Get Out…and Play

Cute article from PugSpot.com

Alternative Exercises for Pugs

Is there more to life than the daily walk? Yes, of course there is. Though the traditional walk is the most common form of exercise it’s not always possible. Sometimes your Pug may not be able to go for his walk or outdoor romp due to inclement weather. What if your Pug just wants to add some variety to his exercise routine? Why not try some of these exercise alternatives to bring the spring back in his step?

Everybody who loves a Pug knows they are apt to have fun with anything. Why not use this to your advantage? Bring the fun back to exercise. Get a Pug safe ball and play fetch. Why not tie one of his favorite toys to a stick? You can play keep away while letting him chase after the object. Keep encouraging him to “get it”. They love any activity they can do with you.

Why not teach your Pug a new trick? This will exercise both his mind and body. It doesn’t have to be anything super hero-ish, just fun. Teach him to dance, roll over or crawl. Kids love to teach dogs tricks. This can be a good bonding activity for your children to do. Learning tricks can give your Pug the mental and the physical stimulus he needs. It will also make him happy and proud.

Are you are going to be away from home for the day? If you don’t want your Pug to be a couch potato, then why not invest in some activity toys for him to use while you are away? We all know Pugs love to eat and what better exercise than to play for his food. There are a myriad of “food” related toys on the market today. Some toys to choose from are Stuffed Kongs, Buster Cubes and Activity Balls. These will give your Pug both a mental and physical challenge. Your Pug will also get the added bonus of a treat. What Pug wouldn’t love that?

Do you and your dog spend a lot of time at home? Then why not set him up with an agility course? You can get ready to use combo sets. These “agility in a bag” sets are handy and inexpensive. They are easy to set up and put away when not in use. They are fully adjustable to suit his ability. Most dogs love the challenge and fun these agility courses bring. In addition to giving him his exercise, it will strengthen your bond with him as well.

Does your Pug long to play with some doggie friends? Then why not take him to a doggie day care? These centers focus on fun. They have everything your Pug could dream of to play with and others to play with him. Or, if there is no doggie day care in your area, how about visiting your local kennel club? There you can socialize with other dog owners while your Pug plays with his friends. You might even decide to take a course in obedience. This will not only provide your Pug with exercise, it will teach him good manners.

There is no set exercise for your Pug. You just need to experiment to see what he prefers. The only rule is to make it Pug safe and Pug fun.

Getting Tricky

Cute article from PugSpot.com

Once your Pug knows a few basic obedience commands, such as Sit and Down, then he can begin doing some tricks.

Play Dead

One popular trick to teach your Pug is to play dead. This is a simple trick to teach. Give your dog the command to lie down. Once he’s lying down you will need to hold a treat where your dog can see and smell it. Then move it in circles toward the floor and tell your dog to “play dead.” This will encourage your dog to roll over and he should eventually be lying on his back if you keep moving the treat. Once your dog is in position you can give him the treat and give him lots of praise. It may take a few tries before your Pug puts it all together, but it’s a very cute trick once he learns it.

Rollover

Many Pugs learn how to rollover, which is taught the same way as playing dead. You simply keep the dog rolling from one side to the other so he can get his treat. Use treats to lure your dog into position.

Shake Hands

You can also teach your Pug to shake hands. This is also easy to teach with some treats. Ask your Pug to sit, then tell him to “shake.” Reach out and pick up his paw to shake hands. Give him his treat and offer lots of praise. You will need to do this several times until your Pug figures things out. While your Pug is learning, be sure to praise and reward him for any attempts he makes to shake even if they don’t quite work. If he lifts his paw or scratches at you those are steps in the right direction. It won’t take long for your Pug to start shaking your hand when you ask.

High Five

Once your dog learns to shake hands it’s easy to teach him to give you a “high five.” Simply hold out your hand for a shake and when your dog starts to shake your hand move your hand to an upward position. Say, “High Five!” and let your dog touch your hand with his paw. Give him lots of praise and treats for touching your hand with his paw.

Bow

It’s also fun to teach your Pug to bow. Pugs are such clowns and performers that this trick will come in handy. Ask your dog to sit. Then, with a treat in your hand hold it in front of his nose and say “bow.” Move the treat toward your Pug’s chest. He should move his head to try to follow the treat. This will put him in the bowing position. When he does this little bow you can reward him and give him lots of praise. With practice the bow can become more elaborate.

Speak

You can teach your Pug to speak on command. This is an easy trick. Simply wait until your Pug barks and say, “Good bark!” Praise your dog for barking and give him a treat. You can teach your dog to wait until you ask for the bark (this is great for dogs who bark too much!). Your dog will be silent because he’s waiting for the bark command — and the treats that go with it.

