There are many different types of tools for training dogs. Clicker training is the first major improvement in dog training since choke chains and spiked collars. “Click and treat” has quickly established itself on becoming a big hit in the world of training dogs. Currently, there are over 10,000 trainers who are using this training method everyday.
Easy for Dog and Trainer
One advantage to using this form of training at home is its easy to learn for both the dog and his trainer!
Originally used to train marine mammals, click and treat breaks down the process into two separate steps, information and motivation. The click is the information, the treat is the motivation. While other trainers still work on these two steps, they try to teach them all at once, which can confuse the animal and slow down results. The animal confuses why the clicker goes off and they just want to get the treat!
Using Clicker VS Lure
Most trainers will verbally praise a dog for good behavior, while at the same time motivating the dog to repeat their actions. This can be a good method, however it takes longer for the dog to understand which behaviors and actions caused the praise from the trainer.
With the click and treat method, the processes are easily taught. In normal training, a person would say “good dog” when a welcomed action occurs and proceed with giving a treat. The clicker becomes a substitute for verbal praise and can actually catch the good boy behavior quicker than saying it, letting the dog know exactly which behavior he is being rewarded for. (As long as you click at the right time of the dog performing the behavior.)
Clicker Training Becomes Second Nature
Another way to look at click and treat training is viewing it as a secondary reinforcement, while food, water, physical affection and play (things the dog wants) become primary reinforcement. Like when you take a dog for a walk, the leash works as a secondary reinforcement.
It is obvious to the dog that the leash is not taking him for a walk; the owner is. However, it triggers a reaction in the dog, telling them that the leash will let them know where they will go and where they will not. And if they react to the leash with good behavior, their reward will be a nice leisurely walk.
Working With Clicker Training
Click and treat works the same way by letting the dog know when they have done a behavior you want. When a dog hears the clicker, they will know that they performed a good behavior and as long as they keep hearing a click, there is a treat coming their way. So, the clicker works as a secondary reinforcement, teaching them boundaries and appropriate behavior.
A couple advantages of the click and treat method include:
Faster response than verbal praise. The clicker can identify the exact behavior at the time it happens.
It takes the place of treats. While motivating the dog to hear clicks, it will also teach him to work without the expectations of having treats given to him each time he does something good.
If the trainer is working at a distance from the dog, the clicker will still work, without having to be right next him.
Are you ready to try clicker training?
The first thing you’ll need to do is go to your favorite pet supply store or online and invest in a clicker. The clicker is nothing fancy and should just cost you under five dollars. While you’re there grab some pocket treats. I like to work with treats that you can split into pea size treats.
A good method to use when getting started with click and treat is to stand in front of your dog. Click the clicker and give a treat. Continue doing this for 20-30 minutes at different intervals to get your dog to understand that when they hear a click, they get a treat.
This will familiarize them to the clicking sound, while teaching them that every time they hear it, they have done something good. After they get the hang of it, begin by adding commands, such as sit and stay.
Click Training Is a Simple Alternative to Verbal Training
Click and treat has proven to be a simple, yet consistent training method with quick results. So for the trainers out there who are looking for a new and innovative way to motivate and praise their animals, get out there, buy a clicker and… click!
All training starts with taking advantage of your dog’s natural inclinations to reinforce the behavior you want. The only place your dog will not most likely make a mess is their sleeping place. Crate training works with your dog’s instinct. They never have the opportunity to be bad.
Why Crate You Dog?
Crate training is fairly easy. The rule is: if you are not actively paying attention to what your dog is doing, your dog is in the crate. Period. Even if you’re in the same room. If you’re not watching your puppy, they are in the crate where they can’t get to anything bad. If you think caging your dog is cruel, it’s actually beneficial for them as it is to you. Its worse for your dog not to know the rules of the house and get into bad things or even goes potty when your are not looking.
Your dog may whine and bark the first couple of times being in a crate. Do not let them out until they are quiet. Then they will begin to understand that when they are quiet, you will let them out.
*Never use the crate as a punishment. This will only make your dog associate bad things and not want to go into the crate.
Finding the right size of crate for your dog is very easy. At full growth, your dog should be able to stand up without the top touching and they should be able to turn around. With puppies, you want to separate the empty space to just where they can stand and turn around. While they are growing, make sure to give them enough space.
Don’t Leave Them In Their Crates for Hours
Crate training is not an excuse to ignore your dog for hours at a time. A puppy cannot go more than a couple of hours during the day without a bathroom break. If your dog learns to mess in their crate, the behavior is very difficult to correct. Its one of the biggest challenges when adopting strays or rescues from shelters. It can be done, but requires patience and dedication.
Potty Time Intervals
Dogs should be taken out at regular intervals:
when done eating meals
after play sessions
*Dogs should never be in a crate for more than 8 hours.
Potty Time is Business Time
When taking your dog out just for a potty break, there should be no playing until your dog has done their business. Teach them to potty in one certain area. Put the collar and leash on, take the dog to a specific spot you want them to use for their toilet area. Give your dog a command go potty. If they go potty, reward them with praise and cookies. Say something like “good go potty”. Of course you can use any words you want. Just be careful not to use the phrase under other circumstances.
