Yesterday we were in Suwanee working with a new Home Dog Training Client and his named Standard Poodle named Jupiter.  Jupiter was just under a year old and slowly transitioning out of the “I am a puppy” stage.  This had caused some issues both for her and my client’s family.  Being a rambunctious, happy go lucky puppy, most of the interaction between Jupiter and humans had been play and excitement.  It was time to teach her the real family rules and to have her understand she had to listen and obey.  She was a great student and all the family members were excited to work with her and have her calm down and be a great dog.  As we were finishing up, my client asked me about Christmas presents.  I started to list all the things I wanted for Christmas.  He quickly stopped me and said he was talking about Jupiter.  They had picked Jupiter up just after Christmas last year, so this was her first Christmas with their family.  He was wondering what shorts of presents would be appropriate for Jupiter. 

Presents are always a good thing.  Everyone, including our dog, loves presents.  Remember that there are some presents that are better than others.  First, let’s talk about the “good presents”:

  • If the toy stimulates your dog’s brain and keeps him engaged, it is a good toy.  An example of this is a Classic Kong toy.  Kongs are designed for dogs by their weight.  Find the right weight range on the Kong and you have found the right size for your dog.  The next thing to do is to take some peanut butter and put it in the toy’s hole at the bottom.  Next put the Kong in the freezer.  When frozen, give it to your dog.  It will keep him entertained for up to an hour!
  • Plush Toys can also be fun for dogs.  But, be careful. You have to make sure that the Plush Toy is not the same color or looks like the pillows on your sofa or bed.  If you are allowing your dog to chew on the Plush Toy, he might become confused and think that your sofa pillow is another Plush Toy that you have given him.  There is no need for your dog to start eating the furniture.
  • Things that they can chew are great for them. If your is a chewer, let’s direct that action to something we fine acceptable.  I always suggest the deer anglers as great chew toys.
  • A Water Bottle.  Until I saw it, I didn’t believe it, but dogs love to play with empty water bottles.  Take off the paper, remove the top, and clip off the plastic ring around the water bottle’s neck.  It is now ready to present to your dog.  Your dog will play with this forever.  He will knock it around the ground, toss it in the air, chew on it, or even use it as a pool toy. 

Time to talk about “bad presents”:

  • Tug-of-war toys are bad if you are going to use them for tug-of-war. Long story short, in their minds, our dogs always win when we play tug-of-war.  
  • when we loose, we are telling our dog they are the winner and the boss of us.  Since we want to be the pack leaders, this is not good.  If your dog gets a tug-of-war toy this Christmas, you can use it for a fetch toy instead.
  • Squeaky Toys are not good.  The “squeak” makes the same sound as a dying or wounded animal.  When you present that toy to your dog and it makes the squeaky sound, you run the risk of increasing his aggression and general excitement.  Although this is not always the case, I always recommend eliminating these toys or only allowing one or two Squeaky Toys in your dog’s toy basket.  If you can remove the squeak device from these toys, he can have the toy.

Of course there are many other suggestions that one can give for Christmas presents for our dogs.  These are only a few.  If you use common sense, you will probably do fine and you and your dog will have a great Christmas!

We encourage you to reach out to us at (770) 718-7704 if you are in need of any dog training help.  We have all of our up to date contact information at Dog Training Help Center Suwanee Georgia.