Hound Dog Hotel

Is Kibble killing your dog?

Regardless of what you feed your dog s/he won’t live forever. But, surely, you want your furpal to live as long as their span potentially could be?

In which case, because you love your dog you give them a good quality kibble, maybe one of the grain free varieties – right? After all, Vets recommend kibble, it’s easy to feed, your dog likes it - everyone’s happy.

Except…… there is a sinister side to feeding kibble – one of which I knew nothing until I recently saw this video presentation by Dr Becker. Dr Becker is a highly qualified Vet, she teaches and lectures worldwide to pet parents, progressive veterinarians, industry professionals and students. She is committed to improving corporate transparency and food quality within the Pet Food Industry, as well as the nutritional standards currently utilised for commercial pet food.

During her presentation Dr Becker’s highlights that at a time when we humans are being encouraged to eat better – to eat fresh, whole and unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables, we are feeding our dogs the opposite – a diet for their whole lives of highly processed meal, Kibble - the fast food of the canine world.

She explains by introducing fresh foods your dog will reap the benefits by being on the way to better health, with less skin allergies, and maybe even avoid cancers and other chronic diseases.

THE STUDY Finnish vets did study on effects of different foods fed to dogs.

Dogs that had only ever eaten kibble in their lifetime were moved to raw food -  in just 3 months there was an 81% reduction in disease markers in their blood stream.

Dogs that in their whole lifetime had only ever been fed raw food were moved to a totally  processed food diet – kibble.  After 3 months they had an ASTONISHING 353% increase in disease markers in their blood stream.

The results of these scientific studies prove irrefutably that dogs fed only on kibble are far less healthy than they might be. Basically, pet parents are unknowingly killing their dogs with the convenience of kibble.

 FYI the presentation is 16 minutes duration, but the facts about diet (which I found most interesting) are to be heard around 8 minutes in. It was then Dr Becker gives the truly astounding facts about what fast/processed foods - in other words kibble - does to your dog’s health.

I believe every caring dog owner should listen to Dr Becker, click here for the full video to decide for yourself.

 https://youtu.be/e37kolQ_-dY

Dr Becker gives good news which is that when even as little as 20% processed kibble is removed, and in its place 20% of fresh raw food added to your dogs bowl, health improvements can be made.

MAKING THE CHANGE TO IMPROVE YOUR DOGS WELFARE

Even if kibble was not doing such harm - you wouldn’t want the same food, day in day out – and there are alternatives.

A home made raw and fresh diet is a great option. The downside is that it’s time consuming to buy and prepare – a factor which could put some people off giving it a go.

The ideal – which is now available - is a top quality raw & fresh diet delivered ready prepared direct to your home. It will work out more costly than kibble, but this way provides nutritious food to give your pet the best chance to achieve optimum health – and it is really convenient and easy too.

Below are three options. Two are commercial raw fresh food companies I highly recommend. (Note -  I have no commercial interest in either company nor do I benefit financially from recommending them).

The third option is an outstanding ‘home made’ raw food recipe which has been kindly provided by on of my clients who owns Bella a black Lab. Bella has the best coat you’ve ever seen which of itself highly suggestive that this diet is a great one.

GOING FRESH & RAW

 OPTION 1 - BARF

"BARF" is an acronym for “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food”.

The BARF company were one of the first to start making and selling raw food and their product is great. However, I don’t think they deliver and as the BARF brand is not widely stocked in pet shops it can be tricky to find.

http://barfaustralia.com

 

OPTION 2 - RAW & FRESH

 Right here on the Central Coast we are fortunate to have an excellent local raw food company  - Raw & Fresh. This young company was started up by a dog owing family and they have a growing customer base for their great products. The best thing is they deliver to your door weekly - freshly prepared, portion size packs, with recipes you select for your dog. Variety as well as goodness.

https://rawandfresh.com.au

This is Shadow’s daily pack. Staying with me for a month the company delivered her supply to me so she stayed on her healthy food.

This is Shadow’s daily pack. Staying with me for a month the company delivered her supply to me so she stayed on her healthy food.