Sleeping In a Crate
Your puppy should also sleep in their crate, ideally in your bedroom. Dogs are social animals. They need to know their pack or family are close by. I like making the crate like a den by putting blankets over the top and sides. This helps with light shining in and your dog can’t see every move you make.
If the dog wakes you in the night, take them out on a leash. Give them about 10 minutes to do their business. Go back inside, pop them in their crate (small treats can be given), say goodnight and go back to bed. Don’t let the dog outside by itself, even in a fenced yard. Again, this isn’t playtime. You don’t want to be yelling for your dog to come back inside while everyone is trying to sleep!
While Your Dog is Outside of Crate
As your dog learns what’s expected of them, the next phase is to keep the dog on leash, out of the cage. Tie the leash around a belt loop so that you can go about your daily routine with both hands free. Keep one eye on the dog.
When you see their gotta go signals, drop what you’re doing and go. Some people are successful in hanging a bell on the doorknob. They ring the bell whenever they take the dog out. The dog learns, over time, to ring the bell when it has to go. Others teach their dogs to speak as a signal to go out.
My dogs are always crate trained when I leave the house. At this point, they see me reaching for their treats (which sometimes are toys stuffed with a little treat) and they run for their crates. It’s their room, a safe place they can always go to.
Just a note of caution and safety: never leave a collar or harness on your dog in the crate. It can get caught and cause problems.
35 Dog Memes That Accurately Describe Life With Dogs
As one of the most popular pet around, dogs tend to be constantly memed and posted on the internet in one form or another. There’s such a massive audience that knows what it’s like to live life with dogs. They love looking after them, whenever they come across a post or a series of posts, joking about the different antics they cook up in their lives. There’s always a huge run of support around it. For example, the sheer number of memes both on Instagram and various other sites is a true indication of humanity’s love for puppies.
Besides, even if you somehow don’t call yourself a dog lover, you’ll still enjoy these memes. That’s one of the many benefits of our current internet culture. There’s something for everyone everywhere, even if it doesn’t explicitly seem like it. At least at first. There are memes here about different dog breeds, and memes which just use dogs as an appropriate reaction picture for a context. You might even recognize some of these!
#1 Trying to be a hipster?
#2 Whoa, I was just asking for the mail!
#3 Who wants a bath?
#4 You said bubble bath.
#5 I was trying cosplay.
#6 Getting into the zone.
#7 When you put your dog on bookkeeping!
#8 They can’t keep me in the pound!
#9 That was yummy!! Why are you screaming?
#10 Do dogs need masks too?
#11 This is the best day!!
#12 I’ll show you the way around.
#13 Have you seen my human?
#14 Persistence paid off!
#15 I should have paid more attention in school!
#16 Best Lab Results!!
#17 Big places are best to snooze!
#18 I look like a mango seed!! Or from Whoville!
#19 Our first date!
#20 You guys need to go back to work soon!! You’re losing your minds!!
#21 Are you really going to eat that?
#22 I’m a model!!
#23 I’m actually very lazy!
#24 Why do you cheat on me when I’m right here. I can see you!!
#25 Bed Warmer
#26 Covid home trainer!!
#27 I finished school early.
#28 This is a scary ride!
#29 I can’t get punished if you can’t find me!
#30 What’s this toy on the wall?
#31 Only protection against squirrels.
#32 Calling in the real enforcement!
#33 Longer I wait, the longer I’ll stick out my tongue!
Train Your Dog Not to be Possessive Over Their Food
Though sometimes we would like to believe otherwise, food is a dog’s first priority, so the first step to successful training is to establish yourself as the leader. This can be achieved by showing them that they can only have their food at your discretion and command. It is a very scary situation when your dog is possessive of the food and/or toys.
Be The Leader
Start with given them their dinner and allow them to eat for a few seconds. Then take the bowl away from them.
Use an appropriate sound each time you pick up their dish, such as “leave” or “stop”. Keep the bowl for a few seconds. Provided they haven’t shown any aggression as you removed the bowl, tell them ‘good dog’ and give the food back. Allow them to continue eating. Repeat this two or three times during each meal for a few days, then once or twice a week for a few weeks.
Why Are Dogs Possessive of Food?
Some dogs are never possessive with their food. You may find if your dog came from a large litter, the only way they could obtain their share of the food was to threaten their brothers and sisters.
Finding this action achieved their desired result to get more food. They may well try it with you. If you don’t sort this out very early on, this possessiveness will transfer to other things such:
furniture and so on
perhaps even to other members of the family
To stop them from being aggressive with their food, don’t give them possession of it! By this I mean feed them by hand for a couple of weeks. Prepare their food in the bowl as usual, but don’t put the bowl on the floor for them. Simply feed them a handful at a time. The bowl of food on the floor almost instinctively makes them want to guard it. If they are not put in this position of needing to guard, they will not bite!
