Posts Tagged ‘dog biscuits’

Time to Be Positive: Dog Training Tips & Tricks

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Pawsitive Reinforcement:

When it comes to dog training, there are many options and opinions as to the best method, however we believe that positivity breeds more positivity! Positive-reinforcement training techniques use non-confrontational methods to engage your dog’s brain. This is done by rewarding positive behavior, and establishing rituals and training actions that are incompatible with negative behavior. Essentially, you reward the positive and either ignore the negative, or direct them to a behavior you do want.  Easy, right?  Doing this can help to lessen your dog’s frustration with the learning process, while still allowing the dog to feel good. There should be no forceful actions as this can damage your pup’s trust. Think about you it…how fast would you sit down for a cookie, some praise or a nice pat on the back? To a dog, those actions are not only treasured but an important part of their lives. Here are some tips on how to incorporate positivity in your dog’s training.

Treat Generously: 

First of all, when using positive reinforcement timing is key; the reward must be given within seconds or your pet might not connect the dots.  An example is when you give your dog a treat for sitting down at your command. You don’t give them the cookie after they’ve sat back up and their attention is on something else, you reward them when all of their attention is focused on you and what they are doing. There are several types of positive reinforcement, it can encompass treats, praise, petting, or even a favorite game. Although most dogs (including our office crew!) are highly food-motivated, and this type of reinforcement can often yield the best results.

Sit. Stay. Play: 

You also want to pay attention to the type of commands you are using with your pet. Keep them short! Use simple one-word commands which are easier for your dog to understand. Some examples are: Come, Sit, Stay, Down, Heel, Off, etc… You might also want to inform your family or those you live with of these to help avoid confusion for your dog later – consistency is key! Your training sessions should also be short and fun, and the goal is to have your dog associate good things while training.

More How To’s:

As time goes on and your pet becomes more skilled (and hopefully better behaved!), it is a good idea to gradually back off the treats and use them only on occasion. Eventually, the treats should no longer be necessary, however you should always reward Fido with verbal praise and a pet. It is important that you continue to use these techniques to maintain the behaviors you want from your dog.

Reward-based dog training helps create a range of desirable behaviors, which builds mutual feelings of trust and confidence, and a bond that will last for years to come. If you’d like more info on positive reinforcement and dog training, we highly recommend Victoria Stilwell’s website.  It’s a wonderful resource for all things dog. Good luck and woof woof!

A-Frame: A Dog Agility Classic

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

A-Frame Storey Bark Park

The A-Frame is a traditional piece of agility equipment; it’s fun for dogs of all shapes and sizes. Now, not all dogs are natural climbers so it is important not to push them past their comfort level. Using treats, praise and positive reinforcement to encourage your dog can also be helpful! According to Pet Expertise there are four types of treats that work best and are healthy options for your dog. They recommend using regular dog kibble, cheese, chicken, and chopped veggies as healthy alternatives to dog biscuits or cookies.

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There are several important differences between our A-Frame and others. First of all, ours is not as steep. We think all dogs should be able to safely and comfortably play on our equipment! When an A-Frame is too steep and/or too narrow, it’s not only unsafe, it will discourage dogs from using the equipment again if they lose their footing or feel they need to jump off the side. With that in mind, our A-Frame is only three feet high at the peak with an extra wide width of 38”. Another important consideration is the angle of the ramp; traditional (professional) dog agility requires it to be a very steep 98 degrees for large dogs and 104 degrees for the smaller pups. By design, our A-Frame is only 43 degrees, so about half as steep. This helps to ensure that any pooch, whether an agility champ or a novice, can feel like a top dog once they conquer the ramp. One last word of warning, if a dog park company says they are using AKC or USDAA standards for their equipment, be careful! It’s always a much safer bet to install recreation level equipment in a public park.

Our A-Frame is also coated with PawsGrip™, our exclusive highly textured material designed for maximum slip resistance. Other products may have rubber or textured polyethylene. Neither of these are really suited for the use a dog park sees, and the surface can crumble, degrade or crack quite easily. However, PawsGrip™ is made from the same materials used in truck bed liners, and provides a more stable and sturdy texturized surface that is super durable and holds up under frequent use and all weather conditions.

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So remember when comparing dog park agility equipment, we don’t just offer the widest range of products you will find, but also the safest and highest quality. Dog parks are essential in bringing your community together and sourcing safe equipment with a lifetime warranty will guarantee a long lived (and loved!) place for all the pooches and their people to play!

6401 - Greenwood Urban Wetland Park

A Holiday Feast for the Hounds

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

dog-thanksgiving-turkey-480x320

As the holiday season starts to wind down (can you believe Christmas is next week??), we wanted to send out a friendly reminder to make sure and include your furry family members in the celebration!  From pet stockings filled with toys, to a new leash, a fuzzy sweater and much more, there are a million ways to spoil your pooch.  BUT, if your dogs are like ours, the way to their heart is through their stomach!

Here are some healthy (and tasty!) treat ideas:

*Squash and Sweet Potato Mash:

This is not only yummy (for both humans and dogs) but is easy for your pooch to digest and is full of beta carotene. Either roast or microwave the potatoes and squash (we love Kabocha & Acorn), then mix together in a large bowl.  Be sure to set aside a portion for Fido before you add all of the extra goodies like butter, cream and seasoning.

*Poultry/Ham/Lamb Treats:

Once you’ve roasted your main course to perfection, carve a few small pieces (minus the seasonings, fat and/or skin) for your dog’s enjoyment. Just remember to feed snacks like this in moderation!

*Veggies:

It isn’t a proper holiday meal unless all food groups are represented. Some of our office dog’s favorite treats include fresh, crunchy carrots.  They also enjoy green beans, peas and asparagus all of which are packed with healthy vitamins and antioxidants.

*Peanut Butter & Yogurt Pupsicles: If you’re having dessert, don’t leave out the dog! Just mix one 32 oz container of low-fat vanilla yogurt with a cup of melted peanut butter.  Pour into small, lined muffin tins or these cute paw shaped molds and freeze.

And finally, no matter how hard your pooch begs, there are a few things to avoid: 

*Onions & Garlic: Bad breath aside, both of these can lead to anemia in dogs if given in large quantities or over an extended period of time.

*Cooked bones: Although most dogs love a meaty raw bone, once they’ve been cooked the bones become brittle and can shatter causing painful splinters or something even more serious such as an obstruction.   Please note: Supervision is a good thing here!

*Yeast/Bread Dough:  ‘Tis the season for baking…and dogs whose sense of smell gets them into trouble.  If you are going to be baking with yeast, be sure to keep the dough well out of reach so it can rise safely on the counter (or up on top of the fridge for hungry giant breeds), and not in their bellies.

*Gravy, and other items with a high fat content:  High fat intake can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and sometimes fatal inflammation of the pancreas.  If you’d like to treat your dog to some gravy, a good principle is to keep the quantity small. A tablespoon or so watered down before adding it to their kibble can be a tasty and much healthier option, as can some low sodium stock or broth.  Less is more…and their noses are so good, they won’t know the difference!

From all of us at Dog-ON-It, have a wonderful holiday and be sure to support your local dog parks!


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