In this issue:
- Bonfire night
- Up and Coming Events
October already! The ‘C’ word shall not be mentioned until the November edition. This edition will focus on Halloween and Bonfire night, two very exciting events for humans but not so much for our dogs.
A Poem for Autumn
Autumn’s in the air,
leaves are turning brown.
Squirrels are gathering nuts.
birds are heading down
to now-warm southern countries.
Bears will soon be sleeping.
Days are getting shorter.
Cold air comes a’ creeping.
Yard Spiders! EEK!!!!
But happy is the dog
that smells fall in the air.
Our coats are thick and warm.
We run without a care.
The smells are fresh and new!
We chase squirrels up the trees.
We smile, those crisp, cool mornings,
and jump in piles of leaves.
Watching for Autumn!
Welcome cooler mornings!
Welcome cooler days!
Summer’s finally over,
and Arctic Dogs say YAY!!!
Fake blood, scary masks, witches hats, knocks on the door and kids high on sweets are all part of the fun and traditions at Halloween, but our furry friends don’t know what all the fuss is about. Those outfits and decorations which we love so much can be very scary for our dogs so here are a few helpful hints to make sure your dog and kids stay happy:
- Don’t answer the door with your dog, put them in another room so they do not get scared by the visiting children or run out of the door whilst you are busy dishing out the sweets
- Do not take your dog out trick-o-treating, very few dogs will appreciate being taken out in the dark amongst dressed up kids.
- We know it’s fun to dress up but it’s not so much fun for our dogs, who may find the act of trussling them up in clothing distressing and uncomfortable.
- Do not let dogs have access to or give them any sweets or chocolates, both are toxic to dogs.
Remember, remember the 5th of November!
Is your dog afraid of fireworks? Or do you have a new puppy or dog and are unsure how they will react? Then this next bit is just for you.
The majority of dogs are terrified of fireworks. Why? Because they are bright, loud and unexpected, afterall you can't tell your dog that they are just for fun and entertainment and warn them of there arrival. Ideally preparation for fireworks needs to be started months in advance in order to be cured or for training to have maximum effect. But all is not lost! There are things you can do now to prepare your dog and things you can do during the few weeks where fireworks will pretty much be going off every evening, as is the new tradition these days. Here are my tips for preparing your dog before, during and after.
- Before the fireworks get started it is a good idea to play noises of fireworks through YouTube so grab your laptop/tablet/phone and a pot of yummy tasty treats (for your dog not you!), then start with the volume on really low so the bangs and noises are only just heard by your dog. As soon as you hit play feed your dog some treats, stop the noise and stop the treats, repeat repeat repeat. Slowly turn the volume up bit by bit, if your dog gets stressed at any point, then stop the training and try again later on a much lower sound level.
- Create a doggy den/safe haven. Set this up now, so your dog is used to seeing this before the firework season starts. Using a crate is the best thing to do as you can cover all but the front sides with blankets/duvets to make it feel nice and safe and lessen any noise and light. Put the den in an area of the house away from windows and doors or even better, in a room which is in the middle of the house, such as an enclosed stairs landing. Feed your dog in here and give them tasty treats inside it so it becomes a nice pleasant place to be.
- Keep some stuffed frozen Kongs in the freezer full of your dogs favorite food to give to them during the fireworks this will give them something to do and take their minds off the noises.
- Do not listen to the old myth that 'comforting a stressed or anxious dog will reinforce their fear', there is no evidence that this is the case, dogs cannot help feeling scared, no amount of comforting will make them 'be scared', obviously if you are not calm and are panicky then your dog will pick it on it, but don't be afraid to comfort your best friend if/when they become worried.
- Turn the television or radio up a little bit more than usual to drown out the loud bangs and shut curtains to block out flashes of light and help muffle external sounds.
- Remember to walk your dog earlier in the day, and bring your cat indoors before it gets dark. Ensure they have a well fitted collar or harness with an identity tag. Even if they are not normally nervous, if they happen to be outside when an unexpected bang goes off they may bolt.
- Be prepared to stay at home with your pets and go outside with them if they need to toilet.
- You could also try some natural herbal remedies for anxiety and stress, such as 'skullcap and valerian' these have shown to have great effects in taking the edge off dogs stress levels.
- If your dog has severe anixety about fireworks then a trip to the vets for strong medication maybe needed, speak to your vet about this.
If you have any further concerns or question then dont hesitate to get in touch with me.
Up and coming events and training days:
We will be holding a dog show at Locke Park on Sunday the 4th of December, this promises to be our best yet to mark the end of the season. Lots of prizes, certificates and a raffle.
See workshops for more details about our training days.
After the new year will be also be offering FUN AGILITY classes, keep checking our facebook page for updates.
Dog Training Q and A section!
In this section I answer questions which clients, readers or followers have sent/asked me.
Want your question answered? Then why not send me your question and I will try to answer it on our next newsletter.
My dog keeps slipping out of its collar when on walks what should I do? There are a couple of options, you could get your dog a good fitting harness, one which goes around the ribs and around the neck area so it doesnt slip off over their heads as easily, make sure the straps as tight but stil get 2-3 fingers underneath. or the second option is a martingale type collar, one which tightens but only to a set amount this way it will prevent your dog from escaping but without choking them. Another good idea is to make sure your dogs recall is top-notch, so if their collar/harness does come off you can get them back. I run recall workships to help people with this, contact me to find out when our next workshop is.
Why does my bitch try to 'hump' my other female dog? Humping isn't always a sexual act with dogs, nor is it dominance, it is usually either over excitement, pushy behaviour to get another dog to play with them or sometimes for attention, since we obviously 'react' when a dog tries to hump our leg!
My puppy growls at me when i go near his food, what can I do to stop this! Your puppy is guarding his resource, when a dog does not like its food being taken it is called 'resource guarding'. The first thing to do is NOT remove their food bowl whilst they are eating, all this teaches a puppy is that you are taking their food away from them, some puppy's do ok with the 'take food bowl, give food bowl back' idea, but most are too far past this point for it to prevent or change resource guarding. The best thing to do is walk past your puppy whilst it is eating and ADD something extra tasty to its food bowl, or next to its food bowl. This way your approach now means something good and positive to your puppy, so therefore they have no reason to worry about you 'taking' their food. As this progresses you can start to pick the bowl up, put something in and then give it back. I must stress though that if your dog/puppy is behaving extremely aggressive around the food bowl or toys and bones then contact me immediately before starting any form of training.
That's it for this month! Please feel free to comment or share my newsletter :)