Friday, January 30, 2009

Babies, Cabin Fever & Dog Tricks.

It's been a long few months. For those who are unaware--I had my first child on November 28, 2008. Of course everything has changed and my dogs are part of that change. They have adjusted well. I'm more curious how they will tolerate her once she's moving about the floor, grabbing and heading toward one of the wagging tails to grab! We'll see how that goes . . . In the meantime I'm looking for ways to get back into things with my own dogs.

My poor pups. They haven't had a decent day at the park, a walk or anything closely related in about 2 months. They are being wonderful boys though. I did purchase one of the items I recommended on my Christmas newsletter (Miss it? Read it here.)--the Alpha Pac. It is an awesome tool and while I haven't gotten to use it yet (it iced over the past couple of days) I am really excited about getting out there to actually put it to use! I've even thought of a new class I'm going to do that will benefit me, my little girl and the dogs! It's going to be called "Moms-n-Mutts Fitness" and I'll teach moms to exercise themselves and their dogs while lugging the little one around. Strollers are required and then we'll do exercises and teach Fido how to respect the speed of the stroller and sit nicely while mom does some stationery exercises as well. I'm very excited and think it will be a great success!

I've also purchased a few new dog books that I'm going to begin reading and I'll post my thoughts on those here when I'm finished. The first book is "Pup Parenting" that is based around a child parenting book that I was incredibly moved by it's methods and even as I read it I thought to myself--wow, this is the message I try to portray to my clients! Then I discovered the author co-wrote a book with a dog behaviorist with the same methods and so I ordered it right away! I literally paid $0.13 for the book as a "Used-Almost New" book through The shipping was more than the book! Click the book's picture for a direct link to it on

I also got a book titled, "The Only Dog Tricks Book You'll Ever Need" and I'm very excited about this as we can add to our list of great tricks that we teach in our tricks classes! And speaking of here is a great little snippet of my Jack Russell, Trevor, and his best trick . . . Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dogs ARE your best friend . . .

Well you know I haven't found anything more rewarding than a dog. They lie there, they listen, they don't talk back and you can teach them to do anything with some patience and dedication.

Being a brand new mom and having four dogs has brought me to the realization that dogs are much easier than people, young, old and in between. I must say that while I train dogs I find nothing more difficult than training people.

I should share a few funny stories with you that have happened to me over the years with clients. Of course names will be changed to protect the innocent. If you find that one of these stories is about you and your dog let everyone know you made news online. {smile}

Everyone must understand that dog training is the sole responsibility of the dog's owner. If someone sends their dog away for training they are doing nothing remarkable for anyone. Sure your dog may be more reliable or a bit better in some areas but in the long haul the training will probably suffer because you weren't there to take part in your dogs direct training from the get-go. With that said I find that many people call me out to their house for training with the assumption that an "in home trainer" is going to be magical. Or better they think that a dog should be easily programmable like a universal remote control.

This came from another trainer friend of mine so it wasn't a client I had but I'll still never forget the story. I couldn't stop laughing. This trainer, we'll call her Jane had a client, we'll call her Susie and Susie had a dog we'll call Max. One day in class Jane asked everyone if anyone had problems at home or any questions. Susie says, "Well yes. Max keeps getting out of my yard and running off." Jane says, "Ok. Is he digging or jumping your fence? Give me some specifics." Susie says, "Oh no. I don't have a fence." Jane gets quiet and loses her ability to speek for a moment. Then she says, "Ok. You don't have a fence at all? So why do you think the dog would stay in your yard?" Susie says, with a very serious face, "Well I thought that training made us bond and he loved me so much he wouldn't want to leave but he does . . . everytime I put him outside he leaves!"

With that said. Let's discuss the number one issue with dogs--a horrible recall and broken down communication. A recall, the trainer's term for "Come When Called", is vital to a dog and most often broken easily and quickly when the dog is young. I suggest that you try out one of our Recall Workshops if your dog does any of the following when you call him to come to you:
- he stops, looks at you and may or may not come
- he comes toward you, then darts around you or near you and wants you to chase him (and often you do!)
- he doesn't listen at all
- it's a real hit or miss
- he comes if you say some buzz word like "TREATS!" or "DINNER!" but that's the only way he'll reliably get to you
- he doesn't stop when he gets to you

If you could say that your dog does *any* of those things then you'd definitely benefit from our workshop!!

I'll give you more stories later on fun-loving doggie clients of the past!! Tootles.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chronicles of a Dog Trainer . . .

I'm going to change this blog to be on a personal note as from the perspective of myself and my endeavors as a dog trainer. This will be for fun, for anyone to read and pass along. For anyone seeking advice on training, updates on classes, tips, how to, what to and anything else please sign up for our newsletter "The Woof-Telegram" by clicking here. The newsletter is free and will go out every 3 months.