Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dachshund Mommy's Top 5 Safety Tips (or, more accurately: musings of a paranoid dog-mom)

     Hi, everyone! Dachshund Mommy here again to share some tips on safety for your pups. Fair warning to you all: I am incredibly, inexorably paranoid about my dogs' health and safety. Ask my family - I'm aware of more than a few times I've driven them up the wall with my near constant obsession. BUT, it helps me sleep at night! :p



    A quick note on yesterdays post before we dive into the inner ramblings and shenanigans of my paranoia: I was not implying that Pike is a dumb dog. He isn't. He's smart, and he's observant, and he's sweet and cuddly and loving. I was merely stating that he isn't as smart as Nola is. I don't see him every progressing to Nola's level of intelligence, and that's more than okay! In all honesty, I don't think I could handle two of the Tiny Terror! Just one of the She-Devil runs circles around me on a daily basis. ;)
I love and want him, exactly as he is. The same way I love her and want her, exactly how she is.
Nola is the most intelligent, systematic and wily dog I have ever met, so of course I'm not expecting Pike to compare to her in that aspect. They are their own dogs, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Yes, I realize that Pike is a puppy, and an outsider may see it as unfair to compare a 4 month old (yes, he's four months old now! I can't believe it either) to a 3.5 year old. However, I know my dogs, and I've had Nola since she was 8 weeks old, and Pike since he was 11. I'm the only person in the position to make that call, and it's an accurate one.
I am more than capable of having the patience to raise a puppy. I've already done it, and Nola's damn near perfect.
I might've sounded a little...aggravated...with Pike in yesterday's post. I'm not, at least, not really. He's simply at a difficult age right now; he's in the first fear period, he's found his voice, and he's pushing his boundaries and testing his limits. Even if you have the patience of a saint, it's a frustrating phase. Unless you're actively raising a puppy, you can't imagine what a tough time it is, especially with a high energy herding breed. I'm no newbie to puppy raising, and every time we add to the family I forget just how hard puppies are. It's hard until the 10-18 month mark, depending on your dog. That's why puppies are so stinking cute, and why you forget what a pain they are. :p



    On to my tips! This is just what I do, and what works for my dogs. Not everything works the same for every dog, so use your discretion!


#1: Always wear ID
     I'm sure most of you are aware of my collar addiction by now, but Nola has a collar with an ID tag on 24/7. The only time it comes off is when she's crated. Her tag has her name and my number, and both her and Pike have tags on the way with their names, my number and "reward" on the back. Microchipping is great and I'm an advocate for it, but nothing beats the quick visual provided by a collar and tag.
Pike wears a collar most of the time, although I'm having trouble finding one that doesn't mess up his coat. Any suggestions from fellow double coated dog owners?
A lot of people, especially those with multiple dogs, worry about collars getting caught during play. That's a valid concern I suppose, but for my own dogs the risk of being IDless outweigh the benefits of going naked. You can do a few things to lessen the risk of your dog/s getting hung up, like making sure collars are loose, or getting quick releases or other easy to remove fasteners.

One of her ID tags. Name and # are on the back.
And this goes on her harness. Rabies, microchip and another ID tag.


#2: Chip it!
     I'm a huge advocate for microchipping. It's a quick and relatively painless procedure, and it's invaluable. If your dog gets out and either isn't wearing a collar or looses it while lost, a chip makes sure you can still be contacted if your dog is found. Just remember to keep the info up to date, and have your vet check regularly to make sure the chip hasn't migrated.
Nola is chipped (double chipped, actually) and Pike is getting chipped in the next month.

#3: Make sure your gear fits right and is in good shape
     Make sure your dog wears the right kind of gear when out of the house. For example, Nola can't be walked on a buckle collar. She slips them, since her head is only a half inch bigger than her neck. A martingale or a limited slip collar is what she needs, or a secure harness. She's managed to slip harnesses too, so I only trust two brands with her: Puppia Original and the Ruffwear Webmaster, which is virtually escape proof.
One of Nola's convertible leather collars that can be either a regular flat or a limited slip.
As a limited slip.
Also routinely check your gear for wear and tear, and replace as needed.



#4: Train, train, train:
     Train your dog. Seriously, all the gear and gadgets in the world can't beat a well trained dog. When your equipment fails and you're left with only your voice to control your dog, taking the time to properly train them could very well save their lives. Pay special attention to recall, leave it, stay and back up/get away.
A few incidences come to mind with training. One, recalling Nola away from the wide open front door (we live on a busy street). Having her leave some medicine I'd dropped on the floor. Recalling Nola off chasing a squirrel into the woods. Recalling Pike from getting trembled by a horse.
Recall

Recall


#5: Lock that shit up:
     When your dog is outside, make sure they're in a securely fenced in area if you cannot control them with your voice.



     I know this is run of the mill stuff, but if you knew the details of some of the things I do with my dogs to keep them safe I might be dragged away in a straightjacket. :p

Hugs,
Dachshund Mommy

I am participating in the Dog Fence DIY Dog Containment Systems Safety Roundup. You too can enter and win $200 for best in class. 




11 comments:

  1. We haven't had a huge issue with the collars messing up their coats. When we adopted Katy there was a discussion about the safety issues of wearing collars at all times. Sorry, but our dogs have their collars on at all times. Should something happen and they clearly are identifiable as dogs with homes, not homeless animals.

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  2. The dogs where their collars all the time with 2 exceptions - Hailey doesn't have hers on when we leave them alone because Phod likes to drag her by it in play and it isn't safe - when we sleep - I can't stand the noise of their tags at night!

    Hailey is by far the smartest dog we have ever had. I don't think that takes away from how great Phod is. I mean he is smart enough and is actually a better dog!

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  3. And work on that "leave it" so they will not eat random stuff off the ground. In cities near us, some nutcase is leaving poisoned meatballs in dog parks. Actually, I'll modify my suggestion - stay away from dog parks!

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  4. Those are all great tips. We are chipped but only wear collars when we are away from our house. Our pawrents almost had two of their dogs kill each other when they got tangled in their collars while wrestling and nearly strangled each other. We are very safe and secure in our home environment and our pawrents have been doing this for about 20 years and know how to manage us without collars. We are not saying it is right for everybody but it works for us.

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  5. You sound just like our mother
    Lily & Edward

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  6. I hate seeing dogs that aren't locked up, fenced up, whatever. Then they cry fowl when they get hit by a car. I only use nylon collars on Torrey, and not wider than an inch.

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  7. Great tips, can u train my dogs??? They need it. Lol I've been working with them some but they have their moments of stubbornness.

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  8. Great tips!

    Thank you for stopping by our blog to offer your kind words when we lost our Whisky and Pok in early May.

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  9. Awesome information! Muffin and I are also chipped and we ALWAYS wear our collars! Tho sometimes Muffin get's her nail caught in there, which we've never been able to figure out how she does this. Good thing it has NEVER happened while Mommy and Daddy have been out. Both of our houses are fenced in so we're safe there too.

    Thanks for reminding us all about safety.

    Love,
    Lily Belle
    xoxo

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  10. Excellent, excellent, excellent tips. I am also a paranoid dog momma. I have a double gate system that leads from our "secure" fenced area (vs the "play" yard) as I am so fearful of them slipping out. Faolan's collar broke while at a park last year, and it was possibly the worst five minutes of my life.

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  11. It is SOOOOO nice to see I am not the ony paran...OH I mean cautious dog owner. I totally agree with all your points and especially #5!! I would add to check your fencing on a semi-annual basis to insure there are no escape routes under construction. :-).

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