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What Is The Best Way to Train My Dog To Listen To Me?

What Is The Best Way to Train My Dog To Listen To Me?

Let’s be real—- rewards work.

It’s easier to get yourself to the gym when you know there’s a delicious smoothie from your favorite juice bar with your name on it after the workout

It’s easier to eat well during the week if you know you can enjoy a guilt-free dessert when Saturday rolls around.

It’s easier to put in long hours at work when you know it’s going to land you the big promotion you’ve been lusting after for years.

The act of giving a reward in order to encourage the desired behavior is called positive reinforcement, and it’s not just a way to motivate yourself to work harder or eat better or get your booty to the gym—it’s also an awesome way to train your pup.

brown mutt dog with a human hand giving a treat

How does positive reinforcement work with pups?

Positive reinforcement training offers your pup a reward every time he does something you’d like him to do, whether that’s going to the bathroom outside, sleeping in his bed, or listening to a command. The more you reward him, the more likely he’ll be to repeat the behavior.

Now, obviously positive reinforcement is a little different for dogs than it is for humans. While humans respond to a wide variety of rewards (like money, status, or recognition), dogs are a little more straightforward.

Pups respond to two main types of rewards—praise and food. And if you want to positively reinforce a behavior, you’re going to have to offer them one or the other—or, even better, both. Make sure whatever food you use for positive reinforcement training is something your dog is powerless to resist (like his favorite treat), and when you praise him, make sure you lay it on thick so he knows you’re happy.

When to use positive reinforcement

So, now that you know what positive reinforcement training is, let’s talk about when to use it.

You can use positive reinforcement training anytime you want to encourage a specific behavior with your dog. So, for example, let’s say you’re trying to train your dog to stop jumping all over you every time you try to pet him. In order to get him to calm down—the behavior you’re trying to encourage—you’d want to positively reinforce him when he’s being calm. When you want to pet him, ask him to sit by your feet. If he sits calmly, give him praise and a treat, and then pet him. If he starts jumping on you or getting too overexcited, calmly push him away and tell him to sit again. When he calms down, give him another treat and more praise.

Eventually, your dog will catch on to the fact that you want him to sit quietly before you pet him—and if he complies, he gets a treat, some praise, and a nice scratch on the head. Once that connection is made (sitting calmly = reward and pets), he’s more likely to give you the behavior you’re looking for—even when you stop rewarding him every time he does it.

Now, as mentioned, you can use positive reinforcement training anytime you want to encourage a specific behavior. But you need to be really careful that you don’t accidentally reinforce a negative behavior.

So, for example, let’s say your dog has a bit of a barking problem. If you give him a treat to try and distract him during one of his barking fits, he’s going to connect the reward (the treat) with his barking—and he’s going to continue his bark-fests in hopes of getting another reward.

Tips for successful positive reinforcement training

Ok, so now that you know how positive reinforcement training works and when you should use it, let’s talk about how to successful train your dog using rewards.

Be consistent

Like any other kind of training, the key to success with positive reinforcement is consistency.

Make sure you reward your dog with either praise or a treat every time he exhibits the behavior you’re looking for. Get everyone in your house on board and make sure they’re doing the same thing.

The more your dog comes to associate the reward with the behavior, the more he’ll exhibit the behavior—and the key to building that association? Consistency.

Mix things up

Variety is the spice of life. You wouldn’t want to eat the same meal every breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of your life, would you?

Well, your dog is the same way.

If you keep offering your dog the same treat as a reward over and over again, eventually it’s going to lose its luster—and its not going to be as effective in his training.

Keep a variety of treats on hand and mix them up every once in awhile; the variety will keep your dog from getting bored (and make training a heck of a lot easier).

Give the reward at the right time

As we mentioned, the key to success with positive reinforcement training is training your dog that positive behavior = reward.

But if you’re not giving the reward immediately following the behavior, your dog is never going to catch on to the equation.

Timing is super important in positive reinforcement training. Make sure you offer the reward as soon as your dog exhibits the behavior you’re looking for.

Taper the treats slowly

When you’re first training your dog, you want to give your pup a treat every time he performs the behavior you’re looking for (this is called continuous reinforcement).

But as time passes, you can’t keep feeding your dog treats every time he sits or comes on command (otherwise you’d have a very chunky puppy on your hands).

So what do you do?

You taper the treats.

As your dog catches on to the behavior, start slowly scaling back the treats. Instead of every time, give him a treat four out of five times, then three out of four, two out of three… you get the picture. Eventually, you want to get to a point where you’re only giving him a treat occasionally. Make sure you’re continuing to give him praise as a reward whether he gets a treat or not.

What does this teach your dog? It lets him know that he’s not going to get a treat every time he exhibits the behavior, but if he keeps doing what you want him to do, he’ll definitely get a “good job”—and eventually you’ll throw a delicious snack his way.

