Friday, February 25, 2022

How to Feed Your Puppy

#AlphaDogTraining How to Feed Your Puppy Published by Alpha Dog Training (801) 910-1700 The decisions you make about your puppy’s nutrition will affect his growth, development and even his behavior. Feeding your puppy a high-quality, complete and balanced puppy food helps set him up for a long and healthy life as an adult dog. This raises a lot of questions for first-time (and even veteran) puppy owners, though. What to Feed a Puppy When it comes to feeding puppies, there are a lot of factors to consider. Overall nutrition, breed size and the type of food all play a role. Here’s what you need to know: Puppy Nutrition Puppies need puppy food. Feeding puppies a complete and balanced puppy food ensures they get the proper nutrition to develop and grow into healthy adult dogs. Puppy foods are formulated with a balance of nutrients to help puppies grow up healthy and happy. Look for formulas rich in high-quality proteins to support their growing bodies. Fat and carbohydrates supply the energy active and playful puppies need, while calcium supports developing teeth and bones and DHA helps support healthy brain and vision development. Dry vs. Wet Puppy Food Although dry kibble is a popular choice, it’s not the only option. As you walk the dog food aisles, you may see both dry and wet puppy foods. This can make it harder to decide what to feed your puppy. Fortunately, as long as both the wet and dry formulas are complete and balanced for growing puppies, you can feed either one to your pup with confidence. You and your puppy may have a preference when it comes to dry versus wet. Feeding a combination of the two is also an option. If you’re feeding your puppy a combination of wet and dry food, it is extremely important to ensure the total caloric value does not fall short or exceed their daily energy requirement. Use the calories reported on the package to understand how much wet food will replace the dry and vice versa. This allows you to calculate the amount of each product needed to meet your puppy’s nutritional requirements. One thirteen-ounce can of wet puppy food may contain four hundred and seventy-five kilocalories and replace approximately one cup of a dry puppy formula with a similar value of kilocalories per cup. In this scenario, you could substitute a thirteen-ounce can of wet food for one cup of the daily dry food recommendation. Remember puppies will grow at various rates and body condition may change rapidly. As a result, it is extremely important to monitor your puppy’s body condition and adjust calorie intake as needed to prevent over- or underfeeding your puppy. The brand websites and your veterinarian are great resources and can help you develop a feeding plan specifically for your puppy’s needs. When to Feed a Puppy Once you know the daily feeding amount, you need to create a puppy feeding schedule. Take the total amount of food your puppy needs each day and divide that into two to three smaller meals. Give those smaller amounts to him at regular intervals each day. An easy puppy feeding schedule to follow is to feed him when you eat—at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Remember to feed him early in the evenings so he has time to digest his food before bedtime. This can help prevent accidents inside. Consistency is key. Feeding puppies at consistent times each day helps them get used to the routine. When to Stop Feeding Puppy Food Eventually, you’ll need to stop feeding puppy food and switch him to a complete and balanced adult dog food. This transition is dictated by breed size, just as the amount to feed a puppy depends on his breed. Larger breeds may take longer to reach full maturity, so he may need puppy food for up to two years. In general, however, expect to make the transition to adult dog food between one and two years of age. Talk with your veterinarian to determine the right time to make the switch and for tips on making the change easy on your pup. What about Puppy Treats? How can you resist rewarding your puppy with some tasty treats? In fact, treats make an effective training tool It’s important to keep the 90/10 rule in mind, whether you’re rewarding your puppy for good behavior or just want him to feel loved. Of his daily calories, 90 percent should come from his complete and balanced puppy food. The other 10 percent can come from treats. Following the 90/10 rule can help prevent weight gain and other health problems in adulthood. Those puppy eyes are hard to resist, but remember, you’re building—and training—a dog. Don’t give in to feeding him human food when he begs. Not only are some human foods toxic to dogs, but you’re rewarding undesirable behaviors, which will be harder to break later.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

