#dogs Tumblr posts

  • “Can I wash my own large dog? It can’t be that hard can it?” These are the words that I hear everyday as I go about my business working at the Pooch Parlor in Northern Idaho. Each time I walk a customer through this process, I find myself wondering why in the world something so simple is so doggone hard to explain. Washing your own dog may seem simple, but - only if you think and speak ‘dog’ - the language of your own dog.

    I run a shop for full service and self-service dog grooming and bathing, and I LOVE it! There are dogs, and owners, of every size, every breed, and every temperament that come in to use the self-service doggie wash. Most owners are excited, some are scared, and some are cocky, but no matter who they are, or what they do for a living, there is nothing quite as intimidating for them as washing their own dog in public! The thought of doing this can give even the most confident person, performance anxiety, and for good reason! It is a true test of trust and tolerance and friendship for the person and dog companion. And, on a very basic level, it is an honest mirror for the owner, and how he or she deals with life, and with conflict. The likelihood of a successful experience for both is completely dependent upon the psychological relationship that exists between them, and, to a large extent, the ability of both to comprehend the body language of the other. You may be surprised to know that I have found that dogs are supremely better at reading their humans than their humans are of reading them. It is this relationship between human and canine, that shows itself without modesty during bathtime, and, keeps me coming to work day after day with a smile on my face.

    My clients have been giving their dogs baths in my shops for 10+ years now, and, each year is more entertaining than the last when it comes to watching regular people washing their own regular dogs. The average person that comes through our doors is highly successful, which usually means - intelligent - and, because like attracts like, so is their dog. And, so why oh why, they ask me, should this simple task of cleaning their dog be so difficult? I ask them time and again, “Well, how well do you speak dog?” Invariably, their reply is a blank stare. So, this is the time to ask yourself, “How well do YOU speak dog?”

    There is a lot to say about the theories of why dogs and humans behave the way they do, but I’m going to get back to the practical things to look for while bathing your own dog. The bottom line to remember is that your dog’s energy and personality traits are a mirror to your own. Take this into consideration when attempting to get him into the tub and have him be happy about it.

    1. Deciding when to bathe your dog. Timing and Personality traits: Timing is important. Look at your own needs regarding timing to know how your dog will react. Are you the kind of person that is up for anything anytime? Or do you need to accomplish your day in a scheduled, systematic way? How do you do with new experiences? Do you find them refreshing and fun, or do you feel fearful until comfortable with a new activity? Your dog is going to deal with the bathtime experience in the same way you deal with life experiences. Remember that your dog is going to reflect your own personality traits - not necessarily the traits you show the world, but the traits that are truly inside you.

    a. Fun-loving, extroverted, and social humans. If you enjoy regular physical activity, then so will your dog. For this type of person and dog, I suggest you take your dog out for a bout of exercise before the bath. In the city where I work, we are fortunate to have a designated beach on the lake just for dogs and their humans - dogbeach. There is a long path to run or walk on, and there is a large beach area to swim and play in. This is the perfect scenario for pre-bath timing. The dog can choose to get muddy, run, socialize, or just enjoy being outside. In any case, the dog is able to spend big reserves of energy outside in a fun way, just like letting human children play before naptime. If you love exercise, do something like this with your dog before taking him into your own tub or a professional facility for a dog bath. A common fault of the social dog and owner: Just because you are friendly, out-going person does not mean everyone wants to accept your friendly, and out-going gestures. It’s hard to fathom, I know, but it is true. If you have a very social dog (if you are a social person), it is easy to forget that many dogs (like their owners) are not social and do not appreciate the social requirements (like butt-sniffing) of others. Please remember to respect their space when in public or otherwise. Keep your dog restrained and under control, even if your dog has the friendliest intentions.

    b. Non-social, active, or inactive humans. If your personality is not conducive to social interaction, then I still suggest that you walk your dog or do something that is comfortable within your life that involves light exercise before bathing your dog. Taking a walk with your dog does wonders to alleviate excess tension or stress for both human and dog. By getting rid of stressful energies during a walk, it does not present itself during bathtime. Getting exercise is especially important for those humans,( I mean dogs), that are highly nervous. I recommend giving your dog Valerian root (liquid form) or Rescue Remedy (liquid or spray) orally 30 minutes before the bath. Both of these products are natural remedies to calming down jittery nerves- and it works great for humans too. If timing is important in your life, take your dog to a self-service bathing facility when the least amount of people are there, usually early or late in the day. A common fault of the non-social dog and owner: they communicate poorly within their own species and with other species. Many people that tend towards isolation, often do this because they never figured out how to communicate effectively in human society. Their dogs typically have the same problem. I have seen it happen many times that owners of aggressive dogs unwittingly encourage their dog’s unwanted behavior, when they think they are doing the opposite. They do this by projecting their worrying thoughts about the 'what-ifs’ of a social situation. Dogs of this type of owner act out their dog interpretations of their human owners signals. The dogs often pick up the 'what-if’ fears of the human as the request of their human, actually creating the 'what-if’ behavior to occur. Without human intervention and boundary setting by the owner (requiring advanced communication skills), it is quite common for this type of dog to exhibit increasingly aggressive behavior. Most owners are dismayed by their dog’s aggressive behavior, but they simply lack the skills required to communicate what behavior they will and won’t allow from their dog. I recommend that if you have a dog that is displaying increasingly aggressive behaviors to consult a professional dog behaviorist or trainer. Just a few simple tricks will convey an accurate message to a dog that is most likely misunderstanding your expectations.

