Monthly Archives: March 2011
Training helps to keep your dog’s mind active and helps you to understand each other. People expect dogs to behave when out walking or when people come into your home, but a dog won’t understand these rules if they haven’t been taught.
You will see people shouting at their dog, I have been guilty of this myself in the past, when it runs off or jumps up, or even has a tiny accident on the carpet, what is really needed is training. You have seen programs like ‘its me or the dog’ and ‘the dog whisperer’, they make it look so easy, well it is – to an extent, time and patience is required. When I take my dog out, I let her off the lead for a run on the field, I am still practising my training techniques here, as we have not quite mastered the art of coming back yet. My dogs philosophy is, if it moves chase it and ignore the silly woman who is throwing chicken flavour treats at me, but practice makes perfect and im sure we will get there in the end.
The best way to train your dog is to make it fun. You can do this by offering rewards when your dog does something positive when you ask. If your Dog behaves in a certain way for example, your dog sits down when you ask and then receives a reward like a ball, or a treat, they will want to behave that way again. If you repeat this exercise several times making sure you reward your dog straight away for their good behaviour and then add the command ‘sit’. Your dog will eventually respond to the command without needing the reward. Practice makes perfect.
Clicker training, as I call it, is another reinforcement, which can be used along with treats, the clicker makes a distinct sound when pressed and its much faster than saying well done or good boy/girl it is more effective than using treats alone. The treat should come immediately after the click, once the dog learns the sound of the click it tells the dog that he has done well and he will receive a reward. Eventually the rewards can be given less and the sheer sound of the click becomes the reward. I have never tried this method with my dog, but I have read a lot of positive accounts regarding clicker training. My horse was clicker trained, the difference is phenomenal, to say the least, when I want to trot, I make a clicking sound with my mouth 2 times and she trots, if I want to canter I make the clicking sound 3 times and she’s off, no leg on required she does it automatically, It makes me look great at shows as you can imagine.
If you need help getting started or some guidelines to follow, try this Basic Command Kit by Mikki. It contains a clicker, a larger Ragger toy a house lead, which helps you train your dog from a distance, a treat pouch and a basic training guide book with step by step instructions and illustrations
The start of spring is upon us, it will soon be time to turn the horses out to grass for the summer. Usually we turn out around the beginning of May, and this is a time when I need to
continually check my horse for any signs of Laminitis. Amy my horse had a very bad case of this about 7 years ago, for a short time we thought it would be the end, but she made a remarkable recovery which took just over 12 months, it was a very sad time and hard to watch her in pain. Here are some brief facts about Laminitis. Laminitis is a painful condition which is associated with inflammation and damage to the laminae of the horses hoof. If damage to the laminae is so serious it causes separation of the laminae tissues then the pedal bone may lose its firm attachment to the inner surface of the hoof wall resulting in either the pedal bone rotating downward or the pedal bone sinking in the hoof. Laminitis can happen because of a sudden change in diet, causing a build up of toxins, carbohydrate overload or even concussion during fast, hard road work; usually it is caused by the animal being overweight due to lack of exercise and having a high grass intake. Research has found that controlling these factors decreases the risk of Laminitis significantly but they can only decrease the chance of risk and not cure it. Horse’s affected by Laminitis stand in a certain way in order to take the weight off their feet. The forelegs are usually stretched forward so that they put most of the weight on their heels. The hind legs are also moved
forwards and tucked under their body. More commonly Laminitis affects the front feet rather than the back, but the latter is not unheard of. When Amy had laminitis my farrier made special heart bar shoes to protect the frog, and therefore allowing the horse to stand normally without discomfort. My farrier worked with the vet who came and X-rayed her hooves to see how bad the damage was, these X-rays are very expensive and due to Amy having this condition before I got her, I had no insurance to help cover it. The X-rays showed that some rotation of the pedal bone had occurred and it had also sunk. She is still flat footed to this day. The Vet did not want to commit as to whether or not Amy would pull through but did advise that she may never be ridden again. Amy had to go on a strict diet and have regular hoof trimming, we were advised to use farrier’s formula for feed which cost me around £50 per month, it was a very expensive year but as she made a full recovery, it was definitely worth it. I was even given the go-ahead to ride Amy which was just the best news ever. I was made aware by my vet about the care of horses and ponies prone to laminitis and how to help to avoid the problem happening again. I have been lucky, as since that time, Amy has not had a re-occurrence. In May when she is turned out to grass I usually bring her in at night for the first couple of weeks in order to introduce her to the grass more gradually, leaving her out at night just at the weekends and checking for any signs morning and evening, then when I turn her out full time, for the next 2-3 weeks I go up in the morning and at night to check for any heat in her hooves, a pulse in her ankle or any signs of lameness. Most horses with Laminitis have problems when turning, for instance when Amy would try to walk in a circle you could see the effort needed and the lameness was obvious. So I keep a close check on her for the first month or so. If I find heat in her hooves or a pulse I bring her in straight away for a couple of days but usually the heat is gone by the next day along with any pulse, so
careful monitoring is needed. As I say, due to these checks and careful diet and regular exercise I can, I keep her weight down and her grass intake monitored and since doing this she has been laminitis free for the last 6 years. You can find lots of information regarding laminitis on the internet or if in doubt do not hesitate to speak to your vet. If Laminitis is caught early full recovery is possible, Amy is living proof of this. Don’t get caught out like I did, you need to monitor your horse frequently, don’t just presume she will be ok, you need to physically check.
I took my dog out for her afternoon walk, all was normal, she was running around on the lead chasing birds and leaves and anything else that moved, as usually she is very energetic, changing directions all of a sudden, stopping in front of me so that I nearly fall over, you know the usual stuff.
Missy the dog, is only small and very timid, if another dog is around she starts to whimper and stays close to me, I’m used to it now, but today all of a sudden, any big dog which walked passed she decided to run at them growling, the big dogs just stood and looked in awe at the Mars Bar in front of them. As we marched further I bumped into a nice old man with a walking stick and two dogs, I stopped and asked him what breed one of his dogs was, he replied ‘a Lurcher’ and true to form the Lurcher, Lurched at my dog in a very playful way, Well Missy was not in the mood for this a started to run around the nice old man, well here’s the problem, as she ran round the man, she was still attached to the extendable lead and before I knew it he was trapped, tied up and looking really worried, it didn’t help that the Lurcher was still chasing Missy around this poor man who by was now was well and truly stuck. In my embarrassment I am trying to untangle him but it was really hard so I decided the only way to resolve this problem without the old man falling on the floor was to unclip the lead so he could be set free, all the time thinking what any on lookers must have been thinking. Anyway once the lead was unclipped, Missy ran, and ran fast with the Lurcher chasing behind.
Luckily we were on the Bridle path at Uppermill so she was unlikely to meet any traffic. So I proceeded to untangled the man who fortunately found the whole thing quite amusing but his Lurcher had ran off chasing Missy, fortunately his dog came back when he was called, but mine did not, I then had to chase her for about 20 mins it wasn’t that she was scared, or traumatised in anyway, to her being off the lead means freedom to explore without mummy spoiling all the fun and she intended to stay clear of me for as long as she could.
So now I’m knackered for want of a better word and I’ve finally got the dog back on the lead and I’m heading for the Stables where I keep my Horse, its time to Muck out do all those Horsey chores. I don’t often take the dog to the yard as the dog is jealous of my Horse Amy, she doesn’t like Amy getting any attention, so I have to put up with Missy screeching what I believe are objections to be tied up whilst I cuddle and mess with another very big dog, Amy doesn’t mind the dog barks or whimpers as long as she has food she is happy. One of my friends offered to give me a lift back home and I gratefully accepted. The dog has been fast asleep since we got back, but she’ll be up and wanting another walk later on, – well my husband can do that, I’ve had enough for one day.
In September 2010, my husband and I decided we wanted a dog; I used to class myself as a “Cat person”. Cats ruled, they are so much easier to look after than dogs, you don’t need to take them for a walk, they don’t demand as much attention as a dog and ‘life’s a beach’. The only downside with a cat is that from an early age you have to train them not to play chicken with cars and trucks, they seem to think it’s fun, having 9 lives and all. So with this in mind we decided dog was the way forward. One Sunday Morning we went to Manchester Dogs Home to take a look around. Wow, if you have ever been to a Dogs Home you will know what I mean. It’s quite an experience seeing all those animals desperate for love and affection. Of course from the minute I walked into the small dog enclosure the first dog I saw was labeled as a Chihuahua cross breed age 14 years. It was the scruffiest, oldest looking dog I had ever seen, and immediately fell in love with her. My husband was not impressed at all, he wanted a sheepdog! I still laugh thinking about when they lifted my chosen dog out of her pen and put her in my arms, I was flooded with kisses and cuddles, well that was it, I was on my way to the counter with my new dog under my arm, and my husband dragging his feet and growling at me all the way.
My new dog was very thin, underweight and had a lot of scabs around her bottom, she had no teeth at the front top and bottom but still had all her fangs which protruded from the bottom of her mouth, this made her look really funny, and dare I say it…. ugly, but to me that is what made her cute. We were given a new dog pack, and told she needed to have her last vaccination from the vet and I must arrange this myself. We got home and had no idea what to call this new dog, she had not been named at the Home as she had been found Stray about 2 weeks prior to me rescuing her, we shouted thousands of names at her but none of them caught her attention so for the first 4 days she was known as “thingy”. Eventually we named her “Missy”, born again, into her new home with new loving owners, yes even my husband came round, a lot quicker than I expected. Missy just wants cuddles and kisses and lot of love, she is a loyal friend and the best Pet we have ever had. We don’t know for sure how old she is, she has lots of energy, and is a very affectionate dog. Missy is my inspiration, since I have owner her she has helped me focus on my life and where I want to go, where I want to be in 10 years, and now all thanks to Missy I am the proud owner of GGL Pet Supplies and Services.
