Why Is My Dog Scratching?

All dogs scratch at sometime, and here are a few reasons why your dog may have an itch.

First of all you need to examine your dog’s fur to see if there is any sign of fleas. They will be visible if your animal is infested, alternatively, one random flea could have bitten him and caused an allergic reaction.

After a good search you find no fleas in his coat, you should try flea control for approximately four weeks to see if it had been an allergy to a fleabite.

If there is an odor coming from your pet, or his skin is damp and reddened, it could well be a skin problem. Try him first with a therapeutic dog shampoo to see if it remedies the problem, if it doesn’t you will need a medication from the vet.

Mange is a skin problem that is very uncomfortably and causes your pet to lose fur when they scratch.

As soon as you think there is a possibility of Mange, take your pet to the vet as he will need to take some skin scrapings. Tests at a lab will reveal whether there are mites present and appropriate medication prescribed.

If you have ruled out all of these possible causes yet your pet is still scratching, it may well be an allergy. Plants, mod, pollen and dust are all allergens that are found around the house.

If there is a pattern to his scratching and it worsens during the warm weather it many be an allergy to pollen or grass.

It can take a long time to pin down the cause of your pets itching, but is well worth it as you will have a healthy and much happier dog who is free of that irritating itch.

What To Do When Your Dog Begs For Table Scraps

Like most people, dogs love food. They’re willing to sacrifice their dignity in order to obtain it. If food is not given freely, but instead eaten in front of them, they will beg. Some will do so relentlessly.

A begging dog can be particularly frustrating for his owner. He’ll sit and stare longingly at his owner’s plate, hoping to receive a tasty morsel, regardless of size. Unfortunately, many people acquiesce under the pressure, and give their pets table scraps just to send them away. This is a bad idea for a number of reasons.

Below, we’ll explain the side effects table scraps can have on your canine; you’ll learn the reasons you should avoid providing them. We’ll also describe a few methods you can use to discourage the behavior, so you and your family can eat in peace.

Reasons To Avoid Feeding Your Pet Table Scraps

Commercial brands of dog food are specially formulated with the nutrients your pet needs to stay healthy. The vitamins and minerals contained in these brands are necessary for whatever stage of development your canine is in. Table scraps rarely provide the same level of nutrition. Instead, they usually deliver excess calories, which are likely to cause weight problems for your pet. And that leads to avoidable health issues.

Another reason to avoid giving your dog table scraps is because doing so can lead to digestive problems. Even though your pet will eat anything placed in front of him, his body may be unable to tolerate some types of food.

Also, given a steady diet of people food, your canine may eventually become fussy with his own meals. He’ll essentially acquire a taste for the foods you feed your family. And that’s when his begging will begin to take on a new level of urgency.

Preventing Access To Your Table

This method removes your pet’s opportunity to beg. You can use a couple of different approaches depending on whether you would like your canine to remain in the room in which you’re eating, or to stay out.

If you’d like his company in the room, place a lead and collar on him, and secure him to a nearby chair or other piece of furniture. He should be kept far enough away from the table to minimize the temptation to beg. Consider providing a chew toy to give him something to do while you and your family eat.

You can also bar him from the room, which can be done easily with a pet gate. Confine your dog to a room elsewhere in your home, so he’s unable to watch you eat through the gate. This will prevent him from whining to gain your attention.

Sending Him Elsewhere

This method requires more time and patience since there is training involved. The goal is to give your dog something to do elsewhere in your home without confining him to that particular space. You’ll need to train him to stay in his space while you and your family enjoy meals.

At first, your dog will be tempted to abandon his designated spot, and come looking for table scraps. Over time, however, you can teach him to remain there, thereby preventing him from begging.

This method has the added benefit of being helpful in other circumstances. For example, suppose you’re entertaining guests, and would like to prevent your canine from bothering them. Simply instruct him to go to his designated space while your guests are visiting. As long as he has a few toys to occupy his attention, he’ll be fine.

When your dog begs, he does so because he has an expectation his begging will produce results. This is the reason owners who have given in to their canines in the past find it difficult to curb the behavior. But it’s never too late. Use the methods above to turn your begging pooch into a patient, pleasant companion.

So, You Want A New Puppy!

Thinking about a new puppy? Your first steps…

Ask for assistance

It is not a bad idea to enlist the support of a trainer or shelter staff to help choose the companion dog that is best suited to your family. With hundreds of dogs to choose from, an expert can help you narrow down your choice.

Be realistic

Just as there are no perfect people or families, consider that there are no breeds or mixes that are perfect. The goal is not to find the ‘perfect’ dog, but rather to narrow your search to a type of dog that has the general attributes that are most likely to fit with your lifestyle. Also, remember that each pup is an individual and while a general assessment of a pup’s potential future activity level, behavioral tendencies, and the like can be made, it is ultimately your responsibility to guide your pup towards becoming the mannerly, well-socialized adult dog you hope for. That will require early and ongoing management, supervision and training, and a whole lot of love.

Create a wish List

Start with a detailed list outlining your weekly schedule, the general time and monetary commitment you can make, and the activities you enjoy (and hope for your dog to be a part of). This will give you a good starting point in regards to what sort of dog may be most suitable for your family.

Identifying Different Types Of Canine Aggression

Dog Training ProductsOf all dog behavioral issues, aggression is the one that most frustrates owners. It is very common, though canines display signs for very different reasons. Many owners observe hostile behavior in their pets, but are unaware regarding its trigger. Consequently, they are uncertain about how to respond.

