Monday, September 29, 2014

Toys that Make Your Pitbull Puppy Think

Pitbulls are best known for their physical strength and unique, adorable faces. However, pitbulls aren't just strong, they're also smart. In fact, this breed of dog loves mental challenges and adapts quickly to training, new games and puzzles. Pitbull puppies can be some of the most inquisitive and thoughtful dogs you'll ever raise.

Unfortunately, many puppy toys don't take advantage of the intelligence that pitbull puppies and other puppies exhibit. Balls and chew toys can be fun, but don't present a mental challenge to pitbulls. This can be a missed opportunity because mental exercise is not only fun and engaging for your puppy, it also requires more of their energy than exercise that is physical only, helping them work out that energy in constructive ways rather than looking for trouble around the house.

One solution that many pitbull owners have discovered is a newer type of toy known as a work-to-eat toy. It does exactly what the name implies: makes dogs work in new and creative ways in order to get a treat or a little bit of food.

There are two main types of work-to-eat toys. The first and most common is essentially a food dispenser that turns getting food into a game. Typically, these toys are filled with a small scoop or handful of regular dry dog food. Small holes in the toy allow the food to fall out a piece or two at a time, but only when the toy is turned a certain way, shaken or otherwise manipulated. This allows your pitbull puppy to spend a long period of time playing to get a relatively small amount of food, with the bonus that they can work to figure out the most effective way to access it.

The other kind of work-to-eat toy uses a single treat or bone as a reward, and requires a little more thinking to get to it. Often these toys have unusual shapes and may be capable of bouncing and rolling to keep your dog guessing. Pitbulls can smell the treat inside and will work tirelessly until they figure out the solution. For most dogs this provides endless entertainment: even when they've figured it out once, the next time will still take some work to solve it again.

These toys have many advantages for pitbull puppies. First, they are more of a challenge than traditional toys and offer built-in rewards. Secondly, they will keep your pitbull occupied for hours. And finally, you will see that your puppy gets a lot of that youthful energy worked out appropriately rather than chewing things in your house.

What kinds of toys do you prefer for your pitbull?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Quick Guide for Making Your New Dog Happy at Home

Is there anything better than coming home after a long day of work or school and getting greeted by your excited dog? If you agree, you aren't the only American that thinks so. The American Veterinary Medical Association did a survey on pet ownership in the country. They found that 36.5% of the people they surveyed owned a dog – that amounts to about 43.3 million dogs in the country!

If you've been looking at pitbulls for sale because you're ready to have a new dog for the family, you'll need to be properly prepared. Having water, food, and a comfortable bed is a nice start, but if you want your pup to get used to its surroundings you'll need to do more than that. If you want your dog and family to live happily, make sure to read up on these tips from Iron King Kennels before you bring your dog home.

Make a quiet corner

When your dog comes home to meet your family, it's going to be getting used to a lot of new people, sights, and smells. It can be very exciting and fun for them, but it can also be over-stimulating and overwhelming. Determine where you believe your dog will spend most of their time, and designate that as the quiet corner. It should (ideally) be located in a traffic-free spot away from things, and should have some comfortable blankets or a bed for your dog to nap on. When it seems like they're getting a bit too listless or a little cranky, take them to their special place and let them relax.

Learn about their usual schedule

Sometimes, the easiest transition to a new home involves being reminded of the old home for a bit. Be sure to learn when the dog was usually fed and walked, and try to keep with that schedule as much as possible. If you need to adjust that, ease them into your schedule after the first week. They'll get used to it with a small amount of time and patience.

Start training

After you've gotten the all-clear from your vet on vaccinations, it's time to start training your dog. If you're a previous dog owner you may think you already know how to train this dog, but it's always helpful to brush up on your skills. You could learn newer and more effective methods for training, and can start socializing them with other dogs at the same time.

Be patient

Your dog may not be as playful or as friendly as you originally imagined, but you need to keep in mind that the first few weeks are an adjustment period for your dog. They're trying their best to get used to a new environment, and many trainers and seasoned owners think that you really see a dog's true personality emerge after the first few weeks. After a few weeks of care, love, and play, you'll be amazed at happy and friendly your dog can be!

If you need to know more about how to prepare for your newest family member, call or contact us at Iron King Kennels today!

Friday, September 12, 2014

3 Completely Untrue "Facts" about Pitbulls

When you hear the word "pitbull," what do you think of (aside from the popular singer Pitbull)? Some people may think about a beloved pitbull that they know, but far too many others usually think about violent attacks. There have been way too many sensationalized stories about pitbulls in the news, but they often fail to mention a lot of important facts about the incidents. A lot of the dogs in these reports weren't raised correctly, or were raised in abusive environments. They also neglect to mention the possibility some of these "violent" dogs have for rehabilitation, and how they can thrive in loving environments.

At Iron King Kennels, we are here to dispel some of the myths about these wonderful dogs! Before you make up your mind about one of America's most misunderstood breeds, make sure you don't take any of these pitbull myths as fact.

Myth: Pitbulls can't be around other dogs/children

Some people think that pitbulls can't be around other dogs or kids because the breed is too violent to be social. Like any other dog breed, pitbulls can be very social animals. Many trainers and breeders recommend that pitbull puppies get properly socialized and trained when they're young so that they can get along with other animals. This recommendation isn't limited to pitbulls, either – every dog breed can benefit from learning how to properly socialize when they're young. Parents should exercise caution when introducing any dogs to their children, but with proper training your pitbull will be social and agreeable. 

Myth: Pitbulls have unusually strong jaws

Almost every alarming news story about pitbulls will usually mention the "fact" that pitbulls have stronger jaws than other breeds, and even have the ability to lock onto their bite victims to cause even more damage and discomfort. Pitbulls don't have some kind of magical and ultra-powerful jaw, and they certainly can't lock their jaws in an inescapable bite. In terms of bite strength, the pitbull doesn't even rank in the top three.

Myth: Pitbulls have always been seen as violent and aggressive dogs

Some people base their pitbull prejudices on the "fact" that pitbulls have historically been a troublesome breed, but that couldn't be any further from the truth. Back in the day, Americans couldn't get enough of pitbulls, and regarded them as great family dogs and even heroes who fought bravely in WWI. They were one of the most popular breeds, and for good reason. Pitbulls could protect property, livestock, and your family, all while being a lovable and loyal dog. Anti-pitbull sentiment has recently grown thanks to sensationalized media stories, and has little basis in history or fact.

For more information about pitbulls and their behavior, contact us at Iron King Kennels. We'll be happy to answer your questions!