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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 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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Top four positive reinforcement dog training tips

Four of the best positive reinforcement dog training tips

Positive reinforcement is one of the most rewarding dog training procedures. It involves praising and rewarding the dog every time it follows commands. Dogs generally yearn for praise and attention from their masters, and whenever they are rewarded for doing something, they are more than likely to repeat the same. Here are four invaluable positive reinforcement tips that will improve the behaviour and morale of your dog.

1. Different training procedures for different dog breeds

Different dog species react best to different training methods, foods and even surroundings. Although the issue of food and environment might be widely known, the phenomenon of training procedures is relatively new and thus unknown to many. A keen trainer might notice that even female breeds react differently to various commands compared to their male counterparts. Therefore, when carrying out training sessions, it is imperative to keenly observe reactions from specific animals to understand the commands that work best for them.

2. Praise and reward good behaviour, and don’t be shy to admonish bad habits

Unlike humans, dogs are animals that live in the moment. During training sessions, if the dog successfully follows through a command, however simple it might be, the trainer should be prompt in encouraging the dog. It can be as simple as patting the animal in good humour or giving it treats. It is very important to make sure that the dog understands why they are being praised, as this encourages them to keep repeating the action, which will ultimately become a habit.

On the other hand, if the animal disobeys a command, you should express the disappointment swiftly and immediately. The dog should not be allowed to ignore even the simplest of commands, as this will ultimately develop into a bad routine.

Take the example of training a housedog. The dog ought to know precisely where to poop. When it relieves itself there, make sure to praise it. This will encourage it to keep the command in mind and repeat the same even when you are absent. However, should it relieve itself at an inappropriate place, do not save your resentment for later. Instead, make sure the dog understands your frustrations immediately in order to make him/her more observant in future.

3. Be patient

It is true that dogs are our best friends, but they are not nearly as intelligent as we are. You might expect a puppy to learn as fast as a little child might, but that is not the case. Even when they learn a command, they are prone to forgetting it until they are well conversant with it. Therefore, when training a dog, patience is a virtue that needs to be observed keenly.

For instance, if you issue a command and the dog is reluctant to follow, do not ignore it or move to another exercise. Make sure you stick there until the instruction is adhered to before moving along. It is one way to ensure that the dog respects your instructions at all times and without failure. Also, do not issue multiple commands in close succession as this might confuse the animal on what to follow. The best training should be gradual, moving along only when the trainer is satisfied with the progress and understanding of the dog.

4. Know when to give treats

The best motivational booster for dogs is training with treats. These may include toys, food, petting, and ruffling of their fur coats among others. However, it’s important to note that these treats should be timely and in reward of something good the dog does. The best way to go about it is to make sure the dog understands what the award is for, and this will significantly improve their concentration and morale. When training is over and you are satisfied with the dog’s progress, you can reward him/her with food, their favourite toy, or other niceties. Bounce and Bella have some of the best training treats available, they’re grain free and junk free so you be generous without worrying about your dog’s health – you can find out more here: grain free training treats.

In conclusion, it is essential to maintain specific commands for specific actions. If the dog easily identifies a particular code of communication, do not alter it because it will make it difficult for the dog to comprehend the instruction. The trainer ought to be consistent with the commands and keen on the little things that work for the dog.

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Top five common mistakes to avoid when training your dog

Top five common mistakes to avoid when training your dog

There is a huge amount of information available for the best way to train your dog, with many plans and strategy guides, all of which suggest something different. While you might be overwhelmed by this sometimes contradictory information, it is important to know that the things not to do when dog training are pretty much set in stone, whatever strategy you are using. These mistakes will cause frustration for both you and your dog and are likely to have a big impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of your training. Here are some of the biggest mistakes that you must avoid when training your dog, as compiled by our experts…

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The best healthy treats for your dog

The best healthy treats for your dog

We love to give our dogs a treat, they are our best friends after all. When it comes to giving your dog a treat, whether it’s for general love or for training, then it’s important that the treats you are giving them are healthy and appropriate for them. There are certain foods that dogs simply cannot be fed, these include chocolate, avocados, grapes and lots more. However, there are plenty of healthy dog treats for your furry friend. Keep reading to check out the best healthy dog treats to give your pet…

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How to Train a Dog with Treats

How to train a dog with treats

Whether you’ve brought a puppy into the family, adopted an adult dog from a shelter or you have an old family dog who’s up for learning new tricks, training your dog can be a confusing, chaotic and fun experience. Our pooches can be mischievous little bundles of joy sometimes, which makes training them all the more important. We’d recommend you buy some dog treats for training. It’s the best way to keep your pet interested! Find out more …

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