Nope, negative, no and definitely not! At least that's how it is in our household.
I can't resist the tug (pun intended) of a newly discovered toy and neither can our dogs. Usually the latest one is the most exciting, but there are some old favourites, especially with my Mastiff cross Giraffe. She really appreciates Petunia, her plush pink pig, playing with her, throwing her in the air and even using her as a pillow. Well, she used to, until another rescue pooch came into our lives like a tornado, wanting to steal everything from her, leaving an unattended Petunia, Petunia MII and Petunia MIII in pieces on the floor. Needless to say tougher toys are now in residence at our house.
So what toys to use at what age?
For puppies it is advisable to start with soft toys, such as longish plush toys, or a sock with a knot tied on it, so we can start tugging with the puppy without damaging his milk teeth. During teething we should pay special attention not to yank the dog too hard when playing, but he might even refuse to play during this stage.
Avoid soft squeaky toys made of rubber, because pups can easily pierce these with their needle-sharp teeth. Generally, they don’t stop at that point, but go on to chew on it, ending up swallowing pieces, in which cases you will have to keep checking if all pieces have passed through their system... not a fun job!
Toys that keep the dog occupied for a longer period of time can be especially useful for puppies when you are getting them used to being left alone. These are usually made from more hardy rubber, and can be covered in something like liver paste, or filled with treats. The puppy will try to lick every last piece of food out of it, giving them something else to focus on rather than you not being there.
Be careful what balls you buy
Probably every dog owner has bought some kind of a ball for their puppy at least once. There are some puppies who are crazy about anything round in shape, whereas others need a little more time to understand how fun these toys can be. Be careful though, because too much playing with a ball could make a dog practically addicted to it, especially some of those wee terriers.
When choosing the suitable ball you should consider its material, rather than a tennis ball which erodes the teeth too much, you can try natural rubber ball. The size of the ball is also important, as, if it is too small, the dog might accidentally swallow it, in which case it can only be removed surgically. If it is too big, it is not comfortable for him to pick it up.
For young adult and adult dogs you can use toys that are made of a harder material and must be held more tightly, such as tools used in protection training, so called tugs or bite pads with a handle. You can tug these without having to worry about them ripping, unlike the good old plush toys.
How to Play with Your Dog?
Never force the dog to hold a toy in his mouth! Instead, try acting like you have something very interesting with you and play with it in front of the dog to make it look like a prey to raise his interest.
If your dog is being cautious, don’t lean over him to touch him. Instead, kneel down to his level, slowly moving the toy around in front of him to call his attention. If your dog likes it and gets it, do not run after him, stay where you are, because he might fetch it. If so, don’t take the toy away from him immediately, praise him.
You might also want to try tugging, and let him win. Playing with you should always be a positive experience for your dog. If he really hangs on to the toy and does not want to fetch it, then just prepare two of the same toys, he will probably exchange the first one for the second one.
If your dog is a little bit more pushy and likes fighting for the toy, putting all his energy into getting it, don’t be afraid to play more intensely with him (you might want to try protection training). If he likes not only getting but also holding on to the toy, you can also try exchanging it for another toy.
At times, try playing with your dog without toys. Playing together creates a better bond and can also be very useful. For example, if you get into a situation when your dog gets tense, you might be able to relax him by playing a little.
Don’t be afraid to use a toy during training
If you have different kinds of toys you will notice after a while that there are some favourites that your dog likes better than others. He might even be motivated more effectively with a toy than with treats, or a combination of both such as a treat tube or dummy where you can put the treats inside the toy. Therefore, keep these most beloved toys for training situations and only give them to your dog when he has done something extremely well. This will make learning much more exciting for him, and the toy will also become more valuable.
However, it is important not to leave toys out for the dog all the time, because they will be really valuable for him if he can only play with the toys on special occasions and only with us. This way you can also avoid the case of “exploding toys” when your dog or dogs are bored.
Tip for training, building confidence and having some plain old fun!
‘Treasure hunt’ is an excellent game to build confidence and have some fun. Most dogs like finding their hidden toys and this is a complex exercise: it provides challenge, ensures a sense of achievement and builds confidence. First, you need to make your dog stay where he is and wait for you to hide the toy. This is an excellent obedience exercise: the command ‘Stay!’ works perfectly with your dog in this case (and can be quite useful in other situations as well). The dog will be excited searching for the hidden toy with the ‘Find it!’ or other short commands. Since we use this exercise to build confidence, the toy, naturally, should not be too difficult to be found.