7 Commands Your Dog Needs to Know

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity 7 Essential Commands Your Dog Needs to Know Published by Alpha Dog Training 801-910-1700 Teach your dog these basic obedience commands for a well-behaved pup. When you get a new dog, whether it's a puppy or an adult rescue, she probably needs some obedience training. More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No commands" because they're the ones most people will use with their pets on a routine basis. Help them stay safe and well-behaved, whether they spend most of their time in the backyard, at the dog park, or walking the neighborhood with their human companions. With several 10-to-15-minute practice sessions each day, most pets can master these core skills in just a week or two. 1 Sit Teach Sit first because it’s the most natural concept for most dogs. It's therefore also one of the easiest for them to learn, so even pets who are new to training can get the hang of it within a few sessions. And because it's also a transition command, once a dog can sit, you can move on to other directives. 2 Down A sitting dog is like a car in park, but it's still easy for her to boogey out of there. But when she’s lying down, you’ve cut the engine. Because the command helps you control your dog, it’s also a great transition to more complicated tricks like rolling over or playing dead. 3 Stay A dog who knows how to stay won’t run into the street if she gets loose, so this is one of the most important skills for any dog to learn. Teach your dog when she’s tired and hungry so she won’t get too hyper to focus. And be patient: Most dogs take at least a couple of days to understand Stay and it can take a few weeks to master it. But because it protects your dog from danger, keep a bag of treats or kibble handy and keep practicing until she's a pro. 4 Come If you plan to take your dog anywhere off-leash, she must know how to come when called. It can keep her safe at the dog park if a scuffle breaks out, get her away from the street if she breaks off the leash, or ensure she stays close when hiking or just fooling around in the backyard. Teach Come after Stay, since having the Stay skill first makes the process easier.
5 Heel Dogs of all sizes should learn to heel, or walk calmly by your side, especially if you exercise your pup in busy urban areas where there's not much room on the sidewalk. The skill is even more important for large or strong pups who naturally pull on the leash. Once a dog can heel, walks will be easier and more pleasant for your dog and your arm socket. 6 Off Jumping on visitors or furniture is one of the most common dog issues, so if your pooch can't keep four paws on the floor, don't despair. Get her to stay off by turning your back when she jumps up, grabbing her paws and shaking a plastic bottle filled with pennies while you say “Off.” All of those things discourage jumping, so try a few to see which clicks with your pet. 7 No Some trainers teach both No and Leave It for slightly different situations, such as using No when a dog shouldn't do something and leave it for when you want your pup not to investigate something. Explaining the difference can confuse both people and animals, so No makes a good, all-purpose command for everything you want your pup not to do.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

How to Protect Your Dog in Snow and Cold

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Protecting Your Dog in Snow and Cold Published by Alpha Dog Training (801)910-1700 There’s nothing quite like watching a dog experience snow for the first time. Not all dogs are suited for outdoor play in cold weather, though. Here are a few tips for dogs in snow so they can enjoy the winter wonderland. Some dogs have thick coats designed to withstand cold temperatures, whereas others have thin coats that don’t keep them warm. When it comes to spending time outside this winter, use your best judgment. Consider the thickness of your dog’s coat and his age, as puppies and senior dogs have a harder time regulating their body temperature. A good rule of thumb is if it’s too cold for you in your winter coat, it’s too cold for your dog. Here are some other winter safety tips . How to Protect Your Dog in Snow & Ice 1. Gradually Acclimate to the Cold The key is acclimation. If they seem fine and aren’t shivering or trying to get in, it’s perfectly fine for them to stay outside for longer periods as long as they’re building up to it. Start with short sessions outside and slowly increase so they have time to adjust. 2. Make Potty Time More Efficient Try shoveling a patch of grass for potty time so they have a spot to go right away. If there are areas with more protection from snow, ice and wind, encourage your pup to go there instead. Give treats after to reinforce the good behavior and discourage accidents inside. 3. Keep an Eye Out for Rock Salt & Antifreeze Rock salt isn’t toxic, but it may upset their stomach if ingested and can irritate their paws. Antifreeze tastes sweet but is toxic. Look for blue or green-colored substances on driveways, sidewalks and cars and keep dogs away from those spots. Wipe off their paws before they come inside to remove any salt or antifreeze residue they might lick off. This will also warm the paws faster. 4. Learn How to Warm them Up If your dog seems cold, cover him with a towel or blanket. You can also use a blow dryer on a low setting, but don’t heat his paw pads, as they could burn. Instead, heat up some rice in a sock (place against your wrist to ensure it’s not too hot). If you know your dog gets cold easily, stock up in advance on sweaters, coats and booties. 5. Protect Dog Paws in Winter For cracked paw pads, use a moisturizer made for cow udders to soothe your dog’s paws. After applying, keep him busy with a puzzle feeder or treat so he doesn’t lick it off immediately. To protect your dog’s paws in winter and prevent cracked pads, try putting your dog in booties. Otherwise clean his paws every time he comes inside.

