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How To Reward and Praise Your Dog
by Lisa Larsson

Rewarding and Praising Your Dog
This doesn't seem like something that would be that much of an issue, but the little things can turn into the big things.

First, you need to make sure that you know what really gets your dog going. Is your dog toy motivated? Food motivated? How is his ball drive or frisbee drive? What can you give your dog that tells him "I'm so proud of you and you did exactly what I asked, he's your favorite most favorite of things because you listened". With my puppy, it's Busy Bones. (A note on Busy Bones--be careful. The ones that say they're for large dogs are great for occupying my puppy, but I only let her chew maybe half an inch. Even for dogs over a year old, it could be too much. And they'll eat the whole thing, which will make them throw up. Just be mindful lol.)

So now that you have your reward and praise item, you have to know when to give it to them. You should not just give your dog the treat because you think your dog is cute or a princess. Your dog needs to work for it. You need to be able to get them to listen to you and respect you, and in doing that, never give them anything for free. Nothing in life is free and nothing should be. Do a little training session. Ask for a series of sits, downs, stays, heels, barks, shakes, high fives, kisses, whatever you can think of. Or maybe take your dog on a good jog or run, and get them to sit every little while. Or if you've got an agility dog or a protection dog, run through their routines.

Another good thing is spending the time to teach them something they don't know. It's imperative for your dog to learn things like stay, come, it's name, kennel, etc. So you can spend a good 20 minutes solidifying something new, and then reward them. The key is to have the right reward, and make them work for it. Then they will respect you, see you as their alpha, know that good things come from listening, and you're dog will be happy knowing that not only did they please you, they got a treat out of it too!

About the Author
I'm a puppy owner and I love to write articles about how to take care of and teach your dogs. My blog is at


Chicago's Top Dog
Chicago Sun-Times

Pet Gallery
SF Gate

A Few Places Have Gone to the Dogs
The Boston Globe

Good Mannered Pups Welcome

Hobbes is a single male with soulful brown eyes who likes long walks on the beach, hiking in the woods, and the occasional good-natured tussle.

Hobbes, of course, is a dog - a burly, very friendly mastiff mix with a brindled coat. A recent adoption from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, he needs his share of training and socializing. He doesn't always come when called (not yet, anyway). Where should he go when he needs to burn some 1-year-old energy?

Dog owners know only too well that their best friends are not always welcome in public spaces. West Newbury is reconsidering its decision to allow dogs off-leash at the Mill Pond Recreation Area, and residents of Manchester-by-the-Sea have been at odds over the winter time use of Singing Beach by dogs and their owners. Then there was the recent case of the Newburyport farm owner who shot an unleashed German shepherd mix that got into his chicken coop.

Still, local dog owners have abundant resources, provided they know how to sniff them out. From Saugus to Portsmouth, N.H., Rovers of all shapes and sizes have plenty of open space at their, uh, disposal, as long as their owners bring the doggie bags.

Hardest to come by are fenced dog runs, where canines can exercise off-leash without intruding on non-dog people and, importantly for some puppies, can learn how to behave in the presence of other dogs. While big cities often have community dog parks - the Joe Wex Dog Recreation Space in Boston's South End, for example, is a real treat for pets and owners alike - people living in the suburbs and smaller, more residential cities sometimes feel hemmed in by their daily walks around the block.

A recent addition to Saugus' Breakheart Reservation, with its wooded trails just off Route 1, is the Bark Place, a fenced "barking lot" in a sunny grove between rows of towering hemlocks along the edge of the Cedar Glen Golf Course. The dog run has benches and plenty of balls and chew toys, as well as a relief station, of sorts - an actual fire hydrant.

In Salem, the somewhat hard-to-find Leslie's Retreat is a good-sized, double-gated dog park tucked by the railroad tracks off Route 114, just before the overpass on the North River. On a recent weekday, several mixed breeds romped together while one chocolate Labrador named Shelby played alone at the far end of the park, endlessly chasing a tennis ball.

The sandy dog park at South Mill Pond in Portsmouth, N.H., draws visitors from a wide area. Retired Army Major Chuck Constance of Dover Point brings his two pooches - Jesse, a chunky "Lab and everything" mix, and Charlie, a tall standard poodle - at least a few times a week. The park can get crowded on weekends, says their owner, so he goes during the week.

