Keeping your CKCS busy is essential for effective training. It facilitates easier crate training, lessens destructive behaviors like chewing on shoes & furniture, eases teething discomfort, and provides a distraction from nipping or barking. It's best to have a toolkit of options on hand when training a puppy and then switching things up to keep things interesting.
This may seem like a big list, but it will likely take some trial and error to determine which methods will work for your puppy. Something they didn't love? Donate any stuff your puppy doesn't use or love to your neighborhood animal shelter so they can be given to puppies in need.
Here is the list of supplies we keep on hand::
CRATE TRAINING - Making the crate or pen somewhere your puppy likes to go is vital to crate training. It should be a safe area and provide some stimulation to cut down on boredom, barking, and whining. Feeding your puppy in the crate, while also offering stimulating treats, is one simple method to make that happen. Look for durable items that can be offered unattended when shopping for crate training items. Avoid anything that could choke your puppy (for example puzzle pieces or small toys), and never utilize rawhide (inside our outside of the crate). Here are our best recommendations on Amazon:
GENERAL CHEWING – Dogs chew for various reasons, such as boredom and teething. Determining the cause of your dog's chewing may assist you in selecting the ideal toy or item to reduce or eliminate the need to chew personal items. Additionally, increasing activity and mental stimulation through training is always the greatest remedy if your dog is just bored. These are a few of our preferred options for cerebral stimulation and teething:
TRAINING TREATS – Training your puppy is fantastic because it stimulates the mind and helps control undesirable behaviors, but also strengthens the bond between you and the puppy. The secret to successful training is to determine a reward that's meaningful to your puppy. For most pups. that's treats. Many dog treats include unhealthy substances and other items that could hurt your puppy, so please only train with high quality (preferably single ingredient) treats.
Try several of these treats to find one your puppy truly appreciates. Here are some of our much-loved treats, but don't be shy about trying other homemade goodies like deli meat, ground beef, etc.
Although the focus of this post has been on pups, we use every product here for our adult dogs too — we just size up on some Kong-style toys and don't cut the goodies in half! Best wishes on keeping your dog busy.
WANT TO LEARN MORE - See our other post related to this topic on WORKING FOR FOOD.
You want the best for your dog as a pet parent, and that includes the treats you offer them. Treats are a wonderful way to encourage good behavior, express love, and give a little extra nutrition and attention. However, the greatest treats for your dog can be tough to choose because wide varieties are available. Let's look at the factors you should take into account while selecting the best treats for your dog.
The ingredients are the first and most crucial factor to take into account while selecting a treat. Avoid foods with artificial preservatives, tastes, or colors, and seek out delicacies produced with real ingredients like fruit, meat, and vegetables. High-quality protein-based treats are wise because they give your dog critical nutrients and promote their general health.
Sensitivities & Allergies
It's crucial to select treats free of the ingredients your dog is allergic to if they have any food sensitivities or allergies. For instance, pick treats made with rice or potatoes instead of wheat if your dog has a grain allergy. Ask your veterinarian for advice if you're not sure about which ingredients your dog is allergic to.
Appetite & Size
Like us, dogs have diverse preferences, so picking a treat your dog likes is crucial for training. A treat that your pup enjoys and anticipates eating will work far better as a reward. Choose a reward that is simple to consume when it comes to puppies. While your dog chews on the treatment for a long period, they frequently become distracted and leave your training session. Ensure the goodies you are feeding your dog are the right size because treats shouldn't make up more than 10% of their daily caloric intake.
Treats are made especially to address the needs of dogs with special requirements, such as those who are overweight or have dental problems. Low-fat and calorie treats or ones that help clean your dog's teeth can keep your dog healthy and cheerful.
The appropriate treats can have a significant impact on your dog's general health and happiness. While making a decision, take into account your dog's allergies, sensitivities, and nutritional requirements and opt for treats created with high-quality ingredients that are devoid of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. With the correct treats, you can show your dog your affection while rewarding good behavior and giving them the nutrition they require.
LINKS TO OUR FAVORITE TREATS:
Sojo's Freeze Dried Meat Bundle
Dried Beef Liver
Beef Lung Bites
Dehydrated Chicken Breast
ON PAWTREE: (Please see our post on feeding your dog PawTree here)
Freeze Dried Chicken Liver
Freeze Dried Duck and Mango
Freeze Dried Beef Liver
We like using the Kong to train and entertain puppies. Read more about Kongs and training here.
