Thursday, 6 October 2011

Shocking News and Dangerous Food

Shock Dog Collars
A couple of months ago a guy in Wales in the UK was fined £2000 (approx. $3200) and costs of £1000 (approx.$630) for using an electronic shock collar on his dog. These collars are now against the law in Wales - but is this fair?

My belief is that it is fair, at least to the dog, because the high voltage charge delivered to the dog is frightening and usually disassociated with anything from the dog's point of view. In the hands of an untrained owner the effect on the dog can be devastating and actually induce worse long term behaviour, there are even recorded instances of a dog suffering a fatal heart attack as a result of the use of a shock collar.

In the hands of a really professional licensed dog trainer, a shock collar might just be effective for very specific fault correction but in all other cases they should never, never be used.

Bear in mind that many dog owners do not know how to use the simple check (choke) collar properly, so the wide introduction of shock collars would almost certainly result in a lot of un-necessary suffering for dogs.
There are alternatives available which are less cruel than a shock collar, but actually, when you learn how to train your dog properly you do not really need such “high tech.”devices.

Dangerous Foods For Dogs
I have received many requests to list again some of the foods that are dangerous for dogs so here goes:-

-Chocolate (including cocoa )
-Greasy foods (e.g. French fries, ham, bacon, pepperoni etc.)
-Macadamia Nuts (nutmeg)
-Pits (stones) (cherry pits, peach pits, pear pips, plums pits, apricot pits)
-Raw eggs, milk,
-Sweetener substitute Xylitol (found in sugar free gum and other food stuffs)
-Skins ( including potato skins, turkey skins, chicken skins etc.)

There are many other dodgy foods but stay safe and stick with good quality branded dog food and treats. Remember the garbage bin is the place for your leftover food and scraps. Also remember that vet's fees will cost you more than the cost of better quality dog food.

Dog Training and Dog Care Manual
If you have not yet purchased a copy of Dog Training and Dog Care you might be interested to learn that an ebook version for Amazon's “Kindle” has just been released and is available at :

On the Amazon page there is a link ”Try It Free” (Sample the beginning of this book for free ) Click on the button “Send Sample Now” This will enable you to get a flavour of the book and also see detailed contents.
It's worth a look.

Take it easy out there.

Best wishes,


Thursday, 7 July 2011

How Well Groomed Is Your Dog?

                                      Grooming Your Dog
If you love dogs but are only an occasional visitor to dog shows, you may well
be amazed at the seeming fanatical approach to grooming that you will see as
owners prepare their dogs for the show ring.
Is this degree of grooming really necessary. Well for the show ring yes but
there are important reasons for grooming your own dog even if you never want
to show it.

Grooming can include combing, stripping, scissor trimming, bathing and other
jobs such as nail clipping, cleaning teeth and cleaning ears.
Regular combing and brushing removes loose hair, untangles knots, stimulates
blood flow and is an opportunity to check for any lesions or unwanted parasites.
It is also a great aid to training because you get the chance to make your dog
stand/sit still and be placed indifferent positions. Usually your dog will associated
your commands with the pleasant experience of grooming.
Short haired dogs spending much of their time in the house may only need one
groom per week comprising a rub down with a grooming glove.

Dogs with long coats or double coats will need more regular grooming and bathing
especially if they spend lots of time outdoors and in muddy conditions. This
could be as much as twice per week or “on Demand” (after a long wet
and muddy walk).

Grooming Tools
Grooming tools are not too expensive but you will need several items whatever
type of coat your dog has. Your tools will usually be made up from the following:

Slicker Brush
General purpose brush that separates the top and undercoat. They are available
in soft, medium and hard pin or bristle. Suitable for double and wool coats.
Pin Brush

These have blunt pins which will comb the top coat without pulling out the undercoat.
Suitable for double and silky coats.

Bristle BrushUsually supplied with good quality pure natural bristle or in the cheaper nylon
bristle version. Used on short haired coats or thin coats

Double Sided Brush
These are a combination Pin and Bristle brush. They provide the convenience
of two brushes in one. The brush has bristles on one side, which are good for
grooming the short hair areas of your dog’s coat. On the other side a pin brush which will
penetrate the coat of a long or double-coated dog.

Porcupine Brushes
This type of dog brush has a combination of long quill- like bristles with shorter
bristles. It is suited to removing loose hair and debris from medium to long-coated pets.
This brush can also be used for everyday brushing of wiry-coated dogs.

