Top 5 Factors to Consider When Picking a Dog Trainer
When some people get a dog, they automatically find a dog trainer to make sure the dog is set up for success. Others plan on training their dog by themselves but come across an issue that needs professional help, such as anxiety or reactivity.
Picking a dog trainer that works for you is very important when this happens. However, with so many different trainers and styles, how do you pick the best one for you and your dog?
You should bear all of these things in mind.
1. Their Experience and Specialty
The first thing you’ll want to consider is their dog training experience. How long have they been in business? Are they used to working with the kind of dog you have?
Some dog trainers also specialize in certain issues such as reactivity, aggression, separation anxiety, etc. If this is a huge problem for you, you want to make sure that the dog trainer you chose is equipped to deal with it.
Pick a reputable trainer with plenty of experience such as k-9culture.com.
2. Their Credentials
Anyone can create a website and call themselves a dog trainer. There’s nothing to regulate that.
With plenty of options for trainers available, you should pick someone who has credentials and client testimonials behind them. If the trainer can’t demonstrate anything that makes them seem reputable, it might be best to go with someone else.
3. Their Style
There are many different styles of dog training. For the most part, you’ll want to look at trainers who believe in positive reinforcement. This has been proven to be the best method to teach dogs how to behave and maintain a strong bond with them.
There are also differences in location. Some people might offer in-home services, some might offer board and train, and some may even offer virtual sessions.
Which works best for you will depend on your situation.
Reading online reviews is essential once you think you’ve found a trainer you like. Search for them and look to see if you can find any and if you can’t, ask if you can be put in touch with past clients.
You want to make sure they have a good reputation in the dog training community.
They don’t usually come cheap, but comparing trainer prices is important to make sure you can afford the services.
Don’t automatically go with the cheapest trainer, because they may be the cheapest for a reason! However, you should weigh the prices with every other factor and make a decision from there.
Picking a Dog Trainer Can be Daunting
Picking a dog trainer can be a daunting task. You’ll be paying money for a service you want to improve you and your dog’s life, and you want to make sure they’ll treat your dog well.
Consider all of the above factors. Read online reviews, ask about their style, and see how your dog reacts to them! From there, you’ll be able to make the right decision.
For more dog advice and tips, check out the rest of our site.
It is essential to keep your home clean to avoid germs that could harm your health and cause your dog to develop allergies. However, it would be counterproductive if your cleaning supplies are not safe for use around dogs.
Avoid the frustration of hunting for safe cleaning solutions with our easy-to-find list of pet friendly cleaning products!
What Are The Best Cleaning Products For Dog Owners?
Make your trip to the store a breeze without worrying about what cleaning products are dog friendly with our list of five best pet-friendly cleaning products separated by category so you can find what you need easily!
Tide Purclean Unscented
Its USDA-certified, plant-based formula is free from dyes, chlorine, phosphates, and optical brighteners, making it completely safe for pets.
It is also unscented, so you don’t have to worry about perfumes irritating your pet’s skin or other senses.
Finding Pet Friendly Cleaning Products No Longer Needs To Feel Like Hunting For A Needle In A Haystack.
Pet-Safe Multi-Purpose Wipes
Clorox Anywhere Wipes
These gentle wipes efficiently clean all kinds of messes, no matter how greasy. While the bleach-free, unscented wipes are ideal for heavy-duty cleaning, the plant-based cleaning agent is perfect for all surfaces and completely safe to use around children and pets.
Pet-Friendly Floor Cleaners
Need a floor cleaner that addresses issues like odor, shine, bacteria control? Here’s our selection of top three products that will leave your floors clean and germ-free. The best part? There’s no residue, stickiness, or risk of discoloration (to your floors).
Odorite’s Natural Floor Cleaner
This highly concentrated, micro-biological cleaner formulated with active bacteria provides a thorough cleaning and controls odor.
It’s a natural product with no alcohol or chemicals, making it safe for use around pets. So you can say goodbye to nasty smells without having to risk your dog’s comfort or health.
Method Squirt+Mop Floor Cleaner
This biodegradable formula contains plant-based cleaners that remove dirt. The best part? You get an intense clean, and glossy shine without having to rinse your floors!
