Monday, September 12, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Should I Send My Dog to Boot Camp? Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com I can unequivocally tell you without a doubt in my mind that BOOT CAMPS don't work. Your dogs got the way they are because of the way you live with them and their problems are not going to be fixed by someone else. You have to fix the problem yourself if you don't want to see these problems persist. I don't say this with malice – it's a simple fact. You have not established pack structure and the dogs don't respect your leadership. You may think they do but dogs don't do what you describe and respect their handlers. Pack leaders decide when to fight and when to be aggressive – not lower-ranking members of the family pack. This only happens because: • People don't understand the dynamics of pack structure. • People are too small to physically deal with a large dog and don't know what they can do to equal the playing field. • People treat their dogs like little humans and not dogs. Oftentimes, as equals. In the dog world, there are no equals. You're either a leader or a lower-ranking pack member. • People are too lazy to train their dogs. Sending a dog to a BOOT CAMP will result in the dog learning to respect the people who run the camp. But these dogs will always revert to their old selves when they come home. This may not happen in a week or two, but it will always happen. Only when owners learn how to become respected leaders and introduce and enforce OWNERS RULES will their dogs ever change. If you want to solve your problems you can, but it needs to be done by you and your husband. You need to run these dogs through a pack structure program at home. This isn't difficult or time-consuming. It simply means you change the way you live with your dog. The information to solve all of these problems is here for learning. It must be done by you and your husband. Go and read the article on my philosophy of dog training. You will get a better idea of what I am talking about and probably see a little bit of yourself in that article.
Friday, September 2, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity How Do I Know if My Dog or Cat Is Overweight? Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com 1) Feel for ribs “Run your fingers along the ribs, both sides, and see how easily you can palpate those ribs, feel them. In an ideal body-condition score, it should feel like running your fingers over pencils in a breast pocket,” says Purina veterinarian Dr. Zara Boland. Using your hands is important. Looking isn’t enough to determine if your dog or cat is overweight since her coat of may make a visual check difficult. 2) Check the waist “The next thing you want to feel is a nice waistline.” An overweight dog or overweight cat won’t have “an hourglass shape when you look down from above and you can feel that by running your hands along the ribs and they should tuck in as soon as you reach the end of the ribs and come to the waist. It’s ideal body-condition score for us, we want the same for our pets,” says Boland. 3) Take a side view “And the last thing you’re looking for is what we call a tummy-tuck. So,when you view your pet from the side, you want the tummy to tuck up backwards towards the hind legs. We don’t want a hanging belly-we’re looking a nice, neat, tummy-tuck,” says Boland. That said it’s also important to know if your cat or dog’s breed makes them appear overweight. Your veterinarian can provide insight on this. It’s Time to Make Changes If the body check indicates your cat is too large or your dog is overweight, it's time to change the routine and habits you’ve set. Just like you, weight loss for your cat or dog comes down to calories. To shed pounds, your cat will need to burn more calories than she consumes, and your dog will need to do the same. Look to make a change to both diet and exercise for successful results. Reduce calories: Empty calories—ones that do not have health benefit--add up quickly. Select a food that is complete and balanced and cut out all extra calories: • Eliminate table scraps • Limit treats (no more than 10% of daily calories) • Feed foods with balanced nutrition
Monday, August 22, 2022
Thursday, August 4, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Socializing your Puppy to Be a Good Neighbor https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com
Sunday, July 24, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity What to Do in a Dog Emergency Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com What to Do in Dog Emergencies One of the first steps you should take in an emergency is to call your veterinarian. Be prepared to describe the situation. Your veterinarian can tell you how to administer first aid and how to transport your pet safely. Having a dog-specific first aid kit on hand is essential as well. Breathing If the dog is unable to breathe, you’ll need to perform artificial respiration. First, clear the dog’s mouth of any obstructions, including mucus or blood. Then close the mouth, place your lips over the dog’s nostrils, and give three-to-four big breaths, 10-to-12 times per minute. If you can’t detect a heartbeat, position the dog on their back or side. Support small dogs by placing one hand on each side of the chest near the elbow. Perform five chest compressions to one quick breath. Continue this pattern until the dog starts breathing on his own. Bleeding External bleeding requires immediate attention, so press down firmly on the area with your fingers or the palm of your hand and then apply a firm, but not tight, bandage. Don’t worry about cleaning out the wound until the bleeding has stopped. Take the dog to the veterinarian as quickly as possible. Antibiotics may be needed to stave off infection. Shock Shock sometimes occurs in situations that involve head injuries, significant loss of blood or fluids, and severe infection. The signs include a rapid heart rate, pale mucous membrane, very low blood pressure, very little urinary output, and a weak pulse. Keep the dog warm and quiet, treat any visible injuries, and take them to the veterinarian immediately. Broken Bones Fractures require immediate attention. Dogs will hold a fractured or dislocated limb in an unnatural position; signs of a fracture often include lameness, pain, and swelling. The dog should be transported to the veterinarian with as little movement as possible. Do not use antiseptics or ointments on open fractures. Heatstroke Heatstroke may occur when dogs are left in cars, overexercised on hot, or even warm days, or when kennel areas don’t have proper ventilation. Signs include panting and drooling, skin that is hot to the touch, vomiting, loss of coordination, and collapse. You should use cool water, ice packs, or wet towels to cool the dog, but do NOT immerse him in cold water. Vomiting and Diarrhea Vomiting and diarrhea are usually signs of problems with the digestive system and could be caused by any number of things, from ingestion of spicy foods or poisons to gastrointestinal system disease, kidney or liver failure, or nervous system disorders. If your dog is vomiting with diarrhea or vomiting and has a poor appetite, call your veterinarian and be prepared to tell them about anything that could have contributed, such as access to human medications, toxins, a change in diet, and other possible causes. Seizures Whole-body seizures, called Grand Mal seizures, cause your dog’s entire body to convulse, while some seizures may be localized, such as a facial tremor, or sudden onset of rhythmic movements or actions. Stay calm and note how long the seizure lasts. until he begins to regain consciousness. Call your veterinarian. Stings Bee and wasp stings can be painful and frightening for a dog. A single bee sting will produce pain, swelling, redness, and/or inflammation. If your dog is stung, carefully remove the stinger with tweezers. Apply a paste of baking soda and water and then an ice pack to relieve swelling and pain. Ask your vet about giving your dog a dose of oral antihistamine. Give him fresh water and watch him carefully. Allergic reactions usually occur within 20 minutes, but can be delayed for hours. Then take him to the closest veterinarian Choking A dog that coughs forcefully, drools, gags, holds his mouth open or paws at his mouth may be choking. Don’t stick your fingers in his mouth because you might be bitten or push the object further in. Try to dislodge the object by thumping the dog between the shoulder blades or by applying several quick, squeezing compressions on both sides of his rib cage. Dog First Aid Kit Keeping certain items on hand in case of emergency is essential. Remember, a first aid kit is not a substitute for veterinary care. Here is a list of things to include: • Bandaging materials: Think sterile pads, stretch bandages, and bandaging tape • Hydrogen peroxide • Cold pack • Antibiotic ointment • Hydrocortisone 1% • Magnifying glass • Small scissors • Tweezers (for bee stingers and splinters) • Disposable gloves • Cotton balls • Iodine swabs • Extra leash • Emergency numbers for your veterinarian and poison control • Collapsible water bowl • Aluminized thermal blanket • Tourniquet • Benadryl Ask your veterinarian to explain the proper use of these items, and in the case of any topical or oral medications, be sure to check with your vet before administering them.
