How to take a “SAFE” road-trip with your pooch

BEST DOG ON THE BLOCK  Dog Tips 

 

How to take a “safe” road-trip with your pooch.

by Mark Siebel – Owner – DOGGIE STEPS Dog Training

 

So, you just finished watching “Driving Miss Daisy” and you want to take your new puppy for a road trip.  GREAT!  But remember, driving is hard enough when you are trying to concentrate on other drivers, pedestrians, stray Javelinas, trying to text, and NOW an energetic puppy!  It’s okay to take your dog with you on your travels, but safety must always prevail.  To ensure you get to the dog park in one piece, follow the below simple tips:

 

1.                    Dogs belong in the back seat.   Your dog must learn that they come second BEHIND you, the “pack leader.”  By keeping your dog behind you in the car, you are reinforcing the pack order that human is first and dog is second.  Therefore, keep Fido in the back seat.  There are doggie seat belts available from your local pet store, OR use a “stay” command to keep your dog from coming into the front seats.

2.                    Restricted access to windows.   Besides eating and walking, a dog’s next favorite activity is putting their head out a car window!  Not only does this cool them off, but their strong sense of smell cause them to be mesmerized by thousands of new odors rushing into their noses!  With this said, safety is still of utmost importance.  Only lower the rear windows enough so the dogs head can stick out, and then LOCK the power window controls to restrict the windows from accidently lowering or raising any further.  NEVER have a dog in the rear of a pick-up truck unleashed.

 

Taking Fido for a car ride can be fun.  Just remember that “safety” is always the main priority when traveling with your dog.

 

Mark Siebel has trained over 500 Arizona Valley dogs, has dog training tips published monthly in various AZ magazines, appears on NBC Arizona Midday & ABC Sonoran Living, speaks regularly with local schools youth groups about the importance of dog safety and ownership, and donates time to kids who want to learn more about dogs.  He is a member of APPSA (Arizona Professional Pet Sitters Association) and ASC of Arizona (Australian Shepherd Club of Arizona).  Mark owns (2) Australian Shepherds named Leinie and Kugel.  Voted 2008 runner-up “Best Dog Trainer in Phoenix” by SonoranTails Pet Magazine.  For more information or general dog questions, go to:  http://www.doggiestepsdogtraining.com/index.html or call Mark @602.318.0122.

Unconditional Love? Take some advice from your dog.

BEST DOG ON THE BLOCK  Dog Tips 

 

Need a change in your personal relationships?  Take some advice from your dog.

by Mark Siebel – Owner – DOGGIE STEPS Dog Training

 

As a dog trainer in the Valley for over four years, I have yet to meet a customer who doesn’t display an overpowering connection, passion, and love for their dog.  Sure, they say that a real man doesn’t cry, but the love that he displays for his dog is worldly.  The closest thing to unconditional love from a dog, is the love a mother has for her child.  We joke that “dysfunctional” families have disputes that often seem as if they CANNOT be resolved.  The love from a dog lasts forever and is truly unconditional.  To ensure your wife doesn’t pick the dog over YOU for movie night, follow the below simple tips:

 

1.                    Listening is the KEY to communication.   A dog’s best sense is scent.  What is a human’s best sense?  Who really knows?  Dogs act on instinct where human beings act on feelings and emotions.  80% of my job as a dog trainer is listening, and the remainder is problem-solving and reassurance.  Having two ears and only ONE mouth should give us a hint!

 

2.                    Forgiveness and flexibility.   Have you ever known a dog to hold a grudge?  If so, for how long?  I have NEVER seen a dog at a dog park go home with ANOTHER owner!  Dogs are loyal and will remain with their original owner unless separated at the owner’s choice.  Don’t be so rigid with your loved ones.  It takes years to make acquaintances and only MINUTES to lose them!  Joy takes less energy than anger.  Forgive more and judge less.

 

Are humans designed for unconditional love?  Observe your dog’s behaviors and begin your path to find the answer to this question.

