DogBoy's Dog Blog

4 Things Humans Do That Drive Dogs Crazy

Posted by Courtney Emken on Mon, Oct 3, 2016 @ 09:10 AM

Humans do a lot of things that just drive dogs insane. We try to make our dogs act like humans, BUT they’re dogs.

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Topics: Dog Wellness, dog boarding, dog behavior

3 Reasons Invisible Shock Collar Fences Are Hazardous To You & Your Dog

Posted by Courtney Emken on Mon, Aug 1, 2016 @ 09:08 AM

Disclaimer: In this article we are discussing the use of invisible perimeter fences that shock dogs through an electronic collar. However, this is not a comment on the specific brand Invisible Fence.

Also, we want to say that we understand why some people see a need for using invisible shock collar fences in some very special circumstances. Some dogs just cannot be contained, and invisible shock collar fences are often looked to as the last resort for a desparate owner.

Finally, for the person that argues that you can use these types of "fences" with the collar only on a vibration mode, please note that most owners will "turn up the heat" in frustration when the more humane mode doesn't bring the desired result.

These fences are NOT recommended. In fact, invisible shock collar fences will more likely do your dog harm than good, and here’s why.


#1 Invisible Shock Collar Fences Confuse And Frighten Your Dog Instead Of Protecting Them

An underground electric fence administers a shock when the remote shock collar crosses the perimeter. You may understand why this shock is happening, but your dog won't.

Dogs lack the context to comprehend why they’re being shocked. All they know is that they are in pain for no apparent reason, and this creates fear and confusion in your puppy. Your dog may eventually start to associate the fence line, or the perimeter of your home, with pain and anxiety. This combination almost always leads to unwanted displacement behaviors in dogs.

Invisible shock collar fences can cause unanticipated behavioral and health problems that are difficult to reverse because of their reliance on fear and pain. An owner may forget to take the remote collar off before a trip, and their dog will be accidentally shocked as they leave. This sort of thing actually happens a lot more often than you might think.

If a dog is repeatedly subjected to pain without an apparent cause they will start to fear whatever they’re looking at, or sensing, when the shock occurs. It could be anything from:

  • The car itself
  • Grocery bags
  • Your cologne
  • You

Now, your dog may submissively urinate when they smell that cologne or they might be hesitant to get in the car (which will complicate every vet visit!).

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Topics: Dog Wellness, Dog Safety, dog boarding, dog care

3 Rules For Giving Your Dog Treats

Posted by Courtney Emken on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 @ 09:07 AM

It may be tempting to toss your dog a treat when you just want to show them some love. Unfortunately, if your dog isn’t working for their treat, then you’re missing out on valuable training time. Even worse, your dog may begin to expect treats and develop unwanted demanding behavior.

Here’s our motto for treats: nothing for free.

Your dog won’t be upset at you for making them earn their treat, they’re going to love it. Using treats this way allows you to reinforce positive behaviors and enables your dog to have fun learning how to get that next treat.  

The Key To Effective Treat Giving: Random Variable Rewards

You don’t want to give your dog the same treats for the same behaviors repeatedly. Think of yourself as a (generous) dog treat slot machine. Sometimes the treat is a ball or a pat on the head instead of a normal treat. Sometimes the treat is a bit of chicken, bologna, or cheese. Sometimes there’s just no treat.

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Topics: Dog Fun, Dog Training, dog boarding

Choose Wisely: 3 Easy Steps to Picking the Right Dog Leash

Posted by Courtney Emken on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 @ 09:07 AM

Leashes are a necessity if you're a dog owner. Choosing the right leash is nearly as important as making sure you are feeding your dog the right food or getting them the right training. Almost every dog I know will chase anything new and exciting that moves, if given the opportunity.

Sometimes that adorable curiosity can land them in big trouble though. That's where the tried and true dog leash comes in handy. So, it’s extremely important to make sure you're using the right leash for your dog, and avoiding the ones that might harm them.

Here’s DogBoy’s three simple steps to guide you toward the right leash for your dog:

First: DON'T Use These Dog Leashes

Before we discuss our recommendation on the right leashes for your dog, let’s make sure you know the wrong ones first.

One of the most common and most dangerous leashes is the Flexi Leash. It seems so convenient at first, because it gives your dog free rein to go at their own pace.

I understand completely why someone would want to use this leash at first glance. They're inexpensive, have a nice handle, and it seems like it gives your dog a sense of freedom while you maintain control. However, the Flexi Leash is a long, thin line that can easily wrap around a person and trip them up or cause injury. It has caused burns, cuts, and other serious injuries to dogs and humans alike.

You also don’t want to use any leash that cinches your dog’s neck or body. These leashes can actually cause permanent damage to your dog’s trachea and neck. It’s difficult to control the tightness of the leash and accidents can easily happen with an over-enthusiastic dog.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog Training, dog boarding, dog behavior

The Definitive Guide to Austin's Dog Friendly Businesses

Posted by Courtney Emken on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 @ 13:07 PM


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Topics: Dog Fun, Dog Friendly Austin, dog boarding

5 Easy Ways To Prep Your Puppy For The Real Big World

Posted by Courtney Emken on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 @ 09:06 AM

You just got your brand new puppy, and you’re dying to show them off. Good news! Your puppy is excited too! They are curious about their new world and ready to explore. However, we all know the “real world” can be a dangerous place for a new puppy.

