We get a lot of questions like: "My dog use to do this perfect and now he won't do it as good, how do I fix it?" My response every time is how did you train it from the beginning? Once we determine how the dog was trained then we can come up with a plan on how to achieve the goal again. Sometimes you have to go back to the basics. Start the dog out fresh and build him/her back up. Since the dog already knows what is going on, they will try to "cheat" to get the reward but do not let them. They have to do what you are wanting to get the reward. We also emphasize on high praise and making sure the dog is having fun. Keep your session short and consistent with high energy. Consistency and repetition is the key!
Happy 4th of July! It's that time of year again for fireworks. If you have a dog that fireworks makes nervous, there are some things to help. Always have a quiet place the dog can go to that's away from everything. Sometimes if you leave on a TV or a radio, it will help drown out the fireworks outside. There is also natural calming medicine like Rescue Remedy, that can be given to dogs. I have no experience with the calming medicine, but they have good reviews as to helping calm the dog down. Never force the dog to stay outside or with you while fireworks are going off. This will only lead to adding more stress to the dog.
We love agility! Agility is not only fun for the dogs but it helps build confidence. This is the first time the dogs have seen the "catwalk". Ronnie was the only one that would allow me to step back and get a picture while he was on the top. Bauer and Sago completed the "catwalk" also. Sasha started out only going up a few stairs and I rewarded her with a ball. We attempted this several times and each time her confidence increased and went up higher on the stairs. She got to the top of the stairs but would not go all the way up yet. It is great seeing the confidence being built in her. Even though she did not complete it, she built confidence and was rewarded for each attempt.
We have updated our training classes page and added a new deer antler shed dog training class. We should have more details on this new class available soon. If you are interested in a class, do not hesitate to contact us!
Now that the summer heat is on us, there are some precautions to remember. We like to train in the mornings and/or evenings when it is a little cooler. Our dogs are outside so they acclimate to the heat well but when the humidity is high, we have to be careful not to over heat anyone. Always provide fresh cool water all day long. Avoid hot pavement as it can burn the dogs paw pads. If a dog gets overheated, immediately remove them from the heat and into an air conditioned area, and provide the dog with cool water to drink. You can also cool the dog down with water, and contact your vet.
If your dog has a double coat, do not shave your dog thinking it will stay cooler. They use their undercoat to help regulate their body temp. Shaving them does more harm than good. If your dog is like ours, we are in a full coat blowing out right now. I brush our dogs daily and the amount of hair that is coming off of them right now is unreal. Today I got so much hair off of everyone that I could coat a whole other dog! Removing this hair by brushing them, while they are blowing their coat, helps them stay cooler.
Always be careful while training in the heat!
We have postponed the start date of our Basic Obedience Class to June 15th. This will allow for more dogs to register for this class. We are also excited to soon have t-shirts made with our logo on them! Keep checking our Facebook page for a T-shirt giveaway! We have had some private training sessions that have gone very well! We look forward to many more. I will have more agility obstacles completed this week and set in place.
We will be breeding soon and expect two if not three litters this year.
We are very excited to announce our basic obedience class will begin June 1st! Contact us for details. The class will cover the "heel", "come", "sit", "down", and "stay" commands. Sign up today to reserve your spot!
We have added a training classes page to our website! Keep checking our website and Facebook page to see when the classes will begin. We will be starting with group obedience classes and adding more classes as time goes on. Come join us at Impact K9 USA to get the proper training for your dog!
Since we talked about the possibility of a dog fight at dog parks, let's talk about how to break them up if it happens. The ideal situation would be to not be alone with two dogs fighting. If you're like me, you would jump right in but that means you're definitely going to get bit. If there are two people, each person needs to grab the back legs of a dog, lift them up, and pull them apart. Once the dogs separate they will still be in fight mode so you will need to get them thinking of something else. Immediately start to turn them in circles as you back up from the other dog. Turning them in circles eliminates the chance of them spinning around to bite you since they are still in the heat of the moment. Once the dogs are far enough away with one outside the fence or in another room, get your lead on it. If you are alone during a dog fight, use your lead to go around the dogs stomach and cinch it around the dogs back loins. Anchor that lead to a tree or close a door on it to anchor it. Once its anchored, grab the other dogs back legs and pull them apart. Again, once they are separated, walk the dog in circles as you back up. This is the easiest method and the best method to not get bit. Try to stay calm the best you can!
The question has come up about what we think about dog parks. Our opinion for a working dog breed with high drives is to be very cautious. There are many stories about dogs fighting or dogs picking up an illness from those parks. Even with a best behaved, high drive dog, a dog fight is still possible. The dogs need to be introduced properly and not just thrown together. Most owners of a working breed know weather their dog will play nice or if the dog can not interact with other dogs. You need to be cautious of the other dogs as you do not know their training or temperament. Dog parks can be a great tool for training with distractions!
We are about to add to our agility course to start offering classes. We are going to be adding a cat walk, A frame, a window jump, a crawl, and possibly more. We typically use tennis balls to get our dogs through our course. Sometimes we need to start very small and work the dog up to the actual course. Some dogs need to learn how to jump over things, as funny as that sounds. In this case, we start very low and work our way higher. We make sure the dogs are having fun. As with everything we do, it's all a game for the dogs and we do many repetitions. Some dogs need to build up their confidence to get through the course. An agility course is not only good exercise but good mental stimulation too. We always end on a positive note.
Bill Kennedy has been working and training full service K9's for over ten years.