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How to “Talk Dog”- Learn to Communicate with your Dog

shutterstock_107501672-smMany people know that for companion dogs to understand what we want from them, it is important to communicate differently than we do with one another. Our language, using many words together in full sentences, is not clear or discernible to dogs. We can help dogs learn certain words or commands by making those words meaningful, but simply talking to dogs and expecting them to understand is asking way too much of them. So, how do we learn to “talk dog“ to our best buddies so we can better communicate our needs? To be honest, it’s not that difficult.

Body Language, Facial Expressions and Tone

The old saying, “it’s not what you say, but how you say it” is a really good thing to keep in mind when attempting to communicate with your dog. Dogs are not complex thinkers and simply see the world in terms of “what’s good” and “what’s bad”. A high voice is good, so when the dog does something you like, tell them “great job” in a high pitched, happy sounding voice with a smile on your face.

shutterstock_105853361_smConversely, when the dog does something naughty like counter surfing, or jumping up on you or someone else, simply say “OFF” in a very deep voice with a grimace on your face to communicate clearly that he or she has behaved badly. It is important to note here that the dog’s attention span is very short and can work to your advantage. So, if the unwanted “jump” can be followed quickly with a “sit” command, you may replace the wrong behavior with the right one. To seal the deal, reinforce the correct behavior by popping a treat in the dog’s mouth and change your tone to a happy and high pitched one. Dogs also respond best when we are dramatic, so it is extremely important to pull out the stops and be very expressive about your “likes and dislikes” with respect to their behavior.

By rewarding or reinforcing the right behavior at the right time using the proper tone, body language and facial expressions, you and your dog will start to learn the same language and you will be amazed by the transitions the dog can make once you no longer have a failure to communicate.

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.
 

5 Ways to Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with your Dog

valentine corgi webAt Best Bully Sticks, we believe every day should be treated like Valentine’s Day!

After all, Fido deserves love, affection, good exercise, chews, and toys to keep him happy year round.

But if you truly want to celebrate, here are 5 ways to make this Valentine’s Day extra special for you and your canine friend:

 

1. Make some delicious treats in the kitchen. If you enjoy playing in the kitchen, show your dog some love by whipping up treats that he’ll go nuts for!

For some sweet decadence: Valentine’s Day Carob Dipped Dog Biscuits

For a cheesy, easy, gourmet snack: Chock Full of Cheese Cookies

If you don’t have the time to make drool-worthy dog treats for Valentine’s Day, you can show your canine best friend(s) some love in other ways.shutterstock_237411067_web

2. Get some exercise — it will benefit both of you! Take him for a longer than usual walk. Does Fido like to fetch? Get out that squeeze toy, ball, or Frisbee and wear him out — fit, healthy dogs make happy dogs!

3. Give him a new toy. Keeping your dog entertained is vital for his health and happiness.
Best Bully Sticks’ selection of chew, rope, plush, and ball toys

4. Buy some of his favorite dog chews or treats or maybe one he hasn’t had yet. Browse our large supply of bully sticks, chews and treats, and dog bones.

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5. And last but not least, cuddle! What better way to spend quality time together than a neck or belly scratch, a massage, or relaxing on the couch together?

 

From Best Bully Sticks, wishing you and your pooch lots of love this Valentine’s Day!

 

For tips on how to make more appetizing dog treats, see our Weekly Drool Recipe collection here on our Healthy Dog Blog or Follow our Drool Dog Recipes board on Pinterest.

Does “sit” really mean “sit”? Dog Training Tips by Deborah Rosen

Does “sit” really mean “sit”?

 

webdog 1There is something that most dog owners don’t know.  Dogs don’t generalize!  I will explain more about that a little later, but before doing so, some background might be helpful.

Although we know dogs are considered highly intelligent animals, they are not deep thinkers.  Their intelligence lies in their senses. Their sense of smell is off the chart and their hearing is extraordinary. So, while we appreciate these characteristics in what makes dogs both smart and special, their senses also help to distract them and make it extremely difficulty to train them at times.

For this reason, it is important to practice training your dog in novel places and at different times during the day.  For companion dogs, outside distractions pose the greatest obstacle in learning and in building attention and focus.  It’s always best to start your training indoors where there are fewer distractions.  Put anything that might pull the dog’s attention away.  Make sure there is no food being cooked or other distracting smells, turn off the television or radio and, if there are other dogs in the house, put them outside or in another room.  In order to build attention and focus with your dog you must be able to give him your undivided attention.

webdog1In our Puppy Kindergarten as we begin the learning process for both the puppy and the owners, I urge dog owners to use a verbal command just once.  If the puppy fails to do what you ask the first time, I urge the owners to simply lure the puppy into place by holding a treat right over the pup’s head until he or she “assumes the sit” position.  By repeating the verbal command over and over, the verbal command becomes meaningless.  At first, only say the word “sit” the moment the pup’s butt hits the ground.  If the puppy breaks out of position to reach for the treat, pull it away with a firm “uh, uh” and take the treat back.  Then, try again and see how well the puppy maintains his or her position. 

