There's a leash law in almost every city in America. The point of a leash law? So you can keep control of your dog. Right now, the leash law in America has turned into "make sure you can drag your dog away from another dog" law.
Whenever my dogs are off-leash and minding their own business, sometimes I see people with panic in their eyes. Are your dogs going to come over and eat my little dog? Or jump on me? Or harass me? No. They are not. They are 50 feet away sniffing the bushes and fetching their ball. My dogs don't care about you. No offense, but you're just not that interesting to them.
The dog I AM afraid of? The one on the leash. The one that is yapping at my heels and pulling so hard that the owner is struggling. People should be afraid of THAT dog. If the owner ever dropped the leash, or the retractable leash extended to where the dogs could reach me...I would be in danger of being hurt.
Leashes are a communication tool. You can use a leash to tell a dog to knock off their bad behavior. Or to give them praise when they do something right. Or just to convey calm, positive energy to your dog to help them calm down.
Don't get me wrong. I'm GLAD your dog is on a leash. And I'm sure the local cats are glad, too. Thank you for obeying the law.
But there is another way of using the leash. COMMUNICATE with your dog. Don't just man handle them until the other dog/cat/person has gone beyond the realm of their interest. Have a conversation with your dog. Tell them "Hey, you're not allowed to bark at everything and drag me down the sidewalk."
If you would like some tips about how to get your on-leash dog under control please contact me here.
Thanks for reading!
Have you thought about getting a dog for your family? Is it still just a thought in your mind, or have you discussed it openly? Perhaps you've already made a trip to the shelter but haven't found the dog you're looking for yet.
Stop! You've already made your first mistake.
So many people have a breed already picked out that they are interested in. These days huskies seem to be super popular, as well as German shepherds. The mistake you are making?
You are picking out a breed that you want PROBABLY based on the dog's looks. You see that breed on movies, or your friend might have one, and they just LOOK cool....or cute...or cuddly. Don't deny it. I know what you're thinking...because I used to be in your shoes.
Instead of deciding on what kind of dog you want based on their looks...change your perspective. What kind of dog is going to be good for YOUR family?
Are you active? Do you travel? Do you work full-time? How much time and energy do you want to dedicate towards training? Who's going to be responsible for the dog?....let me ask that last question again. Who is REALLY going to be responsible for the dog?
I run across people owning German Shepherds who live in apartments. Or people who have a husky because they wanted an emotional support dog. Think about what I do for a living. If I'm in your home, it's not because everything is hunky dory.
And while there are people who can appropriately take care of German shepherds in apartments...and have huskies for an emotional support animal...they are FEW and far between. The exception more than the rule.
So...when you are going to make that big leap and get a dog, remember this.
Your dog is going to be a guest in your home for 12 years. What kind of guest do you want? A guest that parties all the time and you have to lay down strict rules and structure in order to exist together? Or a best friend that has your same standards, and loves to do the same things you do?
Take a moment...do some research. Decide what's best for your family.
Skip the rowdy trouble-making guest...and spend 12 years with your new best friend!
Thanks for reading!
So many times I hear clients tell me "He's really a good dog, but....he nips, jumps, runs away, barks, destroys his crate, lunges at other dogs, etc". I have to break it to them that their dog is NOT a "good" dog.
Now, before you throw me under the bus, here is what I mean by a "good" dog. A dog that listens to you when you give a command the first time...heck, let's be generous and say even when you repeat the command a couple times... NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE.
Not many people fall into this category.
Here is where people get confused. Just because you LOVE your dog...does not make them a good and obedient dog.
EVERY dog deserves to be loved, cared and provided for. EVERY dog deserves a happy home. Don't get this confused with being a "good" dog.
I guarantee you my German Shepherd was "loved" just as much as any dog out there...and she would try and eat cats and kill other dogs. She was not a "good" dog even though I was in denial and claimed she was.
My boxer mix was just as well loved and he was not a good dog. Giving everyone in my home scratches and bruises from rough play, JUMPING OUT THE CAR WINDOW on the freeway, running away, and breaking out of the crate were some of his specialties.
Just because you LOVE your dog does not mean they get a free pass.
Now my dogs truly are good dogs. And guess who changed? Not my dogs...ME. I had to learn how to love them how THEY needed to be loved. I learned how to talk to them how THEY needed to be talked to.
