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Human treats: are they suitable for dogs?

Everyone likes a treat and dogs are no exception! Unlike cats, who are usually able to naturally curb their appetite, dogs are well-known to be quite happy to enjoy a snack wherever they can find one. Obviously a key consideration for owners is whether their pet’s snacking is harming their health. Here we take a look at the various foods out there which are commonly used as dog snacks and assess whether they are a suitable addition to a healthy, balanced diet. In addition, we also consider snacks which might not only be unhealthy but may even make your pet ill! Some of the foodstuffs which are toxic to dogs may well surprise you!

Raw meat

Quite a few owners are eager to feed their pet dogs raw meat, largely on the basis that it’s a natural form of food and very close to what canine ancestors would have eaten in the wild. Although dogs are able to digest raw meat, it’s not necessarily good for them. Raw meat can contain high levels of bacteria, including listeria and salmonella. Low-grade meat may also contain parasites that could make your pet ill. For these reasons, raw meat should normally be avoided.

Leftovers

Some leftovers can be a nutritious treat for your dog, particularly if it’s simply well-cooked, plain meat that’s fresh. Unfortunately, most of the time leftovers contain ingredients which are dangerous for dogs to ingest. The following ingredients are all toxic to canines:

– Chocolate
– Alcohol
– Onions, chives, other members of the allium family
– Caffeine
– Milk
– Blue cheese
– Xylitol
– Corn-on-the-cob

From intestinal blockages through to liver damage and diarrhoea, ingesting any of the above can cause a whole host of problems. Not only should these foods not be given directly, any food given to pets must be checked to ensure they don’t contain any of the above substances.

Wheat-based products

Most dogs can tolerate wheat well, so eating wheat occasionally will usually not do your dog any harm. That said, it’s important to remember that wheat is relatively low in protein and contains few nutrients in comparison with other foodstuffs. What’s more, it’s also a calorie-dense food. Dogs that are fed with a wheat-rich diet may end up getting more calories than they need, without the protein required to boost satiety. Given that dogs can be quite greedy anyway, wheat-based snacks may lead to obesity and all the problems which that can bring. If you’re going to give your dog a snack, it’s important to choose one which provides nutrition as well as a pleasant taste.

Vegetables

Vegetables are a great option for a dog snack: packed full of vitamins and also a source of fibre, a Brussel sprout or carrot can be an ideal choice. The problem for many dog owners is to try and get their dogs to enjoy the taste. Just like humans, dogs can be reluctant to eat a vegetable on its own: most of the time they prefer a snack that combines vegetables with meat in order to create a flavoursome morsel. If you want your dog to enjoy the nutritional benefits of vegetables at the same time as enjoying the taste and protein which meat can bring, some of our snacks could be the perfect solution.

Just meat, vegetables and gravy

A banquet for dogs in snack form, our wheat-free treats bring together ingredients which are genuinely good for your dog, at the same time as packing in the flavour to ensure the snack you offer really is a treat. Freshly prepared without artificial flavourings or colourings, each snack provides a powerful shot of exciting taste, at the same time as containing optimal nutrition and absolutely none of the items on the “toxic” list. Low in calories, these treats are a great snack for a dog that’s trying to lose weight, or for dogs of a healthy weight who want to stay that way!

As a general rule, we recommend giving your dog what may well be the best healthy dog treats on the market. They have been specifically formulated to provide an optimal taste and nutritional experience, at the same time as offering a healthy alternative. Using the right treats, it’s possible to show you care at the same time as helping to conserve your dog’s health and vitality.

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Overweight dog? What to do?

big boy

Overweight dog? What to do?

With studies suggesting that around one-third of UK dogs are overweight, it’s clear that greater attention to canine diet is vital. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from all sorts of health problems due to excess pounds. Sore joints, fatigue, Type II diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, skin disease and liver problems in dogs can all be caused or made worse by being overweight. No pet owner would want their dogs to end up with one or more of these unpleasant diseases: sadly, with the dog population getting fatter, a rise in these ailments is almost inevitable.

Life is no fun for an overweight dog

As well as the increased risk of disease, dogs also experience a reduced quality of life when they are obese. Walks become less fun; dogs may find it difficult to find a comfortable position in which to rest, due to an unwanted spare tyre and too much of the wrong sort of food can also cause digestive problems. Stomach aches, wind, flatulence, constipation or diarrhoea are also common and skin can become itchy or dry, which is uncomfortable and can lead to excessive scratching. The scratching, in turn, can lead to further skin issues.

