Showing posts from May, 2013

How to Start the Great Relationship Between Your Dog and Your Child

I have a three year old son and a six month Golden Retriever.  I know that they really like each other, but how can I start to build their relationship so that my son will be a life-long dog lover?  Some of my adult friends are scared of dogs.  They tell me that it is because of some incident that happened when they were young and they can never get over it.  I just want to do what is right...

It is almost a universal law that little boys and puppies love each other.  They are both full of energy, want to play & explore, and have a natural trust of almost everybody and everything.  We need to take these qualities and create an environment where your young son and your little puppy, Wolfie, can build a bond of friendship, respect, and rules.

Before I go any further, I want to be crystal clear that you can never leave your young son and Wolfie alone.  You must always be in control of the situation no matter how well you think they are getting along.  Just one quick mistake can critica…

When I Correct Wolfie and He Cowers, What Then?

I know that I need to tell Wolfie that he is doing something wrong and I am not hitting him or using those shock collars on him, but he is still cowering and hiding in the corner.  I don't want to scare my dog every time he is doing something wrong, but what can I do?

We have faced this situation many times where the Wolfie is overly fearful or has experienced a traumatic experience in his past were a straight correction, even slight, can cause a fearful reaction.  As dog trainers, we are not trying to scare a dog into obedience, we are trying to teach them what is the right thing to do and to build a positive relationship between Wolfie and his owner.

So, let's clean the slate of all those other correction methods and figure out what we can do with Wolfie.  Remember, we still need to show him what is right and wrong...

The bottom line is that we want to use an alternative method than the standard correction to let Wolfie know he is doing something wrong and we will teach him wha…

Wolfie Seems to Think He is the Boss.

I just don't understand it.  I work with Wolfie on Come/Sit/Stay.  I play with Wolfie.  I walk Wolfie.  But it seems like he still thinks he is the boss.  I think I am doing everything right, but something must be missing!

Remember the old phrase  "Walk a mile in my shoes"?  Well, this is the problem that you are having with Wolfie.  Yes, you are providing him education, exercise, and bonding.  What you don't understand is that Wolfie sees the world through a canine perspective.  He judges you as if you were a dog and not a human.  You must understand his perspective to understand how and why he does what he does.

So why does Wolfie act like he is the boss?  The reason is because you are constantly telling him that he is!  You don't know that you are doing this because you view the world from a human perspective and your actions reflect that.  From Wolfie's perspective (the canine point of view), you are constantly implying that he is the boss.

Here is what you …

Playing With Your Dog Outside in Summer Heat

Yes, I know that it is never "cold" down here in South Florida, but it really starts to get nasty into the summer months.  Should I change the way I play with Wolfie during this time?

In a very quick and simple answer, "yes".  The most important factor that should be taken into consideration is the summer heat.  Perspiration is the way that our body regulates it's temperature to stay healthy and survive.  We perspire through our skin.  This gives us a very large ability to regulate our body temperature.  Wolfie perspires through his mouth; panting.  This affords a far less opportunity for body temperature regulation in extreme situations (hot South Florida summer day).

Because of this, we have to take extra precautions during the hot, summer months when playing outside with Wolfie.  Here are some tips:

Only play outside before 9AM in the morning and 7:30PM in the evening as the sun is low on the horizon.  Never play for more than 15 minutes without taking a break.…

Things To Consider When Bringing An Additional Dog To Your Family

I have had Wolfie as a great member of our family for years and am thinking about adding another dog.  I've heard stories, good and bad, about families bringing additional dogs into their fold.  What are some things that I should watch out for and what things should I consider?

The very first thing that you should consider about getting a second dog is if you are prepared for the additional responsibilities of owning a second dog.  Your neighbor that was fine in baby sitting one dog while you were away for the weekend might not have the ability to watch two dogs.  The places you travel that don't mind you bring Wolfie might not accept a second canine guest.  Your Vet bills and dog food bills will now be twice as much.  Your association might not allow a second dog.  Do you have time for a second dog? Your home owner's insurance might drastically change.  Again, these are just a few real life things to consider before you even continue your thoughts about more doggies.

Now, l…