How Small Dogs Group Adjusts For Hot Weather

group dog walks

Small Dogs Group In Hot Weather

As we head into the warmer part of spring, our small dogs group will have to make some adjustments on how we do our outings.  The temperatures get higher during the day so for both our leash free dog park outings as well as our weekend hikes partnered up with our general social Meetup group, we will start these events earlier in the day.

So instead of our usual start time between 10:30 am and 11 am, we will start most of our events at 9:30 am in order to catch the cooler temperatures in the morning.  This will make our walks and hikes more comfortable for both our dogs as well as ourselves.

Our dog park outings will be only 30 minutes in duration since most dog parks have little or no shade.  While our hikes at conservation areas usually have tree covered trails, they will usually end by midday when we can make on site decisions on whether to continue socializing or not depending on what the temperatures are.

If the temperatures are okay for the dogs to sleep in the cars without heating up, then we can extend our socializing but if they are too high, then the events will end for the day so we can bring our dogs home.

Midweek Walks To Start Later

For our popular Midweek walks, it’s just the opposite.  We will likely start them later in the evening at about 8 pm rather than 7 pm.  This means that much of the sunshine will have disappeared resulting in cooler temperatures.

We’ll stay on well lit areas like residential streets and any trails that we know are well lit too.  But since it’s during the summer evenings, we’ll avoid areas where the mosquitoes will be out in full force.  We tried several of these evening walks last August and those who came out really liked them.

Potty Training With Litterbox Great For Summer

Since our summers are quite hot, my Lhasa Apso dogs Chester and Roxie usually don’t want to come outside until the temperatures are cooler.  And since they were both indoor litterbox trained, they don’t need to go out during the daytime at all.

Potty training with a litterbox is great for the summer since our dogs can stay comfortable inside with AC all day long no matter how hot it is outside.  So this type of potty training is great for all year round, not just during cold winters.  For more details, just click on the last link.

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Keep High Resolution Images Of Your Best Dog Photos

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Best Dog Photos

It’s weird but due to digital photography, I have yet to actually print out any hard copies of photos of Chester and Roxie even though they are now 11 years old.  I thought that it’s about time to do so.  Therefore I spent a few hours going through all the digital photos I took of them over the years (and I’ve taken quite a lot).

Fortunately, we have a nice number of photos taken when Chester and Roxie were just puppies and have been doing so over the years. And with our Small Dogs Outings Meetup group, we have also taken a lot of shots featuring them with their doggie friends too.

However, one of the things I usually do after taking dog photos is to retouch them with  lighting and colour adjustments in Photoshop.  I have also converted the vast majority of our dog photos to smaller file size versions in order to save hard drive space in my computer.

Keep High Resolution Versions Of Dog Photos

The big downside of converting all my dog photos to small file versions is that they are way too low resolution to print out.  For most of our dog photos, this is not an issue as I don’t plan on having hard copies anyway.  But for some choice images that I would like to have enlargements made so I can display them on my wall, I suddenly realized that I now face some pretty big limitations on what I can do.

As of today, none of the dog photos we have are of adequate resolution to enlarge to poster size.  A few shots might have enough resolution between 200 and 300 dpi.  Standard requirement for printing is 300 dpi but some shots will be okay at 200.  Below 200 and images will be too blury or too small in dimensions for a hard copy.

The top photo above is one of my favourites of Chester and Roxie when they were puppies.  This is one that I would love to have made a poster size enlargement.  But the best that I could do was a 6×6 print which is certainly better than nothing.  So now I have this photo in a tabletop display which I’m pretty happy with.

My overall favourite shot so far of Chester and Roxie grown up is below.  It is a shot where I’m happy with the facial expressions of both Chester and Roxie as they show their true personalities.

This image is used to create the banner from our Small Dogs Outings Meetup group.  It is great for webpages but unfortunately for us, we can only print out a 4×6 as the biggest hard copy possible.

dog photos

By the way, the original version of this shot does have me in it but I looked like crap so it’s not worth having me in the shot!

So the big lesson here is for all of your best photos of your dogs, make sure that you keep high resolution versions, usually the original version file sizes, even though they will take up space in your hard drive.  All other photos you are sure that you will never make hard copies of can be converted to smaller file size versions.

From now on, I will be more attentive to this as any image of Chester and Roxie that I feel has the potential of an enlargement, I will most definitely retain a high resolution version.  This means ideally at 300 dpi, I can make a print of decent dimensions of at least 11×14 or even 20×30 if possible.  I would love to have a poster size shot of Chester and Roxie in the future that is worthy of being on my wall.