Why do dogs become overweight?

Again, the answer to this question is very much the same as the reasons that humans become overweight: not only do they get given too much food to eat, they also get given the wrong sort of food to eat. Like humans, dogs are drawn to calorie-dense foods and will happily eat as much as you give them! Giving dogs human food, sharing snacks or providing high-calorie rewards for good behaviour can all mean that your dog ends up with far more calories than they actually need. Paradoxically, many overweight dogs are also malnourished, as their nutrition quality is poor, consisting of too many empty calories rather than good, solid nutrition.

What can I do if my dog is overweight?

Clearly, if your dog is overweight, the first thing to do is to establish why. Although in most cases canine obesity is simply down to diet, it’s worth getting your pet checked over by a vet to make sure there aren’t any underlying issues. If it’s clear that the main reason for the excess weight is too much food, placing your dog on a nutritious, low-calorie diet is the next step. Choosing a good grain-free food with healthy ingredients (always check out the ingredients before buying!) may the best way to help your dog lose weight. Alternatively, simply reducing the amount your dog is given to eat may be enough to encourage weight loss.

Treats for dogs on a diet

Although dogs absolutely do not need treats in order to be happy and healthy, many owners can’t resist treating their pet now and then. Treats can also be helpful in reinforcing good behaviour. A healthy choice for dogs on a diet is a wheat-free treat. Made from high-quality ingredients which haven’t been “bulked out” with wheat, wheat-free treats contain just a few premium ingredients such as meat, gravy and potatoes. These foods contain valuable nutrients, ensuring your dog ends up with a treat that actually does them good, rather than simply being empty calories. Highly palatable, wheat-free treats are also gentle on the stomach – a real advantage for older or less well dogs. The treats are also small ones! This means that one or two a day won’t add significantly to daily calorie intake, helping your dog to win the inch-loss war! If you want a tasty, nutrient dense snack that adds value to a dog’s diet, wheat-free treats can work really well.

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Why play is good for your dog

Why play is good for your dog

Playing with your dog has many benefits when it comes to teaching them social skills, improving their behaviour and building the bond between the two of you. It can keep their mind occupied, which prevents boredom and gives them an outlet to release their natural instincts. Many behavioural experts advocate the use of play in helping to manage unwanted behaviours in dogs, such as lunging, chewing or barking. Fitting in a short play session every day can really make a positive impact on the behaviour of your dog.

Learning through Play

We know that children learn through play, but have you ever considered how your dog is learning through its playtime? Play can be an important tool for dogs to learn how to interact with us and for us to enforce our rules. When they engage in play it is safe for dogs to push the boundaries a little, they might, for instance, play a little more roughly than usual. By doing this they can take cues from us as to what behaviour is acceptable and how we can resolve conflict should it arise. During play, your dog is in a more heightened state of arousal, this means that any corrective techniques you use will have more impact. By allowing your dog to push those boundaries you can quickly correct the behaviour and show them how you expect them to behave in a way that will stick with your dog.

Great for Anxiety or Boredom

Play can also be beneficial for dogs that show signs of anxiety or boredom. Playing can help to stimulate the brain, indeed, studies have shown that it can trigger reward centres in the brain that make us feel happy. Play can give dogs a physical and mental outlet, which can help alleviate boredom as well as keep your dog’s weight under control. Remember that dogs do have natural survival instincts and that constantly suppressing these can make then unhappy or anxious. They need to practice their survival skills in order to feel safe. Skills such as chasing prey would be essential if your dog was living in the wild and so it can help them feel more secure in their ability to survive if you let them practice these techniques. This can help reduce anxiety and help your dog feel much happier.

Some Dogs Need to be Taught to Play

Despite the benefits, many owners feel that their dog is just not interested in play. They might head to the field ball in hand, excited at the prospect of a game of fetch with their loyal pal only to end up having to fetch the ball themselves while their dog looks on. At that point, they might assume that their dog just isn’t playful and just give up. Most dogs do want to play, however, they just need to be taught.

