Choosing the perfect dog bed for your dog

There are many things to consider when choosing a dog bed for your dog:

· Is your dog destructive?

· Is your dog elderly and/or have health issues?

· Do you have a large, medium or small dog?

· Does he like to stretch out or curl up?

· Does your dog overheat or feel the cold?

Obviously you have to consider the size of your dog, but also his personality. Many dogs will chew up anything fluffy and some are very aggressive bed makers and scratch. This behaviour can mean dogs need new beds quite often and you may wonder why they do it. Bed making is instinctive and is inherited behaviour that still exists in domestic dogs. For our dogs ancestors, scratching, trampling and moving the sleeping area around would have moved stones, sticks and leaves to make the bed more comfortable. Just as we plump our pillows and duvet to make our bed more comfortable. Dogs also have glands in their paws that leaves a distinctive odour when they scratch so bed scratching could also be territory marking behaviour. You may see a tatty blanket or bed, but your dog will see and smell a perfect place to call his own.

Find a bed to suit the size of your dog and also how he likes to sleep. A bed that is too big may make your dog feel insecure and could also be a bit draughty! The donut or nest bed is a good style for a dog that likes to stretch out but prefers to have a ‘pillow’ to rest his head. The Beco donut bed supplied by Paws Plus One is tough and durable, washable and also eco friendly being made up of recycled products. This is an extremely comfortable dog bed and a firm favourite with our family Springer Spaniel.

The traditional raised sided dog bed is ideal for dogs that like to curl up. The raised sides give support and the bed can be shaped square or round. You can find a traditional style bed in many sizes to suit all dog breeds, but for a dog larger than a Labrador a mattress type bed would probably suit better to give room to stretch out.

Paws Plus One has a selection of mattress beds including waterproof mats for use in the car or for working dogs and those dogs who regularly come home wet and muddy.

Smaller dogs and toy breeds are more likely to feel the cold and would appreciate warmer bedding and blankets. To make it extra special, personalised blankets are available through Paws Plus One website. All dogs like warmth and these blankets are good quality, lovely soft easy care fleece. They would make an ideal present for christmas or a doggy birthday!

If you have working dogs or dogs that live outside in kennels, the raised dog bed is ideal to keep them off the cold floor. They are also a great idea for camping or caravaning holidays too as they are easy to assemble and pack away. They come in all sizes to accommodate larger dogs as well and are sturdy and well made and can be washed down. The raised bed is recommended and used by our working cocker spaniel.

If you have an elderly dog or a dog that suffers from arthritis, to ease those aches and pains and stiff joints, a memory foam mattress would really help. Or if you really want the very best for your dog, try an orthopeadic mattress. Much like our human beds the Paws Plus One orthopaedic dog bed contains many individual pocket springs, housed in fabric pockets, all working independently of each other. This means that support is offered from the edge to the very centre of the mattress.

The pocket springs in this dog bed allow your dog to either curl up or stretch out with ease and helps to provide an ideal balance of joint support, even weight distribution, insulation and cushioning.

Whichever you choose, make sure you keep your dog’s bedding clean and remove any beds that get chewed and have holes where your dog can get the stuffing out. Many dogs have had vet visits to remove intestinal blockages due to eating non food items.

If you require any help or assistance in choosing the best dog bed please do not hesitate to contact us

Top Tips through Winter with your dog

Getting your walking boots on in the depths of winter in the rain, wind and sometimes snow, is not very appealing, but that is part and parcel of dog ownership.   Dogs still need to be exercised whatever the weather.  It can be said that even dogs are not always so enthusiastic either! However, you can learn to love your winter walks with the right preparation.

  • BE SEEN WHEN WALKING

    Stay within well lit areas and wide pavements when walking in built up areas. Keep your dog walking by your side away from the traffic. Invest in some high-visability gear for yourself and your dog.  Hi-Vis collars and dog jackets will make sure he is seen by motorists and by you. Walking with your dog off lead in the dark is not advisable.  Always carry a torch. A head torch is a good idea to keep your hands free.   Walk with friends if you can.  If you are alone make sure you walk in familiar surroundings and consider carrying a personal alarm for added safety.

