Tips for Walking Small Dogs

Here is everything you need to know about walking small dogs.

First of all, yes, it is important to walk a small dog. Dogs that lack sufficient activity can exhibit mental problems, behavioral problems, and obesity. Small dogs are more prone to heart issues and obesity than large dogs, and daily exercise can help to prevent these problems and extend your dog’s life.

Walking small dogs is just as important as walking large dogs. In addition to the physical health issues, all dogs need mental stimulation to help avoid behavioral problems caused by boredom. When you take your dog outside for a walk, you introduce him to the chance to explore a wealth of new things. Regular exercise can also help prevent aggression, fear, anxiety, and hyperactivity in your small dog. To learn more about hyperactivity, go to Hyperactivity (ADHD) in Dogs.

A short two block walk with your small dog a few times a week can help to prevent multiple health issues like joint problems, muscular issues, heart problems, mange and other diseases.

Walking small dogs can be challenging. Their short legs may look like they are struggling, but every dog needs some exercise to stay healthy and happy. Owners of small breed dogs have noted that walking their dog has helped them to calm down. Walking small dogs can also help to lessen or eliminate Napoleon’s Syndrome, which is so common in small dogs.

Walking small dogs can help to regulate their temperament and make your dog a better companion. They can take any hyperactive or rowdy behavior and put it into their exercise.

How Far or How Long Should I Walk My Small Dog?

A small dog needs about a half hour a day outdoors to maintain their health. You can break this time into two 15 minute walks.

Your small dog needs daily walks to stay healthy and to control their weight. But too much of a good thing can be harmful, so moderation is the key. Small dogs like bulldogs and pugs have squished faces and their shortened muzzles limit airflow. That means they can get overheated pretty quickly if they’re out too long.

When considering how long and how far to walk your small breed dog, you should always consider your dog’s age and health level. These factors will determine how much time your dog should be spending on daily walks.

What to Do If You Encounter a Bigger Dog on Your Walk

It’s only natural to worry about your small dog’s safety while out on a walk. There have been instances where larger dogs approach and harm the small dog, sometimes badly injuring or even killing the small dog.

If you’re out on a walk and you encounter a bigger dog, it’s best to scoop your dog up so you can help to protect him or her. The most important thing in this scenario is not to act alarmed or frightened. Even though every fiber of your being may be struck with fear, you don’t want to make yourself more of a target. It is best to act calm so that you seem in control of the situation. Do not yell at the bigger dog. This only makes the encounter more interesting to him at a time when he is looking for some physical activity.

To learn more about walking a dog, go to The Pet Owner’s Guide to Walking a Dog.

How Much Should You Walk Your Dog?

Dogs need regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. That includes a daily walk. Here are a few reasons why walks are so important.

  • Health benefits – Exercise can help to prevent obesity. Your dog’s cardiovascular system and digestive system will both work better with regular walks. Walking can also improve joint health.
  • Mental stimulation – Walking to new places and seeing new things can help to keep your dog mentally alert. Walking improves mental health and reduces unwanted behaviors like chewing, digging, anxiety and unnecessary barking.
    Socialization – Walks can provide a variety of learning experiences for your dog and help him to feel more comfortable in new environments.

How Much Should I Walk My Dog?

If you’re a dog owner, you may have asked yourself, “How much should I walk my dog?” The answer is – it depends on the dog.

As a general rule, an average dog in good health should be able to tolerate a 20-minute walk each day. If you have a more active breed, your dog may tolerate up to a 60-minute walk. With an older dog or with a breed that is more sedentary, a 15 to 20-minute walk may be best.

We all want the best for our dogs. That means you don’t want your dog to get overweight. The risks associated with excess weight include diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease and a reduced lifespan. Lack of exercise is one of the big reasons so many dogs are overweight. Walking is a good exercise for your dog – and for you. To learn more about obesity in dogs, go to 5 Ways to Combat the Pet Obesity Epidemic.

How Do I Know When My Dog Has Had Enough?

