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








Suffering in Silence, Know The Signs!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Don’t let your pet suffer in silence. Knowing the common signs of stress in dogs can help you and your veterinarian identify and treat anxiety problems before they escalate.

7 signs of stress in dogs that you should be aware of.

  1. Wide, darting eyes: When you see the eye whites, something’s not right.
  2. Shaking: This sign could also mean that your dog is cold or in pain. If it’s occurring during a stressful situation, remove him from it. If you don’t know why it’s happening, call your vet.
  3. Stillness: A dog that suddenly freezes in an uncomfortable situation is not “being patient.” That’s his way of saying, “back off.”
  4. Yawning: Often mistaken for sleepiness, yawning can also be a signal that a dog is frustrated or becoming anxious.
  5. Pacing and panting: Like people, dogs may act restless or distracted when stressed. Panting, also a sign of excitement, exertion, and feeling hot, could be attributed to emotional discomfort.
  6. Obsessive licking: If your dog seems fixated on licking objects, himself, or you, he may be doing it as a desperate attempt to relieve anxiety.
  7. Humping: Frequent humping of other animals, pillows, toys, furniture, or your legs can be a signal that your dog is stressed.

Information courtesy of : American Kennel Club

Use the link above to contact a professional trainer, especially if your dog is expressing any, or all, of the signs of stress listed above.

Training Tip: Raise the Praise! Dogs aim to please, and praise from you comes with zero calories. Every time you give your dog a reward, pair it with enthusiastic clapping and a super-charged “Wheeeeee!”  That way, when you do a food-free rep, the praise will be as rewarding as the cookie…and much less fattening, too.

Fun Fact: A recent study found that extreme stress can make dogs’ muzzles go gray prematurely. 

Training Tip and Fun Fact provided by: American Kennel Club



The Fat and the Furry!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

The month of May has arrived, which is National Service Dog Eye Examination Month. May 1st-6th is National Be Kind To Animals Week and May 14th-20th is National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Today, as part of National Be Kind To Animals Week we are going to talk about the risks of obesity in pets, and how to tell if your dog is a healthy weight. The latest figure in 2016 showed obesity affects 54% of dogs and many dog owners don’t know what a healthy weight looks like.

Veterinarians use a system called a “body-condition score,” which puts a dogs weight somewhere between 1 (emancipated) and 5 (obese), with 3 being the perfect weight.




Score 3 Perfect: Ribs and spine easily felt but not seen. There is an obvious waist from above and an abdominal tuck. Well-muscled and ready for action!

Recommendation: None

Score 4 Overweight: Hard to feel ribs or spine. Waist pear-shaped from above. Fat deposits in abdomen and over hindquarters.

Recommendation: This dog may have arthritis and needs to lose some weight for comfort.

Score 5 Obese: Large fat deposits over chest, back, and hindquarters. No waist visible, and the belly sags. Abdomen appears distended.

Recommendation: This dog must lose weight, as he is currently prone to back problems, specifically paralysis.

We already know maintaining a healthy weight for our body shape and height is important for our long-term health. We’re flooded with information about the health threats that come with being overweight, including increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and joint pain. But often ignored are our dogs, who are getting fatter and fatter each year. We may offer food as a way of giving love, but the result is that many of our beloved pets are in pain, at risk for disease, and being cheated out of few extra years of life.

Multiple diseases are prevalent in pudgy dogs, including:

Joint Problems: Obestiy puts strain on the joints, leading to sore legs and backs. For long-backed dogs, like Dachshunds, the extra weight can make them prone to disk herniation.

Fat dogs of all breeds are prone to sore knees and hips, making walking painful and jumping a near impossibility. Dogs that are 80 pounds, when they should be 50 pounds is like comparing a person adding an extra 120 pounds to a 200 pound person. It’s no wonder these dogs are sore. And it’s an easily fixed problem. Just a 5% decrease in weight can make a tremendous difference in some arthritic dogs.

The “C” Word: Scarily, we also see an increased cancer risk in obese dogs. They are more prone to multiple types of tumors, including those in the liver, pancreas, and lungs. Veterinarians believe the prevalence is due to the body being perpetually in an inflammatory state.

Diabetes: Dogs don’t suffer from weight-related heart disease like people do, but excess weight can lead to diabetes. If you don’t want to be learning how to give insulin injections, keep your dog lean.

Information Courtesy of : American Kennel Club

Use the link above for various training resources and classes to choose from. RUFF Academy offers Board and Train, Service and Therapy Dog Training, Reactive Dog Classes and so much more! The hottest ticket in town is becoming a member of the RUFF Family.

Training Tip: Agility Training Tip courtesy of Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy Real Life Dog Trainer. When teaching your dog a new obstacle remember to train for accuracy first then add speed. If you go too fast, your dog will get sloppy or may even fall off the obstacle.

Fun Fact: If your dog is eating his food too quickly, put a ball (a tennis ball for big dogs or a golf ball for toy breeds) in his dish.







We Are Their Voice!