If you want to get your dog to do something, you’ve got to make it a positive experience. And the way to make it a positive experience? Positive reinforcement. So go grab some treats and get started.

 

The post What Is The Best Way to Train My Dog To Listen To Me? appeared first on BarkPost.

Shelter Dogs and Breed Identifications

For shelter dogs, identification of breed mix and heritage can be a matter of life or death. This is particularly true for the thousands of dogs who—based on appearance—are labeled as “Pit Bulls” by shelter workers. However, in a recent study led by Lisa Gunter in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University, it was determined that shelters inaccurately represent the breed heritage of three-quarters of dogs sampled.

The study, the largest reporting of breed heritage in sheltering to date, involved 919 dogs in the care of the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA (AAWL) and the San Diego Humane Society (SDHS).

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What Is Separation Anxiety In Dogs?

What Is Separation Anxiety In Dogs?

Does your pup look like they’re on the verge of a panic attack every time you walk into another room? Do the sounds of your dog’s whines, barks, and howls follow you as you head out the door? And every time you leave the house, are you terrified about what you’re going to find (whether it’s chewed up furniture, scratches on the door, or a stinky surprise on the floor) when you get home?

If so, your dog may be struggling with separation anxiety.

What Is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is… well, exactly what it sounds like. It’s when your dog gets anxious, agitated, and upset when they have to be separated from their owner (that’s you). Your dog’s separation anxiety can be triggered when they notice you getting ready to leave the house, by a specific action (like putting on your shoes), or when they realize you’re not around (“Hey, where did my person go?!”).

Terrier dog kissing owner

What Are Some Telltale Signs Of Separation Anxiety?

Dog separation anxiety calming supplement and CBD oil
Here are some of the most common signs your dog may be struggling separation anxiety:

Having Accidents In The House

If your dog pees or poops every time you leave them alone, it could be more than a sign they need to brush up on their house training – it could be a symptom of separation anxiety.

How to tell the difference? If your pup has accidents all the time, it’s probably a training issue. If it’s only when you leave them alone, it’s most likely separation anxiety.

Excessive Barking

If you get news from your neighbor that your dog barked, howled, or whined for the entire eight hours you were at work, it’s not because they were trying to grab the attention of a squirrel in your yard. Most dogs will bark on occasion—even excessively—but if your pup barks constantly whenever you’re away, it’s likely separation anxiety.

Destructive Behaviors

Ripped up pillows? Table legs and shoes that have been chewed beyond recognition? Garbage strewn all over the floor?

If your dog has a serious appetite for destruction when you’re away, their acting out may be a result of their separation anxiety.

Escape Tactics

Dog licking lips has separation anxiety
When you leave your anxious pup home alone, their instinct may be to try to escape by digging, scratching at the door, biting on door frames, or (if they’re outside) jumping over the fence. If your dog pulls a “fugitive on the run” act every time you leave them alone, chances are they’re struggling with separation anxiety.

Now, obviously these behaviors are problematic for you as an owner (who wants to come home to a disaster of a house?!). But they could be even more problematic for your pup; dogs with separation anxiety are much more likely to self-injure or escape from their homes, which is why it’s so important to help your pup get their separation anxiety under control and learn to love (or at the very least tolerate) spending time by their lonesome.

Other signs of separation anxiety include:

  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • Licking lips
  • Trembling
  • Vomiting
  • Eating own poop
  • Self-harm

What Are The DOS And DON’TS Of Training A Dog With Separation Anxiety?

So, the bad news is separation anxiety is no fun for you or your four-legged friend. But the good news? With a little work, your pup can get much more comfortable being left alone—and you can get much more comfortable leaving the house without the fear of what you’ll find when you return.

Preventing dog separation anxiety with treat and dog toys

Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of training a dog with separation anxiety:

DON’T Make A Big Deal Every Time You Leave The House

Dogs look to their human as a way to gauge how they should act in any given situation. So if you make a big deal every time you leave the house, they’re going to assume your leaving it’s a big deal—and may get serious anxiety as a result.

Resist the urge to spend 10 minutes cuddling, kissing, and saying “you’re such a good boy” in your best baby voice every time you leave the house. Instead, just calmly and quietly walk to the door without looking at or acknowledging your pup. The less of a production you make of leaving, the less of a big deal your dog will make of it.

DO Make Sure They Get Plenty Of Exercise

As humans, what’s the best way to deal with stress? Going for a run or hitting the gym for a major endorphin boost.

Well, guess what? The same is true for your pup.

Exercise releases endorphins, which can help your dog feel more calm and less anxious. If your dog is struggling with separation anxiety, make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise every day, whether that’s through long walks, running around in the backyard, or frequent trips to the dog park. The more endorphins your dog has running through their brain, the more chill they’re going to feel—and that includes when you’re not around.

