Categories
Tips & Tricks

Single dog or multiple dogs?

Many dog lovers want second or more dogs after a while. But what is better? Keeping a single dog or multiple dogs?

What will a second dog bring with it?

If only one dog lives in a household, there is more time and attention available for this dog. Especially if there are many dogs in a household, it is difficult to do justice to all the dogs and to exercise them according to their individual needs. With a single dog, it is also easier to react to problems and manage them. If two or more dogs pull on the leash or show other undesirable behavior, it is much more difficult to keep the situation under control. If vacation care is needed for the vacations or if one is dependent on help in case of illness, it is also much easier for a dog to get support. In addition, it must not be forgotten that a dog is significantly cheaper to care for. Food, veterinary costs, etc. double or multiply with several dogs. In addition, single dogs usually bond more closely to humans and have more intense relationships.

The factors in favor of multiple dog ownership.

Every dog is different and can enrich your life in a different context. For example, each dog can be trained for specific tasks based on its individual strengths, such as a particular dog sport or therapy dog work. In addition, the different characters of the dogs offer an interesting and deep insight into the dog world and intra-species communication. With a second (or more) dog(s), the dogs always have a friend available – be it for playing or just so that the single dog is not alone. A confident first dog can also teach the newcomer a lot. But beware! Undesirable behavior gets also copied.

Now, what is better?

It can not be said in general, whether keeping a single dog or multiple dogs is better. It depends entirely on the type of man and on the idea of his life. The more dogs are added, the more limited are the freedoms and the more time the dogs need. It is the same as the costs. It should be considered in any case just as with the acquisition of a first dog, well, whether one or more additional dogs fit into the life and whether one can do justice to these. It should also be noted that not every dog benefits from another dog, so it should also be looked at whether you really do the existing dog a favor with another dog. If the conditions are right and you have a lot of fun and joy in the intensive interaction with several dogs, keeping multiple dogs can be an enrichment. Equally, however, keeping a single dog can also be more advantageous.

If you are unsure whether a second dog is right for you and your dog, you can get advice from our professional dog trainers in the Trainer Chat.

Categories
Tips & Tricks

Your summer with dog – The best tips

Finally, it is summer. Many people are looking forward to this season all year round. For dog owners with their four-legged friends, however, the summer has some challenges in store. In this article, the most important aspects are addressed so that you can experience an unforgettable summer together with your dog.

Before introducing all the great things you can do with your dog in the summer, there are some important dog safety things to consider.

Attention to heat!

In summer, you must never leave your dog alone in the car. The car heats up so much within minutes that it becomes life-threatening for your dog. From 20 degrees it quickly becomes dangerous for all dogs in the car, for short-nosed dogs even earlier. Due to the fact that the internal temperature of the car rises extremely quickly, the dog must not be left alone in the car even for a few minutes.

The danger of the heat trap in the car is now known to many dog owners, another major danger that far more dog owners very underestimate is that of hot asphalt. At an outside temperature of 25 degrees Celcius, the asphalt is already over 50 degrees Celcius hot! To make sure that the surface is not too hot for your dog, you can put the back of your hand on the ground for seven seconds. If the ground is too hot for your hand, it will be for your dog’s paws. Even if your dog walks across the asphalt without any problems, it does not mean that he is not in pain. Often dogs have no choice but to walk, and over time they burn the pads of their paws. A good rule of thumb is to test any surface briefly with the back of your hand before your dog steps on it, starting at 25 degrees Celcius outside.

But what can you do if the asphalt is too hot?

Small dogs can be carried to the nearest meadow. Medium and larger dogs can be driven in a dog buggy to the nearest meadow or taken by car to the nearest forest. For all dogs, however, it is advisable to do the dog walks in the morning and evening hours and during the day to take the dogs only to the garden or to the nearest meadow to do their business.

In addition to moving dog walks to the morning and evening hours, all sporting activities should also be moved to the morning or evening. On particularly hot days or when it does not cool down at night, sporting activities should be stopped completely.

Also, make sure your dog always has enough water and a cool place to stay.

Watch out for foxtails!

Another danger that lurks in the summer is that of foxtails. Foxtails grow on roadsides and can be very dangerous for the dog. The foxtail gets stuck in the dog’s fur and bores through the skin into the inside of the dog. Due to their small barbs, the foxtails can then only be removed surgically. In summer, you should avoid roadsides with foxtails with your dog, and when it‘s not possible check his paws and fur after the walk.

Have fun in the water!

But in addition to some of the dangers, you should be aware of as a dog owner in the summer, this time of year also offers some fun.

For example, many dogs love water and enjoy a trip to a lake. Summer is the perfect time of year for a variety of water activities. How about stand-up paddling with a dog? If you don’t have the opportunity to go to a lake, maybe a dog splash pool is a great way for your dog to cool off. Some dogs also have a lot of fun having a water fight with the garden hose. With all activities with or near water, just make sure your dog doesn’t swallow too much water – then you risk water poisoning!

Alternatives for water-shy dogs:

If your dog is not a water rat, then you can keep him busy indoors with various exercises. How about practicing a new trick from our Pupy app or making a dog toy for the dog? Or you can hide treats for your dog in the apartment. Chewables can also keep your dog busy in the summer. Just make sure it’s cool enough or that the dog takes breaks to pant in between to cool down.