  • KEEP WARM IN WINTER

    Invest in a good quality Gortex waterproof jacket.  Add a good pair of waterproof walking boots and/or wellingtons with thermal socks and you are good to go.  Don’t forget a waterproof cap or hat.  Consider getting your dog different types of dog coats for all occasions and always keep a spare in the car.  The fleece dog coat and jumpers are great for putting on for the journey home or during the walk as they are weatherproof, lightweight and warm.  It is not a good idea to have your dog’s coat clipped too short during the winter months.  Keep the hair around his feet trimmed to prevent the build up of ice balls between the pads and toes.

  • KEEP YOUR CAR AND HOME MUD FREE

    Mud and rain are unavoidable during the winter, so make sure your car and house is mud and wet dog friendly. Dirt trapper house and car mats will absorb mud and moisture and help keep your home and car clean.  High absorbent dog towels are also useful to keep in the car for drying off after a very wet walk. Then pop on a fleece jumper to keep your dog warm!

  • CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST

    Make sure you are prepared for the conditions.  If it does start to snow heavily while you are out, put your dog on the lead.  Snow can affect his sense of smell and could make him feel a bit disorientated.

  • ENJOY THE WINTER SEASON

    Popular areas that are normally jam packed during the summer, tend to be a lot quieter during the winter.  There is nothing like a frosty winter walk with a touch of winter sun – perfect for photography.  But do beware of flood water as there is often a strong current, so keep your dog under control.

  • WINTER WALKING DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BORING

    Winter walking often means you have to keep your dog on the lead. Let him sniff – smells are very important and using the nose keeps your dog’s brain busy. Changing your usual routine helps to make it a bit more interesting.  Take a toy or ball with you and stop regularly for a game.  This is the best time to top up your dog’s training.  Make the most of your time together and brush up on basic commands like sitting at the roadside before you cross the road.

  • KEEP YOUR DOG WARM AND SNUG AT HOME

    Get him a new dog bed for the winter. Paws Plus One has many designs and sizes for all breeds. Waterproof dog beds and mats are great for keeping in the kitchen and can be easily wiped down.  The Luxury waterproof mattress and the Quilted dog bed are fab products for practicality without the loss of comfort.  A personalised dog blanket would make a very pleasing Christmas gift for a dog lover.

 

 

 

When To Start Puppy Training

Puppy training will begin as soon as you bring your puppy home. Puppies as young as 7 or 8 weeks can be taught simple basics such as sit and stay, but they do have a very short concentration span. It is best not to be too intense too soon and keep training sessions short, but daily.

Positive reward based training should be introduced to help the pup understand your command. Food treat rewards can be used to lure the pup into position. To teach the ‘sit’ command, pass a tasty treat in your hand over the pup’s nose towards his back and say sit. This action will force him to sit down when you should repeat the command and give him the treat with lots of praise. The same principle can be used for ‘down’, by passing the treat close to his nose and to the floor giving the ‘down’ command. Repeat the command and give the pup the treat when he has got down on the floor. Always give lots of praise when the pup gets it right.

When to use treats?

Using food treats in this way can be used for other basic commands such as to get your pup to come to you when called. For ‘come’ hold the treat out at a distance and give the command ‘here’ or ‘come’. It often works better if you are crouched down or kneeling to be at a lower level. To help with lead training, keep a treat at your side to encourage your pup to walk alongside you.

The command can be ‘heel’. Command names can basically be whatever you want them to be. The pup will learn any name or language as long as it is consistent. Most pups will respond to food based treats, but it is really best to watch and learn from your pup to find out what is the best reinforcer to use as a training aid. Not all dogs are food led and some may prefer to have a ball as a reward or another favourite toy or even just a lot of fuss and praise. Eventually everything will become second nature and the reward can be dropped.

How to recall  your dog?

Recall training cannot be started too soon and is the most important to master. A young pup has a dependent need to be close to you and will follow you around wherever you are. It is a good idea to use this time to create good recall and a close bond with your pup. Don’t worry about losing him, you can walk, increase pace and change direction. He will be concentrating so hard to keep with you and that contact with you is not broken.

Call the pup over to you often with the command ‘here’ or ‘come’. Always praise and make a fuss when he comes to you. Many new owners are so worried about losing their pup that they keep them on the lead. By doing so they miss out on this special time where the pup should be learning to follow you about. If this opportunity is missed it could be disastrous when he is eventually allowed off lead! Getting the chance of freedom at the emerging independence stage will mean your pup will not want to give it up and is unlikely to come back to you when you want him to! He will hover around just far enough away but will not allow you to catch him! Very frustrating! He may have little sense of danger or of getting lost which could end in tears.

