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Category Archives: Dogs

How to Throw a Birthday Party for your Dog

PARTY CHECKLIST

Everything you need to do before the big day to guarantee your pawty is a success!

  • Send invites to all your dog’s favourite pups and people
  • Buy and set up decorations, e.g. number balloons, animal balloons, bunting, dog-friendly party hats.
  • Bake a delicious pupcake
  • Buy and bake other party treats for both human and canine guests
  • Prepare your party games
  • Set up a playlist
  • Fill a few bowls of water, and have poo bags on hand

BIRTHDAY PUPCAKE

Of course the birthday boy or girl deserves a birthday treat. This grain free peanut butter pupcake contains only 4 ingredients, but will no doubt impress both two and four legged friends!

Ingredients

1 egg

3 tablespoons peanut butter (make sure it’s sugar and salt free and contains no xylitol)

1/2 apple, grated or finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  3. Grease a muffin tin or a ramekin and pour in the batter
  4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes
  5. Let cool in the container for a few minutes, then remove. Let the pupcake cool completely before serving to your dog.

Decorate with your dog’s favorite treats. How about some greek yoghurt? Maybe some more peanut butter? Finish off with an apple slice or sprinkle some dog treats on top.

Recipe from http://www.spoonfulofsugarfree.com/2012/05/01/grain-free-peanut-butter-apple-doggy-cake/

EASY DOG BISCUITS

Impress your guests with another delicious homemade treat, that won’t take you all day to make!

Ingredients

3 cups of all purpose flour

2 eggs

⅓ cup of water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and form a stiff dough with your hands.
  3. Add more water if necessary to achieve dough-like texture
  4. Dust some flour on a clean surface, and roll out dough to a ¼ inch thick
  5. Cut out desired shapes (we used bone shaped cookie cutters) and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper
  6. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes

Why not try adding some finely chopped apples, bananas or carrots to your biscuit dough before rolling and baking?

Recipe from: https://theblondcook.com/simple-dog-biscuits/

PAWTY GAMES

Even if running around and playing with friends will probably be enough to keep your pup happy you might want to plan a few games that both dogs and owners will enjoy, and that will hopefully keep four-legged party-goers out of mischief.

CATCH THE TREAT

If possible, make the dogs stand in a row with their owners a meter or so in front of them. The owners will throw 10 treats to their dogs, and the dog that catches the most wins.

PARTY TRICKS

For this one you will need a judge to decide who’s got the best party trick up their sleeve. Alternatively you can chose a few commands and see who will get the most right in a minute, or who will finish the commands first.

MUSICAL CHAIRS

Place mats or similar markers in a circle, one less than the number of party pups. With the dogs on the lead, the owners walk around the mats while the music is playing. When the music stops, owners will need to bring their dog to a mat and make them sit nicely. The couple without a mat is out of the game. Remove one mat at a time until you have a winner!

FETCH

This game is best played outside with plenty of space. Owners stand with their dogs and throw a toy on a given command. The first dog to return with the toy is the winner.

PUZZLE GAME

Cut a cross in old tennis balls and put a treat in the ball. Give the dog one ball each. The first one to work out how to get the treat out wins.

PAWTY BAGS

All the best hosts give their guests a little something to remind them of the fun that was had and thank them for coming! Take a look at our favourite party bag suggestions for canine guests…

  • A little bag of your homemade dog biscuits
  • A lovely soft toy
  • Tennis balls
  • Treats
  • A balloon
  • A stylish doggy bow or bowtie
  • A frisbee
  • A bone
  • Poobags

PUP PLAYLIST

A party isn’t complete without the perfect playlist for your guests to enjoy. From the party favourite “Who let the dogs out” to anxiety-reducing melodies, take a look at our dog-lover’s Spotify playlist here:

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This entry was posted in Dogs


Top Tips for the First Week with a Puppy

Introducing a new puppy to your home is very exciting, but it is also important to remember that this can be quite a frightening experience for a young dog. Take a look at our top tips for setting in your new furry family member below…

1 – Take some time off work

When you have been informed of the day you can collect your puppy, it is wise to take at least a week off work to stay at home with your new four-legged friend, to settle them in to your home. If you work full time, you will also need to make suitable arrangements after this time for letting your dog out for toilet breaks and exercise during the day.

2 – Start in one room

To avoid overwhelming your puppy with new sights and smells, keep them in one room to begin with. This will preferably be a room with direct access to the garden for them to go outside for toilet breaks, and will also be the place where you intend to keep their bed, food and water bowls in the long term. Unsurprisingly, your puppy will be very excitable and full of energy, so take them outside to become familiar with their surroundings and have a run around!

