few times on different days in different locations.

Use this lesson with a 20 ft leash to teach a dog to pay attention to you.

Use this lesson for dogs that pull on a leash when you walk them.

This lesson takes space, a open field or park works best. 

You may have to read this lesson twice because I generally show this lesson to students in person because the steps can seem confusing. 

First Teach the dog to Pay Attention

To teach a dog to pay attention to you, put them in a flat collar that will not slip off the head and on a 20 ft long leash. Then allow the dog to roam wherever they want. 

You stand in one spot while the dog runs around until the dog goes to the end of the long leash then you start to walk in the other direction. As the leash gets tight and pulls on the dog, you keep walking away. Let the leash pull the dog to turn and follow you as you walk away in the other direction. Repeat.

Some dogs will quickly catch up and run pass you, others go slower and some need a few words encouragement to come catch up because you just changed the direction of the walk. Let the dog go at its own pace while you prepare for them to pull ahead of you as you walk at which point you will again turn around and walk away. The dog will hit the end of the leash if not paying attention, and see you walking away and think "opps, better watch where we are going." 

**Be careful with strong dogs who run when turned off lead because if they run with a 20 ft leash attached to you they can throw you off balance when they reach the end of lead at a high speed. Be prepared for the force of the dog hitting the end of the leash and do not try to hold the dog but turn around using your body and arms to hold the leash and walk the other way..otherwise the dog has the leverage and force not you. Serious injury can result if a person is dragged by a large dog.

Steps and Tips

You will walk in a different direction than the dog and only gently pull on the leash when the dog reaches the end of it. 

You do not speak to the dog but let the leash do the work of bringing the dog up behind you as you gently pull only one time when they reach the end of the leash.

Do not continue to pull the dog, the dog should be able to roam free except when they reach the end of the 20 ft leash and you turn which snaps them to attention as the leash tightens during your turn. 

After a few turns the dog will usually hurry up to avoid the end of the leash and start watching where you are so they know when the leash stops. 

Once the dog is near you then let all the leash out again and let the dog go where they please. 

You walk in another direction until one you is at the end of the leash then again you will turn and pull the dog as you walk in a different direction. 

The dog is gently reminded by the leash to follow you without you saying anything. 

Do not give the dog any attention yet. They are learning to watch you without you speaking. 

Continue doing this until your dog is paying attention. It will only take about 15 minutes.

Do not speak to your dog, let your dog go where it pleases as your turn and go the other direction. 

Let the entire leash out as you walk off and when you reach the end of the leash allow the leash to pull or bring your dog in the direction you went.

Let the leash and collar work for you instead of controlling you.

Keep walking when your dog reaches the end of the leash and soon your dog will be coming up behind you in this new direction. 

Do not turn and follow your dog but let your dog be reminded when they hit the end of the leash.

Soon, your dog will be trying to catch up to you instead of you trying to catch up with them.

Do this over and over again by walking about 20-30 feet as you let out the leash to give your dog the lead, when the dog reaches the end of the leash or if they are not paying attention then you will turn right or left to walk off bringing the dog behind you.. 

Your dog will get closer and closer to you each time. 

After a few times, your dog will be following you instead of you following them.

At this point hold more of the 20 ft leash, about 10 ft and do the same. 

Walk then turn, walk quickly in another direction which will bring your dog around behind you closer to you then they came before on the longer leash.

As your dog catches up to you bring in the rest of the leash in to hold and as your dog passes you to get in front of you again where they like to pull, turn and go in the other direction.

Repeat using 10 ft of the leash until your dog is staying within 10 ft of you or closer.

Gather up the leash and Only let out about 6 ft of the leash this time. 

The leash should always be loose and never tight except when the dog reaches the end of it. 

It is up to you to keep the leash loose by waiting to turn when the dog reaches the end, as the dog turns the leash loosens as the dog comes to catch up. 

