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Water safety for your dog

LXdnSY1395706463Pools open, boats is ready, the ocean awaits and your dog wants to take a swim!
Water is often center stage during the summer months. The whole family is lounging by the water, grilling out and splashing around in the pool. Naturally your dog wants in on the action. whether your dog is a good swimmer or or not Greatpup has all your wet dog needs.
This goes with our saying, but do not ever allow your dog to enter the water area without your supervision. We have West Paw toys that float. These great toys allow you to play and interact with your dog in the water.
If you have a pool or your dog is on the boat with you mark an exit. Your dog will easily recognize the exit if you mark it with a flag, flowerpot, or lawn ornament of some kind. If your dog becomes disoriented for any reason, he’ll know where to go. Once they are out of the water every dog owner needs a soggy doggy shammy. The shammies absorb more than 7 times the amount of
water than a normal towel. They are great to have with your you whenever a wet dog/child is part of your day.
Remember that your dog needs lots of fresh water while pal playing in the water. Frosty bowls have a frozen blue core
that will keep your dogs fresh water cold for up to 8 hrs.

What Kind of Sleeper is Your Dog?

How Many times have you just laughed at how you dog is sleeping? Most dogs fall into 4 categories of sleepers:

Side and Belly Sleeper Most of the time when your dog is sleeping on his side or belly with all four paws laid out, he is dozing.

Solomon loving his toy

Solomon loving his toy

Back Sleeper This is the funniest of all positions.  A dog gets dream sleep and is most relaxed in this position.  The stomach is exposed so he is able to keep cool and none of his muscles are tense. This position is where you will see a lot of funny dreams states, including kicking, wagging tails, muffled barks, cries etc.

Bill sleeping upside down

Bill sleeping on this back

Curled-up-in-a Ball Sleeper This is the most common napping position.

dd43-dogs-5_1-1Lying Back-to-Back When dogs sleep back -to-back this is a sign of bonding and protecting each other. When they lie on their  backs next to you, they are bonding with you.

The Adventures of Bill ( guide dog in training for the blind)

Meet Bill

Meet Bill

Sunday we got our fourth guide dog in training for the blind.  I have written about this before but for those who don’t know. My husband and I train puppies for the foundation of the blind in Long Island New York. Each year I say I am going to keep a blog about our adventures,  I get busy and never do. So here goes the first attempt.

Bill came to us on Sunday June 9th. He is a special puppy because his dad is Abner.  Another dog we raised a few years back.  His face  is on my blog page.   So technically he is our grand pup . He looks just like his daddy. A beautiful black lab, full of love and spirit.

Training tips for a 7-8 week old puppy

When you first bring home your puppy there are two things you want to focus on the first  two weeks:

1. House breaking you want to begin house breaking on day one, hour one and minute one.

  • We use the command “busy, busy”. You can choose to say whatever command you want.
  • You need to set a routine for your puppy. They are like babies and need to be on a schedule. Because they are so young they have a very small bladder and will need to be taken out every half hour to hour depending on the size of your puppy.
  • Always take them to the same spot on leash, give command and when they “go”, then praise, praise, praise. Then they can come inside and have free range of the house to play. If they are going all over your house let them play in their crate and take them out every half hour to “busy”. Puppies learn very quickly when they follow the command then they can go inside and play.
  • Always take them outside after eating and sleeping. Puppies take lots of naps throughout the day so each time they wake up take them out.
  • Don’t get frustrated with your puppy. House breaking takes time but with consistency  you will be successful.

2. Teach them the word “no”! Before your dog learns his name he needs to learn the word “no”.

  • Use the word “no” “leave it”  to identify the things around the house he is not allowed to play with, chew or touch.
  • As soon as he leaves the item alone them him “good boy”.
  • Give him an alternative toy. When your puppy is playing with something he shouldn’t, tell me “no” and give him a toy he can play with and when he begins playing with his toy say “good boy”.
  • Think long-term. Start limiting the things your puppy can play with or chew on . Sometimes when they are young it is cute that they are carrying around a shoe. It’s not cute when they eat your shoe at three years old.

Begin your first two weeks focusing on the training above.

Bill’s new accomplishments this week:

  • Learned how to play tug of war with Coal.
  • Got stuck under the coffee table.
  • Learned that he could run, jump and bark.
  • Went on his first outing to an outdoor restaurant and sat on my lap during lunch.


Cool owners don’t let their dogs over heat

Cool owners don’t let their dogs over heat.

As the weather warms up, it is important to brush up on your knowledge of heat stroke in pets.

Signs that your dog is overheated: Panting is one of the most early and common signs, followed by the dog appearing dull or disoriented.

What should you do if you suspect your dog is overheated? Grab your dog, wet him or her with cool tap water, and head to the veterinarian ASAP!