Teaching a dog to play can be a challenge, especially if they are an older dog who hasn’t experienced any form of play in their youth, but it is well worth the effort. The first step is to experiment with some toys to see if any interest your dog. The ultimate aim should be for them to want the toy so much that they will engage in a tug of war style play with you. One way to really get them interested is to have a toy that can hold some food, such as grain free dog treats, this usually gets their attention, although you will need to exercise caution if your dog is food aggressive in any way. You can pick up toys that can be stuffed with treats or you could just use an old sock and place the treats inside. If you do manage to get them to engage with you and the toy remember to verbally praise them during and after the play session. They should get the message quickly enough that play is a positive thing.

Remember when offering treats to your dog, you should always try and make them healthy. You can find grain free dog treats UK dog owners can rely on at Bounce and Bella.

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Start training your puppy at an early age if you want a well-behaved pet

Start training your puppy at an early age if you want a well-behaved pet

Dogs can make the most fantastic pets for families, couples and singletons. However, your wriggling, bundle of fun puppy soon grows into adulthood and training your pet is an important aspect of dog ownership that should not really be neglected. Teaching your puppy ground rules in the home and letting him recognise that good behaviour is an expectation at home and outside will help you achieve far more enjoyment from owning a dog and ensures trust is built up between you.

Reasons to train your dog

Dogs can be disruptive and boisterous in the home and outside if they’re not disciplined from an early age. They need to understand their place in the household as they are pack animals and can begin to think of themselves as “pack” leader of the entire family. This can cause problems, particularly if you have younger children or vulnerable people in the home.

Teaching your dog not to jump up or steal or beg for food are important training tasks that you can start from the day your new pup enters the home. Barking, mounting, jumping on furniture, destroying toys, pawing and mouthing are also undesirable behaviours for dogs, so kicking off your puppy training by establishing rules in the home is a good way to ensure your pup develops manners and discipline.

Socialisation skills

Socialisation is important for pups. Whether with other dogs and pets or with humans. And, enrolling your puppy in a reputable training school is one way to ensure good behaviour. You won’t be able to take your dog to classes until he’s had all his vaccinations, but you can get in touch with the instructor beforehand and pick up some useful training tips to follow in the meantime.

Puppy socialisation is recommended by the Kennel Club, and should be carried out by both breeders and new owners. It can help puppies settle better in their new home and should be carried out until your dog is at least 16 weeks old. You can source a socialisation plan direct on the Kennel Club website if you want to learn more.

Socialisation planning helps ensure your pup receives important learning at the most critical development phases in his life. It includes common household noises and going out to meet other dogs and new people. Socialising your pup from this early age helps ensure he interacts well with other dogs and people, both in the home and when you’re out and about.

Dog training classes

You can start training your pup from a very young age, but won’t be able to take him to regular dog training classes until he’s had all his vaccinations. You should display continual patience with your pup, although he’s eager to learn and wants to please you, he won’t pick up all the essential skills straight away.

Going to recognised training classes can help your dog even more with socialisation and he can also learn from the other dogs. Some of the behaviour learnt at classes includes walking on the lead and to heel, responding to his name and coming back when called, sitting on command and learning to stay in one place when told to do so.

Good quality dog treats can be ideal positive reinforcements to help your dog learn and are used to treat good behaviour and learning of commands. You do need to ensure the treats offered are suitable for your pup, however, as some treats are not recommended until adult teeth are in place.

Continuing to reinforce lessons and training commands in the home and while out and about is much easier when you utilise positive reinforcement techniques. And, you’ll be amazed by the speed your young dog learns, when he knows a tasty treat reward could be the likely outcome!

A well-behaved dog will give you hours of enjoyment and fun, so establishing good behaviour and putting the ground rules in place while your puppy is young is important. Check out more useful positive reinforcement dog training tips on the Bounce and Bella blog. We supply a variety of tasty dog treats, including grain-free treats and treats with added vitamins or Omega supplements. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more about the reasons our healthy treats are the ideal training solution for your dog.

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Is clicker training the best way to train your dog?

Is clicker training the best way to train your dog?

Dog training is an important part of pet ownership. It’s what you need to do to make sure your dog is well behaved and doesn’t get involved in unsafe mischief.

It’s also a great way to bond with your pet – and ensure that they always respond to your call.

But with so many different ways of training about – how do you know which is the best, and safest way to train your dog?

For some of you, clicker training could be the solution you’ve been searching for. To find out if it’s right for you, we’ve created this guide of what it is, the pros and cons and how to get the best from your training.

