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Looking for the Perfect Cat Sitter in Denver?

Looking for the Perfect Cat Sitter in Denver?

Step 1. Make Sure it's a Great Match! • There's tons of options for cat sitting in Denver, but not all are created equal. It's always a good idea to thoroughly screen your potential sitter before you actually hire them. • When consider your options, keep in mind that some companies have a pre-set program that may or may not fit your needs. Ask about their set up and how they typically handle their cat sitting service. • Think about your cat's needs and make sure your choice is going to be able to meet all of them. Sometimes companies are only able to visit twice per day. This may be completely fine in some cases but could cause a huge problem in situations where the cat may need medications to be administered. • Be sure to get information about their work history and experience. At Happy Paws, we'll send you an introduction video for your pet caregiver so you can feel comfortable knowing who's going to be caring for your pet. Step 2. Give Them as Much Information as Possible • When signing up for your cat sitting service you'll typically be asked to fill out a form giving information on your cat's specific needs. It's always a good plan to be thorough with these notes. Give them as much information as possible so that they can provide your cat with the best care possible. • Consider leaving a note in your home with instructions that are really important to ensure that nothing is lost in communication. • Think about what your cat's normal day-time routine is like and try to match that with your cat sitting service as much as possible. It's less stress on your cat to keep their scheduled feeding times and attention times as similar as possible. Step 3. Be Sure to Stay in The Loop! • It's stressful for most people to be away from their pets, that's why we provide photo and text updates for every visit. You'll also receive a text from your pet caregiver to let you know when they are on their way there. This is a small detail that helps to ease your mind while you're away. • For each visit our pet caregivers will let you know what they did while there, how your cat is doing, and communicate any other important information with you. Step 4. Go With Someone You Trust • While it may seem like common sense, going with a reputable company with a proven track record can make all the difference in the world! No one likes feel uneasy about having a stranger in their home while they're away. What if something were to happen to your pet while gone? What if you weren't able to get ahold of someone when you expected them to be looking after your fur baby? These are things that you can be confident with when you go with Happy Paws! From the very beginning of our process we make sure that every single person who joins our team is carefully screened, experienced, educated, and trustworthy. As animal lovers, we've created our services with our pets in mind making sure that every pet is given the highest quality of care. Our goal is always to make our clients experience exceptional.

Why You Want an Experienced Dog Sitter

Why You Want an Experienced Dog Sitter

What's the Difference with an Experienced Dog Sitter? Sure, you can hire the teen in your neighborhood looking for a summer job, but you'll have a HUGE difference in your experience if you go with an experienced pet sitting company. While you will have a cost increase, some things in life are worth paying more for and your pet's well-being is likely on that list. Below we outline the main differences you'll have with an experienced sitter vs. the alternatives. Communication is a Big Deal When it Comes to Your Dog When going with an experienced company, you get a much better experience when it comes to communication. Most companies will give you a response back from your original inquiry within 24-48 hours. You'll also be updated while your pet's being cared for in your absence. Most pet owners love being given daily updates about their pet's adventures with their pet sitter and the adorable pictures and videos that come with! It's also noteworthy to mention that when going with a company, you have the peace of mind that if something were to go wrong, like your sitter getting sick for example, your pet's care would never be compromised. Whereas when you're dealing with a single person if they're unable to come for any reason, you're now stuck having to figure out a backup situation while you're away. Unfortunately, these situations are much more common when dealing with a less experienced sitter. Trying to figure out how your pet is going to be fed or let outside to go to the bathroom, and heaven forbid they needed medications to be given. This can create an extremely stressful situation for any pet owner, and it's definitely not something you'll want to be trying to get sorted out while your on a trip somewhere or a vacation. This reason alone is enough to go with the more experienced option. A Little Peace of Mind Goes a Long Way In the worst case scenario, say your pet get's hurt of sick while you're away, you want someone who has experience with these situations to be making sure your fur baby is ok. When you go with an experienced dog sitter you can have the peace of mind that if your dog were to get ill while you're gone, they're much more likely to catch it or notice the symptoms than someone else. They're also more likely to handle the situation better because they have protocols in place to ensure that pet's are always getting the care they need. For instance, an inexperienced sitter may not notice that your dog's stomach seems to be bloated. Something as simple as this can actually be a sign of a serious medical emergency because an abnormally bloated stomach can be a precursor for a medical condition called Gastric Dilatation Volvulus. This medical condition if left unnoticed or untreated can be deadly. In addition to having more knowledge surrounding medical issues that may arise, you'll also have someone who's well trained in how to handle an emergency situation where your pet may be hurt or injured. Sadly, this is a common occurrence with unexperienced dog sitter where a dog accidentally slips out of their collar or harness while on a walk and gets hit by a car. Or they may be injured at a dog park by another dog. In these situations where your pet's health and well being are at risk, it's always better to have someone you can trust fully handling the situation. We recommend researching your choice for your pet sitting needs thoroughly before making a decision. Most pet owners find that even just one bad experience with a sitter leads them to the conclusion that in most cases, it's not worth the risk going with someone who's less experienced.

