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Monday, July 15, 2019

Watch How-to Teach any Dog to Find Family Members after Floods, Earthquakes

Watch us start training a search dog in basic skills and learn how to teach your own dogs to find lost or missing family and friends.

This is one of the skills you can learn more about in my Family Disaster Dogs book. (free on Kindle unlimited)

This fun game of hide and seek is perfect for families to play with their own dogs. Knowing how-to ask your dog to find your child or partner sure would come in handy in the aftermath of a disaster or if a child or elderly person wandered away on a camping trip.

Teaching your dogs how to look for friends and family is one skill I hope you never have to use.

While knowing how to do this with your dogs may never be used, it sure does not hurt to know how!

Plus this gives you a fun activity to do with your dogs and family.

Here's a video of a family dog I'm teaching to find lost and missing persons with her owner. Bella is three years old and did not have an formal training before starting to learn how to find a missing person. She knows basic manners and obedience, enjoys the dog park and swims in the river fetching her toy. This video is one of the first times we asked her to find the boy she lived with. Watch her go!

Your dog can do the same, ask a family member to go hide while you hold the dog until the person is out of sight then let the dog go and see what happens !



You can use a leash or not. We are teaching this dog to be an official trailing-tracking dog and the leash in this case is part of the job. Family dogs can get the job done anyway they are comfortable looking for a family member.

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think. Thanks and stay safe everyone!

Look for Family Disaster Dogs on Facebook

Please share this post so others learn how to save their loved ones.

With climate change rising seas and heatwaves, floods, wildfires and storms everywhere it's time to prepare for the worst and pray for the best.



my Wrinkledpups Daisy Mayham 2000-2014

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Get a Copy Now-Save a Child

Available from Waldorf Publishing


Read all about my new book at the link above. 

Save a child who wanders away!





Thanks for sharing and following! 

Sign up for updates or look for Family Disaster Dogs on Facebook 




Friday, June 14, 2019

Hot Weather Pet Tip--Weekly tips from Family Disaster Dogs


 Here's the weekly tip from FamilyDisasterDogs.com





Keep pets cool by using frozen water bottles 
placed in crates or sleeping areas where pets can lay 
next to the water bottle and stay cool!

Great for other animals like chickens, rabbits and birds!

all photos copyrighted


Have a great summer !

Here's a great idea for your dog's next car ride or outing in the hot weather!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Working Dogs in Summer Heatwaves-Tips to Know when Your Dog is Hot



The hot days of summer are here again and dogs generally know what to do when the weather is to warm. Unless we ask them to go with us or to do something for us dogs slow down in the warm weather, they find the coolest spot to relax and stay out of direct sunlight if possible.

There are plenty of articles online about what to look for when your pets are overheating, and I highly recommend reading a few to learn more about heat-related canine conditions because a heatstroke can kill your dog, cat or rabbit and actually any animal, including yourself. Here's a good article to start with from the AKC Canine Health Foundation


As a master groomer who has worked in many pet grooming shops and show or boarding kennels without air conditioning in some of the hottest locations in the USA, I have dealt with animals overheating and saved the life of quite a few. I also worked search dogs in 100 degree weather and have shown weight-pulling pit bulls in Texas summer heat over 100 degrees.

Here's a few tips I've learned through the years of raising and working with dogs indoors and outside. 

1. Watch your dog in the heat of the day, usually between the hours of 10am-4pm if they are not in a cool place.

2. Do not leave pets where they can overheat and not reach water. Like in cars, yards without shade, kennels on cement slabs without dirt or shade. Sunny house rooms without AC-pull the drapes to keep the heat out.

3. Always try to make sure they are in a nice cool place with plenty of water.

4. Beware of grooming shops because when there are many pets in one room, in cages and hair dryers blowing the room can overheat quickly. Dogs die often in grooming shops because of this. (No I never lost a pet while working) Ask your groomer if they have AC ? and what do they do to ensure pets stay cool when hair dryers are running? Do they cage dry pets? Cage drying is Very dangerous in hot weather if they use heat. It's best to get an early morning appointment if you can.

5. Ask boarding kennels and pet sitters about air conditioning and how they keep pets cool too. Just think of the number of animals housed in one spot and how quickly that spot can heat up. Be sure to inspect the place your pets will stay in hot weather. Many kennels run misting water spray over outdoor runs and this keeps the wire and cement cooler. Pets can get burnt feet too if dog walkers or kennels are not careful.



source

Panting with the tongue hanging out is normal for dogs to do in many areas of daily life, they pant when they are happy, stressed or excited and also as a means to sweat off heat in the body. They cannot sweat like we do because of the fur covering their bodies so they sweat where there is no fur, the pads of the feet, a little bit on the ears, the belly or underarms a little but nothing like we humans do. Dogs don't get smelly sweaty underarms, thank god!

