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Whining With The Best Of Them

One of Baylor’s favorite things to do is to get up on the back cushion of the couch and just perch there. I think he likes doing this because he is at our level and can better see what is going on, especially on the kitchen counters during dinner time. He feels much more involved with the humans around him as he is at eye level with everyone. If someone hasn’t seen him do this before, they tend to give him attention because they think it is cute how he sits at the top of the couch.

He gets even more attention when he brings a stuffie up there to chew. He will chew and chew it between his paws until it inevitably falls to the ground below him. He then proceeds to whine and cry trying to get someone to pick it up for him so he can go back to chewing. If no one gets it for him he cries for a little while longer and eventually he will go down and get it himself.

Here is a video of him doing what he does best:

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My Best Friend

My Best Friend

I really think getting Baylor was one of the best things that have ever happened to me. He is the most loyal companion. Whenever I am upset or sad, I love just cuddling up to him. I actually bought Baylor because I was sad and decided to go to the local pet store to cheer me up. I recently just graduated college, I was lost and confused. I did not know what I wanted to do with my career path. So the most logical thing was to buy a dog! Dogs are always happy, even when you are not.

You do not even realize how much good they do you for you. If you think about it, your dog at least makes you smile once a day. You are more active having a dog because you have to take them on walks and take them outside. You become more sociable with other people when you take them to the dog park or on walks. And they are there for you no matter what. They never leave your side. As long as you love them, they will always trust you.

It is also comforting to know that after a long day at work, you have something to go home to. There is always someone that is excited to see you. When I get off work, Baylor jumps all over me. He’s happy to see me. I am never never really alone. Even if I want alone time, Baylor will just lay by my side. It’s nice knowing that he is there.

I wish I could bring Baylor to work with me. If I am having a stressful day, I could reach down and pet him. That’s why there are dogs that go around to hospitals and nursing homes. Dogs just instantly cheer people up! I really do think dogs help people with their depression and sadness. Hopefully one day, all companies will follow in Google’s trend and let their employees bring their dogs to work!

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Curing Anxiety for Dogs

Curing Anxiety for Dogs

Baylor has really bad separation anxiety. I believe his separation anxiety is due to his time he spent in the pet shop. Even at home, Baylor will follow me around the whole house. If I am working on my computer in bed, he will sleep right next to me. But if I get up to go to the bathroom or the kitchen, he will get right up to make sure I am not leaving him.

The way I helped cure his anxiety was purely accidental. I thought it would be cute to buy him a Christmas sweater. However, the sweater I wanted was just a little too tight on Baylor. I bought it anyway. When I put the sweater on Baylor, my family and I noticed that he was so calm. We did not understand why he was so tired. Then I took sweater off and he went crazy! He ran around the whole house after I took the sweater off him.

I figured out that putting the sweater on Baylor was similar to swaddling a baby. He feels safe in the sweater. It works wonders. When I am leaving the house, I will put the sweater on Baylor and he just goes straight to his bed and lays down. I wil also put his sweater on him if we have company over. Baylor gets very excited and will jump on everyone when they first arrive. If I put his sweater  on before guests arrive, he will usually remain calm. He will greet them, but not be over excited. Another time I use the sweater is when I take Baylor on car rides. Baylor does not like car rides and gets really anxious. He will cry and run around the car, which became really dangerous. Now I put his sweater on him before we get in the car and he will just lay down in the passenger seat.

Also, this method is a lot cheaper than buying the $50.00 thunder shirt you can buy at a pet store. The thunder shirt is supposed to do the same thing that a tight fitting sweater can do for your dog. I actually did not buy the sweater at a pet store because dog clothes are too pricey. I bought Baylor’s sweater at Kohls in the infant section! It was only $2.99 for the sweater in the picture.

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Crating Your Dog

Crating Your Dog

It is important to train your dog to love going in their crate or kennel. The crate should be their safe place. It should be a place where they like to lounge around and hang out. I highly recommend not using the crate as a form of punishment. This will confuse your dog if you want their crate to be a safe place. For some breeds, it might be easier to train. However, Baylor took six months to adapt to his crate. The reason it took so long was because I bought him from a pet store. He was traumatized from being cooped up in a  small cage for several months.

We tried several methods to crate train Baylor. The first method was putting his food and water in his crate. Later, I found out that was a bad idea. When I came home, Baylor had spilled his water and food everywhere. Also, something could happen while you are gone and they could end up choking on their food.

The next method I used was putting treats in his crate so he would like going in there. That positive reinforcement did not last long. I think the treats only reinforced his whining behavior because he still cried whenever I left.