Top Ten Training Tips

Top Ten Training Tips

How to Find the Best Dog Sitter for You

How to Find the Best Dog Sitter for You

What's Most Important to Ask When Hiring a Dog Sitter? What type of training or experience have they received? It's not required for pet sitters to be certified or trained necessarily but it sure does make a HUGE difference! Be sure to ask if they have any certifications, specialized training, or what kind of experience they have. This makes all the difference in the long run! Be sure to check their availability. Whether it's for a short trip or a long vacation, it's important to make sure their open dates match your needs! What does their service look like daily? Make sure they're able to stop by as much as you need! At Happy Paws, we can stop by up to three times per day, even more if needed. Some senior dogs have a difficult time going long periods without frequent potty breaks. Do they offer visit updates? Most owners LOVE to be stay the loop with text and photo updates that let them know, when you're coming, when you're there, what happened during their visit, and of course a cute photo of your fur baby to top it off! Are they able to give medications? This is crucial for any pet owners who will need their dog sitter to give important medications. Some dogs need their medications at specific time intervals, some dogs may even need insulin injections. It's a good idea to make sure this is something your dog sitter is comfortable with and accustom to. Make sure they know all about your dogs needs! Things like what your dog needs in terms of meal sizes, water intake, exercise needs. Also think about things your dog likes or dislikes, and any fears or phobias they may have. Sometimes the little things, like letting them know your dog is afraid of big trucks, can make a big difference. For example, if your sitter takes your pup on a walk to the park and the dog is refusing to go back home because of a huge truck stopped outside, this could become game-changing information for them to have. This small detail could help your sitter to quickly re-evaluate the situation and take a different route back home. Being thorough ensures your dog will be given the BEST care possible! How Can I Make Sure my Dog Receives the Best Care? Be sure to communicate with your dog sitter before the visits begin, during, and after. Communicate is key! Make sure your on the same page about your expectations and everything that you need to make this a positive experience for you and your pup. Reserve your service at your earliest chance. Planning ahead as much as you can will give you more wiggle room to be extra picky when it comes to choosing your dog sitter. Make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck by asking lots of questions before making your reservation. Give clear instructions on what exactly you're looking for from your dog sitting experience and how your sitter can help to make you and your dog not only comfortable, but happy! Being away from your fur baby can be completely unnerving from some people, but having someone you can trust and count on can turn that uneasy feeling into feelings of calm and relief!

