June 25, 2014

If you follow me on twitter or instagram, you're well-aware of the newest, furriest addition to my life: Jackie! On Saturday, June 7th, my family and I rescued her from the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA. She was a farm dog down in Alabama, then she had puppies (we can still see the effects on her body). So, her previous owners kept her pups and surrendered her. Then, she was shipped up to Salem on May 28th, which happens to be her birthday! Two weeks later my family came and gave her a forever home.

We knew it would be a perfect fit. She was "Spot" at the shelter but I didn't want her to be so basic, pfft. We have a 2-year old, 46 pound dalmatian-lab (maybe pit bull) mix in our house to love forever. She's actually next to me on my bed right now. We sleep together, I love the company. 

So, I thought I would share some tips and tricks on dog training and such with my experience with Jackie so far.

  • Walking

Jackie is a puller. She's also a sniffer. Everything that doesn't smell like the normal ground, she has to sniff. If I didn't tell her to stop, she would sniff everything for a half hour!

First of all, we just use a basic leash. It looks like this:

picture from petco.com
We picked this up at Wal-Mart. We also got a large sized harness, but that's only for when we go on runs. The reason for the harness is that I don't pull her neck too much, especially since she's just a puller.

The main reasons we take dogs for walks are for them to do their business, right? The most important part of training a dog to respond to new commands is to make sure that everyone in the house is on the same page. My advice would be to establish two different types of walks: leisurely and "business walks". If you want to go on a romantic stroll with your pooch, pick up the leash and say, "wanna go for a walk?" That way, the dog associates the word "walk" with taking their time.

The second type of walk is business. Don't say anything, just put your dog on the leash. When you reach a grassy area, a good phrase that works is "find your spot." I think that breeders and shelters use this, because Jackie knew right away to find her spot and mark her territory. It's also a great idea to bring some treats along! The science of the whole deal is that the dog has thirty seconds to make an association. Give your playful pup a treat right after they finish. Then, they'll be distracted while you pick up their pile. For some reason, Jackie always runs away from her business like she's ashamed of it. Girl, it's natural!

If your dog is a puller, when the dog starts running away, say "heal". This is the command for the dog to slow down. If the dog doesn't, and you feel tension on the rope, say "no". After a while, your dog will learn to heal. If your friend stops when you say heal, make sure to reward them with a tasty treat!

  • Food Time!

Food is my favorite time(s) of the day, and it's definitely Jackie's too! When I feed her depends on when I wake up. If I don't have somewhere to be, I feed her at 10 am because I wake up around 9:30. It's summer time, sorry not sorry! Then, I wait a half hour for her to digest and take her out on a business walk. If I really don't have anywhere to be, that walk may turn into a leisurely stroll. I give her treats throughout the day until we feed her dinner at 6. I try to feed her the same time we eat, so that she doesn't beg so much.

I keep her water bowl out so that in case she gets thirsty, it's always there. If it's not, she opts for the toilet bowl, (bad girl)! I usually try to incorporate snacks with a trick. I try to get her to sit, paw, lay down, or roll over. Or, if we're in the yard fetching, she gets a treat after. If we're not playing, she's a lazy girl and sleeps all day!

  • Medical
If you rescued a new dog, make sure you take them to the vet within the first few weeks. There, they will register their microchip so they're never lost, they will measure her vitals, and check their medical history. They will make sure they've gotten all the vaccines they need and depending on how woodsy your neighborhood is, they will give them flea/tick treatment and heart worm treatment that is to be taken once a month.

  • Going Out Without Them
We waited exactly a week to go out without Jackie. First, we studied her habits. She's quite the biter. She will bite anything she can get her fangs on. So, we hid the valuables and put a dog gate up, keeping her in the living room. She can go on her dog bed or couch which has a dog cover on it. She has toys that she can chew on.
The burning question is yes, we do spy on her. We installed a doggy webcam in our room and can check the app any time we are curious. We're not creepy, just cautious! We went out to dinner one night, and tested the system out. First, she barked at the window for a while, but then as always fell asleep.  She ash to get used to being alone in the house.

My Recommended Products

1. Blue Buffalo Dog Food
We give Jackie Blue Buffalo, one of the most healthful brands out there. There's tons of good stuff, and no bad stuff. You can find it and compare prices here on shop.com/asimplelife , and remember when you sign up for shop.com use ohaixnikay@gmail.com as a reference for cash back on your purchase!

2. A good chew toy
Jackie loves to chew. We got her this chew toy and named him "Carl". You can find him here!

It's only courteous to pick up after your dog. These eco-friendly bags come with a dispenser. Buy it here

That's it for my Jackie chronicles! It's only been two weeks but it feels like a lifetime. She's still young, so you will be seeing so much more of her. She can be a model for some of the products I review on my blog and such. If you have any other dog questions or questions about Jackie just comment, e-mail, or tweet me!

You Might Also Like