Yes, Your Dog Will Be Happier If You Use These Dog Grooming Tips

Most dogs handle their own grooming needs. But, you can offer a helping hand as necessary. If you do this, you will have many benefits to it. For example, it helps the two of you to bond. And, it allows for you to catch diseases or other health problems that can affect your pet. Can’t get your dog to sit still long enough? Then, do a small portion of her each day. Eventually she will enjoy it and allow you to do it easily.

Dogs use licking, shaking and scratching to stay clean. If you brush them, you can help the fur to stay clean and unmated. Some dogs that have longer hair will require this attention daily. Others who have shorter hair can be brushed just once a week. Most dogs will enjoy the brushing. Others will not right off the bat. In order to help this process, use the brush in a small amount while talking soothingly to her. Afterwards, give her a treat for being good. Add a little more time on each time.

Dark specs on the skin can be fleas. In order to check for these types of problems, run your hands down here coat as you brush her. If you see quite a bit of black flecks, which are flea dropping, then you need to seek help for your animal right away. You may also notice rice like debris near her tail. These are a sign that the dog has worms. Again, you need to take your pet to the vet in this case as they will need treatment.

Just like you, your pet needs her teeth brushed daily. You can do this using a child sized toothbrush or just a finger toothbrush that is designed for your pet. The paste that you use should be one designed for dogs only. Your toothpaste can seriously make your dog ill. To help keep dog’s teeth in tip top shape, give them rawhide chews to gnaw on. This helps keep teeth as well as gums healthy.

You’ll need to do other types of grooming as well, but not as frequently. You should check ears and nails weekly or monthly. Look into your dog’s ears. If you see small, black/brown specks, this can be ear mites. For nails, walks that are given on sidewalks as well as in the driveway can help to wear them down. Make sure, though, that the nails are not too long. You can learn from your vet the proper way to trim them to help the dog to stay healthy and to walk correctly. You should not trim them without getting some training though.

How To Teach Your Dog To Eliminate On Command

Teaching your dog to defecate or urinate on command is actually hust a process of creating an association.

The command I use is, “Get Busy.” But you can use any word or phrase that you please.

You’re probably wondering why anyone would want to teach their dog an elimination command. And probably the best answer to this question is that it enables you to establish both a time and a place for your dog to eliminate.

For example, if you decide to go to bed early, and you don’t want your dog to be uncomfortable for the next 7 or 8 hours, you can very easily take him outside and tell him to “do it now,” because, “You won’t have a chance to do it later since I’m going to bed.”

Having an elimination command also allows you to tell your dog WHERE he should urinate or defecate. For example, if you’re taking your pup for a stoll and he indicates that he needs to eliminate… you don’t want him to merely stop and do his business in the middle of the sidewalk. What an elimination command allows you to do is to walk the dog over to some bushes, or behind a building and tell him, “Here! Here is where you can ‘get busy.'”

How to teach the “Get Busy” command

Just like with any other command, your goal is to associate the phrase, “Get busy,” with the action of either defecating or urinating.

Here’s what you need to do in 5 easy steps:

1.) Take note of the usual times your dog needs to defecate or urinate.

2.) Take him to the usual spot where he likes to eliminate and walk him back and forth, repeating the phrase, “Get busy, get busy, get busy.”

3.) When he begins to eliminate, continue saying, “Get busy.” After five or six different occasions, your command will start to link with the behavior.

4.) A half second after he finishes, praise him.

5.) Repeat this process every time your dog needs to eliminate, and you’ll soon find that he will begin to understand and at least make an attempt to evacuate the contents of his bladder on command.

That’s all for now, folks!
Adam
Dogproblems.com

Discover How To Train Your Dog and Help Her Become a Better Pet

Training your dog will help him to be a more obedient animal. It will also help him to be a better pet. The time that you spend investing in this training will reward you for many years. Your pet will be closer to you and will respect you even more. And, it doesn’t take away for his or her personality. But, what is does is sets the rules, the boundaries which help an animal to feel secure.

Your pet is communicating with you. They want attention and will do whatever it takes to get it. Believe it or not, you may actually be unconsciously telling your dog to behave badly if you do not provide them with the attention that they are in need of. If you yell at your pet for doing something wrong, for example, having an accident on the rug, you are providing attention to it and therefore, they may keep doing it to get that attention. You are excited which makes them excited. Instead, try ignoring your pet when they do something wrong like this.

