Monday, June 29, 2015

How To Become A Dog Trainer

Making your passion your living is always a blessing. Most of the dog owners already are dog trainers to some extent but some of them really have a thing within them about it. If you love dogs, I bet the thought of becoming a dog trainer would have crossed your mind at least once. Who would not want to get paid for something they really like doing, after all!!!

Training a dog requires a lot of patience, practice and of course skill. One needs to understand canine psychology as positive and negative reinforcement, positive and negative punishment, conditioned reinforces, discrimination, generalization, habituation, sensitization and desensitization, blocking and overshadowing, motivation, establishing operations, conditioned emotional responses are few things you will need to implement while training them.

Apart from this one also needs to be aware of genetics of behavior, fixed action patterns, social signals, body language, social development, critical periods, hormonal influences and breed characteristics.

You can only train a dog when you understand them, they do not understand human language. We need to communicate to them in a way they understand. A dog trainer should possess strong animal handling skills and must adore and respect animals and treat them with kindness.

There are several short courses available in India and abroad for dog trainers. Some of them in India are available at:








         

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Best Dog Food Available in India

I have fed Leo several dog foods. I started with Royal Canin Giant Starter and then switched to others with his growing stages. So I am going to review the dog foods I have tried for Leo. I have mentioned "in India" because you don't get most of the better brands here in India. I am sure the reviews here are going to help the new dog owners in selecting a suitable dog food for their dogs:

  • Royal Canin Giant Starter : This was the first food [in kibble form] we had given to Leo when we brought him home. The kibbles seemed to be big for a puppy but Leo never had any issues eating them. We used to soak the kibbles for 15-20 minutes before giving it to Leo so that they became soft and easily chewable for him. He used to gulp them down as soon as he was asked to eat it. It was suitable for the delicate stomach of 6 week old Leo and he never had any complaints with it. We were happy with this food and Leo grew well while we fed him this.
  • Royal Canin Giant Puppy : Once Leo turned 2 months old, we gradually switched his food to Royal Canin Giant Puppy. This looked almost similar to the Royal Canin Giant Starter we were feeding earlier and gave similar results. Leo enjoyed eating it and never had any health issues with it. We soaked this too for 15-20 minutes before feeding it to Leo to make them soft and easily chewable. Overall, we didn't find anything bad about it but for the price of Royal Canin, one can get better dog foods with better ingredients and higher protein content. But if you do not have access to those, Royal Canin is not a bad choice too.
  • Royal Canin Rottweiler Junior : After a while we realized that we should be feeding the Maxi line and not the Giant one to a Rottweiler. Funny, yeah!! So we got Royal Canin Rottweiler Junior for Leo. The kibbles this time were different in size and shape. They were more angular and not as spherical as the Starter and Giant Puppy ones were. We started giving this in soaked form but Leo soon lost his interest in it. Suddenly, he stopped eating it!! Not knowing what to do, I have him dry and he ate it. He got bored of eating almost the same stuff in the same form for a month, I guess. Leo adjusted well to this food too and never had any issues.
  •  Royal Canin Maxi Junior: Leo's vet suggested that the Maxi Junior variant was the best amongst all the Royal Canin variants and we should be feeding that to Leo. So the next time we got Royal Canin Maxi Junior. Apart from the kibble shape, I didn't find anything different. It was similar to Royal Canin Rottweiler Junior and Leo preferred eating it dry too. He had now started showing some resistance in eating his food so we started introducing other things to him like Rice, Egg etc. Overall, I failed to understand how Maxi junior was different from Junior Rottweiler but then, it didn't do any harm too so I was fine with it.
  • Regal Pup Puppy Food : I had ordered food for Leo online and it was supposed to arrive the next day, but in the mean time we were short of his food, so we got a small (1 kg) pack of Regal Pup. The kibble size was the smallest of all the foods we had tried till now. They didn't look very good to me but I am not sure how they actually are as it was just a kilogram which was fed to Leo. The kibbles looked dry and didn't carry any smell. Leo didn't like them much, too. We never bought it again!
  • Drools Chicken & Rice : I never wanted to buy Drools as the comparatively cheaper price always made me suspicious. I got an irresistible deal once on Drools and thought of giving it a try. So I ordered Drools Chicken & Rice Puppy Food. I wasn't very confident on this food of meeting all the nutritional requirements for Leo so I gave it once a day and fed Royal Canin twice a day to Leo. The kibble size was small and looked almost same as Regal Pup. Within a month I noticed some worms in the Drools food bag. And then, they were not some, the bag was full of worms!! I complained about it in Drools and they replaced my bag but I didn't want to feed my dog something which was so low on quality so I fed the contents of the new bag to street dogs. Nothing more needs to be said about it! Read detailed review about it here : Drools Chicken & Rice Puppy Food Review.
  • Farmina N&D LG Chicken & Pomegranate Puppy Food : Here comes the best dog food I have come across till now. After reading a lot of reviews about various dog foods and checking the availability in India, I decided to order Farmina for Leo. The ingredient list of this food is impressive and your dog is going to love this. It smells and looks so distinct that you can make out at the first look that this is what you wanted. The kibble size is normal, neither too big nor too small. It smells highly like non-veg and I had to initially stop breathing in while giving this to Leo as being a vegetarian, it was difficult for me to bear the smell :). I have now got used to it. Leo loved this and we loved the shine on his coat. I am going to order this again and again for Leo. Read detailed review about it here : Farmina N&D Review
  • Solid Gold Hundchen Flocken Puppy Food: When I was researching about the dog foods, I had shortlisted Solid Gold too based on its reviews. So after trying Farmina, I thought of giving Solid Gold a try too. To my surprise, I was disappointed by it. It didn't look as rich as Farmina and didn't have any smell too. It looked like Regal pup but the kibble size was bigger. Leo's coat shine reduced though I am not sure of the reason behind it. Both Farmina and Solid Gold are almost in the same price range and since I found Farmina better than Solid Gold, I am not going to get this again. Read detailed review about it here :  Solid Gold Review

So for now, Leo is being fed Farmina, until I find a better dog food. But looks like my research has ended with Farmina.



       

Activities of a Rottweiler Puppy

I am back today with yet another update on Leo. The frequency of my posts have reduced lately, courtesy the pressure at work and my laziness too :). Apart from that, there aren't much updates on Leo as he has reached a stage where his activities aren't changing everyday as they were earlier.

Leo is now 5.5 months old. This is how he looks now :




Leo is growing in a beauty. He is 23 inches tall and weighs 30 kgs. He is as adorable as he always was. Not sure if every Rottweiler does that but Leo gets super excited whenever someone enters the house and wants to play with everyone, contrary to the image of Rottweilers. He greets every one with so much love and just starts rolling in their feet. He will sniff for some time, lick them and then let them be themselves :) . His behavior is so different than what we usually read about Rottweiler that sometimes I doubt if I really have a Rottweiler ;) .

I have been observing lately that Leo's coat shine has reduced to a considerable extent. It might be because I changed his food or may be because he is loosing a lot of hair these days. I just hope this hair fall stops soon as it is making me crazy. No one wants to see dog hair all over the house and in your food plate a few times!!

I switched Leo's food from Farmina to Solid Gold and I am not very happy with it. First look at Solid Gold disappointed me! I have reviewed various dog foods in a different post and you can find it here. We are feeding Leo thrice a day, majorly dog food and other things include Rice, Eggs, Cottage Cheese, whole wheat breads, Chicken, Milk, Yogurt, Mutton and some fruits.

Leo goes for walk only once a day these days due to extreme heat here. He starts waking us up at 4:45 AM [yeah, on weekends too :( ] so that he doesn't miss on his enjoyable walks and play. He gets very active in the evenings and runs around in the house like crazy. He doesn't like to left alone and gets very nervous if we try to leave him behind. We have started taking turns to go out :) .

All said and done, we are in love with Leo!



       

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

5 Months Old Rottweiler Puppy

I have been on a 2 weeks business trip and hence couldn't post any update on Leo recently. Leaving this adorable baby [apart from my 7 year old kiddo, ofcourse] and going away was tough but coming back and seeing him back was an entirely fulfilling experience.

I was amazed at how much bigger and grown up Leo looked in just 15 days. And I was amazed at how excited he was on seeing me back. True Love! :)

There isn't much change in his habits in the last few days, so nothing much to share.  He has reduced his chewing to a great extent, almost gone!! His teeth are back, most of them!! We now feed him thrice a day. His meals majorly consist of the Farmina/Solid Gold dog food. Apart from that he also eats eggs, cottage cheese, banana, rice, whole wheat bread, curd and milk [yes, we do give him milk and he loves it. And he has no lactose intolerance]. We are still continuing with his calcium and multi-vitamin supplements.


See how this beauty looks now :