If they go to far the leash tightens and you feel the dog hit the end of it, you turn and feel the slack as they catch up. These steps do take practice on your part and you get better at handling dogs as you practice.

If you and your dog spend every day for a week doing that exercise in a large yard, you will see amazing results.

Advancing to Heel or Walk at your Side

Repeat the walking/turning steps again using 6 ft of the leash. 

Your dog will soon stay within 6 ft of you and they will be paying attention to when you will turn and stop walking.

Now you put your dog next to your side and do the same exercise on 2 ft of the leash, making smaller tighter circles with your dog on your side. 

Now you tell your dog what a "good dog" they are as you walk together and you use can use the obedience command "heel" to teach your dog the word to associate with walking next to your side. 

After a few times, your dog is heeling nicely on your left side, near your leg. When you turn or stop so do they.

The more you practice turning and stopping with your dog heeling at your side the better they will be at walking nicely. Next when ever you come to a stop while walking, ask your dog to sit and praise them for doing so. 

Remember

When you are finished walking your dog, ready to snap off the leash tell your dog how good they are and say to them, "Ok, time off, or go play" when you release them so they know they can go do their own thing without watching your every step.

Depending on the size and strength of your dog be careful how tight you hold the leash.

If your dog does not bolt off in a run when you place them on the 20 ft leash do the lesson during a daily walk on a 6ft leash.

Any time your dog goes after something and pulls you, you can do this turn and go the other direction maneuver to hold your dog away from what they want.

This works especially well for the dog who pulls you down the sidewalk or if your dog is one who never pays attention and is getting into mischief while on a walk you can prevent and correct this behavior by turning and walking quickly in a different direction.

If your dog is one who blots off at a run or pulls you full blast down the street wherever they want to go then this is the lesson your dog needs.

If you have a large strong dog that will bolt ahead of you when they come from behind you then be prepared to turn and go in another direction when your dog runs past you. Repeat the above steps.

A large strong dog may pull you hard if they are at a full run, be prepared for this and when they reach the end of the leash they may hit it hard, some dogs may become airborne if they are determined runners.

They will only do this once or twice before they stop and pay attention to where you are. They will not hurt themselves even if it looks like they might because a person can’t hold the leash hard enough with a large strong dog for the dog to get hurt, a person’s arm will flex with the power of the hit.

You might get hurt trying to hold a large dog who wants to run. If you have any trouble, you can control the dog by turning and walking in the other direction as instructed above.

Never tie the leash to a solid surface because the dog can hurt its neck or back.

Small dog and Puppy Caution

Caution: The first time or two that you try this lesson with dogs under 35 lbs and young dogs be careful they do not hit the end of the leash hard enough to flip over. 

Smaller and young dogs generally do not hit the end of the leash as forceful as large dogs do but if they are running full blast without paying attention to you or the leash, and if they have never been on a leash before, they might run without realizing they are on a leash and collar.  You have to be extremely careful that they do not hit the end of the leash hard enough to be flipped. 

Teaching a dog and puppy to wear a collar and leash

All dogs and puppies should be taught to wear a collar and leash before trying this lesson. 

You can teach them to wear a collar by first rubbing the collar all over the puppy or dog. This gets them use to the strange object you are waving in their face. After rubbing and petting them first with the equipment, especially if they are scared, then gentle place the collar on the dog. 

Praise and reward the puppy or dog for accepting the collar . Make the collar a fun and comfortable time for your pet.

After a hour or two of wearing the collar then attach the leash. Hold the end gently and follow the puppy or dog around without any force or pressure from you until they are use to being held by the leash. 

Some puppies and unleashed dogs act like bucking broncos or scared to death at the sight of a leash, if this happens talk to the dog gently as you go to them and hold or pet them to reassure them it is okay.

Be careful how tight you hold the leash depending on the size and age of the dog.

This lesson should be done gently with puppies and very small dogs on a leash that is the dog’s size with a flat non-tightening collar.


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