Friday, February 18, 2022

The Three Methods of Dog Training

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity The Three Methods of Dog Training Published by Alpha Dog Training (801) 910-1700 So, you decided to add a dog to your family. Congratulations. And you’ve finally gotten settled with young Fido, but now that you’ve been able to spend some quality time with him, you realize that there may be more to pet-ownership than you considered. Training a dog can be one of the most arduous tasks of pet-ownership, but it’s necessary in order to keep your family and your dog happy — and you, sane! There are a few different approaches families can take to train a pet. Every celebrity dog trainer and pet manual seems to advocate a different style for teaching your pup. Though it seems confusing at first, they all boil down to three main techniques: the traditional dominance method, the scientific method and the positive reinforcement method. The first two are the most widely used methods, and science-based training is becoming more popular, as veterinarians continue to research and understand dogs and what makes them tick — and wag. Traditional Dominance Training The traditional method of training became popular around World War II, when the military used force to train dogs and ensure that they followed commands. Usually, trainers “make the assumption that dogs behave badly because they are trying to gain higher rank [than the trainer].” Instead, Yin argues, trainers are putting dogs in a conflict situation, where the dog is likely to make a mistake. Traditional trainers will use corrections such as yanking a leash when attempting to get a dog to heel or using a shock collar to assure a dog stays within limits. Scientific Training There are more effective, quicker, more humane techniques, based on the appropriate control of resources, use of good communication interaction patterns and positive techniques, which are more effective and have better durability.” In the science-based method, rewards are given when the dog performs adequately and taken away for unwanted behaviors. This kind of training is reminiscent of the behavioral perceptive of B.F. Skinner (a noted American psychologist and behaviorist), in that negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement are applied. This method involves trainers working “with the dog” instead of simply commanding the dog. Many veterinarians and animal behaviorists now use this science-based method. As Yin says, “With this approach, animals are taught the desired behaviors first using rewards, but also taught that the unwanted behaviors don’t work. For instance, a dog may jump to grab a toy you plan to toss. Instead of giving a leash or verbal correction, as a traditional trainer would, the science-based trainer holds the toy in a way that it’s clear the dog will not get it.” While Skinner believed in “negative reinforcement” (taking a negative stimulus away) in this case, you’re using “negative punishment” by making removing the toy, as you’re taking away a perceived award for his behavior. “Then when the dog sits, as it has been trained to, the trainer tosses the toy,” Positive Reinforcement Training The final method of training is one where the dog is supposedly never reprimanded and only ever rewarded for his actions. Unwanted behaviors are simply ignored. Trainers who use clickers and only positive reinforcement without applying any negative reinforcement would fall into this category. Ideals of unconditional positive regard, meaning that you may not always like the behavior of your pooch, but you will always love and care for your dog himself.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Science is Revolutionizing Dog Training

