Monthly Archives: July 2013

8 Positive Dog Training Tips That Work

By Linda Cole

The best teachers are those who first figure out what motivates a child, and then help them learn by communicating clearly. Training your dog is basically the same. If you know your dog and understand his point of view, it’s easier to teach him when you’re both on the same page. The following positive dog training tips can help you be more successful.

Positive Feedback

Reward positive behavior and ignore non-aggressive negative behavior. Dogs are quick to learn what works and what doesn’t, and when it comes to getting attention, even negative feedback is acceptable, from a dog’s point of view. Yelling at your barking dog might stop him for the moment, but it doesn’t change his behavior. If you don’t want him jumping up on you, don’t reward him with attention – ignore him. Teach him what’s acceptable with positive attention, and reinforce his behavior with CANIDAE TidNips™ treats and lots of praise. Dogs learn what you teach them, good and bad.

Positive Reinforcement

Remember the high school teacher who gave you positive reinforcement and helped you work through problem areas until you understood? Staying calm, patient and consistent is the respectful way to teach kids and dogs. Yelling and losing your temper isn’t cool and tells your dog you need to work on leadership skills. No one, including dogs, likes to be yelled at.

Association 

You have less than 2 seconds for your dog to learn to associate an action with a behavior. When training, treat/praise your dog as soon as he completes a command so he learns to connect his action with your command. With a “sit” command, treat/praise the second his butt hits the floor. Dogs live in the now and you can’t punish him for what he did hours or even minutes ago. If you catch him in the act, however, you have a chance to change his behavior with positive reinforcement.

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Is It OK to Love One Pet More?

By Julia Williams

Parents of human children rarely admit to others that they have a favorite. In my opinion, it’s probably not because they don’t feel a deeper bond with one of their kids. Every human being is a unique individual. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, to feel different things for different people.

One might say there are as many “shades of love” as there are stars in the night sky. So it’s a perfectly natural, human thing to have a favorite child, but most parents won’t admit it because the backlash can be brutal. Recently, one dad blogger received the internet equivalent of being burned at the stake after he confessed to having a favorite child. Society says we’re not supposed to play favorites with our kids. And that goes for our pets, too.

The reality is that some kids and pets are closer to our hearts than others. We may not understand why, but we know it’s true. It is what it is. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t create feelings of guilt. We think we should be able to love them all exactly the same, and we feel bad because we don’t. We can’t change what we feel, though, no matter how much we might want to.

I admit that I feel guilty for having stronger feelings for one of my cats than the other two. I positively adore Mickey and Rocky and would be a hot mess if anything happened to either one of them, but my spirit would be shattered if I lost my sweet Annabelle. I don’t know how (or even if) I could ever get over that loss, because this little cat has touched my heart in a way that I didn’t even know was possible, until one day … there it was. Annabelle is my heart cat. There will never be a cat that I love as much or more than Annabelle. As sure as I know my own name, I know this to be true.

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Which is Smarter, Cats or Dogs?

By Linda Cole

Intelligence in dogs can be subjective because of the different jobs they were bred to do. The Bloodhound ranks at the bottom of the intelligence list, but that doesn’t mean he’s dumb. When it comes to finding a scent and following it, there’s no other breed that can top the tracking ability of the Bloodhound. Dogs and cats have different innate skills that set them apart from each other, too. According to scientists, there is a difference in their level of intelligence. But does that mean one species is really smarter than the other?

I’m not a fan of labels, like smartest or dumbest, to describe animals or people. Everyone is good at something, and we develop needed skills that allow us to be successful. A science whiz can carefully analyze statistics from a study, but may freeze in fear when presenting it to a group of peers. A chef can create an exquisite meal that melts in your mouth, but can’t fix the broken freezer in his kitchen. Cats and dogs use smarts they were born with as well as learned intelligence to process information they need to survive.

Cats do have smaller brains than dogs, but a smaller brain doesn’t necessarily translate into being “not as smart.” If you’ve ever watched a cat stalking a mouse, you see a disciplined and patient hunter that knows the exact moment to attack. The cat may not realize the mouse is food, but instinctively understands the process required to be an efficient hunter. A dog is more apt to race around chasing the poor mouse until it collapses from exhaustion.

The danger to cats is when people believe felines are such good hunters that they can take care of themselves. Kittens that were never taught by their mother to hunt, kill and eat are capable of catching prey, but won’t learn an important life lesson of survival. Lost cats have to learn that lesson on their own if they are going to survive.

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All Aboard for Dog-Friendly Cruises!

By Annie Manning

These days we’re pampering our pooches more than ever. From luxury dog spas to canine country clubs, they’re certainly getting used to living it up. The indulgence isn’t just reserved for home, however. More and more of us are taking our four-legged friends away on vacation with us, with a Pet Travel Survey announcing that 40% of dog owners intended to take their pooches away with them last year. If that wasn’t enough to get tails wagging, 90% of those asked also admitted they’d alter their plans if it would be beneficial to their dog.

