Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jake: August 31, 2002-December 31, 2011

Our sweet Jake crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this morning.  He became ill again 2 days ago and we could no longer allow him to suffer.  Thank you to all those who have followed his long journey, been so incredibly supportive of me and Jake, and take time out of your day and pocketbooks to help us in so many ways.  Once I'm able to function more I will write a memorial for him . . .

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The A-List!

If you recall last year at this time we were entered into the A-List (then WFAA, now Dallas A-List) and we finished off in 2nd place as the BEST TRAINING in Dallas!  Not shabby.  However as of right now we are in 3rd place!  We need more votes!  You can only vote one time period.  So we need more votes, many more votes!  If you could help us by voting and spreading the word I'd greatly appreciate it!  Thank you and stay tuned for new blog posts for 2012!  Vote here: . . .  Oh and did I mention that for everyone who votes you are given the option to purchase a single in home lesson for $79 ($109 value!) So what are you waiting for?!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fa la la la!

Well I'll put a lot of goodies in this post.  First, for many of you wonderfully super followers you have been a reason for my sweet Jake still being on this planet today!  Again, more thanks to everyone who has been supportive in every way, I am truly grateful forever.  He continues to do well.  He's being a sweet, jolly ole Jakey as we knew him before!  He is still sporting his "cone of shame" but alas he doesn't care at all.  It's pretty funny that thing is so obtrusive that when  he goes behind the laundry room door and attempts to then go back around the door to leave, his cone catches the door and  he ends up shutting himself in there!  I discovered the other night that Jake was nowhere to be found. I was baffled. I went in the yard thinking I left him out there, "Jake! Jakey!" Nothing. I went in each room of the house.  Nothing.  Then I hear the clanking in my laundry room.  Ah there he is!  Silly boy.

We're Competing badgeNow for some business. I need votes... well Adventures in Canine Training needs votes!  If you recall last year at this time I was in the running for the CityVoter's A-List for Dallas amongst 27 other nominees!  In the end I came in 2nd place for BEST TRAINER in Dallas!  Whoa, great accomplishment!  I want to reach #1 and I have enough supporters to do this.  I need your votes!  People can only vote once, period the end.  So this truly means that the number of votes are critical!  Recruit friends to vote, knock on doors, campaign for me here at Adventures in Canine Training in any way you see necessary.  Ok.  You can vote here.  And by the way, thanks for your vote.  Your vote is what keeps us going strong all year long!

And lastly, did you get or read my latest newsletter?  Loads of great stuff in there--loads of it!  Take a look at that here if you haven't already!

And don't forget to buy Gift Certificates for that special dog person you know!  Contact Stacy for purchasing.  On sale through this Friday, December 16th.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sweet Survivor: Part V

Jake came home on Monday.  He's doing well!  I know that all the prayers, support, good vibes and healing thoughts got us through this . . . once again!  This time it was much more critical so all the above is the only reason we still have our sweet Jake.  

He doesn't seem to be in much pain and he's actually now acting like the ole Jakey we know.  His big soulful eyes beam at me gently as I sit on my bed and he stands on the floor politely to beg for his dinner.   Monday he was pretty sore but he was really happy to be at his comfy home after a very long week.  He was pretty much in the hospital for 6 days.  Poor guy.

His eyes are already back to their full, big brown self.  On Monday he looked pretty awful.  His eyes were really sunken in and looked "beady".  He's putting his weight back on and sleeping well too.  Today he started playing and I was ecstatic!  He isn't especially playful as a dog anyway, so not only did this mean he feels well but also that he's really happy! 

Thank you, once again, to all those who have been generous monetarily to us since all of this started.   We definitely couldn't have done it without you all.  Thank you to the group of ladies who encouraged me to reach out and ask for help, as I was too reluctant to do so . . . again.  I cannot find words to express my gratitude to each and every one of you!  Thank you!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sweet Survivor: Part IV

 Well it's late Sunday night as I type this.  Hubby went with me today to visit Jake, our toddler was with my in-laws so we went over there together.  He was much, much brighter and tail was wagging today.  He seemed pretty depressed and sad the other day.  I didn't really want to say that the other day but he wasn't all that happy on Friday.

He has lost a lot of weight and his face looks incredibly awful, major muscle atrophy.  However, he's eating and seemingly doing okay.  They said at this point he hasn't vomited but he also hasn't had a bowel movement so they are hoping for that.  They said they had cleaned out his plumbing so well during surgery they thought it'd be a bit before he actually did have to poop!

Anyway, I'm hoping to take him home tomorrow (Monday).  First, I have no idea what this bill is going to be at this point.  And second I think he'll be more comfortable here and feel better being home.

Anyway, since we are coming up on day 5 in the hospital I'm still hoping and praying for some more donations.  By the Grace of God we have had the remarkable donations pour in so far and the contributions have been incredible.  I mean I cannot find words to thank all of these dog-loving people!  We could still use some help and we'd love it if you shared this on Facebook or Twitter, email or whatever other social media you use!  Yes, now I'm kind of begging.  A bit sad and desperate, but that's the reality at this point!  

Thank you, thank you and thank you to all of those who have kept up with him, prayed, paid, supported, spread the word and much more.  You have no idea how much it truly does mean to me and my family!  Truly some acts of paying it forward!  God Bless you all! (Link to the Chip In! donations here for those who cannot see the widget to the right.)

{{Note to those who get this via their email inbox: You can always visit the blog online to see all pictures, widgets and videos by clicking here.}}

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sweet Survivor: Part III

Today is a new day!  First, Dr. Franks is awesome. I woke up this morning to a text that had a picture of sweet Jakey and a text that said -- He has done well overnight :)  Great thing for me to wake up to!

So I went to visit him around 3pm.  He was pretty sad looking (Labs are good at this!), I think in pain, but he was happy to see me.  They told me that he had nibbled a small piece of chicken earlier but not really eaten.  I mixed some food for him at home and put his enzymes (he has to have due to his EPI) on it and blended it in the blender since he's going to have to have basically a liquid diet from now on.  I tried to give him some when we were in the room but he just licked a bit and then just laid down.