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity How Science is Revolutionizing Dog Training Published by Alpha Dog Training (801) 910-1700 About a month ago I was into raising a new border collie puppy, Lyla, when I came to an embarrassing realization: my dog had yet to meet a person who doesn’t look like me. Most trainers agree on at least one thing: proper socialization of a puppy, especially during the critical period from eight to 20 weeks, means introducing her to as many people as I possibly could. Not just people, but diverse people: people with beards and sunglasses; people wearing fedoras and sombreros; people jogging; people in Halloween costumes. And, critically, people of different ethnicities. Fail to do this, and your dog may inexplicably bark at people wearing straw hats or big sunglasses. This emphasis on socialization is an important element of a new approach to raising the modern dog. It eschews the old, dominating, Cesar Millan–style methods that were based on flawed studies of presumed hierarchies in wolf packs. Those methods made sense when I raised my last dog, Chica, in the early aughts. I read classic dominance-oriented books by the renowned upstate New York trainers The Monks of New Skete, among others, to teach her I was the leader of her pack, even when that meant stern corrections, like shaking her by the scruff of the neck. Chica was a well-behaved dog, but she was easily discouraged when I tried teaching her something new. I don’t mean to suggest I had no better option; there was then a growing movement to teach dog owners all about early socialization and the value of rewards-based training, and plenty of trainers who employed only positive reinforcement. But in those days, the approach was the subject of debate and derision: treat-trained mongers might do what you want if they know a biscuit is hidden in your palm, but they’d ignore you otherwise. I proudly taught my dog tough love. This time, with the assistance of a new class of trainers and scientists, I’ve changed my methods entirely, and I have been shocked to discover booming product lines of puzzles, entertaining toys, workshops and “canine enrichment” resources available to the modern dog “parent,” which has helped boost the U.S. pet industry to $86 billion in annual sales. Choke collars, shock collars, even the word no are all-but-verboten. It’s a new day in dog training. The science upon which these new techniques are based is not exactly new: it’s rooted in learning theory and operant conditioning, which involves positive (the addition of) or negative (the withdrawal of) reinforcement. It also includes the flipside: positive or negative punishment. A brief primer: Petting a dog on the head for fetching the newspaper is positive reinforcement, because you’re taking an action (positive) to encourage (reinforce) a behavior. Scolding a dog to stop an unwanted behavior is positive punishment, because it’s an action to discourage a behavior. A choke collar whose tension is released when the dog stops pulling on it is negative reinforcement, because the dog’s desirable behavior (backing off) results in the removal of an undesirable consequence. Taking away a dog’s frisbee because he’s barking at it is negative punishment, because you’ve withdrawn a stimulus to decrease an unwanted behavior. Much has changed about the way that science is applied today. As canine training has shifted from the old obedience-driven model directed at show dogs to a more relationship-based approach aimed at companion dogs, trainers have discovered that the use of negative reinforcement and positive punishment actually slow a dog’s progress, because they damage its confidence and, more importantly, its relationship with a handler. Dogs that receive too much correction—especially the harsh physical correction and mean-spirited “Bad dog!” scoldings—begin to retreat from trying new things. These new methods are backed by a growing body of science—and a rejection of the old thinking, of wolves (and their descendants, dogs) as dominance-oriented creatures. The origin of so-called “alpha theory” comes from a scientist named Rudolph Schenkel, who conducted a study of wolves in 1947 in which animals from different packs were forced into a small enclosure with no prior interaction. They fought, naturally, which Schenkel wrongly interpreted as a battle for dominance. The reality, Schenkel was later forced to admit, was that the wolves were stressed, not striving for alpha status. A study from Portugal published last fall in the pre-print digital database BioRxiv (meaning it is not yet peer-reviewed) evaluated dozens of dogs selected from schools that either employed the use of shock collars, leash corrections and other aversive techniques or didn’t—sticking entirely or almost entirely to the use of positive reinforcement (treats) to get the behavior