View this blog on your Mobile Device. Click here.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

For Immediate Release: Home Dog Training of South Florida offers Holiday Tips for Families with Dogs

Fort Lauderdale, Florida - December 3, 2010-The holidays are a busy time for many households. Friends and family come and go, deliveries are made to the door, delicious smells emanate from the kitchen, and a general happy hubbub means that something special is happening. Among those affected by these changes is the family dog. To help dog owners remedy this, Home Dog Training of South Florida offers helpful tips for dog owners to help manage their dog's holiday-time stress.


"While one dog may enjoy a change of pace, another may be stressed by the changes," says Robin Edwards, dog behavioral therapist and trainer, Home Dog Training of South Florida. "Your normally easygoing dog may suddenly begin to show strange behaviors, like stealing food, jumping up on people, or growling or snapping at visitors. As pack leader, you need to communicate and demonstrate to your dog that while his world may be different, you will continue to keep him safe and secure."
When an insecure dog-no matter his size or breed-encounters a new situation, he doesn't know what to do. If he feels threatened, he may react defensively with a snap or bite.

On the other hand, a well-socialized dog is comfortable meeting and being with others, both dogs and people. He has been introduced to a variety of situations and knows he and his pack have remained safe through them all.

The following are some tips to help calm your dog and keep everyone in the home safe during the active holiday season.

Children visitors
  • Dogs that live in a household with no children may not be comfortable when kids come to visit. The chaos created by youngsters like grandchildren will inherently raise the energy level in the house, causing the dog to worry or stress. Here are some ways to control such situations if your dog does not cope well with children.
  • Always supervise kids (especially very young children) and dogs when they are alone together. This is when most dog bites to children occur.
  • With a very young child, parents must be vigilant and monitor their tot's interactions with the dog. Parents should teach children of all ages to treat dogs with respect and gentleness.
  • Never invite a child to feed the dog by hand-this teaches the dog it is acceptable to take any food from a child. Because of a child's small size, the dog may view her as an equal and thus may try to take advantage of the situation.

Boundaries and security
  • Dogs need to have their own "home," a place where they feel secure and calm. If your dog doesn't already have a place of his own, create one for him. 
  • A crate or pet carrier provides a natural safe haven for your dog. Keep his crate or dog pillow in a quiet area of the home, and direct your dog to go there when you need to set boundaries. While he may not like being separated from you, he will still feel secure. 
  • If your dog begins to bark or nip at visitors, remove him from the area and keep him in his safe place until your guests have gone.
  • Keep the dog out of certain rooms where he can get underfoot. For example, training your dog to stay out of the kitchen-where most household accidents occur-is a good safety measure. It also helps to prevent your dog from begging for food.
  • If you travel during the holidays, taking his crate/carrier will help your dog feel more relaxed, since "home" is wherever he finds you and his familiar bed. 

Elderly dogs
  • Elderly dogs may not enjoy the extra hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Be mindful of keeping your older dog comfortable when his routine is disrupted.
  • If your elderly dog gets cranky around visitors, simply take him to his special quiet place where he won't be bothered and can feel secure.
  • Remind children to be respectful of your older dog. Always provide supervision when dogs and kids are together.

Front door behaviors
  • A knock on the door can be a stimulating event for a dog, whether he sees it as fun or alarming. It is natural for him to want to know who the visitors are to determine if they are friendly or not. However, a dog that explodes with excitement at the sound of the doorbell is both annoying and unsafe-he may dash out the door and run into harm's way, he may get underfoot and become a trip hazard, he may knock people over, or he may become aggressive to the visitor.
  • To help your dog be calmer, exercise him prior to the arrival of guests. After 30 minutes of walking or playing, your dog will more likely be relaxed or want to nap.
  • As a general rule, don't allow the family dog to greet unfamiliar guests because commotion and unusual circumstances can cause stress for dogs.
  • Consider putting your dog on a leash as guests arrive to maintain better control of him.
  • Teach your dog to sit and stay on command. When the doorbell rings, put him in a sit-stay and do not open the door until he calms down.
  • If your dog gets overly excited with arriving visitors, remove him from the scene ahead of time. Place him in his crate in a quiet room, and then let him join the party later.
"By anticipating how your dog may react to new activities and visitors, you can help ensure that everyone-both two- and four-legged-has a fun and safe holiday season," said Edwards, dog behavioral therapist and master trainer, Home Dog Training of South Florida.
For more information, call us at 954-424-0170 or email us at info@southfloridadogtraining.com.


