Take a Look at Your Dog’s Paws

Your dogs paw pads are the truest indicator of his nutritional state. Dry, flaky or cracked pads indicate poor nutrition. This is true no matter how much exercise your dog gets, or on what kind of surface.

 
You dogs pads will be smooth and free of cracks or flaking, even with regular or long walks on concrete or paving, if he’s had the benefit of good nutrition. When your dog’s pads show he’s in… good condition they’ll look like puppy pads with plenty of moisture. This will be a reliable indicator well into adulthood and even the senior years.

If your dog’s pads are dry, cracked and flaky, consider changing his food and/or adding nutritional supplements that include vitamins E & C, and Omega 3, 6 and 9.

Rewards!

Give rewards as quickly as possible when training your dog. Timing the delivery of rewards to arrive at the exact same moment as the behavior your training will help your dog to understand what you want.

 
We can’t expect perfect delivery timing because our human responses aren’t as quick as our dogs. It takes a moment for us to react and deliver rewards, but quickness will aid our training results.

Dogs refocus their attention very quickly and associate events based on their immediate impressions. Your precise timing, and speedy delivery will help him to understand your reward is connected to the desired behavior.

When training your dog to do behaviors that aren’t performed within easy reach, use toys that can be thrown for play rewards or use clicker training which uses a sound marker to indicate correct performance.

Try Unscented Shampoo

If your dog rushes to roll in the dirt after a bath, try washing your dog with un-scented shampoo. The perfume in scented shampoos irritates your dogs sensitive nose. Because the scent is so strong and unpleasant for them, many dogs will roll in dirt or grass immediately after a bath trying to rid themselves of the perfume scent.

Using un-scented shampoos will help reduce rolling by eliminating the unpleasant smells

Did you know…

 …that dogs carry 3/4 of their weight on their front legs?

If you have two bathroom scales, set your dogs front feet on one scale and their back feet on another to see the dramatic difference.

Dogs have to support the weight of their heads, shoulders and most of their rib cage on their front legs, while the back legs provide propulsion. Jumping sports create a lot of stress on those front legs as the dogs full body weight lands on his front legs and feet.

Keep an eye out for injuries and stress in your dogs front legs after competing or training for dog sports, or after vigorous exercise.

Look for warm spots on your dogs skin by slowly running your hands over your dogs body. Inflammation under the skin will be felt as a slight increase in body temperature in an isolated location, like shoulder, ankle or knee.

Rest your dog and restrict exercise if you suspect your dog has a minor injury. Take your dog to the vet if he begins limping, refuses to walk, get up, go for walks, climb stairs or exhibits any other changes in movement or behavior.

Praise Your Dog!

You can’t praise too much or too vigorously for correct behavior. Praise and reward will communicate to your dog that they are performing correctly.

Without praise or reward your dog has no clear communication that his behavior pleases you.  When your dog is uncertain what behavior you want, it’s likely that his performance will start to erode.

Dog’s perform more slowly when they are uncertain. For maximum performance, reward and praise often.

Fading Food Rewards

When fading food rewards, be careful not to reduce them too quickly. Your dog may become de-motivated if there is a sudden reduction in the amount of rewards you offer for correct performance.

Try using play games to bridge the gap when you begin fading food rewards. Play a game of tug with an exciting toy as reward When fading food rewards, be careful not to reduce them too quickly. Your dog may become de-motivated if there is a sudden reduction in the amount of rewards you offer for correct performance.

Tug is Good!

Studies have now proven that playing tug games with dogs will not cause a dog to be aggressive. This common misconception has survived in our culture for a long time.   Playing tug is a natural game, and dogs play it for fun. That’s why tug games are so effective for training.
If your dog has a dominate personality, playing tug can actually reinforce your pack leader status, here’s how.

1. End the game on your terms and before the dog is ready to quit.

2. Keep possession of the toy when the game is over.

3. Don’t let the dog win possession of the toy every time. Exhibit your control and strength.

Following these rules will let your dog see that you control the toy and the game. If your dog is a strong tugger get a toy that has a handle like the Tuff E Nuff tug or two handles like the 2 Handled Fur Force Toy, which will help you hang onto and control the toy.

See the Tuff E Nuff tug at: http://www.genuinedoggear.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=GDG&Product_Code=GDT-TENF-LG&Category_CodeSee More

 

Get Excited About Training!

Stimulate your dog to work faster or harder by occasionally offering higher value rewards for good performance.

Dogs can become bored with their treats, so try switching them out for real chicken or cheese.

If you’re training with toys, try an exciting new buffalo fur toy, or a fleece tug toy.

If your dog is stimulated by having other dogs around, try training with a friend and their dog. If your dog doesn’t like training, keep sessions short and reward after word with their dinner, going for a walk or playing fetch.

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