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity How to Use Dog Parks Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com The Purpose of a Dog Park It would seem obvious that a dog park is a place for people who don't have a lot of personal space to take their dog for exercise. The perfect example would be apartment dwellers or people who live in big cities. The second and possibly more common reason (which I disagree with) is that a dog park is a place for a dog to socialize with other dogs. Dog parks can be dangerous but they can serve a purpose. We use dog parks as distractions in order to proof our obedience exercises. The dog never goes inside the dog park. Instead, he stays outside the fence and uses the other dogs to proof his obedience through distractions. The Dangers of Dog Parks Every couple of days I get an email from someone asking about problems with their dogs being attacked when they are on walks or running loose at one of the local parks that many cities set up. People also question me on how to deal with overly aggressive dogs that belong to other pet owners. They also question me about their own dogs not trying to defend themselves when approached by a seemingly aggressive dog. Some people want to know if they should just let the dogs work these problems out themselves. When a new dog comes into a park that other dogs visit every day, the new visitor is often seen as an intruder into "the personal territory" of the regular visitor. More often than not, they are not seen as a friend. This often leads to either territorial aggression, dominance aggression, or fear aggression. Dog Packs in the Dog Park When a group of dogs (3 or more) are allowed to run together in an area where there are no strong pack leaders (human pack leaders), they instinctively try to establish a rank order (or pecking order). If there are several dogs that want to assume a certain rank within this new pack, there are often problems. Too often this results in dog fights to determine what rank a dog will assume. It is a mistake to assume that every dog in the park is a well-mannered, well-trained pet. Just because it plays with other dogs does not mean that it will play with your dog. The issue of rank has already been settled with these other dogs and the game may be going according to their rules. Your dog will not know the rules and can easily get into trouble. Too often when a fight breaks out between your dog and the leader of this pack, the other dogs in the pack will also jump in and go after your dog. I get emails from people who are disappointed in their puppy or young dog because it shies away from other dogs and shows avoidance to these strange dogs they meet on walks or in parks. These people completely misunderstand pack structure, many don't even know that it exists. The vast majority of dogs don't want to be pack leaders. They are perfectly happy with their owners assuming the position of leader. As such, these dogs expect their pack leader (their owner) to protect them. That's why these dogs will run to their owner when they feel threatened by another dog. When a handler does not protect his dog, the dog is in conflict and loses confidence. When the owner ignores the perceived threat, their dogs often move into fight or flight. When new owners assume the position of pack leader and they do everything right when their pup is young, the dog will grow up to be a confident adult dog. When owners drop the pack structure ball, their dogs grow up to be basket cases (either overly aggressive or fearful). This is the reason I never guarantee temperament in the pups I used to sell. Too many people lack the common sense or experience to properly raise a dog. How to Handle Your Dog in the Dog Park When your dog is approached by a dog that looks like it may be aggressive, YOU (not your dog) needs to take the aggressor's role. Dogs that have the potential to be aggressive are going to have a stiff body. Their legs will be stiff and often their tail will be straight up in the air or straight back (never tucked under the stomach - that's a submissive posture). When another dog does this, it's to make itself look bigger and stronger. Dominant dogs will T-OFF on your dog. That means standing at your dog's shoulder and put their muzzle over the shoulders of your dog. This is a dominant display. When you see this: 1. Tell the dog's owner that he or she needs to get control of their dog. 2. If this does not work, then it's time to leave the park. If there was any aggression, you may want to file a complaint or police report. Make sure you indicate that you were concerned for your personal safety and your dogs. 3. If the situation has moved beyond the point where you can't leave, then you need to take things into your own hands. Verbally tell the dog in a deep voice to get out of there. Usually, (not always) this is enough to make the dog back off. When that happens, you need to determine if you have solved the problem or if you need to leave. Always err on the side of safety. 4. I would not go to a dog park without a walking stick or a can of pepper gas. If you are not familiar with how to safely break up a dog fight without getting hurt, you need to familiarize yourself with what to do. (Read the article or listen to the podcast I have done on this). 5. What I do may not be possible for many people with less experience. But if a stray dog were to get aggressive with my dog and I could not verbally threaten the dog to make it move on, I would attack the dog with the stick. I can hear several people rolling their eyes as they read this, but the fact is, by this point, retreat is not an option and I would not allow my dog to be hurt. Often, one good hard hit right between the ears will deter most dogs. If you don't have the confidence to do this, call the authorities because this dog does not belong in the park. 6. If another dog attacks your dog, I would have pepper spray on hand to use on any dog who even looks cross-eyed at my puppy. I would not hesitate to physically go after a dog that approaches my pup. The only ones that would be allowed to come close would be dogs I know for a fact are well-mannered, friendly souls that will be tolerant and play with my puppy. 7. While some breeds are predisposed to fight more than others, every breed has its own bullies. There are too many people out there that don't come close to the label of being a “responsible pet owner.” With the number of fighting breeds growing, the risks of taking your pet to one of these parks is growing every day. Pet owners should know that once a puppy or adult dog has been attacked by another dog, it will become a dog aggressive animal itself. This only has to happen one time for a permanent temperament change to occur in some animals. You will quickly find that dog aggression is a real pain in the rear. Finally, if your dog is a bully and is aggressive to other dogs, you need to explain to him that this is unacceptable behavior. Softer dogs can get the message with a simple verbal reprimand while other dogs need to have serious corrections. These corrections can come from prong collars, dominant dog collars, or in some cases, a remote collar. (One should only use a remote collar after they have had the proper training).The correction for serious dog aggression needs to be so hard enough that the dog remembers it the next time it thinks about being aggressive. The bottom line for professionals is that the correction