10 Great Dog Training Tips

Everyone knows how important it is to train their beloved pooch. Unfortunately, it’s also expensive, time-consuming, and tiring. These tips can help you quite a bit when it comes to training your pooch. They won’t make it easy, but they will make it easier.


1) Stay positive


It’s well known that positive reinforcement works better than negative when it comes to training. Yet it’s hard to be positive when your dog has once again torn up the trashcan. Unfortunately, dogs can sense when their person is upset. If you’re angry, or even plain not into the training, your dog won’t understand what’s happening. Unless you need to curtail a behavior in the moment, it’s best to try training only when you’re feeling up to it.


2) Keep Sessions Short


No one likes devoting all their time and energy to something that takes hours. Just like people, dogs can get bored with repetitive sessions.


3) Play Is A Vital Part!


It’s always great to have a bit of fun after hard work, and dogs are no different in that respect. Some dogs respond better if you play before training. It allows them to get out their playful energy and be better able to focus on what you’re teaching them. Other dogs simply get wound up, making it impossible to get them to calm down and listen. Have a good sense of how your dog learns best.


4) Find Training Opportunities In Everyday Life


If you train on schedule but don’t teach your pooch how to respond in everyday life, your dog will learn they should only perform the action during training. Randomizing when you give a training command can keep your dog on their toes and teach them to pay closer attention. So find places to instruct them. Tell them to sit before you feed them in the morning. Tell them to shake. Call your dog to come when at the dog park, so they learn that the “come” order might happen at any time. If you’re giving your dog a treat, such as table scraps? Tell them to do a trick! If your dog wants attention, a training command can be a good way to interact with them. It teaches them that you’ll give them attention but still expect them to follow the rules.


5) Use Mealtime Often


Using meal time to train your dog teaches them that food is no excuse for poor behavior. It also gives you an easy to follow schedule.


6) Stop If You Get Frustrated



If you’re getting fed up with the training, stop immediately. Similarly, you should stop if your dog seems to be getting frustrated. You can end training on a calmer note by telling your dog to sit, or possibly to go lay down on their bed. As they rest up, you can rest up and consider what went wrong. Perhaps you simply need to find a better treat. Or you may simply need some outside help. There’s no shame in asking a professional. That’s why they’re professionals!


7) Be Consistent With Training


As mentioned, your dog will learn if they’re only expected to listen during specific times. This is why you have to be consistent with your orders. It teaches your dog to perform on command, and more importantly that you expect them to listen at all times.


8) Have Fun!


Play isn’t just a great way for you and your dog to blow off steam. It can be important for helping your dog concentrate and building their intelligence. Keeping the training fun can keep both you and your pooch interested.


9) Get Professional Help


It might be expensive, but a professional trainer can be a huge help. They can assess if you have realistic goals and help you figure out how to meet them. They can even take over the training if you’re uncertain how to proceed.


10) Celebrate Victories No Matter How Small


It’s incredibly easy to ignore how much better the trainee has gotten. This is true of humans and dogs. You can get so focused on what you want that you don’t notice how far you’ve come. The harder the behavior, the easier it is to fall into this habit. This is another area where a professional trainer is handy. They can help you notice when your dog has gotten a lot better. Having that kind of feedback can often encourage you when nothing else will.

The Top Three Things to Avoid when Bathing Your Dog

Bathing your dog can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your pooch. During this time, you get to bond with your pet and get him/her clean. Canines require regular washings to keep them neat and clean. During a bath, you not only clean your pet but help to ensure that your dog’s coat remains healthy. Dogs should be bathed at least every month. Bathing your canine pet is easy when you know what to avoid. Let;s take a look at three common mistakes that dog owners make when bathing their dog.


The Wrong Type of Shampoo


Dogs, just like people, require specific formulations. Some dogs suffer from dry skin while others battle fleas. This is why it is essential that you choose the right type of shampoo based on your dog’s unique needs. There are numerous types of dog shampoo available. Let’s take a look at how you can find the best dog shampoo based on your pet’s unique needs.

If you are unsure which shampoo to choose, talk with a groomer. Most groomers will be happy to help you choose a dog shampoo because frequent washings help to make a day at the groomers easier.