Clicker training can be started with a pup as young as 12 weeks. Getting your pup used to the clicker sound early on is a good idea. Pups usually find this fun and consider it a game. Clicker training help can be found in Clicker Training

How much exercise?

Your new pup will be very active in between naps. Giving the right amount of exercise is important. Once puppy has had his vaccinations and can be taken out into the big wide world, exercise should be kept to short walks. Puppies bones are still very soft and growing and inappropriate exercise may damage the growth plates. Too much exercise too early could cause health problems later in life. Experts consider that 5 mins for every month of age starting at four months is the rule to go by. However, there are no official studies to support this, but even so, it is a sensible precaution. Working line breeds will have an abundance of energy, so it may be difficult keeping strictly to this!

Keeping these breeds mentally stimulated is therefore important. One study suggests that it is the type of exercise rather than the quantity e.g. allowing your pup to go up steps and jump in the early months. It is always wise to pick your pup up when going up and down steep steps and into vehicles.

Your pup will also need a good puppy bed to relax in after all this stimulation. The puppy first bed is a soft, supportive bed that will grow with your pup and help him settle down for a good nights sleep.

Have fun with your puppy!

Top Dog Bed Reviews – Quality Dog Beds

The dog’s on the bed again! Does that sound familiar? All dog’s need their own space, but they do like comfort and who can blame them! Having a dog in the bed is not everyone’s cup of tea. There are many reports on the pros and cons of having a dog sleep in the bedroom from given health benefits to it promoting bad dog behaviour.

At Paws Plus One we think all dogs need a good comfy bed to call their own instead of a dog in a bed! We have set out to provide a good selection of beds for dogs of all shapes, size and lifestyle. Getting the right bed is not an exact science. Watch your dog’s body language and how he settles for his night sleep. A review of all our dog beds may help your decision when looking for a new dog bed.

Your dog travels a lot in the car?

Having your dog in the car does mean lots of mud and dirt, especially in the winter months. Our new boot bed is the answer. It transforms your car boot into a purpose made special place for your dog. The bumper protector, attached by Velcro, stops the paint scratches and is easily removed. The bed has cushioned protection all around to keep your dog secure and comfortable with enough space to stretch out without rolling around. A tough waterproof outer, it just needs a wipe down with a damp cloth to keep clean. When not needed in the car, the bed can be used outside for kennels or indoors. It would be a great dog bed for camping and caravanning. Especially useful for the working dog.

Have a big dog who likes to stretch out?

Larger breeds tend to prefer mattresses because they can lounge and stretch out. Paws Plus One has a great range of mattresses. We love the Beco range as all their products are produced with the planet in mind. All Beco products are made from recycled products and the stuffing for the Beco mattress was made from used plastic bottles! As a bonus it is also an hypoallergenic bed made from cotton and hemp. A very sturdy, deep and soft mattress. The large size would suit a Labrador size dog. If you have an older dog or one that suffers from arthritis or injury, a memory foam mattress or an orthopaedic mattress may be the best option to give good support with comfort. Paws Plus One has both memory foam and orthopaedic beds in stock. Our orthopaedic mattress is a top of the range bed which is made with pocket springing just the same as a human bed. It gives superb support and will last for years. Our memory foam mattress is very popular. It is made with human grade memory foam. Has soft moisture wicking removable washable covers and a good selection of sizes to suit most breeds. Two large ones put together would easily accommodate a Great Dane!

In addition Paws Plus One has a good selection of mats and mattresses in some great designs to suit all home decors. One of our favourites is the Newton range Box Duvet. It is such a stylish design in great country colours and a really good sturdy and comfortable bed.

Comfortable snuggled dog beds

You have a new puppy?

Look no further for a great puppy first bed. This innovative design has thought about everything. The removable inner ring allows the bed to ‘grow’ with the pup so it will last longer. Supportive and cosy soft to snuggle into. Thereis a pocket at the bottom of the bed which will take a heat pad. A great idea to keep the pup warm when missing mum. Heat pads can be bought from most chemists, or you could use a small hot water bottle. In addition to that, there is a pocket at the side of the bed. This could be used to store a favourite toy. If the pup is particularly unsettled a good idea is to put in a ticking clock or something similar which could mimic the sound of mum’s heart beat! Your puppy is bound to love his first bed.

Your dog prefers to curl up and sleep?

