Thursday, August 27, 2015

Back to School: Training Tips that will help you and your pup get an A+

It’s that time of year again – smiles and waves as we drop our little ones off at the bus stop, and tearful goodbyes as we send our teenagers off to college. Amidst all the excitement and chaos of a brand new school year, don’t forget that your furry little one has some learning to do as well! After all the backpacks and binders, dorm rooms and textbooks, take some time to focus on obedience training with your dog. Here are a few fun and helpful tips to get you and your four legged student a perfect score!

Positive reinforcement
Just like kids in school, dogs should be rewarded when they do a good job. In elementary school it may be a gold star for the right answer or a smiley face sticker on a quiz well done. For our scruffy scholars, food is the best way to reinforce positive behavior when training. Does your dog have a favorite treat? Does he wag his tail at the sight of a jar of peanut butter? Does he slobber at the sound of bacon cooking? Make sure you have a stash of the most scrumptious food you can find, so your pup has something to look forward to when he does his best work. When he sits as soon as he hears the command...A yummy sausage link! When he comes when called...A chewy piece of cheese! The more your dog receives a positive reward, the better he will perform. 

How many times have you told your child, after they struggle with an assignment or can’t seem to figure out a difficult math problem, “Practice makes perfect"? In order to succeed, we have to give our full attention and greatest efforts, no matter how many times it takes to get it right. The more we practice, the better we get. Well, the same applies to obedience training with your dog! The more you practice a command with them, the more familiar those words will become to your dog. Try spending 5-10 minutes at a time focusing on one command. If you tell your dog “down”, and he doesn’t respond the first time, TRY TRY TRY AGAIN. Don’t give up. He may not get it at first, but after a few repetitions your dog should be able to respond correctly to the command. Much like children would spend time practicing their multiplication tables, repetition helps our dogs learn and remember what we teach them.


Do your best to make learning fun for your dog. In a school setting, recess is used to break up the monotony of the day. Recess allows kids to get some fresh air and play some of their favorite games. Apply the same concept to training with your dog. Take a break and spend some time outside, allowing your pup to release some energy. Play fetch with his favorite toy or go for a quick walk. This gives both you and your dog a chance to let loose and have some fun. Utilizing recess will break up your dog’s learning time and ensure that obedience training is something your dog enjoys and actually looks forward to!

 Attendance is Mandatory
In order to make obedience training a successful endeavor, both you and your dog must want to be there. Your dog has a natural desire to please you. If you are excited to teach your dog, he will be happy to learn. So make sure to consistently train your dog, and enjoy it! Don’t just work inside your home. Be sure to change the environment every once in a while, so things don’t get boring. Have class in the park one day! Most importantly, this should be a bonding experience for you and your dog, so the more time you are able to spend training, the more you are able to spend with your loved one.

Bring your canine collegiate to Morris Animal Inn! We offer dog training programs designed to teach and reinforce basic obedience, and we provide detailed instructions for reinforcement at home. For more information click here.

Friday, August 21, 2015

U.S. Army Specialist & His Bomb Sniffing Dog Reunite!

On August 20, 2015, Vance, a U.S. Army Specialist and his bomb sniffing dog, Ikar, reunited after 3 long years! They served together in Afghanistan and Vance missed his army partner very much. 

Vance was not sure he would see his pal again but thankfully the U.S. War Dogs Association and Mission K9 Rescue made it happen!

"The bond and amount of trust we had in each other was stronger than anything I could ever explain to another person," Vance expressed.

Vance and Ikar, a T.E.D.D. (Tactical Explosive Detection Dog), had a mission to save lives, limbs and helping his army buddies walk easier so they could do their jobs.

Vance's own words couldn't say it better about how he feels about Ikar. "I am so thankful he was found and is alive and well. I am even more thankful that I get the opportunity to give Ikar the proper home, love, and attention he deserves from this point on. He will live out the rest of his life being treated like a hero he is and enjoy spoils of retirement. I have missed my friend for over 3 years and knowing that he will be home soon with me is unbelievable. I will forever be in debt to all the people who made this reunion possible. I could not thank you enough times for you all to know how much this means to me. Thank you."

