Using treats effectively with your pup

Many dog owners go a little bit overboard with ‘treats’ such as biscuits, bones and chews, and this can cause to problems with behaviour. It’s important to find the balance so that you’re not going over the top with too many treats, or worse still, not rewarding your dog at all.

So what’s the problem with giving my dog a treat every time he does what I say? The problem will be clear when you have run out out of biscuits. Your dog will no longer have an incentive and that should not be the case. You should train your dog to listen to you, not to respond to treats all of the time.

Then the problem with not rewarding your dog is similar. If you don’t give your dog some sort of incentive, they can lose the will to listen to you. It’s all about finding the balance and we recommend you use treats wisely to get the best behaviour out of your dog, as well as a lot of love too.

Tips for meeting likeminded pet owners

They say it’s pretty easy to meet other pet owners but that’s not always the case. Of course you can walk your dog and bump into people every now and then and ask them how they are, how old their dog is and see what their plans are for the weekend, but this just isn’t the norm. A quick nod or just a “hello” is more likely, and what if you’re a cat owner or perhaps a bunny lover? Where can you meet likeminded individuals?

The best places are training sessions, especially if you have a young pet. Every animal needs training of some kind and there are likely to be plenty of training sessions in your local area. It may be surprising to know how many people have a pet just like yours, so even if you have an iguana or a pet that’s a little bit are, there may be some courses and training days where you can put your pet parenting skills to use! If you read a pet magazine every now and then, you’ll probably find tons of advertisement whereby specialist trainers are advertising opening on courses and evening classes, so be sure to look out!

Another quality option for meeting pet owners like you is at events and shows. There are loads of dog and cat shows throughout the UK, all year round, so be sure to check out the best ones online and buy tour ticket early. It’s the perfect place to strike up conversations about your animal and quiz people on their own pets. You could even take your cat or dog along to make friends. Following this, you could check for groups on Facebook as well as pet forums. You can chat with likeminded people without leaving the comfort of your own home, and that will suit many people! It’s also a great place to educate yourself on your animal and learn more about their behaviour.

So that’s a good amount to start looking out for! With magazines, forums, social media accounts, shows and events, there’s loads of ways to get involved in a community based around your particular pet. It just takes a little time and research to get the ball rolling, but there will be so many opportunity if you start opening up to these kinds of methods. Whether you own a dog, cat, rabbit, snake, turtle or lizard, there’s a lot you can learn and a community in which you can get involved with.

We did want to make one final point, and that’s on evening classes. With these classes you will learn more than you ever anticipated. A professional can guide you through all of the stages of care so no stone is left unturned, including feeding, rewarding, discipline, health, behaviour and fitness. These courses will generally run for one hour a week, but there’s usually the option for private lessons too if you desire. And as discussed, it’s certainly a great way to meet pet owners just like you.

Why choose a mobile dog trainer?

A mobile dog trainer, as you probably would have guessed, will spend time in your home with you and your dog, assessing why you are facing your current problems. They can teach you how to train your dog before the behavioural issues go too far. There are most probably plenty of mobile dog trainers to choose from in your local area right now, but it’s important to choose an individual or team who have the credentials for the task at hand. Check their experience and see what they’ve achieved for other dog owners, and if you can ask to look at a few of their case studies. It’s also wise to check they have certifications in dog training and the more they’re able to prove in terms of documentation, the better. You can then feel them out when you meet them in person and see if they really have the knowledge for the job before you pay them any fees at all.

Tough Mudder for dogs

You may well have read about this recently, as it’s been heavily reported on in the media, but dog lovers will soon be able to race alongside their pet in the first ever mud obstacle race made for canines and humans. The muddy dog challenge will be setup in six locations throughout the UK, and though these are yet to be confirmed, we can expect a few major towns and cities being mentioned. It’s more of a trial run for the first year to see what the reception is going to be, but it’s organised for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, so it’s likely all or most of the proceeds will go this this charity. A worthwhile cause, not just in terms of raising money, but getting yourself and your dog outdoors feeling fit with some competitive sprit. It will certainly be a great event to participate in to meet likeminded go owners, and we’re expecting big things.

When to keep your dog on a leash

Dogs do deserve freedom to run around, get rid of some energy and keep up their exercise, however are their times you should keep your dog on a leash.

Finding a good dog walking spot is always advantageous when you have an energetic pooch that needs to stretch their legs and burn off some energy. As a dog owner it is your responsibility to maintain the safety of your canine and of those around you. Keeping your dog on a leash in busy built up areas is very important as it lets you dog know you are fully in control.

Passing through a busy park or playground may distract your dog, or cause them to act out of their normal comfort zone. If your dog doesn’t fully follow commands then it is always best to keep them on the leash until you are in an enclosed dog area, which can be found in many public park areas.