Tips, Tricks and Training for Happy Hounds

Durning the Holidays!

The holiday season is here!

Are you ready?

Are your pups ready for the excitement of the season?

Over the next six weeks we are going to share with you tips, tricks and training to help you have happy hounds during the holiday season!

It is week 6 of Happy Hounds for the Holidays! 

I hope you have enjoyed the last 5 weeks of information that we have shared with you.

I would love to hear from you if you found this information helpful or if you would like to learn about another aspect of dog training.

This week I’m going to recap the top 5 things I think are the most important

Number 1:

Train your dog!  Here is a video on “Leave it”  there are going to be lots of fun things for your dogs to sniff and possibly taste. Knowing “leave it” is very helpful.

Number 2:

If you have asked your dog to leave it you need to redirect his attention to something else!

Check out Liz’s demo of  How to stuff a kong or print out “Chews Toys Not Shoes!” for a list of our favorite go to distractors.

Number 3:

Be aware of your dog’s body language and Listen!  Take your pup out of over stimulating situations.  If they are over stimulated they do not have the ability to listen to you as well as when they are in a calm environment.  It is up to you to help your pup be successful.

Consent to Pet 

Number 4:

Don’t wait, train now!  If you know you have issues with a particular behavior… reach out and ask.  Private lessons, Online classes and Fast Track Training are all available before the holidays!

Fast Track Training

Private lessons

Online classes with additional support on Facebook

Number 5:

Please shop locally!  I have been sharing links to people’s businesses that I know, shop with and trust.  Here are some of my favorites!

Please take a moment to check them out!

Teddi Yaeger with Teddi Yaeger Photography

Bone- A-Patreat

Sarah Fransworth with Gelmoment

Buttons Beads and Keys

Week 5!

Let’s talk about those Senior Dogs.

Big dogs are considered seniors at the age of 7 or 8.  Small dogs are considered seniors when they are 10.

When planning for the holidays please take into consideration your needs of your senior dog as well as be aware of how their bodies and minds might be changing as they age.

I wanted to share this article about senior dogs with you to get you thinking about it.

Please make sure you have a safe space for your senior dog to retreat to when company comes and fills your home.  

Make sure you have talked to your veterinarian about some of the changes you have seen in your older dogs.

And plan for holiday closures by having medications filled and special food ordered for your seniors early.

A shout out to Pawsitive Strides Veterinary Rehabilitation! if your senior is in need of special stretches in the morning or exercises to help them get going and stay going… Give them a call!

Safe Spaces –

As I mentioned earlier your senior needs a safe space.  Actually, every dog needs a safe space.

The Safe Space is a place where the dog can retreat and have peace from noises, other dogs and children.  

It is your job to educate your guests and children about your pups safe space.  The Safe Space is ONLY for your dog. 

If you are getting a puppy this Holiday season remember they will need a safe space too!

Want to know how to create that safe space for you pup?

Do you want to look like a GENIUS dog owner?

Here are some tricks to teach your pup before your company arrives.


Bang Bang!

Step 1 –

Step 2 –

We have talked about mental stimulation and I’m going to talk about it again!  It is so important to keep your dog mentally stimulated especially when the weather turns cold and neither you or your dog want to be outside.

Let me introduce you to K9 NoseWork or the first step that I call the Box Game.

The dogs love it!  Here is a video to perk your interest.  Want to get started?

Give us a call to set up a private lesson!

Getting started with NoseWork

Have you gotten your Holiday Photos yet?

We had a super fun photoshoot with Teddi Yeager a couple weeks ago!

Please check out her website if you need to update your photos!!

Week 4!

Our focus is on Kids and their interaction with dogs, and possibly your dog, this week.

Tip #1 Be aware of your dog’s comfort level around children!  

Don’t punish a growl

Don’t punish a growl

Kids and Dogs

Dog Decoder App – I love this app!  Load it on your phone and take it with you everywhere you and pup go!  

What a great opportunity to learn on the run!

Tip #2 Teach your kids how to properly approach a dog…

Check out this amazing video on giving your dog a choice to see if they want to be petted.

Tip #3 Be prepared to help your dog and children have a safe and happy interaction by having fun supervised activities planned.

We are sharing some of our favorite dog cookie recipes and fun crafty projects your kids can do and give to the pups when they are done.

Tested and approved dog cookie recipes – 

Cheese Fries

That is One Spicy Meatball

DIY Dog toys

Tip #4 Give your dog a safe space where the children are not allowed.  You may need to help your kid(s) understand the dog needs time out from family activities or hanging out with people.  We all need that from time to time… right!?!  

If nothing else resonates with you today, please make note of one thing.

NEVER leave children, especially small children, unattended with your dog.  It does not matter how good the dog is, it only takes seconds for something to happen and your dog to go from hero to zero.

Week 3!

Don’t forget to schedule grooming for your pups. If you cannot see your groomer, please check with your veterinarian and if all else fails… checkout our video on how to do your pets’ own toenails here:

Now is the time to book boarding.  If you’re not sure where to go, call a few places and ask for a tour –  go see their facility and meet the people who will be taking care of your dog.

