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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dangers of Antlers and Bones

Note: Discuss food choices/precautions with your vet

Puddin just got the all-clear from her vet after loosing a major tooth.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Puppy Biting Part II. Attention Biting. Stress Biting

In our last post on biting, we mentioned the puppy biting is normal.  But sometimes puppies (and adult dogs) can bite because they learned that it's a way to get our attention.  There are a couple of ways that we can combat attention biting.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Elizabethan Collar Alternatives

In my last post, you might have noticed that Lupe's soft E-collar didn't look like the standard plastic lamp shade shaped protective device.
Her collar is soft and flexible - just one of the many alternatives to the plastic cone collar.

The Cone of Sadness

I haven't seen the movie "Up" yet. But I have heard of the "Cone of Shame" reference. (didn't know if I could use that term in my blog title).

 When my Lupe had to wear a cone, she looked just as sad as the dog in the movie.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Catching a Scared Dog

Good Samaritans should exercise caution when approaching any dog – especially scared, shy or skittish dogs.  Scared dogs can bite out of self preservation.  Also if the dog is stray we don’t know his or her vaccination history.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Don't Like a Behavior? Reward Your Dog For It.

If we don't like our dogs jumping, barking or pawing, we can teach our dogs to do those behaviors only when we ask for them. Professionals call this putting a behavior under stimulus control.

Jumping Up. Part V. Setting Your Dog Up For Failure

We have already discussed several methods to help with a dog's jumping behavior. In our last post on this subject, I mentioned how much I liked the first half of a video where the trainer encourages four feet on the floor using treats.

Jumping Up. Part IV - Reward Four on the Floor

I recently saw the below video and we really like the technique demonstrated during the first three minutes of the video.

Default Behaviors

Jumping Up. Part III. Communication and Impulse Control

In my last post, I talked about how dogs might jump up to get our attention. If we teach our dogs some default behaviors, they can learn more desirable behaviors to get our attention

Impulse Control

Dogs who have impulse control are not only easier to live with, but they also tend to be happier and less stressed. How do we help a dog have impulse control? 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hiring a Trainer - Vocabulary

When interviewing a private trainer or behaviorist, take note of the words he/she uses during your conversation. Also take note of what is on the trainer's website.

Homemade, Hypoallergenic Dog Beds

I saw these nifty Do-It-Yourself floor cushions on a website. It reminded me of the fluffy pillow beds that I make for my dogs.  Mine require no sewing at all. But they might cost a bit more.  See the video below.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Other Dog Has Feelings Too

I'm a bad pet guardian
I left my reactive Akita alone in the back yard again
He barks at everything he sees
So you think this is a good time to train your Schipperke
You walk back and forth, back and forth until my dog is in a tizzy
It's not the Akita's fault that his Mom busy
Your dog is quiet. Well, good for you. But the yard dog has feelings too

You've taught a wonderful recall to your cute little Beagle
So you let him off leash in places where it isn't legal
When I see your dog loose from fifty feet away,
I don't know if he's dangerous or just wants play
So to be safe, we leave before your dog ruins our day
My dog missed out because you won't follow the rules
Your dog is well trained, well whoopty-do. But my dog has feelings too

I got some bad training advice
I was told that when we walk by dogs, I should yank my dog once or twice
You see me yanking my dog but instead of moving away,
You come closer to show how your dog is well behaved
You could have crossed the street
But instead you set me up to yank my dog off his feet
Your dog can loose leash walk; everyone admires you
But the other dog has feeling too.

So you are trying to counter condition
And you want to use my dog without my permission
So you stalk us and follow us closely from behind
Forcing me to drag my curious dog away isn't very kind
So you understand behavioral science.  I'm happy for you
But my dog has feelings too

Or maybe you happen to be a bad pet parent in some situations
You think the dog park is a great place for rehabilitation
You think what you are doing is alright
But your dog just traumatized that puppy for life
You are not at a dog training school
The dogs at the park have feelings too

Sometimes we need other dogs to help our dogs achieve
But there is a kind way to do this, I do believe
Find a skilled trainer to work with you
He or she can provide *volunteer* dogs who are bullet proof

If you want your dog to run off leash, that's okay
But make sure it's a legal and secured area where your dog plays

You want your dog to be well behaved, to follow your cues
That's understandable, but the other dogs have feelings too