So, what does a dog clicker do?

A dog clicker does what it sounds like. It clicks.

But that’s not what dog clicker training is about. The clicker itself doesn’t affect the dog – it’s just used as a signal.

The whole training concept is a lot simpler than it appears.

First, your dog does something good. Second, you click the clicker. Third, you give your dog a treat.

What this does is get your dog to understand their own behaviour. They’ll start to learn that certain actions that they do mean they get rewarded. And, because they want more rewards, they’ll keep searching and trying to do the same action over and over again.

The clicker signals to your dog that they’re about to receive a treat – and is a quick affirmation that their last action was a good one. It helps drive home these lessons and forms a cognitive link that the treat they’re getting is because of something they did right.

Does it need to be a clicker sound?

Clicker training works on the fundamental method that good behaviour is recognised and rewarded.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that the clicker needs to be the signal you use on your dogs.

The signal can be any number of things instead. It could even be your voice, telling them simple praises like “yes”, “good boy” or “good girl”.

But, when it comes to training your dog – consistency is key. If you choose to use something else, you need to use it all the time in your training. This way, your dog can quickly and easily recognise their good behaviour – making their training as easy as possible.

If you use voice commands or other signals, this can easily get confusing and will be difficult if your partner or family member needs to reward your dog as well.

So, a clicker makes things easier and consistent. It can also be used by anyone and isn’t a sound that is replicated easily, so your dog won’t get cues from the wrong sources.

Choosing the best treats as rewards

You want to reward the right behaviours for your dog. That doesn’t mean you want to be giving them bad, unhealthy treats that will damage their well being.

You want the best for your dog. That means that you need the best treats available when training – giving them something they’ll love and will help take care of them.

Looking for the best dog treats for dogs?

We understand what you’re looking for. That’s why we’ve specially developed our own brand of dog training treats.

Incredibly high quality, our treats are made from freshly prepared chicken, pure duck and turkey meat, potatoes and gravy. All, delicious and nutritionally selected ingredients that your dog won’t be able to get enough of. All, for a price that won’t break the bank.

They’re also packed full of nutrients and vitamins that your furry friend needs. This includes vitamin e and omega 3 6 9 for dogs, which helps their muscles and circulatory system perform at their best. It also helps your dogs heal from any injuries and keep their coats shiny, healthy and free from any harmful conditions.

We have safe puppy treats for training as well as treats for dogs who are on diets. What’s more, they’re completely grain free dog treats. This is incredibly important as dogs can’t fully ingest grain, keeping your dog happier and healthier.

Ready to start your clicker training with nutritional, healthy treats your dog will love? Buy our dog training treats today.

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The healthy use of treats to train your dog

We all want to help our dogs to be the best furry friend they can be, which usually means undergoing a period of training at some stage during their life. Training with treats is one of the most commonly accepted methods of teaching a dog, whether it be a puppy or an older dog. The positive reinforcement created by using treats allows a dog to associate the desired behaviour with a reward, creating a Pavlovian response that manifests in a learned behaviour. Treats also help to develop a great bond between dog and trainer, especially when the trainer is also the owner!

However, what often gets overlooked is the importance of using treats healthily in the training process. Good nutrition is crucial to general canine wellbeing and the longevity of a dog’s life. Check out the tips below to see what you can do to ensure your dog is getting the best training with treats possible:

Tips and advice for healthy treat training

1. Use a proportional reward. A dog learning a new behaviour for the first time deserves a bigger reward than a dog sitting on command for the 20th time. Smaller treats are perfect, as they can be more easily tailored for this purpose. At Bounce & Bella, our treats are practically sized to help prevent over-feeding.

2. Make them earn it. Rewarding a dog when their behaviour isn’t quite right is not only unhelpful for training, it creates an expectation for treats that can lead to overeating. Whilst the pups may be quite happy with this arrangement in the short-term, long-term it is not good for the dog or the trainer.

3. Quality is key. Many dog treats do not contain a good nutritional balance. This is acceptable occasionally, but when treats are given out on the scale that training can require, the consequences can get serious when the ingredients aren’t right. Bounce & Bella treats are made with a blend of 80% freshly produced poultry and 20% potatoes and chicken gravy – that’s it!

