Dog Training Tips Straight from the Pros

dog trainingJanuary is National Dog Training Month, and we couldn’t be more excited here at Billings Animal Family Hospital! We believe that obedience training is about so much more than having a dog who will follow commands (although, that is important too).

When done properly, dog training sets the foundation for a great relationship with your pet and helps to create a happy, well-adjusted dog.

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Top of the Class: Advanced Trick and Agility Training

Police dog trainingIt’s back to school season…for dogs? Yes! Many canines enjoy the challenges that come with learning new tricks and being mentally and physically put to the test. Higher level training classes, as well as agility training, often appeal to breeds that need to be moving, working, and mentally engaged. Continue…

Decoding Doggy Behavior: Why Dogs Hump Things

 

Billings_iStock_000009502242_LargeIt always seems like it happens at the most inopportune moment: Your grandmother is over for dinner, or your kids are hosting a neighborhood playdate. Then, out of nowhere, your normally well-behaved family pet mounts a toy or, worse yet, one of your visitors.

What makes dogs engage in this embarrassing behavior? Most pet owners have wondered at some point why dogs hump and what they can do about it. Keep reading to become an expert in this common doggy indiscretion. Continue…

Ask a Vet: Why is My Dog Licking Ears?

Billings_iStock_000047633956_LargeOur canine companions are known for having many cute, quirky, and sometimes even bizarre behaviors. Many of them stem from some evolutionary behavior or communication mechanism. Others are just unique to the family dog.

You may have noticed your pet licking the ears of another dog, cat, or even human in the household. This borderline gross behavior is not uncommon among dogs, but most pet owners have to wonder why their dog is licking ears. There are two possible answers to this age old question. Continue…

What Does That Mean? Deciphering Your Dog’s Body Language

Dog looks out at TreesIf you’re trying teach your pet a new trick, routine, or behavior, you’ll first need to understand the way your pet communicates.

 

Learning a new language can be tricky at first, but when trying to decipher what your dog is saying with those pinned-back ears or expressive eyebrows, there are a few common denominators among the species. Although your pet is definitely unique in his or her attempts to make you comprehend certain, shall we say… motivations (did somebody say squirrel?), pet body language is somewhat similar across the board. Continue…

A Recipe for Success: How Puppy Training Helps Pets Thrive

Running beagle puppy at the walkWhen you bring home a new puppy, you want to do everything exactly right. There is nothing quite like looking into those sweet, trusting eyes knowing that they are depending on you to do what is best.

While selecting the right food, picking the perfect collar, and finding just the right doggy bed may be important, a good puppy training program may be the most important thing you do for your new dog. Keep reading to learn how a formal puppy training program can help your pet thrive. Continue…

Crate Training Cats: It Can Be Done!

kittens jump out of a plastic box for transport on a white backgIt’s likely that you’ve never really considered the benefits of crate training your cat… After all, crates are for dogs, right? And we all know that training cats to do anything requires advanced coursework at Hogwarts.

Joking aside, though; there are tremendous benefits to crate training cats, and the task itself is not nearly as difficult as you might think. With a little cunning and some basic trickery (not to mention a few healthy treats), you will have your cat thinking that his or her crate is the cat’s meow, in no time. Continue…

Introducing a New Pet to Your Home

Billings_iStock_000026445873_LargeCongratulations! You’ve made the best decision ever (as far as we’re concerned) by choosing to invite a furry friend into your home and family. As exciting as this is, though; it’s also a time for some careful planning to make sure every-fuzzy gets along for years to come.

Surely you’ve planned the pickup and safe drive home with your new friend, you’ve got your food and new toys all picked out, and all the blankets and bedding are at the ready… So now what?

Introducing a new pet to your other animals can be tricky, and you don’t want to threaten your tried and true pets or terrify the newcomer. Your tactics will be different whether you’re bringing in a rascally kitten or a senior canine, but here are some stellar ways to start off right. Continue…