they wanted. Dogs from the positive schools universally performed better at tasks the researchers put in front of them, and the dogs from aversive schools displayed considerably more stress, both in observable ways—licking, yawning, pacing, whining—and in cortisol levels measured in saliva swabs. These new findings are especially relevant this year. Dog adoption in the COVID-19 era has ballooned, arguably because isolated Americans are newly in search of companionship and because working from home makes at least the idea of raising a puppy feasible. Before the pandemic, it was young city dwellers driving the boom in demand for and supply of dog trainers who employ positive methods, and an explosion in the proliferation of professional trainers across the globe. Often because they’ve delayed or decided against having children, millennials and Generation Z are spending lavish amounts of money on pets: toys, food, puzzles, fancy harnesses, rain jackets, life jackets and training. And those professional trainers, from the Guide Dogs for the Blind organization to renowned handler Denise Fenzi, have formed a legion of experimenters. They universally report that the less negativity they use in training, the more quickly their dogs learn. Over the past 15 years, handlers with Guide Dogs for the Blind, which trains dogs to be aides for sight-impaired people, have extinguished nearly all negative training techniques and with dramatic results. A new dog can now be ready to guide its owner in half the time it once took, and they can remain with an owner for an extra year or two, because they’re so much less stressed out by the job, says Susan Armstrong, the organization’s vice president of client, training and veterinary operations. Even bomb-sniffing and military dogs are seeing more positive reinforcement, which is why you might have noticed that working dogs in even the most serious environments (like airports) seem to be enjoying their jobs more than in the past. “I don’t think you’re imagining that,” Armstrong says. “These dogs love working. They love getting rewards for good behavior. It’s serious, but it can be fun.” Susan Friedman, a psychology professor at Utah State University, entered the dog-training world after a 20-year career in special education, a field in which she has a doctorate. In the late 1990s, she adopted a parrot, and was shocked to discover that most of the available advice she could find about raising a well-mannered bird involved only harsh corrections: If it bites, abruptly drop the bird on the floor. If it makes too much noise, shroud the cage in complete darkness. If it tries to escape, clip the bird’s flight feathers. Friedman applied her own research and experience to her parrot training, and discovered it all comes down to behavior. “No species on the planet behaves for no reason,” she says. “What’s the function of a parrot biting your hand? Why might a child throw down at the toy aisle? What’s the purpose of the behavior, and how does it open the environment to rewards and also to aversive stimuli?” Friedman’s early articles about positive-reinforcement animal training met a skeptical audience back in the early aughts. Now, thanks to what she calls a “groundswell from animal trainers” newly concerned about the ethics of animal raising, Friedman is summoned to consult at zoos and aquariums around the world. She emphasizes understanding how a better analysis of an animal’s needs might help trainers punish them less. Last year, she produced a poster called the “hierarchy roadmap” designed to help owners identify underlying causes and conditions of behavior, and address the most likely influencers—illness, for example—before moving on to other assumptions. That’s not to suggest old-school dog trainers might ignore an illness, but they might be too quick to move to punishment before considering causes of unwanted behavior that could be addressed with less-invasive techniques. The field is changing rapidly, Friedman says. Even in the last year, trainers have discovered new ways to replace an aversive technique with a win: if a dog scratches (instead of politely sitting) at the door to be let out, many trainers would have in recent years advised owners to ignore the scratching so as not to reward the behavior. They would hope for “extinction,” for the dog to eventually stop doing the bad thing that results in no reward. But that’s an inherently negative approach. What if it could be replaced with something positive? Now, most trainers would now recommend redirecting the scratching dog to a better behavior, a come or a sit, rewarded with a treat. The bad behavior not only goes extinct, but the dog learns a better behavior at the same time. The debate is not entirely quashed. Mark Hines, a trainer with the pet products company Kong who works with dogs across the country, says that while positive reinforcement certainly helps dogs acquire knowledge at the fastest rate, there’s still a feeling among trainers of military and police dogs that some correction is required to get an animal ready for service. “Leash corrections and pinch collars are science-based, as well,” Hines says. “Positive punishment is a part of science.” The key, Hines says, is to avoid harsh and unnecessary kinds of positive punishment, so as not to damage the relationship between handler and dog. Dogs too often rebuked will steadily narrow the range of things they try, because they figure naturally that might reduce the chance they get yelled at.
