Visit http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/ for nutrition, training and grooming advice for a healthy dog!
Want to read more about the philosophy of doggy daycare and what to look for?
Nina Ottosson dog and cat treat puzzle toys and games, fun mental brain exercise and perfect boredom buster for dogs and cats.
The official website of It's Me or the Dog's Victoria Stilwell and the online home of positive reinforcement dog training.
In The Doghouse Team Head Trainer for Doghouse, certified pet dog trainer, clicker trainer, trick dog instructor, nose work instructor.
What pet chores should your kids be asked to do?
What is TTouch - Tilley Farm The Tellington TTouch is a kind and respectful way of working with animals to help them overcome a variety of health and behavioural issues.
Try Thundershirt- a terrific solution for dog and cat anxiety.
Flat collar - Recommended for securing ID and lead for those dogs who have a very loose lead, and walk in line with their handler.
Halti/Head Collar - Can be used to teach lead work in dogs that pull excessively but is not preferred as it can cause discomfort and sometimes injury when dogs are pulling hard. Ideally a head collar is used in conjunction with a double ended lead.
Harness - Harness is an ideal way of walking a dog. It reduces the chance of injury to a dog, does not add excessive tension to the dogs face, can be reassuring for nervous dogs and also allows for easier handling when the dog is allowed off lead. Ideally harness should have many points of contact, a front ring on the chest is ideal, with another on the dogs back. Good harnesses are often padded, can be adjustable to fit your dogs size and do not rub under the arm or around the neck area.
Double ended lead - Trainers and dog handlers LOVE these types of leads, it allows the handler to adjust the communication in accordance to a given environment. In emergency situations they can also be used to walk two dogs.
Flexi/Extendible lead - Sometimes used successfully with smaller or dogs that very rarely pull, to allow some freedom to sniff and explore. Flexi leads have been known to cause lots of serious injuries to both dogs and handlers due to the strong retractable mechanism. If and when using a Flexi lead, it is highly recommended your dog wears a harness.
Slip lead - often used in a kennel environment or with working dogs that spend most of their time off lead. Slip leads are quick and easy and a good option to have as a spare or back up in the boot of your car, should you come across a stray dog. When used regularly many dogs find the tightening effect uncomfortable and this often causes them to pull more.
Choke/check chain - Still commonly used today, choke chains cause lots of discomfort and pain to dogs, especially when used (I used the term loosely) correctly. Preferred even today in the show ring, choke chains should never be a resort taken instead of good training.
Pinch/Prong collars - A Step up from the choke chain on the scale of how definitely not to train a dog is the prong collar, designed to give a sharp stab when the dog 'does not listen' when yanked on by the handler. Still widely used and accepted in America and often used by Military type training.
There are many many other contraptions available to 'help' you walk your dog available on the market, most are adaptation of the above. Some work better for some dogs and handlers than others, and It is important to remember you can use a variety of the friendlier tools for different exercises. Try different things to keep your dog thinking. remember size and breed type can have a significant effect on the type of training tool you use.
Keep things happy, rewards your dog for focusing on you, training should be fun, relaxed and rewarding.
~Here are some links to some I would recommend
Double ended leads -
The first point in which socialisation effects our dog's behaviour happens long before they move into our homes as either a rescue dog or puppy. It happens long before it 'is allowed out after first vaccinations'. The key point of socialisation is from 4 weeks old, when it is surrounded by litter mates and mum.
Many people underestimate this valuable time of life, and often put their own excitement of getting a new puppy before the welfare of the dog and ask to take it home sooner than 8 weeks. This is the primary problem with issues surrounding socialisation, those first 8 weeks, especially the later 4, are VITAL when teaching a dog about canine body language, communication and most importantly, confidence.
Playing with siblings, the weaning process with mum, where their sharp teeth cause her pain are all natural ways of teaching a puppy bite control. Mum teaches acceptable behaviour and litter mates signal when play gets too rough. Without this period of learning through play at such a young age, dogs will struggle to communicate with other dogs. They will always show some signs that their socialisation was limited at a younger age, and this will be costly in both time, effort and cost of extra training classes throughout the dogs adolescence.
When taking a puppy into your life, it is recommended they do not leave mum until 8 weeks old, in my professional opinion I would ask the breeder to hold until 10 weeks.