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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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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Rescue dogs need love, and training, too


rescue dog

That rescue dog needs your love. You can show your love by training your rescue dog.

What was life like for that poor, wonderful puppy before you came to the rescue? Adopting a rescue dog is a great thing to do. There are so many dogs that are underfed, under cared for, underloved. People like you who adopt from a rescue center are doing something wonderful and humane. But, don’t stop there.


You’ve made the decision to rescue a dog – to make that dog a member of your family. Now, take the next step and ensure that your rescue dog works out. More than working out, make sure that you, your family and your rescue dog have a great life together.

Training is a must for rescue dogs, or should be

What can training do for your rescue dog? Think about how all those harsh and neglected experiences have affected your dog before you came to the rescue – before they were picked up by the rescue center. Some rescue dogs were abused before they were rescued. There’s no way that kind of treatment won’t influence your dog’s behavior and demeanor.

If your rescue dog’s biggest problem was neglect, that will influence their social skills, too. It has to.

Dog training can directly address behavioral problems brought on by the experiences your dog had before you took their life down a better path. It can help them to develop neglected social skills and reverse negative social behavior.

Dog training will give you and your new rescue dog a chance to bond. At the same time, your rescue dog will find some stability in his or her life. They’ll develop the kind of confidence that begins driving away the fears and inhibitions that were all-too reasonable before you entered their life.

When you bring your rescue dog home, making the most of the experience for you, and the dog starts with training. Their fresh start deserves it.

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Dog training is the key for dealing with your Port Barrington dog’s bad habits


Port Barrington dog training

A little dog training for your Port Barrington dog will go a long way toward breaking bad habits.

One of your neighbors on the block in your hometown of Port Barrington has a bad habit of nosing into everyone’s business. Another neighbor tends to greet you by putting his arm around your shoulder. And then you have a neighbor who frequently refers to herself in the third person – “That’s not what Jackie would do,” says Jackie. But, you may have someone living in your home who has some bad habits, too – such as your pet Doberman.


Dilbert is a bit nosy, but that’s more understandable with a dog than a neighbor. He also jumps up on people and frequently greets people by goosing them the way dogs greet each other. That’s embarrassing for them and for you. And, while Dilbert doesn’t speak of himself in the third person, he does speak a bit too often.

Most dogs have some bad habits, not just dogs in Port Barrington but dogs all over. And, unless those bad habits are trained out of them, that annoying behavior will become ingrained in your dog’s mannerisms.

For someone who interrupts people often, the only way they’ll stop is if someone points out their bad behavior and they make a concerted effort to change. The same is true for dogs.

Dog training can do a lot for a dog, and a lot for someone who lives with that dog. You can teach your dog not to run away, not to bite people, to only do their business in appropriate places and at appropriate times. You can teach a dog to do tricks and to walk properly on a leash.

You can also teach a dog to behave better – like a good little lady or gentleman. Without training, your dog’s behavior is based on your dog’s whims. If they goose visitors to your house, they’ll continue to goose visitors to your house until you do something about it. Without dog training, they’ll have no reason to assume it isn’t appropriate behavior to nuzzle someone’s behind the way they greet other dogs.

With a little effort, you can turn your uncouth pet into a refined lady or gentleman. But, first, you have to make a commitment to training your dog.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone when training your dog. There are kennels, including those not far from Port Barrington, where you can bring your dog for some good-dog training. Some kennels even offer Board & Train programs that are like crash courses.

Now, if only you could sign up your Port Barrington neighbors for some training to deal with their bad habits.

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Where will you leave your dog when you leave Bannockburn for vacation Spring Break?



Wouldn’t you like to know that, when you leave your Bannockburn home to go on Spring Break vacation, your dog is well cared for and has activities to keep him or her engaged, such as walks and Board & Train?

There are kennels where you can leave your dog when you take off from your Bannockburn home for Spring Break, and there are kennels where your dog can vacation while you’re away vacationing?


Some kennels are just that; they’re places where you can leave your dog while you’re away. The folks may be fastidious about cleaning, feeding and providing fresh water for your dog but these kennels don’t go beyond that. Your dog will be fine while you’re away but your dog will also be bored out of his or her mind.

The alternative to the no-frills kennel is the kennel that provides an experience, even an adventure for your dog. You’re going away on vacation and, though you can’t take your dog with, why shouldn’t your dog have a little vacation while you’re gone, too. That’s what these full-service kennels provide.