DO Teach Your Dog To Enjoy Being Alone

Dogs with separation anxiety are conditioned to fear being alone. But if you can condition them to associate being alone with good things—like treats and toys—all of a sudden, being alone isn’t so scary. Actually, it’s kind of fun.

This process is called counterconditioning, and it can be a great way to change your pup’s relationship to being alone. Every time you leave the house, give your pup a special treat (even better, give them a treat that will take them a while to get through, like a KONG filled with peanut butter). As soon as you get home, take the treat away.

pit bull with Barkbox mecha manx toy

Eventually, your dog will start associating being alone with their special treat—which is much better than associating being alone with fear and anxiety

DO Take Baby Steps

If your dog has severe separation anxiety, leaving them alone for an entire day is probably too much for them to handle. Instead, start with baby steps.

Start by doing out-of-sight exercises where you train your dog to sit or stay while you go out of the room. Then, as they get more comfortable with you being out of their sight, start leaving them for (extremely) short periods. The point is, you always want to come back before they start having anxiety about you being gone. As they become more comfortable, you can slowly increase the time until you’re leaving them alone for longer stretches.

Yelping Pit Bull Dog with Separation Anxiety

(Side note: taking these baby steps to get your dog more comfortable with you out of the picture can be time-consuming, so you might want to consult a trainer to help speed up the process.)

Separation anxiety is no fun for your or your pup. But with a little patience and the right approach, you can teach your dog that they have nothing to worry about when you’re gone—because you’re always going to come back.

http://tomcarter.co.uk/archive/2012/daniel-pasteiner-the-increase/?utm_source=rss Which Breeds Develop Separation Anxiety?

All of ‘em! There isn’t a single type of dog in existence that hasn’t exhibited signs of separation stress at one time or another. Even the ones who look stereotypically “tough” (whatever that means) have cried their fair share of canine tears waiting for their humans to come home to them.

buy accutane online reviews What Products Help With Separation Anxiety In Dogs?

We’ve already mentioned a few products that could be helpful for your relieving your dog’s separation stress – a treat or two for when you leave, a toy to play with while you’re gone – but here are a couple more:

Beagle Eat BarkBox Calming Supplement

Bark Calming Supplement: It’s veterinarian-formulated, made with all natural ingredients (tryptophan, lemon balm, and green tea), and it comes in the form of 120 soft chews. Basically, it looks and tastes just like delicious treats, and it could really help soothe your dog in their time of need. ($24.99.)

Bark CBD Extract: This holistic remedy is made from MCT, organic coconuts, and co2 extracted high CBD hemp oil, and it’s been known to help with all forms of anxiety – but also arthritis, nausea, inflammation, and other physical or emotional pain. It contains  no THC (<0.1%) and will not make your pup feel “buzzy” or “high.” ($69.30.)

Bark CBD biscuits for relieving stress

Bark CBD Chicken Biscuits: These handcrafted treats are made with premium, human-grade ingredients including  full-spectrum CBD hemp oil and are available for both small and large dogs. They’re a holistic, natural product for anxiety, arthritis, nausea, inflammation, and other physical or emotional pain. They contain no THC (<0.1%) and will not make your pup feel “buzzy” or “high.” (Starting at $24.30 for 4 oz. jar of 25 treats.)

(NOTE: It typically takes more than a single dose of CBD – and sometimes up to two weeks’ worth – to see results.)

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How Do I Get A Dog?

How Do I Get A Dog?

So you’ve decided to get a dog. Congratulations on making the best decision any human could ever make from here to infinity! That may be a slight exaggeration, but adding a furry canine companion to your home is going to be pretty awesome!
 
brown dog and her dad on a blue background
 
The process of researching, choosing and obtaining the best fitting pooch for your home and lifestyle can be pretty daunting. That’s where we come in! We’re here to help you out every step of the way as you decide which dog is right for you. Whether rescuing a shelter pooch or choosing a puppy from a responsible breeder, we have the facts and resources you need to make an informed decision.

Rescuing A Dog:

Choosing to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group is not only a selfless and generous act — it is just as likely to introduce you to your canine soulmate as going to a breeder. Did you know that 25% of the dogs in shelters are purebred? If you have your heart set on a particular breed, you can still choose to rescue.

Some shy away from adoption because they fear that dogs in shelters are too “damaged” physically or emotionally. Others are concerned that the rescue process will be too gruelling. While the application process can be long and quite personal, these protocols are in place to ensure that:

  • You are prepared for the responsibility of having a dog
  • You are committed to providing a safe, loving, long-term home
  • The dog you are applying to adopt is a good fit for you

Although choosing your new furry housemate is the most enjoyable part of the process, it’s best not to rush into it. Before you visit the shelter or rescue, consider making a list of what you are looking for in a dog. Do you want a lazy couch companion or a jogging partner? Do you have the space for a giant breed bruiser or is your home better suited to a petite pooch? A volunteer familiar with the available dogs may be able to recommend the pawfect pup that you might otherwise have overlooked.