Stop making excuses for your dog's bad behavior. Stop arranging your life and your home around their bad habits. Realize that your well-loved dog may not be a "good" dog...and that you have the power to change it!
After all...your dog wants to be a good dog, too.
If you have any questions about how to stop your dog's bad behavior please contact me here. I'm always happy to chat!
Thanks for reading!
Is your puppy or teenage dog jumping on you and your guests? Do your kids get mauled by your dog's excited jumping behavior during playtime?
Let me guess. You have tried yelling at your dog to stop the behavior or throwing them in their kennel as "punishment." Has that stopped the jumping? If you read further than this, I'm guessing not.
Ignoring your jumping dog WILL NOT MAKE THEM STOP. To teach a dog not to jump the act of jumping must be intolerable.
What does intolerable mean? It means unbearable to the dog. Whether that is a squirt of water to the face, shaking a can of pennies, a bonker thrown at the dog, a prong collar correction, or any other method you have found that works for your dog. In order to stop a behavior the behavior must be intolerable.
A lot of people would like to teach their dog to sit and get a treat instead of jumping. Great! However, I don't want to DISTRACT my dog from jumping...I need my dog to NOT jump even when I'm not there, or I don't have a treat in my hand. The only way to accomplish this is to put an inhibition in the dog's mind by making the act of jumping intolerable.
With my personal boxer mix we tried turning our back to the dog, ignoring the jumping, or trying to get him to sit and give him a treat FIRST. All of that failed. It wasn't until we made jumping intolerable for him that we finally got his attention. Then we were able to go ahead and train him to sit and give him a treat.
If you are struggling with a jumping dog I am happy to help. Please feel free to contact me here. Thanks for reading!
"We love our puppy but it's hard to play with him because he bites so much."
"Our puppy is really hurting the kids with his biting, how do we stop it?"
"We've been using treats and toys to stop his biting but it's not working, can you help?"
If you any of the above questions have crossed your mind, or come out of your mouth, don't worry, you're not alone! When I get calls for puppy training these are almost always top of the list problems that my clients face.
Just like you, they have researched online and found differing opinions and advice on how to stop a puppy from biting. If you have researched online and tried different solutions to puppy biting and you found one that works, great! Keep doing it!
However, in my line of work, I usually get a call for help because people have tried multiple ways to stop biting and for their particular puppy it is not working.
Just like humans, each particular puppy has their own personality and temperament. I've run across puppies where all they needed was a finger snap and a verbal "no" to stop biting. I've also run across puppies where a gentle aversive needed to be put in place.
For help TODAY with puppy biting shoot me an email here for help. I'd love to talk to you about your puppy, and find the correct way to communicate for YOUR puppy to help them stop biting.
Thanks for reading and talk to you soon!
"Be good while I'm gone" you say, with one last look at your pooch as you close the door. You lock the front door then watch your pup's cute face staring at you from the window as you drive away.
How many times has this scene played out in your home? Do you REALLY think it's going to work this time? No, of course not. But I know you HOPE it will.
What if I told you I could get your dog to stop destroying your house in 3 seconds? I can. And you can, too. Here's how.
Go to Amazon
Search "dog crates"
Buy appropriate crate size
When crate arrives set up crate in home
And here's THE most important part....
5. PUT YOUR DOG IN THE CRATE
Yup, it's that simple, folks. Try it. Just once. And you know what happens 100% of the time? And I quote from my clients:
"It was the best thing ever!"
"I can't believe I haven't done this before!"
"The peace of mind was so awesome!"
"My house was intact and my dog was so happy when I got home!"
I don't expect a four-legged carnivore, that has the mental capacity of a 2-year-old, to make adult decisions with no supervision. And neither should you.
If you have a dog that is good in the home with no supervision, that is awesome! If you don't need to crate and you don't want to crate...then don't.
But for people who's dogs get into trouble with no supervision...just crate your dog. I understand your desire to give your dog as much freedom as you possible. But if your dog is making bad decisions that can harm its health...then you need to take away that freedom.
A warm, safe, sleeping dog in a crate is ALWAYS better than a stressed, sick dog at the vet's office.
If your dog needs help staying calm in the crate please don't hesitate to reach out to me for tips and advice.
Thanks for reading!
I get this question a lot.
Parent buys a dog for the children. The dog is a little anxious and nervous. Dog struggles to escape or avoid the playful children...one child gets too close and the dog lunges, growls or snaps at the child. Enter cue for dog trainer (me).
