The Basics of Dog Obedience Training

Basic Dog Obedience Training Tips and Tools via Tipsaholic.com

Teaching your dog a few simple commands can make life a bit easier for both of you. For example, if you can teach your dog to sit and stay, you can use this before opening the front door without the risk of your dog running out into the street or overwhelming a guest as they walk in the door.

Every pet owner should teach their dogs at least a few basic commands and use them on a regular basis. Making your dog sit quietly before meals, when children are around or just for fun are great tools to have to help control your pet since we can’t talk to them and tell them what we need from them. We’ve got the basics of dog obedience training to get you started.

4 Basic Dog Obedience Tasks You Can Teach At Home via Tipsaholic

Tools for training

  • Treats: go for smelly, soft, tiny pea-sized treats like these. The size is great for training because they don’t take your dog long to eat and you can move on quickly.
  • Treat Pouch: you can keep treats in your pocket, but it gets a little messy and you’re going to end up smelling like treats all day. This one is great because it clips to your belt or pocket.

Tips before you begin

  • Keep training sessions short, maybe 5-15 minutes so your dog doesn’t get bored and restless
  • Stay positive! Do NOT punish or get frustrated with your dog if they don’t get it right away. You want your dog to look forward to training sessions. If you start to get angry or frustrated end the session and try again later.
  • Try not to use a voice command at first, saying “sit” a million times when he doesn’t know what that means will just cause him to ignore that command. Once you have the hand gesture down then you can add a voice command to it. But again, avoid saying it over and over and over. If they aren’t doing it they either don’t understand the command or are too distracted.

 

“Watch Me”

One thing I recommend is to teach a dog to pay attention to you. This command basically says, “Hey, look at me, I’m going to give you a command”.

To start call your dog over, as soon as he looks at you, say “good, watch me” and give him a treat. That’s basic idea. You can do this randomly throughout the day and have a quick 5 minute session where anytime he looks at you, you say “good, watch me” and he gets a treat. Soon you should be able to call your dog over say “watch me” and have him know to look at you, even if there are some distractions around.

 

“Sit”

A basic command is the “sit” command. To train your dog to do this, have a treat between your thumb and fingers so your dog can see and smell it. Then slowly guide your dog into a sitting position by moving your hand over to your dogs nose and then up, kind of in a swooping motion. You might have to go slowly, let you dog sniff the treat and then move your hand up over their head. Naturally, most dogs will sit so that they can lift their nose higher. You might have to do this a few times, but eventually your dog will get it.

 

“Down”

To train a dog “down”, put them in a “sit” first. Take a treat between your fingers and hold it in front of the dogs nose then slowly bend down, pulling your hand (and the treat) down to the ground. Your dogs nose will follow and he might lie down right away.

If he doesn’t lie down try twisting your wrist with the treat so the back of your hand is blocking the dog’s nose from the treat. Most dogs will try to reach around with their noises. Another trick is to slowly pull your hand towards you (still on the ground) so the dog will lie down to get closer to it.

If your dog gets up to get the treat when you pull away, that’s fine. Don’t give him a treat, put him into a sit and try again. You’ll eventually figure out what works to get your dog into a down position.

Once your dog gets the idea you won’t have to bend down and eventually you’ll just be able to point down and your dog will understand that signal.

 

“Stay”

The best way to train your dog to stay is to have him in a “down” because he’s less likely to get up.

While your dog is lying down, put your hand up as if to say “stop” and take a few steps back. If he doesn’t get up, walk back to him and give him a treat. As your dog gets good at this you can move farther and farther away, turn your back or even leave the room.

When you want to release your dog just walk back over and say “ok” to let him know he can get up.

 

About the Author: Aileen is a wife, entrepreneur and animal lover. She lives in a small California town, with her husband and a handful of pets, where she spends her days doing freelance blog design. You can find more at Life by Aileen where she talks about chasing dreams and her attempts at a simpler life or follow along on FacebookInstagramTwitter or Pinterest.

Non-Toxic Bug Spray for Your Family, Pets and Garden

Spending time outside during the summer is great – except for the bugs!   Bug spray seems like a good idea, but many contain harsh chemicals and toxins that we don’t really want to put on our skin, on our pets or around our gardens. Using simple household products and some natural essential oils, you can make your own insect repellent that is both safe and effective.

 Homemade Natural Bug Spray

How to Make Non-Toxic Bug Spray for Your Family, Pets and Garden

 

1) For your family:

Fill a small glass spray bottle (about 8 ounces) halfway with witch hazel and then fill nearly to the top with distilled water. Add 10 drops each of the following essential oils: tea tree, eucalyptus, mint and citronella. Then add 10 more drops of another fragrant essential oil, such as lavender, rosemary, geranium or lemongrass (whatever smells best to you). Just shake well and spray to keep those nasty bugs away!

 

2) For your dog:

Peel several lemons, limes and/or oranges and add the peels to a pot on the stove. Add enough water to cover the peels and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool completely. Discard the peels and put the remaining citrusy water into a spray bottle. Add 25 drops of essential oil for every 8 ounces of citrusy water – I like to use a combination of mint, lavender and eucalyptus. To repel mosquitos, shake the mixture well and spray on your dogs’ backs (where they can’t lick it off) before you take them outside – just be sure not to get it in their eyes!

 

3) For your garden:

In a small spray bottle, mix 3 cups water, 2 tablespoons mild oil (such as vegetable), 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper. Shake well and apply to plants and small bushes to control aphids.

 

Have a great, bug-free summer!

Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.

6 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer

Keep your dog cool  in the summer

 

When summer rolls around it’s important to look at different ways you can keep your dog cool and comfortable. If you want to keep your dog cool this summer, I’ve gathered a few tips for you.

6 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer

 1. Frozen Treats & Food

Check your local petstore for logs of pet food. Most have these available and the logs can be cut into large chunks and frozen. Even better, put it in a kong toy and your dog will be entertained as well as cool.

2. Use a Kid Pool

Not all dogs love water, but it’s worth a try to see if yours does! Kiddie pools are cheap and can be filled up and kept in the shade for your dog to stand or lay in when he gets overheated. Kiddie pool too much of a hassle? Throw down a wet towel in the shade that your pup can rest on to cool off.

3. Keep Your Dog Inside

If at all possible, try to keep your dog inside on hot days. This is especially recommended during the hottest part of the day. Worried your dog will tear up the place while you’re gone? Most dogs can be kept in crates for a few hours while your gone keeping your future and your furry friend safe.

4. Time Your Walks & Exercise Right

Even though you might not feel like it, your dog still need exercise in the heat of the summer. Try to walk or run your pooch in the early morning or late afternoon when it’s cooled down a bit and overheating is less of a threat.

5. Grooming Can Make a Huge Difference

If you have a dog with long hair or a dense undercoat, a trip to the groomer can work wonders! Thick undercoats can be brushed out and long hair can be cut to increase air circulation and allow your dog to feel breezes to cool down.

6. Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Never underestimate the importance of having water available for your pet at all times!

 

Author: Aileen is a wife, entrepreneur and animal lover. She lives in a small California town, with her husband and a handful of pets, where she spends her days designing blogs and running her online boutique. You can find more at Life by Aileen where she talks about chasing dreams and her attempts at a simpler life.