National Seeing Eye Dog Day

DID YOU KNOW? January 28 is celebrated as the National Seeing Eye Dog Day.

Seeing Eye Dog Day is commonly known as Seeing Eye dogs, guide dogs or assistance animals usually assigned to lead blind and visually impaired people.

It isn’t unusual for the disabled to use the assistance of pets for their everyday chores. Assistance animals are specially trained to service dogs who assist their human companion to navigate on streets, help reach destinations, and help with daily chores.

It takes a lot to become an assistance animal. Generally, they are trained by the organization, often by their professional trainer. It generally takes between 3 and 9 months to train a dog in a ‘puppy stage.’ An assistance animal can stay with the handler for 8-9 years.

The initial cost for acquiring a Seeing Eye dog could go up to $50,000 with the ongoing cost going up to $1200 a year.

A brief history of Seeing Eye Dogs

Although the reference to first Seeing Eye dogs go back to 16th Century, the popular use of Seeing Eye dogs took place in Germany during World War I to help the returning veterans who were blinded in combat. US Senator Thomas D Schall became the first American to use a Seeing Eye Dog.

Earlier, the German shepherd was widely used as Seeing Eye Dogs, however, they have been replaced with Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Golden Retriever/Labrador crosses for the handling ease.

Features of Seeing Eye Dogs

  • The dog must be specifically trained to mitigate the handler’s disability in some way, such as for example, opening doors, detecting allergens, and alerting to a ringing phone.
  • The dog must be trained to a high level not to be a nuisance in public, to be safe with members of the public and well behaved, as well as being healthy, and not posing a hygiene threat.
  • Some Assistance dogs wear vests, harnesses, lead sleeves or a patch but this is not required by law.

How are Seeing Dogs Trained?

Selection

The first process of training Seeing Dogs includes careful selection of pups. While selecting a pup the trainer will look into the health, temperament, breed, and characteristics of a dog. Most dogs are selected from reputable breeders, shelter homes, or those who are already are a part of a family.

Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Golden Retriever/Labrador crosses are the most chosen breed for Seeing Dogs mainly because they remain healthy, good-tempered, gentle, highly sensitive, and tolerant towards their handlers.

Socialization

The initial process focuses on socializing the pet rather than the formal training. The pets are kept in a familiar and happy environment and are toilet trained, clean, confident and happy.

Task Training

Once a pup is old enough the trainer will commence the special training focusing on tasks. These tasks make them distinct and specialized assistance dogs.

In the USA an assistance dog handler may be asked if they have a disability, and what tasks the dog does to mitigate that disability as the only 2 legal questions to ascertain that a dog is indeed an assistance dog.

Generally, the tasks done by the Seeing Eye dog depends on the handler’s disabilities, therefore there is almost no limitation on the types of tasks a dog can be trained to.

Obedience and Public Access

Seeing Eye dogs are allowed to accompany their handlers in public areas along with pet restricted areas such as public transport, restaurants, or hotels. Obedience training helps a dog to become polite, well behaved and acceptable in public. Public Access tests evaluate a dogs’ ability to behave appropriately in public.

National Train Your Dog Month

January is the National Train Your Dog Month!

In 2010 the Association of Professional Dog Trainers began the National Train Your Dog Month campaign. The APDT believed it is time to dedicate a month to bringing awareness to the importance of socialization and training, and most of all, to inform the public that training your dog can be easy and fun! 

January is also the time when most people bring new pets home during the winter holidays.

How to best Train your dog

1. House Training

It is important if you're thinking about keeping your pet indoors. When pets stay inside, they require a housebreaking or potty training to relieve themselves at the right place.

A house training may include;

Crate training dogs and puppies

Crate training is a method of house training your puppy or dog. The crate is specifically used to keep your pup or adult dog confined in a space when you are unable to supervise. Since dogs do not generally urinate or defecate in the same place they sleep, they will most likely try to hold the urge to pee. Use positive enforcement while introducing crate to your pets.

House Train puppies

It requires patience while training the young pups. Set a schedule for everything; waking, eating, playing, and relieving. Check for signs when your pup needs to relieve. Use keywords repeatedly to make them understand the command.

Submissive/Excitement urination in Dogs

Most dogs tend to urinate when being submissive or in excitement. Also known as involuntary urination, it can be curbed by positive enforcement. Use the house training commands to make them understand that it isn’t right to pee inside the house.

2. Leash Training

Leash training is important when the pup starts growing into an adult dog. You will often take it outdoors, hence, keeping them in a leash is important to avoid any accidents or misbehavior.

Teach the dog how to walk properly with the leash. A loose leash walk may teach your dog not to pull or lunge when being leashed, making the experience more enjoyable.

3. Socializing

Socialization is basically the process of introducing a dog or pup to in the company of other animals, humans, places, and environment. Socialization should begin at a young age which helps them to adapt to social circle and behavior. The ideal age is between 3 and 14 weeks of age for puppies.

