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Homework is part of your dog or puppy's education! Here are some 'at home' articles for you.

How to Choose a Dog Trainer | Selecting A Doggie Day Care| What Makes A Good Dog Park | Preventing Dog Bites | Why Train Your Dog? | Steps to Avoid On Leash Aggression

|Aggressive Dogs Lack Omega-3s|

Why Doggie Day Care

Taking your dog to day cares give them the opportunity to enjoy positive social play time with other dogs and people.  As we learn more about our dogs nature, the harder it is to leave them home alone for long time periods.  Dogs are pack animals and enjoy the company of other dogs and people. Many dog owners experience stress much like the separation anxiety dogs experience knowing their dog is home alone while they are at work or away from  home. While at doggie day care your dog will play and return home tired.  Having a dog that is well socialized is relaxed and comfortable around new dogs and people.  If your dog is experiencing separation anxiety doggie day will keep your dog stay busy and safe all day. Destructive behaviors associated with separation anxiety can be dangerous for your dog and home.   Even if you prefer to take your dog with you everywhere you go, this is not always possible.  Leaving your dog at day care teaches your dog you will return!  Dogs are like children and learn social skills.  The difference between dogs and children is your dog is born into a social environment.  Your puppy should start some kind of structured socialization training such as dog training classes and doggie day care no later than 4 months of age. 

 

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How To Choose A Dog Trainer

Training your dog should be FUN!  A skilled and professional dog trainer uses humane training methods which are not harmful to the dog or owner.
A professional instructor will allow and encourage you to observe a class prior to enrolling.  A experienced instructor should welcome and encourage all family members and others who interact with the dog attending class.
What to expect from your dog trainer:
1.  Clear explanation of each lesson.
2.  Demonstration of each new obedience lesson.
3.  Provide written handouts the end of each class.
4.  Assist students individually as needed.
5.  Requires currant vaccinations.
6.  Gives suggestions on type of collar and leash which is appropriate for each student and dog.
7.  Respect and protect your dog's health and safety in a group setting.
8.  Provide a save place for dogs to exercise (go potty) outside.
9.  Be available via phone or email with questions concerning the class.
 
A professional trainer discourages the use of hanging, beating, kicking, hitting or yelling at your dog.  A professional trainer should have well trained dogs of their own to demonstrate the benefit of owning a well trained dog.  Your dog trainer should have some background in behavioral problems and offer suggestions how to improve your dogs behavior.  A professional trainer treats each student as a individual.
Happy Training

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Selecting A Doggie Day Care

Before taking your dog to any day care facility, make phone calls and ask questions.  Be prepared to answer a few questions too!   Ask if you can stop by and see the facility, make sure you feel comfortable with the policies and procedures.  Check hours of operation to make sure they are compatible with your schedule.  Ask how they discipline the dogs? And what they do to prevent dog fights?  And what they do in case of an emergency.  Ask if the facility is licensed.  Many doggie day cares will require a trail visit to evaluate your dog.  If your dog has special needs make sure the facility is able to care for your dogs special needs.  It is important that ALL dogs have current vaccinations.  Most dogs enjoy nap time make sure your dog will be allowed to rest in a safe place.  Ask yourself a few questions before you make your final decision.  Does the facility look and smell clean?  Do the other dogs look healthy and happy?

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What Makes a Good Dog Park

 

A dog park is a wonderful place for dogs to play and socialize.  Your dog park should have:

1. Materials for cleaning up after dogs such as garbage cans and bags.

2. Drinking water and shade for dogs to cool off!

3. Fenced safe area with separate entrance and exit gates.

4. Special area for small dogs and large dogs.

5. Fun stuff like agility equipment.

 

Dog Park Pros:

Great dog-dog or dog-people socialization

Exercise

Great place for other dog lovers to meet

Dog Park Con:

Potential danger and injury from aggressive dogs

Potential parasites and disease

 

Dog Park Etiquette

Don'ts

1.  Don't bring a puppy under 4 months of age

2.  Don't use treats and toys when other dogs are nearby

3.  Don't allow your dog to bully other dogs

4.  Don't let your dog of leash in an un-fenced dog park if they do not come

5.  Don't bring intact males 

6.  Don't bring shy or aggressive dogs

7.  Don't allow dogs to form packs

8.  Don't bring females in season

Do's

1.  Do make sure your dog has up to date  vaccinations

2.  Do observe the dogs in the dog park for health or behavior problems before you bring your dog into the park

3.  Do clean up after your dog

4.  Do stop rough play

5.  Do bring a bowl and water for your dog

6.  Do consult your veterinarian about your dogs overall health before visiting a dog park

7.  Do be cautious about taking advice from other patrons who are not dog professionals

 

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Preventing Dog Bites:

If you think a dog is aggressive please follow these simple steps.

