Crosby (Honor/Thor)

Crosby (Honor/Thor)He is doing incredible! He’s very smart, but very much the puppy! He’s gone to puppy pre-school and begins puppy kindergarten tonight! He’s so loved by our family, and literally everyone stops us when we’re walking him remarking on how beautiful he is and how friendly and sweet he is! Last weekend he went kayaking with us, and this next weekend he going to get to frolic in the snow.

Aspen (Honor/Thor)

Aspen (Honor/Thor)Aspen is an amazing addition to our family. She loves the goats, cows and some of the cats! She has learned several basic commands and is doing great with her potty training. She is even getting better about sleeping through the night.

A neighbor told us that Aspen is the ninth Goldie in the neighborhood, that says a lot about the breed.

We cant wait to take her on a trip in our RV. Thank you Wisteria for giving us a new and much treasured part of our forever growing family!

Leash Free Training

Aria English Cream Golden RetrieverIncorporating an off-leash segment to your training routine will improve your dog’s ability to respond to commands. You both will be prepared for off-leash outings or unexpected situations. I was reading a post on the Life’s Abundance Blog.   Dr. Sarah’s “Off Leash Training” refers to this as ‘vocal control’ when we are able to keep our dog’s attention on our voice rather than on distractions around us.

While you are training in voice control be sure to build into the sessions (gradually) each of the elements you might encounter while out with your pet where leashes are not required.

Make each of these training sessions into a game where he is continuously your focus. Modeling attention is one of the best ways to receive it.

Leash Free Training — Where Are We Going?

We love to take our pets everywhere our family goes such as hiking, camping, to the beach, to a friend’s, or to our family get-togethers. At each of these outings we encounter unique socialization challenges for our pets. This training will help you plan and prepare your pet to heed your commands regardless of the distractions.

Leash Free Training — How Can We Prepare?

As you introduce each of the following elements be patient and allow your pet a gradual socialization to each new element. When each element is mastered and your pet can respond to your verbal commands, focusing on you rather than the distraction, you are ready to add another small element to the mix.

  1. Start with two or three commands. When these are mastered, meaning your dog has repeatedly responded as you wish, then move to the off leash step.
    • Stop/Wait! When you command ‘stop’ your dog should freeze right where he is. He should focus on you and wait for your next command.
    • Come! When you command ‘come’ your dog should respond by coming to you.
    • Sit/Heel! At this point you can leave him off-leash and extend the amount of time you request him to stay by your side gradually. When an emergency happens you might opt to put the leash on him at this point, but, during the training allow him to remain off-lead.
  2. Add an element of distraction into the training session. The following are examples. You may need to revise them depending on the outing you have planned. Perhaps go without your pet and observe the elements in the area. Sounds, sights, smells, startle elements (occasional loud noises), people, other animals, and so on.
    • Add A Sound: Recreate the sounds you will expect to encounter during the off-leash outing. Introduce them one-by-one to allow your dog to become comfortable with them.
    • Add Visual Similarities: Will there be people where you are going? Are they running, walking, sitting, and making sudden moves, and so on? Recreate the visual landscape one-by-one.
    • Verbal Distractions: It is important to ensure your pet you are his focal point. Commands are relatively common. In the case where other pets and their owners are present where you are going for your off-leash outing, you will likely find other pet owners shouting out commands. This phase of off-leash training will isolate your vocal commands from those of other pet owners. TIP: It may be helpful to have someone your pet does not know, or at least not a regular part of your pet’s daily routine, for this part of the training. Because you will be implying he should listen to you and not the other person this may be confusing at first. We wouldn’t want him to assume he can ignore commands from others.
  3. Practice Outing: Take your dog out to a similar but less distracting place or find a less busy time to go to the location you have been preparing to go. As in each segment build upon the challenge a little at a time.

Leash Free Training – Here We Go!

Now you are prepared to take your dog out. This might be camping, to the beach, or to a friend’s house for a movie night. Any outing when your pet will be off-leash and need the ability to focus his attention on you in the event something unexpected startles or distracts him.

