Puppies and Dogs For Sale in UK

Archive for August, 2013

How to Teach a Dog to Lay Down

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Training dogs to respond to basic dog commands is an important part of raising any dog. If you are a pet owner, you should know that teaching your dog these basic commands is a vital part of keeping them safe, happy and healthy. Commands are not just parlor tricks–basic commands, like sit and stay, can help keep your dog from dangerous situations; it can also help keep other people and animals interacting with your dog from having a potentially harmful interaction with them. Basic commands are also important for the socialization of your dog and to teach your dog basic etiquette—such as, for example, teaching your dog that it is not appropriate for them to jump up on houseguests or sit on certain pieces of furniture.

How_to_Teach_a_Dog_to_Lay_DownOne of the most common basic commands that pet owners teach their dogs is “Lay Down.” This command is used to teach your dog to assume a low, laying position. This position can be helpful in keeping your dog from jumping up on people or other animals; it can also help calm down the dog down if they become overexcited. It is especially useful for larger breeds of dogs, such as Mastiffs, Great Danes, and Saint Bernard.

In order for your dog to learn how to lie down, your dog will need to understand the “sit” command first. If you have not already taught your dog the “sit” command, you will need to accomplish that before tackling “lay down.” You will also need a treat or treats for this particular type of training.

Let’s go step by step through the process of teaching your dog the lay down command.

Step One

First, you need to command your dog to sit.

Step Two

Next, you will need to hold a treat over your dog’s head—it’s important that your dog is paying attention to the treat above their head.

Step Three

Next, you need to slowly bring your hand down, while still holding the treat, until it is lying on the ground. Then give the command: “Lay down.” You may also want to use a briefer command, such as “Lay” or “Down.” If you intend on teaching your dog the command “down”—as in, “get down,”—it may be more helpful to use “lay” instead of “lay down” to help keep your dog from getting too confused at the similar sound.

Step Four

If your dog has gotten into a laying down position, praise them and give them the treat. It may take some dogs multiple tries to get ahold of the idea—remember to have patience, especially with older dogs or dogs which are known to be particularly stubborn against training.

Step Five

Repeat this process until the dog has learned the command. You should eventually be able to accomplish the training without using treats; it is important to constantly reward your dog, however, with verbal praise and physical affection.

How to Teach a Dog To Sit

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Training your dog to respond to basic commands is a vital part of pet ownership. Commands are not just for fun or show: commands can help keep both you, your dog and anyone—or anything—interacting with your dog safe from potential threats and harm. This doesn’t mean that you have to teach your dog to roll over or do backflips—but basic dog commands are important to the well-being and socialization of your animal. Dogs should be taught to respond to commands that will help them behave with better ‘etiquette,’ such as commands that keep them from jumping up on people or from getting on furniture that is off-limits to them.

How_to_Teach_a_Dog_To_SitThe most basic command that many pet owners start with when they have a new puppy or are training an older dog is the most obvious: “Sit.” “Sit” is a command that is used by pet owners around the world to get their dog to—what else?—sit down. This command is usually considered to be one of the easiest to teach, although naturally the breed of dog, its age and its personality can have an effect on how quickly they are able to pick the command up. Let’s go through the process of teaching your dog how to sit, step-by-step! You will need a treat or some kind of edible reward for this process.

Step one

First, you need to stand in front of your dog. This position will make your dog focus on you, instead of the things around you, and presents you in a more dominating position.

Step Two

Next, take your treat or other edible reward and place it in the palm of your hand. Close your hand. Then, put your hand close to your dog’s nose, allowing them to smell it.

Step Three

Next, take your hand and very slowly move your hand up and over your dog’s head, moving towards their tail. This will help them associate the smell of the treat with the movement of your hand, which has sloped their body in a sitting position.

Step Four

Now comes the actual command. First, say your dog’s name; then, give it the command “sit.” Some pet owners extend the command into “sit down,” but for simplicity’s sake it’s best to keep it to the one-word.

Step Five

As soon as your dog sits, praise them–“Good boy!” or “Good dog!”–and give them the treat.

Step Six

Repeat steps one through five until your dog has gotten the hang of the command. Some dogs might pick up on the command easily and quickly while others may take a few sessions to work out what you want them to do; if your dog appears restless or bored, take a break! You can always pick up on your training the next day. If a dog does pick up on the trick easily and becomes bored, this may be an indication that they are ready for more advanced commands!

