April Tips - Dog Grooming and Training

    Ashly’s Training Tip of the Month

    We think both you and your dog are going to love this training tip! If you want to have a dog who listens better to your commands then you have to play with them. That's right. This month's tip is simply play games with your dog. Not only does it build a much stronger bond with your doggie companion which lends itself to better listening, but it also makes them tired and more able to focus on your training. You'll see other benefits to this of course too such as less separation anxiety and other unwanted behaviors.

    So how best can one play with their dog? Well there are way too many ways to list them all here, so we'll give you one good one. A flirt pole is a lot like a giant cat teaser. It is easy to make, super fun for your dog, and not a lot of effort is needed on your part to play. All you need is a long piece of PVC pipe (roughly 4 ft of 1/2" - 3/4" pipe), rope or bungee material (roughly 8 ft in length or twice the size of your PVC pipe) and a soft toy. Thread the rope through the PVC pipe and tie a knot at either end of the pipe so it can't slip through. Once secure, tie the soft toy to the hanging end of the rope. To see more detailed directions on how to make one of these and how to use the flirt pole in play, please visit this website: http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/04/24/flirt-pole/

    Keep in mind that different dogs like different games. Keep playing with your dog to find out which game he or she likes best. Whether it's flirt pole games, Frisbee, fetch, or teaching new tricks each game will bring you closer to your doggie family member and ultimately lead to a happy, more balanced and well-behaved pet. Enjoy!

    Grooming Tip of the Month

    Trimming your dog’s nails is probably the most intimidating aspect of grooming a dog. There is of course risk of cutting too close to the “quick,” or vein, of the nail causing pain and bleeding to your sweet pooch. It’s no wonder most dogs dread this grooming routine. The best time to begin trimming a dog’s nails is when they are puppies. Touching paws and nails and desensitizing young dogs to nail trims will lead to stress-free sessions! But what about for those of us who found our dogs later in their lives? Before attempting to cut a nail, get your dog used to being around nail clippers and associate them with positivity. Start by placing the clippers next to your dog’s paws and simultaneously treat your dog with something really yummy, like chicken or hot dogs. Gradually move the nail clippers on top of your dog’s paw and treat. Then put the clippers away without any trimming. Eventually, your dog will associate that clippers coming out means they get the best treats ever! Once your dog is comfortable with the clippers being in their presence, trim a tiny piece of nail and treat and praise! For some dogs, this process may take longer, especially if they are very wary of clippers. For others, the positive association may come quickly and you’ll be able to trim nails more frequently.  Watch a Youtuve video

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