For Immediate Release: Home Dog Training of South Florida Offers Tips When Working from Home with Your Dog

October 7, 2011, Fort Lauderdale Florida,  Home Dog Training of South Florida states: With the rise of telecommuting and self-employment, many dog owners are able to work from home and don’t have to routinely leave their furry friends for the day. Some dogs ease into this scenario and are able to be with their owners throughout the day with without exhibiting behavioral issues. For others, however, there are a number of behavioral problems that may arise—such as dogs demanding attention by barking or whining, often at the worst possible times. Read on to find out how to address these common issues.

Why do dogs act up in the home-office environment?
Because of the large amount of time spent together in close proximity, these dogs often have increased opportunities to train their owners! They might nudge for pets or climb in laps. They often nap under the table or desk where their owners are working, but when they wake up, they will request attention—and usually get it.

While seemingly cute and innocent, whenever a dog gets to direct the behavior of his owner, he sees himself as being put in the leadership role. And as the leader, a dog may feel he has the right to demand his owner’s attention—often at inopportune times, such as when the owner is on the phone or involved in an important assignment.

Picture this common scene: You are on an important conference call. A few minutes in, your dog starts to bark or even jump on you. The call is important and you can’t afford the interruption, so your dog gets picked up or petted—and your attention gets divided. You can’t have your dog barking during the call, so you give in. This, however, teaches him that barking and whining is rewarded with attention and affection, which leads to more and more demands at times when you are occupied.

What can I do?
The first thing to do is to separate workspace from dog space. Go to work in another room, separated from your dog. Even though your dog may choose to go elsewhere and nap during the day, if he has free access to you, he will most likely come and find you when he wakes up. It’s important that your work area is off-limits and that your dog is confined (either gated or crated in another room) so he doesn’t have access to you. If he barks for your attention at first, you may want to have at least a couple of closed doors between you as he gets used to the new situation. Make sure to give him something to occupy his attention, such as a treat-rewarding Buster® Cube or KONG® toy.

Do NOT to go to your dog’s space if you hear any barking, whining or pacing. Only return when he’s calm and quiet. If you return when he’s acting out of stress, he will learn that making a fuss is rewarded with your attention.

Practice obedience when you do return. Training your dog engages his brain. This will tire him out and help him become calmer. Try asking him to SIT and STAY before you pet him or toss a toy.

Work on your leadership skills. Be proactive in asking for your dog’s attention and focus. Always begin play on your terms; for instance, if he brings you a certain toy for play, take control of the toy and wait until later to bring it out yourself and initiate play.

Time management is important. If you went off to work without your dog, you would only have certain times when you could interact with him. Work on establishing set times for interactions. For example, take a 10–15 minute break mid-morning and again in the afternoon, or a half hour at lunchtime. Do what works for you and also meets your dog’s physical and mental needs. It’s important that you don’t continuously stop what you are doing and engage with your dog. He’ll quickly get used to the cues you give for your set interactions and will settle down quicker during the in-between times.

As he learns that your world doesn’t necessarily revolve around him, he’ll relax and not be as anxious for your attention. His bad behaviors are simply learned behaviors, because they have worked in the past; your dog will only make a different choice if those strategies no longer result in your attention and what he interprets as praise. Be patient, calm and consistent. If you never separate from your dog, he will have a hard time feeling comfortable by himself when you do have to leave him. Practicing separation while working from home or with your dog at the office will help you both be more relaxed and happy, together or apart.


For more information, call us at 954-424-0170 or email us at info@southfloridadogtraining.com.

Friday, November 1, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: HOME DOG TRAINING OF SOUTH FLORIDA WANTS TO ENSURE A SAFE JOURNEY WITH YOUR DOG THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Fort Lauderdale, Florida - November 1, 2013 - Whether traveling by car, truck, plane or train, more and more pet owners are taking their dogs along, too. Home Dog Training of South Florida offers helpful tips for the more than 46 million U.S. dog owners on how to travel safely with pets this holiday season, or any time.

