Games for kids and dogs

All children should be taught to respect other living beings, be they animal or human. From birth, children need to learn that some things are just not allowed and “be gentle” should be a common household command. Even if your household does not contain animals, your children should still be taught the basics. One day they will encounter a dog whether it is a neighbor’s dog or a meeting on the street with a strange dog.

Tug of war or dogs chasing children isn’t the way for children and dogs to play together.  Children age 6 to 12 benefit from learning how to recognize the advantages of incorporating new and innovative play strategies with their dog and how the wrong game may contribute to increasing bad behaviors.

It can be as simple as assisting them with teaching your dog tricks such as roll over and shake to building on more complicated problem solving games the require the dog to figure out what cup his treat is under or put his toys away.

Teaching games geared toward age appropriate play with dogs develop and encourage better interaction and bond between child and pet.

If you would like to gain more ideas for proper dog play with children, Acme Canine has created a booklet to coach you and your children.

You can purchase it through the Square Store.

Fitness Fun with your dog

How much serious thought have you given to dog fitness? If you’re like many dog enthusiasts, you may believe that your dog is doing just fine managing things for himself, but the fact is that many dogs could benefit from a little active fitness management on the part of their caretakers.

Just like their human counterparts, dogs need a fitness regimen to keep them on the path to good health. The key in any dog fitness regimen is you. As the owner, it is up to you to set the routine, find the motivation and get out there and exercise with your dog.

Far outweighing the inconvenience of committing time and effort to achieve physical fitness, the rewards of being physically fit, for man and dog, will last a lifetime.  And those rewards can actually be felt physically and emotionally.  Deep inside every canine brain there exists a structure called the Hypothalamus.  That’s where nerve impulses of happiness and pleasure set the dog’s tail into motion, crank up the heart and breathing rate, and propel the dog into all sorts of body language that signals excitement and enthusiasm for whatever wonderful thing is about to happen.  And since all dogs are born to run, anticipation of an exercise session really sets it off.

Experienced dog trainers understand that when it comes to dogs, an inadequate amount of exercise can result in behavior problems. “The primary outgrowth of keeping your dog physically fit will be a substantially improved quality of life throughout the aging process,” cites Laura Pakis, owner of Acme Canine.  And when old age does come knocking, your dog will be much better equipped to continue to be mobile, alert and enthusiastic throughout the day.  When thinking of how physical fitness impacts your dog, “quality of life” are the key words.  Fitness and exercise have the same beneficial effects in the dog as they do in the human.  It helps to keep unwanted weight off the dog and improves the overall physical health.  One of the most important benefits that exercise has on the dog is the positive effect on its psychological well-being.  And sedentary canines have a much higher risk of health and medical problems than active dogs.

Want to learn more?  Acme Canine and personal fitness trainer, Stacy Gotti, have teamed up to create a progressive, fun, and effective canine fitness booklet to increase public awareness about the importance of exercising their dogs.   Similar to Thank Dog Boot Camp and New York Dog Fitness, this booklet, Fitness Fun with Fido offers all the tools participants need to achieve a lifetime of good health for yourself and for your four-legged workout partners, too!

Purchase Fitness with Fido booklet

Superfood for dogs

by Amber Kingsley, freelance journalist and member of a pet enthusiast/ animal lover group in my city.

We are always discussing new issues and spreading the word on how to properly take care of your pets. One area of concern we are seeing with pet owners is the different dog diet recommendations that emerge every day on the internet/news.  In an effort to help pet owners understand the issue and its effects better we have created an infographic on ‘Super foods for dogs’.”

Superfoods, by definition, are packed with nutrients and vitamins that are especially beneficial for better health and well-being. Nowadays many people are making healthier choices, buying more locally grown organic fruits and vegetables, cutting down on added fat and sugar in their diets and the same goes for feeding their precious pets.

Watching our weight, eating a better diet and getting more exercise is the best way that we can literally tip the scale in our favor. By making these healthier choices, we will all stay fit and trim, lower our cholesterol, keep our hearts healthy and allow us to live much longer lives.

As they say, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and what’s healthy for humans is also good for their hounds. We all know it’s better to eat more greens, but why? Are there dangers of feeding Fido corn as opposed to kale? What’s okay for people to consume, but not their pooch? Let’s take a look at these healthy foods sorted by color:

 

superfoods for dogs

GREEN for purification and detoxification - Green vegetables and fruits help us to maintain a stronger immune system, reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and lower blood pressure. Load up on salad greens, broccoli, kale, spinach and collards.

AVOID: Green onions, or any type of onion for that matter, and avocados can all potentially causes stomach distress or gastritis in some dogs. Grapes are also linked to kidney failure in some animals but not others, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and avoid giving them to your pet altogether.

RED to fight disease and maintain heart health – Watermelons, apples, kidney beans, raspberries and strawberries have all been linked to better circulation and can help our bodies fight disease and promote good health.

AVOID: Tomatoes have been known to cause allergies and skin irritation for some dogs so it’s best to keep them out of reach. Red peppers are also not a good idea since they can be difficult to digest and some varieties are too spicy for our canines.

YELLOW & ORANGE reduces the risk of cancer and promotes better health – Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, cantaloupe and other colorful fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and also can aid with better digestion.

AVOID: Or more precisely, take it easy on the corn, as it can also cause skin ailments and other irritants in some dogs. Many pet owners will avoid processed dog foods that list corn as the main ingredient for this very reason. The same goes for the pepper precaution.

PURPLE for a longer life – Blueberries, plums and eggplant are rich in antioxidants and contain disease-fighting phytochemicals, which can only be found in plants. Eating blueberries, in particular, may prevent the effects of aging by improving cell communication in the nervous system. Eating blue and blackberries may also prevent a decline in brain function as we age.

AVOID: Synonymous with the “green” warning, steer clear of grapes and onions. According to the SPCA, additional avoidances for feeding dogs, regardless of color, include garlic, chocolate, alcohol and macadamia nuts, which can all be toxic for canines.

We can all eat healthier every day of the week and by including some of the seven superfoods shown on this infographic, both people and their pets will benefit. As always, be sure to check with your veterinarian before making any changes to your animal’s diet, but it’s probably safe to admit that your dog’s doctor will likely agree to these healthy choices.

Acme Canine 2010

In 2010, Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist, explained how dogs perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky animal, the human. Her book, Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know; 63 weeks as a New York Times bestseller!

The top 10 durable dog toys of 2010 included the Planet Dog Orbee bone (one of our favorites), the Smugga Wubba Dog toy, Chuckit! ball launcher.  Several of these toys are now a part of The Woofie Shop.

Researchers identified a new target for the treatment of lymphoma and tested a potential new drug in pet dogs afflicted with the disease. They found at low doses, the compound, called S-PAC-1, arrested the growth of tumors in three of six dogs tested and induced partial remission in a fourth.  The results of the study, conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois, appeared in the journal Cancer Research.

Also in 2010 Acme Canine’s staff marched in the Cincinnati PuppyUp walk for canine cancer, were interviewed by Tracie Hotcher of Dog Talk radio on indoor dog games and activities, and participated in Culture Fest at Huntington Park.

It was a growth in the community encouraging Acme Canine to change it’s name to Acme Canine Resource Center to better represent our vision of being a resource to dog owners.

As part of Acme Canine’s 10th anniversary celebration we are sharing special moments over the years.  Each issue of the Bark will feature a different Acme Canine year. 

Hiking and Camping with your Dog

Avid outdoors dog owners swear that a dog can appreciate a spectacular panoramic view as much as a human can. Dogs discover interesting features you might otherwise overlook, and a dog is thrilled at the new smells and sites of a camp site. Some avid outdoors people believe that a dog can appreciate a spectacular panoramic view as much as a human can. But when bringing your dog along on a camping or backpacking trip, you need to make extra plans specifically for your canine companion.

Preparations

Vaccinations and License

It is of absolute importance that your dog’s vaccinations be up-to-date, as dogs can encounter unvaccinated animals while camping. Dog licenses should also be current. And ask your vet about the areas where you will be camping/traveling, as some carry additional health risks for dogs and may warrant additional precautions.

Know Your Dog

What excites your dog? What puts your dog “on guard”? What makes your dog bark, growl or whimper? Know your dog’s language, know what sets him off, and know how to calm him down. Learn to read his tail, eyes, ears and body posture. If you can’t anticipate your dogs reactions to various situations, there is no way you are ready to camp with your dog.

Dog obedience classes are ESSENTIAL for you to understand dogs.

Start With Short Day Trips

Dogs stress out when their routine changes. Too much stress can lead to erratic, aggressive behavior, even illness. Getting your dog comfortable to the many scenarios he’ll encounter while camping in the weeks before your trip is easy and fun. It will also help you further know and bond with your dog (and this is always, always a good thing).

