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jbrick83
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I don't think I've ever seen an official "Pet Discussion" thread in The Lounge (but feel free to close and bttt if there is). Lots of Vet stuff and other random things, but I would like this to be a topic that talks about many things regarding your pet, including food, toys, training tips, etc.

I have a few questions to start it off...

1) Dog Food.

What kind do you use? I originally got this brand because its what our breeder used and we wanted a good transition into the house:



(got the large puppy stuff)

But my Vet (who is well respected in the area), told us not to waste money on the "organic/holistic stuff" and just said to get Iams or whatever big brand he mentioned. He said they spend all the money on research and the rest of the companies just follow their lead. And everyone else says that the vets are paid by the big companies to rep their food. So what do you guys think?


What type of worms/flea medication do you use? I need to go back and look up the name, but they've been pitching a "one size fits all" pill that is pretty appealing (convenient and also economical). I've had one friend say that they use the same and that it works pretty well. Apparently Frontline is useless these days.

What kind of treats and toys do your dogs love?? I think it's hilarious that my puppy pretty much rotates his favorite toys. I bought him a nyla bone set a few weeks ago that he never touched...and for the past few nights its the only thing he's been playing with. He has about 6 or 7 toys that he rotates being obsessed with.

How do you discipline?? I'm a little mixed. I grew up in the country where dogs got "popped" when they did something bad and it worked out pretty well. The fiance (and me to a certain extent as well) are trying to use non-violent methods. I think I mix it 50/50. He responds well to a deep and loud "NO". Unfortunately the fiance isn't intimidating enough with her voice and he abuses her pretty bad. I, on the other hand, pop him on the butt or the nose occasionally when he does something bad and mostly use the "NO" and he obeys me pretty well. He's a smart dog and this is definitely his "puppy phase", so we're feeling pretty good about how things are going so far. Just curious as to what everyone else does.

That's it for now. Waddya got?



Don't know if it matters, but I have a medium-to-large breed. He's an Italian Spinone. Hunting dog with a decent amount of energy, but not crazy. Should get to be around 80 lbs.

[Edited on August 6, 2012 at 10:16 PM. Reason : .]

8/6/2012 10:09:14 PM

krs3g
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I transitioned to Pet Pantry (http://www.feedyourpets.com) a few months back with pretty stellar results. I was on taste of the wild for a year and change until a salmonella outbreak make a couple of my dogs very sick. There was a voluntary recall and all that jazz, too little too late.

Pet Pantry produces using European standards for production, which are much stricter than US standards which allow for the use of some pretty heinous byproducts. It's not the cheapest stuff in the world, but it's priced pretty comparably to what you'll pay for other top-shelf brands, plus they deliver for free. I use the holistic grain free which is made with chicken, all my dogs are fans. It's very nutrient dense and very filling. My dogs seem to like their treats as well, which are definitely cheaper than anything you'll get in store with quality ingredients similar to the dog food.

As far as discipline, I'm definitely a fan of the dominance/aversion approach. All the dogs I've met that were treat trained were ill-behaved as hell in the absence of a food motivator. I don't strike my dogs, but I do walk them on a prong collar and give appropriate corrections in the rare instance that it's necessary. We frequently walk off-leash, in which case they were an e-collar. Again, with solid training corrections are few and far between, but I've come to terms with the fact that there are definitely scenarios where prey drive will trump a voice recall in the absence of the ability to communicate my disapproval. Off-leash walks are phenomenal, it took about 2 weeks, starting with a tracking line and prong collar, working on recalls/heels/other voice commands, establishing the boundaries of road vs. sidewalk, etc. Definitely worth it, IMO.

8/6/2012 10:29:24 PM

AntiMnifesto
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1) Taste of the Wild for dog food. I wasn't aware of any salmonella outbreaks until months after the fact and we
never had problems with the dry or canned variety. My dogs occasionally like to get into the chicken shit in the compost pile and eat it, so I don't think any salmonella will be that big of a deal anyway.

They get fed once a day (4-year-old Weim mix and senior Beagle). The Weim has been doing marathon training with me, so he gets fed a small second feeding on days because he dropped about 8 lb since we started running more seriously (was at 90 lb in March, down to 82 last week at the vet).

2) I use a combo of chemical and natural parasite control methods. Diatomaceous earth sifted around a (mostly dirt) yard, Advantix for topical. I also add garlic to their feed and it seems to repel fleas pretty well, as well as washing bedding regularly and vacuuming.

3) Treats and toys- cured large bones, tennis balls, and tug toys. I use training but high food value treats- rabbit seems to be the most appealing.

4) Training- The Weim runs better and behaves better off leash, so I try to do most of my running and walking on unoccupied trails as of late. Leashes in general suck to run with, unless we're going through high traffic areas, but I carry one and clip him to my fuel belt. He responds better to an e-collar, but lately I've been leaving it at home and his recall is working. He knows "wait", "come", "hup" for pay attention, "go" to run out, and "ok" for release from sitting, staying, that kinda stuff. He also doesn't chase our chickens any more and expressly avoids them.

My boyfriend didn't grow up with a dog, so he sucks at disciplining or understanding animal behavior. I feed them, give most runs/walks, and in general do all the corrections.

5) Gear- I like the e-collar for getting the Weim's attention, and we run/walk in an easy walk harness. I had crappy experiences with prong collars and haltis, and he pulled on a flat collar. The Beagle walks on a normal harness because she can pull out of the flat collar.

I have a padded dog backpack for the Weim for camping- he can carry his own food, water, and gear.

8/7/2012 12:00:52 AM

Steven
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My dog has a sensitive stomach, this is the only thing that doesn't rip him apart.

8/7/2012 1:14:59 AM

Hiro
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I forget the puppy formula, but the adult food I use is Acana Wild Prairie. Unfortunately, if they eat any other base outside of chicken (liver, beef, etc) my beagles start having body odor. Every rare once in a while, I'll give them a spoonfull of some wet food mixed in as a treat. My older dog gets a 50/50 wet/dry everyday because he's missing teeth. For wet, I use the Alpo Chop House Roasted Chicken as it has the lowest fat out of all the "cheap" canned food brands.


•Wild Prairie - Loaded with premium, easily-digested meat ingredients (65%), featuring a diversity of fresh regional ingredients including free-run chicken, whole eggs, and wild-caught Lake Whitefish & Northern Walleye. Chicken cartilage provides a natural source of glucosamine, chondroitin and essential minerals, including balanced calcium & phosphorus.






My dogs love their food. There's a place in crossroads next to the HT off Tryon and Walnut. The family owned store (I forget thes store name!) has pretty good prices for the higher quality dry food.


Training: I popped them when they misbehave and reward them (lots of affection) and treats when they do something right. Always worked in the past with my previous dogs and it continues to work for me now.

Gear: I very much prefer body harnesses when I walk my dogs. I don't like the idea of "choking" them should something happen and I need to pull them in quick or whatever. Also, I use Lupine dog collars. Having 2 dogs at first since puppies, they would play fight each other and chew on each other's collars. I probably went through a dozen between the both of them growing up. Fortunately, Lupine has lifetime replacement. Doesn't matter if they break or your dog literally chews it off, they'll replace it for free! Great for puppies, or multiple dogs Local dog stores should have them.

[Edited on August 7, 2012 at 1:22 AM. Reason : .]

8/7/2012 1:15:27 AM

lewoods
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Most vets are not good with nutrition and I wouldn't trust them. I feed grain free food, and thankfully the vet didn't feel the need to try to talk me out of it. Even if I wasn't allergic to grains, I'd still get the grain free stuff for the cat.

I was feeding taste of the wild, but after the recall we switched to before grain. Now the cat has some itching and dandruff, so we are trying Natural Balance chicken and green pea to get her back on track, then once she's 100% we'll try another food with a better variety of ingredients.

