Tag Archives: dog training

Training Tip for Dogs and Cats

Training Tip for Dogs and Cats

Timing is everything! Make sure you reward them verbally within half a second of the desired behaviour. The same goes with reprimand; if they have stopped the behaviour there is no point reprimanding them afterwards.

Dogs and cats learn by ‘direct association’ if the behaviour is rewarded with attention it is more likely to be repeated. Some behaviours, such as jumping up at you, or vocalising to be fed should be met with inattention (i.e. ignored) but you must be consistent.

Training hints: Look or Watch

While we are on the topic of training lets look at how you can teach your dog to ‘look’ (you may even want to try it with a cat, good luck!)

Teaching your dog to make eye contact with you on command can encourage your dog to look to you for direction. It can also help to hold their focus when out walking & training. What a dog is looking at you they are giving you their full attention. To start this exercise hold a treat up near your eye (your dog should be sitting and you should be standing). Ask your dog to ‘look’ or ‘watch’. You will notice their eyes will focus on the treat but then (sometimes it takes a bit) they will look to your eyes (as if to say “are you going to give it to me!?!”). When they make eye contact reward them (verbally such as “good”) and then give them the treat. Repeat the process a number of times. Try not to repeat the command (just wait patiently to reward them when they look to you). You may find with some dogs it is easier to judge when they are looking if you hold the treat out and to the side away from your eye; for other dogs they may perform better when the treat is closer. Over time you should be able to hand gesture them to look toward your eyes & then reward from your other hand or pocket. If you have an aggressive dog, speak to your vet or animal behaviourist before trying this exercise.

Dogs are better than children. Why you may ask?

Dogs don’t ask…

Dogs aren’t embarrassed to be cuddled in public

Dogs don’t ask for money (just a bit of attention)

Most dogs aren’t fussy eaters

Dogs usually come when they are called….

Its BBQ time!

It’s great to be outdoors with your pets enjoying leisure time together but watch the hazards of barbeques. Apart from the obvious hazards of jumping up and burning paws on a hot barbeque or stealing burning hot food there are also a few other hazards. The main one is onion toxicity. Onions should be a human only food. For dogs and cats it can be quite dangerous; leading to a type of anaemia. Cats are even more susceptible. Small amounts over long periods or a larger amount at once can be quite damaging. Cooked, raw and dehydrated onion should not be fed to dogs or cats. There is no benefit to feeding onion and it certainly has the potential to cause harm. For more advice speak to your vet.

Toxic foods

In the past we have talked about a number of toxic foods. One I haven’t mentioned before is Xylitol. Xylitol is commonly found in sugar free gum and lollies. It has been linked with low blood sugar in dogs and can be very harmful, even in quite small amounts. Make sure any products are kept out of reach of your animal companions; Apart from dogs it is still not clear as to what species can be harmed so just to be safe make sure it is out of reach.

For more information on training and behaviour see the ‘free articles’ page on our website. Just let us know what you would like to see and we can work on it!  The free articles on this page include;

Behaviour of older pets

DISOBEDIENCE; Hints and Tips

Hints and Tips When Moving House with Your Pet

Overview of Fears, Phobias and Anxieties in Dogs and Cats

Pulling on the lead

Separation anxiety

The loss of a pet

Training for dogs: The importance of trust.

Please let us know if you have any requests!

For updates on all our regular articles and posts like us on facebook! (https://www.facebook.com/clevercreaturespage)

Free Book Offer

Are you looking to bring a puppy into your family? Are you the proud new owner of a puppy? Or would you like to know more about bite inhibition? Then go to the link below as these two free book downloads are still available; “Before you get your puppy” and “After you get your puppy.” Both by Dr Ian Dunbar and both are great books. Follow the link below or cut and paste into your browser. http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads

Do you own a pet business or any business for that matter?

A new online business directory has just been launched and we love it so much that we have become an affiliate. Why is it so great? Apart from it being free, it is a local business directory for people who want to be found locally (within 20 meters) to globally. We like to think of it as a cross between google and the yellow pages (but better). When you register you can enter up to 250 characters to describe your business and of course its keyword linked so your business description can get you found. It’s free to register so if you’d like to register then click on the register now link. For those who want to increase their exposure online there is also an option for an advertising page ($70 per year & you can update it every day if you want) or a direct website link ($250/yr). It’s just been launched so you’ll be hearing more very soon as it launches fully; look out for Uglii! (Unique geographic listing for industry). Although we are registering businesses in the animal care industry any business can register via our site. See clevercreatures.biz for more information.

