Your Dog’s Safety Inside a Car – By Ben Kersen

Your Dog’s Safety Inside A Car
By Ben Kersen

If you were involved in a car accident, would your dog be safe? If your dog is free in the car, it could be thrown into a window, out of the car, or otherwise injured.

At Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs we believe in safety first.  The following are options for save travel for your dog:

1. Traveling crates: many people crate their dogs in a vehicle. This will be the safest if the crates themselves are thoroughly secured to the body of the vehicle.

2. Seatbelts: there are now a variety of dog seatbelt products that can be used in conjunction with human seatbelts.

3. Dividers: in station wagons and vans, dividers can be secured in a vehicle to create a special place for your dog. In pick-up trucks, your dog(s) may ride in a sturdy, canopy-enclosed box.  This option obviously isn’t as safe as the other two options as your dog can still be tossed a good distance in the event of an accident.

 

Traveling crates, dog seatbelts, and dividers can be purchased at most pet shops. Of course, these alternatives are only going to work if you use them consistently. If you have two or three dogs, ‘ buckling up ‘ before every drive can be time consuming. You will need to judge the value of the companionship and petting time you and your dog (s) share when they can sit beside you against the need for these vehicle safety measures.

Heat in Cars
If the temperature rises to 20°C outside, a dog left in a car may be at risk. With direct sunlight, the temperature in your car will rise dramatically. Even with all four windows open, a dog can suffer heat stroke very quickly on a hot day. Heat stroke can be fatal. In hot weather, parking in the shade or using sun reflector blankets to cover the front window can help, but they are no guarantee of safety. Always avoid leaving your dog in a hot car for its comfort, as well as its safety.

Car Windows
The “‘Houdini Dog'” syndrome can strike if you leave your car windows open too wide. The rule of thumb is that the window should not be open wider than the dog’s head. If a dog can get its head out the window, then it CAN get the rest of its body out.

Car Doors
Just a reminder: car doors are heavy and can cause serious injury. So when putting “Fido” in the car, hold the door until you are absolutely sure that all dog parts and the entire leash are well inside the car. Also, never slam the car door. Close it slowly holding the handle in case of “doggie door dash”.

Car Manners
When driving, the last thing you need is a hairy projectile ricocheting around the car. Also, never let your dog fire out through the car door as soon as it is opened. Teach him/her to sit and wait until given your “okay” to exit safely (more to come on this topic in an upcoming video blog). Car manners are easily taught with a little time and consistency. This a service that Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs provide.  Visit our website for more information: www.wonderdogs.ca.

Until Next Time,
Ben Kersen
Ben Kersen & the Wonderdogs
Victoria, BC
www.wonderdogs.ca

 

Ben Kersen – Complaints from Clients About their Dog’s Safety Around Cars

Common Complaints from Clients – Their Dog’s Safety Around Cars

By Ben Kersen

A common complaint I receive from my future Wonderdog clients is about the fact that their dog has no car sense!  Do you remember being taught as a young child to look both ways before crossing the street? Picture the scene: you are playing fetch with your dog. The ball gets knocked out into the street and your dog races after it unaware of anything else including the approaching car.…

Over one million dogs are hit by motor vehicles annually. This statistic should be a big incentive for you to car-proof your dog.  I have offered car proofing through my business, Ben Kersen & the Wonderdogs for over 30 years now and am confident that I have saved many dogs’ lives because of it.

Ben Kersen & the Wonderdogs’ car proofing training teaches your dog:

1. to jump back whenever a vehicle comes directly toward it.2. never to go off curb onto asphalt unless you given your “okay”.

3. to always sit at every curb before crossing the road.

Ben Kersen - Dog SafetyThese three techniques can be taught quite easily and are invaluable in saving your dog’s life. Visit our website for more information:www.wonderdogs.ca.

Remember you should ALWAYS use a leash when walking near traffic as things can happen quickly. The only exception is if your dog has been through our advanced car proofing training, and even then, you must always be very careful.

Until Next Time,
Ben Kersen
Ben Kersen & the Wonderdogs
Victoria, BC
www.wonderdogs.ca

Safety and Your Dog

Safety and Your Wonderdog (or perhaps not so much of a Wonderdog!):
By Ben Kersen

“Ben, be careful.” “Ben, don’t fall dear.” “Ben, look out for the…” These were the constant reminders during my childhood from Mrs. Kersen, my dear mother. Despite her best intentions, I managed to acquire my share of scraped knees and bumped foreheads.

As doggie parents, we are responsible for our four-legged children’s safety. Speaking of children, could you imagine leaving a young toddler to play near traffic without supervision? If you love your dog, and want to enjoy its company to a ripe old age, I would encourage you to take the same precautions as you would for a baby and more—dogs are MUCH faster!! Since opening my business (Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs) 30 years ago, I have seen some close calls… don’t let this be you!

All the good nutrition, training, and your loving care can be destroyed instantly by an accident if your dog isn’t safety trained. The next few blog posts (which were taken from my previous newsletter, Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs News & Tips) will offer general suggestions, but should not be used instead of going for active training with a qualified trainer.  For more info on training, visit my website www.wonderdogs.ca.

Until Next Time,
Ben Kersen
Ben Kersen & the Wonderdogs
Victoria, BC

Creating a Killer? Part II

Part II – The Drawbacks to Fetch

Almost everyone who has dogs will agree that toys are a great reinforcer when working and playing with your dog. Where ideas split is when it comes to how to use said toys. You have basically two options (and of course many variants of each). They are: throw the toy or play with the toy, or more commonly known as: fetch or tug-o-war. As I noted in my earlier post, a lot of people have the idea that tug-o-war is bad so that leaves fetch. And playing only fetch leaves a lot to be desired.

Now don’t get me wrong, retrieving can be great! Most would agree that it’s good exercise for your dog with little effort on your part. You can drink your coffee or text while mindlessly playing with your dog. Great, right?

Not so much actually.

And here’s why.

The fact that you can multitask while “playing” with your dog is a problem. Is it better than your dog sitting at home bored all day? Absolutely. Does it do anything to build the relationship between you and your dog? Nope.

Now before all you chuck-it fanatics jump down my throat, I must clarify and say that if played correctly (with total engagement and clear rules – more to to come on that later perhaps), retrieving can certainly be used as a supplement to building good feelings between owner and dog. The sad fact is though, that 90% of people are not playing it correctly and aren’t using it in a supplement sense. For a lot of dogs, heading to the field to chase and return the ball to it’s ball dispenser (yes, that means you!) is the most excitement they will get all day. Yes, they will learn to love it (obsess over it even) but it’s not because they love the time with their owner. It’s because it’s all they have.   They get their enjoyment chasing and catching the ball.  This has pretty much nothing to do with who throws it.  Ever heard someone say (with chuck-it in hand) “My dog is great at the park, he is glued to me.” and then a moment later “Unless he sees someone else with a chuck-it or ball, then he’s gone and doesn’t look back”. This should tell us something!

Next blog: the power of personal play AKA tug-o-war.

Heather

Throwing the ball for your dog

While having a fetch session with your dog is good for exercise, that is all it is good for!

Creating a Killer?

The Tug-o-War Myth Part 1

If you own a dog you have probably heard the popular idea that playing tug-o-war with your dog will turn him into a savage, blood thirsty beast that wants to control, dominate and even hurt you.  This idea stems from the thought that because tug-o-war is fundamentally a game of muscle versus muscle if the dog “wins” he will think he is stronger than you. Ideas of being the leader in your relationship will develop and possessiveness and aggression are close behind… it will only be a matter of time before Fluffy becomes Cujo.

I’m here to tell you that is untrue.

And really quite ridiculous.

In fact in my experience tug-o-war, when played properly, is one the best games you can play with your dog.  Over the next few blogs I will explain why.

Heather

Image