Feeding by hand also helps if your dog is dominant in other areas. It makes them completely reliant on you for the most important thing in their life, their food. This will reinforce your position of pack leader, as they are only receiving the food from you and not from the bowl.
You can also use this period of hand feeding to your benefit by making them display some minor obedience and manners expected from you for some of the food. Get them to sit first before one handful, or to lie down for the next, and so on. Don’t make them run around for the food as this could cause digestive upsets.
Dog Starts to Understand They Don’t Have to Guard Their Food
You will find that after a couple weeks of this regime, their general attitude over possessions will change. You can then try giving them their food in a bowl again, and, provided there is no sign of aggression, continue to feed them normally.
Possessive Over Toys and Bones
For dogs that are food possessive, do not give them bones or toys, as they will attempt to guard these in the same way. Once the food possession has been sorted out, you can try introducing a toy, but make sure the dog understands that it is your toy, and they are only allowed to play with it with you, and when you decide the game is to end, you must end up with the toy.
Sign Right Here: Everything You Need to Know About a Breeder Contract
Most of life’s major acquisitions require a legal contract, from purchasing a house to leasing a car. Add to that list bringing home a purebred dog. Most dog breeder want you to sign a breeder contract.
Reputable breeders almost universally require anyone who provides a home to one of their dogs to sign a contract. But if you’ve never purchased a dog from a reputable breeder, the requirement to sign a legal document may come as a surprise. Given its multiple pages and official-sounding clauses, perhaps an off-putting one at that.
Of course, violating a properly executed legal documents can theoretically land you in court. So, if it’s legal advice you seek, you’ll find none of that here.
Breeders Want to Make Sure Your Ready and Responsible
But there is another important way to look a breeder contract – and it’s not as a “gotcha” waiting to happen. For many breeders, contracts are a parting-shot opportunity to share their philosophy, advice, and expectations. All about the dog they are entrusting to you. Signing a contract reminds you of the enormous responsibility you are undertaking. It codifies all the things your breeder told you during your many visits and phone calls. But that you were probably too overwhelmed or distracted to process and commit to memory.
While contracts are as individual as the breeders who sign them, they contain some basics you might expect. They include:
the name and registration numbers of the sire and dam.
the purchase price.
But if you’ve never seen a breeder contract before, there are other common elements that may be new to you.
Show Dog VS Pet
Most breeder contracts will make a distinction between a puppy that is “pet quality” versus “show quality”. (More appropriately, “show potential,” since no breeder can predict with complete surety how a puppy will turn out).
In terms of the contract, the distinction between pet and show hinges on the responsibilities attached to each.
Pet-quality puppies are those that the breeder thinks will likely not grow up to be candidates for showing or breeding. They will often be sold on a limited registration. Meaning they can participate in all AKC events except conformation (the 50-cent word for “dog shows”). Also their offspring cannot be registered.
With show prospects, contracts can vary significantly, depending on the breeder’s desired level of involvement. Some breeders might stipulate that they want to see the puppy at a certain age. At which time they will show it themselves if it has developed as they expected. Other breeders require owners to hire a professional handler to show their dog.
Breeding Your Pup
If the dog goes on to be bred, the contract will also likely list:
all the health screenings that need to be performed
who makes decisions on what breedings will happen,
who is responsible for whelping and placing puppies
any of a number of other details
including financial arrangements
If anything is unclear or makes you uncomfortable, ask before you sign the contract.
Spay and Neuter
Most breeder contracts require pet-quality dogs to be spayed or neutered. But as veterinary attitudes and research evolve, the age at which surgical sterilization is performed can vary markedly. Some breeders require that owners wait until the dog has stopped maturing and the growth plates close. A year for most breeds, 18 months for larger dogs. Which some studies have shown lowers the risk of bone cancer. This presupposes that you will keep your dog securely contained and not permit it to wander to avoid unintended breedings.
Be Sure to Go Over With Your Veterinarian
If a breeder feels strongly about delaying spay or neuter, check with your vet in advance. Make sure he or she is on board with that timetable. Ditto for other vet-related items that breeders tend to feel strongly about, such as feeding requirements and vaccination schedules. After decades of experience with dozens of litters, many have evolved successful protocols that work for their family of dogs. They include them in their contracts with the expectation you will follow them. Having both your vet and the breeder on the same page avoids conflict later.
Good breeders don’t sell puppies with the expectation of getting them back. A forever home is supposed to be just that. But life happens to the best of us, and a whole host of issues:
To name but a few. These inconveniences can make it impossible for an owner to continue keeping a dog, despite the best of intentions.
Notify the Breeder
No matter what the reason for the rehoming, the breeder wants to be notified. Even if your now-adult dog is going to live with another loving family or close friend. The breeder will still want to know about any change of ownership.
