Tuesday, 26 September 2017

25 Easy Ways to Make Your Dog Happy

Looking for some ways to make your dog happy? Luckily for us dogs are quite easy to please, so there’s a lot of extra little things we can do to to make our dogs happier throughout the day. From a little more snuggle time on the couch to switching up your dog walking routine, Here’s 25 ways to make your dog happy.

25 Easy Ways to Make Your Dog Happy

1. Play a Game of Hide & Seek

Dogs love to play, and engaging in some indoor games such as hide & seek is an easy way to make your dog happy. To play hide and seek have your dog stay while you go find a hiding spot. Once situated call your dog and praise them when they find you. I was skeptical about how much my dog would enjoy this game, but to my surprise she absolutely loves it (even though I keep picking the same 3 hiding spots). If your dog doesn’t have a good ‘stay’ you can enlist the help of someone else to distract your dog while you find your hiding spot.

2. Take Your Dog on a Hike

Looking to give your dog a little more excitement? Take your dog to the local park or trail for a hike. It’s great physical exercise, and the change of scenery (and all those smells) will give your dog plenty of extra mental stimulation. If your dog isn’t conditioned for hiking start with some shorter hikes and and gradually increase your distance. And always remember to bring along plenty of fresh water for your dog.

3. Use a Food Dispensing Toy for Your Dogs Meals

Using a treat dispenser for your dogs meals gives them a fun problem to solve, and it adds a lot of extra mental stimulation to their routine. And adding more mental stimulation into your dog’s day can cut down on problem behaviors such as excessive barking and chewing. There are plenty of food dispensers available on Amazon. My personal favorite is the Bob-A-Lot because it’s durable, dishwasher safe, and you can adjust the size of the hole the food/treats come out of.

4. Teach Your Dog Some Fun New Tricks

Training doesn’t have to stop after teaching your dog sit, stay & lay down, nor does it have to be boring. Teach your dog a fun new trick like weaving through your legs (it’s actually a lot easier than it looks). Other fun (and impressive) tricks you can teach your dog include:

Go to bed
Clean up your toys

5. Play a Game of Hide the Treats

My favorite game to play with my dog Laika is a game of hide the treats. I chop up a carrot or two into bite size pieces (any healthy treat will do) and hide them throughout the house while she’s not looking. After they’re are all hidden I tell her to go “find the treats” and watch as she takes off with giddy excitement. Find the treats, like all nose work games, is a way for dogs to use their natural sniffing abilities in a fun and engaging way.

6. Make Some Homemade Treats for Your Dog

Does your dog love watching you cook? If so give them a nice surprise by making some yummy homemade dog treats. It’s comforting to know exactly what goes into your dogs treats, and some recipes are pretty easy to make – even for a novice like me. Not sure what king of treats to make? Check out this list of my favorite simple dog treat recipes, all made with 5 ingredients or less.

7. Have Some Cuddle Time on the Couch

Dogs love having a routine, and Laika adores our “cuddle up on the couch for some TV” routine we do every evening. In fact, if I’m not on the couch by 9:30 pm she’ll start whining about it, just as she does when she doesn’t get her walk on time. Cuddling on the couch is a nice way to get your dog to settle down and relax at the end of the day. And dogs aren’t picky about what to watch so you don’t have to worry about fighting over the remote.

8. Play a Game of Fetch With Your Dog

A quick game of fetch is a lot of fun for your dog, even if it seems a little mundane to us. You’d think after throwing the same exact toy 10 times in the same exact direction they’d get sick of it, but for my dog nothing could be further from the truth. Fetch is a simple way to have some extra fun with your dog, and as far as entertaining them goes it’s pretty simple; you toss a toy and let them do all the hard work.

9. Play a Game of Tug of War

Tug of war is Laika’s favorite game, and I don’t know that there’s a single day that goes by where we don’t play it at least once. It’s fun, it’s mentally stimulating, and it’s quite a workout. And contrary to popular belief tug will not make your dog aggressive or dominant. Just be sure your dog has a pretty good “drop it,” and that they know the game stops whenever their teeth touch your hand. (and if you’re using a rope toy remember to put it away after your game; all those strings can be dangerous if your dog swallows them)

10. Take Your Dog Swimming

If your dog loves the water plan a trip to your local beach or lake for a fun outing. Swimming is fun, and it’s the perfect exercise for older dogs or those with joint issues such as arthritis since it’s low impact. If your dog isn’t used to the water remember to take it slow and use a doggie life jacket if you’re going to be heading into deep water.

