Your Dog’s Name

October 26, 2009

2bullgoodDoes your dog really know his/her name? or is it just another sound that comes out of you? Their name should have a specific meaning when they hear it. The tone in which their name is spoken is also important, even more so,  because they learn the different tones and meaning for each one.

Be consistent when using your tone and their name only when you need them to complete a specific task. Use a nickname for all other times. Nicknames are pet names-different than their real name, e.g. smooches, boober, treasure, little angel, puppy, my precious etc.

Only use their real name when:

1. You have more than one dog and you need to specify which one you’re speaking to.

2. Your dog is distracted; Use their name before giving other commands.

3. You want your dog to follow you or stop running and/or return to you.

It’s not just the dog’s name that people over-use, it’s many other words dogs become desensitized from. To help your dog understand what you’re saying, always follow up… Call your local -dog friendly- trainer to find out how.

Note: When I trained animal actors, we used other sounds like a kissy or click of the tongue sound when we needed them to look at us, before giving a command or tossing them treats. This also helped us avoid walking in front of the camera. I’ve made a video tutorial on how to get your dog to look at you, It was the first Howto video I ever put together.  CATCH TREATS

One-syllable words like Max, Bart, Huck get your dog’s attention easier but names with two (or 3) syllables also work. Here’s a partial list of names, all from dogs I’ve trained:
Axle, Ashly, Alvin, Auggie, Amigo, Annie, Barnzie, Bess, Bosco, Beaufort, Bear, Brandy, Bond, Buddy, Buster, Billy Boy, Ben, Benny, Buck, Bunker, Bristol, BuBu, Brandy, Brando, Bart, Boomer, Blue, Bruin, Cooper, Crackers, Cuervo, Creature, Chelsea, Chilli, Capernicus, Coco, Christy, Champ,Chandler, Chance, Chulo, Cassie, Cleo, Charlie, Clint, Clyde, Corky, Darling, D’artagnan, Dexter, Delila, Dallas, Dex, Dango, Dakota, Delta, Doushke, Duke, Duncan, Echo, Eddy, Elie, Elza, Emily, Friday, Freyja, Frado, Finn, George, Gretchen,Gamer, Gap, Gunner, GiGi, Gus, Ginger, Griff, Goa, Gretta, Harper, Harley, Hamish, Hank, Henry, Holly, Huck, Hunter, Indy, Isabell, Ice, Instant, Inks, Ivan, Indiana, Jasper, Jack, Jeb, Joe, JoJo, J.P., Kimba, Kyoto, Keiko, Kenji, Kumi, Kodiak, Kamalli, Lady, Lucky, Lily, Lucy, Lulu, Lolla, Magic, Maverick, Moxie, Murphy, Muffin, Mikey, Micky, Mojo, Mr. Wilson, Mack, Max, Maggie, Moose, Milan, Nina, Nikki, Nugget, Oliver, Ollie, Oreo, Otis, Oscar, Pal, Patches, Peanut, Penelope, Pepper, Piper, Price Pesa, Princess, Picabo, Phoenix, Petunia, Pesky, Rusty, Riley, Rocky, Rosy, Ruby, Rupert, Rufas, Roxy, Rowdy, Rorie, Saba, Shilo, Sasha, Snowy, Samba, Simon, Savanna, Schultz, Scout, Scooter, Smoosh, Schatzie, Shamis, Sandy, Sky, Sika, Snoopy, Star, Sunny, Sage, Scratch, Sniff, Stretch, Sophie, Tortilla, Teak, Thor, Tony, Teddy Tucker, Varmet, Vegas, Wanda, Wags, Winston, Wilson, Wendy, Zalman, Zach, Zoe, Zip

Canine Cough

October 14, 2009


Canine Cough is the equivalent of influenza in humans and is very common among dogs. Tracheobronchitis (Canine cough) is a highly contagious, upper-respiratory disease which is spread by an air-borne virus  It’s also known as “kennel cough” because some dogs can contract the virus in a boarding kennel. Because of the highly contagious nature of this virus, dogs can contract it anywhere even when visiting a vet office. The incubation period of the disease is roughly 3-6 days. The main symptom is a hacking, gagging cough, (like your dog is choking), sometimes followed by a nasal discharge.

The symptoms can vary in severity and can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Although this coughing is very annoying, it does not usually develop into anything more serious. However, just as with humans and the common cold, it can lower the dog’s resistance to other diseases making them more susceptible to secondary infection, which is why vets will prescribe antibiotics and prescription strength cough suppressants. It’s best to avoid socializing with other dogs until the coughing has stopped. Best to keep your dog’s activity to a minimum to allow them to heal faster. Most canine cough case don’t require veterinarian care, however if a dog has either a temperature, wasn’t eating, coughing excessively, I wouldn’t hesitate to take them to the Vet.