Panting is a good indicator for when your animal is overheating, especially in pet birds, chickens, rabbits and cats who do not pant unless they are overheating or really stressed out. When you see these animals panting then the time has come to cool them down by spraying water around and over them or moving them to a cool place. If stress related, calm them.

Keep an eye on panting dogs who are working or in warm location and watch for the dog's tongue to roll over at the end when they are panting and the mouth drying up, not slobbering as much means the dog is starting to overheat. Time to act and cool them down, now!

Frozen water bottles are great to place in cages and crates when transporting animals in hot weather. A large frozen soda bottle of water lasts a couple hours in outdoor rabbit cages or dog crates. Tie in place so the animal can lay next to the bottle. Of course make sure they have water or they will try to get the ice.

Stay cool and safe this summer everyone!

copyright A. Higgins Daisy's pups pool 
Did you know they make dog scarf that acts like a cooling off aid??

Here's a good one to try!

Here's one like a collar too!


Last but not least, a really good idea for crates, car rides, elderly pets and puppies-a cooling blanket





I only get a very small % of sales to help support this site, thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy the articles on familydisasterdogs.com

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Dog Training Weekly Tip

Dog Training Tip

Only after the first job or mission is mastered do you introduce another plan or job for your dog to learn and do the same as before by repeating the exercise until your dog has mastered the lesson over a couple of weeks. 




 Repeat your lesson plan several times over a couple of week’s time without any changes and your dog will learn what you want.  



Thursday, May 30, 2019

Tips that will Keep your Dog’s Teeth Healthy

When you take your dog to the vet, there is a high chance that they will stress the importance of brushing your dog’s teeth. The problem is that most dogs won’t just sit there and let you brush their teeth for them. They’ll probably squirm, wriggle away and just make it hard work in general. If this sounds like your dog, then there are a few things that you can do to try and keep your dog’s teeth healthy and clean without the drama.


Feel Good Food

Feeding your dog good food will help them in more ways than one. Quality food that includes whole ingredients will nourish their body and it will also help them to have strong and healthy teeth. If you can, you should avoid foods that are made with cereal grains, meals and even by-products. The main reason for this is because they are much more likely to stick to your dog’s teeth and they may even cause them more problems in the future.





Vegetables and Fruit

Dogs love snacks. A lot of dog owners also love giving them as well. The problem is that a lot of snacks are awful for your dog’s teeth. This is especially the case for ones that are high in cereal grains, fat or sugar. If you want to give your dog a healthy snack that won’t harm their teeth then consider carrot slices, apple and even squash. As your dog chews these food products, the plaque will slowly be scraped off their teeth and this can work wonders for their gums. Of course, when feeding your dog treats like this, you have to make sure that you don’t feed them more than 10% of their daily allowance.



Dried Meat Treats

There are a huge range of meat treats out there for your pet and they will give them an excellent amount of chewing action. They will help to keep their teeth clean and some of them can be really good for their immune system too. If you want to give your dog some treats then consider beef eats, dried tendons or even snouts. Sure, they might not seem the most appealing to us, but to a dog, it’s a tasty treat that will always be gratefully received.


Chew Toys

If your dog loves to chew then don’t be afraid to let them. Give them a hard rubber or even a nylon chew toy. As your dog chews away, they will be scraping their teeth, and this can help to prevent plaque build-up. If you want your dog to get the best result, then you need to give them the toy at the end of every meal. If you want to give them some great dog food, then check out these Freshpet reviews.


Raw Bones

Bones are great for keeping your dog’s teeth healthy. The best bones are ones that are uncooked and large. This can include cow bones. If you give your dog bones that are too small, then there is a high chance that they will splinter and break. They may get stuck in your dog’s mouth and this can cause you even more problems in the future.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Why Stimulation Is Great For Your Dog

What's the overriding contrast when comparing dogs and cats? Dogs are just way more energetic.

They are incredibly playful, curious and they love to take risks. That’s actually why we love them though, because we can understand their emotions that are much more visibly on display. But let’s not forget they are pets, and sometimes we need to stop them from doing silly nonsensical things. 

Digging up the backyard for no apparent reason being one of them. They get their nose right into the soil and dirt, as well as their paws and coat which just makes for one giant clean up job when they come back in the house. Stimulation is great for your dog, because after all their senses are way more advanced and powerful than our own. Here’s how you can help them enjoy and explore with them but in a sustainable way.

Let them chew


If you come home one day after work and find that your table or sofa has been chewed up, calm down. The only person should blame is you, because this is essentially a cry out for help. Dogs that are locked in the home for the majority of the day will feel trapped and even though they might look calm, certain trigger actions will show their angst. 