I told him he had to eat (it's coming up on 5 days since he's eaten) and stay strong and that I'd be back to get him.  I hate visiting dogs in hospitals because I always wonder what they think as you walk out the door and leave them there.  Anyway, he needed to go back in his little area and get back on his pain meds and fluids.  So they came and took him.

I talked to Dr. Franks and she asked if he ate anything for me. I told her about the food I made and that he licked a tiny bit.  She said it was good he was willing and trying.  She also said, "...he has got to have the worst bellyache ever!"  Poor guy.  So she feels that he really needs to stay through the weekend, which I am not arguing with as he needs more constant care to ensure he's going to pull through all of this.  She also said he was one heck of a fighter!  And we knew that.  I said that before. I told my husband perhaps we should call him "Rudy" since he never gives up! (That's in reference to the 1993 movie, "Rudy")

So on my way home Dr. Franks texts me -- He just ate 1/2 c of shredded chicken. Wofled it down.  Right before I was writing orders to only feed his own food with enzymes in it!  I text her back -- I must have inspired him!   So we are excited he's seeming to want to eat now.  The prayer is that food stays down and hopefully he has a bowel movement.  Ugh, that's gonna hurt that poor guy!  But this is the difficult part for him, the reason he's here now anyway.  So this will be another big hurdle if he can do those things.

With all this said, I'm having a much better day today.  Not blowing my nose and trying to ice my swollen eyes down.  I know I owe it all to the Big Guy Upstairs and all the support, prayers and love he's received from all my (and Jake's!) adoring clients, trainer-friends (near and far!), veterinarians, friends and family.  Thank you so much to all of you. I could not have made it without you and Jake surely couldn't have!  

I am still in awe at the donations.  This is incredible.  We are still taking those, of course.  Now that he's staying longer we know the bill will be higher than was originally posted.  But I would not have been able to do this at all without the donations I have!  Thank you again and again and again...  Here is his ChipIn page again, and please feel free to share.

{{ Note to those who get this via their inbox: You can always visit the blog online to see all pictures, widgets and videos by clicking here. }}

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sweet Survivor: Part II

 Well, where do I start?  First, the out-pour of generosity is amazing.  I don't have words, I don't have enough arms to hug everyone.  But I have many tears of joy as the dog-loving community always pulls through for me!  For those of you who have donated your hard earned dollars -- thank you really isn't enough, but thank you!

Now for an update.  Jake was able to go into surgery late today.  After the donations came rolling in we knew this would be feasible, and with the help of my wonderful surgeon (rather Jake's surgeon), Dr. Franks at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center in Grapevine we saw a light at the end of what was a very dark tunnel. I always say that "she knows Jake inside and out, literally" since she's now seen the guy's insides 3 times, or is it 4.  Wow, I lose count for that poor guy.  Anyway, she's amazing, truly amazing and she is fighting for him as much as we are.  She's also been more than generous to me and my family, human and canine.  So I have to give her some major thanks, hugs and hallelujahs!  

I also want to thank the wonderful veterinary staff at Katy Trail Animal Hospital in Dallas.  They saw him first on Tuesday (Dr. Naugler saw us that day, she was amazing!) and then sent us back over to Dr. Franks.  But their staff is always so kind, caring and there to fight for your pets' care and quality of life.  If it weren't for them Jake wouldn't be where he is today as Dr. Murray over there is the one that finally helped us discover he had developed secondary EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) after we thought last year at this time that we would be saying good-bye to him.  If it weren't for her we wouldn't have him here at all.  And since all this Dr. Naugler has called me twice to check on him and get updates despite the fact that she's getting reports from Dr. Franks. I figure she could just get the reports and go from there without calling but instead she's being incredibly caring and encouraging. 

Anyway, he came out of surgery stable.  He is comfortable now.  Apparently while we've gotten past one hurdle that very well could have been a wall instead of a hurdle, we still have several others to contend with.  Without going into all the specifics that Dr. Franks went over with me, I'll just say that we do still have to keep praying.  With all of his major issues in his GI tract he's got a long road ahead and he'll have to be a real fighter to keep going.  But we are sure he is, we know he is, and we feel confident that he'll get through it.  Dr. Franks is cautiously optimistic but she's honest and real and that's why we love her.  So we do have to keep praying for the big ole sweetie.

Again, the donations have poured in like Christmas came early and that is marvelous.  Absolutely marvelous!  I'm really emotional today, and with all this kindness and giving I've now got tears of joy.  Thank you to all of you and we know that we can now begin to look ahead!

Sweet Survivor

Well here we are again with my sweet, tough boy Jake the Lab.  Many of you know him, many of you have contributed to his ordeals in the past but we've sadly come to a really bad place.  I'll type up the story for those who haven't been in the loop [this time around].

Monday evening Jake refused dinner.  Red flag for any of my dogs (side note: one very good reason to never free-feed your dogs!)  He vomited about 6 times from dinner time until the morning, all in the manner that it was hardly anything which meant probably a blockage.  He also hadn't had a bowel movement--huge red flag and another possible sign of a blockage.

X-rays showed his bowel is dialated and that there is something in there.  The interesting part about Jake is that since all of his crazy stuff from the past he's a "horse of a different" color.  His intestines are a mangled, scarred mess.  And it seems that they are always filled with gas--not normal.  Actually I think even the vets are all surprised the boy is still around with all the plumbing issues he's lived with!  So with this our wonderful, dear surgeon, Dr. Joanne Franks at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center in Grapevine (she's done 2 of his surgeries) has said that the reality is that she could open him up but may not be able to swim through all his insides due to all the scarring.  She already warned me last year that if something just like this happened again the odds were highly stacked against us.

Anyway, I took him in Tuesday so they could at least give him fluids, try everything possible to see if by some miracle he'd pass whatever it is in there.  Wednesday she calls and says they could do this and that but asked me about cost as she knows I am not financially stable (seems like a forever thing!).  The costs for the other things were too high so I elected to bring him home yesterday.