Socializing with Dogs

  • Take your dog out to observe other dogs
  • Resist tugging while walking
  • Go to dog training classes

Socializing with Humans

  • Ignore your dog's unwanted behavior
  • Act like everything is normal when he acts out
  • Introduce people slowly

Basic commands

Basic commands help to curb dog’s unwanted behavior and keep them safe. Every dog should be aware of basic commands.

Some of the basic commands are;

  • Look
  • Emergency recall
  • Come
  • With me
  • Leave it
  • Drop it
  • Sit
  • Lie Down
  • Stay
  • Wait

Proofing behavior

Proofing is the last step in training your dog to do any new behavior. Learn how to proof behaviors so your dog will be as obedient at the park or a friend's house is he is in your own living room.

Dogs need Socialization too

Socialization is basically the process of introducing a dog or pup to in the company of other animals, humans, places, and environment. Socialization should begin at a young age which helps them to adapt to social circle and behavior. The ideal age is between 3 and 14 weeks of age for puppies.

Naturally, a dog socializes by interacting with other canines and learning their verbal cues and body language. Domestic dogs may need to learn socialization skills as they lack the natural learning environment at home. The socialization should continue into adulthood.

Adopting Adult Dogs

Most pet owners who adopt adult dogs need to introduce or reintroduce their new pets to socialization. It can be difficult to socialize adult pets as they need extra attention. The major thing to remember when socializing adult dogs is to be positive and encouraging. Correcting your dogs do not work well here and will likely create a more nervous dog

Socialize Dogs with Other Dogs

Take Your Dog Out to Observe Other Dogs

You can take your dog out in the park but do not go in yourself. Let your dog observe other dogs and their behavior. Every time a dog comes near the fence, offer them a treat. This creates a positive association with other dogs. If your dog reacts aggressively towards other dogs or animals, move further away and slowly move up until he is quiet.

Resist Tugging While Walking

When out walking with your dog if another dog comes into view, resist jerking on the lead or yelling at them. The dogs may see it as a negative experience. Instead, distract your dog with a treat or toy. Sway their attention towards you to avoid any negative interaction with other dogs.

Go to Dog Training Classes

To better train, your pet, go to ‘dog obedience classes’ which can be a great way to help socialize an adult dog. Dog training class is also a safe space for your dog to interact with other animals and humans. You can seek professional assistance to correct any wrong behavior in your dogs.

Socialize Dogs with Humans

Ignore Your Dog’s Unwanted Behaviors

It’s better to let go of your dogs’ mischiefs. When they tend to avoid human contact, you can ignore them and do something to persuade them to come out to you like playing with toys or bringing treats.

Act like Everything is Normal When He Acts Out

It’s normal for dogs to act out. They seek attention too like toddlers or young teenagers. The correct thing to do is not to mention it and act as if there’s nothing wrong. By acting as if your dog’s behavior is no big deal, you’re creating a calmer environment and, thus, a calmer dog.

Introduce People Slowly

You should start introducing them to other people slowly, like one new person every week. This encourages them to interact and adjust with humans. When the new person meets your dog, you can have them offer a treat and speak in calming and encouraging voice. Keep your dog on a leash at first but do not force him to go near the person. Let him take his time.

10 Best Training Dogs

Training is essential to keep any pet disciplined. Almost every breed of dog is smart enough to learn and can adapt to commands.

The first depending factor for training a dog is its age. Training at an early age makes a difference. Adapting to basic commands help for training in adulthood. An adult age is considered an optimum period for training any dog.

A dog’s physical and mental health plays an important part in deciding if they can adapt to training. If a dog is sick, injured or stressed, you should avoid training them.

Here are 10 Best Breeds

Labrador retriever

Labrador retriever is one of the most popular dog breed and generally are in huge demand. They are a gentle breed. Labrador retriever is easy to train, and are known for their playfulness, intelligence, versatility, and capability to learn anything at a short time. Training a young Labrador can be difficult due to their high energy and lack of attention.

German shepherd

The German shepherd is one of the most loyal and popular dog breeds around the world. Originally, a shepherd breed, today German shepherd is adopted in defense (military and police) and home. A staunchly loyal, intelligent, and dependable breed, they are highly trainable dogs and can pick things easily.

Golden Retriever

Golden and Labrador retriever are basically cousins. Alike their close keen, Golden Retriever is a highly dependable and loyal dog breed. A highly intelligent breed, they can be trained for almost anything.  They require daily exercise and make great hunting dogs too. They are a playful and highly energetic dog.

Poodle

Poodles are known for their unique look. You must have seen poodles mostly in films because they are a highly trainable breed and can adapt to new commands easily. They are capable of learning all sorts of tricks and commands. Poodles basically come in three sizes (standard, miniature and toy) and are hypoallergenic. The fit well to pet owners with allergies.

Australian Cattle Dog

A herding or shepherd dog, Australian Cattle Dog is known for their agility, strength, and courage. They are a highly trainable and intelligent dog breed and remain loyal throughout their life. They enjoy a challenging environment and can herd the cattle very well.

