Shop Online  |  My Account  |  Customer Care  |  Order Status
View Cart  | 
Search:

News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Over the past several weeks we have been talking about getting your dog ready for Spring and Summer, showing you must have products for walks, and outdoor adventures. You might have noticed that we have not mentioned and don’t carry retractable leashes.  Here is why…

Injuries – Retractable leashes can cause injuries to humans and dogs.

Human Injuries: If Fido suddenly jets past you to get that squirrel, the thin-string on retractable leashes can zip across your exposed skin (or your child’s) in less than a second. If the dog’s collar were to suddenly break and come off, the leash cord would retract with such rapid force that it could strike you (or someone else) in the face, teeth, or eyes.

Dog Injuries: When your dog bolts on a retractable leash and they hit the end of it, their back and neck can be seriously injured from being suddenly jerked.

Injuries to Both: The retractable string can get twisted around your hands, another person’s ankle, your dog’s neck and legs, a tail or even a pet’s neck. If your dog senses he’s hog-tied and thrashes around, it can cause the cord to pull tighter. This could lead to a life-threatening situation in a matter of seconds.

Cord Breakage – Many retractable leashes are not strong enough to handle the dog that is attached to them. If a dog bolts or takes off running they can often snap the then line or tape before you even realize what happened. And even worse, the plastic hand-held retractor may come out of your hand and go banging down the pavement after your dog, causing him to panic and rush into traffic or a busy bike path.

Boundaries – Retractable leashes encourage dogs to pull. If we as pet-parents don’t provide consistent boundaries, how is Fido supposed to knowwhat is acceptable? Sometimes with retractable leashes they are given 2 feet, sometimes 6 feet, and if they pull a little harder they might be given 10 feet. Then, when you only give them a few feet they begin to pull (because normally this results in getting a few more inches or feet, right?) and they are instead “corrected” because you are in a busy area and not behaving well. What?? How confusing for Fido!

Uninvited Meetings – Retractable leashes allow your dog to approach other dogs for an unwanted meet-and greet. This might just lead to an irritated owner, but it could cause the spread of disease, disruption of a healing injury, or even a sudden and aggressive dog fight.

Instead of worrying about injuries, and hoping for good behavior, you can provide guidelines and boundaries that your dog needs and desires to have a great walk with a standard (non-retractable) leash. Ask any of our Team members to show you some dependable, sturdy standard-leash options!

 

 

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.

boxerfullharnessSo 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 Freedom Harness or 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.

Worst Case scenario…you are on a morning walk with your dog and he sees a rabbit and pulls to chase it. Instead of pulling you this time, he drops dog-pulling-womendown and makes this horrible raspy wheezing noise as if he isn’t getting enough air.  You go to your vet and find out that all of that pulling against his collar collapsed his windpipe.  Yes, they will recover…

Many dogs will wear well made collars for years without a problem. But, there are also certain dogs who are natural pullers, or especially susceptible to trachea problems.  For those dogs, prolonged pressure against the windpipe (even simple over-excitement) can cause serious breathing issues.

One solution that we have to prevent this is the Sporn Mesh No-Pull Harness.  This harness is designed for moderate to heavy pullers; but it can also be used by any pet parent who wants to minimize pressure on their dog’s windpipe.  Like all Sporn products — including the double-dog adjustable leashes, which allows you to walk two pets at once — the harness is made of very high-quality nylon and nickel-plated hardware, so it will stand up to years of wear-and-tear.

There are SO many reasons we love the Sporn Mesh Harness at Two Bostons:

  • It fits around the dogs chest and shoulders – so when they jump or pull, your dogs neck and windpipe aren’t taking the full impact of his weight.
  • The mesh construction of the harness is cool and flexible.  It stretches with natural movements while walking or running.
  • It is very easy to get on and off – your pup just steps into it, adjust the straps and attach the leash…and off you go!
  • Sporn guarantees this harness for life against material defects or damage during standard use.
  • Sizing is super-easy!  Generally, go by your dog’s weight and neck circumference.  Stop by any Two Bostons store and one of our trained team members can help you with a quick custom fitting.