Breeders Want to Make Sure Their Pup is in Good Hands
While this might seem controlling, look at it from the breeder’s perspective. In order to be responsible for every puppy they bring into the world, breeders need to make sure they are in loving, responsible hands. They will also want the new owners to know they are available to provide the same guidance and advice that they gave you. And they want to know if any problems or issues develop throughout the dog’s life. As that is important information that will help guide their breeding program.
Puppies are not widgets. If they were, not only would they not be anywhere near as cuddly, but they would be interchangeable. A “defective” one would simply mean inconvenience, not heartbreak. Reputable breeders do their utmost to ensure that their puppies are the healthiest and soundest possible. Sometimes things do not go as planned, just as with we humans.
Some breeder contracts guarantee all against genetic defects (usually up until a certain age). Others guarantee against specific ailments, such as heart problems, sometimes under certain conditions. Some breeders, for example, will guarantee against hip dysplasia. But only if the owner takes common-sense precautions. Such as not running a puppy continuously on a hard surface until a year of age. Sometimes for large breeds, even longer. These specifics are dependent on the individual breeder. As well as the generally accepted health-screening practices in the breed community as a whole. After all, health concerns in a Chihuahua will be different from those in a Great Dane.
Though reputable breeders only breed dogs that are registered with the American Kennel Club, thus verifying their lineage. Each new puppy that is born must be individually registered as well. Sometimes a breeder will require you to fill out the AKC registration papers. Other times, the breeder will take care of it themselves. Especially if they are an AKC Breeder of Merit. (A designation that shows a breeder has committed to registering all of her puppies with the American Kennel Club.)
No matter who fills out the paperwork, your puppy will need a registered name. Different from its “call name,” which is what you call the puppy at home. A dog’s registered name is a longer, more elaborate name. Names that typically incorporates the breeder’s kennel name at its beginning; in some cases, the kennel names of a co-breeder or the stud-dog owner are included as well.
You Can Still Name Your Pup At Home
Breeder contracts often stipulate the use of these kennel names as part of the puppy’s registered name. Beyond that, breeder contracts can vary widely: Some breeders will require the approval of the name before it is submitted. Others might mandate that the name start with a particular letter or follow a certain theme they have established with the litter. The only time this name will be used is when your dog is entered at AKC events. Including agility, obedience, and conformation. What you call your dog at home is your own business!
The Weird Stuff
While most contracts are straightforward and even boring, occasionally you might find some head-scratchers. Consider, for example, the breeder who required that puppy owners send her a photo of the dog every December. Her explanation, however, made sense. A photo lets her see if the dog is in good condition, and during the holiday season most people are inclined to take and send photos anyway.
Would that demand for a yearly photo op hold up in a court of law? Without seeing the document, or knowing the circumstances, who knows? Most breeders are more concerned about the spirit rather than the letter of the law. Others do choose to exercise their legal rights. Reading through and discussing the contract with the breeder before you pick up your puppy should answer your questions and alleviate any concerns. If there’s something in the contract that makes you truly uncomfortable, and the breeder is unyielding about changing it, you might reconsider your options.
Breeders Just Want What’s Best
No matter how much you research. Or how many books you read, in the end buying a puppy is an act of faith. You are trusting that the breeder has done her level best to produce a healthy, well-adjusted puppy. The breeder is trusting that you will take care of your new family member to the best of your ability. Hopefully, long enough to see its muzzle gray. Ideally, the breeder will be available every step of the way. They will be there for questions, concerns and, at the very end, a shoulder to cry on. If a contract seems so restrictive or punitive that it suggests your relationship with the breeder will be more combative than caring, then that should give you pause.
Though a puppy’s infectious cuteness is hard to ignore, the best advice is not to sign any document that you have no intention of honoring. Not just because you might get sued, but because it’s the right thing to do.
You love your dog, but the barking can sometimes be – a lot! It can be really annoying to you and your neighbors if it becomes incessant barking. So what can you do to control or reduce your dog’s barking and make him the most loved dog on the block?
First off there are the traditional methods. Dog training and dog obedience schools help train the dog and also teach you how to handle your pet too, so that you can grow a lasting bond with your dog. Of course if you take your dog out and give them lots of exercise they’ll be a lot less inclined to bark. A tired dog has less energy to bark and a tired sleeping dog can’t bark at all!
Here’s a list of six techniques that can help stop your dog from barking.
While all can be successful, you shouldn’t expect miraculous results overnight. The longer your dog has been practicing the barking behavior, the longer it will take for them to change their ways.
Some of these training techniques require you to have an idea as to why your dog barks.
Always remember to keep these tips in mind while training:
Don’t yell at your dog to be quiet—it just sounds like you’re barking along with them.
Keep your training sessions positive and upbeat.
Be consistent so you don’t confuse your dog. Everyone in your family must apply the training methods every time your dog barks inappropriately. You can’t let your dog get away with inappropriate barking some times and not others.
Remove the Motivation
Your dog gets some kind of reward when they bark. Otherwise, they wouldn’t do it. Figure out what they get out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.
Example: Barking at passersby
If they bark at people or animals passing by the living room window, manage the behavior by closing the curtains or putting your dog in another room.
