Blog

Mar 20

Teaching a Solid “Stay”

Posted by Bark to Basics

Teaching your dog the “stay” command gives you more control in many situations and is a great safety tool as well. The key to teaching stay is patience! Some dogs, especially puppies, would rather do anything than hold still!

  • Ask your dog to “sit” or “down”. If your dog doesn’t know “sit” or “down” teach those commands first!

 

  • Use sit-stay for short periods of time – think at the curb, while chatting with a neighbor while on a walk or checking out at the pet store. Use down-stay for longer duration stays like in the house with your pup in his place  (if you missed how to teach “place” check out last month’s newsletter)!

 

  • With your dog in position say “stay” and hold your hand out away from you, palm flat like you are telling someone to stop. After a few seconds of holding the position say “yes” and reward your dog. Remind her to “stay” and repeat.

 

  • Gradually increase your distance from your dog, how long you ask her to stay between rewards and the distraction level. At first you will want to increase one component at a time. For example, if the house is quiet and you are only two feet away ask her to stay in place longer. If you are walking across the room reward more frequently.

 

  • Incorporating toys is a great way to challenge distraction level. Start by holding a low value toy while she stays, progressing in distraction level to squeaking the toy, to tossing it in the air, all while she holds her position.

 

  • When the session is over approach your dog, say “free” and encourage him to get up. Be sure to use your release word at the end of each “stay” session, and do not use the word unless you are done!

 

  • You can also use the “come” command to release your dog. However, a mixture of the “free” and “come” command to release works best to avoid your dog anticipating you calling him before you are ready.

 

  • If your dog gets up say “no” and have him go back into position and try again. If he breaks three times in a row that is a sign that you are making it too hard for him. Go back a step.

 

  • Keep “stay” sessions short and fun, stopping before your dog becomes bored. For high energy dogs or puppies several three-minute sessions per day is more effective than one long one!

 

  • “Stay” is a great command to combine with “place”. Simply send your dog to his place before asking him to “stay”.
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Feb 18

Teach Your Dog To Go To Her “Place”

Posted by Bark to Basics

Teach Your Pup the “Place” Command 

Teaching your dog the “place” command can be helpful in a variety of situations – controlling your curious pup when you need a moment to relax, encouraging polite door greeting behavior, a safe spot for shy dogs when strangers visit, or even giving her a place to stay when she accompanies you to a pet-friendly restaurant. An added bonus is that many dogs will naturally gravitate to their place on their own once they learn the command.

  • To start, pick a bed or blanket you will use for your dog’s place. You can have more than one in different areas of the house if desired.
  • Put the place in a location where they can be close the action of the family but tucked out of the way. A corner of a room or next to the couch works great.
  • Get your pup’s attention and say “place” while pointing to the spot and walking towards it. Reward when she gets on her place and lays down (you can give her the “down” command at first if needed.)
  • Repeat sending him to his place until he is going to the spot and laying down without the “down” command.
  • Once she starts to get the idea, start mixing it up. Walk towards the place from different directions and stop a few feet before the place so she learns to continue to the bed on her own.  This will allow you to send her from across the room in the future.
  • Next, move the place around to different areas of the room. This will help solidify the “place” being the bed or blanket, no matter where the place is in the house, or out in public. This is also a good time to increase the level of distraction around your dog when asking him to “place”.
  • Once you and your dog have mastered the “place” command, work on sending her to her place and having her “stay” there until released.

Check out next month’s newsletter for tips on teaching a solid “stay”!

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Dec 29

Check Out the Winter/Spring Newsletter Now!

Posted by Bark to Basics

Food Selection Tips, Socialization and More! Check It Out Now!

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Nov 22

Pup ThanksNibbles Recipe

Posted by Bark to Basics

Sharing certain parts of your Thanksgiving feast can be dangerous to your pup (or at least cause a tummy ache)!. Skip the fatty skin and gravies and instead, let your pup partake in the yummy traditional holiday food, but in a healthy, safe way. This recipe takes the classic favorites of turkey, pumpkin and cranberry and makes it into a yummy treat with ease.
Pup ThanksNibbles
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup mashed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup diced green beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped cranberries (not sweetened)
  • 1 beaten egg
Combine all ingredients and roll into 2 inch balls. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 375° then allow to cool before serving to your thankful dog!
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Oct 23

The Importance of Socialization

Posted by Bark to Basics

The Importance of Socialization 

Socialization is imperative to having a happy, well behaved and well-adjusted adult dog.Without proper socialization young pups can grow up to be dogs with fear and territorial aggression and anxiety.

The key window for socialization is between 4-14 weeks of age. If your puppy’s shot schedule allows I highly recommend socialization outings starting at 12 weeks. Talk to your vet to determine what is safe at each stage.

If your puppy is older than 14 weeks and has not been properly socialized it is still extremely important to start the process ASAP. Socialize your puppy now to help him become the best dog he can be!

Puppy Developmental Stages 

  • From four to twelve weeks, your puppy’s interaction with people becomes more important. They learn to play with littermates, develop social skills and bite inhibition and begin to understand social boundaries and hierarchy.
  • At eight to ten weeks, your puppy can experience real fear involving everyday objects and experiences. Positive reinforcement with new experiences is important during this stage.
  • At nine to twelve weeks your puppy’s social skills with others advance, and he will begin to investigate his surroundings more. This is a great time to start training.
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