Dog Training With Liz

Dog Training With Liz

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Welcome to My Blog

"All Things Training

This is a space for all of us to express our ideas, ask questions and share in the great fun and satisfaction of training our dogs. I will be posting here often- tips, ideas and reccomendations. I'll also try to answer any questions you may have about training your pup. Please check in often, and by all means participte all you want.
Thanks- Liz

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Why You Should NOT Shave your Dog

Posted by lgruen56 on April 26, 2015 at 6:00 PM


A Message from the ASPCA

It’s hot out there! And if your Golden Retriever or long-haired kitty seems to suffer when the mercury rises, you might feel some temptation to break out your grooming tools and give your pets a full shave-down. We get where you’re coming from.


But wait! Put down those clippers! According to experts, you’ll be doing your pet a disservice. Here’s why:


While you or I would hate to sport a fur coat in 100-degree weather, your pets’ fur coats are actually providing them with heat relief.

“A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Dr. Louise Murray, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer—and your dog’s coat does the same thing.”


Dogs’ coats have several layers, and these layers are essential to your dog’s comfort in the heat. Robbing your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheating. And keeping your dog cool isn’t the only reason to leave his coat intact, Dr. Murray warns.


Your dog’s coat prevents your pup from getting sunburn and helps protect her from skin cancer.

To protect your pet from sunburn and skin cancer, save longer walks for evenings, and consider applying pet-specific sun block to thinly covered areas like the bridge of your dog’s nose, the tips of his ears and his belly, Dr. Murray suggests, noting that pets with thin coats, as well as those with white or light-colored coats, are especially at risk for sun damage.


There are better ways to manage your pets’ coats to keep them cool: trimming and brushing.

“It’s OK to trim your long-haired dog’s long hair, such as any hair that hangs down on his legs,” Dr. Murray says. Just never attempt to clip mats off your pet’s coat with scissors, Dr. Murray adds. And if you’ve got a long-haired kitty, leave her coat intact. Instead, brush her a little more frequently during the hot summer months.


Of course, pet parents should remember to keep pets inside with plenty of water during hot days—hydration is key! For more important information on summer pet care, visit our Hot-Weather Tips. Stay cool out there!

A Puppy for Christmas or NOT

Posted by lgruen56 on December 20, 2014 at 2:20 PM

5 Reasons to NOT Get a Puppy For Christmas!

By Liz Gruen

The holiday season is a time that many parents decide to surprise their children with a new puppy. While it's wonderful to bring a new member into the family, the holidays are not usually the best time to do that. Liz Gruen, owner and Professional Trainer of Dog Training With Liz, offers a few reasons why this is not the best time to bring home a new puppy.

1. The holidays are too hectic. Puppies need time to adjust to their new home. The holidays are a time for visiting, guests coming over and for some homes, general chaos! Puppies require a set schedule for feeding, walking, exercising and sleeping. Since many of us are off schedule at this time, better to wait until after the holidays when schedules are back to normal and your puppy can easily acclimate to its new environment.

2. There are too many safety hazards. Ribbons, tinsel, decorations, electric cords, Christmas trees and chocolate all pose a threat to your puppy. With all of the activities going on, it is sometimes hard to pay attention to all of the safety hazards your curious new puppy could get into.

3. Picking up a new puppy should be a family decision. Your new puppy should be picked by the entire family to be sure he will be compatible with your family. While you may have done your research on which breed best suites your family, dogs, like people, are individuals with unique personalities. It's best for this decision to be a family decision.

4. Don't be fooled by the holiday movie trends. Movies have a huge influence on the choice of dog a child wants. 101Dalmatians brought a surge in Dalmatians sales as sure as the Hollywood Chihuahua movie will do for Chihuahua sales. Dogs in movies are well-trained, which helps them look so cute on screen. New puppies are not trained. Once again, it's a matter of understanding the breed and choosing the dog together before you bring one home.

5. Training Needs to Start Immediately. With so much going on, there probably won't be enough time to start a consistent training program with your new puppy and training should start sooner rather than later. Most often parents end up being the primary caregiver for the family pet but parents should discuss what responsibilities their kids will have before they even choose a pet.

Children should know how to feed, exercise, handle, care for and train their new puppy. The joys of having a family pet are many, but a well-trained dog brings even more happiness. Before you even bring home the puppy, consider enrolling your kids in a training class, or with a private professional trainer, so they can be ready as soon as their new dog arrives. If you are certain you're ready to add a pet to your family, be sure to check your local animal shelter first.

Many wonderful dogs are left there and most only require proper training to make them a loving addition to your family. Also know that most dogs sold at pet stores usually come from the deplorable conditions of a puppy mill. And, if you want a purebred dog, be sure to research the breeder to know for certain that they do not get their dogs from puppy mills.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please feel free to contact professional Trainer, Liz Gruen at Dog Training With Liz by email at or call 321-634-2003. You can also visit website

This article has been modified from its original one.