3 Most Important Dog Training Tools

3 Most Important Dog Training Tools

Dog Training Treat Pouch Your dog training treat pouch is definitely one of the most important tools you'll need when you start your dog training. It's crucial to your dog's learning that you start reinforcing good behavior early on and thats where your treat pouch comes in handy! They make various styles and sizes but it's a good idea to get one thats easy to open and comfortable to where because you'll be wanting to have quick access to treats and to take it everywhere with you. We recommend ones with a magnetic closure or easy snap closure so you can get in and out quickly. When using your dog training treat pouch you'll want to also keep in mind that whats inside is just as important. Think of your dog treats as currency. If someone asked you to sit for a penny would you do it? How about a hundred bucks? It's exactly the same with dogs. They are willing to put in much more work depending on the type of payment they'll receive. In the beginning, when you're teaching behaviors you'll be using lots of treats that you'll want to be high value. As they learn and grow up you'll start to phase out the amount of treats you give until you'll mostly use praise as your reinforcer. Slow Feeding Toys Slow feeding toys are your best friend for those busy mornings when you need to shower and get ready but also feed the puppy. The reason these are our go to methods for feeding is because they turn meal time into an activity that's going to provide your dog with mental stimulation while they eat. This helps to tire out your pup and help make your job much easier! They make all different kinds of puzzle toys but getting one that can have the hardness adjusted is key. That way as your puppy grows, the difficulty of the game can increase as well. They also make toys that move around which we highly recommend to help with physical exercise as well as mental stimulation. Your Dog Training Voice Your dog training voice is without a doubt the most important training tool you naturally possess. It's something thats easily overlooked by many because of just how simple it is. But regardless of the simplicity you'd be surprised at how many new puppy owners get this one wrong. Like for instance, if someone said in an angry tone to you "get over here," how would you respond? Would you hurry up to get over to that person? Probably not. Yet we forget simple things like this when training. When using your voice to train your dog, you want to do your very best to keep it positive and upbeat. Studies have actually proven that dog's respond better when the person is using a higher pitched voice. Women naturally have higher voices so this can come more natural to them. However, men sometimes have a really tough time getting their happy voice on. Remember, it's all for the well being of your pup! It's the same idea when trying to discourage a behavior, use the tone that matches the implication you're trying to communicate. A firm "AH-AH" is likely you're best bet for discourage a behavior. But the positive voice is going to be used much more than the negative so it's crucial that you focus on making that voice a voice that you'd want to listen to.

Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

Check out these healthy and delicious homemade dog treats to help your pup love learning! Recipes Include: Peanut Butter Paws, Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies, Playful Pumpkin Bones. Peanut Butter Paws INGREDIENTS 3 cups old-fashioned oats 1 banana 1/3 cup peanut butter 1 egg 2 tbsp flour (optional) INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Add oats to a food processor for 2 - 3 mins, until oats are almost flour consistency. Add peanut butter, banana and egg to food processor. Mix until dough looks uniform. Roll the dough out to roughly 1/8" thick. Use 2 tbsp flour if too sticky. Cut treats out with paw print cookie cutter and place on baking sheet. Bake for 16 - 18 minutes, rotate trays halfway through.​ Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies INGREDIENTS 2 cups whole wheat flour 1 cup oats ½ heaping cup of peanut butter ½ tsp ground cinnamon 1½ cup warm water INSTRUCTIONS Preheat the oven to 350°F Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Mix all of the dry ingredients into a medium size bowl. Add in peanut butter and warm water. Mix everything together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently a few times. Roll out the dough ¼ to ½” thickness. Cut the dough lengthwise into strips, and then crosswise into bite size squares. Lay them on the parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes. Playful Pumpkin Bones INGREDIENTS 2/3 cup pumpkin puree 1/4 cup peanut butter 2 large eggs 2 1/2 – 3 cups whole wheat flour INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In mixing bowl beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed until uniform. Add additional 1/4 cup flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticky. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using bone shaped cookie cutters, cut out bone shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.​