How to Teach a Dog to Stay

Monday, August 26th, 2013

If you are a pet owner, it is important for you to train your dog to respond to at least basic pet commands. Commands are not just something to do because you want to teach your do a few tricks, however; basic commands can help to keep you, your dog, and other animals and people that interact with your dog safe and happy. You don’t need to teach your dog to shake hands or roll over or do athletic feats–but you should teach your dog basic commands because they are important to the overall socialization and well-being of your dog. In other words, basic commands will help your dog learn better etiquette, such as knowing that they should not jump up on house guests or get up on certain pieces of furniture.

How_to_Teach_a_Dog_to_StayOne of the most basic commands that many pet owners start off with when they are training their puppy or older dog is “Stay.” Stay is a command that requires persistence, especially with dog breeds that are known for stubbornness and independence, but it does have several key benefits. The “stay” command can help pet owners keep their dogs from running off and—in many cases—running into trouble. For example: If a pet owner invites a houseguest over that their dog is likely to injure because of how excited they get when someone comes in the door—such as a child being jumped on by a large dog—then the “stay” command will keep the dog away from the child until the pet owner can allow them to safely interact.

It is fairly easy to teach most dogs the “stay” command. If you have not yet taught your dog to “sit,” you will need to accomplish that training before you tackle “stay.”

Let’s take a look at the most basic steps which teach you how to train your dog to stay put. For the first few training sessions, you should probably take your dog to a quiet, more isolated area inside your house—as your training continues, practice the command in more crowded and noisy areas.

Step One

First, you will need to put leash on your dog’s collar; if they do not ordinarily go out on a leash for walks, you will need to purchase a leash solely for this training exercise.

Step Two

 Next, you will need to command your dog to sit.

Step Three

Now it is time to give the command. Give the verbal command—“Stay”—while accompanying it with a physical hand gesture. The most common hand gesture used for this command is an open palm facing the dog.

Step Four

Walk away from the dog, while still holding the leash to ensure they do not get away—you should still maintain your hand gesture. If your dog moves, walk back to your previous position and repeat steps one through three.

Step Five

Once your dog has stayed for a long enough periods, allow them to come to you and praise them for job well done.

Obedience School vs. Home Training for Dogs

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Dog training is an important part of owning a dog—whether that dog is intended to be a household pet, a guard dog, or a service dog. Training allows for a dog to learn social etiquette; in other words, what types of behaviors are acceptable for the dog, in addition to commands that can help keep the dog safe. The most common types of training for dogs are obedience training and behavioral training. Obedience training refers to training related to commands, such as “Sit,” “Stay,” and “Lay Down.” Obedience training is intended to teach a dog to obey commands. Behavioral training, on the other hand, refers to training that corrects unwanted behaviors while replacing them with acceptable behaviors. For example, teaching a dog not to go to the bathroom inside the house.

Obedience_School_vsWhen a pet owner needs to train their dog, they have two primary options: home training or obedience school. Home training, as the name suggests, refers to training which is done by the pet owner in the dog’s home environment. Most pet owners choose home training because it is free. However, some pet owners choose obedience school. Obedience school refers to any service offered with the intention to train a dog in some capacity. Obedience schools range from afternoon classes at pet stores for puppies that need to learn basic commands and behaviors, all the way to established, professional obedience schools for dogs that need to learn advanced behaviors related to services—such as disabled assistance dogs or police dogs.

Should pet owners choose home training or obedience training? The answer depends on several factors, including: what the dog needs to learn, how effective the pet owner is at training, and the breed and personality of the dog.

Many dogs only need to learn basic commands, like “sit,” “come here,” “heel,” and so on. In most circumstances, dogs that only need to learn simple commands may not need the more specialized training that an obedience school provides. This is not always the case, however. Pet owners who are inexperienced at dog training may require help in the form of an obedience school that can teach them exactly what they need to do; some dogs, such as more independent breeds like the Pekingese, may cause pet owners to seek the help of professionals with experience in training dogs to help them overcome their dog’s stubborn streak. Pet owners may find that obedience school settings help their dogs socialize better as well, especially if their dog would otherwise not encounter other dogs or strange people.

When a dog needs to learn advanced commands and behaviors, obedience school is almost always the correct choice. Dogs which are going to be used for service positions, such as seeing-eye dogs or dogs that work with police officers, should be professionally trained at an obedience school with the experience and knowledge necessary to train them properly. Many service-oriented obedience schools do combine obedience school training with at home training—but “at home training” is done by volunteers, employees or professionals who are themselves trained to handle more advanced types of dog training.

