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Friday, April 11th, 2014
Have your kids been begging for a dog? I adopted a puppy about a month and a half ago, and I’m here to confirm what you probably already know: it’s a blast but so much work at the same time. One of the trickiest parts has been sorting through all the conflicting training advice. Everybody has a different opinion on what to do, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and concerned that I am somehow setting my little furball up for a lifetime of problems. (Yes, it’s a little like parenthood!)
I spoke to renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan, known for his work on the television show Dog Whisperer, and here are his recommendations for families raising a puppy:
- Make an agreement as a group. “Everybody focuses on what kind of breed they want, but first you need to all commit to the work ahead of you,” Millan explains. Often, a dog is brought into the family because the kids push for it, regardless of whether or not they are ready for the responsibility. Everyone needs to be prepared—and Mom and Dad need to make the ultimate decision together.
- Consider fostering a dog before you bring home your own. Everybody benefits this way: The dog gets to experience a house with a loving family, and you can get insight into whether or not your clan is ready for a permanent pet.
- Look for a dog with low or medium energy. “It has nothing to do with breed,” Millan says. “In a family of three kids, one will often be more active than the others even though they have the same parents. It’s the same with dogs.” Puppies with lower energy levels are more likely to be followers and won’t try to become the leader of the “pack.”
- Don’t try to be your dog’s best buddy. “Dog lovers want to be friends with their pet rather than the authority figure,” Millan says. This can cause serious behavior problems from a young age. Millan adds, “Discipline is not punishment. It’s teaching him how to behave. In the long run, giving your dog constant affection and no discipline is far more hurtful to him.”
- Let children help out by walking the dog. “Most kids want to chase dogs, but that’s encouraging a predatory behavior,” Millan explains. “They also like to carry puppies around like a baby. But puppies need to walk to experience their own environment. Otherwise, they’ll never learn the boundaries and rules around the house.”
- Start training young. Sure, he’s just a puppy right now, but if you let him get away with jumping or barking from the get-go, you will have serious trouble setting boundaries later on.
For more expert advice, check out the finale of Cesar 911, which airs tonight on Nat Geo Wild. (But first, watch our video on teaching kids to be responsible pet owners below!)
Photo by Allen Birnbach
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
Looking back on my childhood, I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t some type of pet in the house. From three dogs to two cats (there was a hamster stint somewhere between the two), it’s safe to say my family was always a pack of animal lovers.
When I got the invite to attend Rolf C. Hagen’s showing of pet products, I couldn’t pass the chance to spot cool items for furry friends (and play with some kitties and puppies in the process)! Here are my favorites:
Want to get your feline active? Consider investing in the Senses series of toys. They can be set up like a race track with fun obstacles and resting points along the way. Kitty will love swatting the glowing balls as they pass through the elevated tunnels of the Super Roller Circuit. After play, naps can commence on the Comfort Zone, featuring a massager, catnip holder, and cushion that can be cooled. There’s plenty more Senses stations you can add to the track as well!
Nothing beats toys that multitask. Chew bones from Hagen’s GUMI collection double as teeth cleaners and breath fresheners, so Fido can keep his gums healthy during playtime. They come in mini, medium and large versions, too, for dogs of every size. When it comes to washing his bowl, the Design Dog Dish makes cleaning simple. Just lift the stainless steel piece out; no need to carry everything to the sink. Bonus: it’s dishwasher safe. Plus, the wood finish is much more decorative than the average dog bowl.
And because I can’t resist sharing cute cat pictures, meet Bastian, a 4-month-old kitten brought to demonstrate products. The Hagen event sponsored New York’s Animal Haven shelter, home to this little guy and other critters on scene. With products approved by pets themselves, it’s clear Hagen knows how to reach babies of the animal variety.
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Animal Haven, animal shelters, animals, caitit, Cats, comfort zone, Design Dog Dish, dogit, Dogs, GUMI chew toys, New York, pet adoption, pet gear, pets, Rolf C. Hagen, Senses toys, super speed circuit | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear, Your Life
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
6-Year-Old Transgender Girl, Not Allowed To Use School Bathroom
At first, Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis didn’t think much of their son’s behavior. Coy took his sister’s pink blanket, and shunned the car they gave him for Christmas. (via Huffington Post)
Is One of the Most Common Drugs Prescribed During Pregnancy Safe for Your Baby?
Many expectant mothers are wary of taking drugs during the early weeks of pregnancy, as this time period can be crucial for the development of their baby. However, sometimes it’s hard to know for sure just what kind of effects medications can have on an unborn child. (via Fox News)
Texas Ten Commandments Resolution Calls For Prayer, Religious Displays In Schools
Texas state Rep. Phil Stephenson (R) filed a resolution on Monday calling for more “acknowledgement” of Christianity in public schools, encouraging Ten Commandments displays, prayer, and use of the word “God.” (via Huffington Post)
Children With Autism Show Increased Positive Social Behaviors When Animals Are Present
The presence of an animal can significantly increase positive social behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to research published February 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Marguerite E O’Haire and colleagues from the University of Queensland, Australia. (via Science Daily)
School Safety Addressed At House Education Committee Hearing; Arne Duncan’s Sequestration Hype
On Wednesday, members of the House Education & Workforce Committee mulled over ways to keep schools safe in light of the horrific Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting, reports Politics K-12. (via Huffington Post)
First Lady Announces Effort to Help Kids Exercise
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Imagine students learning their ABCs while dancing, or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks? Some schools are using both methods of instruction and Michelle Obama would like to see more of them use other creative ways to help students get the recommended hour of daily exercise. (via Yahoo!)
animals, ASD, autism, childhood obesity, Coy Mathis, drugs, Exercise, medications, Michelle Obama, News, Newtown, Parents Daily News Roundup, pets, Phil Stephenson, Pregnancy, religion in schools, sequestration, Texas schools, transgender | Categories: