Dog Walking

How to Keep Your Dog From Getting Bored

Lack of exercise and mental stimulation can make your dog become very frustrated and bored. A bored dog can develop destructive behaviours and you might find yourself returning home from work and seeing your belongings destroyed. Another sign of boredom is your dog following you around and asking for attention. You might not have the space to adopt another dog to keep your best friend company, but you can change up your routine to make your dog feel less bored.

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Tips For When Walking Your Dog This Autumn

It’s that transitional time of the year again, where the dark chilly nights begin to become more and more frequent, taking over our once lovely and sunny evenings. And while we are still conducting our professional dog training in Surrey, there are some aspects of the changing season that you may want to consider when walking your furry friend this autumn.

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Walkies!

As professional dog walkers in Croydon, we are passionate about getting your dogs out, about and active. In summer, with the weather at least attempting to behave, Mother Nature gives you little glimpses of promise meaning you can leave the raincoat and umbrella at home and give your furry friend a run out. However, all the will power and enthusiasm in the world is no good if you don’t have a destination. We’d like to help you treat your little buddy to a walk they’ll never forget.

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Clothing for Winter Walkies

Walking your dog can be one of the greatest pleasures of pet ownership; not only is it a chance to bond with your canine companion, but it’s also great exercise for you both. If the weather turns foul, however, it’s understandably a little less appealing. When the wind is howling and the rain is lashing down, you’d much rather stay inside where it’s warm… but you know they need to go out, so you bundle up in your nice warm jacket, scarf, hat and gloves and get ready to go. But, while you’re now warm in your winter clothing, what about your dog? Depending on the breed (and a range of other factors) your devoted doggy pal may be just as much in need of a little outdoor protection as you are. Dogs have evolved for a wide range of different needs and environments, and not all of them are happy in the cold. If you’ve got a Siberian Husky, a Malamute or a Saint Bernard, then adorable doggy jackets should definitely not feature on your list of must-haves; these breeds, and others like them, are made for cold weather, with thick, dense fur that will keep them cosy even on the coldest day. “I laugh at your silly jumpers!” However, if you’ve got a Chihuahua, a Greyhound or a terrier or pinscher breed with short, thin fur, their natural jackets won’t give them the same kind of insulation, and if it gets really cold they might appreciate the warmth of an extra layer – even if they don’t necessarily approve of the pattern! Other factors to consider include the age and condition of your pet, and their size – senior dogs, those with certain health conditions, and small dogs are more likely to feel the chill. If you feel that your four legged friend needs a cosy winter jacket for walkies, then you should look for something that fits well and that is easy to care for. It needs to be comfortable, otherwise your dog is simply not going to enjoy wearing it – and we all know what happens when a dog doesn’t want to wear something. It needs to leave their legs free for running around and relieving themselves, whilst covering the important areas. The material should be considered based on the conditions – if you’re going out in the rain or snow, a water-proof material like that used in people parkas is a good idea, whereas if it’s cold but dry wool or fleece is fine. You should also make sure that it doesn’t have any unnecessary bits (like buttons or bows) which could be chewed off. “Can we talk about the hood on this jacket?” The most important thing to remember is that whatever protection you put on your dog for winter walkies should come off when they come back indoors – overheating can be a serious issue for dogs, so no matter how cute they look in their jumper they shouldn’t be wearing it at home with the heating on. Finally, doggy paws need attention whatever the breed – most dogs dislike booties, but if it’s icy out and the roads and paths have been salted you should make sure that you clean your pup’s paws as soon as you get home, otherwise the grit and salt could irritate them. Here at the Dog School, we offer affordable dog walking services in Surrey which are ideal for making sure that your pet’s exercise requirements are met whatever the weather. Whether you need a one-off temporary solution or long-term dog walking assistance, we will be happy to help. For more information or to arrange a free initial consultation, get in touch with us on 07734 447 812 today.

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The Health Benefits of Being a Dog Owner

  For almost 25 years, research has shown that living with pets provides various health benefits. Walking the dog is not the only way that your pooch can keep you healthy, as pets can help lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety, boost our immunity, and even detect cancer. Read on to find out more about the health benefits of being a dog owner. They Help Prevent Allergies in Children “The old thinking was that if your family had a pet, the children were more likely to become allergic to the pet. And if you came from an allergy-prone family, pets should be avoided,” says Dr James E. Gern, a paediatrician at the University of Wisconsin, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. However, a significant amount of recent research suggests that children growing up in a home with ‘furred’ animals, such as a dog, have a lower chance of developing conditions such as allergies and asthma. The study conducted found that if a dog lived in the home, infants were less likely to show evidence of pet allergies (19% with pets vs. 33% without pets). They also were less likely to have eczema, and they had higher levels of some immune system chemicals – a sign of a stronger immune system. With this in mind, it is worth mentioning that dogs may be able to steer you away from foods that you’re allergic to. For people whose peanut allergies are so severe that even miniscule residues in the air can trigger an allergic reaction, a peanut detection dog can come in handy, according to training facilities such as the Florida Canine Academy. These dogs are trained to detect the trace presence of peanuts in a room. They Help People Suffering from Alzheimer’s Dogs are not only great for decreasing people’s chances of developing allergies, asthma and eczema, but they are beneficial to those suffering with dementia. “Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home,” says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. They Help Lower Blood Pressure In another study it was found that owning a pet, such as a dog, can be beneficial in lowering blood pressure. The study showed that stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations, compared to those without pets. Additionally, it was found in a study that heart attack-patients who have pets tend to survive longer than those without, and it was found that male pet owners exhibit less signs of heart disease (lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels) than non-dog owners, according to one study. They Can Detect Cancer It has often been reported that dogs can detect cancer in their owners; scientific reports of dogs sniffing out cancerous growths go back at least two decades. A notable example of this is Panda the dog, a specially trained eight-year-old black Labrador, who correctly detected colorectal cancer in 33 out of 37 samples of people’s breath and stool samples that scientists had collected.  In this study Panda correctly identified cancer patients among a variety of body fluid samples from people with inflammation, a history of smoking, or other diseases, which shows that some dogs can single out cancer among other conditions. They Encourage Physical Activity According to a study by Canadian researchers at the University of Victoria in 2006, dog owners were more likely to participate in mild to moderate physical activity than those who didn’t own dogs. The dog owners walked an average of 300 minutes per week, compared with non-dog owners, who walked an average of 168 minutes per week. This study alludes to the fact that dog owners could be up to twice as active as people who don’t own dogs. They Know When You Have Low Blood Sugar Some trained dogs are able to detect low blood sugar levels in people suffering from conditions such as diabetes. According to a 2000 article in the British Medical Journal, more than one-third of dogs living with diabetic people have been reported to display behavioural changes when their owners’ blood sugar drops, sometimes even before the owners themselves were aware of it.   Dogs not only provide companionship and loyalty, but also contribute to our physical and mental health. If you are looking for dog walking in Croydon please do not hesitate to contact us here at Dog School.