"The holidays are a great time for traveling to share the season with family and friends," said Robin Edwards, dog behavioral therapist, Home Dog Training of South Florida."Bringing your dog can only add to the fun. And by following a few safety precautions, you can be sure your whole family enjoys a safe and pleasant journey."

General Travel Tips

  • No matter what mode of travel you choose, the best practice you can do to keep your dog safe during the journey is to keep him restrained.
  • Affix current identification to your dog. Even better, have him microchipped; this provides a permanent form of I.D. and helps to ensure your dog is returned to you if he gets lost during the trip.
  • Carry a recent photograph of your dog to make it easier for others to help you look for him if he gets lost.
  • If your dog is prone to travel-related anxiety or motion sickness, consult with your veterinarian about what medications they might recommend. Be sure to tell your vet about the particular mode of travel you will take.
  • Feed your dog his usual meal one to two hours before travel. If he tends to experience motion sickness, feed him two to four hours before travel.
  • Do not give your dog food or water during travel as it may spill, forcing him to lie in a mess during the trip. Dogs can go 8 to 12 hours without food or water.
  • No matter how long or short the journey, your dog should be restrained. An unrestrained dog is dangerous-he can become a flying projectile that can injure you, your passengers or the dog himself.
  • Secure your dog in the back seat in a pet travel safety harness or car seat, or in a pet carrier fastened to a seatbelt. "Dogs riding in the front seat can be seriously hurt if the airbags deploy," said Edwards. If you drive an SUV or wagon, install a pet barrier to keep the dog in the back area of the vehicle. Secure him in his harness and attach it to the hooks in the floor.
  • If you must transport your dog in the bed of a pickup, use a crate or carrier secured to the truck bed to prevent your pet from being thrown into traffic at a sudden stop.
  • Do not allow your dog to ride with his head out the window. Road debris and other flying objects can injure his eyes.
  • When stopping for a break and before you open the car door, attach a leash to your dog's collar so he can't escape; even the most obedient pet can become disoriented when traveling. Always use a leash to walk your dog.
  • On a long car ride, stop every four hours or so to allow your dog to relieve himself (be sure to clean up after him), stretch his legs and refresh himself with a small drink of water.
  • Before setting out on your journey and after arriving at your destination, give your dog plenty of exercise. "Exercise will help him be more relaxed and able to acclimate to his new surroundings," said Edwards.
  • Be wary of temperature extremes. Your car is like an oven under the blazing sun and a freezer in the bitter cold.
  • Whether he will go in the cabin with you or in the cargo hold, your dog will need to travel in an airline- or train- approved carrier. Check the travel line website for requirements.
  • If your pet will travel as cargo, check for restrictions on any health/immunization and other requirements.
  • Use direct flights to avoid mix-ups during transfers or the possibility of delays in getting your pet off the plane. Ask the airline if you can watch your pet being loaded into and unloaded from the cargo hold.

"A happy, well-socialized dog that knows you will always be there to keep him safe and secure will enjoy traveling to new places with you," added Edwards.

For more information, call us at 954-424-0170 or email to info@southfloridadogtraining.com.

Monday, October 21, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: HOME DOG TRAINING OF SOUTH FLORIDA WARNS ABOUT THE RISE OF DOG THEFT



Fort Lauderdale, Florida, October 21, 2013 - "In recent years there has been an increased level of dog theft.  Some organizations have indicated that dog theft has increased by as much as 32%", stated Robin Edwards, Home Dog Training of South Florida Behavioral Therapist & Master Trainer.    

People steal pets for a variety of reasons:
  • Some are simply looking for a dog and don't want to pay the price charged by the breeder or pet store.  
  • Others are looking for dogs that they can sell.  Dogs can easily sell for up to $3,000 or $4,000 on the open market. 
  • Others steal the dog and then wait for the reward posters to be placed in the neighborhood.  It is amazing how often Fido just happens to wander into a stranger's back yard with no tags or other form of identification.
  • Dogs are stolen to use in fighting clubs. This is probably the most disturbing and distressing of all the reasons your dog is stolen.
Having a dog stolen is horrendous for both the owner and the dog.  A once well behaved dog, if found, can turn into a fearful/aggressive animal.  They can become aggressive around people or other animals.  They might attack with no warning or sit, shaking with fear, in the corner of the room.  Your once, happy companion, has returned to you with a level of anxiety and fear that might never be reversed.