If they bark at passersby when in the yard, bring them into the house. Never leave your dog outside unsupervised all day and night.
Ignore the Barking
If you believe your dog is barking to get your attention, ignore them for as long as it takes them to stop. Don’t talk to them, don’t touch them, don’t even look at them; your attention only rewards them for being noisy. When they finally quiet, even to take a breath, reward them with a treat.
To be successful with this method, you must be patient. If they bark for an hour and you finally get so frustrated that you yell at them to be quiet, the next time they’ll probably bark for an hour and a half. They learn that if they just bark long enough, you’ll give them attention.
Example: Barking when confined
When you put your dog in their crate or in a gated room, turn your back and ignore them.
Once they stop barking, turn around, praise them and give a treat.
As they catch on that being quiet gets them a treat, lengthen the amount of time they must remain quiet before being rewarded.
Remember to start small by rewarding them for being quiet for just a few seconds, then working up to longer periods of quiet.
Keep it fun by varying the amount of time. Sometimes reward them after five seconds, then 12 seconds, then three seconds, then 20 seconds and so on.
Desensitize Your Dog to the Stimulus
Gradually get your dog accustomed to whatever is causing them to bark. Start with the stimulus (the thing that makes them bark) at a distance. It must be far enough away that they don’t bark when they see it. Feed them lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things (treats)!
Example: Barking at other dogs
Have a friend with a dog stand out of sight or far enough away so your dog won’t bark at the other dog.
As your friend and their dog come into view, start feeding your dog treats.
Stop feeding treats as soon as your friend and their dog disappear from view.
Repeat the process multiple times.
Remember not to try to progress too quickly as it may take days or weeks before your dog can pay attention to you and the treats without barking at the other dog.
Ask your dog for an incompatible behavior
When your dog starts barking, ask them to do something that’s incompatible with barking. Teaching your dog to react to barking stimuli with something that inhibits them from barking, such as lying down on their bed.
Example: Someone at the door
Toss a treat on their bed and tell them to “go to your bed.”
When they’re reliably going to their bed to earn a treat, up the ante by opening the door while they’re on their bed. If they get up, close the door immediately.
Repeat until they stay in bed while the door opens.
Then increase the difficulty by having someone ring the doorbell while your dog is in bed. Reward them if they stay in place.
Barking Can Be Good
Sometimes barking is good. It’s your dog’s main way of communicating with you. They may have heard or smelled something and wants to let you know. Just acknowledging them may well stop the barking, they know you’ve heard and understood. If your dog continues to bark, try a “NO”, or “Quiet” command. When they stop barking, reward them so that following your commands becomes pleasurable to them.
Keep Their Mouth Full!
Giving your dog something to chew on is also a good deterrent to barking. How many dogs have you heard barking with their mouths full? All your dog’s attention is now on the new squeaky toy you gave them!!
Barking Collars (After Trying Traditional Methods)
If the traditional methods don’t seem to be working it may be time to try a barking control collar. Many of these work by using sound so that the desired behavior, (in this case stopping barking), can be associated with the sound. Some of the more sophisticated, and of course expensive, models also use electric shocks to deter the dog from barking.
Types of Detection in Bark Collars
There are two types of bark detection used in Bark control collars. The sound collar uses the noise of your dog’s bark to activate and the vibration collar uses the vibrations from your dog’s throat.
Neither type is perfect. The sound type can be set off with sharp loud external sounds and the vibration type from violent motion such as your dog drying himself. There are collars that combine the two methods and these help reduce the false readings.
Whichever method you use, barking can be brought under control in a reasonably short space of time, so persevere and enjoy your dog for years to come.
Celebrate dog milestones like your pup’s birthday.
The minute your pet walked into your life, everything changed. You nabbed an instant best friend who you get to watch grow from stranger to family member. If your dog entered your world as a puppy, you quite literally get to watch them grow and learn every single day. And all pet parents know that all dog milestones are precious, and you don’t want to miss even one!
Consider marking any of these milestones with a royal pet portrait and turn your pet into a true king or queen with a canvas portrait.
Here are some of the biggest ones to celebrate throughout the year.
Your dog’s birthday was one of the best days of your life, so you want to celebrate this dog milestone every year. For the big first birthday, get all the neighborhood animals—plus your two-legged friends and family members—together for a fiesta. Celebrate each year with a fancy new squeaky toy and a homemade pet cake. Be sure to create your own birthday traditions each year, like a trip to the pet store or dog park.
Understand your new dog may have baggage from a previous owner who was abusive or neglectful.
Gotcha Day is the special day a person or animal joins their family by adoption and considered one of the major dog milestones. It’s especially important for pet parents who don’t know the exact birthday or history of their furry friend due to them having multiple owners or unknown life history. Even if you do know your pet’s actual birthday, as anyone with a beloved furry family member can attest, his or her Gotcha Day is one of the most memorable moments during your life together! We all remember that first ride home and wet kiss!
