Tera’s Training Tip Of The Day: Carry A Shammy Towel.
During the winter months while swimming your retriever in the cooler temperatures its beneficial to towel them off after a dip in frigid waters. The howling wind and excess icy water sitting near your retrievers skin can cause Hypothermia or debilitating muscle strains such as; “Cold Tail“. Maintaining your retriever’s positive attitude working in these harsh and sometime challenging weather during prime seasons of water-fowling or while in preparation for the upcoming competition is imperative toward the success of these endeavors. Your retriever will enjoy the attention, a gentle massage of the muscles, and withstand a longer hunting/training day enabling them to be productive for many seasons to come. Be kind to your canine companion and remember just because your retriever is wearing a “fur coat” doesn’t mean they are not susceptible to the elements. An automobile shammy towel is lightweight, compact, and easy to carry in a blind bag. A simple 2 to 3 minute ritual of toweling off your retriever will help them want to work even harder for his/her master’s next retrieve.
As temperatures drop in the North and the waterfowl migration intensifies putting your canine in the frigid waters can be dangerous. Teaching your retriever to adequately shake off excess water can help them keep warm. Carrying an auto shammy towel to wipe additional water from your retrievers coat is also an added protection against Hypothermia.
Many trainer’s are reluctant to train in water that is less than 52’F. It is not that the retriever can not with stand these temperatures, but maintaining a good water attitude for any retriever is important. Although, most trainer’s expose their retrievers to cooler waters they do not make it a regular regiment to train in it. There are several reasons why, but the primary is the attitude. A retriever with a good attitude about working in water will do anything asked of them when conditions are not necessarily ideal. Let’s face it, in hunting and competitive situations they are consistently far from ideal.
In training where variables can somewhat be controlled why not put your retriever in the ideal situations. Your retriever will have better brain power if their bodies are not using valuable energy to maintain body heat. Your retriever will effectively learn the skills,having a willing attitude in order to knock it out of the park on game day when conditions are challenging. If you maintain your retriever’s good water attitude you will have a dog that will make good choices and give it their all in water work on a consistent basis.
When caring for multiple dogs buying treats can get expensive. Not to mention with all of the dog food recalls and recent news of dogs dying from contaminated treats we have decided to take a more natural approach to treating our students during their down time. However, we feed Purina Pro Plan Performance and treat train with ONLY Purina Performance brand treats. We feel confident in doing so because Purina has had no issues of contamination or recalls on food.
At Bay Blue Kennels we have found that the dogs really do like fruits and vegetables. There are many health benefits to providing fruits and vegetables in your pets diet. Carrots provide vitamins to enhance eye sight, they keep the teeth clean, and offer some stimulation as they take a while to chew. I like to buy the large bagged carrots leave the peels on and cut them into 4 to 5 inch chunks. Apples are another alternative to store-bought treats. Apples also keep the teeth clean, provide chewing stimulation, and clean out the digestive tract. It is important to cut the apples up in quarters to take out the seeds as the seeds in apples are harmful.
When dogs are under stress or traveling I like to add a little extra fiber to their diet. Extra fiber will keep stools nice and firm to cut down on accidents while on long road trips. Green beans are chuck full of vitamins and are a good source of fiber. For your elderly and over-weight dogs green beans provide a nice filler food with very little calories. This helps the dog’s belly feel full while keeping the weight off those aging joints. Plain canned pumpkin is another good source of fiber to keep stools firm.
There are some foods to steer clear of raisins, grapes, and chocolate can be deadly as the dog’s liver can not breakdown these foods. They will cause toxicity and ultimately death if an emergency goes unnoticed. Consult your vet and have fun testing out new, inexpensive, healthy treats.
Providing a routine in care for your retriever can be beneficial. It will help your retriever live a healthier, happier, and obedient life. Dogs generally fear the unknown, they will approach changes in environment and situations with caution. Having a routine of normal care such as; a time to eat, a time to play, a time to work, and a time to sleep will provide your retriever with the security they need to relax. Your retriever will anticipate and look forward to these events throughout the day.
A routine provides clear guidelines for your retriever on how they are to behave during these times within their daily routine. Having clear guidelines and boundaries will help your retriever feel secure. If your retriever does not know when these basic needs such as eating or sleeping will be met then your retriever will naturally be in a constant state of alert. Having your dog in this state of alert is stressful for them, the stress can manifest in unwanted behaviors over time. Howling, barking, aggression, and diarrhea are just some of the signs your dog is under stress.
Providing a routine for your dog will help your retriever understand what is going to happen, when it is going to happen, and provide them with the standard in which they are to be a part of your life. When a routine is provided for your retriever changes in environment, new training lessons, and new situations are a less significant event in your retriever’s life. Your retriever will deal with stress and cope with these changes quicker and easier, making your retriever a more enjoyable companion and consistent competitor.
Tera’s Training Tip Of The Day: Feed Your Retriever Premium Food.
Puppies have exuberant energy in need of plenty of exercise and activity to stimulate the young mind. Feeding a well-balanced nutritious diet like Purina Pro Plan Performance can help your puppy or adult dog live an active happy life with you and your family. Purina also cares about the breeders and trainers of these fine animals. So much so, Purina supports a variety of sporting and breed events for all breeds. They are truly passionate about providing quality products for the longevity of your dogs life. Every space on the Purina website offers a wealth of information on all things pertaining to you and your livestock or pets. There are many incentives offered by Purina as well such as the latest news in Purina’s Top Breeder Magazine, product coupons and a weight circle redemption program that owners can participate in to earn points toward useful products. For more information on how to sign up for newsletters or become a member of the Purina Pro Club click here: Purina Pro Club Enjoy your journey with a healthy companion for many years to come!
Ever wonder what those pesky ticks are carrying around town ? As hunting season begins and temperatures drop ticks will be scrabbling to attach to a tasty warm meal which could be you or your dog. A number of diseases that effect your canine companions quality of life are transmitted by ticks. As insects, bacteria, and virus’ mutate becoming immune to some or all of the preventatives offered, it is now more important than ever to become aware of these developments. Click below to listen to Dr.Trout Fryxell who is helping the University of Tennessee research tick-borne diseases such as Ehrlichiosis.
Tera’s Training Tip Of The Day: Take Care Of The Trainer.
Dog Training is a sport. Like any other sport it requires some athleticism from the Trainers and crew. Waking up early, spending all day outside braving the elements, and lots of lifting of equipment are just tasks involved in training your dog. Dog Training is not just a sport but, a lifestyle. It is a very detailed endeavor on a daily basis. Scheduling of help, deciding where to go train, what set-ups need to be run, organizing birds, maintaining equipment and communicating it to your participants are steps taken to make the magic of Dog Training occur for the day to come. Most of the time Dog Training happens in a remote area in the middle of a field. Being self-sufficient and managing your time effectively is important to the productivity of the day. Small portable propane grills help make lunch time a healthy proposition. Getting lots of sleep, eating healthy, and keeping a balance in your life will help you be a better Trainer for your dog. Approaching training with a restful clear mind will benefit all and help you train your dog to his full potential.