So what can you, the pet owner do to try and minimize your pet being stolen?
  • Make sure your dog is micro chipped and has a collar tag.  You also might think about a GPS locator on their collar.
  • Never leave your dog in a public place.
  • Never leave your dog alone for any length of time in the back yard or front yard.
  • Be aware of any strangers who take too much interest in your dog.  If they are asking too many questions regarding your dog's breed, age, lineage, health, temperament; they might "be shopping".
  • Make sure that you have thoroughly checked the background of your dog walker.  Are they bonded? What are their references? Does your vet know anything about them?
If your dog has been stolen/missing:
  • Make sure that you contact the police or the appropriate local animal control authorities.
  • Make flyers with your dog's picture and canvas the neighborhood.  Place flyers in vet hospitals, doggie grooming stores, pet stores, supermarkets, etc.
  • Contact the local radio and TV stations to see if they have places on their web sites to post your dog's information.
  • Contact and check the local dog shelters to see if your dog has been surrendered.
  • Check Internet Databases such as www.FidoFinder.com to register your dog and to see if anyone has listed him as found.
"Having anything stolen from us, especially our family dog, is a terrible experience.  Getting them back is very difficult and many times, impossible.", stated Edwards.  The best solution is to proactively take the appropriate precautions outlined above.  Keeping your dog safe and secure provides for their well being and is just the smart thing to do.

For more information, call us at 954-424-0170 or email to info@southfloridadogtraining.com.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

For Immediate Release: Home Dog Training of South Florida Provides Information to Assure Halloween is Safe for Your Dog



Fort Lauderdale, Florida -Oct. 9, 2013- Halloween can be a very scary holiday for dogs, and is in fact the most dangerous holiday of the year for our canine companions. Home Dog Training of South Florida offers practical guidelines for dog owners to help dogs stay safe. These tips are based on the expertise of Bruce and Robin Edwards, having trained over 3,000 dogs in South Florida since 2006.

"Each year, we hear numerous accounts of dogs getting injured or sick, or straying, during Halloween," said Robin Edwards. "While Halloween is intended to scare people, it can be an especially frightening time for dogs, who don't understand that the holiday's antics are all in good fun. By being more sensitive to dogs' fear-driven 'fight or flight' instincts, we can help keep our furry pals from regarding Halloween as a nightmare."

Dog owners can care for their dog's safety and well-being by taking note of the following tips:


  • Keep your dog restrained. If your dog is timid or scared, or if he tends to love people a little too much, put him in a separate room away from the front door. This will limit his excitement, aggression or chance of running outside and getting lost or injured.
  • Check your dog's identification tag. Be sure tags are secure on your dog's collar-just in case.
  • Bring your dog indoors. Even if you have a fenced yard, keep your dog inside where he cannot be harmed or overwhelmed by costumed visitors. If he is usually housed outside, bring him in a few times before the big night to get him comfortable with being indoors. "Remember, it is a natural instinct for dogs to protect the family from strangers," said Edwards "and on Halloween there will be plenty of strangers."
  • Avoid overly assuring your dog. If your dog seems unsettled by Halloween activities, just act as normally as possible. By giving your dog extra attention or overly comforting him, you can inadvertently communicate to him that there must be something to worry about.
  • Let your dog get used to costumes. Your dog may see his family members as strangers once they don their Halloween attire. Allow your dog to scent the costumes before putting them on. Keep masks off while your dog is around.
  • Experiment first to see if your dog likes wearing a costume. While some dogs enjoy being dressed up, many do not. If he shows any resistance, don't do it. Just tie a fun bandana around his neck and he'll be happier and safer.
  • Keep candy away from your dog. Many sweets-especially those containing chocolate or xylitol-are toxic to dogs. Problems can range from a mild upset tummy to vomiting and diarrhea, or even death. For your dog's health and safety, keep candy and candy wrappers away from him.
  • Don't allow your dog near lighted candles and pumpkins. Agitated or excited dogs-and their swinging tails-can easily knock over a lit candle or pumpkin. Keep these items out of your dog's reach, or consider using a battery-powered candle instead.
  • Think carefully before taking your dog along on trick-or-treating rounds. You may unintentionally instill a new fear of strangers in him, creating a wariness that could last long past the holiday. If you do take your dog, keep a firm grip on his leash. "Dogs do not understand that the person jumping out at you will not hurt you," said Edwards. "They often think they can only help you by acting aggressively." Neither children nor adults in costumes should approach a dog without the owner's consent.
For more information, call us at 954-424-0170 or email at info@dogtrainingsouthflorida.com.


