I obtained my first dog the summer of 1994, just before heading to Columbus, Ohio to begin my training at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State. Beta, as he was soon named, was a puppy that I first noticed sitting alone outside the common area of my friend’s apartment complex. He was only a few months old and he was sitting there for a day or two when we approached the neighbors and asked them if they knew anything about him. One of the neighbors claimed him and said he was too much trouble and was destroying their apartment so they “put him outside”. Pretty quickly I decided that he would be my companion at vet school.
Beta was indeed all puppy and I had never trained a puppy (or adult dog for that matter). Shortly after settling into my new life at Ohio State, I saw a flyer about “Puppy PreSchool” with a contact for anyone interested. This was exactly what I needed! Turns out, when I approached the contact listed on the flyer it was the instructor for the Animal Behavior courses at the College. He was looking for students interested in “teaching” puppy preschool. Not exactly what I was expecting.
Long story short- I started my dog training journey learning all about Puppy Preschool (and yes, I did become an instructor). By far, the most influential person for me in this arena was Dr. Ian Dunbar, a veterinarian and animal behaviorist that founded the “Association of Pet Dog Trainers” (APDT) and created the Sirius ® Puppy Training Classes.
After many road trips to animal behavior conferences and the great fortune to meet Dr. Dunbar in his hometown of Berkely, CA and to observe some of the Sirius® Puppy Classes in action, the one lesson that I have found to be the most useful for owners that want to keep their dog training as simple as possible is the “Sit For Everything”. It goes like this:
1. Teach Your Dog to Sit – see below for a great resource
2. Require your dog to “Sit For Everything”
- Sit before I say hello to you (and of course give you hugs)
- Sit before I open the door for you (and of course stay sitting until I invite you through the door)
- Sit before I put food in your bowl (and of course stay sitting until I invite you to eat)
And so on …
If your dog is sitting, he is not jumping, barking (at least not usually), pulling etc. If you can’t make it to Southern California to enroll your dog in Dr. Dunbar’s classes, you can still benefit from his expertise.
For a quick description of teaching “sit”, go to Dr. Dunbar’s free download of his “Before You Get Your Puppy” at https://www.siriuspup.com/files/pdfs/BEFORE_You_Get_Your_Puppy_SIRIUS.pdf and check out page 84.
For even more great information, visit his Dog Star Daily link at http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogger/4
Xylitol is a sweetener that is being found in an increasing number of products meant for human consumption and can be life threatening for your pet! Gum and candy were some of the first products containing this ingredient and early reports of toxicity in dogs were often related to ingestion of gum. Xylitol causes an increase in insulin release in dogs and cats that can lead to a dangerous drop in glucose that can be fatal. Now it being found in certain brands of peanut butter. If you are stuffing your Kong's or giving medication with peanut butter, make sure it is xylitol-free!
Visit the following links for more information:
Intestinal worms (roundworms and hookworms in dogs and cats in addition to whipworms in dogs), heartworms, fleas, and ticks are the more common parasites that dogs and cats should be protected from and/or treated for over the course of their lifetime. How often and with what products can this be achieved? The following discussion will provide some guidance to help you develop a plan. Read More...
To A Happier, Healthier Pet