So, how much should I walk my dog? Begin with a 30-minute walk. You don’t want to wear your dog out, especially if he has been sedentary for a while, so you may have to work your way up to that half-hour mark. If you have an active breed, your dog will need an outlet for all that energy. And size doesn’t matter – some of the most active breeds are smaller breeds. With one of these dogs, 30 minutes should be considered the absolute minimum amount of time to walk. You’ll want to work yourself up to a 60-minute walk to provide your dog with enough exercise and mental stimulation. Dogs who are very young or old should never be walked for more than an hour. The amount of distance you walk depends upon how fast you walk and the size of your dog. Your dog may display signs like panting, hesitation and a slow gait when he is tired.

While pushing through some fatigue can help you become stronger, at other times you simply need a break to rest and rehydrate before you cause an injury. Start slowly and build up to your desired walk time. Don’t overdo it. Too much exercise will leave your dog sore and less willing to walk the next time.

When deciding how far you should walk your dog, you should think in terms of time, not distance. Dogs are of different sizes. So a one mile walk for a Great Dane is a lot different than a one mile walk for a Chihuahua. Keep in mind how far you are from home because you will need to retrace that distance to get back home. Always be conservative when deciding how far to go in one direction. Remember if you want to add more to the walk you can always retrace your steps when you get back to the beginning of the trail. Also remember that if your walk is mostly downhill at the beginning, it will be mostly uphill at the end when your dog is more tired.

If your dog is having a hard time tolerating a full walk, start by breaking the walk into two smaller walks. Shorter, more frequent walks are a good idea for puppies and older dogs.

Also, let the weather determine how long you will walk. If it’s a particularly hot day, cut back your walking time, especially when you are walking on a hot pavement. If it’s a cool day and your dog seems to be frisky, you may want to add on an additional five to ten minutes.

How Frequently Should You Walk Your Dog?

A minimum of two 15 minute walks are recommended for most dogs, however there are many variables to consider when determining how frequently you should walk your dog.

  • Breed – Some dogs have small bladders and will need to go out more often.
  • Size – Smaller dogs may not need to walk as long or as far. They just need the chance to go to the bathroom and to get some exercise.
  • Diet – Grain-free foods reduce the amount of waste your pet produces, so some diets may lead to more or less need for the dog to eliminate.
  • Water – Some dogs drink lots of water while others drink less frequently. Bigger drinkers will need to go out more often.
  • Age – If you have a puppy who is just learning bathroom habits, or an older dog, he may need to go out more often.

Many dogs will be happy with two walks a day while other dogs may need to go out more frequently.

What Are Dog Walking Services?

When you own a dog and you work outside the home, taking care of your dog’s daily needs is an ongoing concern. While you are gone for 10 to 12 hours at a time, who will be there to walk your dog? That’s why so many dog owners take advantage of local dog walking services.

Experts recommend hiring a dog walker if you’re going to be away from home more than eight or ten hours a day. Dogs who are left alone for long periods of time may begin to act destructively because they have no mental or physical stimulation.

While you’re gone, dog walking services can treat your dog to a nice walk. In addition to allowing him to go to the bathroom, it will give him a chance to get outdoors in the fresh air and take in the sights, and it will provide some much-needed exercise. It is a great solution for busy dog owners who just can’t be there to do it themselves.

Dog walking services can include private or semi-private on-leash walks, or it can include group outings where your dog is picked up along with several other dogs and driven to a local park for an off-leash adventure. Some dog walking services even offer training services. It all depends on the dog walking service and what it is that you want to provide for your dog.

To learn more, go to Keep Rover Moving: What to Look For in a Dog-Walking Service.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of dog walking services depends on a variety of factors. Most dog walkers charge by the walk. It also depends on whether you want a short 15-minute walk or a longer 30-minute walk. Each walk will cost a different amount.

Sometimes, dog walkers will give discounts to regular customers. For instance, if you hire a dog walker for 5 days a week instead of just one or two days a week, you may get a discount on their rate. However, the dog walker must pay for travel costs to and from your home and be compensated for time spent walking your dog, so don’t expect any big discounts.

The cost for dog walking services will also vary by region. Depending on where you live, dog walkers will price their services to be competitive with other dog walkers in the area. If you live in a city where dog walking is in high demand, you should expect to pay a little more for dog walking services.

In general, you should expect to pay a dog walker about $15 to $20 for a 20-minute walk and $20 to $30 for a 30-minute walk. For two walks a day, expect to pay between $30 and $45. If you own more than one dog, the dog walker will walk them at the same time. For a second dog, you can usually add $5 to $10 per walk.

How Do You Choose a Dog Walker?

