Patience with your Puppy

Being patient with your puppy can be a challenging task. They like to bit, jump, tug, bark, yip and do everything possible to annoy you. But in reality, they are asking for your time and attention. A long walk will calm them down. Play with a rope or ball will release some of their energy. Next time your new best friend ruins some of your belongings, think about the attention they were receiving in the moments leading up to that event. More often than not they were probably not being paid attention to at the moment leading up to that event.

Walks are great for dogs because it allows them to expend their energy. Being aware of what traits your breed has and then finding ways for them to work for you will save you tons of stress in the future. Remember to take a step back and breathe when you get frustrated and that it is ok to stop and return to training later. It is not healthy for you or the dog to train when you are stressed or angry.

dachshund puppy brown tan color and lilac purple

While difficult, the training should be reserved for when you are in a state of mind to be patient. Practice does make perfect. The more time you spend with your dog now, the fewer worries you will have with them later. Often times dog owners will choose to hire a professional to train their dog. This will save you time and stress.

Now a professional won’t be able to magically transform your dog into a perfect pet, but with enough help from you on the back end, you and your dog will be able to use the skills learned from a professional and practice them for years to come. If you want to to give your dog the best life possible, train them immediately, be patient, and use professionals who do this for a living help you by giving you and your dog the skills needed to be the best of friends.

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Training an Old Dog

We all know the saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But it is false. It can be harder, and more time consuming to show an old friend new behavior, especially if their previous behavior is now expected.

For example, if you want to teach your dog to stop coming into the kitchen, then you can no longer feed them or pet them in the kitchen. They need to re-learn that this is an area in which they are no longer allowed. Teaching an old dog new tricks is often times harder for the owner since they have allowed the dog to continue forward with this behavior for awhile.

Old Man And Cute Dog Kissing

Teaching an old dog actual new tricks may be more difficult. Things like fetch, or running obstacle courses and things of that nature may be hard to train because of their age. But with enough patience, you can teach your dog these things as long as their health allows them to participate in these activities. At this time in your dog’s life, it is best to have them crate trained, if they are not then that should be the first thing to focus on.

Crate training can be hard for the owner because at first, the pet can whine and complain, leaving you broken hearted. But if you let them out when they cry that is just reinforcing the behavior that every time they do that you will let them out.

Effective discipline from the owner combined with patience will enable your dog to be a better version of itself. Often times, when paired with obedience classes from kennels that specialize in that area, older dog training is more useful for the dog and the owner.

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Fall Tips for You and Your Pet

With fall right quickly approaching we want to give you some tips to keep your dog clean this fall. If your dog has long toe/feet hair it is best to keep them well groomed in that area since leaves and stickers attach themselves to that area and then can be tracked into your home. Another tip is to keep a towel and alcohol-free wet wipes in your car. This will keep your pet dry and can also be used to clean their paw pads. The wipes are safe and can be used for your pet and your car. If your dog is smelly after a walk a little bit of dry shampoo or dryer sheets can help until a full bath is given.

A self-service dog wash will be your friend in the fall. Or a place in your yard (if you have one). Later in the Fall, the water can be very cold so we recommend that a self-service dog wash is used when the temperature drops.

Teenager with Golden Retriever in the Fall

If your pet lives outside it is important to keep their shelter full of warm cozy blankets and to make sure their kennel or wherever they are staying is checked for leaks and drafts. Some simple caulking can help your dog stay warmer. With the dog days of summer behind and the grueling winter ahead, fall is the best time for you and your dog to go for walks. Doing so now will help calm them and keep them happy.

Also, fall is a time when fleas and ticks are rampant so be sure to keep your dog away from densely wooded or grassy areas. And if you do take them in such areas clean and wash them after, making sure to comb their fur to keep all the pesty mites away.

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Hot. Dog.

Seven and half ways to keep your dog cool

August. Thirty-one days of the end of summer. Alden’s Kennels knows that, here in the Midwest, the greatest number of heat advisory days fall in the month of August. Large or small, your dog has to rely on your good judgment to keep him or her from overheating. And they overheat just as easily as we do. Here are tried and true hot-weather tips for the furriest family member.

1) Don’t turn down the air when you leave home, at least not all the way. We use the A/C for our comfort during the hot days… so does your pet. Make sure shades or blinds are closed to help keep the house cool when you’re out and about if you’re being energy conscious. A sealed-up home gets hot fast during the long hours of sunlight.

