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

Graduates Making A Difference – Niqi Lalana’s Upcoming Fundraising Event

Please check out this recent update from graduate Niqi Lalana. She is working hard to make a difference and has an upcoming fundraising event to help support her cause.

Until Next Time,

Ben

www.wonderdogs.ca

 

Dear Wonderdog Graduates,

Congratulations on your new careers in the dog industry. I hope you are all working towards or achieving amazing success! After graduating from PTP I became involved in training and rehabilitating pitbulls that were rescued from an illegal fighting ring, as well as street dogs in the Philippines. Many, if not all of these dogs were in poor physical condition and are in need of proper nutrition and medical care.

On January 20th at 7pm, I will be holding a fundraiser at Subeez Cafe in Vanocuver. Admission is $25 and will include dinner and a drink, live entertainment from talented dancers, comedians, and musicians including Juno Award winner Elaine L’il Bit Shepherd. We will also have a 50/50 draw, a silent auction with amazing items, and door prizes. All the funds that are raised at this event will go towards food, medical supplies and care, training equipment, shelter improvements, and animal supplies for the rescued dogs and cats. Tickets can be purchased in advance through me or at Subeez, or can be purchased at the door upon entrance.

I would like to invite you to not only attend this event, but to donate products or services for the silent auction. As a professional in the dog industry, you can donate products to expose your business which we will promote at the event, or services that can turn into more business and repeat clients. Gift certificates are a great idea! There will be many dog lovers and dog owners, so remember to bring your business cards, as this is a great opportunity for networking. There will also be other business owners in the dog industry that can be beneficial to meet. All donations must be ready by Friday the 18th in order to prepare them for the event. If you require pick up, or have any questions, please contact me at niqidulcinea@gmail.com or 778-893-7874.

Thank you for taking the time to review and support this cause. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and hope to see you on Sunday!

Sincerely,

Niqi Lalana

Off-Leash Dog Parks: Part II – A Caution to Owners

Fall 2012 057I have found off-leash dog parks a great way to meet like minded individuals who are only more than happy to share their passion for dogs. If you are new to town or just looking to meet some new people your local dog park is a great place to do it. Not only does your dog get to meet new friends but so do you! I have met lots of people and lots of dogs, some of whom have become friends and even clients, an added bonus.

Meeting and chatting with people at the dog park is great BUT you still have to pay attention to your dog! Too often I have observed large groups of people chatting away and no one is paying attention to what their dogs are doing. This can be dangerous, and I caution all off-leash dog park users to ALWAYS watch your dog and any dog within close proximity to your own.  Now I must clarify that this is not all people at the park and I have met many responsible dog owners who do indeed pay attention to what their dog is doing, who they are playing with, and always keep an eye open for potential mishaps. Unfortunately, I have seen an awful lot of the other side too.

I think some dog owners tend to assume that every dog at the park will love each other and romp and play happily ever after. This is not so, wish it were, but no dice. We don’t expect each other to like everyone we meet and we can’t expect our dogs to either.  Like people, dogs vary when it comes to personality, likes and dislikes, quirks, triggers etc…  . Therefore, when at the park we should expect the occasional personality clash. Prevention is key and the onus falls on us as owners to do our part and pay attention. More specifically, here are a few things to consider when at the park:  your dog’s body language, the body language of all dogs in a pack, the arrival of new dogs entering an established pack, dog’s on leash (FYI – the off-leash dog park is NOT the exclusive domain of off-leash dogs), small furry creatures our dog’s may decide to bolt after, parking lots (NOT a play area), foreign objects on the field that our dogs may ingest. I could go on and on and on and on and on, and on…  but I won’t, lol. There are many unfortunate situations that can arise due to negligence, but I trust that most of us can probably ascertain the consequences without me going into detail.

This is probably the only situation where I think that people SHOULD treat their dogs like they are children. You would never take a small child to a park and turn your back on them, and as parents we are always watching to ensure that are children are behaving appropriately towards their playmates and are quick to intervene if we see are child being bullied or being the bully. We don’t let our children run into parking lots and heaven forbid they try and eat something they found on the ground, yikes!!  And, yes, I have even seen children on leash (bolters I assume ;)). The point is that as parents we are always diligent, and the goal is to give our children the confidence to explore the world and make new friends while learning to behave in a safe and appropriate manner. Why not afford the same care and attention to our dogs?

In any case, what I am getting at is very simple and easy to do. So I encourage all dog owners who choose to frequent off-leash parks to keep at it, have fun and mingle away, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR DOG!

Just a thought,

Anthea

Off-Leash Dog Parks – Part I

To Play or Not to Play?

In my opinion off-leash dog parks are not the best choice for toy play. Your dog may love their Frisbee or ball and both are excellent options to exercise your dog, however, the off-leash dog park is not the best place to bring out your bag of toys.

Even if your dog does not have guarding issues and is more then happy to share toys, other dogs may not. I have seen more than one dog fight break out over sticks, frisbees and the infamous orange Chuck it balls and frankly the risk is not worth it. The dogs on the field may be great playing and wrestling with other dogs and show no signs of aggression until….. toss a loose ball into the mix and all hell breaks loose. Even if you are lucky enough to be on the field with dogs that don’t have guarding issues there are always plenty of ball thieves at the park (Boomer is guilty as charged!) and you may find yourself chasing said thieves all over the field more then playing with your own dog.

Also worth mentioning, it has been my observation that many dogs don’t show any interest in socializing with other dogs when a toy is in their field of vision. So, if you head to the park in hopes to help socialize your dog and romp around with some doggie friends, your efforts may be foiled if you have a toy out on the field.

Right about now you might be thinking, why not bring my toys to the park?  It’s a public park and I can use it as I see fit. Yes, it is a public park and by definition, YOU are not  the only person using it. As members of the public it is our responsibility to use it in a respectful manner that is safe for all.

Personally, I like to leave the ball in the truck or in my jacket and will have a toss if dog friends are few and far between BUT  if the dog park is teeming with dogs , the toys go away. It is a personal pet peeve of mine to find someone throwing toys right through a pack of playing dogs; it’s just an accident waiting to happen. Unless you are fortunate enough to know all the dogs and owners well enough to ensure you won’t have an issue, use your judgement, play it safe, and find a quiet end of the park to pull out your toys or just keep the toys under wraps.

Just a thought,

Anthea