The Social Pet Project!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

According to veterinary behaviorists, for the first three years, your dog is more likely to die from a behavior problem than from disease. Fortunately, it’s avoidable by socializing your puppy as soon as possible.

What Is Socialization? Socialization is introducing a dog to new people, dogs and other animals, situations, and things.

Most important is that he accept people without fear. Introduce puppies to tall people, short people, ones with beards, others with hats, those with high voices and low voices, as well as people who move fast and those who go slow, like some in wheelchairs. The list of things to socialize a pup or dog to is even longer. Consider umbrellas, bikes, cars, vacuums, and sudden sounds, like recordings of thunder and fireworks.

What Is The Best Age To Do It? From 8-12 weeks of age puppies go through a fear-imprinting stage. During this time, it is crucial to introduce puppies to different stimuli every day and ensure those experiences are positive.

For example, the first time a puppy sees a car, it could be a nice experience or a scary one. A nice experience may be feeding your puppy treats next to a stationary car, and later on, taking him for a slow ride while he’s settled and secure on the seat. A scary event would be standing on a sidewalk with your puppy as a loud car goes by at highway speed. You can control this situation and help your puppy learn not to fear cars with proper planning. But be careful, you don’t want to create a situation where your pup wants to chase cars either. This will cause other behaviors that will need immediate correction.

His reaction in these early situations determines how he reacts in the future. If he’s taught to be fearful of the first new things he sees, he may adopt that mindset rather than being comfortable when encountering new things.

For older dogs with fear responses, it’s possible to change their reactions to positive responses, but it will take more time for them to learn to avoid unproductive and inappropriate responses. That’s why in the case of socialization, earlier is better!

Why Are Puppy Classes So Beneficial For Socialization? During class, puppies get to have playtime with other puppies in a controlled situation. They learn how to interact rather than being a shut-in pup whose body language gets him into trouble with other dogs.

It’s also a great time for them to get to know other puppy owners. Every pup should meet as many people as possible, we recommend at least 100 different people, before he reaches 16 weeks of age. We want them to enjoy the interaction and look forward to meeting new people.

My Little Puppy Is Scared Of Big Dogs, Should I Go To A Little-Dog Class? No!!!! We see many little dogs who are aggressive to or scared of big dogs because they haven’t been socialized correctly. If we allow a pup’s fears to stay rooted, he isn’t going to learn to overcome them. Get your dog into a training class and don’t hold back on introducing him to dogs of all sizes. That said, be sensible. Do it with a trainer who can recognize if there is an issue and can separate them if needed. Always supervise your dog’s play sessions, no matter how big or small the other dogs are.

Does Socialization Finish Once Puppyhood Is Over? Of course not. During puppyhood, you lay the foundation. Don’t let it crumble because you fail to reinforce it. Owners diligently go to a class for eight weeks and then stop. By the time the dog is three years old, you can see that his training has lapsed because he has some fear responses. It may be only to men with beards, but something small like that is how it starts. Keep the program going throughout a dog’s life!

Information courtesy of the: American Kennel Club Use this link to find all your dog training needs. Barking, jumping on guests, car chasing, nipping, biting, shy, fearful, or reactive?? These are just a few of the behaviors we can help with. Not only immediate help, but also continued support from professional trainers with extensive experience.

Training Tip: Get the entire family involved in the socialization process by making a list of 10 new people or things your dog will meet that day and repeat the process making each day a new adventure for both you and your pup!!!

10 Things to Teach Your Puppy….It’s like Pre-K for Canines!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

The to-do list associated with getting a new puppy may seem overwhelming. To make it more manageable, we’ve compiled the most important training items to teach your new four-legged family member.

