Tag Archives: collar

A Step by Step Tutorial to Leash Training


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We’ve all seen those dogs. The ones who zigzag every which way on their walks. The ones who mark on every tree. The ones who drag their owners down the street. It begs the question: Who is walking who anyway?

Prevent these unfortunately common situations from becoming your situation by leash training as soon as you’re able to take your puppy for walks. While it may seem simple (hook leash to collar and walk, right?), you’ll soon find that walking in a straight line at a normal pace is not a natural habit for your active puppy.

By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to walking your pawfect pooch down the street with ease and confidence.

1. Choose the Right Leash and Collar
Make sure the collar is the perfect fit by asking for professional help with sizing. It’s important that it’s not too tight nor too loose. A good guideline is to be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your pup’s skin. You may want to consider a harness instead of a collar to avoid neck strain from leash pulling. A harness is a good option for dogs with short snouts like Pugs or breeds with elongated, slender necks like Greyhounds.

As far as leashes go, there are a variety of materials and lengths available, so to make the right decision, you’ll want to test them out at the pet store with your dog present. A few things to consider – nylon leashes (which are the most common) may cause “leash burn” if you have a strong dog that pulls suddenly. Leather leashes are stronger, provide a natural give, and will soften with time. Chain leashes, which are an inexpensive choice, can be dangerous if a strong dog pulls and the leash is wrapped around your finger. Retractable or “flexi” leashes are designed to give dogs more freedom, but can be dangerous for a puppy as they provide the owner with much less control. “Reeling in” your pooch fast enough in an emergency is a challenge. Plus, the instinct of pulling the leash when your dog does something wrong could give you a severe rope burn if you were to grab that thin cord. We strongly advise against a retractable leash for a puppy in leash training.

The length of the lead is also a factor to consider when choosing the right leash for you. If you live in the city, a 4-foot might be long enough to allow your dog to do his business while keeping him close to your side. If you live in a suburban setting and have a bit more space to walk, you may want to choose a 6-foot lead.

2. Introduce The Collar and Leash
Slip the collar and leash on your pup while he’s doing something positive such as feeding, playing or getting pet. This way, the puppy associates the collar and leash with positive activity. If the dog resists, use treats or toys as incentive to getting him to feel more comfortable.

3. Take Your First Walk…Inside
Guide your puppy around your home so he gets used to you leading him around without all of the new smells and distractions of the outdoors. If you have a backyard, use that space as an opportunity to walk your pup outside to the spot where you want him to do, as opposed to letting him have run of the yard.

4. Teach to Follow
Getting your dog to heel is a gradual process so don’t expect it to happen quickly. Technically, the “heel” position is for your pup to walk along your left side at knee level. This is a bit ambitious and unnecessary for rudimentary leash training, so don’t worry so much about positioning as keeping your pup at a safe, comfortable distance. Hold the leash with a firm grip and double up any extra slack so it doesn’t drag on the ground. Make sure you have treats at the ready in your pocket to reward whenever your pup listens to you.

Once puppy is focused on the reward, say a simple command like “Let’s go!” – make sure it’s something you’ll remember to use consistently. Once he follows, give him a treat. You could bring it as close to right under his nose to get his attention. Continue to repeat this process in order to lure him into the pace and direction you want to him to go in.Once he’s performed this exercise several times well, offer the treats less and more intermittently.

If your dog pulls, quickly turn and walk in the opposite direction. You’ll do some stop-and-start at first, but eventually he’ll become accustomed to the rules. Reinforce the distance and pace you want him to keep by continuing to reward with praise and treats when he does follow. Some dogs may decide to sit or lay down rather than move. If this happens, call your pup and offer him a reward once he comes over. Never yank the leash toward you. Once he decides to walk next to you, offer him a treat.

5. Slowly Add More Depth to Your Training
Once your dog is walking well on a leash alongside you, you can work on other techniques such as “sit” whenever you stop, introducing the “heel” command, and increasing the number of distractions in the surrounding area. If you’ve been practicing on a quiet cul-de-sac, try taking him to a park or busy street.

The Hottest Eco-Friendly Pup Products: A Green Gift Guide


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Making an environmental difference for the planet may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, but even the smallest of conservationist efforts is worthwhile in helping the greater cause. And some of those changes can be made at the pet store aisle alone! By simply being aware of what products you are buying for your pup and choosing items with environmentally-friendly ingredients or materials, you’ll not only be doing your part, but you’ll feel better about spoiling your puppy. In celebration of Earth Day, here’s our curated guide to some favorite planet-friendly pooch goodies.

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Image from mollymutt.com

Beds
Molly Mutt is a fashionable dog bed brand that has redesigned traditional dog beds to be sustainable as well as high-quality. Their duvet covers are meant to be stuffed with old textiles provided by you, which eliminates 100% of the energy and gas emissions associated with other doggie bedding. Bonus – Molly Mutt is affordable too, with most of their products priced at under $50. Check out their adorable beds, crate covers and accessories!

