This is a great read for all dog owners! I do something similar with my dog Valentino, but I labeled it LEAVE IT. So anytime he is looking/staring at someone/something, and I think he may start to bark etc, I say LEAVE IT, if I see something on the floor I don’t want him to touch, I say LEAVE IT. Its a great command, and the below, is also a great alternative to reward your dog for behaving!
“Reinforcing your dog for doing nothing is a technique I learned from my most amazing mentor, Kyle Rayon. The idea is, when you see your dog doing absolutely NOTHING, that is the moment you want to reinforce him with attention and treats. For example: Your dog is standing calmly at your side on a loose leash, and an excitable dog comes out of the blue from around a corner. As your dog sees the other dog, you pop a treat in your dog’s mouth while he is standing there DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! By doing this you will reinforce your dog for doing nothing in this situation, making it more likely he will do nothing when in a similar situation in the future. Don’t wait the 3 seconds for when your dog starts barking his head off at the other dog. Another example is: You are in the street standing and talking to a friend on a walk, while your dog is next to you doing nothing. Feed your dog a treat for doing nothing while you chat. Don’t wait until your dog starts whining, or pulling or jumping on you to give him attention. “Nothing Behaviors” are highly overlooked by many dog trainers. Many trainers focus on training dogs to “Sit”, “Down”, and “Stand”. But they forget to reinforce all the wonderful “Nothing Behaviors” that the dogs are already doing!
Tip: When reinforcing your dog for doing nothing, you need to get the treat to him before he thinks to look at you. This is because you want to “take a picture” of that calm behavior he is doing at that exact moment in time with the reinforcement, so that exact behavior will be repeated in the future. If your dog turns to look at you as you feed him a treat, you will be “taking a picture” only of a dog that is excited about the food that he is about to eat. Feeding him a treat while he is looking for his treat will not at all reinforce the calm nothing behavior you had hoped for, so wait until your dog is not thinking about the food again, before giving your dog the treat.
You can get the food to your dog while he is not looking at you, by having food already prepared in your hand, so that you don’t make a noise before you move to feed your dog. You can also toss a treat between your dog’s paws so it is less expected, or come from behind your dog with the treat to get it to his mouth. If you have a dog that is so over-aroused by food that he never looks away from the food, teach him to settle around food first.”
From website: http://dogmantics.com/train-your-dog-to-do-absolutely-nothing/
Pets can get the winter blues too! Even if you live in a warmer state, the change of season affects pets too! Pet owners who ignore their pet’s needs for winter stimulation will find their companions gaining weight, becoming irritable, and sleeping too much. However, here are some steps that will make you and your pet happier during the long colder months!
(1) Brighten the Lights: Pets respond to illumination like we do- they get peppier when the lights are brighter !
(2) Encourage Play Time: Just because its cold outside, doesn’t mean you can’t have some indoor stimulation! Put your timer on, and play with your pet for that whole time period.
(3) Recalculate Food Quantities: If a dog or cat is not outdoors as much, you may want to lower their food intake, so they don’t gain winter weight!
(4) Enhance Scents Around the House: Scented goodies can keep dogs busy as they try to find the course of the smell. Cats like toys with catnip and/or scratching posts.
(5) Go Outside: Bundle up (and bundle up your dog too) and do get that outdoor time every day!
November is the month we take time to express gratitude and celebrate all that we are thankful for. I am blessed and thankful to be able to make a living doing something that I’m tremendously passionate about – working with animals. Let’s all take a moment to reflect on why we opened up our hearts and homes to our pets, and what makes them so special to our lives!
I can say my life is better and I am a better person because of my animals and my love for them, and all animals in that case.
I can probably name a million things I’m grateful for when it comes to my pets, but here are just a few! I’m sure you can all relate to most if not all on this list!
(1) Every time I come in my apartment, my dog Valentino is super happy to see me, showing it by either with a tail wag, or a full face cleaning!
(2) Making the bed every morning, and playing with my cat Leo in the sheets, helps me start my day off with a smile.
(3) I love that Valentino has endless amounts of energy, and makes me want to be more active!
(4) But I’m also grateful that he loves sleeping just as much as me,especially on those lazy Sunday mornings.
(5) My other cat Mya reminds me that pets feed off of our energy, so around her I’m reminded to calm my energy and relax more, which is hard for me sometimes. Just petting her takes my anxiety about the day to day things away.
(6) I love when Leo snuggles with me at night, and kneads my neck, and rubs up against my face (even though this usually happens after midnight!)
(7) All of my pets, and my clients’ pets as well, have helped me put life into prospective. I don’t worry about the small things anymore such as my favorite sweater was ruined, or the cat threw up in my bed. Possessions are just that, and our love for our animals is so much greater!
(8) My pets teach me a lot of things, and most of all they teach me to appreciate the simple things in life, and find joy in them.
I have a true love for all animals, and I’v always had a connection to them, even horses!
I am grateful for this love of animals. I am and will always be a pet person, and will always rescue pets and fill my home with their love!
Many people don’t realize how important it is for your pet to get plenty of clean, fresh water. Studies have shown that getting your pet to drink more water is one of the easiest ways to maintain good health. However, many animals, do not drink enough water.
Do you ever notice your cat likes to drink from the faucet, or your dog likes to drink out of the toilet bowl? There is a reason behind this strange behavior!
In nature, moving water is cleaner. It has less bacteria than stagnant water. In addition, moving water is more aerated, so it tastes better, and makes the water more appealing to drink. Running water also is naturally filtered. So for these reasons, pets may seek running water or water that is constantly refreshed (like the toilet bowl) over water sitting in a bowl.
My cats LOVE drinking out of my bathtub. So I leave the water on a trickle for them multiple times a day. I have also heard that cats like when their water source is separate from their food source, so you can try moving their water bowl, or leaving another bowl of water out for them in a different place. Other people love water fountains for their cats and/or dogs. I am personally not a fan. I have tried many, and I always end up returning them. But to each their own!
For my dog, I just use a water bowl, and refresh it multiple times a day. Also make sure you actually wash and scrub out your pet’s water bowls with soap once a day. People frequently tend to forget to do this. Even water bowls can get bacteria growth.
Whatever you choose, just make sure your pet has access to clean, fresh water, and he or she will be healthier!
Obesity is a severe, chronic, and common health problem that leads to many other health issues in dogs. It is not uncommon to see overweight dogs who are being fed in accordance with the recommended feeding amounts and guidelines posted on the kibble bag. Allow your dog’s body condition to determine the proper amount of food to feed him. If your dog is overweight, cut his food gradually (1/3 c./week, for instance) until you can easily feel each of his ribs without pressing. Place your hand flat on a table, palm-down. Run the fingers of your opposite hand along your first set of knuckles: this is how your dog’s ribs should feel when he is at a healthy weight.
By: Casey Lomonaco