Dog Sleep: “Go to Sleep Little Puppy”

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6 Ideas To Help Your Dog Sleep Through The Night

Parents of small children know sleepless nights are bound to happen, but what about pup parents with dog sleep? Many dog owners learn the hard way that like babies, dogs don’t always respect your desired sleep schedule. You love them, but that doesn’t mean you love waking up multiple times a night to deal with their crying and acting out. All you want is to help your dog sleep through the night.

Puppies don’t sleep through the night because they’re still working on house training, but it’s also a common problem for adult and senior dogs. No one can be happy when they’re forced out of bed still exhausted, and solving the problem of your dog’s sleep schedule will help everyone in the household. Before you get started with a plan, first figure out what’s causing your dog’s sleepless nights.

Reasons Your Dog Doesn’t Sleep at Night

They need to go to the bathroom.

Owners of new puppies need to accept the fact their sleep schedule will be interrupted for at least the next few weeks. Like babies, puppies are still growing, and that includes developing the muscles and self control needed to hold their pee.

According to the Humane Society, puppies can control their bladder for about one hour for every month of age. That means a four-month-old puppy can go four hours before needing to go to the bathroom. With consistent house training and time, they’ll be able to wait longer between bathroom breaks and won’t need to wake up at night.

They’re not tired.

This one seems obvious, but it’s also one of the most common reasons why dogs don’t sleep through the night. Dogs that spend the majority of the day alone do a good amount of daytime snoozing. There’s nothing else for them to do, and it’s either sleep or find ways to get into trouble. Without the chance to exercise, all their energy continues to build. Sleep Advisor tells dog owners,

“Lack of activity is going to cause anxiousness and severe buildup of unused energy – this will undoubtedly result in the absence of sleep amongst other conditions of the kind.”

What’s more, older dogs showing signs of dementia may be experiencing disruptions in their sleep-wake cycles as a side effect of the condition. Learn more about dementia in dogs here.

They’re lonely.

Separation anxiety can affect dogs of all ages. New puppies sometimes cry if they’re forced to sleep away from their owners, and older dogs develop anxiety issues that lead to behaviors like whining, barking, and destroying things.

“Why can I not sleep with you?”

They’re in pain.

It’s hard for people to fall asleep when they aren’t feeling well, and dogs have the same problem. Stomach aches, joint pain, skin issues, and other side effects of injury or illness are more than enough to keep a dog from a good night’s rest.

How to Help

Once you figure out what the underlying problem is, you can move forward with a solution. For some dogs, a simple change to their routine will be all the help you need. For others, you’ll need to try different ideas to find what works best. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

1. Provide more mental and physical stimulation.

If your puppy or high-energy dog is roaming the house at night or doesn’t want to settle down once bedtime comes around, filling their day with more exercise will help. Dogs need a minimum of one hour a day of exercise, and they benefit from all the extra enrichment and stimulation you can give them.

If you work all day, consider hiring a dog walker to interrupt your pup’s lazy day of napping. That extra activity will help tire them out in preparation for bedtime. The amount of exercise a dog needs to reach the right level of tiredness will depend on their age, breed, health, and personality. You don’t want to force them into too much exercise, but it’s important to find the right balance. Brain games like puzzle toys and snuffle mats also help by engaging their minds.

2. Take bathroom breaks before bed.

“I’m so sleepy, but you’re making me go potty.”

When your pup is getting up every night to go to the bathroom, make sure their tank is empty before they hit the hay. Eating shortly before bedtime can help them fall comfortably asleep with a full tummy, but drinking too much water at night won’t help them sleep until morning. Make it a part of your daily routine to go out for a bathroom break right before bed.

3. Keep evenings calm

Before you take your dog out for their last-chance bathroom break, gradually lull them into a peaceful night. Dogs base their emotions and actions largely on what their owners are doing and feeling. If you’re agitated, for example, your dog will pick up on those vibes and act similarly. If you’re calm, they’ll take the hint and begin to relax alongside you.

“I love it when my people cuddle with me on the floor.”

You can’t expect your pup to flip their switch the moment you’re ready for bed. The hour or two before you usually go to bed should be deemed quiet hours to help your dog adjust to the end of the day.

4. Start crate training

Training a dog to sleep comfortably in their crate will deter them from getting up and wandering the house. Many pet parents prefer to have their dogs sleep in bed with them, but crate training can help stop bad habits like waking up in the middle of the night. The key is to make being in the crate a positive experience for the dog. It should never be used as punishment, and instead, it’s the place your pup feels safest.

Dreaming of running through an island of treats!

With time, your dog will be content to stay in the crate as part of their nightly routine. Once they’re sleeping soundly through the night without getting up, you can try having them sleep in bed with you.

5. Make them comfy

Whether you choose to have your dog sleep in a crate, on a doggy bed, or somewhere else, they need to have a designated spot that is nice and comfy. Give them soft blankets to snuggle with, and if they have an emotional attachment to a particular toy, make sure they have it before you fall asleep.

“I have my bunny and cozy in my bed.”

Different dogs like different things, so experiment with your dog’s sleeping arrangements to find what they like. Test having the lights off versus having a night-light and determine whether they like cool surfaces or something with extra warmth.

6. Address medical issues

“Do they think something is wrong with me? I just like hearing my voice at night!”

If you suspect an injury or illness is keeping your dog up at night, it’s time to visit the vet. In some cases, pain medication can be used to help ease soreness and help the dog relax. Restless nights could be your hint that your dog is suffering from an undiagnosed medical condition and needs your help. There’s also the chance biting pests like fleas or mites are irritating them. Either way, your pup won’t sleep soundly until you find and treat the root problem. 


Stay Consistent

Sometimes not sleeping through the night is a phase your dog will grow out of. Other times, some new habits need to be made or broken in order to get you and your pup on a healthy sleep schedule. It will take more than a few days, but consistent training and effort will make a difference. Once you determine the reason behind your dog’s wakefulness, experiment with these different methods to help you both start snoozing all night long.

Dog in Apartment Potty Training: Let’s See How

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How to Potty Train a Dog When You Live in an Apartment

“I like my potty with a view!”

When you get a new puppy, potty training is often at the top of the to-do list. If you have a yard or outdoor space, it can be a little easier, but when you live in an apartment or high-rise, the logistics of getting a puppy outside when they have to go RIGHT NOW gets more difficult.

The Potty Training Basics

Before we get to the logistics of potty training your dog in a high-rise, let’s review some of the basics of house training in general.

How long they can hold it

First, a good rule of thumb is that your puppy can hold their bladder for one hour for every month old they are. For example, if your puppy is 8 weeks old, they probably can’t hold it for longer than 2 hours. When they hit 12 weeks, it’s around 3 hours. Puppies can usually hold their bladder for a little bit longer when they’re sleeping (until they wake up) and will need to go very soon after eating or playing.

“I don’t know if I can hold it much longer!”

Supervision

It’s also important to supervise your puppy at all times to catch any accidents and keep them out of trouble until they get older. When you’re home, use an x-pen or baby gate to keep your furry friend contained, but at night and when you have to leave the house for work or errands, consider crate training.

“Oh no. You caught me peeing!”

Crates

Crates are supposed to be spaces that keep your puppy cozy, so they shouldn’t have a lot of extra room, but your pup should be able to stand up and turn around. When used properly, it becomes a safe place they enjoy being, so never use the crate as a punishment. It’s okay to give your puppy breaks or time outs in there, just make it a positive experience and reward them for going in.

Frankie and Chloe are both crate trained. Most of the time, dogs won’t go in confined areas, but there are accidents that happen. As a puppy, Frankie would have A LOT of accidents in his crate.

Remember that the puppy needs to adjust to your lifestyle.

No Punishment

Speaking of punishment, never punish your puppy for having an accident. Even if you think they’ve got it down, mistakes happen. When you yell at them or push their nose in it, your puppy will either learn that they can’t eliminate in front of you without getting in trouble (so they’ll try to be sneaky about it) or have no idea why you’re upset and just get scared. Keep it positive, reward them for doing it right (treat/praise/favorite toy), and simply clean up and move on if they have an accident.

