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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What is Clicker Training?

We recommend using clicker training if you are planning to enroll your dog in agility classes and also to teach your dog tricks, otherwise, using life rewards is a more effective and realistic dog training method.

Clicker training is one of the most popular methods of training dogs at the moment. It is a kind of positive reinforcement. Clicker training was first popularized by a marine biologist named Karen Pryor in the 1980s and ‘90s in her book Don’t Shoot The Dog! and was only later applied to dogs. According to Pryor and other trainers, any animal, including humans, can be trained using a clicker and positive reinforcement, and the method works with children or chickens.

A clicker is a small hand-held device usually made of plastic with a metal clicker. They are very inexpensive and you can buy them at pet stores or online for a couple of dollars. When training your dog you use them in conjunction with treats. Lots and lots of small treats! Don’t use large treats because you will need to give your dog a lot of treats and you don’t want him to fill up quickly. You can use anything that your dog likes for a treat such as bits of hotdog, chicken bits, pieces of kibble, pieces of cheese, and so on. As long as your dog likes it and considers it a good reward, you can use it for a training treat.

Many people start using a clicker for training when they are training their dog in basic obedience. They may be teaching their dog basic commands such as sit, lie down, come, and heel. When the dog does something that you want him to do, such as sitting down, you CLICK! the clicker to mark the behavior and give your dog a treat. The click of the clicker catches your dog’s attention to let him know that he has done something special. He may not know what he’s done at first, but he knows that it’s good because he gets a treat for it. When he does it again and you CLICK! again, and give him a treat again, your dog will likely start trying to repeat the behavior so he can get the treat again. He will start trying to do things to make you click the clicker. And so your dog is actively participating in his training instead of just repeating things. Once your dog figures out what it is he needs to do to get the click and the treat, he will probably keep doing the action. You can move on to the next lesson then.

Clicker training has many benefits for the owner and the trainer. You don’t have to have any special skill for clicker training. Anyone can do it. Anyone of any age. Even children can train a dog with a clicker. People in wheelchairs can use a clicker and train a dog. It doesn’t require any strength. You don’t have to punish your dog. You are only rewarding behavior when your dog does what you are looking for. You don’t have to correct your dog or put him into position. And, perhaps best of all, dogs really enjoy clicker training. It’s a fun way to train. The more you can make it like a game for your dog, the better. You are reinforcing positive behavior so there is an emphasis on the positive things that your dog does.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Best Natural Dog Food Delivery in Los Angeles

Choosing the right dog and puppy food delivery company

Los Angeles has a large variety of pet stores, however only a few offer dog food delivery programs. Among the numerous decisions new dog owners are faced with are what food to feed their beloved new family member(s). Dogs require specific forms of nutrition for overall wellness, which constitutes canine health, conditioning and tone. These can easily be daunting considerations when deciding what food to offer your canine family member. Indeed both your dog’s health as well as your budget must be taken into account when choosing a good dog food. As a result, many dog owners opt for the cheap, store-bought brands, which tend to leave more money in their checking accounts at the end of the month. But are they doing their dogs a disservice in the long run? After all, his or her health ought to be a dog owner’s most important consideration; if not for his or her sake today, for his or her over all health in the future as he or she ages.

Indeed, to ensure a dog’s health, dog owners could make valiant efforts to prepare food for their dogs. However, extensive knowledge of canine nutrition, time allowances and the appropriate techniques in processing consumable dog food all present numerous challenges for most people considering this option. To alleviate such contemplation, instead, offer convenience, healthy food choices, along with providing canine palatability. This of course finds owners back to the original question. And where might a dog owner find all this in one neat, healthy and tasty ‘convenience in a bag’? Manufactured and commercially marketed dog food has become an acceptably widespread practice in the feeding of all domesticated canines. However, as noted above, not all dog foods are created equally. So, which one to choose? You might start your search by reading the list of ingredients found in your dog’s food.

We recommend Flint River Ranch Dog Food, learn why...

There are many attributes that set Flint River Ranch Dog Food apart from its competition. Among them:
  • The process by which their formulas are created
  • The quality of ingredients offered (which is equal to human grade)
  • Ingredients that can be easily pronounced and again are human grade
  • Ingredients that will ensure your dog has a long life and not myriad Vet visits in his or her future (due to the poor nutrition found in commercial-grade pet food)
Unlike dog food found in your supermarket, Flint River Ranch uses all natural ingredients, which are of human grade consumption, in their fine dog food products. Yes, although you might not find it appealing to eat your pooch’s kibble, it is perfectly healthy for you to do so. Where many types of mass-produced dog foods will incorporate by-products, gluten and fillers in an attempt to add bulk to ingredients, Flint River Ranch assures total avoidance of any by-products or fillers within its entire line of dog food (as well as their treats). Flint River Ranch demonstrates further quality assurances, as their dog foods do not contain any presence or use of artificial flavoring or colorization, as well as the use of all chemical preservatives.  An actual expiration date exists on their dog food, which means, if not consumed, the food will spoil. This is yet another aspect that separates Flint River Ranch Dog Food from commercial-grade.

Please note that FRR Natural Dog Food is not available at pet stores, it delivers fresh to your door. You can place an order by visiting

You will only find the finest ingredients in Flint River Ranch’s superior line of dog food that exceeds regulated canine nutritional guidelines, as set by the FDA. Among the many superior ingredients you will notice in their line of dog food are:

  • All natural American Chicken
  • New Zealand lamb
  • A combination of ocean and farm raised fish
  • American grains
  • Flax
  • Whole wheat
  • Select wheat berry
  • Brown and white rice
  • Naturally preserved mixture of essential vitamins and minerals
Flint River Ranch Dog Food has a different process for making their kibble than do most other dog foods. Flint River Ranch believes that to twice oven-bake its line of dog food means it consistently offers palatable and healthy meals for dogs. This extraordinary slow baking option is the conversion process that produces digestible dextrin from raw starches.

 A holistic well being for dogs is among the missions of Flint River Ranch’s pet products. As dogs benefit from healthy diets provided through Flint River Ranch Dog Foods, pet owners can be extremely confident that his or her health is assured both today as a puppy and as he or she gets older and needs that extra nutrition. From its many advantageous options, three aspects benefit the dogs and owners alike, due to the concentration composition of these formulations, which are:

  • Cost effectiveness
  • Lessening in feces collection
  • Healthy coat and organs (which means longer lifespan and fewer illnesses in the future)
It should surely be beneficial to dog owners choosing pet food that the line of options offered by Flint River Ranch is highly recommended by breeders, kennels and veterinarians alike.

As the owner of a dog, if offering good health and the proper nutrition is important to you, you will find yourself quite challenged to find a more nutritious and better tasting food than Flint River Ranch.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tip to Stop your Dog from Jumping

Jumping up is one of the behavior problems that owners complain about the most.  And it’s something that lots of dogs do, especially when they are puppies and adolescents.  Puppies typically jump up as a way to greet their mothers, even licking around their mouths, so it’s not surprising that a puppy will try to do this with their owner.  But it’s very irksome when you’re trying to get in the house carrying an armful of groceries and your puppy knocks everything on the floor.  Or, if a young, large dog jumps up on an elderly person or a young child.  Someone can get hurt.

So, how can you get your puppy or young dog to stop jumping up on you and other people?  The simplest way is to completely ignore the dog. That’s not as easy as it sounds.  Most people have the impulse to yell at their dog when he jumps up on them or push him away.  But when your dog jumps up on you he’s really seeking attention most times.  If you yell at him or touch him, even to push him away, you are giving him the attention he wants.  Even negative attention is attention as far as your dog is concerned, and he’ll be happy with it.  Instead of giving your dog any kind of attention, even negative attention, ignore your dog completely. When your puppy or dog jumps up on you, don’t look at him.  Don’t make eye contact with him.  Don’t touch him in any way.  Instead, move away from him and walk away.

