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5 Things to Keep in Mind While Training Your Dog

Getting a dog is one of the most exciting milestones in your life: You have a new companion and best friend to call your own! But, don’t let the excitement of getting the new puppy distract you from the task at hand, which is to train this new dog. Training your puppy will make both your life and your dog’s life easier, all while developing a stronger bond with your new friend. To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of 5 things to keep in mind while you train your dog!

Choose Your Dog’s Name Wisely and Stick to It

Now that your new pup is home, it’s time for one of the most exciting parts; picking a name! For training purposes, it may be better to choose a short name, ending with a strong consonant (ex. Ginger, Molly, Scout). Picking a name that ends with a sharp consonant sound will perk up those puppy ears and will allow you always to say his or her name clearly. This will ward off any confusion when the new puppy is learning its name. As much as possible, associate your dog’s name with positive, pleasant things rather than negative. The goal is for him to think of his name like he does the other great stuff in his life, like “walk,” “treat,” or “dinner!”

Reward Good Behavior

Rewarding your dog’s good behavior with positive reinforcement is essential to the training process. You can use anything from treats, toys, playing time, or heaps of cuddles. Only encourage him for good behavior, and always let him know he’s doing something right! Rewarding bad behavior will only confuse the dog, so remember only to reward the good. When your puppy does something bad, it’s best to turn away from them and pay them no attention, and they will always stop.

Decide on “House Rules”

Before you bring your puppy home, it’s crucial to decide on clear boundaries around the house. Is the dog allowed to go on the couch or bed? Are some parts of the house off-limits? Setting these rules before the dog comes home will make everything less confusing for both of you. It’s important that your dog has a “home” of his own too. A dog’s crate should be a private place of comfort and relaxation that no other pet can use. He’ll benefit from short periods in there by himself and you can avoid having the dog sleep in the bed with you, should you choose that he’s not allowed on the bed.

End Training Sessions on a Positive Note

Make sure to end training sessions with positive reinforcements, remembering that he’s worked hard, no matter what the outcome of the session was. Leave him with lots of praise, treats, or playing time! He’ll always come back to training with a smile on his face and his tail wagging, ready to learn.

Teach Him to Come When Called

This should be the very first thing a puppy learns, along with his own name. It’s important to reinforce your alpha status, and teaching him to come to you will help with that. Get on his level and call him to come to you, and when he does this makes a big deal using positive reinforcement. Next, try when he’s busy or looking at something interesting. You’ll see the benefits of his perfecting this command later on in his life.

Contact Argos Dog Training

At Argos Dog Training, our goal is to teach your dogs to communicate effectively with you! Please contact us for more information regarding our training sessions, including group and private sessions. Give us a call at 617-302-7467 or fill out an online contact form!

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Warm Weather Safety Tips for Your Dog

Having a dog is a great addition to any household. Rather the dog becomes a member of your busy home or gets to enjoy quality time spent with just you, they’re a member of the family either way. Similarly, to how you apply sunscreen to protect yourself and your children during warm weather months, there are extra precautions you need to take to protect your furry friends too!

Knowing the Threats

Before you can begin protecting your dog, you have to know the enemy. The biggest threat that dogs face during warm weather months are ticks and tick-borne diseases. Ticks typically stay in highly vegetated areas, such as tall grass. When your dog is playing outside, the ticks can quickly attach and begin to feed from your dog. Since you know that heavily vegetated areas are more tick prone, it’s best to avoid them during the summer months. 

Prevention

There are multiple forms of protection against ticks. Many people choose to use a flea and tick collar. This is a good start, but it isn’t enough to keep the ticks at bay completely. In addition to the collar, you should administer an oral or topical flea and tick medication once a month. There are a variety of brands to choose from; speak with your veterinarian to decide what’s the best option for your dog. 

Check Your Dog

During the warm weather seasons when ticks are out in full force, you should preform regular tick checks on your dog. Look through their fur, behind their ears, and in between their paws for ticks. Try to do this quickly after an outdoor adventure to reduce the risk of the ticks imbedding and spreading a disease to your dog. 

Vaccinate

Speak with your dog’s veterinarian about the Lyme disease vaccination for your dog. The vaccine reduces the risk of your dog contracting Lyme disease if they’re bit by a tick. This vaccine has been around for years, but a surprisingly low number of dog owners actually use it. 

If you find a tick on your dog or notice a change in behavior that could indicate a disease is present, contact the veterinarian right away. Embedded ticks need to be carefully removed to ensure both you and your dog are safe. Summer time should be your dogs favorite season, don’t let something as small as a tick get in the way of that and compromise their safety! 

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Summer-Safe Treats for Your Pet

Summer time is the best time for a frosty treat. Ice cream cones hold a special place in our hearts as a childhood memory and a habit that you can never outgrow! Of course, you want to share your summertime treats with your pet. Before you order up a second cone for your pooch, it’s important to know if it’s really safe or not.

Can Dogs Have Ice Cream?

The simple answer to this question is, yes, dogs can have ice cream. But just because you can have something doesn’t mean it’s good for you! Adult dogs aren’t equipped to handle the lactose found in ice cream and other dairy products. Ice cream may not hurt your dog in a small dose here and there, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a healthy summer snack option. 