You can make the exercise easier by letting the dog see where you hide the toy – this will not spoil the experience or his sense of achievement and will still build confidence while having that good old fun!
This is also a great game for fearful or easily distracted dogs. Whether it is the traffic, children, noises or other dogs, if you can catch your dog’s attention and direct him consistently with the help of dedicated games or toys, you will succeed in helping change your pooch's behaviour.
introducing the IDC® MULTIFUNCTIONAL DOG VEST 3IN1
If your pooch is crazy about going for a swim or spends balmy days on a boat with you, then the prize-winning IDC® MULTIFUNCTIONAL DOG VEST 3IN1 will be perfect for them.
Or if your pooch isn't so crazy about swimming, is learning to swim and/or spends balmy days on a boat with you (see the safety tip below), then the above is true for them also.
And If your pooch has an injury, is recovering from surgery or is getting a little less mobile with old age, guess what? Yip, the 3in1 is perfect for them too.
But wait there's more!! If your pooch loves going for walks and dips no matter what the weather is doing or spends time in the snow with you... do I need to say it again? You guessed it, the IDC® MULTIFUNCTIONAL DOG VEST 3IN1 is a must have!
Why is it good for all of the above?
Well the detachable swimming pads help your dog to stay on the surface of the water, making it useful during swim training, doing water sports and boating . The pads also serve as pressure distributors, which will be a great help if the dog has recently been operated on or just simply has run out of breath, and combined with the strong handle, makes it easier to assist them whether you're in the water with them or you need to lift them into your boat or onto a jetty.
The pads are easily be removed giving you a warm neoprene dog coat that will protect your dog from the rain, wind and cold.
And of course, the vest wouldn't be complete without the customisable labels! The vest comes with a pair of small size Julius-K9® labels that can be replaced with labels customised for your pooch!
For some reason, we all have this idea that dogs should be natural swimmers and love the water. However, this is not true. Not only are dogs not natural swimmers, but some breeds are not physically built for water. So please make sure you follow water safety guidelines for your dogs, just as you would yourself and family. This includes keeping them in shallow water at first; wearing a life vest; and watching for signs of distress.
OEKO-TEX® IS THE ANSWER!
Our dogs are often seen as family members, and their health, safety and wellbeing is of the utmost importance to us.
For this reason, it’s essential that manufacturers of dog harnesses use high quality and skin-friendly materials that are guaranteed to be safe for human use! I mean why would we put an accessory on our pooch that wasn't safe for us to use ourselves!
All materials imported into the EU require Reach certification which states that they do not contain any harmful or prohibited ingredients. So it is super important that the straps and linings used on dog harnesses have this certification, to avoid the risk of any potentially damaging components being absorbed into our beloved pooch via contact with the skin. But who can give this certification? That's where OEKO-TEX® comes in!
STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is a globally standardized, independent testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products of all processing stages and accessory materials used.
The strict tests for harmful substances and measures of this standard include:
And what does all of this mean? The STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification offers reassurance that the materials used in the manufacturing of the Julius-K9® dog harnesses are completely safe for you and your hounds. And that's a big thumbs up in our book!
SUCH A SWEET DEAL BUT WHAT EXACTLY IS THE IDC® STEALTH POWERHARNESS?
In short, it's a professional harness for all working dogs, police dogs and security dogs. It was actually exclusively developed for U.S. law enforcement! Of course it's not limited to the professionals, our large pet pooches love it too, need we say more! Yes? Read on to find out the details or send one straight to your shopping cart here!
INTRODUCING THE COLOR & GRAY® FAMILY!
Let's be honest, we all love matching products regardless of whether they're our socks, stationery, rugby team uniforms or even wine with meals! Why? It makes the selection of products effortless for us, and appeases the OCD tendencies in those of us who have them.
And with that in mind, we now have renamed our IDC® Super-Grip leads and IDC® collars and put them in an all new family called the COLOR & GRAY® collection. By doing this you now have the ease of buying your pooch's collar and lead in their favourite colour from the one family. Genius right?!