When you hire a dog walker, you are entrusting your dog’s well-being to an unknown person. That can be dangerous. So it’s important to know as much as you can about the dog walker and to take precautions. On the plus side, you can hire a professional dog walker who knows how to handle animals and the situations that inevitably arise. On the other hand, your dog could end up being mistreated by the dog walker.

There are many experienced and caring professional dog walkers, so it is important to find the right one. Here are some tips for choosing a dog walker.

  • Perform a background check.
  • Get a referral from a friend, neighbor or veterinarian.
  • Find a dog walker who is trained in pet first aid and CPR so they will be trained for any emergencies that might come up.
  • Find a dog walker who is bonded and insured.
  • If your state requires dog walkers to obtain a license, make sure that your dog walking service is licensed with the state.

Don’t just hire a service. Meet with the actual dog walker who will be walking your dog and ask a lot of questions. Here are some questions you should ask.

  • Where will you walk my dog and at what time of day?
  • How many dogs do you care for at one time?
  • If there will be other dogs with your dog, find out if the dog walker evaluates them for temperament, energy level, and size.
  • What is your policy about illness or injury to dogs in your care? What emergency vet service do you use and are you certified in pet first aid?
  • Will you notify me of anything unusual, like loose stool or altercations?
  • Ask for references and personally speak to them.

Also be mindful of what questions the dog walker asks you. Professional dog walkers will want to know all about your dog – vaccinations, behavior triggers, training and how your dog behaves around other dogs.

How to Walk a Dog

Going on a walk is probably the highlight of your dog’s day. You should be able to take your dog on a walk without incidence. That’s why good leash skills are so important for the safety of your dog and you. So let’s take a look at how to walk a dog.

Learning how to walk a dog can take weeks or months of regular practice. To start, make sure that your dog has a collar that fits him properly, and have an appropriate leash. For the collar to fit correctly, you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. To learn more about dog collars, go to Tips on Choosing the Right Dog Collar.

You should use a short leash to give you more control. To train your dog, you should start by having some treats with you to reward your dog for good behavior. You should also use a marker for good behavior – try a clicker or tell your dog “yes!”

To learn how to walk a dog it is best to start without a leash. You can do this indoors or in a securely fenced outdoor area. To start the training, walk around the space but ignore your dog. Then, call your dog in an enthusiastic tone and reward him with a treat when he comes to you. Continue walking around the area and encourage your dog to stay by your side. Choose a command that works for you, and make sure you use an enthusiastic voice. As you continue to walk together, periodically reward your dog with a treat. Take breaks where you will once again ignore your dog, then call him to you again and continue walking. After a few sessions, your dog will learn good things come from walking by your side.

Once your dog has learned the correct behavior without a leash, it’s time to begin leash training. If your dog is calm, simply clip the leash to his collar and reward him for staying still. If your dog is hyper, you’ll need to train him to be calm before the leash goes on. If your dog goes crazy when you reach for the leash, quickly pull your hand back and just stand there. Don’t speak to your dog. This should help him to settle down. Reward your dog for standing still and focusing on you. Once he is calmly waiting, clip on the leash. If he gets excited again simply stop, pull your hands back and wait until he calms down again.

Once your dog comes when called, knows how to walk by your side without a leash and stands still while you put on his leash, it’s time to learn how to walk a dog.

Learning How to Walk a Dog? Here’s Where to Begin

When you’re first learning how to walk a dog, it is important to keep your training sessions short. Start by establishing correct behavior on the leash. Your dog will no doubt pull on the leash and try to lead you. But at some point he will stop this behavior and let the leash go slack. At this point, you should mark and reward your dog. If your dog walks nicely without pulling, mark and reward him now and then to reinforce the lesson. If your dog continues to try to pull you forward, simply stop in your tracks. This will teach your dog that by pulling he will not be tolerated and that you will not move forward until he begins to walk politely. Once the leash goes slack mark and reward your dog and then resume walking. Do this every time your dog begins to pull.

Teach your dog to follow your commands by turning around abruptly and walking in the opposite direction. Give your dog a verbal cue. When your dog turns to walk at your side in the new direction, mark and give him a treat.

If your dog continues to pull on the leash even when you turn around or stand still, it’s time to show him that pulling makes good things go away. Back up slowly with gentle pressure on the leash. When your dog turns his focus back to you, reward him enthusiastically and encourage him to continue walking by your side.

