We Were Assaulted By an Off-Leash Dog...and How the Ecollar Saved the Day

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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!

Bethany 

Orem

Utah County

Utah

 

 

You Might be the Cause of Your Dog's Bad Behavior...

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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!

Orem

Utah County

Utah

My Clicker Training Experiment....Does It Work?

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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.

Conclusion?

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,

Bethany

Orem

Utah County

Utah

Children's Movies Are Responsible for Real-Life Deaths

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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,

-Bethany

Orem

Utah County

Utah

Afraid Training Will Ruin Your Dog's Personality?

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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? 

NO!

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!

-Bethany

Orem

Utah County

Utah

How an Ecollar Saved My Dog's Life

dog training obedience orem utah county trainer

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!

-Bethany

 

 

 

 

2 Things My Rescue Dogs Teach Me About Loving My Husband

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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. 

Conclusion

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!

-Bethany

Orem

Utah County

Utah

 

 

 

I Stopped Telling People How to Live Their Lives...and Guess What Happened?

dog training obedience orem utah county trainer

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!

-Bethany

Orem

Utah County

Utah

My Neighbors Shunned Me...Now, They Love Me

dog training obedience orem utah county trainer

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!

-Bethany

Orem

Utah County

Utah

Are You Living With a Doggie Trump?

dog obedience training orem utah county trainer

(Disclaimer: This is not a representation of our political views, or endorsement of any kind. To start a political discussion please send us an email. At our earliest convenience, we will mark it as spam and delete it, thank you.)

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! 

-Bethany

Orem

Utah County

Utah

Why Are Dog Trainers So Critical of Regular Dog Owners?

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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:)

My Life is Too Busy...I Don't Have Time to Train My Dog

dog training obedience orem utah county trainer

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

  • Fold laundry

  • 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!

-Bethany

 

Orem

Utah County

Utah

Will My Dog ALWAYS Need Their Training Device?

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This is a GREAT question. It's a question I get at every evaluation.

The answer is a combination of personal choice + the dog's behavior. Let's start with personal choice.

(Please be aware, we are starting from the assumption that your dog is already using a training device, and using it correctly)

1. Personal Choice

The training device should only be active when the dog makes a wrong choice. A wrong choice looks like: jumping on people, barking, pulling on the walk, whining in the crate, etc).

Therefore, there is no harm coming to the dog by wearing the device if the dog is behaving properly. It is just another item on the dog. 

If the dog is behaving properly in a calm environment, and you have the dog's complete attention even under outside distractions, then by all means feel free to take the device off.

I, personally, see the training device as a seatbelt. I know that I haven't gotten in an accident the last 100 trips to the grocery store, but that doesn't mean THIS time it won't happen. I want my seatbelt on, because sometimes...it's not your fault that accidents happen. 

My dogs always wear their training device because sometimes another dog comes running straight at us (as seen here) , and I need to KNOW that I have my dogs under control. 

So...no, you do not always have to have a training device on your dog. Though it might be wise to still have it handy because you can't control what OTHER people do.

2. The Dog's Behavior

Second (and most important) part of the equation...your dog!

Some dogs might need a training device for the rest of their lives. It's more a matter of their unique temperament than of behavior. 

For example: I tend to be anxious and stressed. I KNOW that I need to do yoga for at least 15 minutes a day in order to handle the stresses of life. Am I going to try and wean myself off yoga? I could...possibly...

But why wean myself off yoga when it's something that's simple, easy, and keeps me centered and balanced?

Same concept for the training device. My German shepherd has anxiety, it's part of who she is. Why would I try and remove the device that is keeping her mentally healthy and happy? 

Conclusion

In conclusion...will your dog always NEED their training device? Maybe...maybe not. Your dog is unique and special and THEY will tell you what they need.

If it comes down to personal choice, then do what is best for you and your family. After all, we all love our dogs and want what's best!

Thanks for reading!

-Bethany

----------------------

Orem

Utah County

Utah

Do I NEED to Punish My Dog During Training?

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That's the million dollar question isn't it? If you've looked into dog training, and talked to different dog trainers, I'm betting you received different answers. So...what is the right answer?

No. You do not need to punish your dog during training. Deciding what type of training you want for your dog is a personal decision, and you shouldn't be forced into a training style that you are not comfortable with.

That being said, I do want to clear up one misconception. Punishment is not abuse. These words have become synonymous in our society, and that is not correct.

Punishment runs the gamut from not rewarding a dog with treats when they do not comply with directions, to a high correction on a training device when their life is in danger. And everything in between.

As with all parenting/training/learning styles there are limitations when punishment, or correction, is not introduced.

For example: I took a type-writing class in high school that helped me learn how to type accurately and efficiently. My score was based on a combination of the keys I entered correctly and the keys I entered INCORRECTLY. Knowing where my mistakes were, helped me adjust my typing style so fewer mistakes were made. 

