Will work for treats!

Training Tip Tuesday: Using Play to Train

Good morning dog lovers. Unfortunately I, personally, don’t have a great training tip to offer you. I’ve been uninspired lately, perhaps because of the weather. I’m ready for summer and to be able to be outside playing with my border collies more often. Anyways, in lieu of writing my own post, I’d like to direct you to a truly great reading authored by a fellow border collie lover, who happens to be a dog trainer and also a search and rescue trainer, about using toys and playtime to train your dog. I hope you enjoy this read as much as I did!

Using Play to Train

Happy Tuesday!

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Training Tip Tuesday: Biking with your dog!

Ok, so this isn’t so much of a training tip as it is as failed attempt at a training tip.

Theory: Walking is good exercise for doggies and people. Running is good exercise for doggies and people. Biking is good exercise for doggies and people.

Conclusion: WRONG!

Where to begin? It’s the new year and I vowed to myself to spend more time exercising myself and my beloved border collies. So aside from lots more walks and leash training, I thought biking might be a good idea, since I truly despise running. So after much consideration, I went to my front office and rented a bike to take out on the bayou with my favorite girly, Kinsey.

When I got out there I quickly realized that biking with a dog on leash is not a good idea and its NOT safe. She had no speed control and was way to visually stimulated to pay attention to where the bike was and where we were headed. She actually pulled me off the bike to chase a dog into a bayou. In addition, she also almost tripped a pedestrian, she went behind him. Thank goodness I had the common sense to leg go.

So my training tip for today is as follows: Don’t take your dog on a bike ride on leash on a busy path where there are lots of distractions. I think it would be a really fun experience if you had a place to bike where your dog could be off leash. Unfortunately, there aren’t any places that I know of in Houston.

Until Next Time!

Merry Merry Fun Fact Friday!

Christmas is right around the corner and I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited to give my beloved Border Collies their Christmas presents. Their stocking are hung by the chimney laundry room with care, in hopes that dog bones and tennis balls soon will be there!

Today’s fun fact? According to Petfinder.com 40% of dog owners hang stockings for their pets and 63% will give them presents.

Maverick and Kinsey are ready for Christmas!

Can I have those toy you put in my stocking now? Please?

Can I have those toys you put in my stocking now? Please?

My very first Christmas not spent on the streets!

My very first Christmas not spent on the streets!

What did you get your babies for Christmas this year?

Training Tips Tuesday: Walking on a leash

Hey there friends. Long time, no talk! Just like the rest of you, we have been swamped with the holidays and unfortunately, our little blog took a backseat. I am back today, however, to discuss how to train your dog to walk politely by your side on a leash with none of that annoying pulling. First things first: buy an appropriate training collar. It doesn’t matter your preference, but you want something that will slightly pinch or apply pressure to the neck when it’s pulled on. I personally prefer a choke chain, but I know many people are uncomfortable. using those Remember, it’s all about how you use it! Also you will need a sturdy leash (non of that retractable non-sense <– I’ll discuss why I hate these in another post)

In addition to purchasing a collar and leash you need to find another very important resource: TIME! No training happens overnight and you will need to dedicated anywhere between 10-30 minutes of training time each day. Fortunately, if done correctly, your dog will pick up on this pretty quickly.

So how does this work? Keep your pooch on a short lead. During training, he should not have enough lead to walk ahead of you. He should be right by your side. Every time your dog pulls on the leash you STOP. Ask him to sit, and feed him a treat. Not only is this training him not to pull it’s also training him to sit every time you stop. This can be very frustrating at the beginning because your dog is still going to pull every step. Its important to be patient. If you have to take a step and sit each time, thanks O.K.! Make sure you start this training in a controlled environment, without many distractions. You always want to be able to add distractions in to build on the training.

That’s really all there is to it. All you need is patience and lots of repetition. Your dog will learn that he needs to look to you for pace and direction on a walk. He will learn that you are in charge and that staying close yields treats! Its always important to continue training even after you’ve accomplished a goal. Once your dog is walking properly, you should still stop periodically and make sure he is still sitting appropriately.

-Liz

Fun Fact Friday!

Did you know that dogs have a third eyelid?  It helps keep the surface of their eyes clean and protects them.  I tend to notice it the most on Bloo when he’s falling asleep.  As his little eyes are slowly closing, the third eyelid starts to close as well.  It comes from the tear-duct area.  Most mammals, in fact, have a third eyelid except for humans and pigs.

Sometimes our fun facts are a bit random, too.  🙂  Oh, and a word to the wise.  Never search “canine third eyelid” on Google Images.  Trust me.

Happy Friday, everyone!

– Lindsay

Training Tips Tuesday: Start Young!

Good morning readers and happy Tuesday! Today we discuss trick training in puppies. I feel that there is a common misconception out there that you have to wait until a puppy reaches a certain age to begin training it to do tricks. This is just not the case. A dear friend of mine got a puppy this year and over dinner one night I asked her if he new any tricks yet. Her response: “No, he’s only 8 weeks old.” Not to toot my own horn, but Maverick already knew a hand full of tricks at 8 weeks old. And I won’t even try and use the “He’s a Border Collie” excuse. Puppies are much smarter than you think. Just like young children, they are constantly soaking up knowledge about you and the world around them. That is why it is SO imperative that you fill these crucial months with tons of people and training! Any training you do reinforces the bond between your pup and you. It builds his listening and problem solving skills. With proper and consistent training as a puppy, your dog will be much more manageable and obedient as an adult.

Here is a list of tricks that your pup can learn as young as 8 weeks old.

  • Sit
  • lay down
  • Roll over
  • Shake (both paws)
  • Speak

Until next time: Keep Calm and Train On!

-Liz

Fun Fact Friday: Announcing Training Tips Tuesdays

Believe it or not our blog has been getting a decent amount of exposure and many a few people have started asking us for training tips. So we’ve decided to attempt to make a training post each Tuesday. However, I’ll start with a tip today.

A friend of mine is puppy sitting (and hopefully adopting) one of Pup Squad’s puppies, Rachel (who can be found on our Current Foster Projects page). She is a TRUE newbie to having a puppy and needed some advice on potty training. So I gave her the following summary on beginning potty training:

Potty training and crate training go hand in hand. (We will discuss crate training later) Pick your puppy up the second you open the crate door. DO NOT let her walk, she WILL pee! Carry her outside and put her on the grass and tell her “go pee-pee” repeatedly until she does her business. Do this everytime so she learns to associate the command with going potty. When she does so praise her PROFUSELY: “good pee-pee, good dog!” Give her lots of attention and pets. Once she has pottied, she should be free to run around the house (with supervision) and play with toys or just explore for approximately 30-45 minutes (WITH SUPERVISION). Did I mention with supervision? I recommend sticking to 30 minutes at the very beginning and gradually increasing the length of time between potty breaks. Don’t be afraid of an accident or two. She’s a puppy. It WILL happen. Accept it now, to avoid frustration later. It’s all part of the learning process, but keeping to a strict schedule will greatly minimize accidents.

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