needs to be so severe that the idea of fighting or showing aggression is not as strong as the respect (or fear) of what happens when he does not mind. For these dogs, the presence of another dog is a big distraction, but they need to understand that if they allow this distraction to take control, then the punishment will be swift and severe. Once they understand this simple concept, they will become much better dogs. Giving a dog this kind of correction is often not a pretty sight. Many people do not have the temperament or skill to do it correctly. They simply cannot bring themselves to correct at an effective level. Dog fights are serious business and these people should either seek professional help or find a new home for their dog aggressive dog. In my opinion, one of the most effective tools for trainers who want to learn how to administer corrections at a level beyond their normal strength level (i.e., a small woman with a large dog) is to learn to train with a remote collar. I have produced a training DVD titled Remote Collar Training for the Pet Owner which covers the foundation of collar training. If you have a dog that needs a little help with distraction training, I would direct you to my training video on Basic Dog Obedience. This video will guide you through normal distraction problems. It will explain the principles of correction and how to read a dog's temperament to determine what level of correction to use. People with dominance problems in their dog should never bring their dog to dog parks until they have the dominance issues under control. I tell people "If you can't control your dog at home or on a walk, how will you ever control this dog when it's in a dog park with 20 other dogs?" Recommendations to make dog parks safer places: While I am lucky to live in a small community and have acreage to exercise and train, I know that others that live in large cities don't have an option to where they can go with their dogs. The following information is designed to help people make dog parks a safer place. Dogs should pass a test before being allowed in a dog park. In my opinion, communities should establish and set up tests that pet owners must pass before dogs are allowed off-leash into these dog parks. The tests should demonstrate the off-leash control owners have over their dogs while the dogs are faced with extreme distraction. In other words, the owners need to be able to call their dogs back away from a group of several dogs that are playing. Dogs that can't pass these tests should not be allowed off-leash in the parks. These tests should include a knowledge of how to deal with dog fights. There should be parks for small dogs and parks for large dogs. Allowing very small dogs to run with large dogs can be a very dangerous situation for the small dog. The average pet owner has no idea how to break up a dog fight. They also can't comprehend how quickly a large dog can kill or seriously injure a small dog. Be a responsible handler. There are some basic common sense rules that good owners should follow when they use a park. 1. When at the park and a dangerous or out-of-control dog shows up, leave the park. While you may feel you have the right to be there, you gain nothing by pushing your limit and risking a dog fight. 2. Go to the park during off-peak hours. You will learn when the quiet times are. Those are the times to be there with your dog. If you dress for the wind and rain, there is nothing wrong with having the entire park to yourself. 3. When a dog pile or dog fight occurs, immediately call your dog away from the pack. There is nothing wrong with using a remote collar and practice calling your dog away from chasing a group of dogs. 4. There is nothing wrong with teaching your dog that you are more fun than other dogs at the dog park. When you go, play the games your dog loves away from the dog pack. 5. When your dog is off-leash at the park, 100% of your focus should be on your dog. 6. If you wish to socialize with other dog owners, that's fine. Just do it when you have your dog on a leash. 7. Don't make the dog park the only out-of-the-home experience for your dog. Take it for walks, take it swimming (when possible), play or train in different locations. People who only take their dog to a dog park set themselves up for a dog that will get out of control. Dogs with a lot of energy who only go to the dog park will take the attitude of “USE IT OR LOSE IT” which means they can get wild. 8. In my opinion, people should learn how to use a remote collar. Remote collars are invisible leashes. They should study my low-level stimulation training and understand when they can and cannot use a collar in a dog park. (Don't use a collar in the middle of a dog fight, the dog will think that his opponent is causing the stimulation and fight harder).
Sunday, July 17, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #Dogtrainingsaltlakecity How Do You Decide that Today is the Day to Put Your Best Friend to Sleep? Published by Alpha Dog Training www.https://alpha-dog-training-slc.com The recent death of a friend's 13-year-old German Shepherd again reminded me of January 5th, 1998 (the worst day of my life to date). I was forced to make the hardest decision I have ever been faced with and that was to put my best friend (Nickie) to sleep. This was something I had put off for months. Going through the process to make this decision for an old or sick dog is a long and painful experience. Mine went something like this: • Boy he's not looking too good today. • The steroids really made him act like he did 3 or 4 months ago; this is great! • He is not able to hold his bladder (because of the steroids). This is hard for him. He knows he shouldn't be having accidents in the house. It embarrasses him. He is so proud. • The heck with the steroids. They are fixing one problem but causing him too many other problems. It's not worth it (for him.) • Now he can't walk up stairs again. • God he's getting worse again. I know I am going to have to make the decision. I can't even think about it! • I don't mind picking him up and carrying him down the steps to the front yard so he can relieve himself. I have to steady him. His old legs are a little wobbly. • "How do I know what day is going to be THE DAY"? Look at the way he looks at me. Do I wake up one morning and decide, "today is the day I am going to be a cold hearted S.O.B. and call the vet"? No. I don't mind carrying him outside. It's not so hard and I really don't mind cleaning up after him in the house, it's not like he meant to do it. • God, he fell down the steps again. That really hurt him. He still has the heart but the body is gone. • Am I keeping him alive for myself or for him? • Shit, he can't even get up this morning. He was forced to lie in a pool of urine all night because he couldn't move. Today is the day. Thank God my vet will come to the house. • The vet is here and I don't have the guts to watch this. I give him one last hug. I have to leave the house crying like a baby. Thank God for my ex-wife. She held him until the end. Every now and then when things slow down I find myself thinking of our times together. It almost always brings a lump to my throat and quite often a tear to my eye. We sure had some good times. I t's been 11 months and 6 days. As I wrote this, I started to cry again. I can't help it. Who cares? Not me! I still miss him and think about him every day when I look at his pictures in my bedroom.
