How To Give Your Dog a Pill

If you’ve recently taken your dog to the vet and were given medication to treat an illness or ailment, chances are good that the medication came in the form of a pill. But suppose your dog hates being given a pill because of the taste or for other reasons. If you have an intransigent and uncooperative dog, here are some clues on how to give your dog a pill.

Probably the easiest way to give your dog a pill is to hide it in a piece of its food. If that doesn’t work (and many a dog is smart enough to eat the food and spit out the pill) try putting the pill in a small amount of peanut butter or cream cheese. This usually provides a good incentive for your dog to take the medication without being aware of it. If you decide to put the pill in the dog’s food, feed a small amount of the food separately before inserting the pill.

One mistake some people make is to crush the pill and mix it into the dog’s regular food. The problem with this approach is if the dog doesn’t eat the whole meal, it won’t be getting the benefit of the correct dosage of medication it needs.

If your dog refuses to take the pill in its food or the medication cannot be administered with food, you’ll need to try a different tack to get your pet to take its medicine.

One way is to hold the pill between your thumb and index finger. Holding your dog’s muzzle with the other hand, gently grasp the dog’s muzzle from above, placing your thumb on one side and your fingers on the other side.

Squeeze behind the dog’s upper canine teeth and tilt its head back over the shoulders so it’s looking at the ceiling. This will cause the lower jaw to automatically drop a bit.

Place a finger between the lower canine teeth (the long front teeth) and push down to lower the dog’s bottom jaw.

Quickly put the pill as far back in your dog’s mouth as possible, getting it over the ‘hump’ of the tongue. Be careful not to put your hand in too far or your dog may gag.

Close your dog’s mouth. While holding the mouth closed, lower the head to a normal position to make it easier for your dog to swallow the pill. If your dog will not swallow the pill after this action try rubbing or blowing on your dog’s nose to help stimulate it to swallow the pill.

When your dog finally swallows the pill, praise it and offer a treat. This will make it easier the next time you need to administer a pill.

If this seems too difficult or confusing to you, ask one of the veterinarian staff to demonstrate this method for you. Then when you’re at home and need to give your dog a pill you’ll know exactly what to do.

Jack Russell Terrier Training Tips

Jack Russell terrier training is essential, especially if you adopt a Jack Russell when it’s a puppy. Like most terriers, Jack Russells were bred to hunt and kill rodents and they have a lot of energy. Because of that energy, they require a lot of exercise, training and mental stimulation to live peacefully in a family situation without driving everyone crazy with their antics.

During adolescence Jack Russells have loads of energy, and it’s almost impossible to train one unless it’s getting the proper amount of exercise; this means up to an hour and a half of active running each and every day.

If not allowed to run full bore and burn up excess energy, Jack Russells will find things to do – things like tearing up cushions on sofas and chairs, ripping up plants in the garden, and chewing on every shoe in the house. It’s easy to understand why an owner needs to be sure that a Jack Russell terrier gets a lot of outdoor exercise.

Jack Russell terriers are easily distracted, and without exercise, those distractions can result in non-stop barking, in the house and outdoors as well.

Jack Russell terriers were bred to be diggers as most rodents live underground. If you don’t want your garden or yard dug up every week, you might want to put a sand box in your back yard and let the dog’s natural instincts for digging take over. You may need to put some of the dog’s toys and bones in the sandbox to spur it’s digging activities.

To stop a Jack Russell from chewing on everything in your house, you’ll have to limit the dog’s access to certain areas of the house during the day when no one is home. When family members are home they can guide the dog away from items you don’t want it to chew on and redirect it to things that are okay to chew on.

The most effective way to accomplish this is to teach the dog a “Leave it” command by holding several treats. Give the dog a couple of treats while saying “Take it.” Then close your fist and say, “Leave it.” Wait for the barking to stop, then give praise and reward with a treat.

Once the Jack Russell learns to obey these commands, you can start practicing with objects the dog likes to chew but should not be messing with. These could be shoes, remote TV controls, or anything lying around the house that seems to be irresistible to the dog’s attention. When the dog obeys your command to leave the object alone, reward it with a treat or one of its chewing toys.

These dogs make great pets, but instituting Jack Russell terrier training and seeing that it has plenty of exercise, will make them a welcome addition to almost any family.

 

Treating a Dog With Bad Behavior

Dealing with bad behavior from your dog can be a problem that may seem at times to be too much to handle. Your dog may begin disobeying you in small ways, but that can easily transform into more aggressive actions and poor habits if you don’t put a stop to it.

The key to treating a dog with bad behavior is to learn what is causing your dog to misbehave and that can help you find a solution.

Most pet dogs like to be included in all your activities since they feel as if they are part of the family. Ignoring them or leaving them out of most of your family events can cause separation anxiety, resulting in unacceptable behavior.

