Posted in About Me and What I do, Traveling

Traveling by car with your dog

Hello everyone, I apologize it has been so long since I have posted. My husband (a police officer) got hit by a car (felon trying to get out of a ticket) so I have been taking care of him for the last 2 weeks.

Which brings me to todays topic. Traveling with your dog in a car. Here are tips I have learned in my years of driving long distance with a dog in the car, only to be improved upon this last few weeks.

For shorter trips like 6 hours or less here is what you need:

  • Pet restraint – Weather it is a crate, a seatbelt buckling harness, or a barrier so your pet stay in the portion of the car you want them in.
  • Carpet/seat protector – weather it is just a sheet, or tarp or a made for dogs seat protector this will help contain the pet hair, dirt from paws or their coat, and for that occasional upset stomach puddle from the bouncing of the road.
  • Water bottle – an easy bottle for your pup to drink out of.
  • Poop bags – poop picker upper bags for those rest stops when they just have to go. You don’t want to be that person that everyone hates because their dog poops and then someone else steps in it.
  • First aid kit – I don’t carry a first aid kit but better safe then sorry. Dog seem to get into everything when we turn our back for half a second and who know what could happen.
  • Wipes – weather it is baby wipes, Lysol, or wet ones its nice to have them on hand! Traveling with dogs there is always a mess to clean up somewhere and it is better to clean them up fast then letting them sit there and soak into the seat.
  • Toys – something to keep your pup busy when they are not asleep. If you pup has that special blanket or toy that keeps them calm don’t forget that either. The more calm your pet is the better.
  • Treat – I give my pups something when we get where we are going, weather it is a pigs ear or a bacon strip I like to give them something special when we get where we are going. Most of the time we are going to our second house and seeing family and the other dogs is enough of a treat for my dogs but when we are going to a hotel I give them a treat.

 

 

For longer trips 7 hours or more:

  • Pet restraint – Weather it is a crate, a seatbelt buckling harness, or a barrier so your pet stay in the portion of the car you want them in.
  • Carpet/seat protector – weather it is just a sheet, or tarp or a made for dogs seat protector this will help contain the pet hair, dirt from paws or their coat, and for that occasional upset stomach from the bouncing of the road.
  • Water bottle – an easy bottle for your pup to drink out of.
  • Poop bags – poop picker upper bags for those rest stops when they just have to go. You don’t want to be that person that everyone hates because their dog poops and then someone else steps in it.
  • First aid kit – I don’t carry a first aid kit but it is not a bad idea. Dog seem to get into everything when we turn our back for half a second and who know what could happen.
  • Wipes – weather it is baby wipes, or wet ones its nice to have them on hand! Traveling with dogs there is always a mess to clean up somewhere and it is better to clean them up fast then letting them sit there and soak into the seat.
  • Food – on a normal short trip I don’t feed my dogs until we get where we are going to avoid upset stomach but if your going on a longer trip it is best to feed a small handful of food every hour or so. Not much food but enough to keep them content.
  • Toys – something to keep your pup busy when they are not asleep. If you pup has that special blanket or toy that keeps them calm don’t forget that either. The more calm your pet is the better.
  • Treat – I give my pups something when we get where we are going, weather it is a pigs ear or a bacon strip I like to give them something special when we get where we are going. Most of the time we are going to our second house and seeing family and the other dogs is enough of a treat for my dogs but when we are going to a hotel I give them a treat.

Now I know what you are thinking… that’s a lot of stuff just for the dogs. Where am I going to put all of that? and how am I going to ensure my dogs don’t get to the treats or food while I am driving. Seat Back Organizers, and Car Organizing Baskets, are life savers when it comes to this. I put the treats up front with me in my cooler snack bag so I know they aren’t getting into them. I put their food in with the luggage so they can’t get into that either. After a bag of treats “go missing” you figure out very quick that the dogs are smarter than you and that “hiding” them is not enough.

