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 email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
Recently, I made the decision to stop telling people how they should live their lives. Whether it was about what restaurant they should eat at, or what kind of phone they should get next...I just stopped voicing my opinion and assuming it was the best one.
And more importantly, I made an effort to stop talking about other people, and my opinions about their life, to my husband. Most people are kind enough not to be mean in public...but what do you say about other people to your spouse...or best friend?
An amazing thing happens when you stop spouting your opinion so loudly...you are actually able to hear other people speak. Crazy...right!?
And how about this...I started to learn to actually LOVE people. When I was able to listen to them, I realized that they are similar to me. Living in a crazy world just trying to do the best they can.
It was easier to give people the benefit of the doubt, and easier to see what they meant...not necessarily just the words.
And when I did speak up and talk with other people, I SHARED things about my life that made me happy. I shared what was working for me, and why I felt satisfied or why I wanted to change things.
I developed a connection with people instead of a one-way megaphone.
The judgement of other people stopped. The belittling, and the gossiping to my husband stopped.
Being in the dog training world it's easy to point the finger at owners and think "if only they loved their dog they would do this, or do that".
When I stopped my overbearing opinion and listened to the people around me, and experienced the joy that playing with your dog can bring (even IF it's not perfectly trained)...life became much sweeter.
So...if you want to experience joy with others, and increased love for your fellowman...stop before you voice an opinion, and ask "Would it be better for me to listen instead?"
Thanks for reading!
Every neighborhood has one. That ONE neighbor that keeps junk on their lawn, or reports every little annoyance to your HOA. That person you smile and wave at, but secretly you'd throw a party if they moved away.
Well, I used to be that neighbor.
Neighbors would walk on the other side of the street to avoid my home. When I WAS home, no one would come and visit. And when I took walks in the neighborhood people gathered their children around them.
The embarrassment, the shame, and the GUILT I felt made me feel like a terrible person.
So, did I smell bad? Was I mean to others? Did I have a disfigurement that made others uncomfortable?
Nope. I had dogs with bad behavior. They RULED my life. Neighbors crossed the street because my dogs would bark, paw and slam at the windows of my house when they walked by.
No one came over because my two 70-lb dogs would jump, scratch and hurt anyone who came through the door.
And when I took walks with them through the neighborhood they would lunge, growl and jump at children and scare them. They even attacked other dogs. No wonder parents gathered their children around them!
I was embarrassed, ashamed, and most of all...felt GUILTY that my dog's behavior was my fault. That not only was I a bad dog OWNER, I was also a bad PERSON for not taking responsibility for my dogs.
NOW...my neighbors and their kids love seeing me! Their kids come running up to pet my dogs...and I'm known as the "dog lady" around the neighborhood.
Some of the things I hear the neighbors say? "Your dogs are so well behaved!"....
"I'm glad my kids can pet your dogs...they are usually afraid of animals."...
And, "When we get a dog will you please train it?"
So what changed? Did I get new dogs? Or put them on medication?
Nope. I learned how to talk to my dogs. I learned how to tell them what was acceptable and what was not.
Now, my neighbors love seeing me. It's a great feeling to have, and I'm sure my neighbors are happy as well!
Thanks for reading!
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There's a never-ending supply of coverage reflecting what our POTUS has done, is doing, or predictions on what the heck he'll do next.
So...it got me thinking. With all the hullabaloo about our president...do you know who's running YOUR house?
Is your lovable, furry family member unpredictable? Are they capable of exercising restraint in excitable situations?
Does your dog know how to GREET people properly?
If they failed any of the above questions you are probably living with a doggie Trump. Your household may, or may not be containing the chaos of your dog's decisions.
Dogs need to be told what is and is not acceptable. They need to be guided in proper etiquette. They need to exercise restraint for the good of small children in the home.
The sad truth is, most people overlook bad behavior because their dog promises them unconditional love, and untold hours of cuteness.
No dog gets a free pass. Even if your dog knows 50 tricks...if bad behavior isn't stopped they are still given an unceremonious boot from the house (not unlike a recent press secretary in the news).
So...take control of your home and drain the "swamp" of jumping, barking, and nipping.
Love your dog by teaching them how to act around your family. Give them guidelines and structure so they are not making unwanted executive orders.
Here are some self-help videos to get started.
Thanks for reading!
That's a REALLY good question.
First of all, I want to address the fact that NO dog trainer has the right to be critical and judgmental of dog owners. MOST dog owners love their dogs fiercely, and treat their dogs as a member of the family.
If you ever feel judged or criticized by a dog trainer please know that that dog trainer was once a dog OWNER, and probably made some HUGE mistakes of their own...that's WHY they are a dog trainer.
So, why are they so critical of regular dog owners? It's not because they are mean people (well, most of them aren't). It's because we've SEEN what happens to dogs when bad behaviors are not fixed, or people buy a dog that doesn't fit with their lifestyle. The dog ALWAYS pays the price.
It's a hard fact to face, but a dog with bad behavior usually gets passed around from home to home, or home to shelter, and will wind up being put down. The cute puppy behavior that is not a problem for the first 6 months all of a sudden IS a problem. Your cute fluffball has turned into a Tasmanian devil.
Human families come first, as they should. So the dog gets contained in a crate or garage, or given away. The problem never gets fixed, and after a few rounds of being adopted they end up in a shelter. They only have so long in a shelter before their number is up, and then they are euthanized.
As a dog trainer we are firsthand witnesses of this again, and again, and again. So while it's never the RIGHT thing for us to be judgmental or critical, it happens to the best of us because we see dogs die needlessly.
I offer my sincerest apologies for those who have been on the receiving end of criticism from dog trainers. Please know it was probably a mistake.
We all have good hearts and we are trying to pass on our wisdom and knowledge so you and your dog can have a happy successful life.
Thanks for taking the time to read this dog trainer's point of view. We are all in this together to love and save pups:)
Boy...have we ALL been there!
Your morning starts at 7 am (IF the kids sleep that long) and after breakfast, school, errands, playdates, lunch, naps, and doctor's appointments you realize you don't even know what dinner will be tonight. Never mind TRAINING the dog, did you even feed him?
I love my pups, but they will always take a second seat to my family and the important things in life. After all, you got your dog to bring joy to your family, not to suck more energy out of you.
However...to keep your dog and your young children safe, your dog DOES need to be trained. There is no arguing that point. Whether you have a dog that's willing to please and training takes one day...or a rambunctious spit ball that will take more time...you NEED to communicate effectively with your four-pawed friend.
Here's how you do it.
Incorporate training time INTO your schedule. Don't set time ASIDE for training (we all know time is precious)...do the training while you are doing the laundry, feeding the kids, and vacuuming.
The "place" command teaches your dog to lie calmly on their bed until they are allowed to leave. Imagine life with no stress from the dog:
Guests can come over without being assaulted
Give the kids a bath
Cook and eat dinner as a family
Watch a family movie
Take the dog WITH you to a friend's house and visit
I could go on and on.
So...PLEASE don't say you are too busy to train your dog.
Give your dog a chance to show you how eager they are to please you. They love you, and want to be with you. Your relationship is worth it!
For some help right now check out my self-help videos.
And contact me for questions!
Thanks for reading!