My Senior Dog Ace

Ace of Spades

My senior dog Ace seems to be doing really well. I try to remember how lucky I am to have him still and wanted to share this picture from a recent walk.

Last winter I truly did not think he would be around for another holiday season. But here he is! Feeling better than he’s felt in more than a year!

Ace and I walk together every morning (right after I walk the wild-child puppy). It’s a nice way to start my day. Yesterday, we even ran for about 45 seconds. He loved it!

And while he’s not a fan of our puppy Remy, Ace seems to tolerate him OK.

I am no longer concerned about any aggression issues like we were having earlier. Ace will occasionally snarl or even bite Remy, but it’s always deserved and it’s always my responsibility to keep Remy in line.

How are your dogs doing?

Follow Ace & I on Instagram (ThatMuttcom) HERE.

Ace the black Lab mix - ThatMutt.com

Making Raw Feeding Fun! Balanced Blends Raw Dog Food Giveaway

Making Raw Feeding Fun! Balanced Blends Raw Dog Food Giveaway


Note: This post is sponsored by Balanced Blends.

I entered a contest through Balanced Blends raw pet food to win raw food and a Visa gift card. *This contest has ended.*

Could you please visit the contest page and vote for my entry? Click here to vote.

The contest is about “Making Raw Feeding Fun” and us bloggers made creative meals for our pets using food from Balanced Blends and other ingredients.

My entry (below) is a picture of my weimaraner about to enjoy his spaghetti squash and raw meatballs!

The photo with the most votes wins. Won’t you vote for my puppy? 🙂 Vote here.

There’s also a sweepstakes EVERYONE can enter! (Well, as long as your in the contiguous U.S.)

Remy about to enjoy spaghetti squash and raw meatballs

Making Raw Feeding Fun Sweepstakes

Balanced Blends is giving away 15 pounds of raw pet food every Friday and Monday through Nov. 14.

To enter, just visit the contest page and scroll down to the sweepstakes form. There are multiple, simple ways to enter such as tweeting about the contest.

The first drawing is this Friday. (Jump on this NOW while there are fewer entries!)

It would be awesome if some of my readers were the winners!

Click here to enter sweepstakesMy dog Ace about to enjoy spaghetti squash and raw meatballs

Let’s Help Shelter Dogs, Significantly!

$900. That’s the amount of money DogNation.net will donate to shelter dogs through the upcoming Best Friend’s Friend Contest.

I’ve partnered up with Dog Nation in previous years because my readers do a lot of work with rescue dogs. This year, I want to remind you of the chance to nominate your favorite shelter or rescue group to win a $500 donation.

This post is sponsored by Dog Nation.

Click here to nominate a shelter or rescue.

Win a $500 donation for your favorite rescue group

The prizes (awarded through online voting):

best-friends-friend-gold1st Place: $500 donation
2nd Place: $300 donation
3rd Place: $100 donation

All winners will receive a digital medal (like the one pictured) to display on the shelter’s own site. The first place winner will receive a permanent link to its website from Dog Nation.

Another nice benefit is the donation is made in the name of the person who nominated the group.

How to nominate a rescue or shelter:

Anyone can make a nomination. You don’t have to be a shelter volunteer or employee.

It takes about 90 seconds:

1. Go to DogNation.net’s nomination page here.

2. Enter the name and website of the rescue or shelter. Must be a certified nonprofit (typically 501c3).

3. Type a short description on why you’re nominating that group.

4. Enter your own name and email for contact purposes.

5. Check your email to click on a confirmation link.

Nominate your favorite rescue group to win a $500 donation

The online voting process:

All three winners will be chosen through online voting.

I’ll send out an email after the voting gets started Jan. 1! Anyone can vote for one entry up to once per day Jan. 1 through Feb. 28. So, encourage your friends to vote!

The winners will be announced around March 1.

If you have questions or issues with the nomination process, you can email me, Lindsay@ThatMutt.com.

contestQuick outline of the contest:

  • Nominations going on now through Dec. 31
  • Voting takes place January and February
  • Winners announced early March

Ready to make a nomination?

Please do, and then leave a comment to let us know which group you support.

Click here to make a nomination.

I nominated Labs and More Rescue of San Diego because of the work it does to rescue Labs, Lab mixes and other large dogs from regional shelters that still kill dogs for space.

The group often takes in senior dogs, pregnant dogs or mother dogs with newborn puppies.

Which group will you nominate?

Find more general info on the contest here.

best-friends-friend

How to Stop Your Dog From Pulling on the Leash

How to Stop Your Dog From Pulling on the Leash

If you’ve read any of my posts about my weimaraner puppy Remy, then you know he’s a bit rambunctious and pulls on the leash HARD.