What can you expect from a full-service kennel, as opposed to the no-frills kennel? At the full-service kennel, your dog will have options that include:

  • Better rooms: A better room is a spacious room with easy access between inside and outside rooms. These rooms are comfy and cozy. The temperature is controlled so your dog is as warm, or cool, depending on the weather, as though they were in your own home.
  • Dog walks: ‘Dog Walks,’ in this instance is a verb, not a noun. As a noun, it would refer to an area where a dog can walk back and forth. As a verb, it means that someone actually takes the dog for a walk. The better kennels offer the latter. There is nothing quite as special for a dog in a kennel than the opportunity to get out and stretch his or her legs.
  • Television: Yes, dogs do watch television. Though, just as too much television can rot the brains of children, too much television may not be good for dogs, having a television can break the monotony for a dog stuck in a small room while you’re away. The better kennels actually offer flat-screen, televisions with dog-friendly programming.
  • Board & Train: Let that sink in – ‘Board & Train.’ What that means is, while you’re away, your dog will attend an exciting classroom environment where they’ll learn to behave like a true lady or gentleman. You’ll come home to a more socially adept pet. And, the classes are fun. Dogs love them and they’ll love you for giving them the opportunity.

Most kennels are good at what they do. But, if you have a choice when you leave your Bannockburn home for Spring Break, would you want to put your dog in a simple kennel or a kennel that offers a full range of options to engage your dog?

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Board & Train for puppy sets Spring Grove family free for Spring break


33473450 - family walking dog through winter woodland

Imagine leaving Spring Grove for Spring Break while your dog stays at a kennel near home and receives an intense, but fun, training called Board & Train. There’s a word for that – Fantastic.

Dad came in the door of your Spring Grove home and hollered, “Family meeting. Everyone in the kitchen.”


“Uh, oh. This can’t be good, can it?” And the look on dad’s face suggested it wasn’t. He looked, well, grim.

As you, mom, your sister and brother arrived, dad pointed at the chairs and said, “Sit.” Then, he stood at the head of the table and glowered at all of you. You all held your breath as he began to speak, trying to imagine what possible transgression could have brought this on. But, as he spoke, a transformation occurred.

With a mischievous grin, dad said, “So, the boss has decided I can have the last week of March off. You know what that means?”

It took a second to sink in. Then it hit: “SPRINGBREAK.”

You, your brother and sister, even mom, were jumping around, everyone realizing the idle discussion of leaving Spring Grove behind for a week and flying down to Disney World was no longer idle. It was a reality soon to happen. And, as you all jumped, even Patches, your 11-month-old Schnocker (Cocker Spaniel and Miniature Schnauzer mix), unsure of why everyone was so happy, was joining in, jumping and barking with the rest of you.

At first, all of you laughed at how excited Patches was but then mom stopped jumping. You saw the look on her face and stopped jumping, too. You saw her looking at Patches and, as your eyes followed hers to your white-and-black dog and then it dawned on you, too. What will you do with Patches while you’re away?

Dad, who had stood back with a big, proud grin, saw your and mom’s reaction. But, dad seemed as though he was prepared for it. As mom turned to talk, dad interrupted knowingly: “I’ve already taken care of that.”

“How?” asked mom.

“You’re going to like this,” dad said, getting serious for a moment. “Not only have I arranged for Patches to stay in a really good kennel while we’re gone (at this point, your brother and sister caught on and stopped jumping – only Patches continued), Patches will get some training at the same time. They call it Board & Train, and God knows Patches can use it.”

Your brother and sister started to jump again. Mom smiled. You started to smile but then you asked, “Are you sure Patches will be okay while we’re gone?”

“Absolutely,” said dad. “I checked out a couple places on the way home. The place I chose is outstanding but, if you’re worried, you can take a ride with me tomorrow and check it out yourself. And it’s not far from Patches home here in Spring Grove.”

Now, it was time to jump again.

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Don’t forget dog training when bringing a dog into your Addison home


Addison train dog children

Bringing a dog into your Addison home is a wonderful idea but dog training is essential, especially if you have children.

They have a wonderful home in Addison, two beautiful young children and only one thing missing – a dog. She grew up with a dog and knows the pleasure of living with a dog. However, a dog is a new idea for him and he worries about how the dog will interact with the children. The key to dogs living with children is training – for the dog and the children.


It’s a good idea to teach children not to pull the dog’s hair, ears or poke the dog in the eyes. With these kinds of behavior, some dogs will respond in self-defense. Some dogs are so wonderful with children that the kids can climb all over the dog, pull its hair, tail and ears and the dog will submit to the punishment patiently. Still, it’s a good idea to teach toddlers not to do things like this to the dog.

On the other hand, there’s no question that you should bring a dog for training when you introduce the dog to your children in your Addison home. Even if you don’t have children, it’s a great idea.

There’s just no way around it; living with a well-trained dog is an entirely difference experience when compared to living with a dog that isn’t trained. That idea is to the tenth power when you have children.

With a well-trained dog, you’ll know the dog won’t nip, bite or scratch the little ones. What’s more, your children will have live-in protector to defend them from outside threats.

Look at it another way: teaching your toddlers to work with the dog will also serve as a learning experience for your children. They’ll build confidence as they discover their ability, with experience, to command a dog that may be significantly bigger than they are.