On the flip side, then, positive reinforcement works well on many pets. Reward your dog for good behavior. What can you do? Things like giving them a treat or just verbally praising them works well. Or, take some time to pay extra attention to them. This does several things for your pet. The pet will realize that good behavior, whatever it is, will get them this type of reward. And, it will help to promote you as the leader. You need to remain the leader of the pack, even if your dog tries to challenge this. For those who need to learn this, and even those animals that are less assertive, obedience training can be quite beneficial. When the dog uses his or her instincts to follow a leader, the pet will feel more secure and behave properly as well.

Positive reinforcement type training can work in a number of different ways. For example, the capture reward process where the pet is rewarded when the good behavior is displayed is commonly used to gently coax the animal into giving you the desired reaction. The professionals will likely tell you that it is best to use several senses for training. The use of verbal communication and the use of hand signals are necessary. Things like sit, come, go, stay are all verbal signals. You need a release signal as well which will inform the animal that she has done a good job. You would give the release signal and then her reward right afterwards. This links the signal with the fact that the animal has done something good.

Now, who is going to teach your pet and how will they do it? First of all, you can do most of the training yourself. You can tap into the resources that you find at the library and bookstores on training the dog in how to type books. You can get quite a bit of the information you need to do it right on the web as well. If you do want to find additional help, seek that of a professional in your area. You can find them through pet supply chains or your local humane societies. Classes can be a great way to help your dog to socialize and to educate yourself. You can find local personal trainers for your dog as well. These individuals will come to you and work with your animal in a custom way to give them the support that they need.

Dog Training: Teaching Puppy Not to Jump or Bite

You finally have your adorable, cuddly new puppy. You are happy to have him and he is happy to have a family. But wait – it’s just the beginning. There are 2 behaviors you need to deal with almost immediately – jumping on people and biting.

Jumping on people

This is a problem that you or others might inadvertently encourage. He is so little and cute, that little tail is wagging and, after all, isn’t socialization and getting used to people important? Of course socialization and getting used to people is crucial but allowing him to jump on people isn’t the way to do it.Imagine your cute, little puppy as a full grown 80 – 100 pound dog. Will it be so cute when he jumps on people then? No and it will be dangerous if he jumps on children or small adults because he could easily knock them down.

The best time to take care of this is, of course, when he is a puppy. When the puppy jumps up on you or someone else, gently place the puppy’s feet back on the floor. When he remains standing there, be sure to praise him extensively. Give him an alternative to jumping up. Puppies jump up on people to express their enthusiasm, so it is important to redirect this energy in a more socially acceptable direction. Try teaching the puppy to present his paw instead of jumping up. When teaching the puppy to not jump up on people, it is important to be consistent. Consistency is important in any training program, and all members of the family as well as friends must understand that the puppy is not permitted to jump on them – ever.

Biting

Biting is one of those things that every puppy seems to do, and every puppy must be taught not to do. Like many behaviors, such as jumping up on people, biting and nipping can seem cute when the puppy is small, but much less so as he gets older, larger and stronger.

Left to their own devices, most puppies learn to control their biting reflex from their mothers and from their littermates. When the puppy becomes overenthusiastic, whether when nursing or playing, the mother dog, or the other puppies, will quickly issue a correction.

Unfortunately, this type of natural correction often does not occur, since many puppies are removed from their mothers when they are still quite young. It is therefore up to you to take over this important process.

Socializing the puppy with other dogs and puppies is one of the best and most effective ways to teach the puppy the appropriate, and non appropriate way to bite, and to curb the biting response.

Many communities and pet stores sponsor puppy playtime and puppy kindergarten classes, and these classes can be great places for puppies to socialize with each other, and with other humans and animals as well. As the puppies play with each other, they will naturally bite and nip each other. When one puppy becomes too rough or bites too hard, the other puppies will quickly respond by correcting him.

The best time for this socialization of the puppy to occur is when it is still young. It is vital that every dog be properly socialized, since a poorly socialized dog, or worse, one that is not socialized at all, can become dangerous and even neurotic. Most experts recommend that puppies be socialized before they have reached the age of 12 weeks, or three months.

Another reason for socializing the puppy early is that mothers of young children may be understandably reluctant to allow their young children to play with older or larger dogs. Since socializing the dog with other people is just as important as socializing it with other dogs, it is best to do it when the puppy is still young enough to be non threatening to everyone.