Officially potty trained
If you got your little guy as a puppy, you know what a big deal this is! And, since positive reinforcement and rewards are recommended by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a great way to train and bond with a pet, this is one milestone where it’s A-OK to pile on the kisses, snuggles, treats, and toys. You can—and should—celebrate all the significant developments in behavior and training as your pet gets older.
Obedience school graduation
Ah, you must be so proud! Your pup passed puppy school! This is a huge deal and means that your pet is ready for a long life of behaving well in your household. To celebrate your pup’s transition into adulthood, surprise them with a cute dog bandana that shows their big personality. Whether they are shy, spunky, or protective of their owners, there’s a pup scarf to help celebrate it.
We love Christmas with our pets because it’s SO cute to hang doggie and kitty stockings from the fireplace. Oh, and then there’s the fun part—filling them up and watching them dig through them on Christmas morning! You could start a memorable tradition of sending out funny photo cards featuring your favorite furry model or taking your pets to meet and take pictures with Santa at the mall or pet store. You could also dress them up for the holidays because nothing’s cuter than a dog in jingle bells and a dog in a Santa hat!
National pet days
National Dog Day takes place annually on August 26 to celebrate all dog breeds, pure and mixed, and to help shed light on the number of dogs in need of rescue each year. National Cat Day, which takes place on October 29, also helps raise awareness for animals in need. To celebrate these dog milestones, consider donating to the pet rescue of your choice—maybe the one where you got your pup?—in your pet’s name. Some other pet-related days to celebrate annually include:
National Dress Up Your Pet Day (January 14)
Love Your Pet Day (February 20)
National Walk Your Dog Day (February 22)
World Spay Day (February 26)
National Pet Day (April 11)
Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day (April 21)
International Chihuahua Appreciation Day (May 14)
National Hug Your Cat Day (June 4)
National Best Friends Day (June 8)
Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 21)
Dog Day (August 26)
Black Dog Day (October 1)
Pit Bull Awareness Day (October 26)
Cat Day (October 29)
Black Cat Day (November 17)
National Mutt Day (December 2)
If you have a dog who won’t stay out of the water—we’re looking at all the labs, goldens, and Newfies out there—then you’ll probably vividly remember the first time they went for a dip. Although you may have had to provide some gentle guidance, they eventually doggie-paddled their way to success, and you haven’t been able to keep them out of the water since! The same goes for their first dock jump, dog show, or agility competition.
First Vet Visit
Establish a relationship with your vet to provide the best possible care.
Your pet’s first vet visit is an occasion to celebrate! If you rescued or found her, that very first visit will be quite illuminating, cluing you into her age, breed, and any possible health concerns. Celebrate the first vet visit with some special treats and a belly-scratching session or two to mark the occasion.
Celebrate dog milestones every day with your pet
Pets are such an essential part of our lives, mainly because we know our time with them is short. Turning every holiday or milestone into an event to celebrate will help ensure that you don’t take a single second for granted and that every day is a pet-centric day. As all pet owners know, those dog years sure do go by fast, so every single one should be cherished!
Funniest Doggo Posts To Get You Through The ‘Ruff’ Week
We all need something to strike our funny bone!
We work tirelessly all week and anxiously wait for the weekend to finally be able to relax and laugh. This isn’t just how you and I feel, our dogs feel the same. They watch us snoozing our alarm every morning, getting ready for work, rant about how our day went and finally go to bed so we can repeat the same process the next morning.
When it’s the weekend, our dogs know their favorite person is going to spend all their time with them. They get super excited and wag their tail real fast as an expression of happiness. Undoubtedly, we are absolutely contended to see our little pupper happy.
Dogs Are Goofy And Hit Our Funny Bones
Dogs are goofy for sure, but they know how to have a really good time and strike our funny bone. They make faces and their expressions are totally relatable. Although we do not know what our silly little doggo is thinking, we can tell by their expressions that they have been observing their surroundings very well.
Some people with a great sense of humor find creative ways to help others get through the week’s grind, by telling jokes and sharing memes. Since dogs are the most loved pet, people with a funny bone have turned their four-legged friend into memes and it’s a treat for all the dog loves.
Here are some funny dog memes that will help you get through your ruff week. Scroll down to laugh your a*s off.
Better be safe than sorry.
The face you make when you get a text from your crush.
“Hey! That’s rude, but I don’t care.”
The happiness on their faces is unmeasurable.
Whatever this dog is feeling, we can relate.
Those eyes are so hypnotizing.
When you know you and your crush don’t stand a chance.
Not sure how we feel about this one, but the dog seems pretty excited though.
The happiest news.
*Sad reacts only.*
The truth has been revealed.
Dog is the most loyal friend one can ever have.
Such a pawerful pupper.
Conceal it, don’t feel it. Don’t let anybody know.
Guess the dog mistook his owner for an imposter.
“Why!? Why me? What have I possibly done to have deserved such inconvenience? “
Hmm… you’re a good person.
A true dog mom at heart.
Who am I?
I would have closed the door, but there was a ‘butt’.
Good old times.
She was probably too drunk.
It’s a fair deal though.
This good boy is sending the message of love.
We can see the whole universe in her eyes.
“Ain’t nobody messes with the pup! Woof!!”
Living the best life.
Human, take notes.
And it was delicious.
Let’s spread happiness.
That face is our favorite.
The dog ain’t even sorry.
That delightful face though!
It is not you, it’s your inner demon.
“Keep talking hooman, keep talking.”
Tired but hungry.
And also some good boy pats.
Wow! What an incredible transformation.
Scars on the heart can never be concealed with makeup.
“Hey friend, you can do it too. All you need is a lot of practice.”
Need a friend who stays by your side through all the thicks and thins of life?
Someone you can trust with all your deepest darkest secrets?
Somebody you can trust with your even life?
Someone who will never fail you or let you down?
Somebody who will stay even if everybody leaves you?
Then all you need is a dog by your side. Adopting a dog is like gaining a friend forever. They fit the definition of a true friend just right. Their hearts are full of love and compassion. They don’t even know the meaning of the word betrayal. Everything dogs do, they do with all their heart. Think about adopting a dog!!
Your Complete Guide to First-Year Puppy Vaccinations
When you bring that soft, sweet-smelling little ball of puppy fuzz into your home, you know right away that they depend on you for, well, everything. It’s up to you to give them all the care they need every day. It can be a little intimidating. They need the best puppy food, plenty of attention, gentle training, safe toys, puppy socialization, a comfortable home, and proper veterinary care with vaccines.
And that includes puppy shots throughout their first year.
Which Vaccines Do Puppies Need?
Going to the vet repeatedly over several months for vaccinations, and then for boosters or titers throughout your dog’s life may seem like an inconvenience. But the diseases that vaccinations will shield our pets from are dangerous, potentially deadly, and, thankfully mostly preventable.
We read about so many different vaccinations for so many different illnesses, that it can be confusing to know which vaccinations puppies need. And which ones are important, but optional.
Here is an overview of the diseases that each vaccination will help your pet to avoid.
This highly infectiousbacterium causes severe fits of coughing, whooping, vomiting, and, in rare cases, seizures and death. It is the primary cause of kennel cough. There are injectable and nasal spray vaccines available.
Don’t be surprised if your veterinarian tells you to stay in the car. They are just making sure that your pup doesn’t infect other dogs and leave traces of it behind in the clinic.
If you plan on boarding your puppy in the future, attending group training classes, or using dog daycare services, often proof of this vaccination will be a requirement. Some boarding facilities even go as far as wanting dogs to be vaccinated every 6 months other than once a year.
A severe and contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous systems of dogs, raccoons, skunks, and other animals. Distemper spreads through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) from an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment.
It causes discharge from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and, often, death. This disease used to be known as “hard pad” because it causes the footpad to thicken and harden.
There is no cure for distemper. Treatment consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections, control symptoms of vomiting, seizures and more. If the animal survives the symptoms, it is hoped that the dog’s immune system will have a chance to fight it off.
Infected dogs can shed the virus for months.
Infectious canine hepatitis is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, and the eyes of the affected dog. This disease of the liver is caused by a virus that is unrelated to the human form of hepatitis.
Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion of the mucous membranes to vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Many dogs can overcome the mild form of the disease, but the severe form can kill.
There is no cure, but doctors can treat the symptoms.
The canine coronavirus is not the samevirus that causes COVID-19 in people. COVID-19 is not thought to be a health threat to dogs, and there is no evidence it makes dogs sick.
Canine coronavirus usually affects dogs’ gastrointestinal systems, though it can also cause respiratory infections.
Signs include most GI symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Doctors can keep a dog hydrated, warm, and comfortable, and help alleviate nausea, but no drug kills coronaviruses.
When your puppy is around 12-to-16 weeks, talk to your vet about starting a heartworm preventive. Though there is no vaccine for this condition, it is preventable with regular medication that your veterinarian will prescribe.
The name is descriptive — these worms lodge in the right side of the heart and the pulmonary arteries (that send blood to the lungs). They can travel through the rest of the body and sometimes invade the liver and kidneys. The worms can grow to 14 inches long and, if clumped together, block and injure organs.
Signs of Heartworm Infection
A new heartworm infection often causes no symptoms. Dogs in later stages of the disease may cough, become lethargic, lose their appetite or have difficulty breathing. Infected dogs may tire after mild exercise. Unlike most of the conditions listed here, which are passed by urine, feces, and other body fluids, heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes.
Therefore, diagnosis is made via a blood test and not a fecal exam.
Also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, kennel cough results from inflammation of the upper airways.
It can be caused by bacterial, viral, or other infections, such as Bordetella and canine parainfluenza. It often involves multiple infections simultaneously.
Usually, the disease is mild, causing bouts of harsh, dry coughing. Sometimes it’s severe enough to spur retching and gagging, along with a loss of appetite. In rare cases, it can be deadly.
