Category: Pets

Homemade Dog Toys: Drinking Bottle Toy

The recycled drinking bottle toy is one of the simplest toys to make due to the fact all it requires is an old drinking bottle along with a little bit of effort. This style of toy is a favorite among almost all dog species because of the cracking and crinkly sound that it produced when chewed on by a dog. Just before handing the recycled drinking bottle to the dog, always make sure that the lid, and the ring, which is usually attached to the lid have all been carefully removed.


On top of that, if your pet is a serious chewer, you can consider giving him or her a different homemade toy as an alternative to the recycled drinking bottle. The careful approach is essential because plastics tend to form very sharp corners that can cause some serious damage to any dogs’ delicate gums and occasionally some the sharp pieces may be swallowed by your dog, there are three recycled drinking bottle ideas that it is possible to use when brainstorming for an ideal do-it-yourself toy.

You can possibly choose to remove the lid from the bottle, and then fill it with dry food such as biscuits. The main concept behind this particular design is that your dog would have to roll the bottle so as to get treats out it. One more dry bottle concept that you can opt to use is the pierced recycled bottle, you will be required to get an old dry plastic bottle then pierce several holes continuously on its side.


Compared with the first recycled bottle concept that has the food coming out of the lid, the pierced recycled bottle concept has the food coming out of the piercings on its side. On the other hand, you can decide to take the plastic bottle and fill it with water about the half mark. Right after you complete the first step, you will then freeze the bottle on its side. This unique toy is ideal during the hot months when your dog will be in urgent need of some cooling effect.

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Best Designer Dog Clothes – Make your pet stylish!

Clothes’ only purpose should not be just to keep your pet warm and safe; they can also serve as stylish accessorizes. Owners who care about style themselves very often love dressing up their furry friends in designer dog clothes and choosing colors and clothes they consider fit Fido the best. There is nothing wrong about that as long as your pet is not feeling uncomfortable and looks gorgeous.

In this article we are going to go over some of the most famous dog clothes that were created by designers, where you can find them, what makes them special and unique and many more. If you are looking for a special piece of fashion for your dog, then keep reading on.


If your pet is of smaller size or is a tiny dog breed, then you should definitely have him prepared for the cold days and winter. The same applies to the dogs with short coats because they cannot handle low temperatures. Looking for cold weather clothes can be fun, because you have to choose from various styles, materials and patterns.


Firstly, check out this adorable Stars Pattern Dog Hoodie by TAGreat Dog Supplies. It is made of soft material and it is meant for really small dogs. Carefully measure your furry friend before you order the hoodie. It is available in various colors and more than 60 customers rated it with high praises.

If the hoodie is not your thing, TAGreat offer this amazing blanket coat made of polyester. It is available in various colors and sizes. It is machine washable and easily dried because of its material; and most importantly, it is waterproof. The lining is soft which will be comfortable for your dog.

Having in mind that more than 900 customers rated it positively, that means that you should definitely give it a try if you need a dog blanket! The product dimensions are 15.5 x 14.5 x 2.5 inches while the weight is 11.2 ounces. Additionally, it can be shipped to the selected countries out of the USA.


Another very cute hoodie is this one Bear Pattern Hoodie Coat for Dog. It is a perfect winter gift for your furry friend as he will be warm and cute! This hoodie is meant for dogs of smaller size, but it is available in various sizes and only two colors, brown and gray. Your dog will look amazingly stylish during the winter holidays and you both will love it!


If your furry dog is a she, then having a wonderful dress is a must! You get to choose a color that goes well with your pet’s fur and coat and it is also important to pick a right size. You need to make sure that the dress is not uncomfortable or that it does not get your dog into accidents.

For example: if it is too long, your dog can step on it, fall down or even worse, the hem of a dress can get caught onto something. If you still fancy buying such a dress, you should know that it should be worn only for a short period of time and under your strict surveillance.


So, first, let’s check out this Lip Design Dog Dress. This fluffy dress is suitable for small dog breeds such as Chihuahuas, Poodles, Cup Poodles, Pomeranians, Yorkshire Terriers, Bichon Frises, Cocker Spaniels and similar. The product’s dimensions are 6.9 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches while the weight is 0.3 ounces.

