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Hyper Dog- Here’s How to Calm Him

GH_dog exercise-resized-600Proper dog exercise is just as important as human exercise. Many people out there have made a New Year’s resolution to get back to the gym and get their beach bodies ready for the warm weather. As you buy your 6-month pass to your local gym, keep in mind that your dog isn’t fortunate enough to sign up as well. Dogs don’t have gyms, so how are they to keep up with THEIR exercise? For all you know your dog has also put exercise as its resolution and it is your job to check that off the list.

Proper dog exercise is essential to your canine’s well-being. Just like humans, dogs are individuals and each need something different. It is important for you to talk to your pet’s vet before creating a routine because factors like breed, age, and current health affect how your dog’s exercise routine should be shaped.

For example, dogs with short noses like bulldogs can only exercise for short periods because of the inefficiency of their snout, as well as overheating. Compare that to a Jack Russell Terrier which can exercise for hours on end, so it will be a better companion when going for a 3 mile run in comparison to a bulldog.  Seeing as different dogs were bred for very specific tasks it is important to keep this in mind while trying to get your dog to exercise.

GH_bulldog exercising-resized-600Age is also a key factor in what your dog’s exercise routine should entail. Puppies ranging from 6-months to 18-months require more exercise than your 8 year old golden retriever. This may seem obvious but don’t assume that since your dog could play fetch for hours and then go on a jog around the neighborhood a few years ago, he can still keep up now his 10th birthday has passed.

The last part to consider for the safety of dog exercise is your dog’s current health. Many dogs, like German Shepherds, are prone to hip dysplasia as they grow older. With a health problem like this it is important that strenuous activities like running on leash are to be avoided. A talk with the vet will help you figure out what the best activities are to keep your dog exercising and healthy, while not hurting preexisting injuries.

Part 2 coming soon!

Puppy Biting | How To Stop a Puppy From Biting

Can you stop a puppy from biting? Is biting people normal for a puppy? What’s the difference
between nipping and biting, if any? When should I be concerned about my puppy’s biting? Should I give him a ‘toy’ when he bites me to distract him?

Puppy_biting


Do any of these questions sound familiar to you? If you are a new puppy mom or dad I can assure you that if you’ve asked these questions your on the right track now that you’re looking for answers.What’s biting?
I’ve titled this article ‘puppy biting’… To reduce the risk of people thinking their dogs behaviors don’t qualify as ‘biting’ Let me clarify the meaning of puppy biting, OK?  Often dog owners use terms to soften the discussion about their dogs behaviors (and unfortunately delay addressing a potentially serious issue until much later). So let’s address this semantic use of terms  right up front: nipping = biting= nibbling= chomping= kinda nipping= kinda biting= mouthing= (fill in yours). Here’s a few of the most frequently asked questions I receive about puppy biting:“Is puppy biting a person normal behavior?”
A puppy uses his mouth to pick up objects, chew or teething. Puppies use their mouths as a normal part of the development to adolescent then adult dog. They use their mouths- in their so far- short lives to play with their litter-mates, pick up objects, chew just about everything including their food and now they’re chewing on you. Sure, it’s normal. Just because its Normal doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.“What age should you I let my puppy know that their mouth on my (insert any body part or clothing) isn’t acceptable?From the start. I mean immediately. Train yourself and your adult family members that ANY mouth contact from your new puppy is not allowed. Make your life easier and the training clear as possible for your new dog. Think of ANY dog behavior in terms of Yes= allow it, or NO= Never allow it.  Most new dog moms and dads put up with, or allow puppy nipping until it becomes painful or problematic. But by then your new cuddly puppy has had lots of ‘training’ that it’s all right to use his mouth on you. It’s OK until he becomes a ‘Franken-Puppy’…

“Can I give my dog something he can chew on when he starts to chew on me or my clothing?”

No. I mean not immediately. If your dog uses his mouth on you and you immediately put an ‘acceptable’ dog toy in his mouth he learns that way to ‘ask’ for the toy is to ask by chomping on you. Substituting this way is not only painful to humans, but it doesn’t communicate to your dog that the biting itself is not acceptable. Training the dog that ANY mouth contact is unacceptable is not only the quickest way for dogs to learn its also the fairest way to teach them.

“If my puppy’s biting doesn’t hurt me then why can’t I allow it for now?”
Sure. I hear this question a LOT. I’m really glad people are asking rather than assuming.  You’re right you can’t (or shouldn’t). There’s a number of reasons. First, If you are the only one who ever has contact with your dog, then sure. YOu’re only training your dog to interact with you. Most families have more than one person who come into contact with the dog at some point. If the dogs biting is unwelcome by even one person than the behavior is problematic and potentially dangerous. Secondly, the level of pressure exerted by the dogs mouth to you may not cause you discomfort of pain. But will that same level of pressure be welcome by every other person who has contact with your dog? Its unreasonable, impossible to train and unfair to the dog and humans to think that a puppy should be expected to know the ‘acceptable’ level of bite pressure for each and evey person they come into contact with. Lastly, the longer a behavior is allowed to continue the more that behavior becomes trained into your dog as acceptable.

How to stop puppy biting-
Unfortunately in this article we can’t get into as much detail as I would like. (feel free to sign up for the training emails or videos for more detailed help)  First is the Stopping of the behavior; you find yourself with a cute, furry, noisy mouth upon your hand, arm or clothing what do you do? Make a very loud noise or create some distraction of significance that started the dog. Talking, saying no, having a discussion will only prolong the interaction. Your goal is to, as quickly and abruptly as possible STOP the behavior. The longer you continue to talk, make eye contact, squirm or gently put your hand on him only serve to train him that biting you makes you a fun squeaky toy.

Prevention- keep your dog on leash in the house. Let him drag the leash around but keep him in sight at all times. The leash is one of the safest, least expensive and most effective tools for training. Besides, having a short 4-6 foot leash on your dog eliminates the need for your hand to have to ‘collar grab’ him. Collar grabs are one of the most common reasons for dog bites.

If you want more help with your dog and answers to your training questions feel free to submit them here. Sign up to receive free updates and FREE training videos as they become available on our site or YouTube channel..

Dog Food Recall:Diamond Dog Food Says it’s Unexpected

Making sure your dog gets the right4 health dog food food is important. You probably take into consideration the kinds of food your dog prefers, hopefully along with the idea of which foods are healthier. Unfortunately the big scare is the idea that something could be wrong with the dinner you serve your Golden every night and it won’t be obvious until the damage is done.

The problem with dog food is the fact that it is almost impossible to tell which brands can be reliable. Over the past few years there have been multiple dog food recalls. Dog care seems to be more important by the FDA rather than by brands like 4 Health Dog Food or Diamond Dog Food, a repeat offender in 2012. The most recent recalls have included products from Milo’s Kitchen, Waggin’ Train and Claudia’s Cuisine.

Make sure you have the most up to date information on recalls to ensure proper dog care. Look at websites like FDA and Dog Food Advisor to keep up to date with the recalls. The FDA even has an email sign up so you can get the information when its relevant rather than when you are driving your pet to the vet. The most important thing to take away from this article is- It is impossible to say which brand of dog food can have a problem so don’t pick a ‘safe’ product and remain ignorant to recalls because you think that your food choice could never negatively affect your dog. People who buy 4 Health Dog Food would have never expected such health problems and you should keep an eye out too.

I have linked the Dog Food Advisor and FDA sites below and urge dog owners to bookmark these pages. Your dog’s health is in your hands, so please be responsible.

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recalls/
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm#Link_to_Animal_Health