He vomited 4 more times at home and is very obviously uncomfortable.  I can't imagine what he feels like, poor guy.  Still hasn't eaten a meal since Monday or had a bowel movement.  Not good, not good at all.  All I can do is think what if she can go in there and find something, remove it and we can just move on to recovery?  What if he does in fact survive this surgery by some miracle?  I mean he's been so strong this whole time.  What if?  But of course the problem is that we definitely haven't the funds for surgery.

So the sad truth has come to this, we have to elect humane euthanasia if we cannot do the surgery.  Even with the surgery it is definitely possible that he still doesn't make it.  But I can't help but think that I'm a horrible person for not at least trying the surgery. 

We would immeasurably appreciate any donations. A dog training forum I'm on convinced me to do another ChipIn. I was reluctant, after doing so in the past, as I know that this time of year and this economy is not kind to anyone.  So I removed the chip off my shoulder and did it--again.  And I'm actually going to apologize for doing so.  It's not easy to admit to failure and it's not easy to ask for money, especially since I've done so in the past.  Humility has gotten to me.  So thank you, thank you and thank you to all contributors.  I cannot express the gratitude enough.

Here is the ChipIn I've created. If you can't see the image below, just click here to go to his donation page.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Do you know when . . . ?

Do you know when to say when to Fido? I 'm not talking about feeding him too much, I'm talking about stress levels.  I try to discuss this with all my clients but I am not sure if I do as good a job as I should.  You must realize that a dog under even the slightest bit of stress can make a lot of things look like something else.

During a training class I watched as one of my clients asked her dog to lie down.  The dog lifted her paw and stood looking at her owner, "Ma, did I do it right?!"  The owner was becoming slightly irritated, "Fifi, down!"  She offered the paw again and then sat, still looking longingly at her owner.  The dog was not being defiant, she was simply conflicted, confused and now stressed out.  At this point she wasn't going to lie down no matter how much the owner kept stressing "Down!".  Once a dog hits a level of stress and we don't step back to find out what to do better or change the situation we set our dogs up for many things:  1) failure  2) lack of compliance  3) distrust in us.

It is critical to learn how to read your dog, and use that to your advantage.  Doing this will help so many situations.  During training you will go further if you are actually "in tune" with your dog. But even forget dog training, life in general will be better for the both of you if you learn to read your dog!  By this I mean learn to read his stress signals and help him learn and go the right direction, using appropriate training, tools, and communication.  (This is a huge reason I do not like a certain TV Dog Trainer, he doesn't read dog's stress levels worth a poop!)

I saw this blog post titled, "A Different Form of Abuse?" on Facebook today and shared it on my Facebook page, but I wanted to write a little more about the subject too.  I also wanted to share that this is one of the many topics that will be discussed in my Speak DOG! Workshop I'm having on Sunday, November 20th.  Details on that here--please enroll and find out some things you may have thought you knew but didn't!

Friday, October 28, 2011

BOO! Halloween Safety Reminders for Pets.

Halloween festivities are already under way.  However, I always want to give out these tips for pet owners.  It is imperative that you advocate for your pets; know these things to keep your pets happy and safe!  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!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yay, Fall Classes!!

Have you joined one of our fall classes?  We have a great one for someone who has never been in a group class before, our "Courteous Canines" class and then for someone who has had a group class and/or several private lessons our "Beyond the Leash" class is a great one!  Check out a full list of our classes here.  Here is a feature for our Courteous Canines class . . .  All highlighted dates have schedule classes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wubba & Premack.

Two powerful things: Kong Wubba & The Premack Principal.  Ok, so the first one may not be powerful at your house but it is at mine.  However, the second, Premack's Principal, is powerful for many dog training successes!

For the past 2 weeks I've been a little at a loss.  Not sure why I didn't feel this way before but Jazz gave me a real inspiration to get out and work my own dogs harder than I have in a long time.  Poor fellas need it, especially my Aussie/Border Collie, "Noah" and my Jack Russell, "Trevor".  They need stimulation and they haven't gotten it in the way they have needed it since my daughter was born almost 3 years ago (November of 2008).

So this week I drop my daughter off at school, go home, feed the other dogs and then load up Noah and Trevor in my car.  We live 60 seconds from the River Legacy Parks in Arlington.  It's quite handy and it's a gorgeous park.  You may recall numerous photos of Jazz that I had as I trained her there a lot.

Today I decided to take just Noah to the park as he needed my one on one attention.  I'll alternate days for the dogs so they get the undivided training attention they need.  Take note of this if you have a multiple dog household.  Dogs should be separated for training, it will boost your success rates and your relationship with each dog.

Today I decided to practice Noah's off-leash skills.  I've not actually focused on doing this before.  He's been good off-leash but I've never taken him and trained him solely on this.  Naughty dog owner that I am!  Trevor used to compete in Flyball so his off-leash skills are great and have been for many years.  Truthfully all I need is a tennis ball and he's not going to leave my side!  Crazy little terrier.

So if you follow my Facebook page (You don't? Well get on it!) you've seen me mention and show a few videos regarding Premack's Principal.  Only discovered it not too terribly long ago.  Love it.  It's magical when utilized consistenly and it's quick!  We all want quick don't we?!

Basically Premack's Principal is best described in a blog I found-- 
Desirable – or high probability – behaviors are those behaviors which the animal wishes to do when given the choice. Undesirable – or low probability – behaviors are those behaviors which, given the choice, the animal seldom, if ever, does.
Premack’s Principle states an animal will perform an undesired behavior in order to engage in a desirable behavior. When a high probability behavior is contingent upon the performance of a low probability behavior, the outcome is the increased frequency of the low probability behavior
 Here is a video I did of Noah and I at the park this morning.  I have not edited it at all, you'll notice as you watch it's very raw.  I was videoing and training at the same time, not super easy!

And another video using Premack by my favorite clicker trainer, Emily Larlham of Dogmantics Dog Training in California.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Class Time!

