Orlando Dog Trainer: Life Rewards and Food Treats

You’ve finally gotten to the point when your dog is regularly responding to your vocal or hand cues for behaviors.

It’s now time to pull back with the treats and replace them with other rewards. For my dog, the sound of the leash is an exciting time. Rewarding him with a walk for a job well done is always welcome. For other dogs some fetch with a squeaky ball or frisbee is like heaven!

The point is you’ve now moved on to “life rewards”, rewards based on other things your dog enjoys beyond treats and food. You’re showing your dog you indeed are NOT a treat PEZ dispenser. Instead he is learning that by doing as you ask, and making you happy, he gets something that makes him happy too.

Sure we can still pepper in treat based rewards as a surprise every now and then but you want to make sure you diversify your rewards. Dogs love surprises like this and you’ll be motivating them to work even harder to keep the rewards coming.

Have a question for me about your dog’s behavior? Call 321-345-7387 for a free phone consultation.

Orlando Dog Trainer: Bribing Versus Rewarding Dogs in Training

How do I define reward based training versus a bribe?

Ask a dog to do something. The dog does it. Give him a treat. That treat is a reward.

Ask your dog to do something and it’s something he’s done repeatedly before. But this time there’s no action. So you wait. Maybe you ask again. You reach into your treat bag and suddenly your dog is completing the requested task.

THAT is a bribe.

You asked him to do it and he didn’t until he knew the reward. A good dog trainer will help you avoid this pitfall of dog training. If you find yourself only getting a reaction once the treat is visible, your dog has just trained you!

With professional dog training we use techniques that avoid bribery and continue rewarding good behaviors. Knowing when you’re teetering into bribery is a skill that your dog trainer can see, but you may not.

I’ve got a couple more days of insight for you so keep checking back. Don’t hesitate to call me if you have any questions about your dog’s behavior. Dial 321-345-7387 for a FREE telephone assessment.

Orlando Dog Trainer: Using Food As Rewards In Training

Food is a huge motivator for me. I can down a juicy hamburger in minutes. I love grilled salmon and vegetables  My mouth waters just thinking about it. However, burgers, salmon and the like just don’t show up in my refrigerator. I have to work for them.

Like humans, food for dogs is a pretty valuable part of life. Dogs know that food is good as soon as their born. Ever have a puppy climbing all over you while you’re at the dinner table? They may never have tasted a pork chop, but they know they want it!

Most every dog enjoys praise, petting and game play – which are all great rewards. But food is primal. If you want to get an animal’s attention you want to go for what it’s mind, body and soul are craving.

That is food.

Dog owners and trainers alike express concern about using food as a reward in training. Using food exclusively can turn into a bribe where the dog only reacts to the food and not to your command without it. But that’s why using a professional dog trainer is important. To know when your dog knows whats expected and how to transition their expectations of reward away from food and towards other things.

Keep checking back while I post more insights into the dog training process in the coming days. In the meantime, if you have any questions about your dog’s behavior feel free to call me at 321-345-7387 for a FREE telephone assessment.

Orlando Dog Trainer: Why We Reward Dogs In Training

Big Paw Pet Care uses a “PAWsitive” or rewards based training method when training our client’s dogs. At first you feel like a PEZ dispenser handing out treat after treat. What we really want to get to is making eye contact, praise and petting just as rewarding as treats.

But first you have to get the dogs attention.

We call dogs “man’s best friend” and “loyal” but the reality is dogs are fairly self-serving. Ask your dog to perform any task and he’s immediately asking “Whats in this for me?”. You could say dogs are natures capitalists when it comes to their relationships with humans.

So we hand out treat after treat for the simple tasks as we start. By being systematic with rewards, the dog is more likely to repeat the behavior we want. When you reward a job well done, the dog will continue to “show up for work”.

A first step is deciding what is rewarding to your dog. Some dogs love cheese, others hate it. For some dogs rough petting means “good boy” where others may not like touch at all. So we find what works for your dog and start our training there.

Over the next few days I’ll post a few more insights into the dog training process. In the meantime, if you have any questions about your dog’s behavior feel free to call me at 321-345-7387 for a FREE telephone assessment.

Orlando Pet Sitter Warns: Dog Food Recall

images-1It’s been a busy summer already for pet food producers. One constant recall after another. This time Natura Pet Products is issuing a recall on all of it’s Innova, California Natural, EVO, Healthwise, Mother Nature and Karma branded dry pet food and biscuit/bar/treat products with expiration dates prior to June 10, 2014 are being recalled.

The decision was made in part due to a single positive Salmonella test by the FDA on product manufactured April 3.

If you have any questions, please contact Natura Pet Products at www.naturapet.com/ or by calling (800) 224-6123.

Orlando Pet Sitter Lists Plants That Are Poisonous To Dogs and Cats

Summer is here and most likely you and your family are spending more and more time outside. Many of us spend time in the yard or out in parks. With Florida’s diverse plant and flowers it’s important to keep in mind what your dog or cat may be allergic to or could even be poisonous to your pet.

poisonous plants for petsLilies Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestions of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.

Sago Palm (pictured to the left)
All parts of Cycas Revoluta are poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain the largest amount of toxin. The ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects, which include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Tulip/Narcissus bulbs
The bulb portions of Tulipa/Narcissus spp. contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.

Members of the Rhododenron spp. contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.

All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects—including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.

Castor Bean
The poisonous principle in Ricinus communis is ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma and death.

Cylamen species contain cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cylamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.

For more information on poisonous plants to animals or for a complete list of poisonous plants please visit www.aspca.com


What Is It Like Pet Sitting in Orlando?

pet sitting in orlandoPet sitting is very common in big cities like New York, LA or Chicago and even Miami. But pet sitting in Orlando is not very well-known. Even today it is not uncommon for us to be approached by potential clients at pet events asking: “You will really come to our house to watch our pets?”.

The answer is always: Yes, we’d love to…

Maybe you, yourself didn’t know that pet sitting in Orlando was available to you. But every day professional pet sitters like us are out there, keeping an eye on your furry loved ones while you are away. Providing peace of mind.

Don’t get me wrong, pet sitting in Orlando has its challenges. In the summer we battle rain and thunderstorms every day.

In the winter, temperatures can reach the low 20s. Walking dogs in 20° weather when you’re used to 90° weather is a real wake-me-up in the morning.

In the spring we’re very busy as local families are visited by relatives from up north or head out on their own spring break vacations.

Dog Walk, Pet Sitter, Dog Walker, Pet Sitting In Orlando

And in the fall, we have to batten down the hatches for hurricanes that seem to spring up on your busiest weekend.

But that’s not to say pet sitting in Orlando doesn’t have its rewards. In fact, pet sitting is it’s own reward.

Like, when you arrive in a downpour to a pair of wagging tails and big tongued smiles, happy to see you in your soggy galoshes – everything seem to dry up instantly .

Or when you’re sitting on the floor with a kitty with a full tummy, curled up in your lap purring – your shivering hands warm up and steady.

Finally, when that email or text arrives full of gratitude from an extremely happy pet owner, you smile and your heart fills with pride. Because you know that the peace of mind you’ve given that pet owner is invaluable.

That’s what it’s like pet sitting in Orlando.