“I don’t know why are mad. Am I a bad dog?”

I can understand that his part of training can be exhausting. Having a puppy is very fun, but there’s work and training with a puppy and any new dog you bring into your home.

Signs Puppy Has To Go Potty

If you learn to watch carefully for their signs — sniffing around more than usual, circling, suddenly running over to the corner or another room, etc. — you’ll be able to catch your puppy before an accident happens.

House Training in a High-Rise

Okay, you’ve got your crate or x-pen set up for when you leave, but how do you potty train your puppy when you can’t get them outside quickly? Luckily, there are a few solutions and tricks to make your life — and your puppy’s life — easier.

Use pee pads

“Did I go in the right spot?”

Pee pads are great because they are easy to move around, pick up, and take with you if you’re heading to a friend’s house or taking a trip and will be in a hotel. Put the pee pad in one place in the house (near the door is your best bet for when your dog gets older and will go to the door when they need to go out anyway) and if you see your puppy start to eliminate in the house, simply pick them up and move them onto the pee pad. It’s also easy to situate a pee pad in an x-pen if you want to give your puppy a little space when you’re gone.

When I was training Frankie to potty, I used pee pads. Frankie thought they were something to chew on! He would sniff around and act like he was going to potty on the pad. Then all of a sudden, he would run with it in his mouth around the house.

Make sure your puppy isn’t just chewing on the pad!

Put a grass patch on your patio or terrace

There are several companies that will mail you a patch of sod for your dog to do their business on. Some are just patches of grass and others have containers to put the sod in so you can empty any waste that might drain out. There are also fake grass pads that you can wash off. Get a dog waste container to put any poop bags in so it doesn’t linger and smell, then just empty the container when it’s full.

Get your puppy on a schedule

Eventually, your dog will be able to hold it long enough to get them down the stairs or elevator and outside. While you may want to keep pee pads or your grass patch around for times when you can’t (or don’t want to) go out, it can help your dog to get on a schedule for when they are supposed to eliminate. When you get a young puppy, try to take them out as often as possible: In the morning when they get up, after breakfast/before you leave for work, at lunchtime, after work, after dinner, before bed, etc. As they get older, you may be able to get away with a schedule such as before and after work and before bed.

While it may initially feel like a daunting task, with a little preparation and consistency, house training your dog in apartment life isn’t that much different than anywhere else.

Puppy for Christmas: Are You Wanting To Get A Puppy?

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Is A Puppy for Christmas Right For You?

A puppy for Christmas? Your very own Christmas puppy?

It’s that time of year again!

What an amazing Christmas present a puppy would make.

Wouldn’t it?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to pour ten gallons of cold water over all your plans. Because sometimes, a Christmas puppy can work out brilliantly. Both for the family and for the dog.

But hey, you’ve all seen the stickers – “A dog is for life and not for Christmas”

And they are there for a reason.

I know what you are thinking – those stickers don’t apply to you, because you are committed to a lifetime with your Christmas puppy. 

That’s great! But even in committed, loving, families, things often don’t work out so well for Christmas puppies.

So bear with me for a moment. And let’s go through the Christmas puppy idea, and make sure it’s the right thing to for youand for your new friend.

My Puppy Will Be Ready To Bring Home At Christmas

If the puppy you are considering has just been born, it might seem too good to be true. 

Puppies born on or around the last few days in October will, in theory, be ready for their new homes at Christmas time.

If you have spent a lot of time carefully choosing this litter from a breeder you like and respect, then the timing may be something that you’ve thought hard about.

Responsible Breeders

But the truth is, most breeders don’t produce litters that will need to go home over Christmas period.

And if there is some unusual reason that they have done this, most responsible breeders will prefer to hang on to those puppies until after the celebrations. Rather than send puppies to their new homes at such a turbulent time.

If you are buying this puppy on impulse, this is something you might want to consider.

You see, if your breeder by some chance is not a responsible breeder, there might be a whole raft of other duties that they have neglected.

How To Spot A Responsible Breeder

Here are a couple of articles for you to read:

It’s disappointing to acknowledge, especially if you’ve just found your dream puppy. But there are good reasons why most responsible breeders won’t let puppies go to their new home just before Christmas.

Puppy Routines

Moving home is very stressful for a new puppy.

One of the things they need above all else is for their new life, at least at first, to be predictable.

They need to know where their den or bed is.

They need to know where they are allowed to go to the toilet.

And how to find their way around in this new and strange home.

Also, they need to get to know their family, at their own pace.

Upset Tummies

Filling the home with a sea of strange legs, and the inevitable disruptions in routine that accompany an extraordinary day like Christmas, could add immensely to the stress of leaving home.

In puppies, stress often results in diarrhea. Mopping up vile smelling liquid with a house full of guests is not fun for you at all. It is probably not much fun for the puppy either.

“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t hold it any longer.”

Feeling Poorly

Puppies have immature immune systems. Moving the puppy to a new home exposes him to germs he may not have met before. This can exacerbate any sickness and diarrhea.

Visiting relatives or having them visit you increases this risk still further. In other words there is a good chance your tiny puppy will be a little unwell over Christmas.

This could put a bit of a damper on your celebrations!

Puppies Need Time And Attention

Tiny puppies need a lot of attention.

“I really need to go pee. I guess I’ll just go right now.”

Some puppies (not all) need to empty their bladders every 15 to 30 minutes throughout the day. This ‘frequency’ can last a week or more! It is a full time job just watching and making sure the puppy toilets in the right place.

You will have less time available over Christmas than you think. You might not be at work but it is amazing how much time cooking, wrapping, entertaining and visiting take up.

Puppies and Christmas Visits

Not so long ago I read a forum thread by a prospective new puppy owner who was planning to spend Christmas away with relatives. And to take her new 8 week old puppy with her.

Various family members would be camping around the house. And there would be no room for a crate.

Not even a small one.

These are the sorts of scenarios that commonly arise over the Christmas period. As we cram relatives into small spaces in our homes or pile ourselves into theirs.

The Trouble With Puppy Stays

I would never consider taking a young puppy to stay in someone else’s house at such a frantic time of year. Crate or no crate.

And I want to explain why.

Even if a puppy has had two or three weeks to settle in before Christmas, moving them again may well cause upset tummies.

They will have to learn a whole new toilet routine, and be exposed again to all sorts of new challenges to his immature immune system. A puppy with an upset stomach in someone else’s home, could well ruin Christmas for you and everyone else.

“I’ll just hide here so nobody notices me.”

Seasonal Disputes!

For those that go ahead with such a challenge, a crate is not optional, it is essential. Yet when many people are packed into a normal sized house, room for a crate is unlikely to be a priority.

Relatives may not agree with you on the best location for this large piece of metal in their home.

Seasonal disputes are common over the Christmas break as we all adjust to spending more time together than normal.

Adding a fight about where to put a crate is not going to help. And you could well end up with your brand new puppy shut away and neglected. At which point they may learn to howl the house down until one of the other guests picks them up and cuddles them (which they will).

You will then have a puppy that has learned that screaming for attention works wonders. And he will be only to happy to scream even louder next time he is left alone.

What About Night Times?

“GET ME OUT OF HERE!! I NEED LOVE!”

A puppy may well yell and protest at night too if crated.

How will your fellow housemates feel about that on Christmas Eve?

Many new puppy owners think that they can simply pop their tiny puppy into bed with them at night. But this isn’t necessarily a good idea. At eight weeks, they are quite capable of climbing/falling into and out of your bed.

They may have little or no interest in remaining ‘tucked in’ for the duration of the night. And once you fall asleep you will have no chance of intervening when they chew through the cable on your bedside lamp or demolish your mobile phone.

Without a crate or something very similar, you will have no control over where your puppy goes. Or what they do in the room you sleep in once you have dropped off to sleep.

If indeed you are able to go to sleep at all.

Christmas Puppy

For those that go ahead with their Christmas puppy there are other concerns.

If you are lucky your puppy will probably only destroy the Christmas tree and any presents beneath it, and won’t swallow anything too toxic.