Dogs going through their adolescent period will normally try to rebel against your usual routines. If your dog refuses to let you put on its leash or refuses to sit when commanded, it’s an indication that your dog is trying to better its ranking as an alpha dog. In other words, the dog is trying to one-up you in the game of “who’s in charge here.” Giving your pet firm commands while remaining calm will show it who’s in charge and help control its bad behavior.

If you’ve recently acquired a normally calm and friendly breed like a Labrador Retriever or Golden Retriever and it suddenly attacks another dog or a person, the problem is not a simple behavioral issue. Aggressive acts and unpredictable behavior like this usually indicates poor breeding practices. It can also be due to several other reasons such as puppies feeling pain from teething, feeling threatened, feeling pain from an injury, prior abuse, or a female dog that is in heat. If your dog is a puppy and nips or bites at you, saying “no” very strongly will usually startle it into quitting the disagreeable behavior.

A dog with bad behavior is not appreciated by anyone. When dogs become overly excited, especially small dogs, they often tend to urinate uncontrollably. This may happen when you begin playing with your dog or when a visitor, whether a stranger or frequent guest, comes into your house. This behavior can typically be traced to the fact that a dog is not being walked and exercised enough and its stored up energy results in urination problems. If you punish your dog and it doesn’t understand what it did wrong, it may urinate out of sheer nervousness.

Begging stems from natural instinct, improper socialization, boredom or desire for your attention. To stop this bad behavior feed your dog on a regular schedule and don’t give it snacks in between meals. Always ignore your dog when it begs.

Chewing on objects is part of the natural teething process in puppies. It may also be attributed to boredom, separation anxiety, undernourishment, or lack of sufficient exercise. If your adult dog is an obsessive chewer, you can put a little hot pepper sauce, or vinegar and hot mustard on items the dog should not be chewing and the taste will be enough to discourage that bad behavior. If your dog is chewing on items that can’t be coated with one of these substances, Petco and PetSmart have products to prevent unwanted chewing of objects.

Having your dog jump on you whenever you arrive home may seem cute, but most friends and guests won’t appreciate the enthusiastic behavior, especially if your dog is a larger breed. Consistently discourage the practice at the first signs of this behavior by voicing a firm “no.” To discourage such behavior, ignore your dog and avoid eye contact when it jumps on you. Tell your dog to “sit” and then reward it with a treat when it obeys. Daily exercise also helps to reduce the dog’s excess energy.

Treating a dog with bad behavior, especially an adult dog will be a lot easier if you think of your dog as being like a two year-old child. It needs to be trained and constantly reminded of what is proper behavior and what is not.

How to Leash Train a Puppy

When raising a puppy, every dog owner experiences the familiar behavior problem of the puppy strongly pulling on its leash. When you want to leash train a puppy it’s much easier to prevent the problem than trying to correct it after it has become an ingrained habit.

There are some training methods that will teach your puppy the right way to behave while on its leash.

The slack leash method of training requires a regular buckle collar and a six foot leash. The first step to teaching a puppy loose leash walking is realize that when you are walking the puppy on a leash, it is a reward for the dog, not a necessary chore. Do not continue walking if your puppy is pulling at its leash. Stop and wait until the puppy gets a sense that what it is doing may not be right.

Give your puppy enough leash to allow it to walk about four feet in front of you. Every time the leash goes slack you can reward your puppy with a small treat, or just a praise if you’re concerned about feeding it too many treats.

When you are ready to begin walking again, say “let’s go” and take a few steps forward. If your puppy begins to pull on its leash again, stop walking. When the leash goes slack again, praise your puppy and start walking again.

Don’t yank your puppy’s leash. If it continues to pull, try talking in a high pitched voice which will usually help a puppy focus its attention on your commands.

The “Donkey and Carrot” method is a very good way to train your puppy while on its leash. Start walking while holding a treat in front of your puppy’s nose. Reward your puppy with a small piece of kibble every few feet that it stays in step with you. If you find that you run out of kibble before the walk is over, try cutting down on the number of treats by rewarding the puppy only when it behaves exceptionally well.

Don’t attempt to train your puppy to walk on a loose leash if it’s acting hyper and needs to burn off excess energy. Play with it for a few minutes to help burn off that energy, then go for a walk when the puppy calms down.

Here’s a quick and easy test to determine if your puppy has mastered loose leash walking: when you can walk your puppy while holding its leash and a glass of water in the same hand without spilling it, your training has been successful.

Dog Trainers: How to Choose One

So you’ve adopted a new dog or puppy and don’t have the time or patience to train your new friend, but you realize that proper training will make a major difference in how you and your new pet relate to each other.