Interestingly enough, I do have a few enlargements on my wall of my previous Lhasa Apso dogs Pepper and Max but those were possible because they were made from photo negatives as they were way before the digital age.

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Why Some Men Have Dogs Rather Than Wives

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Some Dog Humour

Here’s some funny dog humour I found. Of course the stuff below could equally apply to why some women have dogs and no husbands too!

Why Some Men Have Dogs And Not Wives:

1. The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you.

2. Dogs don’t notice if you call them by another dog’s name.

3. Dogs like it if you leave a lot of things on the floor.

4. A dog’s parents never visit.

5. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across.

6. You never have to wait for a dog; they’re ready to go 24 hours a day.

7. Dogs find you amusing when you’re drunk..

8. Dogs like to go hunting and fishing.

9. A dog will not wake you up at night to ask, “If I died, would you get another dog?”

10. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and give them away.

11. A dog will let you put a studded collar on it without calling you a pervert.

12. If a dog smells another dog on you, they don’t get mad. They just think it’s interesting.

13. Dogs like to ride in the back of a pickup truck.

And last, but certainly not least:

14. If a dog leaves, it won’t take half of your stuff.

Ultimate True Test: Lock your wife and your dog in the trunk of your car for an hour. Then open the trunk and see who’s the happiest to see you.

As I said, these comments above can equally apply to why dogs are easier to manage for women compared to dealing with their husbands! No matter which side you are looking from, I think we must all agree that dogs are easier to train than our human partners.

If you have not already, you can access our free dog obedience training video to see just how true this is.

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Another Success Story With Indoor Dog Potty Training With Litterbox

indoor dog potty training litterbox

Indoor Dog Potty Training Success Story

It’s always great to read about another success story with indoor dog potty training using a litterbox.  Our program has helped many dog owners successfully potty train their puppies indoors thus eliminating the need to go outside all the time just for their pets to do their business.

Here’s a great success story from Jana Blanco in Utah, USA;

Hi Clint, I had to write an email to thank you for your ebook on litter training my puppy.  I was spending all of my time trying to keep messes out of the house by taking my puppy out to potty 10-15 times a day, and had to be watching him like a hawk any time he was out of his crate.   It was all getting pretty overwhelming.

Then the other day we had a big wind storm (it gets very windy sometimes where I live), and going outside became impossible with him. I had heard of the possibility of training your dog to use a litter box, and in desperation I did a search for information and came across your book. I bought, and I am so glad I did!

Our little Koda came from the breeder paper trained, so it was a very easy transition to the litter box.  I set up our puppy place yesterday, and he only had two accidents outside of the litter box.  I caught him in the act both times, and was able to tell him “no” and redirect him to the litter box.

He took to it almost immediately.  I think he was as relieved to not have to constantly go outside as I was!  I was a bit nervous to leave him overnight, but I got up this morning and all of his elimination was in the litter box where it belong.

I was stunned and super excited!!  I feel like I have my life back, and little Koda is so happy to not be dragged outside every hour.  I honestly didn’t think we would be having this much success this quickly.  Your ebook was the best money I’ve spent in a long time. Thank you so much!

Jana Blanco

Indoor Dog Litterbox Makes Sense

Of course nobody nor most dogs want to go outside when it’s terrible weather.  My two Lhasa Apsos Chester and Roxie certainly don’t as they usually stop at the doorway without venturing outside when it’s raining, really windy or really cold.  So I’m not surprised with Koda’s response as it’s so much better to use his indoor dog litterbox than get whipped around in high winds or freezing temperatures outside.  So the indoor option makes perfect sense.

And Jana makes a great point about the easy transition from newspapers to dog litterbox.  Most puppies do start on newspapers and in our indoor dog potty training program, we take advantage of this by continuing the use of papers in conjunction with a dog litterbox at the beginner of the training progression.

You can see in the photo above that Koda is already at the stage where papers are not even needed anymore as his puppy area has just his eating and water bowls as well as his indoor dog litterbox.  Pretty soon his puppy area can be left open as he will know how to return to it where the litterbox is from wherever he is in the house.

Congratulations to Jana and Koda!

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Spring Brings Out The Small Dogs Again

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Small Dogs Coming Out Again For Spring

Although our winter here in Ontario was relatively short since December was pretty dry, January and February did turn out to be too cold for most of our members in our Small Dogs Outings Meetup group to come out.   We tried to run a few outings to keep the dogs together during the winter but we ended up doing just 2-3 outings when there was a break in the temperatures and not many dogs came out anyway.