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity How to Break Up a Dog Fight Without Getting Hurt Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com Breaking up a dog fight can go bad in a heartbeat. This is serious business. So, know your limitations and don't get into the middle of something you can't physically deal with. This past week I had an incident at my kennel that reminds me how important it is for everyone who works with dogs or owns dogs to know how to break up a dogfight without getting hurt. I will start with a warning. Unless you have a lot of experience do not try and break up a dog fight by yourself. Never step in the middle of two loving pets and try and grab them by the collar to stop a dog fight. If you try this, the chances of you being badly bitten are extremely high. People don't understand that 2 animals in the middle of a fight are in survival drive. If they see you at all, they don't look at you as their loving owner. When you charge in and grab them, they either react out of a fight reflex and bite, or they see you as another aggressor. When they are in fight or flight mode, they will bite you. You can take that to the bank. The Safest Option Requires Two People The safest way to break up a dogfight requires two people. Each person grabs the back feet of one of the dogs. The dog's back feet are then picked up like a wheelbarrow. With the legs up, both dogs are then pulled apart. What To Do If You Are Alone The worst case scenario is that you are alone when a serious fight breaks out. There are a couple things that you must keep in mind: 1. Keep your cool you have a job to do. 2. Do not waste time screaming at the dogs. It hardly ever works. 3. Your goal is still the same; you must break up the fight without getting hurt. 4. Go get a leash (allow the fight to continue while you do this). 5. Dogs are almost always locked onto one another. Walk up and loop the leash around the back loin of the dog by either threading the leash through the handle or use the clip. I prefer the thread method. 6. Now slowly back away and drag the dog to a fence or to an object that you can tie the leash to. By doing this, you effectively create an anchor for one of the dogs. 7. Then walk around and grab the back legs of the second dog and drag it away from the dog that is tied up. 8. Remember to turn and circle as they release. 9. Drag the dog into a dog pen or another room before you release the back legs. 10. Go back and take the dog off the fence and put him or her into a dog kennel. 11. Sit down and have a stiff drink (or two). Living with Two or More Dogs If you have 2 or more dogs that you are trying to get to live together, it's best to make them wear muzzles all the time. They are not expensive but very effective for this work. With muzzles on, you can test your training and if the dogs become aggressive, you can safely step in and correct the dogs. It's important to make sure the muzzles are properly fit and on securely. It's also a good idea to have the dogs wear 18-inch draglines.
Sunday, July 10, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Dealing With the Dominant Dog Published by Alpha Dog Training https://alpha-dog-training-slc.com One of the biggest mistakes dog owners make is failing to recognize signs, signals, or warnings that dogs offer before they bite. Pet owners don't understand how strong pack instinct is in their family dog. This lack of understanding is what gets them into trouble. Dogs, by nature, are social animals. Their instinct makes them want to be part of a social group. This is the same for horses, chickens, and many other species. Each social group is a hierarchy of members. There is a saying in the dog world that there are no equals within a group of dogs. Every social group will have its own pecking order. Lower-ranking members always defer to higher-ranking members. If the group doesn't have a clear leader, one member will always step forward to become the leader even if it's not genetically predisposed to leadership. What's interesting is that many times, a dog that finds itself at the top of the social group doesn't feel comfortable in that position. Rank is almost always communicated through subtle behaviors that each member of the pack understands and respects. Over time leaders will always establish their own set of rules that all members of the pack are expected to live by. There are well-understood consequences for breaking rules. Dog owners can and must learn to become leaders even if they are not predisposed to leadership. They need to think about establishing their own set of rules that their dog is expected to live by. These rules can be no biting the leader, no inappropriate aggression to visitors, no jumping up on people, stay away from small children, etc. Owners must also learn to be 100% consistent in enforcing those rules. When a dog believes that every single time it breaks a rule there will be some form of consequence, that dog is less likely to break a rule. Once that threshold is reached (where the dog accepts and lives within the framework of the leader's rules), that dog becomes an easy dog to live with.
Friday, July 8, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Dog Growls and Babies Published by Alpha Dog Training https://alpha-dog-training-slc.com One of the scariest moments a new parent can experience is their beloved family dog growling at their baby. It can trigger feelings of anxiety, stress, and thoughts of having to rehome the dog. You may already be having these thoughts and feel guilty about it. First thing's first, your dog needs your help. Growling is a form of communication for dogs. Different types can tell you what your dog is feeling and how to help. The fact that your dog is trying to communicate its needs before taking action should be reassuring. 3 Different Types of Growls Let's talk about a few different types of growls and how to differentiate them. 1. Play Growl If you've ever watched your dog play with other dogs, you've probably already heard a play growl. This type of growl takes place in a playful state of mind, usually during the roughhousing and mock-fighting that makes up a dogs typical play behavior.
Thursday, July 7, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Dog Aggressive Dogs Published by Alpha Dog Training https://alpha-dog-training-slc.com One of the most common problems that dog owners email us about is unwanted dog aggression. There are many reasons for dogs being aggressive to other dogs, cats, or other animals. To begin to understand the solution to dog aggression one must first understand what triggers the aggression. There are 20 to 30 categories of dog aggression. One of the more common reasons a dog becomes dog aggressive is because that dog has been attacked by another dog. Pet owners need to understand that once their dog has been attacked or even scared by another dog that pet dog will be dog aggressive its entire life. This only needs to happen one time to become a lifelong problem. I compare this to anyone who has ever been robbed or mugged. This has a lifelong effect on how that person perceives the world. Pet owners always need to be aware of their dog's personal safety. They should never allow their puppies to be around strange dogs. To do so is the same as playing Russian roulette with their dog's mental stability. If their puppy is attacked, they will then own a dog aggressive dog. The same goes for pet owners who take their dogs to dog parks. There is no way of knowing if one of the dogs in that park has dominance or aggression issues. If there is a dog aggressive dog at the park and it attacks your dog - you now have a dog aggressive dog because one dog attack is all it takes to change a happy-go-lucky dog to a dog aggressive dog.
