Monday, November 8, 2010

Clicker training-- keep it simple, silly...

Mary Hunter writes a wonderful blog about her experience clicker training a variety of animals (mostly horses and now, two new pet rats).  The principals of clicker training a horse or a rat or a whale or a fish are exactly the same as they are for clicker training a dog. 

Exactly the same.

So are you smarter than a 5th grader?  Is your dog smarter than a rat?  Your dog certainly has a larger and more complex brain than a rat (with all due respect to rats, which are fine creatures with a lot of intelligence). 

In this post on her blog, she gives some important reminders of how to set up your training sessions so your totally-novice student (the animal) can be most successful and can focus on the training session at hand.

1. Remove Distractions

2. Limit the environment
3. Use a high value treat
4. Plan for optimal food delivery
5. Keep sessions short

She has good stuff to say about each of these points.  Check it out.

Happy training!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dog food made from high quality grass-fed beef is now available.

I've been concerned about the genetically modified corn and soybeans fed to the cows in our country for a long time, because there has been absolutely no requirement to test the safety of those grains for animal or human consumption.  If the cows eat it and you eat that meat, it's in your food chain too.  And in your dog's.  Finally, there is a dog food made from grass-fed beef.  Even if it costs more than other premium dog foods, this is worth looking at.  I consider The Whole Dog Journal to be the ultimate source for my food recommendations, and I'm waiting to hear what they think about this food, how they rate it.

Here's the info about the new food:

First-Ever Pet Food Line Made From Organic, Grass-Fed Beef Provides a Host of Pet Health and Environmental Benefits

PR Newswire
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1, 2010

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- After decades of sitting, begging and playing dead; extensive lobbying efforts within the canine community have finally been rewarded – the quality meat people eat is finally available in a pet food. With the introduction of the Original Pet Food Company's complete line of dog and cat meals made from organic, grass-fed beef, the days of pets relying upon table scraps is over.

"With the sustainable, organic, grass-fed beef revolution well underway, we believe it's high time for the same quality meats to make their way from the dinner plate to the pet bowl," said Melissa McGinnis, the host of hit web series Greenopolis TV and founder of Original Pet Food Company. Melissa is on a mission to bring humane and sustainable agriculture practices to the $47 billion pet food industry(1). Pet food made from organic, grass-fed beef promotes better pet health, environmental responsibility and economic vitality.

Dogs and cats are no different from humans in the fact that their bodies were not designed to process all of the artificial hormones, preservatives and additives that entered the food supply in the past century. Organic, grass-fed beef is high in beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), shown to reduce cardiovascular disease and the growth of cancerous tumors. By eating a diet low in saturated fat and free of additives, preservatives and fillers, pets will enjoy shinier coats, healthier skin and improved digestion.

Original Pet Food Company uses only the highest quality grass-fed beef from Uruguay. Their cattle graze on the Pampas, the fertile grasslands of Uruguay and are never confined to feedlots or factory farms. The cows are never given antibiotics or growth hormones. Slaughter is done with the highest humane standards. The meat is processed quickly and cooked only once for optimum flavor and nutrition. Synthetic colors or flavors are never added.

In addition to the numerous health benefits of grass-fed beef, there is also a positive environmental impact. More than 50% of all grain and corn grown in the U.S. is fed to livestock, adding to the buildup of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in the soil and water. This diet is harmful to the health of cows, whose stomachs are specially designed to break down the cellulose in grass, leading to disease and an epidemic of antibiotic use. Grazing cattle on Pampas grasses, by contrast, is a natural feeding method that causes none of the pollution problems associated with feedlots and factory farms (including that of waste management). By supporting farms in Uruguay, the local economy is boosted, the biodiversity of the Pampas is preserved, and sustainable farming is encouraged throughout the country.

About Original Pet Food Company

Based in Los Angeles, California, Original Pet Food Company offers complete lines of canned dog and cat foods, featuring organic, grass-fed beef. Other flavors include chicken and fish that are also free of artificial hormones and fillers. These products are currently available at independent pet supply retailers in California and Nevada, with more states to be added in early 2011. To find a store and learn more about the company, visit: http://www.originalpetfood.com/

(1) American Pet Products Association, 2010 Member Survey. www.americanpetproducts.org

SOURCE Original Pet Food Company

Web Site: http://www.originalpetfood.com