The Inside Scoop

Choosing a Leash for my Dog

You saw a cute 3-year old at the shelter. (A dog, not a kid). When she smiled
and woofed “pick me”, you simply had to take her home!

After completing the paperwork, the two of you drove her back to your
house. And that’s when you discovered that she hates walking on a leash.
Your next steps must include: (A) visiting a retailer to buy a good leash,
(B) watching Jess’ video on leash training, (C) incorporating the tips with
your new best friend.

Below are a few things to consider when you make your leash purchase:
 Soft, comfortable grip.
 Reflective strip for night-time security.
 Customizable to include the name of the dog.
 Relatively short in length, such as 4 ft to 6 ft
 Colors that are consistent with the dogs’ personality.


How to choose the ideal toy for your pup

Socialization and engaging with your dog on a consistent basis are beneficial to
the overall health of the pup. A “dog toy” often increases their level of
enthusiasm, but how do you choose one that they will like?

The simple answer is that there are several criteria, but safety should be at the
top of your list. In other words, don’t purchase a toy that has parts which might
be harmful if swallowed. This would not be fun for the dog, nor enjoyable for

Below is a short list of safer toys that your dog might enjoy:
 Frisbee disks made especially for dogs
 Rubber balls or tennis balls
 Toys that make noise
 Rope toys

Avoid the smaller toys that can be swallowed by your dog, such as the tiny
squeaky-type rubber toys.

AND… Keep in mind that dogs are social animals. They become much more
excited when they have a toy that involves you or other playmates.

Dogs and ear infections

Do you smell something that stinks like the bottom of a garbage can?
Are you continuing to see scratching, head shaking and whining?

Excuse me, we’re not describing your significant other. We’re talking
about your dog, and he probably has an ear infection.

Ear infections are typically caused by bacteria, yeast, or a combination
of both. Allergies also often lead to ear disease in about 50 percent of
dogs, and in those that have a food sensitivity, the incidence can reach
80 percent. In puppies, ear mites can also be a source of infection.

Consider taking your dog to the vet if they are displaying any of the
common signs of an ear infection. The veterinarian will likely clean the
dogs’ ears with a medicated cleanser and prescribe a topical medication
for you to use at home. In severe cases, your vet may prescribe oral
antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications.

If your significant other is continuing to scratch, they have a different
problem. Your vet can’t solve it.

Why you should spay or neuter your dog

Should I neuter or spay my dog? Thinking about it makes most of us
cringe. I mean…. shouldn’t knives be reserved for cutting fruits and

A general answer to this question is, not necessarily. Let’s face it,
spaying or neutering your dog can lead to a reduction in certain health
risks for both female and male dogs.

For example, female dogs that have not been spayed are at a higher
risk of mammary tumors than females that have been spayed.
Neutering a male dog prevents testicular cancer and reduces the risk of
other problems, such as prostate disease.

A secondary consideration is that neutering or spaying your dog is a
responsible way to help prevent accidental breeding, which typically
results in a litter of unwanted puppies. This cascade has the potential to
lead to overcrowded shelters and in some cases, euthanasia.

OF PRIMARY CONCERN however, is that State Regulations do not allow
kennels such as The Dawg House to mix unaltered dogs with daycare
and cage free boarding groups. If your pup is under a year, we can make
an exception.

Bottom line: Discuss with your dog the benefits of having your him or
her neutered or spayed. They will likely request the procedure so that
they can continue to play at The Dawg House.

Potty Training in Dog Language

With pup potty training consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are
avenues to success.
Your first step should be to develop a consistent schedule for the new family
member. In other words, will you take her outside immediately after you wake
up, or wait until she’s had her breakfast. This will be an important consideration
because young pups can’t be expected to “hold it” for much longer than 6 hours.
You should also plan to take your puppy outside mid-day, and certainly before she
goes to bed at night.
Patience and watching for behavioral clues are additional ingredients for success.
If he starts to whine or sniff certain areas in your home, it might indicate that he
needs to go outside NOW! If you catch your pup starting to squat to pee or poop,
pick him up and immediately rush outside. 
Finally, positive reinforcement works wonders. Say it loud so they’ll know you’re
proud: GOOD GIRL! GOOD BOY! For more tips, contact Jess at: 203-448-8525

How to Avoid Aggressive Behavior

Avoiding an aggressive dog is relatively easy. It’s the people around us that we
must be concerned with, so let’s discuss them first.
If the aggressive person happens to be your “better-half”, you should deliver a
nice subtle message like “hey, maybe you should start sleeping with both eyes
open”. They’ll understand your warning, and the problem will be solved.
In terms of dogs:

  1. Many dogs will become aggressive if they perceive they must protect their
    food. Be respectful! During feeding times allow sufficient space between you
    (or other dogs). At the Dawg House we have a dedicated FEEDING ROOM.
    This allows us to separate each dog, and then safely feed each one as an
  2. Dogs that are tethered or crated for extended periods of time may become
    aggressive. Let’s face it, their instinct is to run with the pack. So, give your
    dog the freedom to roam in a safe environment. Remember: We Let the
    Dawgs Out!
  3. Give unknown dogs a lot of space until you determine they are safe. This
    approach will help you to avoid dangerous encounters.
    Bottom line: Be smart. Watch your environment. Don’t take unnecessary risks.

Why is my dog so tired after daycare?

Does your “two-legged better half” come home tired when they arrive from work?  Ever wonder if it’s because they are a boring person…. and that they are an absolute bore to everyone else?  (We’ve heard the rumors).  

Thank goodness we don’t have that problem at the DAWG HOUSE!  
Our pups are tired when they get home because they play hard, and then they play harder.  We place them in a social environment where they can spend time with their canine friends exercising, interacting, and playing fun games.  

When you bring your dogs in, “WE LET THE DAWGS OUT”.  We keep them physically and mentally stimulated throughout the day.  

Depending on your living arrangements, in addition to your dog, send your boring “two-legged-better half” down to us.  We can’t always work magic, but we’ll try our best to help rectify the situation.

The benefits of a martingale collar

Naked??? Some people are fine dashing through their yard without wearing clothes. However most prefer to put on (some type of) garment. The reason is because clothing makes a statement about our personality. 
And frankly, it’s no different for dogs.  At the DAWG HOUSE, pups will occasionally arrive completely naked (that is, without a collar). They’ll strut their stuff right into the play area and bark Hey babe, I’m here! 

However, those that arrive fully clothed (that is, with a collar), also make a statement about themselves and their owner.  

For example, a collar with a lot of bling (yes, we’ve seen it) says a lot. But so does a basic brown or a colorful plaid. And while color is an important option to consider, a bigger question should be the TYPE of collar you purchase for your pup.

Which brings us to the Martingale.  Why?  Well, if your dog is still learning to obediently walk while on a leash, she may have a tendency to try and lead you where she wants to go.  A martingale collar can provide you with more control, without the ill-effects of those old-fashioned choke chains. A properly fitted Martingale will tighten when the leash is tense, but it will not choke your dog.  
Available in multiple colors, the martingale can offer safety, obedience and yes, style. Call Jess at 203-448-8525 to inquire about measurements and fittings.

Carrots and dogs

While kids might hold their breath if you try to make them eat vegetables, dogs are different! Canines want to please YOU…. unlike the self-indulgent children that expect you to please “THEM”.

So, what should you do? Send the kids out to fend for themselves. And then buy a bag of carrots to share with your pup.

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. This is terrific for you (and your pup)!

Carrots can also be an excellent incentive to reward good behavior (that includes you) without the calorie count associated with some other treats.

For small dogs, consider cutting the carrots into smaller, bite size chunks.

In the era of covid, a dog will still shake your hand!

Time magazine claims that Corona killed the handshake. Lucky for us, dogs can’t read. They would be horrified to know that humans no longer feel comfortable greeting each other – after all, their greetings are a lot more intimate (you want to put your nose where?). 

Dog socialization is an important part of a well rounded pet. During the covid pandemic, many dogs (and people!) lost some of their social skills. We can definitely help the dogs…not sure about helping humans.

If your dog is lacking in manners or just anxious with other critters, we do not actually recommend that you start with daycare. Leaving your unsure or nervous dog with 15-40 other dogs is like diving into the deep end before you learn to swim. Don’t immediately go to the dog park, either!!

Start in the metaphorical shallow end with a parallel walk with another dog. Once your dog can ignore its new friend on a walk, you can add more stressors – more dogs, a new walk route, etc. Only after your dog is able to handle this situation with calm and tolerance should you escalate to off leash critters. 

Your dog will probably find learning to socialize to be stressful – as long as you manage it properly, that’s ok. We all have to manage stress in our lives. When you were in high school, that was stressful. Then you went to college, got a real job and a mortgage and a partner and maybe a gaggle of kids – and each of those changes were more stressful than the last! Just like humans, dogs have to learn to manage their stress. By shielding your dog from every stressful situation, you are feeding into and building their anxiety.

Expose your dog to new situations so that they learn to manage stress. This can be by taking them to Agway, Tractor Supply, Petco, Home Depot or on a parallel walk with a friend’s dog. DO NOT allow your nervous dog to be harassed or bothered by dogs or people. It is your job to set your dog up for success by protecting them in these situations – if the purpose of your outing is to expose your nervous dog, do not add any additional stressors by allowing them to be pet by strangers! “No” is a complete sentence, and you are allowed to tell people that they can not pet your dog. Feel free to say “sorry, we are training” if “no” feels too harsh. 

Check out this article for more on the how, when and why’s of dog socialization.