Leash Your Dog

No matter how well-behaved you think your dog is, it is both impolite and dangerous to other campers NOT to have your dog somehow under your control at all times. Your friendly, unleashed dog could wander into a campsite where there is a dog-aggressive dog or a dog-aggressive PERSON, and the results can be disastrous, even deadly. Don’t chance it — keep your dog leashed, unless you can absolutely assure that your dog will NOT leave your campsite without you, even if a dog wanders by. As someone on a dog-hike discussion group noted, “while he is your ‘puddin’, sweetums’, or darlin’, to the rest of the world he is an unfamiliar 40 pound carnivore.” Don’t assume every person is a dog lover and wants to get a closer look.

Physical Demands

While camping with your dog is not nearly as physically-demanding as hiking, for many dogs, camping will mean some increase in physical activity, however slight; there will be more opportunities for walking, running and exploring than are usually found in their day-to-day routine, and the terrain may be more challenging. A visit to the veterinarian to evaluate general health is a good idea before your dog camps for the first time.

Interested in learning more?  consider purchasing the Hiking and Camping with your dog booklet

Puppy Treads

This past month Acme Canine tested Puppy Treads, a product similar to a thick contact paper except it provides a safe, non-slip walking surface for your dog.  The product is manufactured and distributed by the HandiRamp Company, which has been in the safety business for over 50 years.

HandiRamp provided us with two treads for testing.  These 6 x 24 inch treads were a clear lightweight rubbery material with a texture imprinted on them to prevent slipping.  It was suggested the treads be applied to tile flooring or interior hardwood stairs and floors.  We had neither.

What we did have was rhino floor. So we prepared the surface by cleaning the floor and allowing it to dry.  Even though we used a rolling pin per instructions to push out air bubbles and creases, as the days went by, dirt and dog hair found their way under the tread and it started sliding when we walked on it.  The good news was the adhesive treads didn’t leave behind a sticky residue after removal.

We then tried another tread on a metal flashing located at the bottom of a Plexidor doggie door we have in our training room.  Again we thoroughly cleaned the flashing.  We cut the tread to size and applied it to the flashing using a rolling pin.Plexidor2

This tread has held.  In fact, it has survived dogs running in and out the doggie door, 14 consecutive days of rain and our kennel cleaner. With almost 30 days on the flashing we don’t see any change in the tread or parts of it lifting up.

Although this isn’t the intended use for the tread, for the dogs staying at Acme it has provided a comfortable safe surface and seems as if it will definitely stay put for years to come.  We’ll have to see what happens in winter but for now it’s working great.

If you are interested in purchasing Puppy Treads, the company is offering a 10% discount code for our readers: BLOG2015

The Scoop on Poop

Why not just let it sit there and degrade? Aside from the fact that other people and animals may be sharing the yard, dog poop is a health hazard. Left alone it can gather maggots, parasites from other animals, pass parasites TO other animals, which in turn pass them back to the dogs, and possibly us humans as well. The smell alone is also a good incentive to pick it up, as well as irate neighbors (who complain of the smell). Picking it up is also the best solution if you have a dog who likes to snack on “poop-sicles” (coprophagia).

Dog waste contaminates the ground and becomes a means of passing intestinal parasites and infections to dogs and people. Your own dog can be repeatedly reinfested by parasites in this way. Picking up the feces prevents a great deal of the contamination, especially if diarrhea is not involved. Cleanup can reduce veterinary expenses and might even save on human doctor bills.

Because of contamination as well as smell and mess, dog waste is highly offensive to many people in the community. It often becomes a reason to ban dogs from areas. Of course the dogs can’t clean up after themselves, so this is a people problem rather than a dog problem. It’s easy to enact “no dogs allowed” rules, and then the people who clean up suffer right along with the ones who don’t.

If happiness for you is being able to have your dog live with you in an apartment or condominium, be conscientious about cleaning up. Dog waste damages landscaping, offends other tenants, and costs money to landlords and homeowners associations. In markets where there are plenty of tenants available to rent the property, landlords tend to eliminate dogs to get rid of these problems. It pays to not only clean up after your own dog, but others, too, whenever the poop is especially conspicuous.

Neighborhood disputes over dog poop can escalate into real misery. In some localities it is illegal to allow your dog to relieve on someone else’s property unless you have that person’s permission. The very existence of such laws is an indication of how seriously people take the cleanup issue!

If you’ve ever tried to have a pleasant outdoor meal next door to a yard contaminated with foul-smelling dog feces, you have some idea of how quality of life can be affected by cleanup neglect. If you’ve found your lawn mower stinking up the tool shed because of dog feces on the mower blades after mowing your own yard where someone else’s dog deposited poop, you surely weren’t pleased.

