Thursday, October 29, 2009

Canis Film Festival

Well most of you that know me know that I'm not a clicker trainer. I don't know why. I know how to use it, I know that it's a great tool. I guess I've just gotten in my groove and so I don't want to change. Well I may just cross over, or at least add the clicker to my toolbox for very regular use. A clicker needs to be handled correctly, but then again so does any tool.

I was reminded today that training is not about the dog. It's very much about the dog owner. I never forget this but some clients remind me of this more than others. If you want to change your dog's behavior you will have to change something about yourself. I don't know what that is unless I meet you and your dog but I can tell you that this is the single most difficult obstacle to overcome. As a dog trainer I find it the most difficult part of my job. I find owners who want a quick solution and even those who would like for someone else to do the work for them altogether (and trainers who will take the money and do this too!) and then have a great dog in return. But the long-term effects of the training are solely based on you and what you do or don't do.

Just like weight loss, there is no quick or easy solution. It will take some work and some dedication . . . a lot of patience but the end result is so rewarding that it is indescribable . . .

Ok now onto something that is educational and fun. . . . . Karen Pryor, the pioneer of clicker training, has an annual Canis Film Festival where anyone can submit a video for the contest. One of the videos that is a finalist in this year's contest is a really great one. It is from the perspective of the dog, which makes it that much better ,but the way it is done is very creative.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Halloween is coming up this weekend! First I want to share this link if you want to get Fido a last-minute costume. Then I wanted to pass along some good Halloween info for those who will be active and out. I posted this last year but we've got some readers that weren't here then! Have a safe and happy Halloween!
brought to you by Courteous Canines, LLC

Don't leave your dog unattended outside, even briefly, on Halloween. Even dogs contained in fenced yards are not necessarily safe. Eggs, candy, and other materials may be thrown at the dog and consumed. Less benign items may be thrown at him which may cause serious damage. Sadly, many animals - especially black cats and dogs - may be the objects of serious, malicious abuse on this holiday. Mischievous youths may leave fence gates ajar or enter fenced areas, even if "beware of dog" signs are posted. Especially on Halloween, where visitors may be numerous and very disarming to the resident dog, make sure your dog does not have unsupervised access to visitors, nor they to him.

Keep your dog on a leash during Halloween. Even normally obedient dogs may be sufficiently aroused or frightened to behave unexpectedly on this holiday. Walk your dog at times when you are unlikely to encounter mobs of trick-or-treaters. Keep the dog restrained by a leash - even if you ordinarily use some sort of "invisible," electronic fence system - to prevent the dog from either charging towards trick-or-treaters or bolting away from them. You do not want to lose your dog at any time, but certainly not on Halloween where pranksters often cross the line and become cruel to animals.

Keep your dog away from the front door when you answer it for trick-or-treaters. It is actually best to keep the dog in another room in a crate or safe area, away from the door and ruckus.

Give the dog something to chew on. Just because your dog is locked away from the front door, doesn't mean he can't have a good time. Give him a rawhide bone, Kong or marrow bone stuffed with something tasty--peanut butter, cream cheese, liverwurst, etc. to keep him occupied. Not only will this give him something to do, but chewing helps reduce stress.

Be careful about what your dog eats on Halloween. Candy can make any of us nauseous in sufficient amounts, and dogs generally eat wrapper and all. Chocolate, in particular, is toxic to dogs if they consume enough of it. Some dogs will find Halloween make-up, candles, and other small-sized items appealing and try to eat them. The day after Halloween, you may find broken eggs strewn on lawns and streets. All of these temptations are items that your dog should not be allowed to eat. For a complete list of hazards to avoid and how, visit the ASPCA's website.

Try to foresee potential hazards on Halloween and prepare for them. As indicated, particular areas of concern are things that dogs might eat, interactions between dogs and children, and the general level of excitement or fear, which might create opportunities for escape or promote irritable behavior. Remember that dogs don't grasp that Halloween is a holiday, and they may find throngs of loud, raucous, peculiarly-costumed children genuinely frightening and traumatic. Be sensitive to your dog's stress level and safety, and have a Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Million Thanks!

