As we get closer to the holidays, more and more people will be entertaining friends and family in their homes. With guests can sometimes come unforeseen problems with your pets. This month's Trainer Tips is intended to help you with some hints to survive the holidays. Follow the Rules: Just because its the holidays doesn't mean you should let your dog get away with bad behaviors. All your normal rules and boundaries you have for your dog (which you should have), should still be enforced. There may also be holiday rules added, such as: pets are not allowed to go within a certain distance of the decoration and present areas. Also alert your guests on how to deal with your pets. It is always best for someone coming into your home to follow the Basic Rule: No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact. Instruct your guest to completely ignore your dog until you say otherwise. Guests should not look at the dog, talk to the dog, or touch the dog. Once your dog calms down and is offering good behavior, you may let your guests say hello, if they wish. If your dog is one who likes to jump on guests, remind your guests to turn their back and ignore the dog. It is your job as the owner to gain control. Plan ahead, add a leash before your guests arrive for easier control. Stepping on the leash away from the doorway and allowing your guests to enter without being licked and jumped on is always appreciated. Schedule & Exercise Dog's thrive on a regular schedule, even if it varies slightly from day to day. Over the holidays, many of us take time off work and have people over to the house. This can sometimes cause us to forget the regular schedule our pet requires. So even though we may have a week or two of planned relaxation, don't forget to keep your pet on their schedule. This includes feedings, walks, play and affection times, and even rest times. Don't let the hectic holiday rush affect your dog's happiness. Also don't forget to make sure your dog has plenty of water. All the holiday commotion can add stress to your dog's day, and therefore increase his/her thirst. Be sure to keep your pup hydrated. BEFORE your guests arrive (or before you leave to go visiting), make sure you have spent some time with your pup. Don't forget to exercise your pup as much as possible. Remember the old saying…"A tired dog is a good dog." It is very true. If you can wear out your pup a little extra before guests arrive, you will have a much easier time controlling your dog, and your dog will be much less stressed.
Dog Toys & Bones
Make sure your dog has plenty of his own things to keep him entertained. This includes various toys and chew items that will help occupy him when you want to enjoy your guests. If your dog has something he enjoys, he will leave you alone, and more importantly, leave your guests alone. Try Kong toys stuffed with yummy treats and peanut butter, or a good old-fashioned bone.
Pets tend to find new things in the house very interesting. Adding holiday decorations to your home can be fun, but remember to keep your pets in mind. If your dog (or cat) cannot be trusted around items such as tinsel, ribbons, bows, plants, and other holiday items, be sure to secure your pet in a separate area when they cannot be supervised. Every year pets play with and swallow many different types of holiday items. Many of these items can cause serious problems. The last thing we all want or need over the holidays is a very expensive trip to the emergency vet. Keep your pets safe by planning ahead. Holiday Food We all enjoy the large amounts of amazing food over the holidays…so does your dog. Remember that just because dogs will eat dry dog food, doesn't mean they don't like, and want, what you're eating. Be sure to keep your pets out of the kitchen when preparing and eating food. Your pets should always wait to get their meal until AFTER the humans have eaten. This is also helpful because you can then add left-overs to your dog's meal. I actually use this to help save money. Sometimes there are just too many left-overs or you have eaten the same thing for too many days. What then? Add it to your dog's regular meal. Notice I didn't say just give it to your dog, especially not from the table. This will encourage begging, definitely NOT something we want around the holidays (or any time really). Generally speaking, you can add almost anything to your dog's food. Obviously if your dog cannot have certain foods, do not give those items. If you are unsure if something is safe for your dog to have, it is best to not give it to them. Also be aware of the toxins for dogs.
Common Food Items that are Toxic for Dogs:
Alcohol Avocado Chocolate Coffee/ Caffeine
Onions Macadamia Nuts Milk & Dairy Walnuts Most nuts in general
Grapes & Raisins many fruit seeds and some skins raw meat or eggs Yeast dough
This is not a complete list, but covers the basics. If your left-overs contain these items, I would not recommend giving them to your dog. Meats, rice, potatoes, and vegetables (without sauce or garlic) are all good things to throw in. Be sure to mix it in with your dog's regular dry kibble. If you are unsure if a particular food is unsafe, do not give it to your dog. Always error on the side of caution when it comes to your pet's safety.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
English Toy Spaniel Havanese
Miniature Pinscher Papillion
Shih Tzu Silky Terrier
Toy Fox Terrier
The most obvious characteristic this breed carries is its size. The small size of these dogs can make it difficult for some people to train. Having to bend over constantly during training can get tiresome. Also because these dogs are seen as so cute and cuddly because of their size, many owners think that they should not receive the same rules and exercise as a larger dog. This is a big mistake. Just because a dog is small, does not mean it doesn't need exercise. I've known a Toy Breed dog that ran circles around his larger counter-part on a daily basis. Depending on your dog, this breed may need as much, if not more mental and physical exercise than a dog several times it's size. Also do not be fooled into that "cute little face" and let your toy breed dog get away with bad behavior. Everyone thinks the little toy puppy that bites at your face is so cute until they actually make contact. Just because they are small dogs, does not mean that they cannot cause damage. Toy breed dogs need the same consideration for exercise and rules as any other dog.