8/7/2012 8:23:28 AM

quagmire02
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my dogs get purina dog chow...it's cheap, goes on sale frequently, and it's just fine nutrition-wise



ALL of the vets at the practice i worked at for 6 years were of the opinion that something basic like purina offered complete nutrition and was perfectly fine as long as your dog was healthy otherwise (ie. not fat, didn't get boatloads of table scraps, was on heartworm meds, lots of exercise, etc)

my dog growing up (a lab mix of some kind) lived to be almost 18 on old roy

as for toys, something like a kong is, IMO, a must...past that, i like rope toys for tugging...we keep rawhide rolls around for special occasions (like we're going to be gone for 12 hours or something), but they don't get them regularly

we use k9 advantix II for flea/tick treatment...buy the large dog size online (or from your vet if they're willing to do it, which ours is) and measure out the right dosage for application (this can cut your treatment bills in half)

we use ivermectin for heartworm prevention

also, if you have difficulty breaking a dog of especially bad habits or they won't listen to you, a shock collar is the way to go...you don't actually shock them, it's more like touching your tongue to a 9V battery and i swear, it took all of ONCE to effect a change in behavior in both of our dogs (different behavior issues)...ours has a tone and shock function, so you start by playing the tone and if they don't respond, THEN shock...i'm serious, we only did it once per dog and it worked...now, when they're being stubborn, the tone alone (not even when they're wearing it, just from a distance) works perfectly

[Edited on August 7, 2012 at 8:53 AM. Reason : .]

8/7/2012 8:47:47 AM

sumfoo1
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blue buffalo made my dog sick lol.

i use nutro lamb and rice

8/7/2012 8:49:54 AM

MinkaGrl01

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I just made an appt for my kitty for the vet. he's been vomiting since 7pm last night, food and bile, food and bile, then just bile and I'm worried there's something stuck in there and he's not able to keep food down. he's purring extra loud and he's really snuggly so I know he's hungry.

8/7/2012 8:55:36 AM

sumfoo1
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doesn't iams use euthanized animals as protein in their food?

8/7/2012 9:08:41 AM

bmel
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We use Blue Buffalo and our dogs are really strong and healthy. You can see their muscles as they run. Basically, what you want to look for is protein being the main ingredient.

We use heartgard for heartworms and K9 Advantix II for fleas and ticks. It's suppose to repel mosquitoes as well and has worked great so far.

Our dogs love Pup-peroni treats and tennis balls. Generally, they tear up majority of the toys unless it's a kong, so nothing sticks around for too long. Luckily, tennis balls are cheap. Sometimes we get them a stuffed animal to shred.

We don't spank our dogs very much because they know when they are in trouble. We use the phrase "WHAT IS THIS?!" and that always gets their attention, along with NO! Sounds like the fiance needs to watch some dog whisperer. I, also, read this book, which gave a lot of good insight.

8/7/2012 9:17:08 AM

DamnStraight
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I get Costco brand (Kirklands) dog food. Apparently the grain free stuff is pretty highly reviewed and its cheaper than the "best" brands.

8/7/2012 9:17:38 AM

jbrick83
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^^^ Zombie dogs!!




^^She knows she needs to pick it up with the sternness in her voice. It probably wouldn't be as bad if mine didn't overpower hers as much.

[Edited on August 7, 2012 at 9:20 AM. Reason : .]

8/7/2012 9:20:09 AM

quagmire02
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my wife's the same way...the dogs will snap to when i say something, but with her, it's a 50/50 shot and depends on their moods

i think it's common (especially for women) to equate volume with command and so in lieu of sounding more commanding, they're just louder...it's not a criticism, just seems to be common

8/7/2012 9:36:08 AM

ncsujen07
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1) I use Iams large breed proactive health dog food. We tried Nature's Recipe for quite some time, but my dog had really bad diarrhea. He has a sensitive stomach so Iams has been the best we've found. It helps that BJs sells it, too.

2) I haven't had a problem using Frontline Plus for fleas. I used to use Interceptor for heartworm, but apparently they don't make it anymore so I switched to Heartgard.

3) Treats and toys- anything durable....Kongs are his favorite and he's managed to lose about 3 of them. Definitely good for keeping them busy. Otherwise he loves his "tire" and the tire frisbee.

4) Training- I did the puppy obedience class at PetSmart and found it to be really helpful with basic commands. The commands were nothing new, but dedicating time towards training each week helped reinforce training. As far as discipline goes, time-outs are effective for my dog since he loves to be around us.

8/7/2012 10:18:13 AM

jbrick83
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Finally found the stuff that the vet has been pushing on us for the "all-in-one" medication. Anyone use Trifexis??

Quote :
"Trifexis is a once-monthly tablet that kills fleas, prevents heartworm disease and treats and controls adult hookworm, roundworm and whipworm infections. And since it's beef-flavored, you can offer it as a treat."

8/7/2012 10:36:28 AM

wolfpackgrrr
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Quote :
"But my Vet (who is well respected in the area), told us not to waste money on the "organic/holistic stuff" and just said to get Iams or whatever big brand he mentioned. He said they spend all the money on research and the rest of the companies just follow their lead. And everyone else says that the vets are paid by the big companies to rep their food. So what do you guys think?"


lol wonder if we go to the same vet. He tried to feed me the same hogwash. He even said, "Well you know you can feed cows corn and they're able to survive just fine." Uhhh wat. I want my dog to do a little bit better than "survive." And when I told him we used to feed our cats Purina One, they had really bad dandruff and crap, we switched them to a grain-free food and now their coats are fine his reply was, "Well yeah but I'm sure you could just feed them the food with wheat in it, too." Hi, did you not JUST HEAR what I told you about the grain food?

8/7/2012 10:40:12 AM

elkaybie
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when my inlaws switched from a non corn based kibble for their dog, her coat and overall demeanor and health got better too.

but we use dog chow for our lab shepard mutt and she's got a fantastic coat. super soft and shiny.

except currently as we've been combating a flea infestation she managed to get while at the beach house we rented. for that we picked up Capstar at the local vet and that rid her of the adults very quickly. we also bathed her twice before returning and slapped on a flea collar til we got home and could Frontline her. I washed all of our clothes and linens that we took with us, vacuumed the car and i've been vacuuming daily in the house with the flea collar in the dyson canister to hopefully get any remaining eggs that may have been on her and fallen off since returning home. so far so good.

I will ask about a different flea med when the frontline runs out as I am pretty good about applying it every month as scheduled, so she really shouldn't have picked up fleas while we were there--although it was nearing the end of the month and about time for her next application anyway, and we were getting bit as well so the house we were in probably just needs to be bombed.

For heartworm we use Inteceptor.

toy wise, sabrina has always loved rope toys and squeaky stuffed ducks. she tears the stuffing out of the ducks. we would also give her a cow bone with the marrow in it which she would spend hours getting the marrow out. unfortunately with her teeth at this age, our vet said no more hard bones

she'll be 9 in October

8/7/2012 10:53:10 AM

Darb5000
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We use Kirkland Signature dog food. The ingredients list is surprisingly good (on par with many of the expensive foods like Blue Buffalo). Our dogs love it and it is really inexpensive.

http://shop.costco.com/en/In-The-Warehouse/Kirkland-Signature-Pet-Food/Adult-Dog-Lamb.aspx

We also keep lots of the West Paw chew toys around (Hurley and Jive). They're really tough and guaranteed that if your dog chews through it they will send you a new one (I'm about to test this out. Our 75lb shepherd is starting to make it through one after a year of trying).

http://www.westpawdesign.com/catalog/chew-dog-toys

8/7/2012 10:53:48 AM

djeternal
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We have 2 dogs: 7 year old Pointer/Greyhound mix (80lbs.) and a 4 year old Black Lab (70lbs.).

