Sunday, May 29, 2022

Benefits of Kids and Dogs

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Benefits of Kids and Dogs Growing Up Together Published by Alpha Dog Training Benefits of Kids and Dogs Growing Up Together Most children love dogs. They're cute, cuddly, and oh-so-friendly. But did you know that growing up with a dog can actually benefit a child's physical and psychological development? Here are some of the many benefits of dogs being in children's lives. 1. Constant Companionship Although childhood isn't always easy, having a pet provides constant companionship through the ups and downs. Dogs can be a great source of comfort for kids — even when they're coming to grips with difficult life lessons. Whenever kids feel sad, angry, or afraid, they can always turn to their pet. Petting and cuddling dogs has also been shown to relieve stress and help people relax. 2. A More Active Lifestyle Caring for a dog also encourages a more active lifestyle. Kids with dogs exercise eleven minutes a day more than their non-dog owning peers. That might not sound like a lot, but over a week or month, it really adds up. Many dogs require daily walks or runs and plenty of play time. Those adorable puppy eyes they give you are sure to motivate you — even when you're not feeling up to it. 3. Learning Responsibility Having a pet is a great way to teach responsibility to kids. Making sure that the family dog has food and water gives children a first glimpse of accountability and obligation. Children also learn empathy and compassion by caring for their pet, while developing a higher level of self-esteem by taking care of their pet-owning responsibilities. 4. Health Is Wealth Studies have found that babies raised in close contact with a pet get sick less often in their first year of life, meaning fewer visits to the doctor's office. Exposure to pet dander and the microbes that pets carry into the home from the outdoors is suggested to improve babies' developing immune systems. Research has also found that children who grow up with dogs experience a reduced risk of allergies. 5. Don't Worry, Be Happy! Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of dogs in early childhood is simply that they make children happy! Interaction with animals has been proven to raise levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are the chemical building blocks of positive feelings. All science aside, playing and interacting with dogs is just plain fun — and it's bound to brighten any kid's day. Growing up with a dog can enrich the lives of children in so many ways. Having a dog join your family may be one of the greatest gifts we can give our kids.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Exercising Your Dog

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Exercising Your Dog A healthy dose of exercise is beneficial for your dog. Knowing how much exercise your dog needs and how often he needs it starts with factoring in his age, size and health . Know Your Dog’s Needs As you exercise with your dog, consider his needs and present physical condition. Leisurely walks may be best for an older dog, while a young dog is more likely to have ample energy for something more vigorous. Find the Right Activity If your dog has more energy to expend than you do, teach him to fetch a ball or a flying disc. The activity may be just right for you and a challenging exercise for your dog. Ease Into It If, for whatever reason, you have not exercised your dog regularly and decide to launch a regular exercise program, go slowly at first. Begin with short periods of activity at slow speeds and gradually increase the time, speed and distance of the exercise. Alpha Dog Training you luck on finding the right exercise regimen for your dog. Regular exercise is a key component to a healthy lifestyle for your dog.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Have Fun Hiking with your Dog

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Hiking with your Dog Published by Alpha Dog Training Hiking is a great way to work out with your dog. With a bit of planning, you can both enjoy the benefits of getting active, in the beauty of nature. Before You Go Whether you are day hiking or planning a longer excursion, make sure your pet is fit, vaccinated and has a microchip and ID tag with up-to-date information. Make Sure Your Dog Is Welcome Call in advance to see if the trail you are planning to hike will allow dogs. This is a good way to ensure you can make the most of your day. The last thing you want is to get to the trailhead and then learn that dogs are not allowed. Keep Your Dog Hydrated Higher altitudes can increase your dog’s dehydration rate. Be sure to carry enough water for your dog as well as yourself, along with a bowl that allows your dog to get a good drink when they need it. A lightweight fabric bowl or a collapsible silicone bowl are easy to pack and use. Bring Along Food to Refuel Even if you’re only planning on a short hike, bring a small amount of food to help your dog refuel if needed. If you’re researching the best dry dog food for active dogs to take along on your hike, Pro Plan Sport formulas are a great choice. They’re made with high-quality sources of carbohydrates for sustained energy, and amino acids to nourish muscles, including during the crucial recovery time after exercise. If you train your dog to wear a light pack, having them carry their own Pro Plan Sport kibble can add to the day’s exercise. Be Prepared for Dog First Aid Common injuries such as cuts and bites can happen on hikes, to both people and pets. Make sure you bring along a first aid kit that includes: • An Ace bandage, gauze bandage and sponges • Adhesive tape • Tweezers (for ticks) • Small nail scissors and a razor • Hydrogen peroxide • Styptic powder • Sterile eye wash • Antibiotic ointment • A muzzle (if needed) Keep Your Dog on A Leash and Out Of Trouble Don’t let your dog’s enthusiasm and sense of adventure get them into trouble. Keeping them on a leash will help keep them safe, and prevent them from interfering with wildlife, other dogs, or people.
Stay In Touch One last way to help you and your dog stay safe is to stay connected. Always carry a cell phone, or a telephone-equipped radio. Following these tips will help make hiking with your dog a great way to enjoy an active day together.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

