Dog Search Center - All About Dogs

Doggy Steps

Does Your Pet Have Difficulty Climbing Up To His Favorite Spot?

The solution is Doggy Steps. It’s just the right height to help smaller and older dogs step up where they want to go - up to couches and beds. It’s also great for pets to step up into cars or trucks.

Order your Doggy Steps and Help Your Pet!

Surf The Internet For Little Something

Do You Realize How Valuable You Are? Advertisers, search providers, and online retailers are paying billions to reach you while you surf. How much of that money are you getting? You Deserve A Piece of the Action AGLOCO gets paid by companies to reach our Members through our Viewbar™ software.We give that money back to you. Build the Community, Make More Money Through our Referral Program, we reward those who are helping to build this Global Community. The bigger the community, the more money AGLOCO makes for its Members. What's the Catch? No catch. Sign up, refer your friends, download the free Viewbar™ software and surf the Internet as you normally would. Sign Up Now - Start Making Money From Your Internet

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Housetraining Dogs - Basic Aspects

So you’re bringing home your newest family member and—it’s a Dog! Congratulations—you couldn’t have made a better choice of companion! It’s going to be a responsibility and a joy and the first lesson you need to help your dog with is housetraining. However, are you sure though that you’ve done all the right things to get your dog and that you are on the right track, or are you on a blind date?

Finding Fido or Fifi

There are certain prerequisites that you need to keep in mind before you get yourself a pet. The breed you choose and where you get it from also plays a role in how fast you can housetrain your dog. You have to make sure that you are you going to be around for the dog because you need to invest in terms of time to housetrain a dog or a puppy.

Housetraining also depends on where you live—in an apartment or a house. There are some things you need to keep in mind to make housebreaking your dog an easier and more comfortable tasks. For example:

What’s the breed you've fallen for?

There are some breeds that are very quick to housetrain for example like German Shepherds because they are so eager to please their masters. There are some breeds like the Basset Hounds that are quite a challenge to train. If you have decided and found the breed that you want, then make it a point to research all about its requirements. Do as much investigation about the breed of your choiceas you possibly can. Meet other owners, check with the local dog club, surf the net and schedule meetings with a breeder. You must be sure that this breed is best suited to your temperament and that you can take care of it by having the patience to train it and nurture it.

Have you found a responsible breeder?

This might seem terribly unconnected with housetraining—but hey! It is not! A
responsible breeder would give you a good quality dog that is free of genetic diseases that could impair his physical and mental abilities and thus make him harder to train. A reliable breeder would take care to socialize the puppies and make them responsive to human beings. An unsocialized pup would be temperamentally unbalanced, scared of humans, shy or stubborn and therefore very difficult to train.

Where do you live?

Do you live in a house that has access to a yard? Or do you live in an apartment that doesn’t even have a balcony? You would have to think about these things because your dog would need to answer the calls of nature—so where is he or she going to go? If you live in a house with a fenced off yard that is accessible from your kitchen through a doggy door—it’s definitely an advantage. If you live in an apartment you need to mark out the potty area and separate it from the rest of the living quarters. Where you live will decide if you want the dog to eliminate outside in the yard or inside on paper.

What are the weather conditions like when you’re bringing home your dog?

Now this is not a polite what’s the weather like conversation—it really makes a difference! For example, if your are bringing home a puppy when there is one foot of snow on the ground, it might become difficult to take the pup outside every three or four hours to potty train him or her because the weather is such that you cannot expose the dog to it.

Is your pet spayed or neutered?

This has a big effect on housetraining because it is seen that male dogs that are not neutered have a tendency to be more dominating and to show off their power, they tend to spray and mark their territory.

Similarly, female dogs would have bouts of irritability and be a bit snappy and uncooperative during their seasons. A neutered or spayed pet is easier to train and seen to be more obedient.

How old is your dog?

Is your dog a puppy or an adult? Some will argue that an adult dog is easier to train than a puppy but that’s not always true. For example if the adult dog hasn’t been socialized adequately and is a bit insecure and has an attitude problem, it’s going to be tough training him. A puppy is more like fresh clay that you can mold into a pattern suiting your routine. Never get a pup that is less that 8 weeks old—for a wellrounded personality, no dog should be separated from his mother and siblings until it is at least eight weeks old. That is because the first socialization is with the mother and the littermates and it would make for a secure and well-balanced pet.

However, housetraining your dog depends on how you train the dog, no matter what the age is. Be sure to choose the right breed, decide on the sex of the dog and the age as well. Never get carried away by the looks of a dog. Impulsive buying of a pet without an inkling of the responsibility that comes with it is unfair to the pet. Research and see what each breed requires and what kind of temperament he or she comes with. Don’t bring home a dog if you are not ready and then take it to a shelter because he or she cannot be housetrained. If the dog cannot be housetrained, you are more responsible than the dog because you didn’t pull the right strings.

Orienting yourself

You’ve made all the right decision regarding what kind of pet you have and now what you have to do before you get your dog home is make sure that you are ready for the challenge of caring for it. It would be a good idea to orient yourself to the chores that need to be carried out, the expenses that has to be invested and the training that needs to be given. You have to understand that you are the key player here and you need to be prepared to give the mental, physical and material comfort that your dog will require.

Think about it—you are in your natural environment and comfortably used to the four walls of your house and the overall space that you move in. For your dog, everything is unfamiliar and not natural. It is not natural in the sense that, ideally this descendant of the wolf is a pack animal that would live unfettered in the open wild. Because he or she has been bred to be man’s companion, the dog has to adjust to your environment. So who can your dog rely on to guidehim through the world of humans but you?

It’s Just You and Your Dog

It’s not the name of a movie yet but it sure could be!

Housetraining really is about how you and your dog connect. Your relationship with your dog will set the pace of how quickly your dog will get trained. You need to have the right balance of love, firmness and structure. If you are loving to the point of coo chi cooing indulgence, then you can be sure that you aren’t going to have much success with housetraining routines. Your dog as a puppy is very impressionable—if you put him on your lap all the time, let him have more than a couple of accidents in the house and even then let him sleep in your bed—you can rest assured that he is not going to outgrow that pattern.

However, if you swing over to the other side and wield a whip—you aren’t going to create much of an impression either. The dog will be cowed down all right, but do remember that fear instills resentment. Your dog is most likely going to be defensive, disobedient and the way he will show it first is by defying the rules of housetraining. Unnecessary dominance over you dog, handicaps all your efforts to housebreak him or her.

You need to strike a balance between the two extremes of blind adoration and a rigid show of power. As you do with your kids, you need to deal out a little tough love to your newest family member. He or she should know that you are there for him or her, but you are not there to be taken for granted. It calls for being the alpha to your dog. It calls for being the leader of the pack and blending in the love with being the provider of food, shelter and the overall protection of those down the ranks.

Even before you bring your dog home, make sure you know exactly how to pattern your relationship with your dog. You need to set the rules down from the beginning so that your dog senses that you are the one who has to be obeyed and that you have to be obeyed not out of fear but because you love the dog enough to be the provider of food, the protector of his health and well-being and the leader of his actions and manners. You would need to do that by:

Being the alpha:

Make sure that you act like the leader. Every dog needs to look up to his owner and see a person who can be respected and loved.

Once they look up to you, it will make sense to them that your word must be obeyed.
  • You can gain your dog’s loyalty by using a commanding voice and being consistent and setting a routine that is regulated by you—not your dog.
  • You should be in charge of ordering his life by deciding where he sleeps, or sits or when he plays and when he goes for walks.
  • Show your dog affection when you want to pet him and not when he demands it. Your dog shouldn’t demand a walk from you or a snack—he or she should earn the walk, snack or reward as well as your affection.

Being the provider of food:

Dogs always respect the person who feeds them. In a pack the alpha always made sure that food is available to the pack. Make sure that you plan out the feeding routine, before you bring your dog home. Consult the breeder and the vet and draw up a feeding plan that you can stick to. Do not allow your dog to dictate when you are to feed him. You are the provider, so you get to decide when your dog eats and how much. This will help him to realize your leadership position and make him obey your commands.
  • Call your dog and have him sit obediently for his food rather than jump around.
  • Never feed him at irregular times.
  • Put the food down and leave it there for exactly 20 minutes. Whatever he eats within that time is what his body needs.
  • If you are using a doggy treat as a reward, then give it to your dog only when he
  • deserves it.

Being the groomer:

A dog will always obey the person who takes charge of his life and cares for him or her. Grooming your dog helps to establish your superiority over your dog in the sense that you have the right to handle his body. You must make sure you regularly brush your dog’s coat, feel the full length of his body as well as open his mouth and stick your finger in to feel the gums and the teeth. It’s a show of power and your dog will respect you more for it. If your dog does growl, gently hold his muzzle down with your hands. Grooming will also provide a time with your dog to establish a bond and increases the trust of your dog in you. Once your dog trusts you his loyalty will be unmatched and his housetraining will be much quicker because he will be eager to please you.

Being the leader that he must follow:

You will literally have to lead your dog. When you go out the door, you must walk out first and have your pet follow. You must sit first and then call your dog to you. You must lead your dog when you walk and have him heel and walk as close as is possible to you. From the time you bring your dog home, you must make sure that he follows you around rather than you chasing him around! Once you get him to follow your lead, you can rest assured that housetraining him will be much easier than you thought.