So, allow them to chew on other things such as bones, chew toys and give them harder chewy treats. To support their teeth so they can chew to their heart’s content, take them to a low cost dental care for dogs where they can get a clean up done. It's done under general anesthetic and the company also provides post-clean oral products.








Double the fun
Dogs love to run and play, it's when they’re at their most stimulated. However, humans can only play with dogs a certain way. We usually play fetch with them which gets boring not just of the owner but the dog too. So, you should try to arrange a play time with another dog owner so that both your dogs can meet up in the park and run around together. 

Dogs often play fight which just can’t happen between man and beast, so allowing them to play bite, roll around and jump on each other is going to excite them. Fulfilling that need to hone their primal instincts, they will chase each other around and go sniffing places together as well. By doubling the fun, you also get some time to enjoy the park, sit down with a cup of coffee and watch them have at it.








Paying attention


A simple game you can play at home is the three cup treat. It's a easy as it sounds, because you get three paper cups and show the dog a treat in your hand. You put the treat underneath one of the cups and you mix them around. Then allow the dog to guess with their paw and if they get it right they get the treat. It's a memory game but it's keeps them stimulated and it's simple bonding time too.


Dogs need to be stimulated, you can’t just switch them on and off. Give them something to chew on and also some general dental care so their teeth stay in good condition while they gnaw on bones etc. Arrange a double play time with another dog to really set their senses and excitement alight.

8 Ideas For Raising A Happy, Healthy Dog



When we decided to make a little furry, hairy or scaly addition to the family, we often picture ourselves with smiles on our faces as we enjoy all the good times spent together with them. We think about how fulfilling it will be, how much we will love them and all of the memories that will be made with them. Whilst they may not be fellow human beings, we still accept them as part of the family. Each and every animal has its own ways of being dealt with.

When it comes to taking in and loving a dog, then there are certain ways in which you should behave if you want to raise this beautiful creature properly. Dogs are amazing, and they will run through a brick wall for you, if you are ever in trouble so the right thing to do would be to show them all the love, care and attention in the world. 

If you’re new to all this, then it can be a little overwhelming – you are trying to keep something alive, after all! If that is the case, then let’s go through some things that may help you on your quest of raising a happy and healthy dog. 
 

Choose A Great Food Brand

They have to eat properly, of course. Now, you can hit your local pet store and find any old food that you deem acceptable for the puppy, or you can be a loving caregiver and do a little research into what foods your particular breed needs. If you can give them the best possible nutrition, then their fitness, health and overall contentment will be as close to perfect as you can get it!

Register With A Vet You Trust

The one sounds like another easy thought, but much like finding a particular doctor for yourself, it would be a good idea to find the right vet for your dog. We’re not suggesting that some vets are going to be mean and nasty, but everyone has their preference so perhaps search for someone that your dog will love to bits.

Check Your Dogs Health Regularly

You’ll obviously be keeping a keen eye on their life from day one all the way until their final days, but just be mindful of how their behaving or if their mannerisms change at all – it could mean more than just a subtle change in attitude. 

If you’re not an expert yourself, it may be hard to spot if your dog is struggling in terms of its physical health and you may struggle to determine whether something is serious or not. In this case, using pet technology products might be the way to go – things like heart-rate monitors and other tests can be bought and used by owners. It’s better to be sure than to assume.

 
Walk Your Dog Daily

They’ll need to be active every day so remember to pop their leash on and take them for a stroll. Some dogs can and need to walk for longer distances than others, so you’ll need to figure out just how much exercise your particular baby is going to need.


Play With Your Dog

They’re naturally playful animals, traditionally, so you’ll need to let them have a little fun around the house and outside. You don’t want them bored and lounging around with nothing to do, so buy them lots of toys to play with and interact with them as much as you can!


Start Training Early

It’s all well and good showing off different tricks to your friends – shaking hands and making them wait for fetching a ball sure can be a hoot – but training is more than just little party tricks. Even when they’re young pups, it’s a good idea to train them in a variety of disciplinary ways so that they’re obedient and can protect themselves if things go a little wrong.

 
Show Your Dog Affection

They are warm-blooded creatures of this earth, so, as we mentioned earlier, you should treat them as though they are your own flesh and blood. They would do anything for you, so the very least you can do is love them for their entire life – it’s not hard to do. 


Include Them In Your Life

They’re not just for sitting around at home and looking nice. If you go out on vacation, think about bringing them along. If you’re heading out for the day, perhaps include them in your trip. Don’t just keep them for your own boredom, include them in your life and create amazing memories with them to reminisce about in the future.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Mastering The Art Of Dog-Walking



If you are thinking about getting a dog, you are going to need to think about a lot of different things in order to make sure that you really know what you are getting into. The truth about dogs is that they are a lot of fun, a lot of love and also a lot of energy - and you need to be prepared for that energy, otherwise you will find it considerably less enjoyable to be able to look after and have your own dog. There are a few things in particular you are going to need to focus on, and one of the main ones is walking them. Walking your dog is something that you will find is actually much more of an art than you might have thought, and requires a lot of skill and patience. Let’s take a look now and see what might be involved here.