I wanted you all to know that I'm using Eventbrite for scheduling and enrollments for my group classes.  I'm currently adding classes now.  Two classes are already scheduled for October--enroll today!  Go here for the current schedule:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

And the winner is . . .

Extreme Mutt Makeover is finally here!  Wanted to let you know that for those who want to know if we make the finals for Saturday please stay in tune with this page & my Twitter @dfwdogtrainer. If I make the finals you ALL better be there! Finals are 5:30pm Saturday, September 17th at Will Rogers Memorial Center Coliseum in Ft Worth.
If you want to come watch the prelims they are free to the public on Friday and Saturday.  Noon on Friday, 10am on Saturday.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wonderful Walking: Is it attainable?

Have you tried all kinds of methods, tools and other things to try to get your dog to walk nicely on the leash?  Well look no further!  This isn't magic but it sure works like it when you actually see how simple this new method is!  It's easy to do, and it's quick.  It also involves no special collars, harnesses or other tools. 

I just recently learned of this method and found it incredibly interesting so I've tried it out and found that it does work really well, really fast.  Your dog will actually look at you and walk at your side with a loose leash, where the leash has a "J" shape in it as you walk.

I'm hosting a LOOSE LEASH WORKSHOP on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th at 6:30PM in the CRADDOCK PARK in Dallas.  If you would like to attend it is $40/dog and you should email Stacy for specifics and to get on the enrollment list!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

We've tried *everything* . . .

I hear this phrase from clients usually followed by the laundry list of things they have tried to do with their dogs (or kids!) and then it's followed-up with . . ."but nothing works."  

Let's take a look at the "I've-Tried-Everything Theory".  First, this can apply to humans not just dogs so whether you are a pet parent or otherwise, this could help you out. . . .  Now, my first thought isn't that of, oh dear this dog must be difficult, but rather that the person has failed somewhere along the way.  Dogs don't fail us, we fail them.  It may be a big fail or small one, but it's us who fails.  So when our dogs are not "getting it" or they keep repeating some unwanted behavior over and over it's time for us to take a step back and re-evaluate what we are doing.

First, I don't know how to get this across to some people because a lot don't get it but--dogs aren't little humans.  While they are intelligent, fascinating creatures capable of some amazing things they still lack many things that the human mind doesn't.  Like reasoning and complex understanding.  Until you can actually wrap your brilliant human mind around this you won't be able to move very far with successful results with your dog.  Dogs are dogs, whether superheroes or not they are still dogs.  

So now that you realize your dog is a dog we can now move forward.  First comes the part any and all dog owners know they need to do but fail to--be consistent.  This doesn't mean for 24 hours, it means always, everyday.  Consistency will yield reliability, stability and trust--here is where this applies to humans too!  I'm a parent of an almost 3-year-old and so I'm around a lot of toddler parents.  I often hear this statement from parents--"Oh we tried that, it didn't work for us . . ."  and again my brain goes back to--Really? So does that mean you attempted it 4 or 5 times and it didn't seem to work so you gave up?  Probably.  And this is what I run into with dog training.

But know this too.  There is a fine line.  You need to know what is going to work with a dog on his level of understanding, as well as with a toddler.  As with kids we assume that this little thing is so brilliant (afterall they understand so many things we say!) that we put way too much expectation into what they actually understand and comprehend.  Everything has to be appropriate for what you are working with.

If you have tried something that is punishment-based (tugging at your dog's collar for a "stop-it" for an unwanted behavior) but the actual behavior isn't going away after repeatedly doing this then you are probably not doing something correctly.  However, on the flip-side if you are using positive-based methods and you think it's "not working" then you are probably not utilizing it appropriately either.  

I don't condone punishment-based methods for dogs or kids.  In the long-term it doesn't work.  What happens with punishment is that if and when it does work you will suppress a behavior but you haven't actually taught the lesson you were hoping for.  You cannot teach any living thing what is wrong if you havent' taught it what is right first.  A great example: If you dont' want your dog to jump instead of kneeing it in the chest or jerking it's leash to get it off of you why don't you tell it what you do want it to do?  The kneeing will usually only work on the people that consistently knee the dog.  What does that mean?  It means the dog hasnt' learn not to jump it's learned that jumping on you (or whomever does this method) is bad and receives a punishment.  However the dog's desire to get what it wants (usually attention is what a dog jumps for) is so strong that it needs to know that it can get what it wants by offering a more desirable behavior (sit instead of jump and then you can get the attention you want).  With punishment you don't give options.  You just attempt to teach it to stop jumping but you don't teach it what it is that you would prefer.

As humans we also want instant results.  We don't want to mess with training and taking time to practice, having to proof behaviors by going in different places, etc.  That's too time consuming for us busy Americans these days.  Who has time for that?  

A well-trained dog or a well-behaved kid doesn't happen with militant rules or punishment.  While appearances may show what looks like instant results you can be rest assured that other behaviors that are unwanted will result when you leave out the actual act of teaching a dog what is right and then when you do tell him he's wrong it will actually count . . . and make sense.  Also, when you do this the punishment doesn't have to be physical or harsh.   I can actually say "Hey!" to my own dogs with an instant whip of their head and they stop doing what they were doing. 

Some dogs, like some kids, can "tolerate" being yelled at or given ludicrous rules, or even physical punishment.  However, those that are taught with positive discipline, over time, will be much more relaxed, comfortable with others and have better self-esteem.  They also learn better and retain knowledge better.  So, if you are finding yourself in a quandary then take a step back and re-evaluate.  Does your dog understand what you want?  Does your dog know a better behavior than what you are trying to say "no" to?  Do you find your dog doing the right thing (that could be just lying calmly on the rug!) and you acknowledge this with even just a simple, "Good boy!"?  Have you taken the time to teach your dog basic things (sit, lie down, come when called, walk nicely on leash) so that communication is easier for the both of you?

Do you just feel like maybe you need a coach to show you how to accomplish some things or even get rid of some behaviors?  Then give me a shout!  I'd be more than happy to show you the way!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Late Night Jazz . . .

