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Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

You know what they say… You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, right? Wrong! Just because your senior dog probably hasn’t been in training for quite some time now, that doesn’t mean that he can’t brush up on some old tricks and even learn a few new ones along the way. Not only is teaching them new tricks good for their physical health, but it also keeps them mentally stimulated. Just like humans, dogs should continue to be challenged throughout their life, even into their elder years. That being said, being aware of any health limitations, such as joint pain or arthritis in your dog, is crucial before starting. Here are a few new tricks to try out with your older dog.

Put Toys Away

If this is not something they learned as a pup, it’s not too late! Picking up toys and putting them back where they belong is a great skill for your dog to know. Not only will he be getting a little exercise, loosening up his joints, but also tidying the place up for you! You can help your dog learn this trick by first showing him how it’s done, offering treats for completing the task, and practicing consistently.

Name of Objects

This can be a fun one for you, and your dog! Even if your dog isn’t up for hours or fetch in the park anymore, that doesn’t mean he can’t fetch you a few household items every now and again. Start teaching him the names of items by showing him, and repeating the word over and over again. Items such as shoes, keys, or his toys may be a couple of handy items for him to learn. It may take him a while to pick up on the names at first, but once he understands the concept of the name game, he’ll likely pick up on new objects faster.

Tuck Himself In

If you live in a cooler climate and your dog loves to snuggle up in a blanket, this trick may be a dream come true for him! Teach him to lay down on the blanket, grab the corner of the blanket in his mouth, roll-over, and ta-da! He’ll be in a cozy blanket cocoon. This trick is pretty simple; Since he probably already knows “lie down” and “roll-over”, the only challenge will be grabbing the blanket, and putting it all together.

Contact Argos Dog Training

It’s never too late for your dog to learn new tricks, or perfect his skills! If you need assistance teaching your dog some of the basics, contact the experts at Argos Dog Training! Check out our programs, and give us a call today at 617-302-7467!

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Is Your Dog Exercising Enough in the Winter

With the freezing cold temperatures that come in the winter time, combined with snow storms and other harsh weather conditions, it can be tempting for us to never want to leave our house. Getting ourselves to go to the gym and exercise or go for a walk can be much more of a struggle in the winter. However, when we don’t want to go outside, we’re not the only ones being impacted. Your dog still has energy that needs to be released, no matter what time of year it is. (And they’ll still need to go outside to use the bathroom, too!) Physical activity is important for a dog’s health, just like it is humans. If they’re not exercising, they won’t sleep right, and other health problems may occur. So although it may be too cold out to go for extensively long walks as you might in the summertime, there are alternatives to keep your dog active! You’ll just have to get creative. Here are a few ideas to try that will ensure your dog is still getting enough exercise this winter.

Make him Work for Meals

Rather than just dumping his cup of food into a bowl for him to chow down on in 2 seconds, try putting it in a toy that will challenge him! Something like this interactive food dispensing toy will make mealtime an adventure. It’s both mentally and physically stimulating for him to get his food out of. It also slows down how fast he’s eating, which is better for digestion.

Indoor Home Training

During snow storms and other cold weather conditions, take advantage of the indoor time by teaching your dog some new tricks. You can practice sit, stay, come, and even leash training. Just because you’re stuck indoors doesn’t mean you, and your dog can’t get some physical exercise!

Sign up for a Structured Day Care Program

If your dog simply isn’t getting the adequate exercise he needs inside, try signing him up for a doggy daycare program near you! The facility will most likely have more space for him to run around and burn off some steam than he would at home, especially if he’s by himself all day.

Contact Argos Dog Training

If you’re looking for an organized daycare program in the Boston area that will challenge your dog to behave correctly and even learn new skills, check out our programs at Argos Dog Training! Fill out a contact form or give us a call today at 617-302-7467 to learn more.

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Dog Safety Tips for the Winter

When the cold, stormy weather comes this winter, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not the only one that might need an extra layer when stepping outside! Your furry friend might need a little extra help staying warm this winter, too. Check out our tips to keep your dog safe this winter!

Avoid Thin Ice

Keep your furry friends away from ponds and other bodies of water in the winter, even if it seems the ice is strong enough. Ice can easily crack, causing your dog to fall in and quickly turning into a disastrous situation. The slippery ice could also cause muscle strains or other injuries to your dog.

Protect Your Dog’s Paws

You wouldn’t go outside barefoot in the winter, and neither should your dog! Ice and other winter conditions can hurt their paw pads if not covered. There are several different types of dog booties or paw protectors that you can buy. Choose one that best fits your dog’s needs.