Most shelters and private rescues will require you to fill out an adoption application. Prepare to answer questions about:

  • Your activity level and expectations from a new pet
  • How much time you spend at and away from home
  • Whether you are a renter or homeowner
  • If you have a fenced yard or nearby access to green space
  • Whom you share your space with – roommates, children, other pets

The shelter staff or rescue volunteers will likely ask you to provide personal references who can vouch for your love of animals and the ability to care for a pet. If you have had other pets in the past, they may want to contact your veterinarian to get an idea of the level of care you provided.

Once your application has been approved, the next step may be a home inspection. A volunteer will come out to your home and ensure that it is safe and comfortable for a dog and that you haven’t misrepresented your living situation in any way.

When the hardworking folks at the shelter or rescue group are satisfied that you and the dog you have applied to adopt are a perfect match for one another, you will likely pay an adoption fee. The dollar amount can vary widely and may depend upon what the dog has had done while waiting for their forever family – spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchip, etc. It also ensures that the adopter is serious about their commitment to caring for their new pet.

You are now officially an adoptive pawrent! It’s time to take your new pal on his or her Freedom Walk, when your new best friend marches out of the shelter door and into your loving arms! It is the moment when you realize that all the time, effort, applications, inspections and fees have been worth it!

Here are a few additional resources to help you through this long but oh so rewarding process:

Getting A Dog From A Responsible Breeder:

There are more than 400 unique dog breeds recognized by kennel clubs all over the world today. Although modern man kept the company of dogs far earlier in our history, it wasn’t until the 19th century that breeding became a popular hobby. Early breeders began to track bloodlines in order to create working dogs for hunting or herding.

Today’s reputable breeders are more concerned with preserving the integrity of the individual breed and producing loving companions for their customers. Those who decide to get a dog from a responsible breeder are likely to have an exact image of the dog they want – whether based on aesthetics, personality traits, or some other consideration.

black and white french bulldog on white background

They may have lots of experience with a particular breed, suffer from allergies, or prefer to raise and train their dogs from a very young age. Whatever the reason, choosing a breeder to deliver one’s perfect doggy match can be a wonderful experience if the proper research is done first.

So how can you be sure that you’ve chosen the right breeder? Try asking your veterinarian, groomer or other animal professionals in your area for a recommendation. Many vets keep lists of recommended (and not recommended) breeders in their community in order to keep their clients informed.

Friends, family and neighbors may also be helpful. If you know of someone who has a breed you are interested in, reach out to them. Adoring pup parents love to talk about their dogs!

A responsible breeder will:

  • Want you to see where the puppies are kept and meet both parents
  • Encourage several visits for all family members to come and meet the dogs
  • Have dogs in their care that are clean, outgoing and healthy
  • Not release puppies until they are an appropriate age and weaned
  • Keep the breeding dogs as you would keep your pets – not constantly confined to cages, dirty or overcrowded
  • Breed only a few types of dogs and be knowledgeable about their individual traits and requirements
  • Make sure the psychological needs of the dogs are met with plenty of toys and socialization
  • Be established with a local vet and willing to show you the records for the parents and pups
  • Be willing to provide references to their vet and others who have gotten pups from them
  • Insist on meeting, interviewing and following up with pup parents
  • Provide a written contract and health guarantee

A printable Humane Society PDF with these tips and many more can be found here. It is an excellent resource to take with you while researching breeders.

In addition to these requirements, the breeder should also have some questions and demands of you. Similar to a shelter or rescue group, responsible breeders should show interest in why you want a dog, your living situation, other pets, etc. Some may even ask that you sign a contract agreeing to spay/neuter at the appropriate age or agreeing to return the dog to them should you decide to give it up.

A breeder who is running a puppy mill or unreputable business will:

  • Want to meet you in a public location
  • Not allow you to visit the property or meet the puppies’ parents
  • Not ask you any questions, and only show interest in getting paid
  • Offer multiple breeds, “rare” or “new” breeds
  • Sell underage puppies that are not fully weaned
  • Sell at everyday events like flea markets and garage sales
  • Always seem to have puppies available
  • Refuse to provide veterinary records or will only guarantee health if the puppy is seen by one particular veterinarian

Some additional resources that may prove helpful as you search for a reputable breeder in your area include:

The post How Do I Get A Dog? appeared first on BarkPost.

Why Does My Dog Hump So Much and Should I Be Worried?

Why Does My Dog Hump So Much and Should I Be Worried?