The dress is available in various patterns and colors, but this pink one with a fluffy hem is the most popular, purchased by more than 150 customers.


Take a look at this adorable Leopard Print Skirt Dress for Dog It is available in various colors and sizes and it has been ordered by almost 800 customers. What makes it amazing is the cute material made of cotton and fluffy hem. It is soft on your dog and it is not tight anywhere, if you pick the right size, of course.

Additionally, it is meant for small dogs only. Your dog will look absolutely adorable in this dress! You can also easily find similar dresses, only in different patterns and colors, with different types of hem and many more. It is not weird anymore to dress up a dog or puppy and it definitely looks fetching.


Not only people can have fun during masquerades; dogs can too! As long as it fits and it is not uncomfortable, the costume can look really amazing on your beloved pet.


First, check out this fantastic Bear Halloween Costume Coat for Dogs. TAGreat is a famous company and trademark. This means their models are unique and the clothes designed for dogs are also special. It is recommended that you measure your pet carefully before placing an order because their sizes are not the same as with the other sellers. For only $5 you get a dog costume as you have never seen before!.

It will make your little furry friend look as if he is a little Bear standing on two feet. It is comfortable, soft and it is easily washable. It is also distributed in other varieties such as: Spiderman, Pirate, Batman and many more. Make your dog not only stylish but also a real head turner!


Next on the list is Rubie’s with this really classy Pig Pattern Dog Halloween Costume. This costume has a tux inspired shirt jacket and buttons, plus there is an attached black bow tie, a cape and a white shirt. It looks really stylish and many customers dressed up their male dogs in this costume for their weddings. Therefore you can use it as a classy and formal piece of clothes.


Adorable Sheep Design Dog Halloween Costume is a cute jumpsuit for smaller dogs. Pay attention on the instructions provided by the producer on how to measure your pet properly. If you don’t, the clothes would not fit and the end result might be too big or too small. This jumpsuit can be used either as a costume or a simple jumpsuit for colder days.

It consists of a soft and comfy material plus the adorable bunny design that it will make your puppy a real star of the evening!


Dog Turtleneck Sweater with Bowknot
Dog Turtleneck Sweater with Bowknot

Check out this stylish Dog Turtleneck Sweater with Bowknot! Your dog will be definitely fashionable with this knitted like sweater and a comfortable turtleneck. Plus, he will be warm. However, this is only for small to medium sized dogs, and it is available in various bright colors. Imagine taking your pet for a walk on a nice autumn day; he will be a real head turner with this modern sweater.

Stars Pattern Hooded Sweater Hoodie for Dog
Stars Pattern Hooded Sweater Hoodie for Dog

Next, Pet Life presents the Stars Pattern Hooded Sweater Hoodie for Dog. This cool sweater is available only in one color – bright orange; which makes it cool because your dog will be visible almost anywhere. The material is cotton, which means that it is very comfortable for your pet’s coat and it is also easily washable. It features a leash slit holder along the back and tail end side and it can be adjusted according to your dog’s needs. The product dimensions are 11 x 13.8 x 9.4 inches and it is only $12.25.


If orange is not your color, take a look at this eye-catching Cute Bear Pattern Dog Turtleneck Sweater. The sweater is made of 100 % acrylic which makes it an easy wash and it also dries quickly.

It is designed for small to medium sized dogs in various patterns and colors. This is a nice trendy sweater that will not only keep your dog warm but it will also look fashionable. The exact pattern of knitted diamonds in the sweater is exactly 9. The product dimensions are 1.1 x 11.5 x 14.1 inches while the weight is 4 ounces. More than 20 customers rated this product positively.


To sum up, there are a lot of clothes for your dog out there. There are sweaters, dresses, lifejackets, raincoats, even costumes. There is also a variety in sizes and prices, so everyone can find what they need that fits into their budget.