From statistics like these, it’s evident that we love Fido as much as Fido loves us. Taking your dog away on vacation with you can be an extremely rewarding experience, especially if you have a family. What’s more, with 80% of vacationers saying they worry about their dogs being in kennels while they’re away, taking them with you can be a more relaxing experience. But where in the world?

If you’ve thought about going away with your dog, you might have considered a camping vacation, or perhaps somewhere by the beach – but have you ever considered a cruise? With the demand for pet-friendly vacations growing, many hotels and resorts have adapted for pet needs, and surprisingly, so have a few well established cruise liners. Although only one pet-friendly transatlantic liner exists thus far, there are many ferries offering smaller trips for both you and your dog to enjoy – all of which are certainly worthy of a visit during your next vacation.

Cunard Cruise Line

The pinnacle of pet-friendly cruises has to be Cunard Cruises’ flagship, the Queen Mary II. On this luxurious ship of dreams, you’ll find every possible amenity to make sure both you and Fido relax in style. The transatlantic liner indulges both of you right from the get-go, with dogs receiving a complimentary gift pack as soon as the ship sets sail. The gift pack includes toys, dog treats, a Cunard bowl, a portrait of both of you, and just in case your dog forgets who he is among all the luxury – a personalized name tag.

Throughout their stay dogs (and cats!) are treated to the very best in bedding and premium pet food, while a full time kennel master is employed to look after your dog’s every whim when you’re busy relaxing. The level of care and attention is unmatched and 100% tailored to your pets needs. If for example your dog is sociable, it can be arranged for him to play with other pets, or he can shun them in favor of snooty solitude. Playtime and walks occur several times of day (though you can specify otherwise) and visiting times for humans come in blocks of two hours. While you relax, you can be sure your pet is receiving the very of best of care; they’re never left unattended, even at night. Make sure to book ahead however; there are only 12 places reserved for pets, making it something of a VIP (very important pooch) occasion.

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Why Do Dogs Love Some Dogs and Hate Others?

By Langley Cornwell

Dogs are amazing creatures. The amount of information they can discern in a short amount of time is really something. I have a friend whose dog, Sally, is like a cartoon character; everything the dog does is exaggerated. Seriously, this dog should have her own reality show! She’s like the Joan Rivers of canines. She knows in an instant if she likes or dislikes another dog, and she lets you – and the other dog – know it.

To give you the entire picture, I’ll start with the dog. Sally is a seven year-old mixed breed from a shelter. My friend has had her since she was 10 months old. The dog lives in a single-dog household with two cats. She gets along wonderfully with the cats, but my friend has been reluctant to adopt another dog because she can never anticipate how Sally will react to other dogs.

When she’s out walking Sally and another dog approaches, Sally can immediately tell if she likes the other dog or not. My friend works hard on breathing calmly and not communicating anything from the other end of the leash. It doesn’t matter what my friend does, though. Sally will make a snap judgment. She’ll bow up with her hackles raised and begin to bark threateningly, or she’ll drag my friend over to the other dog with her head lowered and her tail wagging in a friendly manner.

Her decision is immediate and unwavering. What’s more, Sally can make her assessment from great distances and it seems to have nothing to do with how the other dog is responding to her. In fact, sometimes she’s sized up the other dog before the other dog even notices Sally and my friend approaching.

When I pitched this article idea, Diane at CANIDAE responded by saying that her dog, Breezie, also instantly decides if she likes or hates another dog, and Diane has no idea why. Other friends have shared similar experiences, so I was curious about what the experts would say.

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The Phalene, a Lap Dog Loved by Kings

By Linda Cole

The early years of the Phalene were spent in the company of kings and queens as lap dogs to help keep their royal masters warm. The dogs were also good at catching rats that dared to wander the great hallways and rooms of these majestic castles.

This small dog breed has also been called Little Squirrel Dog (because of his bushy tail), Continental Toy Spaniel, Belgium Toy Spaniel, Royal Toy Spaniel and Epagneul Dwarf Spaniel. The name most people will recognize, however, is the Papillon. The Phalene and Papillon are considered separate breeds, but both are judged by the Papillon standard by the AKC, even though there is a difference between the two.

The history of the Phalene and Papillon are one and the same, with the Phalene being the older of the two breeds by a couple of centuries. The Phalene was bred as a companion pet, mainly for ladies, and their primary function today remains that of a companion pet. This is a happy dog that gets along well with other pets and wants to be with his human at all times. He is extremely loyal and protective of the one he loves.

No one knows for sure where or when the Phalene roots began, but three countries – Spain, Belgium and France – insist that the breed originated in their country. This little dog was also widely found in Italy. From the 15th to 18th centuries, Italian artists created portraits and tapestries of kings and queens with small dogs at the feet of their royal owners, and the earliest known portrait that included a Phalene is Italian, dating back to the 1400s.

This breed is believed to be a descendant of the Cayenne Dog and the English Toy Spaniels that are commonly seen in centuries old paintings. He is considered among the oldest of the toy spaniels. King Louis XIV, a 1600 French king, was very fond of this dog breed, as was Marie Antoinette. After the French Revolution, the Phalene became more popular in Belgium.

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