HUMPING. Wow. It’s shocking when it happens, isn’t it? Your dog is so precious and perfect and then all of a sudden– BOOM. He mounts the chaise. Although it can be jarring, especially when done in public, this is totally normal behavior for dogs of any age and any sex. Also, to your dog’s credit, it’s a really nice chaise.

Why does your dog hump? It could be happening for a few reasons:

    The humping is sexually motivated.
    Your pup is trying to play.
    The humping is an outlet for excitement, anxiety, or stress.
    You’ve conditioned the behavior through positive reinforcement.

Below you will find a deeper dive into what could be causing your dog’s behavior and how to best address it!

Problems and Solutions

hound dog looking sad

Problem: The humping is sexually motivated

We, as original sinners, will always associate “humping” with “sex”. That flaw is exclusively on us, the human race. This is not an association that dogs make. However, when it comes to male dogs, the instinct to hump may be sexual in some capacity, especially if you haven’t had your good boy neutered.

Solution: spaying/neutering

A simple answer to this type of behavior is to have your dog fixed. There are many reasons why having your dog spayed or neutered will help their overall well-being, and if humping is a concern for you, this is the way to go. Having this procedure done will lower your dog’s overall hormone levels, which may help curb their humping habit. But be forewarned, it also may not. Especially if your dog is female.

Problem: My dog humps other dogs when playing

Does your dog have a habit of taking casual fun at the dog park to a level of “wow, at least buy me a drink first?” If so, your dog is not alone. But fear not! Humping due to stimulation from fun is hardly a chronic behavioral issue. Sometimes you just can’t help having a blast!

Solution: Timeout

That being said, it’s important to consider how other dogs will react to your own dog’s behavior (especially if you spend a lot of time out and about)! If your dog’s “fun hump” is getting out of hand, try simply directing your dog away from their victim as soon as the behavior begins. Eventually, your dog will begin to realize his behavior is what’s causing your reaction.

dog with blue leash next to a human legs

Problem: My dog humps other people/legs

If your dog loves when guests come over— and I mean L O V E S when guests come over, he may or may not try to hump them (either individually or collectively…  just imagine!). Chances are, this behavior is your dog’s outlet of choice for his excitement at the new faces in the room and nothing more. Go ahead and give your invitees a heads up and maybe even ask Greg why he chose to wear such soft pants to a dinner party anyway.

Solution: Keep a tight leash

If your guests aren’t into a little extra love from your dog, cycle him through a series of timeouts the moment his behavior begins to help him understand what he is doing wrong. He’s humping because he’s excited, and removing him from the vicinity of the excitement is an effective way to send a message. A few stern but deeply loving “no’s” can go a long way. You can always try to redirect his excitement to a toy as well!

Problem: My dog humps for no reason

Honestly, there’s a strong chance your dog is humping for reasons outside of our understanding. And that’s okay! Your dog is a creature of free will! Embrace it! But know if your dog is getting attention after he humps –such as a laugh– he may begin to associate this behavior as a way to elicit a positive reaction from you! BEWARE!

Solution: Ignore and redirect

In this case, simply don’t give your dog attention for humping, but instead, try to redirect his pent-up energy by throwing a ball or asking him to perform one of his many tricks because he is the very best boy. Bottom line: if he’s too tired to hump, he won’t! You hope!

Other reasons your dog may hump

Stress/Anxiety

For dogs, like humans, stress and anxiety is a number one trigger for needing to let off some steam. Depending on your dog’s overall temperament and the severity of his anxiety, you may want to seek out a medical professional or behaviorist. Otherwise, a trainer may be the most effective (and efficient) way to help your dog through this issue.

black and white dog on wood floor

Medical Causes

It doesn’t take a 12-season binge of Grey’s Anatomy to know humping and medicine can occasionally go hand in hand. Have you ever thought your dog’s humping is part of a larger medical issue? Does he do it compulsively? Is he trying to itch something? In these cases, it may be best to seek a veterinarian’s opinion. You do not, however, need a veterinarian’s opinion on whether or not you should watch Grey’s Anatomy if you aren’t caught up already.

Dominance

A common misconception about humping is that your dog is doing it to express dominance. While this very well may be the case, it’s highly unlikely as dogs are pack animals by instinct. Unless you live in a multi-multi-multi-dog home or have just recently introduced a new dog into your family, chances are your dog is humping for other reasons. Also, congratulations on the new dog!!

Other ways to stop humping

Body-blocking

If your dog begins to hump another dog, do your best to body block him by physically putting yourself in between your dog and the victim. Avoid yelling or getting overly excited because your dog may think you are trying to engage in play. Just try forcing yourself between the dogs without giving much attention to your own pup until, eventually, he gives up trying to mount the other dog.