As we already said, clothes are not only a necessity; they have become a part of a dog’s style and fashion as well. If an owner is a stylish person who likes dressing up, there is nothing wrong in dressing up a pet, as long as he is comfortable and safe.

It is easier if you are buying clothes at the local pet shop because you can check the size right there, but if you are purchasing online, make sure to check the size charts, measure your furry friend, and only then order! If you got the size right, then there is nothing stopping you from turning your dog into a real head turner with amazing and warm clothes that any pet owner would envy. Make sure that the fabric is of high quality and easily washable and you are ready to go!

Start a Pet Dog Clothing Business

People in the USA absolutely love their domestic pets. Reported by the 2015-16 National Pet Owners’ Survey, 46. 4 million homes own no less than one pet dog, as well as the owners were going to spend $52. 87 billion on their furry family members. Many see all their household pets as surrogate kids and even will buy several different apparel goods for these folks – jewelry, sweatshirts, coats, hats and even more. In the event that you love pets and also fashion, a dog apparel business is likely to be your calling.

Designer Clothes for Dogs
Designer Clothes for Dogs

Planning the Business

Consider how large you would like your business to be as well as which kind of business you want to have, along with handling almost all the standard start-up business requirements. No matter whether you prefer to distribute products across the country or are content to serve a regional market place, you have to choose the direction of your personal enterprise. A retail family pet supply store will give you manage over every little thing you will sell, as well as it is possible to pick out additional products to match your fashion merchandise. Selling right to clients over the Internet is an alternative which you additionally ought to go after considering that it opens you up to a large online market.

Designing the Items

You are able to start by working out of home, trying out patterns together with various types of cloth plus accessories. Be aware of products that a puppy may possibly swallow – buttons as well as beads, as an example. Try by constructing representative models on your household sewing machine ahead of you upgrade to a commercial-quality device. Make sure to try out the clothes on true puppies. In the event that the dress pinches or perhaps cuts into the dog’s thighs and leg, at this moment is the time for you to adjust the design. In the event that the outfits have flexible straps or perhaps belts with buckles, they could fit puppies within a size range, yet you may still need small , medium as well as large sizes. Produce your own personal designs or simply discover them on the net.

Rising the Business

While you begin, advertise your business by simply checking out nearby pet shops, groomers and also veterinarians who sell pet gadgets. Bring a sufficient amount of samples to highlight your hard work. In case you tend to continue to be small , it is possible to hand craft all the things in addition to make that a marketing point. Whenever you would like to grow your business, determine whether to employ a seamstress to assist you or simply track down a factory to produce larger quantities. Just how much supply you need will depend upon how big your markets in addition to the time needed to manufacture more products. Consist of seasonal products in your strategy plus ask for orders far adequate before hand to be capable of satisfy them.

Advertising the Business

Seek out innovative methods to rise above the crowd. Posts – print as well as internet – that talk about information and facts regarding pet dogs, animal care along with your items can easily supply general know-how and also product-specific details. Supplying cost-free information is a powerful advertising tool to bring in and maintain potential buyers. Take into account performing a fashion show together with shelter family pets. Not simply will you show off your items, you might bring attention to puppies which desperately want adoption. Market in family dog -specific magazines. Together with country wide books, seek out smaller magazines and catalogs of which serve a local or simply regional market. The manager might cut you a deal on promoting whenever you write for them. Subscribing to the Usa Furry friend Merchandise Organization will probably boost your image as a professional and also allow you entry to details concerning marketing along with industry trends, authorized difficulties and standard information with regards to the furry friend market.

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How to Make a Dog T-shirt

Dog T-shirt

For anyone who is considering making man’s best friend a smart brand-new t-shirt, no matter whether to sport around at the doggy park or simply just to wear casually around the house, making your own pet dog t-shirt is a fun and easy job. Allow me to share the steps to designing a homemade t-shirt that can be accomplished both quickly and, furthermore, at a minimum cost.

Take your dog’s sizings. Start out by measuring around the legs, neck together with chest. Bear in mind a lot of dogs will sooner or later figure out how to “remove” their new sweater or shirt in case the t-shirt is uncomfortable as well as limits their ability to move freely.

