Saturday, December 24, 2011

Smith & Foster Dog Products

Foster & Smith, Inc. is one of the largest pet supply companies in the world. Drs. Foster and Smith's online and print catalogs feature detailed product information and how-to guides. The company maintains, a resource for any pet owner who is seeking information. Foster & Smith stocks more than 20,000 different products. The company's private label cat and dog foods were formulated by in-house veterinarians. They have two large pet product catalogs with its main cat and dog book having the widest reach, and its bird, fish, reptile, and small pet catalog ranking second.

Useful links:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dog Separation Anxiety Cures...What You Can Do Right Now To Help Your Dog With Separation Anxiety

Dog Separation Anxiety Cures...What You Can Do Right Now To Help Your Dog With Separation Anxiety Author: Home Dog TrainingShirley Hayes

Dog separation anxiety is so common among dogs that a lot of dog owners dismiss the behavior. Thinking it's just their dogs personality and will grow out of it.

Unfortunately, unless you work with your dog to help him/her with this panic disorder your dog will not just "grow out of it."

Your dog will get progressively worse. Some cases when left unchecked can require medication or the expense of a dog behaviorist.

When you suspect your dog is suffering from dog separation is a simple technique you can use to help your dog deal with his/her anxiety issues.


A dog that is completely run down won't have time to deal with his/her own anxiety issue. Your dog will be to tired to even think about it.

Dogs need a lot of exercise. Most dog owners think the few times they take their dog out for that 15-20 minutes bathroom walk is exercise enough.

Dogs have a lot of energy. If they do not get enough daily exercise...that energy builds up. If they don't get the opportunity to burn off that energy they will get frustrated and engage in destructive behavior. Chewing up your favorite shoes, digging holes where there should not be even ignoring you when called.

Not getting enough exercise can make their separation anxiety even more stressful.

If you're going to be away from your dog for an extended period of time you will need to schedule exercise before you leave for the day. Plan on getting up early enough to give your dog exercise for at least an hour. If time is an issue a minium of 15-20 minutes. If you run for exercise in the mornings...try allowing your dog to run with you. It's great exercise for him/her and it's great bonding time for the both of you.

The point is the more you can tire your dog out...the better behaved your dog will be.

Here are some other ways for your dog to get his daily exercise.

Dog Day Care
If you can afford the day care provide lots of exercise and socialization for dogs. Running jumping and playing all day takes care of all of that pent up energy. It can be very expensive so be sure it is something you can afford.

Dog Parks
I am not a big fan of dog parks but they exist and a lot of people take their dogs. If you decide to do so be aware that most are not staffed. You will have to rely on other dog owners to manage their own dogs. Sadly many do not. Proceed with caution.

Backyard Fun
If you have large backyard try setting up regular vigorous play time. A game of fetch can blow off some energy. Many pet stores sell agility sets. Use them teach your dog jumping and running tricks. (Make sure your dog is old enough for agility training first ...check with your vet to be sure your dog is physically developed enough to participate)

If you're going to be away from your dog for more than 4 hours at a time...consider hiring a professional dog walker to give your dog a walk in your absence.

About the Author

If you think your dog may be suffering from my interview with a noted expert on dog separation anxiety. Author Chad Thompson.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dog Aggression: How to Recognize & Respond

Dog Aggression: How to Recognize & Respond By Julie Butts

Many dog owners are bewildered when they hear their dog growl, bark, or take an aggressive stance. Unfortunately, many of these animals end up in shelters because the owners could no longer live with the dog. Would you give up on your child that easily?

Of course not! When a baby is brought home to his new family, everyone understands that the baby is learning your language and teaching you his. We begin to understand our child?s cry or garbled sounds because we focus on trying to understand him.

Your dog has his own language as well. Understanding dog aggression and your dog?s language will help prevent undesirable behavior and dog bites. Let?s begin our understanding of dog aggression with the acronym DOG BITES:


Dominant aggression is also known as competitive aggression. It is brought on when one dog feels challenged for his social position by another dog (or human). Dogs are pack animals. Social order helps feed and protect the pack.

The dog with the highest social order is called the ?alpha? dog. The alpha dog gets all the perks such as eating whatever he wants, sleeping wherever he wants, and dictating to the others in the pack. He decides when the others get to eat and sleep.

Even owners of a single dog may observe dominant aggression since the dog sees the owner as a member of his pack. An example of this type of aggression is demonstrated by the dog who lays on a favorite chair and growls at the owner when told to get down.

The aggression is a challenge for social position and dibs for the seating arrangement. How the owner reacts to the challenge determines whether the dog becomes more aggressive or submissive in the situation.
Here's a less obvious challenge to an owner's dominance in the pack?