It is easily spread between dogs kept close together, which is why it passes quickly through kennels.
Antibiotics are usually not necessary, except in severe, chronic cases. Cough suppressants can make a dog more comfortable.
Unlike most diseases on this list, Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria, and some dogs may show no symptoms at all.
Leptospirosis can be found worldwide in soil and water. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be spread from animals to people.
When symptoms do appear, they can include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe weakness and lethargy, stiffness, jaundice, muscle pain, infertility, kidney failure (with or without liver failure).
Antibiotics are effective, and the sooner they are given, the better.
Unlike the famous “bull’s-eye” rash that people exposed to Lyme disease often spot, no such telltale symptom occurs in dogs.
Lyme disease (or borreliosis) is an infectious, tick-borne disease caused by a type of bacteria called a spirochete.
Transmitted via ticks, an infected dog often starts limping, their lymph nodes swell, their temperature rises, and they stop eating.
The disease can affect heart, kidney, and joints, among other things, or lead to neurological disorders if left untreated.
If diagnosed quickly, a course of antibiotics is extremely helpful, though relapses can occur months or even years later.
Parvo is a highly contagious virus that affects all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies less than four months of age are at the most risk to contract it.
The virus attacks the gastrointestinal system and creates a loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and often severe, bloody diarrhea. Extreme dehydration can come on rapidly and kill a dog within 48-to-72 hours, so prompt veterinary attention is crucial.
There is no cure, so keeping the dog hydrated and controlling the secondary symptoms can keep him going until their immune system beats the illness.
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that invades the central nervous system.
Rabies cause headaches, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death. It is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.
Treatment within hours of infection is essential, otherwise, death is highly likely.
Most states require a rabies vaccination and registration. Check with your vet about rabies vaccination laws in your area.
Of course, your veterinarian should weigh in and can always provide more information and guidance if you need on necessary and optional vaccinations.
Puppy Vaccination Schedule
The first thing to know is that there is not just one puppy vaccination schedule for all dogs. Factors such as which part of the country you live in and your dog’s individual risk factors will come into play. Some dogs do not need every vaccine. This decision is between you and your veterinarian. Always discuss puppy vaccinations at your regularly scheduled appointments.
That said, here is a generally accepted guideline of the puppy vaccination schedule for the first year:
Puppy Vaccinations Cost
How much vaccinations for your puppy will cost depends on several factors. Where you live is one. Veterinarians in crowded and expensive urban areas will charge more than a rural vet in a small town. In other words, there are significant differences in price. But no matter what the range in costs, some vaccines, such as the “core vaccines,” and for rabies, are necessary.
The average cost will be around $75—100. These will include the core vaccines, which are administered in a series of three: at 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks old.
The core vaccines include the DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza). Your pup will also need a rabies vaccination, which is usually around $15—20. (Some clinics include the cost of the rabies vaccination.)
Often animal shelters charge less for vaccines — approximately $20 — or are even free. If you acquired your dog from a shelter, he would most likely have been vaccinated, up until the age when you got him.
*The initial puppy vaccination costs during the first year are higher than during adulthood because of booster shots.
Vaccinations for Adult Dogs: Boosters and Titers
There is a difference of opinion about having your adult dog vaccinated every year. Some vets believe too many vaccinations in adult dogs pose health risks. But others disagree, saying that yearly vaccinations will prevent dangerous diseases such as distemper. Talk with your vet to determine what kind of vaccination protocol works for you and your dog.
Many dog owners opt for titer tests before they administer annual vaccinations. Titer tests measure a dog’s immunity levels, and this can determine which, if any, vaccinations are necessary. One key exception to this is rabies. ( A titer test is not an option when it comes to the rabies vaccine.) This vaccination is required by law across the United States. Your vet can tell you the schedule for your particular state.
And it’s all worth it.
For your effort and care your puppy will lavish you with lifelong love in return. This critical first year of their life is a fun and exciting time for both of you. As they grow physically, the wonderful bond between you will grow, too.
Frankie’s Experience With Vaccines
I got Frankie as a puppy at around 11 weeks, so he was ready for his first set of shots of DHPP (distemper, parvo, hepatitis, and parainfluenza). After we brought him home, he started to get hives (looked like bubbles all over his body!). We called the vet and they recommended giving him some Benadryl because he was having an allergic reaction. That did the trick! So every time he received this shot, the vet would inject a histamine shot first to combat the reaction. After that, he never had any problems.
He never reacted to any other shot.
Chloe’s Story of Parvo
My husband and I adopted Chloe when she was about 6 months old from a rescue. Her back story was that she was dropped off at the vet. When the rescue went through her records, the previous owners knew she had parvo and was keeping the puppies in their garage. (I think she had a brother that didn’t make it.) They just dropped her off at the vet and never picked her up again. The rescue took her in and helped her through her struggle with parvo. She made it through with flying colors! When she was ready for adoption, you couldn’t tell she had just struggled to stay alive. We found her on Petfinder.com and instantly fell in love!