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Teaching Your Dog to Come

Basic Training, Part 4

Teaching Your Dog to Come

The final part of the basic training of any dog is teaching her to come when called. Whether she’s playing with her doggy friends in the dog park or you’re asking her to come get a treat in a quiet, dignified manner, getting her to immediately respond and approach you when you command is necessary for her safety and your peace of mind.

Once your dog is sitting, lying down, and staying in place when you ask, go back to attaching a long lead onto her collar or halter. Ask her to “Stay” as you would normally, then back away a few feet and stop, still holding onto the lead.

Call her name, saying “Come” in a kind, but firm tone, and give her a treat when she responds. If she doesn’t respond immediately, pull on the lead gently to make her come to you, then treat her.

At this point, ask your dog to sit, lie down, and stay, and you back even further away. Stop, call her saying “Come,” then treat her when she responds. Every time she doesn’t come when called, pull gently on the lead until she answers.

Continue training this way, expanding the distance between your dog and yourself with every session. You may have to reinforce your teaching by starting each new session closer than you ended the previous one, but that is to be expected. As in all other training, don’t spend more than 20 minutes at a time teaching your dog a new trick.

As you become more and more confident that your pet is going to listen and respond to every part of the “sit, down, stay, and come” routine, you can begin to remove the lead and train without using it. Don’t attempt to take off the lead unless you are in your home, a fenced yard, or you have installed an in-ground dog fencing system and you know your pet cannot get away from you. 


Teaching Your Dog to Stay

Basic Training, Part 3 – Teaching Your Dog to Stay

Now that your dog has learned how to sit and lie down when asked, teaching her to stay in one place without moving can provide you a measure of security that she won’t run off when she’s out in your yard, and she won’t be grabbing for her food dish when it’s time for dinner.

Attach a long lead, one that is approximately 15- to 20-feet in length, to your dog’s collar or halter.

Command her to sit, then lie down in front of you, and make sure all of her attention is focused on you.

Once she is lying down, put the flat of your hand in front of her face in a “stop” gesture, and say the word “Stay,” in a kind, yet firm tone.

Back slowly away from your pet, keeping your hand in the “stop” gesture until you are standing approximately 2 to 3 feet away from her. If she stays without moving, go quickly back and give her a treat. 

If she moves to come toward you, go back to your original position, ask her to “Sit” and go “Down,” and start over. Do not give her a treat if she moves.

Once your dog is staying at that distance consistently, begin to gradually move further away every time you command her to “Stay.” Remember to keep using the flat of your hand and the tone of your voice to ask her to pay attention to what you are wanting.

Train at each distance until she “stays” every time, then move away during the next training session. You may need to occasionally go back and repeat a training session at a previous distance as a refresher. 

As in the other training sessions, only spend 20-minutes increments teaching her this new command. Use her dinnertime to reinforce this training by not placing her food dish in front of her until she has successfully stayed in one place for 5 seconds. 

Teaching Your Dog to Lie Down

Basic Training, Part 2 – Teaching Your Dog to Lie Down


Once your dog is sitting every time you ask, teaching her to lie down on command needs to be next on your agenda. A well-mannered dog that sits and lies down on command is a dog that will not jump on strangers or grab at food, treats, and toys.

While holding a treat in your hand, ask her to sit, making sure her eyes are on your face and you command her full attention.

Hold the treat directly in front of her nose and lower your hand to the floor. Say the word “Down” in a kind, but firm tone as you drop your hand. You may have to kneel or crouch close to the floor to make this move effective.

At this point, your pet should lower her head and drop her shoulders to follow the treat. If she doesn’t, repeat the gesture using your vocal command, and gently push down on her shoulders with the other to show what “Down” means.

When she lies down, give her the treat and pet and praise her. Make this a consistent part of your training – ask, reward, and praise.

Allow her to get up, then repeat the “Sit” and “Down” commands until she is responding on her own. At some point, you can slowly begin to withdraw the treats when she begins to react without them.

Practice this part of your training every time you want to give her a treat. As when you were teaching her to sit, only pursue this part of her learning in 20-minute increments. 


Are You Concerned About Your Dog’s Weight?


If you suspect that he's getting a bit chubby, there's a good chance you may be right. But what can/should you do about it? Before we answer that, there's a more important question that needs answering…

Is your dog overweight?

Here are 3 easy ways to tell if your dog is chubbier than he ought to be:

  1. Standing above your dog, look down and check for a "waist." Dogs at the proper weight will have a visible indentation behind their ribs.
  2. Place both hands, palms down, lightly on your dog's ribs. You should be able to easily feel and count the ribs, but they shouldn't be sticking out. If you cannot feel the ribs, chances are your dog is overweight.
  3. Overweight dogs also commonly have pouches of fat in the groin area between the hind legs.

Still not sure if he’s overweight? Ask your vet.

What to do if your dog is overweight

Obesity is probably the most common nutritional disease among adult dogs in Western countries, and excess weight creates a high risk for other medical problems. If your dog has been diagnosed as overweight, implementing the following tips can support healthy, successful weight loss:

  • Cut out all treats and table scraps during the weight loss period.
  • Because the primary reason for obesity in dogs is overeating, you should divide the daily food allowance for dogs into two to four small meals a day. Do not use "free-choice" feeding.
  • Weigh your dog at the same time of day at least once a week. Keep a weight record.
  • Feed your dogs separately, one at a time. A dieting dog may move to the bowl of his housemate to get more food.
  • Feed dogs before you eat and keep them in another room during meals to discourage begging.
  • Restrict your dog's unsupervised outdoor activity so that he may not scavenge for food when outside. Make sure that indoor and outdoor garbage cans have secure covers.
  • Tell your neighbors about your dog's weight loss program, to avoid their feeding him.
  • Always provide plenty of clean, fresh water.
  • Dogs should be taken to see their veterinarian at least once a year. The vet may recommend testing for certain diseases—such as decreased thyroid gland function—that can encourage weight gain and that may make weight loss difficult.
  • Exercise your dog on a regular basis, starting slowly with short activity periods, and gradually increase the exercise time. Begin with walking and, when your pet shows signs of increased fitness, move to games that require running, such as "fetch."

Because weight and overall health are so tightly connected, it is always recommended that you consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog is overweight, and for expert guidance in weight management that’s personalized for your dog.

Dog in a Hot Car: What Do You Do?

What to do when you spot a pet in a hot car

Rayne Nolte was in the parking lot of a Mankato, Minnesota, mall last week when she spotted Roxie, a Yorkie mix, trapped in a car. The temperature was 88 degrees with a heat index of 103, and the car's owner was gone.

You may have found yourself in Rayne’s situation before. Many pet parents believe that cracking a window is enough to keep their dogs cool in the car while they make a quick pit stop—but they couldn’t be more wrong. "Automobile temperatures can very quickly rise to dangerous levels; the average temperature increase in a parked car is 40 degrees, and the majority of this increase occurs in the first 15 to 30 minutes," says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. When it’s 80 degrees outside, your car will be a staggering 114 degrees after 30 minutes!

Worse still, dogs can’t cool themselves down as easily as people, and once they overheat, they can suffer extensive organ damage or die. Luckily, Rayne made all the right moves. Follow her lead by taking these simple steps.

Step 1: Try to Locate the Pet Parent
Roxie’s people were nowhere in sight, so Rayne called mall security, who tried to find Roxie’s family through the loudspeaker. (You can ask most stores to do this.)

Step 2: Educate
Rayne couldn’t find Roxie’s pet parents, but if you do, explain the dangers of leaving a pet in a hot car. Make sure the pet gets out of the car as soon as possible.

Step 3: Call 911
Fourteen states have enacted specific laws that protect dogs in hot cars, as have many municipalities—but even in places lacking such a law, leaving an animal in a hot car may constitute cruelty.

Rayne and the mall security officers dialed 911. When the police pulled Roxie from the steamy vehicle, she was very ill but soon on the road to recovery.

Step 4: Pat Yourself on the Back
Pets are counting on people like you to save their lives. Rayne rescued Roxie just in time, and she made a full recovery! And according to the Mankato Free Press, the pet-sitter who left Roxie in the car was charged with a petty misdemeanor.


Reprint of article by ASPCA, July 28, 2011

Cats and dogs are being killed for their fur

Repost of original article by PETA

It's the shameful secret that those in the international fur trade do their best to hide.

Cats and dogs in China—more than 2 million individual animals this year alone—will be killed for their fur. Animals like the ones we share our homes with as beloved family members are being routinely abused and slaughtered for their fur.

This cold fact has been witnessed repeatedly by investigators from PETA Asia and independent animal protection organizations around the world.

PETA is leading the campaign against the bloody fur industry. Please support our efforts today with a special gift to bolster this lifesaving work.

The animals suffering in these markets can't tell their own story, so I'll relay to you just some of what PETA Asia investigators have documented:

"Workers stuffed hundreds of terrified animals into cages to make the trip to the Chinese animal markets. No food or water was provided."

"The cages were packed so full that the animals couldn't move inside. And dying or dead animals were packed in with the living."

"When they arrived at the market, the cages were tossed 10 feet from the tops of the trucks to ground below, shattering the bones of the fearful animals inside."

"At the market, the killing methods used shocked even our most seasoned investigators—bludgeoning and even skinning the animals while they were still alive!"

All these horrors take place so that someone can have a fur coat or fur trim on a hat. It's outrageous and must be stopped.

The skins of these animals find their way to the international clothing retail markets, including the U.S., and are sometimes misleadingly labeled as anything from "Asian jackal" to "rabbit."

I know that it's hard to read about this cruelty. But I want you to know how you can be a part of ending this misery—by supporting PETA's work to save these and other animals from being abused in the name of a violent, greedy industry built on suffering. Please send a special gift to help fund PETA's ongoing campaign against the fur trade.

We're leading eye-opening campaigns against retailers and designers who still use fur, and we've convinced many to eliminate fur and exotic skins from their collections. We hold protests and educate the media and the public about the ugly truth behind the fur industry.

Of course, ending this cruel killing of animals will require a sustained and monumental effort. But we're up to the task and hope that you will stand with us. With your special gift today, you'll help PETA continue to fight against this suffering and abuse. And you'll help us tell the world that animal skins are not fashion.

Thank you for everything that you do for animals.

Kind regards,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

P.S. The more than 2 million cats and dogs slaughtered for their fur each year in China can't tell their own story. But that's why PETA is here—to work to end this cruelty and abuse perpetrated out of greed. Please join with us to end the bloody fur trade. Thank you!

Pet Party at Beaverton Toyota

Attended the 1st Annual Pet Party at Beaverton Toyota on Saturday! A lot of people stopped by to say hello and to see what all was happening that day. Oregon Dog Resue reported the adoption of three pets on Saturday (most important to note); and one couple that adopted a dog from Oregon Dog Rescue on Saturday decided to purchase a new Toyota too while they were there. Exciting……don't you think? Last, and certainly not least, Harrison Forbes was on site to sign his new book "Dog Talk" that day! Did you get your copy?

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