‘Two Paws Up Tuesday”

As we wrap up the month of April which is ASPCA’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month we are going to touch on a few basic things that you can do to save the life of an animal. There are 10,000 estimated Puppy Mills in the U.S., 250,000 animals fall victim to hoarding annually and every 60 seconds another animal is abused!  Step one to reducing some of these staggering numbers is to educate yourself and get involved!

  • Be aware of all the neighborhood dogs.
  • Don’t be afraid of doing a health and wellness check on a new dog or puppy that is all of a sudden not seen or heard from.
  • Ask if you can introduce your dog, with their dog, and try to set up possible play-dates as a way of checking on the health and wellness of the new kid on the block.
  • A warning sign of possible abuse would be seeing a dog chained up without adequate shelter, food and water. Especially during hot summer or cold winter months.
  • If it’s safe to do so, take pictures of the abused animal, environment and owner if possible.
  • Add to the contacts on your phone your local Anmial Shelter, Rescue, and Animal Control.

Most rescues and shelters take in animals from puppy mills, dog fighting, hoarding, abusive situations and over populated shelters across the Country. You may not be able to adopt a pet of your own, but there are other things you can do to help.

  • Become a Foster parent to an animal who is too stressed out from the animal Shelter environment.
  • Check the wish lists of the shelters and rescues in your area to make donations based on their specific needs.
  • Volunteer your time to walk dogs or just to sit with the animals to help give them a human connection and feel loved.

Everyone can make a difference in an animals life just by supporting your local rescues and shelters.

Information courtesy of: ASPCA and Shirley Morse

Training Tip provided by Rebekah Hintzman Owner and Lead Trainer for RUFF Academy Real Life Dog Training. For proper socialization of a puppy it should interact with at least 100 people. This will help to build a great foundation for a happy healthy puppy and member of society.

FUN FACT courtesy of American Kennel Club: Puppies are born deaf, and they can’t hear until they’re about 3 weeks old. Once their hearing kicks in, though, they hear 4 times better than most people, making your dog’s hearing much more reliable than yours.

Looking for a website that provides you with all the resources and links you need for your dog? Look no further and use the link above for the perfect resource for you and your dog!





Disaster-Preparedness…Be Ready!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Be ready for any emergency with a disaster-preparedness kit.

One never knows when the next hurricane, flood, tornado, wildfire or other natural disaster may strike. These events can be traumatic for families – but they can also be traumatic for pets.

That’s why it’s important to make sure your family and pets are ready for a disaster by putting together a disaster-preparedness kit.

Some basic items to consider for your basic disaster kit might include:

  • Food and water for at least five days for each pet, bowls and a manual can opener if you are packing canned pet food. People need at least 1 gallon of water per person per day. While your pet may not need that much, keep an extra gallon on hand to use if your pet had been exposed to chemicals or flood waters and needs to be rinsed.
  • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container and a first-aid kit (a few weeks ago we covered what a first-aid kit should contain). A pet first-aid book is also a good idea.
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can’t escape. Make sure that your pet is wearing a collar and identification tags that are up-to-date and visible at all times. Carriers should be large enough to allow your pet to stand comfortably, turn around and lie down  (your pet may have to stay in a carrier for hours at a time). Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets, who may also need blankets or towels for bedding and warmth as well as special items, depending on their species.
  • Current photos of you with your pets and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated, and to prove that they are yours once you’re reunited.
  • Written information about your pets’ feeding schedules, medical conditions and behavior issues along with the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
  • You may consider having other useful items such as newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, and grooming items or pet toys.

Visit human or the Disaster Preparation board on Pinterest for more resources on staying safe during times of disaster. And remember, if it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets!

Information courtesy of: The Humane Society Of The United States

The link above will provide you with options on various training classes and events. Is there a behavior that needs to be corrected or you’re just looking to network with other pet parents? The RUFF Crew is here and ready to help!  Our new facility is almost open for business and we are PAWSATIVELY RUFFERIFICLY excited about it!!!! This means no more destination locations for classes, except of course for Yappy Hours.

Training tip: This weeks training tip comes to you from Rebekah Hintzman Owner and Lead Trainer for RUFF Academy. Make your ringtone the sound of a doorbell to desensitize your dog from the sound of the doorbell.  Due to the fact that your phone goes off many times in a day, pretty soon the dog will learn to not care about the sound of the doorbell as it does not correlate it with anything.

Fun Fact: Your dog should spend 30 minutes to 2 hours a day being active. The amount of time depends on the size and breed of the dog.


Who Loves You More?



“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Today is National Pet Day! What a perfect way to talk about the 13 ways your dog shows LOVE.

Dogs have been our constant companions for thousands of years. The history of dogs is closely tied to our own history, and no other animal on Earth shares as close a relationship with humans as dogs do. Dogs and humans understand each other, and it’s because of the undying love they show us that we keep them by our sides. We call them “man’s best friend”  for good reasons. Here are 13 ways dogs show love.