Over all, you need to be worth it for your dog to be your best companion. Firmness that is born out of love is what you need to establish a disciplined pattern. There is one thing that you have to be very clear on—your dog expects you to give structure to his or her life because he has no idea of what is right or wrong in your environment. If you do not set the limits, then the dog won’t know when he is stepping over the limits!

Housetraining is really about you showing your dog that it isn’t right to go potty in the house. It is for you to show the patience in the face of the accidents that happen. It is also up to you to give your dog the time that he needs from you for housetraining. You will have to be there every minute of the day, taking him out for the first week to get him oriented into the housebreaking schedule. You will have to also, from day one, simultaneously work on your relationship with your dog on leadership and obedience issues.

What can you do to make the Housetraining process more effective?

A whole lot! From establishing leadership patterns to marking the elimination area and also coordinating the entire process—you can do it all! But here are a few basic requirements that would impact the housetraining drill immediately:
  • Establishing a bond with your dog would facilitate trust and that’s why it is important that you hug and show your dog affection but keep it within limits. Don’t cross the line that divides a loved pet from a spoiled pet.
  • Practicing the basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come etc., would go a long way in commanding obedience from your dog during the housebreaking process.
  • Providing the right food would help the dog have a good and regulated bowel movement rather than changing the food every day and giving the dog a constipation problem. Good food would keep your dog free of any stomach disorder like diarrhea, constipation, etc. that can cause him discomfort and hamper the housetraining process.
  • Providing your dog with fresh and clean water is also bound to help him in the elimination process and keep kidney problems at bay. Don’t think that by restricting the water intake, you can train your dog. You must ensure that your dog is properly nourished and hydrated.
  • Praise your dog when he does stick to the housebreaking drill. As you are his leader, the dog will be thrilled and encouraged to be praised by you. Also it would encourage your dog to repeat the desirable behavior just so that he can get your praise again!
  • Be regular and consistent with your dog’s schedule. This means that you must feed him at the same times, walk him at the same times, train him at the same times and of course, take him out to relive himself at the same times. Your consistency would
  • help to establish a predictable pattern for your dog.

Slowly over time, the repetition of all the activities will become a habit for your dog.

There are no shortcuts to caring for a dog or housetraining it. Apart from a good quality pet, it calls for responsible ownership, firm leadership, consistent patience and enthusiastic praise. At the end of the day—you and your dog will have a relationship that is patterned on the right mix of discipline, love and mutual respect and for the devotion he will give you, that’s the least you can offer the newest member of your family!

Labrador Retriever: Training & Show Biz

The Labrador Retriever is a very handsome dog. He has sturdy fore quarter and sleek powerful hindquarters. He is so intelligent that it appears that he might just speak at any moment. His movements are swift. His keen dark eyes take in every development that is taking place around him. His temperament is unflappable. He looks like he is wearing a smile at all times. He is a wonderful hunting dog and also makes an excellent family pet.

Is it any wonder that he ranks high on the popularity list of dogs in the USA? In the year 2002 there were more than 1,540,000 Labrador Retriever registrations with the American Kennel Club.

45,000 litters were also registered with the AKC that year. With such a favorable reputation this breed is a hot favorite in the show ring. His intelligence also makes him a favorite for competitions too.


If you want to make your Lab into a show dog, the first thing to do is to register him with a Kennel Club. If he is a pure pedigree then you must register him with the American Kennel Club (AKC). AKC registration does not ask for the dog to be neutered. But if a female is in heat she cannot enter a competition.

What happens if your dog looks like a pure bred but you have no papers to prove that he is a pure bred? Well, there is a way out. You can get an AKC Indefinite Listing Privilege or ILP registration. This is indeed a blessing for dogs from animal rescue shelters. But AKC demands that such dogs be neutered.

Obedience trials

You can take your Lab for obedience trial competitions. Here are some of the maneuvers that you will have to go through with your dog.
  • 1 Walk with your dog at your heel in a particular manner.
  • 2 Take turns to the right and to the left upon command with your dog.
  • 3 Walk at different paces with your pet – normal, slow, fast, or halt in any random order.
  • 4 Your dog should sit when you stop.
  • 5 These maneuvers will have to be done with the leash and without the leash too.
  • 6 Other commands include walking with your dog in the figure 8 around two people standing at least 8 feet apart.
  • 7 The following exercises will also have to be done – sit, down, and stand for scrutiny by the judges.
  • 8 You will have to summon your dog from a sit or stay position.
  • As he approaches you, he will have jump when you ask him to do so.
  • 9 On reaching you, he will have to come to heel, and then sit down.

Dog shows

Dog shows are platforms on which the best of breed can be judged. This is accomplished by comparing each dog with the ideal physical standards of that particular breed. The dogs that come closest to ideal breed standards are much sought after for breeding purposes. The temperament of the dog is also judged in these shows.

Following are some of the vital personal statistics for a Labrador Retriever.

Height - Dogs 22-24 inches (56-61 cm)
Bitches 21-23 inches (53-58 cm)
Weight - Dogs 60-75 pounds (27-34 kg)
Bitches 55-70 pounds (25-32 kg)
Some males can grow to 100 pounds (45 kg) or more.
Life Expectancy 10-12 years
Coat Short and dense
Color Yellow, black, or chocolate coats
Personality Outgoing
General Stable dog with plenty of energy.
Adjusts easily to new surroundings.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Lab’s Sense of Scent & Associated Tricks

Labrador Retrievers have been used for hunting and retrieving through the ages. Thus a Lab is blessed with a very keen sense of smell. This gift can be used for pursuing occupations such as tracking missing people, locating misplaced articles, sniffing out contraband drugs, narcotics, or even bombs, and for trailing miscreants too.


This is something that your Lab will love to do. It was the very lifeblood of his ancestors as they hunted and retrieved game.
  • 1 Allow you pooch to sniff at an object like a bunch of keys or handkerchief.
  • 2 Then ask someone else to take that object out doors, go some distance, and hide it in the bush or amongst a clump of plants or grass.
  • 3 Place your pooch on a leash and take him outdoors.
  • 4 Tell him to "trail" and "find."
  • 5 He will follow the scent and run along it.
  • 6 Once he reaches the object, he will be overcome with excitement and probably begin barking at it.
  • 7 This is an indication to you that he has found the object.

Reward and praise him well. Developed along a more serious note, this is the principle used by dogs that work in "Search & Rescue" operations.

Find objects outdoors

This is such a useful trick. Your Lab is familiar with all the objects in your house and they carry smells that he is very familiar and comfortable with.
  • 1 Allow him to sniff a particular object. It could be anything like a handkerchief, bunch of keys, glove, or a pouch.
  • 2 Then take it and hide it somewhere outdoors.
  • 3 After some time tell him to “find” and “fetch.”
  • 4 Use a leash at least in the initial stages. Later you can let him off the leash to run and locate the object.
  • 5 Remember to gesture in the general direction of the object before you release him to find it.
After a little practice your pooch will be able to pick out your belongings from a heap of mixed articles that do not belong to you.

Indoor hunts

These are good variations of hide & seek with objects to play indoors. Especially when the weather does not permit you to go out for some good doggie entertainment.
  • 1 Let him smell an object of your choice.
  • 2 Then take it away and hide it. Do not let him see where you are hiding it.
  • 3 Say, “Find it.”
  • 4 Your doggie will be able to sniff out the trail of scent left by the object and follow it to its hiding place.

Reward him amply for work well done!

Guess which hand?

This is another favorite trick that kids like to play with their dogs!
  • 1 Take a doggie treat and hide it in one of your hands.
  • 2 Clench both your fists and place them in front of your doggie.
  • 3 Ask, “Which hand?”
  • 4 Your doggie will sniff at both your fists and nudge the one holding his treat with his nose.
  • 5 At this moment catch hold of his paw and place it on the fist with the treat.
  • 6 When he does that, praise him so he knows that this is what you expect him to do.
  • 7 Repeat the process until he begins to lift his paw and place it on your fist by himself.
This trick guarantees loads of fun for your children and their friends.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dog Fun Training

Once your Labrador has been put through the paces of basic training, such as behavioral training and obedience training, he is ready to graduate into bit more advanced fun training sessions.

Teaching him new stuff will keep his mental agility skills strong and alive. These tricks are just for sheer fun. They are entertaining and good for laughs too. And there are numerous such tricks that a dog as intelligent as your Labrador Retriever can perform.

Play Scooby Doo

This is a really cute little trick where your dog will cover one eye with a paw and give you an embarrassed look! And here is how you get him to perform.
  • 1 Make your doggie sit in front of you.
  • 2 Blow some air onto his face in the general direction of his ear. 3 The airflow will make him raise his paw and try to cover his face. (He might try to run away too. Try to restrain him.)
  • 4 Say "hide face" when he covers his face.
  • 5 Be consistent in practice and soon you will have a Scooby Doo act being performed by your pet.

