The perfect solution to all your dog friendly needs

Head on the keyboard, I’ve had enough.  I’m tired of looking for the perfect solution to my needs.  I grab my coffee and head over to the back door where I stick my head out for some fresh air, oh I wish I could have a holiday somewhere quiet away from it all.  I know that’s not possible because of Lula my mix breed dog, she’s an absolute nightmare on the lead, in the house, in the car, you name it I hide from it!  So here I am stuck at home with my barking, lead pulling (that’s why we don’t get out much) dog.  I do love her and want to have a special bond with her but I can’t find what I’m looking for, I don’t even know what I’m looking for.

I pick up a tennis ball and throw it into the garden, Lula loves to play a game of fetch, it brings her alive and she brings it back and runs to fetch it, this could go on for hours how come it doesn’t make her tired?  I bring her in and try to wipe her paws, yes you guessed it she doesn’t like that either and we end up in a wrestling match with me flat on my face in the middle of the kitchen floor.

That’s it, I’ve had enough! I slam the back door and head out of the kitchen back to the computer.  I know what I’m looking for!  Dog Trainer in King’s Lynn is added to the web browser.  Dog Trainers, Behaviourists and Clubs/King’s Lynn/Norfolk wow that’s the one! I click and get a bright dog friendly page full of dog trainers in King’s Lynn.  I look though a few of the premium pages and it catches my eye Game Based Trainer.  Lula it is meant to be young lady, today is day one of our new journey.

The website was bright, light and full of fun, showing how games created learning through choice – I was hooked and clicked on the Make an Enquiry button on The Good Dog Website.  Excited I jumped up and made another coffee returning quickly to The Good Dog Guide website and where it said click to choose a category I chose Self Catering and in lovely Norfolk.  I booked our holiday for September which gives us four months of intensive game based training sessions to have the best holiday ever!

Thank you The Good Dog Guide you have it all covered!

Article supplied by to Julie Carter at MyLuka Dog Training Solutions

The main benefits of owning a dog with children

Pets are a part of many children’s lives. To help making pet ownership a positive experience for everyone, parental involvement, open discussion, and planning are necessary. When a child learns to care for an animal, treating it kindly and patiently, the child may get invaluable training in learning to treat people the same way. Children can develop social skills by taking care of a pet. If parents believe their child is old enough to care for a pet, they must oversee the pet’s care. Children under the age of 10 years are unable to care for a large animal, a cat or a dog, on their own.

According to a collection of scientific studies, having a dog can greatly benefit a child’s emotional intelligence. Puppy Pointers show that pets can have a positive effect on your child’s health, too. Here are some benefits of owning dogs and the ways kids who have a dog in the home evolves compared to those who don’t:

  1. Children have higher self-esteem when they are given tasks to complete, such as helping with the care of a pet. Kids show an improvement in self-esteem and may even take pride in getting more responsibility. Though the tasks should be age-appropriate (3 years above).

  2. Kids with pet dogs become more compassionate. Multiple studies have shown that children who owned dogs were more empathetic towards others. Parents and children frequently share in taking care of the pet. This suggests that kids learn at an early age how to care for and nurture a dependent animal.

  3. They feel supported. Several researchers found that children often name their pet when asked who they would go to with a problem. Whereas fellow humans will judge and may criticize, pets can make people feel unconditionally accepted.

  4. Children develop better cognitive skills. Some research has suggested that kids who talk to their dog, whether by giving praise and commands or just babbling, show improved cognitive development.

  5. Having a pet dog can alleviate stress in kids. Petting a dog has been proven to lower cortisol levels in both the person and the pet. Also, research has found that children’s stress levels decrease when reading aloud to a dog.

  6. They are happier with dog pets. Playing with a pet raises levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm the mind and increase the mood.

  7. Having a dog can benefit your child’s health. Besides the obvious benefits of being more active and getting outside more often when playing with a dog, several studies have suggested that children who have dogs have a decreased chance of developing allergies. A current study is underway to determine if dogs could even have a probiotic-like effect on the human body.

When selecting a dog for your child, make sure to research the breeds and speak to the breeder about your family’s lifestyle so that you can ensure the pet you get is the best fit for your whole family. Also, be sure to educate children about dog body language and always supervise their interactions.