It can be difficult choosing the right trainer, one that you can trust to train your dog the right way and who can also connect with your dog on a level where the training quickly becomes embedded in your dog’s mind. You don’t want training sessions that stretch out over weeks; this is a clear indication that the trainer is not very adept at the task of training animals.

There are several important things to consider when choosing a trainer for your new dog:

(1) The reputation of the trainer. First, ask a prospective trainer for references from owners of other dogs he or she has trained. Some veterinarians will keep a file on trainers they can recommend. You may also have friends who have used the services of a dog trainer. Talk to them about their experience with their trainer and observe whether their dog appears well-trained.

(2) Ask the trainer how long he or she has been training dogs and what breeds of dogs they have worked with. Someone who has only trained small dogs like a Shih Tzu or Miniature Schnauzer may not be able to handle large dogs like Great Danes or more aggressive dogs like German Shepherds.

(3) You’ll want to choose a trainer that has experience training dogs similar to yours as well as other breeds. If the trainer owns a dog or dogs, ask to have them brought to your home or go to the trainer’s home and carefully observe how those dogs behave and obey commands. If the trainer’s dogs are not well-behaved, jump on people and bark, even when commanded to stop, the trainer is obviously not the person you want training your dog.

(4) You should have a clear idea of what you want your dog’s training to accomplish. Is your goal to have a well-mannered dog who respects your home and doesn’t chew on your furniture or shoes? One who swiftly obeys your commands? Do you want a dog you can enter in local dog shows? Perhaps you want an outdoor dog who will be comfortable and secure in such a situation, and who will not be barking and growling at every human who passes by.

(5) The communication skills of the trainer are vitally important. Can the trainer communicate well with both your dog and you? Does the trainer answer your questions clearly and in terms you can understand?

(6) Ask the trainer if they use positive reinforcement for correcting bad behavior in a dog, or does he or she discipline and reprimand a dog who is not learning as quickly as the trainer would like?

(7) Will your dog be taught individually or in a class setting? If the training will take place in a class with other dogs, how much individual attention will be given to any dog who is having trouble learning or accepting the training?

It’s important to understand that the training methods trainers generally use will vary, and your dog may not respond to a particular method but will respond well to another. If during the training routines, the trainer discovers that your dog is not responding to a specific method, is the trainer willing to use other methods for training your dog?

There are different types of dog classes a dog can be enrolled in. There are puppy classes geared to pups between two and five months old that include housebreaking, chewing or gnawing on things, biting, digging holes, how to walk on a leash without pulling, how to ‘come’ and’ sit’ on command, and barking uncontrollably. This type of class will teach a puppy to respond to commands at all times, even if there are distractions from other dogs or people.

A second type of training is basic obedience class. These classes are for dogs older than five months and are geared to dogs who have never been trained properly or have attended puppy training classes but need reinforcement of the basic training commands like ‘heel’, ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘down’, and ‘come’.

One additional class a dog owner may want to enroll their dog in is an agility class where dogs are taught how to go over, under, and through various obstacles. It’s a good way to train your dog to play fetch, catch a Frisbee, or learn how to play other outdoor games for fun and exercise.

Choosing the right dog trainer requires the owner take the time to thoroughly check out any potential trainers. All dogs need to learn basic commands and good behavior. Your choice to have your dog trained by a competent, professional trainer, or in a training class with other dogs will become evident when your well-mannered dog is always invited to accompany you when visiting family and friends.

Understanding Dog Language

Understanding dog language may not seem too important when you have a loving, friendly pet dog. However, as a human being you know that clear communication is extremely important in developing strong, meaningful relationships; that communication is just as necessary with your pet dog.

Imagine meeting someone that you are going to live with for 8 years, 10 years, or possibly longer. Both of you speak different languages. Since you will be living together for a long time, you realize how important it will be to learn each others language. You need to do the same with your pet dog.

From your dog’s point of view, he’s always been speaking his language by barking and woofing, or whatever unique noises he makes, and he may have thought you understood, especially if every time he “communicated”, you handed him yummy, delicious doggy treats. You never seemed to understand what he was communicating but assumed it was normal because, after all, who speaks dog language except dogs? Imagine his excitement if you really did understand what he was trying to tell you.

Canine body language has been studied for many years by researchers and scientists. They have been able to identify a very reliable and consistent language that dogs use to help them communicate their intentions to other dogs. Research has shown that a dog’s main goal in using its language is to lessen and settle any conflicts with other dogs. Not to develop romantic relationships or quick liaisons with other dogs. Or to gossip as so many humans enjoy doing.

Dogs use this same language with us, but we haven’t learned enough to understand what they are trying to tell us. Growls and barks are often easy for us to understand when we consider the circumstances of the moment. But wouldn’t it be great to really learn how to understand your dog and how to communicate back in such a way that he’d understand you too!

