Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dog Training Problems: Diarrhea

One of the hindrances in housetraining a dog is due to his health conditions which cause him to lose his attention and eagerness to learn. Diarrhea is just one of these conditions that commonly attacks dogs. It is considered as symptoms instead as the disease itself, because there are still underlying causes of why diarrhea in dogs occur. Frequently, diarrhea subsides after few days. But if the case lasts for more than three days, you should be alarmed about your dog and immediately consult an animal doctor.

In order for you to understand more of the diarrhea that pesters your dog, the causes are enlisted below. We hope that this will help you to make some pereventive measures to save from him from the suffering this disease brings:

Bacterial: Infections include clostridium (not the same one that causes tetanus), E. coli, salmonella and Campylobacter. Affected dogs often experience diarrhea in increased amounts and frequency, with mucus or blood sometimes present in stools, states Keven P. Gulikers, D.V.M., Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Animal Diagnostic Clinic in Dallas, Texas.

Viral: Viral infections including parvo and coronaviruses. "These two very serious infections often result in profuse, extremely watery diarrhea and relentless vomiting, both of which lead to severe dehydration, "Gulikers warns. "They can debilitate and kill dogs, especially younger puppies with inadequate vaccinations."

Cancer: "Diarrhea caused by cancer usually is associated with poor absorption of nutrients, leading to marked weight loss," Gulikers says. "Occasionally, vomiting may be linked with the diarrhea, and the stool can be dark black in color, indicating digested blood."

Inflammatory bowel disease: This immune disorder of the gastrointestinal tract can cause black diarrhea (suggestive of digested blood), with dog experiencing vomiting, weight loss and a poor appetite, Gulikers says.

Metabolic: liver dysfunction, kidney failure, and pancreatic inflammation

Parasites: "Contact with an infested area can occur very easily. Some parasites require a water source to survive," Gulikers explains. Another parasite is the Gardia which is responsible for Giardiasis in dogs. Gardia is a unicellular protozoa that lives in the intestines of humans and animals like dogs and other wildlife creatures.

Foreign objects: If a dog has swallowed materials not meant for his tummy, this will cause upset. It can be toxins like pesticide or something that comes from the garbage like plastic or wood. His system will eradicate that foreign object through induced defecating.

Unacceptable foods: One reason can be eating a human food where he dog's digestive system cannot tolerate. They usually get diarrhea when owners give them leftovers that contain more salt or fat.

Stress: Have you observed your new dog when he first stepped in your house? It is normal for him to feel stress when moving to a new environment. And it is common for a dog to catch diarrhea when he is stressed.

Medications: There are medicines for dogs in which the adverse effects include diarrhea. An example is the prednisone. When administering drugs to your pet, take note of label first to avoid matters become worse.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Dog Training Fundamentals - 5 Key Dog Behaviour Factors That Affect Training

Whether you already have experience of dog ownership, are a new dog owner or are about to be a dog owner, then training your dog is one of the most important aspects you need to consider. Likewise if you currently have a dog with behaviour problems, then dog training is essential.

However, knowing you need to train your dog and actually training your dog are two entirely different things. Just where do you start?

To successfully train your dog, you need to consider and understand some key facets of dog behaviour. Knowing and understanding these 5 facets will greatly improve your dog training.

1. The origins of dogs. Dogs are in essence descended from modern day wolves. While domestication has dampened or eliminated many traits, some key natural instincts still remain. Like wolves, dogs are pack animals. What does this mean?

Well, there are several traits that derive from being a pack animal. The important ones when it comes to training are dogs are naturally sociable, they are used to routine and they are used to a social structure (i.e. the famed alpha male).

As sociable animals dogs thrive on the interaction with other dogs. A dog does not consider you as a human but rather a funny looking dog. Therefore, dogs thrive on the interaction with you. Just like a wild wolf, rejected by the pack, if you starve a dog of this interaction, they will become unhappy and very agitated.

When it comes to training, you can use this to reward or punish your dog. Interacting with your dog (e.g. patting, encouraging/excited talk, etc) can be as much of a reward as treats of food. Similarly, ignoring your dog (e.g. turning your back, stern talk, putting them in another room, etc) can be a harsh punishment for a dog. Its definitely better than smacking them.

As with all animals (including humans), dogs thrive on routine. If they know what and when they are likely to be doing certain things, then they are relaxed and comfortable. They know what to expect and are not confused by ever changing circumstances.

Training should also stick to a routine. Decide when the best time of the day is best for you to train your dog and stick by that time as rigidly as possible. Your dog will soon get into a routine of expecting to be trained at say 3pm every day and will be prepared for when training time comes. If your dog is ready and expecting to be trained, then it goes without saying that they will actually train better.

