Snug Blog

Starting Out on the Right Paw

I get asked all the time about when it’s best to start training your puppy. The correct answer is: the day you get your puppy.

Starting a puppy out in the right direction is such a huge advantage for the puppy and the owner. Think about never letting your puppy develop any bad habits. There are some many things we can do with a puppy.

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  1. House manners/housebreaking: Using a crate will help your puppy begin to learn to hold its bowels and bladder and to indicate to you when the puppy needs to go outside to potty. Without a plan, your puppy will learn to go potty anywhere in the house and you’ll be left trying to fix a bad habit.
  2. Socializing with new people and surroundings: Puppies have a small window of opportunity to adapt to new surroundings and meeting new people. If we don’t get the puppy social, we could have a puppy who is not receptive to new things and new people. This can lead to many behavior problems that are very, very difficult to try to undo! Take your puppy to fun, positive places for short introductions to new surroundings and new people. Remember not to introduce your puppy to other dogs or take your puppy to places heavily populated with dogs. Your puppy is not yet fully vaccinated from the communicable diseases other dogs might have.
  3. Obedience work — teaching your dog to follow your cues: I make all learning positive-based fun for the puppy! Try short lessons where your pup will earn rewards for following your cues. Keep it to no longer than 2-3 minutes, as the puppy cannot concentrate longer than that. Too long of a session and your puppy gets fatigued and associates training with an unpleasant experience and you can become frustrated. Keep it short and fun!
  4. Imprinting good habits and curbing bad ones: Every little thing your puppy does at an early age is an exploration of new things and potential habits. Think about the first time your puppy starts to chew on the table leg. The puppy is teething and this is providing comfort and fun for the puppy. If not corrected by the pack leader, the puppy will associate a positive experience with chewing the table leg. So keep a close eye on the pup and discourage unwanted behaviors, followed by encouraging good behaviors. In the table-chewing situation, try offering an acceptable puppy chew toy to impart what is OK and what is not OK to chew on!

Need Help?

Start right away with a game plan to set up your dog and family for decades of good behavior. Or, better yet, contact Snug Pet Resort today to learn how we at Snug can use our experience to get your puppy off to a great start.

Mike Stone

New Training Specials

October Special: 10% off boot camp!

Take advantage of this once-a-year special before spots fill up! The trainers at Snug Pet Resort are experts in canine behavior, and dog training is their full-time job. We’ve been training dogs professionally for 25 years, and our effectiveness is why we are the most-trusted trainers in San Diego. Call us today to find out which of our may options is best for you, your pet and your budget.

Think about it:
  • Eliminating a potty training or house-breaking problem takes just a phone call.
  • Trouble with destructive or aggressive behavior ? No problem. We can fix it.
  • Before long, you can have complete control of your dog — without a leash.

Take advantage of this offer to improve your pet’s behavior for years to come. We offer a range of options, including packages of four, eight or 12 lessons and various boot camp programs. Billing plans are available to fit any budget.

Our trainers can teach the following commands:
  • Heel
  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Wait
  • Leave it
  • Off
  • Quiet
  • Go to bed

Spa Tails

It’s common for a client to say that their furry family member dreads going to the grooming salon– but here at the Snug Spa, we hear and see the complete opposite!

We ALWAYS get tail wags and sweet kisses from our four-legged friends when we meet in the lobby for their drop off– some pups even pull their owners straight to the spa door with their tails waving vigorously in the air!  Whatever your pet may need, from medicated treatments for their coat and skin, to luxurious full spa treatments, we as your Snug spa team never cease to give them our absolute best care and love. We treat each one as if they are our own.

From the moment their furry paws enter our spa, they immediately pick up on the relaxed atmosphere and the aromatherapy scent of oils and lavender. Did you know that lavender is the most commonly used essential oil for helping to calm animals?  It is soothing to the soul as well as to the skin for both humans and our pets! In the Snug Spa Salon we like to give our furry companions a few minutes in their own spa house to adjust and get comfortable before we begin. One of the steps we take to make sure that their stay is as relaxing and comfortable as possible, is to give them small breaks between spa services. Giving them breaks assures that they are never over-stimulated and helps to reduce stress. Our favorite step is giving them lots of love and special treats–as long as those treats are OK with Mom and Dad! Rewarding them and giving them positive reinforcement helps to boost their confidence and their trust in us! (more…)

To Daycare or Not To Daycare….