When learning how to walk a dog, one of the most important things to teach your dog is how to walk at your side. If your dog weaves back and forth from side to side, chances are he will trip you and you can get injured or fall on your dog and injure him. Teach your dog to stay on one side of you, not go back and forth from side to side. The left side is preferred, but you can choose whichever side works best for you. To teach your dog, keep the leash short enough that he cannot easily leave your side. You can also use treats to move him into the desired position by your side. You can also mark the behavior. When your dog starts to learn to walk by your side, give a treat every few steps. In time, increase the distance between treats until he forms the habit of walking by your side without treats.

The Pet Owner’s Guide to Walking a Dog

Walking a dog can be more difficult than you might think. When walking a dog, you might think you’re going to go on a nice leisurely walk with your dog, but it turns into a tug of war. You may wonder why your dog has to stop and pee on everything or why he has to stop and sniff everything in his path.

Pulling on the leash is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face when walking a dog. Walking nicely on a leash doesn’t come naturally to most curious and excitable dogs who are anxious to get out and explore. But with some training and patience, you can teach your dog to obediently walk on a leash. You’ll need to use treats and some positive reinforcement to get him to follow your lead and your pace. Also, the more lead he has on the leash the more he thinks that it’s okay to explore. So give your dog less slack on the leash when training him to stay close.

To learn more about controlling a dog on a walk, go to How Can I Control My Dog When Walking?

Sometimes it’s hard to keep your dog from pulling, but sometimes when you try to walk your dog he may lay down and refuse to move. If this happens, he could be sick, hurt or tired. If this happens, stop and examine your dog’s paws. If his paws are fine, stop and rest a minute and give your dog some water. Sometimes a dog is just stubborn. If all else fails, try to coax your dog with some treats. You should never force your dog to walk. If this behavior continues to be an issue, see your veterinarian.

While walking a dog, it may frustrate you that your dog has to stop and pee on everything. Why do dogs do this? Well, dogs are territorial and urine is a natural way for a dog to mark his territory. It tells other dogs that he’s been there and has claimed this territory. Dogs that are not spayed or neutered have a greater need to mark their territory.

Walking a dog is important to his health and happiness. Walks can help keep your dog entertained, which will help to eliminate the destructive behavior. Walking a dog can also help to keep your dog fit. On average, by walking your dog you are giving your dog about 30 minutes of exercise a day. That’s important to help keep your dog healthy and fit.

What’s the correct way to walk a dog? Here we will give you a guide to walking a dog the right way, and how to get help walking a dog if you’re not home.

How to Walk a Dog

You should be able to take your dog on a walk without incidence. That’s why good leash skills are so important for the safety of your dog and you. So let’s take a look at how to walk a dog.

To start, you should use a short leash to give you more control. To train your dog, you should start by having some treats with you to reward your dog for good behavior. You should also use a marker for good behavior – try a clicker or tell your dog “yes!”

To learn how to walk a dog it is best to start without a leash. You can do this indoors or in a securely fenced outdoor area. To start the training, walk around the space but ignore your dog. Then, call your dog in an enthusiastic tone and reward him with a treat when he comes to you. As you continue to walk together, periodically reward your dog with a treat. After a few sessions, your dog will learn good things come from walking by your side.

Now it’s time to begin leash training. If your dog is calm, simply clip the leash to his collar and reward him for staying still. If your dog is hyper, you’ll need to train him to be calm before the leash goes on. If your dog goes crazy when you reach for the leash, quickly pull your hand back and just stand there. Don’t speak to your dog. This should help him to settle down. Reward your dog for standing still and focusing on you. Once he is calmly waiting, clip on the leash. If he gets excited again simply stop, pull your hands back and wait until he calms down again.

When you’re first learning how to walk a dog, it is important to keep your training sessions short. Start by establishing correct behavior on the leash. Your dog will no doubt pull on the leash and try to lead you. But at some point, he will stop this behavior and let the leash go slack. At this point, you should mark and reward your dog. If your dog walks nicely without pulling, mark and reward him now and then to reinforce the lesson. If your dog continues to try to pull you forward, simply stop in your tracks. Once the leash goes slack mark and reward your dog and then resume walking. Do this every time your dog begins to pull.