Article supplied.

Why I started the ‘Respect the lead campaign’

I was out walking with my family and my dog over New year at a local beauty spot. Towards the end of our walk I heard a dog fight close by, there were screams of ‘help’ and so my veterinary mode kicked in and I found myself running over.

Just as I got to the gathering crowd someone threw something towards the dogs which momentarily distracted them and they came apart. I checked over one of the dogs whilst the other dog was led away by its upset owner. The first dog was fine however a comment about blood alerted me to the fact that the other dogs owner had a nasty bite to his hand. By this time there were quite a few strong words exchanged and so I walked away.

I wanted to check the other dog & owner and finally found them in the car park. Fortunately both dogs were unscathed but sadly the owner had a deep bite that needed urgent medical attention. I gave some human first aid advice and had a long chat with them about the incident. They were very upset as they had been walking their reactive dog on a lead and when it had been approached by a very enthusiastic bouncy young dog they had requested it was taken away. Sadly this was ignored and after about the 10th time of asking their dog reacted and so a fight broke out. As I walked away I felt sad for the owner, disappointed that they were doing the ‘right thing’ by keeping their dog on a lead and warning others to stay away…yet still their requests were ignored.

My own current dog had issues when I first rescued him and I spent a lot of time training him to be calmer and accepting of other dogs around him. He does stay on the lead a lot of the time and I too encounter many owners who let their dogs come charging over, fortunately with the groundwork I have put in and the training I continue to take with me on a walk I can deal with it…however many people can’t. As soon as you put a lead on a dog everything changes for them and so we need to respect this, understand why and act accordingly……………..

As the days went on after the incident, I kept thinking about what I had seen and felt passionately that something needed to be done to raise awareness of lead etiquette.

So after a lot of thought, planning and design my ‘Respect the lead’ campaign was born……… It has had amazing coverage on social media and I have had many requests for posters (all over the world!). The support has been overwhelming and I am still to this day amazed at the impact it seems to have made in the dog owning world.

Let’s continue to spread the awareness so that everyone can enjoy their dog walks and together we can help our canine friends ……who may be kept on a lead for a reason.

Article supplied.

Tips to Prevent the Risk Seeking Behavior in Dogs

Dogs have unique personalities and their moods vary ranging from joyful, playful to scared and aggressive. As a dog owner, you will always wish and work towards having a well-trained dog. However, often and when least expected, your dog may display risk-seeking behaviors. Even though aggression is not a welcomed behavior, it is common and quite dangerous. While you may want to use the best retractable dog leash for large dogs to train your dog, there are other important tips to employ. These tips will help you to manage the dog and to enhance its safety as well as that of your family members and friends.

Behavior in Dogs

To employ the best measures to prevent risk behaviors, you need to know the signs and symptoms that dog’s exhibit. This can be a one time or a sequence of increasingly intense risk-seeking behaviors. Your dog may;

Become rigid and still.
Bark uncontrollably.
Charge towards you, a friend or any person around.
Mouthing and muzzle punching.
Showing teeth and growling.
Snarling and snapping.
Quick nips and bites that may cause a bruise.
Bites leading to wounds.
Shaking
.

There are also different types of risk-seeking behaviors that you need to understand. They include: territorial, protective, possession, fear, defensive, social, frustration elicited, redirected, pain elicited, sex-related and predatory risk-seeking behaviors or aggression. Therefore, you need to carefully analyze the reasons behind a certain aggressive behavior in your dog to prevent and manage it efficiently.

Behavior in Dogs

Work with your vet
A dog can display a risk-seeking behavior due to an underlying medical condition. Painful conditions such as thyroid abnormality, canine aggression, and orthopedic issues can lead to irritability and aggression in dogs.
Dogs under medication can also be aggressive and susceptible to different situations. Therefore, it is vital to have a pet to examine the dog, and if a medical problem is identified, the dog should get treatment immediately. This gives the dog a better chance to recover and improve its behavior.

