Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Alternative medicine for dogs

I am curious what experience all of you have had with alternative medicine for your dogs. Noah has always suffered with seasonal allergies and we've tried a lot of different possible solutions but very few things make any bit of difference, short of steroids which I won't do. Last year we tried a Chinese herbal blend and saw a remarkable improvement in his symptoms. They weren't completely alleviated but it was enough to take the edge off and keep him from getting a staph infection due to relentless scratching. I wish I'd discovered it years ago. Has anyone tried an alternative flea and tick remedy that actually works? I don't like regularly putting frontline on the dogs but during flea and tick season in the fall and spring we usually treat them. This year we've found several engorged (live) ticks on the dogs within 1-2 weeks after the frontline application and I've heard a few others remarking about the same thing on their own dogs. From what I understand the frontline is supposed to kill the ticks within 24 hours. Any thoughts?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Plateau periods in training

I've run into this often with my own dogs and we see it regularly in classes, and it is something to keep in mind when working with your own dogs. When learning new skills dogs seem to hit a plateau period that often happens around week 5 of training. This is a period where their progress seemingly comes to a dead halt or sometimes even back-slides a bit. This can be a frustrating time for owners that are working hard with their dogs and seeing regular progress. If your dog hits a plateau period, back up in your training for a couple of weeks by going back to easier exercises, or at least not continuing forward with more difficult skills. Within a few weeks your dog will be back to normal and will be able to pick up right where they left off originally. You can expect this to happen whenever you teach several new skills to your dog and the good news is, it's normal! :-)