You are sitting in the living room watching television. Your dog comes up to you and slides his head under your hand. You think your dog is adorable and wants your attention, so you pet him as requested.

Here is the punch line to this situation. Petting is similar to licking. Submissive, less dominant dogs in the pack lick the more dominant dogs. In other words, you were challenged and responded with an ok to be the submissive of the challenge.

Petting (or licking) behavior does not always signify submissiveness. There are other situations when dogs lick, but we will not pursue that topic here. What we will offer here is a suggestion on how to respond to the situation above.

Gently cup your hand over your dog?s muzzle. Rub behind his ears with a little pressure. These actions closely resemble social order biting. Dominant dogs bite the ears, nose, and neck areas of less dominant dogs to keep them in line. Just watch a mother dog with a litter of pups! You?ll see the behavior right away.

Opportunity aggression is aggression that is intended for another dog or person; however, it is redirected to a closer dog or person because the opportunity to attack is better. An example of this type of aggression is demonstrated when trying to break up two fighting dogs. Sometimes, the person breaking up the fight gets bit.

Caution is the best approach to take with opportunity or redirected aggression. If a dog is agitated, it is better to maintain a safe distance until the dog feels less vulnerable and relaxes.

Game aggression is predatory in nature. A dog will chase anything that moves away from it. The dog is a natural hunter of small game. When something runs from a dog, the dog?s chase, hunt, capture, and kill instinct takes over.

A human cannot out run a dog. If a dog attacks, the best course of action is to lie down and play dead. This action is a submissive move.

You have probably seen a dog lie down and bear his vulnerable belly to a more dominant dog. He is communicating to the more dominant dog that he is not a threat to the more dominant dog.

Boy/girl aggression is all about the hormones! This type of aggression is also known as sexual aggression.

The male dog protects his female from other dogs and potential threats to his progeny.

Female dogs, however, also display this sexual aggression when they are pregnant, nursing, or in heat. Even the most docile female may growl or attempt to bite anyone who dares to pick up one of her pups too soon!

Sexual aggression is reduced through spaying and neutering. Most veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering your dog during the 6-12 months of age.

Injury aggression is aggression brought on by injury or pain. You might easily see this type of aggression in a dog that has been hit by a car or one who is suffering from age-induced arthritis.

Injury or pain aggression is best handled by seeking medical care for the dog. Try not to touch the painful areas unless absolutely necessary for therapy or to get your dog to safety. Diet, activity, medications, and bedding may help alleviate the pain and therefore, the aggressive behavior.

Territorial aggression is aggression displayed to protect the pack?s territory. The dog?s territory may be
much different from your thoughts of the house and backyard. Indeed, if you take him on any walks, he may even consider the whole neighborhood his territory!

When a dog is in a new environment, he may be ?territorial? because he isn?t sure of his surroundings. This is why a dog that is boarded may be ?cage aggressive.? The dog is protecting the small territory of the cage from intruders.

When this is the case, let the dog have his space. He is stressed out and will feel protected in his own area.
Territorial aggression may also be used to protect the pack from perceived external threats. A protective dog is one that shows aggression toward other animals or people when he perceives a threat to his owner or other members of the pack.

A dog may also show territorial aggression with possessions. He will protect anything that he perceives as his. This includes food, bedding, toys, affection, and anything else that is part of his world.
Escape aggression is also called fear aggression. A dog that is afraid will often shake. The ears will probably be all the way back on the head and the tail will be low. He feels powerless and puts up a fight because he feels trapped like he has no where to escape.

This type of aggression may also be brought on by the fear of punishment. Imagine someone standing much taller than you with his hand raised above his head. Is he going to hit me?

Walking straight toward a dog, giving direct eye contact, or makig sudden movements can trigger fear aggression. Always move slowly around dogs that are afraid. Never give direct eye contact or move right towards a fearful dog.

About the Author: Julie Butts is a Kennel Manager and author of, an online guide for selecting, owning, and raising a small breed dog. Her website is dedicated to small breed dog lovers and includes information on breeds, training, behavior, grooming, supplies, books, gifts, and more.

Read more about dog behavior and dog aggression.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How to Prepare Your Dog for Your Newborn Baby

How to Prepare Your Dog for Your Newborn Baby By Mandy Makein

If you are like much of the population, your four-legged friend is your first "baby." Many people worry needlessly about how their dog will handle a baby in their life. Many owners think of getting rid of the family pets because of fears that they will harm the baby. Please do not do this unless there is no other option. Most dogs, when treated and trained properly, can handle life with a newborn very well.

Children and pets make wonderful companions when raised properly together and taught how to behave with each other. Children that grow up in a home with pets learn respect and love for animals, and more importantly, respect for life. As the children grow older they can learn responsibility by helping to care for the animals. Animals enrich our and our children's lives beyond belief.

