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How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner

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How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner

By Lisa King

Responsible owners make sure their dogs get enough exercise and play time.

Responsible owners make sure their dogs get enough exercise and play time.

Dog Ownership 101

Being a responsible dog owner starts before you even get a dog. Before visiting a shelter or calling a rescue, be certain that you have the time, energy and finances to properly care for a new pet. Here are a few rules to follow before the fact:

1. Don’t get a dog for your children unless you are prepared to do 100 percent of his care, if not right away then when they move out of the house. This is the voice of experience speaking.

2. Do your research and choose a breed or mix whose activity level matches your own. If you’re a couch potato, don’t get a Border Collie. If you want to go running or biking with your dog, forget the Pug.

3. How much space do you have? A large dog will be miserable in a studio apartment, while a small lap dog will be quite comfortable.

4. Do you want to deal with all the training required for a puppy? Adopting an adult dog who’s already housetrained puts you ahead of the game.

Now that you have an idea of the type of dog you’d like, go online and search local shelters for a dog who fits your requirements. If your heart is set on a purebred, these can sometimes be found at shelters. Breed-specific rescues are also good sources for purebred dogs. If you go to a breeder, do some research to ensure she’s reputable. DO NOT buy a dog from a pet shop—these adorable puppies usually come from puppy mills, which keep breeding animals in deplorable conditions.

Dog Health Tips

Once you get your dog home, follow these 10 tips to ensure he has a long, happy and healthy life.

1. Take him in for regular vet checkups. Spay or neuter your dog if it hasn’t already been done. Keep him current on shots, dewormer and flea and tick protection.

2. Give your dog plenty of exercise according to the needs of his breed or breeds.

3. Train your dog. Take him to a training class or train him yourself by consulting books, magazines and online resources. He should know basic commands such as “Come,” “Leave It,” “Sit” and “Lie Down.” Keep him on a leash when not in a secure, fenced yard. Even a well-trained dog with a strong prey drive can be distracted by squirrels or other small animals and run into traffic.

4. Brush your dog regularly to prevent mats. The frequency of brushing depends on his coat type. Take him to a reliable groomer if he is a breed that needs more complicated grooming, such as a Poodle or a Maltese. Keep his nails clipped. If you’re nervous about clipping them yourself, have your groomer or vet do the job.

5. Wash your dog regularly. Depending on the dog’s coat and environment that can mean once a month, once every couple of weeks or even more often if he gets into something nasty. Use a high-quality natural shampoo. Don’t wash him too often, though; too-frequent baths can cause dry, itchy skin.

6. Secure your dog in the car, either in a crate or with a harness that hooks onto the seatbelt. A dog who’s loose in the car becomes a dangerous projectile in a crash. If he’s in the front seat, or God forbid on the driver’s lap, he can be killed if the airbags deploy.

7. Provide proper ID for your dog so he can be returned to you if lost. Attach a tag bearing his name and your phone number to his collar. For added safety, consider having your vet microchip him.

8. Feed him the best diet you can afford. Your options are many: kibble, canned, frozen raw and freshly made cooked. Find a food that makes you both happy. Keep dishes clean and always provide plenty of fresh water.

9. Be a good neighbor and pick up your dog’s poop. Cleaning up after him even in your own yard is important to keep harmful bacteria out of groundwater.

10. Provide plenty of love and affection; it will be returned tenfold.


About the Author: Lisa King is a freelance writer living in Southern California. She is the former managing editor of Pet Product News International, Dogs USA, and Natural Dog magazines. Lisa is also the author of the well-received murder mystery novel “Death in a Wine Dark Sea.”

 

How to Crate Train a Dog

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Dog Crate Training

Crate Training

Dog crates have many uses beyond travel. They can be used as a dog training tool as well as a secure environment. Professional dog trainers understand the value of crate training when it comes to managing a dog’s behavior. Learn how to crate train your dog with these tips. Continue reading

Stop a Dog From Barking

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How to Get a Dog to Stop Barking

How to Get a Dog to Stop Barking

Wondering how to stop your dog from barking? Dog training school Animal Behavior College understands the challenges faced when teaching a dog to stop barking. Many dog owners experience their dogs barking at inappropriate times. ABC’s certified dog trainers offer tips on how to get a dog to stop barking. Continue reading

How to Teach a Dog to Shake Paws

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Shake a Paw

How to Teach a Dog to Shake

Dog trainer schools, like Animal Behavior College, that promote the well-being of your pooch love to pass on fun dog training tips as well as essential ones. Teaching your dog how to shake hands or the “give me your paw’” trick is a great way to keep the fun going.

A great way to teach this fun trick is to capture the behavior, reward it and then name it. Since most dogs will paw you to get your attention, it is easy to catch the behavior.

Here is a simple way to teach the “shake” cue. Continue reading

How to Teach Your Dog to Roll Over

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Tricks to Teach Your Dog

Tricks to Teach Your DogTeaching your pooch to roll over is a fun trick to practice, but it can also be a gateway cue for additional training like teaching your dog to stay. Since many cues build upon other cues, teaching your dog as many cues as possible can offer good exercise while building a ladder to other training. Roll over is just such a gateway cue.

Below are the steps to training your pup to roll over: Continue reading

How to Teach a Dog to Stay

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Teaching a Dog to Stay

Teaching a Dog to Stay

A leader in dog training schools, Animal Behavior College prepares students for one of the most basic pet exercises in animal careers: the stay cue.

Many pet owners love to enjoy the outdoors with their pets. For some, this can be challenging if your dog has not mastered the stay cue. Whether you are at a social outing, a dog park or any other public location, you will want to train your dog to stay when confronted with increased distractions.

The stay cue is a great exercise to increase your dog’s capacity to tolerate distractions, building his attention span while increasing his focus and response to you. As with all learning cues, repetition is important until the cue is successfully learned. Continue reading

How to Train Your Dog to Come

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Training a Dog to Come

Training Your Dog

An outstanding dog training school will cover many areas of interest for individuals interested in an animal career. Dogs need consistency, clarity and reliable follow-through in their training, just as much as pet owners themselves. Animal Behavior College is a leading school for dog trainers that offers students and pets the best practices in how to overcome training problems.

One of the most common concerns pet owners have is teaching their dogs to come on cue while out in public. When effectively undertaken, you and your dog can master this fundamental technique, saving time and frustration for each of you.

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Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

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Dog Training Philosophy

Positive Reinforcement Dog TrainingWhen it comes to training dogs, there are many different philosophies and dog training techniques used by different dog trainers. Some reality television celebrities have quickly become famous with their methods and stirred controversy among certified dog trainers. If you are looking into a new dog training career, you will want to know the differences between these philosophies in order to select a school that offers the program you are most comfortable with. Here is a quick look at the training philosophy and techniques utilized by Animal Behavior College.

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Dog Obedience Training

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Understanding the Importance of Dog Obedience Training

Dog Obedience TrainingMany pet owners never attend a dog training school, or even a dog obedience class with their pets, and end up with dogs who aren’t well trained or obedient. Part of the problem lies with how pet owners perceive their pets. Many dog lovers treat their pets like humans. Although we like to think of our dogs as having human personalities, this is a mistake when you’re training your dog.

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