Dog Care

The following articles have been taken from the Masterpet website with their permission

 

Basic Obedience

“How do I get them to sit, stay and come?”

If you apply repetition, reinforcement and patience to these training techniques, you and your dog will achieve great results. Below are some techniques to teach sit, stay and come.

SIT

Teaching your dog to ‘sit’ on command is one of your easiest dog training tasks – but one that you’ll use a LOT.

First, get yourself a handful of treats to get their attention. Make sure your dog is calm and not hyperactive. Like children, they don’t learn much or pay attention if they want to play.

With him standing facing you, hold a treat in front of his nose (not close enough for him to grab it though) and then say “Dogs Name, Sit” in a firm voice while slowly raising the treat horizontally up and away from you, as if to go over his head (Not vertically raising the treat so he jumps.)

Your dog’s nose will attempt to follow the treat and in response his rear will go down. As soon as his rump hits the floor, give him the treat and say “Sit, Good boy”. Let him get up and then try it again.

When you’re practicing any training exercises, 3 or 4 repeats per session is usually enough for his short attention span, and 3 or 4 sessions per day is ideal.

Above all, practice patience and don’t be too hard on yourself or your dog. We all learn at different rates.

See Nathan’s (dog training specialist) video to show how this is done.

STAY

Stay is MUCH easier to teach if your dog knows how to sit.

First, get yourself a handful of treats to get their attention. Get your dog to sit. Make sure your dog has his attention on you.

With him sitting in front of you say “<Dogs Name> Stay” in a firm, calm voice. A hand gesture like a stop sign will also assist your dog to learn the command. Take one step back, and then step forward again. If he hasn’t moved to follow you, give him the treat and say “Stay, Good boy”.

If he’s still paying attention, do the exercise again and increase the steps one at a time.

If you can get to five steps, rather than going back to him – call him to you to give him the treat. (This will also assist in him learning how to ‘COME’)

COME

The come command is probably the most important obedience command you will ever teach your dog. At some point in time you will no doubt rely on it to guide your dog away from serious danger.

  • Have your dog sit in front of you with leash on and have a treat in your hand.
  • Get his attention.
  • Squat down slightly, pat your thighs and say “Come!”
  • Pull lightly on the lead and pull your dog gently toward you, hand over hand.
  • Reward with praise and the treat. Practice this for a week or so then, in a contained area such as your fenced yard, start working on it without the lead.
  • Slowly increase the distance between the two of you.

 


General Rules to Keep In Mind 
Never under any circumstances punish your dog when he comes back to you. Even if your dog seems to take an eternity to respond to you and you’ve got smoke coming out of your ears through frustration, it’s important that you don’t get angry with your dog. He’ll associate your anger with the last action he did – which was coming to you.

  1. Incorporate the come command training into your daily activities. Use it to call your dog over for his dinner for example
  2. When you are teaching your dog the come command off leash and your dog doesn’t respond, don’t chase after him, first try waiting for him.
  3. Your goal is to make coming to you a more attractive option to your dog than any other alternative action. EG – remember to take treats on your walk.
  4.  Your come command should be something your dog looks forward to hearing, something he has a positive association with.Ensure you’re not just using COME to call them over to put the lead on them.

 

Training and exercise

Dogs need varying amounts of exercise depending on their breed, type, age and personality. This is one of the most important factors when choosing a dog to suit your family.

If you want to take your dog running, there are many sporting and active breeds that are just right for you (as well as popular labradors, retrievers and boxers, other sporty breeds include some of the smaller spaniel and terrier breeds). If you want a companion that is happy just to be with you, then many of the toy breeds will be happy not to go out on big expeditions.

And likewise, some dogs don’t require a lot of training to keep them out of trouble but others need homes where training is a way of life.

One of the most common reasons for poor behaviour from dogs is through boredom – from lack of exercise and not enough contact time with people. Many owners underestimate the amount of exercise their dog needs. Running around the backyard is not sufficient – active dogs need sustained and vigorous exercise daily and the mental stimulation that comes from walks to different places. Ideally, they can be taken to a dog park where they can safely run free, or even better retrieve a ball you throw. Being physically tired prevents many boredom-related behaviour problems.

 

Exercise and training go hand-in-hand

Ensure your dog has a well-fitted collar and lead when you take him or her out. If you are taking your dog in the car, for your dog’s safety and for the safety of passengers, dog harnesses should be used to secure your dog, and are also useful as a walking harness.

When you set out for a walk, take a favourite toy or ball to retrieve. Dog treats can also be useful for games or to get your dog’s attention if you need it.

Outings with your dog can be very useful for training. Walking to heel, stopping correctly and sitting to cross roads and have the lead on and off can all be built into the session. Dogs enjoy ‘working’ for praise and privileges and will thrive on these sessions.

This simple training and obedience should be part of the routine while you are home too – sitting and waiting for an instruction before eating, coming when called and sitting for a pat and many other everyday activities can be ‘work’ for your dog. Dogs enjoy knowing their place in the family and having small jobs to do. Just because they aren’t puppies anymore doesn’t mean that they don’t still enjoy games. Keep some favourite toys for retrieving games and quiet chew times in their basket or on their dog bed.

