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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Kids And Dogs: Tips That'll Make Them Pals For Life

Kids love dogs, and yours might have already started asking you if they could get a new pet to join the family. Dogs and young ones can be great friends, and watching them play together is a joy for most parents to see. However, it’s important to remember that dogs are still animals and can be quite unpredictable at times, even those that are extremely tame. So, it’s important that you teach children the correct way to act around dogs so that there is no chance of them being in any danger.

They Shouldn’t Approach A Dog Without Permission

First of all, it’s important that you teach your child never to approach a strange dog or puppy without permission from the owner. If you visit, you’ll see that treating a dog bite can be very expensive, and that most of them are caused by dogs that were previously unknown to the bitten individual. So, make sure your children know not to go up to any unknown dog on their own, as there is no way of knowing what its temperament will be like. If you ask the owner before you or your child stroke the dog, then they will be able to warn you about any potential risks.

Never Run To A Dog

One of the main things to remember is that dogs can be easily worried or scared, so it’s best not to do anything that might shock them. That means it’s best if individuals never run towards a dog, as this could kick in some of their wild instincts, and they might think that they are being chased.

Children might be very likely to run towards a dog to say hello, so it’s worth teaching them that they shouldn’t do this. They need to be calm and collected when they see and approach a dog and should walk up to it as slowly as possible.

Stop Them From Patting The Dog’s Head

Your child will no doubt want to pet your new family dog or any that they meet while they are out and about. Before they do, though, you need to teach them the correct way to do so. If it is a dog that doesn’t know your children too well, they should start off by stroking and scratching them on the chest.

Once the dog and children get to know each other better, then they can start to pet them on their back. However, it’s important to know that children should never pat a dog on its head or around its mouth. This can be quite a sensitive area, and stroking them near the head and mouth can irritate them. If they really don’t like being petted and strokes in this area, they could lash out at your children. 

For a complete guide on petting dogs, you can check on out at

Hopefully, your kids will now be good friends with all dogs!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Eight Super Ways To Pamper Your Working Pooch

Caring for a dog isn’t a small job. You have to put in a lot of time and effort with them to ensure that they are well-exercised, happy, fed and healthy. This isn’t just something that can be done in a day. 

It takes time to win the trust of your dog and it takes time to know them; they may be dogs, but they have personality! If your dog is a working dog, as in it helps you to stay safe on long outdoor hikes, you know that you are working them hard. This doesn’t mean that you can’t spoil them, though. We are only blessed with our perfect pooches for a few short years, so you want to ensure that they are happy and healthy as much as possible in the time that you get to.

Doggy desires are usually quite simple. All they want is to be taken for very long walks and get exercised, chow down on deliciously natural dog food and enjoy the occasional scratched belly. Dogs want our time and our attention and when they get that from us, they stay loyal. 

They care for us. They watch out for us and protect us against any threats in a fierce way. Sometimes, you just need to give your pup a little appreciation, and that takes spoiling them and feeling good about it! So, here are some of the ways that you can pamper your pet to make them feel loved.

animal, corgi, dog


Dogs are vacuums when it comes to food; anything, everything – even the things that they’re not allowed to eat, they eat. Cooking for your dog may seem like an extreme, but there some exciting dog treats that you can make from home without buying from the store. These recipes can teach you how to make your own puppy treats, and if you are feeding your dog a balanced diet, they’ll be healthy on the inside and out.


Going for a walk is sometimes the most exciting part of the day for a dog. They get to get their nose into the neighborhood and smell everything. They can get out a lot of their energy and if you alternate your walking routes, you can ensure that your dog gets the workout that they need with excitement added on. Dogs should be walked morning and evening, but if you can slip in an extra walk in the day your dog will love you for it.


Dogs get familiar with new people really easily, and it’s a good idea to have your dog get to know new people because when you need to leave the dog for work or for other purposes, they will have yet another person to spoil them with belly rubs, walks and treats! It’s never a bad idea to get your dog trusting new people, so socialize them as much as possible with new people and they’ll learn to trust others.


Dogs and tricks. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and perhaps not, but a dog of any age will do what they can to learn new ones! Some breeds need to be entertained and kept busy. You can sign your dog up to classes to keep them worked out, entertained and having fun and this is the perfect way to spoil your dog. There are dog training books out there that you can choose as well as videos to watch. Once you know just how your dog likes to play, you can stick to a new routine.


While your dog is learning new tricks, you also need to ensure that they have enough toys to play with. Tug toys are a huge favourite with dogs of all ages and you can teach your dog to hunt by using treats and things to find. Dogs are naturally curious creatures and hunting is in their blood. Some breeds need a little more of a push than others to learn to hunt, but no matter which dog there will always be a wagging tail at the end of the game.