Having a baby can cause problems for both humans and dogs, as the dog tends to be treated differently, and because of this, may act differently. Some owners baby the dog more, causing the dog to become spoiled and hard to handle. Other owners get over-stressed and punish the dog for normal, curious behavior toward the baby. Often our pets are the center of our world, our "babies" if you would, and can get "jealous" if not equipped to handle losing that status to the new baby. If you are willing to make the time and effort to prepare your pets for the new arrival, everyone can live in harmony.

Sometimes the dogs become overprotective of the baby. Many owners enjoy and even prefer the dog being a guard for the baby. While it is normal for the dog to become protective of the baby, it is dangerous for the dog to become overprotective and not let anyone near the baby. All of the above scenarios can lead to the dog being kicked out of the house!

As you are making preparations to bring home baby, you need to prepare your dog(s) for the same in advance if possible. While most dogs will be very gentle with the baby, many dogs do not see babies as humans because of their size, smell, and the strange noises they make. By taking the time to give your dog some extra love and attention he should be fine and not turn to bad behavior to get your attention. 

You need to prepare and educate your dog for what lies ahead. This will ensure that they are ready and willing to accept the new family member with open and loving paws.

Using calming remedies (herbs, aromatherapy, oils) and or prescription medications are also an option to help facilitate a better behaved dog. You can talk to your veterinarian to inquire about these products and the implications associated with their use. I am a believer in the holistic approach whenever possible, instead of using drugs.

Please, please always be aware that your dog is an animal and animals can bite or do harm to a baby, intentionally or unintentionally. No matter how well-behaved or loving your dog is NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG ALONE WITH YOUR BABY! I cannot stress this enough. Accidents can happen. You do not want to harm your baby or have to get rid of your dog because of an unfortunate, and possibly avoidable, incident.

If you are unsure that your dog will accept your new baby, please seek the advice of a professional trainer or behaviorist before making any decisions.

Believe it or not, your behavior with, and toward your dog matters. It can make or break your dog's acceptance of and respect for your baby. If you act like a leader, you will be treated like a leader. You want your dog to respect every human being in your household, including your baby. You must teach your dog respect for the baby. This will make life easier for all those involved.

Be firm but fair-

Do not let your dog get away with things, but don't be a drill sergeant either! Try to make any corrections as gentle as possible, but make sure they are effective. Try to have fun with your dog and the training - you both need to enjoy it or neither one will want to continue!

Your tone of voice matters-

DO NOT YELL at your dog! Convey the meaning of the command through the tone of voice - match your voice to what you are telling your dog. Commands should be short and succinct, in a low, almost growling voice. Your voice should not get higher as you give the command. Do not sing to your dog or ask the dog a question! You will not get the answer you want! When giving praise, sound like you mean it! It should be the opposite of a command - higher pitched and enthusiastic. If your dog gets overly excited when you praise him, tone it down a bit and speak softly. Your dog will still understand that he is doing a good job, but he will be less likely to jump around and be crazy.

Be calm and assertive-

Our dogs feed off of our energies and emotions. This affects their behaviors and reactions. If we are relaxed and confident, our dogs will feel the same, and know that we are LEADING them, and they do not have to lead us.

Use a crate-

If your dog does not already use a crate, now is the time to start. A crate is not cruel, it can actually be a wonderful and safe place for your dog. Confining your dog at certain times, such as for sleep or times when you cannot supervise, is no different than putting your baby in its crib for the same. It is actually very easy to teach your dog to accept being in the crate. Most people think that a dog who has not used a crate before will have a hard time, but that is not usually true. My two older dogs started using the crate when they were 7 and 8 years old, about the time my son started crawling and exploring on his own. This allowed me to know that both my child and my dogs were safe and nothing bad could happen. Your child can be hurt by your dog as easy as your child could hurt your dog. The problem lies in the fact that if the dog makes even the slightest threat to your baby or even inadvertently hurts your baby, it is your dog's fault. It is not fair to the dog for something like that to happen because you were not supervising the two together at all times!

Eliminate bad manners-

Bad manners cannot be accepted as they can be dangerous to a new baby and a new mom. Jumping and nipping are behaviors that need to be stopped right away. Stealing and rough-play also need to be nipped in the bud immediately.
Teach your dog how to be calm and gentle, by praising and treating this behavior.
Working commands into everyday life and play makes listening easy and normal for your dog. It becomes natural to the dog and it is less-likely that your dog will be out-of-control. It is also good for you too, as it makes sure that you are training your dog everyday, making you the leader - not the follower.