But by the time you and the other house guests have trodden in a few poos in their bare feet, the novelty of the puppy will have worn off.

The first days with a brand new puppy, though stressful, should be a joyous time. A time of bonding with and learning all about this tiny new life that has joined your family.

Bringing your puppy home during the strains and stresses of Christmas risks sucking away all this joy and excitement. And could cause you to miss out on enjoying a time in your dog’s life that you will never get to experience again.

The Positive Side To A Christmas Puppy

Okay, I said I wouldn’t pour cold water all over your plans.

So we must emphasize that there can be times, when bringing a puppy home at Christmas is a joyful event that works out perfectly.

Let’s look at that now.

When Is It OK To Bring A Puppy Home At Christmas?

“Are you my Christmas family?”

If Christmas is a very low key affair in your home, with little in the way of entertaining or overnight stays. And if you can ensure a predictable routine for your new friend, then a Christmas puppy could work out for you.

If you are a very experienced dog owner, and have raised several puppies in the past, and are convinced you will be able to put your puppy’s needs first this year, then a Christmas puppy might work out well for you too.

Basically, if Christmas is pretty much like any other day of the year in your house – then getting a puppy at Christmas is not going to be any more of a big deal than at any other time of year.

For anyone else, this is just not the case.

So, if you are planning a puppy for Christmas, please consider waiting until January.

Christmas Is Stressful For Everyone

Christmas is one of the biggest causes of family fights and upsets for the entire year.

So is sleep deprivation, and very few puppy owners escape that.

By doing the two together, you are setting yourself up for a really tough time.

Wait For Your Puppy Until After Christmas

Any responsible breeder will be only too happy to keep your puppy until the festivities are over and you can give him your full attention.

You can wait, you really can.

And January will roll around soon enough.

You know it makes sense!

Choose Your Puppy Wisely

Many of these puppies are born to health tested parents. And are raised responsibly by knowledgeable caring breeders.

Do make sure one of these breeders is where your puppy is coming from.

The consequences of failing to get the right breeder are serious ones.

Meanwhile, enjoy your Christmas shopping, and the festive season!


If you’ve had a puppy at home at Christmas, why not share your experience in the comments below!

Merry Christmas!

Did Your Puppy Come From A Puppy Mill?

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10 Signs That A Puppy Is From a Puppy Mill

So you are looking for a puppy, maybe you’re a first time dog owner. You have heard about puppy mills and know they are bad. But what you don’t know is how to make sure you don’t accidentally buy from one. Puppy mill breeders can be deceptive.

Here are 10 signs to help you determine if the puppy you are looking at is from a puppy mill or not.

#1 – Out-of-State

You really should just stay away from pet stores when buying a puppy. Be especially worried if those puppies are coming from out-of-state, particularly Midwest states (Missouri and Illinois are two of the biggest).

Just pass from shopping at pet stores that ‘sell’ puppies. They are probably mostly from puppy mills.

#2 – No Parents

If the breeder cannot let you meet the parents, you should walk away. Not meeting the parents is like buying a car without knowing the make. Don’t do it. For all you know, these people did not even breed the puppy, but are selling him secondhand for unknown reasons.

#3 – Let’s Meet

If you call a breeder and they say “let’s meet somewhere” when you ask to visit their kennel, it’s a puppy mill. Usually they will try to get you to meet in a store parking lot or a park. Unless there are extreme circumstances, there is no reason why you should not see where your puppy was born.

#4 – Several Breeds

Reputable breeders focus on one breed, maybe two, MAX. If you find a site offering five different breeds (and their mixes!), it’s a puppy mill.

#5 – Multiple Litters

When you call the breeder and ask if they have puppies, do they respond with “I have one litter coming, but there is already a waiting list” or “oh yes, I have 3 litters on the ground and 2 more on the way”? If the breeder has 30 puppies, that is definitely a puppy mill.

#6 – Vaccinations

Puppy mills don’t like to spend money, it deters from profits. So the parents may not be vaccinated (you should ask!) and the puppies probably are not. Or, conversely, they have so many puppies they lost track and your pup got vaccinated twice.

#7 – Extreme Promises

Puppy Mill person: “Sure, it’s a German Shepard that will get up to 90lbs.” Owner: “Well, my German Shepard turned out to be 30lbs and a chihuahua mix.”

Be wary about the breeder promising a certain size, temperament, or characteristic that seems extreme. For example, a dog came into her clinic that was supposed to be a Pomeranian and Husky mix that the breeder had promised would never grow over than 7 pounds. She was 42 pounds.

#8 – Cleanliness

Go with your gut feeling about how the puppies look like.

This goes for the dog and the breeder’s home or kennel. Puppies from puppy mills are more likely to smell like a kennel and have poor coat quality.

#9 – Contract

Your breeder should care enough about what happens to the puppy that they have a contract protecting both you and them. Reputable breeders have a spay/neuter agreement, breed papers, health contract, and a request that you return the dog to them if it doesn’t work out (rather than dumping him at the shelter).

#10 – Too Young

These little pit bull puppies are only 6 weeks old. Puppy mills sell them before they are able to get vaccines.

Another way they can cut their costs is by giving you the puppy early, because they do not have to feed them, give them shots, etc. Question any breeder wanting to give you the puppy before they are eight weeks old. This is the minimum age you should be taking a puppy from their mother and litter-mates.

10 Funny Dog Breeds In The World!

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Looking for a Funny Dog?

Have you ever met a really funny dog? A dog that just seems to know how to make people laugh and tends to get joy from that, so it just keep doing it? Sometimes, a dog has funny mannerisms. Sometimes, a dog just has a lot of character and knows how to show that. With some funny dog breeds, it can just mean being energetic and always happy that makes people laugh but with others they can be funny or strange looking as well!

Here are the 10 funny dog breeds in the world! 

1. Xoloitzcuintli

“I am magnificent. Bow down to me!”

This Mexican hairless breed is not only funny looking; it’s also quite rare! These lovable pups were considered sacred by the Aztecs, Toltecs and Mayans and were thought to have healing properties. This breed is really funny, but it’s even funnier when people try to pronounce the breed’s name!

This hairless breed is very unusual. Just think of a normal terrier and you put hair-removal on them! The feel of their bodies and all that skin is weird. They need to have sunscreen when outside because of sunburn.

2. Neapolitan Mastiff

“Having kids are making my face even longer!”

There is something hilarious about a dog that is the size of a moose, but acts like it is the size of a puppy. This pooch, with massive wrinkles and sags underestimates their size, and there is nothing funnier than seeing a huge dog leap into someones tiny lap!

This breed is so lovable and loves to cuddle. Of coarse they do drool a lot, so keep a towel near by!

3Bergamasco

“The only way I see is if I jump and down!”

The Bergamasco Shepherd is a sheepdog, with an usual matted coat or how some like to describe it as the dog with dreadlocks. Don’t let the fur scare you, they are a wonderful breed but just wait until you see one of these pooches run!

I’ve never personally seen these in person. They seem like the hippie dog version of a human!

4. Chinese Crested

“I’m a miniature pony!”

You’ve probably seen some head-turning Chinese Crested in the infamous “Ugly Dog” contests held every year. Some of these dogs sport mohawks, others just like to let their hair flow. This small, hairy, weird looking dog is known for causing people to burst into uproarious fits of laughter!

With this type of dog with so much skin showing, be sure to put sunscreen when outside!

5. Puli 

“If I make a mess, I’ll just say it was the mop that did it!”

Better known as the dog who looks like a mop, the Puli is a Hungarian herder whose tight curls make it virtually waterproof. They’re fast, agile, headstrong and loyal animals but we also can’t forget they are mighty funny looking!

You could loose this dog next to a mop. They look like a mop with a nose and tongue stick out!

6. Brussels Griffon

“Just because I’m in the toy group doesn’t mean I won’t be in charge!”

With their cute fuzzy beards, these toy pups could well have inspired the vision of the Grinch, while other folks insists the dog looks more like a little monkey. This dog is sweet and funny all at the same time, its no wonder we love them!

