Positive Dog Training Techniques Puppy Power Training Blog.

Positive Dog Training Techniques Puppy Power Training Blog.

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How to Dog-Proof Your House – Paw Nation.

Friday, October 2, 2009
Is your tennis ball safe? HealthyStuff.org tests over 400 pet products for toxic chemicals.

We’re always concerned about the health and safety of the products that us dogs come in contact with – our toys, our collars, our beds and everything we enjoy wearing, playing with, putting in our mouth, chewing up and more!

But are our pup products safe?

Currently, there are no government standards for testing or determining if there are hazardous chemicals in pet products, so we unfortunately have had to rely on product manufacturers claims, recalls and other information from independent resources.

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about what companies provide safer and healthier products for us dogs, and we share the information and products we find from those companies on RaiseAGreenDog.com. And, we find information through a variety of independent organizations that have the same concerns about the safety of our dog’s ‘stuff’ as we do, which we’ve shared throughout the years, to help all of us become more educated about the product choices we make for our dogs.

Thankfully there is another independent resource now helping us know more about ‘the good’ and ‘the bad’ about pet products on the market. Recently, HealthyStuff.org released their test results of over 400 pet products, including beds, chew toys, stuffed toys, collars, leashes, tennis balls and more. It’s a not to be missed report that showcases their testing. Not surprising there were some alarming levels of toxic chemicals found in some of the most popular dog toys on the market.

HealthyStuff.org is a project of the Ecology Center, a nonprofit environmental research organization. The Ecology Center (EC) is a membership-based, nonprofit environmental organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded by community activists after the country’s first Earth Day in 1970, the Ecology Center is now a regional leader that works for a safe and healthy environment where people live, work, and play. The Ecology Center works at the local, state, and national levels for clean production, healthy communities, environmental justice, and a sustainable future.

Be sure and check out these links to information contained in their report and their test findings:

> Tennis Balls

> Chew and Tug Toys

> Pet Beds

> Get a list of Pet Products By Level of Concern

And here’s what else you can do to help your pup be safer, and encourage healthier products for your dog!

Even though the tags on your pup’s toy says to throw it away once it becomes torn, most of us let our pets destroy their toys until they’re unrecognizable or obviously hazardous. Sometimes the innards of toys hold the worst chemicals, like flame retardants in stuffing or lead in the parts that reinforce tougher toys. Pay extra attention to what your critters are putting in their mouths and get rid of toys that have seen better days.

Don’t see your toy listed or tested by HealthStuff.org? Nominate a product of your concern.

Contact the manufacturers of your favorite products and let them know you want safe products for your furry friend (and let the ones with healthy products know you appreciate them!). The pet industry is huge – it’s our dollars that have gotten it there and it’s our dollars that can impact where it goes next.

Go to the Take Action section of HealthyStuff.org to find out how to contact your elected representatives. You can’t tell just by looking at stuff whether it’s healthy, and Made in the USA isn’t a guarantee either. It’s impossible to test everything on the market and, ultimately, we need stronger laws to get safe products on the shelves for our pets.

As pet owners, we’re used to speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves. Now they need us again, so spread the word and stay informed!

This article comes from Laurie Williams on of the competitors on America’s Greatest Dog. She brings up some very good points I thought I would share.
TV Dog Training – Helping or Hurting?

Laurie Williams
Comments (3)
Never before has there been more information and resources available to help pet parents live harmoniously with their canine companions. If you surf the net you will discover thousands of training Web sites; the dog training section in bookstores and libraries is inundated with new titles every month; and dog training is a regular weekly feature on some television channels. However, you know what they say about a little knowledge. It’s dangerous, and incomplete and inaccurate information is even worse.

Where has all this abundance of conflicting and misleading information taken us? On one hand it has prompted many people to make more out of things that are really just normal dog behavior in certain circumstances. I receive many calls from concerned puppy parents about their aggressive 12-week-old puppy, only to determine the puppy is just exhibiting normal puppy behavior on its way to learning bite inhibition. And then there are the pet parents who feel their dog is showing dominance by jumping up on them to greet them, and they want to show him they’re the pack leaders like Cesar says. Uggggh. If I had a nickel for every time that term is over or incorrectly used I’d be rich! Well, okay, at least these pet parents are trying to be proactive and prevent issues before they become serious problems, and that’s certainly a good thing.

Unfortunately I also get calls from people whose dogs are struggling with very serious behavior issues like severe aggression but have unrealistic expectations of fixing those problems. Why? Well, they saw a dog with the exact same issue on TV and that dog was fixed in one episode! Make no mistake about it, behavior modification takes time, patience and consistency. There is no quick fix or magic to it, only the magic of television. Having been on the boob tube myself, let me state unequivocally right here and now that you can’t always believe what you see on television, and reality television is anything but real, it’s meant to be entertainment. Even if the genre is supposed to be public education, make no mistake about it, the show still needs to be entertaining. After all, if no one is watching, the show won’t get any sponsors to pay for it! Additionally, everything you see may not have happened in exactly the way it’s been presented, or in the same sequence, or even on the same day!

And what about follow up? Did the owners continue with the behavior modification? Has the dog continued to improve or has he reverted back to old habits? Rarely, if ever, are any of those questions answered on any of the television training shows. We’re presented with quick glimpses that end with the trainer closing up his or her computer or getting in his or her car and driving away. Happy ending? Maybe. Hopefully. But those profound and quick changes we’re presented can be extinguished just as quickly if there is no consistency in the training and behavior modification to follow.

And then there’s the subject of dog training methods. Even if the show instructs the viewers “not to try this at home,” overzealous owners will do so anyway, which can have disastrous and downright dangerous results. I know more than a few people who’ve been bitten when attempting to physically overpower or dominate their dog, like they saw the trainer do on TV. I am always hopeful that most will listen to the part of the disclaimer that tells the viewer to “contact a professional” first.

That’s where I come in.

While I may not agree with or use the same methods a television dog trainer uses, if his or her show helps make people aware of their dog’s behavior and gets them interested in training, that’s a good thing. If it prompts someone to pick up the phone and call me, all the better! Once I get them in the door, I’ll get my chance to show them how real dog training and behavior modification works.

What do you think about TV dog training shows?

What’s your favorite or least favorite show?

Who’s your favorite or least favorite TV dog trainer and why?

What kind of TV dog training show would you like to see?

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