Doggy training tips, My life 'tails'

Human Foods that us dogs can’t get enough of

It’s so EXCITING when Simon visits to drop off the groceries. He seems to always remember my carrots – what a ‘Top Dog’ he is.  I always have a friendly tail wiggle for him as he pulls into the gravel drive.  I obviously BARK first like any good guard dog would (I’ve got a reputation to keep! I’m a 32kg Labrador… I sound FIERCE!  Grrrrr……(winky face)).

Is there a place at the dinner table for me?

Anyway, it turns out it’s not only the carrots that are edible for us dogs (I hear you yelping for more!). Here are 10 canine-edible foods that I’ve discovered I can eat from the hooman’s very own supplies:

  1. Natural yoghurt

Oh boy! oh boy! – drool…whine…drool…this stuff is darn T-A-S-T-Y! It’s drooltastic!

  1. Eggs

Cooked eggs are SO SCRUMMY and nutritious for us dogs. But watch out for raw eggs my four-legged friends as apparently they carry the risk of salmonella which as with humans, makes us dogs sick. According to my daddy this type of food poisoning is NOT COOL!

  1. Strawberries

These are PEDIGREE! I haven’t tasted blackberries or blueberries, but I’ve overheard I can eat these too! #cantwait

  1. Apples

I LOVE these juicy treats but for some reason I’m never allowed the core…something about apple seeds containing cyanide which just sounds dangerous, so I’m happy to avoid.

  1. Bananas

At first, I was a little unsure of the texture on my tongue but once it hits my taste buds I was hooked!

  1. Broccoli

Chomp Chomp! A great low calorie snack but not too much as it may irritate the digestive system!!

  1. Peanut butter

BOW WOW…‘TOP DOG’ treat! Hours of licking to be had if it’s placed in our KONG toys – an essential for all dogs. WARNING – peanut butter must be Xylitol free.

  1. Oatmeal

Porridge is my FAVOURITE breakfast.  Its wooftastic. I’m sure I have some Scottish blood in me somewhere! I like to think of myself as a doggy Braveheart, being a passionate, soppy, loving thing. But I’m a lover not a hater and Yorkshire’s where I call home.

  1. Cucumber

Staple! Chomp … Chomp … Crunch

   10.  Meat

Obvs! After all I’m a carnivore!! The word CHICKEN sends me NUTS! Crazy like a dog! (chasing my tail) Woof!…Woof!…I’ll do ANYTHING for chicken!

So…what do my fellow canine friends get delivered in their shopping? Are there some tasty dog friendly treats that I haven’t tried yet?

 

Dylan

 

Doggy training tips

Puppy secret 5 – puppy allergies

When I was a young lad I suffered terribly from some kind of allergy that manifested itself in different forms.

Eye infection
My first eye infection happened when I was just three months old.  You’ll see from my pictures it looked pretty bad.  It gave me, and my pawrents a bit of a fright.

Eye infection Aug 2016
My first eye infection at three months.

The vet suggested it may have been something I came into contact with whilst walking through the summer grassy field. That was a reasonable explanation. That was until my second infection occurred around two months later, and a third when I was six months.

A human antihistamine helped me on these occasions.  Be very careful as many over the counter antihistamine brands contain a decongestant which is dangerous for dogs, so always administer upon your vets recommendation.

Eye infection Oct 2016
My second eye infection at five months.

Skin allergy
The evening after my third eye infection I developed what looked like dandruff (dry flaky skin).  It soon developed into something quite serious when it became itchy and blistery.  I was in so much pain I had to be soothed with coconut oil.  My break out began late at night so coconut oil was the only thing my pawrents had that seemed safe and natural to try and ease my discomfort, and thankfully it did.  I went straight to the vet the next morning.  My skin had began to heal but my pawrents had taken photos of my breakout to show the vet. It turned out I healed pretty well overnight.

They started some tests to try to illuminate different factors.  At first fleas and mites were ruled out.  The vet, like my pawrents, didn’t find any sign of life from using the flea comb and I wasn’t showing signs of scratching. Nevertheless, the whole house was disinfected just in case.

On my check-up visit a different vet noticed my flaky skin and thought it could be a form of mites known as ‘walking dandruff’ the medical term ‘cheyletiellosis or cheyletiella mange’.  Unlike other mite conditions this disease results in virtually no itching at all. This is an extremely contagious, non-seasonal skin disease of dogs, cats, rabbits and sometimes people caused by surface-dwelling parasitic mites. Well this caused panic in our household.  The vet had prescribed a precautionary flea and mite medicated shampoo treatment. A skin-scraping sample was taken to detect the mites that are not visible to the eye.  But my mites tests were negative.