If you have a favorite boarding place in mind… Make sure you pack a bag for your pup, have clear instructions especially for medicines and make sure your pup’s shots are up-to-date!

I actually have a house sitter.  And I would encourage you to use one too, especially if you have an older dog or a dog that doesn’t really like other dogs.

If a house sitter is not an option, I would recommend the following.

Adel Vet Clinic

Heather’s Pet Boarding

While you are packing for your holiday vacation, do not forget to pack for your pups!

Here is what I pack in my personalized bags from 31 for each of my dogs.  Having a bag clearly identified for your pup helps keep things organized.

1) Food – enough for his stay plus two extra servings in case you are delayed. 

2) Shot Records – must be current

3) A smelly t-shirt of yours. Only pack this if she does not chew and eat fabrics from stress.

4) One or two toys he loves to play with.

5) A chew toy that she can have while not attended.

6) A flat buckle collar with an id tag.

7) The completed list of information about your dogs daily routine.

Mental Stimulation
Last week we talked about mental stimulation and this week we have a video on how and what to stuff your Kong’s with.

Shots Updated
Now is the time to reach out to your veterinarian to make sure your pup’s shots are up to date, the lumps and bumps you found a day or two ago are checked out and to make sure your pup is great health BEFORE the muss and fuss of family gatherings, travel and other festivities begin.

This weeks Training Tip!

“In the box!”

This trick makes for fun pictures!

Week 2!

Train Leave-it or Let It Go

Company Coming?

Overwhelmed with the idea of company coming to visit or going to visit someone with your pup?

Sign-up for Online Classes ( you get two levels of classes for the price of one in person group lesson)!  Go at your own pace from the convenience of your home! Learn more here!

 Or try our Fast Track training – you can drop off your pup while we train the basic behavior and yes, you still have to practice at home. Learn more here!

What will your dogs do when company comes over?

Check our “Chews Toys Not Shoes” List

Before you run out to buy a bunch chews remember:

There are no safe chews. 

Never leave your dog unattended with any chewy that can be eaten over time like a bully stick.  You should be present in case of an injury or a choking event.  

When you purchase chews, look for things made in the US.  You do not want highly processed chews like “clean” white shank bones and rawhide… is a no go. 

Bully Sticks & Digestible Rawhide

Sometimes Costco carries Cadet brand Bully Sticks. I buy a bunch when they have them.

Check out Bone Apatreat because they have several different brands of bully sticks as well… some that do not smell.  

Bone Apatreat also carries digestible rawhide chews.  Use at your own discretion!!

The concern with rawhide is the amount of processing and chemicals used during the process AND it can cause a blockage if a big chunk is swallowed.

Smoked Bones

Barkley’s Bistro:

I only buy their smoked bones because the marrow is still intact. 


Nylabone has stuffable, beef flavored, large and small shank bones.  These bones are hard plastic and can be chewed after the stuffing comes out.  My guys abandon these once they’ve eaten the good stuff in the middle, but they are reusable and fairly easy to clean!

Moose Antlers 

The paddle is not as hard as deer antlers and the dogs can make progress easily.  I get mine from Four Paws Gourmet. Here is a link to their website!

Stuffed Kongs

My Number One and Most Used Tool for Mental Stimulation.

Next week we will post a video on how we stuff our Kongs to keep our dogs occupied.

Food Balls

These are hard plastic balls or different shapes with two openings.  

I will oftentimes pour breakfast and dinner into these “food balls” to let me dogs work for their meals.  What normally takes 10 seconds to eat can take up to 20 minutes.

Snuffle mats 

Snuffle mats can be made at home or purchased.  Just pour your pups meal or treats onto the mat and let your pup root around to find the food.

Have Hound Will Travel 

Are you planning to travel this Howliday Season?

We have a Hound friendly checklist to help you remember your pups stuff!!

Check list

Before you Go:  

  • Check your dog’s shot records are they up to date? 
  • Is your dog chipped? Talk to your vet and make sure that they are.
  • Anxious Dog?  Try adaptil and talk to your veterinarian.  They may have some helpful suggestions.  
  • Do you let your dog ride loose in the car?
    • Consider a crate or a car harness to keep your dog in one spot while you’re driving.
    • Practice before you go! 
  • Look up safe and dog friendly places where you are going. 
  • Know the number for the area’s local emergency vet and where the emergency vet located.
  • Know what  leash laws are reinforced in the area that you’re visiting.  Need help with walking nicely on leash?  Sign-up for our online classes!
  • Make sure you have an updated picture of your pup either in a file with your Rabies certificate or on your phone.

Things you will need on the road:

  • Leash  – short and long
  • No Pull Harness – Trust us, it helps!
  • Make sure their collar is fitted snugly around their neck 
  • ID tags or a tag that is inserted into the color itself.
  • paper towels
  • All purpose household cleaner 
  • A couple of kitchen garbage bags
  • towels
  • Poo bags
  • Medications
  • High value training treats
  • Extra dog food
  • 2 to 5 gallons of tap water from home
  • Water Dish 
  • Food Bowl
  • Water bottle
  • Portable Bowl for water while on the adventure
  • Toys -only bring their favorite
  • Dog Chew or Kong for down time
  • Crate
  • Dog Bed or blanket (scents from home)
  • Dog Wipes(Unscented baby wipes)

Things to Think about:

Are you going somewhere warm? 