Food: We feed both of them IAMS Proactive Health Large Breed. Costco has it the cheapest (when it is in stock), and BJs also carries it pretty regularly. The lab eats a lot faster than the pointer, so we have issues with him diving into the pointer's food. Hence, the lab tends to get fat from time to time. When this happens, we switch them to IAMS Proactive Weight Maintenance.

Heartworm/Flea: My vet carries a "generic" called Iverhart Max, and we give it to both dogs. It is considerably cheaper than the other alternatives. Some people suggest only keeping dogs on Heartworm medication during the summer months, but we keep ours on it all year since they stay outside the majority of the time. We use topical Frontline for fleas/ticks.

Toys/Treats: We are very fortunate in the fact that our dogs make their own toys out of sticks and such. There are a few small rubber tires out there that they like as well. We don't really give them a lot of treats, usually just milk bones every now and then. I do get them a bunch of rawhide bones every year at Christmas. Usually when they come in the house they are so tired that they don't want toys/treats anyway, and they just plop down on their beds and go to sleep.

Discipline: I was very fortunate with my dog (the pointer mix) in that he was very easy to train myself. The GF took the black lab to Petsmart for training, which was a huge waste of money imo. He's still pretty hyper, and you have to yell commands at him 5 or 6 times before he will listen. But both dogs are very mild tempered, so I would never have to worry about them biting anyone.

Additional Supplements: We also give both of our dogs Fish Oil every night with their dinner. I can really tell the difference in their coat, and it seems to cut back on shedding. I give the Pointer mix Glucosamine twice a day as well, because he gets really stiff joints. He used to struggle just to get out of his bed in the morning, but since I started the Glucosamine I have seen a huge difference in his overall flexibility.

[Edited on August 7, 2012 at 11:11 AM. Reason : a]

8/7/2012 11:07:21 AM

GRITS_Z71
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Nutrition 101 for dogs: Dogs evolved from wolves and guess what wolves eat? And I highly doubt they had the hankering for some corn off the cob. Even our digestive tract isn't designed to break down the plant wall of corn, hence you see it come out in your stool intact

Quote :
"He even said, "Well you know you can feed cows corn and they're able to survive just fine.""
He must not know that cows have a 4-compartment stomach designed to break down the cell wall of corn. Their gut contains microbes that help break down the cell wall and make those nutrients available to the animal. Horses have a completely different tract too; however, their cecum is significantly larger than most monogastrics (which include dogs) and, again, contains the microbes necessary to break it down. Tell that one to your vet and then follow up with "in your face man!"

But really, if you're looking for a solid dog/cat food, look at the first 3 to 5 ingredients listed on the bag, and that will tell you what the majority of your animal's food is comprised of. I feed my pups Canidae which is an all stage dog food. Since I have a 9 year old and a lab prone to gain weight and having hip dysplasia, I feed them both the senior which is also good for overweight animals. Feed your animals right and chances are you wont have to spend a whole lot of money down the road on medications, surgeries and other geriatric ailments. Minus genetic components, nutrition is the best preventative for diseases.

8/7/2012 11:08:54 AM

wolfpackgrrr
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^ Yeah the whole conversation was just bizarre. Other than his views on nutrition he's a great vet so I just kind of ignore him when it comes to food

8/7/2012 11:25:13 AM

quagmire02
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Quote :
"Nutrition 101 for dogs: Dogs evolved from wolves and guess what wolves eat? And I highly doubt they had the hankering for some corn off the cob."

while i DO agree with you, the idea that you should toss your dog a steak for every meal (i mean, they came from wolves, right?) is just silly...i assume you're not actually advocating that, so we have to agree that as domesticated animals that are no longer actual wolves, dogs may have evolved to subsist on more than just freshly killed herbivores

dogs have a long history of *nomming* on grass, dirt, herbivore feces, and compost...and the best guess for this is that they're lacking certain vitamins and minerals and are able to ameliorate some of these deficiencies from other sources

as anyone with an understanding of basic nutrition will tell you, vitamins and minerals are not absorbed just because they've been added to your food or exist in a multivitamin...and as i'm sure all of you are aware, even the high dollar dog food supplements their main ingredients in order to generate a "complete" health profile for their food

my point is that dogs are not wolves and grains in dog food is not inherently bad...there is evidence to suggest that adding grains (in moderation) provides dogs with a more complete and accessible vitamin/mineral profile

8/7/2012 11:59:27 AM

djeternal
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A friend of mine fed her Mastiff raw chicken for the first year she had her. Bones and all. The breeder recommended it. Anyone else heard of this?

[Edited on August 7, 2012 at 12:42 PM. Reason : a]

8/7/2012 12:42:28 PM

wolfpackgrrr
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^ My grandmother used to do that with her dogs. You're supposed to feed them a variety of meats and usually people throw in some sweet potatoes or other random things for good measure. When she did it her dogs were the healthiest they ever were but it got kind of expensive since she has eight dogs on her farm so she switched back to kibble.

8/7/2012 12:48:07 PM

quagmire02
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my cousin breeds wolamutes (wolf/malamute mixes) and feeds them raw meat as their main diet

she does it as part of a program for wolf reintroduction, but also to sell as pets

8/7/2012 1:06:50 PM

joey53087
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i used to get Nutro adult (the blue bag), for the last year or so i have been getting:



and my lab loves it. i am always too overwhelmed considering all the other brands (Blue, Eukanuba, Royal Canin, etc.) as i just don't know the difference.

i stick with the generic brands for flea/heartworm stuff- heartguard and advantix. since i have moved fleas really havent been a problem, but like elkaybie mentioned Capstar works really well if your dog has a lot of fleas that you cant seem to kill

8/7/2012 2:56:57 PM

GRITS_Z71
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Quote :
"my point is that dogs are not wolves and grains in dog food is not inherently bad"


And my point is, if you didn't read the rest of my post was that CORN is NOT digestible in typical monogastrics, therefore, is considered a "filler" in dog food whereas meat in dog food is much more efficient in providing the necessary proteins, amino acids and other nutrients.

I also stated something in there about the nature of the list of ingredients: meat vs corn. Well, if you also read your labels, you will notice that there is meat "meal" vs actual meat being listed in the ingredients. Basically, meat meal is the dried source of meat vs fresh meat which is 70% water when the ingredients are added. There's controversy about which is better.

But what it comes down to is you can't throw a bunch of ingredients into a food and think the nutrients they have will be available. The way nutrient sources are broken down depends on the structure and function of the animal's digestive tract. Yes, some grains are essential to put in a dog's diet, but they are useless if its digestive tract is not designed to break them down. Same thing goes for meats.

And when I talk about the structure and function of digestive tracks, I am talking about

this:


vs this:


and some monogastrics have a large cecum that allows them to break down the cell walls of some of these grains by harboring microbes or small bacteria that break it down such as horses and pigs. People and dogs just have tiny cecums which limits their ability to break down those special grains.

8/7/2012 3:26:49 PM

quagmire02
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i'm quite aware of how we're different from ruminants, but thanks for the picture...unfortunately, you're still wrong when you say:

Quote :
"And my point is, if you didn't read the rest of my post was that CORN is NOT digestible in typical monogastrics"

or, at the very least, misleading

no, dogs and people cannot break down the cellulosic exterior, but they and we can both break down the starch interior (where most of the vitamins and minerals are found)...IIRC, our saliva contains amylase whereas dogs' does not, but their pancreas DOES produce sufficient levels of the amylase enzyme to be used in the small intestine and are therefore capable of breaking down the starch and getting quite a bit of the useful stuff (thiamin, magnesium, B6, etc)

furthermore, the corn starch is calorie dense and they DO need calories

Quote :
"But what it comes down to is you can't throw a bunch of ingredients into a food and think the nutrients they have will be available. The way nutrient sources are broken down depends on the structure and function of the animal's digestive tract."

i'm itching to know when and where i said otherwise...can you tell me?

furthermore, i specified "grains" and did not mention corn...you did and no one yet has disagreed with you

[Edited on August 7, 2012 at 3:46 PM. Reason : i suspect that amylase production is an evolutionary change from wolves, though i don't know fo sure]

8/7/2012 3:45:31 PM

wdprice3
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Firstly, sorry to bomb this thread with a huge list (it got huger once I wrote it out). But there's some good information for dog owners, and I tried to write it such that even novice dog owners can get a good start from it.