Now play G I Joe

Add to the novelty of fun training by teaching your pet to "crawl" along on his belly just like the soldiers out in the field.
  • 1 First ask him to get "down" on his belly. He will be on the ground with his nose down on the ground too.
  • 2 Keep him on his leash, place a treat directly in front of his nose (not too close), and say "crawl."
  • 3 Move the treat along the ground without giving it to him.
  • 4 Do not allow him to raise his butt from the ground. Press down with your hand if required.
  • 5 Cover a short distance in this manner for starters.
  • 6 When he has "crawled" for a short distance give him the treat.

This is not a very easy trick and could take up to 3 –4 weeks for him to learn. Be patient. Your G I Joe will soon be crawling the entire length of a room without much prodding!


You definitely do not want a dumb dog, do you? Go ahead and teach him how to speak!
  • 1 Start by using food as the incentive and place a dish of food in front of him. But do not give it to him until he "speaks" (barks).
  • 2 When he does bark, say "speak."
  • 3 Use a hand signal as well as voice command. Place all four fingers of the hand against your thumb and then open out all the fingers and thumb of your hand. This signal should indicate that you want him to bark.
  • 4 Once your doggie has learned this trick you can modify it slightly. Play some music and signal to him when you want him to bark.
  • 5 Dogs are quite rhythmic. They respond well to music. So you can have your dog singing along to some melodious music too!

A dog that kisses

With music in the air, can love be far behind? Teach your pooch how to kiss too.
  • 1 Sit in front of your dog and give him a nice warm hug and draw back.
  • 2 Then say, “Kiss,” make a smacking sound with your lips, and turn your cheek towards your dog.
  • 3 Your dog will plant a great big slobbering kiss on your cheek as a token of his affection.
  • 4 Practice will teach him to associate the word “Kiss” with the action of planting a slobbering lick on your cheek or anyone else’s for that matter.

Your children will love being kissed by their pet pooch. He too will enjoy all the adulation and praise he gets because of the actions he performs.

A dog that agrees

With music and love in the air, the atmosphere around ought to be one of general camaraderie and agreement. So teach your pooch how to "agree" with you too.
  • 1 Make your dog sit in front of you.
  • 2 Hold a treat in front of his head.
  • 3 Say, "Do you agree” and move the treat up and down.
  • 4 In this way your doggie will move his head up and down as if nodding his head in agreement as his eyes follows the treat in your hand.
  • 5 Give him the treat when he moves his head up and down.
  • 6 Soon the phrase, "Do you agree?” will be sufficient enough to encourage him to move his head up and down.
And you will have a dog that readily agrees with whatever you say!

A Mathematician!

What fun to have a pet that can count! Yes, you can teach your pooch to count and this is how.
  • 1 Your doggie will count by barking as many times as the number of objects being counted.
  • 2 To guide the number of times he barks, he must first be taught to recognize your silent hand or head signals.
  • 3 Place a number of objects that you want him to count in front of him.
  • 4 Then say "count."
  • 5 He should then give short barks for every signal that you show.
  • 6 When he has barked the required number of times, signal him to stop.
  • 7 Practice until perfect in counting.
  • 8 You can modify the trick by placing two different types of objects in front of him, say 5 yellow balls and 3 red balls, and then ask him to "add."
  • 9 Use the same ploy as used for counting.

Your friends will be simply amazed at the intelligence of your pet!

Play dead

All good things do come to an end. So when the trick show is nearing its end, the last logical trick should be “play dead.”
  • 1 Ask your dog to go "down."
  • 2 Once down, ask him to "Die." With this command, gently nudge him to roll over onto his back with all his paws in the air.
  • 3 You can practice "Die" a number of times.
  • 4 You can then play God by bringing him to life again by saying “Alive” and prodding him to get up onto his feet again.
  • 5 Of course praise him at every step.
  • 6 Want a variation of "Die?" Then use the "Bang, bang" plan.
  • 7 When you say "Bang, bang" teach your pooch to lift one paw in the air at first. Next he should go flat down on his tummy pretending that he is injured and then he should roll over with paws in the air and play dead.

With this act you can bring the curtains down on your fun trick doggie show.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Labrador Retriever: Training you can use to your advantage

You are so fortunate! You have a lovely Labrador Retriever that makes an excellent companion, as well as a dog that is faithful and true. So do you want things to get even better? You can do so by training your pet to do a few simple chores for you. Let us gothrough some of these odd jobs that you can think of delegating to your four-legged furry friend to make him into your Man Friday!

1 A Door-man (Door-dog)

People are always leaving doors open and letting in the cold air and this can be really irritating! It is time for you to use the services of your doggie and teach him to shut doors. Let us see how to go about it!
  • 1 Go to a room with a door that can be pushed shut.
  • 2 Let the door remain ajar.
  • 3 Hold a treat that your Lab loves close to the door at the height of the dog’s nose.
  • 4 Call your doggie to you.
  • 5 He will follow his nose and head for the treat in your hand near the door.
  • 6 Now remove the treat.
  • 7 As you remove the treat, make sure that your act of removing the treat makes your doggie shut the door with his paws and nose.
  • 8 When the door is shut, say “Shut Door” and shower him with praise and give him his treat.
  • 9 Keep repeating this exercise until he understands fully what “Shut Door” means.
  • 10 Soon he will follow your command, even without your offering him a treat.

And voila! You have a doorman (door-dog) at your service!

2 Doggie – Turn off the Light

Get into bed, sink your head into your soft pillow, pull up the sheets, and call out to your doggie to turn off the light. No, this is not just a dream! You can make it a dream come true! And this is how you go about it.
  • 1 With your doggie’s favorite treat in your hand, position yourself near the light switch.
  • 2 Beckon your dog to you.
  • 3 He will eagerly come towards you to get his treat.
  • 4 Just as he moves towards the treat, move the treat away and let
  • his paw hit the light switch and turn the light off.
  • 5 As soon as he hits the switch and turns the light off, say “Lights Off.”
  • 6 Now reward him with his treat.
  • 7 Soon he will recognize the command and you will be able to stand at a distance and ask him to turn the “Lights Off.”
  • 8 After some time you will be able to recline anywhere and your willing aide will help you to put your “Lights Off.”

And lucky you can luxuriate in the comfort of having someone else turn off the lights for you!

3 Put away your toys

No one likes to have extra clearing up to do, especially after a long and strenuous day. So having to clear up after your dog has been playing with his toys will only add to your woes. Well have no fear; help is at hand in the form of your lovely Lab and here is how.
  • 1 First teach your doggie to “fetch” his toy when you order him to do so.
  • 2 Then teach him to come to you and “Give” you the toy by placing your hand below his mouth.
  • 3 Gradually teach him to “fetch” his toy and “drop” it at your feet.
  • 4 Then instruct him to take the toy and “Drop in basket.”
  • 5 Remember to praise him at every step.
  • 6 When he is through with all the basic steps, graduate to the next part of the exercise.
  • 7 Leave a toy lying somewhere in the room. Call your doggie. Ask him to “fetch” the toy and “Drop in basket.”

Your intelligent Lab will soon be carrying out this exercise like a pro and this will make you really proud of him!

Want to make him really useful around the house? Then try this. When your kids leave their dirty socks lying around the place, ask your dog to pick them up and drop them in the basket. What more could you ask for?

4 Doggie Alarm

Hmm, what about having a nice, loving, devoted, furry doggie licking your face to drag you out of the depths of slumber? Sounds good doesn’t it! So much better than the strident notes of a rather rudely ringing alarm clock!

Well go ahead and use the intelligence of your Labrador Retriever to do this job for you. And this is how you go about doing so.
  • 1 Initially get up before it is time for your alarm to ring.
  • 2 Once it rings call your Lab to you. He will come running and clamber on to your bed and start licking your sleepy face. Let him do so.
  • 3 As the alarm ceases to ring, order him off the bed.
  • 4 Repeated practice of this scene will teach your Lab that as soon as the alarm rings, he must jump on to your bed and lick you till you wake up. What better way to start your day than with loving licks from your much-loved dog?

Your ‘fetch & carry’ doggie

It is indeed nice to have someone to fetch & carry for you, especially if you are weary and feeling a teeny weenie bit laid back or just plain tired. Well, with a smart Lab around you can use his intelligence to do just this. So here is how to achieve this remarkably helpful feat.
  • 1 Initially place your doggie on a long leash.
  • 2 Wave a toy of his in front of him and then throw it so that he runs to “fetch” it.
  • 3 Urge him to bring the toy to you.
  • 4 Tug at his leash to make him come towards you if required.
  • 5 Once he brings the toy to you, ask him to "drop" it at your feet.
  • 6 Remember, do not forcibly take the toy from him. Force can damage the toy.
  • 7 Remember to praise him at every step that he completes.
Soon you can get rid of the leash. He will "fetch" and "drop" the toy at your feet without it. You can use your dog to do this trick by fetching you useful objects such as getting your slippers or fetching your newspaper. Isn’t it a good idea for your dog to run to the porch, pick up your newspaper, and run with it in his mouth towards you? What luxuries you can enjoy with a properly trained dog.