Professional behavior expert
It is equally important to seek the help of a professional behavior expert. Risk seeking behaviors are dangerous and can lead to detrimental effects. Think of it, even the best behavior experts get bitten time and again. This means leaving an untreated dog poses a serious risk to you and your loved ones.
A professional will evaluate the dog’s behavior to determine whether it is a defensive behavior or fear driven. The professional will also monitor the dog over a period of time and recommend the most ideal behavior modification plan that matches the needs of your dog.
A professional dog behaviorist will help you to understand the best ways to calm your dog, help it to relax, and stay safe around other dogs and people. This is why it is always important that you seek professional help at the first sign of a risk-seeking behavior.

Create a safe environment
Safety is paramount as you try to prevent and manage aggression in dogs. If the dog is aggressive towards children, strangers or other dogs, it is wise to keep it muzzled outdoors but in a comfortable and safe place.
Use the best retractable dog leash whenever you take your dog out in public or for a walk. This is because the dog can get frustrated, and try to run away. Your safety and that of the people around you as well as that of the dog is paramount. Exercise, play and walk the dog in a secure place such as the garden area with little or no interference from strangers. This is because, in such an environment, it is easy to calm and bond with the dog until the desired behavior is achieved.

Secure the dog
If the behavior of your dog is defensive, as a result of fear or due to an underlying medical condition, it is important to secure the dog. This can be in a kennel, a safe room or in the garden where the dog can relax and enjoy a quiet environment. Feed and play soothing music or provide toys that can distract the dog and keep it calm.
Choose a companion wisely for your dog
When choosing a companion for your dog, consider its breed and gender. Have a male and a female dog of different breeds to prevent aggression.

Behavior in Dogs

With these tips, the most important advice is that you seek professional help at the first sign of risk-seeking behavior. This will help you to treat and prevent safety and health risks for you, your family and your dog.

Article supplied.

How much research do we do before adopting a dog?

Something which may surprise a lot of dog owners recently emerged in the news, as the results of a survey from Legal & General revealed that one in every three dog owners did little to no research before deciding on which breed of dog to adopt.

This may feel like a high number, but as some of us know it’s sometimes the dog who chooses the owner rather than the other way around.

adopting a dog?

Out of those surveyed who did their research before adopting, common considerations for settling on a specific breed was size at 43%, followed by temperament at 41% and 34% who considered their breed based on their lifestyle. 11% of people surveyed thought about how much adopting a dog would cost, and just 7% looking into the price of insurance policies.

Considering the numbers, it isn’t much of a shock that 14% of owners said that they had five or more visits to the vet in the past year. 45% of owners also revealed that at some point they have also had to pay a visit to an emergency vet, which can come with astronomical costs.

adopting a dog

Worryingly, 36% of owners revealed that they don’t have pet insurance, with 46% saying that there is no need for it. Thankfully, 48% of owners said that pet insurance is a life safer (and will surely be made up of those who had to visit the emergency vet!)

Sadly 6% of those surveyed said they were unsatisfied with their chosen breed, so to help lower this number Legal and General have released the Breed Selector, an tool which, instead of allowing you to choose the ideal dog for you, allows a dog to choose you as their ideal human.

It’s a fun tool that asks about you, your home and your lifestyle, and matches you with a breed which fits in with what you’re looking for.

adopting a dog

As we all know, owning a dog can be hard work, but it is also rewarding and can bring love and joy to our lives. Whilst research is important before deciding who we want to bring home, we can’t always decide who we fall in love with and want to join the family.

For more information on pet insurance from Legal and General, more information is available on their website.

Grooming your Puppy for the First Time

All good dog owners know that grooming isn’t just about primping your pet to look cute; it’s also about maintaining good health.

The first time you groom your puppy is an important occasion that requires careful preparation and dedication. Don’t be put off by your inexperience; it’s easy to do once you know how. If you approach the situation armed with good advice and confidence, all will go smoothly for you and your furry friend.

Puppies are obviously going to be more challenging to groom than an older dog, and the first grooming experience is much like a child’s first haircut, i.e. expect some tears and tantrums!

Grooming Preparation:
In the weeks before grooming, concentrate on building a positive relationship with your puppy and ensure he is as comfortable as possible with touch and being handled in anyway. This is probably the most important thing you can do to prepare for grooming. Your aim is to make each session a calming, bonding experience.

You can practice this with positive reinforcement whenever you feed your puppy from your hand; stroke your puppy as it is lying down and gradually teach that being held by you is not dangerous.

Create a friendly environment so that your puppy immediately knows that whatever is about to happen is safe and enjoyable. Show affection with petting and soothing words so that the puppy is relaxed.

Keep your first groom session short, that way the puppy won’t misbehave and when you are ready for a second session, your puppy will be more used to the process and you can gradually go for longer each time.

Keep your puppy loosely restrained so that you can maintain your control without frightening him is also important.

Bath Time
Begin with a nice, relaxing bath using puppy shampoo and conditioner. Take care not to get soap in the puppy’s eyes. To really put your dog at ease, you can give it a massage as you work your way lathering down the back towards the tail and back legs.

Brushing
For the first session keep the brushing to a minimum. Be aware that any brushes, clippers and tools might alarm the puppy so show each brush or comb to the pup first before giving a treat as a reward. Do this a few times before then giving the puppy a few short strokes with the item. Be mindful of sensitive areas at first like inner legs and tail.

Clipping
Remember that clipping your dog’s claws is not the same as trimming your own nails. Cut at a 45-degree angle so as to avoid trimming the blood vessel that runs into the nail (which will be a painful experience for your dog if it gets cut by mistake!). You need to only cut the part of the nail that extends beyond this blood vessel known as a ‘quick.’

If unsure about clipping claws you should seek advice from a vet beforehand.

Grooming sessions at first should be short but done fairly often so that your puppy becomes accustomed to them and learns to associate them as just another fun activity to share with you.

The Best Toys for Your Beagle

The Best Toys for Your Beagle

Featured Image Source: Pixabay

Every dog is special in his own way and, by extension, his own preferences for toys. You can’t expect the German Shepard, a proud working dog, to willingly enjoy the same toys as a Pomeranian or a Shiba Inu – which are basically the canine versions of cats, but more on that another time. As with every dog breed, in order to find the perfect toys, you may have to apply the old rule of trial and error before choosing the perfect plaything that your pet will not ignore as soon as he is presented with it.

You will certainly relate to this feeling of frustration if you own a Beagle, a hyperactive breed that gets bored as easily as it gets excited. Because they are affected by what experts call ‘’separation anxiety’’, this particular breed needs a great deal of attention and effort, so it is best to ensure that he has a wide assortment of toys to keep him busy. Here is how to find the best toys for your beagle.

Chewing Toys
The Beagle is a breed of small hound which was developed primarily for hunting hare. As a result, out of all the dogs breeds, they have one of the best senses of smell and can get easily distracted by any unfamiliar scents. But even stronger than their smell is their urge to chew, especially as puppies, when they are teething. Because teething can give them a great deal of discomfort, they will tend to latch on the first thing that they see and start chewing.

Apart from making your house chewing proof, the best thing you can do to manage this situation is by providing the young Beagle with specially designed chewing toys. These will not only quell their urge to munch on everything that they encounter but will also help them develop healthy chewing habits once they reach adulthood. For finding out which are the best dog toys for power chewers, you can always check out review websites such as ToyPetReviews.

You should choose a few teething toys with different textures so that the puppy can decide for himself which one he prefers, and durable, to keep him away from destroying your furniture once he rips the toy apart. Make sure to choose toys that are made out of rubber, because the Beagle will find the sensation of rubbing them against his gums and teeth soothing and relaxing.

Toys to Keep the Beagle Distracted
While the beagle is characterized by an even temper and a generally gentle disposition, they have excessive amounts of energy and require lots of attention. Because they were trained and bred to hunt hares and foxes, they are hard-wired to incessantly run around and chase the first thing that captures their attention. Because of this same reason and their single-mindedness, they are very hard to train and control.

Therefore, you should focus on toys that are able to catch the Beagle’s attention and satisfy his hunting instincts. Make sure to choose toys that let out captivating noises (rattles, squeaks, etc.) or special toys that call out phrases. If the toys are shaped in the form of ducks, hares or foxes (animals which Beagles are naturally inclined to chase), all the better. In this way, your Beagle will be properly engaged, and have tons of fun in the process.