  1. To Know And Love His Name. What’s in a name? Well, nothing if your puppy doesn’t know it. Teach your puppy his name by saying it and immediately offering something fun and rewarding. Many times, puppies are used to hearing their name said in an angry tone, so they learn they better head for the hills when they hear it. Make sure to associate his name with positive experiences.
  2. To Come. You can start preparing your puppy for this command even before you start training. Teach him that coming over to you means lots of fun, whether in the form of tug games, food rewards, meals, or belly rubs. You’ll be building a balance in the “come when called” relationship bank so that when the inevitable time comes when there is an emergency and you need your puppy to come to you, he will.
  3. To Let You Grab His Collar. Many puppies have a “fight or flight” fear response when someone reaches for or grabs their collars. Your job is to create a puppy who has an expectation of an awesome reward when his collar is grabbed. Do this by practicing looping a finger through his collar and following it with a high-value treat or a game of tug. You also want to play this game clipping and unclipping a leash. This will teach them whether you are clipping or unclipping their leash they should stay with you and not make a run for it.
  4. Desensitize. Some puppies are easily scared or skeptical, especially during the fear period that usually occurs between 4 and 6 months of age. The best thing to do is to pair potentially scary experiences with something rewarding. But do this carefully. For instance, if your puppy were afraid of the vacuum cleaner offer a treat when you bring it out, then turn it on and offer another treat and immediately turn it off again offering yet another treat. Repeat this process several times and gradually increase the time you keep the vacuum cleaner on.  Never force your puppy into a scary situation or punish him for anxiety.
  5. That Nothing Is Free. Teach your puppy that he can have his meals, treats, toys, and playtime by earning them through playing training games with you. It’ll move training forward and strengthen the relationship with your pup. Also, dogs are contra freeloaders, which means that they derive greater joy and value from working for things they love, rather than getting them for free. Ditch the food bowl and instead spend 10-15 minutes getting your puppy to work for his meal by practicing basic commands. As rewards, offer him kibble or spoonfuls of canned or homemade diets.
  6. To Love The Crate. Your puppy will need to nap often. You can help him understand that his crate is the perfect siesta spot and a fun place to hang out by reserving certain treats and toys for him to get only while in the crate. And instead of crating your puppy only when you go to bed or leave the house, put him in there for small amounts of time when you’re home, too.
  7. To Trust People. Teach your puppy that good people bring good things. Whenever someone is coming over to the house have your guest bring the dog an extra special high value treat. If your dog is in training your guest should have the dog sit. If not, calm behavior earns the treat. It’s an effective way to create an optimistic dog who trusts strangers and knows to work for treats. CAUTION: When doing this make sure your dog will only take the treat with your permission. The reason for this is you don’t want your dog to take everything from anyone. For example, if a child wants to give your dog food it could be something harmful, dangerous, or even worse, deadly.  This, of course, would be unintentional by the child because they may not know that the food they just gave Fido was toxic if ingested.
  8. That You’re His Best Bud. My dogs love other dogs, but they love me more!!! That’s because I taught them to find me more rewarding than most anything else. Work on that skill while allowing your dog to socialize. You’ll know you’ve succeeded when he can come when called even if he’s in the middle of interacting with other dogs.
  9. “Go To Place” or “Hotspot”. Prevent jumping on guests and door dashing all with one command. Early on in training, pair the sound of a doorbell to a reward for when your pup retreats to a mat or bed. By teaching this, you require a strong “go to place” or “hotspot” behavior, all cued up by the sound of the doorbell.
  10. To Learn Self Control. Learning how to go from excited to calm on your command is an invaluable skill for a puppy. A great way to teach this is through playing tug. If you’ve not properly taken the time to teach this game, I would do it today. You won’t regret it, and everything else you teach will become stronger and more functional because of this game. Also, you’ll never again have an issue asking your dog to sit when he’s excited because guests came to the house.

Information courtesy of the: American Kennel Club

Training tip: When teaching your puppy his name make a game of it by tossing a treat away from you and then use it’s name immediately when he reaches the treat and comes back to you. Always end all training sessions on a positive note! Use this link to register for special clubs, memberships, and special events. RUFF Academy Real Life Dog Training offers classes that range from Puppy Playhouse to Advanced Agility and more. We also offer continued support once you’ve completed any of the programs.

New specialty classes start this fall and winter to include Nose work, Brainiac, Parkour, and Treadmill classes. One of our newest programs is Board-N Train and it’s a big hit!!! Check us out on FaceBook and Instagram for videos and pictures of our various classes and programs.

What Are All These Vaccines For?




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Going to the vet repeatedly over several months for vaccinations, and then for boosters throughout the dog’s life, may seem like a bother, but the diseases from which vaccines shield our pets are truly dreadful, potentially deadly, and largely preventable. Always discuss vaccine schedules with your vet, since not all dogs need every vaccination. But to let you know why vaccinations are important, here are descriptions of the diseases they will help your pet avoid.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica is a highly communicable bacterium that causes severe fits of coughing, whooping, vomiting, and, in rare cases, seizures and death. It is the primary cause of kennel cough. The vaccine can be administered as an injection, nasal spray, or chewable tablet. ***There are several strains of Bordetella Bronchiseptica and the vaccine may not protect against all strains that exist.

Canine Distemper is a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous systems of dogs, wild canids, raccoons, skunks, and other animals. It causes discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and, often, death. There is no specific drug for the virus – the systems can be alleviated, giving the dog’s immune system a chance to fight it off.

Canine Hepatitis is a disease of the liver caused by a virus that is unrelated to the human form of hepatitis. Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion of the mucous membranes to severe depression, vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Many dogs can overcome the mild form of the disease, but the severe form can kill. There is no cure, but doctors can treat the symptoms.

Coronavirus is a nasty  virus that usually affects dogs’ gastrointestinal systems, though it can also cause respiratory infections. Signs include most GI symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Doctors can keep a dog hydrated, warm, and comfortable, and help alleviate nausea, but there is no drug that kills coronaviruses.