If I was only told what keystrokes I entered correctly I would have continued to enter those correctly (yeah!), but I could not have fixed the problem keystrokes. And believe me, that would have SERIOUSLY impacted my first job...where deaf students needed accuracy and efficiency from me in order to succeed in their college studies.

So back to the topic at hand. No, you do not NEED to punish your dog when training. You can absolutely train your dog for the behaviors you want, and ask them for other behaviors rather than their natural "naughty" ones.

However, please be aware your see-saw of training will be tilting more in one direction than the other. You need both sides. Teaching the dog what is NOT acceptable, and THEN teaching them what you want them to do. Your dog deserves clarity and communication from you in order to succeed.

And please, keep in mind that punishment, applied correctly and fairly, is NOT abuse. If so, you are being abused when you get pulled over for a speeding ticket, and abused when you don't get paid because you were late for work, or abused when you fail a test because you didn't study.

Let's keep our see-saws of training on an even keel. Our dogs deserve our love and affection, but they also deserve clarity and respect.

-Bethany

Orem

Utah County

Utah 

Photo Courtesy Of: partycity.com

Should I Give Up My Dog?

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This is a hard question to ask yourself. Depending on who you ask, you may feel shamed and judged just for asking this question.

Please don't. I am here with empathy and honest advice, as I have been in your shoes before.

So...should you give up your dog? There are two main factors I will tackle today.

1. Is Your Safety at Risk?

First and foremost, if you or your family are in danger from an aggressive dog immediate action is necessary.

If a lifestyle change, and some dedicated work are not possible for your family, then yes, please give your dog to a no-kill shelter or rescue (information below). This removes your family from immediate danger, and puts the dog at the best chance to be re-habilitated and placed with another family.

Depending on the severity of the aggression, there are options to send the dog to re-hab and then return the dog to the owner. A lifestyle change and dedication to training will be top priority for the future of the dog.

2. Is the Dog a Good Fit for Your Family?

Believe it or not, some dogs are prone to anxiety, stress, tension, and even fear-induced aggression in the wrong situations.

For example: a dog prone to anxiety and stress may not be a good fit for an owner with a stressful job. Or a dog that has fear-induced aggression to be in a home that has a very lively social scene.

If the dog and your lifestyle do not fit, please do all in your power to re-home your dog to a family that complements the dog's temperament. There are also no-kill shelters and rescues as well. (Information below)

Conclusion

There are many reasons why the question "should I give up my dog?" will cross your mind. I am not here to tell you what's best for your family, or pass judgment. But please, somewhere in your considerations, consider the future of your furry friend. 

Ask yourself "what actions can I take that will give the dog the best possible future considering the circumstances?."  

Most of the time, a little training is all that it takes. 

For some DIY training please see my self-help videos, or contact me for some personal advice. 

-Bethany

Orem

Utah County

Utah


Rescues and No-Kill Shelter:

Rescues: Rescue Rovers, CAWS

No kill shelter: South Utah Valley Animal Shelter

2 Ways to Handle Fireworks With Your Dog

dog obedience training orem utah county fireworks fear

It's that time of year again! Hot summer days, weekends up the canyon...and fireworks season. I LOVE fireworks! And luckily, here in Utah, there are plenty to go around. 

However, your dog is probably not as enthusiastic as you about fireworks. In fact, some dogs are downright terrified. 

By the time fireworks season comes around sometimes it's a little late to start helping your dog past their fear. It takes time to overcome a fear, and since we are 3 days away from Summerfest here in Orem, you might not be able to do much in the way of prevention.

So here are 2 tips to help your pup when the summer festivities kick off. 

1.  Crate your pup

This may sound a little heartless as your first reaction is to cuddle your fur baby when they are scared. However, crating your dog serves 2 purposes. It prevents your dog from running away. The biggest day of the year for animal shelters is July 5th, the day after the Fourth of July and fireworks. Your dog can't run away if they are in their closed crate. Secondly, it gives the dog a safe space. Dogs seek out small, enclosed spaces when they are nervous. They are den animals and small spaces bring them comfort.

Believe it or not, comforting your pup does not help them. Unknowingly, you are praising them for their scared behavior and reinforcing their fear. Letting them work through their fear in the crate looks messy (shaking, whining), but it does more good to let them work through their fear than reinforcing their scared state of mind.

2. You, as the owner, need to relax

As the leader of your home your dog looks to you. They read your behavior and then interpret how they should be acting as well. If you are jumping at every sound, worrying anxiously about your pup, or are stressed in any way, your dog will follow your behavior. Dogs are pack animals and look to a leader to determine how they should think and feel. Take a deep breath, do some yoga, read a good book, do whatever relaxes you, and your dog will follow suit...or at least your dog's fear won't be exacerbated

Now, sometimes a dog's fear is so far advanced and overwhelming that nothing is going to help in the way of managing the fear. Unfortunately, this article is probably not going to help much. 