Elaine Lacourse operates a Salisbury-based dog-walking service called Anytime, Anywhere. She takes Dylan, her whippet, and a regular play group that includes a yellow Lab, a golden retriever, a Boston terrier, and a tiny silky terrier puppy named Putter to several sites, including West Newbury's Mill Pond, Amesbury's bucolic Woodsom Farm, Old Town Hill in Newbury, and the Salisbury Beach State Reservation.

The Merrimack River side of Salisbury Beach is one of the few waterfront areas that allows dogs year-round. Water-loving dogs are welcome to frolic alongside the fishermen, "as long as your dog isn't affected by wanting to eat bait," said Lacourse, with a laugh.

For many dog owners, their local getaways are hidden gems that they'd just as soon keep that way - hidden.

"We don't want anybody to know about this place," said Lynn resident Delores Ragucci, only half-joking, as she stood in the parking lot at the Pennybrook Road entrance to Lynn Woods Reservation with her stately, droopy-eyed, 100-pound Bernese mountain dog, Jesse.

At 2,200 acres, Lynn Woods is enormous. As a result, say residents, visitors often let their dogs roam deep inside the park, despite posted notices requiring leashes.

"It's wild in there," said Ragucci, noting that she and Jesse recently came face to face with a stray coyote.

But their long walks together are as beneficial to the owner as they are to the dog. Because if your dog is fat, as the saying goes, you aren't getting enough exercise.

Leslie's Retreat Dog Park,
Salem: Fenced run.

Lynn Woods Reservation,
Lynn: Dogs OK on-leash.

Mill Pond Recreation Area,
West Newbury: Dogs allowed off-leash, under voice control, though the town is considering a residents-only restriction.

Old Town Hill,
Newbury: Dogs OK on-leash.

Portsmouth, N.H.: Dogs should be on-leash on the trails; restricted from the picnic area.

Dog Park:
Fenced dog run.

Salisbury Beach State Reservation,
Salisbury: Dogs allowed on-leash on the river side of the reservation.

Woodsom Farm,
Amesbury: Dogs allowed off-leash.

Many beaches permit dogs during off-season months. Be sure to check with local authorities first.

Pet Insurance May Not Be for Everyone
A handful of companies market health insurance for cats and dogs, but before signing up, read the policy carefully.
Seattle Times

A handful of companies market health insurance for cats and dogs. Before signing up for such insurance, read the policy carefully.

For example, a policy offered by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) for an annual premium of $305 for a 5-year-old beagle includes:

• Limited benefits to a specified per-procedure price schedule (for example, $556 for nonsurgical treatment of a fractured leg), which might be less than some vets charge;

• Limited benefits to a maximum of $14,000 per year;

• Included a $50 deductible for each accident or illness (rather than a per-year deductible as you find in most human health-insurance policies);

• Excluded coverage of vaccinations, annual physical exams, treatment of congenital defects or diseases, behavioral problems, heartworm protection, prescription flea control, spaying or neutering or other elective procedures;

• Provided that vaccination and routine-care coverage could be added for an additional premium of $144, but that the total payout for these types of services is $250 per year.

You must decide whether what you get is worth the price. Our general view of insurance is that you shouldn't get it unless expenses would seriously disrupt your life.

Buying insurance to cover noncatastrophic expenses means you pay profit, sales costs and administrative costs for an insurance company to process bills you could pay yourself.

You also add to your own paperwork. And you pay premiums to cover a pool of other policyholders, some of whom may be more wasteful — more prone to using excessive care — than you are.

Another option is a prepaid-health plan, offered by some veterinarians. Under these plans, you usually pay the veterinarian a set dollar amount that covers specific procedures and/or vaccinations (at a discount) throughout the year.

Reprinted by permission from "Puget Sound Consumers' Checkbook," a nonprofit, no-advertising magazine that rates many types of area service firms. For the full article, additional vet ratings or a copy of the magazine, call 206-332-9696 or see

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

Teaching Young Cats, and Owners, New Tricks
Class has kittens socializing with people, animals
Houston Chronicle

"Sit," commanded instructor Dulce Garcia, dangling a spoonful of canned chicken liver just out of paw-reach for Tex, a 2-month-old orange and white tabby.

Tex wasn't convinced. His golden eyes followed the spoon hungrily, but his haunches still hovered a few inches off the ground. His tail twitched.

"Come on," coaxed Garcia, a 23-year-old intern with who teaches Kitten Kindergarten classes at the Houston SPCA. "Here kitty, here sweetie."