Frequency


If you are to actually provide the benefit that walking your dog has, you need to make sure that you are doing it as frequently as necessary. You need to be sure that you are actually giving them the exercise they really need, otherwise you might find that you are in trouble and not really doing it right. The frequency, however, along with many other things, depends on the dog. You need to do your research regarding the breed and size of your dog, and you should also just pay attention to your individual dog’s needs, as you will find that it might differ to what other people’s dogs are like, or even other dogs of your own. However, in time you will come to see the kind of frequency that your dog needs to go walking for, and that will mean that you know how much you need to make that a part of your daily life.


Routine


It’s great if you can develop some kind of a routine with walking your dog, so that you can help them to understand when it is time and when it is not. It can also help with some of the more difficult aspects of the process. For instance, a lot of owners will have trouble getting their dogs on their leads, but if you do it as part of the routine, your dog will soon get used to it and expect it, and even make it easier for you by sitting still for it to happen. Likewise, if you need to clean your dog's afterwards, you should make sure you do so in the same way every time, so that they will eventually play along. Visit KingKanine.com to see some paw-cleaning products which can help here.


Length


Finally, be sure to be clear on the length of time that you need to walk your dog for every time you take them. It should be enough to get them tired, as that shows that it is good exercise, but you should not push them too hard in case you end up causing them some damage. As long as you get this right, you can be sure that the exercise is giving them what they need.



Friday, May 3, 2019

Spring 2019 Newsletter

Spring 2019 Newsletter

Happy Spring Everyone!


From author Amber Higgins


Here's an update on what's happening at Family Disaster Dogs.

Centerfold from my new book My Puppy Can Find Me all rights reserved




I'm super excited to let you know that my children's book is available for Pre-order from Waldorf Publishing, yay!

The artwork is by my dear friend, UK Dog Cartoonist Helen "Scotty" King. Check out her dog cartoons, she can do one of your dogs too!

The book will be out in print on Nov 1, 2019 just in time for Christmas gift delivery. By pre-ordering today, you help my book get into major markets, like Walmart, Target and Barns and Noblie.. they like to see if anybody is interested in books before they place large orders from my publisher. I would really appreciate you taking a look at the book and placing an order so all children can learn.



Get your copy click HERE from Waldorf Publishing only $14.99



Here's what this book is about...



“Does your child know what to do if they are lost?”



“Do you know what to do if they are missing?”



My Puppy Can Find Me picture book is your child’s first step on an exciting learning experience that will teach them what to do if they are lost or find themselves alone. By reading this picture book with your children the whole family will learn what to do if they are ever separated or missing and how the family dog can be of assistance during emergencies.



This new concept of dog training teaches search dog skills to family dogs for in-home family rescue and missing person emergencies. Your children will learn valuable lessons by doing these fun exercises that reinforce and teach the pet dog and family to work together during crisis situations to overcome fear and survive.



The whole family learns how to use the family dog to the full advantage regardless of the age, size or breed of the dog. As a family member and part of the pack your dog always knows where each member of the pack is at, this is natural for the dog to know and we as dog owners only need to learn how to take advantage of this natural instinct our dogs possess.

 "My Puppy Can Find Me"

Get your copy click HERE from Waldorf Publishing only $14.99


More exciting news..I am training Mark Elliot and his black Lab, Bella to be a volunteer Search Dog Team that will aid in finding lost and missing persons along the central Oregon coast. They are doing great! This type of training takes 1 to 2 years of a couple days a week working on different scents, surfaces, and people in order to pass testing and certifications qualifying the dog and handler as a team. Follow their progress on our Facebook page Family Disaster Dogs

Check out the video of them training







I am also building an Online Virtual Classroom with Obedience and "Family Disaster Dogs" lessons available so everyone can learn in the comfort of their own homes how to teach your dogs basic obedience and other easy skills so your dog's can help you in emergencies. Next I will build a course from the "Evacuate with Your Dog's Help" book.

Included in each course is a copy of the book, videos, direct contact with me as your instructor, extra tips and tricks based on over 40 years of working with all breeds of dogs as a master all- breed groomer, breeder, trainer and Search dog handler.

   See the Classroom here



 I also have recently published the paperback edition of  "A Squirrel Planted an Acorn" on Amazon. The hardcover is a much nicer edition but also very pricey published in hardback so I made this paperback available at a much lower cost. The e-book is available with a free preview too.

