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How To Train Your Dog To Pull A Sled This Winter

Have a high energy working breed?

You can help your pup work out all that extra energy, and help them fulfill their breed needs, by teaching them how to pull a sled. 

Best Breeds For Sledding

All dogs need to walk, but some need some extra work. 

For example, working breeds like huskies have a lot of extra energy to burn, and walking may not be enough. 

Teaching your dog to pull a sled is a great way to help them get rid of extra energy safely. 

The best breeds for sled pulling are:

  • Huskies
  • German Shepherds 
  • Newfoundlands
  • St. Bernards
  • Labrador
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Chinook

While these breeds are the best fit for sled pulling, most big dogs can pull a sled safely. Small or medium sized dogs can do it if the weight being pulled is not heavy. 

Safety Gear

First, you need to select the best pulling harness for your pup. 

Normal harnesses, the ones you’d use on a walk, are not for sledding.

Most dog stores have good quality pulling harnesses like Ruffwear or EZDog.

Much like teaching your dog to walk on a harness, teaching them to sled with one starts with letting them become familiar with the harness. Let them smell it, get used to it being around. Then, after they’re accustomed to it, you can put it on them. Give them some time to just wear the harness, letting them get a feel for it. 

How To Get The Best Fit

How the harness fits is very important for your pup’s safety and comfort. Start by measuring your dog’s chest, neck, length, and girth. Then, pick out a material that looks comfortable. Padded harnesses are less stressful on your dog’s skin and fur. 

Training For Sled Pulling

Start slowly. 

Because sledding is new to your dog, you need to let them get used to the idea at their own pace. 

After fitting their harness, attach one end of the tow rope to the harness and the other to an empty sled or something very light. 

Each session, go a little longer or add a little weight. Remember, you wouldn’t go from the couch to the squat rack without building up to heavy weights, so don’t expect your dog to do too much before she’s ready. This could take a few weeks. 

You can train them using a command like “Pull!” or “Mush.” Walk along with them, as this will encourage them to follow you. 

Ways To Sled Pull

Because the same training every day can get boring, it’s best to find a few objects for your dog to pull. 

Some dogs love pulling tires. 

Others will thrive running through the snow while “towing” you on a bike. 

Others love pulling sleds through snow, preferably with their human siblings in tow. 

Safety First

Whenever training with your dog, safety should be your first priority. 

First, make sure they’re wearing their collar. This will help you find them if they get lost.

Breakthrough In Understanding Dogs’ Family Tree Unlocks Your Dog’s Heritage

If you’ve ever done a search on your family history, you know how intricate it can be. But have you ever wondered about your dogs’ family history? Sure we know they evolved from wolves, but is that all there is? Science says no. A recent breakthrough in dogs’ family tree now reveals the history of their heritage.

In a recent study published in Cell Reports, scientists studied the genomes of nearly 1,500 dogs. The study traced the relationship among different breeds – creating one of the most diver family tree maps to date.

The map shows different types of dogs that humans cross to create modern breeds. It revealed that dogs bred to perform specific functions – like working or herding dogs – don’t always share the same origin.

In fact, their study hints that an ancient dog may have even migrated to the Americas long before Christopher Columbus.

The study shows that, despite what owners and breeders are familiar with, not all dogs that are grouped into categories are related.

US National Institutes of Health (NIH) biologist Heidi Parker said, “You would think that all working dogs or all herding dogs are related, but that isn’t the case.”

Most breeds in the study came from European and Asian dog groups. Domestic dogs came to the America thousands of years ago, though, after humans crossed Siberia to Alaska through the Bering land bridge.


The dogs of the New World disappeared after the European and Asian dogs landed in the Americas. Researchers have tried to look for the genetic legacy of the ancient dogs in the DNA of modern breeds, but haven’t found much evidence.

Until now.

Researchers found that two South American breeds – the Peruvian Hairless Dog and Xoloitzcuintli – share genes not found in any other breed. They think these genes could even come from the ancient dogs that landed in America before Christopher Columbus.

Evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, Bob Wayne said, “I think our view of the formation of modern dog breeds has historically been one-dimensional. We didn’t consider that the process has a deep historical legacy.”