Exercise is key for good behavior-

As I stated earlier in the guide, exercise is imperative for your dog. This ensures that your dog will be better behaved because it doesn't have the energy to misbehave! Regular walks are important. If you do not have the time to walk for miles, using a doggie backpack can make a short walk seem like a long walk for your dog. A dog backpack immediately puts your dog into work mode, which will help to tire her brain. If you evenly balance some weight on each side, such as water bottles, it will further the amount of physical energy that is expended by your dog. Teaching your dog to walk nicely next to the stroller is also important. It is very difficult and dangerous to have a dog pulling and out of control while trying to maneuver a stroller. If you plan to use a baby carrier, sling, backpack or car seat your dog needs to behave on the leash and walk with you, not pull you. It is a good idea to practice with the equipment before baby comes (use a doll in place of the baby) so that you can work out any kinks or problems.
Have regular obedience sessions with your dog so that she does not forget her commands and remembers that she has to listen at all times. This also helps to tire her brain! Try to work the commands into everyday life so that it becomes second nature to her.

Is your dog allowed on your furniture?-

If your dog is currently allowed on the furniture you may want to reconsider this as your baby will likely be on the furniture a lot. Dog hair and dirt can irritate your baby. You also don't want to have to constantly clean up after the dog. Your dog could also inadvertently injure the baby jumping up on the furniture or repositioning himself. It's best to restrict access to the furniture so that problems do not occur.

Time-out for your dog-

Be sure you give your dog time away from the baby to settle. Time outs are an effective tool to allow your dog to keep its sanity and also for when they are doing something wrong.

Your new schedule and your dog-

It is time to readjust the dog's schedule to acquaint her with the upcoming changes. Think realistically about the time you will have for the dog for things such as walks, feeding, potty breaks, play and attention. Try to keep the schedule consistent for your dog so that she does not feel unnecessary stress from the changes that are happening before your baby arrives. Having as little disruptions as possible will help to accomplish this goal. Once your dog feels secure and is used to the new routine, try to start having slight variations in your daily happenings. When your baby arrives things do not always go as planned. You can have every intention of staying on schedule and inevitably something will change that schedule! Babies do not follow schedules! Do try to stay on schedule, when possible, so that your dog is allowed some semblance of a routine. Dogs feel safety when the rules and routines stay the same.

Pay less attention to your dog-

It is now time to teach the dog to expect less attention from you in one sitting. Once the baby arrives you will not have the same amount of quality time to spend with your dog, but it is still essential to make time for your dog. Schedule regular 5 to 10 minute sessions each day where you pay full attention to your dog. You can do things such as play, grooming, petting or just talk to your dog. This allows your dog to understand that he is still an important part of your life. You need to teach the dog that this time may be with or without the baby. This is also a good time for you to relax and unwind as pets are very therapeutic. Be aware that if you have more than one pet, each will need individual attention if possible. You can also give the pack the attention at the same time, providing they get along, or allow them to play together to burn energy.

Your dog needs to be calm and balanced-

You need to make sure that your dog is calm and balanced before baby comes into the house. It is very important for your dog to learn how to be calm so that he does not hurt you or the baby. Your dog needs to be balanced so that he does not stress needlessly and act out inappropriately. If your dog is not calm and balanced there are ways to help you accomplish this. Training and exercise are good places to start to achieve a calm and balanced dog. If these do not work your dog may have something wrong with him, such as a mental or physical problem. Consult with your vet and local canine behaviorist or trainer. They should be able to steer you in the right direction. They can help advise you of the route you should take, whether behavior modification, medication, or holistic remedies.

Is your dog gentle?-

Teaching your dog how to be gentle is extremely important so that he will not inadvertently hurt the baby. Many dogs use their teeth too much and need to be taught the proper way to use their mouths - without the teeth!

Does your dog jump?-

If your dog is a jumper, teaching proper greetings will help to curb this problem. It is vital that your dog can see people without jumping or getting overly excited. When the baby comes home there will probably be lots of people visiting and he will need to be on his best behavior. It also facilitates the proper, gentle behavior your dog should have around the baby.

How will my dog handle the baby being rough with her?-

Teaching your dog what to physically expect from your baby is extremely important so that she is able to cope with and know what to do when baby pulls, hits or pushes her. Infants and children are not necessarily gentle by nature, and have to be taught how to be so. Your dog also needs to learn how to deal with these behaviors from his small leaders. Start to gently handle your dog in a rougher fashion while praising good behavior and gently, if possible, correcting inappropriate behavior such as nipping or mouthing. Children tend to pet roughly, pull ears and tails, put their hands in the dog's face and touch sensitive areas on the dog. You need to mimic these behaviors in order to teach your dog what to expect and how to deal with it appropriately. Make it a daily habit to have time on the floor with your dog touching every part of his body in a loving fashion. This is good because it allows the dog to accept touch in areas that it may not want touched. It also teaches the dog to be gentle while on the floor and to be submissive to you and your baby. Do this slowly and your dog will understand

