Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tip of the Day: Too Many Leftovers!

Don't know what to do with all your leftovers? Put them in a Kong, wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap, and freeze it.  Your dog will appreciate it!  Just make sure all the food is dog-safe.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Puppy socialization: 5 reasons to socialize your dog... from a very vet-friendly dog trainer.

1. You can't go back in time.
This fact of life throws a wrench in a lot of otherwise great plans.  Sports betting, for example.  But I'm talking specifically about how the impossibility of time travel pertains to our dogs.  They have a certain window of time when they're young to be socialized to all kinds of different people, dogs, animals, objects, terrains, etc. that they will encounter in their lives.  If you miss this window, you'll probably find yourself in the land of counterconditioning and desensitization later on... which might hold you hostage for months on end.

2. It can be embarrassing when your dog is not well socialized.
Dogs are supposed to enrich out social lives.  Let them do that to their full potential.  Don't end up with a dog who freaks out every time you approach him with your puffy jacket on or has a heart-stopping reaction to the occasional encounter with a bearded man.  It can be pretty embarrassing, to say the least.

3. Dogs like it.
Puppies like stretching their little brains.  Socialization should always be pleasant and sub-threshold, never stressful, or you're giving your dog a reason to fear instead of relax, which is counterproductive.  Also, it's a great way to tire out a rowdy puppy so you can take a breather once in a while!

4. People like it.
Self-explanatory.  I doubt you'll have trouble finding any shape, size or color of person to greet your puppy.  If you do, they're just crazy.

5. Your life will be easier later on.
If you're going out of town for the weekend, you will have a better chance of being able to comfortably leave your dog with a friend if you don't have to warn them about her tendency to attack the strange humans on the street with the giant reflective eyeballs (sunglasses) or ask them to refrain from vacuuming as it may send your dog into shock.  That's a really unsettling situation.

The good news is.. these scenarios are often so easily avoidable!  Contact us for more info on what to do if you've just brought home a new puppy - and ask for clarification if you feel you're getting conflicting info from your vet.  Safety should always come first, but socialization is vital!