Take me for a walk

Now that your Lab is smart enough to fetch you your slippers or your morning papers, he can become smart enough to remind you to take him for a walk. So teach him to fetch his leash when it is time for his walk.
  • 1 When you are ready to take him for a walk and are attaching his leash to his collar, say "leash." This is an indication that you are ready to go out for a walk.
  • 2 Soon he will associate the word "leash" as synonymous with going for a walk.
  • 3 Later, even if going for a walk slips your mind, your pooch will remind you by coming to you with the leash in his mouth.
  • 4 Remember to keep his leash at the same spot all the time for your pooch to find!

Go to your room

As the channels of communication between you and your pooch keep increasing, you will grow to love the way your dog responds to you. Like a little child you will soon be able to even order him to go to his room, crate, or kennel as the case may be. For the sake of convenience let us call it his "room." To train him to obey these commands follow this training schedule.
  • 1 Make a trail of his favorite treats from the room you are in right up to his room.
  • 2 Say "Go to your room" and let him follow his trail strewn with treats up to his room.
  • 3 Once he is in the designated area, order him to "stay."
  • 4 Praise him for obeying.

Soon he will go to his room at your command without having to be bribed with treats.

Give paw

This is a favorite trick with kids. Even your little one will be able to teach this to your doggie. It is the human equivalent of shake hands.
  • 1 First ask your dog to sit.
  • 2 Pick up his right paw in your right hand and say "shake."
  • 3 Now let go the paw, put your right hand forward, and say "shake."
  • 4 Gradually he will start lifting his right paw and placing it in your extended palm without much prompting, What a nice way of greeting guests! They will love such a well behaved dog.


A dog that not only shakes hands, but waves goodbye too will really be a crowd pleaser among your friends!
  • 1 Ask him to "sit" and then "shake."
  • 2 As he lifts his paw to shake, raise your hand up and out of his reach.
  • 3 At this moment say “Goodbye.”
  • 4 He will lift his paw to keep up with your hand.
  • 5 Do appreciate this gesture with lavish praise.

Soon he will be merrily waving goodbye whenever asked to do so.

Lift Paw

Now this is a trick to help you while you clip his nails or clean his dirty little paws.
  • 1 Ask him to "sit" in front of you.
  • 2 Then ask him to "lift right paw and hold."
  • 3 "Hold" is important, as he will have to sit with his paw up for quite some time until you finish the necessary grooming.
  • 4 You will need to carry out this exercise with all four paws.

Shake yourself dry

This is a self-help measure for your Lab. It will save you the trouble of running after him to ensure that he has totally dried out.

It is such a useful trick for those monsoon days when he will come back wet after almost every trip outdoors. Another thing to note is that all doggie drying should be restricted to only one designated spot. Otherwise you will have showers of water flying all over the house.
  • 1 Dogs have a natural instinct to shake themselves dry every time they get wet. Say the words "Rock & Roll" just as he starts to shake himself dry.
  • 2 Say this phrase whenever you find it appropriate.
  • 3 Thus he will associate "Rock & Roll" with shaking himself.
  • 4 Eventually when you see that he is about to shake himself, lead him to the designated shake dry area. This area can be free of furniture or clothes that you do not want wet with water from a very wet dog.


End the day with prayers just like with your kids. This is really sweet. Your kids will love it if their dog accompanies them in their daily prayers to the Almighty. So here is how you go about it.
  • 1 Sit in front of your dog.
  • 2 Place a low stool in front of him.
  • 3 Place one of his paws on his stool.
  • 4 Follow this with the other paw.
  • 5 Place a favorite treat of his between the two paws.
  • 6 His head will come to rest between the two paws right where you have placed his treat.
  • 7 When he is in this position say "pray."

He will gradually learn what to do when you say "pray" after a few practice rounds.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Training to correct bad behavior of Labrador Retriever

An untrained dog can be a source of embarrassment. His untrained mannerisms are actually just manifestations of his natural doggie instincts. Unfortunately, these mannerisms are classified as bad behavior in the human world.

So the chances of his misbehaving are rather high simply because he does not know how to behave himself in human society. And this behavior will cause you and whoever comes in contact with him a great deal of heartburn.

It will be a no win situation. You will suffer as an owner simply because you let him misbehave. Your neighbors will suffer, as they have to tolerate a dog that disturbs the neighborhood with his incessant barking and howling. His behavior like messing up the lawns and yards and thus spreading unpleasant odors will also be a source of irritation to your neighbors.

Are you aware that every dog lover in the vicinity will be against you? This is because the presence of a badly behaved dog spreads anti-dog feelings among people in general.

Do not follow this line of thinking that quite a few dog owners seem to subscribe to. Many people feel that once they bring a puppy home, he will gradually learn the order of things in the house from the family. This is far from true. Remember your dog is a canine, and so different from you who are human. He has to be taught what humans consider right and what they consider wrong.

The absence of such training will permit him to live by his own natural instincts.

Correct your Lab’s bad behavior

An untrained dog with bad behavior can threaten, offend, and even hurt others. You must take adequate steps to curb such bad behavior. You must teach your Lab what to do by communicating and correcting him.

Do not ever beat or punish him. Corporal punishment will not get your message across to him. It will only have negative repercussions and weaken your relationship with him. It will also take all the fun out of training and weaken your bonding with him.

In order to get your Lab to listen to you, fill a can with dry beans or pebbles and rattle it. The noise is bound to catch the attention of your wayward dog. You can call this can your “Shake Can.”


A lovely Lab begging is just not acceptable. It is rottenly bad behavior. So curb it by following a few of these remedies.
  • 1 Food at regular meal times only.
  • 2 No snacks between meals.
  • 3 No scraps from the dinner table.
  • 4 A test of your will power – give him nothing when he begs.

Say a firm “No” and look away and ignore him. He will soon get the message that you mean business when you say “No.”


If you find your dog getting nippy, first check the state of his health and make sure he is not hurt or in pain. Ill dogs tend to bite. Your dog could bite if forced into a threatening position. A puppy that is teething normally bites. A dog that feels threatened can also resort to biting. An injured, abused, or dog in heat can also bite.

  • If your puppy bites or nips say, "no" firmly and use shake can.
  • Provide your pup with enough toys to chew.
  • Do not allow a child to tease a dog.
  • Teach the child to treat the dog with kindness and care.
  • Do not leave a child unattended with your dog as this breed is not particularly fond of children.
  • You can place a muzzle on a dog that is injured or in pain to prevent him from biting.

If your dog is over 10 months old, have a dog trainer or vet evaluate him to determine whether it's safe to keep her.

My Labrador Retriever is behaving so very badly! He is aggressive towards other dogs and people. What can I do? Help!

1 Your Lab loves companionship. Do not leave him alone for too long. Lack of companionship drives him to do things that he oughtn’t. And this includes aggression.
2 Provide him with plenty of exercise. A big dog, such as a Lab, must be given sufficient opportunity to exercise those powerful muscles. A tired dog will not be aggressive.
3 If his bad behavior verges on picking up fights, then use water to squirt him on him and cool him off.
4 You must not allow him to win any game of aggression. This can encourage his aggressive behavior by sending the wrong signals to him.
5 Again, do not underestimate the importance of exercise. A tired dog will not get aggressive.
6 A warning for you, never use your hands to try and separate fighting dogs. Use a generous squirt from a water hose!
7 You have to be firm and consistent in your quest for disciplining your dog. Labs are very intelligent dogs and will continue to test your patience for as long as possible.
8 A Lab can become possessive about his favorite person to the point of being aggressive. So this kind of aggressive behavior must be nipped in the bud.

My doggie is great! The only problem with him is that he cannot resist an open door. He simply streaks out of the house like a flash of lightening every time someone opens the door. Help me with my predicament

This kind of behavior might culminate with very disastrous consequences and you have to teach him to be obedient. Be very firm when you are imparting obedience lessons to him. We do not recommend physical punishment of any sort, but you could try alternate forms of punishment such as withholding his meal for some time when he does not obey.

Hold practice lessons inside the house. Before you open a door and find he is waiting to bolt through it, you must very firmly say, "stay." Then open the door. When you find that he obeys, praise and reward him. Repeat this exercise over and over again through each day and for many days, until your dog obeys without succumbing to temptation. Obeying this command can be a matter of life or death for him!

My Lab loves to lick anything and everything he comes across in the house. How do I prevent this wayward behavior?

I am sure you are tired of cleaning up the rather wet slobbery mess that your Lab makes after he has bestowed his affection on various objects that he comes across in your house. So here is a simple remedy. Coat the objects that you want to save from his slobbering tongue with a bitter substance that he will find distasteful. You could also think of spraying objects with something that your dog finds rather foul. This too will keep his investigative tongue away.

Encourage him to play, chew, or lick his toys instead. A distraction such as toys will keep him away from other household objects.

My Labrador Retriever has been house trained. He is now 4 years old. But quite often I find that he has started to have accidents around the house. I am rather concerned. How do I tackle such a problem with an adult dog?

This really is a cause for concern. If he is 4 years old and has suddenly started having accidents then the reason for this could be illness of some sort. It is advisable for you to take him to the vet for an examination. Do not delay the visit.

My Lab is great in every way except one. He just cannot resist digging when he goes out into the yard.

Your concern is palpable. The sight of your otherwise well kept yard being pock marked with unsightly holes must be very disturbing indeed. So here is what you can do.