You can make up your own tricks for your Pug to learn. Maybe he’s good at finding your husband? Give that trick a name and reward him when he does it. Can he fetch the remote? Give it a name and reward him so you can ask him to do it for you. Does your Pug like to dance? Many Pugs love to entertain so let them show off and give them praise and treats when they have something they want to show you. There’s no limit to what you and your Pug can come up with together. Have fun with it!

Pug FAQs

Considering adding a Pug to your family? Here are a few fun facts from PugVillage.com

Pug FAQs

What is the origin of the Pug?

The Pug is considered an Oriental breed with ancestral ties to the Pekingese and perhaps the Shih Tzu. There is no clear date of introduction of the Pug and many people disagree due to the lack of records available. The Pug was introduced to America just after the Civil War and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in the mid-1880’s

Is there a difference between Fawn and Black Pugs?

Aside from the color, there is no difference between the two. On average, Pugs live about 12 years, but they’ve been known to live well beyond their average life span with proper care, nutrition and of course some good luck.

Are Pugs easy to train?

Pugs are moderately easy to train, making them neither easy to train, nor difficult. They maintain a stubborn streak, which can present the occasional problem. Fortunately though, a Pug is a people dog that is eager to please and receive attention…And they’re lovers of all things edible with the possible exception of lettuce and thus can be bribed to do what you want them to do rather easily.

Are Pugs good apartment dogs?

Absolutely! Pugs are small indoor dogs that don’t require a lot of room to run inside or outside, making them ideal for apartment dwellers.

Are Pugs good with children?

Yes yes…A thousand times yes! Pugs are among the most gentle and passive breeds of all. They will tolerate the prodding of a child, are not known to nip or bite and are quite protective of the family and home.

Do Pugs bark a lot?

Not usually. Pugs are generally very quiet dogs, though they can be taught to bark and make lots of noise. To answer a related question, the Pug’s bark is not yappy or shrill like the bark of some other small dogs.

Do Pugs shed a lot?

Do they ever! Most Pugs have a double coat of fur where the undercoat constantly grows and pushes the overcoat out. This, coupled with their being indoor dogs that don’t shed based on the season makes for a whole lot of shedding going on!

Are Pugs active dogs?

Generally, Pugs are not considered to be active dogs. There are some exceptions however. Pugs spend a good part of their day, approximately 14 hours worth, sleeping. They do have bursts of activity throughout the course of the day, but they are short and usually end with the Pug retreating for a nice little nap.

Do Pugs require a lot of attention?

Yes. Pugs are people dogs. They like, and some say need to be around people in order for them to be truly happy. They don’t bark or jump up and down on you however, so a Pugs need of people basically shows itself in where you’ll find your Pug…At your feet, on your lap or quietly following you around. It’s one of their greatest charms!

Do Pugs require any special grooming and care?

Absolutely. We plan shortly on putting a detailed article on the PugZone covering this very subject. For now though, Pugs need regular cleaning of their facial folds, constant nail clipping and have a problem coping with high heat that can threaten both their short and long term health.

How much do Pugs cost?

This depends on several factors. First, the price of a Pug pup varies greatly based on geographic location. Second, the quality of the Pug, whether it is pet quality or show quality also plays a role in their price. Finally, the source of the Pug pup makes a difference as well. To put this altogether, a show quality Pug pup in the New York metropolitan area can cost upwards of $1500 from a well known and highly regarded breeder. While a pet quality Pug pup from a reputable breeder can cost $800 in the same area. In another state, the range can drop dramatically, depending on the availability, popularity and quality of breeder involved. From New England to Washington state, the price of a Pug pup can range anywhere from $250-$2,000 depending on the three major factors listed at the top of this answer.

Don’t Leave Me!

Dog Separation Anxiety From Leaving Dog Alone

By Joe Wilkes

Dogs are very social animals, and they would like nothing more than to be by your side 24/7. But we know (even if they don’t) that dog food doesn’t buy itself, and that may entail you having to leave them home alone while you go off to bring home the bacon (and the dog treats).

We might imagine our dogs gleefully doing the Tom Cruise Risky Business slide when we shut the door behind us in the morning, but the more likely scenario is that the dog is experiencing some level of separation anxiety. This separation anxiety might manifest itself as anything from nuisance barking or whining (unpleasant for the neighbors) to stinky surprises left for you when you return home (unpleasant for you). If your dog is one to chew his feelings, you may also find some prized possessions or furniture vandalized during your absence.

