The Great Crate Debate

The Great Crate Debate

It’s Not A Dog Prison

The Great Crate Debate
I love my crate it’s so comfy

Some say the origin of dog crates dates back to the days of World War II when canines were used to sniff out land mines and for other tracking purposes. Their handlers needed a safe way to transport the animals and they housed them inside wooden crates when traveling.

The Great Crate Debate - It's not a prison for dogs Click To Tweet

For decades there’s been an ongoing debate about using these confines when it comes to housing our canines. Organizations like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) liken them to a cage and compare them to being put into prison. But this group specifically  points to the practice of aggressive training techniques and animals spending an inordinate amount of time inside these kennels.


The Great Crate Debate
I Love my Crate!

But that’s a result of human behavior and not relative to how a dog (or even a cat) may feel safely tucked inside these tiny homes with handles. After all, just because an animal is inside one of these crates doesn’t necessarily mean the door needs to be closed and latched.

Crate training is a relatively simple process and begins with introducing the animal to the kennel with the door being left open. With some gentle persuasion and a few treats, a dog or cat will feel comfortable within these confines in a very short time.

Crate Training Tip - Never use your dog's crate as punishment Click To Tweet

Safe Travels

The Great Crate Debate
This is my safe place

If for no other reason, a crate is the safest way for an animal to travel and even if they aren’t a regular passenger with you, they still need to be taken to the veterinarian’s office. Once they’ve arrived, inside their crate is also the safest place for them to remain until the doctor sees them.

When inside your vehicle, if you’re involved in an accident, their crate provides a number of additional safety features:

  • They won’t be able to escape through a broken window
  • Off the street, they will avoid the possibility of being struck by a passing motorist
  • They’ll avoid the likelihood of being struck by a moving object inside the car
  • If you are unresponsive, emergency personnel will be able to easily rescue your pet


There are a number of times and different situations when a dog is safer in a crate that isn’t necessarily associated with traveling. For example, you could have a number of guests in your home, children running around and a number of other distractions that could be alarming to your animal. Locking them away in a spare room could be confusing for them, but if they’re already crate trained, they’re accustomed to this comfortable and safe environment.

Since most animals do feel safer inside this “den-like” housing structure, some pets who are bothered by things like thunder and lightning, fireworks or sirens will likely be calmer inside their kennel. It also gives them a sense of their very own, personal space and a place they can go to be at peace.

What is the safest place for your dog in many situations? Find out here. Click To Tweet

Crate training is an option with many rewards and benefits, but it’s still a choice. Consider all the pros, along with the few cons, when making this choice for the care of your pet.

I hope this article has helped you understand that crates are not a prison for dogs.  They are their safe place in many situations.

I would like to thank Amber Kingsley for this guest post.  If you would like Amber to guest post on your site you can reach her through her Google+ Account HERE.

If you would like to guest post on this site, please be sure to contact me at

Paws & Wags

Suzanne Dean, ABCDT

ABC Certified Dog Trainer

Is your Dream to be a Super Rich Blogger?

Is your dream to be a Super Rich Blogger like me.

Woman laying on a pile of money from blogging
Is your dream to be a Super Rich Blogger?

Being a Super Rich Blogger

Well, I have some news for you.  I am not super rich from blogging. It has been a while since I have posted. In the eyes of Google, that is a very bad thing!

Two days after Memorial Day weekend, my 17-year-old cat passed away. This shook me to the core. Why this pet, I can explain that.  I have lost many pets, but this one, I just don’t have that answer yet.

I’m Going To Quit Being A Blogger

I started writing down everything that I was involved in that had to do with being a blogger and I was ready to pull the plug.  I was done!

Being a blogger is a lot of work.  Go right ahead and read those books “Earn $1000.00 a day blogging!”  There is so much more to it than that.

I am a dog blogger.  What does blogging really involve?  Passion, 1st and foremost – what is your passion?  For example, I have been tossing and turning in bed for the last 2 hours.  It is now 4:22 am and here I sit at my computer writing a blog post.  It’s what happens when you decided to become a blogger.

Dreams of Blog Posts Dance Through Your Head

Sleeping with Blog Post Ideas in Your Head
Dream of Blog Post that Dance in Your Head

There is a lot to learn when you choose to become a blogger.   As I mentioned before Google, well I hate to say it but they are king when it comes to the blogging world.