Is it possible for a dog that is currently displaying nervous/fearful/aggressive behavior around children eventually learn to play with them nicely? Maybe...maybe not.
We need to start from the premise that every dog is a UNIQUE being with a UNIQUE personality. Some dogs are super playful, others like to be quiet by themselves. Some dogs like to play fetch, others like to be chased. Some dogs LOVE to swim, others couldn't care less for water. Some dogs like to be petted and cuddled, others are okay by just being in the same room as you. You get the point.
As a dog trainer my philosophy is not to change a dog's personality, it is to help that dog become properly socialized around people, other pets, and environments. By this I mean my goal is simply existence.
Here's an example of existence:
My german shepherd mix used to run towards any dog she'd see and attack it. Didn't matter if it was 5 feet away or 50 feet away. I desperately wanted her to be best friends with every dog she saw, and to run around the park with another dog and be happy. I learned that's not who she is.
Not wanting to force her to be something she's not...I opted for existence. Now, she no longer runs towards other dogs to attack them. She looks at them, acknowledges that they exist...maybe even sniffs their bum...and then moves on.
She doesn't need to be best friends with every dog she sees. She doesn't have that personality. But she certainly needs to learn to exist CALMLY around them.
So...will your dog be able to play nicely with your children? Quite possibly. It all depends on their personality.
However, at the BARE MINIMUM dogs should be polite and calm around the family.
For tips about how to keep your dog polite around the family please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading!
People are not being told the truth about crates...and it's time for me to speak up. Crates limit your dog's freedom. They limit the choices your dog can make. They are not free to go outside anytime they want. They are not free to wander the house and stretch their legs.
Isn't that terrible?
Not so fast...
This is true. Crates limit your dog's freedom and the choices they make. Um...isn't that a GOOD thing? If I have a living being, of another species, who has the intellectual fortitude of a 2 year old child I ABSOLUTELY want to limit their freedom and choices they can make.
The nature of a dog is that if something smells good...they will eat it. If it moves...they chase it. If it's cold out and they don't want to go outside...they'll pee and poo inside. If they want to do something that makes them feel good (like ripping the stuffing out of pillows)...they will do it!
I would not let my toddler run around all day unattended, and I CERTAINLY won't let my dogs run around my home unattended. Especially if they are KNOWN trouble makers. If I can't have my eyes on my dog when they are free, then they will be placed in their crate. For their safety, and for the safety of my house.
I run across this statement all the time "When I put my dog in the crate they don't like it. They whine, bark and howl. I don't want him to do something he doesn't want to do."
I feel your pain. I really do. My dog used to chew holes through his crates, and bend the metal door enough that he could escape. BOTH of my dogs escaped their crates and wouldn't stay put in them...especially when I was gone. They would whine and try and push the door open.
But guess what? I'm smarter than my dog. JUST like I'm smarter than my 3 year old nephew. I don't care if he doesn't like to get in his car seat, he needs to do it for his safety.
I don't care if my dogs don't like their crate...they need to do it for THEIR safety, too. When I leave the house I need to know my dogs are curled up in a ball, fast asleep, warm and calm in their crate. It's not cruel...dogs are den animals. Meaning, their natural instinct is to curl up in a small ball in a relatively small area when they sleep.
I don't need multiple apps on my phone to check in on them during work, or rush family visits because I need to get home and make sure the dog is okay. I KNOW the dog is okay...because he's safe in his crate.
I don't have to re-buy all my children's toys because they were chewed up while I was away...because the dog is safe in his crate. I don't need to spend $1200+ on a surgery because my dog ingested something he shouldn't have...because he's safe in a crate.
So the REAL truth about crates? They keep your dog safe and they give you peace of mind. So...quoting ALL of my clients AND myself: "I love the crate! Why didn't we do this before!?"
If you need tips or advice on teaching your dog how to be calm in the crate please feel free to email me at: email@example.com.
Thanks for reading!
It's Christmas morning, and little tykes with rosy cheeks and fluffy heads scamper down the hallway. Before you can catch them, it's a snowstorm of wrapping paper as they tear into their presents.
But wait...there's ONE more box. What could it be?
Piercing screams of delight fill the room as a soft, downy head peeks over the edge of the box. Big or small, spotted or patchy...a puppy is pulled from the box and squashed in hugs by toddler arms.