 

Now some people call me mean because for a short trip I do not feed my dogs in the morning. and I don’t feed them until we get where we are going. Any trip over 8 hours (which never happens) I give them bits of food through out the day. Now my dog are open feed at home which means the food is down 24/7 and I fill it up when it is empty. I know my dogs don’t eat much in the morning anyways so I am not worried about them “missing” that feeding. As soon as we get where we are going I put out there food and they don’t normally touch it until about 7 o’clock. With that being said most of my trips are 3-4 hours long, so I don’t give them water either until we get where we are going.

Before leaving the house: We typically leave the house around 10 o’clock when we go on a trip. I pack most everything the day before, clean the house, do laundry and everything else. I then make a list for the morning stuff. (razor, hair brush, toothbrush, etc.) I put the dog food in a Travel dog food container. I also grab their leashes and collars, and their electric training collars, their extra food bowls and I have them sitting on top of the washer to grab while walking out the door the next day. As I am packing the car/truck the morning of leaving I have the dogs out of the house and running around for two reasons, to get some energy out so they will sleep for a bit and so they can go to the bathroom. I put the sheet over the back seat and have their leashes and collar close to the door for when we stop to go potty. (Command hooks work great!! attach the hook just inside the door and hang the lease and collar there for easy access. This way they don’t wander under the seat and you know where they are.)

Also before I leave I use dog shampoo wipes or waterless shampoo and wipe down the dog really quick. These little wipes will clean your pup up a bit, remove that weird dog smell and replace it with a fresh smell of your choice. This will help keep your vehicle smelling much less like dog.

 

Well I hope you all enjoyed this post and if you have anything else to add please add them in the comments. If you have any questions feel free to email me at germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

 

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Posted in About Me and What I do, Health, Seasonal, Traveling

In Case of Emergency

We all hate to think that something bad could happen to us or our family, but we all know the harsh reality that bad things happen all the time.

What are you going to do if your house catches on fire when you are not home. Does the fire department know you have dogs, or cats, or snakes?? Most likely not. Below is a picture you should be able to save and print for your self.

Write on it, laminate it or put it in a plastic sleeve and post on your front door or in your front window. Make sure to update it with any animal changes.

I take a different piece of paper and write the dogs names, any allergies, my phone number, my name, and any other important information on it and attach it to the back of this picture and put it in my front window. At the bottom of the page I write more info on back please remove and keep with dogs. This will help ensure my dogs don’t get something they are allergic to.

Even if you think something will never happen to your house for this to be needed, its always better safe than sorry.

 

ice-pets

 

If you have any questions or would like me to email you the picture please email me at Germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

Posted in About Me and What I do, Training

Introducing a new dog to the home

Introducing a new dog into the home can be very stressful for dogs and the owners. Below is the best way I have found to introduce dogs.

First: Always Always Always meet in a neutral environment. A place neither has been before or not in the recent past. This eliminates the territorial of this is my house.

Second: With the first dog in your vehicle go meet the new dog, pet them and walk them around. Let the new dog use the bathroom and become more comfortable. Return the new dog to their vehicle and get the first dog out, let them sniff you (you will smell like the new dog) then walk the first dog around the same path you took the new dog. This will allow your dog to some what get used the smell of the new dog, also let them smell where the new dog went to the bathroom (if they did).

Third: (this will take two people) with both dogs on a leash go for a walk, at first walk with both humans close to each other and the dogs on the outside, gradually allow one dog to the inside and after a little bit allow the second dog to the inside. Keep walking allowing the dogs to get close but have their minds on something else (walking).

Fourth: If they dogs seem to be getting along well allow them to lightly play (keep the leashes on to be able to control the situation in the case something goes wrong). Throw a few balls or a toy to see if both dogs share a common interest.

Fifth: Bring the dogs to the house. Keep the first dog in the car and show the new dog around the house for a little bit. Show the new dog the yard and any other area the dogs will be spending time together. Bring in the first dog (on a leash) and bring the dogs together in a large area like a yard. This allows a dog to get away from a could be fight in the case if it happened. If things go right the dogs will run around, seem interested in each other but also interested in the surroundings.