I’ve always loved seeing this breed. They have RBF (Resting B*tch Face)! It’s even funnier when owners shave them and leave their beard. They are little lumberjacks!

7. Dandie Dinmont Terrier

“I think somebody got my body parts wrong. Where are the rest of my legs?”

What happens when you have a tiny dog that has really short legs and has a cute little puff of hair on its head? You get a hilarious looking dog. Sweet, friendly, and outgoing, but that little puff of hair never fails to crack us up!

I have always laughed when seeing this breed. They look like a medium size terrier head on a little short legged body!

8. Dachshund

“I’m in disguise. Can you tell I’m a Dachshund?”

Dachshund otherwise known as he famous “Wiener Dog” is a long-bodied, short-legged hound with flappy ears and curved tail. The dachshund is one of America’s most popular pets and honestly how can you not laugh when you see a costume like that? 

Dachshund are very funny. Most that I’ve worked with are so cute when they are trying to keep up walking with you with their short legs. They do put on weight fast so watch the scale with these guys.

9. Bedlington Terrier

“BBAaaaaa. I mean Ruff!”

Is it a sheep? Is it a dog? Maybe a Poodle? These are just a few of the questions that fans of this breeds find themselves asking as they watch their dog. The Bedlington Terrier is smart, lovable, calm, and their wooly look adds a bit of flair!

They really do look like sheep in real life. Their personality is just laid back and go with the flow.

10. Bull Terrier 

“I am in Target commercials!”

The most unmistakable, distinguishing feature is that egg-shaped head, which is almost flat on top but gradually slopes down to the end of an awesome nose. Bull Terriers are known for their clownly personality along with their funny look!

These are definitely the clownish in the terrier group. I’ve seen a lot when working and they are the cutest with their big noses!


Go out and find yourself new funny dog breeds and furry friend today! ADOPT!!

Positive Reinforcement When Your Dog Doesn’t like Treats

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Positive Reinforcement Training Without Treats

How to train with positive reinforcement when your dog won’t take treats (or can’t have them due to a restricted diet).

Many dogs will “work” for ordinary kibble or cookie-style treats at home. But need a higher-value treat in order to focus on you and your cues when in the face of a more distracting (or more stressful) environment. And some dogs get too stressed in public to take any treats, no matter how meaty and delicious. Finding a non-food reinforce is critical for training these dogs.

I use treats when I train. So do my clients. Now positive reinforcement training has a 25-year-plus track record in the dog world (supported by studies that affirm its effectiveness). The use of treats in training has become widely accepted and embraced. 

There are times, however, when you can’t use treats. Perhaps your dog isn’t particularly motivated by food. Maybe there’s a medical reason your dog can’t have food right now. Or perhaps (horrors!) you ran out of treats.

The good news is that food isn’t the only form of reinforcement we can use in training. There are a number of others ways you can reinforce your dog’s behavior.

NOT FOOD MOTIVATED? Try Positive Reinforcement

The fact is, all dogs must be food motivated, at least to some degree, or they truly will starve. We all have to eat to live. 

But it’s true. Some dogs are more interested in food than others. Labrador Retrievers are notorious for being “food hounds”. In fact, a recent study found this breed is more likely to have a very strong interest in food because they have a specific gene mutation associated with food obsession. (Flat-coated Retrievers have it too, but it has not been found in any other breeds.)

Still, all dogs must eat, so the first questions we need to ask are:

  • Why is my dog not more interested in training treats?
  • Are there things I can do to increase my dog’s interest in training treats?
  • If I can’t get him to be more interested in treats? He can’t have treats right now for some reason. Inexplicably, I ran out! Are there other reinforcers I can use in my training program?

There are several reasons why your dog might not appear to be motivated by food during training:

Medical causes.

We always want to consider and rule out or treat any possible medical causes for or contributors to a behavioral challenge, including anorexia. If your dog truly has little to no interest in food (if you have not already), please discuss this with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

There is a long list of possible medical reasons why your dog may not be interested in food. Some of them are very serious. 

Treats are low in value to your dog.

Perhaps you’ve heard the suggestion to use your dog’s regular kibble for training. This could well work for a Lab and for other very food-focused dogs. But for dogs who aren’t as interested in food, kibble just might be too boring. 

Easily bored with your high-value treat.

Some dogs get bored with (or just too full to be very interested in) a great number of the same delicious treat. Be prepared with a list of treats your dog considers high-value. When their interest in one starts to wane, switch to another. 

Most dogs love chicken (baked, boiled, or thawed-out frozen chicken strips), and yet we often see dogs tire of it at our academies. They are plied with training treats throughout the day.

Other treats dogs tend to love include roast beef, cheese, cooked hamburger, meatballs, peanut butter squirted from a tube, ham, baby food – the list is endless.

If your dog is less than enthusiastic about food, the longer your list of potential high-value treats needs to be.

Your dog is easily distracted, or the environment holds too many or too highly disturbing distractions.

If your dog is on the mild-to-moderate end of the food-interest continuum, environmental distractions can serve to deflect their desire for treats. Especially if they are easily distractible, and/or if you haven’t done your homework to generalize her behaviors to a variety of different locations.

If this is the case with your dog, try higher-value treats. Do more training in a less distracting environment before generalizing to more distractions. (Your backyard might seem perfect – but not when there are squirrels racing around the trees, or the neighbor’s dogs are barking at you through the fence.)

Your dog is not hungry. 

This is a concept totally foreign to your average Labrador. A lot of dogs who are not as crazy about food as the Lab will be less enthusiastic about working for treats if they just finished a meal.

This is an easy fix. Schedule your training sessions before mealtimes, not after, and don’t feed your dog just before training class.

Your dog is stressed. 

This is one of the most commonly overlooked reasons for dogs to turn up their noses at their training treats. It is biologically appropriate, for survival reasons, for their appetite to shut down when your dog is stressed. When the brain signals “danger,” the last thing an organism should do – if they want to survive – is stop for a bite of food. The part of the brain that controls appetite turns off until the danger is over. 

Reluctant to Take Treat

If your dog is reluctant to take treats because they are stressed, you may be able to tempt them with higher-value treats. The best solution is to figure out how to make the stress go away – or at least decrease enough so they can happily eat again. (If they can normally take a treat gently, but in a stressful situation goes from not taking the treats to blindly grabbing at the food, sometimes getting your fingers in the process. Their stress level is still too high for effective learning. Move farther from the stressor.)

Desensitizing

Sometimes a dog will learn to take treats in the face of their stressor just through habituation (they just get used to it). Although a concerted effort at counter-conditioning and desensitizing her to the stressor tends to be more effective and faster.

Medications

In some cases, if the dog’s stress levels are persistent, behavior modification drugs are in order. This calls for another discussion with your vet. If your veterinarian is not behaviorally knowledgeable, she can schedule a phone consult with a veterinary behaviorist for assistance in determining what medication(s) might be appropriate for your dog. Your vet can find a list of Certified Veterinary Behaviorists at dacvb.org/search.

Other Reinforcement

One of the great things about using food as a reinforcement in training is that the dog can eat the treat quickly and immediately go on to the next behavior. But anything your dog perceives as “good stuff” can theoretically be used as a reinforcer.

Play, for example, is an excellent, very strong “other” reinforcer for many (but not all) dogs. Keep in mind, however, that other reinforcers can take more time to deliver and regroup from. Thereby are more likely to interrupt the flow of training.

Now that the use of food in training has become so widespread, it’s easy to forget that there are a multitude of other ways of reinforcement your dog’s behavior. 

The definition of a reinforcement is “something that causes a behavior to increase“. In positive reinforcement training we teach our dogs that certain behaviors make “good things” (reinforcers) happen. So our dogs learn to offer those behaviors in order to make good stuff happen. 

Food Reinforcement

It is what we call a primary reinforcer, meaning it has innate value to the dog. Dogs don’t have to learn to like food; they are born looking for their mother’s milk.

Verbal Praise Reinforcement

A scratch under the chin feels good – it has innate value – so that’s another primary reinforcer. 

