Archive for the ‘Dog Training’ Category

Is Your Dog Collar Safe?

Posted on: March 13th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

Let’s face it, we humans are generally quite fashion conscious, and like to be well turned out and up to date with the latest, and because of this many of us also like our dog’s to be sporting the latest canine fashions when it comes to choosing a dog collar.

While our dogs really don’t give a fig about what colour their collar or coat may be, or whether it’s made out of the latest high tech fabric, sometimes us humans are guilty of sacrificing safety for the sake of fashion when it comes to choosing the right dog collar for their fur friend.

Many collars in the canine marketplace today can actually end up being dangerous and even lead to a situation that can put your best friend’s life in jeopardy.

Fashion Can Be Dangerous

Notably, the most dangerous dog collars are also the most prevalent. These are considered “flat collars”.

Flat dog collars come in many fancy materials, colours and styles, with all manner of decoration, including studs, spikes and rhinestones, which makes them highly desired by the fashion conscious humans who may be solely interested in the pattern and colour and whether the desired dog collar has the right look to convey the fashion message that speaks to us humans.

If the lure of the latest fashion is foremost in your mind when purchasing a collar for your dog, you may not be considering whether or not the dog collar you are about to purchase is actually safe for your beloved companion, and that attached to that collar will be a leash that is attached to a human who is ultimately responsible for the safety of their fur friend.

All flat collars, no matter how beautiful, expensive or fashionable, pose a problem for any dog owner who is concerned about the safety of their best friend simply because given the right incentive, most any dog can quite easily pull itself out of a flat collar and run across the street into oncoming traffic.

A dog can be afraid or startled or really want to get to another dog or desperate to chase a cheeky squirrel or taunting cat and can flip their heads around and back right out of a simple flat collar and off they go.

What IS a Flat Collar?

Quite simply a flat collar is a dog collar that can be constructed from any sort or combination of material, and is attached around the dog’s neck with a buckle or a snap closure. A flat dog collar usually fits loosely on the dog’s neck so that it’s comfortable for daily wearing.  Most all flat collars have a ring for attaching a leash and/or license and name tags. They look like this:

flat leather dog collar

pattern snap dog collarThe Martingale Collar

What kind of collar should you look for if you want your dog to always be safe and comfortable?

Martingale Leather Dog CollarWe always recommend a Martingale collar for all our clients because this collar is functional, and can be fashionable, too, however, by far the best attribute of the Martingale collar is that you will have peace of mind because you’ll never have to worry about your dog ever backing out of it and running into a dangerous situation.

The Martingale dog collar looks very similar to a flat dog collar, with one very distinctive difference being a piece of material or triangle of chain in the middle of the collar. This dog collar needs to fit over the widest part of the dog’s head and then adjusted so that the two outer rings on the chain never come completely together when you attach your leash and pull on the outer ring.Martingale Turquoise Dog Collar

When properly fitting a Martingale dog collar, make sure that you leave at least a thumb or a two finger width between these two inside rings when you pull on the leash as it’s attached to the outside ring.

We prefer the Martingale collar with the piece of chain in the middle because the sound of the chain gives valuable cues to your dog when you need him or her to pay attention.

Martingale Xmas Dog CollarWhen you want safety for your best friend, peace of mind for yourself, and functional fashion, the Martingale dog collar is the collar for you.

 

 

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

Dog Walking or Human Walking?

Posted on: February 19th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

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So very often when you’re out and about and you see someone with their dog, it’s not the person walking the dog, but rather, the dog walking the person. In fact, you see this scenario so frequently that it’s become quite a common joke you’ll hear from passing observers who comment, “Who’s walking who?”

It seems that far too many humans are unaware that by allowing the dog to walk them, that they are actually setting themselves up for possible serious, and unwanted consequences.

Follow the Leader

The basis of a happy and stress-free relationship between dog and human starts with what dogs do most naturally, which is to walk or roam about their neighbourhood and to do this in a safe and respectful manner, they need to be following their human leader at all times when they’re out dog walking, not dragging the human behind them.

Dog Walking Protocol

If proper dog walking protocol is not established right at the very beginning which places the human as the leader of the dog walk, then the dog has no alternative but to believe that the role of leadership has defaulted to him or her. Couple this with the natural enthusiasm of most dogs who are most happy being outside sniffing, exploring, and moving at a pace usually much faster that the average human, and you’ve got the picture we so often see, which is the dog walking the human.

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So What’s the Problem?

This type of dog walking can and often does have the potential to become a problem for many different and sometimes surprising reasons.

First and foremost, every time you walk your dog you have an opportunity to re-establish that you are the leader, both inside and outside the home and if you are not making the effort to ensure that you dog follows you on the walk, you’re sending confusing messages to your fur friend. You cannot then blame your dog for “not listening” to you at other times, when sometimes you’re the leader and sometimes your dog is the leader.

