Blog Archives

Your Four-Footed Running Buddy

August is back to school and for many that means back to routine exercise.
Dogs are motivated,reliable running partners. Some dogs are natural runners, including labs, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Doberman, German Shepherds and Pointers.
If you train your dog when he is a puppy her will learn to expect an endurance workout. Start slow and increase mileage gradually, stay well hydrated, stop immediately if there is any pain.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when running with your dog.
Start slow and easy
Tune in to pain signals. Your dog wants to please you and he’ll run through pain to keep up with your pace. Stop if you see your dog tiring or struggling in any way.
Hydrate often: Fill a water bottle for your dog and stop if he is panting heavily or excessively salivating.
Examine paw pads. Remember your dog runs on his bare pads not some fancy running shoes. Examine the pads for soreness and wear.
Excess weight can reduce your dog’s lifespan by as much as 20% – for humans, that’s the equivalent of fifteen-plus years. Obesity is dangerous because it can exacerbate serious medical conditions such as dysplasia, arthritis, diabetes and respiratory problems. Keeping your dog physically fit requires the right food as well a proper exercise.
Other exercises for your dog
Walk Play Fetch
Play frisbee
Go Hiking
Visit us at Greatpup.com
Like us on Facebook.com/Greatpup
995832_471055312984824_1684689717_n

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.

Adventures of Bill (guide dog in training) weeks 15-16

Bill is now 4 months old. He has gotten all of his shots and vaccines. He weighs 32 pounds. His  legs are getting so long but he still hasn’t grown into his feet.

He is now  house broken. He comes to me more often than going to the door but he no longer busy’s in the house.

970148_4480055057834_800047122_n-1

Training tips for 15-16  week old puppy

A 15-16 week old puppy needs to learn to come when called. The training for this actually starts on day one. When you begin feeding your puppy you should whistle feed them.  Whistle feeding is when you put the food in the bowl and put your puppy in a sit. You whistle and then say go eat. At the beginning you will have to hold him in a sit and let him go when you give the command. Soon the puppy will associate a whistle with the pleasure of food. Training your dog to come can be a lot of fun. You want your puppy to come to you on command.  Start with a long leash. Hook the leash to the pup and walk to the end of the leash, if your puppy follows you, get a someone to hold him until you give the  COME command and whistle. Then pull the leash toward you so that the puppy will run to you.  Give your puppy lots of praise.  Once your puppy has mastered this concept then you are ready to try the command off leash. Be sure to choose a time when the dog is playing outside in a fence in area and not when they have been bad.  Don’t call your puppy to come and then punish them for something they did.  If you do this, they will relate coming to you with being punished. When you call your puppy use an excited, happy voice and then whistle. The puppy will want to come and see what all the excitement is about.  Get at eye level with your puppy and give them lots of praise when he gets to you. You can always give him a little treat. Don’t give a treat every time or he will learn to come only when you have a treat.     You want your puppy to want to come to you for love and praise. If he is doing something that you want him  not to do, you go to him and make the correction.

There are times when you need your puppy to lie down. This is a command that is important for a guide dog in training. Service dogs spend most of their day waiting. The “down” command is a way to tell your puppy to settle down and wait. Young puppies master the sit command fairly easy but the down command has two-parts. The first part is the act of lying down and the second part is staying there.  I begin with Bill by using a bone or his favorite toy. I hold it up to his eyes and slowly lower it to the floor. While he is following the bone in a downward motion I say “down”.  Once he is fully down I give him the bone and put my hand on his back to hold him down to chew on the bone, then I say “stay” . Each time we stay in the down position a little longer. Until one day I no longer have to put my hand on his back. When choosing the bone or toy to work with make sure it is a special one that he doesn’t get very often. If you need a high quality toy or treat check out www.greatpup.com for a great selection and super prices.

Bill’s Accomplishments:

  • Has lost 5 teeth
  • House broken
  • Comes without the  long leash
  • Sits when I put on his leash and jacket on
  • Jumps into the car on his own
  • Loves to swim and go on long walks

    Bill's favorite chew toy.

    Bill’s favorite chew toy.

 

Adventures of Bill ( guide dog puppy in training) Weeks 11-12

11 weeks bill photo

I can’t believe how fast a little black lab puppy can grow. It makes me sad to see how quickly he is growing. This must be how parents feel about their children. We  want them to stay little forever. But they don’t, so we continue our pursuit to raise a great pup.

Training tips for 11-12 week old puppy

Bill is the first puppy that we have raised in the summer time. I must admit raising a puppy during the summer has it challenges. We live in North Carolina where the heat and humidity can before unbearable. Puppies dehydrate very quickly so it is important to have access to water at all times. I know what you are thinking, the more they drink the more they “busy” and you are right. I think of it as more opportunities to practice house breaking.