Verbal praise is a secondary reinforcer. It takes on value through its association with a primary reinforcer such as food treats, excitement, and scratches under the chin.

Toys as Reinforcement

Toys are also secondary reinforcers; they take on value through their association with the predatory chase response. (Doubt this? Have you never met a dog who was initially mystified and uninterested in toys? But learned to play with them over time?)

HOW TO USE A NON-FOOD REINFORCER

If you want to (or have to) make use of reinforcers other than food in your training, try this. Start by making a list of all the other things your dog loves. Here are some potential non-food reinforcers:

  • Tennis balls, or balls with a pleasing squishy texture
  • Squeaky toys
  • Playing tug
  • Playing “chase me” games
  • Going for a ride in the car (a chief pleasure for some dogs, aversive for others; know your dog!) 
  • Leash walks
  • Off-leash hikes
  • Swimming (again, it’s important to know your dog; some hate water!)
  • Sniffing Performing a favorite trick for an appreciative audience

For each item on this list, write down how you might be able to use that as a reinforcer in your training program. Some are easier than others. Here are some examples:

Use sniffing to reinforce your dog’s polite leash walking. 

Have your dog walk politely with you for a reasonable stretch (short enough that they can succeed!). Then give them a release cue and say, “Go sniff!”. (This works especially well at first if you give them the “Go sniff” cue when you know you are near something that they would like to sniff.)

Use tug to reinforce your dog’s “Stay.” 

Have your dog stay for whatever length of time they are able (set them up to succeed!). Return to your dog, mark them for staying, give your release cue, then invite them to tug. 

Remember to pause various lengths of time before your release cue, so they don’t start anticipating the release. You can even remind them to stay. Hold up the tug, put it behind your back and hold it up again, several times, so the mere sight of the tug toy doesn’t become the cue to release from the stay. This, by the way, is a great impulse-control exercise.

Use a squeaky toy to lure and reinforce sits and downs.

To lure a sit, hold the toy over your dog’s head the way you would a treat. When they sit, squeak and toss the toy.

To lure a down, slowly move the toy toward the ground and, when she lies down, squeak and toss. If that doesn’t work, move the toy under your knee or a stool, so they lay down to crawl after the toy. When she does, squeak and toss.

Use a tennis ball to reinforce your dog’s recall. 

They come when you call, you mark them for coming, and then throw the ball for them to chase. If they are one of those who won’t bring it back, have several balls within reach so you can call them back and toss the next ball when they come. If you want them to sit in front of you as part of your recall, wait for them to sit before you mark and throw.

Your Dog’s Reinforcers

Now take your own list of reinforcers and write down scenarios that incorporate them into your training program. You will likely find some reinforcers that are impractical for training (say, the dog who loves to roll in deer poop). But you should end up with a treasure trove of possibilities!

Your Dog’s Secondary Reinforcers

There are secondary reinforcers that you would like to use that your dog isn’t already enthusiastic about? You can “charge” them by associating with something your dog already loves.

Want your dog to be happier about your verbal praise? Repeatedly praise them and then throw them beloved ball. They will begin to associate praise with the joy of chasing a squeaky ball.

When they are not crazy about car rides, start taking short car rides that always end up at someplace wonderful (such as the swimming hole, if they love swimming). 


You get the idea. Whether your dog won’t take or can’t have treats, if you look for and create a good long list of other high-value options, you will always be prepared to reinforce your dog. They will love you even more for that.

Military Dogs: 10 Things You May Not Know

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I want to send my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has played a role in earning and preserving the freedom of our great nation. Dogs in the military struggled to earn their recognition as American heroes. Now that they have, I’d like to pay tribute by sharing some facts you may not know about these hard working canines.

1. Dogs have been in combat with US soldiers during every major conflict, but they were not officially recognized until WWII.

Sergeant Stubby of the 102nd Infantry, Yankee Division went from mascot to hero during WWI. Private J. Robert Conway smuggled him into battle. Stubby went on to detect enemy gas, bark out warnings when rival troops were near and locate the wounded on the battlefield.

By the start of WWII, the military had recognized the value canine soldiers could bring and began using them primarily for recon. Stubby forged the way for all canine soldiers who followed and remains a symbol of military bravery and heroism to this day.

Check out Stubby’s full story at fallendogs.com

2. They are trained in bomb, weapon and drug detection, tracking, and to attack the enemy.

Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX has been training sentry dogs since 1958. The manpower and dogpower that goes into training the amazing pups of the Department of Defense Military Working Dogs Training School (DoD MWD) at Lackland.

All the branches of military service train more than 1,000 dogs at any given time by a staff of 125. To their advantage, the complex training techniques are designed to utilize the dogs’ natural gifts for focus and aggression.

German Shepherds and Labradors can detect weapons, bombs, gases and drugs more accurately than any available military equipment.

3. There are about 2500 dogs in active service today and about 700 deployed overseas.

Military dogs play an integral role in the current overseas conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Stewart Hilliard, Chief of Military War Dog evaluation and training at Lackland Air Force Base told San Antonio Magazine in 2013, “These dogs are among our most effective counter measures against terrorists and explosives.”

4. 85% of military working dogs are purchased from Germany and the Netherlands.

The 2013 article “Canines in Combat” from San Antonio Magazine notes that the bloodlines of these dogs go back hundreds of years, making these pups literally “born for the job.” The Air Force Security Center, Army Veterinary Corps, and the 341st Training Squadron are combining their efforts here in the States to breed suitable dogs for military service.

Currently the other 15% of working dogs are USA born and bred. The military hopes to increase this number.

5. They are extremely valuable, and not just for their service.

According to retired Air Force K9 Handler, Louis Robinson, a fully trained bomb detection dog is likely worth over $150,000. But really, these animals are priceless. With an average of 98% accuracy in their detection skills, the peace of mind they provide to the troops is immeasurable.

Robinson resides in Phoenix, AZ and runs Robinson Dog Training. As a Military Police K9 handler , he uses the extensive skills he learned to help civilian dogs learn basic obedience. He trains doing  search and rescue, therapy skills and advanced protection training.

6. Only about 50% make it through training.

Military working dogs are not just chosen for their breeding or the keenness of their sense of smell. They must possess several other qualities. They must be free of physical issues. There shouldn’t be any like hip dysplasia. Being highly reward motivated is a great quality.

Trainers at Lackland use mostly toys like Kongs that can be hidden to represent bombs, but treats are also utilized. Suitable dogs for military service must also be able to attack on command.

The program have dropped dogs. It is due to extreme stress at having to bite a human. Military dogs must have just the right level of aggression and excitability.

7. They aren’t all German Shepherds.

When we think about military dogs, muscular German Shepherds tend to come to mind. But several different breeds have shown patriotic heroism over the years.

Many branches use the highly trainable Labrador Retriever. The elite US Navy SEALS use the Belgian Malinois, a breed similar to the German Shepherd, but smaller.

These dogs are incredibly compact and fast with a sense of smell 40 times greater than that of a human. Their small stature make them ideal for parachuting and repelling missions with their handlers.

A Belgian Malinois named Cairo accompanied The SEALS during their raid on Osama Bin Laden in 2013.

8. They can get PTSD.

Just like their human brothers and sisters in arms, pup soldiers are susceptible to the horrors of PTSD. War dogs experience severe emotional trauma during deployment, and for some it becomes too much. 

Gunner, a Marine bomb sniffing dog, became so skittish and unpredictable during active duty that he was declared “surplus” by the military. The service discharged him. Gunner was adopted by the family of Corporal Jason Dunham, who was killed near the Syrian border in 2004. He and the Dunhams are working on healing together.

9. They mourn the loss of their handler and vice versa.

In Rebecca Frankel’s book, War Dogs she explores the remarkable bond that develops between service dog and handler.

One such pair was Marine Lance Corporal Joshua Ashley and “Sirius”. They were the number one team during training at Yuma military base. Tragically Josh was killed by an IED just two months after deploying to Afghanistan. “Sirius” at first refused to take commands from his new handler and showed significant signs of agitation at the loss of his partner. 