First get rid of any other form of life that may exist in your yard. This can include rats, rodents, chipmunks, rabbits, or any other life form. Digging is a natural activity for a Lab who is a retriever by birth. So segregate an area that can be cordoned off as digging ground only.

To distinguish the area where your dog can dig mark off the area. That could be, say 3’ x 3’ in size, dig it out and fill it with sand and mud. Lead him to this spot. Let your Lab dig all that he wants only in this part of the yard. You can surprise him now and then by burying bones, toys, and rawhide in this pit for him to find. This will encourage him to dig there only.

I have a Lab who is quite well behaved. The only problem I have with him is that he loves to jump and paw at people. Do tell me how to discourage this rather irritating habit.

Jumping and pawing are two very doggie ways of seeking attention. So do not react when your doggie jumps at you or paws you for attention. Just ignore him and walk away. He will get the message that you are not happy with what he is doing. If he still persists, then order him to sit. When he does obey you must praise and reward him. This will reinforce the kind of behavior you expect from him.

The Lab that I have loves to bite or mouth my hands and fingers whenever he can. His sharp little teeth can hurt quite a bit. How do I prevent such behavior?

On no account should you condone such behavior. Whenever you feel the bite, yell loudly. Let him know that his biting hurts you. Say "no" in an extremely firm manner and walk away from him. When you repeatedly do this, he will understand that biting or mouthing your hands and fingers will just not be tolerated by you. A Lab is a dog that thrives on your love and he will do anything to ensure that you do not ignore him.

I want to teach my Lab to give me some sort of signal when he wants to go out. How do I do it?

Getting your dog to give you a signal when he wants to go out is a great idea. You can do this by hanging a bell somewhere that he can access easily. Teach him how to tug on this bell. Each time you take him out, you pull on the bell and then teach him also to tug on the bell. This way he will associate tugging on the bell with going out. Soon he will tug on the bell whenever he wants to go out.

My Lab seems to be a slow learner. He is taking a very long time to get house trained. What should I do?

House training is a very slow process. It will really test your patience. But there is just no other way. Keep a close eye on your puppy. As soon as he shows any signs of wanting to relieve himself, like putting his nose close to the ground and sniffing busily around, pick him up and rush outside. Establish a regular feeding schedule too. And take him out after every single meal. Take him out every hour too even if he has not been fed. The entire process will try your patience but the results will definitely be worth the effort.

If my Lab behaves badly can I punish him occasionally?

Experts and people who have done research on doggie behavior simply do NOT recommend punishment. They say that it will be a setback on all that you have done for your dog. Punishment will also make him fearful and scared about you. So be very careful about punishing him. Being kind, understanding, and loving go a long way in correcting your dog’s bad behavior. Praise and reward are the best tools to arm yourself with in the training process. No punishments please!

How do I correct my Lab’s bad behavior?

The only way to correct your Lab’s bad behavior is to catch him red handed (pawed). Nab him in action and then very firmly say "No." You can prevent him from indulging in that particular act by using your hands to push him away. You can startle him into stopping by rattling a can filled with pebbles or a hand held horn. But no physical punishment should be used.

Tell me about the normal behavioral problems that I can expect to find in a new puppy that I bring home.

If you have had the opportunity of dealing with little children, you will find that puppies have a lot in common with tiny tots. Puppies will stick their noses into any new object that they encounter. They will also pick up anything that they come across with their mouths. So you have to watch out for the objects that are lying around the house. Potentially harmful material should be carefully stowed away, well out of reach from prying noses and clattering paws.

Besides this, puppies will climb on anything they find worth exploring. They will chew and bite and even exhibit aggressive behavior. The world is a brand new place for them and they want to know about everything that is new and interesting to see. It is your responsibility to keep them safe from harm!

My Lab chooses to chew everything lying around except his toys. What do I do to divert his attention towards the toys that he must actually be chewing?

An excellent way of doing this is to remove whatever your Lab is chewing and replace it with one of his toys. He might be a little reluctant to let go of the object of his choice, but this is where you will have to really exercise your authority as the leader. You will have to use all your leadership skills to coax him away from the object and immediately shove his toy in front of him. Distraction will work as a dog has a rather short span of attention.

My Lab loves to howl at the moon. This sounds really morose and dreary. How do I stop him?

Dogs do not howl at the moon. If your Lab is howling, it is just a natural way for him to communicate with another of his own kind. You know dogs are descendants of wolves. And wolves
communicate with other members of their pack by howling before they set out on a hunt. Dogs like the huskies of Siberia even get together for a group sing!

So if you find that your Lab is howling, check out whether he is ill or is feeling uncomfortable about anything. Once the cause of discomfort is removed a normal, healthy, domesticated dog will not howl.

I have a really queer problem. My dog does not respond when I call him. What should I do?

Patience is the name of the game when you are teaching or training your dog. This includes a simple command such as "come." Your dog must associate the word "come" with something pleasant or he will not respond. Here are some methods to ensure that your dog will respond when you beckon him to you.
  • Make it a pleasant association.
  • Never scold him or grab him when he comes.
  • Praise and reward him as soon as he responds.
  • Reward him with surprises. Then he will look forward to what you are going to do. Surprises can include giving him a treat, toy, praise, or just playing with him.
  • Use positive body language. You can crouch down to his level and hug him. You can clap your hands and smile at him. He will love it.
  • Show him that calling does not put an end to his exercise or play time. So sometimes you must allow him to return to what he was doing.
  • You must also be aware that these are some methods that will ensure that your dog does not come to you when called.
  • If you call your dog and then do something he dislikes. This could be giving him a bath or cutting his nails.
  • Calling him when he is in the middle of playing a game.
  • If you call him and then ignore him.
  • If you call him in an angry tone of voice.
  • If you call him and immediately put him in the crate and then leave the house.
  • If you call “come” and then lunge towards him to catch him.

Help! My Lab has suddenly started going crazily round and round in circles. Has he gone absolutely bonkers?

You need not get worried. This is normal doggie behavior and he is just playing crazy dog like lots of dogs do. He will keep low to the ground and run flat out. He might run round first in one direction and then in the reverse at a terrific hurricane like speed too. He will tire himself out in short while and flop down in tired stupor. Relax and let him have his fun and frolic. Allow him to just let his hair down and freak out!

I am really worried about my Lab. I think he is really bored. How do I tackle this problem?

Boredom can be easily tackled. Teach your doggie new tricks. A dog that is bored will rapidly learn new tricks. Keep his mind occupied with all sorts of tricks. They can include tricks that are useful, fun, tricks that are stimulating to the mind, or tricks that require the use of agility. Once he is occupied with learning and practicing new tricks his ennui of boredom will fast vanish. Not only will he be rid of boredom, he will become a source of fun and entertainment for you, your family, and friends too.

My pup is proving to be rather expensive. He loves to chew on his expensive leather leash rather than walk on it. What can I do?

Your puppy is just a baby. So anything that moves is like an invitation for him to sink his teeth into and chew to his hearts content. He will outgrow it soon. But until then you can try coating it with something bitter that he does not like.

Alternately you could switch over to a metal chain leash. The feel of cold metal against his teeth will be positively discouraging. Once the pup grows up you could replace the metal leash with a stylish expensive leather leash that you will be proud to lead your lovely Lab on.

My young Lab seems to have become an absolute brat all of a sudden. What could be the reason? And how do I handle such behavior?

Suddenly turning into brat is an almost certain sign of your Lab having entered that awkward stage of adolescence. Brat-like behavior is a dog's way of saying, "Look I have grown up now. And I am now independent. Leave me alone and do not fuss with me."

Just like a human teenager, isn’t it? To keep him under control you will have to re-assert your position as the undisputed leader to whom he just has to listen and unquestioningly obey.

So step up his obedience-training schedule and spice it up with plenty of fun tricks. Keep him busy. This is the only way to keep him out of mischief.
How can I make absolutely certain that my dog does not bite anyone?

To ensure a bite free life, you must begin your puppy’s training early. He must be allowed to socialize to different kinds of people. When your dog does not feel threatened by people whom he considers strangers, he will not feel threatened and bear his fangs! He should also be taken to new places and exposed to new environments too. Meeting other animals will broaden his outlook and expand his horizons.

My Labrador Retriever puppy is teething. Save me from the onslaught of those sharp little puppy teeth that love to chew up just anything that they find.

Here is a great solution for your teething pup. Take a stout and sturdy rope and knot it both ends. Soak it in water and freeze it and then give it to your pup. Biting on this frozen rope will provide relief to his gums that are causing him irritation.

Of course, make sure the rope is not too long. Otherwise your little fellow might just get it around his neck instead. You can also give him ice floating in water to relieve his itchy gums.

Friday, May 18, 2007

This Dogs Love Bubblegum Way To Much!

Another funny video including 2 cute dogs Cody and Grizz and bubble gum.

Labrador Retriever: Types of Training

Training is a multi-faceted art and not one the easiest of things to do. Especially when it comes to training a species that does not speak your language. Dogs have their own instinctive and natural code of conduct. They also have their own unique attitudes and mindsets too. When you take up the challenging task of training your pet dog, you will be faced with all these challenges. Your dog might even be stubborn, moody, or domineering too. Such a situation will dwell upon all your resources to do a good job of extracting the best from your dog!

