Training Tips For Dog Owners

Robbi Hess
Our dogs are part of our family and as pet parents we want our dogs to be happy, healthy and well-behaved and positive reinforcement training can help do just that. What will you train your dog to do during National Dog Training Month?

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Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe And Happy This Holiday Season

CLAWGUARD Products

Are you looking forward to the holidays? Delicious foods and time spent with family usually equal fun times for the humans. Do your dogs or cats love the holidays? Do they embrace the influx of guests? If you travel to visit family, do your dogs or cats travel with you and do they enjoy staying in hotels or in unfamiliar homes?

Chances are your pets get stressed during the holidays. They are faced with new people in their house or they are traveling to homes they may have never been before. And a stressed out dog or cat can mean you may have a destructive dog or cat on your hands.  

A dog or cat who doesn’t jump or scratch your doors or claw at your window sills might just do that during the holidays. What can you do to protect your pets from a “time out” and your home, a hotel, or your relative’s home from damage this holiday season?

Here are a few tips from CLAWGUARD and its ultimate ultimate pet scratch protection products:

Distract them. If your pets have toys to play with and bones to gnaw on, they may be disinclined to chew a window sill or scratch a hotel room door.

Tire them out. A tired dog and cat is a happy, content dog or cat. Take your dog into the yard and play fetch. If the weather isn’t cooperating for outdoor play, you can play fetch indoors. Give your dog a toy like a Kong that is filled with tasty treats he will have to work to get to. Give your cats some catnip filled toys and play with her to keep her entertained. Make certain you have scratching posts or that you take scratching pads with you so your cat has access to that instead of a couch in a hotel!

Stick to routines. If your pets eat at a particular time, stick with that dinner time and with food they are accustomed to. If your dog goes to sleep at a particular time and in a crate or with her favorite blanket or toy, don’t forget to bring those items with you if you’re traveling. If you’re hosting the holidays at your home, make sure your pet can get away from the crowds if she needs to.

Introduce your dog or cat to everyone -- if they are amenable. Chances are you know your pet best and you know whether he or she will want to meet the strangers. If you have a friendly dog or cat and curious children or relatives, introduce them to one another. If you know your pet doesn’t relish being petted by strangers, then don’t force an introduction.

Take a hike. Spend quality time alone with your dog and get out for a walk. Let your dog run (on a leash) to get rid of some of his excess energy. Going for a walk will help your dog expend his energy, tire him out and help you make room for pumpkin pie!

Here are some other tips to consider for your pet and her safety this holiday season:

  1. Don’t feed her table scraps.
  2. Keep alcohol and chocolate away from pets
  3. Make certain your dog is microchipped and/or leashed and collared, especially in an unfamiliar location
  4. Put your cats in a safe space so they don’t dash out the door when people are coming in
  5. Spend quality time with your pets to calm and soothe them during this hectic time. Chances are you also know that the simple act of petting your cat or dog will lower your own blood pressure and calm you!

If you really want to be a great guest and assure you get your pet deposit back if you stay at a hotel take your Original CLAWGUARD Doorshield or your Heavy Duty CLAWGUARD Doorshield with you on your trips this holiday season. CLAWGUARD is easy to travel with, install at a hotel or relative’s home and makes you (and your dogs and cats) welcome house guests because you won’t have to worry about your pets clawing the doors.

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Protect Your Home Or Apartment: Top Uses For CLAWGUARD’s Ultimate Pet Scratch Products

CLAWGUARD Products

We love our pets, but sometimes they don’t love our doors or our windowsills! True, they don’t usually know any better and when their claws are damaging the door, the door frame or the window sills it’s because they’re bored or they are so excited to welcome us home that they jump and scratch.

As pet parents we know our pets don’t cause damage to our homes out of spite. They get bored. They get excited and they damage property. As a pet parent it’s up to us to train away “bad” behaviors through positive reinforcement, but it can’t hurt to use CLAWGUARD Door Shields or CLAWGUARD Protective Tape as a way to further protect the investment in our homes or in the security deposit we paid on our apartment.