Within a pack there is always the alpha male. The dog that leads the pack, protects the pack and ultimately ensures the pack is fed and survives. As mentioned, a dog sees you as a funny looking dog and not a human. To be a good dog owner you absolutely need to be the alpha male. How many nature programs have you seen where the alpha male is being challenged by one of the other would be alpha males? Likewise, your dog will be challenging you to be the alpha male - this is a natural instinct for them.

You must establish yourself as the alpha male from the beginning. Providing food, interaction, punishing bad behaviour, body and vocal language all go towards asserting yourself as the alpha male. If your dog does not consider you as the alpha male, then they will not listen or act on your training instructions.

2. A dog's memory. We all know that goldfish have short memories. However, you may be surprised to know that dogs also have short retention memories. If you could tell your dog something, it is likely that by the next day or a few hours later, they will have forgotten. On the other had (or paw) dogs do have incredibly good associated memory. This basically means that if your dog can associated something with what you tell it then it will likely remember what you told it for years to come.

For example if you told your dog (assuming you could speak doggy language) that the chocolate biscuits were in the cupboard your dog would probably forget this within a few hours. However, if you showed your dog where the chocolate biscuits were, repeating the words 'chocolate biscuits', every time you said 'chocolate biscuits' it would probably go straight to the cupboard. It may also search the cupboard every few hours for the rest of its life looking for the chocolate biscuits but that's not the point.

Therefore, when training your dog you need to associate the training topic with something. For example: if you are teaching your dog to sit. If you associate the word 'sit' by getting your dog to physically sit and then giving them a reward. Repeat this a few times and soon your dog will associate your command 'sit' with it physically sitting and then getting a reward. The difficult bit is disassociating the reward - ask yourself why almost every dog will naturally sit when you have food in your hand?

3. Doggy language. Despite comments above, we cannot speak doggy language and dogs cannot speak our language. This is important when it comes to training. You have to choose words for commands that both you and your dog will remember. Be careful not to choose very common words or else your dog will be easily confused when this word keeps appearing within the middle of a sentence. A common word often used in training dogs is 'come'. For this example, it may be better to use a slang version or combine 'come here' into a single short word.

The important thing is that when you decide on a word for a command to stick with it and be consistent, otherwise your dog will become confused.

I know it can be difficult, especially if you come home to your new TV pulled off the cabinet, to always use pre-selected words when talking to your dog. Your dog does not speak human language and will only know what those few words you have trained it with are (and the tone you have used). So if you start using other words or different tones your dog will not understand.

For example: imagine someone speaking to you in a foreign language asking for directions to the city hall. You can't understand a word they are saying yet they get more and more frustrated, talking in a louder and quicker language. Is it your fault you can't understand them? Why are they getting angrier when you have no idea what they are saying? What is their problem? What will I do? Similarly, if you haven't trained your dog to understand what 'sit' is and you start shouting 'sit', 'down on back legs', 'down', etc is it your dog's fault it is looking at you confused and increasingly scared.

4. Puppy behaviour. Just like babies, puppies do not know how the world works or how they are supposed to behave within that world. They need to be taught and learn what is good, bad, right or wrong.

A healthy and happy puppy will be a bundle of energy, desperate to explore as much as they can as quickly as they can. Dogs do not have good eyes that can see things or hands that can feel the intricacies of objects. Instead they have noses that can smell things and mouths that can chew objects.

While this can come through training and general maturing, the importance of this is that you must be patient and understand where your dog is coming from and why it does what it does.

5. Structure and enjoyment. While I have in a round about way touched on these two above, no dog training information would be complete without mentioning these two aspects on their own.

However you decide to train your dog, as with routine, you must have a structure to your training. If you have never trained a dog before, how do you know when your dog can start learning to sit, stay, etc and when it can run down to the local shop and pick the paper up for you?

You need to know what it is you actually want to train your dog to ultimately be able to do and what steps you need to take to get to that point. Personnel dog trainers, dog training classes and dog training guides can all do this. Personally, I prefer to train my own dogs and believe that in the end you develop a much stronger bond with your dog. Also, your dog is more obedient to you rather than the trainer. However, at the very least, and particularly if you have never trained a dog before, I would recommend purchasing a dog training guide.

The small amount of money for a dog training guide, compared to the time you would waste searching for free online tips that will be a mix match of training and will not provide the structure, is just not worth it. More than that, the time saved in training and the end result of a properly trained dog for the rest of its life (around 15 years) is worth many times more than the cost of even the most basic training guide.

