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8 Dog Park Safety Tips

Taking your dog to the dog park can be an enjoyable outing for both of you. However, there are some important safety tips you’ll need to follow, especially if you are newer to visiting the dog park.

Prep Your Pup

The first thing to consider before visiting the dog park is whether your dog is ready. Make sure your dog can follow commands in a distracting environment. If your dog seems to struggle with this, taking a group training class before venturing to the park may be beneficial. 

Leave the Toys at Home

This may seem counterintuitive – aren’t you going to the dog park to play? – but it is usually better to leave the dog toys at home. Dogs sometimes get very territorial about their toys and you don’t want to have an issue with another dog over a favorite toy. If you really feel like you should bring something, do not bring favorite toys and bring multiples to share if you can.

Time Your First Visit Strategically

If it is your first visit to the dog park, try and go during a non-peak time. Let your pup get used to the surroundings without a bunch of other dogs around. Usually early in the morning, later in the evening, or during a weekday when others may be at work are the best times to visit. 

Watch Your Dog for Warnings

Be sure to watch for warning signs that they are stressed or uncomfortable – and keep your eye on any other dogs as well. If you see any other dogs exhibiting non-desirable behaviors, or your dog is acting up, be ready to head home.

Limit Your Visit

Don’t plan on spending all day at the dog park. While a 30-60 minute visit is fun, spending too much time at the dog park can be overwhelming for your dog, which may bring out undesirable behaviors. 

Don’t Get Distracted

No matter how many times you’ve visited the dog park, there are likely to be new dogs and unique situations every time you go. If you are distracted by your phone, a book, or another person – you may be too late to stop an unfortunate situation with your dog. Make sure you are keeping watch on your dog at all times.

Consider a Membership Dog Park

If there is only a public dog park in your area, that is probably better than nothing. However, the ones that require a membership or entrance fee will likely be cleaner. Additionally, these parks sometimes require vaccination records, which can give you some peace of mind.

Clean up After Your Dog & Yourself.

No matter what kind of park you visit, be sure to clean up after your dog as well as yourself. If everyone does their part, your dog park will be a much nicer place for all. 

Contact Argos Dog Training

Enjoy your visit to the dog park! Dog socialization is an important aspect of dog ownership and a dog park is a great place to give your pup everything he or she needs to be happy and healthy. If after your visit to the dog park, you realize that your dog has some behavior issues that need to be addressed, contact Argos Dog Training for private or group sessions. We’ll be glad to help! Fill out an online form or give us a call at 617-302-7467

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How are Private Training Sessions Beneficial For Your Dog?

Training a new pup can be an overwhelming and time-consuming venture. Luckily – dog classes and training can help make the process easier, especially if this is your first time. But for many families, committing to weeks of classes can be impossible. Private training sessions, even though they are more expensive, maybe the solution. There are several advantages to private training sessions for both you and your dog that make the cost worth it. 

Flexibility in Scheduling

If you have a hectic schedule, it may seem like there isn’t time to join a more traditional training class. However, private trainers may be able to offer a bit more flexibility if your schedule requires it. 

Sometimes, timing isn’t necessarily the issue, but traveling to a lesson, waiting there, and traveling home can create a burden for your family. Since many private trainers will come to your home instead, it can free up other members of your family to tackle other things while one pet caregiver attends the session with the trainer. 

Health Considerations

Private training lessons can be incredibly beneficial if you or your pet has significant health issues. If an owner has restricted mobility or any other health problems that might make it difficult or impossible to attend a training session, travel to and from that session, or participate within the session itself. Private lessons in this scenario have an additional benefit in that the trainer can also suggest any modifications to the home that the owner can do to make managing their dog’s behavior easier. 

Specific Learning Styles

If you’ve tried a class before and struggled to remember and implement what you learned, it may have been a difference in learning style. While you could keep trying different group classes, hoping something will stick, it may be easier and less expensive to spring for private lessons. A private trainer can modify his or her approach to what works best for you and your pet. 