Some dogs prefer to be supported in a circular or rectangular bed. Even bigger dogs sometimes prefer the traditional bed. The Slumber dog couch comes in an Extra Large size that would easily accommodate a larger breed such as GSD or Retriever. The Deluxe Slumber or Snuggle beds are really sumptuously padded and very supportive for great dog zzzzzzzzzzzzz’s for the smaller dog. The Beco Donut bed is a very popular bed for dogs that like to have a pillow. It is cleverly designed to give good support, but the donut design also provides a slumber pad for the head. As with all Beco products it is produced using recycled items. We like practicality, so all our beds are fully washable.

You want a dog bed that looks good in the house?

Look no further PP1 has the perfect hand made solid oak dog bed that has a 5 year guarantee. It is a stylish piece of furniture which is 100% fit for purpose. Couple up with one of our mattresses and you have the ideal dog couch that will compliment your chaise lounge! We have a size to fit most breeds. If necessary it could be made to measure to make sure you get just the right fit for your dog and your living room. The perfect dog sofa bed which will keep him off your sofa!

Oak-Dog-dog-Bed

You need a bed that is waterproof and tough for working dogs?

PP1 has a great new heavy duty, waterproof range. Manufactured with a hard wearing, waterproof fabric, this range is just the job for working dogs and dogs that enjoy a lot of outdoor activities. The Country range is tough and muddy paws just wipe away. Deep duvet mattresses and cage mattresses are available in this range which are great for use in the car and at home. For working dogs that are kennelled, or for use in the garden we have a great raised dog bed with a waterproof wipe clean base. The sturdy steel frame is strong and supportive. The bed is off the floor away from damp floor and draughts . Great day bed which could easily be folded up and taken in the car or caravan. The car boot bed is also a useful, versatile item for a working dog. It can be transferred from the car to use outside or indoors and is fully waterproof and tough.

Your dog chews the bed?

No dog bed is indestructible. If your dog is young or just loves to chew, the best option is to go for a tougher working dog bed that will last longer than the softer type. A plastic bed could be the answer. Luxury deep filled quilted mattresses that are specially made to fit oval plastic beds are available in various designs.

If you have any questions about or need any assistance in choosing the correct dog bed please do not hesitate to contact us at Paws Plus One

Strong Dog Toys for Large Dogs

Looking for a strong dog toy? Whilst no toy is indestructible, one of the best materials for dogs that are heavy chewers is a dog rope toy and an ideal toy for labs to chew on

Rope style dog toys are one of the best because of their durability. The fibrous material is strong enough to withstand vigorous power chewing, it is a natural product and the added bonus is that it is also good for teeth cleaning! One of the best toys for active dogs as they are very easy to wash after being thrown around outside.

Dog rope toys come in various shapes and sizes. Toy ropes can be braided or woven. Some braided dog toys may have multiple knots and some can have plastic handles or rubber balls attached. Whichever toy rope you choose make sure it has significant length and is big enough for your dog to chew on without swallowing. Always remove any plastic pieces that come adrift from any dog toy.

Playing tug of war with a rope toy is good esteem building, especially if the dog is lacking in confidence. Letting him win at tug will boost his confidence, but do not allow him to win too often as it may turn table and create a behavioural issue. Teach him that playing tug is fun, but when you want it to stop he has to accept the game is over. End the game with a command e.g. ‘finish’ or ‘end’, drop the toy and walk away.

Dog rope chews are appealing to most dog breeds. They are reasonably soft and flexible and if soaked in cool water, rope toys can be soothing for teething puppies and a great chew for general dogs teeth and gum health.  Labs and Spaniels in particular will love to carry the braided rope around. Always supervise pups with toys. Bigger dogs who are aggressive chewers may eventually shred the fibres and ingest, so again supervision is necessary at all times.

The monkey nut rope dog toy is a great idea for dogs that like to retrieve. It is easily slung by the handle making it a great dog toy for the outdoors.

Paws Plus One has a good selection of dog rope toys and we consider these to be the best chew toys for large active dogs.

Which is the best toy for your dog

Treating your dog with an easter dog toy? There are endless dog toys on the market. But which is best? As dog owners it is our responsibility to make sure our dog’s toys are safe for them to play with. We should always check that your dog’s toy is in good condition.

* It is not beginning to lose its stuffing

* It does not have loose pieces such as ribbons and string that can be swallowed

* The squeaker inside cannot be ‘got’ at and inigested.