After that method failed, I started filling up his kong ball with peanut butter and putting it in his crate right before I left for work. I think the reason he wouldn’t whine when I put the kong in his crate was because by the time he got done eating the peanut butter, he forgot that I was not there anymore. The most important factor in crate training is being consistent in the way you are training your dog. After a month of putting peanut butter in Baylor’s kong ball, the minute Baylor saw the kong in my hand, he would immediately go in his crate.

The best thing you can do is ignore the whining. If you give into your dog’s whining, you are only reinforcing their behavior to whine. Also, I always take Baylor’s collar off before I put him in his crate. The collar could get stuck to the crate and they could choke. Just take all precautions so you don’t have to worry about anything while you are gone!

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Homemade Dog Treats

Homemade Dog Treats

Homemade dog treats can save you a lot of money. It is pricey to spend seven or eight dollars on a small bag of dog treats. Homemade dog treats also are healthier for your pet.

However, you should be careful and read the ingredients that are in the recipe. Make sure your dog does not have any food allergies. I found out the hard way that Baylor was allergic to the flour that I had put in the treats.

The night I made the treats for him, I let him have a few treats. He loved them! The next day, he had gone to bathroom and played regularly. After I took him to the dog park, I noticed that night that he kept licking his nose excessively. He did not want to drink any water or eat his food. He just kept licking his nose. The next day, I called my vet immediately (always call your vet if you notice a drastic change in your dog). We went into the vet and Baylor had a fever and his throat was swollen. The vet had to put Baylor on antibiotics and he had to eat soft food for the whole week.

So the lesson is make sure the ingredients you use in the recipes are okay for your dogs to eat. Some dogs do have allergies to flour. It does not matter if making dog treats are less expensive than buying them at the store if you have to end up paying more money to vet!

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Exercise

Exercise

So, this may look cruel, but it actually works. If you train your dog right, it actually helps exercise them. The reason why I used the treadmill was because of the cold winter months. I felt so bad that I couldn’t take Baylor outside. He was so restless and so energetic, that I needed to help him burn it off some way. The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on their size. For Baylor, he weights about twenty minutes, so I usually take him on a run for forty minutes.

I only go up to 3.5-4.0 miles per hour on the treadmill. I don’t give him treats when I put him on the treadmill because treats actually distract him from walking. I also recommend taking your dog outside before putting them on the treadmill. Make sure you are going at a comfortable pace for your dog. You don’t want to speed the treadmill up to fast because it can end up making their joints sore. It took Baylor a few times to warm up to using the treadmill. Of course, he still prefers going on normal walks outside to see all the birds and squirrels, but a walk every day for your dog helps them out a great deal!

I took Baylor on the treadmill for thirty minutes and afterwards he was so tired. I only do it when I absolutely cannot take him outside in the cold. You can also tell when your dog becomes really tired. Baylor will start directing his head towards the side of the treadmill to let me know he is tired. His tongue will start hanging out to let me know that he needs water. The main reason why I started using the treadmill in the winter is because the mixture of snow and salt on the ground burned Baylor’s feet. I do not recommend using the treadmill all the time for your dog. Your dog needs exposure to the outside world. When you take your dog on walks and they see cars and other dogs, they become more confident in their surroundings. They will not need to bark when they see other dogs walking by.

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The Laser

The Laser

The laser has become an important way we exercise Baylor. The reason why it has become so important is because sometimes we just do not have enough time in the day to take Baylor on a long run or walk. Puggles have a lot of energy and sometimes, I feel like it is hard to burn it all off.

It got really hard in the winter months because it was always so cold to take him on long walks. Baylor does not like being out in the cold. I was worried because the sand mixed with ice on the ground always burned his feet after walks. So one day when I was at PetCo, I bought him a laser. When I came home with it, I started pointing it all over the carpet. He kept chasing it and running around the whole house! He did it for hours off an on. It burnt off all the pent up energy and I was glad to see him worn out.

I feel guilty when I cannot exercise Baylor. I find the laser a useful toy because it always gets him excited. After a while of using the laser with Baylor, he caught on and it became a game to him. The laser keeps him ‘on his toes’. I do not always have enough time in a day to play with him because of work. So after a long day at work, I will just use the laser around the house for twenty minutes to tire him out. I also started using the laser as a way to distract him from begging while I eat food. Baylor is terrible at begging for food and  will jump all over people. So now when I eat my food, I will start pointing the laser on ground so that he forgets about wanting my delicious food!