What does your dog eat??

This is not your everyday “make sure you know what’s in your dog’s food” type of blog.  I run a boarding and training kennel.  People bring their dogs in and leave them with me to take care of for a weekend or a week or even a month at a time.

Lately I have seen a few surprising things within the first 24 hours a dog is here with us.  Let me say our kennels are chain link and have wood floors and the building is concrete block.  Dogs are allowed in the yard to run and play.  In the yard we have your normal grass, sticks and other natural vegitation.

What we don’t have are:

Pink plastic

Blue fluffy stuff

Plastic baggies

Assorted fabric swatches

Dryer sheets

Rainbow colored unidentifiable stuff

Zip ties

 

And yet I have found all of these things in the yard, located within dog poo.

Funny as it may seem, it’s not really.  People are not paying attention to what their dogs are doing at home.  And obviously they are eating foreign objects.  The danger is these things can become stuck in the dogs digestive tract and cause a blockage.  Luckily it seems things are passing through, but please keep an eye on your dogs!!!

 

 

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Multi dog families

Living in a family with more than one dog can sometimes be a challenge.  Either getting 2 dogs at once or introducing a new dog into a family of already existing dogs.  Sometimes a new puppy is great and lots of fun when it is young.  But as it gets older it can start to challenge other dogs in the family to establish its place in the pack.  Deciding about how to work with all the dogs can be tricky.  Do you train the puppy? Do you train all the dogs together?  Most people will choose to train just the younger of the dogs.  In most cases this will work out because you can get control of the dog to make it stop harassing the older dog.

Getting 2 dogs at once is a big decision, either puppies or older dogs.  With puppies they can keep each other company, but can also be twice the trouble.  Training for both dogs in this situation is essential.  That way you can set rules in your house and have all dogs follow them.  When training 2 or more dogs from the same family we initially work with them on a one on one basis.  Once they understand commands then we start working with them around each other.  Even for an experienced trainer working multiple dogs at the same time can be confusing sometimes!!  We can train the dogs to stay on a place together, or on separate places across the room from each other.  With multiple dogs one of the hardest things to work on is heeling.  At Aim High K9 we ask the owner if they would like for the dogs to heel on the same side or have one on each side.  Personally I like to have the dogs heel on the same side together.

Trying to work with all the dogs in the house can be difficult.  Sometimes it is best to work with them one at a time and then work with them together.  Within the family everyone has to follow the same rules for all of the dogs.  It is not fair to allow one dog on the furniture or to sleep on the bed and not allow the others.  It is also not fair to have one person in the family not follow the rules with the dogs.  For instance saying it is ok for them to jump and they don’t mind it.  What will happen will be confusing for the dogs because sometimes they can jump and then other times they will get corrected for it.  Try not to play favorites among the dogs, I know this can be difficult, but it must be done.  Sometimes you will have squabbles among the dogs.  In general these are normal and they will work things out among themselves.  If you must intervene then don’t praise or punish them, be neutral and just make them stop.  You don’t know why they were arguing or what started it, so you might inadvertently praise the wrong dog.

Some people have chosen to have dogs live together that do not get along.  This is a personal choice and one that must not be made lightly.  But with control and management it can be done.  Other people cannot or will not live under constant vigil of making sure all the dogs are being controlled at all times.  It can be a stressful situation at times.

Whatever you choose or no matter how many dogs you have in your house.  Training is a must and will make everyone’s lives much happier 🙂