Obedience training your dog-

Your dog needs to be obedience trained and have basic manners. I suggest that you enroll in a training class if you can. Check your local training clubs, or facilities, for classes and make sure to observe a class so that you can see how they train. Make sure that you are comfortable with their techniques and the instructors. If you are not allowed to observe a class, please look elsewhere. Trainers who are legitimate should have no problem with this and encourage you to do so.
The following are some basic commands and actions that your dog should be able to do to ensure that he will listen and be under control:
  • Walk nicely on a leash
  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Leave-it
  • NO
  • Understand boundaries
  • Quiet
  • Attention/Look
  • Drop-it
  • Go to Your Spot/Place
Teaching the dog to respond to hand signals will also be beneficial. A sleeping baby is less likely to get woken up if you are not talking.
It is also a good idea to teach your dog to accept wearing a leash - in and out of the house. This ensures that you have control over your dog and tends to help make the dog better behaved. Most towns and cities have leash laws so it is imperative that your dog get used to the leash. You should also walk your dog everyday. This gives your dog mental stimulation, as well as physical exercise, which helps to tire them out, thus making them less likely to get into trouble and an overall better behaved dog.

Spot, Go To Your Spot!-

The "Go to Your Spot" command is a great command to have in your arsenal for a well-behaved dog. You can use this exercise to allow your dog to be with you and not underfoot, or keep your dog at a distance and still know where he is and what he's doing. It teaches your dog to go lie down on a rug or blanket and stay until released.
Long down stays are important in general, whether or not he is "in a spot", because they help you to maintain control over your dog. By your dog having to work for you, it facilitates a relationship in which you are dominant (in charge or the alpha figure) in your and your dog's mind.

Teach your dog what he can chew on-

All dogs chew. Each has a specific reason for it, and has a physical need to chew. They need to chew to exercise their jaws as well as to let out pent up frustrations. Excessive chewing can also be a breed trait. To help avoid problems, do not set yourself up for failure.

Soiling in the house-

If your dog has an accident in the house, or is not housetrained, you need to clean it properly to avoid further "accidents" or remarking of the same areas and to maintain a sanitary environment. Dog feces can contain parasites and other unwanted disease. Giardia, E-Coli, other worms and parasites are sometimes present in the feces and many are transferrable to humans.

Use high-value treats-

Use treats of high value - treats your dog loves and doesn't normally get - when dealing with new baby sights, sounds and scents. This tells your dog that these are good things, and that he should like them and associate them with rewards, instead of feeling malice or fear towards them. Make sure to keep the treats special, and only use them for the purposes of getting your pup familiar with what the new baby will be like.

The health and cleanliness of your dog is vital-

It is essential that your dog has a clean bill of health and is clean before you bring your baby home. Take your dog to the vet for a check-up to make sure that he has no health problems as these can cause unwanted behaviors in your dog that will interfere with his life with your baby. Make sure that he is up-to-date on all shots, or that his titer levels are good, and that he is worm-free.

The next thing you need to make sure of is that you bathe your dog or have him groomed BEFORE the baby comes home. If your dog sheds, it is a good idea to start a de-shedding program, such as regular grooming and adding a product such as Linatone (which you can obtain at your local pet store, online or at some groomers) which has a special combination of oils to help the skin and coat. Be careful not to over-bathe your dog as this can cause skin problems in many dogs. Make sure that he has no fleas or ticks as this is unsanitary and can expose your baby to health problems. It also creates problems as you will not have much time to bathe him once the baby is around. Using special flea and tick medication will help to ensure that he remains flea-less and tick-less.

Start teaching your dog to accept his paws and body wiped when he comes in from outside will aid in reducing the amount of dirt he tracks in the house. It also reduces the chance that your dog will carry in something that will cause an allergic reaction in you or your baby
Also, make sure to vacuum or sweep regularly as dog hair accumulates fast. This is especially important once your baby starts to crawl or be on the ground a lot, unless of course you want the baby to be a human Swiffer!

Carry a doll-

The idea of carrying around a doll (preferably one that cries) may seem silly, but it is a very good way to get your dog used to an addition to the family. Everything is different with a baby. Holding a baby changes your posture, and your mannerisms, so your dog needs to be comfortable and accepting of this. The dog also needs to follow commands and be obedient when you have the baby or the baby is out and about. Using a doll while practicing everyday commands will help your dog respond better when the baby arrives. Take the dog for walks, play with the dog, and all the normal things you do with your dog with and without the baby equipment and doll.