Prize winners. Our latest winners for July, August & September!

The following readers please reply to this email to claim your prize (or contact us via our webpage). These are subscribers who have also provided their postal address at the time of subscribing to enter our monthly prize draws. When you reply please give your full name so we can identify you, can you also let us know what breed of dog or cat you have. We will have all other details on record, including your postal address to which we will send your prize once you have contacted us.

Jane H with Gizmo & Biko

Courtney B with Missy, Venus, Chico & Angel

Sarah G with Lachie

Until Next time, keep those tails wagging!

From Sarah, Remy, Cayos and the team at Clever Creatures

Clever Creatures Pty Ltd
PO Box 427

Byford, Western Australia 6122


Dog Training Levels || Clever Creatures Way

Level 1 (Stage 1) is suitable for all dogs that have not attended training before or have only attended puppy classes. In fact these classes are ideal for puppy class graduates.

Stage 2 training is more advanced training only suitable for those who have completed our level one (or an equivalent level of adult dog training classes).

Individual training is ideal for dogs that have an urgent or unique training problem or are not suitable for group training. Dogs not suitable for group training are those who are reactive or aggressive to other dogs or people.

For more information about our Dog Training Classes visit our main Dog Training Page.


“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief.

But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.”

Losing an animal companion is one of the hardest things we will ever experience. I’d like to say that I have a solution to getting over the grief of losing an animal close to us but I don’t know of one & would it feel right to ‘just get over’ him or her? I don’t think so. And if anyone tells you to ‘get over it’ or it’s only an animal, then stay well clear of them as they are not the person you should be keeping company with at this time.

I don’t think the grieving process should be rushed & I don’t think that you should feel that you should be recovering so quickly. Not only was this animal a part of your family, but the communication usually runs so deep that there is an extremely strong bond. Some people will never feel this bond with their animal companion, and that’s ok (but their loss) and for those of you that do feel that intense heartfelt wrenching when you think about your recently, or long lost companion that’s ok, and you should feel very lucky indeed. That level of devotion went both ways.

Below is a quote from a German Shepherd calendar I was once given.

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion”.

Right now might be a time that you are feeling guilty, that you think that you could have done more, should have done more, that you shouldn’t have been so strict, should have been with him or her at the time, or even worse that you had to be the one to make the decision. This is natural. Euthanasia is an extremely hard decision but we are lucky that we can make that choice to stop the suffering. Things happen for a reason and you can’t change time, so stop beating yourself up.

So now on a more positive note, what can you do? You need to function; you need to be able to carry on with life. This doesn’t mean you are not grieving or have to stop grieving. It’s just that you need to be able to function with your life around the grief.

I’ll share with you how I have coped with my losses in the past and maybe others can give their input as to what has helped them.

Crying; it’s okay!

Lots of walks; it enabled me to feel close to my dog who had passed away, especially when I did ‘our’ walks. I’m sure I sometimes heard the tinkle of her collar.

Rescue remedy (or emergency essence) you can get oral drops or room sprays; ideal for you and other animal companions in the home.

Share the memories; get together with those who shared the love with your animal companion. Laugh about the naughty things he or she did. Share a big block of chocolate or a glass of wine if that helps!

Make a scrapbook or photo album. Maybe go through your online photos and get a photo book created.

A place in the garden. Create a small garden in memory of your pet or plant a tree. If you are in a rental then perhaps plant up a large pot or rescue an old garden bench / seat and apply some paint and a bit of tlc; you could also get a plaque made up and attach it to the seat. It will help to sit outdoors and feel close to your pets special place.

Share. Go through and wash your pet’s bowls, favourite toys and bedding. Pack it up in a nice box or donate it to another animal that may be in need. I still have some of my dog’s old toys, and the special memories that go with them.

Spend time with other animals. It may be hard but perhaps visit your friends with animals, or offer to take a friends dog for a walk or sit with a friend’s cat. You may find volunteering at a rescue centre helps.