Are you following Jazz on her Facebook page? If so then you've seen all her videos.  She's doing videos every night with great music . . . we are calling them "Late Night Jazz".  Here is a look at one of the videos.  To see all of them either go to my YouTube channel or see her Facebook page & scroll down to follow all of them.  There are Volumes I-VII so far, more to come! (If you cannot view the video below visit this link:

Friday, August 12, 2011


Well I had to ask the program peeps but I've now gotten permission to advertise that . . . Jazz is accepting sponsors!  Oh yes!  A couple of the other Extreme Mutt Makeover dogs in the competition have sponsors and it's been great.  Their "donations" range from t-shirts to coupons to other fun things from dog-related businesses to individuals.

Jazz would love anyone to sponsor her and donate whatever the person, company or organization feels they can or want to do!  Nothing is too small and all monies or donations go toward the on-going care and costs of shelter dogs.

If you would like to be a sponsor and have a banner, brochures or any other promotional materials we'd be happy to advertise them for you on the weekend of the double-event, The Extreme Mustang Makeover and the Extreme Mutt Makeover.  Which will take place September 16-18 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Ft Worth.  The crowds expected range between 1000-2500 people.  It's a huge event and draws a big crowd.  Not to mention it's all for the animals, in this case horses and dogs!

And don't forget to follow these great Facebook pages too!

Wanna sponsor Jazz?  Let me know.  Send me an email.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Funny what a challenging dog can teach you . . .

Jazz with her Nylabone
All my training clients are going to love me after this event.  Not because I think I'm going to win and take home the title of winner.  I'm fairly certain that isn't going to happen for me and Jazz after our experience today.  However, Jazzie-girl is teaching me a lot about myself and the challenges dogs endure.  Which in turn are challenges my clients endure when they have a challenging dog themselves.  Not that I never knew that many of my clients have some challenges, but this particular dog is showing me just what a challenge can do to you, the caretaker of the dog.

My own dogs are pretty great dogs.  I don't have any horrible challenges that I face.  I've also never owned a dog that came with baggage.  And I recall my beloved, late mentor, Lee Mannix saying to me--"Stacy get a dog that's hard, that's a challenge.  Don't go get a puppy that's a clean slate.  Once you successfully train a challenging dog you'll be the best dog trainer in world . . . "   And although I always knew he was right, I couldn't ever bring myself to go get a challenging dog and do that.  Too comfortable with my lovely pooches at home. . . .  

And so this is the story of Jazz, my new guiding star . . .

I took Jazz out today for the first time outside of our house.  Things went horrible.  She's terrified of the outside, even  more terrified of the car and forget Petsmart.  She completely shut down.  For a trainer, you know what this means.  For anyone else wondering it's basically where the dog is so over-stressed that it does nothing for anything.  As a trainer well-versed in doggie behavior I also know this means a long road ahead.  Fear is very difficult to overcome, and usually time is your only friend.  It's just a real tricky thing to deal with in training and it has many factors that come into play . . . .

Jazz playing tug
I had chopped up ham in my pouch and although, because I could read her like a book, I knew she wasn't going to take any food I did offer her some to "see if".  Upon offering the yummy ham she did this: sniff, head turn, heavy panting--that's a dog saying, help, I'm freaked out.  I knew this was going to happen after watching her body language.  Sigh.  We bought the dog food I came in for and left.

Poor girl was basically in the shelter her whole life, all (about) 10 months of it.  Damaged dogs can teach you a lot.  A lot about people.  A lot about how to be patient.  A lot about what to do when time isn't on your side. . . .

However, today I really was able to stop and go through a lot of things in my head.  I have 6 weeks now to get this dog to where she'll go into a huge arena (at this point that is out of the question!) and perform.  I was going through all these thoughts in my head and then I realized I wasn't too incredibly worried.  Not this time . . .

When I joined the Extreme Mutt Makeover in 2009 my thoughts were to get my dog trained to be the best dog out there. Win!  Of course we did nothing of the sort. "Harry" was entertaining as he darted away to a member of the crowd and completely ignored me during our huge performance.  The crowed laughed and roared.  While I laughed and smiled, inside I was horrified.  What a terrible trainer I am, how embarrassing . . . and on and on my head went spinning. 
"Harry" the mutt

However, I learned that I wasn't having fun and I didn't allow Harry to just have fun.  If I hadn't had so much competition fever in me then my training would have showed it.  Harry was rather intelligent and he was very easy to teach new things to.  He also really wasn't fearful of anything, at least not enough to make any difference.  So I could have very easily won that competition last year.  

This year I questioned doing this event because I didn't have time or I recall all the stress I put myself through with Harry.  My husband even said, "No, you're not doing it again.  Do you not remember all the stress you endured and the many days of tears?"  But this time I thought more about it.  

Jazz in the shelter
I don't care if I win.  Heck, I don't even care if we can't get out there to perform!  I just want this remarkable dog to be given a chance, show the world that any dog can be trained and brought a long way from where they started.  I just want to show myself that a challenge doesn't have to endure so much stress that you lose sight of what you're doing.  Take a challenge and go with it.  Just break it down.  Take it one step at a time.  Let Jazz tell you when she's ready and move forward.  Rushing things never works.  Nothing ever good comes of it and it only leads to thoughts in your head, "I should'a. . . If only . . . . . ."

I'm learning and hoping that Lee Mannix can see me.  I hope he is able to be proud as I've finally been able to take his advice and see what a joy it is to have this giant learning journey ahead of me . . . because I can see that at the end I'm going to be better for it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Extreme Mutt Makeover . . . again!

For all you loyal followers of this blog . . . first, you know it's been way too long since I've posted! You also know that I participated in this wonderful and sadly under-advertised event in 2009--the Extreme Mutt Makeover.  My blog started from the beginning of my journey that year and took you to the end.  In 2009 it was a 6 week project, now it's an 8-week project.  Here is where it started in 2009.

It's evolved from that year, as that was the event's "pilot" year.  What is this event anyway?  Well . . .this year there are 16 dogs competing.  The event is paired with The Extreme Mustang Makeover over the course of a weekend, this year being September 16-18.  The dog part of the competition, The Extreme Mutt Makeover takes 16 dogs from various shelters across the country that are sitting, waiting for a home.  Each dog is carefully temperament tested and evaluated and then chosen to take part.  Trainers apply, have to be accepted and then they draw a number and are paired with a dog based on their number.

Each trainer has 8 weeks to train their dogs and then will compete in 3 preliminaries and the top 3 competitors (based on 3 judges scores) will then be sent to a final round when all the mustangs compete for a major cash purse on Saturday, September 17th.  After the competition is said and done the point of this whole thing is that these dogs are showcased, trained and up for adoption.  They also want to show that shelter dogs from all walks of life can be trained to be perfectly wonderful companions -- and even to do some really spectacular things, you'll see if you come watch the competition!

This year I came in one week late in the game.  I went back and forth with myself asking if I had the time for this, the mental and physical stamina, blah, blah.   Each dog selected has their own Facebook page (all of them are listed on the left column under "Likes") and so I've been following them since they were selected and before any trainer had been chosen for the dogs.  There are a ton of darling dogs in this year's competition!  I am even ecstatic to say that a Pitbull made it into the competition and came all the way from California (his name is Hitch, you can follow his page here)!!

Anyway, one of the dogs really caught my eye ("Jazz") with her darling face and single white paw.  She also reminded me a great deal of the darling dog I had the first time I did this 2 years ago, "Harry".  She's fuzzy, medium sized, young and sweet.  The day the trainers all went to draw their dogs they had a live video feed of the drawings.  I was doing work on the computer that day (Saturday, July 23rd) and so I watched some of it while working.  I thought I never saw anyone get paired with Jazz.  So I went to her Facebook page and made some comments.  One of the ladies who volunteers for the Humane Society of North Texas (who basically invented this event for the dogs) ended up taking her home with her as a trainer dropped out last minute.  She planned on teaching her some stuff but wasn't going to officially compete with her.  She emailed me and said, "Stacy if you want to compete still we had a trainer drop and we could pair you with Jazz."  I thought, thought, thought.  I really wanted to do it!

So today, Saturday, July 30th I met with Vickie and picked up Jazz around 5pm.  The competitors have 8 weeks to train their dogs.  I lost a week since I came in a week late.  But Jazz and I plan to jazz things up and get the ball rolling! (Pun intended!)

Watch my blog for updates on Jazz, her training and life in my busy and hectic household for the next 7 weeks!  Also Jazz needs as many "Likes" on her Facebook page as possible.  The dog who gets the most Likes receives $500 to donate to the shelter they came from!  Send her page to everyone you know!  I'll also update her page very often too.  And most of all . . . come watch us on Saturday, September 17th showcase our great stuff . . . not to mention all the other wonderful trainers and their dogs!  It's a fun family event!

Here is the amazing professionally done video they had made for the year we did it.  The black Lab in the video won that year.  Each dog that is horribly sad in the shelter scenes in the beginning are the actual dogs that were in the competition that year! (Um, be ready for a couple of tears from this!)


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Old Man.

I wanted to do a little birthday slide show of my sweetheart of a dog, Amos, my Great Dane.  Amos is 10 years old today.  An old age for a Dane and he's doing well.  I love this guy.  He's a big lug, sweet, lazy and just an amazing dog all around.  He's been around.  He started out as my demo dog for dog training back in 2001 when I got him and hauled him to Petsmart everyday when I worked there.

Here's to you sweet boy, hope you have a good one!  Here are some great pics of him through his years. . .

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jake the Lab: Going strong!

I thought many of you would like an update on Jake, my Lab.  Many of you who are devoted followers have read in the past 15 months our horrible struggles with Jake's health, with horrible news just this past December that he would not be with us much longer . . . until I didn't give up and neither did my wonderful vet as well as one of Jake's surgeon's.  

He's been diagnosed with Secondary EPI--Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency.  Basically his pancreas doesn't break down proteins, fats or carbohydrates which was why he lost 15-lbs in a span of 3 months.  When the disease goes untreated/diagnosed the dog literally begins to starve to death all while eating normally, sometimes even more food than normal!  It's incredibly heartbreaking to watch your dog eat yet still starve to death!

However, Jake has gained a nice 9-lbs back and still has about 4 more to gain.  His ribs aren't showing any longer and he doesn't look like a neglected, abused pet any longer!  He's bouncing, having fun and back to the Jakey we all know and love!  

I didn't take any pictures of him at his lowest weight--51-lbs--and I should have just so I could see a before and after.  Here is one I took of him tonight.  He was being sweet, just sleeping and I went in to take his picture.

For those who are behind here is the last post I did on Jake, click here.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

TV "Magic" Dog Training.

First I must say a few words.  This is going to be a long post.  It is also going to be a blunt post.   I hope you take the time to read it in it's entirety, as I'm writing this because I feel it needs to be said.  This is the reason for this blog.  It is a personal blog from my dog training points of view, which leaves it open for me to say things in a manner I may not say on other sites or in other places.  I'm not looking for people to debate what I'm about to say, so please refrain from debating this.  It's not written for open discussion for people to give me reasons to like or follow a certain famous, male TV dog trainer, I’ll refer to as “TVDT” from here on.  I don't like his training, period and I have very valid and good reasons not to.  My thoughts aren't going to change about it.  Ok.  That's said now here we go. . . 

If you read this and still do not agree with me that is completely fine but we may not be a match for each other regarding dog training and owner training.  I don't and won't use his methods or suggest that someone else should.

Okay . . . Now that I got that all out I'm going to tell you folks why I do not like TVDT and why I don't think anyone should follow his methods or try to do anything he does.  If you would like a dog that is well-trained, i.e.,  properly trained, with the science of dog training that deals with how to communicate and train dogs with what works from studies and science, then please read on.  