The Cesar Millans of the world are not disappearing. But the all- or mostly positive camp is growing faster. Hundreds of trainers attend “Clicker Expos,” an annual event put on in various cities by one of the most prominent positivity-based dog-training institutions in the world, the Karen Pryor Academy in Waltham, Mass. And Fenzi, another of the world’s most successful trainers, teaches her positive-reinforcement techniques online to no less than 10,000 students each term. While there is some lingering argument about how much positivity vs. negativity to introduce into a training regimen, there’s next to zero debate about what may be the most important component of raising a new dog: socialization. Most trainers now teach dog owners about the period between eight and 20 weeks in which it is vital to introduce a dog to all kinds of sights and sounds they may encounter in later life. Most “bad” behavior is really the product of poor early socialization. For two months, I took Lyla to weekly “puppy socials” at Portland’s Doggy Business, where experienced handlers monitor puppies as they interact and play with one another in a romper room filled with ladders and hula hoops and children’s playhouses, strange surfaces that they might otherwise develop fear about encountering. Such classes didn’t exist until a few years ago. I also took Lyla to dog-training classes, at a different company. First session, trainer Kira Moyer reminded her human students that the most important thing we need to do for our dogs is advocate, which is also based in a renewed appreciation of science. Instead of correcting your dog for whining, for example, stop for a moment and think about why that’s happening? What do they want? Can you give that to them, or give them an opportunity to earn the thing they want, and learn good behavior at the same time? Enrichment is another booming area of the dog-training world. I didn’t feed Lyla out of a regular dog bowl for the first six months she’s been with me, because it was so much more mentally stimulating for her to eat from a food puzzle, a device that makes it just a little bit challenging for an animal to acquire breakfast. These can be as simple as a round plastic plate with kibble dispersed between a set of ridges that have to be navigated, or as complex as the suite of puzzles developed by Swedish entrepreneur Nina Ottosson. At the highest level, a dog might have to move a block, flip the lid up, remove a barrier or spin a wheel to earn food. Another common source of what we consider “bad” behavior in dogs is really just an expression of boredom, of a dog that needs a job and has decided to give himself one: digging through the garbage, barking at the mail carrier. Food puzzles make dinnertime a job. When Ottosson first started, “they called me ‘the crazy dog lady.’ Nobody believed dogs would eat food out of a puzzle,” she says. “Today, nobody calls me that.” When Lyla was 4 months old (she’s 12 months now), I traveled south of Portland to Oregon’s Willamette Valley to introduce her to Ian Caldicott, a farmer who teaches dogs and handlers how to herd sheep. First, we watched one of his students working her own dog. As the border collie made mistakes, the tension in her owner’s voice escalated and her corrections grew increasingly harsh. “Just turn your back and listen,” Caldicott said to me. “You can hear the panic in her voice creeping in.” Dogs are smart and can read that insecurity. It makes them question their faith in the handler and, in some cases, decide they know better. Raising a good sheepdog is about building trust between the dog and the handler, Caldicott says. That does require some correction—a “Hey!” when the dog goes left instead of right, at times—but what’s most important is confidence, both in the dog and the handler. In the old days, sheepdogs were taught left and right with physical coercion. Now, they’re given just enough guidance to figure out the right track by themselves. “We’re trying to get an animal that thinks for itself. A good herding dog thinks he knows better than you. Your job is to teach him you’re worth listening to,” Caldicott says. “The ones born thinking they’re the king of the universe, all you have to do is not take that away.”