What causes heat stroke? Heat stroke is usually caused by high environmental temperatures or over exhaustion due to running or swimming. Dogs with shorter snouts are more likely to suffer from heat strokes that other breeds.

Pets in hot cars

It takes only minutes for a pet left in a vehicle on a warm day to succumb to heatstroke and suffocation. Most people don’t realize how hot it can get in a parked car on a balmy day. However, on a 78 degree day, temperatures in a car parked in the shade can exceed 90 degrees — and hit a scorching 160 degrees if parked in the sun! Rolling down a window or parking in the shade doesn’t guarantee protection either, since temperatures can still climb into the danger zone. And if the window is rolled down sufficiently, the pet can escape. Leave your dog at home on warm days.


Bred to swim

one toy wasn't enough to carry around

one toy wasn’t enough to carry around

Raising guide dogs for the blind is a wonderful fulfilling task that I work on everyday. Part of the training is exposing the dogs to water. Most of the guide dogs are labs and retrievers which are both bred to swim in the lakes and retrieve ducks.

So my dog has been swimming in a lake and ocean. Both times he had hesitation about getting into the water. We encouraged him and let him go into the water at his own pace. Once he gets the confidence to go in far enough that the water was over his head, instinct kicks in and the feet start moving the tail start wagging and off he goes across the lake and through the ocean.

So last week we decided to take him to a pet kennel that has a swimming pool, indoor, of course. We are so excited, our little one hasn’t been able to swim since this summer. Now there is a big difference between a pool and a lake or  ocean. The first thing he did when we went into the pool room was run in and stop. The smell of chlorine made my eyes burns. I can only imagine what the smell was like for him. Because the smell was so strong he didn’t want to get in the water. Once I splashed around, he realized, oh this is water, “I like water”.

In he went. We thought, this is great. The one thing we didn’t realize was that he didn’t know how to get out. He swam to the end of the pool and then tried to get out  by climbing the wall. I am panicking because I see that he is panicking, trying to climb the wet pool wall.  I grabbed his leash hooked it to his collar and lead him back to the pool steps.  I left the leash on for a few laps until I was sure that he understood how to get out.

Once he got it, game on. He swam and swam and swam. There is nothing like seeing a dog do what he was bred to do. Here are some shots of our pool experience


Training your dog to be a greatpup

A dog that is looking for someone to show him how to be a great pup.

We have all been around unruly, untrained dogs and I am not sure who is more uncomfortable me,the owner or the dog.  Either way an untrained dog misses out on the fun of life. They are put away, when company comes over to visit so that they will not jump on the neighbors. Untrained dogs are put away, when the family sits down for dinner because they beg at the table.  These dogs never get to go on walks because they drag their owners across the neighborhood.  Finally if these poor dogs are ever left off leash they run away not to return until they feel like returning.

Most dogs live between eight to sixteen years. Why not make these years enjoyable with your dog. All great dogs  should be trained in the following areas:

1) To come when called

2) Be crate trained

3) To learn the basic commands sit,stay  and leave it

4) To walk on a leash

I have addressed using crate training to house break your dog in an earlier blog. Teaching your dog to come. This is so important for several reasons, first for the safety of your dog. If your dog runs away from you or escapes from your backyard you want to be able to recall your dog.  This command could save your dog’s life. It could prevent your dog from running into the street and being hit by a car.

Secondly, teaching your dog to come builds trust between you and your dog. When your dog comes to you it should be a happy experience for them. If your dog chews up the newspaper and brings it  to you.  You then begin to  scold him for chewing the newspaper. Then you just taught your dog that when he comes to you he will feel bad and be scolded. So instead, make coming to you a happy, pleasurable experience. Be nice and use kind words.

Start by putting your dog on a leash. Let the dog run to the end of the leash and then say “come” giving the leash a little tug your way. Once the dog runs to you, be over joyed with praise, pets, kind words and even some small treats. Gradually release the dog further and further from you until you are comfortable letting them off leash in the house or fenced in backyard. Repeat the process until the dog trust that coming to you is a happy experience and in return you trust that your dog will come every time you recall him.

Hello blogging world

Hello world,
I am Peggy and this is my first blog post. I have decided since so many people ask me advice about raising dogs that I would start to blog. I am the owner of an e-commerce store I currently have two labs that are my pets and one guide dog that I am training for the foundation for the blind. This is the third puppy I have raised for the foundation. I hope have many blogs stories and pictures of my adventures of raising a puppy. Is this something you would like to hear about? Here is a picture of my labs the smaller one is the first puppy I raised 3 years ago.


For people who treat their dog as a member of the family. This blog will give you the latest product trends for your dog as well as tips and news to make your dog a greatpup.

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