Keeping the yard clean keeps the dog cleaner, since the dog won’t be stepping or playing in the mess on relief trips outside. A clean yard also gives both people and dogs a lot more exercise space.

Ways and Means

Various tools are available for picking up dog waste. Some people use a shovel, and may bury the waste in the yard. If you want to dispose of the waste outdoors, a septic or other sewage disposal system may do a better job of handling potentially infectious material.

Scooper tools can make the job easier. These are usually lighter in weight than a shovel and more customized for the pickup task. You can tote along a bucket or bag to save steps.

A simple plastic bag slipped over your hand like a glove makes an efficient and completely clean pickup tool. A latex glove is also useful. A wide variety of bags will work, making this one way to recycle. Simply pick up the poop, turn the bag inside out to enclose it, tie the top, and deposit it in a legal container. This system works well on outings as well as at home.

If bending is difficult for you, a long-handled scooper tool may be your better choice. Some of these are designed to work with disposable bags. There are quite a few different tools designed for picking up poop.

In many communities, you can hire a service to pick up dog poop from your yard on a regular schedule. If there’s not a service near you and you’re an enterprising person, it could make a great business for you.

Good Habits

You can make pickup easier with how you manage your dog. Though you need to always be ready to pick up on outings and walks, many dogs will learn to relieve themselves at home before and after walks if consistently given the chance. That saves you having to carry it home.

Keeping the elimination to certain areas can help the dog be more social on outings, too. Some dogs will defend territory they have marked by urinating and defecating. Getting your dog to do this at home instead of on your walk can have a positive effect on the dog’s attitude toward other dogs and people on walks.

If your outings are long and the dog needs to eliminate before you get back home, you may be able to teach your dog to eliminate on cue. Dogs vary in how their bodies work for elimination. Some will be so stimulated by exercise that they simply must move their bowels on every walk. This is just the way they are made, not a training issue.

A great book to assist you with training your dog when and where to eliminate is ELIMINATE ON COMMAND by Dr. M.L. Smith. It takes about 10 days to have a dog eliminate by giving it the Potty command.

Be Proud

There’s no place so isolated that you can be sure dog poop would not put some animal at risk of catching something from your dog, or some person or animal at risk of stepping in the mess. Picking up is just part of having a dog. If everyone would do it, there would be far fewer objections to dogs living and traveling in human communities.

Be proud to be seen picking up dog poop. It may seem silly at first, but people who see you do this will know any mess left behind is NOT from your dog. Picking up shows pride in your community, in yourself, and in your dog. You set a great example for others, and you help create a brighter future for dogs and their people.

 

 

Private In home training vs Residency training: Which to choose?

It is important to understand that for most people training their dog, the process is not simply a dollars and cents formula, but rather a combination of money, time, energy, and ability of the owners as well as the behavior issues of their dog. At times the choice is not clear which option to choose. The decision then rests with what suits your family’s lifestyle.

For each person, how your dog is now and how it will be once trained, offers a unique understanding of “training.” So as you consider what way to proceed with training, the cost is relative and depends on the resources you have and are prepared to invest in training your dog.

Private in home training and residency training each have their advantages when teaching manners to our dogs.  Whatever program you choose, your dog will be better trained than before working with Acme Canine. Our certified professional trainers will build a foundation through which you are able to communicate with your dog. With this foundation you will gain more respect, focus, and bond from you canine companion.   In addition, all of Acme Canine’s programs teach our clients how to handle, how to speak, how to correct, how to fade body language, etc. so you can assume the leadership role and better communicate with your dog.

TIME & ENERGY:

  • Is time tight? Are you planning a vacation or have a business trip?
  • Do you need your dog trained quickly?
  • Do you have a busy lifestyle?

 In-home     Great for owners whose schedules are more hectic. Clients can choose a package or do their training session by session. Day, evening or weekend, we come to our client’s home, one day a week, two days per week, or five days per week, depending on their needs and those of their dog. It is ultimately up to our client to train and change behaviors in their dog. Our client is actually training their dog every time they interact with it. Training may take longer due to lack of finesse but if the owner really learns the reinforcement/correction skills their dog will perform at a high level.