3 – First interaction

The first few days with your puppy are crucial for establishing a strong and positive relationship with your pet. You should take the time to interact with your dog; playing, cuddling, stroking. Introduce them to a couple of toys and begin playing and rewarding any good behaviour with treats. 

Your new puppy may also be a little weary of you to begin with. Be very gentle when you are handling him and slowly you will be able to develop their trust in you and become familiar with your touch, voice and scent.

4 – Feeding 

To maintain as much consistency as possible while your puppy goes through a confusing change to their environment, it is wise to follow the same diet as the breeder was feeding to the litter. Find out as much information as possible before you go to collect your puppy, so you have time to research and purchase the appropriate food. Once your puppy is home follow the diet as closely as possible, and if transitioning to a different type of food, do so gradually to avoid upsetting their sensitive stomach. 

5 – Playpen/crates

While excitably exploring their new space, your puppy may be able to injure themselves or damage items in your home, if left unsupervised. Obviously, you will be unable to monitor your puppy’s every move day and night, so it may be wise to consider a puppy playpen or dog crate to use for short period’s of time and at bedtime to keep them out of harm’s way when you cannot be with them. Dog crates are also a very useful training tool, and provide nervous puppies with a safe den they can call their own.

Add a bed, blankets and a couple of toys to your puppy’s crate to create a warm, cosy space. Puppy pads are also advisable for potential accidents inside, but make sure you are letting your puppy outside regularly to go to the toilet and stretch their legs.

Omlet Director, James, who recently adopted a Cavapoo puppy named Pip, said that getting a puppy “was like having another newborn child. It’s wonderful but you’re also nervous because you want her to settle in really well and be happy. In the first few days, she spent a lot of time curled up on my feet or on my lap. I slept downstairs for the first week to keep taking her outside to go to the loo while she was being puppy trained.

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This entry was posted in Dogs


Fun and mentally stimulating ways to feed your dog

For most pet dogs meal time isn’t very challenging time of the day. Typically owners only put the food bowl down and leave them to it. If this suits you and your dog that’s absolutely fine, but they would without a doubt not have been served food in this way in the wild. Instead they would have had to scavenge and hunt for their meals, keeping both mind and body active. If you feel like you would like to challenge your dog and enrich their daily routine, then making some changes to their meal times can be a good start.

Adding more mental stimulation to your dog’s life can have several benefits. It keeps them busy and tires them out in a similar way to a long walk. Many dog owners forget about challenging their dogs mentally, and when they encounter problems with boredom and linked behavioral issues like chewing, pacing, jumping and barking, they just presume they need to increase the physical exercise. This helps, but it doesn’t satisfy your dog’s hunger for mental stimulation.

Mentally stimulated dogs are not as hyperactive, and they tend to adapt more easily to stress. This is useful if you’ve got a very worried pup who shows aggression towards other dogs walking past the house, struggles with separation anxiety or gets stressed during thunderstorms or fireworks.

Brain games are therefore a brilliant way of tiring your dog out for the evening, or before you leave for work in the morning. By combining this with their normal feeding time, it won’t take much longer than normal, and your dog will love the extra challenge. Additionally you don’t have to worry about giving your dog too many treats as they are rewarded with food they would have eaten anyway.

So what are some fun ways of mentally stimulating your dog during meal times?

The aim is that it should take your dog 10-15 minutes to finish their food. Make sure you supervise your dog the first few times you’re trying a new way of feeding.

Our first tip is nose work. Using their nose comes naturally to dogs, and searching for their food will definitely add stimulation to their daily routine. Scatter the food in the garden so that your dog will have to sniff around to find it. You can also do this indoors, but it might be good to choose a room that’s easy to clean and where the pieces of food won’t get stuck under furniture. If you want to make it even more challenging you can hide little heaps of food under a bush, on a window sill or behind some flower pots. If your dog doesn’t get the game, start with something that smells a bit more than their normal dry food.

Our second suggestion is puzzles and food dispensing toys. The Classic Kong is the most well known food dispensing toy, but you can also find treat balls and complicated puzzles that provide your dog with a harder challenge before they are rewarded with food. The idea with most of these is that your dog will have to move the toy around the floor or press certain parts of the toy to make the food fall out. Dogs absolutely love this, and as they get rewarded again and again it can keep them entertained for hours.

If you don’t want to buy toys you can make some yourself. Try putting the food in a cereal box and taping it shut, in a toilet roll with folded sides, or in a plastic bottle with some holes cut out where the food can fall out. This can get a bit messy, and definitely noisy, but it’s worth it when you see your dog running around trying to get into the box, tail wagging with excitement.

You can also use mealtime as an opportunity to practice tricks and teach your dog new ones. Don’t ask your dog to do the same tricks every meal time, as it will just become a part of the routine, and not challenging or mentally stimulating. By using this time for training you are able to give your dog more than just the one treat at a time, as it’s the food he or she is supposed to eat anyway. This will form a stronger positive association, and your dog might learn faster.