What You Need to Know About Rottweiler Temperament

Are Rottweilers dangerous?

Rottweiler temperament is inherited, but temperament and behavior are also shaped through training and socialization. A Rottweiler must be thoroughly trained and socialized at a young age to control his territorial instincts.

The AKC Standard describes the Rottweiler as a “calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.” A Rottweiler is incredibly loyal to his family and very protective.

Rottweiler temperament can be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex. And while some Rottweilers have found a path to peaceful co-existence with the family cat, others are predatory toward cats.

With their families, Rottweilers are playful and affectionate. This large dog likes to cuddle on the couch or the bed, regardless of its size. But Rottweilers are also good guardians. They are leery with newcomers. So they must take their time to decide who is worthy of their affection.

How to Avoid Rottweiler Behavior Problems

The Rottweiler has a reputation for being a dangerous attack dog, but that is not their true nature. To be dangerous, they must be trained that way. With the proper training and socialization from puppyhood, a Rottweiler is an even-tempered, incredibly loyal and loving dog that will protect his family fearlessly. That makes the Rottweiler a wonderful watchdog.

Rottweiler behavior problems happen when they are not properly trained and socialized. Your dog must be taught that the human is the alpha in the relationship. With the right training, a Rottweiler can be a good playmate for children. But this breed may not be suited for a family with small children due to the pet’s strength and the potential intolerance of children’s antics. If he is socialized from an early age, a Rottweiler will welcome friends and family with affection and be tolerant of other dogs and cats.

Any Rottweiler will do what they are trained to do. If you teach them that aggression is good behavior (even without realizing you are doing so), the dog will likely show aggressive tendencies. Without guidance and positive training, your Rottweiler could turn into a challenging pet.

You may be hesitant to help an adopted or rescued Rottweiler since the dog’s personality traits have already been set. You might think that adopting a Rottweiler puppy is safer, but that is not the case. Adult dogs are calmer than puppies and their personalities are already fully established. With an adult Rottweiler, what you see is what you get. It takes the guesswork out of wondering how a puppy will turn out. As an adult, any Rottweiler behavior problems would be on full display. When you meet an adult Rottweiler, you will be able to see how they behave with people and other pets.

Rottweilers who wind up in an animal shelter don’t necessarily get there because they’re bad dogs. Animal shelters are filled with healthy, well-behaved dogs who are trained and housebroken. Adopting from a shelter or rescue organization is probably the safest way for families with children to add a Rottweiler to the family.

Interested in Owning a Rottweiler? Here’s What You Should Know

If you are interested in owning a Rottweiler, you’ll be glad to know that with the right training, the Rottweiler is a wonderful companion. But without continued socialization, companionship, supervision and obedience training a Rottweiler can be too much dog for many households.

When looking for the right Rottweiler, do a careful search to avoid over-aggressive or unstable lines. Observe the dog’s behavior. Ask the right questions.

Most Rottweilers are inclined to be dominant but they will respect an assertive owner who knows how to lead a strong-minded dog. Your dog has to know that you are in charge, even if he is twice your size.

You’ll need to invest the time to train your Rottweiler. Some dogs are dominant – they want to be the boss. You must show them that you mean what you say with absolute consistency. You’ll need to teach him social skills and harness his natural territorial instincts in a positive way. In the right hands, a Rottweiler is a loyal companion and a loving best friend.

If you are interested in owning a Rottweiler, there are some legal liabilities you should understand. Do your homework before you buy. Rottweilers may be banned in certain communities, or you may be denied a homeowners insurance policy if you own a Rottweiler. Because the breed looks intimidating and has a history as a guard dog, people may be quicker to sue if the dog’s behavior is in any way questionable.

All in a Day’s Work: Dogs at Work

You and your dog play, lounge on the couch watching Netflix, and take road trips together, but your canine is capable of doing so much more than just goofing around and relaxing. You might train your dog to fetch the newspaper or do other tasks around the house. Most canines get satisfaction out of doing work that feels productive. Even if it’s just sitting in exchange for a treat, your dog is proud of herself when she obeys your commands. In most cases, the praise that comes with obedience is worth the effort that the dog puts into it.