2) Water is critical. Dogs may not sweat, but they pant. You don’t want a panting dog. A good tip is to double up on the water dishes.

2.5) Water is even more critical outdoors. If you’re outside with your pet, or the dog is in the yard alone, bring a water dish for fresh water. A splash pool might be fun as well as a cool respite for an outdoor pet. Keep that water fresh, too. If you’re walking, bring enough water for both of you.

3) Exercise in the cooler parts of the day. Older dogs, overweight dogs, and dogs with snub noses are the most susceptible to heatstroke. Early morning or late evening walks are going to be more comfortable for you and the dog. An added bonus to morning walks is that the pavement is cooler. Speaking of pavement…

4) Sidewalks and streets can be as much as 30 degrees hotter than the air and they hold the heat for a long time. This is especially true of blacktop. Feel the surface, knowing that paw pads are sensitive even if they are thicker.

5) Mind the humidity. It gets sticky in August. A high dew point day might make it harder for the dog to cool down. Even on overcast but humid days, your pet is in danger of heatstroke.

6) Be cool. Popcicles are fun for kids, but the sugar and colorings aren’t the smartest pet treats. Get your dog an icecube tray. Throw a couple chunks of kibble into each slot, add water, and freeze. We’ll bet that even a dog who didn’t chew ice before is going to like this treat, which does double-duty by cooling him or her off.

7) Keep grooming. Removing mats and loose hair can help the dog keep cool. You don’t want to shave a dog yourself without checking with your vet: The same hair that keeps them comfy in cold weather may be insulating them from the harshest heat, too. Grooming will also alert you to ticks and fleas, which are more active in August than just about any other month, and mosquito bites. Mosquitoes carry heartworm.

Alden’s Kennels is vigilant about every pet in our care and encourages you to watch for the same signs we do: Heavy panting/drooling, rapid breathing or heartbeat, dark red tongue or lips, weakness, and/or agitation. See these? Call your vet.

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Board and Train is multi-tasking for dogs and their owners


board and train multitasking

Board & Train is multi-tasking for dogs and their owners. It’s a great way to get things done, or take a vacation, while your dog enjoys a luxury pet resort and fun and intense dog training.

Time, that’s the issue. You love your new dog, but your patience still runs thin from time to time, such as times when their behavior is a problem. Still, if you think about it, it’s not their fault. Your dog is doing what comes naturally. The blame actually rests with you and that brings you back to the issue of time.


You don’t have time to train your dog. If you did, you would have already. Life is hectic. You are constantly forced to make choices on how you’ll use your time. As much as you’d like to have a well-trained dog, somehow your time is challenged by other priorities. There is a solution – Board and Train.

Board and Train is really multi-tasking for dogs and dog owners. You multi-task in other areas of your life, don’t you? Just think of the ways you multi-task:

  • You do housework while speaking on the phone
  • You watch television while exercising
  • You listen to audio books while driving
  • You stop at the store on the way to pick your child up from school
  • You plan your day while you shower in the morning

If you think about it, you’ve made an art of multi-tasking. Why not apply that skill to living with your dog? How can Board and Train fit into your multi-tasking approach to time? That depends on what you do while your dog is boarded – while your dog is trained.

Suppose you’ll have an exceptionally busy time at work. A big project is coming to a head and you’ll need to put even more time than usual into your work. You won’t have time for the dog. Why not enroll the dog in Board & Train? While you’re busy, your dog is enjoying a stay at a swank dog resort and taking a fun and intense training program.

Better yet, maybe you should make some time for yourself – a vacation. Go to Hawaii, Alaska, Bora Bora, Naples or even the Wisconsin Dells. Wherever you go, while you’re gone, sign your dog up for some dog training while they’re boarded in style.

Whatever you do with the time while your dog is at Board and Train, when you pick your dog up, you’ll bring a different dog back home – a better-trained, better-behaved, more socially acceptable dog. Now, that’s multi-tasking is supposed to work.

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Biscuit, the terror of Grayslake, is a good neighbor after Board & Train


Grayslake board and train

With a little Board & Train, an Irish Setter, or any dog, can go from a terror of Grayslake to a good neighbor.

