Dog Health

Training

Training your dog can be very beneficial and is highly recommended, with most if not all owners wanting to train their dog to a high level of obedience. Training will help raise a sociable and well-behaved dog, benefiting you in the long-term.

Basic levels of training involve teaching dogs to learn to sit, stay, and walk without pulling on the lead.

Training is best started as early as possible and local puppy classes are an ideal way to start training the young dog, as they offer the chance for puppies to socialise with other dogs whilst learning the basic commands. If you happen to have a stubborn or animated dog then these classes can prove to be invaluable, especially as the class trainers are usually very experienced dog handlers.

Remember to reinforce the training carried out at the classes at home. Rewards should also be given to your puppy or dog when it has successfully done what it was asked - positive reinforcement.

Exercise

Regular exercise is a key factor in ensuring your dog remains fit and healthy.

Most dogs will love any exercise you give them as they don't have much else to do, but it is important not to over-exercise puppies, especially larger breeds, when muscles and bones are still being developed.

Toys can also play a big part in a dog's life with various dog toys available at local pet stores . Most toys involve chewing because this helps to divert a puppy's chewing tendencies away from home furniture.

Toy balls are ideal for puppies and dogs but be sure to choose the right size, as a very small ball could end up being swallowed or get stuck in the puppies throat.

Grooming

When grooming your puppy or dog it is important to remember that the amount will depend on its type of coat - short coated, long-coated, silky, non-shedding curly and wire coated are the five main types.

For short coated dogs it is best to use a soft brush for grooming, with minimal amount, while long coated and silky coated dogs will require thorough daily brushing and combing in order to avoid a matted coat. The right way to carry this out is to brush the coat the wrong way to remove dirt and any loose hairs and dirt, followed by then brushing the right way.

Dogs with non-shedding curly coats will require thorough brushing with a stiff brush every two days, along with regular clipping to prevent the coat from over-growth.

Any dogs that have a wire coat need regular brushing with a stiff brush to prevent the coat from matting. The top coat should also be "stripped" or clipped every three to four months.