Any responsible pet owner should know that dogs need to go on walks and have ample playtime. This gives a dog a positive way to release energy, bond with their pack leader, and learn acceptable behavior. Keep the following safety tips in mind to get the most out of playtime.
Consider your environment
If you are taking your dog on a walk, or traveling to the dog (or regular) park, leash him up and look for signs with rules about leashing. Ask yourself if the environment is a safe one for your dog in particular. Is your dog good with other dogs? How about good around children? Fence ‘em in
A busy person like me may want to let their dogs play outside, but if you aren’t in a dog park, it’s best to do it in a fenced area. Whether you are letting your dog play outside with his best buddy or you are teaching your dog to fetch, you’ll want to make sure the dog won’t bolt for the woods for whatever reason (or jump over the fence as mine would when I left him unattended for even a second in our yard). One of the good options out there is a wireless dog fence for a customizable boundary zone and collar that corrects your dog when he reaches the boundary of the roaming zone.
Establish and enforce rules of play
While playing with your dog, you need to consistently make it clear if your dog’s behavior is acceptable or not. While this is true for living with a dog in general, it is extra important during playtime to prevent any bad habits from beginning to form. Be sure to take breaks to keep a positive vibe and your dog’s attention during playtime.
Tug of war
This is a great game for two dogs, but as always, playtime is only fun until someone gets hurt. To make sure you don’t unintentionally encourage dog biting when playing tug of war with just the two of you, make the rules clear, such as when it’s okay to take the rope or toy and when they must drop it. Make use of commands such as “Take it” and “Drop it” and stop playing and take a break if your dog inadvertently touches his teeth to your hand. If your dog refuses to drop it on command, stop playing altogether.
Don’t leave your dog outside too often. You may be considering it as a quick fix for those behavioral problems that seem unsolvable, but you are only making things much worse. Your dog will soon replace his need to please his leader with a desire to occupy his time in any way he can find, which in turn makes training your dog even harder.
Cold weather cruelty
Cats and dogs are not actually any more resistant to cold weather due to their fur – even the Alaskan Husky sled dogs wear booties on their feet depending on the weather and type of snow conditions. Buy or make your pup some booties, and make sure their toenails and fur is trimmed to the proper length to avoid snow collecting around their toes. Like us, dogs run the risk of hypothermia and frost bite, so limit play and walks in extreme cold weather.
Keeping these considerations in the back of your mind will ensure playtime is always an enjoyable and fruitful use of time. Make sure you and your dog are in the right environment with a secured fence or dog park, with well-established rules, don’t leave your dog outside too often, and protect them from the cold. Keeping outdoor playtime safe for your dogs has never been easier.
Adam Holmesloves his two dogs Argos the husky and Lilly the Labradoodle more than life itself. When he isn’t writing for Havahart Wireless, he spends his time training his dogs for CGC certification and he is thinking about doing agility training with Argos.
I’mCindy Romero, an animal activist, blogger, and “mother” of two dogs, a cat and a bunny.
Do you know anything about the genetic history of your pet, other common dog breeds and part of what it means to breed a dog in the world today? Before getting a dog, most people wonder what kind of breed best fits their lifestyle and personality, but not many consider the cultural ramifications of a well preserved dog breed lineage, the shifts that can happen in a dog’s brain or the dangers of poor dog breeding.
Until recently, the melting pot of American dog breeds has been explained as originating from Asia along with humans as we brought our pets with us. These original dogs were believed to have largely mixed with European breeds, most dying off from the introduction of European illnesses, leaving them unrecognizable from the Native American dogs before the days of Magellan and Christopher Columbus.
Chihuahuas: More native than you are!
According to a 2013 NPR article, some North American breeds have a purer pedigree than evolutionary geneticist formerly thought. North American dogs have actually not mixed so much with European dogs after all. The modern Chihuahua actually still has the same DNA that it did 1000 years ago in Mexico meaning it is a breed untouched by European influences.
Aside from the Chihuahua there are other dogs that have remarkably little European genetic influence including the Greenland dog, the Mexican hairless dog, and the Peruvian hairless dog. This shows that most American breeds are the result of the native cultures that made them, mostly before Europeans arrived. For some Indian and Inuit cultures these dog breeds are an important signature of their ancestors and they must be preserved.
Dog breeding today
A 2010 study found that one of the dangers of dog breeding is that on top of altering a dog’s behavior, personality, and physical traits, dog breeding also can affect how a dog perceives its environment. Breeders can decide to select two dogs with different skull lengths, shifting the dog’s skull and rearranging the brain. Dogs with short skulls such as the pit bull have a brain much different than other dogs. The part of the brain for smelling is rotated forward making it near the base of the skull instead of at the front of the brain.
There are of course other dangers of dog breeding, so it’s best to do your research and find a humane breeder so that you don’t inadvertently support cruelty and ignorance. Adoption is always a great option too, and it happens that 1 out of every four dogs in the US is a purebred (if that is important to you). Adopting a dog also doesn’t mean anything about how the dog will behave or how easily they will be trained. I always advocate adoption first because it saves lives and a there is a huge over-population of pets needing homes.