The sad truth is that dogs are still viewed as property by law.  Many laws are currently changing and evolving to include pets as more than just objects and property, but this is a slow process.  With this, the dog training industry is not regulated by any governing body or organization.  Anyone can call themselves a dog trainer, a "dog whisperer" or even a behaviorist if they really want to.  However, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist is actually a veterinarian that has gone on to study animal behavior (more than 8 years of education).  So while anyone can call themselves anything pertaining to dog training/behavior a true Animal Behaviorist has an extensive education  background (currently there are fewer than 50 Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists in the US). These sad facts put a real kink in things for good trainers and helps those that are poor trainers.  

The TVDT fans like to accuse all non-TVDT fans of being jealous and just wishing they were as rich and good as he is.  Of course I’m jealous, he’s rich.  I’m also jealous of Angelina Jolie, Oprah and a few other famous peeps.  I’d love to be rich and not be worried about finances.  However, I don’t talk badly of them because they don’t do things that directly impact someone or something I care about deeply in a negative way.  The facts are that dog trainers that dislike TVDT aren’t mumbling at his TV show because they are jealous, they truly see the problems he’s causing and misguided information he’s touting to dog owners that don’t know any better.  The truth is that, at least  for this non-TVDT fan, I wish he would become more educated and understand dogs and their language better.  There are bits and pieces of what he says that I do in fact agree with.   However, many things I don't and his methods I definitely don't agree with.

Let me talk about an episode I just saw last week, followed by a phone call from a client who has been following his methods (with disastrous results), which brought me to write this whole post. 

The episode had two German Shepherds who fought with each other when taken to daycare.  They apparently didn't fight at home.  When the woman got the dogs to the daycare and tried to get out of the car one dog would lay into the other.  They showed one of their fights on the show.  The dogs actually ripped into each other and one had massive puncture wounds on her face and had to have her muzzle shaved so they could clean the wounds.  There is red flag #1.  Why ask the client to put the dogs in a situation that you know would very likely cause them to fight?  That gives fighting dogs one more practice toward the whole "practice makes perfect" theory.  Both dogs had prong/pinch collars on them (whatever you want to call them).  The owner had one dog and TVDT had the other, the offender.  They were in the lobby of the daycare during the parts that I saw.  The lady had the dog on leash just standing there and TVDT came around and as soon as the dog looked at the other dog he'd jerk the leash, give it a collar correction and do his little "shhht" sound and snap his fingers.  He did that a few times.  Then he had the woman put her dog into a down position (dog lying down).  Then he took the other dog over and had him lie down about 2 feet from the other dog.  So they were then lying side by side.  One of the dogs clearly became incredibly stressed out.  He started whining and tried to move slowly away from the other dog.  He didn't try to get up and run,  he just simply scooted slightly to move away.  TVDT grabbed the leash and corrected the dog and said some spiel about how the dog has to learn to stay where he put him and he's boss and all that junk.  The dog became increasingly stressed, whined even louder and began panting and trying again to scoot out of the way.  More corrections, more of TVDT giving why he thinks this is good, etc.

So what's wrong with that, some of you may be wondering?  Well, a lot.  First if a dog is stressed and  you keep pushing and forcing it (especially with leash jerks!) to do something that it clearly is uncomfortable and stressed about;  you are not going to solve any issue at all.  Sure, for the TV show it will appear that the dogs are just peachy.  They can lie there together and not maim one another.  Let's fast forward to a week, or even the next day.  It won't last.  You cannot fight aggression with aggression and that dog was showing that he didn't want anything to do with the other dog.  He wanted to move away.  He wanted to retract.  Good boy, good dog!  What should  have happened was that he should have been praised and rewarded for moving away from the dog and not causing a confrontation.  He needed to be praised for choosing to remove himself.  If he chooses flight he's not choosing fight.  Also they didn't solve a thing. I would bet money on the fact that if you went there today the only way they can do anything is if they have those prong collars on and they still administer leash corrections.  It's punishment without teaching, there was no discipline.  Discipline teaches, punishment suppresses.  Suppressing means it's not gone just dormant . . . until it's not dormant.  And with punishment, when that sleeping giant becomes non-dormant (here being aggression) it's going to be nasty I can assure you!  That dog is going to do as much damage as possible because all it can think is--it didn't work last time and I may never get to do this again . . . so by golly this time I've got to make it count!

Punishment has the appearance of immediate results because of suppression.  While we as a society want everything to be immediate, some things are better off taking time.  Working through good dog training and long term results is one of those things that's better off done right, taking time, dedication and good discipline.

Those who have worked with me know I administer discipline.  But I do not advocate punishment.  There is a huge difference.  Often with punishment you will teach a dog to just avoid doing something in front of you, or rather that it’s just unsafe to do XYZ when you are around.  So you don’t actually teach the dog anything.  What should the dog do instead of XYZ?  The dog doesn’t know because you have only used punishment to try to extinguish a behavior without replacing it with a behavior that is desirable.  When you replace an undesirable behavior with a desirable one and also administering consequences for undesired behavior(s), you are using discipline.

I have never seen TVDT tell a dog "good boy!".  Of course you'll never see him give a reward of any kind--no food, no toys, no petting for doing something right.  He misses stress signals like an amateur (or a child!) would.  It's scary, really scary . . . and sad.  What's bad is that utilizing stress signals, reading them properly and responding to them properly can make a world of difference in a dog's training.  Ignoring these signals can mean escalated aggression or even a new behavior that comes up because another was being punished and no praise or rewards were given.

By nature dogs use stress/calming signals to avoid confrontation.  They are such social creatures that they do not purposely put themselves in a conflicting situation.  