In addition to asking the dog groomer, you can contact your veterinarian to help determine the best type of shampoo for your dog. Your veterinarian will know your dog’s unique health and be able to recommend the best formula based on your dog’s health.

It is essential that you avoid using shampoo developed for people; however, a baby shampoo may be recommended for those dogs with sensitive skin. However, most human shampoos are not designed to properly cleanse your dog without causing skin irritation. When you opt for the appropriate dog shampoo, your dog will begin enjoying his bath and associate bath time with a pleasant, calm and enjoyable experience.


Rewarding Your Dog Too Soon



You can make bath time more enjoyable by training your dog to be on his/her best behavior. When you are training your dog, make it a positive experience so your dog will begin to look forward to his/her bath time. Many people to get their dog into the bathroom using treat; however, this is a bad mistake. Wait until after your dog has been washed to praise him/her and give them a treat, based on how well they behaved. Never give your pet a treat while he/she is in the bathtub.


Avoid Getting Frustrated or Yelling at Your Pet During Bathtime.



When your pet is excited, he/she can sling soap and water all over your bathroom. It is important to remember that your beloved pooch does not understand why he/she needs a bath. Remain calm and be assertive to help teach him/her how he/she is supposed to ask during bathtime.

Scream at your pet will further excite your dog, which will further worsen their behavior. Additionally, screaming at your pet can cause him/her to fear bathtime. Instead, try to remain calm and take a deep breath. If need be, walk away from the bath and try at a later time. This may not be the most convenient option; however, it can help defuse the tension.

Finally, always make sure that you have plenty of time to devote to your pet’s bathtime.Being rushed can add to your tension, which can cause your pet to misbehave.

As you can see, there are a few things to remember when you are bathing your dog. Remain calm, give yourself plenty of time, choose the right shampoo and only reward your dog after bath time is completed.

Main Reasons To Adopt A Pet From An Animal Shelter

Save A Life


All of the animals that live in shelters are in need of another chance. They have been given up, lost or abandoned. They are helpless and unwanted and you will be giving them a brand new life in a loving home.


Break The Cycle Of Overpopulation In Pets


There are simply not enough homes to go around for the number of animals that are born each year. When you adopt from a shelter, it will help to weaken the cycle of pet overpopulation. Every year, roughly 8 to 12 million puppies, kittens, cats and dogs are euthanized simply because there are not enough homes for them.


Help Stop The Cruelty Found In Mass Breeding Facilities


Across the country, there are thousands of facilities for commercial pet breeding, along with backyard breeders that put up millions of animals for sale in pet stores or with newspaper ads. Often referred to as kitten and puppy mills, these are facilities that will repeatedly impregnate the female dogs that spend their lifetime in cages and without human companionship. These are unfortunate animals that live in intolerable surroundings, forced to put out litter after litter, then destroyed once they are unprofitable. When you adopt from a shelter, you will never be supporting these cruel practices.


Take Advantage Of Adult Animal Adoption


Here you have a potential deal. An adult pet makes for a wonderful companion. They are usually already house trained and may even know how to “stay” or “sit.” You are never going to have to go through the puppy or kitten phase, meaning less of the youthful energy that includes clawing, chewing or biting. You can see the personality of the adult animal and you know what you are going to get.


Lifetime Resource Of The Shelter Employees And Volunteers


Those who work at the shelter become a valuable resource for helping you to get the information you need for your pet. They work with animals each day and have a vast amount of information on a variety of issues.


Great Selection Of Animals


You will find shelters that has varieties you will not see elsewhere. You will see specific breeds and some of the greatest mutts to make excellent companions.


You Will Adopt A Pet That Has Gotten Excellent Care


Every animal that you will find in a shelter have been given vaccinations on arrival and also go through a process of behavioral screening. Shelters have vet partners that come into their shelter each week to help with all the health care issues and concerns that arise.


Support A Valuable Community Institution And Charity


The sad truth is that every community across the United States is in need of an animal shelter for pets in need. Once you adopt your pet from a shelter, you will be assisting a not for profit group, but also sending out a message to anyone else who will be asking throughout the years where you got your lovely pet. Shelters help to improve the community by working to mandate that the adopted animals end up being neutered or spayed. This is a requirement that can help diminish the chances that other unwanted animals come into the world.


