Follow The Leader, A quick lesson in dog walking.

Welcome to Daisy’s rescue, Today our topic is dog walking. We see a lot of people trying to walk their dogs, and sometimes we wonder who is walking whom. Denise Lynn is one of our guest writers and she will discuss how to easily walk your dog.

FOLLOW THE LEADER

When it comes to your dog the old cliché that a “good dog is a tired dog” may indeed be an old statement but is still unanimously true. Sadly, few pet owners show any real ability to walk their dogs correctly these days. This is especially disappointing because it is such a key component to excellent overall pet behavior. Let’s face it, we all dread walking past the owners who are out on the sidewalk with their arms at full extension, shoulder rolled forward and total lack of control over their animal. Being faced with a bad mannered or overly exuberant dog is never something anyone looks forward to. And this is precisely the reason I find myself biting my tongue and uttering a simple polite greeting, as I cross to the other side of the street, allowing chaos to continue on its way without me. This behavior is easily corrected however, and this essay can tell you the right techniques to curb your dog on a walk and avoid the need for a chiropractor afterwards. With the right equipment, posture, and consistency anyone can learn to correctly walk their dog.

“Exercise for your dog is every bit as important as it is for you” (Huntington). Let’s start by getting the right equipment for your particular breed. Whether you’re the owner of a large or small dog the use of a properly fitted collar, leash, or harness for your breed size is all you need to make your walks comfortable and enjoyable for both of you. A dog’s collar should be soft, flexible and worn at all times providing two fingers width of room underneath it for the dog’s ease of movement. The correct collar should also include contact information for the owner in case of unintended separation at the dog park. If you are a small dog owner a harness will be your next purchase. Harnesses hold the dog by the chest region and distribute tension removing the danger of larynx collapse if either of you pull the leash too hard. Leashes should be of the correct sturdiness for your individual dog’s size. A small dog needs a light leash with a longer length were as, a big dog needs something stronger and shorter after all he is taller.

Many people use the wrong equipment which can immediately doom your walk to failure. Using a choke chain or pronged collar is common practice to some people to give correction for bad behavior but, this will only illicit a negative response from your dog while also making him fear you. Painful choking is still just that, painful! Now ask yourself, why your dog would view walking as something they want to do if it’s constantly a pain in their neck? Likewise, a large heavy leash that isn’t absolutely necessary to secure him becomes an uncomfortable addition for any dog. These are just a few examples of how to make walks not only unpleasant and disagreeable for your pet, and also in some cases agonizing.

When it comes to walking your dog, a positive attitude and good body posture will take you far. Remember to exude an affirmative demeanor whenever you walk out the front door together. Keep your head held high and your shoulders back throughout your walk. Assign your pet his place at your side by shortening the leash, thus allowing him just enough room to walk confidently beside you. Then slacken the leash to a soft, relaxed tension and remember to be the leader whenever you walk. When you assert a leadership posture your dog will automatically follow. This also helps him recognize that he must always follow you and not the other way around. Continuously be the first to step into or out of any doorway and Spike will quickly come to understand the proper chain of command both on the walk and inside your household.

Let’s flash back to the vision we had earlier of the dog dragging the owner down the street by his lead. Not only will you need a chiropractor after not exuding the leadership role, you may also need Band-Aid’s. By permitting your dog to lead he will assume he is the boss and will take over the role whole heartedly, dragging you threw bushes or across busy streets. If you allow him the full length of leash he will use it to his advantage and to hang you both with it. Let’s face it, “Pulling on the leash and dragging the dog does not work. It only chokes the dog and prompts it to pull harder to get away from the choking” (Houck). So always start out on the right foot to avoid these obvious pitfalls.