Such stories are all too common among canine and handler teams.

If a dog of war is lost in combat, he or she is honored by the entire squad. Feeding dishes are symbolically placed upside down and a poem called Guardians of the Night is read in their honor.

10. Until November 2000, military dogs were euthanized or abandoned after retirement.

Before this time service dogs were considered “military surplus equipment” and deemed unfit to adjust to civilian life. These heroes were thrown away or put down instead of being honored.

President Clinton passed “Robby’s Law” in 2000 which allows handlers and their families first dibs at adopting military animals at the end of their useful service. The dogs are next offered to law enforcement, then adoptive families.

Organizations place these retired heroes with suitable families. The are ensured they are given the honorable discharge they deserve. There are currently long waiting lists of civilians who want to give these veterans a loving home in which to retire.

Thank you to all the men, women, and dogs that help shape this country.

Dog Noises: 7 Strange Noises Dogs Make

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Dogs can’t talk, but as every dog parent knows, our canine companions can make a lot of other unusual sounds. Getting to know the noises your dog makes in a typical day is a great way to stay on top of your dog’s health.

Let’s take a look at some common sounds dogs make and what they mean, so you can distinguish the welcome from the worrisome.

Strange Dog Noises

1. Reverse Sneezing

One of the most dramatic sounds a dog can make is the reverse sneeze. Unlike a regular sneeze, in which air is forced out through the nose, during a reverse sneeze, the dog rapidly sucks air in through the nose.  

Often the dog will reverse sneeze multiple times in a row, creating a series of snorting and wheezing sounds that can be alarming to pet parents. Fortunately, reverse sneezing in dogs is usually harmless and will stop after a minute or two.  

We don’t know exactly what causes reverse sneezing, but many dogs will have an episode when they get excited, after drinking water, or when dust and dirt irritate their nasal passages. 

2. Coughing

Just like in humans, a dog’s cough can be benign or it can be a sign of illness. Coughing can be caused by irritation from dust or dirt, asthma, or more serious conditions like heart disease. Coughing can also be a sign of internal parasites, such as heartworms or roundworms.

In some cases, the way a cough sounds can help your veterinarian identify the underlying cause of the cough. For example, a cough caused by a collapsing trachea is often described as a “goose honk,” while a cough caused by certain respiratory diseases may sound more harsh.

If your dog has a new or worsening cough, it’s best to have it checked by your veterinarian to be sure there isn’t an underlying health problem.

3. Growling

Most of us are familiar with growling, but many people don’t realize that a growl can signal more than just anger. Dogs may growl during play or when they are frustrated, too. When a dog feels threatened or uncomfortable, a growl is his way of saying “Please step back!”

It is essential to heed this warning from your dog and give him the space he needs. Ensure visitors and friends, especially young children, know and abide by this simple rule. Pushing your dog’s boundaries when he is growling may put you and others at risk for a bite, even if your dog is typically friendly.

It is also very important not to punish your dog for growling, because this may lead to bites that happen without warning.

4. Groaning & Sighing

You might hear your dog heave a great sigh of contentment as he curls up on the couch next to you or groan as he settles into his favorite bed. These sounds are normal—and adorable! Many dogs will sigh or groan when they are relaxed and happy.

However, if you notice the groan seems more like a grunt or happens in response to a particular movement, this may be a sign that your dog is in pain. Getting to know your dog’s typical grunts and groans can help you quickly spot changes in his health.

5. Yawning

Like us, dogs often yawn when they are tired or after they’ve just woken up from a nap. But, unlike us, dogs will also use yawning as a form of non-verbal communication.

Yawning is one of several canine calming signals dogs will use to indicate that they are nervous or uncertain about a situation.

If your dog yawns when he isn’t tired—and especially if he combines this action with other calming signals such as looking away, lifting a paw, or licking his lips—this can be a sign that he’s uncomfortable and needs a little extra space. 

6. Panting

It’s normal for dogs to pant on a hot day or after a good run in the park. But dogs can also pant if they’re in pain, if they’re having difficulty breathing, or as a result of illnesses such as heart disease.

Monitoring the frequency and depth of your dog’s breathing can help you spot a potential problem. Normal breathing should be rhythmic and should require minimal effort. A good rule of thumb is that your dog should inhale and exhale no more than 30 times in one minute when he’s sleeping soundly.

If your dog is breathing heavily when he should be relaxed, it may be time for a visit to your veterinarian.

7. Rumbles, Grumbles & Flatulence

Borborygmi—the medical term for your dog’s gut sounds—can make many strange noises. Rumbles, gurgles, and even high-pitched noises can all occur as normal fluid and gas are moving along your dog’s digestive tract.

These sounds are usually normal, but when they’re accompanied by other symptoms like flatulence or diarrhea, they can be a sign of a problem.

Some illnesses, like intestinal parasites, can cause vomiting and diarrhea, which may be accompanied by an increase in gut sounds.

In this case, your veterinarian may recommend using a product like Interceptor® Plus(milbemycin oxime/praziquantel), which treats and controls intestinal parasites (tapeworm, whipworm, hookworm, and roundworm) while also protecting against heartworm disease.


Does your dog make any of the noises on this list? We bet he does! Knowing what is normal for your dog can help you spot changes early, so you can ensure he stays healthy and active.

If your dog is making any sounds you don’t recognize, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian to make sure there’s no cause for concern.

Frankie’s Strange Noises

“You better give me something to eat or I’m going to poo in your shoe!!”

With Frankie being a pug, he made a LOT of strange noises. Of course since he had a little nose, there would always be a lot of reverse sneezing. He would get a reverse sneezing spell and walk around bow-legged trying to get to snot down. At first, we were very scared about what was happening, but the veterinarian assured us it was just reverse sneezing.

When Frankie was mad, he would puff out his cheeks with a huff. He was quite mad when you didn’t pay attention to him when he was hungry!

Chloe’s Strange Noises

Chloe likes to groan and moan when she is trying to get into a comfortable spot. Once she finds the perfect spot, she lets out a big sigh.

Chloe also has a very active stomach after she eats. She likes to lay down right after beside me and I can hear all the weird stomach noises! Then she usually lets out a huge burp that makes her lips giggle. After a while, the farting starts!

Lick Granulomas: 5 Things About Your Dog Licking

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What Are Lick Granulomas?

Have you heard about lick granulomas? If your dog already has one, you may already know how difficult they can be to treat. If you have never heard of them before, what do you need to know in order to prevent your dog from getting one? What is a lick granuloma? What causes them? How are they treated? Is there anything that can be done to prevent them?

Here are 5 things you should know about lick granulomas – hopefully before your dog ever develops one.

#1 – What is a lick granuloma?

A lick granuloma is an irritated patch of skin caused by excessive licking – usually on the front legs – that can remove hair and affect every single layer of skin. It’s usually accompanied by bacterial or yeast infections. According to PetMD:

“The skin is so deeply affected that even down to the base layer of the skin there can be found under the microscope little pockets of bacteria, broken hair follicles, plugged and scarred oil glands and dilated and inflamed capillaries. And if these skin lesions are removed surgically, the dog simply licks at the sutures or incision line after the surgery heals, thus creating a brand new granuloma right where the original one was!”

VCA Hospitals adds:

“Also known as acral lick dermatitis, this problem begins as an area of hair loss and reddened skin most commonly on the top of the wrist or carpal joint on the front legs. It often looks like a ‘hot spot.’ These differ from ‘hot spots‘ in that they persist despite treatment. They are often associated with chronic, persistent licking, especially when the pet is alone or when the family is sleeping.”

#2 – What causes the dog to lick so much?

A variety of factors can contribute to a dog licking so much that they start removing layers of skin. Trying to find the underlying cause of the licking may help decide on a course of treatment. Some factors thought to start the cycle of a lick granuloma include:

–Allergies caused by food, environmental factors, or something else

-A minor irritation as the result of a foxtail, splinter, cut, scrape, bee sting, or anything else that might draw the dog’s attention

-Bone or joint pain such as arthritis, fractures, surgery, or peripheral neuropathy

-Hypothyroidism, which is especially common in Black Labs

–Boredom, stress, anxiety, or OCD. Licking can be a method of self-soothing, and some dogs react to psychological factors by obsessively licking as an outlet for their pent-up emotions.