Undercoat Rake
A grooming undercoat rake is a good choice for dogs with dense double coats.
The teeth of an undercoat rake are designed to penetrate through the overcoat
down into the thick undercoat to remove loose hair faster and easier than a
standard comb. The brush can also be used to work out mats and tangles.
There are other tools such as a grooming glove, usually a rubber glove with
small rubber teeth on the palm of the glove. Also a de-shedding tool which is
very good but a bit expensive.
( to see pictures of some of these brushes go to: -  )

When you plan to bath your dog, it is a good idea to carry out a grooming
session first. This way you will remove lots of loose hair, dried mud
and things that have got stuck in the dog's coat. This means your bathing
water will stay cleaner for longer and you will not get so much soggy
fur in the bathing tube.

For some dogs this is an unwelcome part of the grooming process but you should
learn to train your dog to go through the procedure. Always use good quality
branded shampoos and if your dog has sensitive skin make sure your dog does
not suffer any allergic reaction to the the shampoo.

                                                   Dietary Note
Moving on but still on the subject of allergies it is possible for your dog
to have an allergy to normal dog food and you may not be aware of it. I have
one dog that is allergic to wheat products. I only realised this when I noticed
that the dog always seemed to have mild diarrea. Fortunately most of the top
branded dog food manufactures supply feeds for dogs with sensitive digestive
systems. I was able to buy an “off the shelf” feed (wheat free) that
solved the problem.

Take care out there,


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

It's A Dog's World

Here is an abridged item from a recent "Dog News" that makes me very

From July 1st 2011, owners of dogs that the city of College Park, Gainesvill
deem to be "potentially dangerous" must be registered, photographed
and should be forced to wear a bright identifying tag to mark them out.

A local Councilman, brought in the breed specific legislation following two
high profile dog attack cases in his district.

"What a dog owner has to do is go to the vet and get a chip implanted
into the dog for identification purposes. They also have to submit a photograph
of the dog, and they'll be issued a brightly colored tag that will identify
it as a potentially dangerous dog,". People who don't register
their dogs face fines and the city authorities say that owners will also have their dogs taken and
impounded should they not comply.

The following are breeds of dogs required to be registered in College Park:

Pit Bull, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire
Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Doberman and German Shepard

This is abject nonsense. In almost all cases of dogs with dangerous behaviour
it is the owners (or previous owners) who are the basic cause of the problem.
It is possible to take a small mild mannered dog and turn it into a vicious
little thug by repeated kicking, indifferent feeding and plenty of isolation.
It is possible to take a disturbed badly behaved dog and turn it into a stable
family pet by applying good training principals. ( )

Breed specific legislation is a concept that has been tried in various places
around the world but it has proven to be controversial, expensive and has never
been proven to have prevented a single dog attack or death.

The councilman is probably a typical politician who likes to make the rules from
a comfortable office without ever bothering to learn about what takes place in the real world.

Some Routine Maintenence For Your Dog

Every day you hear of something that you should eat/avoid/undertake etc
to keep yourself healthy and increase your chances of a long life.

Well, actually it's very much the same for your dog and in many cases the advice
can be exactly the same (but not always as there are some specific differences
between human and dog metabilisum)

Like us dogs are at risk of developing joint problems- especially arthritis.
This is more prevailent in some breeds such as Labrador retrievers, German shepherd
dogs, Golden retrievers, and Rottweilers.

When dogs have arthritis they display symptoms such as being less active, have
trouble getting up or lying down, they are reluctant to climb/desend stairs,
or they become lame. Some dogs become much slower when they move around.

As with humans there are various treatments available to ease a dog's discomfort
and restore mobility. The type of treatment depends upon several factors, such
as the age of your dog, the severity of the problem and especially today, financial

Is There Any Action You Can Take

You bet there is. Firstly prevention of joint problems and secondly helping
your dog if it has joint problems


Feed a good quality balanced diet, preferably one that contains a natural
source of Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate providing the body with necessary
nutrients for cartilage repair and function. Good quality food also contains antioxidants
to encourage a strong healthy immune system. Stick to good quality branded feed and if in doubt ask your vet for advice

Keep your dog at an ideal weight. Arthritis is much more of a problem in obese
pets. Weight loss can be beneficial by helping to reduce the workload on the
bones and joints.

Exercise. Provide moderate amounts of exercise. Modest daily exercise can help
some dogs. Exercise can strengthen the muscles and ligaments thus reducing the
potential and risk of injury. Special care is needed, so it is important to
first see your veterinarian, who can recommend an appropriate exercise program.

