How To Train a Dog To Heel – Ultimate Guide

The question of “how to stop my dog pulling” is always a common one, and there are loads of different methods to achieving this; however, there is one method that is better than the rest.

We have all seen and admired highly-trained dogs that snap to the command heel. It resembles a couple of dancers in perfect harmony, and we only wish we could have our dogs trained like theirs. But how do you train your dog to heel?

In this article we are going to teach you how to get your dog to heel and be the envy of all the other dog owners on the street!

The process is not easy however. It will require patience on both you and your dog’s part, and will require you to devote at least several weeks of your time to mastering it.

Your dog will need to learn where the heel position is and the command that will get them in that position. They will need to do it with all kinds of distractions in different places and situations.

While it is a hard process, teaching your dog to heel is a very rewarding experience and will only make you and your dog form a closer bond together.  

What Does Heel Mean

A dog walking ‘at heel’ is walking alongside their owner in a comfortable, controlled manner. They are usually on the left side of their owner; however, it does not matter which side you teach your dog to heel at.

Dogs walking in the heel position usually have their shoulder aligned with their owner’s knee, with their head slightly in front. You will notice that dogs that are trained to heel are often looking at their owner, and in competitions they even do it to music.

Heel positions can vary depending on the role of the dog. For instance, a working gun dog or service dog will look ahead and not at their handler. This is to ensure they can see what is in front of them and is different to the obedience style position that most household dogs are taught.

A working dog may also have a bit more space between them and their handler’s leg. Some dog owners have taught their dogs to heel in a position where they brush alongside them as they work.

While the heel position does vary, the basic principle is the same. Heel means “walking alongside their owner in a position that is not too far in front or behind them.”

Why Teaching Your Dog to Heel is Important?

Walking to heel is considered to be an essential part of dog training for many. There are four main reasons why you should teach your dog to heel:

Control and Safety ­– When you teach your dog to heel, it allows you to move your dog into the walking position with just one word. This can help when you are crossing the road or moving through a crowded place with plenty of distractions.

Better Bonding – Teaching your dog to heel is not just about getting them walking correctly, it is also about the bond and communication you two form. Your dog will learn to focus on you, rather than other distractions around you.

It cooks cool and is more relaxing – Let’s be honest, we are all jealous of people who can walk their dog in a nice heel position. Walking your dog at heel just looks amazing and it is a more relaxing way to walk your pup.

Helpful in certain situations – Learning to walk without a lead can be incredibly useful in various situations. If you need both your hands or you have multiple dogs to walk, the heel technique can be a lifesaver.

Walking at Heel Vs Loose-Lead Walking

Before we dive into heel training, let’s have a look at some of the other training methods to control your dog while walking.

Heel is essentially a formalised command for telling your dog to walk in a certain position. The dog must do what you do and stop when you stop.

Teaching your dog to walk with a loose-lead is completely different. When you successfully teach your dog to walk with a loose-lead, they will stop pulling you down the road, and will instead walk with some slack in the lead.

When it comes to your dog’s position relative to you, it doesn’t really matter as long as they are not pulling. This will be fine for casual walks with your dog, but if you are looking to take your dog walking to the next level, teaching them to heel is what you need to do.

How to Teach Dog to Heel?

Now that we have told you why you should train your dog to heel, it is now time to teach you how to do it.

Setting Up Training Sessions

Teaching your dog to heel is something that will not happen in an afternoon (unless you have godly dog control or your canine is an absolute genius). What you need to do is set up some regular training sessions.

The training sessions with your dog should be five to ten minutes, two to three times a day to begin with. Making training sessions too long will slow down the learning process, as your dog will become distracted with longer trains.

Try to link your training sessions with some other activity or set aside some time each day, so you do not forget them.

Regular training sessions will lead to rapid progress. Sporadic or infrequent training will be much slower, even if you do longer sessions when you do train.  

Get the Basics Down First

Heel training is certainly a bit more involved than other basic commands like “sit” or “come”. This is because it is a multi-step task in your canine’s mind and builds upon previous commands and training.

Your dog will need to learn how to get and stay in the correct position, so you will need some control over your dog already. They need to learn that you are the leader and that they need to follow your movements. A properly trained dog will adjust their own direction and movements to match yours.

Your canine will need to learn to sit when you stop moving forward, and how to stay until you set off again.

All this requires mastery of basic commands, before you can begin heel training. Good communication is essential and will make the training process that much easier.

Sit and Stay Commands

When your dog is in the heel position, they must learn to sit when you stop moving. They will then need to remain in this position until you start moving again. The basics of the sit and stay command are pretty easy, and should be one of the first things you teach your dog.

Check out our ‘How To Train a Dog to Sit Guide’ for more info.

Train Them to Watch You

Along with the sit and stay command, heel training requires your dog to be able to watch and pay attention to you, so they can follow you.

Getting your dog to watch can be easily accomplished by simply associating a cue such as “look” or “watch” with a treat. Your dog will quickly learn to look at you when you use the cue, as they expect a reward. The next stage is for you to give treats randomly when training the look command.

Teaching your dog to watch you or a certain object will help with any training activity, not just heel training. Getting your dog’s attention will speed up the training process and will let them know that you are in charge.

Select a Release Word

Once your dog is in the heel position, they are engaged and active in the training session. To get out of this position your dog will need a release word to let them know they can relax, and move where they want.

The word you use should be connected to the release word you use for the sit and stay commands. For this article we are going to use a release word, such as “okay” or “free”; however, the word can be anything as long as you are consistent and clear.

You need to remember that when your dog is heeling, they are intently focused on you. This means they need a clear and concise release word to understand that they can get out of heel mode, and revert to being a dog.

Getting your dog to heel is a big ask of them, and they should not be heeling for long periods of time, especially at the start. Your dog may get fed up with being in heel all the time, which can lead to bad behaviour.

Try to use a combination of heeling, loose-lead walking and general running about to keep your dog happy. This will keep them focused and mentally sharp.

Should I Use Clicker Training?

While clicker training is not essential, it can help with the training process. If your dog has learned to associate a click sound with the right activity, they will almost certainly pick up heeling very quickly.

If you have not trained your dog to respond to a clicker, then don’t despair. If you want to teach your dog clicker training, you can try and do this before teaching them to heel.

How Do I Train My Dog to Heel?

The heel training process will go through a number of stages. When you get the first stage down, move onto the next one, and so on. By the end of all of the different stages of training, your dog should be capable of walking in the heel position. We have listed the three main stages below:

  1. Establish the heel position and how to enter it
  2. Lean to walk at the heel position and change direction
  3. Introduce distractions and reinforce the heel position

The Heel Command

Historically, dog owners and trainers used a command at the beginning of a training process. This would get them in position and then they would set off on a walk. The dog would then be corrected or punished every time they moved out of the heel position.

At the start of the training process, the dog did not understand the command, but would eventually understand it after a few corrections.

Current day dog training is a bit different however. Dogs are now trained to carry out the desired action before the command is given. The command will then take on the correct meaning right from the start, which will speed up the training process.

Establish The Heel Position

Choose The Position

In reality, there is no correct heel position; however, we recommend that you use your dog’s shoulder as a guideline. Aim to have their shoulder about level with your knee. Your dog’s head will be slightly in front of you. Make sure you are consistent with this position.

If you are wondering what side you should have your dog on, just choose what you are most comfortable with. However, one thing to remember is that obedience competitions will usually require the dog to be on the left side.

Note: For the purpose of this guide we are going to be using the left side.

You will want to start in a quiet room or garden that has no distractions. This means no other dogs, humans, toys, just you the trainer and the dog. At this point we will not be telling the dog to “heel” (as they do not know the command yet). You will not need a lead for this section.

A good tip to getting your dog in the correct position is place yourself in a position near a wall. Have your dog on the side that is closest to the wall, and leave enough space between you and the wall for your dog. This will help to keep your dog close.

How to Get Your Dog in the Heel Position

Now that you have decided upon the heel position and you have a good training location, it is time to train your dog to move into this position.  

When you are training your dog, have a handful of treats in your pocket or treat pouch. You should also have a few treats in both hands as well.

With your dog in front of you, put your right hand out in front of their nose and let them sniff it (not eat it). Lure your dog around the back of you until he can see the treat in your left hand. Give your dog praise as he does this and reward them with a treat. The position your dog ends up in should be the heel position.  

Carry out this movement around three times, or until your dog gets the hang of it (don’t spend too much time on it though). The next stage is to try carry out this same movement without any treats. Show your dog that your hand is empty, and repeat the exact same movement you did when there was a reward in your hand. Use the same hand to move them around your back and then get them into the heel position.

If your dog is being difficult and won’t move into the heel position without treats, revert back to giving them a reward. Repeat this movement until your dog can move into the heel position without the aid of a tasty reward in your lure hand.

The trick with this technique is to lose the treat you use to lure your dog into the heel position as quickly as possible. Remember to keep giving your dog treats out of your left hand though, as this will reinforce the heel position.

Your dog should eventually recognise that your hand movement is the cue to get into the heel position. Now that they understand this, you can add a verbal cue such as “heel.”

After a while your dog will recognise your hand movement as the command to get into the heel position, you can begin to add a verbal cue like “heel.” After a couple of attempts, try and just say “heel” and don’t use your hand. Your dog should soon learn to move into the heel position when you use the heel command.

If you can successfully move your dog into the heel position with just the command, it is time to move onto the next step.

Walking While Heeling

Once you have taught your dog the heel command and position, it is time to add in a bit of walking. Start with smaller distances and then work your way up. You should also be in an environment where there are not any distractions.

For this exercise, we are going to start with one step and then progress from there.

Give the heel command and take one step forward. Treat your dog as they move to keep up with you. Once they move to your position, immediately progress to two steps and then give them another reward.

Repeat this process, increasing the number of steps you take when your dog successfully moves with you in the correct position. Carry on rewarding your dog.

It may take several training sessions to get to ten or more steps and don’t add any direction changes at this stage of the training.

When teaching your dog to walk in the heel position it is best to use short, frequent sessions as they may become bored or tired.

Direction Changes

Now that you and your dog can walk comfortably in the heel position for ten steps or more, it is time to add some direction changes. As before, we are going to limit the distance we travel at this early stage.

When you are ready, take a couple of steps forward and rotate 90 degrees to either the left or the right.

Reward your dog if they successfully turn with you or even attempt to (your dog will improve with practice). The next step is to set off in the new direction. Once your dog turns with you, reward them and then take another couple of steps and repeat. You can try and make shapes or small course to walk around.

Once you and your dog get this down, it is time for the next step, stopping.

Making Them Stop

Stopping is just as important as moving off or changing direction. At some point you are going to have to stop, whether that for a set of traffic lights or to just finish the walk.

When you stop, your dog should not leave the heel position, unless you give them the release word. Your dog should stay in this position and follow you when you take off again.

Staying in the heel position when you are stationary will need some practice and patience; however, it is a very important skill to develop. The majority of people who train their dogs to heel will teach them to sit when they stop. We feel this is a good practice and is what we would recommend you do.

To practice stopping in the heel position, walk forward around 10 steps and then stop. Ask your dog to sit and then reward them for doing so. Eventually, your dog will learn that they need to sit when you command or when you stop when heeling.

While all the information above will help you get your dog heeling, the real test is when you add some distractions. Keeping your dog in the heel position when there are other dogs and new smells about is a whole different ball game. Carry on below to find out how!

Distraction Time

Heeling in your garden or in a quiet area is relatively simple. It is a controlled environment and the most interesting thing to your dog is probably you or more likely the treats in your hand. The real world however, has plenty of other interesting things in it to distract your dog.

This part of the training process will require even more patience on your part, as it is only in your dog’s nature to investigate all the things around them. Remember that your dog is not naughty if they get distracted, they are just a normal canine.

So far, your dog has only learned to walk at heel in the garden or place where you have been practicing. You have to teach them what it means to walk at heel in a place with plenty of distractions.

Adding Distractions

While you could just jump straight in and take your dog out into the big wide world, we recommend a more reserved approach. You need to add distractions and change the training environment you are in slowly.

For instance, you could move from the inside of your house to the outside, or change rooms in which you train in. This is changing the environment, but still keeping it controlled. You should also try move your dog through doorways, as this can be an exciting change of environment for your dog.

When you are training your dog with distractions, have plenty of exciting treats on tap (think chicken or other treats they don’t usually get). This will help keep your dog even more involved in the training process, and they will be less likely to run off to sniff something.

Once you have tried changing the environment a few times, it is time to add in some more exciting distractions. Enlist the help of another person and get your dog to walk with you in the help position past them. If you have another dog, try the same again.

What you want to be doing is increasing the intensity of the training sessions as you and your dog progress. Try to add in distractions they might find when on a typical walk. This will help when you go out for your first proper walk while heeling.

If you don’t have a friend or other dog who can help, you could try and visit a training class where you can work with other dogs. Another idea is to take your dog to a dog park (or just a regular park) and practice in a far corner where there are fewer distractions, moving closer to the other dogs as you progress. For this technique you may want your dog on a lead, so they don’t go running off.

Once you have progressed to adding another dog in your heel training process, it is time to try your training on the street. Keep the walk short, even if it means walking a mere ten metres down the road and back. Every training walk you go on, increase the distance until you can comfortably walk in the heel position.

Making Distractions Easy

As they say, “practice makes perfect” and teaching your dog to walk at heel is no different. You need to keep introducing new distractions to your dog and don’t let bad habits creep in.

Try to avoid walking your dog on a lead too much during the training process and certainly don’t let them pull if you are using a lead. It can be confusing to your dog if you let them pull when they are on a lead and then expect them to heel on other occasions.

If you are walking your dog on a lead, try to keep them in the heel position to reinforce the training you have done. When you get to a park, let them run free and enjoy themselves.

Troubleshooting Heel Problems

We’ve listed a few problems that owners seem to face when training their dog to heel.

Dog Is Unwilling to Follow or Has No Energy

If your dog is lacking a bit of drive to follow your lead when you are heel training, you probably don’t have a reward that excites them enough. You may have to experiment with different treats or toys until you find one that they get excited for.

Dog Has Too Much Energy and Gets Excited Easily

For some, their dog may be the opposite of above. If your dog is so excited that they are almost bouncy off the walls, you might need to opt for a less-enticing reward. You might even want to use the normal biscuits you use for their dinner.

Another problem may be that your dog has too much energy and may need some pre-tiring to slow them down. Try take your dog out for a walk or to the park before you start the training session, this should burn off any excess energy.