Most of the time, humping is not harmful. In fact, it just means your dog is excited or aroused. There’s nothing wrong with a little action here and there as long as they aren’t being disruptive to other dogs or humans. It might be uncomfortable to see your good boy humping his squeaky bear, but sometimes it’s just best to turn away and be thankful it’s not your leg. Or your pillow.

Want to have a good laugh about humping? Check out our piece on 5 Reasons Dogs Hump That Have Nothing To Do With S-E-X. 😛

The post Why Does My Dog Hump So Much and Should I Be Worried? appeared first on BarkPost.

Can You Donate Dog Toys?

Can You Donate Dog Toys?

If you’re like us, you have more dog toys than you know what to do with. Obviously, throwing some of them away isn’t ideal. First of all, it’s a waste of a perfectly good toy! And secondly, wouldn’t another less fortunate pup benefit from playing with it?

The answer is: yes! While not every shelter or rescue across the country accepts donations in the form of dog toys, many of them do as long as they’re in relatively good condition. What that means exactly will depend on the shelter/rescue, so just use your best judgment. (For example: if your “Monsieur Acorn” is mostly torn to shreds, it’s probably a better candidate for dog toy heaven than the dog toy donation box.)

Where Can You Donate Dog Toys?

BarkBox Bundle of Dog Toys

Again, there’s no guarantee that a dog shelter or rescue will accept dog toy donations. If you’re looking to donate, your best best is to call your local shelter/rescue and ask what their policy is. Chances are, they’ll be thrilled you’re interested in helping dogs in need. On the other hand, if you’re phone call averse, you might want to check to see if they have an online wish-list available which typically details their donation needs.

Aside from dog shelters/rescues, you can also try donating toys to a homeless person shelter, as many homeless people have beloved animal companions who would love to play with your discarded “Lady Liberty Ball.”

What Kind Of Dog Toys Can You Donate?

Wiener Dachshund BarkBox Bertrand Boogie Man Dog Toy

Aside from the fact that they need to be in good condition? This is another one of those “depends on the shelter/rescue” answers. There’s no way to know what kind of dog toys your local shelters/rescues are interested in without asking them directly or perusing their wish-lists.

How Do You Donate Dog Toys?

This part’s easy! Well, relatively easy, anyway. If you’ve confirmed a particular shelter or rescue is interested in your donated toys, all you have to do is bring them to the aforementioned shelter/rescue. They might have a drop-off box or you might need to take them inside. And if you can’t drive yourself, you can always ship them!

Why Should You Donate Dog Toys To Shelters and Rescues?

Pit Bull with BarkBox Chainsaw dog toy Zom-B-Gone

Shelter dogs are much like any dog, really. While some don’t love playing with toys, plenty do. However, the main difference between your dog and a shelter dog is that a shelter dog lives in a small space, usually a cage, in a stressful environment surrounded by constant noise and other fearful dogs.

Which is why it can be even more important for a shelter dog to have a toy to pass the time and keep their minds stimulated. The less stressed out they are, the more likely they are to be adopted into a loving forever home.

Can You Donate Dog Toys Without Reaching Out To The Shelter First?

This is a bad idea. Yes, it’s wonderful that you’re interested in helping homeless dogs, but don’t just drop off your donations without making sure they’re filling a need. This is how donations can become a burden. Shelters/rescues oftentimes operate on very little money with the help of volunteers, so if they’re receiving items they already have plenty of, it just creates more work for them – which is to say, it’s now their job to discard the items you’ve donated to them.

Can You Donate Dog Treats?

Same answer, different verse – yes, but (make sure to check with the shelter/rescue, either by phone or wish-list, etc.).

What Kind Of Dog Toys Are Good For Shelter Dogs?

Cattle Dog With BarkBox Dog Brick Puzzle Toy

Honestly, all of ‘em! Like we said before, shelter dogs are just like any dog. There are dogs who love good ol’ regular tennis balls. Dogs who love stuffed plush toys. Dogs who want a real challenge when it comes to destroying toys. (Say, a Super Chewer challenge.) But it’s also important to keep a shelter dog’s mind stimulated throughout the duration of their stay. So puzzle toys can be extra-helpful when it comes to maintaining mental health.

But really, at the end of the day, if your dog likes a specific toy, a shelter dog somewhere probably will, too.

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What Are The Best Dog Toys For Corgis?

What Are The Best Dog Toys For Corgis?

Corgis are strong and lively little pups who have become incredibly popular in the dog world. The breed originated as a herding dog in Wales, which means they can be very smart. But even if your Corgi has never herded in their life, they still enjoy a similar level of activity.