Thanks,

Bill


Dog Training Ideas and Methods

Starting in a Chit Chat thread (message_topic.aspx?topic=629954), many users participated in very good discussion of dog training ideas and techniques. I’ve decided, with jbrick83’s permission, to consolidate and organize that conversation into an easy to read, useful list, in this thread.

I've broken down into sections so one doesn't have to read the entire thing as one document.

I hope you find these ideas and techniques useful and that you can add your own as well. You certainly don’t have to do all of the following (or agree with all) to have a great pet, though I don’t think any of these will lead you astray. This list is a combination of ideas from many users (including myself); so by no means do I mean to take credit for all.

In full disclosure, I have NOT used all of these ideas or techniques, though I have used many, or at least seen dogs trained as such. My ideas and thoughts of dog training stem mostly from observing other peoples’ pets. I am a dog lover, so as long as I’m not being attacked, I generally like other dogs and deal with their annoyances. However, I personally feel embarrassed by my pet’s actions, when they don’t meet my standards (which reflects directly on myself, as it truly is my fault).

Though you may be a dog lover and “don’t mind” getting jumped on, begged upon, or roughed up trying to enter a friend’s house, it’s not proper, can be annoying, could frighten others, and can lead some to believe that you lack respect for others by not properly training your pet (/rant).

So here’s the list as of now. Enjoy!


General Items:
1. Get a well-fitted collar (you should be able to fit a finger or two between the collar and the dog’s neck), attach a current rabies tag, ID tag (dog’s name, your name, your phone number, your address – some useful contact information), and the microchip tag. Put this on your dog as soon as you get him, 1) to get him used to it and 2) pets get lost easily.

2. Get your dog fixed as soon as the vet recommends. There are enough strays, pure breeds, and relinquished pets to go around, don’t add to the problem. Some studies also suggest fixing dogs while they are younger helps to cut down on certain cancers, illnesses, aggression, and humping. *Note: GRITS_Z71 has pointed out recent research suggesting to wait until the pet is 1-2 years old before fixing, to allow for more natural development, which supposedly is cut short by fixing at younger ages. I felt inclined to include this information now, in full disclosure; however, I’m not ready to adopt this because it’s new to me and I haven’t read up on it (yet). It’s your choice – just be educated about it, but don’t have puppies, please.

3. Microchip your pet as soon as the vet recommends, and don’t forget to register your pet once chipped! It’s pretty cheap ($40-$60) and most services do not require a monthly fee (Home Again supposedly charges a monthly fee now; Bayer is making microchips and there is no extra fee; just the upfront fee to be chipped).

4. Get a quality leash; for training I recommend a standard nylon 4-6’ leash (not a retractable; you have better control and receive better feedback from a standard leash; besides your pet should never lead you or lag that far behind you; retractable leashes have their right uses – most people don’t use them for those uses).

5. Get a leader (e.g. gentle leader) to leash train. Don’t use a harness or choke collar for leash training; and don’t use the leash attached to the collar either. More on this later.

6. Sniffing is normal. Let them sniff new animals/dogs to get their scent. You can stop it after a few seconds; this lets him know it’s ok to ID new friends, but it’s not OK to turn the meeting in a voyeuristic escapade.

7. A general training tip – be consistent with everything. Tone and volume of voice, type of
food, type of toys, type treats, designated areas, and especially phrases/terms he’s to learn.

8. Dogs are physical creatures – it’s ok to be physical with them. No need to hurt or beat, but taps/light spanks that get attention are useful (a little thud, not a people’s elbow). At times it may be appropriate to get even more physical – an altercation with another animal, aggression, etc. Use the dog’s scruff (extra skin on the back of their neck) to firmly grasp them and force them down to the ground. Don’t throw, sling, pinch, slap, etc. Just a firm grab of the skin and force him down with it – most dogs will become immediately submissive with this type of contact.

9. Noise makers – some people like clicker training to aid in positive reinforcement. It may be helpful if your pet isn’t picking up on learning commands well; however, I don’t use it and have never needed it; just throwing this information out there. Essentially, you associate the clicker noise with a treat, then whenever the dog does something positive/on command, you hit the clicker and then give the treat. The thinking is that the clicker provides almost instantaneous positive feedback (followed by the primary feedback of a treat); whereas providing the treat alone is delayed feedback and thus not as effective for training. I say try without it; if you’re having trouble, then go for it (I have enough trouble remembering to keep treats on me, much less a damn clicker).

10. Vet appointments, check-ups, routine medications – You’ll need’em! To make things easy to remember (I am very forgetful), I do (or try to do) all these things on my dog’s birth day (of the month). Annual check-ups on her birthday (05/18/2010). 6-month boosters are on 11/18/xxxx; flea, tick, and heartworm are on the 18th of each month. Easy stuff!

11. Baths – give you dog a bath every few months; more often and you’ll dry their skin and may cause excess shedding. And obviously give baths if he gets dirty or starts to stink before the routine baths. However, make sure you do give a puppy a few, sort of often baths at first just to get him used to the idea (not too many); better yet, have him go swimming in some clean water.

12. Puppies – hold and play with puppies constantly, they need the attention and socialization. Be sure to give him plenty of rest time (in the crate). All napping should be in the crate.

13. Nail trimming/hair grooming – start early and do it often – you’ll be thankful


General Procedures:

1. The “No” procedure - Always stop bad behavior immediately with a raised, serious tone by saying “No”. When needed, a firm, yet non-harming tap/spanking are useful too (some physical touch to stop them and get their attention).

2. The “Yes” procedure – Always reward good behavior immediately with a slightly excited, normal volume “Good boy/girl” (or whatever positive phrase you like). Pet, rub, etc. as well – the more the merrier; however, don’t drag on, a few seconds is fine, anymore isn’t reinforcing anything. This is also the time to provide a treat when doing command or potty training; or providing a toy during toy/chewing/behavior training. Treats should be small; you don’t want to lose focus by your dog trying to eat a treat for 5 minutes.


House-training (Crate Training):

1. One of the simplest and most effective methods to house-train your dog is to crate train. This is especially helpful with puppies. You should purchase a crate not much larger than your dog. A dog will learn to treat its crate as its den and will attempt to not potty within it. A dog should have enough room to lay down and turn around, and no more. Extra space may allow the dog to potty in one area and live in another, defeating the purpose of crate training. This is where those large wire crates with a removable divider come in handy (start off with a small area for a puppy and move the divider backwards as he grows). A warning! Male dogs that lift their legs may learn to lift and pee outside of the wire crate, so a plastic molded crate may be needed if this is a problem. Another warning to you: never use the crate as punishment – you don’t want to deal with crate fear while crate training.

2. While in the crate, the dog should be left to their own – don’t talk or play through the crate. This is rest or “serious” (no play) time. Whenever you release him from the crate immediately take him outside to potty (more on that later). And whenever you’re about to put him in the crate, he must go out to potty.

3. It is generally not a good idea to leave toys, treats, food, or water in the crate (until he is old enough to eat and drink when needed (not in excess) and won’t constantly tip over bowls (and by this time, he will likely be fine being left out of the crate)). If your dog has separation issues (more on this later), then leaving an old shirt with your scent in the crate is fine (preferably once he’s learned to not chew non-toys – you don’t want to encourage chewing of clothes).