"Thank you, Mommy!" they cry, as all other presents are forgotten in lieu of this newborn canine. Hearts are happy, and laughter is abundant as the rest of the day is spent oohing and aahing over this new life form. A name is picked...a collar is bestowed on the furry neck, and your family has officially grown by one member. Life is perfect.
The first couple months with the puppy are wonderful days. Potty training is sometimes frustrating, but he catches on quickly and soon enough accidents are a thing of the past. Your pup learns to explore, and is the cutest thing EVER as he races around in the snow and plays with the kids in the house.
But about 4 months in, you notice something strange taking place. Your puppy has developed behavior that you don't want in your home. Maybe it's nipping the kids, chewing the furniture or jumping on guests. "Oh well," you think "he's young enough that I can just take away what he has...he'll eventually grow out of it." And you move on.
7 months in, and things are not going so smoothly. His unwanted behavior is now what you call unwanted habits.
He's big enough that when he gets your socks you can't easily chase him down to get them back. Your new $1500 couch you bought for Christmas? Well...you're never going to get any resale value now with all those teeth marks.
That crate you didn't want to use to take away your puppy's freedom?....now it's a migraine yielding contraption from the howls of your pup when you HAVE to use it.
And what happened to the kids playing outside and taking him for walks? When did THAT stop? Did it stop because he pulls so hard on the leash that your 4-year-old got a bloody nose from being pulled over? Or did the walks stop because YOU were the only one walking him, but now life is too busy to handle that responsibility?
Then comes the day when your Christmas puppy growls and nips someone, or lunges and barks at your neighbor, or bites the mailman. You apologize to the mailman, and feel frustrated at your not-so-new pup. Into the crate he goes as punishment.
As the weeks go by, you realize your pup (now dog) is spending most of his time in the crate because his behavior is so out of control. You feel guilt and frustration that you want to help fix your dog, but there's no time for him now. No one really pays him any attention anymore.
What a sad, depressing story. Why would someone even blog about this!?
But wait! There's a solution! And a REALLY easy one, too! TRAIN your Christmas puppy!
Enroll them in a puppy program at your local pet store. Find a balanced personal trainer for some one-on-one lessons. Search YouTube and train your puppy yourself. And seek professional help when you run into a problem you don't have the knowledge to solve yet.
Would it shock you to know that I fall into the group of people that got a Christmas puppy...and didn't train him? And that I did it TWICE? That I've experienced ALL of the above problems (and more) and my story actually turned out happily ever after? Click here to read my inspiring story.
You love your pup and your pup loves you. It's the BEST thing in the world to see your whole family thrive as they all participate in training. It's exciting and rewarding to watch your pup learn and grow.
Experience the joy of being able to take your pup with you on vacations, camping trips, and family gatherings. Have the joy of off-leash walks (where appropriate) with the confidence that your dog will come when called.
My favorite thing to do with our obedient dogs? Take them with us everywhere we go, especially if the stores we shop at are pet-friendly.
Your Christmas puppies don't HAVE to become Christmas problems. They can be a gift that keeps giving joy for many, many years.
Thanks for reading,
Did you know that I see small dogs engaging in more life-threatening behavior than big dogs? Most people protect their small dogs. They protect them from illnesses, getting cold or getting hit by a car. But did you know you need to protect your small dog from him/herself? Let me explain.
I have a german shepherd. She used to attack any dog that came close to her, or that she interacted with. We found a great trainer, and now she can play and interact with other calm dogs. This has made our lives better, and made the dogs in our neighborhood safer as well.
However, on our daily walks throughout the week we always run across different small dogs. Some of them run away from their owners and run directly up to my german shepherd. Most of the time, the frazzled owner is right behind their dog frantically calling them to come back with little success.
Now...I'm never worried about my dogs. They are both around 50-60 lbs. The risk to their life is pretty minimal. If the small dog is truly aggressive they may get bitten, but it's never a life and death situation.
The story for the small dog is different.
I've heard a handful of owners yell to me..."Don't worry! My dog is friendly!" And that's great, I'm glad your dog is friendly. But guess what? Did you know that my german shepherd may NOT be friendly?
Thank GOODNESS she's trained, and the likelihood of your dog getting bit is pretty small. But what if your dog ran up to another big dog that is NOT friendly and NOT trained? (Which happens A LOT by the way. It's probably the norm).