11. Let Your Dog Sniff on Walks

Looking for a simple way to make your dog happy? Let them sniff on walks. Walks are about more than just physical exercise for our dogs; it’s the one time of day they get to go out and see what’s going on in the neighborhood. When we’re out walking we check out what’s going on with our eyes, but our dogs use their noses. Letting your dog sniff around on walks gives them a chance to check out & explore the world around them. You can make your dogs walk more enjoyable by stopping for a few minutes and letting them smell all of the things.

12. Switch Up Your Walking Routine

Walking the same exact route everyday gets dull, and that lack of enthusiasm can make it hard to stick to your daily walking routine. One of the ways I stay motivated for our dog walk is by taking a different route. You can walk in a different neighborhood, take your dog to the local park, or simply follow your dog and let them decide where to go.

13. Rotate Your Dog’s Toys

Does your dog get bored with his toys? If so you can make old toys feel new again by rotating them. Instead of having all of your dogs toys out all the time try giving them access to a couple at a time, and switch them around every week or month. Once your dog hasn’t seen that squeaky hippo for a couple of weeks he’ll be super excited the next time it appears.

14. Get a Kiddie Pool for Your Yard

If you spend a lot of time out in the yard with your dog get them a kiddie pool. They’re a lot of fun for dogs to play in (Laika’s fascinated by splashing around in hers), and they can help them cool in the summer. I’d recommend sticking to the hard plastic kiddie pools rather than soft ones since it doesn’t take much for dog nails to tear through soft surfaces.

15. Make a Play Date for Your Dog

Do any of your friends, family or neighbors have a dog that gets along well with yours? If so arrange a play date for them. Invite them (and their owner) over for an afternoon. Take a walk, chill out in the living room or hang out in your backyard. You can catch up with their owner while the dogs play together.

16. Learn How to Give a Dog Massage

We love a good massage because they relieve stress and are so relaxing, and the same can be true for our dogs. Giving your dog a massage can be relaxing for them, and it’s a great way to help them wind down at the end of the day. They’re also great for dogs with arthritis since stimulating muscles and tissue can improve circulation.

17. Make Your Training Sessions Shorter

Dogs love learning new things, but their attention span isn’t limitless. Dogs get bored and frustrated when training sessions go on too long, and that can lead to both of you getting flustered. One way to make training sessions more enjoyable for your dog is to keep them short & sweet. Rather than using a full 30 minute span to train your dog break it up into 4 or 5 shorter sessions.

18. Use Stuffed Kongs

Stuffed Kongs are such a life saver. They’re such an easy way to entertain your dog, and they’re pretty low on the scale when it comes to effort involved on my part (choosing the treats is the toughest part). And if you want a stuffed Kong to last even longer just freeze it overnight. A frozen Kong keeps Laika busy for 30+ minutes, and for something that takes such little effort from me it doesn’t get much better than that.

19. Find a Vet You’re Comfortable With

Many dogs dislike going to the vet, but finding one you’re comfortable with can make a huge difference. If you’re already nervous before even stepping into your vets office your dog is going to pick up on that. Find a veterinarian that you trust, and one that treats you and your dog well. (and don’t underestimate how much of a difference a great vet staff can make)

20. Make Some DIY Doy Toys

Does your dog love new toys? Give your dog a nice little surprise by making some DIY dog toys of your own. If your dog loves to chase make them their own flirt pole. Does your dog enjoy ripping the stuffing out of toys? Make them their own restuffable dog toy. If your dog loves tug make a new tug toy out of some old jeans. Does your dog love treat dispensing toys? You can make your own treat dispenser out of an old plastic container.

21. Give Your Dog a Job

You can make your dog happy by giving them their own little jobs to do throughout the day. Many of our dogs were bred to work alongside humans, so giving them a few chores to do can play into their natural willingness to work. (and it’s a great way to give them plenty of mental stimulation) Teach them to fetch your slippers, carry in the mail or help you pick up sticks around the yard. Dogs love having things to do, and there’s plenty of little tasks you can teach them to do to throughout the day.

22. Take Your Dog Out For a Treat

Did you know that some stores have a secret menu for dogs? If you want to take your dog out for a fun little adventure try taking them out for a nice treat. Starbucks offers Puppucinos, Sprinkles Cupcakes has special doggie cupcakes, and most pet store chains offer plenty of dog friendly treats to choose from.