Make sure you have a portable fan that you can place next to your dog to keep them cool.

Going someplace cold?

Maybe a dog jacket and boots are needed.

We use Mushers Secret to help dry cracked paws feel better.

Car Rides

What happens if your pup doesn’t like to drive? Here are some helpful tips!

When a car ride is not a good thing.

For some​ ​dogs​, the car feels like a second home. Not only do they delight in going for rides, they love just hanging out in the car any chance they get. This is not the case for dogs who experience motion sickness. These poor pups dread car​ ​traveling​ regardless of the destination.

Symptoms of dog car sickness

Vomiting​ is, of course, the tell-tale sign of car sickness or motion sickness. More subtle evidence that your best buddy is feeling queasy can include the following:

●  Lip licking

●  Heavy drooling

●  Anxiety

●  Subdued​ ​behavior

  • Cause of dog car sickness
    Car sickness or motion sickness is super common amongst​ ​puppies​, and may be associated with immaturity of the inner ear apparatus that regulates equilibrium and balance. While many dogs outgrow this problem, others continue to experience motion sickness throughout their lives. For some, this may become a conditioned response- the dog learns to associate car travel with nausea.
  • Tips for decreasing your dog’s car sickness
    Although motion sickness does not have any long-lasting health consequences, it is certainly a major drag for the poor dog and the poor human who must clean up the mess. If your dog experiences car sickness I encourage you to take advantage of the following suggestions with hopes that your car rides together will become far more peaceful and enjoyable.

●  Allow your dog to spend quality time in your car with the engine turned off. Spend these driveway moments with a peaceful, calm mindset and provide lots of positive reinforcement. Graduate from this step to sitting in a parked car with the engine running and lots of positive reinforcement. Next, try very short road trips- no more than going around the block. Gradually build up car travel time, ideally winding up at destinations your dog considers desirable.

●  Travel when your dog has an empty​ ​stomach​ (no food for 4-6 hours). This means skipping a meal or timing your travel according to your dog’s feeding schedule.

●  While driving, confine your dog using a​ ​crate​ or a seat belt setup designed specifically for dogs. Be sure to use a system that secures the crate in place. Less movement will lessen the likelihood of nausea.

●  It is thought that facing forward may help prevent motion sickness. If using a crate, cover it in a fashion that prevents your dog from looking out other than in a forward direction.

●  Try a different car. Here you go. I am giving you a reason to go out and buy that new car you’ve had your eye on! Can you imagine the auto dealer’s reaction to taking your dog going along on test rides? In all seriousness, if you do have access to more than one vehicle, see if one produces a more favorable response from your dog than the other. I can attest to the fact that I am much more prone to motion sickness in some cars than in others.

●  Keep the car cool by cracking windows and/or using air conditioning.​ ​I am not an
advocate of allowing your dog to travel with his head hanging out the window​.
There is too much potential for bodily harm, particularly to those precious corneas.

●  Talk to your​ ​veterinarian​ about​ ​Cerenia​ (maropitant citrate), a drug that was developed specifically for the prevention of motion sickness in dogs. 

●  Over the counter​ ​medications​ developed for people with motion sickness should not be used without first checking with your veterinarian.

●  Ginger may reduce motion sickness for some dogs. Some people believe that feeding a gingersnap cookie or two to their dog before travel does the trick.

●  Aromatherapy with lavender has been shown to significantly reduce car ride-induced anxiety in dogs,​ ​according to an AVMA article​. While not proven to lessen canine motion sickness, the reduction in anxiety may prove beneficial. Unless you detest the smell of lavender, this is certainly worth a try. 

When trying aromatherapy, please remember that your dog’s sense of smell is far greater than yours.  Go lightly on the amount of oil you use. And make sure you are using a quality brand.

Week 1!

Your first tip:

Be prepared! 

Do you need a safe space, like a crate, for your dog if people are coming over to your house?

Do you need to get their shots updated before you go out of town?

Make sure their toenails are cut and smoothed so if they jump up on your guests…

Get organized.  

Do you have a place for all your dog’s things?  Toys, food dishes, collars and leashes?

One of my favorite organizing tools are 31 Bags.  

They have bags, totes and carryalls that make keeping your dog’s toys and training tools all in one place.


This doesn’t just apply to your pup.  This means you too.

The first thing we are going to teach your dog is Look.

When your dog is looking at you they are more apt to do what you ask them to do. 

Need more training then “look”… We have online classes for you to do in the comfort of your own home!


Practice or maybe I should say, be consistent.  Consistently do something with your dog daily.  Go for a walk, train or play.  Make time for them and you will be amazed at how they respond. Here at Happy Acres we recommend you train three times a day for three minutes.  

I am just scratching the surface of things to share with you!

Stay tuned for more tips next week or go to our website and check out the services we offer. We will also be posting links to local businesses that we enjoy and want to share with you!

Practice is like getting prepared.  Do something with your dog daily.  We recommend you train three times a day for three minutes.