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.








Is Today The Day?



“Two Paws Up Tuesday”


Picture this: You’re out for a stroll on a gorgeous day, and suddenly, an adorable puppy is bounding towards you. You pet him, you tell him how cute he is, and you think to yourself, “I should get a puppy.” We’re all guilty of this – if you say you’re not, I don’t believe you. However, whether you’re planning on buying a puppy or adopting an older dog, there are certain factors you need to take into consideration before bringing a new dog home.

Let’s start with the basics.

1. Are you allowed to have pets where you live? The idea of having a dog to keep you company is wonderful, but it is important to consider restrictions by your landlord or building management company. Many apartments, especially in cities, have breed or size restrictions, or don’t allow dogs at all. Unless you own your home, make sure your landlord is okay with the specific breed you plan to get, and ask whether there is an increased cost in rent.

2. Can you afford a dog? Dogs are expensive, regardless of whether you get a puppy or an older dog. According to the ASPCA, annual dog care costs range from $420-$780, and that doesn’t include unexpected trips to the vet, or moments of weakness when you see a dog toy that your furry friend just “has to have.”

3. Do you have time for a dog?  What kind of dog fits your particular lifestyle? A dog is not like a fish – you can’t just feed it and then otherwise forget it exists (no offense to our committed fish owners out there). By adding a dog to your family, you are taking on the responsibility of another life, so make sure you have time to dedicate to caring for your pup. Dogs – especially puppies – require lots of love and attention. If you travel frequently, often find yourself working extended hours, or will be leaving your pup alone all day, you may want to reconsider your timing on getting a new dog.

4. Will exercise with your dog fit into your daily schedule? Dogs need to be exercised. Whether a new puppy or a 9-year-old adoptee, your dog needs exercise. While it is true that a puppy needs more exercise than an older dog, you need to make sure you have the time to commit to exercising your dog on a daily basis, whether that be going for a morning and evening walk, throwing a ball around the yard, running, etc.

5. Do you have the patience to train a puppy? Training a puppy isn’t easy. Puppies are naturally curious. They will chew stuff and destroy stuff, and require training to become well behaved. Enroll your new family member in puppy and Obedience classes.  Visit for a wide range of classes to choose from that best fits the needs of you and your furry friend. The same goes for older dogs – even if the dog was previously trained at another home, your dog will probably need to be re-trained – especially after leaving a shelter. Try not to get mad if he has an accident or chews something – he may be nervous and will need time to adjust, just as a puppy would. Be patient, gentle, and caring.

Now for the less obvious stuff:

6. Do you have everything for the arrival of your new dog? Buy the things you’ll need in advance. It is better to be overly prepared than completely unprepared when it comes to bringing a new dog home. You will need a properly fitted dog collar, ID tag, a dog leash, food and water bowls, a dog bed, and dog toys to make your new friend feel at home. Buying these necessities ahead of time will make your dog feel comfortable the second you bring him home, and help with the transition to the new environment.

7. Do you have a vet selected? Ask for recommendations from family and friends. Do your research when choosing a vet that best fits your needs and the needs of your puppy. Just like a Family Pratice Doctor for you and your family a good vet can make all the difference in raising a happy healthy puppy who will be a part of the family for a very long time. You should plan to schedule a visit within the first week of bringing him home. That way, you already have him established in a practice in case anything unexpected happens, and the vet can make sure your pup is up-to-date on any needed vaccinations.

8. Are you aware of the importance of getting your dog spayed or neutered? Speaking of the vet, always get your new dog spayed/neutered. If you adopt a dog from a shelter, the shelter may have already taken this step for you, but always check with the shelter to be sure. However, if you have a new puppy, you will have to make sure you take him or her to get neutered or spayed. This is so important because, not only do you likely not want tons of puppies running around, but it also helps your dog live a healthier, longer life by preventing uterine infections and certain types of cancers. The recommended period for spaying or neutering your dog is between six to nine months. However, it can be done as early as eight weeks, if your pup is healthy, and can also be done later in life, though there is a higher risk of complications.

