A Well Trained Dog - Or Dog vs. Nutria Saga

A Well Trained Dog

 

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring .... It was peace. - Milan Kundera



It is certainly a lot more fun for you to have an obedient and trained dog. Not only that, but trained dogs, are happier dogs. They are less likely to get into fights with other dogs and will tend to socialize better with dogs that they meet in public.

It is particularly important to have a well-trained dog if you have young members of the family or children in the neighborhood. Just like having well-behaved children, a well-trained dog makes for a happier household.

Here is what happened today.  I took my dog (who let's be honest, could be better trained herself) on a walk at lunchtime.  Come down the street and see two young boys - maybe about 9 years old calling their dog and two other adults (not related to the boys) standing around this tree.  Come to find out, the boys were walking the dog and it saw a nutria (aka - a rodent of unusual size) and the dog gave chase, pulling the leash out of the boys hands.  The dog got the nutria cornered under a tree and that is when I showed up.   

Picture a big overgrown tree with branches all the way to the ground, nutria up in the branches at the base of the and the dog just waiting and barking between the fence and the tree, all surrounded by bushes.  All on the side of a road that can have quite a few cars going by, even during the pandemic.

Yep, a recipe for potential disaster.

One concern is that the nutria would finally swipe at the dog as they can be quite mean and injure a dog quite badly.  Or that the nutria would run out to the street and the dog would give chase and get hit by a car. 

None of us could get close enough to grab the leash, and of course we adults who did not know the dog or the kids didn't want to risk an agitated dog biting us, either.  Or getting bit by a nutria for that matter.

Eventually I convinced the boys to call their mother to come help.  They were quite concerned they would be in trouble.  Mom came finally and after another 10 minutes finally convinced the dog to leave the nutria alone and come to her.  Of course, the dog was just as afraid as the kids that it was going to be in trouble so it basically crawled out on it's belly to the mom.  

So, what is the moral of this story?  The more control you get of your dog when they are young, the better for all.  Maybe if the dog was better trained it would not have pulled from the kids, or it would have come when called.  In all honesty, my dog Twinkle would have reacted exactly like this and she would not have come when called either.  Why?  Because I did not do a good job training her when she was a pup.  She is 7 years old now and is better, but I have taken a much more firm hand with her since moving to a place where she has to be walked more often near nutria, ducks, crows, and other dogs.  

The time that you spend training your puppy initially will impact on the pleasure you can get from your dog for the many years of its life.

Taking the time to train your dog will strengthen the bond you have together and this will ensure a long and happy friendship where both you and your dog benefit. Considering the amount of time that you will be with your dog the time involved in training is minimal and well worthwhile.

There are a few basic commands that need to be mastered and they are all relatively simple. These commands are...

Down: this is where you teach your dog to lay down on command, and is one of the main aspects of any successful training program.

Heel: this is where you teach your dog walk beside you at the same pace without pulling on the lead. Twinkle is a puller by nature. I have found that with her I have to still use a
pronged collar to keep her from pulling. Not to mention, a dog that pulls too much can damage their trachea.  

Learning the 'No' word: this is a particularly important word for your dog to know and can save you a lot of trouble. In fact it is probably one of the most important aspects of training, if you can get your dog to understand and respond to the word no. Personally I use the term 'Leave It' and have found that to be more successful for me.

It can certainly save you a lot of trouble in the future.

Sit: sit is one of the most basic of all dog training commands and is one that you'll want to teach from the outset to maintain control of your dog's behavior.

Stay: and finally 'stay' - this is important to ensure that no matter where you are, you'll know that your dog will stay precisely where you want it. Gotta be honest, Twinkle does not follow this command at all.

If there is nothing else that you train your dog to do beyond these basic commands, it will certainly improve the relationship you have with your dog and the enjoyment and happiness that you and your dog will have together.

It is well worth the time while still a puppy, as it will improve the quality of life for many years to come. Take it from me, I will be much more firm and consistent with my next dog. At least that is the story I tell myself.

Training will also let your dog know that you're the boss and in doing so eliminate many behavior problems.

Dogs that are untrained can often get depressed, despondent, and unhappy and display symptoms of anxiety and confusion.

You are actually giving your dog a purpose in life, where they will get pleasure out of the fact that they are pleasing you.


What are your favorite tips for having a well trained dog?  Share them above in the comments.  

Want more pet and human wellness tips?  Check out my community where I share more great content.  


Pupper Tummy Troubles

Pupper Tummy Troubles
UH OH!  Your Pupper has a Grumbly Tumbly!  
 
It’s bound to happen. Your pup gets an upset stomach.  It might be from something they ate or even just stress.  Seriously, some dogs will eat anything, including things better left not discussed in polite company.  Or some pups just have sensitive stomachs.  That’s my pup, Twinkle.  She also happens to be allergic to chicken, which we can pretty much always avoid, but sometimes she is sneaky and will beg the wrong food from someone who doesn’t know. Then we are dealing with itchy skin and tummy troubles.  Yay!