Veterinarians recommend the canine cough (bordetella) vaccine to be administered every 6 months to 12 months, depending on the area you live or exposure to other dogs. This vaccine doesn’t protect against every strain of the virus and just like humans and a flu shot, it doesn’t guarantee they won’t get sick.  “Nosodes” are the Homeopathic alternative to the pharmacy strength vaccines. You can find plenty of information on the web about them.

Some people choose not to vaccinate their dog against the virus and just treat them with antibiotics if infected.  A dog catching this virus is similar to us catching a cold from a co-worker or a child catching a cold from a schoolmate. The reality is sometimes dogs catch things from other dogs, protected or not; it’s all part of being a dog owner.  Any dog is susceptible to this virus,  a dog who socializes more or who travel more, generally has a much stronger immune system and when exposed to the virus,  they either don’t get sick or show minimal symptoms and recover within a few days.  Although the Bordetella vaccine is probably the least toxic on a dogs body compared to the other required shots, I’m personally not crazy about giving my dog shots and I’ve never had a flu shot and I very rarely get sick.  A dog’s immune system, like ours- builds the antibodies for these viruses, and unless the dog has a lowered immune system or stays at home a lot,  they don’t need some of these shots.  Please read more on this important subject: SHORTNING A DOGS LIFE .

I’m not a vet and I’m not making any recommendations. It’s just a good idea to learn more about your dogs health.

Other blogs I recommend :  BASIC DOG CARE

Don’t forget the Dog

October 9, 2009

betdogpullThe better your dog is trained or well socialized, the easier it will be to take them with you on walks and in your car for day or overnight trips. It’s a win-win situation, your dog now benefits because they don’t have to stay home alone and they can be with you more and you benefit because they don’t have to stay home alone and they can be with you more. Every time your dog goes with you and gets exposed to strange noises, strange objects, other dogs, adults and children, the better behaved they can and will become, especially since you’re there to teach them.

If your dog is not trained, un-socialized or doesn’t listen to you, you’re not going to hassle taking them with you, especially in the car. Untrained dogs usually bark at things as you drive down the road; they jump around inside the car; they won’t be quiet or calm down when you ask; you have to put on this complicated harness and extra thick leash to walk them; when you open up the car door they will charge out and almost pull your arm out of the socket; when on-leash they pull you and lunge at dogs or people. If a dog displays just one of those bad behaviors, it’s a reason enough to just leave them at home. The downside to this is they won’t get the practice they need to be better dogs. It’s a loose-loose for the dog.

Taking your dog with you should be hassle free and fun! It can also be a social experience for both dog and dog owner. There are many establishments that allow dogs and if not, there’s NOTHING wrong with them waiting in the car. Most dogs love the car and are actually more comfortable and feel more secure  in a car, than being home alone  (Not on hot days) A well-adjusted dog just sleeps in the car while you’re gone. When you come out of your yoga class and on the 15 minute drive back home you take your dog to the park or have them sit with you at a coffee shop, or stop by a store and walk them around and practice your training. A trained or well socialized dog will spend 45% more time with the owner, than people with untrained or unsocialized dogs. That’s Totally Awesome  from your dogs point of view! OK, I made that % number up, because I don’t think there has been any study. What I do know is a trained dog is allowed to be inside the house instead of outside, Goes on hassle free walks, more then leash pullers and goes on day trips or even overnight trips. My dog Schultz (mini-Schnauzer) accompanied me in the car 95% of the time. Even stayed with me in hotels with a no pet policy. I trained him to jump in my extra overnight bag and because he was well behaved, no one ever suspected a thing. He was truly living a human life in a dog suit.

When people would make  comments, and they did. “OH! Your dog is in the car? that’s mean”, I just tell them “Yes, and my dog is lucky, he spends 45% more time with me than your dog spends with you”.

Here are just some of the U.S. establishments I found that do allow dogs. If you know of more that can help my readers, please let us know. (This is in no way an endorsement of these establishments)

If you in another Country other than U.S. I’m curious what your list would look like.

Pet shops, Lowes, Home Depot, Radio shack, some sporting good stores, some banks, just a few movie theaters (early shows only), some bowling alleys and many outside cafe’s.

It’s us, not the dog

October 7, 2009


Bloat in Dogs

October 2, 2009

All dog owners, especially large breed owners, should learn what they can about the causes, symptoms and preventions of “Bloat”. Bloating has been written about and blogged about for many years and for good reason, it’s the second most common cause of death among dogs. Instead of me explaining what bloating is, its better to hear it from the people who study it.

here are the links to learn more:

Purdue University Study

Mar Vista Veterinarians

Bloat: The life threatning K-9 emergency