How to Teach a Dog to Take Treats Gently

How to Teach a Dog to Take Treats NicelySome dogs will naturally take treats gently from a person’s hand, while others can be quite careless!

If you have a dog that snaps at your hand in a frantic attempt to get a treat, the following are some tips you can use to teach him to be more patient and gentle.

These are also good tips to try if you recently adopted a puppy. It’s much easier to start out by teaching good manners than it is to try correcting a problem later on.

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National Dog Week: Rescuing, Fostering & a Dog-Filled Life

Ashley with her most recent foster, Abby.

Ashley with her most recent foster, Abby.

Attention all you party animals, it’s time to celebrate canines! This week is National Dog Week, which runs through the last week in September. This barktastic holiday is said to be started by Captain William Judy in 1928 to educate dog owners about their responsibilities to their pets and communities.

Speaking of community, we wanted to honor this holiday while also highlighting one of our amazing staff members, Ashley Farkas, who is our resident Merchandising Manager. She’s a champion of all things dog and we couldn’t help but feature her here for you all to read about. Here’s what she has to say about her own dogs and her experience being a foster for area dog rescues.

Amanda: What do you think it is about dogs that makes them man’s best friend?

Ashley: The dogIDs “About Us” page hits the nail on the head for me. Dogs give us their unconditional love and are there for us no matter what. I believe that this sincere connection is what makes dogs man’s best friend … and woman’s best friend too.

Amanda: What are your favorite activities to do with your own dogs?

Ashley: It may sound simple, but going on walks is one of my favorite things. Walking is not only great exercise for both my dogs and I, but it’s also a great activity for building a strong, trusting relationship with a dog and their owner.

Ashley with her family and dogs, Jake and Maci.

Ashley with her family and dogs, Jake and Maci.

Another favorite of mine is teaching my children the proper way to interact with dogs. I am a firm believer that teaching a child how to properly treat an animal goes far beyond their interactions with dogs and is a lesson they carry with them in their human relationships as well. It has been a complete joy to watch my daughters and our dogs as they grow and learn together.

Lastly, snuggling is one of my favorite activities to do with my dogs … if you can call that an activity that is. Who doesn’t love a warm, cuddly puppy to snuggle on a cold, North Dakota winter day?

Amanda: What have dogs taught you?

Ashley: My dogs have most definitely had a hand in teaching me patience. I adopted my Black Labrador Retriever, Jake, four years ago. When Jake first came home, he needed some work, to say the least. He would stand with two paws in the left side of the kitchen sink, two paws in the right side and “pre-rinse” my dishes. He once gnawed on a thawing beef roast, ate half of a sheet cake that was supposed to be for our daughter’s fourth birthday and devoured countless packages of gum, a tube of poison ivy cream, golf tees, etc. This boy has done his part in keeping me on my toes and teaching me not to worry so much about the little things.

Ashley's former foster, Owen, was seized from a puppy mill.

Ashley’s former foster, Owen, was seized from a puppy mill.

Amanda: You’ve been a foster for dogs at a couple local rescues. How has this experience affected your day-to-day life?

Ashley: Any person that volunteers to foster an animal will tell you that it’s not easy. Adding an additional dog to your pack and day-to-day routine takes work. Fostering means an extra dog to feed, water, let out, groom and train. The moment you see that dog go to their forever family makes all the “work” worth every minute.

Amanda: How do your own dogs react to having fosters around?

Ashley: I have two dogs of my own. My family and I adopted Jake from 4 Luv of Dog Rescue in Fargo. Not long after that, I convinced my husband that Jake needed a friend and that fostering would be the perfect solution. We could temporarily have another dog around, but not have to worry about the added expense of a second dog. Plus, Jake was a young lab that needed a playmate to burn off some of his puppy energy. A few fosters came and went until Maci, a young Pit Bull/Boxer mix, came along. We picked her up at a local boarding facility where she was being temporarily housed until a foster home could be found for her. She lived with us for several months until the day came that she finally had a meeting with a potential adopter. I was sick to my stomach. Maci had the sweetest soul, but was a very timid dog. I didn’t know how any other family would be able to make her feel comfortable and love her as much as we had for all these months. The adopters decided to go with another dog. I did a huge sigh of relief, looked at my husband and said, “We have to keep her.” I signed the adoption papers a few days later and she’s been our friend’s and family’s favorite ever since.

Jake is a fun-loving guy. I’m fairly confident that his goal in life is to meet everyone and everything he can. He loves when we bring new fosters into our home. He gets so excited to meet them. Maci is a little more skeptical and timid around new dogs, but as soon as she gets a good sniff in, she’s spinning circles and can’t wait to play with all of our new additions.

Amanda: What challenges have you faced, or overcome, while fostering? What about successes?

Ashley: We have faced many challenges in our four years of fostering dogs. We’ve seen everything from dogs with dog aggression, food aggression, toy possessiveness, separation anxiety and kennel anxiety to dogs that have come from puppy mills and abusive homes that spent weeks hiding in their kennels.

Ashley's daughter shares her nap time with  Maci and  former foster dog, Dre.

Ashley’s daughter shares her nap time with Maci and a former foster of Ashley’s.