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8/9/2012 9:12:41 PM

wdprice3
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4. Do not ever use in-house potty training (potty pads, newspaper, etc.). Don’t do it. If you want to designate a play room and have something on the floor for accidents, that’s fine, but never train a dog to in the house on any surface. It is never OK to go in the house.

5. Take your dog out often. Puppies need to go out very often – especially if he’s playing and
drinking a lot. Some very young puppies have no control (well, no concept of control) of their bladders and could pee every five minutes while out of the crate, playing around. If you have him out of the crate, go out every few minutes until you have an idea of his “schedule” (which won’t be consistent, but you’ll get the idea). There are many “rules of thumb” for potty breaks (# months old = # hours holding), which are decent guides, but really only relate to relaxed situations (i.e. sleeping at night). If your puppy is a month old, he’ll need to go out every 1-2 hours (most likely) throughout the day/night (say hello to your lack of sleep!).

6. Accidents will happen with a dog of any age that is not house trained (including in the crate). If you see an accident happening, use the “No” procedure outlined above; you may need to provide a firm, but not harmful tap or spanking. Some people put the dog’s nose close to the accident and do this (I don’t do this because I’d rather get him outside ASAP; both ways work). Once you have the dog’s attention, put him on the leash and take him out to potty (even if he finished his business inside – always take him out).

7. Always take your dog out on the leash – don’t free style it. Have a specified area (small area) for your dog to do its business. Use this area only and for nothing else. Your dog will become familiar with his waste scents in this area and associate that with pottying. If the area starts to get full of poop, shovel the old stuff away and discard appropriately, leaving a fresh pile or two to maintain a fresh scent.

8. Clean-up accidents ASAP and thoroughly. In addition to removing the waste, bacteria, and what YOU can smell, the remaining scent left behind that your dog can smell needs to be removed. There are tons of products that do a good job, depending on the flooring surface (I won’t get into products here; I’ll leave that up for discussion). But you MUST remove as much of the remaining scent as possible (even though you can’t smell it). This is especially true if you’re using outdoor “area training” as your dog will learn to associate his waste scents with an acceptable area to potty.

9. Have a phrase for telling/asking if the dog needs to potty . For example, ask him, “Need to go potty?”. While in training, whenever you ask this immediately put on the leash and take him to his area. Repeat this phrase while he’s in his area until he does his business. If there’s no action, walk him for a bit (outside of the area), and try again. If he still doesn’t go, walk him again, then go back to whatever you were doing and try again later. As you’re training look for potty clues: when you’ve asked if he needs to go he may jump, bark, spin around, pant, etc. Use these clues in the future – if you’re just standing there and he does these, he may be telling you something. Outside of having just asked, if your dog starts to sniff around a lot, starts circling (in a small circle or even around the room), goes to the door, comes up to and stares at you, etc., these may all be signs. Just ask if he needs to go, then take him.

10. Bell method – some people use a bell to help the dog signal when it’s time. I tried this and my dog just started hitting the bell randomly for a bit and then just ignored it – maybe I was being lazy about this type of training; but it may work for you (others have had success). You hang a bell from the door handle and each time you take the dog out, have the dog ring the bell (you may need to physically move his head into the bell to have him ring it. Alkatraz said it well enough: “We leash her up and take her out. She gets a treat every time she rings the bells and pees/poops. If she rings the bells and doesn't pee/poop, she doesn't get a treat. If you decide to do this type of training, you have to keep in mind that whenever she rings them, you have to let him out even if you know she doesn't have to go. Drag his butt to the potty spot and stand there, tell her to go, if he doesn't, drag him inside, unlease and no treat, ie ignore him.”


Leash Training

1. Other than house training, leash training is probably the second-most important training you can provide. It sets the tone for all training, behavior, socialization, and obviously – walking/jogging with your pet. First, make sure you have a proper collar and tags. Secondly, get a leader (e.g. gentle leader). Don’t use a choke collar – these can cause serious injury and aren’t really worth it. A leader will do much better (the only exception being huge dogs that are strong and aggressive, and still in most of those cases, you have a training problem, not a tool problem). Harnesses don’t work nearly as well for leash training. Harnesses are good for a leash trained dog. Once your dog is leash trained, I recommend using a harness and not a collar 1) so if he does pull, he doesn’t get choked/injured by pressure on his throat and 2) they’re harder for the dog to pull out of, compared to a collar.

2. Your dog will probably hate the leader (at first). Start training with the leader by having him wear it around the house for a few minutes at a time. Don’t attach the leash or walk him; just have him wear the leader as he would if you were walking him. Stop him from playing with it/removing it. Praise him while he’s being normal/not messing with the leader. Take it off for a while, then repeat this, extending the length of time it’s worn for each iteration, up until 20-30 minutes without him fighting it. Once you’re there, go for a walk!

3. You’ll probably find that even after your dog will wear the leader for extended periods without a fuss, he’ll still fight a little each time you put it on; he’ll get over this. Once you’re ready for walking, put the leader on, stop his fussing, and get moving. Walk at a good pace (don’t run/jog yet). The dog’s head should on the same plane as where your feet touch the ground when walking, or parallel to your body. Keep the leash slightly loose so that your dog can move its head some, but close enough to taut so that you get instant feedback through the leash if he gets out of position. Also, hold the leash up and almost over the dog’s head so that the leader is always giving slight upward and forward pressure on the dog’s snout.

4. Never let your dog lead or lag. When approaching other animals/dogs, have him sit and stay; don’t let him jump or get overly excited. He needs to learn that passing other animals is no big deal. If you want to do a meet and greet, then get permission, but have both dogs sitting and calm first, then you bring the dogs together, not the other way around. Keep it short so that it’s an introduction, not a playdate.


Feeding:

1. Always have plenty of water available outside of the crate.

2. Unless otherwise directed by specialty food or a vet, you typically feed dogs twice per day; do not free feed (leave food out all day).

3. Ensure the food is properly stored (sealed plastic bins are great and hold a ton of food)

4. For each feeding, have your dog come with you to the feeding area (designate a food). Have him sit and stay a few feet away from you. Fill the bowl on the counter, not the floor. Take the filled bowl turn towards him, don’t say anything, just make sure he sees what’s going on. While having him stay, place the food on the floor (don’t let him approach). Once you’re back up, wait a few seconds then invite him to eat (use a consistent phrase – “eat” works well).

5. Feeding is also a great time to work on food aggression, even if your dog has never shown any aggression – just train for it anyways. While eating, have him stop and sit. Then let him go back. Try petting/rubbing/tugging on him all over (face, ears, tail, body, legs, feet, etc.). Move the food bowl a little while he’s eating. Take food out of the bowl while he’s eating; get down there and eat some food from the bowl while he is (don’t be scared, it won’t hurt you; haha, you can just pretend to eat it). Any signs of aggression (barking, growling, curled lips, aggressive “stance”) should be address immediately. Remove the food, give him a non-harmful tap and say no. Repeat the giving food procedure once he’s calm. Repeat all of this often during the meal and during every meal for a while). Now, he’ll certainly try to eating – that’s fine and normal; just don’t let him bite or get aggressive.Once he’s finished (even if he didn’t eat all of the food), remove the bowl from the floor; don’t give any remaining food back to him, just save it for the next meal.


Chewing/Toys:

1. Dogs chew things. Puppies chew everything. If you have a puppy, “chew-proof” their play room (remove clothes, shoes, etc.). It’s a good idea to limit puppies to 1 or 2 rooms for training anyways. Hard toys, bones, and the like are the best for puppies and chew-tastic dogs. Soft/plush/stuffed toys are better for non-chewers (it’s fun to watch chewers destroy these, but you’ll quickly grow tired of cleaning up snow storms in your house; it may also reinforce the idea that soft things are fine to chew on). While in training, limit the number of toys/bones/etc. you give; only give him these after he’s done something positive, don’t just leave them sitting around. You need to be in control here, not him.