Trim Foot Fuzz

If you have a long-haired dog, the hair in his feet can form ice balls between his pads and toes. Keeping his hair well-trimmed so that it is even with the surface of the foot can prevent this.

Clean Your Dog’s Feet

The streets are filled with salt and other harsh chemicals in the winter time. While this makes it safer for us to walk on the icy sidewalks in the winter, it can harm your dog’s paws. You can keep a bucket of warm water next to the door for your dog to immediately rinse off as soon as he comes in. Some dogs with extra dry skin may even require a moisturizer in the winter months.

Bundle Up

Since dogs have to go out year round, no matter what the weather, make sure they have the appropriate gear to bundle up in. You can have some fun by layering him up in sweaters, coats, and more.

Make a Cozy Bed

Create a nice warm place for your dog to sleep, off the floor and away from drafty doors or windows. Buy a pet bed or make one out of blankets and pillows!

Contact Argos Dog Training

For more tips on keeping your dog safe and healthy this winter, contact the experts at Argos Dog Training! Fill out an online contact form or give us a call at  617-302-7467!

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Handling Your Dog at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be a fun time for family and friends to gather, and enjoy delicious foods. However, it can be a stressful time for your dog, with so many new faces in the house, a variety of yummy food, and lots of commotion. It’s important to make sure your dog is prepared for these changes. Check out these tips to ensure Thanksgiving goes smoothly for both you and your pet!

Review Commands

Now is the time to practice basic commands with your dog to prepare him for all the extra commotion during the holidays. Sit, stay and heal are all good commands to refresh with your dog before the guests arrive. The last thing you want is your dog to charge the front door and knock the pumpkin pie right out of someone’s hands!

Establish Safe Spot

Does your dog have a special place in your home that he goes when feeling overwhelmed or scared? If not, now is the perfect time to establish a spot for him to go when he needs a minute to regroup during all the chaos. Even the friendliest of dogs can become aggressive when he feels threatened by unfamiliar faces or other dogs. Be sure to discuss with your guests if they’ll be bringing their furry friends, and prepare accordingly.

Limit Begging

At Thanksgiving, it can be especially hard for your dog to control his begging. But with all the mouthwatering food in your house, can you blame him? You can try to help reduce the begging by making sure you feed your dog either right before, or during the serving process so he doesn’t feel deprived. You can also choose to keep your dog in a separate room during the meal so he won’t bother your guest for food.

No Dessert

We know, it can be hard to say no to the puppy eyes when you bring out the pies and other sweet treats. But remember, these goodies are not healthy for your dog and can pose health risks. Try making them their own “pet-friendly” dessert that they can enjoy with you.

Keep Trash out of Sight

Turkey carcasses that are left out or in a trash bin that could be easily opened can be quite dangerous to your pet. Dispose of the turkey carcass and bones in a tightly secured bag, and either take out immediately or leave behind a closed, locked door.

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Keeping Your Dog Safe on Halloween

 

Choose Costumes Wisely

Dressing up your dog can be adorable, but can quickly turn disastrous if not chosen wisely. First, ensure that your dog’s vision will not be obstructed in the costume. You’ll also want to make sure it’s not restrictive or unsafe for your dog in any way. Also avoid costumes that use rubber bands to hold the costume in place, as your dog can easily chew through them and become a choking hazard. The elastic can also become embedded in the dog’s fur, causing irritation or pain.

Keep Away From the Door

On Halloween night when trick-or-treaters are knocking on the door, ringing the doorbell, and causing a commotion in the front entryway, it’s usually best to keep your dog away. All the noise and strangers entering the house can confuse your dog and make him feel stressed. After all, your dog has an instinctive nature to protect your family. With so many unfamiliar faces in his home, he may quickly go into protective mode and start acting up. The last thing you want is your dog to bite a trick-or-treater or dart out the door because he’s frightened.

Be Cautious of Candles and Jack-O-Lanterns

Many people like to light their driveway and porches with lit pumpkins and candles on Halloween night. If you do this, make sure to keep pets far away, as they can be knocked over easily causing a spill of hot wax, or potential fire hazard.

Don’t Leave Pets in the car

This one may seem obvious, as pets should never really be left in the car. However, it may be tempting to leave them in the car as you take the kids trick-or-treating to just a few houses in a neighborhood. Leaving them in the car on Halloween night is particularly scary for them, as creatures of all types will be walking by. To avoid them becoming aggressive, keep them at home where they are safe and sound.

Don’t Share Candy

While candy is a sweet treat for us, it is not safe for dogs to consume, and actually poses numerous health risks. Keep your pets away from any type of chocolate, candy corn, hard candies, and wrappers that could be dangerous when swallowed.

 

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