When deciding if your dog might be a good candidate for daycare, there are a few things to consider first. Some dogs are very social, love the interaction of daycare, and love playing all day with their best friends. Other dogs are more anti-social, don’t enjoy being away from their normal environment, and prefer not to be in daycare. Living in San Diego, most of us take our dogs to the dog beach or the dog park starting at a young age. When dogs are introduced to groups of dogs in this manner, starting young, they will be more willing to enjoy the benefits of daycare. Some dogs that are adopted or that change homes late in life and are not raised in a dog beach environment, tend to not enjoy a daycare atmosphere as much. Deciding on whether your dog is a good candidate for daycare has a lot to do with how they were raised and where they came from. Discussing your dog’s history with a professional trainer is a good way to know for sure if your dog really will enjoy daycare. (more…)

Spring Training

All dogs over time will regress in training and need some maintanence to keep their training sharp. Below are some reminders on how to keep your training up-to-date, and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine:

  1. Add three separate segments of training to all your daily walks. Mix in a few commands while out strolling and watch as your dog starts to improve again on walks.
  2. Try making dinner time an opportunity to add some obedience training into your routine!  Prior to putting the food bowl down, have your dog perform a “down” or “sit/stay”. Start out with having your dog “stay” a few seconds, and then slowly increase the “stay” for up to 3 minutes. This can be a challenge at first, but with repetition this will get your dog sharp again on all “stay” commands.
  3. TV and doggie pushups! Next time you have a few minutes while watching TV, grab a few snacks and have your dog perform a “down” command. Give your dog a treat for success, and then have them perform a “sit” command from the “down” position. Give a treat for success and in no time at all, watch how fast your dog will start performing the doggie pushups!
  4. Incorporate playtime AND training time! While throwing the ball or playing with other toys, add obedience to the game. This gives your dog great exercise and allows for immediate reward using the toy for all commands.
  5. Saturday Class! Swing by Snug Pet Resort on Saturday mornings at 9:00 AM. Add one Saturday class to your calendar per month and come have fun for both you and your dog while keeping your dog’s training sharp. Class is free to all 3 week boot camp clients.

Remember, Snug Pet Resort is here every day to answer questions or give advice on any training issues!

Mike Stone

Flea and Heartworm Preventatives

It’s that time of year….again!


Fleas are a very common external parasite that can affect dogs and cats year-round in San Diego.  Flea Allergic Dermatitis (FAD) is the most common veterinary dermatologic condition in the world!  Signs include scratching, chewing, licking, and biting.  Hair loss, reddened skin, and sores are common.  Many dogs and cats that are allergic to the bite of a flea have very few fleas on them because their excessive grooming activity removes the flea.

Ingestion of fleas by your pet can lead to intestinal tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum) infestation.

Heartworm is now considered endemic to San Diego County.  Heartworms are transmitted to dogs and cats through mosquito bites.  The worms develop in the bloodstream and eventually lodge in the heart where they cause extensive damage.  The good news is such a devastating disease is 100% preventable. (more…)

Spa Tails

By Groomer: Nina Zarceno

We bring the luxury Hollywood A-list Spa services directly from L.A to your beloved pets’ second home: SNUG PET RESORT! Aromatherapy, deep massaging medicated baths, blueberry facials, soothing hypo-allergenic treatments and paw balm moisturizing ointments, there really is nothing we won’t spoil our clients with. Our professional team is highly trained to not only maintain and help restore your furry pal’s coat but to search for any dermatitis or skin issues. We have made it our goal to help catch any developing skin irritations and go straight to the source to solve the issue. Whether it is caused by seasonal allergies, food allergies, fleas or an uncommon irritation, our spa team is ready and willing to help. (more…)

Training Time

By: Mike Stone

Some SWEET holidays have come and gone and more are approaching in the next few months. This means the opportunity for your pet to get into sweet things is at an all-time high! Chocolate is not good for your dog and can, in fact, be deadly. This hazard has encouraged me to revisit the training issue of your pet’s House Manners. Remember that your dog needs boundaries in the home to establish the proper hierarchy.

Here are some quick tips to get your house manners back in the right direction and to ensure your dog stays safe during these tasty holidays:

  • Establish a couple areas or beds that are specific places for your dog to relax in the home. Generally the living room and bedroom work best. (more…)

Boarding your Pet – Dos and Don’ts.

By Toni Stone

We all have a tough time when it comes to leaving our favorite furry four-legged friends. Trying to find the right boarding facility that makes you feel comfortable is always a struggle. There are some things you can do to help both you AND your pet have a successful, fun and stress-free stay. Here are some easy tips to follow when boarding your pet:

First, you want to make sure you have taken a tour of the facility. Always be wary of staff that requires you to make an appointment to see the facility. This means that they are going to most likely “prepare” for your visit and have everything…as it should be. Most confident facilities will tell you the best times to come tour, and when you get to the actual facility, should be able to show you around within a few minutes. (more…)