9. Are you familiar with common pet hazards? Do some research on pet hazards from household chemicals to people food to house plants. Do not let your dog play with a bottle of cleaning solution or medicine. These things are blatantly poisonous. There are also a lot of little things you may expect that can seriously harm your pup. Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine can cause vomiting and diarrhea in your dog, as well as an abnormal heartbeat, seizures, and death. Onions and garlic are also hazardous to dogs – they can cause gastrointestinal problems and lead to red blood cell damage. For a complete list of foods to avoid feeding your pet, visit the ASPCA’s animal poison control page. Remember, your puppy is like a toddler, curious about everything and completely fearless. Odds are, if they shouldn’t have it, they want to get into it! So needless to say, you need to puppy proof your house just as you would baby proof it.

10. Do you know how your dog should interact with other dogs? It’s imperative to socialize your dog. Many dog owners seem to think that other dog owners don’t want their dogs to interact for fear of a fight occurring. But again, dogs are naturally curious creatures, and chances are, they just want to say hi to another dog friend. When walking your dog or visiting a dog park, if you see other dogs, feel free to let your dog approach other dogs instead of holding him back (just check with the other dog’s owner to make sure it’s okay).

Always remember your dog is now a member of your family – make sure you treat him that way!

Some information courtesy of: Kurgo

Training Tip: Training tip courtesy of Amanda Mondloch a RUFF Academy trainer. If you are on flea and tick or heartworm  preventive, make sure you’re  getting a quality product either at your vets office or prescribed by your vet. “Bargain” products can cause more harm than good.

Fun Fact: When dogs get hot, the best way for them to cool off is by sticking their feet in cool or cold water. Dogs sweat through their feet! 

We Appreciate YOU!!!!!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

After interviewing Mans Best Friend we found out that pet parents could use a gentle reminder of ways they should celebrate Pet Appreciation Week, so we’ve taken the liberty to put together a little list of ideas!

Pampered Pet Priorities
We’ve determined through meticulous research what pets want most. Our needs can be distilled into the following:

Quality time

We want yummy, healthy food! I’ll admit it. I have a deep appreciation for food. As a fine connoisseur of all things fabulous, I have to make a plug for quality kibble.

It’s common sense that good food makes for better health. Though high-quality foods may seem like a lot more money than bargain foods available through mass retailers, any savings will be nullified with more vet visits.

Also under the food category, we dogs love treats! It pains me to say this, but don’t overdo the treats – even if we give you the “puppy-dog eyes.” Some dogs have literally been “loved” to death with too many treats that lead to obesity.

I keep my trim figure through a rigorous exercise regimen, but I still have to limit my snacks. If I’m going to indulge, I make sure my treats are of the highest quality. To be on the safe side, treats made in the USA under USDA standards are best or bake them yourself. You can find so many Rufferific homemade dog treat recipes that are simple to make and delicious to Fido!

Dogs like posh digs! By “digs,” that’s hip-doggy speak for a comfy abode. Dog houses are so yesterday. Su casa es mi casa! And in my house, I’d like a comfy bed and a safe place to retreat to ponder the deeper meaning of life.

Safety is imperative. It’s tough to get away from the paparazzi when you look so fabulous! I’ve been known to sneak away on occasion and I hate to admit this, but sometimes I get lost in my efforts to retain privacy.

My fellow dogs aren’t likely to admit that they sometimes wander off as well and may forget where they went. Do your pets a favor and get them a proper identification tag and microchip. Helping us find our way home is the ultimate way to show us love.

Quality time with our humans! How about a long walk on the beach? You could take us to a dog park or for a scenic walk in the woods. If you’re in the area, RUFF Academy Real Life Dog Training offers a safe enclosed supervised environment to play and meet up with all your buddies. Some of us just want to play a game of fetch. Belly rubs are always appreciated!

Some information courtesy of: Baxter and Boo

Visit the link above to find all things DOG!!! Become a member of a club and enjoy all the perks and benefits a dog could want. Our 35,000 square foot enclosed outdoor play area is complete and ready for Fido to run and play in a supervised environment. Come see what all the barking is about!!!