Heartworm Though there is no vaccine for this condition, it is preventable with regular medication. The name is descriptive – these worms lodge in the right side of the heart and the pulmonary arteries (that send blood to the lungs), though they can travel through the rest of the body and sometimes invade the liver and kidneys. The worms can grow to 14 inches long and, if clumped together, block and injure organs. A new infection often causes no symptoms, though dogs in later stages of the disease may cough, become lethargic, lose their appetite or have difficulty breathing. Infected dogs may tire after mild exercise. Unlike most of the diseases listed here, which are passed by urine, feces, and other body fluids, heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. The disease is treatable if caught early.

Kennel Cough , also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, results from inflammation of the upper airways. It can be caused by bacterial, viral, or other infections (see bordetella and canine parainfluenza), and often involves multiple infections simultaneously. Usually the disease is mild and self-limiting, causing bouts of harsh, dry coughing, sometimes severe enough to spur retching and gagging, along with a loss of appetite, but in rare cases it can kill. It is easily spread between dogs kept close together, which is why it passes quickly through kennels. Antibiotics are usually not necessary, except in severe, chronic cases. Cough suppressants can make a dog more comfortable.

Parvovirus attacks the gastrointestinal system and creates loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and often severe, bloody diarrhea. Extreme dehydration can come on rapidly and kill a dog within 48-72 hours, so prompt veterinary attention is crucial. There is no cure, so keeping the dog hydrated and controlling the secondary symptoms can keep him going until his immune system beats the illness.

Rabies is a virus that invades the central nervous system, causing headache, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death.  Treatment within hours of infection is essential, otherwise death is highly likely. Most states require a rabies vaccination at set intervals (every one to five years). Check with your vet about local rabies vaccination laws.

***Many household items and foods that people eat can be dangerous for dogs. Signs of poisoning include trembling, drooling, vomiting, and loss of bowel control.

Informatin courtesy of: American Kennel Club   Use this link for various educational information and classes. Starting in October we will be offering specialty 4 week classes, such as, Nose Work, Brainiac, Agility, and Parkour!!!!!! In addition, we offer in home private training.

Training Tip: When teaching basic commands be sure not to repeat the command over and over again. For example if you’re teaching “sit” say it once and wait for the dog to react. Don’t repeat the command  over and over again, otherwise the dog may think the command is “sit”, “sit”, “sit”, “sit”.



Good Surprise or Bad?




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Dangerous (and Surprising) Items That Contain Xylitol 

Dog owners know the dangers that foods like chocolate, garlic, onions, and grapes pose to their canine companions’ health; foods that are harmless to most people.

Another common substance that’s harmless to most humans but potentially life-threatening if consumed by dogs is Xylitol – a sugar alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute in many human foods.

But for dogs, xylitol poisoning is a major problem, according to the associate director of veterinary services at the Pet Poison Helpline. Ingesting xylitol causes a rapid and massive insulin release in dogs, which will manifest itself outwardly to a pet owner as acute weakness, staggering, and vomiting. Within 15-20 minutes, they might even be comatose, and depending on the amount consumed, a dog can also experience liver failure from ingesting xylitol.

Gum: If a gum is labeled as sugar-free, that should be a warning sign for xylitol. The Pet Poison Helpline cites gum as the source of nearly 80% of cases.

Mouthwash and Toothpaste: While not usually containing the same levels of xylitol as gum, dental health products tend to use this sugar substitute because of its appealing sweet taste and its teeth strengthening, plaque-fitting properties.

Baked Goods: Because packaged xylitol can be bought in bulk at many food stores, baked foods are becoming a more common source of canine health emergencies. Cupcakes and cookies have a lot more sweetener in them than mouthwash, a pet that consumes a baked good packed with xylitol is in danger of facing a life-threatening situation. You need to call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately and give them as much information as you can. Depending on the severity, they may suggest feeding your dog syrup or honey-something sweet to help keep their blood sugar up temporarily while you drive to seek emergency help.  On the other hand many grocery stores have stated carrying sugar-free foods like ketchup, peanut butter, protein bars, pudding, and more that contain xylitol as one of their primary ingredients. It is important to always carefully read the entire ingredient list of any food before giving it to your dog.

Medications: Most medications that contain xylitol are of the “meltaway” variety. These accounted for 12% of cases referred to a veterinary emergency facility, according to the Pet Poison Helpline-the second most behind gum. You also might see xylitol in some medications containing melatonin, liquid prescription products, and gummy vitamins.

Lotions, Gels, and Deodorants: You’re probably thinking, “why does my deodorant contain an artificial sweetener?” Fair question. Xylitol has humectant properties, which means it can help a product retain moisture, which makes it perfect for products like this.

Information courtesy of: PetMD

Use the link above to register for a variety of classes for both you and your dog!




What Can I Do To Prepare For The Unexpected?




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Planning for your pet’s long-term needs.

Because pets usually have shorter lifespans than their human caregivers, you may have planned for the passing of your companion animals. But what if you are the one who becomes ill, incapacitated or dies first?