This is not to suggest that you growl or bark at your dog. Simply that if you take the time to understand your dog’s BODY LANGUAGE, you will be better able to observe and “listen” to your dog. You’ll become a better friend to your best friend. This will become especially important if your dog should lose its hearing as he grows older. This happens with certain breeds and is quite common as a dog ages.

When you interact with your dog, watch for his yawn, licking of his lips, a rapid shaking of his body as if he were just coming out of the pool, a quick flick of an ear, and the turning of his head. These are just some of the many cues dogs will use to communicate with us each time we interact with them, and when they interact with one another. They use their “language” for all intents and purposes to tell us and other dogs, “Hey, everything’s cool. I mean no harm.. Calm down a bit.”

As humans, we are very forward and a bit domineering when paying attention to our dogs. The way we use our bodies to speak is very different than the way dogs use their bodies.

Dogs meet each other in an arc rather than head on. A dog considers it rude to walk straight toward them and make direct eye contact. Dogs do everything they can to avoid a face-to-face posture and direct eye contact that we as humans consider normal and appropriate.

Dogs will turn their head away, sometimes even sniff the ground upon approaching another dog, then walk up side-by-side with one another and sniff each other’s butts! That would really be unheard of for humans to do! But this is standard procedure for dogs.

It’s easy to see why our intentions are not always clear to our dogs. What we do as humans, often doesn’t make sense to your pet dog.

If you take the time to learn the basics of canine body language it will help you become a good dog communicator. You will have the opportunity to improve the lives of not only your dog, but each and every dog you meet. If you open yourself to learning the language dogs use to communicate with each other, you can greatly improve your understanding of your companion and help reduce the stress and anxiety in his life.

By learning how to understand dog language you’ll be able to listen to your beloved pet and build a stronger and deeper bond between you. And don’t forget the hugs, the tummy rubs, and the behind the ear scratches. Your dog will love you for those tender moments when no other form of communication is necessary.

You’ve brought your pet into your life and you love him or her. Open your heart, your eyes and ears and really listen; hear your dog speak his own language. You’ll not only love the new found communication, but your friends and neighbors may be amazed at your understanding of what your dog, and possibly theirs, is trying to tell you. That is if your neighbors don’t mistake you for being psychic or slightly touched in the head! But then, who do you spend the most time with – your pet or your neighbors?

Dog obedience classes

Dog obedience classes allow pet owners to train their dogs to prevent or change bad behavior problems. Proper obedience training helps establish good communication between a dog and its owner.

Most dog obedience classes are geared towards training both puppies and older dogs to act appropriately in the right place at the right time.

Obedience classes have been proven to be the most beneficial when dogs are trained at an early age. Puppies as young as eight weeks are often trained in groups to help them learn socialization skills and friendliness.

Before registering your pet for obedience training, you need to know what to look for when choosing a dog obedience class:

Find out how large the class sizes are to make sure your dog will receive the proper amount of attention.

Both puppy classes and classes for older dogs should train your pet to obey commands, learn to stay when told, and demonstrate appropriate social behavior when around strangers.

Your dog will be coming in contact with many other dogs during the training, so it’s important to look for classes or schools that require each dog to have a record of their medical health. This will reduce the risk of exposing your dog to diseases that other dogs may carry.

You should ask to see the credentials of the dog trainers or obedience class instructors; or if that is not possible, ask for a list of satisfied clients willing to talk about their experiences. If the school or class refuses to provide that information, it’s a warning sign that you need to look further before deciding. The most reliable recommendations for the best dog obedience classes come from friends and other dog owners.

If the school or class offers boarding facilities for dogs in training, be sure to ask if they are able and willing to administer medications or provide special diets if needed.

Schedule a visit to the class or school before you commit to registering. Check the school’s list of activities to be sure there is a variety of activities designed to reinforce any behavioral issues your dog may have.

Some trainers will conduct dog obedience classes in your home. This can be beneficial if your dog needs to overcome bad behaviors, is too aggressive, or does not get along well with other dogs. If your pet is exhibiting very aggressive behavior towards other animals or humans, you should look for a personalized training course designed to deal with specific behavior problems.

Should you decide to train your dog on your own be sure to include the following goals:

Train your dog to walk while obeying commands.

Don’t let it tug at the leash.

Train it to meet and greet visitors without jumping on them.

Learn how to deal with and stop aggressive behavior.

Learn how to establish effective and specific communication between you and your dog.

It was long believed that puppies were too young to be trained. That belief has been replaced with solid evidence that puppies 10 weeks of age can be taught to obey certain commands. If your pet is still a puppy, now would be an ideal time to start dog obedience classes, whether at a school, a private class, or at home.

A well-behaved pet is a wonderful companion.