At Pack Leader we are here to help you and your dog learn anything from basic obedience to specialized tricks. Our services are available for teaching virtually anything. However, there are some basic “tricks” that you may want to try at home. Professional training is necessary to ensure your dog fully understands the move and that they can “sit” even in the most stressful situations. Though it is a good idea to start showing your dog some stuff early! We love all the dogs we work with, no matter their skill level, but it can make the learning process easier if your dog has a grasp of basic commands.
“Sit” is a great place to begin for you and your dog. It is a useful basic command and an essential stepping-stone for other moves and tricks. Grab some treats and begin!
With you standing or kneeling and your dog facing you, hold the treat in your dominant hand and lure the dog to you. Don’t let them get the treat yet! Say “sit” in a neutral, clear, firm voice. Do not add extra letters, like “ssiiiiit,” state it clearly. Put the treat in front of your dog’s nose and slowly lift and move it back (towards your dog’s tail), so the dog is looking up. This will likely cause the dog to automatically sit down. If your dog does not sit, place your hand on its bottom and gently guide it down to a sitting position, do not force your dog down. The dog will think it’s in trouble and will get confused. Forcing the dog down will also be potentially harmful. Only guide it down as much as necessary, likely only the first few times. Make sure you stay patient. It is a learning process and your dog may not immediately understand. When your dog does sit (whether it be from your guidance or on its own) reward your dog with the treat and tell him how good of a job he did!
With your dog in the “sit” position take the treat, put it to the dog’s nose and slowly move it to the floor, between the dog’s front two feet. Point to the floor and say “down” clearly and firmly. Move the treat toward you (away from the dog) to get him to slide to the floor. Immediately praise the dog and reward him. This move can be difficult for some dogs, and the dog’s body may need manipulation for it to work. Stay patient and your dog will get it! Make sure to go over this lesson regularly so your dog can remember. As you progress with this command, gradually move your hand farther and farther from the floor until you can point down from a standing position and your dog will obey.
Your dog should start “stay” from a “sit” position. When your dog is seated, hold up your hand, palm to the dog (as if symbolizing the number 5) and clearly say “stay.” Take only one or two steps back, then say, “okay” to release them. Reward and praise them. If you notice your dog starting to break, give the release word and praise him. You want your dog to be rewarded so he may understand what he is doing right. As your dog begins to understand, you can take more steps back and gradually turn around. After your pup understands what “stay” is, try “down stay.” This command is usually more difficult for dogs. Make sure to take this command slow and practice it often (like before going inside and outside). It will take time and is a gradual learning experience.
Come is a wonderful, useful tool for a dog. Be extra patient with this one as recall is difficult for dogs to learn.
Lean or kneel with a treat, tell your dog “come” usually paired with his name. When your dog gets to you, reward him heavily and give praise! If your dog does not come to you, try using a leash. Tell your dog come and guide him toward you, and reward heavily! After your dog begins to understand the command, begin grabbing his collar and petting his face as you reward him. This ensures the dog will know he may get grabbed or touched after he is instructed to “come,” if your dog is used to grabbing the treat and taking off it will be difficult to grab the dog if he is loose or needs to be detained.
Keep your lessons short and as positive as possible. It is also important to leave each session on a positive note, so you and your dog will leave happy. With these commands patience is necessary. Your dog may understand some commands faster than others. Teaching your dog is gradual. You may also find that traditional dog treats do not motivate your dog. If treats are not working for your dog, try cheese, lunch meat, or toys. Also, be sure to be clear and firm in all your commands to help the dog’s comprehension. It is possible for your dog to learn these commands and more.
Whether your dog is having a difficult time with these commands or if your dog has the hang of it and you are ready for the next step, contact us today to set up a consultation and take your dog’s training to the next level!
Many dog owners like their dogs to have a playmate of the same species. Dogs require a large amount of attention and getting a second dog can help. It is also rewarding for you to provide a loving home to another animal. Dogs are great to have in life, so why not have multiple?! Introducing a second dog into your home, however, can be tricky. There are precautions to take to ensure everyone in the home is comfortable.