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Being a Pack Leader to Your New Puppy Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com When people bring an 8-week old puppy home their first concerns are "what should I feed my puppy?" and "how do I stop it from peeing on the floor?" These are important and credible concerns, but equally important and often ignored, is the concept of how to establish yourself as your new pup's pack leader. Pack Structure Dogs are pack animals, just like wolves are pack animals. They are predators. Horses and cows on the other hand, are herd animals. Being herd animals also makes them prey (food) for predators. The Beginning of Pack Structure When a puppy is raised with litter-mates they begin to establish their family pack at about 4 ½ weeks of age. They start by playing with one another. They bite and push each other around. Those pups that bite the hardest and push the most become the higher ranking pack members of the litter. What is a pack leader? When people get puppies they need to establish themselves as the new pack leader. To do this correctly they should first understand exactly what a pack leader is. Pack leaders are aloof, they are calm, and they are self confident. A pack leader is fair in how he lives with pack members. While the pack leader is a dictator, he is a fair dictator who enforces a well defined set of rules that members know, understand and are expected to live by. Where does it start? When a puppy comes to your home its only experience in life has been with its mother and littermates. It sees that things have changed, but it has no reason to believe that how it interacts with a family pack has changed. It has played with littermates by biting and chasing, so that's how it thinks it should continue to interact within a family pack. Establishing the Tether When we bring a pup home we always use a dog crate. Those who don't use a crate are making a mistake. Those who won't use a crate should just quit reading because they are wasting their time to read further. Our first goal is to reduce the possibility of house training mistakes and to teach the pup that being wild in the house is not going to happen. Controlling the Wild Puppy When people get puppies with a lot of prey drive they are often at a loss as to what to do to control the little alligator they now live with. The simple answer is to redirect the puppy into a toy. As I explained earlier, puppies play by using their mouth. They see littermates as prey objects. When they come into your home and start chewing on you, they see you as a prey item. Your job is to teach them that toys are now prey items and not your hands, arms and legs. Doors and Gates Going through doors, going through gates, and coming down stairs first are a huge things in terms of rank for a dog. All dogs, puppies or adults, get excited when it's time to be let out or time to come back in the house. Without training they will all bolt out the door. This is not only annoying, it can be dangerous. Toys There is no question that people quickly fall in love with their puppies. Many buy their pets toys. I recently saw a reality TV show in which a women spent over $100 a week buying her dog new toys. Boy, do I wish I could send her a catalog... With this said, we don't leave toys lying around our home. We take the approach that the dog does not own any toys. The toys are our toys and we allow the pup to play with "OUR TOYS." But we always take the toys away when the play time is finished. T aking the Toy Away from the Puppy After play, when it comes time to take the toy away, we say "OUT" (any word will do as long as we are consistent and stick with the same word) and offer to trade the pup a really good treat for the toy. We simply let them smell the treat and when they spit out the toy they get the food. If we want the game to end, we do a slight of hand to get the toy out of the picture and make it disappear. We don't tease them with the toy once we take it away. That's poor leadership and is counter productive to a good bond. Other Dogs and Puppies I have written extensively about the fact that we never allow our puppies to be around other dogs or puppies. If we are raising two pups at the same time we never allow them to play together. We want our pups to look at us as their source of fun and excitement and not another dog. I get emails all the time from people who have serious behavioral problems because they mistakenly bought two pups which are now 12 to 24 months old. These dogs are now anti-social and are more difficult to train. Many have aggression problems. If we are out for a walk and are approached by another person walking their dog, we NEVER allow the other dog to come up and smell or greet our puppy. I cannot stress this enough.
Monday, July 4, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Is it OK for Your Dog to Be in Your Bed? Published by Alpha Dog Training https://alpha-dog-training-slc.com Is it OK for Your Dog to Be in Your Bed? Having your dog on your bed is not in and of itself a mistake. The whole "it makes them equal to us in their eyes" is old thinking and not part of our current understanding of dog training. Anyone who is still passing you information like this has not updated their thinking in a while! We no longer need to worry about ranking or "alpha" or "omega" when living with and training our dogs. All we need to do is train for the behaviors we want. Not only can't we control what is in the dogs mind, we can never know it. How do you even know what alpha is, anyway? Does getting off say, "I defer to you and I am omega here, giving you the bed," or does it say "I am alpha here and choose to let you have the bed to yourself, for I am magnanimous." You never, I repeat, never know what is in a dog's mind and we shouldn't include our suppositions about it in our training program. Train for the behaviors you want, help your dog overcome her fears, bond with her and help her understand you are benevolent and will give her structure, and stop worrying about status, rank, dominance, submission (in fact, I will go so far as to say you can banish them from your vocabulary) and read as much of the *current* and *positive* literature on dog training as you can!
Thursday, June 30, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Litter Box Training Your Dog Published by Alpha Dog Training https://alpha-dog-training-slc.com To teach your dog to use a litter box or fake grass potty area, follow the steps below and continue on to the next step once your dog uses the papers or pads two times in the previous step. 1. Set up an exercise pen and cover the floor inside the area with newspapers or potty pads. Give your dog dog broth to drink in order to get lots of repetitions and begin work on this over the weekend. 2. Crate your dog, and then every 30 minutes place him in the pen for 5 minutes (set a timer). If he "goes". he gets a big treat and gets 30 minutes of freedom. If he doesn't "go"then back in the crate for another 30 minutes. Repeat! 3. Continue to feed your dog broth. Once your dog is pottying reliably on the papers or pads, reduce the area of the papers/pads until you are down to the final size area that you wish to use. 4. Once he is pottying on the smaller area of papers or pads, transfer the papers or pads into the final potty area or "litter box". 5. If your dog is comfortable now using the potty area, the next step is to leave the exercise pen door open and after you take him out of his crate, encourage him to go in by himself to potty. You are almost there! 6. Now you can remove the exercise pen and take your dog out of the crate and watch carefully so that you can encourage pottying in the potty area.
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Tips to Calm Your Dog During Fireworks Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com 1. Get plenty of exercise with your pet during the day to decrease any pent up nerves/energy when the fireworks start. 2. Provide a safe space for your pet in a familiar and comfortable room inside. Play some Anti Anxiety Music for Dogs calming music, white noise, or the TV to help drown out the fireworks. Ensure all doors and windows are closed. 3. Distract with high value treats and toys. Try a Kong with frozen peanut butter to keep them busy and happy. 4. Consider an anti-anxiety wrap like the Thundershirt Calming Wrap to provide gentle pressure that helps decrease anxiety and stress for some pets. 5. Make sure your pet has proper identification - Check your pet’s identification tag for up to date contact information. Tip: If you don’t have time to order a tag with accurate information, you can always use a luggage tag to add your information and attach it to the collar. 6. Microchip your pet to help your local officials get your fur-baby back to you in the chance they do fearfully flee... Although microchips are not tracking devices, they do help lost pets be reunited with their parents. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date, and if your pet isn’t microchipped. Use your app to request a microchip appointment today! 7. Contact your vet to discuss prescription sedatives and other options to help decrease the fireworks trauma for your furry-friend.