Bonding and Stress Management Toys
As we have previously mentioned above, many breeds of dogs suffer from what experts call separation anxiety. Because Beagles are essentially pack dogs who were bred to live in close proximity to their owners and other canines, separation anxiety takes an even greater toll on their psyche. Beagle owners should prioritize creating a spacious, well-lit environment with a diverse soundscape to keep the dogs calm and relaxed.

Since the owners can’t possibly stay with their Beagles for the entire duration of the day, owners should, apart from purchasing another dog to eliminate any feelings of loneliness, get toys that are designed to provide them with a sense of companionship. For example, a good product that will surely make the Beagle happy is the Zippy Paws Squeakie Pup Plush Toy, which is designed to look exactly like a Beagle Puppy. This plush toy has no stuffing inside (so you will not have to worry about cleaning after him) and is equipped with ten big squeakers, which will keep the dog engaged and happy.

Conclusion
Due to their constant presence in pop culture and success of the comic strip Peanuts, the beagle is the most famous dog breed in the world. This particular breed is extremely energetic and friendly towards humans and other animals but can be very hard to manage and control due to their strong hunting instincts.

Therefore, Beagle toys should constitute an extension of their strong temperaments and personalities – safe chewing items to calm their impulses, toys to keep them distracted, and playthings that are specially designed to manage their separation anxiety. Make sure to give these tips a thorough read, and you will surely find toys that your Beagle will enjoy.

Five Top Tips: Reading Your Dog’s Body Language

They say dogs are a man’s best friend and incredibly loyal animals, but do you know what’s really going on with your dog?
In theory, it can be hard to know what an animal is feeling or thinking, as they can’t communicate with speech, but in fact dogs reveal their emotions a lot more than you may think. As with humans, we can tell a lot from their body language.
Here, we put together a helpful list of signs that your dog may be using to show you just how they are feeling. When you know what your beloved pet is trying to say, it becomes a whole lot easier to ensure they remain happy and healthy.

Dogs

If Your Dog Is Happy
Happiness is probably one of the easiest emotions to decipher, and as we want our dogs to be as happy as possible, it’s one we’re sure you’ll endeavour to maintain. Once you know what makes your dog happy, it’ll be easier for you to replicate this feeling and keep your pooch content. It’s especially important to understand when your dog is happy because if you confuse this with another, less positive emotion, you could be causing more problems for your pup.

Some signs to look out for
– Happy expression
– Relaxed body
– Panting
– Lying with one paw tucked under
– Enthusiastic tail wag
– Playful bow
– Rolling over
– Inviting belly rubs

If Your Dog Is Aggressive
Behaviours associated with aggression are easily misconstrued, but as it’s one of the most difficult emotions to understand and explain, it’s important to keep your eyes peeled for if your dog begins to turn aggressive. This can help you keep them under control and stop aggression leading to any kind of physical attack.

Signs include
– Freezes, suddenly becomes stiff
– Stands up with front legs splayed
– Head low
– Curls lip
– Shows teeth
– Gnarls
– Aggressive barking
– Biting
– Raised tail

If Your Dog Is Fearful or Stressed
Whilst stress is part and parcel of life, it’s not an emotion that any of us particularly enjoy experiencing, dogs included. Our canine friends can show stress and fear in a multitude of ways but it’s usually environmental influences that cause your dog to be afraid. When you understand how your dog is feeling, you can look to remove some of the factors causing this and alleviate the negative emotions.

Signs to look out for
– Barking or whimpering
– Running around or pacing
– Crouching
– Shaking
– Change in appetite
– Pinned ears
– Avoidance

If Your Dog Is Excited
Seeing a dog run around full of glee is a joy to watch and ensuring that your dog stays positive and enthusiastic is part of fostering their playful personality. Once you identify what makes them excited, it’s easier for you to ascertain that if they’re running around, wagging their tail and barking, it’s not in a negative or intimidating way.

