Taking your dog out for a walk is not always the ideal, leisurely, and enjoyable experience it has often been cracked up to be. Dog personalities differ, as much as moods and temperaments differ. Temperaments are even more pronounced with active and athletic dog breeds. Although most dogs would want an outside walk most of the time, there will be occasions when the dog would rather stay at home. Barring that the dog is ill; you could make every walk in the park as enjoyable an experience for both you and the dog.
Set the pace. Start slowly. Dogs will always be excited during their first time out. Dogs, especially when still untrained, gets easily distracted. It could be a squirrel, pigeons, other dogs, people, no matter; the dog’s attention has to be controlled.
During the initial walks outside, be mindful that the dog is naturally inclined to chase and play. It is often not recommendable to let the dog set the pace because more often than not, it is hard to keep up with them. The dog will pull and will try to run and just love to romp. It will exert pressure on the leash. This is the more reason why the dog will tire easy. Set the pace. A fifteen minutes walk will already be enough for the first time out.
This could be increased gradually but the dog should be allowed to rest whether it wants it or not. Another reason for this is because of the excitement, the dog will pull hard at the leash that could injure his neck. Even so, the dog will keep on tugging. When the dog is panting hard and the eyes are getting red, it is a sign that the dog is exerting too much pressure on his neck. Rest for a while. If the dog refuses, take him back to your yard to prevent injury.
On subsequent walks, if you notice that your dog gets very excited at the site of other dogs, cats, squirrels, rest, and sit for a while. Calm the dog down. When the dog has calmed, resume the walk. You may be doing this several times but eventually, the dog will catch on. When there is no place to sit, just stop walking. The dog will try to tug, get his attention and give the dog a treat or verbal assurances and resume walking.
If you have a particularly energetic pup like a boxer or a retriever, you may want to tire the pup first before introducing him outside. Highly energetic games, for example, a game of fetch, would be good to release extra energy, just do not play tug of war with the pup. Playing tug of war will teach your pup to compete with you. Introduce games where you are in control over the pups activities.
If you chose to adopt an energetic/athletic dog, chances are you are athletic as well and love the outdoors. If so, maintain a brisk pace once outside your yard with the puppy. This way, distractions are minimized and tugging at the leash will become less often.
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Sometimes, even with thorough planning, it is still hard to resist puppies with oversized paws and cute, button-like eyes or attractive full-grown dogs, for that matter. This is a natural response commonly observed among would-be owners at rescue homes and animal shelters.
A little planning can still go a long way when deciding which dog to adopt. Even if your previous plans are all but forgotten, remembering the tips below can still help you resist that overpowering desire to bring them all home.
Debate with yourself about your options. Ask yourself questions about whether you are ready to commit yourself to a particular dog. If you have doubts, even the slightest one, you should delay your decision. It is never a good idea to rely a lifetime commitment on a spur-of-the-moment decision.
Prior to going to the animal shelter, you have thought about the dog’s breed, dog’s size, the dog’s temperament, in fact even the color of the dog’s fur. Don’t forget these things when looking for the pet you would like to bring home. If you think you would easily fall for a dog, ask your wife, your brother, or a friend to tag along at the animal shelter. Get a second opinion. That never hurt.
A little time away from the dogs can help a great deal on deciding which dog to get. It is okay to sleep on your decision as this allows you sufficient time to evaluate your options. Only after you have thoroughly thought about your options should you decide. Otherwise, allow yourself more time to weigh your options.
For the sake of argument, let’s say you are relying on pure instinct to guide you to your dog, without prior plans. The dogs in the animal shelters, on the other hand, rely on their animal instincts to find their suitable owners. If this is the case for you, it is advisable to first test the dog.
Do this by allowing the potential dog to sniff you. Ignore it for a few minutes while observing its behavior. The ideal dog is not clingy to its owner. It is people oriented and sociable but it should not force you to pay all your attention to him. If the dog wanders away and goes back to you after a few minutes, it is a good sign that it is a well-behaved, independent dog. It recognizes its owner but does not demand so much from his master.