Dog Jumps and Lurches for The Treat

A common problem people seem to encounter when training their dog to heel is that the dog will try lurches or jumps to get the reward. In this scenario, you need to remember to only give your dog the treat when they are in the correct position with all four paws firmly planted to the floor.

Never reward unwanted behaviour or actions, as this will only reinforce bad habits.

If you only reward the behaviour you want, your dog will eventually learn that jumping and lurching will not get them the reward any faster.

My Dog Is Easily Distracted

We’ve already talked about adding distractions in this article, but what if your dog gets distracted from the get go?

If you find your dog is getting easily distracted, even when you are simply training them to get into the heel position, there are a few things to remember.

Once again, your dog may simply not be interested in the reward you are offering to them. Try a few different rewards to see what one makes your dog’s eyes light up and their nose twitch.

Another thing to remember is that you may be asking too much of your dog. If your training sessions are too long, or you are making your dog stay in the heel position too long, they may become bored and distracted. Shorten your training sessions and keep them interesting with plenty of progression.

Some dogs need a tough mental challenge or like to walk at a fast pace as well, which can contribute to them becoming distracted. Make sure you are not walking too slow or fast, and try to implement new challenges to keep them interested.

As we have already discussed, environmental changes can distract your dog from training. Try to keep the same training location initially, and change it when you have mastered a step in the training progression.

If you find your dog is becoming distracted from a change in location, try to move back to your original training environment.

Other Tips and Points

Start Them Young

Training a puppy to heel is almost always easier than training an older dog to do it. When your puppy is around four to six months old, they will tend to follow you everywhere and you can use this to your advantage.

At this point you are not teaching your dog to heel, you are teaching them that following you will result in good things happening.

Call your puppy’s name and say something like “come”. As you give them command, walk away and don’t wait for the puppy. Your puppy should naturally follow you and after a short distance, stop or slow down. Wait for your puppy to catch up and reward them with a treat.

Once your puppy masters this, try and add in some more challenges such as walking in different patterns or directions. Try changing your speed as they get more experienced with the exercise.

Keep on rewarding your puppy for walking next to you and catching up. Don’t make the sessions too intense, see it more as a game rather than training.

Tips for Older Dogs

They say “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but we all know that’s a load of rubbish. Older dogs may take a bit longer to learn new things and they may have developed some bad habits, but they are perfectly trainable.

For older dogs we recommend stocking up on their favourite treats and use them to increase their enthusiasm to learn. You can use the same method we described for puppies above, or you can add toys in as well.

Wrapping Up Dog Heel Training

Teaching your dog to heel is one of the most rewarding experiences and will only make you bond even more with your dog. It is challenging and can be frustrating, but with a bit of patience the benefits will pay off.

You will have more control over your dog and it also looks impressive to watch a dog focus so intently on their owner.

Remember to keep the training fun, short and full of progression. With the tips we have given above, you should get your dog walking to heel in no time.

Now Read: 27 Of The Best Training Tips For Dogs

 

Best Indestructible Dog Toys for Pitbulls

Understanding the breed characteristics and energy level of your dog are important factors when determining the right choice of toy for your dog. The Pit Bull is one of the most demanding breeds of dog out there and they are incredible tough on toys. Keeping them entertained is the best way of keeping your Pit Bull out of trouble, so that’s why we have created a list of the most indestructible dog toys for Pit Bulls.

Three different types of toys

There are three main types of toys that you will find on the market, active, distraction and comfort. Depending on what they are for and what they will do, a toy can be placed in one or more of these categories. We’ve briefly explained that below.

  • Active toys are toys that keep your Pit Bull active and busy. Think of things like balls, ropes, tug toys and bones. These all fit into this class because they can easily be tossed, thrown, chased or used for a game of tug of war.
  • Distraction toys are any variety of toy that will captivate their senses, like a KONG toy that is filled with treats or other goodies. The dog will be focused on getting the treats out of the toy, making it perfect for keeping them entertained for an extended duration of time.
  • Comfort toys can be anything from soft toys, to a rope or even squeaker toys. A comfort toy is a toy that your dog loves to carry around and makes them feel comfortable.

Toys to avoid for your Pit Bull

Pit Bulls are serious toy testers, so any soft toys with stuffing in them are probably going to be gone in seconds and could be dangerous to your dog if any material is ingested. These toys may also come with things like squeakers that can lead to a trip to your vets if they are swallowed.

Tennis balls and small foam rubber balls should also be avoided unless your dog is under supervision. Pit Bulls have a tendency to absolutely destroy these toys and once again the materials they are constructed from can be dangerous to your dog.

Rope toys are excellent for a game of tug, but the threads of the toy can be swallowed and get caught up in your dog’s stomach and bowels. This can can lead to a rushed trip to the vets (as we have experienced) and the resultant expensive bills. If you are going to give your Pit Bull a rope toy, make sure you supervise your dog and replace it when it starts to show signs of wear. Another tip is to take the toy away from them when you can’t supervise your dog, this will prevent your Pit Bull from pulling out the threads while you are away.

Safety is the best policy

Don’t underestimate your Pit Bull’s ability to absolutely destroy any toy you put in front of it. Pit Bulls are determined animals and given the time they will chew through even the best toys. Always supervise your canine companion when possible and replace any toy that is starting to look worse for wear.

Why are Pit Balls so hard on toys?

Pit Bulls are known for their destructive power, but why is this? One of the reasons for their extreme chewing ability is the size of their head. Compared to other dogs, a Pit Bulls head and skull is relatively large when compared to a different breed of a similar weight. A Larger head means bigger teeth, jaws and muscles, which usually spells doom for weak toys.

While the larger proportions of a Pit Bull’s head provide increased biting power, the mechanical advantage of a wider jaw also plays a part in their famed chewing ability. Wider jaws create more leverage and torque, which can let them make short work of even the toughest toys on the market.

The final reason is that Pit Bulls are remarkably persistent when it comes to tearing toys apart. This tenacity has sadly made them the target of people who want to use them to fight. Pit Bulls will keep on going even when they have suffered an injury and that spirit makes them incredible toy testers.  

Eight Indestructible Dog Toys for Pitbulls

We’ve learned what types of toys there are and what type of toys to avoid, now it’s time to show you what we believe are the best indestructible toys are for your Pit Bull. The toys below should be ideal for your Pit Bull.

Goughnuts Tug Dog Toy MAXX

Goughnuts are known to be the go to brand when it comes to tough dog toys. They have a range of different products and make their toys from seriously strong rubber. One of their products is the Goughnuts Tug toy that is ideal for those Pit Bulls that love to play a bit of tug and is about as durable and tough as you can get.

The Tug is designed for larger dogs and is 11 inches in length, by 6 inches wide and 1.5 inches high. The Goughnuts Tug uses the same rubber compound as is used to manufacture their rings and sticks, but the company has marked the outside of the toy with a red colour to show that there is no safety indicator. According to Goughnuts, the Tug is meant to be an interactive toy that is taken away from the dog after game time has finished, unlike their other toys.

Reviews of the Tug are very positive and the majority of dog owners claim that it is one of the most durable products in their toy arsenal. KONG makes an almost identical product called the Tug Toy, but it seems that the Goughnuts Tug is the stronger and more durable dog toy.

Nylabone Power Chew Wishbone

What dog doesn’t like a bone? The Nylabone Power Chew Wishbone provides double the chewing and is ideal for those Pit Bulls that love to bite down on something. The Wishbone is designed to withstand hours of enjoyment and it comes highly recommended.

The bone is offered in a number of different sizes from small to large, depending on the size of your dog. It has raised bristles that will help clean your Pit Bulls teeth and will control plaque and tarter. Dental care is important to prevent tooth decay or loss, especially when your Pit Bull gets older.  Nylabone has infused natural flavours into the Wishbone, which will keep your dog chewing all day long.

Nylabone’s Wishbone is a hit with dog owners worldwide and seems to be one of the most durable dog toys on the market. The Wishbone shape is a little bit more interesting than the standard bone shape and seems to be ideal for chewers. It is recommended that you replace the toy if you do see any chips or wear on the Wishbone.

KONG Rubber Ball Extreme

The Rubber Ball Extreme is one of our favourite products from KONG and is one of the most durable and tough toys on the market. KONG has manufactured the Extreme Ball in various sizes and it is constructed from KONG’s ultra-strong black rubber material. The ball has been made with a hole in it to hide treats and it is manufactured in the United States.

We have the KONG Rubber Ball Extreme and find that our two dogs love it. The ball is one of the few toys that has not been destroyed by them. They also love it when we put treats in the KONG Ball and they love to play games of fetch with it. The only problems we find with the Ball is that it won’t float (this is because it is so heavy) and it is not as interactive as some of the other toys on this list.

Goughnut Indestructible Chew Toy MAXX

Goughnut’s Chew Toy is perhaps the ultimate when it comes to tough toys and the MAXX version is the strongest version of it. There are two options of the MAXX Chew Toy, the MAXX Power version and the MAXX 50. The 50 is the strongest version and is the one we would recommended for those with Pit Bulls. It’s a little bit priceyer, but we think it’s worth it. 

As we said above, Goughnuts products feature a safety indicator system that tells you when the toy is not safe to play with anymore. On the MAXX toys yellow means keep chewing and red means it’s time to stop. We think this is excellent, especially for Pit Bulls who love to destroy and eat toys. Goughnuts are so confident in their product, they will even replace it if your Pit Bull chews it down to the red!

The Goughnuts Chew Toy isn’t just for chewing however, both versions of the MAXX toy will float in the water and are great for games of fetch.

We think that the Goughnuts Chew Toy MAXX is undoubtedly one of the best toys on the market. It will be great when your Pit Bull wants to sink its teeth into something and will be excellent for games of fetch. If you’re looking for something to distract your dog for an extended period of time, something like the KONG toy with treats in it is probably better.

Reviews are excellent for the Goughnuts MAXX toys and the Chew Toy is even used by Police K9 units around the world. If you want the toughest, the Goughnut MAXX 50 is almost certainly your best bet.

Benebone Real Flavor Wishbone Chew

The Benebone Wishbone is much the same as the Nylabone Wishbone that was featured earlier in this piece. We can certainly attest to the toughness and durability of the Wishbone, as both out dogs have failed to destroy it yet. The Wishbone has been cleverly designed so that your Pit Bull can get a good chew on, which will keep your dog entertained for hours.

Manufactured in the United States, the Benebone Wishbone is available in a number of different sizes, from small to large. Benebone have also infused 100% real food ingredients throughout the Wishbone and it comes in three different flavours, REAL Bacon, REAL Chicken and REAL Peanut.

The Benebone is priced pretty comparatively when compared to its competitors and the company has an excellent customer service department. This is a big plus, especially if your dog is a tough chewer.

Reviews from around the world, including our own are incredibly positive. It is one of the most popular dog toys on Amazon and should definitely be in your dog toy arsenal.

West Paw Zogoflex Tux

West Paw’s Zogoflex Tux is another great option for those who are looking for a tough dog toy that you can put treats in. It’s an excellent alternative to the likes of KONG’s products and will keep your Pit Bull entertained for hours. West Paw are so confident in the design and strength of the Tux that they are prepared to 100% guarantee it against dog damage. The Tux is made in the United States from non-toxic materials and is dishwasher friendly.

The Tux is not only a tough treat dispenser but it will also survive even the toughest chewing dog, and that’s important if you have a Pit Bull. Treats can be frozen inside the Tux for even more fun and it can be used as a fetch toy as well. West Paw have designed the Tux so that it can float and they have put it through rigorous testing to make sure it is tough enough. 

On Amazon and throughout the internet, the West Paw Tux has some of the best reviews of any dog toy on the market. We think your Pit Bull will love it!

Unbreakoball Dog Toy

The Unbreakoball Dog Toy is one of the toughest ball toys on the market for strong chewing breeds like the Pit Bull. It is extremely durable and thick, and it will withstand the destructive play of any large dog.

The Unbreakoball comes in various sizes from 6 inches to 10 inches and has a perforated design that lets your dog get a tooth in the holes to pick it up. It is made of super hard plastic rather than the softer plastic or rubber that most balls are made from. This means that it will withstand tough chewing, but won’t wear your dog’s teeth down.

Reviews are overall very positive for the Unbreakoball with the only real complaints being from smaller dog owners who have found that the ball is too hard for their pup. If you have a Pit Bull or other large breed of dog this is the ideal toy for you.

KONG Extreme Dog Toy, Black

Finally, the last toy on this list is the classic KONG. Nobody is equipped to deal with their dog’s boredom unless they have a KONG, and the Extreme black rubber version is the ultimate toy for tough chewing dogs. The KONG comes in various sizes and is made from the company’s own ultra-tough durable black rubber formula (like on the ball earlier in this article).

The KONG is an excellent distraction toy that can hold all sorts of treats and food in it. Treats can also be frozen inside the KONG for even more fun and it is great for those dogs who suffer from separation anxiety or boredom. The KONG is also recommended for those who are about to start crate training with their dog.

Both our dogs love their KONG and it has proven to be one of the most durable toys we have ever bought. The KONG is one of the toughest toys on the market and reviews are overall excellent. If your dog is particularly aggressive when getting its treats from toys we can imagine that this will shorten the life of the product. Still, we have had no problems ourselves yet.

Buying toys

Buying toys online is probably the best bet if you are looking for good deals and the best selection, however physical pet shops will generally let you bring your dog in to help assist with the toy selection. Taking your dog to the pet store can also be a great way to socialise your dog as well.

Conclusion

The toys on this list are just a selection of some of the excellent indestructible dog toys for Pit bulls. We’ve covered off a number of different toys from active to distraction toys and explained what a safe dog toy is. Just remember that no toy is completely indestructible and a determined dog can wreak havoc on any toy given the time to do so. Make sure you try to supervise your dog when they are playing with toys and replace them when it is necessary. 

Now read: Best Three Tough Dog Toys Tested

How To Stop a Dog Barking When Left Alone

Wondering how to stop your dog barking when they are left alone? In this guide we are going to be telling you how you can stop your dog barking and what causes them to do it when they are left alone.

Left unsolved you may face complaints from neighbours and it can be distressing to know that your canine companion is upset when you leave the house. The first thing you need to do to solve your dog’s barking problem is to find out the cause.

Why Does My Dog Bark When I Leave the House?

They are Genetically Prone to Bark

Yes, that’s right, your dog may be barking because of their genetics. Virtually all terriers and many other small dogs like miniature Schnauzers and Maltese are pre-programmed to bark at movement or noise within their range.

Many of these small breeds were bred to bark to alert their owners of any potential danger. This means they will often bark at people who come to the door, other animals around the property and even the neighbours when they come home. They will continue to bark even when you are not home, because it is in their nature to do so.