Thankfully, with hard work and dedication from the dogs and my family, all but one of the 23 dogs that have entered our home have been successfully adopted. Unfortunately, you can’t save them all. As emotional as it is, there will be dogs that cannot be safely placed into homes, whether it is due to aggression issues or health problems. The success in these situations is knowing that you did everything you possibly could to give these dogs the love and care they so desperately need and deserve in their remaining days of life.

Amanda: If someone were thinking about fostering, what advice would you give them?

Ashley: According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.9 million dogs enter shelters each year, and 1.2 million of these dogs are euthanized. My advice to anyone thinking about fostering is to jump in with both feet and do it.

Amanda: What is the single best thing about fostering?

Ashley: For me, the single best thing about fostering is bringing a dog to their new home and knowing deep down in my heart and soul that that is the absolute, most perfect home for them.

Amanda: How can people celebrate National Dog Week? Give us some suggestions!

Ashley: I am a huge advocate for volunteering. I love the saying, “If you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, donate. If you can’t donate, volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, educate.” In the world of animal rescue, there is always something that can be done. What better way to celebrate National Dog Week than to make a positive impact on the life of a dog?

 

We here at dogIDs are also helping you celebrate this fun holiday week with a special offer: free shipping! Happy National Dog Week! Ruff ruff!

Benefits of Antler Chews vs. Other Chews for Dogs

elk antler chews for dogsHave you ever given your dog an antler chew?

dogIDs now carries elk antler chews for dogs in three different sizes. Antler chews are a natural alternative to traditional rawhide chews, and they even last longer.

The following are some of the benefits to antler chews vs. rawhide chews, along with safety tips to keep in mind no matter what type of chew you give your dog.

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8 Ways to Memorialize Your Loved Pet

Sunday is National Pet Memorial Day, which hits home to anyone who has lost a loved animal friend. Whether its been 10 days or 10 years, losing a beloved pet is never easy. My family’s dog, Katie, a black Australian kelpie and greyhound mix passed away in April. Every time I go to my parents’ home I feel like I can hear the jangle of her tags and wish she could sleep with me one more night. We had so many good memories that I decided it was time to commemorate her and acknowledge the loss that we had.

8 Ways to Memorialize Your PetWhat prompted this thinking was a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. What a long way to travel for a wake up call! When in Scotland, I visited the Edinburgh Castle where they have a dog cemetery that is built into the remains of a medieval tower and has been used as a burial ground for officer’s dogs and regimental mascots since the 1840’s. That is an exceptional way to show appreciation for the dogs in Scotland’s military. It had me thinking of ways that we can memorialize our loved pets, like my Katie, that would showcase the love they bring out in us. [Read more…]

Tips for Preventing and Managing a Dog’s Food Aggression

How to stop a dog's food aggressionSome dogs have a tendency to guard their food, toys, bones or whatever they view as valuable. They may guard these “valuables” from other dogs, or they might guard them from people, too. Some dogs will just growl, while others will actually try to bite.

The following are some ideas on how to prevent and manage this type of aggressive behavior, often referred to as resource guarding. For the sake of this post, I’m focusing on one of the most common issues – guarding the food bowl.

As always, if you are even slightly concerned about being bitten by your dog, it’s a good idea to reach out to a professional trainer in your area for some help. Even one session with the right trainer can make all the difference.

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You Won’t Believe These Embarrassing Dog Stories!

Artie the black LabIf you live with dogs, I know you definitely have a few embarrassing stories to tell. And, you can probably relate to the stories I’m about to share!

I hope you can get a few laughs out of these, and of course, feel free to share your own embarrassing dog stories in the comments. At least we can all laugh about them after the fact!

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Local Dog Elected Mayor…What a Time to be Alive!

Duke the Dog, Elected MayorOn a beautiful Saturday in August, the small township of Cormorant, Minnesota held a ceremony to be remembered. After a five-hour grooming session, the town’s favorite dog, Duke, was elected and sworn in as honorary mayor of the city!

Cormorant Daze is the township’s annual summer festival weekend, so the committee decided to do a fun and different competition this year to get everyone involved. Hence, the ballots, which cost $1 each, were cast for Cormorant’s Mayor-Elect. [Read more…]

Tips to Consider if Your Dog is Scared of Children

Tips if your dog is scared of childrenChildren and dogs often do really well together. I always had a dog growing up, and our family golden retriever was very tolerant of us kids playing rough with her, chasing her, taking her toys and so on. She didn’t seem to mind one bit and likely enjoyed this kind of attention from us.

For other dogs, though, children can be stressful, annoying or even scary, especially if the dog is not used to them.

The following are some tips to consider if your dog is uncomfortable around kids.

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5 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day

5 Ways to Celebrate National Dog DayToday is National Dog Day, a day where we celebrate man’s best friend and bring awareness to the many worthy dogs that need a home.  Dogs are great companions,  always there to comfort us when we’re sad and make us laugh with their antics. They deserve some appreciation!

With that in mind, here are the top 5 things you can do today to celebrate. [Read more…]

You’re Not Making These Dog Training Mistakes, Are You?

Dog Training MistakesI write about dog training fairly often on this blog, including all the things you should teach your dog such as to heel or to interact appropriately with other dogs, etc.

But what are some things a dog owner shouldn’t do while training a dog?

The following are some of the top dog training mistakes people make, according to the dog trainers I interviewed. I don’t know about you, but I’m a little guilty of most of these …

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