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, I had 10 cats and 5 dogs, and a full-time (40-50) hours per week job.  I was not blogging at that time .  I hated my job, I had worked there for 15 years and nothing was going to change but the amount of work.

Then It Happened

Beautiful Dog ready for dog training
So I decided to become a dog trainer! (see credit below)

Photo credit

I decided I would become an official dog trainer.  I’d been training dog all my life, so why not go to school for it and get the credentials. I was still working full-time and finished dog training school.  So in all my brilliance, I took on a weekend job at a major pet chain.

Now I was working 7 days a week, through pure exhaustion.  This lasted about two months.  I took on personal clients, OMG why didn’t I do this sooner.  The money from personal dog training was great.

Then IT happened.  Medical issues started to affect my ability to stand for long periods of time.  There were days that just trying to get out of bed would knock me down.  What was going on?  No, no don’t feel sorry for me.  We all have things to overcome, this is just mine, and it’s part of why I came to be a blogger.

Being a Blogger Is Not All Roses and Dollars

Beautiful Pink Roses - Being a Blogger is not all roses
It’s not all Roses and Dollars being a Blogger

There is a lot to learn when you want to become a blogger.  You can be the best writer in the world.  Be grammatically perfect.  That’s not what it takes to be a blogger.  Trust me on this.

What Does It Take To Be a Blogger

Blogger holding her computer
Want to be a Super Rich Blogger?

Passion, commitment and an understand of what it means being all alone with your computer.

Read all the books you can even the ones that say you can “Earn a $1000.00 a day being a blogger”.  But also learn how to take pictures, what keywords are, and what keywords means when it comes to writing a blog post.

Get to know your passion, get involved in groups that also enjoy your blogging passion.

I did, one of the best things I could have ever done being a pet blogging is getting involved with BlogPaws®.  They are a great group of pet bloggers that want to help the world understand the human-animal bond and how important it is.

Involve yourself with Facebook Groups that have the same passion you do. You will learn a lot.

Learning the Blogger’s Technology Today

There is a lot to learn.  If you want people to read your blog you need a twitter following and you need to post to it regularly and be social.  It’s not called social media for nothing.  You need a Facebook Page, Google+ Page, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and don’t forget the ALL important email list.

Today bloggers need to know about Periscope, SnapChat, and YouTube.

I’m not trying to tell you not to be a blogger.  I want you to know that these are things you need to know.  Get with your groups, ask for help, make online friends and you can do it.

Final Words of My Wisdom Of Becoming A Blogger

Owl the bird of Wisdon
Words of My Wisdom

Learn everything you can first,  write as many articles as you can before you start that blog.  There will be days that you stare at a blank screen and have no clue what to write.

Be social, and yes there will be expenses.  Budget what you think you can start with and go from there.

You will also be bombarded with so much, be picky.  There is a lot to learn, but you can do it if there is a passion burning inside you to be a blogger – then do it.

Yes, I understand this post has little to do with dog training, but dog training is what made me become a blogger.  Do you have a burning passion?  Run with it, become a blogger!  Just do it with your eyes wide open.

Oh, and by the way, when you’re not in bed at 3:00 am expect your significant other to ask “What are you doing?”

Paws & Wags

Suzanne Dean, ABCDT and Mary d Dog

ABC Certified Dog Trainer



#NudgeThemBack With Dog Treats Made In The USA

#NudgeThemBack With Dog Treats Made In The USA

#NudgeThemBack With Dog Treats Made In The USA

Do you ever get that nudge on your arm or leg from your dog?  You know the one…. they are asking for a dog treat.  We all know our dog’s little nuances.  That way they look at us, they way the bark and the way they nudge us.  Well now, we can #NudgeThemBack with Nudges® Dog Treats Made in the USA.

This post is sponsored by Nudges® Dog Treats and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help create awareness about Nudges Wholesome Dog Treats available at Walmart® but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Nudges® Dog Treats is not responsible for the content of this article.

#NudgeThemBack With Dog Treats Made In The USA
Wow Mom you got me 3 Bags of Nudges®

You Heard Me Right

#NudgeThemBack With Dog Treats Made In The USA there are 12 varieties
There are several Nudges® Dog Treats varieties available

Dog treats made here right in the good ole USA.  Okay, there is even better news…ready?  You can pick these up at Walmart® while you’re shopping. So you know the price is right and you can show them all the love you want.