    Language barriers for humans and dogs. Its no surprise that miscommunication between owner and dog happens often. If you are a human that is finding you don’t understand why your dog does what he does, remember, you are learning a whole different language and culture. Give yourself time and give your dog time to understand each other. Just don’t expect your dog to act like a human, especially during conflict. It takes time and practice for anyone to learn a new human language. It’s no different learning dog language. We all know how to interpret a human smile in society. When a dog pulls his lips back over his teeth, it typically doesn’t mean he’s happy! Would a human dream of greeting a new acquaintance by sniffing their butt? Right! But, in doggie language, that’s the equivalent of shaking hands. A dog that shakes his head to get the slobber off of his mouth is no different than a person smoothing his slacks or dusting off his shirt to look more polite. The differences are huge, so give yourself and your dog a break if you have hit a communication block wall.

    2. Deciding where to bathe your dog: There are not a lot of choices when it comes to bathing your dog. A. You can use your own bathtub at home which requires no human socializing - hard on your back, it’s very messy with extended after cleaning, and potentially traumatizing to human and dog. B. Bring your dog to a self-service doggie wash shop - easier on your back, requires some basic social skills by owner and dog, can be noisy and hairy, requires no after cleaning, and it does cost more than just the shampoo. C. Tie the dog to a fence and wash him with a hose in the yard (hopefully on a hot, sunny day) - not easy on the back, hard on the dog with cold water, potentially traumatizing for nervous dogs, but does not require human or dog socialiaing. D. Wash the dog in your nearest lake -which is very popular in my neck of the woods - hard on the back, requires advanced human and dog social skills, is potentially harmful to the environment, and how clean can you really get a dog in lakewater?

    Regardless of where you wash your dog, take into account your own physical limitations, and your dog’s physical limitations. Is it worth wrecking your bathroom and hurting your back to wash your dog at home? For the clients I see, the answer is a definite, no! Emotional requirements are often a factor for dogs. For instance, (in general) Labrador retrievers have no issue being bathed in a lake (even though they don’t get clean), but they often resent being restrained in a tub with a sprayer hose pointed in their direction. For a farm dog that has never been away from home, tying them to the fence is a better solution than trucking them to the city and asking them to have manners in a grooming shop, or in a populated lake. At least next to the fence, even with cold water, they are comfortable with where they are and what is expected of them.

    My vote is, of course to find a self-service doggie wash facility. The equipment is professional and easy to use, the water is warm (most of the time) and typically the dogs get treats when they walk out the door, which makes them happy campers. So, for those that want to know about washing your dog at a laundradog facility, here you go:

    2. Getting your dog in the tub and getting him to stay there! At this grooming shop, the average dog that comes in for self-service is around 100lbs. All the dogs are washed at waist level where they stand on a grate in the tub. Getting them in the tub can be a trick. It’s kind of like asking a human to put ice skates on, and stand on the ice and not worry about how to do it. The easiest way for dog and human is to not give the dog time to decide whether or not he wants to. (Not the easiest task for shy or overprotective owners). The owner is given a large choker chain or cloth noose which goes around the dogs neck.

    Leading: We have the owner quickly lead/pull the dog up the stairs with another person on the other end of the dog to give a quick boost on the butt end. The dog is on the grate, and in the tub before he has decided to be worried about it. Once the dog is in the tub, the owner hooks them in (not something you can do in your tub at home) to a variety of metal hooks inside the tub.

    Choking: The dogs that are new to having a bath will sometimes turn in the tub and pull on the choker chain. We prefer the choker chain to a regular noose because the dog quickly learns with a choker that he is in control of whether or not he feels the choking sensation. The second the dog realizes he controls his own choking, AND realizes his owner is going to allow him to learn this (this is very difficult for the overprotective and/or mother types of owners-most all of us!), the pulling behavior stops. With a regular cloth noose, or one that does not self-regulate, the dogs will pull and pull and often never learn that they have the control over their own pulling more than any other behavior during the bath. Owners feel like they are directly causing their dog injury and should rescue them immediately when they hear them coughing and sometimes gagging. It is natural to feel concern over your dog choking, but it helps to think of the dog’s pulling and coughing similar to putting a toddler into his crib for a midday nap.

    Many human toddlers HATE taking a nap and will cry hard enough to cough and gag. If parents rescue them from their cribs when this happens, they are reinforcing this coughing behavior for their child. Parents that monitor the crying, and coughing from a safe distance where the toddler cannot see them, soon find that their babies submit quietly to naptime without expecting to be rescued each time he utters a sound. Naps and baths may not be pleasant to begin with, but they are both essential habits of life. Dogs have the same learning behaviors regarding rescue. Owners that react with excessive concern over the pulling (as the dog is expecting), or crying and screaming tantrums, find they are only encouraging more pulling and tantrums from their dog. This point is so crucial that it is worth repeating. The more upset and worried the owner gets over the dogs behavior, the more they get of that dog behavior. If the owner is calm and without fear - and projects this to their dog, it is not long before the dog understands that pulling on the chain is only hurting himself, and that tantrums are a waste of their energy. When the owner believes everything is fine despite pulling and tantrums, the dog does too, and he stops the undesirable behavior accepts that today is bath day!

    So many nurturing owners find this part difficult, but try to remember, when you expect your dog to learn how to control his own anxiety, he will learn, but it requires that you LET him learn. The best ways to learn to control ones own anxiety is to actually go through the experience of having the anxiety and dealing with it. If you are the type of owner that cannot allow your dog to experience this emotion without taking over and stopping the experience, your dog will learn to go into an anxious state more and more easily because of the reaction that he can expect from his owner. This becomes upsetting for both dog and owner and as you can see becomes an escalating cycle. If you allow your dog to go through this experience of the bath, anxiety and all, you will see that they will calm down and before you know it, you have a dog that allows you to bathe him! And having clean dog is essential to most dog owners. When your dog does calm down, i.e. quits pulling on the noose and allows the bath experience, that is the right time to express heightened emotion of happiness through praise and treats. If you take this time to praise your dog, it won’t be long before your dog asks to be washed with a happy, wanting-to-please attidude.