 

OPTION 3 - HOME MADE

 Here’s Sandy’s recipe for her beautiful black Lab, Bella:

carrots
zucchini
apples
beans
broccoli
whiz in kitchen blender - 

add cooked rice

add chopped meat of choice

add optional 2-3 chicken necks

You’d need a food processor and make enough for a few days only so the ingredients remain fresh.

PS Dogs can take a while to get used to the veges and you can experiment with amounts and also how finely you whiz it.



HERE ARE SOME OF DR BECKER’S POINTS TAKEN FROM HER VIDEO PRESENTATION.

Over the last 100 years in modern society there has been a dramatic increase in processed food which we and our children eat. Difference between kids and dogs - kids still get some access to fresh food on a daily basis, dogs do not.

There is a $75 billion a year pet industry in America

It’s all about fast food - and Its really fast - open larder door, dump food in bowl - done

Yet humans are told we are told eat less junk food, avoid processed, instead eat 5 fruits a day and eat more vegetables and real unprocessed whole foods.

Yet when it comes to our dogs Vets recommend just the opposite. Dr Becker said vets are taught in vet school to only recommend highly processed foods (kibble) for animals’ entire lives

Vets taught to never recommend fresh or whole foods

Yet animals have never eaten that way in the history - ever - until now

96% people do exactly what they are told and feed an entirely processed/kibble diet to their dogs from the time they are weaned to the time that they die

But what above other 4%?

That tiny 4% represent fasted growing segment of pet food industry  - people buying commercially available frozen fresh food

 This small group recognises their animals need more than highly processed food as they are well aware of the disease epidemic of Diabetes, Obesity and Cancer in dogs - which is mirrored in humans

 THE FINNISH VETS STUDY - a reminder

Dogs that had only eaten kibble in their lifetime were moved to raw food -  in just 3 months there was an 81% reduction in disease markers in their blood stream

Dogs that in their whole life had only been fed raw food were given  processed food – kibble. After 3 months they had an ASTONISHING 353% increase in disease markers

One result was that skin immune resistance better in those fed on raw food

People are now looking to use food as medicine to address myriad of chronic diseases plaguing our dogs

They are choosing to add a little bit of fresh food to restore health or prevent illness occurring in their pets.

DOG TREATS: If buying ready made treats avoid those that have a long ingredients panel, or contain foods you don’t understand or cannot pronounce. Ideally replace commercial treats with your own fresh food versions.

The best foods are found in the pantry or fridge. Here are good snacks:

Blueberries

Sunflower seeds

almonds

carrots

pecan nuts

apples

courgettes

 Dogs are reflections of our life style and it’s our responsibility to choose wisely for them.

Dr Becker’s own website:

http://drkarenbecker.com/Educator/

 

FINALLY, if you are still reading this far (!) for what it’s worth for my own dogs my personal feeding regime would be 80% raw food with just 20% grain free kibble (such as Black Hawk) but only because the kibble will have the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that a dog needs added into it - plus it’s useful for the teeth to have crunch.

MY TREATS

I  give dogs in my care various treats: –

Cooked chicken, cooked liver/offal and often dehydrate my treats after I’ve first cooked them (recipe is on my website). However, there is one dog food that I use as dog treats - Trade name Ziwi Peak. This is very high quality meat/fish which has been air dried. I would not feed it as full time diet as it is super expensive and high protein, but I think it is outstanding for treats and easy to carry with you.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Until next time, wishing happy health to your hound – and you!

Maralyn



Bella, Leo, Lady, Hugo,Amber and little Misty - all being rewarded with treats at the end of a fun adventure walk (usually only have 4 dogs but this was a changeover day)

Bella, Leo, Lady, Hugo,Amber and little Misty - all being rewarded with treats at the end of a fun adventure walk (usually only have 4 dogs but this was a changeover day)




Walk Your Dog To Wellness

Every dog owner will know of a dog left in the garden for days, even weeks at a time. A poor creature alone and imprisoned with nothing to break the boredom, barking or crying in their frustration and misery.  

Owners of these dogs will often profess to love them. They will cite giving their dog fuss, treats and cuddles. But those actions are about giving pleasure to the owner - not of value to the dog.

