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Dog Boarding Carrollton

Take Control of Your Dog’s Behavioral Problems

Do you feel that your dog is the one who “controls” you? Is he the one ruling the roost at your home? Does he ignore you when you call him, even when you’ve trained him for months?

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You certainly have maverick on your hands, but not the cute, independent kind: the kind that could end up harming you, a member of your family, or even a stranger.

It’s time to get your dog under control. If he’s not following your commands even after being trained to do so, it’s because he doesn’t look at you as his leader. It’s time to change the situation and become your dog’s Commander in Chief!

Dogs Are Pack Animals: You Need to Be the Pack Leader in His Eyes

Making sure your dog knows you’re the leader of his pack actually will make him happier. He will be living in a comfortable and stable environment – and who doesn’t thrive in a stable environment!? Your dog needs to know that you are in charge; doing so means you’ll receive his loyalty, love and respect – and you’ll all enjoy a happier home life as a result.

If you’ve noticed that your dog is starting to pull on his leash during walks, barking/whining or exuding bad manner around dogs and people, your dog may be feeling leaderless and so he may believe he has to become the pack leader himself. Hence, his “disobedient” behavior.

  1. Start creating boundaries.

As a pack leader, you’re the one who gets the best sitting and sleeping spots, to control where your dog can sit and sleep. Your dog needs to check with you before he can jump on the bed or sit on the couch. Remove your dog from the bed/couch if he gets there without permission. Do so calmly. Allow him to sit anywhere only when you give him direct permission. It’s also wise that you don’t let him sleep on the bed with you, although he may sleep on a dog bed on the floor of your bed.

  1. Don’t forget to play with your dog.

Dogs need to play and stay active to stay happy and healthy – and have a good mental outlook. Playing with your dog also helps the two of you build a strong relationship.

Make sure that you decide when it’s playtime and when it’s time to stop. Your dog needs to check with you and get permission that playtime is here.

If, for example, your dog brings his leash to you, indicating he wants to go for a walk, or he drops his favorite toy by your feet, it’s up to you to decide if you want to play or not. When your dog looks at you as the pack leader, he will understand that it may not be the right time to play.

  1. Lead your dog.

Always walk into your home ahead of your dog and always leave the house ahead of your dog. If you’re both going to a room together, you must go first.

As for walking your dog, don’t let him walk ahead of you, nor should you allow him to pull you on the leash. Instead, get a six-foot, non-retractable leash and make sure there’s only enough lead that your dog can walk beside you and not in front of you.

If your dog is exhibiting excessive aggressive behavior, it may be time to call in a professional dog trainer to help you work with your dog.

We love happy and playful dogs here at Barney’s Ranch, but we don’t accept overly aggressive dogs. Contact us at 469-450-7040 or send us an e-mail to info@BarneysRanch.com for more information.

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Prepare Your Dog for Boarding

You are going on a business trip or taking a vacation. Because of circumstances, you cannot take your pet with you. You have to find some way to care for him or her while you are away. You could call on a friend or relative to help out, or you could hire a dog sitter.

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But if those options don’t really appeal to you, there is only one other thing to do – board your dog in a kennel.

There are a few things you can do to get your dog ready for his stay away from home. Here are a few tips.

  1. Take him for a visit.

After you have decided where you want to board your dog, and you have talked with the kennel staff, you should take your dog to the kennel for a get-acquainted session. Many kennels have daycare, and this is important for your dog. Having your pet stay at the kennel for a day or two before your trip will help him to get used to his new environment, to new people and to a new daily schedule.

This helps not just the dog, but the kennel as well. Staff at the kennel also get to know the dog, what his personality is like, how he responds to boarding, how best to handle him.

  1. Make him feel secure.

When you take your dog for boarding, make sure to include some toys that he likes, as well as an article of clothing of your own to help him feel more comfortable by having your scent around. If your pet is on medication, it is always a good idea to pack more than is needed in case unforeseen circumstances arise and you are delayed in returning.

  1. Don’t be a nuisance.

Many kennels these days have cameras that allow owners to watch their pets online. It’s fine to spend a few minutes each day to check on your pet to see how he is getting on. But avoid spending extended periods of time watching the dog and calling routinely to report on everything you see. You will only create unneeded stress for yourself and the kennel staff. If anything is amiss with your pet, the kennel staff will call.