The best tool at your command when walking your dog is the use of positive reinforcement for all good behaviors he exhibits. This simply put means to catch your dog doing the good behaviors and praise him for it. Said with a smile in your voice, praise alone will bring many happy returns. For example, if when you’re out walking, you happen upon another owner and their dog and Spike stays his course beside you without hesitation, make sure he knows he was a good dog, “Good boy!” In contrast, “A lot of people think hitting and yelling at a dog is training….But hitting and yelling is abuse and immediately removes the trust between a dog and its owner. Aggression begets aggression” (Houck). All of which will only serve to make your dog fearful and anxious. The ultimate goal of dog walking is a pup that is tired and relaxed so that you can both take a nap on the sofa together.

It’s also very important to always remain consistent with the rules, be sure to adhere to them each and every time you walk together. If you do, your dog will know exactly what is expected of him and perform better overall. Continuously respond to any negative behavior quickly, lead him back on track, and then praise him for a job well done. Vacillating back and forth with only the occasional correction will only confuse your pup and lead him to making bad behavior choices. This will facilitate the need for a lot more negative corrections when the goal is to accentuate the positive at every opportunity.

Nobody wants an over excited, wound up companion that chews furniture and knocks them over upon their arrival home. The addition of a regular walk, using the right equipment, and correct body posture, as well as, consistent reinforcement will result in a well-trained and relaxed dog. You both will be getting great exercise and increasing the bond between you. Good boy, Spike!

By Denise Lynn

Works Cited

Huntington, Ann. “Tips on how to Help Dog Get Exercise.” Toronto Star Dec 05 1991: F.6. OxResearch; ProQuest Central; ProQuest Health Management. 31 Mar. 2012.

Houck, Jeff. “Stay! Sit! Read! and Learn how to Train Your Dog.” Palm Beach Post Jan 18 1999: 1.D. OxResearch; ProQuest Central; ProQuest Health Management. 31 Mar. 2012.

Mama Petunia The story of an abused dog.

MamaPetunia052012

It’s been one month since I’ve crossed rainbow bridge. Jasmine and Snapdragon were too weak to carry on and have joined me at the bridge. As a mama you never leave your pups side, I have 7 lil angels to protect my babies there on earth. Wha…tever ounce of energy that was left in me when I passed, I sent to Huck, Caine and my darling Tulip. I watch them every day from the heavens. I miss them dearly but have full confidence in the human hands that touch them. This picture was taken of me on March 26th, 2 days after I entered the pound and 2 days before IPR rescued me. I was so thankful someone came for me. I kept telling the lil ones to hold on a few more days, someone would hear my prayers. I can see my caregivers weeping at times; for me, my lost babies and for the countless others that are abused. I wish they knew how magical rainbow bridge was. I don’t want them to be worried for me. My fur is shiny and full, my burns are healed and my heart is whole again. The love I received on earth put all the broken pieces back together. I never doubted the humans that surrounded me..the love was so strong our hearts all grew bigger. Please learn from my story and know you can make a difference no matter how small it is nor the outcome. People believed in me and took a chance to try to save my life. Keep sharing my story as well as others that desperately need a voice. I promise you, your heart will also grow bigger. Thank you for loving me (us) through the sadness. Forever indebted Mama Petunia. ♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡
This is Petunia. She was 3 years old. Her face tells a story of animal cruelty. She was burned and beaten, all while pregnant with a litter of 10 puppies. “I was burned badly over 25% of my body. I was also hit by a car while I was pregnant with my pups.”

Treating Arthritis with Nutrition

First off I just want to say and warn you, that I’m a dog food snob! I’m also not a veterinarian or a nutritionist, I’ve just done some research and I’m explaining my experiences and what has worked for me. I feed my dog the best food I can find. Having said that, I have a old girl who is about 13 to 15 years old, we have had her for about 2 years and she has arthritis pretty bad.   Her right rear leg is stiff and she has a cute hobble that does not slow her down! When we take her out for a walk she runs the whole way. She is one tough old lady. She went down in her back about a year ago and we treated her with steroids and muscle relaxers and limited activity. It should have been crate rest but, Duchess did not want any part of crate rest, limited, area sequestering, nothing. So, rather than having her cause herself more injury, we just attempted to keep her quiet.