(2/4)

8/9/2012 9:15:07 PM

wdprice3
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2. Always stop him immediately if he starts to chew on something that isn’t approved. Use the “No” procedure from above and take away the item (don’t just put it down in sight, go put it away you lazy bum). Have him do something (sit, lay, speak, etc.) and give him a proper toy/bone.
As your dog progresses and learns that only things you give him are to be chewed, slowly introduce non-toys, a favorite being shoes. Don’t directly introduce these items to the dog, just bring it out and set it down in the room. If he ignores it, let it be (for now); it’s fine if he approaches and sniffs it (just curious). If he starts biting, chewing, or messing with it in anyway, just go through your “No” sequence as stated above. Remove the item for a bit and try again after a few minutes. Remember to always remove the item, have him perform something, and provide a proper toy. If your dog never acknowledges that you’ve placed something new in the room, get his attention and play with him, working him closer to the item so that he’s eventually face to face with it; see if he notices then. If he never does, hopefully he’s just not interested (but be sure to try with many things).

Leaving your dog/separation issues

1. While in training, always place your dog in the crate when leaving his sight for an extended time (5 or more minutes – a lot can go down in a hurry; probably even less time for puppies).

2. Never make a big deal of leaving. Tell him to get in his crate in a normal tone, lock the door and leave. No goodbyes, no toys, just leave. If you want to calmly leave a treat, fine, but don’t make a big deal of it – just drop it in and leave (these reinforces the crate being good, that you walking away is fine, and gives him something to do for a little bit at least – longer lasting treats work well here too (dentasticks type things).

3. Never make a big deal of returning. In fact, ignore your dog for several minutes – don’t talk, don’t look, don’t nothin’. Making a big deal of leaving/arriving can lead to separation anxiety, which can be a huge hassle (and expensive). Some dogs will naturally have this anxiety – don’t add to it.

4. If your dog has separation issues (cries or barks when left alone, claws at the crate, destroys things, etc.) then you need to work on this ASAP (if left untreated and you leave the dog out, that’s when your house gets remodeled in a serious way). If he’s crying/barking at night, try relocating his crate, maybe even to your bedroom or near where other pets sleep. You can also try a TV on low volume, a night light, or near a window that he can see out of. I don’t care to put the crate in the bedroom (it’s a pain to take up and downstairs to wash it out from accidents, it takes up a lot of room, and part of this training is learning how to be away from people).

5. Training separation issues is tough. The best method I found/adapted was to use two computers, a webcam, and skype. Put him in the crate, setup a webcam looking into the crate. Take another computer and log into skype (or any webcam viewing software), connect the call, then leave the house (make sure the computer with the dog isn’t showing you to the dog – turn the screen away/blank it/do something). Go outside onto the porch with a beer and a book, and keep an eye on the dog. If he starts to act up, calmly enter the house and from there, do the “no” procedure (no need to go all the way or to the crate, he doesn’t need to see you, just hear you). Keep doing this until he’s fine for at least 30 minutes on his own. If you’ve got a free weekend, enjoy a nice day on the porch and observe him over longer periods of time, just don’t pass out. Some people say anxiety and its effects typically set in within the first 15 minutes and are over within 30. Well I watched my dog for an hour over Skype (from work) and she did nothing. 7 hours later when I got home, I had a newly re-done door frame.

6. You can also try leaving an old shirt with your scent in the crate, once you’re past the don’t chew on non-toy stage.


Commands/tricks:

1. Commands are easily trained using the “Yes” procedure outlined way up there (or the clicker method if preferred). It’s good practice to teach one command until it’s pretty much mastered. I think sit is the best start; then use sit before every other command (even “speak”; e.g., I have my dog sit (then give her a “good girl”), then I have her “speak” and when she does that she gets the treat, etc.)

2. The general method is to get the dog in front of you with no toys/distractions around (TV, significant others, etc). Have treats in your pocket; take one out and say the pet’s name and place the treat (which is firmly in your hand and not sticking out) in front of his nose so that he can smell it (doesn’t need to see it or lick it; the treat can be fully covered by your hand). Once he senses it (he’ll likely lick for it), Raise the treat up in front of him and give him the command. Repeat the command 2-3 times after a few seconds of no action. If he doesn’t respond, take a quick (20 second) break and try again.

3. While you are saying the command it is helpful to provide physical force or physical clues to the action – I’ll break down a few of these below (I’ll assume your dog is treat motivated; if not, toys, bones, etc. will work in the same fashion – don’t use huge treats – you don’t want eating them to take too long. If you have big treats, break them up).

4. Sit – firm push down on his back, just above his tail.

5. Lay – [have him sit first] bring the treat to his nose, then bring it slowly to the floor and slightly away from him; you may also try pulling his front legs forward a few times

6. Speak – [have him sit first] do your best bark

7. Shake – [have him sit first] put your right hand out towards his right paw; use your left hand to bring his paw to your right hand (no lefties here! I reserve left paw for high five)

8. List of others: roll-over, stand (free standing on back two legs), dance (dance/twirl on back two legs), spin (spin around while standing), barrel roll (super advanced - get him to start running and then do a barrel roll and keep running! – I recommend doing this in the yard).


Behavior:
1. For me, this comes behind only house- and leash-training (and is directly related to leash training). Most of these will be more rants than anything; but please give them some thought. I thought about providing more of my justification for each, but that got to sounding too bitchy. I may end up explaining each later. My biggest reason for wanting people to do the following, and more, is because it really helps to establish you as the leader, gets you a very nice, well behaved dog, and you’ll most likely have a dog that can handle any situation (other dogs, toddlers, elderly, etc.). It shows you have self-respect, respect for others, and other people will recognize these good behaviors, and realize (at least think) that you know what the hell you’re doing. When my dog was just over 1 year old and I had owned her for about 3 months, she was following most of these rules and people would quickly recognize her behavior (especially out in public, e.g. bars). They would rave over her – a 1 year old puppy just chilling, being cool - compared to other dogs (many much older) not doing as well in the bar – people respect and appreciate it. Here are the ideas:

2. Dogs should never bite you (once trained). Never. Even if you’re playing rough, they need to know the rules. Puppies are going to bite you; older dogs may not, but you must train it out of any dog – use the no procedure and give a firm tap on the snout.

3. Furniture – you may not mind a couch or bed buddy, but allowing pets on furniture may not be a good idea if your friends or family ever need to keep your pet; or if you have multiple pets that love to play rough; or if your pet has accidents. It’s best to train dogs to keep off furniture. Just go through the “No” procedure and pull them off if needed; don’t make a huge deal of it. You may need to close doors and block off couches/chairs for a while.

4. People at door – it’s annoying, possibly frightening, and possibly dangerous to have your pet rush, bark, or growl at someone at your door/knocking/ringing the doorbell. Use the no procedure; stop it when it happens; have someone play the role of being a the door to train more effectively

5. Dogs going through doors – by stopping your dog from rushing doors, you’re doing yourself a huge favor, as this is how many pets get loose – a friend comes over, opens the door, the dog rushes to greet them, sees something more interesting outside, and bam, they’re off. To help train your dog to NOT go through doors without permission, have him sit before going in or out of any door. Do this until he naturally sits when you approach a door (in my experience, my dog learned to do this at exterior doors (open or closed) and at closed interior doors; though my training slacked off, so she’s not as on point anymore).

(3/4)

8/9/2012 9:17:15 PM

wdprice3
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6. Jumping – don’t allow your dog to jump on people or up to (onto) counters. Old ladies don’t like broken hips; people dressed for work don’t want muddy paw prints.

7. Growling – a little growing during playing is fine; other than that, use the “No” procedure – it may be a sign of aggression (or it may be harmless, just train it out).

