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hard to remove stickers are often left behind by former residents, so firefighters may assume that the sticker is outdated or, worse, risk their lives trying to find a pet who is no longer in the house.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 http://www.ruffacademywi.com. 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