But now in mid March when it looks like winter is over, our small dogs are starting to come out again.  It’s great for both the owners and their dogs to see each other again.

Start With Easier Trails For Our Small Dogs

This year, our small dogs group will be invited to attend all of the walks and hikes my flagship general social group GTA Free Spirits run.  During the spring and fall seasons, we are especially active in hiking as we visit the conservation areas as well as local trails.

small dogs meetups group

But for now since the grounds are still wet from both recent rain and the winter melt, we will start with easier trails that are more flat.  This will be less messy and less hazardous for both dogs and their owners to walk through until the grounds get drier later on in the spring.  We also want to steer clear of any pavements or roads that have accumulated too much winter salt since our dogs have sensitive paws towards salt.

Small Dogs Could Have Used Indoor Dog Litterbox Training

One thing I did notice during the winter is an increase in sales of our indoor dog litterbox training program.  This is not surprising as I’m sure many owners of small dogs living in winter areas got tired of taking their pets outside in the cold every day.  Even a few members of our small dogs group admitted that during the winter, they don’t go out much as they just do short five minute breaks just outside home for their dogs to do their thing.

My two Lhasa Apsos Chester and Roxie went out in the back only when the outside temperatures were kind of bearable and only for fun in the snow.  Otherwise, they were quite content to stay inside and use their indoor dog litterbox whenever they needed to.  My pet sitters told me that the dog litterbox was all they used when I was in Banff for a ski vacation this winter.

I know that for many new puppy owners, this was the first winter with their dogs.  Maybe this first winter experience will motivate them to add indoor potty training so that they don’t have to go through another winter freezing outside waiting for their dogs to poop again.

small dog meetup groups toronto mississauga

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New 2016 Dog Calendars Are Available

2016 Dog Calendars

The new 2016 dog calendars are available at our partner Calendars.com now.  To browse through what they have for both dog calendars and other nice dog related items, just click on the big graphic below.

Have fun browsing!


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Keep Your Dogs Safe During Holiday Season

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Keep Dogs Safe During Holiday Season

As we approach the holiday season, I first want to thank all our readers for spending time with us this past year.  It’s been another great year with our dogs and their friends.

Here are some quick pointers to help keep your dogs safe during holiday season.

  1. Keep chocolate items out of reach (advise guests too)
  2. Limit treats to prevent weight gain during holidays (advise guests not to give treats to our dogs too)
  3. Make sure holiday season lighting wires are secured
  4. Keep poinsettas and other plants (Christmas trees) toxic to dogs out of reach
  5. Know where the emergency vet clinic is in your area
  6. Don’t leave small items like small Christmas toys that can be swallowed which kids might leave lying around
  7. Protect your dog’s paws from road salt – see our article/video on dog boots
  8. Resist temptation to give puppies as Christmas gifts unless the potential recipient and person with primary pet responsibility gets the required education and training.  We don’t want anymore dogs abandoned to the pet shelters because new owners underestimated what it takes to train a dog.

These of course are all things we should do all year round but during the holiday season, certain things might come out (like Christmas lights, trees and poinsettas) which may draw curiosity from our dogs since they don’t see them during other times.  And we might be so focused on entertaining guests during the holiday season that we overlook extra safety precautions we should take with our pets.

The last thing we need during the holiday season or at any time of the year for that matter, is to take a sudden trip to the emergency vet clinic.  So let’s keep our dogs safe so we can all enjoy the times together with them during the holiday season.

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Best Moments Of Small Dogs Group 2014-2015 Video Shows Dog Friends

small dogs meetup group video toronto mississauga brampton dog friends

Dog Friends On New Video

I put together a new video which was really fun to do.  It’s a compilation of the best moments on photos from our Mississauga GTA Small Dogs Outings Meetup group from its beginning in fall of 2014 to present day near the end of 2015.  I added some captions to reflect the nature of many of the photos.

As I watch the entire video showing photo after photo, I can certainly see that the various shots really show the essence of what our small dogs group is really all about.  The group was formed to help my Lhasa Apso dogs Chester and Roxie make some new dog friends.

As you can see from the video below, the group is about helping our pets make friends and you can see the various dog friendships that have been formed throughout the year.  It’s interesting that the puppies find each other and the older, more mature dog members also do the same with each other with good friendships being made especially over time.

Like human friendships, dog friendships seem to develop stronger over time.  This is why we always stress that new dogs to our group attend our outings on a regular basis.  The more times our dogs see each other, the more they will get use to each other and enjoy each other’s company.