So keep them challenged, busy, and out of trouble with the following fun toys:

Benebone’s Peanut Butter Pawplexer

BarkBox Benebone Peanut Butter Pawplexer for Corgis

With the durable “Pawplexer,” you can put some delicious treats in the middle of the toy to keep your dog busy for hours. Every treat they manage to free and eat will be a reward for all the mental and physical work they’ve accomplished.  ($17.10)

BARK’s Sledgehog

BarkBox Sledgehog Dog Toy

Your dog is no match for the durability of the “Sledgehog“! This is for the Corgis of the world with an appetite for destruction. They can gnaw on this toy’s rubber exterior for days and never make a dent. BONUS: This toy has a bit of bounce to it and can function as a fetch toy if your pup enjoys that sort of thing! ($14.oo)

Benebone BARK Pretzel

BarkBox Benebone Pretzel Dog Chew

You can’t go wrong with a strong chew toy infused with bacon! Every dog in your house will like this one, but especially your Corgi with has a taste for something delicious. Plus, the strength of the nylon is virtually indestructible, so your pup will just keep chewing and chewing and chewing… ($12.60)

BARK Pupping Iron Dumbbell

BarkBox Pupping Iron Dumbbell Dog Toy

If your Corgi is also into squeaky toys, and we’re betting they are, this “Pupping Iron Dumbbell” was made for them! It’s not only a squeaky toy, but it’s built to be torn to shreds. Let your little chewer at it! The toy is overstuffed for maximum fun when being ripped up, and your dog will also find a squeaker inside to play with after the dumbbell is dead and gone. ($10.00)

BARK Pretty in Squeak Necklace

Pretty In Squeak Necklace BarkBox

Again, Corgis are strong little guys, so playing a good tug of war game with them using the “Pretty in Squeak Necklace” will work their muscles and then wear them out enough to sleep through the night. Each pearl on this necklace has a squeaker in it, so you’re covering all your bases with what your dog really loves. ($10.00)

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What Comes In A BarkBox?

What Comes In A BarkBox?

Before signing up for a monthly subscription for BarkBox, most people want to know what comes in each dog-friendly delivery, and if it’s worth it. The short answers are “awesome stuff!” and “yes!” Still, let’s break down what will arrive on your doorstep after you order a BarkBox for your special canine family member(s).

The BarkBox Basics

Included within each box is an array of unique and first-rate toys, treats, and chews that all have a fun monthly theme. Examples include New York City and Chewrassic Bark (a box 45 million dog years in the making).

What comes in a new york city themed barkbox

Though you can always customize or add to your BarkBox, a classic box contains:

  • 2 tough but oh-so-cute toys
  • 2 large bags of treats
  • 1 long-lasting chew

If you’re worried about your Miniature Pinscher receiving a bully stick big enough for a Great Pyrenees, fear not! When you sign up, BarkBox will ask about the approximate sizes of the members of your pack. Each item included is tailored to your best friend’s specific needs, whether they’re small, medium, or on the larger side. From lap sitters to gentle giants, no dog will be disappointed!

Where And How Are BarkBox Treats & Toys Made?

Everything that comes to your door will have undergone a rigorous and research-heavy selection process. BarkBox only collaborates with American and Canadian vendors that use fresh, top-quality ingredients in their treats. Their NYC-based team designs most of their toys in-house, and they make sure that each item has the stamp of approval from their (very lucky) office dogs. Plus, if your pup ever makes a “meh” face at one of the treats, toys, or chews, the Bark team will happily send a replacement.

While all of the items included in BarkBox are wheat, corn, soy, and chemical-free, Bark can also accommodate allergies or aversions to other ingredients, such as beef, chicken, or turkey. Just let them know when you sign up, or write them a separate message.

What If My Dog Is A Super Chewer?

Pit Bull With Super Chewer BarkBox

Don’t worry! If your extra-determined pup gnaws on toys and chews with a bit more gusto than the average guy or girl, Bark has you covered. Simply select the “Super Chewer” option in order to receive products designed for the strongest of chompers.

How Much Does BarkBox Cost?

It depends! If you buy just one month of BarkBox, the price is $29. Select the 6-month plan and it’s $25. Select the 12-month plan and it’s just $21. Regardless of your selection, you’re getting a great deal. If you were to buy each toy, chew, and bag of treats separately, the price would be well over $29.

When Will BarkBox Arrive?

BarkBox ships on the 15th of every month with an estimated delivery of 2-8 business days in the U.S. and 4-12 business days in Canada, eh. If you place your order for your first month’s subscription before the 28th, your BarkBox will ship that same month.

Every time a box arrives, your best friend will be treated to a combination of brand-new products. So after the mail carrier has come and gone, all you have to do is open the box (if your pup hasn’t ripped it open already), read through the enjoyable descriptions of each product, and watch the butt wiggling and tail wagging ensue.

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What Are The Best Dog Treats For Bad Breath?

What Are The Best Dog Treats For Bad Breath?