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
#Alpha DogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity The Only Good Dog is a Tired Dog! Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com The alarm goes off at 5:30am! My face, still buried in the pillow, reluctantly rises just enough to allow my arm to reach out in desperation to hit the snooze button. There. Peace. Moments later, “Yip, yip!” goes the new client’s dog. This is the story of my life when it comes to checking in a new puppy (or even older dog) to my resident training program. As I begrudgingly drag myself out of bed, stuff my feet into flip flops and fasten a robe around my waist in utter grumpiness, the yipping escalates, and the dog is now like a tornado. The crate is actually rocking back and forth like a MayTag washing machine…By the time I am able to unlatch the crate door, Fluffy has now turned into a Tasmanian Devil! By the time the new training dog is taken outside to potty, the rest of the household is now awake and ready to rumble. I have officially started the day off as a bonafide grouch. Only freshly ground and brewed roast coffee will bring joy to life. It may not be terribly difficult to imagine this scenario. In fact, this is the root of many client frustrations I experience as a professional dog trainer and coach. Many of my new clients with super high energy, destructive dogs often admit to me that they attempted some sort of management/containment training with their dog, but not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and losing copious amounts of sleep, they gave up. Somehow, this started the slide down the slippery slope where the dog was then allowed to sleep loose, which led to destructive behavior or accidents. So, the dog was put outside more to “burn off energy”which led to barking dog complaints by the neighbors, barrier frustration, and so on. So, the client attempted to walk the dog, only to be further frustrated by a barking, unruly dragon at the end of the leash. Never fear. It all goes back to basics first. While your new issue may be leash walking, it likely all stems with energy and behavior management around the home. By creating an energy burn plan for your energetic pooch. Here are some tips to help you out: Tip 1: A Tired Dog is a Good Dog A tired dog is a good dog! A treadmill is a GREAT way to burn off a little extra energy before bedtime, on rainy days, or when you simply have a dog who needs a little extra burn before their daily excursions. I WALK my dogs predominately on the treadmill. You might add five minutes of trotting to get the tongue lolling, but mostly calm walking is best to condition a relaxed mind. Tip 2: Teach Your Dog Patience Teach your dog the concept of patience. We tend to go places. We always have a destination. In horse training there is a method of tying a horse on what is called a patience pole. They simply learn the skill of doing nothing for long periods affixed to a pole sunk in the ground. In dog training, your dog needs to learn to be patient and relaxed while on leash. YOU can be the patience pole. If it can be done with a thousand pound animal, surely we can teach Fido to just wait. Do nothing. Go no where. Coffee shop patios are great for this. T ip 3: Make a Training Box Get the equipment to help you accomplish these things. Make a training box or bag. Training leashes, collars, Bitter Apple Spray for barking, squirt bottles, treats are all part of my training box. You may need a pro to help you properly implement their use and perfect techniques, but without the right gear you are wasting your time. Tip 4: Double Up with Exercise + Patience Pick three to four activities lasting an hour or more to do with your dog each week to burn exercise, then practice being a patience pole during that activity for 15 of those minutes. Hiking, biking, trip to the beach or lake, field trip to Petsmart or Home Depot, etc. Tip 5: Enrichment Treats Enrichment treats such as peanut butter stuffed inside stuffed Kongs. Knuckle bones, bully sticks, and pig ears are all example of some great enrichment items to create calmness while inside the home, kennel, or crate. Conclusion So, stock up your training bag. Get a strategy in place to pre burn some energy BEFORE your dog excursion, and schedule your weekly field trips. Put a plan in place and try it for two weeks and you will see a big difference in your dog's behavior.
Thursday, June 23, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Introducing a New Dog into Your Pack Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com Bringing a new dog into a home is always an exciting time. It's like adding a new family member or guest to the household. While much has been written on bringing puppies into the home - very little has been written about bringing new adult dogs into the home. The human pack leader makes it crystal clear that aggressive behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The human pack leader shows his dog or dogs that he will protect them FROM OTHER DOGS. This is a very important issue that the average dog owner doesn't realize, but I guarantee you your dog does. When it's done correctly the first few weeks of your relationship with the new dog set the stage for the rest of your dog’s life. The minute a dog meets you he starts to evaluate you as a leader. If you know this it's easy to set yourself up as a pack leader. Your job as THE PACK LEADER IS TO SHOW YOUR DOGS THAT YOU WILL NOT TOLERATE AGGRESSION TOWARD THIS NEW PACK MEMBER. Pack leaders decide when there will be a fight and by your stopping aggression you are reminding them who the leader is. If the new dog growls at us or the other dog during this process we either put him back in the crate (and the crate training begins again)or
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Preparing Your Dog for the July 4th Holiday Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com Preparing Your Dog Ahead for the July 4th Holiday The most important thing that pet owners can do is make sure they (and their pets) are prepared. Microchipping allows owners to reunite with their pet if they were to go missing. When you enroll online, you can enter emergency contacts and personal information, but the key is to make sure this is updated frequently. If you don’t know your pet’s microchip information, you can go to a pet microchip lookup where you can enter the information and it will let you know which recovery service to contact and it can give you an idea of who likely sold the microchip. While many think that the microchip is a GPS, it is not a locator device, it’s a permanent identification for your pet. It’s very important the information is up-to-date because it makes it easier and faster to reunite the pet. In addition to making sure microchip information is updated, owners can also exercise their pet the days of big events to exhaust pent-up energy before the celebration. What To Do If Your Pet Gets Lost Being prepared is extremely helpful, but what happens if your pet goes missing? The very first thing owners need to do is get a search party out and have their cellphone with them. You should scatter because you don’t know where the pet went.” She also explains that it’s important to always have a picture of your pet on-hand. If your pet is enrolled in a microchip program, owners can contact their designated recovery service. The AKC Reunite program has live agents that are available 24/7 and expect their busiest day to be July 5th and 8th. When a pet is found, AKC Reunite will call, text, and email you. They will contact all of the emergency contacts in your profile. Again, this is a huge reason to make sure all of the information in your profile is updated. If any points of communication are outdated, they will also send a letter. Make sure that your pet is enrolled, don’t give up hope, contact local animal control, and ask if they were to pick up a pet where they would go. Follow up daily, and be patient because you’ll most likely work with volunteers where you will have to repeat information. Most shelters aren’t open on holiday weekends, so it’s important to note that AKC Reunite has live agents to aid in searching, reporting a lost pet, or reporting a found pet.
Saturday, June 18, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Preventing Dog Bites in Children Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training.slc.com Preventing Dog Bites in Children According to a 1994 study by Mathews and Lattal, approximately one million dog bites occur every year in the United States. According to the study, 60-70% of those involve children. Boys are bitten more often than girls and a third of the dogs that attack children are owned by the family. A study done in 1975 indicated that 87% of biting dogs are intact males and most dog bites occur in or near the victim's home. Another study in 1989 indicated that 70% of the children who were killed by dogs were under the age of 10 and 22% were under the age of one year with 7% being sleeping infants.