What to do? Staying home to watch Judge Judy with your lonely pooch every day probably isn’t a pragmatic long-term solution. So how do you help ease dog separation anxiety so you can go about your day without feeling like a monster and he can relax so you come home to man’s best friend instead of man’s craziest codependent roommate?  Read on for practical tips to help ease dog separation anxiety.

Help separation anxiety by putting your dog to sleep (in a good way)

If you want a calm dog, it doesn’t get any calmer than sleep. Before you leave the house, make sure you schedule time for a brisk walk or a vigorous game of fetch in the backyard or nearby dog park. Having an anxious dog home alone is bad enough. Having a dog that is anxious and hyper is a recipe for disaster. exercise helps calm your dog down in two ways. Physically, it tires your dog out, so he might be up for a nap while you’re away; and emotionally, exercise can level out your dog’s brain chemistry in the same way a good workout can leave humans exhilarated.

Hire a dog walker for dog exerise

The best-case scenario is you can come home for lunch and spend a little quality time to break up your dog’s day. But if your schedule or commute doesn’t always allow that, it may take a village. If you have someone close by with pets, this is a great time to encourage some neighborly reciprocity, where you can arrange to let each other’s pets out when the other one isn’t home. You could also pay the going child-labor rate to hire a trustworthy neighborhood kid to come by during the day to give your dog a little exercise and company. A more upscale option is to hire a local dog walker to come by and provide a professional field trip.

More dog toys, less noise

A bored dog left to his own devices may act out by chewing up your devices. Boredom can be as much of a cause for acting out as separation anxiety. For this reason, it’s vital to leave out your dog’s favorite toys and anything else you can think of that he can use to entertain himself in your absence. Dog toys make great diversions. Aside from keeping him away from your toys, you’ll provide distraction for your dog during the day, so he won’t be as anxious about you being gone. One word of caution: don’t rely on toys with treats hidden in them. Once the dog eats the treat (which could be in minutes), he’ll grow bored and move on to the furniture.

Are two dogs company or double trouble for separation anxiety?

A common solution that many pet owners advocate is to adopt a second dog to keep the first dog company. This can be a great idea or a bigger dog problem. There are many variables to consider, including the size, gender, breed, and temperament of your dog and of the potential new dog. Talk to your veterinarian about whether a second dog is a good idea for your current dog and what you should look for in a new companion. Adopting a second dog can bring a lot of happiness into everyone’s life, but it isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. You don’t want to be faced with a situation where you have fighting dogs or be forced to re-home a second dog who didn’t work out.

If you currently don’t have a dog, and you’re considering adopting one, think about whether your lifestyle is conducive to sharing your life with a dog. If you think your potential dog might be spending time home alone, that should factor in your decision when choosing your new friend. Look at breeds that are more low-energy and don’t need as much exercise or outdoor time. Better yet, consider adopting an older dog. Many older dogs have difficulty being re-homed, but can be a perfect fit for you. They typically are much calmer than puppies, and many are already housebroken. So don’t pass up a dog just because he’s been around the block a couple of times—it may mean he’s ready to take it easy.

Why We Love Pugs

Cute article from Pugspot.com

Why People Love Pugs

Why are Pugs so popular? Could it be their good looks or unmistakable charm? What is so darn irresistible about those Pugs? Ask anyone who has ever known a Pug and they will tell you there is no other dog that compares. But why?

Pugs are different. They possess all the qualities of a big dog in a little dog body. They are big enough to not be annoying and small enough for any size house. Perhaps their motto best describes them. Multum in Parvo – “a lot of dog in a small space.”

Pugs are affectionate. If you want a constant companion, he’s your man. They are happy to follow you around, lending you a helping paw. They make great couch potato buddies. Just bring enough snacks for you both. They are great bed-warmers. They will cuddle with you on the cold winter nights.

Pugs are fun and they are funny. If given an audience, they are sure to entertain. They are playful but not overly demanding. They are natural-born show offs. Nothing can make a Pug happier than being the life of the party.

Pugs have the grace and elegance sought after by royalty. Indeed, several notable nobles have owned Pugs. Just look at the list of royals they have possessed.

Pugs are friendly. They love everyone, from the mailman to the dog next door. They have never met a stranger. Pugs are excellent all around people dogs and animal dogs.

Pugs are sensitive. They do not like harsh tones. It hurts their feelings. They also are much attuned to your feelings. They can sense your distress and provide you with a comforting nuzzle.
Pugs are loyal. Unlike people, they do not know dishonor. They will be your friend to the end.