No-Pull Sporn HarnessAs a reminder…don’t leave your dog unattended while wearing ANY piece of gear with loops or buckles. These have the potential to get snagged on something in your absence.

So…if you would like to stop unwanted pulling in its tracks — while protecting your dog’s neck and windpipe — visit us today!

This Saturday, 5/14 we are having Harness Fittings from 11:00 – 3:00 pm at all Two Bostons stores!  You can bring in your current harness or our expert team members will help you find a the right one for you!

 

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.

Hi again. I wanted to talk to you today about walking well with your pet. I’ve already spoken to you about the importance of the ID tag, but there is a lot more to walking your dog than you think.

Walking. It sounds so simple. And most of us do it on a daily basis.

But, we know that when it comes to walking your dog, a large number of you have, shall we say “challenges”.

Sometimes they pull, and sniff, and chase squirrels.

You like to walk straight.

Right.

Like any good relationship, walking your dog involves a bit of preparation, a bit of of compromise, and a bit of perseverance.

Here’s how you start:

1. Start out by finding the right collar and leash for our pooch.

You want a collar that is an appropriate width for size of your dog. You also want a leash that is easy for you to hold on to and handle. Retractable leashes are viewed by many as giving more control; however, they often do the opposite. If your leash isn’t locked, your dog may startle you by taking off after one of those squirrels I mentioned before. You should invest in a sturdy standard leash. You will have better control.

If your dog is a large dog, or one that pulls, you may wish to consider a harness.

I use the Sporn Harness for Diesel (that’s the harness, but not my dog) which has allowed for his walks to be led by my 8-year-old son who weighs approximately 40 pounds less than Diesel. If you have a puller, you really want to check this out. Saved my walks.

2.The next thing you are going to want to do is prepare your dog for the weather.

There is snow on the ground right now. Where there is snow, there is usually salt. You really have to protect your dog’s paws from the salt. There are a number of really easy ways to do that. Boots are a great option. Musher’s Secret or Muttluks Pawstick work really well too. Both of these products are a balm that you put on your dog’s paw pads prior to going outside. Cocotherapy is another great option as you can use that on paw pads too.

You also want to make certain you dog is protected from the wind and cold with a warm coat…especially if you have a toy breed or one without a thick coat.

Yes, it’s true that dogs and wolves have lived for a very long time without wearing coats; however, the breeds of today do not necessarily have the same type of fur coats their ancestors possessed. It’s safe to say that if you are anticipating spending time outdoors with your pet, you should consider investing in a warm winter coat.

3. Next, you’ll want to consider a portable water bottle.

Hydration is key…people normally equate the need during the warmer months; however, it is just as important in winter to stay hydrated.

4. Finally, the last thing you need to consider is poop bags.

Because, let’s face it, it’s just the right thing to do. Nothing puts a damper on a day like an unexpected pile of… well, you know.

I’m going to be showing you some really great options for all of the items I’ve mentioned over the next couple of posts. Feel free to stop by either of our stores and have a team member help you out if you need the information sooner.

Now you are ready to open the door and head out on your first of many walks.

 

 

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

I have a confession to make: My little Beamer is not a good walker. In fact, it’s a chore taking him for a walk and goodness knows that he needs his daily walks to burn off that extra puppy energy.

So, this morning as I am being pulled, tangled, and twisted by this little bundle of cute puppiness I had an “Aha” moment: This is ridiculous! Let me start by doing something so insanely smart, it’s bound to be off the IQ charts. Maybe, just maybe I should take my own advice. You know, the advice I repeat over and over again with our wonderful customers on a daily basis.

If you want to enjoy walking with your dog, get him or her UNDER CONTROL. The more enjoyable your walks, the more often you will go on them, resulting in a healthier and more calm dog (and you!).

So, here’s the game plan: I will bring home a Sporn harness tonight after work. This is exactly the advice I would provide at Two Bostons. So, let me take some of my own medicine. I will video tape Little Beamer in all of his pulling a bad walking might in his regular harness. I will then show you how to put the Sporn harness on correctly and then…magic should happen. Let’s hope the “after” video shows a much more polite Beamer walking through our neighborhood!