That's not all that's great about this collection, while the name has changed, the great products are still the same! But what exactly makes these products so great, and stand out from the many other leads and collars available in the market? The materials, that's what!
The COLOR & GRAY® collars and leads may harmonise like a symphony orchestra in appearance, they are actually made from two different materials.
Let's start with the leash, it is a synthetic material with rubber threads woven into it. This makes for a durable fabric pleasant to the touch, with the rubber threads woven into its surface ensuring the optimum grip for leading your dog. While the collar looks the same, the thin rubber threads are replaced with polyester in the collar. This means that the awesome grip that the lead has, won't be doing it's thing with the collar on the fur of your pooch. When we say that Julius-K9® gear has been designed for your dogs comfort, we mean it!
The NEW Long Walk Harness is INSTORE NOW at your local Pet Central stores in Hornby, Moorhouse, Shirley and Timaru.
It's a new innovative joint friendly dog harness for young and senior dogs with 3 elastic components at the leash, shoulder and chest making those overlooked micro-tuggings or sudden movements less pronounced for an almost seamless walk between dog and owner.
This rockstar is only available instore, and not being sold online, until further notice. So get to your nearest Pet Central now to make your pooch an even happier one!
We're exciteD to annouNce...
This is a long one but an important one. Have you ever found an amazing "to good to be true" deal on a designer product online and eagerly awaited it's arrival, only to find what you ended up with was a cheap knock off that didn't last the distance? I think we've all been there... so here's how to recognise the real deal from the copycats, why the real deal is worth it and what you can do if you suspect you have been sold fake JULIUS-K9® gear.
How to Recognise a Fake Julius K9 Harness
The REAL IDC® Powerharnesses have been manufactured with the highest quality materials and are thoroughly tested to ensure your dog receives a perfectly fitting harness ideal for all activities.
The FAKE harnesses are made of cheap materials that have not been tested. These harnesses are increasing in the market and are found on online auction/trading websites such as Ebay, Amazon and Trade Me. It's important to understand that even though these products may display the JULIUS-K9® brand name, they are NOT manufactured by the original company in Europe.
So, how do you tell the difference?
DO YOU WANT TO MAKE LONG WALKS EVEN MORE COMFORTABLE FOR YOU AND YOUR POOCH?
Scientific research has shown that when walking a dog on a leash, the dog’s body, as well as the body of the person walking the dog, can be subjected to thousands of vibrations through the harness and the leash. Over time, these micro-vibrations can have a detrimental effect on the joints of both the dog and the owner.
Enter the IDC®LONGWALK dog harness! It is the first joint-friendly Y-harness, designed especially for those longer walks and excursions with your pet.
With the Julius-K9® Duo-Flex® micro-vibration absorbing system incorporated into the dog harness, those vibrations, tugs and jolts are dampened, lessening their impact on the dog and on the person, while protecting the joints when the leash tightens, and at other times of stress, such as releasing your ever-excited dog off the leash to run.
These stylish harnesses also have all the extra features that Julius-K9 accessories are known and loved for, neoprene lining, bag and torch attachment options, super-grip handle, reflective safety elements and of course the interchangeable custom patches! Not to mention theFind Us In Store award-winning design and colour scheme.
AVAILABLE IN 3 COLOURS AND INSTORE ONLY FOR NOW! So click HERE to find us in your nearest store.
So we've just GOT to show you our IDC® Neoprene Dog Jacket!
Now just because our pets have fur, doesn't mean that they too don't feel the cold, or worse their health be effected by the cold temperatures, frost, ice and snow that comes with Winter... especially since some of our beloved dogs still like to, not only play in those extremes, but swim as well!!
Our jacket offers effective protection against the cold for those crazy winter activities. The waterproof, soft and elastic material of the jacket fits the body tightly, making it a comfortable wear for our dogs. While its excellent thermal insulation capability is guaranteed by thousands of tiny air bubbles that are embedded in the neoprene material.
But not only does it protect our dogs from the cold, with its phosphorescent and reflective elements, it ensures high visibility for an extra serving of protection while looking super styley for those fashion forward pets of ours. And of course the changeable custom labels can not be missed from this product either, the small patches fit the Neoprene Jacket from size B1-XL.
Click here if you'd like to take a closer look!