Signs include
– Playful behaviour
– Ears forward
– Mouth open
– Tail high
– Fast tail wag

If Your Dog Is Sad
This is an emotion we’re sure you’d never want your dog to feel as most dog owners go out of their way to ensure their canine companion is as happy as can be. However, dogs can experience feeling down in the dumps just as humans can. It’s vital for you, as a dog owner, to recognise these signs in order for you to help your pooch feel happier again.

Signs to look out for
– Loss of appetite
– Lethargy
– Avoidance
– Changes in sleeping habits

Good communication can show a mutual sign of love, respect and trust, so keep your eyes peeled for the different types of body language your dog is showing – chances are they are trying to tell you something.

Created by Time for Paws, an online pet store for dogs and cats.

time for paws

Tips for Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

Just like we humans have adapted to the changing lifestyles around us – longer workdays, smaller outdoor spaces – our furry friends also have had to adjust to the modern life. Gone are the days, where we could just leave our dogs outdoors to run in the fields, as most of us live in smaller apartments in the city.

Unfortunately, dogs can get anxious spending all of their day indoors alone. The good news is you can help your dog feel just a little less anxious at home with the below tips.

Leaving your dog at home

 

A trained dog feels more comfortable
Most dog owners are responsible for training dogs to do all sorts of tricks and behave well, but when it comes to training the dog to be alone, we aren’t always so good. It’s important to ensure your dog never has to adjust to a new situation unexpectedly, but has more time to get used to the situation.

This means you should slowly start training your dog to stay home alone. Dog training books often provide great tips on how to achieve this. The main thing to remember is to advance slowly and to reward good behaviour.

In addition, if your dog has ended up destroying furniture or leaving a mess while you were out, don’t punish the dog. To your dog, the punishment would relate to the thing they are doing at the time you punish them – a dog won’t understand you are punishing him for chewing your dogs four hours ago.

A tired dog is a sleepy dog
You’ve all been resting for the night, the alarm goes off and you rush through your morning routine, while your dog eats his breakfast. You are running a bit late and so the morning walk is just a minute-long brisk visit to outside.

Sounds familiar? It should also sound awfully boring, as your dog will be left at home, full of energy while you go to work. Energetic dogs in an empty home with not much to do equal certain chaos.

It’s essential you get your dog as tired as possible in the morning, to ensure they are happy to stay home alone with only a few things to occupy them. Depending on your dog’s breed and size, a long walk is a fantastic idea for the mornings.

dogs at home

A selection of things to do
If you had to sit in a relatively empty room for eight hours every day, you’d most likely end up going crazy. So, you shouldn’t be surprised if your dog entertains himself by chewing the sofa while you are away.

Provide your dog with something fun to do, such as food-dispending toys, or other chewy toys. Dogs love foraging, so you can hide pieces of dry food around the home for the dog to search and find. There’s a wealth of great dog toys available at various pet stores like MedicAnimal, Zooplus, Pet Supermarket, and more at VoucherBin UK.

You could also experiment with things such as radio or TV. Most modern models can be timed to go on and off at a specific time and the dog might find these sounds soothing during a long day.

A friendly face to keep company
Finally, your dog isn’t required to spend the whole day on its own. You got a range of options available from a full doggie day care to a doggie walker to add a small change to the dog’s daily routine. The Good Dog Guide has a list of options around the UK for both day care and daily walks.

A sign of deeper trouble
Most dogs can present some naughty behaviour and signs of boredom after long days alone. But if your dog is extremely restless and whiny, as you begin to leave and you are constantly met with gnawed doors and items, the dog might be suffering from genuine separation anxiety.

If you suspect this is the case, it might be a good idea to film your dog a bit while he is home alone. If the dog behaves anxiously, talk to your vet about the issues. Separation anxiety can be treated with behavioural training and in some instances with medication.

Dog behaviours explained

In order to really understand what your dog is trying to tell you, it’s important to observe their body language and listen to the noises they make.

You may think you know exactly what your dog is saying by wagging its tail, for example. But were you aware that this can signify a number of feelings – from excited, playful or attentive, to apprehensive and even slightly nervous?

Our visual guide offers an overview of some common dog behaviours and expressions, to help you understand what exactly your dog is trying to communicate.

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