Additional Advices & Tips on Coping with Pet Loss

From Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed.

Anyone who considers a pet a beloved friend, companion, or family member knows the intense pain that accompanies the loss of that friend. Following are some tips on coping with that grief, and with the difficult decisions one faces upon the loss of a pet.

1. Am I crazy to hurt so much?

Intense grief over the loss of a pet is normal and natural. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s silly, crazy, or overly sentimental to grieve!

During the years you spent with your pet (even if they were few), it became a significant and constant part of your life. It was a source of comfort and companionship, of unconditional love and acceptance, of fun and joy. So don’t be surprised if you feel devastated by the loss of such a relationship.

People who don’t understand the pet/owner bond may not understand your pain. All that matters, however, is how you feel. Don’t let others dictate your feelings: They are valid, and may be extremely painful. But remember, you are not alone: Thousands of pet owners have gone through the same feelings.

2. What Can I Expect to Feel?

Different people experience grief in different ways. Besides your sorrow and loss, you may also experience the following emotions:

Guilt may occur if you feel responsible for your pet’s death-the “if only I had been more careful” syndrome. It is pointless and often erroneous to burden yourself with guilt for the accident or illness that claimed your pet’s life, and only makes it more difficult to resolve your grief.

Denial makes it difficult to accept that your pet is really gone. It’s hard to imagine that your pet won’t greet you when you come home, or that it doesn’t need its evening meal. Some pet owners carry this to extremes, and fear their pet is still alive and suffering somewhere. Others find it hard to get a new pet for fear of being “disloyal” to the old.

Anger may be directed at the illness that killed your pet, the driver of the speeding car, the veterinarian who “failed” to save its life. Sometimes it is justified, but when carried to extremes, it distracts you from the important task of resolving your grief.

Depression is a natural consequence of grief, but can leave you powerless to cope with your feelings. Extreme depression robs you of motivation and energy, causing you to dwell upon your sorrow.

3. What can I do about my feelings?

The most important step you can take is to be honest about your feelings. Don’t deny your pain, or your feelings of anger and guilt. Only by examining and coming to terms with your feelings can you begin to work through them.

You have a right to feel pain and grief! Someone you loved has died, and you feel alone and bereaved. You have a right to feel anger and guilt, as well. Acknowledge your feelings first, then ask yourself whether the circumstances actually justify them.

Locking away grief doesn’t make it go away. Express it. Cry, scream, pound the floor, and talk it out. Do what helps you the most. Don’t try to avoid grief by not thinking about your pet; instead, reminisce about the good times. This will help you understand what your pet’s loss actually means to you.

Some find it helpful to express their feelings and memories in poems, stories, or letters to the pet. Other strategies including rearranging your schedule to fill in the times you would have spent with your pet; preparing a memorial such as a photo collage; and talking to others about your loss.

4. Who can I talk to?

If your family or friends love pets, they’ll understand what you’re going through. Don’t hide your feelings in a misguided effort to appear strong and calm! Working through your feelings with another person is one of the best ways to put them in perspective and find ways to handle them. Find someone you can talk to about how much the pet meant to you and how much you miss it-someone you feel comfortable crying and grieving with.

If you don’t have family or friends who understand, or if you need more help, ask your veterinarian or humane association to recommend a pet loss counselor or support group. Check with your church or hospital for grief counseling. Remember, your grief is genuine and deserving of support.

5. When is the right time to euthanize a pet?

Your veterinarian is the best judge of your pet’s physical condition; however, you are the best judge of the quality of your pet’s daily life. If a pet has a good appetite, responds to attention, seeks its owner’s company, and participates in play or family life, many owners feel that this is not the time. However, if a pet is in constant pain, undergoing difficult and stressful treatments that aren’t helping greatly, unresponsive to affection, unaware of its surroundings, and uninterested in life, a caring pet owner will probably choose to end the beloved companion’s suffering.

Evaluate your pet’s health honestly and unselfishly with your veterinarian. Prolonging a pet’s suffering in order to prevent your own ultimately helps neither of you. Nothing can make this decision an easy or painless one, but it is truly the final act of love that you can make for your pet.

