Saturday, December 19, 2009
Smash has been through a lot and so have his joints. A few months ago Smash came up with a hip injury in which he struggled immensely to get up from the ground. Mike started him on the Pet Health OPC, which has had great results with dogs who are dealing with old age, injuries and allergies.
Within a few days it was noticeable that the OPC was helping Smash. He wasn't struggling as much as he was and within a week Smash was up and running again with the neighbor dogs.
Then he was attacked by a rabbit he and a neighbor dog were chasing.
Smash came home with all kinds of scratches and gashes all over his body.
He had also begun to scratch due to allergies with a specific dog food his "dad" had decided to try and Smash had loved. After going to the vet and getting a shot for the allergies, Smash was told he had to switch dog food(which was his previous dog food).
Smash continues to get the Pet Health OPC which keeps him going which is great for a "three legged" dog with a kickstand leg. To learn more about the Pet Health OPC and read more stories and reviews click this link.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Smash gently to get him to go to sleep after a nasty run in with something from the woods leaving him injured. For me, I have loved dogs my entire childhood that continued on into adulthood. I even passed that love on to all three of my kids who hope one day to have a dog of their own. In the meantime, they "dogsit" for Mr. Mike.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
House training is one of the areas of dog ownership that’s most subject to misunderstanding, confusion, and just plain dread!
Today’s newsletter is going to deal with two of the most common problems surrounding the issue of house training:
- Submissive/excited urination
- Scent marking
Common house training problem #1: Submissive / excited urination
What is it?
A ‘submissive urinator’ is a dog that urinates on the floor and himself (and sometimes on you and any guests you may have!) in situations of extreme excitement or stress - like when you return home at the end of the day, or when he’s being told off.
Why does it happen?
Puppies are the usual candidates for submissive/excited urination, but it’s not uncommon to see adult dogs with the problem as well: usually, these are highly sensitive and timid dogs, and/or ones from a shelter/with a history of abuse (often these last two go hand-in-hand.)
When does it happen?
Situations when an excited/fearful dog is likely to urinate:
- Greeting time after a prolonged absence
- Play time
- The arrival of guests
- Stressful situations at home, eg arguments
- During a correction (you’re telling him off)
- Sudden loud noises (thunder, fireworks)
What can I do about it?
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to “cure” your dog of his submissive/excited urination.
First of all, you should take him to the vet to make sure there’s no medical reason for the issue (like diabetes or a bladder infection.)
Next, it’s time to take control of the problem:
- Limit his intake of water to help him control his bladder more effectively. Don’t restrict his water intake over a prolonged period of time, but if you know there’s a situation coming which would normally result in urination – for example, you have guests coming over, or are planning on a play session soon – take his water bowl away for a period of time (maybe half an hour to an hour) before the event.
- When greeting your dog, keep it calm and mellow. The more excited he is, the harder it is for him to control his bladder, so don’t encourage him to get worked up: ignore him for the first few moments, or give him a neutral “hello”, a quick pat, and then go about making yourself at home.
- It’s important that you DO NOT punish or harshly correct your dog for this behavior. It’s not something that he can easily control, and he’s certainly not doing it on purpose. When you catch him in the act, you can interrupt him (a firm “No!” followed by praise when he stops should suffice) but don’t punish him. Keep your cool, and try to be sympathetic: he doesn’t mean to do it, after all!
- If he urinates out of fear (submissiveness) when scolding him for another offense, try to take the stress levels down a notch by keeping a firm, authoritative, but not angry tone. Remember, you’re dealing with a sensitive, highly-strung dog: if you get angry or worry him further, the problem will worsen.
Comon house training problem #2: Scent marking
Scent marking - where a dog “marks” his or her territory with urine – is technically not actually a house training problem, since it’s based on issues of dominance and territoriality rather than insufficient house training (a dog can be perfectly house trained but still mark inside the house.)
However, because – since the problem centers around the unwanted presence of urine in the house – it seems logical, in a way, to link this problem with house training: and since this is one of the most widespread problems among dog owners, we thought it worthwhile to include some practical advice.