Well, I told my email subscribers I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough lately with him and wanted to let you know what’s worked well for us.

This post is sponsored by Green Bark Gummies.

How to stop your dog from pulling on the leash

1. Find a collar that makes the pulling less extreme.

It truly doesn’t matter which training collar you prefer.

I recommend trying a few options and using the one that gives you control without hurting your dog.

Since we’re going to use highly valued food to “lure” the dog, you won’t be giving many corrections so a prong collar or Gentle Leader would be OK for most dogs. (I’m not against corrections, but corrections usually don’t work very well for teaching leash manners.)

How to stop a dog from pulling

Tools that can minimize pulling:

Remy is a hard puller and what I’ve been using lately for him is a Gentle Leader and a martingale collar. I clip the same leash to both, and that seems to keep the GL from sliding into his eyes when he pulls (somewhat).

I also recommend a six-foot leather leash.

My favorite leash by far is the Ruff Grip leash because the material is so easy to grip. It is worth the price ($38 or so). I’m going to buy another so I have one for both my dogs.

2. Use highly motivating treats!

To stop your dog from pulling when you’re outside, you’ll need some extremely motivating treats.

Indoors, dogs are less picky because there’s fewer distractions.

Outside, I use bits of deli meat, bits of cheese, Green Bark Gummies soft treats and sometimes pieces of chicken. I mix it all together in a treat pouch and add in some dry dog food.

Here are the treats I use:

green-bark-gummies

Order Green Bark Gummies treats here $4.99/bag

Total, I use about a cup of goodies per walk. Obviously, you might need to cut back on your dog’s meals if you do this.

3. Wear a treat pouch around your waist.

At the very minimum, carry a TON of treats in your pockets.

Once you start heading out for training walks, you’re going to need to carry about a cup’s worth of small treats. That probably won’t fit in your pockets easily.

A treat pouch fits around your waist (yep, like a fanny pack!) so you have quick access to treats. I walk with Remy and give him treat-treat-treat for walking at my side.

I reward him for looking at me, walking at my side and not pulling. I also use treats to lure him back when he pulls or gets ahead. I simply stop and wait for him to return to or I lure him back.

 

Here is the treat pouch I’m using:

51-karen-pryor

I like that it opens with a hinge so it stays propped open if I’d like and also snaps shut quickly if needed. No zippers or snaps to worry about. I can fit my whole hand in the pouch so treats are easily accessible at all times.

4. Practice indoors a lot.

This is what really helped Remy. We worked in the living room for five minutes a day and it really clicked for him on the third day.

I used a leash at first and simply popped treats into his mouth for being at my left side or making eye contact. I walked along the wall so he had few options of where to go and lured him where I wanted him to be (my left side).

I would stop and have him sit, give a treat. Then take a step forward, have him sit, give a treat. Then two steps, etc. He really caught on quickly.

Practicing indoors is what made a huge difference for us because Remy seemed to finally “get” what I wanted and with no distractions it was easy for us to succeed.

Practice in every room of the house, the basement, the garage, perhaps the back yard or the driveway. I like to practice in quiet, open parking lots like church parking lots on weekday mornings.

5. Practice on walks.

Stop your dog from pulling

Of course, outdoors is the challenging part.

Our obedience instructor actually told me not to walk Remy for now if he’s going to pull. She said to stick to really boring walks up and down the driveway or in circles in the yard or perhaps down the street at quiet times.

She’s right.

If you want to stop your dog’s pulling you need to remove his opportunity to pull. Practicing indoors makes sense until he gets the hang of it. Then move on to “boring” outdoor areas before adding more exciting outdoor areas.

However, in the real world, I need to be able to walk my 8-month-old weimaraner for exercise purposes and potty breaks. I live in an apartment, so a leash is his only access to the outdoors.

So … I am not perfect.

Sometimes I just need to get my puppy out for a quick potty break and he pulls. This sets our training back. Sometimes I just want to be “normal” and check out from training … and he pulls. Like, really bad. This sets our training back.

I’ve debated using a specific collar for our training walks and a different collar or harness for our “checked out” walks, but I haven’t been consistent.

how-to-stop-a-dogs-pulling

6. Take a short break every 5 minutes during walks.

This is really important.

On your walks, ask your dog to heel for 5 minutes or so, and then use your release word – “Free!” or “Break!” – to let him sniff or play or walk ahead for at least 30 seconds (but stop moving if he pulls).

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Dogs have short attention spans
  • This helps remind you to take breaks and keep this fun!
  • Heel is very, very difficult for them
  • It helps if they understand “heel” means “heel until I release you.”