Be sure the first dog in the home is properly socialized (check out our post about the importance of socialization). Before introducing a second dog into his space, be sure he’s comfortable around other dogs. Take him to the dog park or set up a play date with a friend’s dog. If he dog reacts positively to other dogs outdoors, try bringing the other dog into his home (with proper supervision). Before bringing a second dog into your home it is important to see how your dog responds to another dog in his environment, especially around his usual places and around food. If the dog responds negatively to other dogs, it may be best to wait on bringing another pup into your home until he can be properly trained and socialized. Also, be sure to inquire if the dog you plan to adopt has issues with dog aggression. If the dog has experienced aggression, consider getting a different dog, or contact us about getting him into our board and train program before introducing him into your home (we offer discounts for recently rescued pups).
Make sure your dog has proper training before bringing a second dog into the home. If something goes wrong and the dogs become aggressive, having full control and ensuring at least one dog will listen to you is important. It is also less stressful to train one dog at a time instead of two. Having a properly trained dog ensures safety and reduces stress.
To ensure safety you should also introduce the dogs before bringing the second one into the home. It is best to introduce them off-leash and where they have some room to run and play. A fenced-in yard or the dog park would be best for this situation. After introducing the dogs and ensuring everyone is comfortable and safe, you then should bring them both into the home. This is where training and socialization is the most important. If the dog feels territorial or jealous, that is when bad situations may occur. Fights may happen, but positive relationships can be built through training.
Bringing a second dog into your home can be beneficial and rewarding. However, there are precautions you should take and research you should do before introducing another dog.
If you are introducing another dog, want to socialize your dog(s), or have experienced fights between dogs in your home, contact us today so we may figure out the best training option for you!
Socializing your dog with other people and animals is very important. When a dog is socialized and knows how to act when someone they may not be used to is around, it is a safer and more comfortable situation for everyone involved.
Some people may not bring their dog around strangers or infrequent visitors much. However, even if you don’t experience regular socializing your dog should still know how to behave around people are animals he or she may not be used to. Keeping your dog separated from society is difficult and unhealthy. There are bound to be times where your dog is exposed to someone unfamiliar, such as on a walk, when a visitor comes, or at the vet. Dogs need socialization to avoid depression and to stay healthy.
Yes, dogs can become depressed! Many people may not know that depression can be present in animals. Dogs typically become depressed when they are not given enough love and affection or are not getting the level of physical activity they need. However, depression in dogs is 100% avoidable.
Why did you bring a dog into your home? So, you can love it and it can love you! The easiest ways to keep your pup happy are to make sure he’s well cared for through a balanced diet, proper grooming, and regular vet visits. You also need to show your dog lots of love. Give him pats, play with him, and talk to him! Talking to your dog may seem silly, but it can help build a bond with your dog and show him love. When you get home from work or school, talk about your day with your dog. He will be happy because he’s getting your attention, and it can help you, too! All of these can prevent depression in dogs, but so can socialization.
Taking your dog to the pet store when you’re picking up his food or taking him to the dog park, so he can let loose and have fun can have a large difference on his happiness, and therefore his health.
Socialization can also prevent dangerous incidents from occurring. If your dog is not properly socialized and you take him on a walk and someone walks by, or an animal approaches, it can lead to your dog slipping his leash or attacking someone. Dangerous situations can occur even if your dog is not normally aggressive.
Regular exposure to other people and animals can ensure your dog’s safety in many situations.
Pack Leader K9 Academy is offering group training classes, which can not only help with socialization, but can also help your dog with obedience and build a stronger bond with you and him. However, not matter how you get your socialization in, it is important.
Contact us today for more information with how you and your dog can get involved with group training classes!
You may be on the fence about getting your dog(s) trained. If so, here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide to hire a trainer.
What do I want from training?
What would be your goal from having your dog trained? Do you want your dog to be better in public? Do you want your dog to be more obedient? Do you want your dog to be a service or therapy animal? There are numerous reasons why someone would want to get their dog trained. If you are debating about hiring a trainer, sit back and think about what you would like to achieve from getting your dog trained. If you have a clear, established goal, it will likely be worth it to invest in a trainer.