#3 – Are some breeds more prone to lick granulomas than others?

Medium and large breeds are more likely to develop lick granulomas than small dogs. Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Irish Setters, Great Danes, and Weimaraners in particular seem to be more prone to lick granulomas than other breeds.

#4 – How are they treated?

Unfortunately, lick granulomas are incredibly difficult to treat. Covering the spot of the original granuloma frequently causes a dog to start licking another spot. They can still reach other areas, causing a secondary granuloma. If your dog has an underlying allergy or injury, treating those may help resolve the granuloma. Other treatments may include:

  • Lasers can be used to remove affected tissue by vaporizing the surface layers of the skin. During this process, there is minimal bleeding and nerve tissue is sealed. It results in little discomfort that may cause the dog to start licking in the same spot again.
  • Long-term antibiotics are often used over the course of 3-6 months to help heal the infection.
  • Cortisone creams applied once or twice daily can help relieve itching that may cause the dog to lick the wound.
  • Upgrade your dog’s diet and include supplements. 

According to PetMD:

“Many types of dermatological problems are avoided if the dog is consuming an optimum diet. If your dog seems to lack good coat and skin health, consider upgrading the diet to a meat-based ingredient formula. Adding a supplement, such as omega fatty acids, can make a very real difference.”

  • Acupuncture has been shown to have a wide variety of applications. It may make a big difference in helping your dog to recover from a lick granuloma.
  • Topical and oral anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve swelling.
  • Anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed if psychological problems seem to be the underlying cause.
  • Increasing activity and interaction levels can help prevent boredom and relieve pent-up energy in more productive ways. Try taking your dog for more or longer walks. Adding a variety of interactive toys to keep your dog active and his mind occupied.

Dogs Naturally also recommends trying one of the following topical holistic remedies:
  • Manuka honey applied to the wound three to four times a day. You’ll want to have an E-collar or Bite Not collar in place before you apply medical honey to your dog’s leg.
  • Willard’s Water sprayed on the wound six to eight times daily
  • Bee propolis salve (Pavia Natural Wound Care Cream) applied twice daily
  • Fresh aloe gel applied three to four times daily
  • Calendula or hypericum tincture or gel applied three to four times daily
  • Chamomile tea bag poultice: steep one herbal teabag in a half cup of hot water, let cool. Add 20 drops colloidal silver. Refrigerate until the infusion chills. You can apply the cold teabag directly on the wound, securing it with a light wrap. If your dog won’t tolerate this then dab the solution directly on the wound six to eight times daily
  • Essential oils: mix five drops of lavender oil and five drops of myrrh oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil. Mix well. Apply to the wound two to three times a day. “

#5 – Can lick granulomas be prevented?

If you have a dog breed that is prone to lick granulomas, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to prevent a lick granuloma from forming in the first place. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent lick granulomas. Dogs Naturally recommends:

“The best way to prevent your dog from developing acral lick dermatitis is to deal with obsessive licking behavior at the first sign of it. Some lick granulomas can develop very quickly – within a matter of hours. Others take longer to appear.

  1. If you can avoid it, don’t wait until there’s an obvious injury to your dog’s skin before seeking advice from your veterinarian.
  2. Develop the habit of running your hands over your dog – especially down the front legs – to check for damp fur or sensitivity.
  3. If your dog tends to place himself outside your line of vision, check on him frequently to ensure he isn’t hiding his obsessive licking from you. Stained fur is a sign he’s licking.
  4. If he’s licking a certain spot but there’s no injury yet to the skin, try lightly wrapping the area in an Ace bandage to discourage further licking. Sprinkling the area with an all-natural lick deterrent such as lavender essential oil can also reduce the urge to lick.
  5. You’ll still need to see your holistic veterinarian to identify and deal with the underlying reasons for the licking, but in the meantime, anything you can do to prevent your dog from self-injury will be beneficial.”

Treating lick granulomas can be extremely frustrating, but with a lot of patience and guidance from your veterinarian, you can help heal your dog and increase his quality of life.

How Puppies View the World

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Puppy Kidnapped From Planet Dog

I couldn’t pass up this article. It is a funny way of understanding and taking care of a puppy you just brought home through the puppies view. Article is by Kathy Callahan, CPDT-KA.

The secret to getting through the first year is empathy. Remember your pup was taken from a different culture!

A secret thought – unutterable even to family members – keeps more than a few new-puppy owners up at night:

“What if this was a mistake?”

New owners tell me, sometimes in a whisper, that they must be missing something. Getting a puppy was supposed to be fun, but all they feel is stress. Frustration. Even anger. 

They seek me out for the Magic Answers, the training tips that will bring peace. Tell me they are at their wit’s end with the biting, the peeing, and the destruction. They get out their notebooks, ready to record expert information, personalized for their situation.

I absolutely do have those tips and tricks, strategies and game plans. Here’s the problem: They’re not going to work without the right mindset. There is actually just one thing I want new owners to write down in that notebook, so they can make it a part of every interaction they have with their puppy:

“This  is  a  baby that I  kidnapped  from  another  planet…”

Headspace

“Just relax and look through puppies view.”

The way to enjoy puppyhood – and emerge from it with a beautifully trained dog – is to get in the right headspace. A real, live puppy won’t fit neatly into your regular life, and trying to make it so is a recipe for constant angst. The happiest puppy people are the ones who dive into this phase and back-burner their other things. 

Need a convincing reason to do that, because it feels wrong to prioritise a little ball of fluff? Try this:

Just a  baby! 

Kidnapped! 

From  another  planet! 

Far away from its own people, its own customs.

Lead with the empathy that idea demands, and you’ll find your groove. When you adjust your expectations for this little puppy to where they should be, suddenly training is simple. Not easy, but simple. Just remember the puppies view.

A FRUSTRATED MINDSET BLOCKS PROBLEM-SOLVING

The “poor baby” bit may sound ridiculous to you if you have a new puppy now napping, rather indulgently, in your lap. After all, this pup is lucky to have landed with you. Not only is there plenty of food, but there is an expensive dog bed and an overflowing toy basket. More importantly, you have turned your whole dang life upside-down for this dog. It seems like all you do is deal with the puppy! 

All true. 

But the more relevant truth is this: Before you took him home, that 8-week-old puppy spent every single moment of his little life in a cozy, warm scrum with his own kind. He was cheerily hanging out with his family doing everything that comes naturally to dogs: wrestling, biting, sniffing, chewing, and jumping. Never was he alone.

He had no idea you were going to swoop in, kidnap him, take him to a new planet and, here’s the kicker, suddenly be mad at him for everything that is prized in his culture. All from a puppies view.

Let that sink in. 

Take your time. 

Aw, shucks. Now you feel sad. And you want to know what good it does to ponder this depressing thought. After all, this is how it has to go – it’s not like the puppies can live on Planet Dog together forever. 

But forcing yourself to sit with this concept increases your empathy for the puppy in front of you. If your mind is focused on your own disappointments (pee on the carpet again! more chewed shoes!), it leads to negative interactions with your puppy that can only hinder progress. 

If, instead, your mind is filled to the brim with what your poor puppy must be feeling (confused, lonely), your own anger should evaporate. And that makes room for effective problem-solving. Think like what the puppies view in our world.

In my experience, the Magic Answer to all of puppyhood is empathy. Not some fancy dog-trainer technique. Plain old empathy. I promise it’ll make you happier and make you a dramatically better dog trainer, especially as you learn to negotiate your kidnapped alien puppy’s native ways: using one’s mouth to explore the world, co-sleeping, moving around in an unrestricted fashion, and going potty whenever and wherever one has to.

Let’s look at how empathy can help you deal with each of the puppy’s  natural, normal behaviors that you may find problematic.