Tex contemplated it, but then one of his furry classmates batted a ball in his direction and he snapped around to pounce on it.

"Cats don't have the best attention spans," conceded Garcia. "But you can train any cat. You just have to find out what motivates them."

For Tex, a stray up for adoption, that's canned cat food. Minutes before his refusal to sit, he'd responded eagerly to Garcia's orders to "touch" her thumb with his nose in return for a nibble of chicken liver.

"Sit" and "down" can wait for another day, Garcia said. Her own cat obeys commands to come, shake hands and jump through hoops.

"There's somewhat of an urban myth out there that you can't train cats," said Elise Gouge, manager of animal behavior and training for the Houston SPCA. Dogs are naturals for obedience classes because they're eager to please, Gouge said. "Cats just need a little more convincing that it's in their best interest," she said.

Gouge said she had a cat that fetched, and another that attacked on command. She taught one cat to file its own nails using sandpaper and one to "heel" off-lead. A friend even taught a cat to play the piano.

Although feline parlor tricks impress, the main point of the SPCA's Kitten Kindergarten is to socialize cats and make them more comfortable interacting with people and other animals, Garcia said.

"It's important to start when they're smaller because that's when they'll learn more," she said.

At the end of Saturday's class, Kochia Mei, 27, watched her adopted grey-and-white kitten Honeypuff chase two other cats around the room amid a clutter of brightly-colored toys.

"I really like it and I think my cat is really having a good time, even though he's not really listening to me," said Mei, who managed to train Honeypuff to walk on a leash — although not in the direction she wants.

Kitty Kindergarten

• Classes are for kittens between 8 and 16 weeks of age. If you have an older cat, you can participate as an auditor.
• Each hour-long class meets weekly for three weeks.

• Cost of a three week series is $35 if your kitten was adopted from the SPCA and $50 if your kitten was not. Auditor spots are $25.

• All kittens must have a health certificate issued by a veterinarian no later than 10 days before the first class.

For information about class schedules call the SPCA behavior department at 713-869-SPCA, Ext. 187.

Los Angeles Times

Las Vegas Review-Journal


Secrets To Cat Biting - Have Fun With Kitty Without Pain
by Katherin Towers

Playtime with your cat can quickly become unpleasant if kitty starts biting you. Although biting and scratching is a normal part of cat behavior, a properly socialized cat knows how to control its strength. It does not usually bite or scratch to the point of drawing blood. There are several reasons why your cat can lack this self-control, and knowing why is the first step to controlling the problem.
When young kittens are taken away from their mothers too early, they fail to learn to control the strength of their biting and scratching. A kitten which spends enough time with its mother and litter mates quickly learns that biting its playmates too hard causes playtime to end. Kittens without this social skill, on the other hand, grow up into cats which bite and scratch too hard. Many owners tend to make this condition worse. When playing with their kitten or cat, they inadvertently do things which further encourage this behavior. These actions encourage and cement this behavior of biting and scratching in their cats.

This, then, is one key to controlling this playtime aggression. When kitty bites or scratches too hard, you should stop playing with it. Just ignore it - do not pay attention and do not punish your cat. Eventually, it will learn that biting and scratching too hard will lead to the end of playtime. Exactly the same as a young kitten with its mother and litter mates.

Now, sometimes it seems that both you and kitty are spending some quality time together. Both of you are having fun playing, when your cat suddenly becomes violent and bites and scratches you. There does not seem to be any reason for this sudden aggression. Some animal behaviorists believe that this happens because you have over-stimulated kitty and it is now channeling that into aggressive behavior. Regardless of the actual cause, there is agreement that there are two steps you need to take to handle this problem:

Be aware of your cat's behavior during playtime. Before it starts to bite and scratch you, there will be a change of behavior - ears flattening, fur standing up, body hunching, etc. This is your window.
Stop petting or playing with kitty when you notice the change in behavior. Just stop - ignore your cat and go about your own business. This will usually defuse your cat's aggression.
Note that this is a bit different from a kitten taken away from its mother while too young. An under-socialized kitten always bites and scratches too hard during playtime.
Cats are hunters. This is their natural instinct, and you will often see these characteristics when you play with kitty. You will see them hunched down to their belly, stalking their toy or a mouse or cockroach before pouncing on it. This can be a problem when they decide to ambush you when you are doing your chores, or just as you are going to bed. Your cat biting when under the control of its hunting instinct can be particularly painful. One way of controlling this problem is to have at least two or three regularly scheduled playtimes with kitty. You want to bleed off its excess energy regularly.

