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7 Tips To Make Moving House With Your Dog Less Stressful

It's time to prepare for moving house and you know it is going to be stressful for everyone involved including your dog. There will be so much disruption, imagine what it is like for your family dog, their normal routine has gone as everyone is busy doing different things. The whole world your dog has become familiar with, such as smells and household objects has changed dramatically and you should be aware that your dog could become stressed.

One consideration is to place your dog in a boarding kennel for the whole period of the move. If you decide to do this you will need to ensure the dog is up to date with vaccinations and worming. Placing your dog in boarding kennels ensures your pet is kept safe and has a minimal affect on their stress levels whilst you and the rest of the family deal with the move. After the move to your new home and everything is unpacked and a semblance of normality has been restored you can collect your dog. It is important that you then give the dog the required time and attention needed for it to settle into the new environment.
However, for whatever reason boarding kennels may not be an option and you will want to keep your dog with you. If this is the case then here are 7 tips to help make the move as smooth as possible.

  1. As early as possible on the day of the move empty one room as quickly as possible and then that room can be used to keep the dog in. Make sure that all the doors and windows are closed, that way you know the dog is safe and where to find it when it is time to go. Let the removals people know where the dog is so that they do not let it out by mistake and also so that they do not enter the room and either scare the dog or get frightened themselves.
  2. If you can, feed your dog as you normally would but try not to feed it too close to the actual moving time. If you do, your dog may become ill during travelling especially on a long distance journey.
  3. Hand over responsibility for the dog to one member of the family. That nominated person should know how your dog is doing and where your dog is at all times.
  4. Everyone will be excited on your arrival at your new home and that includes your dog. You should do exactly what you did when leaving your old house, find a room to keep the dog in and leave some familiar belongings in the room with the dog and don't forget to provide the dog with a bowl of water. Once again make sure the doors and windows are closed and if you can, lock the door to that room and even put a notice on the door telling everyone who is inside, this should prevent anyone opening the door accidentally.
  5. Once you have your dog safely in a room you and your family can get on with moving everything into the house. As you work through the day please think about your dog and remember to feed them. Also, provide your dog with a blanket or an old jumper which smells of your old house, this will make your dog feel more secure and keep them warm if it gets a little cold.
  6. Don't forget your dog will need exercise at some point during the day. Whilst you have been looking around your new surroundings you should findan area around your home where you can exercise your dog. The opportunity to have some free exercise will be greatly appreciated by your dog especially after being cooped up in one room for a large part of the day.
  7. At the end of the day walk around the house and garden with your dog at your side. This will let you and your dog explore the new surroundings together without your dog becoming too overwhelmed. Make sure your garden is secure before you do this. Take this time to explore and get to know your new home together.
If you follow these tips your move to your new home should be less stressful for both you and your dog.

Rosie Harvey runs a site on dog training and dog care. This site provides tips, advice, reviews, products and information all about training and taking care of your dog. []

5 Surefire Ways to Show Your Dog You're The Boss

You Must Be The Alpha Dog

First, let's take a look at what a "pack mentality" means. Dogs are born into packs - in the wild, packs are the essential social order. Unlike humans, who use a variety of political processes to determine leadership and rank, dogs sort out their social order by dominance and power. In a wolf pack, there is a Top Dog - a clear leader who is the dominant, Alpha male. He's the Big Dog, with pride of place at the dinner table (well, if wolves had a dinner table!), first in mating, first in decision making for the pack.

Whether you realize it or not, your dog views your household as his own personal wolf pack. The pack mentality is so engrained in your dog's psyche that he will either view you as a leader - or a follower - depending on your actions. If you are to have a well-trained dog, you must establish that you are the leader, and he is the follower. Your dog has to know in his heart that you are the Alpha Dog, the Head Honcho, the Big Dog, the Top Dog - call it whatever you want, but your dog needs to know you're in charge.

Dogs are a little like children in one respect - they're looking for someone else to be the leader - they want rules and regulations because that makes their role in the pack more clear-cut and understandable. It's scary being the leader - if you're not up to it, your dog may assume the role - because someone has to be in charge!

If that's what's happened at your house, you need to re-establish your position as the Top Dog, or "Leader of the Pack." But here's an important note: being the leader of the pack has absolutely nothing to do with harsh punishment. It has everything to do with consistency and setting limits.

A simple rule to remember (and one people have great difficulty keeping in mind) is that you are the leader, not your dog.

1. You Go Through The Door First
Even something as straightforward as who walks through the door first can reinforce your position as "dominant dog." Leaders lead. Followers follow. If you allow your dog to charge through the door ahead of you, he perceives that as asserting his dominance over you. Put your dog on the leash, and make sure you're the first one through the door.

2. You Eat Before Your Dog
Who gets fed first in your house - you or your dog? In a wolf pack, the leader eats first, and when he is done, the rest of the pack can dine. Do you feed your dog first because he pesters you when you're cooking your dinner, and it's simply more convenient to have him quiet and out of the way when you're eating?

Food is a powerful motivator that can be used to clearly demonstrate who is the ruler of the roost at your house. In no way, shape or form am I suggesting that you withhold food from your dog - that's cruel and unusual punishment any way you look at it. What I am suggesting is that you control the timing of the food - you should eat first, your dog second, after you're done with your meal.

3. Don't Walk Around Your Dog
Does your dog lie on the floor and expect you to walk around him? In the wild, dominant dogs lie wherever they want, and dogs lower in the social order go around so they don't disturb the Big Dog. If you walk around your dog, he will assume this to be an act of submission on your part; therefore he must be the leader, not you.

If your dog is lying in the middle of the hallway, or right in front of your easy chair, make him move. If he's on the couch and you want to lie down, make him move. Don't step over him. Just gently nudge him and make him get out of your way. You're the Big Dog, remember?

4. You Determine When Your Dog Gets Attention
Even asking for attention or affection can be seen as an act of dominance from your dog's point of view. Dogs that demand attention are asserting dominance, so if your dog gets pushy, ignore him. When you're ready to give him attention or affection or pet or play with him, ask him to sit first.
Don't run after him just so you can pet him. Make him come to you when you're ready to give him attention, or play with him. And when you play with a toy, make sure that you end up with possession of the toy, and then put the toy away when you're done. (Note: I'm not talking about his favorite toys that you leave in his crate. I'm talking about play toys that the two of you use for games.)

5. Don't Let Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed
This is a tough one for a lot of people, but when you let your dog share your bed, at best you're making him an equal to you. He should have his own bed, either a dog pad or his crate that he feels comfortable in - you can even put the dog pad next to your bed if that makes both of you happier - but don't let him take over the sleeping arrangements. Before you know it, he'll be trying to make you sleep on the floor!

Again, reinforcing or retraining your dog to recognize you as the Head Honcho has absolutely nothing to do with harsh discipline. These are changes you can make that will change the way your dog thinks about you. And making even small changes like these can have an enormous impact on the way your dog views the social hierarchy in your home - all without a harsh word being spoken!

Charlie Lafave, author, "Dog Training Secrets!" To transform your stubborn, misbehaving dog into a loyal, well-behaving "best friend" who obeys your every command and is the envy of the neighborhood, visit:

photo credit: julinelli

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