BubbleNut Wash Natural Floor Cleaner
A natural, organic floor cleaner, the BubbleNut Wash floor cleaner’s herbal formula is safe to be used around dogs and children. Ingredients such as lemongrass and citronella repel insects, while neem and tulsi kill germs and provide a rigorous cleaning.
Which Cleaning Products Are Unsafe For Dogs?
Knowing what not to buy is easier if you know exactly what to look out for. Here’s a list of harmful chemicals to avoid when exploring options for pet friendly cleaning products.
Ingredients To Avoid
This is a common ingredient in all types of cleaners as it effectively removes stains. However, ammonia is toxic to pets and can cause skin and eye irritations. It can also cause severe burning in their nose, throat, and stomach if they accidentally lick it.
Bleach’s strong scent is likely to hurt your dog’s nose as they have a hypersensitive sense of smell. This can cause breathing problems and also result in serious health issues if they ingest it by mistake.
Often listed as “fragrances,” this family of ingredients can be dangerous to your pet if inhaled. Present in air fresheners, cleaning sprays, and carpet fresheners, these are meant to reduce the odor around the house but can harm your pet in the process.
If you do use a product containing phthalates, you must ensure that your pet is not present in the room.
This is a common ingredient in most heavy-duty cleaners and must be used with extreme caution in general. However, if you have a dog, it is best to avoid it as the mildest contact with Sodium Hydroxide can cause severe reactions such as burning your dog’s throat or nose.
A common ingredient in scouring powder, clothes whiteners, toilet cleaners, and mildew removers, chlorine can cause skin irritations due to prolonged exposure externally. It could also dull your dog’s coat and dry their eyes, and cause severe health concerns if ingested.
How To Choose A Safe Cleaning Product For Your Pet
Here’s how you can ensure that your cleaning products do not harm your pets in any way:
Read The Labels
Go through the ingredients list to ensure that there are no harsh chemicals that could potentially harm your dog.
Also, follow the instructions written on the label and ensure that you dilute the product as recommended.
Ensuring That You Are Using Pet Friendly Cleaning Products Could Save Your Dog From Being Seriously Hurt.
Clean All Your Cleaning Equipment And Tools
If you are using liquid cleaners, always rinse your buckets and mops. When done, dispose of the wipes properly and secure the lid of your garbage bags so your dog doesn’t get their paws into them. Don’t forget to close your storage cabinets so your dog does not have access to the supplies, as they could hurt themselves while exploring.
Use Regular Laundry Detergent
Avoid harsh cleaning agents and fragrances that could irritate your dog, especially when washing bed sheets, blankets, and pillow covers that your dog frequently sleeps on. The same applies to when you wash their toys.
How To Keep Your House Clean With Your Pet Around?
Considering everything we’ve mentioned, it may seem like a Herculean task to keep your house clean while you have a dog running around.
It’s understandable – they are curious and energetic creatures that do not realize when something could harm them.
This dog guide ensures that your home remains spick and span while your dog is safe from cleaning supplies-related injuries.
Let Your Dog Out When It’s Time To Clean
You can kill two birds with one stone – get your dog their daily dose of exercise, and clean the house. How? Just let them out in the backyard when you decide to clean the house!
They can run around and play, and you can deep clean the house without the risk of them being hurt.
If you don’t wish to send them out alone, encourage the kids or your partner to take the dog out for a walk to the park or even down the street.
The Easiest Way To Prevent The House From Getting Dirty In The First Place, Is To Make Sure Your Dog Doesn’t Get Their Dirty, Muddy Paws All Over The House.
Have A Cleaning Station Near The Entrance
“Prevention is better than cure.”
Just a couple of wipes, a sturdy doormat, a spray bottle, some dog towels, and maybe a few handy treats are enough.
You don’t have to keep this at your main entrance and ruin the aesthetic – keep it at your backdoor or on the porch if you wish!
Divide The Work
You could divide the work, so it gets done quicker, which means you will have to keep your dog distracted for less time.
If you’re working alone, keep your dog entertained in one room and close the door as you clean the other.
You could also train them to sit in a designated corner in the house or on their bed, so they do not obstruct your cleaning. Just bribe them with a treat for good behavior once you’re done!
Clean Around Your Dog’s Schedule
If your dog is comfortably settled down for a nap, they’re unlikely to bother you while you go about your business. This is a great time to get a quick cleaning finished!