These treats are 100% real, no artificial flavors or fillers. Now for the warning, put them way up high.  I have never had Mary do this, only when she was a pup, but not now at her age…but the other day my husband noticed she was trying to jump up to get them off the shelf.

#NudgeThemBack with Dog Treats Made In The USA
Nudges® Jerky Cut With Real Steak Mary’s Favorite

I’m trying to stay on topic here, but I couldn’t believe it when he told me this.  I bought her three bags of Nudges dog treats when I was at Walmart®.  The Jerky Cut dog treats made with real steak, that is her favorite.  What dog doesn’t like jerky, heck even I like jerky (though I’m not supposed to eat it).

Okay, back on topic  here is what you need to know:

They are made from the same foods we love:

  • Beef
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Duck
#NudgeThemBack With Dog Treats Made In The USA smaller size bags available
Smaller size bags of Nudges® Dog Treats are available

Dog Treats Made in the USA

  • Nudges Dog Treats are made in the USA
  • They are made with USA sourced meat
  • No Fillers
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • 12 different varieties to choose from

Dog Training with Dog Treats made in the USA – Say What!

#NudgeThemBack With Dog Treats Made In The USA
We’re learning hoop tricks!

As a dog trainer, I would consider the Nudges dog treats a high-value treat. They can be broken up into pieces so we can keep our dogs to a reasonable daily calorie limit.  Right now, I am trying to get Mary to jump through a hoop. Now, this is something I haven’t done with her before so we are doing it in steps.

First,  I let the hoop lay near her bed for a while, because she hasn’t seen one before. When you are dealing with an unfamiliar object they need it to become part of the regular scenery so to speak.

#NudgeThemBack With Dog Treats Made In The USA Nudges® Steak Jerky
Mom is that Real Nudges® Steak Jerky I SMELL?

The first thing I did was place the hoop on the floor and a piece of treat in the center.  She had to step into the hoop to get it. Today, I had her walk through the hoop to get the treat, she did well. We will keep moving forward.  Now I’m sure we won’t go too high with the hoop, she is 13 years old and she is a large dog.  But, this is something we will be able to add to our arsenal of fun stuff when it raining out.

#NudgeThemBack With Dog Treats Made In The USA you can use these treats for nose work training
You can use Nudges® Dog Treats as a high-value training treat

We have dog puzzles and these treats can be pieced out to put in her puzzles. They can also be used for some nose work.  I found these awesome easter eggs back in April that had the three holes in them and they are camo colored.  I’ll just have to make sure I remember to map it out so I remember where they all are.

The Moral Of The Story

We love our dogs and we love doing fun things with them.  We love giving them the best dog food, the best dog beds, they best dog toys and most of all the best dog treats. So, when they nudge you for a dog treat #NudgeThemBack with 100% real dog treats made in the USA.

#NudgeThemBack With Dog Treats Made In The USA Dog getting her own treats
I’ll get my own Nudges® Dog Treats!

Now here is a treat for you head on over to Nudges FaceBook page and you can get a coupon for the treats.  There is also a page just so you can pick up a coupon, but do check out all the cute pet pics on their Facebook page. I did, they are adorable.

#NudgeThemBack With Dog Treats Made In The USA This one is real chicken jerky
Nudges® Dog Treats also has Jerky made with real Chicken

You know these are good dog treats for Mary, or I wouldn’t be telling you about them.  Here is the link to Nudges website so you can see which flavor you want to get for your pooch.

Here is a link so you can find the store nearest you that carries Nudges dog treats.  All you have to do is enter your zip code.  Or if you’re an online shopper like me here is the link for that too.

Nudges dog treats gives you one more way to love your dog back and #NudgeThemBack too.

Paws & Wags

Suzanne Dean, ABCDT

and Mary d Dog

ABC Certified Dog Trainer




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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nudges® Dog Treats. The opinions and text are all mine.

Start On The Right Paw With Your Dog #NOWpetsSweeps

Start On The Right Paw With Your Dog #NOWpetsSweeps

NOW Pets Dietary Supplements

Pet Dietary Supplements

Getting a start on the right paw with your dog and NOW® Pet Supplements just make sense. Whether you have a pup or a senior, a good diet is a great place to start. However, there are times our pets don’t get everything they need from their diets.  Keep reading to find out how you can win more than $350 worth of supplements and help out pets in need at the same time.