* Watch the fluffy toys with dogs that love to chew

* Do not let dogs play with toys made for children. They are not always tough enough for a dog with lose bits such as eyes and fabric pieces that can be pulled off.

However, it may also surprise you to know that there are no government directives or standards for levels of toxins in pet toys. Toys for children in UK are covered by the Toy (Safety) Regulations 2011 and Safety Standard EN71. Although many of our children will play with and be in contact with the family dog toys!

In 2009 the Ecology Center in Michigan conducted a full study of levels of toxins in dog toys. The findings were quite startling and standards do not appear to have changed much:

* Almost half of the pet products had detectable levels of one or more hazardous chemical.

* A quarter of them had detectable levels of lead.

* Seven percent had lead levels greater than the safety standard for lead in children’s products.

* Nearly half of tennis balls specially made for pets had detectable levels of lead, while sports tennis balls contained none.

Top Tip: If your is very active dog, loves to play with tennis balls, always buy the cheap sport type and not the pet shop balls. They bounce much better too!

Plastic toys imported from China including some major brands, but more likely the cheap ones, are quite likely to contain high levels of lead and other toxic materials. Always check to make sure toys are labelled BPA free or made from 100% safe natural rubber. Look for natural products such as jute, wool, cotton and leather.

Paws Plus One will only sell premium quality and safe chew toys made from natural products. The Beco chew toys are all non toxic and made from natural recycled products. PP1 also has some great new leather chew toys which are safe and tough for all breeds. They are tough, but also soft enough for puppies to chew on to ease teething. Leather is also good to use outdoors as it can be washed down and are best toys for Labs to chew and Spaniels.

Why not treat your dog to a new Easter dog toy?

Celebrate the Mixed Breed

A dog’s personality is determined by many factors, mainly genetics and early experienced environment. When looking for a dog and if you have done your homework, choosing a selective breed means you are likely to get a dog with known behaviour traits. However, genetics alone do not show the whole personality and it is important to emphasise that good assertive leadership and dog socialisation plays a huge part in how your dog will behave.

Mongrels raised in a good family environment will grow to become happy and reliable dogs just the same as a pure bred dog. Unfortunately, mongrels are often the result of an unwanted pregnancy and are discarded and left to their own devices or given to dog rescues. This often leaves the dog with anxiety and other behavioural problems.

A crossbreed or mixed breed is classed as a dog that is bred from a pure bred bitch of one breed mating with a pure bred dog of another breed. These are sometimes called designer dogs and there are now many to choose from, some of which are the Springador, Cockerpoo, Puggle, Labradoodle, Schnoodle to name a few. Choosing a Crossbreed and getting to understand the behavioural traits of both breeds, will give a good indication of how the dog will look and its likely personality. Although this is not always a certainty as crossbreeds can differ a lot in looks even those from the same litter.

A Mongrel then, is a dog which is the result of a mating between two different cross bred dogs and it is very much a guessing game as to how big the puppy will grow and its likely parentage. Some people find that the fun of owning a mixed breed dog is not really knowing how it will grow or develop. For most it is important to know the likely size of the dog especially if you have limited space. There is DNA testing that can help to identify the breeds involved, but this is not always accurate.

If you are wanting a mongrel, unfortunately, dog rescue centres often have many to find good homes for. The best way to acquire a random bred dog is from someone you know who has had a litter so you can assess the temperament of the mother and if possible the father. However, there are some great dogs available for rehoming in the rescue centres. If selected for the right home and owner who is understanding of the dog’s background and behavioural problems, it can be a fantastic partnership.

Studies suggest that with random mating, mongrels tend to have a higher resistance to canine diseases. This is likely because pedigree dogs may be highly related. Mongrels are often survivors of extreme living conditions. But, despite their hardness, they still need to be protected against killer diseases just the same as a pedigree dog.

Crossbreeds and Mongrels are unique and should never be dismissed as second class. They can be the best of loving, loyal companions. The Crossbreed and Mongrel Club (CMC) was founded 1994 and continues to be the only national club dedicated to crossbreeds and mongrels Members can enjoy showing and socialising their dogs in fun classes and championship heats all over the country, which can be a great way to meet new friends. Each year heats are held nationwide where dogs can qualify to compete for the club’s Supreme Champion title! The club is keen to recruit new members so if you are a crossbreed or mongrel owner, why not visit the website or the CMC Facebook page for more information.

