We teach dog owners new tricks

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In the old days, dog owners “housebroke” their dogs, pushed their noses in mistakes, and screamed in rage when the pooch made a mistake on the rug again. Today we’re more enlightened.   Housebreaking takes a combination of effort, understanding and direction on everyone’s part. It requires consistent conditioning and repetitive exercises for several weeks and may take up to six months before your dogs can be 100 percent housebroken. So be patient. Realize that a puppy should have a schedule, that he should be taken to his outside relief spot last thing at night and first thing in the morning as well as after meals and naps, and that he should be praised when he does his duty. When taking the puppy to his outdoor spot, don’t play with him or allow the children to do so. First things first. If the pup does not relieve himself, put him in the crate for a few minutes, then try again. Most puppies will not soil in their crates if they can possibly help it.

To assist you with housetraining, here are a few tips .

— Make sure he does not have a bladder infection, intestinal parasites, or other medical reason for his failure to signal that he needs to go outside

–Feed a dry food, preferably the brand used by the breeder. If that food is unavailable, get about 10 pounds from the breeder and gradually switch to a locally-available brand. Begin with a mix of about three-quarters of the original food and gradually increase the volume of the new food until the pup is eating only the new food. Avoid canned food during housetraining. The high water content puts extra pressure on the bladder and the color enhancer sodium nitrite can act as a diuretic, increasing the frequency of urination. Iron oxide, another color enhancer in canned foods, can stain the carpet if the pup has an accident.

–Feed on a schedule and take the puppy outside to the appropriate relief spot within one hour after eating.

–Restrict your dog freedom in the house through the use of a crate. At night secure your dog in a crate but do give her one last opportunity to go outside before you go to bed

–Don’t play with the pup until he relieves himself.

–Take him out on a leash to his bathroom spot so he learns to relieve himself under your control. Give him the “potty” command and stay with him, softly praising him verbally as he relieves himself

–Any time your dog defecates or urinates outside, she deserves some supervised free time in the house to play ball or just wander around being with you. This will help your dog appreciate her responsibility to relieve herself in the proper spot.

–If he doesn’t urinate and defecate within 10 minutes, bring him inside and place him in his crate for 10-15 minutes, then try again. Continue this routine until he is successful, and then praise him as if he just won a blue ribbon.

— As each day goes by, allow more freedom between bathroom exercises to see if she will use her spot to relieve herself

–Keep the bathroom spot clean by picking up feces every day. Cleanliness prevents worms and spread of intestinal viruses and infections and cuts down on smell that might bother the neighbors.

–If the puppy does urinate or defecate inside, he should immediately be taken outside to the appropriate spot. (Keep a leash near each door to the house for easy access just in case.) Always follow up with loads of praise

–Failures in housetraining are human mistakes, not puppy errors. The puppy does not understand that carpets are for walking, not bowel relief. If eight-year-old Steve is told to take Sam outside after the pup finishes his dinner and Steve is busy watching television and says “in a minute” or ignores the request altogether, and if Sam then dumps on the floor, it is not the puppy’s fault. It is also not the child’s fault. Mom or Dad tried a shortcut by making the child responsible for the dog’s behavior and that never works.

–Never punish for mistakes. Once you’re fairly confident that the puppy understands where to relieve himself, scold him for mistakes, but don’t spank, scream, or push his nose in the mess. The spot should be cleaned up, preferably with an enzyme odor eliminator. (If the odor is left untended, the dog will find it again, even if people cannot detect any smell.)

It’s that time of year.  The long anticipated annual 5 for 4 sale at Acme Canine.  The only time you can purchase packages of 5 boarding days or 5 daycare days for the cost of 4 days.

So if you have a trip planned for this year or are considering bring your dog to Acme’s daycare on a regular basis, this sale is perfect for you.

Here are the guidelines:

  • You do not need specific dates or need to schedule for Daycare, Boarding to take advantage of this sale
  • Purchasing the sale services does not guarantee a specific date for providing the services, we will schedule according to our policies and procedures.
  • There are no Blackout dates on federal holidays; this means you can board for Christmas 2015 at the reduced rate.
  • The services purchased at the sale rate are not refundable, but they also never expire.  Similar to a “forever” stamp, if rates go up, the days you purchased on sale can be used at the new rate.

Call today, send a check or stop by.

Payment must be received by 5:00pm Wednesday, January 14th to receive the sale rate.

 

Puddle & Pile is an interactive tool to help both you and your dog achieve housetraining. The app maps your dog’s toilet habits.  When your dog relieves, you simply bring out your phone and record the action. Over time Puddle & Pile learns when your dog needs to be outside and it will bark to alert you (the app, not your dog).