As part of their normal exercise routine, your dog will likely love to splash around in muddy puddles and jump in the lakes and oceans when you’re out and about. Swimming is excellent for your dogs joints, so taking him to play fetch in the water is a great way for him to cool down, get exercised and stay kind to his joints all at the same time. Always clean her ears after a swim to keep her healthy and bring her a fluffy towel to help her dry her coat afterwards.

Physical Touch.

You cannot hug your dog too much. Scratching the ears, rubbing his belly and playing with your dog with cuddles and love is going to have them fall in love with you all over again. It’s a great way to indulge your pup with some love and it brings you closer together! Belly rubs are the ultimate pooch pamper time, and you get the chance to be physical with the puppy who needs you as much as you need him.


Spoiling your dog isn’t all one sided. You’re adding exciting food options and exercise to your day for your dog to enjoy. Your dog waiting for you at home and bringing you their favourite toy? That’s their way of telling you that they love you. They want to show you that you bring them as much joy and affection as you do him; that’s why they curl up against you on the sofa or on your feet while you’re in bed. Your dog will protect you an be loyal to you fiercely, so don’t stop pampering your dog. The love that you’ll get in return is enough to last you a lifetime.

Your dog will always appreciate your effort with them, no matter what you may think when they pee on the floor. Love on your dog and they’ll love you forever.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Family Disaster Dogs at the Coos Bay OR Library Author Panel Event

Come meet me in Coos Bay Oregon and talk dogs!

Learn about evacuating with pets in earthquakes and wildfires!

Get a signed copy of my books

Learn how your dog can rescue you and help you evacuate or find missing family. member that wander away.  

Meet a great selection of authors on the wonderful Oregon coast!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Evacuate with Your Dog's Help-Updated Survival Bag List-Dog CPR and more

Now available in paperback and kindle with free reads available 

Please share to other dog owners so everyone can be safe. 

Follow me on FB on the "Family Disaster Dogs page"  

Twitter as URDogCanRescueU

This book is helpful for anybody in wildfire and hurricane areas with pets who may have to evacuate. 

Learn how your dog can help you and all the supplies you will need to have ready to survive if stranded or waiting for rescuers to arrive.

Learn how and what supplies a dog of any size can carry.

Click Here for the paperback and Click Here for the Ebook edition

Click to Preview and Buy

This book is a collection of helpful articles and more from the author of the Family Disaster Dog site 

Stay Safe Everyone!!

"Find It " Train any Dog to Find a Person or Missing Family Member

" Find it " 

Train any pet dog to find family members in case the person goes missing

You can use your dog to find children, elderly or family after earthquakes or floods.

Only do this trailing/tracking lesson with your dog 1 or 2 times a week. Skipping a week is okay because we do not want your dog to get tired of playing this game. 

If you haven't already, read the first lesson of  "Getting Started" and the Scent Articles  continue as instructed after the overview.

This lesson can be done indoors or outside, with a dog on leash or loose depending on the dog and where you want to practice. I often start this lesson indoors with a loose dog and a child playing hide and seek for the first few weeks.

These guidelines should be followed indoors as well as outdoors for the best results.

Start with a person your dog knows and only do this lesson with that person 2 to 4 times each session once or twice a week. 

After 2 weeks, if your dog is finding the person fairly easily then you can change people and scent articles and only then use a different person. If you change people or scents to early your dog could get confused and lose interest. 

If your dog ever loses interest then stop and play with them for a few minutes. Then do the lesson again step by step so your dog understands. The steps for this lesson will be posted on a separate page for easy reference.


Hold your dog by its collar as the person slowly runs and waves at the dog to a hiding place that is easy to find and only one turn away. 

Hold the scent article, the person's sock, to your dog's nose, say "Smell" and then turn your dog loose and say "Find so and so" use the person’s name, follow your dog to the person. More about the scent article below.

Your dog, no matter what age will attempt to find them.

If the dog does not start searching for anything and only stands there looking at you to find the person then encourage the dog to go with you and show the dog with excitement how fun it is to find the person. 

When you and your dog find the person, praise, praise, praise by you and have the person shower this dog with attention. Your dog will be so happy to do this again, you'll hardly be able to hold him.

Repeat the lesson a few times each day.

"Find It " continue on with this in mind..

It's okay for the hidden person to give your dog a treat if your dog is more inclined to work for food then love as long as you remember to replace the food with love in a few lessons.

Read lesson 6 " Making Trails" ( in the menu above you will find a lesson links page to this and all the lessons) to learn how the person should hide and how your dog will find them before your person hides to often. The dog can be easily confused and refuse to work if you ask them to think to hard at first or do to complex of a trail.