See all my books on Amazon



I hope this finds you and yours doing great!

Feel free to give me shout on social media or email anytime.

Facebook  Page

Have a wonderful safe spring!



Amber Higgins


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Tips for Choosing a Rescue Dog




Throughout the country, there are rescue centers with dogs ready and waiting to be adopted by a family and to become part of their lives. There are many good reasons to get a rescue dog as your next pet, and of course, providing an animal from the shelter with a loving home is a rewarding experience.

Deciding to get a pet is never a decision to take lightly, and there are many important considerations to take into account. All pets are a big responsibility, and this is a fact that should not be forgotten.

Before you look for a rescue dog you should:


Think about how much time you have free to offer a dog, will it be left for long periods while you work?

Will you be able to cover vets bills, food, insurance etc.?

Do you already have a dog, and will it be upset by a new arrival in the family home?

Consider what breeds of dog are best suited to you, do you like to go on long walks which you could take your dog on too?

Would you prefer a puppy or an adult dog?

Would you like a pedigree rescue dog so that you can be better informed about the dog’s characteristics and traits?

Would you prefer to have a long-haired dog or a dog with a short coat?

How much time would you have each day for grooming a long-haired dog?



Image: Pixabay

Questions to Ask the Dog Rescue Center:



How and why did the dog end up at the animal rescue center?

What does the center know about the dog’s past, was it mistreated in some way or abandoned, or has the dog’s owner passed away, or become unable to care for it?

Has the dog already been spayed or neutered? (some rescue centers automatically do this, so it is worth checking with the staff when you visit).

Do they know what breed the dog’s parents were? (This could provide you with more of an insight into the dog’s character traits, as well as indicating how big the dog will grow to if it is a puppy).

Does the dog have any ongoing or current health issues?

Choosing to bring a rescue dog into your life is an incredible thing to do, but there is much to consider before you head to the shelter to see all the dogs.


Bear in mind that a rescue dog is likely to be affected by its past treatment, this may mean that it will struggle around other dogs, either by being aggressive or timid. If the latter is the case be sure to understand how to break up a dog fight, and in the unfortunate event that your dog suffers an injury ensure that you register with a vet. If a human is hurt then after seeking medical advice a dog bite attorney may be able to help.

Remember that past mistreatment may mean that it takes a while for your new dog to realise that you can be trusted, so patience is crucial.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Make a Shelter From 3 Items and Survive the Storm


To make a shelter from 3 items

Make a fast emergency lean-to shelter

Items needed

You’ll need at least one item from each list below


1. Tarpaulin or Plastic Sheeting or Large Leaf Garbage bags (all of these items are on the list above and should be rolled tightly and packed in the Bug-out bag)


2. Twine or light rope, shoelaces work in a jam

3. A tree branch you can reach that is long enough for the shelter roof. Or a rock wall overhang or 2 to 4 long poles about 6 to 8 foot long cut from tree saplings

Find a tree branch or rock overhang that is tall enough to reach and has a flat open area on the ground below.

To Make the Shelter

Open the tarp or plastic, lay flat on the ground.

Using the twine, tie 2 of the corners of the opened flat tarpaulin or plastic sheet to the tree branch or use a heavy rock to tie to and set on the rock overhang then use rope or twine to secure the rock in place.

Long poles cut of tree saplings also placed against the rock wall will work. The poles can be put in the ground to make a lean too if the ground is soft enough.

Stretch the tarp out and to the ground for a sloped roof lean-to shelter. Use stick stakes or heavy rocks to hold in place.

Make as secure as possible with extra twine, rocks or stakes.

Lay another tarp, plastic sheet or garbage bags on the ground for a protective waterproof barrier.

Make the underside into your camp.

Hint

Face the doorway or open side away from prevailing winds and storms; usually they come from the west. South facing to the east is a good choice for most parts of the USA.

Learn more in my book 





Visit www.Familydisasterdogs.com for more cool ideas !

Look for us on Facebook! Family Disaster Dogs (page and group)

Monday, April 8, 2019

My Puppy Can Find Me-children's book

This children's picture book is the most important lesson every child with a dog should learn to avoid every parent’s worst nightmare.

“What to do if your child is missing."



By reading "My Puppy Can Find Me" picture book with your children the whole family will learn what to do if they are ever separated or missing, and how the family dog can be of assistance during emergencies.

Children will learn valuable lessons by doing these fun exercises that reinforce and teach the pet dog and family to work together during crisis situations to overcome fear and survive.

The whole family learns how to use the family dog to the full advantage regardless of the age, size or breed of the dog.

As a family member and part of the pack your dog always knows where each member of the pack is at, this is natural for the dog to know and we as dog owners only need to learn how to take advantage of this natural instinct our dogs possess.