Paul Manser started Puddle and Pile as a hobby project that came out of his ongoing puppy raising for Guide Dogs in Australia. His family gets a new puppy every year, and Paul always hated the toilet training stage.  His wife suggested creating an app which is how Puddle and Pile was created.

Acme Canine first learned of the app from one of our clients.  They found it useful as well and so we’ve been sharing the app with our Puppy class clients.

In our opinion, Puddle & Pile is a great tool, but  it is not the magic answer to housetraining. When used with a housetraining plan it can make you more aware of your dog’s toilet habits, especially when you busy and not paying attention.  This helps you be more consistent and helps your dog to learn a pattern of elimination.

The app costs approximately $2.00 and can be downloaded to any android phone.  (learn more)

Have a product you’d like us to test?  Send us the product’s name and where it can be obtained and your favorite Central Ohio dog boarding center will do the rest!

If you are like most dog owners, your house is littered with any number of dog toys. But you can’t figure out why, with so many toys of his own, Fido doesn’t really seem interested in them. It is because they have very little value to him. In reality, your dog doesn’t need more than a few toys to be fulfilled…you just need to know how to make them valuable and fun for him. They key here is access. Restrict his access, and he will depend on you for “fun.”

Dog toys range from balls to fleecy/plush animals to squeakers to interactive toys (I.T.). They are a necessary component to a good relationship with a dog. What your dog will ultimately play with depends on his tastes and what you allow him to have, and what you have given value to. His tastes may change periodically, which is fine. Experts agree that rotating toys keeps the games fresh and fun–which keep your dog more interested.

Toys are used for recreation and to teach manners. That’s right! Valuable toys can replace treats in your training regimen! As you may have figured out, the toys are most effective when YOU use them interactively with your pet, NOT when you toss them on the floor and leave your pet to his own devices. Dogs can entertain themselves without your help on occasion, but experts agree that playing with your pets is better. It is good exercise, it is fun, and it helps curb problem behaviors. Interactive play that simulates their natural hunting/chasing/capturing drive keeps them happy and healthy, and increases their bond with you.

What toys are best? I recommend that dogs have at least one good tennis ball (more than one if they love to play ball); a good-quality fleece object made for dogs (i.e., no swallowable components); and a Kong© rubber toy, which doubles as a pacifier and interactive toy. Kongs are good for dogs that have to be crated or left alone for long periods of time. Toys that encourage cooperation between pet and handler are the best (fetch can be played with almost anything).

What about tug toys? If your dog loves to play tug-o-war, it will be up to you to decide if he should. Many breeds are naturally predisposed to tugging, and it can be a great outlet for these dogs, with a few rules kept in mind. Your dog must release the toy immediately when you tell him to, without grumbling in any way. You must initiate the tug game, not him, and you will decide when it ends. He is only allowed access to the tug toy during these play times with you–do not leave it lying around. Don’t allow him to constantly “win” the tug game, and always remove the toy and put it away when you are done. If your dog will cooperate with these rules, tug is probably OK. NOTE: discontinue tug games immediately if your dog will not release his toy, or growls or snaps. Most of the time, dogs who react adversely to tug games simply have not had enough training. Do not give the dog who “cannot play nicely” any more chances to practice his unruly behaviors. Call a trainer.

Interactive toys are toys that your dog can play with alone or with you. An example is the Buster Cube, in which you place a portion of kibble and the dog releases it by turning the cube every which way. These types of toys stimulate the dog’s desire and need to learn.

OK, I’ve got the toys, now how do I add value?

Keep this maxim in mind: “Anything we get in excess, we value less.” Here is a simple regimen that is nearly foolproof, if you follow it to the letter:

1.) Put ALL the dog’s toys away for at least 24 hours. 2-3 days is best. Make sure they are out of sight. (NOTE: the dog should have at least one chewing device available at all times–chewing devices are NOT considered toys for this purpose.)

2.) After the restriction period is over, bring out one of the toys when your dog is not completely distracted by something else–we want to make him inquisitive!

3.) Ignore dog. Exclaim to the world in general (not looking at dog) how wonderful the toy is, toss it in the air, wave it around, giggle, talk silly to it, make yummy noises as you pretend to eat it, & whoop it up big time. Run all over the house with it, dog jumping in excitement and you completely ignoring him–and DO NOT allow the dog to have it!! This is important!

4.) After a few minutes of this crazy fun, put the item away again while the dog watches.

5.) Switch yourself “off” and go do something else.

6.) REPEAT the above 5 steps twice a day (once in a.m., once in p.m.) for 3 days.

7.) On the 4th day, “accidentally” allow the dog to “get” the toy as you are making a fuss over it. Play with him with it for a couple of minutes, and then put it away again.

8.) Repeat step 7, gradually drawing out the play sessions up to 5 minutes or so. Keep them fun!

9.) Continue to put the toy away after each session–this is the only way it will remain valuable!

10.) Rotate “valuable” toys occasionally just to keep Fido interested.

If your dog does not destroy toys, but will occasionally amuse himself by getting one out and playing for awhile, it is OK for him to have access to no more than 2 of his “everyday” toys (i.e. ones that he likes, but that have not been given value). Keep the valuable one(s) aside for training.

To integrate toys into your training, simply allow the dog a few seconds to play with or mouth a valuable toy after he performs a command. For balls, do one throw/fetch after each successful command. It’s easy!

Reprinted with permission by Mailey McLaughlin, M.Ed.

If you are like most dog owners, your house is littered with any number of dog toys. But you can’t figure out why, with so many toys of his own, Fido doesn’t really seem interested in them. It is because they have very little value to him. In reality, your dog doesn’t need more than a few toys to be fulfilled…you just need to know how to make them valuable and fun for him.

Dog toys range from balls to fleecy/plush animals to squeakers to interactive toys (I.T.). They are a necessary component to a good relationship with a dog. What your dog will ultimately play with depends on his tastes and what you allow him to have, and what you have given value to. His tastes may change periodically, which is fine. Experts agree that rotating toys keeps the games fresh and fun–which keep your dog more interested.

What toys are best?

As a professional dog trainer, people often ask me what dog toys I recommend they should buy and which ones I use for my own dogs.

Here’s the answer: Your dog doesn’t need more than three toys. Rotate them, so he doesn’t get bored. But remember: We’re talking about an animal that eats the same food, day in/day out. And while your dog needs mental stimulation in the form of play and obedience training, they will be perfectly happy with chewing on the same toys, for years.   (Much the same way young children can watch the same Barney movie 100 times without getting bored!)

So… what are the three best dog toys in my opinion?

– The Kong© rubber toy or something similar. The benefit of this toy is that they can chew on it for months and months, in most cases.  It doubles as a pacifier and an interactive toy.  You can also stuff it with doggie treats, cream cheese, peanut butter or whatever.  West Paw Design and Planet Dog have similar rubber toys which are sometimes more durable than the Kong.

– The rope toy. This is usually sold in either white or multi-strand colors. It is a thick piece of soft rope, tied in a knot on each end. Knotted rope bones are safe for playing fetch, and can be used for teething puppies. If you give your dog a rope bone, however, you must be mindful that some dogs actually chew and swallow the fabric. This habit can be deadly! There are alternatives such as the nuts for knots which doesn’t have the fringe for dogs to chew on.

– The Nylabone.  This is sold in various materials to fit the various strengths of chewing abilities dogs have.  Unlike rawhide and bones, Nylabones can be washed in the dishwasher and won’t splinter or swell in your dog’s throat.

I recommend that dogs have toys appropriate to their size and temperament– Toys that encourage cooperation between pet and handler are the best (fetch can be played with almost anything).

If your dog is home alone for extended periods interactive toys that your dog can play with alone are great to occupy the day. An example is the Buster Cube, in which you place a portion of kibble and the dog releases it by turning the cube every which way. These types of toys stimulate the dog’s desire and need to learn. Another is the Intellicube which has the dog learn how to remove fabric squeak toys from a fabric cube.

Now how do I add value? Keep this maxim in mind: “Anything we get in excess, we value less.” Here is a simple regimen that is nearly foolproof, if you follow it to the letter: 1.) Put ALL the dog’s toys away for at least 24 hours. 2-3 days is best. Make sure they are out of sight. (NOTE: the dog should have at least one chewing device available at all times–chewing devices are NOT considered toys for this purpose.) 2.) After the restriction period is over, bring out one of the toys when your dog is not completely distracted by something else–we want to make him inquisitive! 3.) Ignore dog. Exclaim to the world in general (not looking at dog) how wonderful the toy is, toss it in the air, wave it around, giggle, talk silly to it, make yummy noises as you pretend to eat it, & whoop it up big time. Run all over the house with it, dog jumping in excitement and you completely ignoring him–and DO NOT allow the dog to have it!! This is important! 4.) After a few minutes of this crazy fun, put the item away again while the dog watches. 5.) Switch yourself “off” and go do something else. 6.) REPEAT the above 5 steps twice a day (once in a.m., once in p.m.) for 3 days. 7.) On the 4th day, “accidentally” allow the dog to “get” the toy as you are making a fuss over it. Play with him with it for a couple of minutes, and then put it away again. 8.) Repeat step 7, gradually drawing out the play sessions up to 5 minutes or so. Keep them fun! 9.) Continue to put the toy away after each session–this is the only way it will remain valuable! 10.) Rotate “valuable” toys occasionally just to keep Fido interested.

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