You Will Spend Less


You will often find low adoption fees that will cover a portion of the costs of the shelters, which are much less than any cost you will find for a purebred puppy or kitten that is sold for a profit.


Encourage Others to Adopt A Shelter Animal


When friends ask where you got the amazing pet you have, you can simply tell them you got him/her “at the shelter.” Your single adoption could encourage many others to do the same.

5 Reasons You Should Adopt An Older Dog

Age seven is when dogs are generally considered seniors, but the size of the dog affects whether or not they are classed as a senior. For example, smaller dogs tend to mature slower and become seniors later on in life when compared to bigger dogs. There are many senior dogs that are in shelters, waiting to be adopted.

The next time you go to your local shelter, consider getting a senior dog. You will love owning one. With that said, here’s a few reasons to adopt a senior dog.


1.They Need You


Sure, puppies need loving homes, but so does older dogs. Remember, senior dogs were once loved by someone, and for some reason they were given up and abandoned and now they need another home. Just look at all the how i met my dog stories floating around. Senior dogs are just as loyal and loving as puppies and other dogs that are younger, so they make excellent companions.


2.You Might Save Their Life


You might save a senior dog’s life by adopting them. A lot of people go for younger dogs and puppies and they often don’t look at dogs that are older than five. Unfortunately, when shelters run out of space, the first dogs that are euthanized at senior dogs, if they have yet to be adopted and enough time has passed by. When you adopt a senior dog, then you may have saved its life.


3. They Make Very Good Pets



Dogs that are older are not always problem dogs, which is what many people think of when they see older dogs at a shelter. These dogs have lost their homes for a number of reasons, and most of the time it has nothing to do with their behavior. In fact, it’s usually because their owners lost interest in having a dog or a guardian died. Other reasons includes a new baby, a move, loss of a job or a change in a work schedule to name a few.

They make great companions right from the start. Dogs that are older are ready to go on long walks and they know how to listen, play fetch and so forth. They make great companions, workout partners and snuggle buddies.


4.Spend Less Time Training Them


Older dogs are usually trained and they know what the basic commands are, such as sit, stay and down to name just a few. They are potty-trained, and this means you don’t have to dedicate a lot of time and effort in training them to learn basic commands or show them where to go to the bathroom. When you own a younger dog, then you need to devote quite a bit of time if you want them to learn commands.

Older dogs can be taught new tricks. They are just as smart as puppies and younger dogs. Not only that, but the older dogs usually have a greater attention span than younger ones.


5. What You See Is What You Get


Senior dogs tend to be more calmer than their younger counterparts because they have already established a demeanor and have gone through the puppy stages. As soon as you meet an older dog, you will have an idea of whether or not they will suit your lifestyle and fit into your household. Older dogs are not as energetic as younger ones, so you don’t have to worry about them wrecking havoc within your home, and a lot of them get along well with kids.

Do you want a dog? If so, then get a senior dog. As you can see, there are many reasons to get one.

6 Deadly Poisons That Can Kill Your Dog.

Toxins are the main reason why most dog owners visit emergency clinics or call their veterinarians. It can be very expensive to treat a poisoned dog and it is important to keep the out of your pet’s reach. Below are some of the most deadly poisons:


1. Antifreeze


Antifreeze is one of the most common toxic product eaten by cats and dogs. It can be very deadly and only 1 teaspoon can kill your small dog! Dogs like eating Antifreeze because it is sweet. Therefore, you have to ensure that your dog does not access any antifreeze.


2. Mouse and rat baits


Mouse and rat baits have several toxic ingredients. The most common ingredient in these products leads to bleeding disorders. This is why it is important to keep any baits out of your pet’s reach.


3. Slug bait


During summer, the number of slugs increases and most people like using slug bait to kill them. Slug bait usually has an active ingredient known as metaldehyde- an ingredient that can lead to uncontrollable seizures in pets.


4. Dog medications


Overdosing or accidental access to pet medications is a common cause of poisoning in dogs. It is usually a good idea to call your veterinarian when your pet accidentally ingests anything it should not.

