Thursday, April 28, 2011


Just in case anyone didn't know, or didn't have  the link, here is our facebook page! Come join us and give us a 'like'!!  (That way we can have the cool facebook url instead of the long annoying one with lots of letters and numbers....)

Country Club Facebook Page

ooh, ooh, and there's a twitter too! yay!!
 Country Club Twitter

And a couple of pics just for fun!

Dog Obesity

Canine obesity is the most common nutritional disease in American dogs today. It is the result of simply eating more calories than are burned. Dogs have a built-in protection against this disease, a control mechanism in their brains that satisfies their hunger after they have eaten enough calories to meet their daily energy needs.

However, it is possible to upset this control mechanism. This commonly occurs because the majority of dog owners misguidedly feed their dogs commercial dog foods. It's not your fault if you've been hoodwinked into believing that commercial dog food is best for your dog. But you do need to know that it is NOT.

Even our veterinarians are being controlled to some degree by the commercial dog food manufacturing industry. Believe it or not, vets do NOT learn much, if anything, about animal nutrition when they obtain their veterinary degree. Much of their information on nutrition comes from the commercial petfood industry. The so-called higher quality dog food which your vet most probably recommends is far from ideal. It is very unlikely to be a high quality dog food. Commercial dog foods cause a multitude of degenerative diseases in dogs - Lymes disease, heart disease in dogs, diabetes in dogs and many many more. By feeding the dog a food that is highly palatable, he will eat to satisfy his appetite and not his hunger.

The only way to remove the excessive fat from a dog's body is by reversing the way it was put on, which is feeding the dog fewer calories than he will burn for energy. When this is done, the dog's body will burn up energy stored in his body to obtain what he needs. Fat is the most efficient source of energy and will be used in the greatest amount whenever energy is needed. A reduction in caloric intake cannot be achieved by just cutting down the quantity of food you feed your dog. Drastic cuts in the quantity of food fed may lead to deficiencies that pose an even greater threat to the dog than the obesity does which are deficiencies of proteins, vitamins and minerals. It will also make your dog ravenously hungry! Fats and carbohydrates that contain the most calories should be replaced by ingredients that are less digestible and lower in calories.

What is needed is either a balanced raw diet in smaller quantities, or a specialized super high quality dog diet food.

The diet of an overweight dog should not contain more than 1400 calories per pound of dry matter. A more accurate and convenient way of obtaining a reducing diet is to use a dietary animal food specifically designed for that purpose. This dog diet food can be obtained online. It contains the correct number of calories per pound and is balanced to provide the correct amount of other nutrients for the dog when fed at that caloric density. Whatever the food used, the quantity of it that should be fed has to be estimated.

Portion control is the only other method of feeding that can be used during a weight reducing program. Treats should be avoided during the reduction program. If a dog is more than 10 pounds overweight, (over his ideal body weight) begin your weight reducing program by feeding him only 2/3 the quantity calculated to maintain his desired weight. The full amount of food should be given once a reduction in weight begins to occur. For dogs that are less than 10 lb overweight, begin with the full amount calculated. In dogs weighing less than 10 pounds, use the two-thirds guide for any dog that is more than 33% of his desired weight overweight. It may require several months or longer before a dog reaches his optimum weight.

Do not expect your dog to lose the weight overnight. Taking off weight too fast can be dangerous to an overweight dog. Once optimum weight has been reached, most dogs will need to be kept on portion control feeding or a good dog diet food. Dogs that tend to put on weight need to have their food intake closely regulatedon an ongoing basis, in order to prevent them from regaining the lost weight.

Thank you for this article!

Your Dogs Emotions

Most of the time, it seems like a dog wants nothing more out of life than to eat, sleep, and play, but our dogs are capable of emotion. No, they are not human and never will be, but they do have feelings. If you ignore or don’t know how to handle your dog’s feelings, it can be a dangerous situation because your dog will let you know in inappropriate ways that you have stepped on his toes. Learning about your dog’s emotions and how to handle them will keep you, the dog, and those around you safe.