Another thing you can do to change the daily routine is to change the texture of the food. If your dog normally gets wet food, try freezing it into little discs or cubes that they will love crunching on. If your dog gets dry food you can mush it up with a bit of yoghurt or water. It’s all about novelty and enriching your dog’s daily routine!

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This entry was posted in Dogs


7 Expert Tips When Introducing Your New Dog to a Flock of Chickens

You’ve seen it on some TV programmes or driven past small-holdings and seen canines and chooks living in harmony.  Maybe they are a working dog? Maybe they are a family dog? How do they do it?  We have put together 7 expert tips to help you introduce your new dog to a flock of chickens.

Understand How Dogs and Animals Learn

Our canine companions, on the whole, are super intelligent and trainable, providing we know how they learn and what we need to do to train them.  Introducing them to our chooks can be done and co-habiting harmony does exist. It’s through this small thing we call desensitization. Stay with us for a short Psych 101 and we promise it’ll be worth it.

Desensitization is a process where, through graded exposure, an emotional response is diminished and adapted to a specific stimulus.

Now, what the heck does that mean I hear you yell?

In short, you expose your dog to your chooks, from a distance.  As he behaves how you expect him to, you gradually move him closer to the chooks.  You eventually get to the stage, that through the gradual exposure, he’s not that interested in the chooks after all.  His emotional response has diminished, and he has adapted which results in a calm response.

Stay Safe

Start with your chooks in their coop or a fenced in area.  Keep your dog on leash and feed him treats, providing he is ignoring the chooks.  If he is paying too much attention to them, move to a greater distance.  The aim is to find a distance where he is not having any emotional response towards them.

Grade the Exposure

Providing your dog is ignoring the chooks at a certain distance, you can move gradually closer to them.  Say you start at 50 feet away, slowly reduce to 45 feet, 40 feet and so on.  Continue to praise and reward him for ignoring them. Remember, you want his emotional response to diminish. Keep training sessions short, you don’t want to over tire your dog.  Some dogs get hyper-aroused just by being over-tired.

The Big Moment!

You’ve finally made it to near the chicken coop or fence, providing he is still pretty chilled out in ignorance of the chooks, ask him to sit next to the fence or coop.  Praise and reward.  If he behaves how you expect him to, lengthen the leash, so he can move around the border of the coop or fence, he can sniff and explore.  If he’s calm, the chooks may even come over to investigate.  Stay calm.  If he starts getting excited or lunges/barks at them, remove him to a safe distance where he will ignore them again.  You may need to do this a few times.  What he learns is that to be around the chooks, I must stay calm.  If your chooks will stay in a coop or fenced area, this may be where you spend the time repeating the behaviour and praising and rewarding.  You may sit with him with a chew or just work on some commands.  Again, the aim is to encourage him to ignore the chooks.

If you plan on having free range chickens, and canine and chooks will be mingling daily, read on.

The Great Escape

When you feel confident that your dog has so far, happily ignored the chooks and not shown any aggression or heightened arousal towards them, you can let them out of their coop/area to roam freely.  Keep your dog on his leash.  Ask him to sit or lay down if this makes you feel more comfortable.  As the chooks are roaming, providing your dog shows little interest, praise and reward him.  Again, you may want to give him a chew or even a slow feeding puzzle game.  He just needs to learn than he can co-exist with the chickens without interacting with them a great deal. 

Patience Is A Virtue

You may have to spend a significant amount of time working through these steps, but done in the right way, it will be worth it.  Whilst on leash you can walk him through the chooks, he may sniff, they may also show interest too.  The only behaviour you don’t want to see is aggression, lunging or chasing.  If this happens, go straight back to beginning and work on the gradual exposure again. 

Riding Solo?

The most nerve-wracking part will likely be when you feel he is ready to be let off leash to mingle on his own.  Again, take your time.  You may pop the chickens back in the coop and let him explore off leash around a fence.  You may prefer to put him on a long line (50ft) when in with the free-range chooks.  This way, he feels like he has more freedom, but you still have control if it goes pear shaped.  Be realistic though, some dogs just never quite make it to being able to mingle unsupervised with chooks, so watch the behaviour of your dog and make the call. 

Conclusion

Chooks to dogs are super-interesting, like most things.  The long and the short of it, successful introductions mean the chooks are no longer that interesting and your dog learns that to be around them he simply just needs to be calm.  Arm yourself with some high value treats, chews and any other slow feeder puzzles; start from a distance and encourage the behaviour you want to see.  Praise and reward when you do.  Grade the exposure.  Always stay calm and in control and don’t be afraid of going back to square one if things don’t go as you’d hoped.  It may take time, but it will be worth it when you have canine and chooks living in harmony.    