How to Help Puppy with Separation Anxiety

How to Help Puppy with Separation Anxiety

Lots of Exercise Before Leaving Your Puppy Having some separation anxiety is normal in puppies. There are three types of separation anxiety: mild, moderate, and severe. Mild separation anxiety is fairly common among young puppies. Whether your dog has mild, moderate, or severe anxiety, exercise will help to minimize this issue. Exercise can be done with a mile walk around the neighborhood or a game of fetch in the backyard, but it needs to be enough to tire your puppy out. There's no substitution for physical exercise so it's important that even on those extremely hot or cold days, you have to find a way to exercise your dog. You can switch it up to play inside instead on days where the weather isn't acclimate, just be sure again that your pups needs are being met. Exercising your dog before you leave helps to tire them out and calm them down, just like with us humans. It's far more likely that after a mile walk your puppy will want to curl up and take a nice long nap rather than destroy the furniture. Start Leaving Them in Short Intervals When you first start this training, you want your departures to be short and sweet. Even 30 seconds to a minute is good in the very beginning. Keep in mind that young puppies are used to being with their mom and litter mates when they first come home so being alone can be a scary experience for them. You want to be sure they're in a happy place like a crate that you've made enjoyable for them to be in with a chew toy to work on. You can also use a puppy proofed room or area if your dog needs more space. Some dogs just don't like the feeling confined and that may look just like separation anxiety from the outside symptoms so consider this with your set up. Give Them Lots of Puppy Toys You want to leave them with lots of great exciting toys to eat and chew on while you're away. Kong, bully sticks, and marrow bones are all great options for this. You want something thats going to last a long time and that is safe to leave your puppy along with. Try out some different chew toy options and see which your pup loves the most. Thats the one you'll want to bring out only for these occasions where you'll be leaving. It's good to give your dog a few different items that way they can work on one after another leaving them mentally exercised as well. Studies have shown that chewing releases serotonin in dogs brains when they chew, which explains why it would help to reduce feeling of anxiety and stress. Serotonin is known as a "happy" chemical that will help to give your dog a much better chance at not caring so much when you leave. Over time, they can begin to associate your leaving with them getting their special toy and they may even begin to feel happy about anticipating you leaving. Desensitize Them to You Leaving When leaving your home there's certain cues that your dog notices you do. Perhaps you pick up your keys and bag or put on your coat. Your dog notices these cues and begins to anticipate you're leaving soon, which can bring on anxiety. You can work on this by desensitizing your dog to your departure cues. Try picking up your keys, giving them a kong, then sitting back down on the couch. Or putting on your coat, giving them a bone and making dinner. Doing these behaviors over and over again will teach your dog that these behaviors don't actually mean you're always leaving and therefore cut down on the anxiety level before it even begins. By using all of these tools we've gone over most dogs will be able to get over their separation anxiety. If you need help with your puppy, visit our puppy training page for more information.

