Dog Life Pro


Is a prong or choke collar okay to use for walking my dog?

These collars inflict pain on your dog to get it to comply and are considered positive punishment. Science tells us that dogs can learn from this type of punishment, but there’s substantial risk of damaging your dog physically or emotionally.  Before I became a trainer, I had a trainer recommend a prong collar to me for my German shepherd. In hindsight and with lots of training education I learned that using a prong collar was a huge mistake and resulted in my dog becoming aggressive towards other dogs.  You see, dogs have what’s called superstitious learning.  In my dog’s case, he saw another dog, got excited, pulled on leash, received a correction from me and then associated the pain in his neck with the other dogs.  This illogical association can be made to children, fire hydrants, basically whatever your dog sees when it experiences the pain.  Please save these devices as a last resort. If you feel you’ve already tried everything else first, consider hiring a certified trainer to make sure you’ve selected the right size collar, fitted it correctly and are using it as intended.

What’s the best harness for my dog?

Different trainers like different harnesses, but most are in agreement on the similar style of a front clip harness. I prefer the EasyWalk harness and have had remarkable results with dogs that pull on leash. I suggest the deluxe version because it has more padding, but for some reason the regular version has 8 sizes while the deluxe has only 4, so you may find the regular version is a better fit.

Why is it a terrible idea to attach a leash to my dog’s collar?

A regular flat collar was specifically designed to display tags and add a pleasing aesthetic look to our dogs. When attached to the leash of an excited dog, your dog may pull to the point that it damages its larynx, but continues to pull because the excitement is so great. Dogs can also easily slip out of collars as soon as they realize they just need to pull backwards, which they will figure out in a state of panic.

Why is it so important to select the right size leash for my dog?

The length, width, loop size and clip size all matter. While a 6 foot, 1/2 inch, leather leash may be perfect for a 100 lb German shepherd, it’s not a great choice for a Bichon Frise. Finding a thin, 3/8″ wide, nylon leash with a small clip is best for small dogs. The length is also important if you’re working on training your dog not to pull on leash. No sense in constantly winding the leash around hand if you’re trying to teach your dog to walk nicely next to you. In that case a 4 foot leash is better for training.

Why does my dog eat grass?

I’ve often read that they do this to settle their stomachs, but I see it more often when dogs are excited or bored. I try to discourage it after letting them have a few nibbles. If your dog chronically eats grass they may have poor gut health and you might want to consider Bernie’s Perfect Poop, which contains enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics

Can I Let My Dog Play With Sticks?

Not a great idea, but they do obsess over them! Here’s my suggestion, don’t panic and don’t stick your fingers in your dog’s mouth. Instead ask for a hand target or other skill. Of course the skill will need to be taught and made strong before your dog will give up a stick!

Is it Safe to Take My Dog to the Dog Park?

The answer is, it depends on a few factors.  I would say dog parks are for experienced dog owners with well socialized dogs.  Owners and dogs that are anxious should start with one on one play and slowly add more dogs.  This is especially important if you’re contemplating taking your small/toy breed dog to a dog park. Dog owners and dogs that have had limited experience introducing dogs and meeting other dogs, can find a dog park overwhelming.   I started K9 Playtime for this sole reason. 

How do I Find Playmates for My Dogs?

Finding playmates for your dog can be challenging, but it’s so important that you do. Dogs that don’t get to interact with other dogs on a regular basis often become anxious around other dogs and display anxious behavior that we humans are not fond of. Most prevalent here is barking and lunging on leash and behind gates, and at windows. The K9 Playtime database can help you find your dog’s perfect match!

Is it Safe to Let My Dog Play with Other Dogs?

For the most part, yes, it’s safe to let your dog play with other dogs. However, if your dog missed it’s critical socialization period around 8 weeks of age they may now display anxiety when they see other dogs. Further complicating the matter, it can be difficult to decide if your dog is showing anxiety because it wants to play with the other dog or wants to escape the area.  Call us if you need help.

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