Fortunately for you, a Labrador Retriever is a very intelligent animal. So you can put him through various types of training. This will bring out the sterling qualities of this lovely animal. Various types of training include the following.
  • a) Behavior training
  • b) Obedience training
  • c) Activity training
  • d) Show training
  • e) Trick training
  • a) Behavior Training

This training is all about behaviors that teach your dog to become a good canine citizen. It teaches him the nuances of learning what is acceptable and what is just not accepted in human society. Some etiquette that you can teach him to be a well behaved dog includes the following.
  1. 1 How to behave with other dogs and other people.
  2. 2 Behavior with other people.
  3. 3 Appropriate behavior when you take him out on a leash.
  4. 4 Housebreaking.
  5. 5 Food training which includes not to beg, not to eat off people’s plates, and not to ‘steal’ or ‘help themselves’ to food that may be lying around.
  6. 6 To resist running out of open doors or gates.
  7. 7 Refrain from chasing kids or cars.
  8. 8 Abstain from chewing or scratching household articles.
  9. 9 Not to bite.

All of the above training schedules will help in making him more acceptable and likable among your friends and family, as well as with other dogs.

b) Obedience Training

Obedience or etiquette training includes obeying simple conventional commands such as the following.
  • Sit
  • Down
  • Heel and many more.

It provides a foundation for dealing with canine related issues. Training opens up channels of communication with your dog. Communication enables you to convey to your dog what exactly it is that you want him to do.

With this type of training your dog will be prompt and precise in executing your order. This type of training is very essential for your daily co-existence with your dog. This training truly makes dogs obedient to their masters. It is necessary for the safe survival of your Lab. It is not some kind of forced and artificial activity. Obedience training can prove to be instrumental in helping to keep your dog safe and well too. Once your Lab has learned to respond to your verbal commands, he will listen to you under any circumstances. Thus if one day he gets out on a busy road without his leash, you will be able to ask him to stay at one place until you go and fetch him.

Besides day to day household survival commands, obedience training covers lessons for professional dogs such as dogs used for sniffing out narcotics, bombs, etc. Service dogs used to help handicapped people and search & rescue dogs also need to be trained very well in obeying commands. This makes them very useful to human beings.

Here are some major advantages of obedience training.

1 Obedience training helps solve doggie behavioral problems. When you teach your Lab something new and he does what you want and you praise him for it, a lovely new personality emerges from your dog.

2 A wonderful feeling of bonding and great friendship grows with obedience training. The bonding enables you to recognize your pet’s needs and interpret his behavior as well.

3 When your dog obeys you, he gets a natural instinctive feeling of belonging to a pack and following a leader.

4 Your already intelligent Lab’s intelligence levels will rise even further with the obedience training that you give him.

c) Activity Training

This type of training refers to specific activities such as search and rescue, hunting, and retrieving. Nowadays with hunting being restricted to preserve wildlife activity, training includes sports such as Agility, Frisbee, Fly ball, and so on.

d) Show training

As the name suggests this training teaches your pet how to conduct himself when you allow him to compete with other dogs in the show ring for Dog Shows and Competitions.

e) Trick training

These tricks are good stimulants for your Lab’s mind. This intelligent animal’s mind definitely needs stimulation. They keep him from getting bored. Besides mental stimulation the physical exertion of these tricks exercise the dog’s muscles too! The tricks add fun to your life as well as to that of your dog!

Trick training is fun. It builds strong and lasting bonds between the trainer and the trained. It stimulates the body and the mind. It instills discipline. The positive behavior it reinforces spreads friendliness and good cheer.

Now as a dog owner, your mind will probably be swamped with questions regarding how to go about imparting the most appropriate training to your pet. Earlier on, dogs were trained by just sheer instinct or trial and error. Today the world has changed tremendously. Training methods available today are all tried and tested and very well-documented too.

In order to find the right method you must get an exposure to the various methods of training available. You can read books on dog training. You can contact your local kennel club, local breeder, or local training school for necessary information. Talk to other dog owners about how they went about training their dogs. Pay attention when they tell you about the various kinds of experiences that they encountered during their dog training days.

This kind of background search will give you a fair idea of where to culminate your search. A very reliable source of information will be from the owners of the parents of your pup. The advantage here is that you will be able to learn about the hereditary traits that your pup might have inherited from his parents.

Your search for the right training school for your dog should be as meticulous as the search you would conduct in finding a suitable school for your child. Then the entire training process should be a fun filled experience for both you and your dog.

A formal training school will certify your dog for the following characteristics that indicate how well-trained you have trained your dog.
  • Accept friendly strangers.
  • Sit politely when being petted.
  • Good grooming.
  • Easy walking on a leash.
  • Well-mannered walk amidst a crowd.
  • Response to obedience commands such as sit and stay.
  • How he interacts with you.
  • How friendly he is with other animals.
  • His reaction to distractions.
  • His behavior when isolated.

7 Why should I put my pet Lab through the rigors of trick training? After all he is just a domestic pet!

Your pet is first and foremost a domestic pet and I am sure you love and care for him very much. So you really need to know that trick training acts as a means of reinforcing positive behavior in your pet. Here are a few important aspects to encourage you to impart trick training to your dog.
  • 1 You communicate in a clearer and more consistent manner with your dog. Your understanding of each other improves by leaps and bounds.
  • 2 Newer and more challenging tricks give your pet a positive new sense of purpose and help him exercise better self-control.
  • 3 Trick training helps increase your Lab’s attention span. And this is really a great achievement, because normally a dog’s attention span is rather short.
  • 4 Training also enhances your Lab’s faith and trust in you.
  • 5 Your position as the pack leader is established in your dog’s mind.
  • 6 Clear channels of communication are established between you both.
  • 7 You both experience a heady sense of achievement when your understanding of each other improves and your dog is able to respond to your signals.
Don’t you feel that all these positive points definitely warrant your spending some amount of your time and energy in trick training your dog?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Dog Escape Artists - Everything for Freedom!

This dogs a very smart, especialy first one. What will dogs do next?

Labrador Retriever Basic Training - Housebreaking


The most basic training that you must provide your handsome Labrador Retriever with is definitely housebreaking. Bathroom manners rank very high on the list of required training. This is one very important guarantee of your puppy finding a warm and welcome place in your household.

Housebreaking teaches your Lab to trot outdoors to answer Nature’s calls. But if you have identified a place indoors for him to do his job, you can teach him to go there. But do remember that your pup must be at least 16 weeks old before he can be housebroken. He needs to reach a certain age before he can exercise control over his bladder and bowel movements.

There are numerous methods of training your dog. Your doggie will develop whatever housebreaking habit you provide him with. If he is trained to go outside, then that is what he will do. If he is given an indoor spot to pee or potty in then that is the habit that he will develop.

If you are teaching him to go outside to do his business, you can have a little bell rigged up near your exit door to the yard. Provide this bell with a long bell pull that your dog can also tug at. Whenever you take him out, just tug at the bell and then go out. Soon he will learn that whenever he wants to go out, he must tug at the bell. This way whenever he feels the urge and wants to go out, he will go and ring the bell. This will be an indication for you to let him out.

3 Please provide me with a checklist of things I need for housebreaking my dog.

It certainly is a good idea to be armed with all the things that you will need to housebreak your dog. So here goes the list.

Get a comfortable, well-fitting collar. Make sure it is not too tight. It should not be too loose either or your pup will slip it right off his head.

A leash to attach to your pup’s collar.
  • A crate. Buy one of a size that will accommodate even a fully-grown Lab.
  • Organic cleansers to clean up when your pup messes up where he should not. (You do not want repeat accident do you?)
  • Food – preferably of the same brand as that used by the breeder you got him from.
  • A baby play pen and gate.

Crate training

What is a crate? It is a well-ventilated box with a lockable door. The advantage of using a crate is that you can take it along with you in your car if you have to take your dog out with you. It provides your Lab with a comfortable little den to call his own.

When you go to buy a crate, ensure you get a crate of a size that will accommodate your Lab even when he is a fully-grown adult. You have to help your pup initially get used to using a crate. For this, leave the door to the crate open so that your pup can explore the insides whenever he feels like it. His naturally curious nature will definitely take him there soon. You can entice him to stay inside by leaving a little treat or one of his favorite toys for him inside.

Once he settles down inside, close the door of the crate for a short period of time say 5 – 10 minutes. This way he will not object to your locking him in if the need arises. Also when you open the door, try to do so without attracting his attention. Though you can gradually keep increasing the time for which he is kept locked in his crate, make sure this period does not exceed 4 hours. The crate is a multi-purpose facility. It acts as your Lab’s bedroom too. Soon he will be going to the crate on his own without any prompting from you. Another advantage of using is a crate is if you have more than one dog. You can serve the dogs their food in their crates. This way they will all get their fair share of food without the dominant ones wolfing it all down.

Another major advantage of a crate is that it if you were to go out of town, you could leave your dog along with his crate with a caretaker. The familiarity of the crate will provide your dog with a lot of solace. You will find that dogs are naturally clean animals. They do not like to soil or dirty the area in which they sleep. So if your dog has to pee and potty inside, you can have another crate for this purpose. Line the bottom of this crate with leak proof material. On top of this you can place a few old newspapers. The newspapers will absorb the mess and can be easily disposed off.

