ConsumersAdvocate.org released a new thorough guide to understanding the current state of the dog food industry. In the guide, they explain how everything you read in the ingredients and nutrition facts sections on dog food packaging is regulated by the FDA. To better explain, they even included this helpful infographic on how to read dog food packaging.
The dog food industry is a mess. Frequent recalls over the last decade and a half have eroded public trust in a business long plagued by accusations of unsavory fillers and mystery meats. In a desperate search for safer formulas, consumers have turned to alternative diets, some of which could inadvertently put dogs at risk for significant health issues. Read the full article here:
How to get attentive, enthusiastic responses from your pup in training exercises and everyday life:
Build your relationship with your puppy through fun, structured play, and training sessions. If you and your pup enjoy learning and exploring new things together every day, you will see amazing results in your training.
Exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization are keys to raising a happy, well-behaved puppy. Regular play and new experiences should be a part of every pup’s routine. Under-stimulated dogs get into a lot more trouble and can’t seem to relax.
Practice training once or twice a day for 5-15 minutes each session. Make this your average. If you prefer more, go for it! Integrating training exercises into your everyday activities will make a big difference (see #5 below for examples of this).
Practice in different environments.Start with success in a non-distracting place (e.g., a quiet bedroom) and gradually work your way up to more challenging situations (e.g., the park).
Vary your rewards. Dogs get bored just like we do. Use a variety of toys, touch, praise, food and real-life rewards. For example, request that your pup Sit before you: play a game with a toy, open a door for her, invite her into your lap for petting, deliver a meal, give her attention when you come home, or let her out of the crate/pen.
Here is a basic way to teach your dog to play fetch.
Retrieve often works best after you have established the first 2 games of stalk/chase and tug.
Choose a toy that your puppy likes, but it shouldn’t be so exciting that she just wants to keep it to herself. She should think that the toy is more fun when you play with it, too!
Start your Retrieve from a place where your pup normally loves to bring her toys (e.g., her bed).
Get her really excited about the toy, then toss it a few feet away. When she grabs it, praise and entice her to come back to you by making fun sounds such as kisses or a drum roll on the floor. Hint: Gently pulling on a leash often helps to get a puppy coming in your direction.
If your pup comes to you without the toy, praise lavishly anyway. Then, grab the toy yourself and repeat step 4, more enthusiastically.
When your pup brings toys to you, don’t grab for the toy right away; instead, praise and touch her in a way she loves. This will make her want to keep “sharing” toys with you and bring them to you as a “safe” place to enjoy them, rather than run away from you with them.
Once your pup is comfortable bringing toys back to you, reward her not only with praise, but by immediately engaging in more play!