Fun Fact: Puppies are born deaf, and they can’t hear until they are about 3 weeks old. Once their hearing kicks in, though, they hear four times better than most people, making your dog’s hearing much more reliable than yours!

Training Tip: Training tip provided by Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy Agility Trainer. Keep agility fun! All dogs and people have bad days. If you are having a hard time, finish with something your dog does well and end your session on a good note!


What’s Love Got to Do With It?



“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Like human babies, puppies start out needing many small meals a day, of a food formulated for their special nutititional requirements.

Before we get into the particulars of puppy nutrition, let’s first consider the foremost pitfall of canine feeding. In theory, keeping your growing dog properly nourished is simple: Serve sensibly sized portions of high-quality chow, avoid feeding “people food,” and keep snacks to a minimum. In practice, this is easier said than done. the doleful gaze of a begging dog can be downright irresistible. This is no accident. During his long partnership with man, the dog has perfected cunning methods of exploiting the human neurosis that associates food with affection. In prehistoric times semi-domesticated canines first cultivated human beings as a food provider. As the two species grew closer, dogs modified begging behaviors to maximize results: The more pathetic a dog seemed, the more scraps were tossed his way. Dogs have since refined this approach into a low-risk, high-reward hunting technique.

It’s a deceptive way to hunt, utilizing the appearance of helplessness rather than ferocity, but don’t be fooled: Begging is not an emotional crisis or a test of your love. It’s what scientists might call an evolutionary survival strategy, or what the rest of us might call a scam. Allowing your dog to “guilt” you into over feeding him, or serving him a steady diet of table scraps in a misguided show of affection, can have harmful or even fatal results.

So don’t take it personally when the little con artist under the table goes into the old whimper-wheedle-and-whine routine. Simply ignore it, and find healthier ways of bonding with your pet.

1st year

6-12 weeks: Growing pups should be fed puppy food, a diet specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs for normal development. Feeding adult food will rob your puppy of important nutrients. Four feedings a day are usually adequate to meet nutritional demands. Large breeds should be on unmoistened dry food by 9 or 10 weeks; small dogs by 12 or 13 weeks.

3-6 months: Sometime during this period, decrease feedings from four to three a day. A pup should be losing her pot belly and pudginess by 12 weeks. If she is still roll-poly at this age, continue to feed puppy size portions until body type matures.

6-12 months: Begin feeding twice daily. Spaying or neutering lowers energy requirements slightly; after the procedure switch from nutrient-rich puppy food to adult maintenance food. Small breeds can make the switch at 7 to 9 months; bigger breeds at 12, 13 even 14 months. Err on the side of caution: Better to be on puppy food a little too long than not long enough.

After age 1: Dogs can be fed one hearty portion daily, but many owners feed adult dogs two half portions a day.

Feeding & Shopping

  • High quality premium puppy food
  • Nutritious low-fat, low-sodium treats
  • Food and water bowls of sufficient heft to prevent your dog from tipping them over

Information courtesy of: American Kennel Club

Training tip: Provided by Amanda Mondloch a RUFF Academy trainer. If you find an attached tick on your dog it would be a good idea to go get your dog checked for Lyme disease 6-8 weeks later (because that’s how long it takes to show up in the bloodstream). Lyme disease is very prevalent in our area so it’s a good idea to get your dog tested, especially if the tick was attached.

Fun Fact: Do you talk to your dog? 94% of dog owners say they talk to their dogs as if they were human, according to Impulse research for Pedigree.

The link above is full of information you should know for you and your dog. Please visit the website and see all the Pawsatively Rufferific information.

Looking for a place where your dog can play with others, like a dog park without the risks and dangers a dog park might have? RUFF Academy Real Life Dog Training has 35,000 square feet of outdoor space, plus an indoor space when the weather isn’t so favorable, for Fido to play with other like dogs. It is a supervised play session divided into groups to keep things safe. Have a small/timid dog? We have a play date for that. We also offer general play days along with large breed sessions. Visit the website using the link above for additional information.




A Process of Elimination




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Housebreaking your new puppy need not break you. With patience, diligence, and a calm, authoritative manner, you can teach your dog exactly where he should eliminate and where he should not.