The bigger dog doesn't care if your dog is friendly. It doesn't care that your small dog is named Fluffy or Spot and is all bark and no bite. The big dog WILL bite your small dog. And due to the size difference, guess who gets the short end of the stick?
At best?...massive injury. At worst?...probably death.
Keeping a small dog safe from illness, cold and being hit by a car are very responsible things to do. But what about keeping the small dog safe from him/herself? Training your dog is loving your dog. After all, for a small dog it could be a matter of life and death.
Has your dog ever been assaulted by another dog? How about a BIG dog? One that was coming right for you? Here's my story...and why I am grateful for the ecollar.
My dogs and I were assaulted by an off-leash German Shepherd last Monday. The off-leash dog was young, aggressive, and the owner was nowhere to be found. My dogs were leashed, obedient, and had an experienced handler.
I knew the second this shepherd zeroed in on us there was going to be trouble. He made a beeline right for us. There was no time to turn around, cross the street, or yell for help (preferably from the owner...which was nowhere to be found).
I stamped my foot...yelled NO as loud as I could. Dog kept coming. I grabbed my Pet Convincer (which sprays air in the dog's face and makes a scary sound) and sprayed it directly in the dog's face. Dog didn't even care.
By this time it was every dog owner's worst nightmare. An aggressive dog right in your space.
Leashes were getting tangled and I was afraid I might break a finger so I purposely dropped them. Having your dog leashed when they are getting attacked exacerbates the fight. If my dogs are being attacked I want them to be able to defend themselves.
Within a second there was a full blown dog fight between my German shepherd and the off-leash shepherd.
Knowing better than to get in the middle of a dog fight I grabbed the remote for my dog's electronic collar and pushed the button.
She immediately left the fight and ran back to me.
The off-leash shepherd...seeing that my boot was swiftly coming his direction...decided to call it a day, and ran back the way he had come.
Of course, my foster dog who LOVES to herd and chase anything that moves...took off after the fleeing desperado. A single tap on his Ecollar brought him back to my side.
I am extremely grateful that I had Ecollars on my dogs. Without them I would not have been able to de-escalate the dog fight so quickly (or safely), or call my foster dog back to me.
With the busy road we were on there was a high chance that one...or all...of the dogs would have been hit by a car if I wasn't able to gain control of the situation quickly.
This isn't the first time their Ecollars have kept them safe, just the most recent.
Thank you for reading!
Who loves to see their dog excited? We talk in high-pitched energetic voices to our dog when it's time to go for a walk, eat dinner, leave the house, and even go for a car ride. It gives us the warm fuzzies when we think we see our dog excited for these activities.
I'm here to tell you to STOP IT.
There are VERY few dogs who can handle getting ramped up with excitement and then make GOOD choices. Would you ramp your kids up and then expect them to sit still in church for 3 hours? Or promise you are going to Disneyland and then expect them to fall asleep?
This is EXACTLY what we are doing to our dogs.
We encourage our dogs to go out of their MIND with excitement for a walk, and then we have the ability to be surprised when they bark, yank us around, and lunge at people on walks. We encourage our dogs to bark when the doorbell rings, and then wonder why we can't get them to calm down?
We encourage out-of-control behavior (through ignorance of dogs as a species) and then wonder why they bark, bite, jump and destroy things in our home.
There is a time and place for excitement. You can play chuck-it at a park, run with your dog, go camping, go swimming and have designated toy times.
Help your dog make good choices. Speak calmly, teach them what's expected in the home...and remember to include designated "fun" days!
My goal with this experiment was to see what an average-Joe dog owner can accomplish with a clicker in 7 days. This is strictly MY experience.
Just because I was not able to accomplish something in 7 days does not mean it's not POSSIBLE, just that I was not able to accomplish the task with a modest amount of time and effort.
So here's what my setup looked like:
One nervous dog (may or may not have bite history)
No previous relationship with the dog
Two sets of 15-minute clicker training per day, focusing on basic commands (sit, walk nicely, down, no barking, etc)
Ready for this?
I absolutely LOVED clicker training for basic commands. Teaching a dog with positive reinforcement (treats) just feels good. The dog is happy to earn the treat, and it feels good to help the dog learn.
Another great thing about clicker training is the wonderful relationship that began. The dog loved to hear his name called, loved to do the commands, and was super eager and excited for the training sessions every day.
I was able to teach sit, down, look at me, and go into the crate without any problems.
The more we practiced the easier it was for the dog to obey. Soon I removed the treats and the dog obeyed with just a verbal command. Awesome!