4. Use grain-free treats. Grain-free treats aren’t unnecessarily bulked up – your dog is only getting the best nutrients without any of the unhealthy clutter! Dogs are unable to fully digest grain, leading to a number of undesirable health effects including weight gain. Grain-free treats keep your dog fuller for longer, preventing over-eating. Other benefits can include a healthier coat, reduced stool size and less shedding – switching to grain-free is a no-brainer!

4. Try to be consistent with the type of treats you give your dog. Sometimes we can’t resist those big eyes, and a scrap of leftovers or a spare ingredient makes its way to our furry friends. Whilst this is fine on occasion, it’s important to remember not to allow this to become a habit during the training process. Keep the nutrition balanced and both dog and trainer will win.

5. Had a busy day? Have a lighter dinner! If your dog has been working hard all day learning new behaviours, chances are they’ve had a lot of well-deserved treats in the process. Balance that out by reducing the portion size of their next meal, to ensure a healthy weight is maintained.

6. Keep hydrated. As with humans, keeping the fluids coming is really important for dogs. Water not only hydrates a dog but aids with the digestion of all those treats. The water should always be clean, so make sure it is changed daily and give that bowl a rinse out every now and then.

7. Finally, don’t force it. If your dog has clearly had enough and is just looking for more treats rather than working on the training, it’s time to call it a day. Being stubborn can be normal for a dog in training, but it’s something a trainer themselves should avoid! If a dog is no longer motivated, they risk losing the positive reinforcement of training with treats.

Given the sheer volume of treats often required throughout the process, it’s clearly vital that a dog’s health is taken into account when choosing the type of treats to use. Thankfully, Bounce & Bella’s, small grain-free treats are perfect for dogs aged 16 weeks and over, once their adult teeth have developed.

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Signs that your dog is suffering from a food allergy

Signs that your dog is suffering from a food allergy

It’s horrible to see your pooch miserable. It’s even worse when an upset stomach is plaguing them for no apparent reason. Recurring symptoms of diarrhoea, scratching and ear infections no matter how common they are, is not normal and is a sure sign that something isn’t quite right.

If you’ve taken your beloved fur baby to the vets and have gotten the all-clear for any nasty parasites, you’ll want to start checking Fido for a food allergy.

That’s right – food allergies are just as rife in dogs as they are in humans with the most common allergies being beef, dairy and wheat – all though, this is not exclusive.

So, what should you look out for if you suspect your dog of having a food allergy?

1. Gastrointestinal problems

Vomiting and diarrhoea are a sure sign that body is rejecting something. Due to your dog’s inquisitive nature, it is not unlikely that he will get V&D at some point in their life from something they have eaten that they shouldn’t have! However, if the vomiting and diarrhoea is becoming an ongoing problem, it may be a sign that they are rejecting the over-invading protein.

2. Itching and scratching

Food allergies tend to affect your dog’s skin. If Fido continues to eat a diet where an allergic-response was caused, he will start to form a hyposensitivity to it which will most commonly manifest in their skin causing irritation. No matter how many doses or Benadryl or Claritin your fur baby is given, if an allergy is present, the symptoms will continue.

3. Recurrent ear infections

More than 2 or 3 ear infections a year can be another telltale sign that Fido is suffering from an allergy. Although yeast infections and “swimmers ear” tend to be common in dogs, causing similar symptoms, it is the frequency of ear infections that may suggest an underlying allergy. Be sure to look out for any build-up inside the ear, any smells excreting from the ear, or if poor Fido is shaking and scratching the ear on a regular basis.

4. A change in nail beds

It can be difficult to check, depending on what breed of dog and what colour coat they have, but a red or brown colour of Fido’s nail beds is another sign of an inflammatory response. Your dog’s nails should be white with a hint of pink, so if your dog’s nails are a bloody red colour, a bronzed colour, or they are appearing to lick the area often, and it is not caused by some sort of food trauma, then it’s time to start the elimination process.

5. Redness or browning around the lips

If your dog’s coat is white, then this will be a lot more obvious for you to see. A yeast colonisation, triggered by a food allergy, will cause pink or red inflamed lips and jowls. After you have ruled out any yeast infections, it’s time to seriously consider the possibility of an allergy.

What to do?

So, what next? Once you’ve ruled out other possibilities or infections for the ongoing symptoms with the help of your veterinarian, it’s time to start an elimination diet. This is the only sure-fire way to diagnose a food allergy accurately.