If you’d like your dog to stay with us during the day acclimate him to Barney’s Ranch, we’d love to entertain your pet for a few hours. Drop us an email message at info@BarneysRanch.com or give us a call at 469-450-7040.

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4 Hurdles New Puppy Owners Face

If you have never owned a puppy before, you wouldn’t believe they could cause any problems. They are so cute and cuddly! They seem so innocent and friendly. But, like any other animal, they can pick up bad behaviors. Here are a few things to watch out for.

  1. Not being house trained.

This is often the result of giving the animal too much freedom too soon. If you have this problem, you need to go back and retrain the dog, and, in the meantime, limit the dog’s movements in the house when you are not around.

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Soooooo cute! Until he pees on the rug.

Sometimes when they greet their owners, puppies will urinate. This is not a problem with house training, but simply the fact that the dog is still timid. It usually goes away with time, but while the dog is doing it, it is best to try not to excite the dog or scare it.

While not a real problem, it is something to be prepared for. Most puppies are very active. That is just the way puppies are. You need to give the puppy the chance to burn off that energy a few times a day. But don’t make the animal exercise if he does not want to. This is not good for the dog’s growing joints.

This is another natural behavior with dogs. They do it when playing or when they are excited.

If this is a behavior you want to stop, you need to be deliberate about it. When the dog nips, you should yelp as if you have been injured and move away from the dog for a few moments. This is a signal to the puppy that he has bit too hard – something he will understand, because it is a behavior dogs do themselves.

If he then stops biting, you need to reward his good behavior with a treat.

  1. Eating feces.

Yes, it’s actually a fairly common behavior among puppies. The obvious solution is to clean the poop up as soon as possible so you remove the opportunity. If you catch the dog eating feces, give him a stern command to stop. The veterinarian can also supply a food additive that makes his poop taste bad.

Here at Barney’s Ranch, we’re happy to take your young dog in for a day or overnight, so long as he or she is housetrained. For more information on our day- and overnight boarding services, give us a call at 469-450-7040 or e-mail us at info@BarneysRanch.com.

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3 Dog Training Lessons Learned the Hard Way

When you read articles about training dogs, they usually tell you how you should do it; in other words, techniques that work. But what about techniques that don’t work, things that you shouldn’t do?

Here are a few practices to avoid.

  1. Repeating commands too often.

This usually happens when you have an owner inexperienced at training and a dog who is, shall we say, a slow learner. The owner, for example, has taught the dog to sit. He issues the command, “Sit,” but because of a distraction or confusion on the part of the dog, the animal does not respond. So, the owner simply repeats the command six or seven times until the dog finally lowers itself a little.

If the owner does this continually, it then becomes learned behavior by the dog. Don’t repeat commands. If the dog does not obey on the first command, it could be because you have not properly taught the action, the dog is distracted or even defiant. Take the dog to a quiet place, and give the command one more time. If you still get no response, teach the behavior you expect again.

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Adorable! Needs lots of training!

  1. When you train, you do it for too long, or not long enough.

Many behaviors are learned over time, not all at once. It usually takes a number of training sessions to teach a dog a new behavior. So, during a training session, if you get some positive result to a command, you should stop. If you continue, you may just bore or frustrate your dog. By the same token, you should not end a session until you do see some type of positive result, even if it is only an attempt by the dog to perform the behavior.

  1. You give too many treats.

Treats should be given when you are teaching a dog a new behavior, and then only randomly after that, and not too often. You should then reward the dog with praise, or maybe some play time with a favorite toy. If you give treats all of the time, the dog comes to expect them and will only respond to treats. The focus becomes the food, not the behavior. Random reward is the best way to reinforce behavior, and so treats should be given randomly.

Speaking of treats, reward your pet anytime you’re away with a day or an overnight stay at Barney’s Ranch: your dog will love our 8,000-square-foot dog run. He or she can enjoy the company of other dogs as much as you want! Call us at 469-450-7040 or send us a message at info@BarneysRanch.com.

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Always Ask a Boarding Kennel These 4 Questions

If you are planning to board your dog in a kennel, you want to make sure your pet has a safe and comfortable place to stay. Here are a few questions to ask a kennel to make sure your dog will have a safe and comfortable stay.

  1. Ask about play and exercise programs.

These will vary by kennel and often are determined by price. You want to check that the kennel segregates the dogs during exercise by size and age. Dogs that need more exercise should be walked by a staff member.