# # #




Friday, August 2, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: HOME DOG TRAINING OF SOUTH FLORIDA OFFERS BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS FOR FAMILIES WITH DOGS


Fort Lauderdale, Florida -August 1, 2013 - As families prepare for the new school year, Home Dog Training of South Florida offers tips to help them avoid behavior problems with their dogs that can occur at times of change. By providing training and the right combination of food, shelter and entertainment, families can help their dogs adapt to the new household schedule.

"Back-to-school time can create stress on the entire family, including the dog," said Robin Edwards, dog behavioral therapist and master trainer, Home Dog Training of South Florida. "Dogs are creatures of habit, and so any abrupt change in routine can seriously affect them. However, with a little understanding and preparation ahead of time, families can avoid many of the back-to-school behavior problems their dogs might exhibit."

Boredom
While dogs naturally sleep a lot during the day, when they wake up, they want something to do. "Seek out toys and activities that can keep your dog entertained, even when you're not at home," Edwards said.

  • Scatter food Dogs are natural foragers who enjoy sniffing out food on the ground. Before you leave the house, scatter a variety of foods -such as bits of raw vegetables, dog kibble, and other foods that won't attract wasps-around the yard or house. Hide a few ultra-tasty treats, too, so your dog spends extra time looking for them. Be sure to provide fresh, clean water to keep your dog well hydrated.
  • Toys Dogs love toys, but they can get bored with or destroy them. Buy high-quality, virtually indestructible puzzle toys that your dog will always enjoy, especially those that hold treats like the KONG™ and Buster Cube™. Every week or so, rotate what toys are available to your dog to give him something new and fun to hold his interest.
  • Start early A few weeks before your children return to school, get your dog used to being alone. Begin by separating him from the kids and the rest of the family. For example, if you frequently take your dog with you to run errands, leave him at home instead.
  • Pay less attention to your dog While your dog may be the center of attention when the kids are home all day, you need to change this scenario before they return to school so that he can adjust more quickly to the quiet time. About a week before school starts, pay increasingly less attention to your dog each day.
  • Practice leaving the house "Go through the motions of leaving the house," said Edwards. "Pick up your keys and go out the door, but then come right back in again. The dog will cease associating the routine of your leaving the house with your departure." This will help him to be more relaxed when you actually leave.
  • When you leave When the last person leaves the house for the day, don't confuse your dog by saying soothingly, "Don't worry, Buster-we'll be home soon. Be a good boy." If he is feeling concerned that you're leaving, your sweet-toned voice can make him think it's okay to feel anxious. Dogs are animals that instinctively rely on a defined social structure, and so they expect their leaders to be strong when they leave the group. Therefore, ignore your dog for about 10 minutes before you leave.
  • Crate Most dogs love the safety of a crate. Because dogs are descended from den-dwellers, a crate is a natural shelter because it has the same characteristics of a den. If your dog hasn't been crate trained, don't start training him the day the kids leave for school-that's too late and can actually add to his stress. When your dog has become accustomed to his new crate, do not keep him crated for long periods of time. If you plan to be away longer than 10 hours for a dog and 6 hours for a puppy, ask a friend or hire a pet sitter to come by to let your dog out to toilet during that time.
  • Laundry room If your dog will be inside all day and you are concerned about him toileting in the house, use a baby gate to enclose him in a small room (which inhibits the tendency to toilet) and has an easy-clean floor (in case he has an accident). Place a soft bed and toys in the room for him too.
  • Doghouse If your dog will be housed outside while you are away, be sure he has shelter in which to get out of the weather. "Dogs are more relaxed when they are covered and in familiar surroundings," said Edwards. Place the doghouse next to your house so your dog feels his house is an extension of the larger "den." Provide bedding and plenty of fresh water.
  • Train the kids Parents need to train their children to avoid going right to the dog's area as soon as they get home. Kids should ignore the pet for several minutes to allow him to settle down. With young children, it is always safest to have a parent present to reduce the chance of a problem. Once your dog learns the routine, he will relax.
  • Train your dog It is amazing how quickly dogs learn what is acceptable and what is not. Dogs have a language of their own, and once we understand it, we can easily control them by "speaking their language." Home Dog Training of South Florida specializes in using dogs' natural, instinctive communication methods to train them. It's simple, and it works.