About the Author
Do you have problems with your cat biting you? Click here to learn how to stop your cat biting problem in 13 days.

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Two Tips For Dog Digging Behavior Problem
By Kelly Richmondson

A lot of dogs love to dig. There are some breeds that are more prone to digging than others. Three breeds that are on the top of the digging list, are terriers, huskies and malamutes. With different reasons why your dog won't stop digging, it's time to do a bit of research. We will discuss two tips for a dog digging behavior problem and see if this will help you get control of the situation.

Dogs get bored easily and don't like to be left alone or feel neglected. If everyone is out of the house, say at school and work, your dog is going to get bored and needs to do something to exert some of his energy so he doesn't destroy the house in some way, or if he is left outside, he doesn't dig a large enough hole under the fence that he gets out.

If your dog must be left alone for any length of time, you need to get into the daily habit of spending time with him and giving him attention while you are home, which will prevent the digging when you aren't home. So, one of the two tips for dog digging behavior problem solutions are to play with him and the very best thing you can do is to take him for a walk every single day. He won't misbehave while you are gone and he will be looking forward to you getting home and going for a invigorating walk together. Dogs need physical activity, attention and stimulation.

The next tip is to section off a part of your yard that will be just his. You may need to put cement blocks down around the fence, securely, so he can't get out, but at least he will get his digging out of his system without destroying the rest of your yard. You could even build an area with fresh dirt and let him go at it - but only in that special section.

Having a dog behavior problem can be quite stressful. Too often people give up on their dog and just live with the bad behavior. Sometimes people need to learn how to train their dog properly through professional advise. How to train your dog provides instant resources for a dog digging behavior problem.

Article Source:

Professional Pet Sitters Can Visit Homes, Provide Care and Take the Animals Out to Play
Kansas City Star

It’s vacation time again. Who’s going to feed Fluffy, Fido and Flipper? If you’re looking for dependability, perhaps it’s time to call a professional pet sitter.

“There’s no pet that we don’t take care of,” says Critter Sitters owner Stella Flannery. “We sit hamsters to horses, snakes to tarantulas. Most of our business is cats and dogs, but we take care of goats, sheep, fish. I have three or four sitters who specialize in farm animals, and there’s a couple who want to do reptiles and lizards.” Critter Sitters serves the entire metro area.

For John Morgan of Kansas City, the need for pet-sitting started with the puppy that he got his wife, Ann, a few years ago — instead of getting a new motorcycle. “We call her Harley,” he says, laughing. “She’s just a fantastic little dog, the doggonedest, lovin’est thing there ever was. I just couldn’t handle the thought of putting her into a kennel.”

They soon found Shirley Schowe, who works with Critter Sitters. Now, when they’re gone, Schowe comes three times a day for feedings, walks and playtime. “Harley just took to Shirley right away,” Morgan says.

Schowe had worked in the travel industry, but when she lost her job, she looked to her roots for a second career. “I was born and raised on a dairy farm in Minnesota,” she says. “I was around a lot of animals of different types, so it was a good fit.”

“I’ve bonded closely to some of them,” she says of the pets, adding that she gets to know their likes and dislikes. “And you make such wonderful friends with your clients.”

Schowe says peace of mind is the No. 1 reason clients call her. They are looking for someone to reliably administer a pet’s medicine or to come by at a particular time of day, every day.

“When you pay someone and have a contract with them, you can hold them accountable,” Flannery says.

As with Critter Sitters, many pet sitters are independent contractors through a larger agency. Others work for themselves, and a few veterinary clinics or kennels have employees who pet sit. Most agencies and some individuals are bonded and carry liability insurance to protect both homeowner and sitter. And many offer special services such as transportation (“pet taxi”), grooming, or even house sitting for those who don’t have any pets.

“This year,” Flannery says, “I upgraded our bonding, liability and licenses to cover short stays for the pet in the sitter’s home.”

She recently brought a dog home with her for the weekend. The owners didn’t want to pay a $75 fee to the hotel where they were staying for a weekend to keep their pet in the room. Flannery ended up taking their dog along with hers to Shawnee Mission Park for a romp and a swim and provided photos of the excursion. “The owners were so excited!” she says.

Most pet sitters charge more than kennels, from $15 to $30 per day, depending on the number of visits, walks and types of animals. But prices vary widely. Critter Sitters will make a “get to know you” visit for $15 so the pet can check out the prospective sitter.