The Benefits of Teaching a Dog Tricks

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Many pet owners, especially those faced with stubborn and independent dogs that do not readily obey commands or respond to regular training, find themselves asking: What is the point of teaching a dog tricks? Dog tricks are any commands or taught behaviors which are not related to basic commands, such as “Sit” or “Stay” which are considered to be vital for the regular socialization of a dog. The most popular types of tricks include simple tricks like “Shake Hands,” or teaching a dog to roll over—or even do flips or jumps through hoops! There is really no end to the type of tricks you can teach a dog, although the type of tricks they are likely to learn is dependent on their breed, size, athletic ability and willingness to learn. More athletic dogs, for example, are more likely to excel at tricks like jumping through hoops or catching things in the air—while smaller dogs are morel likely to excel at things like rolling over, shaking, and spinning.

The_Benefits_of_Teaching_a_Dog_TricksBut what is the point of teaching a dog tricks? Is it just for show? Let’s take a look at some of the many overlooked benefits of teaching a dog tricks.

Benefit #1: Tricks are engaging for a dog.

Dogs are intelligent animals. Without the proper type of mental stimulation, they may become bored, restless or even frustrated and upset.Training a dog involves mental stimulation that keeps their mind’s sharp, occupied and can even make them smarter. Because tricks can be more advanced than basic commands like “Sit” and “Stay,” training them to do tricks is a great way to keep them mentally engaged?

Benefit #2: Tricks can make potentially “unlovable” dogs more likeable

Many dog breeds, such as pit bulls and Rottweiler’s, have bad reputations in society due to their aggressive appearance. But these breeds, like any dog breed, can make loveable house pets. Training these breeds to do fun tricks—like shaking or rolling over—can make them more likeable and friendly in the eyes of the public. This may be especially important for shelter dogs; pit bulls, Rottweiler’s, and other dogs stereotypically considered to be aggressive are much harder to adopt out than breeds considered being mild or friendly. But if the dog is capable of doing a cute and fun trick, they may be seen as more adoptable by people looking for a new dog.

Benefit #3: Tricks are a great way to involve the family in the dog’s well-being.

It’s all well and good to make sure everyone in the family is involved in taking care of the dog’s needs—such as feeding the dog, taking the dog for a walk, and brushing the dog. But when you involve the family, especially children, in training the dog to do tricks—and exhibiting those tricks!—you make everyone a part of the dog’s life in a fun and exciting way. This may be especially helpful if someone in your family has not endeared themselves to the dog yet. Maybe they just need to shake hands!

Types of Dog Training Part 2

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Dog training is a vital aspect of pet care—without training, dogs may become unruly and even injure themselves or others. Training has other benefits as well, including vocational benefits—think ‘seeing eye’ dogs—and athletic and show benefits as well. It may come as a surprise, but dog training is actually a multi-faceted concept that includes not one, but four different types of training. The four different types of dog training are behavioral training, obedience training, agility training and vocational training. In Part 1, we talked about behavioral and obedience training. Now let’s take a closer look at two less common, but still important, types of training: agility training and vocational training.

Types_of_Dog_Training 2Tests of a dog’s agility and athletic skills, such as dog sports featuring obstacle courses and racing, are popular at dog shows and other dog-related events. Agility training is used to both increase a dog’s physical fitness and train them how to successfully complete ‘dog sports’ without the need for touching or rewarding on part of the owner. Agility training involves teaching a dog to respond solely to vocal commands and physical gestures, rather than the typical touch and reward system employed by owners for household commands and tricks. Although any dog breed can be taught with agility training, some breeds—specifically those with exceptional physical fitness and better intelligence. Dog sports, in addition to being entertainment, are especially beneficial for intelligent dogs that need to be mentally and physically challenged.

Like humans, dogs are capable of learning specific skills and tasks. Vocational training is training that is used to teach dogs how to perform skills, tasks and other jobs. Vocational training encompasses a wide range of vocational skills, including but not limited to: traditional skills such as hunting and herding sheep or other animals; performing search and rescue work for search and rescue teams; working and assisting law enforcement officials; performing various tasks for people with disabilities, including ‘seeing-eye’ dogs for the blind—and more. Most dogs can are capable of learning under vocational training—some breeds, however, are better suited to certain tasks than others.

Typically, vocational training services will select only the ‘best of the best’ dogs for their programs. This does not mean that a dog is incapable of vocational work, however, just that they may not be suited to a particular program or task. For example, golden retrievers are popular choices as seeing-eye dogs for the blind because of their intelligence, friendliness, and calm nature which is exceptionally useful during potentially stressful situations. They are not usually employed as hunting dogs, however, because there are other dogs—such as hunting hounds—that are better suited to that task.

All dogs are capable of learning under basic types of training—although they may not always be happy to listen to commands! In addition, most dogs are also capable, under the right hands, of learning well under more advanced types of training, such as agility training and vocational training.

