What success means in dog training!

I wanted focus on success stories with dogs. When it comes to training and having a well behaved dog there is no day off. Training needs to be a lifestyle! You need to incorporate small positive techniques in your daily routine . Being involved in your dogs life is critical and not only for a happy dog but for a happy owner. There is no quick fix for problems, everything needs to be maintained.

My dog has had more training then the average dog owner ( obviously ) but that does not mean I have not gone through the whole list of undesired behaviors.
It’s started with housebreaking, then barking in public at dogs, barking in the house at someone at the door, then separation anxiety. It feels like it never ends but it does! Puppies are learning everyday and it can take them more then two training sessions to correct undesired behaviors. Remember these undesired behaviors happen at different developmental levels and times for each dog. That’s why training is not a bunch of sessions for your dog, it’s learning how to catch undesired behaviors before they begin and knowing how to stop them before they developed into a problem.

No dog is perfect and even the ones that seem that way weren’t always . But if you can come into the mind frame that dogs have these problems and that they are easy to fix overtime. Then there are no surprises and when your dog hits their maturity level ( 1 year and 2 months for my dog) you have a companion that has grown and developed with you.

The best feeling for me is after all the hard work my dog and I have been through, he is now so loving, observant , respectful and obedient! I would never take back the “hard times” because that is how we got to today. I respect my dog so much and he shows me the same appreciation.

Love your dogs and remember if you make training part of your life it’s not work anymore it’s just living comfortably!

Ode to being a puppy!

Ohh to be a puppy!!

You get to sleep all day in your bed, play with toys and get fed,
Get treats every time you pee outside
And private trainers to enjoy the ride.

Oh to be a puppy; learning everyday
Oh to be a puppy I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Cute short poem to enjoy your puppies.
Gotta love dogs ;).


What to do before you get a dog?

Getting an animal is such a great experience. But like anything worth having, buying a dog should take some research. This is how to prepare yourself for your furry addition.

First I always advice people seeking a new dog to consider adoption. There are so many dogs in rescue homes and shelters that need adopting. Many that were abandoned or mistreated that need a nice home. You can get a pure breed or mixed breed there and you would be saving a life.

Now if adopting a dog is something you would consider for a later date and this time around you prefer a dog from a breeder make sure you take precaution.

1) See the parents of the puppy you want to adopt. See if the parents are unruly, hyperactive, aggressive, calm, quiet or loving. The parents are very telling about how your puppy may behave in the future. Family history is important!!

2). Check out the credentials of the breeder. Are they experienced? Do they practice safe breeding methods ( ie unrelated healthy dogs with good health records). Are the parents AKC certified or not? Do the pups look healthy and are they all at least 8 weeks old before bring sold off. This is important because a breeder that cares for there puppies health would allow the pups to ween for 2 months before being taken home. Some people never see the puppy they want or the parents. They just buy online and expect a great dog. Be weary!!

3). Ask about shots and vaccinations. Most breeders will have given the litter their first 2 rounds of shots plus a possible fecal exam. This is important to know so you puppy is up to date.

4) Before getting your dog, set yourself up for success. Have a vet picked out and prepare your house. This is important for you as we’ll as the dog! Have a pen for you puppy to play in with puppy approved toys to chew on and a little bed. If your dog is small you can put pee pads in the pen away from the bed so your dog can learn to pee in the right spot. A crate is also a great idea and crate training for puppies. This is easier for puppies than adults so get them prepared now. You know how your house is set up. If you live in a high rise with your tiny Yorkshire Terrier than pee pads will be a must! If you have a back yard in your house then plan to start training outside even think about a dog door before your dog arrives. This way they dog learns everything at an early age.

5). Finally ask yourself if this is a good time for a dog. If you traveling constantly and never home maybe a dog should be a thought for later.

Dogs are great companions. They give unconditional love and affection but they are not a walk in the park ( no pun intended). Puppies take time to learn new behaviors, new environments and new people. But if you do a little research before your next dog the arrival of your new dog will be much smoother for both you and your new best friend!


How to Stop a Puppy From Biting

To solve a puppy biting issue I use a method called redirection. Puppies have a natural instinct to nibble, bite and eat objects and/or body parts ( fingers, toes, hair etc). So how do you stop a behavior that teething puppies have such a strong want? You redirect!! When puppies play with other puppies one way they know the play is too rough is when a puppy yelps. The puppies are startled and will actually stop playing . This can also be used in training. When your puppies nibbles on your fingers or toes , give a high-pitched yip. This is one way to let your puppy know that hurt and play needs to stop. However if your puppy is still nibbling away redirect their behavior with a toy. Let your dog know that chewing toys gets praise and biting fingers gets negative responses. Since puppies will need to bite this will be a long process but you will realize how nice it is that your dog bites his toys instead of you or wires.
Once again if you cannot supervise your puppy around wires, shoes etc. limit their space.

There are also sprays to discourage biting but remember to always be behavioral so if you use sprays also use the training techniques as well.

Biting can be solved by redirecting biting to a toy. Saying no or yelping when the puppy bites you and supervision if puppy bites wires or shoes so you catch them in the act and can redirect.

Puppy biting is also temporary but you don’t want the puppy to mature and have the play, soft biting escalate to aggression or aggressive playing.