Properly socializing shy, timid dogs eliminates fear-based aggression. It also allows you and your furry friend to enjoy trips and activities together that are impossible with (and terrifying for) a fearful dog. Use these tips to design positive, productive training experiences that transform your bashful pup into a confident companion.

Six Tips for Training and Socializing a Shy Dog

Set the Place, Not the Pace

Introduce new people in a place where your dog feels safe, allowing the dog to make the first move, rather than letting strangers approach the animal. Visit with guests as usual and let your dog decide when and if introductions are necessary. Pushing too hard can cause the dog to react aggressively, so provide opportunities for your dog to socialize but don't force unwanted interactions with strangers.

Avoid Coddling

Resist the urge to calm a puppy that is showing fearful behavior, such as whimpering or whining. A soothing voice, gentle stroking and being picked up all unintentionally reward the dog for showing fear. Instead, ignore fearful behaviors that occur at inappropriate and unnecessary times.

Positive Reinforcement

Avoid rewarding unwanted behavior, but always praise shy dogs when they display confidence and bravery. Reward a timid dog with treats, attention and praise immediately after positive behaviors. Positive reinforcement is more effective than attempting to punish unwanted actions.

Treat After

When training a dog with treat or food rewards, always give a treat in clear response to appropriate behavior rather than using the treat in attempt to prompt the behavior. Tasty treats and real pet food can be effective for luring a dog into a situation outside their comfort level, but when the food distraction is gone, the dog may suddenly feel exposed and lash out or hide in fear.

One-on-One Training

Ironically, socialization training is best begun in private sessions rather than group classes. Learning and practicing basic obedience skills strengthens the bond between dog and owner, giving both the confidence to stay calm and trust each other later in more stressful and distracting socialization exercises.

Keep It Simple

Socializing dogs involves new experiences, as well as new people and animals. Exploring new sounds, sights, smells, textures, weather and tastes all build confidence. Things as simple as ice cubes, paper bags and opening umbrellas are interesting to puppies or under-socialized pets.

Proper training helps meek dogs face the world with excitement rather than fear. To set your pet up for success, allow your dog to set the pace during socialization activities and provide an escape route in case things get too intense. Curiosity will overcome trepidation with time and patience.

 

Emma Sturgis

Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer currently living in Boston. When not writing, she enjoys baking and indoor rock climbing. Find her on Google +

 

 

By Natalie Gomez 57 days ago at 12:00 am 0 Comments
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If your dog loves the outdoors, then it should come as no surprise to know that the areas where your pet runs around in is where ticks may also hang out. When you find a tick on your dog it’s important to get the little bugger off as soon as possible, but with careful handling. Rushing to remove it can create more problems for both you and your pet. Below explains some simple tips on helping you remove the tick safely at home. 

Removing Ticks from Dogs
Prepare a Tick Container
Before you go plucking the little suckers off your pet, prepare a container that has some rubbing alcohol in it to place the tick in once it’s been removed. Simply flushing it down the toilet or throwing it away in the garbage won’t kill it. Plus it’s best to hold on to the evidence in case your pet falls ill from any bites that it attained from the tick.

Have Someone Help You
If your dog isn’t one to sit patiently as you pluck and part through his/her fur looking for ticks, have someone help you hold him/her down to soothe and calm their nerves. This will make the process easier as you search and pluck out the ticks in the deeper parts of the fur.

Don’t Use Bare Hands
One important thing to remember when doing an at-home removal for ticks is to never do it with your bare hands. Always wear some latex or rubber gloves to protect your skin from direct contact with your pet’s infected area and away from any tick. The little suckers can carry infective agents that can seep through your skin and can get you sick. So keep those hands protected throughout the removal process.

Use Tweezers for Removal
Before pulling out any ticks from your dog, be sure to rub the infected area with rubbing alcohol to sanitize it. Use a pair of clean tweezers and grab the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible and pull straight up with an even pressure. Once removed place that tick in a container to keep it from escaping.

Clean and Praise Your Dog
Even when you remove a tick from your dog, sometimes part of its mouth can still get stuck within your pet’s skin. In the case that this happens, check the area for any redness or inflammation and if there is none go ahead and gently disinfect it. After all that plucking and cleaning be sure to praise and give your dog a treat for being patient enough during the removal process.

Removing ticks off your dog at home is a simple process, but sometimes that may not be enough for your pet. In case of any irritation or persistent ticks on your dog call a professional, like the ones at Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic for either an at-home visit or a direct appointment, to have your furry little friend checked out.

 

 Karleia SteinerKarleia Steiner is a freelance blogger. You can follow her on Google+ and Facebook.

 

 

By Natalie Gomez on May 20, 2014 at 10:16 am 0 Comments
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Like many parents, you might be resisting the temptation to buy your kids a puppy even though they constantly beg for one. Kids always promise, “we'll take care of it!” With younger kids, we know that they might care for a dog during the first few weeks, but then they won't help with the feeding, cleaning, and other chores. If your kids are dying to have a dog, you can teach them the responsibility that comes with having a pet by buying a smaller, more low maintenance pet first. Read on to learn about a few pets that are good precursors to buying a dog if you want to teach your kids responsibility first.

Preparing Your Kids for a Dog

Goldfish

If your kids are really little, you may want to start small. A goldfish is probably the most low-maintenance pet you can have—all you have to do is feed it and change the water. These jobs are so easy, you can have even your toddler help you do them. You can give them the responsibility of feeding the fish when they wake up in the morning and before they go to sleep at night. Then, when it comes time to clean the bowl, involve your child in the process and teach them the importance of taking care of the pet to keep it clean, healthy and happy.

Turtles

If your kids are between the ages of 5 and 10, a turtle is another good pet that is easy to care for, but still requires attention. Water and land turtles are becoming so popular as pets that many chain pet stores (and some local specialty pet stores) are beginning to sell them. Many species of turtles are very sociable but also quite independent, which makes them perfect for families with busy schedules and erratic free time to play with pets.

Iguanas

Iguanas are just one of a number of reptiles that are becoming popular pets (the list also includes snakes, bearded dragons, and turtles). Iguanas are best for older kids who can learn how to respect their space. Iguanas can be an easy pet for kids because they stay in a cage and need to be fed. Iguanas need to be kept in a humid environment, but you can usually buy a heated lamp to place in the cage so they stay at the correct temperature. This is a fun pet for little boys who are fascinated with snakes, dragons, and anything that creeps or crawls.

Ferrets

For kids who want a pet they can interact with a little bit more than just a fish in a bowl, ferrets can make great pets. They are soft and cuddly, extremely sociable, and very active when awake (but they sleep a lot too!) Ferrets work well for families with limited space, and give kids a little more responsibility since they will need to take the ferret out to play every now and again. Granted, this is a better pet for older kids, but it is much less responsibility than having a dog.

Children usually don't realize what a big responsibility having a pet is. Whether you are the one who wants a dog, or your kids won't stop asking for one, you can help teach the whole family responsibility by taking care of a pet on a smaller scale first. Consider your smaller pet a trial run for having a dog. Once your kids have proven that they can take care of a pet on a smaller scale, they will be more prepared for having a dog around the house. Information for this article was provided by the animal professionals of Evergreen Veterinary Clinic in San Jose, CA.

 

Dixie SomersThis article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, women's interests, or home and family. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband, three daughters, and a spunky Jack Russel Terrier who makes life interesting! You can follow her on Twitter: @DixieSomers

By Natalie Gomez on Apr 30, 2014 at 10:01 am 0 Comments
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