    However, as with any rule, there are a few exceptions: old, very young, asthmatic, and dogs with neck or throat problems should be closely watched if they exhibit excessive pulling on the choker chain.

    Ignore or not to Ignore: Most of the time, I recommend to owners to simply and quietly ignore their dogs protesting to get the behavior to stop (and it does), with the only exception being a small puppy (like a yorkie) or an old and fragile dog. Both the young and the old dogs that are not used to baths can injure their tracheas or create a medical problem (like asthma) if their nervous behaviors are allowed to escalate. It is in this circumstance that I tell the owners to use a harness to hook the dogs in the tub or in the case of a small and wild puppy, to use a sink or bucket in which they can immerse the dog in warm, soapy water. Puppies are wired to swim and that’s what they do if they find their bodies in water. Swimming is easier to work with than a freaking out jumping bean. If you do choose to ignore your dog’s protesting to the bath, REMEMBER to give lots of praise when the dog show’s signs of acceptance and/or begins to calm down.

    Drying Your Dog: Drying a dog depends on the type of hair, type of temperament and grooming experience the dog has. If you have a shorthaired dog, towel drying is generally adequate. In the grooming shop, we use high-power dryers that blow the water out of thick or double-coated dogs like shepards, collies, and huskies - and in this case - standard poodles.

    Put cotton in the dog’s ears before you begin as the dryer is loud. Make sure there is a minimum of play in the noose or chain that connects the dog to the tub, as the more room the dog has to throw a tantrum, the more room he’ll use. Start the dryer on the back end of the dog and aim the dryer side to side moving towards the head until the water is not dripping off the dog any longer. Most private owners go home with their dogs still dripping because of the tantrum factor. This is where the above information comes into play. The majority of dogs are nervous at first, but they quickly learn that the air is only loud, not painful. If the owner stays calm, the dog will quickly find this state during the drying process.

    There are a few more minor steps that do occur in the grooming shop, such as brushing, nail trimming, anal expression, ear plucking and cleaning, teeth brushing and scaling and more. You can check out more 'how to’ information on these specific techniques at www.thepoochparlor.net. Regardless of who you are or what you do for a living, the chances of your dog having a pleasant experience during the bath is highly dependent upon the ability of the dog’s owner to understand his or her own needs regarding life and society. Consider all the factors, energy reserves of your dog - spend them before the space wherever you go will increase your odds for success. Consider how much you actually do know about dog language. Above all else, remember that you, the owner, are in charge, and that if your dog is temporarily distressed with a new situation, you have to stay calm long enough to allow your dog to understand and accept the experience. It’s a curious notion that a human would have to delve into the basics of his or her own psychological needs to give their dog a great bath experience, but if you do that, you and your canine friend will have many years of happy and successful bathing experiences.

    Author DuAnn Lustig-Chambers has been grooming since 1997 and owns Pooch Parlor Pet Groomer Training Academy in Sandpoint, Idaho.

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  • If you are like much of the population, your four-legged friend is your first “baby.” Many people worry needlessly about how their dog will handle a baby in their life. Many owners think of getting rid of the family pets because of fears that they will harm the baby. Please do not do this unless there is no other option. Most large dogs, when treated and trained properly, can handle life with a newborn very well.

    Children and pets make wonderful companions when raised properly together and taught how to behave with each other. Children that grow up in a home with pets learn respect and love for animals, and more importantly, respect for life. As the children grow older they can learn responsibility by helping to care for the animals. Animals enrich our and our children’s lives beyond belief.

    Having a baby can cause problems for both humans and dogs, as the dog tends to be treated differently, and because of this, may act differently. Some owners baby the dog more, causing the dog to become spoiled and hard to handle. Other owners get over-stressed and punish the dog for normal, curious behavior toward the baby. Often our pets are the center of our world, our “babies” if you would, and can get “jealous” if not equipped to handle losing that status to the new baby. If you are willing to make the time and effort to prepare your pets for the new arrival, everyone can live in harmony.

    Sometimes the dogs become overprotective of the baby. Many owners enjoy and even prefer the dog being a guard for the baby. While it is normal for the dog to become protective of the baby, it is dangerous for the dog to become overprotective and not let anyone near the baby. All of the above scenarios can lead to the dog being kicked out of the house!

    As you are making preparations to bring home baby, you need to prepare your dog(s) for the same in advance if possible. While most dogs will be very gentle with the baby, many dogs do not see babies as humans because of their size, smell, and the strange noises they make. By taking the time to give your dog some extra love and attention he should be fine and not turn to bad behavior to get your attention. You need to prepare and educate your dog for what lies ahead. This will ensure that they are ready and willing to accept the new family member with open and loving paws.

    Using calming remedies (herbs, aromatherapy, oils) and or prescription medications are also an option to help facilitate a better behaved dog. You can talk to your veterinarian to inquire about these products and the implications associated with their use. I am a believer in the holistic approach whenever possible, instead of using drugs.

    Please, please always be aware that your dog is an animal and animals can bite or do harm to a baby, intentionally or unintentionally. No matter how well-behaved or loving your dog is NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG ALONE WITH YOUR BABY! I cannot stress this enough. Accidents can happen. You do not want to harm your baby or have to get rid of your dog because of an unfortunate, and possibly avoidable, incident.