Separation Anxiety
With everyone away from the house all day, dogs left alone can become stressed. This stress can result in destructive behaviors and endless barking. Follow these tips to help reduce the potential anxiety of separation.

Shelter
Dogs need to have their own "home," a place where they always feel secure and comfortable. If your dog doesn't already have a place of his own, create one for him.

Unusual Behavior
When dogs are continually stressed, they can begin to exhibit abnormal behaviors, such as jumping up or even biting. A child coming home from school may be greeted by the dog in an unnecessarily rough manner, even knocking her to the floor. After being left alone all day, the dog has pent-up energy-and when he sees the kids, his excitement might cause him to overreact.

For more information, call us at 954-424-0170 or email at info@southfloridadogtraining.com.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: HOME DOG TRAINING OF SOUTH FLORIDA OFFERS JULY 4TH SAFETY TIPS FOR DOG OWNERS

Fort Lauderdale, Fl - June 18, 2012 - With the excitement and commotion that comes with Independence Day, Home Dog Training of South Florida offers helpful tips for the estimated 43 million U.S. dog owners on how to keep their dogs safe and calm during July 4th festivities.

"Independence Day celebrations are great fun for people, but the loud noises and bright lights can be traumatic for dogs," said Robin Edwards, dog behavioral therapist and master trainer. "The explosions, excited voices and visual stimulation can create confusion and fear."

"Animal shelters report that the July 4th holiday brings record numbers of runaway dogs to their doors," Edwards continued. "These dogs have been frightened and made frantic by fireworks. But by being aware and thinking ahead, we can keep our dogs as safe and comfortable as possible during the revelry."

Edwards offers the following tips for dog owners to prepare for Independence Day:

  • If you are going to a fireworks display, leave your dog at home where he will be the most safe and comfortable.
  • If you go to a holiday event, never leave your dog in the car. A partially opened window does not supply sufficient fresh air, and it creates an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
  • Always keep proper identification securely fastened to your dog's collar in case he gets out. Talk to your veterinarian about implanting a universal microchip in your pet, and make sure that your veterinary clinic and animal shelter have your correct contact information in their database.
  • Don't leave your dog outside. If you cannot bring him inside, cover his dog house with a blanket to protect him from the bursts of bright lights and loud bangs. A dog's sense of hearing is acute-over 10 times more sensitive than humans'.
  • Create a special den-like area in your home where your dog feels safe. A properly introduced crate or kennel can be a calming refuge for him.
  • Some dogs become destructive when frightened. If you don't use a crate, remove any items in the room which your dog could destroy or which could hurt him if he chewed them.
  • Keep your dog away from the front and back doors. Your dog may be under significant stress, which could result in unnecessary injury to others or cause him to dart out the door and become lost.
  • Keep windows and curtains closed to reduce noise and bright flashes.
  • Turn on a TV or radio at normal volume to distract your dog from loud noises and help him to relax.
  • If possible, stay with your pet during the majority of the fireworks. A dog often reacts more intensely to loud sounds and flashes of lights when you are not with him.
  • Consider hiring a pet sitter to stay with your dog while you are away from home.
"July 4 is a time for fun and celebration," Edwards said. "By taking these precautions, you and your pets can have a safe and happy holiday experience."

For more information, call us at 954-424-0170 or email at info@southfloridadogtraining.com.