It is also not a bad idea to play with the dog. Dogs in stressful conditions don’t normally feel comfortable with petting. Usually, they are aggressive, shy, afraid or stressed. Test your would-be dog’s personality by playing around with it. A good response is often a good indication that a dog is comfortable around you.
Don’t be surprised if it is not playful though. It is enough that he tolerates being petted without showing apprehension.
Apart from using the above criteria, how else would you know which dog to adopt? Well, it always comes down to your best judgment. Your gut can tell you a lot about how your feeling and the connection you are receiving or not receiving. Go with your gut instincts.
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Adopting a dog does not end and begin with picking your future best friend at an animal shelter or a rescue group. It’s more than giving a homeless dog a home either. There are plenty of things that go into the adoption process, which could define your long-term relationship with the dog you want to adopt.
This is purely according to your preferences. Dog owners, in general, have their hearts set for a specific type of dog or a specific breed when planning to adopt. Some have their eyes on purebreds, others are comfortable taking home mutts or mixed breeds. There are many, however, who don’t have a particular idea of what dog to adopt.
As a guide, there should be at least three characteristics that you should look for in a dog. First, are the things that you want in the dog you are to adopt. Second, are the things that you want but can definitely live without. And finally, the unacceptable characteristics that you don’t want your future dog to have.
For would-be owners who want to be very specific with the type of dog they would adopt, the following characteristics could help with identifying the best dog that would match their preferences:
Breed: Purebred or mutt?
Size: Big, midsize, small, or little?
Activity level: High-energy or low-energy?
Grooming and maintenance: High-maintenance or low-maintenance?
Exercise needs: Plenty or not so much?
Age: Puppies, adult or senior?
You can do no wrong if you categorize the available dogs in the rescue homes or animal shelters under these criteria.
There are, in general, three places from where you can adopt a dog: from an animal shelter, from a breed-specific rescue group, and from a general rescue group. Animal shelters often serve as temporary shelters for dogs that were rescued from the streets. Rescue groups, meanwhile, house dogs in home-like settings where the dogs are observed and taken care of.
Research your prospective sources beforehand. Most of them have websites which can provide a great deal of information about their available dogs. Also, check their actual facilities. These should provide clean homes, safe environment and loving treatment for the dogs. If the facility seems suspicious, leave it and check out the next.
Although there are hundreds of dogs that need new homes, most organizations don’t just allow their dogs to leave their facilities without first requiring you to undergo the formal process of adoption.
The majority of rescue homes and animal shelters have policies that require you to apply for dog adoption. They do this to ensure that their dogs don’t end up in the wrong hands.
During the application process, ask for the fees you have to pay. Most organizations charge more or less $200 for their dogs. If they charge more, be suspicious.
Your long-term commitment to your new best friend begins once he steps into your door. The first few weeks after the adoption process is expected to be rough as the dog adjusts to his new environment. Once you have established a bond with the dog, you can gradually start training or preparing him for a life ahead that is shared with you. Your fur baby will share some beautiful memories with you each day you spend with him/her. Give your time to enjoy your new family member!
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There are very many reasons to love a dog. The dog is appreciative, patient with its owners, loyal and protective. Because of these, even the sternest of dog owner’s fall into the trap of pampering the dog sometimes unmindful of the effect of the temporary indulgence. Who would not? It is so difficult to refuse a dog giving you dog eyes when you are sitting at your table begging for man food. The charm though is easily lost once there are guests. It feels very nice to be welcomed by a dog with a furiously wagging tail, very excited at your coming home, jumping at you, or bolting out the door to meet you. It is embarrassing though when the dog does the same when there are other people around.
On occasions such as these, the owner will attempt at stopping the dog from continuing, but when the dog is not trained, all the dog hears from its owners is just another bark, an important bark maybe but incomprehensible.