Where I struggled with clicker training:
I struggled with the "heel" command. Not teaching the dog to heel, that was the easy part. I struggled with keeping the dog's attention on me when there was another dog, person, or interesting object nearby.
I also struggled to completely stop the behaviors of barking at the doorbell, jumping on people, and coming when called when my dog was distracted.
Now, that's not to say that these problems can't be fixed with clicker training (I don't have the skill level to comment on that)...but it seemed like it might take longer and exert more effort than the average-Joe dog owner might have, or want, to put into their dog.
I will absolutely still do clicker training. The benefits from it are great, and it's an awesome way to build a relationship with your furry friend. I thoroughly enjoy it.
However...if you have a problem pup...I would probably use a method of saying "no" to the dog.
After kids, job, errands and other realities of life, you only have so much energy to spend on the dog before you need to start seeing results.
So go pick yourself up a clicker, learn to tell your dog "no" and you'll be good to go!
Thanks for reading,
Have you ever thought that what your child watches could be responsible for the life or death of another living being? It's a scary idea, but unfortunately it's all too true.
I'm talking specifically about children's movies. The cute, fluffy, lovable movies that feature dogs as the main character.
Here are some examples: Up, Pets, 101 Dalmatians, Beethoven, AirBud, Bolt, and the list goes on.
Take for example 101 Dalmatians. Did you know that interest in the Dalmatian breed increased SIGNIFICANTLY once this movie was released? The number of Dalmatians sold and bought were higher AFTER this move was released than before.
Here's what you're thinking right now: Well, so what? It's a cute dog, I like how it looks and I liked the movie so I want one.
There's nothing wrong with that. The problem is if that's the END of your thought process. There's a HUGE problem if you do not research the breed and realize what you are getting your family into.
Did you know that Dalmatians were bred to run for miles and miles and miles every day? That they are incredibly smart, but can be headstrong and stubborn? That the energy of the dog will probably knock down a child under the age of 6? Or that this breed has medical issues to be aware of...specifically deafness and urinary problems?
Here's where life and death matter:
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ONCE YOU REALIZE THE DOG IS NOT WHO YOU WANT THEM TO BE?
Unfortunately, most families with young kids don't have the time for an animal that hasn't lived up to their expectations. These dogs end up in shelters...or passed from home to home and THEN end up in a shelter because of behavioral problems.
Your passing fancy of "liking how the dog looks" is realized by a shivering pup, on a cement floor, before they are euthanized in a back room.
Please be RESPONSIBLE when choosing a pet for your family. Don't choose the fate of a living being based off what Hollywood has decided will look "cute" on screen.
Every animal has the right to live. Step up to the responsibility of saving an animal...not killing one.
Thanks for reading,
I remember talking to my husband about getting both of our dogs trained. The first couple times I approached him he adamantly refused..."I don't want my dogs ruined. They won't have their personalities any more".
How could I refute that? I didn't want their personalities ruined, and that's what I firmly believed would happen.
I wanted my dogs to have as much freedom as possible. I didn't want to take away their ability to feel joy, and have fun. And telling them what to do without giving them a choice felt like treating them like a prisoner. So training? NO THANKS!
We didn't decide to do training until my German shepherd started attacking other dogs. If you've ever had to break up a dog fight...a REAL dog fight...you know how terrifying it can be.
We needed training, whether it would ruin her personality or not.
I was surprised when I started training my dogs. Guess what? They didn't lose their personalities...silly me! I was able to finally talk to them. And I'll explain what I mean when I say "talk to them".
The first time I took my dog on a walk with the training techniques I learned he LITERALLY looked up at me and was like "Oh hi, Mom! I love this walk. Can we go around the neighborhood again?"
And I said to him "Of COURSE we can, you're being such a good boy, let's do it TWO more times!"
His beautiful brown eyes looked up at me constantly, and as we walked I told him (in a calm manner) what a good boy he was and how I was so proud of him.
Did he lose his personality? Or become dejected? Or withdrawn?
He relaxed, became calm, and was actually able to enjoy his walk.
I learned that a dog that's sniffing, pulling and tugging you down the sidewalk on the leash is not a dog that is enjoying a walk. It's a dog that is overwhelmed by sights and sounds. A dog that is RE-active.
When I was able to get rid of all the nonsense behavior my dog's personality came SHINING through! And it was a beautiful thing. When we got back home I sat on the steps, put my arms around my fur baby...and cried.