    If you are unsure that your dog will accept your new baby, please seek the advice of a professional trainer or behaviorist before making any decisions.

    Believe it or not, your behavior with, and toward your dog matters. It can make or break your dog’s acceptance of and respect for your baby. If you act like a leader, you will be treated like a leader. You want your dog to respect every human being in your household, including your baby. You must teach your dog respect for the baby. This will make life easier for all those involved.

    Be firm but fair-

    Do not let your dog get away with things, but don’t be a drill sergeant either! Try to make any corrections as gentle as possible, but make sure they are effective. Try to have fun with your dog and the training - you both need to enjoy it or neither one will want to continue!

    Your tone of voice matters-

    DO NOT YELL at your dog! Convey the meaning of the command through the tone of voice - match your voice to what you are telling your dog. Commands should be short and succinct, in a low, almost growling voice. Your voice should not get higher as you give the command. Do not sing to your dog or ask the dog a question! You will not get the answer you want! When giving praise, sound like you mean it! It should be the opposite of a command - higher pitched and enthusiastic. If your dog gets overly excited when you praise him, tone it down a bit and speak softly. Your dog will still understand that he is doing a good job, but he will be less likely to jump around and be crazy.

    Be calm and assertive-

    Our dogs feed off of our energies and emotions. This affects their behaviors and reactions. If we are relaxed and confident, our dogs will feel the same, and know that we are LEADING them, and they do not have to lead us.

    Use a crate-

    If your dog does not already use a crate, now is the time to start. A crate is not cruel, it can actually be a wonderful and safe place for your dog. Confining your dog at certain times, such as for sleep or times when you cannot supervise, is no different than putting your baby in its crib for the same. It is actually very easy to teach your dog to accept being in the crate. Most people think that a dog who has not used a crate before will have a hard time, but that is not usually true. My two older dogs started using the crate when they were 7 and 8 years old, about the time my son started crawling and exploring on his own. This allowed me to know that both my child and my dogs were safe and nothing bad could happen. Your child can be hurt by your dog as easy as your child could hurt your dog. The problem lies in the fact that if the dog makes even the slightest threat to your baby or even inadvertently hurts your baby, it is your dog’s fault. It is not fair to the dog for something like that to happen because you were not supervising the two together at all times!

    Eliminate bad manners-

    Bad manners cannot be accepted as they can be dangerous to a new baby and a new mom. Jumping and nipping are behaviors that need to be stopped right away. Stealing and rough-play also need to be nipped in the bud immediately.

    Teach your dog how to be calm and gentle, by praising and treating this behavior.

    Working commands into everyday life and play makes listening easy and normal for your dog. It becomes natural to the dog and it is less-likely that your dog will be out-of-control. It is also good for you too, as it makes sure that you are training your dog everyday, making you the leader - not the follower.

    Exercise is key for good behavior-

    As I stated earlier in the guide, exercise is imperative for your dog. This ensures that your dog will be better behaved because it doesn’t have the energy to misbehave! Regular walks are important. If you do not have the time to walk for miles, using a doggie backpack can make a short walk seem like a long walk for your dog. A dog backpack immediately puts your dog into work mode, which will help to tire her brain. If you evenly balance some weight on each side, such as water bottles, it will further the amount of physical energy that is expended by your dog. Teaching your dog to walk nicely next to the stroller is also important. It is very difficult and dangerous to have a dog pulling and out of control while trying to maneuver a stroller. If you plan to use a baby carrier, sling, backpack or car seat your dog needs to behave on the leash and walk with you, not pull you. It is a good idea to practice with the equipment before baby comes (use a doll in place of the baby) so that you can work out any kinks or problems.

    Have regular obedience sessions with your dog so that she does not forget her commands and remembers that she has to listen at all times. This also helps to tire her brain! Try to work the commands into everyday life so that it becomes second nature to her.

    Is your dog allowed on your furniture?-

    If your dog is currently allowed on the furniture you may want to reconsider this as your baby will likely be on the furniture a lot. Dog hair and dirt can irritate your baby. You also don’t want to have to constantly clean up after the dog. Your dog could also inadvertently injure the baby jumping up on the furniture or repositioning himself. It’s best to restrict access to the furniture so that problems do not occur.

    Time-out for your dog-

    Be sure you give your dog time away from the baby to settle. Time outs are an effective tool to allow your dog to keep its sanity and also for when they are doing something wrong.

    Your new schedule and your dog-

    It is time to readjust the dog’s schedule to acquaint her with the upcoming changes. Think realistically about the time you will have for the dog for things such as walks, feeding, potty breaks, play and attention. Try to keep the schedule consistent for your dog so that she does not feel unnecessary stress from the changes that are happening before your baby arrives. Having as little disruptions as possible will help to accomplish this goal. Once your dog feels secure and is used to the new routine, try to start having slight variations in your daily happenings. When your baby arrives things do not always go as planned. You can have every intention of staying on schedule and inevitably something will change that schedule! Babies do not follow schedules! Do try to stay on schedule, when possible, so that your dog is allowed some semblance of a routine. Dogs feel safety when the rules and routines stay the same.

    Pay less attention to your dog-

    It is now time to teach the dog to expect less attention from you in one sitting. Once the baby arrives you will not have the same amount of quality time to spend with your dog, but it is still essential to make time for your dog. Schedule regular 5 to 10 minute sessions each day where you pay full attention to your dog. You can do things such as play, grooming, petting or just talk to your dog. This allows your dog to understand that he is still an important part of your life. You need to teach the dog that this time may be with or without the baby. This is also a good time for you to relax and unwind as pets are very therapeutic. Be aware that if you have more than one pet, each will need individual attention if possible. You can also give the pack the attention at the same time, providing they get along, or allow them to play together to burn energy.

