We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about the right age to start a dog on an electronic pet containment system. The general rule of thumb is 4 months, but it really depends on the dog. Once your dog can follow the three basic commands – come, sit, and stay – he or she can be trained on the pet containment system. Puppies under 3 months typically don’t have quite the attention span they need to learn their boundaries. If you have any concerns, it can be a good idea to consult with a qualified obedience trainer.
Does your dog overreact when visitors come to your home? When you’re expecting guests, make sure your dog has gotten plenty of exercise that day. A bored or restless dog is more likely to overreact to a visitor. When your guests arrive, have your dog leashed so that you can control and correct any attempts to jump or rush at the visitor. If possible, ask your guests to ignore the dog and avoid eye contact with her until she is calm and ready to interact politely – attention from these interesting strange people in the house will likely escalate the excitement level!
The same rules for when you meet a new dog apply for when a new person meets your dog. Make sure visitors know the house rules in advance so you can easily manage your dog’s behavior during the introduction. Do not allow the dog to bark or jump up on the visitor. Visitors should avoid greeting the dog verbally and should not make eye contact, instead waiting for the dog to get comfortable with their scent and approaching with a gentle touch or nuzzle. At that point, your guest may be affectionate with your dog – if your guest wishes to.
Keep in mind that your dog can remember many, many distinct smells, so they will form a lasting impression of a guest after just a few meetings. It’s worth taking the time to make sure the introduction goes smoothly.
When you meet a new dog for the first time, of course the impulse is to run up and pet him right away, and make friends. But a dog’s version of getting to know you is a lot different than a human’s! A pack leader never approaches followers, the followers should come to the leader. Don’t make eye contact right away, this is too much too soon. Let the dog approach you and sniff you, and wait for a signal such as a gentle nuzzle or rub as a signal it’s time to be affectionate. Then you can pet the dog and tell her how beautiful she is! Remember that taking the time to get acquainted on the dog’s terms will lead to a much better long-term relationship.
It’s raining today on Long Island, and most of the East Coast it seems! It’s been a long hard winter for much of the country and if you’re feeling a little stir-crazy, just imagine how your dog is feeling by now.
Dogs need exercise to be happy and healthy – just like we do. If you’re stuck inside because of the rain like us here at Fido’s Fences on Long Island, it might seem like the last thing you’ll want to do today but consider pulling on your rain gear and taking at least a short walk. Your dog will feel much better and likely be better behaved after burning off some of that extra energy.
If a rainy walk is just too much (we understand about wet dog smell, really), at least make some extra time for indoor play. You might have to get a little creative but your dog will appreciate it. If you have a treadmill at home and you think your dog is up to it, you can even train him to use that for an easy indoor exercise solution.
What indoor exercise solutions have you invented with your pets during the long winter and stormy spring? Share your best indoor exercise photo with us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We’ll select our favorites to post here – winners will receive a 10% discount coupon for their next online order. (Contest ends April 19th 2011)