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Reading Your Dog’s Body Language

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The friendship between a person and their dog is a special bond that transcends species and language. Many dog owners are convinced they know exactly what their pet is thinking—and in many cases, they’re probably right! However, there are some signs that even long-time pet owners may get confused. Today, we’ll be looking at some commonly misinterpreted body language signals that your dog may be giving you.

Tail Wagging

Most of the time, you’d be right to say your dog is just happy to see you when he wags his tail! However, sometimes tail wagging can mean a more negative kind of arousal. Your dog may wag his tail out of frustration, or even as a warning sign to other dogs. Some research suggests that tails wagging more to the left indicates a negative feeling, with greater wagging on the right reserved for positive feelings.

Growling

A growling dog can certainly be an appropriate cause for concern. If you’re with an unfamiliar dog, keep a safe distance if it begins to growl. A familiar and friendly dog who is otherwise demonstrating playful cues may just be there to have a good time. It’s important to also consider the position of the dog’s ears and tail and be ready to switch to a more relaxed activity if things are getting too rowdy.

Yawning

As with humans, yawning can be a sign of sleepiness for dogs. But your dog may also yawn out of stress or confusion. Yawning may help them calm themself in moments of tension or uncertainty. In fact, in the same way that yawns are “contagious” amongst humans, dogs can also catch your yawn! In stressful situations, it may even help to yawn at your dog so that he will yawn back and possibly feel more at ease.

 

The professional trainers at Chicago Canine Academy are well-attuned to complex and unique ways dogs express themselves. If you’re looking for dog daycare in Chicago, we offer a fun and productive environment that’s perfect for your pet! Contact us today to learn more.

How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Dog?

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How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Dog?

The brutal winter temperatures are only beginning to emerge in Chicagoland, posing a common question for dog owners throughout the city: how cold is too cold for my dog to be outside? While we all know that dogs love spending outside to get much-needed exercise, if temperatures drop too low, you should monitor how much time your dog is spending outside. 

Determining Factors

Like humans, all dogs are not created equal, and there are specific factors to consider when determining how long your dog should spend outside. 

  • Coat type: Some breeds such as Huskies or Newfoundlands have thick, double-layered coats that help them tolerate colder temperatures. Dogs with thin coats are not as tolerant to the cold weather. 
  • Coat color: Darker dogs have an easier time absorbing heat from the sun while they’re outside. Lighter coats don’t absorb heat as well. 
  • Size & weight: Consider both the size and weight of your dog. Body fat acts as a good insulator, however, don’t overdo it. Too much body fat will have serious health problems for your dog. 
  • Age and overall health: Dogs that are very young or very old will have a harder time keeping their body temperatures consistent. 

Temperature Guidelines

Generally speaking, most dogs are fine in temperatures that are 45 degrees Fahrenheit or above. As temperatures dip to 32 degrees, consider monitoring your pet while they are outside to make sure they are behaving okay. As temperatures drop even lower, we recommend utilizing this helpful chart to see what is safe for your dog. 

From dog training in Chicago to helping answer your questions about how to give your dog the best life possible, we are your one-stop resource for all things dog! If you’re interested in any of our services, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today!

Avoid Feeding Your Dog These Foods

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Pet Trainers In Chicago

There’s nothing cuter than those puppy dog eyes that are staring back at you on a daily basis. As private dog trainers in Chicago, we know firsthand how difficult it can be to resist giving your furry friend human food here and there. Some human foods are perfectly okay for your dog to eat in moderation. However, there are certain foods that should be avoided in order to keep your dog safe and healthy. We also recommend feeding your dog any human food from their bowls so they don’t get used to begging at the kitchen table!

Popcorn

Cuddling up and watching a movie isn’t complete with a bowl of popcorn. If you are eating air-popped, unsalted and unbuttered popcorn, it’s okay to give your dog a few pieces. However, not many people enjoy popcorn in this way. Bags of buttery and salted popcorn can lead to short-term dehydration for your pet. Plus, the kernels aren’t good for their teeth and gums. It’s best to avoid giving your pup this treat altogether.

Avocados

Persin, an oil-soluble toxin that is dangerous to your dog can be found in the skin and leaves of an avocado. This oil can cause respiratory distress, congestion, and fluid accumulation around the heart. Avoiding the skin and leaves is pivotal if you’re feeding your dog an avocado. 

Grapes

Grapes are one of the most toxic foods that dogs can eat. They can cause kidney failure or, in some cases, death. Researchers still aren’t sure of the exact reasoning for grapes’ toxicity, but it’s best to avoid giving both grapes and raisins to your pup. 

These are just a few of the examples of what not to feed your dog this holiday season. If you feel unsure about a particular food item, simply look it up to make sure it is safe.

Does My Dog Need Professional Training?

