Tag Archives: dog training

Caring for a Deaf Dog

Did you know that May 3rd is Specially-Abled Pets Day? Just like people, some of our animal companions have medical issues. However, our furry friends are very resilient, and can often cope with things like vision or hearing impairments, and even missing limbs, just fine. Deafness is one issue that isn’t uncommon in dogs. Some of our canine companions are born deaf, while others lose their hearing from injuries, infections, or even old age. However, Fido can do just fine, even if he can’t hear well, or at all. In this article, a Georgetown, IN vet offers some advice on caring for a deaf dog.

Ring The Bell

Put a bell on your pet’s collar. Fido won’t hear you if you call him, so this will help you know where your pup is in the house.

Stomp It Out

Avoid sneaking up on your pooch from behind, especially when he’s sleeping. No one likes to be startled awake! This can be both annoying and a little scary for dogs with hearing issues. Fido will be quite sensitive to vibrations in the floor. Stomp your foot before approaching him, and make sure he knows you are there. (Tip: if you want to wake your dog up, put some food beneath his nose.)

Hand Signals

Did you know that dogs can learn to respond to hand signals just as easily as voice commands? Teach Fido the doggy sign language versions of basic commands like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. Go through these commands regularly, so your canine pal doesn’t forget them.

Flashlight Code

Another thing that can help is to teach Fido to come to you when you wave a flashlight. This can be very helpful when calling your furry buddy in after dark!

Let People Know

If you have guests coming over, make sure they know that your pooch is deaf. You may also want to consider putting an extra tag on Fido’s collar that lets people know about your furry friend’s hearing problems.

Security

Never let Fido run around off-leash, except of course in a fenced yard. Your canine buddy won’t hear cars or people approaching. Needless to say, this can be very dangerous!

Do you have questions about caring for a deaf dog? Please contact us, your local Georgetown, IN pet hospital, any time. We are dedicated to providing excellent veterinary care!

Crate Training Your Dog

Is your canine buddy crate trained? If not, you may want to work on this. Fido will likely need to be crated at some point, either at the vet’s or kennel, or during travel. This will be much easier for him if he thinks of his crate as a cozy den. A Georgetown, IN vet offers tips on crate training your pet in this article.

Choosing A Crate

You’ll want to make sure that your pet’s crate is sturdy, but still easy to move for travel. Dogs are much safer traveling in crates! If you have a puppy, choose a crate that will fit Fido’s adult size, Otherwise, you’ll just end up replacing it when your canine pal is full grown. Use a luggage tag to put your contact information on the crate. This will come in handy if you ever fly with your pooch.

Making It Comfy

Make sure your pup’s crate is nice and comfy for him. Add some soft bedding, and some cozy toys and treats. Location is also important. Don’t put Fido’s crate in a quiet back bedroom. Dogs are very sociable, and get lonely and depressed if they are left alone too much. A living room or family room is a great option.

Training

To get Fido used to his crate, you’ll want to help him form a positive association with it. How do you do that? Food is the easiest way. Toss toys and yummy treats into the crate, until he gets used to going in and out. Then, start feeding your pet in his crate. The next stage is to start shutting the door. At first, just shut it for a few moments, give Fido treats and praise, and then let him out. Gradually increase the time your furry buddy is crated, until he is comfortable with it. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Tips

Crates can be great tools, but only if they are used properly. Never use Fido’s crate as punishment for him. Also, avoid leaving your pup crated too long. A few hours during the day is plenty. You can crate your dog overnight, however. If Fido is properly crate trained, he won’t mind his crate at all. You may not even have to shut the door at doggy bedtime!

Please call us, your Georgetown, IN pet clinic, anytime. We are dedicated to providing excellent care!

How to Teach Your Dog to Fetch Things

Have you ever watched videos of dogs bringing their human buddies cold drinks, remotes, slippers, or mail? Have you ever wondered if your pet can learn to do that? Why not teach him? Read on as a Georgetown, IN vet tells you how to teach a dog to fetch specific items.

Basics

First things first: before teaching Fido cute tricks, make sure he knows basic doggy obedience commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. These are very important for both good petiquette and for safety purposes.

Fetch

Start by teaching Fido to fetch. There are several different training methods you can use. Some dogs pick things up more quickly than others, so be patient! Also, be sure to choose only items that are safe for your pet.

Prep Work

Once your pooch has Fetch figured out, start teaching him to identify certain objects. Whenever you play with Fido, identify his toys by name, so he forms an association between the objects and their names.

Training – Part 1

Get something Fido already knows by name, such as a ball or rope toy. Put the item down beside two other objects. The other items should be things your dog probably won’t be interested in, like a book or wrench. Point at the toy, and, identifying it by name, tell your furry buddy to Find It or Bring It. When he brings it to you, immediately give him a treat and praise him. Do this several times, until he gets the hang of it.

Training – Part 2

The next step is to add a second object, which should also be one that your dog can identify. Ask Fido to Bring It, again calling it by name. When he keeps continuously picking the right object, he’s learning! Keep practicing with different doggy toys, putting them in various places.

Continued Training

When your furry friend has this down, you can start teaching him to identify other objects. Remember, repetition, patience, and consistency are the keys to proper dog training. Use only positive reinforcement, and focus on rewarding Fido for doing well. Never punish your canine pal for not learning quickly enough: this can backfire, and make your pet feel scared or anxious.

Is your dog due for an exam or vaccines? Contact us, your Georgetown, IN animal clinic. We are here to help!

Rounding Up a Good Dog Trainer

Your Labrador retriever Lance thinks you need more exercise. Since he’s a considerate pooch, this rambunctious three-year-old dog gives you several daily workouts. During each neighborhood walk, he happily yanks you down the street, your arms and legs screaming from the exertion. Clearly, Lance needs some discipline and direction. Your Floyds Knob, IN veterinary clinic has recommended a well-known dog trainer. Before you enroll your companion for an obedience class, though, observe the instructor’s on-the-job performance.

Secure, Well-Maintained Facility

Lance is a born rebel, always finding ways to circumvent the rules. He’ll try to break out of the training center, so you’re glad to see the heavy exterior doors. You’re even happier to see a sign requiring proof of current vaccinations before students can enter.

Expect a clutter-free training room with a squeaky-clean floor. The trainer should provide plenty of paper towels and disinfectant for the dogs’ potty accidents. Pet parents also want nicely equipped facilities. Each bathroom should contain toilet tissue, towels, soap, and cleaning supplies.

Canine/Human Partnership

You (or another familiar family member) will be attending class with Lance. If your canine housemate frequently hears commands from one person, the training is more likely to be successful.

Ideally, the class will have six or fewer students. The trainer wants to provide each student with personal attention, and she’ll find that difficult if she’s overrun with dogs.

Respectful, Positive Attitude

Competent dog trainers use respectful training aids such as harnesses, head halters, and flat collars. You’ll probably see treats and toys used as incentives or rewards. Avoid an instructor who breaks out uncomfortable, negative training devices. If you see prong, choke, or electronic collars, steer clear of that facility.

Punishment’s Off Limits

An experienced, confident instructor always uses a normal tone of voice. Don’t tolerate a trainer who yells or yanks the students’ leashes so they’ll listen. If she hits, kicks, or otherwise abuses a trusting pooch, walk out immediately.

Afterward, learn about the trainer’s qualifications. If she belongs to a dog training organization, she’s likely serious about maintaining (and improving) her professional skills. If you’re pleased with what you’ve observed, sign Lance up for the next class.

When your companion next visits your Floyds Knob, IN veterinary clinic, the vet will be pleased with his obedience skills. If your dog needs some discipline, contact us for an appointment.