If you’re not certain how CLAWGUARD Products can protect your property and make it more difficult for your precious pup to inadvertently cause damage, here are our top uses the products:

  1. Use it on windowsills. If you have cats in the house you know they love to get their claws into places they aren’t supposed to. Sometimes no matter how many scratching posts you have available, your cat will still want to claw a windowsill. CLAWGUARD Protective Tape can protect the windowsill from scratching.
  2. Protect windowsills from a chewing dog. Dogs get bored and do things we just wish they wouldn’t. Have you ever had a dog lie on the back of the couch and mindlessly gnaw on the windowsill? We’ve heard that it happens! Dogs are weird, right?! If you have a dog who likes to chew when he’s bored, CLAWGUARD Protective Tape will protect the windowsill.
  3. A dog who enthusiastically greets you when you come home is a joy to behold. This is especially true if you have had a bad day at work or have just battled your way through rush hour traffic, having your beloved dog greeting you at the door can lift your mood and your spirits. If, however, your dog is so excited to see you that she jumps up on the door and can’t wait for you to open it, you can protect it with CLAWGUARD Door Shield. Of course, you can use positive reinforcement training to prevent your dog from jumping on the door in her excitement at your homecoming, but if you’ve tried and it just hasn’t worked, protect the door and let your dog be as enthusiastic as she wants!
  4. Do your dogs love to be outside? Then they want to come inside. Oh, and then they want to go outside again? You see where we are going with this right? If you have dogs (or cats) who spend the day scratching the door to get your attention to go in and out, CLAWGUARD Door Shields can protect the door both inside and outside. It won’t stop your dogs from wanting to go in, then out, then in again, but it will protect the doorjamb.
  5. You want to protect your windowsills, doors and door jambs, but you’re just not “handy” with tools. If you can wield a pair of scissors you can easily customize the CLAWGUARD Protective Tape to fit your doors and windows and protect your home. There is no hardware required and that makes “installation” quick and easy enough for anyone to use.
  6. What if you have relied on hearing your dog or cat scratch the door when he has to go outside? CLAWGUARD Door Shields have a smooth side and a textured side. This lets you determine whether you want to hear the scratching or whether you want to muffle the sound. The Door Shields also comes with optional Velcro fasteners to aid in the stability of the CLAWGUARD Door Shields – something that some of our customers requested.

Don’t worry about having to leave your CLAWGUARD Products behind if you move out of your current home or apartment. You can remove them and bring them with you; it’s an investment in home protection you can use and re-use.

Have questions about CLAWGUARD Products and whether it’s right for you, your home and your pets? Watch the video that was the inspiration behind CLAWGUARD and then contact us if you have more questions!

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Pets Need Our Help In Maintaining A Healthy Weight And Lifestyle

The Clawguard

Did you know that every pound that your small breed dog gains is the equivalent of you gaining 23 pounds, and a single pound on your cat is like 16 pounds gained on you? Unfortunately, over 50% of all pets are considered obese, which can lead to many other costly health problems.

Pets are our fur babies, our best friends, our companions and a large part of our family, but just like the humans we love, pets need our help in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.


Here are 4 easy ways to prevent pet obesity in your best furry friend:

  1. Talk to your vet.  Your pet’s vet is your best source of information when it comes to all aspects of your best furry friend’s health. So, if you have any questions regarding your pet’s food, treats, snacks or even about the kinds of table foods you can offer your pet, ask your vet for advice and on how to best manage your pet’s eating habits without risking your fur baby’s health.
  2. Read nutrition labels. Just like human food, most pet foods have labels on them that contain both the ingredients and the nutritional information, including calories, fat contents, and more. Not all foods are created equal, so when you’re standing in the pet food store or aisle, make sure you get the pet food and snacks that are the most nutritious and healthiest for your furry best friend.
  3. Be Consistent. Use a measuring cup to ensure that your pet always gets the same amount of food every meal, and do your best to feed your furry friend on a regular schedule. If you work long hours or have an unpredictable schedule, consider investing in an automatic feeder that can be preset to feed your pet a certain amount at a specific time. That way, you pet is guaranteed to be fed, but never overfed, and you don’t have to worry about skipping meals or guessing meal portions.
  4. Make exercise fun. If you’re like most people, the idea of spending an hour on a treadmill is probably the last thing you want to do. That’s why it’s so important that you make exercise fun, not just for yourself, but for your pet, too. Get outside and go for a nice walk or check out a local park for a game of fetch. If you have a cat, think about getting a laser or feather toy on a stick that can make for an awesome time, and a great way to get some fun active time in together. Exercise is not only important for your pet’s physical health, it also boosts mental and emotional well-being and can offer a great bonding experience.