After she got over the back problem, we decided to start treating her arthritis. I went to Pet Smart and bought some GNC pet vitamins on sale for half off, they were the Senior dog vitamins and senior dog chondroitin and glucosamine. I also bought her GNC Triple strength fish oil that has 1000mg of omega 3’s.  Now Duchess is 15 pounds, so 1000mg is a good dose. Even at 1/2 price they were still pretty expensive. Duchess improved slightly, but not enough to say it was working. Then my veterinarian started to offer cold laser therapy. We started Duchess on the laser and we saw marked improvement. The laser works like this:  The laser is a light that penetrates the skins and stimulates the deep tissue. By stimulating the tissue, blood flow increases to that area and inflammation and pain is decreased. We were told that it would take up to 3 treatments before you see results, they weren’t lying. Duchess actually became worse over the first 3 treatments and then on the fourth, became markedly better. She was able to move easier and actually stood up on her hind legs.

After we started with the laser treatments, Denise learned (in nutrition class), that flax seed has a lot of omega 3 oil that the body can actually use. We bought a 1 pound box of Organic flax seed and we now feed Duchess 1 teaspoon of flax seed with each meal. She is much better, in fact she improve more with the flax seed then the fish oil and laser combined.

We still get laser treatments for Duchess in addition to the flax seed. I also feed her Orijin dry dog food the puppy variety. I like the puppy , because it has more chondroitin and glucosamine in it then the other varieties of Orijen. While this isn’t a dog food post, but I will give you some info on this food. I feel that Orijen is the best dry dog food on the market. It is grain free and filler free. This is a very high protein food that has multiple sources of protein. I haven’t found another dry food that is on the same level as Orijen.

I hope this helps you.

Daisy

Just a disclaimer here. I am not a veterinarian or nutritionist, this is what I do, before changing your food or adding supplements, please consult your veterinarian and or nutritionist. I share things that work for me and they may not work for you, it is up to you to use your judgement on deciding to try new things.

Home Made Dog Treats

Hello, today we are going to talk about dog treats. It seems that every few weeks anymore, you hear that dog treats made in China are being recalled again! The news blasts that so many dogs have died from this latest batch of bad Chinese treats. I refuse to buy any dog food or treats from China. So I recommend that you read the label on any treats you buy. I’ve noticed a growth in “all natural” treats made by small companies in the USA. This is great, because let’s face it, most typical treats are no more than junk food for dogs. Which is why I am writing this today.

I typically feed my dogs fresh or frozen green beans, fresh baby carrots or fresh raw sweet potato slices as treats. These are high quality, low calorie, nutritious treats and I don’t have to worry about my dogs getting fat. Until recently I would still go out and buy commercial “healthy” treats that were typically dehydrated chicken and something. Of course my dogs love these. Problem is the cost! A bag of 2 to 3 ounces of dehydrated chicken is around $6 and you only get a few pieces. WOW! I looked around different stores and I found that you can not buy any quality food or treats for your dog in supermarket food stores or discount stores. The two major chains of pet stores, Pet Smart and Pet Co, while they have a much higher quality of food and treats, they still are not the best quality. I found that Pet Value and local private pet food stores sell the best quality dog food and treats.

Let’s look at Purina’s “Beggin’ strips”, The Purina website has “made with real beacon” as the ingredients. I “googled Beggin Strips ingredients” and Wikipedia has a list. Each treat is about 30 calories (my Tweeny Dachshunds require 250cal per day), and contain a ton of grain. Incase you did not know, dogs don’t ingest grains very well, they digest corn to well either. Some of the most common allergies in dogs is corn and grains. The main ingredients in “Beggin Strips” are; corn, corn gluten meal, soybean meal and wheat flour, this is in addition to food coloring and dyes. There are also preservatives in the treats.

