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Dog Blog

Training Tips and more!

Why Are Crates So Important For Dogs?

March 3, 2017

The first thing I go over with my clients is the crate. Why? Because it's so important! 

Dogs are den animals so it is very natural for them to have an area that imitates a den. It should be tight, cozy, and quiet for the dog to rest in. The crate should not be big enough for the dog to spin in circles or jump around in. Dogs also naturally keep their dens clean so they will learn to not go to the bathroom inside the crate.  

Encouraging your dog to go in the crate for naps and during the night is vital when first getting a dog. When crate time is not demanded, most dogs will get into a lot of trouble around the house, such as destruction inside the home, excessive barking, play biting, running around the house, and more! Dogs get over stimulated when they are not rested which result in these bad behaviors. 

Side note: dogs should sleep ~18 hours a day

The crate should never be used as a source of punishment. We want dogs to associate their crate positively and view it as their "safe place." Teaching a dog to be comfortable and calm inside a crate is important because they will eventually be exposed to being inside a crate, whether it is at the vet or groomers and you do not want them to be anxious or nervous in those situations.

So, do not be nervous or afraid to get a crate for your dog. Guide them to be calm and rested through a consistent schedule of crate time. Also, make sure that you are fulfilling your dog's needs when they are not in the crate through mental and physical exercise. 


Key To Happy Dogs

Why Is My Dog So Crazy?

September 22, 2016

Many dogs are overly excited, hyper, or anxious because they were never taught calmness from the beginning. Dog lovers tend to create excitement with their dogs over everything... food, guests, walks, etc. So when we teach that meeting new people is a huge party for the dog then we will start seeing that excitement turn into bad behavior such as jumping, barking, pulling on the leash, and more. 

I teach my clients to reward calmness. 

When the dog is calm, they get their food. 

When the dog is calm, we put on the leash and go for a walk.

 When the dog is calm, they get to meet the guest.

This is how to clearly communicate with our dog to remove the unwanted excitable behavior because we are no longer encouraging excitement during those specific moments. Then you will have more control over your dog's excitement level.


Key To Happy Dogs

Can You Really Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

August 15, 2016

… YES!

I get this question a lot! No dog is too old to train and my own dog is the best example of that.

I have a 15-year-old shih tzu. Yup, fifteen. Every so often, I teach him new games and different structured activities that he loves! Dogs live in the moment and are always capable of taking in new information. I make sure that I am teaching him just like I would teach a 1-year-old dog and I don’t let myself give excuses for my dog’s behavior because of his age… that would just be silly!

So, don’t lose hope if you have an older dog and would like to start training because the possibilities are endless!


Key To Happy Dogs

Backyard Fun vs. A Slow Walk

July 1, 2016

        "We have a big backyard so our dog gets a lot of exercise!" is the answer I get when I ask my clients how they exercise their dog. Having your dog run around for hours in the backyard does not fulfill the same needs as the walk does. Taking your dog on a slow, structured walk on a leash for 1 hour will exhaust your dog more than playing fetch for 1 hour in your backyard. 

        During these walks, your dog is being mentally exercised. This means your dog is 1) constantly paying attention to you, the owner, and your pace, 2) walking beside or behind you, 3) stopping when you stop walking, and 4) being calm. 

        If you have a hard time walking your dog on the leash, call Key To Happy Dogs so we can help you achieve this calm walk. 


Key To Happy Dogs

Why Is Your Dog Pulling On The Leash?

June 15, 2016

Many dog owners start off the walk with excitement... "Ready to go for a walk?!?!" If a dog leaves the home in an excited state, then he/she will most likely pull on the leash. A dog that pulls on the leash is disconnected with their owner or feels that they need to lead the way instead of the human. A tip to get your dog to stop pulling on the leash is to wait until they are fully calm before taking them outside and then slow down the walks. 

You want to be the one taking your dog out for the walk... not the other way around. 


Key To Happy Dogs

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