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Happy National Dog Week!

Things We Can Learn from Dogs

National Dog Week was founded in 1928 by World War I veteran, ordained minister, and dog-lover Captain William Judy. As a prolific writer and publisher of “Dog World” magazine, Captain Judy devoted his entire life to introducing Americans to a progressive new way of thinking about their dogs. He believed a unique bond connected humans and dogs and that we should treat dogs with respect and kindness.

Captain Judy once wrote, “The world likes dogs because dogs are nearest to moral perfection of all living things.” In honor of National Dog Week and Captain Judy, we decided to make a list of the top 10 things we can learn from our dogs.

dog with ball

  1. Always find time to play.
  2. Holding onto grudges is a waste of time.
  3. If you’re happy, let your whole body show it.
  4. Live in the moment.
  5. Love can help you overcome almost anything.
  6. Accept yourself for who you are.
  7. Enjoy the little things – especially if it involves a car ride with the windows down.
  8. Be loyal and faithful to your pack.
  9. Don’t be afraid to love unapologetically and unconditionally.
  10. Never miss a moment to show the ones you love how much you care.


What have you learned from your dog? Tell us in the comments below!

By |September 24th, 2018|blog|0 Comments|

Lessons in Etiquette

Helping Your Dog Mind Their Manners

When it comes to our dogs, it’s easy to assume that everyone loves them as much as we do. But, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case – especially if your dog doesn’t have the best manners.

To help your dog put their best paw forward when they interact with others, spend a little time thinking about their behavior and what rules of etiquette might apply to them.

  • woman and dog high-fiveJust say no to jumping. A dog’s natural reaction is to jump when they’re excited. But even if your dog is small or friendly, allowing jumping is never a good idea. This kind of behavior can also be dangerous if your dog is interacting with a senior, small child, or another dog who could respond aggressively to this type of behavior.
  • Ditch the retractable leash. While it’s fun to let your dog run free, it’s hard to maintain control on a walk when your dog is up to 26 feet away from you. Not only do retractable leashes give your dog freedom to roam wherever they want, they can also allow them to end up in situations that can quickly turn dangerous.
  • Don’t force it. When introducing your dog to a new person or environment, pay attention to their body language and the signals they’re trying to send you. If they seem uncomfortable, help them feel safe by reassuring them with a confident voice, and don’t insist that they do something they don’t want to do.
  • Ask before letting your dog say hi. Not every person or dog enjoys interacting with another dog, especially if you have a very high energy dog or puppy. Before allowing your dog to approach strangers, ask if they want to engage and then prepare your dog for a polite greeting by putting them in a sit and preventing them from jumping.
  • Don’t ignore bad behavior. If you don’t approve of the way the interactions are going between your dog and another person or dog, be prepared to calmly intervene and remove your dog from the situation.



To set a positive foundation for teaching good doggy manners, visit our Doggie Obedience Basics post. For classes at Wagging Tails designed for every age and skill level, contact our Obedience Academy.

By |September 17th, 2018|blog|0 Comments|

Tail Waggers of the Month

Meet JOJO, Hannah, and Tucker!

Bloomington Tail Waggers

Josephine Claire, aka JOJO, has been coming to Wagging Tails’ doggy daycare for almost a year now. When she’s feeling rowdy, JOJO likes playing “chase me!” Once she’s tired out, she prefers settling down on the steps and chilling out.

This 18-month-old Alaskan husky mix loves spending time with her canine best friends, especially her boyfriend Max who lives down the street. JOJO loves Max so much, she whines to go visit and will lie down in his driveway to wait for him if he’s not home.

JOJO is an extremely confident and vocal alpha female who makes sounds like a Wookiee. She takes a special pleasure in yawning, stretching each one out and punctuating it on the end for dramatic effect. In addition to her funny sounds, one of JOJO’s sweetest habits is climbing into bed for cuddles each morning before the day begins. Less charming is her bad habit of chasing loud cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

We asked JOJO’s owners Steve and Mollee what the best part of having JOJO in their lives was. “JOJO is extremely affectionate, absolutely immune to Minnesota winters, and loves her canine cousins and human nieces and nephews,” they said.

Eagan Tail Waggers

Hannah & Tucker

Hannah and Tucker are three-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier/Lab/dachshund mix littermates rescued in Phoenix. These playful pups were adopted a few months apart, but they’re absolutely devoted to each other. They’ve been coming to our Eagan location for approximately two and a half years, and the social butterflies enjoy playing with their doggy friends, having walks, and one-on-ones with the Canine Coaches.

