June 10, 2011
With help from last week’s DogTails post, you’ve now decided what breed is a good fit for you and your family, and perhaps you have even the found the perfect puppy already! Congrats! Bringing a puppy home requires a lot more work than just picking it up and putting it in the car, however. DogWatch Hidden Fences encourages all new puppy owners to make sure they are properly prepared to welcome their furry new addition. Here are our tips (and checklists) on how to do just that.
First things first: puppy-proofing your house. A new puppy is akin to a crawling baby or toddler; it can and will get into anything and everything, and has a compulsive tendency to put things in its mouth. Here are our suggestions to protect both your puppy and your property:
____ Put away floor plants, decorations, shoes, and clothing. Puppies won’t know that plants aren’t food or that those decorations are choking hazards, and they certainly won’t be able to tell the difference between your beat-up old Keds and your brand-new Louboutins. And as they’re learning potty-training, they may also have difficulty telling the difference between their wee-wee pads and your cashmere cardigan. Best to remove anything that could be hazardous if ingested, or that you don’t want potentially turned into a chew toy or bathroom spot.
____ Secure or remove tablecloths and other hanging fabrics. These are an irresistible temptation for puppies, especially if they’ve begun to learn to play tug-of-war with you using a rope toy. It may look like fun to them, but one tug and everything on top of that cloth could come crashing down on top of them.
____ Put away breakable and small objects on low-lying tables, ottomans, fireplaces, or other surfaces. Anything the puppy could break and/or eat should be removed from its reach. Also, enthusiastic tail-wagging has been known on many occasions to shatter a vase or glass or picture frame, so pay close attention to objects at tail-height.
____ Lock up cabinets and secure hazardous materials. Make sure your puppy doesn’t have access to chemicals, medications, alcohol, detergents, household cleaners, and any other substances that could be hazardous to it. One good way to do this is to invest in the cabinet-locking mechanisms used in baby-proofing. They can be found at your local superstore for a reasonable price and are generally easy to install yourself.
____ Secure phone wires and electrical cords. Puppies love to chew and tug on things, and they won’t know the difference between these cords and the rope you use to play with them. To avoid accidentally disconnected phone or electric service and your puppy potentially being shocked by chewing through the cord, we recommend tucking these cords as far out of reach as possible and covering them in plastic sheathing or PVC tubing, which you can find at your local pet store or hardware store.
____ If there are children in your household, make sure they put away their toys and any small parts or accessories. General rule of thumb? If the part is smaller than the puppy, put it away. Also, having kids put their toys away when they’re done will limit the amount of tears shed when the puppy chews their favorite stuffed animal or destroys their new Lego creation.
____ Double-check every nook and cranny for small or neglected items that could pose a danger to your puppy. Common overlooked places? Under and behind furniture, tables, cabinets, and appliances.
____ Consider having a DogWatch indoor barrier system installed to keep your puppy out of the places you don’t want him going, or that aren’t safe for him. Contact your local DogWatch Dealer to learn about the options and to find out when your puppy will be ready to be trained.
____ Clean up the yard. Put away any hoses, tools, toys, or other objects the puppy could chew on or try to eat.
____ Prevent access to dangerous areas like the pool or well. Even though your dog’s breed may be known for its swimming prowess, it may take your puppy time to learn, and he may have difficulty finding his way back out of the pool. Puppies have also been known to slip through the grating over storm drains and wells. A DogWatch Hidden Fence system is the perfect way to keep your puppy out of hazardous areas like these! Contact your local DogWatch Dealer to learn more.
____ Secure lawn products and chemicals. This includes fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides, paint and paint thinner, antifreeze, and any other potentially hazardous chemicals. If you wouldn’t ingest it yourself, it should be kept well out of your puppy’s reach.
____ Check for escape routes and install a proper fencing system. If you plan on letting your puppy off-leash in your yard, you need to make sure there’s no way the puppy can escape into a neighbor’s yard, or worse, the street. Traditional fences do not always succeed at this; puppies can dig under the fences and even get themselves stuck in them. Your local DogWatch dealer will be happy to install a DogWatch Hidden Fence for you that will keep your new puppy both safe AND secure in the part of your yard you designate. Contact your local DogWatch Dealer to learn more.
Phew! Now that you’ve prepared your house and yard for the impending puppy invasion, it’s time to focus on what you’ll need to care for the puppy itself! There is a whole arsenal of supplies that you will need before you can safely bring your puppy home. Most, if not all of these, can be purchased online or at your local pet store. Some of the supplies we’ll mention can be considered optional, in that you will most likely eventually need them, but will probably be just fine without them initially. Ultimately, it’s up to you, and your puppy, which ones you’ll most need and when to add them to your kit. Read post »
June 9, 2011
When Ron Pace, the DogWatch Dealer in Washington state and a renowned dog trainer with 35 years of experience, shared his story with Dog Tails, he mentioned how strange it was that the dog that brought him worldwide attention just happened to be named Sugar. You see, at his Canyon Crest K-9 Training Center in Tacoma, WA, Ron currently trains service dogs for people who have diabetes. These dogs use their unique abilities to detect and alert their owners to potentially dangerous blood sugar levels. So it seems appropriate that the boxer who collapsed and was resuscitated by Ron during an obedience training session should be named Sugar! What a sweet coincidence.
