Archives for December 2009

New Year’s Resolutions for your Dog

IMG_2444If you’re like many people you’re ready to say farewell to 2009 and ring in 2010 with joy, and the anticipation of new things to come. Most of us have made some kind of resolution for the New Year, but do any of them include your dog? If not, consider some of these Fido inspired ideas.

  • DogFoodFind a quality food for your dog. Feeding a good dog food will help keep your dogs coat shiny, their muscles strong and their weight in check.
  • Schedule regular visits to your veterinarian.
  • Set up a regular grooming schedule that includes brushing, bathing, teeth cleaning and nail trimming.
  • Create a safer environment for your dog. Make sure household chemicals are not accessible to your dog.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing their identification tags. Also consider having them microchipped.
  • Take your dog to an obedience program. If you have a puppy it will help you get started on the right paw. If you have an older dog, it too will benefit from learning or refining some basic manners.
  • _MG_6613Teach your dog at least one new trick a month.
  • Exercise your dog. This might also help you reach one of your personal resolutions. According to a recent study dog owners get more exercise than people who have just a gym membership.
  • Make a donation to your local animal shelter. This could be in the form of money, time or even some of your dogs old toys and leashes.
  • Last but not least, have fun!!

If you need help maintaining Fido’s resolutions please contact us at


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TeddyYesterday while I was shoveling my driveway I paused to watch one of the dogs as he played enthusiastically with a tennis ball. It caused me ponder how frequently we get wrapped up in the stress and chaos of our lives that we forget it’s the simple things that can create bliss. Perhaps, we should take a lesson from our dogs. I’m know you have heard about how dogs live in the moment, but have you REALLY thought about what that means? They don’t think or worry about what happened last month, last year, or even an hour ago. Dogs can be SO incredibly satisfied with the simplest things, a tennis ball, a game of fetch, a walk, or a belly rub. When was the last time you woke up in the morning just happy to be alive and ready for the adventure that today may bring? That’s how my dogs wake up everyday. In many ways I envy them. Today let’s strive to find a little bit of bliss in our own lives. Let’s be thankful for our dogs that are always ecstatic when we come home from work, our family that is there, the roof over our heads and little things in our life the we take for granted.

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The Perfect Santa Paws Picture

RavenSantaSince reading my last post I know that you have all marked your calendars to get your dog’s picture taken with Santa Paws, but HOW do you get your pet to sit a calmly as Raven did? Well, here are a couple of tips that should help you have the perfect picture with Santa.

First of all, exercise your dog before going to your photo session. Take them for a long walk or play a game of fetch. By using up some of its energy your dog will be able to listen better in a new environment full of distractions.

Give your dog a potty break before your photo session. You don’t want Fido to put himself at the top of Santa’s naughty list because he couldn’t hold it any longer.

Allow your dog to sniff and greet before you take the photo. From the dog’s perspective Santa looks a little odd.

The best way to get the perfect puppy picture with Mr. Paws it us utilize your dogs obedience. Put your dog in a ‘sit/stay’ or ‘down/stay’ by Santa so you can easily get out of the picture.

Ask the photographer which way they want your dog to look, then move to that area. Your dog’s head will follow you. You can also use treats or toys to keep their attention.

Once the photo shoot is done, reward your dog!

If you need help getting Fido ready for his picture with Santa Paws, or any other photo session please contact us at Good Dog Camp.

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Santa Paws

RavenSantaAre you looking for something fun to do with you pet this weekend? How about getting their picture taken for a good cause? That’s right! Santa Paws will be visiting the North PetSmart this Sunday between 11-4. Not only will you get a photo of your pet, but you will also receive a cute frame it put it in and $5 of every photo sales goes to Paws and Claws Humane Society.
Please help Paws and Claws continue to help homeless animals in the Rochester area.

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Cold Weather Tips for Your Dog

IzSnowShovelFor those of us in the Midwest we are very aware that Old Man Winter has reared his ugly head. Even though the snow is falling and the mercury is dropping our dogs still need exercise. However, we do need to take precautions against the cold temperatures, icy walkways and salty drives.

If it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s too cold for your dog, so you may need to shorten your walks. If you have a short hair or small dog, you might also consider putting a sweater or jacket on them to help keep in their body heat. Since you walks are shorter, you will need to increase the amount of mental exercise for your dog. Try practicing ‘puppy push-up,’ a increasing the duration and distraction while your dog is on their ‘place’ or hide a treat or toy and play ‘find it.’

Please remember sidewalks and trails may be slippery, so take some of the same precautions with your dog that you would for yourself. They can fall, pull muscles and otherwise injure themselves also.

Snow can also pack in between the pads on your dog’s paws causing discomfort. You can prevent this by having your dog wear boots, using a product like Invisible Boot or applying a olive oil on the bottom of their feet just before you go out.

Salt and deicers, as great as they are for making our walks accident free, can irritate your dog’s paws and cause intestinal problems if ingested. Once again, dog boots prevent salt from even touching their paws. If boots are not an option wipe or rinse their paws off when they come into the house. Also consider applying a product like Paw Rescue to soothe and condition irritated paws.

Have fun and stay safe this winter! Woof!

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Do I Need a Leash on My Dog?

004Well, I did it. I finally went to City Hall and picked up a copy of the ordinances in regards to the leash laws in Rochester MN. Having this information is important to me because a large part of my training is focused on off leash reliability. I don’t want to break any laws and I sure don’t want my clients to do that either, so here it is:

106A.01 Definitions. Subdivision 6 ‘By Command’ means when the owner is walking, jogging or bicycling on public property or private property of another, a dog must be withing six (6) feet of its owner at all times. When on its owners property or fetching and playing on public property, the dog must be visible to the owner and be within thirty (30) feet of the owner or another person responsible for control of the dog. Dog must always return to the owner so that a leash can be attached, on no more than two (2) voice commands. Any dog declared potentially dangerous or dangerous must never be off its leash.

106A.08 (Summary) All dogs and cats must be restrained by being enclosed within a residence, dwelling, business or other structure, within a fence, on a leash or under control by command. Animals that are not restrained are considered “at large” (City of Rochester, MN Ordinance Highlights)

I’m glad Rochester has some rules for dog owners, but also allows us to have fun with them too! A well behaved dog that understands its rules and boundaries earns itself more freedom. Imagine being able to take your canine companion to the park for a game of fetch without worrying that he will run off. If you live in Rochester and want help teaching your dog to be obedient on and off leash around distractions, contact Good Dog Camp and we can make those dreams a reality!

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