The other challenge that summer brings to raising Bill is the payment. We are to take Bill out to socialize him and practice walking on leash, but when the temperature is 90 degrees with the heat index of 100, it is difficult to put Bill in a hot car and go to the store and walk across a hot parking lot. You should test the payment yourself. I wear flip-flops a lot during the summer so I can easily slip them off and put my foot on the payment for about 10 seconds. If it is too hot for my foot it is too hot for Bill’s feet. Your hand can work just as well. When the payment is too hot, I just pick him up and put him in a grocery cart and push him across the parking lot. We work on walking on a leash when we get in the nice cool air conditioning store.  Remember if you can’t take your dog inside then don’t take him with you to the store on a hot day. A car can easily heat up to 110 degrees and cause a heat stroke and kill your dog.

Bill is ready to start learning commands.  The next two things I want him to learn is “off” and “sit”. We are getting out more and meeting lots of new people. The first thing that Bill and all puppies want to do is jump on people. When we meet someone I put Bill in a sit. I  tell the person waiting to pet him not to pet him until he sits.  At this point, I say “sit” while pushing his bottom down. When he sits I say “good boy”. When you first start this training you may have to keep your hand on his bottom while the person is petting him.  He will soon learn to sit if he wants someone to pet him. If he breaks the sit, stop petting. The nice things about this approach is Bill can’t jump on people if he is sitting.

I use the command “off” to mean, off  of people, furniture or anything I don’t want him climbing on. Whenever he jumps on something I say “no, off” and push him down. When he is no longer on the object I say” good boy”. He will soon learn not to jump on things.

Puppy kisses

Puppy kisses

Bill’s Accomplishment:

  • He is climbing up and down 3 to 4 stairs on his own.
  • Bill is learning the command to sit before eating, putting on his collar and leash, and being petted.
  • Bill weighs 22 lbs at 11 weeks
  • He learned how to play in the pool  to keep cool
  • He went to my mother’s house and met the rest of the family.
  • He has played with large and small dogs and loves them all
  • Bill made it through the 4th of July with no signs of fear with all the fireworksHappy 4th of July!Happy 4th of July!

 

Spring into Fun!

3835_4419298795830_1423479465_nSpring into fun! Things to do with your dog this spring. Spring is the time for new beginnings and you are given an extra hour of daylight to

accomplish your goals. Start your spring with a little spring cleaning. Give your dog a little deep cleaning with Planet dog oatmeal bath. This shampoo

is gentle enough for puppies but cleans deep to remove all that built up dirt and hair. Get a new leash on life. Toss out all those toys that are old and

worn out. Spring is the perfect time to give your dog a new toy. Throw out that smelly, dirty worn out dog bed and give your home a new look with a new dog bed.

Spring training, now that the weather is nice get outside and review commands that may be less important during the winter. All dogs should know sit, stay and

come. You can work on these commands by playing games in your backyard or at the park. Start with two people one on each side of yard. Take turns

calling your dog to come. Have your dog run back and forth between the two of you. This is a great way to review come. Don’t forget to give lots of praise and

maybe a small treat for following the command. Review sit and stay with playing fetch. Put dog in a sit and stay, throw toy and then release and let your dog run and get the toy. Get your spring dog supplies today at http://www.Greatpup.com

Date day, spring is the time for outdoor festivals and activities check out this website to find activities in your area for you and your dog. DogFriendly.com

Get out and enjoy a nature walk don’t forget the following: Things for your doggie pack

•Lots of water

•travel bowl

•doggie bags

•easy to digest all natural treats

•flea and tick protection6407 Oatmeal Shampoo 16oz

New-Travel-Bowls-Small

title-track-with-obi-250x250

 

Solutions for Muddy Paws

Today is the first day of spring and it’s time for new beginnings. Dogs that don’t get enough exposure to outdoor activities often suffer from behavior problems,anxiety, aggression, and compulsive behaviors. Outdoor are critical to your dog’s welfare. So, take advantage of spring and the extra hour of sunlight and get outside with your dog.

If your dogs are like mine they bring the outside indoors. April bring showers so then we have to deal with dirty paws. Here are some things I do to help with keeping my house clean when the dogs spend a lot of time outside.

1. Keep a rug by your door. I keep a rug on both sides of my door. I have an outdoor rug on my porch that my dogs run over first and then when they enter the house they run over another rug. This rug is the best rug I have ever had. It is called a Soggy Doggy and it is amazing. My dogs feet can be wet, muddy, or covered in grass clippings but when they run over this rug everything come off into the rug and they hit my hardwood floors dry and clean. Take two minutes to check out the video on this rug at www.greatpup,com .

soggy-doggy-doormat-chocolate-thumb_large

2. Another good method of cleaning dogs feet is to use baby wipes. This is an inexpensive way to clean your dogs feet before entering your house. The nice thing about the wipes is that you can throw them away and not worry about staining your towels.