Some of our puppy owners are unsure of how to utilize the Kong and specifically pique a puppy's interest in playing with it. We also hope to avoid owners using the unhealthy options for Kong stuffing offered in pet stores.
Here are a few basic tips and recipes to get you started on Kong stuffing, and to give you the confidence to start developing your own recipes.
TIPS FOR BEGINNERS:
• Begin by using your pet's own food in the Kong. When the dog is hungry and eager to work for his or her food, provide the Kong BEFORE any meal. This aids with the puppy's conceptualization. You might want to start with high-quality kibble in the Kong if you feed soft food.
• Once your puppy has a basic understanding of the idea of struggling to retrieve his or her food from the Kong, make it more challenging by inserting an edible plug for them to figure out before getting the food. Depending on the size of your Kong, you might want to try a blueberry, some peanut butter, some cheese, or even a reward that you can shape, like Little Jacks Dog Training Treats.
• Once your puppy has mastered the fundamentals of a Kong, you may start getting more inventive. Use the following to maintain your dog's interest:
These are only a few suggestions to assist you in Kong stuffing. Don't be scared to try out several recipes to identify a few personal favorites for your CKCS. Just be mindful of the extra calories and sugar, and think about giving your dog's stuffed Kong when ensuring they have a balanced diet.
Have a preferred Kong recipe? Please share it with us in the comments!
As pregnant & lactating Cavaliers (as well as weaning puppies) consume a lot of dog food, we set out to find a high quality kibble that we could confidently use in our program and ultimately recommend to families as well. We were worried about costs, but more so about quality, recalls, source of ingredients and whether or not our dogs all liked the food.
Here were our non-negotiable requirements:
When ultimately chose PawTree brand and have never looked back. However, we had to find a way to make the cost competitive with the lower quality foods on Amazon or Chewy (or on the grocery store isles). Here is the strategy we (and many of our adoptive families) have used to keep PawTree products as reasonably priced as possible:
This purchase should last you for a minimum of four months if your puppy consumes roughly half a cup of food every day. A typical package of food contains 36 cups. When you shop for an extra-large bag of food, you actually get three ordinary bags, equivalent to 108 cups of nutrition (Even with kibble for training and playtime, it will last for over four months). Gastro Pro Plus will last more than four months as a dog only consumes 1/3 of a capsule. Finally, we discovered that a small salmon oil squirt suffices for a puppy to reap all the advantages. Therefore, a large bottle will last until your next order.
If you're having trouble with crate training, dealing with an overactive pup, or simply trying to alleviate puppy boredom, this blog post is a must-read!
Keeping dogs mentally stimulated is a key to their overall well-being and trainability, and making them work for food is an easy way to provide this stimulation! By replacing the traditional food bowl and introducing food dispensing toys, you can give your puppy a fun and engaging challenge. This approach is especially helpful for fast eaters, puppies with separation anxiety, and those who need in-crate entertainment.
Oh, and these are fantastic for retreating to your room in peace for a long enough period of time if you haven't had any "intimate time" since getting your dog… (sorry, it had to be mentioned).
EASY AMUSEMENT: SNUFFLE MATS & SLOW FEEDERS
Snuffle mats are common tools used by breeders to facilitate weaning and playtime for puppies. Work up to serving a full dinner by beginning by concealing some top-value treats in this mat. High-quality kibble can be placed on the mat to limit your dog's eating, keep them occupied in a crate or pen and teach your puppy or dog to hunt for food. The majority of LierChonPoo dogs & puppies have experienced one of these possibilities:
Small Snuffle Mat: This mat is portable and reasonably priced. Both puppies and adults can use it.
Medium Snuffle and Play Mat: We adore this medium mat since it has several areas to hide meals and treats for larger breeds, households with multiple little dogs, or an entire litter. We also appreciate the simple washing and suggest doing so once a week.
Slow feeders: Although similar to snuffle mats, slow feeders are intended to slow down a rapid eater and do not provide the same stimulation level. You can maximize the slow feeder's fun value by combining your kibble with top-quality wet food that takes a lot longer to consume when distributed on the feeder's walls.
