Training Tips

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!


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.


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.



Using Positive Reinforcement for Dog Training

Training your dog is an essential, and sometimes challenging, part of his puppy days. However,  using positive reinforcement can be a highly effective tactic during training sessions. Just as us humans like to be congratulated when we’ve done a good job on something, dogs react especially well to a little praise. It is fairly simple to use this tactic with your dog, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order for it to be successful. Use this guide for your next training session and see how your puppy responds!

Timing is key

It’s important to keep in mind that dogs have a short attention span. Because of this, the reward needs to be immediately following the action that you are happy with. This will allow them to associate the positive reaction with the specific behavior and they will likely remember it next time. If you, for example, wait until you go home to give them a treat, they will not remember why they are getting the treat.

How often to give treats

If you do choose to give treats as positive reinforcement, it’s a fine line you walk with how many and when they should be given. Since the end goal is to get him to do the behavior on his own without a treat, you don’t want him to become reliant and only react when he sees treats. When your dog is first learning a behavior, use “continuous reinforcement,” rewarding him every time he does the behavior. Once he starts to learn the behavior, switch to intermittent reinforcement, only rewarding him every few times. Use a variable schedule of reinforcement, so that your dog doesn’t catch on and only respond when he knows a treat is coming. If you switch it up, he will learn that if he keeps repeating the behavior, eventually the treat will come.

Be consistent

One of the most important things you can do to make training painless for you and your dog is to be consistent. If you reward your dog from staying away from the table at dinner time, but then invite him to come and eat your scraps after dinner, you will cause confusion. Your dog doesn’t have the ability to know when dinner is over, so it is unfair to assume that he can differentiate when he is allowed vs. when he is not. Layout ground rules with your family and stick to them at all times.

Contact Argos Dog Training

Positive reinforcement can be highly effective when training your dog. If you need assistance or more tips and tricks, contact the experts at Argos Dog Training!


How to Stop Your Dog From Chewing Your Belongings

If you have a new puppy, it’s not uncommon to come home and find your favorite pair of shoes chewed up, or gnaw marks on the furniture. Our puppies are curious and use their mouths to identify new objects. However, if your dog is a bit older and still chewing, there could be a few reasons for this: They weren’t trained as a puppy to know what they can chew, they’re bored, they are scared, they want attention, etc. Although you might not be able to stop the chewing altogether, you can train them to chew appropriate items so they do not destroy your valuables. It is our job as the owner to teach our puppies what the can and can’t chew.

Hide your valuables- The best way to keep something out of your dog’s mouth is to not make it available to them. Keep your clothes, shoes, trash, etc. out of reach for your dog.

Provide alternatives- Rather than having your dog chew up your belongings, give them toys that are clearly distinguishable from your household items. Don’t give them something such as an old sock to chew, and expect them to not mistake it for other newer clothing items that you will be upset if he gets his paws on.

Supervise your dog- You wouldn’t leave your baby unattended, and it should be the same for your dog. If you’re home, keep them in sight so they won’t be getting into mischief somewhere else. If you have to leave them alone, choose a confined spot that is dog proof with safe chew toys and water. You may also opt to keep them in a crate for short periods of time.

Exercise- It is important to also make sure your dog is getting sufficient exercise so they aren’t restless and taking out their energy in ways you will not like. Taking them on walks and letting them play in the yard will tire them out and help avoid them causing issues in the house.

Make items undesirable- You can coat your items, especially furniture, with a taste deterrent that is unappealing to your dog so they will not gnaw at it

Don’t Chase- If your dog does get ahold of one of your favorite items, never chase them around. That is giving them what they want, as it’s fun for them. Rather, call them to you to get the item out of their mouth. You can also offer a treat in exchange for the item that’s in their mouth.

Punish in a timely manner- If you find an item after it has been chewed, it’s too late to scold them. They cannot associate your yelling or punishment with something that happened an hour ago. They will simply be confused and the punishment can actually provoke other undesired behaviors. If you’re going to scold, make sure it is immediately following the behavior so the dog understands exactly what they did wrong.

Contact Argos Dog Training

For assistance with training your puppy, our experts can help! Argos offers group and private dog training, structured day care, basic leash manners course, and more. Contact us today to learn more!

Call Now:(617)302-7467