8. Approaching other animals – don’t let your dog go wild when new animals are around – no jumping, running, barking etc. Have him sit calmly; you bring the animals together, if desired, not the other way around – this is a huge one – if your dog lunges at a new dog (because he wants to play), that dog may be frightened by this and attack – so please control your dog.

9. Approaching other people – don’t let your dog approach others, sniff, lick, etc. without permission and without you taking the dog to the person. The worst examples I see are at bars (and my dog is guilty of this – I’m working on her): chilling, having a few drinks, the dog is chilling on the leash and then all of a sudden, is at the next table licking a butt crack. Most people don’t mind – but it’s the principle of the thing – be invited first (I don’t necessarily like a random dog coming up to me, mouth open and going for my hand).

10. Never feed a dog from your table/where you are eating. Don’t let dogs sit near the table/eating location/don’t let them beg. First off, feeding them like this can cause them to become picky eaters. Secondly, many guests will not appreciate being hounded by your dog while they’re trying to eat. It’s just bad form. Have your dog in the crate, or if he’s finally out of crate training, have him chilling in another room/away from you. If he approaches, tell him out/go to bed and make sure he leaves.


Socializing:

1. Socializing your dog with other dogs and people is vital; but only do this when it’s time: your dog knows its name, it listens to you, it’s leash trained, it’s not being aggressive; it sits/lays; etc.

2. Don’t take puppies to dog parks, unless there is a separate puppy/small dog area and you are comfortable with the dogs there. Instead, plan playdates with friend’s dogs/puppies (outside works best)

3. Be careful taking older dogs to dog parks – many haven’t received behavior or aggression training – that’s why it’s important for you to do so.

4. Always keep a close eye on these interactions; start off with one similar sized dog and do a few playdates; then other dogs, then multiple dogs.

5. Take your dog to your social outings – don’t be afraid to train there. If your dog is bothering/sniffing/licking others without permission, then stop the behavior – trust me, one day you’ll run into someone who doesn’t want to be licked.

6. Make sure to at least introduce other animals so he’ll know they exist and that they likely won’t give a damn about him. He has to learn they are neither food nor toys.

(4/4)

8/9/2012 9:17:48 PM

jbrick83
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That was awesome. I'll have a few questions tomorrow...but first of all, thanks.

8/9/2012 10:09:34 PM

wdprice3
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No problem.

I'm going to nitpick myself just so I'm clear: a few errors to be corrected (other than bad grammar):

Feeding
4. For each feeding, have your dog come with you to the feeding area (designate a food area)

5. Now, he’ll certainly try to continue eating


Commands/tricks:

5. Lay – [have him sit first] bring the treat to his nose, then bring it slowly to the floor and slightly away from him; you may also try pulling his front legs forward a few times; you may want to "block" the treat with your hand (hand between mouth and treat) and once he's down, drop the treat on the floor a few inches in front of his mouth so it reinforces the idea that he's got to be on the floor.


[Edited on August 9, 2012 at 10:42 PM. Reason : add another note]

8/9/2012 10:25:14 PM

wolfpackgrrr
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Anybody who has been around a cat in heat would need to hate themselves to wait a year before fixing. And every unfixed male dog I've known pisses all over the place. I'd rather nip pet puberty in the bud.

8/9/2012 10:55:54 PM

jbrick83
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Thanks for the topic on separation issues. I feel like we're going to ultimately have a problem with those. We got our puppy in the middle of the summer and have been spending sooo much time with him. My fiance is a teacher, so she's had a lot of the summer off. My office is dog-friendly, so he comes to work with me unless I have a deposition, big client meeting, or have to go to court. At some point, we're going to want to do shit without him. So that stuff will definitely be helpful.

Question about the gentle-leader advice. I'd like to NOT have to use a gentle leader. I went out walking with him recently and tried an approach I saw on the Dog Whisperer where once the dog pulls, you stop, make the dog stop and come beside you...and once that is done, you go again (you give commands while this is happening). It might make the first couple walks miserable because you're stopping every five seconds...but I think I might give it a shot.

But the question I was getting to with the gentle leader is...do you use it on them as a puppy, and later on you don't have to? Because I would do that. I just don't want to have to use one for his entire life.


And we're having to backtrack on some of our training (should have done what wdprice3 said from the beginning). We're trying to get him to go to a certain spot in the back of the yard. In the beginning, he was really good at it. We started off with running out there with him and giving him praise and a treat and telling him to "go in the woods" (there's a ton of small trees and bushes there).

He would almost always poop there, but the peeing was maybe 60/40...if we didn't encourage him to go out there, he would just pee somewhere else in the yard. I mean, we don't give him a treat or praise him if he pees in a bad place in the yard, but he's starting not to care. And recently, he's started to poop in the grass (not the woods).

So I think we're going to have to start hooking him up to the leash and taking him to the spot.

8/10/2012 8:24:13 AM

wdprice3
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Eh, he may have some anxiety issues, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he didn't - he may be well balanced. Anyways, start off with him in the crate and leave the room (listen for crying or use the webcam method); then graduate to leaving the house and longer times. The key to this is to stop the bad behavior, but don't add excitement (hence the not going into the house where the dog can see you; as he just needs to hear "No").

Oh yeh, I can't believe I didn't mention this, but for mild anxiety (or maybe the beginning of training for more serious anxiety), simply working on sit/stay can really help. Have him sit/stay, then you walk away; after a few seconds reward him. Keep doing this and moving further away and eventually just around a corner. This reinforces the idea that he's fine when you walk away/are out of sight (more serious anxieties are beyond this point - the dog may know he's fine because he knows you're in the house even if he can't see you; it's only when you've left the house (or he thinks you have) is when he gets worked up).


Re: gentle leader - that is also a great method for leash training, but as you pointed out, can be more troublesome/take longer; however, the advantage there is you're training multiple things at once. I should also add for leash training (and this ties directly into your method, jbrick), is have the dog sit beside you every time you stop (you'll have to tell him to sit for a while, but he should eventually catch on and sit automatically when you stop). He should also start moving once you do (most dogs do; however, some may need more encouragement). As far as not using a leader, I think you can follow the same basic procedure (not a lot of slack in the leash so you get immediate feedback; keep the dog's head in the same position); and whenever he's out of position, call him to you and have him sit.

If you leader train as a puppy then you shouldn't need to use it later; once trained they typically do fine on a leash attached to a halter (preferably) or collar.

For the potty area training; it should just be a matter of training and consistency - most dogs will figure out these kinds of things quickly. It may help to limit outdoor play time since that provides opportunities for him to go outside of the area (and this is always a challenge with potty area training; but he's retraining, so that's why I say limit it (should expedite the process)).

And that thought should be added to my list - potty area training and outdoor playtime: when he's playing outside (not in the potty area) he's going to go in the yard, that's fine, but just like accidents in the house, walk him over to the potty area and go through the potty routine (don't do the "No" procedure - this wasn't an indoor accident), even if he already finished his business. Just helps to reinforce that area. In the end, he went outside, the ultimate goal.



Also, to clear up myths/information about leaders:

One user brought up larger dogs pulling while wearing a gentle leader, pressure/discomfort near the eyesockets, and others have worried about it limiting the dog's ability to open its mouth.

Firstly, if properly sized and worn, your dog won't pull when wearing the leader; they may give a slight pull occasionally when they get excited, but they'll quickly stop (and it won't be a hard pull - you likely won't notice it) - the leader "stops" this behavior automatically. The leader also won't cause damage/harm/breathing problems (if you have the right size and have it on properly) - I say won't, but in reality anything can happen, so don't take that as an absolute.

Part of using the leader is training with it; not just slapping it on and taking rufus to the most popular walking trail. Train him to wear it; train him to walk with it (not around other animals); train him to not jump/lunge at other animals he sees while out walking. It is all tied together.