I also find it odd and baffling that no one that is a fan of his finds it disturbing that he's working with hard cases of aggression but doesn't seem to know how to train a dog to sit or lie down on command.  That doesn't bother anyone?  Oh, right the normal response is, "he doesn't train dogs he rehabilitates them . . . "  Ok.  Let me make something very clear to those who aren't aware . . . It's going to be quite hard to impossible to successfully train a dog (or rehabilitate, whatever buzz word makes one feel better) if you can't teach commands to the dog and get owners to teach commands to their dog.  Saw an episode where he took some clients (the guy who wrote the book "Marley & Me") with their new Lab to a trainer so she could teach it to come when called.  I'm not kidding.  This was one of the episodes.  Not to mention I've never really seen him utilize commands with dogs.  I bet he has but he sure doesn't do it often.  How can a dog ever know what his owner wants if he never tells him?  It’s ludicrous to just assume a dog should “just know” or “do it because”.  Nothing in life works like that with any measurable success.

You have to have a dog that responds to you and  (at least) basic commands and foundation skills before you can truly change behavior of any kind at any level--if you want to have it last.

You can train a dog with a leash correction, or yelling, or intimidating but it won't get you too terribly far.  If you have the right dog, i.e., a dog that puts up with that kind of "training" the dog will either work out of fear or turn on you one day after coming to a breaking point.  And don't get too ahead of yourself, that could be 7 years down the road of a dog submissively doing as you request (or else!) and then one day --BAM! You're gonna get it, or someone in the dog's path at that moment is gonna get it.  And if you have the wrong dog, TVDT would label as "dominant" (he uses this label for absolutely everything of which 99% of it he's wrong), a dog that had a stronger personality and didn't take to punishment, you'd get bit faster than you could blink.  But sadly, that would lead to more punishment and so the vicious cycle would continue and no behavior would ever be changed; and these are the dogs that are often put down due to their escalated aggression (caused most often by poor training/handling).  Yes, there are dogs out there that are too aggressive to be helped (not often but there are.)  However, I'm only using the reference to what happens when you use punishment to try to "fix" aggression because it rarely, if ever, works.  

You can read a study done by the University of Pennsylvania.  “In a new, year-long University of Pennsylvania survey of dog owners who use confrontational or aversive methods to train aggressive pets, veterinary researchers have found that most of these animals will continue to be aggressive unless training techniques are modified. . . .”  Entire article found here.

I can also bash this type of training because I used to do it and I see why it doesn't work for long.  I started with my psychotic Beagle and felt magical.  He learned to sit, lie down and walk well on a leash with a choke chain.  I could give a slight little jerk and he'd do just as he was told.  But then there was the time when he bit my hand.  Puncture wound from front to back, that tooth went all the way in.  That dog had no trust for me.  He had no respect for me . . . unless he had a leash and collar on.  Oh yeah ,and he'd eat dogs up if given the chance too.  So I learned a better way and a way that I've now trained  hundreds and  hundreds of dogs with.  I've done this now for 12 years and not once have I administered a leash correction, or physical punishment, or even verbal punishment.  I've successfully trained my four dogs (the dogs I have the joy of living with now) without a single leash correction.  This includes a 120-lb Great Dane.  I throw that in there because some folks think if you own a big dog you need some special tools or to be a little more "stern" and that you definitely can't train it on leash without a prong collar--wrong!

A good dog trainer can train any dog with the proper skill set.  They don't need crazy collars and manhandling techniques to do it.

Not one of my dogs has been intimidated by me in order to do something.  All of my dogs do as I ask when I ask about 90% of the time.  The other 10% they are allowed to be dogs, as dogs should be.  Oh yeah and they sleep with me.  They also get kisses all day and love and pats and hugs from me.  All trained with food and toys.  I don't have to give them food for them to respond now, at least not every time.  They get it at random times or when they do a perfect recall off of a squirrel--they sure as heck get a good food treat for that!

Oh please . . . Don't think for one minute I'm trying to pass my dogs off as perfect.  Absolutely not.  They are dogs for goodness sake, and I'm human. They are compliant to the degree that I enjoy them immensely, and so can others.  I do not have little robot dogs.  I do not want robot dogs.  I want dogs that respond to me but enjoy it, that aren't a nuisance to others at anytime and that can be taken anywhere in public and act politely (read: that's not perfectly, it's politely).  I think more people need to aim for that goal.  It would be less stressful for both dog and owner.  And there would sure be a heck of a lot of well-trained dogs out there too!

One of my dogs gives off stress/appeasement/calming signals (there are many terms for the same thing) like a champ.  I can read him like a book. I use these signals quite a lot with aggression cases, as well with all of my dog training.  You've got to catch your dog doing something right . . . and tell him.  Don't get a big chip on your shoulder and say, "Oh he should do it because he knows he should. Why do I have to tell him good boy at this point?"  Because you do.  No you don't have to have a baggie of treats on you forever but you better well tell your dog until the day he dies that he's a good boy when he lies quietly on the rug, politely greets a guest, turns his head the other way when he sees another dog, choose to sit instead of jump . . . .  You have to tell a dog what he's doing right if you want him to make those decisions forever.  If you don't, if you only tell a dog when he's doing it wrong all you'll have is a dog making his own decisions, a dog that has no trust in you.  

Oh yeah . . . Remember the client I spoke about at the beginning of this article?  The one that called stating she was using TVDT’s methods with disastrous results?  Well I spoke with her today.  After using methods I told her to use and not using anymore of the forceful and aggressive techniques she was using her dog has stopped his aggressive behavior 100%.  She has not seen one shred of nastiness.  She said, “He’s actually been enjoyable and I’m not frustrated anymore! . . . Thank you so much for all that you did for me . . ."

So, don't think that there is anything magic about TV dog trainers or anything you see that seems to happen right away.  There is no such thing.  The truth is dogs have to be trained.  Training takes time and dedication.   Proper training takes a dog's lifetime.  I know I said it before, but my mentor always said--When do you know you can stop training your dog?  The answer is never.  You never stop training your dog. 

And I say . . . If you can't do it right then don't do it at all . . . it's better than doing it all wrong.  And if you feel the need to use punishment or TV trainer's methods/advice I strongly urge you to find a trainer and hire them.  Nothing takes the place of a professional in-person.  Even the TV shows tell you this . . . 

Got a problem or concern with your dog?  Let me know, we can work on it if you’re willing, able and ready to change your behavior as well . . . and learn a few things along the way!