Another great way to keep the house neat is to tidy up on the go. This means that your more intense cleaning sessions will also take less time as you’ll be starting with a relatively tidy home.
You can also ask someone to dog-sit for you when you occasionally want to deep clean your house as it won’t take too long.
Indulge Your Dog If They Get Too Restless
If you can, take breaks during your cleaning routine to indulge your dog in some hugs or play a game of fetch.
If you’re just sweeping the house, you could ask your dog to pass you the broom to make them feel involved if they are too restless. You could also keep an extra mop or brush that you don’t use to clean to keep your dog occupied—they may leave you alone once they feel like they’ve accomplished something by helping you out.
We’ve covered everything you need to know to avoid hurting your dog with harsh cleaners. To summarize, the most important things to remember when cleaning with your dog around is:
Read the ingredients list.
Follow the instructions on the label.
Keep your cleaning supplies out of your dog’s reach.
Always clean your equipment once you’re done cleaning.
Stay alert and focus on your cleaning routine to ensure that your dog doesn’t get up to mischief with your supplies while you’re distracted.
How to Train Your Energetic Dog to Be Gentle Around Your Newborn
Let’s face it — dogs can be a handful. Whether they scratch at the carpet or make a mess when coming inside from the rain, dogs are a lot to handle sometimes. Add a brand new baby into the mix, and suddenly things get a whole lot more hectic. Of course, you can train your dog to be more gentle around your newborn. Here’s how!
Understand that your dog will need some adjusting. Dogs are habit-based creatures, just like most animals. Because you’ll be bringing an entirely new scent and body into the home (and probably changing some of your own routine), your dog might take some time to get used to the situation. It’s important to make sure that you’ve invested in items that will help keep your dog safe during this hectic adjustment period, such as a dog tag tracker in the event the dog gets out while you’re busy attending to your crying newborn. Without this mindset, you and your dog will find it even more difficult to adjust to the new situation.
Condition your dog not to enter the nursery unless allowed. Part of training your energetic dog to be more gentle around your newborn is training your dog to respect boundaries. Reminding your dog that you’re the leader of the house is always a good idea, and you can do that by restricting their time in the nursery! Before bringing the baby home, be sure to practice bringing your dog into the nursery and then shutting them out of it. This will give your dog the idea that they can’t always go into that space, which will really help you out on those nights where you have to sleep in the nursery because the baby is sick or isn’t sleeping well.
Maintain some of your routine. An energetic dog needs to be exercised! One of the ways you can train your dog to be more gentle with your newborn is to take your dog out while your newborn is still sleeping. While one of you stays inside, the other should go walk the dog. A longer walk is better so that your dog is slightly more worn out when they arrive back and the baby is up and out of the nursery. They’ll be so exhausted that they won’t go running or jumping! And, while many new parents find it difficult to maintain their routine right after childbirth, it’s important that you try to maintain the same feeding and walking times with your dog. Without these consistencies, it opens the door for your dog to start exhibiting behavior issues, which won’t make it easy to control them around your newborn baby.
Ask for help. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with your newborn and your dog, it’s okay to ask for help! Friends, family and even neighbors can step in and keep the dog on a routine for you so that you can catch up on sleep or focus on the baby. Being a new parent is tough, especially if it’s your first child. Asking for a support network to step in is never a bad thing. Just make sure to update your dog ID tags so that anyone helping you out has all the necessary information they need should an issue arise!
Bring home something of the baby’s first. One of the main reasons energetic dogs pose an issue with new babies isn’t from aggression but rather curiosity. Each person has a unique scent, and that scent is what dogs use to determine levels of threat. In fact, dogs have a sense of smell that’s well over 10,000 times more acute than humans! This means that dogs will be able to easily tell when there’s a new scent in the house, such as a new baby. In order to make their surprise at the new scent a little less energetic, bring something home from the hospital that the baby’s used before bringing the baby home. You can bring a bib, a onesie, a hat or even a burp cloth to make this easier. Let your dog sniff the item, but only let them sniff it for a specific amount of time. You’ll want to take it away so that you can establish that the scent is yours and the dog is only allowed to sniff it when told. Bring items home every day from the hospital so that the dog gets to smell the items more than once. Ideally, your dog will come to recognize the scent and won’t get overly excited or confused by it when you bring the baby home.