 

Mark Siebel has trained over 500 Arizona Valley dogs, has dog training tips published monthly in various AZ magazines, appears on NBC Arizona Midday & ABC Sonoran Living, speaks regularly with local schools youth groups about the importance of dog safety and ownership, and donates time to kids who want to learn more about dogs.  He is a member of APPSA (Arizona Professional Pet Sitters Association) and ASC of Arizona (Australian Shepherd Club of Arizona).  Mark owns (2) Australian Shepherds named Leinie and Kugel.  Voted 2008 runner-up “Best Dog Trainer in Phoenix” by SonoranTails Pet Magazine.  For more information or general dog questions, go to:  http://www.doggiestepsdogtraining.com/index.html or call Mark @602.318.0122.

Holiday DOG Safety

BEST DOG ON THE BLOCK  Dog Tips 

 

Holidays and your dog.  How to make them happy and safe for all!

by Mark Siebel – Owner – DOGGIE STEPS Dog Training

 

‘Tis the season to be jolly!  Another Holiday season has arrived.  The Holidays often bring new people, irresistible foods, and other temptations into our homes, and we need to be aware of the safety of our pets.  Dogs are curious by nature and their heightened sense of smell can many times get them into trouble.

 

There are numerous items around our homes during the Holiday Season from which we must be sure our dogs steer clear.  Every dog will have a different threshold level (based on breed, age, and weight), but it is best to try to eliminate ANY of the below items from our dogs reach to ensure strong health and safety:

 

1.                    Plants & Trees.  Poinsettias, Christmas cactus, hemlock, holly, ivy, mistletoe, balsam, cedar, juniper, fir, pine, avocado, geranium, marijuana, ferns, aloe, and tiger lilies can ALL cause irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and even death if ingested.  Try to spray the leaves or plants with Bitter Apple, or simply position the items out of the dogs reach.  For a festive tree, use the “LEAVE IT” command if you notice your dog chewing or smelling the branches.  Sap and needles can be hard for a dog to digest, and will most certainly be a cause for illness.  Consumption of ANY listed items in this article should be dealt with on a dog-to-dog basis.  Symptoms of serious illness include:  excessive diarrhea, not drinking water, and excessive vomiting.  If this happens, contact your vet immediately.

 

2.                    Food/snack items.   Many foods must be OFF limits to your dog. Be aware of the following items when cooking or if you take your dog to a friends home or public place:  *Chocolate (can cause Theobromine poisoning in your dog)  *Onions, grapes, raisins (studies have shown the skins of these foods to be indigestible by dogs.)  Even chewing gum has been shown to cause irritation to a dogs internal digestive systems. 

 

3.                    Miscellaneous items.   The following are a variety of items that can be found around your home  that can be toxic to your dog’s health:  Antifreeze, bleach, Tylenol, ibuprofen, watch batteries, moth balls, fabric softeners and other detergents, mouthwash, alcohol, and peach/avocado pits or other fruit seeds.  It is okay to vary a dog’s diet, but do it with quality meat kibble and fresh cooked, unseasoned meats only!  This will keep your dog interested in its own food and more eager to eat it.  DO NOT give scraps from the dinner table or your dog may begin to beg from you.

 

4.                    Good, common sense.  Dogs are carnivores, so their diet consists primarily of meat.  It should go without saying; don’t feed your dog Doritos or Mac Donald’s!  It’s okay to give your dog an occasional lick of your ice cream cone or a small piece of cheese, but use good ole’ fashion common sense when deciding what your dog should eat.  Also, given the sensitivity of most dogs digestive systems, a routine diet should be maintained. 

 

So, when you hear the Holiday dinner bell ringing, enjoy your feast o’ plenty.  Holidays bring out the best energy in humans, therefore making our dogs that much more comfortable and excited.  Pass me another double baked potato!  Just be sure that Fido is eating his dog food, and not your Angel Food Cake.