If you dog ever refuses to find a hiding person, go back to previous lessons and retrain until the dog is more confident and understands exactly what you are asking. Some dogs catch onto finding people right away and others take a little more encouragement.

Your dog must always find the person. 


After your dog has found the hidden person a few times, sometimes with help from the person calling out or making a noise then have the person be very quite so the dog learns to work people who are unconscious.

Even if your dog passes a hidden person let the dog go on until it stops on its own to turn around, they usually will turn around and find the person if given the time to move out of the air scent cloud they are working. This scent cloud can be far from the person and the dog has to learn to work out the scent cloud for later search experiences. 

 Never let the dog think it has not accomplished this and it will always lead you to them in a real life emergency. You must learn to Trust your dog's natural ability to find its pack.

Your dog is always right.

If he led you to a blanket and then goes to the closet to find the person, then the person has at one point or another touched this blanket.


Trust your dog and follow him and he will lead the way. After all, didn't you notice him standing there next to you wondering how he can help?

After a couple of weeks of playing hide and seek inside and outside, you can have the person stay hidden for a longer amount of time.

Start with the person hiding for 3- 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, gradually go up to 30 minutes. 

Once your dog finds a person who has been hidden 30 minutes, you can have the person hide without your dog seeing the person run away to hide. Give the dog the scent article, say "smell" and "Find 'em" the dog will go find the person using only the sock and trail left by the subject. More on this in later lessons. (look at the lessons link page above)

Always praise.  

Even if you had to lead the novice dog to the person. 

Never ever scold the dog during this training or he won't want to help you. 
This is one area of training we can not make a dog do, they can refuse and you don't want them to do that !

If you ever have to call in a missing person's report, give the officer in charge your frozen scent article to use with the police or search dogs. They will be impressed that you knew this helpful clue in the investigation and it will save valuable time.

Take the scent articles with you when the family goes camping or on hikes, one never knows when the scent article may come in handy. Don't forget to take your dog camping with you; they could be a life saver if anyone wanders away from camp.

Remember your dog has lived with you a long time, he knows each family member's name so ask him to find them by name, and then if the sock isn't available he can still help you in real life disasters.

Make sure nobody else has touched the sock (scent article) except the person the sock belongs to. This means you too. Pick the sock up using a stick or hanger and place in a Freezer bag by itself. Use one scent bag for each person. Do Not combine two scents.

During the first 2 weeks of training, use only one person a day for your dog to find or the dog may get confused. Once he has the idea, you can change scent articles and people in the next lesson.

 Never ever scold the dog during this training or he won't want to help you and this is one area of training we can not make a dog do, they can refuse and you don't want that.

A scenting dog is not trained by you, they do this naturally. Do not expect them to do so just because you tell them to.

Actually the dog is already scenting and following each new scent that comes their way. 

All you have to do is watch and follow the dog. This is especially apparent during an emergency. Never forget your dog’s unique scenting abilities or their abilities to find their pack members. 

Practice makes Perfect..use the Training Goal Page to judge your progress.

Be careful to avoid K9 Burn Out. ( read the article in the lessons page) 

Just like people who overwork, dogs can experience "Burn Out" and not feel up to preforming the job. 

If your dog loses interest then take a few weeks break and go back to training only one day a week at the most. Working actual tracking courses like discussed above every two weeks works well for most dogs. 

If some dogs are worked to often the fun goes out of the game for them, so the less often they get the chance to play or hunt the more excited they get when the hunt is on again.

Once your dog gets the idea and is finding people you can ask the person to hide for longer time, gradually make the time longer until you can have the person take a walk the night before and ask the dog to follow the person's scent trail the next morning.

For instance, the person is a friend or a child goes to spend the night at a friends, they leave your home the night before to walk to their home and the next morning before people have walked on the same path have your dog smell the person's scent article and start at the doorway to follow the scent trail to the friend's house...Praise the dog well, make this a very happy reunion and your dog will find them every time! 

Good Luck! 

Leave a comment and follow me to FB and Twitter !

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Shop for Emergency Preparedness Gear Support Free Dog Training Lessons

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Family Disaster Dogs

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All proceeds go towards the upkeep of Family Disaster Dogs site

Where dog owners can learn how any dog can help during emergencies and disasters.

Learn how your own dog can find missing family members or bring you first aid if you are trapped.

The very easy do at home lessons are fun for the whole family to play with dogs !

Learn valuable knowledge that will help you survive disasters! 

Thanks and Stay Safe with your pets!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Puppy Post-Apocalyptic Preparedness Guide

This is a guest post from Adam Conrad at Shih Tzu Expert

Thanks Adam !