Access to the right place

In this approach to bathroom management, you provide your dog with a means of letting himself out through a doggy door to the yard outside where he can freely go. Otherwise he should have access to an indoor litter box or a corner well padded with newspapers. In other words you are providing him access to relieve himself at a scheduled spot.

4 How does crate training help in housebreaking my Labrador Retriever?

Dogs, being clean creatures, do not like to mess up the place where they have to rest or sleep. So if your dog is kept locked in his crate he will not like to dirty it. He will wait for you to come and take him out. This waiting will teach him to exercise control over both his bladder and bowel movements.

He will relieve himself only when you take him out of the crate. Then he will rush to the spot where you have taught him to relieve himself and do his business there. It will really teach him that he cannot relieve himself just anywhere and at any time.

5 Will there be any negative impact on my Lab if he is kept locked in his crate for too long?

Any dog kept locked up for more than 4 hours will not react favorably under any circumstances. So as a responsible owner you must take care to see that your pet is not driven to his absolute limits.

A crate serves the purpose of confining accidents to a restricted space if your dog is kept locked up in it for too long. But do bear in mind that such accidents will only set your training back quite a bit.

Try to avoid using the crate as a means of punishing your dog for any misdemeanor. Also never forget that he is locked up in the crate. Such slip-ups will have negative implications on your dog.

6 Tell me just how often a little pup needs to relieve himself.

A pup has to relieve himself very often. Listed below are a number of factors that influence this necessity.

If your puppy is a tiny tot then his intake capacity is also small so he has to be fed small quantities many times a day. And you must take him out so that he can relieve himself every time he finishes eating or drinking. Take him to the spot that you have identified he can use to relieve himself. The smells prevailing in that area will instigate him to relieve himself.

Taking him out is the first thing you have to do after you get out of bed. The moment he hears you stirring he will eagerly be waiting to be taken outdoors. So be considerate about this matter. After all, the little guy has held it all night long.

It is also your duty to take him outdoors every night just before the entire household retires to bed.

Through the day it is good to take him out at intervals of 45 - 60 minutes even if he has not been fed. This is because his tiny bladder and bowels get full rather fast and must be emptied regularly. Isn’t it better to go out at regular pre-defined intervals, instead of cleaning up doggie mess indoors?

Once you have taken him out give him the time to do his job. When he does do his job, praise him generously. Leave him in no doubt that you are really pleased with what he has done.

If you find your pup with his nose down and busily sniffing around, just pick him up and rush him out. He is looking for a place to relieve himself!

You have to be on a constant alert until your pup has been properly housebroken.

My dog has been house broken. However he still has a number of “accidents”. He lifts his leg and pees in certain areas. Why does he do this? Please help!

A dog has an instinctive trait of wanting to mark his territory. This is what instigates him to lift his leg and squirt urine in areas that he considers to be his territory. In order to prevent him from repeating this rather disgusting habit is to clean up the area he has messed up with an organic cleanser that leaves absolutely no remnants of smell. If even a little bit of smell remains, he is likely to be tempted to urinate there again.

Do not use ammonia or bleach to clean the area, as they both smell strongly of dog urine. An old school of thought recommends the use of garlic paste in such areas as the smell of garlic over powers any other smells. You must continue to take him out to do his business at regular intervals. Praise him when he does his business. You can reward him with treats too. Whenever he has misbehaved you can express your displeasure by shutting him up in his crate for some time.

Of course if you catch him urinating inside, be very firm in letting him know that you are not at all happy with his behavior. If you have prevented him from urinating indoors be sure to put him on his leash and take him out immediately.

Your firm attitude in handling his misdemeanors will soon put an end to his untoward behavior. Your Lab is a family dog and he wants to be an integral part of your family!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Labrador Retriever: Excessive Barking & Howling

Barking and howling are characteristics that are inherent to wolves. It is their mode of communication in the wild. Now dogs are believed to be descendants of wolves. So they too bark and howl since it is their natural behavior and mode of communication with their own kind.

However, excessive barking or howling when living among human society is just not acceptable to the human race. Your neighbors are sure to object if your Lab starts howling continuously at any part of the day or night. So you have to find ways and means of refraining him from making unwelcome sounds.

This problem can be tackled in numerous ways. It all depends on the nature of your pet. Your pet is like a little child; he needs constant love, care, and attention. He also needs to be told what to do.

A domestic pet will bark in excess if he is bored. So your endeavor as a dog owner should be to keep him engaged in some useful activity during most of his waking hours. When you keep your pet engrossed in various activities he does not have time to get bored and bark.

If you find your pet howling, then first and foremost check him out for signs of illness. Howling is normally considered to be a sign of grief. So if you find your dog howling then he is definitely under some sort of stress or strain.

Check whether any of the following factors are traumatizing him.
  • 1 Is his collar is too tight?
  • 2 Are his paw-pads free of thorns or any other object that could hurt?
  • 3 Check between his toes to ensure that there are no small stones or pebbles hurting him.
  • 4 Run your hands over his entire body to check for any thing that might be hurting him.
  • 5 Relieve him of any such external stress causing factors.

If you find no such problem that could be causing him physical discomfort, try to analyze other factors that may be causing him to howl. Have you been leaving your Lab alone for too many hours in a day? If yes, try to take some corrective action. Your Lab simply loves company. He cannot tolerate the idea of long hours of loneliness. Loneliness can really depress him.

But what do you do if you are left with absolutely no choice but to leave him alone for some time?

Try some of these preventive measures.
  • 1 Leave a timepiece that has a comforting tick-tock sound near him. This gives him a feeling of reassurance that someone is around. If he is just a pup, wrap the time piece in some cloth and place it near him. It will give him the feeling that his mother is around.
  • 2 You could turn on the television set or radio to give him the feeling of having people around him.
  • 3 You could play some soft music to give him a feeling of comfort.
  • 4 If you are likely to get home after it is dark, leave a light on in the room that your doggie is left in. Dogs can get rather petrified of darkness and combined with loneliness, darkness can upset a dog to a great extent.
  • 5 Ensure that the heat and humidity in the room is maintained at optimum levels. Overheating is very stressful for a dog.

Cold temperatures can also cause terrible chills and discomfort.

Animal behaviorists are of the opinion that occupational therapy can take care of most doggie problems. In occupational or work related therapy you determine the needs of your pet. Then you work on providing appropriate solutions to these problems.

If you are unable to arrive at the identification of any such need, then you must first consult a vet to get a medical opinion regarding the state of health of your dog. If all is well on the physiological front, then you have to explore the gray areas of psychological aberrations. So consider consulting a professional animal therapist.

Minor problems can be treated with drugs and you will have to follow the treatment recommended by your animal therapist.

Again you must be careful in your selection of a therapist for your dog. Ask around to locate a good, ethical, and reliable person. Referrals are very important in getting the right therapist. Credentials alone will not suffice. A therapist with ethics will patiently probe to understand your problems. He will not pressure you to make an appointment. It is very important for a therapist to show characteristics of care and concern. A therapist who delegates may not be a good choice.

You can ask a few questions to gauge the veracity of your therapist. Given below are a few sample questions.
  • 1 Who should be present for a therapy session?
  • 2 What will the duration of each session be?
  • 3 Where will the sessions be held?
  • 4 How many sessions will be held?
  • 5 What will be the course followed for each session? Will it involve talking, training, etc?
  • 6 What will the corrective actions involve? Any punishments involved?
  • 7 Will any equipment be used?
  • 8 What will the entire session cost?
  • 9 What happens if the problem is not solved and continues to persist?

His answers will give you a fair idea about his methods of therapy. Are they humane or otherwise? You will also have an idea about the time and money that you will have to invest in solving your Lab’s barking and howling problems.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Funny Dogs Video Compilation

This dog compilation is very funny, I hope it will make you laugh!

Labrador Retriever: Training & Behavior

Your Labrador Retriever will make a wonderful pet if he is able to blend with ease and harmony into the social elements around him.

That includes easy camaraderie with your friends and relatives as well as an easy relationship with other animals.

Socializing your Labrador Retriever

This kind of behavior will happen only if your little puppy is well socialized at an early age. Socializing is introducing your pup to other dogs, animals, and people too. In other words socializing is teaching your dog to get along in the big, wide world. How you do this is entirely up to you!

If your dog is well socialized he will gracefully accept changes in environment easily. Strange new faces, sights, or sounds will not disturb him. Thus early exposure to different settings is essential.

A lot of early impressions are formed by the time your pup reaches 3 months of age. It shapes his social behavior and molds his personality.

Socializing at home

Once you bring your puppy home from the breeder, your responsibility towards the little one begins. You begin his socialization process by first introducing him to his new surroundings, including your home and the members of your family. Once he is home take him around and let him get used to the sights and the sounds of his new home.

Remember to introduce him to a cozy corner that he can call his own. This corner could be a kennel, a crate, a box, or a basket.

Whatever it is make sure it is well lined with comfortable blankets and exudes warmth. This is where the little fellow must feel secure. You are trying to provide him with an atmosphere that is a substitute for his mother. Just keep this in mind and it will bring out the better ideas in you!