Types of Dog Training, Part 1

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Dog training is a vital aspect of pet care—without training, dogs may become unruly and even injure themselves or others. Training has other benefits as well, including vocational benefits—think ‘seeing eye’ dogs—and athletic and show benefits as well. It may come as a surprise, but dog training is actually a multi-faceted concept that includes not one, but four different types of training. The four different types of dog training are behavioral training, obedience training, agility training and vocational training. Let’s take a more in depth look at the first two of these types of training, which are the most common types of dog training employed by everyday pet owners: behavioral training and obedience training.

Types_of_Dog_TrainingDogs are not born knowing what is expected of them around people, dogs, and other animals. Behavioral training is used to teach dogs how to behave well–in other words, how to make them good “citizens” in the eyes of society.Behavioral training includes training that targets unwelcome or unwanted behaviors in a dog and corrects them until the dog is capable of understanding the proper ‘etiquette’ in that situation.

A common example of behavioral training is housebreaking or bathroom training, which teaches a dog to urinate outside instead of inside of the home.  Bathroom training may differ depending on the specific needs of the dog and their owner. Some owners, for example, prefer training their dogs to sit near the front door when they need to use the bathroom; others may prefer training a dog to retrieve their leash and bring it to their owner—and so on. The goal of bathroom training is to take the dog’s unwanted behavior—going to the bathroom in the home—and replace it with the proper or accepted behavior, which is going to the bathroom outside. Behavioral training in general is about teaching dogs to replace unwanted behavior with wanted or expected behavior.

Both dogs and owners can benefit from a dog that is obedient to their owner. Obedience training is training that is meant to teach a dog to be obedient to their owner—and, in most cases, to anyone else in a position of authority giving a command. Obedience training includes training dogs to perform actions such as ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ ‘lay down,’ and ‘come here.’ This type of obedience is meant to both protect the dog and others from unintentional harm. For example: A dog that has gotten outside without their leash might attempt to run into the road—if that dog has had proper obedience training, their owner can command the dog to ‘sit,’ thus preventing the dog from potential injury. There is no guarantee that a dog will obey their owner every time, of course, but while a dog with obedience training will be likely to listen to their owner in a potentially dangerous situation, a dog without any obedience training at all is more likely to misbehave or otherwise pose a threat to themselves or even others.

Types of Training Collars for Dogs (Part 2)

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Dogs need to be trained by their owners in order to help ensure that the dog is able to safely and positively interact with its owner, other people, other dogs and other animals. Dog training comes in many forms, including obedience training, which is training that teaches a dog to obey commands given by people–and in particular, its owner. Obedience training encompasses a wide range of tools, techniques and tricks; a common tool that people use when training their dog is the training collar.

Types_of_Training_Collars_for_Dogs 2Ordinarily, a dog collar is meant to allow pet owners to attach identification to a dog and to give the owner something to hook leashes onto when taking the dog outside. Training collars, on the other hand, are especially designed for use when a dog is being trained. The most common types of training collars for dogs are shock collars, martingale collars, slip collars, flat collars, and prong collars. Previously, we discussed flat collars, slip collars and martingale collars. Now let us take a look at the remaining two popular types of training collars: prong collars and shock collars.

Prong collars are collars which are made from chain links that have a blunted, open end which is bent or turned towards the neck of the dog. The purpose of the prong collar’s ‘prong-like’ design is twofold: one, to create a limited circumference which places a limit on how far the collar can actually tighten or constrict on the neck of the dog; and two, to allow the prongs to put pressure against the dog’s neck. Because of the design of the collar, the prongs cannot get close enough to the dog to pinch its neck or skin; but they do put pressure on the dog’s neck when used properly. Prong collars are sometimes considered to be a safer alternative to slip collars and martingale collars, which have the potential to harm a dog if used improperly. But even prong collars must be used correctly: the prongs should never face away from the dog’s skin, as this could lead to a body or head injury; plastic or rounded tips may need to be placed on the collar’s prongs if the prongs are causing skin irritation, matting or—usually in the case of a cheap prong collar—skin punctures.

Shock collars, sometimes referred to as electronic collars, are collars which contain a device that has the capability of creating electronic shocks to the dog wearing it. There are two types of shock collars: automatic and manual. Automatic shock collars, such as electric fence collars, will automatically transmit a shock when the dog triggers something—such as, in the case of electric fence collars, passing a certain boundary point placed in the owner’s yard. Manual shock collars can only transmit an electric shock when a remote device used by a handler is operated. Shock collars, although relatively popular, are considered to be controversial: they are banned in some countries, and many veterinarian and dog training professionals condemn their use as unnecessary and cruel.