Puppy Post-Apocalyptic Preparedness Guide

Open source photo

If the world were to go into chaos tomorrow, would you be prepared?

Would your family know what to do? What would you do about your Shih Tzu or toy breed family member?

The world can be a scary place, and it is always a good idea to have a plan. This survival guide is not for you though; it is for your dog. Your furry friend depends on you for survival, so if you don’t have a plan for them, how will they survive?

Some suggest killing them is the humane thing to do, but I couldn’t imagine killing a member of my family. Others say you can use them for food, but I couldn’t imagine eating a family member either. For those who want a scenario where the dog lives, keep reading, for below are some incredible tips and tricks for preparing your pet for a doomsday situation.

The Upside of Toy Breeds

Before we can even consider the prepping aspect, we must look at why these small dogs would be a smart choice to keep around. Most people believe that a bigger dog is the best option for a post-apocalyptic scenario, and they would be right. This does not mean that your toy breed can not be of any use to you. Small dogs are known to be yappy. Even the slightest noise can set them off to bark. When you are in the wild trying to stay alive, this can be very beneficial for you. Toy breeds are the perfect early warning system. You can go sound to sleep knowing if anything were to be coming towards you a furry alarm would go off, giving you time to wake-up and defend yourself.

Unlike bigger breeds these dogs will not be able to carry their own supplies. On the bright side, the smaller the dog, the less supplies they have. Later on we will discuss how much dog food, one should prepare for their pet’s doomsday supply bag, but because Shih Tzus and other toy breed dogs are so tiny, they do not need to eat as much food as a bigger and stronger dog. This is also a bonus in case you run out of their food and need to share some of your supplies with them.

Family Disaster Dogs
Basic dog Bug-out Bag
photo A. Higgins

Doggie Doomsday Bag

Just like humans have vital necessities to include in their “bug-out” bag, so do your fluffy companions. Of course the basics are food and water, then comes additions such as: any medications, grooming supplies, ID tags, leash & collar, a copy of vaccination records and more. It is easy to look at this list and figure that you can wing it, but being prepared is the best way to ensure that you do not end up forgetting something.


While this is a no brainer, you must remember that dogs need certain nutrition. Eventually, at some point, your dog’s food supply will run out. You need to prepare for any possible situation. The amount of food you should prepare for your pet’s survival kit is a little over a weeks worth. Now if this food were to run out, you need to know what type of diet your pet is on. To understand this, you can just see the ingredients that are used for your dog’s food. Knowing this will help you when scrounging up something for them to eat. Thinking just a few steps ahead of the curve can help you and your pet make it through a tough situation.


Water is a vitally important source for life on this planet. Humans should store up to three days worth of water, so I would add one to two more days of that for your pet. Make sure to bring water purification tablets as well, so you furry companion will not get sick from the water they are drinking.


It is important to include any special medications your dog is taking. These medications can also include any heartworm or flea prevention pills.

Grooming Supplies

Don’t get me wrong, you do not need to bring a travel puppy spa, but some doggie nail clippers and a brush would be nice. While grooming may seem like a hassle, it will keep the dog healthy and happy. Plus, grooming can be a way to take your mind off of everything else that is going on. Brushing especially helps to calm a dog down, when dog correctly and with the right tools.

ID Tags, Leash & Collar, and Vaccination Records  

These are especially important if your dog were to be separated from you or if you would like to get into a shelter. Although we all believe our dogs are sweet and would never harm someone, doomsday situations bring out the fear in everyone. By being able to restrain your pet, as well as show their health records, it can put people’s minds at ease. The leash and collar also help to make sure your pet will not get separated from you and your family.

Bonus Items

Other items you can include, but are not of as much importance are: toys, treats and waste bags. If you have the room for these that is great, but if you are unable to bring these things along, it would not be the end of the world.


There are not as many training techniques for Shih Tzu and toy breed dogs, but that does not mean they should not be prepared for a disaster. Simple commands such as “sit” and “stay” can go a long way when trying to keep your dog safe. There are also signals you can teach your dog, so they can help you when in stressed situations. It is unlikely that your tiny pooch will be hunting, but if you are able to train them to do so, you should. The last thing that is important to train your dog on is being in a kennel. They need to be able to feel safe when in a kennel, for it might not always be best that they sleep with you in your bed. In times of a pandemic, you might not want a flea magnet snuggling up against you.


Dogs are a man’s best friend, so don’t go at it alone if you don’t have to. Canines are simple creatures and require certain necessities. Make sure to have a bag packed full of food and water for your travel companion. It shouldn’t be that hard to pack, for smaller dog breeds do not consume as much as the larger ones. If they are happy and healthy, they can benefit you in more ways than one, so take good care of them.

Photo A. Higgins

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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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