Get your materials. You are able to get t-shirt material everywhere. In case you have an old stretchable cotton sheet, it is possible to use this likewise. You could also consider using your personal old t-shirts.

Draw out the basic design for your puppy t-shirt on paper. Very carefully proceed with the measurements you have already taken of your pet dog. Keep in mind that it is very important to allow for larger leg holes and a loose fit in general, particularly since a dog’s bodyweight can fluctuate.

Cut out the pieces based on the pattern, and also sew them together on your sewing machine. Put an elastic band at the top as well as bottom, and around the sleeves.

Print a nice iron-on logo or perhaps your dog’s name, and iron it on to the t-shirt.

Items You have to pick
Sewing machine
Elastic Band

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How to Sell Handmade Dog Clothing at Home

Designer Clothes for Dogs
Designer Clothes for Dogs

During the past few years, the trend of “dog fashion” has exploded. Several men and women treat their pet dogs like close relatives. Because of this, we see pet dogs walking down the street in jogging apparel, raincoats, sweaters and even booties. Quite a few well known retailers plus pet supply shops have taken notice of this trend and right now provide family dog clothing and accessories. Having said that, just like people don’t want to buy their entire wardrobe from low-end retailers, they also enjoy having much more selections for their dogs. You can find significant room in this emerging niche industry to turn out to be a dog clothing designer.

Determine which types of items as well as services you will provide. A few dog owners will want custom-made products for their pet dogs. Will you offer this service or maybe will you only sell pre-made apparel? In the event that you decide to go the custom path, you ought to anticipate having customers take their dogs to your home as well as place of business for measurements and fittings. Furthermore consider offering complementary accessories that match your dog clothing, including hair bows, booties, bow ties and so on.

Drawing out the designs you will offer. These drawings do not need to be perfect since they will be used just for your reference, however they need to adequately convey the design and style of the clothes. It is possible to have as several different designs whenever you like or maybe you can begin with just one or maybe two staples and modify them by using different materials and embellishments.

Select or make patterns for your designs. Patterns are used to re-create a specific design as many times as necessary. In the event that you do not have pattern creation working experience, you possibly can use pre-made patterns as well as adjust them to match the needs of your design. Pet dog clothing patterns are available at most fabric or craft shops.

Select fabrics and accessories for every single design that you have made. Your individual fabric choices need to reflect the utility along with functionality of each dress. As an example, when you are making a dog raincoat, select a waterproof material like vinyl or oil cloth. Use the highest-quality materials you are able to find that no longer break your budget.

Make samples of your current designs. In case you are not creating custom pieces exclusively, it is best to have sample collections to show potential clients. Cut out your fabric using your pattern and also sew the pieces together. Iron your garments after sewing to give them a crisp, polished appearance.

Promote your products. In the event that you are working exclusively out of your home as well as not using some other sales platform, you could possibly host dog fashion “trunk shows” in your house. A trunk show consists of a designer showing and selling their items to an audience. Generally, selections are sold at these shows and orders are taken for items that run out of stock. You can even create a list for your items and send it home with trunk show members or mail it to residents in your community. In case you wish to sell your items to retail shops and stores, you might need a product sheet for your series. A product sheet includes a color picture of each piece, and also a description of the item, materials and even price. Never ever simply just show up at a store and try to sell your line. Get in touch with first and ask to talk with the owner or buyer. Make clear your business and even indicate that you wish to set up a meeting for the purpose of acquiring the store carry your collection. Supply to send your product sheet before hand.

Besides trunk shows and store sales, think of selling your clothing on the web through an e-commerce webpage. They have the opportunity of reaching a large amount of clients and also can significantly increase your sales. In the event that you don’t have any knowledge with setting up a website, employ a web designer to perform this support for you personally.

Related Articles:

How To Make A Dog Spring Toy

Basic Dog Obedience Training

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How to Clean Pet Dog Toys

How to Clean Dog Toys
How to Clean Dog Toys

Every now and then, most dog toys should be cleaned. After days of being chewed plus carried around the home and outdoors, they get dirty. Washing off germs and bacteria will keep your pet dog healthy, the dog toys looking better and also your home cleaner.

