Category Archives: TidNips

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.


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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A Dog’s Bucket List

By Keikei Cole, canine guest blogger

It’s rough being a dog. We have to guard the home, keep the mailman and deliverymen on their toes, herd cats and pick up garbage. We wash windows, dig holes in the garden, exercise our hoomans, and try to keep them under control at all times. It’s a hard job, but we do the best we can. On our down time, my furry siblings and I like to work on our bucket lists. Oh yes, we have lots of things we want to do, too! Here is my bucket list.

1. Visit the factory where they make all of those yummy CANIDAE TidNips™ and Snap-Bits™ dog treats. I’d like be the chief “taste inspector” to make sure each package is up to the company’s strict standard of quality and freshness.

2. Learn how to herd sheep. The word around the water bowl is that sheep are easier to manage than a bunch of cats. When I learn how to do that intimidating “Border Collie stare,” felines will have new respect for me!

3. Be the lead dog on a sled dog team with no particular place to go.

4. Go on a real scavenger hunt and roll in everything I find. It would be fun to set up a hunt in some exotic location to experience the local flavors I can’t find in my area.

5. Take my human on a cross country trip to find all of the dog friendly motels and wide open spaces where I can run as far as I want. Within reason, anyway – I wouldn’t want to lose my human or my ride home.

6. Have a heart-to-heart talk with the mailman and delivery guy, to explain that when I bark, snarl or chase them, it’s not personal, I’m just doing my job.

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What Brings Your Pet Joy?

By Julia Williams

One of the things I find most interesting about human beings is our uniqueness. We each have a distinct set of things we like, and things we don’t like. No matter how many humans you compared side by side, you’d never find two whose preferences matched. It’s the same with our pets. While some people think animals are a less complicated species than humans, in terms of their preferences each pet is unlike any other. However, without the ability to speak our language, pets generally have a harder time making those preferences known. They have to rely on body language and their own “animal speak” to get their point across. They also need an owner who is tuned in and takes the time to discover what floats their boat.

Understanding what brings your pet joy and then doing what you can to provide that for them is a wonderful way to deepen your bond. We humans appreciate it when others make a point of knowing what we love and what we don’t, so why should it be any different for our pets? It’s really not, but because of the language barrier we typically don’t learn all of our pet’s likes and dislikes as quickly as we do with humans. It can take many months, sometimes even years, of observation and trial-and-error to figure out what makes them tick. The reward – a beautiful, close-knit relationship – is well worth it, though.

Discovering what your pet loves is important, but what is also crucial is making sure that others know these things, too. When I wrote Have You Made Arrangements for Your Pet, I neglected to mention this, but I should have. It’s an essential arrangement for every family with pets but especially those who are single. I was reminded of this while reading Gwen Cooper’s novel, Love Saves the Day. The cat protagonist lived with a single woman who passed away. Even though the cat’s new family was the woman’s daughter, she was thrust into a home where they knew nothing about what she loved and what she didn’t. Many pets are surrendered to shelters without this critical information as well.

Change is hard enough for any pet. Imagine suddenly being in unfamiliar surroundings with strangers, unable to tell them that the food they offered wasn’t appealing to your palate, or that you wanted a lighter touch of the brush when they groomed you, or that what you really wanted someone to do, more than anything, was scratch your belly. It would be frustrating, to say the least. A pet’s quality of life would surely be diminished if they weren’t being provided with what they love most.

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Why Does My Cat Play Rough?

By Langley Cornwell

Our cat is a great hunter as well as an affectionate family man. As an avid animal lover, it’s hard to appreciate it when he proudly presents a wounded or dead “gift” to me and then waits expectantly for my approval. I do my best, and also make sure that he has a loud ringing bell on his collar – just to level the playing field.

Many times when we are lounging on the sofa and our sweet cat is resting on my lap, I’ll mindlessly start stroking between his ears. Sometimes he purrs so loudly and contently that I can’t hear the television. We are both enjoying relaxation time. Then, without warning he’ll suddenly swat at me or quickly twist and nip at my hand. I always know he doesn’t mean to hurt me but I’m still perplexed by his actions. I mean, if we are both completely kicked back, why would he want to change the mood so abruptly?

Apparently there is a direct correlation between high prey instincts and rough play. Cats that have a very high play-prey instinct can get excited quickly and will sometimes gently attack your hands, fingers, feet, legs, etc.

Kittens and adolescent cats often engage in energetic, rough play; feline play consists of mock aggression which helps young cats hone their physical coordination and their social skills. Cats have a good time stalking, chasing, scratching, pouncing and biting one another.

As I suspected, when cats with a high play-prey instinct get overexcited during petting time and start to nibble at your fingers and hands, the cat is not being aggressive. In fact, some people refer to these nibbles and nips as love bites.

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How to Teach Your Cat to Come on Command

By Linda Cole

Because cats are perceived as independent or aloof, many people don’t try to teach their cat to come when called. I’m sure from the cat’s point of view, she justifies her refusal to come on command with “Does the Queen come to your beckoned call? I don’t think so! Now, where’s my supper?” However, teaching your cat to come on command is easier than you think, and doesn’t require an electric can opener. Think about it this way: if the can opener can train your cat to come, then you should be able to as well!

Like most cat owners, I’ve experienced the frustration of searching for a wayward cat hiding somewhere in the house. As far as the cat is concerned, if she isn’t hungry, there’s absolutely no reason to leave a perfectly good hiding place just because someone is calling her name. However, it’s just as important to teach a cat to come as it is for dogs. Emergencies can happen in the blink of an eye. Knowing your cat will come when you call her makes life easier and safer when you don’t have to hunt for her in or around the home. Not only can it save your cat’s life, it’s nice knowing she’ll come running just because you called her.

Cats are quite capable of learning commands, but teaching a feline can be frustrating and it can take some time. So stay calm, committed, patient and consistent. The first thing you need to do is decide what word you’ll use when you call your cat. The next thing is to stock up on your cat’s absolute favorite treat – the one she just can’t resist. For my cats, that’s FELIDAE TidNips™ treats. Whatever you use as a reward, it has to be something she enjoys eating more than anything else – the one treat that gets her attention no matter what she’s doing. That’s your cat’s motivation to learn.

Call your cat’s name followed by the word you picked as your “come” command. Make sure everyone in the home uses the same command each time and rewards your cat with the preferred treat. Begin training in the room you usually feed your cat. If it’s in the kitchen and she comes running when you use the electric can opener, run it to get her attention or shake her treat bag, if that’s a sound she responds to.

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