First, it’s important to realize that aggressive behavior is natural to dogs. Though most are domesticated, they remain pack animals, and perceive the world around them accordingly.

Second, in order to properly address hostility in your canine, you must first be able to identify the different types of aggression. Once you can determine the trigger, you’ll be better prepared to “cure” the problem.

With this in mind, we’ll provide a brief overview of the most common reasons dogs become antagonistic. The following descriptions will offer a springboard from which you can remedy the problem.

Protect The Family

As pack animals, canines have traditionally protected those within their group from assailants. If an intruder threatens one member, the others will respond quickly to protect him or her.

In your home, your dog considers you and your family to be members of his “pack.” If he feels you, your family, or other pets under your roof are threatened by a perceived attacker, he will behave aggressively to warn the attacker away. The problem is, many canines become overly-protective, and consider any person outside their “pack” to represent a potential threat.

Protect The Home

Similar to guarding their families, dogs also guard their territories. If an intruder approaches their den, they will respond with hostility to discourage that person or animal from coming closer.

Your canine considers your home to be his den, and will respond aggressively to any person or animal he feels to be a threat. Here, too, he may become overly-protective of his home. If he does, he will treat everybody aggressively, even those you consider friends. Interestingly, this type of aggression is very rare in puppies since they have not yet learned to protect their “dens.”

Stemming From Fear

Canines react to elements that frighten them in the same way as humans: they retreat. However, if retreat is not an option, they will fight. In the wild, if a pair of wolves approach a dog, the dog will initially seek a path that provides him an escape route. If, however, such a path is unavailable, he will turn to face the wolves, despite his fear.

Fear aggression is dangerous. If a person unwittingly corners a canine, that person risks being bitten. Thus, always provide an unfamiliar dog a route through which he can escape.

Guard Possessions

Dogs are hard-wired to protect their possessions. While this trait stems from the need to fight for food outside the human-canine relationship, it has carried over to today’s pets. For example, when a person or animal approaches a dog’s food bowl, he may bare his teeth and growl to communicate his ownership.

Within your home, your canine may express possessive behavior over his food, toys, and even the area in which he likes to rest. This may become a problem if visitors – either people or animals – stumble upon your pet’s possessions without realizing they have done so.

Hierarchical Order

Dogs have always functioned within groups according to their understanding of their pack’s hierarchy. As long as they know – and accept – those ranked above and below them, there is minimal conflict. Conflict arises when there is a bid for authority within the group.

This latter problem occasionally happens between canines and their owners, families, and other pets. The dog will compete for authority, and act aggressively when others confront him.

Canine aggression can only be addressed successfully after the behavior’s trigger has been identified. If you’re having difficulty doing so, consider working with your veterinarian or a professional trainer.

Find the best Dog Treats and Dog Chews

Dog Training Tricks And Techniques

Dog TrainingYou have acquired a great new member into your household with the pitter patter of little puppy toes going across the floor. Now you need to start as soon as you can on getting him to be the best and most well behaved dog he can be by implementing these easy dog training tricks. Puppies just like humans are not born with the knowledge of what is right or wrong, they have to be taught these things just as we do.

The sit command is one you will use not only for the purpose of sitting but also as the first step in the other two tricks we have listed below. This is a trick which will help you keep him still and calm in situations which may prove dangerous to him or you. It will also help with minor annoyances such as greeting everyone with paws on the shoulders if he is tall enough, licking, jumping in the lap etc..

The easiest way to do this is to get his favorite dog treats, hold it above his head. Once he settles down a bit, immediately say the word “sit” and follow it with good dog then proceed to give him his treat and a pat on the head. Keep on working with him on a continuous basis in this manner and he will be sitting on command in no time.

Next we will work with teaching him the lie down command. This is a very important command. This command will teach him to lie down in the car and in the home when he is being a bit over animated or rambunctious. It will also save you from any accidents in the car if he is a larger dog by moving around and blocking someones view or stepping on something he should not have.

You will also be using the great snack method of training for this exercise too. This time when they get into the sit position as you command then slowly move the treat along the surface of the ground until your pet is forced to make themselves lie down to see or follow this treat. Once they have done that appropriately then immediately say the lie down command and give them the treat along with a good boy and a petting.

One of the harder of these commands for your puppy to learn is that of the stay command. This is a very important thing for them to adhere too for their well being and your peace of mind. This stay command will keep them firmly where they sit down until you tell them it is okay to move. Great for if a door gets opened, you walk to the curb to get your paper or even walking over to a neighbors home. Your puppy will sit right there until your return. Tell him the command of sit with treat above his eyes then move slightly away from him while keeping the treat in his view say, stay, stay and if he does not move then he gets the treat. It takes much practice for this one but is well worth it in the long run.

Training sessions should not be very long. Dogs, especially puppies, can become bored very easily and not as focused as they can be in shorter sessions. Routines on a daily basis are another thing that dogs rank on their list of importance as well. Make your daily sessions around the same time every day. Training your dog gives you and him quality time together so you should each have fun with it and have some much needed play time after a good days lessons.

Many pet stores have different types of books for training tips and techniques. They often have some specifically for certain breeds and their behaviors. You will also be able to find training videos as well which will give you some insight on new tricks to teach your dog and some answers regarding some behavior issues you have concerns about.

All these dog training tricks and many more not listed can help even the most unruly misbehaved dogs become well-mannered and a joy to be around. These will help them control their urges of jumping on visitors as soon as they walk in the door, nibble on arms or hands as playing, chasing other animals within the households and so on. Take the time to teach your pet the right things instead of reinforcing the wrong things in their behavior and they and you will be much more productive and happier together.