With dog training, you also won’t have to worry about your dog hurting some of the kids in your neighborhood. That’s true even if the local tykes stick their fingers through the fence by your dog. Or, if you’re taking your dog for a walk, you won’t have to worry about the dog jumping up on an Addison neighbor, whether that neighbor is the little elderly woman down the block or the 5-year old next door.

Bringing a dog into your Addison home to join your family is a wonderful idea. But, don’t forget the dog training. It will make a world of difference in your experience with your dog and your dog will appreciate it, too.

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Alden’s Kennels Multi-State Mixer rich in potential for area businesses


AldensKennels_Multi_State Mixer

Time to give your business a boost. The Aldens Kennels Multi-State Mixer is the mixer with the most potential.

Does your business need some exposure before it goes to the dogs? Well, maybe you should take your business to the dogs for some exposure; maybe you should have a Tasting Station or do a sponsorship at one of the biggest, most proven networking mixers in the Midwest – the Multi-State Mixer at Aldens Kennels, 6810 Barnard Mill Rd., Ringwood, IL.


That’s quite a claim but consider that this mixer has 12-participating chambers with attendance expected to surpass 300. That’s quite a crowd of potential power partners, clients and/or friends you can meet from 5 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 5.

We’re not talking about a random group of people here; these are successful business owners from Chicagoland and into Wisconsin. Many are business owners who are returning after discovering this networking gold mine in one of its previous five years.

Mixers offer opportunities to let the business world know you’re there while making some connections. Meeting people at a mixer is a great way to lay the groundwork for relationships that may provide value in the future.

If mingling is rich in opportunity, consider the potential of standing out in this crowd. As a sponsor, you’ll have several options:

  • Beverage Bar Sponsor ($1,000): Choice of inside or outside bar to have your company’s name on, including recognition as the Beverage Sponsor during the event, on signage for the event and on the Alden’s Kennels Facebook page. A table with a vinyl banner with your logo you can go home with; Website page with a link for your business video and picture advertisement. Vinyl graphics on our floor till the mixer again next year for all our clients and the public to see year-round.
  • Tent Sponsor ($750): Includes recognition as the Tent Sponsor during the event, on signage for the event and on the Alden’s Kennels Facebook page, a table with a vinyl banner with your logo you can go home with, vinyl graphics on our floor until next year for all our clients and the public, at events, to see throughout the year, and a Website page with a link for your business video and picture advertisement.
  • Coffee Sponsor ($300): Includes recognition as a Coffee Sponsor during the event, on signage and on the Alden’s Kennels Facebook page; a table with a vinyl banner with your logo you can go home with; vinyl graphics on our floor until next year for all our clients and the public, at events, to see throughout the year.

If you Tasting Station at this red-carpet affair, Alden’s will provide a serving table, tablecloth, sanitize station, and electricity, if needed. There is no registration fee for a Tasting Station though you will need a chef or staff member to plate and serve tastings, and you’ll need a current Certificate of Insurance (COI).

Whichever way you go, a Tasting Station and/or a Sponsorship, the Multi-State Mixer is rich in potential you don’t want to waste.

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Dog Training – the perfect Valentine’s gift for her and your Third Lake dog


Dog training Valentines Day

Something different to get her for Valentine’s Day? How about paying so she can take that Third Lake dog for dog training?

You could get your wife or girlfriend some candy, send some flowers, even send one of those Teddy bears. But, how long will any of those last? The flowers will die, the candy she’ll eat, and the bear will fall apart over time, especially if your Third Lake puppy gets hold of it. But, there is an alternative that will remind her of Valentine’s Day for years to come.


You could sign the dog up for some dog training

Imagine how much she’ll enjoy the interaction going to dog training with her puppy. The process is fun, for the owner and the dog. It also builds a deeper bond between her and her dog. As much as she loves her dog, the idea of a deeper bond is quite a benefit of dog training.

Even though she loves her puppy completely, there are still ‘those’ time. You know the times; when the puppy makes a mess on the living room carpet, chews up one of her slippers, jumps up and damages her favorite dress. She doesn’t stop loving the puppy, but those moments are trying.

Dog training will, at the very least, reduce trying moments. If she and the puppy stick with it a while, they’ll virtually eliminate the puppy’s behavioral issues.

Dog training can eliminate the ‘drawbacks’ of dog ownership. More than that, however, it enhances the benefits and can do so dramatically.

With training, that puppy won’t jump on visitors who come to her Third Lake home. With training, the puppy will know where to do her business and, if necessary, will indicate the need. With dog training, the dog will come when called. She’ll be more protective but in a safer manner.

Dog training is the way that a puppy becomes a member of the team rather than an independent agent who acts in her own interests and acts out almost randomly (their behavior probably isn’t as random as it may seem).

So, you can run to a Third Lake store and buy her something perishable for Valentine’s Day or you can get her something she’ll cherish for years to come.

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