Residency   A certified trainer is working with your dog several hours a day. That’s nearly 200 hours spent shaping the dog’s behavior for virtually every second.   Even when sleeping, that dog is doing something that the trainer has directed…resting quietly in the crate. If he’s not complying, then the trainer is up at 4 a.m. taking care of it, and reshaping it into what is needed from the dog. More commands can be taught and learned in a shorter time frame. This is possible through multiple training sessions occurring daily.   With a dog trained through a residency program it far easier to “train” the owners when using a trained dog. We feel the dog doesn’t get as confused and is a bit more “forgiving” if the owner makes a mistake.

ABILITY:

  • Are you able to physically do the exercises as outlined?
  • Are you able to follow through working mostly on your own with minimal instruction and assistance from an instructor?
  • Are you able to apply the generalized instruction to your own unique experience and set of circumstances?
  • Do you baby your dog?
  • Do you have the patience required to teach your dog?

In-home

Teaching your own dog provides a sense of accomplishment. By investing yourself in training, you also reap your own rewards. Training your own dog sometimes give you a better understanding for teaching the next dog that comes along, or in helping a friend understand a better way of doing things.

 Residency

Acme Canine’s trainers can push the dog as fast as he’s willing and able to go. Faster results can be achieved due to professional instruction involving “good interpretation of the dog”, “lots of praise”, and “quick corrections”

If you have very low expectations for your dog and doubt that your dog could ever do what we would like them to, YOU (and the dog) would benefit from a residency program. A residency gives the dog a jump start on the commands making it easier for you to follow through on maintaining your dog.

YOUR DOG:

  • Is your dog uncomfortable in a group setting?
  • Does your dog have severe behavior issues such as separation problems or aggression?

 In-home

Dogs learn in the environment where they live. Teaching a dog in your home is more comfortable and less stressful for your dog.

Residency

Aggression and severe insecurity issues are best handled by a professional. Residency would be the recommended program.

LOCATION:

  • Do you want to train in a sterile environment or the real world?
  • Do you have room in your home to train your dog?

In-home

In-home training allows dog owners to learn the proper methods to train their dog for the real world in the privacy of their own home. Clients may feel more open to answering questions in their home, and like to show how they do things on a daily basis. Teaching “wait” at the door can hit home when you do it where you will need it most. We can also work on things like an “off” command for your furniture, and “leave it” with things the dog likes to grab in your home.

Residency

Unlike most residency programs Acme Canine teaches your pet in a home environment, using training methods appropriate for your dog’s personality and temperament. We customize the training for your dog to meet your unique needs and goals. The training process includes travel accommodations to different training venues where your dog will receive socialization and distraction training in real life situations.   Acme Canine will provide updates and documentation of the ENTIRE TRAINING PROCESS as a permanent record of your dogs’ progress and training on request. We’ll even pick up and deliver your dog!

copyright 2004 Acme Canine

INDEPENDENCE DAY and your dog

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and this week INDEPENDENCE DAY. Your plans for enjoying them and bringing both family and friends together are in your mind – planning, budgeting, inviting and making sure you all have a good time. Lots of plans for guests, parties and celebrations. But what about your dog? With an old campaigner there may be no problems but with young dogs and sensitive ones this can be a very stressful time. So, give a thought to how you will include and safeguard your dog both physically and mentally during this time. With a little planning you can ensure your dog not only is safe and cared for but also he does not become over stressed or interacted with in a way which will create behavior problems or even health issues. Too many treats, which may seem fun and delightful to him, can have you running to the vets for all types of issues. Diarrhea being only one of them.

Because of the activity, and general turmoil during the holiday season, more dog bites occur during this time than at any other. Guests want to pet, children want to hug and some children and adults will even tease. The result; the inevitable accident, a spoiled holiday and a dog that we now do not know if we can ever trust again.

By realizing that activity and excitement over the holidays with different sounds and different experiences can stress your dog think of ways and make plans to minimize these problems. Even kenneling in a Boarding Kennel over the holiday should be considered.

At the party, supervise your dog at all times. Know where he is and what he is doing and what others are doing with him. If in doubt or if you cannot supervise then put him in a safe room with radio or TV playing, or his crate where he can relax. Where there are a lot of children playing, running and making the usual party noises your dog must be supervised. If not, then there is the potential for ankles being nipped, your dog feeling threatened and reacting by biting, and him becoming over excited and jumping up on people or, all over your furniture. There will be opportunities to steal food and he will learn that being naughty is much more fun than being good. In addition he can become stressed by it all. This should not be surprising as he may be constantly hugged, chased, talked to, shouted at, and possibly frightened by all the new happenings. Imagine Halloween with everyone dressed up in masks and ‘play’ scaring everyone else, and your dog in the middle of this. Complete sensory overload. So supervise, or have someone responsible in your family supervise who the dog knows, trusts and obeys. If you cannot do either of these put him somewhere safe.

