Toys are GOOD for your dogWritten by Tina Spriggs
Did you know that dog toys are actually good for your dog, and not just an indulgence on part of owner?
There are all kinds of uses for different types of toys.
First, starting as puppies, toys give your dog a distraction from other would-be toys like your couch or your favorite pair of shoes.
My dogs all love ropes. Every single one of them that has ever had one played with them until they were tiny pieces of thread.
Ropes serve a couple of great purposes, in addition to keeping your dog from chewing your house up like termites.
First, it's great bonding for you and dog if you engage in a good game of tug-og-war. It also helps them exercise. Our dog Sadie is one big mass of muscles. When we play with rope, she uses her entire body to try to get it away and you can just see all of her muscles flexing. She's a Black Lab and has most beautiful, sleek black coat.
Rope dog toys also help keep their teeth clean. Who wants to have a dog with teeth problems? I mean, you really don't want to go into that pointy landmine when your dog is in pain and irritable, do you?
"Put Your Commands On A Diet"Written by John R. Falk
“Put Your Commands On A Diet” By John R. Falk
Can a dog understand our language? If so, how much of it? The question poses possibly as many answers as there are dogs. Certainly boundaries of a canine's lexicon vary, according to his age, environment, training and inborn intelligence. The average house dog is thought to develop a functional vocabulary of close to a dozen-and-a-half different words by time he reaches five to six years of age. Additional phrases containing up to three key words can boost this total to a potential of about thirty. While impressive, such a hefty vocabulary brings little to average dog's trainability. In fact, more dog's vocabulary can be pruned, better. Contradictory? Hardly. Our spoken words, though meaningful to us, are simply sounds to dog. Heard initially, they express about as much to him as gobbledygook would to us. Only by demonstration and constant repetition can he be made to understand how each word applies to him, in terms of expected behavior response. Some canine behaviorists compare that process to how a child learns. To a limited extent, similarity may hold true. Still, there is scant valid basis for real comparison. True, a parent commonly uses phrases and often whole sentences to convey ideas and meaning to a baby. Yet, besides meaning of words, infant must also learn more complicated process of mimicking their sounds for eventual speech. For child then, speech sound patterns, to be imitated, swiftly vie in importance with word meanings. The dog, however, has neither human intelligence level nor our need or ability to speak. It follows, then, that phrases and full sentences serve no purpose in enhancing dog's training. They should in fact, be considered excess baggage. Really, in early and middle stages of his education, they tend only to create confusion and dilute his ability to absorb training Unfortunately, too many new owners tend to muddle up their dog's tutoring with surplus verbiage. It's human nature for us to speak in whole sentences, but “Come on now, King, big fella, be a good boy and come right in here now when I call you,” can't possibly pass muster as a good command to teach a young dog to come to you. Bet you can't repeat that “command” from memory. So, how can you expect a dog to respond to something you can't even remember yourself? Then, when he fails to comply or reacts erratically, “command” often gets a few angry words added to it, further compounding poor animal's bewilderment and slowing learning process..
It's not impossible to train a dog using such excessively wordy commands. After all, most dogs are amazingly adaptable. Sooner or later, they will catch on to what's wanted. But, your goal should be to speed pace of training using simplest, most direct orders to teach young dog what's expected of him. This means using basic commands so important to all his future training. These are: his name, "No," "Here," "Sit," "Stay" and "Kennel." Equipped with this fundamental lexicon alone, any pup can become acceptably "civilized" in a matter of four or five weeks. Choose a short, crisp, distinctive name for your dog that sounds nothing like any of commands to be used now or later. It serves a two-fold purpose: 1) to give pup identity, and 2) to get his attention to receive further orders. “No," is most direct and practical negative; it interchanges effectively for several otherwise superfluous commands such as "Shame on You," "Quiet," "Get Down," "Bad Dog." "Dirty" (for housebreaking errors).