There is no doubt that dogs bring a great deal of joy to many homes. When it comes to families with children, adding dogs to the mix can also bring some unique and even unexpected challenges. Basic cues like sit, down, wait, come, and leave-it are tremendously helpful for any pup trying to meet their people’s expectations as a well-mannered companion. Yet, when kids and furry friends are expected to cohabitate peacefully, training a few more skills should be added to the list of polite puppy “tricks”. In addition to basic obedience and contentment while kenneled, Smartypaws encourages families to teach dogs these three practical cues:
Did your dog tackle your Turkey Day guests? If so, I promise that you are not alone. The day after Thanksgiving, I received several calls from dog-owners asking the same question: “How can I train my pup to stop jumping on guests for our Christmas gatherings?”
When using treats to train your dog, it is important to know that not all cookies are created equal. Your dog will find some treats more interesting and reinforcing than others. You can discover their favorites by offering a variety of snacks and observing their preferences. Functional training treats should follow Smartypaws 5 S’s of successful training treats: small, soft, smelly, satisfying, and safe.
If you’ve added a dog to your family in the past decade, then I’m sure you’ve heard of Kong® products. If you haven’t, then you and your pup are missing out! At the risk of sounding like an infomercial for the company, I must tell you that they have a lot of fantastic products.
Hugs, kisses and cuddles seem to be part of almost every child’s bedtime routine. Parents, siblings, spouses, and family members often share exchanges of love and affection before heading off to bed. When we have special pets in our family, we desire to include them in these endearing moments, too. Yet, it’s important to take note that these age-old traditions, meant to fill everyone’s bucket before bedtime, are experienced very differently by our canine companions.
There was absolutely no doubt that we were going to add another Golden Retriever to our family sometime soon. Spring 2021 seemed like the optimal time and what we were planning for. My husband nor myself were wanting to spend the money on a pup from a breeder this time around but knew it would give us the optimal chance in finding the right match for our multi pet household with 3 school aged children. We’ve adopted dogs, as well as purchased from reputable breeders, numerous times over the past 20+ years. I’m also in continuous communication with rescues in case that perfect pup happens to pop up in their care. We knew exactly what we wanted and needed in our next fuzzy addition.
Just one month ago we added Captain Jack, an 8-month old Golden Retriever, to our Smartypaws family. He’s quite a handful and the first month together has been a time of great adjustment for our entire family. I’ll share more on that soon, but first I’d like to point out the 5 things we DID NOT do, and DO NOT recommend, for anyone adding a new dog to their home.
For the first time in two months, since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, I ventured into a grocery store to pick up some items to make meals for a sick friend’s family. Prior to that, during stay at home orders, my husband had been running the necessary errands while the kids and I pretty much stayed at home or walked the neighborhood. My hubby had been telling me each week how things were changing at the stores to prevent the rapid spread of the virus. The first two weeks were the sight of empty shelves, ditching the grocery list and just getting whatever food was available. The next weeks were the emergence of masks, barriers, limited occupancy, and one-way isles. He had told me about all of those changes, and I knew what to expect before I left the house. I had been processing those things almost daily as we discussed our family’s health and safety decisions or watched passer byers make noticeable efforts to avoid each other in the view from my front kitchen window.