Safe Summer Treats

If you do decide to serve your dog ice cream you should only give them a small amount of a vanilla or fruit flavored blend. Stay away from sugar-free options; the artificial sugars are toxic for your pet! An even better, and safer, summer treat option that we recommend is serving your dog homemade ice cream. You can make homemade ice cream by combining peanut butter, bananas, and a small amount of yogurt. Put the concoction into the freezer and once it’s frozen, let your dog enjoy their tasty treat! Vegan ice cream is also a safe option for your pet, but you should still stick to vanilla or fruit flavors only. 

What if Your Pet Eats an Unsafe Summer Treat?

If your dog has eaten ice cream without your permission, don’t panic. Figure out roughly how much ice cream your dog ate and what flavor it was. You should be on the lookout for symptoms of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. If you notice any of those symptoms, contact the vegetarian. If you find out that the dog consumed ice cream that contains coffee, chocolate, or raisins, be sure to give them a call too. 

Summer time should be a fun time for you and your dog. There’s no doubt that giving them treats makes them happy, but it’s your job to make sure that happiness doesn’t turn into an illness. If you’re unsure about the safety of a summer treat for your pet, ask the veterinarian for confirmation that it’s safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your furry friends!  

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How Can I Stop My Dog From Jumping Up

One of the most commonly overlooked, yet consistent behavior problems among most dogs is jumping up. While you might not necessarily see it as a problem that he jumps up and and nearly attacks you at the door every time (because let’s be serious, who wouldn’t want to be greeted with the excitement?!), it actually can be a dangerous habit. If he’s used to doing this when you open the door, he won’t hesitate when it’s a small child, elderly person, or someone with physical disabilities. Because of the safety issues it can cause, it’s important to train your dog to stop jumping and learn a different way to greet people.

Why They Jump

Although there are several theories of why dogs may jump up on people, the most obvious reason is that they want attention. If they’ve been home alone all day, they probably have tons of bottled up energy that they just can’t help but explode with excitement when you walk through the door! Even if you yell at them to get down, the negative attention you’re giving them may send the wrong message. After all, it is attention and that’s what they were looking for.

Putting a Stop to Jumping 

Retraining your dog on this behavior will take consistency and patience, but will be well worth it when he learns how to properly greet guests. Here are a few tips to try while training:

  • Withhold Attention: In this case, no attention is better than negative attention. Rather than scolding him, or pushing him to get off of you, trying completely ignoring him. Turn your back from him, cross your arms, walk away, and don’t say a word. If he’s jumping on you as soon as you walk in the door, you can try walking out completely and entering again in a few moments when he has calmed down. He needs to learn that jumping up will not give him the attention he wants, but rather just the opposite; no attention.
  • Reward Good Behavior: As with any training session, having treats handy is always helpful. Since you’re trying to teach him to not jump, when he finally greets you with all 4 paws on the ground, toss him a treat. Rewarding the behavior you desire, rather than scolding the wrong behaviors works wonders with your dog.
  • Use the Sit Command: When your dog has mastered greeting you with all 4 paws on the ground for a few seconds, start using the sit command. Reward your dog with a treat once he sits. Over time, your dog will learn to sit when you enter the room or walk through the door.
  • Practice With Others: While it’s good to first master the skill with you, the owner, you’ll also want to make sure he’ll use the skill when other guests enter the house. Try asking a family member or friend to practice with your dog. This way he’ll understand that sitting/staying down is the desired behavior no matter who enters the room!

Contact Argos Dog Training

Does your dog have a problem with jumping up on others, or any other obedience issues? The experts at Argos Dog Training can help. We offer a variety of private and group training programs to correct these behaviors using efficient training techniques. Contact us today to learn more!

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Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called

 

As a pet owner, one of the most important commands you can teach your dog is to come when he’s called, the first time. Having this command mastered allows you to trust that he can be free to run around in the park, in the yard, or anywhere for that matter, because you know he’ll come when you call him. This is extremely important for his safety, as dogs are often oblivious to any potential dangers that are around, such as coyote or another wild animal. Knowing this essential command could quite literally save his life one day! So how can you teach him so that he knows to come when called the first time, every time? We have some tips for you.

Find a Quiet Spot

By teaching your dog this skill in a quiet, secluded area at first, it allows him to focus with minimal distractions. If you have a fenced in yard, let him run free and begin practicing the command. Slowly you can work your way up to doing this in the park, on walks, and other public places until he’s comfortable enough with the command that you could do it in any crowded area and you’d trust that he’d come!

Use Treats for Reinforcement

When you’re first teaching your dog this command, using treats will work wonders. Although you don’t want your dog to become dependant on food motivation, its a good tool to use to start getting your dog to associate the words you’re saying with the desired behavior. Ideally, you should offer the treat every few commands when teaching until slowly he understands the command without any treat motivating him.

Never Repeat a Command

This is one of the most common mistakes that pet owners make when teaching any trick or command. If there’s one golden rule for training your dog, it’s to never repeat a command. After all, the goal is to get him to come after ONE call. Once you say the word “come,” if he doesn’t act immediately, you can make whistling noises or other sounds, call his name, and hold up the treat, but refrain from repeating the command over and over again.

Consistency is Key

This is true in any aspect of dog training and life, so it’s no surprise that it applies here. The more you practice this command with your pup, the quicker he’ll pick it up. Make each practice session count by staying focused, even if it’s just a short 5-minute lesson at home.

Contact Argos Dog Training

If you need assistance teaching your dog this or any other command, contact the experts at Argos Dog Training! We offer several different dog training courses and structured daycare programs. Fill out an online contact form or give us a call today at 617-302-7467 to learn more.

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