Our first WWW this week was overflowing so here’s more good stuff, we just couldn’t leave behind!
Each of us has that point at which we become overwhelmed, and our dogs are no different. Here’s a great piece looking at what’s happening your dog when they get to that point and things that you can do to help – Thresholds: when dogs reach their emotional edge
Today we hear the very sad news of a newborn baby killed by the family dogs, while the new mother fell asleep beside baby. Please check out and share this video-presentation: 5 types of supervision
Why not really pamper your dog and make him some homemade yummies?! Try some black pudding & potato bites or some low-cal snacks!
Please be careful any time your dog might be exposed to ‘human’ food and check for components that may be dangerous to them, such as xylitol.
Most people are aware of the dangers associated with your pet eating chocolate, but few are aware of much more serious and sinister dangers such as grapes/raisins and xylitol products.
Just as in humans, recent work has suggested that dogs also have ‘general intelligence’ that can be measured in a canine ‘IQ’ test: Mensa Mutts? and Canine IQ test developed. Why not try some ‘intelligence’ tests with your dog, just for fun: Dog IQ test.
And all this developing knowledge is great for helping dogs shed those extra pounds, that will improve both the quality and quantity of their lives: Pet Fit Club – check out some of those amazing transformations!
Older dogs with grey muzzles are heart-melters and we of course want to make sure that their twilight years are the best.
Some great advice on keeping the senior canine family member happy and healthy, especially when there is a young upstart under the same roof from Smart Dog University.
On the subject of seniors, making decisions about their treatment Vs their quality of life is always difficult; here Marc Bekoff examines What’s a good life for an old dog?
Trick training is not only fun but behaviours taught can be useful in sports, conditioning and working with your dog plus you develop an excellent relationship with them, all the while having a great time. Lexus and Jesse provide lots of inspiration!
Finding a good dentist can be tricky, and so can finding a good dog trainer – don’t worry always ask us for help in choosing a pet care professional!
Animals are naturally stoic and don’t want to be too obvious about showing serious pain. Pain is a major stressor leading to often misunderstood, subtle and even surprising behavioural changes – that’s why if there’s a change in behaviour or behaviour issues present, the first port of call is the vet! Your dog can’t be in pain as he runs & plays? Think again!
Veterinary medicine really has come such a long way but important considerations are always required when it comes to pet anaesthesia: Canine Anesthesia Being an informed pet owner also means knowing what questions to ask too: Questions to ask before anesthesia
Did you know that we can teach all manner of animals to be willing participants in their healthcare, even for invasive procedures? This originates in work with large, exotic animals in zoos and collections – it’s pretty tricky to restrain a large cat or hyena and sedation is stressful and dangerous. So, why do we continue to restrain dogs and other pet animals, causing untold levels of distress (to all) and presenting potential health and safety nightmares; instead try husbandry training like this fantastic example.
Trick training is a fun way for your dog to earn his lunch and for you to really get into teaching your dog behaviours.
Keep it light, keep it fun and remember, it’s all tricks to your dog!
Time Allowance: Practice for 1-2 minute sessions and then take a break. Have a few sessions today and tomorrow.
Try fitting each short session into your routine; for example, while you wait for the kettle to boil, during the ad break of your TV show or while you wait for the computer to start up.
Kids are often great dog trainers. Teach each child how to lure safely.
If your dog is mouthy, jumpy or likely to get over-excited it might be best for you to get the behaviours established and then bring in the kids to help with practice.
Always supervise child-dog interactions and make sure children learn to leave the dog alone when eating his rewards.
Top Tip for Today’s Training Games:
When you are just starting with a new behaviour (for you or your dog) work in a low distraction situation, such as inside the house, so that both you and your dog can concentrate on learning the new behaviour.
Let’s start with luring – this is a way of teaching dogs simple behaviours by guiding their body into position with a food reward or toy right on their nose.
A small food reward, like a piece of kibble, is best to start with as it can be hidden in your hand easily.
The mechanics of luring start with how you hold the lure:
Hold the lure under your thumb and against your fingers. Present the back of your fingers to the dog though.
This helps to avoid your dog mouthing at the lure in your fingers.
Move the lure down to your palm when you reward the dog.
Deliver the lure, as a reward, on your flat palm. This is a safer reward presentation and reduces your dog’s teeth catching your hand.
Hold the lure right at your dog’s nose and move it slowly until they are in position. Say YES! and release the lure to reward them.
Think of the lure like a magnet…
If your dog’s nose isn’t right at the lure (remember, it’s a magnet) you’re moving too fast or in the wrong position.
Luring properly can take quite a bit of practice but we’ll keep it simple with some cute tricks to get you started.
Beginner Level Tricks
Ask your dog to sit, or lure him into sit position.
Slowly raise the lure, right at your dog’s nose, straight up above his head.
When he lifts his front legs off the floor, say YES! and release the lure to reward him.
Repeat until your dog promptly follows the lure straight up, and supports his weight, front legs off the floor.
We certainly don’t want to have to lure the dog with a food reward every time we want the dog to do a behaviour so as soon as the dog is doing the behaviour by following the lure, we will begin to fade the lure and eventually get rid of it altogether.
First stage is to fade the lure so that it’s less about the lure and more about being rewarded for the behaviour:
once your dog is performing the behaviour every time you lure him, keep the lure working but don’t let the dog have it – when he completes the behaviour, say YES! and reward him with a food reward from your other hand
When the dog is performing the behaviour on verbal cue we can begin to think about reducing the number of food rewards.
If you would bet €50 that your dog will do the behaviour when you ask him, you can start to reduce the number of food rewards! Doing so before this may weaken the reliability of the behaviour – don’t un-do your hard work!
Do you have a favourite trick you are working on? Practice that one instead, having your dog earn his Training Mix!