Help for a dog with joint problems

Slip-free Flooring. Hardwood and tile floors are slippery and can be very
difficult for dogs with arthritis to navigate. Placing carpet or area rugs will
help secure your dog's footing. This can help prevent him from slipping and
injuring himself - cheaper than a vet's bill

A Soft Bed. Soft bedding can help support the bones and joints, making your
pet more comfortable. This can be especially important in thin dogs in which
bony prominences are likely to rub on hard surfaces. Some beds are made especially
for dogs with arthritis, such as waterbeds, hammock beds, and beds with plenty
of extra cushions.

I hope these suggestions help you to look after your dog.

On A Lighter Note
Here is a website you might like to look at. It is where a very talented artist
shows some of her work relating to dogs (and other animals). The standard is
very high and I think you will be impressed and no I do not have any connection
with the website or receive any commission - I just think it is worth a browsing


Until next time - take care out there.



Saturday, 14 May 2011

Out and About

With the approach of summer you may be planning a few days off in the countryside,
so the flavour of this blog is "out and about".
I am writing this on unlucky Friday 13th, a day when some people would prefer
to stay safely in bed all day. (Actually there a few who would like to stay
in bed all day on any day of the month). Luck is a funny thing, you may believe
in it or just consider luck is the out come of random statistical happenings.
Locally there was a recent case of a dog that happened to have luck on his side.
The incident was about a dog named Cochyn an Irish Setter, who had luck on
his side on 10th April, when he was rescued by Cardigan RNLI volunteers.

The lifeboat teams were out on a training exercise in their lifeboats when the
coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public reporting that a
dog had been seen falling down the cliffs at Mwnt in west Wales. Because the
lifeboats were close by they were able to rescue the dog very quickly.

Cochyn escaped with little more than cuts and bruising and was happily reunited
with his owner on Mwnt beach.
I must add I am always very concerned about dogs running free on cliff tops.
It only takes a second for things to go wrong. It is always safer to keep a
dog on the lead when out walking.
There is an exception to this rule and that is if you were walking through
a field when you became surrounded by a herd of cows. In this case release your
dog because it will usually easily out run the cows and should be safe - as
for yourself -ah!, well that's for a another blog in the future.
With the hope of some very warm sunny days ahead, we have to remember to consider
our dogs when we take them out with us either walking or in the car. This includes
the following

Always provide your dog with plenty of (preferably) cool water to drink. You
may find places for your dog to drink but carrying a small bottle is sensible.

When resting during a walk (or even at home) make sure your dog rests in a shady
place out of direct sunlight. (Many short coated dogs can get sunburn especially
underneath if they lie for long periods in direct sunlight)

Never leave your dog in a locked car or with the windows closed or in an unshaded
spot (remember the sun moves round and a shady spot can become unshaded quite

PS. If you require a non-spill water bowl, to carry with you in the car, take
a look at the feed bowl catalogue on the dog care website:-

Friday, 6 May 2011

Sunny Days

During the recent hot spell, I noticed that our medium coated German shepherd seemed to be panting excessively. Although I put this down to the hot humid weather I still decided to take the dog to the vet for  a heart check. Fortunately every thing was fine and there were no problems.

The situation reminded me of an incident, many years ago when the family had two Rhodesian Ridgeback Dogs.
These dogs originate from a hot climate and have a short coat so they are reasonably heat tolerant.

At the time we lived in a small market town and I used to take the dogs, on leads, along several roads before reaching an open space where the dogs could run free.

One very hot day, hot enough to melt some of the tarmac on the roads, I took the dogs for a walk to the usual place for a short exercise session. On returning home I noticed both dogs were distressed and panting excessively. I was quite worried at the time and checked over the dogs as best as I could. I noticed that during these examinations I had got road tar over my jeans transferred from the dog's paws.

This struck a chord, I remembered that dogs partly transpire (that's "sweat") through their paws. The coating of tar on the dog's feet was partially sealing the pads and preventing transpiration. The paws were fully cleaned and washed with both dogs returning more or less to normal within 15 minutes.

This sort of event is not common, however, it shows how easy it is to get caught out even if you are very careful about your dog's welfare.

In case we are treated more hot days later in the year:

Always provide your dog with plenty of cool water to drink.

Make sure your dog is located in a shady place out of direct sunlight. (many short coated dogs can get sunburn especially underneath if they lie for long periods in direct sunlight)

Never leave your dog in a locked car or with the windows closed or in an unshaded spot (remember the sun moves round and a shade spot can become unshaded quite quickly)

But of course you know all this already, don't you.