    Your dog needs to be calm and balanced-

    You need to make sure that your dog is calm and balanced before baby comes into the house. It is very important for your dog to learn how to be calm so that he does not hurt you or the baby. Your dog needs to be balanced so that he does not stress needlessly and act out inappropriately. If your dog is not calm and balanced there are ways to help you accomplish this. Training and exercise are good places to start to achieve a calm and balanced dog. If these do not work your dog may have something wrong with him, such as a mental or physical problem. Consult with your vet and local canine behaviorist or trainer. They should be able to steer you in the right direction. They can help advise you of the route you should take, whether behavior modification, medication, or holistic remedies.

    Is your dog gentle?-

    Teaching your dog how to be gentle is extremely important so that he will not inadvertently hurt the baby. Many dogs use their teeth too much and need to be taught the proper way to use their mouths - without the teeth!

    Does your dog jump?-

    If your dog is a jumper, teaching proper greetings will help to curb this problem. It is vital that your dog can see people without jumping or getting overly excited. When the baby comes home there will probably be lots of people visiting and he will need to be on his best behavior. It also facilitates the proper, gentle behavior your dog should have around the baby.

    How will my dog handle the baby being rough with her?-

    Teaching your dog what to physically expect from your baby is extremely important so that she is able to cope with and know what to do when baby pulls, hits or pushes her. Infants and children are not necessarily gentle by nature, and have to be taught how to be so. Your dog also needs to learn how to deal with these behaviors from his small leaders. Start to gently handle your dog in a rougher fashion while praising good behavior and gently, if possible, correcting inappropriate behavior such as nipping or mouthing. Children tend to pet roughly, pull ears and tails, put their hands in the dog’s face and touch sensitive areas on the dog. You need to mimic these behaviors in order to teach your dog what to expect and how to deal with it appropriately. Make it a daily habit to have time on the floor with your dog touching every part of his body in a loving fashion. This is good because it allows the dog to accept touch in areas that it may not want touched. It also teaches the dog to be gentle while on the floor and to be submissive to you and your baby. Do this slowly and your dog will understand

    Obedience training your dog-

    Your dog needs to be obedience trained and have basic manners. I suggest that you enroll in a training class if you can. Check your local training clubs, or facilities, for classes and make sure to observe a class so that you can see how they train. Make sure that you are comfortable with their techniques and the instructors. If you are not allowed to observe a class, please look elsewhere. Trainers who are legitimate should have no problem with this and encourage you to do so.

    The following are some basic commands and actions that your dog should be able to do to ensure that he will listen and be under control:

    Walk nicely on a leash
    Understand boundaries
    Go to Your Spot/Place
    Teaching the dog to respond to hand signals will also be beneficial. A sleeping baby is less likely to get woken up if you are not talking.

    It is also a good idea to teach your dog to accept wearing a leash - in and out of the house. This ensures that you have control over your dog and tends to help make the dog better behaved. Most towns and cities have leash laws so it is imperative that your dog get used to the leash. You should also walk your dog everyday. This gives your dog mental stimulation, as well as physical exercise, which helps to tire them out, thus making them less likely to get into trouble and an overall better behaved dog.

    Spot, Go To Your Spot!-

    The “Go to Your Spot” command is a great command to have in your arsenal for a well-behaved dog. You can use this exercise to allow your dog to be with you and not underfoot, or keep your dog at a distance and still know where he is and what he’s doing. It teaches your dog to go lie down on a rug or blanket and stay until released.

    Long down stays are important in general, whether or not he is “in a spot”, because they help you to maintain control over your dog. By your dog having to work for you, it facilitates a relationship in which you are dominant (in charge or the alpha figure) in your and your dog’s mind.

    Teach your dog what he can chew on-

    All dogs chew. Each has a specific reason for it, and has a physical need to chew. They need to chew to exercise their jaws as well as to let out pent up frustrations. Excessive chewing can also be a breed trait. To help avoid problems, do not set yourself up for failure.

    Soiling in the house-

    If your dog has an accident in the house, or is not housetrained, you need to clean it properly to avoid further “accidents” or remarking of the same areas and to maintain a sanitary environment. Dog feces can contain parasites and other unwanted disease. Giardia, E-Coli, other worms and parasites are sometimes present in the feces and many are transferrable to humans.

    Use high-value treats-

    Use treats of high value - treats your dog loves and doesn’t normally get - when dealing with new baby sights, sounds and scents. This tells your dog that these are good things, and that he should like them and associate them with rewards, instead of feeling malice or fear towards them. Make sure to keep the treats special, and only use them for the purposes of getting your pup familiar with what the new baby will be like.

    The health and cleanliness of your dog is vital-

    It is essential that your dog has a clean bill of health and is clean before you bring your baby home. Take your dog to the vet for a check-up to make sure that he has no health problems as these can cause unwanted behaviors in your dog that will interfere with his life with your baby. Make sure that he is up-to-date on all shots, or that his titer levels are good, and that he is worm-free.

    The next thing you need to make sure of is that you bathe your dog or have him groomed BEFORE the baby comes home. If your dog sheds, it is a good idea to start a de-shedding program, such as regular grooming and adding a product such as Linatone (which you can obtain at your local pet store, online or at some groomers) which has a special combination of oils to help the skin and coat. Be careful not to over-bathe your dog as this can cause skin problems in many dogs. Make sure that he has no fleas or ticks as this is unsanitary and can expose your baby to health problems. It also creates problems as you will not have much time to bathe him once the baby is around. Using special flea and tick medication will help to ensure that he remains flea-less and tick-less.