This children's picture book shows the whole family, young and old, how to use the average family pet as your own hero dog and search dog.

"My Puppy Can Find Me" ebook and picture book is based on the original "Family Disaster Dogs" book (available on Amazon) by former Search Dog trainer and Bloodhound breeder Amber Higgins in the USA.

With artwork and illustrations from U.K. Dog Cartoonist Helen "Scotty" King.

The valuable lessons you and your children can learn are:

1. Young children learn how to tell the family dog to "go find parents"

2. Children learn to wait in one place and play a game until adults find them (we cannot find a missing child if they keep moving away from the searchers, its best to teach children to sit and wait)

3. Parents and older children learn how to tell the dog to go for help and find missing loved ones.

4. Parents learn to ask the dog to find anybody

5. Any age or size dog learns to go to family members or friends upon command like police and military dogs do.

This skill can be used for carrying objects to a person or as a messenger dog.

6. Any dog learns to show you how they can track a missing human pack member and find loved ones with these easy fun game like lessons.

This book is for children 3 and up!

This child version of the Family Disaster Dog book has easy to read familiar words and fun illustrations for your child to learn as they read.

A note from the author
I want to help dog owners and friends of dog families avoid every parent’s worst nightmare. What to do if your child is missing.

Our dogs know where we are every moment and when we leave the house they long to follow us. Our dogs do find us when we open the door. Our dogs can find whoever has left the house, yard or pack, if we dog owners know how to ask. Let us show you how to ask any dog to help you.

The more we share this valuable information, the more children and missing persons we all will help. Thank you in advance for reviewing, liking and sharing so others can learn too ! Amber

Visit the sit to teach your dogs to rescue your family, Family Disaster Dogs






Thursday, April 4, 2019

Got An Anxious Pup? Here Are Some Tips For You

There is nothing as upsetting as seeing either your children or your dog is stressed out. When you don’t know how to help the situation can get worse pretty quickly. Firstly it is essential to recognize when your dog is anxious, opposed to having something wrong that needs the vet's attention.


 
Photo by Burst from Pexels

Classic signs of anxiety in a dog are:

  • Tucking their tail in
  • Pacing and panting heavily
  • Not looking directly into your eyes
  • Trembling and shaking
  • They may go off their food too
  • They may begin to eliminate in the home
  • Occasionally this may be displayed aggression
  • Sometimes they also become destructive

How To Help A Dog With Anxiety


Much like humans, dogs respond great when they feel they are being taken care of. Here are a few things that you can do to help your best buddy relax in times of stress.

Toys - You can pick up some hard wearing dog chew toys to give them something - rather than your shoes or skirting board. Dogs have a lot of energy and one of the ways that you can help them channel that fundamental need for safety, stimulation and energy placement is with toys. They can go back to that toy whenever they need to, think of it like a ‘blankie’.

Supplements - There are many people who just don’t want to dose their dog with medicines from the vet. If that sounds like you, then you might like to look into evening primrose oils and CBD oils. Both of which have a good reputation for helping dogs, you can check out more recommended reading and see what might work for you both.

Be calm - Dogs are very in tune with their owners. They respond to both positive and negative emotions, likewise for stress and calm. If you take a few deep breaths and be as calm as possible, they will begin to feed on your demeanor. It sounds very simple, but think about how often we as humans display stress by seeing our pets stressed. Talk to them in a steady tone, calm and a lot of reassurance.

Hug it out - Just like when you are upset, a big hug from someone you love releases all sorts of stress-reducing hormones, the same goes for your furry friend. Grab a big blanket, and get cozy with your dog. Combine it with a soothing voice. Once you see any of the signs for anxiety try and use the same blanket over and over. This will train them to associate the blanket with a calm time. They might even begin to take the blanket to you when they (or you) need it.

Walk - Dogs usually have a lot of energy to expel, so get your trainers n and go for a walk. Not only is it good for you, but it’s great for them too. Walking, or running will let them burn off tension in the form of movement. Even playing with a ball in the garden is likely to have great results. 

Learn to read your dog's body language, but if you are unsure, or think they may be in pain head to your vets for a chat and some peace of mind.





Author Amber Higgins Book Interview with NF Reads


Interview with NF Reads 

Hi everyone,

I was asked to do an interview about my books from a really cool site that has interesting inspiring stories, interviews from book authors and other great reading!

I talk about what inspired me to build this blog site and write the Family Disaster Dogs books.






Check it out at this link

The interview is published at Interview with Amber Higgins

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

5 Secrets to Saving Big When Ordering Pet Supplies Online

5 Secrets to Saving Big When Ordering Pet Supplies Online

Photo A. Higgins


If you are like most pet parents, you enjoy scoring a great discount every now and then. Pet expenses are always on the rise and your goal as a pet parent should be to buy quality products and supplies without paying more than you should.