Best regards,


PS. If you require a non-spill water bowl, to carry with you in the car, take a look at the dog care website:-


Friday, 15 April 2011

Lurking In The Undergrowth


When you are walking out with your dogs, you never know what might happen next. Recently our dogs took off to chase an unseen enemy of the pack (they never did discover one) but their track took them through a patch of stinging nettles (not native to the US but common in the UK). These nettles had no effect on the German Shepherd (with a long coat) however, a small Jack Russell terrier (with a very thin coat) came off very badly and needed cooling lotion and nursing for a few hours.

It reminded me that there are a lot of hazards out there including several parasites that can make life difficult for dogs. In fact many of these parasites are more common in the countryside than in the town.

Fox mites are one that can get into dogs ears and cause irritation. The dreaded ticks are another. Some types of ticks can cause serious illness in dogs (and humans). These are often found on fern/bracken fronds, where they lie in wait for a passing victim, usually a sheep, but a passing dog will do nicely thank you.

Certain types of worm infestations can be caused by your dog coming into contact with slugs and snails including recent “slime” trails.

Actually, I'm probably depressing you so let me state that these hazards will not occur every day or probably ever. But, it is worthwhile keeping a watchful eye on where your dog plays, when off the lead.

Check over your dogs skin when you groom it and take your dog to the vet if you are concerned about anything.

As is usually the case, most problems will be solved if you get advice early.


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Soggy Wet Dogs


We have had, so it seems, several weeks of very dry weather. To-day we had quite a lot of rain. Those who garden will love it. There is one drawback, however, wet dogs.

The trouble is that dogs with a thick coat invariably pick up a lot of mud (and smells - how do they do that?) which really requires a full bath session. Not so easy, if you have a full time job, or are just fitting in a short walk when you have a time window.

I confess I do not know the answer but using "wipes", as suggested by a friend, does work on smaller dogs with short coats. With the large dog having a long coat, I rub the dog down with an old towel and then use an undercoat rake* to tease out any bits of twig or seed heads etc. It is often necessary to use the towel again if the dog is very wet but by now you have used up probably about 20 minutes just trying to dry your dog.

There is a case for using a waterproof coat and I intend to try this out. For too long I have been childishly prejudiced against deploying a coat on one of my dogs but actually it seems a very sensible idea and helps to ensure the dog gets enough exercise. (I might have to walk the dogs after dark though - when no one will see us!!!!!!!)

I'll let you know how it works out.

PS If you are not familiar with all the different grooming tools available visit the following link:


Monday, 14 March 2011

Choosing Good Toys for Your Dog


Playing with toys can be of great value to a dog, both for exercise, and physiologically.
Toys give a dog an interaction that stimulates their mind, keeps them engaged and satisfies their instinct to chew. It can also help to keep teeth and gums healthy.

It is obviously worth buying toys but there are many different types and designs of dog toys to choose from so what should you look for?

Firstly consider your dog's temperament, exercise requirements, size and condition and just how powerful a bite your dog has.
Does your dog like to fetch? Is your dog a chewer? Maybe your dog is a cuddler and likes snuggling up to soft comfy toy animals? Does a squeaky toy attract your dog?

You can now make short list the type of toys you think are suitable, however, delete the following:

1) Toys that break up easily such as soft plastic or rubber (harder  materials are usually okay)

2) Squeaking toys that are not robust and where you suspect that the squeak could become detached and swallowed by your dog.

3) Pull Toys (Actually there is nothing wrong with pull toys but if you are training your dog using the "Alpha Dog" principle pull toys may undermine your status) - see:

4) Toys with any small parts or protrusions that might become detached and swallowed.

5) Toys that are too big or too heavy for your dog's size.

6) All "cheap and nasty" products - buy branded products if possible

Training Tip
If you are trying to show your dog that you are the "Pack Leader", and
when you are at home, make sure that you always go through every door before your dog. This is important especially  if there is someone at your front door and your dog wants to see who it is.
Remember - You Are The Boss -but by action not by shouting!

Have a look round various pet shops and doggie magazines before deciding on what to buy. With branded toys you are reasonably safe to buy from the Internet where you may get better deals.

Once you have the new toy(s) you can introduce them to your dog and hopefully witness your dog's enjoyment.

You will need to examine regularly the toys and discard them as soon as they show any signs of becoming unsafe.