It is important for the puppy to be exposed to a wide variety of different stimuli during the socialization process. The socialization process should include exposing the puppy to a wide variety of other animals, including other puppies, adult dogs, cats and other domestic animals. In addition, the puppy should be introduced to as wide a cross section of people as possible, including young children, older people, men, women and people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

While socialization is very important to providing the puppy with life lessons and preventing him from biting, it is not the only method of preventing unwanted biting and mouthing. Giving the puppy appropriate things to play with and bite is another good way to control inappropriate biting. Providing a variety of chew toys, ropes and other things the puppy can chew is important to preventing boredom, keeping his teeth polished and keeping him from chewing things he should not.

As with any training, it is important to be consistent when teaching the puppy not to bite. Every member of the family, as well as close friends who may visit, should all be told that the puppy is to be discouraged from biting. If one person allows the puppy to chew on them while everyone else does not, the puppy will quickly become confused, and that can make the training process much more difficult than it has to be.

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Overview Of Different Breeds Of Dogs

There are over a hundred registered breed of dogs. Recognizing the type of the dog is basically associated with its breed. A purebred animal belongs to a documented and acknowledged group of unmixed lineage. Before a breed of dog is recognized, it must be proved that mating two adult dogs of the same type would have passed on their exact characteristics, both appearance and behavior, to their offspring.

If thinking of adopting or buying a pet dog for yourself, it is important to know which type of dog you want. Here are a few popular dog breeds for your easy reference:

Labrador
Labradors are very outgoing dogs that have yellow, black or brown furs. Labrador are versatile dogs that has a wide rang of functions. Most of them are known to retrievers and are utilized as guide dogs for the blind. They enjoy holding different objects in their mouth and are prone to chewing things. Labradors are observed to be hypersensitive and have a high regard for their territory. Their furs are observed to water repellant thus making them perfect for waterfowl hunting. They are excellent as family dog.

German Shepherds
Germans shepherds are also known as Alsatian. Originally, they are intended to be aide for a farmer in herding their sheep or cattle. They are incredibly intelligent and very trainable. Because of their built they are often used as working dogs in the military or police community. Most of them are also guide dogs. German shepherds are large and strong dogs with varied fur colors. Most comes in cream, tank, white or black.

Boxer
Boxers have pointed ears that are tilted forward. They have a distinguishable white underbelly and white parts at the tip of each foot. These white regions are often called as ‘flashiness’ which sometimes extend to other parts of the body. These usually appear on the shoulders and face. Boxers are playful and energetic breed. They are perfect as a pet for children because they have an extended puppy hood, meaning they are not considered as an adult dog until they reach the age of three. Training would not be a problem. Boxers are known to be obedient and possess a strong personality. It is advisable to train a boxer at an early age. They can sometimes be a substitute as guide dogs or police dogs.

Rotweiller
Rotweillers’ origin traced back on ancient times. Their existence has been associated with the Roman Empire as watchers for groups of cattle. Since then, their incredible strength and intelligence has been recognized. They are utilized as police dogs and military aides during wars. Rotweillers are black tan spots on its cheeks, legs, chest and face. You should definitely find one too underneath their tails. They are marked with upside down triangles can be found on the chest area. Their eyebrows have a unique spot on each one. Rotweillers are intelligent and fearless dogs. You can notice their foreheads getting a little wrinkly when they are alert. Rotties are very active and playful and are fast on learning tricks.

Poodle
Poodles can be a very good companion and are very loyal to their owners. They belong to a quiet breed of dogs that has a naturally curly fur. Their color ranges from black, grey, white, blue, apricot or brown. Training a poodle trend to require more effort compared to other breed. They are considered as a hypoallergenic breed. They are very famous for their very nice coats. Maintenance proved to be a tedious job. Owners have to keep their hair in a manageable length so that matting and tangling would be prevented.

Labrador
Labradors are very outgoing dogs that are yellow, black or brown in colors. Labrador are versatile dogs that has a wide rang of functions. Most of them are known to retrievers and are utilized as guide dogs for the blind. They enjoy holding different objects in their mouth and are prone to chewing things. Labradors are observed to be hypersensitive and have a high regard for their territory. Their furs are proved to be water repellant thus making them perfect for waterfowl hunting. They tend to be mellow and are excellent as a family dog.

German Shepherds
Germans shepherds are also known as Alsatian. Originally, they are intended to be aide for a farmer in herding their sheep or cattle. They are incredibly intelligent and very trainable. Because of their built they are often used as working dogs in the military or police community. Most of them are also guide dogs. German shepherds are large and strong dogs with varied fur colors. Most comes in cream, tank, white or black.