Contrary to popular belief, putting Fido on rice and cooked chicken to allow their stomachs to heal is not a good move. The chicken can be too rich for their bodies to process and you never know, chicken could be the culprit.

Try moving Fido on a grain free diet, using grain free treats to subsidise their meals, and putting him on food he’s never had before to give him some time to improve. To help speed up the recovery process, you may want to consider some probiotics for dogs and vitamin e and omega 3 6 9 for dogs. Once you’ve given your dog some time to recuperate and see the symptoms reduce, it’s important to start reintroducing the old suspicious foods one at a time. This does take some time, as a triggered reaction can take from a few days to a few weeks so be sure to be patient, and prepare for a slightly lengthy process.

Having a dog with a suspected food allergy can seem like the most frustrating thing, and it can be incredibly upsetting to see them unwell. But rest assured, that once the culprit of the food allergy is found, it is all plain sailing from there on out!

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The pros and cons of clicker training

Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats

The pros and cons of clicker training

The clicker training technique is one of the most widely used dog training methods in the world.

As with all training techniques, there are some limitations to the method. With so many different explanations and techniques by dog trainers and experts for using a clicker, it’s no wonder that it can sometimes be confusing for beginners just starting to use a clicker.

In the majority of cases, it’s the human factor and the way the clicker is being used that leads to problems and complications when training your dog.

Make sure you understand why you are clicking

Only once you know and understand why you are clicking will your dog begin to understand your command and be able to conclude what behaviour is being rewarded.

Be aware of your environment

All animals, and dogs, in particular, are very sensitive to the environment they are in. To get the most out of clicker training, it’s important to limit the environmental impact on your dog by carefully managing and arranging the area you conduct your training. As with most correctional training, if used incorrectly, unsuccessful clicker training can cause your dog to have unintended behaviours.

The pros and cons of clicker training for your dog

If carried out correctly, the benefits of clicker training can be substantial and include:

  • Clicker training helps your dog learn commands faster as the click provides instant positive feedback for your dog. The click explains in clear terms what was expected and which behaviour is being reinforced and your dog is being rewarded for.
  • Clicker training is reward based. Small grain free training treats can allow for much longer sessions than training that does not reinforce desired behaviour with a reward.
  • Clicker training is widely regarded as the best training technique for helping to build a strong bond and relationship between the dog and the trainer.
  • You can command your dog to complete numerous repetitions of the same activity without a slide in interest or motivation.

The cons and most common complications and limitations of clicker training:

  • If clicker training is not conducted correctly, particularly the phase when you transition from continuous clicker reward to inconsistent and then random reward reinforcement, or if your dog has a low interest in the reward being offered, then the desired behaviour being reinforced is more likely to be forgotten without the prolonged use of the reward.
  • Clicker training is based on a reward for the desired behaviour. If your dog has a low interest in food or treats and you can’t find a reward that your dog values enough, you may encounter some difficulty when using clicker training.

Find out More with the FREE ‘Dog Clicker Training’ ebook

If you think clicker training might be for you have a look at Bounce and Bella’s Dog Clickers – they all come with a free ‘dog clicker training’ ebook.

Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats
Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats and FREE ebook ‘Dog Clicker Training’

‘Dog Clicker Training’ eBook Sample:

How to Use a Dog Clicker

Using a dog clicker is simple, but you need to be clear to follow the simple steps carefully so that the message is clear for your dog. If you are uncertain and use the clicker inappropriately then you will find that your dog is confused. Remember that your dog can only learn from what you teach them and try to be consistent with your use at all times. This will make it far easier for your dog to understand and follow your training.

Teach Your Dog to Associate a Click With a Reward

The first step in using a clicker to train a dog is in teaching them to associate a click with a reward. You can do this very simply by taking a handful of treats in one hand and the clicker in the other. The dog does not need to do anything at this stage to ‘earn’ a reward. Click the dog clicker and give your dog one treat. You should then wait for a short period and then do the same again. Within 10 clicks your dog should be made aware that a click results in a reward. Wait for a few minutes and repeat the process. Your dog then should be certain what is meant by a click. Once this is done you will be ready to begin clicker training with your dog as it will now associate clicking with reward.

You can watch this in action here with Pam’s Dog Academy:

Click During the Action, Not Afterwards

The most important element in the use of a dog clicker is to click DURING the desired behaviour and not once it has been completed. The timing of the click is important because it reinforces the behaviour as a reward. The click is a congratulation for carrying out a behaviour that is good.