So, I started buying the dehydrated treats and I would cringe at the price, so I decided to invest in a dehydrator, I figured that with the amount of money I’m spending on treats, I could easily recoup the cost of the dehydrator.  So I did some research and I shopped around and I found a dehydrator that I liked. I bought a Nesco American Harvest FD-61 Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator and Jerky Maker (the FD75A is the same dehydrator with a 700 watt heater). Let me tell you what I learned when researching dehydrators. Not all of them are the same. I bought my dehydrator because it has a fan in addition to the heating element, the fan blows the hot air around and over the food, causing it to dry out faster. Some dehydrators just have the heating element. So it is like putting French fries under the hot lamp and waiting days for them to dry out. My dehydrator takes hours to dehydrate food, so I can make more food in less time. My dehydrator is also adjustable. I can set the temperature according to which type of food I’m drying. Some other dehydrators are set at one temp. The NESCO is also expandable  (use tray Nesco LT-2SG Add-A-Tray for FD-61/FD-61WHC/FD-75A and FD-75PR Dehydrators, Set of 2 , fits both dehydrators), meaning that it comes with 4 drying trays, but I can buy up to 8 more for a total of 12 trays. If I’m making a big batch of treats, I can use 8 trays, if I’m making a small batch, I use 4 trays. The drying time varies with what I’m making. Sweet potatoes and fruit takes about 6 hours, meat takes 12 at a higher temp.

It is very simple to make treats. The easiest and fastest way is to take a sweet potato and wash it, then slice it like lunch meat into discs. If the discs are thin, you get sweet potato chips. Put the discs in the trays, they can touch but not over lay on each other. Fill the trays up and turn on the dehydrator and come back in 6 to 8 hours. I experiment and I found that if you slice the sweet potato and then drop the slices in boiling water for a few minutes (2-3), the color  enhances to a bright orange and the treats come out a little more chewier. Once boiled, put the sweet potato in the trays and dry for the same amount of time 6 to 8 hours.

For chicken treats, I buy chicken breast, rinse and slice into strips. I put the strips onto a baking pan and I bake them at 200 to 300 degrees for 5 minutes to kill and bacteria, then I put them into the drying tray. I turn the temp up to max and I dry for about 8 to 12 hours. I do the same with beef and pork, but you don’t have to precook them, as they don’t have the same level of bacteria. If you want to get fancy, you can wrap the meat around a piece of sweet potato or banana, or carrot and dry them together to get a nice combo treat.

These treats are very nice, good quality treats, you know where they came from and what is in them. But, you need to remember, the meat treats have more calories, these will cause you dog to become overweight if you feed too many to your 4 legged friends.

I haven’t made any yet myself, but there is a gun you can buy, it looks like a cookie press, except the nozzle is bigger. What you do is puree the chicken, sweet potato and anything else you want in your treat. Put the chicken, sweet  potato into a blender and puree until it is a paste, add water if needed, then put the paste into the press and press the paste out on to a tray and dry. Now you have shaped treats.

Because, the treats are dried they stay fresh for a pretty long time. So you can make a nice batch and not have to worry about making another for a few weeks. Enjoy making your dogs health and wholesome treats. Your dogs will love them.  Daisy

Dog Care

Hello, welcome to my dog care section. Here I will be giving tips and explaining how to take better care of your dog. Many people think that having a dog is easy and as simple as bringing the dog into the home and the dog will take care of it’s self. This isn’t the case. Dogs like people need to be taught how to live. Dogs like people have special needs that are specific to them. Being in the rescue business, I have seen first hand, that people don’t always know how to take care of their dog. The idea that dogs are family seem to be new to some people. Dogs are not disposable items that can be ignored until you want to play with them and then ignored again. Dogs are living breathing creatures, that just like people have feelings and emotions. They feel pain and loneliness. Dogs have likes and dislikes and above all are loyal!

I hate bringing a dog in and finding that the people that had the dog neglected it, did not keep up on the medical requirements, did not train or socialize the dog and now wonder why they have problems. So, hopefully this page will help people care for their dogs.