Friday, February 11, 2022

Introducing Your Dog to a Baby

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Introducing a Dog to a Baby Published by Alpha Dog Training https:/ (801) 910-1700 Bringing home your new baby is an exciting time. It can also mean a lot of change for your dog. You can help your four-legged family member adjust with some planning and preparation. Why is preparing your dog for a baby important? Your pet is part of the family. Bringing a new baby home can cause a disruption in your pet's daily life. Think about it from your pet's perspective. Suddenly there's another human, only smaller, with sounds, smells and moves that are different from yours. This can be distressing for your pet. Your dog may associate this stress with the baby, and that negative impression can last. That's why it's important to prepare both dogs and cats for your baby's arrival home. Before introducing your dog to the baby, it's especially important to start making gradual changes before bringing your baby home. 5 ways to prepare a pet for the baby It's best to make gradual changes in your pet’s routine rather than abrupt changes when the baby arrives. Fortunately, pregnancy gives you several months to prepare your pet for your baby’s arrival. • Adjust your pet’s routine to one you can keep consistent • Carve out special one-on-one times with your pet • Brush up on obedience training for your dog • Create a few pet-free zones in the house • Introduce your pet to baby equipment like strollers Tips for bringing baby home If mom comes in alone, it will give pets time to say hi without them jumping up on the baby. After that, bring the baby inside to a pet-free room so your dog can smell and hear the sounds your baby makes. It can be helpful to make introductions with a helper bringing the dog into a neutral room on a leash where you are sitting holding the baby. This gives your dog the opportunity to approach you and the baby calmly. A new baby is a new experience for your pet • Reward your pet for calm behavior with praise and special treats. • Give your pet plenty of attention when the baby is in the room. Your pet will associate positive experiences with the baby. • Never leave your pet alone with the baby, no matter how easy-going or friendly your pet may be.
A well-planned, positive introduction will help your pet and your new baby develop a deep and loving bond that can last a lifetime.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Teach Your Dog to Poop on Cue

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Teach Your Dog to Go Potty on Cue Published by Alpha Dog Training (801) 910-1700 Have you ever found yourself standing outside in the rain or snow waiting and waiting and waiting for your dog to potty? Some dogs seem to make a habit of taking a long time to find just the right spot to “go,” but if you’re frustrated with waiting, you can teach your dog to potty on cue. Potty on cue is an extremely useful skill for all dogs to have. Not only does it come in handy during bad weather, but it’s also beneficial when traveling, before entering a building, as well as if you plan to show your dog in Conformation or any performance event. Additionally, pottying on cue is a valuable skill when bringing your dog to the vet in case a urine or stool sample needs to be collected. Selecting Cues It might sound too good to be true, but it’s completely possible to teach your dog to pee or poop on cue virtually anytime, anywhere. To make the desired behavior clear, it’s best to have a different verbal cue for peeing than for pooping. You can pick any cue you want. Common examples include the obvious “pee” and “poop,” as well as the slightly more subtle “showtime” and/or “business.” Teaching Your Dog to Potty on Cue The great thing about teaching your dog to pee and poop on cue is that you are adding a verbal marker to behavior that your dog already does regularly. This makes training the behavior much easier because you know you have multiple opportunities to practice each day. Starting to teach your dog to potty on cue is a little bit like going back to when you potty trained them as a young puppy—you’ll need lots of treats and patience. The easiest way is a training methodology known as capturing, where you add a verbal cue as your dog is already going potty. To do this we will be combining an audible marker and a reward, such as a treat, with the behavior your dog is naturally doing, which in this case is peeing or pooping. Step 1: Anticipate when your dog is going to need to potty, such as after play or naps, and be prepared with treats when you take your dog out to go. Step 2: While your dog is looking for the right spot to pee or poop, don’t say anything. Step 3: When your dog starts to go, get ready to cue, praise, and treat. Step 4: As your dog is finishing up, start to praise/click and introduce your verbal cue of choice. It’s important to only use your cue when your dog is actively peeing/pooping, but it’s a good idea to wait until they are nearly done to prevent them from stopping early when they hear the click/praise. Step 5: As your dog starts to make the association between the verbal cue and going potty, you can start to use it right as your dog starts to go. For example, as your dog stops circling and squats to potty, say “showtime” or whatever cue you have selected. When they finish, praise again with something like “yes showtime” or pair with your click (if you’re clicker training) and a treat. Step 6: After several days or weeks of building understanding with your new cue paired with knowing your dog is about to start or is actively going potty, it’s time to use the new cue. Get your dog to a quiet spot and cue them to potty. When they pee/poop, give lots of praise and rewards. Keep it Consistent Consistency is always important with dog training, but especially when teaching your dog to potty on cue. You need to be extremely consistent when pairing your dog pottying with your verbal cue of choice and a reward. To make it easy, try to keep treats next to your door so it’s easy to grab some any time you take your dog out to go potty. When they fully understand the cue, they will “try” to potty anytime they hear the cue (even if they don’t really need to go) by lifting their leg, or quickly squatting and trying to squeeze out a small amount of pee or poop. Be sure to highly reward these efforts, as it’s a clear sign that your dog understands potty on cue behavior. Keep Training Fun Although most people’s motivation for teaching their dog to potty on cue is to avoid spending a long time outside waiting in cold or wet weather, it’s important to consider why your dog might have previously been taking their time. Being outside in the yard or on a walk is likely very enriching for your dog and so they want to spend more time doing it. As you’re teaching the potty on cue behavior, keep rewarding your dog with treats and praise but don’t rush back into the house right after they pee or poop. If you do, your dog may decide that, even though they get a treat when listening to your cue, it stops the fun of being outside and having the opportunity to walk or sniff. This can give the new cue a negative association or make your dog reluctant to perform the desired behavior. To prevent this, in addition to praise and treats, be sure to give your dog access to environmental rewards like cueing them to go sniff, continuing your walk, or throwing a toy for them to fetch after they go potty.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022