These canine siblings can both be mischievous, but it never shows up at the same time. Tucker enjoys collecting everyone’s shoes and can’t jump onto a couch or bed without bringing one along. He also likes to play watchdog, dance on his back legs, and watch TV. Even though he dislikes most men because his previous male humans were abusive, Tucker is a smiley boy who is very loving and protective of his family.

Hannah can be stubborn and likes things done her way. It can be harder to win a smile from her than Tucker. But, when these pups do smile, they brighten the mood in the whole house; the family feels every day is better because of these dogs.

What’s the best part of having Hannah and Tucker in their lives? “Getting to take care of them and the ways in which they take care of the family,” their owner Cirien told us.

Congratulations JOJO, Hannah, and Tucker!

By |September 10th, 2018|blog|0 Comments|

It’s Your Party!

August Birthday Roundup

Pebbles

Pebbles

Pebbles was just one of the happy pups celebrating an August birthday through our Birthday Club last month.

Our free Birthday Club comes with a bandana, birthday party, and complimentary doggy daycare “Playday” to celebrate! Has your dog shared a birthday with us yet?

See all of our August birthdays in our Photo Gallery!

 

By |September 3rd, 2018|blog|0 Comments|

Part Two: Adopting a Dog

Setting an Adult Dog Up for Success

While adopting an adult dog has several advantages, it’s still important to take the right steps to set them up for success when you bring them home. With a little advance planning, you can make sure your new adult dog adjusts to their forever home even faster.

  1. person and dog on couchHousetraining. Even if you’re told your adult dog is housetrained, it’s safest to assume they aren’t when you first bring them home. A dog can also be more prone to accidents when they’re in a new environment or under stress. As you get to know each other, introduce your new dog to the basics of housetraining and limit unsupervised access to your home until you’ve established a new routine and are confident in their potty habits.
  2. Chewing. An adult dog may not be teething or going through growing pains, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to chew. It’s also natural for some dogs to chew when they’re bored or anxious, so it’s important to have plenty of safe chewies, toys, and bones on hand to keep them entertained. And, set them up for success by limiting their access to chewing temptations like your favorite shoes while you’re away.
  3. Take your time. Adopting an adult dog allows you to get a good sense of their grooming needs, energy levels, and personality. So, make sure you find the best fit for your family by taking your time and doing research before adopting your adult dog. This will also help you prepare the proper grooming tools, toys, and exercise routine to keep them content and happy.
  4. Rest easy. Coming into a new home can be stressful for dogs of any age, so ease the transition by making sure they have a designated sleeping area ready when you bring them home. It’s hard to resist a comfortable bed, so even if you’re going to keep your dog in a crate, make sure that it has a comfy mattress and cozy blanket they can call their own.
  5. Establish a routine. Dogs love structure, no matter what their age. Have a schedule in mind before you bring your dog home that includes feeding and exercise times. Also, think about the type of behavior you would like to see in your dog. Learn how much they know already – like how to greet new people or visitors – to help you establish a foundation for training as you move forward. This will help you encourage more of the positive behaviors you would like to see in your new best friend.


Don’t forget, anytime you bring a new animal into your home, your first stop should be a veterinary appointment for a wellness exam. This visit will help guide you through caring for your new adult dog and their unique needs.

Have you adopted an adult dog? Tell us in the comments below!

By |August 27th, 2018|blog|0 Comments|

Part One: Adopting a Dog

The Benefits of Bringing an Adult Dog Home

adult gray dogWhen you want to welcome a new addition into your family, it can be hard to resist the fluffy cuteness of a puppy. But, there are several advantages to bringing an adult dog home with you instead.

A dog can need a new home for a variety of reasons, not necessarily because of problems. Working with a rescue group or shelter that evaluates the dogs in their care can provide useful information on their personalities and temperaments prior to adoption. This insight makes it easier to help you find the perfect companion based on your lifestyle. But that isn’t the only advantage of bringing an adult dog home.

Avoid the Housetraining Hassle

When you adopt an adult dog, they may come housetrained already. If they aren’t housetrained, the training process is usually far easier. Unlike puppies, adult dogs have fully matured bladders and muscle control to help them “hold it” longer and reduce accidents.

Say Goodbye to Sharp Teeth and Growing Pains

Sure, puppies are cute, but their needle-like baby teeth can be a challenge. Add the growth spurts and hormonal changes they’re going through, and they can keep your hands full!

It’s hard to determine when a dog reaches maturity because it’s a sexual, physical, and emotional process for them, and it varies significantly from breed to breed. While most dogs have their adult teeth by six months of age, they aren’t considered an adult dog until they’re between one and two years of age.

Leave the Mystery Behind

It can be hard to predict a dog’s height, weight, and shape, especially if you adopt a mixed-breed puppy. When you choose an adult dog, however, what you see is what you get!