5 Games to Play With Your Dog

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity 5 Games to Play with Your Dog Published by Alpha Dog Training 5 Games to Play with Your Dog 1. Chase the Prey Chase the Prey lets your dog use his natural prey instincts in a non-destructive way. It also gives him the opportunity to practice impulse control by dropping the object on command. Using a flirt pole (a long pole, pipe or stick with a rope attached), tie a toy or some other lure to the rope. Drag it slowly and stop occasionally rather than waving it around rapidly. The slow pursuit helps your dog learn to focus. Let him catch the lure every so often as a reward. If he never wins, he may get discouraged and lose interest. 2. Hide the Treat or Hide & Seek Hide the Treat is a great brain game for dogs, as it allows them to use their problem-solving skills. Hide it in a place that’s difficult to get to and leave a trail of scent by rubbing it on a few spots along the way. Use language like “hot” and “cold” as your dog gets closer or further away from the treat. Changing your tone from calm for “cold” to excited for “warm” and “hot” will build his listening skills, too.
Like Hide the Treat, Hide and Seek uses his scent-tracking abilities. Plus, it gives him the opportunity to practice commands like “stay” and “come.” Have your dog stay while you hide. Once you’re in position, tell him to come and give him lots of praise when he finds you. If he doesn’t know “stay” yet, have someone distract him until you call. 3. Fetch Fetch is a great game for energetic dogs. It provides plenty of physical exercise while fulfilling their natural instinct to run. A more advanced alternative to regular fetch is Frisbee, which is a little more challenging to catch than a ball. To keep your dog mentally and physically engaged and challenged, vary the height, distance and direction of your throws. 4. Tug of War Tug of War is a good outdoor or indoor game for dogs. Not only is it fun and engaging, but the pulling and tugging also makes good physical exercise. To keep it engaging and fun, let him win occasionally. Don’t forget to practice commands like “drop it,” though. 5. Agility Training For the ultimate mental and physical stimulation, try agility training. It may even tire your dog out more than a long walk would. Set up an obstacle course in your backyard with objects from around the house. You can place boxes for him to jump over and cones to weave between. You can also try hula hoop leaping. Once your dog gets the concept, reward him with lots of praise and affection. Avoid Overstimulation Outdoor and indoor games for dogs are beneficial, but anything that’s too aggressive or lasts too long can lead to overstimulation. End play sessions while you and your dog are both still having a good time. This leaves him excited for his next play session rather than exhausted and discouraged. By playing these games for dogs with your own furry friend, you’ll keep him active and mentally stimulated, but most of all, happy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Tips For Flying With Your Dog