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Protect Your Dog's Paws

Posted by lgruen56 on June 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Protect Your Dog's Feet from Getting Burned on Hot Pavement

Foot pad burns may be a hard-to-see injury

By Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM

Dog's feet and pads are tough, right? Most people are aware that foot pads can be injured by stepping on something sharp, but what about something hot? Dangerously hot pavement and metal surfaces are hard to avoid in the heat of summer. Running on hard pavement is tough on feet, too. Read this Quick Tip to learn about this potential hazard and how to minimize risk.


Pavement, metal or tar-coated asphalt get extremely hot in the summer sun. We remember to wear sandals, walk on the grass and not sit down on these surface in the heat of the day (most of the time -- I know that I have been surprised a time or two).

Harder to remember is summer heat and our dog's feet. Unlike the obvious wounds such as lacerations, foot infections (fungal, bacterial), or foreign bodies such as cheat grass), burned pads may not be readily apparent to the eye.

Signs of burned pads:

• limping or refusing to walk

• licking or chewing at the feet

• pads darker in color

• missing part of pad

• blisters or redness

I recently assisted a vet colleague at a wilderness first aid talk that he was presenting. One of the audience members shared a story of what had happened to their dog and brought up a good point about foot pad health. They had been swimming/floating in the river for about an hour and a half. When it was time to go, they walked along the road, but then their Labrador Retriever refused to go on. They figured that he was just exhausted from the swim. Turns out, his foot pads were bleeding and he was in pain. The time in the water has softened his pads up quite a bit and the hot road asphalt severely burned the pads.

Burned pad first aid:

It is important to keep the foot area cool and clean. As soon as you notice the problem (limping along on the road), flush with cool water or a cool compress if available. Get the dog to a grassy area or if possible, carry him.

At first chance, your vet should examine your dog for signs of deeper burns, blisters and possibility of infection. Your vet will determine if antibiotics or pain medication is needed. Washing the feet with a gentle cleanser and keeping them clean is important. Bandaging can be difficult to do and to maintain (monitor and change often), but licking must be kept to a minimum. Some dogs will tolerate a sock to keep the area clean, but caution is advised for dogs that may chew and ingest the sock. Lick deterrents (bitter sprays) may help reduce the damage caused by licking.

Best advice is to be mindful of hot surfaces -- asphalt and metal (i.e. boat dock, car or truck surfaces) -- and walk your dog on the cool side of the street or in the grass. Another tip is to lay down a wet towel for your dog to stand on when grassy areas are not available. Good way to keep cool while loading up the car.


Crate Training in a Nut Shell

Posted by lgruen56 on April 29, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Crate Training in A Nut Shell

By Liz Gruen

Dog Training With Liz


When I ask my clients if they use a crate for their dog, most of the time I get a no. When asked why, some people think in is cruel and others think that their dogs just don’t need a crate.


So, let’s take this from the beginning. Dogs are descendants of wolves. Where do wolves find shelter in the wild? They find it in a cave or cave-like environment. This is to protect them from the elements and other predators. This is a safe haven for them. It is also a place where they will go to give birth and protect their young.


Like wolves, dogs need that safe haven or environment from the elements. In our domestic life, those elements can be small children, other dogs, loud noises, or crowded spaces. Just like humans, dogs need their own space. I know that some of you say, well, I just put them in a room and close the door. That is a fine solution, however; depending on the age and behavior of the dog, that can also be an issue.


Crate training is a POSITIVE tool to work with when raising and training your dog. First and foremost; THE CRATE IS NEVER USED AS A PUNISHMENT! It is a tool that helps with a variety of issues. Potty training is one of those issues. You need the proper size for your particular dog. So in utilizing a crate; size matters. The subject of Potty training will be discussed at another time.


The crate becomes a safe place when you cannot keep constant watch on your puppy or dog that is not quite trained yet. This will prevent a lot of items in your home from being destroyed or your dog from being injured. Since you would not leave a toddler or young child unattended while you were cooking dinner or taking a shower for slightly different reasons, such as flushing money or cell phone down the toilet, wandering off to the backyard pool or sticking their fingers in an electrical outlet, therefore; you would not leave your dog unattended. So crates are for puppies and dogs that cannot be left alone just as playpens and gated off areas are for toddlers and young children who cannot be left alone. There is no cruelty involved.