LEVEL 2: SNOOPS
Snoops are marketed as an interactive treat dispensers, but we frequently use them as bowls to feed & occupy puppies by filling them with a combination of kibble and other food. Due to their simpler manipulation by the puppy, we start snoops before feeding in Kongs. You can buy the smiley face insert to make it more challenging, but we've found it's simpler to stuff food and bulkier parts into the hole to increase the difficulty. To introduce these, we will combine a little kibble with a few high-value treats. Once the dog is familiar, we'll switch out the rewards for chunkier bits of cooked chicken or jerky that are harder to get to. The difficulty can be raised by filling the Hole in the bottom with treats or kibble or adding items like peanut butter or plain yogurt inside. We appreciate that Snoops are covered in mint oil to help keep breath fresh and that they can be put in the dishwasher on the top rack. Our young dogs will play with these for twenty to thirty minutes, providing us with times as we tidy up around them, run errands, etc.
Level 3: KONGS
Possibly the Kong is the most well-liked "work for food" toy available. In order to keep pups clean & stuff, you should start them off with the little binkie Kong and purchase the multi-pack. Go up to the medium as your puppy develops and matures (or to feed complete meals). We have written a full blog post HERE about stuffing the Kong from the simplest to the most complex. We will reiterate that the Kong is an excellent tool for rewarding and entertaining puppies in crates, as well as for making them work for their food.
Level 4: PUZZLES & INTERACTIVE TOYS
It is uncommon for us to serve an entire meal in one of theses toys or puzzles, but it is possible if you give your dog a high-calorie kibble like PawTree.
Although our dogs love the Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy & the Tug-A-Jug, we utilize them sparingly because they can be challenging to clean and are truly only appropriate for kibble or treats. Depending on how the dog learns to give the treats, they may also be noisy.
Again, if you use these frequently, ensure you only use top-quality treats with one component and account for these calories to prevent your puppy or dog from becoming overweight.
Puzzle Toys are entertaining as well, but with certain cautions. With these kinds of toys, you MUST watch over dogs & puppies because the majority of them feature bits that, if handled carelessly, can be chewed and even eaten. They can be challenging to clean as well.
Lick Mats: Our pups and dogs also love these well-liked lick mats. Typically, we only use these on occasions when we want to treat and amuse the dogs for a while. If you're going to use these mats effectively, you must discover a mixture to distribute on the mat that is nutritious and tempting to your dog. Various ideas are covered in the Kong stuffing section also apply here.
For our dogs, we take it a step further and store these fully prepared in the freezer: natural peanut butter combined with plain greek yogurt, pureed pumpkin mixed with peanut butter or yogurt, Ollie dog food spread & re-frozen, or Ollie mixed with yogurt.
We hope you found this post helpful and will let us know what is effective and what doesn't.
Remember that any toy or bowl that doesn't support your pet's entertainment can be donated to your neighborhood shelter for a needy dog, so trying new things is never a waste. Please also check out our post on keeping your pup occupied!
Many puppy owners complain that their dog is a fussy eater, but more often than not, we've discovered that the owner may be half (or more) of the problem). If owners are not careful, they may find themselves physically feeding their dog fillet mignon from their hands without even realizing what is going on. A finicky eater is incredibly simple to produce if you're not attentive.
Try these suggestions before you categorize your dog or puppy as a finicky eater:
Now that we've discussed some of the causes of lack of appetite, here are the steps you should take (in order) before giving your dog treats, changing food or hand feeding:
I have volunteered in our community shelters for 30+ years, and during that time, I have never encountered a picky eater or a canine that starved themselves to death. Try not to worry or become fixated on your dog's feeding patterns. Take these steps and consult with your vet to create a feeding routine for them that doesn't involve them actually eating out of your hand
We advise our Guardian Homes & owners NOT to post requests for dog-feeding advice on Facebook. Most of the people you'll find on forums aren't veterinary experts; they frequently suggest low-rated diets just because someone else did and they do not thoroughly investigate animal nutrition.
This post will provide insights into the food we feed our dogs and the options we suggest to our clients, such as kibble, fresh, and raw diets. Although we do not discuss the diets available at many veterinary offices, we advise you to also look into those alternatives. We advise using Dog Food Advisor to look up any food before trying it. You might be shocked by what you learn about some of the most popular and pricey brands that veterinarians recommend. For us to suggest a food, it must have a rating of 4.5 or above, have at least 30% protein, and be mostly composed of real meat. Oh, and our dogs have to love it!