For a week or so keep a close eye on the dogs when they are together, the relationship will grow as they find things in common with each other.

My dogs didn’t get as much time as we would have liked to get to know each other before we had to put them in the car and drive 3 hours home. Once they got home my new dog was very scared and liked to be in the corner. After my new dog learning where he is supposed to go to the bathroom and not leaving my side I decided it would be good to find something that both dogs can enjoy. I took my “original” dog out to play with the tennis ball like she loves. My new dog stood by my side for a while not knowing what to do with a tennis ball or how to play, it took him about 3 minutes before he started running a few feet, watching my original dog then running back to my side. After about 3 days of this and other activities my dog have become attached at the hip. They do everything together, I mean everything!!!

I hope this helps some that are thinking about getting a new dog. If you have any questions feel free to email me anytime at Germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

Posted in About Me and What I do, Puppy Training, Training

Barking: To much

Do you have the dog that barks at every single thing, like the leaf or plastic bag blowing in the wind? Do you want to stop this? Below is a great way to keep your dogs confidence to keep barking when they need to and not bark when there is no real threat.

First, do you have a release word? When dogs are barking at something they are protecting you and telling you there is something there that you need to see. If you reply with “STOP BARKING!!! AAAAHHHHH STOP!!” its not going to do much. If you reply with “out” that will do a lot more. When you say out, you are telling them it is no longer a threat and that you see it. Its the same word police use for their K9’s to release a bite on someone. It is our way of saying it is no longer a threat and thank you.

If they don’t stop barking you say “out” again and touch their head while saying it. This will show them that this is their release word and that mom/dad is here and I will handle it.

Once your dog has stopped barking praise them, for stopping and for brining your attention to it. Now if it is a leaf blowing in the yard, you don’t want to encourage that so you give one pet for stopping and then walk away. To much attention will make them bark at everything.

If you have tried this technique constantly for about a month and it is not working for you I would try a training collar. Like these, most of these collars have 3 levels of correction. 1. a beep noise on the dogs collar for them to realize that they are doing something wrong. 2. an adjustable vibration setting for the dogs that ignore the beeping noise and keep going. 3. an adjustable shock setting for the worse case scenario. I have only had to use the shock once on my dogs. My favorite out of all of the collars is this one it has 100 settings for vibration and shock so you can start off lightly and increase until your dog listens.

I will be doing an entire blog post on these collars so look for it in the near future.

My dogs bark when the door bell rings, when someone knocks, sees a dog or other animal(except for animals you hunt, then they just stare intently and don’t move or make a sound), or when the kids across the street are screaming.

Also check out my post: Barking: To little

As always I hope someone learns something from this post and if you have any questions or comments feel free to email me at Germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

Posted in About Me and What I do, Traveling

Traveling with Pets

Tis the season of traveling!!!

Now that Halloween is past us and Thanksgiving and Christmas are in the near future you may be traveling to see family or friends. Are you taking your pets? Yes, well do you know how much extra it is to fly with the or what hotel will allow pets??

Below is an image that should help you have a better idea on what to expect. Many hotels will allow service or K9 police animals with no extra charge but you do have to let them know ahead of time.

If flying with your pets make sure to call the airline ahead of time and confirm there is no extra paperwork or vaccines that they need for the dog. Also ask how they want the pet crated (type of crate, size, water or food). Normally when flying a pet in a crate they must be able to stand up without touching the roof of the crate and have enough room to stand comfortably. If yo ever have any questions or concerns about flying your animal call the airline and ask!

 

traveling-with-dogs

Me and my family never fly we drive everywhere and both of my dogs are Police K9’s so we don’t have much problems with hotels. We stay at the Holiday Inn Express because we have the HIG rewards program. When we travel and have to stay in a Hotel I always bring their crates and their Indestructibone. When I leave the room for any reason I leave the TV on and I put them in their crates. Even though the Hotel is allowing them to stay there I don’t want to pay for any damages they could cause being alone in a strange room.

