QUESTION: How young can a puppy be for your care?
Answer: Quite a few people find that puppy care is overwhelming and much more time-consuming and tense than they expected. They call us within the first week of getting their pups realizing that time with other dogs out of the house exercising, playing and exploring is just what their puppy needs and just what they need to manage the twenty-four hour committment to vigilance and housetraining that all puppies take. We LOVE having them join us and are ready to carry them if they tire before the bigger dogs. We find that most of puppies have boundless energy and they adore keeping up with the older dogs. Puppies are intrigued by the variety of dogs and comfortable because a pack environment is what they are used to and what they were born to experience.
QUESTION: Do I need to be home when you pick up and drop off my dog?
Answer: No. Few owners are home. The flexibility is one of the best things about Hike a Pup. You can leave for work early in the morning knowing that your dog will be picked up in a couple of hours to a have a long break from the house with exercise, socialization, exploring and play time that will allow him/her to be content waiting for you for the second half of the day. Some owners prefer afternoon care to give their dog a break after a morning cooped up.
QUESTION: Do we need to set up a weekly schedule?
Answer: No. Many people decide on two or three days per week for their dog and they change it according to how busy they are and how many hours they will be gone from home. They even change according to the weather and many choose to have their dogs hiked more in bad weather, knowing that they do not want to do it themselves but that Hike a Pup enjoys all time outside with dogs.
QUESTION: I just added a dog to my family and I have other dogs. My dog is starting to show aggression. What should I do?
Answers: There are many possible answers to this question. Much of what a family needs to do is based on how they have raised their dogs and how much time they can put into integrating their new dog.
Here are some thoughts. Use the ones that fit your family. If your philosophy on how to raise a dog and what a family needs to provide a dog are different than mine, than you need to seek help from someone that agrees with your thoughts or hopes.
1. Ask yourself who is the top dog in your family. Which person holds the top position in the family pack? Are you sure that a dog or cat does not hold the top position?
2. If a dog rules the family in obvious or subtle ways then you need to do a much work to reestablish a hierarchy in your household that gives your dogs peace of mind... knowing that they do not need to be in charge because YOU are.
3. Ask these questions. If your answers lead you to understand that your dog "gets his or her way" all the time. Then you need to restructure your household and habits.
--Where do your dogs sleep?
--Are your dogs allowed on furniture?
--Do you require polite behavior at all times? ie. they sit and wait for you to release them to go through doors, do they know how to do long downs or sits,
--Is there any type of aggression shown at home? Do they growl over food? Do they growl over bones or toys? Do they allow you to put your hand in their food bowl with no growling, and take it from them with no reaction? Do they let the other dogs in the family approach their toys and food without a fight erupting?
--Does your dog respond to basic commands the first time you say them? Do you require that they respond or do you try to coax them into doing what you are asking?
--Does your dog bark aggressively when others arrive at your house? Does your dog stop when you tell him or her to?
--Does your dog have interactions on a daily basis with dogs who do not live in your household? Are they positive and friendly?
--Do you sweet talk and baby your dog? Do you feed your dog "people food"? Is your dog a picky eater because you have catered to his or her needs.. therefore giving him or her the TOP DOG position in the household?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself. If your answers show ambivalence then you need to read up more about the breeds of your dogs and your position in your family pack. Or you need to watch DVD's by experienced dog trainers of watch Animal Planet, National Geographic or other learning channels.
Best to you and yours, Meg Hardy