Food allergy – hypoallergenic dog food
This left two further main possibilities; my environment, or my food.  Was my house too hot, was I allergic to the washing powder or something else in the house.  It turned out my allergy was due to food sensitivity.  My pawrents started to look at alternative natural food options moving me only a locally sourced dog food called Millies Woofheart (www.millieswolfheart.co.uk).  They produce a bespoke recipe dog food formulated without gluten and grains, and are naturally hypoallergenic.  Luckily for me their mixes are extremely tasty – the countryside mix is my favourite.  After a few weeks my skin condition cleared up and my coat was looking glossy.   Be careful though; the key to changing our food is to do it gradually.  My new food was extremely rich and the change needed to be more gradual than the brand suggested, this was probably due to my sensitive tummy.   It’s just trial and error at this stage I’m afraid.

Late Nov 2016
Happier and healthier at six months. New food – new me!

I’ve been happier and healthier since changing my food. Thank goodness it wasn’t my environment – I love my family home. And I’m so glad I found this delicious new cuisine too.  After all I am a Labrador, so I’m ruled by my belly!

Common allergies in Labrador Retrievers
According to thelabradorsite.com Labradors tend to be more allergic that other dog breeds due to their immune system.  Check out more at https://www.thelabradorsite.com/common-allergies-in-labrador-retrievers/

Dylan  Paw Print

Doggy training tips

Puppy secret 4 – battling biting

My pawrents went through a really hard time with me when I was biting as a puppy. Out of nowhere, suddenly every time we went for a walk I liked to dig my little teeth into my pawrents legs and not let go! Apparently it hurt like hell!

My parents tried most things: standing still, turning their back and ignoring me. Squealing like a dog, clapping or making a loud noise. I just held on strong and kept tugging away. They tried to hold me away from them but it just felt like more of a game, and I could reach most wrists. Then, they tried placing me at the other side of the wall or gate. Now this worked – I couldn’t get at them but I found a way round this – open spaces like in the middle of a field where there is no getting away from me. I win!! Or so I thought. Actually to tell you the truth I can barely remember these incidents and certainly wouldn’t have wanted to cause any pain. I even caused my own pain, as at one point I cracked a tooth trying to bite off a buckle from a welly boot still attached to my pawrents leg.

IMG_7588
My chew proof chair – apparently the towels stopped me ruining the camping chair! The only chair I was allowed on at this stage!

I had entered into phase of over stimulation. I’d got myself so over excited that my hyperactivity was resulting in me behaving erratically, running around and chewing or biting things I wouldn’t normally show interest in. It was like I had been possessed and nothing could coach me out of it. During these times we can appear to be aggressive and some people mistake that we are biting because we are fearful. In my case it was just that I was over excited and had become mouthy and nippy. We play bite with other dogs all the time, I just didn’t realise I shouldn’t do this with my fellow hoomans; they don’t like it. And if you bite too hard sometimes they’d cry, especially that one time I pierced their skin.

IMG_7536
I’m sorry – i didn’t mean to bite like my crocodile toy!

Toning down the stimuli is the solution but sometimes this is difficult when you don’t know just what exciting things on a walk may cause it, or you’re not familiar with the signs from your dog.

Understandably, my pawrents were at their wits end and didn’t know what to do. They begun to investigate getting professional help and started sharing their challenges with other dog owners. Listening to similar stories from some friends and colleagues they heard about one solution they hadn’t tried that may have potential. Some remedies for one dog won’t necessarily work for another, as we’re all different, so it’s trial and error.

IMG_7593
I’m really a softy at heart!

The answer in my case was a can of compressed air. Yes you read correctly – not hot air but compressed air in a tin! When I entered into the phase of overstimulation, my parents were able to refocus my attention and get me out of my fixated state by letting off compressed gas into the air. It made a hissing sound that shocked me. I suddenly woke up returning to the adorable soft puppy that I was, and wondering what the hell had just gone on. But it worked a treat. It kept me, my pawrents, and potentially others safe from any unintentional harm. It took 2-3 weeks for me to outgrow this stage and allowed my pawrents to notice the tell tail signs of the beginnings of my over excitement.  This allowed them to stop, sit me down, and stroke me for 5-10 minutes to avoid my hyperactivity before continuing on our walks. Everyone was happy and to think I’m such a friendly softy today.  I will only lick you when I’m excited and potentially hit you with my very waggy tail; unintentionally of course. The excited tail can’t be tamed and who’d want to come home to a dog with no friendly, so happy to see you, waggy waggy tail!

Dylan

Paw Print

Doggy training tips

Puppy secret 3 – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Hips

As a puppy it often felt like we had just got going on my adventures rambling the local countryside, when we we would  turn round and go home. It turns out it was for my own good. The vet told the pawrents that puppies, particularly Labradors, are prone to issues with joints (mainly shoulder and hips) and should only be walked for 30 minutes at a time with sufficient rest (minimum 30 mins) in between walks. Who knew! Is this why a pit stop at the beer garden was invented?

Concurring the stairs aka My Everest
For the same reason I was never able to tackle those stairs until I was 1 year old when my bones and joints had developed. Although many times I was keen to concur that Everest but when I did I’m so glad I was prepared!

Brain games
It was difficult to entertain me at a young age when I had so much energy and a couple of bouts of ‘crazy puppy hour’ a day. I enjoyed the brain games we played. You know; the usual, sit, lie down, we missed out the roll over but we played guess which box the treat is under, hide and seek, and watch me (a staring contest). It was heaven.

A whole load of treats for the simplest of things but turns out this was pre-school. I’d been tricked – played like a dog. I was being trained on my basic manners. I thought it was a game where I play the human to get a treat. Anyway I’m sure the mental stimulation has developed me into a marvelous young dog and it was fun.

Surf the web there are loads of ideas for DIY brain games for us doggies – have fun my friends. And feel free to post some ideas for my fellow hoomans and their puppies in the comments below?

Dylan  Paw Print

Doggy training tips

Puppy secret 2 – tips for teething

My pawrents were introduced to the secret by another puppy owner and have been passing it on ever since.  The secret of frozen carrots! There’re like the ice lollies of the doggy world. They sooth the gum, taste great and apparently are rich in Omega 6 fatty acid, vitamins A and K and potassium. So maybe more like a frozen yogurt than ice cream! Hopefully this will distract your bundle of joy from chewing up everything and anything in the house to chewing on some nutritious veg.

Carrots

Watch out they are also high in fibre so not too many or we’ll have a different type of trouble!

Ice cubes work too, very handy if you’re in the local pub or beer garden….

IMG_7580

What’s your teething tips? Feel free to share below.

Head back for another installment of tips from my time as a puppy next week.

Dylan Paw Print

Doggy training tips

Puppy secret 1 – mastering toilet time!

Every puppy and dog is different. What works for one doesn’t always work for another – that’s why you love us – we’re all so unique!

Mastering toilet time

I was lucky I was toilet trained in 3 – 4 weeks. Not bad eh! I think taking me out every 2 – 3 hours to get me in the habit of going to the loo outside came at a cost for my pawrents. Having to keep a constant an eye on me, and getting up 2-3 times in the night to take me out.

I’m sure the sleep depravation and increased grumpiness vs. me leaving surprises in the house was worth it.   Typical Labrador I’m very easily convinced by the praise and treats for always doing my business outside. Any time I thought about doing it inside I heard a very strong NO and was quickly escorted off the premises to the garden! The technique isn’t for everyone. One of my fellow doggie friends is leaving treasures at seven months – she’s in trouble!

According to the wizards on the World Wide Web a puppy can hold their toilet time in hours equal to their age plus one. This means a two month old puppy can hold their toilet for three hours.

Puppy training pads

My Pawrents once tried those doggie pads for toilet training. Apparently they’re not for eating. I got my family a little worried when I digested one, something about worrying that it would absorb all my fluids, get stuck in my intestine track (this sounded bad to me) and not come out the other end. Luckily there was no need for the panic as some many hours, which seemed like days later there it was a little bit worse for wear! I think I only just avoided a trip to the VET by the skin of my teeth that day! Although I like the VET, I get treats there and I get very excited about seeing other different looking animals (what the hoomans call cats and rabbits) but apparently that’s not normal?

Puppy tips

If you’d have any tips to share regarding your training, or want to talk about your experiences at the VET pen a comment below? It would be nice to hear your story. Sharing is caring……….

Head back to the blog next week for another installment of tips from my time as a puppy.

Dylan