Parker and fellow biologist at NIH Elaine Ostrander, believe that dog breeds went through two periods of diversification. Thousands of years ago, dogs were chosen for their skills whereas hundreds of years ago, dogs were bred for physical traits.

This deliberate breeding is dog-specific, too. Wayne says that researchers would never be able to find something like this in cats or cows.

While these studies can certainly help understand where domestic dogs came from, there are other reasons for creating this database. For one, it can help diagnose illnesses in domestic dogs.

It can also help with the study of human disease.

Humans and dogs can suffer from the same diseases – like epilepsy, for example. While hundreds of genes can influence the illness in humans, dog breeds tend to be genetically isolated. This means each breed could carry just one or two genes related to epilepsy. By studying them, they can look at the genes individually, making it much more efficient.

Like human family trees, dogs’ family trees are just as intricate – and interesting!

5 DIY Dog Toys

Sick of spending half your salary at the pet store on toys that your dog will lose interest in after a week?

Besides cost, many dog lovers are concerned with where their pup’s toys were made. We all remember the scare when the dog food and toys from China poisoned countless innocent pups. 

Finding toys made locally is almost impossible in most areas. 

But, you can save a ton of money and know exactly where your dog’s toys come from!

Make DIY Dog Toys

Dogs don’t care where a toy comes from. If it smells good, makes a cool noise, or they love the mouth-feel, they’ll gladly play with it for hours. 

So, rather than spend a lot of money on toys that were made overseas, why not make your own?

Bottle in T-Shirt 

This toy is super simple to make, and is great for light-chewers who love to hear crunching sounds. 

Simply take a large (1-L bottles are perfect for big dogs, 1-2 c bottles are great for smaller pups) water bottle and wrap an old T-shirt around it. 

This is an awesome toy because:

  • Your shirt smells like you
  • The bottle makes a great crunchy sound that many dogs love

As with all toys, give this to your dog under supervision. Strong chewers can easily rip through the shirt and bottle, swallowing small pieces. If you notice the toy breaking, toss it and start over. 

Tennis Ball Treat Puzzle

Dogs love tennis balls. If you have a few older ones that your pup has lost interest in, you can re-purpose it as a treat puzzle. 

Cut a hole in the ball, insert treats, let your dog smell the puzzle, then unleash it. They’ll happily knock that ball around the house or yard for hours trying to get every last crumb. 

Frozen Sock Knot

Great for those hot, humid summer days. Just take a few old socks, tie them into a knot, soak them, then put them in the freezer for a few hours. 

When frozen, your dog will love chewing on them. This will cool them down, and gives them a way to exercise their need to chew. 

Again, watch for breakage. If they socks begin to tear, toss them and start with a new pair. 


This is more of a treat then a toy, but when your dog is hot, bored, or being destructive, they can entertain and nourish them at the same time. 

Grab an ice cube tray. Fill it with water or chicken broth. Then add small bits of fruit, treats, vegetables, or kibble. 

These make a great, chewy and cooling puzzle in the summer. 

Near-Empty Peanut Butter Jar

This is super simple. Take any jar of nut-butter that is nearly empty, give it to your pup, and watch them lick the jar silly. If you keep the jar (glass is better since it won’t break like plastic), you can smear the inside with peanut butter, bacon grease, or kibble crumbs.

Keep Your Pup Active

DIY dog toys can help keep your pup active and healthy. 

Did you know that a long walk plus a few periods of play make your dog healthier, more intelligent, and extends their lives?

This is why it’s so important to monitor their activity levels. a

Top 10 Breeds for Active People

For people who lead a healthy and active lifestyle, they tend to want a dog that can reflect the same regimen as them. Fortunately, there are plenty of highly active and energetic dog breeds out there to choose from.

According to the American Kennel Club, these select breeds have been coined as ‘top dogs’ to keep their owner  in tip top shape. Whether it’s running, jumping, hiking, swimming, these breeds fit the mold for any active person.

