Dog Tricks

Fun Tricks Your COOL Dog should Master

Your dog already knows how to sit, stay, play dead and roll over. Now what? There are many little-known tricks you can train your pooch to do. You’re good to go if he follows commands. From dancing and skateboarding to sorting recyclables, discover 7 amazing feats your dog can try out. We were lucky enough to get our sponsors at San Diego Intelligent K9 Training to share their wisdom on dog training. You can have a look at their Facebook training photos to see what they get up to.

Pick Up Laundry

Train him to drop an item in a container. Give him something he likes, like a toy, then place a container beneath his mouth and issue the drop command. Once he drops the toy in the container, give him a treat. As Fido masters the trick, use clothes instead of the toys.

Separate Recycling

Teach your dog to retrieve and dispose of empty containers. Start with plastic bottles because dogs don’t like the way aluminum cans feel. Like picking up laundry, train your pet to drop bottles in a recycling bin. Switch to cans once he’s mastered that.

Skateboard

Get your dog to hop on a plank and ride it a little. But that’s dangerous if he has never been on a skateboard. Put the board on the floor with beanbags or sandbags keeping the wheels still. The more he interacts with the board, the better. Now put the board on a floor with less traction and a small descending slope. When he steps on the board, place a treat in front of his nose and then move back so he propels forward, pushing the board with his hind legs.

Play Piano

Put a Frisbee or a plastic lid on the floor. Every time your pup touches it, give him a tasty treat. Reduce the size of the target bit-by-bit as the dog learns that he gets a treat if he paws the disc. Once the target is small enough, place it on the piano’s keys and issue a command. Remove the disc after he masters that.

Boogie Down

Place a treat on his nose and raise it while you say, “Up, up!” until he stands on his hind legs. Hold the treat up longer and longer to build up how long he can stand. When he masters that, walk backwards as he follows you, then forward so he backs up. This trick may send him mixed signals if he’s trained not to jump.

Sing Along

Give him a treat whenever he barks, howls or makes a sound you want him to repeat. Follow up the treat with a command. For instance, when he sneezes, give him a biscuit and say, “Sneeze”. Repeat that until he does a real sneeze when you issue the command.

Play Basketball

Put a basketball on the ground and get him used to it. Every time your dog touches or pushes the ball with his snout, give him a treat. When he’s familiar with that, throw the ball up so it lands near him. Treat him when he goes to get it. Then bounce the ball off his nose, and when he’s used to that, get him to bump the basketball near a hoop till he makes a basket.

Dog Nutrition Guide

These days, the choices in dog food are almost endless. There are wet foods, dry foods, semi-moist foods, complete foods, complementary foods, organic foods, natural foods, gourmet foods, premium foods…

Each manufacturer claims to sell the best food for your dog, yet the prices of the different brands vary dramatically. Some position themselves as low budget costing a few cents a meal. Others as high-end luxury meals costing $2 or more.

Most owners are willing to spend big on their pets and the makers of dog food know it. The pet food market is massive. A recent study by the APPA estimated that American’s would spend $21 billion on pet food in 2013.

Naturally, every dog owner wants their pet to live a long and healthy life. But is buying an expensive brand, really giving your dog a healthier diet, or is it money wasted?

You probably do not know this, but the FDA labeling guidelines on dog food that all makers must comply with, do not actually state that any pet food labeled as premium or gourmet has to be any different from a standard brand. So, when deciding what food to feed your dog, whose advice can we trust?

A veterinarian will tell you to ignore the advertising. They recommend you read the back of the packet or tin instead. In particular, look for the amount of protein the dog food contains. If the protein content is between 18 & 20 percent, then that is ideal. Any less is not a well-balanced diet, anymore, and you are wasting money.

Another sign of a good, well-balanced dog food is that it meets the AAFCO standards. If the food complies, there will be a statement to that effect printed somewhere on the packet or tin. Obviously, if the vet has recommended your dog’s diet for health reasons, then you should not change it without asking. However, the rest of us could save a lot of money by resisting the expensive premium, and gourmet brands, and use the simple, low cost, economy recipes instead.

Are Expensive Dog Foods Really Better For Your Dog?

When you go into a supermarket, the choice in pet foods can be bewildering. Go to a good pet store, and the choice of different foods is even bigger.

Once, everything was much simpler – dry vs wet. Now you get dry kibble, wet canned, fresh cooked, fresh raw, and more. In addition, these foods can be natural, holistic, organic, grain free….
And, when you start to compare prices….

It’s no wonder owners are always looking out for tips to make savings. So, when you buy one of the more expensive foods, are you getting value for money, or are you the latest victim of clever marketing? If you like many, are finding the different choices available confusing, here are five tips that may help you make the right choice:

All dog food you buy must have the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) stamp of approval. It is not always obvious, and you may have to look hard for it, but it must be printed somewhere on the packet. If it isn’t then put the food back on the shelf and leave it in the store.

Don’t make the mistake of applying your own values to food to your dog. Just because you wouldn’t dream of eating liver and lungs, doesn’t mean your dog won’t enjoy them.

Watch out for products that claim to be better for your dog because they are corn or grain free. Most simply substitute the corn or grain for rice or potato and charge you more.

Look for foods that are mainly made of protein, fats, and carbs. If you want your dog to eat fruit and vegetables, add them yourself. You then know how much is included.

Don’t be afraid to try different brands and types of dog food. Also, ask other dog owners what they recommend. Find a brand and type of dog food your dog likes and you are happy to give, then stick with it.

The choice of food you make for your dog is a personal one that works for you and for your dog. Just because a particular brand or type of food is right for another dog, doesn’t necessarily mean it is right for your dog.

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