As a responsible pet owner, you provide your pet with food and water, shelter, veterinarian care, and LOVE. To ensure your beloved pet will continue to receive this care should something unexpected happen to you, it’s critical to plan ahead.

What can I do now to prepare for the unexpected?

In the confusion that accompanies a person’s unexpected illness, accident, or death, pets may be overlooked. In some cases, pets are discovered in the person’s home days after a tragedy.

To prevent this from happening to your pet, take these simple precautions:

  • Find at least two responsible friends or relatives who agree to serve as temporary emergency caregivers in the event that something unexpected happens to you. Provide them with keys to your home; feeding and care instructions; the name of your vet; and information about the permanent care provisions you have made for your pet.
  • Make sure your neighbors, friends, and relatives know how many pets you have and the names and contact numbers of the individuals who have agreed to serve as emergency caregivers. Emergency caregivers should also know how to contact each other.
  • Carry a wallet “alert card” that lists the names and phone numbers of your emergency contacts.
  • Post removable “in case of emergency” notices on your doors or windows specifying how many and what types of pets you have. These notices will alert emergency-response personnel during a fire or other home emergency. Don’t use stickers; hard to remove stickers are often left behind by former residents, so firefighters may assume that the sticker is outdated or, worse, risk their lives trying to find a pet who is no longer in the house.

How can I ensure long-term permanent care for my pet if I become seriously ill or die?

The best way to make sure your wishes are fulfilled is by also making formal arrangements that specifically cover the care of your pet.

It’s not enough that long ago a friend verbally promised to take in your animal or even that you’ve decided to leave money to a friend for that purpose. Work with an attorney or go on-line to draw up a special will, trust, or other document to provide for the care and ownership of your pet as well as the money necessary to care for them.

How do I choose a permanent caregiver?

First, decide whether you want all of your pets to go to one person, or whether different pets should go to different people. If possible, keep pets who have bonded with one another together.

When selecting caregivers, consider partners, adult children, parents, siblings, and friends who have met your pet and have successfully cared for pets themselves. Also  name alternate caregivers in case your first choice becomes unable or unwilling to take your pet.

Be sure to discuss your expectations with potential caregivers so they understand the large responsibility of caring for your pet.

Remember: the new owner will have full discretion over the animal’s care – including veterinary treatment and euthanasia – so make sure you choose a person you trust implicitly and who will do what is in the best interests of your pet.

Stay in touch with designated caregivers and alternates. Over time, people’s circumstances and priorities change, and you want to make sure that the arrangements you have made continue to hold from the designated caregivers’ vantage points.

If all else fails, it is also possible to direct your executor or personal representative in your will to place the animal with another individual or family member.

You should also authorize your executor to expend funds from your estate for the temporary care of your pet as well as for the costs of looking for a new home and transporting the animal. The will should also grant broad discretion to your executor in making decisions about the animal and in expending estate funds on the animal’s behalf.

NOTE: The foregoing is intended to provide general information and to stimulate your thinking about providing for your pet in the event of your incapacity or death. It is not intended to provide legal advice and is definitely not a substitute for consulting a local attorney of your choosing who is familiar both with the laws of your state and with your personal circumstances and needs, and those of your pet.

Information courtesy of: The Humane Society Of The United States

Check out RUFF Academy by using the link above for a multitude of classes and programs that are currently being offered. We are always updating our programs to remain current and relevant to what’s going on in the dog world.

Thanks to all of our loyal clients and local veterinary office’s for all the referrals you send our way. We owe our continued success to all of you!

Training tip: provided by Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy Agility Trainer. The pause table is one of the harder obstacles because it requires a hyper dog to stop for 5 seconds. If your agility club does not require a sit or down on the table you can use this time to do a few simple tricks to get your dog hyped up again.

Answers to last weeks puzzle:

  1. Foster
  2. Service Dog
  3. RUFF Academy
  4. Prong
  5. Beagle
  6. Tags
  7. Barking
  8. Weave
  9. Spot Can Sit!
  10. Puppies
  11. Poodle
  12. Great Dane
  13. Dog House
  14. Leash
  15. Jack Pot


Get A Leg Up on Training Your Pup!



“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Everybody wants to have a well-behaved, well-mannered pet, but for many people, training is a long, frustrating journey. We’re here to help make training a fun and enjoyable process for both you and your dog.

Here are a few things to start the process until you can get registered in puppy classes.

  • Determine what motivator works best for your dog. Treats are usually the easiest to work with, and most people are able to find treats that even finicky eaters love. When picking training treats, don’t settle. Find high-value or “jackpot” treats, something that really makes them drool! Praise is also a good motivator for many dogs, and used generously with treats, will make most dogs very happy and willing to work. Favorite toys can come in handy too, especially in distracting environments.
  • Combine a rewarding motivator with a verbal cue. Before you start training the behaviors themselves, teach your dog to associate a word (cue) with receiving a reward (treat and praise). Once learned, when unable to reward instantly, use your reward cue and your dog will know their reward is coming even if they have to wait a moment to get it.
  • Decide on your cue. It can be anything, but it should be a short, sharp word such as “YES!” Or “GOOD!” Now, with a handful of “jackpot” treats and with your dog nearby, say her reward cue and pop a treat in their mouth. It’s that easy! Repeat, repeat, repeat, repetition is key for your dog to understand the concept. Some breeds may catch on faster than others so be sure to keep the training interesting and engaging. Do these training sessions several times throughout the day for several days, and your dog will know that if you say “GOOD,” a treat is coming their way. Your dog’s understanding of this cue puts you in a very good place to start teaching proper behavior, but remember to decide on a cue, then use it exclusively.