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Dog Traning Chicago

When it comes to dogs, many people think they have the training process under control. It’s not until there is a frustrating example of disobedience that dog parents begin to wonder whether or not they should invest in dog training in Chicago. While many basics can be taught successfully by dog parents, it’s crucial that you get the help that you need before your dog’s behavior begins to spiral out of control.

Excessive Biting

When your dog is a puppy, it’s only natural for them to bite as they begin to lose their puppy teeth and start to get their adult teeth. The teething process can be painful for them and it is their natural instinct to bite down on something. However, if your dog isn’t a puppy and is biting other animals, family members or friends, you’ll want to invest in our dog training in Chicago. Your dog shouldn’t be causing harm to other animals or people, and this is a classic sign that more intense training is necessary.

Separation Anxiety

This is a common problem in dogs who are too dependent on being around their humans for comfort. In the early stages of having your dog, make sure you practice leaving them alone for increasingly long periods of time. This will help them learn that you will always come back for them and that they don’t need to panic if you leave. Helpful tips include playing music for them or even going into another room and shutting the door to see if they are calm. Consistent training and practice can help both you and your dog become used to being apart.

Escape Artists

Is your dog somehow escaping their crate or other areas of confinement? This could potentially put them in danger if they are desperate to get out. Plus, if you are confining them, this means they aren’t ready to have free reign of the house.

If your traditional training approach isn’t successful, contact our team at Chicago Canine Academy today. We are happy to help you and your dog work through troubling issues to get your dog on the right track!

Improving Your Dog’s Leash Habits

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Dog Training Chicago

Going for a walk with your dog is a great way to ensure both of you get the exercise that you need! However, dogs aren’t naturally content with being on a leash, so they need to learn that you are in charge and will determine where to walk them. dog training in Chicago, Il can help improve your dog’s leash-walking habits so both of you enjoy your walks.

Start with Food Motivation

Keeping your dog motivated with food is a great place to start. Decide the side that you want your dog to stay on (left is traditional) and they will soon flock to that side, as it’s where the treats will be! Start by walking in random patterns around your yard and rewarding your dog with a treat when they stay by you. Once your dog is staying by you more often than not, you can continue with positive reinforcement.

Don’t Use the Wrong Method

Many people are tempted to buy a prong or shock collar when their dog is misbehaving on walks. They give their dog a hard yank when they are misbehaving, but this won’t teach your dog to stay by your side on walks and can even cause damage or injuries to your dog. Our dog training in Chicago, Il consists of teaching your dog to respect and listen to everything you have to say.

Consistency is Key

Your dog won’t learn everything in one day. It will take small, short training sessions to completely transform your dog’s behavior. Stay patient, the end result is worth it.

Our team at Chicago Canine Academy is happy to help you with dog training in Chicago, Il. Contact us today to get started!

Helping Your Dog with Back-to-School Blues

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Dog Daycare Chicago

Now that September is officially here, many kids are heading back to school to take on the new year. While this is a shift in your child’s schedule, it’s also important to note that this is a shift in your pet’s schedule as well. Your dog is likely used to your family being home most of the time, so the transition into the start of a new school year can be tough on dogs as well.

Exercise Is Key

Many people drop their dogs off at dog daycare in Chicago because they want to ensure their four-legged friend is getting the exercise that they need. The school year brings a ton of chaos with everyone’s different schedules, so it’s important to still consider how much exercise your dog needs. At Chicago Canine Academy, we encourage you to pass on the responsibility of exercising your dog onto us!

Your Energy Will Radiate

If you feel anxious or stressed, this will likely rub off on your dog as well. If you get worked up every time you say goodbye to your dog, your pet may feel anxious in return. If separation anxiety is problematic for your dog, more professional training could be beneficial. Our team at Chicago Canine Academy can help with this as well.

Stimulate Their Brain

One way to tire your pet out, even if all you have is 10 minutes, is by exercising their brain. Psychological stimulation is just as exhausting, if not, more exhausting than physical exercise. Teach your dog a new trick or test their patience by making them wait for their treat before giving it to them.

Are you interested in our dog daycare in Chicago? Contact us today to get started!

Dog Daycare vs. Pet Sitters – Which is Better?

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Dog Daycare VS Pet Sitters

If you are going on a trip and leaving your pup behind for the first time, you may be wondering if you should invest in dog daycare in Chicago or hire a local pet sitter. While there are advantages to both options, dog daycare is best for specialized attention. Use this guide from Chicago Canine Academy to learn more about why this is the right choice. 

Socialization & Companionship 

Dog daycare in Chicago is a great opportunity for your pet to learn socialization skills from other dogs. If your dog is the only pet in your family, these socialization skills will serve you well in the long run. In addition, your dog will benefit from healthy companionship from other dogs and our staff. This is great for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety when you leave. 

Full-Time Attention 

You will rest easier knowing that your dog will receive constant monitoring, instead of having a pet sitter drop by a few times a week. Dog daycare in Chicago is especially great for younger puppies that need specialized attention and various potty breaks. 