Your canine may enjoy executing tasks for you, but is she a member of a working breed? The American Kennel Club has designated certain breeds to be working dogs. These include the Akita, Bernese mountain dog, boxer, Doberman pinscher, Portuguese water dog, and St. Bernard. You’ll notice that the German shepherd isn’t on the list even though it’s a popular breed for police dogs. Many other dog breeds make ideal working dogs even if they’re not classified as such.

Read on to learn about different types of jobs that dogs can do. You’ll also find out which breeds are best for various kinds of work.

Guide Dogs

Guide dogs help visually impaired people by leading them around obstacles. The first guide dogs aided blind World War I veterans with navigation and mobility issues. These dogs can assist blind people in gaining independence and confidence. However, both guide dogs and the people they assist must go through rigorous training in order to effectively work together. This process can be very challenging, but it ultimately builds a strong relationship of trust and affection between guide dogs and their owners.

Believe it or not, guide dogs haven’t always been allowed in restaurants, hotels and other communal locations. Fortunately, laws have been established that allow service dogs to accompany their owners in public places as long as they don’t pose a threat to health or safety. Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are the most popular dog breeds for this job.

Herding Dogs

Collies, Australian shepherds, and sheepdogs are some of the breeds that belong to the American Kennel Club’s herding group. These dogs were part of the working group until the categories were separated in 1983. Herding dogs have an extraordinary ability to control other animals’ movements. Throughout history, they were put to work on farms and in pastures to help keep livestock from roaming.

Today, herding dogs are most commonly owned as pets. These breeds tend to be very intelligent, friendly, and easy to train, making them fantastic family dogs. However, if you have a herding dog, you might notice a few of their old herding instincts coming into play from time to time. For example, if your children are running around in the yard, your herding dog might try to gather them together by barking and nipping very lightly at their heels. Old habits (and instincts) die hard!

Search and Rescue Dogs

Search and rescue (SAR) dogs are incredibly good at picking up scents in the air and on the ground. These hero hounds are often sent out to locate people after destructive events, including earthquakes and avalanches. They’re also very effective at tracking people who get lost in the woods. Last but not least, SAR dogs are used to sniff out corpses during criminal investigations.

SAR dogs may work for fire or police departments. They may also be brought in by rescue organizations and individual disaster canine teams. Although German shepherds, retrievers, and bloodhounds are most often used in search and rescue missions, any breed can be groomed for this job. This training process takes about a year and a half and (unsurprisingly) involves many, many games of hide-and-seek.

Police Dogs

Police dogs are often referred to as K9s. Police dogs can search for drugs, firearms, explosives, or other materials that are important in a criminal investigation. Most of their time is committed to searching for missing people and sniffing out illegal materials, but police dogs are also trained to protect their human partners and attack criminals during physical conflicts. K9s are usually paired with the same police officer until one of them retires. German shepherds and Doberman pinschers are very popular breeds for this role.

A Day in The Life: Seeing Eye Dog


Have you ever come across a service dog with its owner? The way that dogs guide and interact with their humans is incredible. Seeing eye dogs can change lives; they can make it easier for blind people to gain independence, go out into the world, and do everything that they want to do.

Although seeing eye dogs have been used to help humans since medieval times, they have only been guaranteed access to public places since 1990. Can you believe that? Before 1990, guide dogs weren’t always allowed in restaurants, hotels, or airplanes. This meant that their owners might not be able to enter these places either. Now, service dogs are more common and more accepted. After all, they are highly trained and well-behaved. They’re also invaluable to their owners.

According to The Seeing Eye, working dogs must be bred and cared for properly. They have to be socialized appropriately and trained by experts. Once they’re trained, the animals are matched with an owner. They mainly serve as mobility aids, but they’re also a beloved member of the family.

Service Dog Puppies

Many organizations that provide service dogs to people have their own breeding programs. Guide Dogs of America selectively breeds dogs that have the ideal personalities to be working dogs. Have you ever noticed how calm service dogs are? Part of that temperament comes from good breeding. The ability to stay composed in a variety of situations is also trained into these dogs at an early age.

Puppies start training in the first few months of life. Establishing a strong bond with humans is important. Volunteers and foster parents will do certain activities to encourage bonding. They’ll massage the puppies and explore their world together. By doing this, they help the pups develop confidence and a positive association with the world around them.