Take the dog out while mom arrives home with the baby. So that your dog doesn’t overexert themselves or scare the baby, take them out while mom comes home. That way, mom can shower and change into clothes that smell more like her instead of the hospital, and the dog gets some outdoor play time prior to coming back indoors. Then, since mom won’t be in an unfamiliar scent, your dog will be much calmer.
Invest in a dog trainer. Trying to train your dog by yourself with a new baby in tow is a tough job. Instead, consider hiring a dog trainer to help you out during this time. The dog trainer will work with you to help your dog learn not to jump on people as they’re holding the baby, not to charge at the baby and countless other behaviors that you might not even realize your dog might do with the new baby around.
Spend time with your dog. You’ll still want to spend some time with your dog, such as playing in the yard or cuddling on the couch. Dogs who feel neglected will start to act out, much like children! Giving your dog some TLC while the newborn is resting is a great way to continue bonding with your pup and keeping them from acting out and behaving poorly.
A Nose for Narcotics: The Low Down on How Sniffer Dogs Are Trained
Ever been in line at the airport and had a dog walk by sniffing luggage with an office? You’ve encountered a sniffer dog. This might seem like an odd way to find drugs, but drug detection dogs are a great way to find drugs without unnecessary searches or tons of technical equipment.
You might find yourself wondering how that process even starts. A dog can learn to fetch, but sniffing out drugs is another task entirely. The process isn’t as complicated as you might expect, but it still works remarkably well.
Not all dogs make for the best sniffer dogs. There are different sniffer dog breeds that work well, but the list isn’t very long. While dogs, in general, have incredible senses of smell and are often trainable, those breeds that lean toward service and an aptitude for training are usually more likely to be selected.
The breeds selected to be sniffer dogs are often shepherds, German or Czech, boarder collies, labrador retrievers, or german shorthair pointers. There are a few more that do well, but generally athletic and task-oriented breeds work best.
The training to actually become a drug-sniffing dog is not hard to understand. It doesn’t revolve around treats or an actual interest in drugs. The training begins with and continues to revolve around a toy.
Trainers will play with a dog and establish a favorite toy, often a basic towel with no scent to associate with it. Then they will wrap up some cannabis or another substance in the towel so the dog will associate that toy with that scent. Then, when they want to play they will hunt down that towel, or that scent, as a signal that they have their toy.
This process does take time and involves training for both the dog and the handler. The dog is rewarded with the training of proper procedures on how to behave when detecting that scent, as in some cases they may paw at it, but in the case of explosives detection that would be dangerous so they can’t touch it if they find it.
In the Field
Sniffer dog practice also entails going into different terrains to detect the scent and going to new places. Going into the field to find drugs is different than training, so it is important to make it as similar as possible.
There are companies that train and run narcotic detection programs and can detail how that process looks when called in. It can be different depending on the location and what the dogs are supposed to be looking for.
Super Sniffer Dogs
Using dogs for drug detection may not seem like the most reliable practice, but sniffer dogs do tremendously well and are happy to help. The training is safe and the dogs are not put at risk with exposure to drugs or anything that could harm them when getting the scent down. If you found this information interesting to learn about, keep reading for more animal facts.
Keep Your Dog Smelling Fresh: 3 Tips on How to Bathe Your Dog
Few things are as rewarding as owning a dog. They’re adorable, happy, and they keep you company when no one else is around. On top of all of that, they’re a huge boon to your mental health.
For all the benefits they bring, they also come with a lot of responsibility. You have to feed them and ensure they get enough exercise. You also have to make sure that they stay clean.
You don’t have to pay a groomer to bathe your dog, though. Read on to learn how to do it yourself!
1. Find the Right Spot
The first thing you need to do when you’re ready to bathe your own dog is to find the best spot to do it. The first thing you need to consider is the size of your dog. If you have a small chihuahua, then you can probably get away with bathing him in a deep sink.
Larger dogs should be bathed in tubs or outside. Ideally, there’d be a spot to place a restraint to keep your dog from bolting mid-shampoo. If you don’t have a great spot to do it, check around local vets and grooming salons. Many have DIY grooming stations.
2. Help Them Feel Comfortable
Getting a bath isn’t a normal thing for a dog, so you might need to take additional steps to make them feel comfortable. For example, you can acclimate nervous dogs to tubs in the days leading up to a bath by taking them to the tub and giving them treats and praise. Slowly incorporate water until they can calmly be bathed.
