Training Tips

Fun Fall Activities to do With Your Dog in Boston

With the heat of summer fading into fall, it’s a great time to start doing more outdoor activities with your four-legged friend. They’ll appreciate the cooler weather and will be less likely to overheat after all the running and playing they get to do. Here are some of the most fun fall activities you can do with your dog here in Boston. 

Head to the Beach

It might be too chilly for you to get your swimsuit on and hop in the ocean, but your dog will love an excursion to the beach, even in the fall! Now that summer’s gone, there will be fewer beachgoers, and many beaches welcome dogs in the autumn. You’ll be able to sit and relax while your pup digs in the sand and runs around to his heart’s content. 

Go on a Hike

Don’t let the cooler weather keep you from helping your pet get some much-needed exercise. Instead, take your companion on a hike at any of the nearby trails. There are lots of options close to Boston, but for the wildest trails, head out just a bit further. These trails will offer tons of exciting smells and plenty of challenging hiking. Just remember to keep your dog on a leash to prevent him from getting distracted by all those fun new aromas and lost in the great outdoors. 

Visit the Pumpkin Patch

Checking out the pumpkin patches, picking apples, and wandering corn mazes are some of the most enjoyable autumn activities for humans, but that doesn’t mean your canine friend can’t enjoy them too! In fact, most dogs will appreciate any excuse to get some fresh air and a bit of a stretch. They’ll love all the new and exciting sights and smells that orchards and pumpkin patches have to offer. Not to mention, pumpkin is a great nutritious treat for dogs, so pick up an extra just for him!

Play in the Leaves

What’s something that children and dogs alike just can’t say no to? Jumping into a freshly raked pile of autumn leaves, of course! Whether you have your own tree-filled yard to maintain, or you prefer the foliage at the local park, your dog will love the chance to sniff around and jump into the leaves. Make sure to bring your phone or camera for some great seasonal shots of the pup and the colorful leaves! 

Sign up for a Training Class at Argos Dog Training

At Argos Dog Training, we believe that nothing beats a happy dog. We offer training to keep your four-legged-friend engaged and happy this fall. Checkout our variety of dog training courses, including group and private sessions, and get in touch with us today to setup a consultation! Fill out an online form or give us a call at 617-302-7467

|

How to Stop a Dog from Begging

Even if your furry friend has mastered commands like “sit” and “stay,” he still might struggle with resisting the urge to beg at the table. While this can seem like a minor annoyance, it can lead to other less-desirable behaviors if left alone. To stop your dog from begging at the table, here are a few simple tips to try out. 

Dinnertime for Everyone

It can be frustrating for a hungry dog to see his owners eating while he hasn’t had dinner yet. If he’s hungry, that could be the reason he’s coming to the table to beg. To encourage your pet to focus on his own food and not on yours, serve him dinner at the same time (or just before) you sit down to your own meal. If he has his food in front of him, he won’t want yours. If he still gets distracted by the delicious smells coming from the table, consider feeding him in a separate room altogether so he can focus on his own tasty meal. 

Ignore

It can be hard to ignore your furry friend, but sometimes that’s what he needs. Dogs have mastered those big puppy-dog eyes to get human sympathy, but now is not the time to give in! If you start handing down scraps to Fido, he’ll see that his behavior gets rewarded, and he’ll keep begging. Instead of giving in or scolding your dog, simply ignore him or redirect him to another activity – his own dinner, a chewy treat, or a fun toy. 

Send Him Home

If your dog tends to come to the family dinner table looking for dessert after he’s finished his own meal, establish a routine of sending him to a comfortable spot where he can relax and digest. A fluffy pillow or dog bed makes a welcome spot, as does a cozy crate or mat. Make sure his after-dinner home is snug and comfy enough that he’ll enjoy spending time there while he waits for his humans to finish their meal and come to play. 

Teach Him Obedience

Basic obedience skills like “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it” are perfect commands to get your dog used to paying attention to you and learning some discipline. Once they get the hang of these commands, you’ll be able to use them at the dinner table to get him to discontinue unwanted behavior. And since he’s accustomed to listening to your commands, he’ll know exactly what you want from him pretty quickly. 

Contact Argos Dog Training

Do you need some help teaching your dog to stop begging? Argos Dog Training provides expert dog training in the greater Boston area and work with dogs of all discipline levels. We offer both private and group training sessions to help your four-legged-friend learn a few commands and even learn to socialize with other canines. Checkout our list of dog training options here and get in touch with us today to setup a consultation. 

|

How to Make Bath Time for Your Dog Easy

Does your “good boy” turn into a not so good boy at bath time? If your dog hates baths, you probably hate it, too, because it can be hard to wrestle a dog into the bath when he doesn’t want to be there. Whether your dog fights to get out, or just looks terrified and anxious, there are steps you can take to make bath time more tolerable for you both!

