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Dog Friendly Tips: Good Teeth

Dental disorders can generally be prevented by regular cleaning. Raw beef marrow bones are a wonderful way to keep the teeth clean.

Some vets consider raw bones good for older dogs. Others stay away from raw foods, for very young or very old or immune compromised pets.

Good dog dental care at home may improve a senior dog's overall health if there is tartar build-up. Durable chew toys or even a simple baking soda & water paste applied to the teeth can improve dental hygiene.

Dog Friendly Article: Introduction to Using a Clicker for Dog Training

There are many tools that have been used for training dogs. Some are more effective than others and lend themselves to a positive reinforcement approach to dog training. Using a clicker for dog training is an effective method that uses positive reinforcement to encourage the dog to display the behaviors that are desired.

A clicker is a small, easy to carry tool that a person can have on them at all times. It makes a clicking sound, which with training, the dog will eventually identify as a rewarding sound. To start, one needs to have a clicker. They can be purchased at pet supply stores and some dog training programs.

Often when beginning a training program, food is used as a reward. This is a method that works really well with many dogs, because they love to eat. If food is continued to be used as the sole method of positive reinforcement, later down the road there could be health problems associated with extra poundage from too many treats. Also, some dogs with special dietary concerns do not have the option of food as a reward. A clicker won't add extra weight, and it's economical. Unless Fido destroys it or the owner is prone to losing items, one or two should do the trick.

When starting with the clicker, it's important that all parties involved in caring for the dog are on board with the program. The dog will be confused if one of his people uses food and the other uses a clicker and still another doesn't try anything at all. Consistency is key when training.

Once everyone is on board, it's time to begin. The dog is told a command and as soon as the command is followed, the dog gets a positive comment and the clicker is clicked at the same time. For example, when Fido is told "sit!" as soon as he sits, the clicker is clicked and the verbal praise is given. Keep practicing during different training sessions until the command is followed without hesitation.

The key to using the clicker and to dog training is to do it when your dog is ready to listen. After a good walk or ball throwing session is a great time to bring out the clicker. Do bursts of five to ten minute focused sessions with play time in-between. Some dogs, like some people, can concentrate longer than others. Keep it positive and fun for everyone involved. Also, there are dog training classes that make use of the clicker. Signing up for a group class is a great way to reinforce the training and to socialize Fido as well. Starting as a puppy, if possible, is best.

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