Professional Care

Our staff is highly experienced in caring for all types of dogs, while some pet sitters may not be as experienced. We will ensure your dog receives the proper food and water, exercise and rest time. Our professional can manage specialized attention to dogs that need a little extra help and are trained in handling puppy conflict. 

Are you taking a trip soon? To book your dog daycare in Chicago, IL, contact Chicago Canine Academy today!

What Can I Do If My Dog Doesn’t Get Along with My Kids?

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What if your dog loves being around you and other dogs, but when it comes to children, the two just don’t get along? When your furry friend is aggressive toward children, it can be stressful for both you and your child. We offer obedience training in Chicago to help your dog become less aggressive, but here are some tips to follow to have your dog and child become friendly together.

 

Manage The Situation

When you know you have an aggressive dog, get ahead of the trouble before any arises. When you have good management, you are able to control a situation to reduce the potential risk. For example, don’t bring your dog to visit extended family if you know they won’t do well in that environment. Other tips include:

  • Teach the dog to wear a muzzle
  • Put the dog behind a baby gate or inside a crate when he or she is around small children
  • Only allow the dog and child to be together if an adult is able to give their full attention to the interaction.

 

Teach Your Child How To Interact

Once you have a good management protocol intact, figure out how your child behaves around your dog. Make sure the interaction between your dog and your child is always supervised. This is a good basic rule to follow and you’ll be able to see how your child acts around your fluffy friend. Remember that teaching your child safe interactions with dogs helps avoid trouble between the two. Additionally, think about these rules when your child begins playing with dogs:

  • Have your child ask for permission to pet a dog (yours or anyone else’s)
  • Teach your child to pet a dog under the chin instead of over the head and avoid playing with ears, tails, and paws.
  • Tell your child to pet in 5-second increments in order to figure out the dog’s behavior toward the child.

 

Enroll In Obedience School

Trainers can help you teach your dog how to interact with children. If you think your dog could benefit from obedience training in Chicago, contact us today and we will help you work with your dog’s aggression.

How to Help a Dog with Food Aggression

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How to Help a Dog with Food Aggression

Once you suspect that your dog may have food aggression, you will want to start implementing training techniques to sway the behaviors. If you are struggling to train your furry friend, Chicago Canine Academy offers private dog training in Chicago to stop your pooches bad habits. If you notice food aggression tendencies and don’t have time to take your dog to professional training, here are some techniques you can try out at home.

Be Consistent

As in many training techniques, consistency is key. Consistency is especially important if the aggression is a result of fear or anxiety. Some dogs lash out over food because they are nervous they will not receive another meal soon and desire to protect what they have. Try to keep your dog’s meals on a set schedule everyday so their internal clock can adjust and understand that a meal is indeed coming.

Make Them Complete An Action Before Eating

Implementing an action before a meal will help your dog learn that they must work before they can gobble down their food. Having them sit or lay down prior to eating can help fulfill their instinctual need to hunt by making them earn their food.

Plan When To Serve Dog’s Food

To deter your dog’s food aggression, make sure you eat food before serving them theirs. That will give them the idea that you are the alpha and therefore in charge. This technique will teach your dog that you are ultimately the one in control.

If these techniques are not working for you as you’d like our professional dog trainers at Chicago Canine Academy offer private dog training in Chicago are here to help! Contact us via our website or call (773) 655-0219 to set up your free consultation.

Common Dog Training Mistakes

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Dog Daycare Chicago

Even if you’ve had a dog before, the process of training can be intimidating. When your dog is still young, they are the most susceptible to learning habits that will stay with them for the rest of your life. It is crucial that puppies learn the right habits during the first few months of their life, which is where private dog training in Chicago comes into play.

Keep the following training mistakes in mind so that you can avoid them moving forward!

Keeping Sessions Too Long

Both you and your dog will benefit from keeping training sessions short as opposed to hours on end. Puppies don’t have a very long attention span, so trying to get them to focus for long periods of time won’t end well for either of you. Your dog will quickly get tired of focusing and become impatient. In return, you will likely become frustrated as well. To avoid this, try to make training sessions 10-15 minutes and complete them multiple times throughout the day.

Training When You’re in a Bad Mood

Training your dog when you are in a bad mood is a recipe for disaster. You will likely take out your anger on him or her rather than being patient. Skip training sessions when you aren’t feeling like yourself and opt for a cuddle session instead!

Mixing Correction & Positive Reinforcement

Your training methods shouldn’t include both correction and positive reinforcement, as it will result in even more confusion for your dog. Think about your own behavior: would you want to complete a task if you knew you wouldn’t get a reward? Stay patient and opt for positive reinforcement.

If you are not having success training your dog on your own, take advantage of our private dog training at Chicago Canine Academy!