Obviously, the best way to avoid most tummy troubles in dogs is to have a good handle on what they are eating.  But, situations happen.  Like Twinkle deciding this new state of Oregon and the slugs and other bugs in the ground might be worth a taste.  Yuck!!

Thankfully, I learned a thing or two when she was younger that has been a lifesaver for us.  One, is canned pumpkin. Honestly, they should just hand every new pet owner a can with adoption.  This stuff is a LIFESAVER!  The best part, it works for both diarrhea and constipation!  WIN, WIN!  Usually it only takes 2-4 TBSPs to get good results.  And there is a lot more than that in a can.  So, I take the extra, freeze it in ice cube trays, and then pop the cubes out to a freezer bag or Tupperware and toss in the freezer.  Then next time we have tummy troubles, I just grab a cube or two.  You can soften if needed, but Twinkle likes a pumpkin pupsicle, so she’ll just munch on it frozen.  

Another great thing I’ve started using is a good supplement like NutraThrive.  It’s a bit pricey, but I wait until it is on sale and then stock up.  Another good option is just a probiotic like this one. Both of these products help the gut flora in your dogs stomach and intestines to do the work to digest food properly.  Bonuses, less upset tummies, and less gas!!!  

Finally, I always use my powerhouse DiGize on both me or the pups when we have upset stomachs.  It’s combination of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Lemongrass, Anise, Fennel, and Patchouli oils are a must for tummy troubles.   Just a drop or two rubbed on your or your pup’s abdomen and you’ll be feeling better in no time.  

Don’t forget, good products are worth it.  I wouldn’t just buy any dog food, probiotic, or essential oil for my pups, and neither should you.  Make sure you have vetted the company and know you are getting a high-quality product.   

Wanna learn more content like this?  Join my community of normal people who want to learn about healthy ways to live better for them and their animals.   You won’t find any Instagram models here.  We are real people who love a good pizza just like the dog in the picture!  Come check us out HERE.

Catch you next time.  I'm off to keep on Keepin' It Real -----Cathy

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to a few select products I use, enjoy, or recommend. I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links, and your purchase supports companies and products I believe in.

Emotional Pups – No Fun for You or Them

Emotional Pups – No Fun for You or Them
Emotional Pups – No Fun for You or Them
 
It’s almost that time of year.  In fact, it might already be in your area.  You know what I’m talking about right?  Either fireworks or thunderstorms.  The times of the year that can be so very hard on your pets, especially dogs.  Read on to find some great tips I’ve picked up over the years of being a pet owner and helping with pet rescue.  
 
Thunderstorms and Fireworks
Thunderstorms and fireworks can be the bane of dogs everywhere.  Oftentimes, it doesn’t matter if your pup is the best-behaved dog in the world, when the booming of thunder or the bam of fireworks is happening, even the calmest dog can get spooked.  And getting spooked can be dangerous.  Did you know more dogs go missing on the 4th of July (US) and New Year’s Eve than any other time of the year?  

So, what is an owner to do?   
One, don’t ever leave your dogs outside if you know there are going to be thunderstorms or fireworks.   They don’t understand what is happening and they will do anything to get away.  And sometimes, that can be a dangerous proposition if they get out on a road.  Dogs will literally climb or jump 6+ feet fences trying to get away.  

Two, plan ahead.  This means, don’t wait until the event is upon you to figure out what you are going to do to mitigate the fear for your dog.   Get your supplies ready and do some trial runs.  It’ll be less stressful for you both.  

What does planning ahead look like?  
In my house, it means planning a safe space for them, be that a kennel or an interior room.   Yep, I’ve slept in the bathroom many a night with my pups.  It happens less often than before, because now they are used to the items we use and I do my very best to plan ahead and not wait.

Thundershirt
One that I always had on hand for Bryndoll (she crossed the Rainbow Bridge this year) was a Thundershirt.   This Velcro contraption wraps them up tight and helps them feel secure.  The issue most people have is they wait too long to put the shirt on the pup or to get them acclimated to it before there is a need.  If you wait until there is a problem, then the dog will only associate the shirt with being scared, and it is less effective.  So make sure you get the pup used to wearing it, and that you put it on well before it is needed.  I always watched the weather reports and if thunderstorms were projected I’d just go ahead and put Bryndoll in it. Same thing for fireworks.  She went in the Thundershirt at least by late afternoon to ensure it was on before the first firecracker went off in the neighborhood.

Essential Oils
Another thing I use is several Young Living Essential Oils.  And yes, they are the only ones I trust for my family and pets.   Again, the trick is to apply them before there is a problem.  The best way to introduce pets to essential oils is to do it low and slow.  Dogs especially have a very keen sense of smell, so too much oil too fast can make them sneeze and might make them less inclined to want to be around them.  What I have found to work best is to take one drop of oil rub it on my hands, and then pet down the back of the dog.  I try to stay away from the ears so the scent doesn’t overwhelm their nose. 