Here’s a play-by-play of how to housebreak your puppy


  1. The key to success is simple: Timing is everything!!!!!
  2. Take your puppy outside immediately after eating, playing, or napping (approximately every two hours). Keeping this rigid schedule will prevent him from making mistakes in the house.
  3. Some trainers recommend giving your dog a command like “Potty time!” Or “Go to the bathroom!” At the moment your pup is correctly doing his business outside. Eventually, whenever you say that phrase, the dog will eliminate on cue.
  4. Much like a little boy who dances up and down when he has to go to the bathroom, a puppy’s behavior will let you know that he needs to go outside. If he whines, paces, or runs in a circle, grab the leash and get out the door.
  5. Mistakes happen. If you catch your puppy eliminating in the house-and he will-correct him with a firm, gentle “NO.” Take him for a walk and praise him lavishly when he does his business outside.

Steady As she goes

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and every puppy moves at his own pace when learning proper bathroom habits. Some figure out housebreaking in one day, others take months. You can make the training go smoothly with consistency; allowing for frequent trips outside (with plenty of praise); providing every meal regularly (at the same time each day); and always using a confident, authoritative, calm voice with your puppy.

An embarrassing incident

Some dogs, no matter how well housebroken, suffer from what is called “submissive urination.” This embarrassing problem, for man and beast, usually occurs when the “pack leader” of the household comes home, and the dog, so happy to see him or her, pees a bit on the floor.

When confronted with this bewildering behavior it’s important for owners to realize that the dog hasn’t forgotten his hard-learned housebreaking lessons. Owners should not get angry or chastise their dog. This only ensures that the dog will try even harder to appease them, and his pee is the only gift the pup has to give, the problem continues.

So what do you do? No admonishments, no yelling, no finger-pointing. Instead, when you enter the house, ignore the dog for a few minutes, giving the pup some time to cool his jets and greet you in a more “appropriate” way.

Consistency is key

Always feed and water your puppy at the same time every day. If he eats at regular intervals, he will relieve himself at regular intervals, too.

Even if you’re in a hurry, don’t bring the puppy back inside as soon he does his business. If you do, he will learn that once he eliminates, the fun walk is over and he’ll start to “hold it” for longer periods.

If you find that your dog eliminated in the house when you weren’t looking, and he has a remorseful, sad expression, do not punish him. Only punish and reward your pup for the bad and the good acts he performs while you are watching

Pooch Fun Facts: According to the AKC, the top 10 most popular dog breeds of 2016 were as follows

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. German Shepherd
  3. Golden Retriever
  4. Bulldog
  5. Beagle
  6. French Bulldog
  7. Yorkshire Terrier
  8. Poodle
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Boxer

Information courtesy of: American Kennel Club

Training Tip: Provided by Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy Real Life Dog Training Agility Trainer. Remember agility is a social event. There will be lots of excited dogs and people around so don’t forget to socialize your dog properly so they know how to handle all the excitement in the air.

The link above is loaded with a wealth of information and classes to choose from. If your dog, does it, needs it, wants it, we’ve got it!!! Now offering Reactive dog training A walk in the Park. Held at a private location near Kohler Andre Park
MUST have a behavioral Consultation before joining class! NOT DROP IN
This class is for dogs that a regular class would not work, need socialization, has aggression of other dogs/people. Taught by 2 Professional Behaviorlists.


To Bite Or Not To Bite?




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

It is Dog Bite Prevention Week and we will cover some important tips and signs you should know.

Increasing Safety, Reducing Risks:

To reduce the number of injuries from dog bites, adults and children should be educated about bite prevention, and dog owners should practice responsible dog ownership.

understanding dog body language is a key way to help avoid being bitten. Know the signs that dogs give to indicate that they’re feeling anxious, afraid, threatened or aggressive.

An aggressive dog may try to make themselves look bigger. Her ears may be up and forward, the fur on her back and tail may stand on end or puff out, and her tail may be straight up – it may even wag. She may have a stiff, straight-legged stance and be moving toward or staring directly at what she thinks is an approaching threat. She  may also bare her teeth, growl, lunge or bark. Continued approach toward a dog showing this body language could result in a bite.