 

Mark Siebel has trained over 500 Arizona Valley dogs, has dog training tips published monthly in various AZ magazines, appears on NBC Arizona Midday & ABC Sonoran Living, speaks regularly with local schools youth groups about the importance of dog safety and ownership, and donates time to kids who want to learn more about dogs.  He is a member of APPSA (Arizona Professional Pet Sitters Association) and ASC of Arizona (Australian Shepherd Club of Arizona).  Mark owns (2) Australian Shepherds named Leinie and Kugel.  For more information or general dog questions, go to:  http://www.doggiestepsdogtraining.com/index.html or call Mark @602.318.0122.

Adding a new dog to your pack

BEST DOG ON THE BLOCK Dog Tips

How to integrate multiple dogs into your pack.

by Mark Siebel – Owner – DOGGIE STEPS Dog Training

How many dogs are too many? When done properly, integrating a new dog into your current pack should be relatively easy. The keys to successful integration are control and harmony. The most successful integrations typically occur between the same breed and class of dog, but this certainly is not always the case. Be sure that whichever new dog you introduce has comparable energy-drive and size to your current dogs.

Dogs are pack animals and, when balanced, are generally welcome to any new canine companions. An alpha process will normally be displayed to develop pack hierarchy, and the goal is for EACH dog to have their own leadership roles. To keep your home harmonious with your newcomer, follow the below simple tips:

1. Initial introduction. To introduce new dogs to your current pack, take all dogs on a walk or have them all do a JOB. With this approach, it is natural for dogs to relate to each other, and feel less stress. Displays of positive dog body language, (i.e. straight poised ears, bow to bow play, no raised hair hackles, and reciprocal oral affection), will be good indicators that the dogs will be cordial. I NEVER assume that they are officially balanced. After 30 days of positive interactions, you can then feel more assured that the dogs are compatible. Note any unbalance during that time, and deal with accordingly.

2. Control. Whenever a new dog is brought into your home, I strongly recommend the use of a crate or kennel – http://www.doggiestepsdogtraining.com/dog-articles.html#crate -, or a small room to be used as the new dog’s den. You want the new dog to become completely dependent on you for everything! This will show the dog that you are the pack leader and provider, and will establish immediate pack hierarchy. Release from the crate, potty time, feeding, walking, and grooming, should all be done daily by your family members to show the new dog correct pack leader status.

3. Pack “team-work.” After your new dog has become acclimated to your home and the other dogs in the pack, you now want to begin working your dogs as a pack. A pack that works together stays together! Two dogs are considered a “pair,” while more than two are considered

a “pack”. With this said, you can begin working your dogs as a team with various command exercises. “Sit,” individual “leave it” release, and “stay” can all be practiced. ALWAYS treat the calmest dog first, and so on.

4. Finally – Established pack balance. Once your new pack has been introduced and has now established pack balance, you want to be sure that this balance is maintained. Feeding, grooming, walking, and working your dogs together will ensure this. ALSO: To maintain dog individuality and identity, do separate activities with each dog. This can be a separate walk or a trip to the store. This will show your pack that they can be separated and still maintain calm-submissive order.

Brining a new dog home is always an exciting time. Dogs are instinctual pack animals, and will therefore welcome a balanced pack member into their existing pack. The dynamics of multiple dogs can be very exciting to watch and at the same time extremely beneficial to the existing dog’s mental and physical well-being. So, how many dogs are too many? With the proper training and leadership, the sky is the limit.

Mark Siebel has trained over 500 Arizona Valley dogs, has dog training tips published monthly in various AZ magazines, appears on NBC Arizona Midday & ABC Sonoran Living, speaks regularly with local schools youth groups about the importance of dog safety and ownership, and donates time to kids who want to learn more about dogs. He is a member of APPSA (Arizona Professional Pet Sitters Association) and ASC of Arizona (Australian Shepherd Club of Arizona). Mark owns (2) Australian Shepherds named Leinie and Kugel. For more information or general dog questions, go to: http://www.doggiestepsdogtraining.com/index.html or call Mark @602.318.0122.