To combat this, you need to train them to limit their barking. You need to train your dog to bark on command. This will give you control and effectively gives you an “on/off” switch on their barking. It’s not that you do not want them to bark ever; you just want them to bark when the time is right.

They are Bored

Active and sporting breeds such as retrievers, setters, collies and pointers are more likely to get bored than other breeds. Dogs need regular exercise and a study in Australia found that 40% of canines do not get enough walks.

Lack of exercise is not only detrimental to your dog’s physical health, but it can also be bad for their mental health as well. Boredom can lead to barking and other unwanted behaviours such as chewing, pacing and digging.

Most healthy dogs need between one to two hours of exercise a day. Simply leaving your dog in the garden for a couple of hours is not good enough; you need to take them for walks and play interactive games with them. Older dogs, puppies and those that are sick may not require the same amount of exercise as a healthy dog in the prime of their life. However, they still need to be exercised.

You can read more about exercising a dog here.

Additionally, when you leave your house, give your dog a KONG filled with treats or another interactive toy to keep them entertained.

They Want to Order You Around

Does your dog bark at you when you attempt to leave the house? If this is the case it may be because your dog doesn’t want you to go. Your dog doesn’t want the fun to stop and they command you to return by barking. The problem with this is that your dog may continue to bark even after you have gone.

They are Alpha or Territorial

Un-neutered male dogs and guarding breed types are more likely to bark at something that is coming into their territory or space. They believe they are protecting their area from intruders when they bark. In reality, the intruder is probably just the mailman or a friendly neighbourhood cat.

Neutering and good training can keep their protective behaviour in check. Additionally, blocking the dog’s view of passers-by and anyone who comes to the door can help to reduce barking. You should also try to keep them from patrolling the property as this can lead to unwanted barking.

When you are home, you should always monitor a territorial or alpha dog closely. If you can’t get their barking under control when you are home, then there is no way you are going to stop them from barking when you are out.

They are Scared or Anxious

Every dog is scared of something, whether it is a trip to the vets or something as simple as the vacuum cleaner. A dogs past experiences can have a major effect on how they respond to things around them.

Dogs such as those that have been passed around from home to home, rescue dogs and those that have not been socialised correctly can suffer from anxiety. Canines that have always been kept inside or are constantly with their owners are candidates for anxiety behaviour problems if they are placed in a new environment.

If left alone, dogs with anxiety problems can begin to bark, chew, dig and even soil themselves. These dogs need to be socialised correctly with the world outside. Separation anxiety is one of the most common problems dog owners have. We will be discussing separation anxiety in more detail below.

Why It Is Important to Stop Your Dog Barking When You Go Out

There are a number of reasons you need to stop your dog barking when they are left alone:

  • Your neighbours can become annoyed if your dog barks.
  • It can be stressful for your dog when they are trying to communicate but get no response.
  • Separation anxiety can lead to other unwanted behaviours such as chewing and digging.
  • Fixing your dog’s barking problem can improve the bond between you and your dog.
  • Barking can be alarming to visitors coming to the door.
  • Once your dog learns not to bark, they can be more relaxed and spend their time sleeping or playing.

What Causes Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

Dog separation anxiety is often unknowingly encouraged by owners. We often make a big fuss of our dogs when we leave the house or come back home. Doing this rewards our dogs for their concern and makes them anxious when we are not around. Anxiety can also be caused by a number of other situations or events as well. We have listed these below:

Change in Schedule

An abrupt change in schedule can trigger separation anxiety in dogs. If you suddenly increase the length of time your dog is left alone for they can become anxious. For instance, you may get a new job and your dog has to be left alone for six or more hours at a time. If they are used to you being at home all the time, leaving them for six or seven hours can cause them to become anxious.

Change in Owner

Dogs that change owners, whether that is because they have been abandoned, rescued or even sold, can develop separation anxiety. They may need time to get used to their new owners and they will need to get used to being left alone.

Change in Residence

Moving to a new house or apartment can lead to a dog developing separation anxiety. They may be comfortable in their old residence and moving them to a new, unknown location can cause them to be anxious.

Change in Family/Pack

Dogs are pack animals and the sudden absence of a family member or member of the pack can trigger separation anxiety.   

First Steps to Stop Your Dog Barking When They Are Left Alone

The hardest part about stopping your dog barking when they are left alone is finding out the reason for them doing so. You need to find the cause of your dog’s barking before you can cure it, but how do you do this when you are not at home?

We recommend that you ask your neighbours if possible. They may be able to tell you when your dog is barking, so you can pinpoint the cause. Additionally, if your dog barks when you are walking out the door you know they don’t want you to leave. Think about your dog’s behaviour, breed type and how you treat them, as these can lead to barking.

Re-read the causes of barking we have outlined above and see which one matches your dog the closest.

How to Stop a Dog Barking When Home Alone?

There are a number of steps you need to take when dealing with your dog’s barking problem. We have outlined what you need to do to fix your dog’s barking below.

Set-up Their Environment

  1. Dogs with behavioural problems should not be given “the run of the house”. You need to keep your dog in the quietist part of the house where they can sleep undisturbed.
  2. Limit your dog’s visibility. We don’t mean put a blindfold over your dog’s eyes, we mean that you need to close any curtains and/or shades to prevent them from being able to see outside. If you don’t have any windows or blinds, place a sheet or blanket across the window. Removing any visual stimuli will reduce the likelihood of barking from territorial/alpha dogs.
  3. Make the environment dark. This sort of ties in with the above. A dark environment has a calming effect on most dogs.
  4. Make some noise. You should leave a TV or radio on when you leave the house to create some noise. This will not only help to make it feel like somebody is home, but will also drown out any outside noises. Just think how quiet your house is when there is nobody in it and your dog has to deal with that all day.
  5. Give your dog a toy to play with. When you leave the house give your dog a toy to keep them busy. Something like a KONG filled with treats is an excellent way to keep them entertained while you duck out the door. The toy you give your dog should only be used for this purpose and the treats should be special.
  6. Leave the house quietly. Don’t make a fuss of your dog when you leave. Dragging out a goodbye can make your dog anxious for your return. Give them a quick goodbye and then leave the house.

Other Things You Can Do to Reduce Barking

Exercise Your Dog!

We can’t stress this enough. A dog that hasn’t been exercised is like a coiled spring. They are ready to pop and barking is a way to relieve the pressure. For healthy adult dogs, make sure they get at least one hour of dedicated exercise per day. You should also play games with them at other times to keep them mentally stimulated and exercised.

Those with older dogs, sick dogs, and puppies can get away with a bit less. However, they should still be exercised, but a 20-minute walk around the block may be enough for an older dog. Puppies tend to have lots of energy in short bursts, so it is quite easy to wear them out with a game or short walk.

Bring Them Inside

If you leave your dog outside while you are at work, it may be a good idea to bring them inside if possible. A dog that is out in the garden alone all day is much more likely to bark than if they are inside. This is because they can see and hear a lot more than if they are inside the house. It is also much more difficult to control a dog’s environment outside than it is inside.

Hire a Dog Walker

If you are gone for long periods of time during the day, it may be beneficial to hire a dog walker. A dog walker can take your dog out during the day, breaking up the time they are alone. They will get some exercise, which will stop them from getting bored.

Teach Them to Speak

Some breeds just love to bark. If your dog loves to talk, don’t stifle all the conversation. Train your dog to “speak” on command, as well as the “quiet” command. That way you can control your dog’s barking and still give them a chance to speak.

Help! My Dog Is Still Barking When I Leave the House

If you have done all of the above and your dog is still barking when left at home alone, they are probably suffering from separation anxiety. You need to desensitise your dog to your departure and get them used to you not being there.

To do this, the first thing you need to do is imitate your daily routine. Make your dog think that you are going out for the day. Do all the things we listed above and then leave the house quietly. Don’t beg or plead for your dog to be quiet, just give them a pat and then leave.

Leave the house for a short period of time. Just a couple of minutes to start with. If you get in your car to go to work, do that. If you take an elevator, go one floor down and wait a couple of minutes. Only return to your dog if they have not barked. Reward them for their good behaviour and try again for a longer period of time.

If your dog did bark in those 2 minutes, knock on the door (load enough that your dog stops barking) and try again. Do not enter the house if your dog is barking and when you knock on the door, do not let your dog see you. Repeat the process until you can get one to two minutes of silence. Once your dog gets to this point, you can go back into the house and reward them for their good behaviour.

Try this process again, but increase the time you are gone. Set goals for your dog; when they get to 5 minutes move onto 10 minutes, then 15 and so on. Always return after the set amount of time and reward your dog if they have not barked. Do not wait until your dog barks and then return to the house.

The first hour is the hardest. Most dogs can remain silent for around two hours and they can usually be quiet for an 8 to 10-hour work day. You will not solve your dog’s barking problem in a day. It will require patience and time.

Dealing with Separation Anxiety in Dogs

How to Prevent Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Some veterinarians may prescribe drugs for separation anxiety, however, this will not fix the problem, only cover it up. Medication should only be used to assist the owner in rehabilitating the dog and is only a temporary fix.

The root cause of separation anxiety usually starts when the dog is a puppy. When puppies are removed from their mother and siblings, they will usually cry. To calm them down, dog owners will pick them up, talk to them and give them lots of attention. This can continue in later life as well. If your dog is in a crate and they cry, letting them out only rewards them for their behaviour.

You need to reward your dog for being quiet and settled. Teaching your dog patience and rewarding them for that will help to prevent separation anxiety. When you are with your dog, you should not always be interacting with them. They need to learn to entertain themselves.

Should I Crate Train My Dog?

Crate training can be helpful for some dogs if they learn that the crate is a safe place to go when you are out. However, the crate is not a tool that can be used for all dogs. This is because a crate can cause more stress and anxiety in some canines.

In order to determine whether or not you should use a crate, monitor your dog’s behaviour when you are crate training them. If your dog show signs of distress or anxiety, confining them in a crate may not be the best option. Instead of using a create, you can confine your dog to a room behind a baby gate.

How to Treat Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Curing separation anxiety is really about getting your dog used to you not being there and rewarding them for behaviour we like. Early in this article we explained the process of simulating a working day to stop barking. This same process can be used to cure separation anxiety.

Teach your dog to sit, lie down, and stay while you go out of sight for increasing periods of time. When you come back, reward your dog if they do not bark or cry. You should also train your dog to sit and wait to be greeted by guests, rather than jumping all over them.

We recommend that you spend time obedience training your dog. This shouldn’t be a once a week type-of-thing, it should be a regular part of their day. This approach lets your dog know what is expected of them, helping their good behaviour become a habit.

The last thing to do is get your dog active. Let them play with other dogs and give them puzzles to do throughout the day. Try different walking routes or take them to new, interesting parks. You may even want to enroll your dog in a reward-based training class to keep their body and mind active.

What Not to Do When Your Dog Barks?

While there are lots of things you can do to reduce or stop your dog from barking, there are also some things you shouldn’t do. Never scold or punish your dog. Anxious behaviour is not the result of disobedience, so you should never punish them for it. If you punish your dog for barking or anxious behaviour, it may only make them more upset.

If your dog does bark, do not reward them with your attention or treats. This will only encourage them to repeat the same behaviour in the future.

Additionally, never shout or ‘bark’ back at your dog. This makes your dog think you are talking to them and joining in on the fun, which will make barking even more attractive.

Some dogs get a kick out of barking, so do not allow them to continue doing so. Barking is not a problem that will usually resolve itself. In fact, if you simply ignore your dog’s barking they may turn to other more destructive or aggressive behaviours to get attention.

In Summary

The first step to stop your dog barking when they are home alone, is to recognise the cause. You need to find the reason for their barking. Is it because they are anxious or are they territorial?

Once you have found the cause, you can begin to treat the problem. Control your dog’s environment and leave them in a nice, quiet place where they can rest. Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and keep them mentally stimulated through obedience training and the use of toys.

Train your dog to become used to your absence. Slowly increase the time you are out of the house and never reward barking. Reward good behaviour and never punish your dog for anxious behaviour.

Solving your dog’s barking problem overnight is not going to happen. It will require patience and time on both you and your dog’s part.

Now Read: How To Stop Your Dog Pulling on a Lead

Can Dogs Eat Avocados or Are They Dangerous?

Can dogs eat avocados? Are they healthy or dangerous for dogs? Avocados may be a wonder-food for humans due to being rich in essential vitamins and minerals, but you should be careful about feeding them to your dog.  

Can Dogs Eat Avocados?

Avocados are associated with all sorts of problems in a variety of different animals, including horses, cattle, goats, fish, birds and many more. The reason for this is because avocados contain persin, which can cause mastitis, heart failure, and potentially even death.

Persin exists in the avocado fruit’s leaves, seed, stem and skin. It is a toxic fatty acid that can be toxic in large quantities, but interestingly dogs and even cats seem to be unaffected by its toxicity.

Dr. Justine Lee, a board-certified emergency critical care veterinary specialist and author of two popular books on pets said “Despite the rumours, avocado is not poisonous to dogs, nor likely to cats,”

“Dogs and cats don’t seem to be affected by persin,” explains Lee. “However, birds and large animals (such as horses and cattle) have issues with persin toxicity, as it can be deadly in these species.

The biggest risk to dogs is not persin, but in fact the seed of an avocado. Avocado seeds can cause an obstruction in your dog’s digestive system if they are ingested. They are very large and if they do get stuck, your dog may require medical treatment to remove them.

The flesh of an avocado can be fed to dogs, but we recommend that you only give them small quantities of it.

Why Do Some People Say You Shouldn’t Feed Avocado to Dogs?

Most of the controversy around feeding avocado to dogs comes from a study that was published in 1994. This study about the death of two dogs found that they had consumed whole avocados, including parts of the plant.

A later study in 2012 looked at feeding avocado extract to dogs over a six month period. The extract was a defatted, water soluble extract of the flesh, skin and seed and made up about 1.1 percent of the dog’s diet. It was concluded that the dogs that consumed the avocado extract suffered no adverse health effects over this period.

Are There Any Benefits of Avocado for Dogs?

Avocados are loaded with all sorts of good vitamins, minerals and fats. Some vets even recommend feeding dogs avocado based food products if they are suffering from poor coat or skin condition. Dogs that are suffering from dry skin, skin infections, hair loss or thinning, and hair or skin odour problems may be deficient in fats and antioxidants.

Vitamin A and E deficiency, along with low levels of fat will often lead to dry skin, flaky, itchy skin and skin infections. Because avocados are rich in vitamin A, E, and omega fatty acids, they can be used to improve coat and skin condition.