We are extremely cautious and selective about what we feed our dogs, but please keep in mind that we are not veterinarians. We discuss this with our vets. We converse with other breeders. We examine labels. We research dog food. We are aware that appropriate nutrition is the cornerstone of healthy animals when breeding dogs, and we have observed firsthand which products are most effective with Cavaliers. Also, we are aware that every dog and its owner are unique. As long as people are doing their best for their dogs, we don't judge their feeding choices. We advise owners to consider the following options.
KIBBLE - Although kibble only makes up a small portion of our dog's diet, the majority of owners prefer to use it as their dog's main source of nourishment. We advise you to add home-cooked and/or raw foods to your dog's diet if possible. It's crucial to pick the best kibble you can buy if you only want to feed kibble. Due to recalls, poor nutritional content, and low-quality proteins, kibble frequently has a bad rap, yet certain varieties are better than others. Depending on where you choose to purchase, these are our recommendations:
OPTIONS ON PAWTREE: We were requested by PawTree to sample their kibble on our dogs and have had a positive experience with this brand. We have discovered that their claims—reduced food, lesser poop, and healthier dogs—are accurate, and our dogs love their products. We alternate feeding formulae such as Salmon & Sweet Potato, Chicken & Oatmeal, and Whitefish & Brown Rice. We really adore their superfood seasonings and raw treats (for that selective eater in the pack). Free shipping is available on these products when you sign up for their PawClub and create an EZ-Ship!
OPTIONS ON CHEWY.COM
1. Instinct Original Small Breed Dog Food (Grain Free) - This grain-free choice contains chicken, chickpeas, chicken meal, & tapioca among its first five components. Only dogs who need a grain-free choice should use this, in our opinion. Comprises 39 percent protein.
2. Diamond Naturals Small Breed - This grain-free option contains the following as its first four ingredients: chicken, cracked pearled barley, chicken meal & ground white rice. Protein makes up about 30% of it.
OPTIONS ON AMAZON.COM
1. Nulo Freestyle Small Breed (Grain Free) - This grain-free choice has a salmon meal, deboned salmon, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, and salmon meal as its first four ingredients. This recipe contains chicken; therefore, dogs with chicken allergies should avoid it. 34% of this kibble is protein.
2. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed - Salmon meal, chicken meal & oats make up the first four elements of the grain-free Small Breed option. Protein may be found in this food. 31% of this kibble is protein.
HOME COOKED - Numerous new dog owners are unclear about the distinction between "home-cooked," which simply entails making your dog's food at home from ingredients like vegetables and carbs, and "raw feeding," which is based on food that is not cooked. It's simple to get confused. For instance, we'll include a recipe for puppy loaf (below) that may be consumed raw or cooked and hence fits into both categories.
Although we do provide home-cooked meals for our dogs, we also learn from our owners that preparing meals that are truly nutritionally balanced may be time-consuming, more expensive, and stressful (to ensure that your dog receives all the necessary nutrients). Some of our favorite recipes may be found on Food.com and Damn Delicious. We frequently supplement our dogs' usual food with grilled, dried chicken or boiled eggs.
Fortunately, today's dogs can access "home-cooked" meals delivered to your house. Many cost less than you may think. Currently, our dogs ADORE Ollie. This is a fantastic solution for dogs with allergies that require a diet with few ingredients.
RAW FEEDING - This is a contentious and hot topic. Many supporters of raw feeding believe that anything other than raw is not acceptable. Meanwhile, novice dog owners find raw feeding to be difficult, time-consuming, and frequently contrary to their veterinarian's advice. We advise you to contact Dt. Judy Morgan, if you're interested in raw feeding a Cavalier or a Cavalier-hybrid. Her puppy loaf recipe is an excellent way to start with raw feeding.
Using freeze-dried & frozen raw foods, which are sold by stores and at your neighborhood specialty dog food store, is another excellent way to get started with raw nutrition. When we travel, we rely on freeze-dried raw food; we also wish to supplement with it and carefully introduce raw to a new dog. These products offer raw advantages without requiring you to grind, cut, measure, or mix the ingredients yourself! Here are some ideas to get you started with feeding your dogs raw meat:
OPTIONS ON CHEWY.COM
1. Primal Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food - This brand has a wide variety of tastes and is simple to prepare. To serve, simply rehydrate the nuggets with water or bone broth.
2. Instinct Frozen Raw Bites (Grain Free Options) - Also offered in patties. Another reliable company that offers a wide range of tastes. This alternative is grain-free and has 85% meat & organs. They must be thawed before serving if they are frozen, but they do so fast.