Scent marking and lack of house training: how to differentiate between the two
Your dog’s probably scent marking, rather than genuinely relieving himself, if:
- The amount of urine produced is relatively small, and tends to be directed against vertical surfaces (walls, doors, etc)
- He’s male, unneutered, and at least five or six months old. Unneutered dogs are much more territorial than neutered ones –if you have an unneutered dog in the house, you can pretty much expect a certain amount of scent marking. (Unspayed females also mark, but it’s less common; spayed and neutered dogs can also exhibit marking behavior, but it’s relatively infrequent)
- It makes little difference how often he’s taken outside for a toilet break
- He frequently targets items that are new to the house: new possessions, guest clothing/footwear, etc
- You live in a multi-dog household and there is conflict between two or more of the dogs
- There are other, unneutered or unspayed pets in the house
What to do about the problem?
First things first: spay or neuter your dog(s) as soon as you possibly can. If you can do this early enough – ideally, at six months of age - this often halts marking altogether; but if your dog’s been marking for a prolonged period of time, he or she may continue to do so after being spayed or neutered, since a pattern of behavior will have been established.
Clean soiled areas thoroughly. Use a non-ammonia based cleaner (because it smells just like pee) and stay away from vinegar too (it smells similar to pee.) Oxi-Clean mixed with warm water is particularly effective; there are also plenty of commercial cleaners designed specifically to lift pet stains and odors, which you can buy from pet stores and some supermarkets.
Because dogs tend to re-mark the same places, you’ll need to redefine the places that you know he’s marked to prevent repeat offending.
You can do this in a number of ways:
- Feed him next to or on top of the spot
- Play with him there
- Groom him there
- Put his bed over or next to it
- Spend time there yourself: hang out with a book or sit down and work
If there is rivalry between dogs in the household, you’ll need to take steps to resolve it. Any conflict is likely to be hierarchical in nature (a “power struggle”), which means that all you have to do to stop the tension is pay attention to which dog seems to be more dominant than the other one (which one eats first, gets the toys he/she wants, “stares down” another dog), and reinforce this position.
How to do this: feed the dominant dog first. Pet him/her first. Give him/her a toy before anyone else gets one. This makes it clear to all dogs in the house which one really is the dominant dog – and when this hierarchy’s been recognizably established, territorial/dominant behaviors like scent marking often vanish overnight.
For more information on how to successfully house train your dog (as well as a whole bunch of in-depth information on house training troubleshooting and related issues) you’ll probably want to check out The Ultimate House Training Guide.
It’s the complete dog-house-training guide. The Ultimate House Training Guide and comes highly recommended.
You can visit the The Ultimate House Training Guide site by clicking this link: http://tinyurl.com/mqjf47
It has been annoying that some of the neighbor dogs that he likes to play with don't have such nice manners. They will poop right in the drive way or on the trail right in the path! I guess as long as they are not in their yard they think it is OK.
Dogs do have a natural instinct to keep their living areas clean. You can use this instinct when potty training your dog. Make sure the area you want them to use for a potty is away from their food and sleeping areas.
Smash is really funny when he is hiking on a leash because he acts shy about finding a place to potty. I think he is really just showing his instinct to keep the trail clean because he likes to get off the trail and behind a tree or better yet under a bush or log. This behavior gets a little awkward when on the leash as he can really get me tangled up.
To learn more about potty training a dog see this resource on Housetraining: http://tinyurl.com/mqjf47
If you happen to have a baby human that you are potty training, then you can learn all you need to know at this site: www.pottytrainingsite.com
Friday, July 17, 2009
While Smash spends most of his time running free on our farm; occasionally, I like to take him for walks on trails and take him hiking with me. These trips require him to walk on a leash. Walking on a leash does not come natural to dogs who normally run free. However, by using the tricks in the course I got from Kingdom of Pets, Smash has learned to enjoy his time on the leash. When I bring out the leash now, he does not run away, rather he runs to the Jeep.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
It was a very peaceful drive with the sun peeping out of the clouds every so often. Smash was hanging out in the front passenger seat for the longest time. It was obvious though that he was missing my kids. Smash would turn and look at the back seat wondering where my two boys Caleb and Hunter were. Soon after, Smash decided to lay his head down on the center console on top of my jacket. He looked quite sad his buddies as well as snack givers were not with us.