For more information on the Toy Breed Group visit the American Kennel Club's website.
Black & Tan Coonhound
Greyhound Irish Wolfhound
Breeds in this group are easily distracted and have an independent nature. Dogs in the group may have less drive to please their owners because they were bred to work independently of humans. These dogs may easily be distracted by scent and movement. The most important basic obedience cue you can teach these dogs is focus. This cue is usually verbalized with a "Look" or "Watch Me."
Many of the dogs in this breed group like to bark and howl, as they were bred for. This can make it very difficult for many owners and I do not recommend this group for apartment dwellers.
For more information on the Hound Breed group visit the American Kennel Club's website.
French Bulldog Lhasa Apso
Tibetan Spaniel Tibetan Terrier
The breeds in the this group typically have less in common than other groups. Members in this group have some characteristics from the working and sporting groups. Most of the dogs in this group were not bred for labor-intensive purposes and there-fore could be difficult to motivate for training. It is important to follow the "No Free Luncy" policy training technique. This means that your dogs must work for everything they get. Making your dog do simple basic commands like sit, wait, and focus can help your training go much more smoothly.
On the other hand, because the dogs in this group were not bred for anything specific, they can make easier pets for inexperienced owners.
Such Good Dogs is starting a new dog training class...
Basic Manners dog training is a 6-week, one hour per week class. Each week you will learn new things to take home and practice with your dog. Handouts will be given at the end of each week and a certificate is given upon completion. Basic Manners is taught using positive reinforcement training, combined with energy balance. Classes will be held outdoors in the Kahana/ Napili area.
Basic Manners--LEVEL ONE class will be held: Sundays 10am-11am (August 28th--Oct. 2nd).
Items covered in Basic Manners--Level One dog training class include: Food lure, marker word, no reward marker, watch me/ look, come when called, loose leash walking (how to walk properly on a leash), impulse control, sit and auto-sit, down, stand, stay, drop it, leave it, and basic socialization.
ANY dog breed of ANY age is welcome (and encouraged) to take these classes. Your dog must be up-to-date on Parvo & Distemper shots. Proof of these vet records is required to attend class.
Please contact Such Good Dogs to sign up:
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Athena Angelic is an Animal Behavior Certified Dog Trainer. Athena is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR through the American Red Cross, is a full member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and a Certified Mentor Trainer with Animal Behavior College.
Such Good Dogs offers group classes, private lessons, adventures, dog socialization, dog bootcamp, and in-home boarding.
The Terrier Breed group includes,
American Staffordshire Terrier
Kerry Blue Terrier
Miniature Bull Terrier Miniature Schnauzer
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Wire Fox Terrier
Some characteristics of the Terrier Breed group include a high need for daily physical and mental exercise and tenacity. This group was bred to be very active, and to not only hunt vermin, but to not back down from them when attacked. This breed can be especially difficult for a first time dog owner. Terriers were bred to route out small critters and therefore like to dig and hunt. This breed of dogs is very alert and agile. If these dogs are not provided with significant physical and mental exercise in a manner similar to what they were bred for (hunting), it is possible that they may become dog and/or animal aggressive.
To learn more information and for a full list of the Terrier Breed group please visit the American Kennel Club's website.
The Herding Breed Group includes:
Australian Cattle Dog
Old English Sheepdog
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Herding Breed group has an extremely high need for daily exercise and mental activity. This group was bred to have a high chase and prey drive, making it difficult for these dogs to become desensitized to the activities of moving objects. Without sufficient physical and mental exercise, these dogs are highly likely to develop behaviors such as barking, tail and animal chasing, fence running, digging, pacing, or aggression.
Visit the American Kennel Club's website for a full list of the Herding Breed Group and more information.
The Working Breed group includes:
Portugueses Water Dog
Some basic characteristics of the working breed include an independent nature, a dominant disposition, and a tendency to become territorial and possessive. Because these dogs were bred to work independently and do jobs like guarding and protecting people, they tend to become dominant. It is important for an owner of this breed type to show strong, consistent leadership. Because of this breed groups independent nature, you may see them as stubborn durning training. It is important when training these breeds to follow the the training tool of "No Free Lunch" policy. This means that these dogs must always work for something, and never be given anything for free. Even if it is something as simple as sitting and waiting to be released to eat their dinner, they must work for it.
Visit the American Kennel Club's website for a full list of the Working Breed Group and more information.
The Sporting Breed includes the following:
American Water Spaniel
English Setter English Springer Spaniel
German Wirehaired Pointer
Irish Water Spaniel
Some common characteristics of the Sporting Breed Group include a high need for daily exercise and high distractibility. A walk around the block every day is not nearly enough exercise for this type of dog. Sporting breeds have been bred to notice and react to everything going on around them. Having high distractibility offers this breed an advantage to notice and find birds and other game, however can make it difficult for them to focus on basic obedience exercises.
You can visit the American Kennel Club website for more information and a full list of the Sporting Breed Group.