Click and Treat is For The Dogs!


Becoming the first major improvement in dog training since choke chains and spiked collars, click and treat has quickly revolutionized itself in becoming a big hit on the training circuit. Currently, there are over 10,000 trainers who are using this method regularly.

Used in the beginning to train marine mammals, click and treat breaks down the process into two separate steps, information and motivation. While other trainers still emphasize on these two steps, they try to teach them all at once, which can confuse the animal and prolong results.

Most trainers will verbally praise a dog for good behavior, while at the same time motivating the dog to repeat his actions. This can be a good method, however it takes longer for the dog to understand which behaviors and actions caused the praise from the trainer. With the click and treat method, the processes are easily taught. In normal training, a person would say “good boy” when a welcomed action occurs and proceed with giving a treat. The clicker becomes a substitute for verbal praise and can actually catch the “good boy” behavior quicker than saying it, letting the dog know exactly which behavior he is being rewarded for.

First things first, in order to try click and treat, the trainer must invest in a clicker, which can be found at most pet supply stores. The training itself is quick and rather easy for the dog and his trainer.

Another way to look at click and treat training is viewing it as a secondary reinforcement, while food, water, physical affection and play (things the dog wants) become primary reinforcement. When you take a dog for a walk, the leash works as a secondary reinforcement. It is obvious to the dog that the leash is not taking him for a walk; the owner is, however, it triggers a reaction in the dog, telling him that the leash will let him know where he will go and where he will not. And if he reacts to the leash with good behavior, his reward will be a nice leisurely walk. Click and treat works the same way. When a dog hears the clicker, he will know that he performed a good behavior and as long as he keeps hearing a click, there are rewards coming to him. So, the clicker works as a secondary reinforcement, teaching him boundaries and appropriate behavior.

A couple advantages of the click and treat method include, 1) faster response than verbal praise. The clicker can identify the exact behavior at the time it happens, 2) it takes the place of treats. While motivating the dog to hear clicks, it will also teach him to work without the expectations of having treats given to him each time he does something good, and 3) if the trainer is working at a distance from the dog, the clicker will still work, without having to be right next him.

A good method to use when getting started with click and treat is to stand in front of the animal. Click the clicker and give a treat. Continue doing this for 20-30 minutes, or until the dog becomes startled by the sound of the click. This will familiarize him to the clicking sound, while teaching him that every time he hears it, he has done something good. After he gets the hang of it, begin by adding commands, such as “sit” and “stay.”

Click and treat has proven to be a simple, yet consistent training method with quick results. So for the trainers out there who are looking for a new and innovative way to motivate and praise their animals, get out there, buy a clicker and…..click!

Dangerous Dog Treats: What To Know Before You Treat Your Pup


What pooch does not love getting a treat or two now and then. Dog owners also love giving their dog’s treats. If you have a dog, then you have a good idea of what your dog likes to nibble on. There are so many treats available these days and they all come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and consistencies. For every great dog treat, there are those on the market that are not so good. These treats can harm your pet by being lodged in your dog’s throat or intestines. This can cause choking or worse. If you love treating your canine friend, then you will want to be aware of those treats that can be potentially harmful. Even with treats that are not usually dangerous, you need to supervise your dog when they eat.

Greenies: Most dogs really enjoy these treats. They are advertised as a treats that help clean your dog’s teeth. However, you need to be aware that “greenies” can cause choking. This is because dogs eat these very quickly causes large chunks to lodge in the throat. Young puppies should not eat this treat and dogs that are prone to “scarfing” food. If your dog eats these treats, be aware of potential vomiting, bloody stools, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms after your dog has eaten this treat, seek medical attention.

Rawhide Chews: What dog does not love snacking on these chewy treats? Rawhides are good because it cleans your dog’s teeth and keeps your dog occupied. However, rawhides are dangerous, as well. Some rawhides that originate outside of the United States may actually be preserved with arsenic-based chemicals that will be ingested by your doggie when he or she chews. For this reason, make certain that any rawhide treat you purchase is processed in the United States where this preservative is forbidden. If you cannot tell where a treat originated do not buy it! In addition, you still need to watch your dog when he her she is munching on rawhides to help prevent choking. Make sure you buy rawhides that are the right size for your dog, too. A small dog needs the smaller sized rawhide treats.

Chocolate: Chocolate is a terrible thing to allow dogs to eat. Of course, sometimes dogs get into candy and cake without your knowledge. Chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats, so you need to be aware of your dog sneaking chocolate nibbles, especially around the holidays. Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine. This acts in the canine about the same way caffeine acts in the human. A little will make the doggie hyperactive, but a huge dose may be fatal. If your dog has gotten into chocolate, you need to look for vomiting, shallow breathing, and irregular heartbeat. A visit to the emergency vet unusually results.

Bones: It seems that it is the right of every dog to be able to crunch on a real bone from time to time. Dogs love bones of all types. However, some bones can be dangerous. Both chicken and turkey bones are especially dangerous because they are brittle. When your dog chews on the, they can easily splinter and cause choking. Some pork and beef bones can also cause the same problem. Veterinarians agree that the one of the safest bones you can give your dog is a shinbone. If you must give your dog a bone, make sure you supervise your pooch and if he or she shows signs of bleeding, then you should call your vet immediately for some advice.

This is not to say that you cannot give your dog an occasional treat. That is one of the fun parts of owning a dog. You do need to watch your dog and make sure that your dog is safe when snacking. Always pay attention to what kind of treat you give your dog in case of a recall.

What Are The Best Toys for Puppies


You can’t have a puppy without puppy toys anymore than you would have a small child without toys. But you wouldn’t give an infant toys with small removable parts, bead eyes or long strings because those could pose serious safety hazards for your baby. Puppies are essentially baby dogs, so you need to use the same good judgment when you buy the best toys for your puppy as when you buy toys for your baby.

Do buy toys that your puppy will enjoy, though. They need the toys to chew on and to give them something stimulating to do. Without toys, they might decide that your shoe and the table leg are fun toys to chew on, instead. Be sure the toys don’t have any sharp edges. Puppies are still learning how to be coordinated and are still learning a sense of balance. Anything that could potentially harm them while they’re in this stage should be removed, and certainly no toys that could hurt them should be allowed. You want to make sure that the toys aren’t too small.

Just like a small baby will stick everything in its mouth without understanding the concept of choking, a puppy will chew on everything, too. Something too small, or something that could potentially be broken or chewed into small pieces, could be swallowed or lodged in your puppy’s throat. The best place to find puppy toys to purchase is at a pet store. All of their toys are specially designed to be safe and fun for puppies. You can find toys designed to be good for them to chew when they’re teething, and toys in bright colors to stimulate puppies and interest them. Toys that move or roll are ideal.

After about 3 months, a puppy will enjoy chewing. Its instinct is to chew, and it helps them cut teeth, just like infants. So anything that they can chew without destroying makes an ideal toy. It’s not necessary to spend a fortune. Many toys you can find in the children’s department of a store will work well for puppies, too. Balls or cylinders that roll are ideal, as long as there are no small or moving parts and the material is not so soft that your puppy can easily destroy it by chewing.

Make sure balls or any toys are not so small that they can become lodged in your puppy’s mouth or can be swallowed. One of the best toys for puppies (and they make them for several other animals, as well) are Kong rubber toys. They’re a fun shape, and the hard rubber is ideal for enthusiastic chewing. The centers are hollow so you can fill them with dog treats to give your puppy special incentive for chewing.

Squeaky toy are fun for pups, too, but do keep an eye on their condition and throw them away when they show too much sign of wear. The “squeaker” is a small piece that could be potentially hazardous if it comes out.