Dogs in Charge

Secondly, there are many different dogs of varying breeds, sizes and temperaments and you will not know whether all of them or any of them are actually under the control of their owners or whether they may pose a risk to your dog. When you allow your dog to be in front of you on the walk, your dog has no choice but to have to figure this out for themselves and if an unknown dog in charge comes rushing in, this could frighten your dog, who may react aggressively because he or she feels threatened and the need to protect themselves.

No dog should be put in the position of feeling that they need to protect themselves, and any human who puts this type of stress onto the shoulders of their fur friends needs to be prepared for what could become an inevitable consequence that they may not be very happy with.

Dog in ChargeDog Fights

Because our dogs have become so humanized, and thus many have forgotten how to properly greet one another, or they’re feeling your uncertain emotions, when you allow them to make human decisions and be in charge when you’re out dog walking, it’s almost inevitable that the outcome, somewhere down the road, may be a dog fight.

Nobody wants to see their dog in a fight with another dog. Nobody wants to see their dog, or someone else’s dog become injured and certainly nobody wants to be the cause of being blamed by a distraught human or suffering the consequences of what has become far too prevalent in today’s unforgiving society – a potential lawsuit.

What’s the Answer?

Being in charge when you’re out dog walking means that your dog always walks beside you when on leash, not in front of you, not twenty feet behind you, so that your dog always understands the chain of command and looks to you for answers when he or she feels uncertain.

Compared to dogs, us humans don’t move very quickly, which means that it’s doubly important to always keep your dog close enough to you so that you know what’s going on, can quickly correct any unwanted behavior and can react in time to take care of any situation that may come flying toward you.

So ditch the retractable leash, get yourself a four or six foot leash, learn how to have a comfortable (no pulling) walk with your dog at your side when out dog walking and have a happy, stress-free relationship with your dog who will love you all the more for being in charge.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

Is Walking Your Dog a Real Drag?

Posted on: January 29th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

Couple Dragged by DogDo you enjoy walking your dog, or does this picture remind you of how taking your dog out for a walk has literally become a painful drag because your dog is pulling your arm out of it’s socket?

Don’t worry, because the above picture is more common than you might imagine as easily 90% or more of all dogs (from Chihuahuas to Great Danes) are not enjoying their walk, either, and many humans with larger breeds avoid the activity altogether because it’s just too embarrassing or too painful.

Walking the dog sounds simple enough – everyone knows how to do that, or do they really?

Most humans think that they just put a collar on the dog, snap on a leash and away you go for a wonderfully relaxing walk, when in fact, many humans and their dogs are suffering every time they go out the door.

Unfortunately, whether you’re walking a small dog, a large dog, or walking many different dogs at a boarding kennel, pet care service or your local SPCA, not mastering the walk is painful, and it can and does lead to many other behavioral issues that can endanger you, those around you and the life of your canine companion.

Why is Walking Your Dog So Important?

It’s important that you are walking your dog correctly because this is the time when you will have an opportunity to bond and help your dog to realize that you are the leader and they are the follower.

An uncomfortable, unproductive and/or out of control walk with your best friend very often leads down the sad and lonely road to the local shelter because the human element can’t handle it anymore and feels forced into making the difficult decision to put their canine companion up for adoption.

Mastering the walk with your dog is the number one, most important primal activity that you will do with your canine friend, therefore getting it right is paramount.

Mastering the walk helps to create that all important respect, build on trust and fulfill your dog’s needs in such a way as to create a deep, lasting bond, easy communication and a happy, relaxed relationship between you and your best friend where there’s never any question about who is the boss.

Dog Out Front Creates Many Problems

When you allow your dog to take the lead, you are “telling” him or her that they are the leader, instead of you. This can be very confusing for your dog, especially if you expect them to listen to you at other times and in other circumstances. When the dog is out front you are putting a great deal of stress onto the shoulders of your fur friend, which means that you are ultimately helping to shorten their lives, because stress doesn’t just shorten human lives.

When you are not walking your dog, and instead permit your dog to walk you, you are putting your dog in the position of  having to make humans decisions about what to do whenever you meet another dog or person, or encounter unknown circumstances, which means that you’re asking them to do your job for you. As smart as your dog probably is and as much as they really want to please you, asking them to think, act and respond as a human is simply unrealistic.

If your dog is taking the lead by walking in front of you when you go out for your walk, and straining and pulling you on the leash, you both can benefit greatly from a little dog psychology so that you can learn what you need to do to correct this situation and instead work toward creating that special bond that all dog lovers seek to have with their best friend.

The good news is that even if your dog has been taking the lead and walking you for years, after just a few minutes of learning dog whispering techniques, you will soon understand how to easily become the master at walking your dog and Fido or Fifi will love you all the more for it.

A dog is not just for Christmas – a dog is for a lifetime. Walking your dog is the most important time you will spend with your fur friend, so why not make the all too short lifetime you have with your canine companion a pleasant, loving experience for both of you?

Call K-9 Super Heroes Dog Whispering today and we’ll help you learn, among other things, how to walk your dog properly, because if you’re not being the pack leader in all circumstances, you’re sending confusing messages to your dog, who then has to figure out when the leadership role has defaulted to them.