Doberman Pinscher

You might find it surprising but Doberman makes great pets. Despite a staunch reputation as a guard or attack dog, Dobermans can make great pets if trained properly. They are very fast and strong breed which requires a good amount of attention while training.

Australian Shepherd

Like Border Collies, Australian Shepherds are very adaptive and can learn lots of tricks and are great dogs for highly active owners. They are a hard working dog and can be a loyal breed for herding.

Miniature Schnauzer

Like its name, Miniature Schnauzer is a small breed. Despite its small size, it has a high amount of energy and agility. They can be highly loyal. They do tend to bark, but this is a behavior that can be curbed if you are able to teach the dog early on. Miniature Schnauzer makes great pets.

Papillon

Also known as Continental Toy Spaniel, they are known for their look. Like the Doberman, toy breeds don’t have the best reputation. But if they are trained properly, they can be great pets. They are smarter and enjoy plenty of exercise and activities.

Border Collie

Border Collies are incredibly smart and capable of learning a wide variety of tricks. Also known as ‘workaholic dogs,’ they are eager to constantly learn new things, which makes for great dogs to train. They are also popular as hunting dogs. They are highly active and will rarely sit still.


Almost every dog breed can be trained if managed by a professional. Find more on how to train your dog.

September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month

September is marked as the Responsible Dog Ownership month by the American Kennel Club. This day is celebrated to bring the importance of responsible dog ownership into the light. As a pet owner, you are responsible for your dog’s behavior in public or private, hence, you must take the responsibility of training your pet under consideration when you own a new pet.

There are many pet training centers, veterinarians and videos on Youtube which can help you properly train your dog, so you mustn’t face the embarrassment from the nuisance created by your beloved pet.

Dog Ownership Commitments

  • You must train your dog for basic commands; Sit, Stand up, Come, Drop it (Unnecessary or harmful stuff in its mouth), and Down
  • Keep your dog leashed in public
  • Clean up their poo
  • Keep your dog fit with regular walks and exercise
  • Make sure you’ve trained your dog to not bark unnecessarily
  • Take them to vet regularly

As a pet owner, you can

Evaluate your lifestyle –Assess if you can own a pet mentally and economically.

Choose the right breed –This is the most essential point, as many pet owners choose the breed that is wrong for them.

Choose the age of dog –Not everyone can adopt a puppy. Assess if you can pet a older dog better.

Adopt a Dog – Millions of dogs land up in shelter every year. You can do a great deed by adopting one.

Register your dog –Consider registering your dog with American Kennel Club. Registering comes with great advantages for both the dog and an owner

Train your dog –To enjoy stress free ownership, you must train your dog properly and also save yourself from the embarrassment

Groom your dog –Consider grooming your dog regularly. A dog can suffer greatly both mentally and physically if they aren’t properly groomed.

Keep clinic visits, vaccination and nutrition on check –A healthy dog can survive longer and with sound health.

Offer a better home –The environment of your home determines the overall health, manner and longevity of your pet. A proper dog house, nutritious meals, daily exercises and socialization with other humans can be of great help.


To learn more about responsible dog ownership, check pet training information.

How to Perform CPR on Dogs?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, especially when your dog’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. Heart attack, near drowning or electric shock are few of the occasions when a dog may require CPR. Unlike humans, the resuscitation is done only through the nose but mouth, and the CPR is only performed on unconscious animal to avoid the risk of being beaten.

CPR alone is unlikely to revive the heart. Its main purpose is to restore partial flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart. Its objective is to delay tissue death and to extend the brief window of opportunity for a successful resuscitation without permanent brain damage.


Common CPR technique for dogs

Check for breathing and a heartbeat

Confirm if your pet is breathing or check their heartbeat. If they aren’t breathing or there is no sign of heartbeat, then immediately begin CPR with chest compression.

Give chest compression

CPR for Dogs below 30 Pounds (14 kg)

For cats, small dogs and deep chested dogs, place the heel of one of your hands directly over the pet’s heart and place your other hand directly over the first hand.

Compress the chest for one inch to one-quarter or one-third the width of the chest for a count of one and then let go for a count of one. Carry on at a rate of 100 compressions in a minute.

CPR for Dogs above 30 Pounds (14 kg)

Without bending both the elbows, press the rib cage in a downward motion.

Compress the chest for one-quarter to one-third the width of the chest for a count of one and then let go for a count of one. Carry on at a rate of 80 compressions per minute.

Make sure the chest comes back fully (recoils) before compressing again.

Give resuscitation

To provide resuscitation, gently close the dog’s mouth and extend the neck to open the airway. Cover their nose with your mouth and exhale until you see their chest rising. Give a second rescue breath.

Continue CPR

Continue giving CPR with a cycle of 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths until your dog begins breathing again on its own.

Check again for breathing and a heartbeat

Briefly check for breathing and a heartbeat every 2 minutes.

If your dog doesn’t show any sign of improvement after 10 minutes, you can stop the procedure as it hasn’t proven successful.