To our readers:

Over the next few days we will be making some minor adjustments to the layout of P.S. Your Dog Called. You will notice some changes to the look of our site but we hope to complete all adjustments by next week.

We have big things brewing!

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6 Highly Effective Ways to Establish Good Habits With Your Dog

Photo Credit: the past tends to disappear / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

1. Attend obedience classes:

Attending obedience classes is important for both you and your dog.  What comes as a surprise to many is that the classes should be less about teaching the dog and more about teaching the handler, or the owner.  Although some perceive obedience classes as wasteful or cruel, they are important for a number of reasons.

Read more: Importance of Obedience Training

2. Use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior:

Dogs do not respond well to punishment so its especially crucial that you consistently reward your dog with positive reinforcement each time he does something good.  Immediately after he goes to the bathroom outside, congratulate him.  Immediately after he sits when you tell him to, congratulate him.  And any other time he does something or stops doing something you asked him to, immediately congratulate him.

Read more: The Do’s and Dont’s of Positive Reinforcement

4. Be consistent:

Provide consistent positive reinforcement.  Avoid yelling or screaming.  Handle situations in a consistent manner so that over time your dog will be able to understand you.  He won’t have an easy time understanding you if you are not consistent with your method of training.

5. Develop and maintain a routine:

Developing a routine with your dog is key to maintaining an obedient and stress-free dog.  Develop a bathroom and feeding schedule.  Develop an exercise schedule.  If you need help from a friend or family member to help you maintain your dogs routine  then ask for it!  Maintaining a daily routine will make your dog feel more relaxed and secure.

6. Maintain your composer:

Take a deep breath.  As long as no one is hurt and the house is not on fire, relax.  We know how hard it is to remain calm after your favorite shoes were destroyed but yelling won’t do any good.  If you don’t notice your dog has done something bad until after the fact, and you yell at him, he likely won’t know why you’re yelling.  On the other hand, if you catch him in the act, then it would be a good time to step in but maintain your composer when you do.

According to dog whisper, Ceasar Milan, “To establish yourself as the pack leader, you must always project a calm, assertive energy. This natural balance (calm, assertive leadership with calm, submissive behavior) nurtures stability and creates a balanced, centered, and happy dog.”

Read more: How To Be Calm and Assertive

Tell us what you think! Did we miss anything?

5 Ways To Keep Your Dog Active Indoors

Spring is just around the corner but some of us are still battling the winter blues. 

If you’re keeping warm inside and have run out of ideas to keep your dog busy try these 5 boredom busters!

Photo Credit: waferbaby / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

1. Nose Work:

Similar to hide-and-seek, nose work is beneficial for dogs because it stimulates the mind and body.  It’s a fun activity that can keep your dog busy and build confidence.  Although it may take some initial practice for you and your dog to establish a routine, the end result can be very rewarding for the dog.  You simply hide treats in areas around a room and when directed your dog searches for them.

For great tips on how to get started with nose work click here to read an article from dogster.com.

2. Enrichment Toys:

Sure your dog may have a ball or two but unlike the typical toss and fetch toys, enrichment toys are more exciting because they offer a challenge.  Any sort of “treat dispensing” toy will do the trick.  Some toys come with treats or you can use your own.

3. Pet-friendly places:

Maybe you’re going to the pet store.  Or maybe there is an indoor dog park nearby.  If you’re heading somewhere you know pets are welcome and you can safely restrain your dog in the car consider this option.  Pet stores are a great option since your dog will likely have the chance to interact with other dogs.

4. Play games:

Ok, we know.  You’ve been playing fetch inside all winter.  But consider switching things up.  Try playing fetch in a hall-way or garage (a well lit garage without parked cars) where your dog will have a designated space to play.  The hall-way is a great option since it is typically free of furniture and it just a straight shot back and forth.  This is also a great opportunity to work on training!

5. Give your dog a bath:

Yes, we’re serious.  After all, why not?  According to the ASPCA dogs should be bathed about every 3 months. Our advice is to use a mild shampoo meant for dogs, dry him off after and avoid going outside until your dog is completely dry! (Hint: Bathroom break before the bath) And while you’re at it, you might as well brush those canines!