Sadly there are too many owners failing in their responsibilities to their dog because they neglect to meet the most basic requirement – a dog’s need for quality exercise.

My dog of a lifetime, Harry (a German Shorthaired Pointer) never put a foot wrong and was just perfect in everyway. The only time he ever became destructive was following an injury when he had to be confined to the house for ‘bed rest’ for 2 weeks – at which point I caught him chewing and ripping up the carpet! But he never, ever, did that before and he never did it again once he was recovered and we got him back to his normal long daily outings.

TV programme presenters visiting unhappy or troubled ‘problem dogs’ invariably end up advising owners to exercise their dogs more often and for longer. One TV programme reported how obesity in dogs is dramatically on the increase. Apparently with busy lives more owners are taking their dogs out on leash for less time than ever, often only 20 minutes a day. Unless you are talking about a small, old dog anyone must know this is woefully inadequate.

Blaming Pooches resembling Porkers on lack of exercise researchers did a test to see if they could prove the point. They attached a GPS recorder to a dog allowed to run free as the owner walked. The stats showed the dog covered a distance 5 times further than the owner!  What a difference!

If as many as 90% of all dog related problems could be resolved by regular quality exercise sessions - what constitutes sufficient exercise?

As a guide, 45 mins (ideally 60 mins for medium/large breeds) of leash free exercise should take place every day. But at minimum three/four times a week. An exercised Fur Pal is a happier, more balanced dog. More exercise outside =  more settled, less whining and no longer destructive at home inside.

A dog that sleeps for hours when you get back from exercise is good indicator that they’re getting time appropriate exercise.

*******

At the Hound Dog Hotel active and stimulating exercise sessions are an integral part of the totality of my service - crucial for individual dog happiness and pack harmony.

But our outings are no walk in the park!  Hound Dog Hotel sessions are daily Epic Adventures, full of interaction with other dogs (and me) where there is fun and play. My focus in on challenging all my Dogs’ senses and enrich their experience with smells, water & swimming, ball chasing - and by keeping them on the move.

GPS recording of the total time and the distance. I send owners these after every outing.

GPS recording of the total time and the distance. I send owners these after every outing.

 

These Epic Adventures are long in time and in distance. My Garmin GPS records I walk between 2 to 2.5 miles. Based on the TV programme saying off leash dogs do 5 times more than a walking human, my doggies guests could be doing 10 miles a day! No wonder they are such happy hounds!

An unexercised dog is stressed and tense. But dogs out running and playing burn off excess energy. Then, when they return to the Hotel, they’re calm and content, ready settle down to snooze as a member of a well adjusted and relaxed pack.  

Exercise sessions at the Hound Dog Hotel are key to the success of my service. The following accolade is taken from a reference from the owner of Ruben, a large and super energetic Boxer. What Lisa said is something of which I am particularly proud as it accurately sums up the exercise component of my service:

The “Walk” that Maralyn takes the dogs on each day is amazing, they get to run, play, swim and meet other dogs. It is NOT a 30-minute walk on a lead around the block. It’s a full on extensive exercise, play and stimulation session rolled into one.

Lisa & Barry owner of big bouncy Boxer RUBEN

Remember my Hound Dog Hotel motto and all will be well :

 A Happy Dog is a Tired Dog  -  A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog    

If you want your dog to be happy, tire them out, they’ll thank you with all their heart.

 

N.B. I place a high priority on dogs staying at the Hound Dog Hotel having recall - so on our outings they can run leash free.

Golden Retrievers Charlie on the left, Herbie on the right, Kuro Cavoodle in the water plus a random!

Golden Retrievers Charlie on the left, Herbie on the right, Kuro Cavoodle in the water plus a random!

Charlie the Golden Retriever, asleep the second he got into the car to go home!

Charlie the Golden Retriever, asleep the second he got into the car to go home!

A dog bed's not for my dog (s/he prefers sleeping on the floor!)

Meet Kelly, she didnt used to have a bed - but she loved them all - especailly memory mats which her owner, after her stay here and seeing how comfy she was, has since bought for her.

Meet Kelly, she didnt used to have a bed - but she loved them all - especailly memory mats which her owner, after her stay here and seeing how comfy she was, has since bought for her.