If your dog has a hard time staying still during the bath, be sure to have something to keep them busy. Some groomers apply peanut butter to the wall in front of a pet’s mouth to keep them occupied while they’re getting their bath.
Finally, watch the water temp. Water that is too hot or too cold is not going to feel good.
3. Get the Right Shampoo
Shampoo for dogs is just like shampoo for humans. It comes in a wide variety to suit a number of different issues.
Dogs with sensitive or dry skin should utilize a shampoo that contains calming ingredients like oatmeal. Follow up with a nice conditioner to help their fur and skin stay soft and moisturized. Be careful not to get water or shampoo into their eyes or ears.
Learning how to bathe your dog is a great way to save money and bond with your sweet pup. The only catch is that you have to make it an enjoyable experience for the both of you. If your dog isn’t used to baths, be sure to reward them throughout the bathing process so they look forward to it in the future.
Are you interested in learning more great ways to bond with your dog and keep him healthy? You’re in the right spot! Check out the rest of our blog for tons of great dog advice!
7 Stimulating Games for Puppies That Help Them Learn
Puppies love to stay busy, which can be exhausting for you. A bored pup is likely to find mischief or develop behavioral issues, like chewing or barking to occupy itself.
Luckily, there are easy options for engaging your pup, from cute dog toys to simple games. When you play mentally stimulating games with your puppy, you can wear them out just as much as a good romp at the dog park would.
Not sure where to start with stimulating games for your puppy? Here are seven easy, fun and engaging games to play with dogs of any age.
Source: Lenti Hill/Shutterstock.com
1. Puzzle Toy Time
Your puppy loves to solve problems. A puzzle toy is a great way to keep your puppy entertained while letting them use their natural problem-solving ability. A wide variety of puzzle toys are available for your dog, ranging from easy to complex.
Once your pup has mastered an easy puzzle, move on to more advanced challenges. Keep sessions short to avoid frustrating your dog. You should start with no more than 15 minutes, but you can do multiple sessions a day.
Puzzle toys can be plastic, plush, stuffed or even homemade. Try out a variety to see which ones your puppy likes best.
2. Play Hide and Seek
Just like toddlers, puppies love a good game of hide and seek. This game helps train your dog with the “stay” command while providing mental stimulation.
To play hide and seek with your dog, they’ll need to hold a “stay” command for at least 10 seconds. If you are still training this command, you can play the game with a partner to distract your pup while you hide.
Once you’re well hidden, release your dog and call them toward you. They’ll use their powerful sense of smell to find you. Don’t forget to reward them with treats or praise once they locate your hiding spot.
3. Name That Toy Game
You can teach your dog more words than just commands. An average dog can learn over 165 different words. Increase your puppy’s vocabulary by teaching them the names of their favorite toys.
At first, you’ll work on teaching your dog the name of each toy. Using one toy at a time, state the toy’s name and reward your dog while they’re interacting with it. Once they’ve learned a few toys, you can begin to challenge them by asking them to pick between toys to identify the one you’re naming.
For an advanced version of this game, you can hide their toys around the room. Then ask your dog to find one. Eventually, your dog will be able to identify which toy they need to sniff out and bring back to you.
4. Make Eye Contact
You know the power of puppy eyes. One look and you’re ready to cave into whatever their puppy heart desires. You can reverse the trick and train your dog to make eye contact with you.
Eye contact is great for getting your puppy’s attention. It’s a helpful command for interrupting bad behaviors. Eye contact also releases oxytocin in both you and your dog, strengthening your bond. Oxytocin is a hormone associated with forming attachment.
You can easily teach your dog to make eye contact with you. Start by holding a treat to your forehead or in front of your eye. As your dog gets used to looking at the treat, slowly phase it out in favor of a hand signal and verbal command. You can increase the duration of eye contact over time, but don’t push it for more than a few seconds.
5. Rainy Day Trick Training
Training basic commands with your puppy is both mentally stimulating and essential for good behavior. However, not every command you teach your dog needs to be useful. A great rainy day activity is seeing what tricks you can train your dog to perform.
Let your puppy know you are starting a training session, maybe by placing a box of treats in the room with you. Then reward your puppy every time he interacts with the box. After a while, only reward for the action you want to train, whether that’s standing in front of the box or pushing it around the room.