[Edited on August 10, 2012 at 9:06 AM. Reason : .]

8/10/2012 8:55:18 AM

ncsujen07
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Quote :
"10. Bell method – some people use a bell to help the dog signal when it’s time. I tried this and my dog just started hitting the bell randomly for a bit and then just ignored it – maybe I was being lazy about this type of training; but it may work for you (others have had success). You hang a bell from the door handle and each time you take the dog out, have the dog ring the bell (you may need to physically move his head into the bell to have him ring it. Alkatraz said it well enough: “We leash her up and take her out. She gets a treat every time she rings the bells and pees/poops. If she rings the bells and doesn't pee/poop, she doesn't get a treat. If you decide to do this type of training, you have to keep in mind that whenever she rings them, you have to let him out even if you know she doesn't have to go. Drag his butt to the potty spot and stand there, tell her to go, if he doesn't, drag him inside, unlease and no treat, ie ignore him.”
"


This has worked well for my dog ever since he was a puppy. I would say 1 in every 5 times he rings the bell, he just wants to play...so, not bad. If he just wants to play, I can tell because he won't leave the deck and waits for me to come out. In that case, he stays out there for a while by himself since he rang it.

8/10/2012 11:27:06 AM

wdprice3
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haha. my dog would ring it and lay by the door, so I thought she actually had to go out. So I'd get up open the door and asked if she had to go out; then she'd walk away and go take a nap somewhere/play with toys.

I'm not trying to discourage people from using it - the method works, but each dog is different and it depends on how well you train. Apparently I failed I do think it's worth a shot because if you can train your dog to do it, it is a wonderful signal - loud and clear.

She was already house-trained at the time, I was just working on this as a notification. I probably failed because I got lazy and quit forcing her out/using a leash (I started out doing that and after a few weeks got lazy).

[Edited on August 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM. Reason : .]

8/10/2012 11:41:24 AM

quagmire02
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i have a friend who uses the bell method and it works great

it wouldn't work with my wife's dog...that dog comes in from back yard and sits there by the door like she's confused as to how she got inside

8/10/2012 2:10:09 PM

jbrick83
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So we think our puppy has a cold.

He's been hacking a lot the last couple days but nothing has come up. We thought he had something caught in his throat, but again...nothing has come up and today he sneezed some snot out of his nose, his nose was running, and his "eye goop" is green.

Any simple solutions? He's due for his rabies shot with the vet in two weeks and we don't want to rack up a big vet bill for a cold.

8/12/2012 9:07:35 PM

skankinande
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Stay away from Blue Buffalo as it has several issues with getting dogs sick.

I have recently started feeding my dogs Lamb and Chicken (two separate foods) from a brand called Hi Tek, no grain and has been really great for my dogs and much cheaper than the major brands. Was using blue and Nutro but after doing my research will not feed them again.

8/12/2012 11:34:27 PM

ThePeter
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We haven't had any problems with Blue, and had nothing come up in research about sickness.

About separation:

More often than not, "separation anxiety" is nothing more than "bored restless dog" syndrome, where once you leave the dog has a ton of energy and decides how it wants to play... Generally by shredding whatever it wants. If you have this problem, start by taking your dog on walks (playing does not do the job) sometime before you leave. It's rare for grown dogs to actually have the separation psychological issue, so get them more exercise before trying to play lullaby tapes (yes, a real product) or getting medication. A tired dog is a happy dog.

[Edited on August 13, 2012 at 12:06 AM. Reason : Separation]

8/12/2012 11:55:15 PM

MeatStick
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I use the Blue Buffalo Wilderness for my dog...she's never been sick on it. My old wiener dog lived to be 16 and was fed that food too, never got sick a day in her life (cept the day she ate rocks, haha). My dog was a puppy mill dog and her coat has come back soft, she has great energy, and has gotten her figure back after years of being fed Alpo wet food in mass quantities (She was kept as a breeder).

8/13/2012 2:43:31 PM

TotalEclipse
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Someone asked about Trifexis back up a bit... not sure if it got answered.

Trifexis does Heartworms and fleas, but not ticks, so if your dog is outside (particularly during summer months) you may also want to use it in conjunction with frontline/advantix or a tick collar. We sell it at the vet I work at part time and have heard good things. Most of the time the problem is getting them to take it since it apparently has a bad odor.

Oh and on interceptor... Novartis had an issue at the plant that makes in on the human side (something about two drugs getting mixed up) and had to shut it down for a bit, but from my understanding they are about to start making it again. Just an FYI if anyone was on it (saw a post with that somewhere else up there).

8/13/2012 4:55:12 PM

ncsuallday
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so my girlfriend has been basically living with me the past couple of months and complained that she misses seeing her cat and her roommate was getting annoyed that she was never there to give it attention. I agreed to try having it live with me, but I really don't even like cats.

Her cat is a mixed breed (she calls it an ossi-cat or something) female that's about 1.5 years old. My dog is a 7 year old German Shepherd. My dog LOVES cats and won't leave them alone - he tries to snuggle with them all the time and wouldn't hurt a cat but also smothers them. Her cat is a psycho as far as I'm concerned - it arches its back, hisses, scratches, etc. If my dog leaves it alone, it will actually stalk him and provoke confrontation. It also tries to climb the back of my LCD TV, which I can't stand.

Any suggestions on how to get them to get along or is time the only thing that *may* help?

8/14/2012 11:39:19 AM

jbrick83
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Conveniently leave your door open when the cat is in the house (and keep dog in bedroom).

Problem solved.

8/14/2012 11:54:48 AM

synapse
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For food, I made the switch to grain free and noticed a MASSIVE difference in my dog allergies. I really don't see any reason to feed it to them, unless you're on a budget.

Quote :
"He said they spend all the money on research and the rest of the companies just follow their lead. And everyone else says that the vets are paid by the big companies to rep their food. So what do you guys think?"


Sounds like bullshit. I mean organic is ridiculous, but that doesn't mean you buy Iams.

Run the food you're using/want to use through these sites to see how they stack up. I'm gonna bet Iams doesn't fare well...

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/
http://www.petfoodratings.net/

8/14/2012 12:50:00 PM

JSnail
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1) Dakota (GSD/Collie-almost 7 years old) gets Fromm 4 Star (rotating between the varieties). She has allergies to both chicken/chicken fat and beef (processed) so I have to watch the ingredients. Grain-free can sometimes be too rich for her. I had her on raw for 3 years and she did amazing. It just got too expensive and it got too difficult trying to find everything I needed out here.

Kaiser (GSD--7 months old) is on Orijen 6 Fish. He has allergies as well, so I am in the process of narrowing down the triggers.

Both dogs get Grizzly Salmon Oil (well, Kaiser won't for as long as he is on the 6 fish) as well as coconut oil. They also get a probiotic and joint supplements (I don't like the brand I'm currently using for either of these so I will be switching up next month once I find a new one).

2) Heartguard for heartworm preventative. Was using Interceptor but when that became unavailable I had to switch. Advantix II for flea/tick. I also use a natural mosquito repellent as needed.

3) Grainfree treats, but most often dehydrated whole meats (liver, lung, salmon chunks, etc). Hotdogs (low sodium, kosher) for Kaiser's tracking. I also have antlers available at all times. Marrow bones offered on the rare occasion, along with bully sticks, trachea, tendons, etc.

Toys? It depends...Kaiser plays with everything. Dakota tends to prefer squeakies.

4) Positive training here with some corrections (verbal and collar pops). Dakota was trained completely with luring. She is incredibly intelligent, but does not work for me. She works because she chooses to. This can get frustrating. Kaiser is being trained with positive methods with an emphasis on the handler-dog relationship. I see a HUGE difference in his willingness to work FOR me, and he is only 7 months old. Then again, he comes from working lines.

Anything else?

8/19/2012 6:59:25 PM

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