Make time for bath time

Don’t squeeze bath time in when you can – make sure you have enough time to take steps to make bath time enjoyable. When you’re in a hurry, your sense of urgency can rub off on your dog and make them more anxious. Especially if your dog is already reluctant to take a bath, you’ll need extra time to make him comfortable.

Stay positive

Just like a sense of urgency can make your pup feel anxious, a positive attitude can put your dog in the right mindset for bath time, too. Talk to him about what you’re doing in an upbeat voice and he’ll be much more likely to stay happy during the bathing process.

Use natural instincts to your advantage

When you go for a long walk or run, chances are that you like to shower. Your dog does, too. Take your dog for a long walk or run right before bath time. He may be more likely to get in the water to cool himself down if the instincts are already there.

Make it fun

It can be challenging for you and your dog to enjoy bath time if you approach it as a chore. Instead, make it fun by thinking of it more as playtime. This can be a really great strategy for dogs who love toys. Stock up on a few that won’t be worse for the wear if they get wet (i.e. rubber etc.) and let your dog take out any bath time frustration on it.

Make sure your water is comfortable

Do you love scalding hot showers or ice-cold baths? Even if you do, your dog may not. The best temperature is lukewarm water for your dog. Keeping the water temperature comfortable for your dog may ease a lot of the bath time stress on its own.

Bring a treat

Your dog loves getting treats and eating. Consider bringing treats for him to the bathtub so he can start associating it with positive things. You might also consider feeding him there for a bit. Then when it is bath time, he might be less likely to panic.

Contact Argos Dog Training

If you’re still stuck, it may be time to get the help from a professional. Argos Dog Training is an expert dog trainer and can provide you with tips as well as teach your dog commands and things for you to do to help your dog behave better for bath time. Private one-on-one sessions may be the best option in this case. Get in touch with us today to setup a consultation!

|

10 Training Tips That Every Dog Owner Should Know

You are finally bringing home the newest member of your family, your puppy. It is a happy and exciting time for everyone, but it is important to agree on all of the rules and training plans beforehand. Whether you plan on taking your dog to an obedience school, or hiring a private trainer for your dog, or even training them yourself, it is important to remember that you will need to continue the training at home. Just as kids do not learn everything they need to know at school, dogs need additional training at home.

 1.  Create a Special Place for Your Dog 

It is important to designate an area that you use to train your dog. The dog needs to be able to associate this place with training time. It is helpful for this to be an area free from distractions, and plenty of room for them to move freely.

Your dog needs to have “a room of their own,” or their own special place, this should be introduced as early as possible. The dog needs their own place to sleep and feel comfort in the safety of their own space. The den, often a crate, will also be an extremely helpful tool for house training.

2.  Use a Positive, But Firm Voice 

Reward-based training is vastly acknowledged as the most effective and animal friendly method. You should be firm and commanding because you are the boss, while also remaining positive and encouraging to ensure that your dog feels safe. Dogs understand simple commands and names, because human languages are not their language your tone of voice vastly conveys your intentions. When you sound angry or frustrated during training, you will form a negative association with learning skills for your dog.

3. Set a Timer

Dogs do not have a long attention span. They can only focus for a small amount of time before they are bored or anxious.  To ensure the most attention and understanding of the training, you should set a timer for a time between five and fifteen minutes. That is how the training sessions should last. You should have several training sessions each day to remind your dog of what you practiced earlier.

4. The Important Things Should Be Taught First

The first commands you teach your dog will be their favorite, this is what they will do when they feel uncomfortable or do not understand a new trick. Begin with relevant commands like “down” and “come.”

Dogs, especially puppies, love to jump up in greeting. Do not punish them. Simply ignore the behavior and wait until they settle down before showing positive reinforcement. Do not encourage jumping behavior by petting or praising your dog when they are in a “jumping up” position. Turn your back on them and do not pay them any attention. Starting with this command prevents them from jumping on visitors.

Teach them to come when they are called. This is an important command to teach early on to prevent them from running into the street. Teaching the “come” command should be mastered first. Since they will be coming to you, your alpha status will be reinforced. You should get on level with them and tell them to come, while using their name. When your dog obeys this command, make a big deal and use a lot of positive reinforcement. Try this again while they are entertained with something else, you will see the benefits of mastering the command early on when they get older.

5. Consistency is Key

Before you even bring the dog home, you should decide on the rules. Are they allowed to be on the furniture? Are they allowed to sleep with you? Are they allowed table scraps? Making sure that the rules are settled from the beginning, there will not be any confusion.

You also want to avoid changing the rules every couple of months. Although it may be adorable to take pictures of your new puppy on your couch, as an adult they will be confused why they are no longer allowed on the couch, if staying off the furniture is a rule.

You should correct the dog as soon as you see that they are behaving in a way that they have been trained not to. Just as importantly, you should reward the good behavior with a healthy treat as soon as you realize that they are catching on. They will be sure to keep up the good behavior.