Puppy Training Guide Post and Page Listing

We have a new Puppy Training Guide on Wisteria Goldens. It is a reference list of our new and popular blog posts and information pages. We have created one page for you to find the most effective way to raise your puppy and keep your dog healthy and happy. Reference List

 

Forever Homes Aren’t Always Forever

Dora's Miracle video. She found her way home after being lost for 7 months There are many reasons a forever home may not be forever.  The article explores two events, career changes, and becoming lost,  how to prevent the preventable and how to assist in situations which aren’t preventable.

We hope these situations do not happen to you or your pets. But, it is good to be informed and prepared for the possibility.

Forever Homes Career Change – Retirement

Much like our own lives, dogs that have jobs may have career changes or retirement events during their lives. In the case of a guide dog (for example) a career change event may happen while he or she is still a young puppy within the first year. The dynamics vary but in general this means the puppy is not meeting all of the proper criteria to be a guide dog. In these cases the dog will undergo a career change and will be looking for a companion (or another job description) adoption.

The Guide Dogs of America have one such adoption program for the amazing dogs that have retired from their career as a guide dog, have changed their career, retired, or any other reason. You may know someone who is interested in adopting one of these dogs: Read More Here.

Forever Homes – Lost

We have published a guide about our belief in the need for each dog to have a microchip yet there are still many pets that do not have this identification.  One of the reasons a forever home change accrues in a pet’s life is sadly from being lost. An unexpected situation where our pet is startled could turn into a search and rescue mission

This video shows how one pet found his way back home after 7 months of being lost.  If not for the microchip he may have never found his way back home.

Dora was reunited with her family at Collin County Animals Services in Mckinney, TX.

Forever Homes aren’t always forever. We wish they could be but, as you can see there are situations which interfere with our hopes for them. Take a moment to review our microchip article and share this page with your friends and family.

IMPORTANT: Microchip Registration Message Is your pet’s microchip registered and up-to-date contact information on file?

Please be certain your pet’s microchip registration is active and up-to-date. Read more about microchips and how they can help reunite pets with their family read “Minimize Stress When Moving with Your Pets”  bought to you by Life’s Abundance.

Puppy Training Guide Post and Page Listing

We have a new Puppy Training Guide on Wisteria Goldens. It is a reference list of our new and popular blog posts and information pages. We have created one page for you to find the most effective way to raise your puppy and keep your dog healthy and happy. Reference List

 

5 Point Checklist: Choosing A Dog Trainer

Blue Girl (Sapphire) is an highly affectionate, people oriented, outgoing girl. She loves to pile in your lap and play, She loves tummy rubs. She is treat and bait motivated. She is doing well with basic leash (although we are working on her not helping to carry it) sit, and down, and in the crate. She weighs 17 lbs.There are many dog training services to choose from. This is a checklist of what to ask and how to choose the right trainer for your dog. As you discover trainers, you are interested in finding out more about, ask these questions and request this information from them.

When we go with our dog to a training program we are both learning to communicate with each other. A trainer is part of our team for a short while and can be a beneficial part of our long term relationship building. We want to choose wisely and then we can set our sights on learning and growing together as a team.

Puppy Training Series5 Point Checklist Choosing A Dog Trainer — Point 1

Training Approach: A positive approach to training is used by offering praise for wanted behaviors and not giving attention to (other than to redirect gently) to behaviors we do not want.

When there are ‘consequences’ such as tossing cold water in a dogs face for not following a command (to name one) the trainer is not using a positive reinforcement model. Otherwise the consequences of not following a command would be simply no praise.

Our dogs thrive on praise and want to please us. Communicate well and get remarkable praiseworthy results.

Puppy Training Series5 Point Checklist Choosing A Dog Trainer – Point 2

Socialization: Is the trainer approaching the curriculum with introduction and allowing your dog to become familiar with surroundings, equipment, and people as part of the training routine? Will the puppy be given time to become familiar with any new people or new skill communication?

Puppy Training Series5 Point Checklist Choosing A Dog Trainer — Point 3

Vaccinations: Has the trainer required all of the pets he/she works with to be vaccinated? This is especially important if you travel to your trainer’s facility where other pets have been. This is an important question to ask regardless of the training location. Protecting your pet’s health is an important matter.

We recommend a puppy is not taken to areas such as dog parks or pet stores (concentrated dog areas) to limit the opportunities to be exposed to health and behavior problems until the puppy has had time to build a strong immune system and is fully vaccinated.