In this installment of DogWatch Dealer Chat, we speak with Ron about his years of dog training, his diabetic service animal organization, and of course, Sugar’s dramatic rescue, which was captured on video.
(You may have seen this video of Ron’s heroic efforts on our Facebook page, or on CNN, Fox News, “Today” or any of the many media channels which showed the footage and covered the amazing story. If not, we’ve embedded the video below. Don’t miss it!)
A Dog-Centric Career
Ron Pace has been a DogWatch dealer for 20 years and a dog trainer for 35 years, but his love for animals goes back even further. His love of dogs began in high school, when he took a neighbors’ Doberman pinscher for a walk and stayed with the dog for hours. Not long after, Ron brought home a dog of his own, a German shepherd puppy he named Jake. To learn more about Jake, read Ron’s tribute to the dog who “changed his life” here. Like all puppies, Jake was a bit “unruly” at first, so Ron took him to obedience classes. There, Ron discovered that he and Jake were quite “good students” and at 19, he won a $1,000 scholarship to pursue dog training as as career.
Ron and Jake proved to be a strong team. The talented dog even helped Ron secure his first bank loan to start his dog training and boarding business, Canyon Crest K-9 Training Center in Tacoma, WA. Jake accompanied Ron to the bank, showed off his obedience training and proved that his dog trainer “meant business.”
At Canyon Crest, Ron offers a variety of training courses, from puppy preschool to advanced training in tracking and personal protection. He works alongside his wife, Patti, and their two dogs, a 16-year old Norwich terrier named Mattie and a 2-and-1/2 year old German shepherd named Jude.
Service Dog Training
April 29, 2011
While the world watched with baited breath as Great Britain’s Prince William said his vows to long-time love Catherine Middleton today, we here at DogWatch Hidden Fences find we’re a bit more intrigued by the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel than all the Royal Wedding hoopla. While today will certainly go down in royal history, we’d like to bring the focus to some dog breeds that have made royal history of their own! Introducing . . . the Royal Dogs!
The Saluki: Perhaps the oldest pure dog breed still in existence, the sleek and elegant Saluki has been discovered in carvings in Sumerian tombs dating as far back as 7000 B.C., and Egyptian tombs dating back to 2100 B.C. Thought to be named after the ancient town of Suluk, Libya, the Saluki was considered the royal dog of Egypt. So beloved by the Egyptian royals, they were frequently mummified along with their owners, and several depictions exist of King Tutankhamen with his favorite Salukis. The Saluki is thought to have been brought to Europe during the Crusades in the 12th Century, and arrived in England in the mid-1800s, and America in the early 1900s.
The Lhasa Apso: One of the most ancient dog breeds, the lion-like, black-lipped Lhasa Apso is thought to have existed as far back as 800 B.C. Lhasas originated in the sacred city of Lhasa in the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet, and were bred by holy men called Lamas. Referred to in Tibet as “Apso Seng Kyi,” or “Bearded Lion Dog,” the Lhasa was primarily used as a watchdog in temples and monasteries, as well as in religious ceremonies. It was believed that the souls of deceased Lamas could enter the bodies of Lhasa Apsos, where they remained as they awaited reincarnation. A highly-prized dog, Lhasas could neither be bought nor sold; they could only be given as a gift. Lhasa Apsos made their way to Great Britain and the United States in the early 1900s.
The Pekingese: The royal dog of China, these little dogs with a lion’s mane took their name from the ancient city of Peking (now Beijing) over 2,000 years ago. In ancient China, Pekingese were considered sacred and believed to drive away evil spirits. Bred and guarded in the Imperial Palace, so prized were these little “lion dogs” that only royalty was permitted to own them, and the theft of a Pekingese was punishable by death! In 1860, the British overtook the Imperial Palace of China; during the seizure, five Pekingese were captured and brought back to Great Britain. They were given to British royalty, including Queen Victoria, as spoils of war, and were then interbred, thus beginning the British line of Pekingese. In the early 1900s, the Chinese Dowager Empress Cixi began gifting the dogs to influential Americans, beginning the line of the modern American Pekingese.
The Pug: An old breed of Chinese descent, dating as far back as 400 B.C., the snub-nosed, smush-faced Pug is believed to be a relative of the Pekingese. Imported to Holland by the Dutch East India Company in the 16th century, the Pug rose to Dutch popularity under William, Prince of Orange, after one saved his life in 1572 by sounding the alarm that the Spanish were approaching, thus allowing him time to successfully flee their assassination attempt. So the intrepid little Pug became the official dog of the House of Orange, and one hundred years later, when William II ascended the throne in England, he brought his beloved Pugs with him, establishing their following in Great Britain. This following grew to include the likes of the ill-fated Queen Marie-Antoinette, as well as another less-than-fortunate Parisian, the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.