Now that you know more about breeding, go fourth and choose the best dog for you. Readers, how did you decide on your current pet? Is there anything you regret about buying from a breeder?
Housebreaking a dog means house training to urinate and defecate outside the house or any other designated area. It is often associated with potty training. Deciding on how you should house train your dog can be confusing to some dogs owners. Before you decide on what techniques to use, you need to consider the advantages and disadvantages for you and for your dog. Always consider your location and the most appropriate technique. Here are some facts that will help you decide whether you should use a dog litter box vs relying on going outside.
Dog litter box or the use of litter box is the perfect choice if you are:
Living in high apartment buildings or condo units.
No lawns or backyard.
Limited space outside.
Living in rural areas where dogs are not safe to go outside.
Over populated areas.
Dogs with old age owners or owners with impaired mobility.
Health condition of the dog that affects bladder incontinence.
Dogs with hip dysplasia and cataracts.
Advantages of training your dog to urinate and defecate outside:
The house is free from dogs mess.
Permanently placing your dog outside the house.
Saves you time and effort in cleaning the house for stains and odors.
Litter box or outside for potty training has the same process. It depends upon you to determine which best works for you depending on what is applicable. All you need to do is be consistent and have a lot of patience for it takes time to make the dog learn due to communication barrier. Obviously dogs do not speak english and communication is not always easy. You need to repeat the process for days or even weeks until they get it. Do not lose hope it’s just a matter of time until they get used to it. Potty Training is much easier if you try to watch for the signals for you to determine that they need to urinate and defecate at a certain time.
First and foremost we would like to send out a big thank you to all who participated in our giveaway. We loved seeing all your furry friends on facebook, you great tweets on twitter, and you’re awesome boards on pinterest.
We feel like we’re one big family. A big family that goes to Thanksgiving and overeats, watches football, and avoids Grandma’s fudge. A big, awkward family. That’s how we like it.
So without further ado, we would like to congratulate Diana Stanhope for being our contest winner!! We know your furbabies are going to have a such an great time chasing their new Go Go Dog Pal! We can’t wait to see pictures!! Stay in touch everyone, you NEVER know when a new contest will suddenly POP UP!!
You guys did a great job! We got lots of love from you. We felt it. We are aglow with love.With all this love in our hearts we are going to wind the contest down now. A quick wind down. Is that possible? Isn’t winding down a slower action? Ok so we’re not winding it down. We are…. driving on a road, we see a yellow light and decide not to chance it. Not quite slamming on the brakes, but more like, “whoa gotta stop”. Should I stop with the analogies? Yes? OK. We are ending the contest. There IS an end in sight! Sunday June 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm will be the cutoff. All entries, submissions, bribes, favors and foot massages will be due by that time.
So you have through the weekend to either spread the word for others to have a chance,
or to double and triple check to make sure you’ve completed the required steps.
We are so excited to tally up the results and announce the winner on JUNE 6TH, 2013.
We will announce it here on the blog so be sure to check back!
Glad to see so many of you are interested in winning a Go Go Dog Pal! For your final entry into the giveaway you need to go to twitter and follow us. Mention us in a tweet @GoGoDogPals for final entry.All of us here at Go Go Dog Pals appreciate your participation thus far in the contest and wish all of you the best of luck.
Here is run down of all the steps: (remember, you are NOT eligible unless all THREE are complete)
1: follow us on Pinterest
2: like us on Facebook, post a photo of your dog and tell us why you want to win a pal
3: follow us on twitter and mention us in a tweet @GoGoDogPals
Hi. How are ya? I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “Gosh I REALLY need to win a Go Go Dog Pal. It will make my life so much easier, it will save my marriage, it could solve world hunger!” To that I say, “NO.”It WILL make your life better, it will make your life more fun and don’t forget the best part; your neighbors will be so jealous. NO wait that’s not right (maybe it is), the BEST part is your dog will love it.
Well now that you’ve gone to Pinterest I see you’re ready for the second part. So here it is.
You need to go to our Facebook Page, like us,
and post to our wall why you should win a Go Go Dog Pal and include a picture of the furry friends you’re trying to win the prize for.
Notice anything new? Anything at all? Our website got a makeover! Hurray! As a way to say thank you to our customers, fans, friends, and followers we’re giving away a Go-Go Dog Pal!
Already own a Go-Go Dog Pal? That’s OK, maybe your neighbor would like one, maybe you know someone who is injured and can’t run with their dog, maybe you could bribe someone! (make sure it’s a good bribe) If you win, you and your pup will be featured on our Website!
Now obviously we want the whole planet to know how awesome our Pals are. So we want to spread the word. That’s how YOU will win. By spreading the love. Everyday we’ll be assigning tasks to be completed, related to various outlets. We’re are starting it on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/GoGoDogPals. If you haven’t already, go check it out.