Positive Reinforcement VS. Punishment-Based Training

Positive Reinforcement VS. Punishment-Based Training

What is Positive Reinforcement Training? Positive reinforcement training is the practice of training your dog through praising and rewarding their good behavior. These methods of training have been thoroughly studied and scientifically proven to be the most effective. Positive reinforcement training focuses on building a strong bond between you and your dog. Creating this relationship results in your dog listening to you and respecting you because they truly want to. How Does it Work? Positive reinforcement training uses classical conditioning and operant conditioning to train dogs how to perform behaviors, how to socialize well with others, how to feel comfortable in their environment, and how to positively interact with the world around them. Classical conditioning is practice of pairing positive reinforcement like treats with new experiences like meeting other dogs. Through operant conditioning, behaviors are learned by repeatedly rewarding desired behaviors. Operant conditioning is the practice of giving your dog the opportunity to work for a reward like asking for a sit and then giving them a reward for sitting. Once the dog understands that doing a certain behavior earns them a reward, they continue to perform the behavior. Alternatively, undesirable behaviors are prevented and managed using techniques that reduce their frequency and then extinguish them altogether. Positive reinforcement training uses scientifically backed animal learning theory. Both the Dog Trainers Association of America and the United States Humane Society recommend these training methods over any other training method. Dog Obedience Training should be a top priory for any new puppy or dog in your home! Building a relationship through obedience training gets your life together started off on the right paw. We use positive training methods to teach your dog new skills, how to handle new situations, and how to listen to you. Positive training methods have been scientifically proven to be more successful than other teaching styles. We never use force, fear, or intimidation to train. All of our lessons are filled with praise and fun, so training is enjoyable! We strive to make training with your pup a great bonding experience. What is Punishment Based Training? Punishment based training is the practice of training your dog by punishing bad behaviors through the use of intimidation or inflicting pain. Many people are unaware that dogs only have a 1-3 second learning period after they have done a behavior to understand whether it was good or bad. This is why punishment is an extremely ineffective way to train. It is very unlikely that your dog will understand what it is they are being punished for. This is also why we have to be quick with our praise and treats when we use positive reinforcement training. Punishment based methods were mainly used throughout the 80’s and 90’s until studies brought to light how significant the negative effects were. Sadly, there are still some trainers who use these methods which has made it hard for the public to know which methods they should really be using to train their dog. Why Punishment Can Have Disastrous Effects If your dog fears you due to repeated punishment, you will not have a dog who is eager to work for you or do what you ask of them. You will instead have a dog who is afraid to respond to your requests because they fear punishment. A dog who is fearful is much more likely to bite and have major aggression issues down the road. Many dogs who develop fear of humans because of repeated punishment end up in the shelter system. There is a fine line between punishment and abuse. Punishment does not have to be out of cruel intentions but it can have extreme effects. For example, if a person came home to an accident on the floor and then grabbed their dog by the collar, dragged them over to it and yelled at them, they might not mean any harm by this. They might just intend to teach their dog not to go in the house. The problem is from their dog's perspective they have already passed the time period where they can even remember why they are being punished and are now only learning to be fearful of the person. Repeated experiences like the one just described can create a dog who is afraid of human hands coming towards their face or their collar. Since dogs most commonly bite out of fear you can see how this can quickly turn into a dangerous situation. Now imagine if a child goes up to that dog and tugs on their collar, this is a recipe for a bite and it’s likely they’ll now be another dog who ends up in a shelter. Dogs who are frequently yelled at, physically restrained, or caused pain by prong collars or shocking devices, have a high chance of developing fear, anxiety, and aggression. All of our trainers use positive reinforcement training techniques. We do not support the use of any harmful training tools like prong collars, choke chains, or electronic collars. These tools were developed before we had the knowledge that we do now about how dogs learn. Using fear or painful tools to train can cause a lot more harm than many people realize. To the untrained eye many of the old techniques look like they work just fine. But what we now know is that down the road there are many behavior issues that can arise after they are used. For example, you may see a trainer use a shock collar on a dog to stop them from barking but if this dog gets overwhelmed enough and becomes fearful you may now have a bite to deal with instead of a bark. It's always vital to find the source of the behavior, figuring out why a dog is acting a certain way and changing that emotion is how we can best help them. We stand by our positive reinforcement training methods and their effectiveness. All dogs who go through our training programs will be trained with the best training techniques available. Contact us now to get your dog trained by one of our certified trainers now.

Why Isn’t My Dog Listening?

Why Isn’t My Dog Listening?

Are you frustrasted with your dog ignoring you? Not quite sure what you're doing wrong? Happy - Petcare is here for you! Our trainers are experts at figuring out what the problem is and solving it. If you're at your wits end and need the help of a professional trainer in the Denver metro area, Contact Us! We can get you back to feeling good about your relationship with your dog again. After all, they are meant to be our best friends. 1. They Might Be Too Distracted ➢ Dogs should be taught new skills in a distraction-free environment, or a low-distraction environment. Starting somewhere like a quiet living room for example is wonderful. ➢ Once your dog has the behavior down you can then start moving to more distracted environments. But remember every time you change the environment you have to reteach the skill from an easier level. ➢ The reason for this is that dogs don't generalize well. Meaning, just because they know how to sit in your living room doesn’t mean they know how to sit in the park. This is why it’s important to teach them skills in many different environments. ➢ Once they have practiced in a variety of settings we can then increase the level of distractions. For example, we can practice sitting in a park with dogs at a far distance and then practice sitting in a park with dogs within 10 feet. ➢ These exercises must be done in steps to achieve the best progress. If you go from asking for a sit in your living room to asking for a sit in a crowded dog park, your dog will likely not respond. 2. They Might Not Be Motivated ➢ When you’re asking for a behavior from your dog who may be distracted by their environment you should always offer them something to engage their attention and make it worth their while. ➢ In the later stages of training your dog should be able to follow instructions with ease but in the beginning stages you want to entice them to listen to you over any and all other distractions. We do this by using high value rewards. ➢ High value rewards are the things your dog finds more valuable than anything else. These can be treats like real chicken, cheese, or hotdogs. These can also be your dog’s favorite toys like a tennis ball or tug toy. ➢ Find the things your dog loves most in the world and use these as their rewards. 3. You Might Not Be Giving Clear Signals ➢ If your dog looks like they are giving you their full attention but they are not responding to your request, they might not understand your signal. ➢ Go back to practicing your signal for the behavior in a distraction-free environment to make sure your dog understands the behavior you are asking for. ➢ Whether you are using a hand signal or a verbal cue, make sure you are being consistent with your delivery of the signal. ➢ Dogs are very intune with our body language so even slight adjustments in our movements while giving the signal can cause confusion. How to Set Your Dog Up for Success ➢ If your dog is struggling with the behavior, go back to where they were previously successful and build up difficulty from that point. ➢ After asking for the behavior, give your dog a few moments to process your request. ➢ If they are not responding adjust the circumstances before asking for the behavior again. For example, if you call your dog to come from play with another dog and they don't, move closer to them before asking again. ➢ Reward them for small steps in the right direction. For example, if they look up at you when you call them, praise them and then call again. If you've gone through all of the above steps and are still struggling, getting in touch with a professional trainer might be the logical next step for you. Happy - Petcare is here to help get you back on your feet!

