Dog Care and Training
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Dog Rescue Newcastle have written a one page Dog Care Basics (PDF format).
We've also written a 25 page Information for Dog Owners (PDF format) which covers topics including veterinary care, feeding, car travel, bad breath, obedience training, housetraining, safety around children, what to do if your pet is lost, rehoming your pet, and more.
If you have a dog who is itching, scratching, or biting himself, we have written this 7 page document listing possible causes of skin problems and their solutions Skin Problems in Dogs: Causes and Treatments (PDF format). It includes help dealing with fleas and a comprehensive allergy elimination diet for finding out if a food allergy is part of the problem.
Persistently itchy skin in dogs can be caused by one or more of a number of factors:
With our busy lifestyles, many dogs spend hours each day left to their own devices, sometimes leading to social and behavioural problems. As we learn more about animals it is increasingly apparent that mental health is of enormous importance to their wellbeing. The 5 page document Backyard Fun for Your Dog (PDF format) contains a list of suggestions to provide environmental enrichment for those times when your dog is left home alone.
Since dogs are social animals it is vitally important that you spend quality time with your dog each day, so these ideas should be used in addition to your normal family interaction, dog training and walking.
Free Comprehensive Guides to Dog Care and Training
Adopting a Rescue Dog, a free, 107 page guide (1.8 MB PDF file) to the first week of bringing a rescue dog into your home and helping him become a part of your family. Filled with useful tips, we think it can help both you and your new companion get off to a great start. Topics include:
Before You Get Your Puppy, by Dr. Ian Dunbar, free 104 page guide (2.7 MB PDF file) to preparing for your puppy and basic training especially housetraining.
After You Get Your Puppy, by Dr. Ian Dunbar, free 156 page guide (4.7 MB PDF file) to puppy and dog care and training: including household etiquette, socialisation, bite inhibition, adolescent problems, basic behaviours such as sit, down, come, walking politely on lead, plus games.
You'll need the free Adobe Reader to open these PDF files. You probably already have it, but if you don't you'll need to download the free Adobe Reader.
We advocate the use of only positive training methods only, ie: rewarding good behaviour; no check chains, hitting, yelling or other forms of punishment. Why?
Feeling frustrated with your dog? Thinking you might need to find him or her a new home? Please think again! Armed with a bit of knowledge, dog behavioural challenges can be corrected or at least managed. Please read "I Need to Return This Dog" for advice to help you keep your dog.
We strongly recommend dog training classes for all puppies and adult dogs. They are a great way to bond with your dog and will give you all the knowledge you need to ensure your dog is a happy, well behaved member of your family.
Although most vets offer puppy classes, and there are dog clubs in many large towns and cities offering classes, often the instructors of these classes are not qualified in dog training so the quality of the lessons varies greatly. Many trainers are still teach damaging, dominating methods, and often classes sizes are too large to provide a safe, positive experience for you and your dog. Here are our recommendations for you and your dog.
Puppy Classes (Newcastle and Lake Macquarie)
Adult Dog Classes (Newcastle and Lake Macquarie)
Classes Elsewhere in Australia
If you want to hire a dog trainer for a private lesson or consultation, especially if you are dealing with problem behaviours, we recommend these in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie area:
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training, 2nd or 3rd Edition by Pamela Dennison. This guide demonstrates positive training methods, based on a system of rewards and encouragement, to teach basic commands and house training, and correct a host of problem behaviors. It is available from Fishpond.com.au and Booktopia.com.au
The Puppy Primer by Patricia McConnell and Brenda Scidmore. Start your puppy out on the right paw with positive reinforcement training. This guide doesn't cover all aspects of puppy care, only training, but it covers training in a simple, readable, fun way. Some topics are: Socialization, Positive Reinforcement, House Training, Crate Training, Handling, How to Stop Unwanted Behavior, Helping Puppies Conquer Their Fears, How Play Teaches Obedience and Emotional Control, How Not to Play, Tricks and Games, Adolescence. Available from Fishpond.com.au
Download the FREE StarMark Dog Training Made Easy, a comprehensive 53 page, dog training guide for positive reinforcement training. Nearly every skill/behaviour/trick you might want to teach your dog is in this free guide! Plus problem solving, how dogs learn, and common myths. You can also download this 3 page Quick Start Guide. You can use any clicker available from a pet shop for this gentle, fun, and quick training method. Or, you can also say the word "yesss" to mark good behavior instead of using a clicker. You'll need the free Adobe Reader to open this 1.2MB PDF file. If you don't already have it, download the free Adobe Reader.
There are lots of free resources on the web. Check out these excellent web sites:
Clickety Clips - A collection of all the best dog training videos on the web in one place! Sorted into logical categories so you can find what you want. Plus information about dog care, dog body language, how dogs learn, etc. Your first place to go when you need help training your dog.
Training Videos by Victoria Stillwell - learn all the basics to have a well mannered dog, including walking nicely on a loose lead, come when called, puppy socialisation, impulse control, introducing dogs to each other, and much more.
Peacable Paws - Many articles on training and managing your dog including barking, go to bed, jealousy between dogs, cats and dogs, a new baby, overexcitement about a walk, separation anxiety and more.
Collars, Choker Chains, Shock Collars, Prong Collars - Is it harmful to attach a leash to your dog's neck? All of these issues explored in a well researched, unemotional article.
Training Positive - More than 50 helpful dog training videos from basic puppy training to more advanced training and problem solving.