I hope this helps so of yall looking to travel with your pet.

Safe Travels and have a Happy Holiday Season!!

Posted in About Me and What I do, Puppy Training

Puppy Training Pads

So every first or second time puppy mom or dad will normally buy the puppy training pads and only use a handful and give up on them. Me personally I HATE the training pads for most situations. First of all I feel like it took more training to teach my puppy to pee on the pad then it did to train them to pee outside. When they did learn to pee on the pad they would still pee there when there wasn’t a pad. URGGG so I found it best to potty train harder and faster as early as possible and not worry about the pads.

On the other side of that I did have to go to work for 8 or more hours a day when I had a puppy and I couldn’t be there to train. So during the day I would put a pad in the large plastic crate, with a small throw blanket (the one that’s like $2 at Walmart) in the very back to hold down the two back corners. I would then put a small food bowl on one of the front corners and a small water on the other front corner. This worked great until she learned how to dig up the sides and destroy the pad to shreds. It worked long enough for me to get my shift switched so someone would always be home with the pup.

For small dogs many people use the training pads every day not just for training and that great for them but for me I just didn’t like them around my house. They work great in the crate for when your not home until they figure out how fun it is to shred to pieces.

Hope this helps some people and here is a link to some different training pads if you want to give them a whirl.

Posted in About Me and What I do, Puppy Training, Training

Personal Space

Personal Space, what in the world is that??? If you have a GSD or other very protective dog you know what I am talking about. Having an audience when you go to the bathroom, or shower, the dog that steps on the back of your flip flop as your trying to walk around. Yup that’s the life right there…….well I would like some personal space! Would you????

Guess what, you can!!!! Yes it is possible!!

So when I first got my GSD I knew this was going to be a problem for me and not my husband because I am a stay at home dog mom. My dogs are around me every day all day so I am the one they have connected to and protect the most. Don’t get me wrong I love it, that’s why I stay home with them every day, but I also like my privacy. So what I did was very simple and only took a few days for my GSD to catch on and to still protect me but from behind a closed door.

I live in a house where not all door close well or even lock. So its extremely hard to keep a large dog out of a room I don’t want him in. All I did was teach him. When I would go to the bathroom and he would follow me in. I would let him look around for a second then tell him to get “out” then I would close the door “door doesn’t latch” then I would use the restroom as I was sitting there my dog (in the beginning) would use his paw to push the door open now and then. I would reclose it and not say anything. If he kept doing it and got more agitated where he would start whining or crying I would again only say “out” this would normally get him to stop for about 10 minutes or so.

First times taking a shower I would close the door and go along with my business. After like 2 minutes there would be a black nose at the end of my shower….. I would say “out” and he would leave for a minute or so and be right back. The next day I put him in his crate right before I got in the shower and let him out as soon as I would normally open the door to the bathroom. I did this for a few days then let him be out when I took a shower. By this time he has realized he isn’t allowed in the bathroom when I am in there from the Bathroom ritual in the paragraph above and being in his crate during showers. So he would lay just outside the door and wait for me. WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS!!! but what happens when you are carrying all of your dirty cloths, and checking your phone for messages or email. I’m not looking down at the ground……where there lay a 90 lb dog…..yup I would trip over him all the time. So I got the idea to sit him just a hair to the right of the bathroom door. He picked that up pretty quick, he doesn’t like being tripped over I guess…. So when I would go into the bathroom and close the door, I would wait until I heard him lay down outside the door, I would open the door, move him to where I wanted him, just to the right of the door, then tell him to sit, lay down, and stay. I would then go about my business as usual. This worked great for him and for me. This way he could see down both hallways and see into 3 room and be able to “protect me” better; and I didn’t trip over him!!!

WOOOHOOO!!!

Hope yall enjoyed this post and all other posts and hope it helps somebody!

If anyone tries this please comment below with how it worked for you!!

If you have any questions please feel free to comment or contact me!