It is also a natural instinct among us to not create “fences” among those we love but if the dog is allowed full run off the house, sooner, even those characteristics in a dog that charmed us will be an irritant. Obviously and for very practical reasons, the dog needs obedience training. Little coaching like sit, heel, stop, stay, and come, goes a long way in teaching your dog manners that are very useful in situations when you would want to communicate with the dog and be understood. The dog is also likely to respect the owner more if the owner is consistent and firm with what he wants the dog to do.
Setting limits on what the dog can and cannot do is of the dog’s nature. In fact, dogs enjoy hierarchy; it wants to know who the boss is. It is its tendency that is natural to dogs. Dogs trained in obedience are not only much more enjoyable as companions; dogs also are less likely to suffer and are loved more when it knows its limits.
While mans love affair with dogs is many centuries old, dogs originally were predators in the wild. Even though all these years these instincts are not totally shed. In the wild, dogs lived in packs. As such, there has always been an established hierarchy among them that were useful if they were to survive, and so dogs instinctively obey rules. If rules are not provided and the dog is allowed to do as it wants, it starts thinking that it is the alpha male and will become dominant because contrary to our beliefs, it does not see people as people but as members of the pack where he is a part or where he should lead.
Loyalty, sociability, protectiveness, gentleness with those that the dog is familiar with, fierceness to those it does not know and sometimes meanness when there is a perceived violation of territories are real to the dog that endears him to us but these traits are natural instincts practiced within the pack which by extension is given to humans.
Dog training then is very important if these traits are to be sharpened to our benefit.
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Just because thousands and thousands of pets are safely transferred from one destination to another via the airlines, it does not mean that dog owners are without responsible precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their family pet.
In fact, after reading through the following guidelines that should be taken before boarding your dog on a plane, you will realize just how important is.
Just because they are animals, it doesn’t mean that all dogs can easily cope with the experience of being locked up in a crate during an airplane ride. Every dog owner knows what his or her dog’s personality is like. Trust your gut instincts on whether or not you think your dog can handle the flight. If it doesn’t feel right, then your instincts are trying to tell you something about your dog’s separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is a real condition that should not be overlooked. It is estimated that almost 20% of all dogs suffer at some level from separation anxiety. These personality types make very poor candidates for airplane travel. Such dogs should not be left alone and when their condition reaches elevated levels, it is not uncommon for a dog to literally chew through a metal cage in the attempt of trying to escape, causing severe injuries that can cause the dog to bleed to death.
As mentioned above, it is never acceptable to force your dog to experience flying if he is deemed to have separation anxiety problems. However, there is always the possibility that you can condition him to fly without having any problems.
This can be accomplished by getting your dog accustomed to the travel carrier that he will be flying in. Simply have one located in your house and keep your dog inside as often as possible. This can be done during meals, sleep time, and while driving around in the car. Eventually, he will be totally comfortable inside the crate and this will aid in making the dog feel more secure during the plane ride.
One of our previous tips for dog owners and air travel was to only select direct flights. Many times, passengers and their luggage may have to transfer to two or more different airplanes before reaching their final destination. It is during these times when some dogs become lost, never to be found again. They accidentally get transferred to the wrong airplane and never make it back to the owner.
To minimize the chances of your dog not making its way back to you, the best thing you can do is ensure proper identification. Have a permanent ID securely attached to your pet that has your phone number, home address, and any contact information about the place you are traveling to. Microchips and tattoos are also options that can be taken. They may seem extreme but when it comes to your dog and the possibility of him getting lost during air travel, it’s definitely worth it, wouldn’t you agree?
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You may want to check out the Guide to Flying With Pets. It provides the most updated information on pet travel restrictions for every airline, including emotional support and service animals.
This guide provides helpful information on every aspect of pet travel, such as:
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A recent poll taken by the American Pet Products Manufacturers (APPMA) revealed that almost 50% of those surveyed regularly take their dog with them when they travel in the car. But the bad news is that almost all of them failed to safely ‘buckle up’ their dogs to prevent the animal from being injured in case there was an accident.