Before bringing an adult dog home, think about your lifestyle to help you find a great match. If you want to spend your time channel surfing, look for a relaxed couch potato. If you’re looking for a running companion, an athletic adult dog is probably more your speed.

No Sleepless Nights

Adult dogs, especially those five years of age and older, often adjust to new routines easier than puppies. They’re maturity also means they can hold their bladders all night, wait for mealtime, and won’t wake you up in the middle of the night missing their littermates. Many adult dogs are also more relaxed than puppies and settle into an established sleeping routine quickly.

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks

Contrary to popular belief, dogs can learn any age. Many adult dogs looking for new homes already know basic commands like sit, stay, and come. Whether you’re working with them on the basics or want to strengthen your relationship with additional obedience training, adult dogs come ready to learn what it takes to be your best friend.

Save Some Money

In many cases, adult dogs have lower adoption fees. They’re also typically vaccinated, altered, and undergo a comprehensive veterinary exam before adoption. This means that any health issues or potential concerns are usually disclosed before you sign the adoption papers.

You Give a Dog a Forever Home

Perhaps most importantly, adult dogs bond with their humans just as easily as puppies do. But, sadly, the older an adoptable dog gets, the higher their risk of euthanasia. Before bringing a new dog home, consider your lifestyle and the advantages of adopting an adult or senior dog. If you’re still thinking about puppies, we have tips to guide you through that decision too.

Did you adopt an adult dog? Tell us in the comments below!

By |August 20th, 2018|blog|0 Comments|

Tail Wagger of the Month

Meet Brolio, Choji, Sirius, and Lyndon!

Bloomington Tail Waggers

Brolio and Choji August Tail Waggers 2018Golden doodle siblings Brolio and Choji have been coming to Wagging Tails for several years now. Brolio is nearly four years old and is the leader of the pack when it comes to little brother Choji.

Brolio insists on being Chief Greeter when his family comes home, and if two-and-a-half-year-old Choji beats him to the punch, pandemonium ensues. Choji obeys his big brother in most cases; he won’t even go outside or start eating until Brolio is ready. But, when it comes to joining his parents on the couch, Choji won’t take no for an answer. While Brolio watches and whines, Choji slides his entire body onto their laps leaving only the toes from his two hind feet on the floor. But, since Choji’s toes are still on the ground, he’s technically not breaking the rules!

Brolio and Choji are sweet dogs who are gentle but insistent when it comes to attention. It’s hard to resist their mournful eyes when treats are around, and they’ve saved their owners from ferocious squirrels and rabbits on more occasions than they can count! But most charming of all is the way the dogs love to stand on their hind legs and give full body hugs – especially if it means joining in the love if their parents are hugging. Who says dogs don’t like hugs?

What’s the best part of having these dogs in their lives? “Unconditional love for us,” owner Sam said. “And their consistent joyful temperament.”

Eagan Tail Waggers

Lyndon Sirius August Tail Waggers 2018Sirius and his little brother Lyndon love joining us at our Eagan location for very different reasons. At nearly 14 years of age, Sirius loves having a nice, sound nap while two-year-old Lyndon has plenty of teenage energy to burn!

Labrador retriever mix Sirius is so happy, he had to have his tail shortened because of “happy tail syndrome.” This sweet boy wagged his tail so hard with happiness he kept reopening a wound on his tail! It finally had to be shortened for safety. We have to agree with his owner Linda, Sirius is just that happy.

Linda also told us that Lyndon is the most expensive dog they’ve ever had. When this little Labrador was six months old, he was cuddling her on the couch and licking her face. It wasn’t long before Linda realized her diamond earring was missing! Lyndon had swallowed it, and it was never found. From that point on they kept a running list of everything he destroyed through chewing and eating. Linda says the current total is too embarrassing to share.

Sirius and Lyndon are both affection dogs. Where Sirius is very old and wise, Lyndon is playful, happy, and persistent. But what’s the best part of having them in their lives? “Sirius is 100% loyal and loving,” Linda said, “and Lyndon’s friendship.”

Congratulations Brolio, Choji, Sirius, and Lyndon!

By |August 13th, 2018|blog|0 Comments|

It’s Your Party!

July Birthday Roundup

Betty White

Betty White

More than 30 dogs celebrated their birthdays with us in July, was yours one of them?

All of the members of our free Birthday Club get a complimentary doggy daycare “Playday” session and bandana to celebrate!

See all of our July birthday pups in our Photo Gallery!

 

By |August 6th, 2018|blog|0 Comments|

Tail Waggers of the Month

Meet Rusty and Babe!