If you have toys that you can throw (e.g. a ball), make sure you throw it carefully. Your dog may chase after the toy oblivious to everything else. This means that if the ball lands near a sharp drop, a piece of machinery or a rock, your dog might run at full speed into the hazard with potentially serious consequences and a possible Vet's bill.

Stay Safe Out There,



Monday, 7 March 2011

Choosing A New Dog


Choosing A Dog? - Check This Out First

Every so often I get asked about the best type of dog to buy. This is often by people who have not owned a dog before and have no idea of how to go about acquiring the right type of pet. 

One of the great joys of life is acquiring a new dog. Whether it is a lively fun seeking puppy or a mature dog from a rescue centre there is the excitement of collecting the dog and the eager anticipation of the pleasures of dog ownership to come. But how can you ensure a long and happy relationship? You need to learn about dog care and training as well as considering your own situation before you even start looking for a dog.

There is a lot more to choosing a dog than you might think. However, I have produced a basic summary which can be viewed (Free) at:

Here you can learn about some of the things you should take into account even before you start the search for your new “best friend”.

Have you a topic or problem that you would like featured? If so, add your question to the comment box below and I will see what I can do to help.

Take care,


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

It's A Fine Day - Let's Exercise The Dogs


In this part of the world we have, rather unexpectedly, had some really fine warm days. This taste of Spring was enough to persuade me to take the dogs on an extended walk in the afternoon sunshine. However, lots of other people were doing the same thing and unfortunately there was a slightly worrying aspect to the way some people were treating their dogs.This was not to do with intentional cruelty but with lack of understanding of how a dog works.

A few dog owners were throwing sticks or toys for their dogs to retrieve and every one was having a good time, except that some dogs, obviously out of condition were being worked much too hard. Over the winter period dogs often get less exercise and get out of condition and over weight. This is a bit like humans but if you were asked to run about a lot you would probably decide at some point enough is enough. You would stop and take a rest knowing that being out of condition it would be a bit foolish to push your self over the limit.

For a dog it's different. Their strong sense of play (probably with it's origins in hunting) and the dog's natural eagerness to obey the pack leader (You) causes the dog to keep on playing until it is absolutely exhausted. In extreme cases this could be fatal.

So if you get the chance to take your dog out into a park or other open space it will be good to give your dog plenty of healthy exercise but be careful not to over do it especially with the more vigorous types of exercise and play.

Take care,


Sunday, 20 February 2011

This and That


I have discovered one interesting fact about the evolution of dogs from their original ancestors - the wolf. This is something you may be interested to know. However, firstly I would like tell you about a slightly disturbing incident that I came across recently.

I was invited by a group of people to accompany them on a country walk. The group included a man and woman both of about sixty-ish and they had with them their dog which was about 9 months old. The dog was a bright playful animal and was every thing you would expect from a young dog of that age. The owners were proud to tell everyone how they were training their dog properly and that they were attending dog training classes. On this occasion they were using a light steel choke chain but not very successfully. Unfortunately, it was a situation where the dog was constantly pulling ahead and was in danger of hurting it's throat.

Tactfully I tried to show them how to use a choke chain in that situation (short sharp checks and standing still until the dog settles down  - see our dog training book on the website:- ) They did listen and both of them tried, for a few minutes, to master the art of using a choke chain, but they did not try very hard.
The real problem came later as the couple became very argumentative with each other about how to control the dog, not just with the choke chain, but with every thing they were doing with the dog. This situation continued for most of the walk

Imagine how confusing and upsetting the situation was for the dog. It was a training disaster and it left me feeling that such arguments and tensions probably existed within their home. Because dogs are sensitive to mood in humans, I wonder how long it will take this couple to destroy the balance and good nature of their dog.

Fortunately most dog owners understand that a dog responds to quiet firm commands and only one person at a time should be giving the commands. (but of course you know this already don't you!)

Okay, what's the interesting fact about a dog's evolution from the wolf?

Well in the "Dog Training Tips" book, those of you that have read it, will recall that it is stated that your dog is 99% wolf even if it looks nothing like a wolf. So what makes up the 1%. Well one thing researchers have recently discovered is that the growl, whimper, bark and howl of a wolf has only two possible purposes. - to warn or to threaten.  Your dog, on the other hand, uses the vocals to warn, to threaten,  to command, to express need and as part of play.

In fact, beyond the range of human hearing your dog can make a bark mean different things to other dogs. the bark can impart any one of the five modes given above.

Clever isn't it!

I hope things go well for you in the coming week.