One of the most basic emotions experienced by dogs is jealousy. Just try petting only one dog when there are others around. The un-petted dog will be quick to join you, usually sticking his nose under your hand to get in on the action. He may also push the other dog aside to make sure she is not getting more than her fair share of love.
Jealous little dog
Jealousy in dogs can cause problems if you don't deal with it.
To tame that jealous streak, you must first of all make sure you are treating your dogs fairly. Not necessarily equally, but at least fairly. Certainly, some dogs need and want more attention than others, but that doesn’t mean you can totally ignore the dog who is a little standoffish. Invite him to get in the game when you are playing with another dog, or spend some special time alone with the dog who doesn’t constantly seek you out.
Next, socializing and training go a long way to keeping all of your dogs feeling that they are loved enough. Make sure your dog spends time with other dogs while he is young so that he realizes he isn’t the only dog in your world. Put your puppy in daycare a day or two a week, spend time with him at the dog park, take classes for obedience, or participate in a dog sport. Even if your dog is the only one in your house, you will undoubtedly come into contact with other dogs while you have your dog with you.
And if you plan on petting the other dogs at the vet’s office or along your neighborhood’s streets, you need to make sure your dog is used to seeing you pay attention to someone other than him. The last thing you need is for your dog to come unglued and start a dog fight simply because you stop to pat the head of the neighbor’s dog.
The key obedience training required to combat jealousy is the “stay” command. Put your dog in a sit-stay or down-stay position before you start talking to the other dog. Praise your dog for sitting or lying down, and return to him with praise periodically throughout the time period that you are with the other dog, just to let your own dog know you have not forgotten about him.


Dogs are great believers in the toddler’s rules of possession: what’s mine is mine; what’s yours is mine; what looks like mine is mine; what I want is mine; and what I had five minutes ago but am no longer interested in unless you make a move on it is mine. Even if what another dog has is something that your dog has shown zero interest in before, the fact that another dog has it is enough to make the object a valuable commodity.
Jealous little dog
Jealousy in dogs can cause problems if you don't deal with it.
Your dog may even want to keep you from getting at whatever the prized possession of the moment is. Don’t simply try to take it from your dog unless you have trained him the “leave it” command. You are very likely to get bitten for attempting to grab the prize he considers his.
Never, never, never get in the middle of a dog fight over a toy or bone. You will most assuredly be the loser. Instead, if you see dogs fighting over something, try spraying them with a water bottle or hose, or even dumping a bucket of water on them. This should distract them enough to stop the fight. If you cannot get their attention, enlist the help of another adult to pull the dogs by their hind legs until they “wheelbarrow” themselves apart.
The whole issue of possession must be dealt with very early in the dog’s life. Try putting his food in front of him, then taking it away after he’s eaten a bit of it. If he doesn’t growl at you, praise him and give it back. Do the same thing with toys, blankets, or whatever he becomes attached to throughout his puppyhood. Make sure you always give back the items he is allowed to have, or replace the items he’s not allowed to chew.
For example, if a puppy is chewing your shoe, you definitely want to take the shoe away, but you must replace it with something the puppy is allowed to chew such as a squeaky toy or a bone. First, tell the dog to leave it in a firm tone of voice, then bend down and take the shoe away. Tell him what a good dog he is, then present him with his toy or bone as a reward.
If the dog growls or snaps at you when you take something away from you, discipline the dog with a firm “no” and do not give him the food, replacement toy, or whatever. After you have totally ignored the dog for 5 – 10 minutes, give him something to play with and try to take it away again. If he lets you take it away, praise him and immediately give it back, maybe even give him a treat. He’ll learn soon enough that if he lets you have whatever he is playing with, good things follow.