6. Keep it Short and Sweet 

Singular words are the best to use for commands. Find one and use it consistently. Some pet parents may say “Go to your spot” to mean “Get into your crate,” others may simply say “crate.” Using the command “crate” is more effective and efficient. Short and sweet wins here.

7. Using a Crate

Crates can be very helpful, especially younger puppies and older dogs coming into a new home. A crate is a good way for your dog to feel safe, but it is also helpful while housetraining. Sleeping in a crate will teach your dog to hold their bladder for a long amount of time. Be sure to avoid sending them when only when they are naughty. The crate should be a place they enjoy and not a punishment.

8. Maintain a Schedule

Dogs like knowing what to expect. It reduces apprehension and teaches them to trust you. It is best to have a schedule for feedings and walks. Your dog will know when to expect meals and also develop a good control over their bladder and bowels between their walks.

9.  Be Patient

Dogs differ in how they respond to training. Some breeds learn faster because they are more intelligent and take pride in pleasing their puppy parents. However, other breeds tend to let their noses lead the way and are easily distracted during training. You must be patient and persistent. Reward all correct behavior and correct mistakes as soon as they happen. The reward of staying patient with them during their training will be worth it.

10. Positive Reinforcement

Yelling and punishment for doing something wrong is not effective when compared to treats and praise for doing the right thing. When house training your puppy, provide lots of rewards when they do their business outside. They will learn much faster with positive reinforcement.

Reward your puppy or dog for good behavior with positive reinforcement such as treats, toys, love and heaps of praise. Let them know when they are getting it right. However, do not reward bad behavior, this will only infuse them.

Be sure to end the training sessions with a positive note. Use praise such as, “Excellent boy!” or “Great job, Spot!” This will encourage them to continue to please you throughout the training. Leave them with lots of praise, a treat, some petting, and play time. Your dog will show up to the next training session ready to learn, with their tails wagging!

Contact Argos Dog Training

If you need assistance teaching you dog important commands and behaviors, Argos Dog Training is an expert dog trainer in the Boston area. We offer private and group training sessions to help your dog learn commands and socialize. Checkout our list of courses here and get in touch with us today to setup a consultation! Give us a call at 617-302-7467 or fill out an online form to get started.

|

Socializing Your Puppy In A Time Of Social Distancing

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant affects on all of our social lives. From quarantine, to limits on gatherings, reduced capacity at restaurants and businesses, social distancing, and other regulations, everything is far from normal. But have you considered the affect that it has had on the social life of our furry friends, too? You may be surprised to know that it affects animals in a similar way that it affects humans. They have not been getting to run around the dog park like normal, no pets from strangers, less human interaction, the list goes on. If he was used to going to doggy day care multiple times a week, that has likely stopped too, with many people working from home now. So, how can you help your dog to continue working on his social skills and be happy during this time? We’re diving into why dogs need socialization, and some tips to get started.  

The Need for Socializing 

Puppies need exposure to new situations, happenings, and threats to boost their self-confidence and courage. Socialization does not necessarily mean overwhelming dogs with unpleasant sounds, crowds, and experiences. 

They need to be conversant with different meaningful sounds, situations, places, etc. However, some of these might be difficult to accomplish during this period of social distancing. Still, there are ways we can effectively socialize our puppies around our homes. 

Tips for Socializing 

  • Take your puppy for strolls

 Once in a while, take the puppy out for walks. It could be around the compound or outside your gate. It gives the dog opportunity to meet different people, different buildings, a new environment (especially for a puppy that has not left the gate since birth), hears new sounds, responds to new experiences, etc. It is an excellent form of socializing for that period. 

  • Expose them to healthy threats

 You can organize threats for the puppy, either by playing strange sounds on your phone or introducing them to a close family friend. Watch the way they react to the sounds or people. 

It prepares their minds and instincts towards situations like that later on. They shouldn’t just be left inside a four-walled enclosed house all the time just because they are not humans.

  • Arrange puppy play dates

 As a puppy owner, you must meet with other puppy owners around you. Interact with them and discuss bringing your puppies together to play. Vaccinate your puppy and ensure the other party does the same to theirs, then the families, too, should maintain good hygiene on such meetings to avoid the spread of diseases. 

The playdates assist the dog’s sense of interaction with its kind, and it also allows the owner to understand so many things about their puppies.

  • Enroll them for dog classes

 Dog training classes are good ways to socialize your puppy. It is a safe method too because it is hosted by expert trainers who take the necessary steps and precatuions to avoid the spread of diseases among dogs and their owners. Your puppy gets to interact with other puppies and dogs. The experts also train the dogs for self-confidence, balance, and courage to face situations.

Contact Argos Dog Training

If you’re looking for a trusted dog trainer in the Boston area, you can count on Argos Dog Training. We offer a variety of group dog training classes to get your furry friend socialized while learning new skills. Checkout our list of training classes here and contact us today to get started!

|
Call Now:(617)302-7467