I cannot thank everyone enough who has donated to Jakey's surgery fund! We are just about halfway there! (The goal on the widget doesn't' reflect $300 that we have in a savings account for him.) I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you!

Jake thanks you even more! You can donate safely and securely online by clicking the "Chip In!" button below! . . . Muchas Gracias to all . . .

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jake Needs Your Help!

Well for those of you on facebook and actively on my page (personal) or the Adventures in Canine Training fan page you may have already seen this . . . . for those that have not I'd like to post it here . . .

My sweet, sweet Lab, "Jake", was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor (which is apparently pretty common) and needs to have it removed by the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center (DVSC) in Grapevine, per my veterinarian's suggestion. So today we went to the DVSC for a consult and estimate on costs and what all will be involved. The vet was remarkably nice and explained it all to me. The tumor is about 3-4" wide and maybe that deep, not sure until they actually "go in" and see. Once they take it they will send it off to the pathologist to get a grade. Grade 1 is good and curable with surgery, if they get it all out, and Grade 3 is usually deadly. She did say that she doesn't see Grade 3 very often so we are in the high hopes that it's a 1.

He is not in pain and it seems that he's not really sick in any way. So, he's doing well. Actually the guy is 70-lbs up from 62-lbs! I was shocked to see that on the scale today! However, he's still in good shape, so I guess this mommy was not feeding him enough . . . or maybe that darn tumor is sucking up some food! . . . .

The worst part of this is that my husband and I are financially strapped, like many in this economy, and we have zero means to fund this surgery. We are therefore trying to raise the funds for his surgery via donations. The surgery will cost $1500. I have set up a website where you can read more and donate OR you can donate now by clicking the "Chip In!" button on the widget below. I cannot tell you how sincerely we thank anyone who donates and helps!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Come'n Get It!

We are now selling no-slip collars for your convenience! You can purchase them through our website or email me and let me know what you want and if you are going to see me at a lesson or class soon I can sell it to you then. There are tons of colors we can get and we have several in stock. Go here now for details or to buy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lots of Goodies . . .

I've got lots of goodies to present . . . as well as some not so good stuff . . . but read on for the whole conglomerate of things going on in this dog trainer's world!

First, I've had some folks ask about Harry. He's doing great. His owners love him to death and she sends me videos of him being goofy and cute, just as I remember him! She said she was able to show off all of the great tricks I taught him and he was a huge hit with her friends--go Harry!

Which will bring me to my first announcement: Adventures in Canine Training is offering a new, fun and innovative class "Mutt Masterpiece Theater". This class was designed thanks to Harry as well as me wanting to bring a fun, advanced and fresh idea to dog training! You can blow up the flyer by clicking on the image to the right. This class will teach focus around other dogs while giving you and your dog something exceedingly fun to do! You will learn tricks, agility, freestyle and how to work with dogs in a group. Read more . . .

I am also adding an element to my business to try to bring in some extra money so I don't have to seek a 2nd job to help support my family. This one is a good one. If you have a dog walker or have thought about getting one for your dog then re-think it . . . try my new program, I am now The Pooch Pedlar! That's right. Read details on my flyer, click the image to the left.

Now for my not-so-great news. My poor pup, Jake is my yellow Lab. Many know him. He's sweet as sugar. He helps me in many of my aggression cases. Well he's been diagnosed with a mast cell tumor and it has to be removed before it becomes malignant. Right now we are at a grade 1 and with that we can successfully get it removed and have a 100% cure rate if they can get all of the tumor out. The worst part is that this is a very invasive procedure and has to be done by a specialist at the Dallas Surgical Center. We know this will be a very expensive surgery and my current financial situation will not allow me to pay for this for m sweet Jakey. I made a donation page for him for anyone that is able, willing or wanting to help out. You can see the details and his page by clicking here.

This is the time of year to get busy with your pups! Fall is here and weather is getting nice! Join one of our classes now!