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Tips for Flying with Your Dog Published by Alpha Dog Training Tips for Flying with a Dog As you get ready to travel on vacation, plan family visits or even start thinking about quick getaways with your pet, it’s important to make sure that you are prepared so that you can make flying with a dog safe and enjoyable for everyone. 1. Know your pet Before you book a flight with your pet, think about how they might handle the trip. Some pets do not travel well because of medical conditions, age, or temperament. Flying with a dog that may have breathing difficulties such as a pug or bulldog may not be permitted on some airlines. Before you fly, check with your airline to see if they have breed or size restrictions. 2. Do your research Know the airlines’ specific rules and regulations, and know what documentation is needed. Federal regulations require pets to be at least 8 weeks of age to travel. It’s also a good idea to visit your veterinarian before you book your travel. Your veterinarian can help you determine if your pet is healthy enough to fly. Before flying with a pet overseas When traveling overseas, your pet will probably need a passport. Some countries also require your pet to be quarantined for a certain period of time. Before taking your pet to another country, make sure you understand the requirements for coming back into the U.S. as well. 3. Booking your flight When you’re ready to book your flight, try to make your reservation early for yourself and your pet as many airlines limit the number of pets allowed on each flight. If you can, book a non-stop flight to avoid having to change planes. Consider the temperature Before you book your flight, consider the season and know the airline minimum and maximum temperature guidelines. During warm months, select early morning or late evening flight times. In cooler months, choose mid-day flights. Try to avoid flying with a dog during extreme temperatures. 4. How to fly with a dog It’s also a good idea to get your pet used to a travel carrier or crate before your flight. If your pet isn’t used to busy places like airports, you may want to take them out to get used to crowds before you put your dog on a plane. Make sure your travel carrier has updated contact information on it. Day of the Flight The day of the flight can run smoothly for both of you if you make a checklist of everything you need to do before flying with pets: • Take your dog on a walk before the flight. • Play with your cat to help tire her out before being crated. • Keep your pet’s stomach empty or nearly empty. • Be sure your pet is wearing an I.D. tag. • Pack a pet supplies bag that includes food, bowls, medication and a leash or harness. • Let all airline personnel (including flight attendants and pilots) know that your pet is traveling in the cargo hold. • Keep a recent photo of your pet with you at all times. • Relax knowing you have fully prepared you and your pet for a safe flight. Your vacation together awaits!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

High-Energy Dogs

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecitiy Tips on Dealing with High-Energy Dogs Published by Alpha Dog Training The alarm goes off at 5:30am…BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! 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. 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 neighbor, 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 in conjunction with training, you can get that adorable, furry monster under control. 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. The idea is not to get their fitness level so high that it exceeds your energy level, but to burn off a bit of energy in a slow, controlled fashion. Twenty minutes of “walkie time” as I call it on a treadmill will prepare you and your dog for a more enjoyable hike later in the day. Think of it as a warm up. 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. Also, teach your dog to be patient and travel in a crate. They exit the vehicle calmer in most cases and allow you to get your equipment organized before the dog exits the vehicle so you aren't in a mad rush. If you are rushing because your dog is wound up, who is in the driver's seat? Tip 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. Don't wait to do your training until you have to make a vet appointment, or when your child is playing in a soccer game. Practice before you need the skills. With a high-energy dog, you may need to treadmill before you engage in these activities to manage their enthusiasm. Tip 5: Enrichment Treats Enrichment treats such as bones with frozen peanut butter on the 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. Who knows? You might even want to go to the next level and enroll in more challenging courses for fun!

Saturday, May 7, 2022

What to Feed Your Puppy

#AlphaDogTraining #dog trainingsaltlakecity What to Feed Your Puppy 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. How much should you feed your puppy and when? When should you stop feeding puppy food? 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. Feeding Puppies Large & Small Not only do puppies need puppy food, but certain breed sizes can benefit from size-specific formulas. If you have a large breed puppy, he may benefit from a large breed-specific puppy formula. Small breeds can also benefit from small breed-specific puppy formulas. Regardless of breed size, the food should be complete and balanced for growing puppies. The difference in formulas comes down to the unique needs of large and small breeds. Large dogs have a higher risk of developing joint problems, so a large breed puppy food should include proper levels of nutrients to support their healthy growth and development. Small breeds may prefer smaller kibble so they can more easily chew their food, which helps ensure they get all the nutrients they need. Small breed-specific dog food is important due to their increased metabolism. This results in a nutrient-dense, high-energy formula which adults and puppies need to support a healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Getting Started with Puppy Training