Pugs love kids. Well, most kids. If you want your child to have a perfect playmate they are “Pug”itively the best.

Pugs simply pop with personality. Never let it be said that a Pug is a boring dog. They are simply clowns in a dog’s body.

Pugs are cute. Who can resist their smooshie, squishy faces? Who could resist their snorts and grunts? Aren’t they the most precious little things you have ever seen?

Does anything else need to be said!?

A Walk in the Park

Spring is here! Time to get out and walk your dog. If you have some problems walking your dog, here are some tips…

6 Tips for Mastering the Dog Walk

By Cesar Millan

Here are 6 dog training tips on how to walk your dog and master the dog walk. When I’m out with my dog pack, I often walk about ten dogs at a time, sometimes even off-leash if I’m in a safe area. People are amazed by this, but it’s simple: the dogs see me as their pack leader. This is why dogs follow me wherever I go.

1. Walk in front of your dog.

Walking in front of your dog allows you to be seen as the pack leader. Conversely, if your dog controls you on the walk, he’s the pack leader. You should be the first one out the door and the first one in. Your dog should be beside or behind you during the walk.

2. Use a short dog leash.

This allows you to have more control. Attaching the leash to the very top of the neck can help you more easily communicate, guide, and correct your dog. If you need additional help, consider the The Illusion Dog Collar & Leash Set (Next Generation). Always keep your dog’s safety in mind when giving corrections.

3. Give yourself enough time for the dog walk.

Dogs, like humans, are diurnal, so taking walks in the morning is ideal. I recommend setting aside thirty minutes to a full hour. The specific needs of each dog differ. Consult your vet and keep an eye on your dog’s behavior to see if his needs are being met.

4. How to reward your dog during the walk.

After your dog has maintained the proper state of mind, reward him by allowing him to relieve himself and sniff around. Then you need to decide when reward time is over. It should always be less than the time spent focused on the walk.

5. Keep leading, even after the walk.

When you get home, don’t stop leading. Have your dog wait patiently while you put away his leash or take off your shoes.

6. Reward your dog after the walk.

By providing a meal after the walk, you have allowed your dog to “work” for food and water.

And don’t forget to set a good example by always picking up after your dog.

Are Dogs Like Babies?

From CesarsWay.com. Cesar Milan is also the author of Cesar’s Way — The #1 New York Times Bestseller (Hardcover)

Are Dogs Like Babies More Than We Think?

By Joe Wilkes

A new study from Current Biology proves a lot about dogs that we’ve been noticing at CesarsWay.com for a long time. Researchers in Hungary completed a study that shows dogs respond to eye contact and verbal and nonverbal cues from humans similarly to human children in the two-year-old range who haven’t started talking. Some dogs are even able to understand American Sign Language, the hand signals used by the hearing impaired to communicate.

Dogs were shown to read nonverbal cues, especially when the human used eye contact and could sense the emotion of the human. ABC news reported Nicholas Dodman, the director of the Animal Behavior Center at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in N. Grafton, Massachusetts as saying “They are looking for an expression of what the person is thinking…This is another example of a supposed barrier between animals and humans being knocked down by research.”

The study, conducted by the Institute for Psychological Researches, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest used actresses who addressed the dogs and turned their attention to a pot. One group of actresses made eye contact with the dog and the dogs’ eyes were tracked to follow the actresses’ eyes looking at the pot. The dogs who did not get eye contact from the actresses were less likely to look at the pot. Additionally, the study showed, the dogs were more responsive to high-pitched “baby talk” voices than lower normal conversational tones.

The study helps prove that dogs are more attuned with our energy, tone of voice, and other nonverbal behaviors than we might have imagined. Other studies have shown that dogs possess small vocabularies of words they hear their humans say repeatedly, but these scientific studies have helped quantitatively support the anecdotal evidence that pet owners have seen of dogs responding intuitively to their humans’ energy and nonverbal signs. The studies also underscore Cesar’s observances of dogs who are able to sense the energy that a human brings into a room, how they respond to touch, vocalizations, and eye contact, and how their behavior is affected. So for all of you out there who say your dog is like your baby, you may be more right than you thought!

Exercise Your Dog Indoors

Helpful article from CesarsWay.com

8 Ways to Exercise Your Dog Indoors

By Nicole Pajer

Dogs need their daily exercise. Even things like it being too cold or hot outside, or the days getting shorter shouldn’t get in the way. Here are some tips on how to work out your dog’s body and mind indoors:

1. Run your dog up and down the stairs.

Using the stairs is a great way to tire out your dog. The steps add an additional challenge to a dog’s workout, as they engage different muscles than those used on a regular walk or run and add an extra level of difficulty with the change in elevation. Stand at the top of the stairs and throw a toy down to your dog. When your dog grabs the toy, call his name and have him bring the toy to you. After several rounds of this, he’ll be winded. Or use this time to help teach your dog how to properly walk on a leash (using learning tools such as The Illusion Dog Collar & Leash Set (Next Generation)).