Friday, 11 February 2011

Dieting For Dogs

Currently, there are a lot of reports of how our nation is getting ever more obese and of the need to maintain a healthy balanced diet. The importance of a nutritionally balanced  diet  is just as important for  our dogs as it is for us.

It is hard for most dog owners to know what is good or bad to include in their dog's diet. However, today pet food manufacturers spend enormous sums of money on research so as to know exactly what is the best diet for all breeds of dog. Each major manufacturer is keen to win market share by supplying a good reliable product. In addition consumer laws now require a greater degree of integrity of all pet food manufactures.

As a result it is possible to buy good quality food for your dog if you stick with top branded products. Yes - this will be more expensive but it still costs less than the vet's bills you will have to pay if your dog becomes ill as a result of a poor diet.

Do not be tempted to feed your dog scraps of food to supplement their diet. you need to control what your dog eats and how much it eats. This means watching your dog's caloric intake carefully.

Your dog  should be fed good quality food in amounts just right to meet it's energy requirements and it's weight.  If you need to get some idea of how heavy your type of dog should be go to the website shown below an look on the right hand side for link to free information

Remember, in addition to a good diet your dog needs 24/7 access to plenty of fresh clean water.

Also remember that your dog has to rely on you for the proper nutritional management of it's diet.

If you can really get control of your dog's diet and see how it contributes to better health - you may think about applying some of the principles to your own diet (of course - not with dog food!)

Take care everyone,


Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Rescue Centre After Care

We had an email this month from a gentleman  in Scotland who had recently acquired a rescue dog from a prominent Scottish dog rescue centre.

Unfortunately, his experience after collecting the dog, was not as he had hoped. He encountered various problems with his new dog, mainly to do with behaviour and settling in to the new environment.
He contacted the rescue centre for help but he was unable to get any guidance or advice on how to correct the problems.

This was very distressing for the new owner, although in this case, he was eventually able to sort things out for himself.

We have purposely not named the rescue centre because we know that it is a caring and responsible organisation. However, it is important that any rescue centre finding new homes for dogs (or any other animal) should ensure that they have in place a back up and support system, even if it is just an email support or a referral to some other source of help and guidance.

It can be a very worrying experience for someone taking on a new dog, especially a big dog and should things seem to be going wrong. Having a point of contact for help and guidance would be very reassuring for new owners.

Many centres that find new homes for dogs are very stringent in their criteria for "would be owners" and this is good. It is essential, however, that backup and after care are available - after all many dogs end up in care simply because their owner does not know how to cope. It is thus self defeating for a rescue centre to place dogs into a situation where the new owner has problems and no one to turn to for help.
The dog may just end up back at the rescue centre.
If you have any connection with a Dog Rescue Centre anywhere in the country, find out what back up your centre has available for anyone who is providing a new home for your rescue dogs.


Dog Care and Training Centre


Friday, 21 January 2011

That Chewing Problem

With Christmas well out of the way and the new intake of kid's toys scattered around the house, some dog owners are finding that these toys are extra fodder for a dog that likes to chew things. Fortunately, the majority of dogs do not chew everything in sight and of those that do it is often a transient phase. However, if you have a dog that continually chews house hold items and furniture is there anything you can do.

Chewing is a natural thing for a dog but if this chewing becomes  destructive and even compulsive is there anything you can do about it?

The best idea is to provide your dog with toys that it can chew.  A good chew toy will satisfy your dog's natural requirement  to chew and keep your dog happy for quite long periods. This activity will also help to keep your dog's teeth and gums clean and healthy.

 Chewing specific toys will also help break your dog's tendency to chew anything in sight. Make sure your dog has several toys which it knows are acceptable to chew on and to play with.

It is essential that you give your dog only good quality chew toys.  Make sure there are no removable parts that can break off and be swallowed. Avoid any  toys that are too small and could be swallowed by your dog
Some dogs have a very powerful bite or sharp teeth (or both) so it is always advisable to provide really tough toys. An example would be to choose toys from the "Kong" range - your local pet shop should be able to advise.

When you  give your dog a new toy, spend some time playing with your dog using the toy as part of the game.  This will teach the dog that some things are are okay to play with and to chew. Strangely enough this seems to help the dog understand that some things must not be chewed. It's alright to use treats to reward your dog for fetching or finding the hidden toy.

Get into the habit of rotating your dog's toys so as to maintain interest. Don't forget to wash all toys on a regular basis.

Take care.



Sunday, 9 January 2011

Greetings For 20011

Hi Everyone,

Wishing you (and your dogs) a very successful new year and I hope that 2011 brings all the good things you hope for.

Best regards