    Start teaching your dog to accept his paws and body wiped when he comes in from outside will aid in reducing the amount of dirt he tracks in the house. It also reduces the chance that your dog will carry in something that will cause an allergic reaction in you or your baby

    Also, make sure to vacuum or sweep regularly as dog hair accumulates fast. This is especially important once your baby starts to crawl or be on the ground a lot, unless of course you want the baby to be a human Swiffer!

    Carry a doll-

    The idea of carrying around a doll (preferably one that cries) may seem silly, but it is a very good way to get your dog used to an addition to the family. Everything is different with a baby. Holding a baby changes your posture, and your mannerisms, so your dog needs to be comfortable and accepting of this. The dog also needs to follow commands and be obedient when you have the baby or the baby is out and about. Using a doll while practicing everyday commands will help your dog respond better when the baby arrives. Take the dog for walks, play with the dog, and all the normal things you do with your dog with and without the baby equipment and doll.

    Baby sounds-

    Getting your dog used the sounds of a baby is also a good idea. This allows your dog to familiarize herself with the alien noises that it may not have heard before so that it is not a surprise when baby comes home. Things like crying, gurgling, yelling/screaming, and baby babble are not necessarily normal for a dog to hear. There are many cds and tapes that you can purchase for this purpose. Start the volume low and expose your dog for short periods of time at first. Gradually increase the volume and amount of time you play the sounds. Try to play the recording everyday until the baby arrives.

    Real babies and children-

    Another good idea is to expose your dog to the real thing - real babies and children. If you have friends or relatives who have babies you can ask if they will allow your dog to listen in or even record them for you. You can visit places like parks, if your dog is well-behaved, so your dog can hear all of the noises children make. Make sure to start this away from your house so that your dog does not feel threatened in her own territory. The next step is to expose your dog in your yard, and then in your house. Make this a gradual process so your dog can slowly accept it.

    Baby smells-

    The smells of a baby are often unfamiliar to a dog. Slowly start to get your dog used to these new smells by using the products you will use on your baby, such as baby oil, powder, baby wash and diaper cream. Putting these products on baby blankets and baby clothes will also help. If you have friends or relatives that have babies, ask to borrow used and unwashed blankets and burp cloths so that the dog can get accustomed to the real smells of a baby.

    The Nursery-

    Setting up the nursery allows your dog to become acquainted with changes in the house. It allows your dog to become comfortable with the sights and sounds associated with baby equipment, thus avoiding shock when baby arrives.

    If you don’t want your pup in the nursery you need to start restricting access now. Keeping the door shut or a baby gate in the doorway helps to achieve this. Your dog will not feel left out or anxious about no longer being allowed in that room. Another good idea is to put a dog bed outside of the nursery so that your dog is still close to you, but not in the room. He will not feel banished, but will feel more included. Spend time in the room without your pooch so he understands that this will be normal, and that it is no longer his territory. As he starts to understand that the room is no longer his, he will accept it and be less likely to try to get in there when the baby comes home. This also helps to keep the room clean and free of dog hair and dirt. You will have more than enough to clean in the nursery as it is!

    If you plan to allow your dog in the nursery start to teach the proper behaviors as soon as possible. Train her to be calm in there and not to jump up on the furniture and baby equipment. It is also a good idea to teach her to do down-stays when in the nursery so that she is allowed to be with you and the baby, but is out of the way and behaving. You may also want to have a bed or rug in there that your dog is allowed to lay on (remove it when you and the dog are not in the room). When the baby starts to crawl and move about you may want to limit the amount of time the dog spends in there and never leave the baby alone with the dog.

    Baby’s things are off-limits-

    Make sure to constantly reinforce that the baby’s things are not the dog’s things. Even though you may have practiced this before the baby came home, dogs do need reminders.

    It is important to dispose of dirty diapers properly to ensure that your dog does not get them. Dogs love things that have human waste on them, such as dirty diapers and feminine products. Keep these products out of reach as they will make an awful mess and are very unhealthy for your dog to ingest. They have chemicals that are not good for your dog and can cause blockages. Besides, the consuming of human waste can also make your dog sick (and have disgusting breath!).

    Teach your dog to leave baby blankets alone and not to lay or step on them. Lay them on the furniture and the floor to teach your dog that they are off limits. If your dog tries to walk or lay on them use a firm “NO” and redirect your dog to a proper spot and have him lay down. When your dog avoids these on his own, praise him for his good behavior with a treat or petting and he will understand that these items are not something to go near. You want to prevent possible injuries to your baby from your dog while baby is lying on or hiding under the blankets (as often babies do!).

    Teach your dog which toys belong to him-

    It is recommended to teach your dog what toys are his and what toys are the baby’s before baby arrives so that you will not have problems after. This is also a good idea because you can purchase toys similar to what your baby will have and not worry about using baby’s actual toys for these exercises. An easy way to do this is to use peanut butter (or something like it such as cream cheese or cheese spread) and bitter apple (you can purchase this online or at pet stores). Put bitter apple on the baby’s toys and peanut butter on the dog’s toys. Before you give your dog the choice about which toys he wants, take a little bitter apple on your finger and wipe it around in your dog’s mouth. This will help your dog to immediately identify the nasty taste on the baby toys. If you do not do this the bitter apple often dilutes and the dog will be able to get the baby’s toys because the taste is bearable. Make sure to have some treats ready to reward your dog when he chooses his toys over baby’s. Put the dog’s leash on and you are ready to begin. Put the “marked” toys on the floor and let your dog decide which toys he prefers. If he still tries to take the baby toys, tell him “no, leave-it”, and if necessary pull him away with the leash with a quick jerking motion. Do not try to hurt the dog, just give a quick correction as you repeat “no, leave-it”. When your dog does “leave” the baby toys alone, praise and treat. You can also teach the dog the concepts of “Mine”, “Baby’s” and “Yours” by adding these phrases to the training sessions. When the dog goes for his toys you can say, “Good! Yours!” When the dog goes for the baby’s toys say, “No, Leave-it, Baby’s”. You can use the same principle as used for the baby’s toys when the dog goes for something that is yours by substituting “Mine” in place of “Baby’s.”

