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Blog posts from November 2013

Posted on November 27, 2013

Socialization, featuring Shubie

Socialization, featuring Shubie

Meet Shubie!

He is a 6 month old Australian Cattle Dog mix who is super smart and very eager to learn but also extra sensitive due to his breed.  Shubie is sweet natured and curious but has found adjusting to his new home in the city with all the sights, sounds and new people a bit overwhelming.

At Zen Dog Training we recommend actively socializing your new dog or puppy. Socialization, is very important, you want to teach your dog that even though the outside world can be loud and unpredictable, it's a happy and fun place he shouldn't fear.

The idea is to socialize as much as possible, every day would be ideal, try to expose your puppy to new, non-threatening, positive situations and people.  Take him to new places: friend's homes, children's school, soccer games, the hardware store, dry cleaners, the bank...

Let your puppy meet men and women, the elderly and the young, children and babies, people in hats and men with beards.  Don't forget about cats, birds and other animals, or loud noises or strange noises like a door slamming or a bus rumbling by.  As long as you make sure your dog is safe and has a positive experience you can’t over do it!

Take extra time to bring him to the vet, to the groomer or the kennel.  Once you get there, give him lots of treats for no reason other than getting him used to going to these places.

If your puppy becomes frightened, reassure him calmly and matter-of-factly, then go on. Remember a couple of treats can do wonders in turning around a fearful situation.

Allow him to investigate and approach people, place and things at his own pace. However, when on walks, don’t avoid construction work, loud noises, fire trucks etc.  Actively approach them and give him lots of treats to make sure he feels great about seeing new and different things.

Although this process will take some time and effort it is of critical importance! If you socialize your new puppy or dog, you will have a dog who is social, confident and feels safe exploring the world by your side.

For more information on Socialization visit Zen Dog Training Online.

Posted on November 19, 2013

Training Tips for Traveling with your Dog

Training Tips for Traveling with your Dog

Planning a trip with your dog?
Traveling can be an exciting adventure for you and your dog, but a long car ride with little to no activity can also be stressful for your canine companion! Increasing your dog's activity before a long trip is a great way to make your trip a bit easier!
Tiredness can really take away from some of the worry your dog may experience during a long car ride.  Remember: A tired dog is a happy dog! Play and physical activity are great ways to exercise your dog's body and mind before a long trip. The morning before a planned trip, take your dog for a longer play session. Ideas for play and increased activity include:

  • Take him to his favorite park to play fetch
  • Bringing him to play with his friends at a local doggie daycare
  • Take a jog together around the neighborhood
  • Throw around a frisbee for him at the beach
  • Set up a play date with another of your dog's doggie-friends
  • Play tug-of-war together
  • Run him up and down the stairs!

The point is -- amp up your dog's activity level before a long trip to help him relax. This can be done with any form of play and activity you can think up!

For more on physical activity games, exercises, and video solutions, visit www.ZenDogTrainingOnline.com!

Posted on November 12, 2013

Socialization to Touch, featuring Ernie

Socialization to Touch, featuring Ernie


Meet Ernie!

Ernie is a 12 week old Field Spaniel, he's not shy in the slightest and is as friendly as can be! There are lot's of things to work on with a new puppy. One area people often forget is to teach their dog to tolerate human touch. At Zen Dog Training we do this with the game Socialization to Touch.

Socialization to Touch is time spent teaching your puppy to be accustomed to any human touch. Even uncomfortable touch like being handled by the vet or groomer.

This game is great at preventing problems in the future, like aggression, and is important for emergencies. Not only should your dog should be OK with uncomfortable touch at the vet and groomer, imagine when you need to to pick a thorn out of his paw, cut his nails, or even brush his teeth!

Pick up and touch your dog every day. Have friends (and kids) pick him up and hold your puppy in their arms like a baby. Give him treats yourself or have your friends give him treats as he accepts being touched, picked up and held by others.

At home, you should be more systematic. Hold him with his head facing out and his belly facing up. Your puppy might fight this and wiggle around, but don't let him go. Take a Yoga Breath. If you are relaxed, your puppy will relax.  Again use treats to make a positive association to human touch.

Over time you can touch different body parts as you hold and treat him. Think about what he might have to tolerate in the future: touch his paws and between his toes, his teeth, belly, legs, ears, etc. Remember: You should keep feeding him tasty treats throughout the process.

Tip: Play for only a few minutes at a time and keep feeding him treats! You want him to really love being touched!

For more on Socialization to Touch, Love, Yoga Breath, and other puppy training games, visit Zen Dog Training Online!