You can also work on building compound tricks with your puppy to get them to accomplish a task. Dogs can learn to fetch you a bottle of water or close a door once they know some basic commands. These complex tasks boost your dog’s confidence while strengthening your relationship.
6. Agility or Obstacle Course
For a stimulating game that can also be a physical workout for your dog, consider building an obstacle course or agility track. You don’t need to buy any fancy gear to make a course. Your chairs and other household objects will work just fine.
Typical agility obstacles are jumps, weaving cones and tunnels. Set up one or all of these at a time. Every time you train, alter the order of the obstacles to create additional mental challenges for your puppy.
7. Find the Treats
Another game that puts your puppy’s nose to the test is playing “find the treats.” They’ll love being able to use their sniffing and scavenging skills to find tasty rewards. Just make sure you put away anything tempting that isn’t dog treats before you start playing. Otherwise, you may find your dog goes off course, and you’ll end up googling “why do dogs like socks” because he’s into your sock drawer rather than playing your game.
When you first play “find the treats” with your puppy, don’t hide them. Simply place them on surfaces around the room. Tell your dog to “find the treats” and offer praise when they start eating them. Once they’ve figured out what the game is all about, you can start hiding the treats in more challenging locations.
Mix It Up
Your puppy loves variety. Keep things interesting by mixing up your routine with these 7 stimulating games for puppies. In the process, both of you are sure to learn some new tricks.
How to Choose Between a Purebred and Mixed Breed Puppy
Purebred dogs are often considered the gold standard. They’re bred for a set of characteristics, and if you use a good breeding, you know what you’re getting. You also pay a premium for that service. Mixed breed dogs are truly a mixed bag, but they may enjoy hybrid vigor and are generally more affordable. So which option is right for you? Here are a few tips on how to choose between a purebred and mixed breed puppy.
Know What You Want from the Dog It Will Become
Purebred dogs are often born for a given skill set. They have the body type and instincts to do something. For example, golden retrievers may retrieve anything that falls into the swimming pool including your toddler. Sheep dogs will herd anything but especially sheep. Some training may still be required, but that involves teaching them commands and practicing to hone their existing abilities. On the other hand, you may not be able to train a born hunting dog not to chase anything that looks like prey.
In contrast, almost any dog can be a well-behaved companion for your family with a little training. This means that mixed breed puppies are fine if you want a dog for your kids to play with or to keep your mother company. Many mixed breed puppies could be trained to serve as watch dogs, too. In these cases, a cheaper mixed-breed dog is fine. But if you want a dog for a specific task like a hunting dog or show dog, get a purebred puppy.
Know the Risks that Come with Each Option
While not all mixed-breed dogs are healthy, they are not prone to the health problems that can come from the de facto inbreeding that comes with purebred dogs. That is why purebred dogs need to be carefully inspected by a vet before you buy them. Use this educational website when looking for a purebred puppy. You’ll want to find reputable breeders who only breed and sell healthy dogs. But learn what health problems a given breed may be prone to so that you can watch out for it. If you’re worried about the costs associated with frequent vet visits, you can look into a dog-specific pet insurance plan.
While purebred dogs are ten times more likely to suffer from conditions like hip dysplasia and kidney disease, mixed breed puppies are at greater risk of other things. They are more likely to suffer from patent ductus arteriosis and ruptured cruciate ligament. They are also more likely to be hit by cars, since they are less likely to have refined instincts.
Mixed breeds are also more likely to suffer from infectious diseases than purebred breeders. That’s because purebred breeders won’t allow infectious diseases to go untreated. On the other hand, the puppy mill owner doesn’t care.
Understand How the Dog Will Fit Your Lifestyle
Purebred dogs have better defined personalities and abilities, whereas mixed-breed dogs are literally a mix. However, you can make reasonable assumptions with any dog based on an assessment of the dog. Is the dog highly anxious? It may or may not be a good guard dog with training, but it probably shouldn’t be left alone all day. Is the dog calm and relaxed? It might be a good companion, but you’ll still need to find out if it is good with kids. Does the dog come from a large breed or have two large parents? Then you probably shouldn’t pick it if you live in an apartment. An active dog needs to be walked regularly, and it will be happier if regularly played with. If you just want to let it out to pee on the grassy patch in your backyard, you shouldn’t get a more active breed.