Dachshund
Dachshunds are also referred to as sausage dogs because of their elongated built. They have short legs and pointed facial framework. Chasing and hunting are their favorite past times. Most dachshunds have crooked legs and chest compared to a barrel. Dachshunds are playful and loyal dogs that loves to chase small animals like birds. Their senses are very keen and well-developed though they often exhibit shyness.

Beagle
Beagles have acquired a strong sense of smell. Because of such quality they are used for hunting animals like rabbits. They have big ears that are low- set giving them that gentle look. Their furs are commonly white, black, brown or a combination of both. Beagles are known to be very good tempered. Training might prove to be a trick task because these dogs are strong willed that made them quite stubborn. Beagles travel in pack, being a pet dog might cause them to have anxiety.

Above is a simple overview of popular breed of dogs. In choosing a dog for you better consider each breeds’ physical appearance, temperament and health issues. Of course, each dog should fit your lifestyle. Remember dogs should be given proper attention and care but in exchange you can have the best companion ever.

Advice To Using Positive Reinforcement And Rewards To Train Your Dog

Training dogs using positive reinforcement and reward training has long been recognized as both highly effective for the owner and a positive experience for the dog. Positive reinforcement training is so important that it is the only method used to train dangerous animals like lions and tigers for work in circuses and in the movie and television industry.

Proponents of positive reinforcement swear by the effectiveness of their techniques, and it is true that the vast majority of dogs respond well to these training methods.

One reason that positive reinforcement training is so effective is that is uses rewards to teach the dog what is expected of it. When the dog performs the desired behavior, he is provided with a reward, most often in the form of a food treat, but it could be a scratch behind the ears, a rub under the chin or a pat on the head as well. The important thing is that the dog is rewarded consistently for doing the right thing.

Reward training has become increasingly popular in recent years, but chances are some sort of reward training between humans and dogs has been going on for hundreds if not thousands of years.

When understanding what makes reward training so effective, some knowledge of the history of humans and dogs is very helpful. The earliest dogs were probably wolf pups that were tamed and used by early humans for protection from predators, as alarm systems and later for guarding and herding livestock.

It is possible that the wolf pups that made the best companions were the most easily trained, or it is possible that these early dogs were orphaned or abandoned wolf pups. Whatever their origin, there is little doubt today that the vast variety of dogs we see today have their origin in the humble wolf.

Wolf packs, like packs of wild dogs, operate on a strict pack hierarchy. Since wolf and dog packs hunt as a group, this type of hierarchy, and the cooperation it brings, is essential to the survival of the species. Every dog in the pack knows his or her place in the pack, and except in the event of death or injury, the hierarchy, once established, rarely changes.

Every dog, therefore, is hard wired by nature to look to the pack leader for guidance. The basis of all good dog training, including reward based training, is for the handler to set him or herself up as the pack leader. The pack leader is more than just the dominant dog, or the one who tells all the subordinates what to do. More importantly, the pack leader provides leadership and protection, and his or her leadership is vital to the success and survival of the pack.

It is important for the dog to see itself as part of a pack, to recognize the human as the leader of that pack, and to respect his or her authority. Some dogs are much easier to dominate than others. If you watch a group of puppies playing for a little while, you will quickly recognize the dominant and submissive personalities.

A dog with a more submissive personality will generally be easier to train using positive reinforcement, since he or she will not want to challenge the handler for leadership. Even dominant dogs, however, respond very well to positive reinforcement. There are, in fact, few dogs that do not respond well to positive reinforcement, also known as reward training.

Positive reinforcement is also the best way to retrain a dog that has behavior problems, especially one that has been abused in the past. Getting the respect and trust of an abused dog can be very difficult, and positive reinforcement is better than any other training method at creating this important bond.

No matter what type of dog you are working with, chances are it can be helped with positive reinforcement training methods. Based training methods on respect and trust, rather than on intimidation and fear, is the best way to get the most from any dog.

Evaluating Dog Breeders

Before you can determine whether or not a particular dog will be of value to you there are two basic items that must be addressed. One, you must know the breed of dog you want. Are you after a German Shepherd, Bernese Mountain dog, Newfoundland, Yorkshire Terrier or other type? If it’s a German Shepherd that you want you should be looking for german shepherd dog breeders. And two, you must be aware of some specific information about that breed. The information you need to be versed on includes the correct size for your dog breed, how often it needs to be brushed, how much activity or exercise it needs daily, if there are genetic diseases that are common with this type, have there been tests performed that have ruled these diseases out in this pup, and what else is required in maintaining it’s health such as clipping its nails.