You may realize that the time you spend taking out the garbage is much less than the time you spend at work each day, but your dog doesn’t. Dogs have no sense of time, and of course, most dogs don’t wear watches. All dogs get excited when you return home, even after just the briefest absence, but dogs who suffer from a sense of abandonment are just positive that the minute you walk out the door you are gone forever.
These dogs can totally destroy your home in the amount of time it takes you to run a simple errand. (Think about Hooch in the movie classic, Turner and Hooch.) They are desperate to have your companionship, and they think you are lost to them forever when they hear the door close. Sometimes this is because someone truly did leave them – either dumped them at the side of the road, moved away without taking the dog, or dropped them off at a shelter. Sometimes, abandonment issues arise out of nowhere, although separation anxiety is more common in some breeds than others.
Common wisdom says to crate your dog every time you go away. This will keep him from destroying your house and will force him to stay in an area where he should feel safe. Crating is indeed a good idea; however, there are other things you can do to make him more comfortable while you are gone. This is particularly important if you live in an apartment where your neighbors may quickly become tired of hearing your lonely boy howl.
Try placing your dog in the crate with something that smells like you. Rub an old towel along your arms to place your scent on it, then put it in the crate with your dog. You might also put in a favorite toy or bone. Leave the house for just a few minutes – go get the mail, water the plants – whatever allows you to be gone for 5 – 10 minutes. When you come back in, immediately go to the crate and let the dog out. Give him a treat (no matter how he behaved while you were gone). Play with him and let him know how much you love him. Do this for several days until he is able to keep himself calm for the 5 or 10 minutes you are gone.
Gradually, extend the time you leave him alone, always going through the same routine when you come home. It takes a long time, but most dogs can be trained to relax while their human is gone if they know they will get rewarded upon his return.

Positive Emotions

Up to this point, we’ve focused on the emotions you want to help your dog extinguish. Of course, there are many positive emotions that you want your dog to continue to display: affection, excitement, protectiveness, playfulness, and the like. When you see behaviors related to one of these emotions, make sure to praise your dog and give him lots of love. You want him to know these feelings are welcomed in your home, and the only way your dog will be sure of that is if you take the time to tell him he’s done a good thing.

Thanks to for this article!

Stop your puppy from whining

So you've got a whinging, whiny little puppy or older dog - it's got to be one of the most annoying and frustrating sounds of all doesn't it?
Firstly I should say that this whining is a perfectly natural behavior for a young puppy - it is how they get attention from their mother from a very early age. It's when the whining or crying drags on and on and becomes a long term persistent habit that it becomes a problem for us dog lovers.

The best solution to this whining, screaming or whinging behavior is to tackle it immediately, ideally before it establishes itself as an ingrained habit - try to nip it in the bud as they say. Always be fair, understanding and reasonable with a young puppy. Never forget that your puppy is a sociable little creature who hates to be left isolated and alone.
There are many measures you can put into place right now to help quieten your whiny little beast down. We'll start out with some general tips and then get a little more specific further down the page.

"Puppy Whining/Crying Increases With Reinforcement and Decreases Without Reinforcement"

Stop Puppy Whining Crying

Why Do Our Dogs Whinge & Whine?

This is the key question we need to ask ourselves. We must determine the cause of our dog's whining before we can come up with an appropriate and effective solution. There's usually a reason or trigger to be found - we've just got to determine what it is.
Some Of The More Common Reasons Our Dog's Whine:
  • They are seeking our attention - this is most common and tops the list of reasons.
  • Our dog may be uncomfortable. This could mean he/she is cold, wet or hot etc..
  • Dogs will whine if they are in pain.
  • It is common for a dog to whine if he/she is not comfortable in a new environment. Whining in a dog crate is a very common behavior.
  • The dog may be bored or lonely.
  • A dog who whines may need to go to the toilet (or has already soiled his sleeping area).
  • Dogs with unused energy will often whine - the energy has to come out somehow!
  • A hungry or thirsty dog will often cry or whine.
  • Many dogs whine because it works - we reward them for it!
  • The whining may be a symptom of canine separation anxiety.
  • If your dog is whining take a step back and consider whether he/she is involved in the family, loved and properly exercised?

