We teach dog owners new tricks


All dogs have an inherent need to chew that begins when they first grow teeth and continues through old age. Chewing is essential for dogs for several reasons: it relieves boredom, it satisfies an urge, and it is essential for good tooth/gum health.
Many times owner provide a slipper or old shoe as an “easy” toy for their puppy, only later to complain that their dog is stealing shoes and destroying them. You need to teach your dog the proper things to chew and prevent his access to things he should not have.  Dogs like black and white.  Teaching your dog “LEAVE IT” or “DROP” as well as “TAKE” can clarify to the dog what he can and can’t have.  Acme Canine can lend a hand to teach your dog what is appropriate to chew and what is not. Give us a call today to schedule an assessment to start you and your dog on the right track.

Jumping is normal dog behavior. It is a “canine etiquette rules” taught to each pup from birth. As soon as they are able to eat solid food, the mother canine carries bits of food in her mouth back to her waiting pups. On her return, the young pups greet her by licking the bits of food from around her lips. As canines grow older, this behavior translates into acceptable canine greeting. If you have more than one dog, or if your dog encounters a dog friend, they are likely to lick each other around the mouth to say hello. This behavior is similar to the human habit of shaking hands.

When a pup moves from his litter into your family, his human pack, he retains this “Glad to see you,” greeting behavior. However, humans walk upright and have mouths that are high off the floor. When your dog is happy to see you and wants to greet you in the only way he knows how, he has to jump in an attempt to lick you around this high-up mouth. People find jumping up and mouth licking rather disgusting and often react by scolding the dog or pushing it away.

There are many training methods to teach a dog that jumping is not appropriate.  Although many people use turning their back on their dog to correct this or stepping on the dogs toes, using a leash and a command such as OFF will define the action and allow your dog to understand this is an inappropriate behavior.

Acme Canine can assist you with correcting this behavior as well as other common ill-manners.

Here’s a quick list of how to keep your dog mentally stimulated:

1.   Exercise. Lots of exercise. If you can incorporate exercise with another activity such as playing, “find the ball,” or doing some agility exercises, then that’s even better.

2.   Brain teaser toys. There are a number of cool toys that actually challenge your dog’s mind. For example, one of the more popular ones is the “Buster Cube,” a plastic cube that releases a pellet of food, every third or fourth time the Cube is rolled over.

3.   Small rituals done at the same time of day, every day. For example: feeding time, grooming, walks, “cookie” time, car trips around town, etc.

4.   Dogs like to work. Teach your dog to bring in the newspaper, carry mail back from the mailbox, or to walk with you when you take the trash out. (Whenever I go through the drive-thru window at McDonald’s, my dog Woofie gets to carry the trash bag to the trash receptacle when we’re finished. Sound silly, right? But Woofie loves it!)

5.   Do obedience training with your dog. Obedience training requires your dog to use his brain and think. Knowing that he will be praised for making the right decision and corrected for making the wrong decision (and allowed the opportunity to make the right decision again) instills a sense of responsibility in your dog and demands that he use his noggin. Remember: dogs are bred to work. They’ve been blessed with super-human instincts and drives and they need an outlet for those drives.

6) Teach the dog to find a toy that you’ve hidden. Put the dog in a sit/stay, then hide the article. Return and send the dog away to find it.

7)  Teach the “Go Get (named article)”. Woofie knows rope, bone, and kong. I put all three in the hallway and repeatedly send him to bring back the one toy I’ve chosen.

8)  The Shell Game. Here’s what you’ll need: three small, identical buckets, cans, or cups; kibble or doggie cookies; a leash and training collar; and one hungry puppy. Here’s what you do: Place your dog in a down-stay five feet from area where you’ll set up the game. Next, place the three buckets side-by-side with the mouth on the ground (upside down). Leave about one foot of space between each bucket. Put a doggie cookie under one of the buckets. Now, return to your dog and give him your “release” command. Walk him over to the buckets and say, “Where’s the cookie?” and encourage him to smell the buckets. When he gets excited about the bucket with the cookie under it praise him lavishly! Then, knock the bucket over and let him get the cookie. Repeat this process by hiding the cookie under a different bucket. Once your dog starts to get the hang of the game you can add more complexity by spacing the buckets further apart. You may also add more buckets. I like to teach a dog to give an active indication when he finds the bucket with the cookie… such as scratching the side of the bucket or barking. You can also teach your dog to “sit” next to the bucket with the cookie. Initially you’ll find that your dog will likely go back to the previous bucket that hid the cookie. Don’t lift the bucket up until he finds the one that actually contains the cookie.




Interested in some easy, ways to gauge your doggie’s brainpower? The best way to measure intelligence is to assess your dog’s problem solving skills. Furthermore, your dog’s level of persistence when trying to solve a problem should also be considered meritorious. These test your dog’s problem solving ability:


Towel test:
Take a large towel or blanket and gently place it over your dog’s head.
If he frees himself from the towel in less than 15 seconds, give him 3 points. If it takes 15-30 seconds, 2 points.  Longer than 30 seconds earns 1 point.