This post was written by John Wood at All Things Dogs.

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This entry was posted in Dogs


How to train your dog with a clicker

 

What is a clicker?

A clicker is a little box with a button that gives a “click” sounds once pressed, In the ‘50s it was mainly used as a training device for dolphins and cetacean, but it quickly became extremely popular among dog trainers.

Why use a clicker instead of just voice commands?

Using only voice commands to train your dog can be quite challenging and confusing. The same word can be pronounced with different intonations and used in different contexts, while a clicker always produces the exact same sound, giving you the opportunity to train your dog in an efficient and straightforward way.

 

The basics:

  1. Arm yourself with patience
  2. Choose a suitable training place, without many distractions for your dog
  3. Start the training when your dog is still hungry, otherwise the treats won’t be much of an incentive
  4. Make sure your dog has already peed so you can have its full attention

 

Step 1: positive reinforcement (clicker, treat)

The clicker wants to be a training device based on positive reinforcement. With clicker training you want to encourage and reinforce a particular positive behaviour rather than punish your dog’s “bad” actions. As a first step, you will need to teach your dog to associate the sound of the clicker to a prize. Click the device and immediately offer a treat to your dog. Repeat the action for around 10 times then take a break. Repeat this at various times during the day and in different places so that your dog will associate the clicking sound to the receipt of a treat, regardless of the location.

Remember that the “click” sounds becomes a promise, so if you click the device by mistake you’ll still need to treat your dog.

 

 

Step 2: teaching the action (command, action, clicker, treat)

Once your dog learns that for every “click” sounds he gets a treat you can start the proper training. For instance, if you want to teach your dog the command “sit” you will need to command the action with a specific word and gesture of your choice (and that will always stay the same). As soon as your dog sit, immediately press the clicker and give him a treat. Repeat the cycle “command-action-clicker-treat” until your dog has learnt it.

 

 

If you’re not confident or not sure you can train your dog with a clicker, do contact a professional dog trainer.

Resources:

https://www.companyofanimals.co.uk/brands/clix-training

https://www.petsafe.net/

 

Immagini prese da The Company of Animals UK

 

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Healthy Bulldogs and the Danish Bulldog Club Show

In August the Danish Bulldog Club hosted a bulldog show in Denmark, where Omlet sponsored prizes for the ‘Most Beautiful Head’ category! We had a chat with the organisers to learn a bit more about the bulldog and find out why they focus so much on promoting the healthy bulldog.

    

Why is there a focus on promoting health in bulldogs at this show?

We focus on promoting bulldog health at all our shows and the reason why we have so much focus precisely on health is that many bulldogs (many different varieties) unfortunately have become more and more at risk of illness.

We believe it’s important to show the healthy dog that can breathe, move freely, is not bothered by allergies etc.

What are the signs of a healthy bulldog? And what are the most common health problems in bulldogs?

A healthy bulldog can move around freely. Meaning it is not physically limited. Open nostrils that do not create breathing problems, and it’s important that they are not overweight since this can put pressure on their hips etc.
The most common health problems are skin problems, hip/elbow dysplasia, breathing problems/narrow nostrils.

For those interested in getting a bulldog, what can they do to ensure they buy a healthy one? And how can you help your bulldog stay healthy if you already have one?

When buying a bulldog, the best way you can make sure it’s healthy is by seeing documentation for the parents such as x-rays of the hips, elbows, back etc. If possible, it is best to met both parents, but at least you need to see the mother.
Likewise, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the breed and for instance go to a show where you can see and meet different dogs and breeders.
When you have your bulldog, the best thing you can do is to keep it slender/muscular and in good shape. Make sure it gets the right amount of exercise, food and lots of love. Remember that the bulldog is not just a sofadog. A bulldog needs exercise and stimulation just like other breeds.

What is the best thing about bulldogs compared to other dog breeds?

The bulldog is a very versatile breed which is suitable for everything from family dog to a hardworking training buddy.
The dogs enormous personality makes it a fun and loving member of the family and its muscular body og strong determination makes it the ultimate training partner for everything from obedience to weightpull.
Generally, the bulldog easily adapts to the individual family’s needs.

    

How many different varieties of bulldog are there and do you host shows for all of them in DBC?

There are: English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Old English Bulldog, Leavitt Bulldog, Renascence Bulldog, Continental Bulldog, American Bulldog etc.

However, in Denmark the American Bulldog is illegal.

So far, we only host shows for the OEB and Leavitt Bulldogs.

What might people not know about bulldogs?

They are super charming and very stubborn but they bring out smiles and laughs every single day.

 


***Winners of the ‘Most Beautiful Head’ category – sponsored by Omlet***

    

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This entry was posted in Dogs