Sit. Stay. Safety. Dog Preparedness

by Kellene

dog

Sinta and Me

Here’s the problem; in the event of an unexpected challenge—whether it be a natural disaster or a mugging on your way home, one of your greatest weaknesses could be one of your greatest loves—your dog.

I admit it. I absolutely love my two dogs. In spite of thinking I was more of a “cat person,” I’ve truly come to absolutely adore my two girls. I miss them when I’m gone for long periods of time, I talk to them, and I bring them up in group discussions about people’s “children.” Yup. I’m one of those devoted dorks who dresses up my pups in Ohio State Buckeye attire during the Rose Bowl. I’ve been known to dress them in sassy dresses, hats, coats, etc.

Do I speak Dog?  You Bet!

Mind you, this adoration doesn’t come solely from me. Even my “Rambo” of a husband is a major softie when it comes to these girls.  He’ll make them scrambled eggs, rough house with them regularly, and even talks baby talk to him. (I know. So embarrassing, eh?) They are constantly hanging out on his lap or in my window sill as we work during the day. Yes. Our two furry gals are family to us. I know there are many reading this who totally “get it.”

Those of you who have been smitten by your dogs know that your emotional attachment can’t simply be turned off and on.  But therein lays the vulnerability.  The best way to ensure that your dog is an asset to your security and safety is to take the time and effort to train them for consistent obedience. The alternative is to take a loaded chance on your own well-being as well as that of your furry friend. Yup, obedience training isn’t just about eliminating stains in your carpet or the disappearing roast from your dinner table.

We’ve all seen the scenes played out in on the movie screens. The hero is nearly victorious over the bad guys only to have his dog run errant and risk everyone’s safety, right? Training your dog now can ensure that you never become the subject of some fictional Hollywood script.

Training your Dog

dog

Scott hard at work with the girls

There are a handful of critical areas in which to train your canine critter. Stay, come, leave it, stop, and controlled barking will be the most valuable to your safety and that of your dog.  Believe it or not, your dogs actually LOVE to be trained. Unless they’ve been abused or are in ill health, dogs instinctively want to please their owner. The treats are great. But the praise and the play is everything to them.  In fact, when you have a hyper, poorly focused dog, once you begin working with them in training their personality evens out and they become better at concentrating and listening. Additionally all of their other behaviors improve in consistency.  Just as I was assured by professional dog trainers, when I worked on training the dogs regularly, they were more consistent in their potty habits, not jumping up on people, and coming when I called them.  Like I said, they really do like to be worked with in this manner.  It converts an errant dog into a valuable partner. With the right training, they could be a valuable security system that can go to all kinds of places with you.

I would recommend spending no more than 15 minutes at a time training them. It’s not good for either of you to go much longer than that.  And besides, 15 minutes a day is a realistic goal for all of us, right?

I have found a great deal of success using the clicker method of training. It works on pets of all previous behavioral history. Even vicious dogs have been rehabilitated with this approach I highly recommend the books “Clicking With Your Dog” by Peggy Tillman and “Don’t Shoot the Dog” by Karen Pryor.  Both books don’t require that you sit down and read them from cover to cover. You simply read one bit by bit and make progress with your furry friend each day. The clicker method even works for older dogs. Abused dogs also respond really well to clicker training. For those who don’t know, clicker training is presently used successfully with dolphins, birds, cats, and even husbands…OK. Well it hasn’t yet worked on my husband…  The “clickers” are available at your major pet store chains for about a $1.50. Or you can get a fancy-schmancy one on Amazon for nearly $4.

Best diet for your dog

dogA dog’s diet also has a lot to do with their ability to focus and heed your words. The more garbage you allow to play a part of their mealtime, the more resistance you’ll get to consistency in their behavior.  So pay attention to those ingredients so that you don’t have to work harder in your training efforts. Better yet, you can make your own dog food EASILY...but that’s another article.

Your safety and that of your dog may be contingent on your ability to get them to come when you call.  If you’re distracted with Fido, you cannot focus on defending yourself in a critical moment. Keeping your dogs healthy may be reliant upon them heeding your command to “leave it.”  Think of what the command “stop” or “freeze” could do in helping your kids, let alone your dog. (And yes, there really has been a great deal of success using clicker training  on children—especially children with special needs.

Ok. So stop reading this and go spend some time with your favorite furry friend.  You will both love it as you relish in the sense of accomplishment.


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Comments

Great article! We are never quite 'whole' without at least two dogs....and many times we have 4, so I totally get your article....and loved it! Very valuable advice! I can hardly wait for the 'how to make dog food' article. I often wonder in my preparedness how to prepare for those four-footed furry children!

Great post and so true!

My 2 Pekes and cat are my kids. Not spoiled, but not as well behaved as I would want, kinda like kids. :) But actually they are pretty darn good.
I am looking at getting them each a harness and not just a collar. I already have a portable kennel, pet carriers and stake out chains/lines and posts and those doggie training pads (great multi-tasker). Kitty litter/boxes, extra bowls and waterers.
I do have a great big yard that they roam around. Yes, they are getting prepped on food, toys and snacks. They have most of their stuff in a tote that I can pull if needed at home or go into my bug out vehicle.
If they/pets are a member of your family, they need prep as well.
If I have anything to add is good clippers for nails, brushes/combs, DE and meds they need.

Nice to be able to put a face to your blog. And I love your girls, I have a Golden Retriever, called Michelob, yeah just like the beer. He is so gentle, and just so much part of the family. I have a years worth of food for him, as I wouldn't want to ever have to look into his eyes and see him hungry ( or anything else). I don't understand people who abuse their pets (or any animal, I literally cry at the theme song of Lassie). I have searched the net and there are some recipes of homemade dog food (ie biscuits) from flour which I have printed out, just in case. He is old tho and I know the day is coming (to soon) when he'll have to go home, and I'll sorrily miss him.

Preparedness Pro's picture

I actually break down into tears when I hear or read in the news of animal abuse. My husband and I had genuine and unconsolable grief when we lost my cat a few Christmas's ago.

I love my animals, even the bunnies I am raising for meat. I have to kill them and have done so, as humanely as possible. But it still tough.
But I was raised that everything of the animal is a gift and must be treated with respect.
I hate the neglect cases worse of all. Animal abusers are just criminals in my mind, but the neglect really gets to me because it seems to me it comes down to laziness or selfishness. No respect for the gift that God/Mother Nature has given us.
Plus having animals to care for, get's me out of focusing only on myself. Everyday they need food, water and care. They are very helpful around the house and great stress-reliever. Most are so funny and charming and cute. I just feel so grateful for them.

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