Showing posts from June, 2011

Wolfie and the Elevator

What can you do with a dog that is slightly fearful of other dogs and you live in a building and have to use the elevator?

Let me tell you one thing for sure.  You don't want to force Wolfie into a situation where he is placed in a fight or flight situation in a confined environment (like an elevator).  You don't want to let the other dog in the elevator and do something like move to the corner of the elevator and hold him on a very tight leash or pick him up and firmly hold him.  When you are doing these things, you are placing Wolfie in an unsafe situation. 

As the "Alpha Leader", you never want to put your pack or any members of your pack in an unsafe situation.  You are now "telling" Wolfie that you are a bad leader and don't have the ability to keep him safe.  This means that Wolfie will step up to be the leader and will take a more aggressive stance in the elevator (bad!).

We must understand that as the Alpha Leader, it is our biggest responsibility…

Wolfie and Me in the Pool

I would love to have Wolfie in the pool with me, but I don't want it to be a crazy time...

So, how do we get Wolfie to play with us in the pool while not driving us nuts, jumping on us, and all those bad things?  Well, in fact, we actually have two dogs that play with us in the pool.  Wolfie, who I have always talked about, and Fang, our Poodle.  Here is my secret:

We had to first pick an activity that we would associate with "pool time".  When we are in the pool, this is what Wolfie and Fang will always do.  We found that both dogs have a very strong "fetch" drive.  This is great because it is a "high energy" activity and it drives them away from being on top of us.  We started playing fetch with them while we were all outside the pool.  This allowed us to practice the exercise and to focus on how they would deliver the fetch toy back to us.  It is very important that you make them drop the toy at your feet and to then step back, waiting for you to thr…

Wolfie Going Nuts When We Are In The Pool

Whenever anyone gets in the pool, Wolfie goes nuts and wants to jump right in the middle of it.  We found this fun when he was small and it was just the family, but we don't want him to "belly flop" on my pool guests!  Any hope?

Oops!  You did the classic "it is so cute when he was small and it isn't any fun now that he is big" mistake.  This problem is just exacerbated because a lot of people splashing, jumping, and yelling in the pool is a really big distraction.  Since most dogs are very social animals, they want to get into the fun too.  This issue really has to be nipped in the bud when Wolfie is still young and the bad habit has not been mistakenly taught to him by you.

Here are some thoughts:
Everything here must be started when Wolfie is still young.Have Wolfie (under supervision on leash) outside, near the pool with you.  You swim around the pool, but don't make a lot of "crazy pool sounds".  As soon as Wolfie starts to react to you, hav…

The Two REAL Tips on Potty Training

OK, OK!  I know that I spend a lot of time on potty training!  80% of all my clients' puppy issues deal with potty training, so that is always my focus!

Today, I am going to give away one of my secrets.  It really is not a secret, because I teach it in my Potty Training lesson, but most people forget...

Pay attention, because this is going to be quick.  There are normally two reasons why potty training your new little puppy isn't going well.  Are you ready?  Here they come:

Water:  You leave the water down too long.  Always pick the water up after the meal is complete (with the food).  If you leave the water down all day long, you have no idea how much Wolfie has consumed and when he drank it.  This destroys you ability to build a schedule based on planned events.Visibility:ALWAYS keep Wolfie in sight during your potty training process.  If you don't keep him in sight, you will never see when and possibly where he made an accident.  It is critical that you have this informati…