More Info & Helpful Links
One of the most frequent requests I receive is about training your own service dog. The ADA covers Service Dogs but NOT Service Dogs In Training (SDiT). SDiTs are regulated by most states. Some states, such as California, mimics federal SD law with either a trainer or disabled handler. Others states may have much tighter laws on who can train and what, if any, access rights the dogs have.
Make a new toy out of an old toy and get rid of one of those old t-shirts stuffed in the back of your drawer at the same time.
Dogs wear muzzles for many different reasons, not just aggression.
Why is it a good practice to teach a dog to wear a muzzle? Putting a dog into a situation where they are already uncomfortable and then adding the never-before-worn muzzle adds even more stress to the situation. This means their next experience with training, at the vet or groomers will be even more stressful.
My dogs are all muzzle trained. Over the past couple of years our Desi has had a lot of vet visits due to skin issues. As the vets and vet techs are climbing over this 150 pound Great Dane to examine and obtain scrapings and biopsies they need to feel safe in order to give him the best care. I am not offended and actually offer to muzzle him. I want to make sure he's getting the best care but I don't want him stressed out, either, since that can make his issues worse.
We start muzzle training early. We show them the muzzle, let them sniff and check it out, giving them treats. Then we put treats in the muzzle so they can put their faces in to get the treats. Once they are consistently putting their snouts in by their own choice we add the strap. Then we secure it, very briefly, with a high value squirt of spray cheese added. Gradually they wear it for longer and longer periods of time, adding activities such as going outside or for walks, always keeping it fun with high value treats.
With all the holiday foods, treats, gifts, guests and socializing dogs can be exposed to things that are harmful. Even the best trained dog may be offered something they shouldn't eat or find something that isn't good for them. If you suspect your dog has ingested something they shouldn't have, getting proper treatment as quickly as possible is essential.
In our area emergency vets are quite a bit of travel time as well as being very expensive. One year our curious puppy ate something she shouldn't have (and that we shouldn't have left out). Of course it was a Sunday and knowing the emergency vet was over an hour away we contacted the ASPCAs Poison Control number (888) 426-4435. For a fee (a fraction of the cost of an emergency vet visit) they were able to advise us what to do and we avoided that long, scary and expensive trip. I highly recommend keeping their information close at hand.
You can also find a list of harmful plants, foods and other products on their website, https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control, in addition to their mobile app.