As pet parents, we all know how hard it is to refrain from giving our fur babies that extra piece of homemade chicken or a second helping of their favorite snack treat. But while it might not feel good in the moment, in the long run you might actually be saving your best furry friend from a slew of issues that stem from being overweight, including Type 2 Diabetes, various forms of cancer, high blood pressure and more.

So, in honor of Pet Obesity Awareness Day on October 11, 2017, make a commitment to your pet’s well-being by finding easy and healthy ways to feed and interact with your best fur baby.

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Top 5 Ways to Have Fun with Your High Energy Dog

The Clawguard1 comment

Whether accidentally or by choice, if you’ve found yourself the loving pet parent of a high energy dog, it might feel like you’re in over your head. While high energy dogs are a lot of fun, and usually very friendly, it can be overwhelming to have to live with one day in and day out. But before you throw in the towel, consider throwing something else that will help both of you with your frustration and bring those energy levels down a few notches.

Here are the top 5 ways to have fun with your high energy dog:

1.  Water Sports.

Swimming, dock-diving, surfing, or just chasing a ball or frisbee on the beach and racing after it into the waves, can be a fun, exhilarating and energy burning activity that is sure to have even the most energized dogs tired enough for some rest and relaxation at home by the couch.

2.  Dry Land Adventures.

Hiking, walking, biking, while exploring new places are a great way to burn a lot of energy and have a great time with your dog. Taking your pup out for 30 - 60 minute adventures 1-3 times a day is sure to burn energy and give you both some quality time together. If you work outside the home, consider hiring a dog walker and see how much calmer your pup is when you get home and just want to relax after work.

3. Toys.

A variety of toys that provide dogs with physical and/or mental stimulation are sure to burn energy and get your pup thinking creatively, which is another great way to burn extra fuel. There are even toys that can take the place of your dog’s food bowl, where pet parents can put food inside of a safe chew toy and the dog actually has to use their energy and problem solving skills to get the food out.  One of these toys is the PupPod.  This fun, interactive, high-tech puzzle game gives your dog the mental stimulation he craves and automatically keeps challenging him as he learns.  

4.  Home Activities.

If you’re stuck inside due to inclement weather, try bringing the fun indoors. Some fun games to try are hide and seek where you hide a toy or treat and encourage your dog to find it. There are also bouncy rubber toys that you can toss around your living room to get your dog running and jumping, burning energy and taking the place of any outdoor exercise that you would’ve otherwise engaged in. Just remove any fragile objects from the room to avoid accidents and messes.

5.  Go Pro.

Professional dog sports are becoming more and more popular. Sign your pup up for agility training or Rally which is an obedience driven sport that requires walking through a course and performing different commands. After an hour of rigorous training and activity, your high energy dog will not only be tired, but he’ll be more well behaved at home.

Regardless of the activities you choose to do with your dog, it’s important that you do them often. High energy dogs, also known as working dogs, thrive when they are given tasks, jobs and games to participate in, to keep their minds and bodies in motion. While most dogs enjoy regular exercise, a high energy dog needs to be very well-exercised in order to maintain a balanced and safe life, and stay happy, which makes for a happy and well-rested pet parent.

Dogs are smart, loving and loyal friends who just want to please their pet parents. The more time you spend with them, whether it’s just hanging out or training or exercising, the more they will respond to you, bond with you and trust you.

So play with your dog, not just to burn off excess energy, but also to build on the loving friendship you share with your furry best friend.