Dogs home alone

Toys are especially important for dogs that are left while owners are at work, but be sure they are safe and your pet cannot chew off and swallow small parts. In particular, do not leave dogs unattended with broken or damaged toys. Longer lasting chew treats can be given just before you leave and you may also leave food in a train’n’treat ball to keep them busy while you are gone.

Take an obedience class

Obedience classes for family dogs are run by many different organisations, including vet practices. These classes may give you the basics for working with your dog or more advanced classes are available for dogs with owners that want to go further with training. Private trainers and behaviour specialists are also available.

Disciplined activities build self-esteem for your dog. Training builds your bond with your dog and gives your dog a better chance at a long and happy life.

Separation Anxiety

“The neighbours have complained about the barking…again”

You come home from a long day at work to a “whirlwind of excitement” greeting from your dog. But your interest is focused on finding out what has been destroyed. Your favourite pair of shoes, holes in the backyard, an X-box controller… Your neighbour tells you that, once again, your dog has been driving the neighbourhood crazy by howling and barking while you were away. Is this scenario familiar? Your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety.

Leaving your puppy home alone can be a distressing experience for both of you. Sure it would have been sensible to gradually adjust your pet to being alone before all this started, but that’s not the situation you’re in.

Here are five tips to help ease separation anxiety:

1. Before you leave the house, take your dog for a walk!

Start your day by taking your dog for a brisk walk.

Dogs wake up with lots of energy. Let it be exerted in the park and not your table legs. (Yes this may mean getting out of bed an hour earlier).

It’s going to be easier for the dog to stay in a calm state all day if he’s got no energy stored in his tanks.

2. No touch, no talk, no eye contact.

Do make leaving and arriving uneventful?

If you make leaving a big production – lots of hugs and goodbyes or asking if he’ll miss you – your dog will assume it’s a big deal.

Don’t make a big deal when you leave for the day or when you return. This way, you are communicating to your dog that the time apart is no big deal. It’s just business as usual. Depending on the severity of the dog anxiety, you may need to practice the rule for five minutes or up to an hour before you leave and when you get back.

3. Say goodbye long before you leave.

Having trouble practicing “no touch, no talk, no eye contact”? Take a moment to have some cuddles and tell your dog that you will miss him way before you actually leave. Keep in mind that this display is for you – not your dog! Your dog won’t have his feelings hurt if you didn’t say goodbye.

4. Stay calm and assertive!

When you are ready to go to work, leave those guilty, nervous, and concerned feelings behind. Instead, let your dog know that everything is going to be okay – calmly and soothingly. A calm and assertive owner can ease all separation anxiety.

5. Start out small.

Leave your dog alone for five minutes. Then, extend the time to twenty minutes; then an hour. Reward your dog with a piece of food and attention when he lies quietly. Continue to increase the time you spend away until you can leave for a full eight hours with no problem!

Naturally this will be impossible if you already work an 8 hour day away from home. Consider hiring a walker to give your dog a midday break if you can’t get away from work.

Helpful tips for people who work:

Instead – create a ‘Training out of separation anxiety’ weekend.

Start the day as if it were a work day. Leave for 5 minutes and then return to the house. Just be sure to follow the points previously mentioned. Take frequent breaks for an hour to calm them – then leave again for a longer time period.

When you return, don’t go directly to him or give him an overly excitable cuddle hello. If you can, wait until your dog is calm and quiet, then casually greet him and praise him for being good or well behaved.

IDEA- Practice doing this separation even if you’re staying at home. Are you someone who goes to the toilet with an audience? Get them to sit and stay away from the door. Then go to the toilet alone.

Still struggling?
In such cases, you may want to consult a qualified dog trainer or behaviour professional.

Alternatives include:

  •  Enrol pooch into a Doggie Daycare
  •  Leave them with a friend or relative who is home all day
  •  Work from home
  •  Start crate training
  •  Purchase Soft Hushing muzzle collars
  •  Ensure they have a kennel if they are being left outside.

Remember – there is nothing wrong with you or your dog. Your dog just wants to be with you and needs to learn how to be alone.

The following articles have kindly been provided by Carevets in Napier:)

Puppy Care

• Puppies ideally should be wormed from 2 weeks of age. This should continue fortnightly until they are 12 weeks of age. They can then be treated monthly until they are 6 months of age. After 6 months of age they should be treated with an All Wormer available from the Veterinarian.

• Vaccinations can start from 6 weeks of age, followed by 2 booster Vaccinations, at intervals of 3-4 weeks with final vaccination @ 14 weeks or older. Talk to your Veterinarian regarding the vaccination options that will suit you and your puppy. They will require an annual Vaccination the following year, then every second year from then on.