You’ll want to do this when teaching any new skill.  By requiring the puppy to maintain the position, you are beginning to teach the puppy “impulse control”.  This is a very important lesson to learn, and the earlier you teach it, the easier it will be to extend this skill to other areas.

web dogDogs, especially puppies, are not terrific at remembering what they’ve done before.  Their very short attention span, along with their amazing senses, creates a world of distraction. This can make training your puppy a challenging and frustrating experience.  Train for only a couple of minutes several times throughout the day and if you’re feeling tired or edgy, the puppy will know it.  If this is the case, stop and begin again later when you are in a better state of mind. 
So, when you ask a puppy to sit, each individual occurrence of that action is a new experience until the pup finally “gets it”You’ll  know when the puppy is able to do a skill in both distracted and non-distracted circumstances, inside and outside, that skill has become generalized! 

 

Tune in next time for more dog training tips on basic obedience and achieving “peaceful living with your dog”.

 

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.
 

Drool Dog Recipe: Peanut Butter Bones from In the Dog Kitchen

Bartleby hound1We recently shared with you an easy dog treat recipe from In the Dog Kitchen by Julie Van Rosendaal.

Of course, we wanted to try out another for our doggie friends and decided on Peanut Butter Bones. We searched high and low for our dog bone cookie cutters, but you know how it goes, they weren’t to be found when we needed them. 

So we bring you Peanut Butter Pineapples instead!

Little tip: If your dog is guilty of enjoying his own feces from time to time, add some chunks of canned pineapple to his food, and that should prevent it!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional)- We opted to leave these out for a smoother texture

1 cup peanut butter (we used natural peanut butter- just peanuts and salt)

1 cup water or milk

2 Tbsp honey

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, and peanuts (if using). Add the peanut butter, water, and honey and stir until you have a stiff dough.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until well blended, then roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into bones, shapes, or strips and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. 

Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Let the cookies cool on the sheets, or turn off the oven and leave the cookies inside to harden as they cool. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Here’s what Bartleby the Hound, rescued from the Richmond SPCA, thought of them!

 

bartle treat

 bartle eat

Bone Appetit!Bone Appetit!

Training Treats on Sale During Train your Dog Month


Best Bully Sticks Chicken Nuggets Ruby the AiredaleThis week at BestBullySticks.com, save on training treats for your good dog!
Choose from Beef Chip Snackers, Beef Puffs, Chicken Nuggets, Dried Bovine Gullet Cookies, and more!

 

Quick Facts on these Snacks: 

Beef Chip Snackers: These beef snackers can easily be broken into smaller pieces to teach your dog commands and test his memory!

Dried Bovine Gullet Cookie: high in chondroitin and like most of our beef chews and treats, sourced from free-range cattle.

Best Bully Sticks Chicken Nuggets Ruby the Airedale2Chicken Nuggets: This lip smackingly-good dog treat is made from premium USA chicken with no fillers or preservatives.

Training just became a whole more fun with treats like these to motivate your dog!

For more pawsome dog treats, view our full selection of Natural Dog Treats.

Thanks to Ruby the Airedale for sharing her photos! Take a look at her Best Bully Sticks product review!

 

To learn more about Best Bully Sticks natural dog treats, see the Healthy Dog Blog Product Spotlight.

 

Choosing a Dog Trainer for your Fur-baby

dalmatian puppyMany of you were lucky enough to bring home a new puppy for the holidays. Now your days are filled with the joy of puppy love along with the chore of trying to do what’s best for your new addition.

If you’re a savvy new puppy owner, you’ll go straight to the best trainers in your area and enroll in a reputable puppy kindergarten class. Getting started with training and socializing early will help you mold your puppy into the adult dog that will become a fully integrated family pet —one that can go everywhere with you and receives compliments about his or her behavior.

How do you Choose a Trainer?

Most folks know enough these days to read reviews and ask for referrals from friends with dogs. Go a step further and interview trainers to feel safe that you’ll be receiving the best training with the most current methodology. So many trainers out there are still utilizing old school, aversive training techniques. There is no reason in the world to employ techniques like “yank and pull” using choke or pinch collars. These methods went out long ago and have been replaced with better tools, like front clip harnesses or the head halti. I prefer the harness because dogs often dislike the material around their noses.

Deb Rosen training GR

Many of the aversive trainers complain about having to give puppies treats and try to convince new puppy owners that they do not want their dog’s performing only when there is a treat involved. In this case, know that treats are only required in the beginning, while the puppy is learning. It’s important to reinforce the behaviors you like and most puppies will understand what is expected if a treat is delivered quickly. Once the behaviors that you feel are important are learned, the treats are “faded out” and the puppy learns to perform without them.

While you are doing your research, look at trainer’s websites, and be sure they talk about the science of canine behavior and the use of reward-based and positive methods. Training puppies using anything other than kindness will only create fear and fear may inspire aggression.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more puppy obedience how-to’s and dog training basics!

 

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.
 

Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits by Lola the Pitty

buckwheat-dog-treats-18-blog

 

We’re going to say it– sometimes dogs’ breath is just rank! Odor-free natural bully sticks can help in that department, but between chew time and teeth brushing, what else can help?

