When it comes to
training your dog, there’s a great new treat to
reinforce good behavior. Not only that, it
actually helps to support the health of the
brain, in hopes of making your training even
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indicates that cats can dramatically benefit
from better and more varied nutrition.
Find out the latest on the effects of
supplementing the diet with antioxidants,
essential fatty acids and probiotics.
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celebrations are right around the corner.
In this article, we discuss the necessity of
protecting your cats and dogs from potentially
traumatic situations associated with this
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Americans struggle to control their weight.
In this article, you’ll get the latest on a
delicious, all-natural soy shake that can help
shed unwanted pounds while supporting your
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Early summer is an emotional time for me. While
I look at all my healthy and happy pets and am
pleased that I have been able to give them safe,
loving lives, I also see and read about the
millions of homeless cats and dogs. Summer is
the time when most have litters, adding to the
numbers whose daily struggle is nothing less
than the fight for survival.
Each year between eight and twelve million dogs
and cats of all ages end up in animal shelters.
Many become lost or were abandoned.
Unfortunately, though, many must be rescued from
Thankfully, there are many organizations to
intervene in these lives of hardship. If each of
us helped just one animal organization, we could
touch the lives of so many animals. And
remember, help can come in many forms. We can
foster animals, answer phones for the
organization, donate money or supplies, help
organize fundraisers, or simply visit these
animals and share a little of your love.
At Life's Abandance, we’ve taken a very proactive
approach to helping these abused and neglected
animals. We’ve established the Dr. Jane
HealthyPetNet Foundation to help support the
important work of these noble enterprises.
Everyone here at Life's Abandance feels that animals are
important in their lives; we’re all excited that
our mission of helping animals will be advanced
not only through this newly formed foundation,
but also through the sale of every single
Life's Abandance product.
During this season, I ask you to please open
your hearts. The small help you provide today
can mean a world of difference for these
precious creatures in the future.
Dr. Jane Bicks
European researchers have discovered evidence of
an advanced mental ability in canines; one that
was previously thought to be specific only to
A behavior known as “selective imitation” is a
method of learning that brings meaning and
cultural context to specific actions. In
selective imitation, observers (usually infants)
differentiate between two types of behaviors.
There are acts of necessity (I can’t use my
hands right now because they’re otherwise
occupied, so I’ll use my elbow to open the door
lever) and there are acts of inefficient
preference (even though I can use my hands which
are not presently occupied, I like to open the
door with my elbow). When human infants observe
the two behaviors, they will adopt the latter
skill (i.e., the latter behavior is “selected”).
In a recent study, dogs learned in just the same
way. Dogs watched a demonstrator dog pulling a
rod with a paw, rather than with the mouth. When
the demonstrator dog carried a ball in its
mouth, the actions were not adopted by the
observer dogs. But, when the demonstrator dog
had no object in its mouth and pulled the lever
with a paw, the observer dogs began to adopt the
Certainly, further research is warranted in this
area, but researchers are excited by these
results which seem to indicate that our canine
companions may have more complex learning
abilities that previously believed.
Every year, millions of Americans welcome a new dog
into their home, particularly in the late spring and
early summer. And every year, hundreds of thousands
of dogs are given up for adoption, chiefly because
they exhibit unruly behavior. Why? Because many
people think they know everything necessary to train
their companion animals, when really they have
nothing other than a vague idea.
Experts agree, obedience training is absolutely
essential to the long-term success of the
relationship between you and your dog. Training
provides parameters for acceptable behavior and
helps to ensure the safety of your precious pup, as
well as the safety of others coming in contact with
There are two primary cornerstones of obedience
training: consistency and positive reinforcement.
Consistency is simply this – always reward the
desired behavior and never reward unwanted behavior.
Another aspect of consistency is an agreement that
everyone issuing commands uses the same words that
you do. And positive reinforcement can take many
forms, but at root it is providing incentives for
good behavior and a steadfast promise never to
physically abuse your canine as punishment. If you
can commit to providing consistency and positive
reinforcement, you’re well on your way to teaching
your dog basic obedience behavior.
Here’s a term you’ll hear in relation to canine
behavior – dominance hierarchy, which is a fancy way
of describing the social structure of dogs.
Basically, it means that dogs, as social beings,
crave structure. Often, when dogs are fearful of new
situations and unexpected noises, it’s commonly due
to a lack of an established social structure in
their adopted family. It’s up to you to position
yourself as the dominant leader, establishing that
your dog falls below you in the family ranking.
No matter what type of training you choose, timing
is essential. It is absolutely imperative that you
reward your dog within seconds of the correct
behavior. Waiting longer than a couple of seconds
will be confusing to your dog, as she will not be
able to associate the positive reinforcement with
the appropriate behavior.
While there are many things you need to do, there
are a few that you need to make certain that you do
not do. Here are a couple of items that fall in the
latter category …
• Do not repeat the specified command multiple times
to get your dog to do the behavior once. You’re
defeating the purpose of training by teaching
him/her that there are times when it’s okay not to
do the behavior in association with the command.
• Do not punish your dog for failure to execute a
specified command. If you do, you’ll immediately
teach them that training is something to fear.
Believe us, you don’t want to do this. While there
are many schools of thought on the best way to
train, all experts can agree on this issue. While
some fringe (and possibly very mean) people will
insist that negative reinforcement is an effective
tool for training, it will always take longer, be
less effective and it will cause your dog to have
difficulty trusting you in the future.
While we’ve tried to stress that you should not
punish your dog during obedience training, sometimes
negative reinforcement is necessary to deter
unwanted behavior. As doling out punishments can
negatively impact your dog’s trust, it’s best that
the negative stimulus appears to come from an object
(other than you), like shaking a small container
full of coins (trust us, it’s an unpleasant sound to
your dog). Again, it’s very important that the
negative stimulus occur during or immediately after
the undesired action.
A final warning on negative reinforcement – if
incorrectly used, you’ll risk making your dog
fearful, distrustful and possibly aggressive, only
to be more likely to exhibit negative behaviors.
Commit to doing the
best that you can. Tens of thousands of people
successfully train their puppies and dogs every
year. Keep in mind that there are many
different approaches and methods of dog training.
That’s why it’s important to speak to your vet or a
trusted pet professional for recommendations
regarding local trainers who will be a good match
for you and your dog.
Remember, most canines are eager to please. They
want you to show them what to do. Training is just
as much about teaching your dog as it is learning
acceptable methods of training yourself.
By harnessing your dog’s natural curiosity, you’ll
both be on your way to a long and pleasant life
you have a video camera, set it
up in your training area and
film your training session.
Watch it (when your dog is out
of the room, so as to avoid
confusion) with a critical eye
regarding your training
techniques. Some people are
oblivious to the fact that
they’ll say “Sit” five times in
a row. The goal here is to learn
about what you do right and what
you do wrong. You’ll learn how
to be a more proficient trainer
simply by watching your own