We offer your pet an 8,000-square-foot outdoor yard, allowing your dog to play with other dogs all day (if he wants to), or whatever amount of time you deem appropriate.

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  1. Ask if you may tour the facility.

First off, the place should look clean. You shouldn’t be able to detect much of an odor. It should be well lit, and you shouldn’t see any waste or urine lying around.

Also, you want to make sure the place is not overcrowded. Find out how many animals the kennel usually boards and how many people work there. Pet experts recommend that there should be no more than 10 animals for every staff person. Naturally, the more people there are, the more attention your pet will get.

Check out the spaces for the dogs. How do the animals look? They should look content, and they should have proper bedding and water.

Find out how often they walk the dogs. Or, if there’s a dog run, how often do the dogs get to roam within it?

  1. Ask if you may talk to the staff.

Do they seem to be genuinely interested in your pet? Do they want to find out information about the animal, such as what he or she eats, his exercise regimen, and any medications he is taking? A good staff will be able to provide details about all of the animals in their care.

  1. Ask about safety.

If you see things like bent, torn or jagged wire, you may want to take your animal someplace else. Also, if the kennel allows your animal to play with a chew toy alone, without a staff member present, it is definitely not a place to put your animal.

Ask what the facility will do if your dog needs medical attention or won’t eat. While Barney’s Ranch doesn’t have a veterinarian on staff, we do have a close relationship with Valley View Pet Health Center in Farmers Branch.

We like to think of Barney’s Ranch as a vacation spot for pets. We want them to have as much fun as their owners are having while on holiday. Give us a call at 469-450-7040 or send us an e-mail message at info@BarneysRanch.com to arrange a tour for both you and your dog.

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Why Dogs Bark

Barking is how dogs communicate. But exactly what they want to communicate can vary widely, and so it may take some detective work on your part to find out exactly why your dog is barking. Here are some common reasons why dogs bark, according to the Humane Society.

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  1. He wants something.

He may be hungry, or he may want to go outside, or he may just want you to play with him or focus on him.

  1. He is afraid.

Barking can be a sign of fear. Your dog might be fearful of a person, place, object, other animals, or loud noises from things such as thunder or fireworks. You can tell if fear is the reason for barking by his body language. If the dog is afraid, he will have his ears pinned back and his tail will be low.

  1. He is being defensive.

Your dog may be barking as a way to protect territory from intruders. The intruders could be people or other animals, maybe from nearby yards. If he is barking to protect territory, he will look the part – appearing menacing with ears up and forward and his tail up high.

  1. He is excited.

Some dogs just like to bark when they are excited, such as when they are greeting their owners or people they know.

  1. He may have health issues.

The barking may be due to health problems such as canine cognitive dysfunction or deafness. If this is the case, the dog is barking because he cannot hear himself barking.

If you have an older dog, this may be an issue. Older dogs can have dementia or deafness. If this is the case, you want to exercise patience with your pet. Don’t make changes to his usual environment – keep it simple. Talk to the vet about medications that could help with the issues.

If deafness is a problem, you can teach your dog to stop barking by using a quiet command with a hand signal or some other visual stimulus, such as a flash of light.

If you have more than one dog, you may have a problem with all of them barking at once when something sets them off. To control this problem, you have to begin by working with each dog separately before you try to work with them as a group.

If your dog barks a lot when you’re out of the home, he may be lonely. If this is the case, you may want to consider Barney’s Ranch’s day boarding service.

For more information about our day- and overnight boarding services, contact us at 469-450-7040 or send us a message at info@BarneysRanch.com.

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Common Dog Illnesses

Our pets mean a lot to us, and, of course, we want to take good care of them. In order to do that, we need to know what kinds of health problems can affect them, how to identify problems, and what to do about it. Here are a few of the most common ailments that afflict dogs and how to handle these problems.

  1. Ear infections

These are very common among dogs. They can be caused by a number of things, including allergies, yeast, ear mites, bacteria, and hair in the ear canal. You can recognize an ear infection in a dog, because he will exhibit symptoms such as shaking or tilting his head, odor coming from the ear, scratching the ear, losing balance, moving his eyes back and forth, a redness in the ear canal, or some type of discharge coming from the ear.

If your dog has an ear infection, you need to take your pet to a veterinarian. The vet will clean and put medication in the canal, and in most cases, that will clear up the problem.

  1. Worms

This probably comes as no surprise to dog owners. There are several different types of worms that can take up residence in your dog’s gut, including roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms. If your dog has worms, you will probably notice one of the following symptoms – diarrhea, weight loss, change in appetite, a rough, dry coat, scooting on his bottom.

Again, this requires professional treatment. The owner should not attempt to handle the problem alone. The vet will know which medication to give the animal for the type of worm he has.

  1. Fleas

While not an illness, per se, fleas can become a major pain for you and your pet. Again, no surprise here: this is a very common problem. The good news is that fleas are relatively easy to treat. But you should aim to take care of the problem as soon as you discover even one flea because fleas multiply very rapidly – in the space of a few weeks, a few can become thousands.

You can tell that your dog has fleas if he scratches a lot or bites his skin, if he loses hair, if he has hot spots, if you notice flea dirt, which looks like little black dots. Also, if your dog has tapeworm, he may also have fleas because they carry the parasite.

If your pet has fleas, take a trip to the vet to find out which medication would be best to use for your dog. There are a number of different kinds, including oral medication, shampoos, sprays, or topical liquids.

If your dog is sick, you can understand why we ask that you don’t board him with us here at Barney’s Ranch until he’s well.

For more information about our boarding services, contact us at 469-450-7040 or send us a message at info@BarneysRanch.com.

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Pros and Cons of Electric Dog Fences

You need some type of fence to contain your pet when he’s outdoors. The question is, what type should you get?

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There are the conventional wood and metal types, and there are electric fences.

Electric fences use a wire that is buried underground, connected to a home box that is connected to the home’s electrical system. This wire acts as a barrier, preventing the animal from wandering beyond your property line.

When the animal crosses the invisible barrier set up by the wire, he gets a shock from the electrical current. Initially, flags are set up to mark the barrier location so the animal knows where it is. Also, when the dog approaches the barrier, a beep is emitted, warning the animal that it needs to go back.

We see electric dog fences everywhere but some questions arise: are they safe? Are they effective?

Take a look below for the pros and cons of electric dog fences.

There are several advantages to these systems:

  1. Cost

They are generally affordable. They can be expensive, but often less than you might have to pay to put up conventional fencing.

  1. Environment

Electric fences can be used where the terrain is not suitable for conventional fencing. It also does not block views or break up green space. They also can be installed more quickly than conventional fencing.

  1. Coverage area

Electric fences can cover an area as large as 25 acres, which gives your dog plenty of area in which to run.

  1. Effectiveness

These fences are effective most of the time. The dog learns quickly to avoid the shock and so stays in the area.

But there are some drawbacks to electric fences:

  1. The shock

Some dog owners are wary of these types of fences because of the experience the dog goes through when it gets shocked. This may depend to a large extent on your particular pet. Some dogs will only need a slight jolt before they retreat, but others may require something more intense to stop them. For these animals, the shock needs to be severe enough and painful enough to act as a deterrent. It has to really startle the animal.

  1. Punishment

Plus, the fence shocks are a form of punishment, which some people dislike because they don’t like to train their pets by punishing them. The fence can also have unintended consequences in that the animal can begin to associate the shock with other events. For example, the dog receives the shock when it approaches red flags set up to mark the property line. As a result, the dog becomes fearful of any red flags because the animal associates it with the shock.

  1. Other animals get in

In addition, these types of devices do nothing to keep other animals out of your yard. Any other dogs or feral animals can still wander in. Your pet is essentially a captive in these situations because it cannot get out.

  1. Not foolproof

Finally, there is no guarantee that these electric fences will work all the time. For example, if your dog is extremely frightened by something, he or she may simply run through the barrier, heedless of the shock.

We know you love your pet and want to treat him as a member of your family. So when you’re away from home for a period of time that will see your pet not get the outdoor exercise he needs, bring him to Barney’s Ranch for day or overnight boarding: he’ll be able to run in our 4,000-square-foot outdoor dog run!

For more information about our boarding services, give us a call at 469-450-7040 or send us a message at info@BarneysRanch.com.

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Why Your Dog Loves Day Boarding

Many dog owners feel that taking their dog to a day care or day boarding center is something akin to animal cruelty – they believe that their dog would never enjoy being away from their home base, even for just a day.

Yes, it is true some dogs don’t enjoy being away from home, but sending your dog away for day boarding actually can be a lot of fun for your pet instead of hiring a pet sitter to come to your home once or twice a day when you’re at work. Here are a few reasons why.

  1. Dogs love to explore new places.

You see it all the time, take your dog to a new place or in a new area for a walk and she is head down, sniffing the new smells and exploring the area (as much as she can while on a lead). You may also have noticed that dogs will go hunting to find the source of a new smell: they dig in the ground, they paw at the floor, they scratch at the door.

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Dogs love to smell new surroundings.

Dogs are inquisitive creatures. They “actively seek information about their surroundings,” so making sure your pet gets new stimulation as often as possible is a very good thing, indeed.

  1. Dogs are social animals and dog boarding services are full of dogs!

Dog parks exist for a reason: dogs love to interact with other dogs. A day boarding service can be a dog park for the entire day – heaven on earth for your pet.

Some dog boarding services (such as Barney’s Ranch) offer large play areas where dogs may run and interact with each other safely. If your dog is a bit shy around new dogs – or if he’s stressed around highly active, assertive or very friendly dogs – make sure to ask the kennel if there’s a safe place your shy dog can stay should he become stressed during the day.

  1. Dogs are active creatures and need a lot of activity. Many kennels have run areas where your pet can move around as much as she likes – and that’s usually a lot!

In addition to meeting and playing with other dogs, your pet undoubtedly has a lot of pent up energy. A good day boarding service with an expansive dog run can mean the difference between running around for hours on end – for as long as your dog wants – or being cooped up inside until the pet sitter you’ve hired comes in to give your dog a walk.

  1. Your dog may have a chance to play fetch with people during the day.

If you’re at work during the day, the only chance your dog has to play fetch is when you come home. But at day boarding kennels with a good human-to-dog ratio, there may be plenty of people to play with your pet for several hours during his stay. And second to playing fetch with you, playing fetch with anyone also is the definition of a good day for your dog.

If you’ve never day boarded your dog before because you’re worried he will be cooped up in a kennel all day, check out Barney’s Ranch someday soon. We have an 8,000 square foot outdoor yard for your dog to play in, run in and enjoy the company of other dogs.

For more information about our dog day care services, give us a shout out at 469-450-7040 or send us a message at info@BarneysRanch.com.

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April 7 is World Health Day: Take Your Dog for a Walk!

You know walking is good your pet. But you may not know just how much taking that walk with your dog is improving your health.

Research has shown that walking has an array of health benefits for your body. Here are just a few.

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  1. Helps prevent cardiovascular disease.

Walking gets your heart working harder – which makes it stronger — and your blood pumping more, as well. It also helps to prevent heart disease and lowers blood pressure. Walking just 30 minutes a day with your pet can reduce your chances of stroke by 20 percent, and even more if you walk a little faster.

  1. Helps your bones.

Walking for 30 minutes a day has been shown to stop the loss of bone mass in women with osteoporosis. And walking in general, because of the stress it puts on your bones, helps increase bone, ligament and tendon strength.

  1. Helps you live longer.

A study from the University of Michigan School of Medicine shows that those people who walk regularly in their 50s and 60s are 35 percent less likely to die over the following eight years than are those people who do not walk.

  1. Helps you lose weight.

Most people already know this – regular exercise is a good way to help lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.

  1. Helps increase your leg and even arm strength.

Because you are using your leg muscles as you walk, you help to make them stronger. You can even increase the strength in your arms if you pump them more vigorously as you walk.

  1. Walking helps improve your mental functioning.

This might come as a bit of a surprise, but it’s true. First of all, walking can help to increase your focus and alertness because you are getting more oxygen to the brain. In addition – and somewhat surprisingly – research has shown that aerobic exercise such as walking can actually help your brain produce more neurons.

Moreover, walking has been shown to reduce age-related mental decline and to reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

These are just some of the more common benefits of walking. So next time you are putting the leash on your pet, maybe doing so while somewhat reluctant to take the dog out again, knowing how it will improve your health should give you more motivation to walk a little longer and a little faster.

Dogs love to run and play. That’s why we provide our canine guests here at Barney’s Ranch with an 8,000-square-foot outdoor run so that they can get a lot of outdoor exercise and play time in.

To learn more about our overnight and day dog boarding services, contact us by calling 469-450-7040 or send us an e-mail message at info@BarneysRanch.com.

Image courtesy of prawny/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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