Puppies View: EVERYONE BITES ON PLANET DOG

On Planet Dog, everyone in polite society explores new things by mouth. Given the absence of hands, it’s the most effective, most satisfying way to engage. Puppies, in particular, use their mouths to play with their friends and to learn about the world. 

People who don’t give any weight to their puppies view background culture are alarmed by this mouthiness. They feel they may have picked “the wrong one.” They stuff the pup in the crate for another hour, thinking, “That’ll teach her.” The kids cry, saying,

“I don’t like her! She’s biting me!” 

It doesn’t need to be this way. Owners who operate out of Planet Dog empathy will wake up in the morning to a bitey pup and their first thought will be, “Oh! You are missing playing with your friends the way you used to! You’re trying to play with us that way!” The thinking cap goes on and the mind is open. As your puppies view only guide to Planet Human, how can you help this dear toddler who’s trying her best in a challenging transition? Suddenly the answers are obvious:

  • Bite-wrestle playdates with other puppies or gentle adult dogs. This is not a luxury, but instead an everyday need for all from Planet Dog. Once puppies have a happy outlet for that mouthy socialization, they are beautifully able to begin to learn our human ways. 
  • Long, flat, fluffy toys that allow pup to safely play a familiar-feeling bitey game (tug of war) with her human friends.
  • The gentle teaching of new games that do not involve mouthiness: fetch, sit-spin-touch for treats, “find it,” etc. 

People often tell me their puppy “just doesn’t understand the word no,” particularly regarding mouthiness. My answer is that when you set up your puppy’s day to match her needs, you’ll barely need to say no. Saying “no” a lot means you may have forgotten that you – say it with me – “Kidnapped! A baby! From another planet!” Having taken that dramatic action, it’s only right to do everything you can to help her adjust. 

THERE IS NO ALONE-NESS ON PLANET DOG

Foster pup Lita is learning to be okay “alone” as author Kathy Callahan works on the other side of the gate. Callahan’s book, 101Rescue Puppies: One Family’s Story of Fostering Dogs, Love, and Trust, is now available

On Planet Dog, puppies are virtually never alone. From the moment they’re born, they’re surrounded by littermates and within a leap or two of their mom. That makes for constant companionship, exercise, and warmth.

Once brought to Planet Human, a puppy might spend the vast majority of his time alone in a cold crate in an empty kitchen. When this toddler naturally cries out for companionship, he is yelled at by the human who is his sole connection in this new life. “He needs to learn. He already had a walk around the block, plus I just played with him for a while. Now I’m busy.” Sigh.

Leading with empathy makes it obvious that, while of course eventually this baby needs to learn to hang out alone, shock treatment is not the most effective learning experience. Furthermore, it can easily have the unintended consequence of making it even scarier to be alone. Once inside your puppy’s head, you’ll gravitate toward a stair-step approach to help your pup learn to be confidently alone. You’ll think about combining: 

  • A wonderfully tiring morning doggy playdate.
  • A little brain-stimulating training.
  • Moving your laptop into the kitchen for a while; then to the spot right outside the kitchen gate but in puppy’s sight.
  • Providing delicious stuffed Kongs whenever pup’s alone

As our little alien gets used to life with humans over the first weeks – aided by Planet Dog-oriented approaches like these – pretty soon puppy is happily enjoying his own company for reasonable stretches of the day that can get longer every week. 

THERE ARE NO LEASHES ON PLANET DOG

“I’m done with the thing you call a harness. You can just drag me where you want me.”

Few puppies have had experience with having a leash attached to their collars before they are adopted. Don’t expect your new family member to immediately accept, much less understand, pressure from a leash.

Imagine a recently kidnapped puppy’s terror when a tight thing is slapped on and suddenly she is pulled around by the neck! Even worse, she is yanked outside into a world she’s never seen before, with loud noises and other creatures that are utterly foreign. Her struggles to escape only make matters worse – the noose tightens!

So many new owners are mystified when this pup is reluctant to accompany them. They just pull her along thinking, “She’s so weird! All dogs like walks. I’m sure she’ll get used to it.” And generally, she does – but only after experiencing a lot of fear and losing trust in her human. 

In contrast, owners who remember the key information – “Just a baby!” – will consider how terrifying this controlling neck-strap could be, which opens up the mind to all sorts of ideas. “Hmm … How could I make this vital safety equipment less frightening to a baby?” 

  • Maybe spending the first afternoon with just a light little collar and progressing to an attached light kitty leash the pup can drag around.
  • Perhaps by the end of the day you’re picking up the end of the leash from time to time, throwing treats ahead of the pup so her focus is forward, on that. 
  • Later, you’re happily doing all of that out in the backyard, with the pup getting used to tension on the neck every now and then while you’re feeding a tiny bite of hot dog.
  • Maybe you’re also sitting together out front and watching the world go by, sharing a bit of cheese when loud trucks or new folks pass, just to form some happy associations. 

Within days, this pup raised in empathy is happily walking on leash up and down the street with her trusted owner, who feels all the closer to her pup for the mini-journey they’ve just taken. (It’s likely that the other owner, who was in a rush to get these walks going, still will be wrestling with a skittish walker weeks later.) 

ON PLANET DOG, YOU CAN PEE ANYWHERE

“If it’s green, I’m going to go potty on it!”

The #1 issue creating the tossing and turning of the new-pup owners I counsel is the challenge of housetraining. Even the most committed seem to buckle at the three-week mark and confess to yelling. 

Alas, our little kidnapped baby just learned, from that angry shout, that her person is scary. Unpredictable. Not to be trusted. Training will now go more slowly. Maybe she will always hold back just a bit because of the intimidating yelling from “her person” at this sensitive age. Who knows what lesson she learned from that punishment? Options include:

  • I’d better hide from humans if I need to pee! Maybe behind the couch. 
  • I don’t want to pee in front of a human, so I won’t pee on leash anymore.
  • Right before my person yelled I was looking at the small child, so that must be a bad thing on this planet. I will run from small children now!

Our human housebreaking rules make very little sense to the folks from Planet Dog. While it is obvious to you that the dining room carpet is no place to relieve yourself, to your puppy it seems ideal: it’s away from the prime living space, and it’s got nice absorption, plus traction! Start with empathy, understand that your pup has drastically different instincts than you, and set him up for success: 

  • Do not give him the freedom that will lead to “accidents.” (They’re hardly accidents when the individual doing them has no idea they’re doing something wrong!)
  • Keep eyes on that puppy 100% of the time he’s not in his crate. “Eyes on” does not mean “in room with laptop open.” Learn his signals (abruptly walking to a corner? sniffing the ground?) and respond immediately.
  • A human needs to get that pup outside, and walking around, once every half hour to start! Only with success can that stretch to 45 minutes, then an hour ….

No shortcuts. I’d sugar-coat it for you but that doesn’t do you any good in the long run, so here it is: After a week or two, every “accident” is your fault. I’m so sorry. 

Hey!” You may be saying. “Where’s the empathy for the human?!?” I know. It’s just that you’ll get that elsewhere, when you talk to other humans who can’t believe you actually got a puppy. I’m here to speak for the puppy, who did not choose to be kidnapped by aliens who thought they could carry on their regular day-to-day afterward.

THE DREAM IS IN REACH

Frustrated new puppy owners think they’re not asking much. “Sheesh, I just want to hang out with him and cuddle.” But that’s not actually true. We also ask them not to bark, jump, bite, pee, sniff, or chew. Sometimes, it’s as if we’re asking them not to be dogs. 

It is frankly amazing to me how well puppies do during this overwhelming period of transition, from one planet to another. They are beautifully adaptable – so adaptable that even when shoe-horned immediately into a human’s world of doggy “no’s” they often do okay. 

Understanding Planet Dog and Puppies View

But in the homes where Planet Dog empathy rules from Day One? Those are the homes where the whole puppyhood thing looks just like it does in the storybooks. Sure, some real-life things had to be put on the back burner for six months. But there was no tossing and turning, and there were no secret thoughts of regret. These are the folks who wonder what they did before they got this new friend. They are also, by the way, the people whose dog is walking at a relaxed heel with a loose lead, gazing up at them, wondering what happy thing might be next.