So, try rotating between focused heeling for 5 minutes, quick break, heeling for 5 minutes, quick break.

Other tips that can help:

  • Walk in zig-zags or figure-8s. Turn around a lot.
  • Work on random obedience or obstacles.
  • Pick up the pace, jog a little, run.
  • Sign up for a basic obedience class.
  • Try different types of treats!

Giveaway – Win a bag of Green Bark Gummies

green-bark-gummies-varities-compressor

green-bark-gummies-dog-treatsGreen Bark Gummies is giving away a bag of treats to 10 readers of That Mutt. Learn more about Green Bark Gummies here.

To enter:

*This contest has ended. Just fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway form below and follow the simple instructions for entry options. If you filled it out on yesterday’s post you’re already entered.

Contest ends at 12 a.m. midnight PST Saturday Oct. 15. I’ll announce the winners in Sunday’s email. Join the list here. Must have a U.S. mailing address to win.

Other helpful articles:

13 tips for teaching heel (That Mutt)

How to train loose-leash walking when your dog needs exercise (That Mutt)

How to teach loose-leash walking (Dr. Patricia McConnell)

Loose-leash walking (Lola the Pitty)

How to stop your dog from pulling on the leash

October Green Bark Gummies Dog Treat Giveaway—10 Winners

October Green Bark Gummies Dog Treat Giveaway—10 Winners

This post is sponsored by Green Bark Gummies and Pipeline Pet Products.
Here are the factors I consider when choosing treats for my dogs, generally in this order:

#1: My dogs need to find the treats highly motivating.

I’m really focused on training my dogs, so any treats I give them need to be motivating.

This is even more important to me than the ingredients in the treats.

Yes, my dogs are interested in most treats when I ask for a “sit” or “stay” in the living room.

The real question is …

Will my puppy work for the treat around distractions like other dogs, overly enthusiastic dog lovers on walks, etc.?

#2: The treats should be affordable and easy to buy.

Ace with Green Bark Gummies dog treats

I don’t spend a lot of money. Ask anyone who knows me.

I’m just not going to buy expensive dog treats, no matter how healthy they might be. I’m also not motivated to drive to an actual store to buy them. They need to be available online.

So … I love that Green Bark Gummies are just $4.99 per 4-ounce bag and they’re available online. Easy. Done.

Order Green Bark Gummies here

Ace with Green Bark Gummies treats

#3: Safe ingredients.

Green Bark Gummies treatsI don’t go too crazy analyzing the ingredients in treats, but I do read through them and wonder why the heck some of these companies are adding things like sugar to dog treats! Same goes with unspecified “animal” by-products.

If your dog doesn’t have allergies and he’s just getting one treat here and there, the ingredients maybe don’t matter a whole lot.

But if you’re like me and feed so many treats that you have to decrease your dogs meals, then the ingredients matter quite a bit. The treats make up a large percentage of your dog’s overall diet!

First ingredients from Green Bark Gummies:

Chicken, Pea Flour, Potato Starch, Dried Ground Beet Pulp Product, Tapioca Syrup, Black Beans, Dried Ground Chia Seed, Pork Gelatin, White Fish, Chicken Fat, Bentonite, [full list]

#4: The treats are soft or easy to break.

I prefer soft treats (just a personal preference) because I use them for training and will pop 4 or 5 treats into Remy’s mouth very quickly. We can’t waste time standing around waiting for him to crunch up each treat before moving on.

It’s, “Sit.” Treat. “Heel.” Treat-treat-treat. “Sit.” Treat. “Heel.” Treat-treat-treat.

My dog Remy with his Kong and Green Bark Gummies treats

#5: Bonus points if the treats can be stuffed in puzzle toys.

Most treats are best for either training OR stuffing into Kongs and puzzle toys. But some treats will work for both.

Kong bone toy

The Green Bark Gummies work well for stuffing in the Kong bone toy we have (above). They’re a bit too small for our regular Kong.

It’s also a plus if the treats interest both my dogs and if they’re highly valued enough for dog-training class.

How do you choose your dog’s treats? Do you agree with me or do you focus on other factors?

And now … a chance to win some treats!

Giveaway – Win a bag of Green Bark Gummies for your dog (10 winners)

Green Bark Gummies treatsGreen Bark Gummies is giving away a bag of treats to 10 readers of That Mutt.

To enter:

Just fill out the giveaway form below. It will ask for your name and email and provides multiple (easy) ways to enter the giveaway.

Must have a U.S. mailing address to win.

Contest ends at 12 a.m. midnight Saturday Oct. 15.

I’ll announce the 10 winners in my email Sunday morning. Get my dog training emails here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post contains affiliate links.

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