It’s not easy to do this.  The more you ignore your dog, the more he will try to get your attention, so the jumping up may increase at first, before your dog gives up and stops the jumping.

In addition, for this method to work, you have to make sure that everyone in your home ignores your dog when he jumps up on them.  If your spouse or your children yell at your dog for jumping up or laugh at him or push him away or give him any kind of attention, then it won’t work.  Your dog will continue to jump up and try to get attention from you and other people because he’s getting attention when he does it sometimes. It’s working for him.

If you keep this method up, and ignore your puppy or dog completely whenever he tries to jump on you, he will eventually stop.  You just have to be patient and make sure that everyone in your home is following this plan.

There are other methods of teaching a puppy or dog to stop jumping but this one is simple and easy if you are consistent with it and you can start teaching it to a puppy at a young age.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Basic Obedience, The Best Gift for Your Dog

We buy them treats, beds and sometimes clothing either for practical reasons or just because we enjoy it. We get them gifts at Christmas and include them in holidays. But there is one gift that you can give your dog that is better than any other.

The gift of training helps dogs not be a statistic of one of the over 90% given up due to training issues. The gift of training helps insure that if for whatever reason he needs a home he has a bigger chance of finding a good home than a poorly trained, unruly dog.

When we picture getting a dog it's with the thought of playing in the yard. We call him and he promptly comes running. He sits politely. These things are important but there are many other things in a dog's nature that are important to understand also. If we help him then he can be the wonderful pet we had thoughts of when we selected him.

This basic training understands that dogs are social animals – when we leave it can stress an insecure dog. When he gets destructive it's easy to blame the dog for misbehaving but we need to understand enough to help our dogs adapt to our world! We do strange things that dogs don’t do. We may leave several days per week then come back hours later and to our reality it's going to work. To a dog it's an exciting hunting trip he's missing and when we come home with food it confirms this!

Additionally learning to come, walk quietly on a leash, sit, down and behave appropriately is important. There are many situations that this basic obedience training can save your dog's life. Consider these examples:

-You and the dog are playing in an open area and the dog pulls away or the leash breaks. There is a busy street nearby - "Come!" could keep him from being hit by a car.

-We don't like to think of us leaving before our pets but deployments, accidents and other situations can mean leaving our pets. If there is family to take them it is preferred but if not it can mean relying on good training to find another home.

-Your dog sniffs a chocolate candy that someone left on the table. "NO! Leave it" results in the dog backing away rather than grabbing a treat that can make him sick.

Life happens. We can help train your dog to live with our imperfect lives. What's it worth? Look at the look in his eyes to just be with you or watch the greeting when you come home even after a short trip to the store. What is that worth?

A well trained dog is a joy. He's a part of the home and is welcome in many hotels when we travel. Give your dog the best gift - that of time to train him to navigate this sometimes crazy world we live in. Our world. It's a lifetime gift to your biggest fan.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Look Into the Dog’s World

Have you ever looked at our world through a dog’s eyes? An understanding of dog behavior can be amazing. Even documentaries on wolves (also canines) or wild dogs give incredible insight to the canine mind and with this I'm not implying that dogs and wolves are the same like some so-called TV behavior specialists may claim.
When we ask a dog to come into our world and adapt sometimes we don’t fully understand what we’re asking of them. The dog left to his own devices roams a certain territory, looks for opportunity of a free meal and is active for most of the day.
By contrast a dog in our home adapts to get up and we leave, while they stay home to a much smaller ‘territory’ and often snooze during the day until the family comes home for activities.
Some dogs have a hard time with this adjustment and their frustration can result in undesired behavior. This might be chewing, destroying things, getting into food (“opportunity!”) or barking. Many dogs are given up for such destructive behavior. The good news is that there is always available help. Dog behavior training programs target common problems that arise when pet parents and dogs can't communicate with each other. The ultimate goal is to teach the human to see the world from the dog's point of view.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dog Training Collars - The Ins and Outs

How to Pick the Right Training Collar for Your Dog

There are so many different kinds of dog training collars that it can be confusing to select what is best for your individual dog. How do you select a dog training collar and what should you look out for?