Some other reasons for crate training your dog are if there is an emergency evacuation due to hurricane or tornadoes and you need to seek shelter elsewhere, you would not be able to bring your dog if it is not in a crate. If you try to put your dog in a crate at the last minute with no introduction to it, you will only put more stress on your dog than the current situation. It would not be pleasant. Also, in traveling with your dog, it is much safer while driving to have your dog in a crate. Dogs can be stressed by noise, other passing cars or even get car sick. Some will try to climb into the front seat to help you drive and may wind up under your gas pedal or brake. It is easier for you to control your dog at a rest stop when letting the dog out of the car for a potty break.


So when you think about it, crate training is good for your dog and you! Make it a positive time. Use a special treat to teach them to go into their crate. Do something positive with them before you put them in the crate. Whether it is a simple sit command or a fetch command, before they go into the crate, this will help them to know that the crate is a good place. Never yell at them or scold them just before putting them in the crate. This will defeat your purpose and make them think the crate is a bad place. Here is a hint. If you dog is frightened by the crate, one thing you can do is place a board on top of crate and put a sheet or blanket over it to create that den-like atmosphere. This way you can drape the sheet or blanket away from the crate so they don’t chew on it.


Please consider crate training your dog. You and your dog will be much happier in the long run.


Lung Worms

Posted by lgruen56 on April 8, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Lungworms in Dogs


Parasitic Respiratory Infections in Dogs

Lungworms are a parasitic worm (nematode) that settles in the lungs and windpipe (trachea), causing severe respiratory problems. Dogs that spend a lot of time roaming in the woods and/or on fields are at higher risk of developing this type of parasitic infections.

Symptoms and Types

There are several species of worm that can migrate to the lungs of animals, causing coughing and shortness of breath. The parasite most commonly seen in dogs is the Oslerus osleri.

Adult worms create nodules in the windpipe of the animal and lay eggs. The larvae that hatch cause reactions in the airways, leading to obstruction of breathing. Complications can lead to more serious problems such as shortness of breath (dyspnea), bronchitis, emphysema, fluid build-up in the lungs, and even pneumonia.

Signs are not severe unless there are large numbers of larvae living in the airways. Minor infections that do not cause any signs are also possible. Dogs that have been previously infected with lungworms have a degree of immunity and may be able to fight off a re-infection if the load is not too great.

How do dogs get lungworm?

Unlike many diseases lungworm is not actually passed from dog to dog. The worm needs slug and snail hosts in order to grow and develop and it is from eating these that infection may occur.


Dogs become infected with lungworms when they drink water or eat prey infected with the larval stage of the worm. The larvae then migrate out of the intestines via the bloodstream to the lungs, where they develop into adult worms and lay eggs in the host's lungs. The eggs are then coughed up by the animal or passed in feces, which may then be eaten by birds, rodents, snails, or other pets.

Puppies may also become infected by their mother (dam) when they are licked by or ingest feces from the infected dog.


Tests to check if a dog has a lungworm infection include:

• Physical examination (lung auscultation) and history

• Chest X-rays

• Fecal examination for eggs

• Complete blood count (CBC)

• Examination of fluid from lungs (tracheal wash)


Lungworms are treatable with anti-parasitic (anthelminthic) medications. Commonly used medications include:

• Fenbendazole

• Albendazole

• Oxfendazole

• Ivermectin

• Moxidectin

• Praziquantel

• Levamisole

These medications should eradicate the worms over time and will help clear the animal of the infection. In severe cases, where secondary infections and lung damage have occurred, other medications such as corticosteroids or antibiotics may be necessary to help your pet recover.

Living and Management

An infection with lungworms does not typically last long. The dog often eliminates the worms by coughing them up or excreting them through the feces. Then, as long as the prescribed medication is given and the dog does not develop a secondary lung disease such as pneumonia, the prognosis is good.

In severe cases, repeat X-rays or fecal examinations may be needed to follow up.


To prevent exposure to rodents, birds, or other animals which may carry the lungworm larvae, dogs should not be allowed to roam outdoors.



Resource Guarding

Posted by lgruen56 on April 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Preventing Resource Guarding: The Protective Puppy

Posted on March 18, 2014by Canine Good Citizen

If you notice that your puppy is beginning to protect her toys, bed, balls, food, and other prized worldly possessions, she is starting to do what animal behaviorists call “resource guarding.” As with many behavior problems, the best solution for resource guarding is prevention and doing early training to keep the behavior from happening in the first place. If not stopped early, the protecting of possessions can escalate and you may find yourself with a puppy on your hands who is willing to snap or bite rather than give up a treat or her stuffed animal.

Since resource guarding is a problem that is often accidentally shaped over time, watch for any signs that your puppy is being over protective of her possessions. Plan activities throughout the day that give you a chance to handle your pup’s toys, dishes and bed. If the puppy ever objects by growling, do not give in. This starts you down the dangerous slippery slope of having a puppy who will growl, then snap, then bite to protect her possessions.