Tips for photographing your dog

All dog owners love to take photos of their dogs, but often that special moment has gone before you have your camera ready!! Pet photography is not easy and the following tips may help to get that favourite shot.

Don’t be taken by surprise and plan. Take someone with you to provide distraction with plenty of treats and toys. You will need someone to engage play and get your dog into position without him being aware of what is going on! Try and keep the photo as natural as possible.

If you want a head shot, use the zoom on your camera which will allow you to move further away, but still capture a close up image. If you are just photographing head and shoulders make sure the eyes are clearly in focus. The eyes should be position two thirds to the top of the frame to create a balanced photo.

It is a good technique to  photograph your dog outside using natural light. A classic rule to remember is to always have the sun behind you which will protect the lens from flare. When photographing dark haired dogs, having the sun shine on the dog helps to lift shadows and bring out the shine and colour variations in the coat. However, the typical English weather is usually cloudy but this, actually, is the best condition for photography. Photographers call cloudy days nature’s soft box, so don’t be dismayed if your planned day is overcast.

If you are using a flash indoors, one problem can be ‘green eye’, similar to the ‘red eye’ effect in people. Animals tend to show a greenish-yellow tinge to the eyes which is the light bouncing off the back of the retina. Strangely green eye appears more noticeable in older dogs. To reduce getting the ‘green eye’, one option would be to avoid using the flash and raise the ISO setting if you have this facility on your camera. Select a higher setting when the light quality is poor and a lower setting when it is good. However, most image software programmes on computers have the ability to remove ‘red eye’ and adjust the colours.

Taking photo’s in warmer weather can get your dog hot and excitable and consequently they will pant with the tongue hanging out. Sometimes this will give the dog a happy expression and ‘smile’ but some dogs have very long tongues which can become the focal point of the photo! Get the dog to focus and close his mouth by creating distraction; try using a squeaky toy behind your back. If the dog is interested he will close his mouth.

A good tip is to try to be as creative as possible and get colour in your shots. Use nature – wild flowers, even dandelions are colourful! Use props such as wooden garden furniture, pots and ornaments. If you are photographing indoors using a sofa or armchair, cover the seat with material to highlight the dog’s coat colouring. A black backdrop will help draw attention to the dog’s expression. Red will give a sense of authority to the shot and is a particularly good colour for Dobermanns, Rottweilers and German Shepherds.

On many digital cameras you can select either the shutter speed or aperture as the priority facility. You will need to experiment with these functions. A faster shutter speed will freeze any movement in your photograph whilst a slower speed will blur a moving object. Using a faster shutter speed will create great shots of your dog in mid air catching a ball or jumping.

Patience is a virtue and to get the best photo’s you will need endless patience. But keep practising and you will be rewarded with an album of great memories of your much loved dog.

For more help with amateur pet photography click here

Winter Competition 2017

#Winter photography competition has now opened!! To take part and enter competition. We are looking for a great #photo of your #dog#walking, playing or working in the #countryside to capture the winter#season. The winner will win a Beco dog bed and the winning photo printed on an item of your choice from either a cushion, mug or tote bag. We would also love to share the photo on our website, so if you would like to show off your best friend send your entry photos to [email protected] marked Winter Competition with details about your dog and the photo and why it is special.
All entries must be in by the 19th Feb 2017!

Good Luck!!

Is your Dog Barking Mad!

Dogs bark! Its how they communicate, but for some dogs barking can become habitual and excessive and a nuisance to you and your neighbours and could result in a complaint being made to the Council. especially if you don;t know how  to stop a dog barking at night.

Dogs bark for a reason and you need to find out what that is before making attempt to stop it. Some dogs, depending on the breed and individual temperament will bark more than others. Dogs bred for guarding will do just that and also some of the more reactive breeds such as herding and terriers also tend to be more vocal.

There are different types of barking :

* Watchdog barking – guarding the home and reaction to people walking past, postman and delivery people.

* Frightened and anxious barking

* Excitement barking

* Boredom barking

* Separation related barking

* Aggression barking

How to stop a dog barking at night

All dogs will usually become protective of their ‘den’, but watchdog barking is often a problem borne from dogs who do not have enough mental stimulation as protecting the house can become their main focus. To help manage this type of barking, avoid letting your dog have access to windows or glass doors so he cannot see people walking past or movement outside. Leave the radio on when you leave him alone to try and keep him from focusing on strange sounds and give a bit of ‘company’.