I had my dog back!
Don't be afraid that training will ruin your dog. Training gets rid of all the nonsense behavior that's cluttering up your dog's mind. It gives them a free path to express themselves and love life.
Don't make my mistake. Help your dog become a FREE dog.
Thanks for reading!
Most people, when they hear the word "ecollar", do not have positive images come to mind. At best, you think of a training device that uses compulsion...and at worst, you imagine a torture device.
I'm here to share my story about my experience with an ecollar.
This last weekend my husband and I took our two dogs for an overnight camping trip up a local canyon. It was our very first time camping as a married couple (only took us 10 years), and our dog's first camping trip ever.
One of my dogs is part hunting dog (Carbon), and the other is a high-drive german shepherd (K'ehleyr)...so I knew it was important that I be able to communicate with my dogs in the woods. With ecollars charged and ready to go, we arrived at our camp-site.
The ecollar was awesome at setting boundaries for my dogs...how far away they could go, and where the edges of our campsite were. So far so good!
The life-saving event occurred while I was distracted, preparing dinner so when my husband got back with the firewood we could just start cooking.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Carbon's head go up, and he started staring intently at something in the brush about 10 feet away from him. All of a sudden, a rabbit LEAPED out of the grass and started running.
That was all it took for Carbon. He was OFF!
At first I started laughing, because it was so cute and funny to see Carbon trying to catch something that (if you know him) he really had no hope of catching. I wasn't really worried about the rabbit being eaten, and it was fun seeing my dog running in the woods.
Suddenly, it wasn't fun anymore. I realized Carbon was running full-speed straight for the busy roadway that leads into the camping area. Campers, RVs, and vehicles go whizzing down this road at upwards of 40 mph. I knew there really wouldn't be much hope for Carbon if he got hit.
There was NO WAY he was going to respond to my voice when he was this charged up. A moment of panic...how the HECK was I going to stop him from getting hit?
I grabbed the ecollar remote and punched the button. "Carbon, come!" I yelled. He stopped, looked at me...then back at the running bunny...then back at me. "Carbon, come!" I said again as I tapped the button.
He came trotting back to me, looking a little sheepish that he wasn't able to catch the bunny. I rubbed him behind the ears, and told him what a good boy he was. He licked my hand, then immediately turned his attention to begging for the yummy hot dogs on the table.
So, in conclusion...I always knew that ecollars could save a dog's life. And it has always kept Carbon safe from wandering into a busy parking lot, or jumping on a small child.
However, it is a POWERFUL thing to have the means to save your dog's life. I am so grateful that I trained my dog on ecollars, and that I have this GREAT tool at my disposal.
If you have any genuine questions about ecollars please feel free to email me.
Take a look at our camping video below, and have a great rest of your day!
Rescue dogs may come from an unknown past. Or they may be scared because they are now parted from their family. It always requires an adjustment to bring them into your home. It's your responsibility to love, heal, and train them.
You treat them like you do your own personal dogs...knowing that they will never BE your personal dog. Every dog takes a piece of your heart with them when they leave.
So, what am I learning from my rescue dogs in the brief period we have together?
1. Frustration is almost always caused by miscommunication
Sometimes my husband just doesn't KNOW that his actions are causing me frustration. I tend to not give the benefit of the doubt to him, and it seems like everything he is doing is JUST to make me mad.
By training my rescue dogs (and yes, feeling frustrated sometimes) I realize that these dogs are not capable of doing things JUST to make me mad.
They simply don't know.
They don't know how to walk nicely yet. Or stay on place. Or not jump on me. Or be CALM.
It is MY responsibility to be clear in helping them learn.
2. I need to speak in a language that he understands
Every dog is different. Their personalities, temperaments and motivations can vary widely.
Dog number one may work well with a training collar. Dog number two may shut down completely when trained the same way.
I'm learning to love my husband in HIS language. While I like to be loved by having him help me with an errand, and holding my hand...HIS way of being loved is a kiss on the forehead and some kind words.
The attitude "This is just the way I am so deal with it" will NEVER be conducive to a marriage.
So...when feeling frustrated with my husband I've realized that it's always out of miscommunication. Clarity is a wonderful thing.
And moving forward I'm making an effort to see my husband as an individual with different needs (and language) than my own.
After all, we are in this for the long haul!
Thanks for reading!