An anxious or scared dog may try to make herself look smaller. She may shrink to the ground in a crouch, lower her head, repeatedly lick her lips, put her tail between her legs, flatten her ears back and yawn. She may look away to avoid direct eye contact. She may stay very still or roll on her back and expose her stomach. Alternatively, she may try to turn away or slowly move away from what she thinks is an approaching threat. If she can’t retreat, she may feel she has no other alternative but to defensively growl, snarl or even bite.

Many dogs can show a mixture of these body postures, indicating that they feel conflicted. Remember to avoid any dog showing any signs of fear, aggression or anxiety – no matter what else the dog is doing. It’s important to realize that a wagging tail or a crouching body doesn’t always mean friendliness.

Safety Tips for Children

Be aware of the fact that any dog can bite. From the smallest to the largest, even the most friendly, cute and easygoing dogs might bite if provoked. The vast majority of dog bites are from a dog known to the person – his or her own pet, a neighbor’s or a friend’s. You can help protect your child from dog bites by discussing with him or her the appropriate way to behave around dogs. Here are a few tips to follow and share with your children.

  • Children should not approach, touch or play with any dog who is sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy or bone, or caring for puppies. Animals are more likely to bite if they’re startled, frightened or caring for young.
  • Never approach a barking, growling or scared dog.
  • Don’t pet unfamiliar dogs without asking permission from the dog’s owner. If the owner says it’s okay, the child should first let the dog sniff his/her closed hand. Then taking care to avoid petting the dog on the top of the head, they can pet the dog’s shoulders or chest.
  • If a loose dog comes near a child, they should NOT run or scream. Instead, they should avoid eye contact with the dog and stand very still, like a tree, until the animal moves away. Once the dog loses interest, the child can slowly back away.
  • If a child falls down or is knocked to the ground by a dog, they should curl up in a ball with his knees tucked into his stomach, and fingers interlocked behind his neck to protect his neck and ears. If a child stays still and quiet like this, the dog will most likely just sniff him and then go away.

Recommendatins for Pet Parents

Although you can’t guarantee that your dog will never bite someone, there are many ways that you can significantly reduce the risk.

  • Adopt from a well-managed animal shelter whose staff and volunteers can fill you in on the dog’s background, personality and behavior in the shelter.
  • Spay or neuter your dog as soon as possible. Healthy puppies can be spayed or neutered as early as eight weeks of age. Spayed or neutered dogs may be less likely to bite.
  • Socialize your dog! Well – socialized dogs make enjoyable, trustworthy companions. We recommend that your puppy should interact with at least 100 people. Under socialized dogs are a risk to their owners and to others because they can become frightened by everyday things. It’s important for puppies to meet, greet and enjoy a variety of people, animals, places and things. Take your dog to reward based training classes – the earlier the better. Use the link below to register for a variety of classes! Early training opens a window of communication between you and your dog that will help you consistently and effectively teach good behavior.
  • Don’t wait for a serious accident to happen. The first time your dog shows aggressive behavior toward anybody, even if no injury occurs, seek a professional to help. The link below offers professional Behaviorlists to assist in this area.
  • Be aware of common triggers of aggression, including pain, injury or sickness, the approach of strangers or strange dogs, unexpected touching, unfamiliar places, crowds and loud noises like thunder, wind, construction, fireworks and appliances. If possible, avoid exposing your dog to these triggers, If they seem stressed or panicked in crowds, leave them at home. Work with a qualified behavior and training professional to help your dog become more comfortable with these and other situations. RUFF Academy Real Life Dog Training offers all the resources you will need to help you and Fido work through all of these challenges.

Some of the information courtesy of : ASPCA

Training Tip: Provided by Amanda Mondloch a RUFF Academy Trainer. Now that the weather is getting warmer it would be a good idea to get your dog on a flea and tick preventive – Lyme disease is no fun so be proactive and get some preventive medication from your local vet.

Fun Fact: The best place to socialize and get the best dog training in town is RUFF Academy Real Life Dog Training located in Sheboygan WI