There is a lot of additional information that is important for you to know as well. Some dog breeders don’t actually do the breeding themselves, but buy their animals from other areas. You should stick with a breeder that breeds and raises the pups on site. The reason for this is because you can better determine if this puppy was raised in a clean environment. Without examining its place of birth you have no idea what sort of environment it was raised in. Puppies can end up with mental or physical deficiencies if brought up in a cruel or unkempt environment.

Another item for concern is the age of the puppies that you are interested in. The puppies should be at least seven weeks old before they are placed. Their parents should be at least two years old before breeding and should have been tested for any possible genetic diseases.

When purchasing puppies it’s important that the pups have had some interaction with other animals and children. This is to help ensure that the dogs will be friendly and sociable. It’s also a good idea to get your puppy from a dog breeder that will allow you to call him later with any questions or concerns you may have about your animal.

There is a lot to know about breeding dogs and it’s very hard to find a competent experienced dog breeder who raises more than 4 or 5 different breeds. If he raises 6 or 8 or more it’s probably a good idea to look else ware for you puppy. Also, most experienced breeders belong to one or more breed clubs so ask them if that’s true with them.

As you are concerned about the specific breeder he should also show some concern with you as well. If he asks you questions about they type of environment that you will raising the pup, your family, and your experience with animals it’s usually a good sign that the animal has been raised with love. The breeder should have concern for the placement of his puppies.

Once you have made a decision to buy a specific dog there are few other items that should be addressed. A suggested diet should be provided for your animal. You should receive a registration certificate with your purchase. You should also require the seller to give you a 3-generation pedigree chart for the dog, a health record of the animal that includes dates the puppy was inoculated or received other veterinary care. Another important item is a health guarantee and you should require one. If it’s later discovered that the dog suffers from a genetic disease, for example, you should have some recourse. Along these same lines you should have in writing that you are allowed, within a reasonable amount of time, to have the puppy examined by a veterinarian at your own expense. And if it is found that the dog you have purchased has any defects, as determined by the veterinarian, you can return it for a full refund.

Finding the perfect dog can be a long and tedious process, but with a little preparation, education and effort it’s possible to obtain a quality animal that you will be proud to own.

Getting and Keeping Your Dog’s Attention – the Key to Effective Training

Getting your dog’s attention is one of the most important things you can do to accelerate all other training skills. And if, once you’ve got it, you can keep that attention, then you’re really going to make some fast progress. Keeping your dog’s attention is essential in competition work, in the obedience ring for example, but also invaluable in everyday life.

Okay, so we’ve established the advantages, now we need to look at how to attain this goal. It isn’t necessarily going to be easy to keep your dog’s attention, and some breeds are certainly more difficult than others but here are some tips on how to achieve this with most dogs.

Use the sit command and a tasty treat. Your dog must already have learned this command and it must be solid the dog must understand what is required of him and respond quickly to the command. You can read my article on teaching your dog the sit command if you haven’t already taught him this.

So, give the sit command, asking your dog to sit in heel position, and use his favourite tasty treat to encourage him to look upwards at your face. Praise him when he focuses his attention on you, give him the treat and release him from the sit command. Do this again and again, each time increasing the time where he is looking and concentrating on your face. You want to have his attention, so he is responsive to your next command.

Soon, your dog will automatically look at you when he sits, because he becomes accustomed to being praised and given a treat. As with all training, you can gradually replace the treat with praise, just giving him an occasional treat to maintain his interest. Whenever you are not giving your dog your undivided attention when he is sitting to heel and looking at you, remember to give your release command. He will quickly lose interest if you are busy, and you need to continually reinforce and reward this behaviour.

Once you and your dog are working well with this in a quiet location, you can gradually add other distractions, increasing these in small increments to allow your dog to adjust. Praise him when he gets it right, give the release command and play with your dog he must know when he has done well, and training should be a happy, pleasurable pursuit for both of you.

The next step is to extend this principle to heeling and other obedience training. Using the same procedure as above, gradually teach your dog that is to his advantage to watch you, to be looking at your for your next command, during all obedience training. The key to this is to build his attention span by tiny increments and praise him when he has done well. Never get frustrated or angry with your dog if he loses attention. This will be detrimental to his training simply praise him when he gets it right and make sure, at the beginning, that the treat you choose is his absolute favourite. Praise, fun and patience are the three things that will gradually build obedience in any dog.