While wholesale places like Costco offer great discounts on pet products, they often fail to match the prices offered online. However, finding the best prices on pet supply stores takes a bit of effort. There are a few tricks you can employ to get the best discounts consistently. Few of these tips are going to be pretty obvious, but you would be surprised how many pet parents actually forget to utilize them. Before we reveal our tips, remember our one and only rule.



#1 Rule: Never Trust a Shady Online Pet Store


Without further ado, the following are 5 secret tips to save big when ordering pet supplies online.



When Possible Buy Generic Pet Medications


Did the vet prescribe an expensive pet medication? Stop the urge to shop at the vet’s office, where you are least likely to get a proper discount. Instead, ask the vet to write down the generic name of the medication. Generic meds are usually significantly cheaper than their branded counterparts and they are identical in efficacy and quality. However, when you order pet meds online, it’s important to buy it from a reputed store (remember our #1 rule). A lot of unethical stores sell counterfeit pet medications and generic drugs are even easier to fake than branded ones.



Become a Member


If you shop at one particular store, then it makes complete sense to become a member. Online pet stores reward members by giving them assured discounts on both pet supplies and medications. The cost of the membership fee is usually recovered in the first few months if you buy all your pet products from one store.



Buy Pet Food in Bulk


Pet food is one of the few supplies you know you are going to need. As long as you have the space to store them safely, it makes sense to buy dog and cat food in bulk. Here’s an example to help you understand how much are likely to save. We compared the same pet food product of different pack sizes after all the discounts. The 15lb pack costed us $2.15 per pound. When we bought the bigger 28lb bag we paid $1.89 per pound. Simply put, you can buy the same exact pet food for a cheaper price per pound if you buy in bulk. This is barring the fact that most online pet stores give you additional discount coupons for buying more at a time.



Keep Multiple Tabs Open to Quickly Compare Prices


Okay, this one’s super obvious, but something that most shoppers simply forget to do. Before you do this, however, remember our #1 rule. Don’t trust a shady online pet store offering massive discounts. Keep multiple tabs open of sites you know and trust and compare the prices after adding items to the cart and applying coupons. This is the final price and that’s what matters at the end of the day.



Hunt For Coupons


Hunting for coupons at independent coupon sites is a great way to score additional discounts. You can even check the coupons section on the online pet store website.




Monday, April 1, 2019

Healthy Pets, Happy Owners


Your best friend is loyal, loving and always has your back, so it makes sense that you want to take the very best care of him that you can. Naturally, you give him all the best quality food he needs and exercise him regularly, not to mention all the cuddles he gets but when it comes to his medical needs, what can you do to keep him in tip-top condition?

Like finding a doctor, sometimes finding the right vet can require a little research and patience. There are vets who definitely prefer one type of animal over another and when you’re spending out good money on treatments you want a professional who knows your dog’s needs inside and out.

Here’s what you can do to make sure you’re getting the best healthcare for your best furry friend:

Take A Trip

When you book your first appointment with the vet make sure you take a good look at the facilities. 

How clean and well kept is the waiting area? Are there any obvious hazards or signs that it’s not well cared for or cleaned regularly?

Make sure you get a sense if the reception staff are well organised and seem on top of signing in new patients.

When you talk to the vet about your dog, do they seem interested and friendly? Look for a rapport that you can build on and monitor how friendly and genuine they are with you pet. It might seem inconsequential, but do they talk to your dog in friendly terms and actively seek to reassure them or just get on with the job at hand?

Go with your gut feeling and if you don’t feel comfortable with the vet, ask to change or seek out a new practice.



Image courtesy of Pexels

Insurance

Unless you want to take the risk, you’ll probably want to insure your pet so make sure the practice you register your pet at accepts your insurance provider.

If you don’t have dog insurance then shop around for the best deals and find out how much it’s going to cost to protect your pet. The older the dog, the steeper the premiums are likely to be so it’s worth covering them as puppies with a lifetime plan. As your dog ages and trips to the vet become more frequent, you’ll be glad you opted to keep up your monthly premiums.

Your best friend is so much more than just a pet, they’re who you come home to after a long day at work and who you can rely on to always be there to cheer you up or make you laugh with their antics. 

Pay them back for their unswerving loyalty with healthcare tailored just for them. A friendly vet who makes the process of a visit that much easier and a practice that takes care of its guests properly.

Take out insurance that helps ease the financial burden of vet bills and enjoy the immense privilege and fun of being a dog owner.



Thursday, March 28, 2019

Bella to the Rescue-Search Dog Training Video




Here is Team Bella in training.