#AlphaDogTraining #Dogtrainingsaltlakecity More Pets Becoming Family Members Published by Alpha Dog Training (801 (10-1700 Veterinarians reporting increase in demand for service as pet adoptions sky rocket during pandemic According to a new study from the American Pet Products Association, approximately 12.6 million American households got a new pet in 2021. The organization also reported exceeding $100 billion in sales for the first time in the industry’s history. The pet business is booming, and as folks prepare to head back to the office, they’re likely going to need additional help caring for their pets. "There's been so many new puppies, kittens and adult pets that have been adopted," says Patti Christie, Vet. That decreases the amount of appointment slots available." "There's been so many new puppies, kittens and adult pets that have been adopted," says Christie, that decreases the amount of appointment slots available." National Pet Industry Exceeds Over $100 Billion in Sales for First Time in Industry History Pets provide solace during difficult year; pet supplies, food, treats, vet care and products see largest increases with predictions up for 2021-22 STAMFORD, CONN. (March 24, 2021) – The American Pet Products Association (APPA), the leading trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958, today announced the industry has reached over $100 billion in annual sales, the highest level in industry history. The milestone was released in APPA’s 2020 State of the Industry Report during Global Pet Expo Digital Access. “We have reached a critical milestone, generating $103.6 billion in sales,” said Steve King, President and CEO of APPA. “We are bullish for the coming year, projecting growth of 5.8% - well above the historical average of 3 to 4%. This past year presented a host of challenges that resulted in consumers across the country turning to their pets for comfort and companionship. Interestingly, the product trends we are seeing in the pet care community mirror those of consumers – a desire for a healthier lifestyle, increased focus on fitness, turning to supplements for improved well-being, and technology playing a larger role in everyday life.” The State of the Industry Report was revealed at today’s Global Pet Expo Digital Access, the pet industry’s premier event, during the keynote presented by APP The Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) t
rends from the report included: • $22.1 billion was spent on supplies, live animals and OTC meds, a 15.1% increase from 2019. • $42 billion was spent on pet food and treats, a 9.7% increase. • $31.4 billion was spent on vet care and product sales, a 7.2% increase.