Early training is fairly basic. Between six weeks and four months, a dog learns to walk on a lead. The puppy will learn obedience, manners, and socialization. What does socialization entail? The dog will be exposed to a variety of situations. Maybe it will be encouraged to sit quietly while children play around it. The volunteer or trainer will bring the dog to many public places to get the dog used to being out and about.

During the first few months, volunteers may bring the dogs with them wherever they go. This enhances the socialization process. The dogs will get used to being around new people. They’ll also become accustomed to being in new environments.


Official Guide Dog Training

Seeing eye dog training continues until the dog is about 14 to 16 months old. At this point, the dog will be cleared to begin official training. How does guide dog training work? An instructor who specializes in this type of training will teach the dogs the skills that they need to work with blind or partially sighted people.

These skills involve recognizing changes in elevation that might trip up their owners. The dogs will also learn how to locate things like seats, elevators, and exits. They’ll be trained to steer their humans around dangers and obstacles.

How A Service Dog Interacts with Its Owner

The process of matching a dog with its owner begins when the dog is close to two years old. You might think that it’s easy to find the perfect dog for a person in need. After all, these dogs are impeccably trained. They have lots of skills to help people with disabilities. However, the process of matching a dog with a handler is complex. The dog may know what to do, but the human also needs to learn some skills.

When blind people want a service dog, they are first screened for eligibility. The individuals need to know how to walk with a cane. Blind people also need to know how to read traffic. Service dogs can’t understand traffic signals. It’s up to the handler to listen for sounds that tell them it’s safe to cross the road.

Playing matchmaker for a seeing eye dog is similar to finding a date online. Many factors are taken into consideration when joining a dog and a handler. The dog must enjoy walking at the handler’s pace. Some owners need the dog to pull them forcefully when changing direction. Others require more gentle guidance. Some dogs prefer working in specific environments, like busy cities or quiet suburbs.

Harnesses, Collars, and Halters, Oh My!

Has this ever happened to you? You’re heading out the front door, arms loaded up with groceries, car keys, and bags, and your dog slips right out ahead of you. You throw everything on the ground and start chasing after the escapee. Luckily, he heads along the sidewalk instead of into the street. After plenty of coaxing, he lets you grab his collar. Then, like Houdini, he slips right out of it. It’s back to the drawing board.

This situation can be scary, not to mention dangerous. Your dog needs a safer collar. How do you choose between all of the options available, though? How many collars does one dog need? Here’s how to select the right harness, collar, or halter for your dog.

Best Dog Collars

Experts generally recommend having one collar that holds the dog’s ID and rabies tags and another to which you can attach a leash. If you’re getting a collar for your dog, you’ll need to start out with the right size. You should be able to fit one finger under the collar when it’s secured. This ensures that it’s not too loose or too tight. As the dog grows, you can expand the collar. Get a new one when the collar feels too tight even at the largest setting. Make sure that the material is rugged enough to withstand day-to-day wear and tear.

What about flea collars? The Irreverent Vet recommends against the use of generic flea collars that you can purchase at the pet store. These bands of material let out toxic gases that remain near the pet’s head and neck or get absorbed into the skin. Some dogs are sensitive to these chemicals. The materials can be toxic if your dog licks or eats the collar. Instead of putting a flea collar on a dog, consider putting the band into your vacuum canister to kill the insects as you clean your house.

What to Use When Walking the Dog

Walking a dog is a great way to bond, it’s also an effective way to connect with and train your dog. Dogs need the exercise. They also love the mental stimulation that comes with a walk. However, if your overactive dog seems uncontrollable, walks can end up in frustration for both of you.

You may pull on the leash to correct your dog. This behavior only causes your dog to pull in the opposite direction, making the problem worse. Tugging at the collar is also uncomfortable for your pet. Additionally, this habit can be harmful to small dogs.

Active dog harnesses may be your best option to use while walking, running, and hiking. Back-clip harnesses are comfortable, especially for small dogs. This is also called a dog harness vest. These devices allow you to clip the leash on at the dog’s back, which prevents it from becoming a tripping hazard. A back-clip harness might not stop your dog from pulling, though. In fact, your canine might get a kick from the feeling of dragging you along like a dog sled if he’s not trained to walk on a loose leash.

According to Vet Street, front-clip harnesses are more effective for dogs that like to walk you. Canines can feel every movement of the leash. With their lead attached at the powerful and sensitive chest, dogs can better respond to motions and commands.

Dog training halters might be best for extremely strong or overpowering dogs. Head halters often get confused with muzzles because they wrap around a dog’s snout and jaw. These types of trainers are kind of like a horse’s halter. The design gently encourages dogs to stop pulling because it directs their snout down and back when they start to barge forward. According to the Humane Society, this doesn’t hurt the dog the way a choke chain or prong training collar could.

To fit a head halter properly, make sure that the band around the neck sits high, just behind the ears. The strap that covers the nose should be able to slide down to the area where the nose meets the fur. When the dog’s mouth is open, that strap will rest closer to the eyes.


A Day in The Life: Bomb Squad Dogs

Can you tell if your coffee has sugar in it just by sniffing it? Dora probably can. Dora is a bomb squad dog who works for the FBI K9 program. She’s a friendly yellow Labrador retriever and looks just like a childhood pet. However, she’s a hard-working member of the nation’s law enforcement. Bomb squad dogs may work for the police force, the FBI, or the military. They’re trained to sniff out explosives in suitcases, cars, and other objects.

An explosive detection canine can pick up the scent of about 19,000 different combinations of chemicals that may be used to blow something up, according to the FBI. In fact, a dog can smell a teaspoon of sugar in a swimming pool. The FBI uses these dogs to ensure the safety of their facilities. Before 1999, the FBI used working dogs on a contract basis. The agency created its own K9 program in that year.

The FBI uses Labrador retrievers as bomb detection dogs because they’re calm and sociable. Although some working dogs aren’t brought into public settings very often, the FBI dog units are often working with the public. They must be able to respond well to people who approach and want to pet them. Still, they may wear vests that ask individuals to refrain from touching them.

Training Bomb Detection Dogs

In the FBI, bomb detection dogs are trained on a daily basis. In fact, they have to perform certain tasks to earn their food. The dog’s handler will hide something somewhere and command the dog to find it. When the dog finds the hidden object, she gets fed. This type of training goes on whether handlers are sick, on vacation, or just taking a day off.

Before they’re hired as part of the force, the dogs undergo rigorous training that begins in the first months of life. Initial training involves learning basic commands like “sit” and “stay.” The animals also learn to stay focused in distracting situations and socialize with other dogs and people.

When they’re old enough, bomb squad dogs begin training to sniff out explosives. MSA Security is one company that trains teams of bomb-sniffing dogs. The business teaches dogs to identify 32 different chemical odors and sit when they detect them. The trainers do this by placing the various scents in identical empty paint cans lined up throughout the room. When the dog finds a substance, it is rewarded. The repetition and reward imprint those scents on the dogs’ brains. More specific training is then performed to teach the dogs to find explosives in cargo, vehicles, luggage, buildings, public transportation, and offices.

According to Smithsonian, the best explosive-detecting breeds of working dogs are German shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Labrador retrievers. German shepherds will work tirelessly if they’re rewarded with play. Retrievers do best when they’re rewarded with food. That’s why the FBI incorporates daily training into its Labs’ feeding schedules. Golden retrievers may have the best sense of smell of all dogs. However, they’re so intelligent that rewards don’t always get them to do what you want. If the dogs don’t feel like doing something, you can’t do much to get them to cooperate. Bloodhounds aren’t used because they have a good sense of smell but aren’t very smart.

Bomb Dog Handler Training

Bomb dogs are usually paired with the same handler for life. They work, live, and play with these humans. Therefore, the people must undergo specialized training too. Companies like the Global Training Academy educate and certify individuals who work with bomb dogs, including police officers across the nation. There are many other handler training programs, but Global Training Academy has set the standard.

If the handlers can’t recognize the dogs’ communication, they can’t do their work effectively. The human side of the team must learn to give commands and read the dogs’ cues. ROVER is a video game that was developed by the military to train people to listen to their dogs.

The K9 program is highly competitive. People who work as part of a working dog team are often military veterans or decorated officers. In addition to the training they receive to work with the dogs, they must know how to care for the animals too. These working dogs are loved family pets in their downtime.

Where Do Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Work?

These heroic dogs usually work with different law enforcement agencies to investigate properties, military operations or special events. For example, bomb dogs do a sweep before large gatherings like marathons. The dogs, which are sometimes referred to as vapor dogs, may work in sports stadiums and airports.