  1. Tail Wagging : We often think of a dog’s wagging tail as a sign of happiness, but that’s only part of the truth. A dog’s tail communicates many different emotions, including happiness, fear, tension or even an imminent attack. Generally, the looser and more relaxed your dog’s tail is, the more relaxed they are. When your dog is happy, they’ll wag their tail with their whole butt and their tail will sweep back and forth in a friendly way, or even in circles.
  2. Following You Around : When your dog seems to shadow you wherever you go, it’s just his social nature rearing its head. Humans are social beings, too, but we have more of a tendency to balance our social lives with a certain amount of solitude for peace and quiet. It doesn’t really occur to your dog to seek out “alone time.” It doesn’t cross their mind to want to be apart from you. His devotion means that wherever your are, that’s where he wants to be.
  3. Licking Your Face : Dogs lick people’s faces for a few different reasons, but in many cases it’s a sign of love and affection. Puppies typically lick faces even more than adult dogs. This behavior comes from Wolf cubs, who lick their mothers’ faces to signal hunger. A dog may also lick you in a submissive way, to let you know that it is not a threat. And of course, your licking dog may also simply be grooming you. Dogs groom each other as a gesture of intimacy when a solid bond is in place, so you can definitely take grooming as a sign of love.
  4. Jumping : Jumping is generally considered an unwanted behavior. When we walk through the door, it can feel nice to have your dog jump up and greet us with excitement. It really is an instinctive display of affection from your dog. As a puppy, a dog learns to lick it’s mother’s face and eyes. That’s why your dog jumps on you. It wants to lick your face because it recognizes you as its “parent.”
  5. Roughhousing : A bit of roughhousing is your dog’s natural way of playing and showing affection. It’s not only healthy, but also a necessary part of your dog’s social development, and it plays a big role in forming a bond between you and your dog. Of course, sometimes roughhousing can go too far, so teach your dog not to be too rough: no barking, biting or swiping. Keep it safe!
  6. Being Social : Dogs are hardwired to be social. When the crucial role you play in your dog’s life quickly becomes apparent to him, you become his “pack leader.” You are the most important individual your dog has, and they look to you for guidance, approval, companionship and love, and will provide the same whenever possible.
  7. Loyalty : If there’s one thing you can count on your dog for, it’s that you can count on your dog! Everyone knows that dogs are among the most loyal creatures on the planet. Living as part of a nuclear family unit is built into your dog’s instincts, which is what makes them so loyal and such terrific family pets.
  8. Sleeping Next To You : Dogs curl up with each other. Since you are your dog’s best friend and family, it’s only natural that they expect to be able to hop up on the bed and sleep up against you (and anyone else who may be in the mix). Whether or not this behavior is acceptable is a point of contentious debate among owners and experts alike.
  9. Looking After You When You’re Sick : Because dogs are inherently social animals, they possess an instinct to care for their “pack”. Dogs may even go as far as licking your actual wound, but their need to care for you can also extend to simply recognizing when you’re feeling sick, and watching over you.
  10. Leaning on You…Literally : It can be annoying when you’re trying to go about your business and your dog starts getting underfoot and literally leaning against you. The bigger your dog is, the more of a problem this can be. In your dog’s mind, though, it’s a sign of affection. It’s a way of both showing you attention and asking for you attention in return. When this happens, take a moment to sit down, pet your dog, and let them know you love them back!
  11. Smiling : Yes, dogs really do smile! If you’ve ever thought you’ve caught your canine flashing the dog version of a smile, you’re probably right. A dog’s smile can signal love and affection to an owner just as human smiles do. In fact, research has shown that dogs use many facial expressions in similar ways as we do when reacting to loved ones, strangers, and pleasant or unpleasant objects.
  12. Sniffing Your Crotch : This behavior firmly belongs in the category of things dogs do that are annoying even though they’re meant to be friendly. Sure, it’s very awkward and even embarrassing when someone’s dog shoves it’s snout all up in your business, but to a dog, it’s an important greeting. It’s the equivalent of a handshake. It’s literally a friendly, getting-to-know-you gesture, not only as a way of saying hello, but also of gathering information about you through scent.
  13. Peeing In Front Of You : Sometimes when you encounter a puppy, it will pee everywhere. Peeing is a puppy’s way of showing deference to you, recognizing you as the leader, the person in charge. It can give you a mess to clean up, but take it for what it is: a sign of respect.

Information courtesy of:

As always, use the link above for valuable information on classes and in home private training.

Training Tip: Training tip provided by Rebekah Hintzman Lead Dog Trainer RUFF Academy. It takes 18 years to raise a responsible young adult and that equates to training a dog for three years to become a responsible adult as well. The word “responsible” means that they listen and understand the rules and requirements of being a responsible adult. You can successfully let them do their own thing and know they will come back when asked and respect you when you tell them to do something. It doesn’t matter if you get a rescue dog or if you got a dog as a puppy….3 YEARS. If you commit to training your dog for 3 years, you’ll never have a problem!