Increase the exercise and include interactive play to tire him and provide more interest and stimulation. Another tip is to leave a food stuffed toy when you go out so he has something to occupy his brain and mouth! A similar situation can occur when a dog is left outside for long periods without proper exercise. The most interesting thing he can find to do is to bark at passing cars and if he is able, to chase them. Dogs need more stimulation than being outside in the garden or yard all the time. They need to be able to experience new ‘smells’ and have play time.

A lot will depend on the breed as to the kind of interaction and amount of exercise needed, but most dogs love to play with balls or a frisbee which will give them a good workout. Alternatively, consider taking up agility or flyball to create more interest in your dog’s life.

Having a dog is a big commitment and unlike cats, dogs are pack animals and do not enjoy being left alone. If it is unavoidable to leave your dog alone for long periods, enlist the help of a dog walker to take him out for exercise and socialisation with other dogs. An experienced dog walker may walk more than one dog at a time, but will know who best to pair your dog with to make the walk fun and enjoyable.

Separation anxiety barking is very common and companion breeds may suffer more from this. Getting your dog used to being alone should start from day one. Create an area for his bed or crate which will be his own space. Give him boundaries and slowly build up the time he is left alone. Start by leaving him in a room downstairs whilst you go upstairs to do jobs. The use of baby gates really helps to keep your dog away from no go areas. They do eventually understand there are places they are not allowed to go. Creating boundaries is one way to show you are making decisions as ‘leader’ and helps to alleviate the stress put on the dog of looking after all of the ‘den’ which can lead into a different behaviour trait of resource guarding which will be covered another time.

Nervous dogs will worry bark as they think they will appear fierce and the problem will go away! This is harder to deal with and may need the help of a dog behaviourist who can observe and assess the dog to find out what is causing the fear and offer a plan of help.

There is no law against a dog barking and if it does cause a problem, usually it can be sorted amicably. However, people have the right to live in peace in their homes and constant incessant barking from a neighbour’s dog could constitute a noise nuisance, especially if it is happening during the evening or at night. If it is not dealt with it could be reported under Section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and may involve a hefty fine. So folks, please ‘go in peace’! For more information.

If you have a problem with your own dog barking please don’t hesitate to contact us we are happy to help and advise on a training tips.

Tips for a great new dog year

A new year, a new you and a new year for your dog! This is the best time of year to take stock of your own and your dog’s health and wellbeing for the months ahead.

As the new year begins work off the Christmas excesses with extra exercise. One of the benefits of owning a dog is that it encourages you to get out in the countryside. Your dog is always ready for extra exercise which will keep him mentally and physically stimulated. Change your dog walking route and experience new places to walk your dog and treat him to new wee-mails and other new ‘smells’. Perhaps join a dog walking group or even cani-cross if you feel fit enough. Cani-cross is a great way to exercise with your dog. The owner wears a waist belt which is attached to a 2 mtr bungee line to a padded dog harness. You can start with power walking and working up to running with your dog, with the dog running ahead. If you fancy something different, check it out here to find a local club. /

For something a little less energetic there is Wag and Tone which is agility exercises to music for both dog and owner. Take a look at the Wag and Tone here. There are Ebooks and also DVD’s to use at home.

As well as increasing the exercise, it’s a good time to give your dog a health check. Take him to the vets for a quick check over and to be weighed. Are his/her jabs and worming up to date? If he/she needs to slim down a bit, consider diet. Over the winter months he/she has probably not burnt off so many calories so may need to cut down a bit. Check teeth and ears and make sure to keep his coat well groomed to keep the fur from getting matted and muddied up. Treat him to a new year shampoo and groom.

May be the new year is also time to treat him to a new dog bed.

Dog beds on average, should be replaced at least once a year. Some may not last that long, especially if your dog loves to chew. One type of bed you may like to consider is a memory foam dog bed or dog mattress. A memory foam dog bed is a particularly good investment for an older dog or for a dog suffering from arthritis and joint problems or recovering from surgery. Or if you just want to spoil him and give him the best bed available. A memory foam bed can offer comfort and support for all dogs, especially the larger breeds and those a little on the portly side. Memory foam beds will respond to your dog’s body temperature to keep them cooler and more comfortable. PP1 can offer a great memory foam mattress which your dog will love you for.

A happy and healthy new dog year everyone!