Baby sounds-

Getting your dog used the sounds of a baby is also a good idea. This allows your dog to familiarize herself with the alien noises that it may not have heard before so that it is not a surprise when baby comes home. Things like crying, gurgling, yelling/screaming, and baby babble are not necessarily normal for a dog to hear. There are many cds and tapes that you can purchase for this purpose. Start the volume low and expose your dog for short periods of time at first. Gradually increase the volume and amount of time you play the sounds. Try to play the recording everyday until the baby arrives.

Real babies and children-

Another good idea is to expose your dog to the real thing - real babies and children. If you have friends or relatives who have babies you can ask if they will allow your dog to listen in or even record them for you. You can visit places like parks, if your dog is well-behaved, so your dog can hear all of the noises children make. Make sure to start this away from your house so that your dog does not feel threatened in her own territory. The next step is to expose your dog in your yard, and then in your house. Make this a gradual process so your dog can slowly accept it.

Baby smells-

The smells of a baby are often unfamiliar to a dog. Slowly start to get your dog used to these new smells by using the products you will use on your baby, such as baby oil, powder, baby wash and diaper cream. Putting these products on baby blankets and baby clothes will also help. If you have friends or relatives that have babies, ask to borrow used and unwashed blankets and burp cloths so that the dog can get accustomed to the real smells of a baby.

The Nursery-

Setting up the nursery allows your dog to become acquainted with changes in the house. It allows your dog to become comfortable with the sights and sounds associated with baby equipment, thus avoiding shock when baby arrives.

If you don't want your pup in the nursery you need to start restricting access now. Keeping the door shut or a baby gate in the doorway helps to achieve this. Your dog will not feel left out or anxious about no longer being allowed in that room. Another good idea is to put a dog bed outside of the nursery so that your dog is still close to you, but not in the room. He will not feel banished, but will feel more included. 

Spend time in the room without your pooch so he understands that this will be normal, and that it is no longer his territory. As he starts to understand that the room is no longer his, he will accept it and be less likely to try to get in there when the baby comes home. This also helps to keep the room clean and free of dog hair and dirt. You will have more than enough to clean in the nursery as it is!

If you plan to allow your dog in the nursery start to teach the proper behaviors as soon as possible. Train her to be calm in there and not to jump up on the furniture and baby equipment. It is also a good idea to teach her to do down-stays when in the nursery so that she is allowed to be with you and the baby, but is out of the way and behaving. You may also want to have a bed or rug in there that your dog is allowed to lay on (remove it when you and the dog are not in the room). When the baby starts to crawl and move about you may want to limit the amount of time the dog spends in there and never leave the baby alone with the dog.

Baby's things are off-limits-

Make sure to constantly reinforce that the baby's things are not the dog's things. Even though you may have practiced this before the baby came home, dogs do need reminders.

It is important to dispose of dirty diapers properly to ensure that your dog does not get them. Dogs love things that have human waste on them, such as dirty diapers and feminine products. Keep these products out of reach as they will make an awful mess and are very unhealthy for your dog to ingest. They have chemicals that are not good for your dog and can cause blockages. Besides, the consuming of human waste can also make your dog sick (and have disgusting breath!).

Teach your dog to leave baby blankets alone and not to lay or step on them. Lay them on the furniture and the floor to teach your dog that they are off limits. If your dog tries to walk or lay on them use a firm "NO" and redirect your dog to a proper spot and have him lay down. When your dog avoids these on his own, praise him for his good behavior with a treat or petting and he will understand that these items are not something to go near. You want to prevent possible injuries to your baby from your dog while baby is lying on or hiding under the blankets (as often babies do!).

Teach your dog which toys belong to him-

It is recommended to teach your dog what toys are his and what toys are the baby's before baby arrives so that you will not have problems after. This is also a good idea because you can purchase toys similar to what your baby will have and not worry about using baby's actual toys for these exercises. An easy way to do this is to use peanut butter (or something like it such as cream cheese or cheese spread) and bitter apple (you can purchase this online or at pet stores). Put bitter apple on the baby's toys and peanut butter on the dog's toys. Before you give your dog the choice about which toys he wants, take a little bitter apple on your finger and wipe it around in your dog's mouth. This will help your dog to immediately identify the nasty taste on the baby toys. 

If you do not do this the bitter apple often dilutes and the dog will be able to get the baby's toys because the taste is bearable. Make sure to have some treats ready to reward your dog when he chooses his toys over baby's. Put the dog's leash on and you are ready to begin. Put the "marked" toys on the floor and let your dog decide which toys he prefers. If he still tries to take the baby toys, tell him "no, leave-it", and if necessary pull him away with the leash with a quick jerking motion. Do not try to hurt the dog, just give a quick correction as you repeat "no, leave-it". When your dog does "leave" the baby toys alone, praise and treat. You can also teach the dog the concepts of "Mine", "Baby's" and "Yours" by adding these phrases to the training sessions. When the dog goes for his toys you can say, "Good! Yours!" 

