Showing posts from August, 2012

Taking Wolfie to a Restaurant

I would love to take Wolfie to my favorite restaurant, but I am afraid he would just go nuts with all the people, sights, and smells.  Is there any way I can "teach" Wolfie to be good at restaurants?

The good news is that it can be pretty easy to get Wolfie, or just about any dog, to be well behaved at your favorite restaurant.  First, you have to understand that if you like to hang out at a popular sports bar, it will take longer than if you like to sit outside at Panera Bread.  In any event, the process is the same for either place.  Here is what you do:

The intent of this training process is to slowly ease Wolfie into the new environment of the restaurant while you maintain your alpha leadership role and Wolfie continues to look to you for guidance and safety.

First, you and Wolfie go to the restaurant when there is nobody there or the restaurant is closed.  Sit off in a corner with Wolfie.  Have some food with you so that you can simulate having a meal.  Also, have somethin…

How To Help Wolfie's Fear of Storms

I thought that Wolfie was fine with our summer storms, but he is whining, panting, pacing, and just driving me crazy!  I try and comfort him, but it just seems to get worse!

Remember that I am always saying that we should not treat our dogs like humans?  Remember that I am always saying that we should treat our dogs like dogs?  Guess what!  You are treating him like a human, again.  
We have to understand that the sights, sounds, and even the drop in barometric pressure could be very strong negative stimuli on Wolfie.  This will cause him to become unsure and scared of what he thought was his safe environment.  Naturally, he comes to us to reassure his safety.  Here is where the problem begins.
When Wolfie comes to us, whining and getting under our feet, we instinctively go down and pet him and talk to him in a high, "baby voice" tone trying to sooth and console him.  If Wolfie would be our young son or daughter, that might work.  But Wolfie is a dog and he needs to reassured o…

Wolfie Is Nuts...

I read all the books, watch all the dog training shows, ask for advice from all my friends, and Wolfie is still nuts.  What gives?

I bet you are wondering what the picture of Marge, Homer, Bart, and Lisa has to do with doggie issues.  Surprisingly, it depicts one of the most important issues you need to take into consideration when Wolfie isn't listening to you; or Wolfie is crazy; or Wolfie is nipping you; etc.

We all must remember that Wolfie is a member of our family, or in his eyes, a member of the pack.  If the pack is weak, inconsistent, or always fighting, it is not the pack that Wolfie can trust and respect.  Because of this, he will not listen or pay attention to anything you ask of him.  Some examples of families who show this inappropriate tenancies are:

Kids always bullying parents.Parents going through a divorce.Strong difference of opinion of how to deal with Wolfie.General "insanity" within the household...Unfortunately, some of our clients are experiencing t…

Wolfie's Potty Problems While On The Road at Our Cabin

I just don't get it.  Wolfie has been potty trained for years, but when we are on a trip, he makes accidents!  What gives?

Well, our family, along with our four dogs, was on a vacation trip recently and we ran into this exact problem.  Our dogs that never made accidents for years began to have accidents in our rented cabin.  We quickly realized that we had to remember our initial potty training with each dog and the environment/schedule that we finally set up for our "pack".  It then became quite obvious that what we had established as the "norm" in their life was now drastically changed.

We went out hiking in the morning, ate at strange hours, were in and out all the time, had them in and out on our schedule, and just didn't give them the focus that we normally did when we were at home.  We broke the main rule of potty training, we were not "listening" to them telling us to let them out.

Well, when you are on a traveling vacation, it is sometimes di…

Let's Get Serious about Getting Wolfie to Come

Why is it the more I try and work with Wolfie to come, it seems that he only comes when he feels like it?  It feel like every time I really, really want him to come, he doesn't feel like it...

I have talked about this before, but because so many of my clients seem to need "refreshing" on this subject, I wanted to talk about it again.

Dogs learn through consistent, repetitive association. They learn that A always equals B.  When I hear this sound or see that hand action, I always do something.  "Always" does not mean sometimes.  When you tell Wolfie to come, he must always come.  If you don't provide this type of learning environment, it won't work, or take a really, really, really long time.

Here is what you do:

Put a leash on Wolfie.  See Wolfie above?  Guess what, he has a leash on!Hold the leash, step back to the end of the leash, and go to your knees.Now, say Come.  If he doesn't come, give a little tug on the leash to guide him in your direction.Wh…