Tag Archives: Greyhound

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.

Big or Small? Choosing a Dog Breed Based on Size


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When it comes to deciding what kind of puppy to add to the family, size is a factor that should be considered. The difference between big and small dog breeds is for some, the difference between two completely different dogs. They’re not only different physically, but many argue that big dogs and small dogs have different personalities, too. Below are some things to keep in mind in order to make an informed decision about which size dog is right for you.

Space
The size of your home should be a deciding factor in what size dog you should choose to live in it. While small dogs can do well in both apartments and houses, a large dog may not thrive as well in small living spaces due to its energy level and exercise needs. Some big dogs, like Great Danes and Greyhounds, can manage in an apartment because of their lower energy levels, but as you are probably already aware, some buildings do not allow tenants to have larger dogs, no matter the personality. And even if you have a house with a large yard, a big dog will still have to be taken out to get plenty of exercise to fulfill its physical needs. If you’re someone who loves the outdoors and lives an active lifestyle, then a big dog could be the right fit for you.

Training and Behavioral Issues
When it comes to training, bigger dog breeds are generally more open to taking to direction, while things like house-training tend to be harder to teach smaller dogs. Smaller dogs are also known to have more behavioral issues and excitable demeanors. There’s a name for it—small dog syndrome—which is characterized by a small dog that acts much bigger than its size, including yapping, barking, and intimidating dogs much larger than itself. According to Psychology Today, this might be due in part to the way owners treat their small dogs as compared to big dogs. However, while big dogs may be more obedient, the physical aspects of training a big dog, such as retraining the dog from getting into something he shouldn’t or catching him when he runs away, can be more difficult.

Cost
It takes more to maintain a big dog than it does a small one. While some fashionable small dogs such as Pomeranians carry a large price tag, big dogs can be more expensive in the long run because of their additional needs. Because they eat considerably more than small dogs with lower exercise needs, big dogs necessitate greater spending on food, which is one of the biggest dog-related expenses. In addition, groomers typically charge more to take bigger dogs, but the frequency of needed visits of course depends on your dog’s coat type.

Lifespan
Small dogs have a longer lifespan than big dogs. Since large dogs age faster though, they will also be more mature for the duration of time you have them. With a small dog, you might have a puppy-acting adult on your hands for quite a few years.

There are some exceptions to these generalizations. For example, toy and miniature Poodles are small dogs with calm, even temperaments and are highly trainable, while Siberian Huskies are often difficult for a pup-parent beginner to control. Despite these characterizations, personalities differ from one dog to another, so training is key to ensure you make the best out of whichever size dog you choose.

5 Holiday Gifts for Fido


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The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner! This year, why not stuff Santa’s stockings with your favorite furry friends in mind? Whether looking for a gift for a friend’s dog or your own precious pup, here are 5 gifts that will be sure to fill any dog with holiday cheer!

1. Festive Sweater

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Source: puppykisses.com


What better way to show your holiday spirit than with a festive “ugly Christmas sweater?” With a sweater like this, your pooch will fit right in with the family while also staying warm and cozy. This makes an especially great gift for more cold-prone pups like Chihuahuas, Greyhounds and Doberman Pinschers. This page has lots of cute sweater options to choose from.

2. Christmas Collar

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If sweaters aren’t your thing, a statement collar is a quick and easy way for your pup to celebrate the holidays in style. Go all out with a colorful, ruffled collar, or keep it simple with a basic red or green piece. You can even buy one that lights up!

3. Sweet Treats

Image from drsfostersmith.com
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For those of us who favor gifts of the edible variety, there are plenty of holiday-themed dog treats out there that will have your pup howling with gratitude.

4. Spirited Toy

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Other than food, it’s no surprise that playtime will be one of your pup’s favorite gifts. Put him in the spirit with a squeaky reindeer , snowman plush or stuffed dreidel toy , like the one above.

5. Get Personal

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If your dog loves to claim what’s his, a custom gift with his name on it might be just what he needs. Get him a personalized food bowl, decked-out dog tag or custom bedding to show him how much you care. Find more examples of custom gifts to spoil your furry friend with here.