How to Select a Good Training Collar?

A training collar or any other kind of training equipment is there is assist you with working with your dog. It should give the handler more control of the dog while allowing the dog to function normally and comfortably.

Each dog is an individual, and so what works for one dog might not for another. You cannot paint each dog with a broad brush stroke. Considerations for training equipment selection:

-Is your dog very large and powerful?
-Is your dog just a puppy beginning out?
-Does your dog have any behavioral issues like fear or aggression?
-Do you have a Houdini dog on your hands that is able to slip collars easily?
-Does your dog ignore you? Is generally stubborn and headstrong?

Thinking through various considerations about your dog’s personality, size, training level, handler’s ability, and lifestyle all helps determine what kind of collar is best suited to an individual dog.

What is the Best Dog Training Equipment: Collars and More

For the average dog, all basic level training should begin on basic equipment. Even for beginning heel, all that is necessary is a flat collar. Training should be fun and motivationally based with toys and praise. Working with your dog this way means that more rigorous training collars are not necessary.

The best type of ‘training’ collar is called a Martingale-style collar. It is also sometimes referred to as a limited slip collar. This kind of collar gives a little more control to the handler, and when it is sized correctly, it is very difficult to slip out of. This makes it perfect for both fearful dogs and Houdini dogs, in addition to the regular pet.

What makes it so wonderful to use as a training collar is that it cannot hurt the dog, and it will never choke the dog. Yet, it gives a handler more control and security.

Other very good types of training equipment are head halters and the Easy Walk harness. If you have a very strong dog or a stubborn one, sometimes the best way to begin is with a head halter or Easy Walk harness as they give a higher level of control. A head halter is the most controlled piece of dog training equipment available. It works to control the head of the dog, much in the way a horse is led by a bridle.

As a note, puppies should always work on a flat collar until about 4-5 months of age. After that point, they may switch to other training collars.

What to Avoid and Why

There are many other training collars available that you will want to steer clear of. Traditional dog training collars like choke chains and pinch or prong collars are widely available but often misunderstood and misused.

Both choke chains and pinch collars are ‘correction’ collars, meaning that they are used to tell the dog when it is wrong. In theory, there is a place for this, but it is so often misused by the average person that it makes them dangerous.

Both types of collars can inflict pain. Choke chains choke the dog immensely, and scar tissue buildup in the neck is common, and you can even cause nerve damage or collapsed tracheas. Both collars are often also used to purposefully inflict punishment to the dog out of anger and frustration, which is never an appropriate part of training.

The electric or shock collar is being used more widely. Unfortunately, it is being used as a ‘quick fix’ remedy for a whole range of behavioral issues. This type of training device does not address what the underlying problem is or work to correctly fix it.

Not Sure?

If you’re not sure where to begin, start out with your dog’s flat collar as the starting point. Work in a motivational training program with toys and reward your dog often. If you think you might need more assistance, take a look at the head halter or Easy Walk Harness. Keep in mind, any training collar or piece of training equipment has to be used in conjunction with a good dog training program in order to be effective.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dog’s Fear of Vacuum Cleaners and Lawnmowers

Although vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers don’t seem very similar, they are in the way a dog responds when they are fearful. Sometimes, dogs will actually be afraid of both of these items.

There are two main reasons that dogs are afraid of vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers:

1. Sound: Both of these are quite loud, but the sound also changes with both of them. A vacuum cleaner has a subtle change between hand tools and the forward and backward movements. Lawnmowers sound different when just running and when actually mowing.

2. Movement: Vacuum cleaners have quick back and forth movements, and lawnmowers are constantly moving (and spitting stuff out too!). These movements, combined with the sound, can be stimulating and exciting or can be scary.

The Way That Vacuum Cleaners and Lawnmowers Affect Dogs

While there are really four stages within fear (fight, flight, freeze, or submit), with vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers it is usually presented by the majority of dogs with just two of the stages: fight and flight.