Puppy Training Series5 Point Checklist Choosing A Dog Trainer — Point 4

Credentials & References: What training has the trainer had? Ask about school, diploma, awards, and so on. In addition to attending/completing a school for dog trainers, has the trainer participated in other related activities such as apprenticeships, assisting other trainers, volunteering, associations, ongoing credit hours, etc. A trainer who loves what they do will have this information readily available upon request or on their website.

What are people saying about the trainer? Has the training been beneficial for their pet? Is there a community page you can visit (such as on Facebook for example) where people can discuss the service, provide a rating, and openly communicate with other clients.

Puppy Training Series5 Point Checklist Choosing A Dog Trainer — Point 5

Comfort and Communication: The main issues aside (skills, safety, reputation) the next and most important of all is a question to ask yourself. Do you and your pet like the trainer? If you or your pet have concerns, are experiencing any undue stress, or do not feel you are able to communicate with the trainer, it is ok to look for someone else. It is a bit like having a great doctor. He will do well to have a patient bedside manner in addition to his qualifications in his expertise.

Puppy Training Guide Post and Page Listing

We have a new Puppy Training Guide on Wisteria Goldens. It is a reference list of our new and popular blog posts and information pages. We have created one page for you to find the most effective way to raise your puppy and keep your dog healthy and happy. Reference List

 

Guide Dogs Walkathon — Helping Guide Dog Services

guide dog marathon scout and eric This is a way for dogs and their owners to help, support, and become part of an ongoing effort to provide guide dogs for people who need them. This story is about Scout, Eric, and how Guide Dogs Walkathon has helped provide Eric with a remarkable guide dog. The events help to support many areas of the service including training. Read more to find out how you can find an event in your area.

Important Note: Walking is healthy for large breed dogs, but, extended distances need to be reserved for older dogs (18 months or older) who have gradually built strength and agility. An exercise trainer and coach consultation are recommended to evaluate your dog’s health and candidacy for physical work before you embark on a walkathon activity. Read more in our Dog Walk Run Safety Guide

Guide Dogs Walkathon Community

There are many community activities to choose from and many of them are major producers and contributors to amazing causes. One such cause and event is a Walkathon to benefit GuideDogs.org

The events are nationwide and sponsored by a wide range of organizations in each location. The consistent element in each of them is dogs walking with handlers to raise money for the Guide Dog non-profit organization who provides Guide Dogs to training programs.

Guide Dogs Walkathon Helped Eric

This video is the inspiration story for this post. It is about Scout and Eric, how they met, trained together, and now work together.

The remarkable thing about Guide Dogs Walkathon is even if your dog isn’t a guide dog he or she can be a part of the cause to provide training and resources for dogs like Scout who grow up to work with people like Eric. It is remarkable the benefits and freedom having a guide dog brings to everyone. Both dog and owner have a bonding friendship. Many people along the way (from birth through training and placement) have the opportunity to also bond with the dogs and their future owners.

Guide Dogs Walkathon Involvement and Events

The process is amazing. Then the best part of all is people like Eric have a new freedom and improved quality of life, more independence, and they are given new opportunities they would not have had without the gift of a companion dog with specialized training.

Join a walkathon in your area or contact GuideDogsWalkathon.Org for more ways you can help.

Puppy Training Guide Post and Page Listing

We have a new Puppy Training Guide on Wisteria Goldens. It is a reference list of our new and popular blog posts and information pages. We have created one page for you to find the most effective way to raise your puppy and keep your dog healthy and happy. Reference List

House Training Guide

6 weeks pictures English Cream Golden Retriever Puppies for Sale Honor Thor litter born 11-24-2014 Wisteria Goldens RanchPuppies are most easily house trained when we take the lead, prevent accidents (by close observation and limited roaming), and praise for positive behaviors. The most common error in house training is the belief a punishment for accidents is effective.

The truth is a puppy lives in the present moment all of the time. He is unable to connect a few moments ago with the current interaction with you. Correction needs to be kind, in the moment, and accompanied by redirection and praise.

House Training Success

For a correction to be meaningful, you must catch your pup in the act. Use a strong voice and say NO or UH-UH sweep him/her up in your arms and take her out immediately! Praise your puppy when going outside — “reward” their good behavior using positive reinforcement.