Many different training methods can help turn your dog from a rambunctious, unmannered pet to the picture-perfect canine good citizen. Part of your job as a good pet parent is to find the best approach for you and your dog. Use the link below to register for a variety of classes and let the fun begin!

Fun Fact: Your puppy’s sense of smell is approximately one million times more sensitive than a human.

Fun and Games!

  1. Temporary placement of an animal?
  2. Dogs that assist people emotionally or physically?
  3. The best place to take your dog for training?
  4. Type of collar used for training?
  5. Snoopy is one of these?
  6. Attaches to the collar to identify your dog?
  7. Dogs being vocal are doing this?
  8. Poles used in agility to go in and out?
  9. Name of the Blog?
  10. Baby dogs?
  11. Smartest dog breed?
  12. Scooby Doo was one?
  13. If someone does something naughty they are considered to be in this?
  14. Attaches to the collar for walking?
  15. High-value or ________ treat?

Check next weeks blog for this weeks trivia question answers.





Get An A+ In Socializing!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

The Dangers of Not Socializing Your Dog!

Thorough socialization is one of the most important aspects of early puppy training. The goal is to give your puppy the tools to understand that “new and different” doesn’t necessarily translate to “bad & scary.” Having positive experiences with a variety of people, places and things during those critical few weeks of social development – roughly between eight and fourteen weeks of age – can help set the stage for a lifetime of confidence and appropriate responses to new experiences. Though the socialization checklist is long, working through it can be a joyful process of discovery for both dog and pet parent.

Generalized Fearfulness

A dog that hasn’t been exposed to positive new experiences is a dog that’s likely to be frightened of anything that isn’t familiar. That trash bag flapping in the breeze or garden statue at the edge of a neighbor’s yard might be enough to make the dog cower and retreat. These dogs can have crippling anxiety about anything that’s unfamiliar, which manifests in an unwillingness to approach new situations and environments.


Fearfulness often masquerades aggression, so even though it might seem like a reactive dog is in an aggressive attack-mode, it’s possible that the display is based in fear. Under-socialized dogs often don’t have the coping skills to appropriately respond to stressful scenarios, so they react defensively in an effort to maintain a buffer from the “scary” stimulus, whether it’s a person, another dog, a bike or an umbrella.

Hard to Handle

A dog that wasn’t exposed to handling exercises as a puppy likely feels uncomfortable with grooming since it never had a chance to learn that a comb isn’t a tortue device. That makes basic grooming, like nail clipping and tooth brushing, challenging if not impossible. Because the process is so overwhelming for both dog and pet parent, these nervous dogs have to go to the vet for basic grooming procedures that could easily be taken care of at home.

Sound Sensitivity

Many dogs are afraid of thunder and fireworks, so a lack of socialization isn’t to blame in those scenarios. However, dogs that are nervous about unexpected but everyday sounds like the whir of a ceiling fan or the beep of a fire alarm battery are at a disadvantage because of the prevalence of the noises. These dogs typically withdraw from the sound and display avoidance behaviors.

Scared of Adventures

An under-socialized dog’s world is very small, because life outside the front door is frightening and unpredictable. Going in the car, stopping by dog-friendly stores and hiking new trails are out of the question because the dog isn’t comfortable in the new environments.

Nervous Around People

One of the most important steps in socialization is gently introducing the puppy to different types of people including children, people in hats, men with beards, senior citizens with walkers and people of different ethnicities. If a puppy doesn’t have the opportunity to meet friendly strangers at his own pace, he might react fearfully – whether retreating or barking preemptively – any time he meets someone he perceives as different. A good rule of thumb to follow, is that your puppy should meet at least 100 different people in the socialization process.

Uncomfortable Around Other Dogs

We all want our dogs to have dog buddies, but if a puppy wasn’t able to meet a variety of dogs of all ages and sizes at a young age, there’s a chance he’ll be wary about making canine friends as an adult. Early dog-on-dog socialization is critical because it allows dogs to hone their communication skills. Without exposure to the language of play, it’s easy for a dog to misconstrue a frisky nip as an invitation to fight.