For Morgan, cost is not the issue, but he is willing to spend the extra money. “I’m much more relaxed when I’m gone knowing Shirley is taking care of her.”

Patt Ramm, owner of Grand-Paws pet-sitting in Johnson County, says the first consideration is whether your pet would be better off in a kennel or at home with a pet sitter. “There’s a need for both services,” she says. “A lot of pets don’t board well; they’re frightened or they don’t eat. Conversely, there are dogs or puppies that have very high energy and become bored left at home.”

If you decide a pet sitter is for you, follow these guidelines:

•Call at least two weeks in advance of your departure; your pet sitter or preferred visit time may not be available on short notice.

•Ask for proof of bonding, liability insurance, background checks and affiliations with professional organizations such as Pet Sitters International or the Better Business Bureau.

•Ask for references and call them.

•Ask if the service has a standing relationship with a veterinarian for emergencies.

•Ask about pricing; it may be a standard rate, or it may be determined by the distance the sitter travels and the time spent.

•Make a list of the tasks you want the sitter to perform each day or week.

•Interview the pet sitter in your home at least a week in advance.

•When you leave, give the sitter two keys on separate rings, or give the second key to a friend and the friend’s contact info to the sitter.

•Provide two lists of contact information; one to remain in your house and another for the pet sitter to take with him or her.


Pet Sitters International pet sitter locator,

Training A Golden Retriever-And Reaping The Rewards!
by Hank R Hanson

The Golden Retriever was first developed in the British Islands. The breed comes from crosses between the Flat-Coated Retriever, Spaniel breeds, Setters, the Newfoundland and possibly the Bloodhound. This breed was first shown as the Golden Flat-Coat.
Highly obedient, the Golden Retriever eaisly trained has been used for many tasks like hunting and tracking, but also for narcotics detection, guiding blind people and service dog for the disabled.


*Male 23-24inches high. Female 21 1/2 - 22 1/2 inches.

*Male weight 65-75 pounds. Female weight 55-65 pounds.

*Breed group Sporting.

*Life expectancy 10-12 Years.

*The Golden Retriever is prone to hip dysplasia, congenital eye defects and skin allergies. The parents should be checked for heart problems.

*The Golden Retriever is very easy to take care of. It needs to be brushed, combed and dry shampooed regularly, but bathed only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.

*The Golden Retriever will thrive if the training is done softly. As it is eager to please its master, this breed is very easy to train and excels at obedience competitions.

*The Golden Retriever is a very energetic dog that needs daily vigorous exercise. It will enjoy activities like running alongside you or your bicycle, swimming or retrieving.


Recognize the first basic commands to teach your Golden Retriever.

*Sit - Your Goldie will sit down in place. This is self explanatory.

*Stay - Your Goldie will stay where it is currently standing, even if you should walk away.

*Lie - Your Goldie will lie down on the floor.

*Heel - Your Goldie will follow you [by your heelside] as you walk.

Have patience before beginning to train your dog. Golden Retriever is one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. Don't be frustrated if he or she doesn't pick up on anything on your first few sessions.

Keep training sessions to a maximum of 15 minutes - dogs have short attention spans and you don't want them getting bored. End each session on a high note - even if you have to go back to something they know such as sit. Goldies are very intelligent - make sure to keep them stimulated with toys etc. during the day when they are separated from you. Dogs are normally unruly and excitable because they get bored. Make sure water is always available. Use the commands during your normal day with them, for example make them sit when you put the leash on, heel when they are walking next to you etc. Dont ever leave the pup alone, by itself, when it is teething.

The Golden Retriever Dog Breed will STEAL YOUR HEART.

The Golden Retriever is very friendly and loves to learn new skills. Bright, Funny And Full Of Life.

This is why this dog is one of the most popular of all family pets.

They are intelligent, friendly, very eager to please and beautiful to look at.

Goldies make excellent family pets, and are generally very good with children and other animals.

Make Your Training A Golden Retriever Fun For You And Your Golden Retriever!

About the Author
Who Else Wants To Quickly And Easily STOP Their Golden Retriever From Crapping In The House, Destroying The Carpet, Barking At The Neighbors, Peeing On Everything, And Misbehaving Like A Spoiled Brat?" Your Golden Retriever Will Be So Well Behaved Your Friends Will Be Jealous Or Else I'll Give You 100% Of Your Money Back And Still Let You Keep This Entire System For FREE!

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