Thursday, June 16, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Potty Training Your Dog Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com One of the most common themes in the many emails I get every day concern the problems people are having with potty training their dogs. When housetraining goes well, new pet owners assume that this is a cakewalk and it should be like this all the time. These people are wrong. More often than not, problems come up and when that happens, people get frustrated. The fact is there are many reasons that puppies and older dogs develop housetraining problems. There is no silver bullet that is going to fix each and every dog's problem. With this said, the solution to all housetraining problems lies in owner education. When problems arise, pet owners almost always often fall into a common trap. They start to ask family and friends what they can do to fix these housetraining problems. Unfortunately, most people are unqualified and lack the experience to offer accurate advice. This results in a lot of bad information being passed out which only makes the problems worse. Here are some of the most common housetraining problem areas: • Puppies usually can't hold it for 8 hours until they are 16 weeks old. With this said, some have problems until they are 6 to 7 months old, some are good at 8 weeks. Usually, dogs on an all-natural diet do better because they poop about 5 times less than commercial kibble eaters. • You have to use a dog crate. If you're not prepared to do this, quit reading and move on because you are wasting your time. You are not going to reinvent the wheel by doing this without a crate. • In the beginning, take your dog out often. The concept is to teach the dog that "if it holds it just a little longer, you are going to take it outside". • It takes a dog about 5 seconds to pee. This translates into a simple rule which is "NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF YOUR DOG - not even for 5 seconds". • Those "pee pads" that pet stores sell are the dumbest idea I have ever heard. They teach dogs to pee and poop in the house. • We don't let our dogs have free time in the house until they are 2 to 3 years old. If a dog has an accident in the house, they go right back to square one and start again. Some dogs cannot be housetrained to the extent that they can be left alone inside the house (out of the crate) when you are gone.
Sunday, June 12, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Dog Car Safety Tips Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com It doesn’t matter if it’s a long road trip or a short drive to the dog park; it’s important to properly secure your dog in the car. Securing your dog not only keeps him safe, but also keeps him from distracting you. This keeps you safe, too. There are countless dog car safety products on the market, though, so finding the right one can be overwhelming. Our experts offer their advice to help keep you and your trusty copilot safe, no matter how long or short the drive. 1. Training You may have expected this list to start with a product like a dog seat belt, but extensive training is crucial. A well-trained dog will cause fewer distractions in the car, which significantly reduces the risk of an accident. Whether your dog is scared of car rides or gets overly excited about getting in a vehicle, start with slow, gradual training. Get him used to getting in and out of the car, the sounds of the doors, the engine and the horn. Once he’s got that down, go for a ride around the block. Slowly increase your distance as he learns to hop right in and sit in his seat. By taking things slow, your dog will learn how to behave in the car, which helps keep you both safe. 2. Buckle Up There are a lot of products on the market for dog car safety, but not all products are created equal. Do your research to ensure the product you choose fits your dog properly for his size. Dog seat belts and car harnesses are two of the more popular options. They click right into the existing seat belt buckles in your car. These products can allow your dog some freedom to move around, but keep him secure in his seat. Although plenty of other options are available, like harnessed dog boosters, mesh car barriers and dog hammocks, these don’t offer the security of a dog car safety harness or belt if you make a sudden stop or are in a collision. In fact, if some of these items aren’t properly secured, they could injure both you and your dog. 3. Be Prepared Whether it’s a short ride or a long trip, make sure you’re prepared. Bring along your dog’s usual collar or harness, plus his leash. Make sure you have plenty of food and fresh water, along with a food bowl and spill-proof water bowl. You’ll want to time his feedings so he’s not traveling on a full stomach, which can cause motion sickness. Other items to consider based on trip length include: • Medications your dog may need • A blanket or his dog bed • Brush and other grooming items • Toys and treats • Your dog’s crate or kennel Taking a road trip with your dog can be a fun experience. Remember to never leave him in your vehicle, as the interior temperatures can reach life-threatening levels quickly.
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Can Dog Eat Strawberries? Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com There’s nothing like strawberry season. The fresh, juicy berries make a healthy snack for you, but can your dog have strawberries, too? It’s a good question to ask, since you and your dog have different systems and nutritional needs. Read on to learn if strawberries are a safe treat for your dog. Are strawberries good for dogs to eat? Strawberries are good for dogs. But feed strawberries to your dog like you would any other snack. Keep the portion size small. “Treats you feed your dog should make up no more than 10% of his total calories for the day. We love to eat strawberries because they are sweet. But sweet means sugar. And a lot of sugar, even in fruit, isn’t beneficial to dogs. That’s another reason to feed strawberries in moderation. Are strawberries good for dogs? Strawberries have some characteristics and nutrients that may be good for your dog. Strawberries have: • High water content • Fiber • Vitamin C • A teeth-whitening enzyme Strawberries (and some other berries) are known to contain natural compounds that act as antioxidants in the body. Research shows they are good for humans and some other animals, but whether or not there are benefits for your dog hasn’t been tested yet. What is the best way to prepare strawberries for dogs? Wash and clean strawberries for your dog just like you would for your family. Washing helps rinse away dirt and residual chemicals. Keep in mind that any food can be a choking hazard, even strawberries. So, after washing, trim off the stem. Is your dog a small breed dog or a puppy? Make strawberries even easier to eat. Cut them into small bits or puree them–mashing works well, too. For larger dogs, cut them in half or serve the berry whole. How should I introduce my dog to strawberries? Some dogs might not know what to do with the new texture of strawberries. So, you can try feeding them as frozen treats at first . Whatever way you serve them, start out slowl to see his reaction. If he likes them, you can try putting them on his food, but make sure he likes them first. Feeding the berries slowly means you’ll notice right away if they are causing a problem. Call your veterinarian if you notice stomach upset, digestive issues, intense scratching or an increase in thirst. Any of these can indicate strawberries aren’t right for your dog. Since strawberries are safe for dogs, are other berries safe, too? “Yes! Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cranberries are safe options for dogs, too. Although cranberries can be bitter and in general dogs do not like bitter taste.