Never forget that if you force your dog into the role of leadership and they make the wrong choice, it’s not their fault because they’re a dog with limited brain power and zero reasoning skills, therefore, it’s you who will literally pay the price of your dog having made an incorrect decision about how to deal with what may be coming along down the road.

Walking your dog should be a pleasurable experience, so keep yourself and your dog safe at all times by learning how to keep them walking comfortably at your side so that you can both look forward to your daily walks together.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

The Flexi-Leash Fiasco

Posted on: January 29th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

Many people are huge advocates of the cumbersome flexi, retractable, extendable or cord leash concept and have happily laid out anywhere from $15. to $50. or more, depending on the size they required, to purchase one of these dog walking devices for their favourite canine counterpart, and why not, after all they seem to be just the thing for a great walk, or are they?

What the flexi-leash offers is (on average) a free range of 16 to 26 feet for the fur friend so that they can get plenty of exercise sniffing about and exploring while remaining safely attached to their human. Isn’t this great – or is it?

Unfortunately, while many people have been lulled into believing that they are doing a great service to their dog by purchasing one of these leads, exactly the opposite is actually true.

How can this be, you ask because this leash comes highly recommended at so many pet stores and all my friends use one. While it’s certainly true that the flexi-leash can be purchased at just about every pet store outlet known to man and dog, and yes, they appear to be enormously popular because you see a lot of them around, the fact remains that the use of these devices are causing far more harm than the perceived good they offer to the dog at the other end.

Teaches Bad Manners

For starters, a well behaved dog must be a follower, which means that at no time during the walk should your dog be romping 20 feet ahead of you, or lagging 20 feet behind you. The walk is the time when your dog needs to be concentrating on following it’s leader and this is impossible with a flexi-leash arrangement.

Teaches Your Dog Not to Listen

Secondly, every dog must be safe and listening to it’s leader (you) so that they don’t find themselves suddenly in trouble, and this just can’t happen when the dog is so far away. When you allow your dog to reel out on the flexi-leash, he or she is no longer paying attention to the leader, but instead may be so totally engrossed in smells, sights and sounds that they might even forget you’re there at all.

Dogs can move at a speed much faster than the average human has adequate time to react to. I’ve seen it happen many times when a dog who is 20 feet or more in front of it’s owner is suddenly startled by another dog, becomes nervous or afraid and before you’re able to reel them back, a fight has already broken out.

Hazardous to Humans

Thirdly, the flexi-leash is a hazard to humans, both small and tall because often they are not seen and because of this they create dangerous tripping hazards, and if you’ve ever been wearing shorts and run into a flexi-leash, you will know the pain of that nasty rope burn. I know someone whose daughter was tripped by the flexi-leash, fell down the stairs and broke her toe and this is mild compared to other more serious accidents that have been caused by these devices.

Teaches Pulling

Fourthly, putting a flexi-leash on your dog encourages the dog to pull and be in charge of the walk, which is both painful for the human as well as potentially dangerous if your dog feels that it needs to protect the follower and decides to attack another dog, person or animal.

Dangerous for Dogs

Fifthly, there are many sights and sounds outside and when your dog is so far away you might be distracted and not notice quickly enough that he or she has just spied a squirrel crossing the road and chased it out into traffic until it’s too late and your beloved best friend has just been struck by a vehicle.

False Sense of Security

Sixthly, the flexi-leash provides the human a false sense of security that can quickly create an embarrassing situation as simply being attached to their dog becomes a substitute for not paying attention to what their dog is doing. If you’re not watching, you can be certain that most dogs will be engaging in self-rewarding behavior which can then lead to the dog teaching itself to act inappropriately in most public situations.

Leash Laws

Seventh, we have leash laws which require that we have our dogs under control, which is just not possible when the dog is already 20 feet or more in front of you.

Difficult to Hold Onto

And finally, my eighth peeve is the actual handle of the flexi-leash which is not only cumbersome to hold, but can also become a weapon in itself that has the potential to cause much harm and pain.

For instance, I was sitting on a grassy hill with my dog one summer afternoon when a couple of children came by with their little dog who was attached to a flexi-leash. They accidentally dropped the handle which snapped back while the dog ran and I received the full weight of the handle against the side of my head. Thank goodness it wasn’t my eye and I only had a headache for the rest of the day.

So let’s recap in bullet form what we’ve learned about the potential hazards of the flexi-leash.

  • it places your dog in the wrong walking position
  • it teaches your dog to pull and be in charge on the walk
  • it teaches your dog not to listen to you
  • it places your dog in danger from approaching dogs
  • it places your dog in danger from traffic
  • it’s a tripping hazard to humans
  • it provides a false sense of security
  • it doesn’t fully comply with leash laws
  • the handle is cumbersome and can be a weapon

Bottom line, if you truly care about the safety of yourself, your dog and those around you, dump the flexi-leash and get yourself a simple 4 or 6 foot leash that fits comfortably in your hand, keep your dog beside you when walking, and avoid all the potentially flexible problems.

Flexi® is a registered trademark with Flexi USA INC.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]