Tips For Successful Socialization 

You can avoid the dangers of under-socialization with a well-constructed plan that addresses all of these potential problem areas. Sign up for a well-run puppy socialization class where your dog can meet new friends and learn the rules of friendly play using this link Take the time to explore your puppy’s body, including the paws (specifically the nails), mouth, ears and eyes using “touch for a treat training” . Create a checklist of different types of people to meet, but make sure that participants let your pup approach them on his own time. Gently expose your puppy to different noises at low levels. Carefully introduce household equipment, like brooms and unplugged vacuums. Allow him to explore different surfaces, like sidewalk grates and slick floors. Encourage him to check out objects like parked bikes, garbage cans on wheels and strollers. Although it’s critical to expose your puppy to new environments, avoid areas with porous ground where many unfamiliar dogs go, like parks, during the early stages of socialization.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s not just the quantity of experiences your puppy has, it’s also the quality. The secret to socialization success is to make sure that it’s always a positive experience for your puppy. Forcing him to meet someone he’s tentative to approach might actually backfire and reinforce any underlying fear. Similarly, plopping him in the middle of a sandpit when he’s only been on grass might cause undue stress. Work through your puppy’s socialization checklist slowly, always allowing your pup to move at his own pace, and always making sure that he has an escape route from the action should he need it. If you plan ahead and don’t leave anything to chance, your puppy will have a rich vocabulary of real-world skills.

Information courtesy of: PetMD

Fun Fact: Ever wonder why your puppy can’t always see the treat right in front of him, but can usually track a treat or toy you throw? This is because dogs are natural hunters. Their eyes have developed to detect movement, not fine details.

Training Tip: Provided by Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy Agility Lead Trainer. If your dog is afraid of an obstacle, try using lots of treats. You can even place a trail of treats across an A-Frame or a Walk-It. Even if your dog touches the obstacle with its front feet give it lots of praise. Never force them onto an obstacle and ALWAYS end training on a positive note!

Answers to last weeks word scramble

  1. YGATIIL = Agility
  2. EEISASRVG = Agressive
  3. SVRBASHATIOILE = Behavioralists
  4. URFF ACDAEMY = RUFF Academy
  5. ONGRP = Prong
  6. FREFICFIRU = Rufferific
  7. TPWLYAESVAI = Pawsatively
  8. EFOSRT ESNRTAP = Foster Parents
  9. DENIBEOCE = Obedience
  10. PPYPU POYHLEASU = Puppy Playhouse

Look for a new puzzle in next weeks blog!!!

Too Hot To Trot!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Happy Independence Day!

July is National Train Your Dog Month and National Walk Your Dog Month.

Now that summer and hotter weather has arrived we need to know how to protect our pets in the heat. Here are a few things to watch for in the hot summer months.

Try to avoid walking your dog on black pavement in the hot summer months. The hot pavement can cause blistering and bleeding on the pads of your dogs feet. If possible, stick to grassy areas when walking your dog to prevent this horrific and painful thing from happening to your furry friend.



Signs: Excessive panting or salivating (drooling), weakness, collapse, vomiting, red tongue and gums, bloody diarrhea, bruising of the skin, rectal temperature over 105 degrees F.

Action: These symptoms should prompt immediate evaluation by a veterinarian. Remove animal from source of heat and offer cool water to drink. Cool GRADUALLY with fans, allow pet to rest in cool (not ice cold) bath. Stop cooling when your pets temperature reaches 103.5 degrees F. Use extreme care when playing with or exercising your pet during hot or humid weather. Use special precautions with pets that are not acclimated to exercise or the heat. Certain dog breeds (Pugs or Bulldogs) and those pets with underlying respiratory problems are at greater risk for heatstroke. Never leave a pet unattended in a car, even for short periods of time.


Action: To prevent the bridge of the nose and ears from burning, provide adequate shade and apply waterproof 35 SPF sunscreen to any exposed skin areas.

Some information courtesy of: Lakeshore Pet Emergency Resource Guide

Use the link above for various training and class information. RUFF Academy is a full service dog training and dog behavior assessment/correction facility. Don’t feel safe or have had a bad experience at a dog park? RUFF Academy offers safe, secure, and supervised play sessions for you and your dog to enjoy. Subscribe to A Dog’s Life Social Club to get a schedule of events.

Fun Fact: A dog cools off through the pads of their feet!

Training Tip: Provided by Amanda Mondloch, a RUFF Academy dog trainer. To help your dog learn the “sit” command, lure him with a treat right above his nose, and slowly go over his head with the treat until his bum reaches the ground. Give him a treat and say what a good dog he is 🙂 

New segment: Fun & Games! Check next Tuesday’s Blog for the answers to this weeks word scramble puzzle.

  5. ONGRP

Playing Hide-and-Seek!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

You quickly run your hands along your dog’s head, back and belly, and, finding no ticks, you think your job is done.

Actually, finding ticks on your dog is not so simple. These tiny bloodsuckers are good at playing hide-and-seek, particularly when their host is covered in thick dark hair. Ticks can latch on to your furry friend and live in hiding, feasting on blood for several days at a time. Even dogs with flea and tick collars and other forms of protection can be targeted by these parasites.