Biscuit was the terror of her Grayslake neighborhood. Well, not literally. The problem with Biscuit, a young Irish Setter, was that she was wild and uncontrollable. She wasn’t mean. She wasn’t prone to bite anyone, except in fun. The solution that transformed Biscuit is called Board & Train – a dog training boarding school.


What did Biscuit do that was so much trouble? Where do we start?

  • Biscuit liked to bark, a lot. He liked to bark at all hours of the day or night. Mostly, it was a ‘I’m-having-fun’ kind of barking. But, sometimes, it was also a lonely kind of barking. Biscuit didn’t have a lot of reason to feel lonely. He was loved by his family but no level of attention was enough for Biscuit. Leave him alone for a little while and he would begin to pine, and bark, for his family.
  • If Biscuit got loose in his Grayslake neighborhood, which was all-too often, it was a hair-raising experience to catch him again. He thought it was a great game of ‘keep-away’ and would wait until someone almost had him in their grasp before he would dash away in his crazy-legged, tail and tongue wagging sort of way.
  • Another of Biscuit’s favorite activities was to jump up on people and feverishly lick their faces. Though young, on his hind legs, Biscuit was eye-to-eye with a grown man. He seemed to know that he would be pulled down at any time and would feverishly lick faces as though to get as many licks in as possible before his fun was brought to an abrupt end.
  • Biscuit also enjoyed chewing on things and he would find all kinds of things to chew on. He chewed on everything from slippers, shoes and socks to furniture, make-up bottles and really had an affinity to the flavor of Chapstick.
  • Biscuit has a special place in the fenced yard to do his business. Sometimes, however, he prefers other spots, such as the kitchen and living room. When Biscuit got loose, he was also prone to do his business in the neighbors’ yards, which they generally didn’t appreciate.

Biscuit’s family was at their wit’s end about what to do with Biscuit when they noticed that some of the neighbors were also frustrated by Biscuit’s behavior. It was hard not to notice since a couple neighbors knocked on the door and said, “We’re a little frustrated with Biscuit’s behavior.”

It was at this point that the family realized that tolerating Biscuit’s behavior wasn’t the solution; they had to act. They enrolled Biscuit in a Doggy U experience known as Board & Train.

One day, they drove out of Grayslake and dropped Biscuit off at a kennel that had a highly recommended Board & Train program. Biscuit stayed there for a couple weeks. When they picked him up, and brought him back to Grayslake, he was like a different dog. They still needed to work with him a bit, but the change was dramatic and appreciated by everyone in his family, as well as the neighbors.

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Dog training may keep your child engaged when you let them have a dog


child training dog

Dog training keeps your child involved with their dog while they develop a very special bond.

You’ve heard it before. Your child wants a dog and promises that they’ll take care of the dog. They’ll clean up after the dog. They’ll take the dog for walks. But, somehow, you know how it will work out, don’t you? Maybe dog training lessons will change this age-old story.


The pattern goes like this:

  • Your child wants a dog
  • They promise they’ll take care of the dog, take it for walks, clean up after it and feed it
  • You’re skeptical
  • They cross their hearts and promise
  • Their sad little faces melt your heart, again
  • You give in and agree while admonishing them that they’ll need to take care of the dog
  • Within a month or two, you’re doing all the work to take care of your child’s dog and nagging them to help

This story has happened many times before. It will happen many times again. Dog training is the way that you may be able to break the pattern without denying your child a pet.

Actually, allowing your child to have a dog is an opportunity, if you grab it. It’s a chance for your child to develop some responsibility and self-discipline. Yes, that’s what all parents say when they agree to let their child have a dog. But, if they don’t sign the child and dog up for dog training, it’s unlikely the child will live up to the responsibilities of dog ownership.

How can dog training change the ‘Can-I-have-a-dog’ scenario?

First of all, there are no guarantees. But, dog training is an interactive experience between a pet owner and their pet. Your child may find taking the dog for walks boring after a while. But, dog training is progressive; the experience changes with the dog’s and the owner’s ability.

Dog training is rewarding for the dog and owner. There’s a sense of accomplishment when they work on something and the desired behavior is achieved. More than that, the experience between dog and owner is far more gratifying, and less aggravating when the dog is trained and the owner knows how to work with the dog.

Yes, some children will grow tired of almost anything, even the hyperactive video game they might play for endless hours. But, few things are more likely to hold their attention than taking their dog to qualified dog-training lessons. Allowing your child to have a dog might be a good idea after all.

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