Some exercises you can do with your puppy to avoid having a resource guarder are:

1. Develop your mindset. Start by understanding that basically, you are the human and everything in the house, yard and car belongs to you. It is all on loan to your precious puppy.

2. Life is about give and take. During puppy playtime, occasionally ask your puppy to, “Give.” Take the toy away for a few seconds. Then give it back and praise the puppy. When you are teaching this skill, you can exchange one chew toy for another, or exchange a toy for a treat. In the beginning, as soon as the puppy releases the item and “gives” as you say the word, give the puppy a treat.

3. Don’t let food become an issue. With a puppy, you can start early by handling the food dish and adding something to it so that your puppy learns good things come from you. If you’ve adopted a shelter or rescue puppy, know that prior to being rescued, these dogs may have been in a situation where they had to guard their food if they wanted to eat. You might need a behavior plan to address food guarding.

4. Compliance training on basic good manners skills will help you address your pup’s problems with possessiveness. Sit and down as well as sit-stay and down-stay are all behaviors that can be used to manage your dog while your work on possessiveness issues.

From AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy: A Positive Behavioral Approach to Puppy Training (



Reason for Vaccinations

Posted by lgruen56 on April 2, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Every dog should be seen by their veterinarian on a yearly basis. In Florida, dogs need annual heartworm tests. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitos! A heartworm test requires a small blood sample. Heartworm prevention is a necessity. Help prevent Heartworm in your dogs.  The disease is deadly and costly to treat.  Also, Florida State law requires your dog to have a rabies vaccination. This used to be a yearly immunization, but newer laws recognize the 3-year vaccine. Rabies is the only vaccine mandated by law. It must be administered by a veterinarian. These are two important reasons to see your vet every year. 

There is also now a 3-year distemper vaccine. The Rabies and Distemper are the most important vaccines for your dog. If you are from up north, you may not be familiar with the leptospirosis vaccine. It is very important here in Florida due do the wild life in the area, especially Raccoons. This disease is transmitted via the animals excretions. This vaccine is also necessary if your dog likes to swim in ponds that are untreated.


Proper Use of Retractable Leashes

Posted by lgruen56 on April 1, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Proper Use of Retractable Leashes

By Liz Gruen

Many love the idea of a retractable leash. It gives their dog a little freedom to roam and run while still connected to you.

However, it is my opinion there is a proper way to use them and a dangerous way to use them. The proper way would be to use the one that is suited for your size dog. Another is to make sure you do not let out too much cord at one time in a populated or heavily wooded area. It is always best to keep your dog close to you on a walk as it is your responsibility to always look ahead to anticipate any problems that may arise to distract your dog. Always check that the lock is working properly and that you can easily manipulate it to lock that cord in case of an emergency, such as your dog taking off after another dog, running into traffic or chasing squirrels, bikes, skate boards, etc.


The first time you use the leash, try it in an open area so you get the feel of how to control it. When you use the retractable leash improperly, you can be in for a serious injury to you and your dog. Having spent 30 years in the medical field, I can tell you first hand of the numerous injuries I have encountered due to the improper use of retractable leashes. For example, if you let out too much cord in a populated area, such as the park where there are many people walking their dogs, you have the problem of getting the cord entangled with another. When getting two or more dogs who don't know each other too close together (invading the others space), it can cause a nasty fight to break out while you are trying to untangle them.


People have panicked and have not been able to quickly lock the cord and have grabbed the cord which has caused severe cuts and rope burns on their legs and hands, not to mention a dog bite from a panicked dog. When the dog runs around a wooded area, there is the chance of the dog choking and injuring the trachea while trying to untangle themselves from around a few trees. If the cord is too long, the the dog can get way ahead of you and turn a corner where you can't see what possible trouble may be ahead. The worst injury I have encountered is a woman who came into the office of a surgeon where I worked and had four of her fingers partially amputated while walking her German Shepherd on a retractable leash. She could not lock it in time and she grabbed the rope of the leash and the rest is history.


This type of leash should never be used by young children! Now, let's talk about the positive side of a retractable leash. The retractable leash is great for training your dog to fetch and return and recalls (teaching your dog to come to you on command.) It is wonderful for letting your dog out in your back yard when it is raining or snowing so you don't have to go out yourself. It is great to use if you are a disabled person or senior who can't walk very far and maybe doesn't have a fenced in yard and would like your dog to go out and have fun while still in your reach. Accidents do and will always happen, however with awareness we can help to keep our cherished pets a little safer.


Liz Gruen was the creator/owner and head trainer of Kamp Kanine... plus a few good cats, a doggy day care, boarding and training facility in Little Falls, NJ. Liz has developed an innovative program, Kidz & Kanines, which teaches children how to train, handle and care for their pets. Liz is now living in Florida and is the owner of Dog Training With Liz.