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Showing posts from October, 2010

A Quick Halloween Tip

Let's not make our dogs nuts this Halloween!

If you haven't already checked out our regular Halloween Safety Tips, please visit Bark Busters of South Florida Halloween Safety Tips.  After that, I want to add one more for your review.

Here is what we do on Halloween to minimize the Halloween stress on our three dogs...

We take a table and chairs and set up a "Halloween Booth" at the end of our driveway.  We have all our candy and goodies ready for the kids along with all our regular skulls, pumpkins, ghosts, etc.  Being out by the sidewalk is a great way to see everybody and also to keep an eye on the "trick" side of trick or treat.  When we are out there, our neighbors tend to spend more time chatting than when we had everybody come and ring the doorbell.

This is also a great thing for our dogs.  Instead of having the doorbell ring over and over again, it is nice and quiet in the house.  Instead of having strange ghosts, pirates, monsters, etc. enter our home, …

Do I Walk My Dog on the Left or Right?

I was always told to walk my dog on the left side of me.  Is that right?

(I love this answer...) It depends. 

Unless you have a dog that you are going to enter into dog shows, it doesn't matter.  In a dog show, you always walk your dog counter clock-wise around the judge.  Because of this, it is best to teach your dog to walk on your left side.  This will keep your dog on the side of you where the judge can observe and grade.

If you don't plan to have your dog entered into dog shows, it doesn't matter what side of you your dog walks.  With that said, let me give you some pointers regarding walking:
Pick a side that you want to walk your dog.  Left or right, it doesn't make a difference.  The important thing is that he is always walked on that side.  This helps to build his perception of "where he should be" on a walk.If you have a "big dog", pick the side where you and the rest of the "walkers" have the most strength.  If you need to correct …

Who Started What?

Is it really important to think about who started something or who said "Let's do this"?  I don't really care...

I know for a fact that the personal/animal that made the above statement was a human and not my dog, Fluffy.  In a family, anyone can say "Let's go to the movies", "Let's go to the mall", "How about getting a bite to eat".  We (humans) don't care who's idea it was.  If it is a good idea, we do it. 

Remember that Fluffy is a dog and not a human.  Different behaviors, different instincts are going on inside Fluffy's canine brain.  In the dog world, the animal that says "Let's do this", is the Leader of the Pack.  The Alpha Leader is the one in charge and the one who says "Let's go".

So why is all this so important?

What we don't want to do is to constantly be telling Fluffy that he is the leader of the pack.  This means that we are telling him that it is his job to be our protecto…

Calm and Still

When Fluffy is running, jumping, and barking all around me, how can I stay calm and still?

Our initial training visits with our clients normally last three hours or more.  We cover a lot of information and demonstrate a great deal of techniques to get Fluffy to be a great dog.  I have often thought that if I only had a moment to give a dog owner some useful and productive training advise, what would it be. 

I keep coming back to the simple credo of "Calm & Still".

Eighty percent of the communication between Fluffy and myself is body language.  The most important part of body language, in my opinion, is the ability to portray a sense of confidence.  Everything is OK, I am in control, I will take care of you...  This is done by remaining calm and still while engaging the situation at hand.

Humans are emotional animals and we get so mad at Fluffy when he is going nuts.  We raise the level of adrenalin through our screaming and running when we are trying to calm Fluffy down.  I…