Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Heat is On

Here in Missouri, we've already been graced by triple digit heat, and us humans aren't the only ones who can feel the heat. Please don't forget your pets! Give them plenty of cool, fresh water (don't forget moderation, bloat is also deadly this time of year), and allow them plenty of time in the air condition too. If it's too hot out for you, chances are it's too hot for your pet!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Tazer, remaining in his "down" command, while meeting our resident goat, Sidney, for the first time.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Before Disaster Strikes

Are you and your family prepared for a disaster at your home? Do you have a plan of action for your pets should a disaster force you to evacuate? Do you have supplies ready in case your home looses power for over a week, or perhaps even access to fresh water?

Don't forget about your pet during this storm season. Plan now and pack a disaster kit. Here's a list of some useful items to include inside...
  • Leash and collar with an ID tag already attached.
  • A copy of current vaccination records from your vet. We don't recommend relying on a Rabies tag as it does not include dates.
  • Recent photo of your pet in case of separation.
  • A week's worth of food, water and any medications your pet will need.
  • Food and water dishes
  • A blanket
  • A pet first-aid kit. This should include vetrap or some sort of bandages, antiseptic spray, children's aspirin, tweezers and scissors.

These listed above are your very basics. You might also want to make sure you have a crate available, perhaps some toys, and a supply of plastic bags to name a few.

Don't forget to also have some sort of game plan for your pets. Who is responsible for finding them if there was a fire? Were would you put them? Who can watch your pets for you if you cannot, and so on...

Feel free to leave more tips and ideas.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Ask around and the number one complaint from neighbors of dogs is nuisance barking.  But what is considered excessive barking?  Normally it can be considered as any barking, yelping, howling or crying that happens during normal sleeping hours, that happens frequently or habitual.  Imagine your phone ringing... how many times can it ring before you become annoyed?  A few phone calls in a day and your probably not bothered... 2 calls twice an hour all day... and well, you can see where I'm going here.

But why do dogs bark? 

For Attention.
Humans have bred dogs to bark for a number of reasons, and yes we have even encouraged and praised barking.  How else would we know if there was a stranger lurking about?  Or where the rabbit had gone?  This would be good attention.  But because dogs are social animals they will bark for bad attention too.  This means if the only time a dog gets any attention, even if it's a punishment, is if it barks, then it will do so.

To Communicate
As we know from countless documentaries on wolves, dogs are social creatures.  Naturally they choose to communicate mainly with body language and other audible communication.  Just like for attention some dogs bark just in effort to communicate with their humans... even if the human is yelling for them to be quiet.

Out of Boredom
Like a child who will talk to themselves when left to play alone, a bored dog will bark just for something to do.

What can be done about nuisance barking?
  • Spend time with your dog everyday.  This not only ensures that their social needs are fulfilled, but also keeps down on boredom, desperation and anxiety.
  • Train your dog.  You cannot correct a behavior if your pet does not know the right behavior to begin with.  Contact our trainers for more tips on training both the "Quiet" and the "Speak" command.
  • Problem solve.  If your dog is barking out of boredom, try new chews and toys to occupy their time if you can't be there.  See if you need new privacy fences or plants to protect your dog from taunters such as neighborhood children or passing dogs. 
These are all just a few basics to help you start.  Remember barking may not bother you, but bothers around 95% of people around you.  And the best time to solve nuisance behavior is to keep it from starting!  Keep your pets happy, healthy and well trained.  For more information please contact one of our trainers at http://www.gatewayk9training.com/