23. Invest in a Few Good Chew Toys

Dogs love chewing, and having a few sturdy chew toys can help entertain your dog during down time. Chew toys are perfect to have on hand for days when you’re not feeling well. When I’m sick I’ll give Laika a chew toy to occupy her time; it keeps her busy while I rest up. Some toys are much tougher than others, so keep in mind that it might take a few tries before you find a chew toy that’s tough enough for your dog.

24. Take Your Dog to Visit Family/Friends

Next time you’re going out to visit with your family or friends let your dog tag along. Dogs are social animals, and giving your dog a chance to hang out in a controlled setting (versus a dog park which can be intimidating and over stimulating) is a great way to let them interact with others. Most dogs love going for a ride, and surprising them with a fun social gathering is a great bonus.

25. Teach Your Dog How to Relax

Some dogs don’t know how to remain calm in certain environments, so teaching them how to relax is a great skill for them to learn. Some dogs get fearful and/or overly stimulated by certain things and need to be taught how to calm down; it doesn’t always come naturally. Teaching your dog how to relax can reduce reactivity, it can relieve stress, and it’s a great way to brush up on your dog’s impulse control.Source

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

5 Fun Ways to Tire Out Your Dog

5  Fun Ways to Tire Out Your Dog

There’s an expression I’ve heard from owners, vets, and trainers alike “A tired dog is a good dog”.  I know I’ve certainly found it to be true, and I think most dog parents can relate  if your dog is bored, you are going to have issues.  They will chew your favourite slippers, shred an entire box of tissues, and empty every last sock from your laundry basket; they will chase your cats and bark at the window for no apparent reason.  The solution to these problems much like with a toddler is to wear them out, and then let them rest (not letting them rest can result in them becoming over-tired, and then you’ll really see how toddler-like your pup can be).

There are a number of ways to wear out your dog, a few of which I can suggest from experience.  The best part is that every one of these is a great way to bond with your pet, and many of them are just as beneficial to you as to your dog.



If weather permits, taking your dog out for a run or walk is one of the easiest and best ways for both of you to get some fresh air and exercise in.  Walks can be geared up or down depending on your dog’s (and your) fitness level, and you can go for as short or as long an adventure as you like.  Let your dog explore a park or trail with all of his senses, and he will be replaying the walk in his head all day – even in his sleep.  Keep an eye out for any signs that your dog may be in distress though, and carry plenty of water for both of you.  Keep walks short if it is too hot or cold, and remember: if the pavement is too hot to lay the back of your hand on, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on.


This can be part of your walk, or an excursion of its own.  If you have a pet-friendly beach or safe body of water nearby, try taking your dog down for a dip.  Allow them to explore the shoreline and enter the water at their own pace – too much, too soon, and it can put them off swimming forever.  I once knew someone who had an in-ground pool, and thought that tricking an apprehensive dog into the water would be a way to teach them that swimming was fun and a great way to cool off.  He would run towards the pool while playing “tag” with the dogs, and then turn at the last second – usually resulting in the dogs performing a cartoon-like manoeuvre above the surface of the water before falling in.  I know of at least one dog – my own, in fact – that would never go near a body of water again after playing this game.  If your dog decides they like the water, you can swim with them, and even can try boating with them (always ensure both of you have life jackets, especially in cold water).


One of the greatest ways to wear out your dog is to socialise them with other dogs.  This can be at a dog park, local trail, out with friends and their pups, or at a doggie daycare.  Make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccines (most daycares will require this as a pre-requisite anyway), and supervise closely – especially at first – to make sure all of the dogs are interacting peacefully.  As amazing as spending time with your dog is, nobody understands puppy games better than another puppy – and you might even pick up some tips for playing with your pet later on.


Have you ever had an intellectually challenging event and come home feeling like you’ve just run a marathon?  This happens to dogs, too.   Most of them love to learn, and it has the added bonus of improving their behaviour long-term.  You can teach your dog basic obedience which helps keep them safe as well, or party tricks that are just fun to do or watch (hey, nothing wrong with being able to impress visitors with your dancing doberman).  In addition, puzzle toys which can be purchased or made keep your dog thinking for their treats.


Last but not least is agility training.  It combines mental and physical exercise with socialization what better activity could you ask for?  There are clubs all over the world for agility, and most have starting points where dogs only need basic obedience first.  Check it out  you might be surprised at what your area has to offer.

Whatever you choose to try and I recommend trying them all remember that the more you do with your dog, the happier and calmer they will be.  You, in turn, will be happier with them, and the bond between you will only grow stronger.