Options ON AMAZON.COM: Please take note that we don't buy frozen goods from Amazon. Thus this just refers to their freeze-dried options.
1. Stella and Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties - We have found that not all flavors of the brand we use for travel are of the same quality, so we advise choosing Chicken, Venison Blend, or Rabbit if possible.
2. Vital Essentials Beef Entree Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food - This excellent beef-only, the grain-free choice is fantastic (If your dog is sensitive to chicken). We do not advise using this as your dog's primary food source.
Finally, let's reiterate that diet is crucial to your dog's health. Try a few different items to watch how their coat, skin & energy vary. And don't be afraid to experiment. Depending on your dog, schedule, and spending capacity, dog food is ultimately a matter of personal preference. Never surrender that decision to a stranger who has little to no understanding of any of those elements, and always bring up any nutritional concerns with your veterinarian first.
Daily, well-intentioned users of various Facebook forums will ask other well-intentioned users what they ought to feed their puppy. Then, members who are not veterinarians, breeders, or who have even read the contents of their own dog's food will advise prospective dog owners on what food to buy, typically based on what their dog "likes." Inevitably, more people will join in to express their disapproval of the decision to feed kibble in the first place, and by the time the discussion is over, I expect many group members will regret asking the question because they received more than 50 unhelpful responses.
Please keep in mind that we are NOT veterinarians; however, we are very careful about what we feed our dogs. We converse with other breeders. We examine labels. We talk with our vets. We research dog food. We also don't judge other people's feeding choices as long as they do all they can to provide for their dogs. Every dog, every owner, and every breed is unique.
Owners are advised to look into each of the following possibilities when deciding what to feed their new pet:
1. RAW FEEDING - Raw feeding is a divisive subject. Those who support raw feeding feel anything less is unacceptable. While we recognize the advantages of raw feeding, we also acknowledge that it may not be a feasible option for every pet owner.
If seriously interested in raw feeding, we advise you to contact Dr. Judy Morgan to learn more, particularly for breeds related to Cavaliers. Here you can check her recipe for puppy loaf, a delicious introduction to feeding raw. The local specialized pet stores also offer raw options including brands we trust such as Answers, Primal Raw, and Instincts Raw, All of these are balanced and convenient raw options we have used to feed our dogs. These raw options are highly recommended and most dogs find them palatable and easy to digest.
2. HOME COOKED - Many new pet owners are unclear about the distinction betweenraw and "home-cooked," This term simply defines those who make their dog's food at home using items such as lean meats, veggies, and carbs, and "raw feeding," which is based on foods that are not prepared. It's simple to get this wrong. For instance, the puppy loaf that we discussed earlier, which can be eaten raw or cooked, would fit into both categories. However, preparing meals at home can be labor-intensive, expensive, and difficult (to make sure your dog gets all the nutrients needed). Having said that, our dogs adore home-cooked foods, which are particularly excellent for canines with certain dietary requirements or severe allergies. Dogs today also have the fantastic option of receiving "home-cooked" meals that have already been thawed and delivered to you. Our dogs are currently fond of Ollie, which we will cover in more detail in an upcoming post.
3. Kibble - Going back to the initial topic, people frequently wonder what kind of kibble they should give their dogs and it is by far the most popular option. Due to misleading packaging, recalls & low-quality ingredients, kibble has received a terrible reputation in recent years. Having said that, kibble has its place. For instance, we prefer to feed our dogs home-cooked meals & raw meals whenever possible, but we occasionally utilize kibble for training, stuffing Kongs, supplemental feeding during pregnancy, traveling, and handing over puppies to new homes. Here is how we suggest you choose a kibble for your puppy:
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy
3. Orijen Puppy
4. Victor Purpose Nutra Pro (Suitable for dogs & puppies)
5. NuLo Freestyle Puppy & Adult Small Breed (Grain Free)
6. Diamond Naturals Small Breed
4. Visit your neighborhood specialty pet store. Yes, they can occasionally be more expensive, but they also offer excellent advice (speak with the owner or a knowledgeable employee) and frequently have free samples of the food available for your dog to taste before committing to a large bag. In order to compete with Amazon, Chewy, and other online retailers, they also offer rewards and loyalty programs that frequently lower the price of their food.
Dog food is ultimately a personal decision dependent on your dog, your schedule, and your money. Don't leave that decision in the hands of strangers who have little or no understanding of any of those things.
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