1. Border Collie

2. Greyhound

3. Belgian Malinois

4. Vizsla

5. American Staffordshire Terrier

6. Brittany

7. Redbone Coonhound

8. German Shorthaired Pointer

9. Doberman Pinscher

10. Dalmatian

Of course there are other breeds that will fit the athletic lifestyle desired, but this list is a good starting point for those looking to find the perfect athletic match for them.

What To Call Your New Puppy

Sorting through unique puppy names is always a challenge – particularly if you are being democratic and letting the whole family weigh in with their thoughts. What to call your new puppy? What to call your dog? Hmm.

Do you name your puppy after your favorite characters from TV? Do you name your dog after your favorite aunt? — known as the nation’s Airbnb for dogs! — produced the list of the top dog names for the year, and the trends they’ve seen throughout 2016. Human names are becoming more and more popular as you can see from the lists below:

Unique Puppy Names for Boys:

1. Max
2. Charlie
3. Buddy
4. Cooper
5. Jack
6. Rocky
7. Toby
8. Duke
9. Bear
10. Tucker

Unique Puppy Names for Girls:

1. Bella
2. Lucy
3. Daisy
4. Molly
5. Lola
6. Sadie
7. Maggie
8. Sophie
9. Chloe
10. Bailey

There you have it folks. See this post too.

This is what an h2 looks like.


If you’d like to try a raw diet with your small pooch but still want to keep some dry food on the menu, then check out this grain-free kibble topped off with freeze-dried raw meat that comes from cage-free duck. Crafted from only high-quality ingredients, it’s perfect for high-energy small breed dogs.


– 36.5% crude protein
– 16% crude fat
– Made from cage-free duck, contains freeze-dried pieces
– Added probiotics, glucosamine and chondroitin
– Grain-free formula


Brand: Instinct
Model: 23423424
Weight: 2.2 kg

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Why Do Dogs Growl?

Feeding your dog his meals in the crate
This tip is from Viola Eva.the Head of Puppy Training at White Light 

After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding him his regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, put the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If your dog is still reluctant to enter the crate, put the dish only as far inside as he will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed him, place the dish a little further back in the crate.

Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat his meal, you can close the door while he’s eating. At first, open the door as soon as he finishes his meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until he’s staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If he begins to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving him in the crate for a shorter time period. If he does whine or cry in the crate, it’s imperative that you not let him out until he stops. Otherwise, he’ll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so he’ll keep doing it.

Introducing your dog to the crate
This tip is from Katie Smith.the Founder at 

Put the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Bring your dog over to the crate and talk to him in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is securely fastened open, so it won’t hit your dog and frighten him.

To encourage your dog to enter the crate, drop some small food treats near it, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If he refuses to go all the way in at first, that’s okay – don’t force him to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If he isn’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days.

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Why do dogs growl? The reason is simple, its to ward of any danger and also to alert their pack that there is an issue. However, we don’t want our dogs to growl at a person, particularly a friend or family member. Sometimes it can be even more alarming, if your pup keeps growling at the same person. This behavior should be corrected through positive training and good socialization.
Basic Training The best thing to do is to gain your dog’s respect. This can be done through positive reinforcement training. You should teach your dog the basic commands – “sit”, “stay”, “quiet” – I recommend practicing these every day with your dog. A Tired Dog is a Good Dog When we tire our dogs out they are much more laid back and docile. This is a good way to keep them calm around that person that they are growling at. No energy, no growling.
Don’t Reward Bad Behavior One of the primary rules of being a dog owner is to never reward bad behavior. So you cannot pay them attention when they bark or growl. Don’t even show attention. Here is a good chance to teach a command or two, like “quiet” or “be still.” Speaking these commands in a firm, but calm, tone is ideal. Socialize your Dog with the Person Socialization is the answer to so many puppy problems. Get your dog together with the person that they growl at. The best thing to do is to have the person sit still and offer the dog treats. Win the dogs trust and talk to the pup in a calm tone. If the dog growls, remove him from the room and wait a few minutes to start again. Your dog will begin to associate the person with treats and they will be able to gain the dogs trust. The true test will be testing commands like “sit” and “stay” to see if the dog is going to give the person respect. Then go for a pet and a nice head scratch.

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