If you, and more importantly your dog, do not enjoy training then you will never properly train your dog. Training will take longer and be much harder. When you start training your dog remember they are most likely to be a puppy and at that age all they want to do is run and explore their new world. Be flexible with the time you plan to spend training. Try and keep training short but if your dog appears to be really enjoying it then be prepared to train for longer. Likewise if your dog will just not focus, then maybe leave it for a bit before going back to it. With a routine and structure to your training, your dog will soon learn that when it comes to training they need to focus for a short length of time and will be better able to do so.

I hope the above has been helpful in your desire to train your dog. By knowing why and how your dog does what it does, you should be able to understand it's behaviour much better. By using this understanding you can better bond with your dog and train your dog. A good training routine and structure as well as plenty of patience and eventually you will have a well trained dog. Always always always make sure training is enjoyable for both you and especially your dog.

If you found this dog training advice article helpful, please feel free to visit my website for more information. As well as dog training guidance such as the best dog training book you will also find lots of information on being a good dog owner and how to keep your dog healthy.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dog Training Tips And Techniques

Pets and pet owners can enjoy the benefits that are associated with dog training. There are a number of techniques that can be utilized in training the dogs so that they become obedient. All dogs should be taught the most essential trait which is obedience as this makes it easy for the owner of the pet to have control over the pet. This reduces the likelihood of the dog engaging in severe situations and assists in preventing the dog from being involved in severe accidents. By commanding the pet to stay close to the owner especially when some dangerous situation is seen to be developing, ensures that the dog is not involved in any serious incident.

The experience of training a dog can be a fun filled event for both the dog and the owner. Training the dog on basic commands such as come, sit and stay is crucial and can be taught with ease through applying techniques of training pets that are easy. The exercise of training pets creates an instantaneous connection between pet owners and their pets due to the harmonious interaction between the two in addition to the way that the two work together in training. These ways are only achievable through adoption of techniques that are appropriate for dog training.

Pet dogs that bark excessively at other pets as well as people can be quite a nuisance to neighbors and pet owners as well. Barking excessively can on occasion escalate into instances in which the dog becomes aggressive plus it may also cause the dog to attack if it becomes anxious or excited. Through using proper techniques for pet training, one can ensure that their pet dogs do not bark unnecessarily at other people and pets.

During training of the pet, ensure that you use positive methods of reinforcement in addition to giving the pets rewards when they accomplish certain tasks that they are instructed to perform. Methods for pet training that require the owner to punish the pet are being looked upon as old-fashioned and cruel. Many pet trainers are encouraging the use of the dominance theory in pet training; nevertheless, techniques that utilize positive reinforcement, at present, are gaining popularity at an alarming rate plus are recognized by many veterinary officers specializing in animal behavior as methods that can rarely cause violent behavior in dogs.

The application of positive techniques for corroboration in training in addition to behavior modification may perhaps assist significantly in caring for dogs that may be ailing from behavior disorders got from being separated. Dogs are submissive pets and will essentially adhere to instructions given to it by the master; however, on occasion the pets may prove to be difficult to control and may need harsh action so that they may become submissive once again. It is at all times imperative to bear in mind that training pets will realize better results if it is done while the dog is still at a tender age. Training should include both indoor and outdoor etiquette.
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Natural Balance Dog Food Reviews

Dogs have their own way in giving more life to every household. They are loyal friends, trusted guardians and dependable buddies. Thus, giving them the best food is one of the ways wherein they will feel important and loved.

What better way to feed them with Natural Balance food? Coming from the world's trusted leader in dog food, you are assured that your dogs are being fed with only the best. How your dogs would like to nibble at their foods which come in a canned and dry variety. Above all, there a lot to choose from that will suit your dog's discriminating taste.

One good thing about this food is the ingredients that they use. Everything is duly approved by the USDA. From the meat to the grains used, you will be assured that you are feeding your pets with quality meals.

Natural Balance dog food comes in many varieties. In fact, there are 9 available different flavours and recipes for your dogs to enjoy. You will be surprised to know that they even have a line of foods that cater to dogs who have special dietary requirements such as reduced calorie, low allergy, organic and vegetarian varieties.

Did you know that other than the benefits of feeding your dogs with quality foods, you can also save much if you use coupons when you buy your dog food? You can stretch you budget by using these coupons which you can get online. If you buy your dog food from an online store you can get them to ship it directly to your front door saving you time and money. Generally you will be able to find online coupons available and promo codes allowing you to save ten to twenty percent on the price of a bag of dog food. You can also sometimes get free shipping with your order. If your looking for a good site to buy your food at check out PETCO they usually offer great deals. You can also get even more savings when you purchase your dog food from any grocery store. Most brands including Natural Balance offer online coupons that can be either printed off or applied for and the company will mail the coupons to you.

True to its commitment of providing dogs with "food for a lifetime" Natural Balance dog food has never failed to realize its thrust as evidenced by its many customers and good reviews.

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