6. Should I stay during euthanasia?

Many feel this is the ultimate gesture of love and comfort you can offer your pet. Some feel relief and comfort themselves by staying: They were able to see that their pet passed peacefully and without pain, and that it was truly gone. For many, not witnessing the death (and not seeing the body) makes it more difficult to accept that the pet is really gone. However, this can be traumatic, and you must ask yourself honestly whether you will be able to handle it. Uncontrolled emotions and tears-though natural-are likely to upset your pet.

Some clinics are more open than others to allowing the owner to stay during euthanasia. Some veterinarians are also willing to euthanize a pet at home. Others have come to an owner’s car to administer the injection. Again, consider what will be least traumatic for you and your pet, and discuss your desires and concerns with your veterinarian. If your clinic is not able to accommodate your wishes, request a referral.

7. What do I do next?

When a pet dies, you must choose how to handle its remains. Sometimes, in the midst of grief, it may seem easiest to leave the pet at the clinic for disposal. Check with your clinic to find out whether there is a fee for such disposal. Some shelters also accept such remains, though many charge a fee for disposal.

If you prefer a more formal option, several are available. Home burial is a popular choice, if you have sufficient property for it. It is economical and enables you to design your own funeral ceremony at little cost. However, city regulations usually prohibit pet burials, and this is not a good choice for renters or people who move frequently.

To many, a pet cemetery provides a sense of dignity, security, and permanence. Owners appreciate the serene surroundings and care of the gravesite. Cemetery costs vary depending on the services you select, as well as upon the type of pet you have. Cremation is a less expensive option that allows you to handle your pet’s remains in a variety of ways: bury them (even in the city), scatter them in a favourite location, place them in a columbarium, or even keep them with you in a decorative urn (of which wide varieties are available).

Check with your veterinarian, pet shop, or phone directory for options available in your area. Consider your living situation, personal and religious values, finances, and future plans when making your decision. It’s also wise to make such plans in advance, rather than hurriedly in the midst of grief.

8. What should I tell my children?

You are the best judge of how much information your children can handle about death and the loss of their pet. Don’t underestimate them, however. You may find that, by being honest with them about your pet’s loss, you may be able to address some fears and misperceptions they have about death.

Honesty is important. If you say the pet was “put to sleep,” make sure your children understand the difference between death and ordinary sleep. Never say the pet “went away,” or your child may wonder what he or she did to make it leave, and wait in anguish for its return. That also makes it harder for a child to accept a new pet. Make it clear that the pet will not come back, but that it is happy and free of pain.

Never assume a child is too young or too old to grieve. Never criticize a child for tears, or tell them to “be strong” or not to feel sad. Be honest about your own sorrow; don’t try to hide it, or children may feel required to hide their grief as well. Discuss the issue with the entire family, and give everyone a chance to work through their grief at their own pace.

9. Will my other pets grieve?

Pets observe every change in a household, and are bound to notice the absence of a companion. Pets often form strong attachments to one another, and the survivor of such a pair may seem to grieve for its companion. Cats grieve for dogs, and dogs for cats.

You may need to give your surviving pets a lot of extra attention and love to help them through this period. Remember that, if you are going to introduce a new pet, your surviving pets may not accept the newcomer right away, but new bonds will grow in time. Meanwhile, the love of your surviving pets can be wonderfully healing for your own grief.

10. Should I get a new pet right away?

Generally, the answer is no. One needs time to work through grief and loss before attempting to build a relationship with a new pet. If your emotions are still in turmoil, you may resent a new pet for trying to “take the place” of the old-for what you really want is your old pet back. Children in particular may feel that loving a new pet is “disloyal” to the previous pet.

When you do get a new pet, avoid getting a “lookalike” pet, which makes comparisons all the more likely. Don’t expect your new pet to be “just like” the one you lost, but allow it to develop its own personality. Never give a new pet the same name or nickname as the old. Avoid the temptation to compare the new pet to the old one: It can be hard to remember that your beloved companion also caused a few problems when it was young!

A new pet should be acquired because you are ready to move forward and build a new relationship-rather than looking backward and mourning your loss. When you are ready, select an animal with whom you can build another long, loving relationship-because this is what having a pet is all about!

Article Resource: http://www.pet-loss.net/

Dedicated to Cilla, Kiah, Ace, Whiskey, Heidi and Marmalade… Lost but not forgotten.