I also will drop some oil on the Thundershirt as well.  Remember, that just like with people, different oils work better for some dogs than others.   In our house, Bryndoll always loved and was calmed by Frankincense the most.  But Twinkle will come running for our Valor blend.  Seriously, if I open the bottle she comes running to get some.   As you can imagine, that is the first oil I reach for when I know there is going to be fireworks.  Other oils that are helpful to dogs are Lavender, Peace and Calming, and Stress Away.  

I hope this gave you some ideas of things to try to help keep your pups calm during stressful times.   And don’t forget, these work just as well for you, too.  We don’t have Thundershirts for humans, but I hear weighted blankets are great!!!

Remember how I said I only trust Young Living Essential Oils?  That’s because they are the only company with a Seed to Seal promise which means they take the utmost care from the selection of the seed all the way through the planting, growing, harvesting, distilling, bottling, and shipping of the products right to your door.  If you want more information on our process check it out here at www.seedtoseal.com.  And if you want to join me personally in learning more you can contact me HERE and join my community where I teach more about these products, pets, and how to live a bit more naturally HERE.  
 
Let's all do our part ot keep our pets worry-free this summer.  

Keepin' Real, as always ----Cathy
Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to a few select products I use, enjoy, or recommend. I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links, and your purchase supports companies and products I believe in. 
 

Healthy Dogs – Happy Dog Owner

Healthy Dogs – Happy Dog Owner

Healthy Dogs – Happy Dog Owner

Read along to learn about simple ways to keep your dogs at the peak of health and avoid some serious dangers that are probably lurking in your home right now. At the end I share my recipe for a safe, non-toxic carpet and cat box deodorizer.
 
Pause and Pay Attention to the Paws
Did you know that dogs absorb everything, and I mean everything through their paws?  And have you ever known a dog that didn’t lick their paws?   Think about it. They walk outside, in the grass, on the sidewalk, everywhere and absorb all the toxins.  I think we all probably understand that.  But did you know, the common cleaners you use in your home are also toxic to your dogs?  So…anyone have a dog always chewing on their paws?  If so, your floor cleaner could be to blame.  

Ingredients such as Methylchloroisothiazolinone, often found in floor cleaners and even many personal care products, is a known toxin and cause of allergies and immunotoxicity.  What is immunotoxicity?  It is defined as adverse effects on the functioning of the local and systemic immune systems.  In layman’s terms, it means it prevents your body’s immune system from working properly.  And the same goes for your dogs.  And since dogs are smaller, toxins can build up in their bodies so much quicker.  I recommend doing a deep dive on the ingredients in your home care products so you don’t have to worry about what your babies – animals and humans alike, are absorbing while just walking around the house.  So what do you use?  I personally use a completely safe cleaner that does everything.  It is my countertop cleaner, my floor cleaner, my window cleaner, my toilet and tub cleaner.  It really is #onecleanertorulethemall!  And the best part: It smells great and it is so concetrated I get up 20 bottles of spray cleaner depending on how I choose to dilute.  Check it out: HERE

And what about those pet fresh carpet and cat box deodorizers?  Most, if not all, of them use a smorgasbord of synthetic chemicals and fragrances to basically mask the odor.  Unfortunately, due to US lobbying efforts of chemical companies back in 1976, most chemicals don’t need to be tested for toxicity, and the word fragrance can include many chemicals that never need to be listed because fragrance is covered by trade secret.  And yep.  Those chemicals are toxic to you and your pets.  Best bet, if the ingredient label says 'fragrance' then stay FAR away.  Click HERE to learn more about how the regulations don't protect the consumer.  

But I have a solution for you.  There is one company I trust that does keep my family and my pets health in mind.  Connect with me HERE to find out more.  

Now for that promised recipe.

Dog and Cat Safe Carpet and Litterbox Deodorizer

Supplies: My favorites are linked for simple shopping
Mason Jar sifter lid or fine mesh screen cut to size 

Take 1 cup of baking soda and add 2 TBSP Diatomaceous Earth.  Mix well.   I usually do this in a larger jar and close up and shake well.  Add 5-10 drops of your favorite pet safe essential oils (I only trust one company for this).  My favorites are Purification and/or Citrus Fresh.  Shake well to combine and let sit.  Then either change out the top of the Mason Jar with the sifter lid or transfer the deodorizer to your smaller jar with sifter lid or mesh screen.  I prefer the mesh screen cut to fit in the top of the ring so you can just put the lid on when not in use and easily remove for shaking.  

Shake on carpets, let sit for ten minutes, then vacuum as usual.   Diatomaceous Earth is very fine so I do find I need to empty my vacuum container a bit more often.  But that's ok by me.

For cat boxes, I keep a jar ready to go right next to the cat box and give a small sprinkle at each cleaning.  

Bonus: Diatomaceous Earth also helps control fleas.  So not only will your house smell great, safely, but you will have a built-in flea control measure as well.  

Want to learn more great tips like this?  Then you'll love my community of people who are living #reallife and learning along with us.  Check it out HERE.

Until next time I'll keep on keepin' it real.  I hope you do the same.----Cathy

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to a few select products I use, enjoy, or recommend. I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links, and your purchase supports companies and products I believe in.