Always remember that early identification and treatment can save your pet’s life. If the medication is dangerous enough, then your vet will most likely recommend that you induce vomiting to get the poison out of the pet’s system.


5. Human medications


Dogs can access human medications or they may be given these medications by a dog owner with good intentions but unfortunately misinformed. Keep in mind that human medication can be given an overdose of human medications. This can be very toxic to pets. Avoid giving your dog any medications without consulting your veterinarian.


6. Insecticides


Insecticides you use on your dogs especially those meant for ticks or fleas should be approved by your veterinarian. This is due to the fact that some pets are sensitive to some medications.

I can assure you that the tips above will keep your pet safe. Apart from keeping your pet safe from toxins, ensure that your dog has the best medical care possible. This is why it is a good idea to have a pet insurance which will help you have the means to deal with an unexpected medical condition.

Do you have pet insurance? If the answer is a big yes, then I congratulate you for taking this important step that will keep your pet safe and healthy. I hope that this information has been helpful to you. As you can see, it is very important to keep all toxins and medications out of reach of children and dogs. While being very important, this is only a subset of common mistakes dog owners make with their pets.

Top Ten Mistakes Made By New Dog Owners

You saw an adorable bundle of fur, fell in love with it and brought it home. Her sloppy tongue and big brown eyes basically guarantee that you will be giving in to her every whim. That being said, those behaviors that you found so immensely adorable will soon become extremely irritating, and the new habits that are being formed are less than ideal. If you make these common mistakes that many new dog owner´s make, this could be your future. If you can avoid them, you will be on your way to having a canine that is well behaved and truly a joy to be around.


1. Going Off Cute



When asking someone why they chose their pup, nine out of ten times that will probably state that it had something to do with its looks. That being said, there is more to dogs than just cute faces, they have individual personality traits, as well as exercise needs that go along with their particular kind of breed, an intelligent dog owner will choose their dog based off of these factors, not only off of looks.

For example, a business person who resides in a New York high rise and is very busy, finding themselves home for only a few hours at a time, and going for walks or runs should not choose a Siberian Husky, a breed which requires miles of running on a daily basis. Take advantage of websites like Dog Breed Answers that covers popular dog breeds around the world. Investigate the breeds. Choose wisely, and you will set yourself on the path to success before you have even brought your dog home.

All puppies are adorable, however are they the perfect fit for your family?


2. Believing that What You See, Is What You Will Get


Oftentimes people pick out a puppy or go to the shelter, assuming that the first behavior they witness is what the dog will display its entire life. There are however stages that puppies go through, they go through periods of fear, hormone changes, as well as environmental experiences which will determine what their adult personalities will be like. Usually, rescue dogs are in a state of depression or fear, having been abused or abandoned by their owners, living in the streets, etc. This means that the disposition they displayed at a foster parent´s home or at the shelter is most likely not the personality they will have after having lived with you for a month. Once puppy settles in has become comfortable, you will see his true colors.

Mistakenly believing that because when you first met, he was shy and reserved the dog’s character will be a calm one, can set your up for frustration and disappointment once he has gotten comfortable and starts to bounce off the walls.

With a puppy, observe the parents and inquire with the breeder about the temperaments of previous litters, this will give you a better idea of what your puppy may be like as an adult. With rescue dogs, get as much information as possible and pay attention to the dog´s breed or breeds, this can also help you to determine personality.


3. No House Rules



Often when we bring a dog home, we unhook the leash setting it “free” without even thinking about what we do and do not want him to do. Then when it begins to display behaviors we consider to be bad, we try punishing him for not being able to read our minds. At times we allow for a certain behavior over a couple of weeks and then simply change the rules deciding that we no longer want him doing that.

This can create confusion, setting the dog up for failure, not for success. Before bringing home a new puppy or dog, sit down with the household members and decide what will and not be allowed for the dog. Decide where the dog will sleep, will it be allowed on the furniture, when will be time for feeding, walking, exercising and who will take care of that. A big key to success is having set rules and making sure that they are followed by everyone.


