Never give your dog a command which you know they will disobey and or that you can not re-enforce. In most situations you are better to say nothing than to yell at or discipline your dog: in most cases the dog is trying to get attention from you and quite often it doesn't matter whether that attention is positive or negative as long as it gets a reaction.
The dog is a social animal; they dislike being ignored. If they don't receive any attention chances are they will do something to get your attention – sometimes good and sometimes bad. You must praise the good behaviour and continue to ignore bad behaviour.
Start as you mean to carry on – don’t let your dog get into the habit of doing something that's OK when they're young but that you don’t want them to do when they're fully grown.
Most dog-related injuries happen to children in their own home or in the home of a relative or friend and by a dog that they know and have sometimes spent time around before. When a dog is around, children should be supervised at all times because:
They can unwittingly provoke an attack, for example by trying to take a bone or toy from a dog, frightening it, hugging it too tightly, or being too rough with it.
Dogs may get excited by games being played and jump on or chase a child.
Dogs may try to dominate a child because of a child’s small size.
Children should be taught basic safety habits around dogs, with parents and caregivers showing the way. Children learn by example – so be a good role model by setting good dog safety rules with your family and following them yourself. Have a look at the Internal Affairs Dog Safety website for more info.
If you have lost your pet lostpet.co.nz has lots of helpful advice to help you find them. Better yet, it tells you everything you need to do BEFORE you lose your pet to help make it easier to reunite with them; including registering with the NZ Companion Animal Register and Facial Recognition. Remember:
Microchip your pets and keep your contact details up-to-date.
Have your dog's name and one or two contact numbers on their collar and keep them updated.
Take a good photo of your dog for identification purposes.
Our Covid-19 lockdown means we are all spending more time at home with our pets. This can be a really special time for you and your dog, with lots of extra time to exercise, train and cuddle together. Unfortunately, a downside to spending all this time with our dogs is that we could create a state of separation anxiety when we do return to a more 'normal' life.
This is one of the easiest problems to create and one of the hardest to fix. So now is the best time to remind your dog that they can be calm without you being around...
Start off small, by having your dog spend 5 - 10 minutes on their own in a safe quiet place - a kennel, spare room or even their crate in a quiet room.
Slowly increase the time they spend on their own over the next week or so until you reach at least half the time you are normally away. Have them spend this amount of time on their own every second day.
If your dog gets upset, make this 'alone time' random - 5 mins one morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon then 20 minutes the next morning and only a few minutes the next afternoon, 3 times one day but only once the next, etc.
Leave your dog with something to do (e.g. toys, treats, stuffed Kongs, an ice block (frozen dog food and water). Try and make it something different each time, otherwise your dog may start to associate that item with being left alone.
Exercise your dog before their 'alone time' - this will not only drain excess energy, but it will aid the production of endorphins and serotonin which helps dogs feel calm, relaxed and sleepy.
See Mark Vette's thoughts on post-Covid-19 separation anxiety here.
Who doesn't love to take their dog with them when they head off around the country? There are loads of resources on the internet to help you find accommodation, exercise areas and dog services around NZ, but here's one that we have found to be really useful, Paw Planet.