    Please remember that if you leave your baby’s toys lying around your dog will most likely try to steal them. The temptation is too much for her to handle and she probably will fail. Do not set her up for failure! Try to get toys for the dog that are not like the baby’s - no stuffed animals and things that rattle. There are plenty of good dog toys that are very different from baby toys. Lastly, only keep a few of the dog’s toys out at a time. This will avoid her falling prey to the syndrome of “everything within my reach is mine!” If she understands that the three toys on the ground are hers, she will be less apt to take things she shouldn’t.

    If you follow the guidelines set forth in this article you should be able to accustom your dog to your newborn without much difficulty. Remember, when in doubt, always consult a professional trainer!

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  • On the off chance that you resemble a significant part of the populace, your four-legged companion is your first “infant.” Many individuals stress unnecessarily over how their canine will deal with an infant in their life. Numerous proprietors consider disposing of the family pets due to fears that they will hurt the infant. Kindly don’t do this except if there is no other alternative. Most canines, when treated and prepared appropriately, can deal with existence with an infant quite well.

    Kids and pets make superb mates when raised appropriately together and instructed how to act with one another. Kids that experience childhood in a home with pets learn regard and love for creatures, and all the more critically, regard forever. As the kids develop more seasoned they can learn duty by assisting with really focusing on the creatures. Creatures improve our and our youngsters’ lives to excess.

    Having an infant can mess up the two people and canines, as the canine will in general be dealt with in an unexpected way, and along these lines, may act in an unexpected way. A few proprietors child the canine more, making the canine become ruined and difficult to deal with. Different proprietors get over-pushed and rebuff the canine for typical, inquisitive conduct toward the child. Frequently our pets are the focal point of our reality, our “children” in the event that you would, and can get “envious” if not prepared to deal with losing that status to the new infant. In the event that you are eager to set aside a few minutes and exertion to set up your pets for the fresh introduction, everybody can live in concordance.

    Now and again the canines become overprotective of the infant. Numerous proprietors appreciate and even favor the canine being a watchman for the child. While it is typical for the canine to get defensive of the child, it is perilous for the canine to get overprotective and not let anybody close to the infant. The entirety of the above situations can prompt the canine being kicked out of the house!

    As you are making arrangements to get back infant, you need to set up your dog(s) for the equivalent ahead of time if conceivable. While most canines will be extremely delicate with the infant, numerous canines don’t consider children to be people in light of their size, smell, and the peculiar commotions they make. By setting aside the effort to give your canine some additional adoration and consideration he ought to be fine and not go to terrible conduct to borrow your time. You need to get ready and instruct your canine for what lies ahead. This will guarantee that they are prepared to acknowledge the new relative with open and adoring paws.

    Utilizing quieting cures (spices, fragrance based treatment, oils) as well as professionally prescribed drugs are additionally an alternative to help encourage a superior carried on canine. You can converse with your veterinarian to ask about these items and the ramifications related with their utilization. I’m an adherent to the all encompassing methodology at whatever point conceivable, rather than utilizing drugs.

    Kindly please consistently know that your canine is a creature and creatures can chomp or do mischief to a child, deliberately or accidentally. Regardless of how polite or adoring your canine is NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG ALONE WITH YOUR BABY! I must pressure this as much as possible. Mishaps can occur. You would prefer not to hurt your infant or need to dispose of your canine in light of a disastrous, and conceivably avoidable, occurrence.

    On the off chance that you are uncertain that your canine will acknowledge your new infant, kindly look for the counsel of an expert coach or behaviorist prior to settling on any choices.

    In all honesty, your conduct with, and toward your canine issues. It can represent the deciding moment your canine’s acknowledgment of and regard for your infant. On the off chance that you demonstration like a pioneer, you will be dealt with like a pioneer. You need your canine to regard each person in your family, including your infant. You should encourage your canine regard for the infant. This will make life simpler for each one of those included.

    Be firm however reasonable

    Try not to allow your canine to pull off things, yet don’t be a military trainer by the same token! Attempt to make any remedies as delicate as could reasonably be expected, yet ensure they are successful. Attempt to play around with your canine and the preparation - you both need to appreciate it or neither one of the ones will need to proceed!

    Your manner of speaking issues

    Try not to YELL at your canine! Pass on the significance of the order through the manner of speaking - coordinate your voice to what you are telling your canine. Orders ought to be short and brief, in a low, nearly snarling voice. Your voice ought not get higher as you provide the order. Try not to sing to your canine or ask the canine an inquiry! You won’t find the solution you need! When giving commendation, sound like you would not joke about this! It ought to be something contrary to an order - sharp sounding and excited. In the event that your canine gets excessively energized when you acclaim him, restrain it a piece and talk delicately. Your canine will in any case comprehend that he is working really hard, however he will be less inclined to hop around and be insane.

    Be quiet and emphatic

    Our canines benefit from our energies and feelings. This influences their practices and responses. On the off chance that we are loose and certain, our canines will feel the equivalent, and realize that we are LEADING them, and they don’t need to lead us.

    Utilize a carton

    In the event that your canine doesn’t as of now utilize a container, right now is an ideal opportunity to begin. A carton isn’t brutal, it can really be a great and safe spot for your canine. Limiting your canine at specific occasions, for example, for rest or times when you can’t regulate, is the same than placing your child in its lodging for the equivalent. It is in reality exceptionally simple to train your canine to acknowledge being in the carton. The vast majority imagine that a canine who has not utilized a container before will struggle, however that isn’t generally obvious. My two more seasoned canines began utilizing the container when they were 7 and 8 years of age, about the time my child began creeping and investigating all alone. This permitted me to realize that both my kid and my canines were protected and nothing terrible could occur. Your kid can be harmed by your canine as simple as your kid could hurt your canine. The issue lies in the way that if the canine makes even the smallest danger to your infant or even coincidentally harms your child, it is your canine’s flaw. It isn’t reasonable for the canine for something to that effect to happen in light of the fact that you were not overseeing the two together consistently!

    Dispense with awful habits

    Awful habits can’t be acknowledged as they can be risky to another child and another mother. Hopping and nipping are practices that should be halted immediately. Taking and unpleasant play likewise should be stopped from really developing right away.

    Show your canine how to be quiet and delicate, by lauding and treating this conduct.

    Working orders into regular day to day existence and play makes listening simple and typical for your canine. It gets normal to the canine and it is more uncertain that your canine will be wild. It is likewise bravo as well, as it ensures that you are preparing your canine ordinary, making you the pioneer - not the adherent.

    Exercise is key for acceptable conduct

    As I expressed before in the guide, practice is basic for your canine. This guarantees that your canine will be better acted in light of the fact that it doesn’t have the energy to make trouble! Customary strolls are significant. On the off chance that you don’t have the opportunity to stroll for a significant distance, utilizing a doggie knapsack can cause a short stroll to appear to be a long stroll for your canine. A canine knapsack quickly places your canine into work mode, which will assist with tiring her mind. On the off chance that you uniformly balance some weight on each side, for example, water bottles, it will advance the measure of actual energy that is exhausted by your canine. Instructing your canine to walk pleasantly close to the carriage is likewise significant. It is troublesome and risky to have a canine pulling and crazy while attempting to move a buggy. In the event that you intend to utilize an infant transporter, sling, rucksack or vehicle seat your canine necessities to carry on the rope and stroll with you, not draw you. It is a smart thought to rehearse with the hardware before child comes (utilize a doll instead of the infant) so you can work out any wrinkles or issues.

    Have normal dutifulness meetings with your canine so she doesn’t fail to remember her orders and recollects that she needs to tune in consistently. This additionally assists with tiring her cerebrum! Attempt to work the orders into regular day to day existence so it turns out to be natural to her.

    Is your canine permitted on your furnishings?-

    In the event that your canine is presently permitted on the furniture you might need to reevaluate this as your child will probably be on the furniture a ton. Canine hair and soil can disturb your infant. You likewise don’t have any desire to need to continually tidy up after the canine. Your canine could likewise coincidentally harm the child hopping up on the furnishings or repositioning himself. It’s ideal to confine admittance to the furniture so issues don’t happen.

    Opportunity for your canine

    Be certain you give your canine time away from the child to settle. Breaks are a compelling instrument to permit your canine to keep its mental stability and furthermore for when they are accomplishing something incorrectly.

    Your new timetable and your canine

    The time has come to correct the canine’s timetable to familiarize her with the forthcoming changes. Ponder the time you will have for the canine for things, for example, strolls, taking care of, potty breaks, play and consideration. Attempt to keep the timetable predictable for your canine so she doesn’t feel superfluous pressure from the progressions that are going on before your child shows up. Having as meager interruptions as conceivable will assist with achieving this objective. When your canine has a sense of safety and is utilized to the new daily schedule, attempt to begin having slight varieties in your day by day happenings. At the point when your child shows up things don’t generally go as arranged. You can fully plan to remain on time and unavoidably something will change that plan! Infants don’t follow plans! Do attempt to remain on time, whenever the situation allows, with the goal that your canine is permitted some similarity to an everyday practice. Canines feel security when the standards and schedules stay the equivalent.

    Give less consideration to your canine

    It is presently an ideal opportunity to show the canine to anticipate less consideration from you at a time. When the infant shows up you won’t have a similar measure of value time to go through with your canine, however it is as yet vital for set aside a few minutes for your canine. Timetable ordinary 5 to brief meetings every day where you give full consideration to your canine.

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  • My old girl just turned 13 today. And yes she has very expressive eyebrows

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  • Seeing my neighbors chonk cat staring at me is always my favorite part of the morning.

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  • Pup-Pea Dogger!

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    Jean-Joseph-Xavier Bidauld (1758-1846)
    “Le Départ pour la chasse” (“The Departure for the Hunt”) (1806)
    Oil on canvas

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    He went under the blanket by himself I didn’t not put it on him… god he’s adorable 🥺😭

    #I LOVE HIM !!!! 😭🥰 #i have the cutest dog in the world #I’m crying #like I don’t when it happen I just noticed 😭 #puppy the dog #my dog#my pets#pets#dogs#animals#shih tzu
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  • Cuteness overload

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  • is tumblr still alive?

    its been awhile


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  • This is my dog zoey she looks too funny. She is trying to catch the snow.

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  • His face shows so much emotion

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    Puppies anyone!?

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