Custom Training Program

When you hire a private trainer, they will develop a personalized program for you and your dog. The trainer can tailor the training and expectations of progress to you and your dog specifically. For example, maybe you’ve already trained your dog to sit and fetch, but what you really need is help to get him or her to greet guests without jumping on them or to bark less when someone knocks on the door. A private trainer will be able to assess your individual situation and build appropriate lesson plans and timelines for your unique situation. 

Sign up for Private Sessions at Argos Dog Training

There are many advantages to private training for both you and your dog. Unless you specifically need help socializing your pup, there are few things you can’t get from private lessons that you could from a group class. When you factor in convenience and customization, the benefits far outweigh the added cost. We offer private one-on-one dog training sessions at Argos Dog Training in Boston. Get in contact with us today to learn more and sign up! 

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Tips to Prepare Your Dog for Normal Life After Quarantine

Most of our daily lives have been interrupted drastically as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, creating new routines and a new sense of “normal” for us. While this may have been difficult for some of us to adjust to, it’s equally as important to think about how it’s affected our pets. A lot of pets love the extra company, even though they’re not used to having you around all the time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it won’t last forever, and your dog needs to be prepared for when the time comes that you return to your normal schedule. As stay-at-home orders are lifting across the country, and the plan for Massachusetts to reopen has been announced, it’s time to start getting your pet used to you not being around 24/7. Here are some tips that you can follow for the adjustment period. 

Take Time Apart

Beginning to decrease the time that you’re spending with your dog is crucial before you have to return to your schedule completely. You can start with small increments, even of 15 or 20 minutes. Working in these intervals will get your dog comfortable being alone again, while you reinforce the idea to him that you’ll be coming back. This is especially important for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety. Additionally, you’ll want to cut back on being overly affectionate with your dog, so they don’t become dependent on you. 

Provide Your Dog With Distractions

When you do leave your dog, even if it’s just for short periods of time at first, you’ll want to make sure he’s not bored. Boredom combined with separation anxiety can be a disaster for any dog. If you leave your dog with chew toys or puzzle toys, this will typically keep them occupied while they’re alone. 

Crate Training

This is especially important if you adopted or bought a new puppy during the quarantine. Getting him used to being in the crate, for however long he will be once you return to normal life, is essential. Just like with the alone time, you can easy into it. If you’re going to be returning to 8 hour work days soon, start off by training him for a few hours a day in the crate. You can then work your way up to full 8 hour days with him. 

Sign up for Dog Training & Structured Daycare Programs

If you’ll be returning to your normal routine soon and are worried about how your pet will adjust, it may be helpful to bring in a professional trainer. At Argos Dog Training, we offer structured daycare programs that will keep your dog occupied while you’re at work, and also give him the opportunity to learn important new skills and commands. Interested in learning more? Get in contact with us today! Fill out an online form or give us a call at 617-302-7467 to set up a consultation and we’ll help determine the best solution for your dog! 

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6 Things You Need to Have When Bringing a New Puppy Home

While the current situation with COVID-19 has been a challenging one in many ways, there is one silver lining; Many people are adopting puppies and dogs from shelters when they needed it the most! If you’ve recently brought home a furry friend or are getting ready to, it’s a very exciting time. However, it’s important to remember that it’ll also be a great responsibility, and there are several things you need to do to prepare. Having these 6 items on hand will help to make it an easier transition for you and your new dog!

Dog Food

This one may seem obvious, but arguably the most important. Since many stores are physically closed, you’ll likely be ordering pet food online. Shipping may be delayed, so to be safe you’ll want to order this as soon as possible. Many experts recommend that you start him off with whatever food he was already eating, and then wean them onto food of your choosing. Your puppy will be going through a lot of changes at once, so keeping his food as a constant in his life at first can help with the transition period. 