You can sense that the dogs in our photos are happy during these outings we run.  The photos were taken on various types of outings including visits to leash free dog parks as well as nature trail walks of different durations.  Some trails were local while some were out of town in conservation areas.

Emmy, a white Shih Tzu member of our group, was our first besides Chester and Roxie to attend an outing with us in 2014.  You can see in the photos that the friendship bond between Emmy and my Lhasa Apsos are quite strong now.  My dogs are only a year younger than her but they have similar styles of dog socializing, ie., they prefer to casually chill out.

The member dogs who are just past puppyhood to a few years old tend to like to run around more and this group includes Spartan, Nitro and Anan.  The even younger ones still puppies like to wrestle.  This would be the case with our puppy members Bentley, Harlow and Lisa.  So each member dog can usually find another with similar socializing styles.

It’s actually quite interesting how the older dogs like my Lhasa Apsos Chester and Roxie would teach the younger ones some manners by snapping at them if they get in their faces or try to jump on them.  Since the older dogs are past the wrestling stage, they teach the puppies what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to socializing across age groups.

Wide Range In Age With Small Dogs Group

For the longest time, Emmy was the oldest member of our small dogs group (11 years old as of this post).  But a 14 year old American Eskimo has since joined our group.  The youngest are some puppies who are just several months old.  Our member dogs come from mostly from Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville and Milton but we do have a few like Zoe and Broker who come to our longer weekend outings all the way from Toronto.

Anyway, here is the video.  I would definitely encourage all dog owners to try and get involved with a similar dog group in their area since dogs who are socialized and have dog friends are just happier.  Enjoy the video!

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How Long Does It Take To Housetrain A Dog?

How Long To Housetrain A Dog?

One of the most common questions I get from new puppy owners is how long does it take to housetrain a dog? To answer this question, I shot a quick video which is presented below. The most important thing to realize is that puppies are infants. Babies do not know anything so don’t expect them to know what to do just because a dog litter box or pee pad is put in front of them.

New dog owners must actively train and teach their pets what to do and that is why we produced our indoor potty training with a dog litter box program which teaches people step by step on what to do.

Patience and ACTIVE training on the part of the dog owner will ensure that the puppy makes good progress towards being fully housetrained whether just outdoor or both outdoor and indoor using a dog litter box like my Lhasa Apso dogs Chester and Roxie.

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How To Trim Dog Nails An Easy Way

How To Trim Dog Nails

I’m always amazed by how many dog owners avoid trimming their dog’s nails and rather pay a groomer or vet instead to do that task for them.  In fact, many dog owners I’ve talked to, even within our own small dogs outings Meetup group, even fear clipping dog nails.

Although I have caused a bit of bleeding when trimming dog nails beforein the past, I’ve since learned how to do it safely without hurting my Lhasa Apso dogs Chester and Roxie with no more bleeding incidents.  Initially this job was a challenge especially with my boy Chester since most of his dog nails are black and therefore the quick where the blood vessel is within each nail cannot be seen.  But now it’s a breeze without any problems and takes just minutes to do.

Video On Clipping Dog Nails

So I thought it was time to shoot a new video on how to trim dog nails which takes just minutes at home.  In this video, I show a cross sectional diagram of a dog nail and where clipping should be done.  Then I show the viewers the position I like to use these days to trim dog nails with both my Lhasa Apsos and I in very comfortable positions during this grooming task.

You will actually see me clipping dog nails with Chester and how he fully cooperates since he now knows that I won’t hurt him (plus he knows that he earns a treat each time for any grooming task we do!).  His sister Roxie (shown in the introduction and ending of the video) also cooperates in the same way although we don’t show any nail trimming with her on this video.

Here is the short video

As mentioned in the video, it’s a good idea to trim dog nails on a frequent basis to allow the quick to recede.  It’s also good to walk your dog on hard surfaces on a regular basis since surfaces like concrete will help grind down the dog nails too.

One thing I did not mention in the video is to check whether your dog has dew claws.  These are single extra dog nails that might protrude from the back of the paw.  Some dogs have them while some do not.  Many breeders have dew claws removed while the puppies are young and this was the case for Chester and Roxie since these additional dog nails seem to serve no function.  My previous Lhasa Apsos Pepper and Max did have them so I had to remember to trim their dew claws as well.

Of course in order to have your dog cooperate with you for clipping nails and any other grooming task, it’s important that there is at least a basic level of obedience developed.  This is where our free basic dog obedience training video will be helpful.  To access it, just use the box below to request it.

 

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