House Training Routine

A routine of taking your puppy outside will work wonders for your long term success. Anticipation and attentiveness, especially until your puppy begins communicating with you, will give your puppy ample opportunities for her to potty in the proper place.

House Training Checklist

Timing and routine are key factors for house training your puppy. Take her outside regularly. If you are regularly busy, and overlook the passing of time, a timer system may be helpful for you.

  • Take your puppy out right away:
    * In the morning
  • * After mealtime
  • * Before and after playtime
  • * Before and after grooming time
  • * Before and after training routine
  • * Before and after traveling to an appointment
  • * Before bedtime

When you are busy it may help to set your timer for regular intervals throughout the day and take her outside.

House Training Process

Establish a routine for success. House training is a process of providing opportunities and rewarding positive behaviors. We can help her avoid house training accidents by providing supervision and taking the leadership role to establish a positive routine. Reward her as if she had chosen it and when she actually does communicate praise her enthusiastically.

Our dogs are consistently thinking about pleasing us. Be sure they know exactly how to do this and they will have positive behaviors consistently as well.

Puppy Training Guide Post and Page Listing

We have a new Puppy Training Guide on Wisteria Goldens. It is a reference list of our new and popular blog posts and information pages. We have created one page for you to find the most effective way to raise your puppy and keep your dog healthy and happy. Reference List

 

 

 

Dog Travel Safety Guide

10408517_10152482598736580_1982671213683866851_nOur dogs are on the move just as much as we are. They accompany us throughout our day and often, in the case of service dogs, into a wide range of transportation situations. This guide will explore how to prepare your dog for traveling to ensure safety, confidence, and an enjoyable experience for both of you.

Dog Travel Safety Event

We routinely prepare puppies for traveling to their forever homes. Two of the transportation options we use frequently are automobiles and airplanes.  Preparing the puppies ahead of time involves a socialization routine to address each of their senses in ways to familiarize them with the upcoming travel experience. Traveling to a forever home, or to the veterinarian, are both important events to prepare for ahead of time.

Dog Travel Safety Automobiles

Taking a few short drives to prepare for a longer drive is a good idea. Plan your short drive with all the details needed for the long drive later on. This way you can practice and you may think of something else to keep your dog more comfortable.

This is a Travel Socialization Checklist. It is a summarized overview of the preparations, socialization practices, travel supplies, and equipment you may need for each type of travel event.

Dog Travel Safety Guide Checklist

Dog Travel Safety Planes

We work with the puppies before they travel. They spend time in the crate each day, we play environmental CD’s that have loud noises and airplane noises on them etc. We also put a crate liner (vs newspaper) and a toy with them. We spray Comfort Zone spray on the crate liner too. We use AA Priority Parcel because we can keep the puppy longer — we check in about 1hr 15 min before the flight. We travel to DFW (a 5 1/2 hr drive for us) so that our puppies are on straight through flights. We try and prepare them for the travel as best we can.

Dog Travel Safety Travel Bag

Your pet’s travel bag should include familiar toy, food and snacks, bottled water, a water dish, a leash/harness, copies of vaccination records, and potty scoop/waste bags.

Dog Travel Safety Related Articles

Puppy Socialization Checklist

Appointments Preparation

ASPCA Car Travel Tips

ASPCA Air Travel Tips

 

Pet Food Recall Alerts and Notifications

Start-Pack-Lpup-400We use Life Abundance dog food and have not experienced the dreaded food poisoning or recall situations so many other pet owners have experienced. We highly recommend using Life Abundance but, we also realize not everyone is using it.

To help serve all of the pets we would like to offer information about a remarkable notification service offered by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA Animal Health Pet Safety Link) while it is not able to include all possible resources it will provide the most information of any other service we have found so far.

Pet Food Recall Alerts — Receive Alerts by eMail

Subscribe to the free service here and you will receive an email notification when there are new ‘Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts.’

 Pet Food Recall Alerts — Pet Food Recall Alerts and Notifications

If you would like to review a current list of Dog Food Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts you can find a list of brands and distributors organized by date the item was added or reported.

It is remarkable how many brands are susceptible to an outbreak of dangerous conditions regarding foods and products. These are a few of the dog food companies who alerted customers about a recall.