When the dog goes for the baby's toys say, "No, Leave-it, Baby's". You can use the same principle as used for the baby's toys when the dog goes for something that is yours by substituting "Mine" in place of "Baby's."

Please remember that if you leave your baby's toys lying around your dog will most likely try to steal them. The temptation is too much for her to handle and she probably will fail. Do not set her up for failure! Try to get toys for the dog that are not like the baby's - no stuffed animals and things that rattle. 

There are plenty of good dog toys that are very different from baby toys. Lastly, only keep a few of the dog's toys out at a time. This will avoid her falling prey to the syndrome of "everything within my reach is mine!" If she understands that the three toys on the ground are hers, she will be less apt to take things she shouldn't.

If you follow the guidelines set forth in this article you should be able to accustom your dog to your newborn without much difficulty. Remember, when in doubt, always consult a professional trainer!

Mandy Makein is an author and dog trainer. For free dog training report visit []
(c) Copyright Mandy Makein 2010. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dog Illnesses

Dog Illnesses Author: Dog Care Tips

All pet dogs should be treated as members of our family and adequate attention must be paid to the canine's health. Sometimes dogs become sick but may not look so. It is very important to recognize and understand dog illnesses symptoms.

Since prevention is a better cure, we must learn something about dog illnesses and symptoms so we can better understand their conditions. This will help us recognize some common dog illnesses. If appropriate and adequate vaccinations are administered to the puppies, most of the common dog illnesses can be easily prevented.

Some elementary observations are useful to recognize certain common dog illnesses. Dogs take a lot of sleep but their sleep is marked by alertness. If a dog is sluggish then there may be various causes contributing to it, right from anemia to old age. If the dog is limping then you should check for prospective painful areas using a firm and yet gentile hand. Check out for any signs indicating lameness from time to time.

The appetite of the dog is bound to be affected by ill health. Look for any signs of loss of appetite. An important sign of dog health problems is excessive thirst. A pronounced weight loss is also an indicator of ill health. Check the eyes for any ulcers, discharges, veins or sores.

The mouth of a healthy dog is pink. There should not be any discoloring or cavities in the teeth. Look for signs of discharge from ears. It is advisable to clean the ears from time to time. The dog's head should be regularly checked for sore patches, hair loss, or deep wounds.

Investigate the limbs and trunk for the same signs. If the dog is vomiting, there may be various underlying problems. If the body temperature of your dog is not between the range 38 to 39 Celsius it is an indication of some kind of illness. Check the female dogs for any kind of foul smelling vaginal discharge, which needs attention of a vet.

The symptoms of pain and discomfort experienced by a dog can give us many clues about the possible underlying illness. If the dog is suffering any abdominal pain, it may be due to canine hepatitis, enteritis or it can be a simple case of constipation. The abdominal swelling dogs indicate canine bloat and roundworms in puppies. Aggression of the dog may be caused by rabies. Roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms my cause anemia in dogs. Any behavioral changes in dog can be an indicator of hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, canine arthritis, heart disease, canine, or parvovirus.

Kidney diseases sometimes cause blood in urine. Eye infections and entropion cause bloodshot eyes in dogs. A ruptured diaphragm, obstructed airway, lungworm, bronchitis, pneumonia, food poisoning, heatstroke, allergies can cause respiratory problems in dogs.

There are various reasons of sudden change in weight of dogs like heart disease to heartworms. Hernia might be caused due to long term constipation in dogs. Allergies, parvovirus, hepatitis, lungworm, TB, pneumonia or distemper may be one of the reasons of coughing in dogs. Cannine parvovirus can also cause dehydration in dogs. Any pancreatic disorder, food poisoning can give rise to diarrhea in dogs. The dog may suffer from hair loss due to mange, red mange demodectic, scabies, cheyletiella mange, or cushings syndrome.

If dog indicates any signs of failing genital bleeding, persistent constipation, projectile vomiting, fainting, hair loss, seizure, stumbling, trauma, trembling, mouth bleeding, rectal bleeding, lethargy, shaking, urinating problems contact a dog care specialist.

About the Author

If you love your dog, you've got to know "What to do if Your Dog is Poisoned" just in case. Hope you'd never have to use it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cesar Millan

What Is Dog Whispering?

Dog whispering is more than a matter of talking nicely to your dog. It's about understanding your dog by reading and interpreting its body language. In turn, you communicate your response to your dog through your body language and actions.

From an outside perspective, the calm yet firm way of the whisperer gives the impression that he or she has a bond with the animal that is more natural, or even mystical.