Are Avocados Bad for Dogs?

So we know that you can feed avocado flesh to your dog, but are there any downsides. While fats are an important part of a dog’s diet, too much fat can be a bad thing. You should always contact your vet and get their opinion before adding something to your dog’s regular diet.

High fat diets for dogs have been linked to pancreatitis, so you need to be careful when adding anything to your dog’s regular diet. Check out this article from 2008 to learn more about the effects of high fat diets in dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Avocado Based Products, Like Guacamole?

The avocado in something like guacamole is not the problem, it is everything else that makes up the product that can cause issues. Anything that contains onions or garlic should be avoided, and there are a whole host of other food items that can be dangerous as well. You can read more about them here.

We recommend that you steer clear of any products that are not pure avocado, unless you know exactly what they contain or if they are designed for dogs. Many avocado based products will also be loaded with salt and other spices which can be bad for dogs.

How Should You Give Avocado to Dogs?

If you are set on introducing avocado into your dog’s diet or you just want to give them a small bit as a treat there are some things to remember. Only give your dog avocado flesh and cut it up into smaller pieces. Do not feed your dog the skin or the seed, and make sure you dispose of them out of reach of your dog.

Introduce avocado slowly, as any new food product has the potential to cause an upset stomach or your dog may even be allergic.

Consider purchasing an avocado based pet food product like AvoDerm Natural. AvoDerm is manufactured from the flesh and oil of avocados, and does not contain any product from the leaves, stem, seed or skin.

How Often Can You Feed Avocado to Dogs?

Like with all things, moderation is the key. You should not be feeding excessive amounts of avocado to your dog. Too much avocado may cause vomiting, diarrhea and an upset stomach.

We suggest you only give your dog small pieces of avocado as a treat only. If you are using an avocado based dog food product that is okay, but always talk to your veterinarian before starting a new diet.

What to Do If Your Dog Has Eaten an Avocado Seed?

If your dog has ingested an avocado seed, we recommend that you seek veterinarian advice immediately. Look to see if your dog has left any parts of the avocado uneaten, as this will be important information for your vet. The important thing is to get your dog assessed as quickly as possible as the avocado seed may require surgical removal.

Wrapping Up Are Avocados Safe for Dogs to Eat?

As you can see there is quite a bit of information regarding feeding avocados to dogs. You need to remember that you should only feed your dog avocado flesh in small quantities, and do not feed them the skin, seed, or any parts of the plant.

Avocado should not make up a large part of your dog’s diet, as this should come from their regular dog food. If you do insist of introducing avocado into your dog’s diet, we recommend consulting with a veterinarian first.

Now Read: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can Eat

Top Ten Donald Trump Dog Toys

Donald Trump is a divisive character, but whether you love him or hate him he has changed the political scene in America forever. If you are not on the side of the Trumpinator, we reckon the best way to get your anger out is watching your dog have a go at him. That’s why we have put together a list of all the best Donald Trump dog toys we could find.

The toys we have listed below are not the toughest or strongest, but we think you are going to love them. Before we get into the toys, let’s look at some toy safety.

Dog Toy Safety

Different breeds of dog are easier or harder on toys, and some dogs will destroy weak ones in seconds. Always supervise your dog when they are playing with toys and replace them when they are starting to show signs of excessive wear.

The Best Donald Trump Dog Toys

Below we have put together the best Trump dog toys. These cover a range of different types of toys and will keep both you and your dog entertained for hours.

Fuzzu Donald Trump Dog Toy

Fuzzu makes some of the best presidential pet toys and your dog will love to bite down on this Donald Trump toy. The toy is remarkably lifelike and Donald is sporting his golden tan, plush hair and tidy suit look. Fuzzu’s toys all come with flopy arms and legs, so your dog can shake them senseless.

To make the toy more durable, Fuzzu have fortified the seams with durable triple-stitching and it is made out of non-toxic printed cotton/poly canvas. The toy also features a squeaker, which will keep your dog coming back for more fun.

Fuzzu offers the toy in a range of different sizes for different sized dogs and you can even buy a cat version. For those looking for a different political figure, the company also makes a Bernie Sanders toy, a Hillary Clinton dog toy, Bill Clinton and even Vladimir Putin.

Find out more about Fuzzu’s Donald Trump Dog Toy.

Patpet Presidential Donald Trump Squeaker Dog Toy

The Presidential Parody Trump dog toy from Patpet is sure to keep both you are your canine companion entertained. It comes in one size and is 11 inches tall. The toy is manufactured by Boran, which is a Chinese based company that has over 10 years of experience making pet products. Like the Fuzzu above, this toy features a squeaker and is ideal for a range of different breeds of dog.

Find out more about the Presidential Parody Donald Trump dog toy from Patpet.

Donald Trump “Bite Me” Chew Toy

This Donald Trump chew toy is ideal for dogs and owners who are looking for a bit of republican chewing action. The bone shaped chew will keep your dog biting, shaking, ripping and chewing at Mr Trump for hours.

It is manufactured from non-toxic materials and features the words “bite me” on it. Alternatively, if you want a bit of democrat chewing action, Funneebones also offers a Hillary Clinton dog toy as well.

Find out more about the Donald Trump Chew Toy here.

Donald Trump Chicken Dog Toy

Yes, you did read that right, someone has gone to the effort of making a toy that mixes President Trump with a chicken. This has got to be our favourite toy on the list, and we are sure you and your dog will love it to.  

Chicken Trump is made from a soft, plush material and features no less than five squeakers inside. It will be great for games of fetch and tug as it has minimal stuffing inside.

Check out Chicken Trump on Amazon.

Chomp A Chump Donald Trump Dog Toy

If you are looking for one of the toughest Trump dog toys out there, you can’t go far wrong with the Chomp a Chump toy. It is manufactured out of a durable and tough canvas material with strong stitching to hold it together.

The toy features “USA” flag tape on his mouth so you can’t hear him scream when your dog starts chomping on him. Chomp a Chump even states that the Trump dog toy could be a future memorabilia item to remember the crazy election in 2016, however, we’re not too sure about that. Still, if you are looking for a great Trump toy that your canine companion can really tear into, the Chomp a Chump will be ideal.

Find out more about the Chomp a Trump here.

Presidential Donnie Doll Chew Toy

Made from non-toxic latex rubber, the Donnie Doll chew toy is great for small to medium sized dogs. Squeakers inside the toy will make it even more exciting for your dog to play with and it features Trump’s signature winning figure pose. While this toy is fine for smaller dogs, it is not recommended for tough chewers.

Check out the Donnie Doll chew toy here.   

LEDNovelty Donald Trump Stuffed Dog Toy

Your dog will love shaking, throwing, tossing and chewing LEDNovelty’s Trump dog toy. The toy features Trump’s famous canary yellow hair, blue suit, red tie, yellow dollar socks and his ‘bigly’ facial expression.

It is made from 100% non-toxic materials and the company even claims it will help your dog’s dental health. While the toy is durable LEDNovelty made it to be torn apart, giving you the satisfaction of watching Mr Trump get ripped into pieces.

The great thing with this toy is that LEDNovelty provides a 100% money back guarantee, so you can buy it risk free.

Find out more about LEDNovelty’s Trump dog toy here.

Fomate Trump Wig & Tie

Want to dress your dog up as President Trump, well, Fomate has you covered with their Trump wig & tie doggie cosplay collection. The wig features Trump’s iconic comb over in golden yellow and the tie has patriotic stars and stripes on it.

An easy fit hook-and-loop fastener will get your canine companion looking like Mr Trump in no time and you can even attach other accessories to it as well. The necktie is adjustable via Velcro bands. So you can get the perfect fit for your dog.

Check out Fomate’s Trump Wig & Tie for dogs here on Amazon.

Rubie Donald Trump Dog Costume

To go along with the wig & tie above, why don’t you invest in Rubie’s business suit pet costume. The suit comes in a range of different sizes and should fit most dogs from small to big. However, Rubie recommends you check out their size guide before purchasing to make sure the suit will fit.

The suit is blue in colour and comes with a white collar and red necktie. Velcro adjusters are used to close the suit around the neck and body, so you should be able to get the perfect fit.

Find out more about Rubie’s Trump Business suit here.

Dumps for Trump Dog Poo Bags

The last item on this list is not a toy but we’re sure you will love it. These Dumps for Trump poo bags will be ideal for picking up your dog’s nasty business. Slimy or hard, these bags will be good for all number twos and you will have the satisfaction of getting Mr Trump’s bigly face right in there.

For your money, you will get a total of three 20 bag rolls (60 rolls if your maths is a bit rough) and an exclusive Dumps for Trump sticker.

Check out the Dumps for Trump poo bags here.  

Summing Up the Best Donald Trump Dog Toys

While the dog toys on this list probably aren’t going to be the most durable or long lasting, they will undoubtedly provide some entertainment. If you are looking for something to take your Trump hatred out on, these ten products will have you sorted. Whether it is chew toys, costumes or poo bags, these items will give you something to laugh about.

Remember to always supervise your dog when they are playing with toys, especially if you have a particularly destructive canine. Toys that are showing excessive signs of wear should be replaced, as small parts can be dangerous to dogs. Thanks for reading this review!

Now Read: What is the Oldest Dog Breed – 25 Ancient Breeds

How To Treat Dog Dandruff – Everything You Need To Know

Just like people, dogs can suffer from dandruff. It’s annoying, uncomfortable and can be difficult to get rid of. Dandruff can make a gorgeous dog look bad, especially when you give them a rub down and you notice unsightly white flakes everywhere.

Skin conditions are the most common reasons for veterinary visits and dandruff can be a big part of them. Dandruff can be caused by a wide range of different things that we are going to discuss throughout this article.

If your dog is suffering from dandruff or you suspect they are, we are going to give you all the information you need to know to combat it.

What Is Dandruff

Dandruff is actually caused by a skin condition called seborrhea, which causes flaky skin and greasiness of the hair and skin. It is incredibly common in dogs and can lead to a secondary infection of the skin. Dogs can sometimes smell bad due to the build-up of oil on the hair and skin.

Seborrhea, What’s That?

Seborrhea or seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition in which the skin’s sebaceous glands produce too much sebum. It often affects the flanks, face and back and causes the itchy, flaky, red skin we often associate with dandruff.

There are a couple of types of seborrhea, seborrhea sicca (dry seborrhea) and seborrhea oleosa (oily seborrhea). Dogs usually suffer from a combination of both types of seborrhea.

In addition to this, dogs can suffer from primary or secondary seborrhea. Secondary seborrhea is the most common, while primary seborrhea is rarer and is usually genetic, so it gets passed down through the family.

What Causes Dandruff in Dogs?

Dandruff can be caused by several different factors in dogs. These causes could be anything from allergens in the environment or the food your dog consumes. Irritants like dust, pollen, household cleaners and possibly even flea saliva can cause your dog to develop dandruff.

Endocrine disorders like hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease are also common causes of dandruff in dogs. If your dog is suffering from a fungal or bacterial skin infection, they can also develop dandruff. However, infections will typically cause dandruff to manifest itself as skin flakes all over the body instead of one area.

  • Allergies – anything from food to environmental reasons
  • Parasites (both internal and external) – ticks, fleas and mange mites
  • Fungal infections – especially yeast infections on the skin
  • Hormonal problems and imbalances – Cushing’s disease, thyroid disease, etc.
  • Environmental factors – pollen, temperature, humidity
  • Obesity
  • Musculoskeletal pain or disease – your dog may not be able to groom or clean themselves properly
  • Dietary problems

Sometimes, the exact cause of dandruff or seborrhea cannot be found (this is named as idiopathic seborrhea).

Below we have gone more in depth about the different causes of dandruff.

Allergies and Environmental Factors That Cause Dandruff in Dogs

Changing seasons bring lots of different changes and challenges for dogs, from dry hot weather, to cold air and allergies in spring.

If your find that your dog’s dandruff problem seems to coincide with decreased humidity and colder temperatures it could simply be a case of dry skin. Additionally, if your dog develops dandruff with the first wave of spring pollen it is probably due to an allergic response.

Shedding caused by seasonal changes can also lead to dandruff. This is because dead fur can build up and lead to poor coat health.

Grooming Problems

Improper grooming can have a major effect on your dog’s coat condition. It is incredibly important to keep your dog clean and well-groomed at all times, as this can help to prevent possible infections or infestations from occurring. Keeping your dog well-groomed also helps to keep their coat nicely lubricated and prevents flaking skin and dryness.

Fleas, Mites and Other Parasites

Fleas are something that all dog owners and dog’s fear. They can be incredibly irritating and may be the cause of a dog’s dandruff problem. Many dogs are allergic to flea saliva and the reaction they have can lead to dandruff, dry skin, itchiness and a whole host of other problems.

Occasionally, dandruff in dogs can be caused by Cheyletiella mites. These mites burrow deep into your canine’s coat and skin to lay their eggs. The mites can cause itchiness, scaling. Dandruff caused by these mites can sometimes be called “walking dandruff”.

Demodex and Sarcoptes scabiei mites can also be the underlying cause of dandruff in dogs. These mites cause demodectic and sarcoptic mange, which causes irritation, itchiness, hair loss and dry skin amongst other things.

Diet

A good diet is essential for dogs. Diets that do not have enough omega-3 fatty acids can cause skin and coat problems like dandruff. Dogs can also be allergic to certain food items, which can lead to dandruff.

The majority of good dog foods will have all the nutrients and vitamins your dog needs to stay fit and healthy. Try to stay away from cheaper dog food products or talk with your vet about what could be best for your dog.

Fungal and Bacterial Infections

Yeast infections of the skin or ringworm are common reasons for dandruff in dogs. Dogs typically develop yeast infections between their toes, in their air canal and around their anus.

Despite its name, ringworm is not an invasion of tiny worms, but actually a fungal infection. It is incredibly contagious and can cause itchiness, poor coat health, skin problems and dandruff.

Illness or Disease

If you find that your dog’s dandruff problem is not caused by any of the above, it could be because they are suffering from a systemic illness like Cushing’s disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, liver disease and kidney disease.

Check out PetMD for more information on Cushing’s disease.

Check for any changes in your dog’s behaviour, like changes in their energy levels, appetite or urination. Your vet should also be able to help you with this one.

Dog Dandruff Signs and Symptoms

Dog dandruff will present itself as either oily, flaky skin or dry, flaky skin, depending on what breed your dog is. The flakes of skin are actually dead skin cells that have stuck together and are falling off.

Dandruff can also cause scratching and itching, and in some cases it can even lead to hair loss or baldness. Some areas of skin can appear thick and bumps, pimples and scabs can also be a sign your dog is suffering from dandruff.