Pet Food Recall Alerts — Reported in the Last Year

Date Brand Name Product Description Reason/Problem Company
12/24/2014 Barkworthies Chicken Vittles dog chews Salmonella Barkworthies
09/26/2014 Bravo! Pet Food Salmonella Turkey and Chicken dog and cat foods
08/31/2014 Pedigree Dog Food Presence of foreign material Mars Petcare US
08/26/2014 Pedigree Dog Food Presence of foreign material Mars Petcare US
06/02/2014 Hill’s Science Diet Dry dog food Salmonella Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.
05/27/2014 Pet Center, Inc. Lamb Crunchy’s Dog treats Salmonella Pet Center, Inc.
05/14/2014 Bravo Dog and Cat Food Listeria monocytogenes Bravo
04/08/2014 Abady Cat food Salmonella Robert Abady Dog Food Co.,
02/05/2014 Hubbard Life, Joy, QC Plus Dog Food, Cat Food Salmonella Pro-Pet LLC

*These are reported alerts and recalls.

Pet Food Recall Alerts — Hazardous Foods

Another topic worth noting is the potential danger of everyday foods we eat which have been known to cause health issues for dogs. Some of these include:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Avocado

Find out more about why each of these and others are hazardous for dogs. The ASPCA site has detailed lists available.

We are on a mission to provide you with information and resources to help you raise your puppy and keep your dog healthy and happy. We’d love to hear from you about how we can help.

Informative Topics

Refer to our Puppy Training Guide Listing for more topics.

Dog Walk Run Safety Guide

service dog selection training and communicationThis article will explore the basics of a Walk Run Safety routine. Warming up, distance, preparation, commands, and the leader’s (you or your dog walker service) responsibilities. It is important to review the sections as they apply to your dog. If you have a dog walker/runner taking your dog for walks ask about these areas of care and how the service addresses each of them.

The safety of our pets is paramount. Health is important, exercise is part of a healthy pet’s lifestyle, and large breed dogs normally will need more exercise than small breed dogs.

Dog Walk Run Safety — Running and Walking Warm Up

Dogs need exercise. Large breed dogs need to be walked routinely. When a dog is in top form a bit of running is also advantageous.

NOTE: it is recommended that large breed dogs do not go “running or jogging” as a partner until they are fully grown which is about 18 month to 2 years of age in order to protect their joints until their growth plates are closed.

Remember it is especially good if you are a runner to help your dog ease into the routine the same way you do. You stretch a bit and warm up before you run. Your dog will benefit from a bit of walking and playing before running as well.

Dog Walk Run Safety —  Determine Distance

The average English Cream Golden Retriever puppy can walk around the block with you once a day and run a short distance. As she gets older, and has been walking with you routinely, you can increase the distance by a block at a time.

When you begin running start out with short distances of walk-run-walk, walk 1/3 of the course, run 1/3, and then walk the remaining 1/3 to cool down. Large breed dogs, such as English Cream Golden Retriever, need daily exercise, which a long brisk walk will sufficiently provide.

Dog Walk Run Safety — Preparation

Be sure both you and your pet are appropriately prepared for the course and that the course is free of safety issues or dangerous obstacles. Avoid areas where construction, other dogs, or high traffic are present. Your clothing and shoes should be appropriate. She needs a safe harness and leash as well.

Dog Walk Run Safety – Commands Heel and Lead

Until your dog is consistently able to follow you (to heel), have her on a loose leash, with enough lead so she can waver a bit without tugging. She should be consistently in the ‘heel’ position. The heel command reminder should not be necessary when your dog understands you are the leader and she is to maintain a consistent heel position. If she consistently needs reminded then spend a bit more time on that training during your routine training sessions.

Dog Walk Run Safety– Watch and Respond

Watch for situations where you should yield to traffic, avoid obstacles, or respond to unexpected situations. Take the lead and do not allow her to command stops or diversions. Be alert to her needs and initiate breaks, cool downs, and other course opportunities.

Other elements to be aware of are the weather, you and your pet’s current health and ability, and consider any breaks in routine which may have occurred due to holidays or unusual schedules. It may be necessary to start out slow if there has been a few days break in the walk-run routine.

Puppy Training Guide Post and Page Listing

We have a new Puppy Training Guide on Wisteria Goldens. It is a reference list of our new and popular blog posts and information pages. We have created one page for you to find the most effective way to raise your puppy and keep your dog healthy and happy. Reference List