4. Inconsistency


Once you have set the rules – follow them! This means that anyone who frequently has contact with your new dog, whether it is the housekeeper, family members or friends must abide by them. Dogs are intelligent creatures and even if a single person is rewarding them for, lets say jumping up, then that behavior will be continued much to everyone else´s chagrin. If the humans are held accountable, the do will learn.


5. Thinking that “baby” is Too Young to be Trained



Oftentimes new puppy owners will ask when they are able to begin training for things such as sitting, loose leash walking, etc. They often state that the puppy is “too young” to learn. By the time a puppy has turned eight weeks, it is completely capable of learning behaviors and from the moment they set foot in your house, they should. Not only will your bond be strengthened with positive reinforcement training, it will also lead to a dog that is well-behaved.


6. Thinking that It Will Grow Out of It


Another thing that many dog owners say is that they cannot wait until their pup grows out of it. However, dogs do not usually grow out of their bad behaviors, As a matter of fact, if they are left to their own devices, the usually will get worse. Keep in mind that these behaviors are only viewed by us as being bad – when chasing cats, digging up the flowers, and barking at the mailman, your dog is well-rewarded. Unless through reinforcement he is given reason to, he will not just stop.


7. Getting Away With It


With humans, cute goes a very long way. It is our tendency to allow cute things to get in the way of just about anything. New dog owners believe that it is just adorable when their tiny puppy attempts to jump on them for attention, and when she is left alone and lets out the tiny howl, it is to sad to simply ignore.

That being said, your lab that weighs 80 pounds pounces on your 90 year old grandma, well that won’t be so cute. And when your grown husky howls all night as you try to sleep, all sympathy will be gone. Remember that you dog will get bigger and ask yourself if you want these behaviors to continue on after puppyhood. If not, do not allow them to continue now.


8. No Socialization



Simply because you have brought home a golden retriever does not mean that she will love every human and dog that she comes in contact with. Often new dog owners assume that by nature they are just friendly, so socializing their dogs is not something they give much thought to.

Socializing your dog may probably be the single, most important thing that you as a new owner can do, especially if it is a puppy. The socialization window that puppies have will start way before you even get them, and around 12-16 weeks it ends. The more positive experiences that during this time your dog has with other dogs, regardless of their shape and size, and people both your and old, with beards, hats, in wheel chairs, etc., the more friendly your dog will likely turn out to be. If your new dog was left alone, it is you, not the dog that is responsible for the result.


9. No Management


There are countless stories about what dogs devour after they are brought home. Expensive designer purses and high heels, drywall, iPhones, you name it, just about anything has been eaten by some dog somewhere. This is a trap so many new dog owners has fallen into because they simply assume that their things will be left alone by their new dog or puppy and that nothing other than the dozens of toys located all over the house, will be chewed on.

Your recently acquired family member will not know the what the difference between a squeaky toy and a Prada purse is, nor will he be able to learn without some help, and learning is a time consuming process. In the meantime, your new dog can be managed by not leaving things that he can chew lying around, and when you cannot do so, confine him in a safe place. If you leave your puppy and your new shoes alone, the end result will only be your fault, not your puppy´s.


10. Not Recognizing Fear


Commonly, new dog owners will say that their dogs are stubborn. They will say that their dogs do not want to walk outside with them that they do not want to greet other dogs, or that in public places, they will not respond to cues. That being said, in many of these cases, the dogs or puppies are not trying to be “stubborn”, this is a truth that humans give dogs, they are actual fearful or anxious of the situation they have been placed in. Failure to recognize when your dog is afraid is a huge mistake, one that can be costly.

If you push your dog to do something that he is scared of, he could very likely bite you, another dog or another person. The second you dog begins displaying signs of anxiety or fear, back off! Do not force them further into a situation. To help you understand how to manage your dog when in these situations, seek out the assistance of a professional trained to learn these things, this will make your dog feel more comfortable and you will feel more at ease.

Come up with a plan, carefully pick your dog, adhere to these rules, until she has learned the rules, manage the situation, socialize her, train, train and train some more! By sticking to these simple rules you have a trained and respectful dog that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Welcome to Gabson-Howell.org. My name is Peter Gabson-Howell and I hope you enjoy your stay. You can find out more about me here.

June 2023
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