What can be better than a day in the country side with a group of your friends?
Rachel Jones at K-9 Divine has just that for your dog. K-9 Divine will not only take care of your dog while you are at work, they will also give them a day in the country, running (supervised!) through a fenced-in pasture. We spoke to Borderstan contributor Rachel Jones about her business.
Borderstan: When did K-9 Divine started?
Rachel Jones: I started K-9 Divine 10 years ago as an in-home training business. Six years ago I bought my house in Logan Circle and started boarding dogs. 1½-years ago, I rented the farm and started daycare and boarding at the farm.
Borderstan: Where are you located?
Jones: The farm is located in Harwood, Md., which is near Annapolis. Dogs can also board at my house in Logan Circle and we go to the client’s homes to do training.
Borderstan: What services do you offer?
Jones: We offer daycare at the farm Monday through Friday, boarding at both locations seven days a week and training whenever it is convenient for the client. We also offer boarding with training.
Borderstan: What is the cost of boarding and farm day?
Jones: Boarding is $65 per night or $50 per night for stays over one week. A farm day is $40 or $350 for a package of 10 days or $650 for a package of 20 days.
Borderstan: What makes K-9 Divine different from other dog care services?
Jones: Our daycare is different because it is outdoors on 13 acres. The dogs have lots of room to run and they have enough personal space so they don’t feel stressed out. We also have more people supervising the dogs than most other daycares. Our boarding is in a regular house and the dogs are not caged or kenneled. They are allowed to sleep wherever they want, even in the bed with me! So it is much less stressful than the average kennel or daycare.
Both myself and Amanda Brady, the daycare manager, are professional dog trainers, so we are very aware of dog behavior and body language and can make sure dogs are happy and getting along with each other.
Does your dog steal things, such as shoes and socks — and then force you to chase her around to get them back?
Many owners are faced with this problem, which can start as a silly game and result in the dog becoming aggressive about giving things up. Nip your dog’s kleptomania in the bud before it turns into an aggression problem!
A dog that chews on your couch while you’re not home is not a thief. In this article, we are talking about dogs that steal things in front of you and then run away. For most of these dogs, the “thievery” is an attempt to get your attention, as opposed to a real desire to chew on the object.
Your first line of defense is to ignore them when they have stolen something. Many dogs will drop an object and leave it alone once they realize you aren’t going to chase them. Even if you are sure your dog is going to chew something up, try to ignore him for at least 30 seconds after he’s stolen it and see how he reacts. Also, if the object is something of no value, such as an old gym sock, it is better to let him have it than to continue playing the chasing game.
Many trainers teach you to trade a treat for the object, or tell your dog to “drop it” and then give them a treat. In the context of stealing, however, trading for a treat will only prolong the game for life. Remember that your dog wants attention andor food, so she will certainly continue to grab things if she knows it will get her a treat.
The best way to break the cycle forever is to commit to three weeks of having the house bare of anything to steal. This is hard, especially if you have kids, but it will be worth it in the end. If there is nothing around except dog toys and there are several weeks in which you never have to chase around/yell at your dog, he will forget about the game and move on to another activity.
Crating your dog and keeping him supervised constantly will also prevent stealing.
Teach your dog to engage in nice behaviors in order to get your attention, such as sitting, lying down or going in the crate. Set her up for success by removing the possibility of stealing objects, and you will enjoy a peaceful relationship for years to come.
Many adult dogs have phobias about loud noises, such as thunder and fireworks. This is mainly the result of not being exposed to the noises during their critical period of learning, two to 14 weeks of age. If your dog already has a noise phobia, or you would like to prevent him from developing the phobia, there are steps you can take — and 4th of July celebrations are less than a month away.
Exposure to Stimuli
Puppies need to be exposed to stimuli as soon as possible. When puppies (and humans) are born, their brains are not fully developed. As a puppy’s brain develops and connections are being formed, she must experience a variety of sights, smells and sounds in order for the maximum number of connections to form.
If a puppy never hears a firecracker or similar noise when she is young, she will not develop a connection in her brain that will enable her to process the sound when she hears it as an adult. This can lead to adverse reactions such as urinating, vomiting, intense fear or aggression.
Introducing a Dog to a Loud Sound
The proper way to introduce or desensitize a dog to a loud sound is gradually.
- Do not force the dog into a “scary” encounter with the noise or stimulus. If done properly, your dog should never feel agitated or frightened during the training.
- Start with a very quiet version of the sound. You can actually buy sound files of thunder, fireworks and gunshots.
- Make sure your dog is having a good time while listening to the sound by feeding him treats, playing with a favorite toy or giving him a belly rub.
- Gradually increase the volume (or your proximity to the sound); always being sure that your dog is relaxed.
- If your dog shows any signs of nervousness (ears back, wide eyes, panting, licking the lips, tail tucked between the legs) lower the volume or end the session.
- One moment of panic can derail all of your work, so be sure to proceed very slowly and only increase the volume if your dog appears to be relaxed.
Many dogs escape from their homes and go missing during thunderstorms or fireworks. Take the necessary steps to ensure that your dog is safe and happy during summer storms and festivities.