This post is sponsored by Now®Pets and the BlogPaws®Pet Influencers™. I am being compensated to create awareness about NOW Pet Supplements but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.  NOW® is not responsible for the content of this article

Just like us our bodies can use a boost whether it’s for our digestive system, joints or to help us with our weight. Our dogs can get started on the right paw with NOW Pets Supplements for the same reasons.

Learn how you can win $350 in NOW supplements #NOWpetsSweeps @NOWfoods #ad Click To Tweet

We can all use a little help from our friends – Dietary Supplements

NOW has a multitude of pet supplements for our dogs and cats too. Immune support to weight management and everything in-between. NOW Pet Supplements has what you are looking for to help boost your pet’s dietary needs.

Start on the right paw with your dog #NOWpetsSweeps
Mary’s NOW Pet Supplements

We are getting Mary back on the right paw with NOW Pet supplements; Omega 3 and Joint Support. Mary is 13 soon to be 14 and she was a little slow getting up from her bed. Now when it’s time for walkies she up and ready to go.

A Company That Cares about what is in Pet Supplements

There is not a lot of dietary supplements I would give Mary, but when I read about NOW Food, which is the parent company of NOW Pet Supplements I knew this company has a good reputation. This is a company that cares about optimal animal health, they care about our dogs. Let’s not forget they care about our cats too.

NOW has been in business for 45 years.  Their pet supplements were developed under the guidance of Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA. Dr. Royal is a renowned Holistic Veterinarian. Here is a short 2-minute video of why she became involved with the NOW Pet family.

As you can see Mary can enjoy the joint support pet supplements as a treat. What was easiest for me, because she enjoys wet and dry mixed meals, I just dropped them in with her food (she never even knew–shh).

NOW pets Supplements can be given as treats
She can enjoy the Joint Support Tablet as a treat.

These are quality products that are NASC – certified.  So you know it’s a product you can trust to give your pet, as I trust to give it to Mary.

The Results are IN for NOW Pet Supplements

I did see remarkable results. She has been on them for almost a month. I don’t expect her to run any marathons but I am getting ready to see if we can do a few hoop jumps. More on that in another post, or perhaps even a periscope.

It’s your turn to help your pet and less fortunate pets too. #NOWpetsSweeps @NOWfoods #ad Click To Tweet

From now until May 31st, go to NOW Pets Facebook Page and enter to win more than $350.00 of NOW supplements and, for every person that enters NOW will donate $1.00 to Best Friends Animals Society up to $5000.00.

This is so easy…. Snap a picture of your pet (dog and cat only) and upload it on their Facebook page or if you’re an Instagram fan upload your pet pic to Instagram and include the hashtag #NOWpetsSweeps. Easy peasy lemon squeezy…. right?   Follow NOW on Instagram to see some other cutie pies.

Want to know more about NOW Pet Supplements check out their social media and website. Listed below, are their other links for you to do your own research and see what others are saying.

Hey, I get it… when we are giving our pets supplements to boost the good stuff in their body, we want to know what we are giving them. Find out more information and where you can purchase NOW Pet Supplements.

I know you have followed us through Mary’s ups and downs and you know I will only give her what I believe is best. I wouldn’t tell you about it if I didn’t give it to Mary.

Hey, Mary ready to go for a walk now?  I know NOW Pet Supplements help you feel better.  Let’s go!  Don’t worry Mary I’ll make sure your pic is on Instagram too.

Ok so you have their Facebook and Instagram link here are some of the other links:

NOW Pet Website so you can purchase your pet supplements.  Let’s not forget NOW’s Pinterest Page either!

Don’t forget to enter the contest and tell your friends about it too.

Hey do me a favor and tell your friends about it by sharing this post. Thanks bunches and a woof out from Mary too.  Here’s to our pets health!

Paws & Wags
Suzanne Dean, ABCDT
and Mary d Dog



I’d love to see your pet pics too you can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of NOW® Pets Supplements. The opinions and text are all mine.

Is Your Dog Choking On The Wrong Collar?

Selecting The Right Collar For Our Dog Can Be Confusing

Depending on your dog's temperament with determine the correct collar. Is your dog choking on the wrong collar?
Traveling with your pet? Be sure to have an approved safety harness.

Dog Collars

There are so many to choose from. How do we know what to choose?  Is your dog choking on the wrong collar?

The style of collar we choose for our dog really depends on our dog; is he a growing puppy, does he pull when walking, what is her temperament?