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Top 10 Things To Do When Your Dog Goes AWOL

The Clawguard1 comment

You’re sitting outside in your fenced in backyard, enjoying a cocktail with friends and watching your dog roam around your yard. It’s a warm evening, with a crescent moon and a few stars. All seems right with the world, until the unthinkable happens. Right before your eyes, your dog sees or hear something and just like that, uses the small chair or large rock to jump clear over the lowest part of your fence. Before you even realize what’s happened, your pup is out of sight, leaving your dumbfounded as to how this happened, and more importantly, how to get your dog back.

Whether it’s scaling a fence, getting loose from a leash, or dashing out the front door, a pet parent’s worst nightmare is the moment they realize their precious fur baby has gone missing. Having your dog go AWOL (absent without a leash) is one of the scariest and most dreaded moments of owning a pet. However, as helpless as you might feel, there are actually certain things you can do to help ensure your dog comes home or is returned to you as quickly and safely as possible.

Most importantly before it happens, make sure your dog has a visible tag with contact information. There are several great, inexpensive options.  We like PetHub tags because they provide an on-line profile where all your dog's information is stored along with multiple points of contact if you dog does go missing.

Here are the Top 10 to do when your dog goes AWOL:

  1. Stay Calm. Even though your heart is racing and you are desperate to have your fur baby back in your arms, you must stay calm. Many actions and decisions made while in a panicked state of mind can actually make the situation worse. So, the first thing you need to remember is to stay calm with a level head.
  2. No Running. If you see your dog, it’s never a good idea to run directly toward him. This can either scare your pet or make him think you’re playing. Both scenarios will have your dog running away from you, and most likely away from your home, thus having the opposite effect of what you desire.
  3. Have Your Pup Come to You. Remember those games you play with your dog that have him running to you? Now is the perfect time to use those games as strategies to get your dog to come to you. While running after your dog is a big no-no, having your dog run to you is the perfect way of getting your pup home quick and safe.
  4. Open Your Home. Many dogs will come home after they’ve had enough of exploring the street and neighborhood. Make sure your gates and doors are open to allow for easy access into your home. Otherwise, your pooch might come back and be as close as your front yard, but then without seeing a way in, may be easily distracted and run off again.
  5. Pull Out Your Dog’s Things. Dogs respond to scents, therefore putting out your dog’s favorite toys, food and bedding may entice him to come back, as well as, offer him a trail to follow as a direct path toward home.
  6. Bring Treats. This is the perfect time to bring out your dog’s favorite treats as a way of getting their attention and hopefully enticing them to follow you back home. If their favorite treat is the expensive one you only pull out on special occasions, this is the one to bring out now.
  7. Use a Slip Leash. A dog will often get scared or nervous when they are outside of their element. That’s why the easiest way to get your dog back under your control is a slip leash. While most leashes have a latch that must be clipped onto a collar or harness, a slip leash uses a loop system that easily loops over your dog’s head and then tightens when pulled, to act as a collar. It’s a simple way to get a loose dog back under your control, requires the least amount of fuss, and can be done from a slight distance if your dog is hiding under a porch or between two large objects.
  8. Hang Signs. Put up lots of signs throughout your neighborhood with a clear picture of your dog and your contact information. Do not include your dog’s name as that may lessen the chances of getting your dog back since dogs tend to be more welcoming and accepting of people who know their name. On the other hand, your neighbors can also be great assets in helping you find and get your dog back. Chances are, your neighbors are also your friends or even if they are just acquaintances, they know your dog, and more importantly, your dog knows them. So, if they see posted signs that your dog is missing, they will be on the look out for him, and will make an effort to corral him into their home or yard, to make it easier for you to be reunited.
  9. Rely on Friends and Shelters. Invite your friends and family to help you look for your pooch, and don’t forget to check local shelters. If someone who doesn’t know your dog finds him, there’s a good chance he will be taken to a local shelter where he will be put in a holding cell until he can be reunited with his owner. Unless your dog is microchipped and/or has a proper identification tag (both are highly recommended), the shelter staff will have no way of knowing who the dog belongs to and will need the owner to contact them to identify the dog.
  10. Be Patient and Positive. It may take a few tries and even several days to get your dog back home and safe in your arms. It’s important to stay patient and remain positive. Just like staying calm, being patient and positive will help you make smart decisions that will help ensure your dog’s safe return.