Bloomington Tail Wagger

 

Rusty July Tail Wagger 2018The owners of our Bloomington Tail Wagger affectionately refer to Rusty as a “hypoallergenic designer mutt.” Rusty is an Australian Labradoodle, or a Labrador, poodle, American cocker, and Irish water spaniel all rolled into one sweet boy.

Rusty became a part of Terry’s family when their house started getting too quiet after their middle child went off to college. They tell us that their daughter still hasn’t forgiven them for not getting a dog sooner!

When Rusty isn’t enjoying long walks, he’s a fearless protector who has saved his family from nefarious mail carriers and UPS drivers on multiple occasions. After a long day, he likes to settle down to play with his favorite stuffed cat that’s been resewn a dozen times.

During Rusty’s visits at Wagging Tails, this shy boy enjoys watching the dogs romp while enjoying the personal love and attention he gets from all the staff.

Eagan Tail Wagger

Babe July Tail Wagger 2018Babe has been coming to our Eagan location for nearly two years.

This nine-year-old Australian Shepherd-Border Collie Babe wasn’t sure about coming to Wagging Tails at first, but now Babe is one of the happiest members of our pack. Whenever she comes to visit, she loves playing ball, going on nature walks, and spending time with her human best friends. But, once the day is done, she’s happiest to see her owner Mary and runs to greet her like it’s been years.

Mary tells us that this energetic girl loves to chase squirrels and bunnies on their farm in South Dakota. She can also jump like a deer. When she’s not busy playing outside, Babe likes to put her herding instincts to work and tries to keep all of her people in the same place.

Babe has a sweet disposition, but she doesn’t like the groomer one bit — not matter where Mary takes her. To make up for that (and her barking), Babe offers a charming head-tilt when you talk to her, and she “shakes” and “high fives” for treats. Mary says that Babe is also wonderful with the elderly and had a special bond with her mother.

What’s the best part of having Babe in her life? “Babe makes me laugh every day, which I need,” Mary tells us. “She lost her ‘PaPa’ almost four years ago, but she’s kept his personality – fun, loving, and energetic.”

Congratulations Rusty and Babe!

By |July 23rd, 2018|blog|0 Comments|

Managing Fear

Helping Your Dog Deal with Scary Noises

Dogs can develop a fear of loud noises at any age. Even if thunderstorms never bothered your dog in the past, fear and unease can mysteriously occur when you least expect it. Sometimes the source of your dog’s newfound fear isn’t a surprise – like a neighbor setting off firecrackers close by or being caught outside during a thunderstorm.

dog under tableSigns that your dog may be afraid of loud noises include:

  • Destructive behavior
  • Trembling or whining
  • Trying to escape or hide
  • Pacing, restlessness, or panting
  • Cowering, wide eyes, or flattened ears


When you’re working with a dog who’s afraid, it’s critical that you don’t soothe or coddle them. Since your dog looks to you for guidance, this type of behavior can make them think you’re also scared or that you’re rewarding them for their fear. Instead of rushing to pet or console your dog, try to behave normally and talk to them in a confident voice.

Additional strategies for calming a dog who’s afraid of loud noises include:

  • Create a safe space. Don’t force your dog into their crate or make them feel punished for being scared, create a special place they can go when they’re nervous. This spot might be under your bed, an area of the basement, or a quiet corner in your bathroom. Encourage your dog to spend time there freely by offering them treats, dog food, or toys.
  • The power of distraction. When you notice your dog growing nervous, try distracting them with a game of fetch or some basic obedience training. If your dog continues to act fearful, discontinue your distraction attempts, or you may accidentally reinforce their fear response.
  • Increase their comfort. ThunderShirt® jackets and Adaptil® pheromones are medication-free alternatives to easing your dog’s anxiety. Your dog can wear a ThunderShirt safely for extended periods of time — even overnight. Calming pheromones are either diffused in the air, worn on a collar, or applied to a ThunderShirt; WaggingTails diffuses pheromones throughout the facility to create a relaxing environment for the dogs in their care. ThunderShirts and Adaptil pheromones are available for purchase at your favorite pet store or online.
  • Exposure therapy. In some cases, you can desensitize your dog to scary sounds. This approach is a slow process that involves exposing your dog to low levels of the noise that frightens them. As they become comfortable with the sound, you can gradually increase its volume over time.


Every dog is different, so it might take some experimentation until you find the perfect strategy to help yours feel more comfortable with loud noises. Remember to work closely with your veterinarian who can make additional suggestions to ease your dog’s fears, including over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Do you have a dog who’s afraid of loud sounds? How do you keep them calm?

By |July 16th, 2018|blog|0 Comments|