Your puppy must never have occasion to feel scared or defenseless. Any negative experience will be a setback in the process of socialization. So watch out! His initial encounters with strangers should be pleasant and very positive.

Socializing with your friends

Once your puppy has found his puppy paws firmly and happily in his new home you can start expanding his circle of acquaintances. Call your friends over to meet the latest addition to your family.

They will have a chance to coo over the little guy! And the little guy will have the opportunity to sniff out new smells, see fresh faces, and hear new voices. It will be so exciting for him! His cute little ‘otter’ tail just will not stop wagging! And won’t you be simply delighted to see how well your charge is adjusting to his new home!

Socializing outdoors

When you find that your pup is quite content and comfortable in the company of your friends and acquaintances who come over, it is time to start expanding his social circle. Now you can start taking him with you on small outings. Take him for a short stroll down the street. Or take him for a little jaunt in the nearby park.

Such outings will really perk him up. He will be so alert and attentive to the new world that he encounters. He will really look forward to these outings. As soon as you pick up his leash, he will be full of excitement to accompany you outdoors.

If you have a park nearby, do take him there. He will get to see other dogs of all shapes and sizes. He will also get to see children of various ages. The various activities that the kids indulge in while they play will also become a learning experience for him.

Pitfalls to watch out for when socializing

Your puppy should start socializing with other dogs only after he has had all his vaccinations.
He must not go to places where dangerous germs could infect him.
Do not try to pack too much of the socializing process in one day. It could result in overexcitement for the little guy.

Factors that affect your Labrador Retriever’s behavior

Every little dog’s behavior is molded by his own unique individuality. This behavior is affected by various circumstances that the dog went through as a puppy. Some of the factors that influence his behavior are as follows.

1 His parents

Genetics play an important role in the behavior of a dog. Goodnatured parents will have good-natured puppies. Vice versa, parents with aggressive temperaments will produce puppies with aggressive traits.

So this is indeed a leading factor to consider when selecting a pup. Observe the nature of the parent dogs. You will get a fairly good idea about how the nature of the offspring will be. So avoid buying a puppy from a pet store. You will never be able to see the parents in a pet store.

2 His early environment

If your puppy was exposed to any incident that left him frightened and scared, it will leave an indelible impression on his young and impressionable mind. This will definitely have a negative impact on his behavior.

3 When did your dog leave his mother and siblings

A puppy should not leave his mother till he is at least 7 weeks old. If the pup is taken away from his mother earlier than that he grows up to be a rather snippy dog. This is because he does not learn the important canine social signal of bite inhibition. Things like bite inhibitions can only be learned by a puppy from his mother and siblings.

Ideally a puppy should leave his mother only when he is about 12 weeks old. By this time the “pecking order” of the litter is clearly established. At this age you will be able to recognize whether the puppy is dominant by nature or submissive.

4 How you socialize him

Socializing a puppy impacts his behavior. The 7 weeks to 6 months period are very critical. Adolescence is a rather difficult period amongst humans. Similarly adolescent dogs too go through a bit of a trying phase. The adolescent phase for Labs ranges from 6 to 9 months of age till about 1 – 3 years.

Thus you might find a normally well-behaved dog acting strangely all of a sudden. Adolescence is an awkward stage. When the hormones suddenly play out you might find your dog’s behavior becoming rather unpredictable. This will be a rather trying period for you as an owner of a moody dog!

Your behavior affects your puppy too!

Do not be surprised but the way you react to your dog is bound to affect his behavior to quite an extent. Here are some factors that can affect your Lab.
  • The tone you use when talking to your doggie.
  • Your facial expressions when you look at your dog.
  • How you react when you call him and he does not come.
  • What is your reaction when you tell him not to do something but he continues to do it nevertheless?
  • How much you pet and cuddle your dog.
  • How you talk to him in a way that he understands.
  • How do you react if he makes a fuss while you are brushing
  • him down?
  • How do you treat your dog if he darts away from you?
  • What is your reaction if your doggie acts aggressive towards strangers?
  • How do you calm your pup down after playtime is over?
  • What is your reaction if your pup pees or potties within the precincts of your house when he is excited or very nervous?
  • Do you clean up the place he has messed up properly with the right cleaner so that he does have an accident there again?
  • What kind of place do you provide your pup to sleep in?
  • How do you treat him when you have to leave him alone at
  • home? Do you say and do the right things?
  • Have you given him a comfortable collar to wear?
  • Do you use an appropriate leash when you take him out?

Training and your behavior


Rewards are the secret to success in any training program, especially where dogs are concerned. Dogs only understand the language of love or the language of food. Food is a substantial and tangible treat so use it to your best advantage.

The more often you reward your dog, the quicker his response to learning. So you should teach him a particular trick. Then keep repeating it until he masters it. Of course do not do it to such an extent that the dog gets absolutely bored and disinterested. When he starts performing as desired, you must reward him.

Always praise and reward your dog. It is the way of the world, we forget to praise, but we never forget misbehavior.

1 Criticism

Do not criticize your dog to such an extent that you become a nag. Your dog thrives on praise. So when you have to correct him, instead of criticizing him use a firm “NO” to prevent him from indulging in incorrect mannerisms.

For instance, if you catch him climbing on to your sofa, firmly say “No.” You can use your hand to push him away. Then guide him towards his toys or to his bed to show him the kind of behavior that you approve of.

With the right kind of voice modulation, your doggie will know just when you are displeased with him. When you correct him, make sure your words are short and sharp. Do not nag or keep on scolding him. And in no situation should you beat him, kick him, or hit him. Use of physical force will only make things go sour between you. It will also turn your dog into a shy, scared, and aggressive dog. Such dogs are really not very pleasant to have around.

2 Aggression

Aggressive behavior can be attributed to a number of causes. Any untoward incident in the puppy’s life can make him aggressive.

However, in some pups the aggressive behavior is inherent. Such traits become obvious by the time a pup is 7 weeks old. So when you go to buy a pup, remember to ask the breeder about the personality traits of the pup. A good breeder will not hide anything from you. The good news is that if aggression is recognized as a problem in the early stages it can be treated with medication.

Healthy, mature Labs rarely suffer from aggressive behavior.

Milestones in growth
  • 1 A puppy opens his eyes when he is three weeks old.
  • 2 From that time until he is 14 weeks old, he develops bonds with other people and animals around him.
  • 3 This period is very crucial in ensuring that he has only good and positive experiences.
  • 4 Breeders normally recommend that you take a pup away from his mother only when he is 8 weeks old. This way he is not very small or vulnerable and neither is he too old to fall into your scheme of life for him.

My Lab loves me, but how do I make him understand the meaning of the word "No?’’

The secret to getting your Lab to understand just what you mean when you say "No" is to catch him in the act that you are preventing him from doing. Then use a very firm tone and say, "No."

You can keep a rattle tin handy when you want him to stop a particular act. You can make a rattle tin by filling a tin with small pebbles or beans. Shake it when you want him to stop.

Alternately you can use a hand held horn to stop him too. If you find him attacking your lawn or bed of flowers sound the horn to stop him. The sudden sound will startle him into stopping. Whenever he does listen to you, ask him to sit and praise him.

I have a Lab puppy. He is really cute. But he kind of loves to indulge in playing rough. How do I control him?

You are really justified in being concerned about rough play. It may appear to be fun when a little pup plays rough. But if this behavior continues in to adulthood it can become a real nightmare. So nip it in the bud and play safe.

The best way to do so is to discourage rough games such as tugof-war. Such games rouse the aggressive streak in the dog. Use gentle games such as catch and fetch a ball. Gentle games will underplay the aggressive behavior.

Can I get control at all over the rather excessive barking of my Lab?

If your doggie is really barking so much in excess that he disturbs not only you, but also the neighborhood in general, then you have to be really firm with him. You will have to try to hold him and try to get him to close his mouth and say "No bark." Of course exercise great care when you are trying to shut his mouth.

Do not hurt him or yourself. When he does stop barking you must praise him for doing so. Of course you cannot stop barking altogether. After all, it is your dog’s mode of conveying to you that there are strangers around. Barking can also alert you about perils like fire too.

Barking cannot be discouraged altogether as sometimes it is the barking that alerts us to the presence of an intruder or fire. Monitor the barking so that he must learn when to stop. Say: “No bark” and make him “sit”-- when he listens, treat him/praise him.

My dog eats feces. How do I get him to get rid of this rather disgusting habit?

Do not get too depressed about this rather disgusting habit. A lot of dogs do this. When you find your dog doing so, startle him with a very loud noise. This ought to startle him and stop him. Clean up after him so he does not get a chance to eat his own poop.

Is there any method of evaluating the intelligence levels of dogs?

People who have been involved in the research of behavior of dogs have evolved a number of tests to measure their intelligence levels. They have then ranked the levels and this is how the ranking stands.
  • Rank 1-10 - Brightest Dogs.
  • Rank 11-26 - Excellent Working Dogs.
  • Rank 27-39 - Above Average Working Dogs.
  • Rank 40-54 -- Average Working/Obedience Intelligence.
  • Rank 55-69 - Fair Working/ Obedience Intelligence.
  • Rank 70-79 - Lowest Degree of Working/Obedience Intelligence.