Dogs And Pets Provide Health Benefits

Do dogs provide health benefits? Believe it or not they do! Did you know that owning a dog and pet ownership in general, can help a person in many ways? Owning a pet can improve your mental wellness, reduce your visits to the doctor, improve your cardiovascular health and allow for faster recovery time from surgery as well as higher survival rates. Recent research suggests that dogs may be able to detect cancer on a person’s breath! Lets’ explore these amazing health benefits of pet ownership:

It has been proven that dog owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-dog owners. These factors, in turn, reduce the chance of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, just stroking a pet has long been known to reduce blood pressure. Furthermore, a study from the New York State University concluded that these benefits continue even without the pet being present!

Hospital studies have shown that senior citizens and recent post-op patients respond better to treatment and recover faster while in contact with dogs and other therapy animals. Did you know that dog owners have a greater chance to survive a serious illness than non-dog owners? In fact, a study revealed that a pet affected a person’s survival rate even more than the presence or company of family members or friends!

Studies conducted at Cambridge and UCLA concluded that there is a direct correlation between pet ownership and improved overall health, which leads to fewer visits to the doctor. The Journal of American Geriatrics Society notes that pet ownership has a positive effect on a senior’s physical and emotional well being. Additionally, a Medicare study of elderly patients also shows that people who own a dog have fewer doctor visits than patients who do not.

Pet owners have better emotional health and mental wellness than people who do not own a pet. Pets offer unconditional love and affection and their presence alone helps reduce loneliness. For people who are isolated, disabled or handicapped, a pet offers friendship and can even add a element of safety to their lives. Dogs are used as a form of therapy in hospices, nursing homes and as companions for the disabled and blind. In fact, there are studies that prove that people with a major illness fight the stress of having the illness better by having a dog as a pet.

There is new research that suggests that dogs may be able to detect certain types of cancer. Researchers at the Pine Street Foundation in San Anselmo, California and the Polish Academy of Sciences exposed dogs to breath samples from breast and lung cancer patients and samples from healthy people. They claim that the dogs were able to detect cancer with astonishing results and accuracy. The dogs were able to identify 99% of lung cancer breath samples (which included early stage cancer patients) as well as 88% of breast cancer samples. The study, which has been met with skepticism, will be released early in 2006 and published in the March edition of the Journal for Integrative Cancer Therapies. Experts agree that this holds promise, but must be evaluated and researched further.

As you can see pet ownership or having a dog comes with many benefits for an individual. Owning a pet encourages social interaction, reduces stress levels, boosts self-confidence and self-esteem and encourages exercise. Having a pet is a great investment, not only in the joy and pleasure that the animal brings into your life, but the many health benefits that come with the territory!

You Can Build Your Own Doghouse!

Anybody who owns a dog will know that they can be expensive. Vets bills and food supplies soon mount up and this is why so many dogs end up abandoned in rescue centers or put out on to the street. Responsible dog owners are aware of the costs which a pet incurs and so go into it with their eyes open. However, an unnecessary expense is that involved with the purchase of a doghouse.

Many dog owners allow their pets to sleep in the home with them, thus eradicating the need for an exterior doghouse. But others prefer to distance themselves somewhat from their pets, preferring them to sleep outside at night. For these owners, the need to buy a doghouse is essential. These can range from budget buys which are little more than a wooden shell, to hugely extravagant constructions complete with a porch and stairs to make their kennel into a luxury home. Obviously, the cost rises proportionately to the quality of the doghouse. However, there is an alternative option.

You could build your own doghouse. You would still be required to pay for the supplies and you would have to do the work yourself but it means that you can tailor the doghouse to your pet. A doghouse should be large enough for your pet to comfortably turn but no bigger than that in order for it to retain the dog’s body heat and so self-insulate to a degree. Most readily available dog houses that you can buy from pet stores or similar places are a fairly standard size. Given that your doghouse should be sized in relation to your specific dog, you may find that, if you have a particularly large or small dog, that the shop bought ones are not ideal. Therefore, building your own can solve this problem.

There are a few things to remember when buying the materials for your doghouse. The first is to ensure that the doghouse is raised from the floor slightly to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood. The second is to ensure that you purchase exterior grade plywood and not pressure treated plywood. Exterior grade is slightly harder to come by as the majority of hardware stores sell pressure treated. However, this is treated with chemicals which may be harmful to your dog if they chew it.

These are the main things you need to adhere to when building your own doghouse. As long as these three areas, the size, raised from the ground and use of correct wood, are correct you can pretty much do what you like in terms of design and build. Why not decorate the finished doghouse to suit your pet’s personality? That is what I call a designer home!