While there are no guarantees that you will be reunited with your lost dog, following these easy steps will definitely increase the odds in your favor. Dogs are known as man’s best friend, and so it’s important to believe that your dog wants to be back in your arms as badly as you want him to, and maybe even more so. It’s a big and sometimes scary world out there, especially for a dog who is lost and possibly scared or timid. As hard as it might be, these are the moments when you must be the clear, level headed adult, and make smart choices to hopefully get your dog back as quickly and safely as possible.

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Win a Special Pet Portrait

Kevin Dixon14 comments

Today we have a special story to share... and a giveaway! 

But first, a special story

Meet Kayla

Kayla has a heart for animals and an artistic flair - so naturally when she started painting, she painted pets.

In 2016 she started her official artist page & accepted commissions from many pet owners across the United States. Folks loved her colorful watercolors. She captured dogs, cats, big and small, and painted watercolor paintings so full of life & personality - everyone loved them!

adorable frenchie dog portraits

Kayla's life is full of animal love, particularly for bully breed dogs, of which she has three.

Meet Diggy

At the same time, not far away in Waterford Michigan, an American bulldog was getting a lot of attention. Diggy the smiling dog was adopted, after over 100 days in the shelter, he had found a perfect companion, and they both were full of smiles.

Diggy the waterford dog

UH-OH

After his photo went viral, Diggy was soon the center of a serious legal battle between Waterford Township police and Diggy's new family. The battle was over a law that banned "pit bulls" from the township.

You see, the police "decided that Diggy was a pit bull" and wasn't allowed. But Diggy is an American Bulldog, and his owners did everything they could to fight the unfair & unjustified new labeling of their dog.

"Waterford, Mich., is a township where certain dog breeds are outlawed, under a type of ordinance known as breed-specific legislation, or BSL.” - Washington Post

The world paid attention, petitions were signed by thousands of supporters, and the lawyers fought hard all summer to help Diggy stay home.

Around this time, Kayla was inspired to paint that smily dog Diggy and turn his portrait into something joyful, full of color and life, like Diggy himself.

diggy dog portrait artist

Not bad, huh?

GOOD NEWS

In September, the court case was dropped. Diggy will get to stay home, where he's happy and free. Hurray!

"Diggy The Dog Will Stay With His Family" - People.com

Kayla, didn't know Diggy's owners personally, but she wanted to gift them the portrait, so she shouted out to her friends on Social Media to see if anyone knew Diggy's owners. And sure enough, someone did!

Cue the happy reunion:

diggy dog home celebration

We're so happy this story has a happy ending!

Kayla's portrait business has continued to grow, thanks in part to the attention her Diggy portrait received. She's being recognized for her talent by new fans everyday, and enjoying drawing countless pets. Dogs, cats, etc. Her watercolor paintings are large - 11x14 or 16x20. Perfect for a nice large frame.

Giveaway

We are inspired to pay it forward to someone else who has a pet who makes them smile, laugh, and even occasionally take funny selfies together.

To enter,  follow the instructions below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

...then leave us a comment on the blog and tell us what's your pet's best feature: Gorgeous eyes? A goofy smile? Maybe a funny ear that sticks up? Every pet is pretty special <3

 

Note: Giveaway open to US residents only. Prize is an 11x14 or 16x20 original watercolor print. Apply by April 4th, 2017. Winners chosen at random from the pool of entries. See rules and how to enter above. Have additional questions? Don't hesitate to reach out to pr@clawguard.com

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Stop Your Dog from Barking at the Doorbell

Kevin Dixon

Does your dog go crazy when someone rings the doorbell? Are you terrified the next delivery person at the door will send your household into chaos?

Dog trainer extraordinaire Angel Wasserman of Paws in Training, who previously shared tips of working with a dog trainer, is back with a video on teaching your dog that the sound of the doorbell is nothing to get excited about. Watch Angle help a household of 8 dogs who go nuts each time the bell is rung. 

