Yearly Archives: 2011

How to Be Your Dog’s Leader

By Linda Cole

Taking charge of a dog can be intimidating for some owners. If you start off on the wrong foot and the dog gets the upper hand, that’s when behavior problems begin to show up, which can lead to an unhappy dog and owner. It’s important for you to be your dog’s leader no matter what breed or size your dog is. Picking the right dog for your lifestyle is important, but equally important is picking a dog you can and will manage.

I had a neighbor who had a Rottweiler he walked every day – or rather, the dog would drag him down the street. He was a muscular fellow, but he couldn’t control his dog because he wasn’t in command. She was a well socialized dog, but didn’t listen to her owner. He never established himself as the leader of his pack. Most dog owners are responsible and caring, and want to do what’s best for their dogs, until it comes to taking the lead role.

Behavior problems in dogs can be quickly turned around if you are their leader. Dogs are social animals and expect us to lead them. In their mind, there has to be a leader and if their human doesn’t do it, they will step up and take it. Not because they want the job, but because it’s a role that must be filled. As far as they are concerned, someone has to set the rules, make the decisions and maintain the peace in the dog’s social order. Dogs understand and recognize the qualities of a strong leader and when you’re in charge, it’s easier to correct bad behavior.

How to take the lead role

Establish your role by teaching your dog what you expect from him. Body language is something all dogs understand. They are experts at reading other dogs, other animals and us by how we move, our expressions and our tone of voice. They know if we’re happy or displeased with them by our body language and voice. There’s no need to hit, kick or yell at a dog to get your message across. Positive reinforcement gains his trust and proves to him you are worthy of being his leader.

Read More »

EmailGoogle GmailBlogger PostTwitterFacebookGoogle+PinterestShare

Win Six Free Months of EQUIDAE Horse Feed!

CANIDAE is best known for its premium quality food for dogs and cats, but what many don’t know is that they also have a line of horse feed called EQUIDAE. Now, I know that most of our readers have dogs or cats (and some of you have both!)… but if you happen to have a horse, read on, because you could win six free months of EQUIDAE feed for them!

EQUIDAE Photo Contest

Are you proud of your horse? Do you take first prize when it comes to giving your Equine friend everything it needs to be healthy? Now is your chance to show off how beautiful your horse is!

First, take a photo of your horse and then submit it on the EQUIDAE Facebook Photo Contest page. Entries may be color or black-and-white digital images, and less than 5 megabytes in size. You can even submit more than one horse if you’d like. Then you and everyone else can vote for your favorite entries until February 1, 2012.

From those photos that receive the most votes, CANIDAE will pick a final winner. Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, visual appeal, and effectiveness in conveying the unique character of the horse.

Read More »

Winter Safety Tips for Responsible Pet Owners

By Langley Cornwell

It is cold today, bundle-up-tight cold. I just got back from the grocery store and have not completely thawed out. While I was in the grocery parking lot, the only available space was beside a car with a small dog locked inside. As I stood between the cars planning my next move, an elderly woman approached. I started a friendly chat with her and subtly mentioned the dangers of leaving a small dog alone in a car during the cold winter months. I gently explained how a car can function much like a refrigerator, trapping the cold air inside and harmfully lowering the dog’s body temperature. She seemed grateful for the conversation, and went on to tell me how much she loved her ‘Sassy’ and would do anything for that dog.

Those circumstances compel me to write about a topic that has been well-covered but may serve as an important refresher this time of year. Here are a few important tips to help protect your cats and dogs during the winter months:

Be careful with chemicals. Many people use chemical products to melt the sleet, snow and ice from their sidewalks and driveways. If you live in an area where these types of products are needed, look for pet safe options. Of course, the salt or chemicals your neighbor and the local highway department uses may not be safe for pets. These potentially toxic products can cause a host of problems including chemical burns to your dog or cat’s pads, tongue and throat. Additionally, salt, antifreeze and other chemicals can cause a variety of illnesses when ingested.

If possible, train your pet to wear booties. If protective footwear is not an option, there are paw wax products available to help keep your dog safe on winter outings. Review these winter paw-care tips and always clean your pet’s chest, stomach, legs and feet with warm water when he comes in out of the ice, sleet or snow.

Read More »

How to Trim a Dog’s Toenails

By Linda Cole

Dogs aren’t always cooperative when it’s time to trim their toenails. I’ve had dogs that sat patiently while I trimmed away; however, most of my dogs look at me as if I’m going to take their nails off all the way up to their elbow. It’s not a chore most dogs or owners enjoy, but it is an important grooming necessity. Trimming a dog’s nails isn’t really that bad, and you can do it without losing a finger in the process.