Part 1
Gather all of your dog’s toys from all-around the house as well as soft plush toys, vinyl, plastic as well as bones. Look under sofas, tables and furniture. Go outside and collect toys that are hidden under decks, trees and bushes.

Part 1
Part 1

Part 2
Sort the pet toys into groups. Put all plush, fabric along with cloth toys into a washing basket. Put all vinyl, plastic, rubber along with nylon toys in a mop bucket. Put all natural bones in the kitchen sink. Throw away any toys which are busted, torn or have small parts hanging loose. They may pose a choking hazard.

Part 2
Part 2

Part 3
Fill up the mop bucket using warm water. Add 0.5 cup of chlorine bleach to the bucket and also let the toys soak in the bleach water solution. Soon after they have soaked for at least Half an hour, use the scrub brush for you to loosen any dirt. Dump the bucket of bleach water, and replenish with clean, clear hot water. Now let the toys soak one more Thirty minutes. Take out the toys from the bucket, as well as hand-rinse each toy under a faucet. Make sure no smell of bleach is remaining on the toys. Let the dog toys to dry on a towel ahead of giving them back to your furry friend.

Part 3
Part 3

Part 4
Employ the scrub brush plus hot water to help clean the natural bones in the bowl. Loosen any mud or dirt from outdoor play. Never use any chemical cleaners on natural bones. Let the bones to dry on a towel previous to giving them to your pet.

Part 4
Part 4

Part 5
Start up a load of laundry for your plush together with fabric dog toys. Select the hot water wash, and a partial load if perhaps you do not have lots of dog toys. Add your laundry detergent before the toys so they do not absorb all the soap. Put a small amount of bleach to the water. Right after the wash cycle is complete, place the dog toys into the dryer on the hottest drying cycle. This may help kill any germs and also bacteria on the pet toys.

Part 5
Part 5

Items That’s required

  • Washer
  • Scrub brush
  • Dryer
  • Kitchen sink
  • Laundry basket
  • Warm water
  • Bleach Towels
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How to Sell Dog Clothes Online

Dog Clothes
Dog Clothes

If you happen to focus on making dog clothes, you have the suitable Internet product. Though there may not be many people in your immediate physical area that dress their dogs in couture clothes, outfit them in matching sweaters or gear them up according to the weather conditions, there are literally thousands of these people online trying to find the latest look for their pooch. To be able to sell dog clothes on the internet, you just need to know how to reach these people.

Consider exactly who your customers will be. You might desire to target males, females, children as well as adults. You can specialize in girl dog clothes or maybe teacup-size dresses for chihuahuas. Usually do not rule out any potential customers, however be as specific as possible when you are planning on your target market. It can help you advertise your dog clothes effectively.

Figure out whether or not you will keep the clothes in stock. Several people simple promote items that they after that drop ship to the buyers. This means that when you get an order for a pair of dog rain boots, you forward that order to the supplier who pays you, ships the item as well as generally collects payment from the buyer. This really is a very easy way to work online. On the other hand, you can often make more money in case you buy the clothes, then sell, package and ship them by yourself. However , if you miscalculate you could end up with overstock problems.

Take photographs of your stock. You have to have lots of pictures of your goods available. The easiest way to do this is to take pictures of the clothes on and off a model using a photographic camera. The better quality your photographs are and the more detail you show, the better your products will do online simply because Internet buyers like to get a really good idea of what they are buying before they commit.

Start on eBay and also other auction sites. Several websites–eBay being the most widely used –will let you submit items for sale on the site and also let people bid on them. Everybody benefits, as the buyers can find lots of unique items, you could sell your things excluding to maintain your own website and the website either profits from listing fees, advertising or maybe both.

Take into account setting up your own website. You will find some major advantages as well as disadvantages to this. This kind of website can require serious maintenance, nevertheless you also can get much more exposure if you use it correctly. In the event you do not already have a great deal of Web marketing experience, then seek advice from a Web designer and also an Internet marketer just before you take this step.

Promote your product. It is possible to do this by posting links to your items for sale on dog forums, spending money on on and offline advertising as well as coupons in circulars along with by writing posts about your clothing items and posting them in cost-free web directories for people to read in hopes that they will be interested and visit your Online sales websites.

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Led Light Up Dog Collar

Led Light Up Pet Dog Safety Collar

Made of high grade, shatterproof Lexan polycarbonate, the Connect Case is slim, lightweight, durable, and practical. It offers serious protection from every day wear and tear, dependable shock-absorption, and a unique design that keeps your iPhone’s features accessible at all times. The top easily opens and snaps securely closed with an innovative flex-hinge design. Its slim construction allows “dock ability.” Included with the case is the removable Connect Clip that allows you to conveniently attach your phone to pockets, straps, or belts. It also comes with a carry clip and a custom sized, anti-fingerprint clear screen protector. Available in a range of eye-catching colors with soft-touch feel and a positive diamond grip pattern, the Connect Case gives you the protection you need for your iPhone and the slim-line design that accentuates its coolness.

  • Available in translucent colors smoke grey clear translucent blue orange lime and pink
  • High strength shatterproof Lexan polycarbonate case construction with positive diamond grip
  • Comes with a convenient carry clip and a custom sized anti-fingerprint clear screen protector
  • Flexible light-up polymer core with red Led surrounded by strong orange nylon webbing
  • Weather resistant enclosed switch

I desired a way for vehicle drivers to see my dog when we walk in our rural area at night (off leash). I anticipated the light would be super bright, but it is only moderately bright. Thus, it does serve to allow me to quickly assess the dog’s location as headlights appear on the horizon, but I don’t believe it enables the drivers to see the dog very well. I consider this product acceptable, but not as bright as other reviews have indicated. I got the small size, so maybe the larger ones produce more light than does mine.

After using this Led Pet Dog Safety Collar for about a year the brightness had dropped off significantly. I installed a new battery and WOW what a difference. I am now upgrading my review to 5 stars. This is the product I wanted in the first place and now I have it. I rate the overall experience as 4-stars since the collar didn’t come with a strong battery in the first place, but I will give them the benefit of the the doubt and just write that off as a one-off situation. I think you will be happy with this product and if not consider changing the batter sooner rather than later.

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How to Make a Rubber Dog Toy

I really like useless mountain bike inner tubes, and so does my pet dog Kingbo.

The following toy is made of rubber- that feels nice on his teeth any time he bites it.

Rubber Dog Toy
Rubber Dog Toy

It has raggy bits at either end, which the web tells me pet dogs like as it reminds them (in an ancestral memory or genetic urge kind of way) of hunting plus killing prey. (My dog is a tiny Jack Russell/ Chihuahua- rat/rabbit hunter, but has never seen a rat and also rabbit in his life, so maybe this rubber toy is the next best thing. )

It’s stretchy like a tug toy, which is fantastic for human against dog tug-o-war games.

For making this toy you will require:

Just one dead bicycle inner tube. Simply wait until the one you have has died from your bicycle, or simply ask your nearby bike retail outlet – or on top of that – find your nearest community bike project and ask them for several old inner tubes.

Step one: Collect your Materials and also Cut Into Short Tubes.

Gather your Materials
Gather your Materials

Get one used inner tube.

Cut the valve out, you don’t need it to make the toy.

Cut the tube into short same lengths.

Cut Into Short Tubes
Cut Into Short Tubes

The white material inside the tubes is talc, it is non-toxic, nevertheless you can certainly wash it out with water if perhaps you choose. To tell the truth you can sterilize the rubber with hot water and tea tree oil or a branded sterilizer of your choice, in the event that your dog is hypersensitive somehow. These are used inner tubes after all, so will have road dirt and possibly bicycle grease on them. (My pet is used to being around piles of dead bikes and dirty old tires and tubes as well as will not have any problem playing with these toys! )

Step two: Seize Your Short Tubes Round the Middle and also Bind with Inner Tube Thread.

Try to make a bow shape by way of grabbing the bunch of tubes with your hand.

Grab Your Short Tubes Round the Middle and Bind with Inner Tube Thread
Grab Your Short Tubes Round the Middle and Bind with Inner Tube Thread

Towel wrap the middle area using inner tube thread.

Wrap the middle piece round and round and round by using the thread. Picture you are a tiny jack- Chihuahua hungry to sink your tiny teeth into your fake rat thingy, as well as that should give you a concept on how big to make the wrapped piece.

Step three: Tie Off the Rubber Thread and Tuck in the Strands from the Knot.

This is your own rubber dog toy!

Here is your rubber dog toy

You are now prepared to play the best game of human vs dog tug-o-war with your dog chum…

… and you will have saved one more piece of shitty rubber from going in the land fill, and made something yourself for your dog which usually costs about ix quid at a pet store!

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Related Articles:

How To Make A Dog Spring Toy

Basic Dog Obedience Training

The Simplest Way to Train Your Dog

Rewards and Punishments

To mold behavior you may need rewards and punishments. Rewards contain foods, of course , but probably an affectionate scratch or belly rub, a friendly word “good dog”, throwing a ball, or maybe anything else the dog will enjoy.

t01b759112bc43fbd8fPunishment is usually as simple as looking away and also ignoring the little nudges your dog gives you as it begs for a pat on the head. That is an effective way to control a doggie who gets over excited while actively playing. Removing a favored toy is yet another gentle punishment, nevertheless on occasion harsher treatment is necessary: a sharp “NO! ” a loud clap right close to the ears, a time out, or in rare cases a symbolic slap on the nose or rear end. The hit must NEVER hurt — your aim is to train, not to extract revenge, which is exactly why a lot of dog training textbooks will look back at punishment as “negative reinforcement. ” The expression punishment looks too angry.

Reward good behavior along with punish the bad. This looks obvious, yet almost no pet dog owners obey this rule. Allow me to share a number of examples:

Pet dog generally are not allowed in little one’s playgrounds, as a result they are often tied up outside the gates to wait while the young children play. Many dogs will wine, bark or howl until eventually their masters go back. One or two years back I witnessed a terrier with a very well-trained human. The dog would bark, the human would come running. The woman would pet the dog and speak with it in soft, reassuring tones. The dog would wag its tail happily, and then start yipping the minute she stepped away. This routine was repeated about several times, till finally she could not even turn her head towards her boy or girl. She left the playground, her kid crying to stay longer, the dog jauntily trotting by her side. I never saw them once more but I had learned my lesson: never ever reward bad behavior. Some tender-hearted animal lovers might argue that the dog was genuinely anxious (i. e. he wasn’t being “bad”), nevertheless the facts remain: any time you don’t want a certain behavior you ought to discourage it. Rewarding it will just make matters worse.

At the first try I tied up my beagle he started to bark. Beagles are very vocal, very expressive, and very loud. Mine can put real pathos into his howls, and that day he treated the whole neighborhood to a heart wrenching performance worthy of “La Tosca. ” I did go to him, but instead of love and sympathy he got a sharp word, a loud clap near his ear and then the view of my back as I strode off. Body language is necessary. Pretty soon the sight of me stalking towards him in (mock) anger was enough to make him stop barking. We did not stay very long — it was clear from their dirty looks that the other mothers considered me cruel — however we returned every day and before the week was up my dog was cured. Right now he can relax by the fence for hours, savoring the fresh air as well as the adoring attention of all the children. I will check up on him once and a while and give him a reward for being so great.