When you are click training your dog it will be common for your dog to stop a behaviour when you click at first. This is not uncommon and should not be alarming because the click will stop the behaviour so that they can get a treat. You can give the treat once the behaviour has stopped because it is the timing of the click that matters, not the timing of the treat. Remember that it is the click that counts as praise. The treat is simply used to reinforce this.

Always Follow a Click with a Treat

While the timing of the treat is not important in itself, it is important that you always follow a click with a treat. The click is a congratulatory sound that your dog will associate with a treat and this will keep them filled with a desire to please you. If you withdraw the treats then the reward will be diminished and the training will be lessened. If you run out of treats then you should stop using the clicker until you can get some more Bounce and Bella treats because the click must always be associated with a treat.

Remember that click training is a specific process that should be carried out for a short period of time only. It is not an ongoing process to be used at all times. If you are engaging in click training then use the clicker and give the treats. If you are not engaging in click training then don’t use the clicker at all. You can still reward good behaviour with treats when you are not using the clicker, but you should never use the clicker outside of training.

Teach Your Dog That Responding to You Earns Treats

The most basic skill to teach your dog with clicker training is that responding to you earns rewards. This is a hugely important skill to teach your dog because this gives you control. If your dog ignores a command then your dog is not under control, so you need to instill the understanding that listening to you is a good thing to do.

To do this you should use commands to communicate to your dog. When the dog responds to your command then you should click and give your dog a treat. If your dog does not respond to your command then you do not click and your dog does not get a treat. Your dog will very quickly learn to understand that listening to you is a good thing. The most important element here is to only click when the dog responds. Wait until the dog returns to you or obeys your command and click while the behaviour is being carried out. This will reinforce good behaviours and in doing so will stamp out bad behaviours.

More from the ebook …

  • Use the Clicker to Reinforce Behaviour
  • Clicker to Get Your Dog’s Attention
  • Clicker and Punishment
  • How to Develop New Behaviours
  • Teach in Small Steps
  • Replacing the Click
  • Never Stop Rewarding
  • Never Stop Training

If you think clicker training might be for you have a look at Bounce and Bella’s Dog Clickers – they all come with a free ‘dog clicker training’ ebook.

Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats
Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats and FREE ebook ‘Dog Clicker Training’

Dog Clicker
Dog Clicker and Grain Free Poultry Treats
Dog Clicker and Grain Free Fish Treats

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First time getting a dog? You need these facts

We all love pets, hence our tendency to go the extra mile to make them comfortable. Like getting a dog trainer to assist us in handling our dogs. Below are some facts you need to know if you’re getting a dog for the first time;

• Adopting a dog beats buying
Adopting dogs comes across as a sound cost-cutting measure since pets aren’t acquired cheaply. It presents the perfect opportunity to look after their welfare. There are so many adorable abandoned dogs out there in need of a home. Why not guarantee at least one creature a safe shelter before buying puppies?

• Get a dog that matches you
Obviously, there’s a dog for every lifestyle and environment, and instinctively dog breeds behave differently. Before adopting or buying a dog, assess its natural predispositions and needs as well as your expectations in accordance with your lifestyle. For instance, a Chihuahua may add aesthetic beauty to your home while a German shepherd enhances security around the place.

• Complement dog training with feeding
Picture you and your dog bonding over the best healthy dog treats available in the market. It’s ideal to practice training with treats when your dog is young as it guarantees your dog’s responsiveness. There are treats for dogs on a diet and grain free dog treats – what’s more, the best dog treats for huskies and the best dog treats for training German shepherds are completely different. Pick a treat that suits your dog to a T.

• The dog trainer is your primary point of reference for training
In this information age, there’s always a tendency to supplement the dog trainer’s work with tips read on online forums. Well, while seemingly harmless, you might end up confusing your dog and disrupting all progress made in basic dog training commands.

Instead, enforce your dog trainer’s manual and instructions while at home. Such routines speed up the learning process for the pet. Discuss tips you pick up online with the trainer first to determine their suitability.

• Go for nutritious grain free meals
The benefits of grain free treats range from the prevalence of vitamin E and omega 3,6,9 for dogs to their ability to satisfy the nutritional needs of puppies more than 16 weeks old. The main ingredients in these treats are potatoes and chicken blend, turkey, and duck. Remember, puppies begin training at this age, and they need lots of energy and concentration. Unlike junk dog meals, these treats ensure steady weight gain and the general health of your dog.

• Dog accessories can cause injury
At times, we get our dogs a new accessory as a treat – a leash, cord or another toy. Sadly, some of these items don’t meet safety standards and may end up injuring not only your beloved pet but also the trainer. Let your dog trainer recommend or pick out appropriate dog accessories.

• Your dog is unfit
A physically fit dog is usually active and responsive to the trainer. However, an untrained, unfit dog exhibits a lethargic attitude especially in learning new commands. In most cases, a trainer’s only choice is to schedule some more training hours until the dog gets fit and catches up. The dog owner also has to engage the pet in more physical activity in between training sessions.

• Come for dog training too
If we’re going to train the dog so it can get used to the owner’s commands, why not teach the owner to respond to its needs? Unknown to most owners, their inexperience to dog needs and behaviour can simply aggravate the dog’s misconduct. A trainer will insist on coaching the caregiver in what to do in a range of circumstances so that they can have an improved relationship with the trained companion.

• Dogs are social animals
Some owners tend to cage and lock down their pets for their safety. Somehow, they’re expected to thrive in such confinement. But dogs are the polar opposite. Just like us, they feel the need to establish relationships with other dogs and humans. Only then do they learn to be friendly while adapting to their environment and growing their unique personality. A socialised dog fares amazingly well in training.

• Be patient
Dog training is a repetitive and challenging task. The dog owner has to be patient with the trainer and his pet companion. Training follows procedural schedules, each command consuming ample time while preparing the dog for the next step.

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Why a grain free diet is better for your dog this autumn

Why a grain free diet is better for your dog this autumn

As the summer draws to a close and the cooler nights start drawing in, it’s not just ourselves we need to take care of. Our furry friends also need the best healthy dog treats in order to stay happy and full of energy.

There are a few benefits of grain free treats for the dog in your life, especially as the seasons change.

More energy

Grain-free dog food is usually higher in protein with fewer carbohydrates, meaning they’ll feel fuller for longer, and have more energy to boot.

This is especially useful for colder days when you need to venture out for walks and don’t want your pooch to lack halfway along. It also means they won’t be inclined to eat as much, keeping them at a healthy weight.

Fuelling your pet with a grain free food will help to store much-needed energy for exercise, and for keeping warm, too. More energy not only keeps your dog out of a mid-day slump, but it also means they’re likely to be more enthusiastic about going out for said walk, no matter the weather!

Healthy skin and coat

Many grain free dog treats are packed with vital vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E. Vitamin E benefits for dogs range from internal factors to external, such as a super glossy coat and healthy skin.

Dogs can’t always tell us when their skin is irritating them, but we can see when they need a little extra TLC from the condition of their coat. Vitamins found in grain-free food mean a soft, smooth and glossy mane, and nourished skin, just what they need ahead of the cold months when the change in temperature and increase in central heating is likely to accelerate skin drying. They can’t use moisturiser like us!

Increases concentration

A healthy diet helps increase concentration in pets, as it does in animals. With grain free treats, your dog can have a healthy body and a healthy mind to boot.

This means a better-behaved pooch, which can lead to better training. Dogs need to be at the height of their concentration as we head into Autumn – if they’re being trained when it’s colder, they may get easily bored.

The best treats for clicker training are those high in protein, such as fish and poultry. These are widely known to benefit larger dogs, too, such as the best dog treats for training German Shepherds.

For more on how to train a dog with treats, as well as positive reinforcement dog training tips, check out the rest of our blog, but in the meantime, keep on reading.

May reduce allergies

Just like us, dogs can also suffer from food allergies and intolerances. If you feel your pet is becoming slightly sluggish or becoming unwell soon after eating, it’s a good idea to try a grain-free diet to see if it improves. Again, ensuring your pooch is at optimum health when the Autumn comes may help reduce them picking up any nasty bugs come winter time.

Treats for dogs on a diet such as the grain free variety don’t have to be boring either, there’s plenty to choose from so your dog doesn’t get tired of the same dishes (just as we would!).

For more on the best dog training treats and grain free dog treats UK dogs love, explore the blog or check out the full range.

Photo: Wet Pupppy by MSVG licensed under Creative commons 2