 

Did this method work for you? We'd love to hear your experience in the comments section!

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Free Printable Valentines for Dog Lovers

Kevin Dixon

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and nobody understands unconditional love better than our dogs. To celebrate, we put together a free sheet of printable Valentine cards featuring some of the cutest pups around. They're perfect for showing your favorite dog-- or dog lover-- just how great you think they are.

Printable Valentines for Dog LoversPrintable Dog Valentines

Download the entire Valentine sheet here. Happy Valentine's Day!

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Finding and Working with a Dog Trainer

The Clawguard1 comment

Most dogs have at least one bad habit. Some go rummaging through the trash can, others bark at the mail carrier, or scratch at the front door. We don't know a single pet without a few naughty moments. Do you?

Let's talk to an expert dog trainer, Angel Wasserman

Angel is a certified behavior consultant and dog trainer who owns Paws in Training in Raleigh, North Carolina.

With has more than 13 years of experience as a professional dog trainer, Angel has great insights into how to select the right dog trainer for you and your pet, and how to make the training stick.

When Should I Hire a Professional Dog Trainer?

The longer you wait, the more ingrained the behavior becomes in the dog, which usually increases the time and the costs required to resolve the problem. Dealt with immediately, many behavioral problems can be addressed in a single session.

The ideal time to seek help from a trainer is as soon as a negative behavior presents.

Dog trainer working with German Shepherd

What problems can a dog trainer help resolve?

CPDT-Certified dog trainers can help with dog obedience issues, new puppy concerns, child-dog safety and even introducing new pets into the family.

For serious behavioral problems such as fear, anxiety or aggression, hire an applied animal behaviorist, veterinary behaviorist, or CCBC-certified professional. In these cases the skills and educational requirements to treat behavioral problems are significantly different than those required for a dog trainer.

What should I look for when hiring a dog trainer?

1. Rewards

Look for a trainer who uses reward-based training. Rewards can come in many shapes: food, affection, play time, etc. These are all positive ways to reward your dog for learning.

Research shows that dogs do not need to be punished in order to learn. Avoid any trainer who advocates the use of force or specialty collars and leashes that could harm your dog.

2. Observe

If the trainer offers group classes, ask if you can sit in on one. Watch the dogs in class and see if they are happy, if they are rewarded for their accomplishments - and talk to the other dog owners too. You will learn a lot by observation.

3. Rapport

Once you have narrowed down your list, choose the trainer with which you have the best rapport. This is important because you and the trainer will be working together as a team.

Did they spend quality time with you on the phone? Did they ask good questions? Did they let YOU speak and do you feel like they heard and understood you? Having a good relationship with your trainer is key.

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior has put together guidelines for finding a dog trainer  which are helpful and comprehensive.

 

What is your dog training philosophy?

My training philosophy is simple. Educate pets and owners using force-free, positive reinforcement methods and provide proven scientific training plans to ensure an animal’s success. More on what exactly that means here.


How did you get into dog training?

I worked in corporate America for 20 years, and trained dogs at the local shelter as a part-time hobby. Each year it seemed that I received more satisfaction from the training than I did from my corporate job! When corporate downsizing came knocking on my door, it was the perfect time to change paths and make my passion my career. That was ten years ago and honestly, I wish had done it sooner! I’m blessed to be able to say that I love my job. Day in and day out, I could not be happier.

Paws in Training clients with their petsPaws in Training clients with their pets

What do you love most about being a dog trainer?

I love the challenge of problem solving, identifying the root cause of behavioral problems and creating a plan to address them.

There is enormous satisfaction that comes from helping a family restore the relationship they had with their pet.

This is what training is all about; Getting the behaviors you want from your pet and eliminating those that you don’t want.

Paws in Training Graduate DogsTwo Paws in Training graduates 


Thanks to Angel for sharing her story and great tips for selecting a dog trainer. Find out more about her methods at Paws in Training, and stay tuned for more from Angel in the coming months!

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