Dog Sitting vs. Dog Boarding - Which is Right for You?

Dog Sitting vs. Dog Boarding - Which is Right for You?

Dog Sitting Pros & Cons When you're in the position of looking for someone to care for your furry friend while you're away you're typically faced with two options: dog sitting or dog boarding. Both these options have their pros and cons which we'll cover today. The first thing to consider when you're thinking about getting a dog sitter is if this is the best possible option for your pup. There are many great choices out there for sitters, but will this be what your dog want's most? There's a few things to think over when making this decision. The big difference between sitting and boarding is the environment your dog will be staying in. With sitting, your dog will be able to stay in their own home. For some dogs this can make a huge difference of their level of comfort especially if they are already uneasy about their pet parents being away. If your puppy or dog is prone to anxiety or has issues interacting appropriately with other dogs, then this is likely the right choice for you. It can also be easier on brand new dogs or older dogs who can have a harder time adjusting to new environments. If you are a multi-pet household then this also plays a role in your decision. It's common for pets to be attached to each other and separating them can sometimes bring unnecessary stress into the mix. However, there are certainly a lot of dogs who would much rather spend the day in a boarding setting surrounded by other furry friends to play with and more human companionship. Dog Boarding Pros & Cons When you're looking into dog boarding, it's again hugely important to consider the wants and needs of your pup. If they're the more social type then it may make sense to get them into a well-known boarding program. Lots of pups thrive in a social setting where they're able to make new friends, get tons of human attention, and hopefully have such a great time that they won't even notice you're gone. There are a wide variety of programs to choose from so it's a good idea to do some research into the company you're considering before making your reservation. When researching a candidate, it's a good idea to read through their FAQ page to get a thorough picture of what their services entail and how they run their programs. Remember to Ask Before you reserve your service, whichever you decide is best for you dog, remember to ask what your dog's day will look like while they're there and how they'll keep in touch with you during their stay. These are the two most critical points to cover with the company. Knowing how your dog will be taken care in your absence will give you the peace of mind you'll need to make the best decision. Most importantly, knowing how they'll keep you up to date on your pups well-being will help ease any anxieties you have about leaving your fur baby alone.

Is Board and Train Right for You?

Is Board and Train Right for You?