Types of Training Collars for Dogs (Part 1)

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Dog training is essential to the safety and happiness of dogs, their owners, and anyone—or anything—that may interact with that dog during its lifetime. There are several different types of dog training; one of the most common types of dog training is called obedience training. Obedience training is training that teaches a dog to respond to certain commands—or on other words, to obey its owner. There are hundreds of techniques, tricks and tools that pet owners can utilize during obedience training for their dog. The most common tools, and one that pet owners often turn to first, are training collars.

Types_of_Training_Collars_for_DogsTypically, a dog collar serves two functions: to allow pet owners to attach identification tags to the dog, which in some cases are required by law and can help the dog be recovered if it becomes lost; and to give the owner something to hook a leash on when the dog is being kept outside or taken for walks.

Training collars for dogs are collars specifically designed for use while a dog is being trained. Some training collars are designed with a specific purpose in mind, while others are designed for that catch-all period when a dog is being trained as a puppy. The most common types of training collars for dogs are flat collars, slip collars, martingale collars, prong collars, and shock collars. Let’s first take a look at three of the most popular training collars: flat collars, slip collars, and martingale collars.

Flat collars are simply the typical “regular collar” the most pet owners purchase in pet stores when buying a collar for their new dog. They are often used during puppy training because they can be made with quick-release latches that will ensure the dog is not choked or harmed if it becomes overexcited or overzealous during training. Their flat design is also more comfortable for sensitive dogs, such as most breeds as puppies.

Slip collars, more popularly referred to as choke chains, are collars made from either rolled material or metal links with a metal ring on each end. The concept behind the slip collar is to get the dog’s attention with a quick clicking sound, made when the collar is pulled. Slip collars are often used when dogs are being taught how to properly walk–for example, teaching a dog that yanking their leash or running ahead of their owner is unacceptable. Slip collars are declining in popularity, however, due to the fact that is very easy to misuse them—even accidentally—which can actually cause the dog to choke or become strangled. It is important to note that these collars should not be around a dog’s neck when the dog is unsupervised due to the potential for injury.

Martingale collars, which are sometimes referred to as limit-slip collars, are collars made from a flat material with a section that is fixed in length; when this section is pulled on by a leash, this section tightens up–to a certain extent. Martingales are popular because they are looser than regular flat collars when they are not tightened, but they are not as harsh or potentially dangerous as regular slip collars.

What Are Advanced Dog Commands?

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Commands are verbal trigger words used to train dogs to respond a certain way. Dog commands are important for both dogs and pet owners because they help the dog react appropriately with other people, other dogs and other animals. The most basic types of dog commands are those which are most commonly used by pet owners. These basic commands are typically listed as: sit, down, heel, come, and stay. These commands are the most commonly used; sometimes, pet owners might use different words for commands. The exact word that a pet owner uses is not important—consistency in use is what is vital to ensuring that a dog is trained to respond properly to commands. For example: Some pet owners use the word “lay” or “lay down” instead of the more simple “down.”

What_Are_Advanced_Dog_CommandsSome commands, however, are considered to be beyond basic commands like sit and stay. These advanced commands are those that train the dog to perform an action or behavior that is more complicated. Many advanced commands require a dog to have a strong grasp on more basic commands. The following are some of the most popular advanced commands taught to dogs by pet owners and trainers.

“Back up.” This command teaches dogs to back up on command; it is especially useful for owners of larger dogs, strong dogs, and dogs which may become aggressive.

“Growl.” This command is considered somewhat unusual, but teaching a dog to growl on command can be used to let people, such as potential threat, know that you and your dog want to be left alone. This command is not taught anas verbal command, however, and is taught by using a specific, small hand gesture.

“Go to your…” Teaching a dog to go to their bed, kennel or cage is an especially useful command for dogs that have a habit of getting underfoot. Some pet owners use this command when a dog is becoming unruly—for example, jumping up on house guests or becoming too play-aggressive with other dogs—in order to diffuse the situation.

“Drop it.” Dogs love to pick up things with their mouth. Unfortunately, not everything they pick up with their mouth is safe for them or others. Teaching a dog to drop whatever is in their mouth will help keep them, and potentially valuable or delicate objects, safe from harm.

“Attack.” An attack command should only be taught by a professional training program with the supervision and training of an expert in dog aggression and dog guard and attack techniques. This command is used as part of a guard skill program, which is intended to teach dogs how to protect their owners from harm. It should not—and this bears repeating—be taught without the assistance of experienced professionals.

“Give.” Give, sometimes taught as “give it,” is a command useful for dogs that tend to pick up fragile or personal objects that are better left alone; such as jewelry, clothing or pieces of paper.