Leash & Collar

Getting your dog used to wearing a leash and collar early will help immensely in the long run. Even if you’re not going on as many walks as you normally would be at this time, he should still get used to wearing it. Start by having him wear it around the house to get comfortable. There may be some whining or tugging at first, but he’ll eventually get used to it and learn how to properly walk on a leash. 

Toys

It’s no surprise that puppies love to chew on things! Avoid having your shoes or furniture chewed up by having plenty of fun stuffed toys, rubber toys, rope toys, and more on hand. He may still get into some of your belongings, but this will help to prevent that as much as possible!

Crate 

Teaching your dog that the crate is a safe space and encouraging him to use it as one will help him develop good feelings towards it. Using the crate as a punishment will make him think of it as a bad place, which will be hard to change in the future. Having set crate time during the day, even if you’re working from home at the time being, will help to set him up on a schedule from the beginning. 

Treats

Training your dog from a young age will be much easier than teaching an old dog new tricks. Having treats on hand to help with the training process is key! Use treats as a positive reinforcement when teaching him commands such as sit, stay, and come. Dogs respond well to treats so it’ll be a win-win for you both! 

Dog Bed

This may not be essential, but your new furry friend will certainly appreciate having somewhere comfortable to sleep and nap! It’ll help him to feel at home in his new space. Making your dog feel as safe and comfortable as possible will help make the transition easier.

Contact Argos Dog Training For Assistance

If you’ve recently brought home a new puppy and have any questions at all, the experts at Argos Dog Training are here to help! We provide one-on-one training sessions, and have additional teaching tools and resources to help you be the best new dog parent you can be. Check out some of our other tips here to keep your dog entertained while stuck at home. Give us a call today at  617-302-7467 or fill out an online contact form to get started.

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4 Ways to Keep Your Dog Entertained While Stuck at Home

The current situation that we’ve found ourselves in, where lockdowns and stay-in-place orders have been put in place throughout the country, is having a profound impact on many of us. As we all learn to navigate this new way of life together, there are so many ways in which our daily routines have changed. It’s important to remember that this unfamiliar situation is likely affecting your furry friend more than you realize too. His schedule has changed, and routine is crucial for dogs. Finding new ways to keep him entertained will be beneficial for you both! Here are 4  things to try if you’re stuck at home and need some activities for you and your dog to keep busy.

Make Your Own Dog Toys

Has your dog torn apart most of his old toys? Skip the Amazon delivery and try making your own toys! There’s no need to spend money on brand new toys that will be slobbered on and chewed up in a matter of minutes. You’ll be surprised to learn what you can make just with the things you already have at home. All you need to make a simple tug toy is an old t-shirt, a tennis ball, and some scissors! You can even make interactive feeders or agility jumps with old PVC pipes.

Exercise and Play Time

Your dog has probably always dreamed of the day he’d get work walks and playtime! If it’s safe to do so in your community, take your dog out for walks, while taking the necessary distancing precautions. Although some parks may be closed, you can let him run freely in your backyard or even set up a makeshift obstacle course for him to blow off some steam. 

Treat Him to a Spa Day

We could all use a little extra TLC right now, including your furry friends! You may not be able to bring him to his local groomer right now, so why not have a spa day of your own. Give him a bath, brush him thoroughly, clip his nails, etc. Your dog will look, feel, and even smell his best! 

Go Back to Puppy School

Was your puppy’s training rushed because you didn’t have enough time? Well, now that you likely have plenty of time, why not teach on old dog some new tricks (or reinforce some old ones)! Work on some of the commands and behaviors he never quite mastered. Most of these are easy to teach right in your yard or living room. If you need some assistance, the trainers at Argos Dog Training are here to help you! We have plenty of options available to be able to help you and your dog. We’ll be glad to assist you and discuss these opportunities for dog training in Boston. Whether you just have a question or are interested in signing up for private sessions, give us a call at 617-302-7467

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