It is not only children that create problems. Dogs do not like to be hugged and overwhelmed by adults they do not know. How would you feel if a stranger in the streets came up and started hugging on you, putting their face in yours and rubbing you vigorously around the head? Yes, I know – me too!!! So teach your guests to basically ignore your dog at first and when they do say ‘Hi’; do it gently, slowly and stroke calmly under the chin. If he does not wish to be greeted by anyone, or he is good at ‘training’ guests to give him food, inform your guests of this and ask them to ignore him at all times.

Have a quiet room or if he is happy and quiet in his crate, use this to give him a break or to be secure throughout the happenings. Don’t forget him though, remember he still has to go to the bathroom occasionally. If he is loose and part of the party, watch for stressful behavior. Standing tall, ears and tail erect, hackles raised, submissive posture but lip curled, excessive yawning, fixed eye contact and if you know your dog, other signs of stress and possible reactivity. When you see these signs take him to a quiet room or his crate. Have a big sign on the door of either stating – “My room, do not touch, talk or stare. AND, do not let me out without permission from Mom or Dad.”

Safety is essential at parties, not only for your guests but also for your dog. Too much chocolate is dangerous for dogs, doors left open can have him running unseen out into the street, and an unseen fall into the swimming pool by a puppy leaves him not knowing how to get out. Be a dog person first and when you are, you will be thinking of these problems and automatically taking leadership action to minimize and avoid them. Be safe with your dog by having him safe. Even something as simple as having his leash attached at all times indoors and out can give him the confidence feeling of being under control and provides you the opportunity for it to be picked up if necessary.

Some holiday parties end with a finale of fireworks. Your dog may not give the impression of being noise sensitive but loud bangs and other sharp noises going off rapidly can easily create a fear. Even gundogs can be sensitive to fireworks even though they are accepting of gunshot. So, once more a muffled room, possibly with music playing, slightly louder than usual and if there is any reaction to the sound do not try to comfort him. Comforting can make it worse. He may think you are praising this fear behavior and it becomes rewarded. Basically ignore him. If he enjoys chewing on something, give him this to occupy his mind. It is better to avoid the problem of loud noises rather than attempting to overcome the fear once it is there. This fear, in many instances, is virtually impossible to overcome.

Our dogs are part of our family and we want them involved however we also have a responsibility to protect them, keep them safe and teach them how to behave with guests. The party can be a fun and enjoyable training opportunity for you and your dog. So don’t take risks. If in doubt pop him on a leash and have him with you where you can supervise. Give him an occasional rest in a separate room or his crate and do teach guests how to interact with him, and, in doing so, love him because he is a good boy.

And as a last point, if your dogs suddenly begins to behave differently, appears lethargic, has difficulty eliminating, appears as if in discomfort get him to a vet to check he has not eaten something he should not have. Blockage items and poison substances for dogs, such as raisins and chocolate, are often everywhere in the holidays.

Then with your care and attention, everyone will have Happy Holidays.

Quack, a good alternative to a basket muzzle

‘Quack’ by Japanesequack designer pet supplies company Oppo is an interesting option to the usual basket muzzle.  Shaped like a duck’s bill, the muzzle sits on the dog’s snout to transform your canine friend’s biting issue into being safe around other dogs and people.

Reviews are mixed for this product.  Some feel the muzzle is “nothing short of torture to the dog.”  While others think it “actually looks much nicer than a hannibal lecter/bad-guy-from-skyfall/darth-vador-face-mask sort of prison.”

We ordered three sizes to test from Amazon.com.  The total cost was less than $20 for all three. Although they say they are for medium and large dogs, I don’t believe they would fit a dog larger than 20 lbs.

Normally we use a plastic basket muzzle when walking dog aggressive dogs in the neighborhood.  People do notice the muzzle and stay away from the dog.  We noticed when testing the ‘Quack’, it seemed to encourage people to approach us and ask why the dog was wearing the muzzle.  (Not sure this is a positive for people aggressive dogs).

The ‘Quack’  seemed to perform the same functions as a traditional muzzle, but actually gives the dog a little more freedom to sniff around since it’s so open at the end.  It also proved easier for the dog to adjust to.

We think for the right use (such as nail trims or visits to vet offices) the Quack is a very good alternative to a basket muzzle.

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 training center will do the rest!