Checking your dog carefully for ticks is extremely important since these parasites can make pets and humans seriously ill. Anaplasmosis, Lyme diseaseRocky Mountain spotted fever, and tick paralysis are just a few of the potential diseases caused by tick bites.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council predicted that 2017 would be a big year for illnesses transmitted by ticks and mosquitos, noting that the threat of diseases continues to spread into new areas, “creating a year-round menace to both pets and their owners.”

How Ticks Find Their Victims

Using heat sensors, ticks find a victim and typically latch onto the warmest places on the dogs body.

“The head, neck and ears are prime places, but ticks can occur anywhere,” says Dr Ann Hohenhaus.  “Look and look again. You have to look everywhere. You can easily miss ticks.”

You might be surprised by some of the places ticks have been found on dogs.

In the Groin Area

The groin probably isn’t the first place you would look for ticks on your pet. However, they can get attached in and around your dog’s bottom. You should check the perianal area. Ticks are drawn to dark, moist areas on the body. Also make sure to check your dog’s tail.

Between the Toes

Ticks have nothing against your dog’s paws. Though it takes extra to latch on, a tick can become attached between the toes. If you find one there, use hemostats or tweezers to remove it. Grasp the tick without crushing it and pull it straight out.

In and Around the Ears

At DoveLewis, a very sick Sheltie named Ollie was at the hospital about to be euthanized. As an intern, who was working alongside the veterinarian, reached out to comfort Ollie and as she scratched behind his ears, found a tick engorged with blood. The quantity of fecal material suggested the tick had been attached to the dog for some time.

The tick was removed. Thinking the dog could have tick paralysis, the veterinarian discussed the possibility with Ollie’s owner and sent the dog home. Within hours, Ollie was back on his feet, fully recovered and eager to go outside.

Tick paralysis is really uncommon, but is something dog owners should be aware of.

Unlike other tick-transmitted diseases, tick paralysis will go away without lasting health effects once the tick is removed, says Dr Hohenhaus, who treated a Yorkie with paralysis caused by a tick found on the dog’s lip.

She also recommends checking inside your dog’s ears, including the ear canal. “I’ve found ticks on the inside of floppy ears,” Hohenhaus says.

Under Clothes and Collars

If your dog wears a collar 24/7, it’s easy to forget to remove it during tick inspection. Ticks can hide under your pets collar, harness or any article of clothing they are wearing. If your pet wears a T-shirt or sun protection shirt, those have to come off. People often times don’t think to remove articles of clothing while checking for ticks.

The Eyelids

Is it a skin tag or a tick on your dogs eyelid? Sometimes it’s hard to determine says Dr Hohenhaus.

Dogs can develop skin tags anywhere on their bodies, but they frequently appear near the eyelids. You don’t want to rip off a skin tag so make sure that the black mass on the eyelid is actually not a tick.

Information courtesy of: PetMD

Talk to your vet to determine the appropriate tick preventative that best suits you and your dog!

The link above offers many resources and solutions available to help you and Fido  start out on the right paw! Behavior issues to potty training and basic commands, we’ve got experts to help with that!!!

Fun Fact: Puppies navigate by smell from the moment they are born, when their eyes are closed and their hearing has not developed.  Your puppy even has a special organ on the roof of his mouth that allows him to “taste” certain smells.

Training Tip: Provide by Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy agility trainer. There are lots of distractions while doing agility. Lots of excited dogs and it usually takes place outside. Make sure you have practiced obedience with lots of distractions before starting agility so your dog will listen to you.


The Big Bang Theory!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”
How to Look After Pets During Fireworks
Eighty percent of pet owners have owned a pet afraid of fireworks. Do you constantly worry about your pets during firework displays close to your home? Do you fear you may come home to find that your pets are unhappy or, even worse, dead because of the extremely loud noises? If you can’t ask for quieter fireworks, you will have to do the best you can to comfort your pet. July 4th has the most reports of lost dogs out of any other day of the year. Here are some ways to keep your pet safe and cared for during fireworks.
1. Know when fireworks will be happening and how they’ll impact your home. Contact your local municipality to find out when your area is likely to have fireworks. Mark the dates on a calendar so that you can keep track of when to ensure your pets are cared for. If you know or suspect that the fireworks will be heard at your house, take the precautions outlined in the following steps.
Check that your pets’ ID tags and microchips are in date. If your pet does go running off during fireworks events, it’s much easier to be able to identify its ownership with these features. Fireworks upset pets as a result of the noise, smell of sulfur, and flashing lights.
2. Prepare your pet for dealing with noise by exposing it to other sounds. Desensitization of noises helps to prevent a phobia of loud noises. Use a CD like Sounds Scary, well before the firework season, or after the event. This process should start at least 3-4 months before the celebration of our Independence.

