Thank you to all our clients - it's been a great start to my new business and I appreciate each and every one of you for not only getting your dogs the training they need but entrusting me to get the job done. It's been a blast getting to know them, seeing them make great breakthroughs, and nurturing them on their journeys to balanced and fulfilled lives.
So many people have watched the Dog Whisperer and seen how he can change a dog's behavior simply by going tsch! (a sound that I actually enjoy using myself when training dogs). But have you ever wondered why such a simple sound could elicit quick obedience in the worst dog cases? Here's how:
Abbott the Golden Retriever has been with us for a couple of days and from the beginning I was amazed at the sheer power he has. When I first got him, he could pull harder than two pitbulls at the same time.
Abbott is the kind of dog that trainers love to work with – his owners did a lot of the right things in his first 11 months, mainly bringing him to my awesome puppy socialization class, so he has a strong foundation that eliminates a lot of problem behaviors that I’m often called into fix (good social skills, namely). This makes it a little easier to come in and help them with the little things that will make him an ultimately successful dog and a pure joy to live with.
Winter is dragging on forever here in the Midwest, which makes it more important to find fun ways to stimulate your dog indoors. One of my favorite indoor activities is tug - an awesome game for your dog and awesome challenge for you as a trainer.
Tug is popular in certain areas of dog training - especially for big working breeds with high "drive" for balls, toys and vigorous playing. Because of this, it becomes one of the best ways to teach your dog discipline and to improve their obedience skills.
Breakfast checked out of Andrew Warner Dog Training a little more than a week ago and his owners are doing a fantastic job keeping up the work he started with AWDT. When he first came to us, he was extremely leash reactive, needed some socialization skills, and needed some general direction in basic obedience.
After a few weeks here with us, and one week of continued support and work from his owners, Breakfast is still on the pathway to perfection:
Here is Breakfast with me the day before he left:
Developing your dog’s off-leash skills is the greatest gift you can give to him. As I’ve said time and again, the frustration from being attached to a leash and collar is the source of countless problems people have with their pets.
However, depending on your dog, creating off-leash reliability can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish – seemingly impossible at times.
When working towards this goal, there are three things you should be focusing on to keep your dog happy, safe, and free.
The largest part of your dog’s happiness is dependent upon physical exercise and mental stimulation, and the easiest way to satisfy both of your dog’s primary needs is a nice, long dog walk. However, we’ve hit a spurt of cold November rain that keeps both dogs and humans from getting out and pounding the pavement.
Since bored dogs are usually difficult dogs, what should you do on rainy days like this to make sure your dogs aren’t driving you crazy in the house during the holiday season?
The beauty of puppyhood is that your dog is not yet ruled by his fears. They are open to the world and ready to receive new challenges. That includes being open to other dogs, people, and even stairs.
While this video is getting passed around the internet because it is adorable - it's important to note that stairs can become a legitimate fear for a dog if a puppy is not exposed to them while they are still young. This is true with various surfaces (street grates, linoleum, sand, etc) as well. If you don't push puppies into all these new experiences, then you're going to be calling me when your puppy is an adult, because they have developed a phobia that is getting in the way of their life and your life.
This is especially important to consider when purchasing a dog from a breeder. A good breeder will expose a puppy to new situations, people, and dogs at an early age to prevent these phobias. Many will even have a dog potty trained before you bring your new pup home! If you find that the breeder you're working with does not provide these types of services, consider finding a different one. It will save you time and money in the long run!
On Sunday, Eva saw her owner again for the first time in 6 days. Typically, I don't recommend owners seeing their dog while the dog is in training, but this was an exception.
Watching Pam and Eva have their first ever walk when they were in sync with one another reminded me of a very important lesson: the dog you have today doesn't have to be the dog you have tomorrow.
As human beings, it is very easy for us to get stuck in bad situations and just learn to deal with it. This is our human nature - to soldier on. Working with dogs I get to see how easy it is to change a bad situation and to stop "soldiering on" and to start enjoying life.
Look at this amazing difference between the exact same walk with just 6 days of training here at AWDT.
So many of the dogs I work with are wonderful, well-mannered dogs -- until you put a leash on them, which promptly turns them into monsters that want to destroy other dogs. This is something that trainers call "leash reactivity." It comes about because we put a leash on our dogs when they are puppies and it's primary function is to keep them from everything they want in the world - other dogs, fire hydrants, new people, new smells, etc.
To these dogs, everything they love in the world just signals frustration which makes them go ballistic