If your dog is experiencing baldness in addition to the flaky skin, you should book them in for a trip to the vets. Hair loss can be a sign that your dog is suffering from a systemic illness like Cushing’s disease or thyroid disease.

What Breeds of Dog Are Most Likely to Develop Dandruff?

Dog breeds that are most likely to develop dandruff can be broken down into two categories. We have outlined them below.

Dog Breeds More Likely to Develop Dry Dandruff
  • Dobermans
  • Dachshunds
  • German Shepherds
  • Irish Setters
Dog Breeds More Likely to Develop Oily Dandruff
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • English Springer Spaniels
  • Basset Hounds
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Sharp-Peis
  • West Highland White Terriers

How Is Dandruff or Seborrhea Diagnosed in Dogs?

Your vet can conduct a number of different tests to diagnose your dog’s dandruff condition. They may conduct a thorough physical examination of your dog, including skin scrapings for parasites. A flea comb can be used to see if your dog is suffering from a flea infestation.

Vets can also take fungal and bacterial cultures of their skin to check for any infections. In addition to these tests they may take blood tests to rule out any allergies, endocrine diseases and dietary or digestive disorders.

Your vet will probably ask you questions about your dog’s behaviour, diet and energy levels, along with the frequency of their urination and drinking. The answers you give them can help put together a picture of your dog’s overall health and condition.

A fecal examination may be required and a biopsy of the skin may be necessary. If all other options have been ruled out, your vet may make a diagnoses of primary (inherited) seborrhea.

How to Cure Dog Dandruff?

Depending on the cause of your dog’s dandruff, treatment can be easy or difficult. There are a range of different treatment methods and your vet may recommend a specific one for the cause of your dog’s dandruff.

It is important to understand what the underlying cause of the dandruff is in order to treat it effectively. For example, if your dog is suffering from some sort of infection, a round of antibiotics may be needed.

However, a simple case of dry skin that causes the dandruff could be treated by a range of different products or methods.

Give Them a Bath

A bath is an excellent way to get your dog clean. You may want to make use of a shampoo that is designed for dogs, and you might even want to try a medicated shampoo. “Dry” dandruff sufferers will benefit from a shampoo that has been formulated with sulphur, systolic acid or iodine.

For those suffering from “oily” dandruff, you can use a shampoo that is formulated with coal tar, benzoyl peroxide or selenium sulphide.

Some dog shampoo products are formulated for both skin types, and can be a great option to treat dandruff. If you find the shampoo product you are using is not having the desired effect, try another one. Getting the right product can be a process of trial and error, however, we have listed two ones we recommend below:

Nootie Medicated Dog Shampoo

Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

How Often Should a Dog Be Bathed?

This can be a difficult question to answer, as it really depends on the severity of your dog’s condition. If your dog has normal skin give them a bath about once a month. For dogs with skin conditions or dandruff we recommend washing your dog about once a week, unless specified by your vet. Washing your dog too much can cause dry skin and can actually make the problem worse.

Once you see that they dandruff is starting to disappear and any sores, bumps or scabs seem to be healing, you can reduce the frequency of the bathing.

Groom Them Regularly

In addition to giving your dog a bath, you should be regularly grooming your dog as well. Give them a regular brush and if your dog has a longer coat, make sure it is maintained well (trimming, etc.) You can take your dog to the groomers if you want. Grooming your dog will keep them clean and can help to remove any potential contaminants or allergens. It can also help to stimulate oil production, which gives your dog a nice shine.

Check Their Diet

One of our Labradors, Daisy, had a moderate case of dandruff when she was a younger dog. Ultimately, we discovered that this was her diet when we changed her food.

Dietary issues and what dog food product you give to your dog can have a massive effect on the condition of their coat. Your dog needs to consume the correct amount of vitamins and nutrients to have optimal health.

The first port of call is to look at the food you are feeding your dog. Try and change it for one that is formulated for coat health. Food high in omega-3 helps to promote healthy coat and skin.

Another option is to try a dog supplement, such as zinc and vitamins A and E. Vitamin A and E will help their skin and Zinc can improve their immune system. You can also supplement with fish oil for extra omega-3.

Always make sure that your dog is drinking enough water. If your dog is not consuming enough, look for creative ways to get more water down them. Give them ice cubes with treats inside or try some canned food.

Use a Humidifier

Humidity can be a major cause of dandruff

Natural Treatment for Dog Dandruff

There are a number of different natural treatments you can try. We have covered some of them below:

Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar

You can use an apple cider rinse to help control your dog’s itching and dandruff problems. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar with water, and apply the mixture to your dog’s coat as a rinse or as a spot treatment. If you are spot treating your dog, use a soft cloth and then dab it onto the affected area. Make sure you do not get the mixture into your dog’s eyes or mouth.

Finally, let the solution dry on your dog and repeat every couple of days.

Try a Lime Juice Rinse

Just like apple cider vinegar, lime juice can be used as a rinse to help clear your dog’s dandruff. Once again, you want to combine equal parts of lime juice and water, and rinse your dog with it after they have had a bath. You can also apply it as a spot treatment with a soft cloth.

Soothe with Oatmeal

Oatmeal can be incredibly soothing for irritated and itchy skin. The irritation and constant scratching of certain skin conditions can lead to dandruff, so it is a good idea to try and reduce it. Check out this article on how to make gentle shampoo for your dog.

Try Some Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek seeds are another great option to help cure your dog’s dandruff. Soak around 2-3 cups of the seeds overnight, and then make a paste from them in the morning. Apply the paste to your dog’s skin and leave it on there for about one hour. After this, clean the paste off with cool water.

Use Olive and Coconut Oil as a Moisturiser

Both coconut and olive oil can be an effective moisturiser for your dog’s coat and skin. Try mixing coconut oil with water and using it as a rinse. Apply the rinse to your dog and let it set on them for around five minutes. Wash it off like you would do with shampoo and apply it once a week.

Home Remedy Treatment for Dandruff on Dogs

Listerine Mouth Wash

While this may seem like a strange one, it can work. Listerine mouth wash can help relieve itching and flaky skin. This is because it contains Thymol, Menthol and Methy Salicylate, which are all effective at combating fungus or yeast that causes dandruff.

  1. Mix equal parts of Listerine with water
  2. Apply this mixture on the affected area and let it rest for around ten minutes
  3. Give your dog a bath and wash off the Listerine mixture

This will hopefully cure your dog’s dandruff problem quickly and effectively.

Milk of Magnesia

Milk of magnesia has been used to treat seborrheic dermatitis for years. It is perfectly safe for dogs and is great for helping their dandruff problem. There is no mixing with milk of magnesia, simply massage it onto your dog’s skin and allow it to sit for at least thirty minutes. Once thirty minutes is up, simply wash it off.

How to Treat Walking Dandruff on Dogs?

Walking dandruff or Cheyletiellosis is incredibly contagious and the treatment method is slightly different to regular dog dandruff, as the issue is caused by mites. A dog that is suffering from walking dandruff will usually suffer from inflammation, irritation, hair loss and skin sores.

Your dog may need to undergo weekly lime sulphur dips to treat the issue. In addition to this, your vet may recommend that you use pyrethrin shampoos or sprays.

In some cases, flea control medication may be recommended and in more severe cases your vet may prescribe invermectin. The drug is administered orally or subcutaneously, and can be toxic to some breeds of dog.

If your dog is suffering from walking dandruff, you will also have to treat the environment they live in. Wash their bedding and thoroughly clean your house to prevent any further infestations.

Summing Up Dog Dandruff

As you can see, dandruff could be caused by something simple or something complicated. If your dog has dandruff, the first port of call is to work out what the cause is. Dandruff that appears during certain seasons is usually caused by allergies or the weather.

For more complicated cases it is best to contact your vet. They will be able to conduct a number of tests on your dog to work out the underlying cause of the dandruff.

If you have any other methods of dandruff treatment you know, leave them in the comments below.

Now Read: How To Treat Dog Diarrhea – Complete Guide 

How to Keep Your Dog Cool at Night

We all love hot weather, but there is nothing worse than being entangled in a duvet on a hot night. While you can strip off the sheets on your bed, your dog is stuck with their warm coat. Dogs can overheat pretty quickly in hot weather, so what can you do to help them cool down at night?

In this guide we have put together all the information you need to know about cooling a dog down at night. Ignoring heat can lead to a number health complications and possibly even death in extreme circumstances. Before we get into ways to make your dog more comfortable, let’s look at a few different factors that can impact how your dog deals with heat.

Things That Can Impact How Your Dog Deals with Heat

Age and Health

Young puppies, older dogs and those with health conditions are much more likely to feel the effects of heat. This is because they are not as good at regulating their temperature when compared to healthy dogs.

Your Dog’s Breed and Coat

Different breeds are better or worse at dealing with hot weather. Dogs that have longer, thicker coats or those more suited to lower temperatures like Huskies are more likely to struggle in hot weather.

The colour of your dog’s coat can impact on their ability to deal with hotter temperatures as darker colours absorb more heat. However, as we are dealing with cooling a dog down at night, this should not have any impact.

Your Dog’s Heat Tolerance

Some dogs have developed a tolerance to living in hotter climates. If your dog has only experienced cold or mild temperatures and then gets hit by some hot weather, they are more likely to struggle.

Environmental Factors

The environment your dog is in can have a big impact on how hot they get at night. Is your house well ventilated or does it keep the heat in at night? Have you got air conditioning or can you open the windows to let heat out? All these things will impact how well you can cool your dog down at night.

How Do Dogs Dissipate Heat?

Instead of sweating, dogs reduce their body temperate by panting. Dogs do have some sweat glands in the pads of their paws, which help to dissipate heat, but not by much. If panting is not enough, a dog’s body temperature will rise and they can quickly overheat.

Health Concerns for Dogs at Night

Heatstroke and Overheating

Overheating is a major concern in hot weather. Dogs can get too hot and they may not be capable of bringing their body temperature down quickly enough to avoid nasty health complications.

Excessive panting and other signs of discomfort indicate overheating or heatstroke in dogs. Extreme cases can cause vomiting, weakness, seizures and possibly even death. Heatstroke is associated with a body temperature that is higher than 41 degrees Celsius.

Main Causes of Overheating and Heatstroke in Dogs

We have listed some of the main causes of heatstroke and overheating below:

  • Excessive heat and humidity from either weather conditions or being stuck in an environment with no ventilation.
  • Too much exercise.
  • Diseases that increase the chance of developing hypothermia; such as heart diseases, paralysis of the voice box and other muscular related diseases.
  • Any disease or sickness that restricts breathing.
  • Poisoning from various different products or compounds such as weed killers and slug and snail bait. These chemicals can cause seizures which can lead to a rise in body temperature.
How to Treat a Dog with Heatstroke

It is incredibly important to reduce your dog’s body temperature if they are overheating or suffering from heat stroke. You must recognise the signs of overheating and then deal with them in a swift manner.

Try and immerse your dog’s body in cool water (not their head) or spray them with water from either a hose or water bottle. You can also try wrapping your dog in wet towels or using fans to cool them down. If possible, move your dog out of the hot environment and put them in a place that is cooler.

You should not use ice water to cool your dog down quickly as it can actually reduce the body’s ability to cool. Icy cold water can cause blood vessels near the surface of the body to constrict, which can slow down the cooling process. Additionally, drinking water should not be icy cold and never force your dog to drink, only encourage them to do so.

Always take your dog to be examined by a veterinarian if they have suffered from heat stroke. Your vet will be able to confirm that your dog’s normal body temperature has been reached, and that no damage has occurred.

The good thing is that heatstroke is very uncommon at night and is more of a concern during the day. You can read more about heatstroke in dogs here.

How to Keep Your Dog Cool at Night

Keeping your dog cool at night requires you to pay attention to environmental factors. You need to be aware of the temperature both outside and inside where your dog sleeps. There are some things that can’t be changed, but there are still plenty of things you can do to make your dog’s night a bit more comfortable.

Keep the Air Conditioning On

If your house has air conditioning, make sure you leave it on overnight. This will help to keep the room cool and will keep both you and your dog much more comfortable. If the air con doesn’t reach the room in which your dog sleeps, move them to a room that it does (if possible).

For those that don’t have air conditioning, try place a fan in front of where your dog sleeps and leave it on overnight.

Keep Their Water Topped Up

A dog should always have access to plenty of fresh water to drink, especially when it is hot. Dogs can quickly become dehydrated if they do not have access to water, so never leave them without any.

When it is hot we recommend that you provide an additional bowl of water or two, to make sure they never run out. You can also drop a few ice cubes in their bowl or fill it up from cool water from out of the fridge.

Give Them a Cool Surface

When dogs are hot they will naturally find the coolest place to lie down on. Floors that are made from tiles will be cooler than those that have a layer of carpet on them. In addition to this, your dog may not want to sleep on their bed as it may trap more heat.

If you do not have a cool floor to let your dog sleep on, we recommend that you use something like a cooling mat. This cooling mat from The Green Pet Shop is perfect for dogs that get too hot at night.

Move Your Dog Downstairs

If you have a multi-story house and your canine companion sleeps upstairs, you should move them downstairs if possible. They will be a lot cooler and more comfortable than being in a stuffy bedroom.

Purchase a Kiddie Pool for Your Dog

A plastic kiddie pool or dog wading pool filled with water is an excellent way to cool your dog down. Your dog’s body temperature will quickly reduce if they sit in it and they hold more than enough water for them to drink. However, a paddling pool filled with water probably isn’t going to work for dogs that sleep inside. Still, you can get your dog to lie in one before they go to bed to reduce their body temperature.

Give Them a Wet Blanket

Wetting a blanket and letting your dog lie on it is an excellent way of cooling them down. Replace your dog’s regular blanket and a wet towel and let them sleep on it at night. You can also cover your dog with a wet towel to cool them down if they are overheating or suffering from heatstroke.

Groom Your Dog

Regularly brushing your dog can help to remove any excess or old fur, which can trap heat close to the body. If your dog has a longer coat, you may want to consider getting it trimmed for the summer months.

Give Them Some Icy Treats

Dogs love treats and icy ones are an excellent way of getting your dog’s core body temperature down. Freeze some food like carrots or peas in ice cubes and let them have them before bedtime. You can also give your dog a plain ice cube, but don’t do this if they are suffering from heatstroke.

Concluding How to Keep a Dog Cool at Night

Keeping your dog cool when it is hot at night is really about managing environmental conditions and recognising when your dog is starting to overheat. If you are feeling too hot, then your dog is probably feeling the same way.

Now Read: How Much Exercise Do Dogs Need? 

