Happy Halloween!

Trick-or-Treaters will soon be knocking! Here are some tips to help keep your dog safe during Halloween:

  1. When the doorbell starts ringing, make sure your dog is securely away from the door; whether that be in a crate, a bedroom or on a leash with you. You don’t want any escapes out the front door!
  2. Double-check and make sure your dog has his identification tags on! Just in case.
  3. Although a lot of dogs love meeting new people or having new experiences, some don’t.  Quite of few of those costumes can be very intimidating from a dog’s point of view! Don’t overwhelm your dog.
  4. If you are going to dress your dog up, the costume needs to be just right: not too big, or it could get twisted around and cause issues, and not too small, or it could cut off your dog’s circulation.  Not all dogs are comfortable being dressed up; do what’s best for yours.

Halloween Candy

 

As you are buying candy for Halloween, remember to keep all the goodies away from your pets. Chocolate and Xylitol are two main ingredients to stay away from. The Theobromine contained in chocolate is a stimulant that will poison your dog and has deadly potential. Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener used in many candies and gum. It causes the blood glucose to drop leading to serious issues and possibly death.

Stay on the safe side: keep the candy out of reach of your pets!

Potty Training

What is the number one rule for potty training?  Take your dog out often! When your puppy is running around and playing, it is a good idea to take him out as often as every 15-20 minutes.  It may seem like a lot, but it works to prevent your puppy from feeling the need to go in the house. Reward your dog when he goes potty outside by praising him and playing with him. When you reward your dog for going potty outside, it clicks in their mind that outside is where they need to be to do their duties and not inside.

Keep Games Friendly

Dogs naturally play rough and tumble games. They like to play fight and tussle with each other. These games are natural and healthy even though they can be energetic and loud.

But if games at your house turn into real fights, those games should not be tolerated. If there is a trigger, perhaps a toy or chew bone that your dogs fight over remove that object from the house permanently. Look for a ‘lower value’ toy or chew that the dogs are less likely to fight over and have those available for playtime. Our Tugmaster 48″ toy has good success for dogs that have problems keeping their games on a friendly level.

This toy is long enough for the dogs to play tug without getting in each other’s space, and it’s not as high a value item as a chew bone or a toy with real animal fur.

http://www.genuinedoggear.com/GDT-TMST-48.html

Get Your Dog Excited to Train

How do you keep your dog excited about working? By rewarding them for doing well! Rewards are the most important part of training dogs. So here are a couple ideas to get you thinking about different types of rewards.

1.  Food. A lot of dogs are motivated to work for food. If your dog is motivated by food, some great options for training would be toys that involve food. A Tug N Treat or a Toss N Treat might be great options.

2.  Attention or Verbal Praise.  Many dogs enjoy getting loved on during their training sessions. It helps your bond between each other grow and build your relationship.

3.  Toys.  Playing with toys is a great reward that can get dogs really excited and motivated. The key is finding the toy that your dog loves.

No matter what rewards motivate your dog, the most important thing to remember is to reward often.

Variable Rewards

A very important concept in training is the variable reward.  Dogs often get bored with our rewards, especially when we use the same rewards over and over again.  Variable rewards keep your dog motivated to train, because he never knows what kind of response he is going to get.

A great illustration of variable reward is seen in the comparison of a soda machine and slot machine.  If you use the same rewards constantly, you are about as exciting as a soda machine.  Soda machines are not exciting.  You know exactly what to expect, so you only go to one when you want what it has to offer. However when you vary your rewards you are way more exciting. Variable reward is what makes slot machines so addicting to many people; you never know what you’re going to get or how much.

To use variable rewards with your dog, switch up the rewards and how much you reward.  You can vary your rewards by using different types of food and different types of toys.  Switching between different toys like tugging verses fetching is great because they are different actions.  For more variety, reward your dog with different scents (like buffalo rabbit, or sheep) and different textures (like nylon, fleece, or fur).   You can find a large variety of toys at our website: www.genuinedoggear.com

Your dog will tell you what he finds the most exciting.  When you use variable rewards, your dog will not know what he is going to get and will be more focused on you during training.

Fetch!

Some dogs fetch naturally, but most have to be taught to bring a toy back and release it on command. Teaching your dog to fetch is simple!

Get your dog excited about playing with the toy and then toss it.  Make your throws short at first.  The closer your dog is to you the easier it is for him to return to you with the toy.  An arms length or even a few inches is fine for starters.

 
Reward the dog for returning with the toy by offering a food treat. Your dog will drop the toy to get the food, and you will have traded the toy for the treat. Once the treat is consumed, throw the toy to begin the process again.

You can use our Frenzy Ring with Leash, or a Jitterbug tug to help teach the return.
The attached leash helps you to control the toy, and prevent your dog from running off with it while they’re learning how to fetch.

Once your dog learns how to play the game, you can play fetch inside or out, for fun, interaction and extra exercise.

Large Frenzy Ring-  http://www.genuinedoggear.com/GDT-FRZY-LG-dog-dog_fleece_toys.html

Jitterbug Tug-  http://www.genuinedoggear.com/GDT-JBUG-dog-dog_fleece_toys.html

 

Another Benefit to Walking

Besides getting into shape, nicely trimmed toe nails are another benefit of regular dog walking.  You’ll know your dog is getting enough exercise when you don’t have to trim their toe nails.

The slight abrasion effect of the sidewalk and even dirt or grass surfaces will keep your dogs toe nails trimmed to perfection when your dogs are getting enough leash time.
I walk my big dogs a mile and a half every day, sometimes on sidewalks and sometimes on dirt.

This amount of exercise is sufficient to keep all their nails trimmed except for their dew claws which don’t regularly touch the ground.

Start Walking!

Exercise is necessary and vital to your dogs health and can extend their natural life span. Exercise helps to build a healthy heart, aids digestion, tones muscles, reduces stress and releases tension.

A Daily walk (or two) could be one of the most significant things you can do to help your dog live a full life. Regular lifelong exercise also makes us feel good by increasing endorphins. All of these benefits can help both our life span and our dog’s longevity.

The benefits of regular healthful exercise not only feel good, but combined with good nutrition are probably your best bet to maximize your dogs healthy years.

Remember, if your dog is fat, you’re not getting enough exercise!

Watch That Puppy!

New puppies are famous for getting into trouble when we aren’t looking. You should always watch your puppy when he’s allowed to roam un-crated in the house. Knowing that your puppy is very interested in the lamp cord can prevent a chewed cord and an emergency trip to the vets.

With vigilance you can stay ahead of potential problems and prevent trouble before it happens, all by keeping your eyes on your puppy.

Never allow your puppy the opportunity to make mistakes or get into trouble because you weren’t watching. You can attach a leash or long line to the pup while you’re watching TV to keep him near you, and allow some freedom of movement. Or you can use puppy gates to keep your puppy in the same room with you, making it easier keeping him in your vision.

Remember to keep your eyes on your little prize, and prevent problems before they happen.