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Getting Started with Puppy Training Published by Alpha Dog Training Puppy training is a great family activity and can be a bonding experience. If you take the time now, you’ll be much happier with a well-trained dog. Let’s take a look at some puppy training basics: Your Puppy’s Motivation Just like humans, dogs are social animals naturally accustomed to living in “packs.” Your puppy will be a member of your family, but it’s up to everyone to teach him the rules he has to abide by. He’ll come to respect the rules you lay out for him. All it takes is for you and your family to lead the way. It’ll take some time for your puppy to learn the ropes. What’s important is that along the way you show him positive reinforcement. Many people will reprimand their puppy during training when they do something “wrong.” But this isn’t the way to go about teaching him. Instead, motivate him by showing him praise or petting him when he follows the rules. If praise isn’t enough to motivate him, that’s ok. Try using treats in moderation or playing fetch as a reward for doing a good job. Getting Started The best time to start training your pup is the moment he enters your home. Show him right from wrong the first day and continue to teach him the rules as he grows up. If you miss something along the way, don’t believe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Talk to your veterinarian if you have any problems during training. Be Consistent There’s a strong connection between you and your puppy, so clear and consistent communication is key when you’re training him. Teach him positive actions by rewarding him, and “No” by guiding him to do the right thing. The important thing is you’re explicit in teaching him right from wrong; otherwise, he’ll get confused. If you’re not consistent, he won’t be either. Treat Rewards Giving your puppy a treat or kibble can be a good way to reward him for learning. But don’t give him any free rides. He’s got to earn that treat. This shouldn’t, however, be his only reward. It’s ok to start off with treats, but over time gradually replace treat rewards with praise. Pretty soon praise will be all he needs, and treats can be used just as a treat. Correction Misbehavior from your puppy is expected. But it isn’t out of spite, it’s because he probably thinks that it’s okay to act that way. It’s up to you to teach him otherwise. Remember to catch him in the act and not to punish him for something he did in the past. He won’t know what you’re punishing him for unless you connect it to an action that occurred very recently.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

How to Handle Puppy Biting

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Handling Puppy Biting Published by Alpha Dog Training Want to teach your puppy to stop biting you? Puppies nip to play, to get attention and because they are teething. The good news is that almost puppies grow out of nipping naturally. It is very important to avoid getting frustrated and resorting to punishments / corrections which could damage your relationship down the road. It is also important to teach your puppy how delicate human skin is, so let her experiment a bit and to give her feedback (say "yipe!" and remove your attention) when your puppy bites too hard. If you get more and more sensitive to nips she will soon find that humans are very sensitive and respond accordingly with her teeth. We're in luck! Puppy nipping is a very easy to stop because we KNOW what the pup wants - to play and chew! So, give her lots of available chew toys and then whenever she nips, walk away from her and ignore her (if she follows nipping at your heels you need to use a tie back, time out or gate). And when she's gentle stay and play. Don't forget: This too will pass! Want more details about what do you do with that cute little shark? 1. PREVENT . Always have a toy in your hand to play with your puppy so she can make a correct choice (unless you are doing the practice in #2). a. Exercise your puppy to get rid of excess energy (1 hour per day). b. Make sure your puppy is getting enough rest (12 hours per day). c. Have lots of great chew toys around to get her through teething (frozen wet rags, frozen raw marrow bones). d. Don't leave kids and dogs unattended. Teach kids not to run and scream from nipping puppies but to quietly walk away or stop moving. e. Use a tie-back (only under supervision), gate or time-out area more frequently as a management tool if the above is not working. Sometimes bitter spray on clothing can help ease nipping at clothing and shoes. 1. TEACH . Tie your puppy back or put her in a room with a gate that you can quickly climb over or open. a. Begin playing with her. Praise her for being gentle, but when she nips say "yipe" (like a puppy would) and quickly walk away. b. Wait 1 minute. Return and give her another try. Practice in 2-3 minute sessions with each family member taking a turn. c. The tie-back method also works well for other attention getting behaviors such as jumping up, barking and humping.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Poop and Your Dog's Health

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Your Dog’s Poop Can Tell the Health of Your Dog Published by Alpha Dog Training When your dog is healthy, his poop shows it. It can be large, firm and range in shades of brown. Learn how you can spot health problems simply by looking at your dog’s poop. The proof of a pet’s digestive health is in the poop. There are several ways to evaluate your dog’s digestive health: • Frequency: your dog should poop at least one time a day. • Color: may depend on the food you feed your dog • Consistency: firm stools are ideal How will your veterinarian evaluate your dog’s stool? Your veterinarian may ask you to bring a sample of your dog’s poop. He may ask you what you’ve noticed: diarrhea, straining, a change in frequency or mucus in the poop. Experts use tools like an in-depth microflora analysis, a Fecal Score System and a texture analyzer. How are dog stools evaluated for health? There are many characteristics to look at in dog stool. They include: • Stool form • Odor • Fecal density • Stickiness • Food digestibility • Nutrient absorption • Stool bacterial levels • Composition • Presence of parasites How to promote your dog’s digestive health? You don’t have to wait until your dog has a digestive issue. Here are some proactive steps you can take today: • Pay attention to your dog’s poop • Determine what is normal for him • Take note of blood or mucus in your dog’s poop • Talk to your veterinarian about changes you see • Promote your dog’s digestive health with probiotics.