In this Blog I hope to convince you of the vital reasons why every dog should have a dog bed to meet their needs. But first, a bit about us....

WHAT IS THE HOUND DOG HOTEL?

The Hound Dog Hotel on the Central Coast is an elite, professionally run private dog hotel - with not a kennel in sight!  Dog guests live in a home environment- and to keep it simple we offer only one level of care for your dog – the best there is!

Dogs lucky enough to find themselves booked into the Hound Dog Hotel have the time of their lives – their very own holiday! 

A number of factors make our dog accommodation unique.

Firstly,  unlike large, commercial Pet Resorts, we ensure each guest receives VIP (Very Important Pooch) treatment, by limiting numbers to a maximum of only 4 guests.

Secondly, there are no 24 hour ‘lock downs’ that are so common in dog boarding or kennels. Instead, here our VIPs live in, but have free access to our highly secure grounds. And whether in the gardens or inside the Hotel, they receive personal care - attention, fuss, fun and play – all under our experienced and watchful observation.

Thirdly, unlike kennels, invigorating exercise sessions are included within each full days booking. We take daily trips to stimulating locations for long workouts where our little pack interacts, runs, plays, and maybe some have a little swim.

CHOICE OF LUXURIOUS DOG BEDS

If you've looked at my web site you will often see Leo, he is a regular. He feels it's his duty to try out all the beds - and as you can see he even likes a two tier pair of beds!

If you've looked at my web site you will often see Leo, he is a regular. He feels it's his duty to try out all the beds - and as you can see he even likes a two tier pair of beds!

Yet another area where we excel is with our exceptionally wide variety of super comfy beds and mattresses. Your dog can pick and choose, after all, if a good bed is essential for our comfort - then it’s just as vital for your hound too! 

BUT MY DOG PREFERS THE FLOOR!

Some of my clients have a bed in every room of their house for their dog (you know who you are!!) But it is quite common for owners, especially of larger breeds with thicker coats, to say they don’t have a bed at home because their dog prefers to sleep on the carpet - or tiles to keep cool.

It’s true that in hot weather beds and mattresses can make a dog too warm, so they head for tiles. However, at the Hound Dog Hotel we run air conditioning day and night in the summer when it’s hot - which is why once your dog has discovered the bliss of a beautiful soft bed below and cool air above they can’t wait to get on it!

PROBLEMS OF DIRECT FLOOR SLEEPING

It’s understandable on seeing thick looking fur coat to assume this affords a dog protection against hard floors. However, rarely are dogs’ coats anywhere near dense enough to provide enough protective cushioning against thousands of times during a life of dropping down onto tiles. You often hear their elbows ‘clunk’ when they hit hard floors.

Here are some really important reasons why every dog should have at least one well padded bed (and be encouraged to sleep on it if they don’t do so automatically) rather than leaving them no choice but hard floors.

Here is dear Twisty, age 14, a big Wolfhound cross breed enjoying the sprung mattress - with a duvet on top as well for even more luxury.

Here is dear Twisty, age 14, a big Wolfhound cross breed enjoying the sprung mattress - with a duvet on top as well for even more luxury.

VITAL REASON ONE:
SCALY ELBOWS/CALLUSES (PRESSURE SORES)

Unless you have owned a dog to maturity you would not necessarily know that with age dogs (and larger breeds in particular) are prone to develop unsightly scaly elbows from both the repetitive action of dropping down to the floor  and the constant pressure as the bone rubs on the tiles.  Friction and pressure from hard surfaces cause rough skin, then scales, and eventually a callus will form as the body tries to protect the bony elbow.  

These ugly, scaly sites can crack, and at worst become infected. If a dog continues to lie on hard floors this aggravates the injury and makes it very difficult to cure.

Dogs can also go on to develop swollen elbows fluid-filled hygromas. These have to be drained at the vets. Both cracked callouses and the hygromas are very painful.

These problems are avoidable by ensuring a quality bed is available – but it has to be one that your dog use, so position matters also. more to come on this....

THE BEST BED FOR YOUR DOG

Owners of dogs that do not have a bed of their own at home always express surprise when they see photographs of their dog sleeping on one of my Hound Dog Hotel beds!

But it’s never a surprise to me. It’s just a matter of finding the type of material and level of padding that each dog likes. And with so many beds to choose from at my Hound Dog Hotel doggie guests, just like Goldilocks, eventually every find a bed that suits them, and it’s wonderful to see them snuggle down happily.

The materials in my beds vary dramatically. Some have fibre of the type you find in pillows, others are more dense with different foam fillings.

For very large or heavy dogs I have an IKEA  child’s sprung mattress. The inner springs are encased on all sides by dense foam which has a thick washable outer material – and over which I also place a further washable cover. This bed is very popular with our big dog guests, Examples are Sulla, a Bernese Mountain Dog and Harvey, a 68kg Dogue de Bordeaux.

Even these big boys find it spacious enough to allow them to stretch out fully and be supported from head to tail. But of course they often like to share it with others as they cuddle down with a friend.

Puppy Pepper choosing to push 68kg Harvey off the big bed! She didnt succceed, so decided best just to share.

Puppy Pepper choosing to push 68kg Harvey off the big bed! She didnt succceed, so decided best just to share.

VITAL REASON TWO   - A PLACE TO CALL HOME

For humans and animals alike, sleeping is a time of refuge and a bed is more than just a bed – it is a retreat. (This is why when trained to get used to them dogs often like crates, because it is a place of safety they can go to – especially when they want to be left alone).

LET YOUR DOG REST - IN PEACE!

All children – from toddlers to young teenagers -  should be taught from the moment a dog comes into the home that it will need to have its own space.

If a dog is tired, stressed or afraid, it’s only way of saying ‘leave me now please’ is to take itself off to its bed. So they should have a position within the home where they can go to rest and be left in peace -  not bothered, or pestered to play when they want to be quiet.

Position matters – it should be sited somewhere reasonably enclosed to give them a feeling of security (next to walls for example) yet ideally also a spot where they can see people approaching - dogs like to see what’s going. The bed then meets the needs of sleeping, comfort, and refuge all in one.

Once a dog has a bed that suits them you’ll soon see a happy hound snoozing in genuine comfort. You might need to persevere to find the right base they preferbut once you have got your dog to use a bed right for them you’ll be contributing greatly to your dogs health and welfare.

So a bed is more than just a place to sleep for a dog. It promotes good health just as it does in us, and ensures your dog doesn’t develop nasty sores or painful elbows.

Never more apt is the phrase ‘prevention is better than cure’.

This little igloo bed was used by Rosie the Cavoodle (she also loved being on pillows on the sofa). We used to laugh when Elly used to try to sleep in it. All the more amusing as she had a big bed of her own!  The dogs do play musical beds though and swop around at will. It's very cute especially when they cuddle up to one another.

This little igloo bed was used by Rosie the Cavoodle (she also loved being on pillows on the sofa). We used to laugh when Elly used to try to sleep in it. All the more amusing as she had a big bed of her own!  The dogs do play musical beds though and swop around at will. It's very cute especially when they cuddle up to one another.

This bed is made of the same material as human pillows and very soft. Some dogs prefer foam which is firmer, but others really like this feel - as you can see.

This bed is made of the same material as human pillows and very soft. Some dogs prefer foam which is firmer, but others really like this feel - as you can see.

 

until the next time, happy snoozing - for you and your pooch!   Maralyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recall matters - Recall really, really matters

Recently I had to inform a fantastic client that I could no longer look after her lovely dog at my Hound Dog Hotel. But if a client is fantastic and her dog lovely - why on earth would I say this? In a word, Recall  - or to be more precise - a lack of Recall.

If you're sending your dog to a kennel where most likely they’ll be locked down 24/7 then whether a dog has Recall or not is irrelevant.

But :

  • what if you want your dog to experience an exclusive service?
  • what if you want your dog to have only the best there is?
  • what if you want your beloved VIP to have a holiday of their own?
  • what if you are seeking dedicated, secure in-home living for your furpal?
  • And - really vital -  what if you want to know your dog is going to be taken out and have terrific fun every single day? Somewhere where they will get real exercise – only achieved by being off leash to run free, fast and play with other dogs.

Because I cannot stress enough the importance of the role of exercise in keeping a dog happy and balanced:

'A happy dog is a tired dog, A tired dog is a happy dog'.

A big reason why dogs are so happy at the Hound Dog Hotel - the ultimate in dog accommodation here on the Central Coast -is due to the ethos we have of providing quality exercise. Believing it is so important we’ve made it an inclusive part of our 24/7 dog care service. However, when it comes to exercise walking a dog on a lead doesn’t count as exercise in any helpful sense and why we focus on leash free outings.

This is why at the Hound Dog Hotel your dog’s daily walks are active and enriching. Your dog is taken to fantastic venues and allowed to play and interact with other dogs, and do what they love – run. Then, to ensure you know what’s happening, included with your daily email reports you receive screenshots of GPS recordings which track every one of our walks. You know where we went, the route we took and how long we were out (almost always an hour or more). As well as that you receive numerous photos of your dog out on each of their outings.

So that is a fantastic benefit to the dogs booking in for their holiday here, comfort and bliss air con inside, great fun and games outside.

Pepper, Herbie, Sparky & Brodie at McMasters Beach

Pepper, Herbie, Sparky & Brodie at McMasters Beach

However, to benefit from such an exclusive service it is crucial guest dogs have recall. Because there is nothing worse than letting some doggie guests run free, but then having to restrain one of the pack by their lead.  I hate to do this. It’s frustrating for the poor dog being held back and not able to be involved in the fun and games. But once a dog doesn't return to my call, even with permission from the owner to let them off lead, I can’t then take the risk as the safety of each dog in my care is paramount.

There are many reasons to train your dog to recall – and if you want them to come to the best dog care in all Australia – there’s another one!!!

So work on that Recall!! (And if you need any help see my previous detailed Blog on this topic)

Until next time…..

Brodie, Sparky & Herbie

Brodie, Sparky & Herbie

Kelly

Kelly

Herbie, Harvey, Mello

Herbie, Harvey, Mello

Recall Training Made Easy

RECALL TRAINING MADE  EASY WITH  A NEW APPROACH 

I was recently at Avoca Beach with three Hound Dog Hotel doggie guests. Unlike Pet Resorts, Kennels or casual Pet Minders, these type of exercise sessions which are held at exciting venues, are our daily normal activity. The dogs were playing together and swimming in the sea - great fun was being had not just by the dogs, but me also!

Mello Herbie and Pepper having a great time at Avoca

Mello Herbie and Pepper having a great time at Avoca

As we walked along the beach towards the Lagoon for more water play, I saw a lady with a large puppy on a long lead. 

She’d brought her puppy to the beach, where naturally he wanted to explore and play, yet she constantly pulled him away from everything. It was like taking a child into a Lolly shop and then saying they can’t have anything. It was obviously a frustrating experience for that young pup. In my opinion long leads should not be used used in this way as a restraint - they are a training aid and simply a nuisance when used as an alternative to a lack of training.

Being so constrained the pup was having no interaction with anything - not even its owner. Small wonder if he was allowed off leash he would have run away. 

Missing multiple opportunities to start training Recall, this woman was what I call a ‘Restrainer’. Whereas the key to successful dog training and Recall training, is to become an ‘Interacter’. 

RECALL MADE EASY

Some breeds (Labs for example) are a breeze to train to Recall because their instinct is to keep with you. But it’s not hard to teach any dog if you go about it the right way. 

I have my own method that makes it easy to train Recall – I’ve named  it ‘Extreme Interaction’. When you adopt this you’ll achieve success in a short time.

To be an ‘Extreme Interacter’ means putting into action a mixture of approaches which are meaningful to a dog and give them constant, positive reinforcement through feedback (physical & verbal) and by providing food thus:
1)    terrific treats
2)    encouraging exciting voice
3)    physical reinforcement via touch
4)    play

The above together with a long lead is the starting point.

RECALL – THE BASICS

Attach a long lead attached to your dog's collar. 

Next, before you leave the house make sure you’re armed with ultra tasty treats. NO BORING KIBBLE! We’re talking food bursting with so much flavour that even a dog that is not terribly food focused won’t be able to resist:-

  • Fried Chicken breast
  • Delicious beef steak
  • Liverwurst

THE LONG LEAD – THE WRONG TIME TO RECALL
You’ve got your dog on the long lead. They will be excited (and you will too, keen to start the training) but DO NOT immediately start calling. Instead you are going to watch your dog and look for a very precise behaviour – which I’ll describe - before calling them.  

Patience is vital in this. Initially, and just for a short time, let them do their own thing, a bit of sniffing etc,.  If they want to greet other dogs let them, because your dog heading towards others is the wrong time to Recall as it will almost certainly ignore you, which sets you up for failure. 

Also, just because you have a long lead do not keep dragging your dog away from other dogs. Unless your pup is small and you are genuinely worried about the look of a specific dog, let your puppy greet another canines - a vital part of socialising. 

THE LONG LEAD – THE RIGHT TIME TO RECALL
Ok so if we know the wrong times to Recall – when is it right? 

After your dog has expended some energy pay really close attention to them. Dogs as you know have short attention spans – and what you are looking out for is when your dog seems momentarily aimless – it’s when you notice them stand still for a second as if to say

‘hmm, what can I do next?’  & THAT is the precise moment to Recall. 

I’ll use the example of 3 month old GSP Pepper who I trained for a client recently. Pepper was highly food focused and smart too, so she learned in record time.

When I noticed Pepper having a ‘hmm, what can I do next?’ moment I’d Recall. But I didn’t just flatly call her name. Instead in a projected voice infused with enthusiasm and excitement I’d call. ‘PEPPER! COME!’

At which point there are two possible outcomes.

OUTCOME ONE – pup or dog comes to you

Your dog has come to you -  FANTASTIC! It is vital to have a treat ready and the second - AND I MEAN THE SECOND - they get to you that is the moment to deliver the tasty treat and at the same time verbally praise full of enthusiasm ‘GOOD DOG!!!’ 

At this stage never make them wait for the treat or tell them to sit first. The key here is - IMMEDIATELY THEY REACH YOU – for them to receive intense rewards in the form of a treat, praise and touch.

Also, as you release the terrific tasty treat with one hand, use your other hand to touch them around the neck and on the collar. This is so that they get used to being touched and don’t associate a hand on their collar with having the lead put on and being taken home = which means fun ends.

When a dog I’m training returns to me, from my reaction anyone nearby might think the dog just got a First from Oxford!  But I don’t care! All I care about is that my dog has come to my call -  and my job is to ensure s/he gets a wonderful experience – a flood of rewards and positive feedback.  

A quick way to think about it is being APT

A treat – immediately they reach you give them the treat
Praise  - using an encouraging tone
Touch – touch and fuss with free hand (especially around the neck). 

OUTCOME TWO – dog doesn’t come/ignores you

This is where the long lead as a training aid (not as a permanent restraint) comes into its own.

So, you called your dog in your most enthusiastic voice
Pepper! Come!’
But they didn’t come. That’s OK, it happens. Be patient, don’t keep repeating the command and no shouting or getting cross!

Your next actions are crucial if you are going to condition and train your dog to know what you want. Remember, like all training, Recall ALWAYS HAS TO BE A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE! 

Here’s what you do.

You call again

‘Pepper! Come!’

If they come – great, carry on and use APT as above. But dogs are easily distracted so if they ignore you then you slightly tug the long lead - just enough to get their attention so they see you and the treat. 

PLEASE DO NOT REIN YOUR DOG IN LIKE A COWBOY LASSOOING CATTLE! 

If you are dragging your dog to you this is not Recall! 

Hopefully this second time they will trot or run to you and even if they took their time – still go overboard with APT   
A treat – immediately they reach you give them the treat
Praise  - using an encouraging tone
Touch – touch and fuss with free hand (especially around the neck). 

GOOD DOG! WHAT A GOOD DOG!

This process is repeated throughout your walk. Have plenty of treats and keep looking for when your dog does the ‘hmm, what can I do next?’ stance, because each time you can catch them at that moment is an opportunity for you to practice Recall. 

It will take quite a few outings of long lead training before you advance to Stage Two. 

STAGE  TWO – OFF LEASH RECALL / WITHOUT THE LONG LEAD

Stage Two. When your dog is coming to you reliably on the long lead eventually it’s time to practise outside - preferably somewhere fenced for safety. (A garden is to start but the outside world is the goal).

Remember, everything that has been outlined above still applies. Dogs benefit from a consistent approach and so you continue to use  ‘Extreme Interaction’ throughout APT:

At this second stage you now add a fourth action to giving further reward which is Play 

This time, when Pepper had come to my Recall and I did APT, before she would leave me I’d instigate Play as follows:

As she reaches me I’m giving her the treat and she’s getting praise and touch. But then before she goes off I say, still full of excitement,  ‘Good girl Pepper, come on!’ and then run along the beach, or wherever, and she’d always chase me. 

So what I have done here is to add another level of interaction.

I’d run along with her next to me and then after a little way I’d slow down and  say ‘FREE!’ and that is her word to go off on her own.  

I might go through this Recall routine 15-20+ times on a 40-50min walk.

This is what ‘Extreme Interaction’ is all about - developing a real relationship with your dog which makes you more fun and interesting than anything else. The aim is that your dog will return to you of its own accord because it anticipates great things coming its way when it does so. You are the provider of fun, food and excitement  - not the one that stops its.

Even when I didn’t Recall Pepper and she was roaming free, if she wandered back to me I would often give her one of my irresistible treats. Although she had done nothing to earn the treat, do this to take every opportunity to keep re-inforcing (conditioning) your dog to think of you as 'the best'.  

The aim is for your dog to anticipate terrific things when near you, whether that is food, touch, voice, play – or a mixture of those things. (As time goes on food rewards for coming close to you are weaned off, instead supplement instead praise [enthusiastic] and/or touch). 

Do you see how this works?

 ‘Extreme Interaction’ is ramping up your actions and reactions towards your dog. Deliberately using extraordinarily high levels of enthusiasm and treats -  a quadruple whammy if you like:
1)    terrific treats – irresistible high value foods
2)    praise - with an encouraging exciting voice
3)    touch - which is physical reinforcement
4)    Play ‘Come On, Let’s Go!’

All this is fantastic fun and rewarding for your dog. What it reinforces in them is an association that anything to do with you is good, positive, rewarding – in every way shape and form. It’s a multiple, positive format and magnifies the effect of training on your dog.

And some of you might have noticed how often during this Blog I have repeated phrases
e.g.

‘Extreme Interaction’ 
APT
‘hmm, what can I do next?’

 
Because is we read things more than once they tend to stick. So in the same way if you repeat actions with your dog again and again they will stick!!!! 

If you follow the above and implement the actions with enough enthusiasm I promise you will be amazed that training Recall is actually fun – but most of all you’ll see results.

Let your dog grow in confidence by allowing them to play and interact with the world as well as you. And please, I beg you, don’t be one of those annoying people who constantly calls their dog for no reason. 

If a dog’s name is overused it becomes white noise - like having a radio on the background – you hear a noise but not the song. Constantly call your dog's name and you end up with something called ‘Learned Irrelevance’ Only Recall when it matters.

My approach will get results and pretty fast too, but you won’t get a bomb proof Recall over night.  I read a comment once that said it takes a thousand repetitions of Recall to produce a dog that will come to you in every scenario. 

And a world renowned Gun Dog trainer in the UK said it takes 2 years to train a Gun Dog to a standard that will be good enough for dogs to be taken into the field hunting.

Whilst our pet dogs rarely get to that level of obedience, Recall is so vital because it could just save your dogs’ life - so never give up. 

Your dog flying to you like a rocket is rewarding and a pleasure of itself. And to achieve it all you need to do is a bit of ‘Extreme Interacting’ Good luck!!

(I've posted a short clip of 3 month old Pepper coming to when I call just her name. Despite being about to go in the direction away from me, her obedience to Recall became so good she immediately turned and dashed back. I could have embedded the video but then you get all sorts of ads popping up, so here is the link if you want to view it, paste it in a browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTfLKafZQlk&feature=youtu.be)