Dog Tricks, Tips and Insights - More Tips print postage at home

Dog Tips, page 2

(continued from More Dog Tips, page 1)

Feeding your dog table scraps is not always healthy. Some people food is not good for dogs (especially chocolate!), some people food is too fattening, and any amount of people food he eats lessens the amount of dog food he will eat - lessening his intake of the nutrients he needs.

If you run out of dog food, cat food will do in a pinch. And, it contains even more vitamins and minerals than dog food.

Does your dog really have doggy odor? That is, even after a bath? What is causing the strong odor just might be an infection in his ears!

If your dog doesn't like his nails clipped or the trip to the vet to get his shots, do your very best not to call him to you just before these things happen. Instead, just walk over and pick him up (or connect the leash to his collar if he is too large) and go. This way, he won't connect coming to you when you call him with the things he doesn't like - which could stop him from coming to you at all.

By the same token, if you call your dog and he runs through the entire house before coming, don't scold him when he does finally get to you. You don't want him to think he'll get a scolding every time he comes when you call him. In fact, start praising him as soon as he starts to come, which should encourage him instead.

Some dogs have trouble coping when they are left alone. You'll know if yours does if he was destructive while you were gone or if your neighbors tell you he barked all day. You can teach him to cope, while reassuring him that you will come back - both leading to much better behavior and a much happier dog.

Just like with his first "stay," make the session so short that he is able to succeed. Then, make each session a little longer. He will relate your keys, coat or purse with your long absences, so be sure to take them as you normally would. When your dog is calm and relaxed, leave the room. Give no good-byes, and don't make a fuss. Take your keys and go into the bathroom for two minutes. When you return, ignore him, put the keys down, and go back to your quiet time together. Don't make it a big deal before or after, and he may not either. Also, the time was short enough for him to put together your leaving and returning. Later, make your bathroom stay last about five minutes, and eventually get up to at least ten minutes. Next time, leave the house and stay out for about two minutes. Then, continue these sessions until you are gone longer and longer. After each session, he should feel less panic when you leave, less anxiety while he is alone, and more confidence that you will return. Your coming and going will eventually become just a normal occurrence. It is also helpful to have a few of his toys in the room in case he feels the need to chew on something.

A dog's excess tears can be caused by many things, including blocked tear ducts, abnormal eyelashes, corneal ulcers, a tumor or cyst on the lids or eyes, a foreign object lodged behind the eyelids, dyes in dog food, or dyes in dog bowls.

A wet area on the face, no matter what the underlying cause of the wetness, can be a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. And, bacterial infections commonly occur at the tear ducts, causing excess tears. Ptirsporum, a red yeast bacteria, is at the root of most yeast infections, and a yeast infection is the most common cause of tear stains. Tear stains also often occur at the same time as a gum infection or ear infection. Staining can also occur on a dog's paws from licking and around his mouth from infected saliva.

You could continually wash away your dog's tear stains, but that affects only the result not the cause. Putting a teaspoon of Natural Apple Cider Vinegar per quart of water in your dog's water bowl can clear up most active yeast infections and prevent future infections. Apple cider vinegar tablets can be used if your dog refuses to drink the treated water. A dog's (and human's) system should be PH balanced (between acid and alkaline), and apple cider vinegar adds the acid that many of us are lacking.

Apple cider vinegar (in its natural form from a health food store, not the pasteurized version from the grocery store) is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, and deodorant; helps digestion and to remove tooth tartar; prevents tooth decay and hair loss (even mange), prevents and heals gum disease and skin problems; and will discourage fleas. (Read about how natural apple cider vinegar helps humans at, and here are links to Natural Apple Cider Vinegar or natural apple cider vinegar tablets.)

Puppies are not too smart. After all, they soon think of you as their mother and of themselves as human. Well, maybe that is smart afterall since both draw you two closer. But, they simply don't know the difference between that great rope with knots that pet stores sell for tug of war and your favorite shoe. This is where you need to show your superior intellect. You need to never, ever let anyone play tug of war with the puppy or you need to teach him to let go on command right from the very beginning. Otherwise, he will dig his teeth into your favorite shoe deeper and deeper as you try to grab it away from him. Tug of war can also cause him to become possessive enough to snap someday when someone tries to take a toy from him.

To get a dog let go of one item simply offer him another, which can be a toy or treat, while you give him a command ("drop it" or "let go" or "out"). Praise him the second he lets the item drop. If you don't pick up the item, you eliminate his desire to guard it. Let him pick it back up, you offer something else while saying the command, and praise him when he lets go.

Learning to let go on command could even save his life someday if he were to pick up something poisonous or sharp. You may even need to have him release his bite on a person someday.

For a couple years, I had to put up with trying to trim my Jack Russel Terrier's nails. Any one with a JRT knows what a problem that can be! With all the yelping and struggling, you would think she was being tortured!

I tried using various clippers and went to several groomers, but no matter what I tried she would have none of it! I was at my wit's end.

Then one day I saw a commercial on TV about a home manicure system, and that got me thinking. I whipped out my Dremel tool and attached the small sanding round to it. Using a bribe got my dog into my lap. I gently held her paw and used the lowest setting on my Dremel to start sanding her nails. Five minutes later, all her nails were trimmed, and to my surprise she didn't complain or even squirm at all. I've been using the Dremel now for over two years, and nail trimming is no longer a problem! THIS TIP WAS SENT IN BY JACQUELINE. (Thanks!)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Some dogs just hate having their paws held. We trim our dog's nails with her sitting on a chair, one of us at her side petting her, and one of us sitting on the ground in front of her. We just put a little pressure on a paw to keep it still and slip the trimmer onto one nail. Snip - GOOD GIRL! It doesn't hurt, and she cares more about hearing praise than the snip.

You will know when your dog's digestive system is too alkaline by the yellow spots on your lawn.

A dose of one teaspoon to one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (depending on the size of the dog) per day will correct the pH imbalance and should solve the problem. The apple cider vinegar can be added to the dog's water or put directly on his food. Two tablespoons of tomato juice on the dog's food twice a day will have the same effect.

Adding apple cider vinegar to your dog's diet has many other health benefits. And, you can use any vinegar to remove skunk odor by rubbing it full strength into his fur. As you may have guessed, tomato juice will also work.

Chasing bicycles can be dangerous for your dog and the cyclist. He starts because it looks like fun. He continues because he wins. So, set him up to lose.

Arrange for a friend to ride past your house while you are outside with your dog. When your dog starts chasing the bicycle, your friend should stop suddenly and yell "No!" as he squirts him in the face with a water gun. If your dog loves water, your friend can use an air horn instead. A third choice is for your friend to drop a sealed can containing lots of coins right in front of the dog. Your dog won't be expecting any of these things, and he won't like any of the sudden "shocks." Most importantly, he loses!

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