Owner handler Mark is working Bella.

They are training with the author to be certified 
for K9 Search and Rescue (SAR) 

This is Trailing not Tracking! 

Enjoy the show!

Bella is a 3 year old family pet who really enjoys her new job!










Wednesday, March 20, 2019

How to Train Dog to Return to Owner or Handler


 Teaching Refind or Return to Handler


Teaching your family dog to “refind” or return to handler after they find a person or object is another way your dog can indicate or alert you of the find. 

Area search dogs and air scenting dogs who work off leash to cover large areas of land like in an avalanche are usually taught upon finding a person or evidence to return to their handler and bring the handler back to the person or location. 

Dogs who work on a leash have the handler with them; therefore there is no need to go back to the handler. I teach my Bloodhounds to take me back to my truck or home on command because I seldom know where I am once we trail a person several miles in the woods. 


Back to the truck !


I teach my dogs by simply telling them “let’s go home” or “back to the truck” each time we start back after we are finished with the training session or real search. Then if I am ever lost, I know, I can ask my dog to take me home or to the truck. 

Family Disaster Dogs on and off a leash can use this skill to bring people and items back to you if you are unable to move or wish to stay with another person. If you are sheltering in place then you can send your dog out to get an item and bring the item back to you.

Let it be known that some breeds of dogs will not “backtrack” or return the way they came. Bloodhounds and other hounds especially do not like to go backwards on the same scent trail. Some breeds and bloodlines are bred not to backtrack and when a dog is trailing and tracking we do not want them to backtrack because this defeats the purpose. 

Another reason backtracking is not encouraged or bred for is that if a dog encounters a place where the quarry or person walked in circles the dog will get lost in the scent overlapping on its own trail.  

A good hound will hit a place where a person or animal walked in circles and go right in one side of the circle then out the side the person exited while another dog will smell and smell, going in circles themselves trying to figure this puzzle out. Give time they might figure it out or sit there and look at you to figure it out.


Daisy doesn't want to go back the way we came

With backtracking in mind, if your family dog refuses to go backwards on a course to return to you or the person then you may have a very smart dog on your hands that you have to out smart by taking a different route back.  Just move a little bit to one side of the original trail the dog traveled on, maybe 30-50ft so your dog gets a chance to use a different path to reach you.

We do not want to teach them to backtrack either so moving off of the course is a good idea and changing the locations will help too.

Refind and return to handler can be taught at the same time as all the lessons here at Family Disaster Dogs.  This skill is incorporated into your other lessons as you practice with your dog you will add the instructions below into the end of the lessons.

Always praise your dog for a job well done.


Instructions

To teach your dog to return to you after finding a person you will send your dog to search or find them as detailed in the other lessons.

When your dog arrives at the person the dog is rewarded by that person then told by the person to “go back” or use your own name, like “Go to Joe”. 

You stay a distance away when your dog finds the person and you call your dog back to you after the other person praises your dog. 

You praise your dog when they come back to you then ask your dog to find the person again, sending the dog back to “refind” the person.  When the dog refinds the person the second time, if you are not there by then, the person should send your dog back to you again until you reach them as a team. 

Repeating this will help your dog learn they are bringing you to what they have found a person. And, they are not only running between two people. Dog’s like to have a purpose for what they are doing otherwise it is play.

You should adjust the distance between you and your dog according to your own dog’s way of working. Some dogs run along at a fast pace while others work slowly. Some find the person long before you get there no matter how hard you try to keep up while others might seem to take their time smelling every bush. Each dog is different. 

The trick is to give your dog space to find the person and return to you. So don’t follow to close at first then later add more distance to the space your dog has to cover to return to you. As you give the dog more distance to cover they will learn to find you as you get out of sight and to bring you back to the person as both of you come back together.

In time and with practice your dog can be sent out to search over a large area of land to scout and pin point locations for you then come back and take you to those locations.

Adding refind or return to handler to area searching and evidence or building searches saves you valuable time because your dog alone can cover much more ground that we can. 

When your dog is searching every item they find that holds the scent of the person they are looking for will be found too. This is evidence of where the person has been.

When your dog takes you to objects you must always believe the item belonged to the person you seek because your dog is showing you a clue. Trust your dog.

In the next lesson we’ll be discussing sending your dog to retrieve first aid kits, food and other emergency supplies by name that you might need if you are trapped or unable to leave people who are injured. 



After over 30 years working with dogs, I really do believe any dog, any age, any breed can learn to do some of the lessons here to help their families and loved ones be safe and survive in an emergency situation. 

The smallest or oldest dog can learn to bark or nudge you in an emergency to alert you to danger, every dog is able to help in some way just as they would as a group or pack. Never underestimate your dog. 

Please pass these lessons on so others may benefit. 


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