General Things We Must Get Right To Ensure We Have Happy & Settled Dogs

Below is a list of general things that could feature under the heading of "responsible dog ownership". Put these ingredients in place and you will eliminate many of the reasons why your puppy may be whining.
  • Provide a dry, warm, safe and comfortable area for your dog.
  • Ensure that your dog is well fed and has access to clean, fresh water. If your dog whines in one particular area you may want to feed him/her in this area. This will provide your dog with a nice positive association to the area where he is normally unsettled.
  • If necessary take your dog out to the toilet every few hours.
  • One or two tasty dog chew toys may help reduce whining in some situations - a stuffed kong toy is a favorite with my dogs.
  • If your puppy is whining overnight you may be advised to bring his bedding/crate into your bedroom. Puppies love to be able to see and smell their "pack" - which is you. You will be able to move the crate out of your room over a period of time. NOTE: I'd only advise using this technique if you are happy to have your dog in your bedroom with you, otherwise just ignoring the whining is your best course of action.
  • Burn off your dog's energy (this will prevent many destructive behaviors). Tire your dog out with some rigorous on leash walks, playing games and some mentally stimulating obedience training.
  • Place an item of clothing with your scent on it in your puppy's sleeping area.
  • If you are at all concerned that your dog's whining may be due to some kind of pain then a trip to the Veterinarian is required.
  • Some owners have reported success by wrapping an old ticking clock up in a towel and placing it in the dog's bed. This is said to comfort the dog as the ticking clock replicates the sound of another dog's heartbeat.

puppy whining picture

Specific Strategies To Help Stop Your Dog From Whining

Once you have thought about what triggers the whining and have ruled out any of the general issues outlined above you can then implement a suitable solution. Pick out one or more of the strategies listed below and apply them with fairness, consistency and persistence. Your aim is to get it through to your dog that you are serious about this and that his whining is not acceptable - don't be wishy washy about it.
If you are thinking that Separation Anxiety may be the cause of your dog's whining, read this article - separation anxiety in dogs.

"Never Reward And Therefore Reinforce Undesirable Behavior - Always Reward Desirable Quiet Time"

  1. If you feel everything is ok with your puppy and he/she continues whinging and whining then ignoring the behavior is the best solution. I understand that this is not easy but it is worth the effort - short term pain for long term gain. Each time you respond in any way to your dog's whining you are in fact rewarding the very behavior you are trying to eradicate. On the other hand when you ignore the whining you are sending a message to your dog that whining is a fruitless exercise. This method requires absolute commitment and consistency from all family members - don't give in to your puppy no matter how hard it may be!
  2. If you have a persistent whiner only ever go to him/her when all is quiet. Repeat the following training program over and over until your dog "gets it". If you can hear your dog whining in the other room go to the door and say "enough!!" and quickly slam the door shut. When the whining stops (even for 5 seconds) you can go into the room full of praise and give your dog a tasty treat. Most dogs soon learn that when they whine you are not around, but when they are quiet you are friendly and come with treats. This method of providing instant feedback to your dog can be a slow process but does work - remember to reinforce in your dog's mind that his whining never leads to a desirable consequence.
  3. Another successful way to eliminate or at least manage a whining dog is to put the whining on command or cue. This is not a particularly difficult thing to do - you can also use this technique if your dog barks excessively. Learn how to solve many behavioral problems and properly obedience train your dog here -
  4. Another method that I've been told works is to use a water pistol. What you do is squirt your dog when he/she is whining and at the same time say "No!!". This produces a negative association in your dog's mind between him whining and the unpleasant shot of water to his face. You must be on the spot to enforce this consequence to your dog - but if your timing is good you should only have to do it a few times. Don't continue to use this technique for more than a few days, it's not working if you don't get a good result in a couple of days.
I hope this article helps with your whining puppy - as with most behavioral problems obedience training is the key. Obedience training class is well worthwhile for all puppies, but if you plan to train your puppy or older dog at home I'd recommend you follow a good dog training resource such as - membership community.

Thanks to
for this well-written article!

Help with Adolescent Dogs

Train Adolescent DogsHere are some things to think about relating to tendencies and training adolescent dogs. Sometimes adolescent dogs want to roam and visit places and other dogs and scents. At five months of age your dog is getting into their "teenage" years. Depending on your dogs individual personality and breed, teenager-hood can last anywhere from one year to three years. This is considered their experimental age and dogs who are teenagers tend to exhibit some of the same types of behavior that human teenagers do. You’ll find that they are beginning to test their boundaries, explore their world more than a young puppy would. Pushing boundaries and trying new things that they may get away with despite their good training. This is also the time that teenage hormones are present which comes with a whole slew of other behaviors that are instinctual to your dog.

In wild canine packs there's a point where the mother leaves the puppies in the den and they stay there, then the pups start to get bigger and more mobile. Eventually the mother will start to leave them by themselves completely. As they continue to get bigger and more mobile they will become more able to be farther from the den for longer periods at a time until they reach adulthood. Our dogs don't behave like wild canines most of the time, and you can't assume that something is right for a dog just because it's normal for a wild dog or wolf. However, the progression from Train Teen Dogless-able dog to adult is similar. What this all means is that, as the owner of teenage dogs it’s normal for your dog to want to explore. Exploring their surroundings is all instincts for your dog.
Adolescent dogs have a number of behavior issues that need the next step up from puppy training. At this stage your pet has had some time with you and your family, learned potty training and the basics. This time together has also given him time to pick up some bad habits that have gone unrecognized by you. Some people that have adopted their dogs at this stage have no background on why the dog does certain things. There is still hope for both cases so don’t despair.

As you take the lead in teaching your dog, part of your job is going to be limiting their options so that they don't learn any bad habits that you don't want them to do when they are adults. It is a better idea to spend some time thinking about your goals for your dog. Some of the training work you have already done can become piggybacked at this stage. Like a human teenager, the dog remembers their training but doesn’t always use their better judgment. Sit down with your “owner / master” hat on instead of your "mommy / daddy” hat. We all wear both hats as pet owners.

Training adolescent dogs can be a challenge, but is often needed.
Train Teenage DogStart to think about your wish list for a perfect dog by brainstorming a bit. Narrow the list down to just a few critical and long term goals. These are going to be things like "stays in the yard" "comes when called” "knows how to sit, lie down, come, and stay," etc. These are all things that when your dog is all grown up, you will not be able to accept that they don’t do. Once you have a clear sense of what you need from your dog in order to live with them without getting angry at them constantly or having other people mad at them you may begin thinking about how to obedience train them. You will be a much happier owner once you learn to train adolescent dogs.
Most pet owners plan to teach their dog some of the basic obedience stuff and either get frustrated at this stage or gave up a long time ago. If you got your dog at this stage of life and they were never trained it’s a little harder, but with some help can definitely be done. When training dogs you must be interested in doing it as “positively” as possible. Using the least amount of force as possible is the best way. You may think because the dog is bigger than a puppy it’s alright to be more aggressive with them but that is false. If you are aggressive, the dog will become aggressive. Eventually if you choose to “spot train” your dog and you use aggressive behavior your dog may become unmanageable.
Aggressive tendencies and some obsessive behaviors are common in adolescent dogs. This is one of the reasons that dogs can end up at pounds and shelters. Shelters are over run with animals that have been abandoned because they have bitten people or wandered off of their property. Not all of the aggressive behaviors that dogs show are from this but it’s one of the main reasons. If you have just adopted your dog from one of these places and the animal is showing these signs you can correct them without hurting or scaring the dog but it will take effort and time. If you do take the time and effort we can make it easier for you and your dog.
Train Adolescent Dogs
If you plan to train your adolescent dog yourself you should use a good training manual and never attempt to train your teenage dog without any guidance at all. You can possibly end up teaching your dog bad habits and aggression. Remember that if you get upset your dog will sense this and become agitated themselves. Whatever guidance that you decide on should be from an instructor whose goal is to help you learn and teach your teenage dog proactively rather than teaching you how to punish or reprimand misbehavior.
Hopefully if you have an adolescent dog you already own a good dog training guide. If you have got this far with your dog without one, and he or she is well behaved, congratulations!

Tips to stop your dog from jumping up

Jumping comes naturally to a dog.  It's how he shows his joy.  In the wild, dogs greet others by rubbing noses.  When you consider that your dog might be trying to connect with you or others by rubbing noses, this behavior becomes easier to understand. 

When your pet is still a little puppy, all those enthusiastic displays of affection and joy can be gratifying and let's admit, more than a little flattering. Flash forward to a few months later, and your dog is now big enough and heavy enough to actually harm or injure you by jumping on you the moment you step in the door.  A seventy pound dog jumping on you can easily knock you off balance. 

If your dog is making your guests the focus of all this affection, you can't always be sure they appreciate all the loving.  They might be afraid or feel uncomfortable.  They might not like their clothes and hair being messed up by a big slobbering dog dribbling saliva inches from their face. If it's a person who doesn't have any experience with pet dogs, they could even panic leading to all kinds of undesirable consequences.

Teaching your dog to display acceptable behavior in the company of others is an important part of responsible dog ownership. You might think your dog is cute and smells great, but your friends or guests might not agree.  When you invite guests into your home, you must be mindful that your dog doesn't make them uncomfortable, and a jumping dog actually makes more people uncomfortable than you think.

For a dog to be taught not to jump on others, you have to first train him not to jump on you.  It isn't possible to teach him that a particular behavior is acceptable when it's displayed towards you, but completely undesirable when it's displayed towards others. Begin training your dog not to jump on you form the time he's a puppy.  Bad habits left ignored only continue into adulthood, and you'll have a harder time getting your dog to stop his jumping behavior if you wait till he's seventy pounds of muscle and slobbering all over you.

Tips for Training your Dog not to Jump

Take a look at your current behavior with your dog, and how you react when he jumps on you when you walk in the door.  Do you resign yourself to his affection and say "Ok" Ok, boy, down boy, down?"  If this sounds familiar, you  might know it, but you're actually encouraging his jumping behavior, and establishing it in his mind as desirable behavior. There has been no punishment, and no reason for him to stop his behavior. You haven't' been angry with him. In fact, you've done nothing to show your dog you don't approve of his jumping.  Don't expect your dog to figure out what's in your mind. He needs to be taught that you don't encourage certain behaviors, and ignoring it and hoping he'll grow out of it doesn't help.

The next time you walk in the door, and your dog jumps on you, turn around before he has a chance to rest his paws on your shoulder.  Ignore him till he stops the jumping actions,and avoid all eye contact. Then, once he's on the ground and calmer, turn around and pet him and praise him for being such a good dog. Remember, he shouldn't be jumping at the time of praise; he should be sitting and calm.  Timing is crucial here.

Use the "sit command to distract him when he is about to begin his his normal jumping routine.  This forces him to stop focusing on jumping, and begin obeying the "sit" command.  He won't be able to jump when he's sitting. Now, pet him and praise him to reinforce the sitting behavior.  Come down to his level, and interact with him, and return his greetings this way.

The "Off" command works fine too, if used instead of the "sit" command.

If you find using the "sit" and "off" commands isn't doing anything to calm your excited dog, throw him off balance...literally.  When your dog is leaning on you with his paws on you, take a small step forward, so he is forced to retreat backwards. Don't take a step backward yourself; he'll think you're playing a game which only establishes the jumping behavior as desirable.  When you move a step ahead, he will find it harder to walk backwards on his two legs.  For smaller dogs, you might want to take a small step, so you don't risk completely throwing them off and on to the ground.  You can also try leaning on the dog a little to throw him off balance.

Some dog training experts advocate kneeing a dog in the chest to discourage his jumping behavior.  This might work in some situations, but the disadvantages are too many.  Kneeing your beloved pet might not be easy to do, and you risk injuring your dog if you knee him too hard.

Remember, the longer your dog goes without learning to restrain himself with you and others, the harder you will find to get him to lose this undesirable behavior.  If your dog is making a nuisance of himself in the presence of company, begin training him immediately.