Basic Dog Training – No Professional Required

dalmatian sitting white surface

Teaching obedience skills is something most dog owners can do on their own. By working with your dog yourself, you can not only improve its behavior but also have fun in the process. Read on to learn the essentials of canine training.

Teaching Basic Commands

When you are able to communicate with your dog, you’ll not only forge a strong bond with it, but you will also help to ensure your pooch’s safety. Once your dog learns and obeys important commands like “stay” and “leave it,” it will be less likely to bolt into dangerous situations or eat something it shouldn’t. Other basics like “sit,” “come,” and “lay down” are also critical to ensuring your dog’s actions are under your control.

Regardless of which basic command you are training on, the process is essentially the same. You will typically make a gesture and issue a voice command while giving your dog guidance on the behavior you expect. When your dog makes progress toward obeying the order you’ve given, reward it with a favorite treat. Eventually, your pooch will understand that following your order is a positive experience, and it will react quickly to your gesture or verbal command.

Correcting Bad Behavior

Once you’ve established the ability to communicate basic commands to your dog, it will make correcting its bad behavior much easier. For instance, if your pup is in the habit of jumping up on people who enter your home, try using the “sit” command to stop this behavior. If the dog is simply too exuberant upon your arrival to follow your order, it is often very effective to simply turn your back and walk away each time, until the jumping stops altogether.

Using a combination of commands and actions can curb other bad behavior as well. If chewing on inappropriate items is a problem, then try the “leave it” command and provide your dog with ample toys on which it can chew. For dogs who bark excessively, start by teaching a new command like “quiet” and then reward your pooch when it settles down. There are also anti-bark collars available that can help control vocalization by getting their attention so you can redirect their behavior. Regardless of the problem, communication is key to getting your dog to behave well.

Rewarding Good Behavior

Whether you are teaching commands or simply interacting with your dog, rewarding its good behavior is as important as correcting its bad behavior. For dog lovers, this may be the easiest part of training, as it’s natural to want to have positive interactions with your pup. While treats are probably always welcomed by your dog, it’s important to remember that lavishing praise and affection on your pet is often the best way to show you are proud and happy with its behavior. In the end, “good boy/girl” may become your dog’s favorite command.

Creating good communication with your dog is critical for ensuring that it will be well-behaved and safe. By teaching basic commands, curbing bad behavior, and providing praise and affection, you’re sure to have a healthy relationship with your pup.

At Home Parvo Puppy Care

at home parvo care, essential oils for parvo

My twins just turned nine this year and for their birthday The Chad and I thought we would surprise them with a puppy. We wanted to expand our family and our rescue dog needed a buddy too. Searching ads and listings and animal shelter postings, we found the perfect addition. A brindle pug puppy, a snorty, flat faced, bundle of joy. Having bulldogs in the past, we knew what to expect from a smoosh faced breed and were excited for our little addition. What we were not excited for nor planned, was the news that she had parvo. The previous owners never told us, we had to find out at her first vet visit when the vet thought she would die. During our vet visit, the doctor asked me what I was doing, I was doing holistic parvo puppy care the best I could at home and with my limited resources. I explained my methods and actions were what I would do with my kids if they had a severe gastrointestinal virus; plenty of fluids, essential oils and bland foods. Continue reading “At Home Parvo Puppy Care”

Summer Pup Care – Keeping Your Dog Happy and Healthy

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Summer Pup Care

This past weekend marked the official start of summer here in Phoenix. We are now well into the warm 100 degree weather which means we take extra precautions when dealing with the heat and with traveling with our fur family. Our dogs have to go outdoors so we are sure to have our summer pup care plan in place even when they have a dog door, and we are sure to check on their overall health during these warmer months. With being outdoors and warmer weather, that means travel for some families to escape the heat. Potential hazards arise with all these factors, dog owners should take extra precautions for summer pup care. Continue reading “Summer Pup Care – Keeping Your Dog Happy and Healthy”

Newman’s Own Organics Pet Sampler

newmans own organics dog food, newmans own organic

Who would have thought that bottling salad dressing in old wine bottles to give as gifts would evolve into a business. This was the genesis for Newman’s Own Organics when Paul Newman set out over 30 years ago to bring all-natural, quality foods to the world. Plus passing on the profits to those who needed the help the most. Would you have guessed that Newman’s Own Organics would evolve past the grocery aisles and into the pet aisle? Who says that quality, all-natural, organic foods should only be for humans. Newman’s Own Organics has an entire line of pet food products for the wellness and care of our furry family. Continue reading “Newman’s Own Organics Pet Sampler”

National Kids and Pet Day

Have you seen people with those snarky bumper stickers that says the more people I meet the more I love my dog? Well I love to see those. Why? Because pets truly enrich our lives, our children’s lives.

I grew up with pets; as a small girl I had cats and we had the family dog. He passed at the age of 15 when I was 18 and about to leave for college. Since then and upon meeting my husband we agreed we always had pet in our home. We brought home to complete our family our first dog, as a couple, almost 11 years ago a snorty, scrunchy face, wrinkled little ball of love. Our English Bulldog Diesel. Poor Diesel was growing lonely so in October of that year we brought home a floppy eared, droopy eye, sad face little beauty named Daisy, our Basset Hound. The two of them were like peas and carrots and were our perfect family.

Even when we found we were pregnant, we knew these two animals would be of a great temperament for our children. Loving, kind, easy to care for (no excessive grooming or what have you) and of course, we were not worried about them with our children. But what we did not expect was to put down each of those dogs in different stages before bringing children into our home.