1.  Do not pet the dog

2.  Do not offer the dog food, treats or toys

3.  Do not try to play with the dog

4.  Do not stare directly at the dog

5.  Do not face the dog directly

6.  Do not run from the dog

Running from an aggressive dog is our first response as humans.  We can not out run a dog and if the dog is aggressive it will trigger the dogs prey drive.  If the dog approaches  stand still with your arms at your side and your chin up a bit with your eyes looking upward.  Let the dog sniff you.  More than likely the dog will walk off. Move slowly away from the dog.  If the dog tries to attack you, curl up like a ball on the ground make your hands into fists covering your ears.

 

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Why Socialize Your Puppy?
Socialization teaches your dog or puppy how to accept daily activities with other dogs and people. Socialization help builds your dog's confidence.  At Canine Academy we never force puppies or dogs to socialize.  We let them take their own time and learn from other dogs that socializing is Fun!We also teach the puppies and dogs how to socialize with manners.  The more we keep our puppies or dogs away from other dogs we cause stress and sometimes aggressive behavior.  Dogs are pack animals, so many times when they see other dogs the excitement or stress they feel comes across to us as aggressive behavior.  That is why it's important to Socialize your puppy or dog.  It is never too late to teach good social skills.  Check out solving on leash aggression. This should give you some ideas.

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Why Train Your Dog or Puppy?
Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment.  Training will open the lines of communication and help you and your dog understand each other.  Your dog will follow basic commands such as Come, Sit, Down, Stay with one verbal and hand command.  By nature dogs are pack animals and need a society full of rules and regulations. Dogs like to be busy, using basic obedience is a great way to keep your dog out of trouble. Basic obedience will teach your dog to respect you and other family members.

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Steps to Avoid On-Leash Aggression.

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Aggressive Dogs Lack Omega-3s; Heart-Sick Dogs Helped by Fish Oil

Italian study finds low omega-3 and cholesterol levels in angry fidos; Earlier US study found that omega-3s may help dogs with heart failure
by Craig Weatherby

There's good evidence that people with aggression and impulse-control problems tend to be deficient in omega-3s, based on studies in prisoners and mental patients. But who would have guessed that the problem might extend to our canine companions?

Veterinarians at Italy’s University of Pavia wondered whether there might be a biochemical or nutritional basis for aggression in dogs, which they say is one of the most common problems reported by dog owners. To find out, they studied 18 adult male German Shepherds (average age five years), who were very aggressive but showed no other health problems. As controls, they studied 18 healthy male dogs with no history of aggression. The vets tested the dogs’ blood levels of fatty acids, including omega-3s. They found that, compared to normal dogs, aggressive dogs had lower levels of omega-3 DHA, which is critical to brain cell membrane function. DHA deficiency is associated with depression and aggression in humans.

Interestingly, the aggressive German Shepherds also had higher omega6/omega-3 ratios, which are also associated with depression and aggression in humans.

Finally, the “bad” dogs had lower cholesterol levels, compared to their normally behaving counterparts.

As the Italians wrote, “Altogether, our results suggest that low [levels of] omega-3 fatty acids may adversely impact behavior in dogs, resulting in greater propensity to aggression. Because of its design, the study could not prove a causal relationship between low omega-3s and canine aggressiveness. But, as the vets suggested, the results encourage rigorous clinical testing of supplemental omega-3s in aggressive dogs.

Omega-3s May Aid Dogs’ Hearts

While researching this story, we came across a study from 1998, which showed that supplemental fish oil can improve several markers of heart health in dogs.

They enrolled 28 dogs with congestive heart failure and 5 healthy control dogs, and measured the canines' levels of key inflammatory chemicals associated with heart disease. At the outset, the heart-sick dogs had lower blood levels of omega-3s and omega-6s. (While high omega-6/omega-3 ratios are not healthful, small amounts of omega-6s are needed for optimal heart function.)

The dogs with heart failure were divided into two groups, which received either fish oil or placebo pills for two months. At the end of the study, the fish oil group showed lower levels of a key inflammatory marker (IL-1) and improved appetite, weight gain, and heart function, compared to the placebo group. (Freeman LM et al 1998) It appears that canines' cardiac health can benefit from fish. Just be sure the fish is boneless, or give your pooch low-sodium canned Salmon with soft, edible bones.

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