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Why does the dog’s tail wag?

  Everybody loves to see their dog’s tail wag because they assume that their pooch is happy, especially if you are dog walking in Croydon. Unfortunately this is merely a misconception and the dog’s tail is much more of a communication tool as well as serving its original purpose to aid the dogs balance. Wouldn’t it be easier if they could talk! So how can you tell as a dog lover how your pooch is actually feeling from the state of its tail? Two main things to look out for when your dog is trying to tell you something is which direction the tail is pointing and the speed of the wag. The Wags If you find your dogs tail wagging high and back at a fast pace, you can be sure that your beloved pet is in its happy place. That kind of happy place when you step through the door from work; or grab the lead out to go on a walk. Some breeds of dogs have a tendency to be nosy, and you will be able to tell when it is trying to be sneaky when it’s holding its tail horizontal to the ground. Sherlock style. When a dog is frightened or finds itself being submissive the tail will be kept tucked between its hind legs. Also look at the rest of your dog’s body language to see what would be best to do for them in this situation. Your dog is worried or insecure and how are you to know? Well, the tail will be wagging low, often slowly to indicate this; a perfect time to make your dog feel safe with a cuddle. Your dog’s tail is like a smile, sometimes uncontrollable, sometimes it has to be thought about, but it’s a true indicator of communication and emotion. All this and more as your dogs tail is used to spread the pooch’s unique scent from the anal glands. The tail really is more than a happy indicator! Now you know what your dog is trying to tell you, one step closer to talking! It’s time to get that tail wagging happy and have your dog walking in Croydon with Dog School. Contact us for all your dog training needs and we will be more than happy to help.  

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New Research Could Help to Manage Dog Aggression

Academics are beginning a study into the genetic make up of different dog breeds to see if some are more likely to become aggressive without warning than others. This study was prompted by several high profile dog attacks in Britain; including one in Lincoln where two women were badly injured. Genes Could be the Key to Aggression Academics at the University of Lincoln believe that taking a scientific approach to animal behaviour may make us more aware of which dogs tend to be aggressive, and therefore people could be educated to better control their pets. Researchers are collecting dozens of saliva swabs from various dogs to identify genes that contribute to aggression. One researcher, Fernanda Fadel, said that if the research is successful this information can be used for selective breeding, so that genes causing bad behaviour are slowly phased out.   Nature or Nurture? A spokeswoman for the Dog’s Trust has said that, although they think the research could have some positive outcomes (such as educating people about dogs that are more likely to be bad tempered), the Dog’s Trust are concerned that the research could lead to further demonization of certain dog breeds, and give people unrealistic ideas of what a dog may be like. A lot of people closely connected with dogs believe that aggression has little to do with the breed, and is a result of bad animal management, lack of training and neglect.   Other Reasons for Dog Aggression Cesar Millan of dog lover’s magazine Cesar’s Way believes that all dogs can be aggressive, but the damage done depends on the type of dog displaying that behaviour. He believes that dogs become aggressive when their needs aren’t fulfilled or they haven’t been trained correctly. Many people buy dogs because of the look of the animal, but don’t understand their nature, and this leads to problems. You can combat aggression in the following ways: Start obedience training early – if you train your dog with suitable behaviour when he/she is young, you will set up a good relationship with them for the rest of their life. By using positive reinforcement, you can teach your dog that you are the pack leader and it can’t get everything it wants. Socialise with other dogs – socialising your dog when he/she is young will encourage sociable behaviour, and will thereby combat dog-to-dog aggressive behaviour. Give them plenty of exercise – if a dog isn’t exercised enough they will have too much stored energy, and they will assert this by behaving undesirably. It is recommended that dogs have around 2 hours of exercise a day, although it depends on the breed and age of the dog. Contain your own aggression – dogs are very perceptive of human emotion, and if you are angry then your dog will be more likely to get wound up. If you display violent behaviour towards your dog it will try to defend itself through aggressive reactions.   Dog School are delighted to help look after your dog by offering dog walking services in Sutton. We understand that having a dog is a fulfilling part of life, but sometimes you can’t be there for them because other commitments such as work get in the way. Dog school provides flexible dog walking programs tailored to the needs of your pet, so that it is always physically and mentally fulfilled.