How To Clicker Train A Dog – Complete Guide

Most modern dog training techniques involve giving a dog a reward when they carry out an action that we want. The reason this works so well is that dogs tend to do pretty much anything for a reward they want or need.

The desire for rewards or treats is what makes modern positive training methods better than old-school negative training methods. We can give a reward for behaviours we want and withhold a reward if they do not carry out the correct action.

The main problem is that it can be difficult to instantly reward a dog for the behaviour we want, and that’s where clicker training comes in.

Below, we have created a complete guide to clicker training for dogs and the pros and cons of clicker training. By the end of this article you should have all the information you need on how to clicker train a dog.

What Is Clicker Training for Dogs?

You have probably heard about clicker training, but what exactly is it? Clicker training is a positive reinforcement training method that was developed by marine mammal trainers (although, they use whistles instead of clickers because they can be heard underwater).

Marine mammal trainers had to use positive reinforcement methods to train their animals, as negative training techniques do not work with an animal that can simply swim away. The clicker or whistle tells the animal that the behaviour they are performing at that exact moment is correct and will earn them a reward.

In dog training circles the click sound is often referred to as an event marker. An event marker is a signal used to precisely indicate to a dog that they are carrying out the correct action at that very moment.

Without an event marker it is incredibly difficult to communicate this positivity at the right time. For example, rewarding your dog with a food treat after they have performed an action is almost certainly too late.

What Does an Event Marker Sound Like?

Well, apart from the obvious clicker sound that we have already discussed, an event market can be pretty much anything as long as it is clear and definite. Your dog needs to recognise the sound and match that to the behaviour they are currently conducting.

Event markers need to be incredibly clear and precise, and they shouldn’t be used at any other time. Long or complicated event markers can make your dog confused and they may even have the opposite effect.

If you are using your voice, something like “Yes” or “Good” are probably the best options for an event marker. The problem with these are that we often use them in other situations as well, which can be confusing to your dog.

You can select another word that is less commonly used, but we feel the best option is to use a clicker. The clicking sound is clear and your dog should not get it confused with other sounds or words.

While clicking sounds and words are most commonly used as event markers, other tools such as vibration collars or laser lights may be used for deaf dogs.

What Is a Clicker?

A clicker is a small mechanical device that fits into the palm of your hand. A clicking sound is produced from a small metal tongue that is located inside the device that can be initiated via a button.

Clickers are incredibly useful as they are small and portable, which means they can go everywhere with you. The clicking sound is also very distinctive and consistently the same, which is important for training purposes.

If you need a clicker, check out this one from EcoCity.

Why Does Clicker Training Work So Well?

The reason why clicker training works so well is that dogs learn through consequences and rewards. When a dog completes an action there are three possible outcomes for them.

  • Things get better for them
  • Things get worse
  • Things stay the same

Everything your dog does will land in one of these three categories, whether you are training them or not. This is important because these categories will change the way your dog will behave in the future. If they do an action and things get better for them, they are more likely to do that same action in the future.

There is No Punishment

All dog trainers rely on some sort of consequence or reward to training a dog, and clicker training is no different in that regard. However, clicker training includes an active choice that avoids punishment.

Negative punishment is known to reduce bad behaviour, but there are a large number of downsides that make it a poor form of training. Training that involves negative punishment can lead to unwanted behaviour down the line and will make your dog less trusting of you.

We also know that dogs that receive no form of negative punishment learn faster and are less aggressive than those that do. You can read more about negative reinforcement dog training here.

How Clicker Training Can Reduce Bad Behaviour

As we wrote just above, training involves three different outcome categories. We know that clicker training is a great way to let dogs know that something good will happen to them, but what about the other two categories.

Negative reinforcement techniques often utilise the “things get worse” part, which is the one we want to avoid. Clicker training on the other hand makes use of the third of the three consequences “things stay the same and are unchanged”.

The benefit of this is that if things stay the same for your dog after they perform an action, they will be less likely to repeat the same behaviour in the future.

Making sure a dog does not get any rewards after bad behaviour is an important part of clicker training. It helps to train a dog quicker and will prevent bad habits from developing further.

In addition to this, clicker training gets the trainer to focus on good behaviours rather than trying to stop bad ones. This is important because dogs crave attention and any attention, whether it is good or bad, can be seen as a reward.

Focus on the Good, Not the Bad

When we train a dog we want to focus on the good things they do rather than the bad. For example, instead of trying to stop a dog from jumping up on people, you should reward them for keeping all four paws on the ground. Clicker training is excellent for this as it provides instant feedback.

So, How Do You Clicker Train a Dog?

Now that you know why clicker training is so effective and widely used, it is time to teach you how to implement it. But how do you do this? How will your dog associate the clicker with good things?

Before you can start using a clicker in regular training sessions, you need to prepare your dog for the clicker training experience. We do this through a process called ‘charging the clicker’.

What Is Charging the Clicker?

If you have decided that clicker training is for you and your dog, the first thing you need to do is make the clicking sound have a meaning. This means that you have to condition your dog to make them associate the clicker with a reward, which is usually but not exclusively a tasty treat.

Below we are going to show you how to charge the clicker in easy to follow steps. Once you successfully train your dog to use a clicker, the clicking sound alone is rewarding for your dog.

Training Your Dog to Respond to a Clicker

The first thing you need to do is find a nice quiet room or place where you can train together. The environment you are in needs to be free of distractions, so that your dog keeps their attention focused on you.

For the next step you need to have a container of treats with you and the clicker in your hand. Press the click and immediately throw your dog a treat. Once your dog has lost interest, repeat the same action.

Keep this up for several minutes, but make sure your dog is doing something different every time you click and throw them a treat. This is because you do not want your dog to associate the click with any other behaviour. You are focusing on the link between the clicking sound and the food reward.

Repeat this clicking and rewarding action about twenty times and then stop. Your dog will quickly learn that they will receive a treat after hearing a click. We recommend that you repeat this training process two or three times a day for a couple of days to really get the association ingrained into their mind.

How Is Clicker Training Used?

Once your dog associates the click with rewards you can begin to use it in other training sessions. For example, if you are training your dog to sit, click the clicker when they sit and give them a treat.

The great thing is that you don’t necessary have to reward your dog straight away. As the clicker is being charged through classical conditioning, your dog knows that they are going to be rewarded for their behaviour simply because the click was heard. All of the confusion is eliminated and your dog will learn quicker.

Clicker training can be used for almost anything. For example, you can click the exact moment your dog drops a ball, or when they fetch an item, or even when they go to the toilet. Clicker training can be used to stop your dog from pulling on their lead by rewarding them with a click when they are not pulling.

The great thing is that it doesn’t matter if the reward comes seconds after. Your dog will know that they are being rewarded as you marked the exact moment precisely. You can allow for a couple of seconds to pass between using the clicker to rewarding your dog, without worrying about whether they understand the reason for the reward.

When Is the Best Time to Use Clicker Training?

Clicker training is best used when you are teaching your dog a new command or behaviour. Once your dog has learnt the command or you are happy with their behaviour, you can begin to phase out the clicker completely. If you do not remove the clicker once your dog has completely learned a command, there is a danger they will only perform for the click and reward that follows.

Use the clicker to train a behaviour or command, and then start to use a cue word when the behaviour is performed. You can then take away the clicker and your dog should respond to the cue word.

Clicker training will not be used in everyday situations. It is a means to an end and that end is to train a behaviour.

Clicker Training Puppies

You may be wondering if you can clicker train a puppy and the answer is undoubtedly a yes! Puppies are ideal candidates for clicker training and you can start implementing it as soon as you get your puppy home. If you train your puppy to use a clicker at a young age, you can then use it for all the important commands later on down the track.

Clicker training is great for house training your dog as you can teach them to go to the toilet on command. You can also use clicker training when you are crate training your dog as well.

Does Clicker Training Work at a Distance?

One question you may be wondering is “does clicker training work at a distance?”. Can you use clicker training in a park or in a noisy environment? Does it work around other dogs? Surely it isn’t much use outside?

There are two factors that come into play here and they include:

  • The role of the clicker
  • The volume of the clicker (whether it is audible)

Your dog can almost certainly hear the clicker at a reasonable distance and they can be used outside. However, the role of the clicker is to mark good behaviour or events, not to get the dog to act. It is usually used in the initial stages of training, rather than at more advanced stages.

For example, once you have taught your dog to “come”, you should not need to use a clicker. Simply reward your dog when they return to you and leave it at that. Clicker training is used to teach the “come” command and the behaviour associated with it.

Clicker Training Pros and Cons

To wrap this article up we will finish off with the pros and cons of clicker training a dog. The benefits of clicker training are as follows:

  • You can do multiple repetitions of the same behaviour without your dog losing interest or motivation.
  • Your dog is working in a highly rewarding environment which encourages them to do better and try and please you.
  • Training sessions can last longer with positive reward based training methods.
  • Your dog will learn quicker because of the clicker. The clicker provides perfect timing which explains to your dog what was expected and what the perfect behaviour is.
  • It helps build a great relationship between a dog and their owner/handler.
  • Better than using a word as an event marker as the click is clear and concise, and won’t get confused with other things.

The most common negatives of clicker training are as follows:

  • Clicker training uses a reward based concept, so those with dogs that have low drive for rewards may have trouble. Some dogs aren’t driven by food rewards or games, so can be much harder to train with clicker training.
  • Clicker training requires are large amount of practice and precision. You need to time your clicks perfectly to match the action your dog is doing. If you do not, your dog may become confused and think that you are rewarding them for a different action.
  • Clicker training cannot be continuously used as a reward. Once your dog has learned a behaviour or command, clicker training needs to be faded out.

Concluding How to Clicker Train a Dog

Clicker training is often talked about and recommended in dog owner circles. Taking advantage of your dog’s desire for rewards is the fastest and best way of training a dog. You can start clicker training as soon as you get your puppy home and it can even be used for older dogs as well. This guide should give you all the answers you need to know about clicker training dogs. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

Now Read: The Ultimate Guide to Training a Dog to Sit 

What Is The Oldest Dog Breed – 25 Ancient Dog Breeds

We all know that dogs are man’s best friend and that they have been an integral part of human history for millennia. It is believed that the domestication process of dogs started 10,000 to 30,000 years ago when a group of wolves first came into contact with European hunter-gatherers. Over time, wolves changed both physically and psychologically to become the friendly pets we know today.

While those earlier breeds of dog have died out, some have lasted thousands of years. Today we are going to be looking at the oldest dog breeds in the world and how they have evolved over time.

Characteristics of the Oldest Dog Breeds in the World

Many of the oldest dog breeds in the world share similar physical characteristics, as well as personality traits. Ancient dog breeds usually have strong bodies with well-developed muscles. Some of them have a wolf-like appearance and their coats are often a brown, red, tan or white colour.

In terms of their personality and character, these dogs tend to be very intelligent and independent. They are usually active dogs and they show great aptitude for learning. The breeds on this list typically show greater autonomy than some other dog breeds and they can make their own decisions.

While you could say that the dogs on this list are more wild in nature than some other breeds, they do make good pets. These dogs need lots of attention and effort must be made to train and socialise them correctly. If these dogs are not trained or socialised, it can lead to behavioural problems in the future.

The Origins of the Domesticated Dog

It is known that the dog was the first domesticated species and that their closest living relative is the Gray Wolf. Archaeological records show that the first undisputed dog remains were buried with a human 14,700 years ago, with disputed remains occurring 36,000 years ago. This shows that the earliest dogs arose in the time of human hunter-gatherers.

The genetic diversion of dogs is thought to be caused by an initial wolf population split into East and West Eurasian Wolves. These were then domesticated independently around 6,400 to 14,000 years ago before going extinct into two different dog populations.

1 – What is the Oldest Dog Breed in the World? The Basenji

The Basenji is believed to be the oldest dog breed according to a scientific study which compared the origin and genomic analysis of 161 breeds of dog. Researchers estimate that the Basenji originated from the African continent and they were used to track and hunt prey. It is thought that the breed is the one depicted in cave paintings found in Libya that date back around 6,000BC.

Well known as the “barkless” dog from Africa, the Basenji does not emit a normal bark but a high pitched howl which almost resembles a laugh or yodel. They feature a short coat, small, muscular body, erect ears and a tail curled tightly over one hip. A wrinkled brow gives them a somewhat mischievous expression.

The Basenji is an incredibly intelligent breed of dog and they are often quite stubborn. They are incredibly curious and are highly active, requiring lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Due to their highly inquisitive nature, the Basenji will destroy or chew almost anything left lying about.

A big plus of owning a Basenji is that they love to play. They are also known the make excellent watch dogs, standing up to intruders and defending their territory when challenged. Interestingly, they have almost feline-like grooming habits and they are fond of escaping.

2 – Shanxi Xigou (Chinese Saluki)

The Saluki is one of several breeds that can trace its roots back to Egyptian times, with dogs that resemble them being depicted on tombs at around 2,100BC. The breed then spread to different parts of the world and was first directly mentioned in 685AD during the Tang Dynasty.

Salukis possess a greyhound-like build, combining slender legs, a narrow body, deep chest, long tail and a small waist. They have a slightly slopped face and they are built for both speed and endurance.

The Saluki is a devoted breed of dog, but they tend to be aloof, or even shy, with strangers. They are typically very quiet and gentle, and they are good with other dogs.

These dogs must get the chance to run and burn off some energy every day. They are moderately obedient, but they can misbehave if they are not exercised. Despite their gentle, quiet domineer, the Saluki is a serious hunter.

3 – Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world and is thought to date back to pre-Christian times. It is closely related to the Saluki and is classed as a basal breed that predates modern breeds of dog.

Although the Afghan Hound is undoubtedly ancient, there are no written or visual records of the breed in these early times. Most modern purebred Afghan Hounds descend from dogs brought to the United Kingdom in the 1920s. Today, they have become very popular as show dogs, but back then they were used for hunting and protecting purposes.

They are a tall dog with a very distinctive long coat. The long, fine-textured coat requires a considerable amount of grooming and care. Coats can be any colour but white markings, particularly on the head are not desirable for show dogs.

While Afghan Hound puppies eagerly seek affection from family members, adult dogs can be somewhat aloof and do not lavish attention. They are very independent dogs and will think for themselves.

Afghan Hounds are known to be quite mischievous and there are many stories of them stealing objects from under the noses of family members. They are certainly an interesting breed of dog, but they may not be the best suited to first time dog owners.