Parsley and mint are two ingredients that can help freshen breath, which is exactly what is in this week’s Dog Treat by Lola the Pitty

Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits.

We were intrigued by the use of buckwheat flour in this recipe, and mint and parsley– well, that’s something doggie breath can always use!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups buckwheat flour (She used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon pure honey
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • water (approx. 1-3 tsp)

For instructions on how to make these delicious treats, see Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits by Lola the Pitty.

Many thanks to Sarah and Lola for sharing this great recipe! We hope our canine fans enjoy.

 

For other Parsley recipes to promote good doggy breath, see these posts: 

Peanut Butter, Banana, & Parsley Dog Biscuits

Parsley Breath Bits

Puppermints

Bone Appetit!Bone Appetit!

New Photo Contest: Doggie in the Window

Blog

Winter is a time of year when outdoors play time is reduced, and dogs love to look outside! We think dogs looking out the window are the cutest, so we created a contest for just that!

How to Enter: 
1. Upload a photo of your dog looking out or through a window before Tuesday, January 27th at 12:00pm ET.

Facebook Contest

2. Add a 3-6 sentence description about your dog and what was happening in the photo.

3. Starting Tuesday, January 27th at 12:00pm ET, share the shortlink on your finalized entry with friends, family, fans, or followers and ask them to Vote DAILY!

4. Voters will determine the three winners based on number of votes.

Good luck, and we look forward to seeing your fantastic photos! 

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In the Dog Kitchen Cookbook: Tuna Tater Tots & other Dog Treat Recipes!

dog treat baking smallAs you all know, we are big fans of homemade dog treats here at Best Bully Sticks. In addition to supplementing your dog’s diet with natural treats and chews, adding homemade dog treats to the mix is a great way to keep your hound happy and healthy!

In the Dog KitchenWhen we received a copy of In the Dog Kitchen: Great Snack Recipes for your Dog by Julie Van Rosendaal, we were super excited! We enjoyed flipping through the pages to see the photographs and descriptions of dog treats.

So far we have tried one treat,

Tuna Tater Tots.

Its description: Made purely of tuna and potatoes, these flavorful bites are perfect for small dogs.

Our Social Media Manager was visiting with miniature Schnauzer Cloud, and this treat sounded like the perfect fit!

 Ingredients:

  • 1 (6 oz) can tuna or salmon (packed in water or oil), undrained
  • 1 cup instant mashed potato flakes

We love that this easy recipe only has 2 ingredients, ones that you may already have in your pantry.

 Instructions:

  • Tuna TaterPreheat the oven to 350F.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the tuna (with the liquid from the can) and potato flakes until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and let the mixture sit for a few minutes- this will allow the potato flakes to absorb some of the moisture from the tuna- then pulse again until well blended. The mixture should resemble fresh bread crumbs but hold together when squeezed. If the mixture is too dry to hold together, add a splash of water or stock.
  • Shape into marble-size balls or small cylinders and place on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until firm. Cool on the baking sheets, and store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge, or freeze.

cloud treat

 cloud gulp

What did Cloud think of the Tuna Tater Tots?

This photo says it all.IMG_5427

We hope that you enjoy this recipe from In the Dog Kitchen by Julie Van Rosendaal. Her book is available on Amazon.com for a reasonable price and comes with 70 tempting recipes, including some recipes that intrigued us like

– Lentil Cheezies

– Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Bites (we passed this page around, and everyone agreed that these look tasty for humans, too!)

– Ham & Buckwheat Cookies

 

 

Bone Appetit!Stay tuned for another Featured recipe from In the Dog Kitchen in the next month!     Bone Appetit!

 
 
 

Pet Obesity: How to Prevent it


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Last week we addressed Pet Obesity- the widespread prevalence of the disease and how it happens. In the second part of this topic by guest contributor Jordan Walker, we want to address prevention, because after all, obesity is highly preventable. 

So how do you prevent obesity in your pet?
While some pets do look cute when fat, owners shouldn’t allow it if they truly love their pets. The excess fat and weight can put tremendous pressure on a pet’s heart, lungs, and joints, thereby lowering their quality of life. On top that, obesity is known shorten the life expectancy of pets. Meow, a cat publicized for his obesity and efforts to slim down, lived only two years before suffering heart failure. Obesity can result in many kinds of health complications, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, breathing problems, to name a few. No pet owner should put their pet through that kind of suffering.
The main ways pet owners can keep their pets’ weight down include regular exercise and feeding meals in intervals. Human food that is high in fat, fried, and/or processed is generally a no-no for pets. Healthy at-home treats you can give your pet include natural peanut butter and vegetables.

Best Bully Sticks’ blog has many healthy Drool Dog Recipes- be sure to browse through them!

 
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As you and your pooch make plans to be more active, eat leaner, and enjoy more quality time in 2015, be on the lookout for pet obesity– a healthy dog makes a happy dog!

For more on Pet Health, see the following Healthy Dog Blog posts:

 Caring for a Sick Dog

9 Easy Ways to Show your Dog Love

12 Crucial Facts about your Canine’s Canines

 

Jordan Walker

 

Author: Jordan Walker

Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages and other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter.

 

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