Bucket test:
Place a dog treat or a favorite toy under one of three buckets placed next to each other. Let the dog know which bucket the treat is under, than turn the dog away for a few seconds.  Then, let her find the treat.  If she immediately goes to the correct bucket give her 3 points.  If she takes two attempts, score 2 points.  If your dog looks under the other two buckets first, score 1 point.

Problem solving:                                                                                            Place a treat in a square of aluminum foil and fold it twice to seal it. If your dog uses his paws to open the foil, give him 3 points. If he uses his mouth and paws to open the foil, give him 2 points. If he can’t get the foil open and starts playing with it, give him 1 point. This test, again, measures problem solving.

Favorite spot:
With your dog out of the room, rearrange the furniture. When he re-enters the room, if he goes directly to his favorite spot give him 3 points.  If it takes him 30 seconds to investigate before he finds his spot, give him 2 points.  If he decides on a new area completely, score 1 point.

Chair puzzle:
Place a treat under a table or chair low enough so your dog can only fit her paw and cannot fit her head. If your dog figures how to reach the treat within one minute, score 3 points.  If she uses her paws and nose, score 2 points.  If your dog gives up, score 1 point.

Go for a walk!
On a day or time you normally don’t walk your dog, quietly pick up your keys, and his leash while he’s watching you. If he gets excited immediately, score 3 points. If you have to walk to the door before he knows it’s time to go out, score 2 points.  If he sits and just looks confused give him 1 point.

Barrier test:
Construct a barrier from cardboard that is 5 feet wide and taller than your dog when she’s on two legs, so she can’t see over it.  Attach two boxes to either side as support structures.  In the center of the cardboard, cut a 3 inch-wide rectangular aperture – it should run from about 4 inches from the top to about 4 inches from the bottom.  (This way, the dog can see through the barrier but cannot physically get through.)  Toss a toy or treat to the other side of the barrier, or have someone stand on the other side.  If your dog walks around the barrier within 30 seconds, give her 3 points.  If she goes around the barrier between 30 seconds and one minute, give 2 points.  If she gets her head stuck in the aperture trying to get through, give her 1 point for effort!

Scoring and results
19 points or higher – Brilliant!
15 to 18 points – Well above average
12 to 14 points – Average
8 to 11 points – Below average
1 to 7 points – Not the brightest kibble in the bag, but we still love ‘em!

Here’s a couple of great books to further test your undiscovered genius.

Test Your Dog: the dog IQ test by Rachel Federman

Caninestein: unleashing the genius in your dog by Betty Fisher and Suzanne Delzio



Dog Pools

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I recently tried to sit down and write a review of the dog bone pool we use at Acme Canine (manufactured by One Dog One Bone).  Having limited experience in a dog pool, however, I quickly realized I’m not the best choice to give a fair and accurate assessment.  Something felt off and I was at a loss.  We decided, instead, to go directly to the source this month and get Woofie’s thoughts on this big summer toy:

When Josh first came to me and asked if I wanted to write a review of the swimming pool we have here at Acme, I couldn’t have been more excited.  Now, it is true that I’ve recently retired from the busy day-to-day work in the facility.  I may not get out to play with the young pups as much as I once did, but taking a swim in the pool on a scorching summer afternoon is one aspect of life from which I certainly have not retired.

The heat of summer presents a number of dangers and challenges for pets and their owners.  While we canines may sometimes seem just like a close member of the family, we experience heat differently than humans.  Making it even more hazardous is most dogs’ inability to articulate their discomfort.  Of course, owners should always keep an eye out for warning signs like rapid and excessive panting, discolored tongue, and lethargy.  Let’s not forget, however, that summer is also a time for fun and adventure.  A dog pool is a particularly great summer toy that allows dogs to both stay cool and have the time of our lives.

The pool experience is fun from beginning to end for the Acme dogs.  When the hose comes out, all the regulars know exactly what’s next and start to impatiently crowd around the empty pool.  Some curious pups will dab a paw in the shallow water to test it. The braver souls will completely jump in and then out the other side, running the most refreshing of gauntlets.  By the time it’s adequately filled, half the dogs are already soaked and chasing each other in and out.

On the One Dog One Bone website, you can even find accessories to trick out your own pool, such as covers and kits to make a deck.  It goes for $369 online.  This may seem a bit steep, but the pool itself is made of truck bed liner material and can hold up to 85 gallons of water (and it’d sure make quite a splash filled to brim like that).  The heavy duty material makes it chew resistant, which the Acme staff loves.  While some dogs may scratch it up a bit, even hounds with the jaws of life won’t be able to rip it in pieces.  Draining is easy with a brass cap at the bottom of one end.  Unscrew it and simply watch it empty (or try to lap it up, as some of my friends do).  A word of warning to the little fellas: the pool is a good size (11”x44”x66”), so be careful if you’re not used to swimming in the deep end.

If my brother Spike and I had to choose a single toy for the dog days of summer, the dog bone pool would be it.  At this point, it’s a mainstay of summers in Lewis Center and definitely one of the highlights of a day of fun and sun with friends at Acme Canine.

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!


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