It is very unfortunate when dogs become abandoned from a previous home. Reasons for abandonment can be anywhere from living arrangements that are conducive for a dog, financial issues, or a job change.
Whatever the case, shelters can get overrun with dogs who are looking for a second chance for a forever home. If you have rescued a dog, there is the possibility they might experience separation anxiety because of previous abandonment.
If your dog has minor or severe anxiety, there are ways to help them overcome the stressful time they are going through. Helping a dog become relaxed in their new environment will take lots of patience, love, and understanding from the new parent or foster guardian.
Schedule keeping helps dogs to thrive so they can learn the new rules easier. Establish a routine that works for you and your dog. When you first bring home your rescue, it is recommended to take time off from work so you can build a new-found relationship. Your constant presents during the first few weeks will certainly help them settle in more quickly.
The first few weeks after bringing your pet home could be the most difficult. Be prepared for physical problems caused by stress. Bonding with your new dog doesn’t happen overnight and it will take time to achieve.
For a rescue dealing with minor separation anxiety; do not make a big deal when you are arriving home or departing. Even though it’s hard, and they are excited to see you, ignore them for the first few minutes. Then pet them calmly as a reward. Remember when you were younger and scared of something, you grabbed a stuffed
animal or a soft blanket to cuddle with that made you feel better? If you are leaving for hours at a time, give your dog a piece of clothing you have worn recently, think of it as acting like a security blanket for them.
A more severe case of separation anxiety can be harder to fix.
Teach them the basic sit, stay, and lay down commands. Be sure to use positive reinforcement while training. After they have learned those commands, step up their training a bit. Bring them to a sit, or lay down position, give the stay command, then proceed to a different room. This type of training technique will help your dog learn it is okay to remain calm in one place.
While you are training your dog, create a word or an action of a sort to use whenever you are leaving the premises. The word or action lets them know you will be back later. Research shows that music or background noise helps calm a dog while you are away. The noise helps to distract them from the outside world such as people entering the building if you live in an apartment complex, nearby construction sounds, and especially the mailman arriving can cause distress to your dog.
So, what noises should you play in your home to help lower their heart rates while you are away? Classical music has a soothing effect on dogs. After a few days, switch up the music to a good soft rock station, and reggae is also a great genre to help reduce stress. Helping your rescue become relaxed in their new environment will take time. Some dogs are easier than others when becoming accustomed to a new home. Remember to start slow, and try not to over-stimulate them. Dogs can pick up on your mood, if you
remain calm and in control, they will sense that calmness. If your rescue was used to being by themselves for a large amount of time, or even living on the streets, look out for food aggression. Warning signs include growling and showing teeth. A higher aggression dog will lunge or snap when approached.
Give your new dog their personal space when they seem too stressed out. If you have children, make sure to have them respect the dog’s space as well. A cornered dog could lash out as a defense mechanism.
Be patient if your rescue is having problems regarding potty training issues. Take them outside in the morning and every two hours. Do not punish your dog if you catch them in the middle of the act. Interrupt them by making a startling noise, but do not scare them. Take them directly outside to their designated area and praise them with a treat as positive reinforcement. Remember that it will take them a while to become accustomed to new rules.
Watch out for escape attempts. Take special precautions when opening your door so the dog is not able to squeeze through and escape. If you have a backyard fence, make sure the barrier is high enough so the dog cannot jump over. Also, check for loose boards that they’d be able to get through. Be sure to not leave them unattended in the yard.
Give your dog toys to occupy themselves during the day so they are not bored. Take long walks and play with them to burn off pent-up energy. Attend an obedience school, or higher a personal trainer to help you build skills and form a bond with your new best friend.
If you decide to use an over-the-counter calming aid, remember to consult your veterinarian first. Your dog may be allergic to something you didn’t know about, which could cause their stress level to rise.
Dogs of any breed can develop anxiety. However, not all rescues have separation anxiety. According to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, evidence shows there is no conclusive reasoning why dogs develop it. Show your dog love through this difficult time in their lives, and be a confident pack leader for them.
Watch your dog’s body language. Relaxed ears, a wagging tail, and wet kisses display signs that your rescue is now comfortable in their new home. Building a good friendship takes time and patients, so above all, enjoy your new best friend, smile often, laugh a lot, and create good memories together.