The Surefire Way to Fit Dog Training into Your Busy Day

The Surefire Way to Fit Dog Training into Your Busy Day

Fitting dog training into your busy schedule isn’t as hard as it seems when you follow our surefire tip for making it work.  Between jobs, kids, commuting, sleep, with everything we have going on in our lives, training our pets often gets set aside on the back burner. So how do we fit dog training into our busy lives? It may not be easy, but with perseverance and commitment, it can be done. How? You ask, well let’s explore and see what we’ve come up with. By following our tips below, you can have your pet trained in no time without missing work or sleep or neglecting other parts of life.



Yes, that’s right, sneak in some training during the times when you are taking care of them for the day. For instance, you’ll be feeding, watering, talking to, petting, letting them outside/inside, and walking them if you can, so why not throw in a little training too? So how do we do that genius? Here’s how:

  • Depending on what exactly you’re training your dog to do, start out with feeding them AFTER you have them either speak, sit, shake, whatever training you decide and then praise them and feed them their food. They’ll know that doing what you ask, will get them what they want–in this case their food! Win-win!
  • Adapt this idea to whatever action you’re doing with them throughout the day, whether walking, or playing, or going potty. Give them something to learn at the same time, it really does work!
  • In the event that Fido doesn’t do what you want them to, then NO food, NO petting, NO treats, you get the picture. Wait a few short minutes then try to get them to do something else, maybe something they already know how to do so they understand that good things come to those who listen. Afterward, praise them and give em pats and loving. Then you can try another new trick, see how it works, eventually they will understand.

Here’s another scenario that works great; say you take your pup with you for a car ride to the store or the vet, or anywhere. Inevitably, you’re going to have to stop at a red light or stop sign and wait for traffic to clear. While doing that, try another trick that can easily be performed like shake or speak, if they succeed at it then it’s treat time!

Pretty soon they’ll be enjoying training time because they will know that if they learn something new or listen they will get rewarded. This can also help them focus on you and make them hyper-aware that training can come at anytime or anyplace, they’ll be watching you to make sure there’s not something they are supposed to do. The experts say that this can also help them behave better no matter where you go which can be quite helpful if you want to take them somewhere with people or other animals.

Now you see that fitting dog training into your busy schedule is actually a lot easier than it seems in the beginning. Training can be done at anytime and anywhere, and having your dog do something for you so that they can get something in return is what every dog owner wants for Fido and what every Fido will want as well! The key to the success of training your pup is as easy as being creative, imaginative, persistent, and making sure you have a lot of treats!Source

Friday, 15 September 2017

How To Make Your Dog Stop Jumping On People

How To Make Your Dog Stop Jumping On People

Does your puppy or dog jump “maul” you when you come home? Can you not get through the door without him clobbering you with love and attention? What about when you are holding a piece of food? Does he perform dolphin-like leaps to get that morsel from your hand? Even worse, does he do this when he meets a stranger on the street or a guest in your house?

While his intentions may be (mostly) good, this type of jumping isn’t just annoying, it’s dangerous. Dogs that jump on people can cause all sorts of problems:

  • Injury due to the dog’s nails
  • Knocking over small children, seniors or injured persons
  • Scaring people
  • Grabbing body parts with their mouth
  • Stealing foods/items that may be hazardous to the dog
  • Ruining clothes

These are just a few examples of what can happen when a dog is constantly jumping.

Why Dogs Jump

With the exception of dogs with fear or aggression issues, there is a simple reason why your dog jumps up on people – to get something he wants! When you get home from work, he wants attention. When you have a sandwich in your hand, he wants a piece. When you have a toy in your hand, he wants the toy. When a guest is coming through the door, it’s exciting and he wants to greet them!

Basically, your dog has learned that jumping is how to get everything he wants. Whether he has been practicing this behavior for years, or he has just figured out this “trick,” it can be hard to get them to stop once they have learned it works because dogs are opportunists. In other words, they repeat behaviors that work!

How Do You Stop The Jumping?

While the root cause of jumping is simple, the problem is not something that can be solved instantaneously, but rather requires a methodical and consistent approach. Dogs jumping on people is actually one of the most common problems dog owners cite, (so much so that we developed an easy to follow online course) Below are the 2 primary principles we teach in our course:

1. Don’t allow him to get what he wants when he does jump (stop reinforcing the behavior)

2. Teach him an alternative behavior instead of jumping

For the second step, the most common alternative behavior is a “sit”. Our course teaches owners to train theirs dog to sit for greetings, attention, for his food bowl, his toy, a or treat – pretty much anything that he wants. The key here is that if your dog wants something, he sits, not jumps. He can’t possibly do both at once!

