Scratch Boards

If your dog resists having his claws clipped try teaching him to file them down himself! A scratch board is easily built with either 120 grit sandpaper or slip-proof tape (the sort used on stair edges) and a plank of wood of a reasonable size for your dog. Wrap the sandpaper around the edges of the board and secure with a staple gun or adhesive, making sure that the corners aren’t sharp and the dog won’t be pawing over the staples.

Grab your clicker and some treats and reward your dog for first investigating, then touching the board. When he places a paw on it, click that a few times and stop. In your next session, click only for paw touches, then hold your click until he leaves his foot on the board for a longer period of time or drags it across the surface. Keep going in this way over the course of several short training sessions until he gives you good swipes with contact between nails and board. Make a game of it and in no time you’ll have a dog that does his own pedicures!

For more information about claw care, including how to condition your pup to accept nail trims, call us!

 

Sprocket gets a haircut!

Yeesh. Just look at this mop!

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An absolute mess

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Matted tail. Shameful.

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Who would let their dog get into such shape?! Oh right… that’s my dog.

We need to fix this, and fast.

First, the pre-clip. Let’s get rid of as much fur as possible before tub time!

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That’s a little better.

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Getting there…

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Alright, NOW we can have a bath! And a dry, and lots of brushing before clipping, scissoring and combing.

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Much better, yes? I had to leave the beard and ears, I love them so. But now he can see, his feet don’t look like rags and he looks a lot happier!

Picking a Park

Molly at the park

There are so many dog parks popping up, how do you pick the right one?

    • Pass or open to all? It’s not a fool-proof system, but parks that need a pass require proof of vaccinations, meaning your dog is less likely to pick up something yucky from his friends.
    • Big dog/Small dog zones. Can your yorkie play with pups her own size or is everyone sharing the same space?
    • Cleanliness. Are there garbage cans and are they emptied frequently or are they brimming with poop bags? Does the park provide bags? People are less likely to pick up after their dogs if not.
    • Security. Is the fence in good shape? Is there a double gate so no one escapes when someone arrives or departs?
    • Other people. Swing by the park without your dog and scope out the people. Are they on their phones or chatting with each other? On the other end of the spectrum, is everyone crowding the dogs while they play? There is a middle ground between ignoring and hovering!

 

 

How did you choose a park to play at? What helped you make up your mind?

Use it or Lose it!

You’ve taken the classes and done your homework, but without practice your dog’s training will slide!

Take the opportunity daily to reinforce the cues that are most important to you. Ask her to Drop when she is chewing her Nylabone and reward her for doing so by giving it right back, or cue a Leave It while you are on a walk even if the object she is sniffing isn’t objectionable, just to keep her sharp!

Reward recalls from the backyard and ask for a long Down Stay while you scoop out her dinner. Watch and Touch are easy to practice at random so that they work when you need them. Maintain your dog’s cues by putting them to use in normal interactions with her and you will reap the benefits of living your training!