Does your pup have a case of bad breath that could wake the dead? While even the stinkiest-mouthed dogs deserve our unconditional love, there’s no need to suffer: doggie breath can be remedied with specialized treats. With so many options to choose from, it’s important to not only find a safe and healthy product that’s effective in the fight against odor, but also a treat that your pup will actually enjoy chomping on. You’ll reap the benefits of fresh-smelling kisses, and your dog will simply assume they’ve been extra good today!

With those requirements in mind, here are the 10 best dog treats for bad breath!

BARK Dental Chew

Terrier mixed breed dog eating Bark dental chew

This savory chicken-flavored dental chew is beloved by dogs everywhere. Its bumps and grooves mirror the shape of a toothbrush and clean the spaces between your dog’s teeth. This action decreases harmful plaque and tartar, which can contribute to funky smelling-breath. Luckily, the chews are also sold in a 10-pack, making it easier to always have them on hand. ($3 for one or $24.30 for ten.)

Merrick Fresh Kisses

Featuring an innovative “double brush” shape, these semi-soft savory chews come in two flavors: one that specifically targets stinky mouths, and another that’s better for cleaning teeth. Both contain mint oil, but the bad breath-eradicating treat is more effective against odors due to its addition of coconut oil, rosemary, and lemongrass. ($8.49 for a 20-count bag.)

BARK Oral Health Supplements

BarkBox oral supplement for bad breath in dogs

These bite-sized treats are packed with safe and healthy ingredients that attack bad breath in multiple ways. An added Champignon Mushroom extract has been shown to suppress foul-smelling toxins in the intestines. Spirulina—a vitamin-packed microalgae—supports good oral and internal health. And cinnamon powder and parsley leave Fido with a fresh-smelling mouth. Plus, they’re chewy and chicken-flavored—a combination that all dogs love! ($12.60 for 70 chews.)

Isle of Dogs 100% Natural Breath Dog Treats

With its toffee extracts, parsley, yeast, flax seeds, dried milk, and organic fruits and vegetables, this treat is known to improve doggie breath caused by gum disease and other odor-causing issues. Due to the mild ingredients, this small crunchy treat is also a good choice for pups with sensitive stomachs. ($4.99 for a 12 oz. bag.)

Benebone Bacon Dental Chew

Doodle chewing bacon dental benebone

Humans everywhere will be jealous of this bacon-infused dental bone. Who knew that you could slobber over the flavors of fatty cured pork while also cleaning your pearly whites? The grooves of this double handle-shaped chew get in-between your dog’s teeth as they chew, thus leaving behind a fresher mouth. This product also contains safe and durable nylon, which makes it a great choice for vigorous chewers. ($9.90 for one.)

Zuke’s Enhance Fresh Breath Dog Chews

When trying to eradicate a serious case of doggie breath, these bite-sized chews do more than mask smells. While the second ingredient is real chicken, the chews also contain sage, dill, fennel, parsley, cinnamon and myrrh. These natural herbs target the gut, where bad odors often arise from. Simultaneously, the chews also might help soothe an irritated stomach. ($12.39 for a 5 oz. bag.)

BARK Stinky Kisses Bundle

BarkShop Stinky Kisses Bundle for Dogs with Bad Breath

This combination of bacon dental chews, chicken dental chews, and bark breath bites is the ultimate buy for outdoorsy dogs that tend to get into things that they shouldn’t. (Here’s looking at you, dirt diggers and worm eaters.) Each product included in the bundle not only supports oral health, but will also help clear up stinky doggie breath for days. ($36 for the entire bundle.)

Emerald Pet Chicky Twizzie

This adorably named treat is perfect for all pups, large and small. Its spiral shape targets plaque and tartar, and its hard-baked exterior will force the strongest of chewers to work for awhile. While many long-lasting chews can often cause long-lasting foul odors, the Chicky Twizzie is unique. Made with whole ingredients, there’s nothing like fresh breath and a fresh-smelling home. ($3 for one.)

Greenies Dental Chews

Greenies Dental Dog Treats for Bad Breath

Designed to look like chunky green toothbrushes, these well-known doggie dental chews are known for removing plaque and tartar that can cause bad breath. Coming in sizes ranging from “teenie” to large, the vitamin-packed chews’ mildly minty flavor also masks odors. Despite their popularity, it’s important to note that they do contain several unnatural ingredients and additives, unlike BarkShop’s similarly-shaped Dental Chew. ($8.99 for a 6 oz. bag.)

Old Mother Hubbard Fresh Breath Dog Snacks

If you’re in the habit of feeding your dog smelly foods like salmon or sardines, these small, crunchy snacks may be a welcome addition to your best friend’s daily routine. Although dogs will likely only focus on the fresh chicken and eggs baked into each treat, you’ll appreciate the odor-masking ingredients like fennel, spearmint, and parsley. ($6.32 for 20 oz. bag.)

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