What to Consider When Looking Into Board and Train Options for Your Dog What dog training does your dog need most? Understanding what type of training your dog needs plays a huge role in deciding the best route for their training option. For example, if you've just brought home a new puppy or adult dog and you'd like to get them started off on the best foot possible but just don't quite have the time and effort to put in, then board and train may be an excellent choice for you. With our Board and Train program we teach your dog all of the essential life skills they'll need to know to make the best companion for you. We cover everything from basic obedience to how to properly socialize your dog, and even how to recognize stress in your dog. If however your dog's biggest issues are related to fear, anxiety, or aggression, then board and train may not be the best option for you and your pup. There's been a lot of studies recently proving how issues like anxiety and aggression can actually come from genetics, not environmental factors. This alone does not mean that boarding your dog would be a bad route to go, but it does mean that there's a chance the boarding train will not be as affective for them. The reasoning behind this is that there are many dogs who suffer with these behaviors because they're based on deep rooted fears or PTSD from previous trauma in their lives. This can be especially true for shelter dogs or dogs who've been adopted with unknown histories. Training from these type of dogs must be approached in a much different way. For example, a dog who's showing signs of anxiety and aggression could become even more increasing dangerous when separated from their owners and home. Depending on their comfort level with strangers, it could be a long road to getting a dog with these issues to be able to feel comfortable enough to learn from their trainer. If a dog is does not feel safe then they're not able to learn successfully. This is key when deciding which training methods is the best pick for you both. Think About How You Want Your Dog to Learn When choosing a board and train program ask about their training methods. There are a huge variety of training methods out there, but not all training methods are created equally. At Happy Paws - PetCare we only ever use positive reinforcement training, which means we never use force or fear to train dogs. But unfortunately even in the Denver Colorado area, there are some companies who do still train uses these outdated techniques and tools like shock collars, that cause your dog pain. These methods have been proven to have negative long-lasting effective on a dog's behavior and mental state which is why they are outlawed in other places in the world. The ASPCA educates owners and warn them about these dangerous training methods but in the United States we still see trainers using them. This is why it's so crucial to make sure the company you choose for board and train is using positive reinforcement training methods. If a company is not happy to tell you all about the methods they use to train the dogs, thats a huge red flag and I'd highly recommend searching elsewhere.

Puppy Training: Socialization vs. Vaccination

Puppy Training: Socialization vs. Vaccination

Knowing Whats Best For Your Puppy There's been an on-going debate between vets and dog trainers about what takes precedence in a young puppy's life, socializations or vaccinations. Up until a few years ago it was common practice for vets to warn new puppy owners not to let their puppies interact with other dogs until they've been fully vaccinated. In fact, vets would actually tell puppy owners that they should keep their new pup away from new places like parks, stores, or outdoor events. It makes sense why veterinarians were worried about the potential of diseases being spread. However, the American Veterinarian Association and the American Kennel Club has made their stance clear that socialization outweighs the vaccination risks in puppies. The reason for this being that the most common cause of death in dogs in shelters in because of behavioral issues. Behavioral issues are often linked with poor or no socialization. Dog trainers and behaviorists are all up to date on this knowledge but unfortunately, not all veterinarians stand behind the new guidelines making new pet owners confused. Making Decisions for Your Family One of the biggest causes of anxiety and aggression in dogs is lack of proper socialization. When it comes to making these decisions it's important to keep your family or loved-ones in mind. Reason being that as you can imagine, a puppy who grows into a dog with unpredictable or potentially dangerous behavior could become a liability to a family. These situations make it tough to decide what comes first. Of course, if any children are ever in danger, that is the top priority. Research shows that puppies who were not exposed to children during their critical socialization period were more likely to develop fears and phobias around children. Since most aggression stems for fear, you can see how a situation like an unsocialized dog around kids can quickly become a dangerous one. The good news is that this can easily be avoided by exposing your new puppy to lots of kids of all ages and energy levels so that your pup is well adjusted. How Much Socialization Impacts Your Puppy Having a well socialized puppy gives you the best possible chance at having a wonderful pet dog. It's important to remember that socialization includes introducing your dog to new experiences all across the spectrum of life. These can be new sounds, smells, textures, feelings, and so much more. But the exposer to kids, people, and other dogs take priority in almost all cases. It's also important to realize that just exposing your puppy to these new things is not enough to consider them properly socialized, you want to make sure your creating a positive association. You can do this easily by pairing the new experience with something like toys, treats, or affection. If your puppy is showing signs of fear it's crucial to give them extra time or space away from whatever the new experience may be before introducing them again. Creating positive, not negative associations is key! We cover all this and more in our Dog Training Services in Denver. Contact us today to take the first step in your pet's socialization journey!