Consider all these things  when selecting the right collar for our dog or puppy.

Puppy Collars

Puppies are going to go through many collars as they grow.  A good rule of thumb for a properly fitting buckle collar is that you are able to fit two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck when he is wearing it.

This will make sure that it is fitting tight enough so that he doesn’t slip out, but leaves enough room, so he is not choking.  Never hesitate to ask  one of the Petco’s experienced sales associates for assistance.

Pro’s and Con’s To All Collars

There are pro’s and con’s to every collar.  Petco® has been kind enough to allow me to share their infographic.  This will help us make an informed decision on the best collar for our dog or puppy.

@Petco Infographic pro's and con's of several collars. Is your dog choking on the wrong collar?
Which collar is best for your dog?

Original Graphic from Petco Read More Blog Posts from Charlene_Petco

Different Types Of  Dog Collars

Do you know the right type of collar for your dog? Click To Tweet

Buckle Collar

The buckle collar is the most traditional collar.  this collar can have it’s drawbacks, however, if you have a puller it can cause injury to the trachea.


A harness is a great way not to cause damage to their neck. Is your dog choking on the wrong collar?
I love my harness!

Harnesses are great choices.  There are several to choose from.  Depending on our dogs temperament to pulling and other behaviors there are different harnesses to meet those needs.

Selecting the right collar for your puppy can avoid damage of their trachea Click To Tweet

One I consider especially important is a harness for travel.  Our dogs should always have a safety device when traveling.  They should NEVER be allowed to roam the vehicle freely.

Travel Safety Harness

This harness selection could have a post all on its own.  It’s one of my pet peeves.  It is also a serious matter when it comes to protecting your furry family member.

For more information about travel safety, I highly recommend two site’s to visit.  These websites will give you in-depth knowledge on selection, as well as education on the need for a good safety harness when traveling with our dogs.

Dancing Dog Blog – Safety Tested Seat Belts for Dogs
Dancing Dog Blog – How Safe Are Pet Products

These websites have a strong interest in keeping our pets safe during travel. We all want the best for our furry family members, these websites will help you delve into the information you need for safety in all areas.

Smaller dogs can benefit from harnesses. Is your dog choking on the wrong collar?
I have my harness on too!

I cringe every time I see a dog on the owners lap hanging out the window with no means of safety.  

I take dog travel safety very seriously, and I have heard of some horrific incidences.  Please be safe, not sorry.

The subject of pet travel safety is so important, that the Today Show featured a story by Jeff Rossen, and Jovanna Billington on this subject in January of this year.

This piece of safety equipment is in addition to any other dog collar you select for your precious family member.

Halters aka Head-Collars

These are great for your pullers.  If will take time for your dog to get to get use to this style of collar.  You also need to put this halter on correctly or it will cause you dog discomfort

One major drawback I have found is that many people see this as a muzzle and fear that you have a dangerous dog.

Martingale Collars

Not a fan personally, I understand there is a use for them in certain circumstances.  One of the shelters that I volunteered at uses them.  Do not leave your dog unsupervised with this type of dog collar.

This collar tightens when the dog pulls.  They are made for specific dog breeds, as you will see referenced in the infographic.

In Conclusion

Choosing the right dog collar depends on many things.

Our dogs size, disposition and training needs.  You may also want to have more than one collar available for different situations.  Definitely have one that is an approved safety restraint for travel.

View all the pros and cons, and if you should have additional questions just leave a comment, or drop me a line at

I hope this will help your decision for choosing a collar that is right for your dog or puppy.  Is your dog choking on the wrong collar?  That should no longer be the issue.

I know it helped me with my decision many years ago, and yes I do have several collars.  The one I use all depends on what Mary and I will be doing.

I would like to take this time to thank Petco® for allowing me to use their great infographic.  If you like to know more, check out Petco’s FaceBook Page, and you can also follow them on Twitter.

Looking for more basic dog care information, check out this other post on How to Avoid Costly Vet Visits

Again, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any additional questions on finding the right dog collar.  Is your dog choking on the wrong collar, not anymore!

Paws & Wags,

Suzanne Dean, ABCDT
and Mary d Dog
ABC Certified Dog Trainer




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Infographic provided by Petco®

I have not been compensated for this post.  All the opinions are mine. Petco® is not responsible for the content of this article. only provides content we believe is beneficial to our readers.