Teach your dog it’s OK for you to touch his feet. The best age to get your dog used to having his feet touched is when he’s a puppy, but don’t despair if you missed that part of your pup’s education. You can still teach an older dog to accept having his feet touched by using the same method you use with a puppy. Pick up a paw and hold it in your hand. Massage in between the toes and gently pull on the nails so your dog can become accustomed to the feeling. Teach him to shake hands to help him learn that paw holding is OK. I’ve always played with my dogs feet when they’re snuggled next to me so they get used to having their feet messed with.

I like to use scissor nail clippers made for dogs, which have a stop on the back to prevent you from getting too much of the nail at one time. It looks like a short blunt-headed pair of scissors. Another nail trimmer works like a guillotine, but this trimmer makes it harder to see the nail you’re trying to cut. I have also used the dremel-like tool made for dogs. It works well, but it’s slow and you still need to be careful not to take the nail down too far because it can cut into the quick. Some dogs don’t like the whirling sound it makes. Experiment to see which nail trimming tool is more comfortable for you to use, because that’s the one that will work best for you.

Put your dog in a position that’s comfortable for him and don’t restrain him. If you scare him or make nail trimming too unpleasant, he won’t be cooperative. Have some CANIDAE TidNips treats on hand to reward him for good behavior. Be gentle but firm, and take your time. Don’t try to trim the nail in one cut. Take a little off at a time until it’s at the desired length, and be careful not to cut into the quick. The pink color of the quick is easy to see on dogs with white nails, but dark colored nails are impossible to see through. It’s better to leave the nail a tad longer if you can’t see where the quick is. Don’t forget to trim the dew claws.

Read More »

Oh, the Funny Things People Do for Their Pets!

By Julia Williams

Much has been written, here and elsewhere, about the funny things pets do. It stands to reason, since they always seem to be doing things that make us laugh. However, I haven’t seen much about the funny things people do for their pets. I have thought about it though, mostly because I wondered if I was alone in my quirkiness. As it turns out, I’m not the only one who does things for their pet that others – particularly the non-pet crowd – would find funny, odd, silly and/or kooky. How do I know this? I queried a group of my pet loving friends, and a few were even brave enough to tell me about some of the funny things they do for their pets! I’ll share their confessions with you, but first, some of mine:

When Annabelle is asleep on my computer chair, rather than move her I will sit on the very edge. No, it’s not the least bit comfortable sitting on an inch of chair, but Princess Annabelle doesn’t seem to notice my discomfort as she snoozes away. And if there’s a sleeping cat on my lap, I won’t move them for anything. If I should happen to become ravenously hungry or need to use the bathroom, woe is me…but the sleeping cat remains undisturbed until they decide to wake up.

Speaking of sleeping, with three cats occupying their favorite spots on my bed at night, I often find myself in Cirque Du Soleil-worthy contortionist positions because, well, they sleep where they want to sleep even if that leaves little room for me! If I need to get up in the night, I slide up slowly, inching my way toward the headboard until I can get up without disturbing the cat. That’s normal, right?

I forego vacuuming not because the carpet doesn’t need it, but because the loud noise of the “suck monster” scares the bejeebies out of my cats. I open cans of soup outside on the porch, but this is mostly for my benefit. I feel guilty when my cats come running at the sound of the can opener, because I know it’s not their FELIDAE and – persistent meowing notwithstanding – I have absolutely nothing for them. Of course, cats have supersonic hearing, so when I come inside with soup in hand I usually discover them waiting in the kitchen.

Read More »

How to Get Your Dog’s Attention

By Linda Cole

No matter how well behaved a dog is, there are times when you just can’t get their attention no matter what you do. However, sometimes it’s important to get and hold your dog’s attention if you need to distract him from another dog or person. Some dogs are more stubborn than others and will ignore their owner because they don’t see them as the leader. Getting a dog’s attention can help you prevent a dog fight or stop your dog from running out into traffic. In order to train a dog, you need to be able to get their attention.

My dog Keikei was given to me when she was 8 weeks old. She has always been a strong willed, independent and extremely smart dog who loves to learn. As she grew, it was obvious she thought she ran the household and I found myself with a young dog that was developing food aggression, leash aggression and other behavior issues that needed to be corrected. I wanted her to look at me so I could distract her attention from the other dogs to me when she felt unsure while I was working on her training. In the wrong hands, Keikei would have most likely found herself in a shelter because of her aggressive tendencies. She’s an excellent dog and quickly learned to pay attention to me with or without treats. That’s the goal you’re shooting for, because you may not always have a treat or toy when you need your dog to pay attention to you.

Most dogs have something they really like. It could be their favorite CANIDAE dog treat, a special toy, lots of praise, or all three. Once you’ve discovered what they respond to, getting their attention isn’t difficult to do. Keikei loves treats and praise. When dogs understand there’s something in it for them, you’d be amazed how quickly they learn what you want to teach them. However, please keep in mind that when dealing with a dog with aggression issues of any kind, if you are uncomfortable or unsure how to work with them, it’s best to find a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist to help you with your dog’s aggression. It can be corrected.

Read More »