First vaccination – $61.50
Booster Vaccination – $52.50 (if first one done here)
Annual/biannual vaccination – $61.50

• All puppies require micro-chipping, after 3 months of age. Book in for an appointment with a Veterinarian.

Microchip, for local council data base – $45.00
Microchip, New Zealand Companion Animal Register – $60.00

• Puppies should be treated for fleas. Depending on the product used, they need to be treated either 4 weekly or 8 weekly.

• Neuter/Spey. It is recommended that puppies be de-sexed at around 6 months of age. Costs are dependent on the weight and sex of your puppy.

*Prices are subject to change, any additional treatment required for your puppy and associated costs can be discussed with one of our vets.
** These are the basic vaccinations; additional vaccinations are available depending on your puppies needs.

 

 

Tips for Toilet training your Puppy

 

FACT: Puppies will normally need to go to the toilet just after they have eaten and slept.

Always take your puppy outside as soon as they wake or within minutes after eating.

When puppy goes to the toilet outside praise him, let him know that you are very pleased.

If you take puppy outside and after a few minutes he hasn’t gone to the toilet, try again in ten minutes.

Choose a word for toileting, e.g “do a pee pee” if you say this while they are peeing and then reward him, he will eventually associate these words with the action of peeing.

If you have to leave your puppy for a while, keep him confined, for example in a crate, or in the laundry, don’t let him have the run of the house. Put a puppy pad or newspaper down in the confined area for the puppy to go to the toilet on.

Even when you are home, try and contain him in the room you spend the most time in. If you can watch him as much as possible you can look out for signs he needs to go to the toilet: for example: Sniffing, whimpering, circling, and running off to another room. When you see these signs take the puppy straight outside.

When your puppy goes to the toilet in the wrong place say “NO!” in a firm voice, however don’t frighten him as he might start to sneak off and do it when you are not looking.

To house train your puppy requires patience and persistence. Puppy’s bladders are not able to hold on for long while they are young.

 

 Crate Training for Puppies

Your puppies first night at home is very exciting, but often it is your puppies first night alone away from their brothers and sisters and it will be scary for them, by crate training you are giving your puppy his own space where he can feel safe and secure.

Benefits:

Using a crate, you are giving your puppy their own space also keeping your puppy in one area, providing safety from household dangers (electricity and household poison’s) and stopping them from chewing on furniture etc, it can also help prevent separation anxiety, and is the beginnings of toilet training.

Training:

Get your puppy use to their crate by introducing them slowly and encouraging them to go in with the door open, make a comfortable bed and add toys. Gradually increase the time they spend in it.

Once they are happy with the crate, close the door whilst being in the same room, it won’t be long and he/she will be completely happy in their crate.

Once you can walk out of the room and leave him/her in their crate for a period of time, you can start to focus on potty training.

Take your puppy out to the toilet before bed, as soon as he/she wakes up, along with during the day. Continue to praise him when he goes in the right place.

Try not to use your crate as a punishment, although the first night can be difficult for puppy and he/she may cry, but you need to preserve when he/her cry’s. Going to him will only enforce bad behavior.

 

 

The following article has kindly been provided by Paws ‘n’ Tails.

 

Paws ‘N’ tails are pleased to show their support of Adoptadog Hawkes Bay by offering a first groom for all new adoptions free. Don’t forget to ask Adoptadog Hawkes Bay for your voucher in your adoption pack  Please feel free to ring Jackie on 8710333 or 0277128289 or you could go on Paws N Tails facebook page to find out more. Thanks Paws ‘n’ Tails.

Make Grooming an Enjoyable Process

Grooming your pet is very important for there health and well-being
Grooming is something that your dog needs and you need to try and  make it as enjoyable as possible. Start brushing your dog as a puppy or as soon as you bring your best friend home. Its a good idea to time this  when you are  both relaxed while watching T.V. Make sure you tell your pet that he/she is a ‘good dog/puppy’. All you need need is a soft brush and a comb, you need to brush everywhere including body, ears, stomach, legs behind the legs, head and tail. Use your brush first and then use your comb. If you don’t brush your dog it could get very matted (tangled) which could leave to health issues and make it more difficult for your groomer. You may only need to brush your pet once a week depending on  the length of the hair. If you came across to a mat just put your fingers above the mat before you brush/comb so you don’t hurt your  dog.

Bathing your dog is an important part of grooming, as well. When you bathe your dog you should make it as fun, enjoyable, and as comfortable as possible. You can use your own bathtub, sink, or even the garden hose. If you don’t have the time to bathe your dog, or you have a difficult time controlling your dog during the bathing process, be sure to get them bathed by a professional. Even if you don’t have time to bathe your dog or you don’t enjoy it, it still needs to be done!

Other things that you need to tend to when you groom your dog include the toenails, teeth, and skin. Grooming doesn’t have to be all that time consuming or uncomfortable, in fact if you make it a regular part of what you do, you’ll find that it takes very little time and while you are grooming your dog you will also be giving them the attention that they want and need from you. Grooming can and should be an important part of pet ownership and will enrich your relationship with your four legged friend 🙂