The Morris Animal Inn Operation: War Dogs Campaign has so far raised over $8,000 for the purpose of helping bring U.S. Military War Dogs home. We are happy to say that Vance and Ikar's reunion is the result of your support. The campaign continues until September 7, 2015. For the full article about Vance and Ikar click here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Owning a Dog is Good for Your Health

As pet owners, we have much to be thankful for from the presence of our pets. They light up our lives in our darkest moments and can turn our frown upside down.

It’s true that our pets are an investment. We spend much of our savings on them from squeaky toys to premium food. In our eyes, they deserve the best of the best and more often than not we are willing to give it to them. With the undivided attention and affection they give us and those eyes that never judge and only love, it is an investment that has always proven to be well worth it. But this is not the only benefit we can reap from our fuzzy companions. Studies have proven time and again the health advantages of owning a pet. Both mentally and physically our health can flourish with the addition of a furry, wet-nosed, whiskered friend in our lives.

Physical Health Benefits
As Dr. Oz has pointed out,“Petting your animal has been clinically proven to reduce blood pressure and increase serotonin, a hormone that helps to elevate your mood.” Research has shown that petting a dog lowers blood pressure and increases serotonin. In the PBS NOVA documentary, Dogs Decoded it was discovered that pet owners that have a heart attack are three times more likely to survive the heart attack if they own a pet. Let’s not forget that dog owners especially exercise more often since they must take their dog on a walk and engage their canine in physical activity at least once a day.

Mental Health Benefits
Having a dog is an easy solution for fighting depression and lifting our mood. It is nearly impossible to stay mad or sad when our dog looks at us with those puppy dog eyes or licks our face with a special blend of tender yet fierce love, not caring how we look or what mistakes we've made that day. Pets' love is constant and unyielding . They will never leave us if we never leave them. We can tell them secrets and unload our problems on their fuzzy shoulders and they will never falter from the pressure. Though they can't offer us advice, they will always lend us an ear to whisper in, a paw to hold and a shoulder to lean on.

Though pets may leave a little dent in our wallets and a few spots on the oriental rug, the happiness, well-being and joy they bring to our lives are simply priceless.


Friday, August 7, 2015


You know the drill. It’s Saturday morning. You are headed to the dog park or a friend's house with your doggie in tow. Since it’s the weekend, you decide to celebrate and treat yourself a little by stopping at your local coffee house for some java and a doughnut. You rush out of the car leaving your dog locked inside. Unfortunately, it turns out everyone within a 100 mile radius had the same Saturday morning idea. What should have been a 10 minute wait, quickly turns into a 30 or 40 minute wait of impatient foot-stamping, caffeine-deprived rage.

While you may be annoyed, your pooch is steaming - temperature wise. Leaving your dog in a parked car in the hot summer months is extremely dangerous. Most dog owners are aware of the cautions of such a habit, but not the extent. The temperature inside your car depends on the outside temperature. According to the Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services, in a time lapse of 60 minutes, a parked car can reach up to 123 degrees Fahrenheit even if the temperature outside is only as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The sun’s shortwave radiation quickly heats dark objects like seats and the dashboard. These hot objects then warm the car’s internal air, creating a dangerous hotbox.

While it is unhealthy for anyone to be locked in an overheated parked car, dogs and children are most at risk for suffering hyperthermia because they overheat more rapidly than adults. Hyperthermia is, “an acute condition that occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate.” Even opening the car windows is not sufficient enough to counter the effects of the heat.

To avoid this unfortunate situation, a good idea is to invest in a Wireless Digital Thermometer that reads the inside temperature of your car. Clean Run has an excellent thermometer for car owners with dogs. The sensor accurately measures the temperature of your car and sends it to the wireless receiver. Temperature readings can be sent wirelessly up to 330 feet away. As long as you religiously monitor the temperature readings and make sure the car temp does not rise to an unhealthy degree, it is possible to stop for that Saturday morning caffeine fix.

However, whenever you are in a bind and don't want to leave your precious pup home alone or stuck suffering in the heat of your car while you run errands during the hot days of the week, bring your precious pooch to Morris Animal Inn for daycare. Your dog will enjoy the cool comfort of our fully air conditioned facility, hydrating water breaks, and best of all, play and attention from our staff !

Sources: National Weather Service Heat Safety