Also, your dog will be happy about a dog ice cream. You can easily make dog ice cream on your own; various recipes are available on the Internet or you visit an ice cream parlor, which also offers varieties for the dog (a scoop of vanilla is also a possibility from time to time).

Your dog will also be happy about a dog ice cream. You can easily make this yourself, there are many recipes on the Internet or you can visit an ice cream parlor, which also offers varieties for the dog (a scoop of vanilla is also a possibility from time to time).

And what about traveling?

The summer is also a popular travel season. Unfortunately, this leads to the fact that especially in the summer vacations very many dogs are abandoned. Please take care early enough for a caregiver for your dog, if you do not want to take him with you on vacation. If you decide to go on vacation together with your dog, please also organize everything important early. Then, however, the joint vacation with dog can bring wonderful memories.

Ultimate tip list for a great dog summer:

  • Attention hot asphalt!
  • No dog stays alone in the car!
  • Walks in the morning and evening
  • Attention foxtails!
  • Enough drinking water and a cool place
  • Trip to the lake: swimming, stand up paddling, and more
  • Dog paddling pool or water hose
  • In the apartment or house with mental stimulation
  • Make your own dog ice cream
  • Organize dog care for vacation early or plan a vacation with dog
Categories
Tips & Tricks Training

What is Trickdogging?

A dog that can moonwalk, skateboard or do a handstand? These are all tricks that trick doggers engage in, among other things. Trickdogging is about teaching your dog various tricks, for example doing a manikin or a roll up to cleaning out he laundry and bringing in socks. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of their dog running the household and having fun at the same time? Regardless of whether the tricks are only practised in private or if the goal is perhaps to appear on a big stage or on television one day, trick dogging offers both dog and human many advantages.

Above all, it promotes bonding and trust. The dog’s self-confidence also increases and the dog becomes more balanced and attentive. At the same time, a dog that has been exercised to the full is usually much better behaved. Working for food or toys is a good way to reward your dog, it keeps the dog happy and can prevent behavioural problems. But apart from that, it is simply a lot of fun for both dog and human, and that is the main focus of trickdogging at all times.

Every dog can learn tricks

Trickdogging is suitable for any dog, can be done anywhere and apart from treats you don’t need anything else, although a clicker can be very helpful.

The clicker tells the dog that his behaviour was correct and that he will get a reward for it. In this way, exact reinforcement is possible. To condition your dog to the clicker, have your dog sit in front of you. Then you click and immediately give your dog a treat. Repeat this several times. To check whether your dog has understood the principle, you can click when he is slightly distracted. If your dog looks at you after the click, he has understood the link. Instead of a clicker, you can also use a marker signal, a word that you say instead of the clicker sound.

Training through positive reinforcement

In trickdogging, training is done through operant conditioning with positive reinforcement. This means that for every correct behaviour you give a treat, everything else is ignored. It is important that you build up each trick in small steps and only increase the demands when your dog can do the step safely.

Getting the desired behaviour

There are several ways to get your dog to perform a certain behaviour, which I would like to explain briefly. Capturing is when you capture spontaneous behaviour and reward it, for example when your dog shakes. With shaping, you reward the preliminary stages of the finished behaviour and thus keep moving forward. A special form of shaping is the so-called free shaping. The dog is not given any instructions on what to do and tries to get closer to the target behaviour by offering it. For example, if I want my dog to touch an object with a paw, I first reward every movement in the direction of the object, then movements with the paw towards the object and then the touching. The use of a clicker is particularly recommended here. Another variation is luring, but you have to be careful that the lure is released early enough. Furthermore, you can build up behaviour with targets or with the imitation method “Do As I Do” by Claudia Fugazza.

Attention!

During training it can always happen that your dog does not immediately understand what you want from him. The following behaviours show that your dog is overwhelmed: ears flattened, ears turned back, yawning, licking over the nose, stretching and stretching or shaking.

If you observe one or more of these behaviours, you should take a step back in the training, reduce the distraction, take a break, practice another trick or control the exercise set-up.

Designing the exercise

As a beginner, you should only practice with your dog for a few minutes at a time. If you are a bit more experienced, the training sessions can be longer, but should not exceed 20-30 minutes. Ideally, you should end the session before your dog loses interest.

Training tricks in different life situations

Adult, healthy dogs can practise and perform all tricks that are appropriate to their level of ability and physical condition. Very big and heavy dogs and dogs with long backs should not jump for example.

You can also start trick training with puppies, but no jumps or tricks that put a lot of strain on the musculoskeletal system should be practised. The puppy period is suitable for learning the basics, not only of the dog ABC, but also of trick training. Conditioning on the clicker, target training and introduction to free shaping or Do As I Do are also suitable for puppies. For senior dogs, if in doubt, the tricks should be discussed with the vet or physiotherapist. In general, older dogs can do all the tricks they like to do as well as tricks that are not very physically demanding or have a risk of injury. Paw tricks, looking for and bringing objects, slalom through legs or rolling out carpet are also fun for older dogs.

The first tricks

These tricks are especially good for the beginning.

  • Give paw
  • Twist
  • Slalom through the legs

If you’ve got trick fever now, then…

… download Pupy App and start with the first trick right away, order our book: “Hundetricks mit Nala: Vom Straßenhund zum Fernsehstar” by Frederike Spyrka