As poor luck would strike us, one month before Grant was due, The Chad and I had to put down Diesel due to rapid spread of cancer in his lungs as well as ruptured disks in his back causing him moments of paralysis if not permanent paralysis. This was no life for him and we went with the most humane decision.

Poor luck struck us again as well before Mother’s Day of 2007 where we had to put down my beloved Basset, Daisy. Sudden onset of paralysis due to a ruptured disk caused us to make the same gut wrenching, heart breaking decision that still brings sadness and tears to our family.

But not every story is as humane as ours. Families often do not consider the temperament of an animal or the time, love, and care that goes into caring for a pet. After both incidents with our dogs we invested in pet insurance for our current English Bulldog Ginger. I am a HUGE advocate for pet insurance now because if we had pet insurance I would be singing the praises of my two deceased dogs and how they both could walk again. Even though I am not, I will say that pet insurance is a FABULOUS investment as a pet owner.

As part of the National Kids and Pet Day I am helping to spread awareness about the care, love, and enrichment of pets in our lives and our children’s lives. Furthermore, I am helping to spread the word about Kroger’s pet insurance offerings and great pet advice:

  • Overview of Kroger’s pet insurance offerings:
    • Offered through PetFirst, Kroger pet insurance policies cover routine care and medical procedures for dogs and cats, and is available at more than 2,400 stores in the Kroger family including City Market, Dillon’s, Fred Meyer, Frye’s, King Sooper, Owen’s, Pay Less, QFC, Ralph’s and Smith’s. In addition to being available in-store, Kroger’s pet insurance can be purchased online at Kroger’s pet insurance works at any veterinarian nationwide, with reimbursement typically occurring within two weeks. Coverage starts as low as $9.95 per month and right now, individuals who purchase online can save $10.
  • Family Friendly breeds:
    • Cocker Spaniel – These lap dogs are sensitive and sweet and enjoy the attention of children. Cocker Spaniels are obedient with training and friendly around people.
    • Pug – This affectionate breed loves being part of a family. Outgoing and mischievous, they make playful companions for children.
    • Golden Retriever – Similar to Labs in personality, Goldens are mild mannered and enjoy being around families and other people. These dogs are easy to train are gentle with children.
    • Basset Hound – This breed is good with children of all ages. They are known for their docile nature and gentleness. Their long backs need to be supported when they are picked up, and an eager child can accidentally injure them.
  • Tips parents can teach their children regarding safe pet play:
    • Teach your children to pet softy, stay away from food dishes, toys and bones, and not to startle your dog or cat when it is sleeping.
    • Keep babies and toddlers at a level higher than your dog. Dogs perceive height as representative of their hierarchy. Keep your children off the floor when the dog is in the room.
    • Don’t give your dog toys that resemble your children’s toys or clothing. Stay away from fabric stuffed dog toys that resemble your child’s stuffed animals.
    • Involve your child in your dog’s care. Even just the presence of your child in the same room while your dog is receiving his favorite things or activities can help build a positive association to children.

As part of this promotion Kroger has offered to giveaway a $20 gift card good for any Kroger brand stores. All you have to do is tell me what kind of pet you have. An additional entry would be to tell me what you think about pet insurance and whether that would be something you would invest in, or something you feel is too frivolous.

All additional entry options such as Tweets, blogging, and so forth.


“For helping raise awareness of National Kids & Pet Day I was provided with a $20 gift card to spoil {the pet in my life} and a $20 gift card to giveaway to a reader so that they could do the same by the Global Influence Network and the Kroger Co. The thoughts and opinions here are my own.”

Got Squirrels?

The hairy little beast roughly the size of say a small terrier dog came out to inspect the situation.

For some time now we have had a family of squirrels that have inhabited our neighbors yard. Yes, the neighbors. Better them than us is the way we saw the situation. Then they multiplied. And like any good growing family, your territory and domecile needs grow as well.

This morning while sipping on my warm cup of Zen admiring my pool and backyard in all its overgrown, need to call Yolanda to mow it, glory I saw the hairy little rodent. I call upon DH to come view the monster in action. Here is how our conversation goes down:

Me: Babe…..look at the size of the little bastard. He is the size of a yip yip dog. He’s just hanging out by the pool.
DH: Yeah, looks like he is scouting the area.
Me: I was thinking the same thing, he is either scoping for food or a new place to live. I wonder if he opened the tunnel we filled up with water.
DH: We? You mean you filled with water and then they dammed it because they thought some catastrophic flood was imminent.
Me: You would have done the same thing. Science, to see the depths of said hole that the little fur-rodents dug.
DH: You know that is their best CSI Squirrel right? He is out taking evidence since you put that rock in the middle of the tunnel opening to see if it would be moved. Part of your “science”.
Me: Right because they could smell my fingerprints on the rock so they were taking inventory of the scene. Making sure they had a different tunnel path, escape route.
DH: Exactly. You know those CSI Squirrels, they have moxie when it comes to you. Their tunnels are like the French Resistance and you are the SS.

By this time I knew I had to take note of the squirrels. I had to grab the camera and take a picture. To show EVERYONE my issue with the squirrels.  See my FABULOUS evidence of squirrels

Where are the effing squirrels?
The little bastards evaded me…YET. AGAIN! So I let the morning simmer a bit, especially after my conversation with DH that I had to truly write down this time so I did not forget. Because dementia happens.
I took the liberty this afternoon to inspect the squirrel habitat again and their efforts…fancy that…the original hole filled in and a new tunnel system.