That Movie:- The phrase itself is a borrowing from "horse whisperer," which became popular after Nicholas Evans' 1995 novel of the same name was made into a Hollywood movie starring Robert Redford in 1998. The story centers on a real life horse trainer, Irishman Daniel Sullivan. In the early 1800s, Sullivan gained notoriety all over England with his uncanny ability to train and rehabilitate problem horses. He kept his techniques mostly secret and passed them down to his prodigy Willis J. Powell, who took the knowledge overseas to the Americas.

There it was passed down again and again in the same way until this secretive method was ultimately revealed more openly. The idea of "whispering" as a form of training and especially rehabilitating problem horses began to be applied in a wider sense, not only to cattle and livestock, but also to domesticated pets, especially dogs. Dog whispering, like horse whispering, places a heavy investment in understanding the dog by studying their behavior, and responding to them with calm and firm guidance in turn.

That Guy:- The best known dog whisperer today is Cesar Millan, who gained fame with his television series, The Dog Whisperer, on the National Geographic Channel. Originally from Mexico, Millan came to the United States in the 1990s. Knowing he had a proven ability to communicate with dogs in a healthy, productive, and humane way, he set out to help dog owners do the same.

Millan's techniques emphasize the importance of establishing yourself as a confident and dependable leader, and his philosophy revolves around the principles of "exercise, discipline and affection."
Fear Aggression is Common:- Cesar often diagnoses cases of aggression as being based in fear and a lack of confidence. For Cesar the rehab usually begins with the walk. He also encourages owners to project a more confident attitude about themselves and toward their dogs. Humans Feed Dog Behavior Problems.

Often on The Dog Whisperer we see that it's the actions of the people in the house that are influencing the dog's behavior issues. Once the people stop acting neurotically, the dogs make a speedy recovery back to being dogs.

Excuses are the Biggest Training Problem:- When it comes to dogs and their aggression, their destructive behavior or any other problem, owners tend to have 101 excuses for why they haven't been properly exercising the dog, enforcing the rules or working on training. Many of these excuses are valid, but the bottom line is that dog behavior problems can be fixed and usually are once the excuses are set aside.

When it comes to dog aggression, Cesar Millan has provided dog owners with a lot of helpful advice. The gist of it is this - train your dog, provide him with adequate exercise and mental stimulation, set clear house rules and reward the behaviors you want.¨

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Barking Dog

Fix Barking Dog Problems - Take the Bad Out of His Bark By Rex Krisinsky

Is your barking dog driving you mad? Excessive barking often lands dogs in the shelter. What's worse, it puts your pup at risk from the people in your block. Even if your neighbors are not the type who take things into their own hands, a barking dog can get you in trouble with the law. And unless you fix barking dog problems, you could be marked as an inconsiderate and irresponsible dog owner. So, how do you fix barking dog problems?

Before you can fix barking dog problems, you should first identify what is making your dog bark. In general, dogs bark because they are:
  • Bored. If your dog is seeking attention, he might see barking as the best way to get it. After all, if he barks loudly, he can get you to check on him, can't he?
  • Afraid. Thunderstorms, loudly tooting horns, and firecrackers may be making your dog bark out of fear. If repeatedly frightened, they may even bark even in the absence of sound because they have come to associate certain things with a thing that they find frightening.
  • Territorial. Dogs bark to warn strangers and intruders off their territory.
  • Injured, hungry, thirsty, hot, or cold. If your dog could talk, he would tell you what he needs, of course. But he can't so he goes for the next best thing to talking - barking. If these reasons are making your dog bark, you can easily fix barking dog problems with water, a tasty snack, medicine, or a warm blanket.
Now that you know what could be making your dog bark, how do you fix barking dog problems? Here are some tips.

1. Make sure your dog has plenty to do. A bone to chew on, a toy to play with, music to listen to - these will fix barking dog problems because once your pup is thus occupied, he will never bark out of loneliness or boredom.

2. Put up a fence or a gate. This will fix barking dog problems by obstructing the dog's vision of passersby. That way, they will not bark at people indiscriminately.

3. Identify your dog's breed. To fix barking dog problems, you'll have to determine if the problem is breed-related. You see, some breeds such as kelpies, border collies, German shepherds, and cattle dogs are meant for farm work. They will have problems adjusting to a townhouse or a suburban backyard.
If these tips don't fix barking dog problems at all, then it's time to pay the old doctors a visit. Take your pup to the local vet or sign him up at an obedience club. His bark may be worse than his bite but this doesn't make excessive barking any less annoying.

Don't just stop there though. If you really want to put an end to your dogs bad habits, you've got to visit They've got a great Step-by-Step program on the site that walks you through solving all sorts of dog behavior issues. Check it out right now and end these problems immediately. You can go there by just CLICKING HERE.

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