(Did you check it out? Are you back?) OK let’s move on. We all know how important exercise is for our pooches. We’ve all had a piece of furniture or clothing that’s been ripped to shreds by a bored dog. They need to get out! Run, frolic, and jump! That’s why they need a Go-Go Dog Pal.
It’s a natural exercise for their bodies. What do dogs do best? CHASE. Many are even bred for
it. So do yourself AND your dog a favor, enter the contest today!
Now here are the Rules: (our lawyers say we have to have rules. Boo!)
- Open to U.S. residents only. (even though we said we want the PLANET to know about it. baby steps right?)
- must be 18 or older
- must have a dog (Really? This is an actual rule?? OK, if you say so)
- must complete all instructions given.
Each day we will have a task for you to complete. Once you have completed that task, you will be given an entry into the contest. Person with the most entries wins!
Now, your first task to complete:
Follow us on pinterest!
(this is going to be easier than you thought, right?)
As we all know, dogs make wonderful companions and are usually content to do whatever their owners are doing, from taking a ride in the car to lounging around on the sofa on a lazy Sunday afternoon. However, having a canine companion gives you a great excuse to get out and exercise! Whether that means taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood or running along a park trail, you and your dog can both benefit.
Besides getting in better cardiovascular and physical shape, walking or running with your dog can also help:
Boost your mood
Lower your blood pressure
Strengthen your bond with your pet
Keep you motivated to exercise regularly (your dog will bug you to stay on your routine)
WHAT YOUR DOG GETS OUT OF THE DEAL
Running or walking with your dog isn’t just good for you; it’s also good for your dog. Exercising keeps his heart, lungs, joints, and digestive and circulatory systems healthy, and it helps him control weight and expend energy. If you’ve ever noticed your dog racing extra fast around your house or yard (sometimes referred to as zooming), you’ve witnessed him trying to burn up excess energy.
Regular exercise can also keep your dog’s not-so-fun behaviors under control. It can help prevent destructive chewing, biting, and digging and can calm hyperactivity and anxiety.
KEEP IN MIND
Dogs can run (or walk) farther and faster than people, but that doesn’t mean they should leap off the sofa and run for miles. If they’re just starting out, they need to build up distance gradually.
It’s also a good idea to keep puppies from exercising too strenuously or for too long to avoid damaging their developing bones and joints. In addition, dogs that are older or recovering from an injury or illness may need to take it a little easier or exercise for shorter periods. For instance, you can switch from a 30-minute run to two 15- minute walks. Especially for older or recovering pets, swimming can be a good alternative to running or walking.
To prevent your dog from getting heat stroke, avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day. Dawn, dusk, and after dark are often the best times to run or walk.
Visit your physician and veterinarian before you and your pet begin an exercise regimen. They can recommend what type of exercise is best for you and your dog and how long you should both spend exercising.
THE ULTIMATE REWARD
Running or walking with your dog can keep you motivated to stay on track and get healthy together. Plus, what could be better than spending quality time with your best friend?
TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR DOG’S PAWS
In hot weather, walk your dog in grassy areas as much as possible to avoid burning his paws.
In cold weather, consider having your dog wear booties to prevent paw contact with ice and de-icing chemicals.
Once inside, wipe off his paws.
Make sure you inspect his paws after every walk or run
Dogs pick up not only on the words we say but also on our intent to communicate with them, according to a report published online in the Cell Press journal Current Biology.The findings might help to explain why so many people treat their furry friends like their children; dogs’ receptivity to human communication is surprisingly similar to the receptivity of very young children, the researchers say.
“Increasing evidence supports the notion that humans and dogs share some social skills, with dogs’ social-cognitive functioning resembling that of a 6-month to 2-year-old child in many respects,” said József Topál of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. “The utilization of ostensive cues is one of these features: dogs, as well as human infants, are sensitive to cues that signal communicative intent.”
Those cues include verbal addressing and eye contact, he explained. Whether or not dogs rely on similar pathways in the brain for processing those cues isn’t yet clear.
Topál’s team presented dogs with video recordings of a person turning toward one of two identical plastic pots while an eye tracker captured information on the dogs’ reactions. In one condition, the person first looked straight at the dog, addressing it in a high-pitched voice with “Hi dog!” In the second condition, the person gave only a low-pitched “Hi dog” while avoiding eye contact.
The data show that the dogs were more likely to follow along and look at the pot when the person first expressed an intention to communicate.
“Our findings reveal that dogs are receptive to human communication in a manner that was previously attributed only to human infants,” Topál said.
As is often the case in research, the results will undoubtedly confirm what many dog owners and trainers already know, the researchers say. Notably, however, it is the first study to use eye-tracking techniques to study dogs’ social skills.
“By following the eye movements of dogs, we are able to get a firsthand look at how their minds are actually working,” Topál said. “We think that the use of this new eye-tracking technology has many potential surprises in store.”