3. Prepare the house. The house becomes your pet’s safety zone, so it’s important to prepare it properly. Keep some lights on. Keeping a light on will calm your pet and make him feel more secure, rather than being scared in a dark room.
Dampen the noise. Close the curtains in the room and, if your animal is a caged one, cover up the cage in a thick blanket, but make sure it is breathable so your animal doesn’t suffocate. This will also help to stop the flashes of light affecting your pet.
Plan to use familiar sounds to drown out the noise of the fireworks. Music from a stereo or turning on the TV are likely familiar sounds that can sooth your pet. Just make sure not to play these sounds ridiculously loud as they can become bothersome themselves. Classical music calms pets. Play the music loud enough to hear over the fireworks, but not to loud to bother the pet.

4. Prepare the room. Select a suitable room where you will contain the pets for the duration of the fireworks. An inner room that is least impacted by the noise is ideal. It should be a room that you can close off to prevent your pet from running about the house and injuring itself, wrecking furniture, etc. If you have more than one pet, be sure they don’t mind being confined in the same room, or select several rooms for different pets. For example, dogs and cats will usually appreciate being kept separate. Make the room cozy. Put down familiar, clean bedding somewhere pleasant such as under a table, on or behind a chair, etc. Add some familiar chew toys, scratch pads, balls, etc., to keep your pets amused and distracted.
Ensure that the room temperature is pleasant; warm if it’s cold weather, or cool if it’s hot weather.
Consider whether sound might be soothing. If your pet is used to music, turn some on at normal volume. Also, the sound of rainwater is very soothing to pets.
Use lavender. This is optional, but you might like to use lavender scented items to help calm your pet. Using heated scent oils or incense is not recommended as a frantic pet can knock them over and start a fire or injure themselves.
Remove any sharp items from the room in case your pet starts jumping or running around.

5. Prepare yourself. In the desire to ease our pet’s pain, sometimes we can transfer some of our anxiety and upset to the pet. If you’ve prepared properly in advance, there is no need to feel upset and worried as you can be reassured about the safety of your pet. Realize that the startled and frantic reactions of your pet are often the principal source of your own upset. Being ready for their reactions can help to keep you calm as well.

6. Confine your pet. Half an hour to an hour before the fireworks are due to be set off, place your pet into the chosen room. If you’re concerned about not being able to locate your pet (for example, cats aren’t always easy to find), consider finding your pet several hours earlier. Mealtime is a good time to round up every pet, provided it falls before the fireworks are set off. Be sure to exercise and run your dog before fireworks are scheduled to start. Doing this can help calm and relax your pet if they are tired. Even if your pet is kenneled, place it into the secure and comfortable room you’ve selected.

7. Provide food and hydration. Be sure to leave sufficient water and food for your pet in the confinement space. Many pets will be uneasy, or even frantic. If your pet has access to water, it will help calm him, and food supplied in your pet’s regular portion will make him feel like it’s a normal day.

8. Keep an eye on your pet, and if possible, stay with them. Comfort and talk to them. Be friendly Stay happy and upbeat, this will make your dog feel less anxious. It is false that comforting your fearful animal can reinforce that fear, just like comforting a child fearful of spiders will not make the child more afraid of spiders. If it’s not possible to stay with her, perhaps because you’re out or busy you may be at the firework display, don’t worry – the previous steps should ensure that your pet has been adequately cared for. Allow your pet to hide somewhere in the room if wished. It’s your pet’s way of coping (a “bolthole”) and dragging them out of a safe spot can increase their anxiety levels. Don’t fuss over them too much.

9. Check on your pet after the fireworks. Reassure him and remove the protection (blankets, etc.) as long as you’re sure that the loud fireworks are over. Let him have free run of the house to see how he behaves before considering letting him return outside (it might be best to wait until morning, if possible). Check for signs of stress in your pet.
Signs of stress include barking a lot, running away, soiling the house, hiding and cowering, clinging to owners, whimpering, trembling and shaking, pacing and panting, and refusing to eat.
If your pet is stressed, keep him indoors overnight.  If you feel it’ safe to do so, walk your dog after the fireworks but don’t let him off his harness and be sure to stay with him the whole time.

10. Do a yard sweep before letting your pets back outside. Collect any sparklers, firecrackers, etc., as well as party items and broken objects. This will prevent your pet from being injured by unfamiliar objects.

Check with your vet for specific medications that may help calm your dog based on the type and breed of dog. Your vet is a valuable resource when making decisions to help protect your pet.

Some information courtesy of: Wikihow

Training Tip: Desensitize your dog early to loud sounds and noises. This process can be started as early as 6 weeks old. During this process, be sure to make it rewarding for your dog by doing this around meal times and play times and ALWAYS end on a positive note! 

Fun Fact: Dogs with upright ears, like German Shepherd Dogs, use their ears almost like radar antennas, thanks to the 18 muscles they have in their ears that allow them to control the ear’s position and essentially “turn up the volume” on their hearing.

Visit the link above for various training sessions, Play Times, Private Training and Board and Train programs just to name a few. Numerous Social Clubs are also available.