Is my dog misbehaving?
This may seem like an obvious question, but it is necessary to ask yourself if you are struggling with the decision on hiring a trainer. If your dog is misbehaving, jumping on people, not listening, being destructive, or any other misbehavior you should investigate training your dog. You should not live with your home and patience being tested.
Can I afford it?
We know that training program prices may seem large, but even if the cost seems significant, we do offer payment plans and have a variety of services at different price points. If the prices are still too high, however, read our other blog posts with training advice and do research into training your dog on your own. Of course, we recommend a professional train your dog. Professionals are educated and experienced and know the best way to train your dog. However, if you must wait to hire a trainer due to finances, there are exercises you may do at home. If there are any at-home exercises you would like us to talk about, let us know and we may include it in a future blog post!
Will it improve life?
Our training services have changed the way many people live. If you think that hiring a training professional will improve life for you, your family, and your dog by removing stresses or making life easier, it is likely time to contact a professional.
If you analyzed your situation and believe it is time to start training your dog, contact us today!
Summer is the perfect time for outdoor fun! Many people spend large amounts of time outside with their families and friends during the summer. It is only natural to want to bring your furry friends outside with you! Whether it be to the beach, the park, or just in your backyard it is important to keep your dog’s safety in mind when you’re outdoors, especially in the summer heat.
Here are some tips to ensure you and your dog have a great time in the summer!
Have plenty of water available
It is so important for your dog to have access to clean drinking water in the heat. Without water available the dog can become dehydrated, which can lead to health issues. If you are near a body of water, do not allow your dog to drink water you did not provide. If you are at the beach, salt water can be extremely harmful to dogs. Even freshwater sources, like lakes and rivers, can have toxins in them that can harm your pooch. Pool water also has toxic chemicals. Only let your dog drink water that you provided, and make sure it is available always! For more information about taking your dog to the water, check out our upcoming blog about proper water safety!
Don’t make your dog walk on hot concrete
Hot concrete can be horrible for a dog’s feet. If you’re taking your dog for a walk, make sure he’s on the grass or dirt as much as possible. Of course, there will be times that grass, or dirt is unavailable, but be sure to avoid concrete. Hot concrete or asphalt can severely hut your dog’s feet. The pads on their feet can get burned and become severely damaged. If it is too hot for you to walk barefoot, it is too hot for your dog!
Try a small pool
A shallow pool can be a fun way for your dog to cool off! Doggie pools are available on www.amazon.com for about $30. They are designed for dogs to play in, but pools designed for small children can also be used for your dog. Be wary of inflatable pools, as your dog’s nails or teeth may puncture it. Never force your dog into the pool if he does not want to go in. While it can help keep him cool, it won’t be fun for anybody if your dog is stressed and uncomfortable. Be sure the water is not too high and you’re watching your dog when he’s in the pool. Bonus for this tip, a pool doubles as a bathtub!
Freeze toys to keep dog occupied and cool
This step takes a bit of planning, but it can be worth it! Place some of your dog’s favorite things, like treats and toys, in a large bowl, submerge in water, and freeze it. This gives your dog a water source, keeps them cool, and is fun! Freezing your dog’s Kong toy is also great and can provide relief! For more information about using a king toy, check out our blog about using a Kong toy for crate training!
Pay attention to your dog
Be sure to observe your dog regularly when playing in the heat. Be sure he isn’t becoming sick (vomiting and diarrhea), panting heavily, dizziness, and becoming unresponsive. If your dog exhibits any unusual behavior, take him to the vet immediately. Be sure not to exercise them heavily on a hot day and do not muzzle them when it’s hot. This ca lead to overheating.
NEVER leave your dog in the car
This tip may seem obvious to some people, but we need to keep the reminder out there because incidents still occur. NEVER leave your dog in the car, especially in the summer! It is so dangerous, and many dogs have died from their owners leaving them in cars. Even with the window cracked and even when it isn’t that hot outside, it is NOT worth the risk of your dog’s life and safety.
If you use any of these tips to keep your dogs cool and safe, let us know in the comments!