Smash and I stopped in Murphy, North Carolina to have lunch. Of course, I had to share my sandwich with him. With his excessive drooling I just had to give him a few morsels. He got a drink and so did I. In fact, I was hoping with his drink I wouldn't have to hold it for him this time. After a little coaxing I managed to get Smash to drink from his cup which he ended up splashing water all over the place including on my cell phone.
On our way back home Smash decided it was time to take a nap. He headed to the back seat to lay down. Every once in a while he would sit up to look around. I noticed when he was sitting up though he was sitting on my college textbooks and my laptop. Guess he was keeping them warm or perhaps protecting them.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Run Away Dog!
This weekend we took Smash for a hike at the Walls Of Jericho State Park in Alabama. This is a seven mile round trip hike with over 1,000 feet elevation change.
Smash did great on his leash the whole trip. He loved meeting the other people along the way and got lots of attention. Many people did not even notice his leg until they looked closer. Some people thought he had hurt it along the trail because they did not notice it the first time they saw him.
He behaved very well with the other dogs along the trail as well. There was even one unfriendly dog and Smash walked calmly by with just a little snub.
When we got back to the Jeep, we were all very tired. I helped Smash up into the back of the Jeep while I changed shoes. He curled up behind me so Janice took his leash off.
While I was massaging my feet, I felt him move and jump down. I expected him to wander around the Jeep while we got ready to go. Instead he went slinking across the parking lot.
I was a bit concerned because there was a very busy highway across the parking lot. I whistled for him to return, but he ignored me. I assumed he need to go potty.
I quickly put on my shoes and called for him more. He just kept going. He headed for the woods by the road. We all ran across the parking lot to try to herd him in.
He then turned and headed back down the mountain toward the river. Janice ran after him.
Jennifer and I circled around to try to find them as they went out of sight.
Jennifer and I met up of the trail about a quarter mile from the parking area and started asking other hikers if they had seen our dog or Janice. Most said they had seen both, but not together.
I kept visualizing having Smash sitting by my side and me petting him. Suddenly Jennifer spotted him in the woods. I quickly sat down and whistled for him. Jennifer sat down as well. As soon as he saw us he ran to Jennifer who quickly leashed him up. We sat and petted him for a while and told him he was a good dog for coming to us.
Then we started looking for Janice. We got concerned when the string of returning hikers stopped reporting seeing her. One of the hikers offered to help us look for her.
He eventually found her coming back up the trail and let her know we had the dog.
My next training with Smash will be the instant recall. This story has a happy ending but it could have been bad if he had gone on toward the road.
I am reminded how important dog training is to the safety of the dog and the trainer. Being in the woods looking for him after dark would not have been safe in those surroundings.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
He loves the French fries from Five Guys Burgers. His favorite is the rib bones from Sticky Fingers. He is also a fan of the little burgers and chicken fingers from O Charley's.
He always starts wagging his tail when he sees a Styrofoam box come out of the Jeep when we get home.
Friday, January 16, 2009
I brought him in early but about the time we were going to bed he wanted out. He barked an hour or so later so I coaxed him back in. He only stayed a few minutes before he wanted out again.
We repeated the cycle a few times before I finally just let him stay outside. He seemed to enjoy running around in the yard.
This morning I found he had moved his bed out away from the wall and out onto the sidewalk. He looked quite comfortable curled up there.
He was eager to go for a walk this morning so I bundled up and followed him to the creek. He tested the ice and sniffed a round a bit before we headed back to the house.
He seems quite happy with the cold weather.