A barking dog is bothersome, but when I was visiting some close friends I had to cut our stay short when they were unwittingly training their own dogs to attack my children. My buddies had two large rescue dogs of indeterminate breed. The dogs would bark whenever visitors came into their home but would soon calm down — in case the strangers were adults. My two boys, aged seven along with nine at the time, looked exactly like prey. The dogs circled around them barking and growling with their teeth bared as their master tried to reason with them. He explained to the dogs in an kind, reassuring voice that these children were friends. Only after one of the dogs lunged at my younger son, biting the boy’s sweater right under his neck did their owner finally accept to lock them up. When their mistress came home she let them out. She had more authority over the dogs and felt sure she could make them behave: her tactic was to call them to her when they growled, where they were rewarded with caresses and the occasional treat. “Stop that! ” she gently scolded, whenever her dog showed its teeth if a boy dared tiptoe by. Of course the dogs continued to threaten the children — the dogs were never sharply and clearly reprimanded, instead they were being rewarded for their behavior with extra attention and affection. Bad behavior should always be followed immediately by negative consequences — otherwise not only will the bad behavior continue, it will worsen.

You’ll find several occasions in which punishment should never be used: any time you are training a dog to do a silly parlor trick this is a game you are playing with the dog and even it should be fun for everyone. If perhaps your new puppy is slow to understand, chances are the trainer is to blame. Dogs don’t mimic: if you stand on all fours and shake, for example , a child might imitate you but a dog will just stare like you’ve gone out of your mind. A dog won’t understand either if you try to push it into a certain position. The dog sees the action — you moving it around (probably against its will) — not its final position. To train your dog you must first train yourself — to communicate in a way the animal can understand.

Train yourself ahead of training the animal

This step relates to a game which will help you know how challenging it is for the dog to understand — and preferably it will help you be more patient, and then improve your human/dog communication ability.

The simplest way to learn to train your pet dog is to pretend to be one. Two people are required for this game (which children delight in playing too).

One person is the designated trainer, one other plays the dog. The trainer thinks of an action for the dog to learn: sit down and scratch its head, by way of example. No miming or physical contact is permitted, no words may be exchanged, not even “yes” and “no. ” You plan to avoid using any cues or hints which a real dog would not be able to understand. Stand facing each other, as well as wait for the “dog” to try something (with a real dog you will need to give it a few treats to begin with, to push it into action). As soon as a ideal action is taken, the trainer makes a brief clicking sound, which would be the equivalent of a treat. The dog’s goal is to earn these treats, and it will try all sorts of actions to get them.

As dog together with trainer face each other alone, both players will understand that it will be impossible to guess and perform the entire trick. It needs to be taught detail by detail. In the event that the dog makes a slight movement such as it might sit down, click that. Click it again three or four times till the dog is repeating the movement, sure that this is what is expected. Then stop clicking that movement. The dog will understand it needs to do more and will go further: click when it sits. After a half a dozen times clicking a sit, stop clicking and wait for more. Click a hand movement, any movement. Then only click if the hand is moving towards the head. Click when it touches its hair. Finally click when the dog scratches its head, and give it a big kiss.

After that change roles and play the dog. Smart as we like to think ourselves to be, this game is difficult!

Clicker Training

Utilizing a clicker (or making another specially designated sound like snapping fingers or clicking your tongue) with a real canine is also very helpful. Train the dog to recognize the sound by clicking right before you give it a treat. Right after doing this several times your dog will perk up the second it hears the sound. The clicker has several advantages over real treats:

You can click while the dog is making the desired action rather than afterwards which makes it much easier for the dog to make the connection between its action and the reward.

A particularly food obsessed dog might have trouble focusing on the game and might just stare, slobbering, at the hand holding treats.

You are able to reduce the number of treats simply because you no longer need to give one every time you click. Either make it random, to keep the dog guessing and alert, or use it as an extra cue: almost (click) almost (click) yes! (click & treat).

Whenever playing the training game along with a real dog it is also a wise decision to keep it quiet. Wait right up until the dog has figured out the complete trick before giving it a name. You don’t want your pet to consider that the command “roll over” means “lie down. ” Work exclusively on a single trick over several short sessions spaced over a few days (or even weeks, depending on how hard it is) and only give the trick a name once it is complete. After that use your chosen vocal or hand command for a few sessions prior to practicing the new trick interspersed with older ones.

By the end of a training session for a new trick, I will often quickly go through the list of the old ones he’s mastered — to end on a positive note, with easy treats, keep him motivated to find out more, and also to mark the end of the “lesson. ”


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