In the online course that we developed, you can learn how to teach your dog to sit for pretty much anything at your own pace. You can practice with your dog whenever it’s convenient for you (no set weekly day/time!) and you can move at your own pace without fear of being left behind by the rest of the class.

10 Voice Commands Commonly Used When Training a Dog

 10 Voice Commands Commonly Used When Training a Dog

Helpful Tips And Tricks To Train Any Dog

When it comes to dog training, you really have to put in the effort to get the results you really want. There are so many different techniques that can be used to generate success, but you have to learn what it takes to get the success you want. To start training your loyal pal, you can start with these great dog training tips.

Enforce all of the commands you issue to your dog. Do no issue a command on a whim. Only give a command to your dog if you truly mean it. This can lead to having to repeat your commands. A well-trained dog should only need to be told once to do something.

Always use the same words when giving commands to your dog. Using different phrasing for basic commands can confuse your dog. Saying “Come” today and saying “Come here” the next, in the dog’s mind, is like teaching two different commands, however, the behavior is expected to be the same. Keep it simple and keep it consistent.

Do not train your dog through fear of physical punishment. Teaching your dog to respect your commands and dominance will create a healthy and stable pet. Dogs learn to respect the pack leader in the wild by being dominated, not attacked. Physical punishment can lead to an irrational and often violent pet.

You don’t want to make your training sessions go on for too long. In the beginning try not to go over fifteen minutes. Even for dogs who are accustomed to training, you don’t want to go over about twenty minutes for basic training. If you notice your dog starting to lose interest, stop the session for the day. If you try and push it. you’ll get to get irritated and things will go down hill. It’s better to quite while you’re ahead.

Some training techniques advise that you give your dog a treat as a reward for good performance. This is a great method, but be sure you’re not giving your dog a treat every time they perform the task. If you do, they come to expect the treat each time and when you stop with the treats, the obedience stops as well. Instead give the dog a treat randomly so that they don’t begin to expect when they get a treat.

When you are trying to train your dog to follow a command, repetition is key. Practice the command multiple times a day and be sure to offer your dog praise and a treat when he or she successfully follows your command. Repetition will ensure that your dog will remember and follow the command in the future.

Give your dog plenty of positive reinforcement. Discipline isn’t only about punishment for bad behavior. You should make sure to reward good behavior with lots of affection and praise. It will ensure that your dog understands when it is doing the right thing, and it will help it develop trust in its trainers.

Don’t forget that dog training takes a bit of knowledge and even skill to get right. If you aren’t giving it all you got, you are lessening the effect that you could have on your dog’s obedience. Regardless if your pet is new or old, you could start training your dog today with these tips in mind.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

5 Facts About American Bobtail Cats You Have To Know

Bobtail to its breed class in 1989 and gave it full awareness in 2002. The American Bobtail typically weighs about 8 to 13 lbs.

Having a name such as the Bobtail, it is clear that this cat’s Origin and a single uniquely defining trait. The American Bobtail is a powerful, muscular cat, that also appears to be very rare. Although this cat might seem a bit like a wildcat, they’re now 100% domesticated feline. Have a Peek at our 5 items you did not know about the American Bobtail to Find out More about this cool cat breed


One Kind Kitty

5 Facts About American Bobtail Cats You Have To Know

Because of the obviously loving and friendly nature, many American Bobtails have served as treatment cats to bring happiness to people in need. The American Bobtail is sensitive to individuals wants, and coupled with their distinctive look. They disperse much pleasure to those in need of a few smiles.


5 Facts About American Bobtail Cats You Have To Know

Bobtail to its breed class in 1989 and gave it full awareness in 2002. The American Bobtail typically weighs about 8 to 13 lbs.

Having a name such as the Bobtail, it is clear that this cat’s Origin and a single uniquely defining trait. The American Bobtail is a powerful, muscular cat, that also appears to be very rare. Although this cat might seem a bit like a wildcat, they’re now 100% domesticated feline. Have a Peek at our 5 items you did not know about the American Bobtail to Find out More about this cool cat breed


Naturally Short

5 Facts About American Bobtail Cats You Have To Know

The intriguing looking half tail that the American Bobtail Possesses comes as a consequence of a genetic mutation. The tail of the breed is usually 1/3 to 1/2 provided that a common kitty’s tail. The American Bobtail is a crossover between a seal-point Siamese along with a domesticated tabby. Along with the shortened tail is from a genetic mutation similar to the one located from the Manx cat breed. Interesting fact: Urban legends have suggested a theory that the American Bobtail is actually the crossing between a national tabby and a wild bobcat.