The good news is it's possible to help your dog through their fear. You will need to put some time and energy into acclimating your dog to fireworks over a longer period of time. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Good luck this fireworks season, and enjoy the warm summer days with your pup!

Thanks for reading,

-Bethany

Orem

Utah County

Utah

 

Is Your Dog Obedient Inside the Home, but Not Outside?

dog training behavior obedience utah county good bad

You have a great dog. He listens to you. He comes when you call. And he stops bad behavior when you ask...inside the house. 

Outside...you have a regular Mr. Hyde. You can't make it around the block without your furry friend barking at other dogs, completely ignoring you, and even running away if you let him off the leash.

But why is this?

Ready for the answer? Here it is...every distraction outside your home is just more valuable to your dog than you are. The neighbor dog is just more exciting than the biscuit in your hand, or the tug on the collar. The smells of the park are just more intriguing than your voice calling to come back.

Your dog is obedient enough not to run away, or bite other dogs or people. But he'll only come back to you when he's good and ready, or he'll stop barking at the other dog when you become more valuable to him than the rush of excitement. 

Some people say use tools, some will say use treats...by themselves, those items are not going to solve your problem. Training will solve your problem...not just tools and treats. When you find a trainer that's knowledgeable, that you like and trust, they may use tools or they may use treats. Great! But remember, it's going to be how you communicate with your dog that will help them listen.

To get started today take a look at my self-help videos or contact me if you have any questions.

Thanks for reading!

-Bethany

Utah County

Orem

Dog Training

You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks...or Can You?

do all thingswith love.png

Myth:

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

True or false?

If you answered false, you are correct. You can always teach an older dog new tricks...or train an older dog. Just because you no longer have a puppy does not mean that your friend is unable to learn new obedience commands.

Training might look a little different as we work around health obstacles, like being hard of hearing or seeing, but overall your long-time companion can be happy and obedient.

Just like younger pups, we introduce your dog to new commands like staying in one spot until released, being nice in the crate, no jumping, no whining, and walking nicely on a leash. (See my self-help videos for any of the above-mentioned commands).

Asking your older dog to respect the rules of the house will give them the calm peace of mind, and physical safety that is so important for them in these golden years.

Have the dog you've always wanted...it's never too late!

Thanks for reading!

-Bethany

Orem

Utah County

 

 

How to Stop Your Dog From Being Aggressive

Photo Courtesy Of: trainingwithyoungblood.com

Photo Courtesy Of: trainingwithyoungblood.com

It can be a scary thing to watch your dog bite a person. Emotions run high and you can be overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and shame. So what can you do about it? Here are 2 things to get you started on the right track. 

(Here's a link to my self-help videos to help kickstart your success)

1. Contain Your Dog

Unfortunately, you probably don't want to hear this piece of advice. However, until you are able to seek help for your dog, keeping them away from the situation in which they are prone to bite is necessary.

If your dog bites strange men, then you will need to crate them when you have guests over, or be vigilant on your daily walk if strange men approach you.

Trust me, containing your dog in the short term will save its life in the long term.

2. Hold Your Dog Accountable

What!? Holding my dog accountable doesn't sound like it can help with the biting. It sure does! I'll explain.

When I say "hold your dog accountable" I mean, if you tell your dog to "sit", then make sure they sit. If you tell them "down" then make sure they get down. If you say "no jumping" then they need to stop the jumping.

By following through and enforcing obedience commands you are teaching them "your house, your rules". Your dog's need to protect you and your home will diminish as they gain respect for you. You can protect yourself and your home...you don't need their help.

I hope this helps! Here's the link again to my self-help videos to kickstart your success.

Thanks for reading!

-Bethany

Orem

Utah County

 

Why I Used to Feel Guilty During Summer

dog obedience training orem grass summer

The sun was finally shining...tan lines were starting to appear...I could hear kids playing in the park...and yet I would feel guilty. Kind of a strange reaction...right? 

Why would I feel guilty? I felt guilty because I couldn't take my dogs out to the park and enjoy the sunshine with them.

If I tied them up to a nearby tree, they would just bark and lunge at any person, dog, or object that came near them. I would be apologizing the whole time they were with me. I couldn't relax, because what if they managed to get out of their harness? They would bolt, and it would take hours to track them down and get them back...if they didn't get hit by a car first.

Keeping them in a hot car was not an option...obviously...so they would stay home, and in their crate, while the whole family would go on picnics, or up the canyon without them. Yup...I would feel guilty.

How do I feel now? Absolutely excited, proud, and so happy that they can come with me almost anywhere! After teaching them a simple "lay down and be calm" command, they can come with me up the canyon, to a park with my friends, and even hang out in the front yard as my friends grill on the BBQ.

I plan on enjoying this summer...guilt free! 

To learn the "lay down and be calm command" check it out here in my self-help videos. It's called the "place" command.

Thanks for reading!

-Bethany

Orem

Utah