A small Gift Bag for your Dog
Inside this small Fuscia bag I have managed to squeeze a variety of treats for your Dog. 1 Squeeky toy, 10 Chew Sticks, 3 Munchie Lollypops with Rawhide Sticks, 3 Munchie Kebabs. And a Glitter Collar available in sizes 20″/51cm or 15″/38cm, I’m afraid i cant guarantee the colour. And whats more, after the contents have been used this pretty bag is great for strorage, it can hold your pegs, Sewing Kit and other bits and pieces. The choice is yours
This Hamper includes a variety essential and non essensial items, it will help keep all the “important stuff” for your Dog together. I have included Bob Martin Dog Spot On (4 week pack) It kills fleas and ticks on contact, suitable for small dogs and puppies from 2 weeks old. One application will provide protection for up to 4 weeks. Johnsons Dog Flea Shampoo which helps Suitable of all breeds of dogs and puppieso. The shampoo contains Natural Herbal Extracts, mild and non-irritant, deodorises, beautifies and helps to clense fleas from the coat. A finger Toothbrush and Meat Flavour Toothpaste, A Finger Toothbrush and Meat Flavour Toothpaste, to keep your Dogs teeth clean and healthy, im sure you will lots of fun with this.
Johnson’s Pet Ear Drops for Cats and Dogs , they help to soften wax and sooth irritation . These ear drops are for minor, short term ear troubles.
Vetzyme Veterinary Ointment For dogs, cats and small pets. For use around insect bites, cuts and grazes.
The Cerea Brush Chews treat (Large) premium quality veretable based dog chew
One Glitter Collar for your Dog available in two sizes 20″/51cm or 15″/38cm, I’m afraid i can’t guarantee the colour.
And Last but by no means least, a present for you, all this comes in a delightful Rustic Wicker basket, you can use this basket to keep your bits and pieces in, or it can also makes a lovely decorative ornament for storing potpourri or even a small fruit basket, the choice is yours.
Inside this small Fuscia bag I have managed to squeeze a variety of treats for your Cat. 1 pack of 6 Webbox cat delight treats, 3 tubs of Whiskars temptations, 1 pack of 4 Jingle balls. And whats more, after the contents have been used this pretty bag is great for strorage, it can hold your pegs, Sewing Kit and other bits and pieces. The choice is yours
This hamper contains a variety of essential and non essential items for your Cat. It can help you keep all the “important stuff” for your Cat together, I have included Bob Martin Cat Spot On (4 week pack) its is suitable for Cats and Kittens from 12 weeks of age. One application will ensure that protection is maintained for up to 4 weeks. A Finger Toothbrush and Meat Flavour Toothpaste, to keep your Cats teeth clean and healthy, im sure you will lots of fun with this. Johnson’s Pet Ear Drops for Cats and Dogs , they help to soften wax and sooth irritation . These ear drops are for minor, short term ear troubles. Vetzyme Veterinary Ointment For dogs, cats and small pets. For use around insect bites, cuts and grazes.Cat Multiwormer Suitable for cats over 6 months old. Contains 2 types of tablets: one against roundworms and the other against tapeworms. treats up to 11lb/5kg A Safety Buckle Cat Collar, available in various colours, And Last but by no means least, a present for you, all this comes in a delightful Rustic Wicker basket, you can use this basket to keep your bits and pieces in, or it can also makes a lovely decorative ornament for storing potpourri or even a small fruit basket, the choice is yours.
Variety Gift Hampers For Dogs are now available to buy online Suitable for small/medium sized dogs. This hamper includes a Double Sided Grooming Brush (Small) A pin and bristle dual purpose grooming brush. Brushing your dog’s coat promotes healthy shiny hair and grooming your dog’s coat will keep it clean, as brushing distributes natural oils, leaving the coat shiny and healthy looking. Kaka-sak box of 10 portable pooper scoopers, offers no mess, no touch and 99% bio-degradable A bag of Strawberry popcorn, it’s a tasty treat for small animals and it helps induce natural chewing. Two squeaky toys which will keep your dog happy and playful, it will probably drive you mad at the same time so best to leave it with them when you go out. I have also included a tennis ball which is much quieter.Healthy snacks for your dog which are good for their teeth 1 pack containing 100 Chew sticks which will keep your dog’s interest and occupy them for hours. Looking after your dog’s teeth and gums is an important part of looking after your dog’s health and these Munchy Chew Sticks will help to keep your dog’s nashers in tip-top pearly condition by reducing the build-up of plaque and tartar. 6 munchie lollypops with rawhide sticks. Which also provide healthy exercise for teeth and gums. I have also included a Soft bristle Toothbrush, specifically designed for dogs and of course a tube of Toothpaste (meat flavour) to help fight plaque, and above all freshens your dog’s breath,And Last but by no means least, a present for you, all this comes in a delightful 13″ Wicker basket when your dog has finally finished off the contents you can use this basket to keep your bits and pieces in, it can also make a lovely decorative ornament for storing potpourri, a plant pot holder or even a fruit basket, the choice is yours.