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Archive for April, 2009

Stop your dog from digging

I remember when we brought Nitro home, he was a cute little yellow ball energy, floppy ears and all.  I knew labs liked to dig, but I had no idea they could or would pull out entire bushes.  My husband sent me a picture one day of him pulling a tree across the yard.  How he got it out of the ground< I dont know that we will know that, but it must have taken him some work!

We also used to have a french drain.  He dug that up and played with it.  I honestly think he is one of those dogs that thinks great things lie below the surface just waiting for him to play with it.  So, how did we stop his digging habit?  By paying attention to him.  The first thing I did was teach inside.  I always wanted a dog that ran to me when I called him, even if it was to come in from having so much fun in the nice weather.  I keep a stash of treats by the door, cheerios – they are cheap and he loves them.  When I yell inside he gets some food.  I started out by practicing this at a short distance.

Once he had that down I could watch him for digging and just say inside and he would come running.  Even if I gave him a treat and he went right back out, he usually forgets what he was interested in.  We also use leave it and practice down stays to keep him away from his favorite bushes.  Over time, the digging has just gone away.  If they can’t practice it, they forget about it a lot of the time.

Happy dog training!

Exercising your dog

Its official. Spring is upon us.  I see more people out running with their dogs than at any other time in the year.   Whats funny is, people work up to working out or they go on the tread mill. They keep in shape, all year round, or they work up to it.

I remember several years ago my husband wanted to go hiking with my dog.  I begged him to condition him first, but no, he said he wouldn’t push him. When  they got home from their however many mile hike, poor Dakota couldn’t even lift his leg to pee!  His pads were torn,he was a mess!

If you are going to exercise with your dog, treat them like yourself, and work up to it.  Personally I walk / run with my dogs when they are full grown.  If its hot, we go late at night or early in the morning.  If its nice out, I let them  take sniff breaks.  I bring water when I can and let them have some.  Take it slow and pay attention to your dog, they know what they are feeling!