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Image from cycledog.com

Collars & Leashes
Cycle Dog is another company dedicated to producing “earth-friendly” pet products. Made with post-consumer recycled materials, Cycle Dog products include collars, leashes, toys, beds, treats, and travel bowls. Take a look at their large assortment of “eco-weave” webbed collars and leashes. They come in many fun colors and patterns, and are all priced at $25 and less!

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Image from earthrated.com

Poop Bags
While picking up your dog’s poop is a less glamorous side of pet ownership, it’s essential, so why not do it guilt free?  Amazon has an excellent earth-friendly waste bag selection, including these Flush Puppies Doodie Bags ($8.22 for a pack of 60 bags, which are flushable and certified compostable!) Prefer a more traditional waste bag? Try these Earth Rated Poop Bags ($11.99 for 270 bags) – they’re made from recycled plastic, are completely leak-proof, and even smell like lavender!

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Image from thegreenpetshop.com

Training Pads
Another not-so-attractive part of the job – but this is another dog product essential where you can really make an environmental impact. When you first bring a puppy home, a lot of time is spent on potty training. Training pads can make the process easier (and less messy!). The Green Pet Shop sells eco-friendly pads made of bamboo ($24.99 for 50), and Amazon carries these Eco-Care Training Pads ($12.48 for 50), so you can reduce waste, while picking up waste!

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Image from becopet.com

Toys
These toys by West Paw Design are adorable, soft, and made from organic hemp and recycled polyester ($15-$20). Looking for something more durable? Cycle Dog (mentioned above) makes durable rubber toys out of post-consumer recycled materials (all $10-$15). The Becoball by Beco Pet ($11.13) is another strong eco-friendly toy made from rice husk rubber with a hollow design perfect for hiding treats, not to mention it’s vanilla scented!

Remember, these products are just a small sampling of green pup products available, so this Earth Day, do some digging to find the best goodies for you and your furry friend. Then give yourself (and Fido) a “round of a paws” for making a valuable contribution to preserving planet Earth!

 

 

 

Where's Fido? Prevent Your Pup Going Missing


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A missing pup can wreak havoc on a family – the feelings of worry, guilt and panic all rolled into one.  Not to mention that a lost pup is at risk for injury, sickness or worse, death. To prevent your dog from getting lost, you should take all necessary measures to protect his safety.

Yet, even with the best precautions in place, sometimes bad things happen to good, responsible people.  There is always a chance of your pup getting away and therefore it’s important to know what to do in an emergency to increase the chances of finding your dog right away.

Keep Puppy’s ID Current

Make sure your puppy’s collar and tag is updated with all of your information on it. Even “indoors-only” pets must be equipped with ID tag which includes owner’s name, home address, mobile and home telephone numbers.

Microchip Your Puppy

The microchip embedding procedure may be costly, but it’ll be worth every cent you spend in the unfortunate case your dog goes missing. A microchip, smaller than the size of a grain of rice, is a permanent means of identification scannable by any veterinary hospital or animal shelter.

Do a Critical Search

Conduct a thorough investigation when looking for your missing pet. You may ask questions of the people who last saw your pet, take note of all the pertinent details and analyze the events to draw the most logical conclusions.

Make the Necessary Phone Calls

Call any family and all neighbors who may have come into recent contact with your dog. You should also call down your list of local shelters (both private and municipal), animal control centers or rescue groups to find out which dogs they recently took under custody and see if any are a match for your pup. It doesn’t hurt to also phone the local law enforcement and file a police report that your dog is missing.

Inform the Most Number of People

In this day and age, getting the word out about your lost pet can take just a few seconds of your time. Gone are the days of having to rely solely on creating “Missing Pet posters” and posting them to trees and lampposts within your neighborhood (although this tried and true method is still your best bet of communication given the fact that your neighbors are the most likely to have seen your dog). Now, you can post on your social media accounts and drive awareness via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat instantly to your entire social network so they too can keep their eyes peeled for Fido. It also doesn’t hurt to create a unique hashtag for your pet to help track any community-related posts (think #FindDaisyMae).

About Those Missing Pet Posters…

thumbnail-prevent-missingMake sure the headline of your poster, e.g., “LOST DOG” is written or typed in a large, clear font that’s readable even from a distance. Ideally, place your pet’s most recent photograph below the “LOST DOG” headline. List other details that are necessary for positively identifying your pet such as breed, color, sex, weight, age, and other distinguishing features and characteristics. Also, do not forget to place your name and phone number on the poster. Hit the Streets with the flyers in hand and post as soon as possible, not only in your neighborhood but also in local parks and runs, pet supply or grooming stores, offices of veterinarians and local establishments like schools, gas stations, laundry shops, bus stops, restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, and even grocery stores. Pay special attention to areas with high levels of foot traffic.

Stay Positive

And remember, while this can be an extremely stressful time, keep your mind focused on finding your dog. Try to avoid the “What Ifs,” and allocate all of your energy to taking the necessary steps above. Don’t lose hope and when you do find your dog, hug him tight and keep him on a tight leash (pun intended).