Here’s our guide for making your puppy’s big debut to the outside world memorable, rewarding, and safe.

You Don’t Have To Wait Until They Have All Their Shots

Yes, you read that correctly. If you wait until puppies have all their shots administered before taking them out then you’ve missed critical socialization time. If your puppy isn’t properly socialized then they can have:

  • Excessive Fear
  • Avoidance
  • Withdrawal
  • Anxiety
  • Reactivity

According to the AVSBA, behavioral issues are the leading cause of death in dogs under 3 years old. Poorly socialized puppies often end up in shelters and are euthanized.

However, the socialization window occurs when your puppy is most susceptible to infection. You need to be careful and keep them away from dangerous areas. Puppy classes and in-home visits are safe ways to socialize your puppy. You need to wait until they’ve had at least 1-2 rounds of boosters to take them out in the general public.

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Topics: Dog Training, dog boarding, dogs, Pup Academy, puppy training

Safety Guide: Bloat Can KILL Your Dog Quick

Posted by Courtney Emken on Fri, May 27, 2016 @ 09:05 AM

What is Bloat, And How Do I Recognize The Symptoms In My Dog?

Bloat is the second leading killer of dogs, with a mortality rate of nearly 50%. It is absolutely crucial that you understand the signs and symptoms to prevent injury or death arising from bloat.

New pet owners may not have even heard of “bloat” being used for anything other than a full tummy. Bloat, also known as Gastric Dilation and Volvulus, is a condition that occurs when a dog’s stomach is filled with excess air or gas. This causes the stomach to flip upside down, and cut off circulation to virtually every organ in their body. The stomach twists itself and blood can’t circulate through the stomach any longer.

This causes the stomach to become noticeably distended and dogs will begin to salivate excessively. It’s possible that they might vomit or dry-vomit, but heavy salivation is more likely. Dogs are extremely uncomfortable during bloat and will exhibit signs like:

  • Lethargy
  • Trouble standing and sitting
  • Restlessness and pacing
  • Short or shallow breath

If you see these signs then you need to act immediately, and get your dog to the vet.

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Topics: Dog Safety, dog boarding

"Should I Neuter or Spay My Dog?" 5 Reasons to Say YES!

Posted by Courtney Emken on Wed, May 25, 2016 @ 09:05 AM

Pet overpopulation is literally and figuratively a huge problem in the United States. Millions of adoptable pets are put down each year, and millions more flood animal shelters or live on the streets. Many of these animals are offspring of family pets that were unable to find homes.

Neutering or spaying your dog is the best action a responsible owner can take to help stray and homeless pets. Here's why:

Unneutered/Unspayed Dogs Can And Will Breed Strays

As irresponsible as it is, unspayed and unneutered dogs are allowed to roam neighborhoods and end up breeding with one another. If unchecked, a female can have multiple litters in a year. averaging seven puppies per litter. Sometimes a family can find good homes for these cute pups, but oftentimes they end up in a shelter or become strays. 

Going to a shelter doesn't guarantee adoption. Dogs can wait for years, and never find a home. Austin's shelters are no-kill facilities, which raises adoption numbers overall. However, these facilities are more and more crowded with dogs that are harder to adopt. These "unadoptable" dogs are held back by simple issues like:

  • Medical conditions
  • Any level of agression
  • Aloofness
  • Black fur

One of the best things you can do for these sheltered animals is spaying and neutering your dogs. You might keep new puppies from being sent to a shelter, and you increase the likelihood of these less-wanted pets finding a loving home through adoption. 

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Topics: Dog Safety, dog boarding, dog health

Color Card Policy Updates: What You Need To Know

Posted by Courtney Emken on Tue, May 24, 2016 @ 09:05 AM

Color Card Policy Update

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Topics: Dog Training, dog boarding

Quick Dog Tips: “Should I Shave My Dog This Summer?”

Posted by Courtney Emken on Mon, May 9, 2016 @ 09:05 AM

People love getting their dogs' coats shaved for all sorts of reasons. In Texas, a lot of people get their dogs shaved because they think they’re doing them a favor during the summer. The problem is the science and anatomy of dogs doesn't back up this commonly held belief. We put on layers in the cold, and take them off in the heat. Dogs don't work the same way as humans though.

It’s easy to assume that a dog with less fur is a cooler dog. So, people naturally assume that shaving their dog will help when it's hot outside. However, depending on the breed, you could be hurting your dog’s health instead of helping them.

A Dog’s Coat Acts as Insulation

Haircuts make complete sense for us humans. But, it’s important to know that dogs don’t control their body temperature in the same way. We can lower our temperature through sweat, as the moisture cools our skin down. Dogs only sweat around certain areas like their paws, and must rely on other methods to cool themselves. If you want your dog to be able to beat the heat then you should help them groom their coat, not take it away completely.

Most thick-coated breeds are insulated by their fur, which protects them in the cold and the heat. When you shave a breed like a Husky or Golden Retriever you’re actually taking away the system that regulates their temperature. In the cold months, their undercoat traps warmth close to their bodies keeping them nice and toasty. When the temperature starts to climb, dogs shed this undercoat and rely on their overcoat to keep their skin from absorbing too much heat.

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Topics: dog boarding, dog care

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