4 – Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is considered to be the progenitor of all breeds of Mastiff dog and they have long been used by local tribes of Tibetans to protect sheep from wolves, leopards and bears. In 2008, a study concluded that while 12 breeds of dog appeared to have diverged from the Gray Wolf 42,000 years ago, the Tibetan Mastiff diverged earlier at 58,000 years. It is still unsure when the breed first became domesticated, but it could arguably be the oldest dog breed in the world.

While the Tibetan Mastiff is still used to protect livestock from wild animals today, they also enjoy life as a family companion or show dog. Their unique appearance with a long coat, appealing colours and beautiful tail make them a conversation starter.

Despite their size and somewhat ferocious look, the Tibetan Mastiff is a gentle, loving and patient dog. They are hard-working dogs and fiercely loyal to their owners. They make excellent guard dogs and centuries of breeding for that specific task have made them the perfect protector.

Tibetan Mastiffs are generally quiet dogs when their needs are met, but if they are upset about something they can start barking. Socialisation is especially important for this breed and you need to introduce them to lots of other dogs and people when they are a puppy.

Pure Tibetan Mastiffs are incredibly rare, so expect to pay a premium for them. The world’s most expensive dog was a Tibetan Mastiff puppy that sold for $2 million in China and one sold in 2011 with a price tag of $1.5 million.

5 – Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is one of the world’s oldest working breeds of dog and their story starts with the Chukchi people thousands of years ago. Chukchi originate from east Siberia and their hunter gatherer culture relied on the Siberian Husky. The Husky pulled their owner’s sleds, protected the Chukchi people from invaders and worked to help them hunt.

The breed is incredibly active, energetic and resilient. They have a unique coat that is thicker than most other dog breeds, comprising of two layers; a dense under coat and a larger top coat of short hairs. It protects the dogs against the harsh Artic winters, but also reflects the heat in the summer. A Husky’s coat is so effective that it is capable of keeping them warm down to temperatures as low as -50 to -60 degrees Celsius

The Husky howls rather than barks and they often quite mischievous. Huskies will often escape and they are known to be incredibly intelligent, demanding dogs. However, they are known to be good with children but need plenty of exercise and training to keep them under control.

Huskies have a high prey drive as the Chukchi people allowed them to roam free in the summer. They would hunt in packs and preyed on birds, wild cats and other animals, but they can be trained to live with other dogs or small animals like cats.

6 – Greenland Sledge Dog

The Greenland Sledge Dog are believed to have arrived in Greenland with the Paleo-Eskimo peoples around 2,500BC to 800BC. Later, the Vikings then settled in Greenland and became aware of these dogs. The Greenland Sledge Dog was then used by whalers, explorers and fur traders to explore and travel across the arctic regions.

They are a powerful, heavy-built dog and have a broad, wedge shaped head. Their coat is of medium length and consists of two layers that protect against the cold (similar to the Siberian Husky). The males are significantly larger than females and many of them have triangular shaped area on the shoulders.

Like many other sled dogs, the Greenland Sledge dogs have incredible stamina and they are capable of traversing difficult terrain with ease and speed. As working dogs, they are highly valued for their immense strength and endurance.

The Greenland Sledge dog is much the same as it was when it was first brought to Greenland. They are kept for their speed and strength as a working dog, not for their personality. As such, these dogs require an extremely confident, firm and consistent owner to make them a good household pet.

7 – Alaskan Malamute

Like the Greenland Dog and the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute is well adapted to cold and has been identified as basal breed that predates the emergence of modern dog breeds. The Malamute has a similar east Asian origin to, but it not related to the Canadian Eskimo Dog and the Greenland Dog. However, the breed contains a possible admixture of the Siberian Husky.

It has been discovered that the Malamute, the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Husky share a close genetic relationship with each other and where related to the Chukchi sled dogs.

The coat of the Malamute is double layered like the Siberian Husky and Greenland Dog. The undercoat has an oily woolly texture and can be as thick as two inches. The outer guard coat is coarser and features longer hairs.

Malamutes are still used as sled dogs, but most are kept as family pets, show dogs or performance dogs in weight pulling or agility.

The Malamute is highly-intelligent, resourceful and independent. They have a high prey drive and need lots of exercise. While Malamutes are particularly amicable around people, they do need to be trained to tolerate smaller pets. It is also necessary to be mindful of them when they are around small children.

8 – Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu has become an incredibly popular dog breed and it is the smallest of the six original spitz breeds native to Japan. Primitive drawings from as far back as 300BC depict the Shiba Inu living with humans, but the origins of the dog date back 9,000 years ago.

The Shiba Inu is recognised as the official national dog of Japan and the breed was declared a national treasure in 1936. They were used to hunt deer, wild boar and small game as they are extremely quick and agile.

These dogs have a small, compact frame with well-developed muscles. They are double coated like many of the other basal breeds and they excel at dealing with cold, harsh winters.

Shibas are independent, intelligent dogs that have high prey drive. They can sometimes show aggression, but consistent socialisation and obedience training turn them into fantastic household pets.

They are a relatively fastidious breed and can often be seen cleaning themselves as much as cats. Because of their fastidious, proud nature, Shiba puppies are known to be easy to toilet train and will in some cases do it themselves.

9 – Akita Inu

Like the Shiba Inu above, the Akita has a long history with Japanese culture and its origin dates back thousands of years to the Matagi Inu. Today’s Akita has developed primarily from dogs in the northernmost region of the island Honshū in the Akita prefecture, thus giving the breed its name.

The breed became famous after the story of Hachiko, an Akita who would walk with his owner to the train station every day and wait for him to return after work. His owner died one day at work, but Hachiko kept going to the train station every day for nine years, waiting for his owner to come back. A bronze station was erected in his honour at the Shibuya train station in Tokyo in 1934.

Again, the Akita features a double coat and they feature a muscular build. While the majority of them are short haired, some feature long coats (known as Moku) due to the presence of a recessive gene.

Akitas are known to be highly intelligent, strong dogs that are courageous and loyal. They are also dominant, independent and can have a spontaneous nature about them. They tend to be fairly quiet and will think about a situation before acting upon it.

As they bred to work and live alone or in pairs, Akitas do not tend to be friendly towards other animals. Due to their silent nature, they do not show signs of aggression and their attacks can be sudden.

These dogs are not suited for first time dog owners due to their complex personality. They need a confident owner who can train and socialise them correctly.

10 – Chinese Shar-pei

The Shar-pei breed has existed in China since ancient times and they have been used for anything from hunting to herding and even fighting. Originating from the Guangdong province in China, the original Shar-pei looked very different to the breed that has become popular in the west. People in southern China, Macau and Hong King differentiate the two types of Shar-pei by calling them ‘meat mouth’ and ‘bone mouth’.

The Shar-pei’s distinctive loose skin and prickly coat are designed to help the breed fight off wild boar and animals. Additionally, these enhanced traits were beneficial when it came to fighting, as the breed was difficult to grab onto. If another dog did manage to grab on, the Shar-pei still had room to manoeuvre and bite back.

During the Communist Revolution the Shar-pei population reduced dramatically. Matgo Law, a Hong Kong businessmen, appealed to the Americans through a magazine to save the breed. Around 200 Shar-peis were smuggled into the United States. The majority of the American Shar-pei population is related to these 200 dogs.

The Shar-pei’s coat is rough to the touch and extremely prickly. They come with various different types of coat; horse, brush and bear. The rough, prickly horse coat is closer to the original Shar-pei’s coat. Compared to the horse coat, the brush coat is slightly longer and smoother. Additionally, brush coat Shar-peis are more docile, whereas horse coat variants are more active and dominant.

Any coat that is longer than one inch is considered to be a ‘bear coat’ and is not considered breed standard. This occurs when both the male and female carry recessive coat genes. The bear coat resembles that of the Chow Chow and the dog’s personality tends to be more like those with the brush coat.

All Shar-pei puppies need early socialisation and training. They can be suspicious of strangers and they are a very independent, reserved breed of dog. If they are poorly socialised and trained, the Shar-pei can become aggressive and/or territorial. Nevertheless, they are extremely loyal and devoted dogs, and they can make great companions. Training is not too difficult and they respond well to positive reinforcement techniques.

11 – Chow Chow

One of the most distinctive dog breeds around, the Chow Chow originates from northern China and has been identified as a basal breed. It is believed that the Chow Chow originated in China or in Arctic Asia about 2 – 3000 years ago and then migrated to Mongolia and other parts of Asia.

One Chinese ruler was said to own 5,000 Chow Chows and a Chinese legend talks about large war dogs from Central-Asia that resembled lions. The breed was bred to pull sleds and sadly for human consumption as well.

The Chow Chow is a very sturdily built dog and is known for its extremely dense double coat that can either be smooth or rough. The fur is particularly thick around the neck, giving it the appearance of lion. Additionally, Chow Chows have a distinctive blue-black/purple tongue and very straight legs. They also have a curled tail and their coats come in black, blue, cream, tan or a slight shade of red.

Chow Chows are fiercely loyal and they can become extremely protective of their territory and owners. While they are not an excessively active breed, they do need daily exercise and mental stimulation.

To avoid aggression and problems when they get older, Chow Chows should be socialised as early as possible. They can be an aggressive breed, but most are known to be fairly easy-going in nature and in some cases, slightly aloof to those around them. Due to their strong hunting instincts it is recommended that these dogs stayed fenced and away from smaller dogs and cats. However, they can be trained to live with other animals if they are socialised correctly.

12 – Samoyed (Bjelkier)

Originally breed to hunt, herd and pull sleds, the Samoyed originates from Siberia and takes its name from the Samoyedic people. The Samoyed has been identified as a basal breed and the first American Samoyed was registered with the AKC in 1906.

The appearance and character of Samoyeds is similar to that of the Siberian Husky. Their most notable feature is their brilliant and fluffy white double coat. They have a curled tail similar to the Malamute and they sometimes sleep with their tail over their noses to provide additional warmth.

Samoyed’s eyes are typically brown or black in colour and are almond in shape. They also have triangular shaped ears and are solidly built dogs.

Interestingly, despite their similar appearance and character to Siberian Huskies, they are not an aggressive breed of dog. It is extremely rare to find an aggressive one and because of this they make poor guard dogs. However, they are known to bark whenever someone approaches their territory.

Samoyeds are excellent companions and are great around children or other dogs. They do need plenty of exercise to keep themselves stimulated and they have a tendency to start digging when they are bored. Due to their herding nature, they will often try to move children and other dogs in a different direction by rounding them up.

13 – Finnish Spitz

Indigenous to Finland, the Finnish Spitz was breed to hunt all types of game from squirrels and other rodents to bears. The Finnish Spitz was developed by selectively breeding Spitz-type dogs that inhabited Russia several thousand years ago. Finno-Ugrian tribes in the far northern regions bred dogs to their specific needs and found the Finnish Spitz to be particularly good at hunting.

By 1880, the breed was becoming extinct due to it mating with other breeds of dog. Around the same time, a Finnish sportsman named Hugo Roos decided to revive the breed. He saw the many virtues of the breed and only selected pure Finnish Spitz dogs to breed from. Thirty years of breeding led to the modern Finnish Spitz.

These dogs have square build and a double coat that consists of a dense under coat, and a long guard coat. Proper coat care is incredibly important for this breed. It is important that owners brush out the old undercoat so that the new coat can grow properly, as excessive undercoat can cause skin problems.

Finnish Spitz puppies are often described as having a similar appearance to a red fox cub. They are born with a dark, grey, black, brown or fawn coat, but the adult colour is typically golden-red with variations from pale honey to dark chestnut.

They are an active, lively dog and they love to bark. In Finland, these dogs are even prized for their barking ability and they can bark as many as 160 times per minute. Finnish Spitzes are independent, determined and very intelligent. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and can be excellent companions.

14 – Japanese Chin

While it bears the name of Japan, the Japanese Chin is actually believed to originate from China. The route by which it arrived in Japan is widely debated, but it is thought to have arrived when the breed was gifted to the Japanese royalty in AD 732 by the rulers of Korea. The breed is descended from the “Gobi Desert Kitchen Midden Dog” and originated at about the same time as the Tibetan Spaniel.

The Japanese Chin was unique as it was owned strictly for companionship, rather than its working abilities. Due to its distinct appearance and character, the Chin was only allowed to be owned by those of royal and noble blood.

The breed stands about 20 to 27cm in height and can vary in weight from a low 1.4kg, all the way to 6.8kg. They have a distinctive expression that is characterised by large wide-set dark eyes, a large rounded broad head, a very short muzzle, feathered eyes and unique facial markings.

The Japanese Chin has one coat and it can be either black and white, red and white, or a combination of the two (tricolour).

Japanese Chins are considered to be one of the most cat-like dog breeds in terms of attitude. They are incredibly intelligent, independent and they even use their paws to wash their face. Additionally, they like sleeping on high surfaces, hiding in strange places and they have a very good sense of balance.

The breed is very friendly, but can be defensive when they sense something is out of the ordinary. They can be easily socialised and they are very good around other dogs or children. Additionally, as the Japanese Chin was bred for the purpose of entertaining their owners, they can perform a variety of different tricks.

15 – Tibetan Spaniel

Like the Japanese Chin, the Tibetan Spaniel is descended from the “Gobi Desert Kitchen Midden Dog”. The breed originated over 2,500 years ago in the Himalayan mountains of Tibet and they were used as monastery dogs.

The Tibetan Spaniel was not only used as a pet and a companion, but also a watch dog. They would sit on the walls of monasteries, keeping watch over the countryside. Their keen eyesight gave them the ability to see great distances and they would bark to alert the monks and Tibetan Mastiffs down below. Additionally, they were trained to spin the monk’s prayer wheels and would sleep with the monks at night to keep them warm.

This breed has a small domed shaped head and short blunt muzzle. They have wide set eyes and their ears are featured. The neck is covered in a mane of hair, which is why they have the nickname “little lions”. Tibetan Spaniels come in a range of different colours including; white, red, gold, cream, black, fawn or a mixture.

Like the Japanese Chin above, the Tibetan Spaniel is almost cat-like in its behaviour. They will climb onto any high place they can get to and they love to be around people. It is important that they have regular contact with humans and they do not respond well to being left alone. However, Tibetan Spaniels can be somewhat aloof with strangers and they need to be socialised at an early age.

16 – Pekingese

The Pekingese originated in China and is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, with the first recorded noting around 2,000 years ago. They share their ancestry with the Tibetan Spaniel, Japanese Chin, Shih Tzu, Tibetan Terrier and the Pug.

For centuries, the Pekingese could only be owned by members of the Chinese Imperial Palace. During the Second Opium War, in 1860, British and French troops found a number of Pekingese at emperor Xianfeng’s palace and took them back to the west. Around the turn of the century, the breed become very popular in the west.

Despite being over 2000 years old, the breed has hardly changes. One difference is that modern breeders and dog show judges seem to prefer the long-haired variant to the more traditional spaniel-cat one.

Pekingese dogs have a very distinctive flat face and their compact body sits low to the ground. The breeds unusual rolling gait may have been deliberately bred into them to prevent the dogs from wandering away in ancient times.

Their coats come in a wide range of colour combinations such as; red, gold, cream, white, tan, black, grey and even blue. They usually weight anywhere from 3.2kg to 6.4kg, but they can be slightly smaller or larger.

Daily brushing and a trip the groomers every 8 – 12 weeks is required to keep their coats healthy and presentable. Additionally, the breed is prone to heatstrokes due to their abundance of fur.

Pekingese are extremely affectionate dogs and make great companions, but their stubbornness makes them difficult to train. They can be wary of strangers, which makes them excellent watchdogs. The breed is fond of barking, so it may be a good idea to train them not to at an early age.

17 – Lhasa Apso

Like the Tibetan Spaniel, the Lhasa Apso were bred as watchdogs for places such as palaces and monasteries. The breed gets its name from the city of Lhasa, which is the religious and administrative capital of Tibet. Apso means “bearded” in Tibetan, which means that Lhasa Apso translates to “long-Haired Lhasa dog”.

It is believed that the breed was domesticated and actively bred as long ago as 800 BC. They are closely related to the ancestral wolf and in Tibet they are referred to as Apso Seng Kyi, which can be translated as “Bearded Lion Dog”.

The Lhasa Apso has a long, heavy coat that is very dense. They come in a variety of colours including black, white, red, tan and gold. Most have black noses with dark brown eyes, but some may have liver-coloured noses.

The breed’s protective nature can surprise those who are unfamiliar with them, but they are never usually aggressive. They make excellent watchdogs as they are highly alert and can be somewhat suspicious of strangers.

Lhasa Apsos must be socialised early and trained well. These dogs are more difficult to train than more obedient dogs such as Labradors. Training should be consistent and if you do not take charge, the Lhasa will.

This breed is known to be impatient with children and can sometimes nip if they become annoyed. They tend to bond with adults more, or those who are particularly gentle with dogs.

18 – Shih Tzu

The name may mean Little Lion, but there is nothing fierce about the Shih Tzu. This breed is believed to have originated in China as far back as 800 BC. It is thought that the breed developed from a cross between the Lhasa Apso and the Pekingese.

The breed was a favourite of China’s royals and so prized that, for many years, the Chinese refused to sell, trade or give them away. The first Shih Tzus didn’t make their way to the west until the 1930’s and weren’t widely spread until after the second World War.

These dogs have large dark eyes and a short muzzle. They have a long double coat that is soft to the touch, but some may have a shorter curly coat. The coat comes in a variety of colours, but is usually white, black or grey. Daily brushing is required to avoid tangles and regular grooming is needed as their coat grows so quickly.

As this breed was bred to be a friendly companion, they are incredibly affectionate and make excellent pets. They love to meet new people and dogs, and they are well suited to city or country life.

Shih Tzus are excellent around children and they tend to get along well with other animals. While they were not bred to be watchdogs, the Shih Tzu makes for great guard dog due to their active and alert nature.

19 – Tibetan Terrier

Another breed to originate from Tibet, the history of the Tibetan Terrier dates back thousands of years. They were kept as mascots, good luck charms, watchdogs, companions and even herding dogs. Tibetan Terriers were often used to retrieve items that had fallen down mountain sides.

Also known as the “Holy Dogs of Tibet”, Tibetan Terriers were never sold and only given as gifts by monks. Because of this, current Tibetan Terriers can be linked to a handful of foundation dogs. Tibetan Terriers were kept purebred for over 2000 years and were often referred to as “the little people”, as they made great companions. The first Tibetan Terriers were brought to Europe in the 1920’s.

Tibetan Terriers are a powerful, medium sized dog, with a shaggy coat. Their size and weight can vary wildly, with some weighing as much as 14kg. They have widely set, dark eyes and a skull that is neither rounded nor flat.

The breed features a double coat that requires occasional trimming. The coat should be long and thick, but not so much that it touches the floor like in other breeds such as the Lhasa Apso. Their coat is so effective that Tibetan Terriers can withstand temperatures as low as -50 degrees Celsius.

Tibetan Terriers are active enough to compete in agility training and they need regular exercise to keep them both mentally and physically stimulated. They are incredibly alert and make excellent watchdogs. Despite being incredibly friendly, they can be reserved with strangers.

20 – Norwegian Elkhound

This wolf-like breed is one of the ancient Northern Spitz breeds and is the National Dog of Norway. Like many of the other Spitz dogs, the Elkhound was used as a hunter, herder and defender. They are known for their courage when hunting moose (or elk) and other large game such as bears.

The history of the Elkhound dates back thousands of years, with archaeologists finding skeletons of dogs that resemble the breed as far back as 5,000 BC. The Norwegian Elkhound became a breed of interest after the Norwegian Hunters Association held its first dog show in 1877.

Norwegian Elkhounds should ideally stand about 50cm high and weigh up to around 23kg. They have a double coat that is usually grey, white and black in colour, and a tightly curled tail.

The Norwegian Elkhound is exceptionally affectionate and loyal, and they tend to be very good around children. Despite being good around people, Elkhounds can be somewhat aggressive to other dogs so it is important to socialise them as early as possible.

They can be dominating and difficult to train due to their intelligence and independence. Training requires a consistent and firm approach, and there is no room for timidness. The breed requires plenty of exercise and while they do okay in apartments, they are better suited to houses with sizable gardens.

21 – Swedish Vallhund

The national dog breed of Sweden can trace its roots back to the 8th or 9th century, however, its origins may date even further back. Also known as the Västgötaspets or Swedish cow dog, the Vallhund was bred to herd cows and protect livestock.

The breed is thought to have played a part in the development of the modern Welsh Corgi and the Lancashire Heeler. They are related to the other, larger Spitz breeds which have been found buried with their owners thousands of years ago. The skeleton of the Vallhund is remarkably similar to that of the Elkhound above.

Vallhund’s have a strong, long body and they are born with every variance of tail length, from no tail to a full length one. They have a harsh topcoat and a soft, dense undercoat. Their fur can vary in colour from grey to brown/red to black and they are usually darker on their back, sides and neck.

They are an energetic, lively breed that are known to create games to keep themselves mentally stimulated. Vallhund’s love any form of training, dog sports or activities and will be keen to head out the door with you.

While the Vallhund sounds like the perfect breed of dog, with their lovely nature and medium sized build, they are not for everyone. The Vallhund has a tendency to bark at strangers and their high energy levels are not suited to inactive owners.

22 – Icelandic Sheepdog

Another breed from the Spitz family, the Icelandic Sheepdog was brought to Iceland by the Vikings. The Icelandic Sheepdog very much resembles dogs found in graves in Sweden and Denmark from about 8000 BC, but it is unsure when exactly the breed first came into existence.

Plague and canine distemper wiped out over 75 percent of the breed in the late 19th century, which led to a ban on importing dogs to Iceland. The breed faced extinction once again in the late 20th century, and as a result the Icelandic Dog Breeder Association was setup to preserve the breed.

While, the Icelandic Sheepdog was not used to take sheep from one place to another, it was used to prevent them from wandering off. The breed was also used to herd other animals such as horses as well. In Iceland, sheep often become lost and it is the job of the Sheepdog to find them and return them to the herd. They are, therefore, very good at working on their own and figuring out problems by themselves. Additionally, these dogs were used to protect livestock from birds of prey.

Due to their history as a working dog, the Icelandic Sheepdog is incredibly tough and active. They are always alert and active, giving visitors or family members a very enthusiastic welcome. They are not aggressive and they get along well with children, as well as other pets.

This breed is excellent for activities such as dog agility trials, obedience training, tracking, herding and much more. If you are looking for a great breed to train and work with, the Icelandic Sheepdog should be on your list.

23 – Keeshond

Named after the 18th-century Dutch Patriot, Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer, the Keeshond is closely related to German spitzes such as the Pomeranian and Klenspitz. The breed was previously known as the Dutch Barge Dog, as it was frequently seen travelling on barges and boats on rivers and canals in Holland.

Like other spitz-type dogs, the Keeshond has a double coat with a softer undercoat and a rougher top coat. Males tend to lose their coat once a year, while females lose it twice a year and they require regular brushing. Their coat colour is usually a mixture of grey, black and white, but with a small amount of cream on the legs and feet.

They are sturdily built, with a wedge shaped head, small pointed ears and an expressive face. The tail is tightly curled and it can be difficult to distinguish it from the rest of the body.

Keeshonds tend to be very active, playful dogs and they are very eager to please. They are incredibly intelligent and will quickly learn any commands you teach them. Because of this, they make excellent agility and obedience dogs. In some cases, they have been trained to serve as guide dogs.

This breed is excellent around children and they make great family pets. They usually get on well with other dogs and animals in the house. However, Keeshonds can clingy and they are known for their very load, distinctive bark. If you are looking for a quiet dog, the Keeshond is probably not going to be the right breed for you.

24 – Standard Schnauzer

Schnauzer-type dogs of medium size were bred as working dogs in 14 – 16th century Germany. They were used as herders, guard dogs and general all-purpose working dogs, and they have appeared in numerous artworks across the ages.

The breed was used by peasant farmers for centuries, but with the advent of dog showing in the 19th century they quickly became a favourite for shows. The first official recorded import of a standard Schnauzer into the United States happened in 1905, but it wasn’t until after World War I that they became more popular. During the First World War, Schnauzers were used by the German Army to carry small packages and by the Red Cross as guard dogs.

Standard Schnauzers have distinctive long eyebrows and beards. Their coats are always pepper and salt or black in colour, with stiff and wiry hair. A Schnauzer’s hair will perpetually grow in length, but contrary to popular belief they do shed to some degree. While other dogs usually shed their coat twice a year, a Schnauzer’s coat will become dull and easy to pull out. When this happens, the coat can be stripped out by hand, letting the new coat grow. Alternatively, the coat can be clipped but this does result in a less full coat.

The breed makes for an excellent family dog and they are incredibly loyal to their owners. They can adapt to almost any climate condition and they are known to be good with children. Proper training and socialisation at an early age will make them very tolerant and patient in almost any situation.

They are known to be intelligent and easy to train. In Stanley Coren’s book “The Intelligence of Dogs”, they were ranked 18th out of 140 different breeds of dog for their intelligence and ability to follow commands.

25 – Pomeranian

The earliest recording relating to the Pomeranian breed is from 2 November 1764, in a diary entry in James Boswell’s Boswell on the Grand Tour: Germany and Switzerland. Additionally, the breed was referred to in Thomas Pennant’s A Tour of Scotland from 1769.

Pomeranians were first brought to England in 1767 and the breed’s evolution was heavily influenced by the British Royal Family. In 1912, two Pomeranian dogs were among only three dogs to survive the sinking of the Titanic.

They are compact but sturdy dogs, weighing in at anywhere from 1.9-3.5kg. The breed has a top coat that forms a ruff of fur on the neck, which they are well known for. Modern Pomeranians come in almost any colour, but early ones typically featured white, black or brown coats. They have a double coat and breeders recommend that they are groomed daily.

Pomeranians are usually a very friendly, playful breed of dog and they make excellent family companions. However, they can be aggressive with other dogs and they will need to be trained to live with other animals.

The breed can be somewhat defensive of their territory and as a result they may bark when someone comes to the door. This breed needs early training and socialisation to prevent them from becoming dominant.

Tell us your favourite in the comments below!

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5492993/figure/F1/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1673852708600491?via%3Dihub

Now Read: 27 Best Tips for Training a Dog

The Best Dog Treats Ever? – Japanese Dog Treat Review

Dogs love treats and when we came across these yoghurt treats on a recent trip to Japan, we had to buy them. We couldn’t believe that dog biscuits could come so nicely packaged and thought they would make a great present for Daisy and Winston back home.

The biscuits don’t really have a name, but the packaging states that they are only for dogs and that’s a good thing. These dog treats look so incredibly good we were wanting to give them a try ourselves. Of course we didn’t, but we have no doubt that these are the best looking and best presented treats we have ever given our dogs.

The biscuits look like some sort of shortbread and they all come individually wrapped, as many things do in Japan. All the individually packeted biscuits then come in one larger bag that looks more like something you might find in a jewellery store. The biscuits themselves contain yoghurt in them, but we are not sure about all of the ingredients inside.

Did Our Dogs Like These Special Japanese Dog Treats?

In a word, yes. Our dogs went ballistic over these treats and they kept on hounding us for more. They weren’t too fussed when we were opening the packet, but once they saw the treats it was game over.

As the treats are fairly large they are probably not the best for training purposes. They also break up and crumble fairly easily as well, so they are best suited for special occasions. We were a bit unsure how they would affect Daisy and Winston’s tummies, but we are glad to say there was no trouble in the morning.

Other Incredible Japanese Dog Treats

This was our first encounter with Japanese dog treats such as these and it got me thinking, what other interesting treats are out there. I had a quick look for Japanese dog treats and have listed some of the ones I found below:

Bolo Biscuit Cookie For Dogs

Apparently these biscuits are very popular and they come in a range of different flavours. The ones we have linked to are the Blueberry Bolo and cheese cabbage variety, which sure sounds like an interesting mix. There also looks to be anything from apple flavour to sweet potato and milk. These are additive free treats, so they need to be used fairly quickly once opened.

Find out more about the Bolo Biscuit Cookie here.  

PV The Person of the Dog Snacks

With a name like “The person of the dog snack” there is no way we couldn’t include this one. While we know that this is probably due to some seriously poor translation, we couldn’t help but laugh at the name. It looks like it is made of horse meat in Mongolia, so we probably wouldn’t buy it ourselves, but the product is still interesting nonetheless.

Check out this link for more information on the Person of the Dog Snack.

PV Dog Fish Snacks

Dogs love a bit of fish and now you can give them a whole one. Our last product we found were these tiny little fish and according to the vendor “the taste does not surely disappoint the exception of the doggy, too”. The wakasagi fish is found in a lakes around Hokkaido and is a suitable treat for dogs worried about their daily salt intake. If your dog is looking for a healthy treat, these fish snacks will be the ones for them.

Find out more about PV’s Fish Snacks for Dogs.

So what are the strangest or most interesting dog treats you have come across. Let us know in the comments below and if you do purchase any of the above, do send us a photo or leave a comment on our Facebook page here.

Now Read: 27 Best Training Tips for Dogs