Showing posts from January, 2013

A Tip When Walking Your Puppy

When I am walking my little puppy, Wolfie, he seems to pull the leash and try to run away from any distraction like big cars, joggers, other dogs, the garbage men, etc.  What can I do about it?  I don't want him going nuts all the time...

This is a walking tip that we have found works best for puppies.  When we are thinking they are going nuts or are super-afraid of that distraction on the walk, that really isn't the case.  With older dogs, this is a strong possibility because of inappropriate socialization or negative experiences.  What we have to remember is that our little Wolfie is new to the world and every sight and sound around him is new.  He has to make a decision if "that thing" is friend or foe.  

What we need to do is to set up the socialization experience so that little Wolfie feels safe while observing and/or hearing that new distraction.  If Wolfie is moving (walking at your side), he might not maintain that sense of safety.

As you are walking little Wolf…

Dog Training is a Family Event

I am trying to train Wolfie, but the rest of the family just doesn't want to get involved.. They then complain when Wolfie nips their pants and never listens.  What gives?

Having trained over 2,000 dogs, it has become quite clear to us that training your dog is a family event.  To give you a quick example, when you were a child, what if your mother was the disciplinarian and tried to teach you right and wrong?  When  your father came home, he had nothing to do with you and could care less what you did or said.  You would probably turn out as a "messed up" kid.  The same can be said about the dog-human family dynamic.

Dogs crave consistency and rules.  If one family member responds to Wolfie in a specific way, he expects that the next family member will also act in the same way.  If they don't, it creates an inconsistent environment for the dog.  This will result in the Wolfie's lack of focus or obedience to you or anyone in the family.  In Wolfie's eyes, why sh…

Never Use an Extension Leash!

I know that I have said this in the past, but after a conversation with a client this week, I just have to reiterate...

Just as it says in the Taylor Swift song, "never, ever, ever..." use an extension leash when walking your dog!  It is unsafe and could end with your dog being hit by a car or truck.

Yes, I have told this to you before, but I now want to share a conversation I had with one of my clients this week.

My client is a Fire Paramedic who has a great puppy and a wonderful love for dogs.  She told me of an incident she experienced about two weeks ago while responding to a call early in the morning.

It was about 6AM and they were heading to an emergency call driving down a major street in Fort Lauderdale.  Ahead of them was a man with his dog.  The dog was sniffing the grass at the edge of the street.  The owner had the dog on an extension leash and really wasn't paying too much attention to the situation.  It was early in the morning with no traffic, so they didn'…

Should My Kids Train Wolfie?

We got a dog and I want to make sure that my kids are involved in his training!  First, I don't want him to be my sole responsibility, but I also want to teach my kids responsibility...

We get this question (request) a lot and the answer really depends on the dynamics of the family and the current issues with the dog.  Let's just walk through some scenarios that we have experienced and we will explain what needs to be done.

The kids don't want anything to do with Wolfie:
The first thing that we would do would be to get your kids involved with Wolfie around the house.  

Ask them to take Wolfie's bowl to him at feeding time.  Have Wolfie and your kids together with you as you are giving him s treat.  Show your kids how to do that and then ask them to try it too.  You can also ask them to "babysit" Woolfie while you are making dinner or on the computer.  You are still in sight of them, but you have given them a chore that involves passive interaction with him.
After …