Christopher Aust, Master Trainer
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Well, it sure has gotten cold here! We had been having a fairly mild winter then last week the temperature started to get back to where it normally is. I should have put the darn Christmas lights up on the house when it was still warm! Doesn't it figure?
Last week I mentioned holiday safety and totally forgot to mention one thing. Doggie Booties. While they may look a little silly and take your dog some time to get used too, they really can be a lifesaver for your dog. The snow, ice and salt on the ground can be extremely hard on your dogs' paws.
Additionally, they will provide extra traction on the ground assuring your dog better footing and decreasing the chance of an injury. There are several different styles and brands so you can easily find what will work best for you.
If you've never put booties on a dog before, the first time you will be in for a little chuckle. I have seen a bunch of different methods used to get a dog accustomed to the booties, but I have found it is just easier to put them on the dog, let them get used to them in the house and just get it over with.
I have received a few more letters from readers who are concerned about the dog flu that has been getting a lot of press. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there is no reason for people to be in a panic about dog flu. However, it would certainly be wise to take a few precautions this season.
Make sure they are healthy and getting all the nutrients they need. Avoid boarding the dog and opt for hiring a pet sitter or getting a trusted family friend to watch them. While I'm not saying that boarding kennels can't be trusted, it is just the environment is usually perfect for cross infection.
With everything going on at the holidays we have to remember our pets. Ideally, the best place they can be when we are traveling is with us. There are lots of hotels that will accept pets and the numbers are growing almost daily.
Help Yourself By Helping Children . . .
We are proud to be a partner with the official U.S. Marines "Toys for Tots" program in The 5th Annual Internet Toy Drive. It's a sad fact that millions of children in the United States will NOT have a single gift to open on Christmas Day! We aim to change that and make sure EVERY child has at least one present 'from Santa' under their tree. Help a needy child in YOUR community right now:
I have it on good authority this toy drive is going SLOWER than it ever has this year! I know (in spite of what THEY say) the economy is lousy and people are apprehensive about what's coming next, but PLEASE do what you can for the kids!
Okay, that's it for now. I'm outta here!
Dog Chewing the Sofa? Puppy Eating Your Shoes? Or WORSE?
"He has chewed just about everything in house up! And when I say everything, I mean just about that ... sofa, loveseat, a $1500 chair and ottoman (even though chair was exs' so that's a GREAT stress buster! LOL!) Just last night he snuck into my bedroom took my slipper out of the den while I was online, and when I went to check mail and came back in, I found it chewed up in the family room.
He jumps (he has a 4ft vertical leap) and grabs cooking utensils from my island stove! We (daughter & I) have spent $$ on chew toys and he treats them as dessert or a standby when I'm on alert!
THERE IS NOTHING SACRED TO HIM WHEN IT COMES TO CHEWING!
Also the ONLY time when he listens is when I'm preparing their "morning wet meal" (feed wet one time a day and dry left out for the rest of day) and I call the boys and girl (I personally have two dogs and have 2 "foster dogs" that I'm fostering from animal rescue organization I volunteer for) for "breakfast!"
I have a completely fenced yard and when I let them out ... Henry WILL NOT come when I call him in. The others do ... even foster dogs. But w/ Henry it's a 2-3 hour ordeal.
I appreciate any help you can give."
Have you ever caught yourself doing something when you are nervous that you didn't realize you were doing? Maybe you were biting your nails or fumbling with something sitting on the table in front of you. Could be anything. I find myself playing with the sides of my mustache whenever I am a little anxious.
Many things that happen in our lives make us anxious. It could be a new house, job, baby, someone new living in the existing house or just a change of diet. We've all experienced it and know what it can feel like. Unfortunately, while we humans can discuss the changes with each other and work through our fears, we often forget that our dogs are going through many of the same emotions.
Dogs really aren't any different than us when they are exposed to changes in their pack environment. Let me change that. Dogs are at least as affected by change as we are, if not more so. It's for this reason we must focus on our dogs during these changes as much as ourselves.
First, we need to understand that a human pack member left the family not long ago. This can have a great effect on a dog if the leaving member played a large role in the dog's life. Their leaving may have made a change in the feeding and or exercise schedule, or maybe less one-on-one affection with the dog. There is also the emotional charge the humans have whenever a family member leaves, whether it was a blessing or not, and our dogs pick up on it.
Next we have the loss of mobility in the Alpha of the family. In a wild dog pack, this would indicate the role is now open and that all worthy dogs need to prepare to take over the role. This is a time for exhibiting dominance and control.
Now we need to look at the temporary residents that are in the house. Lee does rescue dog fostering which means there is a turn over of dogs going into and out of the house.
Often though, and I have caught myself doing this with rescues I've had, we pamper the rescue more than our own because we feel bad about the rescue's history.
Anytime we have any type of life change that can affect our dog we must try to keep everything else as consistent as possible. This means we may have to experience a little inconvenience but it's vital to lessen your dog's anxiety and desire to act out.
First, sit down and make a list of all the unusual changes that have occurred in the dog's life. Feed schedules, sleep schedules, exercise schedules, everything. For Lee, it would be appropriate to change all the schedules providing he sticks to these schedules meticulously.
Next we have to consider the regular changes, i.e., the rescue dogs. It's imperative the family dog have more privileges than the rescues. The family dog should be fed first, loved on first and exercised first. Always - with no exceptions. This will clarify the family dog's pack position over the rescues.
Additionally, the dog's toys should not be left out for the dog all the time, at first. Make it a special treat to prevent boredom. Don't forget, lots of praise when they chew their toy.
Destructive behavior is one of the top reasons given every year when people take their dogs to the pound and animal shelters. This behavior can, with a little bit of planning, be eliminated and help you to get rid of the furniture store credit account.
Thank you for continuing to cover the Katrina dog situation. So many more dogs could have been saved and the ones that were seem to be in trouble as well. The more people know about what these dogs have gone through, the better chance safeguards and regulations will be in place to protect our animals.
Our dogs, like our shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well.
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2. On a helmet mounted mirror used by US cyclists
3. On a Taiwanese shampoo
4. On the bottle-top of a (UK) flavoured milk drink
5. On a New Zealand insect spray
6. In a US guide to setting up a new computer
7. On a Japanese product used to relieve painful hemorrhoids
8. In some countries, on the bottom of Coke bottles
9. On a packet of Sunmaid raisins
10. On a Sears hairdryer
11. On a bag of Fritos
12. On a bar of Dial soap
13. On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert
14. On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding
15. On a Korean kitchen knife
16. On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights
17. On a Japanese food processor
18. On Sainsbury's peanuts
19. On an American Airlines packet of nuts
20. On a Swedish chainsaw
21. On a child's superman costume
22. On some frozen dinners
23. On a hotel provided shower cap in a box
24. On packaging for a Rowenta iron
25. On Boot's "Children's" cough medicine
26. On Nytol sleep aid
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Thank You For Reading! Have a Terrific Week!
Don't forget to send your comments, questions and suggestions on the BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter to:
Newsletter Archive: Master-Dog-Training.com/archive/
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