1. Fight: This is the most classic reaction for a lot of dogs. That thing that makes a lot of noise and moves around a lot is threatening, and the dog wishes to get the vacuum cleaner or lawnmower before it gets the dog. Classic symptoms include:

-Circling and running in and out
-Piloerection (or raised hair on the back/hackles

2. Flight: The sounds as well as the objects are so nerve-racking that the dog looks for the closest escape route possible. These dogs might:

-Shake and tremble
-Pant heavily
-Have an increased heart rate
-Have dilated pupils
-Attempt to escape and/or hide
-Make vocalizations like whining or howling

While these two reactions to vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers seem diametrically opposed, they are actually on the same continuum. The behavior modification and training will have some similarities but also a few differences.

How to Help Lessen Your Dog’s Fear of Vacuum Cleaners

In order to properly desensitize your dog to the scary sound of vacuum cleaners, you can try Fearless Dog which is a CD with recordings of the most common sounds that dogs fear. You will play the CD on extremely low volume as background noise and gradually increase the volume until you’re able to work with your dog outside.

Music therapy can lessen some of the sounds, and you can even close the door to help. If vacuum cleaners bother your dog a lot, try giving him a PetAlive PetCalm 30 minutes prior to vacuuming to relax him. You can even sprinkle the scent of lavender throughout the room using essential oils.

This gives him a safe room to be in while you vacuum plus it is full of things he likes a lot to preoccupy his mind.

If your dog is a barker or shows signs of aggression towards the vacuum cleaner, a relaxer still helps the dog. This time, you would want the dog to be leashed so that he cannot approach and bite the machine. Another person needs to hold the dog and have plenty of tasty treats and toys on hand.

Stay a few rooms away from the vacuum cleaner if possible and practice redirecting the dog’s attention on to the handler by practicing his training skills. If he becomes overly interested in the vacuum cleaner and begins to bark, this is the perfect time to work on using your ‘Leave It’ command and redirect his focus using treats and toys.

If the dog has very strong reactions to the vacuum cleaner, you could begin the training process outside where the dog can watch through a window or open door instead but is physically further away to increase his comfort level.

How to Help Lessen Your Dog’s Fear of Lawnmowers

One way to initially help lessen the significance of lawnmowers is to leave your dog in one room of the house with things that he really likes such as favorite toys or a pre-stuffed Kong toy. Someone to play with would also be nice.

Lawnmowers are a little different in that we are better able to work within a dog’s comfort zone. Determine how far away your dog appears to become fearful of the lawnmower. This will be a threshold, and it’s important to know.

Ideally, you will stay just outside the threshold so that he is able to see lawnmowers but is not overtaken by his emotions and fears.

For example, if you determine your dog can handle seeing a lawnmower 15 feet away, but any closer and he gets very fearful, you will work with your dog at least 15 feet away.

Begin taking your dog out into the neighborhood or around parks where they are mowing, often in the evenings or on weekends. Have lots of tasty treats like hot dog bits or his favorite toys.

Position yourself so that he can see the lawnmower but he is not full-blown afraid. Work on focus exercises like ‘Watch Me’ as well as practice ‘Come.’ Any training skills your dog knows can be used, so that he is focusing on you for these skills, but at the same time he is able to detect what he fears.

Overtime, you will be able to get closer to the lawnmowers and eventually walk right by one, but it does take time to get there. In the meantime, patiently lessen his threshold using this focusing training.

Do not allow him to fixate on his fears. It is okay and desirable for him to be able to see the lawnmowers, but if he begins to watch it too long, you need to interrupt it with a ‘Come’ or a ‘Watch Me,’ so that his prolonged stare doesn’t take him into advanced fears.

Using these techniques teach your dog to focus on you even in the face of vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers while at the same time beginning to re-associate the scary things with good things like training time, toys, and treats. With patience, effort, and consistency, you will soon begin to notice a change in your dog’s overall reactions to vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers.