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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

It’s Springtime and dog-holding-shoestoday is National Take A Walk in the Park Day!

I would have to assume that we are all happy to see the cold weather be gone. This includes our pets too!  They get cabin fever and pent-up energy just like us.  Now that we can get out more often for walks, let’s talk about a few pointers to get your pup out of the house and make it a relaxing enjoyable walk.  We all know that a tired dog is a happy dog!

Most complaints about dog walking revolves around them pulling…If the question, “Who’s walking who?” has ever been thought, this is for you!

1. Collars, Leashes and Harnesses:  You want to find a collar that is an appropriate width for the size of your dog.  You will also want a leash that is easy for you to hold and handle. We have all kinds of different leashes to choose from! We strongly recommend that you use a standard leash instead of a retractable leash for several reasons.  Read about retractable leashes in a previous Blog: Do you know why you can’t find retractable leashes at Two Bostons?

Using a harness to walk your dog is safer and healthier for any breed, but especially the short-faced breeds like the Boston Terrier, Pug, Boxer or Bulldog.  These types of breeds tend to have necks that are more susceptible to damage when they pull on their collars.  Placing them in a well-fitted harness will be much better for them and will give you more control as well!  sporn_mesh_harness

If you have a dog that REALLY pulls (or maybe you want a very well-mannered walker)  we suggest trying the No-Pull Dog Harness by SPORN. This is the best no-pull system that we have found!  The SPORN fits just like a regular harness but pulls up on the dogs’ armpits, which is a pressure point, when the dog pulls.  This doesn’t hurt the dog at all, but it does make it uncomfortable if they continue to pull.  The best thing about this is that you don’t have to correct your dog, he will correct himself!

2.  Poop Bags:  Let’s face it, they do it!  So be prepared…We have several different poop bags and poop bag holders to choose from.  There are the regular plastic bag cylinder shaped bag holder that hold a roll of plastic bags, or the more fashionable poop bag carriers that look just like cute cell phone holders!  Both kinds will attached to the top of the leash so they are out of the way but there when you need them!

WalkingBlog

3.  Hydration:  If you are just going around the block you may not need to worry about taking water with you…but if you are on a longer walk or it is in the middle of a hot summer day you will want to make sure you keep your pup hydrated!  We have a couple of different options for you to choose from.  One of those is the Gulpy Water Dispenser by Kyjen.  It is easy to use, doesn’t leak and you can easily carry it with the built-in belt clip and it fits into bicycle water bottle holders!

The most important thing is to have fun on your walks!  Stop into any Two Bostons store and we can help you find the right walking gear for you and your pup!

Two Bostons will be starting their Weekly Walks on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at the Downtown Naperville and Burr Ridge stores.  For more information visit our website at twobostons.com/pages/events.

Amber Walker

Amber Walker, owner and lead trainer at Animal Intuitions, Inc. provided us with some great insight on prong collars and why you will not see them in any Two Bostons stores.

 

Walking is one of the greatest activities an owner and dog can do.  It builds a great bond and is a good work out.  It can deplete a dogs’ energy lessening unwanted behaviors that a bored dog does like chewing, barking, and digging.  And walking is just plain fun!

Sometimes, we find ourselves not going on walks because our dog pulls, lunges, barks at other dogs, zig zags, and makes the walk horrible.  How can we change all that?  A change of walking tool is sometimes all it takes!

 

Animal Intuitions or Two Bostons will never recommend the use of prong, pinch, or chain collars and but most important, we want you to understand why.

First, prong collars work. We are not denying that fact.  Function is not the matter of why we don’t like them.  There are three main components as to why we won’t use them, sell them or prongcollarrecommend them: 1. Your dog’s anatomy, 2. their use as a training tool, and 3. the inconsistency with their use.

1. Dog’s Anatomy

Your dog’s neck is actually very delicate and includes the vertical vertebrae, trachea, jugular vein, tonsils, epiglottis, larynx, esophagus, nerves and veins.

Repeated stress (mild to severe) to this area will not only cause pain and problems to the immediate areas being touched but also can lead to neck, back and even eye problems and injuries.  Optical nerves in the neck can cause blindness.

Our dogs appear to not be especially sensitive so we are more likely to use greater and greater force.  By the time evidence of permanent damage is identified, it is too late.

2. A Training Tool

It is especially important to Animal Intuitions, that your dog learns how to walk because we are teaching them to make that decision through positive reinforcement i.e. PAIN FREE.  No human or animal can learn when he or she is in pain.

Our goal is teaching the dog to control himself and the owner won’t need to physically control the dog.

As with any tool, there is a right and wrong way to use them.  More often than not, these collars are used incorrectly.  And even if they are used ‘correctly,’ you still won’t see us using them.

To use positive punishment (adding something [pinch collar] to decrease a behavior [leash pulling]) it must be administered at the correct time.  Timing is important in clicker training too.  Wrong timing in clicker training means your dog gets a free treat.  Wrong timing in a pinch collar ‘pop’ means a lot of confusion for your dog, including the possible association with what the dog sees (dog, child, car, bike, etc.) at the time of a leash pop leading to fear and aggression, “That thing made me hurt and now I will be [insert dog emotion].” It must also be done with enough force to stop the behavior.  OUCH!

3. The Inconsistency

The use of the prong and/or pinch collar is not consistent.  It varies from person to person and from situation to situation.  Take the following for example:

  • The dog pulls and the owner follows (or is dragged) and the dog is positively reinforced for what it wants to do/where it wants to go because the dog still gets to move forward.
  • Sometimes pulling is corrected with a jerk other times it is not.
  • Collars are fitted incorrectly so the dog never gets relief even on a slack leash.

In the end, your dog has been habituated to the constant pressure and it no longer means anything.

It’s possible that the dog may develop a punishment callus.  This causes the owner to escalate the level of correction while the dog is reinforced by pulling to get to whatever he wants and it outweighs the punishment of the pain.

So what do we recommend?  We do want you to use a tool that will be helpful to you and your dog.  There are certainly a variety of options that work for some and not for others.  We highly recommend the Sporn Harness.  You can get this at Two Bostons.

 

Positive Reinforcement is very important to Animal Intuitions’ training team and we want our clients to understand why we are so passionate about it.  AI has trained over 100 zoo and pet animal species with the same training techniques, methods, and science…every time! We can’t wait to show you our successful methods with all your dogs and dogs to come.

For more information on Amber and Animal Intuitions, Inc. visit them at www.aitrainers.com.

People come in on a regular basis asking for pinch collars to help train their dog. We don’t carry them. Why? Well, I’m going to let Amber Walker, owner of Animal Intuitions, a wonderful dog training company, explain.

Hi everyone. Amber from AI here. You will never see us use or recommend prong, pinch, or chain collars and we want you to understand why.


First off, prong collars work. We are not denying that fact. Function is not the matter of why we don’t like them. There are three main components as to why we won’t use them. They are your dog’s anatomy, their use as a training tool, and finally the inconsistency with their use.

Dog’s Anatomy

Your dog’s neck is actually a very delicate and includes the cervical vertebrae, trachea, jugular vein, tonsils, epiglottis, larynx, esophagus, nerves and veins.

Repeated stress (mild to severe) to this area will not only cause pain and problems to the immediate areas being touched but also can lead to neck, back and even eye problems and injuries. Optical nerves in the neck can cause blindness.

Our dogs appear to not be especially sensitive so we are more likely to use greater and greater force. By the time evidence of permanent damage is identified, it is too late.

A Training Tool

It’s especially important to Animal Intuitions, that your dog learns how to walk because we are teaching them to make that decision through positive reinforcement i.e. pain free. No human or animal can learn when he or she is in pain.

Our goal is teaching the dog to control himself and the owner won’t need to physically control the dog.

As with any tool, there is a right and wrong way to use them. More often than not, these collars are used incorrectly. And even if they are used ‘correctly,’ you still won’t see us using them.

To use positive punishment (adding something [pinch collar] to decrease a behavior [leash pulling]) it must be administered at the correct time. Timing is important in clicker training too. Wrong timing in clicker training means your dog gets a free treat. Wrong timing in a pinch collar ‘pop’ means a lot of confusion for your dog, including possible association with what the dog sees (dog, child, car, bike, etc) at the time of a leash pop leading to fear and aggression, “That thing made me hurt and now I will be [insert dog emotion].” It must also be done with enough force to stop the behavior. Ouch.

The Inconsistency

The use of the prong and/or pinch collar is not consistent. It varies from person to person and from situation to situation. Take the following for example:

1) The dog pulls and the owner follows (or is dragged) and dog is positively reinforced for what it wants to do/where it wants to go because the dog still gets to move forward.
2) Sometimes pulling is corrected with a jerk other times it is not.
3) Collars are fitted incorrectly so the dog never gets relief even on a slack leash.

In the end, your dog has been habituated to the constant pressure and it no longer means anything.

It’s possible that the dog may develop a punishment callus. This causes the owner to escalate the level of correction while the dog is reinforced by pulling to get to whatever he wants and it outweighs the punishment of the pain.

So, what do we recommend? We do want you to use a tool that will be helpful to you and your dog. There are certainly a variety of options that work for some and not for others. We highly recommend the Sporn Harness.  You can get that at Two Bostons in Naperville.

Positive Reinforcement is very important to Animal Intuitions training team and we want our clients to understand why we are so passionate about it. AI has trained over 100 zoo and pet animal species with the same training techniques, methods, and science… every time. And we can’t wait to show you our successful methods with all your dogs and dogs to come. We would love to help you and your dog have wonderful walks together. Feel free to contact us at 630-53-PUPPY or via email at amber@aitrainers.com.

We are so excited that you are so excited about our new collars and leashes from Aroo Studio. This new line that we are carrying is flying off the shelf almost as quickly as we can stock them.

And we can understand why…

Just look at these beauties!

Aroo Studio collars and leashes are made in the USA using natural materials such as hemp, cotton, and organic cotton. They are very durable and (one of our favorite parts) washable too!

And, another one of our favorite parts about Aroo Studio is that they donate collars and leashes to organizations that need them and support rescue groups. A manufacturer after our own heart!

Plus, they just make super cute collars!

This is the LuLu Cotton Collar…we love the colors!

This is the Porter Plaid Collar…with a very nice corduroy look and feel to it.

The Renna Collar…again, beautiful colors and a lovely corduroy look and feel to it.

The Chestnut Plaid Collar…very handsome and durable, plus, it is super soft.

The Pac Man Hemp Collar…need we say more?

And, the one that is by far the biggest hit with both our team and our customers (drum roll please):

 

The Mustache Collar…because, let’s face it, mustaches rock!

A small will generally fit necks size 10-13″, a  medium-fits neck size 12-17″ and the large-fits neck size 15-22″. The leashes are just a awesome as the collars too!

So, be sure to hurry in and pick yours up today. The are going fast!

 

 

Heather here!  Do you have muddy puppies like I do?  Do your loved pooches like to swim, dig, roll and basically cover themselves in all kinds of muck and mud?  How many times have you had to replace a collar or leash because your dog decided it was a great idea to get it so dirty that it couldn’t come clean?

A great option for the mucky puppy owners; Mimi Green!  You may have read Meg’s post a few months back on Mimi Green; however, I just had to jump on board. My most favorite collar and leash combo that we have at the store, Mimi Green is made from a tough oil cloth with unique blend of vinyl woven with the cotton.  They are waterproof and dirt resistant, just think of a strong, laminated cotton! I want you to see these awesome collars in action!

Let those pooches get dirty, all you’ll need to do with their collar is wipe them down and you have a beautiful pattern back on your pups neck!  My girls have had the Mimi Green for almost a year now and they are in great condition!  We’ve even been swimming in Lake Michigan with them on and they still look fantastic!

 

And did I mention we carry four of the prettiest patterns out there?!

Lilu is currently fashioning the Mi Corazon set:

and Ahsoka is rocking the Purple Petunia pattern:

Not only do my rough and tough girls get to jump in the pond in my backyard without me worrying over their collars, but they also get to look somewhat girly wearing their Mimi Greens!

Stop by the store let our team members show you our Mimi Green collars. There is sure to be one you’ll love!

 

Have you seen these collars in our store?

 

If not, you should check them out.

These are oil-cloth collars by Mimi Green. We currently have four beautiful patterns in stock and they are as functional as they are fun.

What do I mean by functional? Well, like I said…they are oil-cloth. And one of my favorite things about oil-cloth is that it is easily wiped clean with a damp cloth.

What?

Yes! Imagine, you will be able to keep your dog’s collar looking clean and new for a VERY. LONG. TIME.

I like to imagine that the person who thought of sliced bread had one of the very same “of course!” moments. Because, it really feels like that when I think about it.

They are fully adjustable and have a very secure clip style closure. And, there is a lovely little ring to hang your dog’s ID tag from too. So, the next time you are at one of our stores, check out this great line, and see for yourself why you will want to add one into your dog’s wardrobe.

 

I hope you came by Yappy Hour last night and enjoyed yourself!

Here is Tip Number 8:

Put your best paw forward and ALWAYS look stylish!
 
It’s super fun and keeping up with “today” helps keep a gal young.
 
Right now I am sporting the fun and funky Red Dot collar, leash and harness from Paw Paw and loving it! Don’t I look fabulous?
 
I love how my whole ensemble matches. It makes me feel so pretty and I can’t wait to go on my walks because the material is just so comfortable. (There is not one bit of skin irritation or, ahem, unsightly chaffing.)
 
I know my Mom and Dad have a terrific variety of very beautiful (or manly if that is your thing) leashes, collars and harnesses. Stop on in the store to check them out. Or, if you can’t do that, you can click here and see how cool they are. (My Dad will ship them to you anywhere if you want one!)
 
Thanks for stopping by today. I am getting so excited about my party. I know my Mom has some wonderful treats (for people and pets) in store, as well as some fun games and prizes. I hope you can make it! I’ll be back tomorrow with tip number 7.
 
Until then,
 
~Daisy