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Separation Anxiety Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com If your puppy scratches at the door, cries or barks excessively, goes to the bathroom in the house and/or chews things every time your family leaves the house, he may be suffering from separation anxiety. Why some puppies develop separation anxiety and some don’t is not fully understood. Whatever the cause, it’s important to realize these behaviors are not malicious and that they are likely panic or other coping behaviors. Punishing your puppy will not eliminate separation anxiety. Gradually adjusting your puppy to being alone is the best approach. Preventing Separation Anxiety It’s good for your puppy to be comfortable when home alone. You can help him learn this by taking a little time and following these simple steps. Start as soon as your puppy comes home, if possible. • Puppies like routine. Develop a schedule for your puppy, and make sure your family sticks to it. • Practice Preventative Training. • Always give your puppy an opportunity to go potty prior to crating him. • Crate train your puppy. When done properly, the use of a crate is a great way to help your puppy remain calm—and out of trouble! See our guide on Crate Training your puppy for more information. • Crate him for short periods while you are present. For example, when you are watching television, put your puppy in his crate and put the crate next to the sofa. Gradually increase the time crated. Reward quiet behavior with calm praise. • Start leaving your puppy alone in his crate. Start with just a few minutes at a time. Gradually increase the time spent alone. • Limit the attention he gets shortly before leaving, so it isn’t such a shock when your family does leave. • When you let your puppy out of his crate, remain calm and keep the greetings to a minimum. You don’t want to make him excited. • Most puppies don’t need to be crated throughout their lives, but don't rush freedom. Typically, puppies aren’t ready to be given unsupervised freedom in your home until they are approximately a year-and-a-half or older. • Try to make sure someone in your family is home as much as possible. Consider hiring a puppy-walker or neighbor to give your puppy a midday break while everyone is in work or school. Keeping your schedule similar on weekends can help make things easier for your puppy.
Monday, June 6, 2022
Sunday, June 5, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity How to Calm Dogs During Fireworks Published by Alpha Dog Training https://alpha-dog-training-slc.com How to Calm Dogs During Storms There are several strategies for calming a dog during a storm. • Stay Calm: The best thing to do is to remain calm around your dog during a thunderstorm. Making a big fuss around the dog only proves to him that there is a good reason to panic. Dogs look to us for reassurance. So, showing your dog we are calm and relaxed is likely to help the dog understand there is no real danger. • • Create a Safe Space: Give your dog a safe indoor space to go when he’s scared. If your dog is crate-trained, he may feel most secure in his crate with a nice chew toy to occupy his time.
Saturday, June 4, 2022
#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Tips for Running With Your Dog Published by Alpha Dog Training https://www.alpha-dog-training-slc.com There are many benefits to getting active for both people and dogs. Studies have shown that having a workout partner helps people increase accountability, follow-through, and success in meeting health goals. And like humans, dogs enjoy mental health benefits from exercise, as well as physical benefits that help enhance canine performance and health, like increased lean muscle mass, reduced body fat, and more. Before you start running with your dog, here are some tips you’ll want to know. 1. Assess Your Dog’s Fitness Level Age, breed and fitness level are important factors to consider when deciding on the best ways to exercise your dog. These factors should also help determine the length and duration of your runs together. For example, puppies’ bodies and coordination skills are still developing; therefore, keeping the sessions short on more forgiving terrain like dirt, grass, and trails will help protect their growing bodies. After they reach skeletal maturity, walks and runs can gradually get longer and be held on sidewalks and asphalt. 2. Take Your Dog’s Breed Into Account Toy and small breed dogs often seem highly energized and fast-moving. However, they might not have the endurance of medium-sized breeds like Australian Shepherds and Border Collies. Many breeds developed for hunting and field trials, like Golden Retrievers, Vizslas and German Shorthair Pointers, can be excellent running companions with appropriate endurance training. Giant breeds, like Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds, often struggle with distance running due to their large skeletal stature. Brachycephalic breeds, like Pugs and French Bulldogs, need special consideration as their short noses can make breathing a bit more difficult, particularly during exercise. 3. Be Prepared There are many things to consider before you and your dog go out the door. Double-check your list to make sure you have it all. Collar and Leash/Harness: This will help you maintain control and keep your dog safe. Microchip and ID tag: These are super important in case your dog should slip off his leash or out of his harness. Poop bags: Be a responsible pet owner and clean up after your pet. The environment—and your neighbors—will appreciate it! Weather check: Heat and humidity can quickly deplete the energy and endurance of our dogs and on the opposite side, cold and snow can take some acclimation. Asphalt and sidewalks in the summer can become hot enough to burn their pads and ice in the winter can be slippery, so understanding the terrain you’ll be running on is critical to avoiding injury. 4. Food Is Fuel How well your dog excels outside depends on what’s fueling them inside. For the best dog food for active breeds to help power your dog’s runs, or the best puppy food for active dogs to get your new exercise partner off to a strong start, Pro Plan Sport formulas are worth consideration. They are specially formulated to fuel highly active dogs, with optimized nutrition to fuel age-appropriate strength and endurance plus amino acids to help with muscle recovery post-exercise. 5. Time Your Feedings A dog’s stomach takes at least 4-6 hours to empty, so feeding your dog right before going for a run isn’t ideal. Also, allowing them time to cool down and relax after the exercise can help to avoid GI upset. Because of these potential issues, it’s advised you feed your dog a few hours before or after exercise. 6. Watch The Body Language Lagging behind and slowing down are key signs your dog is starting to get tired. Dogs can’t sweat and they use panting and their tongues to exchange body heat. Watching the length and expansion of their tongue can be an indicator if they’re getting too hot. Having a water source for them can help keep them hydrated along the route and keep them cool in the process. 7. Give Them A Once-over Dogs have a higher pain tolerance than we do and can often keep running no matter what. That’s why it’s important to examine them from nose-to-tail after every exercise session. Make sure their feet are without burns, scrapes, or thorns, their fur is clean and without burrs or mats, and their eyes, nose, and mouth are clear. 8. Bring The Outside In Lastly, hiking, walking, and running are great ways to physically engage your pet and offer a time to bond with them in the outdoors. If you can’t get outside due to inclement weather, you can still keep them active. Playing hide and seek can tap into their senses of hearing and smell. Practicing basic obedience skills like “sit” and “down” not only help reinforce good behavior but also can serve as strength work for them. While our pets need physical activity, keep in mind that mental stimulation is important as well. So no matter what activity you’re engaging in, incorporating a “recovery walk” where they’re allowed to take in smells, stop and start at their own pace, and watch all the squirrels and birds will help keep them happy. Every dog is unique and it’s important to talk with your veterinarian about any questions you may have about your specific dog.