Posted on Oct 26, 2011 in Crate Training, Fun, Positive Association, Puppy, Separation Anxiety | 0 comments

Many of you have asked me about interactive toys to help keep your dog busy when left alone.

Below are some of the toys I use to create positive associations for many dogs in many different ways.  For example, when I leave I often say “Kong Time” and leave each dog with a stuffed toy. The sound of a delivery truck is often another “kong time” as I want my dogs to be excited not fearful when this sound occurs.

If I am training a foster dog to use a crate, I only feed them using these toys, and, again, happily say “crate,” and toss a yummy toy or two in the crate so the dog associates it with something good!

These are simply a few ideas to help enrich your dogs life.

Premier Tumble Ball, assorted Kongs, Everlasting Toys, Squirrel Dude, Planet Dog, Rip and Tug.

To get started be sure to make the toy easy for your dog to receive a reward, otherwise they will lose interest.  The balls are great for beginners using dry kibble mixed with a few treats.
For the experienced dog, pack the Kong with a variety of goodies!  For example, begin with a bit of peanut Butter, next add some raw meat or pieces of hotdog or cheese, followed by some kibble, dry treats, and repeat the process!  It is like a party every time as your dog works hard to get to his favorite goodie!  Be sure to use a cue like “kong time”, your dog will begin to salivate rather than pant when you are leaving!

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Conference Day 3 – Canine Scent Classes

Posted on Oct 15, 2011 in Crate Training, Fun, Puppy, Reactive | 0 comments

Scent work is an easy class that any dog can enjoy, all you need is your dog and his nose! Yes, I mean any dog, this is the perfect class for reactive dogs, shelter dogs, rescue dogs, dogs young and old can learn to use their nose and be rewarded for it!

This is a wonderful enrichment activity, is easy for both handler and dog, and exciting to watch!

Expect this class to be implemented this winter, perfect timing for some indoor fun!

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Socialization improves body language skills

Posted on Oct 5, 2011 in Crate Training, Socialization, Training | 0 comments

Puff the samoyed and Lilly the springer

When Puff reached the toy first, Lilly politely looked away, avoiding any type of conflict.  This shows she has good manners and has no bullying behaviors with other dogs.  Puff also let other pups win the toys in class and played nicely when approached.

If a pup always wins, they get use to winning and may become rude about this particular behavior.  What will happen when your pup tries to take a toy or ball out of another dogs mouth?  Depending on the temperament of the other dog, your pup may get a reprimand.  
Teaching your pup good doggie skills requires plenty of positive socialization experiences, feedback on good impulse control, and interactions with other polite dogs.  
For a positive socialization experience, consider joining our Puppy Socialization Class at Tender Touch Veterinary Hospital.  Please check out our class schedule!
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Pinch or Choke

Posted on Sep 14, 2011 in Crate Training, Puppy, Safety, Training | 0 comments

Because September is Safety month, I wanted to talk a little bit about these controversial collars.

pinch collar

Do you know which one is actually more dangerous?  While the Pinch collar looks barbaric with its long spikes, it will not choke a dog to the point of death.  On the other hand, the old fashion choke collar is very dangerous and most anyone you talk to in the dog community will confirm this.  I am not advocating either, but want to clarify that one is seriously more dangerous than the other.

choke chain

Unfortunately, most dog enthusiasts have heard about or sadly experienced a tragedy involving a dog while wearing a choke collar.  Certainly no one plans for a dog to choke, however, due to the continued use of choke collars, tragedies do occur.  If you own a choke chain, please toss it out TODAY, before your best friend suffers an unexpected accident.

Not convinced?  These collars can easily get caught on crates, fences, wooden gates, bed frames, chairs, drawer handles, window cranks, dishwasher handles, car door handles, car locks, tree branches, roots, other dogs collars, and many more unexpected items.  So, please never put a choke collar around your dogs neck again.

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Code Green!

Posted on Sep 9, 2011 in Crate Training, Positive Association | 0 comments

While reading a book in the hospital waiting room last week, I heard these words spoken loudly over the speaker, CODE GREEN, CODE GREEN!  Startled, I immediately looked at the staff workers all busy behind the check-in counter.  Not one of them looked up, moved or even flinched.  It was as though they heard nothing.  Ok, if they are not worried, nor will I.  I took a deep breath and realized my heart was pounding having been startled, I soon relaxed and went back to my reading.  

What if your dog is the one to hear something scary and bark, and they move to the window or door and look back at you?  If you like this behavior, then great, get up and say?  “Who is hear?”  However if you know it is the neighbor that arrives home precisely the same time every day and you prefer your dog not tell you each day.  Then help him understand this by not reacting.  In fact, you can ignore her/him.
Even a look is rewarding, so just continue doing what you were, with no reaction.  Your dog will read your energy as calm and be calm also.  Unless, you have been rewarding this behavior for some time.  Then you will see your dog’s behavior become more intense for a while as they are use to getting a response from you.  After a period of time, with you ignoring the alarm bark, your dog will give up and will no longer bark at this particular sound.  The term is called Extinction Burst, which means the dog will eventually give up if not receiving any reward or attention.
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Puppy Classes Thursday’s at 5:00 Tender Touch

Posted on May 31, 2011 in Crate Training, Puppy | 0 comments

Puppy Class

It all starts here. The most important class you can take with your pet.

For puppies 8 weeks-5 months
Start your new pup on the path to becoming a well mannered dog. Early socialization and training play a major role in the rest of your dogs life.   This class combines basic manners training as well as playtime.

Class Topics include: Sit • Down • Come • Stay • Bite Inhibition* Greeting Politely • Common Puppy Issues * Leash Basics
Join us on Thursday’s at 5:00 pm TTVH, for a fun Play session and help educate your dog on how to interact with other dogs.
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