SPOTLIGHT– Share your Holiday Photos!
For many of us the Holiday season always comes faster than we expect. This is a time for fall, family, food and fun for all members of the house, even our four legged friends! We love getting updates from our clients and fur friends so now through New Years, no matter the holiday, send us your pup’s best holiday or family photo for us to feature on our Instagram!
To be selected simply email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘HOLIDAY SEASON’ and follow us on Instagram to keep an eye out!
FAQ– Top tips for potty training your puppy
Some of the challenges that come with raising a puppy is incorporating them into our everyday lives. When it comes to potty training this can be especially tricky, so here are some tips for setting up your puppy for success.
1. Regulate Food and Water
The most common MISTAKE we see is called “free feeding”. Where owners consistently leave a bowl of food and water out, in fear that the dog may become dehydrated or hungry. The truth is most dogs process their water much more efficiently and can withstand longer periods without water than humans, before showing signs of dehydration. Most pee accidents are the result of over drinking. Just like a night out drinking with your friends, the more you drink, the more you’re going to have to go to the bathroom.Start by giving your pup small amounts of water after these three moments; when they wake up, when they play, and when they eat. This way you can assure they will not be dehydrated. Keep in mind to make an exception if your puppy has had excessive activity or lives in a warm climate.
When it comes to food, most people start by following the feeding instructions printed on the back of the dog food bag, or perhaps what the breeder or rescue recommends. Now we are not implying that these potions are incorrect but we would like you to consider that both the breeder and the pet food companies are not considering your hectic schedule and the irregularities of a puppies bowel movements. Both breeders and food companies really strive to keep their puppies at a “healthy weight” which can sometimes result in excessive feeding , and unpredictable bowel movements. Consult with your vet or experienced trainer if you have any questions.
As for food, finding the proper portion for your dog takes a little more time but is just as simple. A puppy under four months old should be getting three meals a day. Now it’s okay to start with the portions listed on the back of the bag, but it is important to remember that the proper portion will not only depend on weight, but activity, feeding type and metabolism as well. A good rule to go by is that there should be one poop after every feeding, with the occasional extra poop before bed. If your dog is pooping two times or more after a feeding, they are getting too much food. This is just your starting point of course, as your puppy grows their food portions will need to be constantly assessed and adjusted in the first seven months.
2. Learn how long they can hold it
Tracking your dog’s potty schedule is especially important during the puppy stage, once you know how long your dog can hold its bladder, it becomes a lot easier to anticipate when you need to be there to let them out. This makes incorporating them into your personal schedule a lot easier on you, and gives them a schedule they can expect. Now every puppy’s potty schedule is different but ultimately by regulating their food and water, you can control how many times they go to the bathroom on a daily basis.
3. Teach them where you want them to go
Whether it is anywhere along the sidewalk, in the backyard, on a grass patch or on pee pads, you must make it very clear where it is acceptable to use the bathroom. It is best if you have a specific place in mind and whenever it is about time for them to go, take them directly to the spot and praise them for going. Physical praise and treats are best for this type of work.
4. & 5. Motivate them to hold it and praise them when they use the spot
Crate training is one of several ways that we can teach our dogs to want to “hold themselves”. When we create a den area for our dogs we tap into their intrinsic motivation to hold their bowels, because when a dog has a strong denning instinct they are naturally opposed to going potty in the same area they eat and sleep. This skill does get stronger with age and is a very crucial part of potty training. Whether its with treats or a round of tug, you should always have should always be something ready to treat them with positive reinforcement when they go potty correctly. All of these steps simply help your dog better understand the process as they learn to not only control their bladder but also expect a consistent daily schedule they can look forward to.
DOG OF THE MONTH– Kainu the Great Dane
We love seeing our puppies grow to fulfill their maximum potential and Kainu here is just one of them! He is a beautiful year and a half year old who has completed puppy training, basic obedience and off leash training with us. His owner Christina has always loved big dogs and Kainu is the apple of her eye. Her end goal is eventually for him to become a service dog! Kainu loves playing with other dogs, human cuddles and an empty couch to lay on.
RELATIONSHIP BUILDER TIPS– The four keys of leash manners
Daily walks are not only important for exercise but can also be a key moment to strengthening the bond between you and your dog. Here are four on leash exercises you can practice at home:
- Stop and go– practice walking your pup with frequent stops, making sure that every time they stop they focus on you. The majority of the time we allow our dogs to get so focused on the sights and smells around them that they are not focusing on us.
2. Fast and slow- changing up the pace of your walk not only keeps their attention on you, but also stimulates their mind a little more than the ‘stop and go’. This gets their body and brain moving!
3. Back it up– it isn’t very often that we make our dogs walk backwards especially when were on a walk. More often than not we allow our dogs to walk ahead and lead, ultimately letting THEM take US on a walk. This prompt will help them keep their focus on you and where you are leading.
4. Pivot- This is another move that stimulates the dog’s mind and challenges them just a little further. By adding an occasional backup and pivot prompt, the dog wont be able to anticipate our next move, further strengthening their focus on us and challenging them to keep up.
TRAINING CERTAIN BREEDS– The Spitz breeds
For some of you this may be the first time hearing the term “Spitz breed”, however I guarantee you’ve heard of Huskies, Akitas, Chows or maybe a Shiba Inu. Spitz breeds are a very diverse group of working dogs used for many different services and bred for harsh icy terrains. They are all close descendants of wolves, maintaining their primal head shape and neutral coat coloring in order to camouflage. Many Spitz breeds are ornamental lap and family dogs, but they are also commonly used for herding, hunting, and guarding. Most have long thick fur and are consistent shedders, so if you’re thinking about a Spitz breed, make sure you bring along a lint roller or two. These breeds commonly are high in energy and stamina are extremely smart. They require just as much mental brain stimulation as they do exercise, and not just as puppies. Any breed categorized under the Spitz breed should be introduced to training as early as possible and get daily exercise. Without consistent mental stimulation and activity their pent up energy will manifest into destructive behaviors.