It’s difficult to say why so many loving dog owners take such a nonchalant attitude towards safety when traveling with their canine companions. However, it’s never too late to change your habits. So along with ensuring that your dog stays in one piece in the event of a crash, there are additional safety tips that can help keep him alive and well to enjoy the ride.
Every dog enjoys being able to run loose inside of a moving vehicle, but it’s not a smart choice for you to allow this to happen. Should an accident occur he could be thrown through the windshield and cut up into a million pieces. And any dog that is naturally over-excited could jump on your lap and make you lose control of the steering wheel.
The easiest solution to this problem is to purchase a dog seat belt. These products are very comfortable for your pet and allow the animal to lie down, sit, and change positions if necessary. And should an accident occur, the dog seat belt will prevent him from being injured. They also come in various styles and sizes to fit any breed.
If you have to wait for your dog seat belt to be delivered, and you would like an alternative option, you can also buckle up your dog in the back seat by using the middle seat belt. Simply fasten it up and loop your dog’s leash through it. Just be sure he is comfortable enough and that the leash is attached to a harness and not a collar, as this could choke him.
Living near a dog park, I see at least a dozen people drive by with their dog’s head excitedly poking out of the window, not to mention dogs being allowed to walk around the bed of a moving truck. While this may seem suitable, it is also quite dangerous.
Just because your dog loves having the wind in his face that does not mean that it is responsible or safe for you to permit this. Flying debris, dust, and rocks have been known to blind dogs and cause severe trauma to the skull. Infections often occur as well. And of course, the worst case scenario is that your dog could jump out, getting smashed by a vehicle behind you in traffic.
All you have to do is keep your pet inside of the vehicle at all times while moving. If the temperature is hot, simply turn the air conditioning on. You may also crack the windows a bit to help with more airflow, but only several inches. A window shade is another good idea to help keep your dog cool.
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When youíre planning your next family trip, everyone is likely to be thrilled and will have more fun if you take the family dog along. Whether you are planning to travel by car, plane, train, or ship, in hot or cold weather – traveling with your dog doesn’t have to be difficult for you or your canine pal if you follow these simple pet travel tips:
1. Are you traveling outside of your home state or to another country? Make sure that you obtain an up-to-date canine travel document from the places you plan to visit. Most states and foreign countries require a health certificate from your vet including a statement that your dog has had his rabies shot. If you are going out of the country, you will also need these papers from a vet to get him back into the United States. And find out early about quarantine rules.
2. Advanced training in car etiquette will keep your dog safer, which means more pleasant traveling experiences for you and the other passengers on any car trip you take. It’s best to start him out on short drives, if possible when he is still a puppy. Hold him on your lap or on the seat beside you to give him confidence. Right from the start, do not permit leaping in the car or any chance of jostling the driver. Helping your dog get accustomed to the sensation of motion in short stages will help greatly in preventing car sickness.
3. Your dog should have on his collar, a license tag, and identification plate which gives his full name, address, and contact number of a trusted person in case your pet is lost. However, you should take precautions against his straying and keep him on a leash in strange areas. Never let him run loose without supervision, regardless of how well-behaved and well-trained he is. Do not leave him alone in a hotel or motel room, it is easy for a room attendant to open a door and accidentally let your dog out.
4. Your dog will feel more at home, while in strange places if you take along some familiar items like his favorite toy, his own grooming supplies, and feeding bowl. A small kit or suitcase for carrying these supplies is a great idea. A large plastic container is useful for carrying drinking water. He will also appreciate his own dog bed or blanket when you stay in a motel or hotel (and you can bet the proprietor will be grateful too).
5. Feeding while traveling doesn’t have to be a problem these days. Purchase soft-moist dog food, which is ideal for the traveling dog, since these foods do not require refrigeration and are easy to take along and serve. With his favorite food along, it will be easier for your dog to become used to the routine of traveling.
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Do you need a harness to help you travel in a car with your dog? Check out this cute zebra harness