2. Laser pointer.

Pick up an inexpensive laser pointer at a store and shine it back and forth across the floor. Watch as your dog chases the laser back and forth and works out in the process. Be careful to avoid shining the laser directly in a dog’s eyes, as this can cause damage to its retinas.

3. Set up obstacle courses.

Whenever Cesar enters someone’s house on the show, he looks around for things in the environment that can be repurposed to help the dog. Like using that old hula hoop for him to leap through or using cushions to create a tunnel for him to navigate. Map everything out and lead your dog through the various obstacles. This game will challenge your dog both mentally and physically.

4. Make your dog work for its treats.

Take a variety of your dog’s favorite treats and hide the around the house – behind doors, under tables, underneath rugs, etc. Your dog will be so busy tracking down his treats that he’ll physically tire out in the process. Treat dispensing toys are another great way to keep your dog busy and engage them physically as they push around their toys and try to get to the food inside.

5. Keep away and fetch.

Engage your dog in a good old fashioned game of fetch and keep away. These games keep your dog engaged, active, and help to release pent up energy.

6. Take a socialized outing.

Put your dog in the car (always remember to use a car restraint!) and head over to the nearest pet store. Walk your dog through the aisles, let him try out toys and sniff around.

7. Get your dog on the treadmill.

A treadmill is a great way to get your dog a dose of healthy indoor exercise. First, allow your dog to get comfortable with the sight and sound of a running treadmill. Next, place your dog on the treadmill and give him a treat. Turn the treadmill on the lowest speed. Give him treats to keep him on the treadmill. You may use the dog’s leash as an aid but never tie your dog to the treadmill. Also, standing in front of the treadmill and rewarding him with treats for walking might make your dog feel more comfortable. Once your dog is adjusted, you can gradually increase the speed to provide a more challenging workout.

8. Tug of War—But Be Aware of the Risks

With the amount of ropes and toys available that encourage tug of war, it’s not surprising that so many dog owners play this game with their dog. However, you need to be aware of the risk. It’s a game that brings out the predator in your dog and can be unhealthy for your relationship if you don’t have trust and respect to begin with. You need to have control over your dog’s power and instincts before you can engage in a healthy game of tug of war with them.

Pug Mysteries

From PugVillage.com

The Mysterious Pug

One of our Pugminded Facebook fans

Pugs do some mighty strange things from time to time, and this is the beginning of what we hope will be the answer area to some of the greater Pug mysteries.

Why does my Pug do figure 8’s and run circles when I take her outside to make? This always-entertaining dance is actually the Pugs way of finding just the right spot for it to make. It trots in a straight line until she finds a good starting point, then searches and sniffs in figure eights that become tighter and smaller until it finds that good place to make. Sometimes you get the feeling they’ve got this thing down to a science!

 When my Pug runs, it seems to run sideways, is that my imagination or is it really happening? It’s not your imagination! But it’s not all the time either. Most people notice this when their Pugs are trotting inside and down narrow hallways…So take a look and see how your Pug is running outside, as opposed to trotting down a hallway. Chances are you’ll notice that with room to run, and decent speed, your Pug will run straight. We’ve been told however that the cause of this is a matter of a Pugs perception in narrow enclosures such as a hallway, where a Pug’s field of vision sees both walls as being very close and thus slants in one direction in order to avoid hitting it.

Sometimes my Pug goes on a licking frenzy, licking my hands, arms or feet for long periods of time. What’s going on here? In a word…Salt. Pugs love salt and when we perspire, we leave a salty residue on our skin that Pugs enjoy licking off. And yes, our feet perspire plenty and remember, foot odor isn’t something we’re particularly fond of, but to a Pug, your scent is like heaven on earth.

 So what is that head tilt really about? The classic Pug head tilt is actually simply a matter of your Pug positioning its head and ears so as to take in whatever sound you’re making. All dogs have a version of the head tilt, though the Pugs is more pronounced and they are significantly more responsive to the voice of their owners than many other breeds. We don’t know why, but the theory is that it’s related to our reaction to them when they do this especially charming act…We Pug People eat the head tilt up and usually shower them with petting and laughter when they do it. They must have us figured out…A head tilt here and a head tilt there equals much attention!