3. If you are really ambitious you can teach your dog to wipe their feet. I have seen people, clicker train their dog to wipe their feet. Very cool.

Whatever method you use just remember it is worth it to your dog for a little fresh air.

 

It pays to be “green”

Here are the top five ways to go “green” with your dog supplies.

1. Buy dog toys that you can re-fill, re-use and re-love. Stuffer toys allow you to change it up with your dog. One day you can fill it  with yogurt, next day peanut butter. When the toy is dirty just throw it on top rack on your dishwasher and it comes out looking like new. This will save you money, you don’t have to go out and buy a new toy every few weeks.

Image

2. Invest in dog beds that are cost-effective like dog duvet bed covers. They are “green” in so many ways. The duvet is designed for inserting your old pillows, bedding and old clothes. When the bed is dirty just throw all the contents into the wash. The concept saves on reduction of waste and is less costly than replacing your dog bed once a year. Image

3. Give your dog all natural treats like elk antlers and water buffalo horns. These are products that shed annually and are not processed in any way. Image

4. Buy dog supplies that have multiple uses. Greatpup has a frisbee/water  bowl that with a flip of the wrist can easily be converted between the two.

8723

5. Buys dog products that come from recycled materials. This bottle tracker is make from firefighters water hose and you place a plastic bottle inside for extra fun.Image

 

All product suggestions can be purchased on www.greatpup.com. Save money while helping the environment.

What I have learned about opening a business on the web

A year ago today my website greatpup.com went live. When I reflect back over the last year and think of all I have learned. Wow, what a year.

My goal for my business is to offer dog lovers like myself high quality,safe and unique dog products at a reasonable price. Sounds simple but it has taken time and lots of effort to weed through all the dog products out there and  decide what is actually worthy of being on my site.

There are many companies in the USA that have some great products. West Paw is a company out of Montana and they create great toys that are for aggressive chewers and even offer a one time replacement if your dog chews the toys into pieces. I have sold hundreds of these toys and have only replaced a few. One thing I have learned is not every dog owner wants a to pay a higher price for a toy that is going to last a long, long time. Many people want to pay little money for cheap things made in China that their dog will destroy in a matter a minutes. Lesson learned; if customers will buy one West Paw toy they will see the quality and come back for more.

I have also learned that quality is not as important to others as it is to me. People don’t take the time to look at where their dog treats are made. The dog treats sold in the big pet stores and Wal-Mart are often made in China. China has no rules or regulations of production of dog treats. These dog treats have made dogs sick or even killed hundreds of dogs. I have studied and researched every bakery item, bully stick and dog treat that I sell on my site to ensure they are safe and made in the USA. Lesson learned: Customer come back and tell me that their dog is a picky eater but they will eat my treats. The reason they eat my treats, is not because their dog is picky, it is because they are all natural and organic.

Having a e-commerce store has taught me so much about the social media. I have learned about Facebook pages. I have page on Facebook Facebook.com/greatpup. It was easy to set up the page much it is much harder to get people to like your page. I have 82 likes and I have been trying to get to 100 since October. Many people like my post but not my page. Lesson learned; it take time and patience to reached the 100 likes on my page, it is harder than it looks.

Blogging is the next social media I have learned to do this past year. So much still to learn. How to get followers? What to write about?

When I look back on my first year as a business owner I feel good about what I have accomplished.  I know that I have stuck to my goals and have not compromised  what I know is best for both my customers and their dogs. I have had more fun talking to people and listening to their dogs stories than I could ever imagine. I know I have a lot to learn, but I look forward to the challenge. Happy Birthday Greatpup.com!

Below: a few of our satisfied customers!

Bumi is a great toy for two dogs to share

Bumi is a great toy for two dogs to share

Coco having a ball with her bottle tracker

Coco having a ball with her bottle tracker

Solomon loving his toy

Solomon loving his toy

Chase enjoying his antler

Our toys float!

Our toys float!

 

Giving thanks for your four legged friends

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for family, good friends, good food and don’t forget your furry members of the family your dogs.  Remember the holidays are not an excuse to feed your dog chocolate, turkey bones, turkey skins or any food that will upset their stomach.  However greatpup.com  has some terrific treats that are safe, delicious and are guaranteed to make your dog feel appreciated.  They will surely feel extra-thankful to have such a great pet-parent!

Here are five great choices:

1.Deer antlers, the only all natural treat that has not been processed in any way.

2. Bully stick, great for keeping your dog busy during the holidays.

3.Himalyans with a bully stick.  Made from yak milk in the Himalayas. Long lasting.4.Chicken littles great for small dogs or training large dogs.5. If none of the above appeals to your dog than you can go wrong with a toy!

Happy Thanksgiving, from all of you at Greatpup.com

greatpup

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.

%d bloggers like this: