Teach Your Dog to Move With You

  • By Kathy McRoberts
  • 13 Jul, 2011

Original article by Virginia Simpson, Unleashed Canine Obedience

Teaching your dog to follow you is arguably the most significant behavior you can mold in your pup. If your dog is “following” you in every sense of the word, most “bad” behaviors will disappear on their own and a real bond based on trust and understanding is built. Dogs listen to and naturally focus on the people they follow. They easily allow their space to be controlled by the people that they follow.

They listen to your body language, facial expressions and the tone of your voice over the words you say more often than not. It’s why I can usually get a dog that’s been trained in another language to sit using an English word. And why we, as a whole, tend to use a lot of hand commands when we are introducing new verbal cues. Dogs can learn to pay attention and read our body language and facial expressions faster than our cousins, the chimps. And when we humans clue in on this, it takes your relationship to a whole other level! So, pay attention to whether or not your body language, facial expressions and tonality are in line with what you are trying to communicate.

Experiment and try moving your pup without using your voice or a leash. Can you get them to come to you with only a hand gesture or body movement? You’ll be surprised! Try different ways of moving your body in slow repetition. Maybe it’s squatting down with your arms open wide and a smile on your face. Maybe walk off in the opposite direction while patting your leg. Experiment with body language! Your pup is reading you all the time. And deep down inside, they really do want to follow you.

If you’ve been struggling with a dog that seems to have spastic energy and isn’t able to quiet itself, sometimes, when you quiet everything down by taking out the voice commands, a shift will occur and the dog starts to hear you and quiet itself.

Take a long line, get out to a big field (with few distractions initially) and just start walking. Change directions periodically when they stop paying attention to you and without saying anything. Watch what happens after about 10 minutes. Notice the glances and gazes up into your eyes. Notice how they stop hitting the end of the line when you turn and the body position comes in closer and closer.
Reach down quietly and touch the top of their head and smile! It’s the best reward out there you’ll see!

Interested in learning more?

Please feel free to contact me any time!

Virginia L. Simpson
Certified Dog Trainer
Unleashed Canine Obedience, LLC
IACP Member #3141
Phone: 513.317.7484

Cincinnati Dog Knowledge Center

By Pets in Need 08 Jan, 2018

Education is the first step  in pet poison prevention

Pet owners should take the time to educate themselves on the various, sometimes unexpected, pet poisons in their environments. The  Pet Poison Helpline  provides an extensive list of poisonous items for pet owners to be aware of, but here are a few of the most common items seen by veterinarians:

By Pets in Need 11 Dec, 2017

Outdoor Animals:

Many people believe certain dog breed, such as huskies and malamutes, are capable of living outside all of the time because of their thick coats. However, no dog breed should be consistently left unprotected outside. According to the City of Cincinnati, when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a pet owner should not leave their dog outside for longer than sixty minutes without adequate shelter. For outside dogs, owners should provide a warm, dry, draft free shelter with fresh, unfrozen water. Heated water bowls are a great option to ensure consistent access to unfrozen water. Owners should also feed their outdoor dogs more during the winter because their bodies use more energy trying to keep warm. In 2016, the City of Cincinnati passed an ordinance with further restrictions and shelter guidelines for dog tethering and weather conditions, which can be found by  clicking here

A common winter hazard that vets encounter consistently with cats is engine belt injuries. Cats will climb into cars to keep warm, and without knowing they’re there, people will start their cars and harm the cats. Before starting your car in the winter, it’s advised to give the car hood a few raps to make sure there are no cats cozied up inside.

By Pets in Need 27 Nov, 2017

Pets start an estimated 1,000 fires per year. While this isn’t a huge number, it’s easily preventable. Pet owners should identify the risks in their home and make sure they’re contained from pets. Risks to consider include, open flames such as candles, space heaters, stovetops, fireplaces, and frayed wires chewed by puppies.

Even if all fire hazards are contained from pets, there’s still always a chance of a house fire. According to the   National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) , there’s a home fire reported every 86 seconds in the United States. So while the hope is that you and your pets never have to face a fire, it’s important to have a plan.

In case of a fire, pet owners should hang window clings that let firefighters know there’s a pet in the home. The   ASPCA offers a free Pet Fire Safety Pack   that includes a window decal. When leaving home, pet owners should know where their pets are and keep them close to exits if possible. Pet owners should also consider investing in monitored smoke detectors that alert homeowners of a fire when they’re not home and automatically dispatch firefighters.

By Pets in Need 14 Nov, 2017
First, let’s learn a bit of information about pet diabetes. Just like in humans, there are 2 types or diabetes in pets, which veterinarians typically refer to as insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent. One is caused when the body doesn’t make enough insulin, which is a hormone created by the pancreas that allows glucose (or sugars) to move from the blood stream into cells to create energy. With non-insulin dependent diabetes, the body is making enough insulin, but it can’t utilize the insulin efficiently. This can be caused by high body fat content, chronic cortisone administration, and/or certain hormones such as progesterone (produced during a pet’s heat period).
By Pets in Need 30 Oct, 2017

Getting your dog microchipped is an easy and relatively inexpensive procedure that drastically increases the odds that your pet will find its way home if it’s ever lost. A microchip is a tiny chip that’s about the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique identification number. It’s injected into a pet’s skin between the shoulder blades on their back. When scanned with an electric scanner, the chip will show the unique identification number and manufacturer of the microchip. This unique identification number will be linked to the pet owner’s contact information in the microchip manufacturer’s database.

If a stranger ever finds your dog, a shelter or veterinarian can scan your pet for a microchip. Once they have the identification number and manufacturer from the chip reading, they will call the manufacturer in search of the pet owner’s contact information.  Therefore, if a dog owner moves or changes their contact information, it’s extremely important for them to update the contact information associated with their pet’s microchip identification number.

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